Blog

Recognizing and Controlling Cicada Killer Wasps in Des Moines, IA

Cicada Killer Wasps Often, people are terrified when confronting a certain type of wasp, known as cicada killer wasps, mainly because of their unusually large size and appearance. When you hear their name, it can be even more intimidating, but take heart. They don’t kill people. They’re called cicada killer wasps because they eat cicadas, which can be damaging to young trees, so in a sense, they’re actually beneficial. On the other hand, cicada killers, which belong to a group of solitary wasps, can be bothersome, especially around high-traffic homes, golf course greens or around swimming pools. These wasps, also known as ground digger wasps, can also significantly damage gardens and lawns when they dig up grass to create dens for laying eggs. Here are some of the ways to control cicada killer wasps and how to recognize them. Physical Features As one the North America’s largest wasps, the size of a cicada killer wasp looks daunting compared to a bumble bee as some of them are as long as 3”, although most adults are about 1 ½ to 1 5/8 “ long. Usually, the males are smaller than the females. They have a black body with yellow or white…
Read Full Post

They Won’t Build Anything, But Carpenter Bees Will do Plenty of “Remodeling” Work For You!

Are Des Moines Carpenter Bees Causing A Problem Around Your Home? Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees which are also large, hairy and distinctive with their black and yellow coloring. The difference may be hard to see since we usually don't want to get too close to a bee, but their "tail" is actually black and shiny, a trait that differs from their doppelgänger, the bumblebee. Another difference? While the workers in a bumblebee colony will sting if provoked, it's rare to be stung by a carpenter bee. Anyway, as you may have guessed by their name, it's not their sting you have to worry about. The well-being of your house is another story, however, but not for the reason you might think. How Carpenter Bees Do Damage Carpenter bees often live by themselves in nests inside wood. Using their strong jaws, they'll tunnel into a tree limb, a beam, your deck, a porch railing, or any other wooden structure they find handy. Rather than eating the wood they bore through, they use the particles to construct individual cells. (They actually feed on pollen and nectar just like honeybees.) If you spot a large bee going in or coming out…
Read Full Post

Have Your Pet’s Fleas Infested Your Des Moines Home?

 Are Fleas In Your Des Moines Home? Fleas are one of the most difficult household pests to live with -- and to get rid of! One of the reasons is that they multiply so quickly. Female fleas are capable of laying more that 5,000 eggs throughout their lifetime (which is a relatively short 2-3 months on average), meaning that if you start seeing a flea here and there, brace yourself, because you'll soon be seeing many more! A flea's life consists of four stages: egg larva pupa imago (adult) Eggs The number of eggs a female flea lays depends on its species, with some laying as few as two eggs and some laying as many as two-three dozen at a time. Many varieties lay their eggs on their "blood host" (i.e., your cat or dog), whereupon the eggs drop to the ground or the floor of your bedroom, living room, or wherever your pet frequently lies down to catnap or rest. Once laid, flea eggs take anywhere from two days to two weeks to hatch, again depending on the species. Larvae The larvae emerge from the eggs and proceed to feed on any organic material they can find, such as…
Read Full Post

Interesting Facts About Fruit Flies We Bet You Didn’t Know

Fruit Flies In Des Moines When the weather changes, so does the level of pest activity. With colder weather, we would expect pest activity to slow down. This is not necessarily true with fruit flies. With a food source and somewhere to set up shop, fruit flies can even thrive during winter months. The fruit fly has proven an interesting study, providing important information related to the evolutionary process of sexual selection. According to an article found in Science Daily, fruit flies produce over 2-inches of sperm, 23 times longer than its body and over 1,000 times longer than human sperm. Now, that is some extreme sperm. Yet it wasn't always that way. Sexual selection due to female promiscuity, increased competition among males which became the stimulus for the lengthier sperm. The length of the sperm was found to be influenced by the female's preference for larger, more robust males, thus augmenting their evolutionary progress. Smaller fruit flies with smaller sperms were rejected. A perfect example of survival of the fittest. Since the sperm is usually smaller than the eggs, males could produce more of them increasing the likelihood of successful fertilization, especially when the females mate with several males. Fruit flies only…
Read Full Post

Signs You May Need a Termite Inspection In Des Moines Iowa

Termites typically live in colonies in the ground underneath your home, and will enter the structure of your home from underneath. This will most commonly happen in the spring and summer after the ground thaws, when termites will look to reproduce and start new colonies. This makes it critical that you know the signs indicating there is a termite infestation in your home, so that you can have these termites eradicated before they cause extensive damage throughout your home. Here are a few of the signs you can lookout for this summer which indicate that you are likely in need of a termite inspection in Des Moines. You See a Swarm One of the clearest signs that it is time to have your home inspected for termites is if you witness a termite swarm. A termite swarm will generally occur on a warm day during the spring or summer, when termites come out of the ground to reproduce and start their own colonies, potentially inside your home. This swarm may take place around your home, such as near a tree stump or a pile of dried out firewood, or it may actually occur inside your home. No matter where the…
Read Full Post