Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Black Polycaon Beetle

The Black Polycaon Beetle Commonly Infests Hardwood Flooring And Furniture Made Of Any Softwood Species, Sometimes For Several Years

Several beetle species see adult females lay eggs on the surface of wood in order to allow emerging larvae to bore into wood for nesting and feeding purposes. Larvae of most wood-boring beetle species excavate interior tunnels through natural wood sources only, like trees, logs, stumps and fallen branches. Unfortunately, a significant number of beetle species also bore into finished wood sources, like structural wood, furniture, and other forms of  woodwork. Naturally, beetle species that bore into finished wood sources are considered economically significant insect pests due to the costly damage they inflict to valued woodwork.

Much like termites, larvae of wood-boring beetle species excavate nesting tunnels within wood where they feed on cellulose for nutritional purposes during their maturation into adulthood. The most common wood-boring beetle pests that infest woodwork on US properties include powderpost beetles, old house borers and deathwatch beetles. The Bostrichidae family of wood-boring beetles include 700 documented species, some of which are pests of woodwork that are commonly known as “false powderpost beetles.”

The most destructive powderpost beetle species include the “leadcable borer,” the “bamboo borer,” and the “black polycaon.” Black polycaon beetles are extremely abundant in Arizona where pest control professionals frequently recover larvae from infested plywood and furniture, particularly veneer furniture. While larvae of this species can infest any softwood species, they have also been found infesting hardwood flooring and oak furniture within homes and buildings in Arizona. Black polycaon beetle larvae generally infest woodwork for around one year before reaching maturity, at which point they emerge from wood through small exit holes that are around 7 mm in diameter. These exit holes are visible on the surface of damaged woodwork, and in rare cases, larvae have infested finished wood items for as long as 20 years before reaching adulthood. The black and cylindrical adults are between 11 and 22 mm in length, and they often enter homes due to their attraction to artificial light sources.

Have you ever encountered flying beetles around your indoor or outdoor lights?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

How Do Bait Systems Eliminate Indoor Cockroach Infestations?

It is well known that termites and ants are particularly difficult to control in terms of both preventative and remedial pest management tactics. However, cockroaches were the most significant insect pests of homes and buildings during the 20th century and before, as they were largely immune to the professional-grade control measures that existed at the time. Luckily, the late 20th century saw the advent of effective cockroach baits that remain the industry standard to this day.

Since numerous cockroach pests inhabit single nests that are obscured within inaccessible indoor areas, such as wall voids, there is no easy way to destroy or remove cockroaches from an infested home. Early roach baiting systems only killed the few individual roaches that ventured out of their nests and consumed the poison bait, but today’s roach baiting systems contain a slow acting poison that becomes fatal hours after being ingested by roach pests. This delayed reaction allows affected roaches to return to their nest where they spread the poison to their nestmates, eventually leading to the complete destruction of the nest.

These improved baits work by exploiting several cockroach behaviors, particularly foraging, mutual fecal consumption in nests, and vomit consumption in nests. For example, each hidden cockroach nest within a home sees a small proportion of individuals leave during the nighttime hours in order to gather food sources from open living areas. These foraging roaches consume poison bait from bait stations placed throughout a home before returning to their nests.

Cockroaches naturally indulge in the consumption of their nestmates’ feces, and therefore, the contaminated feces of poisoned roaches are readily eaten by nestmates, allowing the poison to spread throughout a nest. The poison is also spread via cannibalism, which is a normal cockroach behavior. Lastly, studies have shown that foraging roaches vomit before dying from the toxic effects of the bait, which prompts healthy nestmates to consume the toxic vomit, further facilitating the spread of fatal toxins throughout a nest.

Have you ever resorted to cockroach baits to eliminate an infection?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Most Important Housekeeping Tasks For The Prevention Of Fabric-Pest Infestations

The Most Important Housekeeping Tasks For The Prevention Of Fabric-Pest Infestations

Carpet beetles and clothes moths are two groups of insect pests that feed on a variety of indoor fabrics, including clothing, carpeting, furniture upholstery, and drapery. Their feeding habits sometimes result in serious economic damage, and these pests are particularly prone to consuming clothes and furniture that have become saturated with human perspiration. Animal-based items containing keratin proteins, such as wool, fur and leather are favored by the larvae of clothes moths and carpet beetles. Carpet beetle and clothes moth infestations can be difficult to eradicate, and fumigations are sometimes necessary to eliminate heavy infestations. The best way to avoid carpet beetle and clothes moth infestations is for homeowners to take measures to prevent the pests from establishing a presence indoors.

When it comes to preventing fabric-pest infestations, the vacuum is the most important tool at a homeowner’s disposal. Every room in a home should be vacuumed frequently enough to prevent lint and hair from accumulating on carpets and rugs. The presence of sweaty lint from clothes and hair provides nutrition for fabric-pests, allowing their indoor population to grow. It is also important to remove bird nests on the exterior window sills and ledges on a home, as dead insects and bird feathers provide an attractive source of sustenance for fabric pests. The same goes for dead insects that have collected within certain indoor areas, but this can be difficult when dead insects are abundant in hard-to-access areas, such as wall voids. Dog kennels and bedding for pets should be kept clean, and taxidermied animals should be stored away while indoor fabric pests are being combatted. Dry-cleaning will kill the larvae and eggs present on contaminated clothing, and pest control firms often apply clothing treatments that protect against fabric pest infestations. When fabric pest infestations demand the intervention of a pest control professional, carpeting may have to be lifted for the application of insecticide. Whole-structure fumigation is generally the last resort for fabric-pest eradication, but infested items, like mattresses, rugs and furniture, can be fumigated individually as well.

Is your home currently at risk for a fabric pest infestation?


Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Biting And Stinging Insects That Commonly Infest And Damage Swimming Pools In Arizona

The Biting And Stinging Insects That Commonly Infest And Damage Swimming Pools In Arizona

Most Americans are not familiar with any aquatic insect species, but most would assume that such insects could not exist in the excessively dry Sonoran desert region within Arizona. Although this assumption may seem sensible, the state is, in fact, home to several aquatic insect species. If there is one group of residents in Arizona who are aware of aquatic insects within the state, then it would probably be residential pool owners since it is not uncommon for swimming pools to become infested with aquatic insects. But aquatic insects are not the worst group of insect pests that Arizona pool owners may have to deal with on occasion, as there also exists a stinging wasp species that frequents residential pools for a cool drink during the summer season. In some cases, wasp swarms can take shape around swimming pools in Arizona, putting residents at serious risk of sustaining potentially dangerous stings.

Some insect pests that are commonly found within Arizona pools are not necessarily attracted to the water as much as they are attracted to the lights within and around a pool. For example, insects that are attracted to artificial light sources, like moths, some beetle species and leafhoppers, often fall into pools where their corpses can become numerous. If swimming pools and surrounding yard vegetation is not maintained, then pools will eventually become inundated with mosquitoes and midges looking to use the large water source as a site for reproduction and egg laying.

A common group of aquatic insects in Arizona known as backswimmers cannot tell the difference between natural water sources and pool water, so infestations of these insects within swimming pools is to be expected. The sharp mouthparts possessed by these insects can damage pool lining, and they will not hesitate to bite any that human who dares to share a pool with them. A water-scavenging beetle species, Tropisternus californicus, can also infest Arizona swimming pools where they have been known to bite bathers. The most troubling pool pest in Arizona may be the yellow paper wasp, or the swimming pool wasp. This may be the most commonly complained about insect pest within Arizona pools, and many residents have first hand knowledge of this insect’s ability to survive long periods below the water’s surface. Since yellow paper wasps can sting humans, professional pest control assistance is highly recommended for residents who find these insects around their pool.

Have you ever witnessed a large insect swarm around a swimming pool?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

A Brown Recluse Spider Bite Caused A Woman To Hallucinate And Become Paralyzed, And There Are Dozens More Hiding In Her Home

The brown recluse spider may not look intimidating, but it is one of the most dangerous spider species in the United States. According to medical experts, around ten percent of brown recluse spider bites to humans result in tissue death, but negative health consequences can be felt by bite victims who never develop serious infections. For example, last summer a Tennessee woman, Angela Wright, experienced hallucinations and temporary paralysis in response to brown recluse venom alone. In fact, the one bite that Angela sustained nearly gave her a fatal stroke.

Wright woke one morning with pain in one of her arms and small bumps on her chest. Angela eventually visited the doctor where she was prescribed medication for the bumps, but her symptoms became worse. Soon after, Angela began to hallucinate and she developed seemingly bizarre symptoms such as sharp chest pains, flu-like symptoms and eventual paralysis. It turned out that the bite had formed two blood clots within Angela’s lungs. These clots brought Angela dangerously close to having a stroke. The doctors who treated Angela claimed that the neurotoxic components within brown recluse venom caused her to experience hallucinations.

Angela refused to sleep within her apartment for one more night, as she had found dozens of the spiders infesting her apartment unit before she visited the hospital. Angela had complained to the apartment managers about the infestation, and the managers responded by sending a pest control professional to her room to spray insecticide, but the spiders remained. Sadly, this one bite may have caused lasting medical problems, as doctors believe that Angela will have to remain on blood-thinning medication for her entire life as a result of the clots. Angela is also experiencing sudden bouts of pain in her chest. Due to the risks associated with blood clots, Angela’s doctors recommended that she avoid having children for life.

Have you ever killed a brown recluse spider that you found indoors?