How to Prevent Aggressive Fall Wasps

Learn how to prevent aggressive yellow jackets in the Las Vegas area during the fall - Western Exterminator of Las VegasHave you ever noticed that yellow jackets in the Las Vegas area are more aggressive during the fall? You’re not wrong! As summer comes to a close, these wasps notoriously become more hostile as they leave their nests and seek out resources to survive the winter. This is when they typically will invade outdoor barbecues and picnics in the fall. Because yellow jackets can sting more than once, it’s important to know how to protect you and your family from their aggressive behavior throughout the autumn months.

Yellow Jacket Life Cycle

During the spring months, a queen yellow jacket will begin to build a nest before laying her eggs. Once the eggs begin to hatch in the springtime, the wasp population can grow exponentially throughout the summer—colonies have been known to contain up to 5,000 members. When summer winds down, many yellow jackets leave the colony to mate, or are forced out due to limiting resources. This is often when these stinging insects are at their most aggressive as they fight to survive, which is when they frequent more residential areas.

Preventing Wasps in the Fall

Bees and wasps are a normal part of daily life and are valued in our environment. That said, they can also be dangerous, especially in the fall and even more so if someone in your family is allergic to their sting! For that reason, it’s important to know how to keep them away from your outdoor events throughout the fall. Some of the ways you can keep yellow jackets away include:

  • Cover all food and garbage with tight-fitting lids.
  • Don’t wear bright colors or wear fragrant perfumes.
  • Inspect your property for signs of nests in eaves or holes.
  • Never walk barefoot through grassy areas.
  • Get rid of sources of standing water and place covers on pools.

Professional Yellow Jacket Nest Removal

Because yellow jackets are so aggressive in the fall, it can be hard to stop them from invading your outdoor events. Especially when nests are involved, it’s best to contact a professional with experience controlling yellow jackets and safely removing nests. The team at Rentokil can not only control any current problems you’re having, but also help protect you and your family from future yellow jacket invasions.

7 Natural Remedies for Bee Stings

Western Exterminator of Las Vegas provides information on all-natural home remedies to treat bee stings.Chances are, most people have been or will be stung by a bee at some point in their life. As painful and surprising as they may be at the time, stings often heal quickly and without complication. Nonetheless, it’s important to take action after being stung! While there are certainly a number of over-the-counter treatments to choose from, you don’t need to stop by the store. Luckily, there are several all-natural remedies that can work to heal a sting right at home.

Treating Bee Stings at Home

There are a number of benefits to using all-natural treatments for bee stings. That said, it’s extremely important to receive medical attention if there is a negative or allergic reaction to the sting. Thankfully, those cases are rare and most stings can be treated in the comfort of your home. Before applying any home remedy, the first step is to safely and quickly remove the stinger after being stung with your fingernail, tweezers, or the edge of a credit card. Follow up with a quick soapy water wash, and ice the stung area as needed to reduce swelling. From there, you’re ready to treat the sting to help relieve any symptoms!

7 All-Natural Bee Sting Remedies

While some of these remedies may prove to be more effective than others, some of the natural ways to relieve the symptoms of a bee sting include:

  1. Toothpaste: Dabbing a bit of toothpaste on the site of the sting has been known to neutralize honeybee venom.
  2. Baking soda: A paste comprised of baking soda and water has been reported to reduce pain, itchiness, and swelling caused by a bee sting. Simply apply a thick layer of the mixture, cover with a bandage, and let sit for at least 15 minutes before removing!
  3. Honey: An age-old home remedy for many symptoms, honey can help heal wounds, decrease itchiness, and ease pain. Cover the sting with a small amount of honey, cover, and let sit for up to an hour.
  4. Meat tenderizer: A solution of one-part meat tenderizer and four parts water has been said to break down a protein in the body that causes pain and itching.
  5. Apple cider vinegar: Soaking a sting in apple cider vinegar can help neutralize bee venom and ease pain associated with the sting.
  6. Aspirin tablet: Applying a wet aspirin tablet to the site of the sting has been known to possibly reduce redness and swelling associated with the venom.
  7. Essential oils & herbs: Aloe vera, lavender essential oil, calendula cream, tea tree oil, and witch hazel all have healing properties that may aid in treating a bee sting. When using essential oils, always mix a few drops with a carrier oil before applying to the skin.

Natural Bee Sting Treatments

In most cases, bee stings can be treated at home. Although all-natural treatments aren’t guaranteed to work for everyone, there’s a reason these home remedies have been passed down for centuries! However, when experiencing any symptoms of a more serious reaction—especially when it involves trouble breathing, hives, or dizziness—it’s essential to seek medical attention. Allergies to bee stings can form at any point in life, which is why it’s important to always properly treat a sting.

Summer’s Coming! Insects Thrive in Extreme Desert Heat

Summer pests in Las Vegas - Western Exterminator of Las VegasEver wonder how insects survive the brutal summer temperatures in Las Vegas? In fact, many types of insects don’t only need warm temperatures to survive—hot weather helps them thrive! Many pests are less active in the winter, and rising temperatures typically signal the beginning of pest season. It goes without saying, then, that Las Vegas summers are ideal for a number of insects who enjoy the temperatures that reach well over 100 degrees on a daily basis. At Western Exterminator of Las Vegas, we want to help our neighbors learn which insects and pests are most common in our extreme desert heat.

Common Summertime Pests in Las Vegas

Higher temperatures encourage pests to breed more rapidly, especially when the warm season begins in the spring. This typically leads to an increase in insect population and a sped-up life cycle. Some of the pests and insects you’re likely to see more often in the summertime include:

  • Cockroaches
  • Scorpions
  • Wasps
  • Mosquitoes
  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Silverfish
  • Crickets

Bark Scorpions in the Summer

During the winter in Las Vegas, which sees surprisingly cold temperatures, bark scorpions enter into hibernation. While they are rarely seen between September and April, there’s still a chance to notice one or two. That said, the summer is their peak season. Because there are so many insects that thrive in the desert heat, bark scorpions are all the more likely to seek out areas full of them, including near or in your home. For this reason alone, it’s essential to receive regular pest control services that can prevent bark scorpions from finding reason to be near your home.

Preventing Summertime Pests in Las Vegas

If you live in Las Vegas, you probably already dread days that exceed 100 degrees, which are often. The abundance of insects and pests during this time of year doesn’t make it any better! Because these pests and insects are inevitable during this time of year, it’s important to enlist the help of a professional pest control company who can better prepare you for the onslaught of cockroaches, wasps, and bark scorpions during warm months. Western Exterminator of Las Vegas has more than 20 years of experience providing relief from pests in the summer throughout the valley—call us today to find out more about our prevention methods!

What to Do When You Find a Scorpion in Your Home

Scorpions are very common in the southern United States, as they prefer desert climates. Because they hide in dark, cool areas, they may find the perfect residence in the attic, basement, or crawl spaces inside your home. Seeing a scorpion inside your home is not a pleasant experience, and while most aren’t dangerous, there is one to be wary of in the Las Vegas area. Bark scorpions are the most common and, unfortunately, most venomous type of scorpion in North America. If you spot any type of scorpion in your home, give the experts at Western Exterminator a call to find out how they can be removed safely and effectively.

Identifying a Bark Scorpion in the Home

Because bark scorpions are so common in the Las Vegas area, it may be likely that scorpions found in the home are of this species. They are light brown in color, grow up to 3 inches in length, and have a thin tail with a curved stinger. Bark scorpions are adept climbers, congregate in very large groups, and may be found trapped in sinks or bathtubs, climbing walls, or in a dark closet in the home. Bites are very dangerous to humans and can cause numbness, tingling, blurry vision, and twitching muscles. If you are bitten by a bark spider, it’s crucial to receive immediate medical attention.

What to Do With Scorpions Inside Your Home

No one wants scorpions scampering around in their homes. The thought of them lurking in dark, cool places in your house is enough to call a professional to check out the situation for you. The experts at Western Exterminator can help you learn how to implement some of the following prevention and elimination tips:

  1. Implement proper exclusion techniques. It’s essential to inspect and seal any holes, cracks, or crevices on the exterior of your property that may let
  2. Eliminate places scorpions may linger. Placing potted plants on stands, storing outdoor bins away from the home, eliminating yard debris, and making sure your landscaping is tidy can all help keep scorpions away.
  3. Keep a tidy environment free of food crumbs inside the home to avoid other insects. Because scorpions feed on insects, they may be attracted to homes infested with them.
  4. Remove sources of standing water and moisture. Make sure your home’s pipes and plumbing works properly without leaks, as scorpions seek out water.
  5. For scorpions already in the home, lay glue traps, carefully use pesticides, and always take caution in trying to remove them yourself. Scorpions are quick, can be dangerous, and are difficult to get rid of. It’s typically best to simply call a professional exterminator to do the hard work for you.

Professional Scorpion Prevention and Control Services

Bottom line, scorpions are one of the most dreaded pests to find inside your home. While there are certainly methods to remove them yourself and plenty of tips on preventing them in the home, sometimes it’s best to call a professional, especially if you believe the scorpions in your house to be bark scorpions. At Western Exterminator, our expert technicians have the training and experience required to get rid of scorpion infestations and keep them away for good. Give us a call today to learn more about what to do with the scorpions in your home!

It’s Bark Scorpion Season – 5 Tips to Prevent Being Stung

Bark scorpions, also known as Arizona bark scorpions, are typically 3 inches in length or less, with a light brown body. They can be found in the southwest of the United States, including Las Vegas, and into northern Mexico. The venom of the bark scorpion is the most potent scorpion venom in North America. As the weather gets cooler, scorpions start to gather near homes on block walls, rocks, and near retaining walls.

Bark Scorpions and Dangerous Stings

A sting from the bark scorpion can cause symptoms for up to three days, including:

  • Severe pain
  • Numbness in the affected limb
  • Convulsions

Deaths have been known to occur after a sting, though usually only in the elderly, very young, or those with scorpion venom allergies. After a scorpion sting, medical attention must be sought immediately.

Bark Scorpion Behavior and Your Home

Bark scorpions don’t have nests or burrows, and prefer to roam, looking for food and shelter. They are nomadic, and will travel from home to home, looking for potential resources and invading any available space.

Most scorpions do not socialize or congregate, preferring to remain solitary. Bark scorpions are the exception: they will congregate in groups of 20-30 scorpions during the winter. Most scorpions that enter a home during the fall are doing so to escape the cold weather, and it’s vital to prevent them from moving inside.

5 Tips to Prevent Bark Scorpion Stings

Your home should be protected as thoroughly as possible against scorpions. Here are some basic prevention tips to “scorpion-proof” your house, and to prevent the stings themselves:

  1. Check your clothing, and shake your shoes before putting them on.
  2. Always check bedsheets and blankets before using them.
  3. Homes should be kept clean.
    • Clutter or other items that can serve as hiding places for scorpions should be eliminated.
    • Never reach into a box, bag, or other container without checking for scorpions first.
    • Thorough cleaning should also be completed to prevent other insects that bark scorpions like to eat, like ants and cockroaches.
  4. Your backyard should remain tidy as well.
    • Don’t allow standing water to accumulate.
    • Fill all holes and burrows (Carefully!)
    • Clean up any pet food
    • Remove any brush or piles of vegetation
    • Never go outside barefoot.
  5. Cracks in walls and foundations should be sealed, ensuring that small scorpions cannot enter.

Professional Help for Bark Scorpions in Las Vegas

If you have experienced multiple bark scorpion sightings, or you find them frequently in your backyard, you need to get professional help as soon as possible. Bark scorpions are a major and dangerous problem, and they should never be allowed to remain anywhere near your property. If you’re not sure what species of scorpion you’re seeing, give Western Exterminator a call! We can inspect your property, identify the species of scorpion, seal your home against future problems, and treat any possible scorpion infestation.

Why are Yellow Jackets So Aggressive in Late Summer?

Everyone in Las Vegas has had at least one picnic ruined by yellow jackets. Whether they’re defending a nest or swarming over your backyard barbeque, most people can recognize this species instantly. Yellow jackets are a type of wasp, and their stings can be deadly. By understanding the behavior of yellow jackets, and wasps in general, you can minimize the risk of getting stung. Protect your yard, yourself, and your family from harm!

Late Summer Wasp Behavior in Las Vegas

Both yellow jackets and wasps hatch in spring, and by mid and late summer, their populations are beginning to outgrow the nest, and winter is coming. Because they’re close to the end of their lifecycle, they are more aggressive than ever. Yellow jackets also look for both sugar substances and protein, looking for extra resources to support themselves and the nest itself. The yellow jackets are forced to look even further for food because of their high numbers.

Here are some basic sources of wasp attraction:

  • Your picnic or backyard barbecue: yellow jackets will eat anything they can land on, and your hamburgers, soda, and watermelon are ideal food sources for wasps.
  • Clothing: bright colors look like fruit, and perfume can mimic flowers.
  • Eaves and holes: if you see a yellow jacket nest early in spring, and it’s still small, have it professionally removed. Wasps aren’t going anywhere unless you kick them out!
  • Your swimming pool: believe it or not, wasps love swimming pools. All wasps and bees need water, and they will use your pool to get it! 
  • Hummingbird feeders: yellow jackets are desperate for food, and they will drink the sugar water in bird feeders.
  • Grubs in your lawn: this may be surprising, but because of their intense need for protein in late summer, wasps will also graze for grubs within your lawn.

Steps to Prevent Yellow Jackets

The following tips are excellent year-round, but they are especially important in late summer.

  1. Keep food (and garbage) covered.
    • If you’re having a cookout or backyard event, make sure food stays contained or covered. Any drinks should be covered at all times, because wasps will go inside a cup or can.
  2. Don’t wear perfume if you’re going to be outdoors for a considerable amount of time, and keep bright colors to a minimum.
  3. In spring, make sure you inspect any holes, burrows, eaves, and loose siding or stucco around your home.
    • Seal any holes, loose siding, stucco voids, or other potentially attractive spaces for nests.
  4. Hang a wasp-trap. Be sure to hang it away from any high-traffic areas, and away from the house.
    • Don’t hang it near your hummingbird feeder, or consider placing your hummingbird feeder away from your house.
    • If wasps are a serious problem, you may need to remove the hummingbird feeder entirely.
  5. Don’t walk barefoot through the grass. Wasps and yellow jackets love hunting for grubs and other insects.
  6. Eliminate sources of standing water, and cover your swimming pool. 

Prevention is really the key here. If wasps can’t find shelter or food around your home, they won’t want to be there!

Professional Removal for Wasps and Yellow Jackets

Sometimes it’s not enough to prevent yellow jackets, and by late summer, you may have a serious problem. Call a professional pest control company! The trained technicians with Western Exterminator Pest Control can inspect your property and remove wasp nests safely. Because we focus on prevention instead of just treatment, we’ll be able to give you specific recommendations on how to prevent wasps in the future, protecting your home, your family, and your backyard!

5 Tips for Avoiding Insect Stings

Stinging insects such as yellow jackets, wasps and hornets send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. And, if that’s not bad enough, in Las Vegas and Henderson neighborhoods, they become extra feisty in late summer and early fall when their colonies forage for food to sustain their queens during the winter months.

While the thought of encountering a bee hive in a sprinkler valve box or a hornets nest under the patio is enough to make anyone want to stay indoors over the next few weeks, don’t fret. There are a handful of ways to ensure these pesky stingers won’t ruin your fun in the sun.

Seal cracks and crevices

One effective way to prevent an infestation of these insects and most other pests is to eliminate access and harborage sites around of the home. Stinging insects often build their nests inside block walls and valve boxes, behind patio lights and under decks or eaves. Homeowners should seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep these pests from moving indoors, and regularly inspect around the yard and along the perimeter of the house for nests.

Keep food covered

Have you ever been to an outdoor gathering where bees are swarming around the table of hamburgers, chips and fruit? Stinging insects are attracted to exposed food and open garbage cans. To avoid an unwanted encounter with a yellowjacket or bee during a picnic or cookout, cover all food when outside and be sure to keep tight fitting lids on trash bins.

Avoid excessive use of fragrances

Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. If spending long periods of time outdoors, avoid excessive use of perfume or cologne. When possible, also choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions and sunscreen.

Adjust your wardrobe

Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, since these patterns are known to attract stinging insects. It’s also important to wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas as bumblebees and some hornets often nest there.

Remain calm, cool and collected

If a stinging insect is flying nearby, many people’s first reaction is to either swat the insect away or flail their arms in panic. However, these movements may actually provoke an attack. Do not swat the pest, but rather remain calm, slowly walk from the area and it should fly away without causing any harm. If you do get stung, carefully remove the stinger and seek medical attention, as reactions can be severe in some cases.

Contact a pest professional

If a nest is found on the property, keep yourself and other members of the family away and do not attempt to remove it on your own. Depending on the species, a nest could contain hundreds (if not thousands) of stinging insects, which could swarm and sting en masse if they are disturbed or feel threatened. Instead, contact our pest professionals at Western Exterminator, and we will be able to identify the species and aid in stinging insect control by either removing the colony or destroying the nest.