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March 30, 2010

Fire Ants

Fire ants live in fields, woodlands, open areas, and in dry-to-moist soil. Their range extends from Florida and Gulf states to the Pacific Coast, north to British Columbia. Other members of this common genus are found throughout North America but the range of individual species is more restricted.
Reports of devastating battalions of fire ants are well known in the South and Southwest. Although these ants often damage young plants, they rarely destroy established crops. Some people even consider this species a beneficial predator of insect pests.

The fire ant society contains 2 or more worker castes of different sizes between 1/16" and 1/4". Their coloring is usually a dull yellow to red or black, they have large heads and incurved jaws that usually lack teeth. Their body contains a 2-segmented "waist" (pedicel) between thorax and abdomen, and fine hair mostly on the head and abdomen, and long legs.

Their food consists of other insects, seeds, poultry, fruits, honeydew, vegetables, and flowers. Females excavate nests close to shrubs for protection from burrowing ant-eating animals, spreading large mounds of waste earth. Sometimes nests are built in rotting logs or under stones.

Warning! Stings from fire ant produce a painful, burning sensation.
Dave's Pest Control Central MAhttp://www.davespestcontrol.net

Photo sources: http://fireant.tamu.edu/img/ants/img0018_med.jpg

March 28, 2010

Pest Games For Kids - Pest Detective

Mysterious and exciting, the world of pests challenges us to understand what attracts them to our homes and yards. Test your pest knowledge and skills with these learning games! For kids of all ages, and especially for those in third through fifth grade.

A pest is just an animal looking for meal and a place to live that took a wrong turn into your house. But when they do, it's not pretty. Homes wrecked...people sick. And that's where you come in. You're a Pest Detective. It's your job to find out what happened and who did it. Then you can help—because it doesn't have to happen again.

Call Dave at 1-800-400-6009

March 26, 2010

Your Worst Nightmare: Spiders

Don't let this happen to you. Call Dave today! 1-800-400-6009


If you're concerned that you have spiders in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control Serving Central Massachusetts

March 24, 2010

Meet Dave's Pest Control

Want to learn more about Dave's Pest Control, a local company that serves all of Worcester County? Watch our video!

March 22, 2010

Carpenter Ants - Part 2

Carpenter ants have main colonies and sub (satellite) colonies. The main colony takes about five years to mature and is most often found in the woods. Once mature, the large colony needs help so it sends out swarmers (winged ants) that locate spots in the vicinity where the sub colonies can thrive. Once a spot is found, they rip off their wings and start setting up shop. Each sub colony has a job (such as caring for all the eggs or collecting water) but they are all depend on the main colony and frequently (at night) travel back to the main colony to help it out.

Once mature, a main colony will continually be setting up sub colonies. Homes are ideal for them since there are reliable water sources there (we often find the colonies around window or door frames or in the kitchen or bathroom). The seasonal visit program does guarantee you protection from these continual, wood destroying invaders throughout the spring and summer.

Carpenter ants do not actually feed on the wood. They feed actively from sunset until the early morning hours on most human foods, particularly sweets and other insects.

If you're concerned that you have carpenter ants in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control Central MA

March 20, 2010

Tips for Controlling Subterranean Termites

There are several things a homeowner can do which can help prevent termite infestations or make them easier to detect.
  • Store firewood away from the house. 
  • Make sure at least four inches of the foundation can be seen all around the home.
  • Siding should not extend into the soil. Mulch and soil should not be high enough to cover the siding. Make sure water drains away from the foundation. Accumulation of water next to the foundation is important for the survival of a termite colony next to a home. Rain gutters are ideal; however, the downspout should direct the water away from the home. 
  • Roof or plumbing leaks can allow termites to survive above ground in a house. These should be corrected as soon as possible. 
  • Paint will protect exposed wood against termites for about five years, and commercial pressure-treated wood will provide longer lasting protection. Before painting, all cracks and crevices should be filled with putty or plastic wood.
  • Certain woods are naturally resistant to termite attacks. Among these woods are redwood core, bald-cypress, mahogany, and Spanish cedar. These types of wood, however, will become susceptible after several years of exposure to weather.
If you're concerned that you have termites in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control Central MAhttp://www.davespestcontrol.net

March 18, 2010

How Well Do You Know Your Pests - Take 2

Many of you enjoyed the quiz I gave you last month, so here's another one to test just how well you know your pests!
  1. What pest can burrow straight into the ground?
  2. What pest can live without drinking water?
  3. Is the old rhyme "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" a myth?
Scroll down for the answers.
Dave's Pest Control Central MA

1. Rats! Rats are clever pests that are capable of digging three feet straight into the ground. They have also been known to chew through building materials such as glass, cinderblock, wire, aluminum and lead and climb inside pipes with diameters between one-half and four inches.

2. House mice do not need to drink water to survive. They get all the nutrition they need from food. These mice prefer eating nuts, grains and sweets and are not particularly fond of cheese!

3. Bed bugs are real insects that like to make their homes in human beds and feed on human blood at night. These tiny bugs hide in cracks in and around human environments and are very difficult to spot.

March 16, 2010

The Western Conifer Seed Bug

The western conifer seed bug is a nuisance, occasional invader that has been moving eastward from the West Coast. This insect feeds mainly on seeds and developing cones of conifers. It was first detected in Pennsylvania in 1992.  Its range now extends across the northern U.S. and into Canada.  Interstate commerce is the main factor thought to be involved in its spread.

This occasional invading nuisance pest must come inside to overwinter.  That's when people notice them entering homes and office spaces.  Much like other overwintering pests, the late fall is when they pests will move indoors through cracks and crevices, under eaves and doors, and through weep holes.  And like other occasional invaders, they will rest on the southwest side of the building in late summer months into the fall and work their way toward doors and windows.

The adults are about ¾ of an inch long and brownish on top.  The upper abdomen is orange with five transverse black stripes.  Eggs (2mm) are laid in chains on conifer needles.  Nymphs are reddish brown as they molt from stage to stage and there is one generation per season.  A distinguishing feature of this bug is the larger tibia portion of the leg common to leaf footed bugs.  Another of note is the loud buzzing noise it makes while flying - the sound resembles that of a bumble bee and can be startling to clients.  But, this insect does not bite or sting humans. 

To combat their entry you may want to offer to replace loose fitting screens, add door sweeps, caulk any gaps around utility pipe chases, caulk around chimneys and under fascia as well as screen chimneys, attic and wall vents.  Once inside, they will be more active on sunny days and they tend to harbor in voids on cooler or colder days throughout the winter.  When seen on active warmer days, you may recommend that they be vacuumed up and removed.  (The vacuum bag should be frozen first to kill them.)

In the spring they will attempt to get back outdoors to feed and lay their eggs on pineneedles.  They actually do a good bit of economic damage to the quality and viability of conifer seed crops and contribute to a substantial loss of Douglas fir seeds.  It is assumed they will also cause economic damage and impact over time to conifers native throughout the northern U.S. and Canada.

If you're concerned that you have western conifer seed bugs in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control Serving Central Massachusetts

Reference: http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/western-conifer-seedbug

March 14, 2010

Subterranean Termites - Part 2

As the termite colony grows, specialized castes are produced for the different tasks required. The first caste of subterranean termites produced is the workers. The second caste is the soldiers. Soldier have an elongated head with pincer-like mandibles. The third caste is the reproductives.

There are two types of reproductives, primary and supplementary, and each has different functions. Supplementary reproductives have either no wings or very short non-functional wings. Primary reproductives have four wings of equal size. Primary reproductives start new colonies and are the termites most often seen in the open. They are commonly referred to as "swarmers." 

Although thousands of primary reproductives are produced each year, they all leave the nest. Primaries cannot become reproductive if they remain in their colony of origin. In a Formosan colony, the only primaries that reproduce are the original king and queen that started the colony. Supplementary reproductives, on the other hand, can become reproductive only in the colonies in which they were born. They take over reproduction when the primary king or queen dies or becomes separated from the main colony.

If you're concerned that you have termites in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control

Photo source: http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/b-6080.html

March 12, 2010

First Godzilla...Now The Giant Japanese Hornet

Watch...if you dare...

Dave's Pest Control Serving Central Massachusetts
Call Dave at 1-800-400-6009

March 10, 2010

The Ladybug

The ladybug or lady beetle belongs to the family of beetles known as Coccinellidae. These small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, black legs, head and antennae.

Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone. A few species are pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places.

Duriing the winter months, ladybugs seek refuge indoors. If the little ladies have already entered your home, use a vacuum to remove them. It is important to dispose of the bag outdoors to prevent the insects from crawling out.

Ladybugs are known to secrete an oily yellow liquid when disturbed, and release an odor just before they die, so squishing them is not suggested. If you have a ladybug infestation, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Fun Facts:
  • The Mall of America in Minnesota, for instance, releases thousands of ladybugs into its indoor park as a natural means of pest control for its gardens.
  • A common myth is that the number of spots on its back indicates its age. 
Dave's Pest Control

March 8, 2010

Ugh! Bed Bugs!

Bedbugs are small, elusive, and parasitic insects. They live strictly by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals.

The name 'bed bug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat infesting houses and especially beds or other common areas where people may sleep. Though not strictly nocturnal, bedbugs are active primarily at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.

Essentially eradicated as pests in the United States in the early 1940s, bedbugs have been resurgent in the past decade to near epidemic proportions.

If you're concerned that you have bedbugs in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control

March 6, 2010

Subterranean Termites - Part 1

Subterranean termites live in colonies in the ground, building vertical tunnels that look like mud tubes above ground level so that they can search for food. Because subterranean termites will die if exposed to air for an extended period of time, the tunnels provide protection from the open air, allowing workers to carry food to the nest. Subterranean termites can form tunnels through cracks in concrete, so slab homes are not exempt from these termites. They need to stay in contact with the soil in order to survive, unlike drywood termites that only need low moisture.

This termite is known to swarm in May and June, but small flights can occur at any time of the year. Swarming is the primary way the termite naturally spreads after it has been transported to a new area. Three elements are needed for swarming to be effective:
  1. proper food resources (cellulose and wood)
  2. moisture, 
  3. a physical niche
If you're concerned that you have termites in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control Central MA

March 4, 2010

Tips For Controlling Drywood Termites

Concerned about termites? Here are some measures you can do to help prevent a drywood termite infestation.
  • Store firewood and lumber away from the house.
  • Use 20-mesh screen on all windows and doors, and especially at ventilation openings for attics and crawl spaces.
  • Exposed wood that is sealed with a uniform coating of paint, varnish or other sealant will help prevent easy access by drywood termites.
  • Be sure to seal nail holes and cracks.
If you're concerned that you have carpet beetles in your home or place of business, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Dave's Pest Control Central MA

March 2, 2010

The NPMA Assist Haiti

In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has responded on behalf of the pest management industry with a commitment to help.  As Haiti’s capital, Port‐au‐Prince, has been overrun with pests including flies, rodents and mosquitoes in the aftermath of this natural disaster, the NPMA has contacted the Center of International Development, coordinators of in‐kind donations, pledging the industry’s willingness to provide the inspection and treatment necessary to protect public health in the regions most impacted by the earthquake.

Although the NPMA does not yet know the full extent of how the industry’s services will be
called upon, the association is preparing for when member efforts can be utilized. “Although we
have yet to be selected by the Center of International Development to help, I am hopeful that
our members will continue to outreach with their generosity and consider offering their
expertise and services to build our arsenal,” says Rob Lederer, executive vice president of the
NPMA. “We are extremely proud of the way our industry has united to support the
humanitarian efforts in Haiti, and we thank you for your generous response,” says Lederer.  

The NPMA, a non‐profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to
support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food
and property.

Dave's Pest Control