Termite Problems?

Drywood Termite

Termites are considered decomposers in nature. They breakdown dead wood that accumulates in and around soil creating a beneficial by-product that is returned to the soil as hummus. Drywood termites are one of the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. They cause in excess of $1.5 Billion in damages to homes and commercial structures each year. Their presence goes unnoticed until damage is discovered or a swarm occurs within the structure. Drywood termites are the single most destructive insect to homes in Southern California.

Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood. In comparison to other termites drywood colonies are relatively small (a few thousand termites), They neither live in the ground nor maintain contact with soil, and they do not build mud tubes. Drywood termites produce characteristic pellets. These pellets are eliminated through what are known as “kick holes”. Pellets will accumulate on surfaces below kick holes and are usually the first sign of drywood termite infestations. Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth. The other sign of possible termite infestation is termite swarmers. Drywood termite swarmers are about 7/16 inch long, including the wings. Their wings are almost clear to a smoke gray color and have few distinct veins in them. The Drywood termite swarmers are reproductive and they will leave the colony in search of a new place to begin a new colony.

drywood termite swarmer 02-22-2013

Drywood termites get their food from cellulose in wood. Moisture is not as important to drywood termites as it is to subterranean termites. Drywood termites extract water from the wood they eat. They require as little as 2.5 to 3 percent moisture, but prefer wood with a moisture content of 10 percent. Drywood termites often establish nests in wooden wall supports accessed under eaves or in roof materials. Despite being capable of surviving on low wood moisture, drywood termites can also be found in wood associated with a water source such as a water heater or leaky pipe. Dead wood accumulating around a home is often a source of drywood termite infestations. A favorite place for entry is in the cracks created by drying plaster or stucco as it pulls away from window and door frames. Drywood termite enter structures through attic or foundation vents, directly through or under wood shingles, under eaves and fascia boards, and through natural cracks, joints in exposed wood trim, window and door frames and sills. For this reason thorough termite home inspections are suggested as the most effective way to determine whether your home has an active drywood termite infestation. Termite professional have the tools and training necessary to effectively assess your home for activity.

termite in wall– click for video!

For more information on Drywood Termites or for a Free Home Termite Inspection contact the termite professionals at BugOut. Your Termite Concierge – 1 Click. 1 Call. 1 Company Does It All. 800-983-7648.

America’s Most Unwanted Pest – Volume IV

americas most unwanted Revised 08-20-2013

Public Enemy #IV – BED BUG

How many of us remember our parents and grandparents sending us off to sleep with these words: ” Goodnight, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Who knew that those words would turn out to be an actual night time warning. Until fairly recent most people had never seen a bed bug. Bed bug infestations were a common occurrence in the United Stated prior to World War II. Improved hygiene and the widespread use of pesticides (DDT) during the 1940s and 1950s virtually eliminated the bed bug in the United States. However, bed bugs were still a global challenge, especially in parts of Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Now, with international travel a part of everyday life, bed bugs have made a dramatic return to the U.S.. They are appearing in record numbers in hotels, apartments, health care facilities, dorms, schools, and homes. In fact, you can turn on the news on any given day and find something about bed bugs.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-20069074.html

Bed bugs are small flat, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals exclusively. What’s worse, they feed while you sleep! Bed bugs are reddish brown, are wingless, and can range in size from 1mm to 7 mm. To put that in perspective, they range from the size of a pinhead to the size of a pen cap. For this reason they are very difficult to see. A bed bug can live for several months after only one feeding. Bed bug infestations commonly occur in and around areas where you sleep. They are night feeders, so they hide during the day in places like mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dressers, inside cracks and crevices in floor moldings, wallpaper seams, picture frames, in clutter around the bed, and the list goes on and on. Bed bugs usually live within approximately 8 feet of where you sleep, however, they have been known to travel upwards of 100 feet in a night to find a food source. A common misconception about bed bugs is that they jump from place to place. Bed bugs do not jump. They travel on legs or they hitchhike to get from place to place.

Bed Bug 09-18-2013

Once Bed bugs enter a building they can crawl from room to room or floor to floor. Unlike cockroaches and flies that feed on waste and dirt, bed bugs have no relation to cleanliness. Even the most pristine home can become bed bug infested. Bed bugs are transported on luggage, backpacks, clothing, furniture, bedding, briefcases, and shoes among many other object. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eliminate because they hide in so many areas which can go undetected. An experienced pest control professional knows where to look for bed bugs and has the necessary tools to search and find bed bugs where they hide. The most effective treatment for Bed Bugs is heat and the preparation to eliminate the infestation is rigorous and best dictated by a pest control professional. If not handled correctly a bed bug infestation can go on and on.

Engorged Bed Bug 09-18-2013

Here are some helpful travel tips to limit your exposure to bed bugs while trying to enjoy your vacation or concentrate on your business meeting and not what’s biting you at night!
– Travel with clothes that can be washed in hot water and be dried for at least 30 minutes on high heat. If you travel with clothing that requires dry cleaning, place the items in a plastic bag after wearing and keep securely closed until you return home.
– Use hard smooth luggage when you travel. Hard luggage has fewer places for bed bug to hide.
– Pack plenty of plastic bags to place shoes or any other items in that may have come in contact with bed bugs.
– Once at your destination, keep luggage off floor and beds. Place on luggage racks that do not have fabric straps; do not unpack clothing; keep luggage closed when not in use; hang business suits and dresses on the shower rail in the bathroom. The safest place for your suitcase is in the bathtub or on the hard surface of the desk or dresser in the hotel room.
– Inspect the mattress and bedding for reddish brown spotting. Check all mattress seams and surrounding furniture seams for bugs. Keeping in mind that even 5 star resorts and hotels have had bed bug infestations.
– When you arrive home, unpack luggage outside of the home; take clothes in plastic bags immediately to the washer and wash in hot water and dry on high heat. Dispose of plastic bags immediately out side of the home. Take dry cleaning in immediately and do not remove from the plastic bags.

Following these few tips can help limit your exposure to bed bug infestation. As with all pest control issues, your best solution is to contact a pest control professional. For more information or if you think you may have a bed bug infestation contact the Professionals at BugOut. 800-983-7648. BugOut is your Pest Control Concierge – 1 Click. 1 Call. 1 Company Does It All! It’s that Simple.

America’s Most Unwanted Pests – Volume III

americas most unwanted Revised 08-20-2013

PUBLIC ENEMY #3 – ANTS

While everyone welcomes warm weather and enjoys all the benefits that the weather brings, it also brings up pests living underground. This includes ants, which are in abundance in Southern California. There are approximately 270 species of ants in California, and nearly 250 of these species are native to the state. So, just like we love our Southern California climate, ants feel the same way. Fortunately, most ants are not dangerous or harmful to humans, however, they can be aggressive and cause significant damage to your home. It is important to know what you are dealing with in terms of type of ant and specific ant behavior in order to effectively deal with the challenge. Ants are among the most prevalent household pests in Southern California and if left un treated can be the source of many home maintenance costly repairs.

Ants are familiar insects that are easily recognized in their adult wingless form, these are know as workers. However, winged forms of ants, which leave the nest in large quantities in very warm weather to mate and establish new colonies, are often mistaken for termites, which also leave their nests in warm weather to mate. Ants and termites can be identified by three main differences:

– The ant’s body is constricted, giving it the appearance of having a thin waist, while termites have a broad waist.
– The ant’s hind wings are smaller than its front wings, while the termite’s front and hind wings are approximately the same size. However, shortly after they fly, both ants and termites lose their wings. So unless you are dealing with a swarming situation, wings are usually not visible on either insect.
-Winged female and worker ants have elbowed antennae, while termites’ antennae are not elbowed.
Identifying characteristics of common household ants Identifying characteristics of common household ants

There are five common types of ants in Southern California. The Fire Ant: Highly aggressive, they have no problem attacking an enemy that threatens their nest. Fire Ants prefer seeds, nectar from plants or fruit, and other insects as a food source.
Fire Ant Fire Ant

Carpenter Ant: Non-aggressive, wood destroying organism. Carpenter workers can vary in size from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in length. They are black, brown or reddish in color. A common misconception is that all carpenter ants are black. Carpenter ants leave behind wood dust much like a termite would.
Carpenter worker ant Carpenter worker ant

Velvet Ant: Velvet ants are the most common type of ant found in Orange County, California. They feed off honeydew left from other insects. They will often invade homes looking for more food. Attracted to sweet sticky nectar, and other insects.
Velvet Ant Velvet Ant

The Harvester Ant and Argentine Ant are the other types common to Southern California, however less common than the previously mentioned species.

Ants usually nest in soil; nest sites can vary with each individual species but they are most often found next to buildings, along sidewalks or walkway, or close to a food source such as trees or plants. Ants often enter homes looking for food and water, warmth and shelter, or refuge from dry, hot weather or flooded conditions. Ants will appear out of nowhere if food sources become scarce or weather conditions change. In the absence of any other food source ants will resort to eating other insects and will swarm a food source and kill it. Ants are highly social insects will a well developed system of community organization. Once they invade an area and claim it as home it is difficult to eliminate them

ant – cockroach video 08-31-2013 – click for video!

Effectively managing an invasion is best done through a pest control professional. A Pest expert will effectively indentify the ant species and take the proper steps to eliminate the problem. For a free pest control inspection contact the professionals at BugOut. 1 Click. 1 Call. 1 Company Does It All! BugOut is your pest control concierge! It’s that simple! 800-983-7648

What’s Buggin’ in Your Backyard This Weekend?!?

Buggin' Can Be Beautiful!

Buggin’ Can Be Beautiful!

It’s Labor Day Weekend and we want to see What’s Buggin’ In Your Backyard! We published a teaser slideshow on our Facebook page of a few of the submissions we’ve received from around the country this summer. The full slideshow will be displayed on Tuesday, September 3, 2013. There’s still time to submit your photos! Let’s see what’s Buggin’ you today! This beautiful photo was submitted by our fan @Christopher Silva. Come like us on Facebook or follow us on twitter @GetTheBugOut and submit your “What’s Buggin’ in Your Backyard” photo. We want to see what’s buggin’ you today!

America’s Most Unwanted Pests

>americas most unwanted Revised 08-20-2013

Cockroach – Public Enemy #2

The second offender in our series “America’s Most Unwanted Pests” is the cockroach! Scientist estimate that there are somewhere between five and ten million insect species worldwide. If asked which insect people hate the most, the majority will answer immediately with the cockroach! The list of characteristics that catapult the cockroach to the top of the insects we love to hate list are many. For one, their flat bodies, transparent wings, hairy legs and long sweeping antennae just plain creep people out! Second, the cockroach’s main food source is garbage and waste matter. For this reason cockroaches spread infectious bacteria like Salmonella and Shigella from place to place.

http://www.whatsbuggin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/img_2095.mov?_=0

The Center for Disease Control estimates that cockroaches carry upwards of 7,000 different infectious pathogens on their bodies. As a cockroach moves across a surface they drag their abdomen and leave trails of fecal matter wherever they go. They use these fecal trails to find their way around your home or business. Outside of the total “GROSS” factor, these trails cause stains and odors in your home. The cockroach’s saliva and fecal waste can also cause allergies and have been linked to aggravating asthma conditions in humans.

Cockroach infestation Cockroach infestation

Cockroaches are extremely difficult to get rid of once they invade. Part of the difficulty comes from the fact that they reproduce faster than rabbits! Seriously, their natural behavior is to reproduce quickly and this makes them difficult to completely eliminate. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects, so they go unnoticed until there are so many that they literally run out of hiding places.

There are approximately 4000 cockroach species that exist in the world today, however, only a handful of cockroach species are home and business invaders. These species are: The German Cockroach – Blatella Germanica. The American Cockroach – Periplaneta Americana, also known as the Palmetto Bug. The Brown Banded Cockroach – Supella Longipalpa. And finally, The Oriental Cockroach – Blatta Orientalis. The best way to identify which type of cockroach you’re dealing with is by color and size. The German and American cockroaches both have a brownish red color but differ dramatically in size. The German cockroach is relatively small measuring just about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in length. The American cockroach measures between 1.5 and 2.0 inches (3.8 50 5.0 cm) in length and is the largest of these species. The brown banded cockroach derives its name from it’s dark brown color and measures just slightly smaller than the German cockroach. The Oriental cockroach has a shiny black color and measures about 1.2 inches (3.0 cm) in length with short transparent wings that are basically useless since they can’t fly. There are other distinguishing characteristics you can look for when trying to identify your home invader. German cockroaches have two black stripes right behind the head while brown banded cockroaches have light brown lines around the abdomen. Determining which type of cockroach infestation you have is key in determining the proper way to eliminate the problem.

Cockroach types 08-28-2013

Oriental and American cockroaches tend to enter structures through drains and pipes. They congregate in areas that are dark and cool like basements. German cockroaches live in areas where food or garbage are present like kitchens and garages. If you find a German cockroach, you’ll want to contact a pest professional immediately as they reproduce quickly and become unmanageable in just a few days. Like most insects cockroaches live close to food sources. The challenge with cockroaches is that they are omnivores, which means that they will eat anything and everything! There is a detailed prep program for getting rid of cockroaches. It is tedious but necessary if you want to completely eliminate the problem.

roach video 08-26-2013 – click for video!

As with most pest issues, a licensed pest control professional is your best source for effective treatment. For a free pest control home inspection contact the pros at BugOut today! 1 Click. 1 Call. 1 Company Does It All! It’s that simple!