If you have ever seen something like this on a plant, you've encountered whiteflies. They are very small insects that are not actually flies at all. They are relative of aphids and mealy bugs. The problem with whiteflies is they spread easily and damage rapidly. The adults whiteflies drain the sap from your plants and excrete honeydew. The honey dew attracts other insects the both damage the plant and protect the whiteflies. Then to make it worse, the honeydew usually begins to grow sooty mold. Sooty mold is a black coating to the leaves and stops light from reaching the plant.
While the flies are feasting on your plants, they are also laying eggs. They are laying a lot of eggs. Fly eggs all over your plant. These eggs will hatch and the nymphs will begin feeding on the same plant. This is why it is important to target both the adults, nymph and eggs when treating an infested plant. Now you have developed a deep and growing disdain for these pest and you want to know how to get rid of the whiteflies? Well read on.
Get Rid of Whiteflies without Insecticide
First, remove any infested areas completely. Be sure to cut into a healthy part of the plant, just before the dead area. Throw away any infested material into a trash bag and seal it. Dissolve a bar of soap in up to a five gallon bucket of water overnight. Use a sponge or washcloth to soak the soapy water up and white down the leaves and stems of the plant. Make special care to do this on both the top and bottom of the leaves. Spray a soapy solution on the plant for the next one to two weeks to prevent eggs from being attached again. Buy and release natural predators for whiteflies. Delphastus pusillus eat a lot of whiteflies per day and can stop whiteflies in their tracks. Order them on the internet or try a local college. Finally, sticky yellow traps will catch whiteflies much like fly paper does for house flies and gnats. Place a few sticky yellow traps as a sign to know when your whitefly problem is gone.
Get Rid of Whiteflies with Insecticide
First, remove any infested areas completely, just like in the section above. Second, buy an insect control product containing either permethrin or bifenthrin which is also labeled for your target plant. These can be found at a local hardware store, some grocery stores or the internet. This will take care of the adult and nymph whiteflies. Buy and apply a horticultural oil mixture the affected and surrounding plants. Horticultural oil is great at suffocating insects that move very slowly. Be sure to follow all instructions on the label for the insecticides. These steps should solve your whitefly problem.
Mole crickets are a true pest for homeowners in the south. They are omnivores, eating grubs, earthworms, bermudagrass and centipede grass. They will not bite your if you hold them in your hand, but they will try to dig through you as if your hand were soil. In large enough numbers, they can devastate your lawn. Mole crickets are nocturnal and live mostly underground, so it is unlikely that many of you have seen a mole cricket. It is highly probably that you have seen the signs of them and not known what caused it.
Signs of mole crickets
Mole crickets usually leave small mounds in the soil. They look like minature versions of a crawfish mound or like small mud volcanoes for those of you unfamiliar with mud bugs. There can also be trails of disturbed soil consisting of small pellets. This is from them moving around under the soil. If you see these, your can confirm your suspicions with a soapy water test. Mix 1-1/2 tablespoons of dish soap with 2 gallons of water and pour it over about four square feet of grass. Wait a few minutes and whatever bug is down there will rise to the surface so they don't drown. If it looks like the picture at the top of the page, you've identified the pest.
How to exterminate mole crickets
While the ugly bug shown at the top of the page is the most noticeable, it is their young that cause the most damage to your grass. Luckily, they are also the easiest to exterminate. Adult mole crickets can and will burrow deep into the ground at the first sign of danger from pesticides and wait it out for months. The young mole cricket nymphs aren't able to do the same. Usually early spring is when you will want to treat for these if you've ever had a problem before. This will be the most effective time. If you live in southern Louisiana, you are looking at a march application.
Mole crickets usually mate in fall and can be seen flying (yes they can fly) to find a mate. Mole crickets also hibernate deep in the soil in winter. Since they are away from the damaged area, treating for mole crickets at either of these times is ineffective.
Pest control products containing imidacloprid or fipronil are good for preventing a population from growing. They also provide long lasting control which will help since mole crickets can evade danger for extended periods. If you have a large active mole cricket problem, you should use pest control products containing bifenthrin. As with all pesticides, follow the product label first and foremost.
Alates, commonly referred to as swarmers, are the termite colony's way of branching out and starting new colonies every year. Luckily, only a small minority of the swarmers actually start a new colony, Unluckily, those colonies grow over years to become enormous with the termite populations numbering in the millions. The number of termites per colony is one key contributor to why the Formosan termite species causes more damage so quickly when compared to our native termites.
what to do if you have swarmers in your home?
First and foremost, If you have termites swarming your home, call GreenSeasons or your termite company of choice to inspect your home. While having a large swarm of termites in your home is unpleasant, it does not necessarily mean you have termites actively damaging your wood. These termites can travel from their originally colony which could be in a tree or some firewood. If this is a recurring event every year for you and others in your neighborhood, you or someone near you probably has an infestation.
If you find pairs of wings and no termites, that means some termites may have paired up and will be starting a colony close by. It will take two pairing termites up to ten years to build up enough workers to cause real damage. Unlike our domestic termite which colonized underground, Formosan termites can start a colony in the wood in your home if they have 2 things: wood and water. Termites need wood and water to live. While your stuck with wood, you can stop the water. Make sure to thoroughly inspect your home, especially in that area for water leaks, drips or condensation buildup. We recommend having a licensed professional inspect your home at least annually for termites.
Memorial Day weekend is here! A lot of you will be traveling and we will show you how to avoid getting more than you bargained from your hotel. Bed bugs are huge problem in hotels for the past few years since the previous methods for treating bed bugs are no longer available..
Bed bugs can bet brought into the hotel through luggage, boxes, infested clothing, etc. They can also spread from room to room if infested items are shared. Bed bugs regularly catch a ride on purses, clothing and luggage in areas that have plenty of people traffic. Think about movie theaters, airports, transport vehicles, airplanes, offices and dry cleaners.
signs of bed bugs
Bed bugs are large enough to see without any magnifying aid. Bed bugs are flat, small and either black or brownish-red. Although, you aren't likely to see any bed bugs directly since they they are skittish and try to stay away from lit areas. Instead you will look for signs that they have been around. They do shed their skin so you can look for clusters of black or brownish-red dots. Also look for rust colored smears and stains. This is their excrement (gross!) and can be a positive sign of an infestation. Finally, if you wake up and have red marks that resemble mosquito bites or multiple rashes your probably missed the other signs.
where to look for bed bugs
Check the bed
Check the furniture
Check the rest
If you detect signs of bed bugs, contact management and request a room on a different floor. An early bed bug outbreak is most likely contained to one room. If your next room has signs of bed bugs, it is time for a new place to stay.
still nervous about bed bugs?
If you haven't found any signs of bed bugs, but are still anxious about them there are a few precautions you can take.
First, leave your luggage and shoes either on non carpeted flooring or on top of non-upholstered furniture.
Second, don't send your clothes to the cleaner. While washing and drying your clothes at higher temperatures will kill bed bugs, the hampers they travel in are usually not cleaned regularly.
Roaches, no one likes those disgusting pests. The mere thought of them is enough to make most people feel as if one is on them. Much worse, the idea of cockroaches in your home and what they are on when you are not around will make even the messy of people temporarily clean like they have OCD. We will go through a few ways to keep these insects out of your home and how to kill them if they are in your home.
how to avoid roaches
Roaches are usually brought into a home by either the roach itself or some of its eggs hitching a ride on boxes, furniture, plants, clothing or luggage. Think twice before bringing these items home if they have been somewhere that may have an issue with roaches.
Cockroaches can come from outside your home too. Use caulk, screens and weather stripping to create greater barriers to entry for your home. Stop leaky faucets so there is not water for the pest. Keep outdoor areas near your home free of leaves, wood piles and clutter. An outdoor pesticide applied to the outdoor perimeter of your home will prevent a roach problem before one ever begins. Be sure the pesticide is labeled for roaches and follow the instructions.
The best way to avoid roaches is through proper cleaning and sanitation. If there isn't a huge food supply, the roaches are more likely to choose a different location. A lot of focus should be placed on cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms since that would be the most likely place for roaches to infest. If you have kids, then you have a much bigger challenge since kids are known to leave bits of food just about anywhere.Unfortunately if you live in a condo or an apartment complex, your sanitation is affected by your neighbors. If they keep a dirty home, your home will also suffer.
how to kill cockroaches in your home
First, determine if you have roaches. If you haven't seen any, look for brown stains in the backs of cupboards and pantries. Place cockroach bait traps in bathrooms and the kitchen. In bad infestations, use a liquid pesticide labeled for indoor roach control. If permitted by the label, apply to the floor baseboards around your home to prevent reinfestation. If these are not getting the job done, have a professional pest control company like GreenSeasons treat your home for you.
facts about roaches
knockout rose gets knocked out
You are outside admiring your landscaping when you notice something different about your knockout roses. New, long, red shoots are protruding out from your otherwise normal looking plant. The flowers have bloomed and appear gnarled. What you are looking at is the effects of the virus known as rose rosette disease. The disease will continue to spread to all other parts of the plant. The knockout rose's health will continue to degrade and it will die.
...but wait, there's more! If that wasn't bad enough, the virus is spread by eriophyid mites. These mites are about the size of dust and simply go where ever the wind takes them. You read that right. Wherever the wind blows is exposed to the risk of rose rosette and all of their knockout roses dying. If the mites, which you can't see, land on your knockout roses and feed, they transmit the virus and your roses chance of survival drops substantially.
how to treat rose rosette
Well the short form of it is you can't treat it. Once the virus has entered the knockout rose, its there to stay. Your only chance of saving the plant is to catch it early remove the infected part of the plant by cutting well below the infected area, cutting into the healthy part of the plant. If you didn't notice the disease until it has infected the entire plant, here's what you do. Uproot the plant and dispose of it. Sorry, but there is no other options to save it.
Unfortunately, knockout roses are not exclusively the only rose the rose rosette damages. There are many other varieties susceptible to the virus so keep an eye out. All roses with the virus will display the same symptoms as the infected knockout roses.
I am predicting we will have a very large and active mosquito population soon due to the mild winter Louisiana is having... again. Aside from being incredibly annoying, mosquitoes do transmit a number of illness to both humans and pets. I believe the best option for mosquito control at your home is a professionally installed mosquito misting system and here is why.
Unlike most of the other options out there for mosquito control, a misting system is proven to work in getting rid of the pesky bugs from your backyard. A correctly designed system will target areas where mosquitoes stay and keep them off of your family and pets. The product used will also knock down most other flying insects as well.
The product used is less toxic to humans than insect repellent you spray on your skin when camping. It is derived from Chrysanthemum flowers. It also only sprays a few seconds two to three times a day. The times it goes off are dawn and dusk which is the most active time for mosquitoes.
Misting systems are automatic. When you are having a backyard barbecue, mosquitoes will be one less thing you have to worry about. There is no hassle about setting up, replacing or refilling every time you go outside. A technician comes out a few times a year and services the system usually checking for anything that is malfunctioning and refills your tank for you.
OUT OF SIGHT
Except for the few seconds they spray a day, you would hard pressed to notice the nozzles. The nozzles are usually attached to trees, fences or hidden under the eves of your roof. There is a tank that holds with a control box, but it is placed in an area of your yard that isn't frequently seen or visited. This would usually be behind a fence or on the side of the home.
If you live in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans or anywhere in Southeast Louisiana, please feel free to call us at 225.752.2333 and have us help you in person
Dust Mites Think Your Home Is Great
Dust mites reside mostly in your carpets, rugs, drapes and central air ducts. Their basic diet consists of pet dander, pollen, fungi and your skin. Don't worry about the skin thing, it is only your dead skin that has fallen off of you and onto the floor. You lose about an ounce of skin per month and dust mites just love it. Since you can't change this, you have to find a different way to get rid of them. If you or a family member have a dust mite allergy, you know they are everywhere. If you don't have allergies then you really shouldn't be too worried about them.
Pets and Dust Mites
Pets leave dandruff for dust mites to eat, and they leave a lot of it. The longer they are in an area, the more dandruff they will leave. It is best to have them sleep in a room other than a bed room, especially one with carpet. The best place for them to sleep would be a room with wood, concrete or tile floors. Create a comfortable location on the floor with a washable pet bed so they will leave most of their dandruff there and not on your furniture, which you will have more trouble washing.
Best Practices for Dust Mites
Use your vacuum on carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses and curtains regularly. Wash and rugs, sheets and blankets routinely. If you have a dog, be sure to keep him on a regular schedule for cleaning. Doing these things will remove some of the dust mites, but the real goal is to reduce their food supply. This will reduce the number of dust mites.
Dust Mites Cannot Take the Cold
Turn on your air conditioner, yes even in the winter, for a day or two, during the day while you are gone. Lower your humidity to 50% if you have the option on your central air unit. The combination of cold air an low humidity will both freeze and dehydrate them dust mites. The reason this happens is dust mites absorb water through their skin from the air instead of drinking it.
With the recent scare of the West Nile Virus making its way into the news again, you may be more worried about keeping mosquitoes away from your family. There are some easy ways you can reduce the overall number of mosquitoes being born around you. There are also some new ways to kill mosquitoes and keep them out of your yard.
Mosquitoes lay about 250 eggs each and all they need is some still water and two weeks for them to hatch. While only the females bite humans, they are responsible for around 5 bites a day each.
Remove Anything with an Open Top
Anything that allows water to accumulate and stand still is a safe harbor for mosquito eggs. This includes buckets, children's toys, old soda cans, tops of lawn equipment with equipment holders, etc.
Level Out Low Spots in your Yard
Areas in your yard that hold water for more than two weeks should be leveled out for other reasons as well, but one more to add to that list is to keep mosquitoes from laying more eggs.
Keep Gutters Clear
Gutters with debris can cause standing water, allowing more mosquitoes.
Install Insect Screens
Installing an insect screen around your favorite areas outside is a great way to keep mosquitoes and other insects out.
Undoubtedly, no matter the steps you take to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard, it is likely they will still show up. This could be due to them flying in from neighbors yards or vacant lots. So here are some of the best control methods out.
Mosquito Misting Systems
This is a device set up at your home that will spray fine mist containing permethrin.
Mosquito repellents are a great choice to keep mosquitoes at bay. Mosquito repellents should contain either DEET, Picaridian or oil of lemon eucalyptus to be effective. Be sure to reapply according to the package. Also, you must reapply after sweating or getting wet.
These are usually tablets labeled to be placed in standing water to kill mosquito larvae. If you have an area that retains water and you cannot regularly dump it, this is a great option.
These devices imitate human breathing, which is what attracts mosquitoes. Unfortunately this also attracts about 10 times as many mosquitoes to your yard as you would normally have. When the mosquito gets close enough, it is trapped in a net and dies. While this does work, you will still attract mosquitoes when you are outside breathing as well. These products run off of propane and will have to be restocked regularly.
These are products that mess with the mosquito's sensory system and makes it hard for them to find you. This may be smoke or an oil such as cedar oil. While these do have work, they should be used in conjunction with another control method for the best results.
What Does Not Work on Mosquitoes?
These may kill a small number of mosquitoes, but they really just attract and kill other insects that wouldn't bother you. Your money would be better spent on something else.
These are supposed to keep mosquitoes away with sound. They do not work well, if at all.
HIGH PROBABILITY OF TERMITES
There are two types of homes in southern Louisiana: homes with previous termite damage and homes that will have termite damage. The average termite colony can eat about 2.3 linear feet of wood per year.and sometimes go years without detection. In the worst case scenario, if it is an average sized Formosa termite colony, it could eat that much in a week.
The unfortunate reality is termite infestations are inevitable without treatment. If you do not currently have a termite contract on your home, even if you have never had termites before, you should make it a priority to secure one.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
Following the advise below can reduce your exposure to termite infestation in your home.
WHAT TO DO IF I FIND TERMITES?
Unfortunately, home treatment is not really a viable option. There are just too many areas that an untrained home owner may miss. This would leave your home open to more damage. If you are under contract with a pest control company, you should call them immediately. If you are not under a termite contract, you will need to call a pest control company in your area as soon as possible.