Why Do Bug Bites Itch?

Why Do Bug Bites Itch?

2019-07-08

You know the story: you’re having a great time outside on a beautiful summer evening when a bug bites you. Or maybe, you wake up the next day with an annoying itch and a red spot on your skin. Bug bites come in different shapes and sizes, but itchiness is a symptom shared by bites from a number of pestsBug bites itch because of your immune system’s response to the bite.

When an insect, such as a mosquito, tick or flea, bites you, your body increases the white blood cell count in the area and produces histamine, a compound that cells release as their normal response to injury. This causes the swelling you see and the itching you feel in the area around the bite.

Reactions to bug bites can vary based on the person and the pest. Sometimes, a person’s first bite from an insect won’t itch badly. Some lucky others feel less severe reactions over time. Whether you’re feeling a minor annoyance or you can’t stop scratching, it’s important to identify what kind of bug bite is causing itchiness.

The most commonly itchy bug bites are:

  • mosquitoes
  • fleas
  • ticks

Despite their short lifespans, mosquitoes are undoubtedly the number one culprits for ruining summer activities. These pests don’t miss a picnic or cookout; they quickly find gatherings of people to bite and feed on blood. A female mosquito’s saliva contains an anticoagulant, which stops a person’s blood from clotting while it feeds.

The mosquito’s saliva is part of the reason our bodies’ immune systems react so quickly by swelling and activating the nerves around the bite.

Flea bites cause similar swelling and itching a couple of hours after the bite occurs. You’ll usually find flea bites on the lower half of your body (but they can occur in other areas) and in small groups. They can cause rashes or bumps that turn white. Fleas can carry bacteria, so it’s important to pay attention to any symptoms of sickness following a bite and to control a flea infestation properly.

Ticks bites can also produce an itchy rash, often on the arms or legs. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, making bites potentially dangerous. A Lyme disease rash will spread from a circular, bullseye shape to other parts of the body. Fever, headaches, swelling, joint pain and other symptoms can signal infection. Lyme disease is fully treatable and it’s important to identify it as soon as possible.

Itch Relief for Bug Bites

Itchy bug bites can bother you for days and it takes all of your focus to prevent yourself from scratching. Because the itchiness is partly caused by swelling, scratching the bite will only increase inflammation and make it worse. There’s also a risk of breaking the skin and causing an infection.

The best treatments for itchy bug bites are medications and natural soothing remedies. Antihistamines directly block the release of histamines that begins when your body responds to a bug bite. These over-the-counter medications can also help reduce swelling.

Treating the swelling around a bite is a good way to soothe the itchiness. People have had success with a number of simple, natural items. The leaves of aloe vera plants contain a gel that reduces inflammation and has a cooling effect when rubbed on the skin. Honey also reduces swelling while being antiseptic and antibacterial.

How to Prevent Bug Bites

The most obvious way to prevent bug bites—especially from mosquitoes and other flying insects—is to use insect-repellent spray or cream. If you’re hiking, camping or spending time in an area with a high chance of bug bites, wearing long sleeves and long pants is the best way to reduce your risk. Mosquito repellent plants can have a limited effect, while candles and torches burn unwanted chemicals.

If you are experiencing bug bites or having pest problems at your home, it’s time to call the professionals. Aptive Environmental will customize a pest control solution for the size, shape and location of your home. We use eco-friendly techniques to control infestations responsibly and ensure that your property is protected from pests, inside and outside.

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Identifying Beneficial Garden Insects

Identifying Beneficial Garden Insects

2019-07-11

Here’s a fact that might surprise you: the right insects can benefit your garden in a few different ways. Some bugs, such as ladybugs and spiders, eat various garden pests (or their eggs or larvae), reducing the risk of infestation and damage to plants. Others, like bees, help plants thrive through pollination. Still others, including ground beetles, aerate the soil to help plants absorb water and nutrients.

These beneficial bugs won’t harm your plants at all while they’re hunting for other insects. Some might eat a plant’s pollen if there’s a shortage of prey, but these bugs aren’t interested in your flowers, fruits or vegetables. Their primary goal is catching garden pests.

Which Insects are Beneficial for Your Garden?

1. Bees

Bees are the famous pollinators of flowers everywhere, and this behavior is a huge benefit to the plants in your garden. Plants that grow fruits and vegetables, as well as those that simply produce flowers, need the pollinating power of bees to reproduce. Bees are naturally attracted to these plants, so there’s little to do on your part to bring these wonderfully helpful bugs to your garden other than normally tending to your plants to keep them healthy.

2. Ladybugs

Tiny ladybugs might seem harmless and unconcerned with other bugs, but, in fact, they eat a number of garden pests. They primarily prey on aphids, the tiny green bugs that gather on plant leaves and stems in the thousands to feed on their sap (and spread plant diseases). A single ladybug can eat hundreds of aphids a week and add a bit of colorful beauty to your green garden at the same time.

3. Spiders

Okay, you might think spiders are the last creature you want anywhere near your garden or your home. But spiders are expert bug-hunters. That’s what their webs are for, after all. You probably won’t jump at the idea of introducing spiders to your garden, but if you find them already there, it might be best to leave them alone. They’re not interested in you; they’re too busy catching aphids, fruit flies and other unwanted pests.

4. Mantises

“Praying” mantids (and other members of the mantis order) are amazing creatures. Like spiders, they’re primarily ambush predators, waiting for prey to come to them. Their diet includes caterpillars, beetles and many other pests. If you’re not familiar with them, these large insects might startle you with their eerily still posture and quick-turning head. Luckily, they can be very helpful predators to keep around in your garden.

5. Ground Beetles

Ground beetles are nocturnal insects that can help save your garden from many harmful ground pests, including caterpillars, snails and slugs. They’re especially attracted to compost piles, which provide the right habitats for their larvae. As the larvae grow and move around in the soil, these bugs produce a bonus benefit: they aerate the soil, helping speed up the chemical reactions that drive the composting process.

6. Lacewings

Lacewings and their larvae feed on various garden pests, such as caterpillars, mealybugs and aphids. They lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves in late spring but you shouldn’t worry—they won’t harm your plants.

7. Aphid Midges, Damsel Bugs, Hoverlies & More

Several other insects can benefit your garden by reducing aphid populations. Aphid midges, damsel bugs and hoverflies are just a few of the beneficial bugs that eat aphids. It’s only the hoverfly larva that eats insects, but the adult’s diet is limited to pollen, which won’t damage your plants.

Should You Introduce Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden?

Increasing the numbers of insects such as ladybugs and ground beetles can reduce the need for pesticides in some cases. Pesticides sometimes kill the good insects as well as the harmful pests. This can leave room for the bad bugs to make a stronger comeback with less natural enemies.

Beneficial bugs are also a better defense against garden pests that are resistant to pesticides. For example, spider mites can quickly become resistant to pesticides. But pirate bugs eat spider mites and can help defend your plants against them.

Before thinking about intentionally introducing bugs to your garden, consider your situation: do you have children or pets that might not like having more insects around? Think about your neighbors, too: will they mind the possibility of bugs spreading to their gardens?

It’s also important to pay close attention to the bugs in your garden, even if you’ve identified them as good. If a population becomes large enough, it might start to spread indoors and become an infestation.

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Venomous vs. Poisonous: What’s the Difference?

Venomous vs. Poisonous: What’s the Difference?

2019-07-15

The words “venomous” and “poisonous” may seem interchangeable, but the terms actually have different meanings. While both adjectives describe plants and animals that possess a toxic substance dangerous, and potentially lethal, to humans and other animals, venom and poison are delivered differently from each other.

The Difference Between Venom & Poison

When it comes to poison and venom, both are toxic and potentially lethal. However, a poisonous pest can only deliver poison if it is eaten or touched. In other words, poison has to be absorbed by the skin or consumed in order to be effective. Meanwhile, venom is injected via a bite or sting. For instance, a venomous spider or bug will use a stinger, barb, or specialized mouthpart, such as fangs, beaks, pincers, or proboscises, to inject a human or animal with venom.

In addition to delivery, venom and poison are often used in different situations. Because poison isn’t actively inflicted like venom, it is typically used in instances of self-defense. For example, some millipedes secrete poisonous fluids from glands on the sides of their bodies. These defensive fluids can be especially irritating to the skin. This is why you should never pick up a millipede with your bare hands.

While venom is used in instances of self-defense, it is also used when hunting for prey. Because venom is inflicted in order to kill or paralyze, the chemical compounds found in venom is often different than that of poison. Furthermore, venom needs to be administered through a wound in order to take effect. This is why venomous animals bite or sting their victims.

Venomous Bugs

While the term venomous sounds scary, there is no need to live your life in fear of bugs. Venomous pests are just a part of life, and we encounter them more often than not. Below are a few examples of venomous arachnids and insects:

Each of these pests use a specialized mouthpart or stinger to deliver venom to prey or threat.

Poisonous Bugs

Much like venomous, the term poisonous can strike fear in many people. However, as long as you take the right precautions and don’t make direct contact with any of these pests, there is no need to worry. These insects only pose a threat if touched or consumed. Below are a few examples of poisonous arachnids and insects:

  • Monarch Butterflies (if eaten)
  • Millipedes (certain species)
  • Fireflies (if eaten)
  • Caterpillars
  • Blister Beetles

Symptoms may vary if an animal or human comes into contact with a poisonous organism. Local pain, itching, and rashes are often common side effects. You should contact a medical professional if you experience a severe reaction. Moreover, if you’re a pet owner, you should contact your veterinarian if your dog or cat comes into contact with one of these pests.

It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a venomous or poisonous pest as both can take a toll on your peace of mind. Aptive’s pest professionals recognize how important it is to feel comfortable and safe in your own home. If you are experiencing a pest infestation or problem, call your local Aptive Environmental branch today.

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What Do Aphids Eat?

What Do Aphids Eat?

2019-07-18

Aphids are the tiny green insects that you might not even notice are crawling in your garden until you look closely. These fascinating bugs can number in the thousands, but what exactly are they doing all over your plants? They’re eating. Aphids eat the sap by sucking it from plant leaves, stems and roots. This is why they congregate so densely on trees, flowers and other plants.

Some aphid species are attracted to specific plants. Aphids are particularly drawn to young plants and budding flowers. These herbivores don’t typically damage the host plant by feeding on its sap, but large numbers of aphids can weaken some species.

Plant sap is mostly sugar and water and is low in protein, so aphids have to consume a large amount of it to meet their protein requirements. But their bodies don’t need all of that sugar, so they get rid of it as a substance called “honeydew.” If you’ve seen droplets of sticky liquid on the plants in your garden, you’ve probably seen honeydew.

Aphids Can Damage Garden Plants

You might find honeydew on the leaves of your garden plants if enough aphids are present. The honeydew residue is not inherently damaging but it can cause problems for some infested plants. Sooty mold, a fungus, thrives on sugary substances, so it can grow quickly on the honeydew and cover leaves and branches.

Although sooty mold itself doesn’t damage the plant, a large amount of it can block sunlight and reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. In the worst cases, gardeners might see slowed growth, but the main effect of sooty mold is a less visually appealing plant. Honeydew that drips from trees onto cars can cause other problems. Like tree sap, this gooey substance is difficult to remove from car windshields and paint.

Aphids can also spread diseases more quickly among plants. When an aphid feeds on an infected plant, it becomes a carrier of the disease. Then, it infects the next plant it feeds on. Since aphids reproduce quickly, the spread of disease can be hard to stop.

Aphid Appearance and Behavior

Aphids are so tiny and numerous that, if you’re not paying close attention, you might think they were just parts of the plant. They’re soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects whose green color matches closely with that of many plant leaves and stems.

Aphids won’t bite humans; they’re harmless pests in small numbers but can reproduce and spread quickly. Because they produce honeydew, they also attract other pests. For example, ants have a symbiotic relationship with aphids, often following the tiny insects to eat the honeydew. Meanwhile, the ants protect aphids from predators.

Aphids have a number of natural enemies. Ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects eat aphids. Other predators of aphids include parasitic wasps, which lay their eggs inside aphids, “mummifying” them. Natural predators aren’t very effective at preventing aphids because they don’t usually arrive until the aphid population is relatively large.

Some aphid offspring have wings and can fly to new host plants. Young aphids can mature and reproduce in as little as one week. These rapid life cycles allow aphids to spread (and spread diseases) quickly among plants.

How to Get Rid of Aphids

If your garden, flowers or other plants around your home are experiencing an aphid infestation, it’s time to call the professionals. Aptive Environmental creates custom pest control solutions for homes of every size, shape and location. We use effective, eco-friendly techniques to control infestations quickly and keep your property protected from aphids and other pests all year.

Contact Aptive today for a free quote and to schedule your first appointment.

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What’s the Difference Between a Rat and Mouse?

What’s the Difference Between a Rat and Mouse?

2019-07-22

If a rodent were to cross your path, would you be able to tell whether it’s a rat or mouse? While there are some noticeable differences between the two, many of their differences are difficult to notice at first glance, even more so if you’re screaming and running away in fear. However, if you aren’t overcome with shock, there are some characteristics to look out for when identifying a rat or mouse.

Rats Vs. Mice

When it comes to rats in your home, you’re most likely to come across Norway Rats or Roof Rats. As for mice, House Mice and Deer Mice commonly plague homeowners. Trying to figure out which type you have can be tricky, especially when all you have are gnawed items, a nest, or droppings to go off of. After all, mice and rats have a lot in common. For instance, both consume similar types of food, are nocturnal, and stick to the baseboards and bottom of walls when moving. As a result, one needs to pay attention to biological and behavioral differences when distinguishing rats from mice.

Rat Characteristics

No one wants to get up close and personal with a rat. Fortunately, there are some noticeable physical characteristics and attributes that can help you identify a rat. Some tell tale traits include:

  • Coarse fur that’s white, gray, brown or black in color
  • Large, typically 11-19 inches in length
  • A long, hairless tail covered in scales
  • Blunt snout
  • Small, thin ears
  • Droppings that are capsule shaped and usually about 3/4 inches in length

While bigger than mice, rats are much more cautious. In fact, rats are pretty suspicious. Instead of exploring new areas or scurrying across an open space, rats tend to stick to areas they know well. Many times you may hear rats before you ever see one in your home. As a result, it can be very difficult to trap them.

Mouse Characteristics

You may not expect it, but mice are actually braver than rats. This may come as a surprise given their small stature. Because mice tend to be bolder, they are more likely to be caught by traps and bait. If you come across a mouse or end up catching one, here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  • White, brown or gray in color
  • Small, 6-7 inches long (including tail)
  • Thin, hairy tails that are about inches in length
  • Ears tend to be floppy and are large in relation to the size of their heads
  • Sharp, triangular face shape
  • Dropping are shaped like rice and are about 1/8 to 1/4 inches long

Rodent Control

It doesn’t matter whether you have rats or mice as both can spell big problems for home and business owners. Not only do rodents take a toll on your peace of mind, but they can carry harmful diseases as well. Additionally, rodents can reproduce quickly. This means a small problem can escalate into an infestation rapidly. In order to keep your family members, pets, and employees safe, you should call a professional pest control service like Aptive to take care of the problem right away.

Mice and rats require different treatment strategies. Depending on which you have in your home or business makes a big difference when it comes to treating them. An Aptive pest professional will come up with a custom plan to rid your property of rodents, no matter the species. If you are experiencing a pest infestation or problem, call your local Aptive Environmental branch today.

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Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mice?

Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mice?

2019-07-29

If you’ve been searching for a DIY way to get rid of mice, then you’ve probably come across using peppermint oil. Because peppermint oil has a potent aroma, mice are believed to find the scent irritating and off-putting due to their keen sense of smell. Though it seems like a straightforward and simple remedy, many variables can affect peppermint oil’s effectiveness when it comes to repelling mice. More often than not, peppermint oil application is based on trial and error. As a result, peppermint oil is not the most reliable way to repel mice.

What is Peppermint Oil?

Extracted from the peppermint plant, peppermint oil is used for many different purposes. Even if you aren’t a purchaser of essential oil, you’ve likely come across peppermint oil in cosmetics, toiletries, and food. In addition to being an ingredient in many consumer goods, peppermint oil has been praised for its health benefits. Given its versatility, peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils in the world.

Using Peppermint Oil to Get Rid of Mice

While using peppermint oil for health and beauty is rather straightforward, using it to deal with a rat problem isn’t quite as simple. Mice can call many areas of your house or business home, and there isn’t an exact formula for determining how much peppermint oil to use. Because there is a large margin for error when attempting DIY pest control methods, the result of using peppermint oil to repel mice is usually inconclusive.

When going the peppermint oil route, most people use cotton balls that have been dipped in 100% peppermint oil. They then place these cotton balls around their home. The problem with this is two fold. For one, you need to replace the cotton balls several times per week because the peppermint smell wears off quickly. Secondly, if you’re not replacing the cotton balls and checking them often, there is a chance that the mice will use the cotton balls as nest material once the peppermint scent as faded away. While cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil may provide a temporary fix, it isn’t a permanent solution.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Mice

A better alternative to using peppermint oil is to hire a pest control professional. Our pest control experts can provide you with advice for rodent-proofing your home or business as well as create a customized plan based on your specific needs.

Because mice can fit into small openings and cracks, it is critical to eliminate any possible points of entry. If you discover any cracks in your home’s foundation or crevices in your walls, you should seal these up immediately. You should also make sure any holes around utility pipes or vents are patched and sealed. Lastly, if your doors or windows have any gaps, you should apply weather stripping to make sure mice can slip in.

In addition to home repairs, keeping your home tidy is a good way to prevent mice from entering your home. Because mice are nocturnal, it is always a good idea to clean your kitchen after dinner. You should make sure dirty dishes are washed or placed in the dishwasher and wipe down your kitchen’s surfaces. Additionally, it’s important to make sure any leftover food is put away and placed airtight containers. In addition to cleanliness and good hygiene, a mouse-free and tidy home also calls for reducing clutter both inside and outside your home. Removing piles of leaves and wood from the perimeter of your house and keeping your rooms free of excess stuff and storage will limit the places mice have to hide.

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What do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?

What do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?

2019-08-05

When it comes to cockroach eggs, you really have to know what you are looking for, as well as where to look. While you may think you’re looking for individual eggs, you’re actually not going to find a single egg or a group of individual eggs just lying around. This is because cockroach eggs are contained in an ootheca. An ootheca is a protective casing that a female roach produces to keep eggs safe from predators and the surrounding environment. While oothecae can vary in appearance based on the species, most are small (about 8mm in length) and start out white in color. However, as the ootheca ages, it hardens and turns dark brown or reddish-brown in color.

How Many Eggs does a Cockroach Lay?

A cockroach’s ootheca holds multiple eggs. However, the number of eggs within each ootheca varies by the species of cockroach. Roaches with higher reproductive rates will obviously lay more oothecae, and in turn, more eggs. For example, the German cockroach, which is commonly found in homes across the U.S., reproduces quickly. For example, a female German cockroach can produce over 30,000 offspring within a year. Another common cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, will create around 20 oothecae throughout her life. Brown-banded cockroach oothecae typically hold between 10 and 20 eggs. Oriental cockroaches, on the other hand, only produce around 8 oothecae. These oothecae hold 15 eggs on average. Lastly, like the Oriental cockroach, the American cockroach produces an ootheca that contains around 15 eggs. During her lifetime, an American cockroach can lay as little at 6 oothecae or as many as 90 oothecae.

In short, while oothecae may look similar across cockroach species, the number of oothecae and count of eggs depends on the species.

Where do Cockroaches Lay Eggs?

Cockroaches don’t just lay there eggs anywhere. However, there are some places that cockroaches are more drawn too. While there are some species, such as the type: entry-hyperlink id: 3ru15u6tj241qRzghwdQ5c, that will carry their oothecae until the eggs inside are close to hatching, many cockroaches find secluded and safe areas to leave their oothecae.

In general, kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and attics are popular areas for cockroaches to leave oothecae. Additionally, many cockroaches will leave oothecae in close proximity to a food source. A female cockroach does this so her offspring will be able to find food on their own. As a result, you should pay close attention to pantries, cabinets, crawl spaces, and storage areas. Furthermore, roach eggs can be attached to just about any surface, such as walls, furniture, or other household objects, so most of the time you’ve really got to hunt for them.

Getting Rid of Cockroach Eggs

Getting rid of cockroach eggs involves much more than using a roach bomb. Not only do you need to be able to locate the cockroach eggs, you need to destroy them completely as well. While many people try vacuuming up roach eggs or applying boric acid or pesticides to them, your best bet is to call a pest control service such as Aptive.

Getting rid of roaches requires a lot of perseverance. An Aptive professional will be able to locate and eliminate roach eggs from your home. Furthermore, our trained technicians will go after any baby cockroaches or adult cockroaches you may have in your home. Cockroaches can get out of hand fast. However, by using a trained professional, you will be able to rest easy knowing that a rapid decline in roaches is in your future.

Because the presence of cockroach eggs is a telltale sign of a roach infestation, it is of utmost importance to call a pest control service right away. Cockroaches multiply quickly and you could have an even bigger problem on your hands in a small amount of time. Rather than relying on ineffective DIY pest control methods, let an Aptive pest professional take care of the roach problem for you. Aptive professionals recognize how important it is to feel safe and comfortable in your own home. This is why we create a customized pest control plan, tailored to your specific needs, in order to get you back to feeling secure and relaxed in as little time as possible. If you notice cockroaches in your home, or spot cockroach

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Can Humans Get Fleas?

Can Humans Get Fleas?

2019-08-08

A common concern among pet owners is that their dogs or cats will pick up fleas. It’s not just pets that are at risk; humans can get fleas, too. Fleas will jump onto any animal or person that it can reach to feed on the blood it needs to survive. Instead of being hidden by fur, fleas and flea bites might be hidden by clothing. Fleas can carry diseases, so it’s important to protect yourself from these pests.

People can pick up fleas in the same ways as pets: walking in the woods, doing yard work, or touching infested furniture or clothing. More commonly, people are bitten by fleas that came from their pet. Even if your dog or cat hasn’t shown symptoms of flea bites, the fleas might have already laid eggs in their fur or on your carpets or couches.

Fleas reproduce incredibly quickly. An adult flea can lay as many as 50 eggs a day. These eggs grow to adulthood in only three weeks. Once they’re in, it’s only a matter of time before the fleas multiply and spread to you.

Several different types of fleas bite humans and they all produce similar symptoms: itchiness, redness and bumps are common. However, fleas can also carry dangerous diseases, such as tularemia, whose symptoms include fever, diarrhea, ulcers and weakness.

How to Know if You Have Fleas

Fleas are extremely tiny and it’s difficult to know you have them until you feel the symptoms of a bite. They measure only a few millimeters, with long back legs and no wings. They’re usually brown or red but hide easily in carpeting, clothing or pet fur.

You might be lucky enough to spot them before they bite you. They’ll look like tiny dark spots on a light carpet or specks on your shirt. If you think your pet has them, look for small dark spots that move or tiny white specks (flea eggs) in their fur. A lot of scratching or licking could also signal flea bites on your dog or cat.

How to Get Rid of Human Fleas

If you’ve experienced flea bites, it’s extremely likely that they’ve already begun to spread across clothing and furniture. Controlling a flea infestation is difficult without professional help. If the infestation is small, a variety of home products could help solve the problem.

Bowls of dish soap and water can trap fleas. Normally, they can float on the water’s surface. But the dish soap breaks the surface tension, trapping them in the bowl. Vacuuming frequently is another way to remove fleas from your home. Scrubbing baking soda or salt into the carpet prior to vacuuming can make it more effective.

Diatomaceous earth is an extremely fine powder that can kill fleas when used on carpets and other areas where they might be hiding. In addition, some homeowners try to use flea bombs and foggers to control infestations. However, these store-bought products are not always effective and must be used very carefully to protect pets from their harmful chemicals.

Does Washing Clothes Kill Fleas?

The high heat and amount of water in a washing machine can effectively kill most fleas and flea eggs. You can wash clothing, carpets, towels, bedding and other fabrics that might be infested to kill fleas and stop their reproductive cycle. If you’re washing items with fleas, use the hottest temperature setting on your washer and dryer to be as effective as possible. Unfortunately, a large infestation reproduces and spreads too quickly to be completely controlled by washing, alone.

How to Prevent Fleas in Your Home

Carefully inspecting pets and clothing after you’ve been outside might help you prevent bites but it’s difficult to control them without help. If you’re suffering from a flea infestation or simply want to protect your home from the possibility, call Aptive Environmental today. We have the tools and expertise to control fleas and other pests conveniently. With eco-friendly solutions and our Four Seasons Protection Plan, you can feel comfortable in your home all year.

Call Aptive today for a free quote and to schedule your first appointment.

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What to do for a Scorpion Sting

What to do for a Scorpion Sting

2019-08-12

For most people, scorpion stings are rarely fatal. However, they can certainly be painful. While healthy adults don’t typically need professional medical attention for a scorpion sting, other groups of people can be at risk. Young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems can experience severe signs and symptoms if stung by a scorpion. If a scorpion stings you or a loved one, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention.

Scorpion Sting Symptoms

Around the world, there are a number of scorpions that can produce venom potent enough to be fatal. In the U.S., there is only one species, the bark scorpion, with venom potent enough to cause concern. Most of the time, one will experience localized signs and symptoms when stung by a scorpion. Warmth, pain, tingling, and slight swelling at the site of the sting are all common symptoms of a sting. However, not all of these signs may be present. It is common to experience only one or two of these symptoms.

As noted previously, symptoms may be more severe in certain individuals. If a child or elderly person experiences the following symptoms, you should get them medical attention immediately.

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Convulsions
  3. Accelerated heart rate
  4. Nausea and vomiting
  5. Excessive sweating
  6. Drooling
  7. Uncontrollable crying or extreme agitation (in children)

Additionally, it is possible for individuals to experience an allergic reaction from a scorpion sting. Just as with bees and wasps, a scorpion sting can cause anaphylaxis. If an individual has trouble breathing, vomiting, nausea, or breaks out into hives, they could be experiencing anaphylaxis. You should get this person medical attention right away if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

Scorpion Sting Treatment

Treatment for a scorpion sting depends on the severity of the symptoms. If an individual is experiencing an allergic reaction or complications from scorpion venom, his or her treatment will be different from someone experiencing mild, localized symptoms.

For healthy adults, medical attention is likely not necessary. More often than not, you can treat a scorpion sting by using mild soap and water to clean the sting site, applying a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. If the symptoms are severe, you may need to go to the hospital in order to receive proper treatment. There, a doctor will be able to determine whether you are experiencing the effects of venom or are experiencing an allergic reaction. Depending on the diagnosis, an IV with fluids and drugs may be needed for treatment.

If you know that you are allergic to insect bites and stings, carrying an epinephrine injector is always a good idea.

Preventing Scorpion Stings

If you live in an area where scorpions are prevalent, there are some preventative measures you can take in order to reduce the risk of getting stung. They are as follows:

  1. Keep rock and lumber piles to a minimum in your yard
  2. Place firewood away from your house
  3. Mow grass frequently and don’t let yard become overgrown
  4. Trim shrubs and trees back regularly
  5. Apply weather stripping around doors and windows
  6. Repair any torn screens and fill any cracks or crevices with caulk
  7. Always inspect and shake out shoes and outdoor gloves before putting them on
  8. If camping, check your tent and sleeping bags before settling in

If you do find a scorpion in your home, yard, or surrounding environment, never try to pick it up with your hands. Instead, use a pair of tongs or some other tool to move the scorpion away from pets or people.

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and part of that was from our
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Why are Bugs Attracted to Light?

Why are Bugs Attracted to Light?

2019-08-15

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard the saying, “like a moth to a flame,” when someone finds something completely irresistible. For example, Susan was drawn to the sparkling pair of earrings like a moth to a flame, or Steve was drawn to the vintage Lamborghini like a moth to a flame. This saying, which Shakespeare made famous, clearly has roots in nature.

If you’ve ever sat on a patio or taken an evening stroll, you’ve probably noticed different bugs fluttering around floodlights and streetlamps. While it’s easy to simply say that bugs like light, the phenomenon is actually a bit more complex. In fact, scientists have studied this phenomenon for years and have developed a number of theories to explain why certain bugs are drawn to light. Furthermore, we can’t even say that all bugs are attracted to light. A few types of bugs try to steer clear of it entirely.

What Bugs are Attracted to Light?

Think back to all of the times you’ve been outside at night, turned on a light or two, and witnessed bugs fly directly to the source of light. More than likely, you’ve seen a fair share of moths and beetles make their way to that luminous glow. That’s because these insects have positive phototaxis.

Phototaxis is a type of innate behavioral response (in this case, a directional movement) that takes place when an organism moves towards or away from a light source. Insects and pests that are attracted to light, and move towards it, are considered positively phototactic. On the flip side, pests that move away from a light source are considered negatively phototactic.

While there are many different theories explaining why pests, such as moths, flies, beetles, and stink bugs, are attracted to light, one of the most popular theories has to do with navigation. Many scientists believe that insects are drawn to light because they use light as a guide. Before insects evolved and adapted to artificial light sources, they relied on the Sun, Moon, and stars in order to navigate. Many scientists believe that some bugs use transverse orientation for navigational purposes. Transverse orientation involves keeping a distant light source at a fixed angle in order to fly in a straight line. When you introduce man-made artificial light, insects start to confuse that light for natural light sources. This throws of their ability to keep light at a constant angle, which results in insects fluttering into or around artificial light sources.

In addition to navigation, many scientists believe that some bugs are attracted to light because it offers protection from predators and dangers that lurk at night. Meanwhile, another theory suggests that some insects confuse artificial light for flowers. While this may seem pretty bizarre, there are actually some flowers that reflect ultraviolet light. As a result some flying insects may mistake your outdoor lights for a food source.

Negative Phototaxis

Just as some bugs flock to the light, some try to avoid it. It’s pretty intuitive when you think about it. Recall a time when you’ve switched on a light and witnessed pests scurrying away to different hiding places. While you may have simply frightened these pests, there’s a good chance that they are negatively phototactic. Some creatures that are known for their negative phototaxis include cockroaches, earthworms, and a few different types of ants.

Cockroaches, in particular, have a major dislike for both artificial and natural light. As a result, it is very uncommon to see roaches out during the daytime or in bright, light-filled rooms. If you do happen to see roaches out during the day, it’s likely you have a problem on your hands. The roaches that come out during the day have been forced out because their home has become too populated and they are looking for food. In other words, you may have an infestation.

While scientists are still trying to figure out why bugs are attracted to light, there are some ways to limit the amount of bugs flocking to your home’s lighting. Your best bet is to check you lightbulbs. If you are using incandescent, CFL, or halogen bulbs, you are likely attracting bugs. If possible, try to replace any of these bulbs with warm LED bulbs.

If you are tired of pests disrupting your patio time or notice negative phototactic bugs, such as cockroaches, out and about during the day, call your local Aptive Environmental branch today.

DELTA 8 FORCE will be the…
PRODUCT of the CENTURY!

Hi,

Have you heard about…
DELTA 8 FORCE?
This is the industry’s first “IMPACT PRODUCT”
in the last 20 years and get this, it works in
90 to 120 minutes!

Go here to get a FR*E*E SAMPLE on us:
http://my1d2s.net/?p=21&ref=homeprofitcoach

Last mon*th my team made almost $50,000
during this company’s PRE-LAUNCH
and part of that was from our
BON*US SYS*TEM
that, with a One-Time, out-of-pocket
$70 purchase, you can make up to
$12,550
over and over again…
PA*ID DAILY!

Get your Seat RESE*RVED for our next LIVE
DELTA 8 FORCE
Global Lau*nch Webinar:
THURSD*AY at 7:45 pm Eastern and SATURDAY 12:00 PM EST AFTERNOON
http://genusitynow.com/r/uJNga?mid=283-c4-477-225
GenProSystem.com/?r=Howard

Go here to get your FR*E*E MEM*BERSHIP:
http://legacyincometeam.com/