The welcome mat for weirdness has been out in Portland for as long as anyone can remember. Before you get too cozy with the “normal oddities” of the city, remember, the century is still young. Odd and terrible insects are expanding to new territories and your neighborhood could be next. Strangely, these five weird bugs have yet to find their way here.
Red Velvet Ant
You may be thinking of sweet red velvet cake. Unfortunately, nothing is sweet about the Red Velvet Ant. The critter is about the size of your finger and covered in a thick coat of red and black hair. It isn’t an ant, it’s a wingless wasp. People have given it the nickname ‘cow killer’ for a good reason. The velvet ant packs a massive stinger and the venom yields an exquisite pain. The cow killer has been found in central Oregon and it won’t be long till you find it in your own backyard.
The Rock-Pool Mosquito
Stock up on bug repellent, because you’re going to need it. Most mosquitoes will bite you at dawn or dusk. That isn’t enough for the Rock-Pool mosquito. It’s mean, hungry and ready to attack at all times of the day. When this bad bug comes to town, the number of bites will increase dramatically. If that wasn’t bad enough, they are also efficient carriers of dengue fever, West Nile, and encephalitis. If you see a black mosquito with distinctive white bands on its legs… smash it.
The Asian Longhorn Beetle
This bug is nasty. The Asian longhorn beetle spends most of its life as a pasty grub, chewing on and devouring the living tissues of trees. Your favorite elms, maple, willows, poplars, and lindens are a couple of bites away from this menace killing them dead. Adult beetles lay eggs under the bark. Larvae emerge, and chew their way into the trees’ living tissue and disrupt sap flow. Older larvae will burrow deep into the heartwood; their feeding destroys the structural integrity of the tree. Infesting beetles will kill the tree and ruin your landscape.
Raspberry or Tawny Crazy Ant
The crazy ant is new to America. Scientists named the ant because of its erratic movement. Crazy is a great way to describe the insect, because like us, it loves electronics. That means all your favorite stuff is at risk, including; computers, tablets, cell phones, air conditioners, and televisions. Crazy ants don’t eat electronics; they just love building nests inside of them. Small ant bodies bridge electric gaps and cause systems to burn up and short circuit. Keep your electronics far away from crazy ants.
Formosa Subterranean Termite
This termite makes other varieties look peaceful. People have found it in California, which is only one state away. Formosa Subterranean Termites queens produce bigger colonies and a lot more offspring. The nests have a lot more mouths to feed and that means damage occurs faster. They construct their tunnels out of saliva, feces, mud and chewed up wood. Your home could be destroyed in under a year.
These five creepy crawlies are expanding into new areas. Don’t let them catch you unprepared. No matter what bug has taken over your home, Interstate Pest control has a solution. We’ll keep the six-legged weirdoes away.