Archive for March, 2012
Posted on March 30, 2012 with 1 Comment
As a homeowner, you know there are some home projects you can take on yourself (painting the guest room) and some that are better left to the professionals (installing electrical wiring in the basement). The same logic goes for pest control. In some cases, do-it-yourself measures are fine but in others, it is best to call in a pest professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. So how do you know which pest scenarios are DIY-approved and which are pro-worthy?
In most cases, the answer depends on the several factors, including the type of pest, its threats to your family’s health, the potential for property damage and the size of the infestation. For example, one lone yellow jacket that found its way into your home is no cause for alarm. But a nest of yellow jackets near your front porch? Time to call in the pros.
Specifically, here is one pest that you should leave to the pros:
Bed bugs are certainly not a pest that should be handled on your own. For one, they are notoriously elusive, often hiding out in hard to detect places like behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. A trained pest professional will know where bed bugs are likely to hide in your home and can develop a treatment plan to target the pests while ensuring the safety of your family and pets.
To effectively treat a bed bug infestation all stages of the bed bug life cycle must be treated, including bed bug eggs, nymphs (babies) and adult bed bugs. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods are often ineffective against bed bug nymphs and eggs. Attempts to control a bed bug infestation on your own may only exacerbate the problem and give the infestation time to grow. And bed bugs reproduce quickly – one female bed bug can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in their lifetime, meaning that a small infestation can quickly grow out of control.
In addition, homeowners that attempt to control a bed bug infestation on their own often spend more money in the long run on failed treatments. Some residents with bed bug infestations unnecessarily throw out furniture, clothing and other personal property in an attempt to control an infestation. In extreme cases, homeowners have seriously damaged their homes or sickened their families by misusing pest control products.
Posted on March 29, 2012 with 3 Comments
A great article for the public sector to make sure the New York Pest Control company that you choose can correctly diagnose your pest concerns.
I receive complaints from residents who have, or think they have bed bugs, and are desperately seeking help. These people have exhausted all possible sources of help: landlords, pest control operators, over-the-counter products, and online solutions. Desperate, they contact the EPA, and are referred to a Bed Bug expert in their Region – me. The first thing I do is calm them down and reassure them that there is hope. They can get rid of bed bugs. By sharing this story that crossed my desk, I hope to help others in similar situations.
Sean e-mailed me; “We are convinced we have bed bugs. My wife thinks she found a bed bug. We have read articles on-line, and looked at pictures, and then we sprayed, heated, caulked, washed, dried, and wrapped our mattress and box spring in bed bug cases (encasements). We are getting bitten every night. After thorough inspection we still see nothing. Is it possible they are elsewhere in the house, in our vehicles? Should we spray more? And what brand?”
My follow up call revealed that Sean’s family had moved recently, and the itching continued through the entire move. Whatever was bothering them had traveled with them. And the problem was becoming unbearable. Had they collected any live bugs? No. Nor had they seen any of the tell tale signs of bed bugs: shed skins, corpses, blood stains, or droppings on the bed sheets.
Scabies mites burrow into the skin resulting in open sores on hands, wrists, elbows, or anywhere on the body. Scabies is diagnosed through microscopic examination of skin scrapings taken from the affected area.
I told Sean, “From what you describe, and the controls you have put in place, I don’t think you have bed bugs. Let’s try Plan B.” Was the family being plagued with spiders, carpet beetles, mites? I suggested he contact the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University.
Sean wrote Cornell, “Marcia Anderson of EPA referred me to you. After describing our situation, Marcia doesn’t think we have bed bugs. We know what they look like, where to find them, and how to get rid of them. The bites are so itchy, we scratch until we bleed! We have tried numerous anti-itch creams, but none take away the itch!”
Cornell provided some excellent information and recommended a pest control company inspection. Later, a frustrated Sean called me again. ‘Still no bugs but horrid itching.’ I suggested they visit a dermatologist to diagnose the bites.
Sean wrote back; “Marcia, you were right. We thought we had bed bugs, but it turned out to be scabies! We were successfully treated by a dermatologist. My son got them at daycare.”
About the Author: Marcia is the bed bug and vector management specialist for the Pesticides Program in Edison. She has a BS in Biology from Monmouth, second degree in Environmental Design-Landscape Architecture from Rutgers, Masters in Instruction and Curriculum from Kean, and is a PhD in Environmental Management candidate from Montclair – specializing in Integrated Pest Management and Environmental Communications. Prior to EPA, and concurrently, she has been a professor of Earth and Environmental Studies, Geology and Oceanography at Kean University for 14 years.
Posted on March 29, 2012 with No Comments
The mild winter may have given a head start to what health officials fear could be this summer’s public enemy No. 1: the Asian tiger mosquito.
The disease-carrying insect was identified in Rockland for the first time late last summer and was found in Westchester two years before that. Putnam health authorities found one Asian tiger mosquito in 2006. All indications are that it will be buzzing around the Lower Hudson Valley again once the weather heats up.
“The front right now seems to be Westchester and Rockland,” said Richard Falco, a regional medical entomologist for the state Department of Health based at Fordham University’s Louis Calder Center in Armonk.
He has been working with health officials in Westchester and Rockland to track the spread of the Asian tiger mosquito. Breeding sites have been identified in southern Westchester and in Orangetown, in the southern part of Rockland.
Putnam officials haven’t found evidence of the insect in six years, said Mike Luke, a county public health sanitarian. Experts are tracking the mosquito’s spread north from the southern part of the nation.
“We are doing all we can to learn about the local ecology of the mosquito so that if (it) becomes an important vector later we will be better prepared to deal with it,” Falco said.
Mosquito eggs that normally die during the cold might have survived the unusually warm, snowless winter, adding to the population expected to hatch this summer, experts said.
“It’s a new species for us in the county,” said Brian Hunderfund, director of mosquito control for the Rockland Department of Health.
The Asian tiger mosquito is causing concern nationwide because it carries disease and, unlike other species, bites humans during the day.
“It’s a very aggressive daytime biter,” Hunderfund said.
Aedes albopictus, the scientific name for the insect, is a native of Asia. It was first identified in the continental U.S. in Texas in 1985. Researchers suspect it was transported in a shipment of tires from an Asian country. Since then, it has spread to 26 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Posted on March 28, 2012 with 1 Comment
Sham products, wacky wives’ tales, harmful behavior…Consumers hear about all kinds of crazy treatment approaches and are going to ask PMPs whether they work, said Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, entomologist at Cornell University.
A consumer told Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs at the National Pest Management Association, she was investing in silk sheets because you can’t “get” bed bugs with them.
A quick Internet search found several do-it-yourself pest control remedies to rid the pests: applying lavender oil or cayenne pepper to the bed, scrubbing one’s skin with a dry bristle brush and washing hair with a tar-based shampoo.
Unfortunately, a do-it-yourself approach to bed bug control can turn dangerous. In a 2011 survey conducted by NPMA and University of Kentucky, PMPs reported consumers had:
- Doused a room and its contents with kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel.
- Sprayed themselves with off-the-shelf pesticides.
- Treated furniture and themselves (even bathing) with isopropyl alcohol.
- Over-used and misapplied (sometimes illegally gained) pesticides without regard to label rates or the presence of children.
- Sprayed mattresses with pesticides not labeled for that use, such as garden or agricultural products (or even pesticides not labeled in the United States).
- Applied hairspray, lighter fluid and undiluted bleach to bedding.
- Covered the floors, furniture and bed in pesticide dusts and diatomaceous earth.
- Set off excessive bug bombs or foggers in a room.
- Used space and commercial heaters in an attempt to heat-treat a room.
- Set the mattresses and furniture on fire.
Educating consumers has never been more important. It’s best to leave bed bug control to the professionals.
Content source: Pest Control Technology
Posted on March 28, 2012 with No Comments
Doug Inkley, whose home was invaded by thousands of stink bugs last year, holds one on his finger.
Hotter than usual springtime temperatures could lead to an earlier arrival of summertime critters — including a stink bug invasion. In America, 2,550 heat records were set during the week of March 18, and unseasonably warm weather forces the dreaded bugs to break out of hibernation earlier than usual, Business Insider reported. Halyomorpha halys, better known as stink bugs or “stinkers,” originally come from Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 1998, in Allentown, Pa. The insects have spread throughout the country in recent years, having been spotted in 37 states (including New York) and becoming a major agricultural pest, ruining fruit and vegetable crops. In Pennsylvania, the bugs were to blame for a reported 25% loss in apples and stone fruits during 2010, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture website.
Since stink bugs aren’t known to transmit disease or cause any physical harm, they’re no more than a nuisance to humans — just don’t step on them. When squashed, the hard-shelled insects emit an odor that’s “pungent and obtrusive, but not harmful,” according to the website.
Last year, a Maryland man was nearly forced out of his home when it was invaded by tens of thousands of stink bugs, the Washington Post reported. “When you find them in your food, in your sink, in your bed, in your hair and everywhere else, it’s a problem,” he told the newspaper.
Over nine months, Doug Inkley counted 56,205 of the bugs in his house and garden. The invasion cost him $10,000, and some bugs still remain.
Stink bugs aren’t the only unwanted critters to keep an eye out for this year. With the warm weather comes a earlier crop of beetles, ants, termites and even mosquitoes, USA Today reported. “We’re seeing insects out there that we don’t usually see this time of year,” Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association told the newspaper. “Several states have even reported tick sightings, which is especially worrisome as people head outdoors to enjoy the weather and are unprepared for tick encounters.”
Posted on March 28, 2012 with No Comments
The following article comes from PCT Magazine’s March 13 posting. With all the news and questions surrounding the EPA’s 2008 Rodenticide Risk Mitigation Decision we wanted to share this information with our peers.
Rodents & Mice
EPA released a revision to its 2008 Risk Mitigation Decision for Ten Rodenticides, relating to the “50 foot restriction” on professional use products.
NPMA and the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) today received notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of notable changes to rodenticide labels, revisions NPMA and ASPCRO worked on with Agency officials in the last several months and that provide additional, much needed flexibility for PMPs to manage rodent infestations. Specifically, the new label language:
• Extends the distance from which rodenticides can be placed from buildings from 50 feet to 100 feet and replace the word “building” with the term “man-made structures” (The phrase “man-made structures” is broadly defined, however, it expressly excludes “fence and perimeter baiting, beyond 100 from a structure…”).
• Permits the use of first-generation anticoagulant and non-anticoagulant professional products to treat burrows that are further than 100 feet from buildings and man-made structures.
These changes will begin appearing on rodenticide labels in the coming months. As always, PMPs should read all product labels very carefully, especially rodenticide labels, since there will be three very different labels in the marketplace.
To read EPA’s notice please visit PCT Magazine’s original post.
Posted on March 27, 2012 with No Comments
Warm weather means that ticks will be out early and spring and summer are on track to be a horrific season for lyme disease. Are you prepared?
The Wall Street Journal reports that The Center for Disease control (CDC ) is conducting the first study of its kind to determine whether spraying the yard for ticks can not only kill pests, but also reduce human disease. “Paul Mead, chief of epidemiology and surveillance activity at CDC’s bacterial-illness branch, says preliminary results from about 1,500 households indicate that a spray reduced the tick population by 60%.”
The Wall Street Journal Online has an interactive display that you can click on to learn how to prepare your yard for tick season. Some of the recommendations include:
Firewood piles and bird feeders should be kept away from your house.
Restrict the use of ground cover and plants that may attract deer.
Keep your grass mowed.
Keep your pets out of the woods.
Consider having targeted pesticides applied as a targeted treatment barrier.
JP McHale’s Pest Management Tick Protection Program can help protect your family and pets from diseases carrying ticks. Ticks are very small insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including dogs, cats, mice, deer, and, of course, people. A tick will latch onto the skin, dig in its feeding apparatus, and then bite. When the tick is full, it swells in size. Then it drops off the host, only to repeat the cycle again later.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, landscaping, and integrated pest management. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick-borne diseases as well.
Applications are recommended based on statistics generated from the Center for Disease control studies that show reported cases of Lyme Disease. Statistically New York and Connecticut continue to be the areas with the most reported cases of Lyme Disease. Organic Treatments to reduce tick population are available upon request. As well as a free risk assessment for you property.
Please contact us if you are interested in our Tick Protection program.
Posted on March 26, 2012 with No Comments
If you have brown spots in your yard typically they are referred to as dollar spots, the name of a disease that effects certain type of grasses. It is named dollar spot because the disease resembles the size of a silver dollar, which are used to mark golf balls out on putting greens. The spots look like the color of dead straw. They are mostly prevalent during times where there is low rainfall. The grass types it effects the most are bluegrasses, bentgrasses, fescues, and zoysia.
These spots are usually 3-6 cm in diameter. If one were to mow the grass short, it will become obviously when the grass is infected, as the outline of the dollar spot shows up usually pretty early. If the grass is grown higher, in the morning, there will be a white fungus over the grass. This will indicate a dollar spot. The infected areas turn the dead straw color after the grass begins to dry after it was wet with dew from the morning. As it dries, not only does it turn the straw color, but the border turns reddish-brown. Individual blades are infected, and after they all dry, it gives the overall look of the dollar spot infection.
JP McHale Pest Management’s Tree and Turf Division can conduct an inspection of your lawn and recommend the right course of treatment so that your grass will return to green in no time!
Posted on March 26, 2012 with No Comments
JP McHale Pest Management’s Tree and Lawncare Turf Department
has programs developed by our own staff plant pathologist and follow an integrated approach to plant and lawn health care (IPM). We only use controls when necessary; all of our products are environmentally sensitive and approved by the EPA. Contact our office today to find out which program will best suit your needs.
Plant Healthcare and Organic Lawn Fertilization
Some of our lawn care programs include:
- Estate Program
- Basic Program
- Organic Program
- Core Aeration
- Grub Control
- Lime Application
- Gypsum Application
- Mole Control
Posted on March 23, 2012 with No Comments
"Do you think that corner over there is starting to green up a little?"
Is your grass still brown from winter? Are you sitting and waiting for your grass to turn green?
At JP McHale Pest Managment, all of our lawn care programs are developed by our own staff plant pathologist and follow an integrated approach to plant and lawn health care (IPM). We only use controls when necessary; all of our products are environmentally sensitive and approved by the EPA.
Contact our office today and to see how we can help you have the greenest lawn in the neighborhood!