Broad-Headed Sharpshooter

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Broad-Headed Sharpshooter

Speed like a Bullet

With a wide head and bulky body, the Broad-headed Sharpshooter does not seem to be a prospect for high speeds. However this insect shoots like a bullet when it is time to attack. Their many different bright colors are somewhat understated compared to others in it’s family, such as the Candy Striped Leaf Hopper. However having a similar appearance to a leaf can fool some predators. So they rely on speed as their main line of attack and defense.

While many insects rely on camouflage and using every method possible to blend in with their natural surroundings in order to survive, the Broad-Headed Sharpshooter has to rely on other methods to survive. Other than being one of the quickest insects, with bullet like speed and being able to jump an equivalent of 240’ in comparison to humans, they have another line of distraction. If the Broad-headed Sharpshooter feels threatened they will shoot out a stream of waste on their predators to cover, confuse and distract them as the Sharpshooter makes its speedy get away.

They a ravenous eaters and use their sponge like mouth parts to suck juices out of plants. These juices are what help them produce their yucky stream of defense juices on predators. They also eat so much that they gorge themselves to the point of literally popping out the excrement from their bodies. Yes, it actually makes a popping noise when it exits. This excrement leaves behind food for other insects to feed on, such as ants, aphids and wasps. Even though they can eat large amounts, they usually spare plants, other than leaving the telltale signs with damaged leaves and stems. The population is kept under control by a few natural enemies, like birds and spiders, only if they are fast enough to catch this fast as a bullet insect.

They can have up to three generations in a mating season and actually puncture plant stems in order to lay their eggs, which hatch in about two to three weeks. They are born looking like a small adult, although they molt multiple times in a very short time frame in order to grow to full size within two weeks. Many Sharpshooters only live for 30 days, so it takes multiple generations to continue their life cycle from year to year.

With the Broad-headed Sharpshooter not being a Nashville Pest Control issue, you can find tips online to protect your gardens. Specifically if you happen to have peaches, as they are known to carry a bacteria that can harm peach trees.  So, keep on the watch, as they are hard to observe. If they see you approaching, expect it to shoot away like a bullet. You also want to keep watch on the aphids, ants and wasps that they attract through their excrement. Gardeners in particular want to keep close watch on signs of the Sharpshooter due to the other destructive insects they attract. If you happen to notice ant trails around your house or unwanted wasps, call Certified Pest Control Nashville to honestly and effectively address your issue. For locally owned and operated family service, give us a call for the personal and detailed Pest Control you deserve.

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Banded Garden Spider

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Banded Garden Spider

Spiderweb That Always Faces East and West

The Banded Garden Spider is a large and colorful Spider that inhabits our gardens and yards here in Nashville, Tennessee. They can be beneficial by controlling numbers of grasshoppers and cicadas and really don’t cause us any problems. Actually they are nice to have around, just for their natural beauty.

Banded Garden Spiders have a body length of up to ¼” long and a complete diameter of one inch when their legs are fully extended. The females are almost twice the than the males. They are colorful with a pattern of yellow with black and white bands on their bodies and extents of their legs. They have wide abdomens and a neck covered in fine silver hair. The males actually have large bumps on the sides of their heads that they use when mating to fertilize the female. Sort of a weird spot for sperm to be expelled, but that is how they do things.

The Banded Garden Spider is an orb weaver, and can generally be identified by their orb being constructed low to the ground between bushes, branches or tall grass. This is due to the diet that they intend to catch; grasshoppers, katydids and even wasps. Like many other orb weavers they begin with anchor lines to begin the circular pattern that they will attach once anchored. They will use a combination of sticky and non sticky silk for ease of movement across their own web. Then the Banded Garden Spider always spins a thick silk zigzag pattern in the very middle. Because we do not have vision like other insects, we cannot understand why the web and spider go unnoticed, however the zigzag pattern stands out as a source of food for their prey. Many other spiders also build their web, and then stay to the side waiting for vibrations, but not the Banded Garden Spider. They hang put in the middle of the web. Once prey has been caught in the sticky silk they have been known to shake their web to stick the prey into their web even more secure before they go in for the kill. They wrap up the captured insect in a heavy coating of silk and then use their fangs to inject the venom that kills them. The venom also acts as a dissolving chemical to make an easy to eat more liquid meal.

The most interesting thing about a Banded Garden Spiders web is that they usually build in the same direction. As a matter of fact you could use their web to establish East and West. In almost all situations the orb is positioned East to West in order to capture as much sun on their body as possible for body warmth, with the Spider always hanging with their black underbodies towards the sun. It is also thought that this positioning would help with keeping their webs in place safe from wind that generally blows West. It is interesting that these Spiders, that have poor sight and rely heavily on feel, can reliably build their webs in the same direction, every time.

Eggs hatch and small spiders emerge in the Spring to grow to adults, build webs and wait for a male. The males actively look for the webs and wait for the female by vibrating her web so she knows that he is there and waiting at the edge of her web. They then mate during late summer to fall with the female then making egg sacs that can contain up to one thousand eggs per sac. She is capable of making two to three egg sacs (that is a lot of babies).  She remains beside her babies and guards them from predators with that venomous bite. They live from birth to the first freeze with the next generation overwintering in the egg sac for the next spring.

Banded Garden Spiders are not harmful to us, as they are not aggressive. They will only bite if they are repeatedly prodded and the venom is similar to a bee sting. Either way, just admire don’t bother this beautiful specimen as it is not a pest control issue that needs to be solved. If you are having issues with other spiders such as Brown Recluse or Black Widows please call Certified Pest Control Nashville to provide a free estimate and a solution to keep your home protected all year long. #local

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Beautiful Butterfly to Spot Twice a Year

Sometimes it is nice to blog about a thing of beauty rather than a Nashville Pest Control issue. The Black Swallowtail Butterfly is just that; a beautiful flying insect that can be observed here in Nashville, Tennessee. Although there larvae eats out of your herb and vegetable garden, they do not produce enough numbers to be considered a pest. Rather the insect considered in this week’s blog is a thing of beauty and has a number of interesting characteristics.

Black Swallowtail Butterflies begin their life as an egg laid on leaves or flowers near host plants for a food source. These eggs hatch in five to 10 days and begin the growth process from egg to caterpillar to Butterfly. The early stages of caterpillar actually use camouflage to protect it from predators, by looking like bird droppings. As the caterpillar matures it molts and grows in length to about two inches long. During the later larval stages the caterpillar turns green to blend in with the plants that it is feeding on, such as carrots, celery, parsley and fennel. The larvae also have other defenses other than camouflage to protect it during this growth process. They have a horn on their head that emerges when threatened. Although this horn looks intimidating (similar to a snake’s tongue), it is not to stick the predator, instead it squirts out a horrible smelling chemical that drives away the potential threat. They also take in the toxins from the poisonous type of plants they eat so that they taste too bad to eat. As they enter the last stage of development, the caterpillar will attach itself to a plant stem with silk that it spins in order to hold it into a head up position. In this pupal stage it becomes a Chrysalis for about two to three weeks until it emerges as a beautiful Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

As adults, the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is rather large, with a wingspan of almost 3 ½”. It displays beautiful colors of black, blue, red, yellow and orange along with having a large intricate wing shape. As an adult, their main source of defense is by looking like another poisonous butterfly to scare off predators. The Black Swallowtail Butterfly does this by resting primarily in the wing up position to display the color patterns of another species (as their underneath wing pattern and colors are different than the top). They spend their days flying around fields and wetlands feeding on nectar and most importantly looking for a mate. The male is very territorial, as they stake claim to an area and will aggressively chase off other males to secure their mate. It is very important, as they only live about two weeks as the beautiful flying butterfly. The Black Swallowtail Butterfly has two generations per year, with one being the overwintering generation that emerges during spring. Then a second generation make appearance in late summer to early fall to mate and provide the generation that will overwinter for next spring.

If you want to attract these butterflies to your garden, plant Zinnias, Sage and Lantanas among your other flowers. This will attract the Black Swallowtail Butterfly to feed in your yard. They are a beautiful specimen, but only last a few weeks. So, take the opportunity to observe this twice a year opportunity.

As always, be on the lookout for other insects that are actually pests invading your home. If you experience any unwanted guests such as ants, mosquitoes, wasps, fleas, spiders or roaches make sure to call Certified Pest Control Nashville for a free quote to prevent pests all year. Our local family is here to provide superior service to protect your home and family.

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Dog Day Cicada

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Dog Day Cicada

Why Do We See Cicadas Every Year?

Yes, you are hearing and seeing Cicadas here in Nashville, TN. Most people think that these invaders only come in large numbers during the thirteen and seventeen year intervals. The largest numbers do occur during the emerging of the next generations in 2021, 2024 and 2025 here in Nashville. However we do have annual Cicadas that appear every year, called Dog Day Cicadas. We begin to see and hear them as the hotter days of summer arrive, hence their name. They do not appear in numbers that are nowhere close to the periodical Cicadas of 13 and 17 years, but they show up every year, buzzing and clumsily flying into us, our cars and homes.

The main differences in the Dog Day and Periodical Cicadas are their color and appearance. The Dog Day Cicadas we are seeing now are slightly larger (at around 2” long) are a black or dark green in color and have black or dark brown eyes. They are also faster flyers than the periodicals. The periodical Cicadas that emerge in very large numbers can be immediately identified with their fear inspiring red eyes. Since the Dog Day Cicada does not arrive as a large army, they are not much concern to us other that possibly bumping into us and scaring us with that loud high pitched squeal. While we find the noise unnerving, it serves this Cicada with the mating process. You can step out in the late afternoon to early evening and hear a chorus of these vibrating loud males looking for their mates. The male is the one that makes this sound with their tymbals that are located in a hollow abdomen. These extreme vibrations inside a hollow structure is what makes their sound so loud, often carrying up to ½ mile through the quiet evening hours. This load vibration is meant to draw a suitable female for mating. Once this is accomplished the female will lay her eggs on tree branches that she cut notches in, to hold the eggs in place. In four to six weeks these eggs hatch and fall to the ground where they burrow and feed on tree and plant roots.

Even though we see these annual Dog Day Cicadas every year, it is only because their generations overlap. Each generation actually takes two to five years to develop into nymphs. These nymphs come back out of the ground and climb up tree and bush branches to complete their metamorphosis into to Cicadas. It is around these trees that we see the creepy looking exoskeletons, with one split in it for the fully developed Cicada to exit. The exoskeletons resemble creepy looking prehistoric bugs that we used to collect as kids to scare visiting grandparents (haha, good clean fun as kids). As adults we are also scared as they plunge at us screaming that loud song while mowing the lawn. These male Cicadas often misidentify the sound of our lawnmowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers as other males, so they want to join in the song to attract females. So beware on the mower, you may be mistaken as a large male Cicada singing your song and occasionally get hit by these speedy yet clumsy fliers.

The Dog Day Cicadas do eat tree sap and can cause minimal damage to tree and shrub limbs, but there numbers are so small it is not much to worry about. So, as you sit on your back porch during these dog days of summer in Nashville, TN, marvel at the extremely loud chorus being sung by the male Dog Day Cicada trying to locate his mate. Their bodies were created perfectly to amplify this long reaching mating call, and it is truly amazing.

Dog Day Cicadas are not a Nashville Pest Control Issue, but may sneak up on you for a quick startle. But the poor Cicada will only bumble off into the sky and look for a good place to land and sing his song. However if you do have other flying insect pests such as wasps, bees or yellow jackets call Certified Pest Control Nashville to inspect your property and provide a free estimate along with a control method to protect your family and home. Our local family is here to provide you the detailed and quality service that you can count on.

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Formica Ant

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Formica Ant

Ant Head Hunter

Formica Ants are part of an ant species that include wood ants, mound ants and field ants. They are medium sized ants at ¼” in average length. This ant might not be the largest in the ant world but certain species can be quite vicious within their insect habitat. They shoot acid at other ants, rip them apart and collect their skulls. Other species raid and make indentured servants of other ants and some species actually herd aphids to create their food source. This rabid, yet crafty ant does inhabit Nashville, Tennessee and can be a pest control issue, with the death of the queen being the only way to get rid of the colony.

Formica Ants are often misidentified as carpenter ants. They are similar in size but the Formica has two humps in it’s thorax making a bump where it connects to the abdomen, where the Carpenter Ant only has one evenly shaped thorax. They are black, brown and red in appearance as is the carpenter ant, but the Formica Ant generally is smaller. They both share some of the same food sources; however Carpenter Ants cause damage to many homes by burrowing into the structural wood in order to make their nest. The Formica Ant is primarily an outside ant and makes their nests in mounds near trees or logs, but can also nest against your home. It is outside your home that they feed on their favorite food source: aphid honeydew. So, Formica Ants have developed the ability to track down aphids and herd them to keep them close and doing the hard work. By keeping them in a group, the aphids will feed on the surrounding plants, and then excrete the honeydew as a byproduct. The Formica Ant only has to eat this byproduct without doing any hard work, just keep the aphids in formation, follow them and eat their excretion.

Some Formica Ant species take over other ant colonies and enslave them to work and to help raise their young. As the queen kills the other adults, then she is left with the pupae to be born to what they think is their mother. Ants learn from this early stage what they are. Knowing only one mother, they become her slaves as she then lays her own eggs and these poor misled young ants actually take care of her eggs. Once the queen eggs hatch, they then begin one big army, thinking they are one family. It has been observed that these new armies will often then go and raid other nests, kill the adults and bring back the pupae to serve as even more enslaved ants of different species.

The most gruesome characteristic of some Formica Ants species is the killing of other ants and covering their mounds with their decapitated heads. These ants are able to shoot formic acid as a defense or for killing other prey. This acid is used to kill other ants; they then eat the ant and for some reason cover their mound nest with ant heads. Imagine a head hunter village of ants, where other ants are scared to tread. It is unknown why they engage in this activity, but it sure is strange.

While Formica Ants are not usually a Nashville Pest Control issue, they can be if they choose to build against your home. If you notice ant mounds, or are having other ant pest issues in or around your home make sure to give us a call at Certified Pest Control Nashville. Ants can be a difficult issue to solve, since they can travel long distances from their nest and into your home. So allow us to properly track and diagnose the best method to rid your home of an ant invasion. Our local family is happy to give you a free estimate and properly address your pest control issue. Choose our local family owned and operated business that cares about our quality of work and creating happy customers. Certified Pest Control Nashville should be your first choice to protect your home with year round pest preventative protection.

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Flesh Fly

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Flesh Fly

A Nasty Place to Be Born

Many people classify all flies the same, however there are more than 120,000 species. So the next time you simply think you have seen a common house fly, it could be one of many that exist. Flesh Flies are one species that are commonly misidentified as they look quite similar. The best way to identify the Flesh Fly is to count the number of black stripes on their abdomen. A house Fly has four stripes, whereas the Flesh Fly has three stripes. Now, it is quite rare that you would be able to ever get to examine a live one; you may be able to identify a dead Flesh Fly this way. Another distinguishing factor would be the fact that Flesh Flies primarily live outdoors where they have access to dung and decomposing plants and animals. However if you do notice a large population of these flies in your home, you may want to check and make sure that an animal has not died in your attic, wall void or crawl space. This would give the Flesh Fly and readily available food source and could cause your home to become a harbinger of these disease carriers.

Like most flies, the Flesh Fly does not have mouth parts that can bite, rather they have a sponge like mouth to feed on liquids. Flesh Flies do primarily feed on nectar, insect excrement and decomposing plants, however certain species will feed on flesh wounds of animals. This is where the Flesh Fly is quite grotesque in nature. When the new generation of overwintering Flesh Flies emerges in spring, they do so to mate and carry on the two to three generations of flies born per year. Once the female is fertilized the eggs actually hatch in the female and then are laid as maggots; as many as thirty at one time. The maggots do the dirty work. They are equipped with mouths that can eat flesh, and unlike the legless larvae of the house fly, the larvae of a Flesh Fly can move around and actually burrow into the meat they have been placed on. Some Flesh Fly species lay their eggs on plants to be eaten by caterpillars or other host insects. They also have been known to actually lay the eggs on an insect host, and then the larvae burrow into the insect to feed and grow through their developmental stages of one to three weeks.

Although Flesh Flies themselves do not transmit disease themselves, the environment that they live in with rotten plants, decaying flesh or open wounds of injured animals makes it a perfect carrier of disease. As with all insects and pests, cleanliness around the home is your best defense from any negative impact. If you notice a big population of Flesh Flies, check for dead animals or birds and have them removed. Other preventative measures you can take to protect yourself is always use screens if you keep windows or doors open, keep your trash away from the house and seal up any entry points in your home.

The Flesh Fly can be a Nashville Pest Control Issue, as with any species of fly. So make sure to call your local family here at Certified Pest Control if you are experiencing any pest issues. We are happy to properly diagnose a solution and provide free quotes to address the unwanted pests that have invaded your home.

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Beetle That Spends Most of it's Life Unseen

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Beetle That Spends Most of it's Life Unseen

Cottonwood Borer Beetle

In Tennessee we have native Poplar trees, Cottonwood trees and Willows. This makes us a perfect host for the Cottonwood Borer Beetle. This beetle is a member of the longhorned beetle family and can be quite large, being up to 1 ¾” Long and ½” wide with antennae that can be longer than their entire body. They are actually one of our largest beetles in the United States, and can be quite intimidating in appearance, especially with their antennae that resemble long horns and make them look even bigger. They have a very distinctive Black and cream color pattern which cover their body and wings. They are not much harm to us, but can be to certain tree species in Tennessee.

The Cottonwood Borer Beetle starts its life in late summer to early fall, as they emerge as adults, where their eggs were placed at the base of a tree. This process takes up to two years, as the female lays the eggs, and actually bites into the bark at the base of the tree where the egg is placed. When the egg develops into the larvae state, the larvae then can do the bulk of the damage of host trees by entering this starting point bitten out by their mother. They will dig into the root of a tree as they feed. If the tree happens to be young, the damage done by the feeding larvae can completely kill the new tree. With larger trees they tend to bore into the tree about one inch deep and begin to form tunnels. During the 2nd winter the larvae is much larger and will travel these tunnels to do even more damage, but most large adult trees can survive this young Cottonwood Borer Beetle as it eats and grows. Once it is time to emerge as an adult in late summer, they eat and mate over a short lifespan of only one month. In this short time as an adult Cottonwood Borer Beetle, they also do their fair share of damage by eating soft bark, new growth on trees and their leaves. They feed on our Cottonwood trees, Poplar trees and Willows; however the good news is that they prefer to choose sick or dying trees as their host for growth. So, it is the young new trees and the dying trees that are at most risk.

The Cottonwood Borer Beetle does not really have much of a defense system, nor does it need one. They only live one month as an adult, and the two years that they live and grow through the larvae and pupal stages are inside small tunnels in the tree. Woodpeckers, parasites and long periods of flooding are the biggest threat to the Cottonwood Borer Beetle.

The Cottonwood Borer Beetle is not considered a Nashville Pest Control issue. They do invade our Tennessee State Tree, but as stated, they primarily prey on the sick and dying trees. They also are not an insect that becomes infestations, thus the numbers really never become uncontrollable like many others fast producing pests. Your best line of defense for your Poplars and Willows is to keep your trees healthy and avoid nicking them near the base with your lawnmower and string trimmer. Other than that, it’s hard to fight a pest you can’t see. However if you do see pests around your home that need a Pest Control Pro, call your Local Pest Control Family – Certified Pest Control Nashville.

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Robber Fly

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Robber Fly

Flying Insect Predator

The Robber Fly is here in Tennessee, you just have a hard time spotting them. If you do happen to see one, it would probably be hiding in a heavily covered area of plants or in the soil. They only come out during the hottest hours of a sunny day to hunt. And when they are out they are mostly in flight or hiding in a strike pose ready to capture their prey. The Robber Fly is a true predator and only feeds on other insects and their larvae. And as stated, they spend a lot of time flying, so they catch most of their prey in the air. They are so adept at air attacks and voracious predators that they even attack and kill large Bumble Bees.

Robber Flies are fairly large themselves, being up to 1 ¾” Long and ½” in diameter. They are distinctive looking with large bristles on their head that make it look as if they have a moustache. These flies are long and skinny and range from a dark gray or black in color and look very hairy with bristles covering most of their bodies. They have two large compound eyes with a large indentation between them. The Robber Fly is quite intimidating looking, so they match their aggressive predatory behavior.

The Robber Fly quickly soars through fields looking to swoop in like a hawk on any flying insect. They are not very particular in diet as they will kill and eat Bumble Bees, Moths, Ants, Wasps, Crickets, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Honey Bees. They will literally eat any insect that flies. Some will hide out near a hive and just wait to pick off single bees as they are coming and going from their home. They will attack, hold its prey with their legs and bite them thus injecting their venom. This venom kills the prey and also helps turn it into a more liquid state for the Robber Fly to suck up and eat the insect leaving a hollow shell. Although they are natural born killers, they also have their fair share of predators including birds, praying mantis, spiders and assassin bugs. Another reason that we rarely see them, is that they all have their territory, so you will usually only see one if you get that rare chance. If an adult Robber Fly invades the territory another Robber Fly, they are likely to become a cannibalistic meal.

Robber Flies are not like normal flies with very short life spans; rather they can live up to 3 months. During these 3 months, they eat and mate. The female will lay her eggs on vegetation or in the soil, have five stages of development and the eggs overwinter to continue the long growth process. The eggs while in the larvae stage move around to feed on eggs of other insects much like they do as adults, sucking the insides out. The process from egg to adult can take from one to three years.

We are relatively safe from this ruthless killer, as Robber Flies do not have stingers. They can bite if threatened which will be quite painful, but is not harmful in general. Either way do not attempt to handle a Robber Fly unless you want to risk a bite. The Robber Fly is not a Nashville Pest Control issue; rather they can help control the populations of other flying insects including the common house fly around your home. However if you are experiencing an uninvited pest at your home make sure to call Certified Pest Control Nashville. We can provide year round pest control and deliver local family service without pesky commissioned sales people. We at Certified Pest Control are just family, and would love to become part of your family.

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Hoverfly

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Hoverfly

A Gardner’s Friend

The Hoverfly is usually mistaken for a sweat bee or small honey bee, due to its size and colors. However, this harmless fly actually helps us by controlling the population of a well known Tennessee Pest; the aphid. Aphids can be annoying to gardeners, as they feed on the honeydew of plants. This sucks the life right out of vegetables, and you can see the damage from eaten leaves to completely dead plants. Aphids also cause other issues with the honeydew that they cannot digest, so they leave behind a residue. This residue will cover leaves causing death of plants, can cause mold growth and also attract other pests such as ants. So you see why we should love the Hoverfly. Many gardeners will actually plant white and yellow flowers or herbs among their fruit and vegetables to attract them. The Hoverfly will then assist by being a very efficient natural pest control with the use of their larvae.

Hoverflies can be identified by their black and yellow stripes (like a bee), small size of only up to ½” long and having only two wings. To further mimic a stinging insect, their wings have two darker stripes on the leading edge to make it look like they have four wings. When it rest, most predators will recognize this as a bee and stay away. But this is a fly, so it has no stinger. You can spot them hovering over flowers in order to gather nectar and are very important to the pollination process.

The Hoverfly female also helps further with the aphid control process, by locating and laying eggs near an area that has aphids. Once the eggs hatch in just a few days, they have an instant food source. Even as a larvae they can eat up to fifty aphids each, per day. That is a considerable amount for larvae with no legs, but they can still move fast. Adults do not eat the aphids, so it is the larvae that are the natural pest control at work. Larvae can consume four to five hundred aphids in their larval stage.  Then they spin a cocoon to grow into adults in just two weeks. An adult Hoverfly only lives two to four weeks and they do not overwinter, but rather die. This leaves the next generation in the ground waiting to hatch and continue life cycle next spring.

The Hoverfly is one of the true helpers of the insect world. They are relatively harmless, help with pollination only second to that of bees, and help control the aphid population of up to eighty or ninety percent of an infestation. Some Hoverfly populations have even been known to completely wipe out an aphid infestation harming a crop or garden. So, make sure to plant those white and yellow flowers, not to mention herbs such as oregano, cilantro, thyme and lemon balm so you can attract these beneficial flies.

Hoverflies are an insect you want around your house and garden, however if you are dealing with a Nashville Pest Control Issue of unwanted invaders, please give us a call. Certified Pest Control Nashville should be your first and only call to give you local family and owned personal service. Contact our family, to protect yours.

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Carolina Locust

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Carolina Locust

Dirt Colored Grasshopper

Locusts are often associated with plagues and total crop devastation; however the Carolina Locust is a different species and primarily feeds on weeds. They are one of the largest grasshoppers in the United States and can be as large as 2 ½” long with a wingspan of up to 4” wide. They live in most of our country and do inhabit Tennessee.

Many insects that we discuss are vivid with beautiful colors that make them stand out, however this is not the case with the Carolina Locust. Because they choose to live in areas of woods and live on the ground that is bare dirt, they use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. Therefore this large grasshopper is bland tan or dirt colored in appearance. They do have a flash of color that can be seen, only when in flight; with a yellow border around their hind wings. Other than that small yellow stripe, they are just a plain dirt colored grasshopper. So, this plain color might not be pretty to look at, but it helps them to survive by blending in with their dirt habitat. Their other line of defense is by taking flight and quickly darting to a new hiding place from predators. Other grasshoppers are not so effective at flight, but with a large wingspan, the Carolina Locust can fly, hover and maneuver quite well while airborne. In a flight episode, they are able to fly as far as twenty to thirty feet. Even with their very good flying ability, they mostly inhabit the ground. After sheltering for the night; a Carolina Locust will come out into the sunshine to warm up for a few hours. They like warmer temperatures, so you will only see them during peak sunlight hours. Once warm they will go about their daily activity of walking and flying around their immediate area eating and searching for a mate. They are not a crop pest, although they have been known to damage certain corn, beans, potatoes and tobacco fields by eating the leaves.

The male will fly around and click his wings in order to attract a female. He will also find a nice patch of bare dirt to just sit and rub his hind legs together to attract the females. Once the Carolina Locust has found a mate, the female will lay up to 150 eggs in the dirt in summer. Typically these eggs will overwinter and hatch the next spring. As they hatch, the look like small locusts and molt several times in order to grow to adult size. By midsummer there is a whole other generation to begin their breeding again.

Even though the Carolina Locust is not a Tennessee Pest Control issue, they can be capable of causing considerable damage to grass and leaves around your property. You shouldn’t be too concerned about it, if you happen to see this bland colored grasshopper. However if you have other destructive, biting or stinging pests, please call Certified Pest Control Nashville. Our locally owned and operated company is happy to have one of our family visit your home to diagnose a treatment plan for your pest issue. Year round protection and preventative pest control is the best way to make sure that you stay pest free all year. Call Certified Pest Control today for a free estimate.

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