Category Archives: biting bugs

Where Do the Bugs and Pests Go During the Winter?

Have you ever wondered where all the bugs and pests go during the winter months? The answer really depends upon the pest that you are thinking about; some overwinter in the bark of trees, others seek shelter in places like your garage, basement, or attic, and still others migrate for the long, cold winter months. Here is a quick run down of where these pests have disappeared to during the harsh New England winters.

 

  • Flying Insects – Insects that rely on crops and flowering plantings for basic survival must figure out a way to get through the winter. These insects, such as beetles, moths, and dragonflies, migrate as the need arises, similar to the way that birds migrate south for the winter. For some insects, the timing means that the adults that migrate south are not the ones that return in the spring but rather the offspring who emerged during the reproductive season down south fly back to your area.
  • Mosquitoes – Bug hibernation is called diapause and this is what many pests, like the mosquito, do to survive the winter months. During diapause a mosquito’s metabolic rate drops to one-tenth of its usual activity, allowing the bug to enter a state of inactivity. Prior to this, insects like mosquitoes seek out shelter where they can remain in this inactive state all winter such as: under your house shingles, inside your chimney, in storm drains, and in naturally occurring places like tree stumps.
  • Ticks – Ticks also slow down and end up in a state of inactivity, and they do something special that several types of pests do during winter – they produce glycerol to stop their bodies from freezing. The glycerol serves as a form of antifreeze!
  • Ants – Depending upon the type of ants in your area, and the freeze and thaw dates, ants tend to seek out areas such as the behind the bark of trees to get through the winter. Areas such as this absorb the sunlight and allow just enough heat to help ants survive the winters.
  • Mice, Rats, and other Wildlife – Here comes the bad news. Some pests find a really great winter hideout – your home. These rodents and other wildlife seek out shelter in your attics, garages, basements, and crawl spaces.

 

If you have found that there are pests spending the winter in your home call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733 to “protect” your gardens.

 

Biting Bugs

Ouch! Something just bit me!

At some point in our lives, we will be bitten by an insect or pest and suffer the pain, itching or swelling that is associated with it. Some people are bitten far more often because of where they live, the season of the year or as a function of the activities in which they engage. Unfortunately, a small portion of the population who are allergic to certain pests may suffer an anaphylactic reaction when bitten. Let’s take a look at biting insects and how you can avoid them.

Many kinds of arthropods (insects, ticks, mites, centipedes and similar creatures) will bite to obtain nourishment or as a means of self-defense. They do this with their mouthparts which can hurt upon initial insertion into a human’s skin. How each pest bite varies from insect to insect. For example, mosquitoes, lice, bedbugs and fleas have delicate thin stylets that they use to deftly probe for a skin capillary in search of blood. The wound quickly self-seals when the insect withdraws its proboscis. In contrast, black flies and deer flies have blade-like mouthparts that slice and dice the skin to cause blood and tissue fluid to pool at the wound. The physical damage that results is in stark contrast to that of the mosquito. (Source: BugTalk)

In order to avoid these unpleasant (and for some, dangerous bites) there are several actions you can take to protect yourself. The Centers for Disease Control recommends taking the following precautions:

 

  • Use Insect Repellent – Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET (products include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods) for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.
  • Cover Up – As much as possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and a hat. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection. Some bugs can bite through thin fabric.
  • Avoid Bugs – Whenever possible avoid areas that have standing water or where pests may find a feast of food such as outdoor kitchens or grills. Stay a distance away from areas that pests will be drawn to especially during the hours of dawn and dusk.