Insect Damage to Trees is a Serious Issue

Written By: Admin

Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: pest control

Many of us take trees and the benefits they provide humans for granted.  Trees offer food in the form of fruit, they shelter us from storms, they provide us with building materials and even help clean the air.  Trees are also home to all sorts of creatures including animals and insects.  Most of the time, all goes pretty well in the relationship between animals, insects and trees, but not always.  On some occasions, there are problems with insect damage to trees.  These issues can spell disaster for both trees and homeowners.  Certain insects and pests can damage trees in a variety of ways.  Let’s examine which insects and pests you need to guard against.

Moths Love Fir Trees

Nature is diverse, and it should come as no great surprise that the list of crawly critters that can harm trees is quite diverse.  The Douglas-fir tussock moth attacks Douglas-fir trees all across Western North America.  You can expect to find these moths attacking from British Columbia, through Washington and Oregon all the way down to New Mexico.  The larvae feed on trees and particularly favor beautiful Douglas-firs.

Beetles Stress Out Trees

Not to be outdone, the Douglas-fir beetle also does extensive damage to Douglas-fir trees; however, there is a difference.  Whereas the Douglas-fir tussock moth is a defoliator, the Douglas-fir beetle damages the wood of trees.  The Douglas-fir beetle is known to attack weakened, stressed or declining trees.

 The Notorious East Coast Gypsy Moths

In the Eastern U.S., the name gypsy moth is very well known.  The gypsy moth may be beautiful to look at, but it is quite bad for trees.  They are powerful defoliators who are responsible for destroying millions of acres of trees across the country.

The gypsy moth is known for its ability to defoliate broad leaf as well as conifer trees.  Defoliation is an issue, as it reduces the vitality of trees.  Unfortunately, gypsy moths are very good at what they do.

 White Pine Weevils Enjoy a Varied Diet

Also found in the Eastern part of the United States, is the very busy pales weevil.  This industrious weevil attacks over 20 different kinds of trees and, as the name indicates, it is a serious pest for the white pine.  This diversity is, of course, great for the white pine weevil since it will inevitably have a lot of different meal options.  But this is bad news for trees.  Weevils often spell bad news for crops too, as they can damage everything from grain to cotton.

 Unexpected Pests that Can Harm Trees

Trees don’t just have to watch out for insects.  Even birds can get in on the action.  Birds have been known to damage maple and other trees.  Squirrels can damage trees and fruit trees and rodents can also cause serious damage.  Sadly, the natural world is pretty rough on trees in a variety of ways.  Animals, moths, weevils and beetles are just some of the pests that can damage the trees we all depend upon.

The good news is that you can make a difference for the trees on your own land or property.  By periodically examining your trees for problems or damage, you can help preserve them.  Another step is to have a pest control expert check your trees for any kind of damage or infestation.  Hopefully, you can address the insect damage to trees on your property before it’s too late.

Mosquito Control Necessary to Curb Illnesses Around the World

Written By: Admin

Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: pest control

All of nature is wondrous and amazing, right?  Well, if you’ve ever been the victim of a swarm of mosquitos, you might not feel that way.  Quite amazingly, just one tiny mosquito, almost too small to see, can suddenly take over your life.  Then there is the issue of camping, for as every camper knows, mosquitos can be nothing short of exasperating!

Unfortunately, mosquitos provide more than merely annoying bites that cause serious itching.  Mosquitos, very quietly, have become one of the single largest killers on earth.  Diseases that mosquitos spread cause tremendous misery worldwide.

The number of diseases that mosquitos can spread and their impact on human safety is both impressive and alarming.  Some of the most serious mosquito-born diseases include viral diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus and yellow fever, as well as malaria, which is caused by a parasite.

7 Major Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitos

1)  Dengue fever (viral)

2)  West Nile virus (viral)

3)  Eastern equine encephalitis virus (viral)

4)  Yellow fever (viral)

5)  Malaria (parasitic)

6)  Lymphatic filariasis (parasitic)

7)  Tularemia (bacterial)

The fact that there are seven different diseases spread by mosquitos is bad enough, but it gets even worse.  A close look at the list above indicates that the pesky mosquito spreads viral, parasitic and bacterial based diseases.  If mankind has major enemies one of them is clearly the busy and buzzing mosquito.

More Bad News about Mosquitos

The statics regarding illness and death regarding mosquitos is more than alarming; it is depressing.  Statistics vary, but experts have concluded that every year 700 million people become ill from mosquito born diseases.  Over 2 million people die as a result of mosquitos every year!  Quite stunningly, this means that a truly incredible 20 million people may have died from mosquitos born diseases in just the last decade!  Worse still, the numbers of dead every year may be even higher.

Let’s Put Mosquito Control Into Perspective

The estimates for the number of military and civilian deaths in World War I is approximately 16 million, with about 7 million of those deaths being civilian deaths.  In the last decade, mosquito born diseases have killed three times as many civilians as World War I!  The number of military and civilian deaths for World War II is estimated to be at about 60 million people.  At the current rates, mosquito born diseases will kill as many people as World War II over a thirty year period or less.

The good news is that many scientists are working on ways to help reduce the impact that mosquitos are having on global human health.  For example, some researchers have found that if mosquitos become infected by a certain bacteria, they can no longer transmit disease.  Mosquito control and treatment is becoming a high priority in the world of global health issues.

There can be no doubt that mosquito borne diseases are one of the most important human health issues in history.  These plagues vary from malaria to yellow fever, and the number of people sickened by these diseases every year is truly remarkable.  While some pests are just pests, the very ubiquitous and very busy mosquito is less of a pest and much more of a menace.

When Fall Approaches, Bugs in Your Home Increase

Written By: Admin

Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: pest control

cockroaches_fall

You might feel as though fall is a lovely time of year, but pests don’t.  Pests equate the shorter days and slowly declining temperatures with the coming of winter.  In short, the great outdoors are not as pleasant as they once were.  Why should you care?  Worried pests begin looking for warmer climates, and that could mean your home becomes the choice location!  Less sunlight and cooler nights tell pests that it is time to seek out a nice warm place for the winter.  Humans have built them just the cozy place they need.

Who wouldn’t like a little free rent, right?  Pests like the idea of free rent and utilities too, and in the fall they’ll attempt to make their way indoors to warmer living conditions.  Many different pests begin making their way into homes around the country when fall arrives.  Let’s take a look a few of the most common pests that you’re likely to see when the days get shorter.

Cockroaches Can Make You Sick

Cockroaches may already be living and breeding in secret inside your house.  Having these kinds of bugs in your home has more implications than you may think.  Air quality and cockroaches don’t mix.  Cockroaches and their “debris” can contribute to poor air quality.  This leads to an increased risk of colds and flu.  Why?  There is a link between poor indoor air quality and overall health and the strength of one’s immune system.  Cockroaches bring bacteria and can even contribute to asthma attacks.

Many factors, such as degassing furniture, paint and cleaning chemicals can all combine to decrease indoor air quality.  But there is another often overlooked factor in the form of these repulsive critters.  During the fall, cockroaches that may be outdoors or living just outside your home will head indoors if given an opportunity.

Rodents and Freeloading Fleas Are as Bad as Bugs in Your Home

Rats and mice are warm blooded.  Most of us don’t like them living in our homes, but they are mammals and want to stay warm in the winter just like we do.  Rats and mice will eagerly jump into your home to get out of the elements if given a chance.  Rodents can also bring other unwanted guests with them – fleas! Rodent control is essential for the health and safety of your family.

Spiders Can Leave You a Nasty Surprise

Spiders frequently head indoors during the fall.  They will lay eggs and then die, leaving a whole new crop of spiders for you to deal with!  Don’t forget that some spiders are poisonous and have hazards beyond just making webs.

Flies and Fruit Flies Love a Healthy Snack

Flies and fruit flies will head indoors as the weather gets cooler as well.  Ripe fruit and even root vegetables, such as onions, can provide fertile ground for fruit flies.  If you suddenly have an unplanned outbreak of fruit flies, take a look at what fresh fruit or root vegetables might be lying around.

How Can You Prevent Fall Season Pests from Making Your Life Miserable?

There are a few steps that you can take to greatly reduce the chances of having an invasion of bugs in your home this fall:

1)  Seal up cracks and crevices with caulk.

2)  Make life harder for pests by using weatherproofing strips on your doors and windows.  This step will also save you money on heating bills!

3)  Keep food in sealed containers.

4)  Keep an eye out for the signs of a rodent problem, and contact a pest control expert at the first sign of trouble.

By following the four steps above, you can dramatically reduce your risk of a problem.  Play your cards right during the fall, and you can enjoy fall colors instead of thinking about bugs in your home!

The Increasing Rate of Bed Bugs in Schools

Written By: Admin

Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: bed bugs

Bed bugs in your home are bad enough, but bed bugs in schools are a problem many don’t know about.  Nobody wants to even think about them but when you have bed bugs it’s difficult to think about anything else!  All you want to do is figure out how to get rid of them as quickly as possible.  A bed bug infestation isn’t the worst thing in the world that can happen to you, but they are very unpleasant and disruptive.  As kids head back to school it’s important to educate yourself about the issue of bed bugs in schools.

Why are Bed Bugs in Schools an Issue?

This is frequently an issue when students return to school in the fall.  Summer vacations means lots of traveling, and many people bring bed bugs home in their suitcases without even realizing it.  The bugs then make their way to college campuses by riding in moving boxes or to public and private schools in backpacks. The issue of bed bugs in schools has become such a big issue that many states have issued reports advising schools about how they should handle the bed bug issue.  For many schools, the bed bug problem is so bad that sometimes they long for the “good old days” of only having to worry about head lice.

Bed Bugs Aren’t Just a Problem for Hotels

Sadly, bed bugs have gone ‘mainstream’ and are now making their way into unexpected places, such as schools.  Bed bugs in schools are creating infestations that are commonplace in many school districts.  New York City is taking proactive steps to address their bed bug issues.  Things are so bad in some areas that schools have set up standards for how to deal with bed bugs.  They now have produced bed bug collection and testing kits and even have disposal protocols.  There are even lesson plans created to help students identify bed bugs.

An understanding of the lifestyle of a bed bug illustrates that none of this is really surprising.  Any place where people congregate, especially in large numbers and in close proximity, you can expect to have a potential bed bug problem.  College campuses are also having bed bug problems, so the problem isn’t impacting only students in kindergarten through twelfth grades.

What Attracts Bed Bugs to College Campuses?

One variable for the increase in bed bugs on college campuses is the time honored love of cheap secondhand furniture.  Like college students on a budget, bed bugs also happen to love a good used mattresses and/or comfy sofas with lots of places to hide.  Additionally, students travel frequently, and bed bugs love to hitch rides in suitcases and backpacks.

Just how determined and hearty are bed bugs?  At the University of Washington, librarians have begun to find bed bugs in books!  The problem in colleges is so bad that some officials plainly state that virtually all colleges have a bed bug problem in one way or another.

Bed bug bites can be very painful and irritating.  The fact that schools ranging from K-12 to colleges and universities have infestations with bed bugs is a real concern for parents.  Bed bugs can infest one’s home just as easily as they can infest a school.  Children can carry bed bugs home on their clothing and in their bags or backpacks.  Controlling bed bugs once you have them in your home can be difficult.

If you believe that you have a bed bug problem, don’t hesitate to take action.  The sooner you contact and begin working with a pest control professional experienced with bed bug eradication, the better off you and your family will be.

Preventing a Bed Bug Infestation When You Return Home From Traveling

Written By: Admin

Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: bed bugs

Bed bug infestations continue to increase every year, and this can pose a stressful problem if your home becomes infected. Bed bug bites can cause rashes, itchiness, and possible severe allergic reactions depending on how your body reacts to a bite. Unfortunately, humans can not feel a bed bug biting them, so you can be resting peacefully, but wake up covered in rashes!

It is very common for bed bugs to invade your home after they latch onto your luggage while you are on vacation.  Here is a step-by-step guide to make sure you do not take bed bugs home when you return from travelling!

Inspect Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

  1. Always place your luggage bag on a rack with steel legs in your hotel room. Steel is too slick for bed bugs to climb.
  2. Temporarily remove the sheets from the bed and inspect the piping on the mattress for bed bugs and insects.
  3. After you have inspected the mattress, inspect the bed’s headboard and the nightstands.

With these steps, you can prevent bringing home bedbugs from vacation.

Preventing Bed Bugs When You Return Home

In case you may have not seen bed bugs in your hotel room, here is another process to make sure there are none on your luggage when you do return home. Remember, never unpack your bags in a bed room or living room of any kind.

  1. Take your luggage bags with everything inside of it into your garage. If you do not have a garage, take it into the kitchen or an outside parking lot.
  2. Take all of the clothing you took for travelling, including the clothes you are wearing once you get home, and place it all inside a plastic bag.
  3. Take the bag directly to the washer and wash all clothes, even if they were unused. If the clothing travelled, WASH IT. Use the highest temperature water and drier setting that you can use without ruining your clothing.
  4. Go back to your empty suitcase and vacuum it both inside and out to remove bed bugs.
  5. Dispose the vacuum bag in a trash can that is outside. If the vacuum is bagless, dump the contents of the vacuum in a trash can outside.
  6. For further precautions, put alcohol on a cotton ball, and rub the cotton ball on narrow crevices of your luggage that your vacuum could not go in between.

For anything you can’t wash (ex. shoes), place it in a bag and leave the bag in a garage or out in the sun for a minimum of one day in order to kill the bed bugs. High temperatures kill bed bugs.  If you can’t find a high temperature location to place the bag, carefully inspect the items for bed bugs before you place them in your home.

Never place luggage or clothes on your bed.

For a visual demonstration, here is a video: