The Pest Control Blog North America

5 Praying Mantis Facts

praying-mantisThe praying mantis – an undeniably impressive insect. Carnivorous and camouflaged, the praying mantis gets its name for the way their front legs are bent in a “praying” motion. Most mantis species are colored green or brown so they can blend in with leaves and foliage which enables them to patiently stalk insects like flies and grasshoppers.

The fearsome predators are capable of killing prey 3 times its size. Praying mantises feed on insects, mice, small turtles and even snakes. Striking twice as fast as a blink of an eye, praying mantises will slowly devour the unfortunate prey slowly with its ultra sharp mandibles. Read More »

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Differences Between Moles, Voles and Shrews

The Differences between Moles, Voles and ShrewsOftentimes our customers call us to report seeing a small, mouse-like creature scurrying around their landscape.  Typically, customers notice burrows in their mulch, or runways that part the grass or in the snow.  The culprits are little creatures commonly referred to as moles, but in reality, they may actually be a mole, vole or a shrew.  Why is it important to distinguish which one you are dealing with?  Well, like most of the pests that we deal with, proper identification is critical because each have different characteristics that will help dictate the best management strategy.

Moles, voles and shrews can easily be distinguished from one another by looking at some of the key physical characteristics of each.  A mole has a pointed snout, enlarged front feet, and eyes and ears so tiny that they are not visible.  A vole, also called a meadow mouse, has rounded ears and body and is reddish or brown and black in color with a gray underside.  And finally, a shrew has a pointed snout, but unlike the mole, a shrew’s front feet are not enlarged.  Also, a shrew’s eyes are tiny, but they are visible in most species. Read More »

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Spiders Considered Good Luck?

red knee tarantulaThere are over 40,000 species of spiders worldwide, with approximately 3700 of those species occurring in North America.  Of these 3700 species of spiders, only a very small amount will find their way into homes and human structures. And from these, an even smaller proportion will attract the attention of home and business owners enough to seek out pest control.

Logically speaking spiders should be considered the good guys of the arthropod world, because they are not destructive, do not spread disease, do not create allergens, and they eat insects!  However, despite these positive attributes, spiders are not highly regarded in the U.S. Though little more than a nuisance pest, spiders are generally considered unacceptable to share a living and work space with.  Oftentimes spiders evoke more psychological damage than anything else.  People’s dislike for spiders can range from being creeped-out, to an irrational psychological fear, called arachnophobia. Read More »

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Preventing Fly Infestations

fly infestations Whether it’s your local family restaurant, a four star hotel, your local pub, or a health care facility, there is no place that’s immune to developing fly infestations, if the conditions are right.  While they’re primarily nuisance pests, flies are a public health concern due to their habits of frequenting some very unsanitary places and then flying to your food with their dirty, bacteria infested bodies.

When we hear from our customers regarding a fly problem, it’s likely because they’re seeing adult flies popping up, sometimes in large numbers.  Whether they’re resting on the wall in the bakery, flying around the food or buzzing the customers, these pests must be dealt with quickly.

The small flies that we most commonly encounter at our accounts include fruit flies, phorid flies, drain flies and fungus gnats.  These flies are all relatively small flies, with an average size of about 1/8 of an inch long.  Each of these flies have one thing in common: they all require decaying organic matter in which to breed.  Additionally, each of these flies can establish huge populations indoors, as long as they have the right medium to breed in. Read More »

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Mosquitoes and Disease

Before and after images of mosquito feeding on humanThe warm temperatures and rain in the spring triggers flowers to bloom, grass to grow, and, yes, mosquitoes to wake up!  These bloodsucking pests generally begin popping up around April and continue to be a problem until sometime around September or October.  In warmer areas of the country, mosquito activity can begin earlier in the year and extend well into the winter.

These pests can be quite annoying because of their biting habits, but more importantly because many of them play a role in transmitting various human and animal pathogens.  Therefore, by controlling and educating the public about mosquitoes and disease, pest management professionals play an important role in protecting public health.

Mosquitoes are efficient vectors of many harmful disease-causing organisms.  In fact, mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths annually than any other living creature. This is because mosquitoes transmit a variety of debilitating and deadly parasites and viruses throughout the world.

In the United States, mosquitoes vector pathogens to both humans and animals. These pathogens include several types of encephalitis viruses and canine heartworm.  Probably the most notorious mosquito-vectored pathogen in the U.S. right now is West Nile virus (WNV).  In 2012, the U.S. saw a record number of WNV outbreaks, including 5,387 reported human cases and 243 WNV-related deaths. Read More »

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