The Bug Busters Blog

The official Bug Busters blog.
Bug Busters

Which Spiders Should Spook You This Halloween Season?

Spiders and Halloween go together like kids and candy. The associations between the spooky holiday and spiders go back many years. Many ancient cultures imbued spiders with mystical powers and believed them to be a symbol of good luck. During the witch hunts of the 17th century, spiders took on a more ominous role and were seen as harbingers of evil: If one was seen, a witch was believed to be close at hand. Most spiders in Minnesota are harmless to humans, but a few can really put a sour spin on this sweet holiday. The Northern Widow Spider is occasionally seen in Minnesota. These spiders prefer quiet, isolated locations and might be found in attics, sheds, crawl spaces, wood piles or other well-protected areas. Their webs have a tangled, crisscross pattern, and females are black with a red hourglass on their bellies. If you are bitten by a northern widow spider,...
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Preparing for Fall Pests

Each season brings its own set of pest control issues. Autumn can be especially problematic because the weather begins to turn colder. A wide variety of bugs, insects, small animals and other pests, including rodents, cockroaches, ants and spiders, look for a warm, safe space to overwinter that also provides a source of food. This increases the potential that these pests will infiltrate your home or business. Health and Safety Risks An infestation is an embarrassing situation that also places everyone in the building at risk because the pests can spread various diseases. They contaminate food and food preparation surfaces with their waste and germs. Rodents like mice, rats and squirrels, gnaw on wood as well as electrical wiring that can cause a fire. These animals may also carry parasites like fleas, lice and ticks. Ants and roaches spread salmonella and other types of pathogens. Carpenter ants and termites destroy the...
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Signs You Brought Home Bed Bugs After a Summer Vacation

In recent years, the hospitality industry has been on high alert for bed bug infestations. Many guests have reported waking up to itchy bites with small welts as part of their vacation souvenirs. Often, the bed bugs are able to hitch a ride to your own home, hiding in luggage, clothing and other items that came in contact with pests that shared your hotel room with you. It is important to determine if you have unwittingly transported bed bugs to your home. Bed bugs do not reproduce as quickly as other pests because the adult female can lay only one egg a day that will need 10 days to hatch. Preventive Practices while Traveling When you first enter your hotel room, stow your luggage in the bathroom, which is cooler than the rest of the room and not likely to harbor bed bugs. Inspect visible areas around electrical receptacles and the...
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Invasive Pests Around Your Home During the Summer

Bug Busters serves business and residential clients in the areas around Burnsville, Minnesota. This area has a very pleasant climate, and the summer months are warm and humid. Although this makes outdoor activities very pleasant, it can also lead to an infestation of different types of pests as well. Ants, bed bugs, beetles, flies, and mosquitoes are common in this region. Ants Ants are small insects with segmented bodies that are very strong. They do not have wings, and they tend to build large colonies that require a steady source of food. They can carry several times their weight in food, so they will often send out a scout to find a source for the entire colony. When you see one or two ants inside your home or office, they might be scouting for food or water. Always take the precaution of covering food tightly in a sealed container to minimize...
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The Difference Between Stinging Insects

At Bug Busters, we're familiar with what stinging insects inhabit the Burnsville area. On the one hand, you have honeybees and bumblebees, which are harmless and only sting when they're provoked; on the other hand, you have the naturally aggressive paper wasp, yellowjacket, and hornet. We'll now lay out their characteristics so that you can identify what's on your property. Bees Honeybees will most likely approach your property if you have a flower garden; from there, they may choose to build a nest in a wall cavity, under the eaves, or in some other shady nook. They don't hibernate, so expect to see a few strays in the winter. In appearance, they're slender and compact, with no clear division between the head, torso, and abdomen. Their abdomen has stripes alternating yellow and black or orange and black. Bumblebees, also pollinators, usually build their nests in abandoned rodent holes and under sheds,...
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Is Zika Still Relevant in 2017?

For the average person, Zika is a virus that may cause fever, rash, red eyes, joint and muscle pain, and headaches. Some people may never even know they had it, attributing any symptoms to an allergy or passing illness. However, if pregnant women contract Zika, the virus can inflict severe birth defects on their unborn child. Microcephaly is the most concerning, as children are born with an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain. Even if microcephaly is not present, other deficits may be, including eye defects, hearing deficiencies, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and impaired growth. How Mosquitoes Transmit Zika Mosquitoes—specifically Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus—are the most common means of transmitting the Zika virus: - An uninfected mosquito can acquire the Zika virus by biting an infected person.- An infected mosquito can transmit the Zika virus to anyone it bites.- Infected female mosquitoes transmit the Zika virus to their eggs and offspring, exponentially...
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How to Fool Ants into a Trap

Like many homeowners in the Burnsville, MN, area, you may have discovered that ants have somehow made their way into your home. Needless to say, this is problematic for many reasons. Your first instinct is probably to rush to the store to buy do-it-yourself pest control solutions like insecticide sprays. Before doing so, a word of warning: Most consumer ant control products don't work very well. Ant traps are an exception, but people often use them incorrectly and become frustrated when their infestations continue. At Bug Busters, we routinely educate customers about using ant traps effectively. For your convenience, we're sharing what we know with you below. Are Ant Traps Really Traps? People often assume that ant traps are designed to capture ants so that they are rounded up and killed. This reflects a major misunderstanding of how many ants make up a typical colony and how colonies work in general....
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What Is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

If you have a pest problem such as termites, ants, cockroaches or rodents in your Burnsville, Minnesota, home or business, you may be looking for ways to get rid of them without using harmful chemicals. Integrated pest management uses a multi-step approach to rid your home or office of unwanted critters with minimal chemical treatment. An individualized program is developed to eradicate the pest, destroy nesting places, remove food and prevent re-infestation. Pest Identification The first step in removing a troublesome infestation is to identify the pest. For example, different types of ants have different feeding, breeding and nesting habits. Accurate identification ensures that the IPM program will have the greatest effect. Destroy Nesting Places Different insects have preferred nesting places. Many make nests in secluded spots where they won’t be disturbed but are near food and water. Termites connect their nests to food with extensive tunnel systems. You may find...
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Bills through the roof? Save money on heating with TAP insulation

It's always good to get more bang for your buck. But in today's economy, maximizing your spending power is especially important. And when it comes to heating your home, the opportunity to cut rising energy costs couldn't come at a better time. A Better Insulation Solution If your home isn't as warm as it could be during the winter months, your insulation could be to blame. That's why Environmental Pest Management began offering T•A•P insulation to our customers in the Burnsville MN area. TAP combines the pest-control solutions we're known for with a more efficient alternative to traditional home insulation. How Does TAP Insulation Work? TAP insulates homes 32 percent more effectively than fiberglass insulation. Thanks to its denser cellulose material, TAP fills in areas conventional insulation doesn't cover. The result is a reduction in your heating bills and a warmer, cozier home all winter long. Cost-Effective Pest Control TAP offers...
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Where do pests go in the winter?

If you are like most homeowners, then you know that pests are a problem during the summer and fall, but you might be wondering where pests go during the winter months. Most common pests can't survive outside in the freezing temperatures, and they will seek a warm place to hide until the snow melts and the warm air of spring returns. Knowing where they like to hide will help you protect yourself and your property from a possible infestation, and you can save a lot of money on repair bills as a result. If you are not sure where to turn for answers, the following information will get you started in the right direction. Common Pests If your No. 1 priority is to safeguard your home and to keep unwanted guests away, then learning about some of the common pests is vital to your success. Rats and mice are among the...
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Signs of Rodent Damage in the Home

While you're likely preparing for the cold weather by performing fall maintenance - we hope - the rodents outside are scurrying around hunting for a warm and cozy haven to call home for the season. When you consider the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that rodents like rats and mice spread more than 35 diseases across the world, it's especially important homeowners protect their properties from becoming nesting grounds. That said, here are five common signs of rodent damage in your home. Urine Stains and Droppings The most obvious sign of rodents roaming in your home is the discovery of urine stains and droppings. You'll usually find these around nesting and breeding locations, or inside your cupboards, drawers and along the baseboards. Be careful not to sweep or vacuum the areas where you find the urine stains or droppings. Instead, wipe or pick them up carefully without disturbing them....
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4 Benefits of Rodent Control Before Winter

There's no good time for rodents to invade your home, but winter is the worst. This is the time when everything from tiny field mice to full-sized rats look for a cozy, warm place to wait out the winter, preferably near a convenient food source. Too often, they try to turn your home into their cold-weather abode. Here are four reasons why you should take steps to prevent a rodent infestation before winter sets in: 1. Rodents Spread Diseases Winter is famous for its cold and flu season, but a close encounter with a rodent could leave you with something worse than a fever or a case of the sniffles. Rat and mouse droppings can include bacteria that causes serious illnesses like salmonella, Hantavirus and leptospirosis. Their bites are even worse and could result in anything from an infected wound to a case of the plague. 2. Rodents Carry Fleas If...
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Signs of Boxelder Swarms in the Home

Boxelder bugs have a fly-like appearance. They're mostly black in color with tell-tale red and orange markings that make them easy to identify once you know what they look like. Like termites, they're attracted to wood, especially that of the boxelder trees they're named for. When their preferred tree isn't available, they'll settle for maple, ash or fruit trees. Unlike termites, they don't do a lot of damage. Boxelder bugs are considered a nuisance pest, but cleaning up after an infestation can be a lot of work. As the weather cools down in the late summer, they group together by the thousands in search of warmth to create boxelder swarms that can infest your home. Do I Have a Boxelder Swarm at My House? When a boxelder swarm targets your house, they'll usually settle on the outside of your home during the late summer or fall before they try to breach...
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Benefits of Power Sprays for Asian Lady Beetles

If you are dealing with an Asian lady beetle infestation, then you might be wondering what steps you can take to rid your home of these insects. Many people wait for the problem to go away on its own, but doing so only gives the Asian lady beetles time to spread, and they will be that much more difficult to remove as a result. You have many methods at your disposal to eliminate these pests from your home, but not all of them work as well as you might hope. If you want to free your home from your unwanted guests, then using a good power spray will help you reach your goal. Benefits of Using a Power Spray When Asian lady beetles enter your home, they will create nests inside of your walls and other places that are hard to reach. So, when people try to use a vacuum to...
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