April Pest of the Month-Termites

TermitesSub-Termites

Common Name: Termite – Formosan termite
Latin Name: Coptotermes formosanus
Common Family Name: Subterranean t2ermites
Latin Family Name: Rhinotermitidae

 

 

Origin: Asian in origin, and now found in the United States as a severe pest in Hawaii, Florida and Louisiana as well as other Gulf Coast states, and a lingering population near San Diego, California has existed for a number of years.

thesearetermitesimageBiology: This is one of the most destructive termites worldwide, due in part to the enormous colony size, which may be hundreds of thousands of workers. A single colony may forage over a radius of several hundred feet. While these are “subterranean” termites it is common to find aerial nests with no ground connection, as the colony is able to find moisture and building materials in buildings. They construct a very hard matrix called “carton” in which to live, made from cellulose and saliva. Swarming is in early evening, usually following rainfall, and alates are attracted to lights in large numbers.

Ant-Termite

 

Identification: A lot of the time termites can be confused for winged ants.  However, there are some distinct characteristics that set them apart from one another. Termite wings have many short hairs on them, and two thickened veins run parallel to each other at the forward edge, from the base to the tip. The antenna is composed of more than 18 segments. Soldiers are present in a higher proportion in these colonies. They have a pair of jaws which have no teeth along their inner margin, and the tips of the jaws cross over each other. The head capsule is teardrop shaped.

 

 

Characteristics Important in Control: Aerial colonies may need to be controlled with fumigation of the structure. Soil nesting colonies are controlled with soil pretreatments and with post-construction applications of residual insecticides. Bait products also have provided highly effective results, possibly leading to the elimination of entire colonies. Control of excessive moisture situations within structures will reduce the attraction to the termites.

Reference: https://pestid.univares.com

March Pest of the Month

The Clover Mite

RedThis month’s pest is the clover mite. These mites will start to show up as the weather gets a little warmer and the plant life gets a little greener. Our pest control service can take care of these little guys and any other pests that start popping up as the snow melts and the sun starts to shine!  

Scale of a clover mite

Scale of a clover mite

 

Common Name: Mite – Clover mite
Latin Name: Bryobia praetiosa
Common Family Name: Prostigmatic mites
Latin Family Name: Tetranychidae

Origin: This pest is a native species of mite in North America.

Biology: The mites in this family are primarily plant parasites, and many of them are serious pests of crops and ornamentals. The clover mite feeds on many kinds of trees, shrubs, bedding plants and turf, but does not bite humans. It becomes a problem when it invades structures in large numbers, especially during warm periods of the year. When crushed they leave small red stains on the surface. No male clover mites have been found, with females reproducing by parthenogenesis. Reproduction is rapid, with hundreds of thousands of mites being produced in a very short time. Eggs are laid in cracks on almost any surface, including trees and the outside of buildings. All stages of the mites may overwinter, although the egg stage is the most common.

mite

Identification: The clover mites are easily distinguished from other mites by the relatively large size – 1 mm – very round, red body, and extremely long front legs that are held directly out to the front.

Characteristics Important in Control: Inside invasions can be controlled by vacuuming or applications of a residual pyrethroid insecticide. However, due to the staining potential of these mites indoors it is better to prevent entry. Reduction of their populations outside can be done with applications of a labeled product on the infested foliage, as well as with perimeter applications around the exterior of a building to intercept migrating mites. Maintaining a strip of bare ground, without vegetation, around the perimeter of a building also helps to discourage their presence near the structure.

 

Reference: https://pestid.univares.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

white-footed_ant02

 

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

May Pest of the Month- Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Common Name: Ant – Carpenter antCarpenter-Ants
Latin Name: Camponotus
Common Family Name: Ants
Latin Family Name: Formicidae

Origin: Many species of these ants are native to North America, with several species seemingly the most likely to invade structural wood members. There are many destructive species in the Pacific Northwest states, as well as from Florida to the northeast to the southwest and in Hawaii.

Biology: The usual habitat of a colony of carpenter ants is within wood, often wood buried or partially buried in the soil. They also commonly establish “satellite” colonies that may be in a structure, maintaining contact between the two colonies with the workers who travel to and from over well-defined trails. Generally there is a single queen in the colony but often supplementary queens as well. Colonies typically are around 15,000 workers when mature, but potentially could be over 100,000 workers. Foods are both carbohydrates and protein, with insects a major part of the diet. These are single-node ants without a stinger, although they are capable of biting. As they expand their colony they eject “frass”, which is wood chips and other debris such as leftover insect parts. This frass is often seen in structures before the ants are, as they are primarily nocturnal in habit. Carpenter ants are also typically polymorphic, with various sizes of workers in the colony.

Identification: Worker ants are easily identified to the genus Camponotus by the single, large node and the evenly rounded profile of the top of the thorax. It has no dips or spines on it, but is an even, curved line from front to back. There is a circular fringe of hairs around the anal opening and the antennae have 12 segments. Colors range from tan to black to reddish to orange to black/red combinations. Workers vary from 6 to 13 mm in length.

carpenter_ant_castesCharacteristics Important in Control: Finding and treating directly into the nest with a residual insecticide will result in effective kill of the ants there, and a dust insecticide may be most effective. Satellite colonies in structures may be treated directly, or with applications into voids the ants travel through. Bait products seem to be accepted readily as well. Reduction of excessive moisture in the structure and removal of unnecessary wood materials outdoors will reduce the attraction of an area.

Reference: https://pestid.univares.com

 

 

Bed Bug Questions, Answered

 

It’s bed bug awareness week | And if you’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

 

Q: What are some of the most common places to get bed bugs??
A: Well bed bugs can come from anywhere. But some of the most common places they are found are (but not limited to):
  1. Hotels
  2. Public Transportation
  3. Movie Theaters
  4. Retail Stores
  5. Medical Facilities
  6. Home
  7. Friends’ Home
  8. Work Place
Q: Are bed bugs more attracted to dirty homes?
A: No. This is a common and incorrect stigma. Sanitary conditions DO NOT affect the ability to get bed bugs or add any kind of attractive factor when it comes to them. Anyone can get them, regardless of sanitation.
Q: Years ago I rarely ever heard about bed bugs, why does it seem like they’re everywhere now?
A: There are a lot of factors that play a role in bed bug population, but a lot of it has to do with the increase of travel. Years ago people weren’t as likely to just hop on a plane and head overseas for vacation or across the country hitting up a hotel after hotel. Also there has been a significant increase in college education. Now more teenagers pack up their stuff and head into dorm rooms and study abroad programs all over the world.
To add to the interaction between people and places, the bed bugs themselves have become adaptive to many pest control products. The University of Kentucky released a study on bed bugs proving that their genes have developed a resistance to pesticides alone…
The Scientific American reported, “The high number of resistance genes in all populations examined by Palli and his colleagues is ‘horrifying,’ says Rajeev Vaidyanathan, an associate director of vector biology in the Center for Immunology and Infectious Disease at SRI International, who was not involved in the study. That the bugs have multiple ways of undermining the effects of pesticides is ‘devastating,’ he adds.
Q: I did my research and the internet has a lot of “do it yourself” ways to get rid of bed bugs, do any of them work?
A: This is not a pin it on Pinterest kind of ordeal… if you have bed bugs, you have a serious problem. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation is going to get. We’ve heard it all…dryer sheets, rubbing alcohol, garlic, kerosene heaters, over the counter sprays, and even complete clean outs. The truth is, the only proven and effective way to remove bed bugs is by a professional who offers heat treatment. There are certain steps you  could do to help your situation: wash clothing and linens in hot water and dry on high in your dryer, use a steam cleaner or hairdryer for shoes and other non-washable items to stop from spreading the eggs, and stay out/off infested areas within your home. Bed bugs, like stated before, are resistant to certain professional products, but heating a facility with the proper equipment and at the right temperature is the most proven method to remove and rid your home of these pests. This is not a DIY project; this is a call a professional matter.
Q: My couch has bed bugs, should I just throw it out? Will it get rid of my problem?
A: No. We realize that everyone’s first instinct would be to remove the item that is infested. It seems simple: remove the couch and then the bed bugs go with it. However, doing that has the opposite effect. When you take that couch or mattress through your home to throw it out, those bed bugs go everywhere but ‘out’. By doing that you are now spreading them and their eggs throughout your home. They could now be on the carpeting, the walls, the stairs, the legs of your pants and the bottoms of your shoes. Keep the item in your home, heat treatments now allow us to kill the bed bugs without removing all your belongings.
Q: My husband has bites but I don’t. How are these marks from bed bugs when we both sleep in the same bed?
A: This is a common occurrence and is often a misdiagnosis when it comes to bed bugs. In these situations the bit marks are actually misconstrued for a rash. The truth is that two people can sleep in a bed with bedbugs and only one will be visually bitten. Those who are visually bitten are actually having an allergic reaction to the anesthetic injected by the bed bug. You see, when bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant (blood clotting deterrent) that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. Some people never develop any sign of being bitten at all.
Q:I have pets, can they get bit?
A: Bed bugs prefer to bite people and will not seek out animals unless a human host cannot be found. Pet bedding and fur can carry bed bugs, but they will travel to humans to actually feed.
Q: Can bed bugs carry diseases?
A:Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep along with allergic reactions.

 

Remember, Seitz Brothers always offers free estimates and provides the most advanced heat treatment to eliminate bed bugs. If you think you’re having an issue with bed bugs, call us today for information or to set up an estimate. If you have any other questions regarding bed bugs, please don’t hesitate to call your local office, we’d be happy help!

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/

National Pest Management Month

Pest-Proof During National Pest Management Month

National-Pest-Management-Month-LogoIt’s National Pest Management Month! As a part of the NPMA and as a local provider for pest control services we’re excited to celebrate this month of commitment in protect homeowners and the general public from household, health, and pest problems.

This April, the National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take precautions against common pests.

“Whether it’s rodents, ants, termites, bed bugs or cockroaches, pest professionals play an important role in preserving our quality of life,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We’d like to recognize these men and women for all they do to keep our families and homes safe from unwanted pests not just during National Pest Management Month, but year-round.”

Pest Season is right around the corner and April is the time to begin preparing. We all know that the warmer weather will bring unwanted pests along with it and there are a couple things you, as a homeowner, can do to proof your home this year.

SeitzTech copy

Some recommended tips include:

-Store all garbage in containers that are sealed and make sure to dispose frequently

-Give your lawn shrubbery and trees a trim and keep them away from the side of your house

-Take the time to repair any roof shingles that may be rotted

-Inspect your home for any cracks or holes that could be an entry point for pests

-Campfires are great, but make sure to keep your firewood at least 20feet away from the house and five inches off the ground

-Keep an eye out for standing water aroaaronund the house that will attract insect activity

-Try not to leave your pet’s food dishes out for prolonged periods of time

-Try to keep any crawlspaces, basements, and attics dry and ventilated

-Always keep food in sealed containers and off your kitchen counters

“As the weather continues to get warmer, pests will begin to emerge from their overwintering sites and look for food indoors. National Pest Management Month comes at the perfect time to make pest-proofing a priority to prevent an infestation during the spring and summer seasons,” added Henriksen.

Thanks to all our technicians for keeping our homes and workplaces safe!