#3 Top Five Pest Concerns for 2018



Best known as a summer pest, female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days. Once reaching adulthood, the mosquito may live 5-6 months.

A mosquito uses heat sensors on its antennae and around its mouth parts to locate capillaries near the skin’s surface. The mosquito then uses its proboscis, a long pointed mouth part, to pierce the skin and to tap the capillary then drink up to three times its weight in blood.

  • Mosquitoes are attracted to your body warmth and odor.
  • Carbon dioxide is considered to be the greatest attractant to mosquitoes.
  • When the female mosquito sense carbon dioxide (your breath), she will fly back and forth in a zigzag pattern, until she finds the source.
  • Female mosquitoes need protein to lay their eggs and get it by feeding on warm-blooded creatures. If a mosquito bites an infected animal or a person, then bites you, it can pass the disease to your blood through its saliva.
  • Mosquitoes breed in soft, moist soil or stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, clogged gutters and birdbaths.
  • Mosquitoes are busiest at night and will fly up to 14 miles for a blood meal.
  • Mosquitoes spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, malaria and dengue fever.
  • People with Type O blood attracted more mosquitoes than any other blood type.
  • Almost all mosquito-bite illnesses have similar symptoms: Fever, Body aches, Rash & Headache.
  • Ideally, you want to avoid being bitten by wearing long sleeves and long pants or other protective measures.

Stay Tuned – Coming Soon #2 Pest Concerns for 2018

#4 Top Five Pest Concerns for 2018



The largest cockroaches found in homes, the American cockroach, is not native to North America. The American cockroach most likely was transported to North America via ships from Africa in the 1600s.

Being nocturnal, cockroaches spend the daylight hours in dark secluded areas. They venture out at night in search of food and water.

  • Cockroaches need daily consumption of water.
  • Females can hatch up to 150 offspring per year.
  • Cockroaches don’t get their wings until they become adults.
  • Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and run away when exposed to light.
  • Cockroaches will eat just about anything, including plants and other insects.
  • Sightings of the cockroach are most commonly reported in the evening hours.
  • Cockroaches can cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children.
  • The average lifespan of an adult cockroach is about 1 year depending on the species.
  • Most species of cockroach are about the size of a thumbnail, but several species are bigger.
  • Cockroaches prefer warm environments close to food and water, therefore they are commonly found in buildings and homes.
  • Cockroaches prefer close spaces, fitting into small cracks and crevices, thereby evading humans and eradication efforts.

Homeowners may wish to tackle the problem themselves, or they may elect to contact the services of a professional pest control exterminator. Southern & Sovereign Pest Control have the equipment, access to quality products (not available to homeowners) and the training to do a thorough job allowing you to have peace of mind.

Stay Tuned – Coming Soon #3 Pest Concerns for 2018


Top Five Pest Concerns for 2018



The cat flea, by far is the most common flea in the United States. Besides feasting on cats, the cat flea also is known to infest dogs, humans, mammals and avian hosts. Fleas use mammals for transportation, and usually remain on their hosts at all times. Fleas cannot fly. They jump from one place to another. In fact, fleas can jump as high as 8” vertically, which is 150 times their own height.

  • Fleas are parasites that feed on blood.
  • The saliva of fleas is irritating and allergenic.
  • Fleas thrive in warm, moist environments and climates.
  • Without a blood meal, a flea can live more than 100 days. On average, they live two to three months.
  • Female fleas cannot lay eggs until after their first blood meal and begin to lay eggs within 36-48 hours after that meal.
  • Fleas have four main stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.


There are approximately 200 tick species in the United States. Ticks are sensitive to motion, body heat and carbon dioxide (which is exhaled by mammals). They hide out in tall grasses and shrubs waiting for a good host to approach. Once on the host, the tick finds a place to attach its mouthparts. The tick drinks the host’s blood until it becomes engorged. It is during this time that dangerous pathogens can enter the host’s bloodstream.

The following types of ticks are among the most common seen in North America:

  • Deer tick
  • Lone star tick
  • Brown dog tick
  • American dog tick

Blacklegged ticks (Deer Ticks) get their name because they have coloring similar to deer.

  • Blacklegged ticks prefer to hide in grass and shrubs.
  • Blacklegged ticks feed on the blood of white-tailed deer, which is one of the reasons why they are sometimes called deer ticks.
  • Blacklegged ticks can carry the bacteria which causes Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The symptoms of most tick-borne diseases include fever and lethargy.
  • Ticks can live as long as 200 days without food or water.

They have been known to live from 2 months to 2 years, depending on the species.

Christmas Trees Harbor Various Pests



With 33 million real Christmas trees being sold in the USA every year, there could be up to 25,000 bugs living in your Christmas tree.

Some common pests hiding in your Christmas tree:

  • Mites
  • Sawfly
  • Aphids
  • Spiders
  • Adelgids
  • Bark Beetles
  • Praying Mantises
  • Pine Needle Scale

Pest Prevention:

  • Vigorously shake the tree before bringing it into your home.
  • Look out for bird nests, since they may contain parasites such as mites and lice.
  • Spruce spider mites appear as tiny red and brown dots when shaken out of Christmas trees.
  • Some Christmas tree hitchhikers are Spiders, Cinara Aphids, Bark Beetles, Mites & Psocids (Bark Lice).
  • Insects brought into the warmth of a home behave as though spring has come and become active again.
  • Cinara Aphids and their eggs are often hidden down inside the lower branches of Christmas trees where they are hard to find.
  • The Praying Mantis and Gypsy Moth will lay eggs in Christmas trees. Look for the walnut-sized tan egg masses. If you find any, remove them.

Entry Point Elimination Service



Looking for an environmentally friendly way to keep mice and rats from entering your home? Southern Pest Control is offering a new service called Entry Point Elimination. Rodents and other pests enter your home through holes and cracks in the foundation of your house and eliminating these entry points will greatly reduce the chance of an infestation. When you purchase the Entry Point Elimination Service, one of our technicians will inspect your property to identify rodent entry points. The technician will then use copper mesh and sealant materials to plug the entry points so that rats and mice will be kept out.

The price for this service ranges from $99 to $249 depending on the number of entry points that need to be sealed. Customers can receive $20 off the price of this service by liking our Facebook Page and downloading the $20 coupon.

We highly recommended recommend using the Entry Point Elimination Service in conjunction with our Pest Control Service Plan as this will provide an environmentally friendly and cost effective solution for your pest control needs.

Hurricane Aftermath Brings Unwanted Pests



Be proactive against pest invasions after floods to reduce risk of infestations, diseases and potential health issues.

If history is any indication, there will be several concerns regarding the increase in population of mosquitoes following Hurricane Harvey. Hurricanes bring rain and localized flooding and leave behind large areas of standing water (clog gutters and storm drains), the perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs (only needing a tablespoon of water to breed). These breeding areas spawn a new generation of blood sucking irritating biters, thus increasing the exposure of arboviruses, such as Dengue, Zika, and West Nile.

Tips to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito activity following a storm:

  • Empty any containers that hold water
  • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent when working outside
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when working outside, keep as much of your skin covered as possible
  • Clean clogged gutters and drains as soon as possible, eliminate as much standing water as possible to prevent mosquitoes from hatching

Pests can be relocated as a result of flooding.

Rodents are excellent swimmers. Flooding forces rats and mice to vacate their hiding places (sewers) and hunt for dry shelter. Mice and Rats are experts at survival and will squeeze or chew their way into wherever they can find dry secluded areas.

Fire Ants
Texas residents dealing with flooding now need to worry about running into piles of stinging insects. Residents of the Houston area affected by Hurricane Harvey may have noticed an unusual red raft in the floodwaters. Colonies of fire ants will join together to form a floating raft. Some of these rafts may have more than 100,000 stinging ants. Whenever a major storm brings flooding, these ant rafts appear to escape floodwaters. Theses venomous insects quickly link together, with the queen and larvae at the center of the raft. The ants mesh themselves together tightly enough to trap air in the middle, with the ants on the bottom knitted so tightly that water can’t get through. Fire ants can survive in these structures for weeks or even longer, though they’re constantly seeking new dry land to colonize as they float.

While an isolated sting is painful, it’s usually only serious for people with an allergy. But a whole colony can pack a punch.

Decay, rotting perishable food items, garbage, dead animals, backed up sewage and bad odors will attract large amounts of blow and fruit flies seeking to deposit their eggs on the filth and waste.

Japanese Beetles



The Japanese beetle, an extremely destructive pest, is native to Japan and was first discovered in the United States in 1916. Since the larvae (white grubs) feed on the roots of numerous plants and grasses while beneath the soil and the adults consume leaf matter above ground, the Japanese beetle causes monumental damage to golf courses, gardens, fruit trees, shrubs, lawns and nurseries. Japanese beetles can fly as far as five miles in search of food and mating partners.


  • Japanese beetles don’t fly very well
  • Adult Japanese beetles are approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch long
  • Japanese beetles eat around 300 species of plants, even poison ivy
  • Japanese beetles are present in most Eastern and Midwestern states
  • If available, they will also feed on the fruit growing on the plants and flowers
  • The adult Japanese beetles excrete pheromones to attract other beetles and overwhelm plants
  • Adult Japanese beetles feed on the leafy material between the veins of leaves, thus damaging plants
  • The adults have metallic blue-green heads, coppery wing casings and small white hairs lining each side of the abdomen



  • Japanese beetles go through four stages of development, egg, larva, pupa and adult
  • An adult female may lay as many as 40 to 60 eggs in her lifetime
  • Eggs are laid individually in the fall, or in small clusters near the soil surface, amid the roots of grasses
  • The eggs hatch within approximately two weeks
  • Japanese beetle larvae (white grub) hibernate over the winter in the soil
  • The larvae of Japanese beetles emerge in the spring when soil temperatures rise again
  • Within 4-6 weeks of breaking hibernation, the larvae will pupate and then emerge as adults
  • It takes one full year for an egg to mature into an adult beetle
  • Most of the beetles’ life is spent as a larva, with only 30-45 days spent as an adult
  • The life-cycle of the Japanese beetle is about two years


  • Apply sprays in the morning
  • Natural repellents include garlic, catnip, tansy and chives
  • Shake plants to knock off the Japanese beetles onto the ground and destroy them
  • Japanese beetles may be manually controlled using a soap-water spray mixture
  • Strategically place pheromone traps around the perimeter of your property during May through July
  • Walking several times over infested plots of lawn where the larvae reside will kill the grubs just beneath the soil, according to researchers

Head Lice



What is a head louse? A head louse is a wingless parasite that resides on the human scalp drawing blood for nourishment. These lice will infest and spread to a new host by sharing belongings (brushes, combs, hats, towels, clothing or beds) or close personal head-to-head contact. Children are most likely to catch and spread lice. Estimates state that six to twelve million children under the age of 12 become infested with head lice every year.

Head lice can be very challenging and tedious to remove – this is where the term ‘nit-picking’ came from.


  • Head lice are nocturnal
  • Head lice don’t spread disease
  • Head lice have one pair of eyes
  • Head lice don’t have wings, they only crawl
  • An adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed
  • Adult female head lice prefer to attach their eggs to scalp hair
  • Head lice are highly adapted for piercing skin to extract blood
  • The adult head lice lay their eggs (termed “nits”) attached to hair strands
  • Three forms of head lice exist: nits, nymphs, and mature adults
  • Head lice have one pair of antennae, each with five segments, protrude from its head
  • The most common route of lice transmission is by direct contact with an affected person’s hair
  • Since head lice do not have any wings or the ability to jump, they move by using their claw-like legs to transfer from hair to hair, allowing them to move quickly and reach another host


  • Adult head lice reproduce sexually
  • Adult lice mating usually lasts more than an hour
  • Mating occurs during any period of the night or day
  • Copulation can begin within the first 10 hours of adult life
  • Young males can successfully pair with older females, and vice versa
  • The adult female head louse can deposit about 90 eggs, averaging three to four eggs per day
  • Eggs are attached near the base of a host hair strand
  • Eggs hatch six to nine days after incubating
  • Eggs (known as “nits”) are bright, transparent, but appear white after hatching
  • Newly hatched nymphs will molt three times before becoming sexually-mature adults
  • The head louse has a life span close to 30 days


  • Use hair products designed to repel lice
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture upholstery
  • If infestations exists, get new combs, brushes, and hair ties
  • Do not share items that touch the head (combs, brushes, hats, scarves, helmets, and caps)
  • Wash affected clothing and items after an infestation in hot water and tumble/dry on high heat
  • Soak combs, brushes, and hair ties in a 10 percent bleach or 2 percent Lysol solution for one hour

Photo By Gilles San Martin – originally posted to Flickr as Male human head louse, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11208622

House Dust Mites



House dust mites have lived on earth for 23 million years. They are nest dwelling scavengers known to colonize and infest warm, dark and humid areas. In addition to consuming rotting discarded skin scales, as a scavenger, they will eat almost anything organic such as molds, fungi, pollen grains, insect scales, bacteria and plant fibers. Invisible to the naked eye due to their very small size and translucent bodies, one must use a magnifying glass to see them.


  • House dust mites don’t bite
  • House dust mites are shaped like a bean
  • House dust mites have evolved without sight
  • Adult house dust mites’ body weight is 75% water
  • The dust mite considers its dropping as food
  • Exposure to dust mites’ excrement may cause asthma in children
  • Active digestive enzymes, found in mite droppings, disintegrate leftover scraps turning them into nourishment
  • The active digestive enzymes found in its droppings can kill delicate defense cells (human tissue) thus entering the blood stream of the human body triggering symptoms of asthma, rhinitis (hay fever), eczema and conjunctivitis
  • Adult house dust mites have eight legs, each with a sucker and hooks
  • House dust mites will hide from light and burrow deep into a mattress clinging on with powerful hooks and suckers on each of their eight legs
  • Adult house dust mites measure 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters (0.008 to 0.012 inches) in length
  • House dust mites travel by clinging to socks, soft toys, feathers, fur, pajamas or anything that will give them a place to hide while allowing them to be transported to a bed
  • Due to the abundance of dander, the bed is the most common place to find house dust mites
  • House dust mites may also be found in living areas especially carpet, furniture, and clothing
  • Optimal conditions for a mite colony occurs at a temperature of 77°F and 75% relative humidity


  • Carpets are a perfect habitat for dust mites to breed
  • After 6 to 12 days the egg will hatch
  • House dust mites can live for six to eight weeks
  • House dust mites have five life stages: Egg, Larva, Protonymph, Tritonymph and Adult
  • An adult female house dust mite may lay 1 to 3 eggs a day totaling 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life
  • Females lay up to 80 eggs and there are several stages of immatures. Populations can explode during humid months as mites are excellent at absorbing moisture from the air


  • Hardwood floors instead of carpets
  • Changing the bed linen weekly reduces the risk of dust mites
  • Dust mite mattress covers protect your bedding from dust mites
  • Unmade beds allowing air flow/dry conditions have fewer dust mites
  • Vacuuming a mattress will reduce some of the dust that mites consider as food
  • A house dust mite colony will not thrive with the humidity below 54%
  • Maintain humidity less than 45% with a dehumidifier during summer and a room temperature of 71 degrees
  • Washing bedding weekly in hot water that is at least 140 degrees then place in a hot tumble dryer for 10 minutes kills dust mites
  • Placing soft toys and infested fabrics in a plastic bag and letting them sit in the freezer for 12 hours will kill house dust mites

Camel Cricket



Camel Crickets get their name from their humpbacked appearance, which is similar to that of a camel. They are nocturnal and very active at night, but hide during the day. Camel Crickets are found outdoors around buildings in cool, moist environments under mulch, woodpiles and leaf litter. Around the home, they can also be found underneath decks, in drainage pipes, wells, under sheds and air conditioner units.

Camel Crickets are able to contort themselves, since they have “no real body structure”, thus enabling them to squeeze into even the smallest cracks to get inside your home. Camel crickets are completely harmless. They do not sting or bite and are not known to carry any disease.


  • Camel Crickets have six legs
  • Camel Crickets have very poor eyesight
  • Adult Camel Crickets do not have wings
  • Camel Crickets feed on organic material
  • Camel Crickets have two very long antennae
  • Camel Crickets seek warm climates with high humidity
  • Camel Crickets are light tan and brown, about 1-1 1/4″ long
  • Camel Crickets are humpbacked with long, very enlarged hind legs
  • Camel Crickets are unable to create sound, and therefore unable to sing or chirp
  • When frightened, Camel Crickets leap as a defense mechanism to scare predators
  • Camel Crickets prefer moist, dark, and damp environments such as garages, basements and crawl spaces


  • Since adult Camel Crickets are unable to chirp, they find their mates by producing scented pheromones
  • Adult male Camel Crickets will try to court a female before mating in the fall by flexing, showing off their hind quarters and general masculinity
  • Females lay their eggs in early spring and they hatch during April and May
  • Camel Crickets inhabit long grasses and areas of loose soil or sand in which to lay their eggs


  • Clean out your garage
  • Fix any and all leaky gutters
  • Store fire wood away from the house
  • Reduce areas of moisture in and around the home
  • Remove leaves from under your deck or around your home
  • Caulk around cracks, crevices and holes along the foundation of the home
  • Keep crawl spaces, basements and attics well ventilated reducing humidity
  • To deter Camel Crickets from nesting nearby, re-direct sprinkler system away from your house
  • Seal all possible gaps and points of entry around the structure’s foundation, especially around doors, windows and foundation cracks
  • Seek professional assistance and a pest prevention plan