Protecting Your Home and Family from Harmful Pests
Top Six Reasons People Choose Sergio's Time And AgainAt Sergio's, we practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management
that relies on a combination of common sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interactions with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, pets, property, and the environment. IPM programs take advantage of all pest management options possible - including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides. The choice of using a pesticide is based on a review of all other available options and a determination that these options are not acceptable or are not feasible. Non-chemical pest management methods will be implemented whenever possible to provide the desired control. The full range of alternatives, including no action, will be considered. Our company takes the responsibility to notify customers of upcoming pesticide treatments. Our Service Technicians are certified and trained in the principles and practices of IPM, and they must follow regulations and label precautions.
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Flexible Scheduling With Exact Service Times
Top Six Reasons People Choose Sergio's Time And AgainWe have very flexible scheduling and always show up at the time specified. We can also be trusted with a key to service the home if it is inconvenient
for the homeowner to be present. We send out service notices 10 days before the regularly scheduled appointments, and then we call to confirm the appointment with the customer 2 days prior. All of our post card notifications for service have exact arrival times. If we are running late by more than 10-15 minutes, our staff will notify the customer and offer them the option of rescheduling, so that our customers are never waiting and wondering. We leave time slots open in our technician's routes to be able to service clients who have an emergency. We use the latest technology in our office. Web-based software takes care of our scheduling needs. We use GPS to track our technicians' progress throughout the day; and cell phones and pagers for immediate communications between the technicians, the office and our customers. We have reliable state-of-the-art service vehicles and equipment.
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Keeping Your Valuables Safe
Top Six Reasons People Choose Sergio's Time And AgainWe have been servicing the finest homes in the tri-county area for over 3 decades. Our technicians are trained to be very conscientious and are accustomed to treating
around valuable personal items. We allow our service technicians plenty of time to complete their work at each stop so that they are never rushed and are always thorough. They are careful not to damage any of your personal belongings. At Sergio's, we allow adequate time between appointments because we know that most accidents happen when technicians are overbooked. All of our employees have to pass complete background and reference checks before they are hired. They have clean driving records and have never been in trouble with the law. Our technicians treat each customer's home or business as if they were treating their boss's home. We stand behind our service technicians, but we also tell our customers that it is common sense to put any valuables away. Our company is so well trusted that we have customer's keys and alarm codes in our possession. Our company is built on trust and we service three generations to prove it. We are insured and bonded and have never had any lawsuits filed against us.
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Friendly and Knowledgeable Technicians
Top Six Reasons People Choose Sergio's Time And AgainOur technicians are certified by the State of Michigan, Department of Agriculture. They have passed exams covering many different areas of pest control,
which include the Core Safety Exam, General Pest Control Exam, Commercial Pest Control Exam, Wood Destroying Insects Exam, Rodent and Animal Control Exam and Mosquito Control Exam. They must be recertified in all of these categories every three years. They must carry a certification card and present it whenever they are asked. When a technician is hired at Sergio's Pest Control, for a period of at least one month, he must train with one of our 20-year veterans. Our technicians are also continually reviewing industry publications to stay abreast of the latest techniques being developed. They have one on one training to become experts with the equipment that they use. Their performance is constantly reviewed by our service managers. We have over 3 decades of experience in the industry, and many of our technicians have over 20 years of field experience. It takes years to become a master technician. Our customers trust our evaluations because we have proven over time that we have the best methods.
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Educating Our Clients
Top Six Reasons People Choose Sergio's Time And AgainWhen customers call, we estimate a quote for their specific pest problem. Since prices are based on the type of problem as well as the size of the dwelling, an actual
price will be given once the technician inspects and reports his findings to the customer. Our technicians take the time to educate the customer and address all of their concerns. They are prepared to perform the service at the time of the inspection. We also have detailed brochures on our treatment programs that explain our procedures. Our website has valuable tips which help prevent the pests in the first place, as well as product safety information. Through our website, a customer may also purchase do-it-yourself items with step-by-step instructions on usage.
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Top Six Reasons People Choose Sergio's Time And AgainOur service is guaranteed. Every dwelling is different. Once a thorough inspection has been completed, the technician recommends the best course of action to be taken. We
practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Understanding pests' needs is essential to implementing IPM effectively. Pests seek habitats that provide basic needs such as air, moisture, food, and shelter. Pest populations can be prevented or controlled by creating inhospitable environments, by removing some of the basic elements pests need to survive, or by simply blocking their access into buildings. Pests may also be managed by other methods such as traps, vacuums, or pesticides. An understanding of what pests need in order to survive is essential before action is taken. IPM procedures will determine when to control pests and whether to use mechanical, physical, chemical, cultural, or biological means. IPM practitioners depend on current, comprehensive information on the pest and its environment and the best available pest control methods. Applying IPM principles prevents unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. Depending on the type of pest problem, sometimes it takes longer than a week for the treatment to work completely. If the pest is in an area where the treatment cannot penetrate or the customer does not want the area drilled or disturbed, then it will take more time to lure or drive the pests out of the area. In this case, it may be necessary to put the customer on a quarterly service program. Our guarantee states that we will come back between services for no added charge until the problem is controlled or eliminated, provided the customer follows through with our recommendations to correct any structural defects and/or institutes proper sanitary practices. Any one of our 20-year veterans is always available to assist with our customers' toughest pest control challenges.
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Common Household Pests
Get the rundown on 33 usual suspects that can threaten your home—and easy ways to control them. Select a pest below to learn more.
Asian Beetle or Lady bugs
Harmonia axyridis is a large coccinellid beetle originally native to eastern Asia, but which has been introduced to North America and Europe to control aphids and scale insects. It is now common, well known and spreading in those regions.It is commonly known as Asian lady beetle, or Japanese ladybug, in North America, and Harlequin ladybird in the United Kingdom (the latter name because it occurs in numerous color forms).
It is also known as the multicolored Asian lady beetle, and Halloween lady beetle (because it invades homes in October in preparation for hibernation).
Biology and behavior
Life cycle: mating, eggs, five larval stages, pupa and newly-emerged adult Asian lady beetles hibernate in cooler months, though they will wake up and move around whenever the temperature reaches about 10 °C (50 °F). Because the beetles will use crevices and other cool, dry, confined spaces to hibernate, significant numbers may congregate inside walls if given a large enough opening. These beetles use pheromones to "call" each other, allowing for the large gatherings that are often seen in the Autumn. This is exploited by the makers of Asian ladybug traps. They often congregate in sunlit areas because of the heat available, so even on fairly cold winter days, some of the hibernating beetles will “wake up” because of solar heating. These large populations can be problematic because they can form swarms and linger in an area for a long time. These beetles can form groups that tend to stay in upper corners of windows. This beetle has been also found to be attracted to dark screening material for its warmth. This beetle has good eyesight, and will come back from where it was removed, and is known to produce a small bite if provoked. The Asian lady beetle, like other lady beetles, uses isopropyl methoxy pyrazine as a defensive chemical to deter predation, but also contains this chemical in its hemolymph at much higher concentrations than many other lady beetle species. These insects will “reflex bleed” when agitated, releasing hemolymph from their legs. The liquid has a foul odor (similar to that of dead leaves) and can cause stains. Some people have allergic reactions, including allergic rhinoconjunctivitis when exposed to these beetles. Sometimes, the beetles will bite humans, presumably in an attempt to acquire salt, although many people feel a pricking sensation as a lady beetle walks across the skin. Bites normally do no more harm than cause irritation although a small number of people are allergic to bites.
A Zelus genus nymph from the Southeastern United States.Adult insects often range from 4 to 40 mm. They most commonly have an elongated head with a distinct narrowed neck, long legs, and a prominent, segmented tube for feeding (rostrum). Most species are dark in color with hues of brown, black, red, or orange. The most distinctive feature of the family is that the tip of the rostrum fits into a groove in the prosternum, where it is rasped against ridges there (a stridulitrum) to produce sound, a tactic often used to intimidate predators.
If harassment continues, they can use their rostrum to deliver a painful bite which in some species can be medically significant.
Assassin Bug (Gminatus australis) They use the long rostrum to inject a lethal saliva that liquefies the insides of the prey, which are then sucked out. The legs of some of these bugs are covered in tiny hairs that serve to make them sticky to hold onto their prey while they feed. The saliva is commonly effective at killing substantially larger prey than the bug itself. As nymphs, some species will cover and camouflage themselves with debris, or the remains of dead prey insects. Some species have been known to feed on cockroaches or bedbugs (in the case of the masked hunter) and are regarded in many locations as beneficial. Some people breed them as pets and for insect control.
Bedbugs or bed bugs are small parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae (most commonly Cimex lectularius). The term usually refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood. All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals. The name 'bedbug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep.
Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.
A number of health effects may occur due to bed bugs including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms. Treatment is otherwise symptomatic.
Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval, and wingless. Bedbugs have microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they molt and reach maturity.Bedbugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate regarding nesting locations, attacks, and reproduction.
The life span of bedbugs varies by species and is also dependent on feeding. Bedbugs can survive a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric compositions. Below 16.1 °C (61.0 °F), adults enter semi-hibernation and can survive longer. Bedbugs can survive for at least five days at ?10 °C (14.0 °F) but will die after 15 minutes of exposure to ?32 °C (?26 °F).They show high desiccation tolerance, surviving low humidity and a 35–40 °C range even with loss of one-third of body weight; earlier life stages are more susceptible to drying out than later ones. The thermal death point for C. lectularius is high: 45 °C (113 °F) and all stages of life are killed by 7 minutes of exposure to 46 °C (115 °F). Bedbugs apparently cannot survive high concentrations of carbon dioxide for very long; exposure to nearly-pure nitrogen atmospheres, however, appears to have relatively little effect even after 72 hours.
Bedbugs are obligatory hematophagous (bloodsucking) insects. Most species feed on humans only when other prey are unavailable. Bedbugs are attracted to their hosts primarily by carbon dioxide, secondarily by warmth, and also by certain chemicals.A bedbug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow feeding tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. Although bedbugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days. In cold weather, bedbugs can live for about a year; at temperatures more conducive to activity and feeding, about 5 months
Health effects and infestations
A number of health effects may occur due to bedbugs including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Bedbug bites or cimicosis may lead to a range of skin manifestations from no visible effects to prominent blisters. Diagnosis involves both finding bedbugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms. Treatment involves the elimination of the insect but is otherwise symptomatic.
Because infestation of human habitats has been on the increase in developed countries, bedbug bites and related conditions have been on the rise as well, since the 1980s-1990s.The exact causes of this resurgence remain unclear; it is variously ascribed to greater foreign travel, more frequent exchange of second-hand furnishings among homes, a greater focus on control of other pests resulting in neglect of bedbug countermeasures, and increasing resistance to pesticides. Bedbugs have been known human parasites for thousands of years.
Dwellings can become infested with bedbugs in a variety of ways: from bugs and eggs that "hitchhiked in" on clothing and luggage, from infested items (e.g., furniture, clothes) brought in, from a nearby dwelling or infested item, if there are easy routes, or from wild animals (e.g. bats, birds) and pets brought in.
Bedbugs can be found on their own but often congregate once established. They usually remain close to hosts, commonly in or near beds or couches. Nesting locations can vary greatly, however, including luggage, vehicles, furniture and bedside clutter. Bedbugs may also nest near animals that have nested within a dwelling, such as bats, birds, or rodents.
Bedbugs are elusive and usually nocturnal, which can make them hard to spot. Bedbugs often lodge unnoticed in dark crevices, and eggs can be nestled in fabric seams. Aside from bite symptoms, signs include fecal spots, blood smears on sheets, and molts.
Box Elder Bug
It is found primarily on boxelder trees, as well as maple and ash trees. The adults are about 12½ mm (½ in) long with a dark brown or black coloration, relieved by red wing veins and markings on the abdomen. Nymphs and immature bugs are bright red.
These insects feed on the softer plant tissues, including leaves, flowers, and new twigs. Unless the population is exceptionally large, the damage to plants is minimal.
During years when their population soars, they can damage useful shade trees.
In autumn, they can become household and hotel pests. The adult insects seek wintering hibernation locations and find their way into buildings through crevices. They remain inactive inside the walls (and behind siding) while the weather is cool. When the heating systems revive them, they begin to enter inhabited parts of the buildings. In the spring, the bugs leave their winter hibernation locations to lay eggs on maple or ash trees.
In late spring and early summer groups of 50-200+ bugs may gather on the sunny side of the house siding or brick. A month or two later there may be pairs of them mating, connected end to end, also in groups of three and four.
These insects can be killed with a dilute mixture of soap and water — 2 tablespoons per gallon — sprayed on them directly. This procedure can stain or discolor siding however. A small strip of duct tape can also be an effective way of killing these insects, as they seldom will fly away when approached. Unable to escape from the adhesive backing, they can then be disposed of. They can also be kept out of the home, to a degree, by putting boric acid and/or diatomaceous earth in places they would gather to enter, as well as by using weather stripping and other means to seal the house better.
Another well proven technique is to spray them with streaming Wasp and Hornet insecticide. The aerosol cans allow one to surprise them from a distance, and will kill them instantly. Not all flying insect sprays will kill them; products specified for wasps should be used. This technique is most effective when they are gathered in large groups in the Spring.
The best way, however, to eliminate and prevent them is to hire a professional to treat the outside of your home. They will put a residual down on the outside of the home that will not only eliminate current bugs crawling on the outside, but will kill any future boxelders that land on your home. The best time for this treatment is spring and fall when the boxelders are most active.
Citric (especially orange) based disinfectants have been found quite effective to clean the areas where they congregate, keeping them away.
A bumblebee (also spelled as bumble bee) is any member of the bee genus Bombus, in the family Apidae. There are over 250 known species, existing primarily in the Northern Hemisphere although they are common in New Zealand and Tasmania.
Bumblebees are social insects that are characterised by black and yellow body hairs, often in bands. However, some species have orange or red on their bodies, or may be entirely black.
Another obvious (but not unique) characteristic is the soft nature of the hair (long, branched setae), called pile, that covers their entire body, making them appear and feel fuzzy. They are best distinguished from similarly large, fuzzy bees by the form of the female hind leg, which is modified to form a corbicula: a shiny concave surface that is bare, but surrounded by a fringe of hairs used to transport pollen (in similar bees, the hind leg is completely hairy, and pollen grains are wedged into the hairs for transport).
Bumblebees form colonies. These colonies are usually much less extensive than those of honey bees. This is due to a number of factors including: the small physical size of the nest cavity, a single female is responsible for the initial construction and reproduction that happens within the nest, and the restriction of the colony to a single season (in most species). Often, mature bumblebee nests will hold fewer than 50 individuals. Bumblebee nests may be found within tunnels in the ground made by other animals, or in tussock grass. Bumblebees sometimes construct a wax canopy ("involucrum") over the top of their nest for protection and insulation. Bumblebees do not often preserve their nests through the winter, though some tropical species live in their nests for several years (and their colonies can grow quite large, depending on the size of the nest cavity). In temperate species, the last generation of summer includes a number of queens who overwinter separately in protected spots. The queens can live up to one year, possibly longer in tropical species.
Carpenter ants are large (.25 to 1 in/0.63 to 2.5 cm) ants indigenous to many parts of the world. They prefer dead, damp wood in which to build nests. They do not eat it, however, unlike termites. Sometimes carpenter ants will hollow out sections of trees. The most likely species to be infesting a house in the United States is the black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). However, there are over a thousand other species in the genus Camponotus.
Carpenter ant species reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood.
They cut "galleries" into the wood grain to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. Certain parts of a house, such as around and under windows, roof eaves, decks and porches, are more likely to be infested by Carpenter Ants because these areas are most vulnerable to moisture. They can leave behind a sawdust-like material behind called frass that provides clues to their nesting location. Carpenter ant galleries are smooth and very different from termite-damaged areas, which have mud packed into the hollowed-out areas.
Carpenter bees are traditionally considered solitary bees, though some species have simple social nests in which mothers and daughters may cohabit. However, even solitary species tend to be gregarious, and often several will nest near each other. It has been occasionally reported that when females cohabit, there may be a division of labor between them, where one female may spend most of her time as a guard within the nest, motionless and near the entrance, while another female spends most of her time foraging for provisions.
Carpenter bees make nests by tunneling into wood, vibrating their bodies as they rasp their mandibles against the wood, each nest having a single entrance which may have many adjacent tunnels.
The entrance is often a perfectly circular 16 millimetres (0.63 in) hole on the underside of a beam or tree limb. Carpenter bees do not eat wood. They discard the bits of wood, or re-use particles to build partitions between cells. The tunnel functions as a nursery for brood and storage for the pollen/nectar upon which the brood subsists. The provision masses of some species are among the most complex in shape of any group of bees; whereas most bees fill their brood cells with a soupy mass, and others form simple spheroidal pollen masses, Xylocopa form elongate and carefully sculpted masses that have several projections which keep the bulk of the mass from coming into contact with the cell walls, sometimes resembling an irregular caltrop. The eggs are very large relative to the size of the female, and are some of the largest eggs among all insects.
There are two very different mating systems that appear to be common in carpenter bees, and often this can be determined simply by examining specimens of the males of any given species. Species in which the males have large eyes are characterized by a mating system where the males either search for females by patrolling, or by hovering and waiting for passing females, whom they then pursue. In the other type of mating system, the males often have very small heads, but there is a large, hypertrophied glandular reservoir in the mesosoma, which releases pheromones into the airstream behind the male while it flies or hovers. The pheromone advertises the presence of the male to females.
Varied carpet beetle
The varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) is a 3 mm–long beetle that can be a serious household pest. It feeds on natural fibers and can damage carpets, furniture and clothing.
Anthrenus verbasci has an unusual life cycle for an insect, developing from larvae to adult in 1-3 years, depending on the environmental conditions. Larvae hatch from eggs in the spring and early summer, often in the nests of birds (including those of the House Sparrow and House Swift) or around stored fabrics.
Larvae feed on natural fibers throughout their development, eventually experiencing a dormancy period (also known as diapause) prior to pupation into the adult stage. The length of the dormancy appears to depend on environmental factors.
Adults emerge between late May and early August, flying to and feeding on the pollen of flowering plants. During this period, mating occurs, eggs are laid, and the cycle begins anew. Adult beetles usually lay their eggs in air ducts, in closets, under furniture, or under baseboards. Once hatched and until they pupate into adults, the larvae hide in dark, undisturbed areas and feed on organic material. The larvae are thus responsible for the damage of various items, such as furniture, clothing, blankets, furs, and carpets.
Collections of specimens, especially of insects, are also vulnerable to attack, making A. verbasci a common pest in museums. Infestations can be prevented by regular vacuum cleaning, dry cleaning or airing clothing outside, placing naphthalene balls in closets, and removing abandoned bird and insect nests attached to the building. Signs of an infestation include the presence of damaged articles, molted larval skins in dark areas, and an abundance of adult beetles near windows.
The image corresponds to a Banded Wooley Bear caterpillar
Human health risks
Caterpillar hair has been known to be a cause of human health problems. Caterpillar hairs sometimes have venoms in them and species from approximately 12 families of moths or butterflies worldwide can inflict serious human injuries ranging from urticarial dermatitis and atopic asthma to osteochondritis, consumption coagulopathy, renal failure, and intracerebral hemorrhage.
Skin rashes are the most common, but there have been fatalities. Lonomia is a frequent cause of death in Brazil with 354 cases were reported between 1989 and 2005. Lethality ranging up to 20% with death caused most often by intracranial hemorrhage.
Caterpillar hairs have also been known to cause kerato-conjunctivitis. The sharp barbs on the end of
Caterpillar hairs can get lodged in soft tissues and mucus membranes such as the eyes. Once they enter such tissues, they can be difficult to extract, often exacerbating the problem as they migrate across the membrane.
This becomes a particular problem in an indoor setting. The hairs easily enter buildings through ventilation systems and accumulate in indoor environments because their small size, which makes it difficult for them to be vented out. This accumulation increases the risk of human contact in indoor environments.
Caterpillars cause much damage, mainly by eating leaves. The propensity for damage is enhanced by monocultural farming practices, especially where the caterpillar is specifically adapted to the host plant under cultivation. The cotton bollworm causes enormous losses. Other species eat food crops. Caterpillars have been the target of pest control through the use of pesticides, biological control and agronomic practices. Many species have become resistant to pesticides. Bacterial toxins such as those from Bacillus thuringiensis which are evolved to affect the gut of Lepidoptera have been used in sprays of bacterial spores, toxin extracts and also by incorporating genes to produce them within the host plants. These approaches are defeated over time by the evolution of resistance mechanisms in the insects.
Plants evolve mechanisms of resistance to being eaten by caterpillars, including the evolution of chemical toxins and physical barriers such as hairs. Incorporating host plant resistance (HPR) through plant breeding is another approach used in reducing the impact of caterpillars on crop plants.
Some caterpillars are used in industry. The silk industry is based on the silkworm caterpillar.
Gypsy Moth Caterpillar
Centipedes (from Latin prefix centi-, "hundred", and pes, pedis, "foot") are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda. They are elongated metameric animals with one pair of legs per body segment. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs from under 20 to over 300. Centipedes have an odd number of pairs of legs, e.g. 15 or 17 pairs of legs (30 or 34 legs) but never 16 pairs (32 legs).
A key trait uniting this group is a pair of venom claws or "forcipules" formed from a modified first appendage. Centipedes are a predominantly carnivorous taxon.
Worldwide there are estimated to be 8,000 species of centipede, of which 3,000 have been described. Centipedes have a wide geographical range, reaching beyond the Arctic Circle. Centipedes are found in an array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests to deserts. Within these habitats centipedes require a moist micro-habitat because they lack the waxy cuticle of insects and arachnids, and so lose water rapidly through the skin.. Accordingly, they are found in soil and leaf litter, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs. Centipedes are among the largest terrestrial invertebrate predators and often contribute significantly to the invertebrate predatory biomass in terrestrial ecosystems.
Centipedes have a rounded or flattened head, bearing a pair of antennae at the forward margin. They have a pair of elongated mandibles, and two pairs of maxillae. The first pair of maxillae form the lower lip, and bear short palps. The first pair of limbs stretch forward from the body to cover the remainder of the mouth. These limbs, or maxillipeds, end in sharp claws and include poison glands that help the animal to kill or paralyse its prey.
Centipedes possess a variable number of ocelli, which are sometimes clustered together to form true compound eyes. Even so, it appears that centipedes are only capable of discerning light and dark, and not of true vision. Indeed, many species lack eyes altogether. In some species the final pair of legs act as sense organs similar to antennae, but facing backwards. An unusual sense organ found in some groups are the organs of Tömösvary. These are located at the base of the antennae, and consist of a disc-like structure with a central pore surrounded by sensory cells. They are probably used for sensing vibrations, and may even provide a sense of hearing.
Forcipules are a unique feature found only in centipedes and in no other arthropods. The forcipules are modifications of the first pair of legs, forming a pincer-like appendage always found just behind the head. Forcipules are not true mouthparts, although they are used in the capture of prey items, injecting venom and holding onto captured prey. Poison glands run through a tube almost to the tip of each forcipule.
Behind the head, the body consists of fifteen or more segments. Most of the segments bear a single pair of legs, with the maxillipeds projecting forward from the first body segment, and the final two segments being small and legless. Each pair of legs is slightly longer than the pair immediately in front of it, ensuring that they do not overlap, and therefore reducing the chance that they will collide with each other while moving swiftly. In extreme cases, the last pair of legs may be twice the length of the first pair. The final segment bears a telson and includes the openings of the reproductive organs.
Centipedes are predators, and mainly use their antennae to seek out their prey. The digestive tract forms a simple tube, with digestive glands attached to the mouthparts. Like insects, centipedes breathe through a tracheal system, typically with a single opening, or spiracle on each body segment. They excrete waste through a single pair of malpighian tubules.
Centipedes are a predominantly predatory taxon. They are known as generalist predators which means that they have adapted to eat a variety of different available prey items. Examination of centipede gut contents suggest that plant material is an unimportant part of their diet and centipedes have been observed to eat vegetable matter when starved during laboratory experiments.
Centipedes are also known to be nocturnal. Studies on centipede activity rhythms confirm this, although there are a few observations of centipedes active during the day and one species Strigamia chinophila that is diurnal. What centipedes actually eat is not well known because of their cryptic lifestyle and thorough mastication of food. Laboratory feeding trials support that they will feed as generalists, taking most anything that is soft-bodied and in a reasonable size range
Centipedes are found in moist microhabitats. Water relations are an important aspect of their ecology, since they lose water rapidly in dry conditions. Water loss is a result of centipedes lacking a waxy covering of their exoskeleton and excreting waste nitrogen as ammonia, which requires extra water.
Hazards to humans
Some species of centipede can be hazardous to humans because of their bite. Although a bite to an adult human is usually very painful and may cause severe swelling, chills, fever, and weakness, it is unlikely to be fatal. Bites can be dangerous to small children and those with allergies to bee stings. The bite of larger centipedes can induce anaphylactic shock in such people. Smaller centipedes usually do not puncture human skin.
Common Clothes Moth
The caterpillar larvae of this moth are considered a serious pest, as they can derive nourishment from clothing – in particular wool, but many other natural fibers – and also, like most moths of its relatives, from stored produce.
Webbing Clothes Moths are small moths whose adults grow to between 1 and 2 cm in length. Their eggs are tiny, most being under 1 mm long and barely visible.
A female will lay several hundred during her lifetime; egg placement is carefully chosen in locations where they will have the best chance for survival.
The eggs are attached with a glue-like substance and can be quite difficult to remove. After the egg hatches, the larva will immediately look for food. Larvae can obtain their required food in less than two months, but if conditions are not favorable they will feed on and off for a long time. Whether it takes two months or two years, each larva will eventually spin a cocoon in which it will pupate and change into an adult. Larvae stay in these cocoons for between one and two months and then emerge as adults ready to mate and to lay eggs.
This species is notorious for feeding on clothing and natural fibers; they have the ability to turn keratin (a protein of which hair and wool mainly consist) into food. The moths prefer dirty fabric for oviposition and are particularly attracted to carpeting and clothing that contains human sweat or other liquids which have been spilled onto them. They are attracted to these areas not for the food but for the moisture: the caterpillars do not drink water; consequently their food must contain moisture.
The range of recorded foodstuffs includes cotton, linen, silk and wool fabrics as well as furs; furthermore they have been found on shed feathers and hair, bran, semolina and flour (possibly preferring wheat flour), biscuits, casein, and insect specimens in museums.
Both adults and larvae prefer low light conditions. Whereas many other Tineidae are drawn to light, Common Clothes Moths seem to prefer dim or dark areas. If larvae find themselves in a well-lit room, they will try to relocate under furniture or carpet edges. Handmade rugs are a favorite, because it is easy for the larvae to crawl underneath and do their damage from below. They will also crawl under moldings at the edges of rooms in search of darkened areas where debris has gathered and which consequently hold good food.
The eggs hatch into larvae, which then begin to feed. Once they have finished larval development, they pupate and undergo metamorphosis to emerge as imagines (adult moths). Adults do not eat; males look for females and females look for places to lay eggs. Once their job is done, they die. Contrary to what most people believe, adult T. bisselliella do not eat or cause any damage to clothing or fabric. It is the larvae which are solely responsible for this, and which spend their entire time eating and foraging for food.
Control measures for T. bisselliella (and similar species) include the following:
Clothing Moth Traps – this step can help monitor the current infestation and prevent males from mating with females.
Cryofumigation – Fumigating an object with dry ice, that is enclosing it in a plastic bag for 3–5 days with dry ice so it is effectively bathed in a high concentration of carbon dioxide, denied oxygen, and thus it will kill all stages of clothing moths. For details, see Clothes Moths Management Guidelines, under "Household Furnishings".
Dry cleaning – This step kills moths on existing clothing and helps remove moisture from clothes.
Freezing – Freezing the object for several days at temperatures below 32°F/0°C.
Heat (120°F/50°C for 30 minutes or more) – these conditions may possibly be achieved by placing infested materials in an attic in warm weather, or by washing clothes at or above this temperature.
Vacuuming – Since the moths like to hide in carpeting and baseboards, this is an important step towards full eradication.
Synthetic insecticides – typically aerosols works best here. Be sure to get proper coverage and don't spread it too thinly. Treat once a month for the first three months and then once a quarter for the next year to ensure the infestation is under control.
Mothballs – there are two types of mothballs: older types are based on naphthalene, while more recent ones use paradichlorobenzene. Both decay into a gas, which is heavier than air and needs to reach a high concentration to be effective. Disadvantages: somewhat toxic and carcinogenic, mothballs should not be put where they can be eaten by children or pets. Naphthalene mothballs are also highly flammable.
Permethrin – available as an aerosol spray. Disadvantages: very toxic to cats and fish. Pyrethroids (e.g. Cy-Kick, Deltamethrin) – available as an aerosol spray. Disadvantages: very persistent in the ecosystem, possibly resistance.
Pyriproxyfen (or other juvenile hormone analogs) – stop the life cycle by preventing the caterpillars from pupating.
The Clover mite, Bryobia praetiosa, is a type of mite best known for the reddish stain left on surfaces after being crushed. Clover mites are 1/30 inch long, oval shaped arachnids with a pair of long legs pointing forward often mistaken for antennae. They are reddish-brown; the younger ones and the eggs are a bright red.
Clover mites feed on sap from grasses and clover, and are especially numerous in lawns with a heavy growth of succulent, well fertilized grass.
They do not cause any apparent harm to turfgrass; however, their feeding activity can turn the grass a silvery color and may stipple plants when heavy populations are present.
Clover mites can become a nuisance in and around houses. They generally enter houses close to thick vegetation and can infiltrate houses in very large numbers through cracks and small openings around windows and doors. Whether indoors or outside, clover mites are found more commonly in sunny areas than in darker areas.
Cluster flies are the genus Pollenia in the blowfly family Calliphoridae. Unlike more familiar blowflies such as the bluebottle genus Phormia, they do not present a health hazard because they do not lay eggs in human food. They are strictly parasitic on earthworms; the females lay their eggs near earthworm burrows, and the larvae then infest the worms. However, the flies are a nuisance because when the adults emerge in the late summer or autumn they enter houses to hibernate, often in large numbers; they are difficult to eradicate because they favor inaccessible spaces such as roof and wall cavities.
They are often seen on windows of little-used rooms. They are also sometimes known as attic flies.
The typical cluster fly Pollenia rudis is about 7 mm long and can be recognized by distinct lines or stripes behind the head, short golden-colored hairs on the thorax, and irregular light and dark gray areas on the abdomen. Cluster flies are typically slow moving.
Crickets, family Gryllidae (also known as "true crickets"), are insects somewhat related to grasshoppers, and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets (family Tettigoniidae). They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae. There are about 900 species of crickets. They tend to be nocturnal and are often confused with grasshoppers because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs.
Crickets are harmless to humans. Diet and life cycle.
Crickets are omnivorous scavengers who feed on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants. Crickets eat their own dead when there are no other sources of food available, and exhibit predatorial behavior upon weakened, crippled crickets.
Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and have been known to bite humans, mostly without breaking the skin. The bite can, however, be painful when inflicted on sensitive skin such as the webbing between fingers.
Crickets mate in late summer and lay their eggs in the fall. The eggs hatch in the spring and have been estimated to number as high as 2,000 per fertile female. Subspecies Acheta Domestica however lays eggs almost continually, with the females capable of laying at least twice a month. Female crickets have a long needlelike egg-laying organ called an ovipositor.
Crickets are popular as a live food source for carnivorous pets like frogs, lizards, tortoises, salamanders, and spiders. Feeding crickets with nutritious food in order to pass the nutrition onto animals that eat them is known as gut loading. In addition to this, the crickets are often dusted with a mineral supplement powder to ensure complete nutrition to the pet. Cricket chirping
Only the male crickets chirp. A large vein running along the bottom of each wing has "teeth," much like a comb does. The chirping sound is created by running the top of one wing along the teeth at the bottom of the other wing. As he does this, the cricket also holds the wings up and open, so that the wing membranes can act as acoustical sails. It is a popular myth that the cricket chirps by rubbing its legs together.
There are four types of cricket song: The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near, and is a very quiet song. An aggressive song is triggered by chemoreceptors on the antennae that detect the near presence of another male cricket and a copulatory song is produced for a brief period after successful deposition of sperm on the female's eggs.
Crickets chirp at different rates depending on their species and the temperature of their environment. Most species chirp at higher rates the higher the temperature is (approximately 62 chirps a minute at 13°C in one common species; each species has its own rate). The relationship between temperature and the rate of chirping is known as Dolbear's Law. Using this law it is possible to calculate the temperature in Fahrenheit by adding 40 to the number of chirps produced in 14 seconds by the snowy tree cricket common in the United States.
Crickets, like all other insects, are cold-blooded. They take on the temperature of their surroundings. Many characteristics of cold-blooded animals, like the rate at which crickets chirp, or the speed at which ants walk, follow an equation called the Arrhenius equation. This equation describes the activation energy or threshold energy required to induce a chemical reaction. For instance, crickets, like all other organisms, have many chemical reactions occurring within their bodies. As the temperature rises, it becomes easier to reach a certain activation or threshold energy, and chemical reactions, like those that occur during the muscle contractions used to produce chirping, happen more rapidly. As the temperature falls, the rate of chemical reactions inside the crickets' body slow down, causing characteristics, such as chirping, to also slow down.
Crickets have tympanic membranes located just below the middle joint of each front leg (or knee). This enables them to hear another cricket's song.
The nematoceran family Psychodidae (moth flies or drain flies) are small true flies (Diptera) with short, hairy bodies and wings giving them a "furry" moth-like appearance. Adult Psychodidae are typically nocturnal and associated with damp habitats. The larvae of the subfamilies Psychodinae, Sycoracinae and Horaiellinae live in aquatic to semi-terrestrial habitats (often with low oxygen), including bathroom sinks; some species are commonly nuisance pests in bathrooms.
The Drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum), also known as the
Bread beetle or Biscuit beetle, is a tiny, brown beetle that can be found infesting a wide variety of products, and is among the most common non-weevils to be found there. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Stegobium.
The Drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum), also known as the Bread beetle or Biscuit beetle, is a tiny, brown beetle that can be found infesting a wide variety of products, and is among the most common non-weevils to be found there. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Stegobium
They have a worldwide distribution and can be more commonly found in warmer climates. They are similar in appearance to the Cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne), but are slightly larger (adults can be up to 3.5 mm in length).
Additionally, Drugstore beetles have antennae ending in 3-segmented clubs, while Cigarette beetles have serrated antennae (notched like teeth of a saw). The Drugstore beetle also has grooves running longitudinally along the elytra, whereas the Cigarette beetle is smooth.
Their larvae are small, white grubs, and they can be distinguished from the grubs of the Cigarette beetle by their shorter hair. The female can lay up to 75 eggs at once, and the larval period lasts up to several months depending on the food source. It is the larvae that are responsible for most of the damage that this species can cause.The Drugstore beetle lives in obligatory symbiosis with a yeast fungus, which is passed on to the offspring by covering the eggs with it.
As their name suggests, Drugstore beetles have a tendency to feed on pharmacological products, including prescription drugs. They will also feed on a diverse range of dried foods and spices, as well as hair, leather, books, and museum specimens. They can bore into furniture, and in some cases tin foil or sheets of lead.
The most effective method of ridding your home of these pests is to try and discover the source of the infestation. Once this has been found, efforts can be made in removing the root of the problem, which is usually related to bird nests, food and high humidity levels. Therefore steps will have to be taken in removing any birds nest from the premises (if this is the situation then ideally specialist advice should be sought), food residues and any food which has been left open; these steps should be followed by adopting measures to decrease the humidity levels; perhaps by way of a dehumidifier.
Once satisfaction has been reached in removing the main cause of the infestation, the immediate area of the outbreak should be cleaned thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner, paying special attention to small cracks and crevices; ideally the area should be treated with an effective insecticide, too.
Earwigs are characterized by the cerci, or the pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen; male earwigs have curved pincers, while females have straight ones. These pincers are used to capture prey, defend themselves and fold their wings under the short tegmina Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs are known to take care of their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over offspring until their second molt.
Earwigs are generally nocturnal, and typically hide in small, dark, and often moist areas in the daytime.
They can usually be seen patrolling household walls and ceilings. Interaction with earwigs at this time results in a defensive free-fall to the ground followed by a scramble to a nearby cleft or crevice. During the summer they can be found around damp areas such as near sinks and in bathrooms. Earwigs tend to gather in shady cracks or openings or anywhere that they can remain concealed during daylight. Some people erroneously believe that earwigs crawl into people's ears at night and make burrows. Earwigs are harmless to people. Picnic tables, compost and waste bins, patios, lawn furniture, window frames, or anything with minute spaces (even artichoke blossoms) can potentially harbor them.
The common earwig is one of the few insects that actively hunt for food and are omnivorous, eating arthropods, plants, and ripe fruit. To a large extent, this species is also a scavenger, feeding on decaying plant and animal matter if given the chance. Fleas (Parasite) are not only a nuisance to humans and their pets, but can cause medical problems including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), secondary skin irritations and, in extreme cases, anemia, tapeworms, stomach flu. Fleas can transmit murine typhus (endemic typhus) fever among animals and from animal to humans. Also, fleas can transmit bubonic plague and any other disease from human to rodent and from rodent to humans. Tapeworms normally infest in humans in severe cases. Although bites are rarely felt, it is the resulting irritation caused by the flea salivary secretions that varies among individuals. Some may witness a severe reaction (general rash or inflammation) resulting in secondary infections caused by scratching the irritated skin area. Others may show no reaction or irritation acquired after repeated bites over several weeks or months. Most bites usually found on the ankles and legs may cause irritation or pain lasting a few minutes, hours or days depending on one's sensitivity. The typical reaction to the bite is the formation of a small, hard, red, slightly raised (swollen) itching spot. There is a single puncture point in the center of each spot. (Ants and spiders leave two marks when they bite. Mosquitoes, bees, wasps and bedbugs cause a large swelling or welt.)
Fleas (Parasite) are not only a nuisance to humans and their pets, but can cause medical problems including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), secondary skin irritations and, in extreme cases, anemia, tapeworms, stomach flu. Fleas can transmit murine typhus (endemic typhus) fever among animals and from animal to humans. Also, fleas can transmit bubonic plague and any other disease from human to rodent and from rodent to humans.
Tapeworms normally infest in humans in severe cases. Although bites are rarely felt, it is the resulting irritation caused by the flea salivary secretions that varies among individuals. Some may witness a severe reaction (general rash or inflammation) resulting in secondary infections caused by scratching the irritated skin area. Others may show no reaction or irritation acquired after repeated bites over several weeks or months. Most bites usually found on the ankles and legs may cause irritation or pain lasting a few minutes, hours or days depending on one's sensitivity. The typical reaction to the bite is the formation of a small, hard, red, slightly raised (swollen) itching spot. There is a single puncture point in the center of each spot. (Ants and spiders leave two marks when they bite.
Mosquitoes, bees, wasps and bedbugs cause a large swelling or welt.)
The flea life cycle begins when the female lays after feeding. Adult fleas must feed on blood before they can become capable of reproduction. Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 or so, usually on the host itself, which means that the eggs can easily roll onto the ground. Because of this, areas where the host rests and sleeps become one of the primary habitats of eggs and developing fleas. The eggs take around two days to two weeks to hatch.
Adult fleas cannot survive or lay eggs without a blood meal, but may live for one year without feeding. There is often a desperate need for flea control after a family has returned from a long vacation. The house has been empty with no cat or dog around for fleas to feed on. When the family and pets are gone, flea eggs hatch and larvae pupate. The adult fleas fully developed inside the pupal cocoon remains in a kind of "limbo" for a long time until a blood source is near. The family returning from vacation is immediately attacked by waiting hungry hordes of fleas. (In just 30 days, 10 female fleas under ideal conditions can multiply to over a quarter million different life stages.)
Combating a flea infestation in the home takes patience because for every flea found on an animal, there could be many more developing in the home. A spot-on insecticide will kill the fleas on the pet and in turn the pet itself will be a roving flea trap and mop up newly hatched fleas. The environment should be treated with a fogger or spray insecticide containing an insect growth regulator, such as pyriproxyfen or methoprene to kill eggs and pupae, which are quite resistant against insecticides. Frequent vacuuming is also helpful, but the vacuum bag must be disposed of immediately afterwards.
The female lays her eggs as close to the food source as possible, and development is rapid, allowing the larva to consume as much food as possible in a short period of time before transforming into the adult. The eggs hatch immediately after being laid, or the flies are ovoviviparous, with the larva hatching inside the mother.
Larval flies, or maggots, have no true legs, and little demarcation between the thorax and abdomen; in the more derived species, the head is not clearly distinguishable from the rest of the body.
Maggots are limbless, or else have small prolegs. The eyes and antennae are reduced or absent, and the abdomen also lacks appendages such as cerci. This lack of features is an adaptation to a food-rich environment, such as within rotting organic matter, or as an endoparasite.
The pupae take various forms, and in some cases develop inside a silk cocoon. After emerging from the pupa, the adult fly rarely lives more than a few days, and serves mainly to reproduce and to disperse in search of new food sources.
Honey bees (or honeybees) are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis. Currently, there are only seven recognized species of honey bee with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically, anywhere from six to eleven species have been recognized.
Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.
There are no honey bees native to the Americas. In 1622, European colonists brought the dark bee to the Americas, followed later by Italian bees and others. Many of the crops that depend on honey bees for pollination have also been imported since colonial times. Escaped swarms (known as "wild" bees, but actually feral) spread rapidly as far as the Great Plains, usually preceding the colonists. Honey bees did not naturally cross the Rocky Mountains; they were carried by ship to California in the early 1850s.
All honey bees live in colonies where the worker bees will sting intruders as a form of defense, and alarmed bees will release a pheromone that stimulates the attack response in other bees. The different species of honey bees are distinguished from all other bee species (and virtually all other Hymenoptera) by the possession of small barbs on the sting, but these barbs are found only in the worker bees. The sting and associated venom sac are also modified so as to pull free of the body once lodged (autotomy), and the sting apparatus has its own musculature and ganglion which allow it to keep delivering venom once detached. The worker bee dies after the stinger is torn out of its bodyIt is presumed that this complex apparatus, including the barbs on the sting, evolved specifically in response to predation by vertebrates, as the barbs do not usually function (and the sting apparatus does not detach) unless the sting is embedded in fleshy tissue.
Species of Apis are generalist floral visitors, and will pollinate a large variety of plants, but by no means all plants. Of all the honey bee species, only Apis mellifera has been used extensively for commercial pollination of crops and other plants. The value of these pollination services is commonly measured in the billions of dollars.
Honey is the complex substance made when the nectar and sweet deposits from plants and trees are gathered, modified and stored in the honeycomb by honey bees as a food source for the colony. All living species of Apis have had their honey gathered by indigenous peoples for consumption, though for commercial purposes only Apis mellifera and Apis cerana have been exploited to any degree. Honey is sometimes also gathered by humans from the nests of various stingless bees.
Worker bees of a certain age will secrete beeswax from a series of glands on their abdomens. They use the wax to form the walls and caps of the comb. As with honey, beeswax is gathered for various purposes.
Bees collect pollen in the pollen basket and carry it back to the hive. In the hive, pollen is used as a protein source necessary during brood-rearing. In certain environments, excess pollen can be collected from the hives of A. mellifera and A. cerana. It is often eaten as a health supplement.
Propolis (or bee glue) is created from resins, balsams and tree saps. Those species of honey bees which nest in tree cavities use propolis to seal cracks in the hive. Dwarf honey bees use propolis to defend against ants by coating the branch from which their nest is suspended to create a sticky moat. Propolis is consumed by humans as a health supplement in various ways and also used in some cosmetics.
Also known as the "killer bee", Africanised bees are hybrids between European stock and one of the African subspecies A. m. scutellata; they are often more aggressive than European bees but are more resistant to disease and are better foragers but do not create as much of a surplus as European bees. Originating by accident in Brazil, they have spread to North America and constitute a pest in some regions.
However, these strains do not overwinter well, and so are not often found in the colder, more Northern parts of North America. On the other hand, the original breeding experiment for which the African bees were brought to Brazil in the first place has continued (though not as intended): novel hybrid strains of domestic and re-domesticated Africanised bees combine high resilience to tropical conditions and good yields, and are popular among beekeepers in Brazil.
Bald Faced Hornets
Every year, queens that were born and fertilized at the end of the previous season begin a new colony. The queen selects a location for its nest, begins building it, lays a first batch of eggs and feeds this first group of larvae. These become workers and will assume the chore of expanding the nest — done by chewing up wood which is mixed with a starch in their saliva.
This mixture is then spread with their mandibles and legs, drying into the paper-like substance that makes up the nest. The workers also guard the nest and feed on nectar, tree sap and fruit pulp. They also capture insects and arthropods, which are chewed up to be fed to the larvae. This continues through summer and into fall.
Near the end of summer, or early in the fall, the queen begins to lay eggs which will become drones and new queens. After pupation, these fertile males and females will mate, setting up next year's cycle of growth.
As winter approaches, the wasps die – except any just-fertilized queens. These hibernate underground, under logs or in hollow trees until spring. The nest itself is generally abandoned by winter, and will not be reused. When spring arrives, the young queens emerge and the cycle begins again.
Bald-face hornets will sting repeatedly if the nest is disturbed. Like other stinging wasps, they can sting repeatedly because the stinger does not become stuck in the skin.
Indian Meal Moth Adult
Description and life cycle
Adults are 8–10 mm in length with 16–20 mm wingspans. The outer half of their forewings are bronze, copper, or dark gray in color, while the upper half are yellowish-gray, with a dark band at the intersection between the two. The moth larvae are off-white with brown heads. When these larvae mature, they are usually about 12 mm long.
The entire life cycle of this species may take 30 to 300 days.
Female moths lay between 60 and 400 eggs on a food surface, which are ordinarily smaller than 0.5 mm and not sticky. The eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days. The larval stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature.
Damage to sunflower seeds The Indian Meal Moth larvae can infest a wide range of dry foodstuffs of vegetable origin, such as cereal, bread, pasta, rice, spices or dried fruits and nuts. More unusual recorded foods include chocolate and cocoa beans, coffee substitute, cookies, flour, dried. The food they infest will often seem to be webbed together.
After larvae or moths have been found, it is important to throw out all food sources that are not in very tightly sealed containers. The moths are able to get into surprisingly tight spots, including sealed bags and Tupperware containers. They are also notoriously difficult to get rid of, and can crawl on ceilings and spin cocoons in rooms other than the kitchen or pantry where they hatched. Last instar larvae are able to travel significant distances before they pupate. When seeking the source of an infestation, the search thus cannot be limited to the immediate area where pupae are discovered.
Nontoxic traps are also available to inhibit the development of adult moths and precipitate their destruction. For example, one type of trap is a triangular box with a lure inside and sticky walls. These traps are generally known as pheromone traps. In this case male moths are attracted inside by the female pheromone (the lure) and then get stuck against the sticky walls inside of the box.
Millipedes are arthropods that have two pairs of legs per segment (except for the first segment behind the head which does not have any appendages at all, and the next few which only have one pair of legs). Each segment that has two pairs of legs is a result of two single segments fused together as one. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical bodies, although some are flattened dorso-ventrally, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball, like a pillbug.
The name "millipede" is a compound word formed from the Latin roots mille ("thousand") and pes ("foot").
Despite their name, millipedes do not have 1,000 legs, although the rare species Illacme plenipes has up to 750. Common species have between 36 and 400 legs. The class contains around 10,000 species in 13 orders and 115 families.
Millipedes are detritivores and slow moving. Most millipedes eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter, moisturizing the food with secretions and then scraping it in with its jaws. However, they can also be a minor garden pest, especially in greenhouses where they can cause severe damage to emergent seedlings. Signs of millipede damage include the stripping of the outer layers of a young plant stem and irregular damage to leaves and plant apices.
Adults of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, a typical member of the subfamily Culicin. The duration from egg to adult varies among species and is strongly influenced by ambient temperature.
Mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in as little as five days but usually take 40 - 42 days in tropical conditions. The variation of the body size in adult mosquitoes depends on the density of the larval population and food supply within the breeding water.
Adult flying mosquitoes frequently rest in a tunnel that they build right below the roots of the grass.
Mosquitoes go through four stages in their life-cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult or imago. Adult females lay their eggs in standing water, which can be a salt-marsh, a lake, a puddle, a natural reservoir on a plant, or an artificial water container such as a plastic bucket. The first three stages are aquatic and last 5–14 days, depending on the species and the ambient temperature; eggs hatch to become larvae, then pupae. The adult mosquito emerges from the pupa as it floats at the water surface. Adults live for 4–8 weeks.
Adult mosquitoes usually mate within a few days after emerging from the pupal stage. In most species, the males form large swarms, usually around dusk, and the females fly into the swarms to mate.
Males live for about a week, feeding on nectar and other sources of sugar. Females will also feed on sugar sources for energy but usually require a blood meal for the development of eggs. After obtaining a full blood meal, the female will rest for a few days while the blood is digested and eggs are developed. This process depends on the temperature but usually takes 2–3 days in tropical conditions. Once the eggs are fully developed, the female lays them and resumes host seeking.
The cycle repeats itself until the female dies. While females can live longer than a month in captivity, most do not live longer than 1–2 weeks in nature. Their lifespan depends on temperature, humidity, and also their ability to successfully obtain a blood meal while avoiding host defenses.
While many species are native to tropical and subtropical regions, some such as Aedes have successfully adapted to cooler regions. In the warm and humid tropical regions, they are active the entire year long; however, in temperate regions they hibernate over winter. Eggs from strains in the temperate zones are more tolerant to the cold than ones from warmer regions. They can even tolerate snow and sub-zero temperatures. In addition, adults can survive throughout winter in suitable microhabitats.
The mosquito is a vector of malaria and mosquito control is a very effective way of reducing the incidence of malaria.
Mosquitoes are a vector agent that carries disease-causing viruses and parasites from person to person without catching the disease themselves. The principal mosquito borne diseases are the viral diseases yellow fever, dengue fever and Chikungunya, transmitted mostly by the Aedes aegypti, and malaria carried by the genus Anopheles. Though originally a public health concern, HIV is now thought to be almost impossible for mosquitoes to transmit. Mosquitoes are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually in Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and much of Asia with millions of resulting deaths. At least 2 million people annually die of these diseases.
Methods used to prevent the spread of disease, or to protect individuals in areas where disease is endemic include Vector control aimed at mosquito eradication, disease prevention, using prophylactic drugs and developing vaccines and prevention of mosquito bites, with insecticides, nets and repellents. Since most such diseases are carried by "elderly" females, scientists have suggested focusing on these to avoid the evolution of resistance.
Pavement ants or Slab ants
The pavement ant is dark brown to blackish, and 2.5–4 mm long. Like other ants there are the workers, alates, and a queen. Alates, or new queen ants and drones, have wings, and are twice as large as the workers. The drone's only job is to mate with the queen, and reproduction is at its highest in spring and summer. Tetramorium, like many other ants have nuptial flights where drones fly high up in the air and mate with new queens.
The queen finds a suitable nesting location and digs a founding chamber. As the eggs hatch and the ants develop they will spend that time, about two to three months, tending to the queen of their colony. They will continue helping in the colony until they are a month old. Older workers hunt and defend the colony. They will eat almost anything, including insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, ice cream and cheese. The species does not pose a public health risk, but can contaminate food and should be avoided.
Powderpost beetle larvae spend months or years inside wood while developing, feeding mainly on the starch content. Their presence is only apparent when they emerge as adults, leaving behind pinhole-sized openings, often called "shot holes". They may also leave piles of powdery frass below. Shot holes normally range in diameter from 1?32 inches (0.79 mm) to 1?8 inches (3.2 mm), depending on the species of beetle.
If wood conditions are right, female beetles may lay their eggs and re-infest the wood, continuing the cycle for generations.
Powderpost beetles feed on deciduous trees, including certain hardwoods or softwoods depending on the species. Some hardwoods are naturally immune if they have low starch content or if their pore diameters are too small for the female beetle's ovipositor to lay her eggs in.
Wood preservatives can be used to prevent beetle infestation. Common treatments may use boron. Items that can be infested by powderpost beetles include wooden tools or tool handles, frames, furniture, gun stocks, books, toys, bamboo, flooring, and structural timbers.
The following points should aid in discouraging powderpost beetle infestations:
1. Rough-cut lumber should be kiln-dried to kill all stages of the beetle.
2. Uninfested wood which is sanded and varnished will not normally be attacked by the adult beetles because they cannot find crevices in the wood surface into which they would deposit their eggs.
3. Items of value should not be stored in out buildings such as barns and sheds. These buildings are often infested with wood-boring beetles.
4. Infested furniture can be fumigated in a fumigation chamber. Only pest control operators licensed to do fumigations are permitted to purchase and use these materials. Fumigants are highly effective in eliminating all stages of powderpost beetles and leave no residues in or on the wood, but will not provide any protection from future attack.
5. Surface sprays containing borates will prevent newly hatched larvae from entering the wood. However, this technique is not effective on wood which has been varnished, waxed or otherwise sealed from attack by moisture.
6. If you purchase an item with numerous holes (such as an antique), demand that the dealer provide you with a receipt from the company that performed the fumigation.
There are about 4,500 species of cockroach, of which 30 species are associated with human habitations and about four species are well known as pests.
Among the best-known pest species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 30 millimeters (1.2 in) long, the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, about 15 millimeters (0.59 in) long, the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, also about 15 millimeters (0.59 in) in length, and the Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, about 25 millimeters (0.98 in).
Cockroaches live in a wide range of environments around the world. Pest species of cockroaches adapt readily to a variety of environments, but prefer warm conditions found within buildings. Many tropical species prefer even warmer environments and do not fare well in the average household.
The spines on the legs were earlier considered to be sensory, but observations of their locomotion on sand and wire meshes have demonstrated that they help in locomotion on difficult terrain. The structures have been used as inspiration for robotic legs.
Cockroaches leave chemical trails in their feces as well as emitting airborne pheromones for swarming and mating. Other cockroaches will follow these trails to discover sources of food and water, and also discover where other cockroaches are hiding. Thus, cockroaches can exhibit emergent behavior, in which group or swarm behavior emerges from a simple set of individual interactions.
Research has shown that group-based decision-making is responsible for complex behavior such as resource allocation. In a study where 50 cockroaches were placed in a dish with three shelters with a capacity for 40 insects in each, the insects arranged themselves in two shelters with 25 insects in each, leaving the third shelter empty. When the capacity of the shelters was increased to more than 50 insects per shelter, all of the cockroaches arranged themselves in one shelter. Researchers found a balance between cooperation and competition exists in group decision-making behavior found in cockroaches. The models used in this research can also explain the group dynamics of other insects and animals.
Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light. A peculiar exception is the Asian cockroach, which is attracted to light.
Role as pests
Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted household pest insects. They feed on human and pet food, and can leave an offensive odor. They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in environments such as hospitals.
Cockroaches have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans. One of the proteins that triggers allergic reactions has been identified as tropomyosin. These allergens have also been found to be linked with asthma.
General preventive measures against household pests include keeping all food stored away in sealed containers, using garbage cans with a tight lid, frequent cleaning in the kitchen, and regular vacuuming. Any water leaks, such as dripping taps, should also be repaired. It is also helpful to seal off any entry points, such as holes around baseboards, in between kitchen cabinets, pipes, doors, and windows with some steel wool or copper mesh and some cement, putty or silicone caulk.
Some cockroaches have been known to live up to three months without food and a month without water.
Frequently living outdoors, although preferring warm climates and considered "cold intolerant," they are resilient enough to survive occasional freezing temperatures. This makes them difficult to eradicate once they have infested an area.
Its common name derives from the animal's silvery light grey and blue color, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements, while the scientific name indicates the silverfish's diet of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches.
Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing and dandruff.
Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances that may be eaten include cotton, linen, silk and synthetic fibers, and dead insects or even its own exuvia (molted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even attack leather ware and synthetic fabrics. Silverfish can live for a year or more without eating.
Silverfish are considered a household pest, due to their consumption and destruction of property. Although they are responsible for the contamination of food and other types of damage, they do not transmit disease. Earwigs, house centipedes, and spiders are known to be predators of silverfish.
Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization.
As of 2008, approximately 40,000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists; however, there has been confusion within the scientific community as to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900.
Spiders use a wide range of strategies to capture prey: trapping it in sticky webs, lassoing it with sticky bolas, mimicking the prey to avoid detection, or running it down. Most detect prey mainly by sensing vibrations, but the active hunters have acute vision, and hunters of the genus Portia show signs of intelligence in their choice of tactics and ability to develop new ones. Spiders' guts are too narrow to take solids, and they liquidize their food by flooding it with digestive enzymes and grinding it with the bases of their pedipalps, as they do not have true jaws.
Male spiders identify themselves by a variety of complex courtship rituals to avoid being eaten by the females. Males of most species survive a few matings, limited mainly by their short life spans. Females weave silk egg-cases, each of which may contain hundreds of eggs. Females of many species care for their young, for example by carrying them around or by sharing food with them. A minority of species are social, building communal webs that may house anywhere from a few to 50,000 individuals. Social behavior ranges from precarious toleration, as in the aggressive widow spiders, to co-operative hunting and food-sharing. Although most spiders live for at most two years, tarantulas and other mygalomorph spiders can live up to 25 years in captivity.
While the venom of a few species is dangerous to humans, scientists are now researching the use of spider venom in medicine and as non-polluting pesticides. Spider silk provides a combination of lightness, strength and elasticity that is superior to that of synthetic materials, and spider silk genes have been inserted into mammals and plants to see if these can be used as silk factories. As a result of their wide range of behaviors, spiders have become common symbols in art and mythology symbolizing various combinations of patience, cruelty and creative powers.
Females lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silk egg sacs, which maintain a fairly constant humidity level In some species the females die afterwards, but females of other species protect the sacs by attaching them to their webs, hiding them in nests, carrying them in the chelicerae or attaching them to the spinnerets and dragging them along.
Baby spiders pass all their larval stages inside the egg and hatch as spiderlings, very small and sexually immature but similar in shape to adults. Some spiders care for their young, for example a wolf spider's brood cling to rough bristles on the mother's back, and females of some species respond to the "begging" behavior of their young by giving them their prey, provided it is no longer struggling, or even regurgitate food.
Like other arthropods, spiders have to molt to grow as their cuticle ("skin") cannot stretch. In some species males mate with newly molted females, which are too weak to be dangerous to the males. Most spiders live for only one to two years, although some tarantulas can live in captivity for over 20 years.
Most spiders will only bite humans in self-defense, and few produce worse effects than a mosquito bite or bee-sting. Most of those with medically serious bites, such as recluse spiders and widow spiders, are shy and bite only when they feel threatened, although this can easily arise by accident. Funnel web spiders' defensive tactics are aggressive and their venom, although they rarely inject much, has resulted in 13 known human deaths. On the other hand the Brazilian wandering spider requires very little provocation.
There were about 100 reliably reported deaths from spider bites in the 20th century, but about 1,500 from jellyfish stings. Many alleged cases of spider bites may represent incorrect diagnoses, which would make it more difficult to check the effectiveness of treatments for genuine bites.
Strawberry Root weevils
The Strawberry Root Weevil, is one of the many species in the weevil family (Curculionidae). Its name comes from its affinity for strawberry plants, which form a large part of its diet. They are, however, known to feed on other plants as well. It is known to be one of the major pests threatening sub-tropical strawberry farming. The adult strawberry root weevil is about six millimeters long, and is dark brown/black in color.
They are often found in the leaves and foliage of the plants they feed on. The adult weevil's elytra are fused together, which means they are unable to fly. The larvae can be up to thirteen millimeters long when fully grown and they are found near the roots of the plants they are infesting. The larvae are white, legless, with a darker colored head and are often C-shaped.
Controlling the strawberry root weevil includes a wide variety of methods such as the use of insecticides, plowing under old crops and crop rotation, cleaning farm equipment before moving to a new field, and fall plowing infested beds or fields. Another control method is the use of entomopathogenic nematodes, though results have varied.
Termites are generally grouped according to their feeding behavior. Thus, the commonly used general groupings are subterranean, soil-feeding, drywood, dampwood, and grass-eating. Of these, subterraneans and drywoods are primarily responsible for damage to human-made structures.
All termites eat cellulose in its various forms as plant fiber. Cellulose is a rich energy source (as demonstrated by the amount of energy released when wood is burned), but remains difficult to digest.
Termites rely primarily upon symbiotic protozoa (metamonads) such as Trichonympha, and other microbes in their gut to digest the cellulose for them and absorb the end products for their own use. Gut protozoa, such as Trichonympha, in turn rely on symbiotic bacteria embedded on their surfaces to produce some of the necessary digestive enzymes. This relationship is one of the finest examples of mutualism among animals. Most so called "higher termites", especially in the Family Termitidae, can produce their own cellulase enzymes. However, they still retain a rich gut fauna and primarily rely upon the bacteria. Due to closely related bacterial species, it is strongly presumed that the termites' gut flora are descended from the gut flora of the ancestral wood-eating cockroaches, like those of the genus
Some species of termite practice fungiculture. They maintain a 'garden' of specialized fungi of genus Termitomyces, which are nourished by the excrement of the insects. When the fungi are eaten, their spores pass undamaged through the intestines of the termites to complete the cycle by germinating in the fresh faecal pellets. They are also well known for eating smaller insects in a last resort environment.
Due to their wood-eating habits, many termite species can do great damage to unprotected buildings and other wooden structures. Their habit of remaining concealed often results in their presence being undetected until the timbers are severely damaged and exhibit surface changes. Once termites have entered a building, they do not limit themselves to wood; they also damage paper, cloth, carpets, and other cellulosic materials. Particles taken from soft plastics, plaster, rubber, and sealants such as silicone rubber and acrylics are often employed in construction.
Humans have moved many wood-eating species between continents, but have also caused drastic population decline in others through habitat loss and pesticide application.
Avoid contact of susceptible timber with ground by using termite-resistant concrete, steel, or masonry foundation with appropriate barriers. Even so, termites are able to bridge these with shelter tubes, and it has been known for termites to chew through piping made of soft plastics and even some metals, such as lead, to exploit moisture. In general, new buildings should be constructed with embedded physical termite barriers so that there are no easy means for termites to gain concealed entry. While barriers of poisoned soil, so called termite pre-treatment, have been in general use since the 1970s, it is preferable that these be used only for existing buildings without effective physical barriers.
The intent of termite barriers (whether physical, poisoned soil, or some of the new poisoned plastics) is to prevent the termites from gaining unseen access to structures. In most instances, termites attempting to enter a barriered building will be forced into the less favourable approach of building shelter tubes up the outside walls, and thus, they can be clearly visible both to the building occupants and a range of predators.
Use of timber that is naturally resistant to termites such as Syncarpia glomulifera (Turpentine Tree), Callitris glaucophylla (White Cypress), or one of the Sequoias. Note that there is no tree species whose every individual tree yields only timbers that are immune to termite damage, so that even with well known termite-resistant timber types, there will occasionally be pieces that are attacked. No species of tree produces timber that is completely immune to damage from every species of termite, some individual pieces of wood may be attacked.
When termites have already penetrated a building, the first action is usually to destroy the colony with insecticides before removing the termites' means of access and fixing the problems that encouraged them in the first place. Baits (feeder stations) with small quantities of disruptive insect hormones or other very slow acting toxins have become the preferred least-toxic management tool in most western countries. This has replaced the dusting of toxins direct into termite tunnels that had been widely done since the early 1930s (originating in Australia). The main dust toxicants have been the inorganic metallic poison arsenic trioxide, insect growth regulators (hormones) such as triflumuron and, more recently fipronil, a phenyl-pyrazole. Blowing dusts into termite workings is a highly skilled process. All these slow-acting poisons can be distributed by the workers for hours or weeks before any symptoms occur and are capable of destroying the entire colony. More modern variations include chlorfluazuron, diflubenzuron, hexaflumuron, and novaflumuron as bait toxicants and fipronil and imidacloprid as soil poisons. Soil poisons are the least-preferred method of control as this requires much larger doses of toxin and results in uncontrollable release to the environment.The termite’s effects are damaging, costing the southwestern United States approximately $1.5 billion each year in wood structure damage.
Tick is the common name for the small arachnids in superfamily Ixodoidea that, along with other mites, constitute the Acarina. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites), living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, Q fever (rare; more commonly transmitted by infected excreta), Colorado tick fever, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and tick-borne meningoencephalitis, as well as anaplasmosis in cattle and canine jaundice.
Habitats and behaviors
Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that are often found in tall grass where they will wait to attach to a passing host.
A tick will attach itself to its host by inserting its chelicerae (cutting mandibles) and hypostome (feeding tube) into the skin. The hypostome is covered with recurved teeth and serves as an anchor.
Seed ticks (tick larvae) also attack horses, cattle, moose, lions and other mammals, causing anemia, various diseases, paralysis and even death. Such infestations can be difficult to detect until thousands have attached themselves to an animal and eradication can be difficult.
Mature ticks are harder to see. Frequent grooming and chemicals for control may control the spread of seed ticks and adults.
Changes in temperature and day length are some of the factors signaling a tick to seek a host. Ticks can detect heat emitted or carbon dioxide respired from a nearby host. They will generally drop off the animal when full, but this may take several days. In some cases ticks will live for some time on the blood of an animal. Ticks are more active outdoors in warm weather, but can attack a host at any time.
Ticks can be found in most wooded or forested regions throughout the world. They are especially common in areas where there are deer trails or human tracks. Ticks are especially abundant near water, where warm-blooded animals come to drink, and in meadows wherever shrubs and brush provide woody surfaces and cover.
The various species of wasps fall into one of two main categories: solitary wasps and social wasps. Adult solitary live and operate alone, and most do not construct nests; all adult solitary wasps are fertile. By contrast, social wasps exist in colonies numbering up to several thousand strong and build nests—but in some cases not all of the colony can reproduce. In the more advanced species, just the wasp queen and male wasps can mate, whilst the majority of the colony is made up of sterile female workers.
Various wasp nests
Paper pulp type wasp colony on maple tree, photographed near Maple Lake in Cook County, Illinois in October 2008The type of nest produced by wasps can depend on the species and location. Many social wasps produce paper pulp nests on trees, in attics, holes in the ground or other such sheltered areas with access to the outdoors. By contrast solitary wasps are generally parasitic or predatory and only the latter build nests at all. Unlike honey bees, wasps have no wax producing glands. Many instead create a paper-like substance primarily from wood pulp. Wood fibers are gathered locally from weathered wood, softened by chewing and mixing with saliva. The pulp is then used to make combs with cells for brood rearing. More commonly, nests are simply burrows excavated in a substrate (usually the soil, but also plant stems), or, if constructed, they are constructed from mud.
The nesting habits of solitary wasps are more diverse than those of social wasps. Mud daubers and pollen wasps construct mud cells in sheltered places typically on the side of walls. Potter wasps similarly build vase-like nests from mud, often with multiple cells, attached to the twigs of trees or against walls. Most other predatory wasps burrow into soil or into plant stems, and a few do not build nests at all and prefer naturally occurring cavities, such as small holes in wood. A single egg is laid in each cell, which is sealed thereafter, so there is no interaction between the larvae and the adults, unlike in social wasps. In some species, male eggs are selectively placed on smaller prey, leading to males being generally smaller than females.
The nests of some social wasps, such as hornets, are first constructed by the queen and reach about the size of a walnut before sterile female workers take over construction. The queen initially starts the nest by making a single layer or canopy and working outwards until she reaches the edges of the cavity.
Beneath the canopy she constructs a stalk to which she can attach several cells; these cells are where the first eggs will be laid. The queen then continues to work outwards to the edges of the cavity after which she adds another tier. This process is repeated, each time adding a new tier until eventually enough female workers have been born and matured to take over construction of the nest leaving the queen to focus on reproduction. For this reason, the size of a nest is generally a good indicator of approximately how many female workers there are in the colony. Social wasp colonies often have populations exceeding several thousand female workers and at least one queen. Polistes and some related types of paper wasp do not construct their nests in tiers but rather in flat single combs.
Social wasp reproductive cycle (temperate species only)
Wasps do not reproduce via mating flights like bees. Instead social wasps reproduce between a fertile queen and male wasp; in some cases queens may be fertilized by the sperm of several males. After successfully mating, the male's sperm cells are stored in a tightly packed ball inside the queen. The sperm cells are kept stored in a dormant state until they are needed the following spring. At a certain time of the year (often around autumn), the bulk of the wasp colony dies away, leaving only the young mated queens alive. During this time they leave the nest and find a suitable area to hibernate for the winter.
The preventative approach:
Keeping the pests out!
Wouldn’t it be better to keep the pests out of your home in the first place? Of course it would! Just as your security system protects your family from intruders, Sergio’s Pest Pros can protect your home from insects and rodents. We use many naturally occurring materials to discourage pests from entering your home. With your safety in mind, we then handle those that have already penetrated your environment. Our state-of-the-art methods are the best way to eliminate pests from your life.
Sergio’s Pest Pros knows that pests don’t just magically appear in your home. Rather, they systematically seek out entry points and invade your home to obtain food, water and shelter. Our Two Step Protection Plan fights the invasion with common sense techniques and materials geared toward sending those pests packing.
Our Exterior Guard Program focuses on the areas immediately outside the structure, including the base of the foundation, windows, doors, thresholds, soffits and eaves, plumbing and electrical ingress points, vents, downspouts and the garage. By decreasing the bug population around the house, we minimize the number of pests that can invade your home. Sergio’s Pest Pros applies a band application of liquid, dust and baits to deter pests from penetrating the interior zone. We alert the home owner to cracks and crevices that need to be sealed to keep out the pests. We also inspect the property and seek out potential harborage areas. Mulch, wood, brick piles, trees and bushes should be moved as far from the structure as possible. Areas with high moisture conditions should be altered to prevent certain infestations.
Insects are determined to find a way to penetrate your home. Sergio’s pest management efforts outside of the structure reduce the amount of materials needed in the living areas of your home. Small amounts of odorless materials are placed in cracks and crevices where bugs tend to hide. We understand your needs. You don’t want insects in your home, and you want to minimize the use of chemicals in your environment. Sergio’s Two Step Protection Plan is the solution! We place the appropriate materials in the right place, thus achieving the desired result. Sergio’s virtually eliminates destructive, disease-carrying pests from your home. After your servicing, the technician provides you with a written report of his findings and what actions were taken to protect your home. If additional treatment is necessary during your service period, we will promptly render our service at no additional charge to you for covered pests.
HOME PROTECTION PLAN (QUARTERLY SERVICE)
This program provides the most COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE available. The plan includes treatment for ants, roaches, food infesting insects, silverfish, spiders, earwigs, centipedes, crickets, clover mites and ground beetles. This plan does not cover termites, fleas, rodents, flying insects, birds, or any other pest not mentioned. This program provides timely preventative indoor and outdoor applications as well as FREE EMERGENCY SERVICE, for covered pests, when required. We are constantly under siege from pests that want to ruin our homes, health, and happiness. These pests come in many different varieties and they come at different times of the year. That's why Sergio’s Pest Pros provides four treatments per year -- one treatment for each season. By providing regular visits, we are able to stop most pests before they invade your home. RESULTS GUARANTEED!
For your convenience, if you are not home during SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS, treatment and inspections will be made to the exterior, the major entry point for insects and rodents, and will be considered a completed quarterly service. *There is an INITIAL SERVICE charge for the first treatment. The Quarterly Service Plan commences after the initial clean out has been performed.
Why does Sergio’s Pest Pros have to come four times a year?
There are two very important reasons. First, many pests are seasonal in their occurrence; for example, rats and mice are very common in the fall and winter but not as prevalent in the spring and summer. Wasps and bees are noticed more in the summer and fall after their colonies have become very large, but they can be better controlled with early treatments in the spring. Other pests such as ants, roaches, and beetles also have seasonal peaks in their activity. Our challenge is to eliminate them before they become a problem to you.
Second, the pesticides and applications that we use today are much safer for you and for the environment than the pesticides used just ten years ago. With this added safety, the pesticides break down much faster. Thus, more frequent applications may be necessary.
What is included in the Sergio’s Pest Pros Quarterly Service Program?
Sergio’s will schedule four visits to your home throughout the year, and will inspect and/or perform treatment as needed to the areas described below:
- The interior service of your home will consist of inspection and monitoring of all accessible areas and treatment as necessary.
- Exterior perimeter treatment reduces the chance of pest invasion from neighboring properties.
- Garages will receive the same thorough perimeter treatment that your home gets.
- Door and window frames are common entry points for occasional invaders.
- Eaves and overhangs often harbor spiders and harmful flying insects, including wasps and hornets.
- Cracks in foundation walls and chimneys provide easy entry points for pests like ants and rodents.
- Landscape plantings often serve as perfect harborage areas for home invading pests.
- Wood piles harbor harmful pests such as carpenter ants and spiders. Wood piles should be kept away from the home.
- Trash collection areas provide fertile feeding grounds for numerous pests, including ants, flies and rodents.
- Ants, earwigs, and pill bugs are among the insect pests that commonly live in bark mulch and gravel beds.