MORE THAN A RUN-OF-THE-MILLIPEDE BUG?
Below you will find symptoms and solutions for Stored Food Pests, Fabric Pests, Carpet Beetles, and Head Lice. For any further information or assistance, please call our office at 1-800-223-2847 (BAD-BUGS)
STORED FOOD PESTS
Stored food pests are a large group of insects that include Drugstore beetles, Cigarette beetles, Indian meal moths, and many others. These pests have a life cycle consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Often when hatching into adults, as many as one hundred insects can be seen in one litter.
Control of stored food pests is a job for the homeowner. You have all of the tools needed to solve this problem on your own. Treating with pesticides is not necessary. Locating the source of the infestation is the key to control. These pests will infest cereals, grains, chocolate, nuts, spices, pet food, beans, and many other dry formulations. Inspect all packages – old and new. These tiny creatures can bore through new packages and go unnoticed for a remarkably long period of time. All packages found to be contaminated should be destroyed. Remove all products and thoroughly clean shelves for debris that might provide food for crawling larva. Normally it will take a few days before all flying adults disappear after the food source has been removed.
FABRIC PESTS & CARPET BEETLES
Fabric pests are generally broken down into two groups: carpet beetles and clothes moths. These pests have a life cycle consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The life span of these pests ranges from 55 days to four years.
In the case of carpet beetles, your home can produce many victims. Wools, rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, and art are prime targets. It is important to note that the adult carpet beetles do not damage these items – the adults feed on plant pollens and nectars. Larval forms thrive on the fabric products. The larva will not eat synthetic fibers unless they have been soiled with organic material.
Proper storage of natural fabrics is essential to the control of these pests. Moth balls help keep the bugs away. Dry-cleaning and thorough laundering in hot water will kill all stages of the fabric pests’ life cycle. Lloyd Pest Control can also provide additional residual treatments to help ensure that fabric pests do not return.
Head lice (Pediculus humanus capitatus) – These lice are so named because they live only on the heads of humans. Children are particularly susceptible to lice infestations due to their constant close contact in play with others. Symptoms include constant scratching of the head and nape of the neck. The presence of seed-like eggs, or nits, is the most common indication of an infestation, as they are much more numerous than mature lice. The nits are inactive and each is individually cemented to the base of a head hair. Nits hatch in 5-10 days and are mature enough to reproduce within 3 weeks. Adult head lice are gray-brown and grow to about 1/8″ long with a flat body. Adult lice live for 22-23 days.
Head lice are generally not found on eyelashes or body hair other than on the head. Head lice cannot live in your carpet or on dogs, cats, hamsters, or rabbits. They survive less than 48 hours once they are removed from a human blood source.
Scott Crowley, a biologist with Lloyd Pest Control, recommends the following steps that your child can take to avoid a head lice infestation:
1) Do not share combs, hairbrushes, or hats with other children.
2) Children’s sleeping mats and/or towels should be stored individually and washed regularly.
3) Children should not store hats or caps in a common area.
4) Vacuum carpeted areas daily if there is a suspected infestation problem.
Should you or your child become a host to head lice, Lloyd Pest Control recommends that you take the following steps:
1) Implement proper use of a prescribed shampoo or over-the-counter treatment. Your local pharmacy offers various and effective medicated treatments for head lice infestations.
2) Two or more treatments are required to ensure that the un-hatched nits are successfully eliminated by the medicated shampoo.
3) Anyone who has shared a bed, sheets, or clothing should also be checked for the presence of head lice. Preventative treatments are not recommended, however.
4) Hot cycle washing and drying for a minimum of 20 minutes is recommended to destroy head lice burrowing in bedding, pillows, and clothing.
5) Should you have any further questions, call the National Pediculosis Association for their free, recorded message and detailed instructions, their 24-hour number is 781-449-6487. Lloyd Pest Control can be reached for pest control assistance at 800-BAD-BUGS (223-2847).
STORED FOOD PEST TIP: Little moth-like bugs flying around your pantry? You can cure the problem yourself by throwing out everything in your pantry. But a cheaper solution would be to place all questionable items (boxes of cereal, grains, noodles, rice, flour, etc.) inside sealed ZipLoc bags. Whichever sealed bag ends up with winged bugs inside goes into the garbage – the OUTSIDE garbage.