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FACT: Cold weather drives bugs inside your home

Pest hide when it’s cold. Living in Denver NC on Lake Norman I often hear folks say, “It’s cold so I’m sure we will not have any pests right now” which what they are trying to say is just skip me this month. People think that pests actually die when it gets cold outside. Our homes produce heat in, under and around them. Pests often will seek cover during extreme low temperatures under pine needles and mulch. Many will try to penetrate the barrier and get into a crawlspace then proceed to harbor behind insulation. Stink bugs, lady bugs and others will get into the attic and hang out under the insulation where it is protected. Last year we found 13 Brown Recluse spiders feeding on the insects that overwintered in an attic. Ants often will harbor inside of wall voids over cold months. We get calls for ants over the winter months as they are often seen hanging out along interior walls that are on the sunny side. The heat from our sun helps them survive and keeps them warm. I have seen live snakes hanging out under a thick bed of pine needles next to a house in the middle of winter. It was the sunny side of the house. In our area we would need a major deep freeze that lasted several days in order to actually eliminate most pest around our homes. Our homes are full of cracks and crevices which create nice harboring spots for pests to survive. Innovative Pest Management Inc.’s award winning services treats these areas to help control insects from becoming a pest in and around your home. Just remember, if they live there during the winter, most likely they will multiply and spring time populations will be more severe. Call 704-489-BUGS today and get your home protected.

Springtails

Every year in the summer we get calls from people that see little gray specks in their bathroom sink or bathtub. Some people even think they are fleas because they jump as well.

Springtails have become a very common structural pest. They get their name from a tail that is tucked under their body that enables themselves to launch into the air allowing them to jump 3 to 4 inches. They have to have moisture to survive that is why a lot of time you find them in the moist areas of your home such as kitchens, bathrooms, crawlspace, and basements.

Often what allows them to enter our homes are things we do ourselves. Outdoors they are found around foundations were leaf litter, thick mulch, and pine needles provide moist environments. Sometimes you can find them on the moist side of your home where sunlight is limited. Covered porches or shady areas that stay damp are also common places to see them.

Keeping a buffer zone between your foundation and mulch areas helps prevent activity. Make sure gutters are clean and free of debris. They feed on any decaying organic material which allows for easy survival. Drying out any moist area identified is key in treatment.

Fixing all conducive conditions and our quarterly pest perimeter treatment will keep these pest out of your home.

Klint Dibble - Technician, Innovative Pest Management

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Eastern subterranean termites the most common termite found in all of North America. They range from Ontario Canada to all the eastern states as far out to Texas.

Termites are known as a "wood destroying organism" because of their ability to digest all forms of cellulose material such as wood structures, paper, books, cardboard etc.

Termites have a caste structure which forms a colony. You have the queen, alate, nymph, soldier, and worker. The worker cast is the most numerous. A colony can range from 20,000 workers to as high as 5 million. The queen can lay anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 eggs per year.

Subterranean termites are very destructive. Over 2.5 billion are spent annually in the US on termite control. Because termites feed on cellulose material they are often found in houses, apartment buildings, businesses, and other man made structures. It is very important to have periodic inspections of structures, and control methods performed to help prevent a termite infestation. Such methods would be: chemical treatments, physical barriers, or physical treatments.

There are many things you can do as a homeowner to reduce the risk of termite attack. Most important is a annual termite inspection by a trained professional. Make sure all gutters are free of debris and drain properly. Don't allow leaves, mulch, and pine straw to be thick next to the foundation. Is is best to provide a buffer between the mulch and foundation walls. Don't stack firewood next to the foundation. Perform periodic checks of your crawlspace for high moisture and plumbing leaks.

Most people's home is their largest investment they will ever make. Call innovative pest today for your inspection and prevention quote.

Matthew Keep
Field Manager
Innovative Pest Management
704-489-2847

Take Back Your Yard From Mosquitos

Could you imagine enjoying your weekend backyard BBQ without being on the menu for the mosquitos? Innovative Pest Management is here to save the day!

Did you know it usually only takes ten to fourteen days for a mosquito to go from egg to adult? When eggs are deposited where water is present they only take two days to hatch! Mosquitos undergo what is called “Complete Metamorphosis”. They transition through four (4) molts. Starting as an egg, larva, pupae and adult. Have you ever walked up to a bucket and kicked it? Those wigglers you see swimming to the bottom are mosquito larva. Once they reach the adult stage they feed and reproduce. Females require a blood meal before they can deposit eggs. Adult females live up to one to two months feeding and reproducing. Mosquitos serve as vectors of many important diseases of humans and pets. This makes control extremely important.

The most important part of a mosquito program is habitat modification. Reduce all standing water around your house. This could be found in areas like buckets, flower pot bases, gutters and low lying areas where water doesn’t drain properly. Innovative Pest Management uses a combinations of adulticides and insect growth regulators through a mister unit to treat foliage areas around your home. As Adult Mosquitos rest between flights & meals they rest on plant foliage around your home which makes the program extremely effective.

Please call us today to get your evaluation and treatment scheduled and Take Back Your Outdoor Living Space!

The Old House Borer

This week I had a long time customer call me about a house he had just bought. He asked me to come out and take a look at it as he had just gutted the entire structure for a major remodel.  During a routine inspection for termites or any wood destroying insect, we don’t have the luxury of dismantling a structure to see what is behind or inside the walls. Or what is in between floors. We do use different types of inspection tools and techniques such as infrared cameras and scopes. 

Anyway this house was opened up to the studs for a full inspection.  The builder showed us a band sill that he said termites had damaged.  After inspection we determined it wasn’t termites, but a massive infestation of the Old House Borer.  Lake Norman area has several types of wood destroying insects in the area. Many times termites are and termite damage are mistaken for other species.

In this case the Old House Borer, which is a wood destroying insect had destroyed the subfloor of this house and had even infested the joists. 

Powder post beetles and Old House Borer beetles can do severe damage if not tended too. The crawlspace had levels of moisture of 20 percent in the wood joist.  20 percent moisture is a favorable environment of termites, mold, fungi and pretty much all wood destroying insects. 

The Old House Borer leaves an oblong oval hole in wood members. I have attached some photos for you to see the severity of damage.  One side of the board looks fine, the other side is destroyed. The insulation had to be removed to treat for this pest and the repairs took several weeks to correct the damaged areas.

Often I hear folks say “I have never had termites or a pest problems in my house” then sometime later they say they were surprised when they finally get an inspection and it reveals major damage.

Wood destroying insects do their damage to your home non stop and most of the time a homeowner will not see them until it is too late and the damage is done.

Have your home inspected by our team today and give yourself piece of mind. If there is an infestation, you can rest assured we will take care of it. 

Call Innovative Pest Management today for your inspection. (704-489-BUGS)

Thanks,

Ronnie Caldwell Licensee

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