Category Archives: Pest Database

Winter Pests Are a Reality in Charlotte

Cracks appearing in an interior wallSome people think that winter pests don’t exist in Charlotte, NC but they most certainly do, and infestations are no joking matter! It is much easier to prevent a pest problem than to face one head on. Wintertime attracts termites, stink bugs, roaches and other crawling critters into your home through the cracks and crevices in your walls, chimneys and other entryways unless you take proper preventive precautions.

Common Winter Pests & Their Destructive Qualities

Pests target the warmth in your home as a safe and appealing place to survive the winter. Here’s a list of destructive qualities of pests that you can avoid altogether this winter through prevention:

  • Physical damage to the structure of your home and personal belongings
  • Contamination of walls and surfaces
  • Infestation of food products
  • Adverse effects to your health by spreading germs and irritating allergies
  • Disruption to your comfort and sense of well-being

Spiders, mice, roaches, termites and more are some examples of the critters you could find in your family room, garage and basement so best practice is to take action and prevent the problem before it starts.

What to Do for Winter Pest Issues

To safeguard your home from pests this winter, here are some pest control and prevention tips:

  • Seal up cracks in the walls, ceilings and flooring when first cold hits
  • Block entryways, fix window screens and chimney screens
  • Maintain a clean yard free of debris
  • Avoid leaving standing water or damp spots
  • Clean up potential nesting areas and remove cobwebs

If you find unwanted critters like ants, roaches or mice have already entered your home to escape the cold, call a pest management company like Truly Nolen Charlotte who can end the infestation promptly and manage further prevention. If you would like to take precautionary measures to safeguard your home against pests, Truly Nolen Charlotte also specializes in pest prevention programs. Don’t let anything bug you this winter, call an expert at 704-910-2936 to handle all your pest control needs.

The Remarkable Bee Brain: Why Humans and Bees May Share the Same Love for Novelty-Seeking Activities

The Remarkable Bee Brain

While we know that bees live in highly organized, efficient societies with each bee performing distinct duties in the colony in the service of the queen, researchers have come to the conclusion that some bees, like novelty-seeking humans display exploratory tendencies, indicating that some bees respond in the same way some humans do to thrill-seeking activities.

In a 2012 study published in the journal Science, University of Illinois professor and Institute for Genomic Biology director, Gene Robinson, along with a team of graduate students, discovered that humans and bees share some of the same gene activity patterns in molecular pathways related to thrill-seeking and an innate sense of adventure, formerly thought only to exist in humans and other vertebrates.

Only a few bees in a swarm exhibit the drive to find new food sources and new homes

Bee adventurers “go the extra mile” for the survival of their colonies. In bee hives, only certain bees leave hives to hunt for new food sources and to find new accommodations once populations outgrow their current hives.

These “scout” bees, all females, take the initiative to fly out and hunt for new nests at a critical point when the hive divides and swarms of bees must find new homes in order for the hive to survive. Only about 5% of the swarm feels a higher calling and researchers also found that these nest scouts were, incidentally 3.4 times more likely to become food scouts, as well.

The fact that some scout bees will fly out repeatedly to find different sources for food and will also engage in missions, in search of new lodging points to “the gold standard in personality behavior,” according to Robinson. That standard showing “the same tendencies in different contexts,” points to bees exhibiting personality traits. That one bee might be predisposed to certain exceptional behavior, while others are not, suggests that bees might, in fact, possess personalities.

Researchers studied the gene activity in bees’ brains with surprising results

In the Illinois study, researchers set out to determine “the molecular basis for these differences in honey bee behavior,” using “whole-genome microarray analysis to look for differences in the activity of thousands of genes in the brains of scouts and non-scouts.”

While Robinson said that given all bees are foragers, non-scouts and scouts alike, they expected to see some differences in gene activity in scouting and non-scouting brains, but they were surprised at the degree of differences in brain activity between the two study groups.

Researchers are trying to understand what makes human and other animals seek novelty experiences

Studying what makes humans and other animals engage in novelty-seeking behaviors, researchers are tossing around theories related to how thrill-seeking behavior is associated with the brain’s reward system, in response to certain experiences.

Robinson’s team found similarities in bees’ brains related to regulating novelty-seeking in vertebrates

Because researchers in the University of Illinois study found “many of the differentially expressed genes,” in bee brains that related to GABA signaling in humans and other vertebrates, they narrowed their focus to catecholamine, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, as these neuro-transmitters are “involved in regulating novelty-seeking and responding to rewards in vertebrates.”

Testing their theories, Robinson and associates subjected groups of bees to these chemicals to determine whether or not changes in brain signaling caused novelty-seeking behavior in bees. The research group found that the chemicals glutamate and octopamine increased scouting behavior in previously non-scouting bees, that is to say, bees that had never scouted before. The team also concluded that when they blocked dopamine signaling, scouting behavior decreased.

Similar genetic tool kits evident in behavioral evolution of humans and other animals

Robinson said that this study showed that novelty-seeking behavior in humans, other vertebrates and now insects it appears, evolved along parallel genetic pathways.  Nature’s genetic “tool kit – the genes encoding certain molecular pathways,” may be responsible for thrill-seeking behavior in different species, each adapting their own definition of novelty-seeking behavior to their own social structures. Evidently, the same molecular pathways have been used repeatedly in the evolution to generate novelty-seeking behavior.

Bees and other stinging pests

While honeybees are essential to our survival as the globe’s most significant pollinators and do not usually attack people and pets, unless their colony is threatened, they still pose threats to human health as their venom can cause serious allergic reactions in sensitive people. Also, in recent years, feral bees that existed peacefully among ranchers and farmers, for decades are now showing aggression to people and animals, leading scientists to believe that all feral US bee populations have become Africanized.

Trust Truly Nolen

Although bee activity decreases in cooler climates, during the fall and winter, in warmer areas, bee activity continues all year long. In Southern parts of the US, bees are as common in the fall as leaves changing. Considered nuisance pests around your home or business any time of year, bees and wasps should be handled by a professional pest control company.  Truly Nolen eliminates bees and wasps on your property and offers beehive removal and other programs, such as scout traps to deter bees from settling in too close for comfort to you and your loved ones. Contact Truly Nolen to schedule a free pest inspection and to determine an appropriate plan to keep your home pest-free, throughout the year.

Bed Bugs: Fact vs. Myth

Bed BugThe holidays can call for very hectic traveling schedules for many people. Hotel rooms, fold out couches, airport benches, extended family living quarters and a friend of a friend’s man cave may be some of the exciting destinations holiday travelers will experience this winter. To keep your mind off bed bugs and on more important topics like food, family and the warmth from the fireplace, it’s helpful to be able to differentiate between truth and myth when it comes to bed bugs.

Top 5 Common Bed Bud Myths Exposed

Bed bugs are invisible!
False. Adult bed bugs, nymphs and their eggs are all visible to the naked eye.

Bed bugs live in filthy surroundings or prefer dirty places.
False. Bed bugs prefer to live in clutter, however they are not drawn to the dirt but rather to the warmth. Blood and Carbon Dioxide (C02) are also magnets for this pest but dirt itself is not appealing to bed bugs.

Bed bugs can only bite you at night.
False. Although they prefer darker lighting, bed bugs can and will bite you at any time, that is, if they are hungry and you are around. Popping on the light unfortunately does not deter this pest.

Bed bugs only infest mattresses.
False. Bed bugs can also live in couches and chairs, be transported by bags and pets and be picked up at places as common as the movie theater, on the bus or at the mall.

Bed bugs transmit deadly diseases.
False. As strange as it seems, there are actually no reported cases of bed bugs directly transmitting human disease. Other symptoms, like insomnia and nervousness as well as side effects such as secondary infections, can be caused by the presence of bed bugs. However, zero cases of disease transmission have been reported even though they can, in fact, harbor over 20 human pathogens.

Prevention and Avoidance Practices
Although a pest management company can assist you in handling an infestation, it’s easier altogether to prevent and avoid the occurrence of bed bugs. Making sure not to pick up furniture off the side of the road or that has been stored outside can help to decrease your chances of bed bugs getting into your home. Sealing up any cracks and entryways in walls lessens the chances for pests to enter and multiply. Another helpful tip is to keep a tidy and organized living space. Bed bugs find more places to live in cluttered areas than in those that are well maintained. You can knock out your holiday cleaning and prevent bed bugs from entering your home at the same time, keeping these tips and tricks in mind.

Roaches: Scary, Gross and Possibly Zombies

interesting and weird facts about roaches

From their pre-historic origins, for over 280 million years, these dreaded creatures have been wandering the globe. Over 4,000 species exist worldwide, with one species or another either creeping around in your basement, flying right at you, dropping on you from trees and ceilings in the dark of night or others scattering in throngs of thousands, when caught invading your kitchen, cockroaches are one of our most terrifying pests.

Huge cockroaches live in South America and they can fly

While gargantuan South American cockroaches, the stuff of nightmares, grow up to almost 4 inches long with a 6-inch wingspan, the most common cockroaches in the US include American cockroaches (also known as: palmetto bugs, water bugs and fudgies), German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches and brown-banded cockroaches.

Cockroaches transmit dangerous pathogens, cause respiratory viruses and allergic reactions

Not only do these creep show characters give us the heebie-jeebies, some transmit respiratory viruses, such as the Hantavirus, provoke asthma attacks and cause allergic reactions. Spreading over 30 human pathogens, in addition to a variety of parasitic worms and viruses, cockroaches can spread food-borne illnesses by transmitting Salmonella and Ecoli viruses picked up on their legs as they roam around in waste and decaying food scraps. And just in time for Halloween, here’s some more facts about cockroaches to enhance their squirm factors.

A cockroach can live for a week with no head

Often remarked that roaches will be the only creatures that survive in a post-apocalyptic world, according to a PestWorld.com article, cockroaches can live for a week without their heads. Because of their circulatory system, they can breathe without their head or mouth. In fact, they are able to breathe through small holes in each body segment. But because they need mouths to drink, cockroaches die from thirst in a week or so with no heads, during which they stumble around like zombies. And because they are cold-blooded, cockroaches with their heads intact are able to survive a month without food.

Submerged in water, cockroaches can survive up to 40 minutes

Thinking you can flush your problems away? Think again. Like that scary monster that just won’t die, a cockroach can hold its breath underwater for 40 minutes. Seems these creatures practice holding their breaths to regulate water retention. American cockroaches, in addition to their large sizes, their reputation for flying right at people, as well as, allegedly chasing them around their homes are also attracted to beer, according to PestWorld.com. Attracted to the hops and sugar, American cockroaches may also use the beer as a source of water and food!

New, invasive cockroach can survive freezing temps

According to NBCnews.com reporter, Frank Eltman’s 2012 article, “Invasive Cockroach Resistant to Freezing Cold Found on High Line,” winter can’t even stop some cockroaches. Observed in the High Line, a raised park that runs along Manhattan’s West Side, an invasive Asian cockroach, Periplaneta japonica can survive freezing temperatures.

With their ancient lineage, cockroaches have developed scary skills

As one of the oldest insects in history, cockroaches have developed some spooky skills over time. Cockroaches can spread viruses and pathogens throughout homes in very little time. Plus, as the US’s most common roach, German cockroaches mature in little over a month, enabling them to cause allergic reactions and outbreaks of other illnesses throughout the US. To top it all off, they are quick! Adult cockroaches can run up to three miles an hour and baby cockroaches can run just as fast as their parents at one-day old. Creepy!

Truly Nolen, your roach control experts

Unlike ghouls, goblins, mummies, monsters and man-eating arachnids, cockroaches won’t disappear into the dawn of a new day, like the creatures of haunted house fame. While DIY products on the market promise to eliminate cockroaches in your home or business, Truly Nolen suggests contacting a professional pest control company to safely and effectively address your cockroach concerns.

Technicians, trained and certified in control and treatment measures for different types of cockroaches keep your home and family in mind, using eco-friendly and naturally occurring methods and materials whenever possible. For on-going seasonal protection from all household pests, ask about our Four Seasons approach to household pests that creates a pest-free barrier around your home, using our innovative, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system.

Along with a professional pest control company’s protocols, homeowners can help deter roaches and other pests. Homeowners can take some common sense measures to keep cockroaches out of their homes. Prevention tips include:

  • Sealing cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation.
  • Regularly cleaning and sweeping food prep and dining areas.
  • Carefully inspect and/or discard all cardboard boxes or bags brought home from the store to ensure you’re not inviting a hitchhiking cockroach.
  • Tightly sealing all dried food items in glass, metal or hard plastic containers.
  • Storing all open food in the fridge or in tightly-sealed containers.
  • Keeping all outdoor trash receptacles clean and sanitized.
  • Removing all debris and unkempt vegetation from house exteriors.
  • Repairing all screens and sealing cracks around entryways.
  • Repairing or replacing all leaky faucets and water prone areas.

Halloween can be frightening, but not as scary as cockroaches. For expedient and expert solutions to your roach and other creepy pest concerns, contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free pest inspection today! Happy Halloween!

Treating for Bed Bugs in a Commercial Setting

Treating for Bed Bugs in a Commercial Setting

While hotels, along with multi-family and single family homes still rank as the top three places in the US for reported bed bug problems, according to a 2015 survey from the National Pest Management Association in conjunction with the University of Kentucky. Bed Bugs without Borders discovered that from hotels to hospitals, from daycares to dorm rooms and even to the corporate environment, bed bugs can be found just about anywhere people gather to relax and sleep.

Hitching rides in luggage, on clothes and even in electronics, bed bugs travel wherever there’s something they can catch a ride on. Fast-moving, bed bugs can also travel rapidly from unit to unit in multi-family properties, dorm rooms and rooms in healthcare facilities through the walls and holes made for plumbing and electrical installations.

Bed Bugs on the move

The survey also points out that one of the reasons bed bug infestations are on the rise in the US centers on our increasingly mobile lifestyles. As more people fly to their business and travel destinations and stay overnight, as we use public transportation and even as we Uber around town, we encourage bed bug activity.

Fortunately, the survey also shows that people are becoming more bed bug-conscious before, during and after traveling, checking bed bug registries before booking overnight accommodations, inspecting hotel rooms when checking-in, in addition to laundering and vacuuming all traveling items when returning home. Bed bugs can be challenging to eliminate altogether from commercial settings, as people unknowingly bring bed bugs into the commercial arena.

Commercial bed bug services requests on the rise to treat and monitor bed bug activity

Some states like Ohio, one of many, where bed bugs are showing resistance to commonly used materials, have Agricultural and Health departments teaming up to develop programs that distribute grant funding to political subdivisions and housing authorities in an all-out effort to combat bed bugs. These measures also include retaining ongoing professional pest control services that will also conduct monitoring services, as well as purchasing and distributing mattress covers.

Ongoing bed bug control is the only way to get a handle on these elusive pests

As commercial businesses can’t really track or control bed bugs arriving and departing their properties, Truly Nolen recommends ongoing bed bug control programs.

Truly Nolen takes commercial properties from inspection to prevention with a plan tweaked specifically to your business’s needs. Our innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system goes to work on bed bugs, starting with a free inspection of your commercial properties. After a thorough inspection, Truly Nolen service experts devise a plan with business owners or property managers to treat your business, customized to your schedule and other considerations.

Commercial businesses work with pest control companies prepping business establishments for bed bug treatment

Truly Nolen works with commercial properties step-by-step to prepare for bed bug treatments, suggesting that:

  • All washable or dry clean safe items should be removed in bags from affected areas and cleaned to avoid spreading bed bugs to additional areas.
  • All carpets in affected areas must be thoroughly vacuumed and vacuum cleaner bags disposed of inside a plastic bag, then sealed, and deposited in an outdoor receptacle.
  • Non-washable items, such as accessories, clocks, picture frames, office materials and supplies should be secured in plastic bags or totes and left for treatment.
  • All other miscellaneous items, including cardboard boxes, need to be bagged and left in affected area for treatment.

Truly’s innovative IPM system uses innovative technology and materials

Professional pest control companies constantly update to the latest materials and technology to treat persistent pests, as bed bugs continue to become resistant to commonly used materials. Truly Nolen’s innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system uses only the most effective, eco-friendly materials and methods to eliminate bed bugs from your property.

Treatments vary depending on affected material content and type

  • Treatments include low flow and high flow misting techniques on mattresses, box springs, curtains, leather, furniture and office supplies, depending on the composition of items. Paintings and other artwork are treated carefully with another method that will be safe for those items.
  • In hotels, motels, resorts, hospitals and other businesses with infested beds, Truly Nolen suggests using cost-saving options for mattresses and box springs. Bed bug specific encasement systems exclude future infestations, while any treated bed bugs inside encasements will soon die off.

Eliminating bed bugs takes education, communication, awareness and effort in commercial and residential environments. As bed bugs can affect all businesses and residential properties alike, homeowners and business travelers should know what to look for when traveling and practice prevention initiatives on returning from trips to prevent bed bugs from infesting their homes and businesses.

In the tourist, hospitality, healthcare and just about every other industry today, business owners are at risk for bed bug infestations. Most companies can’t afford to constantly fight bed bug issues, so getting on board with a reliable professional pest control company, such as Truly Nolen just makes good business sense. Bed bugs may be challenging but Truly Nolen knows how to keep them out of your homes and businesses. Contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free bed bug inspection today!

Carpenter Ants: Defeating the Army Behind Your Walls

Carpenter Ants: Defeating the Army Behind Your Walls

Have you ever wondered what a carpenter ant really is? We can guarantee you that they are not building beautiful furniture pieces. In fact, quite the opposite. You may think, “oh, it’s just an ant,” but these ants will give you something to worry about it if not taken care of.

Carpenter ants and termites look for new homes in the summer

Carpenter ant 6-04-18Like termites, in late winter and early spring, young adult carpenter ants, known as alates, swarm to mate and start new colonies. Male and female reproductives mate and form new colonies. These new colonies need places to nest and raise their broods. Unlike termites, these sometimes large black and brown to reddish bi-colored ants do not eat wood, but burrow through it, creating galleries and tunnels, causing structural damage to homes.

Measuring from .25 inches to around .75 inches, carpenter ants need a constant source of moisture to survive. Attracted to damp wood around your property or constantly moist boards and siding, carpenter ants like to nest in the damp and rotting wood outside your home, but will move inside by burrowing through damp wood or finding cracks in wood on the exterior of your home. Sometimes, they even take over termite colonies or old termite galleries.

Carpenter ant colonies include a main/parent colony and can include several satellite colonies. While carpenter ants may nest outside and forage up to 100 yards in search of food, satellite colonies may exist in your walls, attics and around moist areas in your home.

Outside, carpenter ants prefer proteins, feeding on live and dead insects and they like the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and some scale insects. In your home, carpenter ants are attracted to fatty foods, meats and sweets like jelly and syrups, foraging between sunset and midnight in your kitchen.

Signs of a carpenter ant issue

Signs of carpenter ant infestations include:

  • Discarded wings of swarmers near windowsills, baseboards and vents.
  • Active swarming indoors.
  • Sawdust piles made by boring through wood, and the ant excavating remains of dead ants and frass (sawdust).
  • Irregular, wide, clean, ragged surfaced galleries in wood surfaces.
  • Active foraging in your home at night or other low-light situations such as early mornings.

Contact a professional pest control company to eliminate carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants-02If you suspect carpenter ant activity in your home, contact a professional pest control company, such as Truly Nolen to schedule a free pest inspection. Although carpenter ants and termites look similar, carpenter ants have a defined waist, between their thorax and abdomen, while termites are more broadly connected. Carpenter ant alates’ sport a pair of upper wings that are much larger than their lower wings, whereas both pairs of termite alates’ wings are relatively the same size.

Also, carpenter ants have bent antennae but termite antennae are straight with no bend in them. Because carpenter ants may be causing damage to your home that is expensive to repair, we recommend contacting a trained, certified pest professional to inspect your property and design a plan to eradicate carpenter ants from your property.

Truly Nolen targets nests with innovative IPM system

Truly Nolen’s innovative Integrated Pest Management systems (IPM) utilize people and pet friendly treatments and methods that address primary and satellite nests. Our technicians are trained to identify potential carpenter ant areas and use materials that not only address your current infestation but target nests to eliminate colonies at their sources, killing off the queen, the brood and many worker ants. Without queens or secondary reproductive to take the queen’s place, reproduction stops and the colony collapses.

Carpenter ant prevention guidelines

To prevent carpenter ant invasions, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Repair or replace leaky faucets and other moisture sources around your home.
  • Remove standing water from porches, decks and other poor water drainage areas.
  • Regularly inspect crawlspaces, attics and basements for moisture.
  • Seal or caulk all cracks and crevices around your foundation, as well as around windows and doors.
  • Remove all landscaping debris (leaves, litter, mulch) and construction materials that are against the house and stack firewood at least 20 feet away from your structure.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from your house as they provide bridges for carpenter ants intent on moving indoors.
  • Regularly inspect decks, wooden storage sheds, old tree stumps and other wood on your property for signs of carpenter ant activity, like small holes in wooden surfaces.

This summer, when you are prepping your home for a new coat of paint and discover wood shavings or evidence of wood damage, contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free pest inspection. Our innovative eco-friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach arms our technicians with the knowledge and materials to protect your home from carpenter ant colonies.

While a fresh coat of paint creates great curb appeal and can help to weatherproof your house, it can also help protect your home from pests that are attracted to damp wood, such as termites, carpenter bees and carpenter ants. Ask about Truly Nolen’s Four Seasons Pest Control service approach to pest control that helps to identify and treat potential pest issues with seasonal visits that monitor and prevent pests from entering your home, creating a pest barrier around your property. Contact your Truly Nolen professionals today and enjoy your summer!

Mosquito Madness in Charlotte

Mosquito sucking blood
Charlotte, NC is nationally ranked one of the worst cities for mosquitoes. High temperatures and moist conditions attract mosquitoes, and standing water allows them to breed. Mosquitoes can be identified by their slender bodies and long legs. Adults can live from 10 days all the way up to 6 months. With summer in full force, taking a proactive approach against these pests is key to preventing bites.

Do Mosquitoes Favor Some More Than Others?

An article from Smithsonian magazine explains that some individuals are more prone to mosquito bites than others. Individuals who have type O blood type are especially favorable to mosquitoes. Larger individuals who emit more carbon dioxide when they breathe are also on this list. This group includes tall people and the obese. Elevated body temperatures, excess sweat and bacteria on the skin are also contributing factors.

Prevention and Types of Mosquito-borne Illnesses

Mother Applying Bug Spray To Daughter
Families in the Charlotte area should take precautions against mosquitoes, mainly during the months of June, July and August, to reduce chances of the transfer of mosquito-borne illnesses. Mosquito bites are known to spread diseases and cause allergic reactions. Some mosquito-related illnesses that have been reported are Zika, Malaria, Encephalitis, Chikungunya Virus and West Nile Virus. Over a thousand people have died from West Nile since 1999. There have been three confirmed cases of Chikungunya Virus in North Carolina with symptoms of fever, headache, muscle ache and joint pain. If you have been bitten and are experiencing any enhanced symptoms, we urge you to seek immediate medical attention.

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind that can help you avoid and prevent the dangers and annoyance of mosquitoes:

  • Wear long sleeves and white or light colored clothing when camping or outdoors for an extended period of time.
  • Steer clear of wearing flowery fragrances before spending time outdoors to decrease your chances of becoming a target.
  • Place citronella plants and candles on patios and porches. Chemical-free repellents also come in handy for warding off mosquitoes.
  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water so keep an eye out for pooling water in your yard and stay up to date on pool upkeep if you have a swimming pool at home.

Beat the Bite!

Pest control services, such as Truly Nolen Charlotte, offer mosquito mitigation for residential and commercial customers. Expert pest removal agents search for moist areas and conditions conducive to mosquito breeding around the bite site to begin a program designed to control mosquitoes through larval to adult stages. If avoidance and prevention fail to defeat the problem, reach out to Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for answers.

Keeping Blood Suckers Away During the Summer

mosquito control during the summer
Mosquitoes are a true sign that summer has arrived and they’re likely to ruin your afternoon of outdoor fun if you’re not prepared.

The American Mosquito Control Association says mosquitoes are the deadliest animals

The American Mosquito Control Association says mosquitoes are the deadliest animalsAccording to The American Mosquito Control Association, or AMCA, “Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism – over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year.” Mosquitoes are responsible for outbreaks of malaria, throughout history, as far back as 2700 BC, according to the AMCA. Contained to tropical climates today, malaria obstructed the settlement of the US east coast colonies and wasn’t effectively controlled until the 1940s.

Mosquito-borne illnesses afflict animals as well as humans

Mosquito-borne illnesses afflict animals as well as humansTo make matters worse, mosquitoes carry diseases and parasites that afflict our four-legged friends, as well, especially dogs and horses. While we’ve learned to protect ourselves from mosquitoes with bug repellants, proactive prevention measures and the help of a professional pest control company, such as Truly Nolen, mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other insect, rodent or animal. In addition to the ancient diseases, malaria and yellow fever outbreaks and the current Zika Virus scare, mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting many other diseases, including:

  • Chikungunya
  • Dog Heartworm
  • Dengue Fever
  • Yellow Fever
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis
  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes like your backyard’s stagnant water

Mosquitoes like your backyard’s stagnant waterUnfortunately, urban environments, like your backyard can lend themselves well to making excellent conditions for mosquito havens. The incredible thing is that some homeowners unknowingly and unwittingly set up lovely breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Check your property for areas of stagnant or standing water. Extra gardening pots, old tires, even birdbaths can create excellent mosquito-growing areas, along with other uncirculated bodies of water including retention ponds, boggy areas, long-standing mud puddles, lakes, ponds, fountains and open rain retention barrels. Often overlooked, flowerbeds with residual water standing in flowering plants and in the catch plate at the bottom of planters, can also be inviting to mosquitoes. It is important to note that generally, water needs to be standing for 7 or more days and a cup is enough to create a breeding ground. Interestingly, of course, there are also mosquitoes in the west that don’t need standing water at all to breed, the females can lay eggs in mud.

Made in the shade

Made in the shadeShady, damp areas around your yard and home can create favorable conditions for mosquitoes, as well. Mosquitoes are also attracted to and can commonly be found under thick foliage or in a section of your yard, porch or patio that doesn’t get much sun. Any place protected from the wind and sun can be an invitation to mosquitoes. Additionally, removing debris from around your home can help reduce mosquito populations. Keeping your yard, shrubbery and tree limbs trimmed and eliminating long, unkempt vegetation from around your home and yard can make your yard an unfavorable destination for mosquitoes.

Things homeowners can do to reduce mosquito populations

Things homeowners can do to reduce mosquito populationsWhen it comes to your home, repairing screens and replacing worn screens can go a long way to protecting your loved ones from mosquitoes. Also, many products on the market today can be helpful in reducing your risk for mosquito bites. Citronella plants and citronella oil in tiki torches and outdoor candles, plus organic bug repellants and mosquito-deterring bracelets and other devices can work to ward off those blood-sucking creatures of the summer night. At dusk, at night and early in the morning, wearing long-sleeves and long pants will leave less skin area exposed to mosquitoes, as well.

Treating your yard

Treating your yardTruly Nolen technicians, outfitted with power sprayers or backpack misters treat protected vertical and inverted surfaces of dense vegetation up to a height of 6 feet. Creating a mosquito barrier, our trained and certified technicians treat up to 50 feet around the perimeter of your property.

Entryways and bite sites

Entryways and bite sitesZeroing in on areas within 10 feet of established bite zones, Truly Nolen professionals treat areas around doors and windows up to 3 feet off the ground, as mosquitoes are known to rest in these areas after feasting on pets and people, in preparation for egg-laying.

Addressing reproduction zones and cycles

Mosquito control misting machineTo head off egg-laying, Truly Nolen technicians apply larvicide in small amounts to interrupt mosquito reproduction cycles in moisture-prone areas, in planters, sprinkler heads and other potential breeding sites including ponds, fountains and ditches that show tendencies to retain water. For extra protection for your yard and home against mosquitoes, Truly Nolen can install a programmable misting machine to control and eliminate all adult flying pests around your home.

Trust Truly Nolen

Truly nolen - pest control termitesEven though taking preventative measures to get rid of mosquitoes may keep their numbers down, contacting a reliable and reputable pest control company, such as Truly Nolen can really seal the deal between your home and loved ones and dangerous pests. Contact your local Truly Nolen location for a free inspection for pest identification and to devise a plan customized for your home and family.

Summer is here and you’ve got some outdoor celebrating to do. Remember, preventing stagnant water and moist conditions around your home can help reduce mosquito populations around your property. Enjoy your summer of fun and mosquito-free backyard cookouts and pool parties. Contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free pest inspection today!

Summer Pests Get in the Way of Summer Fun in Charlotte

Summertime pests can put a real damper on fun in the sun for people living in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. As the heat rises, more and more of these creepy crawlers catch your eye at softball games, picnics and even in your own backyard. Are they ALL dangerous? The answer is no, not all. However, bites from most common pests in the area can leave a red, itchy or irritated mark or bump on the skin, and there is the possibility of diseases being transmitted. Avoiding these pests by educating yourself and using the techniques described below, can prevent discomfort and save your outdoor plans this summer.

Wasps, Bees & Hornets

WaspWasps, bees and hornets can become a threat to food stores or homes in Charlotte if the aggressive types of the species begin to rely on people as a source for food. Controlling and managing the situation starts by first determining the species of the infestation – i.e. wasps, bees, stinging insects? Once identified, the pest and its swarm can be removed and further infestations prevented with treatment.

Fleas & Ticks

Fleas Ticks are found outdoors, in parks and in the woods. They are blood-feeders and hosts include both humans and animals. Fleas are more prominent outdoors and attack animals mainly, causing an intense itch and discomfort from their bites. Fleas and ticks can migrate indoors when attached to a pet, and this can cause a host of problems for the household. Getting rid of fleas and ticks starts at the vet’s office, where a diagnosis and treatment are provided. In conjunction with treating your pet, it will be necessary to clean your home and affected areas extensively, and talk to a local pest control expert about treatment and future prevention.

Mosquitoes & Common House Flies

Mosquitoes Pesky mosquitoes and flies can be found in open areas outdoors, such as parks, fields, forests, parking lots and backyards. They can also live in your home and cause quite a nuisance. Mosquitoes are attracted to higher levels of moisture on patios, hot tubs or other wet areas. Treating resting sites for these insects, and implementing moisture control in problem areas to remove moisture and prevent future infestation is available by your local pest professionals. Prevention has become a priority with outbreaks such as the Zika virus.

How to Steer Clear of Summertime Pests

Pests have an exceptional sense of smell, and this helps them target their preferred hosts. Bites can result in itchy rashes, spots and pain.  Some may also carry diseases which, at times, may be life-threatening, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and West Nile Virus to name a few. Some proven prevention and avoidance methods to practice include:

  • Generously applying and re-applying proper insect repellent before spending time outdoors.
  • Wearing long socks, long sleeves, long pants and a hat or scarf when camping or in the woods.
  • Checking your head and body thoroughly for tick and other insect bites when returning from the outdoors. Quick removal of ticks is important in disease prevention.
  • Using repellent torches or candles on your porch and at outdoor events, as instructed on the directions, is recommended.

Taking a proactive approach to pest prevention and management can decrease your risk of running into unwanted insects while soaking up sun and family fun. Truly Nolen Charlotte can help take care of your unwanted pests this summer. Call (704) 910-2936 for a free pest inspection.

 

Bee & Wasp Control: Infrastructure of a Bee’s Nest and Why You Don’t Want to Mess with It

bee and wasp control
As backyard entertaining brings the indoors outdoors this summer, your backyard or pool deck may play host to quite a few cookouts and pool parties. But sometimes, uninvited bees or wasps can disrupt summer fun activities. Because bees and wasps pose health threats to humans and pets, Truly Nolen recommends contacting a reliable and reputable professional pest control company to address your bee and wasp concerns.

Wild bee colonies Africanized

Also, with the sudden threat to honeybee populations worldwide, the thought of relocating a bee colony to an apiary may sound like a good idea to environmentally-aware homeowners but in Modern Farmer’s interview with Reed Booth, Southern Arizona’s Killer Bee Guy, Booth said beehives and nests found under eaves, in walls, in sheds and other places on homeowners’ properties should be eradicated as most wild bee colonies in the US have become Africanized. This means that due to the interbreeding of wild European honeybees with wild Africanized honeybees, the bees are much more aggressive and will attack people and pets. Pest professionals, such as Truly Nolen, know how to remove killer bees from your property, safely.

Honeybees vital to world’s crops and food supply

As the globe’s most important plant pollinators, honeybees play a vital role in contributing to over one-third of the planet’s food sources. Pollinating US crops at an estimated 10 billion dollars’ worth annually, honeybees produce honey collected from flower nectar. Bees depend on the honey they produce from flower nectars to nourish their young and provide sustenance for adult bees. While professional honey collection by beekeepers provides us with honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, beekeeping is a highly specialized enterprise, conducted by trained apiarists.

Honeybee social structure

A honeybee colony’s highly sophisticated and social structure includes individuals performing specific tasks for the ultimate good of the colony. Divided into three castes, honeybee colonies consist of one queen, 20-80 thousand infertile female worker bees and 300 to 800 fertile male drones, whose only job description appears to be mating with the queen to produce more bees. Along with the adult bees, honeybee colonies also include about 500 eggs, along with 25-30 thousand immature bees in “various stages of development,” according to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s website.

Inside the beehive

In familiar honeycomb-shaped nests, with their signature hexagonal shaped cells, worker bees raise the next generation of worker bees, in smaller cells at the bottom of the honeycomb. The upper, larger comb cells store pollen and honey to nourish the colony.

Sometimes nests require the construction of queen cells devoted to raising queen bees.

Worker bees

Even though they will never mate, the workers, do however “possess organs necessary for carrying out the many duties essential to the wellbeing of the colony,” says the FAO website article. Worker bees come equipped with:

  • Longer tongues than queens and drones used to extract nectar from flowers
  • Large honey stomachs for transporting nectar from plants to the hive
  • Pollen baskets on legs to carry pollen back to the hive
  • Glands in their heads that produce royal jelly to feed the larvae
  • Thorax glands that secrete enzymes needed to ripen honey
  • Four sets of wax glands for comb construction and sealing off honey cells
  • Highly developed stingers that allow them to defend the colony efficiently

Additionally, sterile female adults perform the bulk of the work in a bee colon. As immature bees, worker bees take care of the queen and the brood, performing these tasks and many duties inside the nest as house bees, including:

  • Cleaning the cells for future eggs
  • Cleaning the hive
  • Making sure the hive stays cool and ventilated for optimal honey production
  • Building comb cells for honey, water and propolis storage
  • Assisting in honey conversion
  • Packing the combs with supplies, including water, nectar and honey
  • Guarding the hive against all threats from other bees and predators
  • Performing orientation flights as training to become foraging field bees
  • Executing intruders or colony members marked as potential threats to the harmony of the hive

Executions “may be performed to eliminate strange bees, to kill or drive away old and sick bees, to discourage other hive predators from entering the hive, to remove sick or unwanted unemerged brood, to eliminate useless drones, and to kill unwanted or strange queens.”

As the FAO’s info on bees and wasps shows homeowners, bees and wasps do not play. They’re all business. The survival of a bee colony relies on delicately balancing a multitude of factors. For the good of the colony, bees and wasp will kill members of their own colonies, including their queen in order to maintain optimal hive conditions. In light of this information and observations, homeowners should steer clear and avoid attempting to remedy the problem on their own. Instead, homeowners should contact their local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free bee or wasp inspection, when bees and wasps move too close to human and pet living areas.

Entertaining outdoors can be a whole lot of fun this summer, without the threat of bees ruining your outdoor events. Contact Truly Nolen for all of your pest control concerns!