Holiday Pest Getting Busy
Holidays, and the time before and after them, are busy enough without the added stress of dealing with pest infestations. Regular pest control is important during this time of the year because of all the pest problems homeowners encounter. Here are a few of them.
Fall and winter invaders are actively looking for a warmer, drier place to spend the winter, These include rats and mice, to name just a couple.
Holiday feast pests are those that feed on morsels of food left out overnight, on floors, or not properly disposed of. They include mice, rats, cockroaches, ants and others. Prepare the kitchen at night by sealing leftovers, placing food trash in garbage cans with tight-fitting lids, and cleaning the dishes, or leaving them in the sink filled with soapy water.
Christmas tree pest Sneak indoors hidden in fresh Christmas trees. They include spiders, aphids, beetles, mice and many others. Some of these are in a sluggish state in the cold, but once the tree is indoors they start becoming very active. Try rinsing the tree with strong jet of water before you bring it indoors.
Firewood pest are pest hidden in firewood. Like Christmas tree pests, they start crawling and flying about once they are brought into a warm room. Plan to use all firewood brought inside each day. Outdoors, store firewood in a dry place, off the ground, and preferably away from your home.
Pest from travels and overnight guest. Bedbugs can crawl into a suitcase, or even into your pocket, and start a new infestation. Call us if you think you have these pest; it is important that they be controlled by a professional, and hopefully before they have had a chance to spread.
Signs of Termite Trouble
Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it and found it good
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today
Don't let what happened to Cousin May happen to you too! People really do fall through termite-weakened floors, although more often they sink a little first, before falling all the way through.
If we are not already inspecting or monitoring your home on a regular basis, it's wise to call and have us conduct a thorough, professional inspection for termites and the many other wood-destroying organisms that can damage your home. Termites are usually well hidden. They can continue eating wood for years, and usually the homeowner doesn't even know they are there. A trained professional can find termites early and prevent costly repair work.
Meanwhile, there are a few things you as a homeowner should keep an eye out for, and call us if you see any of these more conspicuous signs that subterranean termites are present. They include:
- Mud "shelter tubes" termites build these over foundations and in other places to connect their colony to wood.
- Winged termites ("swarmers"), or their broken-off wings, often in places like window sills.
- Obvious damage to wood. Look for wood hollowed out along the grain, containing bits of mud or soil. Often termites will leave the outer layer of wood undamaged, as a way to keep their galleries protected and humid.
Also keep an eye out for conditions that favor termites, like excess moisture or soil in contact with wood.
Flesh-Eating Cricket Discovered
A bizarre new species of cricket was recently discovered by a film crew in a cave in Venezuela. The cricket is believed to be the apex, or alpha, predator in its environment. At one point the cricket "nearly ripped off a chunk of its handler's thumb"
The cricket is not only unique in being predatory, but it is also unique in its ability to swim. It can actually swim underwater, using its front legs in a breaststroke and its hind legs kicking out.
The cricket was found two miles down into the cave network.
We say, leave them there!!
West Nile Virus Update
As of mid October, there have been 4,531 cases of mosquito-transmitted West Nile Virus in 48 states, and 183 deaths-the most since a 2003 outbreak.
Since the virus first arrived in North America in New York City in 1999, more than 30,000 people have been reported as sick from the virus. Many cases go unreported.
Stealth Behavior In Cockroaches
New research explores the amazing ability of cockroaches to evade predators by disappearing quickly under a ledge. A research studying the common American cockroach found that this cockroach can run full speed toward a ledge, dive off, grab the edge with its claws sometimes using only one leg-and swing like a pendulum under the ledge.
This sharp u-turn subjects the roach to 3 to 5 times the force of gravity, similar to what humans feel at the bottom of a bungee jump.
Previous research showed that when cockroaches run fast they actually rear up on their hind legs, like bipedal humans. Amazingly, they quickly reach speeds of up to 50 body lengths per second, which is equivalent to a couple hundred miles per hour.
These incredible evasive techniques, which can occur at the simple flick of a light switch or a wisp of puffed air, make cockroaches remarkably good at escaping predators as well as staying out of sight.