Our technician in the spotlight in this issue is Eddie Ruiz. Eddie serves many of our South San Jose area customers. Eddie enjoys working with his clients and getting to know them. He has a winning smile and strives to listen to his customer's needs and provide a custom tailored level of service.
Before Eddie began his career in pest management, he worked in the automotive detailing industry; and he brings that level of detail to his approach to customer service.
Eddie enjoys spending his free time with family, playing soccer, listening to music, dancing, fishing, and traveling.
Killroy is proud to have Eddie as a member of the Killroy family, and Eddie would like his customers to know how much he appreciates the opportunity to serve them. Next time you see Eddie at your home or business, be sure to ask him about his performance as bass player in the Seagulls!
Killroy offers all these services:
Beneficial Insect Releases
Tunnel Topper (ask us!)
Ground Squirrel Control
Gopher & Mole Control
Fertilization & Root Feeding
Wild Animal Trapping
Fun Pest Facts
Insects do not breath through their mouths. They inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide via holes called spiracles in their exoskeletons.
The oldest insect fossils — a set of jaws — goes back 400 million years.
The largest insect ever known to have terrorized the skies is the griffinfly. It was an ancient dragonfly with a wingspan of more than 2.5 feet!
The smallest insect, the fairyfly from Costa Rica is 0.005472 inches long.
The speed record for an insect was set by a guy-fly, clocked at 90 mph!
Termite queens can produce 6-7000 eggs per day. A queen of the species Macrotermes hellicosus found in Africa cranked one out every two seconds = 43,000 per day. Get an inspection quick!
The only place on Earth where you can't find an insect is in the ocean! No one knows why.
On the order of 10 quadrillion ants live on the planet at any given moment.
Community Newsletter - Fall / Winter 2018
You're outdoors enjoying a late-summer picnic and within minutes, dozens of yellow, flying insects intrude on your fun. People often think, "Bees!" but these uninvited guests are just as likely to be yellow jackets, a type of ground-nesting wasp. Often confused with bees, yellow jackets are much more aggressive, and most reported "bee stings" may in fact be yellow jacket stings.
In spring and early summer, yellow jackets are carnivores, feeding mostly on insects to provide protein to developing larvae in their colony. In doing so, they help keep garden pests such as caterpillars in check. As the season progresses, their population grows and their diet changes to include more sugars. As natural food sources become scarce, they turn to scavenging, and that's when you'll find them lurking around garbage cans and pestering picnickers.
A few yellow jackets here and there are a nuisance, but a nest of them in your yard can pose a real hazard. Yellow jackets often nest underground in rodent burrows, so if you see lots of flying insects emerging from a hole in the ground, they're probably yellow jackets. By late summer, a colony may contain thousands of individuals that will aggressively defend their nests from intruders. They're easily provoked and will attack in force, chasing the perceived threat for large distances. What's worse, since they have a barbless stinger, each yellow jacket can sting multiple times. Sounds and vibrations, such as those from a mower or trimmer, can trigger an attack, even from a distance.
Distinguishing Yellow Jackets from Other Summer Flyers
Getting to know the habits of various flying insects will help you identify them and decide if they pose a serious enough threat that you need to take steps to control them. Listed below are some other common summer visitors. Keep in mind that all flying insects, including yellow jackets, are beneficial in the garden by eating pest insects, and/or as pollinators, but can pose a danger in many settings.
Paper wasps and hornets, like yellow jackets, are social wasps (that is, they form colonies); but they nest above ground. They also help control garden pests, but both can inflict nasty stings and can be aggressive. However, they don't scavenge like yellow jackets.
Killroy can remove the nests and treat the eaves to prevent future nesting. Ask your Killroy or Sensitive Solutions Pest Management Professional about this service.
Honeybees nest in cavities, such as hollowed-out tree trunks, or unfortunately, sometimes in a wall void. In contrast to yellow jackets, the European honeybees we find in our area are relatively gentle. (The exception is the Africanized Honey Bee which so far has not established here. Although, with the increase in our temperature patterns, they may begin to adapt.) They are out foraging among flowers for nectar and pollen and usually sting only if stepped on or swatted. If you approach their nest, they'll defend it but only within the immediate area. They won't chase you hundreds of yards like yellow jackets will. A honeybee can sting only once. When it stings, its barbed stinger and the attached venom sac are ripped from its body, killing it. So the honeybee stings only as a last resort, sacrificing its life to protect the colony.
When Killroy is called out to deal with a bee problem, we always try to engage a professional beekeeper to try to save the colony first. Bees are vital.
Bumblebees nest underground and they are so big they're easy to distinguish from other bees and yellow jackets. A bumblebee colony rarely tops 100 individuals — in contrast to the thousands in a yellow jacket colony. Bumblebees will chase invaders and will pursue them further than honeybees. They won't come out in droves like yellow jackets, because their colonies are relatively small. However, like a yellow jacket, an individual bumblebee can sting multiple times.
Solitary bees nest in the ground, but they don't form colonies (although several may nest near one another, giving the appearance of a colony). Solitary bees, such as mason bees, mining bees, leafcutter bees, and sweat bees, rarely if ever sting and definitely don't gang up on intruders. Count yourself lucky if they call your garden home; they're great pollinators.
Yellow jacket traps can help keep the population of a nest in check if they're set out in spring and early summer, when the population in the yellow jacket colony is small. Later in the season, placing the traps around the perimeter of an outdoor seating area may help reduce their pestering, but the traps won't do much to reduce the overall population. These traps can be baited early in the spring with proteins, such as tuna fish, chicken etc. As their diet changes towards late summer, replace this bait with a carbohydrate such as a dollop of orange juice concentrate.
Above all, don't try to control or eliminate a located nest yourself. Leave it to the professionals at Killroy or Sensitive Solutions. They are able to take care of the problem with maximum safety in mind.