Posts Tagged ‘Bug Busters USA’

Dung Beetles Gallop—Mystery Gait is a First Among Insects

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Critter Crafts – Worms in Dirt

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

EPA | PestWise

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

PestWise is a collaborative suite of EPA partnership programs that promote environmental innovation in pest management where we live, work, learn, play, and farm. More About Us >>


Atlanta Bed Bug Exterminator

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Click the image below to learn about bed bug control.

WNV Infographic

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Click the infographic to enlarge!

Tawny crazy ants found in Georgia

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Tawny crazy ants found in Georgia

There’s a new pest in the Peach State, and it promises an “ant from hell scenario.”

The University of Georgia Extension agent James Morgan found tawny crazy ants in Dougherty County. The ant comes from South America and previously was found only in a few counties in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. No one knows how the ant made its way to the United States or how it got to Georgia, UGA said.

Morgan found the ants at an assisted living facility after the director called the UGA Extension office for help controlling the insect.

“What I found was thousands of dead ants in a pile in the corner of the bathroom floor,” Morgan said. “The duplex was vacant, and the ants had come in looking for a food source. When they came in, they died and we found hundreds of them piled up around baseboards and in corners.”

Morgan also found droves of the ants in an outbuilding.

“We found them in the lawn on debris and dead wood, and we traced them back to a storage area that was full of appliances,” he said.

Accustomed to identifying Argentine ants, fire ants and other ants common to Georgia, Morgan knew these ants were different.

“They’re reddish in color, very tiny, and they run around and scurry really fast. And they don’t march in a straight row like Argentine ants,” Morgan said.

He sent a sample to UGA entomologist Dan Suiter, an Extension specialist in urban entomology housed on the UGA campus in Griffin, Ga. The samples were confirmed as tawny crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva) by taxonomist Joe MacGown at the Mississippi Entomological Museum. About one-eighth-of-an-inch long, tawny crazy ants are slightly larger in size than Argentine ants and have erratic foraging patterns.

The ant is classified as a nuisance because of its attraction to electricity and because it travels in masses. It likes to get into electrical boxes, Suiter said.

Large accumulations of the ant can cause short circuits and clog switching mechanisms, which can result in electrical shortages in phone lines, air conditioning units, chemical-pipe valves, computers, security systems and other electrical locations, UGA warned.

“Most people will be overwhelmed by the number of tawny crazy ants they’ll find. It’ll be through the roof,” he said. “They’ll come in your house, and it becomes a kind of ‘ant from hell’ scenario.”

Suiter said once an ant species gets established, it’s “really hard to dislodge them.”

To discourage the new ant species and other pests from entering a home, Morgan recommends searching for and sealing any cracks around doors and windows. Due to large populations, the tawny crazy ant typically requires a pest management professional, UGA said.

The Occasional Invaders

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Occasional invaders are pests that find their way into your home once in a while. They are typically looking for food, warmth, or just lost their way and stumbled into your home.  Traditionally they are not disease-spreading pests and will not cause any kind of structural damage to your property.

Ladybugs, boxelder bugs, spiders, and cluster flies are all examples of this type of pests.

The good news about occasional invaders is that once they are inside they don’t reproduce or feed, but are just a nuisance with their presence.  Some of these pests, like the ladybug, are actually beneficial pests! Remind yourself of this as you scoop them up from your windowsills during the winter months. Ladybugs feed on a wide range of insects making them a pest that you want to have around – just not INSIDE your home!

The best strategy for dealing with occasional invaders is preventing them from penetrating your home. However, once they are already inside, depending on your tolerance level you can remove small amounts of nuisance pests simply by vacuuming them up.  If there are too many pests inside or if you have a lower pest tolerance, a pest control professional will be able to assist you in controlling your infestation.  Just remember, if you vacuum them up you should remove the bag when finished. Seal it in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.

What steps can homeowners take to reduce the likelihood of occasional invaders inside their homes?

There are many steps homeowners can take to reduce the likelihood of occasional invaders:

  • Keep all kitchen areas clean (including floors) and free of useless clutter. Kitchen appliances should be kept free of spills and crumbs. Clean shelves regularly and store foods such as cereal, flour, and dog food in resealable containers.
  • Periodically sweep and vacuum floor areas in the kitchen, under furniture, and around dining areas.
  • Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be stored in sealed containers and disposed of regularly.
  • Seal cracks, crevices, and other gaps around doors and windows. Doors and windows should always be kept closed or well screened.
  • Check pipes and pipe areas around the house for leaks, cracks and gaps and seal and patch any problems if necessary. Leaky faucets should also be fixed.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. If you have mold and mildew in your home or office crawlspace, it’s a symptom of an excess moisture problem.
  • Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly. Insects have also been known to come in on potted plants and in luggage.

How to Avoid an Insect Sting

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Preventing the Sting

The best way to avoid the sting is to avoid attracting stinging insects in the first place.

  • Trim vegetation near your home, as thick vegetation may provide nesting places for wasps and bees. Yellowjackets and wasps often nest in ground under porches. If you, or a family member, are allergic to bee stings, it’s best to keep flowering plants to a minimum on the property.
  • Overseed grassy areas to get better coverage, as this will deter ground-nesting insects.
  • Keep garbage in sealed receptacles and thoroughly rinse soda cans and other containers before placing them in recycling or garbage receptacles.
  • Do not leave sweet drinks or meats in accessible areas and serve drinks in clear cups so you can easily spot an insect before you sip. Keep food covered in outdoor areas and be sure to remove food and trash after picnics and outdoor events.
  • Note that DEET and other insect repellents are not effective against bees, wasps and hornets.
  • Do not swat at stinging insects as it may provoke them. Instead gently blow on it from a distance.
  • If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat. Do not try to do it yourself.

Crank It Up A kickoff party celebrating Camp Twin Lakes’ 8th Annual Spin For Kids!

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Crank It Up A kickoff party celebrating Camp Twin Lakes’ 8th Annual Spin For Kids!

Join Camp Twin Lakes, SweetWater Brewing Company and Yacht Rock Revue at Crank It Up
A kickoff party celebrating Camp Twin Lakes’
8th Annual Spin For Kids!
Friday, October 4 from 7:30-11:00 PM
Greystone at Piedmont Park
$35 in Advance or $45 at the Door
Get your smooth on with a live concert from Yacht Rock Revue at the Greystone venue inside of Atlanta’s scenic Piedmont Park. Enjoy brews from the good folks at SweetWater, wine and on-site food trucks, along with a raffle full prizes from Spin For Kids’ sponsors.Tickets include admission to the show and unlimited beer and wine. All proceeds from the event benefit Camp Twin Lakes’ Spin For Kids and our efforts to help provide life changing experiences to children facing serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges.
Check this out: If you’ve already signed up for the 2013 Spin For Kidsride and have raised $500 in donations by October 4, you will receive free admission to the event as a thank you!For more info or to register for Spin For Kids, visit Special thanks to our sponsors SweetWater Brewery, Yacht Rock Revue, The Piedmont Park Conservancy, and Nelson Mullins, LLP.

Brown Window, Golden Silk Spiders Creep Northward in Alabama

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 Brown Window, Golden Silk Spiders Creep Northward in Alabama

Two spiders whose habitats used to be only in the tropics or coastal regions of the southern United States have made a move into central Alabama and northward.

One is the venomous cousin of the black widow, the brown widow.

The other is the eye-catching golden silk orbweaver, or banana spider.

A class from Samford University found a golden silk spider last week at Oak Mountain State Park, said Kristin Bakkegard, a biology and environmental sciences professor. Others have been found previously in the area and as far north as Florence, she said.

“It’s closest relatives are generally tropical, South America, Africa, Australia — this is the only member of this group in North America, she said. “It has traditionally been around the coastline. In Texas and Florida, it is relatively common down there, but not here.”

The golden silk orbweaver finds suggest climate change may be pushing the spider’s range northward, and the spider “may be a model species to track climate change,” Bakkegard asserted in a 2012 paper published in Southeastern Naturalist.

The brown widow, too, is believed to have originated in the tropics, but Mike Howell, a retired Samford professor and spider expert, found one in 2009 in the Altadena area of suburban Birmingham. At that point it was rare to even find them in the southern region of the state, said Howell, who co-authored “Spiders of the Eastern United States: A Photographic Guide” with Samford colleague Ronald Jenkins, now deceased.

“When we found it we hypothesized it came up with a load of furniture from Florida or somewhere,” Howell said. “Florida, California, has a lot of these guys.”

But then they found one on Red Mountain north of Homewood, then one in Vestavia Hills.

“The one we found in Vestavia had seven egg sacs which very likely would be several hundred spiders” when hatched, he said.

Finds in Pinson convinced him. The brown widow is here.

The brown widow has distinct egg sacs, which are white and round with little spikes coming off them “like World War II landmines in the ocean,” Howell said.

Like the black widow, the brown widow has a distinct hourglass on its belly, but it tends to be yellow or orange, not red. Also like the black widow, the brown widow’s bite contains a neurotoxin, but by most accounts the spider’s bite isn’t as serious as the black widow’s.

A Florida extension service website, in partnership with the University of Florida, said the venom of the brown widow is actually more potent than the black widow, but the spider doesn’t inject as much of it, so its effects are less severe.

Ann Slattery, supervisor of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama hospital, said while have received calls over the years regarding black widow and brown recluse bites, she doesn’t know of someone specifically referencing a brown widow. But the protocol for treatment would be the same, she said.

As for the golden silk orbweaver, it certainly is no threat to anything unless you are a fly or a mosquito.

“They are impressive beautiful animals,” Bakkegard said. “I hope people will leave them alone and let them do their thing.”

Not only do they eat bug pests, but the spiders also serve as food to birds and wasps, she said.

“And hummingbirds use spider webs to make their nests,” she said.