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Category: Good News Pest Solutions

Mild Winter Means More Pests!

Go Green This Spring!There’s a lot of talk about weather and the climate on the news these days.  Temperatures going up and down, flash floods, El Niño, winter storms, La Niña… It’s hard to wrap your head around sometimes.

Plus, you might think that weather conditions don’t have much effect on pests here in Florida since our weather stays pretty temperate most of the year. But scientists say that even a 2-degree difference warmer or cooler can have a dramatic impact on the life and reproductive cycles of insects (rodents too!).

2016 was the warmest year since records have been kept, and La Niña is still wreaking havoc as we move from a drier, warmer winter to an unusually warm spring, according to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center.

So, insects that normally would have been dormant in the winter are already active. And in growing numbers.

Partho Dhang, an Urban Entomologist, reports that the overall warmer temperatures mean that pests usually restricted to certain areas far from Port Charlotte and Sarasota can travel increasingly larger distances, resulting in their spread to our coast.

Protect Your Home from Pests

While there’s nothing you can do about the weather, there are a few steps you can take to protect your home from invading pests:

  • Seal cracks and small openings along the bottom of the house and around windows.
  • Keep tree branches and other foliage trimmed back from the house.
  • Check for plumbing leaks and cracked grout around bathtubs and toilets. A good caulk seal assures that even the smallest insects can’t enter.
  • Keep mulch at least 15-inches from your home’s foundation, and in older Florida homes, maintain at least an inch between wood and soil.
  • Keep trash cans clean and lids sealed. This helps eliminate food sources that can attract bugs.

Since winter has officially ended and April is on its heels, now is a great time to get started with our year-round Go Green Plus 3 program! Our technicians come out and do the spring cleaning for you, sweeping cobwebs from the eaves and windows and doing a full home health check up of your property.

We’ll treat your foundation, entry points, eaves, plant beds and trees with our 100% all-natural, green pest solutions that are safe for your whole family, including the 4-legged members. We’ll apply the same care to any problem areas inside your home, and we schedule 3 follow-up visits to make sure everything is still protected.

Honestly, there are only two types of homes in Florida – those with termites and those who will have them, but we’ve done our best in the past 30 years to extend the ‘without termite’ time as long as possible for our clients.

Term-Assure 365 combines our incredible Go Green Plus 3 with the most effective and environmentally friendly termite protection, including a $1-million termite damage repair warranty – a necessity since homeowners insurance doesn’t cover termite damage!

Contact us today to get started with either program or if you’re experiencing any other pest problems. We’re here to help!

CDC Warns Zika Virus Not Eradicated

CDC Warns Spring Travelers about ZikaYeah, we know we haven’t been talking about the Zika virus lately, and that’s mostly because, thankfully, there hasn’t been much to talk about.

The last case of locally transmitted Zika virus in Florida was on December 21, 2016, in Miami-Dade County. There have only been 13 cases of travel-related Zika so far in 2017, with one case in Collier County, this is as close as the virus has come to the Gulf Coast.

But the Center for Disease Control is warning people not to let our guard down completely. Although cases across the globe have slowed down – mostly due to the unusually cooler weather even in warmer regions this winter – the CDC cautions that Zika has not been completely eliminated in Brazil and the Caribbean, the source, of the most recent outbreaks. And with the weather turning warmer, there’s even more cause for concern.

According to the CDC, the disease can never be truly eradicated, and the unusual spread of the virus – from its South American roots to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific – means that it is not geographically isolated like most mosquito-bourne viruses. Add that to the fact that there is still no known cure for Zika, and you can see why they’re worried.

And while we’re doing okay in the sunshine state, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and several other states reported almost 4000 cases (combined) between November of 2016 and when we’re reporting this in March of 2017.

So, while we can breathe a little easier on the Gulf Coast of Florida, we should be prepared for the eventuality that an outbreak could reoccur, especially through visitors to our shore. Luckily, now is the perfect time to prepare a mosquito prevention plan.

As always, try and eliminate the typical mosquito breeding ground of standing water whenever possible. That’s sometimes hard to do when it’s raining more often, but keeping your yard in check always helps. When we start seeing more mosquitoes again, cover up your exposed legs and arms to prevent bites, especially if you’re pregnant.

And, hey, why not give us a call and see what it would take to get one of our exclusive NoBiteZones established for your front and back yards. Like all of our solutions, this one is safe for everyone – from your youngest children to your faithful pets. This one’s even safe for the mosquitoes, turning them and their offspring into vegan dieters. No soy necessary.

Contact us today to get the details on NoBiteZones and all of our environmentally safe, natural pest control solutions!

Doctors Found a Cockroach Where?!?

Doctors Found a Cockroach WhereOkay, fair warning, this story is bound to give just about anyone the heebie jeebies.

It sounds like a really creepy version of an Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft story. An episode of the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. David Cronenberg’s The Fly movie with Jeff Goldblum, or Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

You know that saying about truth being stranger than fiction? Well, this is one for the books.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Selvi, a 42-year old female domestic worker in Injambakkam, a community on the south central coast of India, came into the local hospital, complaining of “a crawling sensation” inside her head. More specifically, a tingling, crawling sensation that caused burning in her eyes.

Okay, last warning. This is not for the squeamish.

The doctors who saw the woman reported that she had…

A fully grown live cockroach lodged in her skull base, between her eyes and close to her brain.

They believe that while the woman slept Monday night, the insect made its way up her nostril and just kept going. And while the cockroach they extracted from Selvi was the largest, it was far from the first intracranial insect extraction they’ve done.

Apparently, a lot of bugs use the nasal cavity as a hiding place. There’s something that’ll keep you up nights.

For How Long?

And while they did eventually extract the bug from her brain, it took A WHILE. The cockroach didn’t want to leave and it took doctors 45 minutes to drag it out of the same place it crawled in, using suction and forceps – the medical version of needle-nose pliers.

And they said had they not removed the insect, its dead body could have caused an infection in her brain.

Yeah, we can’t wait to see this one on the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Code Black.

No Fear!

But before you go buying a full face mask to sleep in, it is rather rare for bugs to crawl into any human body orifice, at least in the United States. And being in fear constantly is no way to live.

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we are all about eliminating fear. If you’re worried about cockroaches or any other infestations around your home, we encourage you to contact us to find out about all of the green, family-safe, organic pest solutions we offer at Good News.

Love Bug Fruit Cups

Love Bug Fruit CupsAs we approach Valentine’s Day, everyone is talking about how love is in the air.

Bam!

Pop!

Squish!

And now, it’s on your windshield…

We’ve got a special treat for you this month. And don’t worry; it doesn’t involve devouring those sticky little romantic flies splattered across the front of your car.

In fact, while these treats take their name from Plecia nearctica, they don’t look anything like our second favorite Florida insect, and taste a whole lot better. Trust us – you don’t wanna taste real love bugs! Yuck!😝

Now, to be honest, this post is more of an arts and craft project than most of the recipes we share, but what better way to connect your kids to the fun?

Here’s What You Need

First, you’ll need to stop by the grocery store and pick up Dole Pineapple in Sugar Free Strawberry Gel Fruit Cups. Your mouth is already watering, isn’t it? Ours is.

Love Bug Fruit Cups

Photo Source: The Melrose Family

Then stop by your favorite fabric or craft store and grab the following:

  • Sparkly Pipe Cleaners
  • 3″ Sparkly Pom Poms for ends of Pipe Cleaners
  • 1/2″ Pom Poms for nose
  • Assorted colors and size of Googly Eyes (yes, that’s a word!)
  • Pink Foam Sheet for heart shaped feet – or you can pick up pre-cut foam hearts
  • Hot glue sticks & Gun – If you’re not a big crafter, you can usually find small sets for just a few dollars.

Putting it Together

First cut the sparkly pipe cleaners in half. Then glue the sparkle pom poms to the ends of the sparkle pipe cleaners, so they look a bit like the flowers and trees in a Dr. Seuss book.

Hot glue the googly eyes and tinier nose pom pom onto the front of the fruit cup to create the face.

Place a quick drop of hot glue on the base of each heart, then set the fruit cups so the lobes look like two pairs of toes – the feet of our fruity bugs.

Finally, glue the antennas to the back of the fruit cup so that they will stick straight up.

Now you’re ready to bring these Love Bug Fruit Cups to Valentine’s parties at school or home or even home schools!

Thanks to Jenny Melrose for this idea!

But What About…

Now as for the real love bugs, we’ve got a few safe, natural ways to keep them away from your house and help you get them off your car easier. You can check these out here.

Don’t worry, you’ve got time! While you may have already seen a few, Love Bug season really kicks off in late April & early May and September.

Yes, fine! We’ll answer the one lingering question we know you’re still curious about: It was a dare, okay?

If you have any other questions or need us to help handle Love Bugs or any other pest, contact us today! At Good News Pest Solutions, we only use organic, environmentally and family safe products to solve your pest problems.

And one more thing, Happy Valentine’s Day! 💗

The 9 Things Mosquitoes Hate – And You’ll Love

Things Mosquitoes HateYes, we sometimes jokingly refer to them as the ‘state bird.’ But even before there was the threat of the Zika virus spreading throughout the sunshine state, mosquitoes have been one of our least favorite Florida residents.

And unlike the snowbirds, they don’t have a season, although they do tend to be more active during the rainy summers.

Chances are you’ve been woken up a few mornings by low-flying mosquito control planes, or driven through a late night cloud of DEET in more rural areas, as state and county officials try to combat the nasty little biters the way they have for the past 50 years. But those aren’t the only solutions to the problem. Here are 9 ways you can combat mosquito bites without harmful chemicals.

9 Ways to Combat Mosquitoes Naturally

  1. DRYNESS: The first, and possibly most obvious way to win the war on mosquitoes is by keeping it dry. As we mentioned, the rainy season is the most populous mosquito weather. That’s because the momma mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. They dry out, then hatch once the water returns. So avoiding any areas of standing water on your property, from pet dishes, to birdbaths, to those bright blue tarps is essential to cutting down the mosquito population.
  2. SMOKE: There’s a reason torches are so popular for background get-togethers in Florida – and it’s not because of their more tropical look. Whether dipped in citronella or just generating an ashen atmosphere, smoke is a natural repellent for mosquitoes. Of course, some citronella is better than none, but even just placing a burning paper egg carton on the edge of your barbeque grill is a great way to keep the biters at bay.

Clothing

  1. LOOSE-FITTING Clothes: Believe it or not, just covering up with long sleeves is not enough. In fact, if your outfit is too tight, it might make you more appealing to hungry momma mosquitoes. Wearing clothing that is more loose fitting or even baggy not only makes it harder for mosquitoes to find your exposed skin, but it also keeps you cooler – and harder for the heat–driven insects to gravitate towards. We don’t, however, recommend wearing those pants that fall off your rear…😜
  2. LIGHT COLORED Clothes: In the same vein, darker colors are more visible to mosquitoes and mark you as a more tasty treat to their insect eyes. Lighter, pale colors blend into the background in the biter’s sight. Darker colors can not only appear warmer to mosquitoes, but the contrast also makes you stand out more, potentially drawing them in.
  3. FAN: Believe it or not, a good stiff breeze – whether natural or generated by a good fan – also helps keep mosquitoes away. You might recall from your school biology class that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide for plants. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, which the wind from a decent fan disperses and dilutes. Plus, mosquitoes are weak fliers, so the breeze keeps them from getting close enough to bite you.

Flavors

  1. OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS: When New Mexico State University looked for alternative ways to fight the spread of the Zika virus, they found that certain essential oils and plants naturally repelled mosquitoes. Most of us already know that Citronella works well, but cedar and garlic also have varying rates of effectiveness. The top two most effective were lemon eucalyptus oils and
  2. CITRUS: Citrus plants, as well as their crushed leaves and extracts made from them, naturally repel mosquitoes. Oranges, lemons, lavender, basil and catnip naturally produce oils that repel mosquitoes and are generally pleasant to the nose – unless you’re of the feline persuasion. The odor that mosquitoes most hate though is one you might not have heard of: Lantana. Their bitter citrusy smell is one that mosquitoes tend to avoid unless they’re really hungry. And they only cost a few dollars per home.
  3. BEER: Unfortunately, we aren’t about to tell you that drinking alcoholic spirits will repel mosquitoes. In fact, it’s the opposite. There’s something about the chemical reaction when the body processes alcohol, especially beer, that exudes a sweet smell in your sweat that attracts the hungry insects.
  4. PICARIDIN: We’re guessing you aren’t that familiar with this last one, at least by its proper name. But you may have heard of “Fisherman’s Formula.” Picaridin is a synthetic compound developed from the piperine plant – the same place we get table pepper. Unlike DEET, it doesn’t kill mosquitoes, but makes the user practically invisible to hungry mosquitoes. And if you’re planning a woodland hike, it chases off chiggers, too!

Of course, there’s another solution to preventing mosquitoes that we’ve found very effective. Our exclusive No Bite Zones technology not only keeps mosquitoes from biting you, it turns the hungry momma mosquitoes – and their offspring – into vegans, who don’t even feed on mammals. And unlike the dangerous chemicals you might find elsewhere, GardenPaqs from Good News Pest Solutions are safe for your family, your pets, and in this case, the mosquitoes, leaving them free to do their job as pollinators. Contact us today for more details!

 

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