Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do Cockroaches deserve the good press they've recieved?

Recently cockroaches have been seen in the news in a positive light when a popular zoo offered on valentines day to let you name a cockroach after your sweetheart for a fee. This sparked a rash of news stories about the little buggers to the point where one might even say we (the public) have developed a soft spot for the previously notorious creatures. What's the real story? Has the long standing hatred of cockroaches been deserved. Are we weary for a reason or should we go with the low and allow the cockroach to be absolved of it's  public enemy status.
According to a well known university entomologist the cockroach is a carrier of more than 50 bacterias and diseases. It is also a forager which means it randomly scours surfaces looking for anything and everything it can find to eat. Cockroaches can be found in abundance wherever unsanitary conditions exist such as garbage bins. They make their way into restaurants and grocery stores through cracks and crevices and then find their way into grocery bags and other packaging materials. This is the number one way cockroaches spread into homes. Cockroaches pick up various  pathogens on their travels through rubbish. These pathogens adhere to their legs and are spread as they crawl across counter tops, tables and other surfaces in the home. So maybe a cockroach can't be blamed for direct transmission of disease. But anyone who eats a sandwich that 's been placed on a counter top, on which only hours before these disease carrying insects had scurried, may find themselves eating food poisoning organisms such as salmonella, e-coli and even typhoid. As for cockroaches and whether or not their nasty reputation is deserved. It's your call.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Which carpenter bee has a yellow face?

Did you know that you can tell the difference between the male and the female carpenter bee by the color of their face? Well that's only one way. The other way to tell the male insect from the female insect is that the female insect will sting and the male will not. So it's not a very good idea to go around getting close enough to a carpenter bee to tell the male face from the female. But if you happen to get a glance, you will notice one gender has a yellow face and the other is black. Can you guess which is which? Give up? Follow the link for the correct answer.
Carpenter Bees

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Carpenter Bees why can't I get rid of them?

Carpenter bees are black and yellow bees similar to the bumble bee but about a half inch to an inch in size. We see them here in South Jersey in the spring on through to the early fall. They bore perfectly round holes the size of a nickle into wood on homes. They're usually active in the evenings. if you see carpenter bee activity during the day that is a sign of a larger colony. You can tell a male from a female because a male carpenter bee has a yellow face and a female will have a black face.The female carpenter bee will sting so it is wise to avoid all carpenter bees. Getting close enough to see the color of the face will put you at risk if you happen to bee confronted by a female.
People who have experienced a problem with this wood boring bee can tell you how frustrating getting rid of carpenter bees can be. Carpenter bees will drill into any wood that they can including siding, overhangs, desks, fences, window and door frames and even patio furniture! The longer you ignore a carpenter bee problem, the more difficult they'll be to get rid of. For more on the carpenter bee see Carpenter Bees

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Most People Don't Know About Ticks and Fleas

Ticks, like fleas, are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of a host animal. They transmit a variety of diseases, the most well known of which in South Jersey is Lyme’s Disease. Since the habits of the tick are much like that of the flea, a lot of what you read about ticks in this blog will apply to the flea and vice versa
Many ticks, such as the deer tick, the brown dog tick, the groundhog tick and the bat tick are named for the host on which they are most commonly found. They are however, capable of feeding on just about any mammal and will take advantage of the food supply that is most readily available. Raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, bats, mice, possums and skunks are all known to host several species of ticks. These animals and others, including the family dog or cat are the main transporters of ticks from the wild to our domestic environment.
The rabbit, skunk, or other creature will come in contact with the tick in a wooded area or open field and then carry it onto your property. The tick will attach itself to an unsuspecting pet which will bring the parasite into your living space where it will drop its eggs. The eggs hatch into nymphs, they grow up and lay more eggs and the cycle continues, resulting in an infestation.
Even if your pet is kept indoors ticks can enter your attic or crawl space attached to hosts such as bats, squirrels, mice and, raccoons. After the invading wildlife is discovered and removed the tick may be left behind to forage for an alternate food source. This is when it may gain entrance to the living area. So if your home, attic or crawl space has recently harbored a woodland invader don’t be surprised if you soon experience a tick infestation.
Read more about getting rid of fleas and ticks:Ticks and Fleas

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bed Bugs on the rise

National Pest Management Association reports a 95% rise in the number of bed bug cases from 2000-2010

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

How to tell if you have Termites

Termites can be a home owners worst nightmare. Fortunately early detection can save a lot of worries. Most people know that a termite colony will send out swarming termites. The swarming termite is the reproductive member of the colony. In the spring, if a colony has grown large enough, the winged reproductive swarmers escape the colony through cracks around the doors, windows, and foundation of the home. They are off to establish a new colony of their own. Once they do so they'll shed the wings that are no longer necessary. To many knowledgeable home owners the shed wings are their first clue that termites are present.
But it's a little known fact that not every colony sends out swarming termites every year. It may take up to three seasons for a colony to grow large enough to branch off into another colony. Some homeowners may have a false sense of security thinking that if they haven't seen swarming termites or their shed wings, then they are in the clear. This is not always the case. There are early signs that you can look for to know if your home has been infested with termites. Follow the link for important information on the signs of a termite infestation, pictures of termites, swarming termites, and the mud tubes they travel through.TERMITE

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Do You Really Have Bed Bugs?

You wake up in the middle of the night itchy and irritable, what's the first thing you think of. Not bed bugs...couldn't be. In the fifties with the use of DDT bed bugs were eradicated from our country. For more than a generation "Good night sleep tight don't let the bed bugs bite was just a meaningless child's rhyme. Today bed bugs are back with a vengeance. They are no longer associated with poorer living conditions. Bed bugs are being found in five star hotels, on college campuses and quite literally in the news when the offices of one popular news station were recently infested. While the buzz about bed bugs is true, there is a bit of bed bug phobia in the air as well. Bed bugs are more than just an annoyance. They are creepy,their bites are itchy and irritating and they can be hard to get rid of. No one wants them. People are on the alert. Our office has received more than a few calls recently from customers who were convinced that they had bed bugs when in fact they did not. How can you put your mind at ease and rest assured that you'll sleep tight with out the fear of the bed bugs biting? Follow the link to learn
How to identify a bed bug infestation and tips to prevent one.