Friday, August 26, 2011

Storm-related Pests

With Hurricane Irene headed to the NC coast, expect the possibility of an increase in pest problems following the storm. For a brief look at some pest problems you may encounter and ways to manage some of these pests after the storm, please click HERE.

Ground-nesting wasp, Scolia dubia - by Mike Waldvogel

(Photo:  Sheryl Pollock, 2011) 
Now that cicada killer activity is finally winding down, we've had a few sightings of scoliid wasps, Scolia dubia, hovering over yards. This solitary wasp is bluish-black with bluish-colored wings. The end segments of the abdomen may be more brown in color and hairy. A key feature are two yellowish spots on the abdomen, which may appear more as a yellowish band.

The object of their attention is the grub stage of the green June beetle which spends most of this time of year near the soil surface. Activity will should stop in a few weeks (peak activity should be in about 10-14 days depending on where you are). As with the other ground-nesting solitary bees and wasps, pesticide broadcast sprays are rarely needed or very effective.

For more information on this wasp, see the web page:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kudzu Bug Update

Kudzu bug (Photo: Phillip Roberts, Univ. of GA)

When cooler weather finally shows up, we usually expect to see boxelder bugs and Asian lady beetles moving indoors. Most of you have probably read about two other pests that exhibit the same behavior. 

Those of you in school districts in the northern counties will probably see the infamous brown marmorated stink bug. At the other end of the state, we have the 'kudzu bug' (Megacopta cribraria), which feeds on both kudzu and soybeans.  As soybeans mature and dry out, the bugs will likely make their move to nearby areas, including schools.

The following link will show you the latest (August 2011) distribution map for the kudzu bug:
This doesn't mean you will definitely run into the kudzu bug, but this is a good time to plan ahead. Make sure you and other school staff are aware of the pest. Dr. Dan Suiter at the University of Georgia has a publication about this pest:

If you see either the kudzu bug or the brown marmorated stink bug, please email Mike Waldvogel ( or Patty Alder (

Friday, August 19, 2011

NEW Bed Bug 2011 Survey by NPMA & Univ KY Executive Summary Released = Bugs Without Borders

As you may recall, last year NPMA partnered with the University of Kentucky to survey PMP's both in the US and abroad about the incidence of bed bugs. Well, they repeated this survey this year. The Executive Summary was just released (see link below).

Click HERE for The 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey - Executive Summary

Below is a summary of some of the survey results:

"This report highlights the key findings obtained from more than 400 pest management professionals who participated in this survey. The Resurgence Continues. "

" the past year bed bug encounters have become more commonly reported in many other places. For example, PMPs report seeing large increases in the number of bed bug encounters in college dorms, hotels, nursing homes, office buildings, schools and daycare centers, hospitals, public transportation and movie theaters compared to last year. More specifically, many places experienced double-digit growth...."

"More specifically, many places experienced double-digit growth in where professionals reported treating bed bugs year-over-year:

 College dorms (54 percent, up from 35 percent a year ago);
 Hotels/motels (80 percent, up from 67 percent a year ago);
 Nursing homes (46 percent, up from 25 percent);
 Office buildings (38 percent, up from 18 percent);
 Schools and day care centers (36 percent, up from 10 percent);
 Hospitals (31 percent, up from 12 percent);
 Transportation (train/bus/taxi) (18 percent up from nine percent);
 Movie theaters (17 percent, up from five percent)."

" of their bed bug customers (25 percent) attempted to treat these pests prior to calling a pest control professional. ...Consumers who do try to eradicate bed bugs often use methods that are both ineffective and dangerous. The respondents offered a myriad of examples, many including the excessive and improper use of insecticides; the use of unregistered insecticides; the misuse of aerosols, foggers, propane heaters, and open flames; and the application of inappropriate, often flammable chemicals, such as kerosene, alcohol, diesel fuel, bleach, and boric acid."

"When it comes to treating bed bugs, consumers would benefit from more education and help from a professional."

"....bed bugs continue to be the most difficult pest to treat, according to 73 percent of survey respondents."

Thanks to Bob Rosenberg for sharing this with us.

Monday, August 8, 2011

School IPM Workshops Scheduled!

The deadline for implementing an IPM Plan for all NC Public Schools is October 1, 2011.

In an effort to help school systems that have not yet (or are still in the process) of putting together and implementing an IPM Plan, NCSU is offering several regional workshops for IPM Coordinators and maintenance personnel. We will have 2 CCU’s of P-phase recertification available.

During the workshop, we will distribute IPM kits for school systems to use to conduct their own in-house training and information sessions about School IPM for staff, teachers, parents, and other interested parties. Each IPM kit contains:
  • A collection of common insect pests
  • A CD of Powerpoint presentations and scripts for use in IPM training
  • A DVD on School IPM (produced by Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya before he left NCSU)
  • A set of identification guides and CD’s donated by Syngenta.

The topics for the workshops will include:
  • How to use the training materials for promoting IPM in your school
  • Handling bed bugs found in schools
  • School IPM, from start to implementation – problems and solutions

The following workshops have been scheduled. These are the last workshops that will be offered before the October 1, 2011 deadline. There is no cost to attend the workshops, however, you must pre-register to attend so we will have enough material to distribute. Please contact Patty Alder at 919.513.3805 or to register. 

August 23, 2011
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Durham County Extension Center
721 Foster St
Durham, NC 27701

August 29, 2011
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Cumberland County Maintenance Operations Center
810 Gillespie Street
Fayetteville, NC

August 30, 2011
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Transylvania County Extension Center
98 East Morgan St
Brevard, NC 28712
September 1, 2011
9:00am – 12:00pm
Caldwell County Extension Center
120 Hospital Avenue NE
Lenoir, NC 28645

September 1, 2011
9:00am – 12:00pm
Perquimans County Board of Education Building
411 S. Edenton Road Street
Hertford, NC

New Hanover County
Location/Date TBD

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The recent rains have triggered termite swarms. We have recently seen three distinct swarms in Umstead State Park in Raleigh, NC. Most of the swarming activity that is occurring now takes place outdoors, which is simply a reminder that termites are around us outdoors. It's a good reminder to all of us that if any of your school buildings haven't been inspected for termites in a number of years, this might be a good time to get it done. 

For those school systems that conduct their pest control in-house, we recommend that you look carefully for termite shelter ("mud") tubes on exterior foundation walls. For buildings with crawlspaces, check the wood along the top of the foundation (in the interior crawlspace), looking carefully for tubes and/or damage. This often means pulling back insulation in some areas to inspect. Be sure to inspect any “critical areas” for termite evidence. These areas include places where plumbing and other utility conduits penetrate slabs/foundations, cracks in foundations, areas around door and window frames, and areas prone to moisture problems.

If your school system contracts with a pest control company, your other option is to have them inspect the school buildings. There is a lot of confusion about what pest control companies can/cannot tell their customers. If there is no evidence of termite activity, a pest control inspector cannot tell someone that they "need" to have a structure treated. On the other hand, if it's been 10+ years since the structure was last treated, then the company might "suggest" a treatment as a way of protecting a major investment. But ultimately, the decision about whether or not to have a building treated for termites is up to your school system.

In instances where people have termite contracts with pest control companies, some companies have a clause in their contract that allows them to require retreatment of a structure after some interval (usually 5 years). This clause applies whether or not there are signs of termite activity. So, the advice is simple and the same as any other contract you sign - READ IT CAREFULLY. 

Click HERE for more information about termites.

The rains will also leave behind water sources that can produce mosquitoes. While puddles of water will dry up, the major concern will be for items that may be present on school property: buckets, flower pots with dishes underneath, tarps covering items, and even tree holes. Remember to "Tip and Toss" - tip the item to drain the water and toss the items that aren't needed.

Click HERE for more information about mosquitoes.

Fire Ants
Also, if you live in an area where fire ants are a problem, don't be surprised if you see mounds popping up. We've seen this same situation where dry summer conditions reduce surface activity but significant rainfall often affords the ants the opportunity to form mounds from what was previously very hard-packed soils.

Click HERE  for information about fire ants.
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