Omaha Pest Control Articles

Spiders and Omaha, NE

Spider webHere are just a handful of the spiders you’ll find in Nebraska. 

Woodlouse hunter: Dysdera crocata

This cosmopolitan, medium-sized spider has three pair of legs directed forward and one pair back. It has 6 eyes, closely grouped together. People are often concerned about this spider because it has two enormous, sinister-looking fangs. Its long jaws are used to hunt woodlice, members of the terrestrial crustacean order Isoptera which includes pillbugs and sowbugs.

The woodlouse hunter has distinctive coloration: the cephalothorax (head + thorax) of the woodlouse hunter is brown, legs are reddish-orange, and abdomen is pinkish-tan. The spiders rest during the day under stones, bark or other objects in a silken cell in which the female spider lays her eggs. It is an activea> hunting spider, feeding at night. It is often found around buildings. It is considered an accidental invader in the home.

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders are the largest spiders found in Nebraska. Their bodies are covered with short hairs in shades of brown, black, gray, white, yellow, or green. They do not make webs or web snares, but instead hunt for prey. Female wolf spiders often have bodies up to 1 1/2 inches long. Some of these spiders shelter under leaves or debris while others construct retreats in shallow tunnels or dig deep burrows.

Egg sacs of most wolf spiders are shaped like a ball (globular) and are carried by the female attached to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings (baby spiders) hatch, they climb onto their mother’s back and ride there for several days before leaving.

Wolf spiders often alarm homeowners because they are large and move very quickly. We see most of these spiders in the fall when concerned homeowners find them in their garages or in and around the house. Wolf spiders are not “house spiders” and will likely die in the home. They are considered accidental invaders. These beneficial spiders can be removed and placed back outdoors where they belong.

As with any spider, do not pick them up with your bare hands. Place a cup over the spider, then gently slide a piece of paper or cardboard under the cup. You can then carry the cup with the spider outdoors and release it away from the home.


Garden Spiders

These spiders, sometimes called “argiopes”, are the largest web-spinning spiders in Nebraska. Full-grown females of the common Nebraska species exceed one inch in body length; males are usually much smaller. These spiders make beautiful, large “orb” webs in gardens and between tall grasses and weeds.

One common type of this spider, the black and yellow garden spider, has silver hairs on the back of its forward body section. The large abdomen (back section) is marked in black and bright yellow. Their egg sacs are spherical (narrow at one end) and up to one inch long. The egg sacs are covered with a tough, paper-like silk.

Another common species, the banded garden spider, is like the black and yellow garden spider. It has lives in the same locations, builds the same type of web, and is a large spider. But the pattern on its abdomen is different. The abdomen is marked with alternating thin, broken, horizontal silver and yellow lines on a black background.

Garden spiders attract a lot of attention because of their size, bright colors and large webs. They also build their webs in open areas near humans. Some people are uncomfortable working around such large spiders, but many gardeners welcome these attractive insect-eaters.

For accidentally invading spiders (these are most frequent spider situations), we recommend that efforts be made to seal cracks and crevices as the most permanent solution.


Note: Some of the information on this site was adapted from the University of Nebraska NebGuide, “Spiders”. Written by David L. Keith, Stephen Danielson, Timothy Miller. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EaZTxQeQMQ

Omaha Pest Control has many years of experience controlling, treating and preventing these unwanted pests. For pest control and treatment of these spiders call Omaha Pest Control at (402) 250-0425.

Omaha & Bellevue get Stung

Wasp on LeafStinging Insects

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are a potential health threat to people in Omaha, Bellevue, Nebraska and the Midwest. Hundreds of people in the United States die each year from allergic reactions to the venom of these insects.

Wasps, hornets and yellowjackets are more dangerous and unpredictable than honey bees and should be treated with respect; nests should be eliminated with care and in a specific pest control manner.

  • Paper Wasps

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets construct nests of a paper-like material which is a mixture of finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions of the wasps. Paper wasps typically build their umbrella-shaped nests under eaves and ledges. These wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets or hornets, and can be eliminated rather easily with a wasp and hornet spray sold at most grocery and hardware stores. These formulations have an added advantage in that they often spray as far as 20 feet.

  • Hornets

Hornets are far more difficult and dangerous to control than paper wasps. The nests resemble a large, inverted tear-drop shaped ball which typically is attached to a tree, bush or side of a building. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed. The nests are often located out of reach and removal is best accomplished by a professional pest control firm.

Following treatment, wait at least a day before removing the nest to ensure that all of the wasps are killed. If hornets continue to be observed, the application may need to be repeated. Experienced pest control operators will sometimes remove a hornet nest which is attached to a branch by slipping a plastic garbage bag over the intact nest and clipping it at the point of attachment.

  • Yellow jackets

Yellow jackets are another dangerous wasp encountered around homes and buildings. Nests are often located underground in an old rodent burrow, beneath a landscape timber, or in a rock wall or wall of a building. If the nest can be located, it can usually be eliminated by carefully applying a wasp spray insecticide into the nest opening.

Sevin or Ficam dust is also very effective provided a hand duster or similar type applicator is used to dispense several puffs of the insecticide dust in to the nest opening. Approach the nest slowly and do not shine the beam of the flashlight directly into the nest entrance as this may startle the wasps; instead, cast the beam to the side to illuminate the nest indirectly and place the light on the ground rather than in your hand.

Similar to hornets, yellow jackets are extremely aggressive when the nest is disturbed. It may be prudent to call Omaha Pest Control, particularly when access to the nest is difficult.

Safety is Always First

MSDS InfoBeware of Hazardous Materials.

 

We at Omaha Pest Control are very concerned about using the utmost care in taking care of your pest control needs and performing the services with safe materials.

 

Hazardous materials - Hazardous materials are present in many chemical products used in daily work activities.  Because chemicals can be particularly hazardous to human health and the environment if mishandled, they should be used with caution.  Whenever possible, lower hazardous materials or techniques should be substituted.

Hazard Communication - Hazard Communication is the program that defines how we warn people of the hazards associated with the chemicals they use.  All chemicals must be in containers bearing information about the identity of the material and its hazards.  Original manufacturer containers carry this information.  But if you dispense material into a secondary container you must transfer the identity and hazards of the material to the new container.  In addition to the labeling requirement, manufacturers are required to prepare material safety data sheets to detail physical and chemical properties and health effects of their products. – This page provides information about finding and using product safety information and links to MSDS databases on the web.

Spills – If the spilled material is of a quantity and type that you are comfortable handling, you can clean it up yourself and submit a  to dispose of the cleanup debris.  If the spilled material is of a type or quantity that you are not comfortable handling, do not have the necessary supplies to handle, or if the spill may reach a drain or waterway, contact the Environmental Protection Service to request assistance from the emergency response team.  If there are injuries or exposures or if there is an immediate danger from the spilled material, dial 911 to activate emergency response personnel and procedures.

Happy Holidays !!!

iStock_000010765442_SmallCheers to the New Year!

Wishing you a Happy Holiday season from the team at Omaha Pest Control. During this season, we take the time to reflect upon the good things we have… like our partnership with you. We appreciate working with you and hope that the holidays and the coming year will bring you happiness and success.

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Steps

Proud motherSimple Steps to Prevent and Control Pests.

Iowa and Nebraska homeowners can prevent pest infestations by maintaining cleanliness in the home.

Pests love dirty environments since they provide them with an abundant supply of food, water, and a nice hiding place. If you just leave food scraps on the floor and table and never bother emptying your trash can, it is more likely you will see pests roaming around your house.

Here are five steps homeowners can take to prevent and control pest infestations:

  • Clean the Yard

Before pests invade your home, they will colonize your yard. Therefore, if you want to ensure that your house is safe from pests, the first thing that you need to do is to clean up your yard. You need to free your yard from fallen fruits, dead plants, fallen branches, and weeds, for insects crave these things. You must also trim your plants, since excess branches and leaves serve as nice places for insects and pests. Furthermore, wood and fruits serve as a valuable source of food for ants, termites and other insects and rodents. You must also empty any low-spots and containers in your yard that hold standing water. Standing water is a nice breeding place for insects, such as flies and mosquitoes. By keeping your yard clean, you will be able to prevent pests from reaching and entering your home.

  • Clean your Storage Spaces and Rarely Visited Places

You need to clean your closet, boxes, containers and drawers from time to time, for this serve as an ideal place for insects, rodents and other pests to build their nests. You must also clean the areas in your house that you seldom visit at least once a week. In this way, you will be able to prevent annoying pests from colonizing your house.

  • Free the House from Scraps of Food

If you want to make your house uninviting for pests, you must free your house from scraps of food. Remember, food is the main reason why pests want to stay in your home. Therefore, if you want to drive away pests, you must deprive them of food. If pests cannot find food in your home, then there is no reason for them to infest your home. To ensure that your house will be free from scraps of food, it is advisable that you clean and vacuum your home periodically. You must also wipe your table and sweep the floor every time you finish meals. You must also clean up the remains and the bowls of your pet food..

  • Seal the Cracks and Holes

Aside from cleaning, it is also advisable that you check and seal your house of cracks crevices and holes. Mice will always try to break into your house through these holes. Insects can also gain entry through cracks. Sealing cracks and holes in your home is one way of preventing pests from gaining access to your house.

  • Professional Pest Control from Omaha Pest Control

Pest infestations are a nightmare for homeowners because they can cause damage to their properties and belongings. One way of preventing pests from colonizing your home is by maintaining cleanliness in your home, for they hate clean environments. After taking the above mentioned cleanliness steps, and you are still seeing ants, roaches, spiders, and other creepy crawlies; it’s time for professional pest control. Omaha, Bellevue, Council Bluffs and surrounding cities: It’s time for Omaha Pest Control !!

Keep Pests Out

Luxury HomeWinterize Your Omaha Home and Keep Pests Out

Diminishing daylight, tumbling temperatures and autumn rains signal the start of summer’s slow fade into fall. Insects register these clues of seasonal change and start the search for winter quarters. Your home promises to keep those insect pests just as snug and dry as it keeps you and your family.

You may have already taken steps to control your home and landscape for cold weather. As you winterize add a few tasks to help pest-proof your home and avoid inadvertently inviting insects indoors.

Eliminate Habitat

Inspect your home’s exterior to locate and remove potential pest and insects. Typically, insects seek areas that offer moisture, food and shelter – places to rest, reproduce or hide from predators. So think like an insect. Look for things that could give nonflying pests a leg up onto your home’s structure. Also scout for places of refuge, spots where pests can hide out. Take the following home pest control measures to minimize pest and insect invasions:

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  • Check downspouts to ensure they direct all water away from your home.
  • Eliminate debris resting against or near the house, including rock or compost piles, old boards, or bricks.
  • Store firewood outdoors and away from the house.
  • Pull mulch back so it’s not resting against the house.
  • Store trash cans away from your home. Keep cans tightly closed at all times.
  • Arrange plantings so they’re not directly touching the foundation. Prune tree limbs that overhang gutters or roof lines, and trim shrubs that rub against a wall, porch or deck.
  • Remove autumn leaves that collect against the house, porch and other outside structures.
  • Replace exterior lights. Trade traditional bulbs, which lure insects, with yellow or sodium vapor lights.

Seal Openings

  • Inspect your home’s exterior carefully and take steps to seal any openings you find. This not only can help keep insect pests out, but will help keep the heat in and cold air out.
  • Replace screens with storm windows. If you leave screens in year-round, make sure they fit tightly and don’t have holes or openings.
  • Check seals around entry doors and crawl space openings. Replace worn weather stripping and caulk or repair as needed.
  • Inspect basement windows. If concrete is chipping or broken, replace it.
  • Examine the foundation. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk or concrete.
  • Look at eaves and facia boards carefully, and examine flashing. Damp wood is an invitation to insect pests.
  • Double-check attic vents to ensure seals are tight.

Omaha Pest Control for Your Home

Using preventive tactics to keep insects out is an easy, low-cost pest solution that offers solid pest protection. Make inspecting your home’s exterior each autumn part of your annual maintenance chores. Not only will it reduce time spent on indoor pest control, it will also help ensure structural upkeep.

Gnats and Fruit Flies

iStock_000057523476_DoubleGnats or Fruit Flies?

Gnats are the most annoying pests that can infest your home in Omaha and neighboring cities. They hover around your head, get in your ears and drive you crazy. Gnats can seem like a never-ending problem but you can get rid of them.

 

                                                                                              Where Do They Come From?

Gnats, also commonly called fruit flies or vinegar flies, are attracted to the smell of rotten food. They particularly enjoy sink drains, trash cans and other moist, dark places. One gnat can lay up to 300 eggs in its short lifespan. Even one gnat getting into your house can be enough to start a war. The eggs are too small to see but if you notice any of these bugs in your house, chances are they’ve already laid eggs.

How Do You Prevent Them?

If you don’t want gnats or fruit flies around, your best option is to prevent them from ever becoming an issue. Keep all food sealed and never leave open food products around for long. Take out your trash frequently. Don’t ever keep a compost bucket inside, these can provide great places for gnat eggs to mature. Learn how to care for your house plants and avoid over watering them. There is one type of household gnat that is notorious for infesting waterlogged soil. You can also hang sticky gnat traps in inconspicuous areas to kill any gnats that come in from outside.

How Do You Get Rid of Them?

If you already have a gnat or fruit fly infestation, you need more than prevention strategies. There are a lot of home remedies to get rid of the obnoxious bugs. One effective method is to spray your house with a homemade concoction of diluted lemongrass oil. You can find lemongrass oil at most drug stores. Use 10 drops per 2 ounces of hot water and use it all around the inside of your house. A side benefit to this solution is that it will also kill spiders and ants. Another way to kill them is to use apple cider vinegar and dishwashing liquid. Fill up a cup with the vineger and add just a squirt of the dishwashing liquid. Gnats will drink this liquid and then sink to the bottom and be trapped. If it’s your house plants causing the problem, you want to pick up some food grade diatomaceous earth at any garden nursery. Layer your plant’s top soil with about a 1/2 inch of the diatomaceous earth. This will take care of any gnat larvae lurking in the soil.

If you need a guaranteed and fast way to remove the gnats, you might want to consider using chemicals or hiring a professional. Hardware stores sell a variety of sprays for flying insects. Any of these will take care of your problem. If the infestation is severe enough, you’ll need to use a chemical bug bomb. This will require you to seal up your cabinets and any other places you keep your food. After you use the bomb, you’ll need to leave the house for several hours.

Omaha Pest Control is available 6 days a week. (Monday – Saturday)

Happy New Year!!!

2016aHey! New Years day 2016 is almost here!

Put on your party hat and raise a toast to good times.

Begin this New Year in a very special way with your friends, family and loved ones.

Omaha Pest Control wants to say Thank You to the special customers in the past and looks forward to helping on the road ahead. Be safe, happy and prosperous!

Pest Control Safety Measures

Nebraska, the good lifeOmaha Pest Control wants to provide Nebraska and Iowa with safe and superior pest control services.

> Recommended procedures include some of the following:

  •  Driving Safety
  1. Turn the vehicle off before fueling.
  2. Do not smoke while fueling a vehicle.
  3. Wash hands with soap and water if you spill gasoline on your hands.
  4. Shut all doors and fasten your seat belt before moving the vehicle.
  5. Obey all traffic patterns and signs at all times.
  6. Maintain a three point contact using both hands and one foot or both feet and one hand when climbing into and out of vehicles.
  • Chemical/Pesticide Safety
  1. Follow the instructions on the label and in the corresponding Material Safety Data Sheet for each pesticide (dusts, granules, liquids, aerosols, concentrates, and fumigant  gases) used in your workplace.
  2. Use personal protective clothing or equipment such as neoprene gloves, rubber boots,   shoe covers, rubber aprons, and protective eyewear when using chemicals labeled “Flammable,” “Corrosive,” “Caustic” or “Poison.”
  3. Do not use  protective clothing or equipment that has split seams, pin holes, cuts, tears, or other signs of visible damage.
  4. Each time you use your gloves, wash your gloves before removing them using cold tap water and normal hand washing motion.  Always wash your hands after removing the gloves.
  •  Pesticide Application / Spraying and Handling
  1. Do not handle or spray pesticides if you have open cuts or scratches on exposed skin surfaces of your arms or hands.
  2. Keep containers labeled “pesticides” tightly closed when you have finished using them.
  3. Do not transfer pesticides into an unmarked or unlabeled container.
  4. Always spray downwind; do not stand downwind when others are spraying.
  5. Do not smoke or carry smoking materials while handling or spraying from containers labeled “pesticide.”
  6. Wash pesticide contaminated clothes separately from other clothing.
  7. Carry fresh water and soap in the service vehicle when you are going to a pesticide spraying job.
  8. Remove work clothes immediately whenever clothing becomes soaked or wet with liquids from containers labeled “pesticide.”
  9. Walk through areas to be sprayed before spraying, and remove or “flag” low branches and clothes lines before spraying.  Stand clear of these trip hazards as you spray.
  10. Do not use empty or washed containers labeled “Pesticide” as an eating or drinking container.
  11. Refill the containers labeled “Handwash,” “Soap cleanser” and “Drinking Water” that are on the service vehicles before going to a pesticide spraying job.  Do not drink from the “Handwash” container; do not wash hands from the “Drinking Water” container.
  • Equipment Safety
  1. Visually inspect hoses or fittings on pressurized spraying equipment for wear and tear prior to use.  Do not use if the hose or fitting is cracked or otherwise damaged.
  2. Tighten all connections prior to using the spraying equipment.
  3. Do not force hose connecters which do not fit easily on compressed air sprayers.
  4. Do not point the sprayer tip toward any part of your body or at anyone else while you are operating the sprayer.
  5. Do not use a compressed air sprayer to clean the work area, equipment or yourself.
  6. Do not use dented, cracked or other visually damaged compressed air sprayers.
  •  Storeroom
  1. Do not let items overhang from shelves into walkways.
  2. Place heavier loads on the lower or middle shelves.
  3. Remove one object at a time from shelves.
  4. Place items on shelves so that they lie flat and do not lean against each other.
  5. Follow the safe handling instructions listed on the label of the container or listed on the corresponding Material Safety Data Sheet when handling each chemical stored in the storeroom.
  6. Do not smoke while handling chemicals labeled “Flammable.”
  7. Do not store chemicals labeled “Flammable” near sources of ignition such as space heaters and sparking tools.
  8. Do not handle or load any containers of chemicals if their containers are cracked or leaking.
  9. Obey all safety and danger signs posted in the workplace.
  10. Store case cutters, exacto knives  or other tools that have cutting edges in sheaths when they are not in use.
  •  Personal Protective Equipment

Do not continue to work if your safety glasses become fogged.  Stop work and clean the glasses until the lenses are clear and defogged.

Fleas Love Pets

iStock_000000280522_ExtraSmallRIDDING YOUR HOME OF FLEAS

Ridding Omaha, Nebraska area homes of fleas can be a frustrating and costly endeavor. Unlike some pests encountered around the home, fleas cause discomfort and irritation to both pets and people.

For successful flea control, the home, pet and oftentimes, the yard must be treated. Yet the manner in which these treatments are performed can greatly influence the results. The following information will help frustrated pet owners effectively rid their Omaha area homes and pets of fleas.

 Essential Facts About Fleas

- Adult fleas (the biting stage seen by pet owners) spend most of their time on the animal, not in the carpet. This is why treatment of the pet in conjunction with the pet’s environment is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas.

- Adult fleas lay all of their eggs (up to 50 per day) on the pet. However, the eggs soon fall off the animal into carpeting, beneath the cushions of furniture, and wherever else the pet rests, sleeps or spends most of its time. This is where homeowners should focus control measures.

- Before becoming adult fleas, the larvae transform into pupae within a silk-like cocoon. Pupae remain inside the cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes longer. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides and this is why some adult fleas are seen for an extended period, even after the home and pet are treated.

 Treatment of Premises

If you neglect to treat the pet’s environment (the premises), you will miss more than 90% of the developing flea population — the eggs, larvae and pupae. If the pet spends time indoors, the interior of the home should also be treated. Before treatment, the pet owner should:

  • Remove all toys, clothing, and stored items from floors, under beds, and in closets. This step is essential so that all areas will be accessible for
  • Remove pet food and water dishes, cover fish tanks, and disconnect their aerators.
  • Wash, dry-clean or destroy all pet bedding.
  • VACUUM! — vacuuming removes many of the eggs, larvae and pupae developing within the home. Vacuuming also stimulates pre-adult fleas to emerge sooner from their insecticide-resistant cocoons, thus hastening their contact with insecticide residues in the carpet. By raising the nap of the carpet, vacuuming improves the insecticide’s penetration down to the base of the carpet fibers where the developing fleas live. Vacuum thoroughly, especially in areas where pets rest or sleep. Don’t forget to vacuum along edges of rooms and beneath furniture, cushions, beds, and throw rugs. After vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag in a garbage bag and discard it in an outdoor trash container.

 Insecticide Application

 Once fleas become established in a home, insecticides are almost always needed to control them.

 Treatment of Pet

It is important that the pet be treated in conjunction with exterminating the premises, preferably on the same day. Adult fleas spend virtually their entire life on the animal — not in the carpet. Untreated pets will continue to be bothered by fleas. They may also transport fleas in from outdoors, eventually overcoming the effectiveness of the insecticide applied inside the home.

 Treatment of Yard

Most flea problems in the midwest can be eliminated by treating the pet and the interior of the home. In cases where pets spend most of their time outdoors, it may also be necessary to treat the yard. One way to determine if the yard is infested is to walk around the property wearing white athletic socks, pulled to the knee. If fleas are present, they will be seen against the white background of the socks.

Outdoor flea treatment should focus on areas where pets rest, sleep, and run, such as doghouse and kennel areas, under decks, along fences and next to the foundation.

Call Omaha Pest Control, Inc. at (402) 250-0425 for a free estimate.