Archive for Pest Control

What Is An Acorn Weevil?

Kaldari_Curculio_occidentis_01The acorn weevil is a member of a genus of weevils called Curculio. Related species include the pecan weevil, chestnut weevil and filbert weevil. Not surprisingly, the nut from the oak tree plays a prominent role in the life of the acorn weevil. This article will discuss how female weevils manage to lay their eggs inside the hard-shelled nut, and how the acorn benefits the weevil larvae as they grow.

Identification and Detection

A fully grown adult is typically about 3/8-in long and mottled brown in color. The specific coloring allows it to blend well into its surroundings.

A female acorn weevil has a particularly long snout or beak that is ideal for creating holes in acorns, thanks to the saw-like teeth at its very end. The snout has a hollow center which allows the weevil to feed on liquids and plant matter. In some cases, this protrusion is actually longer than the female’s body.

By contrast, acorn weevil larvae will be off-white in color, legless and quite robust. The presence of acorn weevil larvae is detected by examining acorns in the area and looking for holes. An infested acorn may have one or more holes in its shell. One can break open the shell to look for the C-shaped larvae and/or evidence of feeding.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Early in the growing season, an adult female will lay her eggs in a young acorn after she first gains access to the nut by drilling a hole in the shell. After the eggs are laid inside the acorn, the weevil plugs up the hole with her own feces. Just a few days later, the eggs hatch and legless, C-shaped grubs emerge. These larvae are typically 1/4 to 3/8-in long. They grow by feeding on the matter inside the acorn.

In the fall, a grub bores a hole in the acorn shell in order to escape into the surrounding soil. It will burrow down into the ground, and it becomes invisible to possible predators. Once the weevil has burrowed into the soil, it may stay there for as long as two years before it finally emerges as a mature adult.

Squirrels and Infested Acorns

Squirrels often ignore these infested nuts, because they appear to have an innate ability to gather only the “good” nuts. Children are often tempted to collect acorns and bring them into the house. If any of these acorns are infested by acorn weevils, the home’s occupants may be greeted by the sight of wiggly grubs on floors or counters.

There are both natural and chemical controls that may be employed to deal with acorn weevil infestations. To learn more about pest control and the acorn weevil, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Tell Me About Praying Mantis

1280px-Mantis-greece-alonisos-0aThe angelic-looking praying mantis, its arms folded as if in prayer, is actually one of the insect world’s greatest hunters, able to nab even a flitting moth in the blink of an eye. Preferring subtropical and tropical climes, several mantis species have been introduced in the United States as a form of natural pest control.

Appearance

Part of a larger insect group known as praying mantis, the various praying mantis species grow up to six inches in length. Their specialized front legs, folded as if in prayer, are actually designed for hunting, shooting out at lightning speed to capture passing prey, then gripping it tightly with the sharp spines lining its legs. Although they look a little like large grasshoppers, these insects are actually more closely related to cockroaches. Green to brown in color, they blend well with grasses and shrubs.

Habitat

This intriguing bug is found in a wide variety of habitats, although it generally prefers warmer tropical and subtropical regions, living in gardens grasslands, gardens, meadows, deserts and rainforests. Although there are about 1,800 species of mantis in existence, only are 11 are in North America and most of these are not native to the region, having been introduced for pest control. The female deposits eggs in the spring or fall, sealing them in a protective Styrofoam-like egg case for winter protection.

Diet

A voracious eater, the carnivorous praying mantis helps gardeners by eating a wide variety of pests including mosquitoes, roaches, caterpillars, flies, aphids, moths, lizards and even small rodents. This slow-moving insect is an ambusher, hunting by sitting on a plant or twig waiting for prey. Due to a flexible joint between the head and prothorax, the praying mantis is able to rotate its head a full 180 degrees, adding to its considerable hunting skills. This bug eating machine is the only predator known to feed on moths at night and the only one fast enough to catch flies and mosquitoes in flight, often staying close to street and porch lights after dark to catch these speedy insects.

Cannibalism

The praying mantis has some definite cannibalistic tendencies. Not only will this insect eat its own kind when no other prey is available, the mantis young will chow down on one another if they don’t immediately find other food. Part of the insect’s mating ritual includes the unusual practice of the female killing the male by severing his head, devouring him after the sex act is completed.

Nature’s Pest Control

Many farmers and gardeners use the praying mantis as a form of natural pest control. However, if these voracious bug hunters aren’t solving your garden pest problem, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

How to Avoid Spiders

Spider-Web-Image-WikipediaAvoiding spiders can be bothersome, especially after they get into your house. While not all spiders are dangerous, many are and become threats once they set up home in your house. If they lay eggs, your home could become infested with these crawly creatures. Spiders are naturally attracted to homes because they are dry, warm and offer plenty of dark places in which to hide. Thankfully, there are ways that you can discourage spiders from entering your home.

Regular Cleaning

Keeping your house clean might be your No. 1 defense against spiders. Cleaning your home every day and keeping it as dust-free as possible is a great way to keep spiders and other insects at bay. If you notice any spiderwebs in the corners of your home, you need to take them down right away. Try vacuuming around that area as well to get rid of any eggs that the spider might have laid. Also, vacuum under your furniture. Those are dark spaces, and spiders often nest where they can’t be seen.

Look for Cracks

While it’s impossible for you to find every hole or crack in your home, keep a look out for ones that are noticeable. If it’s noticeable to you, it’s going to be like a welcome invitation to a spider. Start by checking around your windows and doors. If you notice any little gaps, try sealing them with caulk if appropriate.

Light Peppermint Oil

Did you know that peppermint and lemon are natural insect repellents? While it doesn’t keep all insects away, lighting peppermint oil around the house every few days will keep most spiders away. You can also spray some lemon grass oil around your doors and windows. This deters spiders from coming in your house and is an all-natural repellent, so it’s not poisonous to you or other animals.

Professional Assistance

Keeping spiders away is no easy task. However, following the tips above can limit how often you come into contact with these insects. The best way to prevent spiders from getting into your house is to be proactive. Once you see them running around in your home, it becomes more difficult to get rid of them. If you need more information on dealing with spiders, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

 

What to Look for When Choosing a Pest Control Company?

CLEGGSlogoglowWhen your home becomes infested with pests, the last thing you want to do is hire a less-than-productive company to get rid of them. Choosing a pest control company to handle your needs can be a tricky task. To ensure you hire the right company to fit your needs, here are some things you should consider.

Do Your Research

Find out what services companies offer. Go to their website and learn more about their services.

Recommendations

Another great way to find reliable companies is by word of mouth. Thanks to the Internet, you aren’t limited to recommendations made by your friends and family. You can also find great customer reviews. Remember that no company will have perfect reviews from everyone. What you want to look for is a company that has generally positive feedback overall.

Ask for an Inspection

Good pest control companies offer free home inspections. This is good for two reasons. First, you can have the inspector come out to your home and correctly identify the pest with which you are having problems. Second, you can get an estimate from the company as to how much it will cost to take care of the problem.

Professional Assistance

By using the tips above, you can rest knowing that you hired the right pest control company to handle your infestation. Don’t waste your time with a less-than-reputable company because failure to take care of pests properly can lead to an even bigger swarm of insects. If these pests are left untreated, they can eventually lead to permanent damage in your home. If you need more information on dealing with a home infestation, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

What is an American Carrion Beetle?

1280px-American_carrion_beetleThe American carrion beetle is also known by its scientific name, necrophilia Americana. It gets its name from the prominent role that the flesh of dead animals plays in its existence. For example, it lays its eggs in or around carrion, and the larvae that emerge then feed on the animal remains. The beetles are also known to feed on fungi and rotting fruit. This article will discuss where these beetles live, what they look like and their life cycle.

Identification

The American carrion beetle should not be confused with the endangered American burying beetle. Both insects are part of the same North American beetle family known as Silphidae. The black larvae have an armored look to them.

The beetles themselves are black with a yellow shoulder area, although the coloring varies to a degree from northern to southern areas. The beetles can resemble bumble bees when they are in flight. By contrast, the larger American burying beetle features shiny black and orange-red coloration. Also, the burying beetle is about 1.0 to 1.4-in long, while the smaller American carrion beetle is 0.5 to 0.9-in long.

Habitat

American carrion beetles are found in most areas of the United States that are east of the Rocky Mountains. They more commonly reside in moist environments, and they will be more active on warmer days. As the beetles fly about, their sense of smell alerts them to the presence of dead animals.

Lifecycle

During the daylight hours of the spring, summer and fall months, American carrion beetles will arrive at the carcasses of dead animals several hours after the flies arrive. There, they mate and begin to lay their own eggs.

The emerging beetle larvae will feed on both the raw flesh and the other larvae within it. The adult beetles will often consume other feeding insects to eliminate competition for food. This makes it easier for the beetle larvae to adequately feed and survive. The larvae eventually burrow into the surrounding soil where they spend the winter. They emerge from their pupal stage the next spring, and they mature into adult beetles.

Mites Hitch a Ride

Mites are known to frequently attach themselves to the American carrion beetle as it moves from one dead carcass to another. At each stop along the way, the mites drop from the beetle to also feed on the dead flesh. Therefore, from a pest control standpoint, this type of beetle poses a dual challenge.

Professional Assistance

For more information about how to control the American carrion beetle, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

What health hazards do I need to be aware of when it comes to rodents?

Apodemus_sylvaticus_bosmuisIn North America, the black rat, the brown rat and the house mouse are the most serious of the disease carrying rodents that are able to infect humans. Approximately two-fifths of mammals are rodents and these pests represent real health hazards to humans. Rodents are unique in that they have a pair of constantly growing incisors in both the upper and lower jaws. To maintain their ability to open and close their mouths; rodents must continually gnaw on hard surfaces, food sources and to burrow out shelters in the ground or housing foundations.

How Rodent Diseases Are Spread

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are more than three dozen human diseases attributable to rats, mice, and the ticks, fleas and mites that live on or have fed on the rodents. Diseases are spread to humans by the handling of rodents without protective gloves and masks. Humans can also contract ailments by direct handling of or breathing in of rodent saliva, urine, and excrement. Other health hazards include: breathing in airborne dust that has been contaminated by rodents; eating or drinking contaminated food or water; and through the skin by the use of contaminated liquids. Infections can also result from direct rodent bites or scratches.

Types of Rodent Health Hazards

Some rodent transmitted health hazards are more serious in nature and may result in permanent disabilities or even death. Below are a few of the most dangerous rodent and rodent parasite transmitted ailments.

  • Bubonic Plague
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Lyme
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis
  • Murine Typhus
  • Rat Bite Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Salmonellosis

Prevention of Rodent Health Hazards

The first method of defense in preventing rodent health hazards is to secure your property from potential infestations. Three available avenues are to: seal off outside entryways that rodents may find inviting; place traps in rodent desirable areas; and use masks and gloves when cleaning up rodent droppings, urine or bodies. Thoroughly wash your hands and clothes after contact with rodents or their remains.

Professional Assistance

The best protection against rodent problems for yourself, your family and your property is to call a pest control professional. Don’t wait for a problem to develop when you can be proactive. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

What Is Overwintering?

1280px-CathedralofLearningLawinWinterWinter 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_female01Your 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_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_lectulariusPest 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.