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Random Acts of Kindness Day-Part 2!

February 17th-Random Acts of Kindness DayLast week, we started this post with the many ways you can make a difference in this world. Now here’s the rest…

Do Your Part to Save the Planet

  • Buy and bring reusable shopping bags when shopping. They can hold more, last longer and don’t add to our landfills.
  • Bottle your own water – stop buying a new case from the store every couple weeks, and invest in a BPA-free reusable bottle. If you really need filtration, get a charcoal filter Brita pitcher and keep it full in the fridge.
  • Turn off the light when you leave the room. It’ll save the planet and your electric bill.
  • Walk or ride your bike if you can. Short trips can be good exercise, you get to see more of the world around you, and you’ll feel better physically and spiritually.

Donate Money – It Doesn’t Even Have to Come out of Your Pocket

  • Donate a small sum of money to a charity you love. Size doesn’t matter – every penny counts for most charities, especially at other times of the year than December when most people give.
  • Give a foster child a memory. Often Foster Parents are overextended just to give lost kids a safe home. One Simple Wish has an online directory of requests that case workers submit for their foster youth – money to go to prom, take dance lessons, cheerleading or sports uniforms, or books for higher education classes.
  • Kiva lets you loan money to third world entrepreneurs. The micro-loans may seem small to you, but they make a huge difference for those family businesses and 99% of the loans are paid back.
  • let’s you support schools and teachers in your community so students can get the tools, supplies and experiences they need for a great education. You can designate the benefits for a school district in general, or for a specific school, all across the country.
  • Box Tops for Education gives money to schools who collect the little tabs on certain grocery items.
  • Save your soda can tabs for The Ronald McDonald House  who gets money from the aluminum companies.

Donate While You Shop

  • Many grocery stores and Target offer their customers the chance to give back by designating that a non-profit receives a small percentage of the customers purchase price. It doesn’t even come out of your pocket, but can make a huge difference.
  • Amazon Smile is a similar program through
  • Other online retailers like Best Buy, Expedia and more offer giving options through iGive. Again, none of this comes out of your own pocket.
  • Consider using Goodsearch instead of Google or Bing. A portion of the advertising revenues it gets are funneled into designated charities.

Pay it Forward – Or Behind!

  • The next time you’re in the drive-thru line at Starbucks or Burger King, pay for the next person’s meal or beverage. You can do it in store too, but sometimes there’s an added feeling of excitement knowing that the person will be surprised.
  • Invite someone to dinner – especially at the holidays when it is difficult for some people to be alone.

Donate Your Things

  • Instead of holding on to a lot of extra stuff in case you need it for a rainy day, or in case it comes back into style, why not hand me down your still useable things to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or Kiwanis. Someone who really needs it can use your stuff, you get a tax deduction and the charity continues to fund their other work.
  • Give Back Box will send you prepaid shipping labels so you can donate clothes, household items, games and electronics, and they ship the items to Goodwill at no charge.
  • Gently used medical goods are needed too. For eyeglasses, look up your local Lion’s Club, and for orthopedics, check out the Elks.
  • If you’re home during the day, pop out and offer your mail carrier and garbage men a Gatorade or bottled water. This also a nice gesture for crossing guards, school bus drivers, and security guards if you live near a school.
  • Even today, we’re not on the computer all day. Sign up with BOINC, a revolutionary project from the University of California & the National Science Foundation. You can share your computer’s processing power when you’re not using it to work on complex equations that are calculating study results for research on various diseases and other high-level research projects.
  • If you have odd jobs around the house, you can post them on Hire Patriots and give some much needed extra income to Vets in your area who are struggling to make ends meet.

Donate Yourself

Your most valuable asset is your time – and oftentimes, a small portion of it offered to others makes a huge impact.

  • Have a neighbor with a new family member, or caring for a sick relative? Offer to pick up a few things for them the next time you’re heading to the store anyways. If they offer to pay, fine. If not, it’s one more thing to help them out.
  • Sign up with Be The Match to be a part of the bone marrow registry. It only takes a mailed in cheek swab to connect, and you could be saving a life.
  • Don’t forget the troops’ families – too often the people left behind when a soldier is deployed feel isolated and desperate. And many times they’re single parenting while their loved one is defending our freedom. Thanking them is a start, but you can also offer to babysit, help out around the house, even give them a ride to the store, or to drop off and pick up a vehicle when it needs repairs.
  • You can do the same for the men and women whose service is ended. Many veterans don’t have transportation to and from their medical appointments at VA Hospitals. You can volunteer as a van driver for Disabled American Veterans.
  • When a friend’s family member dies, create a one of a kind memory book. Get friends and family members to provide stories, anecdotes and photos of the deceased. You don’t even have to be Creative Memories certified – just put everything in one bound volume your friend can cherish forever.
  • If you can’t make an entire book, even just sharing your fond memories is appreciated. Take a moment to celebrate their life and the difference they made.
  • Instead of throwing out the flowers after a wedding, consider donating them to a nursing home or hospice care. But don’t just drop them off, personally bring a flower or two to each resident. Sit with them, hear their stories. You’ll probably get more out of it than the joy you bring them.

Be a Listening Ear

  • If we know someone is going through a divorce, death or sickness, sometimes we opt to give them space. Occasionally, that’s what they need. More often, though, your attempt to be sensitive leaves them feeling even more isolated and alone. No one will get upset at you for asking if they want to talk, and if that is what they want, they’ll be relieved to be able to share their pain.
  • Don’t interrupt and don’t offer solutions. This is something men especially struggle with. More often than not, the person just wants to either vent or talk out the situation to figure it out in their own minds. Don’t fix it for them. We underestimate how important and comforting it is to be listened to.
  • Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
  • Check in with someone. Especially older extended family or friends. While they don’t want to be seen as invalids, they almost always welcome company and are happy to sit and catch up.

Instead of Criticism, Give Praise

  • We hear NO far more often than we hear YES. Even from well-meaning folks trying to protect us.
  • Make the decision to encourage people to follow their passions and dreams and to fulfil their goals. Even if we think they’re unrealistic.
  • By the way, it’s okay to say yes to yourself too. Don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish and inspire others to try! When was the last time you saw a movie about someone who took NO for an answer?
  • By the same token, instead of always being critical of people, look for opportunities to be positive, praise and encourage them.
  • Especially your kids. Instead of always pointing out what they get wrong or when they misbehave, strive to recognize them for success and for acting appropriately. You’ll be impressed by the difference it makes.
  • A lot of radio stations and morning news programs welcome people calling in to share good news that happened to them the past week. Call in and share your good news – someone probably needs to hear it.

When You See Something, Say Something

  • When you see something good, share it.
  • Post on Facebook and Twitter. Take social media away from the arguers and angry trolls and fill it with the positive stories about the world you see. Thank people publicly, share someone else’s good news, make positive comments on their posts.
  • Don’t limit it to social media – leave positive post-it notes for friends, family and coworkers when you catch them doing something good.
  • If you get great service at a restaurant, thank the server, tell the manager, and be sure to post a positive review. The same goes for retail stores and calling centers. You really want to make an impression? Ask for the corporate address and write a letter to the company, praising the person by name for delivering excellence.
  • Don’t forget to do the same at your own workplace. If there’s an employee of the month award, try to find someone to nominate each month for it.

Now It’s Your Turn

It’s time to get out there and be the change you want to see in the world – one act at a time you can be the light that brightens another person’s gloom.

We don’t think one day is enough. But just like each of us doing one thing – it’s a start. And a start is all we need. It’s time to bring hope back into the world. What will you do today to make a difference in someone else’s life?

Leave a comment below about something you did, or share your creative ideas for doing one little thing to help another person.

Give the Gift of a Pest-Free Home This Christmas

Give the Gift of a Pest-Free HomeThanksgiving was only last week, and with it, the 2 busiest shopping weeks of the year: Black Friday (and Thanksgiving itself for many retailers), Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – or is it Cyber Week? – finishing off with Giving Tuesday.

Some reports are saying that Americans spent up to $17 Billion, on discounted TV’s, video games, clothes and other (presumably) Christmas presents. $17 Billion.

Here’s some other numbers to consider – 90% of homes in the United States are infested with some sort of insect. It’s a little higher here in Florida, as we’re the number one worst state for bug infestations. I know, not the number one we were hoping for, is it?

That’s a LOT of Bugs!

60% of all Florida homes report infestations of ants and 27% of people believe it’s likely that they will suffer from a termite invasion. Of course, you know we have a saying here at Good News Pest Solutions: “There are two kinds of homes in Florida, those who have termites and those who will get termites.

And that’s not just our sales pitch – researchers at the University of Florida found that more than half of all buildings in Florida will have subterranean termites by 2040 – and it already costs homeowners in the state more than $500 Million a year in damages from existing termites.

So, perhaps instead of getting that great new 3D 4K 1080p television at Walmart that you’ll give away when the new ones come out, you should invest in Term-Assure 365!

What’s Term-Assure 365?

What better gift for the whole family than a completely pest-free home? Year round. And it stays that way without any harsh, potentially dangerous chemicals, no leave behind bait that your kids or pets could accidentally eat; a 100%  all-natural and highly effective insect treatment.

You can get all of that with our Go Green Plus 3.

But, for just a few dollars more (and a lot less than that discount TV) you can upgrade to Term-Assure 365. The same coverage you get from Go Green Plus 3, which keeps your home and perimeter pest-free, but also world-class termite protection that can’t be matched.

We’ll perform a thorough Home Health Check Up of your entire home for termites to make sure you don’t already have a problem. Then, we’ll apply our revolutionary Go Green plus 3 interior and exterior pest control service that’s safe for the whole family and completely organic. Go Green takes care of most every creepy crawly you might encounter in Florida, from ants to spiders to cockroaches – even palmetto bugs – and more. Then, we install termite monitoring stations around the outside perimeter of your home.

Every 4 months we come back – that’s the PLUS 3! – and make sure your home is free of insects and check the termite monitoring stations. And, of course, if you happen across some insects between scheduled visits, give us a call and we’ll be right back out, lickety-split.

If evidence of termites is found, we will schedule a treatment of the outside perimeter of your home with the most effective, yet environmentally-friendly, termiticide ever invented. And we’ll continue monitoring.

It’s hard to put a price on that kind of peace of mind. And we haven’t even mentioned the warranty yet!

Did You Say Warranty?

We’re so confident about our process that we offer a $1 million termite damage repair warranty. That’s more than your homeowners insurance would cover – if it didn’t already exclude termites.

So, you can get your family a big screen TV and feel like you’re right there in the game (or Hugh Grant’s arms), or you can get your family total peace of mind. Or do both – our price really is affordable!

Give us a call today to schedule your Check Up appointment and then relax knowing your family and pets are protected and safe and you’ve found a pest control solution that will serve you for life. And if you’re already one of our Go Green Plus 3 or No Bite Zones customers – consider upgrading and adding the extra protection of Term-Assure 365.

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!

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