January 21, 2013
The summer of 2007 was marked by a dramatic increase in the presence of Japanese beetles across the nation. Although devastating to plants and gardens, the Japanese beetle is rarely more than a nuisance to human beings. However, there are two species, powderpost and merchant grain beetles that emerge in summer and can pose significant threats to health and property.
“Beetles are not commonly considered a threat to one’s health or home,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Yet, beetles, such as the powderpost and merchant grain, can cause damage to homes and can contaminate food. Homeowners should take proactive steps to pest-proof their property to keep beetles outside.”
A reddish-brown pest, which lays eggs in the cracks of wood, such as baseboards and floors, powderpost beetles can affect a home’s structural dependability. Second only to termites in their destruction of wood and rarely observed, powderposts are named for the powder-like dust left behind by their larvae as they tunnel through wood surfaces.
The merchant grain beetle is brown, flat, and can fly. These beetles like fat-based products and will readily infest chocolate, cereal, cake mixes, and even dried pet food. These pests seek out these foods’ packaging as a place to live, eat, and reproduce. Often found in pantries and kitchens, merchant grain beetles contaminate food.
NPMA offers these tips to help homeowners prevent merchant grain beetle infestations:
- Inspect all susceptible products when you bring them home from the store.
- Keep all products in sealed plastic tubs when stored in your pantry.
- Keep an eye on any grain-based products when you use them looking for small worm like larvae or even adult beetles. Segregate and destroy any infested product.
If you see signs of beetles in your home, contact Pest Ops so one of our trained professionals can inspect and treat the pest problem. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
November 21, 2012
When the holiday season kicks into full swing each year, family and friends gather in kitchens across the country to enjoy their favorite holiday treats. But some uninvited guests may also come to the table. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to thoroughly inspect their kitchens and pantries to avoid pantry pests from spoiling their holiday cheer â€” or at least their baked goods.
“Pantry pests” are insects known for infesting items often found in pantries, from flour, cereal, nuts, spices, and other dry goods to candies and chocolate. These pests can also be found in holiday decorations containing dried flowers or potpourri. The most common pantry pest is the Indian meal moth, although beetles and ants are also problems.
“When the holidays approach, many families dig out baking ingredients from the back of their pantry that haven’t been used since the previous year,” says Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA. “Over time, these food sources may have attracted pests and food contamination becomes a concern. It’s important to thoroughly examine all food products before using them, and discard of any that may have been infested.”
NPMA recommends that families follow these tips to ensure a pest-free holiday season:
â€¢ Store food in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers.
â€¢ Pay special attention to pet food, which is a frequent source of pantry pest contamination.
â€¢ Always discard any food past the expiration date on the package or that show signs of pest infestation.
â€¢ Sift through flour, sugar, and other ingredients carefully before adding to your recipe.
â€¢ Keep kitchen counters, floors, and sinks clean as crumbs and spills quickly attract pests.
â€¢ Routinely clean out pantries and cabinets, checking in corners for signs of pests including fecal droppings.
To remediate pest infestations, contact Pest Ops so a trained professional can inspect, identify, and control the problem. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
November 5, 2012
Every year, the chill of autumn sends many pests â€” including mice and spiders â€” indoors as they seek shelter from the cold. But, many parts of the country also deal with a less intimidating but equally bothersome invader: ladybugs. Also known as Asian lady beetles, swarms of the insects have been reported in homes, schools, and office buildings in the Midwest and Northeast. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) provides tips for preventing these pests from invading homes.
Ladybugs are an invasive pest species, brought to the U.S. from Asia in the 1960’s to control pests that destroyed crops. Ladybugs are easily identifiable by their orange or red bodies and black spots.
“While ladybugs do not pose any serious health or property threats, they can be a nuisance, especially because they usually invade homes in mass,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Once ladybugs invade a building they can be difficult to eradicate, so prevention is important.”
NPMA recommends that homeowners seal cracks around windows, doorframes, and utility pipes with silicone caulk to close up entry points. Special attention should be paid to areas of the home that get the most sun, as ladybugs are attracted to the warmth. Trimming shrubbery and branches away from a home’s exterior can also help to prevent ladybugs from gaining access.
If ladybugs have already entered a home, homeowners can use a vacuum to remove them, but it is important to dispose of the bag outdoors to prevent the insects from crawling out. Ladybugs are known to secrete an oily yellow liquid when disturbed, and release an odor just before they die, so squishing them is not suggested. To prevent or treat a ladybug infestation, NPMA recommends that homeowners consult a pest professional who will be able to suggest treatment options.
If you see signs of ladybugs in your home, contact Pest Ops so one of our trained professionals can inspect and treat the pest problem. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.