TICKS – PEST CONTROL

ticks

When ticks feed, they take up whole blood, extract the water (about 70–75% volume) and inject the water back into the host. For this reason, they are efficient vectors of a variety of disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, spirochetes, rickettsia, protozoa, viruses, nematodes, and toxins. A single tick bite can transmit multiple pathogens as well as creating secondary infections and allergic reactions. Ticks are the most common transmitters of vector-borne disease in the U.S.

LIFECYCLE

During their lifecycle, ticks frequently drop off the host then climb up walls and vegetation and reattach themselves to a passing host. Larvae can survive as long as eight months and adults as long as 18 months without feeding.

PREVENTION

  1. Regularly inspect pets for ticks. Remove any ticks from your pet with forceps or eyebrow tweezers. Apply gentle pressure slowly to allow the tick to loosen its mouthparts. Do not use an irritant such as alcohol or nail varnish. Afterwards wash with soap and water and apply a dry dressing over the wound.
  2. Frequently mow your grass short.
  3. Remove leaf litter, brush and woodpiles around houses and at the edges of yards.
  4. Clearing trees and brush to admit more sunlight into the yard reduces the amount of suitable habitat for deer, rodents, and ticks.
  5. When hiking, avoid tall grass and shrubs, wear white or light-colored clothing (makes hitchhiking ticks are more visible) and tuck pant legs into socks.
  6. Occasionally some repellent lotions can also be used.

If you have questions or need help, please contact GreenShield Pest Control HERE. We want to help!

AMERICAN COCKROACHES

American cockroaches

What do American cockroaches look like?

Adult American cockroaches average between 1.4” to 1.6” in length, but they can grow to exceed 2”. American cockroaches are reddish brown in color with a yellow band that outlines the area behind their head. Both males and females have wings and can fly short distances.

Do American cockroaches bite?

American cockroaches have the ability to bite, although they rarely do. If a bite occurs, it should not be problematic unless it gets infected.

Signs of an infestation

There are four telltale signsof an American cockroach infestation.

  1. Homeowners will see the fast-moving insects fleeing to dark areas.
  2. American cockroaches leave behind droppings in the dim areas in which they hide. These small droppings are blunt on the ends and have ridges on the sides. They are often mistaken for mouse droppings, so it’s important to contact a licensed pest control professional for proper identification.
  3. The presence of egg capsules, which are about 8 mm long and dark-colored. Egg capsules are sometimes glued to a surface near food sources, and can be found in basements, laundry rooms and kitchens, as well as behind appliances or underneath cabinets.
  4. The American cockroach will produce a pheromone that some people describe as having a “musty” smell. People with sensitive noses may notice this odor around the house.

How to get rid of American cockroaches 

Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world. They exhibit unique survival tactics, including the ability to live for a week without their head. This makes getting rid of American cockroaches a difficult task for homeowners to do themselves.

People can take steps, however, to mitigate American cockroach problems through barrier exclusion and cleanliness. Barrier exclusion involves preventing cockroaches from entering the home through small cracks in walls, gaps near electric sockets and switch plates, and up through drains. Use a silicone-based caulk to seal these openings.

Having a clean and sanitary home will also make it less inviting to American cockroaches. Homeowners should keep counters, sinks, tables and floors free of clutter and crumbs. Don’t let dishes pile up in the sink or spills marinate on the counter. It’s also good practice to store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving pet food out in the open. Some other ways to prevent American cockroaches include vacuuming at least once a week to remove food particles, ventilating crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup and running water periodically in spare bathrooms to keep u-traps filled.

Questions? Problems? GreenShield Pest Control can help! Please contact us HERE.

Varroa Mites – A Danger to Bees

VARROA MITES: A DANGER TO BEES – Untreated they can wipe out a bee colony within one to three years: Varroa mites are regarded as the greatest pest to the western honeybee. This animation explains how the tiny parasites threaten bees and explains what beekeepers can do about them.

Beekeeper Ernst Caspari has 20 colonies of bees that collect honey for him, and he needs to protect his bees against their greatest enemy, the Varroa mite. This parasite, measuring one to two millimetres in length, is a major cause of bee losses during the winter. The Varroa mite first appeared in Germany in 1978. Caspari still remembers the Varroa-free time before that: “Bee-keeping was simpler. Previously, you could expect losses of up to ten per cent during the winter. A queen might die, or a shrew might get into the beehive.” Now, however, individual beekeepers may lose 30 per cent or more of their bee populations throughout a year. “That is why beekeepers have to take action, otherwise their colonies will not survive for long,” says the 86-year-old from Leverkusen. Read the whole story here: https://www.magazine.bayer.com/en/the-enemy-in-the-beehive.aspx

Black Widow Spider Control

THE BLACK WIDOW SPIDER is active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions. The black widow spider spins irregular webs, which is built at night near ground level. Once complete, these spiders hang upside-down in their webs.

Threats

Bites will only cause localized pain, however, if a substantial amount of venom is injected it leads to pain, muscle rigidity, vomiting, and sweatinglasting 3 to 5 days.The venom of the black widow spider is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s although most people who are bitten by the black widow spider suffer no serious damage. The bite can be fatal to small children, the elderly or the infirm.

Habitat

Outdoors, black widow spiders commonly live in protected areaslike under stones and in firewood piles. They are often found in barns, outhouses and sheds. Indoors, black widows prefer cluttered areasof garages, basements and crawl spaces.

Avoiding black widow spider bites

  1. Reduce clutter in basements and garages to eliminate hiding spots.
  2. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area.
  3. Wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time.
  4. Shake out shoes before wearing them.
  5. Store firewood at least twenty feet from the home and five inches off the ground.

If you suspect a black widow spider infestation, contact us HERE immediately!

SILVERFISH CONTROL

Silverfish and firebrats are sometimes known as “bristletails.” The silverfish lives and develops in damp, cool places (prefer 75%–95% relative humidity), while firebrats prefer places above 90° F. Adult silverfish and firebrats are 1⁄2-inch in length. They are wingless insects with two long, slender antennae, and a flat carrot-shaped body, covered with scales, that tapers down to three long “bristles” at the end. Both silverfish and firebrats move fast in a wiggling motion, resembling the swimming action of a fish.

Houses provide a perfect habitat for silverfish. Preferring moderate temperatures from 70°–80°F, and a relative humidity between 75%–95%, they collect near sinks and other plumbing fixtures in bathrooms, kitchens and basements. Silverfish are most often discovered in sinks and bathtubs, though they can be present throughout the house. Silverfish are frequently introduced with newly installed dry wall, feeding on the paper backing and occasionally large populations form within new buildings where the walls are still damp from plaster and fresh lumber.

Firebrats normally live outdoors under rocks, leaves and inside bird nests where heat and moisture are generated by the natural composting process. However, they are also known to reside in homes. Like silverfish, firebrats enjoy a humid environment, however they prefer much higher temperatures of 90°F and above. Consequently, they are discovered less, because they collect around furnaces in basements, water heaters in attics, inside fireplaces and within the insulation surrounding hot water pipes.

Silverfish and firebrats are mostly nocturnal, foraging at night. They prefer vegetable matter with a high carbohydrate and protein content. Indoors however, they will feed on almost anything, including dried meat, other insects, starch, paper, glue, sugar, molds, cereals and fabric containing cotton, linen, rayon and silk. They seldom damage fibers of animal origin such as wool or hair. These insects are hardy and can live without food for up to one year.

Silverfish and firebrats are considered pests because they consume and stain foods, fabric, books and wallpaper. Damage is manifested as yellowish stains and notched edges, although this is not usually observed. Molted scales and excrement are also left behind.

Management

  1. Fabric, stacked paper products and cardboard boxes should not be stored for long periods.
  2. Spilled food must be cleared away.
  3. Reduce water availability by repairing leaky plumbing and installing adequate extraction fans to laundry and bathroom areas.
  4. Lowering the home’s relative humidity can be accomplished with dehumidifiers. Lighting a dark area is helpful as it forces the insects out of their shelter to new sites where they can be managed more easily.
  5. Outdoors, mulch should not be placed right up next to the house.
  6. Eradicating these insects can be difficult as they often reside between wall partitions, in insulation materials and in other protected places.

We can help! Contact us HERE at GreenShield Pest Control.

CLOVER MITE CONTROL

The clover mite tribe can become pests indoors after heavy rain, excessive heat or a change in the season, which stimulate massive numbers to enter buildings. The mites appear as tiny moving dark spots to the naked eye, crawling around walls, windows and doors. Crushing the mites to kill them leaves a reddish spot. Fortunately, the mites do not reproduce indoors and will die within a few days from dehydration.

The clover mite can be especially abundant in heavily fertilized lawns, but have many hosts plants including many different lawn grasses, ornamental flowers, clover, dandelion, shepherd’s purse, strawberry, daffodil, salvia, alyssum, and primrose, to name only a few.

Prevention is the most effective way to control populations of clover mites. To prevent them, the best way is to remove all lush vegetation from the house in an 18-to-24-inch band around the foundation perimeter and sides of buildings. This plant-free zone will discourage mites from movement into building and also provides an easily treatable area. Treating and sealing cracks and holes on buildings in which mites may have crawled can also be very helpful in reducing the problem.

Large populations can also be reduced by providing supplemental watering to areas where the clover mite develops, such as dry areas at the base of sun-exposed walls and around evergreens. Also, planting flowerbeds with plants that are not attractive to clover mites might be helpful, such as geranium, chrysanthemum, zinnia, marigold, salvia, rose, petunia or shrubs such as barberry, juniper and yew.

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PAPER WASP CONTROL

THE PAPER WASP gathers fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which it mixes with saliva, and used to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material. Some types of paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests.

The nests of the true paper wasp are characterized by having open combs with cells for brood rearing, and a “petiole,” or constricted stalk, which anchors the nest. The paper wasp secretes a chemical that repels marauding ants, which is spread around the base of the nest anchor to prevent the loss of eggs or brood. Nests can be found in sheltered areas, such as the eaves of a house, the branches of a tree, on the end of an open pipe, or on an old clothesline.

Unlike yellow jackets and hornets, which can be very aggressive, the paper wasp will generally only attack if it or its nest is threatened. Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on people, and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals, nests in human-inhabited areas may present an unacceptable hazard.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us HERE at GreenShield Pest Control. We’ll be happy to help!

ODOROUS HOUSE ANT CONTROL

As its name suggests, the odorous house ant, when crushed, emits a smell of rotting coconuts. This little critter tends to build nests both inside and outside. Common places to find the odorous house ant nest is in wall crevices, near heaters, under carpets, and beneath floors.

This small ant that goes by the common names odorous house ant, sugar ant, stink ant, and coconut ant. Their colonies are polydomous (consist of multiple nests) and polygynous (contain multiple reproducing queens). Like many social insects, it employs complex foraging strategies, allocates food depending on environmental conditions, and engages in competition with other insect species.

These odorous house ant can be found in a huge diversity of habitats, including within homes. They forage mainly for honeydew, which is produced by aphids and scale insects that are guarded and tended by the ants, as well as floral nectar and other sugary foods. They are common household pests.

MANAGEMENT

Quick control is crucial, because the larger the population becomes the longer it will take to control the infestation. You should be on the lookout for these ants in late winter and early spring (particularly after rain), because is when they most commonly appear. Taking these steps should help:

  1. Standing water should be eliminated: odorous house ants are attracted to moisture.
  2. Plants should be trimmed back so they cannot be used to get inside.
  3. Cracks, holes and joints should be sealed with polyurethane foam or caulk, especially those that are near the ground.
  4. Firewood, rocks and other materials should not be stored next to a home because it encourages nest building.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us HERE at GreenShield Pest Control. We’ll be happy to help!

HOUSEFLIES ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS

houseflies

Houseflies, to say the least, are not the neatest of insects. They visit such places as dumps, sewers, and garbage heaps. They feed on fecal matter, discharges from wounds and sores, sputum, and all sorts of moist decaying matter such as spoiled fish, eggs and meat. Nasty. They are a pest control challenge.

HEALTH RISKS

Houseflies are strongly suspected of transmitting at least 65 diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy and tuberculosis. Flies regurgitate and excrete wherever they come to rest and thereby mechanically transmit disease organisms.

MANAGEMENT

  1. General exclusion; e.g., seal­ing cracks, fitting door sweeps, window screens, etc.
  2. A moist compost bin will be a breeding site for houseflies. Create dry compost by scattering it around the bin so that it will dry rapidly. Flies will not lay eggs on dry manure.
  3. If dogs or horses are part of the family, clean up fecal material in timely fashion and dispose of properly. Planting flowers and bushes may attract predators and parasites that can help manage flies.
  4. Employ correct sanitation methods within the home to eliminate possible breeding sites.
  5. Outside gar­bage cans and dumpsters should have tight-fitting lids and be emptied and cleaned regularly. All gar­bage receptacles should be located as far from build­ing entrances as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at GreenShield Pest Control (520-393-3352) or click HERE. We’ll be happy to help!

CARPENTER BEES – THEIR HOME IS YOUR HOME

Carpenter bees are very active from early spring through summer around houses and other wooden structures. These insects bore one-half inch wide holes that appear to be perfectly round on exterior wooden surfaces of house siding, eaves, window trim, fascia boards, shingles, decks and outdoor furniture. For a successful carpenter bee pest-control strategy, several tactics must be employed.

CARPENTER BEE BOMBERS

Homeowners are often frightened by these pesky black bees that fly erratically around their homes. The male carpenter bee is very territorial and protects its nesting sites by hovering and attacking intruders. Although the male is aggressive, it does not have a stinger, making it harmless. The female does have a stinger, but rarely stings.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Fine sawdust caused by the adult bees excavating activities during the spring of the year will normally be found lying on the ground beneath the gallery entrances. Repeated boring activities may result in unsightly stains caused by falling bee waste around the entrance hole. Homeowners often notice a buzzing or burrowing sound coming from within the wood this time of year. The excavating bee will bore directly into the wood with her mouth parts for about an inch, then turn sharply and bore at a 90-degree angle usually along the grain of the wood. Normally, the gallery will extend about four to six inches, but with repeated use galleries have measured ten feet long. Nest sites by a single bee results in slight damage, but repeated colonization over several years may result in considerable destruction.

HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROL

Unpainted, exposed wood is especially attractive to carpenter bees. A helpful deterrent to carpenter bee activities is a painted (oil-base or polyurethane) surface. Wood stains provide little repelling action. Nail holes or exposed saw cuts should be filled in with wood putty or dowels and painted. If practical, remove severely damaged wood and replace with chemical pressure-treated wood to deter nest construction. To further discourage carpenter bees looking for potential nesting sites, a homeowner should secure all doors, windows, and other building openings during the spring. Non-wood surfaces such as vinyl siding are not damaged by carpenter bees.

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