Nonnative invasive pests are an increasing threat to our agricultural systems and forests. In recent years, invasive species have caused widespread mortality; for example, the emerald ash borer killing ash trees, hemlock woolly adelgid killing hemlock, and laurel wilt disease killing redbay and sassafras.
“Two more nonnative invasive pests are at North Carolina’s doorstep – the Asian longhorned beetle recently found in South Carolina and the spotted lanternfly recently found in Virginia,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Both insects could cause devastating losses to North Carolina’s forests, agriculture and landscapes.”
‘Poolside Pests’ is a program aimed at increasing awareness of Asian longhorned beetle and spotted lanternfly and is so named because these pests are attracted to water and may be found in pools and pool filters. Pools across the state can serve as traps for these pests and North Carolinians are encouraged to report the pests if they see them. Early detection is critical because management tactics are most successful when a new invasion is detected and reported quickly.
While the ‘Poolside Pests’ program targets pool owners and managers, it’s important that everyone keeps an eye out because these insects can be found anywhere.
The Asian longhorned beetle is native to Asia and was first found in the U.S. in the mid-90s in New York. It has since popped up sporadically across the Northeast and Midwest until last year when it was found in the South for the first time and much closer to North Carolina than ever before. It attacks many species of hardwood trees but prefers maple.
The spotted lanternfly is native to Southeast Asia and was first found in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014. It is quickly expanding its range and, in 2018, was detected in Virginia and continues to spread toward North Carolina. It is a significant nuisance pest and a major pest of agriculture, specifically grapevines, fruit trees, hops, and many tree species.
All North Carolinians are encouraged to learn how to recognize and report these pests, by going to https://www.poolsidepests.com/. If you suspect you have found one of these pests, click on the Report a Pest link on this page. ‘Poolside Pests’ is a collaborative effort between the Plant Industry Division, N.C. Forest Service, and N.C. State University Cooperative Extension.
Pestech of Greenville shares this message from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Public Affairs Division.
While mosquito season is usually associated with hot summer months, it's actually proving to be a year-round event here in Eastern North Carolina. The team at Pestech of Greenville is committed to keeping you and your family safe by reducing pests. Here are five easy ways to prevent mosquitoes on your property this summer:
1. Get your yard sprayed by Pestech of Greenville
To decrease mosquitoes on your property, we recommend adding mosquito control to your quarterly service. Our integrated pest management technicians are trained in various measures to reduce mosquito populations. We use North Carolina approved larvicide pellets and insecticide mists to kill adult mosquitoes and prevent mosquito larvae from hatching. We are fully licensed, insured, and guarantee results. We have less than a five perfect respray rating, which means we rarely go back to the same home twice in a quarter.
2. Reduce standing water
Standing water is the best place for mosquitoes to breed since water is necessary for mosquito eggs to hatch into larvae. These pesky bugs can lay 100 eggs at one time. They can even lay eggs in something with as little water as a bottle cap of water. Eliminating any source of standing water can help prevent this from occurring. Some of the most common sources of standing water in a yard include:
3. Plant natural mosquito repellant plants
If you're looking for a more natural way to repel mosquitoes while growing your garden, several mosquito repellant plants are available. Some of the most popular ones include citronella, lavender, lemon balm, marigold, basil, lemongrass, and peppermint. Some, like lemon balm, work best when crushed up and rubbed into your skin. Be sure to plant any of these plants in or around areas where you want to deter mosquitoes. Like any plant, some work better in a garden, while others work best in pots.
4. Clean up your yard
Just like getting rid of any standing water, it's essential to keep other areas of your yard clean.
5. Increase air circulation by adding fans on patios or decks
Another great way to keep yourself cool in the hot summer months and repel mosquitoes is to add a fan to your patio or deck. Mosquitoes can't fly well against wind. This explains why you see so many on the hot, humid summer days. Carbon dioxide is one of the primary chemicals which attracts mesquites to a host. Using a fan will dilute and disperses the carbon dioxide you exhale- making you less of a target. When choosing a fan, go for one that can generate high wind speed and cover as large an area as possible.
Identifying Fire Ants
Fire ants are easy to identify based on their distinct appearance, small size, and unique habitat. They are only 1/8 to 3/8 inch in size. They are dark reddish brown with an antenna and have a segmented oval body with six legs.
You may notice their large mound nests that can range from one to four square feet in size. These nests are sometimes flattened and irregular in shape. Many of our customers describe their mounds as a misplaced pile of sand with tunnels. While their nests can be found in the middle of fields or yards, fire ants usually nest in soil near structures and buildings like homes, or sheds. They are introduced to new areas through potted plants, shrubs, and trees, which is why they also like to nest near landscaping. They’re a bothersome type of pest, similar to mosquitos and wasps, because they can be dangerous to you and your family even while they’re in their natural habits. Unfortunately, they can also make their way indoors through entry points in HVAC systems and AC units. It’s not as common, but it can happen.
Treating Fire Ant Stings
While many people refer to fire ant threats as bites, they’re actually stings. They’re known to sting humans if their nests are disturbed. We’ve also had customers say their dogs have been stung when they stepped on or sniffed a nest. The sting is painful for humans and animals alike. In addition, it often involves getting stung by multiple fire ants at the same time, resulting in many stings. According to the National Pest Management Association, the stings can leave a red mark on humans, sometimes turning into a raised welt that becomes itchy and irritated. Like other pests that cause bites and stings, some people are also allergic to fire ants. Health experts report that a severe allergic reaction is rare, but it can be life-threatening. Symptoms to watch out for include:
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, life-threatening allergic reactions can progress very rapidly and require immediate medical attention. Be sure to call 911 immediately if you or someone around you is having an allergic reaction. Emergency treatment usually includes administration of certain drugs, such as epinephrine, antihistamines, and in some cases, corticosteroids, intravenous fluids, oxygen and other treatments. Once stabilized, these patients sometimes require close observation in the hospital overnight.
Preventing Fire Ants
To reduce the impact and threat of fire ants on your property, Pestech of Greenville can help. Our trained and talented technicians are skilled in putting out the fire in fire ants. We offer three options for fire ant service. This includes treatments that cover the entire year, three months, or as an add-on to quarterly service. For a limited time, Pestech of Greenville is offering a fire ant special that is a one-year guarantee for up to an acre of property for only $350. As your East Coast exterminating professionals, we are fully licensed and equipped for reducing pests on your property and in your home. All of our services, including fire ant prevention, utilize superior products applied in strategic locations to solve the problems, while limiting the exposure of any toxins.
Trust Pestech of Greenville to help to keep you, your family, your friends, and your pets safe while enjoying the great outdoors. Give us a call at 252-353-4760 or email PestechOfGreenville@hotmail.com for a free estimate. Your East Coast pest management professionals are honored to serve you.
As mosquito season ramps up, several cases of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) have been reported in horses in North Carolina. The four horses were located in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, and Durham counties. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) says these are the first cases of EEE reported this year.
Pestech of Greenville, Inc. is sharing information to protect your animals from deadly mosquito-borne diseases. Experts say EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) could be more prevalent during the 2020 season due to the recent mild winter.
Along with vaccination, your East Coast Extermination Professionals at Pestech of Greenville, are reminding homeowners that they can go an extra step in protecting their animals and their families. Our integrated pest management team is able to reduce the mosquito population on your property with many methods. We are fully licensed and insured to spray North Carolina-approved larvicide pellets and insecticide mists to kill adult mosquitoes and prevent mosquito larvae from hatching. These services utilize superior products applied in strategic locations to solve the problems, while limiting the exposure of any toxins to your animals. We use products and mists that keep our environment safe while delivering high-class service.
In addition to finding and eliminating breeding grounds for mosquitoes, our technicians are able to tell homeowners how they can continue to maintain a safe environment. After a mosquito control treatment from Pestech of Greenville, we suggest that horse owners use the following methods to maintain safety and effectiveness until it’s time for their next treatment:
According to the North Carolina Quarter Horse Association, there are over 300,000 horses in all 100 counties. These horses are housed at over 53,000 households and equine operations. In addition, a study commissioned by the North Carolina General Assembly, found the annual economic impact of the equine industry in North Carolina to be approximately $1.9 billion dollars. Given the importance and economic impact of this industry, Pestech of Greenville wants to encourage owners to do everything they can to prevent these illnesses in their animals.
Last year, state officials say there were only two reported cases of EEE in horses in North Carolina. Already this season, with four cases reported, there is added concern to educate horse owners. In a news release from the NCDA&CS, EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is usually fatal. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse is bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take anywhere from three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear.
People, horses, and birds can become infected from a bite by a mosquito carrying disease, but there is no evidence that horses can transmit the viruses to other horses, birds, or people through direct contact. There is no vaccine to protect people from EEE, yet people can protect themselves with repellents and by reducing mosquito populations on their properties.
Trust Pestech of Greenville, Inc. for your mosquito control and pest management needs. Give us a call at 252-353-4760 for a free estimate. Your East Coast pest management professionals are honored to serve you, your family, your animals, and your properties.
As we continue through the Atlantic Hurricane Season in eastern North Carolina, Pestech of Greenville is sharing important information on preventing pests after a storm. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 of each year. During this time, the North Carolina’s coastal communities and even inland regions are known to experience heavy rain, wind, storm surge, and flooding. We recently posted a blog about how you can prepare your homes and properties ahead of a storm with pest prevention in mind. Just as you prepare for a potential severe weather event, we also have several suggestions after a storm and as you move through the recovery process to minimize bugs and rodent issues.
Here are four simple steps you can take after a storm to prevent pests:
1. Clean Up Debris
Hurricanes and storms are known to cause debris on property. Vegetative debris creates the perfect home for many insects and pests who are looking for shelter. This can include downed trees, broken limbs, and brush.
The North Carolina Emergency Management Department recommends separating debris into three different piles when you clean up your yard.
Vegetative: Dispose of these types separately and safely. Carefully check this type of debris for animals or insects living within the cracks and crevices. Then, place limbs, brush, and leaves at your curb for trash pickup. When doing so, be sure not to block roadways, fire hydrants and utility boxes. Local officials can provide information on removal procedures so be sure to check with your municipality.
Household Trash: When it comes to household trash, you’ll want to dispose of it quickly to prevent pests from lingering. As we explained in our previous blog about preparation for a storm, if trash ends up in yards or on roads, insects like flies and rodents like rats, will be attracted to it. If you see trash on your property, it is important to pick it up immediately.If your power went out during the storm, you’ll also want to remove spoiled food from your refrigerator and/or freezer. Spoiled food and trash should quickly be taken to your local waste collection site.
Other Materials: If you have other materials or potentially hazardous waste to dispose, check with your city or town for guidelines and regulations.
If you choose to burn debris, state officials say to limit open burning and never burn trash, lumber, tires, plastics and other man-made materials. Click here to read the North Carolina Emergency Management Debris Removal Guide.
2. Assess Home for Damage
After the storm, carefully check your home and property. You’ll want to inspect for roof, siding, window and door damage. If you notice cracks or holes, seal them immediately to prevent pests from entering. If you're missing flashing, gutters, or shingles, those will all need to be replaced as well. Be sure to take photos of damage and document the conditions so you can report a claim with your insurance company.
As you assess your property, be aware of any potential wildlife that may have entered your homes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, animals like snakes, rats, squirrels, and various insects have been encountered in homes after hurricanes. Click here to learn more from the CDC about rodent control after a natural disaster.
3. Remove Standing Water
Pestech of Greenville encourages homeowners and renters to remove standing water from their properties throughout the year. This is encouraged as a way to prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. However, after a hurricane, it is especially important to quickly remove standing water from various areas of your property. It doesn’t take a lot of water to become the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed and populate. After a hurricane, be sure to remove water from puddles, flower pots, buckets, rain barrels, bird baths, pet bowls, discarded tires, lids, tarps, and grill covers.
Speaking of water, unfortunately, hurricanes can cause significant flooding in homes. Homeowners and renters insurance plans typically don’t cover flood damage. Without flood insurance, most residents have to pay out of pocket or take out loans to repair and replace damaged items. With flood insurance, you’re able to recover much faster. If you’d like to learn more about flood insurance and your flood risk, click here to visit North Carolina’s free property risk resource website.
4. Contact Pestech of Greenville
Our fully licensed integrated pest control team at Pestech of Greenville can conduct a full interior and exterior survey of your house or other property. With a thorough inspection, our technicians can point out any problems or issues that need to be addressed after a hurricane or storm.
In the past, our specialists have pointed out structural damage, cracks that can allow pests to enter, and holes where moisture can seep in. Our team is also knowledgeable about identifying issues including ants, termites, and other wood destroying insects. No matter your pest problem or concern, Pestech of Greenville, Inc. is here to help. Our experts can assist in your various pest management needs. Give us a call at 252-353-4760 for a free estimate. Your East Coast pest management professionals are honored to serve you.
If you’d like additional information about hurricanes in North Carolina, click here to download the 2020 Hurricane Guide from the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management.