Blog - Miller the Killer - Miller Pest & Termite

What is a Cicada Killer Wasp?

Have you ever been out in your yard working in the garden, or playing with the kids and suddenly a huge black wasp with a few yellow rings on its abdomen appears and begins to buzz (or shall we say rumble) uncomfortably close? Chances are, this oversized insect is non-other than the Cicada Killer Wasp. If your yard is level, well drained, and is fairly close to some tall deciduous trees, you may have qualified yourself for the presence of this fascinating creature.   Are They Dangerous? The good news is, despite their daunting name, these wasps are generally gentle giants when it comes to their interaction with humans; in fact, the males (seen predominantly in July) are somewhat territorial, but physically not in a position to sting, since that particular appendage is used for mating. If you notice them invading your personal space, it's very likely that you're in close proximity to their breeding ground. In late July/early August, the females appear and begin looking for a mate. Although females are quite capable of inflicting a painful sting, it is not very high on their list of priorities, and they usually only do so in cases of self-defense, or if…
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How to Eliminate Asian Beetles in Your Garden or Home

The most identifiable form of Asian beetle is what is often called the "ladybug," in the West, and of course, these are benign. But there are some Asian beetles that can cause serious damage to gardens and homes. The key is to be able to identify them so you can then prevent and rid yourself of them in the long run. Asian Beetles And How They Are Destructive Not all Asian beetles are types that can tear up gardens including the Byrony Ladybird, for example. These insects are orange with the exception that they have eleven spots on them. Others include the Mexican Beat Beetle, the Squash Beetle, and certain types of the Potato Ladybird. These insects will chew on leaves in gardens, but they will also eat different vegetables and fruits as well. In particular, the Potato Ladybird variant with the 28 spots, will eat potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchinis and many other vegetables. It's important to recognize and get rid of these pests if you are growing vegetables in your garden. Beyond it being a problem for your garden and lawn, they can also be a problem for your home. This is because these insects will seek to winter…
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Worried About Termites in Your Des Moines Home?

When you suspect there are termites in your home, it is no small deal. Termites threaten the integrity of a home, destroy wood in the structure as well as wood flooring, and make it very difficult to sell your home without taking care of all the termites and the damage they caused. Therefore, if you think there may be termites in your home, it is important to contact Miller Pest & Termite right away. How Do I Know if My Home Has Termites? There are a number of indications termites are gnawing away at the wood in your home. You may find termite shelter tubes or underground tunnels at the base of your home or other entry points. These shelters are how termites transport food and take shelter when they aren't working. Another indication is earthen packing on the surface of hole, often on the foundation of a home. You also may find soft spots in your wood, sagging floors, cracked plaster, and wood that crumbles easily. These signs mean termites have taken the inside of the wood in your home, leaving only the surface and weakened interior behind. And perhaps the most unnerving sign of termites is that you…
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Spring Plants that Repel Yard Pests in Des Moines, Iowa

Spring Plants That Repel Yard Pests It is that time again! The spring planting season is upon us. However, any seasoned gardener knows that many additions to a beautiful garden can often bring along pests with it, and once a pest gets into your yard, it runs the risk of invading your home. However, it is the gardener's job to control these pests in the yard, and if they make it in the home, it is pest control's job to get them out. However, just like some plants may attract pests, there are also plants that repel them. If you are looking to keep away some common invaders in your yard, but aren't quite ready to commit to a pest control regimen, consider adding these plants to your spring garden. Basil Not only can a little basil help elevate your pasta sauce and a variety of other recipes, but insects like mosquitoes and flies highly dislike the smell. However, while you can benefit from a strategic placement around your patio area, basil needs both a lot of sun and a lot of water. Lavender Many people grow small patches of lavender for the scent it adds to their yard alone,…
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Why Do I Have Fleas When I Have No Pets?

For people who aren't pet owners, often they think they are immune to the worry of ever having a flea infestation in their home. However, while many with pets are at a higher risk for fleas, they aren't the only ones. If you live and breathe, fleas will be attracted to you. It doesn't matter if you have pets or not. How Did Fleas Get In My Yard In The First Place? Often the first step to a flea infestation in the home is having fleas in your yard. You go outside and the fleas will hitch a ride and end up inside your home. However, while occasionally fleas can literally wander into your yard, in most cases they will be brought there. Unfortunately, you don't need to have a pet to have fleas in your yard. All wildlife, including opossum and racoons, all the way to your errant neighborhood cat, can carry fleas and bring them into your yard. Furthermore, fleas enjoy yards with more places for them to hide like shrubbery and longer grass in particular. If your yard fits these criteria, they may choose to stay. This is particularly true as more cover tends to attract the…
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