- Vacuuming is the best way to eliminate the insects once they are inside.
- Before the winter months approach, seal gaps around windows and doors, including garage doors. The best time for this is during the summer after pests have left their overwintering site, and before they come back for the next season.
- Look for areas where pipes and electrical or cable lines enter the building. Gaps around these areas should be sealed.
- Look for openings around soffits, eaves, attic fans, windows and vents in the attic used for ventilation. Many times these areas are not screened, allowing overwintering pests inside.
- Be sure screens on windows are in good repair and have no openings.
- Inspect chimneys. Be sure the damper is closed when not in use, and know that if you’re dealing with a wood-burning fireplace, lighting a fire may discourage the insects from using the chimney as an entry point.
- Tell customers that using “bug bombs” to treat the inside of a house can backfire — they may end up with dead insects still inside the walls, which then attract secondary pests, such as carpet beetles.
It’s that time of year when certain pests seek a warm place to overwinter and this usually means YOUR HOME! We’ve assembled some tips to prevent these critters from moving in with you.
As the weather cools down in the fall, many pests look for suitable harborages in which to spend the winter. These annoying pests do not bite or cause harm to you but they are nuisances and are best prevented using the tips in our September 15 blog. (Watch for it!)
The following pests are likely to attempt to enter your home in the fall.
Asian Lady Beetle
Also called ladybirds or lady beetles, depending on the region, the main difference between these two insects is the size of the two bugs. Asian ladybeetles are larger in size. Ladybugs have a head that is all black with little white cheeks.
They were introduced into the United States in 1988 for the purpose of reducing native aphid populations. Since 1988, they have spread throughout North America, in most places displacing the native lady beetle populations to become the dominant beetle in the insect family.
The best way to get rid of ladybugs is to remove them physically using a vacuum cleaner
The brown marmorated stink bug is more likely to invade homes in the fall than others in the family. The bug survives the winter as an adult by entering houses and structures when autumn evenings become colder, often in the thousands. In one home, more than 26,000 stinkbugs were found overwintering. Adults can live from several months to a year. They will enter under siding, into soffits, around window and door frames, chimneys, or any space which has openings big enough to fit through. Once inside the house, they will go into a state of hibernation. They wait for winter to pass, but often the warmth inside the house causes them to become active, and they may fly clumsily around light fixtures.
The stink bug's ability to emit an odor through holes in its abdomen is a defense mechanism meant to prevent it from being eaten by birds and lizards. However, simply handling the bug, injuring it, or attempting to move it can trigger it to release the odor.
Boxelder bugs get their common name from the fact that they are often found on and around boxelder trees. This species is native to the western states, but can be found from eastern Canada throughout the eastern United States, and west to eastern Nevada, wherever boxelder trees are found. Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest as they enter structures, including homes, sheds and garages to overwinter.
Overwintering adult boxelder bugs emerge from hibernation in late March to early April when the boxelder buds open. During this time, the adults leave their overwintering sites to return to their host trees for the warmer months.
Cluster flies make their debut in the autumn when they fly to the sunny sides of homes in search of over-wintering sites and may be found flying about inside, often in great numbers, throughout the winter. These flies are not reproducing within the structure, but become active on warm days and crawl out of wall voids and attics in a confused attempt to go back outside.
Cluster flies will not damage your home. Occasionally, the flies may leave small dark-colored spots of excrement on windows and walls, but they are not known to carry any diseases of medical importance to humans. In addition to the ‘clustering’ on the sunny exterior of buildings in the fall, the flies will gather in large numbers at windows within the home on warm winter days. The flies are typically sluggish in flight and can be easily swatted or captured.
If you’re bugged by any of these, give us a call – 800-650-PEST.
You may have seen the recent news headlines about Zika virus, a rare mosquito-borne disease that has made its way to the United States. We’ve assembled some information that answers many questions about this virus.
Q: How is Zika virus transmitted?
A: Zika virus is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes genus of mosquitoes, which is the same type of mosquito that carries dengue fever and chikungunya. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which live predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical regions, are the primary carriers.
Q: What are the chances of an outbreak in the United States?
A: While the probability of infected mosquitoes traveling to the United States is unlikely, there is reason to believe that Zika virus can spread locally. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations are monitoring the situation closely.
Q: What are the symptoms of Zika virus?
A: In general, most cases cause no symptoms. Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill. Those who do develop symptoms often experience several days of mild headaches, fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and joint pain.
Q: What is the treatment for Zika virus?
A: Zika virus is a self-limiting disease that typically only requires supportive care. Unfortunately, there is no medicine to treat Zika virus, nor any vaccine to prevent it at this time.
The 20 percent of infected people who actually develop symptoms should get plenty of rest, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, and take acetaminophen for pain. It’s important to avoid aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until another infection like dengue fever can be ruled out.
Q: Can infection in a pregnant woman cause birth defects?
A: Zika virus has been linked to a neurological disorder called microcephaly, which is known to halt brain development in newborn babies, cause babies to be born with small heads and lead to early death. It should be noted that 2,782 cases of microcephaly were reported in Brazil in 2015, when the Zika virus outbreak began, compared to 147 cases in 2014 and 167 cases in 2013.
Q: How can I prevent Zika virus?
A: The NPMA urges people to protect their skin from mosquito bites when outdoors by applying an effective insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should also consider wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts to limit exposure to mosquitoes. The type of mosquito that carries Zika virus is daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.
It’s also important to take steps around one’s property to combat mosquito nesting and breeding sites. This includes eliminating standing water in or around the home, keeping windows and doors properly screened and repairing even the smallest tear or hole.
Concerned about mosquitoes in your yard? Call DA Exterminating at 800-650-PEST.
People confuse bees for yellow jackets, and hornets for wasps. And because most of us like to keep our distance from these buzzing, stinging bugs, we rarely get close enough to tell the difference between these four flying insects.
But if you’re dealing with an infestation or a sting, it’s important to know which bug you’re dealing with. We’ll explain the difference between bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets, so you can plan your attack.
The bee is a flying insect that’s very closely related to the wasp and the ant. Bees make a distinct buzzing noise when they fly, and are extremely important pollinators.
With that said, there are some physical differences that can help you determine which type of insect you’re seeing. Bees are fatter, whereas wasps are thin and long. They’re also furry, whereas wasps have little or no hair.
Two important wasps are yellowjackets and hornets.
Pest: Yellowjackets have a yellow and black color pattern and are between 3/8 - 5/8 inches.
Nest: Yellowjackets live in nests constructed of paper carton, which can grow to be basketball-sized. One nest will contain a number of rounded paper combs, attached one below another and covered with a many-layered envelope. Depending on the species, the nest may be near the ground, such as on plant roots, logs or timber, or aerial and attached to shrubs, bushes, houses, garages or sheds.
Threat: Yellowjackets are slow to sting, unless their nests are threatened. Yellowjackets are considered beneficial insects because they control many pest insect species. However, if their nest is located near a structure, control is warranted.
Pest: Bald-faced hornets are largely black in color, with a mostly white face.
Nest: Bald-faced hornets build aerial nests out of paper carton. The nests are usually in exposed locations, often on trees, utility poles, overhangs or other structures. The nests can be quite large, growing to 14 inches in diameter and 24 inches in length.
Threat: Bald-faced hornets are considered beneficial insects because they control many pest insect species. However, if their nest is located near a structure, control is warranted.
Remember, it is not advised to attempt to remove a stinging insect nest on your own, and doing so can be extremely dangerous. Instead, work with DA Exterminating to identify the type of stinging insect and to determine the threat to your family. Call today – 800-650-PEST.
One of the most common wasps found around the home is the paper wasp. These pests range in size from 5/8” – 3/4", are brownish with yellow markings and are found throughout the United States. Paper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material out of which they make their nests. Paper wasps are sometimes called umbrella wasps, after the shape of their distinctive nests.
Paper wasps are semi-social and live in small colonies. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies. In the autumn, inseminated females will seek places to spend the winter, and may find their way indoors, especially if there is a cathedral ceiling present.
Paper wasps hang their comb nests from twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, porch ceilings, the tops of window and doorframes, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists and railings, etc.
While not an aggressive species by nature, paper wasps will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.
Paper wasps often build nests in residential yards. Before trimming shrubs or hedges, or picking fruit, check the plant for paper wasp nests. Treat wood fences and deck railings with a repellent oil to deter paper wasps from gathering cellulose from the wood. If you suspect you have a paper wasp infestation or find a wasp nest on your property, call DA Exterminating (800-650-PEST) to find out about wasp treatment. Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own, as there is a high probability you will get stung.
Call DA Exterminating if you have problems with stinging insects. 800-650-PEST.
We’ve assembled some ant prevention tips that are guaranteed to help prevent these pesky little critters from buggin’ you.
Call DA Exterminating at 800-650-PEST!
A DA reporter has recently had the opportunity to do an actual interview with one of the most troublesome ants in existence – the thief ant. Here’s the transcript of our interview with Antie.
DA: So you’re known as a thief ant. Does that mean you’re a convicted felon who has spent time in the slammer?
Ant: Yes, I am a thief ant. You’ve got to be kidding! Just because my name is “thief” ant doesn’t mean I’ve spent time in ant jail! I know a guy named Woolweaver but he doesn’t weave wool! Geez! We get our name from our habit of nesting close to other ant nests from which we steal food. But we’ve avoided the ant police so far!
DA: What’s your favorite food, Antie?
Ant: Unlike most other ants, we prefer something greasy like a potato chip or other greasy things in a kitchen. When the lady of the house spills something greasy, that’s a banquet for us. But we also feast on sweets as well! We’re not picky!
DA: Where do you like to live?
Ant: Well, where do YOU like to live, smarty? We like the exact same environment that you do – one with lots of food and water.
DA: How do you get into homes?
Ant: We thief ants enter structures through cracks in the foundation or small openings in woodwork. We forage in trails throughout a structure seeking protein, sweets and liquid. We’re smaller than most other ants, so we can squeeze through the tiniest opening!
DA: You look a lot like other ants. What’s the difference between the way you look and the way your cousins look?
Ant: Not that you’re going to check, but we thief ants have tinier eyes than most other ants and we’re lighter in color. And we think we are beautiful! In fact, we’ve entered our most lovely specimen in the 2018 Miss Beautiful Ant contest.
DA: In all ant colonies, there is a queen. What’s your queen’s name and is there a king?
Ant: We’re not like other ants, really we’re not! We can have more than one queen and NO, there is no king! Our colony has 3 queens, Irene and Arlene are OK but that last one is a real pain in the @#$%! Ilene brags about the number of eggs she lays. . . like we care!
DA: We’ve heard that ants are extremely strong. Is that right?
Ant: You betcha! We can lift 50 times our own weight, and that’s without going to the gym!
DA: Do you actually communicate with other ants?
Ant: Well, we don’t chatter like people do, but we communicate, and we’re very good at it. We use chemicals, vibrations and touch to communicate with individuals and/or the entire colony. Communication is not the problem for us that it is for you crazy humans.
Call DA Exterminating at 800-650-PEST!
In case you’re attending a trivia night and the topic of mosquitoes comes up, you’ll be prepared with these fascinating mosquito facts.
With the upcoming summer season, many families are planning outdoor events but the threat of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry continue to be a worry. These biting insects not only inflict multiple itchy bites upon us, but they can also spread a range of diseases such as, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus. We’ve assembled some tips and hints to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites.
Our April 1 blog covers insects whose existence is indeed NOT beneficial. So to be fair, we want to let you in on some insects that serve a beneficial and positive impact on the environment.
Not all insects are troublesome, venomous, biting enemies of people. Many are actually helpful to our very existence as well as the earth's ecosystem.
Insects play an important role in the disposal of wastes, dead animals and plants. Even termites play an important role in breaking down dead trees. Insects are underappreciated for their role in the food chain as they are the sole food source for many amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Here are some common beneficial insects and the positive things they do:
American Salmonfly – Larva are extremely sensitive to water pollution, allowing scientists to recognize polluted supplies.
Antlion – They control ant populations and help pollinate flowers while being no threat to humans.
Big Dipper Firefly – Larva feast on earthworms, slugs and snails.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider – Called the “Guardian of the Garden,” they help control pest populations.
Eastern Carpenter Bee – Beneficial pollinator.
Great Northern Bumble Bee – Great pollinators that produce beeswax and honey.
At DA Exterminating, we target those pests known as “bad bugs” like cockroaches, ants and termites among many others. Call us if pests are bugging you! 800-650-PEST.
We admit it. Not all bugs are bad but, in our business, we focus on those that are. Shown below are some of the worst bugs out there and why they are bad. We run into some of these in our area, but many are found in remote regions of the world. These guys can cause a great deal of damage -- whether in human and animal health or in economic losses to farmers, foresters, homeowners and others.
Mosquitoes -- More than just a backyard pest, mosquitoes infect more than 300 million people a year with malaria and dengue fever, which are life-threatening diseases.
Ticks – These blood-sucking pests attach themselves to your dog (or to you) and can carry diseases as well.
Fire ants -- Native to South America, these stinging ants are now found as far away as China and Australia, and throughout the southern half of the U.S.
Termites -- Economic damages from termites start with $4 billion in treatment costs to stop them once spotted plus around $16 billion to repair or replace structures they’ve visited.
Gypsy Moths -- The moths annually strip bare around a million acres of trees in the U.S. They lay coin-sized egg masses that each hatch up to 1,000 caterpillars, all hungry for the leaves of oak, birch, poplar, willow and other trees.
Fleas -- They make dogs miserable by gnawing on them. Flea eggs, larvae and adults are found virtually everywhere, making it easy for dogs to pick them up and hard for pet owners to get rid of without vigilant treatment.
These are just SOME of the bad bugs in the world. For information on others and how we control them, visit www.DAExterminating.com or call 800-650-PEST.
The most important thing a homeowner can do to avoid termites is be observant and look for the signs we posted in our March 2 blog post. In any case, we’ve assembled these tips to help you prevent termite invasion of your home!
In the spring DA Exterminating starts getting calls from home owners who are stressed over termites. Because of the damp conditions in the New Orleans area, termites are plentiful and far reaching.
You may notice any of these "signs" that termites have entered your space, so call us immediately if you see any of these!
Substantial quantities of winged termites, known as "swarmers," can rise in the Spring inside homes. These are sometimes mistaken for flying ants. Click here to see a total video that clarifies how they are unique. In nature, termites swarm to scatter and begin new colonies. Activated by hotter temperatures and precipitation, the winged termites rise up out of the colony and fly. Discovering winged termites inside could indicate an infestation nearby.
The good news: swarmers inside do not eat wood and are best removed with a vacuum. The bad news: they do show that an infestation is nearby. There will regularly be no obvious sign that the house is infested. Termites are obscure animals and infestations can go undetected for quite a long time, holed up behind dividers, floor covers, protection, and different obstacles.
Confirmation of a termite invasion requires the sharp eye of an accomplished termite inspector...like the ones at DA! Knowledge of building construction is needed to identify the critical areas where termites are likely to enter.
Termites develop and use mud tunnels to enter your home. These passages can be as large as a pencil...or bigger!
So if you suspect termites, give us a call at 800-650-PEST!
With tongue in cheek, we present these 7 ways to attract cockroaches into your home!
For about 70 million years, they have been around! And if history is any indicator, they’ll be around long after we’re gone! They cause screams, repulse even the bravest individual, infest structure of all kinds and reproduce at rates that will amaze you! They are tenacious, will eat nearly anything, love the warmth, food and shelter of your home and run for the cracks and crevices when the light turns on. What are they? COCKROACHES!
Let’s take a look at how the roach can harm your health and have an effect on your happiness:
We’ve assembled some bed bug prevention tips for your home, workplace or other setting.
When you check into your hotel room on that much-needed vacation, remember to check it thoroughly for bed bugs. Here are some steps to take during and after your vacation.
In our previous blog post, we detailed pests’ life requirements of food, water and shelter and how they are similar to our own requirements. Today, we’ll give you tips that are achievable by ANYONE to eliminate these requirements:
Believe it or not, human beings have something in common with lowly pests: our life requirements. Without food, water and shelter, a human can live only a very short time and we go to nearly any means to secure these three requirements to preserve our existence.
Pests are pretty much the same. They spend their entire lives just trying to stay alive by searching for food, water and shelter … which is how they become so annoying to us. That’s right, they are looking for the same things we are!! Let’s take a look at these three requirements where pests are concerned.
Food: Pests’ food preferences are many and range from organic material to our food to filth. And they require food for fuel just like humans do -- a diet of proteins, carbs and lipids in varying quantities. For example, most ants will eat just about anything. That can include other ants, dead insects, parts of dead animals, grains, fruits and vegetables.
Water: Pests can live only a limited time without water but they can fulfill their requirement for water if moist food is available. Many insects possess dedicated sensory systems that detect changes in water vapor in the air. This “sixth sense” for humidity has no direct parallels in larger land mammals such as us. But it serves the small critters well as they work to avoid desiccation and to find water.
Shelter: When the weather begins to cool, pests tend to move to warmer areas like YOUR HOUSE! This goes for insect pests as well as rodents. Insects are cold blooded, meaning that their body temperature changes with the external temperature so they are constantly seeking warm areas in which to live.
In our next blog, we’ll detail how to reduce these life requirements in your home to prevent insects!
In the meantime, if you are “bugged” by pests in your home, give us a call at 800-650-PEST today!
Here are a few preventive tips for avoiding spiders and actions to take if you are bitten.
If a spider bites, it’s probably because it feels If you have a spider problem, call DA Exterminating today! 800-650-PEST!
If you have a spider problem, call DA Exterminating today! 800-650-PEST!
As with most pest problems, prevention is the key to being squirrel-free! Here are some things you can do to prevent squirrel problems in your home:
Though cute to watch, squirrels can be anything BUT cute if they get into your attic, where they can bear young, chew wires or even die! Let’s take a look at some facts about squirrels:
There are four basic principles of pest management important in controlling house flies: sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical measures, and chemical methods.
Sanitation - Flies cannot breed in large numbers if their food sources are limited. Do not allow such materials as manure, garbage, grass clippings, weed piles or other decaying organic matter to accumulate. Keep trash cans clean and tightly covered. Be careful not to wash garbage cans where the rinse water might drain into the soil; flies can breed in soil full of organic matter.
Exclusion - Flies can be kept outside of homes by using window and door screens. Make sure screens are tight-fitting without holes. Keep doors closed with no openings at the top or bottom. There should be no openings around water or gas pipes or electrical conduits that feed into the building. Caulk or plug any openings. Ventilation holes can be a way for flies to enter a building. Ventilation is important to maintaining adequate air circulation within the building, but screening must be used to exclude flies.
Non-chemical Measures - The use of such devices as ultraviolet light traps, sticky fly traps, fly swatters, baited fly traps, etc., can eliminate many flies from inside a home. A fly swatter is an economical control method for the occasional fly.
Chemical Control – Call DA Exterminating at 800-650-PEST for this aspect of control!
Few things are more disgusting than a fly trying to share your sandwich. We won’t go into the details about what a fly actually does on your sandwich, and what it carries to your food. But just trust us, it’s not pretty!!
House flies have long been known to carry and transmit diseases and frequent filthy areas like garbage cans, barns and other waste materials. Flies are restless creatures, moving back and forth between food and filth, which could lead to the spreading of diseases. Flies pick up pathogenic organisms from garbage, sewage and other sources of filth, and then transfer on their mouthparts, through their vomitus, feces and contaminated external body parts to human and animal food. Flies are most commonly linked to outbreaks of diarrhea and shigellosis, but also are implicated in transmission of food poisoning, typhoid fever, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, and parasitic worms.
Flies deposit their eggs in decaying matter such as grass clippings, garbage, human excrement. Horse manure is the preferred breeding medium. About l00-l50 eggs are deposited by each female on appropriate food. Eggs may hatch in 7 l/2 hours when temperatures are high (about 99o F), or it may take two days if the temperature is only 59oF. Eggs hatch into worm-like creatures called maggots. Maggots lack definite heads, eyes, antennae or legs. Their bodies are pointed at their front end and gradually widen at the rear.
If you’re bothered by flies, let us know and we’ll take care of them! Call DA Exterminating 800-650-PEST.