Tag Archives: pestcontrol

Early Appearance of Autumn Invaders

You may take notice of a couple of insects that are making their bothersome appearance a little earlier than usual. The Asian Lady Beetle and the Boxelder bug, both prominent autumn pests, typically look for residences to hide during the cold months of the year, but are displaying a good amount of activity already this August.

Boxelder bugs inherited their name by their preferred food source, the Box Elder tree. But, you can also find them feeding on the sap and seeds of other trees such as Maple, Ash and some other fruit trees. Their damage to trees is typically minor, they do not bite, and they also do not carry any diseases. They do, although, have the capability to leave behind “waste stains” where they have been. With all of that said, you may still consider them a nuisance when you find them covering the sunny side of your home.

Boxelder Bugs are pretty easy to spot. They are about a ½” long and have a black body with red markings on their wings.

Asian Lady Beetles are around 1/3”-1/4” long, they can be yellow-orange to red and they can have anywhere from 0-22 spots on their wings. Their diet includes plants such as Evergreens, Apple and Maple trees, alfalfa, wheat, cotton, tobacco, and small grains. Asian beetles emit an unpleasant odor and can stain surfaces with their yellowish secretions if disturbed.

Both bugs are most noticeable during the months of September and October. During that time, Boxelder bugs and Asian Lady Beetles can be found congregating in large numbers on the southern sunny and warm side of buildings, trees and rocks. Once the cooler temperatures of winter begin to set in, they will find their way inside of homes to find a protective place to overwinter.

To prevent Boxelder bugs and Asian Lady Beetles from making a home in your residence:

  • Seal off any cracks or crevices in walls, foundations and around pipes
  • Check for loose vents or entry by exhaust fans
  • Sweep and vacuum to remove and release unwanted beetles
  • Repair any torn window screens or door gaps

If the problem becomes too much to handle, it may be best to call a licensed Pest Management professional to assist.

Ask us about our Fall Preventative Treatment that prevents insects like the Boxelder bug and the Asian Lady Beetle from entering and hibernating in your home over the winter.

Call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net 

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Filed under Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized

True Tree Enemies

If a tree had the capability to feel fear, it would probably feel the emotion when meeting up with both of these insect offenders.

Trees are often the target of many types of intruders, including moths and beetles. Many times it is when a tree is in a weakened state, or at the end of its life, that an insect will invade it. In each attack it is actually the larvae or “worm” that is doing the damage. As the larvae grow larger and mature, they expand and cause a wider extent of damage. When stressors such as environment or weather weaken a tree, this is when insects like the ones mentioned below will make their infestation apparent. Any tree or shrub can be the victim of an attack, but oaks, birches, maples, pines, honey locusts and crabapples are some of the worst species to be targeted.

Pine Sawyer Beetles

Several species of longhorned wood borers are in existence, the Pine Sawyer Beetle is probably the most common longhorn in Wisconsin. This hard-shelled, brownish and easily-camouflaged beetle has a long-antennae and powerful jaws. The name sawyer originated due to the sound that erupts from the insect when it chews on the inside of various conifer trees.  If you listen carefully, you can actually hear its sawing song.

Pine Sawyer Beetles live long lives and can spend several years from larvae to adulthood, chewing and burrowing deep into the wood of pine and other evergreen trees. The Pine Sawyer will normally choose a weakened or dying tree to infest and as they make a tree their host, they typically will not kill it, but they will leave their mark.

When a Pine Sawyer Beetle reaches adulthood, it will stop eating, spin a cocoon on the outside of a tree and emerge and fly away. After years in a host tree, they only have a mere few weeks to fly free outdoors before their life comes to an end.

Emerald Ash Borer 

In 2002 near Detroit, Michigan, the Emerald Ash Borer was finally discovered. It is popular belief that the insect started its infestation many, many years before then though.

The adult beetle, which is metallic green and about a half inch long, makes a “D” shaped exit hole in bark when it emerges. The most damage is actually done by the larvae, which feed in galleries (tunnels) just below the bark of almost any species of ash tree. This disrupts water and nutrient transport which causes branches, and in time, the entire tree to die.

It is said that the Ash Borer has killed more than 30 million ash trees, having a large effect financially on many communities, costing over millions of dollars on a national level.

Woodpeckers enjoy Emerald Ash Borer larvae, so if you are seeing large evidence of woodpeckers, there is a good chance that an infestation of Emerald Ash Borers is present.

Because of the vast damage the Emerald Ash Borer causes, firewood transport has been regulated in many states, including Wisconsin. For reference, a current map can be found here: https://datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab/articleassets/Firewood%20Movement%20in%20Wisconsin.pdf

Other types of tree and wood-destroying insects exist, such as carpenter ants, termites and gypsy moths. It is unfortunate that control of any and most of these insects can be a long, costly and invasive process. The good news is that there is widespread awareness and work being done to combat the destruction caused by tree invaders such as these. We also have the option of taking things into our own hands by preventing the transport of infected wood, and of course, planting a tree.

If you are having an insect problem, Safeway Pest Management can help. “We’ll Give You Peace of Mind.” 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800. Serving most of the State of Wisconsin. http://www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under Pest Prevention, Wood Destroying Insects

Mosquito Forecast and Tips

If you aren’t feeling the itch when out in the great outdoors yet, you will soon! Mosquitoes have made their appearance in Wisconsin, but thankfully not as aggressively as last spring (so far).

It has been predicted that the mosquito population may be lower this for the next month ahead due to dryer conditions, but June could hold a totally different story.  Steady rains, warm weather and sunny days make the perfect combo to bring about a growing mosquito population.

Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis and, of course, West Nile virus. Of the mosquito-borne diseases in the state of Wisconsin, West Nile virus is the most severe, with six human confirmed cases resulting in one death in 2014, according to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

{Signs of West Nile virus include common flu-like symptoms and in extreme cases, symptoms include high fever, head and body aches, worsening weakness, confusion and even coma}

Below are some chemical-free ideas that can aid in the reduction of mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate sources of standing water. Water is breeding ground for Mosquitoes. Areas you may not think of as a source: Birdbaths, grill covers, baby pools and flowerpots
  • Screen all windows and doors, patch any holes in screens
  • Minimize outdoor activity during dusk hours when Mosquito activity is highest
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Use a fan at outdoor gatherings to keep Mosquitoes at bay

Safeway Pest Management offers options in Mosquito management, including our Three Tier Program. Call us to find out more at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net

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Your Pest-Prevention, Springing–Ahead, Cleaning Checklist

As the warmer weather moves in, we all spring into action, including those pesky, unwanted intruders!

If you’re looking for a way to prevent some of those intruders from entering your home and/or business, try hitting some or even ALL of our points on our Spring Ahead Cleaning Checklist below and have a happy and hopefully pest-free Spring season!

Spring Ahead Cleaning Checklist

  • Check your roof (or hire a professional) for any leaks
  • Sweep up cobwebs and clean out nooks and crannies where spiders and other insects may dwell
  • Repair any screen damage before opening those windows and screen doors to let in that spring air (You probably don’t want to let insects in as well!)
  • Check for gaps around windows and doors
  • Clear and replace old mulch
  • Check for evidence of moisture or condensation around plumbing or windows
  • Make sure garbage containers are properly sealed and stored
  • Clear old shrubbery away from the home
  • Clean out gutters
  • Clean out pantries and around appliances in the kitchen to pick up any food debris
  • Clean out any unneeded clutter in storage areas where pests can hide
  • Call your preferred pest management company to inspect for any potential problems

Safeway Pest Management can inspect and locate areas that could potentially cause a pest problem. We offer one time service options, but also offer monthly, bi-monthly and seasonal options for regular maintenance of your home and business. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800

We service a large portion of Wisconsin and parts of Northern Illinois. Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net to view our coverage area or to get a free quote!

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Feeling Itchy? Might be Fleas!

Feeling itchy this winter? With luck it is only due to dry winter air. A less lucky scenario, it is fleas causing the skin irritation!

What many people don’t know is, you don’t have to have a pet to have these pesky critters invade your home.

Wild animals, such as mice, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, etc., can cause a flea infestation in your home. Mice definitely lead this list as they are numerous and find access to your home much easier than most other animals.

Some ways to look for rodent points to your home:

Search the perimeter of your home in fall with a mirror, looking at the bottom side of your siding

Shut the garage door, look at it from the inside searching for light coming through

When fleas populate a mouse colony, disease can become a very deep concern, the worst disease on record being the bubonic plague.

Raccoons, squirrels, and chipmunks like to enter the home from the roof. Typically those entry points are on gables; where the soffit reaches the existing predominate roof of your home. A good pair of binoculars and a thorough inspection of your home will help you identify these entry points and put a stop to them before any critters can bring an army of blood feeding parasites to the upper levels of your home.

Finally, rabbits, skunks, and ground hogs are large burrowing mammals that like to make their home under decks or concrete slabs on homes without basements. These nests can cause a subterranean infestation that slowly seeps into your home and causes the infestation again at lower levels of your home, much like mice. Walk the perimeter of your home looking for freshly dug dirt and use a flashlight and search under the deck. A good prevention tip is to use chicken wire behind lattice to create a decorative “rat wall” to keep these critters out of these areas.

Joshua Koenig
Technical Director
Safeway Pest Management Co., Inc.

Safeway Pest Management is licensed, certified, knowledgeable and available to answer any questions or help with treatment of your pest problems, including Fleas. Please call our office at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800.

You can also visit our website at http://www.safewaypest.net

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The Buzz Surrounding Spring

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Ah, Spring. That miraculous time of the year: the warmer air, the singing birds, the rebirth of flowers…and yes, insects. Yes, along with the budding of the flowers and the trees, you can expect to see the crawling and flying of many insects.

Our current clients will have “Peace of Mind”, knowing they already booked, or soon will be booking their Spring service. But, for those who haven’t, there are some tips and information below to prepare you for the new season’s intruders.

Ants are one of the first to come alive and build their colonies in the Spring. To keep ants at bay:

*Keep kitchen surfaces clean, promptly wipe away any spills.

*Get to Spring cleaning! Consider pulling out that refrigerator and stove and cleaning behind them. Even the smallest crumbs can be an attractant (clean not only to deter ants, but to prevent Cockroaches and Flies as well).

*There may be ant sprays out there for the consumer to purchase, but that does not mean they work. Sprays tend to send ants scattering. Until a colony is eradicated, the ants will keep returning, especially if they have a hearty food source.

Some other Spring prevention tips:

*Re-caulk the edges of windows and window sills to prevent entry of insects.

*De-clog any drains inside and outside of your home. Organic material is an attractant for some insects.

*Seal any gaps in doorways or walls.

*Remove foliage on the roof and surrounding the building.

Lastly, inspect your home. Look for openings, cracks and crevices or gaps that may be on the foundation of your home. Inspect your yard and surrounding trees for insect infestations to catch them before they become a larger problem.

Don’t want to inspect? Not a problem! Call Safeway Pest Management and we will come inspect for you. We will make you aware of any potential problem areas and take care of any current issues that you are dealing with.

Give us a call! 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800

“We’ll Give You Peace of Mind”

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Filed under Stinging Insects

Bed Bugs, Not Just a Bedtime Story

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Pepper, our bed bug sniffing dog

Once upon a time bed bugs were only mentioned in childhood rhymes. These days bed bugs are a very real nuisance.  In the last ten years there has been a steady increase in the amount of bed bug infestations in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.

Historically, bed bugs have been around for centuries. Documentation has been found going back as far as the 17th century when sailors complained of bed bugs sharing cabins with them on ships. In the United States the problem with bed bugs was very common until about the time of World War II, when pesticides like DDT caused infestations to deplete.

So why the rise of numbers of bed bugs in the last century? Experts believe it has to do with the procedures exterminators use these days. DDT was banned in the 1970’s and since then the pest control industry has switched to less hazardous, eco-friendly methods like baiting, instead of using harsh chemicals to treat for insect infestations. The rise also has to do with the increasing number of people who travel worldwide and bring bed bugs to and from where they are traveling, transporting via person, luggage and clothing.

Most people associate bed bugs with uncleanly situations, but in actuality, bed bugs can infest even the cleanest of environments.

Bed bugs, or cimex lectularius; as they are technically known, have not been proven to be harmful, but they are a nuisance and feed on human blood. Bed bugs are usually about a quarter of an inch long, although after feeding, they can grow to three times their normal size – and are reddish brown in color.

Infestations of bed bugs can grow and spread very quickly since a female bed bug can lay up to 5 eggs a day and 500 in her lifetime. Professional help is often necessary and new innovations such as heat treatments and bed bug sniffing dogs are becoming more popular to rid homes, hotels and other buildings of bed bugs.

Heat treatments are a method of treatment that is increasing in popularity. By heating up a room(s) from 120-135 degrees Fahrenheit, the complete life-cycle of the bed bug is eradicated by the intense heat.  This is typically done in a one-time treatment and without the use of chemicals, a quick way to stop infestation in its tracks.

“Goodnight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” isn’t just a silly phrase for many these days, but it’s good to know there’s help out there so you can effectively eliminate these nasty nuisances.

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