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Cicadas have Summer a-buzzin’

August is well known for high-pitched buzzing sounds coming from the trees. That lovely sound is cicadas. They are insects that look like huge house flies. The male cicadas sing by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. The sound is amplified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen, very similar to an acoustic guitar. Female and some male cicadas will also make a sound by flicking their wings, but it isn’t the same as the sound for which cicadas are known.

Life Cycle
Cicadas begin life as a small egg which resembles the shape of a grain of rice. The female deposits in a small notch she makes in a tree limb. Once the cicada hatches from the egg, it begins feeding on the tree fluids. Small cicadas look like termites or small white ant.

The cicada eventually crawls out of the notch in the tree limb and falls to the ground where it starts digging to find roots to feed. Starting with grass roots, and working its way up to the roots of the host tree.

Cicada will then stay underground from 2 to 17 years depending on the species. Cicadas spend all this time tunneling and feeding.

After the long period spent underground, cicadas finally emerge as nymphs. They climb the nearest available tree to begin to shedding their nymph exoskeleton.

Finally free of their old skin, their wings inflate with fluid and their adult skin begins to harden. With their new wings and body, they are ready to begin their brief adult life looking for a mate. They males sing, and females respond, mating begins, and the cycle begins again.

Moles Dig the Whole Day Through

Moles are truly interesting creatures. They live underground most of the time.  They have no visible ears and small eyes.  Their cylindrical bodies and front claws allow them to almost “swim” through soil. Their tiny eyes result in very poor sight so they search all day for worms and insect larvae that they find by the sense of touch and smell. Moles often burrow near the surface, creating a complex network of interconnected chambers, visible as bumps in the dirt known as mole hills.

These hills and tunnels are the primary reason why moles can be a nuisance. They can leave these ridged tunnels and molehills all over your lawn, ruining your nice landscaped yard.

Mole lawn damage

Bad, bad, moles!

Because moles live underground, they can not be controlled via live cage trapping like groundhogs. There are no traps designed that can catch them alive. All traps are lethal traps, but there are humane ways to prevent moles from grazing on your lawn or property. At Guardian Termite & Pest Control, we’re all about that. We offer mole services using Yard Gard!

Here’s how it works!

Contact us today or call (856)768-3330 to discuss how we can keep you laws un-dug and mole free, the humane way!

Aedes Albopictus, the Asian Tiger Mosquito

You’ve seen them, right?  Those mosquitos with the black and white stripes on its body and legs?  Yep!  Introducing Aedes Albopictus, or the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Originally from Asia, they first came to this country in the 1980s as eggs which stowed away in used tires and other cargo. Fortunately, they can be caught in the same traps that give off similar vapors to attract and kill other kinds of mosquitoes.

There are measures you can take to avoid bites!

  • Eliminate any standing water on your property.
  • Change your pet’s water dish, the overflow dishes for potted plants, and, if you have one, your bird bath water…frequently.
  • Do not allow water to accumulate in tires, flower pots, buckets, rain barrels, gutters etc.
  • Use personal protection (long sleeves/pants) to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Insect repellent such as DEET (at least 20%) will also reduce exposure to bites.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is a day biter with feeding peaks early morning and late afternoon, so limiting outdoor activities during crepuscular periods (dawn and dusk) when mosquitoes are generally most active will also reduce those itchy bites.  What fun is that, though?  Dusk is the best time to be outside.   Following the guidelines above plus contacting a professional pest control company like Guardian to spray your yard, will allow you to reclaim your backyard during any time of the day!

Let Guardian spray the bugs away!  Contact us to learn more!

How to Tell if You Have Termites

In the video below, Guardian owner Michael Pagano did a termite inspection at a property and found this piece of wood in the crawl space. He brought the wood back to the office to show us what it would look like when he broke the wood. These are worker and soldier termites!

Most termite species cannot crawl on the open ground like ants and other pests (only conehead termites can do this), so they build tubes made of mud to connect their colony to food sources.  These tubes are a sign homeowners can use to identify that termites are near.

Also lookout for bubbling or cracked paint. Also, if any wood around your home sounds hollow when you tap on it, contact us.

Many people believe that termites are only a problem in the spring because that’s normally when the swarms are seen. It’s important to know that some termites, especially the subterranean species, are active year-round, especially in warmer climates. This means that termites can eat your house 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Termites are not a DIY pest.  If you do see signs of termites, it’s important to use an licensed termite and wood destroying insect inspector to treat the infestation before serious damage is done.

Contact us today to talk with a professional about treating termites infestations.

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Bugs

There are several reasons why bugs can get into your house. Here are a few tips to make it hard for those crawly critters to get in.

  1. Trim back tree branches or shrubbery that touch your house. Shrubs that touch your house are bug “bridges”.
  2. Mulch is pretty but it provides ideal shelter for pests. Using less pest-attractive ground cover such as rock or stone is less pest-attractive ground cover to bugs. Inspect and repair warped or broken doors and windows.
  3. Pests can wiggle through tiny cracks and gaps. Repair rips or tears in screens.
  4. Keep yards, patios, decks, and garages free of trash. Nothing attracts animals and bugs like a free buffet.
  5. Ensure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and clean the cans and area regularly to remove debris and liquid. This eliminates the pest “food”.

Keep up with your house and the immediate surroundings will greatly reduce your pest problems. If problems persist, it could mean a greater problem. Call us today at 856-768-3330 for a professional solution.

Not All Lights are the Same

It is better to place lights far away from your front door, using a pole light if possible.  If you must have porch lights next to your front door, it’s best to take a look at your bulbs.  Mercury vapor lamps are a high intensity discharge lamps.  Replacing these white standard mercury vapor lights with warmer high-pressure sodium vapor or halogen lights will reduce flying insects around doors and windows.  These bulbs have a pink, yellow or orange tint and will be least attractive to the flying insects.

 

A Simple Rule After a Flea Infestation

After the horror of discovering your home is infested with fleas, you’ll probably call a professional service to have the house treated.  Assuming you have read your labels and consulted your vet, you’ll probably shampoo, dip, powder, and spray your pet, as well.

The next thing you need to do is vacuum – daily.  This is very important for overall flea eradication.  Before you fire up the vacuum, put an extra flea collar inside the vacuum bag.   Flea collars emit a gas that is toxic to fleas and will kill any fleas that you suck up.  Vacuuming will pick up eggs, larvae and pupae before they develop.  Collars that absorb into the subcutaneous fat of your pet’s skin are the most effective.

Dispose or change the vacuum bag properly and frequently.  If you use a new bag, place a fresh collar in the bag.  Otherwise, the fleas will hatch, develop, and leave the vacuum to re-infest the home.  If you’re still struggling with an infestation, call Guardian today at 856-768-3330 or use the form on the right!