Archive for November, 2012

Pests, pollution behind decision to cut down Whyte Avenue elms

Thirty-one aging elm trees along Whyte Avenue have grown decrepit and become a breeding ground for pests and disease, says the city forester, justifying their removal Monday. “It becomes like a nursery. These insects and diseases will start to breed in …

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EPA Releases Strategic Plan for School IPM – PCT Magazine

EPA Releases Strategic Plan for School IPM
PCT Magazine
WASHINGTON ? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its strategic plan for school IPM, detailing the Agency's role reducing pest and pesticide risks to children and staff. EPA has committed to The Agency has also committed to growing

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‘Super rats’ in Royal Regatta town – The Sun

The Sun

'Super rats' in Royal Regatta town
The Sun
The survey, funded by nine organisations involved in pest control, established where the mutant rats lived by testing the tails of hundreds of rodents with new DNA techniques. Researchers then drew a map showing where the rats were found, including
Henley hit by 'mutant super rat'

all 9 news articles »

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Pirate bugs key to pest woes – Weekly Times Now

Pirate bugs key to pest woes
Weekly Times Now
A species of tiny insect, notorious for its painful bite, is proving useful to vegetable growers in the fight against crop pests. The joint study between Manchil IPM Services, the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) and

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Border officials find pests in pepper shipments

Inspectors working border crossings in southern New Mexico and West Texas have discovered two types of agricultural pests in separate shipments of red peppers from Mexico.

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Teacher’s pest

Paul Ashworth, 33, was last night facing a probe into his OWN ?mindless? conduct after parents complained. Pest control experts were also called in amid fears that the pregnant rat could start an infestation. Ashworth, a student support co-ordinator …

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Insect infestation prompts clear-cut of red pine in Bear Brook State Park

The insects feast on red pine trees, first discoloring the needles from green to a rust red color and eventually killing the trees, which can happen as rapidly as within three to five years of the infestation. The insects cannot fly, so the most …

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Invasive ants drive homeowners crazy and concern ag – TheGrower

Invasive ants drive homeowners crazy and concern ag
Caribbean crazy ant Courtesy University of Florida Crazy ants are, well, going crazy in Florida, and pest control officials aren't laughing. The invasive insect, known for its helter-skelter running, has infested 20 Florida counties as well as Texas

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Bed bugs found in Metro’s headquarters – Washington Examiner

Bed bugs found in Metro's headquarters
Washington Examiner
Some employees are frustrated that more information about the pests wasn't distributed sooner — and that more wasn't done to prevent the pests from invading. "This place is disgraceful," said one person who works there and asked not to be named.

and more »

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Nov 19, 2012 – Bugs In The Fireplace


I just found hundreds of little holes and really soft sawdust/frass in the firewood of my client. It’s not carpenter ants. I took some pictures to show you. Can you help me
identify this insect?


This time of year people bring firewood in from the outside and pile it next to the fireplace in anticipation of that first really cold night when a fire would be wonderful to warm the house. Or, perhaps they even store a large supply of firewood indoors for the winter so they are not having to go in and out every night, particularly in a northern region like yours in Ontario. Quite often that firewood was from a tree that was cut down or that died within the last year, perhaps early in the spring. Almost immediately after it dies beetles are going to discover this new food resource, since the role of most wood infesting beetles is that of recycling that dead wood back to sawdust. Or, option 2, the tree may have been infested with small bark beetles such as shot-hole borers. 

But, typically the beetles that feed within dead trees or logs will spend the winter in the pupa stage or late stage larva, and do not move to the adult stage until the warm days of spring. If that firewood were left outside the beetles would just remain in it until spring, but by bringing the wood indoors it warms up and triggers the dormant beetles to believe it is spring, and out they come, often leaving little piles of sawdust around the hole made by the adult beetle. 
You need to find some of the beetles, and window sills are a good first place to look. You also need to have this customer move that wood back outside until it is needed for the fireplace. If this is a hardwood of some kind these could be powderpost beetles, and these beetles do have the ability to move into structural wood materials such as hardwood floors or furniture or cabinets. Perhaps they are deathwatch beetles, which could be in either hardwoods or softwoods, and they too could infest other wood in the home. If they are bark beetles, most common in pines, then they will not infest wood in the home. A very close look at that frass might be helpful, as powderpost beetle frass is like fine powder, deathwatch beetle frass powder-like but more gritty, and bark beetles less likely to leave piles of frass lying around. 
But, very important right now is to move the firewood back outside and bring in only as much as is needed for immediate use. That will keep the beetles in the wood dormant, and when it finally is burned there could be a pleasant aroma of little tiny beetles cooking over the fire. 

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