Top 5 Most Annoying Pests in North Carolina

Bed Bug

When we ask folks what insects bug them the most (pun intended!), we hear a variety of answers. The team at Clegg’s thought it would be fun to put together a list of the 5 most annoying pests in North Carolina. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Fire ants: Having recently stepped in a small mound while in bare feet, these annoying creatures rank high on the list. You often don’t notice them until they begin stinging, and the venom burns. The pustules hurt and itch and can even leave scars. If you are allergic to fire ants, you may end up with trouble breathing and a trip to the local emergency room.
  2. Millipedes: We had calls from across the state this year as millipedes were out in large numbers. While millipedes do not bite or cause damage, they will enter your crawl space or house through small openings, especially if conditions are dry and they are seeking water. Millipedes don’t usually live long indoors, due to their requirement for high moisture, so focusing on the outside areas where they nest is the best option. Remove excess mulch near the foundation of your house and ensure water drains away from the house.
  3. Termites: Most people don’t give termites much thought…until they find damage to their homes. Recent estimates show termites cause damage in excess of $5 billion a year to homes and property. Subterranean termites eat items containing cellulose, like wooden structural members of a house and personal belongings (books, paper, pictures, etc.). Moisture draws termites, so make sure your crawl space and foundation are kept dry and cracks are sealed. Termites can cause significant damage to your home if you don’t keep an eye out for signs and take immediate action. An annual inspection by a licensed pest control company, and preventive termite treatments are your best bet to avoid these hungry insects.
  4. Yellow jackets: This pest increases in number throughout the warm summer months, and can quickly ruin your weekend picnic or weekly lawn mowing expeditions when you disturb them. Yellow jackets live in large colonies, usually underground, and are extremely aggressive when disturbed. There is often little sign of an active nest, but you’ll know you have a problem if you step near their nest. Their stings are also painful and many people are allergic to their venom.
  5. Bed bugs: The resurgence in bed bugs over the last several years has caught many people unaware. These insects are hitchhikers, traveling easily on clothing or belongings to take up residence in homes and other establishments around the world. Bed bugs have been reported in hotels and hospitals and everywhere in between. It can only take one mated female to be the cause of an infestation. If you believe you have brought home bed bugs, get them treated as quickly as possible by a professional.

Well, that’s our top 5 list. If you’ve got other pests that bug you, we’d love to hear from you! Post your comment below or on our Facebook page.

What Is a Vapor Barrier and How Can It Help?

When it comes to protecting your home, there is a lot more at play than you may be aware. For example, one unseen hero of your home is a vapor barrier. This is a type of material used for damp proofing a house. Usually, a vapor barrier is a simple sheet of foil or plastic. The purpose of using it is to prevent moisture from working its way through your walls and into your house.

Vapour barrier 225x300 What Is a Vapor Barrier and How Can It Help?Vapor Barriers and Pest Control

When people hear what a vapor barrier is and what it does, they immediately wonder how it can help in the prevention of pests. When areas of your house have high moisture levels, there is a great chance that your home could become infested with termites. For example, as moisture levels increase in crawl spaces under your home, termites are drawn to it. Termites need only two things to thrive in an environment: a cellulose material, such as wood, and moisture. Putting up a vapor barrier can eliminate one of those needs.

Odor and Mold

The benefits of a vapor barrier go well beyond controlling pest infestations. Vapor barriers can prevent foul odors and mold from developing in areas of your house that are exposed to high moisture. Once again, look at a crawl space as an example. The most common problem with any crawl space that lacks insulation is that it will have high moisture levels. As these moisture levels start to rise, fungi can take hold. This is bad for a number of reasons, but maybe the most important reason is that mold is bad for your health.

Protecting Your Floors

Vapor barriers can also protect your floors because they block the moisture that arises from damp soil underneath your house. This prevents the insulation in your floor from becoming damp. Damp insulation doesn’t work as it should and costs you more in heating and cooling costs. Also, if you have wood floors, high moisture levels can cause the floors to warp. This is a problem that can cause thousands of dollars in repairs in the event that you ever have to replace the floors.

When you are ready for professional help, Clegg’s provides free inspections to let you know if you have termites and a free consult on how to resolve your moisture control problems. For more information on pest control or vapor barriers, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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How to Keep Yellow Jacket Wasps Away

480px Southern Yellowjacket Vespula squamosa 7225863346 300x300 How to Keep Yellow Jacket Wasps AwayWhen it comes to pests, there are few that are worse than yellow jacket wasps. In fact, these are some of the most aggressive pests that can invade your home. They are extremely territorial and are a pretty big problem in North Carolina. There are a few things you can do to keep these flying menaces away.

Attack the Nest

If you already have yellow jackets in your yard, the first step to keeping them away is to get them out. Yellow jackets nest both above ground and below ground. If they are under ground, pour soapy water down their nest at night. Do not do it during the day, because they more active. You are not only more likely to get attacked during the day, but also many of the wasps won’t be in the nest at that time. If they have made a nest above ground, you need to purchase some kind of wasp killer from a local home improvement store. Most of the time, wasp killing sprays have a range of 20 feet or more. This prevents you from having to get too close to the nest.

Remove Sugar and Protein

Once you have dealt with the nest, it’s time to get rid of what attracts yellow jackets: sugar and protein. Yellow jackets primarily eat protein (usually in the form of other insects), but during the fall, they also incorporate sugar into their diets. They do this because sugar is what helps increase their lifespan and expand their reproductive functions. Some common sources of sugar include desserts and sodas. However, you should also avoid feeding hummingbirds. The feed for hummingbirds is basically just sugar water, and it will attract wasps from all over.

Cucumber picture1 270x300 How to Keep Yellow Jacket Wasps AwaySlices of Cucumbers

The last tip can help repel yellow jackets quickly but is not a permanent solution to your problem. If you’re having a backyard party and yellow jackets are hanging around, put out slices of cucumber all over the yard. Cucumber is a very unusual repellent, but it works because it has a type of acid property that wasps simply do not like. Try putting some in a cup by a picnic and watch as yellow jackets keep their distance.

If you have any more questions about yellow jacket control, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

3 Tips to Prevent Moths

220px Emperor Gum Moth 3 Tips to Prevent MothsHave you ever wondered why moths are attracted to light? Scientists who study moths for a living have their theories. Many believe that moths have an inner compass that guides their flight paths across the sky. When a moth feels that it is in danger, it flies quickly toward the nearest light source. Experts believe that moths use the moon as their main source of light since the rotation of the earth forces it to move in the night sky in the moth’s perspective. But what can you do to prevent the moths from gathering near your home or porch?

Use Yellow Bulbs

Moths seek the brightest lights they can find. Ordinary light bulbs give off a bright, white light that moths crave. By switching your bulbs to yellow, your porch suddenly becomes less appealing to the moths. If you live on a street with other neighbors, they will likely head to another porch instead with brighter lights. Your neighbors will never know that your yellow bulbs are driving moths toward their homes.

Citronella Oils

Use this handy trick to keep moths and other pests away from your outdoor areas. In the morning spray or paint some citronella oils on your light bulbs. As night falls they should be dry. When you turn the bulbs on at night, the heat will warm up the oil and radiate it to deter moths and other pests. You could also simply burn citronella candles where you want to sit at night.

Install Yard Lights

If you don’t want moths near your porch or deck, you could install lights in your yard. The moths would then be attracted to a harmless place where they can freely enjoy the light. Your porch will be left alone, especially if the yard lights emit the light frequencies that moths truly love. The lights in the yard should be a simple, easy distraction from your porch lights. You should be able to enjoy your porch at night after installing yard lights.

Although moths aren’t very dangerous, they can be quite annoying. They can also destroy trees in many circumstances. If you follow these steps, you should be able to keep moths away from your general porch vicinity.

If you have any more questions about moths, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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Testimonial – Extraordinary Customer Service

All companies say they have great customer service, but how many clients say you have “exceptional” or “extraordinary customer service”. Check out the testimonial below to see what one of our customers has to say about us.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you personally for the exceptional service our family received and has continued to receive from your company upon deciding to change over our termite and pest control needs to Clegg’s…. On the morning the crews pulled up to our house, it was a sight to behold. Both termite and pest control crews arrived at the same time. It looked like a full-scale assault. I literally had to go explain to one of my neighbors not to panic, we didn’t have termites, we’re just upgrading! They were relieved….. On your website you mention great customer service. I would actually change that to exceptional or extraordinary customer service at the very least. While this may be just business as usual at Clegg’s, being treated this way is unprecedented and non-existent everywhere else. It did not go unnoticed and it was greatly appreciated.

- David & Meredith Brown

If you want exceptional service too,
 contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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My Dog Eats Insects: Safe or Dangerous

white dog eating My Dog Eats Insects: Safe or DangerousPuppies love to play, stalk, and eat insects whether we are watching them or not. Many never outgrow their fascination with little critters. It can be alarming since to us when we consider how fast their fun time can turn ugly in a quick gulp. If only we could tell them what to watch out for.

Are Bugs Safe to Eat?

Luckily, many are harmless, and some may even be nutritious. Grasshoppers are high in protein and fat free. However, the occasional bug does pose a small risk if it is one of the few that are poisonous. Bugs that typically prey on animals, such as ticks, mosquitos or cockroaches, are common carriers of parasites that can inflict serious health problems if left untreated, so if your pet is bitten, they may require immediate treatment.

Bug Prevention

We can limit their exposure by keeping dogs in areas that have a minimal amount of pests. Areas around their bedding should be regularly inspected and kept clutter free so that bugs cannot hideout. Outdoor bug prevention may also include routinely raking up leaves, mowing, and eliminating areas that are prone to accumulate standing water.

Dog Care

Walking dogs on a short leash will help you prevent them from any questionable encounters. Annual parasite screenings by a veterinarian will ensure that developing issues are thwarted. Monthly deworming combats parasites contracted from soil and the occasional digested bug.

Ultimately, you are never going to completely be able to protect them. There will always be the occasional run in with a bug since it is a part of a dog’s life to be outdoors in nature. If you’re noticing an unordinary population of crawly things in general, you may need to get your home and yard treated in addition to ordinary maintenance.

If you have any more questions about keeping your dogs and pets safe or to request professional service, contact Clegg’s online or phone us at 888-672-5344.


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Millipedes and Centipedes: Learn the Differences

Rusty millipedes Millipedes and Centipedes: Learn the DifferencesAs warmer weather comes around, insects seem to invade our properties more than ever. Though there are many pests out there, two of them, millipedes and centipedes, can be frightening to many. This is especially true when they come into the home. Though many people will use the terms centipede and millipede interchangeably, in actuality, they are two different pests. Learning to tell the difference between millipedes and centipedes can help when it comes to prevention and can also help you explain the problem to the exterminator.

The Similarities Between Millipedes and Centipedes

Believe it or not, even though they both have long bodies and many legs, there are only a few similarities between these two insects. The first is that they both belong in the group Myriapoda. They share this group with over 13,000 other species. Another similarity is that they breathe through spiracles, which are small breathing holes in the skin. Finally, you will find that they both millipedes and centipedes reproduce without copulation.

Differences in Anatomy

While most people lump these insects together, the truth is, there are many more differences than there are similarities. At first glance, it might seem like millipedes and centipedes look alike, but when you look closely, you will find that this isn’t necessarily the case. Centipedes, for instance, have long antennae. Millipedes have very short antennae. Another difference in anatomy is that centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment. Millipedes, on the other hand have two pairs of legs on all segments with the exception of the first three segments. These segments have one pair of legs each. Centipedes are also flat looking where millipedes are cylindrical in shape.

Differences in Behavior

Millipedes and centipedes also show differences when it comes to their behavior. Centipedes are very fast; they bite, and they are considered predators to other insects. Centipedes also might bite humans, but it is usually no dangerous than a mosquito bite. It might itch or become red, but shouldn’t be extremely painful. Millipedes, on the other hand, are scavengers. They move slowly and will not bite. Instead, they will curl into a ball in order to protect themselves.

If you have millipedes or centipedes on your property, contact Clegg’s online or phone us at 888-672-5344. Our team of experts have the tools and knowledge to control the population.


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Clegg’s July 2014 News

In the July issue of the Clegg’s newsletter: @#*&$! Fire Ants; Caring for Your Garden Naturally; and Common Bugs You’ll Find in Your Pool.

@#*&$! Fire Ants

Fire Ants 300x173 Cleggs July 2014 NewsYou’re out with the kids in the backyard and all of a sudden one of them starts jumping up and down screaming and pulling at their shoes. It’s those @#*&$! fire ants again. Mounds of these annoying ants seem to pop up overnight, and when they inject their venom, it burns.

Fire ants can be found throughout the southeastern U.S., from Texas up into most of North Carolina. There are even pockets as far north as Pennsylvania and in the southwestern United States; the ants continue to expand their territory. Fire ants are native to South America and are believed to have been brought to the U.S. via a cargo ship in the early 1900′s.

You may notice mounds in your yard that initially will be fairly small and no more than an inch high. The mounds may grow rapidly if left undisturbed. It is not uncommon to find hundreds of thousands of ants in a colony, and in severe infestations, there may be multiple colonies right next to each other. Are fire ants dangerous? They can be.

Read more…

Caring for Your Garden Naturally

800px View of flower beds   Longwood Gardens   DSC00828 300x199 Cleggs July 2014 NewsTending to your garden is important to you, and caring for your flowers and plants naturally matters. Creating a beautiful garden takes time, dedication and upkeep. You know the work involved in maintaining a gorgeous bed of flowers and plants, but you don’t want to use unnatural chemicals to preserve their beauty.

Fortunately, there are ways to care for your garden naturally. Here are some alternative pest control options that can make a big difference.

Common Bugs You’ll Find in Your Pool

Biting Midge Bugs are a big nuisance near swimming pools. They bite and sting people, clog filters and float on the water’s surface looking dreadful. Although regular pool maintenance will keep intrusions to a minimum, an outdoor pool is always going to be a bug magnet because like people, insects are attracted to water when the weather gets hot. Nobody wants to share a pool with insects so it helps to know the most common bugs that are attracted to swimming pools. Learn what types of bugs you might find in your pool. Not sure what’s bugging you? Send us a photo and we’ll see if we can ID your pool (or other) pest!

Tips for Wasp Nest Removal

Wasp August 2007 23 Tips for Wasp Nest RemovalDiscovering a wasp nest on your property can be a scary prospect, especially for those who have elderly parents living with them, young children at home, pets or even wasp allergies. Wasps can sting their victims more than once, and they are more hostile and aggressive than bees. Removing a wasp nest is not an easy task, and it can be a risky one. However, there are several methods that can be effective. Here are some tips.

Safety Tips for Wasp Nest Removal

Remember than no matter what you do, safety should be the priority. The first thing you should do before attempting to remove a wasp nest is plan out your course of action and protect yourself from stings. You should cover as much of your body as possible with long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, glasses and gloves. Avoid wearing any strong-smelling lotions, hair sprays or perfumes, all of which could incite the wasps and agitate them. Finally, consider removing the wasp nest at night, when the wasps are generally less active. Please note that if you are allergic to wasps, you should never attempt to remove a wasp nest.

Using a Wasp Spray on the Nest

One of the most effective ways to remove a wasp nest on your own is with a commercial wasp spray. When dressed in the appropriate safety apparel, the spray can be used at arm’s length all over the nest. This may upset the wasps, so it is important to step away after spraying and leave the nest alone for up to 24 hours. After the waiting period is over, you can observe the wasp nest from a safe distance to see if there is any activity. If there is no activity, you can proceed with the following step. If activity is visible, you can opt to use a commercial wasp spray once again.

Removing and Disposing of a Wasp Nest

If it is clear that there is no activity within the wasp nest, you’ll need to once again put on your protective apparel to remove the nest entirely. With gloves on, wrap the entire nest in a plastic bag, and then place it into another sealed plastic bag. The entire nest should be disposed of immediately away from the home.

For questions about a wasp nest, contact Clegg’s online or call us at 888-672-5344.


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Most Common Bugs You’ll Find in Your Pool

BitingMidge Most Common Bugs Youll Find in Your Pool Bugs are a big nuisance near swimming pools. They bite and sting people, clog filters and float on the water’s surface looking dreadful. Although regular pool maintenance will keep intrusions to a minimum, an outdoor pool is always going to be a bug magnet because like people, insects are attracted to water when the weather gets hot. Nobody wants to share a pool with insects so it helps to know the most common bugs that are attracted to swimming pools.


Midges are small two-winged flies that breed in water or marshy areas. They are especially attracted to pools with fruit trees nearby because they like sweet sap and nectar. Some Midges have a painful bite too so you will want to avoid them.

Water Boatmen and Backswimmers

The Water Boatman is a non-biting oval shaped insect that feeds off of algae. Plant material that is collected in pool filtering systems, traps and drains is both a food source and a place to lay eggs for this insect. Backswimmers are usually nearby if there are Water Boatmen because the Water Boatmen are food for the Backswimmers. Backswimmers have long hairy legs that they use like the oars of a boat. The oar-like legs allow them to move quickly through the water while floating on their backs. This bug is also known as a Water Wasp because it has a nasty sting. Both the Water Boatmen and the Backswimmer have wings and can fly.

Dobsonflies, Mayflies and Stoneflies

Other common aquatic insects that invade swimming pools are Dobsonflies, Mayflies and Stoneflies. The Dobsonfly is the largest with a wingspan of up to 5 inches and it will bite if it comes in contact with a human. Mayflies are slender and pale and travel in groups that often look like clouds moving up and down. Mayflies lay their eggs on water surfaces, and could mistake a swimming pool as a good place for their eggs. Adult Stoneflies are recognized because they move in groups of thousands, and are attracted to lights and water in a very obvious manner. Adult Stoneflies have short life spans and die soon after flight.

For safe extermination of pool pests in North Carolina, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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