Bee Hives Consist of Tightly Knit and Efficient Communities

Bees Play a Crucial Role in the Propagation of Plant Life

Queen bees mate and lay eggs for the entire span of their lives and can sometimes live up to five years, though the average lifespan is only about two to three years. Male drones, on the other hand, exist solely to fertilize the queen, and die soon after they do so.

Alternatively, female worker bees perform a variety of tasks around the hive and ensure that things continue to run smoothly within the population. Most of the time, these duties include the collection of pollen for the nourishment of the developing brood, but their roles also extend to honey sealing, grooming and feeding the queen, honeycomb building, pollen packing, carrying water, guarding the hive, and ensuring that dead drones and failed larvae are removed from the hive. As a result of their near-ceaseless toil, the life spans of these female workers rarely last longer than six weeks.

All bees are covered in thin hairs, which is crucial for pollination. They are attracted to blooming flowers and fruits, at which point they’ll alight on a blossom and collect pollen in specially-evolved pollen baskets on their back legs. As a bee travels from one blossom to another, some of this pollen will rub off into the pistil of the second plant, resulting in cross pollination. Almost all of humanity’s food supply is dependent upon pollination by honey bees.

While only female worker bees can collect and transfer pollen from plant to plant, all bees can drink nectar—their primary source of energy—through a tongue-like proboscis. After the nectar is collected, females can convert it into honey with the help of a cocktail of specialized enzymes in their stomachs. This nectar is then transported back to the hive and deposited into wax cells where it eventually evaporates into honey.

While swarms are not unheard of, they’re generally not considered a threat unless the species in question happens to be the Africanized honey bee or “killer” bee, as it’s colloquially known. Swarming usually only occurs in robust and thriving populations and often occurs as a result of overcrowding. Swarms occur when the queen, accompanied by a contingent of workers, leaves the original colony in search of a new nesting site.

The swarm will commonly stop at a resting place before sending out scouts to locate a suitable location for a new nest, such as a hollow log or similar cavity. The swarm will then relocate to the new nesting site and begin to build the hive anew.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas bee control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If bees have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced bee removal experts.

Carpenter Bees vs. Honey Bees

What Are the Principal Differences Between These Two Species?

Carpenter Bees, or wood boring bees, are often mistaken for large bumblebees. Though both are relatively harmless and help to pollinate flowers, carpenter bees can cause cosmetic damage to your home and other wooden structures. Differentiation between these two species can be made through identification of color, size, and living habits.

Carpenter bees have shiny black bodies covered in fuzzy hair, while large bumble bees have black and yellow stripes and are the largest in size of the bee species. Carpenter bees are also oval in shape, with short, straight antennae.

Male carpenter bees have black bodies with white or yellow heads and do not have a stinger, and are therefore harmless. Females, however, are completely black, and though they do have stingers it is rare that a female becomes aggressive unless physically handled.

If a female does choose to become aggressive then she may sting several times due to the fact that female carpenter bees’ stingers are not barbed and the stinger does not become unattached from the body after a single sting. Each bee is around 3/4th – 1 inch in length, about the relative size from a person’s cuticle to the first knuckle.

Boring bees are solitary insects and do not have a social lifestyle unlike honey bees  which live in nests and interact with other members of their hives. Due to their solitary lives, wood boring bees do not have queens, instead, after mating the females will choose to construct new homes for their offspring.

Each female bee will bore a perfectly round hole in a tree, or in an unpainted wooden structure. These holes are too small to cause structural damage, only cosmetic damage. Once the initial entrance is made the female will then create tunnels that will be used to store eggs, and then the female will close up the tunnels with nectar to be eaten when the eggs are newly hatched.

Hatching happens in the month of August after 7 weeks of being laid. After a short growth period from larvae to pupae and then to full adulthood, these insects will go into hibernation for the winter, and emerge again in the spring between the months of March and April.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Green Shield Certified Service. Our Dallas bee control experts are excited to offer Green Shield Certified pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and on-going pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If bees have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced bee control experts.

Bees and Wasps Are Beneficial Insects

Nests in Close Proximity to Humans Still Pose Significant Threat

Stinging insects like wasps and bees are very common summertime problems in some areas of Texas, including Dallas and Houston. In fact, stinging insects are responsible for over half a million visits to the emergency room each year.

In most cases, allergic reactions as a result of these insects is the root of the problem, but this can be an especially pronounced concern for young children or the elderly whose immune system may not be able to handle a sudden violent reaction. While allergic reactions can be blamed for most of these instances, anyone can be severely affected by these insects if they happen to be stung in large enough numbers.

In order to decrease the chances of a pet or member of the household being repeatedly stung by bees or wasps, it’s imperative that you make sure there are no nests or hives on your property. Make sure that you keep a keen lookout for hanging bee hives or wasp nests that may be clinging to trees or the outsides of manmade structures.

Oftentimes, bees and wasps will nest in nooks and crannies that my not be immediately visible to the casual observer. In these instances, observes flight patterns of the insects in question, and take not of where they seem to be entering and exiting structures. Wasps especially have been known to prefer semi-hidden nesting locations like under hangs, eaves, and the undersides of decks and porches.

If you do happen to discover nesting bees or wasps on your property, it’s not a good idea to try and remove it on your own. These stinging insects have been known to become very defensive if provoked, and have a tendency to attack en masse if they determine that their hive or nest is threatened. Your local pest control professional will know exactly how to identify and remove these nests with the minimum of cost and effort.

Although many species of bees and wasps have the ability to sting humans, they are largely considered beneficial species. Bees are vital to the ecosystem because the help pollinate plants and are largely responsible for biodiversity in a given area. Despite their negative reputation, wasps are also often considered beneficial because they control other insect populations and their predatory instincts keep other pest populations in check.

Of course, if either bees or wasps make their nests too close to, or even inside of, you home, then special action by a pest control professional may be warranted. In older structures especially, bees and wasps have been documented contracting nests inside the walls and attics of homes, which can lead to all sorts of problems if left untreated, even for a short amount of time. This kind of situation will make removal extremely difficult, and will put every member of the household at risk if the insects should become frenzied from any reason.

If bees have made unwanted appearances around your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

Bees and Hive Behavior

Bees Maintain a Complex Social Hierarchy

Bees are closely related to wasps and ants and are known for their role in pollination and the reproduction of various plant species. Most species of bees, like the honey bee and bumble bees, for example, are extremely social insects and arrange themselves into hierarchal hives. Bee colonies can be split into three distinct castes including the queen be, the infertile female worker bees, and male drones.

Queen bees mate and lay eggs for the entire span of their lives and can sometimes live up to five years, though the average lifespan is only about two to three years. Male drones, on the other hand, exist solely to fertilize the queen, and die soon after they do so.

Alternatively, female worker bees perform a variety of tasks around the hive and ensure that things continue to run smoothly within the population. Most of the time, these duties include the collection of pollen for the nourishment of the developing brood, but their roles also extend to honey sealing, grooming and feeding the queen, honeycomb building, pollen packing, carrying water, guarding the hive, and ensuring that dead drones and failed larvae are removed from the hive. As a result of their near-ceaseless toil, the life spans of these female workers rarely last longer than six weeks.

All bees are covered in thin hairs, which is crucial for pollination. They are attracted to blooming flowers and fruits, at which point they’ll alight on a blossom and collect pollen in specially-evolved pollen baskets on their back legs. As a bee travels from one blossom to another, some of this pollen will rub off into the pistil of the second plant, resulting in cross pollination. Almost all of humanity’s food supply is dependent upon pollination by honey bees.

While only female worker bees can collect and transfer pollen from plant to plant, all bees can drink nectar—their primary source of energy—through a tongue-like proboscis. After the nectar is collected, females can convert it into honey with the help of a cocktail of specialized enzymes in their stomachs. This nectar is then transported back to the hive and deposited into wax cells where it eventually evaporates into honey.

While swarms are not unheard of, they’re generally not considered a threat unless the species in question happens to be the Africanized honey bee or “killer” bee, as it’s colloquially known. Swarming usually only occurs in robust and thriving populations and often occurs as a result of overcrowding. Swarms occur when the queen, accompanied by a contingent of workers, leaves the original colony in search of a new nesting site.

The swarm will commonly stop at a resting place before sending out scouts to locate a suitable location for a new nest, such as a hollow log or similar cavity. The swarm will then relocate to the new nesting site and begin to build the hive anew.

If bees have made appearances around your lawn, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas and Fort Worth areas) or 713-999-3495 (Houston area) and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

Hornets & Wasps

Hornets and wasps can be an unsightly addition to your home and can be very territorial and dangerously painful if encountered. All wasps have general physical characteristics that they share with one another including exoskeletons that cover their head, thorax, and their long narrow bodies, two pairs of wings of different lengths, two antennae and a stinger that can be used multiple times. If a human comes too close to a hornet’s nest or tries to unsuccessfully eliminate it then hornets are capable of a full on assault resulting in hundreds of hornets attacking a single invader. If a single hornet is killed then their last attempt at protecting the nest will cause them to release a pheromone that will result in the whole nest narrowing in on and attacking the invader. If you have a hornet’s nest that is too close to your home it is best to consult a professional exterminator like Cantu Pest Control for help. Read more

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees are often mistaken for bumble bees, and though both bees are relatively harmless, and help to pollinate flowers Carpenter Bees are solitary insects. Carpenter Bees, or wood boring bees, can cause cosmetic damage to wood structures that are unpainted or untreated often leaving behind small, round holes in which they use for nests. Though these bees are harmless and do not cause structural damage to homes, they are a nuisance and too many carpenter bees in a single area can leave multiple unsightly holes behind. Let Cantu Pest Control help you take back your home by eliminating these pests. Read more

Why Use a Local Dallas, TX Pest Control Company?

Why Using a Local Pest Control Company is Best

Many pests are consistent throughout regions such as the ants, bees, wasps, termites, and bed bugs; however, they do vary in their resistance to pesticides.  Many of the pest control professionals have a go-to pesticide for each of the most common pests.  If they overuse one pesticide or do not diversify the treatment enough, the pests can become resistant to the method of treatment.  This is knowledge that only a pest control professional in your vicinity can help with.  Local pest control companies are most familiar with the species of pests and the degree of treatment efficacy for pests in your area; thus making them more effective.

Remember that a pest control company should be a proactive reality that provides pest control maintenance throughout the year.  As a result, potential pest control issues will be lessened.  Also, if a pest control problem arises, the pest control professional will have a history with you, your property, and potential entry and exit points of pests.  When you do begin to select a pest control company, ask for their credentials and do not rush into a contract.  Ask neighbors, friends, and family in your area about pest control companies that they have had successful experiences with when selecting a pest control company.  Be sure to call the company and speak with them about liability insurance, value, and any guarantees.  Liability insurance is a must as it covers any damages to your home or belongings as a result of or during treatment.   Remember that you want to buy value as many companies will offer “bargains” that sound too good to be true and they usually are!  Finally, know all terms of the agreement of any proposed pest maintenance contract: the targeted pest or pests, the treatment proposed, the cost, the extent of the pest infestation, and what it will take to maintain and prevent further infestation.

Beware of companies that show up to your home uninvited and begin offering you pest maintenance contracts at “bargain” prices or free home pest inspections.  Chances are that they aren’t offering quality pest control services.  Pest control and maintenance can get costly so consider getting bids from multiple pest management companies.  Consider interviewing potential pest control companies as you are paying for their knowledge and know how as well as their judgment and skilled application of pesticides.  If you have any further questions, contact the State Department of Agriculture as it is the regulatory agency for pest control and maintenance companies.

For more information about news and special offers about Cantu Pest Control. Follow Cantu Pest Control’s news and updates for the Dallas / Fort Worth areas on Facebook and Twitter.

 

What is a Pesticide?

By definition, a pesticide is a chemical that is used to prevent or repel pests.  We commonly think of pesticides used to manage termites, ants, or bees that cause damage to our family or our home. However, pests can be any insect, rodent, bacteria, virus, fungi, plant, or other organism that causes harm or disease to our environment. Despite the negative connotation of pesticides, they are not all bad by definition.  Insect repellents and mildew sprays are considered pesticides and are monitored under the same strict requirements as any other, more potent pesticide.  Consider that algaecide used in fish aquariums and pools and disinfectants used to clean kitchen counters are pesticides that are highly regulated under state and federal law. The Office of Pesticide Programs of the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA regulates pesticides in the United States.

There are many types of pesticides and they vary in purpose.  For instance, insecticides control insects while herbicides control weeds. Common pesticides found in most homes include insect sprays, repellants, cleaners, and pool chemicals.  Review the following chart for common pesticides.

As seen in the table above, pesticides are designed to mitigate one or more pests.  Pesticides typically have a few active ingredients that are biochemically engineered, biologically engineered, or perhaps naturally occurring to combat a particular pest.  Pesticides that are biologically engineered or found to be naturally occurring are typically safer and more effective than those biochemically engineered.  Additionally, pesticides are primarily made up of inert ingredients.  In fact, inert ingredients make up over ninety percent of the product.  Thus, consider what you are using from over the counter and always read the labels.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local pest control professional at Cantu Pest Control.

For more information about news and special offers about Cantu Pest Control. Follow Cantu Pest Control’s news and updates for the Dallas / Fort Worth areas on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer Pests in North Texas

With the Dallas & Fort Worth summer heat and change of season comes the summer pests to the state of Texas.  North Texas is home of many species of wasps, hornets, bees, mud daubers, termites, grasshoppers, ants, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, spiders, snakes, and the occasional scorpion depending upon location.  Each of these are very important to the environment but can spread disease and sometimes cause anaphylaxis, poisoning, or even death.

Wasps, Hornets, Bees, & Mud Daubers

Like humans, some wasps and hornets are social.  Social wasps live in colonies of up to several thousand and build nests together made of primarily wood pulp and saliva.  Similarly, bees use wax to construct and adhere their hives and live together in colonies.  The construction of hornets’ nests are started by the queen and continued by sterile worker hornets.  Some nests are half a meter across and contain up to ten thousand hornets.  Interestingly hornets eat the leaves and sap of trees in addition to flies, bees, and other insects.  In a hornet colony, the queen is the only female to reproduce.

Termites, Grasshoppers, Ants, & Mosquitoes

Insects such as termites, grasshoppers, ants, and mosquitoes are affected greatly by warm to hot weather.  With the change of season, insects are more likely to be seen as they swarm onto your property eating your vegetable garden and intruding on your backyard fun.  They begin swarming in search of creating new colonies and finding food and water.  From March to October, depending upon temperatures, termites, grasshoppers, ants, and mosquitoes are actively swarming.  The warmer weather causes them to find new homes as they go out in search of creating more colonies.  Termites, ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are more prevalent after a mild winter.  This change of temperature sends insects into a breeding frenzy.  Many of these insects live for but a few months.  Although the lifespan of a mosquito is from one week to two months, this is time enough for them to transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue, and West Nile.   Interestingly, it is the female mosquitoes that seek out blood meals and typically transfer deadly illnesses and diseases.

Fleas, Ticks, Spiders, Snakes, & Scorpions

Fleas and ticks are sunlight and humidity sensitive and seek to live in tall grass, underneath items, and in carpet.  They both seek out a host, usually your pets, for a blood meal.  Two common spiders in Texas are the brown recluse and the black widow; each of which are seen more in the warmer months.  The venom of brown recluse spiders contains enzymes that cause systematic reactions, weakness, dizziness, nausea, fever, sight redness and swelling, joint pain, restlessness, and sometimes death.  Although there are only six venomous snakes in Texas, there are many others to that you may come across.  Snakes travel during the early morning and late evening hours but are sometimes found sunning during the middle of the day.  Scorpions do exist in Texas, more so in the sandy loam areas but are not prevalent throughout the state.

For more information about news and special offers about Cantu Pest Control. Follow Cantu Pest Control’s news and updates for the Dallas / Fort Worth areas on Facebook and Twitter.

Dallas Pest Control Professionals

Why should you hire a professional pest control service?
Do it yourself projects are a great source of independence for many homeowners; a weekend spent painting the office or repairing a slight plumbing failure is hard work yet intrinsically rewarding. Do it yourself pest control can be a bit more tricky. While the occasional ant, wasp, or fly can be combated by most homeowners, termites or bed bugs as well as extreme infestations of any insect may require a professional. When it comes to pest control, however, you must consider the efficacy of do it yourself products, the cost and convenience, as well as the inherent risks.
Over the counter, so to speak, pest control products are well labeled and the directions are easy to follow; however these products are not as potent as those issued to individuals with a pesticide applicator’s license. A professional pest control service has the knowledge necessary to diagnose, treat, and apply the correct amount of the correct pesticide. They can also be pertinent in the prevention of further infestations through early detection and continued intervention.
The over the counter chemicals are typically less expensive; however in the long run, a professional may be more effective especially in response to pests such as termites that could cause fatal, long-term damage to your home. In the event that the over the counter chemicals are not effective, the insects may develop a resistance to the chemical makeup, making them stronger and more difficult to deter. The initial cost of a professional pest control company may seem high, but the effective maintenance will keep the cost down. The over the counter chemicals are also convenient to use but a good pest control company will work with the homeowner to schedule a date and time that is most convenient for both parties.

Dallas Pest Control Professional
Just like other do it yourself projects, there are inherent risks associated with applying pest control chemicals. Some chemicals are not pet, child, or plant safe; thus, careful attention and adherence to the labeling is a must. When you hire a professional pest control company almost all of the inherent risks are removed from the homeowner. Thankfully though, the pest control professional is well versed in the chemical and knows the preventive measures that must be adhered to. However, be sure to research the pest control companies in your area to find one that is friendly, effective, and cares for the betterment of the homeowner.

For more information about news and special offers about Cantu Pest Control. Follow Cantu Pest Control’s news and updates for the Dallas / Fort Worth areas on Facebook and Twitter.