Month: September 2021

2021 Update on the Asian Giant Hornet Situation in the United States

Learn About the Most Recent Sighting of the Asian Giant Hornet & What U.S. Experts are Doing to Eradicate It

The dreaded Asian giant hornet — commonly referred to as the “murder hornet” has recently made another appearance in the United States.

A resident in the State of Washington reported seeing a live Asian giant hornet in the outskirts of Blaine, WA, in early August 2021 — the first killer hornet sighting of the year in the U.S.

While verifying the location of the sighting, experts uncovered an Asian giant hornet nest of nearly 1,500 hornets.

The invasive pest was first spotted in WA during 2019 and its presence is cause for concern because the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) preys on honey bees to the point of destroying entire colonies.

Considering how important honey bees are to the ecosystem, a nationwide infestation of Asian giant hornets could result in severe environmental repercussions for the U.S.

Not only that, but the pest has an aggressive nature and has been known to attack if provoked.

This species of pest possesses powerful stingers containing venomous neurotoxins. These neurotoxins cause extreme pain, tissue damage, and in rare cases, death.

For experts, this sighting stresses the need for complete eradication of the murder hornet before it spreads across the country.

Now, efforts to remove the foreign pest have increased as federal organizations like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) work with other state and local agencies on the Pacific Northwest.

This combined effort aims to help protect the nation’s people, environment, and honey bees from Asian giant hornets.

First Killer Hornet Sighting in the U.S. of 2021

In mid-August, experts confirmed the location of the first killer hornet sighting in the U.S. of 2021.

Incredibly, it was only two miles from the town of Blaine, WA, where the original killer hornet sighting of 2019 was reported.

According to the WA resident who witnessed and reported the 2021 killer hornet sighting, it was attacking a colony of paper wasps.

Working together in late August, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Oregon State Department of Agriculture’s (OSDA) Insect Pest Prevention and Management staff, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) tracked down the source of the pest — its nest.

To find its nest, the federal and state teams, led by entomologists, captured some live Asian giant hornets in the area and tagged the pest with tracking devices called radio tags.

Using the radio tags, experts followed the murder hornets back to the nest which was built in the base of a dead alder tree in Whatcom County in the state of WA.

The rural area borders the Blaine, WA and Canada.

closeup of a man’s hands as he uses black tweezers and white twine to attach a yellow radio tag to an orange and black Asian giant hornet

The nest was an expansive nine layers and contained nearly 1,500 murder hornets, including 113 mature worker hornets — which is quite an alarming amount.

Experts exhumed the Asian giant hornet nest by drenching it in foam and removing it from the interior of the tree. Then, they collected the hornet bodies with a vacuum.

As an added precaution, experts also wrapped the tree in plastic to keep any surviving Asian giant hornets from escaping before releasing carbon dioxide into the tree, successfully killing the pest.

Continued Efforts to Fully Eradicate Asian Giant Hornets from the U.S.

The USDA APHIS is continuing to work alongside the Pacific Northwest state and local government environmental agencies to ensure the Asian giant hornet infestation is contained.

While the sighting was alarming, it did help experts develop and test effective eradication methods for the Asian giant hornet.

According to USDA APHIS and WSDA entomologists, the methods used to locate and remove the Asian giant hornet nest were so successful that entomologists plan to keep using these tactics as the pest’s population intensifies.

Experts have set up Asian hornet traps throughout the area and continue surveilling rural WA for more appearances of the nonnative pest.

transparent Asian giant hornet trap hanging from a tree in a green forest with a man in a blue shirt in background

Additional detection strategies are also in development as experts learn more about the foreign stinging insect.

For instance, from the 2021 sighting and nest eradication, USDA entomologists learned that an Asian giant hornet nest generally keeps an internal temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

This discovery has inspired experts to consider using thermal imaging devices to detect Asian giant hornet nests, which are often built underground or at the base of rotting trees.

Experts believe thermal imaging trackers can find warm spots beneath the forest floor where Asian giant hornets are likely constructing habitats.

Aside from its unusually large size, experts have also noted an Asian giant hornet can be identified by the loud humming noises it emits while flying. This noise is significantly louder than that of a typical hornet, wasp, or bee.

Now more familiar with the sound, experts plan to use this humming as another way to detect the pest.

But as the mission to eradicate Asian giant hornets in the U.S. continues, officials warn untrained individuals against attempting to remove a nest on their own.

Residents need to be cautious as the hornet will sting those who attempt to handle the nest or remove the pest from its current location.

A single sting can deliver a substantial dose of venom — a significant amount more than that of a native bee or wasp.

And in extreme cases, a murder hornet’s sting can even be fatal.

Residents are instead encouraged to report any sightings of the Asian giant hornet to the WSDA and stay far away from the area until further notice.

As this territorial insect can seriously harm people, only pest control experts, entomologists, and other trained experts are authorized to safely respond to an Asian giant hornet sighting or infestation.

Potential Environmental Impact of Asian Giant Hornets & Other Facts

At two inches long and with a three-inch wingspan, the Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet in the world.

The Asian giant hornet originally comes from East Asia and is a common sight in Japan, Korea, and China — hence its name.

Experts are still unsure of how the large stinging insect got onto U.S. soil, although it is likely that the pest was trapped in a shipping container from one of the originating countries.

But so far, since the murder hornet arrived in the U.S., it has lived up to its nickname.

With its intimidating size, sharp jaws — also known as mandibles, and 1/4-inch-long stingers, Asian giant hornets are a threat to other hornets, wasps, bees, and people.

Its stingers can even pierce through a standard beekeeping suit, forcing entomologists to wear special suits during eradication.

The most concerning thing about the murder hornets in the U.S., however, is its diet because Asian giant hornets primarily feed on honey bees.

closeup of orange and black Asian giant hornet killing a colony of yellow and black honeybees.

Honey bees are an integral part of our ecosystem. Without them, most mammals, including humans, would starve.

Common food items like apples, squash, and broccoli, rely on honey bees as the insects deliver the pollen grains these plants need in order to grow and reproduce.

Honey bees also produce honey, another food source for both humans and animals.

Although birds, bats, and other insects are pollinators, honey bees are the most effective pollinators.

But Asian giant hornets threaten these vital pollinators by feeding on entire colonies of honey bees.

This hornet species will typically attack in swarms, but a small group can do a lot of damage. In fact, a single swarm of 50 killer hornets can wipe out an entire colony of 50,000 honey bees.

If murder hornets do spread across the nation, the honey bee population could face near-extinction, causing catastrophic environmental effects and food shortages throughout the country.

Therefore, containing and eradicating murder hornets from the U.S. is extremely important to protecting honey bees — and the rest of the environment.

And with no natural predators in the U.S., the responsibility to eliminate Asian giant hornets from the country falls on expert intervention.

Protect Your Property from Stinging Insects with Catseye Pest Control

While Asian giant hornets have not been found in the Northeast, the region still faces its own share of poisonous stinging insects, such as yellowjackets and bald-faced hornets.

Hornet and wasps threaten the safety of a home, business, or property due to the pests’ venomous stingers and aggressive nature.

Untrained individuals face a high-risk of injury to themselves or others if they try to address a stinging insect infestation. To safely eradicate it from the property, a licensed pest control specialist is needed.

Catseye Pest Control offers tailored eradication solutions for stinging insects, such as Hornet Control and Nest Removal services.

Using environmentally friendly pest management practices, our hornet removal methods are effective as well as completely safe for children and pets, so homeowners can feel rest assured.

To learn more about this service or to schedule a free inspection, contact us.

Allow Catseye to take care of your property and get back your peace of mind.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

What Are These Tiny Black Ants in My House?

Identifying the Tiny Black Ants Swarming into Your Bathroom & Kitchen

Perhaps one of the most common house pests found throughout the Eastern United States are tiny, black or dark brown ants, which are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens.

This tiny pest can leave homeowners and business owners feeling frustrated, especially if they aren’t sure what kind of ant it is and how it’s getting into their house or business.

More than likely, those tiny black ants that are caught invading a home’s bathroom and kitchen are odorous house ants.

Named after the rotten smell the pest emits when squashed or crushed, odorous house ants live in colonies and infest homes in swarms, which grow exponentially from June to August — the pest’s prime mating season.

During these summer months, environmental conditions like warm temperatures and extended daylight hours encourage odorous house ants to gather, mate, and reproduce.

For homeowners, having ants in the kitchen and bathroom is a nightmarish thought, especially as such rooms are shared spaces that are used on a regular basis.

Although not dangerous, the sight of an odorous house ant in the kitchen or bathroom is quite unpleasant as the pest can contaminate the space with bacteria.

And seeing small black ants inside the home or business often indicates a bigger infestation may be lurking in the walls, voids, or other cracks throughout the structure.

Considering a single odorous house ant colony can contain up to 10,000 ants during the peak mating season, the possibility of an infestation is extremely concerning to any homeowner.

It’s important for property owners to know what could be causing an odorous house ant infestation and how a pest control professional can eliminate the issue.

Where are These Odorous House Ants Coming From?

Whether you’ve encountered an ant infestation before or if this is the first time, it’s vital to understand how the pest is able to gain access to the building and where they’re coming from.

Unfortunately, at only an 1/8-inch long, odorous house ants can easily get inside a home through even the tiniest of cracks or crevices, like underneath doorways and through holes in the walls.

And as the pest comes from wooded areas in humid climates, an abundance of tiny black ants can be found in the Northeast.

The appearance of ant mounds — or nests, throughout a yard or property is a sign odorous house ants could soon become a problem within the home, if it hasn’t already.

While living outdoors, odorous house ants survive by eating other insects — especially ones that secrete a sugary substance known as honeydew, like mealybugs.

In addition to this, the small, black ants eat vegetables and plant secretions, such as nectar. This sweet diet also gives the odorous house ant its nickname, the sugar ant.

But when in need of more moisture, heat, or nutrients, swarms of odorous house ants may venture indoors through cracks in piping, cement, and wooden infrastructure or flooring.

Once inside, the pest will establish nests in the walls, wall voids, and other cavities throughout the house.

An average-sized odorous house ant colony contains 2,000 workers. But during the pest’s peak mating season, colonies can contain up to 10,000 workers.

So, although little and seemingly harmless, this unwelcome houseguest can quickly turn into a major problem if left unaddressed.

Left to its own devices, an odorous house ant colony will continue to multiply throughout the home — invading and contaminating a household’s food and water supply, a true nightmare for any homeowner.

Why are Odorous House Ants Showing Up in My Kitchen & Bathroom?

While odorous house ants can infiltrate any part of the home, the tiny black ants favor kitchens and bathrooms for several reasons.

For one, odorous house ants are attracted to easily accessible food. Using odor detectors, the pest can locate food sources of any kind — including residues, leftovers, food on used dishware, and crumbs.

As a result, kitchens and pantries become hot spots for odorous house ants to ravage and feed.

swarm of black odorous house ants eating yellow hummus off a white plate sitting on light brown wooden surface.

Improper food storage, like leaving pantry goods and pet food unsealed or opened, encourages the tiny black ants to invade the kitchen.

Even if the only traces of leftovers are restricted to the kitchen sink disposal and garbage can, ants will find a way to access it — especially if both remain uncovered and exposed.

Another reason tiny black ants are primarily found in the kitchen and bathroom is because in addition to foraging in trails or swarms for food, odorous house ants are also searching for sources of water.

Water is pumped into the home by way of sinks, dishwashers, toilet bowls, and showers — which is quite appealing to the pest.

Condensation produced by kitchen and bathroom appliances as well as poor ventilation can create pools of standing water for odorous house ants to drink from.

Since both the kitchen and bathroom provide the easiest access to food and water, these rooms are most targeted by odorous house ants.

To discourage ants from venturing into the kitchen, properly store food — including pet food, in hard, non-porous, and airtight containers. This effectively cuts off its access to nutrients.

Homes and businesses that suffer from leaky faucets or poor ventilation should have the issue rectified to stymie the pest’s access to water.

Taking such measures can help to prevent an odorous house ant infestation from worsening until a pest control specialist arrives and eliminates the issue.

Contact a Professional to Eliminate & Prevent Ant Infestations

The sight of small black ants in the kitchen, bathroom, or other area of a home or business is quite alarming.

But it is also an indication of a potentially serious infestation that needs to be addressed by a pest control technician.

Professionals can eradicate the issue completely by finding the source of the infestation, which is most often the colony’s nest, and removing it.

Trained pest technicians also reinforce the home with barriers and other methods to permanently keep odorous house ants out of the kitchen, bathroom, and all other areas of the business or home.

Ant control and elimination services from Catseye Pest Control have been designed to tackle ant infestations with effective methods, like insect growth regulators. Such devices destroy the ants but are harmless to people and animals.

As a leading pest management service provider in New England, Catseye employs technicians with the expertise and skill to eradicate odorous house ants — and other common insects — from any property.

Don’t let ants, odorous or otherwise, invade your property. Contact Catseye today to learn how we can help regain control of your home and sanity.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

New England Sees Increase in Tick-Borne Disease Cases For 2021

Learn Why Tick-Borne Diseases Are Increasing in New England During 2021 & How to Protect Yourself

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought everyone outside for socially distanced fun but spending time outdoors during the summer and fall can bring its own set of risks.  

Hospitals across New England are seeing an exponential rise in tick-borne disease cases amidst the 2021 tick season.

In the Northeast and more specifically the New England area, ticks remain active until temperatures hit 35 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Ticks reach peak activity during the spring and summer months, typically from April to August. But if the temperature remains warm, tick activity can last into the fall.

This year’s tick season, however, appears worse than what we’ve encountered in previous years.                                                                                                                                           

Reports from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) indicate emergency rooms throughout the state are seeing higher numbers of tick-borne disease visits in 2021 than those of the past three years.

The state of Connecticut also reported an alarming increase in ticks during late April and early May of 2021. The increase in ticks includes several species that are new to the area — the lone star tick, the Asian longhorned tick, and the Gulf Coast tick.

In New Hampshire, an official health alert issued by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) warned residents of both the statewide and national increase of tick-borne disease cases, particularly Lyme disease.

Lyme disease, according to the NH DHHS, currently accounts for 82% of confirmed tick-borne disease cases in the United States.  

Considering the severe rise in tick-borne disease cases in 2021, it’s important New Englanders understand why tick-borne diseases are increasing and the factors causing this phenomenon.

It’s also important for residents to have a clear understanding of how to protect themselves and their loved ones from ticks and tick-borne diseases.

The Rise of Tick-Borne Diseases in New England: How It’s Happening & Why

Tick-borne diseases have been on the rise in the U.S. for several years, but the explanation as to why tick-borne diseases are increasing is complicated.

Surveillance reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) dictate that the recorded number of common tick-borne disease cases skyrocketed from 48,610 cases in 2016 to 59,349 cases in 2017.

For Lyme disease, the number of cases in the U.S. has more than tripled within the past two decades, from 12,801 reported cases in 1997 to 42,743 in 2017.

The staunch rise in reported tick-borne illness-related cases indicates the factors behind why tick-borne diseases are increasing at a substantial rate.

But ultimately, there are several main reasons for why tick-borne diseases are increasing. These include:

  • Increase in native ticks and non-native tick populations due to climate change.
  • Shifts in human population density resulting in increased exposure to ticks and tick-heavy areas.
  • A rising number of germs responsible for carrying tick-borne illnesses.

These factors are explored in more detail below.

Increase in Ticks & Expansion of Non-Native Tick Populations into New Territories

Non-native ticks are venturing into new areas, thus increasing the chances of tick-borne illnesses and infection. As a result, areas that previously saw very little or no tick-borne disease cases are facing an alarming emergence of cases.

Areas once considered low-risk but are now experiencing an increase in ticks and tick-borne illness cases include counties in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and North Central regions.

Although it’s still too early for experts to tell, many suspect that changing climate patterns like rising temperatures and humidity are causing significant ecological and environmental disruptions.

In turn, such disruptions have resulted in a stark increase in ticks throughout certain parts of the country.

For instance, some tick species such as the lone star tick, which used to be found primarily in the Southeast, have expanded its territory. The lone star tick can now be found in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S.

Last year, the Connecticut State Department of Public Health (CT DPH) cautioned residents of an acute emergence of the lone star tick throughout New Haven and Fairfield counties.

This non-native tick is considered to be aggressive. It’s also known to bite humans and is associated with several diseases, including tularemia, Bourbon virus, ehrlichiosis, and others

Lone star ticks are recognizable by the singular, star-shaped marking on its back.

closeup of tiny, brown lone star tick on person’s finger

Recent studies also discovered that saliva from the lone star tick can cause an allergy to red meat in some individuals. This allergy is called alpha-gal syndrome (AGS). While severity of AGS varies, extreme allergic reactions are life-threatening.

As the lone star tick population within the region rises, so does the allergens and diseases the pest carries — making the tick even more of a nuisance for residents in the New England area.

Apart from Connecticut, the CT DPH warns of an increase in lone star ticks in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

And the lone star tick isn’t the only species expanding its territory. Recently, foreign ticks have become a growing concern within the U.S as well.

Between 2017 and 2021, Asian longhorned tick and Gulf Coast tick populations have moved into multiple states, including Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Both the Asian longhorned tick and the Gulf Coast tick carry a disease known as rickettsiosis.

Rickettsiosis is a type of spotted fever in which patients develop target-like rashes on the body. They can also experience nausea and fever. If left untreated, rickettsiosis can be fatal.

Growing Human Populations in Tick-Heavy Areas

While climate change may be causing a northward expansion of non-native tick species, there is another reason as to why tick-borne diseases are increasing within the New England region.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research on Lyme disease cases indicates the climbing rise of tick-borne illnesses is also because of shifting population densities in tick-heavy areas.

Due to nationwide population growth between the 1990s and the mid-2000s, people moved from cities and settled into more suburban or rural areas. In turn, towns and counties within high-risk locations grew.

For instance, the number of counties established in high-risk areas in the Northeast and upper Midwest of the U.S. have tripled since the 1990s.

Within the Northeast alone, the number of high-risk counties went from 43 in 1993 to 182 by 2012.

Consequently, the heightened human exposure to ticks explains why tick-borne diseases are increasing in those areas.

Rise in Germs Responsible for Carrying Tick-Borne Illnesses

An additional factor as to why tick-borne diseases are increasing is the rise of germs responsible for tick-borne illnesses.

Between 2004 and 2021, six more germs were discovered to be able to spread tick-borne diseases.

These germs are:

  • Borrelia mayonii: Discovered to cause Lyme disease.
  • Borrelia miyamotoi: Able to spread tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF).
  • Ehrlichia muris eauclairensis: A bacteria responsible for Ehrlichiosis.
  • Heartland Bandavirus: Known to cause the Heartland virus, which is similar to Ehrlichiosis.
  • Rickettsia parkeri: A recently discovered transmitter of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). and other spotted fever diseases.
  • Rickettsia species 364D: A germ that transmits spotted fever diseases like rickettsia pox.

Combined with humans’ heightened exposure to tick-heavy areas, this increase in tick-borne germs has caused tick-borne illnesses to rise exponentially.

Disease-Transmitting Ticks That are Native to New England

Although there are different species of ticks found throughout the U.S., the two most common in New England are deer ticks — also called blacklegged ticks, and dog ticks.

Deer or blacklegged ticks are extremely prevalent in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. So, residents need to be mindful of non-native species in addition to native tick species plaguing their property. 

Even though they’re no bigger than a sesame seed, deer or blacklegged ticks are primary transmitters of Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus.

Dog ticks have been known to spread RMSF and tularemia diseases to humans and animals.

Symptoms of RMSF are similar to those of rickettsioses. This includes target-like rashes on the arms and legs as well as nausea. Victims also become feverish.

Like rickettsioses, RMSF is especially dangerous. Death can occur if the disease is not properly taken care of by a medical professional.

For safety, public health organizations like the CDC and EPA encourage residents to know the types of ticks that are native to the region and remain continuously aware of new tick species reported in the area.

Confronting a tick-infested area is not advised as the chances of contracting a tick-borne disease are very high. Property owners should have tick-infested areas treated by a licensed pest control expert who is trained to safely eliminate the threat.

Keep Lawns Tick-Free with Professional Tick Removal Service

As the risk of contracting a tick-borne infection grows in New England, residents should be extra careful when enjoying the outdoors.

Worry-free fun without concern of disease-transmitting pests can be achieved with Catseye Pest Control’s Organic Tick & Mosquito Program.

Under this program, our experienced pest technicians will perform in-depth inspections of the area before creating a treatment plan that is tailored to the property.

Utilizing organic products to treat the infested area, Catseye can help put homeowners and business owners at ease.

The pest control methods used under the Organic Tick & Mosquito Program are environmentally friendly, safe for pets, and safe for children. This is just another way we are committed to protecting your loved ones and your property against pests.

Don’t let ticks ruin your time outdoors. Contact us today to learn how our licensed professionals can take care of these pests — and many others, leaving you with peace of mind.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

4 of the Most Poisonous & Venomous Insects in New England

Learn about the 4 Most Dangerous Insects in New England & What to Do If You Encounter One

Residents and those visiting the Northeastern region of the United States must be cautious of venomous insects, four different species, specifically.

The insects on this list have venomous bites or stings that can cause acute pain and trigger allergic reactions.

It is important to know what to do if you encounter such dangerous insects as well as how to treat their venomous bites and stings to prevent health complications.

1. Yellowjacket Wasp

The yellowjacket wasp (Vespula squamosa) is an aggressive and venomous stinging insect.

A Northeast native, yellowjacket wasps are often seen during the summer season and sometimes as the season shifts to fall. Yellowjackets can typically be spotted from June to October.

This stinging pest is most active during the day.

When temperatures drop, yellowjacket workers die off. The workers cannot withstand temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, especially for more than a couple of days.

But, fertilized queen yellowjackets are able to hybernate over the winter.

They survive the cold by leaving the used nest and burrowing deep inside tree stumps, hollow logs, and other cavaties for warmth.

The bright yellow stripes against the predatory insect’s black body gives the yellowjacket wasp its name.

Often confused with bees and other types of stinging pests, yellowjackets can be distinguished by the lack of fuzz on its slender, shiny bodies. Yellowjackets are also smaller and slimmer than hornets.

Yellowjacket workers are about 1/2-inch in length, whereas a queen can be nearly an inch long.

closeup of a yellowjacket worker wasp with a black body, yellow stripes, and brown wings crawling on a brown plank of wood

Yellowjackets live in colonies housed within multi-layered, papery nests. These nests are usually burrowed in wall voids, rock piles, rotted tree trunks, and other cavaties.

A single nest can host up to 5,000 yellowjackets.

Yellowjacket venom can incite immediate pain and life-threatening allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, in which the airway swells and closes.

The symptoms of a severe reaction include:

  • Hives
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Swollen tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Fainting or coma

Yellowjackets, when threatened, attack in swarms and can sting multiple times.

If stung by a yellowjacket, immediately leave the site of occurrence as the venom releases a chemical signal alerting other yellowjackets that help is needed.

A yellowjacket sting appears as a small, white welt on the skin surrounded by redness. Unlike bees, yellowjackets rarely leave their stingers injected in the skin of their victims.

closeup of a red sting mark created by a yellowjacket wasp on skin surface

If there is a stinger, use a straight-edged object, like a credit card, to scrape it out. Attempts to squeeze the stinger out of the affected area can aggravate it.

Dizziness, wheezing, or rashes are all signs to quickly enlist a medic’s help. Victims that suffer over 10 stings should also immediately seek medical help.

While waiting for medical assistance, sanitize the sting site with soap and water. Do not use peroxide, ammonia, or other chemicals as it can further irritate the affected area.

Once the sting site is properly washed, spray it with an anesthetic spray that contains benzocaine. This helps to numb the pain and ease inflammation.

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics, antihistamines, or inject medication through an EpiPen® to treat allergic reactions or bacterial infections.

Yellowjackets are attracted to sugary residues, perfume, flowers, hairspray, and floral patterns.

To drive them away:

  • Keep garbage cans covered or sealed. 
  • Use caulk to seal any visible cracks and voids in the walls, roofline, or foundation of the home.
  • Plant wormwood, thyme, spearmint, and cucumbers.  
  • Spray essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus in and around the residence.
  • Hang sugar water wasp traps around sheds, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

Yellowjacket infestations are a serious matter that must be handled by a professional. A specialist will find the source of the infestation, the nest, and properly remove it.

2. Bald-Faced Hornet

Found throughout the U.S., the bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) is very territorial. It is also not an actual hornet, but rather another type of yellowjacket.

Bald-faced hornets are distinguishable from yellowjackets by their slightly larger size in addition to the white and black stripes that streak cross their abdomens. Worker bald-faced hornets are 3/4-inch long.

Another name for the bald-faced hornet is the white-faced hornet.

The bald-faced hornet rears its ivory-colored head from spring to late summer.

Workers die off over the winter, while fertilized queens hybernate under rock piles, rotting wood, and other debris until the next year.

closeup of a black and white bald-faced hornet on a nest

Bald-faced hornet nests are cone-shaped and typically built close to the ground. Occasionally, bald-faced hornets may construct nests in high areas like the eaves of a rooftop or the branches of a tree.

 The nests can reach up to two-and-a-half feet in length.

One nest can contain over 400 workers. Bald-faced queens construct nests using their saliva and the cellulose of rotting wood.

closeup of a gray bald-faced hornet on a nest under a house eave

This type of wasp fiercely protects its nest. Trespassing is often met with repetitive attacks from multiple bald-faced hornets.

Female bald-faced hornets can also dispense poisonous spray, usually into the faces or eyes of their victims. The poison is ejected from their ovipositors, which are tube-like organs typically used to lay eggs.

This poisonous spray acts like pepper spray in that it stings the eyes and even causes temporary blindness. Both people and animals are susceptible to a bald-faced hornet’s spray. While it is painful, the spray is not fatal.

If nests are attached under the eaves of buildings, overhangs, or other areas frequented by people, a pest control specialist should be called as it is extremely unsafe to confront bald-faced hornets directly.

As with yellowjackets, multiple strikes from a bald-faced hornet’s venomous stinger can cause intense pain, itchiness, and swelling for approximately 24 hours.

Yellowjacket sting symptoms apply to those of bald-faced stings as well.

More than 10 bald-faced hornet stings will require immediate medical attention in case of severe reactions.

Treatment for bald-faced hornet stings is much the same as treatment for yellowjacket stings.

Bald-faced hornets are scavengers. Their diet consists mostly of other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and even yellowjackets. Bald-faced hornets are also attracted to meat and nectar.

To deter bald-faced hornets from making a home near your property:

  • Plant citronella, thyme, or eucalyptus.
  • Treat house eaves with natural repellent made from essential oils like clove, geranium, and lemongrass.
  • Spray wasp repellent around the property.
  • Set up bird feeders and baths to attract birds as they are natural predators of bald-faced hornets.
  • Hang a fake hornet nest as the bald-faced hornet’s territorial nature will deter it from overstepping the boundaries of another wasp nest.
  • Hang wasp traps around the property.
  • Refer to yellowjacket repellent methods.

3. Brown Recluse Spider

Although rare, the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles) is occasionally seen in the Northeastern parts of the U.S., but it is not native to the region.

This species of spider is originally from the Southeast and Southwest — states such as Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Oklahoma see high populations of the spider, but can travel to other parts of the U.S. by hiding in freight trains and shipping containers.

Brown recluse spiders are most active between the months of April and October.

The brown recluse can be identified by its brown coloring and a dark brown violin-shaped marking on its upper body. It is this marking that gives the brown recluse its nickname, the fiddleback spider.

closeup of brown recluse spider crawling on gray pavement

This type of spider enjoys dark, secluded areas with warm climates. Attics, shoes, bed corners, garages, sheds, and other crevices are all great hiding places for the brown recluse.

Brown recluse spider venom is poisonous. However, the spider only releases its poison in very small quantities.

In most instances, the brown recluse’s conservative nature keeps it from being lethal as it is not aggressive and only attacks if it feels threatened.

A brown recluse’s venom severely damages the blood vessels, causing tissue deterioration. In response, the body releases inflammatory cells and proteins, like cytokines, to defend against the venom.

The subsequent effects of these cells can include the destruction of red blood cells. It can also result in end-organ damage such as kidney dysfunction.

Bite marks from a brown recluse appear as reddish fang marks followed by blistering and lesion formation.

closeup of a black scarring and blistering brown recluse spider bite mark

Typically, victims experience fever, nausea, vomiting, intense itchiness, and muscle pain.

Victims should seek medical support if bitten. If left untreated, within two weeks the white blisters can discolor to blue and ulcerate.

It can take three months for a brown recluse spider bite to completely heal. Daily follow-up with a physician ensures any complications are addressed and the victim stays on the path to a full recovery.

Severe instances may require skin graft surgery to treat serious skin damage, ulcers, or necrosis, but this is rare.

The brown recluse spider is often mistaken for the relatively harmless American house spider due to the similar coloring.

To differentiate a brown recluse bite from that of another spider, doctors use the mnemonic phrase NOT RECLUSE which stands for symptoms that are not characteristics of a brown recluse wound:

  • Numerous bites: Brown recluse spiders only bite once.
  • Occurrence: Brown recluses are nonaggressive pests unless provoked.
  • Timing: The bite occurs when brown recluses are inactive (outside of April to October).
  • Red center: Brown recluse bite marks are pale with redness surrounding the affected area.
  • Elevated: Brown recluse bites are flat — not raised or elevated.
  • Chronic: If victims experience chronic symptoms, it may not be from a brown recluse attack.
  • Large: Brown recluse bites are small, no bigger than five inches in diameter.
  • Ulcerates: Ulcers shouldn’t appear before two weeks from the time the victim was bitten.
  • Swollen: Brown recluse bites do not swell, with the exception of the affected area being the face or feet.
  • Exudative: Pus exudes from the wound, brown recluse spider bites blister or scab.

Brown recluses build their habitats in reclusive spaces, so infestations occur where clutter or crevices are prevalent. To avoid an infestation, block possible habitats by:

  • Reducing clutter throughout the home and property.
  • Keeping shoes off the floor or shake them out prior to wearing them.
  • Placing glue traps along baseboards or other areas attractive to brown recluses.

Brown recluse fangs are tiny and cannot easily puncture through clothing. When cleaning cluttered areas, wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and pants.

Considering the intense effects of brown recluse venom, it is important not to go searching for them. If you suspect an infestation, enlist the help of a pest control expert.

4. Black Widow Spider

Although not native to the U.S. and rarely found in New England, black widow spiders (Latrodectus) have been reported in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and southern parts of Vermont.

Black widow spiders most likely find their way into New England by way of shipping crates from southern states — like Florida, where they are more prevalent.

The black widow spider is easily identifiable by its black, bulbous body with red, hourglass-shaped markings on the underside of its abdomen.

closeup of black spider with red markings on web attached to green leaves

Black widow spiders enjoy areas under debris or wood piles, eaves, outdoor toilets, and other locations populated by flies — their primary prey.

Commonly found near ground-level holes or crevices in foundations, black widows will build their webs close to the ground, in dark or burrowed areas.

Black widow spiders are nocturnal, hiding in their nests during the day, reserving the evening hours to hunt. Only female black widow spiders are venomous, males are harmless.

A black widow spider’s bite appears on the skin as two puncture marks.

closeup of black widow spider bite mark on finger

Their neurotoxic venom, once injected, travels through the bloodstream and causes nausea, vomiting, stomach and chest pain, muscle cramps, rashes, and increased blood pressure. Victims may also have difficulty breathing.

In extremely rare cases, black widow spider bites can be fatal.

The pain and discomfort from a black widow bite can last for several days but may not occur immediately after being bitten.

Nonetheless, victims must seek immediate medical attention after getting bit as symptoms can progressively worsen within hours.

As black widow spiders prefer dark, secluded areas where flies accumulate, keep your yard, garden, crawlspaces, attic, basement, and shed clutter-free.

Do not attempt to manhandle black widow spiders.

Most insecticides for black widow spiders are only available to licensed pest control experts.

Therefore, spider control services for black widow spiders is best left to professionals like those at Catseye Pest Control.

General Pre-Medic Treatment for Venomous Insect Bites & Stings

While waiting for medical attention, victims should try slowing the progress of a venomous attack by:

  • Washing the affected area with soap and water.
  • Applying a sanitized ice pack to the affected site.
  • Elevating the affected body part and keeping it stationary.
  • Applying antibiotics to the bite or sting to prevent infection.
  • Using antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream to calm itchiness and reduce inflammation.
  • Taking pain medication like Ibuprofen or Tylenol to abate acute discomfort.
  • Keeping track of any worsening or new symptoms.

It is also crucial to not break any subsequent blisters as this may lead to a bacterial infection.

Get Expert Help for Dangerous Pest Infestations

Confronting the territory of a venomous or dangerous pest is not recommended for anyone other than a trained pest control technician.

Improper management of an infestation increases the chances of reoccurrence — and could lead to serious bodily harm.

A licensed pest control expert can safely remove the dangerous pest from the premises, helping to ensure the safety of those on the property. It will also leave you with peace of mind that the infestation was handled properly.

Catseye Pest Control offers Integrated Pest Management services (IPM) for all types of infestations.

IPM refers to a pest control approach that is both effective and environmentally friendly. It focuses on exterminating current infestations as well as preventing future ones by:

  • Offering customizable treatments that address the severity and type of the infestation.
  • Using organic, environmentally friendly pest control practices.
  • Regularly monitoring the infested area with pest monitoring programs.

For extra protection from harmful pests like spiders, rodents, and stinging pests, Catseye offers a Platinum Year-Round Protection Program, helping to provide you with peace of mind.

With the Platinum Year-Round Protection Program, clients can expect quality treatments handled by our licensed professionals. Included in this protection plan are:

  • Complete removal of pest habitats found in and around the property.
  • Removal of pest excrement, exoskeletons, and other debris.
  • Environmentally friendly spray treatments around the perimeters of the home.
  • Installation of rodent monitoring devices throughout the afflicted area.
  • Sealing of cracks, cavities, and other crevices found throughout the property.

This service also includes bi-monthly checkups to ensure the property remains pest-free.  

Contact our expert pest control technicians so that we may rid your property of any potentially dangerous pests.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

What Do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?

Learn What Cockroach Eggs Look Like & How to Get Rid of Them Before an Infestation Occurs

Cockroaches love humidity, excess moisture, and heat — so it should come as no surprise that the spring and summer months provide perfect conditions for cockroaches to breed and thrive.

With an ongoing birth cycle, one generation of cockroaches can deliver up to 30,000 new cockroaches annually.

Considering the rapid reproduction rate of this invasive house pest, a couple of cockroaches can become a serious problem within a few weeks.

Cockroach eggs can be a sign of an infestation. It’s therefore extremely important for homeowners and business owners to know how to identify cockroach eggs and when to call for professional help.

Identifying Cockroach Eggs

Cockroach eggs are stored inside pill-shaped egg cases called oothecas. Depending on the species, one ootheca can contain approximately 40 eggs.

Oothecas appear as tiny, brown capsules that are approximately 1/4-inch in length.

Under the right conditions — hot, humid climate, exposure to moisture, and access to plenty of food, a female cockroach may produce a new egg case every two to three weeks.

The egg case remains attached to the underside of her abdomen until a day before it hatches.

closeup of a dark brown oriental female cockroach with an ootheca attached to her abdomen crawling on tan pebbles

When an egg case is due to hatch, the mother cockroach places it in an enclosed area, like a baseboard.

Where to Find Cockroach Eggs

Cockroaches store their eggs in dark, enclosed, and moist areas or locations with convenient access to food. This includes:

  • Appliances like dishwashers, stoves, and refrigerators
  • Drawers
  • Cupboards
  • Pantries
  • Drains
  • Plumbing cabinets
  • Boiler rooms or water heater closets
  • Trash cans

Cockroaches feel most secure when snugly surrounded by surfaces on all sides, hence why they enjoy hiding in the tight cavities, cracks, crevices, and pipes of homes.

Despite keeping a cleanly space, cockroaches can still enter the home through a number of different ways.

Cockroaches invade households by hiding inside furniture, luggage, cardboard boxes, grocery bags and packages. It is important to always inspect bags, packages, or boxes prior to entering the home.

The pest can also gain entry by way of drainage systems — like sinks or bathtubs, typically by moving along the pipes up through the floor or drain.

a single dark brown cockroach crawling up the side of a silver sink next to sink drain

And even though these pests have wings, they aren’t the best at flying. So, it’s vital to identify each point of entry, aside from an open window.

Cockroaches can also enter the home through points of entry like cracks in the foundation of the building or the siding.

In multi-family homes especially, cockroaches can enter the building through shared walls with points of access or exposed pipes that lead inside.

This nocturnal pest loves humidity and warm temperatures, invading the crevices and cracks of a home during the day, then munching on crumbs and other accessible sources of food during the nighttime.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Getting rid of cockroaches and the eggs is necessary to managing an infestation and protecting your household or business from the bacterial diseases the pest carries, such as hepatitis.

When it comes to efficiently removing cockroach eggs, do not attempt to use dangerous chemicals — like boric acid, or squashing the egg cases, as in many instances the eggs may survive.

One way to get rid of cockroach eggs is to use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to gather and suck up the oothecas.

But, unless you’ve found all of the cockroach eggs — and the adults, then the infestation has not been eliminated.

Cockroach eggs are resilient and just dispensing them from the home is not enough. Once the eggs hatch, the cockroaches often return to their birthplace to mate and reproduce. Freezing the cockroach eggs typically kills them completely.

While some do-it-yourself methods may be useful in destroying the eggs and young offspring, cockroaches are extremely resilient. Without help from a licensed pest control expert, reoccurrence of an infestation is high.

Cockroach Control & Removal with Catseye Pest Control

Cockroaches are a major nuisance — able to survive under difficult circumstances and reproduce exponentially in favorable ones, the pest is not easy to get rid of without assistance from a professional.

Which makes it vital to call a pest control specialist to completely solve a cockroach infestation. Catseye Pest Control offers cockroach control and protection for a variety of cockroach species, namely:

This customizable service includes a complimentary inspection of the afflicted property, personalized treatment of the area, complete removal of the cockroaches and cockroach eggs, and flexible emergency visits.

For additional protection, our cockroach control service uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to eliminate the invasive pests from the property and reinforce the home to prevent future infestations.

The IPM service uses environmentally friendly methods that are safe for children and pets.

Contact us for a free inspection and to learn how our trained technicians can help protect your home or business from unwanted infestations.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

Mallow munchers: Mallow sawfly, a.k.a. Hibiscus sawfly, Atomacera decepta


Beautiful hibiscuses are wonderful native plants for raingardens and important sources of nectar and pollen for many beneficial insects. However, sneaky mallow sawfly larvae can reduce leaves to tatters.

Beautiful hibiscuses are wonderful native plants for raingardens and important sources of nectar and pollen for many beneficial insects. However, sneaky mallow sawfly larvae can reduce leaves to tatters.


Members of the mallow family, Malvaceae, are some of the most important crops on earth. Included in this wonderful clan are cotton, okra, and cacao. In addition to providing fibers we wear and the raw material for chocolate, members of the Malvaceae are valued throughout the world for their medicinal properties and as herbal remedies for a variety of afflictions. Mallows are some of the most beautiful flowering herbaceous and woody plants worldwide. In Maryland, hollyhocks, rose of Sharon, and various annual and perennial hibiscus dazzle our gardens. Common marsh-mallow adds a splash of color to swales and drainage channels along our roadways in summer.

Stout spines adorn the back of the mallow sawfly larva.

Stout spines adorn the back of the mallow sawfly larva.

While wandering along a lakefront trail in Columbia, Maryland, I spied a raingarden filled with ginormous red-blossomed hibiscus. While the blossoms were spectacular, many of the hibiscus leaves were severely tattered. On the shore of a nearby lake hosting patches of marsh-mallow, I discovered the culprits behind this malvaceous mischief, several larvae of the mallow sawfly feasting on tender leaves of small plants.  Although caterpillar-like in appearance, the mallow sawfly is a rogue member of the bee and wasp clan, the Hymenoptera. This primitive branch of Hymenoptera contains mostly herbivores, plant feeders that dine on a wide variety of grasses, grains, herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees.

At first mallow sawflies may go undetected on hibiscus and other members of the mallow family. Holes in leaves and leaves in tatters are often diagnostic clues for this pest. Closer inspection of tender leaves on this small marsh-mallow revealed several mallow sawfly larvae. Nibble by nibble they remove leaf tissue and eventually shred leaves often leaving nothing behind but leaf veins.

mallowsawflyadult copy_1570.jpg

Female mallow sawflies are striking insects with dark wings and a vivid orange thorax.

The female mallow sawfly begins her assault on a mallow by using a saw-like egg laying appendage called an ovipositor to carve small slits in the leaf’s surface. Each egg-slits receives an egg. Tiny leaf- munchers issue from the eggs, feed, and pass through six larval stages. Their feeding first creates tiny holes in leaves called shot holes, but as they grow, so too does their appetite and soon large hunks of tender tissue disappear down their gullets, leaving behind only shredded leaves and skeletal remains consisting of tough leaf veins. Once their feasting is finished, larvae move to the base of the plant to pupate on lower stems and in the soil.  From the pupae emerge fresh adult wasps ready to find a mate, lay eggs, and resume the assault on mallow. In southern states there may be as many as six generations each year, but fewer occur in Maryland. Fortunately, mallow sawflies never really developed a sincere taste for cotton, okra, or rose of Sharon, but hollyhocks, ornamental mallows, and marsh-mallow are definitely on the menu. By midsummer, leaves of these beauties may be shredded.

So, what can you do to prevent a plague of these tiny tormentors? Several varieties of hibiscuss, including Hibiscus acetosella, H. aculeatus, and H. grandiflora, are noted to be resistant to this pest. Another strategy to foil the sawfly is to inspect your hibiscus on a weekly basis and simply pluck larvae from the plant and toss them in the compost where they will become food for the ravenous horde of predatory invertebrates dwelling there. While insecticidal sprays are available to kill sawfly larvae, high visitation rates of pollinators and other beneficial insects to the hibiscus flowers make this a sketchy option.


Two excellent articles, “Evaluation of Twelve Genotypes of Hibiscus for Resistance to Hibiscus Sawfly, Atomacera decepta Rohwer (Hymenoptera: Argidae)” by David W. Boyd, Jr. and Christopher L. Cheatham, and “The sawfly Atomacera decepta, a pest of Hibiscus” by H. H. Tippins were used to prepare this episode. We thank Karin Burghardt, whose keen observations of mallow sawflies served as the inspiration for this episode.

This post appeared first on Bug of the Week

Minstrels of the meadow: Short-winged meadow katydid, Conocephalus brevipennis


Female katydids are easily distinguished from males by their egg-laying appendage, the ovipositor, on their rear end.

Female katydids are easily distinguished from males by their egg-laying appendage, the ovipositor, on their rear end.


September and October are spectacular months to head for the meadow. Many insects and other arthropods that have spent the entire spring and summer months developing reach their magnificent fully-grown size in autumn. On a recent outing with a hearty band of graduate students from the University of Maryland, we encountered one of the most interesting minstrels of the meadow, the delightful short-winged katydid. Armed with a bug net on a stick, one plucky student captured a gorgeous female katydid. While extracting said beauty from the net, Ms. Katydid demonstrated her prodigious leaping ability with a vault exceeding her body length by at least a dozen times.

Check out the super long egg-laying appendage called an ovipositor on the katydid’s rear end, her ginormous legs for springing away from danger, and her very short wings giving her the common name of short-winged meadow katydid.

In addition to observing and handling these amazing leapers, one of the true pleasures of fall is the serenade provided by katydids and their relatives, crickets. Both day and night in September and October, trills, chirps, and clicks can be heard in forests, meadows, and home landscapes as katydids and crickets engage in dating games. Katydids produce sound by rubbing a structure found on one forewing, called a scraper, against another structure, called a file, on the opposing forewing. These sounds are called stridulations.  Many insects and other animals stridulate as a form of defense or to communicate with other members of their species. The song of the melodious male short-winged meadow katydid consists of a series of buzzes and ticks interspersed with short pauses. His goal is to attract a mate. At a distance, female short-winged katydids are first drawn to the general din created by several males as they vie to create the perfect song. After locating other members of her species, the lady short-winged meadow katydid plays the role of Ariana Grande on The Voice and judges the worthiness of her potential mate by the quality of his song. Clever scientists have found that the buzz component of the male’s song may be the vibe that seals the deal and wins her katydidly attention. To hear the courting song of the male short-winged meadow katydid, please click on the following link.

Like katydids we met in previous episodes, short-winged katydids are omnivores. Foliage, flowers, and occasional meaty tidbits like aphids are on the menu. As we admired our captive katydid, a question arose as to how one knows the gender of katydid. For many members of the katydid and cricket clans, this task is pretty simple. As with all insects, female katydids are the ones that lay eggs. To shield eggs from the wicked winter, female katydids of different species deposit eggs in protected locations beneath the surface of the soil, in plant tissue, or under the bark of a tree. This task is accomplished with the help of an elongated egg-laying appendage called an ovipositor, located on the rear end of the katydid. Males lack an ovipositor so differentiation of female and male katydids is a straightforward task. On a warm autumn day take a moment to visit the meadow and listen for the katydid’s song. If you are lucky enough to spot one, check for the ovipositor and see if you have discovered the troubadour, a male singing his heart out, or the object of his desire, the lovely female short-winged katydid.


We thank the Entomology Graduate Student Organization of the University of Maryland, Montgomery County Master Naturalists, and the Audubon Naturalists Society at Woodend for providing the inspiration for this and a previous episode about short-winged katydids. The interesting article “Calling Communication in Meadow Katydids (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae): Female Preferences for Species-specific Wingstroke Rates “ by Patrick A. Guerra and Glenn K. Morris, and “Songs of Insects, A Guide to the Voices of Crickets, Katydids & Cicadas” were used to prepare this episode.

This post appeared first on Bug of the Week

2021 Emergence of Brood X Cicadas

Learn About the 2021 Periodical Brood X Cicada Emergence & Its Effect on the Eastern United States

That incessant buzzing noise droning throughout the spring and summer nights in the Eastern United States is due to the periodical cicada.

The sounds we hear are actually mating calls made by male periodical cicadas (Hemiptera). To create such a sound, the pest uses a drum-like organ known as a tymbal.

Residents on the East Coast have dealt with the noisiest evenings ever. This is due to the 2021 emergence of Brood X or the Great Eastern Brood, which has resulted in billions of the periodical cicadas crowding 15 states throughout the Eastern U.S. Those affected states include Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, among others.

A natural phenomenon that occurs only once every 17 years, the 2021 emergence of Brood X marks the largest arrival of periodical cicadas yet.

Brood X Cicadas & Their Environmental Impact on the Eastern U.S.

The 17-year cicada emergence of 2021 resulted in billions of the bugs — about 1.4 million cicadas per acre — according to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

This number has the potential to reach up to a trillion periodical cicadas, which is more pests than most people care to see.

Signs of Brood X cicadas include casts of thin, brown cicada shells scattered on the ground or on trees, small tunnels and holes near or around the bases of tree trunks, and loud buzzing sounds at night.

closeup of a cream-colored emerging periodical cicada shedding its brown shell on a tree trunk

Farmers and orchard owners may find the bugs to be a nuisance as female periodical cicadas make incisions in young trees to lay their eggs, causing harm to the tree. This can be avoided, however, by wrapping young trees in netting or other man-made barriers.

Otherwise, it is highly suggested by the USDA that farmers and orchard owners refrain from planting trees during the springtime, as the plants can be destroyed by periodical cicadas.

But periodical cicadas are harmless to fully grown shrubs and trees.

After emerging, the pest has a lifespan of only four weeks, which means farmers and orchard owners can safely resume their work schedule as early as August.

Aside from young trees, periodical cicadas pose little threat to the environment, people, or animals.

Actually, in many respects periodical cicadas are beneficial to the environment.

Upon emergence, the tunnels and holes periodical cicadas dig provide aeration for soil. When they die, the decaying bodies provide nitrogen and nutrients needed for growing trees.

Periodical cicadas are not venomous, nor do they bite or sting. In terms of lawn pests, periodical cicadas are not dangerous, but can be a nuisance.

 What to Know About Periodical Cicadas

Due to periodical cicadas’ numerous predators — such as frogs, mice, racoons, birds, opossums, and even certain types of fungi — the species collectively births a single brood of millions to a billion of cicadas.

The brood that emerged in 2021, known as Brood X, burrowed underground and lived by eating the roots of plants until this year, after 17 years, they emerged en masse from beneath the surface to mature above ground. 

Without the species’ synchronized, high-volume birth or emergence, periodical Brood X cicadas would otherwise face extinction as there would not be enough of the bugs left to reproduce.

But through this survival strategy, called prey satiation, predators can eat their fill of the bugs while leaving plenty of excess periodical cicadas to breed the next generation.

Periodical cicadas normally emerge during the first or second week of May. In order for the brood to dig its way to the surface, ground temperatures must reach at least 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

At this temperature, the ground is soft enough for the bugs to break out from underground. Depending on weather conditions, the soil temperature is perfect for the species’ arrival by late spring — or at the very latest, early summer.

Periodical cicadas enjoy a diet of deciduous tree roots and twigs. As a result, the deciduous forests of the Eastern region of the U.S. face high populations of the bug. Periodical cicadas can be found in 15 Eastern states, including those bordering New England, like New York.

This species of pest is easily identifiable by their thick, black bodies, orange abdomens, bright red, bulging eyes, and large, transparent wings.

They are often seen on the stems or leaves of shrubs, trees, and other forest plants. Male cicadas emit loud buzzing noises to attract female mates.

closeup of a black-bodied Brood X cicada with red eyes and transparent wings crawling across a gray rock and a brown stick.

The above-ground lifespan of a periodical cicada is only a month. Meaning, in only a four-week window, adult cicadas will have mated, produced offspring, and died.

Before their death, female periodical cicadas can lay over 500 eggs, which are stored in trees.

This pest has quite the list of tasks to accomplish in such a short timeframe!

Cicadas are cold-blooded, so they rely on warm external temperatures to survive. When the temperature reaches below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, periodical cicadas do not have the energy to sing, fly, or mate — and thus, the pest dies.

Also known as nymphs, after baby cicadas hatch, they will crawl down from their birthplaces within the incisions of tree trunks and burrow underground to hide from the cold. The nymphs will live as subterranean beings until another 17 years have passed.

Address Infestations with Pest Experts

Homeowners and business owners alike can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it is unlikely to encounter a cicada infestation in the home or office.

But that doesn’t mean protection from this pest — and many others — should be put on the back burner.

Cicadas can cause significant damage to young trees, such as maple, oak, or apple — all of which are commonly found in the Northeast.

Tree damage can be prevented by adding tree wraps or other protection around the trunk of the tree. It’s also important to avoid planting adolescent trees within four years of a cicada emergence as the young plant could still be susceptible to damage.

If you do find that your home or business has an infestation of any kind, it’s best to consult with a professional for proper treatment and exclusion.  

The pest control professionals at Catseye Pest Control have the necessary training and skills to handle a multitude of infestations — including pest, rodent, and wildlife infestations.

Even though cicadas aren’t a direct threat to humans, the damage caused by the pest can be a nightmare for property owners.

To learn how the pest and wildlife control services from Catseye can benefit your home or business, contact us today.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away & Prevent Bites

Protect Yourself & Loved Ones from Mosquitoes & How to Treat Their Bites

A common nuisance that can quickly turn into a deadly threat, mosquitoes are a buzzkill to summer family fun outdoors.

Mosquito season for the Northeast United States begins mid-April or early May and can last until mid-to-late October. If the fall weather is unseasonably warm, it can continue until November.

Although often harmless, mosquitoes can carry multiple deadly viruses, including Zika and EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis), for which there are currently no publicly available vaccines or medicines.

Therefore, it is important to protect yourself from mosquitoes, especially in moist climates where the pests thrive.

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water as they like laying their eggs on the surface. Common examples of stagnant water around the home include untreated pools, puddles, ponds, and basins.

In fact, only female mosquitoes bite people and animals for a blood meal. Blood from other organisms is needed for female mosquitoes to produce eggs.

The odor and bacteria released from human skin via perspiration also attracts mosquitoes. Enjoying a volleyball game with the family or working in the garden can quickly become a dream scenario for any mosquito.  

As a result, exposed parts of the body that retain moisture such as the feet, ankles, wrists, and hands are more susceptible to mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and evening. As the temperature drops, mosquitoes move to enclosed areas like sheds and garages for warmth.

Preventative Methods Against Mosquitoes

The most effective prevention methods against mosquitoes focus on discouraging the lawn pests from mating and reproducing. This means removing or destroying mosquitoes’ breeding habitats.

Keep objects that retain standing water such as toys, tarp covers, or buckets, dry and empty. Dump the standing water from objects and drain excess water around the home to eliminate potential places for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

Change the water in bird baths, basins, and plant trays at least once a week. Swimming pools should be regularly treated and continuously circulating. If this isn’t possible, covering the pool when not in use can help to deter the pest.

Netting around terraces, canopies, and other outdoor spaces can help to provide a protective barrier from adult mosquitoes.

Gaps in walls, doors, and windows must be sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering. Without refuge from low temperatures, the cold will kill them naturally.

Mosquitoes tend to thrive in higher temperatures — around 80 degrees Fahrenheit — but temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit can be troublesome for the pest.

Ankles and feet tend to have an odor that mosquitoes find appealing.

Using an electric fan aimed low can help to keep the lawn pests at bay.  Their flimsy, papery wings can make them poor flyers, especially against a strong breeze.

Mosquitoes love bright lights. Use LED lights or yellow lights as these types of lights tend to be ignored by mosquitoes.

Organic & EPA-Approved Repellents

Appropriate use of EPA-approved or organic repellents can protect from mosquitoes. These repellents are also safe for children and expectant mothers.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these EPA-approved and child-friendly mosquito repellents:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • 2-undecanone
  • PMD or Para-menthane-diol (for children ages three and over)
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (for children ages three and over)

While not EPA-approved, natural or organic mosquito repellents are an alternative for those uncomfortable with using chemicals.

The following are organic repellents that are not to be used on children under three years old or pets:

  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Citronella
  • Tea tree oil

Pet-owners concerned about toxic repellents can use these pet-safe natural repellents:

  • Basil plant
  • Catnip plant
  • Lemon balm
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium oil
  • Soybean oil

Treating clothing with a repellent can turn garments into another protective layer against mosquitoes.

Repellent sprays with less than 1% of permethrin can protect a piece of clothing for up to six washes, but it must be applied generously.

Mosquito bites look like puffy, reddish hive-like bumps or dark bruises. In the event that you do get bit, avoid itching the affected area as this causes irritation and infection. Instead, focus on soothing the affected area.

closeup of an irritated mosquito bite on a person’s arm

To soothe a mosquito bite, wash the area with soap and water then apply ice. Ice calms the itching and swelling.

Make a paste using a tablespoon of baking soda and a small amount of water. Treat the affected area with this paste, let sit for 10 minutes, then wash it off.

For further treatment, over-the-counter anti-itch creams or antihistamine lotions also successfully soothe mosquito bites.

Safeguard Your Property from Mosquitoes with Catseye

Having a safe and fun summer or fall means keeping your home and outdoor living space pest-free.

Catseye Pest Control offers organic tick and mosquito treatments for outdoor spaces and yards.

Clients can expect an in-depth inspection of the property followed by a customizable treatment program and monthly maintenance services to ensure the yard and property remains pest-free.

Using organic and environmentally friendly products, this treatment plan reinforces properties against lawn pests while also being safe for children and pets.

Catseye provides organic, foolproof mosquito control solutions for any property, leaving you with peace of mind. Contact Catseye today for a free inspection.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

USDA 2021 Efforts to Eradicate Invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle

Learn About the 2021 National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Project to Remove the Invasive Pest From the Most Affected States

In 1996, the United States received influxes of Chinese exports in raw wooden packaging material.

Little did anyone know that such cargo also transported an invasive species — the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) or ALB — right onto U.S. soil.

The first sighting of the nonnative beetle was reported in New York of that same year. The wood-eating pest quickly spread to other parts of the country, especially the Northeast. States like Massachusetts and New Jersey started facing severe infestations.

Today, Asian longhorned beetles threaten the country’s valuable forest resources and national reserves that are worth billions.

As a result, the foreign beetle has been engaged in an ongoing battle with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA’s efforts successfully eradicated the invasive pests from Illinois in 2014, New Jersey in 2013, and parts of New York between 2013 and 2019.

But the problem still persists. Acute numbers of ALB infected trees have been discovered in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Now, the USDA’s 2021 Asian longhorned beetle eradication program is focused on combatting the foreign beetle infestation in, what are currently, the most affected states.

Current USDA Efforts to Expel the Asian Longhorned Beetle From the Eastern U.S.

In 2021, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is cracking down on Asian longhorned beetle infestations by quarantining highly infected areas in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.

The federally quarantined areas include:

  • 110 square miles in Worcester County, Massachusetts.
  • 53 square miles in Long Island, New York.
  • 56.5 square miles in Clermont County, Ohio.
  • 76.4 square miles in Charleston and Dorchester Counties of South Carolina.

Property owners in these areas can rest easy as USDA APHIS experts remove and treat infested trees for free. And this year, the APHIS is not using insecticides.

Instead, program officials want to focus on removal of infected trees and treatment of high risk trees.

Ultimately, the goal of the 2021 USDA APHIS Asian longhorn beetle eradication program is to eliminate the invasive beetles from the U.S. through environmentally friendly practices.

Upon discovery of infected trees, APHIS teams completely remove them from the premises. This includes uprooting the host trees’ stumps, roots, and all shoots.

tree with green, orange, and yellow leaves being cut down with a white crane

Enclosed trucks transport all infected materials away from the quarantined site(s), so no ALB debris escapes. The infested components are then incinerated.

Although such removal practices may seem extreme, they eliminate any chance of reinfestation. To stop the spread, all infested sprouts and foliage of a host tree must be completely destroyed.

High risk trees within the quarantined site(s) are treated before infestation can begin with herbicides or other chemical agents — except for insecticides.

This reinforces high risk trees to withstand or repel Asian longhorn beetle infestations until experts can completely eradicate the pests from all surrounding areas.

The Damaging Effects of Asian Longhorned Beetles on Hardwood Forests

Since their arrival in 1996, Asian longhorned beetles’ parasitic effects on their hardwood hosts have resulted in the removal of over 30,000 trees.

The subsequent damage to recreational areas, forest reserves and national parks has cost state and federal governments over $269 million.

Trees that host these invasive beetles die within 10 years, with no chance of regrowth or recovery. They simply rot away, allowing more Asian longhorned beetles to spread and infect surrounding trees.

Asian longhorned beetle infestations cause more collective damage than gypsy moths and contagious tree diseases — such Dutch elm disease and chestnut tree blight — combined.

But the potential losses are even greater.

If left unaddressed, Asian longhorn beetles could cost tree-reliant industries — such as lumber, maple syrup production, and fall-foliage tourism over $41 billion in losses.

The potential number of destroyed trees could reach 1.2 billion. This translates into a nationwide economic loss of $669 billion.

Signs of An ALB Infestation

Asian longhorned beetles originated from East Asia, namely China, Japan, and Korea. By infesting wooden crates used to deliver imported goods into the U.S., the species infiltrated the country’s national forests.

Most hardwood deciduous trees fall victim to the Asian longhorned beetle, including:

  • Maple trees
  • Birch trees
  • Chestnut trees
  • Elmwood trees
  • Poplar trees
  • Willow trees
  • Ash trees
  • Horse trees

Using their mandibles or jaws to drill dime-sized holes into the bark of trees, Asian longhorned beetles turn hardwood trunks into hollow chambers to store their eggs.

Beetle types that exhibit such behavior are called borers because they “bore” into wood.

closeup of brown tree with small holes on it with red manmade markings, on a background with red cobblestones

A single female Asian longhorned beetle can lay up to 90 eggs in her lifetime. Typically, these eggs are stored under tree bark. Asian longhorned beetle eggs resemble white rice grains.

brown exposed wood piece with white Asian longhorned beetle eggs on it held by a hand

In addition to tunneling under bark and hollowing out trees to make room for their eggs, Asian longhorn beetles also eat the bark, wood, and leaves.

When Asian longhorned beetle eggs hatch, the babies, called larvae, remain inside their birth chambers until after the pupal stage, where they mature into adults.

During their immature years as larvae and pupae, the beetles look like small cream-colored or brown grubs.

white larva and silver dime held by a man’s hand wearing a gold ring

It takes a year for this invasive beetle to grow up. Prior to adulthood, immature Asian longhorned beetles live safely within the trees they were born in. They eat the trees’ woody tissue for nutrients.  

To survive winters, the invasive beetle’s larvae burrow deeper inside trees, lining the resulting tunnels and chambers with their own excrement, known as frass. Frass looks like sawdust. This substance acts as an insulator for ALB larvae, but obstructs trees’ vascular systems, killing them from the inside out.

Infected trees are riddled with holes. Sap seeps from the bark, making infected trees look as if they’re bleeding syrup.

The insides of infected trees appear rotted. Hollow chambers housing ALB grubs on beds of frass can be found.

Fully maturated Asian longhorned beetles emerge from their pupal chambers in the summer — mostly from June through July.

Within three weeks after emerging, adult Asian longhorned beetles mate, reproduce, and die. The spread, however, continues through the species’ numerous offspring.

How to Identify Asian Longhorned Beetles

Asian longhorned beetles are big. On average, they reach 1 and-a-half inches in length. Their bullet-shaped bodies are a lustrous black speckled with bright white spots.

These unique markings give the ALB its nickname — the starry sky beetle.

black and white Asian longhorned beetle crawling across a green leaf next to brown and white wet rocks

The beetle’s long black and white striped antennae can’t be missed. Paired with their sharp jaws, called mandibles, adult Asian longhorned beetles are quite intimidating.

But its frightful appearance is just that. The invasive beetle is completely harmless to animals and people.

Unless you are made of wood, bark, or leaves, you are in no direct danger of this foreign pest.

Combat Invasive Pests with Catseye

A beautiful yard or property can turn into a nightmare if infested by an invasive, destructive pest like the Asian longhorned beetle.

However, while Catseye Pest Control does not treat for this particular species, our licensed professionals are experts in eradicating many other types of pests.

Lawn pests  — including ticks, mosquitoes, hornets, wasps, and more — all pose major threats to both people and property. But tackling an infestation alone is not only dangerous. It’s ineffective.

An untrained individual puts both themselves and others at risk if they confront an infestation without the help of a licensed pest control specialist.

Unlike an untrained individual, a pest control expert has the equipment, know-how, and experience to completely eradicate an infestation safely.

A licensed expert also reinforces the property to ensure a reinfestation does not occur.

Catseye Pest Control’s experienced pest control professionals handle infestations of all insect types, from stinging insects to wood-eating vermin like termites.

Our trained specialists use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to effectively remove any pest from the premises. IPM methods are safe for pets and children. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly.

There are four main steps to the IPM approach:

  • Inspection — pest control specialists conduct a meticulous analysis of the property to assess the severity of the infestation.
  • Identification — from the inspection, we determine what kind of pest is infesting the home, how it is infesting the home, and what to do to stop them.
  • Treatment — using organic and environmentally friendly pest products, we treat the affected area accordingly.
  • Partnership — our pest control experts regularly communicate with clients and install monitoring devices throughout the property to consistently surveil the affected area for suspicious activity even after treatment is completed.

With Catseye Pest Control, homeowners and property owners can rest assured their infestations are properly eradicated. Contact us today for a free inspection.

This article appeared first on Catseye Pest

(877) 959-3534