- Make sure they really are water bugs and not fleas, ticks, or some other insect.
You can compare the insect you currently have to the photos on the bed bug webpage, or show it to your local extension agent .
- Don’t panic!
Bedbug removal is difficult but not impossible. Do not dispose of all your belongings because most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing things away is expensive, and can spread water bugs and cause more stress.
- Think carefully about options for treating water bugs – don’t turn to spray products right away .
Your approach must be comprehensive. Try other things first. Integrated pest control (IPM) techniques can reduce the number of water bugs and limit contact with pesticides. If you need to use a pesticide or pesticide product, follow the directions on the label or hire a professional. Learn about EPA-registered pesticides and products to combat water bugs .
- Reduce the number of hiding places – Keep the house tidy .
In a messy house, water bugs have more places to hide and their location and treatment becomes more difficult. If bed bugs are found in mattresses, it is more difficult for them to reach you while you sleep if you put special bed bug covers on the mattress and box spring. Keep the covers for a year. Be sure to buy a bed bug-tested product that’s tough enough to last year-round without breaking.
- Regularly wash and tumble sheets, blankets, bedspreads, and any bedding that comes in contact with the floor .
This reduces the number of water bugs. Bedbugs and their eggs can hide in dirty laundry baskets / baskets, so clean them when doing laundry.
- Don’t rely on the freezing system you can do yourself as a safe method of controlling water bugs .
While freezing can kill water bugs, temperatures should stay very low for a long time. Home freezers generally don’t cool enough to kill water bugs. Placing belongings outside at freezing temperature can eliminate water bugs, but this practice may take several days if the temperature is 0 ° F and almost a week when the temperature is 20 ° F.
- Use heat to kill water bugs, but be very careful .
Increasing the interior temperature with the thermostat or with the heaters does not work. Special equipment and very high temperatures are required to achieve successful heat treatment. The use of black plastic bags exposed to the sun can work to remove water bugs found inside luggage / suitcases or small items, if the contents take the necessary temperature (approximately 110 ° F for at least 3 hours).
- Don’t pass the water bugs on to others .
Bedbugs are happy stowaways. If you throw away a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs, you must somehow destroy it so that no one can use it and catch bed bugs.
- Reduce the number of water bugs to reduce bites .
Using a vacuum cleaner can remove some of the water bugs. Carefully vacuum the carpet, floor, upholstered furniture, bed frame, under the bed, around the legs of the bed, and through all the cracks in the room. Change the vacuum bag every time you use it so water bugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly closed plastic bag and in an outdoor trash container.
- Go to the professionals, if necessary .
Hiring a responsible and experienced pest control professional increases the chance of bed bug elimination. If you hire an expert, make sure they are from a known company and ask them to use the IPM (Integrated Pest Control) system. Contact the state pesticide agency for advice on hiring professional pest control companies.
Carpenter bees can be a real nuisance. They resemble large bumble bees and buzzing can be found around homes and other structures where they like to build their nests. Every year, they cause millions of dollars in home damage from a tunnel in decks, decks, and other wooden structures. They can also be aggressive, especially during the mating season, and will fly very close to, and even bump into, humans. Fortunately, people rarely or never sting and their nests can be removed.
Carpenter Bee Basics
There are several species of woodpecker in the United States, but the most common is the woodpecker Virginia bee ( Xylocopa virginica ). These insects are found throughout the Southeast, but vary from Connecticut to North Texas and the West. Carpenter bees vary in size from about 5 ⁄ 8 inch to 1 inch and are very similar to bumble bees, but they are not the same.
Bumble bees ( genus Bombus ) nest on the ground, usually in abandoned rodent nests, and live in social communities. Carpenter bees ( genus Xylocopa ) are solitary bees that penetrate wood. You can tell the two apart by examining the dorsal (upper) part of the abdomen. If it is shiny and hairless, it is a carpenter bee. A bumblebee, by contrast, has a hairy abdomen. Both are considered beneficial insects, as they are excellent plant pollinators . Therefore, removal of these insects should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
Carpenter bees normally live for about a year. Each new generation is hatched in late summer, emerging from their nests in August and September to grow and feed, pollinating the flowers as they go before settling down in the winter and from hibernation. Survivors emerge in April and May to mate. The female carpenter bee digs a tunnel for his offspring. In each brood chamber, it stores food and lays an egg. After breeding, adult carpenter bees die in July, leaving the new generation to continue the cycle when they emerge a month later.
Most people encounter carpenter bees during April and May when they have only emerged to mate. During this time, male carpenter bees tend to float around nest openings, looking for receptive females. It can be quite unnerving to be around them, as males also aggressively hover around people approaching nests. They can even fly right at you. Despite this great example, male carpenter bees cannot sting. Female carpenter bees can sting, but almost never do.
How to identify nests
If you see a bee emerging from a hole in the ground or inside a structure, that is a good indication that you are looking at a carpenter bee nest. To be safe, look at the entry holes. A carpenter bee makes an entry hole slightly larger than its body, or just about ½ inch in diameter. The first or two inches of the tunnel is generally made against the grain of the wood. The bee will then make a right turn and extend the tunnel another 4 to 6 inches in the direction of the wood grain. Carpenter bees often remove their debris before entering their nest, so you may see yellow spots on the surface of the wood, just below the entry hole.
Although they penetrate wood, carpenter bees do not eat wood like termites do. Since their nest tunnels are limited in size, they rarely do serious structural damage. However, because such digging requires a large amount of energy on its part, a female carpenter bee often prefers to renovate an old tunnel to dig a new one. If carpenter bees are allowed to tunnel in the same structure year after year, however, the accumulated damage can be significant.
How to control carpenter bees
Your best defense is a good attack. Carpenter bees prefer to excavate untreated, unfinished wood. You can prevent carpenter bees from nesting in the first place by painting or varnishing the exterior of your home. If an infestation has occurred, you will need to use an insecticide to kill carpenter bees. Many professionals recommend sprays or powders, which can reach the inside surface of the intake holes. Apply the pesticide at sunset, when carpenter bees are less active.
For the insecticide to work, both the bees come in contact with it as they crawl through the nest’s entrance hole. Apply the appropriate insecticidal powder in the spring, just before the adults emerge from mating. Once you see the bees emerge, wait a few days before filling the nest holes with wood putty or filler. If you have not applied the insecticide before spring adults emerged, you will have to treat nests in the spring, and again in late summer, when the next generation of adults is foraging. In the fall, seal nest holes with steel wool, then close the hole with putty, wood filler, fiberglass, or asphalt.
A professional pest control service is your best option, especially if you have a large infestation, because they will have specialized tools that can penetrate deep into cracks. However, if you want to do it yourself, any brand name insecticide formulated to kill flying insects should work. If you prefer to use a natural remedy, there are several, including boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and citrus spray. You can also contact your local extension office to find out which insecticides are effective and legal for use on carpenter bees in your area.