What Eats Mosquitoes?

What Eats Mosquitoes

What eats mosquitoes?

  1. Spiders
  2. Lizards
  3. Bats
  4. Dragonflies
  5. Fish
  6. Frogs
  7. Birds

 

Mosquitoes can be considered as one of the top pests that people need to avoid. Not only are they annoying and cause a lot of itching, but they are also prime disease spreaders, which even earned them the title of the most lethal animal in the world. There are many man-made solutions against mosquitoes, but there are also plenty of natural predators that help us control mosquito populations. This begs the question: what eats mosquitoes?

Most of these animals can be found near our homes — in our backyards, in the pond, and even on our ceilings! While they eat mosquitoes on the regular, we don’t notice it enough and take them for granted. Many people would kill or chase these animals away, even if they’re harmless to humans.

If you don’t know what animals in your house are helping you with the war against mosquitoes, we’ve compiled a list of some natural mosquito killers you might encounter. Keep reading to learn more!

 

Spiders

As we all know, spiders love chowing down on insects. Their main diet is comprised of all sorts of insects, mosquitoes included! Any type of spider would enjoy a good mosquito on the menu. If you see a spider web around, you can be sure that any unlucky mosquito that gets caught in it will be spider dinner.

Because they wait for their meals to come to them instead of actively hunting them, spiders don’t make much of a dent in mosquito populations. Adding to that is our tendency to take down the spider webs that we see around the house. However, if we let the spider webs be, then we’d have a natural pest filter around that won’t bother anyone else.

 

Lizards

Lizards

Another common sight in Filipino homes, lizards are also friendly pest munchers. They like to eat insects of all kinds, and they’re always on the hunt. If a mosquito makes the mistake of hovering too close to the ground (or ceiling, or wall, wherever the lizard is!), they’ll become lunch for sure.

 

Bats

There are many types of bats out there, and yes, some of them eat fruit (and blood). But plenty of bats are insectivorous.  They would eat any type of insect as long as they can catch it, and with their flying skills, they can catch almost anything! Their echolocation also helps them locate insects and snap them up even in mid-flight. With a large population of bats hanging around, mosquitoes will always have their numbers reduced at night.

Because they prey on a wide range of insects, bats won’t focus on mosquitoes only. The presence of bats is helpful, but they are not enough to put a damper on that mosquito problem you may have.

 

Dragonflies

Dragonflies

Dragonflies are excellent mosquito predators. First, they have air superiority over them. They can fly faster and have better maneuverability mid-air, with wings that let them zip around at 40-48 kilometers per hour. They also have better vision, the better to see the mosquitoes with. Compared to dragonflies, mosquitoes are lumbering around in the air, easy to snatch up and devour.

Also, since dragonflies like to hang around near water, they prey on young mosquitoes and even mosquito larvae. Even immature dragonflies, who still live in the water, make snacks out of mosquito larvae.

 

Fish

Almost any type of fish would feast on mosquito larvae that they find in the water. But the Gambusia affinis, or mosquito fish, have a particular liking to eating mosquito larvae. They like to do this so much that some pest control agencies use them to get rid of mosquito larvae in affected waters.

 

Frogs

Frogs

If given the chance, adult frogs would most likely eat something else other than mosquitoes. After all, they are too small to fill them up. That doesn’t mean they won’t snap up any mosquitoes with the gall to hover close enough to them. Also, younger, smaller frogs won’t be as picky as the adults, making mosquitoes good targets for them.

Some species of tadpoles have also been known to prey on mosquito larvae, but they rely mostly on plant-based particles in the water. They can, however, compete with mosquito larvae for sustenance if they’re in the same area.

 

Birds

Of course, we won’t forget one of our best allies when it comes to natural pest control: birds. Most birds would be happy to eat a mosquito or two if they come upon them. In the Philippines, the maya or the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is one of the most common birds, and they like to fly after mosquitoes too!

With their sharp eyes and quick reflexes, birds of all kinds will be glad to control pest populations in exchange for a good meal!

 

Key Takeaway

Even though we’ve come up with a list of what eats mosquitoes, they still won’t be enough to combat your mosquito problem entirely. These natural mosquito predators are only there when they want to be, and their diets are not limited to mosquitoes only. While their presence surely helps, solving the problem would call for other measures.

If you’re having mosquito problems, then a professional pest control service should help! Getting in touch with Topbest, the leading pest control solutions provider in the Philippines, is your best bet for losing all your pest problems! You can contact us here for a free consultation!

9 Natural Termite Predators

9 Natural Termite Predators

What are some natural termite predators?

  1. Ants
  2. Spiders
  3. Chickens
  4. Pigeons
  5. Sparrows
  6. Lizards
  7. Frogs
  8. Bats
  9. Monkeys and other primates

 

A continuing problem in households around the world, termite infestations spell trouble if left unchecked. These pests consume wood and if they start a colony on your house’s foundations, then it will weaken significantly. Despite how troublesome these insects can be; they’ve been cursed with the misfortune of being at the bottom of the food chain. There are plenty of natural termite predators no matter where you are in the world, which explains why they burrow underground or within the wood.

In this article, we will highlight the most common termite predators you may encounter. There are animals in this list from each of the major classifications of animals. Keep reading to find out which animals are silently helping you with your termite problem!

 

INSECTS AND SPIDERS

Because of their size, termites are often preyed on by some bigger insects and spiders. Some of these predators include beetles, wasps, and even some flies. Here are some of the most common you can find:

 

Ants

Ants and termites mix like oil and water. These two look-alikes don’t get along at all, and if their colonies ever meet, they turn hostile on each other. There are even some species of ants that actively hunt termites. This isn’t all good news because ants are also unwelcome in our homes, but at least we know the two pests won’t bug us at the same time.

 

Spiders

Spiders

Spiders are arachnids and are mostly predators. Their main diet consists of smaller insects like mosquitoes, flies, and yes, termites. Sometimes, flying termites get caught in a spider’s web and get turned into dinner. Other spiders who stay on the ground chow down on what termites they might find.

 

BIRDS

Like most of the other animals on this list, insects are a part of a bird’s main diet, along with seeds, nuts, and flowers. For most birds, termites are fair game. The following birds are the ones that may be around to help control the termite population:

 

Chickens

In the Philippines, chickens are everywhere. It always seems like chickens are pecking something of the ground, like seeds and worms. If they ever stumble upon termites, they’re certainly on the menu. Chickens aren’t picky with what they eat and having them around will certainly keep termites wary of them.

 

Pigeons

Pigeons

Many people like to collect and raise pigeons, and that’s a bad sign for termites. Free-flying pigeons can travel far and wide in search of food, and if some termites are caught in their sights, they won’t hesitate to devour them.

 

Sparrows

Unknown to many, there is a big population of sparrows in the Philippines that include termites in their diet. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow, better known as the maya, inhabits both rural and urban areas of the country. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a lucky maya chancing on a free dinner of an unsuspecting termite colony in a tree or house somewhere.

 

REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS

Both reptiles and amphibians are also well-known to enjoy insects as delicacies. The ones that you’re most likely to meet in your house or backyard are:

 

Lizards

Lizards

A common sight on ceilings, lizards like to eat bugs like flies, mosquitoes, flying ants, and the occasional termite. These friendly reptilian roommates are great to have around because they aren’t harmful to humans and they prey on pests like termites. So say thank you, the next time you see that tuko that you’ve been trying to chase away!

 

Frogs

They may be a less welcoming sight in our homes, but frogs contribute to decreasing the termite population wherever they live. They like to munch on small insects, ants and termites included.

 

MAMMALS

Mammals also like to get in on the insect food craze that every other animal seems to like. Though their diets do not depend on insects, they would enjoy having them as meals every now and then.

 

Bats

Bats

Bats feast on a variety of foods like fruits, insects, and even blood. A termite colony showing themselves at night will likely fall victim to hungry bats, especially if it’s termite mating season. Bats are experts in the air and they can easily catch flying termites that happen to be in the way.

 

Monkeys and other primates

Primates are mostly omnivores, meaning they eat almost whatever they get their hands on. Unfortunately for termites, they qualify as food. Monkeys are not often seen near civilization, but there are some rural areas where monkeys are welcome in the town. These primates won’t hesitate to gobble up mounds of termites if it tickles their fancy.

 

Key Takeaway

The list of natural termite predators goes on and on even beyond those discussed in this article. Some of them can be found near our homes and inflict lots of casualties on the local pest population. Having these animals around can help us with our infestation problem.

Despite having so many natural enemies, termites continue to thrive and exist in homes everywhere. These animals are helpful, but they are not enough to stop an infestation. A good way to get rid of pests for good is to call professionals, like the country’s best: Topbest! If you need help with pest control, send us a message here for a free consultation!

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

How do you treat bed bug bites?

  1. Wash with soap and water
  2. Apply a cold towel or ice pack
  3. Use an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion
  4. Take an oral antihistamine
  5. Take over-the-counter painkillers
  6. Go to the doctor

 

Bed bugs are small pests that like to bite people when they sleep. If you have itchy marks on your skin, there’s a chance that these bugs are responsible. They like to hide around the area of your bed: the mattress, your sheets, the headboard, and others. As you sleep, they crawl out, bite your skin, and drink your blood. Unpleasant as it sounds, you wouldn’t feel anything right away because it takes some time before the bites show. When they do, you have to know how to treat bed bug bites.

The bites usually present as red, itchy marks on your skin. They are generally low-risk, but there are rare times when an allergic reaction or infection may happen. What should you do when you find bed bug bites on your skin? Keep reading to find out!

 

Wash with soap and water

Wash with soap and water

Since bed bugs drink blood, it’s easy to figure out that their bites make a break in the skin. That’s why the first thing you need to do is to wash it with soap and water. Just like any other wound, a bed bug bite can become infected. Washing the affected areas would not only prevent infections but also soothe the symptoms slightly.

If you have a persistent bed bug problem, make sure you wash the affected areas regularly until you get rid of the bed bugs for good. You wouldn’t know if you’re getting bitten because of the bug’s anesthetic, so it’s best to be safe.

 

Apply a cold towel or ice pack

Bed bug bites are rarely serious injuries and are even less likely to be life-threatening. But they are incredibly itchy! The bites will heal in around 1-2 weeks, but the itchiness will make it really uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate this.

Applying a cold towel or cloth, or an ice pack to the affected area will help with the itchiness.

 

Use an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion

Use an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion

If you can, using an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion would reduce the itching better than ice. Make sure you use only over-the-counter anti-itch cream to avoid any other complications. Otherwise, follow the advice of your dermatologist for a stronger dose. It’s also important to remember that they won’t cure the bites themselves but only reduce the itching. To avoid any further damage, it’s better to take care of the infestation itself.

 

Take an oral antihistamine

Another way to stop the itching is by taking an oral antihistamine. For this, it’s best to get a prescription from your doctor first. Antihistamines can control allergic reactions and itching. But they can’t control the severity of the bed bug infestation you have.

 

Take over-the-counter painkillers

Take over-the-counter painkillers

Sometimes, bed bug bites can swell and become painful. The combination of being itchy and painful at the same time is really annoying. Scratching the bites will hurt and make the problem worse. If your bed bug bites have become painful, then you should take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain. Just take the usual ones like paracetamol to keep safe.

 

Go to the doctor

Keep observing yourself to catch any signs of worsening in the bites. There are rare cases when bed bugs cause an allergic reaction. If it’s a severe one, you’ll need an emergency dose of antihistamines or an EpiPen. It’s better to go to the doctor right away.

Infections don’t happen often too, but unlike allergic reactions, they can happen to anyone. You know the infection has gotten bad when you start getting chills and a fever. For these instances, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible.

 

Key Takeaway

Bed bugs can turn really bad quickly if not taken care of. It’s good to know how to treat bed bug bites, but you wouldn’t need that information if you didn’t have bed bugs in the first place. There are several natural bed bug repellents that you can use, but they won’t be enough to get rid of the infestation.

Do you want to clear your home of any bed bug infestations? Then it’s time to call a professional pest control service! Topbest is the leading pest control solutions provider in the Philippines. Just click here to get a free consultation from us, and start the process of beating that infestation!

5 Natural Bed Bug Repellents

5 Natural Bed Bug Repellents

What are some natural bed bug repellents?

  1. Rubbing Alcohol
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Diatomaceous Earth
  4. Powdered Pepper
  5. Lemon

 

If you’ve ever woken up to itchy marks on your skin for seemingly no reason, you may have been bitten by bed bugs. Bed bugs are insects that bite humans and feed on our blood. Infestations will cause uncomfortable itches on the human’s skin. They can be present anywhere, and it is very easy to get an infestation. A solution could be by using natural bed bug repellents.

Getting rid of these pests is likely to be a pain. Pests often have the quality of being annoying, so make sure to try as many of these methods as possible to see which works best for you. Keep reading to learn more!

 

Rubbing Alcohol

The smell of rubbing alcohol is one that bed bugs can’t stand. This substance can also dry out bed bug bodies, making it potentially deadly to them. Some even claim that direct contact with alcohol will kill the bed bugs right away. If you have rubbing alcohol, try applying it in places where you suspect bed bugs to be. Hopefully, it will repel them and make them look for a different place to creed.

Be careful though, alcohol is very flammable. Just make sure to keep any sparks or open flames away from it!

 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Some essential oils have been known to have some pest repellent (and even insecticidal) properties. For example, the scent of tea tree oil can repel bed bugs from an area. If you have tea tree oil for your skin, you can also spray it around your bed. It will then have a pleasant smell and it will be free of bed bugs. Lavender oil is another scent that we love but bed bugs can’t stand. If you’re looking for something more natural, then maybe orange oil will help. Peppermint oil has shown repellent properties against mosquitoes, and some people claim that they work against bed bugs as well. It would hurt to give it a try.

In any case, spraying these essential oils to affected areas should keep bed bugs away for a time.

 

Diatomaceous Earth

If you don’t know it yet, diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective alternative pesticides. It is an abrasive powder that will dry out an insect’s exoskeleton. It absorbs the protective oils that cover the insects’ bodies. If they come into contact with it, they can easily dehydrate. It’s best to spread the powder into cracks and crevices on the floor or anywhere else you think bed bugs might be hiding. But you should avoid putting it on your mattress because it can hurt your lungs.

This powder can easily be spotted and avoided by bed bugs. At first, they might fall victim to it and some might get killed, but once they learn about it, they will stay away. It then becomes a good repellent as well.

 

Powdered Pepper

Powdered Pepper

Powdered pepper is something that can be found in any household’s kitchen. Aside from adding flavor to your food, it can also be used to keep away bed bugs. Pepper is another addition to the lift of scents that bed bugs don’t like and would actively avoid. Its availability and convenience make powdered pepper a good natural bed bug repellent.

 

Lemon

Citrus scents like that of lemon will help drive bed bugs away. By using fresh lemon juice, your room and mattress will smell fruity fresh and become bed bug-free. Some even claim that the acidity of the lemon juice is enough to kill bed bugs.

A study has shown that citronellic acid has some potential to repel bed bugs, but they don’t hate the scent enough to stop from feeding on a blood meal. If you want to use lemon, you might want to use it when you’re not in the room.

 

Key Takeaway

Bed bug infestations can be nasty, uncomfortable, painful, and unhealthy at the same time. Once you notice itches, or once you confirm that you have bed bugs, it is important to get rid of them as fast as you can. For temporary, at-home measures, try the bed bug repellents that we mentioned in the article above.

Natural and temporary repellents are still not enough to completely eradicate an infestation. For that, professional intervention is needed. Topbest handles pest control for termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes, other pests, and of course, bed bugs. To end all your pest problems, just contact us here for a free consultation!

5 Common Types of Spiders in the Philippines

5 Common Types of Spiders in the Philippines

What are the common types of spiders in the Philippines?

  1. Huntsman Spider
  2. St. Andrew’s Cross Spider
  3. Hawaiian Garden Spider
  4. Batik Golden Web Spider
  5. Jumping Spiders

 

If you live in the Philippines, then you already know that there are plenty of spiders everywhere. Their scary appearance can easily scare people, but are they all actually dangerous? How many can you identify? To be more informed, you have to learn the common types of spiders in the Philippines.

Spiders can be found in any place you might be. They can be inside your house, in your garden, in your bathroom, and even in your shoe. If you can recognize them, you’ll easily figure out if they’re dangerous to you or not. Read on to know more about the common spiders in the Philippines!

 

Huntsman Spider

The Huntsman spider is a scary-looking arachnid from the family Sparassidae. These spiders are large and long-legged. Their bodies have a flat design to fit into small cracks or between rocks. In the Philippines, they have been terrifying homeowners by suddenly scurrying out from behind furniture or from inside dark, unused rooms. Sometimes, they can even be found hiding out in cars.

Their main habitat is outdoors, in between rocks or under logs and bark, so when you see one in your home, they probably just wandered there. Even though they look scary, they are generally not dangerous spiders. It is more likely that they would run away than bite when you startle them, but remember that they still do carry some venom.

These spiders mainly feed on insects and other invertebrates. They can serve as natural pest control if left alone. But beware, they will get bigger!

 

St. Andrew’s Cross Spider

St. Andrew’s Cross Spider

The St. Andrew’s Cross spider is from the genus Argiope. They are named after their web decorations that are bright and cross-shaped. They make zig-zag lines of silk that form a cross, making their webs highly distinguishable. This is also the reason why they are locally known in the Philippines as “gagambang ekis”.

These spiders also have colored abdomens that make them stand out even more. When threatened, these spiders either drop from their web or shake the web vigorously to confuse attackers.  They are generally not aggressive towards people and their bite is not toxic.

 

Hawaiian Garden Spider

Another spider from the Argiope genus, the Hawaiian Garden Spider can commonly be seen in gardens in the Philippines. Because they’re close cousins to the cross spider, their webs look alike and they also have colorful abdomens. Though these spiders grow large, their bites are not toxic to humans.

These spiders can live almost everywhere. They prey on insects that get caught in their web, so their presence in the garden can be quite beneficial. The females often grow larger and more colorful than the males. Most spiders prefer living in solitude, but these Hawaiian Garden spiders don’t mind living close to each other.

 

Batik Godden Web Spider

Batik Godden Web Spider

The Batik Golden Web Spider, with the scientific name Nephila antipodiana, is a large spider that can be found in fields, gardens, and even in the city and home areas. The spider gets its name from an Indonesian technique of cloth dyeing. This species’ females are significantly larger than the males. Its abdomen, measuring 3 cm alone, is adorned with distinguishable yellow markings. The males are so small that they can live on the female’s web and eat their food, and the female wouldn’t notice.

In the Philippines, these spiders have been seen with webs on electrical wires. It has earned them the local name of “gagambang kuryente”. Their webs can last several years, unlike other spiders who dismantle their webs every now and then.

 

Jumping Spiders

Adding to the list of spiders that have scared many people in the Philippines are the jumping spiders. These medium-sized spiders have very good eyesight and are a common presence in Filipino homes. They generally avoid direct contact with humans and are not aggressive, but they do like to hang around and observe us.

They hunt insects that are smaller than them so they are not a threat to humans. They don’t bite unless they feel they’re in mortal danger, and it rarely penetrates the skin. These spiders are a challenge to catch because they can jump from 6 to 50 times their body size!

 

Key Takeaway

If you’re in the country, then you’ll surely meet at least one of these common types of spiders in the Philippines. Recognizing them means the difference between saving yourself from a painful bite and losing a helpful pest control assistant.

The presence of spiders can also mean the abundance of their prey, which are also our pests. Thankfully, Topbest is the best pest control service in the Philippines! If you think you have an infestation problem, then just contact us here for a free consultation!

6 Facts About Orange Oil Termite Treatment

6 Facts About Orange Oil Termite Treatment

What are some facts about orange oil termite treatment?

  1. It has a low termite mortality rate
  2. It is not harmful to the environment
  3. It is flammable and should not be ingested
  4. Kills termites on contact only
  5. Larger treatments are more expensive
  6. It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

 

The havoc that termites wreak on any of the wooden parts of your home needs to be controlled before causing too much damage. Sure, we have pesticides and such, but these products can be quite harmful to humans. But some people discovered the orange oil termite treatment that we know today.

Its fame quickly grew as an effective, easy-to-make, and easy-to-apply termite solution. Orange oil is easy to come by because it is an extract that comes from orange rinds. It is the D-limonene in orange oil treatments that is believed to kill termites. But how effective is it really? What do you need to know about this termite treatment? Keep reading to learn more!

 

It has a low termite mortality rate

For something considered a termite control option, orange oil has a surprisingly low mortality rate. A study showed that an orange oil treatment only has a 77% mortality rate among termites. Anyone who knows anything about termite control would know that this number is very low.

To put that number in context, it would kill only 770 in 1000 ants. Only 2 are needed to restart the colony. The average colony size is 60,000 to 1 million. It is safe to say that orange oil treatment is not enough to wipe out a termite colony.

 

It is not harmful to the environment

It is not harmful to the environment

The good thing about orange oil is that it isn’t harmful to the environment. Commercial aerosol pesticides are known to be toxic to people and animals. When applying the typical pesticide treatment, people should stay out of the room for some time. You should cover your things and remove all food. You don’t have to do this with orange oil.

The substance itself isn’t toxic to humans. You don’t need to stay away from the room where you apply the treatment. Your food, plant, and pets are all safe, and your tiles and walls will not be damaged at all. It also doesn’t contain CFCs that might be harmful to the environment itself.

 

It is flammable and should not be ingested

Orange oil is highly flammable. You should be wary of open flames when applying orange oil treatment inside the house. You should also avoid combusting the oil at all because its fumes are not good for your health. For this reason, you should also avoid ingesting orange oil all in all.

Being exposed for an extended time to either the oil or its fumes can cause the following symptoms: skin and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, lung irritation, and others. So even though you don’t need to leave the room, try not to stay in contact with it or get too close to it for too long.

 

Kills termites on contact only

Kills termites on contact only

The effectiveness of this treatment depends on how well it kills termites. It works as a pesticide because orange oil itself is toxic to termites. It can break down the termites’ exoskeletons and also kill their eggs. But it needs to make direct contact with them.

This also means that they are only effective for spot-specific infestations. If you want to clear a certain spot of termites, then you can apply orange oil treatments to kill them. But if you want to get rid of whole dry wood infestations, or even some subterranean colonies, orange oil treatment would not work as well as other pesticides.

 

Larger treatments are more expensive

What makes orange oil treatments charming to many households is that it is easy to make. You can get an extract from orange rinds that you have around the house or from oranges you’ve eaten. But that small amount can’t cover larger areas of infestation.

Many termite infestations, especially if it has gotten more severe, can cover large areas of the wood foundation of the house. If you want to end this infestation with only orange oil treatments, you would have to acquire many more oranges and extract oil from all of them. All of the expense wasted on that could have gone to real pesticides or hiring professional pest control services.

 

It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

Commercial pesticides can stay on the area where you sprayed them for longer times. The chemicals are absorbed by the soil or wood so that termites wouldn’t easily be able to return. Once they’ve been killed or moved away, the area is more or less free of infestation.

Orange oil treatments don’t linger in the area of application. They can simply kill termites that come in contact with them. This adds to the list of reasons why they can’t be used to exterminate severe infestations. How could orange oil prevent the threats of re-infestation, after all?

 

Key Takeaway

A termite infestation is more often than not a persistent problem. Like all animals, they try to survive no matter what we do. By using an orange oil termite treatment, you can kill a majority of termites and stop small spot infestations. But if you really want to get rid of these pests, the best thing to do is to contact professional pest control services near you.

Are you plagued by termites in your home? Are your DIY treatments not strong enough to fight the infestation? You’re in luck! Topbest is the best pest control solutions provider in the Philippines, and we offer FREE consultations! Just send us a message here and we’ll talk about clearing your house of pests!

7 Things That Attract Pests to Your Garden

7 Things That Attract Pests to Your Garden

What are things that attract pests to your garden?

  1. Stagnant Water
  2. Birdseed and Pet Food
  3. Trash Bins
  4. Dirty Grills
  5. Open Compost
  6. Outdoor Lights
  7. Overripe Fruits

 

Are you having a pest problem in your garden? Though this is a common problem among gardeners, there are ways to fight this. The best method is to avoid making your garden attractive to pests. That means you need to avoid all the things that attract pests to your garden. You may not know it, but some of these are most likely present in your garden.

Getting rid of these pest attractors will quickly lessen the number of pests that come to your garden, but it shouldn’t stop there. If you want to avoid garden pests, read on to learn what things you should keep an eye out for in your garden!

 

Stagnant Water

Stagnant Water

You’ve probably heard this before, and you’ll hear it here again. Stagnant water will attract pests. Standing water is a prime breeding spot for mosquitoes and other insects attracted to water. Try to eliminate stagnant water from buckets, birdbaths, bowls, or other places in your garden where water can gather. Make sure to also check if you have a clogged gutter, which is a common spot for standing water.

 

Birdseed and Pet Food

A bird feeder in your garden might attract beautiful birds, but it can also attract pests. Birdseed would be an easy meal for any pests that might be attracted to grains such as rodents. Even the birdseed bags themselves, if not properly sealed, might attract moths and other bugs. If you wish to avoid attracting pests into your garden, then consider removing the birdseed from out in the open.

Another thing to watch out for is pet food in your garden. Sometimes, our pets don’t finish the food we give them and some are left in their bowls. These would also get the attention of insects and rodents alike.

 

Trash Bins

Trash Bins

There are plenty of trash-loving pests out there, and if your garden is near any area with buildups of trash, then it is likely that pests will get attracted to your garden too. Of course, food scraps in the trash are also attractors for many pests, but even the odor itself could get some insects coming. That’s why aside from taking out the trash and not letting it build up, you should keep the trash bins as clean and odor-free as possible.

 

Dirty Grills

Having a garden party with a grill is something that most people enjoy. If you recently had an outdoor cooking thing in your garden, make sure to properly clean your grills after the party. The smell of food itself from the cooking would have already attracted some pests. Leaving the grills uncleaned in your garden is not good because the residue of food and oils in your grill will attract all kinds of bugs and rats.

Also, don’t spill soda on your garden because the sugar will attract ants for sure.

 

Open Compost

Open Compost

Many gardeners do compost to improve their soil’s health. While this is a good way to dispose of organic wastes, this is also a huge neon sign for free meals for bugs and other pests. An open compost pile will almost certainly catch the attention of hungry pests, so switching to a more enclosed system of composting would be better. You could also mix garden wastes, such as leaves and grass, to undercut the smell of the food scraps in there. Avoiding fats, meats, and dairy products in your compost pile would make it less attractive to pests.

 

Outdoor Lights

Having some lights in our garden can give it an ambient feel, or even just illuminate the lovely flowers and plants there. But many species of insects are attracted to light sources, especially at night. This means that although it makes your garden look better, outdoor lighting can actually increase the pest population in the area. You might want to consider taking them down or use light bulbs with less attractive rays if you really need the light.

 

Overripe Fruits

Overripe Fruits

If your garden produces fruit, then you already know that they are prime pest attractors. Fruit flies love fruits, and other insects get attracted by their aroma as well. If you don’t pick those fruits and store them properly though, they might just turn overripe. Overripe fruits produce that yummy ethylene gas, which is what gives off that overripe smell we all know, that will make them bigger targets for fruit-loving pests.

 

Key Takeaway

Keeping your garden pest-free is definitely a challenge that can have many different solutions. But simply avoiding these things that attract pests to your garden would already lower the local pest population significantly. By making your garden less attractive to possible pests, they would see no reason to visit your garden.

Avoiding attractors can help with pest control, but it is not enough to eliminate the pest problem entirely. If you want to get rid of the pest problem, then getting professional pest control services is the way to go. We at Topbest ofter the best pest control services in the country. Simply contact us here for a free consultation and we can talk about eliminating your pest problems!

6 Things That Attract Mosquitoes

6 Things That Attract Mosquitoes

What are some things that attract mosquitoes?

  1. Blood and breath
  2. Body odor
  3. Dark colors
  4. Floral scents
  5. Stagnant water
  6. Cool, dark places

 

For a long time now, mosquitoes have been a problem in the Philippines. These insects are deadly because of their ability to rapidly spread disease. A good example is how the dengue fever outbreak was notoriously caused by mosquitoes. Malaria is also widespread. In fact, mosquitoes kill around 725,000 humans every year, being named as the world’s deadliest animal.

This means we need to find out the things that attract mosquitoes to understand them better and learn how to control these outbreaks. Mosquito attraction has been heavily researched through the years, and we’ve compiled in a short list the most attractive things to a mosquito. Read on to find out!

 

Blood and breath

Mosquitoes are insects that naturally feed on blood and nectar. It is the female mosquitoes who primarily need blood, and humans are definitely on the menu. Because of this, mosquitoes have a special liking for some substances and chemicals that our bodies produce. This dictates their instinct on where to get the blood that they need.

Do you know what your blood type is? We’ve never known mosquitoes to be picky eaters. But believe it or not, mosquitoes are more attracted to some blood types than others. People with type O blood are apparently more appetizing to mosquitoes than others!

These insects are also attracted to the carbon dioxide that we all exhale. Some speculate that the heat of our breath is a factor too. Recent studies add that lactic acid also attracts mosquitoes to us. Since our breath is a mix of chemicals such as both carbon dioxide and lactic acid, it becomes an appetizer for the mosquitoes.

 

Body odor

Body odor

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This time, one man’s body odor is another mosquito’s next meal. The body odor we have that comes from our sweat and other secretions could cause a mouthwatering reaction to mosquitoes (if they had mouths!)

This means that if you’re exercising, with the combination of sweat, body odor, and increased breathing rate and body heat, you start to look like the juiciest dinner for mosquitoes around!

The stuff we eat and drink also affects the secretions we produce, like lactic acid. This means that downing a beer after that workout will make you even more attractive to mosquitoes!

Quickly dry yourself, cool down with a drink of water, and cover yourself with repellant to avoid getting bitten.

 

Dark colors

Mosquitoes are not known for their eyesight. For whatever reason, they seem to be more attracted to darker colors. They can’t tell colors apart as well as we do, so maybe the strength of the color you are wearing will make you more detectable. It will serve as a signal to mosquitoes that something is nearby.

Wearing dark clothes outside will make you a bigger target for mosquitoes, so make sure you wear lighter coloring outside!

 

Floral Scents

Floral Scents

Male mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowers. While female mosquitoes are the ones who like blood, the scent of flowers still contributes to what they find attractive. What scents do your skin products use?

If your lotion, perfume, or other products smell like flowers, then it might be attracting more mosquitoes for you. Consider using different scents to avoid more mosquitoes. Or if you want, there are some floral-scented mosquito repellants out there too!

 

Stagnant water

When the dengue outbreak was at its peak, we were always reminded to avoid stagnant water. We should spill the water collecting in old tires, washing basins, and other places where water could collect. This is because stagnant water can attract mosquitoes as well.

Mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in stagnant water. Not only would spilling water avoid attracting mosquitoes, but it could also possibly eliminate eggs in the water. The fewer mosquitoes there are, the fewer vectors for disease are active.

 

Cool, dark places

Cool, dark places

Humans are not the only animals who try to steer clear of the heat. Mosquitoes also like to rest in cool, dark places, away from the heat of the sun. Tall plants often provide good shade for mosquitoes, and they can collect stagnant water from the rain. In other words, mosquitoes love vegetation too!

Keeping your plants properly trimmed and free of standing water should help.

 

Key takeaway

If your home has all these things that attract mosquitoes, then it might be a breeding ground for disease. Mosquitoes are deadly animals, and it should be our priority to protect our families from the diseases that they carry, especially in the summer.

Do you often notice mosquitoes hovering around in your home? Do you always get bites despite using repellants? Then you might need professional help. Well, you’re in the right place! We offer mosquito prevention and control, along with other pest control services! Just send us a message here and we’ll set things up!

4 Benefits of Nematodes: A Remedy Against Termites

4 Benefits of Nematodes A Remedy Against Termites

How are nematodes a remedy against termites?

  1. Effective at killing termites
  2. Beneficial for the environment
  3. Safe for humans and pets
  4. Easy to apply

 

A termite infestation is a common problem among many households. Any wood parts are vulnerable, and some houses are made entirely of wood. The traditional solution nowadays is the use of chemical pesticides. But what if there’s a better, cleaner, and safer alternative?

Nematodes are microscopic, unsegmented roundworms that can prey on insects we consider pests. Beneficial nematodes are some species of nematodes that kill our pests and are not harmful to us. The following benefits prove that the use of nematodes is a remedy against termites.

 

Effective at killing termites

Termites are part of what beneficial nematodes consider prey. These roundworms are known to effectively kill termites after application. They are parasites who enter the termite’s body and kill them from the inside. They lay eggs inside the termite’s body to reproduce.

Their effectiveness on pest killing is so well-known, that you can find bags of beneficial nematodes in various gardening and home shops. These pack enough nematodes to take care of the pest problem of a single household.

But why would you want to use parasites instead of pesticides?

In fact, at least one study has claimed that beneficial nematodes can be alternatives to chemical pesticides. These pesticides can kill all termites exposed to them immediately. Meanwhile, nematodes prey on termites from the inside. They’ll bring the nematodes to the colony and soon enough, they will be wiped out. The nematodes will spread across the members of the colony, even the queen.

While termites can develop resistance against chemicals, they can’t develop anything against nematodes. Repeated exposure to chemical pesticides will make the termites naturally stronger against the chemicals. The more you use it, the less effective it will be. Beneficial nematodes do not have this problem.

 

Beneficial to the environment

Beneficial to the environment

Most pesticides have negative effects on the environment. The chemicals can easily spread from where you spray to nearby habitats and ecosystems. The air can carry the chemicals you spray in your home to water sources or the soil. It can affect the local wildlife population and even get into our drinking water.

Nematodes exist naturally in the soil. When you use beneficial nematodes as pesticides, you would only be promoting biodiversity to the soil.

Nematode sprays don’t contain harmful chemicals, which means they’re also not destructive to the soil, wood, or other plants in the vicinity. Because of their targeted attacks, everything else besides their prey will remain untouched.

 

Safe for humans and pets

As opposed to chemical pesticides, beneficial nematodes are safe to use around people and pets. Pesticides spread dangerous chemicals in the air when sprayed at an area. Nearby people, even children and pets, inhale these chemicals. There are many different kinds of chemicals in a pesticide, but they’ve been proven to have negative effects on a person’s health. They have been linked to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and ADHD.

On the other hand, beneficial nematodes are safe to use around people. They only attack pests such as termites when sprayed. They are not a health risk to people because they have no interest in causing harm to us. They would most likely focus on what they consider prey, and then they usually die out once the termites are gone.

Also, they are sprayed straight on the wood or soil, lowering the chances of getting inhaled.

 

Easy to apply

Easy to apply

In addition to being effective, environmentally friendly, and safe, nematodes are also easy to apply. You can buy bags of these parasites in your local gardening store. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you should prepare enough.

You simply need to mix the nematodes in a gallon of water then stir. After a while, let the mixture sit for a few more minutes. Then transfer the water into the spray bottles and apply to affected surfaces. Spraying them at least once a day should keep the nematode infestation in the termite colony going.

You may also apply it to surfaces that you want termites to avoid.  This can be done to keep important, load-bearing or foundational lumber from getting damaged. This simple procedure can be done by any homeowner.

 

Key takeaway

Beneficial nematodes have the effectiveness of chemical pesticides but without all the health and environmental risks. The use of nematodes as a remedy against termites instead of commercial pesticides should be done more often. As homeowners or gardeners, it is our duty to both prevent pest infestations and keep the environment safe as well.

These natural pesticides termite killers can definitely handle an infestation well. But sometimes, the spread of the termites is too severe for even nematodes to exterminate. A pest control professional should be contacted in these cases. In the Philippines, the best pest control service is only a call and a click away. Send us a message here to get help for your infestations!

What Does a Termite King Do? 5 Facts About Termite Kings

What Does a Termite King Do 5 Facts About Termite Kings

What are some facts about termite kings?

  1. They look different from other members of the colony.
  2. They have functioning eyes.
  3. They keep the population of the colony growing.
  4. They maintain the status quo.
  5. They spend their lives underground.

 

Termites are common pests that can be found almost anywhere in the world. They damage almost anything that came from wood: furniture, books, and even clothes. Everyone knows about the termite queen, the uncontested monarch of the termite colony. But have you ever heard of her partner? What does a termite king do? How does he function within the colony? And why is he not as well-known as the queen?

Listed below are some interesting facts about the termite king and their secret lives. Read on to find out more!

 

They look different from other members of the colony

Most people would describe termites as brown ants who eat wood. We make this comparison because most termites really do look very similar to ants, other than their color. What we don’t see underground is the appearance of other colony members.

As would be expected of royalty, the termite king has a different appearance from other members of the colony.  Both the king and the queen gain a darker color as they become monarchs of their own colony. Other than that, they also both have no wings. The queen then increases in size as she continues to lay eggs for the colony, but the king stays in his normal size. You could say that he is a shorter and darker version of his queen. This makes it easier for them to distinguish from other colony members if you ever have the fortune of seeing one.

 

They have functioning eyes

They have functioning eyes

Termites have notoriously bad eyesight. In fact, most termites are even born without them. They rely mainly on pheromones to interact with the world and do their respective jobs. However, while workers and soldiers are completely blind, termite kings and queens develop better eyesight. The reproductives of the colony also have eyesight to help them navigate the world better through flying.

The termite king, on the other hand, enjoys the privilege of having better eyesight despite only having to mate and release pheromones underground for the majority of his life. This can be traced back to when he needed his eyes as a young alate looking for a mate. But the reason why their eyesight gets better as they move underground is not clear.

 

They keep the population of the colony growing

The reproductive termites of the colony are called alates. These are the members of the colony who have wings. They fly out, pair with each other, and become new kings and queens of their colonies. As they start their underground lives, it becomes the king’s duty to mate with the queen and keep the population growing.

Different species of termites may vary in reproductive cycles, but the queen can lay around 0 to 22 eggs in the first year of their colony. This means that in the early stages, the presence of a colony cannot be easily detected as they are few in number and do not cause as much damage as when they have finally matured. While they are still few, the termite king becomes a caring father while no workers are mature enough to do their roles. The king cleans, carries, and generally takes care of the eggs until workers can take over.

 

They maintain the status quo

They maintain the status quo

As the top monarchs of the colony, the kings and queens also keep every termite in line. Each termite has their own roles, and the termite king and queen do their job to keep them in their place.

Termite kings are the only ones who can mate with their queens, and that is because they also release a special pheromone that keeps other termites within their roles. This pheromone stops other termites from growing reproductive organs, and they get sorted into soldiers and workers afterward. Reproducing with the queen and producing pheromones to keep everyone in line are the two main jobs of the termite king.

If a termite king dies, some workers replace him as temporary reproductives.

 

They spend their lives underground

Once a pair of alates decide to move underground, they cut off their wings, become a king and a queen and they stay underground for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s uncommon for people to know what termite queens and kings look like.

The flying termites, or alates, are the ones that we usually see. Seeing alates fly around could mean that they are looking to pair off and start a new colony. That could be a sign of an existing colony nearby, or of a new colony developing in the area. Either way, it’s best to contact pest control professionals to avoid any more termite problems in the future.

 

Key Takeaways

Termite kings are important members of any termite colony. Without them, the colony might not function or grow as well as it potentially can. The facts about termite royalty above are the reasons why one would do what a termite king does.

Fortunately, there are professionals who are good at controlling these termites and the damage they can do. If you ever find yourself with a termite infestation in your home, feel free to contact us to help you with the problem!