Bed bugs have largely been thought of as being a problem of the past. Unfortunately, we are now experiencing a widespread recurrence of bed bugs in the United States and abroad. The most significant factor that explains their return is the increase in international travel. Bed bugs easily get into clothing or luggage and are brought home. Even the finest hotels are not immune
A bed bug does not actually live under your skin, but will simply drink a few drops of blood while you are sleeping. You cannot feel its bite, even though it is actually piercing the skin. Although some saliva will get into the bite, bed bugs are not known to pass on any diseases to humans.
The different species of bed bugs have different feeding preferences. Some prefer human blood while others prefer bats and birds. Bed Bugs primarily reside in their target’s nests or nesting areas.
While many bed bugs hide in mattresses, some may also hide in a sofa or chair, or behind wall paper or pictures. Thoroughness is the only real way to get rid of Bed Bugs. Every corner and crevice needs to be searched. As you might guess, this means that simply getting rid of an infected mattress will not completely solve the problem.
Bed Bug bites often cause redness and some swelling. Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be given to help relieve the itching. Approximately 50% of Bed Bug victims do not show any evidence of bites.
These tenacious pests are about 3/8″ long and are visible to the naked eye. Amazingly, they are able to go without food for as long as a year. After getting their fill of blood, the females will lay eggs in batches of up to 200 at a time.
Since their reappearance, researchers have found that the new Bed Bugs are much more resistant to chemicals that have previously been in use. Insecticides that are often used for roaches and similar insects are ineffective on Bed Bugs.
A bee or wasp problem in or your home or yard can disrupt daily life and put both you and your family in danger. If a family member is allergic to a bee and is stung, the reaction might be serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. A bad reaction can occur even if the allergy had previously been non-existent or mild. Also, an individual’s allergy can worsen after repeated exposure to bites. Multiple bites can be quite dangerous, especially with regard to the elderly or small children. Regardless, bee stings hurt even without an adverse reaction. If you want to make sure that bee or wasp stings do not pose a danger to you or your family, let a professional exterminator address the problem.
Exterminating bees or wasps on your own can be difficult and even dangerous. Sometimes a homeowner will attempt to exterminate pests alone, using chemical sprays from a hardware store or supply center. If these sprays are not applied in the correct locations, most of the bee or wasp colony will survive. The most challenging nests to control are those that are located deep inside the walls of a home or in the attic. Often, a homeowner does not even know where the actual colony is located. He or she only sees where the wasps are flying back and forth through a crack or hole in the home. If there are bees or wasps anywhere in your home, extreme caution is advised. A professional exterminator will know exactly where to spray in order to eliminate your bee or wasp problem for good.
Outdoors, bee and wasp nests near human activity can pose a potential problem. Some wasps may become aggressive scavengers around human food and are attracted to outdoor activities where food or drinks are served. Most bees and wasps will not attack if left alone. However, some people are curious to observe a nest or unknowingly surprise a member of a hive. If provoked, a bee will sting in defense of its nest or itself. Insect sprays should be used with caution. Some of the more caustic over-the-counter sprays on the market can cause harm to children and pets. A professional exterminator knows which sprays to use that will not harm any of your loved ones.
If you attempt to exterminate pests yourself, you could literally spend hours shopping for costly pest control sprays or trapping devices. You could then spend even more time trying unsuccessfully to kill the wasps or bees, putting yourself or your family at risk in the process. A professional exterminating service can take care of your pest problem efficiently. Exterminators train or apprentice before they begin working independently and know a great deal about insects and insect removal. Contacting a professional exterminator can save you both time and money. The sooner you call a licensed exterminator, the sooner your family’s home and lives can return to normal.
Millipedes and Centipedes are similar pests. Though they may be unusually repulsive, they are not a major threat to people or animals.
Centipedes in the south tend to be the largest. They can grow up to six inches in length. A centipede can be easily distinguished from a millipede because it has fewer legs; specifically, one set for every segment of its body. Millipedes have two sets of legs for every segment, and when they move, their legs appear to be moving in a wave-like motion. A millipede’s legs are also shorter and, in general, a millipede cannot move very fast. A centipede, with its fewer legs, can travel considerably faster.
Both centipedes and millipedes are generally hatched from eggs, but some varieties are born live. Some centipedes may live as long as six years.
Millipedes feed on decaying plant matter and sometimes living plant roots. Millipedes can damage those roots if there are too many of the pests in the soil. Some varieties are known to be especially bothersome to greenhouse plants. If this occurs, you may need to contact a pest control agency to eliminate your millipede infestation.
House centipedes are an indoor variety. They can move quickly and do not require the moisture that the other varieties need. Centipedes are beneficial to the control of other insects, which may be a good reason to keep them around. The most likely time of year to see centipedes in your home is in the spring or fall.
Once chinch bugs become established, they can rapidly kill your turf. Even though they prefer some grasses, most any grass can become food for them.
Chinch bugs attack turf in a group so their damage is quickly visible. They eat until all the turf is gone so you must be prepared to battle them quickly. They damage the turfgrass with their piercing, sucking mouth parts. They inject a salivary fluid into the crowns and stems and then they suck out the plants fluids. Their saliva disrupts water conducting vessels in the blade causing it to turn yellow, orange and then brown. The turf blade becomes brittle as if it were burned by heat or chemical.
Their favorite grass would have to be St. Augustine, but most any turfgrass can be a target. You must be able to detect and identify them to stop them. The biggest mistake someone can make is to assume that the turf is hungry and needs fertilizer, or is thirsty and needs water.
The chinch bug is very small and fast so visually spotting them is tough. They will hide from you before you can find them. A very easy way to check for Chinch Bugs is with a coffee can. Cut both ends out of the can (empty the coffee out before cutting open the bottom). Sink the can into the edge of the damaged area and fill the can with water. Be sure not to let the can go dry or over flow. Within a few minutes you will see small black specs floating on the surface of the water.
Common earwigs are found in tropical, temperate and arid habitats. They are usually found in secluded, undisturbed places like wood piles, under stones or underneath debris.
All earwigs are small in size, and common earwigs are generally 0.75 inches (18 mm) in length. Common earwigs have slender, elongated and flattened bodies. Their color is a reddish-brown. While most earwigs have two pairs of wings, common earwigs have two incomplete sets of wings, making them virtually wingless and completely flightless. For species of earwigs with a complete set of wings, their forewings are thickened, leathery and short, while hindwings are membranous and folded beneath the forewings.
Earwigs have chewing mouthparts and simple eyes. Their antennae are long and generally have 12-15 segments. The most obvious characteristic of earwigs is their strong pincers located on the tip of the abdomen. These pincers are used for defense and capturing food.
Earwigs are harmless to people, though they may emit a foul-smelling liquid when disturbed or use their pincers in defense.
Range Mostly in warm climates; very few range far north.
Habitat Earwigs are sensitive to heat and dryness, so they usually hide in cool, dark places during the day and come out at night. Some species hide mostly under leaves, rocks and other debris, while others hide under the bark of trees.
Season Year-round, but often inactive/hiding in cold or dry weather.
Food Plants, organic matter, other insects (some are almost exclusively carnivorous, and many are important in controlling soil pests, including chinch bugs).
Fleas have been around for millions of years, sucking the blood of animals and humans. Fleas live on pets, mammals, in carpets, in sofas as well as other household goods. In a typical room, 5 percent of the fleas will be found on pets, 10 percent flea cocoons in the carpets, 35 percent flea larvae and 50 percent flea eggs, again in the carpets.
The Flea life cycle is similar to the butterfly life cycle. Female Fleas lay eggs that turn in to grub-like larvae. The larvae then develop into pupae and settle inside a cocoon. They wait for a host to start their life and suck blood.
When something warm, a vibration or other moves by the pupae, they unzip the cocoon and jump on the animal or human body. All this happens in three seconds and the flea can jump as high as four feet.
Fleas feed on blood, and a flea can live without a blood meal for 100 days. A female has to have a blood meal to lay eggs. In addition, it lays eggs within 36-48 hours of having the first blood meal. A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.
Fleas are very tiny creatures, the adults average 1/8th of an inch in size. They have a flat body from side to side, with piercing mouths that help them in sucking blood. Fleas are often confused with bed bugs, lice and ticks. However, fleas are reddish brown to black in appearance, and they are also wingless.
Remember that adult fleas go through stages including egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Fleas in all stages should be killed to rid your house of them completely. Resistive pupae and larvae grow on to become adult fleas in a few weeks even though the adult fleas are killed. Fleas should be removed from all stages in their life cycle, to protect your family and pets. This usually requires 2 or 3 treatments, 7-10 days apart, as the pupae (cocoon) stage cannot be reached with insecticide until emergence into the adult stage.
Mole crickets are the number one pest of turf in southern Alabama and Georgia, throughout Florida, and are spreading quickly along the Gulf Coastal region and Eastern Seaboard. Their damage appears as brown spongy areas within normal green grass. Upon inspection you will notice the grass has been eaten just below the surface, separating the plant from its roots. Mole crickets are especially fond of Bermuda and centipede grass, but have also been found in St. Augustine lawns in the Florida Panhandle and along the Alabama coast.
Mole crickets are omnivores, feeding on larvae, worms, roots, and grasses. Common predators of mole crickets include birds, rats, skunks, armadillos, raccoons and foxes.
Mole crickets are relatively common, but because they are nocturnal and spend nearly all their lives underground in extensive tunnel systems, they are rarely seen. Mole crickets amplify their song by chirping in a burrow that they’ve carefully sculpted into the shape of a double exponential horn, which acts as a megaphone.
Just about everyone knows what a Roach looks like; they are everywhere. While it is often jokingly stated that if anything could survive a nuclear war, it would be a cockroach, the idea is clear – they are real survivors.
Once there is a cockroach infestation, it can be very hard to get rid of them. Cockroaches multiply very quickly, and they also adapt quickly, too. It is important to contact us quickly if you see them in your home or business.
There are over 4,000 different varieties of cockroaches, but only about thirty of them can comfortably live with humans. This number can be further reduced to include only four varieties; the main species that cause problems in homes and businesses in America.
The four main species are the American, German, Australian, and Oriental cockroaches. These vary in size from about 1/2″ (German), up to 2″ (American). In America, the species that is most common in homes would most likely be the German variety.
Cockroaches increase in population at a very rapid rate. The German cockroach female lives about 200 days. Each egg case that she lays includes thirty to fifty eggs. In her lifetime, she will produce between four to six egg cases. German cockroaches are clearly able to thrive.
Once cockroaches infest a home, they are rarely seen. Cockroaches are nocturnal and can live up to a month with little or no food. They can also survive by eating book bindings, furniture, glue, soap, dead insects, shoe linings, and more.
The presence of cockroaches can lead to a definite impression of uncleanliness- especially if your guests see them. Contrary to popular belief, a cockroach infestation is not necessarily an indication of poor hygiene. However, an untidy environment will make it all the more difficult to get rid of them. The presence of cockroaches can also lead to health problems, including asthma in children. If you spot a cockroach at home or work, there are likely more of them concealed nearby. Contact Cody Pest Control to avoid letting an infestation get out of hand.
Rodents – Mice and rats are a problem when they find their way into your home. They like to be near humans so that they have a ready supply of food. This has earned them the term “commensal,” which means “to share one’s table.”
The class of creatures called “rodents” actually encompasses much more than just mice and rats. It refers to any animal whose incisor teeth continue to grow, so they must continually gnaw in order to keep them serviceable.
There are more than 2,200 different rodents. Together they make up more than 40% of all mammals. In this group you will find: mice, rats, squirrels, capybaras, nutria, chipmunks, prairie dogs, and many more.
Removing rodents can sometimes be as easy as setting a mouse trap; but a larger infestation (especially with rats or larger rodents) can be a larger issue. Rats, especially, are smart and can learn to avoid traps.
Rodents can carry up to thirty-five diseases that humans are susceptible to, which is another reason to eliminate them as soon as possible. Cleaning up after a rodent infestation also requires a great deal of caution. This is necessary because of the possibility of fleas or mosquitoes, which may transmit their own diseases to you, your children and pets. There is also risk involved if you inadvertently stir up the dust of their nests; it can be hazardous to breathe in the bacteria contained within.
Rodents can also do physical damage your home or business. They easily chew through some types of siding and other building materials. They are also known to chew on electrical lines, thereby increasing the possibility of fire. They damage other materials as well, creating holes and gnawing on numerous objects, especially food or food containers.
Removing rodents can be difficult. A professional pest management company will identify nesting areas and feeding grounds and know how to completely eliminate them. Proper cleanup is also performed, ensuring that you and your family are safe from allergies, illness and possible future infestation.
Spiders are generally good to have around, as they help minimize the population of harmful insects. The problem arises, however, when they negatively affect humans. The mere sight of a spider can be a real scare for some people. Aside from that, many spiders do bite humans and are poisonous, so it is a good idea to have a pest control company address your spider infestation.
Several spiders pose a serious threat to humans. The two that are the deadliest to humans in the United States are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Since a few people die each year from the bite of either of these two spiders, it’s extremely important for any person who is bitten by one of these spiders to seek treatment immediately. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
The Black Widow spider can be easily recognized because she is black with a red hourglass on the underside of her abdomen. The male is considerably smaller than the female, and he has a body up to half an inch long. The Black Widow typically remains outdoors.
The Brown Recluse spider has a darker brown hourglass on its back. The Brown Recluse loves to be indoors and generally stays out of sight. It may never be seen until you startle it by reaching into a dark spot where it is hiding. Then it will bite.
There are plenty of other spiders in the United States, such as the Grass Spider, Wolf Spider, Hobo Spider, and the Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider, just to name a few. These spiders do not have the same strong venom in their bite, but all are painful and treatment may be required.
If you have noticed spiders in your home, please call Cody Pest Control. We know the most effective, safest way to eliminate the spider problem, and make recommendations about keeping them away in the future.
Subterranean termites are the most common and destructive termite in the U.S. Interestingly, they are found in every state except Alaska.
Subterranean, by definition, means “situated or operating beneath the earth’s surface; underground.” These insects make their home (a nest or colony) primarily in the soil or wood beneath the soil. They tunnel through the ground, searching for trees, brush and other decaying wood (preferred) found in nature. If this primary source is reduced or absent, termites look to other food sources, namely, your home.
Termites easily access a home through any crack (1/64″) in the foundation (including around plumbing entries), or wood in contact with the soil. As a result, nearly every termite prevention list advises storing firewood several feet from the house and keeping the surrounding grounds clear of other wood debris. Regular inspections by pest control companies are highly recommended. A pest control technician can save a homeowner thousands of dollars in home repair bills by conducting routine professional inspections on a regular basis.
Termites are insects with a very defined social strata. A mature termite colony may number in the millions, with each member fulfilling a defined biological role. The castes, not including nymphs (immature termites), are called workers, soldiers and reproductives. Typically, a queen and king reside in a mature colony. Winged adults are referred to as “swarmers.” They emerge from the colony and take flight (swarm) during certain seasons of the year, usually late winter to early spring. This marks the beginning of the termite reproductive cycle, as the swarmers are the primary reproductives. Swarming is also significant, as it is during this time that they are most likely to be spotted by humans. Unfortunately the working caste that does the damage is left behind to continue destroying your home.
People often confuse swarming termites with flying ants. There are distinctive differences, however. In order to discern a termite from a winged ant, compare the visual biological differences:
Occasionally one indicator of a termite infestation of the home are scattered, discarded wings on floors and window sills. Other visual evidence is their earth-colored mud tubes (protective tunnels constructed by termites for travel), which are often found in damp basement corners, walls, wooden support beams, posts, doors and window trim. The extensive structural damage termites inflict may go largely unnoticed for lengthy periods of time, as the infested building appears structurally sound from the outside. If you suspect an infestation or wish to take preventative measures as a homeowner, contact Cody Pest Control to conduct a professional inspection.
Ticks can be found year-round but are most prevalent in the warm summer months. They are parasites, and as a result, are on a continual quest for a host. If a host is not available, a tick can survive up to a year without feeding.
A female tick must have a blood meal before she can lay eggs. After feeding, she drops off her host and lays thousands of eggs. A female tick lays one batch of eggs, after which she dies. A male tick also dies after reproducing.
There are two established families of ticks: hard ticks and soft. A tick matures from egg to adult in stages. Depending on the family, some reach maturity in only a few stages of growth. Other varieties may take as many as eight stages to develop. The length of time to reach maturity also depends on factors as temperature, humidity and availability of food. With regard to physical characteristics, an immature tick has six legs; a full-grown adult has eight.
Ticks transmit a number of diseases as a result of feeding off both human and animal hosts. Examples include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Q Fever, Tularemia, Tick Paralysis and Meningoencephalitis.
Ticks often prefer certain hosts over others, resulting in names as Deer Tick, Cat Tick, American Dog Tick, Bat Tick, Bird Tick, etc. The family pet is a popluar carrier of ticks, which unfortunately results in a tick entering a home. After feeding for a few days, a female tick will drop off of her host to lay eggs. Ticks seek out tiny crevices in which to store their eggs, which can result in a full-blown infestation of your home. Attempting to rid your home of a tick infestation can be difficult and frustrating, as eggs can hatch months later, long after you think you have the situation under control. For the best results in combating an tick infestation, contact Cody Pest Control.
Sod webworm moths don’t feed on lawn grasses, but they drop their eggs into the grass as they fly. After 6 to 10 days, the eggs develop into very hungry caterpillars. These immediately begin feeding on grass blades, and are active only at night. As they feed, they build silk-lined tunnels in the thatch near the soil surface. During the 35 days or so that the webworm lives as a caterpillar, it can eat about 4 square feet of grass.
In the warmer areas of the country, webworms may produce up to 3 generations, during May, July, and September. In Western and Southern states, webworm generations may overlap, with all life stages–eggs, caterpillars and moths present in the lawn at the same time.