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Category: Rodents

Florida Has the Best Bug Scientists Around!

Best Bug Scientists Around at UFWe don’t like to brag, but we have a lot of great things here in Florida. In St. Augustine, we have the oldest existing (and still settled) European settlement in North America; the Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team to play a perfect season;  we invented Gatorade, Coppertone sunscreen and air conditioning; and we have the strongest hurricanes… okay, so maybe not that last one!

And recently, the entomology department at the University of Florida was honored as the best in the entire world by the Center for World University Rankings.

How do They Know?

The Center ranks universities across the globe in 227 subject categories, ranking the education and training of students as well as the prestige of faculty, based on several factors, including the number of articles published in top-tier research journals.

The center uses data from Clarivate Analytics, formerly part of the Reuters news service, and is the only such list to rank universities worldwide.

The Center started the ranking project in 2012 as an experiment to rank the top 100 out of 25,000 degree granting universities in the world. Two years later, they expanded to the top 1000, the largest ranking of universities in the world – far more than the US News & World Report or Forbes reports.

That’s Impressive!

And did we mention, UF got a perfect score? Number 2 was the University of California, Riverside with a 95, with Cornell, Kansas State, and North Carolina State University rounding out the top 5.

And speaking of the best, we’ve made it our mission to be the number one provider of 100% natural, family-friendly, truly green pest solutions for the entire Gulf Coast of Florida, from Port Charlotte to Lakewood Ranch. Whatever your issue is, from rodents to ants to mosquitoes, we have the answer that’s right for you. Contact us at your earliest convenience.

And if you’re thinking of getting an entomology degree, we know the perfect place!

Bat Maternity Season Is Coming!

Bat Maternity SeasonIn the recent trailer for The Justice League movie, Commissioner Gordon tells Batman, “It’s good to see you playing well with others again.”

According to the comics, Bruce Wayne chose to dress like a bat to strike fear into the hearts of villains, typically a “superstitious and cowardly lot.” And from Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1897, through present-day Halloween, we tend to focus mostly on the, well, scarier aspects of these flying rodents.

(One notable exception – Rosita, the bilingual muppet on Sesame Street was designed to resemble one of her native Mexico’s fruit bats, her full name being Rosita, La Monstrua de las Cuevas.)

There’s so much more about bats that makes them interesting: they breastfeed their young – called pups – they are great at pest control – by eating mosquitoes and other pesky insects, they save us billions of dollars in unneeded pesticides, not to mention saving us from the side effects of those toxic chemicals. And even the truly scary ones – vampire bats, don’t suck your blood and are only found in South America.  Only 1% of all bats carry rabies, and those that do die within hours.

There are 13 distinct bat species in Florida – where, by the way, bats are an endangered species. That means, just like Manatees, Red Pandas and Gopher Tortoises, you can’t intentionally kill or threaten them. Bats are some of the longest living mammals, especially for their size, and they all give birth at about the same time, from April 15 – August 15 every year. Imagine how busy those bat maternity wards must get!

Because of their endangered status, we have to be very careful not to kill or wound bats when we have to deal with them – not that we would anyway! As always, Good News Pest Solutions looks for the best, safest solution for our clients and the environment. That means we don’t hurt them, rather, we do what’s called bat exclusion.

Bats are very territorial and will always return to their ‘home roost,’ given the opportunity. So, we have to help them relocate. We determine entry points by observing the bats and inspecting for their guano (bat droppings). Once we’ve targeted their point of entry, we drape netting, so that the bats can leave to feed but cannot return. Within a week, the bats have infested and imprinted a new roosting site and the entry points can be sealed.

Because bat pups cannot fly until they’re older, we cannot do bat exclusion during their maternity season – that’s April 15 – August 15, remember? Otherwise, the baby bats die and nobody wants that.

So, if your home in Port Charlotte or Sarasota is infested with bats, well, either contact us now, or enjoy your role as a happy bat pup nursery until mid-August. Think of all the good you’ll be doing when those birds, er, bats, fly the coop, and start harvesting mosquitoes!

Whether you call now or in the fall, we’re always happy to help our flying pest control friends find a new home!

Romantic Rats Ruin Parisian Parks

Rats in ParisMost folks like to do something special for New Year’s Eve – shoot off some fireworks, drop in at Disney, maybe even brave the crowd in Times Square to watch the ball drop. But one prime celebration location is suffering from an ages-old infestation that the most romantic city in the world just can’t get a handle on – the Parisian rat population.

We all remember from our history classes that the nasty little rodents spread the Bubonic plague – in fact, recent examinations of history have proven that the Black Death of the 1300’s that ravaged close to half of the population of Paris was not spread by rats and other rodents, although most people still assume they were to blame. Given their history, it’s no surprise that, despite the Pixar film, most rats are still not welcome at Parisian dinner tables.

Yet, despite the city government’s pledge to completely “de-raticize” the Renaissance tourist attraction in 2014, it’s apparently more visibly infested than ever before, forcing the closing of nine popular parks in the City of Light – including the famous Parc du Champ-de-Mars, home of the Eiffel Tower. In fact, animal control officers say this is the worst the city has seen in almost 40 years.

And there’s a reason that we said a visible problem – it appears the rats are overrunning the above ground city because of a huge overpopulation below ground. Now there’s something you don’t want to hear, especially if you were planning a trip to the city’s historic catacombs. And the most popular plan of attack? To drive the rats back into the sewers – not, we’re thinking, a viable solution to stopping the spread of a disease, should that recur.

The problem is apparently, two-fold – new European regulations, meant to mirror ones in the United States, changed the way rats were poisoned, as the old ways could also lead to water contamination as well as being accidentally ingested by curious pets and children. So now the rats have to seek out the poisoned bait in enclosed boxes – a lot harder draw for the rodents who can easily find a smorgasbord fit for the Rat King in open garbage pails.

In fact, in the weeks since the new regulations took effect, not a single rat has ventured into the boxes of death – and the ready supply of food means the rats can continue to reproduce at an alarming rate. Rats can mate every 3 weeks, producing a litter of 4-5 baby rats, and those newly born babies can get pregnant themselves within 6-9 weeks.

What’s worse – even if the rats in Paris’ past (Rattus rattus) didn’t spread the Black Death, their distant Asian cousins– Rattus norvegicus – which was responsible for the Modern Plague in the 1860’s, arrived in the French capital about 200 years ago and are now the dominant species as well as known spreaders of salmonella and swamp fever.

Still, the Parisian animal control people do believe the rats have a place in their city – just out of sight. When properly maintained, the rats work well as composting agents, devouring waste that would otherwise need to be disposed of, and their furry little bodies – they also work great as pipe cleaners. Once again proving that every living creature has its own God-given purpose. Who knew? 🐭

If you see rats in your home or on your property, give us a call. Good News Pest Solutions has been recognized as the Gulf Coast’s leading expert on keeping rats and mice out of your home and in reducing the rodent population outdoors as well. We guarantee your property for a year after treatment and, like all our solutions, employ biologically safe alternatives to harmful chemicals that protect your pets and family while eliminating the pests. Contact us today!

A Christmas Treat: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mice to Eat!

Christmas MiceTwas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except for the spoon in the batter for these peanut butter chocolate mouse treats!

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we normally shy away from inviting certain critters into your house, but we’re sure these delectable delights will be welcome in any home – and missed when they’re gone!

To make these fun peanut butter Christmas mice, you’ll need just a few things:

Inside:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Outside:

  • 8 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Red string or peel-apart licorice, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • Black decorator gel

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine peanut butter and butter in a bowl; beat at medium speed until fully mixed and creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar to the batch and continue beating until dough forms.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, pinching 1 end to form the nose.
  4. Place onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets or trays and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
  5. After the dough balls are firm, follow the package instructions to melt the candy coating
  6. Place waxed paper onto flat surface.
  7. Take one candy at a time out of the fridge and fix it on a fork.
  8. Dip the candy into melted candy coating, coating the entire candy, allowing excess to drip off by tapping fork against side of pan.
  9. Place dipped candy onto waxed paper. Immediately insert 2 almonds for ears and 1 piece licorice for tail.
  10. Repeat with remaining refrigerated candies. Let stand about 30 minutes or until coating is set.
  11. Use decorator gel to make eyes and nose. Store refrigerated.

For some fun variations, try vanilla-flavored candy coating to make white mice.

Or instead of decorator gel, mini chocolate chips work great for eyes and noses.

For an extra special treat, put the leftover melted chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip off a corner of the bag and drizzle it on pretzel sticks in a triangular fashion to create delicious trees for your peanut butter mice to scamper around in. (of course, vanilla-flavored candy coating makes for snowy trees.)

Thanks to our friends at Land-o-Lakes Butter for the recipe!

We just know you’ll love these meeces to pieces! 😋

Do You Have Musophobia?

Do You have Musophobia?Outside of Stuart Little, Tom & Jerry, and Ratatouille, most people are at least startled, if not repulsed, at the sudden appearance of a mouse or rat. But if the fear or even the thought of such an occurrence causes extreme anxiety, you could be suffering from an irrational and unreasonable fear of mice, known as musophobia.

It’s not hard to figure out where this comes from. We were all taught in school that rats spread the Bubonic Plague (or was it gerbils?), that mice and rats live in dirty conditions, and that they’re prone to eat trash.

The symptoms of musophobia vary depending on the extent of fear the phobic experiences, but sometimes include:

  • Screaming, crying, climbing on beds or tables/chairs
  • Trying to flee
  • Shaking, trembling, and sweating profusely
  • Having accelerated heartbeat, breathing rapidly or gasping
  • Feeling nauseated, vomiting or having other signs of gastrointestinal distress

Probably the most famous person to suffer from musophobia was Mr. Walt Disney, who created the now iconic Mickey Mouse as a way to try and get over his intense fear of the rodents.  ⬅Who da thunk that? 😆

Unfortunately, while Walt’s fear has paid off well for him, drawing a cartoon character isn’t the best solution for the rest of us. And as the weather gets cooler, even here in Florida, mice can settle in to attics and crawlspaces to find more warmth.

And the saying, ‘they’re more afraid of you than you are of them,’ doesn’t always override our emotional reaction. Not to mention, whether you’re afraid of them or not, mice tend to chew on things – like furniture, clothes, and food left unattended.

Be aware that mice and rats are everywhere in Florida, even the most exclusive homes and neighborhoods. And not to worry you more, but you may not even be aware that the little critters are in your home as they tend to be more active at night!

Luckily, there are solutions. And, no, we aren’t referring to adopting a new feline friend. Good News Pest Solutions offers the most comprehensive rodent solution in the state.

Don’t give in to fear – contact Good News today for a free home inspection and evaluation. Taking preventative measures now will bring you peace of mind and a rodent-free home.

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