Why it is Important to Understand Insect Life Cycles

This site is all about integrated pest control; that is, using knowledge to understand the living habits, biology, and breeding of different kinds of pests and then using this knowledge to eliminate them as problems, using the least toxic means possible. A vital part of your knowledge about certain insect pests means understanding the life cycle that they go through.

 

Understanding the life cycle of insects will help you in a few ways:

 

1. You will know at what stage a certain insect pest is going to inflict damage to your property.

2. You will know when a certain type of insect pest is the most vulnerable to means of control.

3. You will understand what you are looking at when you discover a pest problem.

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Which Termite Species is Causing my Problems?

Like many different pests, termites found in the United States can be one of several different species. Unlike other types of pests, the three species of termite which commonly cause problems in the country have to be dealt with in different ways in order to affect a long term solution to the problem. In this article, we will take a look at the three different termite species, how to identify which species is causing you a problem in your house, and in one case we will discuss treatment options.

 

Subterranean Termites

 

* Geography: Subterranean termites are the most commonly found termite pest in the United States. They are concentrated along the Gulf and in the South.

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What to Look for in a Pest Control Company

Have you found suspicious holes in your framework? Finding mouse poop in with the utensils? Maybe you are trying to grow some prize winning tomatoes, but have an infestation of hornworm, or are finding that every time you go down to the basement there is a string of ants moving back and forth.

 

If you have these or any other pest problems, you have probably considered calling a pest control company to help deal with the situation. A lot of people will try to get rid of pests on their own first, but quite often this does not solve the problem in the long run. Most pests are prolific and reproduce in hard to reach areas. In this way, they are a lot like weeds; you have to address the problem at it’ root. The problem with pests is that they are living and the “roots” can be hard to find.

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Understanding the Least Toxic Principle

Finding pests around your home and in your yard can be more than just annoying. Many kinds of pests have the potential to spread disease, while most create some form of hassle or another in the form of painful bites, destruction of property and a lot of extra work, or the annihilation of entire gardens. For many years people have taken steps to combat the influence of pests in their homes and gardens. While the approaches people took often appeared to work, in reality some of the most popular methods of pest control were ineffective or worse.

 

Since the middle of the 20th century, the favourite method for most people on both the large and small scale when it came to controlling pests was spraying poisons to wipe them out. Research has proven that not only are chemical insecticides not very effective in the long run, they may also actually pose a serious danger to the health of humans and other animals not considered pests.

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Understanding Termite Damage

If you have every seen a termite, you might wonder what all the fuss is about when it comes to termite damage. They don’t look all that tough; much less so than other common pests such as cockroaches and ants. They are white a squishy, pretty much defenseless. Still, these little insects can cause quite a bit of damage to your home, and it’s important that you have a good understanding of how termite damage works in order to create an effective solution with your pest control specialist; it will save you time and money if you already have a good understanding of what you are looking at. Let’s take a look at some facts about termite damage.

 

* Termites work slowly. A big misconception about termites is that they are like ants both in appearances and in habits. Watching a colony of ants in action over a bug or other source of food will understandably cause dread in a person who has their habits confused with termites; after all, at that speed, termites could make off with a house in a matter of weeks! The good news is that the work ethic of these creatures is not at all the same. Even for specialized creatures such as termites wood can be hard to bite off and harder to digest, so it takes quite a while for them to do really significant damage. If you catch the problem, you have a good amount of time to weigh your treatment options.

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Treating Dry Wood Termites

Termite problems are one of the most anxiety causing pest issues for any home owner. Although these little insects won’t cause you any harm, they may do some serious damage to the investments that you call your home.

 

There are three different types of termite, and in this article we will be talking about some of the least toxic options in dealing with the dry wood species. They can be identified as such by their appearance as well as their droppings, which we discuss in another article.

 

Dry wood termites can be found in any type of wood, whether wet or dry. They are much more divers in their habitat preferences than damp wood termites, though less aggressive than subterranean. As a result of their flexibility, they can be very hard to treat. Traditionally a house where dry wood termites have been found is subjected to tent fumigation; the house is closed to the family and poison applied in great quantities until all the termites are dead.

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The Upside of Pests?

Part of an integrated approach to pest control is acknowledging that many pests have a vital role to play in the natural world. Many people may wish that a certain species of animal would be wiped off of the face of the earth forever, but if this were to actually happen, the consequences could be dire. The greater the numbers of one creature, the bigger the roles it usually plays within nature (the exception being humans) even if that role is just feeding an incredible large number of other creatures.

 

In writing the articles for this website, I have come to a greater understanding of many of the animals that we would commonly think of as pests. I would like to make one thing clear; I can absolutely empathize with a desire to get rid of some of the species covered in these pages, at least within the home. Cockroaches, fleas, lice, and house flies may have their place, but I am certainly not above killing them when I see them and wishing them to stay away from me and my property forever. In fact, the same thing goes for rats and mice, although I can understand their upside in the natural world.

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The Problem with Excess Chemicalization

Part One: The hazards

 

Since the dawn of time man has waged war against various species that we label as pests. It’s a pretty broad category that runs the range of animals which pose a threat to our safety to those that we fight with over resources to those that ruin our hobbies and in some cases our livelihood. The development of poisonous chemicals in the middle of the 20th century brought this war to a whole new level, and people began to feel as though we were finally going to win the war against the pests which plagued us.

 

Unfortunately the reduction in pests for a short time was a battle won, but we were far from winning the war. In fact, the use of too much chemicals proved an awful mistake in all cases, whether large or small. Today chemical control of pests is restricted by law for commercial interests, but may still be carried on by the individual home owner. Let’s take a look at why too much usage of chemicals (and we’ve coined a new word for it, “chemicalization”, which we hope catches on) can be very hazardous - in the second part of the series we will take a look at why they are also ineffective.

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Snail Control

Snails are an incredibly amazing naturally occurring pest; the average snail can lay up to 300 eggs per day during the laying season, and these eggs can lie in the ground for eleven years or more until conditions are right for them to hatch. It’s easy to see how a snail infestation can occur overnight, and a bad infestation can prove very detrimental to your garden.

 

Snails are a pest which truly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of a toxic chemical approach to pest control. While they will perish individually, over use of toxic chemicals will actually create the ideal habitat for snails and their eggs as it kills the soil and dries it out. The only way to deal with snails is through time and patience, and here are some ways to do it.

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Silver Fish and Fruit Flies

What are the real issues?

 

Every once in a while I find that there are pests that really don’t do a lot of harm, especially when the campaign to get rid of them is weighed up against the damage they do. In this article, we are going to take a look at two of the most benign pests there are, the fruit fly and the silver fish. What exactly are these insects being persecuted for?

 

Fruit flies

 

Fruit flies seem a particularly ridiculous case as far as pests go. They carry no diseases, are not harmful, and don’t even make noise in big groups. The only knock on the fruit fly as far as problems go is that they tend to breed very quickly and their numbers become suddenly vast. This amounts to a visual problem more than anything else; a basic psychological abhorrence of the presence of so many flying insect. Of course you may also have an aversion to these little guys flying into your wine every time you pop a cork too, and that’s understandable. I think that fruit flies should be dealt with, but as household pest insects go they are not too bad.

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