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Why People Find Bugs to be Scary

Filed under: Bug Control — admin @ 7:00 pm May 13, 2016

pest control njThere are many things that people fear, but fear of insects and bugs, also known as Entomophobia or Acarophobia is one that is very common. Americans spend over 168 million annually on bug repellents alone.

Bugs are known as pests and with good reason. Whether mosquitoes, flies, ants, roaches, bees, ticks, fleas or less common household and outdoor bugs – many will agree that they don’t want them around. If it’s not for the fact that many of them carry and distribute nasty diseases and infections like West Nile or lyme disease, it’s sheerly to prevent annoyance and having bugs crawling on or around food or their families.

Pests like bedbugs – which are commonly an issue in major cities – can also cause quality of life issues and lead to lengthy, costly in depth processes to ensure that the problem is eradicated. The money that can potentially get lost in having to dispose of any infested clothing, blankets or furniture is also a concern.

pest control nj

Add to it that for some, a bite from a particular type of bug, like a bee can be fatal and require immediate medical attention or an EpiPen in order to prevent death or further complications. The fear of getting bitten and having to go through a near death experience can cause anxiety, fear and even trigger a more expanded version of the phobia into other bugs and situations.

Termite infestation in a home can potentially lead to a ton of damage if not caught in time and be a costly problem to fix. In tropical climates, mosquitoes are often much larger in size than in the US and they can carry life threatening diseases, like Malaria. Malaria can be very difficult to prevent as well as to treat. Bites from fleas back in the 14th century, which were carried on the backs of rats caused the devastating spread of the Black Plague, also known as the Black Death in Europe. It was as simple as fleas biting other humans and animals and cross contaminating the victims due to infected blood.

Sufficed to say of the aforementioned facts, a fear of bugs can be a very logical one. So can being proactive to prevent and treat infestation and calling in a team of professional experts if you are experiencing a problem with bugs or pests in your home.  If you need an exterminator in NJ today, call us!

What You Need to Know About Stink Bugs

Filed under: Bug Control — admin @ 6:00 pm April 8, 2016

stink bugsPests come in a wide variety, but the one thing they all have in common is that you don’t want them in your home. Stink bugs are a recent addition to the list of potential problems in the U.S., but their presence is rapidly growing. While you have likely heard of stink bugs before, there is a lot you probably don’t know. Understanding a little more about the bugs can help you prevent an infestation and will better prepare you to handle one if it does occur.

They Aren’t American

Stink bugs are indigenous to Japan, Taiwan and other areas of East Asia. They didn’t first appear in North America until the late 90s. The first reported case was in Allentown, PA in 1998. Since then the population has swarmed, and they infest crops and homes in more than 40 states. American agriculture has been potent for their explosive growth, as they have access to far more farmland here than most of their native regions.

stink bugs prefer fruits and vegetablesThey Prefer Fruits and Vegetables

Stink bugs have proboscis that let them pierce the skin of their food to feed. This makes them harder to control with traditional pesticides, as they ingest far less of substances on the skin of a fruit. Their recent growth has been seen as an epidemic problem for the farming regions in the eastern half of the United States. They eat a much wider range of crops than most pests, and they are much more resilient against extreme weather, so their expansion across the country has been somewhat unprecedented. Aside from their trademark odor, they are most easily identified by the scarring they leave on the fruit they eat, often in the shape of a cat face.

They Are Inactive in Winter

Stink bugs mostly hibernate in the winter, but they will become more active through warm spells. They often hide under rocks and loose foliage, but when the opportunity exists, they enter buildings by the thousands. Crawlspaces, attics and the regions between walls are their normal homes. Preventing them from invading the building is very important, because they can be very difficult to displace once they settle. In recent years they have become resistant to many pesticides and other pest control remedies, so your best bet is to make sure your home is properly sealed. Caulking gaps, screening openings and making sure your building is generally free of openings is essential to preventing an infestation.

If you find yourself faced with a stink bug problem, there are still measures that can be taken. Professionals can remove the bugs and plan treatments that will prevent the problem for returning. For help with your pest control issues, call Horizon Pest Control today!

10 Facts About Assassin Bugs

Filed under: Bug Control — admin @ 4:16 pm December 24, 2015

If the name of these creatures isn’t enough to get your attention, some of the disturbing things that they tend to do surely will be.  Assassin bugs, or reduviidae, are found throughout the world, with over 135 species recognized in North America alone.  Here are ten facts about these insects that you couldn’t make up if you tried.

Assassin Bugs

Assassin BugsFact #1: Assassin bugs are also known as “kissing bugs.”  This isn’t because they’re sweet.  It’s because they like to bite the lips and eyes of humans while they sleep.  Gross.

Fact #2: These bugs not only bite, but their “kiss” can spread a parasite that causes Chagas disease, which can cause damage to major organs, lead to heart failure, and even be fatal.

Fact #3: The appearance of these bugs can vary, from 4 to 40 mm in size and different colors and shapes. This depends on the species.

Fact #4: The mouths of kissing bugs are formed for the piercing and sucking of juices from its victim’s body.  Their beak has a tube inside that allows it to transfer its poisonous saliva.

Fact #5: A reduviidae can kill a cockroach in 3-4 seconds and a caterpillar in just 10 seconds.

Fact #6: The front legs of an assassin bug are also designed for its predatory activities. They provide a strong grip on its prey and have sticky pads on thousands of tiny hairs.

Fact #7: Females are the best hunters because they need more protein in their diet in order to lay eggs.

Fact #8: Assassin bugs can be devious hunters, using the bodies of dead prey to attract new victims.

Fact #9: When born, these bugs are wingless nymphs and have to grow and molt four times before reaching adult insect size.

Fact #10: Kissing bugs perform what is called external digestion.  They inject their toxins into their victim’s body, wait for the body contents of their prey to liquefy, and then suck out the contents with their straw-like mouth parts.

Kissing Bugs in Your Home

As if that list wasn’t disturbing enough, the final insult is that these guys are pretty prevalent.   Often, they will nest in the woods near rodents and other insects but they are also attracted to humans and the bright lights of houses at night.  As they work their way into your home, they’ll find a cool, dark place to hide during the day and then come out at night in search of food.  They’ve been known to hide between mattresses.

Keeping these bugs out of your home requires sealing up the home against pests and securing your perimeter.   Screens on doors and windows, as well as bug-safe light bulbs, are a help as well.  Pest control for these creatures is always recommended as their bite can dangerous.  Worried about assassin bugs? Call Horizon Pest Control at 888.612.2847 today!

Photo: Assassin bug by gbohne, used under CC BY-SA 2.0/resized from original

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Kissing Bugs Pose Serious Health Risks

Filed under: Bug Control — admin @ 4:08 pm December 22, 2015

Kissing BugKissing bugs, also known as assassin bugs, have made headlines recently as outbreaks have been reported all across the country. Everywhere you look it seems the insects have infested the news. They are dangerous and pose a serious risk to your health.

Kissing bugs bite both people and dogs, they are blood suckers and they get their name from the fact that they like to bite people around their mouth and eyes, specifically.

While experts at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) say the public health threat is low, there is reason to be concerned.

The creatures sometimes carry Chagas Disease, a parasitic disease that’s typically found in South America, and has a high mortality rate. Symptoms include swelling around the bite site, and the infection can affect the heart and cause digestive issues.

The bites are similar in appearance to mosquito bites and typically happen at night while you are sleeping. The bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale while breathing.

According to the World Health Organization, “Chagas disease presents itself in 2 phases. The initial, acute phase lasts for about 2 months after infection. During the acute phase, a high number of parasites circulate in the blood but in most cases symptoms are absent or mild. During the chronic phase, the parasites are hidden mainly in the heart and digestive muscles. In later years the infection can lead to sudden death or heart failure caused by progressive destruction of the heart muscle and its nervous system.”

Are you at risk? Eleven native species of the kissing bug exist in the Americas, most of which are capable of transmitting Chagas. But there are other ways, including a blood transfusion, to get disease.

Dr. Melissa Nolan Garcia, a researcher at Baylor College of Medicine who has researched the disease, said newer active screenings at blood banks across the nation have drawn attention to the disease. “There haven’t been any cases of transfusion-transmitted Chagas disease since the introduction of blood donor screening, so the system seems to be working,” she told Wired.

Worried about kissing bugs? Call the NJ Pest Control Experts, Horizon Pest Control, today for a FREE INSPECTION!

Photo: Kissing Bug (Triatoma sp.) by  Glenn Seplak, used under CC BY 2.0/resized from original

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10 Facts About Kissing Bugs

Filed under: Bug Control — admin @ 11:58 am December 18, 2015

Assassin BugsAlso known as triatominae, kissing bugs are a subfamily of Reduviidae family and also go by the names, the assassin and conenose bug. Wondering if your home is plagued with these pests? Read the following 10 facts about kissing bugs to find out.

Fact  1: A plethora of species- There are approximately 140 species of kissing bugs in existence which all evolved from a Reduviidae predator.

Fact  2: They don’t kiss, they suck- They’re called “kissing bugs” because they are known for killing their prey by injecting them with highly potent toxins that liquefy the insides of the prey so they can be sucked out by the predator.

Fact  3: Only 2 species are most-known for infecting humans- There are only 2 species that most affect humans, the Triatomini and Rhodniini. These 2 tribes likely evolved from the same ancestor.

Fact  4: There’s a ‘kissing bug season’- The adults actually engage in migratory flight. ‘Kissing bug season’ begins mid-spring and continues on until the end of the summer. There is sometimes a second peak season, which occurs during mid-September. This is also the time in which they often invade homes.

Fact  5: The creeps come out at night- These bugs are essentially nocturnal. They come out for feeding and traveling at night.

Fact  6: They love it when you ‘leave the light on’– Given that these bugs typically fly out after dusk, kissing bugs are attracted to the brilliance of porch and window lights.

Fact  7: They hide under beds- These bugs often seek refuge between mattresses, daybeds, futons, and other tight spaces where potential prey frequent.

Fact  8: They can cause Chagas disease- A horrific disease that can cause damage to the heart and central nervous system, kissing bugs, bed bugs, and other blood sucking parasites are known for causing this disease.

Fact  9: Most humans are usually allergic- Most people have moderate to severe allergic reaction to the bites of kissing bugs. The most common culprit behind insect bites that result in the medical emergency known as anaphylaxis, people with severe allergies are often rushed to the hospital for treatment of low blood pressure and other unfavorable side effects.

Fact  10: They can remain undetected for a while- Depending on the size and composition of your home, these bugs can remain undetectable for some time. This is due the fact that only visibly seeing the bugs or the brown/black spots they leave from feces.

Overall, if you suspect that you have kissing bugs, steer clear of the area and contact an bug extermination expert that you can trust.

Photo: Assassin bug by gbohne, used under CC BY-SA 2.0/resized from original

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Pesticides vs. Natural Chemicals To Kill Bugs

Filed under: Bug Control — Megan Howard @ 1:29 am March 3, 2015

Pesticide vs Natural Chemicals

The use of pesticide versus natural chemicals has long been debated. Although insecticides and natural chemicals both have their own advantages, most of those who want to effectively get rid of different insects and bugs would want to know which one of them is the most effective. The reason that this debate falls much into a gray region is because both of them need to be classified according to its usage and the case where it is going to be used. If it is going to be used for the home, most would first consider using natural pesticides, but for large outdoor infestations, it may be practical to use pesticides.

To explain, natural chemicals are made by nature while its counterpart synthetic chemicals are made by humans, different from what nature naturally uses. Synthetic chemicals or insecticides have long been thought to be more toxic than natural chemicals. But, further studies revealed that it is not so. Consumers have been bombarded with continuous advertisement about the positive effects of natural chemicals when it comes to killing bugs, while blaming the potency of pesticides.

A lot of misconception about pesticides being more toxic than natural substances have long been in the minds of people, which is why natural substances are more popular than ever. While it may be true, our long battle against bugs will never end, in fact, an increase of different bugs migrating in our country has now been seen. An increase of affected areas where bed bugs have been infesting have also been seen. Is it because, we are now more afraid of using strong pesticides to combat pests?

Natural Products

There are a lot of natural products that you can use to effectively get rid of pests. Killing insects the natural way and without any toxic chemicals is indeed good for the environment, good for you and your family, and will also be good for your pets.

Diatomaceous Earth

This natural product can be used to stop many different types of bugs and is an effective killer against them. Although the product is soft to the touch, for insects they will be subjected to tiny razor blades piercing them. This natural product will get rid of the exoskeleton of the bug and will expose their internal organs. They will die because of dehydration as their skins are exposed.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is mostly poisonous to any type of insect. This product is mostly used to kill colonies. For instance, with ants, boric acid is used as a bait where it will be combined with a sweet food, which ants will be glad to take back home. Once they give the food to the other workers to eat, the workers will also die. And, as they pass food, the bait will soon be given to the queen. Once the queen eats the bait, she will die, and the rest of the colony will follow.

Pesticides

Pesticides are commonly recommended these days, when natural means do not work. Pesticides are chemically designed to kill different types of pests, and are mostly used in farms, gardens, or other agricultural crops. Some homeowners also use chemical products to get rid of pests. The up side to pesticides is that they are easy to use, and are known to be effective in killing different bugs. However, it is still necessary to read the instructions before using the product, and contemplate longer on where the use of pesticides is most effective versus natural substances.

It is still up to the homeowner whether they will use pesticide or natural chemicals to combat their pest problems. As said, the debate on whether which one is more effective is still considered a gray matter since our choices may reflect the case you are in, the severity of the bug infestation, your health, and those who are around you.

Horizon Pest Control provides year-round protection for your home against pests. Call us today and learn more about our NJ Pest Control Services.

 

8 Bugs and Pests to Watch For In The Spring

Filed under: Bug Control,Pest Control — Megan Howard @ 1:28 am February 24, 2015

As the cold weather subsides, expect that different pests will emerge. Here are some of the most common bugs and pests that are getting ready for a comeback this spring:

AntsAnts

Once spring comes, different ants will begin to emerge that may soon infest your home. Ants are beneficial when they are outside since they can compost dead vegetation. However, they can be a nuisance when they bring sand from beneath your concrete. When they enter gaps and cracks around your home, they will look for means to find food, water and shelter. It is important to take action when these ants are creating homes outdoors, or gaining entry indoors.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches hate spring outdoors because as the sun warms up, their home will be limited, as they will not have as many dark and damp places to hide. This is when they will start to find a dark and moist home. A great criterion of home for them includes damp, dark places with easy access to food and water, making your home the perfect spot for them.

Ticks

Be alert for ticks this spring since ticks will be active during this time. Ticks will be in gardens, camping sites, outdoor places, and can even be found inside homes. When the warmer months start, these ticks will start laying eggs. Eggs are already starting to hatch at this time and we may find visible adults soon. Having these ticks can be dangerous for most people because they have the potential to transmit Lyme disease after being attached to their host for 36 to 48 hours.

Termites

Termites may soon find their way indoors this spring since it is their time to swarm and create their colonies. When these termites create their colony inside a home structure, they will eat the cellulose material found in wood, which can create serious and costly damage to your home. The damage caused by these pests may even significantly reduce the property value of a home, especially if they are left unchecked and untreated.

Stinging Insects

Wasps, hornets and wild bees are considered stinging insects. Just like any other insects, these stinging insects will soon create their homes this coming spring. They will build nests on, in, and even under buildings and homes, but they normally create their nests hanging from eaves or from branches of trees. All these stinging insects provide a special role in our ecosystem and should be protected, especially in the case of the honeybee. While conservations are made for these insects, they can also create problems mostly when they create their nests in our homes, or when hornets or wasps start attacking people.

Spiders

While spiders are solitary creatures, they will soon have plenty of little ones emerging when spring arrives. The reason that your home will soon welcome spiders this coming spring is because they already entered your home last fall. If you are in search for them before the spring comes, look in your closets, attic, basement, crawl spaces, and other secluded areas where they can find for food at night.

Cluster FlyCluster Flies

Cluster flies look the same as house flies, although they are bigger and slower than flies. They also have a different life cycle than house flies. These flies usually breed during the late spring into early summer, but adult flies may appear clustering around windows during the spring warm months. They are mostly irritating to homeowners since they gather in large numbers while staying in rooms that are not commonly used.

Mosquitoes

Once the winter is gone, mosquitoes and their eggs will soon emerge. Mosquitoes are considered dangerous and are known to kill people especially if they are carrying dangerous pathogens that they can transmit to their victims. Although mosquitoes may disappear during the winter, they have already laid eggs that will hatch and survive during spring. Moisture created by spring rains and melting snow will allow these mosquitoes to thrive, thus affecting us in the process.

While it is all natural for these pests to arrive any time soon, it is necessary to keep them in control so that your home will stay protected from them. Any signs that these pests are creating infestations, make certain to ask help from a pest control specialist so that they can remove these unwanted pests for you.

Call Horizon Pest Control today to avoid these pests and bugs this spring! Go to Residential Pest Control Services and schedule an appointment with us today.

The Impact of the Polar Vortex on Bug Population

Filed under: Bug Control,Pest Control — admin @ 7:51 am January 16, 2015

Bug ControlThanks to the polar vortex, the population of unwanted pests may soon decline. However, the decrease in this bug population may still depend on several factors. Their location, soil moisture, their prey at each location, and the issue of reproduction will also affect the rise or decline of their population regardless of the polar vortex.

Location

Insects that are above ground, such as bagworms, and stays on tree branches, like praying mantis, can be in danger when the cold temperatures set in. Insects that are in the ground may still be spared, but will still depend on whether the insect is freeze avoidant or tolerant.

Insects, as most acknowledge, are some of the most resilient creatures. They are known to survive harsh weather conditions when other creatures are dying. Bugs which are freeze-avoidant can be tolerant to cold temperatures, but they are still prone to dying, especially when the temperatures go below the freezing points of their body fluids. Bugs such as aphids, adelgids, pine beetles, ticks, and the likes are not exactly safe from the polar vortex since they are freeze-avoidant.

Freeze tolerant insects on the other hand, can survive harsh cold weather and may even survive when 65 percent of their fluid from their body turn to ice. Insects that are freeze-tolerant are cockroaches, wooly caterpillars, and midges. They do not die during winter and will not be affected by the polar vortex.

Soil moisture

Bugs differ from types and species. Some insects are better at storing and preventing water loss while others do not.

Predators

Insects that are eaten by bats, birds, skunks and other creatures during the summer may be killed during the harsh winter months, which in a way will benefit the bugs since they will have more room to multiply. While some bugs will be killed by the freezing weather, other predators that eat these insects may also die off proportionally, evening the playing field.

Bug Reproduction

When spring arrives and bugs return to their natural way of living, the effects of the harsh weather conditions during the insect egg laying will be overshadowed with what happened during winter. Even with the polar vortex or even during subzero temperatures, the effect on the bug’s population during the summer may not be affected.

The population growth of bugs and the effect of subzero temperatures can truly affect insects in different ways. It is difficult, however, to predict the outcome of the bug population during summer. Certain species may be affected by the reduction of the population, especially when a deeper freeze lasts longer. Unfortunately we just have to wait and see how these bugs are affected by the polar vortex. Some insects are expected to survive well, while others will not be as lucky. However, one thing is for certain, they will definitely return. They always do!

Tired of dealing with bugs in or around your property? Call Horizon Pest Control today! To schedule a FREE appointment, go to Residential Pest Control Services or Commercial Pest Control Services.

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Will Bugs Start to Die Out When the Winter Comes?

Filed under: Bug Control — Megan Howard @ 9:01 am January 6, 2014

Will Bugs Start to Die Out When the Winter Comes

Most of us think that we are safe from bugs when the winter comes since we do not commonly see insects during the cold winter. Most assume that they die off during the cold months. But if they do, how come we still find them as soon as the winter ends? They must be hiding somewhere if they are still alive. Different types of bugs tend to migrate during the cold months. For instance, monarch butterflies, leafhoppers, and milkweed bugs migrate south during the fall to avoid the harsh winter conditions. Others hideaway while still creating eggs in case they die off. Some, like bed bugs, are not affected by the cold winter at all.

Understanding the Survival of Bugs During Winter

Eggs. During the winter months, some insects die. Some bugs like moths, wasps, mosquitoes may also die during the winter months, but not until they have made eggs for the coming spring, like the bagworm. These eggs are mostly placed in safe hiding places where they will survive as the next generation of bugs.

Young. Once these eggs hatch, they will spend their winter days as larvae or nymphs. Bugs such as cicadas and June beetles will spend their days in the winter as a larvae and they will stop growing until the spring comes. If you want to search young bugs during the winter months, look for them on sumac trees or bushes. It is possible that you will find these bugs asleep because they are still hibernating.

Pupae. Other insects will spend their winter months as pupae, such as the cocoons of moths. You can find them on trees and bushes.

Adults. You can find yellow jacket or hornet queens, overwintering. They will mostly emerge during the spring like the ladybird beetle. These bugs will search for a protected place to sleep, and once the weather normalizes for them, they will come activate and create their colonies.

Most insects stay all year round, but it will depend on the type of insect and the stage they are in during the winter months. These bugs will have different techniques to survive the cold winter, or they can even enter homes to over-winter. Bugs such ladybird beetles, cluster flies, elm leaf beetles, and box-elder bugs may stay in homes as adults and overwinter in wall voids, attics, and places where they will not be disturbed or discovered.

Being Cautious with Bugs even During Winter

While most bugs will not become a nuisance during winter, and we may feel safe from them for some time, this does not mean that they cannot invade our homes. Some bugs may overwinter inside a home since our house is a good hiding place for them. Bed bugs in particular will die eventually if they are trapped outdoors and are constantly in snow. However, if bed bugs find their way inside your home, they may not die since they have already gained access to your home’s heat.

The way you take care of your home during spring, make sure that you do the same in winter. Be observant about the possibility of your home getting bugs and how to control them if they have mistakenly entered your premises. These bugs will search for a place to stay dry and warm, and your home is the perfect place for that.

Are bugs invading your yard or garden? To get rid of these pests, sign-up for Horizon’s Yard Guard Service. Call Horizon today to schedule a FREE inspection.

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