March/April 2011 Newsletter

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Tue, Mar 01, 2011 @ 08:19 PM

It's Wise To Protect Your Castle

Throughout history, protective barriers have been vital. In ancient times moats protected castles, and the Great Wall of China was built to keep out hoards of invaders.

Today people rely on us for a different kind of protective barrier. We professionally protect homes and other buildings against invading pests by applying a protective barrier called a perimeter treatment.

Using our knowledge and experience, we expertly treat outside, around the foundation, and in other key areas. As pest start to become active this spring and try to invade homes from outside, our treatments stop them before they are able to come indoors.

These protective treatments keep hundreds of different kinds of pests from wandering indoors, including ants, crickets, millipedes, centipedes, sowbugs and earwigs.

Without a perimeter treatment, some of the entering pests would die within a few days of coming indoors. Even though they may not cause damage, there is still the time and hassle of having to clean up where they've been. But other pests would thrive because the food, moisture, and shelter are perfect for them. These pests then start eating and multiplying indoors-they spread germs, bite and sting, cause expensive damage, require cleanup, and often become permanent unwanted "guest" until they are controlled.

Pests enter unprotected homes through thousands of cracks and crevices. It's a good idea to caulk and plug holes, but this still won't stop many pests from finding their way indoors. Our protective perimeter treatments and other treatments are a smart, effective way to help protect our homes, their contents, and people and pets from invading pests.

Look Out for Termite Swarmers!

Sometime during the months ahead large numbers of winged termites will swarm out of cracks and holes just like the creepy-crawlies in a scary horror movie! Depending on the colony size and age, hundreds or even thousands of these will emerge from a colony.

Swarmers in the spring or fall usually occurs just after a rain. Often the entire event is over in less than a day, but sometimes swarmers continue to emerge for several days a weeks.

Swarmers are fully reproductive females and males whose mission is to start new termite colonies. After flying for a short period, these termites break off wings, mate, and look for a suitable place to establish a new colony. The new queen may continue to lay eggs for up to 25 years! A colony gradually increase in size, and about four years later begins to send out swarmers of its own.

If you see swarmers or their broken off wings indoors, call us right away. A couple of dead swarmers may have simply flown in through an open door or window, but more is usually a warning sign of an infestation in your home. Our professional Termite Inspectors will determine which it is, as well as find if there are unsafe conditions which make your home especially attractive to termites.

Ants also swarm, and look similar to termites. Save some of the bugs for us in small vial or jar. Don't fill it with water-either keep it dry, or put in some rubbing or other alcohol to help preserve the pests. Also show us where you found the insects when we come.

Pest Prevention Tip of The Month

"Edible landscaping" is becoming more popular. Just remember-when plantinga landscape, don't choose plants that produce fruits or nuts unless you plan to harvest and eat them. Unused fruits and nuts attract and provide food for a variety of insect, rodent, and animal pests.

Rodents are the Key to Lyme Disease

Many people think that the deer population, and climate, are the best indicators of how severe a year it will be for Lyme disease, but a study that came out several years ago shows these are not good indicators.

A study in southeastern New York, a hot zone for disease, showed that, over a 13 year period, these are two other factors that are much better predictors of how serious the year will be for Lyme disease: the abundance of rodents that act as tick hosts (white-footed mice and chipmunks in this study) in the previous year, and the abundance of acorns (which sustain these rodent populations) two year before. In other words, the risk of contracting Lyme disease in and around oak forests in northeastern U.S. is highest two years after a bumper crop of acorns.

Note that because Lyme disease occurs in areas without oaks, the number of acorns is not a universal predictor. But in other areas, whenever there is an abundance of food for rodents, populations will increase, and tick numbers will increase following that.

While deer spread the ticks, deer abundance was found to not be a good predictor of Lyme disease incidence. Ticks rarely contract the bacterium from deer-they most often contract the bacterium when they feed on infected small rodents.