VARROA MITES: A DANGER TO BEES – Untreated they can wipe out a bee colony within one to three years: Varroa mites are regarded as the greatest pest to the western honeybee. This animation explains how the tiny parasites threaten bees and explains what beekeepers can do about them.
Beekeeper Ernst Caspari has 20 colonies of bees that collect honey for him, and he needs to protect his bees against their greatest enemy, the Varroa mite. This parasite, measuring one to two millimetres in length, is a major cause of bee losses during the winter.
The Varroa mite first appeared in Germany in 1978. Caspari still remembers the Varroa-free time before that: “Bee-keeping was simpler. Previously, you could expect losses of up to ten per cent during the winter. A queen might die, or a shrew might get into the beehive.” Now, however, individual beekeepers may lose 30 per cent or more of their bee populations throughout a year. “That is why beekeepers have to take action, otherwise their colonies will not survive for long,” says the 86-year-old from Leverkusen. Read the whole story here: https://www.magazine.bayer.com/en/the-enemy-in-the-beehive.aspx
THE BLACK WIDOW SPIDER is active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions. The black widow spider spins irregular webs, which is built at night near ground level. Once complete, these spiders hang upside-down in their webs.
Bites will only cause localized pain, however, if a substantial amount of venom is injected it leads to pain, muscle rigidity, vomiting, and sweatinglasting 3 to 5 days.The venom of the black widow spider is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s although most people who are bitten by the black widow spider suffer no serious damage. The bite can be fatal to small children, the elderly or the infirm.
Outdoors, black widow spiders commonly live in protected areas like under stones and in firewood piles. They are often found in barns, outhouses and sheds. Indoors, black widows prefer cluttered areas of garages, basements and crawl spaces.
AVOIDING BLACK WIDOW SPIDER BITES
- Reduce clutter in basements and garages to eliminate hiding spots.
- When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area.
- Wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time.
- Shake out shoes before wearing them.
- Store firewood at least twenty feet from the home and five inches off the ground.
If you suspect a spider infestation, contact us HERE immediately!
Mosquitoes are one of the most important insect pests that affect the health and well being of humans and domestic animals worldwide. If environmental conditions are favorable, vast populations can develop. Female mosquitoes require a blood meal for egg production, and they produce a painful bite as they feed. While feeding, they can transmit a number of disease-causing organisms to humans and animals. The diseases these organisms cause include: West Nile fever, encephalitis, dengue fever, filariasis, yellow fever, and malaria. Encephalitis, dengue and West Nile virus (caused by different mosquito born viruses) are potential threats.
Here are some things to consider:
- Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle, so remove all possible water sources. Check flowerpots, birdbaths, pet watering bowls and other containers for excess water. Store boats, canoes and other objects so that they do not collect rainwater. Keep rain gutters free of leaves and other debris that prevent water from draining. Correct drainage problems in yards and playing fields to prevent rain and irrigation water from pooling for prolonged periods. Fill holes or depressions in trees. Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets. Correct or report drainage problems in ditches along public or private roadways.
- For water or structures that cannot be removed, mosquitoes can still be eliminated from them by careful maintenance. Replace water containers for pets, birdbaths and fountains every few days. Maintain swimming pools correctly. For ponds, Gambusia (mosquito-eating fish) can be introduced.
- Keep mosquitoes out of the home by installing and maintaining tight-fitting window and door screens.
- Some personal protection from mosquitoes can be achieved using insect repellents.
- Mosquitoes also transmit heartworm in dogs. Heartworm can cause severe circulatory problems and produce symptoms such as coughing, labored breathing and general loss of vitality in advanced stages. Because of the impracticality of protecting dogs from mosquito feeding, the most effective means of controlling heartworm is to prevent worms from reaching the adult stage inside the dog. Veterinarians can prescribe excellent drug treatment to protect pets from heartworm.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at ClearDefense Pest Control HERE. We’d like to help!
We may still be in winter, but you can’t go wrong with proper planning for spring. Part of that plan should include an audit of your current pest control efforts to ensure warming weather doesn’t equal free room and board for nasty pests.
While dozens of pests can be problematic during springtime, here are four pest families to be acutely aware of:
While honeybees provide mostly positive benefits to lawns and gardens, some next of kin can be dangerous to your home and health. Wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets are common in the Southern United States, often nesting in trees, gutters, and even home attics. This proves to be challenging and expensive, as nest removal / relocation can be complicated to prevent painful stings.
Few things cause more uneasiness than knowing your home is infested with fleas. As your cats and dogs enjoy more time in the sun, so grow their chances of picking up parasitic hitchhikers. Fleas are hard to spot due to their small size (roughly 3mm) and can cause widespread havoc if they’re given the opportunity to breed indoors. Female fleas can lay up to 5,000 eggs during their lifespan, which is only a few months.
Having an ant problem is no picnic. There are an estimated 22,000 species of ants in the world, of which a few (namely fire ants and carpenter ants) are particularly problematic for the Southeastern United States. Ants a hearty and resilient — queens can live up to 30 years or more, and worker ants can live a few years to boot. Fighting an ant infestation requires proper perimeter protection as well as thorough detection and treatment of problem spots and ant mounds.
As the winter cold starts melting away, spiders will stretch their eight hairy legs and mobilize to find places to hunt and nest. Problem spots include cluttered areas, damp indoor spots, and dark corners. North America is home to 3,000+ spider species, a few of which are particularly venomous. Just clearing cobwebs won’t do the trick!
Want to ensure your home is ready and protected for spring? Contact ClearDefense Pest Control HERE for a free consultation.
Though pests come and go with varying frequency throughout the year, there is no such thing as a “season” for pest control. Pests, like cockroaches, are ever-present; lurking, waiting for an opportunity to build a home on your property.
Wintertime brings about an influx in rodent activity indoors simply because mice and rats favor the warmth and safety of a cozy house over brutal cod. Depending on region, you’ll likely also see more stinkbugs, ladybugs, and select other critters.
As Mother Nature begins to thaw, ant populations will begin stirring. With blooming flowers come bees, wasps, and spiders. You’ll also see an influx in flies and mosquitos, particularly if you live in damp areas or near a body of water. Any and all of the above can result in major problems (including potential health risks) if left untreated.
One important takeaway is to remember is that pest control is a year-round exercise. Proper prevention for springtime pests needs to begin in the winter unless you want to deal with a potential infestation when temperatures rise. Further, you can’t forget to continue home maintenance to ensure proper wintertime pest control.
It can be a juggling act if you’re not careful, as each season brings about its own challenges and requirements. While you won’t be constantly monitoring for cobwebs in the dead of winter, you’ll need to actively maintain your home and clear clutter to ensure spiders won’t have an easy transition inside as spring rolls about. The same holds true for rodents in that winter stowaways will become more active in search for food, and therefore more apt to scurry around.
To ensure you’re ready for all seasons, it’s recommended to have routine preventative maintenance on your home:
- filling gaps
- fixing cracks
- sealing leaks
- clearing clutter
For active prevention, we also recommend an ongoing pest control arrangement with a professional team like ClearDefense Pest Control. This will include regular inspections, monitoring, and assistance should a pest issue arise.
Contact ClearDefense Pest Control HERE today for a free consultation to discuss your home or office needs. It’s never too late to consider a pest control solution!
PEST CONTROL RESOLUTIONS – At ClearDefense Pest Control, we invite you to join us in a New Year’s pledge to prevent pests from invading your home or office. The pledge is simple and straightforward, and might help save your home from unwanted guests.
This year …
I promise to keep my yard clean and protect my perimeter
It’s an acquired taste to enjoy mowing the lawn, clearing brush, and trimming overgrowth. The reality though, is that a clean yard minimizes chances of unwanted pests. A disheveled yard provides ample hiding and a safe haven for pesky critters. Keep hedges trimmed, clean up the wood pile (or rotting trees), and monitor for unsolicited activity.
I promise to check my home quarterly for cracks, loose siding, and entry gaps
Your home is only as safe as your siding. A single crack can be a welcome sign for various pests of all sizes — rodents, bugs, snakes, and more. Ensure gaps are sealed and paths to entry are minimized. Regular maintenance can mitigate long-term damage and improve property value to boot.
I promise to minimize clutter in my garage every month
When’s the last time you used those golf clubs? Do you really need to have those old tools piled in the corner? Clutter is home sweet home to spiders and other creepy-crawlies. Keep everything clean and dry with preventative maintenance and the chances of infestation reduce drastically. For extra protection, lay down bug or mouse traps in high-risk areas such as under workbenches or dimly lit areas.
I promise to stay proactive with routine inspections
While ClearDefense Pest Control offers thorough home inspections, we want you — the homeowner — to stay alert too. You don’t need a professional exterminator to check spackling or caulking, nor do you need an expert to identify a hole in the roof. Mark your calendars and take an hour out of your day to ensure your home is not susceptible to risk. If you need us, we’re happy to help!
I promise to ask for help if I need it
It’s not always easy to ask for help, but sometimes you must. In this case, we’re pest control specialists who alleviate infestations and keep your home and yard protected around the clock.
Want to schedule preventive maintenance? Contact us today at ClearDefense Pest Control today HERE for a quote.