Do LED Lights Attract Bugs?

An LED bug zapper
An LED bug zapper

LED lighting has proven itself to be an energy-saving option to traditional incandescent or fluorescent lightbulb. When it comes to being outdoors, though, do LED lights attract bugs or deter them?

Insects are attracted to lights. We see examples of this by looking up at street lamps at night and seeing the swarms around them. 

Their attraction to light is based on an instinctual draw that helps them navigate the earth. 

At Environmental Pest Management, we understand the nature of the pests that we treat. We treat pest problems wholly and humanely in the Twin Cities greater area of Minnesota. 

For integrated pest management, we have a goal to know the life cycles of insects and their behavioral patterns. Those patterns include their attraction and relationship to lights. 

For a free quote and information on how to keep your home comfortable and pest-free, contact us today! 

Do LED Lights Attract Bugs? Here’s How Lights Measure Up.

A diagram of visible light and wavelengths

One way that light can be measured is in wavelengths, which are measured in nanometers. 

Warmer colors such as red, orange, and yellow measure longer wavelengths of light and are less visible to insects. Cooler colors, on the other hand, are measured in shorter wavelengths. 

The range from red-colored to UV light measures anywhere from 400-800 nanometers. Cooler tones will register 300-650 nanometers. 

Ultraviolet or UV light lies with the cooler colors and registers at 350 nanometers. That reading makes it very attractive to insects. 

Flying insects primarily use the light that they see to navigate. Much like humans, the light they see is only a fraction of the entire light spectrum. 

400 – 800 Nanometers

  • What humans see 
  • Ranges from the color violet to red 
  • It does not include UV light

350 Nanometers

  • Ultraviolet light

300 – 650 Nanometers

  • What insects perceive and are attracted to 
  • Includes UV light 
  • Insects prefer light that falls between 300 – 420 Nanometers. 

Insects can see UV light and are attracted to it, so many bug lights use it. 

 The three primary colors that bugs see are UV, green, and blue: the cooler tones on the light spectrum. Insects are less able to register warmer colors like orange, red and yellow. 

Staying away from lights with cooler tones can keep flying insects at bay in your outside spaces. Cooler-colored lights are often used in outdoor settings because they appear to be brighter. 

These were also the only lights available to customers for decades.  Bugs swarming around them at night was quite normal. 

An LED bulb that gives out a warmer tone will be just as bright without attracting annoying flying insects. LED lights with higher wavelengths do not attract bugs because the bugs can’t see them.

Going Toward the Light 

Do LED Lights Attract Bugs? Someone swapping an incandescent light bulb for an LED bulb because they do not attract bugs.

Traditional incandescent light bulbs are cooler in tone and put out a lot of heat. These light sources are typically used outside and attract flying insects. 

Incandescent and halogen bulbs are especially attractive to insects because they give off the most heat. 

These bulbs give out 90% of their energy in the form of heat. This is really important to the insects who navigate with heat receptors.

Insects of the blood-sucking persuasion are attracted to the change in temperature from one thing to another. So when a mosquito, for example, senses a higher temperature, they will go to it. 

The bloodsuckers interpret the change in temperature as a sign of a food source.

This is one of the reasons that insects are attracted to traditional lighting. The light insects are most attracted to is one that puts off lots of heat.

So, do LED lights attract bugs? 

LED bulbs are built to be more efficient and give off much less heat. Insects feel less of a change in temperature, so they aren’t drawn to these lights. 

This means you are not only running a more efficient household: you are avoiding bugs. You, my friend, are officially multi-tasking. 

Bug Zappers and Color Lights

A blue bug zapper surrounded by dead bugs.

Bug Zappers attract insects by using UV light to attract the bug. When the insect is in range, the device sends out a jolt that electrocutes it.

The bug zappers that come to mind are ones that glow purple with UV light and have bugs around them. 

They are often large and are accompanied by a loud buzzing and zapping sound.

Today there are  LED options for bug zappers that draw insects into the kill zone using UV light. The rest of the bulb, however, is an LED light that will not have a cloud of bugs around it. 

LED lights do not attract bugs the way incandescent lights do. But they do help make bug lights more efficient.

The LED options are also quieter than traditional bug zappers. 

If bug zappers aren’t an option for you, color lighting is an alternative. As we’ve covered, bugs are primarily attracted to “cooler” colored lights. 

Use a bulb that throws out a warm color light to draw fewer flying pests.

LED Lights Do Not Attract Bugs, So Keep The Light On. 

Someone holding an LED light bulb in their hands

As warmer temperatures creep in, knowing how to protect your home from pests becomes more of a priority. 

Environmental Pest Management is passionate about implementing safe and responsible ways to treat pest issues. Changing to LED lights uses no chemicals and is not harmful to humans, pets, or your home. 

We have a continued membership with both the National Pest Management Association and Minnesota Pest Management Association. Those memberships allow us to keep education ongoing and work with the best minds in our industry. 

The memberships to both national and state associations also hold us to a high standard. That higher standard keeps us doing our best for the client and the environment. 

Using methods that are more environmentally responsible leads us to use more humane processes as well. We evaluate your case and use the most ethical and environmentally friendly options.  

Our commitment to providing environmentally responsible pest solutions doesn’t stop at education. If you find yourself coping with a pest infestation, or would like a free quote, contact us today! 

A Helpful Guide About the Mosquito Lifespan

A mosquito isolated on a white background.
A mosquito isolated on a white background.

In the United States, there are 176 species of Mosquitoes. And in Minnesota, you know that summertime is ubiquitously associated with slapping those persistent pests. If you do nothing to eliminate the bugs, just how long is the mosquito lifespan? 

If you do not want to find out, then Environmental Pest Management has some options for you. Finding solutions to decrease the summertime bugs is just one of our specialties. 

If you have a curiosity about the mosquito, then read on to learn a little more about the lifespan of one of our most famous summer nuisances. 

Learn More About the Mosquito Lifespan 

A diagram depicting the stages of the mosquito lifespan.

Some mosquitoes can live up to six months long, from laying the eggs to the buzzing whine of a skeeter in your ear. Did you know that mosquitoes have a 4-stages of growth? 

Mosquitoes can breed and live in any standing water source, whether natural or human-made. 

Mosquito eggs have been found deep below the ground in mines and even on mountains at 14,000ft. Understanding how they develop is crucial to understanding how to manage their presence in your yard. 

You may not be aware of where these sneaky buggers are breeding near your home, but pest control experts can find them. 

Some mosquito species are referred to as “floodwater” species, meaning they lay their eggs in temporary water sources created by rain or flooding. Others are called “permanent water” species, which indicates they lay their eggs in water sources that are long-standing like ponds. 

Despite the 300 different mosquito species worldwide, they all develop the same way. There are four stages of mosquito growth: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. 

Water is necessary for development as both the larva and pupa stages happen aquatically. 

The Stages of the Mosquito Lifespan

Mosquito Eggs

An illustration of a mosquito egg raft.

The female mosquito will lay her eggs either on the surface of standing water or right at the edge of the waterline. She could find this water inside a tree hole, a pond, a birdbath, exposed potholes in riverbed rock, or an old bucket that has collected rainwater. 

The egg development phase takes only a few days before they are ready to hatch, depending on how warm the temperature is. If the water source evaporates or if the eggs are laid outside of water, the eggs will become dormant until the needed hatching conditions occur. 

This could take years in some situations, even overwintering until the eggs are back in the water again. They must be in or very near water to hatch. 

Mosquito Larva

Mosquito larvae underwater. Larvae is just one portion of the mosquito lifespan.

Once the eggs have hatched, the mosquito begins the larval stage of development. The larva hang suspended from the surface of the water in clusters. They require oxygen, so an air tube or siphon protrudes from their body and extends towards the surface. 

It acts much like a snorkel, allowing them to breathe. 

The larva filter-feed micro-nutrients for sustenance and swim deeper if needed to escape from a predator. The shape of their body creates an S motion as they swim. Because of this, they are nicknamed “wigglers” or “wrigglers.”

The larva will shed its exoskeleton four times before entering the next stage of development. This process can take 4-14 days, depending on the species, water temperature, and the amount of food available to them. 

Pupa Stage 

A mosquito pupa hanging beneath the water's surface.

Once the mosquito has developed to the pupal stage, it no longer needs to feed. It does still need to be in the water to survive. They also still need to breathe oxygen, so the pupas remain close to the surface. 

They are, however, becoming more physically active. The pupas use a rolling or tumbling motion to escape to deeper water if needed. This motion warrants them the common nickname of “tumblers.” 

The mosquito pupae are in this form for 1.5-4 days before they are ready to shed their exoskeleton one final time. 

Adult Mosquitoes 

An adult mosquito isolated on a white background. The adult stage is one of the four stages of the mosquito lifespan.

Once the pupa sheds its skin, it emerges as a fully formed adult mosquito. There are male and female mosquitoes, which lead very different lives. 

The male mosquitoes linger near the breeding site after hatching because reproduction is hardwired for survival. 30% of newly hatched adults will die within the first day, so their instincts have evolved to make them breed as fast as possible. 

How long do mosquitoes live? The male mosquito’s lifespan lasts 6 or 7 days. 

For the female, that quick turnaround isn’t easy. She has to eat before she can lay more eggs. 

While the male subsists entirely on plant nectar, the females need blood meals. Before laying her eggs, she needs to drink blood and plant nectar. 

How long do female mosquitoes live? Surprisingly, female mosquitoes can live upwards of 6 months, but generally, their lifespan is about six weeks. 

These flying insects will travel between one and ten miles for a blood meal. Some species can travel upwards of 40 miles. After each blood meal, the female mosquito will lay her eggs or oviposit. 

Some will complete this cycle several times in their lifespan, and some will lay their eggs only once.  

Why are they attracted to humans?

A mosquito biting a human.

Two main factors attract mosquitoes. Scenting carbon dioxide and heat are primarily how these flying insects hone in on their prey, whether human or animal. The source does not matter to them. 

The itchy bites are only one source of frustration from this pest. Mosquitoes also can transmit viruses and diseases, making them deadly in some areas of the world. The mosquito is most infamously associated with West Nile Virus and Zika Virus. 

Making Peace with the Pest

Mosquitos dead after flying into a light bug trap.

These summertime visitors are impossible to avoid, but there are ways to manage their presence. Understanding the mosquito lifespan can help pest control experts to disrupt it. 

We can help prevent more mosquitoes from hatching near your home so you can enjoy your summer in peace. 

Our team of master licensed technicians at Environmental Pest Management can help you manage the insects near your home. While there is no way to get rid of them entirely, there are very executable methods to ensure you are doing what you can to keep them at bay. 

Contact us at Environmental Pest Management to learn more about how we can help you today.

How To Get Rid Of June Bugs

Summer’s coming! You know it’s summer when you hear the whack of June Bugs smacking into your sliding glass door. Let’s discuss how to get rid of June Bugs.

Are you ready to enjoy the season? If you want to relax this summer, let Environmental Pest Management handle pest control. 

We handle all kinds of indoor and outdoor pests in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Contact us today for a free quote.

How to Identify June Bugs

A large June Bug on a green leaf.

There are hundreds of June bugs species, but in Minnesota, there are roughly 20 bugs with this name. June Bugs in our area are about an inch long and have an oval-shaped body.

These bulbous bugs have six hairy-looking legs and a pair of black antennae. They are dark brown, although some appear almost black or maroon. 

The June bug’s back and body is a hard, smooth shell with a uniform color and no markings. The underside is hairy. 

When they walk, they move in a bumbling way, almost as though their legs are too short for their bodies. When they fly, they always look like they’re about to crash.

They certainly are goofy, graceless bugs.

June Bugs are unique insects with two sets of wings. That hard shell covering the backside is a set of wings. There’s a second pair underneath the first.

The top set of wings serves to protect the bug but sticks out straight to be out of the way in flight. The top wings sticking out make this bug aerodynamically awkward.  

What Is A June Bug’s Life Cycle?

June Bug Larvae on potting soil

Adult June Bugs show up in or around (you guessed it) the beginning of summer. But where do they originate?

The bug begins life as an egg. The little white egg takes about three weeks to hatch.

The June Bug larva makes its way into your soil. It has a huge appetite, and it will molt twice before moving to the next stage of life. 

The bug will continue in the larval stage, eating roots and growing for one to three years. 

When the larva has grown and matured enough, it enters the pupal stage.

The pupa starts dark brown, gradually taking on an iridescent sheen. The pupa remains underground and doesn’t move at all during this stage.

The pupal stage lasts about three weeks. When this stage ends, the adult bug finds its way out of the ground and flies off to find a meal.

What Draws June Bugs To Your Home Or Yard?

June Bugs are attracted to moist soil and organic material. If you leave grass clippings left in your yard, June Bugs will be happy to dine there.

Damp soil is an ideal place for June beetles to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the June Bug grubs will burrow into your lawn.

June Bugs are drawn to any light source. If you have exterior lights on in early summer, you are likely hosting a nightly June Bug party. It may be the reason you’re researching how to get rid of June Bugs!

What Harm Do June Bugs Cause?

A June Bug on white blossoming flowers.

This flying, bumbling beetle is not a danger to people, and they do not want to bite or eat you. But June Bugs are interested in your plants.

June Bugs eat a wide variety of plant leaves, making Swiss cheese out of your lawn and garden. But that’s just the start.

The bugs lay eggs in your soil, turning your yard into a June Bug nursery. When the eggs hatch, the grubs feast on the roots of your plants.

A grub infestation can cause patches of dead grass to show up on your lawn. Brown patches in your yard are a sign of grubs munching on your roots.

Bugs in your lawn can also attract other animals notorious for being pests. Skunks and raccoons will dig small holes digging up grubs for dinner. 

How To Get Rid Of June Bugs

A bug zapper light installed and lit up to help prevent June Bugs in a yard.

The first step to getting rid of June bugs is to focus on the adults. 

If you aren’t squeamish, grab a pair of gardening gloves and pick the bugs off your plants by hand. Place them into a jug of soapy water to drown them.

If you prefer a hands-off approach, try this integrated pest management approach. This DIY insect killer is safe for humans and the environment:

  1. Mince four cloves of garlic. Soak them overnight in a tablespoon of mineral oil.
  2. Drain the oil, then add the garlic to a pint of water.
  3. Add a teaspoon of dish soap to the mix. 
  4. Put two tablespoons of your mix in a pint-sized spray bottle. Fill the remainder with water.

To get rid of June Bugs, spray the ones you see, as well as the plants they’ve been munching. The method also works well on Japanese beetles.

You can also reduce your June Bug count by installing a bug zapper. These bugs are notorious for heedlessly heading into lights. They fly straight into a crispy end with this contraption.

Once you’ve gotten control of the adults, you’ll need to address the grubs. 

June Bugs like to lay eggs in short grass, so don’t mow your lawn too low. You can set the mower to at least three inches to keep it at an ideal height. 

Deal with grubs naturally by introducing nematodes to the soil. You can purchase these microscopic worms online or at a garden center. Apply them with a spray bottle. 

A similar method is to apply a bacteria called Bacillus Thuringiensis, or BT. Apply in a spray or powder form to safely eliminate grubs.

If you need a more robust solution, try an insecticide that contains neem oil. This compound is toxic for many larvae but will not harm most beneficial bugs

Don’t Want To Deal With Bugs This Summer? Let Us Help

A pest control worker spraying a lawn.

If you’ve tried managing your outdoor pests, but they keep coming back, give us a call at Environmental Pest Management. We are experts at keeping your Minnesota yard free of nuisance bugs. 

Reach out today for your free quote to be on your way to having a pest-free environment!

Pests That Affect Your Pets: Fleas vs. Ticks

Outlines of a flea vs. tick
Outlines of a flea vs. tick

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to your animal incessantly scratching? Your dog could be scratching because of a common pet pest. The scratching can be from a pest, but is it a flea vs. a tick bothering your pet?

Fleas and ticks are tiny parasitic bugs that can cause people and animals irritation and transmit diseases. Though both fleas and ticks are tiny parasites, irritate, and transmit disease, they have more differences than you would think.  

If your home is teeming with tiny parasites, contact Environmental Pest Management for a successful pest control service.

Pests that Affect Your Pets: Fleas vs. Ticks

Three small dogs itching for fleas vs. ticks.

The most noticeable difference between fleas and ticks is that fleas like to invade. Fleas will infest your pets and invade the inside of your home. 

In contrast, ticks prefer to stay outdoors and will latch on to your pets if a suitable host wanders by. Both of these bugs have differences in characteristics, habitats, behaviors, bites, and how they spread disease.

Let’s dive into the differences!

Characteristics

Fleas

A large closeup shot of a flea to show the difference between flea vs. tick

Fleas are a dark reddish-brown color. They are easy to mistake as dirt in your pet’s coat.

They have tiny backward-pointing hairs that extend from their exoskeleton. They use their extended mouthparts to feed on their host’s blood. 

Although they may appear to be flying, this is not the case. They do not have wings.

Fleas use their strong hind legs to leap up to 13 inches or 200 times their body length.

Ticks

An enlarged photo of a tick on a white background

Depending on the species, ticks are usually larger than fleas. There are more than 850 species of ticks, and 90 of them can be found within the United States. 

Ticks can be a black, brown, reddish-brown, grayish-white, or yellowish color. They are more of a teardrop or oval-shaped bug with a large abdomen used for feeding. 

Adult ticks will have eight legs, while tick larvae will only have six. Ticks have three life stages: Larval, nymph, and adult- all of which are capable of biting. They are a close cousin to spiders. 

Habitats

A shaded area with tall grass is the perfect habitat for fleas and ticks

Fleas prefer to live in shaded areas with lots of tall grass. Since ticks cannot fly or jump, they prefer to live closer to their hosts. 

They will live in wooded or grassy areas close to homes or near rat burrows or bird nests.

What weather can they tolerate? Most of the time, we think of “flea and tick season” as the warmer months. 

While it’s true for fleas, they thrive in warmer environments. On the other hand, while yes, ticks thrive in warmer weather, they can survive the colder months. Some even hide underneath the snow.    

Behaviors

A tick biting human skin.

Fleas usually avoid biting humans unless there are no other suitable hosts nearby. Fleas will find one host, usually a dog or cat, and live there until they die.

On the other hand, ticks are not as particular. 

Ticks will attach themselves to multiple hosts and feast for a few days until they are engorged with blood, then move on to the next. Ticks will feed on pets, deer, opossums, rabbits, rodents, and even humans. 

 Fleas use their powerful hind legs to jump to and from their hosts.

Since ticks can’t fly or jump, many species of ticks wait for their hosts in a position called “questing.” When questing, the tick will hold onto a leaf or grass with its hind legs with its front legs outstretched.

Then once a host wanders by that area, they will quickly climb aboard and search for a place to latch.

Fleas vs. Ticks: The Bites

Flea bites on a leg.

When a flea bites its host, they inject their saliva into their skin. This can cause your pet to experience skin irritation, rash, and itchiness. 

When a tick bites, it is usually painless, and the negative symptoms will not appear until the tick has finished feeding. The symptoms of a tick bite can include pain at the site, swelling, rash, headache, sore muscles, or fever.

How They Spread Disease

A doctor removing a tick from a person's hand.

Fleas

Fleas can spread diseases such as typhus and plague. Fleas become infected when they bite an infected animal such as a rat, opossum, or stray cat. 

When the fleas bite their host, it causes a break in the skin. When the fleas feed, they poop. 

The poop is called “flea dirt.” The flea dirt from the infected flea can get rubbed inside the wounds. 

It is also possible for people to inhale in the infected flea dirt or rub it into their eyes.

Ticks

Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and tularemia through feeding. 

Depending on the species of tick and which life stage it’s in, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours to find a feeding spot on its host’s skin. Once the tick has found its feeding spot, it cuts into the surface of the skin and inserts its feeding tube. 

Many species of ticks have a barbed feeding tube that helps keep them in place while feeding. They can also secrete a sticky substance to help keep themselves attached to their meal.

Before ticks bite, they can secrete a small amount of saliva that contains anesthetic qualities. The host will be unaware of the tick’s attachment.

The tick can go unnoticed in a hard-to-reach or out-of-the-way spot. Then the tick will feast on the blood slowly for a couple of days. 

If the host has any bloodborne pathogens, the tick will ingest them with the blood. Tiny amounts of tick saliva can enter the host during the feeding process. 

The infected saliva from the tick can transmit pathogens to the host during the feast. Once finished feeding, the tick drops off to prepare for its next stage of life. 

Any acquired pathogens or diseases can be transmitted at the next feeding. 

Protect Your Pets    

A pet owner applying flea medicine to a dog that has flea dirt in its fur.     

Preparing yourself for fleas and ticks is the best way to protect you, your home, and your pets from fleas and ticks. When it comes to fleas and ticks, it is best to use prevention methods. 

Keep your yard mowed and landscaped to help keep them from living in your backyard. Do not leave out any pet food that may attract unwanted animals, such as opossums or raccoons.

Talk to your veterinarian about a flea and tick treatment for your pet. And keep your pet’s bedding or carpets and rug clean to prevent flea infestations. 

If you think you have a tick infestation or live near a wooded area where ticks love to hang out, call Environmental Pest Management for help. We will prevent pet pests from infiltrating your home.

12 Common Minnesota Bugs

A black and white Weevil on a white background
A black and white Weevil on a white background

Though it does not feel like it, our Minnesota winter is coming to an end. As we approach summer, our crawly friends will be coming out to make their presence known. 

Or some of us may have some winter visitors holed up in our homes to escape the cold outdoors. It is important to know if your house guest is a friendly flyer or a harmful home invader. 

Take a look at these common Minnesota bugs that you are likely to find all year round. 

If you find any of these pests in your home and want them to vacate the premises, call Environmental Pest Management. We will send your pests packing!

A Stink Bug on a bright green leaf. Stink Bugs are a common Minnesota bug.

1. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

These guys were unintentionally brought to North America from South-East Asia. You will find these common Minnesota bugs hiding out in your home during the wintertime to escape the low temperatures. 

The stink bug will sneak through cracks and crevices in your home’s siding or door and window frames. Though they are not harmful, these guys do stink (both literally and figuratively). 

A red male tick on a white background.

2. Ticks

I think it’s safe to say we all know about these pests. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there are roughly twelve different kinds of ticks.

The three main types you might encounter are the American dog tick (or wood tick), the black-legged tick (or deer tick), and the lone star tick. Each of these carries the possibility of a tick-borne disease.

Ticks are crawlies you do not want to have around. If you do experience a tick bite, be careful with removal.

A Silverfish close up on a white background. Silverfish are a common Minnesota bug.

3. Silverfish

These pests have a suitable name for these flightless bugs with fish-like movements. Although they are very otherworldly looking, they are more of a nuisance than anything. 

Their destructive tendencies can make them a major annoyance. The silverfish’s discarded exoskeleton can also trigger allergies in some cases. 

Two ants on a white background

4. Ants

Ants are a common pest found in and around Minnesota homes. The best way to control an ant infestation is to identify them correctly. 

Most ants are more of a home-owner headache than disease-carrying and destructive. The University of Minnesota has a lot of great information on ant identification.

A cockroach on a sink

5. Cockroaches

Yes, of course, these guys made the list. Four types of cockroaches can infest Minnesota homes: the brown-banded cockroach, oriental cockroach, American cockroach, and the German cockroach. 

The best way to avoid these guys is to keep your kitchen and pantry clean. Store pantry foods in air-tight containers and clean dirty dishes frequently. 

They can carry diseases and can trigger allergies and asthma.

An earwig isolated on a white background

6. Earwigs

These guys are mostly a problem during Minnesota summers (July and August). They can come in large numbers. 

They do not cause any harm to humans or property damage but can give off an awful odor. One earwig will not live long inside the home. If you’re unprepared, earwigs will continue to enter the home through the summer months. 

A close up photo of Weevils on grains of rice.

7. Weevils 

These insects are a small, pear-shaped beetle with a noticeable snout. Weevils will seek shelter in your home from unfavorable weather conditions, especially dry, hot weather. 

These guys are classified as pantry pests and may try and find a home in your rice or grains. Store your grains and other weevil-loving food in air-tight glass or plastic storage containers. 

A Boxelder bug is a dark beetle with orange markings

8. Boxelder Bug

These common Minnesota bugs are black with orange or red markings. You can identify them by the three stripes on their back right behind their head. 

These bugs like warmth and are unlikely to cause you a problem during the summer months. They can become an issue in the fall and winter months when they are seeking warmth and shelter. 

They are primarily a nuisance as they often enter homes or buildings in large numbers. 

A wasp on a leaf

9. Wasps

Yellowjackets (including baldfaced hornets) and paper wasps are two common wasps you can find in Minnesota.

Wasps will construct their nests on the inside or outside of buildings, inside trees, and in the ground. Usually, wasps do not cause a problem if they are not near human activity. 

If you find a wasps nest inside or outside your home, it should be eliminated to reduce the risk of stings. 

A multi-colored carpet beetle close up

10. Carpet Beetles

These small guys can be found indoors throughout the year. They are commonly spotted during the spring and summer. 

Carpet beetles can be tricky because adults feed on pollen and are not pests alone. However, their larvae are destructive because they feed on natural fibers of animal origin.

They are not so much a concern for your carpet as they are your closet and items containing materials such as feather, wool, fur, or silk.

A large larder beetle on a white background. 

11. Larder Beetles

These oval-shaped dark brown beetle can be identified by the cream or yellow-colored band with six dark spots that run across the top of their wings.

These guys were fittingly named larder beetles (think lard) because of their attraction to food pantries and animal by-products. Both the adults and the larvae feed on high-protein materials or products. 

They will eat furs, feathers, wool, dead animals and insects, cured meats, dry pet food, and cheese.

Indianmeal moth on a white background

12. Indianmeal Moths 

Indianmeal moths have light gray wings that darken near the hind with no distinguishing markings. They may have a reddish-brown or coppery color on the outer portion of their wings. 

These pantry predators get their names from their diet of “Indian corn” or maize. They can be found in homes living in stored food products including, grains, dried fruit, seeds, spices, or pet foods. 

To help prevent these common Minnesota bugs, it is important to keep your pantry clean and store dry food products in glass or plastic air-tight containers. 

Environmental Pest Management Battles Minnesota Bugs

A pest control worker spraying a cabinet under a bathroom sink

All year long is a bug battle. Pests enter and exit homes depending on weather, life cycles, or other habits. 

If you find yourself with one or any of these common Minnesota bugs, Environmental Pest Management can help. We are proud to service Burnsville, MN, and surrounding cities

Contact us today for safe and effective pest management.

It Really Stinks! How Do Stink Bugs Get in the House?

A stink bug on a white background
A stink bug on a white background

What’s that smell? It is the aroma of an unwanted house guest; you guessed it: a stink bug. So, how do stink bugs get in the house? Keep reading to find out how these stinky invaders are finding their way into your home. And, keep them outside with a few of these easy and natural tips. 

If you discover an on-going stink bug infestation that natural remedies aren’t solving, contact Environmental Pest Management for a free quote. We will evict the unwanted pests and solve the stink they’ve caused. 

The Stink Bug Origin Story

A Brown Marmorated Stink Bug on a house siding

Fittingly named for their brown marble pattern backs, the brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) are native to South-East Asia. These invasive hitchhikers found their way over to the United States from China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. 

In the late 90s, they appeared in the United States in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since they’ve landed domestically, you can now find them crawling around most of the United States.

While they can be a major pest, they will not harm you or pose a threat to your health. However, when threatened or squashed, these pests release a nose-assaulting scent. They use the scent to fend off predators. 

Why They Come Inside

A stink bug in the house on the window.

Decreased temperatures and shortened fall days cause the brown marmorated stink bug to seek refuge for diapause. Diapause is a crucial component in their lifecycle where the adult stink bugs’ reproductive activity ceases.

They scout out the prime location for their overwintering, which usually tends to be inside your home. Once they’re nestled in, they release their pungent aroma to attract others to the location. 

While overwintering stink bugs can be a major buzz kill, you do not have to worry about them reproducing or causing damage to your home and valuables.

How Do Stink Bugs Get in the House?

A ripped screen could be how stink bugs get into the house.

Stink bugs will sneak into your home from any cracks and crevices they can find in window and door frames. They will scuttle in through any gaps or holes in the foundations or underneath your home’s siding.

You will mainly see an overwintering population in large structures located close to wooded areas, agricultural fields, gardens, and orchards. They can also occur in locations where there is a dense amount of ornamental plants that attract stink bugs.

Dealing with Stink Bugs

A stink bug on a baseboard in a home.

Once in the home, stink bugs generally hang out in tight spaces and upper floors. You may spot them tucked between your curtains and up along the top of the walls in your attic or upstairs bedrooms. 

Here are some different techniques you can use to make your home stink-bug-free. 

Prevention Methods

Seal points of entry 

Before the temperatures outside begin to drop, inspect the outside of your home. Search for any cracks that could be a potential entry point. Pay close attention to your home’s siding and utility pipes. 

Check behind your chimney and wooden facia. You can fill any holes or cracks with a quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.

You can also install screens over your attic vents and chimney to reduce access. 

Repair or replace

A repairman holding a ripped screen he replaced

Stink bugs are capable of entering your home from the smallest openings. It is crucial to repair or replace a damaged window or door screen. Be sure to look for any loose mortar or torn weather-stripping, too. 

Eliminate moisture

Check for moisture build-up around your home. Ensure that you do not have any clogged drains or leaking pipes. Eliminating any moisture build-up will help prevent many pest infestations. 

Proper ventilation

A red dehumidfier in a basement

Ensure that your basements, garages, attics, and crawl spaces get plenty of dry air. Doing so can help reduce the amounts of refuge spots. You can also look into using dehumidifiers in these areas.

Lights out

Like a majority of bugs, stink bugs are attracted to lights. Try to keep your outdoor lighting minimal. In the evenings, you can turn off outdoor lights when not in use and pull the blinds to prevent indoor lighting from spilling outside. 

What if they’re still getting inside?

If you notice they’re still getting into the home, here are some preventative measures you can take within the home.

Neem Oil 

Neem oil in a brown glass bottle, perfect for deterring stink bugs

Neem oil comes from a common South Asian, and Indian ornamental shade tree called a Neem tree (Azadirachta indica). The plant-based oil works as a natural insecticide by interfering with the stink bug’s instinctual overwintering behaviors.

Since the oil affects stink bugs’ natural process, it can take up to a week for the oil to take effect. Combine 2 tablespoons of neem oil with 32 ounces of water in a spray bottle. Spray all entry points such as windowsills and infested areas. 

Mint Essential Oil

Freshen your home while combating stinky pests. Combine ten drops of mint essential oil and 16 ounces of water. Mist solution on windowsill and doorways to deter entry.       

Garlic Spray

Mix 4 teaspoons of garlic powder or a few crushed garlic cloves with 16 ounces of water. Liberally spray on any entry points where stink bugs are entering your home. 

Hang up Fly Tape

Flies trapped on fly tape.

Hanging fly tape near windows and doorways will catch these pesky stinkers. You may find it an unattractive method, but it’s simple and effective.

Utilize Dryer Sheets

You might have a box or two of these already lying around. Stink bugs are offended by the odor of dryer sheets. You can use them to wipe down window sills, screens, and doorways to ward them off. 

Pull out the Vacuum 

A woman in socks vacuuming up stink bugs in her house

For larger infestations, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck the crawlies up. This method is best if you have a bagged vacuum cleaner. You’ll want to throw out the bag immediately once finished. That way, you keep from gassing out the entire family with the aroma of stink bugs.  

Stay Away from Chemical Ridden Insecticides 

Woman spraying chemicals to kill bugs

While it may be the easy to grab any generic chemical-filled insecticide, this is not the best option. These chemicals can also pose risks to children and pets and harm the environment.

There are very few that do the job properly. If your chosen chemicals manage to work, the bug corpses can attract new bugs to feast. 

Too Stinky of a Job?

A pest control worker spraying for stink bugs

No longer will you be asking yourself, “how do stink bugs get in the house?” but knowing the answer doesn’t solve the problem at hand. 

Call Environmental Pest Management for a free quote. We have decades of experience with stink bugs and crawlies of all kinds.

We will come to your home and use Integrated Pest Management, which means we solve the problem using environmentally safe products. We work diligently to provide you and your family with long term and safe solutions.

Look Out for These Basement Bugs

A basement window with cobwebs.
A basement window with cobwebs.

What do you do if you see basement bugs? Instinct might say “sell the house!” but good news: you have less drastic solutions available.

Let’s look at what kinds of bugs you might find downstairs and how to prevent and eliminate these pest problems.

Like pill bugs, some might be annoying, while others, like termites, could damage your home.

If you are unsure if you have bugs in your basement, call the experts. Reach out to Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today.

What Basement Bugs Might Homeowners See? 

A centipede is a common basement bug. See one crawling across a baseboard.

You might not see any if you don’t look quickly when you click on the lights! Basement bugs scooch out of sight because most prefer places that are dark and damp.

Here are the usual suspects:

  • Earwigs and spiders
  • Termites and carpenter ants
  • Pillbugs and sowbugs
  • Centipedes and millipedes
  • Camel crickets and cockroaches

Let’s look at who’s on the lineup for pest control services.

Earwigs and Spiders

A small spider on a shelf in a basement bathroom.

Earwigs are also called pincer bugs because of the pincers they use to fight other earwigs. They may appear scary but are rarely harmful to humans.

They like being outside where they can feast on decaying plant matter. They may have accidentally hitchhiked to your basement in boxes or come in an unsealed crack.

With their trademark eight legs (instead of the buggy six), spiders are not insects. Their presence may still bug you, though! Like earwigs, they look frightening to many people and are undesirable visitors.

Termites and Carpenter Ants

In Minnesota, we’re more likely to deal with dry wood than subterranean termites, but both do show up here.

Termites are not directly dangerous to you and your family, but they can cause significant harm to your home. 

Carpenter ants might bite you, but again, the biggest trouble with them is they’re likely to damage structures. Professional pest control will evict these unwelcome wood destroyers.

Pill Bugs and Sowbugs

A Sowbug on a white background. These are common basement bugs.

You may have fun childhood memories of pillbugs as the roly-poly bugs that ball up when touched. Sowbugs look similar but don’t roll into balls.

These bugs are not scientifically insects. Instead, they are crustaceans related to their water cousins like crawdads and lobsters.

As land-dwelling crustaceans, pillbugs and sowbugs need reliable moisture sources to survive.

Centipedes and Millipedes

A centipede crawling along a basement floor.

Centipedes have 30 legs, not a hundred as their name might suggest. Likewise, millipedes don’t have a thousand legs but do have up to 90.

Both come inside buildings seeking warmth.

Millipedes won’t usually live long indoors. They may produce a foul-smelling liquid in self-defense. Avoid touching them as this can be irritating to bare skin.

Centipedes are an ally in that they eat other pests like spiders and flies. Even so, they can bite, so avoid contact with them.

If you see centipedes, let it be a red flag that other basement bugs likely need removal.

Camel Crickets and Cockroaches

A closeup of a large camel cricket on basement carpet

Camel crickets have a humpback shape for which they’re named. You won’t hear camel crickets as they don’t make chirps. They do jump, so watch out!

Cockroaches are winged red-brown oval-shaped bugs about an inch or longer. They don’t bite often but can transmit diseases.

You may see their feces or eggs before you see them. They’re also foul-smelling, so their odor may give them away too.

What Keeps the Bugs Out? 

A man sealing a window with caulk to prevent basement bugs.

Take these steps to reduce the number of basement bugs that make their way inside.

Block Their Entry Point

Basement bugs use nearby brush and debris as bridges from their natural outdoor environment into your home. Keeping the foundation cleared helps deter them.

Clean the perimeter as the first line of defense.

Seal Cracks and Crevices

Get out your caulk gun and go hunting to seal any cracks you find. All of these basement bugs will take advantage of tiny openings.

Remove Their Food Source

Removing leaves and decaying garden matter from nearby your home will shut down the outdoor bug buffet. 

Inside your basement, keep your food stored on shelves in sealed containers. This will prevent your food from becoming theirs!

Eliminate Moisture

Water is the enemy of housing structures. Ensuring a dry building helps your home itself and keeps it unwelcoming to basement bugs.

Many bugs like centipedes need dark and damp habitats to survive. Making your basement light, bright, and dry will be comfortable for you and hostile to pests.

Audit the pipes and plumbing in your downstairs rooms and crawl spaces to confirm there are no leaks. Fix any drips or condensation problems.

How Do You Get Free of Basement Bugs? 

A dead cockroach on its back on a white background.

After you’ve taken measures to secure your home, you may still discover basement bugs.

Catch and Release

If you feel inclined, you can escort the trespasser off-premises. Cover it with a clear glass container and slide a piece of firm paper or cardstock underneath.

Take care if you try this approach, as some basement bugs do bite or pinch! Cautiously carry the covered critter outside and release it far away from your home.

License to Kill

Of course, this is your home, and you can kill basement bugs at will! There are some simple weapons to use against them.

Boric acid powder works to kill the invaders.

You can keep a spray bottle of water and rubbing alcohol and fire a shot of this at bugs you find. Label the sprayer to prevent misuse, and store it away from children.

Vacuum up basement bugs for handy removal. Empty the bag or canister to be sure they and any viable eggs leave from your home.

Call Professional Pest Control

A woman calling fro pest control on her large, rose gold iPhone.

If you see something scurry, there’s no need to worry! We have decades of experience identifying and removing pests and infestations.

We use Integrated Pest Management, so if we can choose non-chemical control, we do. We come to your home to clear it of pests and keep it safe for you and your family.

Call the bug busters at Environmental Pest Management for a free consultation or more information today. We’re ready to relieve you! Say goodbye to “ughs” over basement bugs!

5 Signs You Have a Rodent Infestation

A rat peaking out from behind a rock.
A rat peaking out from behind a rock.

No matter where you live, there are expectations you have for your quality of life. We are confident that one of them is not having a rodent infestation. 

Rodents are sneaky characters whose numbers often aren’t known until they are eradicated from their nest or seen. They like to creep around undetected and are biologically designed to do so. 

Most homeowners may have an infestation and not realize it until they see just one rat. Usually, seeing this one critter signifies that there are many more who have not yet been spotted. 

You may be asking yourself, how do I know I may have an infestation if rodents are so stealthy? Consider these common signs of a rodent problem in your home.

Since 1986 we have proudly served the Greater Minneapolis and Twin Cities areas. Contact us today to see how we can help you take back your home from unwanted pests. 

1. Rodent Droppings

Rodent droppings isolated on a white background.

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation is droppings. Both mice and rats leave droppings that are deep brown and pointed at both ends. 

Familiar places droppings are spotted are under sinks and around food sources.

If you do spot droppings in your home, we advise being extremely careful. Rat droppings can trigger respiratory diseases in humans. 

The most common of these is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Humans can contract this disease by breathing in particles from rodent urine and droppings.

The Mayo Clinic notes early signs are similar to influenza. They can include muscle ache, fever, and abdominal pain. 

If you do see droppings, wear gloves and a mask while you clean. This will help to prevent you from catching HPS or other diseases from the droppings. 

2. Odor

A rat outside of someone's home.

Another sign of a rodent infestation is odor. Those who have experienced an infestation have described smelling a rotten or musty odor. 

This smell will worsen as the rodent infestation does and can be due to decaying rodents and their droppings. 

The odor can often intensify in areas that rodents frequent and dissipate once the infestation has been cleared. 

Remember, this odor can indicate droppings and dead rodents, which spread their diseases to humans. For that reason, we strongly suggest calling us to clean them and their odor from your home professionally.  

3. Chew Marks

Gnaw marks and a hole where rodents have entered a building. Chewing is a sign of a rodent infestation.

A true telltale sign of an active infestation is gnaw marks. These tiny marks can be seen on food packaging, electrical wires, and points of entry. 

Constant chewing is how both mice and rats keep their front incisors shaped and a good size. They are prone to chewing on baseboards and flooring as well. 

Their constant chewing can turn lethal to humans if they begin to chew on wiring in a home. When the insulation is stripped from electrical wires, an electrical short can cause a fire. 

4. Noise

A woman listening through her wall using a glass for a rodent infestation.

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation can be the sound of scampering or movement in walls or vents. The sound may also resemble scratching or chewing. 

This can happen in homes or businesses and is an indication that you have a more severe infestation. 

Both mice and rats are nocturnal, meaning that they forage for food and move mostly after sunset. This means that you are more likely to hear rodent sounds in the evening. 

Rodents sometimes travel in heating vents because they can fit, and they are drawn to the heat. 

Recently we posted a blog on the damage both mice and rats can do to an HVAC system.  

Potential problems include the spread of disease through vents or fire from chewing through wiring in walls. It is imperative to rid your home of pests that may be in your home in either situation. 

5.Pets

A German Shepard and Tabby cat sitting on a couch together

Housepets are quick to notice if there is something different or scurrying in a home. Odd behavior from your pets can indicate the presence of rodents. 

Dogs and cats are especially sensitive to changes in their environments.

This behavior may translate as scratching at a wall they hear movement in. Also, take note of when your pet’s behavior changes in a particular area of your home where the rodents are. 

Both cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. This means that they can smell an infestation earlier than we as humans could. 

Cats can not only pick up the scent of pests; they sense their movements through their whiskers. They not only have whiskers on their face but their legs as well. 

Your cat’s whiskers allow them to get a literal feel for their environment and disturbances in it. 

Dogs use their excellent sense of smell to sniff out rodents, which they see as a threat to their environment. 

If You Have A Rodent Infestation, We’re Here for You

A rat in a pest control trap.

Since 1986 our business has been helping families to take back their homes from pests. We take the time to get to know you and choose a method to keep pests away.

Affiliating with the National Pest Management Association and Minnesota Pest Management Association provides us access to our industry’s best minds. 

We can learn from them as well as witnessing the newest methods of responsible pest extermination. 

Methods gleaned from these organizations and our own experience help us treat your home while keeping the environment in mind.  

We treat your home by finding the source of your rodent infestation so that we can keep them away. 

Whether you need services for a house, business, or apartment building, we’re here for you! Visit our site today to learn more about pest management and receive a free quote.

 

Fill Your Garden With These Beneficial Insects

A ladybug being a beneficial isnects and hunting aphids on a plant.
A ladybug being a beneficial isnects and hunting aphids on a plant.

Whether you have a decorative or food garden keeping it pest-free is important. While pesticides are an effective way to keep insects away from your yard, they are not naturally occurring. For your home garden, try adding some predatory and beneficial insects instead.

Beneficial insects will keep your garden free of harmful bugs that may destroy the fruits of your labor. Keep reading to learn more about the right insects to add around your home to have a beautiful and bountiful garden.

But, if you need a little help getting started, Environmental Pest Management is ready to assist you by safely and effectively ridding your home and garden of unwanted pests or rodents. Contact us today, and we’ll work together to develop your pest-control plan.

What Are Beneficial Insects?

Two Minute Pirate Bugs on a leaf, being beneficial insects

Beneficial bugs eat others, and in turn, provide natural pest control. These helpful insects are mainly attracted to flowering plants and can sometimes be purchased in stores online.

Beneficial insects feed as both young and adults on other bugs. These bugs are ideal for helping to control unwanted Aphid, Whitefly, and Mealybug populations. 

Examples of beneficial insects include a Minute Pirate Bug, Lady Beetle (also known as a Ladybug), and Crab Spider. Another type of valuable insect species is called a Parasitoid. They seek other insects as hosts in which to lay their eggs.

Small wasps are common parasitoids. When these wasp eggs hatch, the young feed and develop within the insect host and eventually kill it.

The MSU Extension has an educational and colorful brochure that shows these and other beneficial predator bugs that work well to prevent other harmful insects.

The Pollinators

A honey bee pollinating a white flower

When it comes to beneficial insects, there are more than just predatory bugs you want.

By far, pollinating is the most common reason any insect is thought of when ‘good.’

Pollination is an integral part of plant reproduction. According to the U.S. Forest Service, pollination creates crucial genetic diversity and allows for adequate fruit growth and seed dispersal. 

Without pollination, there likely wouldn’t be many plants. 

Bees are one of the most popular pollinators.

In the Midwest, there are five prominent bee families. The family names are Apidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, and Colletidae. 

Included in the Apidae family are honey bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees. These are familiar sights to most people who step outside in the spring, summer, and early fall. 

Honey bees need little explanation. They collect pollen, then it falls during transport, making honey in their nest from the nectar. 

Bumblebees are also important pollinators.

Interestingly, Bumblebees pollinate by sonicating or buzzing and by using their tongue.

This sonicating is necessary to get the most pollen loose from these plants. Their loud buzzing isn’t to scare you at all, but rather a useful adaptation that makes them the super-pollinators they are.

Bumblebees vibrate their wing muscles, making a buzzing noise, which causes the anthers to shake out pollen grains, successfully pollinating plants.

Bring The Good Bugs to You

Marigold flowers attract beneficial insects

Use integrated pest management theory to attract beneficial bugs while you control garden pests. 

Certain plants will attract the beneficial insects you want.

All flowers and plants to be discussed are native to the north-central United States. In the Twin Cities area, helpful bugs and garden pests won’t have flowering plants to feed on until mid-late May. 

Whether you are planting for food or aesthetic purposes, flowers can provide a safety border. For instance, to protect your tomato plants, add some marigolds.

Marigolds naturally attract aphids. Aphids are tasty and call to good predators like Crab Spiders, Ladybugs, and Pirate Bugs. If the Aphids and predator bugs are distracted by your Marigolds, it will give your tomato plants some much-needed protection.

Creating a Security Border

A bee pollinating a purple flower

When you prepare your gardens to attract the good bugs, you also protect your home from unwanted pests.

Think of a floral security border as you would a child’s pinwheel. It spins, like the seasons changing, yet you always see colors. 

In the first of the growing season, mid-late May, little more than wild strawberry or Golden Alexanders will grow. As you move into June, more variety is available, including hairy Beardtongue, Angelica, and Cow Parsnip. 

In July, flowering options widen more. Indian Hemp, Late Figwort, Culver’s Root, and more are excellent options to draw those beneficial insects, the bees. 

It may be a reflex to swat when you hear the buzzing sound. Science shows more and more benefits bees offer to our environment. 

Once you have planted your vegetables or flowers, welcome the buzz!. 

You’ve given these beneficial insects a buffet of pollen and nectar to devour, and they’ll return the favor by pollinating your plants.

Do you want to identify plants in your garden? This colorful graph matches the flowers’ names and pictures.

Michigan State University gives detailed information regarding plants grown throughout the northern midwest. It is an exceptional resource for using biological control of unwanted pests.

One More Good Bug

A Ground Beetle eating a slug in a garden.

Ground Beetle is a catch-all name given to one of the types of beneficial insects in the Carabidae family. They are also known as Carabids.

Ground Beetles are among the largest insect families, with approximately 40,000 species worldwide and 2,339 species in the United States. The adult beetles hunt primarily on the soil surface but sometimes climb into the foliage, searching for food. 

While the adults are beneficial insects, the burrowing larvae of these beetles also seek out and feed on pests in the soil. Many ground beetle species have broad feeding habits, eating other insects and plants’ seeds (including weeds). Ground Beetles like to snack on mites, slugs, snails, caterpillars, cutworms, earwigs, vine borers, aphids, and other insects.

If you find your garden is infested by any of these unwanted bugs, it might be time to call in the Ground Beetles.

You Aren’t Alone

A beautiful backyard garden with healthy, flowering plants

We’ve offered some creative and earth-friendly ideas to control bad bugs around your home, office, or other commercial building. If you don’t have the time or desire to do it on your own, don’t stress.

Protect your home from unwanted pests. Reach out to Environmental Pest Management for an inspection today. 

Are Spiders Insects?

a Wolf Spider
a Wolf Spider

Are spiders insects? No, they’re insect hunters! 

Insects like mosquitoes carry diseases, and spiders kill our insect enemies.

If the enemy of our enemy is our friend, then spiders are our friends! Even so, we understand that these particular “friends” can be pests.

Protect your home from unwanted pests; reach out to Environmental Pest Management for a quote today.

What’s the Difference Between Spiders and Insects?

Three Wolf Spiders isolated on a white background
spider isolated

As one scientist put it: “Arachnids are as distant from insects, as birds are from fish.” That certainly emphasizes how different they are!

Are Spiders Insects? The Eyes Have It.

Spiders see with eight simple eyes, while insects look through two compound eyes. Either way, you’ll probably have an easier time telling them apart by counting legs instead of tiny eyes.

These Legs Were Made for Walking

A dark fishing spider

Spiders walk with four pairs of legs, while insects have three. 

Insects have six legs. Count eight legs, and you see a spider.

If we scaled the fastest spider to our size, it could move between 50 to 140 miles per hour.

In reality, that spider at its actual size is moving at only about one mile per hour. Any speed can feel too quick for comfort when it comes to spiders!

Contact us at Environmental Pest Management if you’d like support enforcing boundaries that keep them outside. They have important work to do out there, eating insects and feeding birds!

Only Insects Have Wings

Goldenrod Crab Spider on a leaf. Native to Minnesota

Not all insects have wings at all times, but spiders never have wings at any time. 

Are spiders insects? Fortunately not—can you imagine a flying spider?

Spiders cannot fly, but some jump. Some even sail through the air on parachutes they build with their own silk!

Spiders Make Silk

A spiderweb with water on it

Are spiders insects because they make silk?

Not all spiders live in webs of their own making, but all spiders can make silk. Those who spin webs use them as traps to catch their prey, mostly insects.

Some insects can make silk, too, but they live only in tropical or subtropical climates. Here in Minnesota, only spiders are spinning webs.

The Body Of A Spider—Look At The Head And Thorax.

A close-up of a Nursery web spider

Spiders and insects also differ in their number of body parts. Spiders have only two body segments, while insects have three.

It takes a head, thorax, and abdomen to be an insect. Those first two segments are conjoined in spiders as one section called the cephalothorax (or prosoma).

On their abdomens, only spiders have silk spinnerets; insects don’t.

Are Those Chelicerae or Antennae?

A spider anatomy diagram

Another distinction between spiders and insects are their extra appendages.

In front of their first pair of legs, spiders have chelicerae with fangs. The fangs inject venom into prey like insects, or unfortunately, sometimes into people.

Almost all spiders make venom, but only about 1% of spiders species are considered dangerous for people.

Some insects also make venom, but it is through stings, not fangs, when they injure people.

Only insects have antennae on their heads, while spiders never do.

Features in Common

A spider next to an ant

Spiders and insects wouldn’t ever be confused for each other if they didn’t share some common features!

Both spiders and insects have segmented bodies and hard exoskeletons (instead of backbones like humans do). They sometimes shed or molt their exoskeletons to grow bigger.

Also, both have joints in their legs. Accordingly, the animal group they all belong to is called Arthropoda, which means “jointed foot.”

Spiders vs. Insects: an Epic Battle

A Black Widow Spider getting ready to eat it's prey

Scientists recognize groups of animals from Kingdoms down to Phylums down to Classes. The Phylum Arthropoda includes the Class Arachnida and Class Insecta.

Spiders belong to Class Arachnida and insects to Class Insecta. (Other creepy-crawlies like centipedes and millipedes belong to other classes.)

For a million years, Class Arachnida and Class Insecta have been in an epic battle. Humankind does best if neither wins because they’re keeping each other in balance.

Most of us also don’t want their war within the walls of our homes!

If you’re wondering how to keep the fight outside, call Environmental Pest Management. Our professionals want to protect your home from being their battlefield.

Class Arachnida

Common black and yellow fat corn or garden spider (Argiope aurantia) on his web waiting for his prey

Spiders belong to Class Arachnida. Other members of this class are scorpions, mites, and ticks, and they have the classic eight legs of Arachnida.

Scorpions don’t live in Minnesota, but we do have interesting little cousins here called pseudoscorpions.

Good news for us Minnesotans—pseudoscorpions don’t pose any threat to people. If you see a tiny creature that looks like a tick but has pincers, it is harmless.

Unfortunately, ticks can be dangerous because they often carry diseases that they can transmit to people.

Are ticks insects? Are spiders insects? No, they both have those classic eight legs.

Stop signs have eight sides, and arachnids have eight legs—like nature’s Stop! If we count to eight, it’s often safer to take heed.

Call us at Environmental Pest Management to address any concerns you have with spiders or other pests in your home.

Creating a Hostile Environment Against Spiders

A close p of a Daddy Long Leg Spider

Making the areas inside and outside your home unattractive to spiders can naturally encourage them to go elsewhere.

Spiders like dust and they hide in places like stacked boxes. Reducing these areas tells them that they aren’t welcome.

Outside, spiders see bushes, firewood, and other piles as luxury resort accommodations.

Keeping the perimeter directly around your home clear deters spiders from living nearby. Then they’re less likely to take that next eight-legged step into your home.

Check these natural remedies to help keep spiders at bay as well. Spiders detest some herbs and oils, like cinnamon and citrus. 

The same scents that can make your home festive during the holidays can also deter spiders.

Call the Professionals at Environmental Pest Management

Someone spraying a pest control treatment on flowers

Are spiders insects? No, but you probably still don’t want them in your home.

We practice integrated pest management. We know spiders play important roles in our world, and we recognize their value—outside!

We work to keep them outside in an environmentally mindful way. We choose non-chemical means whenever we can.

Call us at Environmental Pest Management for a free quote. We’ll solve your pest problem by addressing the source of concern for safe and long-term results.