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World’s Best Burgers

You might have noticed a very important date coming up on your calendar. Monday, May 28 is Memorial Day! On the last Monday of May every year we honor the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom while serving in the military.

The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day, and while it didn’t become an official United States holiday until 1971, it’s been observed since shortly after the end of the Civil War. Considering most of the Gulf Coast of Florida was settled as a result of military men and women homesteading here after the Civil War, that gives Memorial Day a little more significance for us locally.

Many veterans and their families will visit gravesites, plant flags, and even hold parades to honor their fallen brethren. And for most families, even those without military ties, one of the big traditional events is to have a cook-out. In fact, for most of the country, Memorial Day means the beginning of summer grilling season.

So, while we hope you’ll take a moment to remember the men and women who died while serving in the military, we wanted to also share a recipe for the best burgers we’ve found – and give you a few tips for keeping the mosquitoes away this weekend and all summer long.

First – the hamburgers:

Glazed Bacon-and-Cheese-Filled Burgers

Wow! Just the name has your mouth watering, right?

First, get your grill started, light up the charcoal or ignite the gas and set it at medium.

This recipe makes 4 really plump, juicy, and tantalizing hamburgers.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef or chuck
  • 1/2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or use a mixed blend for more variety of taste
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon (or turkey bacon, if you’re watching your cholesterol)
  • 4 buns or ciabatta rolls

Preparation:

  1. While the grill starts warming up, combine the sugar, spices, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, crumble up the bacon and mix it with the cheese.
  3. Now separate out your pound of ground beef or chuck into 8 evenly distributed patties. Yes, eight. Now take 4 of them and sprinkle on a generous, but even portion of the cheese and bacon mixture.
  4. Take the four remaining beef patties and press them down gently overtop the cheese and bacon mixture, pinching the edges to form a seal.
  5. Carefully pat each double sized burger with the mixed spices.
  6. Slide them onto the grill and cook to desired done-ness. Because of the size, it will take slightly longer to cook than you may be used to – it’ll take 5 minutes per side to hit medium, a little longer for medium well or well done.

A lot of folks like to use the last minute of the burgers cooking to crisp the bun or roll for an extra dollop of flavor. We promise, these will be a wonderful treat!

The Bane of the Picnic

Of course, anytime you’re outside from now until at least October, you’re almost guaranteed to run into mosquitoes, Florida’s favorite insect, especially this year. But the annoyance of being bitten is a small inconvenience when you consider the likelihood of mosquitoes spreading Zika virus and yellow fever.

Experts say to always cover up if you can, wear lighter colors, use a mosquito net and a mosquito repellent containing DEET. But our Anytime Lotion is even better because it works without the DEET and we include your first family pack when you initiate our Mosquito Protection Program (MPP).

There are also several plants and herbs you can invest in to limit mosquitoes in certain areas, especially lemon grass.

But by far the best answer is Good News Pest Solutions’ exclusive MPP using No Bite Zones. And not just because it’s ours. We believe in employing the safest pest control solutions available – safe for you, your family, and the ecosystem.

No Bite Zones turns the biting momma mosquitoes into vegans. That means they don’t bite you or your four-legged family members. They pass the vegan-ness on to their offspring, adding more generations to the mix, and they still perform their God-designed function of pollinating.

Ask our customers from Punta Gorda to Parrish who have tried it, they’ll tell you it is far safer and more effective than the spraying that we get from the Mosquito Control people. If you’d like to give it a try, just give us a call and one of our highly trained staff will get you started!

La Niña to Create Significant Spring Pest Pressure

Bug Barometer Predicting The National Pest Management Association has released their annual bug barometer for the remainder of 2018 – and into 2019 for us on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

There are a lot of factors to try and take into account when considering what the rest of the year will hold. Much like a weather forecast, not only do scientists have to take into account the conditions in their region, but also what has been happening across the United States.

This year, La Niña brought our area unusual amounts of rain – and more snow than our neighbors were expecting as well. At the same time, it caused a milder winter for the north and southwestern areas of the country.

So, even though our winter months were unseasonably cold, the wetter weather here, as well as in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico means that we’ll see just as many, if not more, mosquitoes as the summer months approach.

More Moisture Means More Mosquitoes

Because of the wetter ground, the mosquito life cycle will appear shortened as the first rains of summer allow eggs laid late in the year to hatch instead of having the extra time between rains.

We can also expect more termites and cockroaches as they were driven by the cold and lack of food up north down into our area and have already started to multiply. Thankfully, we can expect to see fewer ants – at least at first. The warmer winter in the Southwest kept them alive, but also means they have begun to spread sooner, and colonies may begin heading our way.

So What Does That All Mean?

All of these signs point to clear indicators that we’ll soon see the bug pressure rise. If you’d like to keep your blood pressure from rising with it, why not get a head start on the typically bug-filled summer months by beginning our Go Green Plus 3 year-round treatment for your home and exterior?

We start with a thorough outside inspection of your property – checking for and treating your foundation, soffits, entry points, landscape beds, tree bases, fire-ant mounds, and wasp nests with our 100% safe, all natural pest protection service. Then, we’ll come back at least once every 4 months to renew the treatment and make sure your home is safe from the creepy crawlies, as well as the harsh chemicals some other pest control companies use.

Many of our customers in Bradenton, Sarasota and Port Charlotte also opt for TermAssure 365. It combines our trademark Go Green Plus 3 with our world class termite protection – the best coverage you can get for your home. If you’d like more details on either one or hear more about our commitment to organic pest solutions, just give us a call!

Experts Concerned About Deadly Yellow Fever Outbreak

Yellow Fever Outbreak Possible in South FloridaOnce again, as rainy season for Florida approaches, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are in the headlines. And this time, there’s a much larger potential for danger than the one posed by the Zika virus.

To be clear, Zika is still a very real threat. Except for the birth defects it can cause in pregnant women that become infected, the Zika virus causes relatively minor symptoms. Yellow Fever, on the other hand, can be deadly – and often hard to diagnose.

The last time there was a yellow fever outbreak in the United States was in New Orleans in 1905, shortly after scientists had finally linked the spread of the disease to mosquito bites. In fact, in the past 12 years, only one case has occurred within US borders, and it was travel-related.

The culprit is again the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also connected to the dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Zika, Zika!

Much like the Zika virus, the area of most concern is Brazil, where in the past 9 months, over 1000 cases and 338 deaths attributable to yellow fever were reported. And while it appears to be somewhat contained at the moment, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other experts are warning that there’s nothing to stop travel-related cases from spreading to our shores and beyond.

They also warn that because the disease is so rarely seen these days, most Americans are not vaccinated against Yellow Fever.

What Are The Symptoms of Yellow Fever?

Symptoms, include the sudden onset of fever, chills, a severe headache, back pain, general body aches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. They appear three to six days after the initial mosquito bite, which makes it harder to track.

Plus, most people infected with yellow fever virus have no or only mild symptoms.

But for 15% of the population, the disease is deadly. They may feel remission for a day or so, followed suddenly by high fevers, jaundice, internal bleeding and eventually shock and multiple organ failure, leading to death.

University researchers in Miami are saying that they don’t expect Yellow Fever to explode the way Zika seemed to just a couple of years ago. For one part, it’s a matter of degrees. When Zika awareness exploded in 2016, there were 100-times more confirmed cases in Brazil than Yellow Fever infections.

And also thanks to the Zika scare in 2016, government officials have taken action to keep our mosquito populations even smaller than we have in the past.

In fact, although rainy season doesn’t officially start until May 15, some counties have already been spraying since the end of April to try and get ahead of the potential mosquito population growth over the next 6 months.

As much as we appreciate the government trying to keep ahead of the curve by battling the mosquito population with DEET and other harsh chemicals, there is a better way.

Plan Now for Mosquito Season

Our exclusive No Bite Zones technology takes the pregnant momma mosquitoes (the only ones that bite us) and turn them and their offspring into vegans, not craving warm blood. And the effect is transmitted to the next generation as well. That way mosquitoes can continue to fulfill their God-given purpose of pollinating without the threat of spreading deadly diseases.

Since we introduced MosquitoPaq in 2016, our customers from Sarasota to North Port have experienced happier, healthier summers of mosquito-bite and chemical-free zones. There’s no time like the present for you to join us in making your yard safe for the whole family. Just give us a call!

Going Green in Your Laundry Room

Ways to Go Green in Your Laundry RoomThe average family does about 8-10 loads of laundry every week. That adds up to 11-15 hours a week – if you’re using the dryer. It can be longer for items you hang or spread out on a rack to dry. So it makes sense that the next place we’ll stop on our year long quest to Go Green is… the Laundry Room.

Wash N Go

While mechanical clothes washers have been around since the late 1700’s, the first automatic washing machine was introduced in 1937 with home models appearing shortly thereafter. However, they have become much more efficient and better designed just in the last 10-20 years. And not just the WiFi enabled ones.

The earliest washing machines used between 40 and 50 gallons per load. Thankfully, in recent years that has been reduced to less than 13 gallons per load. But if you really want to conserve water, invest in a front load, high efficiency washing machine. It’ll cost a little more up front, but they use on average 5 gallons less per load (that’s 2000 gallons a year saved), get more of the water out of the clothes, so drying time is reduced, and use less detergent while getting clothes considerably cleaner.

Limit your detergent. You’ll note on most laundry detergent bottles, two fill lines. Use the highest one only when you’re doing a full load. Anything less, use the lower line, and never overfill – it can actually cause buildup that may lead to bacteria. Whenever possible, always do a full load.

Another recommendation you hear often is to wear jeans two or three times before you wash them. With the humidity and heat on the gulf coast of Florida, you can bet your clothes are probably building up more than the usual liter of sweat, 10 grams of salt, 40 grams of grease and sebum, and 10 grams of skin cells and flakes that the usual person leaves in their clothes every day. But you can make up your own mind.

Running Hot and Cold

Did you know most clothes can be washed in the cold cycle? Yet, the average family washes 50% percent of their clothes in warm water, 35% in cold and 15% in hot.

80-85% of the energy attributed to washing machines comes from the need to get and keep the water hot or warm. Yet cold water works well for all clothes, even whites. Although, once a month you should probably wash all your whites with hot water and bleach or some hydrogen peroxide to keep them white. Peroxide also helps get out stubborn stains.

You can toss everything in together. Sure the first couple of times you wash a new pair of jeans, or bright colored socks, towels or blouse, you should wash them alone, but once they’ve gotten past that bleeding stage, you’re good to go. No more pink everything anymore.

One caveat, a lot of laundry experts will say to do your denim separate. There’s a couple reasons, but mostly because heavier fabrics take longer to dry and the longer certain fabrics are exposed to heat, the more they’ll break down. So turn your jeans inside out and wash them separately to keep everything lasting a little longer.

The Dries Have It

As you can probably guess, there’s one big suggestion for going green with your laundry that some will resist. Instead of throwing everything in the dryer, hang everything out on a clothesline. It was good enough for our parents, right?

In truth, dryers in homes are a recent development. Until the mid 1960’s, electric dryers were far too expensive for most people to own. Now that they cost around $350 apiece, we toss 90% of our washer loads into the dryer.

With energy efficient dryers, the savings is less than it used to be to hang items out on the clothesline, but that also has the benefit of a little exercise, fresh air and even stimulates your creativity! If you usually take advantage of dryer sheets, add a quarter cup of vinegar to your wash and you’ll get the same softness, and your washer will stay cleaner too.

Whenever you DO use the dryer, make sure that the lint trap is cleaned. You’d be surprised how often people forget to do this simple task each time. Also, you can turn off your dryer when you’re not using it – just like your TV, it still draws power, even when it’s not running.

A New Wrinkle

When ironing, turn the iron up to the highest temperature you need, but start ironing items needing a cooler temp right away, so you use the heat as it’s building up, cutting down on both the electricity and the energy needed to cool everything down.

If you use dry cleaning to get fresh pressed shirts and jackets, you can bring them into the bathroom while you shower and they’ll absorb the moisture and smooth out the wrinkles naturally.

If you choose to go the dry cleaning route, you should invest in reusable, environmentally safe dry cleaning bags. Ask if your dry cleaner utilizes a hanger recycling program and you can also self-recycle by bringing the hangers back to your dry cleaner.

Even if the label says dry clean only, many items can be hand washed. Just be careful with delicate fabrics. You also avoid using the various chemicals that can cause environmental and health risks.

As part of our commitment to our customers and stewarding planet earth, we stopped using harmful chemicals for our pest control services a while back. And we’ve discovered that they often cost the same and are more effective than what other companies offer.

As we get closer to the rainy summer months, mosquitoes are soon going to be an issue across the Gulf Coast. Our customers from Punta Gorda to Lakewood Ranch have found that our exclusive No Bite Zones effectively stop mosquito bites by turning the Momma mosquitoes into vegans! If you’d like to see how it would work for your yard, give us a call!

Let’s Celebrate Earth Day!

Let's Celebrate Earth Day!On Sunday, April 22, we will celebrate the 48th annual Earth Day. The first organized celebration of our planet was the idea of two Congressmen – a Democrat from Wisconsin and a Republican from California – and was intended to be a nation-wide educational rally scheduled midway between Spring Break and final exams.

In the first year, 20-million Americans took part and it led to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

As you might imagine, we’re big fans of Earth Day and pretty much all conservation efforts here at Good News Pest Solutions. It’s part of our ongoing commitment to going green and our belief that it’s our duty to take care of our planet and all of God’s creation.

Setting the Goal

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is ending plastic pollution – eliminating everything from the plastic soda and beer rings that still end up in our oceans to the grocery bags and water bottles that litter our landfills to microplastics – microscopic bits of plastic that infiltrate food, water, and our own bodies. Probably not the future they imagined in The Graduate.

But even more than pollution, the unexpected side effects of the popularity of plastics over the past 100+ years leads to numerous health issues. Plastic exposure contributes to reproductive issues, cardiovascular problems, impaired neurological functions, adult-onset diabetes, obesity, and even a resistance to chemotherapy.

Some of the same steps we’ve recommended in the past for going green work well for specifically reducing plastic pollution – reduce, reuse, and recycle. Additionally, the folks behind Earth Day recommend refusing and removing.

Refusing is simply turning down the option for plastic bags, straws in your drinks, or just requesting an alternative to plastic items. If you want to see the impact you can have, there’s an online calculator where you can see your current plastic footprint.

What Can One Person Do?

If you’re looking to eliminate plastic pollution in your life for Earth Day or every day, the folks at the Earth Day Network prepared a whole Guide, with plenty of resources, video links and actions you can take to make our planet a better, healthier place.

You can also make your corner of the planet healthier by joining our customers from Bradenton Beach to North Port in getting our 100% all natural, organic and safe pest control solutions. Our Go Green Plus 3 protects your home and perimeter from nasty bugs without all the dangerous chemicals you’ll encounter elsewhere. If you’d like to learn more, just give us a call!

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