Posted on November 30, 2011 with No Comments
Winter is the high season for mysterious bug bites (Michael Potter, 2006). Unless the underlying pest is identified, the problem will continue. It’s not always necessary to jump for the do-it-yourself pest control spray can. Yes, bites like reactions can be from insects but they can also be non-insect related. Skin irritations can be caused by environmental factors, household products or even health related issues. If you reside in NY, NJ or CT and suspect that you have bite marks or a rash from from a pest or bug bites, contact JP McHale Pest Management for an inspection. Our highly trained technicians will conduct an inspection and if required will recommend the appropriate action needed to rid your residence of the underlying cause.
Posted on June 10, 2011 with 1 Comment
It seems that the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced lives often limits our perception of the natural world. Authors past and present have contemplated the observed disconnect between products we use or eat on a daily basis and their source. I was struck by this not too long ago when I was still in graduate school. On my daily walk from research plots to the office were three apple trees, the old kind that you actually had to climb to obtain that delicious mid-day snack. One afternoon I turned the corner and met a group of three boys, two on bikes and one on a skateboard. I greeted the three youths, then proceeded to climb the tree and get my apple. I didn’t see it coming, but those boys were awestruck when they saw what I had in my hands! They had so many questions, the least of which were “is that an apple?” and “can we eat one too?” For them, living in an apartment complex with their parents and little exposure to the outdoors, apples magically came from the grocery store, not from trees.
What does that have to do with urban entomology and pest management? Well, this past week we have received specimens and several calls regarding carpet beetle infestations. In homes, these insidious little critters cause considerable damage and actually affect human health. The larvae are scavengers, and feed on a variety of plant and animal products such as woolens, carpets, furs, silk, dead insects, corn, cacao, cereals and red pepper to name a few. Larvae feeding on fabrics will typically surface graze, later producing large, irregular holes that destroy valued possessions. Carpet beetles represent a health risk when the spear-headed hairs used as a physical defense by larvae irritate human skin. These hairs produce an itching sensation when contacted, and in large, untreated populations can produce irritation in the lungs when hairs are inhaled. Larvae can also burrow through packing materials when seeking stored food products, and spoil food with cast skins and hairs.
The disconnect between our lives and the natural world comes next. What were carpet beetles doing before we had carpets in our homes, and do they “occur naturally?” In nature, carpet beetles do much the same as they do in our homes. They feed on dead animals and aid the decomposition process. In fact, larvae of other species in the same insect family (Dermestidae) are used by museums to clean skin and soft tissue from animal bones, and dermestid beetles have been used in criminal cases to estimate time of death. In addition, carpet beetle adults feed on flowers, and might include pollination services on their resume. It was not until recently that I observed varied carpet beetles first hand on flowers. In a dogwood tree on our property at JP McHale Pest Management, each and every flower I investigated had a carpet beetle! After feeding, the adult beetles will be attracted by light or odor to a suitable food source for larval development, lay eggs, and that’s how an outdoor pollinator becomes an indoor pest! Truth is, just about all the organisms we consider to be pests have a place in this world: cockroaches, clothing moths, wasps, moles and spiders.
They existed before humans walked on this earth – and many of them will be here when we’re gone.
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Posted on July 28, 2010 with No Comments
Billy the Exterminator gives great tips to store items in your attic properly so pests won’t get in, check it out!
Tips From Billy
Tags: attic, Pests, storage, video
Category: Carpet Beetles, Crawling Insects, Do It Yourself, Insects, Mice, Pests, Rats, Saw Tooth Beetle, Silverfish, Videos