While many insects have become dormant as the cold weather settles in, head lice are now thriving—keeping nice and toasty warm on humans. Head lice are human parasites, spending their entire lives on human heads. Head lice are spread between people from head-to-head contact, or by sharing clothing or grooming items.
From kids piling their hats and coats together at school to those amusing moments when you try on all of the funny holiday hats at the store, head lice are getting many opportunities to travel and spread.
You are probably wondering now what these sneaky little critters look like. The human head louse adult is about the size of a sesame seed and grayish-white to tan in color. Head lice eggs, called nits, look like tiny yellow dots and are often mistaken for dandruff, though you cannot brush them off. Adult lice lay nits on hair shafts close to the scalp. Read More
Up until recently, trying to keep ahead of pests was challenging and without drawing on historical business data, virtually impossible to predict. However, there is an alternative, Google Trends.
Accessed through your browser, this is a fantastic way to look at pest trends over the last decade. The information is fascinating and gives some really clear insight into what pests are becoming important to people and in which area of the globe. Google Trends tracks what people are searching for in Google, essentially and it shows some really surprising things about pests.
“How do I get rid of ants?” is one of the most commonly asked questions that we are approached with. Since ants all look somewhat similar, you might think they can all be controlled by using similar methods. However, better control results are more likely if the ants are accurately identified before starting treatment. Control tactics often vary depending on the ant species, due to differences in habitat references, feeding and reproductive behaviors.
In addition to correctly identifying the ant species, it is also important to be educated on ant biology. Ants are social insects, and within each colony, different ants have different jobs. For example, queen ants are responsible for egg-laying, while worker ants tend to younger nest members, construct nests and forage for food. The workers that forage for food, also known as foragers, find and bring back enough food to feed the entire colony. It is the foragers that we most often see when there is an infestation which represent less than 10% of the colony.
Although most people have heard of fleas, many would not be able to identify a flea by sight much less know anything about its biology or behavior. Gnats, mites, specks of dust and static electricity are all commonly mistaken for fleas. Lack of proper knowledge and frustration many times leads to misapplications and gross overuse of over the counter pesticides.
Fleas are small wingless insects with bodies that are flattened from side to side. Adult flea bodies are also covered with spines that project backwards. These physical characteristics allow fleas to move swiftly between hairs in an animal’s fur and also make their removal very difficult when an animal shakes or scratches.
So why does a flea need physical characteristics that allow them to stay put on animals? The answer is that fleas are ectoparasites. Ectoparasites feed on and in many cases live on, their host. In the case of fleas, animals are their host and adult fleas feed on animal blood in order to survive and reproduce. Fleas will also bite people if the opportunity arises. Read More
Cockroaches are extreme survivors. They’re the oldest surviving insect form on the planet and have been present on Earth for nearly 350 million years.
There are approximately 3500 identified cockroach species that roam the earth. Cockroaches come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors and are found in almost every environment on the planet. The general shape of a cockroach is oval and flat-bodied, which allows them to squeeze into all types of cracks and crevices.