Almost everywhere on the planet there are bugs. These critters are wildly diverse in color, size and behavior. While most homeowners call us to eliminate the pests from their property, we can’t help but marvel in their interesting features and characteristics. Every once and a while it is fun to take a closer look at pests and their interesting world.
Did you know. . . ?
- A cockroach can live for up to 3 weeks without its head!
- The weight of all the termites in the world outweigh the weight of all humans 10 to 1!
- The queen of a certain termite species can lay 40,000 eggs per day.
- The life cycle of a mosquito features four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
- Female mosquitoes drink blood in order to obtain nutrients needed to produce eggs.
- A mosquito flaps its wings 500 times a second.
- Male mosquitoes do not bite humans but rather live on plant juices and other natural liquids from plants and decomposing organic material.
- The average housefly lives for one month.
- Out of every 1,000 Mosquitoes, one female carries a disease that could be fatal to humans.
- Houseflies find sugar with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive than human tongues.
- To survive the cold of winter months, many insects replace their body water with a chemical called glycerol, which acts as an “antifreeze” against the temperatures.
- Ants leave trails and communicate with each other using pheromones as chemical signals.
- There are nearly as many species of ants (8,800) as there are species of birds (9,000) in the world.
- Although insects can be found by the buckets just about anywhere on Earth, there’s one continent where they barely have a foothold: Antarctica. In fact, only one true species of insect, a wingless midge called Belgica antarctica, calls the southernmost continent home.
Now that the winter weather and darkness is really closing in, thoughts shifts from outdoor projects, lawn care, pest control and gardening, to the warmth of indoor activities. In fact, pest protection may be the furthest thing from your mind while you are cozy in your home. Don’t be fooled! Many types of pests are surviving the winter in the same location you are . . . your home!
Unfortunately, many of us get lulled into a feeling that since nature has “gone to sleep” over the winter, so have the pests. That isn’t really true. In the world of pest control, protection should not end just because you don’t see or hear the critters anymore. In fact, there are many bugs, insects and animal life that are just as much a nuisance, if not more, during the winter months. The spiders, ants, cockroaches, termites, bed bugs, fleas, rats, and mice don’t really go away. They find comfy little nests inside your walls, crawl spaces and attics to feed, grow and multiply throughout the winter. This list doesn’t even cover the wildlife like raccoon, squirrels and bats that make a habit of finding warm attics to nest in all winter.
Many homeowners consider scaling back or cutting out pest control entirely during the winter months. Here is why that may not be best.
- Attics – As mentioned earlier they are a haven for wildlife trying to find shelter to get through the cold New England winters. Since many of us do not visit attics except on rare occasions it is best to have pest control inspect and manage pests in this area regularly. Pest Control professionals know what to look for when searching for infestations of many types.
- Walls and Crawl Spaces – Pests living inside the walls of your home are not affected by the cold temperatures outdoors. Finding the entry points and treating for these pests should be done by professional.
- Entry points – There are so many entry points in your home that may get overlooked. Believe it or not, a mouse only needs a crack or hole the size of a dime to squeeze into your home. Professional pest control experts know the places to look and can tell you in all entry points have been sealed up and what to do if they are not.
- Rodents – Mice and rats are huge problems in the winter because they need warmth, food and shelter, just like you. They tend to make a mess with their feces and urine and could cause family members to get sick if exposed.
- Termites, Carpenter ants, cockroaches, earwigs and many other insects can thrive indoors as the weather is always pleasant inside and their predators are usually hibernating!
If you deal with damage from insects eating away at your home like termites or ants, have to avoid the outdoors due to a severe reaction to wasps, hornets & yellowjackets, or worse yet have to repair foundation damage due to termites, the tendency might be to think that all insects are bad. It may come as a surprise for many of you who spend your gardening days or BBQ nights eliminating insects from your surroundings, that insects can actually be beneficial! In our line of business we deal with identifying, eliminating and excluding pests from your property. Fortunately, only a small percentage of insects are labelled “pests” like the major kinds we deal with including: bed bugs, wasps, hornets, cockroaches, flies, rodents, and termites to name a few. But there are insects and bugs that can be beneficial to your gardens and ecology of your property. Let’s take a closer look at those beneficial bugs.
- Ground Beetles- These nocturnal beetles are large, long-legged, shiny blue-black or brown beetles that hide under rocks and logs during the day, and are fast-moving when disturbed. The are voracious predators of slugs, snails, cutworms, cabbage maggots, and other pests that live in your garden’s soil. If you are a gardener, these may be a welcome sight for your harvest!
- Lady beetles (Ladybug) – The iconic round, orange/red spotted ladybug is just one of more than 400 species of lady beetles found in North America.These beetles eat aphids, mites, and mealybugs.
- Lacewings – Pale green or brown lacewing adults have distinctive large, veined wings and feed mainly on flower nectar. Lacewings larvae eat aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs, scales, thrips, and whiteflies.
- Hunting and Parasitic Wasps– These small wasps attack the eggs of pests and are one of the most important insect groups that provide control of garden pests.
- Spiders – Spiders have no antennae and two body parts and eight legs. Spiders are an incredibly diverse group with roughly 3,000 described species in North America. All spiders feed on insects and are crucial to preventing pest outbreaks.