February Pest of the Month

Snow Fleas- Springtails


Common Name: Springtail/Snow fleas
Latin Name: Many species in several different genera.
Common Family Name: Springtails
Latin Family Name: Collembola

Other Names: Snow fleas, jumping springtailssnow flea penny

Origin: These are primarily native insects in North America, and occur nearly everywhere.

Biology: Springtails are tiny insects that occur most often in damp locations, where they feed on algae, fungi, and decaying plant materials. They become active in early spring and may be seen on snow cover, where they derive their mistaken identity as snow “fleas”. In structures their presence may indicate excessive moisture conditions in walls or crawl spaces, under sinks, or around indoor plants. They appear to be drawn to water, and commonly will appear in vast numbers on the surface of swimming pools, seemingly overnight. The name “springtail” is given due to a sharp projection at the tail end, called a furcula, which may be snapped down onto the surface they are on to allow them to spring into the air for sudden movement. This can be felt if it occurs on human skin, giving the impression that a person was just bitten by something that cannot be seen. In reality, springtails are completely harmless to humans, although allergies and dermatitis have been reported in some people sensitive to their presence.

Identification: Springtails are usually less than 2 mm long, and colors range from black to silvery gray, depending on the species. The distinctive character is the furcula attached to the tip of the abdomen, facing forward or backward depending on the species. A common structure-invading group is in the genus Entomobrya, and these also have very long, 3-segmented antennae and hairy bodies. Magnification will be needed to see all these characters.

Characteristics Important in Control: Control of moisture sources is critical, and within structures the presence of large numbers of springtails may be considered a sign that a moisture problem exists. Since these are primarily outdoor insects they can be prevented by reduction of moisture, removal of mulch or other decaying vegetation, and possibly with an application of a residual insecticide.snow flea

January Pest of the Month

Spiders- Cellar spider aka Daddy Long Legs


 

daddy long leg

Cellar Spider aka Daddy Long Leg

Common Name: Spider – Cellar spider
Latin Name: Pholcus phalangioides
Common Family Name: Long-legged spiders
Latin Family Name: Pholcidae

Origin: Several dozen species of Pholcids are native to North America, with the three species listed above the most common to be found in and on structures.

Biology: The cellar spiders are often called “Daddy Long-legs” due to their very long, thin legs. However, the true Daddy Long-legs is another animal entirely, called the Harvestman. The cellar spiders are incapable of biting humans and are harmless to us and our pets. Their primary crime is the messiness of their webs, which are thin and flimsy but tend to gather dust and floating debris, as well as the remains of the insects the spiders have fed on. Webs typically appear under the eaves of roofs, around porch lights, within garages, and indoors around windows where the light may draw small insects that the spiders feed on. Their long legs make them very clumsy when attempting to walk.They hang upside down on their webs, and when disturbed they will begin to shake and bounce the web noticeably, or they may drop off the web and run to hide. These spiders have been known to feed on black widow spiders. The female creates an egg mass of about a dozen eggs, and holds it in her jaws until the eggs hatch.

Identification: Cellar spiders are easily identified by their extraordinarily long and thin legs, which are attached to their elongate and thin body. The color is a yellowish brown and the legs may be as long as 2 inches. There may be either 6 or 8 eyes, depending on the species, and the outer 3 eyes on either side of the head are arranged in a close triangle.

 

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Characteristics Important in Control: Sweeping of webs to remove them is an important step in cellar spider control,as these spiders do not reuse their own silk, and the webs continue to accumulate. Sweeping is not likely to kill the spiders, but pyrethroid insecticides provide excellent knockdown and control. Reduction of other insects in and around a home will reduce the food available to the spiders, and removal of debris and lumber piles will help to reduce harborage sites. Reduction of outdoor lighting or changing white light bulbs to yellow will help to attract fewer night-flying insects and thus reduce the spider populations.

 

 

 

Reference: pestweb.com

December Pest of the Month

November Pest of the Month Mice

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House Mouse

Common Name: Rodent – House mouse
Latin Name: Mus musculus
Common Family Name: Rats and mice
Latin Family Name: Muridae

 

Origin: This species originated in Eastern Asia in arid grasslands, allowing it to evolve the ability to survive without needing frequent water. It now occurs throughout the world.

Biology: The House Mouse is sexually mature at 2 months old, has a gestation period of only 3 weeks, and averages 5 to 8 young per litter, but potentially up to 15. Each female may give birth to 8 litters. The life span can be from 2 to 3 years. The House Mouse is a nibbler, consuming small quantities of food at many feedings. They are “curious”, and tend to investigate new objects that are placed in their environment. Favored foods may be grains, dried fruits, nuts, and sweet materials.They are known reservoirs of diseases such as rickettsial pox (mites), typhus (fleas), and filth problems with Salmonella, tapeworm, roundworm, and other parasites.

 

baby mice

Baby Mice- know as pinkies 

Identification: Adults remain small, less than 7 inches long from tip of nose to tip of tail. They have  hairless, scaly tails that separate them from meadow or deer mice, and ears relatively bare of hairs. A young rat looks similar to the House Mouse, but the rat has feet and eyes that are disproportionately large in comparison with  its head and body.                              

Characteristics Important in Control: The full complement of traps and baits are effective on mice. Exclusion should consider closing any openings as wide as ¼ inch, along with elimination of any harborage sites that are not needed, such as waste piles, packing boxes, wood piles, or heavy outside vegetation.

 

 

 

Reference: pestweb.com

 

August Pest of the Month | Fleas

Common Name: Fleaflea
Latin Name: Ctenocephalides felis
Common Family Name: Fleas
Latin Family Name: Siphonaptera

Origin: There are dozens of different species of fleas, but the Cat Flea is by far the most common flea on pets and in structures in the United States. It originated in Africa as an ectoparasite of the large native cats.

Biology: The Cat Flea is a blood feeder as the adult, and a scavenger as the larva. The adults remain on the animals they feed on unless physically forced off, and may live up to a year. The female lays the eggs on the host animal and these eggs fall off to the floor or other surface below. The eggs hatch in a few days and the larvae begins to feed on organic debris it finds, but also must consume some dried blood in order to progress to the pupa stage. This blood is from the dried feces of the adult fleas, and it falls off the pets wherever they spend time. Under ideal conditions the time from egg to adult can be as short as 2 weeks, or it may take several months if there is no host activity to stimulate some of the pupa to hatch to the adult stage. The Cat Flea is a possible vector of bubonic plague, and it is a common flea species on raccoons and opossum, as well as the primary flea on both dogs and cats in the U.S.

downloadIdentification: All fleas are similar in appearance, as wingless insects with bodies flattened from side to side and with long hind legs for jumping. They are black to reddish black in color and have spiny legs as well as rows of spines along other body areas called “combs”. These combs are important for identification of the species. The genal comb is a row below the head, and the pronotal comb is a row behind the head, at the back of the pronotum. The Cat Flea has both combs, it has eyes present, the genal comb is horizontally placed, and the first two spines on the genal comb are the same length. These characters separate it from the similar Dog Flea. Flea larvae are rarely seen, but they are legless and whitish with a brown head, unless they have fed on fecal matter from the adults, in which case they assume a reddish color. They are covered with short hairs, and when disturbed are able to flip about violently in order to escape. FOQXNC7HHJOKS95.LARGE

Characteristics Important in Control: Elimination of fleas on household pets will be important in preventing the production of eggs that fall onto carpeted areas inside. If an infestation is occurring due to breeding and larvae on the interior it generally is controlled with an application of a residual insecticide, preferably with the addition of an insect growth regulator as well. Vacuuming of the carpet prior to the application as well as following it will be important, as this vibration and contact will stimulate the emergence of adult fleas from the pupa, exposing them to the pesticide application

 

Reference: pestweb.com

July Pest of the Month | Roaches

 Cockroach – American cockroach

Common Name: Cockroach – American cockroachcockroach-01
Latin Name: Periplaneta americana
Common Family Name: Blattid cockroaches
Latin Family Name: Blattidae

Origin: Possibly from northern Africa or Asia, but found worldwide for many centuries now. It occurs throughout the United States as a common indoor and outdoor cockroach, and in some areas may be more common than the German roach.

Biology: This species is common outdoors in landscape plantings, in sewers or storm drain systems, and in lower areas of buildings where moisture may be greater. It may inhabit storm drains in huge numbers, emerging though man-hole covers at night to invade buildings. They will feed on most carbohydrate or protein based materials, including human hair or finger and toenails. Each female produces around 10 egg capsules, carrying the capsule for a day or two and then carefully placing it in a protected location. Each egg capsule has an average of 15 eggs in it and these hatch in about 45 days. Development to the adult stage averages about 450 days, but may take well over 2 years in colder climates. Adults live an average of around 1 year, but potentially can live almost 3 years.

Roach2Identification: The American roach adult has fully developed wings and is capable of some flight, usually from an upper location to a lower surface. It is reddish brown with a yellow ring around the prothorax. Adults may be up to 1.5 inches long from head to tail, with extremely long antennae. The cerci are long and thin, a character that separates the nymphs of American roaches from those of Oriental roaches.

 

 

Characteristics Important in Control: Since this species is abundant outdoors, control begins withcockroach-american habit management in the outdoor areas. Removal of harborage sites under debris or piles of wood and discarded materials will reduce populations near a structure. Control of food and moisture sources outdoors and indoors are important. Granular insect baits are well accepted, and the use of a perimeter treatment with a residual insecticide will intercept many individuals that attempt to access a structure

 

Source: pestweb.com

Keep the Bugs Away | While You Play

Enjoy the 4th of July without the Bugsl

It’s summer! There’s fireworks and barbecues and camp-outs. Unfortunately there are also summer pests waiting for us at every one of them. Enjoy your weekend and celebrate the holiday without all the bugs. Follow these simple tips to keep the bugs away while you play!

 Keep Repellent on Hand

6708112_origHaving a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET or Picaridin will ward off unwanted insects such as mosquitoes. They are most active at dusk and dawn, so be sure to have plenty repellent to go around.

Repair to Repel

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Have a screen with a hole in it? A rain spout not draining properly? Fixing small things around the house could play a big role in keeping pests out and away from your property. Do a check and see what needs a little TLC. Before you throw a party, make sure these things are all in check.

 

Get Rid of Any Standing Water

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Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Anything from a birdbath, to garden pond, to even left over rainwater can attract mosquitoes to your yard. Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance  but are known to spread diseases. Take the extra steps to rid your yard of any standing water.

Clean it Up

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It’s easy to have a mess or two when it comes to a barque or party. Flies and ants are already attracted to the food and and drinks being served, make sure you don’t make it too easy for them to stick around. Keep everything clean and sanitary by using sealed containers and coolers. Also keep a lid on your trash and take it out frequently.

Watch Out for Stinging Insects

wasp-can

Yellow jackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sugary substances and many different fragrances. Avoid using scented items and if you’re serving drinks make sure to do so in clear cups. Aluminum cans and bottles not only attract the stinging insects but can also conceal them as well.

Use Decor to Deter

Tiki

 

 

Having a party that’s going into the night? Have fun with it! Use tiki torches, citronella candles, and smoke sticks to not only light up your yard, but deter unwanted pests. Another great way to keep them away is to have a fire; invite your guests to make some smores and let the smoke from the fire take care of the rest.

 

As always, Seitz Brothers is here to protect your family. For over 40 years we’ve been doing just that. We wish you a happy and of course safe holiday weekend!

June’s Pest of the Month| Earwigs

 Earwigs, “Pincher Bug”

2901162091_e76c3ba782_zCommon Name: Earwig – European Earwig
Latin Name: Forficula auricularia
Common Family Name: Earwigs
Latin Family Name: DermapteraOther Names: Pincher bugsOrigin: Probably from Europe or Asia, but this species is now found throughout the world. It was first found in the U.S. around 1907 near Seattle, Washington.

Biology: One of about 7 species of pest earwigs in the U.S., the European Earwig is the most common. It has a simple life cycle, requiring 3 to 5 months to go from egg to adult, depending on temperatures. Adults generally live only about one year. Adults are capable of some flight. Earwigs feed primarily on plant material, but also are predators on many other insects.

Identification: Earwigs are most easily identified by the strong “pincers” at the hind end, as modifications of their cerci. These are used for defense, food capture, and some other uses. Wings on adults consist of the hind pair used for flight, and a very short front pair used as a cover for the folded hind wings. The European Earwig is distinguished from other U.S. species by having the second tarsal segment elongated under the first segment.earwig-mothers-parental-care_25412

Characteristics Important in Control: Reduction of exterior harborage sites is vital, such as lumber or firewood piles, yard debris, or other unnecessary piled materials on the soil. Control of moisture also reduces the favorable habitats for earwigs. Granular insect baits are accepted in exterior locations, and pyrethroid insecticide applications will intercept wandering earwigs along pathways and around foundations.

Source: http://pestweb.com/pests

New Tick Virus| Get The Facts

Deer-Tick1Recently the social media scene has exploded with stories of a new virus that can be carried by the dreaded deer tick. We’ll all familiar with them carrying Lyme Disease but now there could be another more dangerous and severe virus associated with them known as Powassan Virus.

What is Powassan Virus??

– Powassan (POW) virus is transmitted to humans by infected ticks

-The Northeast and Great Lakes region have had the most cases

-Signs and symptoms of infection can include: fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Also long-term neurological problems may occur.

-Powassan virus has no specific treatment. People with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized for respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.

– “Unlike with Lyme and the other big infections from this tick, there is virtually no ‘grace period,’ ” he said. “It is transmitted much faster, and it can be fatal in about 10 percent of actual cases.”-Thomas Daniels, Entomologist

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New Outbreak???:

-This virus is NOT new

-Within the last 10 years there have been 60 cases of the POW Virus

– An infection rate of this virus is below 3 percent in adult ticks (lower in nymphs)

-Any increase in the virus can be due to the increase in tick population and is dependent upon factors such as weather and geographical location

 

787449How to Prevent

-You can reduce your risk of being infected with POW virus and Lyme Disease by:

-use tick repellents, like DEET

-Avoid wooded areas

-Wear long sleeves and pants, and high socks with covered shoes

-Always do thorough tick checks after spending any time outdoors

There is no doubt that these little insects can lead to big problems, especially when it comes to our health. The best thing is to stay informed, take the right precautions, and always keep an eye out for bites and symptoms. If you’re concerned that you may have an issue this year at your home, call us. We do free estimates and we can treat your property for ticks and other harmful insects. We’ve been specializing in keeping your family safe since 1975, call us today to treat the ticks away!

References:

www.lohud.comhttp://www.cdc.gov/powassan/

Asbestos Awareness

asbestos-sign.2Asbestos Awareness Week has come to a close, but it’s important to stay safe and alert all year long. Seitz Brothers specializes in the abatement of asbestos and is a certified in the removal of this dangerous material.

What is Asbestos??

-Asbestos is known a a human carcinogen (substance that cause cancer) by the U. S. Department of Heath and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

– Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that became a popular building material in the 1950s. It is still found in many buildings, including hospitals, schools and homes.

-Asbestos was widely used as an insulation and fire proofing solution. In particular, it found its way into products like ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers, sprayed coatings and garage roof tiles.

 

Hear-Asbestos-Think-Prevention-GAAW-Square-450x450Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure:

-Increase risk of lung cancer

-Increase of throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder cancer

-Mesothelioma (rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen)

-Asbestosis (an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage)

 

 Factors affect the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease:

  • Dose (how much asbestos an individual was exposed to).
  • Duration (how long an individual was exposed).
  • Size, shape, and chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers.
  • Source of the exposure.
  • Individual risk factors, such as smoking and pre-existing lung disease.

What if it’s in your home??Asbestos-in-your-home

-Don’t Panic

-LEAVE IT ALONE (disturbing asbestos is extremely dangerous, if it’s wrapped around pipping or in other areas of your home, avoid any irritation to that area)

-Call a PROFESSIONAL as soon as possible (do not try to to remove any potential asbestos yourself, it’s a hazardous material that needs to be handled by certified professionals only)

 

Keep your family safe and remember, Seitz Brothers offers free estimates and is qualified to do asbestos abatement. If you have any questions regarding asbestos, don’t hesitate to call our environmental office located in Tamaqua, Pa at 888-467-1008

 

References: http://www.cancer.gov/ http://www.take5andstayalive.com/