Tag Archives: summer

Ant Attractants

ANTAnts can be frustrating to deal with when they are invading your living space, especially when they are marching through food areas. The best form of action is to prevent a situation from ever happening by eliminating potential attractants.

So what are some aspects of your home that could be attracting ants? Let’s investigate!

Ants can also be found in bedrooms, inside walls, in living rooms and basements and even in air conditioning and heating units, but kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most vulnerable locations for ants, so we will concentrate on those rooms.

Ant Attractants in the Kitchen

  • Left over crumbs and spills
  • Grease spills on the counter-tops and floors
  • Sweet staples such as syrup, honey (especially sticky bottles) and sugar left out on counter-tops
  • Fruit bowls-Over ripe fruit is an ant attractant
  • Empty juice and soda containers
  • Water sources

Ant Attractants in the Bathroom

Ants, especially carpenter ants, are drawn to areas with excess moisture; this makes bathrooms an attractive place for infestation.

  • Leaking sinks, tubs, toilets and plumbing
  • Open shampoo, lotion and soap containers

Ways to Reduce the Chance of an Ant Infestation  

  • Clean up food messes. If you’re lax about cleaning up in the kitchen, you may be supplying ants with a food source.
  • Rinse out containers and take the trash out regularly
  • Check and repair the sinks, tubs, toilets, plumbing for water buildup and plumbing leaks
  • Seal cracks and crevices, repair screens on doors and windows and replace weather-stripping to prevent ants from entering your home
  • Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home

Ant colonies can be large so it may be best to contact a licensed pest management professional if you think you have an ant issue.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to inspect and treat ants. Call us at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net  and check out our current specials while you’re there!

 

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Tick Truths

blacklegged female on grass

Image by NPMA

  • Ticks are not insects. Ticks are actually arachnids like spiders, scorpions and mites. Unlike insects, all members of this group have 4 pairs of legs as adults, and haven’t any antennae.
  • There are a few ticks that are more commonly found in Wisconsin, the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the Blacklegged tick. The Lone Star tick is also becoming more prevalent in Wisconsin.
  • Ticks do not fly or jump. They will crawl onto grass or brush until they find a host to crawl up and attach to. It is thought that ticks also have the ability to wait on higher ground and drop onto a host.
  • Ticks need blood to survive. Ticks will bury themselves deep within a host and can stay attached for days to eat.
  • A quick tick check after being outdoors (check your pets too!) and a prompt removal of a tick is important. For ticks to successfully transmit a disease, such as Lyme disease, they typically need to be feeding for 24-48 hours.
  • Ticks transmit a wide array of disease-causing microbes. In Wisconsin several tickborne illnesses have been reported such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the highest reported illness in Wisconsin.
  • Ticks are easiest removed by using a fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible, pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; doing so can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this does happen, try to remove the mouth-parts with your tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal. Once the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. *
  • To prevent tick encounters avoid known tick-infested areas. When you are outdoors, keep to the center on cleared walkways and trails and try to avoid brushing up against vegetation and tall grass.
  • Wear protective and lighter-colored clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes when you think you may be encountering a tick-infested area. As an added extra ounce of protection, tuck your pants into your socks. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so ticks cannot crawl under clothing.

Call our knowledgeable staff now for a free quote at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at www.safewaypest.net  to request a free estimate and check out our current specials, especially our 3 tier Mosquito program, which also targets ticks.

*Source: Department of Entomology, UW Madison

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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

Summertime Pest Menaces

Although there are many bothersome pests making their existence known as summer settles in Wisconsin, there are a few topping the summertime charts.

Mosquitoes

It has been quite moist in Wisconsin, to put it mildly. All of this rain has to land somewhere, and much of it can collect in areas of our yards that might not come to mind. Be certain to check the areas listed below and try to make your yard a mosquito no-breed-zone.

Water Holding Containers:  Put away items such as empty flower pots, water jugs, yard toys, old tires

Small Boats/Canoes and Wheelbarrows-Store these upside down

Roof Gutters: Clean clogged gutters

Water Fountains and Bird Baths– Change the water frequently (at least once or twice a week)

Backyard Ponds-Consider agitating the water by adding a waterfall or fountain

Other Mosquito Reducing Tips:

Keep shrubs and grass in your yard well trimmed, screen all windows and doors/patch any holes in any screens, and properly maintain swimming pools.

Spiders

With over 500 species of spiders in Wisconsin, it’s not surprising that some species, both large and small, decide to build their webs on our homes and businesses.

The largest species are members of the family Lycosidae, such as wolf spiders, funnel web spiders and nursery web spiders.

Most spiders are beneficial in managing pests due to their diet of insects. Speaking of taking bites, although poisonous spiders exist, most spiders are harmless.

Spider Reducing Tips: Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free, caulk around window and doors to prevent spiders from entering, keep wood and rock piles away from your home and remove webbing in your home by using a broom or vacuum.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees (sometimes known as wood bees) are typically mistakenly identified as bumble bees due to their size and color. Unlike the fuzzy bumble bee, the carpenter bee has a hairless, shiny and black abdomen. Carpenter bees do not eat wood, but burrow into wood and nest within the wood. Unfortunately, nesting sites can be dangerous around your home. Many times you will see these bees around your eaves and building nests within wood structures on your property such as sheds, decks and in wood piles.

These bees typically are not aggressive, but can sting multiple times without dying if they feel their nest is being threatened.

Carpenter Bee Reduction Tips: Preventive treatments such as painting wood with thick coats of oil based or latex paints will help reduce nesting sites.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, have a spider or mosquito problem, 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

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

Ask us about our Mosquito Special! An entire season of protection for only $295!

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Filed under Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Spiders, Stinging Insects, Uncategorized, Wood Destroying Insects

Wasps-The Flying Villains

Paper wasp front view

Image by: NPMA

They instill panic and fear into even the toughest of victims, they build nests in the most unwanted locations, they are flying villains armed with a stinger; they are wasps.

Wasps are the more slender, less-hairy stinging insects.

There are solitary wasps and social wasps. Solitary wasps such as the great black wasp and cicada killer wasp may be found digging tunnels in lawns. Both sting, but should not attack humans as long as they are not bothered.

Social wasps belong to a group that will build and defend their colony and queen. Social wasps include paper wasps, the bald-faced hornet and the yellow jacket. These are the more-aggressive wasps and can sting multiple times, and will do so if they feel their nest is threatened. Both hornets and wasps do not leave a stinger in the victim.

So which flying villain is building nests on your home?

European paper wasps and Polistes wasps build small nests and prefer to build in attics, but will build just about anywhere including eave peaks, railings and swing sets.

Bald-faced hornets build their nests entirely on the exterior; they build football-shaped nests out of reach in high eaves, under decks and in trees and shrubs.  Bald-faced hornets are actually beneficial hornets if left alone as they kill and eat wasps and yellow jackets.

Yellow jackets prefer to hide their nests from predators in wall voids, rodent burrows, eaves, and other locations that it is easy to hide the nest. Their nests resemble an upside down tear-drop with a single hole in the bottom.

Some tips when dealing with a wasp threat:

  • Try to stay calm, jerky reactions and attempts to swat a stinging insect will provoke it to sting. Instead of swatting, try gently blowing the insect away.
  • A smashed wasp gives off a pheromone that will attract other wasps to attack. Try to wait patiently for a wasp to leave your vicinity.
  • If stung, gently and safely remove the stinger and clean the area with soap and water. Applying ice to the area and Benadryl and/or a hydrocortisone ointment can help dull the reaction some.
  • Anyone can have an allergic reaction to wasp venom; the chances of a reaction go up with the number of stings acquired. Let someone know you have been stung. Symptoms usually appear after a few minutes, but can be delayed up to 24 hours.
  • Seek medical attention (or dial 911) if you have any of the following occur: tongue and throat swelling, hives, wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath, blue lips, or a drop in blood pressure.
  • If you find nests around your home, contact a licensed pest professional to deal with the nest(s) safely.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, or see a nest, 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

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Why are Stinging Insects So Angry?

It gets to be late summer, and just when you begin to feel like you’ve grown accustomed to what the season brings, along comes some angry stinging insects to cause a commotion!

Late summer and early autumn are a typical times to find stinging insects around your home and yard.

While many stinging insects are important pollinators, they are also a serious health threat to humans. Millions of Americans are at risk for stings that will lead to an allergic reaction, especially from insects such as wasps and yellow jackets, which can sting multiple times.

So why do stinging insects attack?

Many of the hornet and yellow jacket species that sting us are social insects. Social insects live in colonies and social insects treat those colonies as humans do their families. In the spring a single solitary queen will emerge from winter dormancy and begin the task of starting the family. The workers mature over the summer and become very busy killing insects to feed the larvae in the nest.

Until midsummer the most common reason for an attack is if an insect feels its nest is under attack (to protect the nest).

Many species of stinging insects will build nests in the vicinity of humans, so even walking near a nest by your home could potentially pose a threat to a stinging insect. In fact, not only will an individual insect have an issue with your presence, but they will also release a pheromone and communicate to the rest of the nest inhabitants to take notice of you.

Things change when the queen starts to lay her final brood, which the kings will soon fly away to begin their own colonies. Once the males do exit the nest in late summer, their sisters who are left behind have nothing left to guard. Their only tasks are to protect themselves and to eat whatever they want. This tends to be sugary foods, which humans have plenty of, which is why August and September are months that bring the most yellow jacket stings.

Some helpful tips:

  • Instead of swatting at a stinging insect, try gently blowing it away from a distance.
  • If you are being attacked, stay calm and try not to flail your arms, but do run! It’s best to try and find some kind of barrier to distance yourself from the stinging insects, such as inside a car or building. Jumping into water is not advisable.
  • Wear shoes when walking in a grassy area.
  • Carefully inspect areas in your yard for nest activity before you do work in those areas.
  • Remove crumbs and spills from an outdoor eating area immediately.
  • If you notice a hive, it is always best to call a licensed professional to remove it safely!

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, or see a nest, call Safeway Pest Management at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under Pest Prevention, Stinging Insects

The Mighty-Mean Mosquito

MosquitoHazard_Clipart_FreeIt has been suggested, in joking, that it would make the perfect state bird.

It causes humans to head inside, and it buzzes in ears and it slowly steals tiny amounts of blood.

Yes, it’s the mighty-mean Mosquito.

Wisconsin is host to more than 50 species of Mosquito. Luckily not all of them prefer the taste of human! But, if you have ventured outdoors this Spring, especially to the Northern part of the state, you will find swarms of the blood suckers everywhere, including your local grocery store! ( Yes, even stores are having a hard time keeping the insects from getting inside.)

Bites from Mosquitoes are irritating and itchy, but that is the least of the worries. A couple of confirmed cases of West Nile virus have already been identified in Wisconsin this season. Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis and, of course, West Nile virus.

{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}

So how do we protect ourselves and our family and pets? 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

 

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