We 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.
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!
Yeah, we know we haven’t been talking about the Zika virus lately, and that’s mostly because, thankfully, there hasn’t been much to talk about.
The last case of locally transmitted Zika virus in Florida was on December 21, 2016, in Miami-Dade County. There have only been 13 cases of travel-related Zika so far in 2017, with one case in Collier County, this is as close as the virus has come to the Gulf Coast.
But the Center for Disease Control is warning people not to let our guard down completely. Although cases across the globe have slowed down – mostly due to the unusually cooler weather even in warmer regions this winter – the CDC cautions that Zika has not been completely eliminated in Brazil and the Caribbean, the source, of the most recent outbreaks. And with the weather turning warmer, there’s even more cause for concern.
According to the CDC, the disease can never be truly eradicated, and the unusual spread of the virus – from its South American roots to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific – means that it is not geographically isolated like most mosquito-bourne viruses. Add that to the fact that there is still no known cure for Zika, and you can see why they’re worried.
And while we’re doing okay in the sunshine state, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and several other states reported almost 4000 cases (combined) between November of 2016 and when we’re reporting this in March of 2017.
So, while we can breathe a little easier on the Gulf Coast of Florida, we should be prepared for the eventuality that an outbreak could reoccur, especially through visitors to our shore. Luckily, now is the perfect time to prepare a mosquito prevention plan.
As always, try and eliminate the typical mosquito breeding ground of standing water whenever possible. That’s sometimes hard to do when it’s raining more often, but keeping your yard in check always helps. When we start seeing more mosquitoes again, cover up your exposed legs and arms to prevent bites, especially if you’re pregnant.
And, hey, why not give us a call and see what it would take to get one of our exclusive NoBiteZones established for your front and back yards. Like all of our solutions, this one is safe for everyone – from your youngest children to your faithful pets. This one’s even safe for the mosquitoes, turning them and their offspring into vegan dieters. No soy necessary.
They 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.
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.
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.
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!
Okay, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ah, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.