“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.
Although we are currently enjoying the warm days of summer, in just another month or so, many insects will begin to prepare for the cooler months ahead. Insects that survive the winter as adults must locate a suitable shelter in which to overwinter. Many times, the preferred suitable shelter for an adult insect to overwinter is a home or a building.
The insects that seek shelter in buildings during the cooler months are commonly referred to as overwintering pests. Overwintering pests generally become pests in the fall, winter and spring, because this is when they are using a home or building as harborage.
It’s almost back to school time again, which means those lazy days of summer are quickly coming to an end. Parents and children are busy preparing for the work that awaits them in the months ahead.
But people are not the only industrious beings this time of year, as insects are also hard at work. Yellow jackets are preparing for the cooler months that lie ahead, while bed bugs are hitching rides to return to campus too.
Yellow jackets are in a frenzy during late summer and early fall, trying to gather as much food as possible for their hive. This food is needed to help the newly produced queens survive the winter, while the rest of the hive members will die off with the first frost.