The Benefits of Bumble Bees

Bumble Bee 300x225 The Benefits of Bumble BeesWhen you think of bees, the first you probably think of is an insect that you could live without. Although most bees are aggressive and very territorial, that doesn’t mean that all bees are bad. Take the bumble bee, for instance. This is a friendly bee that goes out of its way to stay out of your way. But there are benefits to bumble bees, especially in your yard. Read on.

Pollination

Did you know that bumble bees are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s total pollination? On top of that, bumble bees make a huge impact on the agricultural industry because they aren’t as attracted to “pretty” flowers like other bees. As a result, they pollinate and cross-pollinate plants and flowers that other bees and insects might overlook. Since these bees are less aggressive than other bees, they are also no threat to the average gardener.

The way that bumble bees pollinate flowers is known as “buzz pollination.” This method involves the pollen from one plant sticking to the bee and falling off its rapidly vibrating wings to pollinate the next flower that the bee visits. A bee has to make this trip around seven to 10 times to fully pollinate a flower.

Unfortunately, the bumble bee population is in decline. If you spot a bumble bee in your yard, you are one of the lucky ones. This means that there are probably around 50 more nearby and ready to help pollinate your plants.

Eco-friendly

Honey bees are more than just pollinators; they are scientifically referred to as “apis mellifera,” which means “honey-carrying bee.” As such, honey bees are one of the only insects in the world that produce food that humans can eat. Honey itself is very important and includes all of the substances that are needed to preserve life. Honey is full of enzymes, minerals, water and vitamins. It also contains pinocembrin, a powerful antioxidant that improves brain function.

Hard Workers for You

Bumble bees pollinate your flowers and plants in a wide variety of weather conditions, unlike other insects. For example, bumble bees are active in temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. They are most active in temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Even on foggy, cloudy and rainy days, bumble bees are still hard at work and can fly in winds of up to 40 mph.

If you want to learn more about bumble bees or need a professional to help, Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumblebee

How did the dragonfly get its name?

Dragonfly 300x183 How did the dragonfly get its name?Dragonflies are one of the most fascinating insects. They have a very distinct appearance with their wings and long body. As a predator, they eat many insects that might plague your home and yard, including mosquitos, houseflies, ants and bees. However, the origin of their name is a bit of mystery. The origin is not definitive, but there are many wonderful folklore stories to explain the origin of the name.

Romanian Folklore

In old Romanian folklore, the dragonfly was actually a horse ridden by Saint George. St. George rid the mythical town of Silence of the dragon that lived in the town’s pond and poisoned the town. After wounding the dragon, he leashed the dragon and gave it to the town’s princess. Saint George’s horse became a giant flying insect when cursed by the devil. In the Romanian language, the word for dragonfly translates into Devil’s Horse or Devil’s fly. The Romanian word for devil is drac, which can also indicate dragon. In English, it translated to dragonfly.

Native American Folklore

For the Zuni tribe, dragonflies are a symbol of spring and good harvests. It is said that the Zuni abandoned their land when it became barren. In their haste to leave, they left behind a small brother and sister. The brother created an insect doll made from grass and corn, which came to life. As the children suffered from hunger, the doll flew away to find the corn maidens. With the corn maidens came the return of the fertile land and the tribe. The insect doll asked for a companion. Their offspring were called dragonflies from then on to today.

Swedish Folklore

In ancient Swedish folklore, the dragonfly is called Skams besman, which translate to Devil’s Steelyard. This name is derived from the shape of a dragonfly’s body. If you use a little imagination, its body shape begins to resemble a weighting tool. The people believed that the Devil used the dragonfly to weigh people’s souls. The dragonfly would circle a person to get the measure of their soul. If your soul was found wanting, you could expect to be seriously injured in the near future. Today, dragonflies are considered holy animals in the Scandinavian countries.

While we might never know the true origins of how the dragonfly received its name. It is fun to learn more about the possible origins of the name and the folklore associated with this insect.

While Clegg’s does not service Dragonflys, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly

What is a Fiery Skipper?

FierySkipper Butterfly 300x225 What is a Fiery Skipper?Butterflies are common in the summers in North Carolina, but many people cannot differentiate between the different species, at least outside of the popular monarch butterfly. However, the Fiery Skipper is another common butterfly that can be found all across the United States. The scientific name for the butterfly is the hylephila phyleus.

What they Look Like

Generally, Fiery Skippers are going to be about one inch in length, with a wingspan that reaches from one and a quarter to one and a half inches. They are a relatively small butterfly, though they still manage to draw a lot of attention due to their bright coloring; this is what gives them their name. The male and female butterflies prominently feature orange and black, with the black spotting over the bright base color. However, the females, when not distinctly orange, do tend a bit more toward brown and darker tones, whereas the males tend toward yellow, really causing them to stand out.

Another part of the name is derived from the shape of the wings, which they share with other skippers. These types keep their wings up in more of a triangular position. The forewings stay in a vertical orientation, though at an angle to the ground, and the forewings stay flat against the butterfly’s back. This creates an exposed portion between the sets of wings for the maximum amount of exposure to the sun.

Where They Can Be Found

The Fiery Skipper lives on the nectar of flowering plants in its adult life. While they will use numerous type of plants, some of the most common food sources that they seek out include the sweet pepperbush, asters, swamp milkweed, knapweed, sneezeweed and ironweed. They have also been known to feed from thistles.

On the whole, the Fiery Skipper can be found in open fields that get a lot of warm sunlight. They will gravitate toward lawns, gardens, and things of this type. If they do venture into the forest, they prefer second-growth forests due to their open nature. It is this desire for sunlight that plays into the theory that their wings are in a triangle shape to catch that sunlight. In areas with harsh winters, the Fiery Skipper will leave and recolonize in a warmer climate to wait out the cold months, as it will not survive in such temperatures.

While Clegg’s does not service fiery skippers, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiery_skipper

Top Natural Pest Control Methods for a Healthy Garden

NUS Garden 300x225 Top Natural Pest Control Methods for a Healthy GardenYour garden is the place where you spend time relaxing and tending to your flowers and plants, and you may even use that space to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for your family. Pesticides contain a number of chemicals and toxins that can leach onto that produce and harm your family, but those chemicals can also leech into other areas of your garden and kill your grass and plants. There are a few natural treatments that you can try before you call for professional help.

Use Natural Enemies

If you have insects and other pests eating your plants and ruining the look of your garden, look for the natural enemies of those pests. Aphids can infest an entire garden and take over your lawn, but aphids and ladybugs don’t get along. You can buy ladybugs in bulk from many online stores and have the bugs delivered right to your house. Those ladybugs will drive away all the aphids. Bats are another natural enemy, and if you worry about having bats around your house, keep in mind that the animals generally have a fear of humans and won’t bother you. You can place a bat house near your garden, and the bats will eat many of the more common household pests.

Reach for Essential Oils

Many of the more common pests found outside dislike the strong scent of citrus essential oils. These oils often come from the natural skin or zest of lemons, limes and oranges. Fill a plastic spray bottle ¾ of the way to the top with water and top off with distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of essential oil in a citrus scent to the bottle before spraying it on and around your garden. Spray the solution at least twice a day for one week or longer.

Other Natural Remedies

There are hundreds of recipes and natural remedies that you can find online for garden insects or pests. Some recipes call for a solution of hand soap and water, while others tell you to put down rock salt on your garden. Soap, salt and remedies that call for other ingredients may kill your plants at the same time that those treatments kill your bugs.

Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control can control those pests without damaging your lawn or garden. Contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden

That Bed Is Mine! How to Rid Your Bed of Bed Bugs

1024px Bed bug Cimex lectularius 300x210 That Bed Is Mine! How to Rid Your Bed of Bed BugsNobody wants to deal with bedbugs in the home. Not only are they dirty, but also they can create itchy bites on the body while you are sleeping. Although bedbugs are most often found in hotels, they may get into your home as well. Knowing how to address this problem successfully will give you confidence and the ammunition you need against these irritating bugs.

Noticing an Infestation

You may first be wondering if you have an infestation. Your first clue will most likely be itchy red welts that typically appear first around the ankles and waist, where clothes are tighter fitting. As you look around your bedroom, you may notice several other signs that point to bedbugs. You may wake up to red blood spots on your sheets. When you inspect your mattress, furniture and carpeting around the bed, you may notice small brownish spots from bedbug feces as well as from their shed skins.

How to Start

You can do a couple things yourself to begin the fight against these offensive insects. First, wash all of your bedding, curtains and clothing in hot water. If you have anything in your home that cannot be washed, such as shoes or stuffed animals, you should put these in the dryer on high for a half hour. Second, you will need to eliminate as many bedbug hiding places that you possibly can. Repair cracks in your walls, glue wallpaper back to the wall if it is peeling and clear excessive clutter away from your bed.

Professional Help

However, it is virtually impossible to get rid of bedbugs completely without the help of a professional exterminator. You may be able to eliminate some bedbugs yourself or take away their favorite hiding places, but a complete extermination is necessary to prevent a larger bedbug problem in the future. The exterminator will be able to inspect your residence to find where the bedbugs are hiding and can recommend the best course of action. He or she may use a chemical treatment, called a pesticide, or may use some other method, such as heat.

If you have any questions about bedbugs or if you are in need of pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344. Clegg’s has the knowledge and experience to take care of your bug infestation.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bug

Eradicating your home of beetles. And no, we don’t mean John, Paul, George and Ringo

800px Drawing 1 300x286  Eradicating your home of beetles. And no, we don’t mean John, Paul, George and RingoFew bands in the world hold as many world records as The Beatles, but listening to their music and seeing beetles running loose are two very different things. There are several different varieties of beetles found in North Carolina and parts of the south. Japanese beetles are a common pest found outside in gardens and on lawns, but you may also encounter the bugs living in your closets and eating the food in your pantry. Though you might feel tempted to treat the problem yourself, working with a professional exterminator is a far better option.

How to Get Rid of Beetles Naturally

Getting rid of beetles in your house involves a few steps. You need to completely and thoroughly vacuum all areas of your home, identify how the beetles came into your home and wash everything with fabric or upholstery. You’ll also need to use some chemical sprays that have a risk of causing a fire when exposed to a heat source or flame. To remove beetles outside, you need to use insecticides, get rid of anything that attracts the beetles and spot check your lawn regularly.

Do These Remedies Work?

While home remedies do work, those remedies only work to a certain point. One of the newer devices on the market is a beetle trap that attracts the bugs and leaves them trapped inside. The problem with this device is that it often worsens a simple infestation and attracts more bugs to your home or lawn. Other natural remedies do well at treating the beetles you already have, but those remedies won’t work on any new insects gaining access to your home. Even if you use multiple treatments, you may still encounter problems in the future.

Why You Need a Professional

Bug bombs and other insecticides that you can buy at home and garden stores kill adults and babies, but those products may not work on any eggs left behind by the bugs. Improper use of those products can also make you, your family and even your pets sick. Working with a professional company guarantees that you keep your family safe and take care of your beetle problem. Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control has years of experience removing beetles, bed bugs, termites and other common insects. Contact Clegg’s online or by phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetle

Mice are only cute in the movies! How to remove mice from your home

1280px Мышь 2 300x158 Mice are only cute in the movies! How to remove mice from your homeMickey Mouse and Stuart Little rank as two of the cutest fictional mice in history. Though you might love watching movies and cartoons featuring those characters with your kids, you probably won’t love the mice living in your walls. Mice often move inside when the temperature drops and when they feel threatened in their natural habitats. Using mouse traps is a popular solution, but many people don’t want to stumble across mice caught in those traps. You can get rid of the mice living in your home without using any of those old and outdated traps.

Block Off All Entrances

Did you know that some types of mice can fit through an opening roughly the size of a nickel? All it takes is one open entrance to your home to see an infestation. Though you might think that you only need to look at openings on the first floor, mice can reach the upper floors by climbing up trees and the walls of your home. You can fill the opening with cotton balls and attach a metal screen over the front and back of each hole. Blocking off the entrances will keep new mice out, but you’ll still need to deal with the existing mice.

Rely on Natural Remedies

Some natural remedies may take care of your mice problem. If you have a cat, move the litter box near a window or door. The smell of the urine in the litter box will repel mice and move them away from your home. Peppermint oil may also get rid of mice. Mice find the strong scent repelling and may leave your home when you use it. Sprinkle a small amount of the oil near your front door, by your windows and around the outside edges of your house.

Call for Help

Some people swear by humane traps that keep the mice tucked inside alive, but you still need to find a place to dump those traps and hope that the mice won’t come back. Others claim that electronic sound machines work effectively. These machines release a strong noise that might send mice scurrying. The experts at Clegg’s Termite and Pest Control know that nothing works as well as professional extermination. Even if you use a combination of home remedies, those mice can keep coming back during every cold snap. Contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse

Spiders? Man, Not All of Them Are Super Heroes! How to Get Rid of Them

1280px Araneus diadematus web 1 300x199 Spiders? Man, Not All of Them Are Super Heroes! How to Get Rid of ThemAlthough Peter Parker managed to get super powers after being bitten by a spider, few average citizens get that lucky. Many spiders are harmless, and none specifically seek out humans to prey upon. In fact, spiders do a great service toward humans by preying on other pests and depleting the populations of insects such as flies and mosquitoes. However, spiders don’t belong in your home, and some spiders can be dangerous.

Black Widows

A black widow spider has a venomous bite that, while seldom fatal, can cause humans to become quite ill. Black widows are small, black spiders with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the abdomens. A black widow’s bite feels similar to a pinprick, and many people do not notice the bite at first. Symptoms of a black widow bite include:

  • Red marks and swelling at the location of the bite
  • Chills and fever
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Brown Recluse

The other common dangerous spider in North Carolina is the brown recluse. These medium to small brown spiders can be identified by a fiddle-shaped mark on their backs, a mark that has given them their nickname “fiddleback spiders.” A bite from a brown recluse is generally accompanied by mild stinging. Within eight hours of the initial bite, the victim often experiences intense pain as well as a deep reddening of the area that was bitten. Usually, a blister will form and then fall off, leaving a deep ulcer. The bite may also cause rash or fever.

As is suggested by their name, brown recluse spiders do not generally live in heavily trafficked areas. Bite victims of the fiddleback spider are often bitten when sorting through storage areas that haven’t been disturbed in a long time.

Spider Infestations

Usually, spiders live outdoors, and most of the time, spiders won’t bother humans. However, if you notice spiders in your home, you need to make sure your family is safe. First, make sure the spider isn’t dangerous. If you notice a black widow or brown recluse, kill it immediately. If you are bitten by one of these spiders, seek immediate medical attention.

If you need assistance with a spider infestation or other pest problem, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

How Many Legs Does It Have? Learn This and Other Centipede Facts!

Centipede 300x262 How Many Legs Does It Have? Learn This and Other Centipede Facts!Are you familiar with centipedes? Chances are you know very little about them except maybe that their name means “100 legs.” They are often seen in homes in the autumn. While one in your home may not cause a problem, an infestation can be a nuisance. These facts about arthropods will help you recognize them and know what to do if you have an infestation.

Centipede Appearance

A centipede’s body is flat and divided into segments. Depending on the size and type of the centipede, the number of segments can vary dramatically. Some may have only 15 segments while others may have more than 150. Each of these segments has a pair of legs except for the first segment, which contains the mouth. Although some centipedes have 100 legs, others may have as little as 30 legs, or as many as 300 plus. Centipedes are usually brown or reddish and they have a pair of sensitive antennae on the front of the body. The mouth has a pair of sharp structures that contains venom.

Centipede Habitat

Centipedes prefer coming out at nighttime. Many centipedes do not have eyes, therefore they rely on a sharp sense of smell to find their prey. When they find their prey, such as worms and cockroaches, they inject venom into them. Centipedes like living in cool, damp places. In homes, they are often found in bathrooms, basements and closets.

Centipede Infestation

One or two centipedes in a home are not problematic because these arthropods eat other insects. However, because centipedes normally live between one to six years, there may be many centipedes living in a home. Although a centipede bite is not typically harmful to humans, it may be painful. A professional exterminator will have the pesticide and equipment that is needed to control the centipede population. The exterminator will also be able to educate you on what you can do to help prevent a future infestation, such as by filling in cracks and controlling the moisture in the home. He or she will also be able to look outside the home to find places where centipedes may like to breed, such as in compost piles and under plants and rocks.

If you need any other information about centipedes or if you need pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centipede

Why Do Cicadas Make Noise at Night?

800px Tibicen linnei 300x268 Why Do Cicadas Make Noise at Night?If you’re used to hearing cicadas sing at night, you may be interested to know that these creatures actually qualify as one of the loudest insects to be found anywhere in the world. The sounds that they make are far from random, though. Cicadas make their clicking and chirping noises quite intentionally, and they serve a very specific purpose. The songs are a mating call.

An Incredible Range and Population Density

Males make these calls in order to draw females toward them when they need to mate. Due to their high volume, the females can actually hear the sound at an astounding distance of roughly a mile from the male. The distance is for a single cicada, but as those living in North Carolina and along the east coast know, it is very rare to hear just one of these insects at a time. They are usually packed into dense groups, with all of the males competing with each other as they call for the females. In fact, estimates have shown that a single square mile can often hold up to one billion of these insects. Yes, you read that correctly . . . one billion.

How Do They Make These Sounds?

For those interested in the anatomy of cicadas, the insects have what is known as a tymbal. This is a device that can be compared to a drum or a plate, and is white in color. To make the sound, the cicadas cause this device, which is located near their abdomens, to vibrate.

The Cumulative Volume

The reason many people consider these insects to be pests when they rise up in a chorus, all trying to find a mate, is that the cumulative volume of the whole group of cicadas can be as loud as a lawnmower engine with the throttle pushed all the way down – or louder. Some studies have shown that they can reach an overall volume of 100 decibels. Though the mating period for cicadas is only a couple of weeks, the sound can keep people awake until sunrise, and quickly grow overwhelming.

Contact a Professional

If you would like to learn more about cicadas, pest control methods, or anything else about these common North Carolina insects, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada