The famous black widow spider is bad news for homeowners — but do you know how to spot one? Do you know if black widow spiders live in your area, and in what parts of your home they are likely to be found? If you have a pest problem that can pose health issues, it's important you know how to identify it and what to do next. So let's examine the infamous black widow and what you should know about this spider.
Out of all the dangerous spiders, black widows are one of the easiest to identify thanks to that famous reddish-orange hourglass on their abdomen (females only). However, the hourglass is on the front of their body, so if you are looking at the back of the spider, all you'll see is a small black spider around 1 and ½ inches long. Additionally, the hourglass mark only shows up on mature spiders, so young black widows will just look black.
Black widows are big fans of warm weather. When the temperature hits 10 degrees Fahrenheit or higher they will often be active, spinning their webs: These webs are typically described as "irregular" without any set shape, which allows the widow to build webs in many different places. However, they typically prefer webs at ground level, where they often spin in bushes and corners.
Interestingly, the black widow does not actually kill and eat their mate – at least, not often enough to win a name for it. Many spiders occasionally devour their mates, and black widows are no exception. However, the female of the species does tend to be more aggressive, while the male rarely bites anyone.
The black widow is a hardy species, and can be found in every state except Alaska, which is too cold for the spider. In other colder climates, the black widow will try to venture inside to find warmer areas during the winter. This means that cold months can be an especially dangerous time to encounter black widows seeking refuge – and ready to defend their territory.
Danger and Prevention
Black widow females can be aggressive when spinning their webs or laying eggs and guarding their egg sac, which can lead to bites when disturbed. Fortunately, black widow bites very rarely kill anyone except the very sick or very sensitive. However, the bite can cause fever, increased blood pressure, and nausea: It's important to treat these symptoms quickly to avoid any danger.
Prevention focuses on being tidy and careful. Keep wood piles and other debris away from the house, and elevated if you can – black widows rarely venture far away from the ground. If you spot webs in your storage areas or closets, examine them for black widows before you start moving them. If you seem to have a serious infestation, contact a professional and ask them about the next steps you should take.
Do you think that you might have dangerous spiders or other unpleasant pests living in your home or business? Schedule your service with us today!
Do you feel your home has been invaded by an army of yellow and black stinging insects? Considering the dangers of yellow jacket wasps, you may be right to feel concerned. However, your uninvited guests may be paper wasps that have no interest in you and your family. In fact, if you have a garden, you may want to allow your paper wasp colony to thrive. But how do you accurately identify such similar insects?
Both yellow jackets and paper wasps display these commonalities:
- Form colonies that last one year
- Create nests by chewing plant and wood fiber which they form into a nest structure with many holes.
- Are predatory omnivores, meaning they hunt other insects but will also eat nectar.
While they have this much in common, you can tell them apart by the following behaviors.
Yellow jackets scavenge meat in addition to hunting other insects, such as spiders, which is why you often see them at picnics. You may not notice any around your patio until you stoke up your grill. Once they detect delicious meat, yellow jackets tend to come out in numbers.
Yellow jackets also nest in the ground, often in abandoned rodent burrows, although some varieties will build their hives above ground. When they do, they usually build their nests with an outer shell for protection rather than the open, umbrella-shaped nests of paper wasps.
The most important difference is the aggressive tendencies of yellow jackets to sting. If they feel in any way threatened, they won't hesitate to sting. Unfortunately, when they nest in the ground, just passing by can be viewed as a provocation.
Paper wasps, on the other hand, prefer live meat, going after pestiferous insect larvae with voracious appetites. While they will sting if you actively threaten the hive, mostly they just want to eat the larvae of insects that damage your garden. Because they efficiently wipe out infestations of undesirable bugs — and do a little pollinating, too — you may wish to avail yourself of their excellent pest control capabilities rather than eradicate them.
Distinguishing Physical Features
While very similar in appearance at first glance, you can tell them apart by the following differences.
- Black antennae
- Thicker waists
- Wider wings
- Retracted legs in flight
- European variety has orange antennae
- Longer bodies
- Significantly more black than yellow
- Darker wings
- Dangling legs when in flight
- Very narrow waists making a sectional appearance
The aggressive nature of yellow jackets can threaten your family and virtually eliminate your ability to enjoy your patio in the summertime. You definitely should try to control them. However, the insect control benefits of paper wasps override the minuscule odds of attack. If your family has no member allergic to the venom of stinging insects, you should seriously consider allowing paper wasps to flourish. If you're having a tough time telling them apart, give us a call at Perfection Pest Control. We can accurately identify wasps and offer expert advice. Please give us a call today!
Excepting chirping crickets and pretty ladybugs, most of us have a horror of bugs. Unfortunately, insects with females that need blood for food in order to reproduce live everywhere around you and can threaten your health and peace with their bites. Here's a little introduction to our common biting insect species that you certainly want to avoid if at all possible.
Mosquitoes need water to breed. Therefore, any place with a lot of water will almost certainly have a population of them. While they're a good insect for bats, birds, fish and other creatures that feed on them, they're not so good when they feed on us. The males do not bite, but there never seems to be a shortage of females that do. Mosquitoes carry several types of communicable diseases which they spread when biting. In North America, mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus. Mosquito bites, at the very least, cause red, itchy welts that you'd rather avoid.
To lessen the numbers of mosquitoes harassing your family, make sure you empty anything on your property that holds standing water after a rain or irrigation. Also, keep your thick vegetation, such as grass and weeds mowed regularly and your trees and shrubs trimmed. This will also help protect you from ticks.
As arachnids (like spiders), ticks have no wings by which to come to you. Rather, they wait patiently on tree branches, leaves and grass until a mammal brushes by. Then they drop down or climb aboard and look for a good place to bite.
Found in heavily vegetated areas, ticks also spread disease. Dog ticks, black-legged deer ticks, lone star ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks make up the majority of species in the United States. Hazards of tick bites include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.
They vary in color, from gray to dark brown, and appear like flattened ovals. The longer the head remains under the surface of the skin once it bites, the better the chances an infected tick will pass on the parasite or bacteria of infection.
Bed bugs come out at night when you're sleeping. At a quarter of an inch long, you can readily see adults if you expose them. They resemble apple seeds in shape and color. While bed bugs don't spread disease, they do cause a lot of annoying, itchy welts. Like with fleas, you can develop an allergy to bed bug saliva, which renders further bites more dangerous.
The tiny flea has a narrow body and reddish brown color. The common species is the cat flea which loves to feast on pets and humans alike. It, too, spreads disease, such as the bubonic plague and murine typhus. Also, they can act as intermediate hosts for tapeworms.
Eradicating biting insects from your home and yard presents a daunting challenge. Some retail "solutions" can even make the problems worse. To create a safe environment for your family, call us at Perfection Pest Control. We will happily inspect your property for pests and offer a sensible plan to exterminate any pesky species invading your space. Contact us today!
When you see large, round bees hovering around outside close to homes, these are known as carpenter bees. Although these bees are a common sight when it’s warm out, having them buzzing around the exterior of your home could mean that you have an infestation. Since these bees can damage your home, it’s important to learn more about them and know what to do if you have a carpenter bee problem. Keep the following information about these bees in mind this summer.
They Prefer Untreated Wood
Carpenter bees make their nests inside wood structures, such as home exteriors, sheds, benches and fences. However, not all structures attract these insects. Carpenter bees prefer boring into wood that’s untreated rather than wood that is painted or treated. If you have wood surfaces that have not been treated, you might end up having a carpenter bee problem if these bugs decide to nest on your property.
They Can Cause Structural Damage
Carpenter bees aren't the same as termites. They don’t eat wood, but they can make several holes in wood surfaces in order to dig tunnels and set up their nests. While the holes they make might not start out large, they can become bigger if these bees keep using them year after year. The tunnels and nests they build can also cause structural damage to homes and other wood structures, which can end up costing a considerable amount of money to fix.
They Rarely Sting
Are carpenter bees dangerous in terms of stinging? These bees aren't as much of a threat as other bee species or some wasp species. In fact, none of the males have a stinger, although they might dive toward you if you approach their territory. Females have stingers, but they rarely use them. Female carpenter bees generally only sting if they’re provoked, such as if you try to handle them. If you’re allergic to bees, carpenter bees aren't as big of a concern as more aggressive species.
They Bore Into Wood
Carpenter bees create their tunnels and nests by boring into wood. Their wood-boring behavior creates smooth, circular holes in surfaces, which can cause an unsightly appearance on home exteriors. These bees might also leave stains on wood surfaces, resulting in an even more unsightly appearance. If you see these bees, which are large and have a hairless abdomen, flying around your home’s exterior or crawling in and out of it, look for holes and other signs of damage. If you do have a problem with these bees, it’s important to have professional pest control company take a look at your property and get rid of these bugs.
If you have carpenter bees making holes in your home exterior, please contact us at Perfection Pest Control. Our pest control experts know how to safely eliminate carpenter bees before they can further damage your home.
If you are purchasing a house or are involved in the sale of a property, consider making a pest inspection part of your sales process! It can be particularly valuable for buyers know about any pest issues a house has, especially before they sign for the final sale. Here are the top reasons to arrange an inspection before you buy.
Making Infestations a Part of Your Home Package
Suppose you only discover a pest infestation — like carpenter ants hidden in the basement — after you purchase the home and start moving in. That infestation is now your problem. All the damage it might cause, and the expenses involved in treating it, are on you. However, if you arrange an inspection before the sale is finalized, then you can discover the infestation early. This gives buyers a chance to say, "Wait, this is a future expense I didn't know about. I'm going to need you to drop the sales price a bit to compensate for it, or otherwise arrange a pest control visit to take care of it." This is valuable leverage that can also save you money!
Finding Past Damage You Didn't Know About
Homeowners are usually required to state any infestation damage that has occurred to the house in the past. However, homeowners may not know about damage, or it might "slip their minds" when it comes to listing the details. A professional pest inspection can make sure there isn't any notable damage to insulation, wood, flooring, and other important components in the house before you purchase.
Peace of Mind About the Unknown
Some homebuyers may worry about termites, ants, and other destructive pests that they can't see and that no one else has found. For general peace of mind, it can be a very good idea to arrange a pest inspection of the home and yard to see if there are any pest-related issues or any vulnerable areas that may need work in the future.
Making Sure the Home is Safe for Your Family
A pest inspection can also uncover stinging insects, poisonous spiders, bed bugs, and other creatures that may be dangerous for your family. It's important to know if these pests are around, where they like to linger, and how to deal with them effectively.
Ensuring the Home Value Stays Steady
You don't want the value of your home to drop after you buy it, especially if you are planning to flip the house or at least increase the equity with renovations of your own. Don't let pests destroy these important plans under your nose! Arrange a pest inspection before deciding on these big projects.
Buying a home, or arranging the sale of an important property? Schedule your inspection with us at Perfection Pest Control today for new peace of mind!
Insects, rodents and other pests can turn into major problems for commercial building owners. Some pests can be a public health hazard due to the spread of disease, while others can ruin food and other items. There are a few steps that you can take to prevent pests from causing trouble in your commercial building. Use the following tips to reduce your risk of developing a pest problem.
Empty Trash Regularly
Cockroaches, ants, flies, mice and other pests are attracted to areas that contain garbage for them to forage through. Garbage cans provide them with potential sources of food, which will keep them coming back for more. This can result in a large pest problem that is challenging to deal with. You can lower your risk of drawing pests into your commercial building by making sure that all garbage cans are emptied on a regular basis instead of leaving them full overnight. Garbage from inside these cans should be placed in outdoor trash cans or bins that are tightly sealed. This helps prevent pests from getting in and sticking around your property.
Eliminate Wet Spots and Moisture
Many kinds of pests are also drawn to areas in commercial buildings that provide them with moisture or water to drink. Mice, rats and some insect pests, such as ants and cockroaches, look for moist or wet spots inside these buildings and will often return or build a nest nearby. In other cases, wet spots or moisture from leaks and other issues softens the wood, making it easier for carpenter ants and other pests to invade and build nests. When this happens, there’s also a danger of having serious damage done to walls and other structures from these pests. Fixing leaks and getting rid of any areas with moist or wet spots helps discourage these pests from entering your building.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance and Inspections
You don’t have to wait until your commercial building has a pest problem before calling in the professionals to take care of it. Setting up preventative maintenance and routine inspections can help you catch problems early or stop them from happening in the first place. This type of maintenance involves having pest control professionals treat specific areas where pests are commonly found and look for signs of a potential problem, such as entry points that bugs or other pests can get in through. Inspections help identify any infestations that might be occurring so that they can be dealt with right away. This prevents these infestations from becoming serious problems.
Preventative maintenance is one of the most effective ways to stop pests from becoming a problem in your building. Contact Perfection Pest Control to set up this service, so you won't have to worry about dealing with pest problems.
Springtime brings warmer weather for you to enjoy, but it also means that more pests will be out and about. Some of these pests can sting or bite, while others can contaminate your food. Find out what steps to take in order to keep insects and other pests at bay this season.
Find and Eliminate Stinging Insects
Bees, wasps, and hornets can be a major problem during spring, as these stinging insects become more active. Look around your yard, your home’s exterior, your attic and other areas for nests that these insects might be building for the season. Have professional pest control experts safely remove them for you if you come across any.
Check Your Home’s Exterior for Entry Points and Seal Them
Many bugs are small enough to squeeze through cracks, gaps and other openings in your home exterior. Mice can also make their way into your home through these entry points. Seal up any openings you find to prevent these pests from getting in. Keep in mind that this might also involve replacing screens that are torn.
Trim Tree Branches and Shrubs Away from Your Home’s Exterior
Carpenter ants and other bugs have an easy way to reach your home by walking across tree branches and shrubs. You can reduce this risk by keeping branches and shrubs trimmed away from your home exterior. This means that pests have to work harder to get into your home.
Keep Your Kitchen and Pantry Spotless
Ants, flies and other insects are drawn to kitchens and pantries, which provide them with a steady supply of food. Sweeping your floors, wiping off counters and cleaning other areas of your kitchen and pantry help discourage these pests from coming into your home. You should also keep pet food bags, and other food containers closed at all times so that any pests that do come in can’t get into them.
Close and Seal Your Trash Cans Tightly
Rats and other pests sometimes look for food to eat inside trash cans. These cans can also end up attracting bigger pests, such as raccoons. Make sure that your trash cans are sealed tightly to stop pests from being able to get inside them. Knowing that they can find food in your cans encourages them to keep coming back.
Move Firewood Piles Away from Your Home
Termites and other pests sometimes build nests in firewood piles. When you leave these piles close to your home’s exterior, these bugs can make their way inside and cause trouble. If you have any piles of firewood in your yard, move them away from the outside of your home.
If you have pests in your home this spring, contact Perfection Pest Control. Our pest control technicians can eliminate pest problems safely and thoroughly.
Termites can cause a considerable amount of damage to homes when an infestation is left untreated. Unfortunately, these pests can go undetected inside the walls of your home for months or even years. How do you know if you have them? Keep an eye out for the following warning signs of a termite infestation.
Mud Tubes or Shelter Tubes
One of the most noticeable signs that you might have termites in your home is the presence of mud tubes or shelter tubes. Termites build these tubes, which are roughly the width of a pencil, from the ground to your home. These tubes allow them to travel back and forth in a sheltered environment that provides them with enough heat and humidity. These tubes also keep them safe from predators as they move to and from your home. Keep in mind that larger or wider tubes often indicate a more serious infestation.
Not all members of a termite colony reproduce. Those who do are called swarmers, and these termites have wings that are discarded shortly after they fly off to establish a new colony. Termites that nest in dry wood might swarm at different times, but those that live in the ground tend to swarm during spring. If you see piles of discarded wings near your window sills or other areas of your home, it’s time to seek help from professional termite control experts. Check around the outside of your home, since you might find these wings out there as well.
Visibly Compromised Wood
Termites feed on wood, which is why they’re so destructive to homes. As they feed on wood inside your walls and other parts of your home, structural problems can develop. The wood becomes weaker and can sag or show visible signs of damage. Watch for areas of wood floors that sound hollow or sag. You can also tap on walls to listen for a hollow sound that indicates that termites have caused a significant amount of damage. If you notice signs of damage to the wood in your home, don’t hesitate to have an inspection done to check for the presence of termites. Having infestations treated promptly can help prevent further damage from occurring.
Don’t wait for termites to do significant damage before getting help. Contact us at Perfection Pest Control today to schedule your inspection.
If you spot a pest in or near your home, your first thought is probably, "How am I going to deal with this?" Grabbing bug spray or buying some bait traps from the store are common decisions. However, if pests are living inside your house, or if you spot serious pest issues like mosquito problems or termite damage, you shouldn't deal with the issue alone. Here are the top reasons why it's best to call in a pest control professional for these situations.
Homeowners Don't Always Know What the Problem Is
Pest problems can be difficult to diagnose without professional training. Some termite signs are easy to see, but would you recognize signs of other pests like carpenter ants? Can you tell if those droppings are from a rat or a squirrel? Are those bugs the sign of a nearby nest, or are they encroaching from farther away? Is that shredded cardboard the work of a rodent or a raccoon? You can quickly see how professionals can provide the necessary guidance to get to the root of a problem.
Professionals Have Advanced Technology and Experience
Professionals have access to important tools like thermal imaging cameras that can spot masses of bugs in the walls and locate where a specific problem is based on a few signs. These devices and others like them give pest control companies an edge in identifying issues and treating them effectively. Even if homeowners had access to this technology, they don't have the necessary training to use it.
Professionals Have Access to Targeted Pesticides and Know How to Use Them Safely
Professionals often have access to traps and pesticides that aren't available at the local department store. Even more importantly, they know how to use these solutions in effective ways around your home while also keeping your plants, kids and pets protected. Misuse of pesticides can cause serious health concerns and other issues. When dealing with a large pest threat, it's important to find someone with the right training to use pesticides and other methods of dealing with it.
Professionals Aim to Treat Infestations at the Source
This problem occurs when homeowners treat the problem they see with a DIY solution. Professionals, however, can help find the source of the issue, such as a termite colony underneath your porch, or a hole in your attic where pests are getting through. This allows for a much more effective treatment and helps homeowners save significant money in the long run.
If you are ready, schedule your inspection with us today at Perfection Pest Control! We use advanced technology and experience to uncover any pest problems around your property and suggest the most effective means of dealing with it.
If you're worried that you might have a bed bug problem, you aren't alone! Since bed bugs are so small and easy to transfer from place to place, new infestations are always a possibility. But it's important to make sure that you're dealing with bed bugs and not a different problem. Here are some telltale signs that will help you identify those annoying bugs.
Small Dark Stains
Stains can be caused by all sorts of things, but if tiny stains start appearing regularly in the morning, it's a good sign that bed bugs have taken up residence. These stains will look like little smears with a black marker, but in reality, they are actually feces that the bed bug immediately poops out after eating, which then seep into nearby sheets. It's gross, but it's a good way to tell that they are present.
Bed bugs do produce an odor, especially if they start to accumulate. You are most likely to notice this odor at night when you first lay down to sleep. The smell is distinctive but difficult to describe. Many people think it smells like fruit that is starting to spoil or some unpleasant workout body odor. If you notice a smell like this repeatedly but can't find any source, then it may be time to take a closer look or call up a pest control expert.
Bed bugs shed their skin a lot as they are growing. When an infestation is serious, this leads to a lot of shed skins that gather up and accumulate in the cracks of mattresses, sheet folds, and furniture. On their own, the skins are tiny, like the head of a ballpoint pen, so you may want to get a magnifying glass out to take a closer look at the dust and dirt in hidden-away places. However, if you do find any tiny bug shells, it's a pretty clear confirmation that your home has a problem (unlike eggshells, which can be harder to identify, especially if you aren't a professional).
Live Bed Bugs
Sometimes bed bug skins indicate a past problem but not a current infestation. Your best bet to identify a current problem is to find living adult bed bugs. These are typically visible to the naked eye if you have plenty of light, but they like to hide out during the day. You can check for them by removing your bedding and take a close look at any seams, holes, or cracks in your mattress. Bed bugs will be small, red mite-like creatures hiding out in these places. They are very flat and can hide well, so look carefully and take your time!
Do you have a pest problem or signs of damage that you would like inspected? At Perfection Pest Control, we can help with all of your pest needs. Schedule your service today and find the right treatment for your issue!