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

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

Pollination

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.

Eco-friendly

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.

 

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