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(800) 887-4146
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Archive for the ‘The Bug Blog’ Category

The Arizona Brown Spider

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

brown_spiderSomeone recently posted on our Facebook page asking if a spider they found in their bathroom was a Brown Recluse. The Arizona Brown Spider is most often mistaken for the Brown Recluse. Both spiders are in the same family, but the Brown Recluse is not naturally found in Arizona. (It is possible they hijacked a ride to Arizona since this particular family moved to Arizona from Texas.)

Arizona Brown Spiders are slightly smaller with a less toxic dosage of venom, composed primarily of a potent digestive enzyme. The bite can result in a gaping crater like wound that continues to grow and refuses to heal. If immediate medical attention and anti-venom is not administered, the only effective treatment is to excise the skin around the wound or amputate the afflicted appendage. The result is permanent disfigurement and often a series of secondary infections. Bites to the face or to sick, injured, older or extremely young people have resulted in death. (more…)

Rainfall, Moisture & Pest Flare Ups

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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Weather, especially rainfall, is an important component to your pest control program, and in maintaining the health and safety of your family and your home.

Weather, especially rainfall, is an important component to your pest control program, and in maintaining the health and safety of your family and your home. It is possible to anticipate and prepare for pest flare ups. Requiring an in depth knowledge of pest biology and behavior, as well as an awareness of local weather conditions, a pest control professional can take actions to intercept many of these pests before they enter your home.
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The Chinch Bug—Almost Invisible

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Variations in the weather from season to season and year to year may have a dramatic effect on plants, animals and insects in the desert creating problems with species that usually are not a problem. With increased rainfall they become tremendous pests.

 

A few years ago in Tucson, excessive rainfall resulted in a very large growth of mustard weeds in the surrounding desert. This weed became an overabundant resource for False Chinch Bugs, a small flying insect, always present in small number, but never noticed. The population grew to such a point that for a month, attracted to the city by lights at night, the insects covered building all over downtown and central Tucson, creating a panic and giving the news media plenty to report on.

To learn more about how weather and pests can affect you, click here.

Flies—the Unwelcomed House Guest

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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No doubt you’ve opened your windows and doors to allow the fresh air in and save some money on your air conditioning bill, unknowingly you may have signaled “open house” to houseflies near and far. In addition to being a major nuisance, they carry more than 100 different germs that can cause disease.

 

You can take some of the following necessary precautions to keep your family safe.

 

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Flirting Fireflies

Monday, April 14th, 2014

1Flirting Fireflies:

Not often do people use words like bugs and beautiful in the same sentence, and it’s even less often that insects become art. The Smithsonian though, recently highlighted in their magazine gorgeous photographs taken by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu of fireflies. Hiramatsu, who is described by the Smithsonian as an “amateur” shot these amazing exposures of fireflies during mating season in forests outside Niimi, in Japan. He then “He then digitally merged the images, creating connect-the-dot photos of the fireflies’ golden flight paths”. (more…)

Mock Crickets

Monday, April 14th, 2014

“Mock Crickets” are so odd looking that many people may not recognize them as crickets. None of these crickets have significantly developed wings, they are all silent and are unable to chirp.

  • Cave crickets are found in small caves and rock piles in the desert.
  • Camel crickets are humpbacked with long antennae.
  • The Mole crickets are found underground and are most often encountered when digging. These crickets seem to frighten people, and we often tell of “old wives tales” about them.

One more “mock cricket” should also receive a mention here. Several times a year, a homeowner will report hearing a chirping cricket, but will not be able to find any insects. Upon professional evaluation, a smoke detector is the culprit, chirping to alert that the battery power is low.

Honeybees the Infrequent House Hunters

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Honeybees are social insects with a complex social structure. They tend to use the same hive year after year, with the colony growing all of the time. Periodically, a portion of the colony “buds” off to start a new colony. Gathering up a portion of the pollen and honey from the mother colony, these bees “swarm” from the hive, in search of a location to start a new hive.

This swarm includes a queen bee that will be the mother of the new colony. The queen will periodically stop to rest, and will immediately be covered with swarming bees. As she rests, scout bees will look for a suitable location for the new hive. If they do not find a new home, the swarm will move on. If a scout bee does find a good location, it will return to the swarm to recruit the other bees.

If their house hunt is successful, the bees will move to the new location and enter within a matter of minutes, setting up housekeeping. During the swarming process, the bees do not have an active hive to protect and are not very aggressive. Since Honeybees are beneficial insects, and the swarm will move on shortly, the swarms should be left alone.

Honeybees seek out new homes in small openings that serve as entrances to voids suitable to constructing honeycombs. A good example would be an overturned flowerpot. Wall voids, attic spaces, crawl spaces, abandoned appliances and equipment, unused vehicles, abandoned sheds and even large children’s toys all can become sites for a new beehive. The best form of bee control is prevention, eliminating potential hive sites or sealing up openings that might allow access to these sites.

For more information about bees in Arizona, click here.

Escaping Aggressive Bees

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Today, all Honeybees are Africanized because they have some African bee genes. These bees are less cold tolerant and their northward range is limited by harsh winters. Slightly smaller than the domesticated version, these bees form smaller colonies, produce less honey and leave the hive in mass more often. They also tend to be more aggressive, more easily agitated and quicker to attack and appear in larger numbers. Once provoked, they are more persistent and may pursue a perceived attacker for half a mile or more. If attacked, run in a straight line for a half mile, or get in doors. Do not dive into a pool. The bees will wait for you to come up for air.

For more information on bees, including details about prevention and elimination, click here.

Crickets Love Your Clutter

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Crickets are versatile and may feed on dog food, fruit, nuts, cereal, glue, paper or even dead insects. They like cracks, crevices and clutter and can be found in cracks in the pavement, meter boxes, attics or anywhere in between. Once they establish in a home, they can build large populations quickly. A garage cluttered with cardboard boxes can support a huge number of crickets. In nature, they serve as food for lizards, spiders and scorpions, attracting these animals to the home. Any control program for spiders and scorpions must first concentrate on eliminating crickets.

Controlling moisture, clutter, leaf litter and food sources are key to eliminating crickets. Ensuring that doors seal tight and that cracks are repaired is also important in stopping cricket infestations. Weeds around the home should be eliminated, and shrubs should be trimmed to raise the crowns so that branches do not lie on the ground. Dead cacti need to be cleaned up to eliminate cricket harborage. Your professional pest control technician is trained in the habits of crickets and has the materials necessary to get rid of this persistent annoying pest.

For more information, click here to read our article on crickets.

Bee Elimination and Prevention

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The best form of bee control is prevention, eliminating potential hive sites or sealing up openings that might allow access to these sites. An experienced Bee Control Technician can help identify these potential hive sites and determine the best way to seal them. Once a colony establishes in or around the home, bees have something to defend.

Africanized bees will set up sentries to fly CAP (Combat Air Patrol), patrolling this territory. If a person enters this defensive zone, the sentries will dive and body slams the person as a warning not to approach closer. If the warning is not heeded, zap… you are stung. The sting includes a pheromone trigger that causes additional bees to sting.

Do not attempt to eliminate the bees on your own.  This is how people were injured or killed when the Africanized bees first arrived in Arizona. A specially trained Bee Control Technician has the appropriate safety equipment to allow him to deal with bees. Once the bees are eliminated, if the hive was in the home or a wall void, the dead bees, honey and honeycomb (wax) must be removed. Without the bees to maintain all of this organic material, it will begin to rot, smell and attract other pests.  Your Bee Control Technician can also assist in determining the best course of action.

For more details about bees in Arizona, click here.

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