Common Plumbing Issues Solved Common Plumbing Issues Solved

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Common Plumbing Issues Solved

Hi, my name is Clint Hastings and I've written this blog as a source of information about plumbing problems. I like to fix things around the house and through the years, I've learned a lot about plumbing systems and how they work. It wasn't always by choice, but when you wake up to a bathtub full of sewage or your kitchen sink won't drain, you've got to do something to fix the problem. All through my blog, you'll learn about common plumbing problems, troubleshooting tips and how to make simple repairs to get your water running again. Since running water is something that's used every day, I think it's important to know how to fix minor plumbing issues. Not every plumbing issue is simple to fix, so I'll also let you know when it's time to put down the wrench and call a professional plumber.


What You Should Know About The Destructive Emerald Ash Borer

If you have not heard of the emerald ash borer or the brown marmorated stink bug, you might think that they were cartoon characters on a kiddie program. Unfortunately, they are not harmless, make-believe creatures. Instead, both are relatively new immigrants to the United States that have been wreaking havoc wherever they appear. And these invasive insects are spreading to other parts of the United States at a rather alarming rate. 

The Emerald Ash Borer

If you have ash trees, the emerald ash borer could become your worst nightmare. The first reported sighting of this beetle -- which is a native of East Asia and East Russia -- was in Michigan in 2002. It is an extremely destructive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the United States since its discovery.  

What They Look Like: 

Not surprisingly for a bug with a name that includes the word "emerald," this beetle is a metallic green. What is surprising is its size. For a creature that can cause so much destruction, the adult emerald ash borer is a small bug, only a half an inch long and approximately one-eighth of an inch wide. The destructive larva of this insect is flat and cream in color. 

Why They Are Pests:

These creatures -- which can be found in much of the eastern half of the United States -- only attack ash trees, but they are highly destructive. Because the larvae of the emerald ash borer feed on the trunk of the tree, they eventually cut off the tree's water and nutrient flow. On average, ash trees typically die within three years of becoming infested. The following are a few signs that could indicate you have an emerald ash border problem:

  • Your ash tree's leaves and branches are dying. In fact, it's not unusual for half of an affected tree's branches to die within the first year. 
  • You find small holes in the bark of the tree that are shaped like a capital "D." These holes are created when the adult beetle burrows out of the tree. 
  • Woodpecker damage. These birds will sometimes tear strips of bark off a tree as they search for the larvae of the emerald ash borer. 

If you suspect that you have an emerald ash borer infestation, consider hiring a tree or pest service to check on your ash trees. If the service confirms you have an infestation and they believe the tree is worth saving, it will probably recommend treatment with pesticides. 

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

These ugly and smelly creatures -- which are native to China, Japan and Taiwan -- have only been in the United States since 1998. First discovered in Pennsylvania, these insects have now spread to 41 states

What They Look Like:

As the name implies, these insects are brown and marmorated -- which means streaked or marbled. They are typically a little under an inch long and are shaped like a shield.  

Why They Are Pests:

These insects are voracious feeders and can cause extensive damage to a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans and many types of fruits. Although, they are not dangerous to humans, some people find them alarming as they tend to fly into things -- including people. And as the weather cools in the fall, they sometimes gather in large swarms on the exterior of buildings and will enter structures if given the chance. 

If marmorated stink bugs are getting on your nerves, you can try capturing them and then drowning them in soapy water. Unfortunately, if you crush or vacuum them up, they will create quite a stink. If these insects are attacking your fruits and vegetables, consider hiring a professional pest control service to apply a pesticide around your crops. 

Hopefully, you will never have to deal with these invasive insects, but if you believe you may have an infestation, it's important to act promptly by calling a company like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc.