Categories
Woodworm

Woodworm Life Cycle

A woodworm is one of the most dangerous pests for a house. It is not dangerous for human beings, but the harm that they do is massive when it comes to furniture and things. It is straightforward to spot them, when they are beetles, however, by this time they would have already done a lot of harm to the structure, so you need to know how to identify them and recognize their life cycle as this can help you fight them.

Although their life expectancy is very short, during their life, they go through different stages that really take a while. It is divided into four stages, first is the hatching of the egg, then feeding on their favourite food: wood with that emerging as a beetle, mating with others, and then laying more eggs.

Eggs

The first stage in their development is eggs. Before laying the eggs, the female goes on a quest looking for where to lay her eggs. They are always looking for places that prove to be the safest and have favourable conditions for them to develop. Generally, they will be left in a piece of wood, timber with lots of cracks or just holes that have been previously dug up. If the normal conditions are met, then the eggs will hatch in around ten days.

Larvae

This is the most difficult stage to achieve during their life cycle. Getting to the point where it can last up to 5 years when the conditions are not as favourable as they can be. When the eggs are laid in their natural environment, they can only take 1 year to grow. They are not going to see the light of day until they have reached their second stage. They usually measure up to 2 mm. 

Meanwhile, in an occupied building or space, there are not enough conditions for them to grow. They aren’t as exposed to high-temperature levels, and humidity, so that is why they take longer. The worse conditions, the longer for them to transform into an adult beetle, so it is not so easy to spot them until they have fed on wood for a long time, leaving several little holes in the structure which can cause trouble in the future, and that is why they are so dangerous for homes and furniture.

Woodworm Life Cycle

Pupae

In this stage, the woodworm will leave its original form and move on from larva to adult beetle. As they transform, they start digging bigger tunnels for them to have enough room for their future growth. These little tunnels are called “pupal chambers”.

Once they have transformed into a beetle, they start to push and move up to the surface of the timber, leaving it completely and continuing with their life cycle. Generally, when they do this, there is a bit of dust left behind, which can help you know if you have an infestation going on in your house, as the appearance of this is associated only to these bugs. This is called frass, which is basically the waste produced by the woodworm as it feeds through the wood.

The catch is that this is the only stage where you can identify the woodworm. After all the damage has already taken place, so sometimes it isn’t your fault, these bugs are difficult to find before they enter this stage.

Adult beetle

After they have gone through all of this, they will start looking for a partner to mate. Male beetles’ only purpose is to mate, and they only have 3 or 4 days to do it, so they constantly move around to find their partner, but not only one, but with as many as they can. Conversely, the female beetles have another role, that is to lay their eggs and leave them in the best place possible to continue their life cycle.

Categories
Rats

Rat prevention: Tips and tricks

The most horrible sight you can find at home is when you see a rat or a mouse around. This is not only disgusting, but it can have really severe consequences for you, as these rodents have a bunch of diseases that they transmit and catching one of these can be even fatal. Therefore, the prevention is key, since they cannot get around your house if you have followed the different tips we’ll discuss.

Keep your house and yard clean

Remember that rats and mice are attracted by food, and they are going to stay if there is a reliable food and water source. Therefore, there has to be extreme cleanliness around the house and yard for them not to come around.

Remove debris and other objects

When rats and mice see that there are different objects scattered in your yard, they are going to look for a way to make them their shelter. Occasionally, we keep construction materials as wood or other items as compost that can be very attractive for these rodents. They usually dig under them and establish a burrow, which you do not want because then they are going to start mating and elevating their population. Keep you shed, garage and yard clean, or if you can’t just try to elevate these types of materials as high as possible, as rats can’t get to them.

How to get rid of rats

Get rid of the rubbish around the house.

Rubbish is one of the main problems when it comes to having rats and mice around the house. They are attracted to food and having that around your house is not safe. Remember that they can gnaw away different types of materials, so it doesn’t matter if it is in a can, they can go through it and get what they want. It is easy for them to crawl and jump around, they can do it as high as half a meter. Getting rid of the rubbish as soon as you throw it away is the best idea to keep them away. Do not leave it for a long time. The more time it is left outside, the more curious they are and the more prone to eat it they are.

Seal entry holes

Rats and mice are always looking around for a way to enter your home. Some of them are minimal, and they can enter through little holes in your door, backyard, walls, etc. It is better to keep the most important points in your house safe. Water can make wood soft, and bugs can eat through it, so rats might exploit this and find a way to enter.

You have to do a thorough inspection of your home, checking all the places and parts where you think rats might enter, and seal all the holes with materials they can’t easily gnaw away. They can be caulked or steel wood. Do not forget to check pipes, they can easily get inside through them as they are not scared of water.

Buy plants that act as deterrent

Rats have sharp senses, so when you mess with one of them, they might not want to go to your property again. One of these natural deterrents is mint. Planting mint around your garden and backyard can make them stay away since they avoid it. Not only that, but if you combine this with pepper oil, this is going to help you more. Even a dried mint leaf can work.

Clean your house whenever you cook

The smell is something that rats have developed. They know where to find food as they have a keen sense of smell, which doesn’t work in our favour. If you have any leftover food, make sure it is disposed of, and taken away as soon as possible. Even your kitchen counters need to be clean.

Furthermore, as we said before, it is good if you get rid of the rubbish as soon as you are done with it. Keeping it in the house attracts, not only rodents, but other pests too.

Get a pet

If you are having trouble with rats or mice, having a cat is the best deterrent possible. They are going to help you get rid of them as they are their natural predators and their scent comes off, making them go away. You can put it in the yard or inside the house, and it will work. Every so often, you can also find cat litter and put it in different locations to make sure rats are all gone.