Serving all of South Florida

It’s fall! Time for new bugs

It’s fall! Time for new bugs

As the weather cools off, you may notice an entirely new set of pesky pests trying to take over your back yard. Tis the season for large adult beetles who are hungry and ready to eat. These beetles can be harmful to your backyard garden because they will eat the eggs of other beneficial bugs. By the time spring comes around the population of beneficial insects will have decreased because the eggs never hatch.

Some great tips to make sure you don’t leave your back yard wide open for the buffet is to clear away any fruits that may have fallen from fruit trees, as well as cleaning up any brush and other debris. Eliminating their hiding spots is a great start. You can also try oils and insecticide soaps, but be careful not to use actual pesticides on the plants in your yard. By doing that you may also eliminate the few good insects you want around all seasons. Lady bugs and praying mantis’ are wonderful insects to have in your garden. These two types of insects will keep some of the harmful insects away in turn keeping your garden healthy.

For more information on beetles, please click here

Smile! You’re on Camera!

Smile! You’re on Camera!

A San Diego weatherman got a surprise on camera when a large bug stalked him during his weather broadcast. Brad Willis was unaware that he was rolling on live TV when a very large flying beetle did a nose dive right for his face. This isn’t the first or last time these large beetles will invade your space.

Another reporter, Katya Leick from Kansas, was actually swarmed by cicadas while she was filing earlier this year. The cicadas were particularly annoying as every time she started speaking they would come out of nowhere. The reporter stopped and started her segment many times, and the grand all finale of course is watching her reaction as one of these bold cicadas actually landed on her face!

Cicadas are large swarming insects that typically stay underground until it is time to mate. They are not at all dangerous to humans, but can be pretty freaky for sure. You may harm yourself during a freak out but that is the worst these flying singers can do. You will know you have cicadas around your yard and in your trees first by their song they sing in the evenings. The males will “sing” to attract their females and warn off any predators. I guess in these two instances, the cicadas wanted to sing their songs on TV!

For more information on cicadas, please click here

Stop Spiraling Whiteflies Before They Ruin Your Landscape

The spiraling whitefly gets its name from the distinctive spiral pattern on the underside of leaves in a thumb print-looking “spiral” pattern of eggs. A white, waxy substance begins to build on the underside of leaves which coats the eggs and newly hatched whiteflies (nymphs). The spiraling whitefly nymphs secrete a clear substance called “honeydew”, the sticky honeydew can drip down from infested trees overhead and quickly accumulate on cars, pool decks, driveways, and patio furniture and grills below leaving a nasty mess for homeowners.

Whiteflies are becoming a common pest found on many ornamental plants in South Florida. With over 75 species identified in the state, these tiny white moths are capable of infesting a wide range of landscape plants. In fact, whiteflies have rapidly broadened their diet to include a taste for more than 50 species of plants in Florida. The type and level of damage you might see depends upon the species. They frequently attack plants such as avocado, banana, bird of paradise, black olive trees, chinaberry, citrus, fig, gardenia, gumbo limbo, ligustrum, mango, coconut palms, persimmon, and many other types of palms, trees, and shrubs.

Signs of whitefly infestation

Damage Caused by Whiteflies

Whiteflies can be an incredibly costly infestation to have costing you hundreds to thousands of dollars to replace or repair trees, shrubs, plants that are infested. Honeydew left by whiteflies is extremely sticky and very difficult to clean off, and may require pressure cleaning to remove. Ants also feed on the honeydew, so if ants become a problem, plants should be examined closely for these pests. As the infested plants ooze honeydew, black mold grows into the honeydew and covers the leaves and branches. The black sooty mold fungus interferes with the plant’s growth and long term livelihood. Waxy material and the sooty mold on the plant will take time to wear off unless physically washed off. Once the insect is under control, the sooty mold and honeydew will disappear.

Homeowners must monitor plants for early signs of an infestation. It will be easier to manage the pest before it causes major damage. If you have an infestation on a tree, be sure to search nearby trees as well because this whitefly feeds on many types of trees. The spiraling whitefly can cause serious harm to you home’s landscaping. If you suspect this pest is infesting your home or business it is best to treat immediately. Just Call Hulett today for an inspection.

Bugs, good for your body?

Bugs, good for your body?

According to a new study, a certain gut bacteria may actually help with your body fat but also may be able to help manage your cholesterol and triglycerides. Bugs in your intestines? Why not; I’m sure we all put much worse into our bodies. However this is the first ever study to provide proof that gut bugs, ie: bacteria are actually linked to good cholesterol. While it may be too early to prescribe these gut bugs as probiotic supplements to help with heart disease, there is growing evidence of the major benefits. Not only are they good and help support digestion, gut bugs will also help with immune system functions and produce vitamins for your body to digest. Gut bugs also produce an anti-inflammatory compound that may reduce swelling and pain in one of the most natural ways possible.

Over all, the researchers who worked on the study were able to find 34 different types of gut bugs that could help not only with good cholesterol but also help to keep a person’s BMI in check.

Most people don’t like the idea of all those critters floating around in their intestines, but hey, anything to stay healthy, Right?

For more information on gut bugs, click here

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just stay away

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just stay away

There are many critters to avoid this time of year. They may wonder lost into your back yard, becoming very close to you and your family. If you encounter any of these, the best thing to do is to stay back and call your local pest control company for help.

The Mojave green rattlesnake can grow up to seven feet long. They have a diamond shaped pattern on their backs and a distinguished rattle that sounds the alarm when you have entered their territory. Their bites are venomous and they are considered one of the most deadly snakes in the US.

The Tarantula Hawk is actually a form of wasps that feeds on larger insects as the name suggests. They will actually paralyze a tarantula, lay its eggs inside of the spider, and then the wasp’s babies will eat the spider from the inside out. Their stings are not fatal; however they can cause excruciating pain.

Poisonous spiders are also bugs to just stay away from. Brown recluse and black widows are two spiders specifically whose bites are non-fatal, but will lead to dangerous health concerns and sickness if left untreated. Both like to hide out in your garage and tool shed so be on the lookout before you just reach in and grab.

For more information on dangerous household pests, please click here

Giant Centipede? No thanks!

Giant Centipede? No thanks!

They are large, they bite and they can enter your home through any small space. The giant centipede can measure up to eight inches long, and carry a very painful venomous bite.

These centipedes have large fangs which are capable of sinking into any soft tissue. They are also dangerous because they have the ability to move their bodies erratically. These two coupled together make them especially hard to catch if you find one in your home.

While they are certainly creepy to watch, and hard to get rid of, the actual threat of the centipede is minimal. They have very powerful venom to subdue their prey when they are hunting. The venom is said to be as powerful as a rattlesnake’s venom. However, the amount of venom they actually use is so minimal, the worst thing a human will feel is pain and discomfort. There are no recorded deaths from a centipede bite.

Some say that it is misleading to describe this critters attack as biting. Rather they pinch and then use their claws to inject the venom. They love to feast on spiders and other household pests. It is very rare to find one of the eight inches long size, typically they only reach an inch or two.

For more information on centipedes, please click here

Predicting the future of ants

Predicting the future of ants

Many many years ago, when all that was around was wildflowers and forests, there was a very different form of ants. But as time went on and the environment changed, so did the ants. Originally all queen ants had wings, now there are isolated colonies that have lost their wings.

Is evolution of insects predictable based on history alone? One scientist set out to test this theory. The ants which started out as a single population were separated into five main groups. As a way of dealing with climate changes, the queens in all of the groups lost their wings. While the ability to fly may give the queen more of an advantage to conquer more territory, the risk was too high and her need for wings was no longer valid. Genetic changes began to occur with each set of offspring until the ants became wingless.

All five separate colonies had the same results which suggest evolution is in fact predictable when it comes to environmental changes. But what happens if the climate changes even more? That question will be answered over time and additional testing.

For more information on ants, please click here

Insect Whispering

Insect Whispering

All animals, including humans, use vibrations to sense their surroundings.  More than just sounds, insects in particular use fine hairs to “hear” what is going on around them using vibrations.

A cricket for instance will rub together tooth like body parts near their wings to make a noise to attract its mate. Males are particular to making the noise vibration to communicate. They use muscles in their abdomen as well as thorax to shake which in turn causes a vibration that can be picked up by another insect up to a meter away. They use different vibrations to communicate with males than they do with females. One could assume this is similar to a mating call.


Insects and crickets in particular are very social creatures. They act in social behaviors and grouping. Just like humans, once a group lives together for a while, their behaviors start to match. While their vocabulary may be limited they are for sure communicating. The females tend to listen more than the males and also seem to create more vibrations. Makes you wonder if they are just using more words than their male counterparts. It is said that each species of crickets has its own frequency similar to a dialect used in the same language.


For more information on crickets and how they communicate please click here

Built in compass

Built in compass

Have you ever wondered what helps to guide bugs of the night? How are they able to fly with such accuracy in the pitch black conditions? Researchers say it is because they have more than just an internal compass. Flying insects also have the equal to turbulence sensors that help guide them in the right direction.

Insects actually get carried by the wind more than they fly through it, which makes sense considering their size and low weight. But because they aren’t resisting the air flow like most animals that fly, they get a higher rate of turbulence from side to side. So which do they rely on more? The wind currents or visuals from the ground. Researchers set out to find the answer and what they found is quite interesting.

Insects, like moths respond differently when winds hit them from a side to side angle. However they also can be misled by spiraling winds. These cause offsets that are the key to the research. It shows that without doubt moths and other flying insects use that internal compass mix with wind turbulence to determine their distance and over correction that is needed to land at their intended destination.

For more information on moths and other flying insects, please click here.

Are termites geniuses? | Florida Termite Control

Are termites geniuses?

Termites are not something you would typically relate to genius, but recent studies show they may just be more than your average insect.

Termites build their homes without the use of tools like humans have. After all, they only have their bodies, soil and saliva to work with. Setting aside these challenges and limitations how is it possible they have figured out how to ventilate a structure? Something not even humans have fully figured out how to do? Studies on termite mounds show that the structure actually works in a similar fashion to lungs; they inhale and exhale with the changing of the temperature throughout the day. Scientists spent several weeks inspecting termite mounds and discovered that termites build their homes around several chimney like structures allowing for constant ventilation.

Termites take extra care and caution in creating their own homes, but can destroy your home in just a matter of months if they go undetected. Termites can reproduce at alarming rates, and you may think you only have a handful to deal with, if you see one there are probably thousands hiding from you. Call your local pest control company if you believe you might have a termite problem.

For more information on termites, please click here

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