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What’s the Difference Between Bumblebees and Carpenter Bees?

Filed under: Bee Removal & Management — admin @ 10:00 am August 25, 2016

Although you’re likely to host a variety of different insects in your yard or garden, it’s important to be able to identify any that can pose a threat to people or property. You want to keep an eye out for bees in particular, since carpenter bees can cause structural damage to your home. However bumblebees, which are commonly confused with carpenter bees, are not as destructive. Here area few of the differences between them and ways you can identify one from another.

What do carpenter bees and bumblebees look like?

One of the reasons they’re confused is because both carpenter and bumblebees have large, round bodies roughly ½” to 1″ in size and similar wing shape. The easy way to tell them apart is to look at their bodies. Bumblebees are furry and have the typical bright yellow and black coloring. Carpenter bees, on the other hand, have more muted coloring and have a shiny abdomen that’s solid black.

What sort of habitats do they live in?

Even though they’re both bees, they live in very different habitats. Bumblebees are social, often living in colonies underground where they divide the “work” that needs to be done. In contrast, carpenter bees are more solitary, living by themselves and caring only for their own young. Rather than nesting in the ground, they bore holes in wood that can be 6″ to 10″ deep or more. The tunnels can branch into multiple “rooms” where they store eggs and food. These holes can sometimes be what homeowners notice before ever spotting a single bee. If you see dime-sized holes in your eaves or exterior beams, you could have an infestation.

What distinct behaviors do they have?

Besides being a nuisance and digging holes in your home, carpenter bees don’t usually pose a physical threat. They mainly spend their time doing normal bee activities like pollinating plants. Bumblebees, on the other hand, defend their nests aggressively and will chase and sting any threat. If you’ve ever been stung by one, you know that a bumblebee sting is especially painful and the pain and discomfort can last for days. One common behavior trait they both share is the ability to sting multiple times since their stingers are smooth, not barbed.

Being able to spot the difference between bumblebees and carpenter bees will help you identify the type of pest problem you have and aid professionals in determining the most effective plan for removal and prevention. Because of their different habitats and behaviors, each requires a specific approach for optimal results.

Garden Pests You Should Look Out For

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 10:00 am August 18, 2016

There’s no better time to turn your garden into a lush, vibrant sanctuary. However, summer is also the time for garden pests that can eat and destroy your plants. There are certain pests you should look for so you can get rid of them. Here is a guide on garden pests.


Slugs love dampness. Whenever you water your plants, this attracts slugs. Slugs feed on many plants and leave large holes in leaves, flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Fruits are some of their most favorite plants to munch on. To get rid of these pests, place copper tape around the perimeter of your garden to keep them out. Sprinkle salt over concrete and rocks. You can also purchase iron phosphate pellets to place in your garden to kill slugs that get past your barriers.


Caterpillars are ravenous larvae of moths and butterflies. While they’re pretty to look at when they’re grown, the babies can devastate your garden. Caterpillars will eat leafy green plants and vegetables, fruits, and beans. You can use an insect control spray to prevent a caterpillar infestation. To kill caterpillars, add a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis to the soil. The bacteria doesn’t harm your plants, animals, or other bugs.

Bean Leaf Beetles

Bean leaf beetles can eat green bean plants, soy beans, and clover. They will create large holes in plants and can cause leaves to fall off. You can prevent a bean leaf beetle infestation by spraying young plants with soapy water daily. The best way to get rid of these beetles is to use an insecticide spray or to contact a pest control company.


Aphids are tiny bugs that can do major damage to plants. Their favorite things to feed on include flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees. To repel these insects, spray your plants with an insect control spray, or make your own spray by mixing hot pepper or garlic sauce with water. You can also spray plants with dishwashing soap and water.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs feed on juice from flowers, fruits, and vegetables. These bugs are most prevalent in the summer. Stink bugs will cause fruit to mottle and dimple and distort plants. The best way to prevent an infestation is to get rid of weeds, which are nesting places for stink bugs. Other bugs including wasps and flies will prey on stink bugs.

If you’ve noticed any of these pests in your garden, contact a pest control company like Horizon Pest Control to prevent and treat infestations. A pest control company will know how to get rid of pests without harming your plants.

How to Check for Bed Bugs While Traveling

Filed under: Bed Bug — admin @ 10:00 am August 11, 2016

Bedbug Everyone knows that classic bedtime rhyme: “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” You might laugh or scoff at the idea of bugs in your bed, secure in knowing that your own bed is bug-free.

But can you be so sure when traveling? You don’t know how well your hotel room and bed were cleaned before you got there. A bed bug infestation could even be missed by regular cleaning staff if they don’t check certain places often. The best thing you can do to enjoy your hotel stay and avoid an encounter with bed bugs is to check the room and bed yourself. But first, what are bed bugs?

Knowing a Bed Bug When You See One

Bed bugs are technically public health pests, even though they don’t spread any diseases. They bite you and feed on your blood, resulting in itchiness and irritation. Some people have severe allergic reactions to the bite or develop secondary skin infections. They probably won’t kill you, but at the very least they are extremely annoying to deal with.

If you’re going to check for bed bugs, you should know what they look like. On average, they are five millimeters long (about the size of an apple seed) and are oval and flat, like a squashed football. Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, but younger bugs are smaller and more translucent.

A Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Inspection

Now that you know what bed bugs look like, it’s time to find them. They like to hide in and around beds, especially near the seams of the mattress and box spring. Pull back the covers and sheets of the bed so that you can inspect the mattress and its seams. You’ll be looking for a number of things:

  • Live bed bugs, as described above
  • Rust-colored stains from a bed bug being crushed
  • Tiny eggs or eggshells, or the translucent yellow skin that juvenile bed bugs shed as they grow
  • Fecal spotting, which looks like dots made by a ballpoint pen

Bed bugs also hide in the cracks of bed frames and headboards, so make sure you check those areas, as well.

It’s extremely important that you do this inspection the minute you enter the hotel room. Once you’ve encountered bed bugs, it’s difficult to get rid of them as they are very good hitchhikers—they latch on and follow you wherever you go. Not only do bed bugs affect you, they affect everyone you come into contact with. So do your part and stop the problem before it spreads. Check every hotel room for any sign of bed bugs, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you need help with bed bug control, call Horizon Pest Control. Our pest are trained to look for bed bugs and treat infected sites.

Bed Bugs May Be Growing Resistant to Pesticides

Filed under: Bed Bug,Pest Control — admin @ 10:00 am August 4, 2016

Bed BugCimex lectularius, the common blood-sucking bed bug, continues to plague New York City. The City’s bed bug infestation has not only spread throughout the city in the past years, but has now become so intractable and ubiquitous that the official complaints to the City have become to decrease. Official complaints fell from 7,760 in the first five months of 2012 to 3,950 in 2016. Rather than news of winning the war against the irritating menace, this instead demonstrates that New York City residents have moved from anger and annoyance and onto despair in their war on the tiny vermin.

People are not necessarily complaining to the city about bed bugs any more, but the problem is still there.  Theaters, restaurants, hotels, apartments, hospitals, schools, cabs and buses are all suffering their own widespread infestations and independent testing indicates that the bugs are still found found in high concentrations throughout the city.

Evolving Resistance

The compact nature of the city and the increased human activity of the summer months have both contributed to their continued spread. Apart from the fact that the biting insects are virtually everywhere, the use of weak pesticides has spurred an evolutionary reaction in the NYC bedbugs. In short, they have become resistant to the pesticides used, rendering them far less effective. Just as overuse of antibiotics is allowing resistant bacteria to thrive, creating new antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so too bedbugs are evolving a tolerance for the chemicals used.

The pesticides available to the general public for use against bed bugs are by now almost entirely ineffective. Already among the most chemical tolerant of insect pests, bed bugs in New York are not only developing a biological immunity but also evolving anatomical adaptations as well. Etymologists have observed that the exoskeletons of the pests have thickened to better protect them from contact with the chemicals meant to eradicate them. The misting pesticides in particular help build their tolerance and further the process of evolution first by exposing the bugs to smaller, sometimes nonlethal doses that allow them to build their tolerance to the chemicals and second, by leaving alive the strongest bugs with the thickest exoskeletons.

A recent study on the genetic code specific to the NYC bedbugs examined bed bugs at 1,400 sites. Louis Sorkin, a senior scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural History, found that many bedbugs have a genetic mutation making them resistant to typically bed bug treatments. The academic paper goes on to cite just this phenomenon of evolutionary adaptation due to weak residential pesticides that has helped to guide their evolution, making them stronger in the process.

Direct contact with high doses of some chemicals will kill the some of the bugs, but this direct contact is very difficult to achieve for the average City resident because after a few minutes of the spray’s application, most chemicals have lost their potency and the bed bugs generally only emerge at night when they detect sleeping humans.

What To Do

Avoiding contact is ideal, but with so many infestation vectors now, from public transportation to a hotel room, from a package in the mail to even the entrance of the electric wires, keeping bed bugs out is nearly impossible. The infestation is expected to continue to worsen as City residents continue to accelerate their evolution without actually killing the bugs. Calling a professional bed bug exterminator and looking for effective alternatives to weak pesticides are what experts are recommending.