Top Ten Most Shocking Insect Infestations

We’re always telling you that not treating an infestation as soon as you suspect one is bad news. As Vancouver Washington’s professional pest control go-to team we’ve seen the damage caused by ants, cockroaches, rats and termites at first hand…and it’s not pretty.

Here is our line-up of ten famous cases from around the world of infestations that were left just a little too long.

1 Yellowjacket nests (2006)

[credit: http://www.ranker.com]

Back in 2006 reports came in of giant wasp nests engulfing cars, derelict houses and barns. Normally no bigger than a basketball the wasp’s nests became massive. To make matters worse these wasps bear a grudge and will chase anything they perceive as a threat, including us!

 

2 Snakes in the water (2009)

[credit: NY Daily News]

When Ben Session moved his family into a new home in Rexburg, ID he had no idea what horrors lay in wait. The family, whose story was also taken up by CBS, were quoted as saying they would, “Lie awake in bed, listening to the snakes slithering in the walls”.

 

3 Gigantic cricket swarm (2013)

[credit: http://www.ranker.com]

Crickets will eat just about anything. When drought hit Oklahoma in 2003 and was followed by larger than normal rains a few months later, the city was engulfed by billions of crickets. When the crickets died the streets were lined with their rotting corpses.

 

4 5,000 Brown Recluse spiders (2007)

[credit: TheBlaze]

It’s not often that a spider infestation becomes so bad that critters are seen, “Bleeding out of the walls”. But after Brian and Susan Trost moved in to their new home in Weldon Spring, Mo. they were at the mercy of upwards of 5,000 Brown Recluse spiders that were in, “Blinds, ceilings, fireplaces, lights [and] dropped from the ceiling”.

 

5 Texas mosquito swarm (1980)

[credit: National Geographic]

Plagues of mosquitos are usually a biblical concern but in the fall of 1980, a Texan farmer watched billions of the blood-sucking insects kill his livestock. The infestation lasted for weeks and came at a terrible cost.

 

6 NYC’s bedbug takeover (2010)

[credit: http://amputated4.rssing.com]

The famous bed-bug infestation of NYC was a phenomenon that hit its peak in 2010. Reports were of people being devoured at cinemas, the Wall Street Journal and Google’s New York HQ. One of the causes of the epidemic was down to “human ignorance”, according to prevention company, BedBug Central.

 

7 Madagascan locusts (2013)

[credit: Huffington Post]

At 15km long this locust swarm is one of the biggest recorded. With a notorious appetite for stripping fields of their crops the swarm devastated half the island’s arable land including rice and corn which was about to be harvested. It eventually died out but left the country with serious food shortages.

 

8 Memphis cobwebs (2015)

[credit: Metabunk]

Residents of Memphis, TN, were less than happy with the sight of nearly a half mile of spider webs engulfing their neighbourhood. Harmless sheet web spiders had laced everything with fine web in readiness for the dispersal of their young; pretty soon doors, windows and sidewalks were covered with small eight-legged freaks.

 

9 Albuquerque swarm (2014)

[credit: http://www.ranker.com]

While the human population of New Mexico’s largest city enjoyed unseasonably hot winters, trouble was brewing just beneath the surface of the surrounding desert. Usually cold and wet, the winters would normally kill many grasshopper eggs. But it wasn’t to be, and the resulting swarms were so big they were picked up on radar.

 

10 China’s hornet deaths (2013)

[credit: http://www.ranker.com]

The world’s largest hornet is native to Asia but it’s making its way across Europe according to experts. Its stinger is about 6mm long and has been known to kill people, even those not normally allergic to stings. An outbreak in China killed 42 people.

A Brief History of Ants

Even though Antworks Pest Control prides itself on the removal and control of all sorts of pests, we started off specializing in some serious home defense against ants. Ants are fascinating creatures that have diverged into the 12,000 known species of resilient, hard-working bosses of the bug world. But as we know too well they are also extremely pernicious mainly down to the fact they have evolved constantly over the course of 150M years to meet environmental change. Let’s face it, you don’t get anywhere in this world if you’re not willing to ride the times!

These days, ants can be found on just about every landmass on Earth barring Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Their success can be put down to their social organisation, ability to change their living arrangements quickly, seek resources, and – with some – defend themselves. All of this means that ants create one massive home defense and extermination issue worldwide; that goes for us here in Vancouver, WA too.

Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Jurassic period and hit the big time after the rise of flowering plants and fruits in the spring of 100M years ago. While wasps went on to use their rear ends to deliver venom the ants used their’s to deliver new life. There are an estimated 22,000 species in the world with only half having been identified.

Over time, different ant species chose different ways of life; some burrowed, some lived on dead vegetation, and some lived in trees. Despite all sorts of climate change (including whatever killed off the dinosaurs) ants thrived. A 49.5M year-old fossil of a winged queen ant is testimony to their evolutionary success; discovered in Wyoming in 2011, Titanomyrma is a prehistoric giant ant about the size of today’s hummingbirds (3-5 inches long).

During the Cretaceous period ants were scarce in comparison to the populations of other insects making up only about 1% of the world’s bug population, but by the Oligocene and Miocene (100M years later), ants made up 20–40% of all insects found in major fossil deposits.

One of the biggest reasons ants can be so hard to control as a pest is their love of living together in colonies which can range in size from a handful of individuals to millions. This way of living is called Eusociality and is in fact the best type of social organisation that some believed was akin even to our own way of life. It’s thought that ants became grouped as eusocial insects through an evolutionary phenomenon which allowed them to work collectively to benefit the gene pool rather than themselves as individuals.

Colonies are exceptionally well-run affairs with castes (groups) all specialized in one particular area of nest maintenance including reproduction. Similarly to ants, termite colonies are eusocial but the two are not related except through a primitive biological line. Termites are thought to have existed 251M years ago, more than 100M years before ants; when ants were getting stuck into the new fruit craze, termites were already working on their caste system. Their colony habits are similar but only by coincidence; termites are actually more closely related to cockroaches and mantids.

Bug Eaters of the World Unite

The Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) in 2013 stated:

From ants to beetle larvae, crispy-fried locusts to beetles, it is estimated that insect-eating is practiced regularly by at least two billion people worldwide.

However, when the subject of entomophagy (the human use of insects as food) rises in a Western household we usually express disgust or marginalize the “creepy” practice to psychological endurance tests on big-money game-shows.

Problem is, it’s deep-rooted in our psyche not to eat something that could potentially be harmful, like for example rotting food. But we also learn to steer clear of things to which other people around us are turning their noses up. Unfortunately, for most Westerners this includes the thought of a crunchy locust sub.

Entomologist Louis Sorkin of the American Museum of Natural History, world famous biter of bugs and passionate entomophagist thinks we should stop being repulsed by the idea, and soon. In his opinion it can’t be too long before Westerners change their mind-set when one considers how many bugs are already eaten unknowingly.

“You have to get people to, I guess, swallow it here in the Western part of the world,” Sorkin told LiveScience four years ago.

However, most Westerners will still balk at the thought of entomophagy because they are taught to this day that bugs, no matter what size, what time of the year and where they come from are dangerous and should be controlled or eradicated.

Let’s make mincemeat, just out of something…

From a young age, here in the States we’re very rarely taught to differentiate between “good” insects and “bad” ones. We’re bombarded with movies and horror stories about giant or killer insects (The Nest, The Fly, Arachnophobia); we’re also taught to be careful of wasps and told stories of killer bees and biting ants. Apparently, they’re all “bad” creatures and if we know that then we can be prepared mentally to deal with their fate.

But they’re not all bad. In fact, most insects are beneficial to the ecology of the planet; famously of course bees are one of the good guys.

So if there are good bugs as well as bad at least in terms of the environment can’t we extend this thinking to our own nutrition? If we were to simply train our instinctive Western reflexes to see insects less a nasty bug and more a tasty one we might reap the rewards.

Doesn’t it just make sense?

That insects are nutritious is not disputed; it is widely accepted that they are rich in protein and fiber and a good source of healthy fats and minerals. Two billion people around the planet don’t eat insects because they’re insane or running low on chicken or trying to win a big prize fund. They eat an insect because they have a mind-set which allows them to appreciate what the creature is, what it represents, what goodness it holds and its inherent health benefits.

It is time we looked at things from a different perspective.

The Ubiquitous Bug

If you’re one of the 6% of Americans who suffers with acute insectophobia you may want to click back to your friends on Facebook; or, why not just take a couple of deep breaths and see where this blog is headed? Someone once said Knowledge is Power, so there’s a chance we might just be able to help you out.

Whether you’re on reluctant bug-patrol 24/7 dreading a shriek of panic from the bathroom or the attic, or you’re one of those macho types making serious attempts to keep your house empty of bugs and standing over your prey like a Greek Colossus, this blogs for you.

But wait up Odysseus, we have news for you. You’re as unlikely to keep your house bug-free as you are to find more batteries for your TV remote just as your program’s about to start. Sure, you might kill a wasp with a quick burst of tetramethrin or squash a mosquito with the last ever edition of The Oregonian but there are hundreds more creatures where they came from waiting in the wings…with wings, and legs, and crunchy bodies. Sorry about that, but you may as well get used to it.

In point of fact we share our planet with a massive and unimaginable number of insects. Research estimates for each human on Earth there are around 200 mllion insects. In the United States alone the number of identified and listed species is approximately 91,000 including beetles (23,700), flies (19,600), ants, bees, wasps (17,500), and moths and butterflies (11,500). A sobering thought especially when you’re faced with that one wasp you just can’t get a good hit at.

So actually Mr (or Mrs) Bug Buster you have your work cut out, and not just inside the house. In North Carolina, soil samples to a depth of 5 inches showed that there were around 124 million critters per acre, of which 90 million were mites, 28 million were springtails, and 4.5 million were other insects. A similar study in Pennsylvania yielded figures of 425 million animals per acre, with 209 million mites, 119 million springtails, and 11 million other arthropods.

Indoors the numbers are still high. A report in January from Wired.com suggests there are 1000 insect species or more living in what we thought was a bug-free home, made up from around 93 species. In one study of 554 rooms in randomly inspected homes more than 99% had “extra guests”. Everywhere hosted flies, beetles, spiders, and ants and the research didn’t even touch upon rodents!

In truth, what difference have we made to how you feel about your home? Your home is your home and sharing it with so many creatures is a fact of life. Insects were in existence thousands of millennia before we came along and we’ve coped in sweet harmony, well, maybe not sweet but definitely in harmony. After all, sharing the planet with other creatures means we bring them with us, they live with us, live on us and in us and let’s not forget as feminist Mary Astell once said: “even the poorest Insect has its Use and Vertue.”

Homeowners Pests Guide to Prepare for the Summer

A lot has been written about home and garden pests on Antworks Pest Control blog, and with new Spring and Summer season ahead, it is time to refresh our knowledge and keep our home and garden pest free (as much as possible).

Here are some of our tips and tricks on how to keep ants and other pests away. Hope you will find them useful! 🙂

INFOGRAPHIC – The Ultimate Guide to Pest Control

Pest Invasion in your garden can be very stressing and disgusting especially when they start eating the leaves of your trees and destroy the image of your garden. Learn how to fight pests with Reliable Pest Control Methods You Can Use.

If you are one of those who prefers Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Methods, try reading this blog post – How to DIY Pest Extermination at Home.

Ant Exterminator Services – The Things to Consider.

Here are also some interesting facts about bugs and their new role in our culture:

Insect-eating has become popular worldwide and if you are interested in learning more, you can find out here – Bug Eaters of the World Unite.

If you’re one of the 6% of Americans who suffers from acute insectophobia, then do not read this postThe Ubiquitous Bug.

Humanity considers ants to be pests, and some nasty ones at that. And sure, ants are not good in the home of any person, but they can be extremely useful in nature. The question is –  Are ants dangerous or should we protect them?

Signs of Pests in Your House

Pests at home and work: See the signs, take precautions!

By understanding why pests come into your living space you can take necessary steps to prevent infestation.

WHERE TO LOOK FOR PESTS AROUND YOUR HOME

Cellar Temptations: Dark, damp, cardboard and other material, vents to the outside world.

Silverfish Signs and Symptoms: Holes in wallpaper or cardboard boxes, chewed clothing, and visible.

Spiders Signs and Symptoms: Webs, egg sacs, and sometimes visible.

Other pests:

Ants

Fleas

Rodents

1st floor kitchen Temptations: Warm and cluttered; garbage, food, water, people, pets.

Cockroaches Signs and Symptoms: Droppings, carcasses, egg cases, musty type of smell, sometimes visible.

Other pests:

Silverfish

Ants

Fleas

Stinkbugs

Spiders 

1st floor lounge Temptations: Warm, with people, pets.

Ants Signs and Symptoms: Small mounds of earth and holes at the foot of external walls, ant trails, and visible. Sounds of scuttling in wall cavities and activity around rotten wood.

Other pests:

Fleas

Stinkbugs

Spiders

2nd floor bedroom Temptations: Warm, with people, pets …and a bed!

Bedbugs Signs and Symptoms: Rows of itchy lumps on your shoulders and arms, tiny blood stains on sheets and mattresses, sometimes visible.

Other pests:

Fleas

Spiders

2nd floor bathroom Temptations: Warm, damp, vents to the outside world, people, pets.

Fleas Signs and Symptoms: Itchy bites or rashes on your feet and legs, pets scratching more than usual resulting in red skin under the fur, sometimes visible.

Other pests:

Silverfish

Spiders

Wall cavity Temptations: Dark, warm, woody, pulpy, vents to the outside world.

Termites Signs and Symptoms: Swarms in springtime, hollow-sounding wood walls, unexplained structural damage, mud tubes on external walls and piles of discarded wings.

Other pests:

Ants

Spiders

Attic Temptations: Dark, warm, woody, pulpy, vents to the outside world.

Rodents Signs and Symptoms: Scratching in walls or ceiling under the attic, ammonia type of smell, visible droppings, gnawed furniture and insulation.

Other pests:

Spiders

Learn more by visiting http://allaboutants.net/

 

 

 

 

 

Home and Garden Pests Typical for Oregon

Your Oregon home would also be home to creeping bugs, ants, spiders and fleas for most times of the year. Many of these home and garden pests typical for Oregon do not have any special weakness for any weather extreme. When the weather is favorable, they would just lay eggs and multiply. When they are hungry, they will keep feeding on a lot of things in and around your home and not just wood, when it gets biting cold they would just hide and wait for the mercury to rise and you would have one outbreak after another.

You must know that there are innumerable variants of most insects, pests and spiders that we usually have common names for. So when we talk of pest control and highlight some common insects, spiders, ants and fleas to be aware of, we are simply highlighting the species. There will be many variants, wherein some are recognized subspecies and some are just local offshoots of the larger species.

  • You would have to deal with bed bugs. Official known as Cimex lectularius, beg bugs are not unique to Oregon. They are not fatal and they don’t usually spread any kind of disease nor cause any concerning infection. Yet, they are irritating, uncomfortable and unbearable. The constant blood sucking bed bugs are certainly not the companions you want on bed. You should also know that one beg bug can lay as many as five eggs in a day and can give birth to five hundred bed bugs in a lifetime. A small infestation can become a farm of beg bugs raised by you as your blood is their food.
  • Fleas or Siphonaptera will be unavoidable if you have pets. Households that don’t have pets are not very vulnerable to fleas. Just as you would get the mattress disinfected and your bedroom as well as the house treated by pest control to get rid of bed bugs, you need to use pest control to eliminate fleas from your home. You should also consult a vet to keep your pets safe and you must clean your house including vacuuming more frequently than you do now.
  • Ticks are not as common as bed bugs but they are more dangerous. Official known as Dermacentor andersonii and Ixodes pacificus, Oregon has to deal with two types of ticks. One is the black legged tick and the other is the Rocky Mountain wood tick. The black-legged tick can spread Lyme disease. Ticks can be easily carried into your home by mice and pets.

You should also guard your home against the western black widow or Latrodectus Hesperus, hobo spider or Tegenaria agrestis, ants or Hymenoptera, carpenter ants or Camponotus, termites or Zootermopsis angusticollis and the common American cockroach.

 

 

Reliable Pest Control Methods You Can Use

Pest Invasion in your garden can be very stressing and disgusting especially when they start eating the leaves of your trees and destroy the image of your garden.  Eliminating them requires complete devotion where multiple methods should be used to counter attack their spread and eliminate them from the compound. They breed and multiply at a quick rate making them to invade every place before you realize that they are existing in your garden or compound. Eradicating pests is not a one day task, it requires step by step moves that target the invaded areas and the hiding places to ensure that pests are completely finished. Below are the most effective types of pest control methods that can be used for maximum eradication.

Prevent the Invasion of Pests

Prevention is better than cure, this is definitely true because it is cheaper and easier to prevent pest invasion than to eliminate them. Block all the possible entry channels of pests, all the kind of wastes and food disposals that could attract pests. Make sure that you keep your garden clean and survey it frequently so that you discover any sorts of pest invasion and control it early. When pests are combated early or prevented completely, they won’t destroy anything in the garden.

Biological Pests Control Methods

This is among the ultimate insect control methods that can be used without any side effects. The method involves the use of predators that will hunt and eat all the pests in the garden to reduce their spread. If used alone, it might not be that effective, but it needs to be supplemented with other methods so that pests become full eliminated from the garden. The praying mantis, the Mongooses, and cats, have been widely used in the gardens to reduce pest invasion.

Chemical Methods of Pests Control

Chemical pest control methods are the most effective methods of pest control, but they need to be done by specialized professionals to ensure reasonable application and avoid poisoning. There are different calibers of chemicals that attack specific stages of pest growth which is why they should be applied after analysis of the whole garden. When chemicals are applied carelessly, they might not fully eradicate the pests. Fumigation is another chemical method that completely removes all pests from the garden.

Physical Pest Control Methods

Physical methods have always been underestimated because they look traditional and people trust modern methods than any physical method. They include the physical picking of the pests by use of hands and destroying the breeding places to ensure that you them completely. The use of poisoned baits is also utilized where you keep food for the pests on the baits for the pests to come and die as they come to it.

The Secret Tricks by the Ant Exterminator Revealed

Most people will immediately call the pest exterminator the moment they see an insect or a rodent inside their house.  When the team of pest control arrived at their home, they will either step outside of their house or shut their eyes and ears until the work of the exterminator is done.  But instead of cowering in fear, there are a lot of things that you can learn on the ant exterminator to avoid the future pest infestation or even how to control the pests that are already present in your home.  In this article, we will reveal some of their tricks and secrets.

Keeping Your House Clean Won’t Be Enough

Ant Exterminator Vancouver WA said that most insect specifically ant will be attracted on the scent of your food.  Perhaps there is an open bag on chips in your kitchen counter or a dirty dish, but cleaning them won’t be enough.  Ants can also get attracted with moist.  The moisture level plays a significant role in their sustainability and their attraction.  Leaving the areas damp can attract these pests.  Make sure to drain your decorative pond and clean your gutter regularly.

Analyzing your Pest

When an ant extermination company visited your house, the first thing that they will do is to analyze the type of infestation that you have.  They will examine the way they mobilize, the amount of visible body segments, the number of legs, the location where you find them and its place of origination.  After analyzing these essential factors, the pest control company will then devise the most suitable method in controlling the infestation.  Remember that there are times that following the trail of red ants inside your house will lead you to a pack of candy hidden under your carpet.

Baits

In case there is an ant infestation in your house, the ant exterminator believes that gel baits are still the ideal tool to control the ants.  You should avoid using OTC (over-the-counter) sprays, especially in your kitchen countertops.  Sprays will only kill the ants that are present while the hidden 95% of the ants will survive.  Gel Bait will create a slow result, but it is still more effective compared to sprays.  Avoid using gel and spray at the same time.  Spray will discourage the ant from taking the gel bait.

Ant Exterminator Vancouver WA also recommends the granular baits when taking care of the fire ants.  It is affordable, effective and safe to your pets, environment and to your family.  Use them at least 3 times annually during summer, fall and spring.

In case you really need the help of the ant extermination company, you should seek the help of a reputable pest control company.  They are well aware on the type and amount of product to use to achieve the best result while maintaining the safety of your home and environment.