If you are looking for hiring a pest control inspector to properly identify the bugs that look like termites, then go ahead and do it before these tiny pests cause further damage.
Termites have been branded as the “most economically important wood-destroying organism” in the United States and, presumably, around the world.
This is not only because of the devastation it causes on people’s homes but also because approximately two billion dollars every year is being spent on the prevention and treatment of such devastation.
This huge amount can be reduced significantly if only homeowners would take the time to implement some measures to prevent termites from invading their homes.
After investing so much time, effort, and money to make your house look as good as it does now, wouldn’t it be such a waste to lose it all to termites?
It is one thing to know that termites can cause a lot of damage to your home, but it is another thing to be able to recognize them. Termites are often confused with other insects – particularly ants. Here are some ways you can identify termites.
There are several features that make it easy to identify termites. For one thing, termites do not have the very slender waist that an ant will have.
Termites are rather thick in the mid-section and really have no waist to speak of. Another unique feature is their antennae. A termite’s antennae are beaded, and are straight, whereas an ant’s antennae are bent and smooth.
The bodies of termites are generally light in color. Some workers have almost transparent abdomens. Soldiers are usually a little darker in color and also will have larger heads and jaws.
The jaws of some types of termite soldiers make it impossible for them to feed themselves, but workers must feed them, too, as well as the queen. When it comes to wings, there is again a difference.
A termite’s four wings will be equal in length, whereas this is not true of an ant. Their wings are not equal. Both termites and ants will fly at certain seasons. When a colony of termites becomes large, potential kings and queens will leave the colony and create termite swarms.
They will then quickly form a nest, mate, and lay eggs. Neither kings nor queens eat wood, however, but the workers that will be born will.
Termites quickly lose their wings and you may find them lying around the house. This is sure evidence that you have termites.
Unfortunately, you will not know whether they are leaving the nest in your house, or if they are just now coming to your house and starting the first colony. A termite inspector will be glad to come and help determine if you have termites or not. He knows what to look for and where to look.
Even better, though, is that once the particular type of termites is identified, then the right poisons can be used for termite extermination.
ADVION ROACH GEL
Cockroaches evoke feelings of disgust in most people. When you switch on the light and roaches scuttle all over the floor, kitchen counter tops and cabinets seeking places to hide, it does cause a horrible feeling. That is because you know their ability to spread germs, diseases that can contaminate your food and water.
There are more than 4,000 species of roaches in the world with about 70 inhabiting North America. A small number of these invade homes. They can cause an infestation very rapidly because they are prolific breeders, very resilient and know how to hide in tough to reach areas.
Cockroaches have flat bodies. They have six legs each with minute sensory hairs. They have long antennae and wings folding flat on their back and are black or brown in color. The most common cockroaches are about an inch in length. These would include:
These roaches are large, one to three inches in length, with brownish red color. They live in warm damp areas like sewers, laundry rooms, kitchens, drains, bathroom and basements.
The oriental Cockroach prefers moist areas that are out of the way from people. They are about 1 to 1/2 inches long with a shiny black or dark brown hue. They live in decaying leaves and other organic matter, damp basements and sewers. They gain access to homes through sewer lines, garages, under doors and cracks in the walls.
Smoky brown Roaches
The smoky brown Cockroaches can’t stay without water for two days so they’ll be found where there are leaking pipes. If they lack water they will get dehydrated very rapidly and die. They fly very well and are nocturnal. They are about one and a half inches long and sport a uniform dark mahogany color.. They live in crawl spaces, attics, and gutters.
Other than contaminating food and causing allergies with their feces and moltings they also bite people. They will nibble skin from your fingers and also, get this, on your lips when you are asleep looking for moisture from your saliva. Disgusting!!
Cockroaches are quite difficult to get rid of. When you have tried to kill the roaches using aerosol insecticides, dusting insecticides, homemade remedies like placing cucumbers around the house, stomping on them, and they keep coming back in ever increasing numbers. You have probably resigned to your reality and the best solution might seem like moving out and leaving the house to the roaches or even burning down the house just to get rid of them! Don’t do that though.
DON’T GIVE UP. GET ADVION ROACH GEL. It is just what the doctor ordered and best prescription for your roach troubles. It really does work wonders. The Advion gel has numerous applications and can be used in restaurants, hospitals, homes, hotels and many other places. Professional pest exterminators use Advion gel widely.
Advion is effective against other pests other than roaches.
How Advion cockroach gel works
The Advion gel is a roach bait that entices them to eat it. It has an active ingredient called indoxacarb that is a time bomb. Once cockroaches have ingested it, they go back to their hiding places and infect other roaches by touch and feces. When some die others cannibalize them passing on the poison and the effects of the Advion gel keeps rippling through the entire roach population.
How to apply Advion gel
Advion gel comes in four tubes and syringes. Use the syringe to place the gel in places where there is high traffic of cockroaches keeping a distance of three feet between each blob of gel. For a two floor house placing five blobs of gel is enough to eliminate a heavy infestation.
Advion cockroach gel is the most effective and affordable tool for ridding your premises of roaches. With then use of advion gel, it is probable that you may not need to call the exterminator for a cockroach problem.
There are over 11000 documented species of millipedes globally. Millipedes have a rounded body with visible segments. They are black to reddish brown in color. They have legs attached on the underbelly of all the body segments except the first and last segments. They don’t move fast although they have many legs. They like living in damp dark places such as under rotting wood, rocks, deritus and leaves.
Millipedes don’t bite
Millipedes are not a threat to people. They are detritivores, this means they feed on rotting organic matter. They are found all over the world. The biggest more toxic species inhabit south pacific and the Caribbean. The larger the millipede is the higher the volume of toxins it emits. When the weather gets really hot millipedes will look for cool dark damp places and may wander into your home while doing so. They don’t cause any damage to your house and if you happen to find one in your home just sweep it outside using a broom. It is as simple as that.
When threatened Millipedes coil up in a ball to defend themselves but they don’t bite.
To fight against predators such as spiders and ants, millipedes emit a toxic fluid from their glands. Some larger species can spray toxins about three feet away if under threat. This toxin consists of hydrogen cyanide and hydrochloric acid which cause asphyxiation and burning effects on its predators. Millipedes emit this toxin in small amounts that are harmless to humans. In large amounts they are harmful to people.
If you touch a millipede coiled in defense when you put it down, your hand will have brown smear which will leave a stain even after being washed.
Though the emission from millipedes isn’t toxic to humans, there are people who are sensitive to it and even suffer allergies from it. These allergies present as redness, rash, itching, burning, and hives.
If you have come into contact with a millipede clean your skin using antibiotic soap and water, even if there is no toxin visible on you. This is just to take precautions to avoid potential allergic reaction.
If hives pop up on your skin after handling millipedes, thoroughly clean your skin with soap and tepid water. Apply oatmeal as a salve to soothe the hives.
Don’t touch your eyes before properly washing your hands if you have been in contact with Millipedes. If the toxins get into your eyes they could be corrosive to the eye tissues.
Though rare if you experience these severe allergic reactions to millipedes you should see a doctor quickly.
- difficulty breathing
- Facial swelling
- Rapid heart rate
- Rashes all over the body
Keep Millipedes outside the house
Make sure your home is dry. Since millipedes like moist environments when they are denied moisture they die quickly. So keeping a dry home is a good way to deter them.
Seal all possible entry points like window edges, cracks and crevices in the walls.
Replace the weather stripping around doors and windows.
Though millipedes don’t bite their toxins can cause skin irritation when handled.
Anyone would cringe at the thought of centipedes, let alone have one dart out of a dark corner in the house to your feet. But these multi-legged creatures are as fascinating as studying alien beings from a foreign world. They are part of the invertebrate class and play a crucial role in sustaining the diet of many small vertebrae.
Other species give birth to live ones. The male deposits a spermatophore and leaves it for the female to find or coaxes it to ingest the sperm through courtship. The female lays an average of 10-50 eggs, in a single fashion. A female centipede can produce close to 160 baby centipedes within her life span. Despite their unsettling nature, female centipedes are exceptionally good mothers. They will tend to their eggs and hatchlings, curling around them for protection from potential prey. They’ll also lick the eggs to keep off fungi. Once disturbed or threatened, the female will eat the eggs or abandon them, leaving them vulnerable.
Like their parents, a centipede’s coloration is a warm mixture of brown and red. Those found within caves and subterranean habitats lack pigmentation due to less exposure to sunlight. They cover a large geographical region, from the tropics and arid areas to colder climate, surviving in the harshest conditions. The scientific names are a mouthful, but are gracefully swapped for generic terms. Centipedes are grouped into four major classes extensively studied; House, Stone, Tropical and Soil centipedes.
Centipedes are carnivorous in nature and are among the largest terrestrial invertebrate predators. They have a spread-out diet, as they have a variety of different available prey. House, stone and soil centipedes are smaller in size and will feed on insects, small earthworms, molluscs and annelids. The larger centipedes that dwell in tropical regions and caves feed on equally large prey like bats, birds and mice. Most centipedes have poor eyesight or are literally blind. They detect movement through vibrations. The front pair of legs act as pincer-like limbs called forcipules that inject venom in their prey. Their antennae point backwards. They curl around it as the venom takes effect. This said, not much is known of their feeding habits due to their seclusive lifestyles
Quite contrary to their name, centipedes do not have a complete set of legs totalling to 100. An adult always has an odd number of segments, from 15 to as many as 191 in the larger species. Thus the leg number will always be odd. They take 1-3 years to reach maturity, ranging from a few milimeteres to 14 inches. That’s the size of a 30 cm ruler. They’re excellent house cleaners, avoiding human contact unless by accident, preying on unseen spiders, cockroaches and other house pests.
Surprisingly, people rear centipedes, as pets or delicacies served in restaurants and sold in open air markets in Asian countries. Though not fatal, their bites are usually painful, causing severe swelling, chills, partial paralysis, not to mention the horror of being bitten by an actual centipede. Next time you spot one in the house, don’t grab the nearest shoe. Gently guide it out.
Hornets are bad news. They are common in fiery situations where one gets the full brunt of a bad decision. Hence the phrase, ‘Don’t poke a hornet’s nest’.
The bald faced hornet gets its name from its shiny, black and white head. The largest of its species, the bald faced hornet is in fact not a true hornet, but a wasp. It belongs to the yellow jacket wasp family, with noticeable differences in pigmentation.
Bald faced hornets are distributed throughout the United States and Southern Canada. They are most common in South Eastern part of the United States. Forested areas and vegetation provide a suitable habitat for the bald faced hornets to build nests.
Their nests are located in trees and bushes, rocks, overhangs and human buildings. Bald faced hornets are very aggressive and easily agitated. If a human strays within the hive’s territory, bald faced hornets will not hesitate to attack.
What bald faced hornets eat largely depends on the stage or cycle they are in. Worker bees are omnivorous. They will prey on flies, caterpillars and spiders while feeding on flower nectar.
Adult bald faced hornets are carnivorous and prey on different insect types. They have also been observed scavenging for raw meat, spiders and fruit.
A bald faced hornet can squirt venom from its stinger into the eyes of prey or nest intruders. This makes the eyes water and causes temporary blindness.
Queens are responsible for building new colonies. A colony’s life cycle runs for close to four months. New nests are founded during spring and early summer by queens born and fertilized the previous season.
The queen selects a location, begins building it herself before laying the first eggs. She will also feed the growing larvae, which become the working force that expands the nest.
In late summer, the queen lays eggs which will become drones and new queens. These fly off to mate when mature. The queen dies with the drones and workers at the end of the cycle.
A full sized nest is the size of a basketball and shaped like an inverted tear drop.
Incredibly, bald faced hornets have good facial memory and recognition. If an intruder happens to pass by a second time, the bald faced hornets will attack.
Bald faced hornets love to eat bees. The bees provide protein for future queens and sweetness of sugary honey. A bald faced hornet is nearly five times the size of a typical bee. It would take a small amount of giant hornets to wipe out an entire honey bee colony.
Bald faced hornets prefer to eat live prey and watch it struggle for its life. Don’t be next on the menu.
In Japan, bald faced hornets are considered a delicacy. The hornet’s larvae is eaten raw or deep fried.
Bald faced hornets are attracted to light. The best way to get rid of one stranded in the house is to shut out the light. Open a window with an outside light.
Bees play an important role in stabilizing the eco-system. Their decline has been noted worldwide, calling for conservation measures to be put in place. This, however, does not mean that people should share their living space with bees.
Bees are generally less destructive than rats or termites and not much of a nuisance. This said, removing bees can prove quite difficult and potentially dangerous. Human structures and occupied spaces are attractive to bees. They build hives in hollowed out trees and similar cavities. Spaces between walls and wooden beams make excellent homes for bees.
Know your Bees
Before choosing a method of bee removal, you should identify the species of the stinging insect. It could be a bee, wasp or hornet. This gives you a better estimate of the damage and threat of stings.
Some species will definitely require professional treatment. Wasps resemble bees but are more aggressive and easily agitated. I would honestly not recommend poking a hornet’s nest.
Carpenter bees burrow into wooden frames. They are generally not aggressive, but can grow in number and destroy the inner wooden structures in buildings. Honey bees prove beneficial, but produce thousands of workers. This means heavy-laden combs that prove quite difficult to remove. The preferred method is relocation of the entire bee hive. That or seeking the next vacant house available.
Who to call
Unlike most pests, bees give you two types of bee experts on hire. You can hire a professional exterminator. Exterminators usually eliminate the entire hive, using chemical sprays to kill the bees, wasps or hornets. They will often use chemicals designed specifically for that species.
Once dead, the exterminator will destroy the nest and seal off any openings. Exterminators are best contacted when dealing with aggressive bee species, wasps and hornets.
Alternatively, you can contact your local bee keeper. The bee keeper will opt to relocate the colonies, especially if they are honey bees. A bait trap is used to coax the colony into a box hive, which is then moved to a desired location.
Do it Yourself
Armed with bee removal tips and protective gear, you can also drive off bees in a safe and natural way. Bees are attracted to strong, sweet smells and will often relocate to be closer to their food source. A strong, sugary solution can act as natural bee lure that relocates them away from your home.
Bees are equally repulsed by pungent smells. Sprinkling garlic powder near bee hive openings drives them away. Direct contact to the bees is lethal. Spraying vinegar directly on the bee hive suffocates them and makes it difficult for them to fly. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be used as an organic pesticide. Upon contact, it lacerates the bees and causes dehydration.
Citronella candles, once lit, will ward off bees, especially in open places like the front and back yard of your home. Burning them close to the hive will drive the bees out. Freshly cut cucumber peels repulse bees, but would not make them abandon the hive. All these need direct contact with the hive. Best avoid the bees. Seek professional help.
The black and white wasp is often considered by most people to be a hornet. That thought is supported by the numerous colloquial names given to this wasp which include, white face hornet, black faced hornet, spruce wasp, bald faced hornet and so forth. While its many names may suggest that it is a hornet, it is more a wasp than a true hornet.
A wasps such as the bald face wasp’s anatomy will assume a triangular shape in the midsection when observed from the side. While the profile view of a hornet will show that it has a stooped posture. The entire body of a bald faced hornet has black and white patterns similar to those found in a yellow jacket wasp. Perhaps that is not at all surprising as they are of the same species. The bald head can be predominantly white or black which help explains some it the above names associated with this wasp.
Bald faced wasp habits
This wasp is a social insect and commonly active during the day. They build a grey colored paper carton nest above ground at a height of three feet or more from the ground. For that reason their nest are easily visible. The bald faced wasp will commonly build their nests on shrubs, trees, sheds and houses. Their colonies will have anywhere from 100 to 400 wasps at the peak of their season in summer.
The black and white wasp is an aggressive insect and will not hesitate to show its aggression should an intruder approach their space. While most other stinging wasps may not attack until they feel that there is a threat to their hive, the bald faced workers guarding the wasp will feel free to attack any person wondering into their space.
Interestingly, only the impregnated bald wasps will overwinter to start a new colony once the cold season is over. The rest of the colony will die off during winter. The surviving wasps do not reuse their old nest from the previous season and will go on ahead to build a brand new nest as soon as winter is over. Their nest size will often measure between 14 inches and 28 inches.
Black and white wasp sting
Unlike most other stinging insects such as bees who sting once and die, the bald face wasp has a smooth stinger. This means it has the ability to sting again and again.
The sting is painful causing swelling for a period of about 24 hours. Ordinarily, one does not need to go to a hospital because of a wasp sting.
Symptoms include the following:
- Pain and burning
It is important to note that persons who are allergic to wasp stings can be severely affected. This can lead to an anaphylactic shock. In such cases, one should be rushed to a medical center.
How to get rid of bald faced wasps
Given their aggressive nature and stinging capability, it would be ill advised to try and remove the nest yourself. Avoid disturbing a whole colony of black and white wasps and getting stung by them. It is best to get in touch with your local pest control officer for assistance.
Bumble bees are reknown for their robust size and distinct incessant buzz. The black bumble bee is no exception. You’ve probably spotted one in the garden, snacking on nectar, or looking for a potential home.
Bumble bees are large, fuzzy insects with short, stubby wings. It is a puzzle how the bumble bee defies the principles of aerodynamics and manages to maintain flight with such a frame. Its grace, however, is matched with its usefulness.
Black bumble bees are larger than honeybees, but do not produce as much honey. They, however, make for excellent pollinators. In fact, food would not grow without the help of bees. They are the largest insect pollinators, closely followed by butterflies and other insects.
Most bees that thrive on nectar drill holes at the base of the flower and suck out the pollen, leaving the fertilization incomplete.
The black bumble bee’s wings beat at a faster rate than most insect pollinators. This, coupled with their large frame vibrates the flowers till they release pollen. This process is known as buzz pollination. It helps plants produce more fruit and puts black bumble bees ahead of the curve.
With so many bee species, it is almost impossible to tell one from the other. Some bees bear close resemblance due to shared family characteristics. Carpenter bees are often confused for black bumble bees. They are built in the same design, thick black body frame and short wings. They can be told apart by distinct differences.
Black bumble bees are covered by a layer of fur called pile. They have a large structure on their hind legs, called a pollen basket. This helps the bees collect pollen when foraging and are usually full in adults. Females have a pointed abdomen, with a stinger at the tip. Males have a rounded abdomen with no stinger.
A carpenter bee’s body surface is smooth and shiny, with hairs at the base of its legs. The best way to know a carpenter bee is by its very name. It makes its home in wooden exteriors. Black bumble bees build their nests close to the ground, under piles of rotting wood and dead leaves, compost piles or abandoned rodent tunnels.
Black bumble bees eat nectar and pollen made by flowers. The sugary nectar provides them with energy while pollen provides protein. Black bumble bees make their honey by chewing pollen and mixing it with their saliva. The honey is fed to the queen and developing brood.
A colony contains 50-500 bees, ruled by a predominant female, the queen. The other bees serve her and gather food, while caring for developing larvae.The queen only takes care of the first batch of larvae. They will become worker bees that continue to expand the nest.
Bees born in the summer are drones and future queen bees. They leave the nest once past the pupation stage.
Black bumble bees are not aggressive and would only sting when touched or threatened.They are quite possibly amongthe ‘friendly’ bee types.
Commonly found throughout the United States, The Brown recluse spider and wolf spider are often confused for each other. They look alike and even inhabit similar surroundings. There are, however, discernable differences.
The Brown recluse spider gets its name from its preference to live in areas of a home that are secluded. They live for about 18 to 24 months. The best way to identify the brown recluse is a ‘violin shaped’ marking at the back of its head. This has earned brown recluses the names fiddleback or violin spiders.
Brown recluses are about half as large as the wolf spider. People cannot tell them apart because they are both brown. The brown recluse, however, always has a uniformly covered abdomen, tan to dark brown. Its legs are slender, often covered in fine hair. Wolf spiders are brown, gray or tan, with dark markings.
Brown recluses molt and shed their exoskeleton five times before reaching adulthood. A mature brown recluse is about as big as a fifty cent piece.
Brown recluses usually rest on their webs during the day but come out at night to hunt for their food. They will catch live prey or feed on dead insects, even other brown recluse spiders.
While most spiders have eight eyes, the brown recluse has 6, arranged in a semi-circle.
The Wolf spider is large, hairy and not as venomous as its appearance. An adult wolf spider is about 1.5 inches. It gets its name from its stealth tactics when hunting for prey. Wolf spiders will also prey on brown recluse spiders.
Wolf spiders have prominent eyes that shine in light, almost like a cat’s. Don’t go stroking one on the head. Wolf spiders also have excellent night vision and are experts at camouflage.
Wolf spiders live almost everywhere in the world, especially in grasslands and meadows, but also in mountains, deserts, rainforests and wetlands. Their favorite hiding places are abandoned buildings, closets, sheds, attics, garages, yards and basements.
Brown recluse venom vs Wolf venom
Both brown recluses and wolf spiders are venomous, but not lethal. However, there is a very good reason why these often confused spiders should be told apart. A wolf spider’s bite will not do any serious damage. Redness or swelling may occur, but would disappear after a few days.
A brown recluse’s bite is usually painless, because they have very small fangs. Redness or swelling usually appears 3 to 8 hours after being bitten. An itchy or burning sensation will then develop over the course of several hours.
The venom injected by the brown recluse is usually localized to the bitten area. If the venom is minimal, the discomfort goes away after about 4 days. If not, the venom spreads, causing necrosis.
The Brown recluse and wolf spider are rarely aggressive and would only bite when feeling trapped.
If bitten, you should try and find the spider before it scurries off. Elevate the area and apply ice. The ice helps to slow down the spread of venom in the body. Immediately seek medical help.
Camel spiders are a global sensation due to online viral feeds. There are many urban legends and exaggerations about their size, speed, behavior, appetite and lethality. But the real deal is just as interesting.
The camel spider is not an actual spider, but a ‘solifugae’, meaning ‘those that flee from the sun’. Also called sun spiders and wind scorpions, camel spiders were first found in the Middle East and later in the sandy areas of the South West United States and Mexico.
Nearly 900 species have been discovered. They have been called camel spiders because they were originally found in regions where camels are native, not because the spiders feed on the stomachs of camels as popularly perceived.
Bite victims can rest easy. The camel spider is not venomous in nature. In fact, they hardly cross paths with humans due to their habit preference. Camel spiders are not dangerous to humans and will only bite in self defense. The danger of being bitten by a camel spider is minimal.
They, however, have a powerful set of jaws called chelicerae, about one third of their body weight. A large camel spider can inflict a painful nip, but nothing that needs medical attention.
Appearance and behavior
Different myths and stories about camel spiders began to spread during the Gulf war and resurfaced at the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003.
Camel spiders are usually about 6 inches in length when fully grown. They can run at an average of 10 mph. That’s about one third the speed of a professional marathon athlete. They are beige to brown in color.
The camel spider’s body is very hairy, down to its legs. Females are usually larger than males, with longer legs.
Before breeding, females will overfeed, as they will not hunt when reproducing. Males breed directly or deposit a sperm packet and pass it to the female with their chelicerae. A female camel spider can lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs. She will guard the eggs until they hatch.
Camel spiders are nocturnal, seeking shelter during the hot hours of the day and hunting at night. They will seek any form of shade when the opportunity arises, including human shadows. This gives the false impression of camel spiders following and even attacking humans.
Very little is known of camel spiders. This is because it’s very difficult to keep them alive in controlled conditions. Although they are not dangerous, camel spiders are subject to vilification and death as humans fear them.
Depending on the species, some camel spiders are carnivorous and some are omnivorous. The vast majority of species prey on termites, beetles, other insects and anthropods. Large species are opportunistic feeders and will feed on virtually anything captured.
Camel spiders will use their powerful jaws to seize their victims and turn them to pulp in a chopping and sewing motion. They are not venomous but will utilize digestive fluids to liquefy their victim’s flesh. This makes it easy to suck the remains into their stomachs.