outdoor

Get Rid Of Stink Bugs

While stink bugs are harmless to humans, their large numbers and hibernation patterns pose a threat to tropical plants inside the home, vegetable gardens, crops. And, it's no secret that stink bugs have become a constant annoyance for homeowners, gardeners, and farmers alike.  Below you'll learn a few proven methods to help control and prevent stink bugs in and around the house.

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What stink bugs eat?

The mouthparts of stink bugs are made for sucking and piercing, which they use to feed on fruits, vegetables, and certain crops. Stink bugs can cause significant damage to plants when they feed. Stink bugs prefer many species of plants and trees to feed on. Trees like birch, serviceberry, hackberry, catalpa, redbud and dogwood are known favorites for stink bugs to eat. Nut and fruit trees preferred by stink buds are pecan, apple, plum and pear. Stink bugs love your bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, grape leaves, and sunflowers. Stink bugs will damage a plants leaf surface, its fruits, injure its seeds, and transfer pathogens making them a natural enemy for farmers, homeowners, and gardeners to combat.


What attracts stink bugs?

Stink bugs are attracted to food and certain environments! The types of plants near a home will always be an attraction and a reason for why you might have them worse than your neighbor. And, as for environmental conditions, stink bugs breed in warmer weather since they are cold-blooded needing the external heat to keep them alive. It's apparent to professionals that stink bugs are attracted to light colored homes where they easily bask in full sun. This is noticable on the exterior of buildings in the spring as they go back into nature for feeding and breeding, and during early fall where hundreds to thousands may be gathered gaining access into the home for winter. Inside homes, a stink bug's favorite place to hide or overwinter are in windowsills and door frames.


Do stink bugs bite?

Stink bugs do not go after people or animals for any reason. In fact,  if they bump into you during flight it is most likely a complete accident. They keep to themselves. But, it is known that stink bugs may bite humans if they feel threatened. If a stink bug bites, the person may feel some discomfort in or near the area of the bite. According to local physician's a stink bugs' bite is usually considered non-poisonous to adults but, it may be considered poisonous for newborns and toddlers. As with any insect bite, seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. With that said never fear a stink bug. Swatting at stink bugs as they fly or smashing them with your hand will only increase your odds of being bitten. If you let them be they will leave you be! If you find a stink bug crawling on you gently flick it off as this will avoid a bite and the release of its smell. 

 

Stink bugs in the house?

Stink bugs inside the home are over-wintering adults that came in to hibernate during winter months. Stink bugs take advantage of cracks and crevices around windows and door, behind baseboards and crown molding, and around light fixtures in ceilings. Our crews have even found hundreds gathered together under insulation found in attics and crawl spaces.
A great preventive measure is to seal as many cracks as possible to keep stink bugs out of your house. Potted plants around the inside your home is another attraction for stink bugs as they provide a natural habitat during the long, cold winter. 

 

Stink bugs on the house?

As a Do-It-Yourself project, the control and prevention of stink bugs is typically a two-fold process. The first being the outside of your house in spring when stink bugs begin emerging from the house. It's best to let them leave so an application of pesticide on the outside is best. In the fall, stink bugs begin gathering on the sunny sides of homes making their way in for the winter to hibernate. Again, treat the exterior of the house. Now, is a good time to dust behind base boards, above light fixtures in ceilings, attics, around door and window frames as these are locations stink bugs will try overwintering.

 

Stink bugs in the garden?

The most effective preventive and control measure a Do-It-Yourselfer can take for keeping stink bugs out of the garden is to grow herbs such as mint, basil, coriander, and borage. These plants are not only medicinal for us, but also attract several other species of insects that prey on stink bugs. It's important to know that the use of pesticides in gardens and on farms has not yet proven to be effective for stink bugs.  This is due to the strong protective armor-like body of stink bugs.  Chemical and organic pesticides are most effective on stink bugs as they overwinter and begin migrating back into the home. 


Many professional pest control companies offer quarterly treatments for stink bugs and for good reason. While 1-2 applications of pesticide will knock their numbers down, stink bugs migrate twice each year. The first migration is in the spring where stink bugs emerge from hibernation and fly back out into nature to feed and breed. In the fall, stink bugs fly back to homes as they begin gathering in areas where they will get the most sun light. During the summer months, you may see a few stink bugs here and there. Further treatments are usually needed to prevent egg laying within or near the house. On warmer days during winter, stink bugs can be found flying across your living room, crawling across your ceiling upstairs or found seemingly lifeless in the basement. It has been noted by many homeowners and professionals alike that some pesticides work better on stink bugs than others. As a Do-It-Yourselfer, follow the guidelines above to prevent and control stink bugs this year. If it gets too much and if they seem to get worse call a professional pest control company like Gladhill Services. We can help if you need it. 

Campers Guide To Pest Control

Camping is all about getting lost and intimate with nature so, don't let a few bugs ruin your trip. Here you will learn the 6 most common outdoor pests campers encounter and 7 tips to help ensure a great outdoor experience. 

You get lost in the wild for a reason. But some outdoor insects can make your camping trip more irritating than peaceful. If swatting bugs wasn't irritating enough, think about how some insects could bite leaving you with harmful and life-long effects. Have fun and enjoy your time outdoors without insects taking over your campsite eliminating that  peace of your natural bliss. Before you pack all that gear and head outdoors this summer, be prepared to prevent and reduce your worry.

You get lost in the wild for a reason. But some outdoor insects can make your camping trip more irritating than peaceful. If swatting bugs wasn't irritating enough, think about how some insects could bite leaving you with harmful and life-long effects. Have fun and enjoy your time outdoors without insects taking over your campsite eliminating that  peace of your natural bliss. Before you pack all that gear and head outdoors this summer, be prepared to prevent and reduce your worry.


6 Insects Every Camper Needs To Know

Planning to get into the wild this summer? When packing your camping gear, s'mores, and other campsite delights, batteries and sleeping bags be prepared to face several insects that want exactly what you have. Face it, when you begin sleeping under the stars you’re sure to invite a few more friends you typically don't sleep with at home. Some of these insects will steal a little bit of food while others may want to feed on you. Here are 5 common insects that campers usually face when getting back to what's real, as well as 7 tips for helping you during your getaway.


7 Tips to Help You Enjoy Camping This Summer

 

1. Clothing - It's No Option

You should wear long sleeves, pants and light-colored clothing when camping as this will help cover skin insects would bite. Light colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks also. When hiking through dense woods or tall grass remain in the middle of trails stopping periodically to check for ticks.

2. Insect Repellent

When using bug repellents follow the manufacturer's directions. If applied properly insect repellent won't kill insects - it sends them off in another direction.
If your pets come along, be sure to consult with a veterinarian about tick and heartworm prevention. 

3. Avoid Insect Habitats

Avoid camping near pooled water, marshes and ponds with stagnant water. This is a mosquito habitat with plenty of gnats, no se ups, midges and ticks. Look for an area close but not too close for your safety and enjoyment. 

4. Pay Attention

Nature is home to thousands of bugs and other creatures all trying to make their way in life. When we share their natural environment don't get too upset with them as they are trying to live too. Just keep an eye out for ant mounds, beehives, spider webs and such. Keep an ear to the wind for buzzing sounds. If heard, locate the nest and set up camp further away from it. 

5. Secure Tents & Gear

For the most part, your tent is zipped up and secure but, bugs find their way in at times. If you keep food in your tent then expect more bugs. During the night try keeping food in your vehicle if possible. Secure all openings before turning down for the night. And, more importantly you can spray the exterior base of your tent with an approved insect spray to help prevent unwanted visitors from getting in. 

6. Take A First Aid Kit

Tweezers come in handy for removing ticks, splinters and thorns. The Center for Disease Control says stocking a health kit when traveling with, anti-itch ointment for bites and stings is a good thing to do. If anyone on your camping trip has a history of severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, the CDC also recommends carrying epinephrine auto-injectors.

7. Store & Secure Food

Keep all food sealed tightly in containers and keep up off of the ground - especially during the night. Use coolers inside tents, hang trash from a tree, and discard all trash in a proper receptacle. Do this for your safety and enjoyment along with protecting others and the environment. 

Mosquitos, Gnats, and Midges Oh My...

A swarm of gnats can be frustrating especially when your trying to enjoy nature or a backyard picnic. When a swarm of gnats are observed from a distance the result is cinematic but, when you're caught up within the swarm it's not so enjoyable. So, just why do gnats swarm in the first place, and is it even possible to keep them away?

The terms, gnat, and midge are used to describe numerous small, biting and non-biting insects. The list includes, sand flies, phorid flies, black gnats, fungus gnats, fruit flies, and buffalo gnats. Truth is gnats only live about one month and in this short life span they only have enough time to mate and lay their eggs. Many don't even feed during this time. 

The terms, gnat, and midge are used to describe numerous small, biting and non-biting insects. The list includes, sand flies, phorid flies, black gnats, fungus gnats, fruit flies, and buffalo gnats. Truth is gnats only live about one month and in this short life span they only have enough time to mate and lay their eggs. Many don't even feed during this time. 

What gnats, mosquitos, and midges like

For the gnat species that do feed during their life cycle, sweet scents and fruity odors are major influencers in determining where they will swarm. Fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and even some flower beds are common places gnats congregate to form swarms. As you open and close the doors and windows to your house, gnats, mosquitos and midges may find their way inside as they are attracted to ripening fruits, sweet scented veggies, and organic food matter. For the ladies to remember, these nuisance pests are especially attracted to scented shampoos, conditioners, skin creams, and soaps used for bathing and such. Gnats typically swarm around your face due to these scented products. 

Ever wonder why gnats usually fly right into your eyes or land on your lips?
It's because they love heat and moisture too.

Both inside and out, gnats spawn in wet areas. Even moist soil is a breeding ground for certain types of gnats. Inside your kitchen and bathroom, and if gnats make their way inside, can fly into the drains and begin breeding. Before you know it and without warning you'll have a ghost - what many professionals refer to a gnat swarm by. 

Keeping Gnats Away

1) Keep areas clean

Below you will find 3 steps that will help rid both inside and outside of your home from swarming gnats. Nature is nature with it's weather so remain calm and follow the 3 steps outlined to begin minimizing any swarms you may currently have. In no time at all, you'll begin to witness a reduction in swarming behavior. 

Don’t allow fruits, candies or even ripening veggies to accumulate in your kitchen too long. Artificial sweeteners and sweet drinks left to sit out will be a lure for gnats to swarm. Clean any food or drinks that spill and keep lids sealed on all trash cans.

2) Eliminate moisture

Gnats love moisture and wet areas - this is where they breed so eliminate areas of moisture by preventing water from collecting around your home. This includes areas like your spouting and gutters, pet bowls, and birdbaths.. Any plumbing leaks should be repaired as quickly as possible. 

3) Trap gnats

You can try capturing gnats using a simple and homemade gnat trap with a mixture of red wine (or vinegar,) and dish soap. Mix the wine and soap in a bowl and set it out in an area where gnats are active. More often than not, gnats will land in the mix and due to surface tension of the soap will usually drown. Depending on the type of gnat the success of this method will vary.

What's That Buzz About?

Did you know their buzz can be heard a mile away, and that some of them can live for 17 years? While they do not bite or sting and they don't destroy crops like locusts, what's that obnoxious buzz all about? 

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What is a cicada?

Only heard in the eastern woodlands of the United States, cicadas live a lifespan from 4 to 17 years. As larvae, cicadas live most of their lives underground until they emerge for a period of 2-6 weeks as adults. There are two distinct types of cicada - the annual and the periodical. Interestingly enough, all periodical cicadas emerge from the ground at the same time in one location. Depending on species, the emergence can happen every 13 or every 17 years. On the other hand, there are Annual cicadas which emerge year after year from late June to August. 

Periodical cicadas can have green or red eyes while the annual cicadas typically are found having black.

 

What do cicadas eat?

Not to be confused with locusts, cicadas do not cause a loss in crops or vegetation of any kind. Cicadas feed on plant juices when below the ground but upon emerging adult cicadas do not eat at all.

So, what's with the buzzing?

The buzzing sound cicadas make is for one thing only - to attract other cicadas. Male cicadas create the dramatic and whirling buzz to attract more males, as well as females, to an area for the single purpose of mating. After mating, females deposit eggs in slits they cut along branches  then die. Once the eggs hatch, the orphaned cicadas go down into the ground all to emerge in 4-17 years. As for the annual cicadas, obviously, they return again year after year. An interesting insect to say the least!

Centipedes vs. Millipedes

Centipedes and millipedes are certainly considered two of the most revered household pests with their long slender bodies and numerous legs, and, how they suddenly appear out of nowhere. Centipedes can move quickly while most millipedes take their time but, how can you tell the difference between the two? And, can either bite or sting? 

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Millipedes are actually less threatening, not venomous, and will more than likely curl up into a ball in defense.

Differences between millipedes and centipedes:
Centipedes have one set of legs per each body segment, and millipedes have two.
Centipedes have long antennae while millipedes have shorter.
Along with antennae, centipedes have long legs allowing them to move quickly than millipedes.

Symptoms of a Centipede Pinch
According to the United States Library of Health Medicine, the 3 most common symptoms of a centipede pinch are:

  • Pain in the area of the pinch
  • Swelling in the area of the pinch
  • Redness in the area of the pinch