Honey Bee Swarms – HELP is here!

How can we help the honey bee?

honeybee pollinated of flower
honeybee pollinated of flower

We have asked ourselves this question here at The Bug Man for many years.  We practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in our business, this basically means to be successful at our jobs while making the smallest impact on our environment possible.  Each year, we receive calls reporting honey bee swarms hanging from trees and the sides of houses.  We attempt to seek out a beekeeper to catch and relocate these bees safely.  Most of the time, the beekeepers are unable to respond in a timely manner because most of them have regular jobs and can’t get away.  This year, we have solved this problem!  Dan and Vicky Cassidy, owners of The Bug Man, have become the beekeepers!

Endor Farms – Honey Bee Apiary

Endor Farms - Apiary
Endor Farms – Apiary

Dan and Vicky Cassidy have started a small honey bee farm out in Rockvale to relocate and raise honey bees.  They will be available to catch and relocate honey bee swarms to this property and to care for them.  Dan and Vicky also have contacts (other beekeepers) in the local association that would be happy to take any hives that they are unable to keep.   Dan and Vicky are members of the Rutherford County Beekeepers Association (since July 2014), and constantly seeking out additional training in this new field.  Eventually, our customers will be able to purchase the local honey at The Bug Man office.  We will keep everyone posted when it becomes available.

What to do if you see a honey bee swarm

Honeybee swarm hanging from tree.
Honeybee swarm hanging from tree.

Most people become worried and even scared when they see a honey bee swarm.  While this is a normal reaction, the honey bees are not usually dangerous during a swarm.  Their goal is to seek out a new home quickly before they run low on energy stores.  The queen will land on a branch or wall and all the bees will gather around the queen bee and form a large ball-like mound.  This is often referred to as a basketball of bees.  This is the best time to contact a beekeeper.  They may stay here for 30 minutes or 2 hours.  Eventually, they will move on to another area until they find a suitable home.

When you see this cluster of bees, call our office and we will dispatch Dan & Vicky, with the bee response equipment.  If successful, the honey bee cluster will be captured and relocated safely to Endor Farms and the bee will be able to pollinate the crops out in the country.

If you find a swarm of honey bees, call us at 615-217-7284 and we will dispatch our beekeepers!

Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee

It is termite season in Middle Tennessee, are you ready?

Termite WorkersEvery Spring, as the temperatures warm and the rains fall, a tiny insect wakens.  This tiny insect, know as the subterranean termite, emerges from inside walls, floors, trees, and the ground to make a mating flight and begin a new life as the king and queen of a newly established colony.  In the pest business, we call this termite swarm season!  When this occurs inside a home, thousands of winged ant-like insects begin to fly from out of the wall and towards the windows and other light sources.  Fortunately, all of these will die if they are unable to reach soil quickly.  But what they leave behind are the worker and soldier termites inside the walls of your house.  These are the termites that do the damage, eating the wood that your home is built with.  These are the termites that the homeowners in Tennessee must be concerned with.  But what can you do?

There are signs to look for around your house that may indicate a termite issue during swarm season.  A few of them are:

  • Termite shelter tubes or mud tunnels on the foundation of you house.  These may be found in the crawl space, on exterior foundations, and in the garage walls.  In Middle Tennessee they are usually orange in color, due to our clay soil.
  • Crumbling baseboards or drywall on the interior of the house.  The termites will eat the wood and paper behind the paint, and then the paint will crack or sink in, making it brittle.
  • Swarm castles and pinholes are usually found in the drywall; termites will penetrate through the paint layer in preparation for the swarm.Termite Swarmers - Alates
  • Dead insects that are usually black in color and look similar to ants and or wings.  The termite swarmers will break off their wings after fight before returning to the earth.  They can usually be found near windows and under light sources.

Prevention is the key, and here are a few tips on what you can do:

  • Termites eat the cellulose in wood, so it is recommended to remove all wood debris from around and under your house.  This includes the fire wood.  It is best to move it 10′ from your house and off the ground.
  • Termites need water, and we recommend that all gutters and downspouts are in working order and directing water away from the house.  Make sure you don’t have water puddling under your home.  Keep it dry.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are sealed properly to keep rain and moisture out.  Wet and rotting wood is a favorite of termites.

If you discover signs of termites in Middle Tennessee, what should you do?

Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee, but don’t panic… Really!  Termites damage homes, but not overnight.  Take a deep breath and relax.  Contact a professional and ask for a Free inspection.  Everyone does these, as it is an opportunity to educate the homeowner and earn your business.  A few questions you will want to have answered:

  1. How long has your company been in business and are you a member of the BBB, Pest Control Association, Chamber of Commerce, and a Quality Pro Company?
  2. What product are you planning to use to protect my home?  We use Termidor HE, as it has the best proven track record of success.
  3. Has the termite technician attended the 3 day Termite Master Apprentice training program hosted by Tennessee Department of Agricuture that regulates all pest control companies, along with company training?
  4. Does the termite service offer a damage repair warranty or just a treatment warranty?

At the end of the day, you must feel confident that the company you hire to eliminate the termites will do the job right, and be there to stand behind their work in 5, 10, or 20 years if an issue ever arrises.

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Free Termite Inspection Helps Homeowners Protect Their Homes

The best things in life are free. Protecting your home from termites is one of the best things you can do! And, in the case of our termite inspections, it’s also free!

We receive numerous calls from people in the Murfreesboro, Smyrna, La Vergne, Christiana, Rockvale and Lebanon area about termites. A lot of the people who call are surprised that we offer a free termite inspection. They ask us why we would freely provide that service.

Our technician prepares to inspect for termites.

Our answer to that oft-asked question is this: We want to help you protect your home and we want to give you the education and resources you need to protect your home.

If you have any questions about our termite options, please call us at 615-217-7284, follow us on Facebook or tweet us on Twitter.

Lots of New, New, New in Our Company News

We really are growing a lot here at The Bug Man! In early February, we moved into our new office at 606 S. Church Street. At the end of March, we added two new trucks to our ‘bugged’ out fleet of bug-busting, technician-toting work trucks. And here we are, already in April, and we even have a few new employees.

Here are a few pictures and a YouTube video documenting our recent changes. As you can see, the video was taken before our building was repainted. You can always find updates on our Facebook and Twitter, and even on our Pinterest. Please join us there. We’d love to talk to you!

Our new, freshly painted building
Our new ‘bugged’ out trucks

Experimenting with Ants

Reasons why DIY Pest Control May Not Work

Experimenting with ants is interesting! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a 22-minute-long video is worth about eleven million words. 🙂 To spread the wealth, we split the video up in to two separate segments.

One of our technicians put together an impromptu experiment to show what happens to ants when different pesticides are used. He experimented with water, a repellent, a non-repellent, granular bait, and gel bait.

If you’ve ever gone to the store to buy your own spray and wondered why that spray didn’t work, this video will answer that for you. If you’ve tried a bunch of different things and the ants are still there, this will show you why.

Without further adieu, we give you Ant Experiment, Part 1:

And Ant Experiment, Part 2:

Feedback in the comments is always appreciated. Or, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter at TheBugManTN.

How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

We’re receiving more calls than ever about bed bugs. There is lots of information out there on the internet about bed bugs. What’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs? Our blog offers helpful advice on what to do when you encounter them.

Bed bugs have made a comeback in a REALLY BIG WAY.

Just this morning, as we had our morning cups of coffee, The Bug Man staff discussed bed bugs. We are receiving more calls for bed bugs than we’ve ever had.

Find us on Pinterest.com/TheBugManTN

Back in the day, we’d get maybe one or two calls a year about bed bugs. Now we get one or two calls per week. That’s a big difference!

Now that the internet is so prevalent in our culture, you can find tons of different ways to take care of bed bugs. If you Google, “How do I get rid of bed bugs,” you’ll find home remedies, ads promoting pest control companies, and suggestions on what you can do.

In this economy, everyone is looking to save precious pennies, epecially in Middle Tennessee. It’s tempting to just go with the cheapest thing that you find. But how do you know if it will work? How do you know it won’t hurt your family?

Without the guidance and assistance of a pest professional, you don’t know.

So, let’s go with what we do know:

    • Home remedies for bed bugs are often dangerous
    • Bed bugs are incredibly difficult to get rid of
    • Treating just one room for bed bugs is usually not effective
    • In most instances, at least two rooms (the bedroom and the living room) need to be treated
    • If you’ve had bed bugs, you need to get a bed bug certified mattress cover/box spring cover
    • When in doubt, ask questions. If you’re unsure of if you have bed bugs, give The Bug Man call at 615.217.7284. We will help you identify what you’re dealing with and recommend a method of treatment.

Rats! I’ve got mice! Tips and Tricks for Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home

Rodents are rapidly running inside homes this holiday season. Check out our blog for tips and tricks on how to keep them out. Baby, it’s cold outside. And, just in time for your holiday gatherings, rodents are moving inside your home to steal a meal.

To rodent-proof your home, here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Thoroughly examine the exterior of your home. If there’s a hole larger than a quarter or a dime, then a rodent can get through it. If a rodent’s nose fits through the hole, then their entire body can fit through, too. Check the area around pipes, heating/cooling hoses, etc., etc.
  2. Use steel wool and/or caulk to seal up any holes you may find.
  3. Remove any vines hanging down the side of your home, because rodents can use those to climb up to your roof and potentially get inside.
  4. If your doors and windows have gaps, seal them. Not only will this help keep pests out, it will also keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. #winning
  5. Trouble with rodents? We would be more than delighted to help you. Call us at 615.217.7284 to schedule an appointment.

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Stink Bugs on the Rise in Middle Tennessee

Tennessee, as well as 32 other states in America, are dealing with the rotten reality of stink bug infestations.

When considering the odoriferous occasional invader that is the stink bug, they can be described much like Mr. Grinch:

“The three words that describe you are as follows, and I quote, ‘Stink, Stank, Stunk!’”

Tennessee, as well as 32 other states in America, are dealing with the rotten reality of stink bug infestations. Unfortunately, because they secrete a smelly liquid when threatened, even a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole won’t help.

Stink bugs have already been reported in the Middle Tennessee area. Some species of the bug attack crops and can cost farmers millions of dollars in damage. Other stink bugs only attack the noses of people who happen to step on or disturb them.

To prevent stink bugs from entering your home, make sure you seal around windows and doors with silicone-latex caulk. Also, patch any holes or replace any damaged screens on windows, porches or doors. Vacuuming an affected area may help, as long as the vacuum bag is disposed of properly and not left inside to release the nasty odor.

The National Pest Management Association warns homeowners this week that the bugs’ growing populations are likely to make infestations significantly worse this year. “This season’s stink bug population will be larger than in the past,” says Jim Fredericks, director of technical services for NPMA.

If you encounter stink-stank-stunk bugs in your home or work place, do not squash them. Call us at 615.217.7284 or email service@thebugman.us. We’re happy to help you defeat those mini Mr. Grinches!

The Buzz on Bees and Other Sting Things

“Killer” bees. Yellowjackets. Wasps. Nests. Allergies. Pain. Do you feel the fear? Honeybee, carpenter bee, bumble bee… How do I tell them apart?“Killer” bees. Yellowjackets. Wasps. Nests. Allergies. Pain. Do you feel the fear?

With warmer weather comes more bug activity, including bees and wasps. In this season, there are many different kinds of stinging insects flying around your home, car and work place. But you may not be able to tell those insects apart–especially if you swat at them fiercely or run away.

Through this blog, we’ll try to teach you a few memorable points about a few of the stinging insects active in your neighborhood. However, this explanation will not be exhaustive. If you’re seeing insect activity, please call us. We’ll come out and identify–as well as try to remove–the wasp nest or beehive from your property.

Carpenter Bee

Though carpenter bees don’t pose a public health threat. They do have the potential to damage wood through the building of their nests. Sounds a lot like termites, huh?

Painting and staining the wood on your house may help prevent carpenter bees because they prefer to nest in untreated wood. However, they will occasionally make themselves at home even in treated wood. If you discover carpenter bees, we will assist you in treating them, and recommend having the holes filled or repaired.

Bumble Bee (not to be confused with Honeybees)

These bees have quite a fuzzy appearance. However, don’t let their apparent softness fool you, because bumble bees can sting more than once. In defending their nest, bumble bees will chase any threatening thing (that means you) a considerable distance.

Dealing with bumble bees can prove tricky because they defend their homes so aggressively and can sting multiple times. Please don’t try to take care of a bumble bee nest on your own. For your own safety, let us help you.

Honeybee

These little buzzers only sting once. That’s good news if you ever come in contact (literally) with one. Unfortunately, a honeybee sting is one of the most painful stings. Like bumble bees, honeybees chase invaders of their nest for a relatively long distance.

Taking care of a honeybee nest is the same as taking care of a bumble bee nest. Consider the safety that comes from a professional pest management company and spare yourself the stinging.  If we find a honeybee nest, we recommend contacting a beekeeper to have them relocate the hive.

Though they can harm you, both the honeybee and bumble bee are beneficial because they help in the process of pollination.

“Killer” Bees

By the way, don’t worry, because “killer” bees aren’t active in Tennessee. However, if you visit Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada or Texas, you would find them there. The name “killer” bee is applied because they attack as a group, which causes more damage to humans. If someone is highly allergic to bee stings and gets attacked multiple times by this species of bee, the person may die of an allergic reaction, if left untreated.

Yellowjacket

Wrapping up today’s little list of sting things is the yellowjacket. Getting stung by a yellowjacket can cause an allergic reaction. Over 500,000 people are sent to the emergency room every year because of stinging pests like these.

Yellowjackets often hang out at BBQs and picnics near the sugary beverages and meaty meals, or by trash cans and recycling bins. Remember to properly dispose of your meats and sweets. Overall, proper trash disposal is very helpful in pest control.

If you suspect yellowjacket activity, call a pest professional.

Those are your bug basics for today. Thanks for reading!