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Expanded Question:

Hello George,
We own a 4 family home and live in one of the lower apartments.  I noticed what looked like maggots at first under a wash cloth, then my boyfriend took a hanger and started digging out the drain, there where more of these worm like pests but the had a reddish tint to them.  I believe he said they were either hairy or had little legs.   I'm so grossed out, I don't even want to get in the shower. Could these be throughout our whole drainage system through all the apartments?  I'm freaked out.  How do we get rid of this problem.  Thank you for taking the time to answer these types of questions.  I hope you can help.  God bless you.

Answer:

Jennifer, I neglected to give you the website allexperts.com , where you can find answers to many questions.    I enjoy answering questions, and eagerly place them on our own site.  Questions are valuable.  I cannot think up all the questions that the public may ask.



You will find a link to a supplier on our site.



I return your God Blessed wishes in kind,



George Manning

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

Expanded Question:

I moved into this apartment last summer; its a very old brownstone in the city and has about 35 units.  I've always seen a roach here or there (various exterminator companies said that was "unavoidable" if the landlord does not spray the entire building regularly).



But every day for the past 3 days I encountered THE MOST HORRIFYING bug I have EVER seen.  I can't even LOOK at the beast, let alone kill it.

Its body was about 2 inches in length, and its awful spindly little legs made it look 6 inches long.  Maybe 12 legs, though a couple look like antennae?  Its body is striped with grayish-yellow and brown.  It climbs walls, ceilings with ease and its FAST.  Its so awful I could cry!  It reminds me of a massive silverfish, but I'm sure its not one.



Funny thing is, a few weeks before these beasts came out I noticed a DRAMATIC increase in german cockroaches.



Would spraying only my unit do any good?  What about a bomb? 

Is there anything I can do? 



Thanks for donating your time to this website!


Answer:

You are describing what is known as a centipede.  As you relate an increase in german cockroaches, it may be possible that interior climate circumstances brought about this noticeable change.



High humidity is attractive to both roaches and centipedes.  When the environment becomes excessively dry; whereby, you feel the need to add moisture to the air, these creatures may be less noticeable, since they will attempt to confine themselves to the more humid locations of your building.



Centipedes readily lose moisture content in an arid environment.  Since they are purely predaceous, and hunt in such preferred locations,their presence on a frequent basis is influenced by humidity.



Centipedes are easily killed, and can be killed by spraying one of a class of insecticides known as pyrethroids.  I am enclosing a university fact sheet that will give you more information.



If you wish to correspond further, please do so.  I will try to be more prompt in my response.  I prepared my answer several days ago, and was interrupted.  I thought that I'd already sent you an answer to your inquiry.




Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

Entomology

1991 Kenny Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1090

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Centipedes 

HYG-2067-94

William F. Lyon  

The house centipede, unlike most other centipedes that normally live outdoors, can live indoors especially in damp, moist basements, cellars, bathrooms, crawlspaces or unexcavated areas under the house. They are sometimes seen running rapidly across the floor with great speed, stopping suddenly to remain motionless and then resuming fast movements, occasionally directly toward the homeowner in an attempt to conceal themselves in their clothing. They have a "fearful" appearance but cause no damage to the structure, household possessions or foods. Some can bite when handled carelessly, resulting in a slight swelling or pain no worse than a mild bee sting. 



Identification

Centipedes, or "hundred-legged worms," are reddish-brown, flattened, elongated animals with many segments, most of which have 1 pair of legs. The first pair of legs is modified into poisonous jaws located below the mouth. Antennae have 14 or more segments. The house centipede is grayish-yellow with 3 dark, long stripes down the back with the legs encircled with alternating dark and white bands. The actual body length is an inch or slightly longer (wormlike), surrounded with 15 pairs of very long legs making the creature appear much larger. The last pair of legs is more than twice the body length of the female. A pair of very long slender antennae extends forward from the head. They move quickly and are sometimes mistaken for long-legged spiders. Other centipedes, found outdoors, often are more elongate with shorter legs and antennae.

Life Cycle and Habits

Centipedes are long-lived, sometimes up to 6 years. They overwinter as adults and lay eggs during the warm months. Usually eggs are laid in the soil and protected by adults. Some species give birth to living young.

Centipedes need moist habitats and those living outdoors are found in rotting wood, compost piles, mulch, wood chips, leaves, etc. 



The house centipede can complete its life cycle indoors, as it prefers dampness. They mate and breed in dark cracks and crevices. Eggs hatch into larvae which have 4 pairs of legs. There may be 5 or more larval stages with the number of legs increasing with each molt. Following larval growth are 4 adolescent stages, each with 15 pairs of legs. Centipedes prey on insects, spiders and other small animals, being considered beneficial to humans. The last pair of hind legs are modified to lasso and hold the victims until they are paralyzed by venom from the jaws connected to poison glands.

The house centipede runs swiftly when disturbed and can climb walls easily. Some are found around sump pumps in basements or bathrooms and other humid, dark hiding places where they are most active at night. They usually occur in small numbers and, in spite of their fearful appearance, they are considered harmless to humans. Most in the United States do not bite humans, but a few tropical species will bite, inflicting painful wounds. The jaws of young centipedes are usually not strong enough to cause more than a slight pinch when biting. 



Control Measures

Centipedes, related to lobsters, crayfish and shrimp, require moist habitats and areas of high humidity. It is important to keep the house and outside area as dry as possible. 



Prevention

Keep old boards, or rotting wood, compost piles, grass clippings, leaves, stones, etc. away from the house foundation. Remove, if practical, trash or leaf litter in a strip 3 feet wide surrounding the house foundation, exposing the soil surface to drying from the air and sunlight. Repair and seal cracks and openings in the foundation wall and around door and window frames with caulking compound and weather stripping. 



Properly ventilate basements and subfloor crawlspaces to eliminate excess moisture. Indoors, control nuisance insect populations to reduce the food source (prey) of centipedes. These creatures can be collected by broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner or other mechanical means and discarded. 



Insecticides

Try to locate the infested area or cause of infestation (nearby woods, pastures, lakesides,river areas etc). Outdoor, spray a protective barrier thoroughly soaking the soil in a five to fifteen foot band around the house. Also, thoroughly spray the sides of the house up to the level of the first story windows, especially across doorways and other openings. The carbamate insecticides such as propoxur(baygon), bendiocarb(ficam) or carbaryl(sevin) give the fastest knockdown compared to the other groups of insecticides. Wettable powder formulations provide the best soil residual control. If foundation plantings are heavily mulched, insecticides may have to be rodded down to the soil beneath the mulch. Repeat applications at weekly intervals may be needed.

Treatment of the peat moss, mulch, wood chips, leaves, etc., used in landscaping around the house, is important. Subsequent water sprinkling will carry the insecticide down into the soil where these creatures hide. Do not expect immediate kill since control may be slow(three to six days or more). Additional pesticides such as amorphous silica gel (drione, Tri-die), boric acid (permadust). chlorpyrifos (Duration, Dursban, Empire, Engage), diatomaceous earth (Answer, Organic Plus), diazinon, esfenvalerate (Conquer), pyrethroids (Exciter, Kicker, Microcare, Pyrethrum, Safer, X-Clude) and Resmethrin (vectrin) can be used. Only the licensed pest control operator or applicator can use bendicorb+pyrethrins (Ficamplus) cyfluthrin (Optem, Tempo), cypermethrin (Cynoff, Cyper-active, Demon, Vikor), deltamethrin (suspend), Lambdacyhalothrin (Commodore), permethrin (Astro, Dragnet, Flee, Prelude, Torpedo) and Tralomethrin (saga). Indoors, if needed, certain formulations of Dursban, Ficam and Baygon household Spray formulations will give some residual, spot or crack can crevice control while space treatments of pyrethrins or resmethrin will paralyze or kill by contact. Always read the label and follow directions and safety precautions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: Disclaimer - This publication may contain pesticide recommendations that are subject to change at any time. These recommendations are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator's responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. Due to constantly changing labels and product registrations, some of the recommendations given in this writing may no longer be legal by the time you read them. If any information in these recommendations disagrees with the label, the recommendation must be disregarded. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The author and Ohio State University Extension assume no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.



Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.



TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868
 

Expanded Question:

I found a 1.25-inch long slimy caterpillar type thing in my shower. I have a septic tank. My house is 5 years old and we live in a very wooded area in Georgia. This thing has legs and moves like a caterpillar but it is slimy looking and also resembles a slug. Could these things be living in my septic tank and coming up through the drain? What do I do?

 

Answer:

Heather,



Your question regarding slimy, multi-legged creature found at your shower drain was answered but not sent.  Somehow, it was lost on my computer, and I could not get back to your question until now.

Not seeing the specimen, I am attempting to visualize this invader episode.  The slimy part of your description could just be the sheen appearing from the surface of the creature.  I'm thinking that you are seeing a large millipede. 



There is no possibility that your septic field is a breeding ground for such an individual.  If this is a chronic, re-recurring event, I'd like to know that.



Let me suggest that the exterior environment around, and even below your home(if there is a crawl space) could be a weather related heat spell, or even a flood-type rain period.  Either of these conditions could drive millipedes indoors.  I am sending you a university prepared description, to which you can comment in a follow-up response to this writing.




Ohio State University Extension Factsheet

Entomology

1991 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Millipedes

HYG-2067A-94

William F. Lyon  


Millipedes normally live outdoors but may become nuisance pests indoors by their presence. At certain times of the year (usually late summer and autumn) due to excessive rainfall or even drought, a few or hundreds or more leave the soil and crawl into houses, basements, first-floor rooms, up foundation walls, into living rooms, up side walls and drop from the ceilings. Some homeowners as early as late June have reported annoying populations accumulating in swimming pools. Fall migrations during rainy and cool weather may result as a natural urge to seek hibernation quarters. Heavy continuous rainfall in newly developed wooded areas with virgin soil (decaying organic matter habitats) are often troublesome sites. Millipedes do not bite humans nor damage structures, household possessions or foods. They can give off a disagreeable odor and if crushed, leave an unsightly mess.

Identification

Millipedes, or "thousand-legged worms", are brownish-black or mottled with shades of orange, red or brown, and are cylindrical (wormlike) or slightly flattened, elongated animals, most of which have two pairs of legs per body segment, except for the first three segments which have only one pair of legs. Antennae are short, usually seven-segmented, and the head is rounded with no poison jaws. Their short legs ripple in waves as they glide over a surface. They often curl up into a tight "C" shape, like a watch spring, and remain motionless when touched. They range from 1/2 to 1-1/4 inches long depending on the species. They crawl slowly and protect themselves by means of glands that secrete an unpleasant odor. 



Life Cycle and Habits

Millipedes can be long-lived, sometimes up to seven years. They overwinter as adults and lay eggs singly or in small groups in the soil. Some females lay between 20 to 300 eggs (fertilization is internal), which hatch in a few weeks with young reaching adulthood in the autumn. Some reach sexual maturity the second year, while others spend four to five years in the larval stage. 



Millipedes are attracted to dark, cool, moist environments, usually going unnoticed in the summer due to their nocturnal habits (activity at night) and tendency to disperse. They feed on living and decomposing vegetation and occasionally on dead snails, earthworms and insects. Slight feeding injury can occur on soft-stemmed plants, in gardens and greenhouses. They cannot tolerate water-saturated soil, which forces them to the surface and higher ground. Likewise, dry, drought conditions can stimulate migration. In the autumn, it is believed they may migrate for better overwintering sites. If one or all of these conditions exist, sometimes hundreds or thousands (shovelsful) of millipedes are found in garages, first floor rooms and basements. Others believe that migration may occur when the food supply dwindles in October and November.

These creatures are usually abundant in compost piles and heavily mulched ornamental plantings, moving out shortly after sunset sometimes into dwellings. Over the past years, they have migrated in large numbers during a period of unusually warm weather for the time of the year (75 degrees F) and then would immediately stop when a quick drop in temperature (cold snap) occurred. Anyone handling these creatures without gloves will notice a lingering odor (hydrogen cyanide-like), and the fluid may be harmful if rubbed into the eyes. If crushed, millipedes may stain rugs and fabrics. 



Control Measures
Millipedes, related to lobsters, crayfish and shrimp, require moist habitats and areas of high humidity. It is important to keep the house and outside area as dry as possible.

Prevention

Millipedes prefer moist, decaying organic matter (similar to forest soil) and shade. Always keep compost piles, grass clippings, rotting wood, leaf piles, plant debris, stones, etc. away from the house foundation as far as practical to reduce moist, damp, dark places where feeding and reproduction can occur. Be sure to check for wood imbedded or buried in the soil. 



Also, ivy beds and mulch near the house may become a favored habitat. Rake and remove trash or leaf litter in a strip three feet wide surrounding the house foundation if practical, exposing the soil surface to drying from the air and sunlight. Repair and seal cracks and openings in the foundation wall and around door and window frames with caulking compound and weather stripping. 



Properly ventilate basements and subfloor crawl spaces to eliminate excess moisture. Indoors, many will die of desiccation (drying out) and can be collected by broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner or other mechanical means and discarded.

Insecticides

Total control of millipedes during migration periods is difficult. Try to locate the most infested area or cause of infestation (nearby woods, pastures, lakesides, river areas, etc.). Outdoors, spray a protective barrier thoroughly soaking the soil in a five to fifteen foot band around the house. Also, thoroughly spray the sides of the house up to the level of the first story windows, especially across doorways and other openings. The carbamate insecticides such as propoxur (Baygon), bendiocarb (Ficam) or carbaryl (Sevin) give the fastest knockdown compared to the other groups of insecticides. Wettable powder formulations provide the best soil residual control. If foundation plantings are heavily mulched, insecticides may have to be rodded down to the soil beneath the mulch. Repeat applications at weekly intervals may be needed. 



Treatment of peat moss, mulch, wood chips, leaves, etc. used in landscaping around the house is important. Subsequent water sprinkling will carry the insecticide down into the soil where these creatures hide. Do not expect immediate kill since control may be slow (three to six days or more). Baygon bait works well when scattered along the house foundation providing fast knock-down. Additional pesticides such as amorphous silica gel (Drione, Tri-Die), boric acid (Perma-Dust), chlorpyrifos (Duration, Dursban, Empire, Engage, Tenure), diatomaceous earth (Answer), diazinon, esfenvalerate (Conquer), pyrethrins (Exciter, Kicker, Microcare, Pyrethrum, Safer) and resmethrin (Vectrin) can be used. Only the licensed pest control operator or applicator can use bendiocarb + pyrethrins (Ficam Plus), cyfluthrin (Optem, Tempo), cypermethrin (Demon, Cynoff, Cyper-Active, Vikor), deltamethrin (Suspend), lambdacyhalothrin (Commodore), permethrin (Dragnet, Flee, Prelude, Torpedo) and tralomethrin (Saga). Fluvalinate (Mavrik, Yardex) is used outdoors. Indoors, if needed, certain formulations of Ficam and Baygon household spray formulations will give some residual, spot or crack and crevice control while space treatments of pyrethrins or resmethrin will paralyze or kill by contact. Always read the label and follow directions and safety precautions.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



This publication contains pesticide recommendations that are subject to change at any time. These recommendations are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator's responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. Due to constantly changing labels and product registration, some of the recommendations given in this writing may no longer be legal by the time you read them. If any information in these recommendations disagrees with the label, the recommendation must be disregarded. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The author, The Ohio State University and Ohio State University Extension assume no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.



Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Keith L. Smith, Director, Ohio State University Extension.



TDD # 1 (800) 589-8292 (Ohio only) or (614) 292-1868



Best regards to you, and again apologies for my tardiness.



George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

Expanded Question:   
 
Dear Dr.George Manning

Would you be kind enouph to review our research article(A comparative study of structural adaptation of mouthparts of mantodea from Sindh), submitted to Pakistan Journal of Zoology, which is the leading Jounral of our country.

if yes, Please send your Mail and Email address.

Thanks in advance

Prof. Dr. Naheed M. Soomro.

Department of Zoology, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan
 
Answer:
Dear Dr. Naheed M. Sooro:


Please forgive my delay in answering you.  I have been away for a few days, and neglected to read my mail.


I'd be interested in reviewing your research of structural adaptation of mouthparts of mantodea.  This sounds like a fascinating study.


You can communicate directly with my mail address at American Eagle Pest Elimination, Inc., 9138 S. Baltimore Ave., Chicago, IL 60617 and you can e-mail me at americaneaglepest@yahoo.com.
I'd be interested in reviewing your data if you wish.


My best regards,


George Manning

Consulting Entomologist
American Pest Solutions
 

worms i need help! my gueser was replaced a few months ago and since then iv had a few occasions where worms are in my bath water. they are black and seem to have hair on them. they are small and thin and tend to swim in the water. i cant identify if they are coming from the hot or cold tap...could they be rat tailed maggots? how do i get rid of them?? A small fly may be seen too. It has wings that fold in a tent-like fashion giving the appearance of a triangular shape when you see the fly resting on a wall. the larvae do swim, and are found in slime mold growth within shower and bathtub drains as well as catch basins, P-traps and other places where this mold will grow. There are mold inhibiting products on the market such as DF5000, which you can purchase at hardware stores and home supply stores such as Home Depot, and Menard's. If you look at my recent answers, you will find a more detailed response. If you do not locate past answers, or, if I have not answered correctly, please contact me again. Best wishes Judy, George Manning Consulting Entomologist george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Mourina


Worms in the Bath

I have seen a worm in my bathroom yesterday night. It tries to hide in dark places and walks very fast. Could you tell me what is it and how harmful is it? What can I do to get rid of this?


 

Hello Mourina,

You are welcome to send me a specimen, or take a digital picture and e-mail it to my address posted below.  

Have you seen small moths flying in your home from time to time?
These may be adults of (worm) larva that you see in the bathroom.  You may be seeing silverfish, which can appear somewhat wormlike.  I'd be glad to help, but I don't have enough information yet.  

Google Indian meal moth, and also silverfish, and let me know if either of these look like what you see.

Regards,

George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

americaneaglepest@yahoo.com
www.pestproblemssolved.com
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Hi George,

It is not Indian meal moth or silverfish Google image). Its black in color and cannot fly. Its walks very fast and comes out only in the dark. It has got numerous legs. I googled images of many insects, moth, mites and worms. But could not find for it.
 


Hi again--

Mourina, you may be seeing millipedes or possibly garden centipedes as opposed to household centipedes.

Look up these creatures, and let me know.  If you will send me a specimen to my office at 9138 S. Baltimore, Chicago, IL 60617, I'll be able to identify it.  If you wish to place one of these unknowns scotch-taped to a sheet of paper, you can take a picture and e-mail it to me at

americaneaglepest@yahoo.com.
 

Kristine

Worm-Like Growth on Walls


From my dog after bath.

I recently noticed a poor cover-up job on an exterior wall that had paint over duct tape. The duct tape split and worm-like growth is happening. The weird thing is, they resemble the sample that are also from my skin.  Is this a fungus issue? Or?

My dogs and I are being attacked by something, and both vets and dermatologists can't figure out what.

Exterior Wall Growth

Duct tape under paint that split 3 months ago. Growth looks like worms.

 

Dear Kristine:

I'd like to help you.  The photo sent to me is probably good enough but leaves me guessing what could relate to you and pets that might be associated with the wall covering depicted as wall growth.

Might not these two issues be unrelated in that you and pets are experiencing another phenomenon?

Please describe your home's humidity or lack thereof.  Do you have a basement?  Is it dry or is it humid?  What type of heating system is used?  Where do you live?

All this and more detail regarding your dermal condition and that of the pets may help.  You may send me pictures of problem skin areas.
I look forward to hearing from you again.

Sincerely,

George Manning

Consulting Entomologist


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi. At first I thought we had demodex. But Ivermectin didn't help me or the dogs. Permethrin, however, seem to help. I've been to the dermatologist many times and the vet many times.  They say nothing is wrong... But we are experiencing biting/itching issues. We are always tired. Dogs seem sick all the time.  The weird thing is... I see fuzzy cocoon-like things from dogs. And it seems whatever it is takes over organic matter? Here is an image of something from the dog I thought odd. It looks like a worm in the interior of a plant matter? 
Kristine, thanks for your follow-up:

When we are wrestling with a question that seeks an answer, and when specifics are not readily available, we reach a point of frustration because specificity is still wanting.

The photo attached, seems to be a weed seed pod of some sort.  It does not immediately point to your concern.

Have you looked into internal environmental possibilities?  What about extreme dryness?  Could a humidifier help your situation.  Sometimes the house ecosystem could be reviewed by an expert.

You mention that Permethrin has helped for a short spell.  Ivermectin as a system was developed as a systemic for river blindness which was found frequently where people did all their functions in nearby rivers.  Apparently, the irritation the dogs are experiencing is not addressed by this drug.

Permethrin is an excellent pyrethroid used as a general insecticide.  this too, may be off the mark.

Dog itch could be helped by an application of a thin layer of Bactraban.

Write me again if you think that I may be of some assistance.

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

 

Every summer for the past three years frogs have invaded my yard and every morning I find bounds of mushrooms in yard what can I do to get rid of the frogs?
 

Frogs are protected in many States.  It would be a good idea to contact your agricultural department on this specific situation.  Their people would be the most helpful.

Round-up by Monsanto has been reported as an incidental destroyer of frogs and toads when applied for its intended purpose which is weed control.

Frogs do so much good in nighttime insect control.  Like bats, they are worth their weight in gold.

I don't know how you are tying in mushrooms with frogs.  It is reported that certain fungi have a deleterious effect upon frogs.

Heavy rains or overwatered lawns can bring about both frogs and mushrooms; the mushroom fungi attracted to such a lawn, and the toad/frogs attracted to the insect life that is fostered in such a condition.

By watering in the early morning and not at night, you might have a progressively improved exclusion of the specie that you question.  It is important to aerate your lawn, and if you use a roller that has multiple prongs over its surface designed for the purpose of punching holes in the lawn, you might accelerate water absorption.

I've run out of ideas.  If anyone has additional suggestions after reading this posted answer, I'd appreciate a communication.

Gheri, thanks for the opportunity to help you.  I hope I've been a help.

Best regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com
 

Hi, found these little "pods" all around under our ash (I think) tree. Broke a green one open to find many tiny white larvae. Many leaves also have holes chewed through them, I don't know if it is the same problem. Thanks for any leads you can give! Answer The nipple-like gall on the leaves could be from several insect sources. I think it could be the Ash Bullet Gall Midge, I am not certain. The leaf curl could be caused by a leaf curl aphid. I would have to see the insects within the curled leaf to give you a definite answer. There are many causes for both leaf curl and for gall production. In the gall formation, the leaf tissue is effected by hormonal stimulation, either from a deposited egg within the parenchyma cell or by larval feeding upon the parenchyma cells. Unless a specific identification takes place, I will only be responding in general. Sending specimens always improves my ability to zone in to a specific causing agent. The tree will not be harmed by these invaders. This type of superficial damage will vary from year to year. I hope I've been somewhat helpful.

 

 

tiny white worms on young shummard oak in TXHouston,

Last summer we had a 60 gal shummard oak planted (Houston, TX).  This summer it has a weeping swollen wound on the trunk (2 weeks) Now I notice tiny (1/4 inch) white worms/larvae.  I also notice many small dry wounds on different area of the trunk. Today I poured some permethrium mixed with water on the trunk on the lower half of the tree. The tree looks healthy otherwise.  Any ideas as to what the pests might be and proper treatment? Thanks.


Answer

There are so many insect invaders of oak trees, some more specific to red and shummard oaks.

Gypsy moth has defoliated at least a million acres of forest trees per year.  Look up Gypsy moth on google or yahoo for visual identification.

Are your tree's leaves looking different than usual; yellowing or smaller than usual or with varying sizes of mature leaves?

Insects can deliver certain diseases to a tree.  If infestations are great, the tree can struggle, and leaves will show variations in appearance.

Fungus that attacks the root system of trees that have had several years of insect damage can be weakened to a point that they become susceptible to wilt, a blight that can destroy a tree.

Cankers(lesions)in cambium are a result of root rot diseases brought on by fungi attacks that effect the tree's cambium.

I'd like more detail from you. The canker issue could be specific to your area.  The larvae that you describe, if moth larvae, could be Gypsies, which will often deliver diseases such as rot plus resulting symptoms such as bleeding plus, of course, defoliation as the season progresses.

Study you tree, give me a detailed description of the insect life that you see.

Let me hear from you again.  Sorry for the delay, I get swamped with work at this time of year Diana.

Regards, and best wishes

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control and exterminator
 

God, I hope you can help me Ok, where to start? I have a dog and two cats. I moved to a place in TN, about 45 minutes north of Chattanooga, almost two years ago and we have a ridiculous tick problem. It started with just my dog because my cats were both inside. I put Frontline on her when it started to warm up but every time she came inside she would be covered in ticks (lonestar and dog ticks to be specific). I thought maybe I just put it on wrong or something, tried it again, same thing. I tried K-9 Advantix, no better. I've treated my yard with two different products made to kill and repel ticks(Eliminator and Ortho Max), they helped, but did not solve my problem. I've tried feeding my dog garlic, that also helped a little but still have the problem. I looked into it a lot and thought it might be my dogs fur or that I was bathing her too often, but when my cat got out (with Frontline on) he too, was covered in ticks and I don't bathe him. I think these things have become might have become immune to these poisons. I'm not talking one or two ticks a week either, she can get as many as 20 or 30 in a matter of hours if she gets off her chain and goes into the woods and at least 5 or 6 a day when she stays in the treated area. I keep her inside as much as possible, but she has to get out sometime. I've heard certain tick collars work wonders, but I've also read that they can be dangerous to children, and I do have a 1 year old, so I would like to avoid those. As disgusting as the things are, that just isn't worth the risk to my baby. I've talked to 3 different vets and they ALL insist that Frontline works, and I'm just nuts. Have you ever heard of anything like this? It seems like they are unstoppable. If you can help at all I would greatly appreciate it, this is horrible and I am planning on moving as soon as I am financially capable, but it won't be for a few more years. Thanks. Tea tree oil diluted with an equal amount of mineral oil, placed in a cosmetic style atomizer and sprayed over your dog from top to bottom and then hand rubbed in to the fur will set up a repellency that will last for a day or two, and will not hurt the dog. When you smell your hands, there should be a lingering strong smell on them. The oil is good for the skin and will do no harm. Ticks will not die but are adversely effected by the oil and should drop off the dog. Try this first. Let me know of your success. Best wishes, George Manning Consulting Entomologist george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

sound in walls QUESTION: I have a problem that has, so far, baffled 5 professionals that have come out to my house. I hope you can give me some directions. Inside one particular section of an external wall there's a rhythmic noise, like a muffled jack hammer. It's loudest in the mornings, and disappears by late afternoon. It started about 2 months ago. 1. My first thought was pests. An exterminator put 30 or 40 tiny holes in the wall and pumped in poison for carpenter ants. He said it wasn't mice or other rodents because the noise didn't stop or change in any way when we pounded on the wall right where the noise comes from. Is that right? 2. The area is near our chimney. I had a chimney guy check for bats. It was clean. 3. The wall is right where the utility lines attach to the house. The electric company came out and said it couldn't be them but is probably vibrations from the phone line that was too taught. 4. The phone company came out and gave their line more slack (didn't help) and said it could be because the cable line was too slack. 5. The cable company came out and tightened their line. No change. 6. Someone suggested that the problem could be vibration from where the utility lines run down the side of the wall to the junction boxes. I secured them down on almost every shingle. None of this has made a difference. I'd bust the inside wall down and put up new sheetrock if I thought I'd even see anything to fix but would hate to do that on a lark. It's a 40 year old house that we bought 2 years ago. I did see mouse droppings in the attic but those poison pellets seem to have gotten rid of them. The yard has MANY woodchucks but I've not seen any evidence that they've gotten into the house. Sorry for the long e-mail but if you had any suggestions I'd really be in your debt. Thanks. ANSWER: Since you describe chronic unending rhythmic sounds that are most dominant mornings and disappears by late afternoon, you have a strong reason to believe this situation has a mechanical origin that could be driven electrically. Shutting down the house electricity prior to the expected noise commencement could test if the sounds come from your building's interior--that would be a start. Following that, you might leave the electricity off until the expected die down time to see if you have altered a cycle. Should none of this help, you must check generator activity which could coincide with HVAC usage in your area---less demand in late afternoon. At worst, you might have to see if change of season alters this cycle. power company, sewer department, nearby industrial influence should be considered too. I'd be interested in hearing the progress of this investigation. Best of luck to you Dennis, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved.com ---------- FOLLOW-UP ---------- QUESTION: Thank you so much for responding. I'd tried shutting off the major vibration generators (furnace, AC, dehumidifier, dish washer, etc) but the idea of tripping the master circuit breaker sounds good--but will have to wait until the rest of the family is gone for a day! The area is wholly residential for at least a mile radius so I'm not holidng out much hope for a commercial cause. I may end up having to see what happens in the fall. Could something like central air in a house 100 or 200 feet away cause it? Thank you again. I'll let you know if I solve it. You've already relieved the worry that it might be some structural defect in the house. Pest Control Chicago
 

sound in walls I have a problem that has, so far, baffled 5 professionals that have come out to my house. I hope you can give me some directions. Inside one particular section of an external wall there's a rhythmic noise, like a muffled jack hammer. It's loudest in the mornings, and disappears by late afternoon. It started about 2 months ago. 1. My first thought was pests. An exterminator put 30 or 40 tiny holes in the wall and pumped in poison for carpenter ants. He said it wasn't mice or other rodents because the noise didn't stop or change in any way when we pounded on the wall right where the noise comes from. Is that right? 2. The area is near our chimney. I had a chimney guy check for bats. It was clean. 3. The wall is right where the utility lines attach to the house. The electric company came out and said it couldn't be them but is probably vibrations from the phone line that was too taught. 4. The phone company came out and gave their line more slack (didn't help) and said it could be because the cable line was too slack. 5. The cable company came out and tightened their line. No change. 6. Someone suggested that the problem could be vibration from where the utility lines run down the side of the wall to the junction boxes. I secured them down on almost every shingle. None of this has made a difference. I'd bust the inside wall down and put up new sheetrock if I thought I'd even see anything to fix but would hate to do that on a lark. It's a 40 year old house that we bought 2 years ago. I did see mouse droppings in the attic but those poison pellets seem to have gotten rid of them. The yard has MANY woodchucks but I've not seen any evidence that they've gotten into the house. Sorry for the long e-mail but if you had any suggestions I'd really be in your debt. Thanks. Since you describe chronic unending rhythmic sounds that are most dominant mornings and disappears by late afternoon, you have a strong reason to believe this situation has a mechanical origin that could be driven electrically. Shutting down the house electricity prior to the expected noise commencement could test if the sounds come from your building's interior--that would be a start. Following that, you might leave the electricity off until the expected die down time to see if you have altered a cycle. Should none of this help, you must check generator activity which could coincide with HVAC usage in your area---less demand in late afternoon. At worst, you might have to see if change of season alters this cycle. power company, sewer department, nearby industrial influence should be considered too. I'd be interested in hearing the progress of this investigation. Best of luck to you Dennis, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

pests


1st) grubs--what natural remidies work. We have a well & I don't want to contaminate it. When do I apply it. Grubs are in various larvea stage now. Live in NH.


2nd) Ants-- again natural rx. They seem to be along the SE of home & come in to our kitchen.


3rd) How can I keep my cabbage, broccoli & tomatoes free from infestation this yr? Do nets help or make things worse?
Thanks for your help.


Cindi
 


There are no natural insecticides such as bacterial or fungal products that have proven successful on white grubs.  when using such methods, the success ratio does not make enough impact to attempt such control. Milkie Disease Spore dust has been proven ineffective. 

Other natural predators, skunks, moles, starlings, grackles, and wasps will impact but you don't want their nuisance presence either.  The exception being parasite wasps of the Scolia genus, which are harmless, and if plentiful, can be a help.

My recommendation is that you purchase a product known as Merit containing imidaclopred, which is a member of a newer group of organic insecticides known as neonicotinoids.  I have no knowledge of detrimental effects on human or animal as concerns systemic carry over to consumption of vegetables.  I would not advise use of this product to kill grubs directly in a vegetable garden.  I do not believe that well contamination is an issue; however, I would check with the supplier that you will contact.  I contacted Bayer, the manufacturer, who told me that there is no restriction for use adjacent to a well because of the low concentration of the formula as used per mixing instructions on the label.

You can use Merit on your lawn and non-food growing areas.  If you do this and you spray for the adult beetles that will emerge in late June and July, and treat the lawn again in late August and September,
you will be eroding the population that is building up annually.  With planning, you will be able to have much success.

As regards ants; area treatments can be done using a product known as DeltaGard.  This product has a broad label and can be extremely helpful in garden applications.

As concerns ants in the home at this time of year; most species will be attracted to protein baits at this time of year, and towards September, be attracted to sweet baits.  The product known as Advance Granular Ant Bait will work now.  Later Drax or Gourmet gel baits in August and later.  You objective is to kill off a colony.  Insecticides will kill the foragers but will not usually destroy a colony.  Larger granules of Advance for carpenter ants are also available.

Go to our website and contact our supplier if you do not have access to a local supplier.

Best Regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com


Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

Subject: green tree frogs Question: We have green tree frogs which get on our window sills outside and leave black droppings on the sills. They crawl on the windows at night. Any suggestions or chemicals that can be put on the windows to eliminate this problem? Thank you for your answer. Answer: Paint the subjective window sills with an epoxy paint of your choice. Allow the surface to dry to a hard surface. Make sure that the sides of these sills are also painted. Following this, cover the surfaces with a smooth coat of Vaseline. Two things will happen. The frogs will not like the Vaseline on their feet, and they will not easily be able to maneuver on the surfaces. Also, your windows will not be stained by the frog droppings. I cannot think of something else at this time. Let me know. Best of success David, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

feces found on patio


About every 3-4 days I find feces about the size around as a wooden pencil and 1 - 1 1/2 long.  It is dark brown and my beagle loves to eat it.
 


 

Feces varying in length, diameter usually consistent, and, for the most part, shiny surface, could be possum.

Opossum are mostly vegetarian; they'll eat meat also.  Fecal matter will take on coloration and texture from their diet.

A product known as Shake-Away can be effective in keeping possum off your property.

It sounds as if you have these creatures around.  They will stay in the neighborhood, and co-exist with your animals.  They will become confrontational if attacked by your dog.

Look for hiding places in crawl spaces, sheds, and garage(possibly a garage loft).

Trapping will work by setting a live trap, and hanging a carrot or turnip above the trigger release; keeping the bait remote from possible contact by the possum from the exterior of the trap.

Jimmie Please contact me again if you require further assistance.

I'm sorry for the delayed answer.  Usually I get back to people immediately----lots happening lately.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control and Exterminator

 

earthworms

Hello,  While I know earthworms are good for the garden, we have had an extreme amount of nightcrawlers near our driveway and sidewalk. This is the first year we have ever had such a problem,my question is, do they carry any type of disease, and how can I get ride of them?
 

Answer


Selectively prepare the locations where you wish to halt earthworm activity as follows:
 

1)remove castings from surface.

2)puncture soil surface with a pronged garden tool.

3)Soak soil under low pressure until it is saturated to depth.

4)Apply liquid carbaryl(Sevin) to a dilution prescribed for sod 
   webworm control in the evening.

5)Repeat if castings or worms reappear.

I understand how you feel about killing worms since they are beneficial.  Golf courses have a difficult time with worms.  their castings could make a difference in a golf tournament; especially on the green.


I hope I have been helpful.

Best wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Droppings identification

Question
I recently found droppings in the middle of my dining room floor that were a swirl-like shape of about 3/4 - inch wide. There was also what appeared to be dried urine in the same location. Can mice have diarrhea or loose stools? That's what it looked like. What type of animal left this? I am very perplexed. After finding this, we set two mouse traps but have not captured anything yet. Thanks for any insight you can shed on this situation, George.

 

Answer

Jodi---

This is indeed mysterious. 3/4 inch wide loose droppings/pre-diarrhea, in the middle of the dining room plus urine stains.

Carnivores will often leave a soft dropping that will be pointed at either end. The coloration will be dark, and when fresh, may appear shiny. the width that you describe does not seem like rats. What about a feral cat that entered the home? Raccoon droppings would be wide and blunt at the ends. Indoor cats, feeding on cat food, would have blunted ends as would dogs. The addition of meats would give a more pointed stool. As to urine stain, the odor from different animals would vary.

I assume this is a single occurrence. If so, check the entire building for entry points. possibly clinging hair to a pass-through. Foot prints could be seen on a dusty surface; for that matter, use corn starch as an indicator where an animal would likely wander or enter.

Please keep in touch with me on this situation. I, too, am interested in learning what you will discover.

Best wishes Jodi,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Question In 2004 who won the match between India-Newzeeland cricket series? Answer It seems that India beat New Zeeland Sangita Bhakat: Scoreboard: India: A R Uthappa lbw Smith 11 S Dhawan c Watling b Smith 4 A T Rayudu c Eathorne b Findlay 36 S Raina c Watling b Findlay 18 P Waghela c Watling b Findlay 7 K K D Karthik c & b Findlay 0 Sunny Singh not out 68 Gaurav Dhiman b Davis 38 A Sharma lbw Davis 3 P Gupta c & b Eathorne 1 R P Singh c Davis b Smith 6 Extras: (lb 5, w 13, nb 5) 23 Total: (all out, 47.2 overs) 215 Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-30, 3-71, 4-86, 5-86, 6-101, 7-167, 8-175, 9-185. Bowling: Davis 10-1-47-2, Smith 8.2-1-42-3, Bolstad 3-0-28-0, Findlay 10-0-36-4, McKay 10-2-29-0, Eathorne 5-0-25-1, Chrisp 1-0-3-0. New Zealand: P Carey c Wahgela b Gaurav Dhiman 1 B J Watling run out (Raina) 55 L Chrisp c Karthik b Singh 13 B Wilson c Sunny Singh b Sharma 30 D Flynn c Karthik b Wahgela 0(1) S McKay c Raina b Singh 19 S Eathorne run out (Sunny Singh) 0 B Findlay b Gupta 3 D Bolstad st Karthik b Sharma 4 TA Davis b Gupta 7 C Smith not out 0 Extras: (b 4, w 9, nb 1) 14 Total: (all out, 44.5 overs) 146 Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-26, 3-94, 4-100, 5-132, 6-132, 7-133, 8-139, 9-139. Bowling: Singh 9-0-23-2, Gaurav Dhiman 7-1-19-1, Gupta 7.5-1-17-2, Raina 9-1-29-0, Sharma 10-1-33-2, Rayudu 1-0-12-0, Wahgela 1-0-9-1. The best to you, George Manning

 

children and pest control


Should 20 month old babies be in the home while pest control in there treating the home?
 


Pesticides are defined by their labels, and, MSDS sheets are part and parcel of each pesticide by EPA requirement.  It is the duty of any pest professional to deliver the safety parameters to a client. 

Most home use pesticides can be used safely where there are crawling age children and older.  It is where children are confined to a crib or playpen that a more elevated caution is important.  Where liquid sprays are to be used, a drying time is an absolute and until dry,  children and pets should not be in the area of the application or during service.  Aerosols should not be used in the presence of occupants during their release.  Powders and dust applications should not appear on surfaces.  They are to be used in voids, cracks and crevices. 

Products with caution labels can be purchased by the home owner.  Warning labels are not to be self administered by non-licensed persons, unless they are working under the direct supervision of a licensed pest control technician.

I hope that I have been helpful.

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Greg


Career


hi george ,i am very interested doing this type of work. where can i get the training in ontario canada for this type of work?

greg


Hi Greg

You will find that our work can be very rewarding.  If you enjoy people and care to be helpful, you've got some of what it will take to prepare yourself for a career in this field.

I recommend contacting Purdue University's entomology department, and asking them for their recommendations. Purdue has the finest pest control correspondence course in the World. You do not have to go so far as becoming an Entomologist, such as myself.  The opportunity to study and train on the job will get you going.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity for someone who is curious and likes to figure things out.  Problem solvers are often the best people to serve in the industry.

Best wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

Expanded Question:

hi george,i am taking a course in pest control.i am working on my core manual and my structual license.i write my exam on tuesday.can you direct me to a place where i can find label calculations problems.something that with help me prepare my math skills for my exam.thank you


Answer:

Spray Mix Calculations


H. Willard Downs and William W. Casady


Department of Agricultural Engineering


Fred Fishel
Department of Agronomy


Liquid pesticide sprayers must apply the proper amount of a carefully mixed spray solution to be effective in controlling weed and insect pests. This publication describes procedures for determining how much pesticide to mix in the tank so the right amount of pesticide will be applied per acre.

Pesticides formulated to be applied as sprays are sold both as liquids and as dry materials such as wettable powders. Calculations for mixing liquids are different from calculations for dry materials. This two-part guide provides specific instructions for mixing both liquid and dry pesticides.

Liquid pesticides


Step 1


Determine the recommended application rate


Read the label. The recommended range of application rates for the specific formulation is given on the label. The selected pesticide rate should be based on soil, target pest and crop conditions.

Caution


Normally, the label will list pesticide application rates per acre in quarts or pints. However, some labels may list the application rate in pounds of active ingredient. If so, continue with Step 2. If the label refers to quarts, pints, or other volume measurements, go directly to Step 4.

Step 2


Determine the concentration of active ingredient
Read the label. The label will show the amount of active ingredient in each gallon of pesticide formulation. This amount is normally shown as pounds of active ingredient per gallon (gal).

Example


acid equivalent = 4 pounds per gallon 


Step 3


Calculate the volume of pesticide product to apply per acre
If the label gives the pesticide application rate in volume units such as quarts or pints, then the amount was found in Step 1. However, if the rate is shown as pounds of active ingredient per acre, then it is necessary to calculate the volume of pesticide to apply per acre. This volume can be found by dividing the pesticide application rate (Step 1) by the number of pounds of active ingredient per gallon (Step 2). 



Gallons of pesticide per acre = application rate (pounds per acre) ÷ concentration or acid equivalent


Example


Suppose you want to apply 1.5 pounds of 2,4-D per acre and the 2,4-D contains 4 pounds of active ingredient per gallon. 



Gallons of 2,4-D per acre = 1.5 pounds per acre ÷ 4 pounds per gallon = 0.375 gallon per acre or 3/8 gallon per acre 



You may find it useful to convert gallons per acre to pints per acre for measuring purposes.

Pints of 2,4-D per acre = 3/8 gallon per acre × 8 pints per gallon = 3 pints per acre 


Step 4


Calculate the number of acres sprayed by a full tank of the spray mixture

Note


If you use a sprayer with two or more tanks remember to consider the total volume of all tanks and to divide all ingredients proportionally among the tanks. All references to "tank" in the following material refer to the combined capacity of all tanks. 



The number of acres sprayed by a full tank is found by dividing the tank capacity by the sprayer application rate, which was found during calibration



Acres per tank = Total tank capacity (galllon per tank) ÷ Application rate (gallons per acre)


Example


Your spray tank holds 400 gallons and your sprayer application rate is 20 gallons per acre.



Acres per tank = 400 gallon per tank ÷ 20 gallon per acre = 20 acres per tank 



Small fields can be sprayed with partially filled tanks. The pesticide and carrier (water) are added to the tank until the tank is filled to the correct level. The correct volume of spray is the sprayer application rate multiplied by the number of acres. 



Example


You want to spray a 12-acre field and your sprayer applies 20 gallons per acre. 


Gallons of spray mixture = application rate (gallons per acre) × area to spray (acres)



Therefore, put (20 × 12 =) 240 gallons of pesticide and carrier in the tank.

Step 5


Calculate the volume of pesticide to mix in the tank


The volume of pesticide added to the tank is the number of acres per tank (Step 4) multiplied by the volume of pesticide per acre (Step 3). 



Volume of pesticide per tank = (acres per tank) × volume of pesticide per acre (gallons)

Example


You want to spray a full 400-gallon tank.

Gallons of 2,4-D per tank = 20 acres per tank (Step 4) × 0.375 gallon per acre (Step 3) = 7.5 gallons per tank

If you want to spray the small 12-acre field, the amount of 2,4-D added to the tank before bringing the volume up to 240 gallons would be:



Gallons of 2,4-D = 12 acres × 0.375 gallon per acre = 4.5 gallon 



Note


Partially fill the spray tank with water before adding pesticides.



Dry pesticides


Some pesticides are formulated and sold as powders and water dispersible granules for mixing with water. These dry formulations are recommended in units of weight per acre. The amount of active ingredient in these products is shown in percent. 



Step 1


Determine the recommended rate of application.


Read the label.The recommended range of application rates is given on the label. Be sure the rate you use is the right rate for your soil, target pest, and crop conditions. 



Caution


The rate can be shown in pounds of active ingredient or pounds of product. If the rate is shown as pounds of active ingredient, continue with Step 2. If the rate is shown as pounds of product, go directly to Step 4.



Step 2


Determine the concentration of active ingredient in the pesticide formulation


Read the label. The label will list the percentage of active ingredient.

Example


atrazine: 80 percent


Step 3


Calculate the weight of pesticide product to apply per acre. The weight of pesticide product to apply per acre is the pesticide application rate (pounds per acre) divided by the percent concentration.

Pounds of pesticide product per acre = (application rate × 100) ÷ percent active ingredient 


Example


You want to apply 1.5 pounds of atrazine and the label shows atrazine: 80 percent.



Pounds of atrazine formulation per acre = (1.5 pounds of atrazine per acre (Step 1) × 100) ÷ 80 (Step 3) = 1.875 pounds per acre

Step 4


Calculate number of acres sprayed by each full tank. Follow the procedure provided in Step 4 for liquid pesticides. 



Step 5


Calculate the weight of pesticide to mix in the tank.The weight of pesticide added to the tank is the number of acres per tank (Step 4) multiplied by the weight of pesticide per acre (Step 3).

Weight of pesticide per tank = (acres per tank) × application rate (pounds of product per acre) 


Example


You want to spray a full 400-gallon tank of spray.



Pounds of atrazine product per tank = 20 acres (Step 4) × 1.875 pounds of product per acre (Step 3) = 37.5 pounds per tank 



If you want to spray the small 12-acre field, the weight of atrazine product added to the tank before bringing the volume up to 240 gallons would be:



Pounds of atrazine product = 12 acres × 1.875 pounds of product per acre = 22.5 pounds


Note


Partially fill the spray tank with water before adding pesticides.



G01272, revised March 1997



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Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

Ellen


Ants and Worms In Apartment


I recently moved into a new apartment. Since I moved in I have been trying to get rid of ants that is living in the window frames, seems like they enter through a whole were a bos screw used to be. I have sprayed insect repellent but they keep on coming back. When I woke up yesterday morning my living room floor was black with ants on a cloe up they were carying worms. My entire living room and kitchen floor was full of worms. They were little about 1 cm white worms and the last small bit of their tale is black. The insect repellent I sprayed didn't kill them. Please help what can I do that is healthy to use inside a home, I cannot breath in my home from all the repellent but seems like all the insects can. Theirs a lot of spiders that also don't go away. I live in South Africa. I am thinking of moving as this is really bad but I just moved. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

 

Dear Ellen:

South Africa embraces a whole different Eco-system than my part of the World; however, there are always similarities when pointing out ant behavior and point of activity.

 You describe ants that, from my experience, may belong to a genus of ants known as Crematogaster, commonly called Acrobat ants in many parts of the world.

These ants are shiny and black and have a heart-shaped abdomen.  They will lift their abdomen upward when disturbed in such a way as to be called acrobat ants because of this behavior.  They are tiny; about 2.6 to 3.2 mm in length.  They, like many other specie will trail one behind the other when travelling to and from a food source.  When startled by an intruder, they will swiftly scatter in all directions.

It appears from your description, that your floor covered by ants carrying 1cm length worms, were ants carrying their pupae(third metamorphic stage of development--e.g., egg,larva, pupa, adult).  This phenomenon was probably that ants were in the process of swarming.  This can occur when ants split their colony in two or more parts. This happens while overcrowding has reduced the efficiency of the original colony, and, since there are multiple queens within a single colony, the colony could have been stimulated to send portions of their population elsewhere.  In so doing, they carried with them some of the colony's pupae.

Acrobat ants can infest older deteriorating wood, often occupying vacant termite tunnels.  They usually spread out on the horizontal in or between layers of wood such as your window frame.  These ants are, by no means exclusive to the house, but can be found under bark of trees and within portions of trees and shrubs that are dead.  They will also occupy the pith which is the interior of many plants.

I would contact a local pesticide supplier, who can recommend an ant bait that should be placed along walls where ants are traveling.  You can test ant taste preference by placing a protein such as bacon or dry cheese, or peanut butter on a piece of wax paper, as well as a sweet such as granular sugar or honey, within their travel area.  With information gained by your observation, you can purchase a bait containing a toxicant such as Fipronyl, boric acid, or avermectine.

I would not continue to use repellents such as you, have used.  You may have caused the whole colony to get up and leave because they were highly disturbed. They will only relocate somewhere else in your house. Besides that, you are doing nothing to eliminate these creatures.  The repellents will destroy the pheromone trails placed by foraging ants to signal other foragers to follow the trail to a selected food site but they'll form new trails later.

Our website, www.pestproblemssolved.com may be useful to you.

I hope that I have been helpful, Ellen.

Good luck, and be successful,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

Holes in my clothes

Question
I need your help, I don't know what to do anymore. About three years ago we moved to a brand new house in central Florida frp, Miami and about a year and a half ago I started finding little holes in the bottom portion of my shirts, mostly t-shirts of either 100% cotton or some type of cotton blend. The damage is contained to my bedroom walking closet, but it is only my shirts being affected, not my husbands. I have tried to resolve the problem myself by washing the clothes, vacuuming all the area and finally since the problem persisted, I used a bomb type pesticide inside the closet last month. I had thrown away all the affected clothing before I fumigated. Last week I started finding the holes again in a couple of shirts that I had just bought! Also, I have not found any dead or alive bugs of any kind or any casings, droppings or anything like that. I don't understand why it is only my clothes and why it the holes appear on the same spot (the bottom half of the shirts). Can you please help me figure out what bug is causing this and how do I get rid of it? I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Answer

You may be getting visits from crickets or silverfish. Both of these insects will be attracted to plant-based fabrics. Carpet beetles would leave molting as they develop through different larval stages. These castings would be detected by you eventually. Also the adult beetles will fly to windows where you would notice them.

I may be unaware of certain cotton feeding pests that occur in your Miami, Florida environment. Your State Entomology Department may be more helpful. The fact that your cottons, and not your husband's are damaged, appears as a mystery. This may be specifically the location, and not preference for your cottons. Why don't you switch locations for a time? Obviously, if his clothing becomes damaged, that portion of the mystery will be answered.

You also refer to the cottons as being damaged only on the bottom portion of the items. I can only suggest that the way the items are folded, and the portion of the fold that is resting on a surface of the shelving, may provide the pest with a liking for that portion of the item. Thigmotropism, the love of touching, making contact, could be a factor in location of damage.

You can use glue boards on which you place a slice of potato; removing the cottons for a while, until you capture several of these cotton(plant source fabric loving pests). In addition, you could place your targeted fabrics upon a fine dusting of diatomaceous earth. The microscopic diatom content's serrated edges will cut the exoskeleton of the pests that attack the fabrics; if they, indeed, are insects, causing their dehydration. The "d-earth" is non-toxic to you and will not damage clothing.

Best wishes,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Question
I have been finding what looks like huge mouse terds with white on one end around the edges of my living room, front door, and bottom of closet by the door. Are these cacoons of some insect or snake or other rodent poo?


Answer
as you have described the scat (feces), I an having difficulty answering your question,"Are these raccoons or a snake or other rodent poo"? Please answer the following questions so that I might better be able to help you solve your mysterious visitor problem:

1) What length is the scat?
2) How wide is the scat?
3) Is the scat pointed at one or both ends?
4) Do you see spots such as seeds in the scat?
5) Is the scat blunt at one or both ends?
6) Are these droppings smooth or appearing roughened on the surface?
7) By your question, I presume the scat is not round; correct?
8) Does this scat contain hair clinging to the surface?

Generally, you can divide scat into three classes; herbivore, carnivore, and omnivore. Examples of these are as follows:

1) herbivore/rabbit, deer/round or somewhat flattened and still roundish.
2) carnivore/fox/tapered at both ends, containing clinging hair, usually dark.
3) omnivore/raccoon, squirrel/ blunt at both ends, can be spotted in the case of raccoons.

Best regards,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

No pest Hi George :

My King Sago Palms are having a really really bad hair day !  On the underside of every leaf are white spots.  When the new growth starts , the prawns start out beautifully then quickly turn brown and shrivel up.

The palms are about 7 years old and this problem started about 1 1/2 year ago.  Not only the ones in my yard but pretty much all over the beach.  I live in Atlantic Beach , North Carolina.

Please help.........tell me what to do.  Maybe wrong , but i have already cut ALL the prawns/leaves off of about 4 of them , i have 6 more.  Just found your site.

Thank you so much for taking your time to help me.


Sincerely


Pace
 

 


Sago Palms are subject to homopterous pests such as scale insects which have recently been introduced into our country. Very early in the leaf development, you can apply an emulsion of detergent type soap.  You can add an oil of orange solution. 

Once the scales are established no scraping will help significantly.

I'd like you to apply a new product that is not at all phytotoxic but will work on the surface of the insects to destroy their protective exterior.  Look them up on the website www.plusnaturalsolutionsworldwide.com.  We are testing this product in many situations.  Please address your inquiry to Rick Moskovitz, and tell him that I encouraged you to try this product.

As a consulting entomologist, I am reached by many people who have ideas that may show value in combating pest problems such as yours.

I'd like you to engage Rick in your quest for a solution.  I'll be able to work with you through him.

The idea is to attack the factors that cause rapid destruction of the total plant.  Fusarium is able to enter the palm via the root injuries caused by the cycad scale, an insect that is vulnerable while it crawls upon the palm, but soon forms the protective scale that you are witnessing.  If the fungicide enters the palm, the palm will expire quite rapidly.  Once effected by the fusarium organism you should immediately apply Captan, a fungicide to the root system and to the fronds.  As a total treatment, spray the entire plant with Rick's product at the scale stage or even earlier.

Best wishes Pace,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

 

Expanded Question:

I live in northern South Dakota.  "Night Crawlers", are numerous in the area, and my yard seems to be a "hot bed".  I realize that they are good for my soil, but they create some really large "hills", if you will.  These deposits can actually get to be an inch or more tall.  Mowing what grass I have is treacherous, as I don't want to roll an ankle.  A little exaggeration there, but seriously, it is not a good time.  I have been told that a bleach solution (50-50 H2O) will bring them to the surface, and I can rake them up and dispose of them.  Is this my only solution?  Seems a bit drastic to me.  Again, I know they are only fertilizing my topsoil, but if I cannot enjoy my yard with them?  I would rather fertilize chemically, than continue stumbling in my yard.  I just bought the property last summer, maybe I should just start selling them to bait shops?


Answer:

This category is a complex of species that includes night crawlers, garden earthworms and red worms (Anellida: Lumbricus spp.). These animals are segmented terrestrial worms that normally inhabit healthy lawns with their presence seldom causing alarm. Earthworms are found in almost any soil which has adequate moisture and nutrients.

Damage symptoms: Very high earthworm populations may disrupt the roots of grass and plants in the lawn. The main concern to homeowners is the castings left on the soil surface that make the ground uneven and the lawn unsightly. The castings are evidence of worm digging activity because worms must eat their way through the soil and excrete the ingested soil on the surface. As these castings dry, they become hard and unpleasant to walk over.

Biology and life cycle: Earthworms are most abundant in moist heavy soil situations. Earthworms will migrate deep in the soil during the fall and return toward the soil surface in the spring. During the summer months, the proximity of earthworms to the surface depends upon the availability of soil moisture. Earthworms (Figure 9) are long and tubular. They have approximately 150 segments with the skin being covered with a secreted lubricating mucus. Each body segment possesses bristles that can be felt if the finger is rubbed against the underside of the worm. The worms also possess a distinctive raised smooth structure, the clitellum, about a third of the distance from the anterior end.  



At night during spring and early summer, earthworms will mate and deposit fertilized eggs within a cocoon on or near the soil surface. Each cocoon will contain from two to 20 eggs with an average of four. The cocoons are oval and approximately 1/8 inch long, with the eggs hatching in two to three weeks. Once hatched, the young worms begin tunneling and feeding in the soil.

Natural enemies: Earthworms are preyed upon by ants, centipedes, birds, snakes, beetle larvae and toads. They are also parasitized by species of protozoa, nematodes, fly larvae and mites. 



Sampling methods: There are no established methods of sampling for earthworms in lawns. The presence of earthworms can be determined by finding castings in the lawn or earthworms on the surface of the soil or sidewalk following a rain. Control is necessary only when the earthworm population develops to levels that damage the lawn or when castings severely roughen the surface of the lawn.

Cultural practices: Routine lawn maintenance schedules indirectly benefit worms. The healthier the lawn, the more attractive it is to earthworms. Worms, for the most part, benefit the lawn by recycling nutrients and aerating the soil. Excessive castings left by worms may be flattened with either a power rake or a weighted lawn roller when the surface of the soil is damp. Annual power raking each spring is often sufficient to destroy castings from season to season. THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN RETRIEVED FROM http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/landscap/e904-2.htm#Earthworm



Earthworms There are no lawn insecticides that list earthworms on the label of pests controlled. Publications from Ohio State University have listed the toxicity of the common lawn insecticides to earthworms. The only lawn insecticide that is listed as highly toxic to earthworms is carbaryl (Sevin). From this infomation the following control procedure is suggested: 

  

 

1. In early spring, lightly roll or power rake the lawn to remove old worm castings. 
  

2. Thoroughly water the lawn several hours before the application is to be applied. 
  

3. Apply liquid carbaryl (Sevin) insecticide at the label rate recommended for sod webworms.
       Evening applications are most effective. Do not water the lawn for several days after
       application. 
  

4. Repeat if castings continue to appear.

 




Earthworms There are no lawn insecticides that list earthworms on the label of pests controlled. Publications from Ohio State University have listed the toxicity of the common lawn insecticides to earthworms. The only lawn insecticide that is listed as highly toxic to earthworms is carbaryl (Sevin). From this infomation the following control procedure is suggested: 

  

1. In early spring, lightly roll or power rake the lawn to remove old worm castings. 
  

2. Thoroughly water the lawn several hours before the application is to be applied. 
  

3. Apply liquid carbaryl (Sevin) insecticide at the label rate recommended for sod webworms.
       Evening applications are most effective. Do not water the lawn for several days after
       application. 
  

4. Repeat if castings continue to appear. 



Wes, I've copied this information from the North Dakota State University Ag sheet for turf pests. It has been extracted from a bulletin at the site enclosed above.

Hope this can help you, otherwise, contact NDSU for further help.  You can also reach me again.



Best wishes,



George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

leeches? I have lived beside a creek for 45 years, this year I'm seeing these long tannish wormlike stuck on clapboard.What are they? How do I get rid of them? It is difficult to eliminate leeches. One mechanical way to reduce their numbers is possible. Punch a number of 1/8 inch holes in an empty coffee can or similar metal container. Place a piece of beef or other meat such as chicken in the can. place a tight fitting lid on the can. Submerge the can, keeping it weighted down so as not to allow it to resurface or tip over. Inspect this so called trap several times per week, removing the attached leeches. This method can reduce the concentration of leeches in your immediate area. Finding a place in the shallows, possibly where there is waterplant life could be an ideal setting. Let me know if we've been helpful , Best regards, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Leeches!

Question
It is the middle of the night and i walk into my kitchen and what do i see...leeches! At first i noticed they were coming out under the dishwasher(they left a trail), now i see them under the stove! What i do is throw salt on them and it kills them. But i have no idea how to get rid of all the leeches that must be lurking under the appliances. I have children who sometimes are up before me looking for food in the kitchen, is the slime that the leeches leave behind bad for our health if we step on it? Is having leeches in the house bad for our health?

 

Answer
You are seeing slugs, snails without shells. They are attracted to a chronic moisture content of wood, probably plywood, that is endlessly moist from water seeping from the hoses of the dishwasher.

When you apply salt to the area where the slugs are moving about, you are causing the critters to lose water, since salt will draw moisture out of these slugs. Call this phenomenon osmosis; water moving from a greater concentration through a semi-permeable membrane(the slug's body content) to the outer salt(lesser water content).

It would seem that your dishwasher is in an area easily accessible by slugs that are attracted to the chronic humid environment.

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

Getting bitten but cannot seen the culprit I have spent a fortune on trying to figure out what is biting me. We have had 4 different pest control companies here, and I am still getting bit. They told me to go to the Dr. The bites happen mostly in the evening when I am sitting on the couch, but have gotten bites in other places in the house. I feel the bite, but I never see what it is. I have taken a lint roller over the couch and carpet, but do not see anything, even got my sons magnifier out and could not see anything. The bites are always consistent in their shape. Feel the bite, bump appears sometimes red, becomes itchy, scratch the bite, and the top of the bump peels off and it looks like a small hole in my skin. The bites take forever to heal, and they can become very itchy more after the initial bite. Some bites are bigger that others, but the bites are mostly on my upper body, arms , back of neck , face, but lately they are biting on my legs and stomach and back. I have bombed the house, used Cutters insect repellent and tried all kinds of other things. I have been researching the Internet and still do not know what could be biting and you do not see them. None of the pest control companies is used know what it could be, they treated for fleas, bed bugs, mites etc,. Please help, Thank you. Morgellon's Disease is sometimes described by many of the symptoms you are reporting. Since no one has been successful in locating a problem, and since you are the only occupant experiencing these symptoms, I offer you the Wikipedia reporting, which is quite detailed, and may be helpful. Best regards, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Hi George thanks for the service. We live in Eastern US - Pgh, PA to be exact and recently I had landscaping done in front of my home. We have a vinyl home. I noticed the one large mound of soil the landscaper put in to create a mound touches my home in a 12 inch area against the vinyl siding. So it is mulch directly against the siding in about a 12 inch area (12 inches long by maybe 8 inches high). This area is then covered in mulch and rocks and a small tree. My concern is should mulch go up a house or even touch a home made of vinyl? I am concerned of any insects living in the mulch and then just tucking themselve into the vinyl and coming on it. I realize realistically an insect could get in anyway but does having that mulch butt against the house a dangerous thing? Thank you!
 


Mulch is being employed by landscapers to a point that becomes counterproductive.  Most mulch is being adapted for use from ground up tree material.

Your concern is valid.  When vinyl covers the bottom skirt of your sided home, it permits moisture retention, mold development, composting which produces added warmth for invertebrate life, encourages termite development, acrobat ant introduction, and may counter the soil requirements of certain plant specie.

If a mulch is desired, find one that does not produce these negative characteristics such as cocoa bean shells or volcanic lava rock.,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control and Exterminator


 

Expanded Question:

I have a large oak tree in my yard that at times smells like vinegar and has black at about 2 1/2 to 3 feet up from the base.  There are also some holes in the tree in this general area.  There are some insects moths, bees, weird looking ants that frequent the tree.  I am concerned that this tree is becoming hollow.  What do I do?


Answer:

Insects are attracted to the vinegar smell coming from below the cambium layer of your oak tree.  This is the result of a bacterial infection under the cambium, causing seepage to run down the bark.  The name of this disease is slime flux.



Helping the tree through this illness is limited to applying large amounts of water to the root system.  Water at the rate of 1 gallon per each inch of trunk girth measuring the diameter from 4.5 feet above the ground.



A more contagious disease, uncommon, is Sudden Oak Disease (SOD), which would certainly be known by your State agricultural or forestry departments.

I am only guessing, since I have no view of the tree, but the holes that you see on the bark, may be the result of woodpecker drilling.  Such a possibility could produce a tree infection; whereby, woodpeckers could have transferred bacteria from sick trees to your once healthy tree.

I think this is one situation where State Forestry can help you.

Best wishes Jada,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

Mysterious Droppings

Question
I've noticed small, black droppings on the outside walls of my condo. I'm wondering what leaves droppings on a vertical surface? I live in Pensacola, Florida, if that helps.
Thank you.

Answer

Bats will often leave droppings on a vertical surface; especially below a point of entry to their abode. Look for emerging bats at dusk, as they swiftly tumble out and take wing.

Droppings can be crushed into a dust that contains insect parts. Tremendous energy is required for bats to remain air-born all night , catching thousands of insects; therefore, their food becomes a rapidly digested, energy sustaining "fuel".

One should not attempt to evict and exclude bats during the period between May and August, since young bats, not yet on "wing"and will be trapped inside their enclosure. Dead bats can attract scavengers such as carpet beetles, larder beetles, flies, and even fungi.

In removing bat guano, one should take precautions to prevent inhaling dust that can contain histolysis and rabies.

Techniques for ridding a home of bats can be found on the web.

I hope that I have been helpful Angela,

Best wishes,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Pest Control --

Springtails in Scottsdale, AZ


I have identified a pest called a springtail.  What method can I use to get rid of 
them?  They look like a very small ant, but are not like ants and ant poison
doesn't work.  Is there something I can use in my house.  I can't find them in the 
garden of my condominium except rarely.
 


Springtails have a tiny appendage which is folded below the tail end of the abdomen.  when the creature unfolds this appendage it is propelled forward in a springing action.  This insect is placed in the Order Collembola.  Its habitat is always within a humid area such as upon windowsills where they will feed upon algae,and fungi. 


Moist places such as drains, decaying vegetable matter overly wet soil of potted plants,cork insulation, are examples of indoor sustainable springtail locations.

change the environment with a fan blowing over the pest sites.  Dehumidifiers, air conditioning are all helpful in elimination of such a culture.

Outdoor locations can be mulch, loose debris, cement expansion joints, and with some specie, actual live plants.

They do no significant damage but can annoy the housewife, who manages the home, finding these creatures obnoxious.

One can spray surfaces where springtails abound with one of the pyrethroid insecticides of choice.

Our website is linked to a supplier should you not locate one in your
immediate area.

ved.com

Best regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

Pest control chicago

exterminating chicago

 

Pest droppings

Question
We have found our garbage spilling over a bit in the morning (located under the sink) and this morning we found two--3/4-1" droppings- thin tubular with rope-like texture. Not glossy, no hairs or other fibers sticking out of it. This is in southern California. We weren't sure if it was a rat...but from the pictures I looked at of rat droppings it wasn't a real match. And, I assumed that they would leave more droppings than just two. We do have a garden near to our house...but have not noticed any nesting- Any advice you can offer will be appreciated!
Thanks for your help.


Answer
Did you take a picture of these droppings?

Rat scat will be shaped very much like olive pits. Texture could be rough or smooth depending on diet. Roof rats (Alexandrian, fruit rats, and other monikers for the same rat species), could appear slightly different than the norway rat (sewer rat, barn rat, alley rat, many names for the same creature).

Sounds like some rodent could have done this. If you can tell me about supporting info such as sounds, time of day, missing garbage content; could be useful.

Look for a spot where garbage content could have been dragged such as below a couch or under and behind kick plate of cabinetry.

Please get back for further discussion.

Regards Michel,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

insect problem


Hello.


I am having a problem that is directly related to my dog. For the past few monthes i have been dealing with an unknown creature(s) that have me infested. At first i thought that i had a flea problem but know i am beginning to think it's some other type of insect. just about all day and all night everyday (if i sit quietly) i start feeling these very little tiny things crawling on me and occasionally biting me. the areas of my body that are affected are mainly in my shoes and socks and my pants and legs. sometimes i will feel them on my face and in my shirt. judging by their movement, it feels like they are about the size of a grain of sand or a little smaller. everytime i go to look to see what is moving on me and biting me, i cannot find anything at all! i would take numerous samples of the affected area by using s piece of clear scotch tape and applying it to the area in hopes of getting whatever it is to stick to the tape. then i would take my handheld microscope and look to see and i still cannot find anything. i would take samples of my skin, pants, shoes, socks, carpet, my dog, and still nothing. no sign of any fleas or anything else that i know of or at least anything that looks like an insect or something with legs. i have tried many things to eliminate these constant pests or i would like to call them (little juggernuats of hell)! i have used flea bombs, 2 different types of flea killer sprays, 97% rubbing alchol, fire (heat), steam, washing all clothes, pillows and blanket with color safe, bleach, borax, salt, boiling hot water, and many other things i cant quite remember. the flea bombs worked for only 1 night then they came back. i even used 2 bombs that one night in one room (more them recommended) cause i need to sleep and these things are driving me up the wall. boiling hot water seems to work, but i am not too sure on that. for when i used so many chemicals to kill the supposed fleas, my dog would not be in my room. as i know, when i let my dog in my room, 4 days later i have this problem. when i go to do these things, i never let my dog in my room and it takes about 2 weeks for the problem to go away. i just recently started my dog on adavntage and when i took my dog to the groomers for a flea bath, the groomer found only 1 flea on him. so my dog is not infested with fleas and i cannot see any fleas that are crawling and biting on me. just what the hell is it? i have no allergic reactions that i know of and the affected areas do not show any rashes, scars, bumps, or redness or itchyness. also, many of my friends that i have told this problem to, think that my problem is all in my head. i strongly disgree. i have never had this kind of problem ever. what ever these bugs are, they seem to attach themselves within the fibers of the fabrics of my clothes and my blanket. can you please help me? tell me what i am dealing with here. i have spent alot of money trying to eliminate this problem and have done so much. many sleepless nights. i have ran out of options, that is why i am seeking an expert who can help me.
also, if you strongly believe that what i am dealing with is fleas, tell me exactly how big a flea is right when they hatch.


special note:


my dog is a beagle 8 years old and a male


i also have another dog that is some sort of terrier, but this dog nevers enters into my room.


thanks.
 

Answer

"Paper Mites"

Pin prick-like biting sensations, usually on exposed skin and often producing inflammations that resemble insect bites, can be a persistent problem in some offices. Occupants tend to blame these "bites" on some sort of pest infestation, typically fleas (which are extremely rare in office buildings) or "paper mites" (which do not exist).  Affected spaces are often sprayed with a pesticide in the absence of any evidence that insects are responsible. "Paper mites" are generally a cleaning or indoor air pollution problem rather than a pest problem. Only rarely are the specific culprits in "paper mite" cases positively determined, although there are often strong suspects. Shards of fiber glass insulation (such as from batting above drop ceilings), particles from both newly installed as well as worn carpet and carpet pads, and paper dust from separating forms and computer printouts along tear-lines are some of the most common proven causes of pin prick-like irritations. The dry air of many workplaces not only makes skin more sensitive to these tiny splinters, it increases the static electricity that is responsible for the particles "jumping" onto exposed skin (sometimes the static-charged bits are mistaken for living bugs). Any activity that stirs up accumulated dust, such as office renovation or the purging of old files, often leads to a "paper mite" outbreak. In cases where there is no obvious explanation, or multiple factors are suspected, an industrial hygienist may be called in to investigate.

The Role of Management. The most common mistake of management in "paper mite" situations is to automatically request a pesticide treatment and thereby become liable in the event occupants experience adverse reactions to the chemical. The second most common mistake is for supervisors to dismiss the complaints of biting as total fabrications. Although there are cases where people imagine they are being attacked by unseen parasites, most bite-like sensations in offices involve a genuine source of skin irritation. The circumstances can be further complicated, since health care professionals unfamiliar with the "paper mite syndrome" frequently misdiagnose the resulting welts as insect bites. Others may believe that microscopic dust mites are involved. These are real organisms but cause respiratory distress rather than bites. Finally, it is normal for the coworkers of a person complaining about "paper mites" to develop a heightened sensitivity to their own skin irritations, often simply through the power of suggestion. Management must treat all concerned with sympathy and respect, but emphasize that pesticide treatment cannot be undertaken without positive confirmation that a pest problem exists.

Inspection. An inspection of the affected area should be carried out by a pest control professional who understands that pests may not be involved. Usually when real parasites are present, they are abundant and readily seen. The most common types in office buildings are mites coming from bird nests or from concealed infestations of rodents. Occasionally fleas living on guard or working dogs will bite people who work in the vicinity. If a thorough investigation fails to produce any specimens, a non-pest cause is probably responsible. Nevertheless, it is standard procedure to monitor the area with sticky traps. In addition, occupants should be instructed to capture anything they suspect is biting them on a piece of clear adhesive tape. The PMC will identify all such samples submitted from installations. Even a single parasite specimen is justification for pesticide treatment. However, the captured items are typically bits of debris or tiny, harmless insects that are commonly present in buildings.

Inspection for Airborne Particles. When it is reasonably certain that there are no biting insects in the affected space, the pest control program is no longer involved.

Remedial Action. It is not unusual for a pesticide application to bring temporary relief to occupants with a "paper mite" problem. Part of the relief may be psychological, though sprays do settle irritating particles and decrease static electricity. Although it is unethical and sometimes illegal for pesticides to be used in this fashion, the same results can be obtained by legitimate means. A program of frequent damp cleaning, including carpet washing with water only, is often an effective short-term response while efforts are made to identify and eliminate the source of the irritation. Cleaning by vacuuming rather than wiping is not recommended; unless the vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter, more dust may become airborne. Use of humidifiers or air purifiers can be of tremendous benefit if the affected space is not too extensive. It may be worthwhile for some employees to seek the advice of a dermatologist or other medical specialist, since techniques such as the use of moisturizers and the avoidance of harsh soaps are frequently prescribed to minimize irritation problems.

This review is from a non-recorded document in my files.  It is not authored by me, nor can I locate its author.

Let me add that there are often medical subtleties that do not get diagnosed.  Not being a physician, and being an entomologist, does not give me license to practice medical advice.  I can talk from past experience when I suggest that thyroid imbalance can sometimes mimic bites as well as side effects from drug therapy.

I hope that I've been helpful.  If you wish, follow up with me so that I can know of your progress.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Question: A I live in San Antonio, TX; a brick home with one hardiplank wall in the backyard. For the last month, we have been hearing scratching noises in the corner of our bedroom wall where the bricked wall meets the hardiplank. Sometimes it sounds like something is playing with an electrical wire and other times it just scratches and there are sounds of debris or "pebbles" falling down the wall. This noise is the loudest in the morning around 5-6AM, but I have noticed it in the afternoons around 3-4PM and occasionally at night around 2AM. Sometimes the noises are loud while others I can barely hear them. On June 17, 08; my husband removed a board from the area where the hardiplank and brick meet (one corner of our bedroom) as there was a large gap big enough for a mouse to crawl through. He sealed the gaping space and replaced the board and caulked it. He also put poison in the attic for this critter and on July 4, 08;we heard noise in the attic and believe it dropped the poison down inside the wall, which landed near my side of the bed (the opposite side from the scratching noises) and jolted me awake. The scratching in the wall continued for a week after that which prompted me to call a pest company. They came out, sealed the outside of the house/roof, found what was considered the entry point on the roof and set traps in the attic. A week later, we still hear the noises in the wall and the traps are not sprung. Our rodent technician doesn't believe it's a mouse or rat, but a mechanical problem. He believes this because he says there are no droppings in the attic, no paw prints and on the outside of the bricked wall in our backyard, there is a fuse box, cable box, water meter and natural gas line. The gas line comes across our bedroom wall diagonally and goes up to the attic for our Heating Unit (our AC is electric). He asked me to tape record the noise and keep notes of days/times we hear it. He really wants to know what this problem is, and we have paid for his company's service/warranty for a year from now. Any suggestions about our pesty noise? Could it be a mouse that has found a way in that our tech missed? We are the original owners of the house, which was built in 2000; and we've never had any noises like this before. Answer: Roof rats can be secretive, and unseen. Voles can be completely hidden, and behave as you describe. Raccoons will leave rub marks on surfaces where they squeeze into an opening. hair clinging to a surface can help in identification. The clues you offer are provocative but not enough for me to help. Being in Texas, you may have some creature that I'm not familiar with. I'd suggest that you may have a squirrel problem, but the 2 AM is too early for them---they're still sleeping. Mice can be noisy but will give themselves away as they seek a food supply. Contact your State Forest Ranger Department. The company you retained , should do the research. Let me know Darla, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

shower worms


I have just noticed black 1/2 inch worms where my shower meets (it is in two pieces put together).  They live where moisture stays , most likely, hidden in the crack where both sides meet. The shower is on the second level, I live in CT, and we have a basement.  Sometimes I see little flies that look like moth flies but have a distinct large white dot on each wing.  Could the worms be turning to flies? Thank you.
 


Psychodids, also known as sewer flies, moth flies, sand flies, have such a larvae as you describe.  I have answered this very question numerous times in the past.  If you will look for these similar questions in the index of past questions and answers, you will find what you are looking for.

If you require further assistance please follow up with an additional request.

Best wishes Cathy,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Chicago Pest Control Exterminatior

 

Slugs


I live in Richmond, VA (approx. 2 hours south of D.C.) I have slugs come into my house (How they do it I don't know. I patched the only hole I could find near where they are) in my kitchen, next to my cat's food bowl. How do I get rid of them, and could they be attracted to my cat's food (it's dry food, and there's food in the bowl all day.)?


Answer
 


Slugs will not travel along a dry area of floor.  Please give me location in relation to moisture such as a basement humid situation, drainage issues, proximity to exterior, humid situations, inverted plant pots, etc.

I'll get a better way to help if you elaborate in this recommended vein.

Thanks David, keep me posted,

Good luck,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Expanded Question:

I live in Richmond, VA (approx. 2 hours south of D.C.) I have slugs come into my house (How they do it I don't know. I patched the only hole I could find near where they are) in my kitchen, next to my cat's food bowl. How do I get rid of them, and could they be attracted to my cat's food (it's dry food, and there's food in the bowl all day.)?


Answer:

Slugs will not travel along a dry area of floor.  Please give me location in relation to moisture such as a basement humid situation, drainage issues, proximity to exterior, humid situations, inverted plant pots, etc.

I'll get a better way to help if you elaborate in this recommended vein.



Thanks David, keep me posted,



George Manning


American Pest Solutions


 

Expanded Question:

We have found small hard brown bits in the draw where we keep our knives an forks. At first we thought it was something that had fallen in the draw (like pips).  We cleared it up, however it keeps reappearing.  We can not see why any pest would be drawn there as there is no food. What do you think it could be?  We can not see how it would get in.


Answer:

Small brown excrement may come from mice even though you have no food there.  Not knowing where you reside, I have no clue as to what species of rodent is leaving droppings.



There are some large roaches that leave fairly large dropping also.



You can mail this scat to me at 9138 S. Baltimore, Chicago, IL 60617.  I will be able to I.D. the creature by viewing this evidence.  



Thanks for your inquiry Andy,



Regards,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

small holes in my lawn I live in Vacaville, California. My backyard lawn has small 1/4" to 3/8" holes and around the holes the grass is dead. These holes are only in one area. There is no mound of dirt around the holes, just a clean hole. The holes look like someone drilled in the ground. I have tried the normal bags of lawn pest controlers for many months with no help. I used a detergent / water solution on the area and what looked like a pincher bug came out of the soil. Only one bug, There is about 8 to 10 holes. Thanks for the help Larry Holes of the size you describe can be attributed to the emerging holes drilled upward by annual or periodic cicadas. If there is no soil around the holes, this may be your problem. the holes will eventually fill in. Are you seeing very large wasps flying around you when you are in the yard? If so, you are seeing Cicada killer wasps. These creatures capture cicadas to feed their developing larvae. They are not social wasps. they will dig holes but you will see a horseshoe pile of dirt around their burrows. Let me know if this makes sense. Regards Larry, George Manning Consulting Entomologist Pest Control Chicago

 

Black Widows

Hello my name is Misty and I live in Ga. very close to Savannah so it is very hot here. I am trying to do some research on Black Widow Spiders. We bought our home when it was under construction and a bout 4 months after we moved in we started seeing the spiders between our vinyl and stucko. Wesaw 5-6 then. Last summer we had our house sprayed and the exterminater said while he was spraying there were 4 he spotted? This year has been horrible I know my husband has killed 9 and I have killed 4.. We have 3 small children and this scares me.. What should we do and should we be worried?

Thanks in advance for the help..

Answer

Try drilling small holes in the stucco and flushing the interior space with a combination of silica gel and diatemeceous earth. In addition, use an insecticide that is encapsulated. spray on both outside and inside surfaces. This is a job for your exterminator. Let me know.

Regards Misty,

George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago Exterminator
 

 

Expanded Question:

I'm just wondering what states black widows are usually not found in because i will be moving out of minnesota and im deathly afraid of spiders and i dont want to move to a place where they are common.


Answer:

Black widow spiders are found throughout the USA to some extent, although not always plentiful.  Northeastern States have much less Black Widow spiders reports than Western, Southern and Southeastern States.  I have heard that Rhode Island is free of Black Widows. 



I would suggest that you contact the State Agricultural Department of any State where you might consider moving.



Best Regards, Jessica,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions
 

 

spiders


im just wondering what states black widows are usually not found in because i will be moving out of minnesota and im deathly afraid of spiders and i dont want to move to a place where they are common


Black widow spiders are found throughout the USA to some extent, although not always plentiful.  Northeastern States have much less Black Widow spiders reports than Western, Southern and Southeastern States.  I have heard that Rhode Island is free of Black Widows.

I would suggest that you contact the State Agricultural Department of any State where you might consider moving.

Best,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator
 

Question ok, i know i'm going to sound paranoid, but when i went down to my basement today i swear to god i saw a black widow and her mate in a corner. it was jet black and had a red hour glass mark nd was about half an inch. now i'm freaking out b/c i heard they were REALLY poisonous, nd i can't afford to be rushing to the hospital. what do i do? do we have to leave the house? it doesn't seem like an infestation, i only saw one, but what if it laid its eggs, pardon my language, but are we screwed? Answer Spiders are not always easily killed with insecticides unless you make direct contact with the appropriate pesticide. why not get into the habit of vacuuming up these unwanted critters. You can be effective with widow spider removal, using only the vacuum cleaner. You can follow with a 1/2 teaspoon of DeltaDust to rid the vacuum cleaner's spider content. Black widows are somewhat retiring. but are not different than other spiders that you want to remove. Find them and vacuum them up is the surest way to freedom from fear of being bitten. Best wishes Sheila, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com American Pest Solutions

 

Brown Recluse Infestation


Hi George,


I am writing to ask you some advice for control and eradication of Brown Recluse Spiders in Tennessee. A new hire in my department recently moved here to Tennessee into an apartment complex with his family. After one week, there was a Brown Recluse outbreak throughout the majority of the complex, including his unit. Since then, he has found over 30 Brown Recluses in his unit alone. They are moving to a new apartment complex but are very concerned about the spiders remaining in clothes, furniture, and especially upholstered furniture. Do you have any advice on how to make sure they are gone from thier belongings without being bitten? Any and all advice is very much appreciated! Thanks for yoru time!
 


The first thing that comes to mind is that you could place all belongings that you suspect having BR spiders in a refrigeration unit.

You can create this by placing a window air conditioner unit within
 one room and allowing the room temperature to drop to 23 degrees for a period of 72 hours.  Naturally, the temperature will not be permanent, and walls, ceilings and floors should not be effected; however, the aftermath of the venture will be a great deal of condensation.  Windows and doors plus a house fan or a dehumidifier will clear this condition at that time.

I'm visualizing belongings being moved to this room so that one can go through belongings without fearing bites.  The room should be sealed at doors and windows so that human entry is possible but when doors are closed, no escape by spiders is possible.  In addition, place glue boards at locations where spiders will move about at night.

Go through the basement and crawl spaces with a sprayer that will fan spray walls floors and ceilings.  Do not re-enter these areas for 24 hours.  When reentering, use a powerful shop vac to vacuum every conceivable hiding place, cracks, crevices and voids.  Before emptying the contents of the shop vac, use several ounces of DeltaDust to further assure that spiders captured are killed.  Just vacuum the powder into the shop vac.

Once you have processed belongings through the cooling cycle and then moved the contents to your new location, be certain that the new home has been treated with Suspend SC and DeltaDust first.

As an added caution place glue boards throughout the new home as a test to see if spiders have been eliminated from the old residence.

This may sound like over-kill but your chances of complete success could be obtained this way.

Our website is linked to a pest control supplier should you not have one nearby.

Consulting Entomologist

www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control

 

Bird nests on second story air conditioner site


Hi,George.   How can I deter birds from nesting around my window a/c unit on the second story of my home? I've had the nests removed, but they come right back.  It's disturbing my son who tries to sleep, but can't due to the sparrows.  What can I do?
 

Second floors are a handiperson's job with the use of a ladder.

The a/c unit should be kept protected by placing 1/2 inch nylon netting in front of the unit.  Stretch wire around all four sides of the window at the outer most portion of the window space.  Fasten the netting via eye hooks so that the netting has equal tension from all points of the prepared wire.

If you need to service the a/c unit, make sure that you are able to easily unfasten the screening when necessary.

You may not be aware of histoplasmosis, a fungus picked up by many bird specie from the soil.  The dust from bird feces can be carried into a sleeping room while one sleeps, and infect the lungs.  There are cases of death from such a situation.

I recommend that you read up on this common and ever-present fungus made available by bird dung that becomes airborne.

Flock birds such as pigeons, starlings, and sparrows are the worst offenders.  They carry the fungus but do not die from it.

Best wishes 


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago


 

Bob


Birds in Soffit


George:My soffit is hanging down and birds are making a nest inside the soffit. I can reach the soffit from inside my attic. Is there a repellent that I can use to get rid of the birds, so I can repair the soffit? Thanking You In Advance Bob


Answer: Birds in Soffit


Greetings Bob:

What you describe is doable but will require persistence to follow your template approach, specifically eviction and exclusion.  There is a product, with several trade names that can be Googled for your detailed information, the active ingredient is methyl anthranilate, a bitter, smelly extract from concord grapes.  Spray this material into the void that birds are using.  You may want to repeat the application several times.  Dust the interior area with a product known as DeltaDust to wipe out bird mites that may be left behind when birds are gone, and may invade your household.  Following this application, attempt to remove the nesting material before repairing the soffit.

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

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