Posted on May 17, 2013 with No Comments
More bed bugs are affecting another college. This time Penn State University is battling bed bugs.
Several people in a group of 40 chaperones and students visiting Penn State’s main campus say they came home with bedbug bites. The school says bed bugs were reported in the Curtin Hall dormitory. Three rooms were treated, and all of the residence hall’s rooms are being checked. A university spokeswoman says a pest control service used a heat treatment to get rid of the bugs. Penn State says three students reported bites.
The Pittsburgh high school students staying in the dorm for the Junior Academy of Science State Meet science competition over the weekend say they came home with bedbug bites.
Parents say the students were sent home with their luggage and clothes wrapped in garbage bags and information on how to prevent the bugs from spreading to their homes.
Posted on May 14, 2013 with No Comments
May is Asthma Awareness Month and last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published important information about asthma in America. According to the EPA, “The economic costs of asthma amounts to more than $56 billion per year from direct medical costs and indirect costs, such as missed school and work days.”
An important part of of J.P. McHale Pest Managements mission is spreading awareness through Envirocare Air Quality Restorations mission during Asthma Awareness Month to help raise awareness that asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening chronic disease that can be controlled.
Identify asthma triggers in your home. Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. Indoor allergens, along with pest and rodent droppings in New York homes play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode or attack or make asthma worse. If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers. Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers.
Some of the most commons asthma triggers include:
Don’t wait to take action to protect your family. Contact J.P. McHale Pest Management or Envirocare Air Quality Restoration in New York at 914-788-4454 for healthy solutions for home and work. With our guidance and services their is no other company better suited to protect your indoor living environment. Our aim is to make every month Asthma Awareness Month.
Posted on May 13, 2013 with No Comments
The tiny, bloodsucking arthropods have burrowed so deeply and so broadly into the cracks, crevices and cushions of Greater Cincinnati’s households, they’ve literally given the city an itch it can’t scratch enough to make it go away.
But there’s hope. Regina Baucom, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Cincinnati, has researched the DNA of local bed bug populations, and she’s found something that could lead to a better way to control the notoriously tough insects.
Baucom’s research paper was published in PLOS ONE. Additional contributors to Baucom’s research were Sara Matthews, a technician in the Baucom lab, and Rita Rio, an assistant professor of biology at West Virginia University. First author of the study is Matt Meriweather, a senior biological sciences major in UC’s McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.
Story Source: The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Cincinnati. The original article was written by Tom Robinette.
“This research makes use of pyrosequencing to give us a relatively unbiased view of what bacteria are in or on the bed bugs around the city, and is an ecological genomics question applied to the bed bug problem in Cincinnati,” Baucom says.
A Long-Suffering City’s Scientific Salvation?
For the past few years Cincinnati has been at or near the top of lists of most bed bug-infested cities in the nation as ranked by pest control companies such as Terminix and Orkin. In 2008, bed bugs were becoming such a nuisance in Cincinnati that the health department developed the Bed Bug Strategic Plan, one of the first of its kind in the nation. Cincinnati isn’t alone in its bed bug misery. Many factors — including the creature’s resistance to insecticides — have contributed to a surge in bed bug activity across the U.S. during the past decade.
The bed bug’s ability to survive common pest control applications is part of what originally attracted Baucom to this research. She’s interested in studying alternative defense strategies of biological organisms and has done USDA-supported research on the common morning glory’s resistance to herbicides.
For her work on bed bugs, Baucom and her team performed genetic analysis on 31 individual bed bugs from eight distinct collections obtained from different residences in Cincinnati. This gave Baucom a clearer picture of which microbes were associated with the bed bugs and the locations where these microbes were concentrated. The central idea: The better the understanding of a bed bug population’s microbial makeup and whereabouts, the better the chances of finding improved ways of controlling that population.
“Our research could be a useful starting point for someone interested in various aspects of biocontrol, potentially similar to the mosquito story,” Baucom says.
Bacteria a Possible Weakness to Exploit
She found that 97 percent of the microbial community is made up of two dominant bacterial types. One of these bacteria, Wolbachia, is a nutritional mutualist, in this case assisting the bed bug with growth and reproduction. There is less known about the other bacterium, an unnamed gamma-proteobacteria, but it also might serve a beneficial function for its host. The abundance and consistency of these bacteria and the seemingly important role they play in bed bug health make them a prime target for biological pest control methods.
“Finding out how the microbial community varies across different areas gives you an idea of what’s out there naturally and thus what to expect,” Baucom says. “Studies of the core microbiome, or the microbial community that might be necessary for the happy functioning of an organism, are really taking off in relation to human health initiatives and can provide basic information critical to the next step: What happens to the organism when there are deviations from the core microbiome?”
When it comes to happily functioning, if bed bugs are, humans aren’t. The little creepers are like vampires — they feed on human blood, prefer the cover of darkness and are hard to kill. Their bites have been known to cause itchy rashes, anaphylaxis and other reactions. Existing research is unclear as to whether bed bugs directly transmit harmful pathogens to humans the way mosquitoes or ticks do, but nearly 50 human pathogens have been identified within or on bed bugs or their waste. Baucom’s study alone uncovered five genera to which known or assumed human pathogen species belong.
Considering such serious public health implications, Baucom advocates further examination of the parasite’s core microbiome. Funding for her research was provided by UC and the Department of Biological Sciences. But without that direct link from bed bug to human, additional research funding can be as difficult to find as bed bugs are to exterminate.
“Because there are few links showing transmission of disease from bed bugs to humans, funding for basic research on bed bugs has been scarce,” Baucom says. “This is unfortunate, because they certainly can cause psychological harm to people and allergic reactions.”
Discovery of direct pathogen transmission could one day bring additional support for research and eventually a better weapon to battle the little beasts.
Posted on May 10, 2013 with No Comments
Billions of the 17-year-cicadas are due to come out over the next few weeks, across a swath of the East Coast ranging from North Carolina to Connecticut, NBC News reports.
Billions of the 17-year-cicadas are due to come out over the next few weeks, across a swath of the East Coast ranging from North Carolina to Connecticut, NBC News reports. People are getting all twitchy about the bugs that are coming out in New York and New Jersey after a 17-year buildup, but when it comes to cicadas, Billy Tesh is seeing the real deal in North Carolina.
“I was so excited,” Tesh told NBC News from Greensboro, where he runs a company called Pest Management Systems. “I’ve never seen so many in one location in my life. They were on almost every blade of grass. Other species of cicadas break out from the ground every year, but scientists suspect that the 17-year cicadas (and their 13-year kin) adopted a longer life cycle as an evolutionary ploy to overwhelm their predators with sheer numbers and surprise. When the time comes, masses of insects burrow out of their underground homes, shake off the shells of their childhood, unfurl their wings and look around for mates.
This spring’s group is known as Brood II — which comes between last year’s Brood I in Appalachia and next year’s Brood III in the Midwest.
Posted on May 7, 2013 with No Comments
Bedbug bites: Most people who are bitten by bedbugs have welts that look similar to those shown below.
Bedbugs are tiny insects that feed on human blood. They hide in dark places close to where humans sleep and usually crawl out to feed while people are fast asleep.
Bedbugs can be a problem in the cleanest of homes. These insects need only human blood to survive, so having an immaculate home will not keep them away. And it’s easy to bring bedbugs home. They can crawl into luggage, clothing, and even furniture, unnoticed.
Once inside your home, bed bugs will find a hiding place. Favorite hiding places include a mattress, box spring, headboard, couch, and tiny cracks and crevices.
Having bedbugs can cause a great deal of anxiety and some restless nights. Most people want to get rid of bedbugs as soon as possible, so they buy bug sprays and foggers. These will not get rid of bedbugs.
Leaving your home for a few weeks will not get rid of bedbugs. Although these insects need human blood to survive, they can live for a year or longer without blood. During this time, they remain in hiding.
Getting rid of bed bugs can be difficult for the inexperienced and they are not a do-it-yourself pest control job. Most people need the help of a pest-control company. Make sure the company has experience eliminating bedbugs. Several treatments may be necessary to get rid of bed bugs completely or a good idea is to choose a pest control company that offers bed bug thermal heat treatment. You also will need to follow the guidelines that your pest-management professional recommends.
If you have many bites or a bite looks infected, you may want to consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist can typically treat an infection and help relieve the itch caused by bed bugs.
Posted on May 2, 2013 with No Comments
A big brood of cicadas is forecast to emerge from the ground this spring along the East Coast, all the way from the Carolinas to New York State.
They’re baaaa-aaack! A big “brood” of 17-year cicadas — which has been biding its time underground since the first Clinton administration — is forecast to emerge from the ground this spring along the East Coast, and will pop up as far north as New York City.
“Spectacular” and “amazing” are two of the words used by University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp to describe the East’s biggest influx of the annoying but mostly harmless bugs since a separate brood emerged in 2004.
This year’s “emergence” should be quite extensive, as the critters will likely come out all the way from the Carolinas to the Hudson Valley of New York, says John Cooley, a research scientist from the University of Connecticut.
“All the East Coast cities are in the path of the cicadas,” says Cooley, who runs the magicicada.org website, and requests reports from people who see cicadas this spring.
The emergence could include parts or all of the New York metropolitan area, whose nearly 20 million inhabitants might have to contend with swarms of cicadas, which can number as many as 1 billion bugs per square mile. Historically, this brood has been seen in the Bronx, Cooley says, and the bugs could also come out in Central Park.
“The greater New York metro area is going to rock with cicadas,” according to Raupp.
They should emerge in the South in late April or May and in the cooler states in the North by the latter half of May and into early June, he adds. Unfortunately, this is just in time for prime wedding season.
“The timing depends on the weather,” says Dan Mozgai, a cicada enthusiast from Metuchen, N.J.. “They typically emerge when the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees.” Mozgai is the founder of the website cicadamania.com.
There are at least 15 cycles, or “broods,” of periodical cicadas, some of which emerge every 17 years, while others emerge every 13 years. Different broods of cicadas emerge in different parts of the eastern half of the USA in different years. Other species of cicadas show up every summer. The bugs have only been seen as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and have not been spotted in the Far West.
Watch this video too see what the cicadas sound like.
This year’s group is known as “Brood II.” The previous big cicada emergence in the East was 2004′s “Brood X.” (Like Super Bowls, entomologists like using Roman numerals to label the different broods.) Brood X will emerge again in 2021.
Cicadas are harmless bugs, though males can make a loud buzz when they’re alarmed, and they’re big enough to startle humans in return. The largest can have three-inch wingspans. Young, small trees can also be damaged when females deposit their eggs inside branches, so they can be a problem for fruit orchards, Cooley says.
An adult cicada usually lives for about two to four weeks, Mozgai says. This is a long time to wait after spending 17 years underground: They admittedly have “a pretty dismal life,” Cooley says. The bugs only come above ground to breed for the next batch of cicadas.
According to the Penn State University Entomology Department, cicadas stay alive underground by drawing fluid from the roots of plants during those 17 (or 13) years.
And they do serve a purpose: Cicadas aid their host trees by aerating the soil when they emerge, as well as by trimming weaker branches when they lay their eggs, Morzgai notes on his website. “They also form a vital link in the food chain between trees and literally hundreds of carnivores and omnivores.”
The uniqueness of cicadas has given them a special appeal and cultural status, Cooley writes on the magicicada.org website. “Members of the Onondaga Nation near Syracuse maintain the oral tradition of being rescued from famine by periodical cicadas,” he adds. “Early European colonists viewed periodical cicadas with a mixture of religious apprehension and loathing.”
And who or what eats them? “Anything with a mouth,” says Cooley, including deer, squirrels, house pets, birds, and yes, people:
“Whether they’re curious or doing it for the shock value, people are eating cicadas,” Mozgai writes. “Asian peoples have eaten cicadas for centuries, and there are records of Native Americans eating cicadas. I’ve heard they taste like asparagus, popcorn, minty shrimp, and piney shrimp.”
If you’re not into eating cicadas, you can always listen to them: In order to attract females, male cicadas emit a deafening chorus, which can reach 90 decibels — as loud as a lawnmower.
All this to ensure that this brood’s children will be around to bug us again ….in 2030.
Posted on May 1, 2013 with No Comments
A New York bed bug dog confirmed bed bugs in the New Rochelle Library, prompting Library officials to treat the alerted areas.
New 12 in the Hudson Valley reports that The New Rochelle Library has been reopened and given the all clear today after bed bugs were found inside the building.
Pest management experts were immediately called to the library after a single bed bug was found, according to a library official. A bed bug dog then found more bed bug activity in areas off limit to customers. The library says the furniture was destroyed, and the areas were treated.
Posted on April 29, 2013 with No Comments
As the summer months approach, pests are in general more active. Ticks are one pest to be concerned about because as children and adults spend more time outdoors, the contraction of Lyme’s disease increases. Deer and brown ticks are among the most common ticks found. Ticks are mostly found near low brush, and the tree line of lawns. “If a homeowner suspects a tick infestation on their property, they should immediately contact a pest professional.” Said Cindy Mannes of Fairfax, Virgina. Just this weekend, an employee of ours was watching her son play baseball at a ball field in Verplank New York and had some unwanted visitors sitting with her. Ticks, yes ticks were in the grassy area along side her. Here’s 2 pictures of the culprits.
If you see ticks on your property or feel that you are susceptible to having a tick infested area on your property and wish to eliminate the problem please contact our office.
Have a safe and happy summer!
Posted on April 29, 2013 with No Comments
From the New Rochelle Public Library:
The New Rochelle Public Library will be closed on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 to allow for pest management treatment of the main library’s interior. Pest management experts have identified three specific areas in the library with some bedbug activity. Although this activity has not adversely impacted patrons or staff, the library administration is taking every precaution to ensure that the
problem does not spread.
Pest management experts were immediately called in after one insect was found. On April 28th a trained dog investigated all areas in the entire building, indicating the bedbug evidence in one desk, and in a piece of furniture and in a drawer in areas off-limits to patrons. All three items have been destroyed and discarded.
A professional firm will be treating the areas on April 30th. “Although the pest management firm has assured us that, given the size of the building, the areas affected and the amount of activity is small, we are taking all possible measure to protect our patrons and staff,” said library Director Tom Geoffino.
“To ensure everyone’s safety following the treatment, we have elected to close the library for the day,” he said.
The library will resume normal operating hours on Wednesday, May 1st. The Huguenot Children’s Library will remain open on Tuesday, April 30th.
The pest management firm’s trained dog will continue making inspections on a regular basis. The next visit will occur in a few weeks, with quarterly visits following.
Posted on April 23, 2013 with No Comments
Pest control professionals nationwide, make a pledge to join the hundreds of other PCO’s and go paperless!
A Plea For Paperless Pest Control
A single pest control technician can use upwards of 10,000 pieces of paper each year. With the average tree only producing 16.7 reams of paper, each pest control technician is responsible for using 1.2 trees a year just to do their job. With the number of pest professionals worldwide, that equates to some 178 million trees that are no longer part of our ecosystem.
Of U.S. manufacturing, paper production is the second largest user of energy and water; and third largest contributor to pollution. As a country, and as pest control professionals, we can help to change this.
Pest control professionals nationwide, let’s make a pledge to join the hundreds of other PCO’s by going paperless!
Paperless Pest Control
As a way to go green, save on costs, promote professionalism, and increase efficiencies; many pest control companies are trying to go paperless. Some have made the jump. Others are reluctant, or simply cannot because of roadblocks set by state legislature.
One major barrier to paperless pest control is that certain states mandate PCO’s keep hard copies of records and reports. Other states say you must simply be able to provide these records if and when they are needed. What will it take to update outdated state laws nationwide, so that all pest control companies can go paperless?
With the progression of technology, and efforts on Capitol Hill, a paperless scenario is looking more and more like a reality.
Paperless Reporting: NPMA Legislative Day 2013
With the advances of technology today, many pest control companies have gone, or are trying to go paperless. Unfortunately, PCOs have run into a major hurdle. Some states require pest control operators keep hard copies of pesticide records, use reports, and consumer info sheets—Even if a company has invested a large amount of money to go paperless.
Pest management operators lobbied Congress last month at NMPA’s Legislative Day. Their plea for was for federal lawmakers to allow, not mandate, nationwide paperless pest control. Pest control operators hope this new legislation will give PCO’s the ability to keep records and reports digitally. Since each state’s laws are different regarding these records and reports, the issue needs to be dealt with on the Federal level.
Pest management professionals argue that many of these state mandates were written in the 1970s and 1980s before people could imagine today’s technology.
Keeping Treatment Records: Government Roadblocks
All states in the US require pest control companies to keep treatment records. These records typically include: properties treated, pests treated on the property, applicator’s license number and the pesticide(s) used. Depending on the state and the pest treated, treatment records must be kept for at least 2-5 years.
Many states are quickly coming around and accepting electronic submissions for these reports and a few progressive states are pushing forward for the complete digitization of invoicing and work orders. Most states, even if they allow a large portion of your records to be digital will still want a paper copy left at the customers location.
Some state’s laws simply say that a company must provide treatment records. This means a pest control company can store these records electronically, and then print them off when needed. Other states require pest control companies to keep hard or paper copies of treatment records.
As a PCO, work with your state and see if we can push these boundaries. Laws most likely state that a pest control company must provide a treatment record. Don’t just assume that you need to keep hard copies. Ask if you can keep digital copies, and print of these records when needed.
If not, pressure your state government to update these laws to better match today’s technology.
Paperless office (Photo credit: Dimi15)
A Few Benefits Of Going Paperless
The benefits of going paperless are almost too many to count. Here are a few highlights:
Increase Efficiencies—Going paperless not only saves a lot of time, but can also improve efficiencies. Time savings come from reducing the redundancy of work, meaning only doing something once. At first, a few minutes a day may seem trivial, but look at the actual data. In a pest control office with 5,000 active quarterly customers, nearly 8000 minutes can be saved each day across the company. Over the course of a year, that’s almost 50,000 hours!
Save On Costs—Studies show, reducing paper by 60 percent results in an average savings per employee of $360. You also eliminate the costs of storing treatment records. The time savings and improved efficiencies alone can save a pest control company hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, depending on your techs hourly wage.
Organization—Paperless efforts help to reduce office clutter in your office. It’s a lot easier to find a record with the click of a mouse, versus digging through boxes or filing cabinets of paper.
Promotes Professionalism—The appearance of using up-to-date technologies, like those needed for paperless pest control, gives customers the perception that your up-to-date on all of the latest pesticides and pest control techniques. It’s good business!
Helps Save Planet—Reducing the use of paper by 60 percent eliminates 200 pounds of greenhouse gas annually. Like I mentioned before, one tech going paperless can save one tree a year.
Make Paperless Pest Control A Reality
Go Green (Photo credit: kenneoh)
Most pest control businesses have already deployed the majority of the infrastructure required to enable convenient electronic access, and a small investment will provide wireless and remote access.
The first step is to provide convenient electronic access to pest control documents, from anywhere at any time. Additionally, the use of paper needs to be made inconvenient. It is critical to do both. If paper use is made inconvenient without offering a great alternative, there will be loud complaints by employees and technicians within the company.
After all these years, and with the increase in technological advances, paperless pest control is almost within reach. Let’s continue to work together and make it happen!
Spread the word for paperless pest control!
For more from this author visit at Green Pest Control