Newsletter July/Aug 2015

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 03:05 PM

Ants Are Invading

Ant problems both indoors and outdoors are common this time of year, and these problems will continue well into fall. Not only are ant colonies huge this time of the year (ant colonies may double in size by late summer), but there are more ant colonies now than there were in the spring.

     The natural outdoor food supply for ants also starts to decrease in late summer and fall. The combination of more and bigger ant colonies and less food cause more ants to invade homes, looking for food. Another factor that drives ants indoors is the weather-some kinds of ants are looking for a better place to move their colony. Indoor is much more protected from weather extremes. You can imagine the problems they cause when and entire ant colony moves indoors.

      If you or someone you know has ants, give us a call and we will make your ant problem a thing of the past! If you already have our regular treatments, you probably have not had ant problems for a long time. Still, because ants are constantly reinvading from surrounding properties, here are a few wise things even our regular customers should do to help reduce the possibility of ant invasion:

  • Keep food spills and crumbs cleaned up, and make sure all indoor and outdoor garbage cans have tight-fitting lids.

  • Trim tree and shrub branches so they do not touch buildings and act as a bridge for ants.

  • Eliminate sources of water, such as leaky faucets and roof leaks, because water is important to ants.

Prevent Termites Now

Each year, termites and other wood-destroying pest cause many billions of dollars worth of damage in the United States! So it is well worth your time to take steps to prevent damage from these costly pests and protect your investment in your home:

Reduce excess moisture.

Termites, like carpenter ants, are much more likely to attack moist wood than sound, dry wood. Repair leaking pipes and roof leaks, and make sure rain gutters are draining properly. Slope soil so water flows away from your foundation. You may need to install cement aprons at the bottom of your downspout to help water flow out. You may even need a sump pump. Do not allow shrubs or vines to partially block air vents.

Eliminate wood touching

or very near soil. Termites are much more likely to find and attack such wood, and their entry into it is usually hidden from view. Wood siding, untreated posts under foundations and porches, fence posts, flower boxes, etc., should never come close to or touch the ground.

Have an inspection

for wood-destroying organisms. Call us today for an inspection if you have not had one recently or are not under a termite service agreement with us-this is the single most important step you can take to prevent termite damage, save money, and give you peace of mind.


Formosan Termite Swarming

The formosan subterranean termite is especially damaging to wood, and it is spreading in the United States. One of the ways these termites get started in an area is from boats and ships that pick up these hitchhikers when they are in infested areas, or take on infested cargo, and then dock on our shores. When winged reproductive termites swarm from the boats, they take to the air and land nearby shore areas, where they start new colonies. Winged termites eventually swarm from these colonies, spreading the infestation further every year.

     It has not been known exactly how far these winged Formosan termites spread. One new study in New Orleans found that the majority of then landed within 273 yards of their parent colony. But one winged termites was caught a whopping 1422 yards away, or almost a mile. It was not windy during the study, but on windy days they would probably land even further away.


'Spider Rain' Reported

In an event that received world-wide coverage a few months ago, the sky was filled with millions of spiders and their silky threads in New South Wales, Australia. The spiders floated around and then down, landing in everything, even in people's hair and beards. The occasional phenomenon is called a 'spider rain' because of the huge numbers of spiders involved, and although the spiders are typically not poisonous, it can cause a real panic.

     Young spiders often float up into the sky on silken threads, a dispersal method called ballooning. Ballooning happens all around us from spring through fall, but it seldom gets noticed.

     It is thought that conditions have to be just right for a spider rain: large numbers of spiders need to hatch and be ready to balloon, but weather conditions somehow hold them back. Then the weather changes, it is perfect ballooning weather, and lots of spiders become airborne the weather shifts again, sending the spiders back to earth in a short time. It is still not well understood how shifts in weather contributed to a spider rain.


How Long Do Bedbugs Live?

Although bedbugs are problems year-round, the warmer months from July to September are peak bedbug months, when these pests are multiplying faster and are more active and noticeable. Under ideal laboratory conditions bedbugs live an average of 6-12 months, although in the real world their average lifespan is probably shorter.

     However, we have heard some people say they are going to "wait out" a bedbug infestation, hoping it will die out on its own if they simply take an extended vacation. This doesn't work. While young bedbugs will die after a few weeks without a blood meal, adult and larger nymph bedbugs somehow seem to survive without a blood meal for a very long time. They have been shown to survive very well for over a year without feeding. Amazing!

     So please be wary of used furniture, especially beds, bedside tables, couches, etc. that may have bedbugs hidden in them. Bedbug infestations don't go away-they need to be professionally treated to eliminate the pest. We do not offer conventional treatment, but highly recommend fumigation.


Why Lyme Disease is Difficult to Treat

New research shows that the bacterium that causes Lyme disease forms dormant persister cells. These cells are known to evade antibiotics, and may explain why Lyme disease is so difficult to treat in some patients. If caught early, patients treated with antibiotics usually recover quickly. But about 10 to 20 percent of patients, mostly those who have been diagnosed and treated with antibiotics after the disease is well established, continue to have persistent and recurring symptoms after treatment.

     Lyme disease affects 300,00 people annually in the United States, according to the Center of Disease Control.