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beetles

Beetles Can Pose Problems on Farms and Gardens

beetles

Beetles Pose Agricultural Threats, Especially During Summer

Many species of beetles can prove damaging to humans, especially in an agricultural sense. These insects feed on plants, other small insects, or animal fibers, depending on the species. While some species are characterized as pests on farms and in gardens, while some other species, such as the ladybug, often prove beneficial to humans by killing harmful insects.

Beetles come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found all throughout the world. Some species are long and slender while others are rounded or oval shaped. They have firm antennae and chewing mandibles, and are characterized by their very firm, hard wings, which are often mistaken for their outer shell.

They fold their front pair of wings over their back pair, which are waterproof and protect the beetle from damage and dehydration. Interestingly, despite their two pairs of wings, beetles are poor fliers.

beetlesFlour and grain feed on food products in homes, and have also been known to damage food production/storage facilities and stores. June beetles, on the other hand, attack lawns and landscapes and attack the roots of grass, which might necessitate costly replacement in the long run.

During the fall and winter, these insects may become an even more prevalent pest to homeowners, because they’ll constantly be trying to make their way inside your home to escape from the cold weather. During these periods, you may be able to spot hundreds of beetles clustering around the outside of your home as they try to spot an opening.

In general terms, they can be divided into three different categories, which allows pest control experts to more accurately identify and exterminate the offending species. These categories include food product beetles, wood-destroying beetles, and fabric-infesting beetles.

Some kinds of beetles can be removed simply by using a vacuum of a broom, but your pest control profession will be able to recommend the best means of removal. Moreover, many different types of beetles and other insects are attracted to floodlights outside the home or business. Therefore, it’s a good idea to switch from white lightbulbs to the less enticing yellow lights.

beetlesIn the summer months especially, it’s important to remove food or compost that supports beetle development and reproduction. Likewise, moisture control is an important step in controlling beetle infestations. Make sure that areas like basements, bathrooms, and attics are kept as moisture-free as possible.

Some popular removal methods that pest control companies may choose to employ include using a pheromone-based beetle trap, which will effectively attract and immobilize the beetles. This will serve to determine the location of ingress and help you to administer insecticides effectively.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Cantu Green Service Service. Our Dallas beetle control experts are excited to offer Cantu Green Service 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 beetles 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 beetle removal experts.

Zika Virus | Mosquito Extermination | Cantu Pest Control

Texas Reports First Case of Mosquito-borne Zika Virus

zika virus

First Reported Incidence of Zika Virus Among Southern Border States

According to a recent article published in Reuters on November 29, Texas has reported the first incidences of mosquito-borne Zika virus inside the United States. This makes Texas the second state, after Florida, to report such cases.

Dr. John Hellerstedt, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner, commented “We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a Zika case spread by a mosquito in Texas.”

Dr. Hellerstedt went on to say, “We still don’t believe the virus will become widespread in Texas, but there could be more cases, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter.”

CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a related statement, “Even though it is late in the mosquito season, mosquitoes can spread Zika in some areas of the country, Texas is doing the right thing by increasing local surveillance and trapping and testing mosquitoes in the Brownsville area.”

Many health officials and pest control professionals agree that it was only a matter of time until cases of Zika virus began to be reported in southern border states like Texas, California, and Arizona. However, with a cold winter fast approaching in most parts of the country, it’s unlikely that the virus will spread northward with the same rapidity it exhibited in South America.

Common symptoms associated with Zika virus include mild headaches, topical rashes, fever, malaise, conjunctivitis, and joint pains. Typically, symptoms of the virus begin fading within two to three days. The illness has traditionally been viewed as fairly mild and actually only manifests in one out of five bitten hosts.

However, the most at-risk demographic from Zika virus has proven to be pregnant women. Experts have recently concluded that the disease can lead to severe birth defects, the most significant of which is abnormal brain development in fetuses by mother-to-child transition, which can potentially result in a miscarriage or microcephaly.

Due to the unprecedented rate of infection in new geographical areas, the CDC has issued travel guidelines for pregnant women, urging them to consider postponing travel to these areas. In areas where the spread of Zika virus is more pronounced, such as in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Jamaica, officials have advised women to avoid getting pregnant until more information about the risks is discovered.

Cantu Pest Control is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Cantu Green Service Service. Our Dallas mosquito control experts are excited to offer Cantu Green Service 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 mosquitoes 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 mosquitoes removal experts.

Harvestmen

What are Harvestmen?

Harvestmen are more commonly known as “daddy long legs.”  Although there are thirty seven families and six thousand five hundred species, “daddy long legs” refers to only one family of Harvestmen, the Phalangiidae.  With such a profound number of species, harvestmen can be found almost anywhere in the world.  Interestingly enough, eighteen families of harvestmen can be found in Texas.

The old legend claims that “daddy long legs” or harvestmen are the most venomous animal in the world; but they do not have fangs long enough or a mouth conducive to biting a human being.  This tale, however, is nothing but a preposterous tall tale!  Harvestmen do not have glands that contain venom.  Also, the chelicerae or pseudo fangs are simply used to grasp things and are not powerful enough to penetrate the skin of a human being.  Furthermore, harvestmen are slightly pesky nuisances, especially when crawling briskly across you, but they are medically harmless.

Distinctiveness of Harvestmen 

Although most people probably consider them to be spiders, harvestmen differ as spiders have two separate body segments.  Harvestmen have a single, globular body that has a distinctly segmented abdomen.  The two eyes almost appear as if they are glued in place on the surface of the body.  The harvestmen’s eyes do not form images and are used in conjunction with their second pair of legs, pseudo antennae, to delve into their environment.  The body looks much like the body of a crab.  Extending from the single-segmented body are many long spindly legs appearing much like very thick strands of hair.  There are, however, species of harvestmen that have short legs.  Additionally, harvestmen have scent glands just outside the base of their legs that produce an obtrusive odor.  This odor may indeed be the reason that many people believe them to be poisonous.

Living Conditions

Harvestmen, found in covered areas such as caves and beneath logs and other wooded areas, are considered both predators and scavengers.  They prey upon other small insects and arthropods alike, most of which also inhabit wooded areas with overgrown vegetation.  Typical arachnids have a filtering mechanism called a sucking stomach that protects them from parasites.  Harvestmen do not have this filtering mechanism and are prone to internal parasites.   Harvestmen are equal opportunity in that they will eat dead animals, live or dead plant matter, and the feces of most any animal.  These omnivores do hunt their prey but find meals of dung equally delicious!

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Gas vs. Charcoal Grilling

Grilling Choices

Grills are used in one of three ways: high heat using direct radiation for steaks, indirect heat using convention roasting for whole chickens, and indirect heat using smoke roasting for ribs.  Each of these can be performed by either a gas or charcoal grill.  However, meat lovers and grillers everywhere are adamantly divided in their preferences for gas and charcoal grills.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Charcoal grills are a ritual with campers and for picnics while gas grills are quicker for a nice grilled steak dinner.  Charcoal grills typically cook at temperatures between five and seven hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  This high temperature is perfect for red meat cuts like sirloin and t-bone steaks.  Fortunately, the temperature can be changed slowly using the air vents at the top of the grill to control the amount of oxygen allowed inside the grill.  It is recommended that you use a reliable oven thermometer to ensure proper temperature management in charcoal grills.  Another helpful hint is to use two stage cooking.  In two stage cooking, you have a hot side and a warm side which prevents food from burning and overcooking when monitored correctly.  Charcoal grills are definitely more technical, require time for the charcoal to heat up, and there is much clean up involved.

Most gas grills get to temperatures of four to six hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  A digital thermometer is recommended for use with gas grills as the thermometers are on the top of the grill away from the meat; thus, the grill thermometer is more than likely not equating the temperature at meat level.  Like charcoal grills, it is recommended to use a two or three stage cooking technique on gas grills.  One stage should be hot for meat, one medium heat for vegetable grilling, and one warm for food ready to serve.  Another difference is that gas grills have metal grates atop the fire that prevents the meat and vegetables from coming in direct contact with the fire.

Gas grills provide the convenience of a quick setup, heat up time, and clean up with temperature control for the novice griller.  Gas grills are more temperamental in nature but allow you to control the element of fire.  Some grilling enthusiasts argue that there is a taste difference between the two but the difference seems to be in the functionality and preference of the griller.  Grill tonight’s dinner, whether you use gas or charcoal!

For more information about news and special offers about Cantu Pest Control. Follow Cantu’s news on Facebook and Twitter.