The differences between wasps and hornets
Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. While you may have heard of common offenders like Paper Wasps and European Hornets, are you able to tell the difference in how they look, what they eat, and where they like to nest? Hopper Termite & Pest are called to the scene of houses and businesses each year, especially in the warmer months, to help exterminate and control these unwanted flying darts. Here are some details to help you tell the difference, suggestions as to what you can do to help control them, and what to do in case of a sting.
Paper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material out of which they make their nests. They are mostly brown with some yellow coloration and have a somewhat thinner “waist.”
European hornets, also called giant hornets or brown hornets, get their common name from its introduction from Europe into New York in the 1800s. They are larger than paper wasps and are brown with yellow stripes on their abdomens.
Paper wasps build their umbrella-shaped nests to hang from objects like twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, porch ceilings, the tops of window and door frames, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists, railings and more. Each nest has open, uncovered cells where the eggs are laid.
European hornets nest in hollow trees, barns, out buildings, hollow walls of houses, attics and abandoned beehives. Unprotected nests are usually covered in a brown envelope made of cellulose from chewed up, decayed wood.
Paper wasps eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies. In the autumn, future queens will seek places to spend the winter and may find their way indoors, only to emerge come springtime to build their nests.
European hornets prey on a variety of large insects such as grasshoppers, flies, yellowjackets and honeybees, and are also known to eat tree sap, fruit and honeydew. They usually appear in late summer and, unlike most stinging insects, can be active at night.
Paper wasps, while not an aggressive species by nature, will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Their stings can be very painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.
European hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again. Hornet stings also carry venom that makes the stings hurt, itch or swell for about 24 hours, and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings. European hornets can also do a great deal of damage to trees and shrubs because they strip the bark to get to the sap. They also use the bark fiber to build their nests.
The best way to prevent an infestation and the potential of getting stung is to make the home less attractive to stinging insects. Before trimming shrubs or hedges, or picking fruit, check the plant for nests to avoid contact with stinging insects. Seal cracks and crevices in the home with an appropriate sealant, repair any tears in screens, and try to keep doors closed to prevent stinging insects from entering the home. Keeping food covered, especially when outdoors, will also help keep stinging insects at bay when they are in search of nourishment. When spending time outside, people should avoid wearing strong fragrances and opt for unscented hygienic products. Likewise, they should wear shoes that cover and protect their feet from potentially being stung.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN STUNG:
Remove the stinger as quickly as possible to curb the release of venom from the stinger.
Clean the affected area thoroughly with soap and cold water, then apply a cold compress or ice pack.
Over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen) may be used as needed to relieve pain.
Antihistamines and hydrocortisone ointment can help soothe the local reaction.
If the local reaction worsens, see a doctor for prescription oral steroids or antihistamines.
If a more serious reaction occurs, seek emergency medical assistance or call 911. Those who have known allergies to stinging insects should acquire epinephrine kits, know how to use them, and carry them at all times.
If you find a stinging insect nest on your property, contact our pest professionals promptly. We will be able to inspect your home, confirm the type of stinging insect and recommend a course of action.
With summer in full swing, you will want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Whether it’s a barbecue, pool party, backyard game of corn hole, horseshoes or volleyball, you don’t want to have to endure the onslaught of bugs and mosquitoes! Unfortunately, with the warmer weather comes a plethora of bugs and pests. Many people are afraid to venture outdoors during the summer due to mosquitoes and other bugs that bite. Don’t hide inside this summer! Take action to keep your backyard mosquito-free by letting the professionals at Hopper Termite & Pest put the mosquitoes that are back, ON THEIR BACKS!
Everyone knows how annoying and itchy mosquito bites can be, and how this can especially make it hard on your kids who spend lots of time outside. However, it is not just the itch you need to worry about. Mosquito-derived diseases can make you, your family and even your pets extremely sick. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, diseases including West Nile, Eastern Equine encephalitis, and LaCrosse viruses are circulated each year around the state through contact with infected mosquitoes.
In addition to professional treatment, we wanted to share with you some things that you can do that will help. Check out the following tips:
1. REMOVE ALL SOURCES OF STANDING WATER
The best thing that you can do to diminish the number of mosquitoes in your yard is to eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes go through four stages in their life cycle: egg, larvae, pupa and adult. The first three stages of a mosquito’s life occur in water. Without water, mosquitoes are unable to reproduce. After a mosquito bites a human, it searches for water to lay eggs. The EPA estimated that it takes about two weeks for an adult mosquito to emerge. To prevent mosquitoes you can remove the following sources of standing water:
2. TRIM SHRUBS AND KEEP THE LAWN MOWED
Mosquitoes like to hang out in cooler, damp places during the heat of the day, which is why they tend to be hanging out near the bottom of tall shrubs, grass, and vegetation. Mosquitoes feast on plant nectar when they aren’t pillaging for blood, so they are often found in the heavy vegetation near your home. Be sure to trim back your shrubs, and keep your lawn regularly mowed to prevent these pests from having a place to hang out around your home.
3. REMOVE YARD DEBRIS
Get rid of any areas where debris collects in the yard, such as grass clippings and piles of leaves. Remove twigs, leaves, and branches that have piled up in the corner of your yard or against the fence. Debris needs to be removed so that it does not become a point source for mosquito breeding.
Following these tips should help to keep the mosquitoes out of your yard this summer. To completely finish the job, call Hopper today and let us treat and prevent any pest/bug situation you may have. We can help with professional mosquito treatments for your home, allowing you to enjoy all of the outdoor activities that you love.
Summer is finally here. Along with it comes fun in the sun, backyard barbeques, splashing around in the pool and taking a vacation to name a few. One problem with summer is the constant battle we seem to have with various pests, vying for a cool spot INSIDE your home. Throughout the summer months, many pests such as ants, flies, gnats, roaches, wasps and even rodents are much more active. You may be wondering what you can do to prevent these pesky pests from getting inside your home?
Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts to keep those summer pests out!
Replace weather-stripping around windows and repair loose mortar around the foundation
Keep kitchen counters clean and store food in sealed containers
Eliminate areas of standing water
Keep landscaping trimmed and maintained
Remove hiding places for pests
Divert rainwater away from the house
Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry
Throw away overripe fruits and vegetables
The most important do is… do call the professionals at Hopper Termite & Pest if you have a pest infestation in your home. Many infestations come with an increased risk of property damage and potential injury. The sooner you call us, the better it will be.
Leave pet food dishes out for long periods of time
Let garbage compile
Leave dirty dishes in the sink
Store firewood and building materials up against the home
Ignore cracks or little openings around the bottom of the house
Let your sprinklers spray directly toward the foundation of your home
Let excess moisture accumulate in your home
Give pests a free meal
The most important don’t is…don’t try to remove a pest infestation on your own. It may be dangerous and inefficient to try to deal with it yourself. Hopper knows when to treat, where to treat, what kind of treatment to use, as well as knowing the precise amount of chemical to use in a safe, yet effective way. We have helped hundreds of customers over the years who have spent a small fortune trying to rid the problems on their own. Every homeowner should consider the risks involved with not protecting their investment from damage by termites and other pests. Let us help!
This list of summer pest control tips should help eliminate pest activity in and around your home during the hot summer months. If you do suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact the pest control professionals at Hopper Termite & Pest today. We have been in business since 1963 and are happy to discuss our services with you to find a plan to best fit your needs. Give us a call today!
“Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one, and down he run, hickory, dickory, dock.”
BUT WHY is the mouse in the house to begin with?!! One mouse running up and down a clock in your house means one main thing: THERE ARE MORE!
Out of the rodents that often cohabitate with people, the house mouse is one you are more likely to come across. House mice tend to like the food and shelter that human spaces provide, which could be bad news if you don’t take the proper steps to keep them out. They can infest both homes and businesses, so locations like restaurants, hotels, and apartments could all be at risk. House mouse infestations in these environments could potentially result in customer complaints and reputation damage. Though it may sound scary, arming yourself with knowledge about house mice, and how to handle an infestation, could help you spot signs of a problem and prevent more serious issues. Hopper Termite & Pest is here to help you avoid mice issues - and guarantees to give them marching orders in your home!
Mice have an uncanny way of getting to their destination - and they usually wind up in places where they just don’t belong! Mice can use pipes and utility lines to go from one building to another, and you may transport them inside on equipment in the case of commercial properties. It’s crucial to watch out for ways they could be entering and alert Hopper as soon as you suspect they’ve gained access. Aside from eliminating the mice, one of our Service Professionals can help you know how to prevent them from getting in.
Mice are commonly responsible for causing damage to personal property, and are notorious for commercial crop destruction. In agricultural communities, mice may also be responsible for machine and equipment malfunction. These pests are capable of causing massive losses in commercial farming enterprises, as food that has been contaminated by mice is rendered unfit for consumption.
Mice can contaminate surfaces and food sources within homes. Hantavirus is a particular threat associated with particular rodents such as deer mice. The virus is contracted with inhalation of particles released when mouse droppings, urine and saliva are disturbed. Humans who consume contaminated food may contract a number of mouse-borne diseases, including salmonellosis. Within domestic environments, food contamination may be less obvious and foods may be consumed unknowingly. They destroy storage boxes, electrical lines and other materials while building their nests. Some of the dangers of a mouse in the house include contamination of food and surfaces from urine and droppings, spread of bacteria and harmful diseases including Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and extensive damage to structures, furniture and personal belongings from their constant gnawing.
Mouse populations can expand to include over 200 specimens in a matter of months. House mice may also live and multiply in fields or yards, creating their nests in places like burrows. Outside, they turn to items such as roots, leaves, and seeds for a source of food. You’ve probably heard that cats prey on mice, but other animals such as ferrets, foxes, snakes, and owls are mouse predators as well. Luckily for them, mice have good senses of smell and hearing, often allowing them to outsmart predators. House mice are second only to humanity as the most populous mammals in urban areas.
Mouse nests can be located within homes, and infestations become obvious when holes appear in walls and floorboards. Nesting areas may be found in drawers, shoeboxes, storage boxes, under cabinets and other areas that are seldom accessed. Infestations should be handled swiftly and are most efficiently dealt with through professional pest control methods.
The presence of mouse droppings is an early and certain indication of an infestation. These dark, tiny feces are particularly dangerous and should not be handled without the use of gloves and a protective face mask.
Mouse tracks are sometimes visible in dusty or muddy areas, and holes in walls confirm their presence as well as their nesting places.
Homeowners experiencing infestations may hear noises at night, and smell the mouse urine in areas with poor ventilation. The constant chewing of mice also causes damage to electrical wires, clothing, books and furniture. You may hear mice moving around while you attempt to sleep. Typically, the greatest amount of mouse activity takes place at night, although it’s also possible to spot them during the day.
Have you noticed droppings or other red flags of house mice? Hopper Termite & Pest is your local expert in mouse control. We realize mouse problems can be very alarming and need to be resolved as soon as possible. We will work with you to eliminate mice from your property and can give you advice on how to keep these pests from returning.
With summer around the corner and school coming to a close, we all look forward to another summer full of lake time, sunshine, warm weather, vacations, and ants! Ants? Ants!
Ants seem to be throwing a tANTrum this time of year. Whether they’re in your pANTry or in your plANTs, they are unpleasANT, defiANT, significANT and substANTial. If you’re fed up with failed home remedies, the professionals at Hopper Termite & Pest can provide the advANTage you need.
While we all enjoy the many things of summer, one of the not-so-enjoyable things is pests! We aren't the only creatures looking forward to that sunshine and fun. Once these unwanted guests have invaded your life, it can be very difficult to get rid of them - and will most likely lead you to need pest control. If you are fortunate and haven't been visited by these pesky house guests yet, then your best option is preventative pest control. You will want to take all the steps you can to make sure you aren't providing an appealing habitat for these insects.
When it comes to your home there are some small and easy steps that go a long way to make sure ants don't feel welcome. While a clean house may be inviting to your family and friends, it is not so inviting to ants. Taking out your trash regularly and making sure you clean up spills and crumbs will help make sure you aren't providing them with an easy food source. Take particular care not to leave sticky, sugary messes around. A good meal will keep them coming back for more! Also storing your food in airtight containers is a great way to protect your food.
In their Pulitzer-prize winning book The Ants, researchers Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson estimate that there are upwards of 10,000,000,000,000,000 individual ants alive on Earth at any given time. The ant population seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. If you find yourself needing ant control (or any pest control for that matter), the best thing you can do is take action now! Don't put off doing something about it. Keep in mind there are several different kinds of ants in our area.
Tiny Black Ant problems can seem pretty harmless and you may be tempted to hold off on seeking help, but don't. These tiny Black Ants, also known as the Odorous House Ant, may seem pesky and harmless, but if you let the problem go they can be very, very difficult to get rid of. Carpenter Ant problems can be a big deal! They are more than just a nuisance. These ants are highly destructive and can cause structural damage along the same lines as termites if left unattended. You can usually identify a Carpenter Ant by its larger black body. They range in size from 1/4 of an inch to an inch long. These ants colonize and carve galleries - or pathways - into the wood to move their nest around. This can cause major damage to your home. Keep your eyes open for moist or damp areas for these guys. Areas like windows and decks may be where they pop up. Fire Ant problems are the most painful (literally) of the bunch! Fire Ants are small ranging from about 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch and are a coppery red color. They are also very aggressive and like to bite! This variety of ant is found mostly outside, but they will move indoors sometimes during hot, dry weather. That kind of weather is not uncommon in this area in the late spring and summer. These mean little pests are known for their sting - and one ant can sting several times leaving behind red welts on the skin. If you have Fire Ants, wiping out their whole colony, including the queen, is required.
If ants haven't made their way into your house but you have seen them outside, you are probably wondering how to get rid of ants in your yard. A couple of steps you can take to make your yard less inviting would be to make sure you clean up any fallen tree branches and other moist decaying wood. Also be sure to store firewood up off the ground if possible. Another easy thing you can do on the outside is make sure you keep bushes, shrubs, and tree branches from touching your house by trimming them back. If not, they can provide nice little bridges directly into your home.
THE ADVANTAGE GUARANTEE
The best thing you can do if you are dealing with any sort of ant problem, is to give Hopper Termite & Pest a call. While over-the-counter, do-it-yourself treatments may be appealing, you want to make sure you get the results you need in safe, and timely fashion. Guaranteed! A licensed, professional pest control service is your best bet to rid yourself of unwanted guests. Hopper has a pest control plan to suit every budget. Give them a call and get those ants out of your plants today!