Ladybugs are an interesting lot. Prized for their beauty and noted around the world as good luck, these tiny bugs are out in full swing this spring. So, are ladybugs a blessing or a curse? As it turns out, as long as they don’t swarm, ladybugs are a friend to your garden and sometimes act as natural pest control.
Ladybugs eat aphids and aphids are a gardener’s worst nightmare. Eating everything from tomatoes to roses, aphids are pests. Ladybugs aren’t poisonous to humans but eating too many of them can harm some small animals – hence their red “stay away!” color! Continue reading →
Spring is the perfect time of year. The weather’s beautiful, flowers are blooming, spiders are…everywhere. Humans aren’t the only creatures taking advantage of the warmer weather and in fact, many spider species wait for the spring to lay eggs and start exploring their world.
Here are a few of the most prevalent spider species found in homes this spring. Some are completely harmless and in fact eat pesky pests like mosquitoes; others are poisonous, however, and should only be handled by a pest control professional. Continue reading →
Aphids are a plague to gardeners everywhere. A crucial part of the pest ecosystem, aphids offer little good to green thumbs that spend hours cultivating bountiful fruit and veggie gardens only to see them nibbled away.
Aphid bugs are tiny, pear-shaped insects that are usually green or yellow. They’ll eat just about every kind of plant although they prefer warm weather leaves and tomatoes, too. They’re difficult to spot but usually show up by the droves, thousands at a time. Here are a few of the best ways to get rid of aphids once you find them… Continue reading →
It’s that time of year again. As the weather heats up, mosquitoes will be out in full force, particularly if you live in a hot, humid part of the country. Mosquitoes shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the outdoors with your family, however, and they certainly shouldn’t bug you while you’re in your home.
Here are a few easy tips on how to mosquito-proof your home so when summer comes you’ll have no qualms about getting outdoors or sleeping without a mosquito net! Continue reading →
Stinging insects are out in force and with the weather warming up they’re bound to show up near your home soon. While some people are deathly allergic to the venomous sting of insects, most simply find these bugs a nuisance they’d like to keep far from their house. With so much press lately about the decline in bee populations it makes sense to take a look at a few of the most common stinging insects sure to buzz your way soon…
There are dozens of different types of bees. Honeybees are, of course, crucial to plants and crops in the US and rarely sting humans. Carpenter bees and bumblebees, too, are fairly unaggressive and simply enjoy colorful flowers around Spring. Africanized killer bees are rare in the US but have been seen – if stung by one, seek medical attention immediately. The best way to get rid of bees is to simply remove the draw – whether it’s water or flowers – that brings them near your home. If all else fails, call a pest professional. Continue reading →
There’s been a lot of chatter in the media lately about the concerning decline in honeybee populations. Indeed, honeybees are a crucial part of the ecosystem and provide far more good than they do harm in most instances. They rarely sting and in fact spend most of their time pollenating plants which depend on their existence for their survival. Continue reading →
If you read last week’s post about California’s citrus pest problem, you may not be surprised to hear that the federal government is about to give the state of Florida over $6 million to fight pest infestations. Unlike the California situation, however, these funds are meant to prevent harmful infestations rather than to treat existing bug problems. Continue reading →
In California, citrus pests are a real problem. The Asian citrus psyllid insect, in particular, causes millions of dollars in damage to the fragile trees around Ventura County and nearby areas. These pests carry disease, diseases that kill citrus plants such as lemon trees, orange trees, and lime trees. Trees found infected by these bugs must be carefully removed from the grove to avoid infecting nearby plants.
Industry group the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program is dedicated to figuring out a way to deal with this massive insect problem. The state of California became involved in 2009 after it was determined the state’s citrus crops would be vastly depleted, but to no avail. While the psyllid insect hasn’t completely taken over CA’s citrus groves, its invasiveness should not be underestimated. Continue reading →
Many parts of the country have experienced a milder than normal winter with less snowfall and shorter freeze seasons than in years past. From Texas to Chicago, some of the country’s most unpredictable climates have recorded warm, unseasonal winter months. What could be bad about that?
Unfortunately, milder winters often lead to particularly bug-heavy springs and summers, specifically in warmer regions of the country. Without hard freezes to kill off colonies and with flora opening up earlier than normal, bugs have a plethora of places to live and eat. Continue reading →
For decades people have relied on various forms of insect repellent to keep clear of bugs and enjoy the outdoors unbitten. From citronella candles to lotions to aerosol sprays, bug repellents come in many different forms and are designed to keep all types of species at bay. One of the more controversial insect repellents of the last 40 years is DEET, a colorless, oily concoction used to keep bugs away.
DEET has been around since the 1950s and scientists continue to question whether or not it’s safe for human use. While the EPA’s official stance on DEET is that it’s fine when used in moderation they remain concerned about traces of the chemical found in some water sources as DEET can be harmful to fish and wildlife. One thing no one questions, however, is DEET’s place as the most effective insect repellent on the market. That is, until now. Continue reading →