Archive for Pest Control

What is a Yellow Fly?

1024px-Chrysops_callidusYellow flies are a type of fly that is common to Florida. The fly‘s official name is the Diachlorus ferrugatus (Fabricius), and it has a yellowish body that has given rise to its nickname. The fly is known for its fierce bites as well as of course its unusual yellow color.

Appearance

These flies are a small insect, measuring about 3/8 inch in length. They have one pair of black legs and two pairs of yellow legs. Their wings are clear with patches of yellow, black and brown. The eyes of this fly are often what people notice the most – the eyes are a bright green with purple bands. These flies lay white eggs that measure a tiny 1/16 inch long.

Behavior

The larvae of these flies eat decaying materials and molt many times before they become adults. The females lay their eggs on items such as plants and sticks that are over water. It takes up to 12 days for the eggs to hatch, and the new larvae drop down into the body of water in order to eat organic material in the water. From the time the egg is laid to the time that the adult emerges from the water is about one year.

Biting Pests

One reason that so many people dislike the yellow fly is that the females bite humans. They are aggressive and leave painful bites behind that can swell and itch. The most active time for biting is the late afternoon, and they bite more on cloudy days. However, they can bite at any time of day. They drink the blood of the humans they bite, and often several yellow flies will attack at once.

Use Caution

Anytime a human is near a body of water, particularly one that is near a forest, they may be vulnerable to yellow fly attacks. Because the fly doesn’t make a buzzing sound, it can be difficult to know that a yellow fly is attacking until the painful bite occurs. And, it isn’t just humans that are vulnerable to the bites. Pets such as dogs are also bitten by these flies, but these flies generally don’t bite cattle often. In Florida, yellow flies are in the air from March through November.

Professional Assistance

To learn more about the yellow fly or for assistance with any type of pest, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

How to Protect Your Pets from Ticks

Doggie_Image_CleggsPestControlPreventing your dogs from getting ticks this summer can keep both your pets and your family healthy. Ticks can carry many diseases like Lyme disease and tapeworms into your house, which can make both you and your pets very ill. There are many simple things you can do to protect your dogs and cats from ticks. Read on to learn more.

Medications

Medications, such as ones that you give your dog orally are helpful in preventing ticks. There is also spot on treatment, which is a liquid that you apply to the back of your pets and provide month-long protection. However, oral treatments carry fewer risks than spot treatments because spot treatments can be dangerous for small children who come into contact with them.

Shampoo

Shampoo is another method of protecting your dog from ticks. A tick shampoo usually kills ticks upon contact, but you will need to wash your dog often because the active ingredients in tick shampoos are not as long lasting as the oral medicine.

Cats vs. Dogs

Cats are a bit different than dogs, so before using any medications of these types on your cats, you should consult your veterinarian. Cats are much more sensitive to the chemicals in these medications than dogs may be. Many pet owners opt for a tick collar for their pets in the summer months. Safe to use, these collars are often only effective to prevent ticks on your pet’s head and neck.

Environment

It is also important to protect your house as well. Start by vacuuming the carpets in your house and by washing your pet’s bedding as well as any fabric where they may spend time. If you have a serious tick infestation, you can consider having your lawn and home sprayed. There are several classes of pesticides that can help control the remaining number of ticks in your yard and help keep any new ticks away.

Professional Assistance

Protecting your pets from ticks will help protect your family from the diseases that ticks carry, and there are many options for the treatment of tick infestations. To find out more about protecting your pets and home from ticks, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Ways to Protect Your House from Ants

Fire_ants_01Tiny as they are, ants are very efficient food gatherers. A scout ant will head out in search of food, eat it up right away and return to the nest in a straight line, leaving behind a special trail of scents called pheromones that will direct the nest’s foraging ants straight back to the goodies. Since these tiny insects can carry about 50 times their body weight in their mandibles, ants can bring a lot of chow back. If you don’t want your house to be banquet central for these annoying critters, follow a few steps to deter an invasion.

Keep an Ultra-Clean House

Ants are great at finding any little bit of food, and they’ll keep coming back and looking for more. So, as with many problems, the best solution is prevention. Make your house as unattractive to these teeny pests as possible, paying close attention to their favorite room, the kitchen. Cover all foods in air-tight containers, sweep or vacuum floors after every meal, wash dishes immediately and clean counters with a bleach or vinegar solution. Trash can be a big draw, so take it out daily and be sure all garbage cans and bins are located a distance from the house.

Wipe Away Water

Ants are attracted to water and will congregate around everything from a few drops on the counter to the dog’s water bowl. Keep counters clean and dry and never leave dirty dishes in the sink, especially those filled with water to soak; this is an ant’s idea of a beachfront paradise. To prevent the little critters from using your pet’s water bowl as a swimming pool, put each dog/cat food and water bowl inside a larger bowl to create a sort of moat around food and water that ants can’t easily cross.

Seal Your Home

Tiny as they are, ants are adept at finding their way into most homes, but you can make the entry a lot harder by creating barricades to halt the invading forces. A good start is to seal doors, windows and cracks with calk. You can also line possible entries, such as doors and windows, with deterrent substances. Diatomaceous earth comes in powder form and is an effective ant killer; however, don’t use it if you have pets or small children in the house as it may cause allergies or breathing problems. Good substitutes are salt and various forms of talc like tailor’s chalk and baby powder. Some homeowners have had success with a range of scents and substances including vinegar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and peppermint oil.

Professional Assistance

If, in spite of your best efforts, you find yourself facing a massive onslaught or are confronted with a wave of biting red ants, it’s best to call a professional exterminator. The pest abatement experts at Cleggs are ready to help you control armies of ants or any other undesirable creatures that have made your living space their own. Contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 to assist with your ant problem.

 

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

Does a treehopper really hop trees?

Ceresa_taurinaTreehopper is the general terminology for an insect family that contains over 3,000 species. Members of the treehopper family have been found around the globe. In America, large treehopper communities have been found in states from California to Florida. Treehoppers are known by a variety of names that include oak treehoppers, plant treehoppers, and buffalo treehoppers. These insects have the ability to hop across a distance of 2 feet. The adult treehoppers have wings and are able to fly short distances. While they do not actually hop from tree to tree, they are able to hop from one plant to another. If shrubs or gardening plants are close together, the treehoppers are able to hop from one greenery to another.

Treehopper Life Cycle

Treehoppers range in color from jewel-like blues and greens to darker browns and bronze. Adult treehoppers have wings and are one-half inch in length. The younger treehoppers, called nymphs, do not have wings and are slightly shorter in length. The nymphs will go through a gradual metamorphosis before becoming a mature adult. These insects have a life span of a few months. Some species of treehoppers can produce a new population up to four times a year, while others only generate one population a year. The female treehopper will lay her yellow, tubular egg sacs in tree bark or on top of leaves and plant stems. The nymphs emerge from the sacs after three weeks. Each sac produces 15 to 50 nymphs. Adult females return to their host plant or tree to lay new egg sacs.

North Carolina Treehoppers

In North Carolina, treehoppers are attracted to peanut plants, fruit trees, shrubs, soybeans, tomatoes, sunflowers, Bermuda grass, wheat, and other seasonal florals. Treehoppers make a slit in the stems of young trees and in plant leaves, and feed on the sap. They leave behind a sticky, sweet excrement called honeydew. The honeydew attracts ants, bees, and wasps. Fungi, mold, and other plant infections may enter through the slits. Treehopper populations can weaken or dieback the formation of healthy young trees, shrubs, grass, and agricultural crops.

Professional Assistance

Controlling a pest infestation is always best when done by an expert. For more information about treetoppers or any other type of pest, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 for a complete evaluation.

 

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

What Is a Squash Bug?

Male_Amorbus_rubiginosusIf you have a garden, odds are you have seen a squash bug. These insects are the bane of many gardeners and are identified by their flat backs and brown coloring. These insects are larger than many others, so they are easy to see and detect when wreaking havoc on your plants, plus, when they are literally squashed, they stink! Squash bugs are devastating for a garden, and they can be difficult to control. Here is some information that homeowners should understand about squash bugs.

How Do Squash Bugs Attack Plants?

Most of a squash bug’s life is spent on or around plants, and they use them for shelter, as a nursery and, of course, for their dining pleasure. When a squash bug begins to dine on the plants in your garden, they suck out the sap that moves through the leaves. At the same time, the insect releases toxins into the plant, and the combination of this causes wilting and eventually, the possible death of the plant. Though squash bugs love pumpkins and other squash varieties, other plants, such as cucumbers or melons, may also fall victim to their attack.

How to Get Rid of Squash Bugs

When it comes to controlling squash bugs in your garden, the earlier in the season these pests are dealt with, the better. The eggs of the squash bug, which can be found on the underside of the leaves of susceptible plants, are easier to control than the adults. In many cases, the eggs can simply be scraped off of the leaves and smashed between the fingers. A garden should be surveyed for these eggs nearly every day at the beginning of the season for best results.

Now, many gardeners believe that once they have control over the eggs, the problem is solved. This, however, is untrue. In addition to the eggs, there is also an entire population of squash bug nymphs living underground, just waiting to come out next year. This is what makes them so difficult to completely eradicate from the garden.

Professional Assistance

The good thing about squash bugs is that they can be controlled with insecticides in most cases. If you are having difficulties with the squash bug population in your garden, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

How does the Widow Skimmer get its name?

Widow_Skimmer,_juvenile_maleThe widow skimmer is a type of dragonfly that is often seen in ponds and in gardens. And it has a very different name. So, how did this bug get its unusual name? It all has to do with its unusual lifestyle as well as the way it flies around static bodies of water. Read on to learn more.

“Widow” Origins

The widow skimmer has a different type of mating relationship than most other dragonfly varieties. While most dragonflies spend a significant amount of time in mating pairs, with the male staying with the female after she has laid her eggs, the male widow skimmer does not stay with his mate. Once the eggs have been laid, he leaves the female. This inspired the term “widow” in the name of this variety of dragonfly.

“Skimmer” Origins

The “skimmer” part of the name of this species comes from the way this insect skims across the water as he flies. The slight weight of the insect allows it to skim the water without breaking the surface tension. This has allowed dragonflies to spend much of their time skimming the water and feeding on bugs that live near the water and lay their eggs there. They often sit on nearby vegetation and watch for insects flying by. They are often considered to be useful insects because they eat many types of pest insects, including biting flies and mosquitoes.

More About This Insect

Widow skimmer dragonflies have blue abdomens with dark patches across the body around the wings. Mature male widow skimmers have white patches in their centers of their wings. Young males and females do not have these patches. These insects are about 1.5″ to 2″ in length. They fly with a gliding motion and often perch on leaves to wait for food to wander by.

Professional Assistance

If you would like to learn more about the Widow Skimmers, or if you would like assistance with other pest control needs, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

How to Protect Your House From Roaches with Natural Methods

There are few pests that homeowners hate more than roaches. These insects are vile and dirty, which is why homeowners do everything in their power to keep them out. Roaches feed on both pet and human food. As they drag their bodies across surfaces in the home, they leave behind microbes that trigger allergic reactions in many people. Once roaches infest a home, it’s hard to get rid of them. People who live in apartments are even more likely to get roaches because if only one apartment becomes infested, the roaches can travel through the walls to other apartments.

Natural Methods

The best way to deal with roaches is to prevent them from entering a house in the first place by repelling and discouraging them with natural methods. For example, placing chili pepper mix or spraying hot pepper around the base of a home discourages roaches from entering. The taste and smell is a natural deterrent. Another natural repellent is mint oil because roaches don’t like the aroma; simply place the oil around the house.

Other Natural Methods

Cedar has been used for generations as a way to repel all kinds of bugs, including roaches. This is often why wood shingles are made out of red cedar: The scent of the wood is a natural repellent that keeps bugs from wanting to nest in the shingles. This same concept can be used around a home to keep roaches from nesting. Homeowners can scatter small cedar chips around the hidden areas of their houses. Many homeowners prefer this method because it’s an organic and safe alternative to insecticide.

Clean Home

Another way to prevent a roach infestation is to avoid leaving food out overnight. Clean counters, floors and under large appliances so that leftover food particles don’t attract roaches. While it’s important to keep every room of the house clean, this is even more important for the kitchen. Roaches are naturally attracted to areas of the home that are warm. As a result, they often nest during the day under refrigerators and stoves because large appliances generate heat and create the perfect dark environment for roaches.

Professional Assistance

While natural remedies are a great way to keep roaches at bay, it’s difficult to get them out once they enter a home. This is when it becomes necessary to contact a professional. If you’re seeing telltale signs of an infestation of roaches, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 for a complete evaluation of your situation.

What is a Fishfly?

Bariloche-_Argentina2People living near lakes and rivers may already be familiar with the fishfly and its annual mating invasion. The reason is because thousands of these aquatic insects emerge in their adult winged form from lakes and rivers each spring to mate and then die, leaving little corpses sticking to streets, house siding, street lights and walkways like Velcro. Learn more about this interesting insect below.

About the Fishfly

The fishfly is a member of the megalopteran family of bugs. Most of the insect’s life, spanning several years, is spent as a larvae, but it lives only about seven days as a fairly large adult with a wingspan of two to three inches. Found in both still and quickly flowing waters of streams, lakes, ponds and rivers, fishfly larvae burrow into soft mud, sand or even find shelter in tiny crevices.

Mating Ritual

You’ll know fishfly mating season is underway when you notice blobs of brownish material floating on shoreline waters. Within this goop are fishfly eggs; each female of the species can lay around 4,000 eggs. The eggs sink to the bottom, hatch and then the larvae spend one to five years in the sediment before moving to the surface, pupating under a log or in soil, and finally emerging as an adult and starting the mating dance themselves.

Good News and Bad News

This fairly large winged bug can be a major problem in certain areas, if only for a few springtime weeks or days. The mating ritual can result in sticky dead bugs all over houses, streets and walkways, and if they aren’t promptly removed from streets, the resulting slippery mess can be a hazard to pedestrians and vehicles. Pesky though they may be, fishflies’ presence is an indicator of a healthy aquatic habitat, as they need a lot of oxygen to survive until hatching. And this means if you have a lot of fishflies, you have clean, algae-free water.

Getting Rid of Fishflies

No one wants these annoying little bug bodies sticking to their siding, doors, windows and walkways, and some people try to power-wash them off. However, you need to be careful with removal, as they can release a powerful dead fish smell. To make sure they don’t get in your home, inspect your house each spring to look for and repair holes, torn screens or crevices than may serve as entry spots for any kind of pests. Change outdoor lights to a dimmer wattage; fishflies are attracted to bright lights. You may either carefully clean them off daily or simply wait it out; an infestation seldom lasts more than a few weeks.

Professional Assistance

Although there’s no proven method of controlling fishflies, many other pests emerge in the spring that can be controlled. If you need help with controlling springtime pests, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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What Do I Need To Know About Mosquito Season?

220px-Mosquito_2007-2Mosquitoes are the world’s most common and widely distributed disease-carrying insects. Preventing mosquito bites is the most effective way to avoid the most common illnesses spread by the insects. Mosquito control methods, such as installing screens on windows and removing standing water around the home, can help prevent mosquito infestations.

What to Know About Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in bodies of stagnant water, such as ponds, birdbaths or even children’s pools. The eggs hatch in the water, and live there for a period of time before reaching adulthood. Mosquitoes inject an anti-coagulant into the skin to allow blood to flow easily, and can transmit some types of illnesses from one person to another person. Mosquito-borne illnesses include malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Mosquito Season

During mosquito season, which typically lasts from spring thorough early autumn, the insects are very active, particularly around dusk and at night. Heavy rains or flooding combined with warm temperatures can increase mosquito populations, making it particularly important to take steps to control the insects in regions with hot, humid summers or mild winters. Mosquitoes can, and do, live in diverse landscapes around the globe, requiring stringent control methods anywhere the insects are active to prevent bites.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

Even one mosquito bite can cause illness so preventing mosquito bites is the most effective way to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. To prevent mosquitoes inside the home, repair or install screens on windows and doors before mosquito season begins. Outdoors, remove standing water and restrict outdoor water usage to prevent standing water or mud on the property. When outdoors, wear protective clothing, such as long sleeved shirts, to prevent bites. Try to avoid spending time outdoors during the early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active, or apply a mosquito-repellant spray to exposed skin according to the directions on the product packaging. Some types of birds eat mosquitoes, so another idea it to install a bird feeder on the property to encourage birds to visit frequently.

Professional Assistance

If mosquitoes continue to be a nuisance on your property, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 for professional assistance.

 

Image via: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito

What is a Bald-Faced Hornet?

Oosterse_hoornaar_Vespa_orientalis_(1)A bald-faced hornet is a wasp that is identifiable by its black and white face and body. The wasp is about 3/4 an inch in length, and is found in meadows, bushes and other natural areas. It can also invade homes and gardens, and may lay their larvae inside insulated areas of the home. Bald-faced hornets are considered beneficial insects because they eat a wide variety of other insects, such as houseflies. However, you do need to be careful because it does sting and it can be a health hazard when the nest is located near the home.

Identifying the Nest

Bald-faced hornets typically make a nest off the ground using woody materials, which are chewed and formed into a funnel shape. The nest is grayish in color, and can be found hanging from bushes or trees. In some cases, the bald-faced hornet builds its nest inside walls, attics or crawlspaces of the home. Nests that are found during the winter months do not usually pose a problem because the insects die out over the winter and do not reuse abandoned nests.

Behaviors of the Bald-Faced Hornet

Although bald-faced hornets reduce the populations of some pest insects, the hornets are also defensive and can be aggressive when the nest is threatened. The hornets live in colonies of 100 to 700 wasps. When disturbed, the wasps sting the intruder. Along with stinging when threatened, bald-faced hornets can squirt venom into the person’s, or animal’s, eyes, which can be painful and may cause temporary blindness.

Professional Assistance

Because bald-faced hornets are quite aggressive and can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals, it is recommended that a professional pest removal company remove nests located near populated areas. If bald-faced hornets are invading your home or garden, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 for professional assistance.

 

Image via: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet