Are honeybees dying out?

So, what’s really going on with the honeybees?

You either love bees or you hate bees. In the past, bees have been considered pests that no one gave a second thought to getting rid of, but that is no longer the case. Many people are still afraid of honeybees and consider them to be a nuisance, but we now know it’s important to have professionals handle any bee removal and to avoid extermination whenever necessary. Dozens of our favorite food plants –such as apples, almonds and blueberries –depend on being pollinated by the honeybee, and bees make more than $15 billion of crop production in the United States possible. We rely on the honeybee so much that it’s difficult to imagine life without them, but we just may have to. Since 2006, beekeepers have noticed their colonies dying off at alarming rates. While it is expected some bees die off between seasons, beekeepers reported losing 44% of their colonies on average between April 2015 and April 2016. Researchers haven’t been able to identify a direct cause behind the honeybee decline, but it is believed they are experiencing a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. If you haven’t heard of CCD, below are facts that can help you get informed and save the bees.

What is it?

Colony Collapse Disorder occurs when the majority of worker bees abandon their colony and leave their queen behind with food and only a few nurse bees to care for remaining brood. Worker bees keep the hive alive. They care for the queen, produce honey and pollinate plants. So far it has only been known to impact European honeybees.

What causes it?

The cause(s) behind CCD is not fully recognized yet. Researchers believe it could be related to new parasites like the varroa mite, pesticide poisoning, changes to their habitats or stress.

How can I help?

Helping honeybees is easy enough for anyone to do. When starting a garden or adding to your existing garden, choose plants that bloom at different times of the year and reduce the use of pesticides whenever possible. In addition, make honeybee-friendly choices when dealing with bee removal. Call a professional pest company to relocate any colonies on your property and avoid using insecticide.

Honeybees are vital part of our food production, and their population is rapidly dwindling. Other bees can be taken care of by traditional methods, but honeybees need to be removed professionally to assure their safety.

Worst Summer Insects

Common Summer Insects

If you love spending time outdoors during summer, you know that the warm weather isn’t without its drawbacks. A number of bugs begin to emerge in the summer, and some of them can be a real problem. While they may be small, bugs can easily take over picnics, ruin campouts and even cause you some serious pain in your own backyard. Some bugs can be kept at bay with sprays and protective clothes, but others will need to be taken care of by a good pest control company. You have to know your enemies before you can get rid of them, so below is a list of some of the most common summer insects:

Red Fire Ants

One of the more painful summer insects you may encounter is the fire ant. Fire ants originally came to the United States as an unwanted stowaway on a cargo ship from South America. While they can be found in most parts of the country, fire ants are more commonly seen in the south because of the warmer year-round soil temperatures. Fire ants can be found by locating their large nests, which can be around four square feet in size, and they usually sting when they believe their mounds are threatened. Stings will leave any intruder with a burning, red welt, which looks similar to a small pimple. To be protected from their nasty sting, it is best to avoid interfering with fire ant nests and to make sure your home is properly sealed. If you have a fire ant problem that can’t be resolved with avoidance, make sure to look into pest control services. Fire ants signal each other through pheromones, so you’ll need to have the colony professionally and thoroughly exterminated to make sure they can’t relocate and rebuild.   

Mosquitoes

There are few bugs worse than mosquitoes. Even if you step outside for a mere minute, mosquitoes always seem to be able to leave their itchy mark on you. The worst thing about mosquitoes, though, is they are surprisingly deadly. Mosquitoes carry a number of dangerous diseases like malaria (which 212 million people contracted in 2015), West Nile virus, Zika and yellow fever. Mosquitoes are mostly active during summer and lay eggs on the surface of standing water, like that found in rain gutters or bird baths, which makes them a serious threat to your backyard BBQs. To make matters worse, mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide given off by human breath, so they’re able to find you long before you can swat them away. If you find yourself always being swarmed by mosquitoes, take some measures like wearing loose clothes and using oscillating fans to protect yourself from their bite.

Blacklegged Ticks

Blacklegged ticks are another summer pest that can cause you long-term harm. Blacklegged ticks can carry serious illnesses like babesiosis and Lyme disease, which can affect you as well as your pets. These ticks are active during warmer seasons and can be found in the eastern portion of the United States, from areas as south as Florida to northern areas like Maine. They can be found in long grasses, making them a problem to anyone who may live in a rural area or who has a neighbor that neglects their yard. To protect yourself, use repellant and protect your legs by wearing pants tucked into long socks. If your yard has recurring problems with ticks, enlist the help of pest control to assure the safety of your family and pets.

It’s easy to get swept up in the idea of summer fun and forget about some of the troubles it brings. Identifying the insects that you encounter will help you learn how to best protect yourself and your family. Pests are annoying, but usually wearing protective clothing and avoiding them is enough to keep them at bay. However, if you’re still struggling with irritating insects, you should call Apple Pest Control so you can enjoy your summer outside worry-free. 

How do you get rid mosquitos

During the summer, there’s a good chance you’ll be bitten by a mosquito. Mosquitoes go through their life cycle faster in warm temperatures, which means they’ll be around all season to ruin your block parties and family barbecues. If you find you’re being bit more in your yard than your neighbor’s, you may need to employ some of these tips for mosquito control so you can get back to enjoying your summer fun in peace.

Watch the Water

One of the first moves you should make is ridding your yard of any stagnant water. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs on any amount of standing water so it’s important to be thorough when looking to eliminate potential breeding grounds. Some items to consider emptying or removing are rain gutters, birdbaths, potted plants, garden ponds or even puddles.

Yard Maintenance

Another measure you can take is maintaining your yard and using mosquito treatments on any foliage. Mosquitoes often seek refuge in bushes, trees and even weeds, so clearing any overgrowth will help prevent them from finding a new home in your yard. Any remaining plants should be sprayed once a month with insecticide on both the top and underside of their leaves. If you don’t wish to use a chemical insecticide, natural mosquito treatments like essential oils can help protect your yard, as well.

Filtered Pools

If you’re having difficulty enjoying your yard because of an influx of mosquitoes surrounding your pool, basic maintenance can help you reclaim that space. The best preventative is having a running pool filter, as mosquitoes don’t lay eggs in filtered pools. If possible, use a pool cover to stop them before they can even get to the water.

Bug Lights

Mosquitoes often swarm around light sources and make warm, summer nights almost unbearable. If you want to make your outdoor lights less bug-friendly, start by replacing any incandescent or LED bulbs with a yellow bug light. Bug lights emit wavelengths that aren’t as easily seen by bugs like mosquitoes. While you won’t get rid of all the mosquitoes, you’ll significantly reduce your chances of attracting a swarm with this mosquito treatment.

Fans

The last tip is to use an oscillating fan, which is one of the more popular proven forms of mosquito control. Mosquitoes can easily find humans because they can smell the carbon dioxide given off in their breath, and, according to a New York Times article, it’s one of the chemicals mosquitoes find most attractive. Oscillating fans serve as protection because they disperse the carbon dioxide, which will make you harder to find.

Sometimes the best way to tackle a mosquito problem can be as simple as turning on a fan – or if you have a bigger problem, professionals like Apple Pest Control may need to intervene. While you will never be rid of mosquitoes, there are many ways to protect yourself and your yard so you can enjoy your summer outside as mosquito-free as possible.

What are the most common bug allergies

Do you constantly find yourself bit or stung? Have you had allergic reactions to different kind of bug bites? Here are the three most common bug allergies and their symptoms.

Fire Ants

Fire ants are everywhere in the warm, summer months. For some people, their bites cause a little red bump that itches for a week or so then goes away. For others, it can cause a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can show symptoms in several different parts of the body. Normally the fire ant bite will swell up and become very irritated. It can also cause swelling of the throat and tongue and even nausea and stomach problems. If you get bit by a fire ant and start to feel any of the symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Bees

Bee stings can result in a variety of reactions. Some bee stings cause mild reactions like pain at the time of the sting and a small, red welt. Some can cause moderate reactions like extreme redness and a welt that grows in size within the first couple of days. But some people have severe reactions, including everything from itching, hives and discolored skin to nausea vomiting and erratic heart pulse. If you have any symptoms of a severe reaction, go see a medical professional right away. The tricky thing about bee sting allergies is that the first time you get stung, you can have mild reactions and the second time they could be severe.

Mosquitoes

When living in a hot, humid place, mosquitos in the spring and summer are inevitable. Most of the time, their bites are just an itchy nuisance that goes away after a couple of days, but sometimes people can have allergic reactions that make them much worse. Children, or if you get bitten by a type of mosquito you have never been bitten by, are more likely to have worse reactions. The more severe reactions have symptoms like a large area of swelling, hives, swollen lymph nodes and even fever. If you are prone to getting bit by mosquitos, try wearing the mosquito preventative bracelets or spray.

Bugs are just a part of life, but bug allergies don’t have to be. If you find yourself always irritated by common bugs and their bites, call Apple Pest Control today for ways to prevent bugs in your home and pests in your backyard.

organic pest control

From cleaning supplies to meal ingredients, opting for organic options is on the rise. Natural, green options are even available to help keep pests out of your home and yard. Whether you’re a pet owner, a parent or just want to lower your carbon footprint, there are plenty of reasons to consider switching to organic pest control.

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Springtime Pests

Anyone who lives in Texas is used to seeing pests all year long. But it always seems as the weather gets warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, the rodents and insects are more prevalent in your yard and home. Here is a list of the most common springtime pests in Texas. Read more

Essential Oils

Finding the perfect Christmas gift is often harder than it seems. How do you buy a gift that’s both thoughtful and useful? We know how you feel – what you are looking for is essential oils. These trendy, little bottles contain oils that are additives to a diffuser. They release aromas that smell great and are also good for you! Even better, they’re affordable! Some go for as low as $5.
Essential oils can make a great gift because they have a personal touch that can cater to different people! Here are some great essential oils that could be given as a holiday gift, as well as keep pests away.
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Keep an eye out for these pesticides and consider swapping them out with the healthier alternatives below.
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