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5 Signs You Could have a Termite Infestation

Posted on: May 18th, 2018 by Tara No Comments

One of the most destructive pests out there, termites have a nasty habit of coming into our homes and not making themselves known until it’s too late. Fortunately, there are some signs you can look at for that may help you determine if you have a termite infestation. This is especially important as the sooner your deal with termites, the better.

1. Groups of Discarded Wings

When termite season begins, swarms of termites take to the skies in search of places to build their colonies. Once they’ve found a suitable location, they will settle in and begin building – leaving behind their wings in the process. When inspecting your property, keep an eye out for the discarded wings of termites, this is a telltale sign that there may already be a colony nearby.

2. Mud Tubes on Walls or Structures

When subterranean termites build their colonies, they create mud tubes (or shelter tubes) as they move from the ground into structures and homes. Their mud tubes can appear in corners and joints between surfaces and allow the termites to travel throughout their growing colonies. If you notice abnormal buildups or mud/dirt in strange places, it may be a sign that termites have made their way into your home.

2. Bubbling or Cracked Paint

When inspecting the inside of the home, take a look at your drywall and along baseboards in the house. Should you notice any bubbling or flaking of paint, or “honeycombing” on baseboards, this may be a sign of a termite problem. Internal damage to drywall and ceilings can often resemble minor water damage and can often go unnoticed

3. Termite Droppings

Termites produce a large number of droppings, referred to as frass when they are eating through wood inside of a home. These droppings accumulate in various areas and look like wood-colored pellets, and may resemble a pile of tiny bird seed at first glance.

4. Damaged or Hollow-Sounding Wood

While the wooden structure in the home may appear to be in good condition visually, on the opposite side, there may be damage hiding. As termites prefer to be in dark, damp places, they very rarely let their work be visible inside of your home. Just tapping on surfaces and listening for a hollow sound can be a good indicator that termite damage may be present. Wood and surfaces without damage should produce a solid sound, wood that has termite damage may provide a more hollow sound depending on the extent of the damage.

These are all DIY methods that are good, but not perfect. To truly know if you have a termite infestation – and adequately deal with it – you should call the pros. If you think you have a problem, or would just like to schedule our free inspection to ease your mind, call us today!

How To Get Rid Of Termites

Posted on: May 18th, 2018 by Tara No Comments

There are many methods for ridding your home of termites, but what is your best option? Choosing an effective natural or chemical treatment can help kill a present infestation and prevent future ones from forming.

Remove Their Food Source
Before treating your infestation, make sure to remove any possible food sources that termites may overrun. This includes outdoor wood piles, old tree stumps, and even paper debris. Give the colony as few places to live and spread as possible to make your treatment the most successful.

Natural Methods
One of your easiest natural methods of getting rid of termites is to lure them into a trap. Simply stack flattened cardboard boxes where you see signs of infestation, and after a few days, you can inspect your boxes for successful trapping. Soak the boxes with insecticide or safely burn them. Note that this will not kill the king or queen.

Saturating infested wood with orange oil can also be an effective method of natural termite extermination. Apply the oil to surfaces where signs of infestation have been found. The oil will kill termites on contact as well as leave a pleasant scent in your home.

Product Treatments
Two easily obtainable product treatments for killing termites are termite baits and liquid solutions for soil application. These methods target outdoor infestations and help to protect the perimeter of your home from future attacks. Place baits underground or overactive mud tubes to poison termites and kill the colony. Apply liquid pesticides to the soil which will kill termites on contact.

These treatments can be slow, but they are effective.

Should You Treat the Issue Yourself?
While there are many methods of removing termites from your home, you must be absolutely sure that you are keeping your pets and family safe throughout the process. For safe, efficient, and professional termite control, or for a Free Estimate, contact us today!

Bats

Posted on: December 3rd, 2012 by pelican

Pest Stats

Color: Varies in shade from tan to black

Legs: Four legs used for crawling; Front two are used as wings

Shape: Body covered with hair; Two wings and very large ears

Size: Depending on the species, adult bats average 2 3/16” to 7 ½” (5.5cm – 18.8 cm) in length from nose to end of tail. They have a wingspan of about 6” to 15” (15.2cm – 38 cm).

Antennae: No

Region: All, with the exception of colder regions beyond the limit of tree growth

There are more than 980 species of bats worldwide with about 40 species found in the United States. The three most common species that enter structures are the little brown bat, the big brown bat and the Mexican free-tailed bat.

For centuries, bats have been the subject of folklore and myths, often associated with witchcraft, haunted houses and evil. These myths still exist today and cause unfounded fear in many people.

Habits

Bats are nocturnal flying mammals that leave their roosts at dusk to feed and return to secluded dark places just before daylight. Most species are active during the warmer months and hibernate and/or migrate for the winter season. However, they do not fly in rainy or unseasonably cold weather.

Big brown bats: Female big brown bats form nursery colonies in the spring and are joined by males in late summer. They leave their roost at dusk in a slow, fluttering flight to find food. They feed close to the ground on various insects including beetles, ants, wasps, flies and mosquitoes.

Little brown bats: This species forms nursery colonies in early spring, then migrates south in autumn and hibernates in irregular clusters from September through April. They feed on insects, primarily flies and moths, and alternate their feeding with rest periods during which time they hang to digest their food.

Mexican free-tailed bat: This species migrates to Mexico for the winter, usually leaving in late October and returning in March. They feed on insects, eating up to 1/3 of their body weight each night.

Habitat

Different bat species living across the United Stated roost in dark secluded areas of buildings and in naturally protected areas like caves.

Big brown bats: This species commonly roosts in attics and church belfries, and behind shutters and loose boards. During the winter months, colonies travel short distances seeking hollow trees, rock crevices, drainage pipes, caves, mines and buildings to hibernate alone or in small groups.

Little brown bats: This species roosts in tree cavities and crevices during the warmer months and seeks shelter in caves and mines to hibernate.

Mexican free-tailed bats: This species usually lives in huge colonies where the young are raised. In the southeast and on the west coast, these bats can be found hiding in structures, but from Texas to Arizona they seek shelter in caves.

Bats can pose a serious health threat to humans if they are found inside a structure. Fungi that harbors in bat droppings can cause the lung disease, histoplasmosis. An accumulation of droppings should be professionally decontaminated and removed.

A small percentage of bats are also infected with rabies, but may not show symptoms. Rabies can be transmitted when saliva or even the body tissue of an infected animal comes into contact with another animal or human. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you’ve had any unprotected, physical contact with a bat.

In addition, if an infestation develops, it is important to treat the area for bat mites and bat bugs, which will bite humans.

http://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/nuisance-wildlife/bats/

Africanized Honeybee

Posted on: November 7th, 2012 by pelican

Description

Africanized “killer” bees look so much like a regular honeybee that the only way to tell the two apart is by measuring their bodies. Africanized bees have different wing measurements than honeybees.

Pest Facts

Color: Golden yellow with darker bands of brown.

Legs: Six

Shape: Oval; bee shape

Size: 1/2 inches

Antennae: Yes

Flying: Yes

Region: AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX

Habits

These bees defend their colony and attack when threatened.

Habitat

Africanized bees have small colonies, so they can build nests in unique places. They have been known to live in tires, crates, boxes, and empty cars.

Threats

Their venom is no more dangerous than regular honeybees-they just tend to attack in greater numbers, which causes more danger to humans.

Prevention

Because of the aggressive nature of these pests and the enormity of their nests, a pest control professional or beekeeper must address an infestation. If you are chased by Africanized honeybees, run in a zig zag pattern and seek shelter in a house or car.

 

*FOR MORE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE AFRICANIZED HONEYBEE,

CHECK OUT DEREK ROACH’S LINK: http://www.propacificbee.com/infographic/AHB/infographic.php

 

http://www.npmapestworld.org/pestPedia/article.cfm?id=608

Varied Carpet Beetles

Posted on: October 26th, 2012 by pelican

Description
Varied carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their back surfaces.
Color: Black centers, with white, brown and yellow patches in an irregular arrangement Shape: Round, Size: 1/16 inches, Legs: Six, Antenna: Yes, & Flying: Yes.
Habits
These pests enjoy dining on carpets, woolen fabrics, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones. It can take 249-354 days to three years for varied carpet beetles to grow from an egg to an adult.
Habitat
Varied carpet beetles are found in homes in attics, Oriental carpets, tapestries and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting.
Threats
Varied carpet beetles feed on dead insects, but also feed on upholstery and carpet, so they can damage those materials. They can also damage clothing fabric.
Prevention
As with moths, to avoid varied carpet beetle infestations, store clothing in plastic containers. Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.

Springtails

Posted on: October 2nd, 2012 by pelican

Color: Black
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented, oblong
Size: 1/16″
Antennae: True
Region: Found throughout U.S.

Certain species of springtails are referred to as “snow fleas” when found in winter, but they are not fleas at all. Springtails are found year round, but because of a special protein that acts like anti-freeze, this type of springtail is able to survive in cold winter temperatures. Springtails don’t have wings, instead they get around by jumping, using a unique catapult system. Their jumping is especially noticeable in winter when they are contrasted against white snow.

Habits

Springtails are very common around pools with nearby vegetation, around air conditioning condensate drain lines and other moist areas. In winter, snow fleas emerge on sunny days and gather in large numbers around bases of trees where snow has melted. Because of their small size, they look like flecks of pepper or ashes on the surface of the snow. Snow fleas feed on decaying plant matter.

Habitat

Snow fleas prefer damp soil, leaf mold, decaying logs and fungi.

Threats

Snow fleas do not cause any structural damage and should not be of concern to homeowners. In addition, snow fleas are not a threat to family pets as they are not a flea at all. Their sole diet consists of rotting plant food.

Prevention:

None

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/

Fruit Flies

Posted on: September 28th, 2012 by pelican

COLOR: Tan/ light abdomen
LEGS: 6
SHAPE: Small oval
SIZE: 1/8 of an inch
ANTENNAE: True

 

Fruit flies feed on decaying fruits and vegetables.
Habits
Fruit flies feed on decaying matter, especially fruits and vegetables.
Habitat
Fruit flies are small pests that are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed.They are found on moist, decaying matter that has been stationary for several days.
Threats
Fruit flies are found in unsanitary conditions, so they are a potential heath concern, especially when present in health facilities.
Prevention:
Fruit flies are best prevented through vigilant sanitation practices. Remove kitchen trash daily, and keep counter surfaces clean.

 

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/

Cicadas

Posted on: July 17th, 2012 by pelican

The pictures below were featured on FMC Pest Wire website.

 

http://www.fmcpestwire.com/2012/07/in-focus-featuring-the-best-pest-management-photos-2/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=focus%2B2%2B&utm_campaign=pest%2Bwire

 

Interesting Facts

Cicadas don’t bite or string, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bug your ears.

The insect, which emerges from its underground habitat once every 13 years to shed its shell, has a hiss so loud that one university professor is warning Tennessee locals about the potential hearing damage the cicada chirping can cause.

“They’re in the neighborhood of 90 decibels or above, if you get real close to them,” Todd Ricketts, associate professor of hearing and speech at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, recently told WSMV Nashville.

“Annoying, irritating and you have to shout to talk over them,” said Ricketts.

According to Rickets’ measurements, the cicadas on the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville, Tenn., measured at roughly 86 decibels. 85 decibels is the volume where the threat of hearing damage begins, and federal work standards stipulate that sounds exceeding that level should not be heard for more than a four hour period.

Depending on proximity, the cicadas’ hiss stacks up to a 85 decibel bustle of heavy city traffic, a 90 decibel hum of a lawnmower or a 95 decibel rumble of a New York City subway train.

And good luck avoiding them. Nancy Hinkle, a University of Georgia entomologist managing Georgia’s first statewide study on periodical cicadas says there are “bazillions.”

Source: Cicadas’ Chirp Could Cause Hearing Damage, Professor Says. http:weirdnews.aol.com, May 26, 2011. Online. Available: http://weirdnews.aol.com/2011/05/26/cicada-noise_n_867407.html. May 30, 2011

 

Boxelder Bug

Posted on: June 29th, 2012 by pelican

 

Pest Stats
Color: Black with reddish or orange markings on dorsum
Legs: 6
Shape: Elongate-oval, somewhat flattened with head narrower than pronotum
Size: 1/2” (11-14 mm)
Antennae: Yes
Region: All

Boxelder bugs get their common name from the fact that they are often found on and around boxelder trees. This species is native to the western states, but can be found from eastern Canada throughout the eastern United States, and west to eastern Nevada wherever boxelder trees are found.
Habits
The boxelder bug population lives and thrives on maple and seed-bearing boxelder trees during the warmer months where they lay their eggs and feed on leaves, flowers and seeds. Occasionally, they will feed on the fruits of plum and apple trees.
Habitat
In autumn, boxelder bugs become gregarious and congregate on the south side of rocks, trees and buildings where the sun hits. After large masses gather, they migrate to nearby buildings or homes to overwinter. These pests tend to hide in small cracks and crevices in walls to insulate themselves from the cold winter temperatures. In late March to early April, adults leave their overwintering sites to return to their host trees for the warmer months.
Threats
Boxelder bugs are not known to bite, but their piercing-sucking mouthparts can occasionally puncture skin, causing a slight irritation and producing a red spot similar to a mosquito bite. When crushed or handled roughly, boxelder bugs may leave a reddish orange stain from their fecal material that can result in discoloration of curtains, drapes, clothing, etc.
Prevention
In order to prevent boxelder bugs from invading homes, repair holes in window and door screens, seal cracks and crevices with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk and install door sweeps to all exterior entrances.
If boxelder bugs have already entered a home or building, no attempt should be made to kill them in wall voids because dead insect bodies can attract dermestid beetles. Rather, using a vacuum cleaner to remove them may provide temporary relief. The bag should be removed to prevent the bugs from escaping.
If an infestation is suspected, a licensed pest control operator should be called to evaluate and assess the problem.

 

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/

Earwigs

Posted on: June 15th, 2012 by pelican

Description
Earwigs got their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people’s ears and tunnel into their brains. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig.

Color: Dark Brown, Shape:1 inch, Size: Long, Narrow, Legs: Six, Antenna: Yes, & Flying: No.

Habits
Earwigs hide during the day and feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects at night.

Habitat
These insects live together outdoors in large numbers. They can be found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes. They gain entry to a structure through exterior cracks.

Threats
Contrary to folklore, earwigs do not crawl into ears and eat people’s brains at night. They do not spread diseases, but their menacing appearance can be alarming to a homeowner.

Prevention
Remove harbor-age sites such as leaf piles, mulch piles or other vegetation. Seal cracks and crevices well to prevent structural entry.

 

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/

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