Oregon on cutting edge of Stink Bug Battle

Oregon on cutting edge of Stink Bug Battle

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - Bloom Pest Control - Portland OR - Vancouver WA
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive species that has been attacking crops in the state of Oregon. They have also become a nuisance pest to homeowners because of their large numbers, especially in the fall when they tend to move into our homes looking for a warm place to spend the winter. The Oregon Department of Agriculture and scientists from OSU are using the Samurai Wasp, which already has established populations in Oregon, to attack the eggs of the Stink Bug. Here is a great article in the Statesman Journal explaing how Oregon is leading the battle against these nasty little creatures…read the article here

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Sugar Ants Blog

What are Sugar Ants?

Sugar ants, also known as odorous house ants, are common insects that love being in the kitchen. They are about 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length, and range from reddish-brown to black in color. They are primarily nocturnal and like to hide in dark places, like behind walls, between rocks, or in the dirt. Sugar ants have a preference for warm and humid climates, so they become most active in the summer.

With their keen sense of smell, sugar ants are very good at locating sweet things to eat. While their preference for sugary foods is common knowledge, their actual name is due to a strange defense mechanism; odorous house ants secret a smell when they get smushed! Generally agreed to be the smell of a “rotten coconut”, recent research suggests that the smell is closer to blue cheese.

 

Do Odorous House Ants Bite?

In the case of these bugs, their smell is worse than their bite. Sugar ants are not known to bite humans unless their nest is disturbed, and since their nests are usually behind walls or under rocks, it’s unlikely for a human to come across it. If they do bite humans, it’s easy to treat and has no lasting effects.

Why Do Ants Like Sugar?

Sugar ants get their familiar name because of their love of sugary nectar; their favorite is honeydew sap! Their diet consists of mostly of aphids, which have a very similar smell to their beloved melon.

It’s speculated that they are attracted to other sugary foods because it’s easy to break down, and provides a  source of high energy with fewer calories. Sugar ants move their colonies around every 3 months, usually in response to the rain, so they need as much energy as possible for that and general maintenance of their nests.

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

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Fleas Blog

Fleas

For anyone with animals that spend time outdoors, fleas are a real concern. A flea is a tiny, nearly invisible insects that are attracted to mostly dogs and cats. While there are collars and topical treatments that work to keep your pet flea-free, it’s still possible for them to travel from your pet’s fur to your home.

 

What Do Fleas Look Like?

  • Vary between black and brownish-black in color.
  • Around 1/8” long.
  • Small mouths with sucking parts.
  • Developed legs for jumping, with the potential for a 5-6 inch vertical jump (that’s like an average person jumping the Leaning Tower of Pisa from the ground!).

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Can Humans Get Fleas?

Humans are susceptible to this pest as much as their fur friends are. If an infested animal is in a home, flea eggs can fall on areas like flooring, bedding or clothing; there, they are undetected, and hatch a few weeks afterwards. They are most likely to make a home in a humans scalp and hair.

What Do Fleas Do?

The female needs blood in order to carry out their pregnancy, so they’re prone to biting, which can cause irritation.  Scratching is common, which can leave your skin raw and open to infection. Because fleas bite, there is also a small risk of transmission of blood borne diseases, though very unlikely.

How to Kill Fleas?

This pest is not easy to get rid of! First, isolate the animal with the infestation and get it under control. It will take consistent treatments, usually a mix of baths with medicated shampoos and brushing, to manage and eventually remove the presence of fleas. This can take weeks, so consistency is important!

Once an infestation is discovered, immediately clean your home, especially in the places your pet sleep. Infested clothing and bedding should be washed with hot, soapy water as soon as possible. The home should be vacuumed from top to bottom, including baseboards and moldings; remember, fleas and their eggs are nearly invisible, so it’s important to be thorough. Next, consider having a pest control company treat your home.  The quicker your house is cleaned and protected, the better the chance they won’t reach you and your family. If your fur friend keeps getting flea infestations, consider getting your yard treated to reduce their presence.

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

 

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Spiders Blog

Spiders

Ah, spiders. An insect so nightmarish, there’s a special name for a fear of them: arachnophobia. Some people have spiders as pets, some people scream at the very sight of them, but all can agree that with 8 legs, they’re very eerie looking; this is probably why they make such popular Halloween decorations. Here are some common questions that you’re probably too creeped out to ask:

Do All Spiders Bite?

Despite their frightening appearance, the majority of spiders do not bite; most are incapable of piercing human skin. In fact, only 2 types of spiders in all of North America are known to be outwardly aggressive and attack humans: the brown recluse and the black widow. Despite how dangerous bites their bites can be, their occurrences are very infrequent. Chances are any spider you encounter is more afraid of you than you of it. If any other spider does try to bite a human, it’s usually out of defense.

 

How Many Eyes Do Spiders Have?

The number of eyes range from 0 to 8 to 12, with the most common being 8. Most spiders can only detect light and dark, though some can distinguish shapes.

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How Many Types of Spiders Are There?

Brace yourself for this one: there are roughly 40,000 types of spiders, spread out over every continent, except for Antarctica. In the United States and Canada, there are at least 4,000 known spider species crawling around, and of them, 39 reside in the Pacific Northwest. Yikes!

Why Was Spiderman 4 Canceled?

In the upcoming summer of 2017, Marvel Studios is rebooting the Spiderman franchise… again. The original reboot came out in 2012, 10 years after the original feature length film. With all of these reiterations of the beloved super hero, some may still wonder “What happened to Tobey? He was perfect!”  There’s a perfectly rational explanation to this: because of the revolving door of potential characters, director Sam Raimi could not get a storyline together by the release date Sony had set. For those who miss his franchise, here’s a gentle reminder of why it was time to go:

Yes, ladies and gentleman. That’s Topher Grace, the guy from That 70’s Show, as Venom, one of the coolest villains to face Spidey. Someone saw this audition and said “Oh, totally. This will be well received and loved.”

Did you also forget about angsty Spiderman? Because the Internet remembers:

That’s right, friends. Spiderman 3 had melodramatic Peter Parker. A role so horrible, it was quietly erased from everyone’s memory. There was no way to salvage this storyline with the increasingly bad casting decisions.  It was almost a relief this franchise to be put to rest to make way for the reboot(s).  Sorry, Tobey!

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

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Cockroach Blog

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The Cockroach

Few insects invoke instant disgust the way a cockroach does. The most common insect alive, there are about 55 species of cockroaches found in the USA, with the five most common in Oregon begin the American roach, the oriental roach, the German roach, the brown-banded roach, and the native wood roach, which does not invest homes. Cockroaches are approximately 1-1.5 inches long and reddish brown in color. They prefer dark environments and are sensitive to vibration, which causes them to scurry in their distinctive way, to the nearest crack or crevice; they usually go to the area closest to their food source

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches are scavengers and are attracted to places with open food. They will eat just about anything, most notably garbage and dead animals. The cockroach diet can range from baked goods, bookbinding starch, flakes of dried skin, beer, cheese, and leather, so the average home is a buffet for them. It’s important to practice proper waste management to not attract roaches to a home; they have a very keen sense of smell, and will quickly invade a residence where they smell food is in abundance.

 

Do Cockroaches Bite?

Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes! Cockroaches do bite humans, and usually will when the human is asleep. Being scavengers attracted to dead organisms, humans in an infested home are most susceptible to bites if they have lots of scratches or a sun burn. To add insult to injury, they’re also known to pee on humans as a parting gift. A cockroach bite should be treated immediately, as they are hosts to bacteria that can lead to infections.

 

Can Cockroaches Fly?

Some roaches are wingless, but those with wings do fly. Entomologists say that hot and humid conditions make cockroaches more active, which leads to an increase of them flying and trying to seek cooler residence. Cockroaches are weak flyers, preferring to run, and will only fly when they feel unsafe.

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

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Powderpost Beetle

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Powderpost beetle

Powderpost beetles are insects that would fall under the “pest” category, and for the strangest reason: they have a hankering for antiques. An enemy to lovers of old furniture, the powderpost beetle also love getting into other dead and moistened hardwoods, like dead branches and trees. They are second only to terminates in their ability to damage wooden structures. (YIKES!)

What is a Powderpost Beetle?

Powderpost beetles are part of the of the lyctidae family of insects. They are small, brown, and usually around ¼ inch or less in length. Powderpost beetles deposit themselves in wood, with a preference for slightly moistened and rough cut.

What do Powderpost Beetles Do?

Powderpost beetles are destructive; their tell-tale sign is a bunch of holes in an area that give out fine, powder-like sawdust in wooded areas. It takes them about a year to make their Swiss cheese structures within wood, less if the wood has high moisture and starch.

Life Cycle of a Powderpost Beetle

Powderpost beetles will usually begin depositing eggs into around the spring, which will develop within the wood itself. Their larvae look like little grubs and get to about 1/5 inch in length. Around midwinter they reach adulthood and exit the structure they’re in by creating the little holes and sawdust they’re known for. While they’re not picky eaters, powderpost beetles do prefer the sapwood of oak, and have no problem re-infesting a nice hunk of wood for many generations.

Powderpost Beetle Infestation

The best way to avoid an infestation is to make sure any wood you have is as dry as possible. Sanding and varnishing wood pieces would discourage the females from finding crevices to deposit their eggs to begin with. Avoid putting valuable pieces in places that encourage a moist environment, such as sheds, so your beautiful antiques don’t end up as housing and food for these and other wood boring insects. For furniture that does become infested, it’s possible to save it if detected early and put through a fumigation treatment.

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Not your average Post Beetle.

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Danielle Schneider, Bloom Bug Blog, Bloom Pest Control, Editor, Blog

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

Leah Iannacone, bloom bug blog, writer, reporter, bloom pest control

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Ground Beetles

Ground Beetle

Ground beetles are critters that are very likely to end up in your backyard. Intimidating to look at, with their big heads and even bigger bodies, they’re indifferent to humans, but very dangerous to other bugs.

What is a Ground Beetle?

Ground beetles are a type of carabid beetle, that can range from 1/8 inch to 1 ¼ inch, and are one of 40,000 species you can find worldwide; 2,000 are in North America alone! The nocturnal variation (and most common) of this species is usually dark black or brown, and is the type that you’ll find under rocks and logs. The diurnal, or day active, come in pretty varieties of iridescent and bright colors. The nocturnal ground beetles are considered opportunistic feeders, meaning they find their food by randomly roaming about; the day active types rely more heavily on sight.

What do Ground Beetles do?

Ground beetles are very good at keeping the weed, insect, and slug population down; they eat their body weight every day and yet never seem to get fat. Some of their favorite foods are moth larvae, beetle larvae, weed seeds, mites, and every gardener’s least favorite guest, aphids! Their major feeding time is during the spring, so they keep these pests from becoming a problem before they hatch.

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Life Cycle of a Ground Beetle

Ground beetles undergo complete metamorphosis and go through the typical four stages of this life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A female is capable of depositing between 30 and 600 eggs at a time, and tend to go for covered places like under the top layer of soil. The larvae are born with limited mobility, making it hard to find food and making them easy targets for predators. Ground beetles are real mama beetles and provide care to their young when they have smaller litters, like egg guarding. The larvae will live entirely under the surface until they go through their change and emerge adults.

Ground Beetle Infestation

Though ground beetles are more helpful than harmful, they can still be a nuisance in the yard.  The best way to keep from overpopulation is by being proactive and getting rid of places they would like to hide, like leaf piles and rotting logs. If they get in the house, it’s easiest to just sweep them up with a dustpan and throw them outside.

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Danielle Schneider, Bloom Bug Blog, Bloom Pest Control, Editor, Blog

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

Leah Iannacone, bloom bug blog, writer, reporter, bloom pest control

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Boxelder Bug

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Ever see a tree with that looked like it had moving scales? It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but this is what a boxelder bug looks like when they find a place to roost in! The boxelder bug is mainly black, with vibrant red or orange markings on their bodies. These bugs like to move in to your home when it starts getting cold out, they eat from your garden and like to swarm whatever side of your home has the sun on it.

How Can I Identify a Boxelder Bug?

Newly hatched Boxelder bugs are called nymphs, and start off at 1.5 mm long, wingless, with bright red abdomens and black legs and antennae. As they grow, they become about 0.5 inches long, with flattened backs, and unique orange tipped wings. Very distinct and funky looking.

 

Where Do Boxelder Bugs Live?

Boxelder Bugs love making their ways into crevices and cracks. They typically look for these spaces in trees, but become a nuisance when they go for the walls and sidings of houses.

Life Cycle of a Boxelder Bug?

In the fall, once they find a suitable place, they will secure the area by over populating the site and hibernating. This is when their presence becomes apparent to people; densely populated groups “sun” themselves while they rest on trees. Come late April to early May, they will emerge and take flight, but will return to their host tree to lay eggs in the crevices they claimed. Boxelder bug eggs typically hatch within 10 to 14 days after being laid.

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What do Boxelder Bugs Eat?

Boxelder bugs survive on fruits and plants, such as strawberries, apples, stone fruits, maple, and grass. While they’re not known to destroy ornamental plants, they have been known to damage fruit trees during the end of the summer.

Why Is Removal Necessary?

The biggest nuisance these bugs pose to is their presence in a home. An infested area can host thousands of Boxelder bugs at a single time. They can make their ways on your walls, which can be startling.  Another is the potential damage to ornamental trees, which is their food source.

 

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Danielle Schneider, Bloom Bug Blog, Bloom Pest Control, Editor, Blog

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

Leah Iannacone, bloom bug blog, writer, reporter, bloom pest control

 

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Praying Mantis

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Try to guess what bug this is, just based on the description: tall, bright green, with big eyes attached to a bigger head that rests on a long neck, and has folding arms with flat forelegs and pinscher like hands. No, this isn’t an alien from outer space, but a praying mantis from earth! The praying mantis is one of the most distinct looking bugs out there. While they look intimidating, they’re quite harmless to humans and are fierce defenders of gardens and flowers.

Insane Life Cycle of a Praying Mantis

The praying mantis has one of the most infamous mating rituals
of all the bugs; who haven’t heard of the original femme fatale that eats the male’s head after mating? This process usually happens around the autumn season, after the female has increased her food consumption in preparation to mate. A male will try to win her affection through courtship rituals involving a lot of dance, because who doesn’t like a man who’s light on his feet. Afterwards, he will hop on the back of the female and deposit his sperm into the end of her abdomen; then off with his head.

The female will usually deposit around 100 to 400 eggs in a secure structure called an ootheca; they hatch around 3 to 6 weeks after being deposited, usually right before winter.  In the spring, the eggs transition into the nymph stage and emerge from the ootheca (though some will stay to eat their siblings. GROSS). As soon as they leave, they start to hunt for small insects. Finally, in the summer they enter the adult stage. During this time, they grow at a steady pace, molting as much as 10x until the end of the summer when they reach their full size.

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Why Are Praying Mantis Good?

A fully grown praying mantis is a big enemy to bugs that endanger gardens and farms, particularly the aphid. Aphids are locust-like creatures that swarm through gardens and crops alike. While there are ways to get rid of aphids in a garden, the most effective way is to cultivate its natural predators, with the praying mantis being one of the most effective against them. Their elongated thorax gives them 360 degree motion of his head, making them able to see their food sources easier. Their hook ended forelegs also make it easier for them to catch and eat squirmy bugs.

As fearsome as they are to some bugs, praying mantises are very docile with humans; some even swear by keeping them as pets. Praying mantises are an example of beneficial bugs that are great to have around, especially if you have a thumb as green as they are.

Would you keep one as a pet?

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Look at that adorable face!

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Danielle Schneider, Bloom Bug Blog, Bloom Pest Control, Editor, Blog

Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

Leah Iannacone, bloom bug blog, writer, reporter, bloom pest control

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Lady Bug

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This, is a lady bug larvae

Isn’t it amazing how a lady bug, the adorable bug that we’ve all grown to know and love, came from this. Don’t let this scare you away though! Lady bugs can be very beneficial to your home! Take a look at what we have below to learn more!

Why Are Lady Bugs Good?

While ladybugs look sweet, they’re actually mighty hunters and begin as soon as they’re hatched. Their diet mainly consists of aphids, which are notorious plant ruining insects. Aphids are very similar to locusts in their tendency to swarm and eat everything. Combined with their ability to reproduce asexually and you have a great enemy to not just home gardeners, but farmers and their crops. When farmers discovered that the presence of ladybugs meant no more aphids, they were a welcomed addition to their lands.

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Life Cycle of a Lady Bug

Ladybugs are beetles, specifically of the coleopteran order.  Their life cycle is most similar to a butterfly, consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A mother ladybug likes to lay her eggs on the underside of leaves to protect them from predators, and keep them close to a food source for when they hatch. Once they hatch, they’re ready to eat and will look for other insects like mites and aphids. They come out looking like little gators, but after a few days, they start the molting process that goes on until they’re ready to find a safe place to sleep and undergo their metamorphosis. Ladybugs emerge a few days later, looking like the adorable pals we know.

Lady Bug Facts

Their unique shells aren’t attractive in the animal kingdom; they are viewed as a warning to predators to not snack on these guys because they don’t taste good (Yuck!). There are roughly 500 different kinds of ladybugs in the US, and 5000 different kinds worldwide. They don’t just run red; ladybugs can also be yellow, orange, gray, black, brown, and believe it or not, pink!

Ladybugs are a great example of how every creature, no matter how many legs they have, serves a purpose in the ecosystems. It’s an innate reaction to squish or find a way to get rid of insects, but there are a variety of beneficial ones like the ladybugs that are around to help. Next time you see one, thank it for keeping your plants safe and being so cute while doing it!

 

 

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

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Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone 

Leah Iannacone, bloom bug blog, writer, reporter, bloom pest control

 

 

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