Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Celebrate National Moth Week With Best Pest Control!

The last week in July is National Moth Week! It's a whole week devoted to learning about and observing the different species of moths. Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 species of moths, and there are quite a few that call the state of Missouri home. To celebrate National Moth Week, here are the different species that are found in Missouri.

Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth
These moths may look like butterflies, but they have stout, hairy bodies and feathery antennae. The body is red with a white collar and white bands on the abdomen. From above, the overall color of the wings are dark brown or gray, with a reddish patch at the base of each forewing. The Larvae are large and bluish-green.

Banded Tiger Moth
The adults usually rest with the wings held over their bodies or flat out to the sides. The forewings are mostly black with cream-colored marking and the hindwings usually have reddish marking and a broad black border. You'll usually see them at night congregating around lights. They also hang out around fields, lawns, parks, disturbed areas in both rural and urban settings.

Black & Yellow Lichen Moth
Adults are black with a bluish sheen. The front portion of their wings are a vivid yellow, orange or red and the back portion is black. Unlike other moths, this species flies during the day. The larvae feed on lichen, which are the crusty, sponge-like or moss-like composites of fungi and algae that commonly grow on tree bark and rocks. Their cocoons are hairy and are attached to objects near the lichen that the caterpillar fed upon.

Gypsy Moth Catepillar

Gypsy Moth
This species is extremely destructive and have been found sporadically across the state of Missouri, but no infestation s are known to occur in the state so far. The Gypsy moth was introduced from Europe in the late 1860s, and many Eastern states have severe infestation causing millions of dollars in damages to deciduous forests and shade trees.

Black Bordered Lemon Moth
As their name suggests, these moths are yellow and their wings have a black edge. There are usually two dark dots on each forewing. The larvae are known to feed on grass and morning glory families.

Io Moth
Adults commonly rest with wings flattened out to the sides and over their backs. However, when the forewings are apart, they reveal the hindwings that each feature a single large, prominent, blue and black eyespot. Forewing color is different in males and females. Males are generally yellowish while females are more brown, rusty red or purple. In addition, females are usually larger than males.

Isabella Tiger Moth
The larvae of this species are better known than the adults. They are called woolly bears or woolly worms. They're fuzzy with dense, stiff hairs. They're usually black on the ends of the body and rusty red or brownish in the middle. Folklore has long maintained that the varying widths of the caterpillar's band can predict the harshness of the next winter.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth
The overall color of the Luna Moth is a pale or lime green with dark leading the edge on the forewings, and a long, tapering tail on the hindwings. Each of the four wings has an eyespot. Luna Moth larvae feed on the foliage of walnut, hickory, persimmon and sweet gum trees. However, adults don't eat at all and only live about a week.

Leaf Folder Moth
Adults are black with bold white markings. These pests take up residence in vineyards, and have over the years caused considerable damage to Missouri's grape crop, affecting the state's wine industry.

Painted Lichen Moth
The forewings are red-orange with dark gray stripes. The orange color is more yellow the closer to the head. The bright colors announce the presence of inedible chemicals in their bodies, so many predators have learned to avoid moths with those colors.

Plume Moth

Plume Moths
The Plume Moths are instantly recognizable by their T-shaped silhouette and muted shades of tan and brown. At rest, the moths hold their wings tightly rolled, but when they're spread, the deeply cleft slits in the wing margins create the feathery plumes are visible. These moths are slim and delicate looking with a long thin abdomen and long fragile legs.

Polyphemus Moth
Similarly to the Cecropia Moth, these species look like butterflies. The base color varies greatly, as some are brown or tan while others are bright reddish-brown. However, all have a small eyespot in the center of the forewing and a very large eyespot in the middle of the hindwing.

Yellow Collared Scape Moth
The adults have black forewings and hindwings (usually covered by the forewings) that are translucent in the middle. The body is all black except the bright orange (sometimes yellow) collar. There are only 3 species of scape moths in North America.

How many of these moths have you seen? This week, take some time to observe the moths around your home. Any type of light will attract moths, so just leave a porch light on and wait and see what comes! While these insects are interesting, we don't want them making themselves at home in our home. If these pests find their way into your home, call Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks at 573-348-1600. Our technicians are trained to get rid of all pests affecting Central Missouri!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Keep The Ants At Bay This Summer

During the summer, many homeowners deal with ants marching into their homes. Ants are the number one pest nuisance in the United States, and it's no wonder since there are more than 700 species in the U.S. alone and more than 20 types known to infest homes and other structures. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your home this season. Lake of the Ozarks Best Pest Control company offers 5 tips you can do this summer to keep the ants at bay.


1. Seal up points of entry. Take the time to walk around your house and seek out any possible points of entry. Ants are tiny, so it doesn't take a big opening for them to get inside your home to search for food. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home with silicone caulk, and pay special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. In addition, trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the home, as branches can provide a path for ants.

2. Eliminate food sources. Keeping your kitchen tidy can help discourage ants from coming indoors. Wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly to get rid of crumbs and residue from spills. Make sure to put away food right away and store food in a sealed air-tight container, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Wipe down sticky jars, especially those that contain honey, syrup, soda and other sweets. Lastly, dispose of garbage regularly, and ensure the lid to the trashcan is sealed tight.

3. Eliminate water sources. Ants need water to survive, just like they need food. So reducing moisture and standing water around your home in addition to eliminating the food source can go a long way in preventing ants. Repair leaky pipes and remember to routinely check underneath sinks for moisture. If your home has a moisture problem, it may be wise to invest in a dehumidifier. Outside, check that the downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from your home's foundation.


4. Check your pets. Cats, dogs and other pets can inadvertently invite ants into your home. Their food and water bowls are an open buffet for pests. It's best to keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spills around the water bowl. It's best to store dry food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they come in. If your pet has a pet door, ensure that pests can not get through and that it's properly sealed along the edges.

5. Don't go at it alone. Without professional help, battling ants can feel like an uphill battle. If the ants are not properly treated, the infestation can get worse. Make sure you treat the problem correctly the first time and call the Best Pest Control company at the Lake of the Ozarks at 573-348-1600. Our technicians are properly trained to protect you from all the pests infecting central Missouri.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Japanese Beetle Invasion

Now that we're into July, you may be seeing tiny green beetles flying all over the place. Or, if you're a gardener, you may be seeing these green beetles eating the leaves of all your plants. These green beetles are called Japanese beetles. If you've seen these beetles flying around your yard and eating your plants, shrubs and trees, you may be wondering how you can get rid of them and how to stop them front destroying your landscaping. Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks has all the information you need to know about the Japanese beetle and how to get rid of them.


What is a Japanese Beetle?

Japanese Beetles are 1/2 inch in length with metallic blue-green head, copper backs, tan wings and small white hairs lining each side of the abdomen. They lay eggs in the soil during June, which develop into tiny white grubs with brown heads that are up to 3/4 inch in length. They will remain in the soil for about 10 months. They will emerge from the soil as adult beetles and begin feeding in late June or early July. They usually feed in groups, which is why the damage can be so severe.


Japanese Beetle Introduced into the U.S.

Although today you can find Japanese Beetles destroying plants in the Eastern and Midwestern parts of the United States, they were originally only found on the island of Japan and were isolated by water and kept in check by its natural enemies. However, in 1912, a law was passed that made it illegal to import plants rooted in soil. Unfortunately, the failure o implement the law immediately allowed the Japanese beetle to arrive in the United States. It's likely that these beetles entered the country as grubs in soil on Japanese iris roots. In 1916, these pests were first spotted in a nursery in New Jersey, and by 1920, eradication programs were implements. However, these beetles proved to be too prolific a breeder.

How To Control Japanese Beetle

Unfortunately, the best way to control the Japanese Beetle is to be proactive and fight them while they're grubs in the soil. If you see them flying around it's probably too late and some damage may have already occurred. However, you can still control them. You can either pick them by hand if they're enjoying items in your garden, or you can contact a Lake of the Ozarks pest control company. During the spring, treat your lawn for grubs to ensure you won't find any beetles later in the summer. While this tip might not help you now, it will be very helpful come the following year.


Best Pest Control Can Help

Best Pest Control can help you with all your pest control and lawn care needs at the Lake of the Ozarks. To learn more about our services, call the Best Pest Control company at the Lake of the Ozarks at 573-348-1600.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

5 Fascinating Facts About Beetles

It's summer here at the Lake of the Ozarks, which means that pesky bugs are all over the place. One of the most common pests we see here at the Lake is beetles. From June bugs to Japanese Beetles, they come in all shapes and sizes and they are everywhere. Best Pest Control took a look at some fun facts about these pests we'll be seeing all summer long.


1. Beetles are the largest group of living organisms. One out of every four animals on earth is a beetle. When you add in plants, one out every five known organisms is a beetle. Scientists have found over 350,000 species of beetles and there are still more to be discovered! Some scientists estimate that there may be as many as 3 million beetle species living on the planet. The order Coleoptera (the insect order the beetles are in) is the largest order in the entire animal kingdom.

2. Beetles are EVERYWHERE! You can find beetles almost anywhere on the planet from the North Pole to the South Pole. From the deserts to the beaches and from the mountaintops to the grasslands, you bet you'll be able to spot a beetle. You can even find beetles of some of the world's most remote islands.

3. Beetles protect themselves with body armor. Their hardened forewings are one trait that makes beetles easy to recognize. This features actually serves as armor to protect the more delicate flight wings and their soft abdomen underneath. The philosopher Aristotle, actually coined the order name Coleoptera, which comes from the Greek koleon, which means sheathed, and ptera, which means wings. When beetles fly, they will actually hold the protective wing covers out to the sides, which allows the hindwings to move freely and keep them airborne.


4. Beetles chew their food. While this may seem obvious, not all insects do. Butterflies will sip liquid nectar from their own built-in straw. However, one common trait all adult beetles and even most beetle larvae share is mandibulate mouthparts, made just for chewing. Most beetles feed on plants, however, some beetles like ladybugs will hunt and eat smaller insect prey. The common name beetle is thought to derive from the Old English word bitela, meaning little biter.

5 . Beetles can be noisy and some can glow in the dark. There are many insects that are known for their sounds, such as cicadas, crickets and katydids. However, many beetles produce sounds too. However, their sounds are not nearly as melodic. Deathwatch beetles will bang their heads against the walls of their wood tunnels, which makes a surprisingly loud knocking sound, and both male and female bark beetles chirp as a mating ritual to find one another. In addition to sounds, certain species will actually produce light. Fireflies flash signals to attract potential mates. In glowworms, the light organ runs down the sides of the thoracic and abdominal segments.


While summer is filled with fun activities outdoors, we don't want any pests interfering in. Get rid of these pesky pests and call the Best Pest Control company at the Lake of the Ozarks. We can do our best to make sure your summer is pest free! To learn more about our services and to schedule your appointment, call 573-348-1600.

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