Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cooler Weather Will Drive Rodents Indoors

The National Pest Management Association estimates that rodents invade nearly 21 million homes in the United States each winter. This winter will probably be no exception. Cooler temperatures are in our not-so-distant future. You don't have to share your home with rodents this winter! Following are some simple steps you can take to help prevent these pests from setting up shop in your space.
  • Store susceptible food items in airtight glass or plastic containers.
  • Items such as bird seed, grass seed, etc. should also be stored in airtight plastic containers as well.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Store garbage properly - in trash cans with lids that fit properly and close tightly.
  • Reduce clutter, both indoors and outdoors, to remove potential harborage areas.
  • Store items such as clothing, blankets, etc. in plastic sealable containers rather than in cardboard boxes.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the foundation of the home and 5 feet off the ground, if possible.
  • Remove piles of rubbish, trash, boxes or other debris.
  • If possible, keep dense ground cover or other vegetation at least 12" away from the foundation.
  • Seal holes and other openings 1/4" in diameter or larger around the exterior of your home, including areas where utility pipes enter the home. Depending on the size of the opening, caulk, copper mesh, screen, or metal sheets can be used to seal openings.
  • Install or replace missing weather stripping around exterior doors.
  • Make sure attic and crawlspace vents are screened and that screens are in good repair.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Insect of the Week - What Am I?

This week's insect is a mystery! Take a look at the amazing images below by Alex Wild ( and see if you can figure out what the mystery insect is (all photos shown are the same type of insect). We'll have the answer in next week's "Insect of the Week" posting. Following the photos are a few hints!

The tube-like insect on the right is the insect in question!

Helpful Hints:
  • These insects have complete metamorphosis.
  • They taste, smell, and feel with the hairs that cover their bodies.
  • These insects vomit on food before eating it, so as to soften the meal up.
  • This insect may have sponging, lapping, or piercing mouthparts, depending on the species.
  • They walk on smooth surfaces using sticky soft pads that act like glue.
  • And here's the giveaway: This insect has only two wings as an adult; the hindwing has been reduced to small knobs, called halteres (see last image above).
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