Posted on August 25, 2008 with No Comments
Category: Crawling Insects
Posted on August 18, 2008 with No Comments
James P. McHale Jr., President of JP McHale Pest Management Incorporated (http://www.nopests.com), investigates the top ten reasons why termites invade homes:
I am often contacted by frustrated homeowners who do not understand why their home, not a neighbor, was attacked by Eastern Subterranean Termites. Following these simple physical and cultural practices will minimize your risk of exposure:
1. MIND THE FRONT STEPS : Over the years your front stoop may sag or crack. Precipitation pools against the home and along the foundation. In some instances builders used scrap wood as fill for a void under the step. This practice, synergized by moisture pooling against the foundation, will encourage foraging activity.
2. PRUNE TREE LIMBS : Trimming back tree limbs that block sunlight from expeditiously evaporating precipitation will attract worker termites towards your living area. Ensure your home dries out quickly to suppress foraging activity.
3. MULCH iling mulch around your foundation is a dangerous practice. Some folks let it accumulate to the point where the foundation is no longer exposed and mulch reaches the siding. This provides a direct avenue of entry for termites. Mulch holds moisture and facilitates the breeding of fungus. Termites love this and will gravitate to an area that harbors such an environment. I suggest decorative stone be employed. It drains expeditiously and that reduces fungal buildup.
4. GRIND THE STUMPS : People spend thousands of dollars to have dead, fallen and infested trees removed. Tree companies charge extra to “grind the stump”. Stumps collect precipitation, promote fungal growth and often have roots extending towards your foundation. This is the “perfect storm” for termite activity. Grinding the stump will allow the root system to die quickly, expose any termites to predatory birds and enable easier drying after precipitation.
5. CLEAN THE GUTTERS : Backed up gutters will cause water to pool in your wall voids. Wet insulation and wood is a common cause for “satellite colony” termite issues. Termite control products base their strategy on the fact foraging termites return to the soil every twenty-four hours. If you have above ground moisture in the home any sort of mitigation will be compromised.
6. DIVERT THE DRAINS : Precipitation pooling along the foundation will attract foraging termites. Ensure all gutter drains divert water away from the building .
7. ELIMINATE WOOD TO EARTH CONTACT : Wood to earth contact will provide a direct conduit to termite nesting sites. Forms or garage door frames that extend into the soil will eventually be attacked by foraging termites. That is their job and they do it very well. Be sure that your contractor removes all wooden concrete forms in a new build or addition. Use pressure treated wood for garage door frames or any wood that requires soil contact.
8. STORE FIREWOOD OFF THE GROUND: Never pile fire wood directly on the soil against your home’s foundation. Most home and garden centers offer some sort of rack to provide a gap between the soil and wood. Cover the wood to prevent other pest related activity from taking up harborage.
9. CLEAN OUT THE CRAWL SPACE AREA : Many crawl areas are on dirt floors covered in wood debris and are ventilated, allowing warm air in the summer to enter the cool environment, where condensation will occur. Besides being a health hazard, these conditions are ideal for termite activity. A moisture barrier should be installed, sealing off the outside unconditioned air and the moisture should be removed with dehumidification. Eliminating any wood to earth contact in the crawl space will reduce your exposure. A sump pump should be installed in any basement area where water enters. Insulation should be neat and dry at all times.
10. ANNUAL INSPECTION : Having a trained professional examine your home on an annual basis will reveal any conditions that leave your home open to invasion. Most companies will perform this free of charge and many will assist you in identifying potential avenues of entry. If your home is on the market there are conditions and factors that could require you to mitigate termites even though it is unclear there is an active problem. Contact a pest control professional to learn the details of what pre-purchase protocols apply and your potential exposure.
For more information regarding termite biology and their activity please contact our offices at 1-800-479-2284. Our informative website can be found at http://www.nopests.com.
Posted on August 15, 2008 with No Comments
Engineering Students from a college in Ohio have thought of an idea to make a lawn mower, in the shape of a cockroach. At a robotics show they placed third. A company agreed to sponsor them thought the process of building it. “Take cockroaches. They lack a traditional brain but have managed to survive for eons. How? By evolving lots of hair and antenna sensors that detect hazards and by hard-wiring reflexes into their peripheral nerves, which speeds up their response to dangers.”
We wish these students luck in the future with mass-producing their automatic-insect-lawnmower.
Category: Crawling Insects
Posted on August 14, 2008 with No Comments
On August 21st, the New Jersey Pest Management Association will be hosting a presidential cockroach race.
The race pits a “John McCain Madagascar Hissing Cockroach” against a “Barack Obama roach” of that same species.
The race has a 80% success rate on the winner of the election!!
To read more, please click here.
Posted on August 13, 2008 with No Comments
From http://news.rgj.com “The Nevada State Health Division has reported the year’s first human case associated with West Nile Virus.
A south Lyon County resident younger than 50 years old has West Nile fever, a less severe form of the West Nile Virus with symptoms of fever, headache, tiredness and body aches.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Ihsan Azzam urged residents to prevent mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus and wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Azzam said residents should remove standing water around homes and make sure doors and windows fit properly.
Martha Framsted, public information officer for the state’s Health Division said by the time a case is reported as West Nile virus or fever to the agency, it is weeks to months old.
Framsted said recently the Nevada Department of Agriculture tested 288 mosquito pools and seven of those pools came back positive for West Nile. Four of those seven pools were in Lyon County. Additionally, three swabs from dead birds came back positive.
We are learning a lot about West Nile she said of the disease relatively new to the United States. “It’s here to stay,” she said, adding, we just have to learn to use preventive measures that become permanent behaviors.
Framsted noted that last year the first case of West Nile Fever in a human was detected on Aug. 3.
In addition, owners of horses, donkeys and mules are urged to get their animals vaccinated.
West Nile Virus is typically spread by the bite of a mosquito, which becomes infected by feeding on infected birds.
Most people infected with West Nile Virus will not have symptoms or illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but 20 percent will develop West Nile fever.
About one in 150 people infected will develop West Nile encephalitis or meningitis, more severe forms of the disease that include symptoms of severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
People who have been exposed to mosquitoes and have symptoms of the more severe illness should contact their health provider immediately.”
This is not the first case, however in the country of West Nile. Remember to look at our previous posts to find mosquito preventative tips.
Category: Flying Insects
Posted on August 11, 2008 with No Comments
A United Airlines flight from Washington D.C. to Denver was delayed because of a possible tick infestation. One customer spotted a tick, and informed the flight attendants. The flight was emptied and the plan was cleaned. I am sure that one passenger just saw one, that was carried on by a passenger, and to take precautionary steps, they “cleaned” the airplane.
This is one wacky story.
Posted on August 8, 2008 with 2 Comments
“Distinguishing between vole and mole damage can be tricky. Both pests construct tunnels, which can result in lawn and garden damage. Moles frequently get the blame for these landscape eyesores, but the real culprit may, in fact, be voles.
Erroneously referred to as meadow mice, voles are rodents. By contrast, moles are insectivores with completely different diets and behavior. Even the damage they wreak on lawns and garden has a distinctive look. As always, properly identifying the pest (mole or vole in this case) can be the difference in a pest management program that works and one that is a continued source of frustration.
That was the dilemma technicians at JP Pest Services in Milford, N.H., faced this summer when they were asked to manage pests that were decimating showcase gardens at a large food manufacturing facility.
As the focal point of the manufacturer’s main courtyard and public tour area, the landscaped gardens typically were resplendent with colorful summer flowers and shrubs set against dark, green junipers and lush lawns.
An on-site horticulturist designed the grounds, which were maintained by a local landscaping company. What was a landscaper’s paradise turned nightmarish as day after day newly planted flowers were eaten and lawns marred by tunneling.
With losses mounting to thousands of dollars, the landscaper sought help from JP Pest Services, which had handled the facility’s interior and exterior perimeter rodent management services for more than a decade. Besides having certified applicators, JP Pest Services offered a wildlife department, which it started last summer to deal with mole problems.
Gary Nielsen, an entomologist and troubleshooter for JP Pest Services, inspected the grounds. In addition to severed flower stems, he found visible runways and tunnels. He also discovered signs of trouble from last winter ? chewed bushes and girdled stems ? though the real trouble started in mid-May when flower beds were planted and mulched.
“We do structural pest management and just started doing mole work last season, but this was beyond our strong suit and unlike any mole damage we’d seen,” Nielsen recalls.
With a lot at stake, Nielsen consulted with Sheila Haddad, a Bell Laboratories technical representative, for a second opinion. Was it voles or moles?
Vole versus mole damage
Visible identification of the two pests is difficult because moles rarely appear above ground. Voles, on the other hand, freely travel in and out of their tunnels.
“There had been some sightings in the early morning and evening at the facility, but they never had vole problems before,” Nielsen notes.
He and Haddad next took a closer look at the damaged plantings. Both moles and voles can damage plants.
With moles, above-ground plant damage results from injury to roots during their constant burrowing. Moles are insectivores and prefer to eat earthworms and grubs.
Voles, on the other hand, are voracious herbivores with an appetite for green vegetation in warm months and bulbs and tubers in winter. They also gnaw bark at the base of trees and shrubs.
“Voles are pretty voracious,” Nielsen says. “A mature female can decimate a bedding. We had one 6-foot-by-6-foot plot and every single plant was gone, probably by one vole.”
Plants put in on Friday, he says, would be gone on Monday. He also notes that voles, like lemmings, like to cut vegetation and make hay. They’ve been known to clip grass and other plants at the base and drag them into bait stations to dry and eat later. Sure enough, Nielsen and Haddad found flowers that were chopped off and dragged into juniper bushes and tunnels. ”
You can read the article here.
There is a difference between Mole and Voles. Moles are considered a lawn pest, and voles are a wildlife animal. It is good to know what you have before us so we aren’t treating for voles, when they are moles.
Posted on August 7, 2008 with No Comments
Posted on August 7, 2008 with No Comments
Because of the very humid, hot weather we have been getting, wasps are out. Wasps hang around under playgrounds, inside house siding, mailboxes, sheds and many, many other areas. A mail carrier in Michigan ran into a swarm of them at on mailbox. The wasps flew into the car, and while he quickly tried to drive away, he was stung many times outside of the car. When dealing with wasps you must take extreme caution. Our technicians are equipped with full head-to-toe bee suits to insure they are not stung.
Over-the-counter remedies will show immediate removal of the wasps, but they most likely will NOT kill the queen. We have seen in many instances, after removing a bee nest, it is re-built in two days. Nests must be treated by a professional to insure they are eliminate and to keep children and pets safe.
To read more on the Michigan mailman, please visit the article here.
Category: Flying Insects