Common Christmas Tree Bugs

Common Christmas Tree Bugs

2019-11-26

Have you ever brought a brand-new Christmas tree home, only to find it’s infested with bugs? Each year, U.S. homeowners buy over 30 million Christmas trees to use for decorating their homes. While real evergreen trees may not be the most economical option compared to manufactured trees, these trees keep the air clean, can be recycled, and bring a fresh, wintery scent to your home. However, evergreen trees can host a number of pests that might not become apparent until you’ve already moved the tree indoors.

Common Types of Christmas Tree Bugs

Aphids

Aphids are one of the most common insects found on Christmas trees. They will only come inside if brought in on a living plant, but once inside, it’s very easy for them to survive off the Christmas tree’s needles and branches. While these pests can live in cold weather, a warm, heated home can also prompt their eggs to hatch. If you do find aphids on your Christmas tree, be careful not to squash them into your carpet or on your wall. Their squashed bodies can leave behind a purple or red residue that is almost impossible to remove.

Mites and Spiders

Both part of the Arachnid family, mites and spiders are two pests that live on evergreen trees. Of the common Christmas tree bugs, these pests pose the most danger because their bites can cause irritation to human skin. You’ll know your tree is hosting these pests if you see small red dots on your carpet and nearby furniture, or if your tree begins to prematurely lose its needles.

Sawflies

Named after their saw-shaped bodies, sawflies use their ovipositor to cut into leaves and lay their eggs along the surface. These eggs form in small, brown cocoons and hatch between one to two months after being laid. Once grown, these pests can eat a significant amount of leaf tissue, causing an extensive amount of damage to your Christmas tree.

Adelgids

While adelgids may bring holiday spirit because of their resemblance to a light dusting of snow, these invasive bugs collect at the base of needles and feed by sucking the sap out of branches. Because of their feeding habits, they can successfully survive indoors for months.

Pine Needle Scales

Pine needle scales appear as tiny, white dots on a Christmas tree’s needles. If not taken care of in time, pine needle scales can destroy an entire Christmas tree. If a section of your tree appears to have a thin, white, wax-like covering, this points to a pine needle scale infestation and should be addressed immediately.

Bark Beetles

These tiny, red or brown-colored insects easily blend in with tree bark, hence their name. To spot these small pests, look for tiny holes in your Christmas tree’s branches. Evergreen trees try to defend themselves against these bugs by releasing pitch, or plant resin. If you spot small blobs of this sap-like resin accompanied by trails of sawdust, it’s likely that your tree is fending off a bark beetle attack.

Praying Mantids

The fact that praying mantids make a home on Christmas trees comes as a shock to many homeowners. A praying mantis’s egg is often no larger than a walnut and can contain up to 100 baby mantids. If allowed to hatch indoors, this egg can quickly turn into an infestation of praying mantids. These bugs are cannibalistic and will soon eat each other if unable to find food. If you spot a light brown, walnut-shaped egg, clip the branch on your tree and place it outdoors away from your home.

How to Treat a Christmas Tree Infested With Bugs

Fortunately, bugs that hitch a ride from the Christmas tree farm don’t pose a significant health risk to homeowners, but they can certainly be a nuisance. A single evergreen tree can contain over 25,000 bugs, and while many will die from starvation once brought inside, it’s better to avoid bringing them indoors in the first place.

When buying your new Christmas tree, perform a thorough inspection to see if the tree has any symptoms of a current pest infestation. If you find one that appears healthy, give the tree a good shake to knock off any straggling pests and vacuum around the base of the tree before bringing it inside. To be extra careful, leave the tree in your garage for a few days to take care of pests that can’t survive indoors.

Other preventive measures, like Diatomaceous Earth and neem oil, can kill these pests before you bring the tree inside. Diatomaceous Earth, also known as DE, is a popular, pet-friendly insecticide powder. Take a brush and dust the powder over the tree’s branches to kill any insects living on the surface. An easier (and faster) pest control option is to use a neem oil spray. Mix several tablespoons of the oil with a gallon of water, move the mixture to a spray bottle, and lightly coat the tree with the spray.

If you don’t manage to control the bug infestation on your Christmas tree in time, don’t fret. Our Four Seasons Protection Plan exists to help homeowners deal with any type of pest infestation, big or small. Give our team a call to receive a quote and find out how we can help safeguard your home from the diseases and destruction a pest infestation can bring.

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A Guide to Commercial Rodent Control

A Guide to Commercial Rodent Control

2019-12-02

While business owners in the food and hospitality industries are prone to receiving the most backlash from a commercial rodent infestation, the presence of mice and rats in any business is cause for concern. Preventing rodents from infiltrating your business is the easiest and most cost-effective form of commercial rodent control, but if you do end up facing a mouse or rat infestation, there are a few important things to know about rodent control for your business.

What Attracts Rodents to Businesses

The first step to preventing rodents in your place of work is knowing what attracts them in the first place. Different species of rodents have different behaviors. House mice sneak into storage areas through small holes in the wall, while roof rats find their way indoors by using tree branches or cables to climb on top of buildings.

Although it’s easy to identify the differences between a mouse and a rat in regards to appearance, these two types of rodents are attracted to similar environments. Both rats and mice live outdoors but will sneak into buildings in search of food or shelter. Both are nocturnal and use their sharp teeth to gnaw through wires, chew holes in upholstered furniture, and destroy unsealed food. Additionally, these rodents leave droppings near areas they infest and will build their nests inside walls, above ceiling tiles, or among piles of clutter.

Dangers of a Rodent Infestation

As soon as you spot rodent droppings or the sign of a rodent nest, you should take immediate action to control the infestation before it gets out of control. Why? A rodent infestation can cause major damage to your business and put your customers and employees at risk.

Diseases

Mice and rats carry diseases in their feces, which can be easily transmitted to humans and cause illnesses, allergies, and food contamination. These diseases include hantavirus, rat lungworm, and plague and can cause intense poisoning if not treated immediately.

Harmed reputation

If a rodent infestation is a persisting problem for your business, it could have a lasting impact on your success. Many customers don’t respond well to seeing a mouse or rat while they’re in a place of business, and it won’t be long before the negative reviews start pouring in online.

Legal repercussions

Most states have legislation in place for businesses in the hospitality industry that neglect to maintain standard hygiene practices. Businesses are often required to routinely monitor the building for signs of a rodent infestation, and take immediate action if signs are spotted. Businesses that do not comply with these laws could face hefty fines or even closures.

Are Commercial Rat Traps Enough to Solve an Infestation?

Commercial rat traps are a well-known solution for killing and/or capturing pesky rodents. But how effective are they at treating an infestation? If you’ve spotted just one or two rodents in your office or building, these rat traps, which can also be used on mice, can solve the issue with relative ease.

There are three types of rat traps used commercially. One is a snap trap, which, when triggered by a rodent’s movements, will snap shut, effectively killing the pest. The second type of rat trap is a glue trap. The sticky surface of the glue trap stops the rodent as it scurries across the surface. Because rodents must continue moving to regulate their body temperature, glue traps cause mice and rats to die of hypothermia while stuck in the glue.

The third type of trap offers a more humane method but may be less effective long-term. Live traps are constructed of small containers, whose doors reactively close shut behind the rodent when they are lured into the container by bits of food. This method keeps the rodents alive but requires business owners to release the rodents back into nature. There’s no guarantee that these rodents won’t then find their way back into your business.

Overall, commercial rat traps can be useful for solving small rodent problems, but we don’t recommend them for larger rodent infestations. If you oppose the use of a commercial rat trap, peppermint oil is a natural alternative that, if used correctly, can repel mice away from your business. To use peppermint oil, soak multiple cotton balls in the oil and place around your office or work area. Replace multiple times a week or until there are no more signs of a rodent infestation. However, because this method is slow and less impactful than a commercial rodent treatment, it’s best used for businesses operating in small spaces.

The Best Solution for Commercial Mice Control

Ultimately, the most effective course of action for eliminating a rodent infestation is to hire a pest control professional. At Aptive Environmental, our team of pest control technicians is highly-trained to provide tailored solutions for your business, keeping the size of your space and industry in mind. As soon as you spot the warning signs of a rodent infestation, schedule an appointment with a local technician. The extermination will take a few short hours, and with our Four Seasons Protection Program, we guarantee that if the rodents ever return, we’ll return, too.

GLOBAL MON EY-MAKER Lau nch

Genusity’s
3 PHASE BONUS SYS*TEM
WORKS!

Hi,

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an HOUR and you can too!
…Gray S., Augusta Ga.

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you could be making…
$12,550
in just 4 cycles over and over again…
PA*ID DA*ILY!

Introducing…
Genusity’s

3 PHASE BONUS SYS*TEM
is simple and here’s how it works:

STEP #1: Get Your FR*E*E POSITION
Follow the video instructions on this page:
http://legacyincometeam. com/

STEP #2: Get Your FR*E*E SYS*TEM
When you access the new GenCycler back
office, you will receive a fr*ee marketing
sys*tem with the same Landing Page
encoded with your link… Use it.

STEP #3: COPY THIS EMAIL AD
Use this email add but, on STEP #1, replace
my link with your link and then advertise
this ad EVERYWHERE!
That’s It… Perfect Duplication!

STEP #4: Get On Our LAU NCH Webinar
Get all of your prospects on it as well…
getting ready to start in an hour!
http://www.faithandwealthfinance. com

See you on the Team and Webinar!

Coach Howard Martell

Firewood Storage Tips for Pest Prevention

Firewood Storage Tips for Pest Prevention

2019-12-16

Finding bugs in your firewood isn’t an uncommon occurrence – there are a large variety of insects that specifically live inside of wood. Insects found in wood may either be eating it, nesting in it, or overwintering underneath it. If you’re storing firewood inside even for a short period of time, you might be bringing some hitchhikers into your home. This article will share the worst and best firewood storage practices to avoid insect infestations in your home.

Best Firewood Storage Methods

Ideally, you should store your firewood in a covered area outdoors (not leaning against the home). Try to avoid storing it near any trees to avoid infestation in them. It should also be raised off the ground with some air space under the cover and under the pile so the wood dries quicker.

Dangerous Firewood Storage Areas

Although most bugs that you will bring inside with firewood won’t harm your home, there is a higher risk of infestation or home damage with the firewood storage methods mentioned below.

Stacked Against the House

Although stacking firewood outside against the house might seem harmless and more convenient, it can be quite the opposite. This presents the perfect opportunity for termites and carpenter ants to eat at your home’s foundation.

Long-Term Indoor Firewood Storage

Storing your firewood supply indoors for a long period of time can be risky because select few wood-boring insects can emerge and begin eating at your home. Although this is the worst case scenario, you could also simply bring in annoying bugs that keep showing up or decide to raise their babies in your home. We’d recommend bringing in small amounts of firewood at a time, then leaving most of your supply outside.

Inside the Garage or Attic

Many people think the garage or attic is a good place to store firewood, but it can actually be one of the most dangerous. These areas tend to be damper and the structural wood could have enough moisture to sustain these bugs.

Most Common Bugs in Firewood

Most are surprised to hear that there are over 100 species of bugs that either live in or eat wood. For one, many of these bugs can crawl into firewood in from the ground (such as millipedescentipedespillbugs, bark lice, sowbugs, and others). Additionally, there are many species of bugs that make their homes inside of wood or even eat it.

Various Beetles

Beetles are some of the most common bugs that eat firewood. There are a few different types that can be found in wood. A few examples are roundheaded wood borers, flatheaded wood borers, slothole borers, and bark beetles. Most of these beetles are fairly harmless as they won’t eat your furniture or home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are attracted to wood that remains moist for an extended period of time. Rather than eating wood, these ants hollow out wood for nesting purposes.

Termites

Unlike carpenter ants, termites actually feed on wood. You don’t want to stack wood against your home as they will likely begin feasting on your home. Luckily, they won’t eat your furniture if they make their way inside and can’t establish a new nest inside. Plus, they might eat up all your firewood.

Preventing and Treating Firewood for Insects

If you’re wondering how to get rid of an invasive insect in your firewood or prevent this from happening, there are a few methods to keep most bugs out.

Prevention Methods

There are a few methods to prevent these insects from moving into your firewood supplies. For one, try to dry your firewood quickly. Most insects will not be interested in dry wood – make sure to store it raised off the ground in a covered area where it won’t get damp.

Additionally, harvesting your firewood during the winter months when bugs are least active lessens the risk of infested firewood. Also, cut the wood into smaller logs before storing as the wood will cure quicker.

Avoid Insecticides

You might think to spray firewood with insecticide, but this method is ineffective and dangerous. Most of these insects live deep inside of firewood, so the chemicals won’t reach even them. Plus, the toxic chemicals can be released inside your home when the firewood is burned. This is definitely not child-friendly.

Overall, there are precautions to take when planning your firewood storage methods. If you’ve discovered an infestation or wood-boring insects eating at your home, you’ll likely want to call a professional like Aptive Environmental to get rid of the bugs. We guarantee the insects we treat your home for will stay away – if they come back, we will too (for free).

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