Is there a new scary spider in town? Much has been made of the Joro spider in the last few months. It’s grabbing headlines for the fact that it can grow to be as large as the palm of your hand, and will likely be in North Carolina if they aren’t here already.
Here’s what you need to know about Joro spiders and whether or not they pose a danger to your family.
Spring brings the welcome sounds of birds singing, crickets chirping, and bees buzzing. We need some bees buzzing around as pollinators, but some can threaten members of your family and can cause damage to your property. Here’s what you need to know about carpenter bees, bumble bees, and other pollinators.
When you think about what would be the scariest type of insects to run across, you probably think first of something like a group of spiders. It is always creepy to see a mother spider carrying its babies.
You might picture a nest of hornets or wasps as something that raises your anxiety. However, the most fearful swarm of insects might just be termites.
They are so tiny that they might not seem like they should strike fear in our hearts, but the amount of damage they can do is substantial. Here is everything you need to know about termite swarms.
Whether it is the stability of the ecosystems around us or the health and safety of family and pets, we all care about our environment. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a pest control process that uses natural deterrents, habitat manipulation, and biological control to maintain the long-term prevention of pests. While IPM may involve using chemicals to treat a pest infestation, it is usually a last resort.
This core focus on removing pests with as little risk to people and the environment makes Integrated Pest Management an important and ultimately more effective approach to dealing with insect and wildlife infestations.
How Integrated Pest Management Takes Pollinators Into Consideration
Every year the United States and the world lose more of its pollinator species. These essential workers help fertilize and maintain healthy plants and crops that we eat or use for medicine. But through habitat loss, poor pest management, and pesticides in agriculture, the health of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators is at risk.
Using an integrated approach can minimize collateral damage and help keep your local populations of pollinators happy and healthy. IPM works to take the consideration of pollinators and other beneficial species into account through a series of systematic steps, including:
- Identifying the root source of the pest problem
- Utilizing targeted removal solutions
- Implementing long-term deterrents
Each step is essential for IPM to be safe and effective. So let us take a look at what each of these stages looks like in practice.
Identification of Problems
Our first reaction to noticing a lot of insects is that they need to go. They don’t give us creepy crawlies for nothing. While insects found inside the home generally need to be removed, we need to consider whether the ‘pests’ are a problem once we move outside. Not all insects, or critters, are detrimental or dangerous for us to live around.
Bees and butterflies may be prominent examples of insects to protect or even attract to your home, but they aren’t the only pollinators needing protection. Many beetles are essential in a healthy garden ecosystem.
The ubiquitous and invasive Japanese Beetle has left many of us gardeners with a gut reaction to remove everything. Still, most native species eat other pest species, helping protect our flowers and harvests.
Taking the time to identify a potential pest can give us the information to weigh the pros and cons of removal. And can help tailor removal solutions so that other critters don’t get caught in the crossfire.
Natural Removal Solutions
Once the pest is identified and a course of action chosen, it is time to put pest removal methods into practice. For an IPM approach, these will be natural or non-invasive strategies that aim to remove problems without reaching for harmful chemicals. Natural removal solutions take a targeted approach to deal with the immediate issue, but they sometimes take longer than insta-kill chemicals.
Depending on the species of pest, you may see any number of solutions utilized, such as:
- Pheromone treatments that can stop breeding behaviors
- Trapping to remove colonies off-site
- The introduction of natural enemies or more helpful competitors
- A simple screen solution if you decide to keep the insect around but want your living space protected
The key is that chemicals are a last resort, and when used, they are chosen and applied very carefully. A large nest of yellow jackets next to the driveway is a significant hazard, but you shouldn’t risk contaminating nearby water or food sources that birds or other pollinators frequent.
Ecosystems are huge interconnected webs. Touching even one part can alter another unexpectedly if you aren’t careful. Proper management requires thorough knowledge of pest behaviors and life cycles.
Common Sense Deterrence
The final part of Integrated Pest Management is the implementation of long-term deterrents. While the top two steps should be completed with a pest control expert for the best results, you can do this step anytime.
It focuses on altering the physical environment in which insects live. If you remove potential places of shelter, food, and water, you can keep your home pest-free.
Some of the common-sense deterrence recommendations for IPM around homes include:
- Ensuring there are no cracks or openings into living spaces from a home's exterior and sealing crawl spaces.
- Keeping trash secure both inside and outside the home.
- Removing standing water, debris, or brush piles from the property.
- Storing food of aunty type in pest-resistant containers.
If it seems simple, it is. All it takes is some proactive steps on your part to keep your home environment cleaner and pest free.
Selecting an Environmentally Conscious Exterminator
When you have a pest problem, you want to select an environmentally conscious exterminator that knows your local area and takes safety importantly. If not for the bees, then for you or your family's health.
If you don’t know where to start when selecting a pest control service, we’ve previously discussed what we think is essential to look for in a professional exterminator. The key takeaways are:
- They have experience with the local environment and pest populations. National brands may take a broader approach; established local companies know the ecosystems.
- The pest control company should hold appropriate licenses from the state, including but not limited to the Department of Agriculture or Wildlife Commissions.
- They come recommended, either via word of mouth or online reviews. If you can’t find any recent reviews, look for Quality Pro Certification for pest management.
- Pest control company mentions IPM methodologies or LEED-certified treatments.
For the past 50 years, our team here at Rid-A-Bug has been the pest control experts you can trust to treat the source of the problem. We work with you to deliver fast, effective, and environmentally friendly pest control that gets results and keeps the environment healthy in and around your home.
If you have a pest or wildlife problem of your own, let us help. Call us at 1-800-682-5901, or fill out our online contact form. We know pests can pose a big problem, not just be a nuisance, and can often have a team out to your home within 24 hours to start getting your home bug or rodent free as soon as possible.
Pollination is simply the transfer of plant pollen to a female species of a plant. It is essential for maintaining healthy crops and plant growth since it is the only way many species become fertilized.
Nearly a thousand plants we depend on for food or medicine require pollination. While hand pollination is possible on a small scale, it most commonly occurs by insects or other small animals.