Category Archives: Flies

How to spot houseplant pests

Pests frequently enter a home through a seemingly innocent decorative staple: houseplants. Various insects and less noticeable mites can infest plants before they are even brought back from the store. Spotting the pests is the first step to exterminating them.  

An infestation can damage the appearance and health of the plant, and will occasionally kill them. Regardless of side effects, the pests pose a bothersome problem. 

Whiteflies
Whiteflies look slightly like gnats covered in a waxy white substance. Adults will have wings, and are typically very small. They’re not difficult to spot on darker leaves, as their light coloring contrasts with the plant. These pests are most damaging at their younger stage, as that is when they consume the plant. Whiteflies inhabit the undersides of leaves, so regularly check your plants for the small white insects. 

Mealybugs
Mealybugs are easily visible at about three-sixteenths of an inch long. They can resemble mildew, but upon closer inspection will be moving. Like whiteflies, they are lighter in color and stick to the undersides of leaves. They also populate near the stem and at the base of the plant, so be aware of anything that looks like mildew on an indoor plant.

Thrips
Thrips are tiny and darker than mealybugs and whiteflies, which makes them harder to spot. They hop rather than fly, so identifying thrips can be done after examining a plant for more than a few seconds under a magnifying glass. The mites eat flowers in addition to leaves and stems, so unusual streakiness on flower petals could indicate a thrip infestation. 

Aphids
Aphids are usually found on household plants, but infestations can be found in dense wooded areas outdoors as well. Indoor aphids range in color from green, black, brown, gray, yellow, red or purple. A study done by the University of Minnesota suggests looking for clusters of aphids beneath flower buds and on petals. 

A fact sheet from Colorodo State University recommends keeping plants in a separate area of the house, away from already-established plants for a few weeks before moving them to a permanent location. Scale insects (whiteflies and mealybugs) are present on most houseplants that have been recently purchased. Most mites can be removed easily by running the plant under water on moderate pressure, while whiteflies and other airborne insects can sometimes be tamed with sticky traps.

Food manufacturers dealing with fall pests

Pest control is a major issue among homeowners across the country, but business owners also have to take protective measures when it comes to preventing bugs, insects and other pest infestations.

In the food manufacturing industry, safety is paramount and keeping unwanted pests at bay is a priority for every food manufacturer. With the summer heat fading into an autumn chill, food plant managers are taking proactive steps to keep their products safe.

"Depending on geographical location, winter can provide some relief from exterior pest pressures. However, certain parts of the U.S. will see year-round pressures from outdoor insects," Patricia Hottel, technical director at a pest management company, told FoodProcessing.com. "There are definitely some seasonal pest differences in the temperate climates. There are several types of fall invading pests to expect as summer comes to a close. Several of these pests invade structures in search of a place to overwinter."

Many pests are influenced by the temperature and other aspects of the seasons, with some more prevalent in the fall and harvest season. The news source states that these pests include rodents, boxelder bugs, foreign grain beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs, cluster flies, multicolored Asian lady beetles and more.

"Each season brings different opportunities for pests to find food, water and shelter within or around food processing, packaging or handling facilities," Dale Bauerkemper, vice president of operating companies at a pest control company in Wisconsin, told the news source. "Although chemical applications can offer some immediate relief, environmental control methods that drop the relative humidity levels, removing the water pests need to survive, are required for real long-term resolution."

What to do as a business owner
As a home and/or business owner, you should take whatever steps are necessary to rid any potential pest issues. Contacting pest control professionals can be the easiest and most effective way to eliminate your bug or insect issue.

Although there are personal pest control measures that can be undertaken to remedy the situation, these are not always effective and some may not be safe. Working with a trained professionals may solve pest problems more quickly and offer much-needed peace of mind.

The dangerous pest in your home

One of the most common household insects may also be one of the most dangerous. Most homeowners have had experiences with house flies at some point, and not realized just how germy the pests can be. During the summer months, when windows and doors are opened frequently, it is easy for these insects to zoom inside and make a home for themselves.

Even though they seem to be a mere annoyance, flies can be a dangerous pest to have indoors. These insects have been known to spread filth and disease, and there is a chance there are some crawling about your home this very minute. Taking the appropriate insect control measures to deal with a fly problem can prevent serious illnesses from occurring.

The filth on a fly
When a fly gets into your home, it doesn't enter alone. It brings with it disease and bacteria which can be harmful to both humans and pets. The germs on a fly can include pathogens that cause dangerous conditions such as typhoid, tuberculosis and cholera. Aside from these critical illnesses, flies can also spread common bacterial infections because they carry so many microorganisms on their bodies. Because flies walk on rotting garbage, fecal material and other germy surfaces, they pick up more dangerous bacteria each time they land.

Spreading disease quickly
Flies spread illnesses quickly because they land with astonishing frequency. Every time a fly touches down on a surface in your home, it spreads bacteria and pathogens to the area. This makes sanitizing the areas that flies have touched very important to prevent the spreading of disease. Since flies tend to land on human meals and utensils, putting these items away quickly can prevent the further contamination of food.

Keeping an infestation under control
Flies breed extremely rapidly, and a few pesky flies can quickly become a full-blown infestation. Besides having an excessive number of flies in the home, signs of an infestation can include maggots in food and garbage. To prevent breeding in the areas, food should be properly sealed in tight containers, and trash cans should be emptied regularly. If the flies in your home are just too numerous to kill with an ordinary flyswatter, it may be time to call in professional exterminators. A pest control expert can determine how to best rid the home of the flies and prevent an infestation from occurring in the future.