As common summer insects like bees, wasps, mosquitoes, flies, ants, and others settle in for the season, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers Americans a guide to other less known invaders that can put a damper on summer fun.
Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) â€” First found in Alabama in 1930, RIFAs were brought here from South America. Without natural predators in the U.S., RIFAs have thrived, expanding into at least 14 southern states. RIFAs are aggressive and are known to swarm and sting humans and animals when their mound-like nests are disturbed. Homeowners should seal internal and external crevices to prevent entry indoors.
Asian Tiger Mosquito â€” Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is now found in the eastern, Midwestern, and southern states. While small, its bite is more irritable than common mosquito bites, and unlike most breeds, it prefers to feed throughout the day. It’s also known to spread several diseases, including Dengue, West Nile virus, and Japanese Encephalitis. People can protect themselves by using repellants and removing containers that collect water.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug â€” Likely brought to the U.S. from Eastern Asia, stink bugs were first found in Pennsylvania in 1998. Prevalent in the Northeast, they have also been reported in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and South. They aren’t harmful to people and property, but as their name implies, produce an odor when crushed. Homeowners should remove them with a vacuum cleaner and promptly empty the bag so the smell doesn’t permeate the area.
Africanized “Killer” Bees â€” Introduced to the U.S. in 1990 and first found in southern Texas, these vicious stingers are usually found in Southern states. Although their venom is no more dangerous than those of regular honeybees, their tendency to attack in greater numbers poses greater danger to humans. Only pest professionals or beekeepers should address infestations.
If you need your home to be inspected, a pest identified, or an infestation treated, contact Pest Ops. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
May 14, 2013
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners of the ongoing caution necessary when dealing with increased mosquito populations across the United States.Â Although the itchy welts of mosquitoes are associated with summer, these pests flourish well into the fall months and can transmit a multitude of diseases, notably West Nile virus (WNV).
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more that 29,000 people in the U.S. have been infected with WNV since 1999, with 11,760 of those cases resulting in serious illness.
“Although mosquitoes are considered a summer pest, these pests thrive in the fall,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Many homeowners do not realize that mosquitoes will remain active until temperatures drop below 60 degrees, which in most regions of the United States does not occur until late fall. Therefore, homeowners must be on-guard for conducive mosquito conditions and proactive in eliminating such breeding grounds. “This can minimize the serious health risks associated with mosquitoes, including West Nile virus.”
NPMA offers these proactive tips for homeowners to prevent mosquito infestations on their property:
- Eliminate stagnant water that can collect on your property, as this can create a mosquito breeding ground.
- Pay attention to pool covers, birdbaths, and flowerpots that accumulate water.
- Remove debris from gutters to prevent water collection.
- Wear protective clothing and use insect repellent when outdoors.
- If possible, stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are at peak activity.
If concerned about a mosquito infestation on your property, contact Pest Ops. To schedule an appointment, click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.
May 14, 2013
Every spring, millions of Americans plan vacations during their annual Spring Breaks. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds those travelers that the best way to prevent pests like mosquitoes and bed bugs from ruining their trips is through preparation and awareness.
“Everyone looks forward to escaping to warmer climates during Spring Break,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “However, many travelers forget that whether visiting the tropics or cities in the US, they must be vigilant to avoid bringing pest-related illnesses and issues home with them.”
While bites may seem inevitable, mosquitoes can leave behind more than just an itchy welt. Travelers in tropical areas are susceptible to contracting mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Dengue Fever, both reportedly on the rise in the US as well as South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.
Travelers must also take steps to prevent bed bugs from hitching rides home with them in luggage and clothing. The 2011 Bugs Without Borders survey found a significant increase in the prevalence of bed bugs in public places, including hotels, motels, and college dorms.
To remain pest-free both during and after Spring Break, NPMA offers the following tips:
- Use insect repellant containing EPA-registered active ingredients like DEET or Picaridin.
- Limit time outdoors or wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- If bitten by a mosquito, clean the area thoroughly, avoid scratching, and apply anti-itch cream.
- To inspect a hotel room for bed bugs, pull back bed sheets, inspect mattress seams, box springs, headboards, sofas, and chairs for telltale brownish or reddish spots, shed skins, or bugs.
- Avoid putting luggage on beds or upholstered furniture and store it in a plastic bag.
- Once home, inspect and vacuum suitcases before bringing them inside. Wash and dry all clothes on hot.
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs or mosquitoes, contact Pest Ops to avoid spreading them and to eradicate the infestation. To schedule an appointment, click here or call (865) 966-0750.
May 14, 2013
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Legs:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 6
Shape:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Narrow Oval
Size:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1/4-3/8″
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One of the best known summer pests, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water or soft soil and can develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days.
Female mosquitoes feed on humans for their blood. Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar. This pest is most active from dusk to dawn and will fly up to 14 miles for a blood meal.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, children’s wading pools, and birdbaths.
Mosquitoes are well-known to spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, malaria, and dengue fever.
Due to the health risks posed by mosquitoes, it is important that you do not attempt to control this pest on your own. Remain vigilant and if you suspect mosquito activity around your home, contact Pest Ops so your pest problem can be handled professionally. To schedule an appointment click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.
May 14, 2013
Mosquitoes, known for leaving itchy red welts on their human victims, have long topped the list of warm-weather pest concerns. But this season, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is reporting that mosquitoes are likely to be worse than usual, especially in many parts of the country that had an unusually warm and wet spring.
Heavier-than-normal precipitation can leave areas of standing water, which are perfect mosquito breeding grounds. This is cause for concern, as humans can contract West Nile virus (WNV), a potentially serious illness, when bitten by an infected mosquito.
What To Watch For
Symptoms of WNV infection include headache, fever, rash, muscle ache, and gastrointestinal problems. WNV infection can lead to encephalitis and meningitis, though as many as 80 percent of infected humans show no symptoms at all.
The NPMA recommends the following tips to prevent mosquito bites:
- To avoid mosquito nesting and breeding sites, eliminate standing water and other sources of moisture in or around the home in flowerpots, water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, barrels, and other objects that can collect water. Add a fountain or drip system to birdbaths and ponds on your property to keep water fresh.
- Keep windows and doors properly screened to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Be alert when outdoors during dawn, dusk, and early evening hours, when mosquito-biting activity can peak. Also, avoid areas near water where mosquitoes gather, especially during peak activity.
- Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, loose-fitting garments, open-toe shoes, and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes.
- If you’ll be spending time outdoors, wear mosquito repellent with DEET as well as long pants and long-sleeve shirts.
If you have a mosquito infestation on your property, contact Pest Ops. To schedule an appointment, click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.
October 1, 2012
The fact remains… pests and rodents can have harmful effects upon your health and your family’s health. It is important to fully understand the dangers stemming from these types of infestations. Did you know that some of the most common pests in homes are cockroaches, rodents, and ants? It is unsettling to think of us sharing our homes with these pests because of the serious threats they pose. Below is a more detailed overview of the health risks associated with particular pests.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reports that one-in-five children in the United States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, which increase the severity of asthma symptoms. These allergens are most commonly introduced in homes through cockroach saliva, droppings, and the decomposing bodies of these pests. Cockroaches can also carry bacteria such as E coli and salmonella on their bodies, which can contaminate food, cooking equipment, and food surfaces.
Rodents can enter a building through almost any opening or crack. It is important to inspect for rodent droppings, especially in undisturbed areas such as pantries, under baseboards, and along walls. Rodent droppings most often cause allergic reactions in human beings but can also cause disease, including the potentially deadly Hantavirus. More frequently, though, rodents serve as vectors, carrying bacteria, such as salmonella, on their bodies and contaminating food sources, kitchen surfaces, and equipment.
With the increased prevalence of West Nile Virus in the summer months, mosquitoes continue to be, not only a summer nuisance pest but also, a major health threat. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile Virus infections have appeared across the United States in recent years, which makes avoiding mosquito nesting and breeding sites as well as eliminating standing water in or around the home even more important to the protection of public health. In addition, to the potential for West Nile Virus, mosquitoes can also cause itchy, unsightly marks and severe allergic reactions in human beings.
Lyme disease has emerged, in recent years, as a major health risk to human beings. Transmitted by ticks, typically between May and October, Lyme disease is largely found in the Northeastern, upper mid-western Western states of the U.S. However, there has been an increase in the diagnosed cases of Lyme disease in the South. It is critical to be vigilant of ticks, especially if you are in wooded areas. Symptoms of Lyme disease include a “bull’s eye” rash around the bite, flu-like symptoms and extreme fatigue.
Summer Stingers (Bees, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Wasps, etc)
Stinging pests send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. These pests are aggressive in nature and often sting as a way to protect their colonies or larvae from human beings who attempt to remedy an infestation on their own. This aggressiveness, combined with being disturbed, often means that these pests tend to sting repeatedly, which adds to the potential for greater skin irritation or a serious allergic reaction.
Ants are social insects. Therefore, spotting one ant unfortunately signifies there are many more to follow. Ants are not simply unsightly â€” they can also be dangerous contaminates to food. Considering that you likely eat multiple meals a day in your home, the presence of ants and the potential for food contamination from their presence is an issue that must be addressed when considering your health and the health of your family.
Fleas aren’t just a problem for man’s best friend. These pests, which commonly appear in warmer months, feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. Typically biting human beings, fleas can cause itchy, unsightly marks as well as severe allergic reactions. Fleas tend to travel with mammals on the move, which can include not only you and your pet but also rodents. If you have a rodent problem in your home, fleas may be soon to follow.
Pest Ops can offer the necessary expertise and knowledge to best protect your health and to rid your home of infestations. If you have an infestation, be sure to take action! Contact Pest Ops to treat and to aid you in preventing future infestations. To schedule an appointment or inspection with Pest Ops, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.