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How Ohio Winters Impact the Bug Population

How Ohio Winters Impact the Bug Population

To many, Winter in Ohio is considered milder than the average winter temperatures in other states.

A number of questions have been presented about the coming winter; people are wondering which pests will be bugging them as the cold approaches.

In the summer, when temperatures are high, some insects may die because their cellular activity is moving so fast due to the heat. In the winter, insects seek shelter from the cold and produce compounds in their bodies. It is not the cold temperature, but the freezing or thawing processes that usually causes an insect to die.

Instead of relying on finding a protected location to hibernate, some insects prepare for Winter by making their own protected covering.

A perfect example is the Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) moth that produce eggs which appear to be surrounded by bubble wrap. This bubble wrap provides an insulating protection against the cold temperatures.

How Ohio Winters Impact the Bug Population

Some insects don’t die because of the freezing and thawing process created from the cold weather, but rather from the sharp-pointed ice crystals that destroy cells that kill the insects. Isn’t that wild!?!

Some insects are actually able to dodge the winter by using several strategies like diapause. Diapause is a physiological state similar to, but deeper than, hibernation. Basically, an insect’s metabolism slows down and doesn’t return to normal, until some certain environmental cue tells the insect that it is time for it to come out of diapause.

Here’s the official definition of ‘diapause’ for those wondering: a period of suspended development in an insect, other invertebrate, or mammal embryo, especially during unfavorable environmental conditions.

Even though we can’t 100% accurately predict what will be pesky this winter, we can guarantee that we are equipped and ready to help you rid your home of whatever might be moving into your place during the cold months.

Call us today to talk to us about making your home pest free all winter long!

3 Types of Spiders You’ll Likely See This Fall

As Halloween is approaching, you might notice the shelves of Target are like your house – seemingly stocked with spiders and spider webs.

As the cold approaches, the spiders move in! Spiders stay near our homes because of the warm retreat they feel. Not only are they are getting ready for the winter ahead, but it’s also mating season!

Here are the 3 most common types of spiders you might see this fall:


The Funnel Web Spider: Funnel weaver spiders (Agelenidae) This type of spider is the most common. We will find in our homes and they are particularly present during late summer and early fall. Don’t worry! Funnel web spiders are harmless. Their appearance is often misstaken them for a brown recluse. The funnel weaver just produces dense mats of silk on shrubs, thick grass, and in the corners of your home.

 

 

The Long Legged Sac Spider: Yellow sac spiders (Miturgidae)This specific sac spider is an active hunter. It is usually pale in color and can be found wandering in your home at night. Sac spiders spend daylight hours in a flattened silken sac, which they create in a room’s upper corner, or in wall cracks.

 

 

 

Banded Garden Spider (Araneidae) Banded Garden Spiders are the largest and most striking of the orb weaving spider type. Just like the Funnel Weavers, Banded Garden Spiders are found in the late summer and early fall in gardens, specifically on shrubs where they usually make a highly symmetrical orb web. Male spiders of this type are smaller than those of females. Keep in mind, Banded Garden Spiders are also harmless.

 

 

What spiders are you seeing in your home this fall? Take a picture and share it with us #daytonpestdoc!! If you’d like to rid your home of pesky spiders, contact us today!

Fight Back Against Stink Bugs: Seek Professional Help

Fight Back Against Stink Bugs: Seek Professional Help

Pests can be quite a nightmare for homeowners.

Bugs, like cockroaches, can actually live without a head for up to seven days, and it will only die because without a mouth it can’t eat or drink! Although your home might not be at risk of being overrun by cockroaches, you still have to avoid other nasty pests like stink bugs.

Stink bugs are quite gross not only because of their creepy-crawly approach to being a bug, but because they don’t smell all that great, either. Here are a few ways to get rid of these unwanted stink bugs from your home.

Close off any access points into your home


Although you probably can’t handle the actual extermination process of getting rid of these bugs, at least not safely, you can certainly do your best to prevent them from getting inside in the first place. Seal up all access points so no more bugs can enter your home. That includes filling up small gaps and cracks inside the walls, near doors, and surrounding your home’s windows. A little caulk can go a long way.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys throwing the windows wide open during the summer, make sure screens are securely installed on all open windows.

Clean your house


Like cockroaches and ants, stink bugs thrive in dirty environments. If you don’t want to roll out the welcome mat, then it’s important to keep your home as clean and crumb-free as possible. It doesn’t take too much effort to tidy up after yourself, and the benefits are clear — your home won’t be infested by gross bugs. Don’t let procrastination result in a stink bug-infested home. Clean up your house, especially areas that get a lot of foot traffic, including rooms with lots of windows and doors, and any room where you eat.

 

Fight Back Against Stink Bugs: Seek Professional Help


Contact a professional pest control company


Although you’ll be able to put up a good fight against these bugs, the only way to fully guarantee your home is free from these unwanted pests is by working with A1 Able Pest Doc. If you’re unsure about working with us, simply ask us about our experience handling various stink bug and pest infestations in your area. Once they tell you the reality of the infestations, you’ll probably decide not to handle the infestation yourself.

If you want to learn more about combating stink bugs in the Dayton, OH area, contact A1 Able Pest Doctors today!

Beware of Biting Bed Bugs: 3 Sure Signs of an Infestation

Beware of Biting Bed Bugs: 3 Sure Signs of an Infestation

Bed bugs are horrible little creatures that cause serious stress and shame for countless homeowners.

We say countless because there is a strong taboo against talking about bed bugs in your home or place of business. Fortunately, if you notice these creatures inside your home, there is one person you can turn to for judgement-free help: A1 Able Pest Doctor. In the same way that you can tell a doctor or therapist anything in total confidence, we are ready, willing, and able to discretely solve your bed bug infestation.

At the first sign of bed bugs, and before you do anything else, address the infestation right away, doing whatever you can to ensure that these bugs aren’t spreading and further infesting your home.


Beware of Biting Bed Bugs: 3 Sure Signs of an Infestation But what are the most common signs of bed bugs in the home? If you’re worried that these “bed ticks” are lurking somewhere in your home, here are some things to keep in mind:

Pay attention to any bites you have. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, bug bites and stings actually send roughly 500,000 Americans to the emergency room every single year. And while bed bugs aren’t likely to send you to the emergency room, you need to pay attention to any mysterious bug bites that appear overnight. If you have children in your home, keep a sharp eye out for small red bites on their arms and legs. If you notice any signs of strange bug bites on your body or anyone in your family — get help right away.

That being said, don’t just assume any mystery bite is from a bed bug. Make sure that you rule out fleas, mites, biting gnats, and mosquitoes by looking closely at your skin. Remember: if you have a bed bug problem, there will probably be more that one bite.

Know where to look for these pests. Bed bugs won’t show themselves in an obvious manner, so you’re going to have to do a little digging around your house to find them. You should look at your bed, yes, but don’t just give it a quick glance. Take a long, thorough look at each bed in your house, paying close attention to the covers, sheets, blankets, pillow cases, framing, and underneath the bed as well. Bed bugs love to hid under mattresses and mattress covers, so lift up the bed in search of these bloated creepy crawlies. In addition to the bedside inspection, look around each room for piles of clothes or underneath rugs to make sure that these bugs aren’t hiding out in those areas either.

Don’t just look for bugs. Although these brown and blood-red pests are hard to miss, they aren’t the only sign to watch out for. Look also for blood stains on sheets and black stains from bed bug excrement. If the corner or bottom surface of a mattress has black stains or small white eggs, then you most likely need to call us ASAP.

Don’t let these bed bugs ruin your life as a homeowner or cause problems for the other members of your family. Be on the lookout for these creatures and do everything you can to get them out of your home.

Need discrete, eco-friendly bed bug solutions in Dayton, Ohio? Contact A1 Able Pest Doctors today!

What Are Killer Wasps and How to Deal with Them

Have you ever seen a giant bee attacking a cicada first-hand?! Despite its looks, this is most likely not really a giant bee…

What Are Killer Wasps and How to Deal with Them

This species is called killer wasps. Pretty scary name, right? Killer wasps, or the so-called Cicada Killer Wasps, are not a type of cicada. They actually KILL cicadas!

An adult female wasp paralyzes the cicada with her venomous sting. The wasp then carries the cicada to its burrow, laying an egg under the left or right second leg of the cicada (so specific!). When the egg hatches, this killer wasp’s larvae begin to eat the cicada for nourishment as they grow!

What Are Killer Wasps and How to Deal with Them

Yes, these wasps are HUGE. But thankfully, they usually ignore people as they go about their business of digging holes and hunting for cicadas.

A mound of fine soil surrounds the burrow of each female killer wasp. Since colonies of burrows are common, infested lawns usually contain several mounds that can smother the grass. They prefer, however, to nest in areas of sparse vegetation and rarely infest thick, vigorous turf.

Here’s a video that helps identify where killer wasps usually hide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ9J-O1ht0w

Each killer wasp burrow includes several cells where larvae are raised. Each cell is furnished with at least one to three cicadas and a single egg before being sealed off.

Male killer wasps, on the other hand, establish territories near nesting females and aggressively defend their territory from other intruding males. The eggs hatch in 2 to 3 days, depending on the number of cicadas in its cell, and the larva feeds for 4 to 10 days until only the cicada’s outer shell remains!

***It is important that you do not aggravate killer wasps. Do not push or poke them, do not walk on them and do not attack them with anything.***

If you are bothered with killer wasps, it’s best to contact a trusted pest professional as soon as possible, rather than trying to remove on your own. Give us a call today for a free no obligation inspection!

 

Cicadas: What You Need To Know

Have you ever been awakened in the early morning or kept awake at night with a super loud and annoying “BUZZZZZ” sound happening right outside your window?

Cicadas: What You Need To Know

These pests noisy pests keeping you up are cicadas or Cicadoidea. They are known for their buzzing and clicking noises, which can be amplified by a mass of insects into an overpowering, “HUMMM.” This noise from a locust cloud can be heard up to a mile away!

Unusual among insects, some varieties of cicadas disappear almost entirely for many years, only to appear again in force at a regular interval. In fact, there are 3,000 cicada species, but only some of these share the so-called 17-year cicada cycle.

Other types of cicada are called annuals because they have multi-year life cycles, with some adults appearing every year!

An example of this would be the Dog Day Cicada, which emerges each year during mid-summer as seen below:

Cicadas: What You Need To Know

YUM!!

Male cicadas produce the species-specific noise that can be a bit obnoxious, with vibrating membranes on their abdomens. In addition, the sound the cicada produces varies widely; some are more musical compared to others.

FUN FACT: When young cicadas hatch their eggs, they dig themselves into the ground to suck the liquids of plant roots.

Some cicadas do not create destructive plagues, unlike what locusts do, though a number of cicadas – tens or hundreds of thousands of insects may crowd into a single acre.

When an overwhelming number of insects pack into a small area, it can substantially damage shrubs, young trees, and its branches by feeding and laying their eggs on it.

Cicadas: What You Need To Know

As for humans, cicadas don’t bite or sting, however, they pierce and suck (Eeew). Cicadas have pointy-feet and other sharp parts that can mistakenly be considered as a stinger when it lands on you. But the fact is, they do this because they aren’t the most intelligent insect and think you’re are a tree. When that happens, just remove it and continue doing your thing!

Another cause of harm for humans are cicada’s call or noisy sounds. Since they need to find a mate before they die, cicadas tend to make their “BUZZZZ” as loud as they can to attract the female cicadas. As a result, this can literally affect our hearing capability!

Check out this “little” guy hanging out in a plant from a couple weeks ago in Dayton:

[Cicadas]

Do not let these cicadas destroy your shrubs, trees, affect your hearing ability and disturb the peace! To have a free quote on the best solution to your insect problem, call a trusted pest professional as soon as possible.

 

Top Five Pests in Ohio this Summer

Summer is finally here and so are the pests!

While you are out and about, enjoying the sun, you’re going to encounter many pests that will most certainly sneak into your house. Pests who go into hiding in winter months to stay warm will definitely emerge, reproduce and expand their habitats this season! What are those pests? Why do you see most of them at this time of the year? How can you prevent them from finding their way into your home? How can you get rid of them? Read on to discover more.

  • Mosquitoes

Top Five Pests in Ohio this Summer

Mosquitoes love the hot summer weather – the season for barbeque and pool parties! Stagnant water is their breeding ground!! So, make sure that you don’t have standing water around your home. Their population may dip during the summer but they are surely going to come for you in the dry heat! It is best to use mosquito repellents for protection whenever you are outdoors.

  • Flies

Top Five Pests in Ohio this Summer

All it takes is one meal in the open air and you will definitely be reminded about their presence. Bear in mind that these pests won’t just bug you outdoors! They are there to invade your home to escape the heat! These house flies collect microorganisms on their legs and mouths when feeding on feces, trash and decaying matter. When the flies land, these pathogens are then transferred to the food on your tables or counters!! *gross!* In order to repel flies during the warmer months, you have to limit their access to your home as much as you can. Keep your doors and windows closed at all times, and keep the surfaces clean to make it less appealing to house flies.

  • Cockroaches

Top Five Pests in Ohio this Summer

Summer is the perfect opportunity for these pests to be out and about. They can be found both indoors and outdoors and they thrive in moisture and exposed old, rotten food. We’re also pretty sure you know that they fly! Yikes! They also carry pathogens and allergens in their skins and in their droppings, so we highly suggest that you take immediate action when you see one! Having these pests lying around is a sign that your house has not been cleaned thoroughly.

  • Ants

Top Five Pests in Ohio this Summer

Did you know that ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States? And did you know their favorite season? Yup, you know it! It’s Summer! You will be seeing them sneaking into your house looking for water and food sources. We advise you to clean after yourself and dispose your trash daily.

  • Rodents

Top Five Pests in Ohio this Summer

These pests had a good rest during the winter months; now they are going to emerge in full force this summer! Rat and mice population will also increase due to the warm weather so you better look for early signs of infestation before they multiply even more! Rodent droppings can be found around food packages, drawers, cupboards, and under the sink. You may also see signs of chewed up food packaging or holes in the walls and floors. We suggest removing potential rodent nesting sites and cleaning the house thoroughly.

Some of these pests we’ve mentioned here are considered nothing more than a nuisance while some of them pose a more significant risk to your health and family. Here are a few more tips to keep pests out this season:

  • Seal holes and gaps in screens, doors, and windows to keep these pests from entering.
  • Crawlspaces and basements must be checked frequently for possible infestation.
  • Dark, damp areas (like under the sinks and near the faucets) must be monitored for cockroaches.
  • Keep your countertops clean.
  • Seal exposed food and water

These pests are a nag when they find their way into your home. If you ever need any help, it is best to contact a trusted pest professional to discuss your extermination options.

A Mosquito Bite or A Bed Bug Bite

Waking up with strange red marks on your body makes you wonder… is this a bite from a mosquito or is this one from – hopefully not – a bed bug? It’s always important to figure out what kind of bug bite you have so we can take the best course of action to help you. We have listed some points on how you can tell between the two. Before we get to that, let’s discuss the difference between bed bugs and mosquitoes.

A Mosquito Bite or A Bed Bug Bite

It’s likely that if you live on Earth, you’ve been bitten by a mosquito! They are literally sucking your blood to feed their eggs, just so they can make more mosquitoes… YUCK! These mosquitoes do not always get all the blood they need in just one piercing, so they might bite you multiple times in order to fill up.

A Mosquito Bite or A Bed Bug Bite

Bed bugs, on the other hand, are insects about the size of an apple seed. Like mosquitos, they pierce your skin and feed on your blood. They spread rapidly and are really difficult to get rid of. A homeowner’s worst nightmare!!

Now, here’s how to tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a mosquito bite:

A Mosquito Bite or A Bed Bug BiteMosquito bites are visible instantly and will begin to itch immediately. It is best to look for a raised white welt with red boundaries that is oddly shaped (not a perfect circle). After a day or so, the bite will reduce to a red bump.

These bites self-resolve quickly most of the time. In addition, you may get several bites on the same night, but they will appear in isolation and not in clusters. Check out these examples:

A Mosquito Bite or A Bed Bug Bite

However, bed bug bites do not have immediate reactions like a mosquito bite. It can take minutes, hours, or even days to show up! There will be flat red welts, but these will not itch at first. Also, bed bug bites appear in clusters, along a line. Usually, you can find them along the edge of a sheet or a comforter.

While bed bugs have not been shown to carry diseases, they are notoriously itchy and sometimes ugly and painful.

Here’s what they look like:

flea bites over caucasian man hairy skin

A bed bug bite, a mosquito bite or any other type of insect bite can be harmful to you, so it is necessary that you eliminate anything that is biting you and your family.

Do not let these insects live off of your blood!

Call a trusted pest professional as soon as possible.

How to Get Water Bugs Out of Your Pool This Summer

There are two common types of water bugs that are a nuisance to pool owners and managers:

Water Boatmen

Water Bugs and How to Eliminate Them

www.bugguide.net

Looking forward to summer travel and water fun this summer? There are few summertime pleasures that beat time spent in the water. If the sight of bugs sharing your pool isn’t bad enough, some of the culprits actually bite. Water bugs are one of these pests! You will find a lot of them in pools, ponds, lakes and freshwater streams. Water bugs can grow up to more than 12 centimeters long, although the average length is just two centimeters. These are oval-shaped bugs that eat algae, mosquito larvae, and other water microorganisms. Fortunately, they do not bite. They need to breath air so they can be drowned, but they can also fly and lay eggs in pool algae.

Backswimmers

Water Bugs and How to Eliminate Them

They also breath air and are thinner than boatmen, so they surface a lot and skim across the water. They eat other bugs like the boatmen and beetles. Unfortunately, they bite and can also fly. They lay eggs in pool algae similar to the water boatmen.

How to Get Rid of Them

Taking away their food supply is the best way to get rid of these pests, so start with removing your pool of algae. To do that, there’s a simple process called Shock Chlorination. Chlorination kills organic material in the pool, and therefore eliminate the pool algae that grow. Here’s a guide on how to shock chlorinate:
1. Do this on dusk or nighttime to prevent the sun from burning the chlorine too quickly
2. Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves
3. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water but leave enough room so it doesn’t spill
4. Add 1 pound of chlorine shock (calcium hypochlorite) to the bucket. For every 10,000 gallons of water your pool has, add 1 pound of shock.
5. Stir the mixture gently
6. Make sure your pool is running and leave it overnight / or for 8 hours

After successful shock chlorination, use your pool brush to scrub the walls and floor of your pool. This loosens up any algae that has been growing.

Once the algae are gone, the water bugs won’t have any food and will move out. If some don’t, you can eliminate them for good. How?

1. Get a bucket (with a lid) of pool water
2. Pour oil in it, such as cooking oil
3. Skim out the bugs from your pool using a pool skimmer, and put them in the oil bucket
4. Close it up and wait for a few days
5. Dispose the contents in a sealed container with the trash
5. Do not drain your oil as your sewer pipes may become clogged.
That’s it for eliminating water bugs in your pools. Tune it next time for more pest control tips! If you have any more pest problems you’re not sure you can handle, don’t hesitate to contact professionals.

Telltale Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Most species of ants are a nuisance at worst, but carpenter ants are capable of dealing real damage to your home if left unchecked. How?

In order for Carpenter ants to make their nests, they excavate through wood. These create tunnels for them to use, and over time can compromise the structural integrity of your home. How can you tell if you have carpenter ants eating at your home? Here are the telltale signs:

#1 Large Black Ants (with and without wings)

Telltale Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

www.extension.umn.edu

Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood; they just destroy it to make a tunnel. What they feed on are the usual – something sweet, parts of dead animals & insects, and fruits & vegetables. Some of them are winged and some of them are not. If seeing winged ants are becoming more frequent, it’s a sign that they’re looking to spread their colony; as they have probably already used too much space in their nest.

#2 Wood Damage

As we’ve mentioned, carpenter ants can be really destructive if left alone. Once you start seeing these critters, check all your walls, nooks, and crannies for any change. If you’re structures have a smooth hole in it, then it’s most probably due to the carpenter ants excavating them.

www.paynepestcontroloc.com

www.paynepestcontroloc.com

#3 Sawdust Trail

With wood damage comes the trail. Piles of sawdust can be seen near walls and floors of the carpenter ants’ nest. Some piles of sawdust may even stick on your carpet, if ants normally go through them.

www.natureswaypestcontrol.com

www.natureswaypestcontrol.com

#4 Rustling Sound

www.colonialpest.com

www.colonialpest.com

In very heavy infestations (and if you put your ear against the wall), you may hear faint rustling sounds coming from the walls. The sounds actually come from the carpenter ants moving and chewing through the wood. It is where most likely they are building their nest.

The first step in dealing with an infestation is to know where they are. Due to their number and behavior, carpenter ants can be quite the challenge to evict from your home. Once you’ve found you have an infestation, call a trusted pest professional as soon as possible.