It’s Bed Bug Awareness Week – Brush Up On Information Before Vacation

As part of National Pest Management Month, which has been celebrated in April for more than 30 years, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is marking the week of April 22 – 28 as Bed Bug Awareness Week. As people begin to move about more frequently in the warmer months and embark on summer vacations, the NPMA is spreading awareness, promoting public vigilance and providing essential prevention advice about bed bugs.
“Bed bugs are still a problem in America. A survey of pest professionals conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky in 2011, found that bed bug encounters have become more common in public places than in previous years; in some cases, the numbers of professionals who reported treating certain types of businesses and commercial facilities saw double digit growth from the prior year,” said Missy Henriksen, NPMA’s vice president of public affairs.
“With summer travel around the corner, NPMA reminds travelers to arm themselves with bed bug knowledge and prevention tips. A watchful eye can go a long way in preventing an infestation upon returning home,” advised Henriksen.
Bed Bug prevention tips when traveling:
• At hotels, pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams, for telltale bed bug stains. Inspect the entire room before unpacking, including sofas and chairs and behind the headboard. Notify management of anything suspect and change rooms or establishments immediately.
• If you need to change rooms, don’t move to a room adjacent or directly above or below the suspected infestation.
• Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during your stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there.
• When home, inspect suitcases before bringing them into the house and vacuum them before storing.
• Wash all clothes – even those not worn – in hot water to eliminate any bed bugs and their eggs.

House Centipedes

COLOR: Yellowish to dark brown, sometimes with darker stripes or markings
SHAPE: Elongated, flattened, worm-like
SIZE: 1/8 – 6” (4-152 mm)
REGION: Found throughout U.S.


Centipedes are sometimes called “hundred-leggers” because of their many pairs of legs, but they can actually have anywhere from 15-177 pairs of legs, depending on the species. Interestingly, centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs.
Most centipedes are nocturnal, and prey primarily on flies, spiders, and sometimes plant tissue.
Centipedes are found throughout the United States and the world. They are typically found in areas of high moisture, such as in rotting logs, under stones, in trash or piles of leaves/grass. When they invade homes, centipedes are most commonly found in damp basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, or potted plants.
Centipedes are generally considered nuisance pests, as they do not pose significant health or property threats. However, all centipedes have poison jaws with which they inject venom into their prey. If handled roughly, some larger species can inflict a painful bite that can break human skin and causes pain and swelling, similar to a bee sting.
The most effective way to prevent centipede infestations is to reduce areas of moisture in and around your home. Remove leaf piles and grass clippings. Store firewood off of the ground. Provide adequate ventilation in crawl spaces, basements, etc.




Brown Widow Spider

ScienceDaily (May 10, 2007) – A dangerous spider is making itself known to Louisiana residents. The brown widow spider is becoming more common, according to entomologists with the LSU AgCenter.
Generally found in tropical areas, the brown widow spider is closely related to the black widow spider and is poisonous, according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dennis Ring.
Experts say the spider ranges in color from gray or tan to dark brown and may reach 1 inch to 1½ inches long. Like its better-known black widow cousin, the brown widow spider has a yellow-to-orange hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen. It also has black and white marks on the top of the abdomen and often has dark bands on its legs. “Its venom is more toxic than the black widow’s,” Ring said. “But it doesn’t put out as much venom in its bite.”
Ring said the brown widow spider is most often found in areas that haven’t been disturbed, such as brush piles, wood piles and areas where hurricane debris has accumulated. They also can show up in crawl spaces, under chairs, in garbage can handles and under flower pots, eaves and porch railings.

“These spiders are shy and are less likely than black widows to bite humans,” Ring said. “Nevertheless, they can bite when they come in contact with a person’s skin.”
Ring suggests wearing gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when working outdoors, especially in areas that don’t get a lot of human activity.
In addition to recognizing the spiders themselves, Ring points out that the egg sac of the brown widow is different from that of the black widow. The white-to-tan-colored egg sac of the brown widow is lumpy. The black widow’s egg sac is smooth. The egg sac can be found attached to the web and is about one-half inch in diameter.
The best remedy for controlling brown widow spiders is to remove areas where they may nest, according to Ring. The LSU AgCenter entomologist recommends picking up clutter and sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows, as well as in driveways and sidewalks.
Ring added that brown widow spiders also can be controlled by using spray or powdered insecticides labeled for spiders.


LSU Agricultural Center (2007, May 10). Venomous Brown Widow Spiders Making Themselves Known In Louisiana. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2012, from¬ /releases/2007/05/
A brown widow spider. (Credit: Dr. Chris Carlton, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum).


Color-Dark, Reddish Brown, Size-1/2-1/6 inches, Shape-Flat, Legs-Six, Antennae-Yes, and Flying-No.
Fleas are attracted to animals by body heat, movement and the carbon dioxide that animals exhale.
Fleas start in the spring time and increase in numbers during the summer. Fleas will start to decrease in the cooler to winter months, but pets usually harbor small population during these seasons.
Fleas have been reported to infect humans with plague, murine typhus, and certain tapeworms. They also transmit other important pathogens and parasites of humans and pets. Their saliva has recently been determined to cause serious Flea Allergy Dermatitis in pets and their debris has been reported to cause similar allergic reactions in humans. Large populations of fleas can contribute to serious discomfort, can contribute to secondary infection due to their hosts’ scratching bitten sites, and their feeding may contribute to, or even cause, serious anemia in young or small host animals.


A regiment of cleaning animal areas, such as: washing bedding in hot water, thorough sanitation improvements, and to restrict the pets movement to mostly interior. Also floors should be vacuumed and the bag or canister content should be discarded outside. Other control measures include drops or pills administered to the animal. Flea collars are also commonly used with varying degrees of success. These steps require the participation of the owner and define an integrated approach to flea management.



Question & Answer

Which disease creates a bull’s eye around the original bite?

ANSWER: Ticks spread Lyme Disease and often the first sign is a bull’s eye rash around the bite. Other clues include fever, chills, headache and extreme tiredness.


More Ticks This Season!

Acorns, Not Weather, To Blame for More Ticks

National Pest Management Association explains why 2010′s crop puts people at risk for tick-borne disease

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is forecasting a heavier tick season than in previous years, but it’s not due to the unseasonably mild winter as one might expect. Rather, acorns can be blamed for the predicted surge in tick populations this year, particularly in the Northeastern U.S.

Oak trees produced an extremely large acorn crop in 2010, which led to a boom in the white-footed mouse population last year. As a result, the blacklegged (deer) tick population also increased because the ticks had an abundance of mice to feed on when they hatched. However, this spring those same ticks will be looking for their second meal as nymphs, but a decline in the mice population may force them to find new warm-blooded host – humans.

Experts are concerned about an increase in human cases of tick-borne disease. “Many of these nymphal ticks may have contracted Lyme disease from feeding on infected mice as larvae,” said Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA. “These hungry ticks will soon be looking for another blood meal, which puts people at risk as they head outside to enjoy the weather.”

Tick Tips:

Use tick repellent when outdoors and wear long sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light in color, so ticks are easier to detect.
Use preventative medicine on pets, as prescribed by your veterinarian.
Once indoors, inspect clothing and your entire body. Check family members and pets that have been outdoors.
Keep grass cut low, including around fences, sheds, trees, shrubs and swing sets. Remove weeds, woodpiles and other debris from the yard.
If you find a tick on your body, remove it with a slow, steady pull so as not to break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. Then, wash hands and bite site thoroughly with soap and water. Ticks should be flushed down a toilet or wrapped in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
If you suspect a tick bite, seek medical attention.