All posts in “dirt”

Termites tunneling

Termites tunneling

Termites tunneling in the soil around your home is inevitable. Stopping them before they get into your home must be absolute.  Termiticides have come a long way since the 1950’s  – some good and some maybe not so good. But all in all this all depends on how you stand on repellent, non-repellent and baiting?

 

In the 50’s Chlordanes usage was curtailed and replaced with shorter life termiticides. Chlordane lasted or had half life of approximately 50 years. OK I know some will argue but in plain language, EPA didn’t want it to last that long in the soil. Soon came shorter life in soil termiticides and newer type classes like Premise which is a non-repellent. Then came Termidor oh and I forgot some new baits like active ingredients Hexaflumuron and noviflumuron. These are baits that are placed into the soil and eaten by termites which then affects molting. My personal opinion especially in Arizona is that it is extremely hot and this in turn heats up the bait station. So I think putting a pesticide in place permanently is the way to prevent Termites tunneling. Termidor stays where you put while Premise can move up and down depending on water activity. We also perform WDIIR or Wood Destroying Infestation Inspection Reports. No matter where you live in the South termite are active usually year round. Depending on your location some moderate to heavy infestations can occur. Florida for instance is greater than Arizona due to moisture. Where you have more water and building codes that lean towards conducive conditions you will find termites.

Kitchen tubes

Kitchen tubes termites

Kitchen tubes and termites, always a freaky thing to discover. This was of course unusual and of course there was a shower bathtub on the other side. This makes it difficult to treat, almost making it impossible to get to the bath-trap. Maybe the possibility of angle drilling, but whoa pipes in the way.

Checking your home monthly for signs of termite tubes is helpful in determining an active infestation. Check for signs outside at the foundation and check inside for any signs of soil/dirt tubes and stains. In Arizona termites become more active after monsoon and the rains. This year we have had a lot of rain, so keep an eye out for signs.

 

Grass eating termites

termites222     Termites eat dead wood and often they can find it on live trees. They can eat the bark or sometimes a tree limb will die and they can eat that.

 

Here is Arizona they consume dead grass, dead cactus and anything that contains cellulose.

 

Don’t panic, they are just doing what they are supposed to do – consume dead wood.

 

I often recommend just keeping any eye out for the termites, it isn’t always necessary to treat especially since they are just eating the dead wood.

mud dauber wasp not termites

Mud dauber waspmud dauber wasp

 

 

Mud dauber wasp – Every once in a while we get a call from someone thinking they have termites. The picture is a mud dauber wasp, the female constructs this nest out of dirt. Shen then paralyzes a few spiders and deposits an egg within – providing lunch for her offspring.  Mud daubers don’t generally sting or defend their nest but that isn’t a reason to harass them because they can sting if provoked. You might find them collecting water to help build their nest.

 

Just wait for the baby wasp to hatch out or use a shovel to dislodge the mud nest.

Insects make nests in unusual places.

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Sorry for the blurriness of the picture put it is a fire alarm sprinkler head and a Mud Dauber wasp has decided to create a nest in the head itself. We decided to alert maintenance because I didn’t want the alarm triggering.

 

What is the weirdest place you have seen a nests?

A lot of times vacuuming can really help with Pest Control.

 

We often get calls to rid homes of certain bugs and sometimes I just want to say – clean your house first. Its all in the approach to a customer, I have always believed that a home was meant to be lived in. Hoarding though can be dangerous, look I prefer a home that was clutter free but that isn’t always going to happen. So lets just say that your home leans a little closer to clutter than clutter free, what can you do?

  • If you have carpet vacuum often and make sure you empty the vacuum. We don’t have fleas here in Arizona but I have seen fleas hatch from a bag vacuum and re-infest the entire home again.
  • Carpet beetles are a problem and if you have a vacuum that really works well, it may be able to suck up the larva and they do all the damage.
  • Bed Bugs can also hang out near the baseboard and edges of the carpet, so vacuuming could help. Speaking of Bed Bugs if you want to use DE or DiatomaceousEarth – don’t go crazy this stuff can be dangerous when your breath it into your nose.
  • Don’t use Bug Bombs, they can make the critter go deeper and more of an issue on treating in the future.
  • Vacuum again.
Photo by PPMA

Photo by PPMA

German roaches

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German cockroaches are the scourge of the kitchen and sometimes the bathroom. Let them in and they are there to stay until you call ProBest Pest Management that is. Many people attempt to solve their roach problems and sometimes it works but you have to understand their biology. So maybe you kill a few here or there, you should realize that that is only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t recommend the use of bug bombs; they tend to make the roaches go deeper and further away for the time being. So here are a few tips to keep them out:

  1. Don’t keep boxes in the pantry; put the food into plastic containers.
  2. Don’t allow food to sit around.
  3. Keep the kitchen free from dirt and grease.
  4. Pull out the refrig from time to time and clean it, an extra tip – clean the condenser coils it will save you money.
  5. If you see one, look deeper. Don’t panic but don’t underestimate the finding.

Have you inspected your home for termites?

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In Arizona these little mud trails can pop up just about anywhere within your home. The termites make there way up from the soil and make these tubes or tunnels to protect themselves from ants or the heat. Once inside they will soon be munching away on your wall or ceiling studs.

So if you notice something like this I think its time to call a Termite Professional.

How often do you check your A/C filters?

How often do you check your A/C filters?

 

probestIMAG0227 I think most replacement filters suggest every 60 days, but I think a more appropriate answer is when they are dirty. The rest of the answer is how many contaminates are involved with your home? Do you have pets, do you live in an area where they have smog days and how many people live in your home? What about allergies, do you or someone living in your home have allergies? If you answered yes, then you should consider special filters that collect more contaminates. Dust mites, German Cockroaches and other pests can increase asthma conditions and should be prevented.

 

What do you look for with carpet and pests?

 

 What do you look for with carpet and pests?

 

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Yearly carpet cleaning is a great time to examine and inspect your carpets. More dirt equals more wear and tear on carpets. This pest above is a carpet pest as well as a pest to any type of hide, carpet or artwork. Webbing Clothes Moths or Casemaking Moths can do real damage to all types of products including taxidermy, feathers, any type of wool and furs. Remember it is not the adult that feeds on these products but the larva, so be on the lookout for any strange type of actvity happening on the carpet or product.

The key to control is proper identification, good sanitation and pesticide application when necessary.

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