All posts by corbin

These Little Red Ants

Those little red ants you’re seeing on the concrete may not be ants… They’re actually clover mites…..

Clover mites are accidental invaders that can be nuisances during the early spring and occasionally in the fall. They are very small, reddish-brown creatures that appear only as moving dark spots to the naked eye. Sheer numbers, plus the resulting red-brown stain left behind if they are crushed, make them unwelcome visitors. The red stains are not blood, they are the mite’s body pigments. Clover mites are not blood feeders and will not harm people or pets, nor will they infest household products. Once inside a home or building, they will soon die. 

As the name implies, clover mites feed on clover and grasses. They can be especially abundant in the heavy, succulent growth of well-fertilized lawns. Clover mites usually enter a home around windows or doors so they are usually seen crawling along sills or thresholds. Clover mites can crawl up outside walls and may enter the buildings at upper levels. 

Clover mites are a temporary nuisance; they appear suddenly and then are gone. A soapy rag or wet sponge can be used to clean mites off of surfaces. Wipe carefully to avoid crushing the mites and causing stains. The crevice tool of a vacuum cleaner may also be used to pick up mites. Rely on non-chemical control indoors. Do not apply insecticides to kitchen counters or other interior surfaces. 

There is an increased potential for invading structures when grass extends up to the foundation. A plant bed or open area will provide a barrier that will stop many mites and provide a long-term solution to persistent problems. Avoid overfertilizing lawns. This creates situations that are ideal for mites to increase to tremendous numbers. 

Mites seen on the outside of buildings can be killed with a direct spray of insecticidal soap or regular liquid dish-washing soap at the rate of 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. This treatment will not provide any residual control. 

by Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture 

The Early Invasion of Stink Bugs in Cincinnati

Over the weekend while I was out doing some work around the house, I noticed what looked to be a couple of stink bugs trying to make their way in. It seems they have already started the search for a location to overwinter. If you’ve had issues with stink bugs in the past, now is the time to start preparing and pest-proofing your home before they make their way in.

As you’ve probably noticed the days have been getting shorter and shorter which is the trigger for many insects including stink bugs, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs to begin searching for areas to overwinter in Great Cincinnati. Like your home or business! While treatment will help to greatly reduce the number of these over winter pests that make it into your home the best way to deal with them is prevention: pest-proofing your home to keep them from making their way in.

In the Cincinnati area, we have a great number of insects that try to make your home their overwintering hotel including the brown marmorated stink bug, Asian lady beetle, boxelder bug, and cluster flies just to name a few. Brown marmorated stink bugs are usually the first to start searching followed by the Asian lady beetle a few weeks later. If your home has had issues in the past than you should expect the same problem again this year.

 

You may ask, what measures should I take to prevent these overwinter pests?

Pest control treatment is a great start. At Sure Thing, we can perform a fall application to your home to prevent a large majority of the stink bugs, boxelder bugs, and other pests from making their way in. While this is a great method for greatly reducing the chances of these pests from entering your home or business some exclusions measures should also be taken to have the best results.

Another great method for stopping them before they make it into your home is to properly pest-proof your home. Here are some tips that you can do at home to reduce problems with fall insect invasions:

  1. Seal cracks around doors, windows, and dry vents with caulk. Cracks as small as 1/8” will allow some insects to fit through.
  2. Replace torn or damaged window screens.
  3. Seal openings around pipes and wires in the foundation and siding with caulk. For larger openings use expandable foam or other suitable materials.
  4. Check the seal/ weather stripping under the doors. While lying on the floor, look to see if you can see light coming from under or around the door.
  5. Adding a chimney cap to exclude Stink bugs and also other wildlife. Make sure to leave your damper closed when not in use.
  6. *Cover attic and roof vents with hardware cloth. The cloth should be 1/6 inch or smaller to exclude stink bugs*
  7. Remove window AC units if possible.
  8. Apply a residual insecticide to the exterior of the home. Treating underneath and around doors, windows, utility openings, and where there is a change of material.

What To Do Once They’re Inside

Once overwinter pests have made it inside your Cincinnati home or business, you’ll generally them in various places. They are commonly seen around chimneys, closets, window air condition units, attics, on shelves, and around windows and doors.

Once Stink bugs have already made it into your home a chemical treatment is not recommended as they are going to be in wall voids and other areas that can’t be accessed so you may still continue to find insects. Besides prevention, the best way to remove overwintering pests is simply to suck them up with a vacuum. Another great control measure in dark areas such as attics and basements is to use some variation of a light-baited/ funnel trap and soapy water traps.

 

Got Questions? Need help? Don’t want the Stink Bugs to invade your home? Feel free to reach out! We’re here to help!

Sweat Bees in Cincinnati

If you spent any extended amount of time outdoors this weekend you may have been seeing a lot of sweat bees  Well, they may not actually be sweat bees… They may actually be hover flies which are very beneficial insects! Hover Fly on Hand

What’s the difference between a Sweat Bees and hover flies?

Well, the easiest way to tell if is a bee or a hover fly is that hover flies only 1 set of wings where bees have 2 sets on each side. Hover flies don’t sting or bite, but rather lick you for your sweat which may cause some slight irritation for a second. These tiny creatures start as larvae before growing into flies that are often confused with sweat bees. Unlike sweat bees, hover flies have the ability to hover in one spot, giving the appearance as if they’re suspended in mid-air.

How are hover flies similar Sweat Bees?

Just like bees theses flies are pollinators too so you may see them around your flowers and in your garden. In addition to being pollinators, they are a predator of aphids. Hover flies will crawl all over the foliage of infested plants grabbing and consuming these aphids. A hover fly can consume as many as 20-30 aphids per day or over 200 during its lifetime.

Hover Fly on Flower

Why am I seeing more now than ever before?

We don’t have a defiant answer to why we are seeing them more now than before but it’s believed to be weather-related. It’s believed that the influx maybe dur to the more humid months we have here in the greater Cincinnati area.

As we start to enter the time between summer and fall you’ll start to see less and less of them. So enjoy them for just a couple of more months.

Cincinnati Pest Control Spring Time Newsletter

Springtime in Cincinnati doesn’t only mean the start to the baseball season, well not yet this year, but it’s also the time that we see overwintering pest reemerge. Check out our newsletter to find out what’s new with Sure Thing this spring but also what we’re expecting to see pest and termite wise in Cincinnati.

 

Click the picture above to see all pages of your Spring Pest Control newsletter.

Signs of Termites in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Springtime in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky brings warming temperatures, blooming flowers, outdoor sports, and gardening! This is also the time that a lot of homeowners realize they have a termite infestation.

 

Why worry about Termites?

Termites in Cincinnati are a sneaky and destructive insect. They have been compared to a silent wrecking crew because of the amount of serious damage they can cause. Each year, termites cause about $5 billion worth of damage and treatment cost in the United States. This damage can add up to thousands and typically isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. Additionally, termites and termite damage can cause serious problems when you go to sell or purchase a home which we’ll discuss in a later blog post.

 

What are the warning signs of Termites?

The first obvious signs of a termite issue are mud tubes (shelter tubes). These tubes are about the width of a pencil but can be as wide as a sheet of paper. Termites in Cincinnati build shelter tubes because they don’t have a hard exoskeleton like ants so they need something to protect them from the elements when they leave the soil. Not seeing shelter tubes? See the 2nd picture below.

The next sign you want to look for our wings. When termites swarm (the next generation) they shed their wings and then try to go back into the soil to form their own new colony. If you have a swarm inside your home, you’ll typically find thousands of wings by a door or window as they’re going to the light to get back outdoors. See the 3rd picture below.

The last visual sign is mud on walls or the floor, termites don’t know which way is up, down, left or right so they’ll end up poking out of the wall or floor and then place some mud over this area to seal the hole. See the 1st picture below.

See any of the signs mentioned above or pictured below reach out to us at 513-247-0030 or help@surethingpc.com to get your termite issues solved with the Sure Cure. Not seeing any of the signs mentioned above but still worried about termites don’t hesitate to reach out for a termite inspection.

Termite damage to the drywall and baseboard.

Mud tubes (shelter tubes) that subterranean termites are using to climb these block supports.

Subterranean termite wings

 

 

When Does Mosquito Season Start?

When Does Mosquito Season Begin in the Midwest?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t start thinking about mosquitoes until your outside and you get a red itchy welt on your skin letting you know the mosquitoes are out. While mosquito season is usually associated with hot summer months, that’s typically the peak of the season. Mosquito season actually begins much earlier than the hot summer months and goes through fall.

 

So When does Mosquito Season Start?

There are a couple of different factors that go into mosquitoes emerging such as the species and temperature. MosquitoSome mosquito species will hibernate during the winter months and re-emerge when the warmer weather begins, while other species will hatch in spring from eggs previously laid in the fall. Generally, mosquito activity will begin once we have a couple of days when the temperature reaches 50° F. As the temperatures continue to rise, the mosquito population will also increase. This is why in the peak of the hot summer months we see the most mosquito activity.

 

As you could expect the warmer the climate the earlier and longer the mosquito season.  Luckily for us in the Midwest, we have a pretty mild mosquito unlike some other regions like Florida, Texas, and parts of California. Our mosquito season generally starts mid to late April but this can vary year to year depending on the environmental conditions.

Got questions about mosquitoes or the mosquito season? Reach out to us at Help@surethingpc.com or give us a call at 513-247-0030.

COVID-19 – Ohio Essential Service Order

Sure Thing Pest Control will continue operating with normal business hours providing essential pest management in people’s homes and businesses in addition to major commercial operations such as healthcare facilities, food processing facilities and more.

Pest control professionals are responsible for protecting against rodents, insects, arachnids and other animals that can damage property and threaten people’s health through the spread of disease and bacteria, in addition to inflicting painful bites, allergic reactions, and even death.

Our number one priority is everyone’s health and safety. We are following CDC, local, state and federal guidelines to ensure our clients and employees remain healthy and safe. Our leadership team has implemented additional measures for our technicians and office staff to limit interactions, keeping a 6′ distance from other individuals, and added cleaning protocols throughout the day. Additionally, we are screening our employees and have encouraged our employees to stay home if they are not well.

We recognize the effect of the situation on our families, clients, and communities. Our thoughts are with all who are sick and we are grateful for the first responders and healthcare workers caring for those in need.

As things change we will continue to keep our clients updated with any additional information that pertains to our industry as it becomes available.

Please see our other blog posts for additional details about our service adjustments and other information pertaining to Covid-19.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via phone at 513-247-0030 or help@SureThingPC.com.

Please stay safe, wash your hands, practice good hygiene, and social distancing.

Thanks,
Glenn Scherzinger and Jerry Zapf

CISA Essential Workers Guidelines

Covid-19 Service Adjustments

Dear Clients:

As an organization, we are taking additionals measures recommended by the CDC and our local government to ensure we are providing the best level of protection for both our clients and employees while still providing the quality of service you have come to expect for us.

We want you to know

  • Our employees are remaining vigilant in dealing with your pest issues and concerns
  • We’ll be limiting indoor services- our technicians will not be asking to come inside to check bait stations or perform interior treatments unless requested
  • We’ll be stopping the greeting practice of shaking hands
  • No signatures will be required to avoid contact
  • During services, we’ll be practicing social distancing (6 feet minimum) whenever possible
  • You’ll see our technicians wearing gloves and possibly masks depending on the facility
  • Our technicians are monitored daily and have been directed to stay at home if they feel ill
  • Our equipment is being cleaned at an increased frequency as a measure of precaution
  • Preventative annual inspections are being postponed until further notice
  • We’ll be focusing on robust exterior inspections and treatments to prevent and solve any issues that arise
  • We may make additional adjustments and changes in the following days and weeks as this is a continuously changing situation

We want you to know we are doing everything we can to protect your safety, health, and peace during this difficult unprecedented time.  We don’t recommend canceling or postponing any service as insects and rodents can still enter into your home and business.

Something to keep in mind is that just because your business is unoccupied doesn’t mean that insects and rodents are going to postpone invading your building. If anything they’re more likely to do so without anyone there. If your business has any adjusted hours please let us know.

If you have any questions or concerns about any pest issues or our Covid-19 protocol please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at help@surethingpc.com or phone at 513.247.0030.

 

We will all get through this time together!

Thanks,
The Sure Thing Team!

Covid 19- Update

Dear Clients:

We would like to thank you for entrusting Sure Thing Pest Control with the health and wellbeing of your homes and businesses. As we work together as a community and nation to better understand and mitigate the spread of the novel Coronavirus, we are all being asked to adhere to new guidelines and to do our best to practice social distancing.

Please know that as protectors of public health, food, and property, we take our role in safeguarding your quality of life very seriously. Pest control professionals are responsible for protecting against rodents, insects, arachnids and other animals that can damage property and threaten people’s health through the spread of disease and bacteria, in addition to inflicting painful bites and allergic reactions. Our critical services extend into people’s homes and businesses, as well as major commercial operations such as healthcare facilities, food processing facilities and more.

We strongly encourage everyone to follow the advice set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our government leaders. As an organization, we are taking additional measures recommended by the CDC and our organization to ensure we provide the best level of protection for both our clients and our employees.

This letter also serves to inform you that as of March 16, 2020, Sure Thing will be operating as normal but with limited interior services where we can to practice social distancing.

If you have questions about your routine service or are experiencing a pest control problem please call 513-247-0030 or help@SureThingPC.com. We will do our best to provide you with the level of service and satisfaction you’ve come to expect from Sure Thing Pest Control.

Thank you again for your continued trust and we wish you safety, health, and peace during this difficult and unprecedented time. We will all get through this together.

Sincerely,
Glenn Scherzinger and Jerry Zapf

How to Get Rid of a Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches are resilient and resourceful pests. They are skilled at getting into homes through very small breaches and generally spend their time out of sight. They are also capable of living in a variety of environments. If your home is one of the environments where cockroaches have set up residence then you are likely looking for a way to get rid of them. They can be difficult to eradicate but you can be successful by combining professional intervention with consistent cleaning and proper home maintenance.

Bring in professional help

There are a variety of DIY options out there for treating cockroaches. You can see an example of the options available by visiting the pest control section of your local hardware store. You can kill off some of the cockroaches in your home with these methods. But, it is extremely difficult to fully eradicate a cockroach infestation on your own. These pests can get into the deepest, darkest nooks and crannies of your house. Many DIY methods come up short when it comes to killing off all of the roaches. Bringing in professional help will allow you to fully eradicate the infestation. A pest control professional will have the tools and expertise to completely get rid of a cockroach infestation.

Keep things clean

As a part of the process of eradicating a cockroach infestation you need to look at the condition of your house. If you have clutter lying around it can give cockroaches easy places to hide and move around. Overflowing garbage, spills, and dishes sitting around can provide cockroaches with food to eat. Take an honest look at the condition of your home and determine if you need to tidy up. Getting things in order can help you ensure that the cockroaches are gone and aide in preventing a re-infestation.

Catch up on home maintenance

Catching up on your home maintenance tasks can help you with the process of eradicating cockroaches. Check for areas within your home that have leaking water. Cockroaches are attracted to damp areas so it is important to address any leaks and subsequent damage caused by water. Cockroaches can squeeze into your house through small breaches. Check the perimeter of your home for cracks, shrinking caulk, or damaged weather stripping that may allow cockroaches inside. Make repairs to these areas as a part of your eradication process.

You can get rid of a cockroach infestation quickly by bringing in professional help. A top notch pest control professional will be able to effectively eradicate the infestation and provide you with a guarantee. You can maximize your chances of eradicating cockroaches and keeping them away by taking care of your house inside and out. Cockroaches can be difficult to get rid of but not impossible-with the right help.

How to Get Rid of a Cockroach Infestation