Carpenter Bees Typically Don’t Sting
Carpenter bees are large bees that are up to 25 mm long, depending on the species. In the U.S., there are two genera of carpenter bees: small carpenter bees (Ceratina) and large carpenter bees (Xylocopa). Large carpenter bees are the type most likely to become a pest.
Small carpenter bees are less than 8 mm long while large carpenter bees are up to 25 mm long. Large carpenter bees look similar to bumble bees although they do not have visible hairs on the abdomen. Carpenter bees come in many colors such as black, metallic blue, or purple-blue. The males have yellow sections on their face while both genders have hair on the abdomen and legs. The small carpenter bees are usually darker in color. Bee pest control in El Paso can and will be important if you come in contact with a large group of bees.
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Carpenter bees are solitary bees, which means they do not live in colonies. These bees eat plant pollen and nectar, but they can damage woodwork because they excavate dry, weathered wood on doors, windowsills, roof eaves, decks, fences, and wood lawn furniture. Carpenter bees are usually fond of oak posts in rail fences. While this bee prefers Cyprus, oak, fir, and pine, they will damage other types of wood.
While female carpenter bees can sting, they rarely do so unless they are directly threatened. The male bees are often found near the nest, but they do not have a stinger.
Unlike most bees and wasps, carpenter bees are solitary creatures. Some species of carpenter bees do create small nests in which mothers and daughters live. Despite the fact that they do not form colonies, it’s common to find many carpenter bees nesting near each other. The founding bee is responsible for foraging, building the nest, laying the eggs, and guarding the nest.
Carpenter bees may employ one of two mating strategies. Among species in which male bees have large eyes, the male searches for a female then pursues. Among species in which males have small heads, the males release a pheromone as they fly to attract females. Some species of small carpenter bees are capable of producing without males.
Do You Have a Carpenter Bee Infestation?
Carpenter bees leave very recognizable entrance holes when they bore into wood. Female bees chew round entrances into flat wood surfaces. These holes are usually about 1/2″ wide, or about the diameter of the bee’s body. The holes are perfectly circular and look like they were drilled with a drill bit. Upon inspection, you may see that the hole goes into the wood perpendicular to the grain for an inch or two before turning sharply. You may notice pollen or bee droppings near the entrance.
Carpenter bees are beneficial insects as they are pollinators. They can be a pest, though, and it is possible for the bees to cause structural damage to furniture, posts, and roof eaves. If you have a problem with carpenter bees on your property, contact Pest Defense Solutions to discuss population control options.
Carpenter Ants Pest Control, Can Destroy Wood
Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the United States and they are found throughout the country. Carpenter ants are a major pest problem because they destroy wood in your home to make tunnels and galleries.
Carpenter ants range in size from 1/4″ to 1/2″ long, among the largest ants in the country. The queen carpenter ant is usually 3/4″ long. While most are black, some carpenter ant species are red or yellowish in color. The most common color variant is the black carpenter ant with reddish legs. Carpenter ants have large mandibles that are used for chewing through wood grain.
While carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites, they can cause extensive damage to woodwork in your home. Carpenter ants live in hollow or dead wood, and they will cut galleries and tunnels into wood to form nests and passages. Carpenter ants build two types of colonies: a parent colony and satellite colonies. The main colony is home to the queen, a brood, and workers. Satellite colonies are comprised entirely of worker ants, older larvae, and pupae.
A queen carpenter ant will lay anywhere from 9 to 16 eggs during her first year, and she can live up to 25 years. Eggs mature into adult carpenter ants after 6-12 weeks. Mating season for carpenter ants occurs in the spring or summer when a colony produces swarmers or winged carpenter ants. These swarmers mate, at which point the female sheds her wings and the male dies. The female ant establishes a new colony and lays eggs that first become worker ants. The worker ants are responsible for foraging for food, building passages, and creating the colony. It can take 3-6 years for a carpenter ant to establish a stable colony. After another two years, the queen will begin to produce swarmers to start another colony.
Signs of an Infestation
- Worker ants. You may see worker ants moving around your home, especially during the spring as they forage for food. Carpenter ants in your home do not necessarily indicate an infestation; the ants may be foraging for food in your house while living outdoors.
- Swarmers. Flying ants or swarmers emerge from a mature colony when it’s ready to start a new colony. Flying carpenter ants can resemble flying termites, and they swarm at the same time. Carpenter ants have pinched waists and bent antennae.
- Debris. Carpenter ants leave debris of wood shavings mixed with ant parts as they cut through wood. Rough shavings mixed with ant parts are a good indicator of carpenter ant activity in your home.
If you are seeing more and more activity from ants in general, then there is a good chance that you need some type of ant pest control in El Paso. You will want to contact a professional pest control company for this.
If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation in your home, contact Pest Defense Solutions El Paso Texas right away. It’s important to find the nest and remove or treat it to control the infestation. When treated early, carpenter ant infestations rarely cause significant damage. If they are allowed to continue, carpenter ants can eventually cause structural damage to your home.
Brown Recluse Spiders Have Painful Bites
The brown recluse or fiddle-back spider is a species of Loxosceles. There are 11 species of Loxosceles native to the U.S., and four can be harmful to people. Brown recluse spiders are found in 15 states in the United States, including many parts of Texas. While the bite of a brown recluse spider is very rarely life-threatening, the bite can produce very painful symptoms.
The adult brown recluse spider is a dull yellow or dark brown color with no stripes or spots on the abdomen. Most brown recluse spiders are 6 to 11 mm in length with a body that can be as wide as a quarter. Juvenile spiders are light in color. The classic characteristic of the spider is a dark brown violin-shaped marking on the dorsum of the light brown or yellowish cephalothorax. The neck of the violin shape points toward the abdomen. Other spiders do have a similar violin pattern like the cellar spider. The best way to identify the brown recluse is to see the eyes as well. Most spiders have 8 eyes, but the brown recluse spider has 6 eyes in pairs with one median pair and two lateral pairs.
As their name implies, brown recluse spiders are shy. They usually live in dark places in basements, barns, and homes. These spiders rarely bite people unless they are provoked. Brown recluse spiders are venomous and the bites may not be painful. Someone who has been bitten may not notice until symptoms develop. While most bites become red and fade, it is possible to develop tissue damage or necrosis from a bite.
Brown recluse spiders may make their way into your home in search of food or if they are brought inside in a box. This species usually makes messy nests that are built at ground level. The web is not used for catching prey as the spider hunts for insects like cockroaches and grasshoppers.
A female brown recluse spider will create anywhere from 1 to 5 egg sacs during the spring that may contain a few dozen or up to 300 eggs. These eggs hatch after one month and the spiderlings take about one year to develop to adulthood. Spiderlings grow slowly and take about 11 months to mature.
Control Brown Recluse Spider Infestations
If you have brown recluse spiders near your home, it’s important to take action. Brown recluse spiders can be dangerous to pets and small children, and a bite can produce serious side effects in adults as well. If you see recluse spiders near a woodpile or anywhere on your property, stay away. They will usually avoid people and only bite when they are threatened. Contact Pest Defense Solutions for an inspection of your home and custom pest control solutions like insecticide spray treatment to control the population.
Brown Dog Tick Pest Control
The brown dog tick is found throughout the world. This species gets its name for the brown color and the fact that it is usually found on pet dogs. While brown dog ticks do not usually bite humans, they may do so if the dog host is no longer available. Brown dog ticks are known carriers of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and several other tick-borne diseases like canine babesia and canine ehrlichiosis.
Brown dog ticks are about 3 mm long unengorged or up to 1/2″ when engorged with blood. They are usually reddish brown but their color can be a gray-blue when engorged. As larvae, brown dog ticks have six legs. Nymphs and adults have eight legs. Adults have an oval-shaped, flattened body.
Brown dog ticks usually infest dogs. While they usually attach close to the ears or between the toes, they can be found anywhere on the dog at various stages of life. Unlike most species of ticks, brown dog ticks can go through their entire life cycle indoors. These ticks thrive indoors in dry, warm conditions such as a kennel, which has earned this species the nickname “kennel ticks.”
This type of tick is referred to as a three-host tick, which means it drops off the host after a meal but before each developmental stage. It is possible for a brown dog tick to remain on the same host for its entire life.
A tick infestation in the home is usually introduced by a pet dog. Sometimes the infestation is not apparent until ticks are visible crawling on floors or walls. When the problem has become this apparent this is when you are going to need professional help and flea and tick pest control is what you need by a pest control company, call us today at (915) 591-2847
After a blood meal, a female brown dog tick will lay up to 3,000 eggs on a flat surface. These eggs are usually found on window casings, baseboards, furniture, the edges of rugs, and curtains. The female dies shortly after depositing the eggs, which hatch in 20 to 60 days. The tiny larvae will attach to a dog as soon as possible, but they can live up to 8 months without blood. After attaching to a host, the larvae will become engorged and leave the host to molt in one to three weeks and transform into a nymph. The nymph will once more find a host and engorge over a period of 4 to 9 days. The nymph will detach and molt into an adult flea in 12 to 29 days, then seek a dog again. Adult ticks can survive for up to 19 months without food. After engorging on blood for up to 50 days, the adult will mate, drop off the dog, and lay eggs.
Ticks can produce up to 4 generations per year under ideal conditions.
Managing Brown Dog Ticks
Brown dog tick infestations can be difficult to control, especially a large infestation in the home. A large-scale infestation requires professional pest control and a four-stage process that involves sanitation of the home, treatment of the dog, indoor treatments, and outdoor pest control. If you are dealing with a brown dog tick infestation on your dog or in your home, contact Pest Defense Solutions today for help. Call us at (915) 591-2847
Boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) are a type of tree bug found mostly on boxelder, maple, and ash trees. While they are not harmful or destructive, boxelder bugs can be a pest when they move into your home.
Boxelder bugs have a distinctive appearance. Adults are about 1/2″ long with a dark brown or black color with reddish-orange veins and markings on the thorax and sides. Boxelder bugs have flat red wings. Nymph boxelder bugs are a bright red color. Nymphs develop black markings and black wing pads as they mature.
Boxelder bugs live in boxelder, maple, and ash trees while the weather is warm, but they move into homes for shelter when the weather gets chilly. During the spring, adult boxelder bugs mate in the tree leaves and deposit eggs. This insect feeds on the soft parts of the tree, eating flowers, new growth, and leaves. These bugs are usually easy to spot in large numbers on branches.
They can make their way inside through tiny cracks and stay inside to hibernate through the fall and winter. They can remain active inside walls and house siding even while the weather is cool. A home’s heating system can make the bugs falsely believe it’s summer and revive them from hibernation at which point they will move inside the home for food.
Boxelder bugs do not cause damage inside a home, but they do leave droppings and stains. They usually do not do much damage to the trees on which they feed, but they can become a nuisance during the fall.
In the spring, boxelder bugs deposit reddish-brown eggs that are well hidden in the boxelder tree. The eggs hatch into gray and red nymphs after a few days. The nymphs grow larger and eventually develop into adults by the summer, at which point they mate and lay eggs. Adult and nymph boxelder bugs may periodically migrate in large groups to cover the side of a home, the ground, or a tree trunk.
Eliminating a Boxelder Bug Problem
Once boxelder bugs establish themselves in a home, they can be difficult to remove. The best way to eliminate the problem is prevention during the fall. Pest control spraying can prevent boxelder bugs, ladybugs, and similar pests from entering the home during the fall. Sealing cracks around utility service openings, in the foundation, and around doors and windows can also keep the pests out. If boxelder bugs are becoming a nuisance on your property, contact Pest Defense Solutions El Paso today so we can develop a custom treatment plan for you.