Category: Insects

Bees/Stinging-Insect Guide

  As the weather warms up, more and more insects will start to become active. Of the various subspecies that you might see around your home, bees and stinging insects can be the most troubling to spot as they probe high up within the eaves and soffits. General activity, along with pestering you and your guests enjoying the outdoors, is a sign that you should consider getting your home treated to prevent nest-building and reduce exposure. However, there is more than one type of stinging insect, thus various kinds of treatments should take place. At Creature Control, we first determine what you are dealing with before approaching a solution. This article helps explain the basic differences among bees and other stinging insects. Carpenter Bees are large, black, and usually cluster in small groups in and around wooden soffits, decks, and pillars. They can be glossy in some areas of their…

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Why You Suck at Insect Control

Most people know that there are some pests that they just can’t control by themselves, such as mosquitos or bedbugs. Mosquitoes don’t necessarily breed on your property, and the only good way to control them is with a fog treatment. On the opposite end of control, bedbugs are off-putting and resistant enough to over-the-counter remedies that most people end up calling a professional right away (which is the right decision).  But what about insects that many people try and treat without a second thought, such as wasps, ants, or stinkbugs?  Every grocery store carries a line of insecticides, or even traps, all claiming to “kill on contact,” or “kills *given pest* instantly,” but when used by the average consumer, they often do little to nothing to stem the tide of insects. What is the difference between generally available products and those that our technicians use to control pest issues? The…

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Evicting Long-Term Guests

There’s a good chance that at some point during the winter, you’ve experienced an infestation of insects. This can be unexpected; after all, bugs should be dead from the freezing temperatures here in Michigan. The fact is, our homes are often where colonies of insects overwinter to survive the cold, harsh elements. Typically, insects will overwinter as adults, entering homes through tiny cracks, crevices, ductwork, or vents. They’ll often end up in groups or clusters in wall voids or attic spaces near heat and ventilation sources, usually remaining there until spring. Sometimes, though, any increase in temperature may fool the insects into movement. Thus, you may find them in the living spaces of your home. Common finds are stinkbugs, boxelder bugs, Asian Lady beetles, and cluster flies. Oddly enough, the insects rarely use this time to reproduce; instead, they stay relatively stagnant unless they wake up. Since standard contact-based pesticides…

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Tick Bites and Prevention

You may have already seen articles this year stating that the tick population here in Michigan has already increased beyond “average” levels. Experts seem to agree: there are far more ticks than usual this year, and there are a number of reasons for that. But first, what is a tick, and should you be concerned about them? General Tick Facts Ticks are actually arachnids, from the same class as spiders (they’re not proper insects). They have eight legs like spiders, and the ticks here in Michigan range in size from a pinhead to a pencil eraser. They cannot jump; instead, they use a process called “questing” that involves waiting for potential hosts to pass closely by where the tick is hiding and clinging to the first layer of skin. Ticks prefer to live in areas that are both warm and humid (hence why a Michigan summer is perfect for them), and particularly in…

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2021 Cicada Resurgence: Brood X

There’s a good chance that in the past few weeks that you’ve heard mention somewhere of the 2021 Brood X cicadas. For the past 17 years, they’ve been content underground, but this is the year of their periodical resurgence; as soon as the soil warms to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, billions of cicadas will make their way through the ground in swarms.  Where is the reappearance supposed to occur? Should you be worried about Brood X?  Here’s everything you need to know about the Brood X cicada resurgence:  What is Brood X?  The Brood X (10) cicadas differ slightly from the usual cicada species that we may see annually. Orange-eyed and black bodied, these cicadas resurface in 17-year periods. Although there are about 15 other broods of periodically reappearing cicadas, Brood X has both the most significant concentration and range. The density of these cicada swarms is projected to be astronomical…

2021 Cicada Resurgence: Brood X
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The Amazing Potential of Spider Silk

  When we think of spiders, what do we usually think of? Webs! A sticky, dusty mess of webs always getting into corners. We don’t usually think of spider thread’s utility in the manufacture of clothing or band aids. But when we look into it, spider silks are an incredibly useful material that has extraordinary potential.  Why is spider silk such a useful material? Spider silk is unique. Spiders actually produce seven different types of silks; the silk of most interest to scientists is called dragline silk. This is the silk used to create the framework of a spider’s web. Its strength lies in the hundreds of protein fibers stacked and linked together like building blocks. This structure gives dragline silk a toughness and elasticity that is one of a kind—stronger than Kevlar, more flexible than nylon, and with a thinner diameter than a strand of human hair.  Potential utilization of…

The Amazing Potential of Spider Silk
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Bat Bugs: Identification, Control, and Treatment

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” How many times have we heard this phrase? Probably too many. But have you ever heard of bat bugs? In this article we will learn a little bit about the bat bug, the lesser-known cousin of the bed bug. What is a bat bug?  As a member of the Cimicidae family, bat bugs are closely related to bed bugs.  In fact, they are so similar in appearance that people with bat bugs often assume they have bed bugs without bothering to have a correct identification done. Bat bugs are blood sucking parasites that feed chiefly on bats. Because of this, it’s important to be on the lookout for bat bugs if you’ve recently had a bat problem. A bat bug problem is often discovered in the wake of a bat eviction. Although they primarily feed off of bat blood, they can also  feed off other…

Bat Bug
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What about those Murder Hornets?

The infamous year 2020 has finally drawn to a close and, for most people, it couldn’t end quickly enough. We’ll all look back on 2020 as a year of craziness. But when we do take a pleasant trip down memory lane, let’s not forget the Murder Hornets. What happened to them anyway? In the spring of 2020, the so-called “Murder Hornets” became the newest macabre fascination of the year. There seemed to be no end to the hysteria over the fearsome stinging insects: stories of hornets killing elephants just by buzzing nearby, anecdotes about their excruciatingly painful stings, and conspiracy theories over their origin—were they released in the U.S. intentionally as a new type of hideous biological weapon? But what is the truth behind the 2020 Murder Hornet scare? Though most people became aware of the giant Asian hornet (dubbed “Murder hornets” by the internet) with the Washington State Agriculture Department’s…

Murder Hornet
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Michigan Experts Warn Residents About Spotted Lanternflies

Michigan experts warn residents about potential dangers of spotted lanternflies, provides tips on how to prevent the invasive species from spreading across the state. BY CAROL THOMPSON, Lansing State Journal LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The bugs don’t look so menacing when they’re pinned to the bottom of a cardboard box. By some standards they are pretty, with speckled outer wings, long legs curved delicately inward, a bold splotch of red that flashes when they fly. In Michigan, they only appear this way: Dead, contained and in expert hands. It’s unclear how long that will last. The insects are making their way across the East Coast, feasting on the insides of trees, carpeting infested forests in sticky secretions and threatening multi-million dollar agriculture and forestry industries. They are hundreds of miles away, but with their tendency to lay eggs on vehicles, that doesn’t matter. The question isn’t if the spotted lanternfly will get…

Spotted Lanternflies
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