Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

If you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito, you know how bad it can sting. After a few minutes, redness in the area appears and your skin feels incredibly itchy. Why is that? What causes mosquito bites to itch? To better understand the problem, it’s important to know what goes on in the body following a mosquito bite. Acting quickly prevents the itchiness from worsening and causing you further discomfort. Let’s take a look at mosquito saliva’s toll on the skin, shall we? Public Enemy #1 is Mosquito Saliva The main culprit behind itchy mosquito bites is mosquito saliva. The substance releases through the feeding stylets used to pierce your skin. While the mosquito sucks your blood, its salivary glands go into overdrive. It can get what it wants from you that way. Mosquito saliva is an anticoagulant which allows the pest to feast upon your body rapidly. In order to get the nourishment the mosquito needs to survive, it must act quickly. After all, how many of the insects survive being swatted at? Few live to see the light of day once they’re discovered sucking the life force out of your shoulders, arms, and legs. Still, it doesn’t explain that relentless itch that comes from the welted skin on your body. The reason why it feels so unbearable is that you’re allergic to the saliva. You are now producing histamines which take connective tissue and mast cells and break them down. The itch is a side effect of the process and best treated with an antihistamine. The Best Ways to Prevent and Treat Mosquito Bites Among the most...

Definitive Pest Prevention List

Pests are irritating and also can cause some health effects. There are different types of pests including flies, fleas, mosquitos, bed bugs, fungus, rats, cockroaches, termites, mice, and others. It’s best to do what you can to reduce the pests in your home and in your yard. There are several ways through which you can prevent pests, they include: Cover Your Food and Wash Dishes Always make sure your food is covered or stored in airtight containers. Using containers with rubber seals on their lids are best. Wash your dishes thoroughly because the leftovers in the dirty dishes are a such a treasure to pests such as cockroaches and ants. Get Rid Of Any Sources Of Unused Water Remove stagnant water from unused bowls and buckets. This is especially important outdoors, from pools, gardens, old tires, and any other water-holding objects or containers. Stagnant water acts as breeding spots for pests such as flies. Make Sure Your Trash Can Has A Tight Lid All The Time And Dispose of The Garbage Regularly A tight lid in your trash can will keep the pests away and they will not be able to either feed or breed. Disposing of the garbage regularly will also keep it clean and avoid any attention from the pests. Inspect your Home or Office For Holes and Crack And Seals Seal any holes, cracks, and vents as soon as you notice any to prevent pests such as termites and roaches. You can have an expert to inspect and seal the openings in your home or office. Keep Bushes and Trees as Far Away (as possible) Ensuring...

10 Fascinating Facts About Bees

Bees are amazing insects. We have relied on bees to pollinate many of our crops and it’s estimated that honey bees pollinate a third of all the food crops consumed by humans. Despite their uniqueness and close association with human beings, there are many facts about the bees that you may not know about. Below are 10 fascinating facts about bees: A Single Colony Can Contain Up To 60,000 Bees Yes, that’s right, one colony can have up to 60,000 bees. They are very organized with each member of the colony playing their specific role. There are construction workers who build beeswax foundation, where the queen bees lay eggs and it’s also the place where workers store honey. Nurse bees are responsible for caring for the young ones. The queen bee also has her attendant workers who feed and bathe her. There are guard bees who keep guard while the undertakers carry away the dead bees from the hive. Foragers are responsible for collecting enough pollen and nectar which is used to feed the whole colony. Worker Honeybees Are All Females All the workers in the hive are females. The males only make up about 15 percent of the population in most colonies. You can recognize males from the stinger. Their only job is to mate, and they don’t even feed themselves. In the fall or at the end of the mating season, the males (also known as drone bees) are kicked out of the hive to avoid drainage of resources and also because they are no longer useful. A Queen Bee Stores A Lifetime Supply of Sperm A...

Interesting Facts About Mice

Mice are some of the most common pests, not just in the US but around the globe. It’s no surprise that most households will eventually have to deal with mice infestation. Mice will try and get into your home to seek shelter and food. You might have some understanding of mice, but here are 10 fascinating mouse facts: Mice Consume A Lot of Food Mice have big appetites despite their small bodies and stomachs. They eat between 15 to 20 times a day and they will stop at several foods areas during the course of their day to eat or carry food. Because of their frequent eating habits, they tend to settle or build their homes near the source of their food. They eat all kinds of grains and fruits from the plants. Their Teeth Never Stop Growing Mice, just like many other rodent species, have incisor teeth that never stop growing. The mice teeth grow at a rate of 0.3mm daily. This is the main reason why they gnaw their teeth on different items like cardboard boxes, furniture, and wires to grind their teeth down to a comfortable length. In some instances, mice have caused electrical fires and other damages as a result of grinding their teeth in electrical wires. Mice Are Excellent Gymnasts Mice have superb gymnastic skills and they are brilliant climbers, jumpers and even swimmers. They can easily jump a foot and climb up with ease onto kitchen counters or pantries to get some food. You should always store your pantries stuff in plastic containers that are hard and close them with tightly sealed lids....

The Lowdown on Fleas

What Do Fleas Look Like? Fleas are wingless parasites with thin and small bodies that are few millimeters long and are brown or reddish-brown in color. Their long back legs are modified for jumping and they can jump as high as 100 times their height from the ground to their host or from one host to another with ease. They only travel by jumping and crawling and don’t ‘fly’ at all even though they might appear as if they’re flying when moving. There are covered with hair in their bodies which make it easy for them to root themselves to their host’s hair or fur and move easily. Flea Lifecycle Fleas have four lifecycle stages and understanding them can also help you to treat and even prevent their infestation in the future. Eggs: Fleas eggs are small and whitish in color. One female flea can lay 50 eggs or more in just one day. The female can lay eggs on the pet and because they’re light, they can fall off in the home environment. Larvae: Eggs become larvae after 2-10 days and feed on the feces of the adult fleas or dead flea larvae. Larvae avoid light and hide into carpets, cracks in hardwood floors, upholstery and under baseboards. The larvae stage lasts for 5-11 days. Pupae: The larvae will then create a cocoon or pupa. It is in the pupa that the larvae mature into an adult. It is not easy to get rid of fleas’ infestation as they are protected from most treatments used on the premises. They are also mostly situated beyond the reach of the sprays and even...

Termite Social Behaviors

Did you know that termites play an essential role in nature? They help in breaking down dead wood and other cellulose materials which is vital in the ecosystem. Termites range in size from 1/8 of an inch to 1 inch long. Their colonies vary in colors from brown to white and black. However, their colors depend on the life stage of a particular termite and their species. The most common behaviors of termites are useful ecologically, they can be a pest in a home or business. Some common behaviors of termites include: Colonies Termites are social insects, and they tend to live together in an organized family structure called territories. One colony can comprise of 100 to 1 million termites, depending on the species. In each colony, there are smaller structures called castes which have different functions in the colony and have their own unique and distinguishable form of characteristics. Further, each termite colony has a king and a queen who are responsible for reproduction. There are three principals in caste which include: The soldiers, workers and the reproductive. Swarming Swarming is the most conspicuous sign of termite behaviors around the homes. Swarming is the process which a new termite colony forms after a queen termite leaves the colony with a large group of workers. About 60% of the workers leave the original location with the queen termite and where they go on to form another colony. The primary purpose of termites swarming is to mate and start new colonies. Colonies of subterranean termites can produce thousands of swarms while other species like dry wood termites produce fewer swarms. Termite species are...

Spider and Spider, Oh My! Signs You Have a Spider Problem

Like insects infestations, spiders’ infestation can be a troubling affair to homeowners. Generally, Spiders are harmless but depending on the person’s sensitivity, they can cause serious angst. Some spiders are actually dangerous and can even cause serious medical complications if the bites are left unattended. It is therefore essential for homeowners to be in a position to identify any signs indicating of spiders’ infestation in their areas for safety purposes. Webs This is one of the most clear ways to identify that you have a spider problem at your premises. The more the spider webs at your residence or your commercial place, the higher chance that you have a spider infestation. In such cases, some spiders create straightforward and elaborate patterns of web networks while others create some complex designs for their homes. Any of these web patterns is enough evidence that you are facing a spider problem at your place and if proper caution to eliminate the spiders is not taken. If you do not deal with the spiders after noticing their existence at your premise, it means that the spiders will have an ample time to develop egg sacs, that when given enough time, will produce baby spiders.  Egg Sacs There are various types of spiders, and most of them lay hundreds of eggs all at once and wrapped in a silk bag. Once you spot sacs of eggs at your residence, you should be aware that within a short period they will hatch. You will then have many more spiders to deal with. Dealing with the egg sacs is much easier than dealing with the spiders...

6 Tips on Keeping Your Attic Free of Pests

Finding out there is the presence of pests in your attic at any time is not something any homeowner wants to see. Besides the associated health complications brought up by pests, the fright of coming face to face with pests like rodents or finding critters around the house is enough to threaten homeowners to call pest control professionals at any hour of the night. Whether you have noticed pests in your ducts or vents in the pasts or you are worried of pest getting into your home during winter, these steps will help you in keeping your attic free of pest long before they become a problem in your house. Seal any possible cracks and gaps in the attic Presence of cracks and gaps on the attic is the most straightforward methods that pests can get their way into the house. Often, damages or cracked vent systems are primary culprits that gives insects, rodents and many other winter pests the freedom to access the warmest area of your room. Regular checks on the exterior of your vent and ducts for any damages is essential to identify cracks, holes, and damages and patch them up. This helps in stopping pests long before they can enter the house. For damages hidden inside the interior walls, it is necessary to call pest management professions who are in a position to repair them or put you in touch with HVAC professionals who will fix the cracks and gaps thus keep your attic free of pests. Ensure regular cleaning and maintenance This is among the most critical steps in keeping your attic free of...

Common Pest and Pest Control Myths

Pests are a nuisance and frustrating. People tend to dismiss them without trying to learn more about them. Trying to prevent and control pests has been significant activity, and there has been a ton of information and stories concerning this matter. This ends up putting people in a state of confusion. There have been endless myths concerning pests and pest control. Below are some of the common pest myths and the facts: You cannot have bugs if your house is clean It is true that having a clean house minimizes the chances of pest infestation, but that does not mean that your home is now immune or free from pest problems. Bed bugs, to be precise, are mostly attracted to warmth, and blood which is their source of food. This shows that no matter how clean your house is, it will always be attractive to bugs as long as there are humans or animals for them to feed on. Keeping your home clean, however, helps you to identify an infestation faster than when there is stuff cluttered everywhere. Also, it ensures that there is no food source available for other pests that do not feed on blood. Keeping your home clean should not give you a reason to ignore other issues. When you are stung by a bee, you are safe since it cannot hurt you again It is said that most bee species die after stinging. However, this does not mean that you are after being stung. Some types of bees can sting multiple times. The worst of them all is the wasp as it has an unlimited...

Understanding the Difference Between Bees and Wasps

Most people tend to confuse between wasps and honey bees since both are insects that can give painful stings. However, when wasps can attack naturally and at any time, honey bees attack mostly when provoked. Getting the difference between the two is vital as it can help you know the right treatment to administer to the wound once you are stung by any of them. It also assists you in determining the proper pest control method. Some of the differences to help you in identifying the two creatures include: Physical appearance The two creatures differ in appearance. Their bodies and leg structures are both different. Bees have hairy bodies and legs while wasps are smooth. Moreover, bees have round abdomen and thorax while wasps have cylindrical. Wasps have round waxy legs while bees have flat wide legs. Behavioral characteristics Bees use poison to protect themselves or their hives. They can sting anyone who becomes a threat. Their stinger is sharp and remains in the skin of the victim. The stinger comes from the bee’s thorax and causes the bee to die eventually. Wasps, on the other hand, are aggressive as they are predators. Wasps are easily provoked and can sting you even if you are not trying to hurt them. Their stinger is smooth and comes out of the skin quickly. When wasps sense danger near the nest, they produce pheromones to alert the whole family to come and attack who is trying to endanger them. Neither of the two creatures is aggressive until when it feels endangered. They are good at protecting their eggs and nests. Bees have...

The 6 Most Dangerous Spiders in the World

There are over 43,000 species of spiders wandering in the world. However, among them, only a few species are said to be deadly. About 30 species or less. Some of them have caused human deaths. The spider’s venom works depending mostly on the size of the spider. Some spider’s venom works only in small creatures while others produce allergic reactions to humans. Deaths caused by spiders are rare as the poison is treatable. It is hard to figure out which species to avoid and worry about and which ones are not harmful. This article discusses 6 of the most dangerous spiders based on their features to help you recognize them. Brazilian Wandering spider Its color and size characterize the spider. It is large, brown, and almost resembles the North American Wolf spiders. However, it is larger, and its venom is more toxic than the North America Wolf Spider. It can be termed as the spider species with the most active venom and as the most dangerous spider in the world. They are active hunters and good in traveling. They love crawling as they look for warm and comfortable places during the night. Their hideouts include in flowers and fruits that people cultivate and consume. If bothered, the spider will bite as a way of protecting itself. However, if it is not aggravated, it gives a dry bite without venom. It only produces toxin if it is hurt. The serotonin contained in the poison can cause muscle shock. There have been several deaths caused by Brazilian Wandering spider’s bite, especially to children. Children have a weak immune system, and once...

How to Identify and Control Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the bug world. There are a number of different carpenter ants that will infest a building. Identifying these ants is the first step in ridding a building of the pests; calling a professional and helping to kill the ants follows. Preventing a new infestation is the final step, however, carpenter ants are diligent, and even the best pest control efforts may not keep them all outdoors. Continue reading our updated post on how to prevent carpenter ants. Identification Carpenter worker ants are sometimes black, sometimes red and black. They are typically up to 1/2 inch in length, and will be the first ants noticed, as they are the “scouts” that come out of the nest for food. The queen carpenter ants are winged, and as large as one full inch in size. They hide in the nest to lay eggs and care for young, so they are not as commonly found in the open. A typical colony divides itself between three different categories: workers, males, and queens. The worker ants could be different sizes, as these ants have specific jobs, as mentioned above. Some defend the nest while others gather food for the colony. As these are the ants that will be seen first, it’s important to use these ants to positively identify that the ants are carpenters. Look for a waist with one node, and a thorax that has an evenly rounded upper surface. This is important, as other ants will look similar to carpenters, but are not. The thorax will be the biggest difference in knowing if you have...

Rodent Proofing Your Home

Most people tend to concentrate their rodent control and management efforts on getting rid of the pests. However, proofing your home is equally necessary if you want to keep your home free from these creatures. Rodent proofing aims at preventing them from getting to your home at all, and this saves you the time, cost and stress of having to deal with an infestation. Some of the best means of keeping rodents from your home without using poison include; Avoid feeding the birds from the compound Feeding the birds by throwing food to them at the compound will only attract the rodents. Birds rarely eat up everything, and they are likely to leave the grains and other foods on the ground providing free meals for the crawling pests. To avoid this, avoid feeding birds around your compound and if you have to do it, clean up the area as soon as they leave. Sealing cracks and holes All the cracks and holes near wiring and pipes should be sealed. The best way would be using a rodent mesh to fill them. Ensure to seal even the tiniest holes. Some rodents like mice are capable of passing through holes as small as the tip of the index finger. Rats, on the other hand, can pass through holes as tiny as the tip of a thumb. Concentrate on roofs and the foundation as they are the major entry points of these pests and ensure there are no cracks left unsealed. Avoid leaving the garage door open Rodents love garages for shelter. This is because here, they can easily find food from...

Pest Proofing Your Home In The Winter

One of the things that you are likely to note once the winter season knocks is lack of flying insects like flies and mosquitoes. Such pests are commonly associated with the warm weather where they enjoy their outdoor activities and become a nuisance. However, lack of the little flying creatures does not mean that your home is now free from pests. Like you were used to seeing flies and other insects flying during the summer, other pests like rodents, cockroaches, and spiders will be crawling under rocks and other items during winter as they try to look for a warm habitat. They find homes to be convenient and cozy for the climate, and if you are not cautious, these pests will attack your home, and before you know it, you will be dealing with an uncontrollable number of pests in your home. These pests are dangerous, and they are known for posing health risks and other losses once they attack a place. For example, rodents chew stuff, and they could end up eating your valuable items if you are not careful. They are also known for chewing electrical cables which could result in electric fire leading to massive destruction. Moreover, rodents cause disease like Hantavirus. Other pests like spiders might be poisonous once they bite. Cockroaches come along with bacteria, allergies, and asthma and therefore these pests are nothing but a disaster. It is wise if you take steps to keep them off, rather than waiting until you notice the signs that you already have them for you to start taking steps to get rid of them. Home proofing...

Selecting the Best Mosquito Repellent

At times, you may feel like you are the center of attraction of all mosquitoes. Especially during the spring season when it is time to go out for picnics, BBQs and play time. During the period, it is wise if you stay with a bottle of mosquitoe repellent next to you as you undertake these activities. DEET is known as a significant ingredient in most insect repellents. This is because it lasts longer and the effect remains active for up to 8 hours although you have to reapply it after swimming or taking a bath. Before purchasing the product, ensure to check how much of DEET is contained in it. For good results, the repellent should provide 20% to 50% of DEET for good results. Another active and recommendable repellent is picaridin. It is known for being active although it is only recommended for people who may be having problems with using DEET. It is wise if you first consult with a pharmacist before buying the repellent. Why use mosquito repellent It is recommended that you use mosquito repellent when you are outdoors. You should use it even if you are stepping out for a short time. Most dangerous mosquitoes appear during dusk and dawn thus if you are going out during these hours ensure you are protected. Mosquito repellents come in different types which include; Spray form – These are the most common types of repellent, and they are the most convenient when you are traveling. You only need to spray a little of it then rub it to ensure your entire skin is covered. Lotion form – Most individuals,...

Keeping Ants Away From Your Home

During the warm or humid seasons, you are likely to discover ants entering your home or garden. Ants are known for being social, and they live in colonies of up to millions of ants, but the size of a colony depends on the species. Ants come in different types the common ones being pavement, carpenter, odorless house ants and acrobats just to mention a few. Ants are capable of damaging things like getting into your food, damaging plants or causing stinging bites. If you have a person in the family, who is allergic to ants bite it may call for medical attention. These insects mean no good other than causing disturbances and they can make an invaded area uncomfortable to stay. Dealing with ants and trying to get rid of them can be frustrating. Although there are pesticides used to eliminate them, some are toxic and poisonous to the human and environment. However, there are natural ways and home remedies to deal with ants. The natural methods to keep them off include: Taking precautions The most natural ways to keep ants at bay is by following simple precautions and make them your daily routine which includes; Cleaning dishes – It is recommended that you clean dishes immediately after use. If you are using a dishwasher, make sure to shut the door to keep ants from getting in. Leaving undone dishes in the sink for a long time will only be offering these insects free food. This includes the pet food dishes as the aroma of pet food can attract them too. The pet food bowls should be cleaned regularly to...

What Makes Cockroaches Hard to Control

Cockroaches have a reputation of being hard to get rid of or eliminate them from homes. They are found to be gross and unattractive. Cockroaches are mostly attracted to dirty environments. These creatures seem to be the most disgusting among other pests. This is because they can easily get to your food and other kitchen items which will automatically ruin the mood for the meal. These creatures have been in existence for millions of years, and they have been found to be adopting new habits and unique survival behaviors from time to time. This allows them to thrive in different types of environments which include homes. Controlling cockroaches is vital especially in protecting human health, but unfortunately, it can be very challenging. The pests are known for triggering various kinds of allergies and asthma. They are also known for spreading different types of bacteria and this being said, it is evident that they are a significant threat to homes. Before trying to get rid of cockroaches, you should be aware that you have an infestation. Some of the hints that you have cockroaches in your home include: Seeing them physically – This is the most obvious sign that you have roaches in your house. You are likely to see them mostly at night as they are nocturnal insects. You will see them trying to hide once you enter a room and turn lights on. Roaches droppings – Roaches are known for eating almost anything. From human food to dead skin just to mention a few and this makes their metabolism rate very high. You are likely to come across droppings which...

Getting Rid of a Wasps Nest on Your Door

**Before following our tips, remember, Safety First! Follow our tips at your own risk** Having a wasp nest on your door or around your home is unpleasant. Nobody would wish to be in such situations especially if you have small kids or anyone in your family allergic to wasp stings. Your first option will be to call an exterminator, but if you are not allergic to their stings, you can probably take care of the problem yourself. To take care of a wasps nest, you have to be careful with it. Ensure you approach the nest when it is less active and if you have to spray it, make sure to use an approved pesticide spray, smoke, insecticidal dust or water. To deal with the nest, you should: Plan for safety You need to ensure that you are going to be safe around the stinging insects by: Confirming that you are not allergic to wasps Set up a test with your physician before attempting to deal with the problem to ensure that you are not allergic to wasp stings. If you are not, you can then proceed to get rid of the wasp nest by yourself. However, if the test indicates that you are allergic, ask someone to eliminate the nest for you or call a professional exterminator. Discover what type of wasps’ nest you have at your door Before you decide to work on the nest, it is wise to know the species of wasp you are about to deal with. This will give you a sign of the best method to get rid of it. There are...