Spring Invaders: Funnel Spiders

Funnel_web_spider10001Funnel weaver spiders closely resemble wolf spiders, but t hey can usually be distinguished from wolf spiders because wolf spiders do not build webs. Funnel weavers are also usually lighter in build than wolf spiders. Many common funnel weavers are also characterized by having bristly legs. Most are brown, with gray, black, and tan markings. All spiders in this family have 8 eyes. Like all spiders, funnel weavers have 8 legs, 2 body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen), and no antennae.

Like all spiders, funnel weavers and grass spiders go through a simple metamorphosis. Young funnel weavers and grass spiders hatch from eggs and look like tiny adults. They shed their skin as they grow. [Read more…]

Spring Invaders: Spring Tails

LyraEDISServletSpring tails typically show sometime in late February even on snowy days occasionally. Springtails are minute insects without wings in the Order Collembola. They occur in large numbers in moist soil and can be found in homes with high humidity, organic debris, or mold. Homeowners sometimes discover these insects occurring in large numbers in swimming pools, potted plants, or in moist soil and mulch. They feed on fungi, fungal spores, and decaying, damp vegetation, causing organic material and other nutrients to return to the soil; these nutrients are later used by plants. Occasionally, springtails attack young seedlings and may damage the roots and stems. [Read more…]

Spring Invaders: Asian Beetles

elytra2Asian beetles will make a huge appearance in the first few weeks of warm weather as they leave winter harborages and head back to wooded areas. They will be found on eaves and gables of home by the hundreds and more.

Beetles are usually easy to distinguish from other kinds of insects because of their “elytra.” Elytra are a beetle’s front wings, and they have evolved into hard, shell-like coverings that protect the back wings and abdomen. In fact, the scientific order name for beetles, Coleoptera, means “sheath wing.” Beetle elytra usually meet in a straight line down the middle of the abdomen when closed. [Read more…]

Spring Invaders: Female Wasps

paper2Female wasps will emerge and be fairly aggressive as they start nesting as soon as they wake up from their winter sleep.

Paper Wasps, Hornets, and Yellowjackets are a group of closely related wasps in the family Vespidae. Like all wasps, these have four transparent or translucent wings and chewing mouthparts. All of the wasps mentioned on this page live in social colonies in above- or below-ground hives. It can be difficult to distinguish hive wasps from some of the larger solitary wasps. The best way is to observe behavior: hive wasps will remain close to their hive and return to it often during their daily routine. Also, many hive wasps have distinct patterns of red-and-black, white-and-black, or yellow-and-black (although some solitary wasps have similar color patterns).

Spring Invaders: Mites and Ticks

dogtickfemaleLike all arachnids, mites and ticks have 4 pairs of legs, pincer-like mouthparts called “chelicerae,” 2 antennae-like appendages near the mouth called “pedipalps,” and no antennae. Although all arachnids have 2 main body segments (cephalothorax and abdomen), on mites and ticks the segments are fused and appear to be 1 large segment. Like spiders and most other arachnids, adult mites have 8 legs, while some immature stages have 6 legs. [Read more…]

Spring Invaders: Black and Yellow Argiope

argiope-aurantia-1One of Kentucky’s largest spiders is an orb weaver called the Black and Yellow Argiope, Argiope aurantia, pictured below. Commonly called “garden spiders,” these orb weavers can be almost 3 inches long from leg tip to leg tip. Argiope spiders are very common in backyard gardens, and have given a fright to many a homeowner. Although they are large and intimidating, their bite is only dangerous to people who experience severe allergic reactions to insect and spider bites. The picture below was sent to us by Mindy Crosby from Louisville, KY. [Read more…]

Tips For Termite Prevention (Part 2)

ImageGen (1)While so many of us are ready for the warmer temperatures, longer days outside, and blooming flowers that spring brings with it, we also have to prepare our homes for the presence of swarmers and flying termites. Spring is termite season as swarmers emerge to mate and establish new colonies, which often include vulnerable residential properties. Termites can literally eat a home out from under its owners, often without them even knowing until much damage has been done. They have the ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, 24/7, and can compromise the structural stability of a home within several years depending on the species. In fact, termites cause $5 billion worth of property damage annually.

  1. Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
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  3. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
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  5. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
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  7. Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
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  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

Termites are serious business cannot be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a us at Guarantee Pest Control today to determine the extent of the problem and receive a recommendation of an appropriate course of treatment.

Tips For Termite Prevention (Part 1)

EPSON scanner imageWhile so many of us are ready for the warmer temperatures, longer days outside, and blooming flowers that spring brings with it, we also have to prepare our homes for the presence of swarmers and flying termites. Spring is termite season as swarmers emerge to mate and establish new colonies, which often include vulnerable residential properties. Termites can literally eat a home out from under its owners, often without them even knowing until much damage has been done. They have the ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, 24/7, and can compromise the structural stability of a home within several years depending on the species. In fact, termites cause $5 billion worth of property damage annually.

Luckily, there are many steps homeowners can take to help prevent termites from infesting their property. Below are tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to protect your greatest investment from termites:

  1. Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
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  3. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
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  5. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
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  7. Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
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  9. Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.

Tips for Preventing Spring Pest Infestations (Part 2)

termites.com-alate-swarmer-closeupAs we prepare to set our clocks forward and welcome in spring, those of us in the pest control business also know it’s time for insects and critters to emerge around the home. If left unchecked, you can have an infestation on your hands. However there are preventative measures available. This week we look at tips for preventing spring pest infestations courtesy of Robin Mountjoy at entomologytoday.org.
[Read more…]

Tips for Preventing Spring Pest Infestations (Part 1)

Dubia cockroach, Blaptica dubia, in front of white backgroundAs we prepare to set our clocks forward and welcome in spring, those of us in the pest control business also know it’s time for insects and critters to emerge around the home. If left unchecked, you can have an infestation on your hands. However there are preventative measures available. This week we look at tips for preventing spring pest infestations courtesy of Robin Mountjoy at entomologytoday.org.
[Read more…]