What Is Overwintering?

1280px CathedralofLearningLawinWinter 300x225 What Is Overwintering?Winter can be a difficult time for anyone, but if you are an insect, it can be even more difficult. Though the climate doesn’t often get bitterly cold in North Carolina, most insects would not be able to survive the drop in temperature unless they used some sort of defense mechanism. Most use a form of hibernation known as overwintering.

How Do Insects Overwinter?

An insect can overwinter during any stage of its life from egg to adult. Most adult insects, like ladybugs or stink bugs, will overwinter in a fashion similar to a bear hibernating in a cave. They find an area where they will be comfortable and start the hibernation process. When insects are in the larvae stage, such as a caterpillar, they can also overwinter. In this case, they will bury into the ground or into mulch and leaves to get through the cold months. Insects in other lifecycles, such as nymphs, pupae and eggs will find that overwintering is easily done in the water or soil, but only a few young insect species do this.

Why Do Insects Overwinter?

The main reason that insects will overwinter is simply the instinct of survival. During overwintering, an insect will go into a state known as diapause where their growth and development stops. During this time, they do not need nutrition or any other sustenance. If all goes well, they will awake from this state and emerge in the spring no different than they were in before beginning the overwintering process.

How Does Overwintering Effect Homeowners?

One of the issues that many homeowners will face when insects overwinter is that these pests will often find themselves waking from their hibernation due to the warmth of a home. Many insects, for instance, will find shelter for the winter under eaves of the roof or around the foundation of a home. As the outside cools down, the inside warms up. Their instinct kicks in and they make their way indoors. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to stop this.

Prevention

The best way to prevent insects coming into your home is to do some work before winter hits. Take some time to caulk around windows, doors and any pipes that are coming into your home. You should also seal cracks and around the roof and eaves. Finally, check that all screens on windows and doors are free from holes.

Get Assistance

If you find that insects are still getting in during the winter and need assistance, contact Clegg’s online or at 888-672-5344.

 

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

Why Are Stinkbugs Pests in the Wintertime?

Acanthosoma labiduroides female01 300x225 Why Are Stinkbugs Pests in the Wintertime?Your home might have been invaded by stinkbugs at some point during your life. These bugs, which are also referred to as shield bugs, are actually called Pentatomoidea and belong to the Heteropetra family of insects. These bugs are easily identified by their shield-like bodies or by the offensive odor that they put off when in danger. So now you know what they are, but why do they invade your home in the winter?

Stinkbugs in the Wintertime

During the spring, stinkbugs are active and feed on vegetables and plants. During the winter, however, they go into a state of hibernation. Just like other bugs that hibernate, the stinkbug looks for a place to spend the winter where the temperature doesn’t fall critically low. Unfortunately, your home makes the perfect hibernation spot. This is why you find tons of stinkbugs making homes in your door frames, windows and under the siding of your house during the winter.

Why Stinkbugs Are Pests

Most of the time, stinkbugs aren’t considered pests. This is because they don’t pose any real threat to plants unless they gather in large numbers. However, homeowners who have had their homes invaded by tons of these little stinky insects know just how pest-like they can be.

The biggest problem with stinkbugs is, of course, the offensive smelling liquid that they excrete from their thorax glands. If the bugs is attacked or bothered in any way, they excrete this liquid to deter predators from eating them. Stinkbugs that are living in your house often see you as a predator and excrete this liquid. This often happens when homeowners attempt to remove the bugs from their houses. The result can be, well, extremely stinky.

Treating Your Home in the Winter

Although stinkbugs become less active in the winter, you may still want to treat your home for insects. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Since there is a bigger chance for insects to be hibernating in or around your home during the winter, treating your home gives you a better chance of limiting their population when the weather starts to warm up. With any luck, you won’t have to worry about being invaded by so many stinkbugs the following year.

If you have a stinkbug problem and you would like professional assistance, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

How To Protect Your Home From the Boxelder Bug

Box elder bug 300x221 How To Protect Your Home From the Boxelder BugAlthough the boxelder bug is viewed mainly as a nuisance insect and does not cause any major harm to homes, a major infestation can be annoying. These brownish-black flying insects are around 12 millimeters long and often congregate around potential hibernation spots in the fall. There are a number of steps you can take to make sure that their over-wintering haven isn’t your home.

Hibernation Time

Homeowners often become aware that they have a boxelder bug problem in autumn when the spring-hatching nymphs have reached adulthood and gather in large numbers on the sunny south side of trees, fences, rocks and the sides of houses. With cold weather coming, they will be looking for a warm hibernation site, which unfortunately may be the living areas of your home. Infestations may range from a few insects to thousands.

Seal Your Home

The easiest way to keep these annoying insects out of your home is by preventing entry, a process called mechanical exclusion. Seal up cracks around windows and doors, in siding, and around chimneys with a high quality silicone caulk. Repair and replace screens on windows and doors and check around the foundation for cracks. Although sealing may not work perfectly, it will at least reduce entry points and the amount of bugs that can get in.

Get Rid of Hiding Places

Boxelder bugs may hide near your home in piles of debris, rocks, leaves or any other warm shelter, so it’s a good idea to rid the area around your foundation of any tempting nesting spots. Rake up leaves and garden debris and remove weeds from an area around six to nine feet wide around your home, particularly on the sunnier south and west sides. This way, bugs won’t congregate near the foundation hoping to find a way inside.

Spray Away

Boxelder bugs can be drowned, so if you do spot them on your trees or walls, you can hose them off with a strong stream of water. Additionally, if you see a big congregation, you can spray them with a homemade solution of two parts water to one part dish soap, reapplying as needed.

Shrub Control

You may notice these insects most often on box elder trees as well as maple, ash and some fruit-bearing species. Some homeowners have found it helpful to remove host trees from areas near the house, but the bugs may still fly in from elsewhere. Research has shown that the bugs prefer the female box elder, so it’s best to plant only male box elder trees around the home.

Get Assistance

If these measures fail to rid your home of a pesky boxelder bug invasion, call a skilled pest control professional. Contact Clegg’s online or at 888-672-5344 for a customized solution for your boxelder bug problem.

 

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

What are some popular pests?

250px Bed bug Cimex lectularius What are some popular pests?Pest problems are an annoying nuisance that can be expensive to resolve when not handled properly. Learn more about the following popular bugs to discover how to identify and resolve pest problems.

Termites

Termites are a common problem for property owners. These annoying bugs live in colonies and can increase in large numbers. People will notice the problem when the termites start chewing through wood. Homeowners should seek professional help to resolve this issue. Pest professionals offer several options to help people with termite infestations. The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System uses bait to eliminate termite problems. This is a great option for people concerned about the environment. Homeowners can also choose the Premise option, which is a liquid treatment for termite problems. This liquid is lethal to termites when digested. Most termites will return to their colony after digesting the liquid, which will kill other termites in a short amount of time.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have become a growing problem in recent years. People can easily bring bed bugs home when they visit other people with the problem. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to resolve, but pest control professionals can help control the problem in infested homes. Bed bugs can be difficult to be seen by the human eye, but pest professionals have trained dogs to detect bed bugs in a home or office. Pest professionals can use heat treatments to help resolve bed bug problems. Heat treatments are safe for the environment and can be completed in 12 hours. Liquid alternative are also available for treating a bed bug infestation.

Fleas and Ticks

Flea and tick infestations are a common problem in many households. Most people think fleas and ticks only live in homes with pets, but any home can develop this annoying problem. People can bring fleas and ticks home when they visit places that have those bugs. It’s also common for these bugs to live outside. Pest professionals can control flea and tick problems in just a few short hours. It’s important for humans and animals to be evacuated from the property when the home is being treated. After the treatment has been completed, people will need to vacuum every three days for three weeks.

To should seek professional help to resolve termite, bed bug, fleas, and tick problems contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

What Is a Leaf-Footed Bug?

Male Amorbus rubiginosus 300x186 What Is a Leaf Footed Bug?Leaf-footed bugs are fairly large, slow-flying insects that feed on the flowers, seeds and cones of many species of garden plants. Often confused with the squash bug, they are named for the flat-leaf-like flare on their back legs. Growing up to one inch long, leaf-footed bugs can be brown, grayish or black and have white marks on their wings.

Eating Habits

Leaf-footed bugs dine on fruits, nuts and ornamental plants, devouring plant parts, particularly seeds, by using their piercing-sucking mouth parts. Attaching to plants with their long, strong legs, they will feed on almost any succulent plant. It is during the adult state that the bugs probe deeply into fruit in search of seeds, causing the most destruction to plants.

Life Cycle

Adult leaf-footed bugs feed on spring’s newly forming seeds and flowers, mating in the fall and laying their eggs on host plants and trees. After about 10 days the eggs hatch and nymphs start feeding, the part of the bug’s life cycle that causes the most damage to host plants. Adults continue to lay eggs for an extended period, resulting in two or three possible generations during the summer. Once cold weather arrives and plants die off, they begin looking for a good winter hibernation site. Leaves and other types of plant debris are carriers of the eggs, so control of these bugs in the summer can help stave off their autumn reproduction.

Habitat

Leaf-foot bugs can be found anywhere in the garden during the growing season, from tomato plants to ornamental shrubs. In winter, the bugs may accumulate in wood piles, outbuildings or under the bark of trees like the juniper or cypress. If you’re interested in preventing a serious infestation, inspect these areas and try to keep weedy areas closely mowed. The arrival of late fall and early winter can also see infestation of homes as the leaf-footed bug looks for a warm spot to spend the winter. Large and slow-flying, it’s easy to spot this big bug in the home.

Preventing an Infestation

There are several ways you can try to prevent a leaf-footed bug infestation. Hand inspection is tedious but effective in removing bugs, especially early in the season when the young nymphs are still clustered in the leaves. Be sure to use gloves, as some species emit a stink when crushed. Some gardeners use light, permeable row covers on their plants, useful for fending off a number of pests. If your plants are suffering from a leaf-footed bug invasion and you would like professional assistance, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

Interesting facts about the beetle

1024px Drawing 1 300x286 Interesting facts about the beetleWhen you talk about beetles, you could be talking about one of thousands of possible types. Around the world, there are more than 300,000 species of beetles. In North America, you can find 30,000 of these species. This is the highest number of species of any type of insects. Beetles are almost everywhere. The only two places you will not find beetles is in the polar regions of earth and in saltwater. This little hard-bodied critter should be talked about often because there are a lot of interesting facts about them.

Beetle Basics

Every wonder where beetles got their name? It comes from the Anglo Saxon word “bitan” which translates as “to bite”. Beetles are different from insects because they have strong mouths designed to bite while bugs have beaks to suck. While bugs are most commonly associated with their gauzy wings, the beetle’s wings are hardened and horny.

Beetles That Are Harmful

Be careful! Typically found in crops and on garden plants, the Blister Beetle can cause blister to appear on your skin. While some beetles can be beneficial to your garden, others can be very destructive. The most destructive species are the Weevils, the Japanese Beetle, the Carpet Beetle, Rose Bug, Sugar Cane Beetle, Potato Bug, May Beetle and Mexican Bean Beetle. If you are worried about Dutch Elm Disease infecting your trees, you will want to make sure you do not have any Bark Beetles in your yard.

Beetles Come In All Sizes

The Ox Beetle and the Rhinoceros Beetle might grow to be as long as five centimeters or almost two inches. The Goliath Beetle is not only the largest beetle but also the largest bug in the world. Fully grown, it can weigh up to 900 grams or almost two pounds. It is also known as a scarab in Africa.

How Beetles Move

Beetle are either really good at flying or running. However, none of them are good at both movements. Each beetle has three pairs of legs. If the legs are long and slender, the species is an excellent runner. The beetles with shorter and stouter legged beetle are typically an excellent swimmer and good at digging.

Beetles That Do Unusual Things

The Diving Beetle is one of the most unusual beetles of the species. This little bug can actually breathe underwater. Lady Bugs are a type of beetle. Along with being considered good luck by some people, these beetles are beneficial around your garden because they eat other pests.

Beetles are fascinating little critters. However, if you have an infestation in your yard, it is time to call in a professional. For immediate help, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

 

How can insulation help me with pest control?

Glass wool insulation 300x200 How can insulation help me with pest control?When properly installed, insulation can make a home more comfortable and save money and energy consumption by reducing the need for additional heating and air conditioning. However, some types of insulation may be more beneficial than others in keeping a home free of rodents and insects. Among the numerous types of insulation that are currently on the market, could it be possible that one offers all the benefits of traditional insulation in addition to enhanced pest control properties? The answer is yes.

TAP Pest Control Insulation

A natural fiber insulation treated with boric acid, Thermal Acoustical Pest Control insulation, or TAP, kills ants, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, and several other varieties of crawling insects. As a revolutionary green product, TAP is made from recycled paper, and it outperforms traditional insulation in almost every category. In addition to deterring pest infestations, TAP helps filter unwanted sound and is also flame-retardant, thermally superior, and is blown to create a perfect fit inside the walls or attic of a home.

Johns Manville ComfortTherm Insulation

Available in batts and rolls, ComfortTherm is a poly-encapsulated thermal and acoustical fiber and glass insulation. A lightweight insulation, ComfortTherm is composed of long, durable glass fibers that are bonded with an acrylic, Formaldehyde-free thermosetting binder for a healthier indoor air quality. ComfortTherm is thermally efficient, fire-resistant, and noncombustible. However, the product is also flexible enough to form around corners and rounded surfaces, and it will not accelerate the corrosion of pipes and other metal structures. Similar to TAP, another advantageous characteristic of ComfortTherm is that it is insect-resistant. ComfortTherm is specially formulated to discourage growth of mold and mildew, thus eliminating a potential food source for termites, cockroaches, rodents, and other pests. ComfortTherm is also available in an option that includes a moisture-resistant plastic covering, which further discourages insect infestation. When it comes to ridding a home of pests or preventing infestation altogether, eliminating the potential food and water sources of insects and rodents is essential. Therefore, ComfortTherm can help homeowners keep their homes pest-free by minimizing the conditions that make attics, crawl spaces, and interior walls conducive to infestation.

If you need help deciding which insulation product is right for your home, the pest control professionals at Clegg’s can help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344 to learn more about how an installation of TAP or ComfortTherm can help protect your home against an infestation of pests.

 

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

Is the Japanese Beetle really from Japan?

1024px Popillia japonica 300x300 Is the Japanese Beetle really from Japan?If it is a Japanese Beetle, it should come from Japan, right? But is that really true? Yes, this beetle is a native of Japan and originally found there. It was not until 1916 that the first beetle of this species made its way to the United States. It is commonly accepted that this beetle arrived amid a shipment of iris bulbs. This would have been before 1912 when customs agents began inspecting all shipments of bulbs that entered the United States.

Description

The Japanese Beetle’s official species name is Popillia Japonica. It is a little over half an inch long and a little less than half an inch wide. It features copper colored wings and a green body and head. In its home country of Japan it is relatively non-destructive, but in the United States, it is not naturally hunted by other predators. It is very destructive to over 200 plants and flowers in North America.

Plants It Attacks

The species of plants these beetles attack include rose bushes, hops, grapes and birch trees. The damage done by this beetle comes from its eating of the leaf material between the veins of the plant. This is referred to as the skeletonizing of the foliage. Also, if there is fruit present on the plant, it will feed on that too. Trapping these beetles is difficult because it does not fly well. It will usually fall several centimeters after bumping into a wall.

Lifecycle 

In most parts of the United States, the lifecycle of the Japanese Beetle occurs over the period of a year. However, in cooler regions of the United States and North America that lifespan can be expanded. At home in Japan, these beetle have an extended lifecycle of two years due to the higher altitudes. The Japanese Beetle goes through four life stages: eggs, larva, pupa and finally adult beetles.

When the Japanese Beetle is in the larva stage it will live in your lawn and other grassy areas. In this stage of its lifecycle, the beetle is susceptible to milky spore disease, which comes from a group of bacteria called milky spore. The USDA created a form of this bacterium to be used on lawns. However, it can take between a year and five years to reach its full potential.

If you believe your yard, plants and trees are suffering from a Japanese Beetle infestation, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

Does an Earwig Bug Really Go In Your Ears?

Earwig on white background 300x129 Does an Earwig Bug Really Go In Your Ears?The name of the earwig has spawned many rumors, one of which is that earwigs crawl into people’s ears while they are sleeping and burrow into their brains. In fact, the name earwig is believed to come from the Old English words “eare wicga” or “ear insect.” One such rumor is about earwigs crawling into people’s ears to breed. But is this true?

The Truth About The Earwig

While there have been stories in the past that may suggest these rumors are true, earwigs have no desire to nest in people’s ears. This isn’t to say that an earwig has never crawled into a person’s ear before, but the environment inside the human ear is not well-suited for an earwig to nest. It’s also worth pointing out that earwigs lack the necessary tools needed to burrow into a person’s brain via the ear. Either way, an earwig is not a type of insect that most people want crawling around their homes.

More About the Earwig

When it comes time to mate, a male earwig grabs the female and deposits sperm onto her. Most of the time, the eggs aren’t fertilized right away. This is not a problem since the sperm of an earwig can live for months before it needs to fertilize an egg. The long life of the sperm insures that the female earwig is fertilized during every mating.

Controlling the Earwig

Once the eggs become fertilized, the female earwig kicks the male out of the nest. The male is then free to search for other female earwigs for mating. The female earwig remains in the nest and lays between 20 and 80 eggs. This is why it’s easy for an infestation of earwigs to get out of hand quickly.

If you think you are being invaded by earwigs, contact contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

 

What is bed bug heat treatment?

250px Bed bug Cimex lectularius What is bed bug heat treatment?Most people are disturbed by the prospect of finding bedbugs in their homes. Nevertheless, the odds of being the target of a bedbug invasion are increasing as the insects are increasingly found in hotels, dorms, apartments, delivery vehicles, and even furniture rental stores. Heat treatment is becoming an increasingly popular, eco-friendly method for effectively treating a bedbug infestation.

The Heat Treatment Process

First, treatment area is prepped by removing all items that cannot withstand temperatures in excess of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Residual pesticides may be applied to crevices in outside walls to prevent bedbugs from retreating to other parts of the property. Heaters are then brought into the building along with fans to help circulate the heat. Once the heat is turned on to the required temperature, items inside the building may be moved around to ensure the insects have no place to hide.

Advantages of Using Heat Treatment

In addition to being chemical-free and non-toxic, heat treatment is a pest control method that is able to penetrate hard-to-reach places such as wall cavities and mattresses, where bedbugs often hide. Killing bedbugs in their hiding places is especially important because an adult bedbug can survive in hiding on a single blood meal for up to one year. Heat treatment is a favorable option in settings like hospitals, hotels, daycare centers, and private residences. Furthermore, bedbugs can be killed by heat at any stage of development, including eggs, which means the infestation can be treated effectively. The key to an effective bed bug treatment is determining the sources where you obtained the bed bugs to begin with. You want to avoid the source until you are sure that they also have been treated effectively for bed bugs and show no signs of an infestation.

Call a Professional

If a bedbug infestation is suspected, contacting a professional is always best. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344. Pest control technicians are available to provide more information about the advantages of heat treatment as well as conduct an onsite assessment.

 

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