July/August 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Mon, Jul 02, 2012 @ 09:05 AM

Indoor Summer Pests

It's summertime, and pests are plentiful both indoors and outdoors! Here are some of the main summer pests that will find their way indoors this summer, and the problems they cause.

     Our food: Ants, flies, cockroaches, rats and mice can be problems most anywhere, but they are particular problems wherever we store, cook, or serve food.  These pests, plus other animals, may also eat food we put out for our pets. Flour beetles, weevils, and meal moths commonly infest stored human and pet foods.

     Fabrics & paper: Clothes moths and carpet beetles are the most common pests that eat holes in our fabrics. Silverfish and crickets can damage fabrics and paper.

     People and pets: A wide variety of pests cause us and our pets bodily harm by stinging, biting sucking our blood ( I know, YUCK!), or spreading diseases indoors. This includes spiders, ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas, flies, and others.

     Our home: Termites, carpenter ants, and other pest attack the wood in our homes. Other pest leave messes of stains, droppings, cast skins and insect bodies in homes. Some of this debris can cause allergies in susceptible people, especially when there are a lot of pests involved, so it is a good idea to keep pests controlled. Others damage electronic devices, cause fires etc.

     A Note on Fall Invaders:  These pests invade homes in late summer and fall and must be specially treated for in August and September. This includes extremely annoying pests link stink bugs, cluster flies, Asian lady beetles, elm leaf beetles, conifer bugs, and others.

Ask us about special treatments to stop these fall invaders.


Termites: Arch Enemies of Wood

With proper care, the wood in your home can last for centuries. But termites, and their accomplice decay fungi, can consume and destroy wood in a relatively short period.

     Wood may seem like unappealing food, and it is for the vast majority of insects because they are unable to digest wood cellulose and extract any nutrition from it. But termites have overcome this problem. living in their guts are certain tiny protozoa micro-organisms that digest the tough wood cellulose for them. This gives termites the unusual-and devastating for wooden structures-ability to consume wood as food.

     Once a termite colony finds a good supply of wood, it multiplies and grows until it destroys the structural strength of the wood-unless the termites are stopped.   Only part of the damage done by termites is from what they eat. Termites carry with them  the spores of wood-decaying fungi, and these start growing in termite galleries. The fungi get their nutrition from the wood, and as they grow and spread they soften and weaken the wood even further.

     Our homes and other buildings, as well as fences and outdoor structures, are ideal for termites because they concentrate so much wood in a small area. If these structures are not protected from termites, it's like offering them a free meal. That's why it's so important to have us professionally inspect your home and protect it from these voracious consumers of wood.


Iceman Had Lyme Disease

Recent tests of the famous Iceman mummy show that he was infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. The Iceman, discovered in 1991, is a 5,300 year old mummy who had been frozen in ice high on a mountain in northern Italy. This makes the Iceman the earliest known human infected by this tick-transmitted bacteria.

     Besides the Lyme disease bacteria, the Iceman had another important health problem-DNA analysis revealed that he was a high risk for hardening of the arteries, and probably would have died from a heart attack or stroke in ten years. Analysis of the mummy shows the Iceman was killed almost instanly by an arrow, which is still buried in his body.


Bug Bombs ineffective Against Bed Bugs

Total-release foggers, the type you can buy in the stores to fog a room, do not work against bed bugs, according to a study in June issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology. In studies using many different bed bug strains, these foggers had little, if any, effect on any of the bed bugs. Apparently the fog was not able to penetrate in cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide.

     The article shows bug bombs and foggers are not just a waste of money-homeowners using them mistakenly think they will control their bed bug problem. This causes homeowners to delay getting effective treatment by a professional pest management company, which allows the bed bug to spread and become an even worse problem.  If you suspect that you have a bed bug problem, have your home professionally inspected. We have found that over 90% of the calls we receive actually don't have bed bugs.  If we find that you do have an active infestation, we recommend fumigation.