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Posts Tagged ‘natural pest control sarasota’

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!

Spring Brings Flowers, Showers, and… Swarmers?

Sping Brings Flowers, Showers, and SwarmersWe are in the midst of National Termite Week 2017 and it’s that time of year when folks like us warn folks like you to be on the lookout for swarming subterranean termites as the weather starts turning warmer. But why, you may ask, is that important to us here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where the temperatures are always pretty, well, temperate?

Well, it just so happens that, according to the National Pest Management Association, Florida has the highest termite ‘pressure’ in the US. And where pressure builds, there’s bound to be a release sooner or later.

And guess where one of the highest concentrations of Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes flavipes is? That’s right, the Gulf Coast of Florida. Check out the interactive map here!

Did you know that termites are responsible for $5 billlion in annual damages – more than floods and fires combined! And the swarming subterranean termites take the credit for 80% of that total!

So, as the snowbirds begin to plan their annual trek back to the Midwest and Canada and the college kids stop by for their annual week of sandy beach going, the rest of us will be on the lookout for the signs of subterranean swarming termites in our future.

  • Wood Damage – If the wood in your home is starting to look weakened or you see mysterious cracks, find a piece you can break off and inspect. If there’s a spreading fungus, then you’ve got dry rot. A problem to be sure, but one easily handled with a little epoxy and wood hardener. If, on the other hand, you discover tunnels spreading throughout the wood, especially tunnels with dirt residue in them, you’ve likely got termites.
  • Mud Tunnels – If you start to see small tubes of mud around the foundation of your house, about the width of a pencil, that’s a definite sign of swarming termite activity. While you can’t see all the way down, these tunnels lead into your house and the termites will use these tubes as their personal subway to get to the wood and moisture inside your home.
  • Termites – Yeah, this is the obvious one. If you see a whole passel of these little guys, especially in a tub or sink, guess what? You’ve got a problem. Subterranean termites can be identified by their black bodies with milky-colored wings. Drywood termites are more reddish-brown in color and have rainbow-colored wings.

Regardless of which termites might be trying to invade your home, Good News Pest Solutions has the plan that’s right for you, from Bradenton to Lakewood Ranch. To find out about our Termite Inspection for your property – before or after it’s built on, or our highly effective and affordable Term-Assure 365 for complete insect control year round, just contact us!

And like all of our solutions, our termite protection is 100% safe for your whole family. Don’t delay – as soon as you see signs of a termite problem, let us get to work for you!

 

 

 

Best Bug Pic of the Year

Bug Pic of the YearThey say that a picture is worth a thousand words. For Ed Freytag, senior entomologist at the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board, his latest picture was literally worth half of that.

This is really cool! Freytag was searching for catalpa caterpillars to snap images of when he spotted an acorn weevil under the lower leaves of the catalpa tree. He shifted gears quickly, prodding the insect to move higher so he could get a better shot – and it was worth it.

His highly detailed photo of the acorn weevil was the winner of Pest Control Technology’s annual photography contest, netting him the $500 prize.

Now that’s a serious commitment!

Freytag, who has been with the New Orleans Board for 27 years, took the photo while on vacation in August in Missouri. As lifelong bug enthusiasts ourselves, we can’t help but admire his commitment to the insect world.

But Freytag didn’t even know how great a photo he’d snapped until he reviewed the digital image on the camera’s LCD screen.

As he reviewed the several shots he had taken of the weevil, he noticed that its body was covered in scales and fine hair that was not easily visible to the naked eye.  Let’s be honest – most of us never want to get so close to a bug that we can see every hair.

But Freytag selected the best image and submitted it for the contest.

What a Winner!

The PCT judges were impressed with the detail on the shot, also noting the contrast between the green leaf and the brown weevil and the distinct drops of water.

PCT has been running the contest for 15 years.

Check out Freytag’s winning photo here, and click here to see the other 10 finalists!

If you’re seeing bugs you weren’t expecting in your house or yard, give us a call. We’re happy to come out and take a look – you might even qualify for our Term-Assure 365 program! You never know until you ask!

 

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.

Argentine Ants – A Global Problem

The Extraordinary Argentine AntAh, the Mighty Ant! From Solomon’s exhortation to “go (look) to the ant, thou sluggard,” to the Ancient Greek fable later recounted by Aesop, to the strange reverence some native peoples of Africa have for the tiny insects, ants have been a cultural touchstone throughout society. There’s even a government-funded research program to make the Internet more useful by modeling interaction on the World Wide Web with the way ants communicate to the rest of their colony.

Ants can lift & carry food weighing up to 20 times their own body weight. That would be like you or I hoisting a 2-ton hamburger on our backs! They can construct structures up to 500 times their own height. And interestingly enough, ants also have 2 stomachs. The second one is strictly used for storing food to share with others later!

There are approximately 13,000 known species of ants, and myrmecologists – the technical term for the people who study ants – believe there could be thousands more waiting to be found. Today we’re going to focus on one of the most interesting and mysterious species, Linepithema humile, commonly known as the Argentine Ant.

So, from Argentina, Right..?

As you can guess from the name, Argentine ants are native to South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Unfortunately, when the Spanish conquistadors and European missionaries came to explore the area, they inadvertently spread the Argentine ants all across the globe – from Europe to Japan to Australia, New Zealand, and of course, what eventually became the United States. The Argentine Ants are now established in 15 countries on 6 continents!

That wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that the Linepithema humile are a very aggressive species of ants. When you add that to their genetic makeup and unique colonization methods, they very quickly become a force to be reckoned with.

In most insect colonization efforts – and those of mammals as well – there is a natural tendency to protect those of the same family, extended family and then, if possible, the global family. Evolutionary biologists call this “kin selection theory,” proposing that they have developed that predisposition for the preservation of the uniqueness of their genetic heritage.

Supercolonies: the Avengers of Ants?

Argentine Ants defy this supposedly predisposition because of their extraordinary social organization, called unicoloniality or ‘Super Colonies.’ This essentially means you can take an Argentine Ant from one colony in Africa, preserve it long enough to drop it into a colony in Hawaii and the ant would join the new colony with virtually no adjustment period!

By the same token, colonies of Argentine Ants, instead of battling other neighboring Argentine Ant colonies for dominance, instead cooperate in destroying the colonies of any other species of ant. In fact, Argentine Ants are ranked among the world’s 100 worst animal invaders.

It is estimated that one of the largest Super Colonies of Argentine Ants – ranging from San Diego to San Francisco, CA (more than 450 miles) – may consist of approximately 1-TRILLION ants.

But that’s not all…

To further confuse matters, Argentine Ants in the native habitat co-exist with their neighboring ant species and don’t grow to Super Colony levels.

While several factors have been tested, there is no definitive reason science has yet discovered for these ants unusual and varied behavior. It’s just one more mystery of God’s creation that we continue to notice and explore.

Chances are high that you’ve run into Argentine Ants. They often attempt to occupy homes when the temperatures rise, or their nests are displaced with excessive rain. Yes, our Florida weather is the perfect place for them to thrive. And often the queens are right there invading your home, and making it difficult to fully eliminate.

There is Good News!

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we deal with all sorts of ants, from the biting fire ants to the home invading ghost ants, and yes, the Argentine Ant. While ants may seem like a simple problem to handle, once entrenched, they tend to be difficult to relocate without professional help. If you’re having an ant problem of any size, indoors or out, please contact us. We utilize the best all-natural, organic solutions that protect your family while eliminating the problem.

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