Newsletter

Newsletter Mar/Apr 2016

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 @ 10:10 AM

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Here Come The Pests!

Pests have been less active outdoors, but that always changes as the weather starts to warm in the spring. As pests wander about outdoors searching for food, water, shelter, mates, and places to lay eggs, many will find their way into homes. They don't care that you haven't invited them in!  For these pests, even the smallest cracks and crevices are like a big, inviting "bug doorway" for them.

     Fortunately, our professionally applied perimeter treatments help prevent pests from invading your home. These treatments are applied around the foundation of your home and in other key areas. Perimeter treatments are especially effective at stopping crawling pest from invading your home-halting many pest problems before they begin. Our perimeter treatments stop invasions of pests like ants, crickets, centipedes, and many, many others.

    Keeping pests out is important not only because they can be a major annoyance, and are embarrassing. Invading pests can also leave odors and stains, droppings and dead insect bodies, and webbing, plus contaminate human and pet food. Some can cause allergies or bite and sting. In fact every year in this country a half million people are rushed to the hospital emergency room because of stings by bees, wasp, ants, spiders, and scorpions.

     Yes, you can be sure pests will return! But our expert perimeter treatments are just one of the many tools we have in our arsenal to help our customers enjoy a more enjoyable life with fewer pests and pest-related problems.

 

Watch for Termite Swarmers!

One way homeowners discover they have termites is when they see winged reproductive termites, called swarmers. During swarming season, hundred of termites with wings will make a mass exodus out of a colony and take to the air. Usually this happens after a rain as the temperatures begin to warm and the days lengthen, but it can happen at other times as well.

     Once these termites emerge from their nest, they quickly begin flying, and any wind will spread them even further. They quickly pair up, pry off their wings, and retreat to a cozy dark place where they mate and start a new colony. Swarmers that emerge indoors are attracted to bright lights and are often found around windows and lights. Finding termites or their wings indoors is almost always a sign that the house is infested and being attacked by these wood-destroyers.

     Termites in periods of low rainfall are less likely to swarm. At those times they often do deeper into the ground, waiting for more favorable conditions. Also, only mature colonies produce swarmers. So termites may be eating your home even if you don't see swarmers or other signs of termites.  A professional inspection is the best way to determine if your home is infested with termites.

     Call us if you haven't had a recent inspection for wood-destroying pests, or if you find swarmers or other signs of termites, and will schedule an inspection.  Finding infestations early and eliminating them before they cause major damage can easily save you hundreds, and sometimes many thousands of dollars.

El Niño Affects Pests

The El Niño weather patterns we are experiencing now mean different things for different parts of the country, but much of the country will probably be either or both wetter and warmer than normal. Many people are asking what that will mean for pest populations this year.

     That is difficult to know at this point, but we can look at the 1997-1998 season, which was also a very strong El Niño year like this one. There was a glut of pests that year-much HIGHER numbers of everything, including mosquitoes,

Soy-Based Wiring Attracts Rodents

Many car companies are experiencing problems because they replaced metal or plastic parts with a bio-degradable product. Unfortunately, these are sometimes food based products that pests love to eat. The latest case is Honda, who in their quest to "go green," used a soy-based biodegradable wire coating on some of their engine wiring rather than a plastic coating. Apparently the soy-based coating is quite tasty to hungry mice, rabbits, and squirrels.  They will chew on it and cause the engine to malfunction.

     One man claims he had to take his 2012 Honda Accord in twice to have the wiring fixed because of gnawing rodents, and there are many other cases of this happening. We get many calls from our clients that have stored vehicles that have been infested with rats in their engine compartment, with severe damage.

     Soy used in vehicles has caused some funny problems in the past. In the mid 40's license plates in some states were made from compressed soy beans and fiberboard, as a way to save on using metal during the ear. But they soon found that goats and cows were attracted to the vehicles, and would chew off entire license plates!

    

 

Tags: Termites, ants, swarms

Newsletter May/June 2015

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

The Plentiful Pests of Summer

     In the summertime the pests are abundant-multiplying like crazy as the weather warms. Here are some of the many summer pests that can become problems.

     Stinging and biting insects: Bees, wasp, hornets, yellow jackets, scorpions, and certain ants and spiders pack stings that can be painful and even dangerous. Other pests suck our blood, usually without us knowing it while it is happening. These include fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, biting gnats and flies, and others. Bed bugs are nightmarish blood-suckers that have returned with a vengeance, after being free of them for decades.

     Food Contaminating Pests: Stored food moths and beetles find their way into many foods we keep for ourselves or our pets. Cockroaches, ants flies, rats and mice can be problems anywhere food is stored, cooked, or served-and often throughout our homes. Watch your pet food to make sure you aren't feeding bugs or other creatures at nght.

     Fabric Damaging Pests: Cloths moths and carpet beetles favor wool, but also damage other fabrics. Silverfish, crickets and other pests will occasionally damage fabrics as well as papers.

     Wood Destroying Pests: Termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, powderpost beetles, and decay fungi all eat wood for food, and carpenter ants chew into wood to create space for their expanding colonies. Either way, these pests cause serious damage.

     Occasional Invaders: Hundreds of different pests may invade a home occasionally, and just be a nuisance and clean-up problems, or even cause allergic reactions.

     With our professional services, you can enjoy a great, pest-free summer!

 

Termite Colonies Larger than Expected

For a long time it was thought that the average subterranean termite colony contained about 250,000 termites. It was thought that these colonies might have as many as one million individuals only in unusual situations.

     But in recent years new research has shown that some termite colonies are much larger. Dr. Grace has evidence that colonies can consist of up to 3.2 million termites. These estimates were made in Canada, where we expect termite colonies to be smaller that in warmer areas. In Florida, Dr. Su has shown that some native subterranean termite colonies there actually reach 5 million termites!

     Why is termite colony size important? Larger colonies can cause a greater amount of damage in a shorter period of time than smaller colonies, and they can be eating wood in larger area-perhaps in several homes at once. For instance, a large colony of 3.2 million termites can consume over 1.5 pounds of wood every day, and they are able to find and infest unprotected wood in an area covering 2.5 acres!

     Formosan termites, which are spreading every year, have even larger and more destructive mature colonies, ranging from 2-10 million individuals. They can tunnel an amazing 110 yards-the length of a football field! Formosan termites can cause significant damage to a home in just 6 months, and have been known to actually bring down a home in as little as two years.

     Call us to arrange an inspection or treatment for these hidden pests-finding and controlling them early can prevent a lot of damage to your home.

 

New Tick-Transmitted Disease

While Lyme disease is the most common tick-transmitted disease, with 30,000 reported cases a year, ticks continue to be in the news because of the other virus they transmit.

     A Kansas man died died last year from Bourban virus, a new virus named after bourban County where he lived. He was a healthy man who died after only 10 days in the hospital. At this point it is not known for certain how he contracted the disease, but this kind of virus is usually transmitted by a bite from a tick or other insect. The Bourban virus is similar to viruses found in other parts of the world, but nothing like it has been in this country before.

     The Powassan virus occurs from Virginia up to Maine, and east to Minnesota. This is a tick-borne encephalitis virus that is low in numbers, but has been increasing in recent years.

     The new Hartland virus infected two men in Missouri in 2009. While they fortunately recovered the US Centers for disease Control Prevention anticipates that more people will become infected. The virus is transmitted by lone star ticks.

     Finally, besides sometimes transmitting disease, bites from some lone star ticks are causing another problem-making some people allergic to red meat. Unlike most food allergies, the symptoms, including vomiting, abdominal cramps, hives, and anaphylaxis, typically come three to six hours after an infected person eats red meat. The only good news is that the allergic reaction seems to fade after a few years if people avoid additional tick bites.

 

True Amphibious Insects Discovered

There is always a new and exciting discovery in the insect world!

     In Hawaii's freshwater streams, 14 new species of amphibious caterpillars have been found. While many insects larvae live in streams and lakes, these are the first truly amphilious insects (they are equally at home in water or on land) that have ever been discovered, anywhere in the world.

     It is still not understood how the caterpillars, which grow to be small moths, can breathe under water. A clue may be that they only live in fast moving streams. The water in these streams have high oxygen levels, so somehow they may be absorbing oxygen by a process not yet understood.

Allergists: A Pest-Free Home is Important

A survey of 500 allergists showed that an overwhelming 97% think that a pest-free home is an important step in preventing asthma and allergy symptoms. The survey of medical professionals was conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

     Many common household pests, including cockroaches and rodents, can trigger allergic reactions in certain people. Using our professioanl services to prevent pest problems is asimple way to help avoid pest-related allergies.

Hybrid "Super" Termites Discovered

Scientest were shocked recently to find that two different species of very destructive termites are mating in the wild. Formosan subterranean termites are mating with Asian subterranean termites in South Florida. Currently these hybrid colonies are only in South Florida, because while formosan termites have spread to 11 states, Asain termites have invaded more recently, and so far are only in Hawaii and parts of Florida.

     The scientists have also discovered that the resulting colonies appear to be even more destructive that their parents, primarily because some of these "hybrid" colonies are growing in size twice as fast as their parent colonies.

     "Hybrid vigor" is well known, because it happens sometimes when two plant varieties combine. Hybrid means that the resulting offspring are in some ways superior to either variety. Unfortunately, that is what is happening with the termites-the colonies become larger, faster. With animals, two species normally can't produce fertile offspring. (For example, the mule, a cross between a donkey and a horse, is sterile.) It is still not known if these hybrid termite colonies will be able to reproduce.

     But even if a colony can't reproduce itself, the sheer numbers of termites in a hybrid colony can be incredibly destructive. It is expected that these hybrid colony will contain a million termites after five years or so-that's a very short time to grow so large. It is a case of "hybrid vigor" at its worst.

 

 

Tags: Termites, Ticks, summer pest,

July/August 2014 Newsletter

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Wed, Jul 02, 2014 @ 09:31 AM

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Landscaping That Attracts Termites

Many people  don't realize that their landscaping can attract termites and carpenter ants to their home. Here are some of the common problems we see:

  • Mulching with wood chips or bark next to your foundation not only provides food for termites, it also keeps the soil more evenly moist under the mulch, which attracts termites. Even gravel mulches have been shown to keep soil underneath them more moist. Leave the area mulch-free around your foundation. If you going to mulch around it, keep it as a thin layer.

  • Remove plants near your foundation.  If possible, keep vegetation 3-4 feet away from away from the exterior of your home. Especially remove thick groundcovers, plus vines that crawl up the sides of your home, and prune back branches that touch the sides or roof of your home. Never plant too close to your foundation, because large shrubs and trees eventually can have roots that expand under a foundation and crack it, leaving it open to hidden invasion by termites.

  • Eliminate dead wood in the landscape. Remoce old tree and shrub stumps and any wood debris. Keep an eye on railroad ties used in landscaping, because even though they are treated to protect them from pests, when they crack they can allow termites and carpenter ants into the inner part, which is unprotected.

  • Check for excess moisture. For instance, sprinkler systems sometimes spray water onto the side of a home-make sure this is not happening.

If you haven't had a professional inspection recently, call us today about this service. An inspection can detect an infestation early, and can spot the above conditions and many others that arract termites.

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Ants Are Increasing

Ants are highly successful insects and are becoming more serious pest each year. In fact, a number of years ago they overtook the cockroach as the most common household pest problem.

     One of the main reasons ants become the #1 pest is that certain "super ant" species (sometimes also called "tramp ants") have been spreading. Pest like Argentine ants, odorous house ants, velvety tree ants, and pavement ants are just a few of these. Most (but not all) of these aggressive ants are from other countries and have become widespread around the world.

     Super ants share a common characteristics that help explain why they are so "successful" at spreading. They are spread primarily through human activity, and they easily adapt to living around us. Plus, most ants have only one egglaying queen in the colony, but super ants have many egg-laying queens in the same colony, so colony grow much faster.

     These ants also usually have many interconnected colonies. Instead of fighting ants from nearby colonies of the same species, as most ants do, the colonies actually cooperate to some degree. When they come to a new area super ants usually drive out other ant species, especially native ants. Since the new ants have larger colonies, you end up with large number of ants, and ants that more frequently invade homes.

     Don't let your frineds and neighbors suffer with ant problems! Tell them about our expert ant services. Because of the gradual spread of super ant species, our professional ant control and prevention has become more important than ever before.


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Stink Bug Overwintering Sites

The brown marmorated stink bug has been an increasing problem in many areas because it invades homes in the fall, spending the entire winter indoors. The new stink bug really stinks when disturbed-more than most other stink bugs.

     Because so little is known about this pest, scientist reported in a recent study that they used trained dogs to sniff out where they were overwintering in a forested area. Surprisingly, they didn't find the bugs in downed trees or leaf litter-they were found mainly in dry crevices of dead, still-standing trees with thick bark, especially oak and locust trees.

     The stink bug's choice of these kinds of overwintering sites shows why they are so attracted to man-made structures-homes to them look like their preferred sites of dry, tall trees with lots of cracks and revices.

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Why Are Flies so Hard to Swat?

Lots of flies are buzzing this time of the year! We've all tried to swat a fly and missed it. Whether flies are in flight or resting on a surface, they seem to have lightning-fast speeds and reflexes.
     A recent article in the journey Science looked at flies and how the respond to perceived threats coming their way. Their reflexes are so fast (less than one hundredth of a second) that it required special high speed cameras that shoot 7,500 frames per second to capture action.

     The discovered that flies perform different escape maneuvers based on which direction (their back, front, or side) the threat is coming from while they are flying. The complex pitch and roll maneuver that the flies perform is uniform and predictable, like a jet fighte!

     When flies are resting on a surface, they also respond predictably. The first take a whild leap, stumbling up into the air, and only when airborne do they finally begine flapping their wings. This all happens so quickly, that the flies are able to throttle up to full power a 50th of the time it takes you to blink your eyes.

     Any tips we can take home with us to use when swatting a fly? The researchers noted tat if you apprioach a resting fly from it's side, it will fly straight away from you, so if you keep your hand going in the same direction, you should be able to catch up to it. Try it.

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The Largest Spider Webs

Spider in Madagascar, first discovered by scientists in 2001, builds spider webs so large that they are sometimes seen spanning a river!

     Webs from Darwins's bark spider have been discovered as wide as 82 feet-about-about as long as two city buses. It was found that the silk used to make these webs is the toughest spider silk on earth. The silk strands can resist twice as much force as any other spider silk before rupturing-over 10 times more than a similarly sized piece of Kevlar! This makes it the toughest biological material known.

     Imagine walking into a spider web that large tough!

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Chikungunya Virus is Coming

You may have never heard of the Chickungunya virus (sometimes simply called 'CHICKV' ) before, but health authorities are bracing for it to come to the U.S. So far, infections have been confirmed in several states, but they have all been from people who traveled recently to the Caribbean or Asia, where they caught the disease.

     Chicungunya is a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. We already have mosquitoes here in North America that are capable of spreading the disease, but they have not been infected yet. But if one of these mosquitoes bites a person here that has been infected in another country and it still sick, it then has the potential to spread the virus when it bites again. ( This is similar to how the West Nile virus got started in our country country more than a decade ago.)

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Good News on Cancer Risk

The Environmental Protection Agency studies and bans pesticides that cause significant health risks, but some people think that all pesticides are bad, and should be banned. One of their claims is that they cause cancer-something that has been very difficult to study.

     A massive new study in the United Kingdom was recently released that is one of the largest and longest studies ever conducted on this subject. It looked at 59,085 male plus 3,875 female commercial pesticide applicator's death rates between 1987 and 2005. The study found that this group of people, who are exposed to far more pesticides every day than the general public is, actually had lower cancer rates than the general public!

     This new information, plus the fact that our company uses less and safer pesticides than what was used in the United Kingdom during that period, makes us very happy! And it makes our spouses and mothers glad! We hope it makes you feel good as well.

     We don't mean to imply that pesticides be used by anyone in an unsafe manner, which people can do even with store-bought pesticides they use themselves. We are trained and experienced in proper pesticides use, so it helps everyone to be safer. This is good news. 

     Personally I have been around pesticides 5 days a week, 10 hours a day, for the past 37 years.  I have worked with just about every product there is over the years and have no concerns for my safety as a professional.  Our industry has made many changes in the products we use and they have an outstanding record for their safety, when used properly. We are true protector's of health, without pesticides we would not enjoy the longevity we have without the ability to control the many diseases that insects spread through responsible applications.

Tags: Termites, ants, landscape, mulch, ground cover

March/April 2014

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

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Perimeter Protection is Wise

Every day, 24/7, pests are trying to invade our homes and businesses. Not only do they find food and moisture inside, but also a more moderate climate, plus many places to nest and multiply.

     These "uninvited guests" cause damage and require us to clean more often. They also create significant health hazards by stinging, biting, spreading germs that cause diseases, and contributing to asthma problems.

     That is the reason our perimeter treatments are so valuable. They provide a "protective shield" or barrier that stops many pest before they ever enter your home. By professionally treating around the outside of your foundation, and in other key outdoor areas, we can stop many kinds of pest right there-before they ever contaminate your indoor living areas.

     Pests like ants, spiders, earwigs, crickets, centipedes, millipedes and clover mites are just a few of the many pests that are stopped by perimeter treatments. These pests typically are breeding outdoors and crawl in through cracks and crevices. Some of these invaders thrive and multiply indoors, doing all kinds of damage. Other kinds die within a few days because it's too dry, or there's no food to their liking. These dead bugs can attract scavengers that eat the carcasses and go on to destroy or contaminate other things in the building.

     Our valuable perimeter treatments are just one of the important tools we use to enable our customers to enjoy the benefits of a more pest-free life!

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Look Out for Termite Swarmers!

Sometime during the months ahead large numbers of winged termites will swarm out 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.

     Swarming 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 or weeks.

     Swarmers are fully reproductive females and males whose mission is to start new termite colonies. After flying for a very 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 increases in size, and about four years later begins to send out swarmers of it's own.

     If you see swarmers of their broken off wings indoors, call us right away. A couple of dead swarmers may have simply flown in through an open windo or door, but more is usually a warning sign of an infestation in your home. A professional inspection 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 he bugs for us in a small vial or jar. Don't fill it with water-either keep it dry, or put in rubbing or other alcohol to help preserve the pests. Also show us where you found the insects when we come.

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Bed Bugs Have Seasonal Patterns

unfortunately, bed bug problems will start spreading and become more serious in months ahead. According to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology of the bed bug problem in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bed bug infestations reach a low in February of each year, then start increasing, reaching a peak number of new infestations in August.

     It is suspected that bed bugs are migrating over short distances, such as between rooms or apartments, but sometimes even between houses. But these blood-suckers are also hitching rides on people or personal effects over longer distaces, and starting new infestations that way.

     A different study of the entire U.S. a couple of years ago had similar findings, but reported a "peak bed bug season" of July through September. There was a noticeable surge in people requesting bed bug treatments during that period. The study noted that bed bugs not only become more active and move around more during that warmer period; it also takes them less time to mature and reproduce when it is warmer.

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Spider Web Discovery

New research at Oxford shows that spider webs are not as passive as we have always thought at catching prey. The threads of spider webs are actually coated with electrically conductive glue that causes the web to pull closer to and "grab" electrically charged particles, droplets, and even insects.

    This actually boosts a web's effectiveness at catching passing insects. It may also explain how strands of spider webbing so quickly get dusty in homes-they apparently pull in dust and other air-borne particles that then get stuck on the sticky strands, resulting in ugly, dust covered strands.

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West Nile Virus Killing Bald Eagles

Bald eagles started dying in early December in Utah, and by early January of this year there were 40 confirmed deaths of the majestic birds. Although West Nile Virus (WNV) from the beginning was the suspected killer, until the virus was positively identified wildlife officials were unsure because the virus had never been reported so late in the year.

     WNV is transmitted by bites of infected mosquitoes, and birds serve as important carriers of the virus. Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus to birds when they bite them, and then more mosquitoes become infected with the virus when they bite infected birds. Some bird species are much more susceptible than others. This is the first time so many bald eagles have died from the virus.

     No new dead bald eagles were discovered after early January, so it seems that the main season when WNV was being transmitted to the eagles has ended for now.

    WNV is a serious mosquito-transmitted virus first discovered in New York City in 1999, but now has been reported throughout the continental United States. If an infected mosquito bites a person, most people exhibit no symptoms, but develop a fever and flu like symptoms, and a small percentage of people infected with WNV die every year. Most cases of WNV occur from June to September.

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Dog-Mummy Had Blood-Sucking Parasites

An Egyptian dog mummy, a young puppy possibly dating from as far back as the fourth century B.C., was recently discovered. It was found to have 61 brown dog ticks still clinging to its coat and its ear, plus a blood sucking louse fly.

     This is the first time these parasites have been found on dogs from this far back, and it is important because discoveries like this can provide clues about the spread of blood-sucking parasites and diseases around the world. The brown dog tick is now common in this country and in warmer areas around the world. The dog that was mummified may have died from canine babesiosis, a tick-transmitted disease that we have in this country.

Tags: west nile virus, Termites, bed bugs

March/April 2013 Newsletter

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Tue, Mar 05, 2013 @ 02:10 PM

Foundation

Our Perimeter Treatment Protects

As a wise old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Our professional perimeter treatments use this same concept, keeping unwanted pests from entering your home and other buildings-helping protect you, your pets, your home, and everything in it.

     By keeping outdoor pests outdoors, we can reduce health hazards from stinging and biting pests, reduce pest-caused asthma problems, and reduce the number of illness-causing germs that pest bring indoors. Fewer pests also mean fewer costly repairs of insects-caused damage are needed, and it means a cleaner home-you spend less time cleaning up pest poop, webs, and dead bugs-yuck!

     Most people don't realize this, but it is estimated that a typical yard has at least a thousand kinds of flying, crawling, jumping, slithering, and burrowing insects in it at any one time. Yikes, that is a lot of bugs! But it is believed there are more than 10 million insect species in the world, so just be glad you only have a thousand of them.

     It's no wonder that with all the hidden cracks and other openings that bugs use to enter homes, some pest will always find a way to get indoors. That's why the "protective shield" formed by a perimeter treatment makes so much sense-it stops most pests on the exterior of a home or business, before they have ever entered and become a problem.

     Perimeter treatments are just one of many important tools we use to enable our valued customers to enjoy the benefits of a more pest-free life.

Termite Swarmers

 Watch for Termite Swarmers

One way homeowners discover they have termites is when they find winged reproductive termites, called swarmers. During swarming season, hundreds or even thousands of termites with wings make a mass exodus out of the colony and take to the air. Usually this happens after a rain as the temperatures begin to warm and the days lengthen, but can happen at other times as well.

     Once these termites emerge from their nest, they begin flying, but since they are weak fliers they are mostly carried wherever the wind blows them. They quickly pair up, pry off their wings, and retreat to a cozy dark place where they mate and start a new colony. Swarmers that emerge indoors are attracted to bright lights and are often found around windows and lights. Finding termites or their wings indoors is almost always a sign that the house is infested and being eaten by termites.

     Termites in periods of low rainfall are less likely to swarm. In those cases they often go deeper into the ground, waiting for more favorable conditions. Also, only mature colonies produce swarmers. So you may not see swarmers or other signs of termites, but still have termites from one or more colonies eating away at your home. A professional inspector is the best way to determine if your home is being slowly destroyed by termites.

     Call us if you haven't had a termite inspection in the last year, or if you find swarmers or other signs of termites, so we schedule a professional inspection, and in most cases we offer FREE inspections. Finding infestations early and eliminating them before they do further damage can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars.

West Nile

West Nile Update

West Nile Virus was especially deadly last year. Thevirus, transmitted through mosquito bites, killed 243 people around the country-the highest number on record-and made countless more ill.

     The number of people infected by West Nile virus is highly influenced by weather conditions, according to new research that looked at weather conditions in New Jersey over the last nine years. The study showed that West Nile virus cases increased whenever there was drought conditions and higher temperatures during June and July.

Scorpion

New Scorpion Discovered

A new species of scorpion has been discovered in the mountains just outside of Tucson, Arizona. Amazingly, this is the ninth new species of scorpion discovered in Arizona just in the last six years.

     Only about 1 inch long, this scorpion, like many other scorpions, cariies it babies on its back. No one knows how venomous the new species is.

Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetles are on the Move

Early spring is when people often discover beetles indoors, crawling up walls, and sometimes near windows or lights. This happens because once adult beetles emerge from pupae indoors, they are attracted to windows and other light sources. While the larvae of this pest feed on wool, accumulations of pet hair along baseboards, dried pet food, bird and wasp nests, etc., the adult beetles feed on flower nectar and pollen.

     Flowers that have a lot of pollen, especially white or cream-colored flowers, such as spirea, pyracantha, and dogwood, are especially attractive to carpet beetle adults. Sometimes people unknowingly bring adults beetles into their home on cut flowers from their garden, so be sure to inspect any flowers before you bring them indoors.

Asian Needle Ant

Aggressive New Ants Have a Nasty Sting

Most of the worst ant pests in this country are non-native, aggressive species that drive out our less competitive native ants.  But new research in North Carolina shows that some of the most aggressive non-native ants, Argentine ants, are now being pushed out by new ants that are even more aggressive.

Asian needle ants arrived in this country in the 1930's or before, but they apparently have never been widespread. For still unknown reasons, populations have started to increase in recent years. It is not uncommon for a new pest to become a much bigger problem over time. While some exotic pests immediately start spreading and causing major problems when they arrive here, others remain obscure for decades. Then, possibly because of a slow shift, they suddenly start becoming more serious pest problem.

     Asian needle ants may become the next major ant pest problem. They are currently spreading to new areas, especially forests and urban areas in Southeastern and Eastern states, with isolated populations as far north as Connecticut. These ants have an especially nasty sting-a sting that is four times as likely to cause a serious anaphylaxis reaction as a honey bee sting. They tend to nest in wood piles and under stones and logs, but nest have been found in places like underneath door mats and dog bowls-all places that put them much too close to us and our pets.

     A growing concern is the impact of Asian needle ants on our environment, especially in forests. As they displace our less aggressive native ants that help disperse seeds of certain plants, it can actually change which plants are growing forests.

Tags: carpet bettles, scorpions, asian needle ants, Termites

January/February 2013 Newsletter

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Mon, Jan 07, 2013 @ 10:41 AM

rain

Storms Result in Pest Outbreaks

In late October hurricane Sandy, which became known as Superstorm Sandy,tragically caused 131 deaths in the United States and many more in other countries. It also caused an astounding 63 billion dollar damage in this country alone, making it the second costliest Atlantic hurricane, behind only Katrina.

     Whenever there is a severe storm, serious pest problems can result. Some of these increased pest problems may continue for months or even years. For instance, these hurricane caused rats and mice to disperse and look for new food sources and new places to live. In New York City alone, the subway flooding forced many thousands of rats onto the city streets. These rats would likely head to higher ground and invade apartments and other buildings inhabited by people. When rats do this, they bring many diseases into closer contact with People.

     Bed Bugs are another pest problem that increases after hurricanes and major castastrophes. Bed bugs spread rapidly when there are more people living in shelters and other close quarters, and when more people using donated furniture and clothes.

     In addition, pests like cockroaches become worse and spread as they are forced out some areas, and where sewage and garbage problems exist. Flies also breed in these conditions. Mosquito problems often multiply after storms. Fortunately the cold weather that followed Hurricane Sandy reduced the problem of an outbreak. Finally, there will be a resurgence of many other kinds of pests, including termites and ants, in the years ahead.     

     These type if issues don't need a storm the size of Sandy here in California to create some of the same pest issues. Making sure you continue your pest control program year round will help insure you don't have to share your home with pest during the winter.

Termite Swarm

Termite Swarmers Are Coming!

Millions of winged termites will burst out holes in the ground and in wood, and take to the air during the months ahead. The sole mission of these "swarmers" is to mate and establish more colonies.

     Winged termites typically fly for only a few minutes, and they are weak fliers. Most will end up within a block or two of where they emerged, although a breeze can scatter them much further.

     The termites soon break off their wings and begin looking for a suitable place to start a new colony. Although the vast majority of swarming termites are eaten by birds, lizards, spiders and ants, there are plenty that survive.

     Those that make it through these dangers and find a nesting site become reproductive queens and kings of destructive new termite colonies.

     The queen lays eggs slowly at first, but as the colony grows and her abdomen expands, her egg laying capacity greatly increases.  She continues laying eggs for the rest of her life. Just three to five years after the new colony was started, it will begin sending out its own swarmers that will start even more new termite colonies.

     Homeowners sometimes see the swarmers, or they may just see the discarded wings. If there are good numbers of them indoors, it is a sign that you have an established termite colony attacking the wood in your home.

     Whether you see these inside or outside, don't ignore them-call us right away and arrange for a professional inspection. Early detection and control can prevent expensive damage to your home.

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Jumping Cockroach!

A new cockroach has been discovered in South Africa that has the ability to jump like a grasshopper. This is the only jumping cockroach known to exist. It has enlarged hind legs and an elastic protein in one of its leg joints that can catapult the roach up to 13.8 inches, or an amazing 48 times its body length.

     While some cockroaches in this country can fly, lets hoppe we don't get jumping cockroaches as well!

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Deadly Virus Lurks in Sleeping Snakes

The deadly brain-swelling disease known as Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) infects horses, many other animals, and people. Although EEE is rare in humans, about 35% of those infected die, and half of those who survive infections have permanent neurological disorders. Mosquitoes pick up the virus from infected birds in the summer, and then pass on the virus when they bite. But how does the virus survive the winter months in states where there are no mosquito populations and no host birds available?

     Surprising new research shows the virus actually overwinters in hibernating snakes. Because a snake's metabolism and immune system slows during winter hibernation, the virus lingers on in snakes throughout their hibernation. Mosquitoes apparently pick up the virus when they suck blood from snakes as the snakes first come out of winter hibernation and bask in the sun. The virus multiplies in birds, and mosquitoes biting birds during warm season pass the virus onto other animals, as well as people.

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World's Leggiest Creature No Longer "Extinct"

The animal with the most legs is a millipede species, Illacme plenipes. This millipede was first discovered in 1928 but later was believed extinct. Recently it was re-discovered alive and well in central Californai.

     Females have up to an amazing 750 legs and are just over an inch long. Males have a maximum of 562 legs and are a little shorter. The word "millipede" is actually a misnomer because it means "thousand-legged" creature. Most millipede species have "only" between 80 and 100 legs each.

Tags: Termites, cockroaches, deadly virus, storms, Swarming termites