May 14, 2013
- What types of pests are included in the stinging insect category?
- Are stinging insects considered public health threats?
- What time of year are stinging insects at their peak?
- Why shouldn’t homeowners try to control stinging insects without the help of a trained professional?
- What will Pest Ops do to control stinging insects?
- Can stinging insects also be a property threat?
- What can a homeowner do to avoid an unwanted encounter with a stinging insect?
- What are some tips to deal with stinging insects?
What types of pests are included in the stinging insect category?
Several pests are included in this category. The most well-known are bees, wasps, and hornets. Some species of ants, such as fire ants, are included in this category as well.
Are stinging insects considered public health threats?
Stinging insects send half a million people to the emergency room each year. Although they are not labeled as public health threats, like mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus, they are certainly dangerous. Homeowners who suspect a stinging insect infestation should not attempt to control the infestation by themselves.
What time of year are stinging insects at their peak?
Stinging insects are at their peak during the warmer summer months.
Why shouldn’t homeowners try to control stinging insects without the help of a trained professional?
Many types of stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, are social insects. They will sting to protect themselves and members of their colony. The insects give off pheromones, which cause other members of the colony to react as well. The chaotic reaction is too dangerous for a homeowner to address alone.
What will Pest Ops do to control stinging insects?
The first step in controlling any pest is to identify it correctly. There are many kinds of beneficial flies that closely resemble wasps, and there are many kinds of “solitary” wasps, such as sand wasps, which also look exactly the same as yellow jackets, but pose a lower hazard. After the type of pest is identified there are a variety of control methods that Pest Ops could take. Typically, Pest Ops uses integrated pest management (IPM) procedures to control stinging insect populations. This technique involves removing the pest’s food, water, and shelter. In the case of stinging insects, this could involve cleaning up your yard and sanitizing outdoor areas. As trained professionals, the Pest Ops team will use appropriate steps and techniques to address the particular type of infestation.
Can stinging insects also be a property threat?
Certain species of stinging insects can pose a large property threat. Carpenter bees are wood-destroying insects that can cause serious structural damage if not caught in time and properly controlled.
What can a homeowner do to avoid an unwanted encounter with a stinging insect?
Homeowners can take a clue from the professionals and practice integrated pest management to avoid stinging insects and other types of pests. Again, it is important to consult Pest Ops to address an infestation correctly.
What are some tips to deal with stinging insects?
Be aware of stinging insect nesting areas, and use extreme caution when around them. Stinging insects can build their nests in attics, crawlspaces, building corners, under gutters, and under patios or decks. Seal exterior cracks and crevices to prevent insects from entering a structure and building nests. Stinging insects are attracted to open garbage cans and exposed food. Cover all food when outdoors. Be sure to keep tight fitting lids on garbage cans and empty them regularly. When spending time outdoors, avoid excessive use of fragrances, which can attract stinging insects. If you have an allergic reaction to an insect sting, seek medical attention immediately.
If you are experiencing problems with stinging insects, contact Pest Ops. To schedule an appointment or inspection, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
May 13, 2013
Color: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brownish with yellow markings; a few species with reddish markings
Legs: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Six
Shape: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Wasp-like, with long legs
Size: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5/8 â€“ 3/4â€ (16-20 mm)
Antennae: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Yes
Region: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Found throughout the U.S.
Paper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material out of which they make their nests. Paper wasps are sometimes called umbrella wasps, after the shape of their distinctive nests. Various species are found throughout the United States.
Paper wasps are semi-social and live in small colonies. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies.
Paper wasps hang their comb nests from twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, porch ceilings, the tops of window and door frames, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists and railings, etc. In the autumn, inseminated females will seek places to spend the winter, and may find their way indoors, especially if there is a cathedral ceiling present.
Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature but will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Their sting is painful and has the same risk of allergic reaction as with other stinging insects.
If you suspect you have a paper wasp infestation or find a nest on your home or property, contact Pest Ops. Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own, as there is a high probability you will get stung. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
May 6, 2013
Color:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Abdomen usually black and yellow pattern similar to bands
Legs: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Six
Shape: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Wasp-like
Size: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Workers 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch
Antennae: Â Â Â Yes
Region:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Found throughout the U.S.
There are several species of yellow jackets. These flying insects typically have a yellow and black head or face and
patterned abdomen. Many say that the pattern resembles stripes. Signature to species, the abdomen pattern can
help an entomologist or pest professional identify specific types of yellow jackets.
Yellow jackets nest in the ground or in cavernous areas such as eaves, attics, etc. They feed on sweets and
proteins and commonly invade outdoor activities.
Yellow jackets can be found anyplace humans can be found. Check near recycling bins or other areas where
sugars are common but keep in mind these pests also feed on protein. Yellow jackets become more aggressive
in autumn when the colony begins to die out except for the queen.
Yellow jackets pose significant health threats to humans as they may sting repeatedly and can cause allergic
reactions. Stinging insects send over 500,000 people to the emergency room each year.
Do not leave sweet drinks or meats in accessible areas. For example, clean up and remove food and trash
after picnics and outdoor events.
Remain vigilant and call Pest Ops if you suspect yellow jacket activity. Control requires specialized
equipment and safety precautions. To schedule an appointment click here or call Pest Ops at
March 25, 2013
Color:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Black with yellow stripes
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 Oval; bee shape
Size:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1″
Antennae:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Yes
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Bumble bees are beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants.
The occupant of a disturbed bumble bee nest will buzz in a loud volume. They defend their nests aggressively.
Bumble bees often nest in the ground, but can be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They will sometimes build their nests in soffits of attics.
As part of their aggressive defense of their nests, bumble bees will chase nest invaders for a considerable distance. The bumble bee sting is one of the most painful. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once.
Due to the threats posed by bumble bees, it is important that you do not attempt to control this pest on your own. Remain vigilant and if you suspect bumble bee activity around your home, call Pest Ops to schedule an inspection. To schedule an appointment click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.
November 14, 2012
Color:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Predominantly golden-yellow with brown bands
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 Oval; bee shape
Size:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1/2″
Antennae:Â Â Â Â Â Â Yes
Region:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Found throughout U.S.
Honey bees are social insects found all over the world. They are an extremely important, beneficial insect because of their role in pollination. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S.
Honey bees are active pollinators, and produce honey which feeds their young in colder months. The honey bee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.
Honey bees produce honey from pollen and nectar of the plants they pollinate. They store the honey in honeycombs in their nests. They often build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys.
Honey bees do sting, but they only sting once. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the sting. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction.
Due to the threats posed by honey bees, it is important that you do not attempt to control this pest on your own. Remain vigilant and if you suspect honey bee activity around your home, contact Pest Ops to handle your pest problem professionally. To schedule an appointment click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.
October 24, 2012
Color:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen on abdomen
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 Oval; bee shape
Size:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1â€
Antennae:Â Â Â Â Â Yes
Region:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Found throughout U.S.
Carpenter bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. They are solitary bees.
Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. Female carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside the nest are called frass. The male carpenter bee guards the outside of the nest. He does not have a stinger, but his constant buzzing causes concern for some.
Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.
Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can damage wood through their nest building.
Due to the damage caused by carpenter bees, it is important that you remain vigilant; if you suspect bee activity around your home, call Pest Ops to schedule an inspection. To schedule an appointment click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.
October 8, 2012
Five signs it’s time to call in a pro
As a homeowner, you know there are some home projects you can take on yourself (painting the guest room) and some that are better left to the professionals (installing electrical wiring in the basement). The same logic goes for pest control. In some cases, do-it-yourself measures are fine but in others, it is best to call in a pest professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. So how do you know which pest scenarios are DIY-approved and which are pro-worthy?
In most cases, the answer depends on the several factors, including the type of pest, its threats to your family’s health, the potential for property damage, and the size of the infestation. For example, one lone yellow jacket that found its way into your home is no cause for alarm. But a nest of yellow jackets near your front porch? Time to call in the pros.
Specifically, here are a few pests that you should leave to the professionals:
1.Â Â Â Termites
Termites are especially destructive pests that cause more than $5 billion in property damage every year. These wood-eating insects use their scissor-like jaws to chew through walls, floors, and ceilings 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that a termite infestation can cause serious property damage and compromise the structural stability of your home in a relatively short amount of time. What’s worse, damage from wood-boring insects like termites is not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. Pest Ops technicians are trained to understand the unique biology and behaviors of termites. They can perform routine inspections to spot early signs of a problem, and if necessary, have the tools and know-how to effectively treat an infestation.
2.Â Â Â Other wood-boring insects
Like termites, other wood-boring insects such as carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and powder post beetles should be taken seriously. Carpenter ants, for example, excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter bees, on the other hand, bore through soft woods to lay eggs and to protect their larvae as they develop. Powder post beetles can be equally as destructive. These beetles create tunnels in unfinished wood during their larvae stage, reducing it to a fine, flour-like powder. Once the powder post beetles reach adulthood â€” as much as a year to five years later â€” they emerge and lay eggs on the wood, continuing the cycle. Given time, wood-boring pests can damage important support beams in your home, resulting in expensive repairs.
3.Â Â Â Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are certainly not a pest that should be handled on your own. For one, they are notoriously elusive, often hiding out in hard to detect places like behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. Our trained professionals know where bed bugs are likely to hide in your home and can develop a treatment plan to target the pests while ensuring the safety of your family and pets.
To effectively treat a bed bug infestation all stages of the bed bug life cycle must be treated, including bed bug eggs, nymphs (babies), and adult bed bugs. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods are often ineffective against bed bug nymphs and eggs. Attempts to control a bed bug infestation on your own may only exacerbate the problem and give the infestation time to grow. And bed bugs reproduce quickly: one female bed bug can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in their lifetime, meaning that a small infestation can quickly grow out of control.
In addition, homeowners that attempt to control a bed bug infestation on their own often spend more money in the long run on failed treatments. Some residents with bed bug infestations unnecessarily throw out furniture, clothing, and other personal property in an attempt to control an infestation. In extreme cases, homeowners have seriously damaged their homes or sickened their families by misusing pest control products.
4.Â Â Â Stinging Insects
Infestations of any type of stinging insect – such as wasps, yellow jackets, or fire ants – should always be left up to the professionals. Stinging insects pose serious health risks. In fact, they send half a million people to the emergency room every year. A single colony of stinging insects can contain anywhere from a few hundred to 80,000 members, which can attack if their nest is threatened. Those with allergies to insect stings are especially at risk, but if a large nest of stinging insects attacks, it can be life threatening to anyone.
5.Â Â Â Reoccurring or heavy infestations
No matter the type of pest, if you have an infestation that keeps coming back no matter what you try, it’s time to contract Pest Ops. Reoccurring pest infestations are a sign that your home is just too enticing for pests. Perhaps a small access point (such as a tear in a window screen or a crack in the foundation) is providing easy access indoors for ants. Or perhaps a drip under the bathroom sink is creating the perfect conditions for cockroaches. Whatever it is, Pest Ops will inspect your home, determine the infestation, and help you resolve it once and for all.
DIY methods are also no match for heavy pest infestations.Â Because many pests pose serious health and property threats, a sizable pest infestation should be left up to the professionals to handle, before it can grow any larger.
As a homeowner, there are a lot of DIY steps you can take to help prevent pests from finding their way into your home, but even these are most effective when completed in partnership with a pest professional. And, if you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call Pest Ops. They will be able to properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
** To schedule an appointment or inspection with Pest Ops, click here or call our office 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.