Monthly Archives: June 2013

How to Enjoy the Summer – Without the Bugs

There’s something about summer: running around in flip-flops, hitting the beach, getting outside without layers and layers of gear. Summer is great!

But why does there have to be so many bugs?

Well, the trouble is that bugs like the heat, even more than we do. They’re cold-blooded, which means they gain heat from their environment. The more heat, the more active bugs are, the faster larvae grow, and the more they like to eat. That makes pest control in Virginia a challenge.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid their notice:

  • Lay off the perfume and scented lotion. You no doubt smell lovely, but you smell just as delicious to bugs. That’s because many scents mimic natural smells, including citrus, flowers and sugar, all things that bugs like.

  • Use unscented bug spray with DEET. Bloodsuckers like mosquitoes and ticks love your natural scent, so that’s why the spray is necessary. It doesn’t keep them from flying near you, however. You just stop smelling like something to bite.

  • Clean up. Often, bug problems are exacerbated by the physical conditions of the environment. So make sure that your yard doesn’t harbor the environments they favor: standing water, tall grass, and poor drainage are all common culprits.

If you are still having problems with bugs and you want to get rid them or other pests, call the pest management specialists at Triple S: (703)-348-9561

 

Cicadas Emerging in the Area Soon

Cicadas — an etymological marvel. As pest management specialists, there’s nothing we appreciate more. There are several hundred species of cicadas throughout the world, and they have a peculiar life span. They spend most of it underground, emerging on regular cycles of 13 or 17 years — and this year, the swarmageddon is upon us once again.

This year’s swarm is known as Magicicada Brood II, or simply Brood II. Its last emergence was in 1996.

Cicadas emerge when the daytime soil temperature at 8 inches deep rises to 65 degrees, and they spend the next several weeks mating and laying eggs, only to die off and leave their funky-smelling carcasses everywhere.

Cicadas are totally harmless. They don’t bite, they are edible (a delicacy, according to some) and their only vice (apart from their horror-movie appearance) is that the females slice open tree trunks to lay their eggs in, which can damage young trees. For pest management of young trees, simply cover them with mosquito netting until the swarm has passed.

They have no natural defense mechanisms, and instead have evolved what’s called a “satiation defense” — basically, they reproduce by the millions in the hopes that enough of them will survive their predators (birds, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, etc.) to ensure the next generation.

If you’re planning any outdoor events before the end of June, be aware that cicadas will likely join the party. But by Independence day, they’ll all be dormant again for another 17 years.