Newsletter Sept/Oct 2015

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 @ 12:51 PM

Uninvited Guest Eating Your Home?


Our busy life styles have unfortunately reduced the number of quests many of us invite into our homes for a meal. But termites, both unin-vited and unwanted, continue to enter homes as much more than ever. They become permanent residents, feasting on the wood that holds our homes together. Don't let this happen to you!

     Regular inspections help protect your investment by identifying conditions that encourage termites, and catching infestations early, sometimes before they have done any damage. The wood in our homes can last for centuries, but wood-destroying pests can ruin all that.

     Termites, wood-boring beetles, carpenter ants, and wood decay all attack wooden structures. Besides looking for these pests and signs of them, we also find conditions that increase the likelihood of an attack. For subterranean termites, conditions that encourage them include poor drainage, water leaks, cracked foundations, wood that touches the soil, tree stumps and roots too close to a foundation, dirt-filled steps, soil above siding, and many other seemingly insignificant situations that can end up causing expensive problems.

     If termites or other wood-destroyers are present, don't panic. Fortunately the termites from Saturday morning cartoons don't exist-most termites eat homes slowly, one ounce of wood at a time, so you have time to call us and get the job done right by professionals. Proper evaluation of the problem and professionals. Proper evaluation of the problem and professional treatment techiques are essential in stopping these expensive "house guest" from feasting on your home.

On-Going Service Protects Best

Why is regular, on-going professional pest management service so important? Some pests multiply more slowly this time of the year, but others take their place and are even more active now. On-going service provides the best protection against the constantly changing invaders, and is your best value.

     Rats and mice will be especially troublesome during the months ahead. Each year over 23 million households in the U.S. fight winter rodent infestations. These pests have been outdoors multiplying and eating during the warmer months, and now are looking for a warmer, drier shelter. Homes and garages provide needed shelter, and food and moisture as well.

     Mice and rats don't just eat and contaminate your food, they can transmit diseases, are a source of allergens, and can chew through wiring and insulation, which causes further damage and occasional fires.

     Many other pests continue to multiply and cause damage indoors, including ants, cockroaches, fabric pests, stored product pests, fleas, spiders, and others. You may even inadvertently carry home some of these pests in shopping bags and boxes.

     On-going service can catch all these problems early, preventing expensive pest damage and making your home safer and more comfortable. Another great benefit of having fewer pests, their damage and droppings-it makes cleaning and maintaining a home easier! We all can use that during the busy holiday season ahead.

Pest Prevention Tip of the Month

Don't inadvertently bring pests indoors! Check furniture, food, grocery bags, boxes rolled up newspapers, luggage, and other items you carry in. Also check potted plants you bring in. There may be ant colonies in the soil, pests underneath the pot, and pests on leaves.

New Honey Bee Findings


We all want to do whatever we can to protect our pollinators-especially honey bees. Honey bees have been hit with a number of problems over the last decade, and entire task forces of scientists have been trying to figure out what has been killing them. This has been difficult to determine, partly because there are a number of fairly new, or spreading, pests of honey bees. The worst pest in honey bee hives is the tiny Varroa mite, but honey bees have been hit with other mites and a variety of fungal and other diseases that kill them as well.

     On top of all that, it was thought that certain pesticides might be affecting honey bee colonies, but researchers have found that these pesticides by themselves are probably not as important to colony decline as once thought. It has also been discovered that even solar storms (sunspots) on the sun affect bees because it changes the earth's magnetic fields. When these fields change, bees have trouble finding their way back to their hives because honey bees (and other insects and animals) use earth's magnetic fields to navigate with.    

     Here's one bit of good news about the Varroa mites that arer deadly to honey bees. Wild honey bee colonies have been discovered near Ithaca, New York, that are resistant to the mite. The mite also doesn't affect Africanized honey bees. It's possible that eventually we can breed honey bees that aren't affected by this spreading pest.

Cockroach Allergens May Increase Glaucoma Risk


Exposure to cockroach and cats may increase the risk for glaucoma, new research shows.

     People with glaucoma had significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin E, a typeof allegic antibody, compared to people without glaucoma. The tests showed that it is specifically cockroach and cat allergens that increased the probability of glaucoma-there was no increase of risk with dog allergens. These findings raise the possibility that the immune system plays a role in glaucoma. The study was published in the American Journal of Ohthalmology.

Head Lice News


With children going back to school, outbreaks of head lice in schools are more likely. The best control of this pest is using an over-the-counter head louse shampoo or lotion, plus combing the hair with a louse comb-a fine-toothed comb that hair passes through, but not lice eggs (nits) and lice.

     Unfortunately, research just released in August has confirmed what scientists (and parents) have been finding recently-that many lice populations are resistant to the common insecticide in louse lotions and shampoos-pyrethrins and permethrin. Although you can start with these products and they may still work (especially when combining the treatment with using a louse comb), they have been used so much that they are not as effective as they once were. Always follow lable directions exactly.

     Fortunately, more effective products (ivermectin, spinosad, and benzylalcohol) are available, but only through a doctor's prescription.

     Remember, head-to-head contact with an infested person is the most common way to get head lice. But a person can also become infested by sharing combs, coats, etc. that have been used by an infested person within the last couple days, and by lying on a bed or pillow that has recently been used by an infested person.