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.


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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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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Learn about the beauty of the butterfly

ButterflyButterflies are beautiful insects that come in all sizes with a rainbow of colors and markings. With as many as 20,000 species of butterflies, it is not surprising that this creature can offer so many different colors and designs. Every time you come across a butterfly, you are filled with a sense of wonder and whimsy. This is your chance to learn more about the beauty of the butterflies you admire.

Colors Are Not As Clearly Defined As They Appear From A Distance

When you see a butterfly on a bush or flower, it appears as if there are clearly marked boundaries for each their colors. While the colors do not change, if you were able to get a much closer look, you would see that at the edges are gradients. A butterfly’s wings are made up of tiny scales and each has only a single color. If the scale sits at the edge of a color such as yellow turning black that scale could be either black or yellow. At the edges, there will be yellows and blacks mixing together.

Butterflies Do Not Eat

As a caterpillar, these insects eat leaves and other bugs; however, once they emerge from their cocoon, they do not eat. They gain all of their nutritional requirements from drinking nectar and other substances. In fact, butterflies cannot eat. Inside their mouths, you would find a straw like feature that does not allow chewing. You might wonder how a butterfly is able to taste with only a straw. They actually taste with their feet. This uniqueness only adds to their beauty.

Butterflies Are An Indicator Of A Healthy Ecosystem

Butterflies are very delicate creatures. In order to survive and thrive, they require a flourishing ecosystem that is in balance. If you live in an area with many butterflies, you can be assured of a stable ecosystem. When you notice a change in the butterfly population, it is an early indication of a problem in the ecosystem. Butterflies are an essential part of the food chain. As they flit from flower to flower in search of tasty nectar, they bring pollination from one plant to the other.

For butterflies, their beauty is more than on the outside. Their differences make them unique and beautiful from the straw in their mouths. As indicators of a healthy ecosystem, they can help people realize there is a problem earlier and make changes.

While Clegg’s does not service butterflies, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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.

Rats! How to get rid of them.

RatLet’s face it. Rats are creepy. They are always scurrying about and sneaking in and out of places. These rodents also present a clear danger to your home and family. Rats will chew through your electrical wires, leaving you open to an electrical fire and carry many diseases that pass to humans. Here are the best ways to rid your home of these pests.

Clean Your House From Top To Bottom

Rats come into your home to feed. Removing their food source is the best way to encourage them to go. Unfortunately, even the smallest crumbs will attract them. You will need to pay special attention when cleaning your shelves and cabinets in the kitchen to remove even the most miniscule bits of food. When using a wet cloth to wipe your shelves, you will want to dry them with a towel before putting your dishes and food back into the cabinets. If you allow food to be eaten in other parts of your home, you will want to give those a good cleaning, including an intense vacuuming under furniture and in corners. You will also need to make sure to remove all garbage and bring in trashcans with securely fitting lids.

Change Your Food Storage Methods

If you are like the rest of us, you will bring home your groceries and put them away in their original packaging from plastic bags to cardboard boxes. If you have a rat problem, you will want to change this habit. You will want to buy sturdy plastic containers that have lids that seal tightly. A rat can easily chew its way through a bag or box if it smells the food inside it. Plastic containers with seals will help reduce the smell of food and make it more difficult to reach the food inside.

Call A Professional Exterminator

Setting rat traps and baiting your home is a good idea. However, you do not want to handle this yourself because you might hurt yourself while baiting a trap or get bitten by a rat that has not died in the trap. Also, it is essential that the rats be disposed of properly once they have been caught. For these reasons, it is smart to use a professional pest control company so they can capture these rats and dispose of them properly and safely.

A professional pest control company will evaluate your infestation and select the most effective places to set the traps. Once the traps have caught their prey, your exterminating company will return to dispose of the rodents properly and safely. To talk to a professional, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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Getting Rid of Crane Flies – What You Need to Know

Crane-FlyIf you have ever seen what looks like an overgrown mosquito in your yard or on your home, it is no mutant. It’s an insect known as a crane fly. Sometimes known as a mosquito hawk, these relatives of flies and mosquitoes are not harmful, but that doesn’t mean you have to host them on your property. North Carolina is notorious for the crane flies we have, but you can take control with these easy ways to get rid of them:

Try Bringing In Their Natural Predators

The biggest problem you will likely have when it comes to crane flies is an annoyance on your hands, but too many of these pests can cause damage to your lawn. Although the adults only live a couple of days, the larvae that the adults come from live a bit longer. During the larvae stage, they feed on the roots of plants, including grass. Fortunately, these small larvae, as well as the crane flies themselves are a tasty treat for birds. Attracting more birds to your yard with a feeder can be a great way to rid your home of crane flies in a very natural way.

Soak Up the Water

Crane flies are often attracted to water, so ensuring that you do not have any standing water or marshy areas in your yard can also help. It is recommended to fix areas of your property that have poor drainage and if you can, avoid watering during times when crane flies and larvae are around. If it is not wet, they will not want to stay or reproduce in areas that are not comfortable for them.

Consider Pesticides

Of course, you can also go for the tried and true method of utilizing pesticides on your property to get rid of crane flies. Insecticidal soap is one over the counter option you can try. This is available at most home improvement stores in the gardening section. Another effective product is called pyrethrin. This is a natural insecticide that can be used to rid your property of these pests.

While Clegg’s does not service crane flies, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, such as mosquitoes, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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The Benefits of Bumble Bees

Bumble-BeeWhen you think of bees, the first you probably think of is an insect that you could live without. Although most bees are aggressive and very territorial, that doesn’t mean that all bees are bad. Take the bumble bee, for instance. This is a friendly bee that goes out of its way to stay out of your way. But there are benefits to bumble bees, especially in your yard. Read on.


Did you know that bumble bees are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s total pollination? On top of that, bumble bees make a huge impact on the agricultural industry because they aren’t as attracted to “pretty” flowers like other bees. As a result, they pollinate and cross-pollinate plants and flowers that other bees and insects might overlook. Since these bees are less aggressive than other bees, they are also no threat to the average gardener.

The way that bumble bees pollinate flowers is known as “buzz pollination.” This method involves the pollen from one plant sticking to the bee and falling off its rapidly vibrating wings to pollinate the next flower that the bee visits. A bee has to make this trip around seven to 10 times to fully pollinate a flower.

Unfortunately, the bumble bee population is in decline. If you spot a bumble bee in your yard, you are one of the lucky ones. This means that there are probably around 50 more nearby and ready to help pollinate your plants.


Honey bees are more than just pollinators; they are scientifically referred to as “apis mellifera,” which means “honey-carrying bee.” As such, honey bees are one of the only insects in the world that produce food that humans can eat. Honey itself is very important and includes all of the substances that are needed to preserve life. Honey is full of enzymes, minerals, water and vitamins. It also contains pinocembrin, a powerful antioxidant that improves brain function.

Hard Workers for You

Bumble bees pollinate your flowers and plants in a wide variety of weather conditions, unlike other insects. For example, bumble bees are active in temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. They are most active in temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Even on foggy, cloudy and rainy days, bumble bees are still hard at work and can fly in winds of up to 40 mph.

If you want to learn more about bumble bees or need a professional to help, Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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How did the dragonfly get its name?

DragonflyDragonflies are one of the most fascinating insects. They have a very distinct appearance with their wings and long body. As a predator, they eat many insects that might plague your home and yard, including mosquitos, houseflies, ants and bees. However, the origin of their name is a bit of mystery. The origin is not definitive, but there are many wonderful folklore stories to explain the origin of the name.

Romanian Folklore

In old Romanian folklore, the dragonfly was actually a horse ridden by Saint George. St. George rid the mythical town of Silence of the dragon that lived in the town’s pond and poisoned the town. After wounding the dragon, he leashed the dragon and gave it to the town’s princess. Saint George’s horse became a giant flying insect when cursed by the devil. In the Romanian language, the word for dragonfly translates into Devil’s Horse or Devil’s fly. The Romanian word for devil is drac, which can also indicate dragon. In English, it translated to dragonfly.

Native American Folklore

For the Zuni tribe, dragonflies are a symbol of spring and good harvests. It is said that the Zuni abandoned their land when it became barren. In their haste to leave, they left behind a small brother and sister. The brother created an insect doll made from grass and corn, which came to life. As the children suffered from hunger, the doll flew away to find the corn maidens. With the corn maidens came the return of the fertile land and the tribe. The insect doll asked for a companion. Their offspring were called dragonflies from then on to today.

Swedish Folklore

In ancient Swedish folklore, the dragonfly is called Skams besman, which translate to Devil’s Steelyard. This name is derived from the shape of a dragonfly’s body. If you use a little imagination, its body shape begins to resemble a weighting tool. The people believed that the Devil used the dragonfly to weigh people’s souls. The dragonfly would circle a person to get the measure of their soul. If your soul was found wanting, you could expect to be seriously injured in the near future. Today, dragonflies are considered holy animals in the Scandinavian countries.

While we might never know the true origins of how the dragonfly received its name. It is fun to learn more about the possible origins of the name and the folklore associated with this insect.

While Clegg’s does not service Dragonflys, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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What is a Fiery Skipper?

FierySkipper-ButterflyButterflies are common in the summers in North Carolina, but many people cannot differentiate between the different species, at least outside of the popular monarch butterfly. However, the Fiery Skipper is another common butterfly that can be found all across the United States. The scientific name for the butterfly is the hylephila phyleus.

What they Look Like

Generally, Fiery Skippers are going to be about one inch in length, with a wingspan that reaches from one and a quarter to one and a half inches. They are a relatively small butterfly, though they still manage to draw a lot of attention due to their bright coloring; this is what gives them their name. The male and female butterflies prominently feature orange and black, with the black spotting over the bright base color. However, the females, when not distinctly orange, do tend a bit more toward brown and darker tones, whereas the males tend toward yellow, really causing them to stand out.

Another part of the name is derived from the shape of the wings, which they share with other skippers. These types keep their wings up in more of a triangular position. The forewings stay in a vertical orientation, though at an angle to the ground, and the forewings stay flat against the butterfly’s back. This creates an exposed portion between the sets of wings for the maximum amount of exposure to the sun.

Where They Can Be Found

The Fiery Skipper lives on the nectar of flowering plants in its adult life. While they will use numerous type of plants, some of the most common food sources that they seek out include the sweet pepperbush, asters, swamp milkweed, knapweed, sneezeweed and ironweed. They have also been known to feed from thistles.

On the whole, the Fiery Skipper can be found in open fields that get a lot of warm sunlight. They will gravitate toward lawns, gardens, and things of this type. If they do venture into the forest, they prefer second-growth forests due to their open nature. It is this desire for sunlight that plays into the theory that their wings are in a triangle shape to catch that sunlight. In areas with harsh winters, the Fiery Skipper will leave and recolonize in a warmer climate to wait out the cold months, as it will not survive in such temperatures.

While Clegg’s does not service fiery skippers, we always like to provide our customers with insect information. However, if you have problems with any other type of pest, we’d love to help. Contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.


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Top Natural Pest Control Methods for a Healthy Garden

NUS_GardenYour garden is the place where you spend time relaxing and tending to your flowers and plants, and you may even use that space to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for your family. Pesticides contain a number of chemicals and toxins that can leach onto that produce and harm your family, but those chemicals can also leech into other areas of your garden and kill your grass and plants. There are a few natural treatments that you can try before you call for professional help.

Use Natural Enemies

If you have insects and other pests eating your plants and ruining the look of your garden, look for the natural enemies of those pests. Aphids can infest an entire garden and take over your lawn, but aphids and ladybugs don’t get along. You can buy ladybugs in bulk from many online stores and have the bugs delivered right to your house. Those ladybugs will drive away all the aphids. Bats are another natural enemy, and if you worry about having bats around your house, keep in mind that the animals generally have a fear of humans and won’t bother you. You can place a bat house near your garden, and the bats will eat many of the more common household pests.

Reach for Essential Oils

Many of the more common pests found outside dislike the strong scent of citrus essential oils. These oils often come from the natural skin or zest of lemons, limes and oranges. Fill a plastic spray bottle ¾ of the way to the top with water and top off with distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of essential oil in a citrus scent to the bottle before spraying it on and around your garden. Spray the solution at least twice a day for one week or longer.

Other Natural Remedies

There are hundreds of recipes and natural remedies that you can find online for garden insects or pests. Some recipes call for a solution of hand soap and water, while others tell you to put down rock salt on your garden. Soap, salt and remedies that call for other ingredients may kill your plants at the same time that those treatments kill your bugs.

Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control can control those pests without damaging your lawn or garden. Contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


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