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Your Christmas tree may harbor up to 25,000 ‘freeloading’ insects: scientist

Your Christmas tree may harbor up to 25,000 ‘freeloading’ insects: scientist via http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/19/your-christmas-tree-may-harbor-up-to-25000-freeloading-insects-scientist/

By Agence France-Presse

Christmas tree illustration via Shutterstock

 

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

Er, not quite.

Get a magnifying glass and take a close look at your Christmas tree, says a scientist.

In all likelihood, it is harbouring thousands of bugs.

Bark lice, mites, moths and the odd spider are among the tiny creatures that live on pine trees and find themselves dragged into homes when Christmas comes around, says Bjarte Jordal at Norway’s University Museum of Bergen.

Stimulated by the lights and warmth, they emerge from hibernation in your living room.

“In research on Christmas trees there have been found as many as 25,000 individual (insects)… in some of the trees,” says Jordal.

He adds, though: “As they cannot feed on the limited plants found in most households, the bugs will quickly dry out and die.

“These insects and bugs do not constitute any risk or danger to people or furniture. And if anyone is worried about allergic reactions, I don’t think there’s any danger of that.”

Funny Pest Meme’s

Checkout this funny pest Meme below! :)

Ants: Commonly Infested Areas in the Home

Photo Contest Deadline is December 5

Photo Contest Deadline is December 5

Don’t forget to submit your best photo to PCT by Dec. 5 for a chance to win $500. PCT’s annual Best Pest Photo Contest is your chance to be recognized alongside your peers for having taken one of the best photographs in the pest control industry.

Don’t forget to submit your best photo to PCT by Dec. 5 for a chance to win $500. PCT’s annual Best Pest Photo Contest is your chance to be recognized alongside your peers for having taken one of the best photographs in the pest control industry. Photos will be judged on color, clarity and content. In addition to the photo, please provide:
•    Identification of the pest
•    Where the photo was taken
•    Anything else unique about the photo or circumstance under which it was taken

Send this year’s nominations* via e-mail to photocontest@giemedia.com or mail to: PCT Online, c/o Brad Harbison, 4020 Kinross Lakes Pkwy., Ste. 201, Richfield, OH  44286.
*Important note: There is a limit of one photo per entrant.

 

• Identification of the pest
• Where the photo was taken
• Anything else unique about the photo or circumstance under which it was taken

Send this year’s nominations* via e-mail to photocontest@giemedia.com or mail to: PCT Online, c/o Brad Harbison, 4020 Kinross Lakes Pkwy., Ste. 201, Richfield, OH 44286.
*Important note: There is a limit of one photo per entrant.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites

Family Rhinotermitidae

Subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air. Termite colonies are organized into castes depending on tasks — workers, soldiers and reproductives. The characteristics of a subterranean termite are dependent on the termite’s role in the colony. Cream-colored Worker subterranean termites are 1/8 to 3/8′s of an inch in length. Soldier subterranean termites are of a similar body length, but are distinguished by their powerful mandibles. Solider termites have cream-colored bodies and brown heads. Reproductive subterranean termites are approximately one inch long.HabitsSubterranean termites live underground and build tunnels, referred to as mud tubes, to reach food sources. Like other termite species, they feed on products containing cellulose. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring — groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies.HabitatSubterranean termites need contact with the soil to survive and live underground. They can build tunnels through cracks in concrete.ThreatsSubterranean termites are by far the most destructive species. They can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner. The hard, saw-toothed jaws of termites work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. If you suspect infestation, contact a pest professional about subterranean termite treatment.

How to Prevent and Treat Cockroach Infestations

Bed Bug Basics: 10 Tips to Protect Yourself

Cool Bugs!

Carpenter Ants: Silent Destroyers

Carpenter Ants: Silent Destroyers

The real risks posed by these tiny pests

Carpenter Ants: Silent Destroyer

Did you know that there are more than 700 species of ants in the United States? In fact, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the country. Fortunately, most common ant species – like odorous house ants, pavement ants and Argentine ants – pose little threat beyond the annoyance of an infestation, but some ant species – like carpenter ants – can pose serious threats.

What’s the risk?

Of all the ant species, carpenter ants are one of the most problematic. They can cause serious property damage to homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Much like termites and other wood destroying insects, this excavation can compromise the structural soundness of the wood over time.

Where are they found?

There are nine types of carpenter ants in the U.S. These pests are most commonly found in cool, damp climates in the northern regions of the country.

Carpenter ants build their nests in various wood sources, including tree stumps, fence posts, firewood or landscaping. They prefer to attack wood that has been wet or damaged as a result of leaks. Indoors, this means they are often found in damaged window and doorframes, crawlspaces under roofs, chimneys, sinks and bathtubs.

A mature carpenter ant colony can contain more than 10,000 workers. In large colonies, it is not uncommon to have multiple nests inside structures as well as outdoors.

Carpenter ants usually gain access to buildings through cracks around doors and windows, holes for wires, or straight through wet, damaged wood. They will also crawl along overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs that touch the building far above the ground. Although carpenter ants first invade wet, decayed wood, they may eventually build paths through dry, undamaged wood, too.

How do I spot them?

Carpenter ants are larger than most other ant species. They range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters of an inch.  They are black or red, or sometimes a combination of both colors.

Typically, carpenter ants act as “silent destroyers,” quietly tunneling through wood without any external signs of damage. In some cases, homeowners may notice wood fragments and sawdust that fall through cracks the ants have created. Badly damaged wood will have small openings, like little windows.

How Do I Prevent Them?

Carpenter ants can be destructive, and the damage they cause can be expensive to repair. The best way to treat this pest is to prevent them before they ever find a way into your home.

Luckily, there are many things homeowners can do to prevent carpenter ants. For one, carpenter ants need a constant water source to survive, so eliminating moisture or standing water on your property can help to deter them. Consider using a dehumidifier in crawl spaces, basements and attics that are prone to dampness.

Homeowners can also trim tree branches and shrubs away from their home, as these often provide highways inside for ants and other pests. In addition, fill any gaps or cracks on the outside of the home with silicone caulk. Firewood and other wood building materials should be stored at least 20 feet from your home, and at least five inches off of the ground.

Most importantly, keep a close eye on your property for signs of carpenter ants. Inspect wood on your home for the appearance of small openings or sawdust.  And if you suspect you have a carpenter ant infestation, contact a licensed pest professional right away. The sooner carpenter ants are treated, the less serious the damage is likely to be.