LETHAL PEST PROFILE: FRUIT-SPOTTING BUG

Lethal Pest Control Gold Coast Pest Control Services

Fruit Spotting Bug Queensland

 

Scientific name Amblypelta nitida
Description of adult Adult bugs are green-brown and about 15 mm long. When disturbed, they may fly away, somersault to lower branches or quickly hide on the plant behind fruit or under leaves. The fruit-spotting bug is usually a slightly darker green than the banana-spotting bug .
Immature stages Fruit-spotting bug eggs are 1.7 mm long and somewhat triangular with rounded corners in cross-section, pale green in colour when first laid, turning darker with a slight opalescence as they age. They are laid singly on flowers, fruit or foliage. The bugs pass through five nymphal stages before they become adults. The first instar is green and black, and has an ant-like appearance. Later instars are orange-brown or green.

They have prominent antennae and two scent gland openings on the upper surface of the abdomen. Wing buds appear in the third instar. A distinctive feature of the nymphs of both fruit-spotting species is the second last segment of the antenna, which is black and conspicuously flattened. The scent gland openings on the abdomen of A. lutescens are more prominent because they are highlighted with white circles.

Life history An adult female lays only a few eggs each day, but during its life may lay more than 150 eggs. The eggs hatch in 6-7 days and development from egg to adult averages around 42 days in summer. The insects pass through 3-4 generations a year: one in spring, one or two in summer and one in autumn. Adults of the autumn generation survive the winter and begin a new generation when temperatures increase in spring. The adults tend to infest certain groups of trees forming ‘hot spots’ in orchards.
Distribution A native insect that occur throughout coastal and sub-coastal areas of Queensland. It is common on the Atherton Tableland but relatively rare on the coast north of Gympie.
Host range Fruit-spotting bug is a pest of avocados, guavas, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, lychees, mangoes and many exotic tropical and subtropical tree crops.
Damage Major, frequent pests in certain areas, especially where orchards are situated close to alternative native or ornamental hosts.

Both adults and nymphs feed by piercing fruit and sucking the juice from the tissue. They insert their long mouthparts into the fruit and in feeding, exude saliva containing enzymes that break down the cells of green fruit such as avocado. This causes deep-set breakdown of significant areas of tissue.

In lychees and longans, the losses result when fruit drops because the bugs have fed on the developing seed.

Brown lesions on the seed and small black ‘pin pricks’ on the internal white surface of the skin are evidence of bug feeding. In excess of 90% of green fruit may be lost in heavy infestations. Mature fruit is less attractive to the bugs but may be damaged. This fruit does not fall and although the damage may not be detected at harvest, it has little effect on fruit quality.

SOURCE: Queensland Government Website – June 2016

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WEED PROFILE: African Boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum

African Boxthorn Lycium ferocissimum

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THIS PLANT HAS BEEN DECLARED A WEED OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE 

Family: Solanaceae.

Form: Shrub

Origin: Native to South Africa.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: Singly or in pairs at the leaf-stem junction. White with purplish throat, about 1 cm diameter; 5-petalled; fragrant. Flowers to 12 mm long with male part of the flower (stamen) projecting to 4 mm past the petals. Flowers mostly summer but some flowering throughout year.

Description: Much branched shrub to 6 m high. Leaves fleshy, elliptic to 4 cm long (see photo). Berry to 1 cm wide on short drooping stalk. Seeds 2.5 mm long, dull yellow.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by rigid branches with side branches mostly longer than 1 cm, leafy and ending in a stout spine, and berries that are globe- to egg-shaped and ripening red with up to 70 seeds.

Dispersal: Spread by seed. Fruit is commonly eaten by foxes and birds and viable seeds are excreted. Often forms dense stands as a result of these animals feeding and remaining in the vicinity of fruiting boxthorn. Shoots readily from broken roots.

Confused With: Other Lycium species. Native Australian Boxthorn Lycium australe grows in subsaline soil at the edge of salt lakes and claypans in arid areas of Australia but this species has narrow leaves usually less than 5 mm long. Chinese Boxthorn Lycium barbarum has shorter leafless spines and ovate leaves with an acute tip.

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Source: Weed.org.au Website  16th May 2016

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Lethal Pest Profile: Rodents

Rats and mice

In Queensland, there could be up to twenty-four native species of rodents. However, it is the three introduced species that have become such pests to society:

  • Brown Rat (or Sewer Rat): a burrower, is thick set and brown in colour.
  • Roof Rat: a climber, is slender and black in colour.
  • House Mouse: can be distinguished by its small size.

The presence of rats and mice in buildings can result in food spoilage and contamination, physical damage caused by gnawing which can sometimes lead to costly fires, and the transmission of diseases to humans.

The most common disease transmitted by rats is Salmonellosis which is spread when food is consumed by humans which has been contaminated by excreta or saliva of rats.

In Queensland, introduced rats have been associated with the spread of Plague (the last outbreak being in 1923), Weils Disease, Rat Bite Fever, Murine Typhus and a form of Meningitis, all of which may result in serious illness or death. (Note: Plague and Murine Typhus are transmitted by rat fleas.)

How do you detect rodents?

  • damage to food containers or droppings
  • rat runs (lines in the dust or greasy smears on walls and fences worn by the rat)
  • disappearance of food
  • sounds during the night
  • gnaw marks or burrows.

Call Lethal Pest Control on the Gold Coast to slove your rodent problemCall Lethal Pest Control On The Gold Coast for all your Rodent Solutions!

(Source:  City Of Gold Coast Website – April 2016)

DIY Pest Control VS. Lethal Professional Pest Control

In the recent years of the down economy, we have witnessed more people resorting to a do it yourself method of getting rid of bugs.  There are certain situations where we agree that do it yourself is a good alternative to hiring professionals like The Lethal Gold Coast Pest Control Team.  If you spot a single bug such as a fly, spider, or ant, there is usually no need for Lethal Pest Control to come to your home.  But if you spot a rodent, a bed bug, or any other insect that can cause damage to your family or your home, it is necessary to call The Lethal Team to get the job done right and effectively.

There are certain things that need to be considered when deciding to DIY or Book in Lethal Gold Coast Pest Control:

  • Expense

o   DIY – A trip to the store and the purchase of chemicals is typically less expensive than hiring a pest control company.

o   The Professional Lethal Service – Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative.  If the in store pesticides are not effective they may result in the growth of your pest control problem.  Continuing to buy in store products can get expensive.  Not to mention the potential damage to your home thatpests can cause. Lethal Pest Control does offer packages to suit different budgets and services that you may require. If you are a pensioner or money is an issue, please talk to us, as we have a pest plan tailored to suit all budgets & circumstances.

  • Convenience

o   DIY – When doing it yourself, you can go to the store, purchase the pest control product, and apply it at your own convenience.

o   The Professional Lethal Service – It can be a pain to find a time that is convenient for both you and a pest control company to meet at your home for a treatment.  More often than not, this is at the inconvenience of the customer.  However, Lethal Pest Control will work with the homeowner to schedule the best time for them.

  • Knowledge

o   DIY – The instructions are on the label.  Not only can information be found on the label but it is very easy to go to the internet and do a research on the particular product or insect.  Be sure that all instructions are followed exactly as listed on the package.

o   The Professional Lethal Service– Our Lethal Team will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem.  They are also able to answer any questions that you have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing.  Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than just reading the instructions on a label.

  • Risk

o   DIY – Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk.  Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area. This is not to scare you but to remind you that we cannot stress enough the importance to read all instructions and follow all directions listed on the product label.

o   The Professional Lethal Service – By hiring the experienced and knowledgeable Lethal Pest Control Team, the risk is removed from the homeowner.  Be sure to read our Customer Reviews.

  • Effectiveness

o   DIY – For small pest problems, store bought exterminating products can oftentimes be effective.  For a bigger infestation, it can be more difficult with store bought products. Pests are adaptable creatures and can get become immune to certain chemicals after a certain amount of time.

o   The Professional Lethal Service – Lethal Pest Control has up to date information and products to treat your infestation.

  • Warranties

o   DIY – Depending on the store and product, you can return a product. However you do need to check your local store return policies before purchasingbecause returning it may not always be the case.

o   The Professional Lethal Service – Just ask The Lethal Team about their policies before hiring them to treat your home.  We are up front and will not try and hide anything from you.  We are here to help you with your pest control problem.

When trying to decide if you should tackle your pest control problem, consider the list above.  For a small infestation, do it yourself is a good option that can be inexpensive.  For larger infestations or a continuing problem, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and call The professionals at Lethal Pest Control on The Gold Coast.  For weekly information and facts on Pests and Weed Management issues visit our Lethal Pest Control Blog On The Gold Coast.

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WEEKLY LETHAL WEED PROFILE: NODDING THISTLE

A NODDING THISTLE

Alternative Name(s): Carduus nutans subsp. leiophyllus, Musk Thistle.
Family: Asteraceae.

Form: Herb

Origin: Native of Europe and western Asia.

Flowers/Seedhead: Many small flowers (florets) in solitary heads at ends of branches; florets 20–35 mm long. Flowers spring and summer.

Description: Erect biennial thistle to 2.5 m high. Leaves variable, basal leaves in a rosette, green and often with white midveins, 5–40 cm long, 2–7.5 cm wide, earliest leaves not as deeply lobed, later basal leaves as well as stem leaves deeply dissected.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by spiny winged stems (except just below flower heads) and spiny leaves; leaves hairless or sparsely hairy above and below; bracts around heads hairless, 4–8 mm wide near base, spine-tipped, outer ones reflexed, inner ones spreading to erect; mature heads 2–8 cm wide (including bracts) and erect to slightly nodding; all florets tubular, purple, arising from a hairy receptacle; seeds 4–6 mm long, hairless, topped by numerous simple white bristles (pappus) 15–25 mm long.

Dispersal: Spread by movement of seed.

Confused With: Carduus nutans another nodding thistle with bracts around heads having some hairs and 1.5–3 mm wide near base, and obviously nodding heads.

Notes: First recorded in Queensland near Gympie, but has spread from this area. Only known from Queensland. It appears to grow in warmer areas than C. nutans in Australia. A pasture weed in some areas of south-eastern Queensland and a serious pasture weed in North America.

 

References: Flora of south-eastern Queensland. T. Stanley and E. Ross, Vol. 2, 1986, page 581. The Biology of Australian Weeds. R. Groves et al. (eds), Vol. 1, 1995, pages 29–49.

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Bug Jokes…Get into the festive spirit

Something a bit different….Share these jokes with your family and friends at christmas time and be the hit of the day.

  • Two flies are on the porch. Which one is an actor?
    (The one on the screen!)
  • What is the biggest ant in the world?
    (An eleph-ant!)
  • Why was the baby ant confused?
    (Because all of his uncles were ants!)
  • What do you get when you cross a sheep and a honey bee?
    (Bah-humbug!)
  • How do bees get to school?
    (By school buzz!)
  • Why do bees have sticky hair?
    (Because they have honeycombs!)
  • What do you get when you cross a walrus with a bee?
    (A wallaby!)
  • Why did the bee go to the doctor?
    (Because she had hives!)
  • What do you get if you cross a centipede and a parrot?
    (A walkie-talkie!)
  • How do fleas travel from place to place?
    (By itch-hiking!)
  • What are caterpillars afraid of?
    (Doger-pillars!)
  • What is an insect’s favorite sport?
    (Cricket!)
  • Why did the kid throw the butter out the window?
    (To see the butter fly!)
  • Why didn’t the butterfly go to the dance?
    (Because it was a moth ball!)
  • Two silk worms were in a race. Who won?
    (It was a tie!)
  • What do you get if you cross a tarantula and a rose?
    (I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t try smelling it!)
  • Why are spiders good swimmers?
    (They have webbed feet!)
  • What did the spider say when he broke his new web?
    (Darn it!)
  • Why are frogs so happy?
    (Because they eat what bugs them!)
  • What did one frog say to the other?
    (Time’s sure fun when you’re having flies!)
  • Why was the mother firefly unhappy?
    (Because her children weren’t that bright!)

Source: http://www.enchantedlearning.com  2015 – /jokes/animals/bugs

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Weekly Lethal Pest Profile: Ants

Coastal Brown Ant

Pheidole megacephala

The Coastal Brown Ant, sometimes also called the Big-headed Ant, is an introduced species that is common in urban and agricultural areas. It is the common small brown ant in Brisbane backyards. It occurs throughout the eastern seaboard and at Darwin, Perth and some inland towns.

It usually nests in the ground with nest entrances in the open or under rocks and logs or between pavers. Piles of loose soil are thrown up around nest entrances. It can also nest indoors, in crevices in brickwork, wall cavities, behind skirtings and architraves.

This species does not sting. It can be a nuisance pest in the garden and may enter houses to forage. It has a varied diet but prefers food of animal origin (protein and fats) to sweet foods. However, workers will tend sap-sucking insects for honeydew.

This ant is normally associated with human disturbance but has invaded native bushland in some areas. For example, it has infested monsoonal rainforest patches in the Northern Territory and some coral cays in the Great Barrier Reef. When this occurs the ant can build up to enormous populations and displace native ant species and affect other invertebrates.

Identification

This light brown species is dimorphic, with small minor workers (length 1.5-3.0) and larger major workers (length 3.5-4.5 mm) with massive darker heads. There are many native species of Pheidole that closely resemble the Coastal Brown Ant and require specialist identification to tell apart.

 

Lethal Ant Control On The Gold Coast

Loose soil thrown up around the nest entrances of the Coastal Brown Ant.

 

Gold Coast Ant Treatment Service

Coastal Brown Ants are dimorphic with small minor workers and large major workers which have massive heads.

 

Source: Queensland Museum website 2015, http://www.qm.qld.gov.au/

The Australian Bull Ant

There are about 90 species of these bull ants here in Australia and they are as feared in the ant world as they are by humans. Get this; Queen bull ants have been known to walk straight into the nest of another species of ants, kill their Queen ant and take over the colony.

It doesn’t matter how big you are either, they will attack if they need to.

Get too close to one of these ant colonies and they will be streaming out of their nest and literary chasing you. If this happens to you, don’t be embarrassed, just….

Run away!!

They are very aggressive and have extremely painful venomous stings.

Their sizes range from around 8 mm to 40 mm, the one I saw was at least 20 to 25 mm and bordering on the biggest ant I have ever seen.

Whatever you choose to call them, bull ants, bulldog ants, jumper ants, sergeant ants, inch ants or even Mymecia if you want to get all scientific, it matters not; they are big ants and not to be messed with.

Lethal Pest Control On The Gold Coast

A close up of the Bull Ant

Source: Bob In Oz Website 2015, http://www.bobinoz.com/

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