Protect Yourself: Termites Cause Property Damage

Just picture a situation where a complex society made of little creatures that burrow through your yard and swarm all over your doors and lurking your house. These pests patiently eat away your furniture and walls causing too much damage and destruction which will cost you a lot on repair and replacement. This has become an everyday ordeal that many people are facing each day. By this, am talking about termite infestation. It is a problem that everyone wants to avoid. Prevention is essential, and it is good if done early enough. Protect your home from these creatures, and you can do that by doing the following; Get rid of any wood in contact with the ground Many infestations happen due to the wood being in contact with the soil. Wood to earth contact gives the termites an easy access to moisture, shelter and food and direct entry to the building. Wood siding, window and door frames and other wood items should be at least five inches from the ground. To do this, you may require degrading soil or mulch from the foundation and cut the wood bottom or if the post must reach the ground, put it on a concrete base. However, posts that are erected on concrete grounds are also vulnerable to termites since they extend to the soil. Do not allow moisture to accumulate near foundation Termites are mostly attracted to moisture and are likely to infest an area that is moist and next to the soil. To prevent this, divert water from the foundation using gutters and splash blocks. Ensure to repair any leaking pipes,...

Termites Love Attacking Your Home

It is every person’s nightmare to see a massive termite infestation in their home since it results in significant damage to the homes. The good thing is that when discovered early enough, the termite problem can be thwarted. The treatments are, however, expensive and extensive and the longer the termite infestation is left untreated, the costlier it becomes. As the termites keep on destroying furniture and other parts of the house, it gets worse and more expensive to repair them. It is good if you learn how to avoid such situations and prevent the ravages created by termites. Prevention is always the number one step to keep your home free of termite and avoid significant expenses. To deal with them, you should; Know your enemy The first step to fighting this battle is by identifying your enemy. Understand what conditions attract termites, and this will arm you with the necessary knowledge required to destroy them. The primary key is to keep your home environment dry by clearing all the stagnant water and repair any leakages and cracks. Learn the signs of termites’ infestation and observe all your property frequently to see if you get any signs. Prevention starts with the minor actions you take some of which include; Covering your firewood – If you must store wood in or outside the house, ensure it is covered as it is one of the main areas targeted by termites Ensure your garden is few meters from the home – Trees in your garden are also an attraction for the termites and it would be better if it is not near your...

Comprehensive Understanding of Swimming Spiders

Mostly, many people who struggle with arthropods feel comfortable in water since they are confident that spiders cannot live in water. If you are one of them, then you are not familiar with the swimming spiders, known as the diving bells. These spiders spend most their lifetime underwater. You might be surprised, but yes, there is such a creature as underwater spiders. Diving bell spider is among the few species of spiders that are known to live entirely under water. It is a member of the genus Argyroneta, and when it is outside water, its color ranges from mid to dark brown, but the hairs on its abdomen gives it a dark gray appearance. How they do it This species of spiders is quite like other species such that it breathes air just like the other types. The spiders make a web cocoon with silk which they fill up to create a bubble full of air which they can breathe when underwater. When submerged in water, there is an air bubble trapped by the dense layer of hydrophobic hairs on the legs and abdomen, and this gives the belly a silvery appearance. The spiders can live for up to two years. Due to their inbound life under water, the spiders can make use of the oxygen, and they only need to come out of the water about once in a day to replenish their air supply. Swimming spiders are found in ponds of the central and northern Europe and in some parts of Asia. It is the only spider species known to spend its life wholly underwater. The spider...

A History of Ants

The Fascinating History and Behavior of Ants Ants are older than believed, having originated about 168 million years ago. The resilient insects found in terrestrial ecosystems began to diversify about 100 million years ago. They evidently arose during the Cretaceous period. The earliest known fossils fall into two groups. There is the primitive Mesozoic which is under Sphecomyrminae subfamily. The next group is extant of the subfamily Formicine and the Poneromorph group of subfamilies. They comprise of the large and diverse Ponerinae and other prominent subfamilies. The workers known as sphecomyrmine genus were a pattern of the ant and wasp traits. There were specimens found in the deposits of Late Cretaceous amber in North America, Siberia, and Asia. Hence, they are found in the northern supercontinent of Laurasia. Other ants’ deposits like Paleogene and sphecomyrmines are rare. Among the many thousands of Cretaceous insect’s specimens examined from New Jersey, Burma and Canada only seven of them have enough characteristics to qualify being called sphecomyrmine workers. From the biology of these ancient ants, it is right to say that they lived in mesic forests with rich insect faunas and rich florals although the exact timing causes of their extension in the last 10 to 20 million years are not well known. In the history of sphecomyrmines, there was the occurrence of a wider radiation beyond the stem genus Sphecomyrma. Among the oldest fossils include Gerontoformia from the early Cenomanian to the uppermost Albian amber of France which was dated to 100 million years ago. Due to the imperfect preservation, there is no placed reference to fossils or subfamilies, but it...

Termites: Just Give Me the Facts!

Facts about Termites; How to Identify, Prevent and Control Them Termites are also known as the silent destroyers since it is their habit to hide secretly in your or home without showing any signs of damage. All termites eat cellulose-based plants and unfortunately every home regardless of the nature of construction can provide termites with this type of food. Scientific name Termites come in three different types, the subterranean, dampwood, and drywood. All of them belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta and order Isoptera. They have over two thousand species which have distinct scientific names. The main species that attack homes are Eastern subterranean, southern drywood termites and Pacific dampwood termites. The scientific names are: Eastern subterranean – Reticulitermes flavipes Southern drywood – incisitermes snyderi Pacific dampwood – Zootermopsis angusticollis Their appearance The termites’ size ranges from1/4 to 1/2 an inch long. The kings and queens are much bigger, and they can reach an inch long. The workers’ bodies are soft and are pale colored. The flying termites which are also known as the reproductives have two pairs of large wings. Diet Termites are said to be detritus feeders. They love feeding on dead plants and trees. They get their nutrients from cellulose which is an organic fiber from wood and plant matter. Wood makes up the most diets for pest although termites can feed on other materials like plastic, paper, and drywall. Most of the termite species prefer dead wood, but others consume living plants. Every type of termite has different diet preference. The subterranean termites love softwoods, but they can also invade other types of wood....

Top 4 Checklist Items When Choosing a Pest Control Company

Facts to Consider When Choosing a Pest Management Company Due to the increased urbanization, it means that now more than ever, pests are highly competing with the human for food. Just as pervasive as pest infestations are, so are pest control companies. It gets hard to find a pest control company since when you open the yellow pages; you will realize that besides the many household names, there are hundreds of businesses offering their pest management services. Smaller companies are likely to offer more competitive rates due to their relatively low costs, and it gets tempting to run to them since we all want to save money. However, there are many things that you need to consider before deciding to accept a quote from just any company that comes your way. Here is a list of the four top factors you should highly put into consideration. Establishment If the pest control company is reliable, it should be fully certified, insured and equipped. The pest exterminators and inspectors should be trained and high qualified in their profession. They should always be able to communicate well with their clients and give proper information before beginning the services. The process should start with inspecting pests. If they are genuine, they will then consult you about the possible elimination methods before deciding which one to use. They will then discuss the cost ranges. If they are specialists, they will give you advice and recommendations on how to avoid the pests in the future. Reputation The reputation of a company is very vital in measuring success rate. Also, it is good to check how...

Hidden Dangers in the Garden

Protect Yourself from the Hidden Dangers in the Garden You may feel like there is no better way to spend your afternoon like tending to your garden. What you are not aware of is the dangers that are hiding in your yard waiting to explode and do harm to you. Despite the beauty of the garden, you must be extra careful because every time you go to attend to it, you might be exposing yourself to different types of dangers which include; Accidental cuts and scrapes If your garden has thorny plants, ensure you have tetanus medicine ready. Thorns are a very unpleasant deal for every person. Some shrubs and flowers may seem beautiful and attractive in the garden, but they have thorns, and although the thorns are there to protect them from harm, the pinch of it can be very painful. Some have venom in them which makes it even more painful. It is advisable for you to wear gloves when working in the garden to prevent such incidences. Moreover, you are likely to get cuts or scratch from scraps on the ground, and the biggest problem with that are the bacteria. Bacteria are hidden in the soil and could, therefore, enter your body causing you more major problems. Legionellosis You may have heard of incidences where many people have even died from picking up these bacteria that hides in moist soil. We already know that the potential of getting this deadly bacterium is there in the potting mix and the compost bags, but very few take the precaution of putting on masks. Put on a mask for...

How to Spot Argentine Ants

Identifying, Locating and Controlling Argentine Ants Due to their small sizes, the best way to identify Argentina ants is by their color, tails and the fact that they smell when squashed. Argentina ants are highly busy when looking for food. They trail in a group of five or more ants, and they can move on buildings and trees. Research has shown that at every given time, there are about ten quadrillion ants alive and roaming on earth. Some people may find it hard to believe, but those who have dealt with Argentine ants invasion may even feel like the number is an underestimate. These are prolific breeders, and the worse thing is that they are aggressive too. Appearance The Argentina ants’ colonies are easy to identify due to their massive sizes, but individually, they are only 3mm long. They are wingless, and their color ranges from light to dark brown. The males and queens are larger and darker. They can be distinguished from the other ant species by the following features; They do not sting, though they can bite Their antennae are divided into 12 segments Their mandibles are lined with 5-8 large teeth Their eyes are set below the widest point of the head A single node separates thorax and abdomen Emits a musty smell when crushed They move in vast ant trails Queens The Argentine ant queens are different from the other ant species. Some of their unique features are; They are small about 1/6 to ¼ inches in length which are smaller than the species of ant queens The winged Argentine ant queens mate only once...

Prevent Pests in Stored Food Areas

Control and Prevention Measures for Stored Products You will find stored products pest almost in every home at some point. Many people do not recognize why they occur or how to identify and control them. Most of the pests are transported to homes from warehouses and stores. Others appear at home from products that have been stored for long. You know that incidence when you see a moth moving around the lighting or television at night. The kind which turns into powder when squished, or the moment you measure flour to make some pancakes or cookies and see some brown insects floating on the flour. That is a sign that you are infested with these pests. If you find the same bug repeatedly in your home, it is an indication of product pests’ problem. Pantry pests are more common in the food storage areas whereas fabric pests are commonly found in closets or regions with sources of leather or natural fiber. However, they could also be in other sectors, for example, some pantry pests can infest in an area where there is an animal carcass such as a rat or mouse that had died somewhere in the house, and fabric pests can be spotted anywhere in the house. The following is a list of the product pests and how to control them. Moths Indiana moths They can be either pantry or fabric pests. They come in different color patterns, size and behavior which can help to identify which area they prefer to attack. There is the Indiana meal moth which is the most common indoor pest. It is identified...

Bed Bugs and Your Furniture

If you see signs of bed bug infestation in your home, it is best if you find it early before it spreads. Treating the infestation when it is still minor is far easier and less costly than after it spread and become established. However, a small outbreak is very hard to find and identify. You can easily mistake other insects like carpet beetles with bed bugs, and if you misidentify bed bugs, it gives them more time to spread all over the house. Bed bug bites are indicators of infestation, but you can also confuse them with bites from other insects like mosquitoes and some people do not react to the bites at all, which makes it hard to identify a bed bug infestation by bites. The best way to determine if you have a bed bug infestation is by looking for physical bed bugs signs which include; Rusty stains on the mattresses or bed sheets. The reddish stains are as a result of bed bugs being crushed as you sleep Dark spots, the size of a dot on the fabric which could be as a result of bed bug excrement Tiny eggs and eggshells and yellow skins shed off by the nymphs as they grow bigger Seeing the bed bugs themselves Bed bugs hide in many places when they are not feeding. They can be found near the seams, piping, and tag of the mattress. They also hide in the cracks on the bed headboard and frame. If your house is highly infested you can find them in other places like; The junction where the ceiling and the...

Learning More about the Wolf Spider

The word wolf spider itself sounds scary. From the word wolf, you can tell the dangers that come with this animal. The name encompasses a family of many spiders, which are mostly dark colored and athletic. The spiders catch their prey by hunting it down violently using their sharp eyesight rather than looking for food while on the web like other spiders do. Their parenting is unique and exciting too. Wolf spiders are commonly found in grasslands, but they are also present in deserts and rain-forests provided they find insects. Appearance Wolf spiders are large and hairy that they are at times mistaken for tarantulas. They come in different colors brown, gray, black or tan. They have dark markings which are at times stripes. However, the spiders can be distinguished by the following main features; Eight long and hairy legs Sharp horizontal fangs Eight eyes arranged in three rows Unique Jack impression on their back They range in size from about ¼ to two inches long Wolf spider camouflages which help them to catch their prey and protect them from predators. The male spiders are typically smaller than the females. Bite and threats Wolf spider can only bite when threatened, but their poison is not very harmful to human beings. Wolf spider’s bite symptoms include redness, mild pain, and swelling. At times a fever can be experienced and swell of the lymph glands. It is advisable to seek medical assistance immediately after the bite or do first aid especially for young children and the elderly. Habits and defense The spiders commonly roam alone at night as they stalk their...

Winter Pest Solutions for Pest Control

We are right in the middle of Winter! Pests become more attracted to your home during the winter season. Here are some of the methods to deal with different winter pests. Rodents like rats and mice can fit in very tiny places. They do not have collapsible skeletons, and as such, they can fit in holes the size of a dime. To prevent this, secure the entry places like doors, windows, chimneys and the openings around pipes entering your home. You can use hardware cloth to close the openings and seal the holes. Mice and rats love staying in warm places with plenty of food supply. One way to ensure you do not get the pests’ infestation is to make sure they don’t have access to a food supply. Clean the kitchen properly and put away the pet food and keep dry foods in sealed plastic bags or containers. Do not forget that rats are capable of chewing most materials so lock up the food well. Spider and arachnids Spiders and arachnids are known for being creepy. Some spider varieties are harmless, but it still feels uncomfortable to see them crawling around your home. It gets hard to spray them like you spray bugs since spiders have long legs and they can crawl over the area covered with pesticides without getting the poison on their body unless they crawl on their abdomen. However, you can still use insecticides against spiders since the more insects you kill, the less the food for the spiders to feed on. To ensure the spiders do not come to your house, seal all the openings...

Reduce Pests by Cleaning the Yard

Sanitation is a crucial step in reducing problems caused by pests and diseases. Just like people, trees and flowers will need a healthy environment too. We ensure to get fresh air, water and live in a clean home so as to reduce the chances of getting ill, but we tend to neglect the yard by leaving fallen fruits, dead branches, plants, and weeds in the garden. The fallen leaves and fruits are an ideal location for pests to survive. The shrubs and plants provide the pests with hiding places by increasing humidity and reducing airflow, and this could even cause fungal infections. To mitigate this risk, you have to clean up your yard regularly. The living environment for human beings also provides the necessary conditions for pests to satisfy their life requirements. For this reason, it is crucial for homeowners to reduce the pests access to some possible elements like water, food, and shelter around the home to keep the living space hospitable. Pest management is a process that involves understanding and identifying the pests’ behavior and what they like most then using the information to get means on reducing them. One common feature among all pests is that they like living in dark places like under the rocks where they live as a group. The harborages are mostly sites that are protected from air movement. They also love places where food is available, and the temperature is suitable for their survival. If you have a hip of rocks in your yard, you are likely to be attracting them. They also enjoy living under wood where they make holes,...

Mice Causing Problems During The Winter Season

As the winter season approaches, homeowners may start to witness rodents in their houses. One of the pests that attack homes during this season is mice. The risk of mice increases as the temperature drops which comes with a lot of problems. One of the reasons the rodents population undergoes a large boost during winter is because they are looking for shelter to protect themselves from cold. During the warm season, the mice live outdoor like in the bushes, hollow logs, and tall grass. When the weather turns cold, their food sources disappear, and they need to look for places to survive until spring. Mice run for warmth and food in homes and other structures that are not temperature controlled like garages and sheds. For this reason, even if you might have a mice problem during summer, you will not notice a large number of them until it is winter because they spend a majority of time indoors. Cold causes building materials to contract and this can cause holes and cracks that were not there during the warm season, making it easier for the mice to sneak in. Mice manifest themselves in different ways. You will spot droppings, tracks or chewed plastics and furniture. They also emit musky smells, and you can hear noisy movements especially at night. The signs can help you get the nesting areas. The nests are mostly made of shredded fibers or any other chewable materials. You will find them in hidden and undisturbed areas like crates or wardrobes, shoe boxes, kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Mice will make nests in the uncommonly used cabinets since...

Taming Spiders in and Around the Home

Spiders are found in many places. There are different species found in and around the home. These spiders are of different species and are not identical. The only thing spiders have in common is that they have eight legs. Spiders are known to eat insects and act as a natural exterminator. However, despite these wonderful things they do, people are still afraid of them. The fear of spiders comes from the belief that they are all poisonous while that is not the case. Most spiders are harmless to human beings and can be kept as pets. Spiders can make fascinating pets, but you need to know how to deal with them. Here are some tips on taming a spider and having it as a pet. If you want to have a spider as a pet, you should first catch one. Before you go looking for one, educate yourself on the different spiders around and the venomous ones to prevent any accidents. Most spiders found in homes and their compounds are usually harmless. When going to catch a spider, ensure you have a jar to put it in and avoid having more than one spider in a jar since they will kill and eat each other. You can look at the best spiders to keep as pets online, and you can ask at the pet store. Ensure you have a cage for your spider. You can keep them in jars as long as they have breathing holes that are big enough to let air in but small to ensure they do not escape. Spiders do not need a lot of...

Stinging Insects and How to Protect Yourself From Them

There are many kinds of insects. Most are considered harmless while others are known to sting. Stinging insects use stingers that were initially used for laying eggs. In most insects, they are found in females while in arthropods, they can be found in both males and females. Stingers are delivered for either defense or to paralyze prey. Every year, thousands of people are treated for insect stings. These insects are mainly active during summer and spring. There is a need for people to be informed about the types of stinging insects and how to prevent them. Common types of stinging insects include bees, wasps, mosquitoes, stinging caterpillars, and other insects. These insects are commonly seen during warm seasons and care should be taken to prevent one from being attacked. Other examples of stinging insects include spiders and scorpions even though they are not considered to be true insects because they are arthropods. Stinging insects usually have venom in their stingers. Depending on the kind of insect, one can have a mild or adverse reaction. Some of these insects have venom that is deadly to humans. These include scorpions and spiders. Other insects may have little amounts of venom in their system but can still cause serious damage when they attack in large numbers. It is not unusual to hear that a person has been stung to death by bees and wasps. There are protective measures in place that can be taken to prevent this from happening: Hire trained professionals to inspect and destroy any hives and nests that in and around the home. Trying to get rid of them...

Definitive List of Termite Prevention

People believe that prevention is better than cure. When it comes to pests, the saying applies even more. Pests cause a lot of damage when left to infest their property. Termites are known to be destructive when it comes to property especially wood. Termites are pests that take advantage of any environment that is conducive for their sustenance. Termites, like any pests, will linger in a place that provides food, shelter, and water. Most structures have wood that termites eat. If left in the building, it will damage the structure of the building making it unsafe. Instead of waiting until your place is fully infested with termites, you should practice different ways to prevent them from coming. These means include: Since termites are attracted to moisture, you should ensure that moisture does not accumulate in the interior and exterior of your home. Do not sprinkle wood siding on your lawn while watering it. Ensure that there no cracks in the foundation of the house and anywhere else. Any cracks should be sealed to block any potential entry points. Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clean and repair them if necessary. Wet leaves provide moisture that attracts termites. In case you have firewood, store it at a high place off the ground and ensure it is away from your home. Ensure old tree stumps are removed, and the same applies to any roots. They will become shelters for termites. Ensure there is no direct contact between wood and soil. There should be a gap between the wood and soil to reduce the chances of termites reaching the wood. The idea;...

How to Protect Important Pollinators

There are many resources in the media and everywhere else concerning the health of pollinators. Pollinators are important since they help in pollination. Examples of these pollinators include bees, butterflies, birds, beetles, and birds. There are many threats facing pollinators, and the major one is the lack of nectar and pollen sources. Pollinators are important components of our environment for the following reasons: Thousands of plants need to be pollinated to produce finished products that are used in food, spices, beverages, fibers, and medicines. Pollinators make this possible by distributing the pollen. Most of the foods consumed by people and animals are produced through pollination. Without the pollinators, these foods will not be available. Through pollination, a country can produce food in surplus that can be sold to generate income. Currently, pollinators have been under crisis with beekeepers recording losses every year. These losses translate to less production of fruits and vegetables. The reason is that pollinators are declining in number. There are different things that could be done to protect the pollinators. These things include: Have a variety of plants of different shapes and sizes to encourage diversity. Remember to get wildflowers that are adapted to the climate of the place. Pollinators are of different species and sizes hence the need for a variety of flowers. By having different flowers in your garden, you will beautify your garden Ensure there are plants blooming every season. Some species are active throughout the year while others are available seasonally. There should be plants during each season to ensure that they have food at all times. The feeding is necessary for...