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Posts Tagged ‘organic pest control Bradenton’

Love Bug Fruit Cups

Love Bug Fruit CupsAs we approach Valentine’s Day, everyone is talking about how love is in the air.

Bam!

Pop!

Squish!

And now, it’s on your windshield…

We’ve got a special treat for you this month. And don’t worry; it doesn’t involve devouring those sticky little romantic flies splattered across the front of your car.

In fact, while these treats take their name from Plecia nearctica, they don’t look anything like our second favorite Florida insect, and taste a whole lot better. Trust us – you don’t wanna taste real love bugs! Yuck!😝

Now, to be honest, this post is more of an arts and craft project than most of the recipes we share, but what better way to connect your kids to the fun?

Here’s What You Need

First, you’ll need to stop by the grocery store and pick up Dole Pineapple in Sugar Free Strawberry Gel Fruit Cups. Your mouth is already watering, isn’t it? Ours is.

Love Bug Fruit Cups

Photo Source: The Melrose Family

Then stop by your favorite fabric or craft store and grab the following:

  • Sparkly Pipe Cleaners
  • 3″ Sparkly Pom Poms for ends of Pipe Cleaners
  • 1/2″ Pom Poms for nose
  • Assorted colors and size of Googly Eyes (yes, that’s a word!)
  • Pink Foam Sheet for heart shaped feet – or you can pick up pre-cut foam hearts
  • Hot glue sticks & Gun – If you’re not a big crafter, you can usually find small sets for just a few dollars.

Putting it Together

First cut the sparkly pipe cleaners in half. Then glue the sparkle pom poms to the ends of the sparkle pipe cleaners, so they look a bit like the flowers and trees in a Dr. Seuss book.

Hot glue the googly eyes and tinier nose pom pom onto the front of the fruit cup to create the face.

Place a quick drop of hot glue on the base of each heart, then set the fruit cups so the lobes look like two pairs of toes – the feet of our fruity bugs.

Finally, glue the antennas to the back of the fruit cup so that they will stick straight up.

Now you’re ready to bring these Love Bug Fruit Cups to Valentine’s parties at school or home or even home schools!

Thanks to Jenny Melrose for this idea!

But What About…

Now as for the real love bugs, we’ve got a few safe, natural ways to keep them away from your house and help you get them off your car easier. You can check these out here.

Don’t worry, you’ve got time! While you may have already seen a few, Love Bug season really kicks off in late April & early May and September.

Yes, fine! We’ll answer the one lingering question we know you’re still curious about: It was a dare, okay?

If you have any other questions or need us to help handle Love Bugs or any other pest, contact us today! At Good News Pest Solutions, we only use organic, environmentally and family safe products to solve your pest problems.

And one more thing, Happy Valentine’s Day! 💗

The Bed Buggiest Cities in America

Bed Buggiest CitiesThere are lots of Top Ten lists for cities: best beaches, most friendly, lowest crime, most bed bugs? Yeah, that’s the last list any city wants to top off, but unfortunately somebody has to – and for the first time in five years, it wasn’t Chicago. Baltimore, the ‘city of 1,000 slogans,’ has a new, unfortunate moniker, the leader of bed bug outbreaks for 2016. Meanwhile, the Windy City isn’t in the clear, dropping just 2 slots on the annual list.

Bed Bugs On the Rise

Just 10 years ago, most people hadn’t even heard of bed bugs, as Cimex lectularius (and its tropical cousin Cimex hemipterus) had been pretty much dormant in the United States since the 1960’s. But shortly after we celebrated surviving the virtual computer bugs of Y2K, very real bed bugs began re-emerging as a significant threat.

What’s worse, bed bug populations are booming so much that they’ve begun spreading from their normal feeding grounds – beds in homes and hotels where humans are at rest for an extended period of time – to office building complexes. In fact, more than 70 percent of people in urban environments have encountered bed bugs.

How Does Florida Rank?

In Florida, infestations are down: the Tampa-St. Petersburg area dropped down to #35 on the list, Orlando-Daytona is #44, and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale dropped to #46.

Experts say that education and preventative measures are the best defense against bed bugs. In the past 10 years, the annual amount spent to treat for Cimex lectularius has increased more than 600 times.

However, the fact that the most popular vacation spots – including most of the Sunshine state – are low on the list, if at all, is a clear indicator that efforts in these areas are making an impact on the increase of the bugs, despite a higher chance of their spread.

Because of their size and the fact that many people don’t react to their bites, bed bugs can be hard to find. They can hide in the smallest of cracks, mattress seams, even thick carpet, and can survive for nearly a year without feeding. The first signs are often the small dark stains the bugs leave behind. And while opinions vary, it seems that black or UV lights don’t make bedbugs any more detectable.

How to Search for Bed Bugs

When traveling, remember the SLEEP acronym:

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Look for black or brown spots on any furniture.
  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, bedskirt and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest place is in the bathtub.
  • Examine your luggage while repacking and once you return home from a trip.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

At home, decrease clutter, check your bed and bed clothes regularly and inspect any secondhand furniture before bringing it into your home. And if you find a potential infestation on your bed linens or stuffed animals, run them in the dryer at the highest heat the fabric can sustain for 15-30 minutes. And while you’re waiting on that, contact Good News Pest Solutions to come and treat your home with the safest and most affordable organic pest control on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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!

The 9 Things Mosquitoes Hate – And You’ll Love

Things Mosquitoes HateYes, we sometimes jokingly refer to them as the ‘state bird.’ But even before there was the threat of the Zika virus spreading throughout the sunshine state, mosquitoes have been one of our least favorite Florida residents.

And unlike the snowbirds, they don’t have a season, although they do tend to be more active during the rainy summers.

Chances are you’ve been woken up a few mornings by low-flying mosquito control planes, or driven through a late night cloud of DEET in more rural areas, as state and county officials try to combat the nasty little biters the way they have for the past 50 years. But those aren’t the only solutions to the problem. Here are 9 ways you can combat mosquito bites without harmful chemicals.

9 Ways to Combat Mosquitoes Naturally

  1. DRYNESS: The first, and possibly most obvious way to win the war on mosquitoes is by keeping it dry. As we mentioned, the rainy season is the most populous mosquito weather. That’s because the momma mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. They dry out, then hatch once the water returns. So avoiding any areas of standing water on your property, from pet dishes, to birdbaths, to those bright blue tarps is essential to cutting down the mosquito population.
  2. SMOKE: There’s a reason torches are so popular for background get-togethers in Florida – and it’s not because of their more tropical look. Whether dipped in citronella or just generating an ashen atmosphere, smoke is a natural repellent for mosquitoes. Of course, some citronella is better than none, but even just placing a burning paper egg carton on the edge of your barbeque grill is a great way to keep the biters at bay.

Clothing

  1. LOOSE-FITTING Clothes: Believe it or not, just covering up with long sleeves is not enough. In fact, if your outfit is too tight, it might make you more appealing to hungry momma mosquitoes. Wearing clothing that is more loose fitting or even baggy not only makes it harder for mosquitoes to find your exposed skin, but it also keeps you cooler – and harder for the heat–driven insects to gravitate towards. We don’t, however, recommend wearing those pants that fall off your rear…😜
  2. LIGHT COLORED Clothes: In the same vein, darker colors are more visible to mosquitoes and mark you as a more tasty treat to their insect eyes. Lighter, pale colors blend into the background in the biter’s sight. Darker colors can not only appear warmer to mosquitoes, but the contrast also makes you stand out more, potentially drawing them in.
  3. FAN: Believe it or not, a good stiff breeze – whether natural or generated by a good fan – also helps keep mosquitoes away. You might recall from your school biology class that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide for plants. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, which the wind from a decent fan disperses and dilutes. Plus, mosquitoes are weak fliers, so the breeze keeps them from getting close enough to bite you.

Flavors

  1. OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS: When New Mexico State University looked for alternative ways to fight the spread of the Zika virus, they found that certain essential oils and plants naturally repelled mosquitoes. Most of us already know that Citronella works well, but cedar and garlic also have varying rates of effectiveness. The top two most effective were lemon eucalyptus oils and
  2. CITRUS: Citrus plants, as well as their crushed leaves and extracts made from them, naturally repel mosquitoes. Oranges, lemons, lavender, basil and catnip naturally produce oils that repel mosquitoes and are generally pleasant to the nose – unless you’re of the feline persuasion. The odor that mosquitoes most hate though is one you might not have heard of: Lantana. Their bitter citrusy smell is one that mosquitoes tend to avoid unless they’re really hungry. And they only cost a few dollars per home.
  3. BEER: Unfortunately, we aren’t about to tell you that drinking alcoholic spirits will repel mosquitoes. In fact, it’s the opposite. There’s something about the chemical reaction when the body processes alcohol, especially beer, that exudes a sweet smell in your sweat that attracts the hungry insects.
  4. PICARIDIN: We’re guessing you aren’t that familiar with this last one, at least by its proper name. But you may have heard of “Fisherman’s Formula.” Picaridin is a synthetic compound developed from the piperine plant – the same place we get table pepper. Unlike DEET, it doesn’t kill mosquitoes, but makes the user practically invisible to hungry mosquitoes. And if you’re planning a woodland hike, it chases off chiggers, too!

Of course, there’s another solution to preventing mosquitoes that we’ve found very effective. Our exclusive No Bite Zones technology not only keeps mosquitoes from biting you, it turns the hungry momma mosquitoes – and their offspring – into vegans, who don’t even feed on mammals. And unlike the dangerous chemicals you might find elsewhere, GardenPaqs from Good News Pest Solutions are safe for your family, your pets, and in this case, the mosquitoes, leaving them free to do their job as pollinators. Contact us today for more details!

 

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!

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