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.
February 27, 2013
After a brutal winter that sent stink bugs into hiding, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is warning homeowners that these pests will become active again with the warm weather and that their growing populations are likely to make infestations significantly worse than in previous seasons.
“Findings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the size of overwintering populations support NPMA’s prediction that this season’s stink bug population will be larger than in the past,” says Jim Fredericks, director of technical services for the NPMA. “As the weather warms, stink bugs emerge from overwintering sites and try to exit structures, but sometimes they enter our living spaces instead.”
Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California and Oregon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops.
“Although these smelly pests do not pose serious property or safety threats to homeowners, their tendency to invade homes in high numbers can be a nuisance,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Luckily, there are steps people can take to prevent stink bugs from entering their homes.”
NPMA offers the following tips:
â€¢Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans, and light switches.
â€¢Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
â€¢Repair damaged window screens. Also screen attic and crawlspace vents.
â€¢Use a vacuum to eliminate stink bugs indoors. Seal vacuum’s contents in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately.
Remember that Pest Ops can pre-treat homes for stink bugs before they become a problem; however, if an infestation develops, contact Pest Ops promptly. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
November 12, 2012
As the season begins to change and cooler weather approaches, stink bugs are starting to leave the garden and seek warmth and shelter indoors. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent a stink bug infestation in and around the home this fall.
Since arriving from Asia, brown marmorated stink bugs have become a nuisance for homeowners in the Eastern United States. The species can be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California and Oregon. Notorious for their “smelly” reputation, stink bugs secrete a bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid when disturbed or when crushed. They are not known to bite humans but caution should be used when handling them to avoid a release of their odor.
“Homeowners should expect to see an increase in stink bugs in the coming weeks as they begin to take flight in search of overwintering sites,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Although these pests do not pose any serious health or property threats, their tendency to seek food, water, and shelter in homes during the colder months can be a nuisance.”
NPMA offers the following stink bug prevention tips:
â€¢ Seal and caulk cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings.
â€¢ Repair or replace damaged screens on windows or doors.
â€¢ Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum as stink bugs are attracted to lights.
â€¢ If stink bugs have already entered a home, use a vacuum cleaner for their removal and dispose of the bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area.
If an infestation has developed, Pest Ops should be contacted to evaluate and eradicate the problem To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
October 22, 2012
Notorious for their “smelly” reputation, stink bugs enter homes during the winter months, leaving homeowners looking for ways to ward off these invaders. With their tendency to release an odor when disturbed or crushed, learning how to properly dispose of these pests is as important as preventing them from entering the home. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) provides tips for homeowners to prevent these pests from invading homes and property.
“Stink bugs have been increasing in number since the mid-1990s,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “We are also seeing an increase in activity by other invasive species similar to the stink bug such as Formosan termites and fire ants.”
Like other invasive species, stink bugs are difficult insects to control once they infest a structure or food source. Although stink bugs do not pose a health risk to humans, their presence alone can be unsightly and a potentially odoriferous inconvenience for homeowners. Even though these insects do not reproduce inside structures such as houses, they cause concern when they become active and conspicuous in fall and spring.
Stink bugs crave the warmth. To prevent them from entering homes and buildings for shelter, NPMA recommends sealing cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings with good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. If stink bugs have already entered a home or building, a vacuum cleaner can aid in the removal of live or dead stink bugs. It’s important to dispose of the bag quickly to avoid the lingering smell of the stink bugs.
Pest Ops can provide treatment options for stink bugs in the fall prior to bug congregation. If an infestation has already developed, contact us to help you remove the problem. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
October 15, 2012
Conservative estimates by the Smithsonian Institution put the number of known insect species found in the United States at more than 91,000 â€” not including an additional 73,000 unidentified species. These numbers are likely to climb as increased international travel and shipping provide a means for foreign insects, known as invasive species, to more easily infiltrate the country. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) urges vigilance against such invasive species, including Formosan termites, stink bugs, and crazy Rasberry ants.
“Although most invasive species are rarely more than a nuisance, some foreign insects can cause severe damage to property and the environment,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “These species can reproduce quickly, deplete agricultural resources, and pose threats to human health. It is important to contact a professional if you suspect an invasive species infestation.”
One of the most destructive species is the Formosan termite, which is native to China, but has been found in the Southern U.S. for several decades. Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite, living in large underground colonies of several million members capable of eating wood at a rapid rate. The species is difficult to control once they infest a structure, making prevention key.
Since arriving from Asia, stink bugs have become an increasing nuisance for homeowners in the Eastern U.S. Named for the odor they emit as a defense against predators, stink bugs are especially unpleasant to find indoors.
Crazy Rasberry ants, first found in Texas in 2002, are rapidly spreading throughout the Southwest. They are believed to be related to a species from the Caribbean. The ants can bite humans and feed on plants, other insects, and even small animals. Most curiously, and destructively, they are attracted to electrical equipment and can destroy items including computers and telephone exchanges.
If you suspect an invasive species infestation, contact Pest Ops right away so they can determine if a problem exists and, if so, find the best course of action. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
October 10, 2012
Many people are anxious about encountering unwanted pests, especially in their own homes. As such, homeowners often take preventative measures as part of their seasonal maintenance routine. However, there are several rooms in a house that can be easily overlooked in the process of pest-proofing â€” the attic and basement.
Rodents such as mice and rats tend to be the most common invaders of attics and basements, but a slew of insects can also make themselves at home if given the chance. Cockroaches, spiders, ants, and stink bugs are a few of the usual suspects. These tenacious pests usually seek shelter, food, and water in homes due to changes in weather, such as extended periods of rain or the onset of cooler temperatures.
Pests can find entry points into homes through almost any opening, including cracks and crevices as small as a nickel in the structure’s exterior. Once mice and rats find their way into attics or basements, they can cause serious and costly property damage. Rodents are capable of destroying insulation in attics and chewing through walls, baseboards, and electrical wires, causing up to 25 percent of house fires in the United States per year.
Luckily, there are many effective pest-proofing measures homeowners can use to discourage unwanted guests from taking shelter in the forgotten rooms of a home. It is important to pay special attention to the home’s insulation by replacing loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation. In addition, items that are kept in basements and attics should be stored in plastic, sealed containers off of the floor rather than cardboard boxes to prevent pests from nesting inside. Attics and basements should also be kept well ventilated and dry. In order to remove any known moisture or harborage sources, homeowners can run a dehumidifier and install gutters or diverts.
Pest-proofing the forgotten rooms of a house should be viewed as a year-round commitment to protecting one’s property and health from the threats associated with pest damage and disease.
If you need a prevention plan to help keep your home pest-free, contact Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750 or click here.