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Category: Sarasota Pest Control

Pest of the Month: Cockroaches

Pest of the Month CockroachesSeptember is known for a lot of things – the start of the school year, the end of the harvest, even in 1752 for losing 11 days (when England and her colonies joined the rest of the world in switching from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar)!

And September now holds the distinction for having the cockroach as its Pest of the Month!

They’re Ancient

While cockroaches themselves only live about a year, cockroaches as a species are one of the oldest ones on the planet. Whether you believe in the theory of evolution or God’s divine creation, cockroaches have been here since the beginning. There are, depending on who you talk to, between 3500 and 4500 species of these adaptable suckers, although luckily only about 30 of them live near humans.

They’re the Ultimate Survivor

Thanks to some confusion in the wake of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the general public now believes that cockroaches will be the final survivors of a nuclear holocaust.  That’s not entirely true.  The fact is, they would not survive a nuclear explosion, but they can take a LOT more radiation than we can – up to 10x as much.

On top of that, cockroaches have many other remarkable survival skills – they can survive without food for a month, can hold their breath for 40 minutes, and can survive for a week without their heads.

Cockroaches will eat ANYthing. Even their own mates. Cockroaches prefer meats, starches, and sweets, including beer, but they will eat just about anything to survive, including other insects and other cockroaches.  There are even fossil records that appear to prove cockroaches ate dinosaur poop back in the day.

They Come in All Sizes

A day old baby cockroach is about the size of a speck of dust – but can already run almost as fast as their elders. 3 miles an hour may not sound like much, but that’d be the equivalent of a human sprinting 200 miles an hour. Babies grow to adult size in a little over a month, but by then can have spread more than their share of allergens and diseases.

Average adult cockroaches range in size from ½ to 2-inches long. Here in Florida, we’re familiar with some of the larger versions of the classic German cockroach. But the largest cockroach is a species in South America, the Megaloblatta longipennis. It grows to 6 inches – with a wingspan of over a foot! That’s a little bigger than our Palmetto Bugs.

They’re Sometimes Cultivated for Medicine

Yes, believe it or not, in China, they farm and harvest cockroaches. According to university scientists there, American cockroaches can be cooked and consumed or ground into a powder that is utilized in burn creams and cosmetic facial masks.

Robotics scientists are also studying cockroaches’ exoskeletons and wings and their legs for prosthetic advancements. Of course, we’ve told you about several of these advancements and even the Robo-Roach.

We should also clarify at this point that the common names for many cockroach species are the result of nationalism – or rather anti-nationalism. Here in the states we have German cockroaches and in China and Africa they have American cockroaches. The names are sometimes thought to correspond with their point of origin, but more likely are examples of naming a bug they didn’t care for after the society they despised, or even the indigent population they’ve displaced.

How do I Get Rid of Them?

Although cockroaches, like all God’s creatures, do serve some purpose – they help cultivate the soil and do assist with certain aspects of natural recycling – none of us want them in our homes or businesses.  So, since September is the beginning of the last third of the year, this is the perfect time to start our Go Green Plus 3 treatment. We’re known from Bradenton to Punta Gorda for our all-natural, safe, 100% organic pest control methods that keep the crawling bugs out of your house. Call us and one of our highly trained staff can get you started. You might also want to ask about Term Assure 365, which adds our exclusive termite prevention, for just a little more.

And if you want to buy a Robo-Roach, well, just google it.

The One Area People FORGET To Search for Bed Bugs

Area People Forget to Search for Love BugsDid you know that bed bugs, while some of the oldest insects on the planet, have really only been a problem in North America for about 20 years? Well, this time. Prior to World War II, there were some instances of infestation, but it tapered off in the 1950’s until more recently.

There are many reasons for the resurgence of bed bugs, not the least of which is our changing global economy. First, we start with the fact that bed bugs can remain dormant for some time, living in clothing, furniture & carpet until they get the opportunity to feast on human blood while the humans are asleep.

So, What Changed?

World travel has increased, thanks to more people having the means and ability to do so. In point of fact, travel is not the main source of the bed bug explosion, but it did contribute to bringing some of the nasty buggers across the seas to our shores.

Much more significant in the spread of bed bugs is the increasing industrialization of our country. As we moved from farms and ranches to cities, and from individual homes to apartments and condos, our physical closeness, shared infrastructure and ventilation and shared storage and laundry facilities allowed bed bugs to move more freely between our domiciles.

Unexpected Dangers of Resource Sharing

And the most recent factor in bed bug spread? Our growing preoccupation with secondhand society. Whether it’s Airbnb, Uber, Lyft or popping tags at the local Salvation Army, repurposing used items is the wave of the future. Only one problem: as nice as that recliner you spotted at Goodwill or that curbside alert couch you found on Craigslist, there’s a chance it might be harboring some unexpected additional Cimex lectularius.

So, in addition to checking your bed frames, mattresses and sheets, we recommend also checking the seams of chairs and couches, drawer joints, and even areas of loose wallpaper.

What to Look For

  • Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
  • Dark spots (about this size: • …)
  • Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
  • And, of course the obvious: Live bed bugs.

Another factor that contributed to the spread of bed bugs was the changing attitude and approach to pest treatment and prevention. Instead of an ongoing topical treatment, many hotels moved to baiting for ants and cockroaches. Partly it was convenience, and partly in response to the public’s concerns with dangerous and often cancer causing chemicals.

While we applaud the effort to be safer, some of the alternative choices for pest control were poorly researched or only served as a stopgap for the most obvious pests, ignoring insects like bed bugs that don’t respond to bait.

Luckily, there are far better approaches now—safe for your family and pets—and Good News Pest Solutions is the leading provider of 100% organic solutions for all of the Gulf Coast of Florida, from Bradenton to Punta Gorda. Contact us to handle bed bugs or any other pest problem in your home or business.

Pest of the Month: The Mosquito

Pest of the Month Mosquito As we start preparing for the annual rainy season, we decided to focus on everyone’s favorite Florida state mascot – the Mosquito!

We know everyone has stories about how annoying mosquitoes are, but we’d like to focus first on the good that mosquitoes do.

Yes, really.

Yes, yes they do. For starters, mosquitoes provide a steady protein diet to birds, fish, dragonflies, frogs, salamanders and other reptile and amphibious life. That’s actually a huge impact on our ecosystem.

Not enough? Okay, fine. Here’s a better one: after bees, mosquitoes are the number TWO pollinator in the world. There are certain flowers, like the various orchids, that are almost exclusively pollinated by mosquitoes!

And really, your beef is only with the momma mosquitoes. The males only consume pollen and nectar. And the females only drink blood when they’re pregnant.

How Many?

Did you know there’s more than 3500 species of mosquitoes? Only about 175 of them exist in the United States, and only 80 of those species are interested in our blood. Unfortunately, Florida has most of those species. And really, it’s partly our fault – most mosquitoes would much rather bite cattle, livestock and wild game. There’s just not as many of those around as our Florida communities grow and build.

Mosquitoes are some of the oldest insects in recorded history. Aristotle mentions them in his writings about 300 years before Jesus was born. And if you remember the movie – Jurassic Park got that part of their science right – mosquitoes have been found encased in amber and fossilized from the Jurassic period, 210 million years ago.

The bumps on your arms and legs are an allergic reaction to the momma mosquito’s saliva that she pushes into you to thin your blood, making it easier for her to draw it out. It also contains a mild sedative, which is why you don’t always feel her “biting” you.

Now That’s a Momma!

When the momma mosquito reaches full term, she gives birth to 2-300 eggs at one time, in standing water. The water dries up and the eggs lay dormant until they get exposed to water again – sometimes for years!

Female mosquitoes live for about 2-3 months, and can get pregnant 3 times during that lifespan. The males only live about 10 days – and they identify the females of their specific species by listening for the sound of their wings beating. Each species has a slightly different pitch.

But What I Really Want to Know…

We know what you’re thinking – that’s all super interesting, but the main thing I care about is not getting bit. We hear you. Mosquitoes can sense our body heat, smell the carbon dioxide on our breath, and the more than 300 chemicals your skin secretes. Wearing dark clothes makes your body warmer and more obvious target, and drinking alcohol makes your CO2 smell sweeter and is a big draw for the biters.

Like everyone else, we’ll mention that it usually helps to keep exposed skin to a minimum, but, c’mon, this is Florida – it’s hot, it’s muggy, and besides… We have a better way!

A Better Solution?

Good News Pest Solutions’ exclusive No Bite Zones Mosquito Protection Program protects your family and pets, now and for the future. The 100% safe, organic treatment doesn’t even harm the momma mosquitoes – it just turns them and their soon to hatch babies into vegans! That means no harmful chemicals, annoying aerosol sprays, or slathering on calamine lotion.

Now is the best time to get started on the program, whether you’re in Lakewood Ranch, Apollo Beach or Port Charlotte. As much as we love them, we have to admit that mosquitoes also spread diseases like Malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus. And in the last 6 months, it looks like St. Louis Encephalitis might be making a return (at least in California).

By the way…

Mosquitoes also carry heartworms. That’s bad news for our four legged family members. But not to worry, not only are our No Bite Zones safe for your pets, they’re vastly more affordable than the cost of de-worming your dog or cat (yeah, cats get them too).

You really shouldn’t delay. Getting started with No Bite Zones is quick and easy. Give us a call and we can get you a quote and explain the process over the phone. And if you’re not one of our Go Green Plus 3 or Term Assure 365 customers, we’d be happy to explain those programs to you too.

For now, let’s raise a cup of the perfect summertime drink, lemonade, to our incredible insect neighbors, the mosquitoes!

Going Paperless, Baby!

Going Paperless Baby!Going Paperless, Baby!

For the past 30 years, we’ve gone above and beyond to fulfill our mission in SarasotaBradenton, Punta Gorda, Lakewood Ranch, really the whole Gulf Coast of Florida, as the industry leader, not only in pest control solutions, but in truly green solutions.

That means 100% all natural products. That means Eco-Superior, botanically based products. That means utilizing pest control solutions that are organic – using naturally occurring elements. And most recently, it’s our exclusive No Bite Zones – turning mosquitoes and their babies into vegans, rather than killing them off. For years, that has meant health and safety for you, your family and your pets, not to mention lowering your risk of cancer and other diseases often caused or made worse by the chemicals in most pesticides.

And now, we’ve decided to raise the bar even further. As God’s stewards of his creation, we have to consider not only how to make our customer’s lives and health better, but also take into account the larger scope of what can better preserve the planet as a whole.

So, in keeping with our mission to be the green leader in our industry and to stay at the cutting edge of technology, we’re moving forward with a paperless system for sales agreements, work orders, service tickets and invoices.

You may have already seen some of our sales and service technicians utilizing mobile tablets, and instead of a paper receipt, you probably got it in your email inbox. Well, within the next 2 months, we will be giving all of our highly trained technicians mobile devices and completely eliminating physical paperwork from our system.

Now, we know some of you are ‘old school’ and still look for that piece of paper, especially if you have to submit your invoices or billing for taxes or reimbursement. While we won’t be bringing or leaving any paper with you, the electronic paperwork will still be properly formatted and attached to an email, so you always have the option of printing it out yourself, to hold onto, file, or send up the chain of command.

We’re excited about this new, greener chapter of Good News Pest Solutions and we hope you are too!

Mild Winter Means More Pests This Spring!

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!

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