The Deadliest Insects and Bugs in Oklahoma

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Bees and Wasps
Bees and wasps are most active during the warmer months in Oklahoma City and can be a nuisance to any lover of the outdoors. Their stings can bring an end to an enjoyable summer event quickly! For most, a bee or wasp sting will cause pain, redness, and minor swelling. For some, a more serious allergic reaction may occur. If this happens seek immediate emergency care. To prevent most bee or wasp stings wear light-colored clothing while outdoors, don’t wear perfumes, do not use soda cans (they may crawl inside) keep lids on all of your garbage cans and of course, call a professional to have unwanted nests removed.

Mud Dauber
The mud dauber constructs their nests from mud and do not live in colonies. Their favorite food is spiders and they rarely sting humans. The mud dauber nests can sometimes be adopted by more dangerous wasps species though so if you see abandoned nests it is best to call The Bug Guy to remove it for you.

Yellow Jacket
The yellow jacket is a species of wasp that is very aggressive and territorial. They prefer undisturbed areas like attics, soffits, sheds and underground locations that protect them from the weather. Yellow Jackets are capable of stinging repeatedly and may induce a severe reaction in some people. To prevent yellow jackets from taking over your backyard, do not leave food out (including pet food), make sure the trash can in covered at all times and seal gaps on the exterior or your home.

Black Widow Spider
The black widow spider can be found throughout North America but is most common in the southern and western parts of the United States. It is identified by an hourglass red marking on the underside of its abdomen. Black Widow spiders like undisturbed locations away from human activity such as woodpiles, storage bins, patio furniture and cellars and most bites occur when their nests are disturbed. The black widow bite may feel like a pinprick, although some victims may not feel anything. There may be swelling and redness near the bite area, as well as a target-shaped lesion, and within an hour a dull muscle pain can spread to the rest of the body. If possible, collect the spider in a container for identification. Seek immediate medical attention.

Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse is a spider many Oklahomans are familiar with. The brown recluse is often called “fiddleback” because of its violin-shaped marking on its back, the brown recluse is most common in south central states of the United States, including Oklahoma. Most brown recluse spiders and their webs will be found near ground level, and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. They prefer dark and quiet areas like closets, behind and under furniture and in shoes. The brown recluse bite can be painless or you may feel a sharp sting. Severe symptoms and pain may take several hours to appear. If you see the spider bite you, attempt to collect the spider in a container. Children may have more serious reactions. Seek medical attention immediately.

Fire Ants
Fire ants attack by biting to get a grip on the skin and then stinging their victim. Their sting releases a painful venom which is where the “fire” in the name fire ants comes from. The severity of a sting varies from person to person. For some, this sting causes a painful or itchy bump, but for others, the sting of the fire ant can cause a dangerous allergic reaction. You can reduce your risk of fire ant stings by having The Bug Guy check for and get rid of ant nest near your home, avoiding ant nests (be especially careful when mowing the lawn), wearing shoes and socks while walking in the yard and wearing work gloves when you garden.

Hobo Spider
While there has been some debate on the danger of hobo spiders recently, the Center for Disease Control still lists the hobo spider as one of the venomous spiders that can be found in the United States and Oklahoma. The Hobo Spider can be very difficult to identify without the aid of microscopes, and is sometimes confused with the Brown Recluse. Preferring humid environments, they set up their funnel-shaped webs in homes and offices as well as outdoors – among storage items, baseboards, window sills or near stacks of firewood. The hobo spider bite may go unnoticed at first, but will soon develop into a slow-healing wound. Some symptoms are more severe and immediate. If possible, collect the spider in a container for identification. Seek immediate medical attention.

Mosquito
The mosquito causes more human suffering than any other animal. More than 1 Million people die every year and 300-500 million people are sickened as a result of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika, Malaria, Yellow fever, West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis. In Oklahoma, there are many different kinds of mosquitoes and not all of those carry diseases or parasites that will make people sick. You can reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes by

  • draining or removing standing water from your property
  • wearing long sleeves and pants and spraying your clothes with insect repellent containing DEET
  • staying indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Scorpion
Between 3 to 5 species of scorpion are believed to live in Oklahoma, but only one species is common throughout the entire state.  Scorpions prefer undisturbed, outdoor areas like those under rocks, leaves, or loose bark around trees. When found indoors, the scorpion is often found in bathrooms or kitchens, or in a dark area where water is available. The scorpion sting usually occurs when stepped on, handled or bothered in some way. To prevent scorpions in your home regular treatments from The Bug Guy are recommended as well as removing objects like bricks and logs that may be around the home, keeping the grass mowed near the house and eliminating clutter in the attack, garage and crawl space.

Stinging Caterpillar
There are a few stinging caterpillars in Oklahoma to be wary of and it is important to note that not all caterpillars are stinging caterpillars. A caterpillar sting is the result of a contact and not a deliberate attack on the victim and will usually occur inadvertently while outdoors.  The type of reaction will vary from person to person based on allergies and skin type, but also by the type of caterpillar. Sting reactions can range from mild to painful and a rash or other symptoms may occur. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction seek medical attention immediately.

Ticks
Ticks are a little like mosquitoes, in that not all ticks carry diseases but those that do can cause some serious illnesses to their victims. Ticks lay in wait in grasses until an animal or human host walks by and then crawls onto the host to feed. Most diseases are transmitted to the host during the feeding process.  Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Heartland Virus are a few of the diseases that can be transmitted from a tick. The rare Bourbon virus has also been diagnosed in Oklahoma.  To reduce tick populations near your home, remove leaf litter, cut back tall grass and brush and discourage deer activity. If you are in an area known for ticks, use repellents containing 20-30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing and check all areas of your skin carefully when returning to the indoors. Some may be very small to see and you may need a partner to help you.

 

Termites are Active Year-Round

hiresPeople often ask me when are termites active. They are active in Oklahoma City all year. Yes, it is a fact that spring is the most active time. The swarmers come out in spring and in rare times right before fall. The swarmers are only looking to start a new colony. The swarmers will come out of different areas in droves! The swarmers will try to find a mate and if they find the right soil conditions, start a new colony. The swarmers themselves do not do the damage to wood like the workers do. If a swarmer does not find a mate within a few days, they will drop their wings and then die within a few days.

Termite workers, however, work all year long eating providing nutrients to the rest of the colony. I have found live termite workers under a 2 x 4 that was laying up against the outside of a house in 28 degree weather. So it is a myth that termites go away in the winter months! The main termites that we deal with in Oklahoma are Eastern subterranean termites. They do colonize under the ground. In rare occasions will they colonize in gutters or on flat roofs that may have collected soil on top of a roof.

I highly recommend having your house inspected at least once a year especially if it has not been treated within 5 years. Even brand new houses need to be inspected after 1-2 years for termite activity. Give us a call and set up your free termite inspection. The only time we charge for a termite inspection is if the house has a crawl space, is outside the greater OKC area or if you need a report for a real estate transaction.

When your ant comes to visit.

Have you every had a problem with ants in your house? Here’s an article about ant treatment and how to minimize their presence in your home.

When your ant comes to visit

Ants are fine when they are out in the woods crawling through the grass, but when they get on the counter top by the thousands, then we have a problem! Ant problems begin when they invade a building looking for food and water. They are attracted to many things, but especially to sweets, meats, fats, and oils. When they find what they’re looking for, they go get their buddies. They can also build their nests in walls, foundations, and cracks and crevices in your home. Here’s how you can get rid of them.

  • Preventative Measures – Make sure all food crumbs, left overs, dishes in the sink, etc., has been cleaned up. Over flowing trash cans should be emptied, and counters wiped down. Doing this will limit their options in your home. Although, good housekeeping doesn’t always prevent you from getting ants, it’s a great place to start.
  • Call in Reinforcements –  Ant treatment is very common, and calling in a professional exterminator will help keep the ants at bay. The exterminator will create a perimeter around your home, like a line of defense, warding off future trespassing by our small friends.

Weather it is ants, or any other bug, you don’t want them invading your home. If you are looking for treatment options,  contact The Bug Guy, the best pest control solutions in OKC!

Did I just see a Scorpion?

Whenever you hear of a scorpion, it may conjure up images of the Sahara Desert. Believe it or not, there are actually between three and five different species of scorpions in Oklahoma! In this article we will discuss some of the attributes of Oklahoma’s common Bark Scorpion.

Did I just see a Scorpion?

Bark Scorpions can be found in various locations such as: woodpiles, closets, beds, garages, cellars, attics, under rocks, sheds, and near ponds. It is common to see these little guys in the OKC metro area, so we will list some of their attributes.

  • Appearance – Bark Scorpions are actually smaller that most other scorpions at approximately 1-2 inches long. They have a long, slender body with four pairs of  legs and two narrow pincer-like arms. Their tail will typically curl over them with a poison gland and stinger at the end of it.
  • Diet – Scorpions are actually nocturnal creatures, and will consume insects, bugs, spiders and other scorpions too.
  • Their Stinger –  Most people have seen “that movie” where someone gets stung by multiple scorpions, and the results weren’t’ pretty. Still, a sting from a bark scorpion isn’t something to mess around with. Their stings can produce severe pain, numbness, frothing at the mouth, difficultly breathing, respiratory paralysis, and even convulsions. In this day and age, death is rare, as anti venom is available in severe cases. Some people can even experience life-threatening effects from the venom, much like how certain individuals experience similar allergic reactions to a bee sting.

Having a scorpion problem can be a real pain (no pun intended). Contact The Bug Guy for scorpions or any other pest control problems here in the OKC area!

April showers bring Mosquitoes!

It’s raining, it’s pouring, now the mosquitoes are swarming! In this article we will discuss some simple steps to help deter our needle-nosed friends.

April showers bring Mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes are definitely in the top ten most annoying creatures on the face of the Earth. Most of us know if we are going to be outside doing “nature stuff,” we spray on the insect repellent. However, can we be more proactive when it comes to eliminating sources that attract mosquitoes? Let’s take a look.

  • Standing Water – Any source of standing water is a haven for these blood-suckers. A mosquito will lay its eggs in standing water. Something like a rain barrel under a downspout full of water is a mosquito breeding ground! Eliminating these places is definitely a good start.
  • Bug Light – If you enjoy sitting outside at the end of the day with the porch light on, you should replace the bulb with a bug light. These do not repel or kill bugs, but because of the color, it will attract fewer insects that a regular bulb.
  • Bug Zapper – During those evenings outside, bug zappers are great for… zapping bugs. A UV bulb attracts the bugs to a high voltage wire mesh inside the zapper were they are electrocuted.
  • Smoke – Smoke is a natural insect repellant, so the next time you want to do a backyard bonfire, the smoke will help keep the pests away.

Remember, if mosquitoes or any other bugs are trying to invade your home, contact The Bug Guy in OKC for professional service!

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Pest Control OKC: What happens to pests in the winter Pt. 2

Pest Control OKC: What do other pests do in the winter?

Pest Control OKC has a few more pests behaviors that let them survive the winter and come back to annoy you in the summer.

Mosquitoes: Spend any time outdoors in the summer and you will eventually catch a bite from these tiny buzzing nuisances. Most people believe that the cold kills off these little terrors. When it warms up they move back from the warmer climates. But that isn’t what happens, mosquitoes will actually overwinter, hibernate, inside hollow logs and other protected places. They hibernate like this until the weather warms back up at which point females will wake up and begin looking for blood to develop eggs from. And to annoy you while you enjoy the warm weather of course.

Cockroaches: Cockroaches are survivors. They’ve been around for millions of years and, despite our best efforts, they’ll be around for millions more. They’ve developed into one of the most adaptable creatures alive today, so how do they survive the cold? Generally, they don’t. They don’t die, they simple choose to not deal with the cold by living in warm, moist environments. German Cockroaches, for example, stay active year-round by living in these kinds of environments, like your home, year round. American Cockroaches will spend the warmer years outside with the other pests, but once it gets colder they’ll begin to mass migrate to similar environments as their German counterparts.

Bed Bugs: bed bugs can handle an extreme range of temperatures. From nearly freezing to around 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them difficult to deal with. However, they can’t last more than a few days in temperatures below freezing, making your home the perfect winter shelter.

If you need pest control, call The Bug Guy, Pest Control OKC, today.

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Pest Control OKC: What happens to pests in the winter

Pest Control OKC: What happens to pests in winter?

We all know the warmer months are the domain of pests. They seem to pop out of nowhere and invade our homes and BBQ. But why do we typically only have to deal with pests in the summer and spring? What happens to all the pests in Winter? Do they all die off or does something else happen? Pest Control OKC has some answers.

Ants: They may not be in your home during the winter, but that doesn’t mean ants aren’t nearby. Ants will engage in the Insect version of hibernation, called Overwintering. They will spend the fall gorging themselves as much as they can to put on fat. When the temperature drops and food becomes scarce, ant activity will decrease until eventually they seal their colony and hunker down for the coldest parts of the year. When the temperature rises they will reanimate and emerge, ready to invade the nearest Barbecue.

Termites: Different Termites do different things during the winter. Depending on the species and the climate, some termites use one method while others use another. Subterranean Termites will dig down deeper than they already are, below the freezing line of the soil to stay warm and wait out the colder months. Drywood termites on the other hand, will seek out dry wood to shelter in for the winter. After summer comes and the temperature reaches about 70 degrees the colony will send out swarmers to mate and find new locations to infest. If climate controlled conditions or climates that are warm year round, termites will never go inactive staying up year round. This makes homes particularly inviting to termites who can avoid the risk of freezing to death in the winter.

If you need pest control, call The Bug Guy, pest control okc, today.

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Pest Control OKC: Keeping a summer home pest free

Pest Control OKC: How to protect a summer home from infestation

You work hard, you save up, and your finally able to afford a summer home somewhere nice. But then you get there to enjoy a vacation you find it overrun with pests! What can you do to make sure that isn’t a reality? Pest Control OKC has a few tips.

  • Clean all cabinets and counter tops thoroughly before you depart. Clean all appliances to remove food residue and crumbs. Dust off shelves and store food such as cereal, flour and dog food in releasable containers.
  • Sweep and vacuum floors in the kitchen, under furniture, and around dining areas.
  • Check any pipes around the house for leaks, cracks and gaps and seal them before you leave to keep water from attracting pests and forming mold.
  • Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly. Insects may hitch a ride into your summer home from potted plants and infest your home after you leave.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. A good way to tell if you need more ventilation is the presence of mold and mildew.
  • Seal cracks, crevices, and other gaps in doors and windows before you leave. Doors and windows should be kept closed at all times unless well screened.
  • Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be taken out regularly and removed completely before you leave for the season. Garbage provides 2 things. Clutter and food sources. Insects like to be able to hide, from you and other predators. So cluttered places like a full garbage bin are attractive. And of course, if they can find a supply of food while hiding in their cozy garbage patch even better. Don’t give them the chance!

If you need pest control, call the bug guy, pest control okc, today.

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Pest Control OKC: What’s eating your lawn?

Pest Control OKC: How to tell what’s eating your lawn

Not all pests are created equal, some pests live underground while other in nests in the trees. Some invade your home while others just carve miles of tunnels into the lawn your worked so hard to make beautiful. Here are a few pests that you can keep an eye out for according to Pest Control OKC.

European Crane Flies: These nuisances resemble large mosquitoes and frequently appear in late summer and fall. They don’t bite or sting, but they will probably startle you if you mistake them for the world’s largest mosquito. They’re larvae state, called leatherjackets, resemble small, brown worms. Leatherjackets will feed on the roots of grass while they mature. This causes brown spots to appear in your lawn as the grass dies. Feeding will be heaviest during the summer as the larvae mature. You can check for infestation by cutting a 6 to 12-inch square foot of sod, digging down 4 inches, and peeling back the sod to look for leatherjackets. A healthy lawn will suffer damage from about 25 leatherjackets per square inch. Birds can be another handy indicator, look for birds scouring the ground for the tasty larvae.

Southern Chinch Bugs: Immature chinch bugs are reddish-orange with a white band across the back. Once they’re adults, they turn black in color. Adults also have shiny, white wings that fold neatly over their backs. Damage from these pests will start in sunny areas. Grass will brown and die. Once an area is dead you will see the browning spread across your lawn quickly, often within a day or so. Infestations might be spotty and may only affect portions of the lawn. Left untreated however, you can easily lose your entire lawn. Damage will typically occur in spring and fall. To look for these pests, take a coffee container and cut out both ends. Place it 3 inches into the ground and fill it with water. Chinch bugs will rise to the top of the water if present. Test near the edge of an affected area.

If you need pest control, call The Bug Guy, pest control okc, today.

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Pest Control OKC: More Plants to help keep pests away

Pest Control OKC: Some more plants to keep pests out of your garden

Last week, pest control OKC talked about some plants you can add to your home or garden to help keep away pests while adding some color and nature to your home. But those are just a few of the examples of what you can add to your garden. There’s still quite a few more options to help keep your home pest free!

Mint: Mint is best grown in separate pots. It looks nice and smells great but it also grows aggressively. Planting mint in your garden could mean you end up with a really nice smelling weed ravaging your garden. Mint leaves mostly repel mosquitoes but can work on other insects. And, much like basil, mint is a great plant for the kitchen. Use it to flavor iced tea and added to many recipes. The mulch of a mint plant is also great for vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and turnips.

Rosemary: Rosemary is a much less invasive option to repel mosquitoes and a slew of other insects. It can be grown in pots but it does just fine in gardens or landscaped beds. The plant itself or it’s clippings both repel insects and it can even be boiled and turned into a repellent, making it one of the most flexible plants you can pick. And of course, Rosemary oil is great for cooking!

Alliums: Not one specific plant, but the family of plants known as Alliums are all effective natural insecticides. Repelling everything from slugs to aphids to cabbage worms. Putting an Allium near plants like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, and carrots can ward off many of they’re natural pests. Alliums also include small herbs like chives, leeks and shallots!

If your home has some uninvited guests, call The Bug Guy, Pest Control OKC, today at 405-973-5522!