Can Crickets Tell You The Temperature Outside?

It's that time of year again when male crickets call out to all the lady-crickets. At first, we just hear a massive chorus of rapid chirping but, have you ever wondered why the chirping slows down sometimes? It's time to toss out your thermometer and just listen to why.


Sometimes we must only listen and observe all things in nature to gain a greater understanding.

Male crickets rub their wings and legs together creating chirping sounds in an effort to attract females. Both male and female crickets feed on plants (and other insects sometimes). Unlike their closest relatives (grasshoppers & Katydids) crickets have the ability to tell us how cold it is outside. All you have to do is pay attention and count how many times they chirp in a minute. Then, divide that number by 4. Then, add that number to 40 to know the temperature outside. Simple right? It's down right amazing and, if you don't believe it do the math and find out for yourself. 

We hope you enjoyed this factual post so be sure to give us a like and share. Tell others about this amazing gift from crickets and please leave us a comment or two so we can continue bringing you informative posts to learn from and enjoy enjoy. 

Gladhill Services is a family-owned and operated local Pest Control, Mold Removal, Waterproofing and Duct Cleaning authority serving Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and many parts of Virginia. 717-597-1040


Check out this article about getting rid of flies from our friends at morning

35 Tips To Get Rid Of Flies And Bring Peace Back To Your Home

What's That Huge Bee In My Yard?

So what exactly is that huge bee flying across the lawn? The first thing to understand is, it's not a bee. It is a very large wasp that does some amazing things. Meet the Cicada Killer Wasp.

 Cicada Killer Wasp

Cicada Killer Wasp

Throughout Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, you will likely see one of these massive wasps flying across your lawn. Sometimes you might see one hovering a few feet above the ground and drop something. They are dropping a cicada that was paralyzed by a sting. And if this wasn't bad enough to hear keep reading.

In a nutshell, here is how it works. The female cicada killer flies out after digging a burrow in the ground. She hunts down a male or female cicada then attacks with a venomous sting. The sting paralyzes the cicada permanently. The female cicada killer wasp then picks up the paralyzed cicada and while in flight drops it at her burrow. The female cicada killer then lands to drag her prey into the burrow where she injects a single egg. The egg then hatches and the larvae of the cicada killer wasp begins feeding on the paralyzed cicada carefully keeping it alive.

On an interesting note the female wasp can determine the sex of her offspring. Pretty cool huh?

Now, for the ultimate question: Cicada Killers are most unlikely to sting you. They are far too busy digging burrows, hunting cicadas, and laying eggs in them for a human to become a bother. Yes, they do have the ability to inflict a painful sting if stepped on or grabbed, or, even swatted at in defense. The most unsightly problem female cicada killers create are rather large holes in your lawn along with piles of dirt next to them. 

If you have Cicada Killer Wasps in your lawn give Gladhill Services a call 717-597-1040 so we can help you evaluate the situation to be sure they do not become a problem. The longer you let them go in the yard the more you will have each coming year. 

How Not To Get Bit By Mosquitos

Preventing Mosquitos in the backyard and other outside living areas can be a daunting task for most of us. In fact, more often than not it seems to be a losing battle. But, we never give up! There are several ways to approach the battle against mosquito populations.

 Tiger Mosquito

Tiger Mosquito

Mosquito control must be performed at different levels and, once you understand where mosquitos breed, live, and rest it is only then you can begin controlling populations effectively.

Uncirculated water, ponds, fountains, retention ponds, birdbaths, and old tires.

With all the rain in recent months, standing water can easily accumulate in low areas of your lawn, under decks and even patios. Water may collect under trash cans, potted plants and other areas of likeness. Mosquitos will breed in these areas and their larvae can be seen swimming about in no more than a bottle cap-size amount of water. If these areas weren't enough of a concern lets move on and consider smaller known breeding sites for mosquitos around the house.

Tree wells, tree holes, flowerbeds, plant containers, decorative pots, sprinklers.

If it wasn't enough to go in search of wet areas around your house, you cannot overlook moist areas where water is not pooled. Soil retains moisture at the base of plants and low areas in the lawn may contain the right amount of moisture for mosquito breeding even if you see no standing water. Mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk to avoid direct sunlight. Yes, sometimes you may find one in direct sunlight but, for the perfect conditions, they prefer shade and these are the areas needing special attention when it comes to control and elimination. 

Any surface out of direct sun and wind is a perfect location for mosquitos to rest.

When it comes to the DIY mosquito slayer, there are several things to consider before having at it in the backyard. First, be sure to seek out all areas mentioned above. Secondly, you must consider other methods of control. There are multiple ways to control mosquitos. By eliminating harborage sites you have already increased your success. It's important to remember that if your neighbor, nearby structure or, natural area close by has any of these harborage sites you will still get mosquitos. If you have sought out and eliminated every possible harborage site for mosquitos on your property and still find yourself and family getting bitten you must begin accessing other control methods like citronella candles, netting, traps, and repellants.

Controlling mosquitos successfully is a multi-fold process where you must incorporate more than one method and this should be left up to professionals like Gladhill Services but, if you feel froggy and want to dive into this murky water on your own then, here's how to do it. 


It doesn't take much to knock a mosquito out of the way or even push them back but if choosing this route be aware that if you use netting or repellant methods you are only pushing them back temporarily. Mosquito traps work in the same as you are now relying on the traps to lure them in to be caught. Traps do not eliminate mosquitos but, simply entice them to come closer and become contained within the trap. You may end up bringing more mosquitos than you had to begin with as many traps emit a bait for mosquitos. 


Mosquito netting is good stuff simply because they keep mosquitos away from you immediately. Nets can be wrapped or set up around the area you wish to enjoy. Some are cheap and some get costly but they do work. Again, there is no effective control for mosquitos using a net - you are not eliminating them, just keeping them away from you. It's been noticed that large populations of mosquitos may be seen accumulating on the outside of nets as they wait for you to exit. To avoid this you can spray the net with a DEET-based repellant before entering.


The common name DEET. Every grocery store, pharmacy and camping supply company sells Off and it works. By using these products on your clothing and gear, mosquitos avoid getting to close to you. Again, use them according to their labels and reapply as needed when outdoors. Just remember that these products typically have no residual meaning once you spray them they do not last.

The battle against mosquitos is all about finding balance in all things natural so start by eliminating standing water and moisture around your home then put up a net to get immediate protection. Apply an insect repellant like Off if needed to offer further protection from getting bit. 

If your mosquito problem doesn't get better then give us a call at 717-597-1040 so Gladhill Services can help improve your mosquito problem professionally.

Are Spiders Dangerous To Dogs?

With over four thousand species of spiders crawling around and spinning their webs in the United States, only a handful should be of concern to homeowners. But, if you own a pet, it’s not just your own worry or safety.



When you know which spiders are potentially harmful it helps keep you, the kids, and your pets safe within a healthy home environment.

Common Spider Types

Many spiders simply wander inside your home to stay dry and out of site. Some spiders may end up being born inside if conditions allow. Don't panic though because a spider crawling across the floor most likely won’t harm you or your pets.Read more and learn about the most common spiders you'll find inside your home occasionally and the few you should have concerns over.

The Common House Spider

Brownish to gray spiders that make funnel webs, and favor undisturbed areas in attics, basements, and garages. Common house spiders are found throughout the country with color, size, and webbing ranging from one region to the next.

Jumping Spiders

These small spiders are known for their ability to jump. These spiders can be black to gray with bright markings of white typically. Jumping spiders are most active during the day. They live and thrive outside on foliage, fences and decks. No need to worry too much about them. Watching them can be entertaining at times as they dance and jump around.

Yellow Sac Spiders

Beige or yellowish, these spiders run along baseboards and behind pictures most commonly. They’re most active at night and typically feed on other insects. They are able to bite, but bites are not harmful typically resulting in a small, hardened red area.

Wolf Spiders

Unless threatened or provoked, Wolf spiders will not bite and commonly enter homes under doors while seeking shelter or chasing prey. Llike most spiders, they are venemous, but their venom is generally not a threat to humans. Physicians typically describe bites from wolf spiders as large red and swollen areas. Sometimes fang marks may be seen as two tiny red dots next to each other in the center of the redness.

Spiders of Concern

Black Widow

Black widows are known for their shiny black bodies and red hourglass marking. The bite of a black widow makes it one of the most revered spiders in the U.S. These spiders are commonly found in garages and well... near or under almost anything black and left undisturbed. This is not to dismiss other objects of a different color. Black widows can be found under debris piles, firewood, inside or behind stored boxes even. Always be careful when you find one. Its best to call a professional in this case.

Brown Recluse

If you live in Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia do not be too concerned over the brown recluse spider because they are found throughout the mid-west and southern regions of the United States. Brown recluse spiders are venomous though, and can be harmful to you and your pets.

Nicknamed “fiddleback,” brown recluse spiders are brown and easily noticable by the violin-shape on their backs. Keep in mind that several spider types have this same marking and are not harmful to people or pets. Brown recluse spiders are no larger than a quarter.

Need Help Controlling Spiders?

If you’re in need of help controlling spiders here are a few steps to help prevent them from entering your home:

  1. Trim trees and shrubs away from house.
  2. Seal cracks and holes around your home.
  3. Secure loose screens to attic and foundation vents.
  4. Seal any holes around pipes or vents around exterior of home.

If you would like more help controlling spiders, contact Gladhill Services or call 717-597-1040

You Sure It Was A Brown Recluse?

I have heard it countless times. "I was bitten by a brown recluse." "My doctor said it's a brown recluse bite." "I have those deadly spiders all over my house." Fact is, the brown recluse spider is the most misunderstood of all spiders out crawling the black widow five to one. Chances  are, if you live in Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia it wasn't a brown recluse after all and, you'll probably never see one. Here's why...

 Brown recluse spiders are so steeped in myth and fear you most likely identified the wrong spider. Everyone seems to believe them to be large spiders with lengthy legs spreading across the palm of any hand. But these spiders are no bigger than the size of a quarter. So, that huge spider  you thought  was a brown recluse was more likely a wolf spider if you live in MD, PA or WV.

Brown recluse spiders are so steeped in myth and fear you most likely identified the wrong spider. Everyone seems to believe them to be large spiders with lengthy legs spreading across the palm of any hand. But these spiders are no bigger than the size of a quarter. So, that huge spider you thought was a brown recluse was more likely a wolf spider if you live in MD, PA or WV.

What Does A Brown Recluse Look Like? 

Brown recluse spiders are light brown to tannish in color. Sometimes called “fiddle-backs," brown recluse spiders are one in several species of spider, including the wolf spider, all having this same violin-shaped marking. The best indicator next to its color and size is the brown recluse has six eyes (or three pairs) while other spiders have eight eyes.

Where do Brown Recluse spiders live?

Brown recluses are, in fact, reclusive creatures that are very shy and not easily found. If you live in Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia for that matter chances of you finding a brown recluse are next to slim because this spider is rarely found outside of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi.

Now that you know about the brown recluse perhaps you won't worry about them so much. But, if you do feel you saw one, or if you have a spider issue in your home give Gladhill Services a call 717-597-1040 and they can help.

Learn more about how Gladhill Services helps create healthy homes >>>

Don't Allow These Four Bugs Inside Your Home Before Summer

Live pest-free this summer by learning how to prevent these four insects from entering into your world.



1. Flies

When it comes to nuisance pests, flies get inside homes during spring, summer, and fall. Flies are frequently found by professional in attics where they gather in large swarms. For some homeowners, flies may become a horrible part of reality when living near farms and other rural areas making their control an ongoing routine. Flies make their way inside through cracks in your doors, windows, and eaves as they try avoiding cooler temperatures.

While flies do not cause any real damage to houses, they can be very annoying and unsightly as the dead pile up on floors near windows. Flies can also spread harmful bacteria throughout your home. The best way to prevent flies from getting inside your home is to seal up cracks in the exterior of your house. Installing and repairing damaged screens will also help keep flies outside this year. 

2. Boxelder Bugs

Found near boxelder trees mostly, boxelder bugs gather in large numbers to stay warm. They are a darkish-grey to black with distinctive red lines on their back. Like flies, they enter houses in the fall seeking warmth. During spring, boxelder bugs become active again becoming a major annoyance as they gather in sunlight mostly on the south and west facing walls.

Boxelder bugs do not pose any threat to your home. They do not bite or sting but, can stain curtains and other fabrics. To prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home, seal up any cracks and crevices on the exterior of your home. Pay special attention to the south and west sides of your house, where sunlight persists longer during late summer and fall.

3. Lady Bugs

As the days warm lady bugs will become more active just like the boxelders do. There's nothing unusual about seeing them flying around inside your house, climbing up near windows or just sitting on a piece of furniture. Lady bugs will not damage your house or furniture, they will not harm you in any way, but some species are known to emit an odor when threatened or crushed.

Again, sealing up any tiny cracks and crevices around your home with caulking can close off the entry points of these insects. You can also sweep or vacuum lady bugs when you find them wandering around inside on curtains or furniture.

4. Stink Bug

Stink bugs feed on plants such as veggitables, fruit trees and several species of weeds. They are well-known in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Vrginia for their foul-smelling odor emitted when threatened or crushed. Warning: crushing a stink bug will only cause more to come. 

Stink bugs enter your home during fall passing through gaps in doors and windows and exit the house in spring making their way back outside. Stink bugs become more active as outside temperatures warm up. By using caulk again to seal openings and by replacing damaged screens will help prevent these critters from making their way inside. 

These four bugs will be looking to get inside your home this spring so, follow the professional advice above to help keep them all out before summer and prevent their return this fall.

If you need further assistance call Gladhill Services 717-597-1040

The Fear, The Psychology, And True Nature Of Insects

Psychology tells us that if you wear bright colors you are energetic, outspoken and lively. If you prefer dark colors you're sensitive and artistic. If it's difficult to sit still you're easily frustrated or nervous. If you approach a person quickly you are confident. If you approach slow you are shy and uncertain. But, what about insects? Research now indicates they may be more human than human.

fear of bugs gladhill services blog

Something Like Human

If insects are anything like people as researchers are discovering, there is much more to be understood about the way insects interact with us and with what they have to say. Maybe knowing the true intention of an insect could prevent the sting or bite. Better yet, this knowledge may help destroy the false beliefs causing our minds to discriminate against all insects everywhere due to their appearance or stigma.

Can you imagine the gentle touch from the delicate pads of a butterfly coming to rest on your arm on a warm summer day, or the soft tickle of a caterpillar walking along the side of your finger? What if the invisible flush of air felt under a hovering bee was nothing more than a friendly creature saying, "Hello." Fact is most insects would not willfully harm you. Insects are the opposite of aggressive, even the ones we fear most, like hornets, black widow and, Brown recluse spiders.

Researchers have discovered that insects react to threatening external stimuli by retreating or hiding - not attacking! While disproving their aggressive behavior, it was discovered that insects actually have solid memories, the ability to reason, remember, and react in a non-threatening manner. Like trees and other plants, insects are fully capable of communicating, so if it happens to one bug it's very likely they will all know.

It's important to note that there are insects like mosquitos, bed bugs, and fleas that do cause potential harm to people, but this doesn't mean they are aggressive. These critters are not much different from a human hunting deer or turkey because like humans, they do what they must in an attempt to survive.

Understanding the fear, psychology, and true nature of insects goes a long way in their prevention and control. Like bug whisperers, Pest professionals get insects. They may not speak the language of Bug, but, Pest professionals are well trained and know an insect's likes and dislikes. So much so that in recent years, Pest Control companies have begun moving away from standard treatments to rely on their understanding of insects as a means of prevention and control. IPM (or Integrated Pest Management) is the process of eliminating harborage sites, food and water sources near structures, (everything insects like) and repairing (or excluding) damaged areas on buildings to prevent insects from becoming a concern.

If you would like to understand insects a bit more click here or if you need some help preventing or eliminating them or other pests call Gladhill Services 717-597-1040 for assistance because we wanna know what's bug'n you.