BOOR: Troublesome pests crawling out of the woodwork – hays Post

Posted: June 24, 2020 at 6:49 am

Alicia Boor is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in the Cottonwood District.

Some of them are creepy and crawly. Others can be vicious blood-suckers. Still others slowly whittle away at the wood in your home. But one thing homeowners know about all of the pests they may find is they would rather do without them.

This time of year, thats nearly impossible, said Kansas State University entomologist Jeff Whitworth, who notes that many of the most common household pests become more active after March each year.

Arthropods insects, mites, spiders and others are our No. 1 competitors for food and fiber, including wooden structures, Whitworth said. So, it behooves all of us to know as much as possible about these competitors so that we know which ones are pests, which ones are helping us, and the vast majority of which just occupy ecological niches that do not affect us.

Whitworth is a co-author of the K-State Research and Extension publication,Household Pests of Kansas, a 112-page guide to the most common pests in the Sunflower State.

This book will help folks identify pests, or identify that the bug they have found is not a pest, Whitworth said. If it is a pest to be concerned about, they can read a little about what to expect and how to best get rid of them or keep them out of the house.

Termites are one of the most worrisome insects for homeowners.

Its been said that every wooden structure has had, has, or will have an infestation of these wood-destroying insects, said Whitworth, noting that termites have swarmed a little later this year than usual.

He added thatHousehold Pests in Kansasincludes a good description of how to tell the difference between termites and ants, and a recommendation to call a pest control professional as soon as you realize you have termites.

Some of the many pests that Whitworth said homeowners should be aware of include:

Most household pests are inactive from October through March, Whitworth said, though a few pantry pests stay active during that time because they feed on stored foods that are generally kept at temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Cockroaches and bed bugs can certainly be active year-round, anywhere that temperatures are above 50 F, he said.

In addition to his publication, Whitworth said two other books Insects in KansasandCrop Insects in Kansas will help homeowners identify pests.

Yourlocal extension officecan also help, he said. Take the best, close-up photos you can, from several angles, and place something beside the specimen so the person making the identification can get an idea of size. You can also take the actual specimen in as good of condition as possible to the local extension office.

When pest control measures are warranted, Whitworth recommended contacting an established company. Get several estimates and each companys tactic to manage your problem, he said. They will be different, but they will probably be happy to provide a free estimate. Dont forget to get a warranty or guarantee, because they should provide these.

Alicia Boor is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in the Cottonwood District (which includes Barton and Ellis counties) for K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at [emailprotected] or calling 620-793-1910.

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BOOR: Troublesome pests crawling out of the woodwork - hays Post

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