All posts in “trees”

Grass eating termites

Grass and termites

Grass, termites and what they may eat. Here is Arizona we have a grass eating termite. Typically they eat desert cellulose cleaning up the desert. In the picture they are just eating the old dead tree bark. Sometimes you will see them building little castles in the yard. They usually don’t do any harm but it does freak out some people and from time to time we can treat around trees to stop them from doing any perceived damage.

You will occasionally see them in areas that are dry and they will build little tunnels over the lawn. This buildup looks like little castles and often look kind of unique in the yard or litter areas. They will buildup over leaves, small pieces of wood or twigs, manure, cactus and plant structures. They also are known as agricultural termites.

Grass

Vines and the world of pests

Vines and the pests they may bring in

The art of pest management is what can be seen but also knowing what isn’t there, when looking at potential issues. Hiring a professional isn’t just about spraying, it is the knowledge that the Pro has to offer. Book knowledge is great but actually having real world experience is even better. In a perfect world everyone would ask my opinion before planting or just in general building a house. Opening can be a real problem but vines can cause further damage to pre-existing holes or openings. Damage can occur from trees pushing up on roofs just like you can see damage from tree roots pushing concrete sidewalks up.

Vines allow pests to hide and prevent you from noticing damage or possible entry points. Box Elder bugs can squeeze through very small opening, rodents can also get in and damage pipes and wires. Wildlife like rabbits and birds may nest in these areas. Knowing your property is a great plus in keeping damage and issues to zero.

vines

Palo Verde Bugs and you

Palo Verde Bugs

Palo Verde Bugs and I just had to post this short little video, this is a relatively BIG bug and they fly. I’m always a bit concerned at this time of monsoon time of year. Since they fly and could hit a motorcyclist and we have enough issues with people not seeing motorcycles.

They feed on the roots of trees especially Palo Verde trees. They then pupate into a beetle that can grow to about 4 inches and they have spines oh and they can bite (see my blood). That makes them one of the largest beetles in North America and can you imagine getting hit in the head with one of these. Ouuuuuch! Did I mention that cats love to play with these little monsters?

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ9gCoZXCC4[/embedyt]

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Ants come a crawling…

You know that old adage about the mechanic that never fixes his own car, cause he’s so busy or the pest control operator that never practices what he preaches – not me by the way. But by allowing that tree or bush to touch your home you may allow the ants to come into your home by the the millions.

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ants trees

That colony could have lived in that tree for years, never attempting to go into your home but that new highway just afforded them that option. In their social hierarchy, some members forage  for food and if they come across a new source like your kitchen it could all be over for your peaceful setting. They will take some food and make their way home leaving a pheromone trail for others to follow.

Did you know?

  • There could be 1 million in their colony, maybe more.
  • There are 1 million ants per person on Earth.
  • All those ants you see are female.
  • They have great eyesight but their antenna’s are the thing that really helps them in finding food.
  • They live about 45 –  60 days but probably have lived on Earth for over 1oo billion years. Queens may live 30 years.
  • If you weighed all the ants it would be more than all the humans. WOW, right?
  • The Maricopa Harvester ant is the most venomous insect on Earth and guess where it lives? Clue is Maricopa… and it’s sting is equal to 12 bee stings.
  • The Red Imported Fire Ant in Florida builds rafts to float during massive rain storms.
  • Their worst enemy is ProBest technicians, no just kidding but it’s other ants. Our technicians are good at what they do, but remember the ants are always on guard against intruders.
  • They can make their nest almost anywhere, don’t make it easy for them. Think about the types of landscape and decorations you place around your home.

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.

Tick, tock is it time for ticks?

 

ImageFile087ImageFile087ImageFile087As our weather becomes hotter and hotter, ticks become more active and need food. Guess what, that is an animal maybe your dog or cat or maybe you. I had a question today and wasn’t sure how to answer it – customer asked about ticks in her pine tree? Ticks when born seek a meal and will climb to a height on average with an animal. So maybe 4-6 foot at the most and they do not drop from trees when they see an animal, I don’t think their eyesight is that good.

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Here are a few tips for you and your pet.

  1. When hiking keep an eye out for pests, when you arrive home check yourself and your pet.
  2. Know what to look for and the difference between ticks and Bed Bugs.
  3. If you decide to use a Pesticide on your pet, bring that to the attention of your Pest Management Professional. For example if you decide to use a product with Fipronil and then the Pest Operator uses that product in the yard there could be some concerns.
  4. Check out this website – very informative. www.peteducation.com and specifically this page “Ingredients in Flea and Tick Control Products

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Do you plant right next to your home?

 

 

 

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When you plant bushes, trees or plants next to your home, are you creating an environment for pests and termites? Probably so. My rule of thumb is not to plant anything within 2 feet of your structure. Normally this is what I call the dripline of your home, that is the area of the roof over hang. Sometimes we really don’t have a chance, the picture below is an example of this. Because of the sidewalk there isn’t any room and when and if a termite job is required on this home, all those plants will probably be destoyed or hopefully they can be moved. The other issue is when the plants attract pests, could they then move into your structure? So think before you plant and things should be OK on the bug side…

Its baby time, are rodents looking for ways to protect themselves?

 

Just like us pests and rodents need 3 things: #1 Food #2 Water and #3 Shelter.

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Whether its warm or cold. opportunity is opportunity and pests will take every chance to push the edge. This could be your home and you need to be aware of the places where pest can set up a home for themselves.

  1. Check your home for exterior and interior holes.
  2. Trim trees and bushes away from home.
  3. Pick up fruit and/or encourage your neighbors to do the same. Give the fruit to St. Mary’s Food Bank.
  4. Remember rodents will gnaw on wires and pipes, you don’t need a headache like this.

Call ProBest Pest Management for help in dealing with pests.

Hey baby I smell good – would you follow me?

 

For many years researchers have used pheromones to lure insects into glue boards or catch devices.  They are really isolating these chemicals that are found in the specific insects used for mating purposes. What the guys don’t know is that its a trap. “Female Asian Longhorned Beetles pheromone may be key to pest management” Caution sex pictures when you click that link… made you look.

The researchers found that when the proper ratio and amount of pheromone is produced by females and deposited on the surface where they walk, signaling that they are fertile, males come.

So some type of fungus, trap or glue-board could be used  to kill males or females and this could possibly help to control certain beetles which damage trees. Science is producing some great and innovative ways to combat certain pests.

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