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Posts Tagged ‘natural pest control bradenton’

Bumblebees Placed on the Endangered List

Bumblebees-On the Endangered ListIn the 1970’s, the unusual loss of several colonies of bees across the United States led to a bit of a panic among scientists and farmers. It seemed that there was a global crisis in the making. That scare was mined by science fiction authors and moviemakers, even as recently as the 2008 film, The Happening. Ultimately, in real life, it was discovered that the so-called “Disappearing Disease” had been recorded as far back as the 17th century and was part of the normal cycle of bee colony life, albeit a rarer occurrence.

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we deal with and study a lot of different insects and bugs – yes, they are two different things – and one of our favorites has always been the humble bumblebee.  While they don’t produce enough honey to harvest, they are excellent pollinators, especially for wildflowers and cranberry bushes, and you could call them the original AirBnB-ers, reusing mouse holes, compost heaps, and piles of leaves for their homes.

What’s Happening to the Rusty Patch Bumblebee?

Unfortunately, one science fiction nightmare is coming true. Bombus affinis, also known as the rusty patched bumblebee, has now been placed on the endangered list. The rusty patch bumblebee is a native to North America, at one time blanketing the upper Midwest. But their numbers have been declining since 2003. By 2014, the state of Vermont and then Canada declared the bombus affinis an endangered species. Now, after an estimated 87% decline, as tracked by the Xerces Society, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has given the species endangered status.

Unfortunately, the biggest threat to Bombus affinis is other bumblebees. In the 90’s, several efforts were made to commercialize the bumblebee populations for better crop pollination. One such effort involved shipping queens of two species of bumblebees, Bombus occidentalis and Bombus impatiens to breeding facilities in Europe. The resulting colonies were then shipped back to farms in the United States. Recent studies have theorized that these colonies were infected by wild European bees in the same facility and brought the disease back to North America, devastating bee populations that had not built up a natural resistance.

Additionally, all bumblebees are at risk from pesticides and environmental encroachment (that’s a big phrase for the problems caused when we keep building more stuff). Even the farmers bumblebees are meant to help and the fertilizers they spread can have a negative effect on the bumblebee population. Planting more crops leaves less space for milkweed and other wildflowers that the bumblebees rely on for the feeding of the colony.

The easiest way to identify the Bombus affinis is by their unique markings. Unlike the round markings on the back of most bumblebees, the rusty patched bumblebees have an almost mushroom shape, that tapers to a V in their back.

What You Can Do To Help

So what can you do? The rusty patched bumblebee is seldom found in Florida, but in general, just leave bumblebee nests alone. Except for the queens, the bee colony dies off each season, and bumblebees in general are not that aggressive, so just relax and let them go about their way. And when more tips are offered, we’ll be the first to let you know!

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we care about the environment and endeavor to use cutting-edge, natural, eco-friendly pest control measures that are safe for our earth and you, while being highly effective at controlling pests. If you are looking for a green pest control company, look no further! You have found the Gulf Coast’s leader in natural pest control; contact us today!

Are Mice Causing Asthma in Schools?

Mice and AsthmaWhen temperatures start to drop, most warm blooded creatures– ourselves included – tend to seek out places and situations where they’ll stay a bit warmer.

If you’ve been in Florida for more than a few months, you’ll mysteriously find, regardless of where you came from, that you have a lower threshold for colder weather, even when the mercury is only dropping below 60-degrees.

Living in Florida causes physiological changes, that, combined with higher humidity, causes us to feel like 50 degrees around here is like 32 in Ohio, Michigan or Indiana.

What you may not know is that we’re not alone in this phenomenon. All mammals on the Gulf Coast of Florida: dogs, cats, mice and rats feel the “chill,” and subsequently also seek to bundle up if they can or move into places where it’s warmer. And thanks to our own adjusted cold tolerance, those places are often our homes, our schools and our churches.

An unfortunate side effect of the rodents seeking shelter is the spread of various allergens carried on their fur into the buildings, especially those with centralized heating and cooling systems.

Is There A Connection Between Mice and Asthma?

According to the CDC, more than 6-million kids suffer from asthma, including 17% of black children.

In the past, scientists and doctors studied the primary place where kids spend most of their time – their homes (and even their yards, although that’s less frequent these days).

And while there are many different allergy triggers that can be encountered in life, recent studies seem to show that kids who develop asthma and asthma like symptoms do so after being exposed to these allergens in their secondary home – their schools.

While the researchers are quick to point out there is no clear causal relationship between mouse-borne allergens and asthma, they did discover that they are universally present in schools. Further, in the inner city schools they tested, those with higher levels of mice-related allergens suffered symptoms at least one more day a week than kids in the other schools.

Other allergens, like dog and cat dander and dust mites were also found, but at much smaller levels and none of them appeared to increase the chance of asthma like the mouse-related allergens.

Further studies are being planned, but it seems clear that limiting exposure to mice, however cute, and the allergens they carry is important to help control asthma. Scientists will look into improving the air quality in schools and taking steps to control the pests by removing clutter and sealing up building cracks.

Of course, you can also take steps to control the exposure of your family to the allergens these rodents carry by taking steps at home.  Good News Pest Solutions has been recognized as the Gulf Coast’s leading expert on keeping rats and mice out of your house and in reducing the rodent population outdoors as well. We guarantee your property for a year after treatment and, like all our solutions, employ environmentally safe alternatives to harmful chemicals. Contact us to find out more today!

Extreme Bugs: The Orchid Mantis

Extreme Bugs The Orchid MantisIt’s been a while, but we’re finally back with one of our fun fan favorites – Extreme Bugs! This time around, we’re taking a look at one of the most unique members of the insect community – the beautiful but deadly Orchid Mantis.

Hymenopus coronatus uses cryptic mimicry to draw in its prey – other insects – by taking on the appearance of a beautiful flower – or so we thought. Recent studies show that the insects the Mantis consumes aren’t fooled by their predator’s resemblance to flowers, but simply to its brightly colored and petal shaped body.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. As you can see from our title picture, the Orchid Mantis sports a brightly colored pink and white body, and that body is flattened, making it look more like a flower than its brown, angular Praying Mantis cousins. And while the Orchid Mantis is the first known animal to be a true flower mimic, all isn’t as it seems. Although the Mantis takes its name from the orchid flower, in fact, it doesn’t look like an orchid any more than just any generic flower.

For years, naturalists believed that the Mantis was drawing its victims by camouflaging itself among flowers. But it turns out those were assumptions made based on limited facts, the Mantis’ being very rare in nature. And while we think it looks like a specific flower, the bugs it attracts just like the pretty colors that, to their limited brains, appear as food sources, as opposed to their doom.

The Mantis’ aggressive mimicry is not unknown to the insect world – Bolas spiders mimic the mating pheromones of female moths to draw horny male moths to their death and the female Photorus firefly mimics the flash pattern of other species of fireflies to bring in male suitors for dinner. Basically, males ‘in the mood’ are easily distracted by sparkling lights and pleasant smells, leaving them confused and nearly helpless. Uh, male insects, that is…

The Orchid Mantis, however, doesn’t discriminate on what they will feed on, enjoying a variety of flying insects of all genders, using their flowery colors and sensory exploitation to attract houseflies, bees, blue bottle flies – even in some cases butterflies! And their flower-like appearance protects them from birds and other natural predators.

Orchid Mantis, just one more example of the wonder of God’s creation and another interesting chapter in our exploration of Extreme Bugs!

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 Prayer for You!

Merry Christmas 2017

It’s Christmas and we love celebrating it here at Good News Pest Solutions! It’s a joy and an honor to be able to share the “Good News” with you. This is our prayer for you this holiday season! (The credit for this goes to the incomparable Bebe Winans!)

My Christmas Prayer

I pray for peace
Blessings and honor
Heaven right earth’s despair
This is my Christmas prayer

For those that grieve
God will bring comfort
Laughter will rapture there
This is my Christmas prayer

See I pray that love will rule and reign
And I pray that time will rid the pain of this world
As we learn to trust and care
This is my Christmas prayer

I pray for you, yes, I know you do
That your triumph and conquer
Poses the strength you need to bare
This is my Christmas prayer

For those in need
There would be plenty
And each other’s burdens share
Oh this is my Christmas prayer

See I pray that love will rule and reign
And I pray that time will rid the pain of this world
As we learn to trust and care
This is my Christmas prayer

So let hope fill our hearts, let’s let hope fill our hearts
Shine the light through the dark
All around the world and everywhere
I will pray this Christmas prayer, prayer

See I pray that love will rule and reign
And I pray that time will rid the pain of this world
As we learn to trust and care
This is my Christmas, this is my Christmas prayer

See I pray that love will rule and reign
And I pray that time will rid the pain of this world
As we learn to trust and care
This is my Christmas prayer
This is my Christmas prayer

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Good News Pest Solutions! We wish you the happiest of days and that the love of God fills your heart to overflowing this holiday season!

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