Jumping Spiders

May 2, 2010 by · Comments Off on Jumping Spiders 

Jumping Spiders

This spider gets its name from the fact that they can jump to get to their prey. They are small about 4-10 mm. Jumping spiders have large eyes and a “fuzzy” appearance. Some have red on their back which can be mistaken for black widow markings. They are harmless to humans and can be found indoors.

            Jumping spiders do not catch prey in webs but will have small webs for protection and escape. They are unusual from other spiders in that they will be quite active during the day and love warm, sunny days. They can jump up to 20 times their body length. They can be found on cement porches, woodpiles, fences and old wood. Control is obtained through spraying

Bat removal iowa

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


When bats enter homes they can also bring other visitors with them. Ectoparasites are a fancy name for varieties of bed bugs, bat bugs, fleas, mites, and chiggers. When a bat eviction service is performed it is also sometimes necessary to fog the areas when bats are out of the attic. This will kill any left over parasites.

Cigarette Beetle

February 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cigarette Beetle

These pests got the name from the fact that they infest tobacco products. They are found all over the world. Cigarette beetle adults are about 2-3 mm long and brown in color. Females lay white colored eggs and adults will fly to reach food and breeding areas.

The cigarette beetle will infest such things as: coffee beans, cigarettes, pet food, paprika, and spices just to name a few. If discovered, all food or infested items should be discarded. Remaining food items should be placed in sealed containers. Grocery stores where products were purchased should be notified.

Iowa Mountain Lion?

February 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of you may have received amazing text messages with pictures of mountain lions in Iowa over the lat year. Are they real? In fact, an Iowan hunter shot one this last year. This instills fear in many of us. My mother, who lives in a somewhat remote area outside of Des Moines, got her car stuck in the snow at the bottom of her long gravel drive late one night this winter. She later confessed to me that as she made her way through the drifts on her way back to her home she had one thought in her mind, mountain lion.

Mountain lions are on there way back. They used to live all over the US. They became virtually extinct any area east of the Rocky Mountains over the last century.  However, since the mid seventies, poisoning  practices used to control the species have stopped. The result is a subtle and gradual increase in the mountain lion population. Are you in danger? Likely not. Mountain lion sightings in Iowa are extremely rare. I have a client who lives in a remote area in Iowa and has confessed he  has a mountain lion in his area who frequents the wood pile in his backyard and claims there are deer carcuses to substantiate this claim. I believe this is most likely accurate. However, most Iowans do not need to worry. Mountain lions are still so extremely rare and usually never attack humans unless their target is moving, which triggers the predator instinct. This is why stories of mountain lion attacks in Colorado usually involve a bicyclist or someone jogging. They will mainly feed on roadkilled deer and the most easily accessible food source.

Black Widow Spiders

February 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Black Widow Spiders

Black Widows get the name because of the myth that females eat the male after mating. The fact is that this is very rare. Females are about ½ inch long with a red “hour glass” design on the abdomen. They are shiny black in color. Males are not a danger to humans as they do not bite. Black widows feed on other spiders and insects. Venom can be fatal but mostly in children. Widows try to avoid high traffic areas but will attack if guarding the nest or if they feel threatened. In Iowa, widows are rarely found unless brought in from other states.


February 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


American Dog Tick

This tick gets the name because its favorite host is dogs however, it will feed on humans and other mammals. It is found all over the U.S. except the rocky mountains. Dog ticks are known to carry spotted fever and tularemia they can also cause tick paralysis. They are about 5mm long and attach to skin usually under hair or fur but this is not a requirement. Over a month period, females can lay up to 6,000 eggs!

Many people think that ticks drop out of trees but the truth is that ticks prefer tall grass and bushes. They cling to grass and branches along routes frequented by animals and then attach when the animal walks by. If the tick attaches to a human, it needs to be removed as quickly as possible. If ticks stay attached for 5-6 days they can even cause death. Forceps should be used to remove ticks to prevent the spread of disease. They generally do not survive well indoors and are usually carried in by dogs and other pets. Adults are mostly active at the start of spring April-June then drop off in numbers until around September depending on weather conditions.

Ticks are attracted to animal scents, which is why they congregate along trails and pathways. Grass should be cut and other debris removed in areas frequented by people. Always wear long pants, socks and hats when in the woods or grass. Pets should be given frontline or similar products to kill ticks. They can still attach when these products are used but will die after feeding on the animal. Repellants can be used on people to keep high numbers of ticks from attaching. The main key to keeping numbers low on personal property is to keep grass and other vegetation cut and maintained. Pets should be checked when coming indoors to keep ticks from dropping off in homes. Eliminating rodents and other animals around homes is also helpful. Regular spraying of insecticides will work for reducing large numbers of ticks.

citronella ants

January 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


German Cockroach

German roaches are by far the biggest problem roach in the U.S. They are about one half inch long and adults are light brown in color. They carry some pathogenic organisms and can cause severe allergies and breathing issues especially in children. One egg will usually produce between 15-40 roaches so numbers can quickly escalate out of control.

            German roaches prefer warm, moist environments like kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens are usually the most highly infested with food readily available. Bathrooms are secondary infestation areas. When numbers reach high levels they will spread to living rooms and other areas where food and water are consumed. German roaches are almost always “brought in” from paper products or grocery bags. They can feed on cardboard, soap and glue when food is scarce. They can survive outside but prefer indoors near humans.

            Control can be difficult when numbers are high and an intense initial service is required. It is thought that 95% of the population needs to be killed on the first service to be effective. Roach baiting has been effective for several years but many roaches are becoming resistant to baits as time goes by. Using sprays, aerosols, glue boards, dusts, and baits in combination is necessary. Many restaurants and food establishments require monthly or every other month treatments to keep roaches at bay. Health inspectors will close businesses if roaches are found so pest control is a welcome expense.