Archive for Pest Control

Does an Earwig Bug Really Go In Your Ears?

Earwig_on_white_backgroundThe 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_lectulariusMost 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

What’s so crazy about the crazy ant?

220px-Paratrechina_longicornis_casent0134863_profile_1Have you ever wondered why it is called a crazy ant? It is actually named the Raspberry or tawny crazy ant and got its moniker from its erratic and quick movements. This rough and tumble ant has formic acid that covers its body and works as an antidote to the venom of the fire ant. Pretty cool, huh? Actually this is even cooler, crazy ant colonies are sometimes found living within a fire ant mound. Another thing that sets these ants apart is the fact that the colony has multiple queens instead of a single one like other types of ants. All of these peculiarities (or cool things) add up to one crazy ant.

It was difficult classifying the crazy ant. It was not until 2012 that this ant got its official classification as the Nylanderia fulva. This ant was the first insect to show the ability to negate the venom of another insect. Covered in brownish and red hairs, this ant is smaller than a fire ant at 3.2 millimeters. Unlike other ants, these do not create nests or mounds, preferring to make their home under rocks or inside already existing mounds. These ants gravitate towards a warm and moist area like coastal locations. They tend to eat small insects and enjoy sweet plants.

The tawny crazy ant is a native of South and Central America, especially the Columbia urban area and Argentina. They have been slowly making their way north into the southeastern United States. They were first documented in Texas in 1938. However in 2002, a local Texas exterminator noticed that the rate of migration into the United States was increasing at a rapid rate. These crazy ants make their home from Texas to Georgia without a sign that their spread is slowing. They are beginning to arrive in the North Carolina area, so keep an eye on your yard for any ants moving erratically.

Dealing with the tawny crazy ant has proved to problematic for the people of the southeast. This stems mainly from the fact that these ants are not attracted to normal baits. Also, because each colony has multiple queens, it is more difficult to exterminate them. All of the queens need to die in order for the treatment to be effective. Over the counter pesticides have little to no effect on these sturdy ants.

If you find that you have a colony of crazy ants living on your property, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

How Did the Assassin Bug Get Its Name?

250px-Assassin_bug_aug08_02This little black or dark brown bug earned its scary name from the way it kills its prey with repeated stabs of its weapon-like beak. Though this little pest is not deadly to humans, the bite of both juveniles and adults is extremely painful and it’s best not to attempt to handle one. Some members of the species, referred to as kissing or cone-nose bugs, live on the blood of mammals, including humans, and may cause allergic reactions or spread disease. Learn more below.

What Do They Hunt?

Many assassin bugs can be found on garden plants, shrubs and ground cover where they hunt for bugs, flies, bees and caterpillars. Once they have caught an unsuspecting insect, they use powerful front legs to hold the insect down, immobilize it with a paralyzing toxin, stab it to death and suck out its body fluids. Other assassin bugs, like the kissing bug, are blood-feeders, preying on mammals and humans.

Where Do They Live?

Approximately 150 species of assassin bugs can be found throughout North America, one of the most prevalent of which is the wheel bug, notable for a notched crest atop the thorax. Over one inch long, the wheel bug pumps venomous saliva into the victim through one channel of its beak and pump the prey’s digested body fluids to its stomach through another channel. This species will attack large insects like big caterpillars and grasshoppers.

Can Assassin Bugs Invade Your Home?

Some assassin bugs are known to infest homes and one of the most notorious of these is the blood-sucking cone-nose bug. These nocturnal insects may be attracted to the lights of a home, and while a single invader is not a problem, the presence of many adults or nymphs may suggest that you have a breeding problem. If cone-nose bugs find their way into your bed, you may wake with reddened areas on your face, hands, arms, feet, head or trunk. The toxic bite of this nasty bug can cause faintness, vomiting and possible allergic reactions.

If you suspect an infestation of these vicious little insects, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

 

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

Fascinating Facts About Mice

MouseWidely considered a major pest by homeowners, mice are actually fairly intelligent and social. This explains in part how they so often gain entry to homes and once there, continue to proliferate quite rapidly. Though you may not want them infesting your attic, basement, walls or rafters, these rodents are quite fascinating little animals.

Explorers 

Mice are determined little explorers, masters of squeezing through tiny crevices or balancing on thin pieces of rope or wire. They can even climb up rough vertical surfaces, survive falls of 3 to 4 meters without suffering injury, jump almost 18 inches and swim expertly. It’s easy to see how they can ferret out an entry to many homes and garages.

Homes

Though they are associated with dirty, pest-ridden spaces, mice themselves are actually clean, organized and tidy as far as their own living quarters are concerned. Their homes, whether underground or within a structure, have specific areas for food storage, shelter and toileting. Homebody types, mice like to stay close to their nest and seldom venture further than 3 to 8 meters in search of food. They are very territorial and like to have a large area they consider their own, hopefully not within your house!

Communicating

Tiny as they are, mice have been found to have several forms of communication with other mice. While wild mice are timid around humans, they are very social with other mice and are even thought to have different facial expressions to communicate different emotions. The sounds they use to communicate may be audible to humans or may be ultrasonic.

Getting Around

Mice’s whiskers are amazingly sensitive, helping them sense rough and smooth edges, changes in temperature and wind direction. This helps them determine changes in ground terrain. Mice like to sleep during the day and play or forage at night, which is why unhappy homeowners can hear the little critters rustling around in attics and eaves after dark.

Not Just Cheese

Contrary to cartoon depictions, mice are actually omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and meat. The house mouse, as many homeowners can attest, will eat just about anything it can find. Mice eat an amazing 15 to 20 times a day, which explains why they prefer to live where food sources are readily accessible, including human homes. They can even be little cannibals, eating other mice if food is scarce.

Nesting

If your home has a mouse population, you may notice chewed up books, insulation, wire and papers. The mice are not eating these items; rather they are using the tiny, chewed up pieces as material to make their nests. Female mice mate for the first time at around the age of 4 to 7 weeks, carry the young for 19 to 21 days and may give birth to four to 12 babies, known as pinkies or pups. A female mouse can have a new litter every three weeks, meaning a mouse population in your home can increase rapidly.

While there are many fascinating facts about mice, you probably want to keep your home free of these pesky little creatures. To talk to a professional, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344. The experts at Clegg’s can help you identify any potential entry points to provide protection against an invasion of these pesky little creatures.

 

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

It’s Autumn. Time for the Soldier Beetles!

SoldierBeatleAs the end of the year rolls around, soldier beetles begin to make their presence known around the yard. They are harmless to plants and people, but soldiers tend to try to find their way inside the home for winter survival. Without the right home protection in place, you may find yourself fighting off a swarm of soldier beetles.

Identifying the Insect

Pictures or professional inspection is the easiest way to determine if a bug is, in fact, a soldier beetle. It can be easy to confuse insects because there are so many types that seem fairly similar. This particular bug was named because the soft wing covers resemble a soldiers uniform. In addition, the beetle is an average of 1/2 inch long with a soft, thin body. It is very similar to the appearance of the lightning bug with varying wing colors. The most common place that they are noticed is hanging out on their favorite flowers, such as the goldenrod.

Not as Frightening as they Seem

Soldier beetles look like they could give quite the bite if given an opportunity. However, they actually pose no threat to people or animals because they feed primarily on pollen. Clever gardeners welcome these tiny critters to assist with pollination and feeding on other small pests that can destroy plants. Their defense mechanism for outdoor survival against large predators is the natural secretion of chemicals. Simply put, these beetles are far from destructive.

Protecting your Home

A friendly bug is still a bug at the end of the day, and they have no place inside your home. Do not expose your family to an infestation by allowing soldier beetles to slip in between the cracks when cool weather rolls around. Protect potential entry points with caulking, weatherstripping, and completely sealing any crevices that allow entry. Do not leave doors or windows open for long periods of time.

For more information or to control the soldier beetle population at your home, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

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

1024px-Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectulariusNobody 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-1Few 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_2Mickey 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_1Although 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.