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Posts Tagged ‘Pest Control Lakewood Ranch’

Pest of the Month: Rats!

Pest of the Month-RatsWas there ever a mammal more reviled and maligned than the rat? First to leave the ship, the nickname for anyone who acts in their own interest at the expense of others, accused of spreading disease (even when they don’t). Even animal rights activists don’t get as riled up when they’re used for scientific testing as they do about other, cuter animals. In fact, any sympathy they get is mostly from that Pixar film.

And to be sure, some of the criticism is well-earned. They are well-known to be scavengers. They have helped circulate some diseases – 35 according to the CDC – in populated areas, just not the Black Plague. That particular outbreak was likely caused by another rodent renowned for evil – or maybe not – the Gerbil. Rats eat their own feces – apparently for its nutritional value. They also can’t control their bladders. As they walk, they dribble urine everywhere.

A Problem of Perception

So it might surprise you to find out that rats are actually some of the cleanest animals around. They can spend several hours a day on their grooming. They’re actually less likely to catch or transmit diseases than dogs and cats!

They’re also incredibly loyal, loving, and community-oriented animals. A single rat will get despondent if left without companionship. By the same token, they suffer some of the same social complications as humans do – being bullied, succumbing to peer pressure, often eating new things just because all the other rats are doing it.

But as a community – known as a mischief – they care for their sick and injured, have dreams while sleeping, and make laughing sounds when they play.

It’s rumored that both Queen Victoria and Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter kept rats as pets. And along with Laika & Ham the Astrochimp, one of the first mammals in space was a brown rat, launched by France.

Clone Wars?

When scientists started seriously studying genetic diversity and cloning, they began by inbreeding rats, brother to sister, for 300 generations. The resulting rats were 99% genetically identical, even closer than we’ve yet been able to achieve with cloning.

One of the reasons that rats seem to be everywhere is because of their mating schedule. A female rat can mate as many as – wait for it – 500 times the 6 hour period that she’s in the mood. And she gets feeling that way about every 3.5 weeks. So in the average rats lifespan of 2-3 years, she can produce somewhere between 4 and 18 THOUSAND descendants.  That might explain how they originated in Asia and Australia but conquered the rest of the world long before man did.

Despite that, there are 7 species of rats on the Endangered Species list.

Smarter Than They Look

Their eyesight is poor, so rats use their whiskers and scent organs in their feet to find their way around. Rats are more intelligent than rabbits, hamsters, mice, gerbils and guinea pigs. They can learn their own name and once they’ve solved a maze, they never forget which way to go. Maybe we should harness them for our GPS’s!

Did you know rats are trained to detect land mines without setting them off? They’ve even trained some to drag cable through walls for electricians.

Recent Reputation

Rats weren’t always a harbinger of doom. In Rome they were considered good luck; they’re one of the more positive signs on the Chinese Zodiac, and to this day there’s a Hindu temple in India where pilgrims come to worship and feed the rats.

Other Fun Facts:

  • Rats chew through everything in an attempt to wear down their long teeth that never stop growing. You might say that they’re in a perpetual teething period.
  • A rat can go longer than a camel without having a drink of water.
  • Rats’ tails help them to balance while climbing and regulate their body temperature since they can’t sweat.

But despite all the really cool things about rats, we know most people don’t want to see them in their homes – especially if they’re not pets! A rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, so it’s important to closely check your home if you happen upon one of the wild rodents inside. Or simply call an expert like us.

We’ll exclude all visible entry points and seal your roof vents with our proprietary covers. We then eliminate the rats or mice already in your home and set up hidden bait stations around the outside perimeter to minimize the potential intruders.

Or you can take it one step further and get our Thermal Acoustical Pest Control (TAP). It keeps insects as well as rodents out, helps soundproof your home, and is a high efficiency insulation that is not only more effective than the pink stuff, but far less dangerous for your family.  Give us a call and we can help you figure out which program is best for you!

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.

The Perfect Cranberry Sauce

The Perfect Cranberry SauceAh, Cranberry Sauce. The fruitcake of the Thanksgiving Feast. Do you put it on the turkey? The stuffing? The crackers? Does anyone actually eat it? Just how did this end up on the dinner table for the biggest meal of the year?

Anyone who’s ever experienced any problems with their internal body plumbing knows that cranberry juice is a stalwart over the counter remedy when you can’t get antibiotics from your doctor quick enough. And that legacy of healing actually comes from the native tribes in New England that the early settlers met.

So whether you choose to believe the American mythos of the First Thanksgiving or not, there’s no question that those tribes passed on the story of the powerful red berry to their new neighbors before things started getting too tense. And that alone earns the cranberry a place on your Thanksgiving table.

So How Did it End up in a Can?

The way most families typically eat cranberry, er, jelly (sauce is a stretch!) has its own very American roots. The natives the early European settlers met had always harvested the cranberry by hand, and that method existed for the first half of our nation’s history.

But in the 1930’s, growers discovered that by flooding the cranberry bogs, the cranberries begin to loosen from their vines and float to the surface – like in those Ocean Spray commercials. That allows the farmers to use mechanical means to harvest thousands of berries in the time it used to take to harvest a couple hundred. And it required a lot fewer people.

Speaking of Ocean Spray

Even before they discovered wet harvesting, the farmer’s cooperative known as Ocean’s Spray had found a use for the berries that weren’t pretty enough to sell at your local grocery store. They mashed the berries up and pushed them into a can. The berries even helped, supplying natural pectin.

Once wet harvesting increased the supply of cranberries, Ocean Spray began marketing the canned cranberry jelly throughout the year (although the November sales are more than 4 times as high as every other time of the year combined). And that’s good enough for most people.

But We’re Not ‘Most People’

Thanks to Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray, et al, the rest of us feel more than a little pressure to make an entire homemade meal – so we’ve got a fantastic (and simple) recipe from the Food Network for the Perfect Cranberry Sauce that will not only be Instagram-worthy, but something people will actually eat.

What You’ll Need

12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries into a saucepan

1 cup sugar

1 strip orange or lemon zest

2 tablespoons water

How You’ll Craft It

Empty the bag of cranberries into a saucepan. From those, take a 1/2 cup and set them aside in a small bowl. Stir the sugar, zest and water into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft. It should take approximately 10 minutes. Turn the burner up to medium heat and cook until the cranberries burst, about another 12 minutes. Bring the heat back down to low and stir in the cranberries from the bowl. You can add a little more sugar, and salt and pepper to taste while it cools to room temperature. Snap a quick pic to become the envy of your friends and serve with dinner.

We’d just like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to you for being our family, friends, readers and clients over the years. While our business is pest control, our heart is the Good News, and we’re privileged to share it with you. Thanks for being a part of the Good News Pest Solutions story, and if there’s anything we can do, just let us know.

Pest of the Month: White Footed Ants

GNPS POM White Footed AntOften mistaken by homeowners as one of species of ‘Crazy Ants,’ no one’s quite sure how the White Footed Ant arrived in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana, as well as the East Indies, but they were first identified at a tree nursery near Miami in 1986.

The Technomyrmex albipes quickly spread across Florida like they had across Japan and Indonesia 125 years earlier. They measure 2-3 millimeters long and are shades of dark brown and black. They are best separated from other ants by their pale yellow to white feet, hence the name.

Are they a problem?

White footed ants don’t bite or sting and in fact have only one defense against extinction: reproduction. It may sound funny, but it’s no joke – unlike most ant species, almost half of the white footed ant colony are reproductive females. That’s between 4,000 and a million and a half potentially pregnant ants at any time.

White footed ants also spread more readily than other ant species. Between July and August, a small percentage of winged males and females do a mating flight, copulating in mid-air, then landing and starting a new colony. The colonies also spread by budding, where a group of non-flying nestmates will set out on a road trip to found a new colony.

Why are they so annoying?

White footed ants are not known to cause any structural damage, and as mentioned earlier, they don’t bite or sting. They’re just very annoying to homeowners as they seek out sweet foods and once they’ve established themselves in an area, are difficult to get rid of.

When not dining in your sugar bowl, White footed ants tend to go foraging along branches and trunks of trees and shrubs that have nectars and/or sap-sucking insects that produce honeydew. Once a food source is located, pheromone trails are laid down, which is why you often see lines of the ants moving back and forth between food sources. And yes, into your home.

Unlike most ant species, the foragers don’t carry food back to the colony, regurgitate it or share it with others. Despite being non-fertile, these foraging ants lay what are called ‘trophic eggs,’ which the young and the fertile feed on. This method of food production also protects the colony from toxic ant baits, as only the ants eating the bait perish. Even if they survive to lay trophic eggs, the poison isn’t handed down. Oh, and White footed ants are very good at detecting and re-routing around chemical insecticides.

Where do they live?

Technomyrmex albipes – also sometimes classified as Technomyrmex difficilis – nests in trees and bushes, tree holes, under palm fronds, in loose mulch, under debris, in rain gutters, wall voids, and attics. Also, they tend to nest outside more often than inside.

So how do I get rid of them?

Sadly, it seems that white footed ants are here to stay. Once they find their way into your home, it is almost impossible to eradicate them from it, even with professional help. One thing you can do is trim trees and bushes and arrange decorative mulch so that none of them are in direct contact with your home. You can also seal any cracks or crevices that could lead into your home, like around windows, doors and where electrical, phone or cable lines enter your home or attic.

The best defense we can recommend is our Go Green Plus 3 protection. Our trained technicians inspect the interior and exterior of your property, making sure proper precautions are taken, then they treat the perimeter foundation, entry points, eaves, plant beds and trees with reduced–risk, safe, green products. And we’ll repeat the process 3 more times during the year – and return any time there’s a new problem, without any added charges.

To be doubly sure, you might also consider our Thermal Acoustical Pest (TAP) control. While its primary purpose is to refresh your attic after a rodent infestation, it also protects your attic against most other insects, including White footed ants (TAP contains boric acid, a safe chemical that is effective against them). TAP nearly pays for itself in sound-proofing and is more energy efficient insulation than the pink stuff that funny looking cat sells. And it’s fire-retardant.

If you’re having an issue with white footed ants or any other insects, give us a call today. We’ll inspect the property and give you the best options available from our array of family-friendly, 100% organic pest solutions. We’ve been taking care of our customers from Sarasota to Punta Gorda for nearly 30 years and we’d be happy to bring you into our family of satisfied clients!

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