COVID-19 is spreading badly in time for spring as well as the pests that come with Spring like ticks and mosquitoes. Since mosquitoes and ticks go from yard to yard attacking people, they will be violating our social distancing guidelines.

The question is do these blood-sucking disease vectors spread COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization “the new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites. To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.” COVID-19 can also spread by touching surfaces that an infected person touched and left the virus on.

What about ticks? According to The American Mosquito Control Association “ticks and mosquitoes are vector pests, known to play a significant role in the transmission of many critical diseases, however for a virus to pass to a person through a mosquito or tick bite, the virus must be able to replicate inside the mosquito or tick.” And apparently, ticks and mosquitoes are immune to COVID-19.

Will COVID-19 play a role in an uptick in other pests around your home?

In short, the answer is yes. With people spending more time in their homes and yards, they will notice more pest activity. Chief among the pests that will be noticed more are rodents. Since a lot of restaurants are either closed or limited in the services they offer, there is a decline in food scraps from restaurant dumpsters. This can cause a big issue since rats rely on that as a food source, as theses scraps start to decrease, rats will do whatever is necessary to find food and survive. There have been videos streaming lately showing rats foraging in the streets during the day due to the lack of food in their usual “go-to” spots. With more people cooking from home, and placing take-out and delivery orders, this means our garbage cans and homes can become the new “go-to” spot. Eventually rats can potentially make their way into your garbage can or kitchen.

Rodents are not the only pests that rely on surplus food waste, we also have flies and cockroaches. Both insects love garbage, spread pathogens, and cockroaches can even cause respiratory issues.

What can you do to help prevent a potential insect or rat infestation?

  • reduce indoor garbage take it out regularly
  • keep dishes, sinks, and counter tops clean
  • keep garbage cans away from windows and doors
  • do not leave boxes inside, bring it out and away from home
  • make sure not to miss a garbage pickup even if your cans are less than half full
  • use your extra time at home to seal any gaps, cracks, and crevices around your home
  • anything more than 1/8th of an inch for insects, 1/4 inch for mice, and 1/2 inch for rats

And remember Guardian Pest Control is an essential business and we remain open to help reduce health hazards by eliminating these disease spreading pests. Call Guardian to schedule an inspection, or to get a free quote today!



 Deer ticks are the primary tick responsible for the transmission of Lyme Disease, and are also the carrier of human babesiosis and human anaplasmosis. Unfed females are about 1/8” long, with an orangish brown body and a dark brown plate located behind the mouth-parts and legs. Males are smaller about 1/16” long, with a reddish brown overall body. Deer ticks climb grass and shrubs to wait for a passing host, and move very laterally. They concentrate on such vegetation located in transitional areas such as where forest meets field, mowed lawn meets un-mowed fence line, a foot/ animal trail through high grass. Other habitat most likely to harbor Deer ticks is in den, nest, or nesting area of its host, such as that of skunks, raccoons, opossums, but especially the deer mouse.


 American Dog ticks are the primary tick responsible for the transmission of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and also the carrier of tularemia. Unfed females are about 3/16” long, engorged female are about 5/8” long, male is slightly smaller – about 1/8” long. Both adults are reddish brown in color with whitish to grayish markings often with silvery hue on the back. American Dog ticks are the most frequently encountered tick and are the most likely tick to be found on both pets and humans. These ticks are attracted by the scent of animals and are most numerous along roads, paths, and trails, and will travel from their questing locations into manicured areas.


 Lone Star ticks are capable of transmitting Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME), Tularemia, and suspected of Lyme disease and possibly Rocky Mountain spotted fever.This tick is somewhat scarce in Connecticut, but can be found along the coastal communities in Connecticut. Lone Star ticks get their name from the single silvery spot located on the middle of the female’s back. Unfed females are about 1/8” long, engorged female are about 7/16” long, with reddish brown color, becoming slate gray when engorged. Male is slightly smaller, with reddish brown color with several inverted horseshoe-shaped whitish spots along rear margin. Lone Star ticks are very aggressive ticks and will actively travel from their questing locations into manicured areas. They are commonly found on a wide variety of animals, including humans.


 Brown Dog tick is not known for diseases, and is very specific to dogs and is rarely found on humans. This tick is a domestic species and is the only tick which will leave its host and infest the home. These ticks love to feed mainly on the ears, but can also be found on the head, neck, legs, chest, and belly. Unfed females are about 1/8” long, but enlarge up to about 1/2” long when engorged with blood.  She is reddish brown in color, with a small dark dorsal shield just behind her mouth-parts, when engorged, engorged parts of body change to gray-blue or olive color. Male is reddish brown with tiny pits scattered over the back, with a dark dorsal shield which covers the entire back. Brown Dog ticks do not do well outdoors in the woods; they prefer warm, dry conditions where dogs live. They are primarily found indoors in cracks and crevices of the home. It is believed that this tick is usually brought into homes by dogs which have picked them up while visiting infested structures such as veterinarians, groomers, kennels etc. Occasionally dogs will pick up Brown Dogs ticks while outside of the home in kennels or areas where they rest.

2019 Connecticut Mosquito Report

Each year around this time I post about the Connecticut Agricultural Experimentation Station (CAES) and their findings for the year. This amazing organization started in 1875 making it the oldest agricultural experiment station in the United States. Since CAESs’ inception they have accomplished many extraordinary initiatives which helped to improve farming, positive economic impacts, public health, as well as Integrated Pest Management.

Since ticks and mosquitoes transmit dangerous pathogenic organisms that cause human illnesses and possibly death, CAES has dedicated time and resources to establish several stations throughout the state of Connecticut in order to collect specimens and test them for transmissible pathogens. Each year as they do these tests they release their findings online for the public. Many news outlets also report on their findings and publish articles anytime the CAES finds a pathogen inside of one of the tested ticks or mosquitoes.

The findings from CAES are released each month and you can find them online. I am going to put the links below with a description above each link so you can choose which ones you are interested in. The final CAES link will be the main CAES page so you can explore everything they do and lookup any reports that may interest you. They have a vast library of reports going back decades, this allows you to see the spread, reach, and progression of the insects as well as the pathogens over a vast timeline

CAES Information

Summer In Connecticut!

It’s that time of year again! Kids out of school, popsicles, ice cream, cookouts, camp, sun shining, early mornings and late nights, beach, hikes, boating, fishing, fireworks, vacations!!……bedbugs?

What do you mean bedbugs?!!?

That’s what I think of when I think of vacation, bedbugs. Of course, the summer is a great time to have fun, and it’s also the time a lot of people go on vacation. The highest risk of bringing home bedbugs is when you travel. Staying at a hotel, lodging at a campsite cabin, staying in a bed and breakfast, renting out an air bnb. All of these pose an opportunity for you to bring home an unwanted guest. The fact of the matter is bedbugs like to hitchhike, and all these places have something in common, multiple people from varying places on earth staying in them prior to you.

Opposite of what you may think, bedbugs do not care how clean or dirty the place or people are, all they care about is their host…! I have seen bedbug infestations at dirty cluttered apartments, clean middle-class homes, spotless upper-class mansions, and top of the line 5 diamond resorts. Bedbugs do not care about dirty or neat they only care about needing a meal from their host in order to survive.

That really stinks, why are you telling me this?

I am letting you know this so you can be vigilant while vacationing this summer. When you get to your new accommodations, before settling in do a check of the place. Leave your luggage outside of the room or place it in the bathroom tub while you check the room. Look at the bed first, unmake it slowly looking for signs of past or present bedbugs. Things to look for are fecal stains, they look like little black ink spots. Look for fecal stains on the linens but also on the mattress and box-spring itself. If there are mattress and box-spring encasements look on them, look behind the headboard for live bedbugs or cast skins of them. The cast skins are varying sizes and are yellowish to light brown and are the shape and size of a bedbug. A live bedbug is varying sizes from smallest nymph to adult, first and second instar nymphs are yellowish translucent, while third instar up to adults are reddish-brown and the largest will be the size of an apple seed. Look behind the bedside tables for fecal stains and cast skins, look on and under any chairs or ottomans inside the room for the same. Also check the rooms luggage rack and any and all dresser backsides and drawers. If all is well, then move on in! If you suspect something, request a new room immediately and check that room also.

Most hotels and resorts now a days have some form of bedbug protocol in place, and they will be more than happy to relocate you to a new room. There usually is no need to make a big fuss about it, they want to accommodate you, however if they do give push-back you can always elevate it by asking for a manager.

When you get home, prior to bringing your belongings inside the house, check your luggage seams and zippers for the same fecal stains, cast skins, and live bedbugs. If all is well, I still recommend placing all articles in a large trash bag and bring them one at a time into your laundry room and wash and dry them. If they are clean, then just dry them on high heat for 35 minutes. If they are dirty wash them in hot water, then tumble dry once, then dry on high heat for 35 minutes. All loads should be done in half loads. Then you can bring your luggage inside the home, I suggest storing luggage anywhere other than a bedroom. If you find any evidence of bedbugs, do the same thing with the clothes, then call Guardian Pest Control for an inspection. Keep your luggage out of the house so it can be examined by our technician, and do not treat with any over the counter products, it will just make the situation harder to resolve.

We hope you never have to call Guardian for bedbugs, but if you ever do we are here to help, do not try a DIY approach, bedbugs are not a bug that is easy to manage no matter what google may say. Trust a professional with this pest you will be glad you did.

Have a safe and fun summer!

Why Do These Mosquitoes Love Me So Much?!

What is about humans that make us so attractive to mosquitoes? In this blog we are going to explore this question by looking at some scientific studies recently conducted on this subject.

Are you the type of person who gets attacked by mosquitoes the second you walk out the door while the people you are with seem to have no problem at all? Why is this? Maybe you’re the lucky one who is with the person getting attacked while you experience little or no bites at all, why are you so lucky?

Is it luck, or is there something deeper happening here? Let’s look at some data from a few scientific studies on mosquito attractants in humans.


So yeah there really are scientific studies on this where volunteers allow mosquitoes to feed on them (sign me up!). The point of these studies is to narrow down the exact reason why mosquitoes feast on some people and leave others alone, hoping it will help researchers design the perfect mosquito trap. Chemical and behavioral studies have led to identifying some of the smells that attract several mosquito species. Most recently, molecular researchers have begun identifying the receptors that pick up these odors and translate them into neural signals.

The Data

Microbial communities on the skin play relevant roles in the production of human body odor, the composition of the skin microbiota affects varying degrees of attractiveness to humans. In testing of 48 men instructed not to wash their feet for 7 days and then samples of microbes were taken from the feet and placed in a solution and introduced to the mosquitoes. Nine of them where highly attractive, seven were not attractive, and thirty-two had moderate attraction. This showed that varying levels of odor excretion brought varying levels of attractiveness. The nine most attractive where from samples collected with a higher odor emission.

Another study took 2 females and 2 males, the females were unfed virgins and were more strongly attracted than the males, although the males also showed attraction. This suggests that some individuals are more attractive than others. Breath and body heat were also tested and again the females were more attractive

Yet another study focused on Ades Aegypti and lactic acid presence using human and animal hosts. In this study rubbings from the hands of different humans and skin rubbings from different mammals were collected. Some of the humans were consistently more attractive to mosquitoes than others and adding lactic acid to the less attractive humans increased the degree of attractiveness. There was virtually no response to animal odor samples since lactic acid is virtually absent from the animal samples. When skin rubbings from animals were combined with lactic acid, however, the mosquitoes responded to odor samples the same as to human odors. This data demonstrates that host preference of the mosquito Ades Aegypti is to a large extent due to differences in the amount of lactic acid in the odor samples.

Let’s Wrap It Up

These studies show there is preference for mosquito hosts, different levels of body odor, breath, body heat, pheromones, lactic acid, and other variables are considered when a mosquito selects a host. This is important research being done since most of the mosquitoes being tested are vectors of some major diseases. With further studies researchers can narrow in on exact ways to attract pathogen carrying mosquitoes in order to trap and eliminate them.

With so many different types of mosquito threats out there it is always best to err on the side of caution when going outside during mosquito season. Guardian Pest Control offers treatment for Mosquitoes & Ticks. We treat your yard in known breeding and harborage areas to reduce the mosquito and tick population by 95-99%. If you don’t already get your yard treated, it’s not too late! The season is still in full swing and is only going to get worse before it gets better. Call today for a free quote for Mosquito & Tick Yard treatment and take back control of your yard today!


I had made a Facebook post earlier in the year of an article by Newsweek talking about a little-know and understood type of Lyme Disease called post-treatment Lyme disease (PTLD) or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. I wanted to also write a blog on this subject as it is vital to know the facts and the mysteries behind PTLD. The article essentially stated that up to 2 million people can be affected by this mysterious form of Lyme by 2020.

So, what is PTLD exactly?

Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, or PTLD, is not fully understood and has no set diagnosis so treatment is not solid. PTLD has characteristics of cognitive dysfunction, debilitating fatigue as well as chronic pain. Not only that, but the cause is unknown, and could take months before recovery begins. Some believe the tick is attacking the immune system, others still are just unsure. Estimates put the treatment fail rate between 10-20% of cases, costing hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

What’s the answer?

It is tough to find accurate data on the prevalence of PTLD, since, although most Lyme Disease patients are cured with antibiotics, a large portion of these patients continue to exhibit persisting symptoms. This makes it hard to pinpoint exactly which patients are experiencing PTLD, late stage symptoms, or other health problems.

What does this mean for you?

With the increasing climate change, and the already effective “over-wintering” of the ticks that carry Lyme, it is important that you take measures to protect you and your family from a possible infection. You have lots of options, from hiding inside all year long, to going on hikes dressed head to toe in tick proof regalia, to dousing your clothes with permethrin before leaving the house. My suggestion to you is skip all that and have your property treated for ticks on a regular basis through the tick season. Having a professional company come out on a regular basis to treat areas prone to ticks, and areas of known harborage. This will knock out the tick population, keep your family and pets tick free and safe from potential threats of Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses prevalent in Connecticut.

Call Guardian Pest Control today for a free quote for Tick Treatment and get control of your back-yard again!


The Asian Longhorned tick is an invasive species that has spread recently to several states in New England. I brought this up last year when it was first found on a sheep in New Jersey in 2017 and started to spread north. The Asian Longhorned Tick has the potential to transmit several serious diseases to people and thus should be on your radar.

The CDC reports the Asian Longhorned tick as “an important vector of human and animal disease agents,”. This tick is native to China, Japan, and Korea, and the Asian Longhorned tick had never been detected in the U.S. previously. This all changed in August 2017, when a sheep in New Jersey was found to be heavily infested with them.

Since the first siting on the sheep, there have been 53 reports of the Asian Longhorned tick and was confirmed in seven states since September 2018. These states include: Arkansas, Connecticut, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to the CDC report, The Asian Longhorned tick has been found on both people and animals.

So What Does This Mean For Connecticut Residents?

Currently The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with public health, agricultural, and academic experts to understand the possible threat posed by the spread of the Asian Longhorned tick, and states “The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick discovery and spread is unknown,” said Ben Beard, Ph.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. “In other parts of the world, the Asian Longhorned tick can transmit many types of pathogens common in the United States. We are concerned that this tick, which can cause massive infestations on animals, on people, and in the environment, is spreading in the United States.”

The potential for spreading of the Asian Longhorned tick is immense since in contrast to most tick species, a single Asian Longhorned female tick can reproduce offspring (1-2,000 eggs at a time) without mating. As a result of this, hundreds to thousands of ticks can be found on a single animal, person, or in the environment.

As more research is done there will be more reports released with better data to help support findings, as well as to help reduce or maintain the limits of the Asian Longhorned ticks reach, until then take precautions.

Precautions To Take To Help Keep You, Your Family, And Pets Safe

  • While outdoors use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Always follow product instructions
  • While outside wear light colored clothes to help identify ticks on your person more easily
  • When returning from outdoor activities, always check your body and clothing for ticks upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Place tick-infested clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors
  • Soon after being outdoors, showering within an hour of coming inside has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and is a good time to do a tick check
  • If you remove a tick save it in a plastic bag in the freezer and mark the area on your body it was removed from. This will help if you start to come down with any symptoms and having the specimen means it can be tested for potential diseases
  • For your furry family, talk to your veterinarian about tickborne diseases in your area and prevention products for your dogs & cats
  • Have your yard professionally treated for ticks, by a seasoned professional

Guardian Pest Control, has been helping Residential & Commercial accounts help contain, minimize tick encounters, and reduce tick populations for over 15 years. We do whole yard treatments for both Tick & Mosquito, and we offer One-Time Treatments for special events. Call today for a free quote


These pests are relatively new to the United States, first appearing in Pennsylvania in 1996 then spreading north into Connecticut and other Northeast states in the early 2000’s. The stink bug is more of an agricultural pest then anything else, feeding on many different ornamental plants and trees. In homes they come inside at the end of Summer beginning of Fall to overwinter then leave and mate in the Spring. These insects do not bite, sting, or spread any kind of diseases or pathogens. They will tend to the warmer areas of the home and tend to just hide out and sit tight until warmer weather arrives then they leave the structure.


The way to keep the stink bug from entering is by exclusion. Start your efforts in late August, seal any cracks or crevices around doors and windows, install new weather-stripping, door sweeps, and caulk any gaps in utility lines leading into your home.


If your exclusion efforts weren’t done in a timely manner, or they just weren’t effective enough, then what? You can do a “catch and release” by picking them up on your hand or piece of paper and free them outside. You can always flush them down the toilet. Or you can just let them be, they will leave once the weather gets warm.


Don’t vacuum them up as they will release a defensive sent that is quite potent and you may have to replace your vacuum hose. Don’t leave any dead ones laying around or in cracks and crevices as this will invite other structure infesting insects that feed on other dead insects and can cause an infestation.


We don’t mind them. I have gotten the kids to look at them as our “winter pets”. They tend to just hang around the fireplace and radiators to stay warm. They don’t move around too much, and there is way more that you cannot see then the ones you can see. They like to hide, so most likely you have more than you think, so why freak out because you see one or two. They don’t release their sent if you let them be, or even if you pick them up. So, we just let them spend the Winter inside then come Spring we help them out side to find a mate. The females will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves and the cycle starts all over again.


Often you won’t even know you have an issue with carpenter ants, as they typically stay unseen. Largely, carpenter ants choose nesting sites outdoors, in old tree trunks and rooted wood fences. In mid-summer satellite nests are formed, and these are the typical ones that find a nest indoor, while the outdoor parent nest still thrives. Indoors the carpenter ants look for soft wood damaged by rot or water, this makes the wood easier for them to chew through. You may think that the carpenter ants eat the wood, but that is incorrect. Carpenter ants do not posses the proper microbes in their intestines to break down the cellulosic material, rather they like to build a nest or gallery in the wood. The keep these galleries clean of all debris by creating a “window” in the wood to push it out, keeping the entire gallery free from obstructions.

One of the most alarming sites may be a large male winged carpenter ants coming out to test the temperature to see if it is swarming time yet. This could be your first clue you have an indoor nest, other clues could be rustling sounds in the walls, wood debris called frass looking similar to “pencil shavings”, ant body parts pilled in the frass, or caught in spider webs. The primary food for carpenter ants is insect honeydew, plant and fruit extracts, as well as other arthropods. If food is scarce they will often eat their own weak. This helps with identifying the species, as they clear their gallery of debris, the frass and body parts fall and get caught in spider webs. I use spider webs for signs of infestation on every inspection, you can learn so much from the contents of a web.

Carpenter ants also nest inside of insulation, quite often I have found nests in basements between the box plate and insulation. They nest in this the same way as they would nest in wood, but the insulation is easier to chew, it’s like butter for them. Just last month I did an inspection on a home that was just built 1 year ago, the owner said I can’t have carpenter ants already, can I? The answer was yes, and they were in the foam blown insulation. He called me because one day he went into his basement and saw a pile of insulation bits in the corner. He thought maybe a mouse had gotten to it. I got there and immediately noticed that corner of the house had a tree limb touching the corner of the house, and that corner of the house was also pitched to be more water prone. I inspected the pile and the above insulation and immediately knew we had carpenter ants. There were bits of undigestible exoskeletal parts mixed in with the insulation frass, and the insulation had 3 circular “windows” in different areas over a 4ft linear area. I tapped on it and listened and sure enough you hear them all running around. Treatment was easy, dust the holes, get a vacuum and as the ants pored out by the dozens suck them up.

But how can you prevent carpenter ants from nesting inside in the first place?

Remove decaying wood from around buildings, and store firewood outdoors well away from the house, bringing indoors only that which is free of ant infestations and that which can be burned immediately. Ensure good ventilation and drainage around the building so the wooden parts stay dry. Repair or replace leaky water and drainage pipes. Carpenter ants generally locate their nests in moist wood near a water source, such as a leaking roof, leaking or sweating pipes or a dishwasher. Prune all trees and shrubs that touch the house to prevent ants from using branches to travel to the building. Permanent solutions to Carpenter ant infestations require correcting structural problems that allow moisture to dampen wood.

Three CT Residents Test Positive for West Nile Virus

If you have been following the news lately then you know there have been 3 cases of humans testing positive for the West Nile Virus, the last of which was in Southington. I have been sharing the story and all of it’s updates since the first case on my Google+ page. All 3 cases were Connecticut residents in our areas, Farmington, Newington, and Southington.

So what does this mean for you? Human cases of West Nile Virus in Connecticut are not new, last year there were several human cases as well. There is yearly testing of mosquitoes for West Nile, and reports on the percentage of infected mosquitoes are made public, so stay informed. The best way to stay safe is knowledge, read the paper, sign up for email or text alerts, watch the news, and read reports put out by the CDC and DEEP. The CDC has a website with tons of helpful tips on maintaining a yard that is non-conducive for mosquito habitat.

Well we all know the mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so staying indoors during these times is best. If you must be outdoors during mosquito season wear repellant. Get rid of any water containers in your yard that can create conditions suitable for mosquito larvae. If you start to feel sick after being bitten, seek medical attention. The most common illness related to West Nile Virus is encephalitis. This is a brain swelling disease that is treatable and can be tested for with blood and other tests.

Get professional help, we are still in our Mosquito and Tick season and are still treating properties for Mosquitoes & Ticks with our Yard Guard service. Don’t fool around with these potentially life-threatening disease vectors by doing your own treatment. Cal Guardian Pest Control today for a free quote, and keep yourself and your family safe from the West Nile Virus.

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