Carpet Beetles Love to Eat Carpet and Other Things
Carpet beetles are a common pest that infest upholstery, carpet, pillows, and clothing to feed on animal-based items like pet hair and carpet fibers. While carpet beetles are best known for damaging carpeting and fabrics, they can also be a pest in the kitchen and pantry by eating and damaging food products.
There are two main types of carpet beetles: black carpet beetles which are oblong, black beetles that range from 1/8″ to 3/16″ and varied carpet beetles which are oval-shaped with a mottled color pattern on the wings. The common or varied carpet beetle can be up to 0.14 inches long with a rounded body and white, brownish, and yellowish patches of scales.
Adult carpet beetles can infest a wide variety of materials like wool, comforters, pillows, clothing, upholstered furniture, and carpet. These pests do not feed on synthetic fibers in most cases, but they can still damage synthetic items with food, oil, and perspiration. When outdoors, carpet beetles feed on nectar and pollen. The larvae of the beetle may eat seeds and animal food left outside or in the pantry. While adults can thrive indoors, the female carpet beetle still prefers to lay eggs outdoors where larval food sources are plentiful. Adult carpet beetles are capable of flying which allows them to rapidly infest an entire home.
Carpet beetles may go through their entire life cycle within 2 months to many years. Female carpet beetles usually lay their eggs outdoors, but they may lay eggs indoors or in the nests of birds and mice. Adults mate near a light source before the female lays up to 100 eggs that hatch into larvae in 7 to 35 days.
Controlling a Carpet Beetle Infestation
A carpet beetle infestation can quickly spread throughout your home. Carpet beetles usually get indoors through windows, doors, and tiny openings, but they may be brought in on flowers as well. An infestation can become widespread before it is discovered as the larvae and adults prefer to remain hidden in dark areas. Professional pest control is the recommended course of action to completely eradicate a carpet beetle infestation in your home. Carpet beetle infestations may be eradicated through a combination of freezing, scent traps, and insecticides. Contact Pest Defense Solutions today for a custom treatment plan to get rid of your pest problem.
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.
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.
Zika Virus: How concerned should El Paso residents be?
We have all heard the news surrounding Zika virus, and you’re probably wondering what type of risk this could pose to you and your family here in El Paso, TX. The simple answer is that this is more of a tropical disease, carried by mosquitoes, that is affecting other parts of the world, particularly tropical Central and South America. However, states in the southern US, including Texas, are at risk in the coming months. Florida and other parts of the Gulf Coast may very well have an epidemic waiting to happen, and we might as well educate ourselves about the virus should it decide to affect El Paso.
Zika virus is spread primarily through Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito that is common in tropical areas.
Spread to the United States
“I believe all of the conditions where they’re present in Latin America and the Caribbean are also present in Texas and other Gulf Coast states,” said Hotez, who predicted the number of Aedes aegypti, which already reside in this part of the U.S., could start multiplying in March, when the weather warms up. “Which means we have time [to prepare]— and now’s the time to do it,” he said.
But controlling the main mosquito that carries Zika may prove more challenging in the U.S. than in Latin America, where governments are going into homes and spraying walls with pesticide, Hotez and Conlon said. Unlike other common mosquitoes in the U.S., they like to feed on humans during the day, which means people who live in homes without window screens would have a high infection risk, Hotez said.
“This is a day-biting mosquito, and that gets to be problematic because if you’re spraying when children are out playing … we’re going to have to make a better assessment of that,” Hotez said.
Conlon said standard mosquito control practices in the U.S. won’t work on the Aedes aegypti.
“Down in Central and South America, they’re using these thermal foggers— that can work and knock down the mosquito, but in the U.S, they’re not going to allow federal and state folks to allow them into their homes to do that,” Conlon said. “It’s not something that mosquito abatement will do, but public pressure may make them do that. People might demand something like that of their own volition.”
We must all be vigilant to prevent the spread of this disease. Make sure to carefully consider any travel plans you have this year, and avoid affected regions of the world. Pregnant women need to be especially careful, considering this is a disease that has a most serious affect on the developing fetuses. Make sure to install screens as soon as possible, before the weather warms up any more. Keeping mosquitoes out of your home is one of the most important things you can do. Be sure to remove any standing water around your yard. And be sure to call us if a mosquito problem persists despite you best efforts. We offer residential pest control service and termite inspection in El Paso that is very effective at controlling mosquito populations around your yard.
Technology in just about everything is advancing faster than we can keep up. Today insects are being breed in one country to be used in another.
The great thing about this is that the chemicals that are needed are reduced significantly so that in the end, we as consumers of these products are eating less of the chemicals and the product is absorbing less.
With this one process below, they are using 80% less chemicals by using the insects for the pest control and it seems to be working good.
Over the next year, BioBee Biological Systems at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in northern Israel will ship some 600 million specially bred predatory mites to farmers in Colombia as a natural form of pest control.
Using the Phytoseiulus persimilis, the most effective natural predator of Tetranychus urticae (red spider mite), will allow the farmers to reduce the amount of pesticides they use by up to 80 percent and thus meet standards for exporting their produce to other countries.
The BioPersimilis predatory mite works well against mites that attack peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, maize, cucumber, melon, strawberries, eggplant and ornamental flowers such as roses. This top-selling two-millimeter-long, pear-shaped creature is used by most of California’s strawberry farmers, comprising BioBee’s the single largest market.
Give a watch to the video below and learn how these bugs are being used for a pest defense for a variety of different products.
Right now this is being used in Ca and is working good.
It is just facinating how technology no matter what the industry is always changing, just amazing.