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.
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.
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.
Black Widow Spiders Can Hurt Humans
The black widow is the most venomous spider in the United States and one of the few spiders in the country capable of hurting a human. Black widows, part of the Latrodectus genus, thrive in the temperate climate of the south, but they are found throughout North America.
The female black spider has a very distinctive appearance: a shiny black body and a red or orange hourglass-shaped mark on the underside of the abdomen. Female spiders are about 1.5″ long. Males are about half the size and light in color with red or pink spots on the back. Black widow spiders have characteristic comb feet, or short, strong bristles on the hind legs.
All black widow spiders are reclusive. These solitary spiders only socialize to mate. Black widow spiders spin webs during the day and become active during the night. Like other spiders, black widows eat anthropods like caterpillars, ants, beetles, roaches, and scorpions. After prey is caught in the web, the spider injects it with digestive enzymes. The prey is consumed once it has liquefied.
Black widows build very irregular and tangled nests that may be located at ground level or under a protected ledge under wood piles or even under a porch. The female can often be seen hanging upside-down in the nest with the hourglass visible.
It is only the female black widow spider that is dangerous. Black widow venom contains latrotoxin and it may cause muscle pain, cramps, tachycardia, and hyperhidrosis. Black widow bites are rarely fatal, but the symptoms can last for weeks. Antivenom treatment can be used to relieve the pain.
Black widow spiders mate during the spring and early summer. Female black widow spiders are known to consume the male after mating, but this does not always happen. The female can produce many egg sacs throughout the summer. These sacs are protected until they hatch. Black widow eggs are gray, tan, or white and up to 15 mm in diameter. Each egg sac may have hundreds of eggs, but only a few dozen will survive. Spiderlings are cannibalistic and they will consume their siblings.
The spiderlings will go through several molts and spend the winter immature before maturing fully over the spring. The spiders look like adults except smaller and orange or white in color. Black widow spiders usually survive for up to 1 year, but they can live for up to 3 years.
If you have black widow spiders building nests around your home, contact Pest Defense Solutions today for a custom treatment plan to protect your family.
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.
Wild or feral pigeons are considered the greatest bird pest in the United States and are sometimes even viewed as vermin as they can spread disease. While pigeons rarely spread disease to humans, the birds can carry other pests like ticks, lice, and fleas. A single pigeon can produce 25 pounds of guano per year which damages property. Pigeon guano is highly corrosive and it has been found to accelerate the deterioration of buildings and statues. Pigeon droppings can also harbor harmful fungus. Pigeons are perfectly adapted to living among people in cities as our buildings offer great roosts that mimic the cliffs on which pigeons naturally build their nests.
Pigeons or Rock Doves are one of the most common birds in the United States. A pigeon can be up to 11 inches tall and weigh around 13 ounces. These birds are usually gray in color with a whitish rear and two black bars on the wings with a black band on the tail.
Pigeons are monogamous birds that are generally dependent upon humans to provide food and nesting sites. Pigeons may be found in agricultural areas as well as urban areas, parks, bridges, and warehouses. Pigeons roost and nest on ledges that resemble their native habitat: cliffs.
Pigeons reproduce whenever there is enough food, which is year-round in cities. Pigeons can lay eggs up to six times per year. It’s common to find pigeons in pairs during breeding season, but the birds usually live in flocks of up to 200. Both parents participate in egg incubation. If you watch closely, you can often watch courtship rituals between pigeons. As the male courts the female, he will approach quickly while bowing and turning.
Pigeons are not the average pest. Controlling a pigeon population requires innovation and expertise as there is no simple solution to get rid of a pigeon problem. There are a few pigeon control strategies that may be effective.
- Live pigeon traps. Live bob traps are a recommended control strategy. With a bob trap, pigeons are lured through a one-way door with bait like wheat. Most homeowners and business owners prefer to have a pest control professional handle the live traps as the pigeons, if released, will quickly return. If you would like more
information about our pigeon control, click here for pigeon pest control.
- Pigeon-proofing. Exclusion methods can keep pigeons from roosting on your property. Pigeon spikes, bird wires, and netting can all deter pigeons and deny them access to your gutters and ledges.
- Chemical bait. Chemical bait is a solution for large pigeon problems often faced by large property owners. This type of bait will render pigeon eggs non-viable so the birds will stop reproducing. While it can take up to 8 months to see results, chemical bait is effective in the long run.
There are a few methods that do not work, however. Noisemakers and fake owls, for example, offer only a temporary solution as the pigeons will quickly become accustomed to the noise or sight and realize it’s not a real threat. Shooting pigeons, while possible in some areas, is also ineffective. One thing with pigeons is a guarantee: they can easily reproduce faster than you can kill them!
If you’re dealing with a pigeon problem at your home or business, it’s best to work with a professional. Pigeon pest control is a specialty field of pest control in El Paso TX that requires specialized tools and experience. Contact Pest Defense Solutions today to learn more about effective pigeon control for your property.
April 13, 2016 – Pest Defense Solutions El Paso, long recognized as one of the leaders in the field, announced their Power Spray has been upgraded to further enhance their residential and commercial services to proactively treat springtime pests.
“Our company has become synonymous with pest removal and our Power Spray is one of the reasons for that, so we upgraded and made it even better,” says Karen Wilson, El Paso Pest Defense Solutions spokesperson. “With our new Power Spray and 30 day money back guarantee, our customers are assured bugs won’t bother them in the springtime anymore.”
Research shows the number of homeowners and commercial establishments in El Paso plagued by pests continue to rise. Several factors can be attributed to the increase, but in any event, the demand has also led to the emergence of pest control service providers. Unfortunately, the quality of service leaves a lot to be desired, a situation that El Paso Pest Defense Solutions aims to correct.
“Our Power Spray proactive treatment involves the use of a 300 ft. hose and spraying around six feet of a house’s exterior. Our service solutions also include termites, ticks and fleas, cockroaches, rats and bed bugs, and we also treat rock walls, landscapes and eaves.”
Since El Paso Pest Defense Solutions emerged, it has become the standard by which other pest removal services are measured. “We’re proud of the fact that El Paso residents have placed their trust in us, and with our new Power Spray proactive springtime pest solution, we feel confident in meeting their expectations and free their home of bed bugs in El Paso and Pests.”
About El Paso Pest Defense Solutions
El Paso Pest Defense Solutions offers one of the widest selections of pest removal and prevention services. Based in El Paso, Texas, the company offers both residential and commercial solutions. For details and particulars please visit the official website at hhttp://elpaso.pestdefensesolutions.com.
Pest Defense Solutions
6425 Boeing Dr suite D8
El Paso TX 79925
American cockroaches, sometimes called palmetto bugs or water bugs, are not native to North America, but they are widespread. American roaches prefer to live indoors, and an infestation can quickly grow out of hand.
American cockroaches spread dozens of diseases and they can contaminate food or trigger asthma and allergies. Because American roaches spend time eating decaying matter and sewage, they can transfer bacteria onto your counter tops and food. They are suspected or known carriers of bacteria that causes diarrhea, plague, typhoid fever, and viral conditions.
American cockroaches are much larger than their German counterparts; adults can easily reach two inches long. Adult American roaches are a reddish-brown color with a yellow band behind their head. American roach nymphs are about 1/4″ long and a grayish-brown color.
American cockroaches prefer warmer outdoor temperatures, and they will move inside when the temperature dips below 80 degrees. They can enter through voids around utility pipes, sewer connections, beneath doors, and air ducts. They are often found near plumbing, clothing hampers, bathtubs, laundry rooms, and basements. Unlike German roaches, American cockroaches tend to spend time in open areas instead of hiding in crevices. American roaches can and do fly when the weather is warm.
American roaches prefer to eat decaying organic matter like fungi and wood particles, but they will eat almost anything, particularly sweets, book bindings, and wallpaper.
Female cockroaches can produce eggs over their entire life after a single mating using stored sperm. The average female American roach produces 6-14 egg capsules over a one-year lifespan. Female American roaches are capable of producing egg capsules with up to 16 eggs each that hatch nymphs after about 50 days. These egg sacs are usually deposited in damp, safe areas. Nymphs will shed a dozen times and reach adulthood in 5-6 months. Female American roaches live for 90-706 days while male roaches can live up to one
Signs of an Infestation
- Seeing a roach. American cockroaches are often visible running quickly across floors into dark areas. They may fly if startled.
- You may find tiny droppings in the basement or pantry. Sometimes these droppings are mistaken for those of a mice, but American roach droppings are blunt on the ends with ridges.
- Egg capsules. You may find empty egg capsules, which are around 38mm long and a reddish or blackish color.
- A large number of American cockroaches can produce a noticeable musty aroma.
Do you suspect an American roach infestation? Contact Pest Defense Solutions right away at (915) 591-BUGS. Our pest control El Paso technicians will help you reduce roach populations and develop a plan to get rid of the infestation for good. Treatment may include granular baits, insecticides, and growth regulators and some other tricks that we have up our sleeves.
Call Pest Defense Solutions El Paso today and get rid of your roach problem tomorrow.