Carpenter bees are one of the ecosystem’s most valuable team player when it comes to pollination. These gentle giants, however, are a bit of a nuisance to property owners because they tend to create their nests on exposed, non-decayed wood structure. A single carpenter bee excavating a wood panel for its nest may cause slight damage. Unfortunately, these bees tend to use old nesting sites and branch them out quite extensively, thus resulting to massive structural damage.
How to Identify Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees have noticeably shiny and black abdomen, with orange or bright yellow hairs on the thorax area. They are usually a quarter and half to an inch in length, with noticeably strong and full-bodied figure. Unlike those bees featured in movies where they endlessly sting people, these carpenter bees are relatively harmless. Male carpenters will not be able to sting people because they actually don’t have stingers. They can be territorial and might become aggressive in guarding their nest, but apart from being an annoyance, they simply can’t do any harm. Female carpenter bees, on the other hand, have stingers. It is very unlike for female carpenter bees to sting, unless they are being extremely provoked or they become highly agitated. These carpenter bees can chew wood and burrow flawlessly using their broad, strong jaws. Although carpenter bees reside on any suitable wood structure for their larvae, they do not eat the wood they infest; they simply hollow out the wood for their nests.
Carpenter bees vs. Bumble bees
Carpenter bees are often mistaken to be bumble bees. They may indeed look quite similar, but you can easily tell them apart by their body structure and way of living. Carpenter bees live solitarily while bumble bees live in social colonies. Carpenter bees establish a nest by burrowing on wood decks or any exposed, untreated, and thick wood panels. Bumble bees, on the other hand, live in nests that are set up in trees or in empty rodent holes; they prefer shaded areas as too much sun exposure can trap heat in the nest. Both carpenter and bumble bees feed on pollen and nectar. Both of them are great pollinators as well.
How to Identify Carpenter Bee Infestation
To determine if there is a carpenter bee infestation, there are tell-tale signs to watch out for. Examples of these would be:
- Half inch entrance holes in your wooden decks, foundations made of wood or any thick wood where they can burrow
- Yellowish to brown stains below the holes – these are bee droppings that get pushed out of the nest
- Piles of wood shavings – from the continuous burrowing of the carpenter bee queen
At times, infested wood may also have severe external damage due to birds trying to get the larvae inside.
How to Prevent Carpenter Bee Infestation
Preventing carpenter bee infestation can be quite a challenge, especially for homeowners who want to work on it first-hand, because the techniques need diligent implementation. Here are some of the techniques:
- Continuous treatment of entrance holes with insecticide or dust pesticide
- Complete eradication of larvae, eggs, and other bee remnants inside the nest, preventing young and adult carpenter bees to look for alternative exit points
- Instead of filling the holes with wood putty or other insecticide, try replacing the heavily infested wood with new and chemically treated wood materials
- Thorough inspection of exposed, unpainted, and untreated wood parts of the property
- Seal holes or nesting sites completely because carpenter bees can go back to these sites to nest in new set of larvae
Carpenter bees may be a vital part of the ecosystem since they are great pollinators, however, it can be an extreme nuisance to property owners because of the extensive damage they can cause. Seeking for professional help in order to fully eradicate these pests may prove to be more beneficial rather than executing a do-it-yourself pest control scheme.
For more information on Carpenter Bees on your property, call for an inspection today.
Yellow jackets become mostly active during the summer. It is when they trouble homes and sting those they think are a threat to them. These stinging insects are heavy-bodied wasps that create gray, papery nests below or hanging above the ground. They are about ½ inch in length with alternating black and yellow stripes on them. While they may look like honey bees, this wasp can sting you multiple times, unlike bees that can sting you just once.
While these wasps commonly create their nests in rodent burrows, thick shrubs, and tree branches during the early spring, they can also create their nests in garages, attics, sheds, under porches, spaces behind wall sidings, and in areas where there are hollow spaces in floors and walls. When these yellow jackets create nests inside a home’s structure, they will defend their territory and will sting potential threat to their nest.
The Creation of the Nest
Nesting happens during spring, when a queen starts laying eggs in her chosen nest. Her first batch of eggs will be her first workers. The queen will continuously lay eggs while the workers will take care of her and her eggs while continuously expand the nest. These workers will also be responsible in defending the nest. The nest will continuously grow as new workers assume their responsibilities during spring and summer. By August or September, the queen’s nest may already contain hundreds of yellow jackets that are considered dangerous to those who will approach it.
The yellow jackets and the hornets are considered to be the most aggressive wasps that can sting potential victims continuously. These wasps are considered troublesome because they are known to vigorously defend their nest when it is threatened, which would leave their victim helpless with the continuous sting they will give them.
During the months of August or September, their nest may already have hundreds or even thousands of individuals. When this happens, some of the wasps may just hover around outside their nest looking for more food. They will become scavengers that will be showing up uninvited at picnics and barbecues, and in places outdoors.
Defending Yourself from Yellow Jackets
Although the nest of the yellow jacket will be emptied soon with all of the workers dying during the winter, but it is still unwise to let them nest around your property. If you are able to find the queen this early spring, and you are able to get rid of it that would mean that the eggs she laid will also not survive. However, if you are not able to find the queen, you will have a whole season of defending yourself against their nest.
If your home has a yellow jacket nest around, getting rid of it may bring difficulties. Although there are a lot of insecticide products that are labelled for the use of these wasps, handling them can still be dangerous. In most cases, the removal of yellow jacket nests is given to professionals since most homeowners acknowledge the gravity of handling these wasps.
Protect your home against these yellow jackets and let Horizon Pest Control get rid of the yellow jackets nest for you. We offer Residential Pest Control solutions that will take care of your wasp problems. Do not let these wasps intimidate you and let your home be your home again. Call for an appointment now and let us know how we can help you.
Who likes to have mosquitoes around their home? Well, no one in their right mind would want mosquitoes living near them. It is even known that mosquitoes are one of the most deadliest animals in the world. Causing millions of deaths by malaria, Nile virus, and dengue fever, and thousands more affected by different viruses.
While the summer is a great time to enjoy being outdoors and just staying lazy indoors, it is important to have you and the kids protected from the threat of mosquitoes. Here are some ways to do it:
1. Always have an insect repellent ready. When going outdoors, make sure to apply an insect repellent on areas where mosquitoes might bite you. You should also apply this to your clothing. Bring this with you to re-apply if the needs arise.
2. Know the peak hours for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes normally come out and feed on our blood between the dusk and dawn. Better stay indoors early in the morning and in the evening to avoid getting bitten by them. If you will go outside during these hours, make certain to protect yourself with proper clothing and apply insect repellent.
3. Use mosquito netting. If you have infants, use mosquito netting for their carriers and use them when outdoors.
To protect your home, you should:
- Empty all standing water that includes old tires with stagnant water, water-holding containers that are not in used, etc.
- Maintain and properly chlorinate hot tubs and swimming pools.
- Get rid of water-holding plants, such as bromeliads.
- Clean clogged roof gutters
- Get rid of old tires and containers that can hold water but are not in used.
- Place screens on doors and windows.
- Check the air conditioning and sealed it with vents.
- Boats should be covered and drained completely.
- Apply or spray insecticides indoors or in mosquito larvae.
- Join mosquito control programs in your community.
Remember that mosquitoes prefer areas that have stale, stagnant and standing water. If your home or the surrounding areas of your home offer these places, mosquitoes will easily be attracted to it and will lay eggs on them. However, mosquitoes are known to travel long distances. So, even if your home does not have any stagnant water, they may still be able to come to your home. But, it is also known that the best defense against these pests is to always have your home cleaned. When your home does not have any clutter, and there is no stagnant water around, chances of these mosquitoes staying in your area will be lessened.
Make sure to defend your home against mosquitoes with Horizon Pest Control. We offer Outdoor Pest Solutions that will help your home eliminate possible harborages and allow your home to be free from these pests.
It is summertime! Time to have fun, play, swim, hike, and so much more. But, with bugs on the rise, you may be hindered from doing all the activities you want to do this time! To guide you with the most common bugs you might find indoors or near your structure, here are our top list:
Mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest insect around because of how it can transmit diseases. These pests are responsible for transmitting and killing 2 to 3 million people every year. They are responsible for the spread of other diseases, such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and more. Mosquitoes are mostly active at sunset and sunrise. Areas that have standing water indoors and outdoors can become the natural habitat for these insects.
Carpenter bees. Carpenter bees can be a real nuisance when they invade homes and drill galleries in wood to make their nests. Although they do not consume the wood that they are nesting, but they can create cosmetic damage to a home or property. These bees are also known to inflict a painful sting, especially when they are disturbed or wrongfully handled.
Yellow jackets. Yellow jackets are beneficial insects since they can destroy insects that attack plants. But, when these insects invade a home by creating nests, they become a nuisance. The summer provides them with a great opportunity to build nests within the walls of a house. Having yellow jackets near the premises of a home is also dangerous since they sting, especially when they sense danger. And, unlike the honey bee that can sting just once, the yellow jacket can sting as many times as they want to without dying.
Ticks. These creepy crawlies tend to become higher during the summer months. It is even estimated that about 300,000 people suffer from Lyme disease as a result of tick bites in the U.S. And, thousands develop tick-borne diseases that can totally ruin anyone’s summer.
Carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are big large ants that are common outdoors. However, they can also be seen indoors during the summer. When they are seen indoors, it may not initially indicate that there is an infestation inside the house. They may just be coming from the outside and going in your home to gather food. However, these ants coming inside may indicate that their home is just near yours. When a carpenter ant starts to infest homes, they will stay in areas where excessive moisture is present. Areas that these ants may infest can be around windows, showers, leaky pipes and drains, roof vents and the likes. Once they find a suitable wood, they will create tunnels and continuously excavate on the wood until it becomes damaged. Carpenter ants can also bite when they are defending themselves. And, because they are large, their bite can be very painful.
Defending Your Home Against Them
While we cannot stop these bugs from entering the premises of our homes, we can still do something to protect our homes and protect ourselves from their threat of invasion. Here are some of them:
- Always have an insect repellent to defend yourself against mosquitoes and ticks
- Wear, trousers, long-sleeved shirts and protective shoes when going outdoors
- Always check your pet for ticks
- Make sure your home, especially the walls are checked for signs of wasp or bee nests
- Be vigilant when hiking or camping, and even when at home and find signs of harborage of pests
- Get rid of standing water
- Always clean your home
You and your family are not safe when bugs are around. To control and stop these pests from ruining a great summer, let Horizon Pest Control stop them and help you. We provide services that will help you determine what bugs are creating nuisance and the solutions to control them. You and your family deserve a great vacation and if bugs are not present, your days will always be sunny!
It is never a fun sight to see ticks around the home and in the garden. Most of us will feel unsafe to see their presence especially when we have kids and the elderly living with us. Ticks can carry numerous harmful blood-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and other newly found viruses like Powasan Virus or Borrelia Myamotoi. To avoid such danger, it is necessary to protect your yard against ticks.
To keep Lyme disease out of your yard, here are some simple steps that you can do:
1. Eliminate Ticks Favorite Hangout Spots
Ticks that are found outdoors are usually found in grassy, bushy areas that are often sheltered with trees and shade. They can also be found in the same place where they can find their favorite food, which is a deer. To eliminate ticks favorite hangout spots you should:
- Mow the lawn frequently
- Get rid of tall grass and brush the edge of the lawn
- Clean up leaf litter
- Compost grass clippings and leaves and use the rich soil amendment in your garden
- Do not allow grass to overgrow, and remove vines and other plants that tend to make bushy, clumped or grass-live environments
2. Create a Glass Zone
Ticks do not like to cross paths lined with wood chips or gravel since ticks find this to be difficult to pass. It is like you are irritating them on how they should pass through. Place a gravel or wood chip buffer zone between lawns and wooded areas, which would stop ticks from crossing.
3. Stack the Woodpiles Neatly
Ticks can be found in areas where they are likely to survive and in moist, wooded areas. They can be found crawling around sloppy wood piles in shaded areas. However, if you stack the wood in order and in an area where they can get some sun and it can always e dry, then ticks will not like to stay there. Moist, wooded areas are inviting for this pest, but dried woods are not.
4. Fence Your Yard
To avoid having larger animals, such as deer or coyotes, raccoons, or stay dogs from passing through your yard, create a fence. As most of us know, these ticks travel on mammals, and they commonly ride a deer to travel from one location to the next. Keeping the larger ones out will help in controlling tick population in your deer. Besides, deer can destroy your garden and coyotes can eat your cats, so fencing your yard is just a practical solution.
5. Don’t Let the Kids Play in Areas where Tick Maybe Present
Make sure that the kids are safe by not allowing them to play in areas when ticks are known. Do not allow them to play in places where the grasses are high or on trees. If they want to play on swing, but the grass are a bit high, start trimming first and see if there are ticks first before you let them.
6. Regularly Check Yourself for Ticks
After an outdoor session, especially after playing or hiking make sure that you and your children are checked for ticks. Ticks can be in the hairline, underarms, on legs, and so on. If you find one, remove them with a pair of tweezer. Do not just pull the tick with your fingers since you do not want to squeeze their body that could regurgitate into the attach point of your skin that could pass the disease to you if you do.
7. Try to Keep Your Pests Out of Wooded Areas
Since your pets are vulnerable to ticks, always check them for ticks every day. You can try to keet them out of wooded areas if possible. You should also consider using a tick treatment, especially in spring and summer.
8. Use pesticide
Use a pesticide that is at least 20 percent DEET. DEET is a great tick repellent. If you are going to use DEET, make sure to follow instructions.
Successful control of a tick population depends on the effectiveness of the strategies that your pest management specialist will provide you. Horizon Pest Control offers Tick Control to our valued clients designing different tactics that will suit your pets, family and the environment you are in. Schedule an appointment to learn more about our services.
With summer here, we can expect the presence of ants in our kitchen. While they may still be expected, there is no reason why they should not be stopped from even entering our homes. So how do we stop ants from invading our kitchen? Here are some effective ways to stop them:
1. Remove Their Food Sources
The main reason why ants like to get inside your home is because they know they can get their food there. If your home is not clean enough, ants will easily multiply since they will tell the others about your food buffet. Make sure to clean daily, especially your kitchen since all your goodies are in there. Cleaning your home will include:
- Putting food in air-tight containers
- Keeping the sink clean
- Keeping pet food and water dishes clean
- Removing any spilled food
- Keeping trash cans and bins far from your house
- Taking the trash out every day
- Sweeping the floor after meals
- And, not allowing moisture to accommodate on counters and other surfaces
2. Create Barriers
Since ants are very small creatures, they can easily find thousands of tiny doorways that will eventually lead to your home. While some may easily be seen, others are very difficult to find unless you see a parade of ants marching through them. To protect your home you will have to:
- Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk.
- Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens.
- Replace weather-stripping
- Repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
- Line suspected entryways with deterrent substances, such as Diatomaceous earth, salt, talc, baby powder that are made of cornstarch, cornmeal, dried cloves, and the likes.
3. Bait the Ants
You can bait the ants by choosing the right type of poison for the job. The most common bait used is by mixing boric acid powder or borax with maple syrup. Boric acid affects ants both externally and internally. If you get the right quantity and timing, these ants will bring the poison with them to the colony and spread it around, wiping out their colony. However, this procedure may take several weeks to a few months. This is why diligence in continually giving them bait is necessary.
4. Get Rid of the Queen and scouts
It is necessary to kill the queen since she is mostly responsible for the colony. If you can eliminate her, then the colony will die. However, finding the queen is nearly impossible because they do not go out of the colony and will stay well hidden and out of sight. The best way to get the ant queen is through the bait. Expect to see more ants when you set out the bait. This means that more ants are taking the bait back to the colony where they will share the rest of the food with the other ants that will also include the queen.
It is also necessary to bring down the nest, especially if you still continue to find them. If you can find the nest, pour several gallons of boiling water into it, and that may be the end of them. However, if you cannot find where they are coming from, the best solution is to bait them. In cases, where you have an infestation, it is also necessary to call reliable pest control services to be able to solve your ant infestation right away.
Eliminating ants is sometimes a necessity especially when you have an infestation and there is no end of them. For effective ant control, trust Horizon Pest Control. We will know what ant species is present and help determine the nesting site, food preference and the best method of management. Learn more about Horizon’s ant control and schedule an appointment, visit Residential Pest Control.
Many people do not realize the importance of having clean gutters, especially during the summer time. Basically, gutters carry rainwater away from the house and prevent water from leaking into cracks and causing structural damage. But, this is not the only thing you should worry about when it comes to clogged gutters since this can also cause for mosquitoes to harbor the area, which could also be dangerous not only for you, but for the entire family.
It is possible for mosquitoes to multiply even with small amounts of water. These insects can multiply into thousands in just a short period of time, and in the heat of summer, they can emerge from egg to adult in about a week. With clogged drains, mosquitoes will have a great breeding ground since it is already filled with water. So how do you stop mosquitoes from breeding in your gutters? Well, the simplest solution is to clean them before they even start to breed there.
Mosquitoes Life Cycle
It is necessary to clean your gutters because mosquitoes can lay singly on moist ground and can remain dormant over winter. They can easily stay in your gutter, especially if the conditions are right. They will hatch when inundated by the spring or summer. If the eggs are not favorable, these eggs will remain dormant for a year or more.
Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in any water-holding container. So when your gutters are full of litter, mosquito eggs will hatch, then will become larva. These mosquito larvae will mostly get their food from the water in which they live. Then, they will go to their third stage, which is the pupal stage. This stage is considered a resting stage, until they become adults.
Once these mosquitoes become adults, they will become a nuisance as they will search for victims to feed. Although only the female bites, it is still a nuisance when mosquitoes are seen. These mosquitoes are mostly active when disturbed or at dusk when she is attracted by light and will even fly great distances just to find a blood meal.
How to Clean Your Gutters
So how are you going to collect all the leaves that have already accumulated? Here are some ways to do so:
Scoop it. The scoop and drop method is the fastest way to get rid of all the leaves in the gutter. Scoop out the leaves or other content from the gutter and drop the contents to the ground onto a plastic tarp or drop cloth, and move the ladder as you pour the content out.
Use a bucket. Using the gutter bucket method is fairly common and involves a plastic bucket with a metal handle, then cut the handle in two at the center. Bend the ends of the handle halves into hook shapes, and place them onto the edge of the gutter. Once in place, scoop out the gutter and empty it into the bucket.
Check for gutter spikes. Check all the spikes that are supposed to go through the gutter. If possible buy new gutter spikes so the gutters are securely fastened once again.
Check for leaks. Once you have taken the leaves out of the gutter, you need to find if there are sources of leaks, which include holes in the gutters and cracked caulking in the seams. Check the rivets on the downspout too.
Water is the key to the survival of these mosquitoes and gutters offer these egg laying sites. It only takes from 7 to 10 days for mosquitoes to go from egg to adult. The larvae only need the eggs to have enough standing water to develop into adults. If there is no standing water, there will be no mosquitoes, and if the gutters are clear, there will be no mosquitoes.
Clogged gutters not only cause structural damage, but could also lead for different pests including mosquitoes to live in. If your gutters are not properly cleaned and fixed different problems such as water problems and even vegetation growing in your gutters can occur. To help you with your clogged gutters, Horizon Pest Control offers Gutter Cleaning that will solve your gutter problems immediately.
To effectively combat termites, it is necessary to first know about how they get inside in the first place and why they want to stay for good! This is crucial to prevent an infestation. Since termites live in colonies and feed on the cellulose in wood, it is likely that you will be able to find hundreds or even thousands of them, once their colony has been found. These termites can cause significant damage both structurally and financially. If termites are found, you should eliminate them as soon as possible, or else, they will keep on infesting until enough structural damage is done.
Here are Ways Termites Come in Your Home
Subterranean termite colonies live underground and can enter your home at ground level or below. They can also create mud tubes to enter places several feet above ground level.
The most common way subterranean termites enter your home is through wood-to-ground contact that includes doorframes, deck posts, and porch steps or supports. They can also enter homes through cracks in the foundation or cracks in brick mortar.
Drywood T ermites
A common drywood termite infestation will start when swarmers or alates search a crevice in the wood of your home, dig out a little nest and seal themselves in. Once they find a suitable nesting site, they will begin to produce eggs to build a new colony. Since it is difficult to find termites, it may take several years before you realize that they have been there for some time because their colony has already grown to a size capable of causing serious wood damage to your home.
It can be a challenge to prevent drywood termite infestations since they can create nests in any part of the home in any floor. They just do not nest near the foundation or soil like the subterranean termites do, but they can do it anywhere.
Drywood termites never have to come out for any reason. After they seal themselves in, they will not go out. But, there is only one time of the year that they take flight and swarm away to create their own colony. Once these termites established themselves in your home during the swarming season, it is likely that they will just move from one wood to another, which will cause more damage to your home.
Preventing termites to enter a home will include addressing trouble spots, such as water that pools around the foundation, and monitoring for signs of activity. It is also necessary to have a regular maintenance to keep the exterior wood of your home in good condition. It is also necessary to have your home inspected any time of the year since that can provide you with evidence of a live infestation within your home.
Although a termite inspection can be challenging for most technicians since a termite inspection is quite limited to only about 19% of the structure that can be inspected for an active live infestation. However, subterranean termites are usually the easiest ones to be found because they create little mud tubes up from the ground to the foundation. When it comes to drywood termites, you will need skilled and experienced termite inspectors because drywood termites can actively live inside the wood framing of your home. And, it may be a bit late before you finally realize that you have an infestation.
To know if you have a drywood termite infestation your technician will search for evidence in windowsills and baseboards. This evidence is similar to sand or small little pellets and their presence can be very obvious to experience termite inspectors. After the inspection of your home, your technician will provide prevention and control tips specific to your home’s construction type, termite species that they found in the home, and structural and moisture conditions favorable to the termites.
Horizon Pest Control understands the need to ensure the health and longevity of your home that is why we designed an environmentally-friendly pest control solution that focuses on protecting your home against termites. Schedule an appointment with Horizon Pest Control Termite Control and have your home protected.