PEST OF THE MONTH – Boxelder Bug
An adult boxelder bug is about 1/2 inch long with wings that lay flat over their bodies, overlapping each other to form an ‘X’. There are red veins in the wings and the abdomen is bright red under the wings. They are black with orange or red markings, including three stripes on the prothorax (the area right behind the head). The head is black with the “beak” or proboscis reddish-orange and the long, thin, four-segmented antennae are half as long as the body. An immature nymph is 1/16th inch long and bright red when they first hatch.Eggs are dark reddish-brown. As they grow, they become larger,a nd turn red and black. Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance when they enter homes and other buildings. They often travel in large numbers. Fortunately, they don’t bite people and are fundamentally harmless to a property. When profuse, they can stain walls, curtains, and other surfaces with their excrement. Occasionally, some may seek moisture and may be found around houseplants, although they rarely attack them. In a few casses when they do feed, boxelder bugs are very unlikely to injure indoor plants.
During the autumn months, adult and large nymph boxelder bugs congregate in large numbers, primarily on the bark of box elder trees, and then begin migrating to a lace conducive to overwintering. Only full-grown adults overwinter, moving to hibernation sites either by crawling or flying. They may crawl from a nearby tree or fly as many as two miles to find shelter. These bugs hide in cracks and crevices in walls, in door and window casings, around foundations, in stone piles, in tree holes, and in other protected places. On warm days during winter and early spring, they sometimes reappear on light-painted surfaces outdoors on the south and west sides of the house, resting in the sun. Overwintering adults leave their hibernating quarters with the coming of warm weather, and females begin laying eggs in crevices of tree bark, stones, leaves, grasses, and on other objects near host plants. Eggs hatch in 11 to 19 days, with bright-red nymphs appearing about the same time new tree leaves develop. In July, new adults lay eggs that result in a second generation by early autumn. Boxedler bugs feed primarily on the seed-bearing box elder trees by sucking sap from the leaves, tender twigs, and developing seeds. They have occasionally been observed feeding on ash, maple, plum, cherry, apple, peach, grape, and strawberries, causing some scarring or dimpling of fruits. However, box elder bugs seldom develop in large enough numbers to become a nuisance, unless able to feed on seed bearing box elder trees. They do little actual feeding damage to box elder trees. There may be one to two generations per year.
The boxelder bug will eat up all soft parts of the box elder tree including leaves, stems, or even flowers. The boxelder bug will invade homes only in the winter looking for places to hibernate in. They do not cause any harm to humans but do leave behind large spots in the places they invade with their excreta. The boxelder bug usually will try to hibernate in the crevices of walls during the cooler seasons but when it is warmer they become more active and invade homes. The boxedler bug can be easily managed if populations get out of hand.
Bed bugs are small, oval, non-flying insects that feed off of the blood of humans or animals. The adult bed bug can reach 5-7 mm in lenth, while the nymphs are as small as 1.5 mm. Bed bugs have flat bodies and may be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color and appear more reddish after feeding on a blood meal. Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding on a meal. The wings of the bed bug are vestigial, so they cannot fly.
Bed bugs were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT in the 1940s and 1950s. They are increasing recently due to the restrictions on the use of stronger pesticides. While bed bugs are often reported to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals are nesting on or near a home, bed bugs can also live and thrive in clean environments. Crowded living quarters also facilitate the spread of bed bugs. Bed bugs can live in any area of a home and can reside in tiny cracks of furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture. They are most commonly in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including box springs, mattresses, and bed frames. Bed bugs can also be found in curtains, corners inside dressers and other furniture, edges of carpet, cracks in wallpaper, and inside the spaces of wicker furniture. Bed bugs can be found in vacant homes because they can live for months without feeding.
Bed bugs live in any article of furniture, clothing, or bedding, therefore they or their eggs may be present in used furniture or clothing. This is the reason why people are recommended not to buy any used furniture or clothing from anyone unless you wash it thoroughly! They spread by crawling and may contaminate mutiple rooms in a home or even multiple dwellings in apartment buildings. Bed bugs may also reside in boxes, suitcases, or other goods that are moved from residence to residence or from hotel to home. Therefore, you should never put your suitcase or luggage on the floor of a hotel room. Always put it up on a shelf in a closet or on a table. The bed bugs will crawl into your suitcase or luggage if it is left on the floor or bed and they are residing there. Bed bugs can live on clothing from infested homes and may be spread by a person unknowingly wearing infested clothing.
If you do have bed bugs and are getting bit, it is best to get a treatment from a pest control company as soon as possible. There is no treatment for the bites of a bed bug, but if you have severe itching you may use a steroid cream or oral antihistmine to relieve the symptom.
We at Northwest Delmarva Pest service bed bugs!
- We provide 3 services for bed bugs within a 90 day period. These services consist of 2 spray and fogs and a final spray.
- We spray all the carpets, floors, base boards, box springs, and head boards.
- We fog the entire living area.
- Prior to entering the house all doors and windows should be opened and be left open for at least one hour.
- The price for treatment does very depending on the size of house and how bad prolem or infestation is.
- The price starts at $200 per bed room; $150 for living areas.
Procedures to do before and after treatment
- Clean and dry all clothes/sheets and put into a plastic bag. Spray Lysol in the bag and tie it up. Take it out of the house until all bed bugs are gone.
- Vacuum the floors twice and throw all the vacuum bags in outside trash immediately after vacuuming.
- Flip beds and box springs over.
- Keep everything off the floor and away from the walls.
- Vacuum furniture, turn over cushions, strip sofa beds and leave open.
- Clean all toys in tub with hot water.
- Any stuffed animals, pillows, or any toys that cannot go into the water stick into dryer for 30 minutes on high heat or send to dry cleaner.
- Leave drawers open when emptied.
- All hats, gloves, coats, sweaters, and linens put into dryer for 30 minutes on high heat. We recommend laundry mates that have larger dryers.
- Soak all brushes and combs in hot water with a little bit of ammonia.
- Leave nothing under the beds, and no clothes in drawers or closets.
- Wash everything, put into bags, and get them out of the house until bed bugs are gone.
- All pets should be out of the house for 3 hours after treatment.
There are three types of stink bugs common in the Maryland and Pennsylvania areas. Try not to handle them and be careful if you do because many species of the stink bug are able to inflict a nasty bite! As you may know, the stink bug does release a nasty smell. The smell allows them to avoid being eaten by birds and lizards. They release it onto any surface that they land on. The odor that they release is one of the main reasons they will return year after year to any place which is used for hibernating. It is best to get rid of any stink bugs if they start hibernating in your home before the infestation gets out of control. Stink bugs release strong odors which linger for 6 months or more and these ordors will serve as attractants to stink bugs which hibernated in the building in the past as well as new stink bugs looking for a good place to reside for the upcoming winter.
- The Southern Green Stink Bug is bright green and measures 14.0 to 19.0 mm long.
- The Green Stink Bug is bright green with a yellow-orange line and measures 14.0 to 19.0 mm long.
- The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is the most commonly known stink bug that is brownish yellow in color and measures 12.0 to 15.0 mm long.
All stink bugs feed on over 52 plants including; native and ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, weeds, cultivated crops, and wild plants. Stink bugs will settle in around any garden or landscape rich with plants and flowers. The young stink bug goes through 5 stages to reach adulthood and this will occur in about three months. During this time they will feed on just about anything available. Plant juices like honeydew seem to be their choice of food but they will feed on tomatoes, corn, peppers, cabbage, beans, and any type of fruit. They can cause all kinds of damage to any garden. Most of the damage will occur to juicy vegetables and fruit.
Stink bugs are active in the spring when the temperature is over 70 degrees. Each female deposits up to several thousand eggs usually in mid-late June. The eggs are laid in clusters (averaging 36 eggs) primarily on leaves and stems but also are commonly known to lay eggs in the seals of windows. It takes five weeks for the Nymphs to mature. Since young take about three months to mature, they are generally old enough to mate in the beginning of the summer and will lay another batch of eggs that will emerge to reach adulthood before the end of the year. The stink bug reaches high population levels in September or early October. The longer growing season of the south enables the stink bug to reproduce better and longer duting the year so the South harbors the highest populations.
Stink bugs hibernate during cold winter months and will emerge in the spring as temperatures rise. Stink bugs will live a few years so adults which find themselves too far north will hibernate on buildings which help to provide some warmth. The Stink bug is attracted to light and will find their way into homes during the long summer nights when porch and deck lights are on and doors are being opened and closed. They will work their way under siding, into soffits, around window and door frames, under roof shingles, and into any crawl space or attic vent which has openings small enough for them to fit in. The warmth of the house will attract them.
There is no way to control the stink bugs due to very high numbers of population that they spread out all over the yard or house. If you see them around your yard, you may prevent them from getting into your home by spraying Lysol in the cracks of your windows during the winter months. This will keep the stink bugs from laying eggs in your home, and may also kill any eggs that they have already laid in the windows.
There are other treatments to get rid of stink bugs that our business uses to treat for stink bugs. There is a product clled PERMETHRIN that is used to treat plants for stink bugs.
This product has a strong smell but it combines several materials together and gives you great plant coverage. This treatment will usually last 2-4 weeks. There are a few treatments for stink bugs that our company can use for the interior of a home. The product, CYPERMETHRIN, that is used when the stink bugs leave the home during the day for food. Cypermethrin is easy to use and will kill them quickly as well as repel them. Most homes will require 2-3 gallons to get good coverage and will have 1 or 2 sides which are the main entry points for the stink bugs. Cypermethrin should be sprayed on as many sides as possible for best treatment because stink bugs will moved to untreated sides of your home to search for other sources of entry. The aerosol treatment called BAYGON comes with a crack and crevice straw which allows you to apply it to window frames, base mouldings, door frames, around light fixtures, and any other route of entry they might be using to get inside your home. Baygon will kill them quickly since it is a contact killer but it will also chase out any stink bugs that are hiding in wall voids. The rooms where you have activity the most, you should treat with Baygon once a week until no new ones are found. You should treat your home with Baygon a few times in the early winter. Baygon can be bought at some stores for your use.
There is another treatment to get rid of stink bugs that is used for attics, crawl spaces, and wall voids, that our company does not use, but you can find in some stores. The product DELTAMETHRIN DUST is very helpful for these large areas since liquid or aerosol will not work well due to the absorbing nature of the wood and insulation. Apply the dust with a DUSTIN MIZER. It will enable you to blow the dust over 20 feet ensuring good coverage over large open areas where stink bugs will crawl and penetrate. This application will last 6-12 months. Deltamethrin Dust works in either dry or wet environments allowing you to kill stink bugs in any area you may find them. The dust will leave a white residue which can be cleaned easily with a damp rag but applications will last much longer than the aerosol. You can use the dust for treating behind light switch plate covers, electric switch plate covers, and other spaces where you suspect stink bugs are entering. Appying the dust with a HAND DUSTER will allow you to get the dust 2-3 feet deep into wall voids which offers great nest and hibernating locations.
If you are painting or staining wood, it is best to get some NBS PAINT/STAIN ADDITIVE for some long term stink bug repellency. NBS is helpful when painting or staining wood that has been a winter nest site for stink bugs. NBS can be added to any paint or stain and will last 1-2 years adding long term repellency to the exterior coating.
If you see winged, ant-like insects flying around your property, you need to know whether they are ants or subterranean termites. Your house could be in danger. Subterranean termites account for over 2.5 billion in treatments and damage annually. No pest is more threatening to a structure than termites. Even if your building or home doesn’t have termites, you’ll want to know about termites.
Usually one of the first signs of infestation is the appearance of swarmers. This is in the spring for many such as eastern subterranean termites found in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Swarmers are termites which are sent out to start new colonies. Swarms usually generate panic calls from homeowners who suddenly see what can be thousands of winged termites appearing in a living room or basement or even outside.
Subterranean termites live underground or in protected areas such as wood. There is always at least one queen and many more reproductives may also be present. Most people never see a queen, but may have seen swarmers or workers. The total number of individuals in a colony of subterranean termites may be more than a million. Imagine a million termites attacking your home.
Northwest Delmarva Pest has three types of treatment: Liquid treatment of the soil in and around your home, wood treatment, and Advance Bait System.
How does the Advance Bait System work?
The revolutionary Advance Termite Bait System eliminates termite colonies in and around your home and offers advantages to your family with long-term protection of your biggest investment: Your home.
Carpenter ants are found in and around homes, most species are black, perhaps with some faintly grayish bands on the abdomen; others may have some brown or reddish coloration along with the black.
The carpenter ant’s diet includes a great variety of both animal and plant foods. These ants will feed on other insects, both living and dead, and nearly anything people eat.
Carpenter ants, will establish nests in a number of different locations, inside or around the house. Indoor nest may be found in hollow doors, window sills, the substructure of porches, roofs, behind baseboards, firewood, shingles, or other natural hollow areas. Outdoor sites include stumps, hollow logs, fence posts, or other similar large pieces of wood.
Carpenter ants do not use wood for food, but hollow it out for nesting. These galleries are frequently hollowed in moist or unsound wood, although carpenter ants can burrow in sound wood.
Carpenter bees resemble large bumblebees, but have very different nesting behavior. They bore long tunnels into wood and divide there tunnels into cells where individual larvae will develop. The typical carpenter bee gallery has an entrance hole on the wood surface. The gallery continues inward for a short distance then turns sharply upward and runs in the same direction as the grain of the wood. The entry hole is 1/2 inch round.
The adults do very little actual damage to wood, serving primarily as a reproductive function. Powderpost beetles larvae cause millions of dollars worth of damage in the United States each year. Powderpost beetles infest flooring, studs, girders, and other parts of buildings, lumber, crating, paneling, furniture, tool handles, gunstocks and many other wood articles. The exit hole is 1/32 – 1/16 inch round.
Old House Bore
Like the Powderpost the adults do very little actual damage to wood. The larvae of the Old House Bore feed on living trees, logs, and seasoned wood. The adult will emerge from the wood after it has incorporated into a structure. They will not re-infest the wood because of its dryness, but they are great concern to property owners who find them or evidence of their activity. The exit hole is 1/4 to 3/8 inch oval.
There are approximately over 3500 species of cockroaches in the world; around 60 species are in the United States. Cockroaches, especially the German cockroach, are the most commonly encountered and important household insect pest in much of the U.S.
Only a few of the cockroach species are found in the northeast, American, Oriental, Brown-Banded, Smokey-Brown and the German cockroach.
Cockroaches usually choose to live in protected areas, cracks and crevices which provide a warm and humid environment. The presence of cockroaches is often detected by their damage, or fecal matter. The most common areas of harborage are kitchens, bathrooms, storage areas, garbage areas and unsanitary places.
Cockroaches one of the oldest insects-fossil remains date back 200 Million Years. Roaches have six legs, have wings and two antennae, likes bark, damp places with plentiful food supply, feeds on a variety of foods, especially starches and sugar, including bookbinding, photographic film, linens, leather goods, and a numerous food items.
It is impossible to list all the places where cockroaches may live and hide, so it is important to have a professional inspect thoroughly and use his or her judgment and experience to find all harborages.
Silverfish may be found almost anywhere in a house. However, they usually will be found living close to their source of food. They eat a wide variety of foods containing protein or carbohydrates. Such things as paper, glue, paste, linens or dead insects, and are able to live for a long time without food.
The boxelder bug is a common pest in the Northeast. They are bright red or black with narrow reddish lines on the back.
These insects feed principally by sucking juices from the boxelder tree, but are sometimes found on other plants. Adult boxelder bugs will enter structure in the fall, seeking winter shelter, and finding areas in wall voids and attics.
Common species in the U.S. include the Carpenter Ant, Pharaoh Ant, Pavement Ant, Fire Ant, Odorous House Ant, Argentine Ant and Thief Ant. When they enter homes, ants look for sweets or substance containing protein.
When ants find a food source, most species lay down a long-lasting invisible chemical trail for the rest of the colony to find.
Ants are social insects that live in colonies that contain up to one million.
The Norway Rat
The Norway rat is also known as the house rat. It has a stocky body, Weighing between 12 and 16 ounces. Indoors the Norway rat prefers to nest around the lower floors of buildings, but when populations are large, it will also occupy attic areas. The territories of most rats are between 50 to150 feet of the nest; however, rats will travel 300 feet or more daily to obtain their food and water.