Cockroaches: Species Common to Our Central Virginia Region Part #2 – German Cockroach

I know that you faithful “dog-blog” fans have been anxiously waiting for part #2 of this cockroach series. Well, wait no longer! As you know, Part #1 concentrated on one of the five most common cockroach species found in our geographical region; the American Cockroach. In this Part #2 blog, of the 5-part blog series; I will focus on what is statistically classified as the #1 pest in American homes; the German Cockroach.

You know what they say, “a cockroach is a cockroach is a cockroach”. With approximately 4000 species worldwide, what will separate one from the other are generally size, color, and subtle characteristics exclusive to that particular species. One thing for sure; they are all scavengers. You name it and they’ll eat it; more on that later.

The German Cockroach is light brown or tan in color. Its size is ¼ inch to 5/8 inches long. They have dark lengthwise stripes on their head. Like other species, German cockroaches are fully-winged but rarely fly. They are most active at night, so unless you know what to look for, you may not even know that you have them! A pair of German cockroaches can produce 10,000 offspring in a year and infestations are often worse in the summer months. They love a hot and humid environment, such as a kitchen.

As I mentioned earlier; they will eat almost anything; leftover human food, paper, wood, leather, cigarette butts, toothpaste, coffee grinds, glue, soap, fabric, shoes, paint, human hair, packaging, and plastic. I’d say they’ll eat anything but the kitchen sink, however; I wouldn’t put it past them to give the kitchen sink a try.

They can squeeze through a crack 1/16 inch wide. They harbor in small cracks and crevices inside kitchens and bathrooms and other moist areas. When infestations are bad, they can be found throughout the entire home.

Here are a few facts you may not know about German Cockroaches;

German Cockroaches have incomplete metamorphosis.
German Cockroaches can carry salmonella and other diseases.
The ootheca (egg case) of the German Cockroach contains between 35-40 eggs.
The eggs take 1 month to hatch.
The female holds onto the egg case for a month and releases it just before it is about to hatch.
A German Cockroach takes from six weeks to six months to reach maturity.
German Cockroaches are able to climb on smooth surfaces because they have a sticky pad on their feet; this sticky pad is called an arolium.
German cockroach nymphs have a pale patch in the middle of their thorax.
Here, at Loyal Termite and Pest Control, our industry trained technicians are well equipped to take care of any roach infestation that our Loyal customers may be dealing with.

When it comes to termite and pest control, Hunter says, “If you got ’em, we’ll get ’em!”

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate; give us a call.

I look forward to continuing my cockroach series next week when I’ll be barking about another species found in our geographical region; the Oriental Cockroach.

I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!

 

Prevent Termites from Wreaking Havoc on Your Home

Loyal Termite and Pest Control wants to share termite prevention tips with our “dog-blog” fans

Hello folks; I hope you are all doing well. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting puppy happy that spring is right around the corner. With the change of weather comes playing in the parks, chasing sticks and my favorite balls, and messing up as many Frisbee’s as Daddy Nick and Mama Gena will buy me. With the temperatures slowly rising across the country; so does the bug and insect activity.

In areas where termite activity is as predictable as moving the clocks forward an hour in March, so will the potential for termite swarms. To refresh your memory, the first sign of termite activity each season is the appearance of termite swarmers. These are reproductive termites with wings; whose sole purpose in life is to mate and begin a new termite colony. We, at Loyal Termite and Pest Control, encourage homeowners to take proactive steps to protect their homes from the aggressive pest species appearing in the coming months.

“Termites eat wood around the clock, so they can cause significant damage to the structure of a home in a relatively short period of time,” says Nick Lupini, my Daddy and President of Loyal Company. “As a result, it’s important for homeowners to perform yearly inspections and routine maintenance to help stave off a potential termite infestation.”

There are many steps homeowners can take to protect their greatest investments from termites. Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommend the following tips:

• Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and rotting wood.
• Divert water away from the property through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.

• Repair fascia, soffits, and rotted roof shingles. Some termites are drawn to deteriorating wood.

• Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

• Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.

• Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches up off the ground, and inspect it closely before bringing it indoors.

“Termite damage is usually not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, so if an infestation is suspected, homeowners should contact a licensed pest control professional in a timely fashion” adds Daddy Nick Lupini. “A pest professional will be able to properly identify the termite species and recommend an appropriate course of action.”

Let me see, will my favorite little jingle fit here? Ohh Yaaah! Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! I say, Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! Nuff said!

If you have any questions, just give us a call. Just a few minutes ago, I overheard Connie Lesko, one of our Administrative Assistants; explain to a potential client what those irritating things were flying around in her house. You guessed it; termite swarmers!!

I’ll bark at you again next week; with some more valuable information on our region’s seasonal pest activity. Ruff! Ruff!

Don’t Let Pests Ruin Spring Break Fun

Every spring, millions of Americans plan vacations during their annual Spring Breaks. I am writing this “dog-blog” to remind those travelers that the best way to prevent pests like mosquitoes and bed bugs from ruining their trips is through preparation and awareness.

Spring Break is one of the most popular times of the year for families and students to escape to tropical destinations. We, at Loyal Termite and Pest Control, want to remind those travelers that in order to avoid returning home with pest-related illnesses and issues, they must be vigilant and prepared.

Although bites may be inevitable, mosquitoes can leave behind more than just an itchy welt; so taking precautions against these bloodsuckers is important. Travelers in tropical areas are susceptible to contracting mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile virus and Dengue Fever, both reportedly on the rise in the US, as well as, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands.

Travelers must also take steps to prevent bed bugs from hitching rides home with them in luggage and clothing. The National Pest Management (NPMA) in a 2011 survey found a significant increase in the prevalence of bed bugs in public places, including hotel/motels and college dorms.

To remain pest-free while away at Spring Break and once home, keep these tips in mind from the NPMA:

Use insect repellant containing EPA-registered active ingredients like DEET or Picaridin.
Limit time outdoors or wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
If bitten by a mosquito, clean the area thoroughly, avoid scratching, and apply anti-itch cream.
To inspect a hotel room for bed bugs, pull back bed sheets, inspect mattress seams, box springs, headboards, sofas and chairs for telltale brownish or reddish spots, shed skins, or bugs.
Avoid putting luggage on beds or upholstered furniture and store it in a plastic bag.
Once home, inspect and vacuum suitcases before bringing them inside. Wash and dry all clothes on HOT.
Consumers suspecting an infestation should contact a licensed pest professional.
I hear a song coming on. You know the tune to “Ghostbusters”, don’t you? Well, here we go; Who ya’ gonna call? Call Loyal!! I say, Who ya’ gonna’ Call? Call Loyal!!

Nuff said!

This is Hunter, your Loyal K-9 Termite Detective howling Good-Bye for now. .I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!

Loyal Team All Stars – All Star Review (5)

I have been having so much doggone fun writing my “dog-blog”, What’s Buggin’ You?; time has just been flying by. Believe it or not, this is the 50th edition of my weekly blog. When I started this venture, after continually nipping at Daddy Nick Lupini’s heals for permission, I decided I wanted to do something special with each 10th blog.

Loyal’s employees; inspectors, technicians, and support staff are what makes this company tick, and the main reason Loyal Termite and Pest Control has enjoyed so many honors over the years. 2012 was no exception; with our receiving the esteemed Angie’s List Super Service Award, awarded to <5% of service companies on Angie’s List, our 7th year in a row, and the second year in a row chosen as Richmond Magazines Reader’s Choice #1 Pest Control company! These honors are not taken lightly by the Lupini family. They are all very proud of every employee. In keeping with Papa Lupini’s past experience as a professional baseball umpire, I affectionately refer to the Loyal employees as the Loyal Team All-Stars. This 50th blog is dedicated to everyone who has contributed to Loyal’s success.

But who am I to judge; our customers and their opinions of how we do business is the most important indicator of our success. Our client comments encourage all of us to continue to do what we do best, and that is to responsibly satisfy the termite and pest control needs of our customers each and every day.

The following are some of the most recent customer comments to come into our office via email, handwritten note, or friendly follow-up phone call. This 50th blog will start off with a few kind comments given to our administrative support staff. So, this time it’s ladies first.

It was a real pleasure doing business with you Vicki (Accashian) and Phillip (Mulligan). You guys are a really nice, customer friendly, cordial team.
Colonel K.

Rhonda (Grubbs), I really appreciated your help in scheduling a quick solution to my “flea” problem. It was a horrible week for me, and you changed that to a better day! Many, Many, Many Thanks, L.M.

A note from our President, Nick Lupini: L.K. with Remax really appreciated Sunny (Anderson). He said she helped them out a lot and she is an asset to the company. He said that Sunny made them a customer for life. He will use us for all his termite inspections from now on because of Sunny. Great job Sunny!

Many potential customers are skeptical when it comes to a service company’s integrity. This gentleman called equipped with a negative attitude and total lack of trust. He was very rude to Shirley, our receptionist, Connie, our administrative assistant, and Gena Lupini, our Vice-President of pest control. This is his email.

Connie (Lesko), Many thanks. Please email me when you are able to get into the house and complete the inspection. I appreciate your fine help. P.W.

Chris (Rynders) came to my home to treat for roaches. He was very professional, friendly, asked specific questions and actually listened to what I had to say. I was extremely pleased and glad when I need the follow-up service in three months to hear Chris will be coming back. He is a true asset to your business. Thank you, C.F.

Ralph (Helfert) is a great guy! You have a fine employee; we really love Ralph. He is very easy going and goes the extra mile to make sure we don’t have any “weird” surprises. My husband is now certain he made the right decision to go with Loyal; especially after meeting Ralph. K.C.

After discovering I had a termite problem the other day (and the ensuing panic), I had several companies out for estimates. I just wanted you to know how impressed I was with the extreme knowledge and professionalism of Tony York. He put up with my “partial panic” and numerous questions, and a few extra phone calls. Mr. York is an incredible asset to your company. M.H.

From our Senior Vice President, Kim Williams: V.M. called me to say that she was very pleased with David Anderson, who completed a termite inspection for her. She said he was very professional and did a thorough job of inspecting her house. She also enjoyed talking with him and thought he had a great personality.
Thanks David for a job well done!

I could go on and on posting these special customer comments; however, I’m sure with what I have here, you get the idea. Everyone that works for Loyal is on exactly the same page. Our core philosophy is clear; the customer comes first and foremost. We are here to serve responsibly the termite and pest control needs of our customers.

Thanks for joining me. I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!

Recent Arrivals that will define the Word “Pest” (Part 4 – The Lone Star Tick)

I have been blogging the past several weeks about foreign invader pests; most notably Asian hitchhikers that have arrived in shipping crates over the years. These are pests that are currently in our region or are expected to arrive in our region very soon. Being the conscientious dog blogger that I am, I feel it is important that my readers are educated and prepared if they come in contact with any of these critters which were previously unknown to them.

This past Friday we had a regular training session at our 7:15 am meeting. Our featured guest was a field representative from one of our chemical suppliers. His training session was about arthropods, primarily geared towards the spider world. Arthropods have 8 legs and 2 distinct body segments, unlike insects, which have 6 legs and 3 body segments. Anyway, it was a very informative training session. Ticks are also arthropods and he spoke of a tick now in our area that is becoming more and more prevalent. He really got me interested in knowing more about this tick; the tick is named the Lone Star Tick.

I was surprised because I had not learned about this species prior to this meeting. Oh, did I mention that I am Hunter, Loyal Termite and Pest Control’s K-9 termite detective? Most of you know me because you tune in to this blog once a week. If you are a new arrival; welcome aboard!

Let me tell you more about the Lone Star Tick. The Lone Star is different from other ticks in many ways. It is the only known tick that will harbor on the lawn in open sunlight. Ticks generally like to gather in tall grass, in shaded areas around the perimeter of a field or yard. This way when an animal or person rubs up against the tall grass the ticks will hitch a ride with the unsuspecting victim. The Lone Star will hang out in the open area, so if you are on a blanket sunbathing or having a picnic, this tick can get you. If you are bitten by one; most of the time, you will just have an irritating rash. However, the Lone Star is capable of transmitting all of the known tick diseases; Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever; about 10% of their bites affect the victim in one of these ways. Adult ticks are found on large mammals such as cattle, deer, horses, and dogs (Yikes!). The immature prefer to feed on birds and small mammals. All stages will feed on humans.

Recently, researchers are finding out that when some humans are bitten by a Lone Star, the saliva infects the human and causes an intense meat allergy. If meat is consumed by this group, they become violently ill; causing many to stop consuming meat altogether!

Be on the lookout for the Lone Star. The female is easily identified by having a white spot on its back. The male is noted by having white markings around the perimeter of his back. Always take caution with your children and fellow K-9’s when you suspect you are in tick territory. Your dog should be de-ticked daily. That’s what Daddy Nick and Mama Gena do for my brother dog Murdock and me after we spend any amount of time outside in the warm weather.

If you have any questions, you know who to call. Here it comes; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal! One more time; Who ya’ gonna call? Call Loyal! You got it!!

Until next week, this is Hunter, your favorite dog blogger, just wondering, What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!

Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that will define the Word “Pest” (Part 3 – The Asian Tiger Mosquito)

I started this blog series knowing little about the “new arrival” insects that are sure to eventually impact our lives. If not now, certainly sometime in the future; we will encounter this group in one way or another. The next insect in this series is the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Where the Asian Beetle will create havoc with American agriculture, and the Argentine Ant will prove to be a real ambitious household pest, the Asian tiger mosquito could cause some major drama to American’s health. This is a real concern and again the reason this dog is actively informing my dedicated blog readers about the particulars of this insect group. Hunter here, your doggone Loyal Termite and Pest Control K-9 Termite Detective, welcoming you back to my blog What’s Buggin’ You? Now, let me continue barking about this week’s headliner, the Asian tiger mosquito.

Forget a casual swat to silence that irritating buzz near your ear on a summer’s night. It may be enough to shoo away your garden variety mosquito but it will take more than a light slap to kill this aggressive monster.

The Asian tiger mosquito is tough. So tough it can withstand conventional controls. If not significantly contained society could face its first real dengue fever threat since World War II. The Asian tiger mosquito is an insect of medical importance. It could cause some real health problems. This mosquito is a carrier of dengue fever, a virus with side effects so painful that it is also known as “breakbone” fever and can be fatal. It produces symptoms such as limb pain, high fever, rash, and severe headache and can be treated only with analgesics and plenty of fluids. Severe cases may require hospitalization for intravenous fluids and supportive care. In 1904 a breakout in Brisbane Australia killed 94 people.

Rates of the fever are increasing worldwide, with an estimated 5 million cases a year according to the World Health Organization. Indonesia is fighting its worst outbreak. More than 15,000 people in 22 of the country’s provinces have been affected since January, and more than 260 people have died, according to Indonesian health ministry figures.

The mosquito earned its name because of its ornamental striped color patterns and its aggressive biting habits.

The mosquito has already invaded the United States, where the first wave hit Texas in 1985 after mosquitoes hatched from eggs believed to have been transported in recycled tires from Asia. The species lays eggs in water containers such as flower pots, buckets, and dog bowls. As I’ve howled about before; eliminate ALL standing water around your house!

When and where a new outbreak of Asian tiger mosquitoes will happen is anyone’s guess. If you see any mosquitoes that you think may be tiger mosquitoes; kill and capture a sample and take it to your nearest extension office.

Like I have barked about before, knowledge is power; and for you to at least have some degree of education about these soon to arrive insect species, will give you an edge when they do make their presence known.

Until next time, this is Hunter the K-9. You know me, I’m always wondering, What’s Buggin’ You?

I’ll bark at you again next week, Ruff! Ruff!

Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that will define the Word “Pest” (Part 2 – The Argentine Ant)

Hello, Loyal “dog-blog” fans. Thank you for joining me again this week. It is time for another dose of “K-9 pest control” wisdom. Of course, this is Hunter, Loyal Termite and Pest Control’s Certified Termite Detective. Thank goodness; in addition to my termite detection credentials, I minored in general Pest Control. I don’t mean to brag, well yes I do; I finished at the top of my class in Pest Control, as well as, Termite Detection. Graduating “Magna Bark Loudly” is an honor I’ll always cherish. The gold highlights on my graduation detective shield indicate this special designation. Well, that’s enough about me; for now.

I don’t know why, but I am extremely interested in all household pests. I guess being the dog of both the President and Vice-President of Loyal Company has given me the desire to be well versed in all areas of pest control. In time, I have acquired the knowledge to be able to understand a great deal about our region’s current pest population. The content of this blog series, however; concentrates on pests that are recent arrivals to our region, or are very close and lingering at Virginia’s southern borders, soon to make their presence known to all of us. This blog concentrates on a pest that has been in our country since the 1800’s but is now starting to show itself to Virginians living near the North Carolina border. Our topic today is The Argentine Ant.

The Argentine Ant was first identified in 1866 near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since their discovery, they have been widely distributed and currently found in 15 countries, as well as, some islands and on six continents. In the United States, they are primarily found in Southern California but have also been found in the following states: Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Oregon, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and recently in the southernmost part of Virginia.

While Argentine Ants are tolerant of each other, they are very aggressive towards other ants and insects. When colonies of Argentine Ants move into an area, they will kill and run off other ant species and claim the area for themselves. In Southern California, they have caused a major problem for horned lizards. Horned lizards depend on harvester ants for food. However, when the Argentine Ants moved into the area, they began to eliminate the harvester ants. This has contributed to the decrease of horned lizards in the area. These ants are very aggressive and have been known to successfully attack killer bees and wasp nests.

Why should we be concerned about the arrival of Argentina Ants? One, their aggressive behavior affects the natural balance of sensitive insect populations. Also, because of their instinctive tolerance for each other, large “Super Colony’s” are formed when a single colony gets too large. The Queen ants will mate inside the nest and then leave the nest with a group of worker ants and start a new colony. These colonies have been known to be very close to others, they will even share workers at times. And, if needed, the individual colonies will team up with another to attack enemies.

A single colony of Argentine Ants can contain thousands of workers and many queens.

Argentine Ants have to have a damp environment for survival. They must also be close to a reliable food source. It would be wise to eliminate any temptation to draw Argentine Ants into your household. Should they make a stronghold; the infestation will number in the thousands. They will bite and they emit a musty smell when crushed. When threatened, the Queen will lay eggs in very large numbers to assure colony size.

We may soon have to be very conscious about the arrival of the Argentine Ant.

If not now, but in the future, you discover you are harboring Argentine Ants you will want to call a professional to eliminate the problem. This brings me back to my favorite little company jingle that sounds similar to the “Ghostbusters” theme song; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! That’s it; how about one more time? Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!!

Thank you for joining me for this week’s edition of What’s Buggin’ You? If you have any termite or pest control questions or problems; please contact us here at Loyal Termite and Pest Control, go to our website, or contact us on social media. I’ll bark at you again next week! Ruff! Ruff!

Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that Threaten American Agriculture and Local Economies (Part 3 – The Formosan Termite)

If you recall when I started this series, my interest in these uninvited pest terrorists; came from a conversation I had with Daddy Nick, Loyal’s President, in his office. He was reading an internet article about the Kudzu Bug. I had not seen one before. My ears stood up. I wanted to know more. He said, “Hunter, as a responsible pest control company, we, here at Loyal Termite and Pest Control; have to be ready when this species arrives in our region.” “It’s not if, but when they get here, this bug will arrive in large numbers”, he said. “We have to be ready for them, understand their habits, and learn as much as we can about how to control the effect they might have on our Loyal customers. We have to offer a practical solution to eliminate them based on the most current information and treatment methods available. Methods developed through the joint efforts of our government, the scientists, as well as, our pest control partners already attacking local infestations in their particular regions.”


Boy that got this pooch thinking. What other insects and bugs have arrived in this country doing their thing; resulting in a negative effect on our agriculture and economy? I found out there are many foreign invaders making their stand in this country. This blog series addresses in brief detail the most prominent, and currently most alarming, of this group; insects and bugs, already here in moderate to large numbers, and those very soon to arrive in our region. You will be hearing more about these bugs in the near future.

I hope you learned a bit in Part 1 about the Kudzu Bug. Part 2 referred to the Emerald Ash Borer. Now this blog, the 3rd in the series; is about the Formosan Termite (FT).

The Formosan Termite has been referred to as the “super termite” due to the fact that they are more aggressive and destructive than their termite relatives. It has been reported that the (FT’s) are responsible for nearly $2 billion in yearly property damage. That’s in addition to the collective damage caused by other termite species. In the United States, (FT’s) are commonly found in the following Southern States; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. However, they have also been found in Arizona, Hawaii, Texas, and California as well. This species is believed to have originated from Eastern Asia, or more specifically, Taiwan and southern China, arriving in wooden shipping crates.

Mature colonies of (FT’s) can have anywhere from 1-10 million termites within them. It takes between 3 and 5 years for a colony to mature. Once a (FT) colony is mature, the damage it can cause can be massive. It has been reported that mature colonies can cover over one or more acres of land and go through roughly 13 ounces of wood in a single day. At this rate, a single colony of (FT’s) can destroy a wooden structure in approximately three months! Ouch!! The prominent regional termite at this time, the Subterranean Termite, although quite destructive, consumes wood at a much slower pace than a Formosan. (FT’s) are such ferocious eaters; in addition to cellulose in wood and paper, they have been known to attack 50 plant species and even some non-cellulose items including asphalt, plastic, mortar, rubber, creosote and soft metals; when looking for moisture and new food sources. Talking about aggressive!

What makes Formosan Termites different from Native Subterranean Termites, besides their ferocious eating habits, is the fact that they will make “carton nests” made of chewed wood, saliva, and excrement. Most of these nests are created within structures that the termites have hollowed out or used as a food source. They will make carton nests out of the wood that resembles packed cardboard inside a wall. It is not uncommon to find entire walls full of this “carton” material.

It is important now more than ever, especially with the ensuing arrival of the Formosan Termite, that you recognize any signs of termite activity including; large swarms of winged reproductive termites in the Spring and Summer evenings, hollow sounding wood, mud tubes, or carton nests inside of walls.

If you notice these signs or any other indication of active bug infestation; you really need to call a professional. Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! One more time so you don’t forget; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! Make that call and we will set up a time for one of our highly qualified inspectors to come out and check out the situation; and remember your first inspection is FREE!!

Thank you for joining me for this week’s “dog-blog”. This is Hunter, Loyal’s K-9 Termite Detective just wondering What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll bark at you again next week, Ruff! Ruff!

Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that Threaten American Agriculture and Local Economies (Part 1- The Kudzu Bug)

Again, Happy New Year to all my Loyal “dog-blog” fans. This is Hunter; Loyal Termite and Pest Control’s exclusive K-9 Termite Detective, welcoming you back to my weekly blog, What’s Buggin’ You?

Not too long ago, I was in my Daddy Nick’s office and saw him reading an article about a little bug that has been spreading like wildfire throughout the southern United States. He told me the little insect on his computer screen was the Kudzu Bug. He said, “As a responsible pest control company, Loyal has to be prepared for any new insect arrivals that may have a negative effect on the residents or business owners we serve.” “We have to understand the latest technical information provided by researchers and Government agencies that are developing practical strategies to combat any detrimental infestations; before their arrival into our region.” As usual, my curiosity had me asking him many questions about the Kudzu Bug and any other recent insect arrivals that are currently, or potential threats to our American economy. From those lengthy conversations with Daddy Nick, I am writing this blog series; Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that Threaten American Agriculture and Local Economies. This is (Part 1 – The Kudzu Bug).

The Kudzu Bug (KB) is a relatively new exotic pest that is now creating havoc in our southern states and is rapidly on the move. Yes, Virginia, they are starting to show up in the southernmost parts of our state! The KB was originally found in Georgia during the autumn of 2009, more than likely the result of hitchhiking aboard Asian freight entering our southern ports. It is directly related to the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug. Although they are different in size and look, they both emit a horrible smell if crushed and they are both ferocious eaters and destroyers of plant life. The KB’s population has grown immensely since 2009 and it has been confirmed that as of July 2012 the KB is in eight southeastern states, including Florida. The KB feeds on legume plants such as kudzu (hence it’s name), wisteria, soybeans, and with some limited reports on Lima beans and peas. It takes six to eight weeks for KB’s to go from egg to adult. They migrate to soybean fields over several weeks during the summer months. Typically they will be seen first on field edges near wooded areas. Infestations, when noticed, may cause a farmer great alarm, because of a large number of adult Kudzu Bugs flying around.

In June 2010 and 2011 there were two generations which attacked soybean fields in Georgia. Studies in unprotected plots in Georgia and South Carolina had yield losses averaging 18% with a range up to 47% in 19 locations studied. Researchers are currently scrambling to better understand the Kudzu Bug and how to prevent these plant destroyers from continuing to cost America billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Stay tuned for my future blogs in this series that focus on other newly discovered species posing a threat to America’s agricultural economy.

If you have any questions on this or any other pest control matters, please contact us by calling our office, through our website, or contact us on social media.

Until next time, this is Hunter, Loyal’s K-9 Termite Detective asking you and your friends and family, What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff!!, Ruff!!

“Superstorm Sandy” – The Aftermath Poses Serious Pest Control Problems

“Sandy” was a devastating storm that caused massive destruction to hundreds of homes and businesses along the eastern portion of New Jersey and New York. As millions of pounds of debris is being removed and homeowners begin painstaking repairs; the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is calculating the effects the storm had on pest populations in the region.

According to the NPMA, communities devastated by the storm will likely experience an increase in pest encounters due to displacement and destruction caused by flooding. From the delay in sanitation services caused by power outages and road blockages to the widespread structural damage and increased number of people staying at shelters, hotels or with family and friends, there are a number of ways Sandy will affect a variety of pest populations both short-term and months after the storm.

This is Hunter, your #1 “dog-blog” reporter keeping you Loyal readers up to speed on all the latest news and information about pest control and general pest management. It is important for us at Loyal Termite and Pest Control to stay on top of any situation affecting pest activity; as a similar situation may occur in our area. If so, we want to be prepared to assist our community in eliminating any new or existing pest problems.

The organization has identified the following pests that will be of greatest concern to East Coast residents affected by Sandy:

Rodents

While some rodents were killed during and after the hurricane, many have been displaced and are seeking shelter and food. The delay in garbage pickup in several areas is attracting rats and other mammal pests. Because sanitation crews will focus on garbage before debris, homeowners should separate food trash and construction rubbish. Rodents can carry many diseases, and residents should take precautions to avoid their carcasses.

Flies

Because flies breed in spoiled food, dead animals and backed up sewage, homeowners who experienced several days of lost power should be on the lookout for fungus gnats, phorid flies and other bugs. Residents should consider asking a pest control professional to inspect their home’s pipes to ensure no sewage leaks or plumbing problems are creating an ideal place for pests to live.

Bedbugs

People forced out of their homes and into hotels and shelters or those who have received donated furnishings and clothing have an increased chance of finding bed bug infestations, according to the NPMA. This pest can “hitchhike” from person to person in close spaces and are difficult to eliminate; so seeking professional help immediately upon finding these pests is essential. If you had this kind of problem in Richmond; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! I say, Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! That’s what I’m barking about!

Termites

These bugs consider wet wood a feast, and many termites have been displaced by flooding. It’s a good idea for the affected homeowners to ask a pest control professional to inspect their home’s termite defenses to ensure the destructive critters don’t cause additional damage to a residence already suffering from the effects of “Superstorm Sandy.”

Thank goodness we do not have to deal with the problems that the folks in the storm area now face; however, we should all be educated and prepared if a similar problem were to happen to us in this region.

Thank you for joining me in this week’s blog, What’s Buggin You? If you should have any questions; call us here at Loyal, go to our website, or contact us through social media. I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!