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Cankerworms: What Are They?

Cankerworms

Have you heard of cankerworms? If you haven’t, you’ve undoubtedly seen them, especially in the spring, swinging from tree to tree as they defoliate large groups of trees at a time. What are cankerworms exactly? What does it mean for you, as a homeowner? And how can you get protect yourself and your trees against these creatures if they are causing a problem?

Cankerworms: What Are They?

Cankerworms, also known as “inchworms,” are spring caterpillars which are light green to brown in color. They’re different from normal caterpillars in that they have fewer legs than most, with only two feet on their abdomens, resulting in their odd form of movement.

Cankerworms hatch just when the trees are starting to bud in the spring. They feed on broad-leaf trees, such as elm, oak, boxelder, maple and ash. They can defoliate a large swath of trees, but you’ll only notice it if the trees they’re … Read Full Post »

The Kissing Bug in Texas: Friend or Foe?

Kissing bug Texas

You’re out one night sitting on your new back porch and enjoying the stars when you notice a strange-looking bug with a cone-shaped head. Curious, you trap it in a jar and show it to neighbors the next day. Their eyes immediately widen, and they tell you that you need to watch out–it’s a kissing bug.

Kissing Bug in Texas: Friend or Foe?

Slightly amused, you ask what that is, even making a joke that it sounds kind of cute. After hearing their answer, you no longer feel that way.

What is a Kissing Bug, Anyways?

If you don’t know what a kissing bug is, you should. Despite the friendly-sounding name, this small insect is a potential disease carrier, and it can pose a threat to you, your family and your pets.

Not convinced? Perhaps you’d be more inclined to agree with us if we used the bug’s other nickname–the assassin bug. Sounds a bit … Read Full Post »

What Causes Carpet Beetles?

What causes carpet beetles

Image credit: Patrick Randall

You finally decided to do it–get rid of all the boxes of your kids’ old clothes. But when you opened the first box to start sorting through it, the clothes were destroyed, with holes everywhere. What could have done this? Unfortunately, you might have carpet beetles. So, what causes carpet beetles? Let’s explore that so you can hopefully avoid the problem in the future.

What Causes Carpet Beetles?

As their name implies, they can destroy carpets. But they can also wreak havoc on upholstery, clothing, bedding and other household items. Often their infestations go on for long periods of time without detection, and your prized possessions may be ruined without you realizing it. It pays for you to know what causes carpet beetles before they start causing problems for you.

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

Adult beetles have different sizes and colors, but most are between one-tenth … Read Full Post »

Red Wasps in Texas: Should You Be Worried?

Red wasp Texas

It’s a hot summer day and you walk outside your front door, greeted by a familiar buzzing sound; only, it’s not a bee. It’s another scary looking creature—a wasp. You know it stings and you know where there is one wasp, a nest isn’t too far away. But what type of wasp is it? How can you get rid of it? And most importantly, how can you keep them from coming back and making your home their own?

Red Wasps in Texas: Should You Be Worried?

The first step in understanding how to deal with any type of unwanted pest is to learn more about it. Once you know how to identify red wasps and what attracts them, you’ll be better equipped to get rid of them—for good.

Red Wasp Facts

The scientific name for a red wasp is Polistes carolina. These insects are found mostly in the eastern and south-central parts of the … Read Full Post »

Types of Mosquitoes in Florida

Types of Mosquitoes in Florida

Your new house has a problem. You knew this before you bought it. The place is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. Lots of open space. A lush yard. A patio that has a top-of-the-line grill. A bar. It’s what the patio doesn’t have that is the problem: screens.

Unlike many Florida patios, the previous owner decided not to enclose the space which means bugs, which also means bug bites. More specifically, mosquito bites.

What You Need To Know About The Different Types of Mosquitoes in Florida

You thought that this would be a minor problem, that you could just avoid the busiest mosquito times and enclose the space when you had enough money. Except that there doesn’t seem to be a time when mosquitoes aren’t around. And you can no longer tell where the bug bites end and your skin begins.

Is there anything you can do to protect yourself from mosquitoes? Absolutely. It starts with learning … Read Full Post »

Daddy Long Legs: Everything You Need To Know About These Creatures

Daddy Long Legs

You had an inspection done before purchasing your house. But like any new homeowner, you want to really explore your property after moving in. Look around. Get the lay of the land. While you are poring over every inch of your backyard, you run across a blackish gray mass. You walk over to pick it up to examine it and it explodes into a swarm-like cluster of hundreds of daddy long legs, which can understandably come as quite a surprise.

Should you be worried? Do daddy long legs bite? You have heard the rumors about how poisonous they are. Do you need to call an exterminator?

Everything You Need to Know About Daddy Long Legs

Before you decide this house isn’t for you, there are a few things you should know.

First, there are actually two creatures known as daddy long legs. One is a spider (Pholcidae) and one is not (Opiliones). One is a venomous … Read Full Post »

Lawn Pests: Identification

lawn pests identification

When you bought your new home, one of the first things that sold you on it was the large, gorgeously maintained yard. From being the greenest grass on the block to the colorful flowers and vibrant plants, it was like your own little oasis. Then something happened. Despite your best efforts, brown spots started appearing. Something was ravaging the leaves and flowers. You had been invaded. But by what? If you don’t know much about lawn pests, identification techniques or how much damage they can do, your beautiful lawn could be at risk.

You want to get rid of the pests and protect your lawn, but you’re not exactly sure what’s doing the damage. And you don’t want to get rid of helpful creatures along with the hurtful ones–not if you can avoid it.

Lawn Pests: Identification

So how do you identify which types of critters are harming your lawn? In this article, you’ll learn how … Read Full Post »

How to Get Rid of Geckos

How to Get Rid of Geckos

What’s that hanging around your porch light in the evenings, particularly in the warmer months? Most likely, it’s a gecko. 

How to Get Rid of Geckos

In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the common household gecko, how to get rid of them (if that’s what you decide to do) and how to prevent them from coming back again. Read on to learn more about this reptile.

Is that a lizard?

Technically, yes. Geckos are small lizards that belong to the Gekkonidae family. While geckos are lizards, a few characteristics set them apart from other reptiles. The common household gecko has bulging, lidless eyes and sticky toepads. These toepads allow geckos to climb walls and even move across ceilings. These crawling creatures are typically between three and six inches in length. Geckos can shed their skin, although they usually eat it afterwards, as it contains nutrients. Males are often much larger … Read Full Post »

What is That Fuzzy Caterpillar?

Fuzzy Caterpillar

You’ve probably seen one at some point–a black, fuzzy caterpillar with red stripes. Those fuzzy little creatures can be quite intimidating if you don’t know much about them. You have probably stayed away because they look spiky and you’re worried about them being poisonous.

What Is That Fuzzy Caterpillar?

Worry no more–the giant leopard moth caterpillar is just looking for a quiet space to get ready to turn into a beautiful white moth with black circular designs, creating a leopard-like pattern. This type of caterpillar is both harmless and beautiful to look at, which makes them a welcome visitor to your outdoor spaces.

So, what is a giant leopard moth caterpillar?

Also called an eyed-tiger moth caterpillar, this type of caterpillar has black spikes all over its body, giving it a fuzzy look. It has red or orange bands spread over the fuzz, making it look a bit like a black bear with … Read Full Post »

Jadera haematoloma: What You Need to Know About This Bug

Jadera haematoloma

“Unknown insect – Jadera haematoloma” by Eugene Zelenko is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re like most people, the term or phrase “Jadera haematoloma” means nothing. There’s even a chance you’ve never even heard it before. As with most insects, the bug connected with this term is known more often by its common name and not the scientific name. Instead, most people refer to this bug as either the red-shouldered bug, the goldenrain tree bug or simply the Jadera bug. Do any of these names ring a bell?

Jadera haematoloma: What You Need to Know About This Bug

Found across the United States, the Jadera bug is easily identifiable and quite common. But because of this name confusion, we thought it would be a good time to dive deeper into the facts about this species, to understand a bit more. Let’s explore together.  

First, What Do They Look Like?

As you can … Read Full Post »