Archive for category Pest Control

Learn the Truth About Bed Bugs and Make Your Pest Control Efforts More Effective

Posted by on Wednesday, 12 February, 2014

baby bedbugUnless you’ve personally encountered their presence, you probably don’t know much about the habits of bed bugs and the proper way to exterminate them. Despite the wide outbreak of bed bug infestations in more recent years and the amount of information that has become available, there are still many misconceptions that people have about the little bloodsucking creatures that make it difficult to identify a real bed bug problem and determine how to accurately take care of it. Separating the truth from the inaccuracies will help you be more effective in your bed bug pest control prevention and elimination efforts.

Myth #1: Bed Bugs Can’t Be Seen

There’s no doubt that bed bugs are quite small, but they aren’t completely invisible. As they develop into adults and feed on blood, they grow and darken, making them easier to spot. What actually makes bed bugs hard to detect is their ability to conceal themselves in discreet places. So, don’t come to the conclusion that the critter you’re seeing can’t be a bed bug just because you’ve always thought they weren’t visible to the naked eye.

Myth #2: Exposing Bed Bugs to Extreme Temperatures is the Quickest Way to Kill Them

While it is true that bed bugs die in severe climates, those temperatures are virtually impossible for you to reach on your own. These insects are very resilient, and it would take long periods of exposure to extreme climates before they begin to perish. Simply heating or cooling your home won’t do the job and will just make it intolerable, and possible dangerous, for those in the household. Calling in a pest control professional that has experience with bed bugs is your best chance at disposing of the insects.

bedbug bagMyth #3: Bites Are the Best Way to Know if Bed Bugs Are Present

Bites can definitely be a sign that you are in the company of bed bugs, however, there is also the possibility that you’ve been bitten by a different kind of insect since there is no real distinction in markings. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone shows a physical reaction to bed bug bites, so you can’t always rely on the appearance of welts to warn you of an infestation.

Myth #4: A Bed Bug Infestation Means Everything Must Be Disposed Of

It’s common to think that once you’ve discovered bed bugs you must automatically get rid of your mattress, box spring, bedding, couch, etc., but this depends on the seriousness of the infestation and if it’s treated properly. Oftentimes, your furniture can be saved with the help of a pest control professional, but either way, throwing out your things won’t take care of the whole problem without the rest of the residence receiving treatment.

Myth #5: Bed Bugs Only Inhabit Beds and Dirty Living Spaces

Bed bugs are excellent travelers and hiders. This means that they can hitchhike by way of clothing, luggage, etc. into any dwelling, spotless or dirty. They will then proceed to tuck themselves away wherever they see fit (baseboards, carpet, light sockets, behind framed pictures and anywhere other crevice that’s dark and inviting) until it’s time to come out and feed.

Myth #6: Bug Bombs Will Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are resistant to numerous kinds of pesticides, and a DIY bug bomb treatment simply won’t be able to get rid of an infestation. Decluttering, deep cleaning and a professional pest control plan is the most efficient way to thoroughly handle a bed bug situation.

Any evidence of a bed bug problem warrants an immediate call to your pest control professional. The first line of defense against bed bugs is to know the facts about them. Don’t take your chances by trying to manage them on your own.

About the Author:  Tiffany Olson is a professional blogger from California who enjoys writing on home improvement and pest control related topics. In her off time she enjoys travel, making art, and cooking.

Are Your Pets Bringing Fleas And Ticks Into Your Home?

Posted by on Thursday, 16 January, 2014

For homeowners, winter is a welcomed time of year as nuisance bugs seem to take a break from infesting homes. But even with the decrease in insects during the colder months of the year, they can still invade your home, especially if they can find a warm host to survive on.

Woman_Dog

For those who own pets, that means there is still a good chance pests can infest your home by attaching themselves to the animals and hitching a free ride inside. The two most common insects that pets carry into homes are fleas and ticks, and although they might not look like much of a threat, the diseases they can transmit to humans and pets says otherwise. If you have taken the necessary precautions to seal your home from invasive pests this winter, make sure you don’t forget about checking your pets each time they come in your home, as well. It could be the difference between a peaceful winter and a costly pest problem.

The Dangers of Fleas and Ticks

Fleas

Fleas are often referred to as a nuisance bug since the saliva from their bites can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets alike. This reaction causes many pets to heavily scratch the infected area, which can lead to rough skin, baldness, and skin infections. However, they can also carry parasites and diseases, including tapeworms, murine typhus, and the bubonic plague. If left untreated, these diseases can lead to serious illness and even death.

Ticks

Ticks carry many dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to both humans and pets, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis. Pets can also pick up the highly contagious fungal infection ringworm which can be transmitted to other animals including humans. Lastly, since ticks suck blood, if your pet is anemic a heavy tick infestation could kill them.

The good news is that the diseases transmitted from fleas and ticks can be treated, but they must be dealt with right away, as they can go from bad to worse in a matter of weeks. If you notice any of the symptoms that your pets are infested, make sure to have them treated as soon as possible to keep them, and your family, safe..

Check_For_Ticks

How They Attach Themselves to Pets

As mentioned above, the cold temperatures of winter usually spell the end of bug problems. But, if these insects can find a warm host, they can survive and even thrive through the winter. For many, this means the pests attach themselves to cats and dogs and feed on their warm blood through the cold winter months. Unfortunately, it is very easy for fleas and ticks to attach themselves to your pets whenever they are outdoors. Even the simple act of walking through thick, tall grass can be enough for these bugs to find a new home on your pet. Once attached, the bugs will hitch a free ride into your home and reproduce at incredible rates. The next thing you know, your home is infested, and you need to have the pests professionally removed.

How to Prevent the Form Entering Your Home

The best way to keep your home free of fleas and ticks this winter is to be proactive in your inspections. Each time your pets return indoors, perform a thorough inspection of their fur to make sure they are clear of bugs. If your pets usually stay within your yard through the winter, you can also prevent these pests by keeping your grass cut low, especially around fences, trees, or other tall plants in your yard. There are also a variety of treatments you can use on your yard that kill and repel the bugs. If you find any signs of fleas or ticks on your cat or dog, make sure to have them removed properly to avoid any harmful effects on your pets.

Removing_Tick

Flea and Tick Removal

To remove fleas, there are many over-the-counter treatments you can use, but they are not as effective as those you can have prescribed by a veterinarian. Although they are more expensive, these prescribed treatments are much safer and will give you a better chance at preventing an infestation. Tick removal for pets is a bit trickier. The proper removal is essential in keeping your pet safe. Make sure you remove the entire tick, especially the head, which if left behind can still transmit the disease. Once removed, save the evidence and date in a container. If a tick-borne disease begins to surface in your cat or dog, bring the removed tick to your veterinarian for further instructions.

Winter may mean fewer bugs, but even the least likely of critters can still find sanctuary in your warm home. By proactively inspecting your pets for fleas and ticks, you can help prevent an infestation from occurring within your home. Remember that if these bugs do find a way in your home this winter, their prompt removal is of the utmost importance. With the deadly diseases that fleas and ticks can transmit to humans and pets alike, it is better to be safe than sorry this upcoming winter.

Featured images:
  • Royalty Free or iStocksource: 123rf.com

Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.

Is That A Hoof On My Roof?

Posted by on Friday, 20 December, 2013

squirrelThe brisk weather of fall and winter is approaching, and it’s time for everyone to prepare for the harsh months ahead. Just as human prepare for the cold wind and snow, animals also prepare food and warm shelter to survive through fall and winter. However, there are animals that decide to take shelter in an inhabited home during fall and winter to take advantage of the warmth and strong protection from the elements. While it may be paradise for them, it can be a nightmare for the homeowner. To keep pests out of your home this winter, follow these helpful tips.

Snakes

Snakes are not very fond of the cold. They prefer warm and cozy areas to curl up in. That is why snakes are a common pest found in homes during fall and winter. While not all snakes are venomous or constrictors, they can still be uncomfortable to live with.

To keep snakes away, do a thorough check on the outside of your home for any holes or cracks that a snake could slither through. This includes ventilation ducts, utility pipes and dryer vents. Remember, snakes can be incredibly small and they’re all very flexible. Even a tiny hole could be big enough for a snake to get through. It’s also a good idea to check higher up on the walls in case there are any access points such as trees or poles near the wall.

You can also put down some snake repellent around the perimeter of your house right before or during fall to keep snakes away.

Rats

Similarly to snakes, rats make their way into houses through small openings in the house. However, rats can be even more flexible than snakes and they’re better climbers. They can make their way into openings as small as a penny. You’ll need to be even more vigilant in finding access points when trying to keep rats out.

One of the main issues with rats is that they frequently make their way into the living quarters instead of staying in hiding like a snake. It may be impossible to keep rats out completely since there are so many ways rats can get in, but you can rat-proof the interior of your home by putting wire mesh over any openings in the wall such as holes around pipes or cables, putting all food in sealed plastic containers and placing rat repellent around and within your home. If you plan on putting chemical repellent in your home, remember to keep it away from pets, children and food.

Squirrels

Squirrels are a slightly different matter because they store their food supply for the winter in the place that they intend on inhabiting for the season. If their food supply is already in the home, keeping them out can be very difficult. In addition, all homeowners must realize that keeping a squirrel away from their food during winter can quickly lead to the squirrel’s death.

For a more humane method, it’s best to prepare during mid to late summer while the squirrels are preparing to store food. Squirrels frequently access houses by jumping from nearby branches and entering through high access points. Since blocking off high access points may be impossible, it’s best to work from the ground up. Wrap a two-foot wide piece of sheet metal around the trunks of the trees that are close to your house. The metal should be secured about eight feet off of the ground to keep them from avoiding it.

If these methods fail, you can also purchase traps to capture most pests in your home. Glue traps are popular since they are fairly humane and they can catch practically any pest. If you’re not comfortable dealing with a live animal in a trap, you can call an exterminator or a wildlife rescue specialist to release the animal for you.

Featured images:

Austin blogger, Peter Wendt, recently contacted his Austin roofing contractor for information about how to keep critters out of his attic this winter. All he wants to hear up there is Santa’s sleigh landing!

6 Natural Ways To Exterminate Ants In The Home

Posted by on Tuesday, 10 December, 2013

Ants are a real nuisance. Watching millions of the little creatures painstakingly crawl up the kitchen table leg may be fascinating to a six year old, but it isn’t very pleasant when you find them inside the cereal boxes first thing in the morning. It can also be unpleasant when they come swarming out of the floorboards on a warm summer day. So how can you persuade your ants to move out and leave you in peace?

Invisible Ant Trails

In order to get rid of ants permanently, you need to understand how ants work. Their movements around your home and backyard might look random, but ants never do anything randomly. Ants are super organised and they operate with military precision at all times. When ants find a food source, they leave a scent trail to show other ants in the colony where to go. The only way to prevent ants from repeatedly coming back to the same place, again and again, is to destroy the ant scent trails.

Destroy the Heart of the Beast

Disrupting ant scent trails will deter ants from coming back to the same places to feed, but it won’t kill the ants themselves. The best way to exterminate ants is to destroy the nest, and the most efficient way of achieving this is to infect the worker ants with a poisonous substance. The idea here is that these hapless workers will carry the poison back to the nest and destroy the rest of the ants.

Natural Methods for Ridding Your Home of Ants

Vinegar – Mix a half and half solution of white vinegar and water and use it to wipe down areas where ants are known to inhabit. The solution will obliterate any ant trails in the vicinity, plus the smell will act as a deterrent.

NutraSweet or Aspartame – Ants are attracted to the sweetness of artificial sweeteners, so sprinkle some of the powder anywhere they frequent and the workers will carry it back to the nest. Artificial sweeteners are deadly neurotoxins and can easily destroy an ant nest. Probably a good idea to give that some thought the next time you use it to sweeten your coffee.

Borax and honey – Mix borax with something sweet such as honey (or jam), spread it around, and wait for the ants to feed from it. Borax is very effective at killing ants, but be careful if you have household pets because it won’t do them much good either.

Chalk – Ants hate chalk, or rather they hate the calcium carbonate in the chalk. Grind up some chalks and create a barrier around the places where ants normally enter the house. The ants won’t cross the chalk barrier, so you will be free.

Lemons – Ants hate the smell of lemon, which makes lemons a great natural ant deterrent. Squeeze lemon juice over the places where ants frequent and you should find it repels them very effectively.

Ant control DIY methods are often very successful at repelling ants, but remember that the only way to cure the problem once and for all is to destroy the queen inside the nest.

This article has been authored by Brian Harris. Brian is an intern at Innovative Care of the Environment Inc., a company providing pest control services in Burlington. Brian likes to read or play tennis in his spare time.

How To Survive An Invasion: 5 Pests You’d Rather Be Rid Of

Posted by on Tuesday, 3 September, 2013

After the movie Signs came out, I was obsessed with alien invasion preparation. However, over the years, I have realized that there are other invaders out there that are a little closer to home. Pest infestations are both a nuisance and a potential health hazard. That is why it is so important to be able to recognize the signs of an invasion and target those unwanted guests before they do any more damage. Below are a five pests you’d rather be rid of and the signs of their invasion. Once you can read the signs, you’ll be better able to combat these pesky bugs once and for all.

1. Cockroaches

Cockroach

Cockroaches are nocturnal, which means if you see one during the day, there are probably many more hidden in your home. They prefer dark, moist places to hide and breed, so check behind refrigerators, under floor drains, under sinks, and behind appliances. You may also find small oval egg cases in these places, as well as in other hidden places like between books.

If you have an infestation, you will find feces that resemble coffee grounds or black pepper. If the roaches are a larger size, they will be dark and cylindrical. Some types also produce smells that are, let’s just say, unpleasant to your olfactory senses. And a larger infestation will radiate a strong oil or must smell.

If you notice any of these tell-tale signs of a roach, call your nearest professional exterminator to handle the problem.

2. Bedbugs

bedbug

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite,” isn’t just a catchy bedtime phrase. If you wake up and notice little bug bites that were not there when you went to sleep, it may be a good idea to check for bedbugs. These little pests are about the size and shape of an apple seed, and brown or reddish-brown in color. They prefer small, warm places to hide and breed. And their habitat of choice? You guessed it: your bed.

Therefore, check between the fitted sheet and mattress, or between the mattress and box spring, as well as any other nearby small, dark, places. Although their name suggests they reside only among the mattresses, bedbugs can actually live in furniture, appliances, bookshelves, and even computers.

Keep an eye out for the bugs themselves, shed skins, or their small white eggs. The eggs are adhesive so be sure to check on both sides of the sheetswhere they may be attached. Other indications of a bedbug problem include their droppings. These will be small, and black or dark brown, like coffee grounds, but will smear red when wiped with a damp cloth.

Though their bites generally only cause annoying itching, in more severe cases victims may have allergic reactions or secondary infections (from scratching the wounds). The best solution to a bedbug problem is to take the Godfather’s advice and go to the mattresses—literally.

3. Ants

ants

Ants are mostly active around sundown, so that is when you want to really keep an eye out. There are three particular things you can check for when inspecting your home for ants.

First, do a little reconnaissance. Ants nest outdoors, so they enter your home primarily to find food. Therefore, they are commonly found in the kitchen area and along walls, and in cupboards. . Though a few ants does not necessarily mean an infestation, if there are a lot of ants, along with an appearance of larger worker ants, you could have a problem on your hands.

Second, after you inspect the house at the likely sources, check for frass. Frass is waste left behind by ants, which includes feces as well as small piles of sawdust or wood shavings, as well as other leftover debris. Ants do not eat wood, but they will dig tunnels and push the sawdust out. So if you see accumulations of debris, you may have uncovered an ant problem.

Finally, if you suspect an ant colony is residing in your home, tap on the area in question and listen. A disturbed colony will make a rustling noise that becomes louder the more bothered they become.

4. Termites

termites

Termites are one of the most destructive pests out there, particularly because there are often no immediate signs of damage. They love to eat dead plant matter like fallen leaves and dead trees, and while that is great in nature, when they decide to make our homes a meal it can be a big problem.

Termites are often mistaken for flying ants, so it is important to know the differences. Ants have a cinched waist, while the termite body is just a straight tube shape. Ants’ wings are two different shapes and their antennae are bent, while termites’ wings are both the same size and their antennae are straight.

Check the foundation of your home, as well as crawl spaces, for signs of termites. They will have little mud tunnels running from their underground colonies to their feeding ground.

Watch out for swarms of termites near your home, especially around springtime. If your paint suddenly starts to bubble or crack for no reason you may want to check the walls for termites. If wood sounds hollow when tapped, or you find discarded wings or termite droppings, it is time to call your local exterminator—and no, I’m not talking about Arnold. A quick search on your browser for “termite control Long Island” (or wherever you’re from) should give you a solid list of options from which to choose. The sooner you take care of a termite problem, the better. Because the longer you wait, the more damage you risk to your home and property.

5. Rodents

rodent

Rats and mice can be fun pets to have for some people, but a wild rodent in your home is a hazardous thing. Both rats and mice carry diseases and parasites, putting your food and home in danger of infection. Moreover, because they are rapid breeders, take care of a rodent problem as soon as possible to avoid a major infestation.

The most obvious sign of a rodent problem is if you see dead or living rodents in or around your home. It is also possible to hear them scurrying and squeaking through walls and floors.

Keep an eye out for droppings in dark, infrequently visited places such as behind furniture, in the back of drawers, the back corner of closets, attics, basements, and in walls and under floorboards. You will also notice damage to food and other things in your home from their constant biting and nibbling. Inspect your pantry and other food sources for signs of nibbling, and make note of any damage to property

Traps are usually the first place we go to when we learn of a rodent in our home, but for larger infestations, traps will be insufficient. Your best bet is to call your exterminator.

The last thing anyone wants is an intruder of any kind in their home. Just as you would call the police if a burglar invaded your home, you should call the exterminator for pest invaders. The sooner you catch the problem and call, the sooner you can once again feel safe and secure in your home—and the sooner you can worry about bigger problems, like aliens.

Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert. Leslie enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house.

Home Cleanliness: Things To Do To Prevent Pest Infestation

Posted by on Wednesday, 7 August, 2013

You can prevent pest infestations by maintaining cleanliness in your home. Pests love dirty environments since they provide them with an abundant supply of food and a nice hiding place. If you just leave food scraps on the floor and table and never bother emptying your trash can, then it is more likely that you will see pests roaming around your house.

Therefore, if you do not want to have a miserable life because of these miserable creatures, here is a list of things that you should do:

To Do Number 1: Clean the Yard

Before pests invade your home, they will colonize your yard first. Therefore, if you want to ensure that your house is safe from pests, the first thing that you need to do is to clean your yard.

You need to free your yard from fallen fruits, dead plants, fallen branches, and weeds, for insects love these things. You must also trim your plants, since excess foliages serve as a nice place for insects and pests. Furthermore, wood and fruits serve as a valuable source of food for ants and termites.

You must also empty any containers in your yard that hold standing water. Standing water is a nice breeding place for insects, such as flies and mosquitoes. By keeping your yard clean, you will be able to prevent pests from reaching your home.

To Do Number 2: Clean Your Storage Spaces and Rarely Visited Places

You need to clean your closet, boxes, containers and drawers from time to time, for this serve as an ideal place for pests to build their nests. You must also clean the areas in your house that you seldom visit at least once a week. In this way, you will be able to prevent pests from colonizing your house.

To Do Number 3: Free the House from Scraps of Food

If you want to make your house uninviting for pests, you must free your house from scraps of food. Remember, food is the main reason why pests want to stay in your home. Therefore, if you want to drive away pests, you must deprive them of food. If pests cannot find food in your home, then there is no reason for them to infest your home.

To ensure that your house will be free from scraps of food, it is advisable that you vacuum your home regularly. You must also wipe your table and sweep the floor every time you finish eating your meal. You must also clean the bowls of your pets.

To Do Number 4: Seal the Cracks and Holes

Aside from cleaning, it is also advisable that you check your house for cracks and holes. Mice will always try to break into your house through these holes. Insects can also gain entry through cracks. Sealing cracks and holes in your home is one way of preventing pests from gaining access to your house.

Pest infestations are a nightmare for homeowners because they can cause damage to their properties and belongings. One way of preventing pests from colonizing your home is by maintaining cleanliness in your home, for they hate clean environments.

About The Author

The author has vast experience in pest control as he has worked for a reputable termite pest control Brisbane company once. He suggests the above to take care of your home.

Killer Bees Swarm Killing Texas Farmer

Posted by on Monday, 3 June, 2013

Killer Bee Swarm

Imagine working on a tractor, when you happen to disturb a nest of bees. Before you know it, thousands of these bees swarm and vigorously sting you as you work– Too many times to count.

That’s exactly what happened to 62 year old Larry Goodwin of Moody, TX.

Last Saturday (June 1, 2013) while driving his tractor, clearing away some brush and debris from a friend’s property, Goodwin bumped a huge hive of Africanized “Killer” Bees nesting in an old chicken coop. Some 40,000 angry Killer Bees poured out of their nest and aggressively and violently swarmed; stinging Goodwin thousands of times.

The neighbors, whose property Goodwin was helping to clear, rushed to his aid and were stung an estimated 100 times as well. Unfortunately, it was too late as Goodwin succumbed to the bee stings and was killed.

The farmer, Goodwin, was pronounced dead at the scene. One of the women who had assisted the famer as he was attacked by the Killer Bees is currently hospitalized in serious condition.

Killer Bees In Texas

Killer bees have been a huge problem in Texas,  so much so that killer bee exterminators in Texas are contemplating leaving the business. As the story indicated, these bees are a growing concern, and are very dangerous.

The above story comes to us just a few months after emergency crews were called out, after thousands of the bees swarmed inside a family’s home in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Africanized “Killer” Bees, common throughout the Southwest, are migrating north at a rate of 100-300 miles per year. They are now widespread throughout most of the state of Texas, including the cities of Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Swarms have been reported in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, (Southern) California, and (Southern) Utah.

Africanized honeybees, also know as “killer bees,” are a hybrid of honeybees from Europe and southern Africa. In 1957, the hybrid bee was accidentally released in Brazil by a beekeeper. They have been migrating North ever since.

Honey Bee Looking Right At You

Africanized “Killer” Bees

There is no distinguishable appearance that one can use discern Killer Bees from other bee species. They look the same to the naked eye. Killer Bees do pose one very unfortunate characteristic though… They are extremely aggressive. In fact, they are ten times more likely to initiate an attack or sting, compared to a common honeybee. These bees are easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances.

When disturbed, a queen Killer Bee will release a pheromone signaling to the other bees that something is wrong. The entire nest of Killer Bees will empty; as opposed to European honey bees that release only ten percent of the worker bees to check out a problem.

Pest Control In Austin

If you have a bee hive near or around your Austin, TX home or property, DO NOT DISTURB IT. Instead, please contact an Austin bee removal specialist. An Austin exterminator can safely determine if the bees are indeed Africanized and need to be killed. If they are common honey bees, they can be removed and placed someplace away from people.

Austin Bee Removal

Austin Bee Removal
(512) 220-0280
austinbeeremoval.com

Austin Pest Control

Bulwark Exterminating
209 East Ben White Boulevard
Austin, TX
(512) 291-1200
bulwarkpestcontrol.com
 
A Wildlife Pro
3803 Speedway
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 914-7287
austintxanimalcontrol.com
 

Bigger Problems Than Cockroaches To Conquer

Posted by on Tuesday, 7 May, 2013

The average American hates bugs, which is why humanity has developed so many great ways to kill them. We have bug spray, fly paper, and even those weird yellow hives that bees fly in and can’t get out of, and all of those things tend to be pretty effective. What you don’t think about, though, is all the infinitely more horrifying bugs and other creepy-crawlies out there that you don’t have an easy way to kill. Hopefully, you’ll never come in contact with them, but if you do, just know that your bug spray probably won’t work on…

The Tachina Fly

Tachina ursina

Parasites are always a favorite on the list of terrifying animals. This parasite takes a unique approach to its job, because instead of injecting its eggs into the body of the host creature, it just glues them to his or her back so well that they can’t be removed (at least, not without killing the host).
The good news is that, unlike our next candidate, tachinids are unlikely to choose you as their host creature. The bad news is that some of them look like ordinary houseflies – so you’ll never know when they’re nearby.

The Botfly

Botfly (142/365)

Similar idea, but even better because these ones actually will go after humans as hosts. When the eggs have matured inside you, the result burrows out from your skin, and the only way to get rid of it is to slather mineral oil all over the spot and wait for the burrowing to occur prematurely when the larvae has no air.

The Centipede

English: Centipede

It’s not really an insect (it certainly doesn’t have six legs), but it definitely falls under the category of creepy crawly. Centipedes are one of those things that aren’t likely to hurt you, but might scar you forever if you ever actually come in contact with all the little undulating legs.

The Leech

A leech (probably Haemopis sanguisuga?).

They may have been used for medicinal purposes once upon a time, but these days they don’t really have a positive connotation. Generally speaking, we prefer our blood inside of our bodies, and when you wade into a muddy river and find out that the leeches feel differently about it you’re probably not going to be a very happy camper.

The Cockroach

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina p...

“But,” you may say, “I am familiar with cockroaches. I had an apartment in New York City once…” Look, as gross as that story is, your apartment cockroaches would still have nothing on the ones in Madagascar. After all, if your apartment cockroaches were hissing at you, you probably had bigger problems on your hands than infestations.

And More…

And if you’re worried about the insects, get ready for the other horrors of the wilderness – venomous snakes, cats that are more likely to chew on you for breakfast than curl up on your lap and purr, and even fish with flesh-eating teeth. Oh, don’t worry, there’s no need to cancel your rainforest vacation. After all, if you handled the apartment cockroaches just fine, there’s really no need to worry about parasitic flying creatures.

By Lilia Otori

Lilia has been writing on topics important to homeowners for nearly a decade now. She enjoys incorporating factual information into her articles, and is glad that as far as problems with pest control, Salt Lake City has nothing on the rainforest.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips For Pest Control

Posted by on Tuesday, 26 March, 2013

Spring cleaning is about more than letting in fresh air and getting a home ready for summer. Spring cleaning can also be an important step in a pest control management project. By completing some basic cleaning tasks, a person can protect his or her home from attracting insects, rodents and other pests; which mean no call outs from a local pest control company.

1. Keeping Your Kitchen Clean & Tidy

The kitchen is the area of a home most likely to draw pests for one simple reason: that is where the food is kept. An important part of spring cleaning is to pull out appliances and clean under and behind them to remove any spilled food that may be present. A clean kitchen is an important part of any pest control plan.

As an added bonus, dust and other grime can be cleaned off of the refrigerator’s coils when it is pulled away from the wall. This will help it to run more efficiently and use less energy.

2. Clean Bedroom

For many bugs, the dead skin that makes up a significant portion of household dust is an attractive meal. To prevent attracting these insect into the bedroom, it is important to not only clean bed linens on a regular basis, but also to clean the mattress and box springs. Vacuuming these items during a spring cleaning can help to make pest control efforts successful.

3. Exterior Cleaning

To prevent bugs and rodents from entering a home, it is important to keep them away from the home. Removing accumulations of sticks and other yard debris will prevent pests from using them for homes. Gutters can also clog with debris and make an attractive home for some insects, so they should be cleaned as well. Standing water is another sure bug attractant. Remove any sources of water in the yard or under a home.

4. De-Clutter Your House

Getting rid of unneeded items is a great task for spring cleaning. Getting rid of clutter will provide more room in a home, while removing places where pests like to live. This is especially true in basements and other unfinished areas where moisture can build up on boxes and other materials and provide a fertile home for a variety of critters. Old clothes, paper and forgotten trash can also draw insects and rodents. As an added bonus, donating usable items to a qualified local pest control charity will result in eligibility for a tax deduction equal to the value of the donation.

5. Pay Attention

While completing spring cleaning, keep an eye out for areas of the home that may be drawing insects and rodents or may be allowing them to enter into the home. Removing these sources of easy entry will increase the odds of a pest control project’s success. For example, holes and cracks between walls and floors need to be filled to prevent easy access into the home. A homeowner should also check the screens in the home’s windows before opening the windows to air out the house.

Water leaks are another area of concern to look for while cleaning. Whether it is a roof leak or a leaking sink, water is a natural draw for unwanted pests. If leaks are found in the home, they need to be fixed as part of homeowner’s pest control efforts.

Rick Young is an expert on pest control. He frequently writes for local pest control related websites and blogs. For more information on pests or pest control help go to pestcontrol247.co.uk

 

Austin Termite Control

Posted by on Monday, 22 October, 2012

Agricultural Research Service scientists have ...

Austin Termites

Termites are frequently found infesting homes and buildings in Austin, TX. These destructive pests create major problems for homeowners and tenants by actively feeding on timber structures like: homes, buildings, telephone poles, and trees. They will feed on almost anything made of wood.

Within a colony of termites, you’ll find members of different social classes, each with a specific task to perform. Each class is reliant upon the other for the continued survival of the entire termite colony. The five different termite social classes include: the king, the queen, soldiers, workers, and what is called the winged reproductive which are young kings and queens dedicated to reproducing.

The First Termites You’ll See are the Soldier Termites

If you suspect you might have termites, keep a lookout for the soldier termites. Because of their large numbers, you will likely see the soldier termites first. The soldier termite’s sole purpose is to protect the colony from any intruder. Anytime a termite’s habitat is disturbed, the soldier termites will scuttle out of the nest and guard the opening.

Soldier termites have fat, dark heads with strong mandibles used for biting any predator that might threaten the colony. In some species, soldiers are twice as large as worker termites, and may spray noxious chemicals from a snout on the front of their head.

The Queen and Worker Termites Help the Colony Grow

The queen termites are responsible for helping the colony grow. A typical queen can lay over 2000 eggs a day, and she’ll live up to 25 years! That’s a lot of termites that can damage your property! Termite control must be aimed at eliminating the queen, as well as the other termites.

Worker termites help to build the nest, and will repair it if there is ever a breach. The worker termites are the termites that cause all the damage to your home. They spend their lives inside the nest eating, chewing, and eating some more. They are soft-bodied and will be a creamy translucent color.

Austin Termite Control

With the queen termite’s ability to lay 2000 eggs a day for 25 years, it’s a necessity for a pest control professional to eliminate this destructive pest before she, and the rest of her colony, create extensive property damage. Termites cause more damage to homes in the Austin, TX area than fires and storms combined. Yet termite damage is not covered by homeowner policies. That’s why requesting a free termite inspection is so important.

If you believe you have termites anywhere on your property, even if they are not yet inside your home, it’s best that you contact a termite control professional before they make their way to your all-you-can-eat buffet. The quicker you act, the more likely you will avoid any damage from being done to your home or property. Call for a free termite inspection today!

Austin Pest Control:

Bulwark Exterminating
209 East Ben White Boulevard
Austin, TX
(512) 291-1200
bulwarkpestcontrol.com

A Wildlife Pro
3803 Speedway
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 914-7287
austintxanimalcontrol.com

Terminix
1905 Kramer Lane,
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 236-5008
terminix.com