The Buzz on Bugs: Pests can destroy valuable items in your home

Q: My husband and I decided to do a little spring cleaning and as we attempted to pick up an old oriental rug, it literally feel apart in our hands! What caused this to happen, dry rot or something like that?

A: No. I’m afraid your old carpet, which is probably made out of wool, has fallen victim to carpet beetles.

It’s not the carpet beetle itself that does the damage it’s the larvae, which causes the damage by eating the backing.

If it’s a rug of some value it can be repaired by having a new backing put on, but it’s a very expensive proposition. Good luck!

Q: Something is eating holes in my sweaters. Some of them are Angora sweaters and cost a pretty penny. I am finding no droppings of any sort nor no I see anything live in my drawers. What do you think is doing this damage?

A: I’ll almost bet you an Angora sweater that the holes are being caused by silverfish. They are one of the ugliest insects I’ve ever seen! They have a silver almost ell-like skin and move almost the same way an eel does. Tell your bug man about the problem.

In all probability he will have you remove any shoe boxes in you closet, or any type of cardboard boxes from your drawers.

Now you have to find a really good tailor to mend the holes. Sometimes they can be saved.

Q: I met a guy the other day in my doctor’s office who said he was suffering from Lyme disease. I thought that it was only associated with deer ticks found up North. He said he hadn’t been out of Florida for over 10 years. How could he be diagnosed with Lyme disease way down here?

A: Well, unfortunately we live in a world of changes and somehow the deer tick has worked its’ way down to Dixie and is inhabiting rabbits and other rodents.

If you like to go hiking in the deep woods, use common sense on how you dress. Wear a hat, long socks and a long sleeve shirt. I know it may be rather uncomfortable, but Lyme disease is a very painful malady that can stay with you for the rest of your life.

Q: Our lawn looks like heck! It’s not chinch bugs, it seems to be getting plenty of water, there are no signs of sod web worms or white grubs. What do you think it might be?

A: Well, it’s always something isn’t it! Just when you think you have a handle on all the different things that can ruin your lawn, along comes something new. My guess is that you may have Nematodes. They are a microscopic organism that can ruin your lawn as well as your ornamentals.

Q: When does the drywood termite season end? We still keep getting small swarms and they leave their wings behind and seem to just die.

A: The drywood termite season has been known to last into December. The dead ones usually die from desiccation, they merely dry up. Just when you think you’ve come to the end of the termite season, the real trouble begins. Around the beginning of February, if the conditions are right, we will begin the subterranean termite season!


Peter Masi is the certified pest control operator. You can reach him at 239-389-7378 or on the Internet at

© 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

duffyp writes:

I always find this column very informative and interesting. Keep up the good work Peter.

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