Pest Advice Blog

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!

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Knowles to Manager, San Diego Service Office

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Joe Knowles to Manager of the company’s San Diego service office at 7170 University Avenue, La Mesa, Calif.

Knowles joined the company in 2014 after six years as an area manager for Ace Parking Management, where he managed 35 parking facilities with over 25 team members. He was most recently the service office manager of the company’s San Marcos office (913 Rancheros Drive).

Some of Knowles’ new responsibilities will include helping the service office gain more visibility with the local San Diego community as well as instilling the company’s core values throughout his team. “I’m excited about the new challenges a service office of San Diego’s size will bring,” said Knowles. “I really appreciate all of the support our company has given me and am ready to begin setting benchmarks that I know we can achieve.”

“Since taking over in San Marcos in December 2014, Joe had a tremendous positive impact on that service office’s culture and team,” said Shane McManamy, Truly Nolen Western Region Manager. “We are looking forward to great things from Joe in San Diego.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Joe Knowles to Manager

Spiders Commonly Found in Charlotte

North Carolina is home to dozens of species of spiders. While most species of spiders are relatively harmless, two poisonous species are common in the Tar Heel state, the black widow and the brown recluse spider.

Black Widow Spider

Spider, Black widow femaleThe black widow spider may cause severe neurological problems and under extreme circumstances, even death. Female black widow spiders will, on occasion, even kill and eat the male after mating. They’re larger than the male, by about half, and have a reddish hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. A bite from a black widow spider contains 15 times more venom than a prairie rattlesnake.

Female black widow spiders will hang upside down from their web to keep an eye on their egg sac. These spiders are quick and will attack anyone that comes near their egg sac. After a bite from the black widow, the following may happen:

  • muscle aches
  • redness
  • burning
  • swelling at the bite site
  • abdominal pain

If any of these symptoms arise, head to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Brown Recluse Spider

Spider, Brown RecluseBrown recluse spiders are very small, often smaller than a quarter and have six eyes and a violin shape. In some areas of North Carolina, brown recluse spiders are referred to as fiddle-back spiders. Brown recluse spiders like to hide in cool, dry places such as cardboard boxes.

Brown recluse spiders are often found in the flaps of cardboard boxes. Storing items in cardboard boxes in North Carolina pretty much guarantees you will have a brown recluse clan moving into your home soon. Brown recluse spiders are timid and often don’t bite humans unless they are pressed against the skin.

The bite of a brown recluse spider can result in redness and necrosis of the tissue around the bite site. In extreme cases, individuals may end up losing a limb or finger from a brown recluse spider.

Others worth mentioning

Another common spider found here in North Carolina is the golden orb weaver spider. This spider is harmless and will keep to itself enjoying the bugs found in your yard. Grass spiders are common all over the U.S. and spin dense, sheet like webs.

While most spiders are harmless, they can be a nuisance when they make their way into our homes. And while spiders generally prefer living outdoors, once they find a way into our homes, they are hard to get rid of.

In some cases, a separate pest problem may be attracting spiders into your home. A professional pest control company can examine the exterior and interior of your Charlotte area home to check for a spider infestation. Contact Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for a free pest inspection and keep your home pest-free.

Flying Ants vs. Termite Swarmers

Flying Ant vs Termite Swarmer comparison

Spring in Charlotte not only means warmer weather and boating on Lake Norman, it also signals the beginning of increased pest activity. In Charlotte, like most of North Carolina, bug season starts in late winter and lasts until October. Flying ants and termite swarmers are common at this time of year.

In the spring and summer, Mecklenburg County homeowners witness young adult termites and some species of flying ants swarming, as part of their annual mating rituals. Usually in the daylight and following rain showers, winged reproductives, known as alates, fly around. They are looking for other reproductives of the same species to mate with and form new colonies.  This swarming activity can be alarming as well as confusing and many Charlotte homeowners want to know how to tell the difference between termite swarmers and flying ants.

Differences between flying ants and termites

Flying ants and termites may look similar but they actually possess very different physical attributes. Using a magnifying glass, you can see the following differences:

Flying Ants

FLYING ANTS

  • Ants have thin waists, which is the very narrow area between the thorax and first abdominal segment.
  • Ants have a pair of front wings that are much larger than the hind pair.
  • Ant wings have few veins and are usually clear.
Termite Swarmers

TERMITES

  • Termites’ thoraxes and abdomen are broadly connected.
  • Termites have two sets of wings that look approximately the same in size and shape.
  • Termite wings have many veins and may be milky-colored.

Prevalent flying ant species

The presence of flying ant swarms indicates that your home or property is either infested with ants or their nests are nearby. In the Charlotte area, the most prevalent flying ant species include:

  • Pavement ants – Found often in homes with concrete slab foundations, but can be found in just about any type of construction.
  • Odorous house ants – The most common indoor pest ant, named for their coconut smell.
  • Carpenter ants – Wood-destroying pests, can cause significant damage to Charlotte homes.
  • Red imported fire ants – Don’t come indoors but inflict painful stings that can result in dangerous allergic reactions.

Consult a pest control professional

Because ant colonies can consist of a primary nest with several satellite nests, contact a professional pest control company to eliminate ants from your Charlotte home. Truly Nolen’s trained and certified technicians inspect your home and property to determine a plan of action that includes pet friendly ant control treatments that eradicate colonies. By circulating materials via worker ants, these solutions eventually kill queen ants. With no queen ants, colonies cannot reproduce and will collapse.

Termite swarming can be an indicator of more serious issues, with different solutions.

  • Swarming activity outdoors, a reminder
    Outdoors, near tree stumps and other wooden materials, swarming may not indicate a termite infestation in your home, but a reminder to contact a professional pest control company for an annual inspection.
  • Swarming activity indoors, an indicator of termite invasion
    Indoors, swarming usually indicates an infestation somewhere in your home, in which case you should contact a pest professional immediately, as termites, especially subterranean termites can go unnoticed for years. Termites cause structural damage homeowners may not be aware of until expensive repairs become the homeowners’ nightmares.

Signs of termite activity

Most termite species prefer soft or water-damaged wood and some species will infest dry, solid wood as well. Unlike ants, termites do eat wood and subterranean termites build tunnels and claylike tubes from their nests in nearby tree trunks to their food sources in your home. Blistering wooden structures and blackening wood can be indications of termite activity, along with tunnels and claylike tubes leading from the soil to your wooden structure.

Contact Truly Nolen Charlotte

If you find evidence of termite damage to any wooden structures, this may be a sign of infestation. Truly Nolen Charlotte’s skilled professionals take your individual needs into consideration, designing a customized solution for your termite situation. With our combination of above and below ground treatments, we can provide the most complete and thorough termite protection. Our Total Termite Protection Plan treats attics, eaves, walls, windows, doors, plumbing pipes, foundations, slabs and other termite prone areas. Truly Nolen Charlotte protects your home against all types of termites, unlike many pest control companies who only treat for one type of termite.

If you suspect flying ants or termites in your home, call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection and have a pest-free spring and summer!

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Barcelo to Sales Supervisor, Customer Care Center Office

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Michael Barcelo to Sales Supervisor of the company’s Customer Care Center in Tucson, Ariz.

Barcelo has been with Truly Nolen since 2008 when he joined the company as a salesman at the Tucson service office. In 2009, he transferred to the Customer Care Center team and has served as an Agent and a Team Leader.

Prior to joining Truly Nolen, Barcelo, who attended Pima Community College in Tucson, spent almost six years with Papagayo Mexican Restaurant in a variety of roles.

In his new role, Barcelo will be coaching and developing team members, helping to provide a successful environment for the company’s employees, and providing customer service for the company’s customers and potential customers.

“I love coming to work every day because I know we make a difference in our customers’ lives,” said Barcelo. “I’m so excited about my new role and cannot wait to hit the ground running.”

“Michael’s devotion to our customers’ satisfaction and our company’s core values make him uniquely qualified for his new position,” said Kaylieha Nielsen, Truly Nolen Manager, Customer Care Center. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to grow our Center.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Michael Barcelo to Sales Supervisor

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Morrow to Manager, National Commercial Service Office

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Daniel Morrow to Manager of the company’s National Commercial service office in Tucson. The company’s National Commercial service office manages pest control in all 50 states and for some of the largest companies, brands, and restaurants throughout the United States.

Morrow has been with Truly Nolen since February 2015. Prior to joining the company, he spent eight years in the retail industry as a manager for companies like OfficeMax and Cycle Gear. In addition, he is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in Japanese Religion and Linguistics.

Morrow’s unique college degree, business background and proven skills following his successful time as a manager-in-training with Truly Nolen has him ready for the next challenge. “I am most excited about the full scope of the role,” said Morrow. “Every small decision made affects thousands of technicians, branches, franchises and service partners, and I feel like I am contributing to a greater cause.”

“Daniel brings a great new energy to our National Commercial division,” said Mike Tanner, Truly Nolen District Manager, District 107 Commercial. “We look forward to working with him as we continue to build our countrywide presence and streamline our processes.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Daniel Morrow to Manager

Boxelder Bug vs. Stink Bug

The boxelder bug and the stink bug are two easily confused insects, which can be seen congregating in and around homes, especially populating the Charlotte, NC area. Although slightly similar in appearance and peskiness, these pests are not one and the same. It is true, although different species, both stink bugs as well as boxelder bugs are attracted to the warmth coming from the crevices and entryways of your home. This is because both species need shelter and protection for over-wintering. So how do you tell the two apart, and keep them both out? Identification and prevention are key with these two pests.

Identifying Differences

Neither stink bugs nor boxelder bugs cause harm to humans, but they do have some pretty interesting reactions to danger. When crushed, the boxelder bug will secrete a dye that stains. The stink bug, no surprise, gets its name from the odor it emits when squashed. For mess-free removal of these bugs, be sure to use a vacuum hose attachment.

Boxelder Bug

Boxelder bug features:

  • dark brown or black coloration
  • ½ inch long
  • red veins on wings with markings on abdomen
  • scentless, plant bugs
Stink-Bug

Stink bug features:

  • green to brown coloration
  • short legs, narrow head
  • broad, flattened shield-shaped body
  • scent glands

Pest Prevention for Your Home

Prevention is the best method of managing pests, so it’s best to be proactive and safeguard your Charlotte home and its surrounding areas. Broken screens let bugs in and should be repaired or replaced immediately. Sealing holes and cracks around doors, windows and walls with silicon latex caulk can decrease access points. Lastly, you can benefit from expert advice and professional services by reaching out to your local Truly Nolen Charlotte location at 704-910-2936 for a free pest inspection.

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Pujol to Manager, North Miami Service Office

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Julio Pujol to Manager of the company’s North Miami, Fla. service office at 4474 NW 128 Street, Miami Gardens.

Pujol joined the company in 2015 and has nearly 30 years of experience in the pest control industry. In addition, he attended Garces Commercial School for Business in Miami.

Some of Pujol’s new responsibilities will include helping the service office gain more visibility with the local North Miami community as well as instilling the company’s core values throughout his team. “After so many years in this industry with other companies, what I like most about Truly Nolen is the personal touch and interaction with employees and customers,” said Pujol. “I am most excited about achieving the goals that I have set for myself and for my service office.”

“Although Julio is fairly new to our company, his three decades in our industry show his dedication to and interest in his craft,” said Rafael Masferrer, Truly Nolen District Manager, District 601. “He has a wealth of knowledge and terrific leadership skills, and we are happy to have him as a member of our North Miami team.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Julio Pujol to Manager

Truly Nolen Excited to be Newest Partner of Santa Fe Fuego for 2016

Tom Larrabee, Truly Nolen Santa Fe Territory Manager, recently brought one of his mouse cars to historic Fort Marcy Park to finalize something special: a 2016 partnership with the Pecos League’s Santa Fe Fuego.

“Our company strives to get involved with our local community as much as possible,” said Larrabee. “After meeting with Fuego officials, it became clear to us the importance of this team to the local Santa Fe Community as well as a way for us to add value to the lives we touch.”

The partnership includes 10 promotional game nights including the team’s home opener Monday May 23 at Fort Marcy Park and the Pecos League All-Star Game Monday July 11, also at Fort Marcy Park. In addition, Truly Nolen will have a banner in the outfield, its logo on several game tickets throughout the season, and the company’s Mouse Limo on display at the stadium at least once.

“We look forward to interacting with fans throughout the season both through our presence at the stadium and on social media via @TrulyNolen on Twitter,” said Larrabee. “We also look forward to following the team’s quest for their second Pecos League Championship in three years!”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

Pets and the Pest Season: Keeping your Pets Pest Free this Season

keep your pets pest free this season
Keep on top of your pets’ pest potentials this spring and summer, by ensuring that your four-legged friends visit the vet for flea and tick prevention treatments or by purchasing effective topical drop treatments and ingested flea and tick products on the market.

How do fleas and ticks get in your home?

Usually, fleas and ticks come into your home on your clothes or your pets’ furry bodies. While it’s not difficult to detect fleas on your dog or cat, these tiny insects usually aren’t evident indoors until a full-fledged infestation gets underway.

Ticks can be extremely dangerous and homeowners who like to hike in wooded areas or tromp through tall grass, with or without pets, should practice a tick inspection routine, checking themselves and their pets for ticks after each foray into wooden areas before going back indoors. A tick infestation in your home could be a telltale sign of a possible rodent infestation. Vectors, like fleas and ticks feed on rodents’ blood, spreading respiratory pathogens, like the Hantavirus through contact with rodents and their ticks that spread diseases to humans.

Truly Nolen believes you, as a homeowner, can do a lot to prevent fleas and ticks in your home by offering flea and tick control services if you encounter a flea or tick issue.

Before you go indoors

But, before you go indoors, take a look around at possible flea breeding areas outside your home. Fleas and ticks like tall grass, leaf litter, extra flower pots, stacked wood, brick piles and other clutter near your home. Fleas and ticks like shady, moist and cool spots to breed, so cleaning up your yard, pruning bushes and trimming your grass to let more sunlight in goes a long way in the prevention of pest breeding grounds in your yard. Avoid over-watering your grass and ornamental shrubs to avoid setting up ideal conditions for fleas and ticks to thrive.

Sweep your porch, patio, deck and underneath your patio furniture on a regular basis. Also clean your pets’ outdoor lounging and running areas, in addition to the spaces under decks and porches where your pets like to hide out and rest.

Exclusion

The best way to prevent pest problems starts with shutting down entryways and sealing cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation. Repairing cracks and crevices in windows, doors and near other entrance points to your home further promotes pest exclusion.

Truly’s comprehensive Flea and Tick Treatment Program

If there comes a time when you suspect a flea infestation in your home, Truly Nolen guarantees to eliminate your pest problem, taking your family, pets and home into careful consideration. Truly’s Flea and Tick Control plan starts with an interview and an inspection of your home, by highly trained and certified technicians to determine the extent of your flea or tick problem.

Our individualized service specialists then devise a plan for your home, initiating an IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, approach that includes non-invasive treatments and pet-friendly methods towards a solution specific to your home. Your Truly technician will outline areas that need to be prepped before treatment begins. Most of these procedures are common sense practices used in an effort to eliminate most insects from your home.

Prepping your home for treatment

Vacuum Everything

  • Thoroughly and completely vacuum everything you possibly can, even hard surfaces, as fleas and ticks can hide in the cracks and crevices of your home. Pay special attention to pet beds, home furnishings and throw rugs. Do not use a central vacuum system, however, as fleas, ticks, and their eggs can get into that plumbing where they will breed and infest your home from there.
  • Seal affected vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and dispose of vacuum cleaner bag in an outdoor receptacle, so fleas can’t escape.
  • Steam cleaning or shampooing carpet can help eliminate fleas but live fleas still require treatment.

Launder in Hot Water

  • Wash all pet bedding, bed linens and other exposed blankets and throws in hot water and dry on the highest setting possible.

Coordinate Pet Care

  • Apply your pets’ flea and tick medications, or arrange for your veterinarian to treat your pets, on the same day your Truly Nolen Flea and Tick treatment will be administered.
  • Remove animals from your home to avoid re-infestation.

Your Truly Nolen technician will skillfully administer an interior liquid application with residual content to provide Truly’s guaranteed ongoing, long-term flea and tick control protection. Your certified technician, using a low pressure spray, will focus on areas and surfaces where your pets sleep and on their favorite lounging areas, like your sofa and any other areas documented during your inspection. Low pressure sprays for flea and tick treatment can be administered through highly focused streams of products so they don’t become airborne affecting pets and people.

Truly, truly wishes you a happy pest-free spring and summer. But remember that if pests start taking the fun out of your warm weather activities, just contact us; we’ll put them in their place.


© 2016 Truly Nolen, Inc. All rights reserved. Toll-Free 800-GO-TRULY • Email info@trulymail.net