The Arrival of Spring Means Spiders Are Not Far Behind

As warm weather approaches, so does the chance of a higher spider population near your home. When it gets closer to spring, female spiders begin to lay anywhere from one to thousands of eggs in an egg sack. These eggs normally take a couple of weeks to mature and hatch. It is important to be prepared for spiders in the spring time and to make sure to control the settings surrounding your home.

The big debate about spiders is whether they can be beneficial to your home or not. In some ways, spiders can be beneficial outside of the home because they eat many insects including roaches, mosquitoes, flies and more. Because spiders feed on different insects, they can help to control other pests that may be present inside and outside of your home. If you feel that you may have an excessive spider presence at your home, have it inspected by professionals.

Always be cautious with spiders. Although the majority of spiders in the home are harmless, if they feel threatened there is a chance that they will bite you in hopes of protecting themselves. A few types of species of spiders can deliver painful, poisonous bites. If someone in your household has been bitten by a spider it is best to keep an eye on the bite and if it gets worse you should contact your local emergency room for assistance.

WAYS TO CONTROL SPIDER POPULATION AT YOUR HOME:

  • Inside
    • Caulk and block points of entry, make sure windows and doors fit tightly. Spiders typically enter homes through cracks and crevices.
    • Avoid clutter and control humidity in dark areas such as basements, attics, etc.
    • Store seasonal clothing in boxes that have been sealed with tape.
    • Vacuum spiders and webs
  • Outside
    • Keep debris, shrubs, and trash from touching the outside foundation of your home.
    • Treat close shrubs and trees with least toxic or natural pesticides.
    • Clean up wood piles. Wood piles can create a perfect home for spiders.
    • Remove webs from decks, patio furniture and other areas in your yard.

If you need help in controlling spiders in and around your home or business, call the professionals at EcoSafe® Pest Control at 214-358-5201 or fill out our convenient form to send us an email.

Flea Myths Busted

Flea

Flea eggs hatch on the animal

Flea eggs hatch on the ground, in carpeting, furniture and pet bedding – not on pets. Adult fleas attach themselves to animals for a blood meal before reproducing.


Fleas prefer any warm-blooded animal for their blood meals (including people)

Though fleas will bite people, their preferred is a furry animal.


Sealing cracks and crevices is a good flea control strategy

While exclusion is advised for many pest problems, it doesn’t have a real benefit for flea control. Sealing cracks and crevices prevents rodents and other potential hosts from entering the house but most fleas enter a structure on their host animal.


The only good flea control strategy is to rid a home of adult fleas

Though adult fleas are easy to locate, eggs, larvae and pupae are a different case. These life stages are less active and found in hard to reach places in a home. So the treatment strategy must include an adulticide for the adults and an insect growth regulator to eliminate immature stages.


The only way to eliminate fleas is with surface spraying

In addition to surface spraying with an adulticide and IGR (insect growth regulator), homeowners must protect their pets from fleas by treating regularly with a topical or oral product. Regular vacuuming of the home is also mandatory during flea season.

The Bottom Line

The best approach for flea control is prevention. This includes regular cleaning and vacuuming as well as a good quality topical or oral flea treatment prescribed by your veterinarian. The best approach for flea treatment is a qualified, professional pest control company like Eco-Safe Pest Control. Contact us today for a free estimate.

 

Termite Swarmers – Sometimes They are Only a Nuisance

During the late winter to late spring of each year here in Texas, the Subterranean Termites produce winged Swarmers.

The purpose of these swarmers is to fly up onto the air, find a mate and start a new colony. After mating, both the male and the female land on a suitable nesting area and lose their wings. When they swarm into your home, in most cases, they cannot do any damage to your home.

To start a nest, Subterranean Termites need a moist, wet, or rotten wood. Unless you have one of those conditions the swarmer termites cannot hurt you. Swarmer termites are attracted to light when they emerge from the colony.

They may be found in window sills or around your ceiling lights. It is not necessary to spray these termite swarmers. Be patient and they will die within a few hours if no wooden moisture nesting area is found. You can use a vacuum to rid yourself of these nuisance pests. Just because you see these swarmers does not mean you have a termite infestation.  There is not much that can be done to stop them from swarming unless the source is located. If you are seeing them in large numbers INSIDE your home or business, there may be a colony underneath but not necessarily causing damage. They must come to the surface in order to swarm and sometimes they surface in your living room. They will be found near a window or light because they instinctively “go to the light”.


Another this to consider is that you may be seeing ANT swarmers instead.
They appear nearly identical to the untrained eye, and their behavior is very similar.

Ants vs Termites Comparison


So I have a confirmed termite infestation. Can I treat for termites myself?

Because of the specialized equipment and chemicals needed to effectively and safely treat your home, it’s nearly always best to hire a professional. Do-it-yourself termite control chemicals are commonly sold through feed, hardware, and nursery supply stores. For spot treatments, in a very limited area, these products may be as effective as some professional products; however it takes a professional to thoroughly treat a home. Do-it-yourself termite control projects should be limited to smaller, less valuable structures such as sheds, fence post, decks and wood piles.

At Eco-Safe Pest Control, we have years of experience and highly qualified technicians. We can effectively treat for termites using organic liquid termiticides, bait systems, or a combination of both. Contact us if you have any concerns about termites and we will schedule an inspection that is convenient for you.

A Clean House Does Not Mean It’s Pest-Free

Some people believe that pests are never a problem in a clean home. If this were true, pest control operators would become house cleaning services! While general sanitation and cleanliness can’t hurt, unfortunately, ALL HOMES CAN GET PESTS! Pests have mastered the art of finding food. Insects like cockroaches and mice find plenty of and food and water where we don’t expect, even in the cleanest of homes and apartments.

house cleaningMany pests become much more numerous, or are more likely to set up permanent residence, where they have easy access to food and water. Ants, cockroaches, and mice are just a few of the pests whose populations soar where food and water are plentiful for them. A problem common to ALL homes – clean or dirty – are the many pests that invade not looking for food, but simply seeking a climate inside that is more to their liking. Boxelder bugs, elm leaf beetles, clover mites, rats, etc., find ways indoors, looking for a warmer, drier place. It is also very easy to unknowingly bring pests right through the front door with you – hidden in groceries, firewood, boxes brought in from a garage or storage building and other items you carry indoors.

It is unfortunate that even clean homes are not immune to having pest problems. But the great news is that the professionals at Eco-Safe Pest Control can give you the benefits of a pest-free home, regardless of whether or not you always keep your home spotlessly clean.

Wasps Disinfect Cockroaches Before Eating Them

Wasp and Roach
Photo Credit: Gudrun Herzner

If cockroaches had nightmares, the Emerald Cockroach Wasp surely would deserve a prominent place therein.

These colorful, tiny parasitic wasps sting American cockroaches twice, once in the midsection to prevent them from running away, and a second time directly in the brain, to make the insects sluggish and zombielike. The wasps then drag the roaches by their antenna, akin to a human pulling a dog on a leash, into a protected nook and lay an egg on the roach. The egg ultimately hatches into larvae that devour the roach from the inside out.

About six weeks later, a young adult wasp emerges after spinning a cocoon inside the shell of the roach. But there’s a catch: What’s to prevent the cockroach “meat” from spoiling? Cockroaches are notoriously dirty animals, covered in bacteria that begin to spoil their flesh — and threaten to harm larval wasps — during this long incubation period.

A study published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that these larval wasps secrete a surprising amount of potent antimicrobial compounds to prevent their cockroach bounty from spoiling.

“They virtually soak their cockroach host with the secretion to inhibit the growth of competitive microbes that would degrade their food and of pathogenic microbes that threaten their lives,” said study co-author Gudrun Herzner, a researcher at Germany’s University of Regensburg.

The study found that Ampulex compressa larvae secrete several types of antibiotics, specifically the chemicals mellein and micromolide, which inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses, Herzner told LiveScience.

“On the one hand, the finding is surprising, because such a simple, little insect larva uses such a sophisticated strategy to ward off detrimental bacteria,” Herzner said. “The larvae are like little chemical plants that produce large amounts of different antimicrobial substances.”

However, she continued, it was not really a surprise to find that these parasitic wasps would have evolved to secrete some antimicrobial substances, given that the cockroach is the young wasp’s only food source, which would by itself spoil if not somehow preserved. The wasps live throughout the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Micromolide is considered a promising compound to treat Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the microbe that causes tuberculosis, Herzner said.

This is not the only example of insects producing antimicrobial compounds. The European beewolf wasp hunts honeybees, and coats their bodies in an oily substance that inhibits microbes from growing. Certain types of burying beetles also disinfect the carrion they use as larval food. But in both of these cases, the adult animal secretes the antimicrobial chemicals; the emerald cockroach wasp is a rare example of a larval insect making antibiotics, Herzner said.


Original Article: LiveScience

DIY Pest Control Turns Deadly for a Texas Family

On Monday, January 3, members of an Amarillo family became ill after an extremely toxic pesticide was applied under their mobile home. Realizing there was a problem, one of the residents of the home tried to wash it away with a water hose. This turned out to be a fatal mistake because the pesticide, aluminum phosphide, actually reacts with water to create a noxious and deadly gas. This gas can cause excess fluid in the lungs and lead to respiratory failure. As a result, 4 children died and 5 other people who in the home at the time were hospitalized.

The pesticide was marketed as Weevil-Cide®, and is a restricted-use pesticide. As with all restricted-use pesticides, it is only lawful to be used obtained and used by licensed pest control operators. Although the last decade has seen marked strides in safer pesticide formulations, these heavy-hitting products still exist, and are primarily used for commercial and industrial applications.

If you do decide to do your own pest control,
here are some tips that can keep you and your family safe:

  • Identify the pest – Identifying the pest will help you to know what methods and/or product(s) to effectively use.
  • Carefully read and follow all the directions and all safety precautions on the label – Use the recommended protective clothing and equipment. Pay attention to the dosage and follow it carefully. If a liquid pesticide calls for 1 oz of product per gallon of water, then that’s what you should use. If 1 oz equals dead bugs, then 2 oz does not equal deader bugs. A dead bug is a dead bug. Dosage and application rates are provided for your safety… and they are not just suggestions; IT’S THE LAW.
  • Use only pesticides that are labeled for use against the intended pest
  • Do not use pesticides not labeled for general public use – If a product is labeled for licensed use only, there’s a good reason for it. Serious harm to you, your family, or the environment can result from misuse. As a rule, if the label says, “RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDE”, then you should not use it.

Restricted Use Pesticide

All pesticides will have a “signal word” printed on the label. These signal words are :

  • CAUTION – Caution word means the product has relatively low toxicity.
  • WARNING – This means the product is moderately toxic.
  • DANGER or DANGER-POISON – This is the most toxic and should be avoided. Pesticides with this signal word are almost always also labeled as a Restricted Use Pesticide.

The best approach to any pest control task is to call a professional pest control company like EcoSafe® Pest Control. EcoSafe has licensed and well-trained technicians who will determine the best approach for handling your pest control problem. We will take the necessary steps to ensure that the treatment is not only effective, but safe for you, your pets, and for the environment. Call us to schedule an appointment at 214-358-5201.

Winter Sends Rodents and Other Pests Indoors

With the onset of Winter, many small pests have begun to look for shelter indoors – and homes are the perfect refuge from the cold winter. EcoSafe reminds homeowners of the importance that exclusion can play in keeping pests such as rodents, and other small animals from becoming unwelcome house guests during the winter months.

Roof RatUnfortunately, these pests can fit through tight spaces, and once inside they can cause more than just an unpleasant infestation.The real concern is that rodents and other smaller pests pose serious health threats by contaminating food and transmitting bacteria.

Mice and rats can spread diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus. Rodents also put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing on wires and cause leaks by chewing through water lines.

We know that exclusion (pest-proofing) is not always easy, but it’s important for homeowners to spend some time taking steps to protect their properties from dangerous pests.

The Hitmen can provide the following exclusion services:

  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens
  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys and other entry points

Homeowners should:

  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house
  • Keep shrubbery well trimmed
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles

COMMERCIAL PEST PREVENTION TIPS

Prevention is critical in protecting you business from a pest infestation. Below are just a few pest prevention tips that your commercial business can employ to avoid bug and insect infestations and the potential health and property threats that pests and rodents can pose.

  • “Pest-proof” your business by being vigilant of building maintenance needs
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your business, including entry points for utilities and pipes
  • Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation; install gutters or diverts, which will channel water away from the building
  • Be sure your employees keep food sealed and stored properly
  • Clean high-volume areas daily, such as public eating areas and kitchenettes, where crumbs and trash are more likely to build up
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