Serving all of South Florida

Brazil’s Brilliant Ad Campaign to Fight Zika

Brazil’s Brilliant Ad Campaign to Fight Zika

Brazil is one of the most highly affected areas with the Zika virus. As you can imagine, Brazilian officials are doing all they can to slow down transmission as much as possible.

And according to reports, local advertisers are also doing their part, which has resulted in a very innovative advertising campaign!

Billboards have been installed in the cities of Rio and Tijuca which emit the odor of human sweat and blast out carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes. Then, mosquitoes that take the bate, are trapped and killed.

Even if this makes a small impact, it will be worth it. There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Zika-associated microcephaly in Brazil and almost 5,000 suspected cases. What’s more, this number shows no signs of slowing down.

What do you think? Do you think this is just a crafty advertising gimmick or do you think it could help the problem?

If you have concerns about mosquitoes on your property, we can’t offer you billboards, but we do encourage you contact us about our mosquito reduction services!

Bombardier Beetle

Do not underestimate the small, yet mighty, Bombardier Beetle! This small insect may look harmless, but it has some serious defense mechanisms that pack a pretty big punch!

According to a recent documentary, when attacked, the Bombardier Beetle sparks an internal chemical reaction that releases hot liquid upon its attacker. This can also fend off potential attackers such as birds.

And make no mistake: this defense mechanism is very powerful

“If the beetle’s explosion chamber were the size of the inside of a car, the blast would release about the same energy as about two pounds of TNT,” Eric Arndt, a doctoral student who has studied these beetles says.

Pretty impressive considering this beetle is about the size of a dime!

What do you think? Are you impressed by the power of the Bombardier Beetle? Can you think of other insects or animals that have similar defense mechanisms?

If you have concerns about beetles, or any other pests, in or around your home be sure to contact a professional pest management company!

Bed Bugs Are a Big Problem for these Florida Cities

Bed Bugs are bad news for anyone who encounters them, primarily because they are one of the trickiest pests to eradicate from homes. That’s why if you even suspect you have bed bugs, it’s important to call a professional pest management company that specializes in Bed Bug Control right away.

And for residents in these Florida cities, this is of even higher importance. That’s because recent reports suggest that they rank in the Top 50 Cities with the highest bed bug occurrences.

Here is the breakdown: Tampa comes in at number 31, Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne at 38, and Miami/Fort Lauderdale at 43.

What is the number one-ranking city you may ask? Chicago, Illinois!

Have you ever encountered Bed Bugs? Do you take precautions to look for or avoid Bed Bugs when you travel?

We can’t say it enough: Bed Bugs are certainly a job for the professionals!

Florida Fish to Fight Zika

Florida Fish to Fight Zika

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has come up with an innovative way to fight the Zika virus: fish.

How will this work? According to reports, a tiny fish called gambusia (also known as a mosquitofish) could be key to Zika control efforts.

These fish feast on the larvae of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for transmitting the virus. What’s more, there are over 40 species of the gambusia fish, which live in freshwater and are native to the Southern region of the United States.

One gambusia fish can consume more than ten square feet of mosquito larvae, so it’s easy to see why officials are enlisting their help to fight the Zika virus, which has caused worldwide concern, particularly due to its association with devastating birth defects in babies.

In the Florida-Keys and other mosquito-control districts, the fish will be distributed for free to interested residents.

What do you think? Are you impressed by this tactic to fight Zika? As temperatures continue to rise, we encourage you to look into our mosquito reduction services.

The Secret Behind the Success of Invasive Fire Ants

Researchers recently discovered what makes invasive fire ants so successful. They found that these ants are extremely sophisticated manipulators of sand and soil. They can build in any type of soil because they can excavate no matter the size of the grains. These ants are actually able to change their excavation technique to better suit the type of soil they are digging in.

The researchers placed 100 ants in containers of different types of soil – small, medium and large grained, and let them excavate. They also placed ants in containers with different levels of moisture in the soil. The researchers found that that ants could build faster in coarser soil, but in the more moist coarse soil the ants tended to build more complex structures.

Taking an even closer look, the researchers discovered that in coarse soil the ants will grab one particle and drag it with them as they shuffle backwards up the soil. When they are dealing with finer grains, they will pack two or three particles together, almost like they are making a snowball, and pick it up and march up the tunnel. Scientists hope the study will help them build better robots.

How do you think studying the way these ants excavate their tunnels will help improve robotics?

How to keep pets pest free!

To help shield pets from the discomfort of ticks and fleas in their fur as pest activity increases in the warmer spring and summer months, Hulett Environmental Services recommends pet owners use the following tips:

  • Check pets frequently for ticks and fleas. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas and ticks often hide.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Frequently wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently.

South Florida Homes at Risk for Termite Damage during Termite Season

South Florida Homes at Risk for Termite Damage during Termite Season
Two subterranean termite species swarming now in South Florida are raising concerns for homeowners and entomologists alike, as well as the beginning of drywood termite swarm season…

Hulett Environmental Services, pest control’s finest, encourages South Florida homeowners to be aware that researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences predict that the Formosan subterranean termite and the Asian subterranean termite are on track to cause damage to at least half of the structures in the greater Southern Florida area by 2040.

Interestingly, it is important to note that not even concrete homes are safe from some termites as they can breach through to your attic and even furniture both inside and outside your home. Just because homeowners do not see the termites does not mean they are not there…as in South Florida there are two types of homes: Those that have termites and those that will. Better safe than sorry is definitely the case so yearly termite home inspections are heavily recommended.

Subterranean termite population expanding!

Currently, Florida houses six invasive termite species but UF researchers are focusing their attention on the Formosan and Asian subterranean termites because expanding numbers of these species pose the potential to cause the most damage to the Greater Miami Beach/Palm Beach/Ft. Lauderdale areas. Also recently discover was an Asian Formosan subterranean species that is a cross, and has been called the “Super Termite”. Hulett, other companies and industry experts hope to see this species eradicated or at least unable to spread throughout Florida due to its heavily destructive nature.

About subterranean termites

  • Natives of China, Formosan workers are cream-colored and wingless, soldiers have elongated brown heads and mandibles and brownish-yellow undersides, while supplementary reproductives are light-colored and primary reproductives range from brown to black with wings. Most South Florida residents will only see the termites swarming, which appear this time of year (as it is termite season) and have wings.
  • Asians are a tropical species, endemic to Southeast Asia. Asian alates range from caramel to brownish yellow and after swarming, keep their wings longer than most other termites. Formosans look very similar to Asian alates. Hulett was actually the first company in Florida to discover the Asian subterranean termite had spread to our area.
  • Subterranean termites swarm in the morning or early evening usually after a rain in the spring or summer, but can swarm at any time of the year.
  • Formosan termites build giant underground nests containing millions of termites. They move fast and cause damage not only quicker but at a higher rate, and require immediate treatment when discovered to avoid further home damage not cover by homeowner’s insurance.
  • Formosan termites destroy structural timbers, utility poles and other timber structures, including ships and barges within a few months. They have even been known in some cases to move through concrete.
  • Asian termites have been detected in boats and in homes near the shore in South Florida; they are voracious eaters and can even eat holes in rubber and plastic in their search for wood and the food it takes to reach the wood.
  • Formosan and Asian termite infestations can occur even in living trees, such as oak, cypress, pine and maple. Formosan termites often also cause power failures, chewing through electrical cables. There termites than swarm from these areas to nearby homes starting a new colony.

Fundamentally, subterranean termites cause most of the termite damage worldwide.

Globally, Formosan and Asian subterranean termites are responsible for damage totaling around $32 billion dollars annually at least. This figure includes structural damage repairs, as well as pest control services. The University of Florida study, led by Professors Nan-Yao, Su Rudy Scheffrahn and Assistant Researcher, Thomas Chouvenc is set for a June 2016 publication, in Florida Entomologist, and states that Formosan and Asian subterranean termites account for most of the termite damage worldwide.

Oddly, in the continental US, the overlap of these two subterranean termite species occurs only in South Florida, home to 6 million residents. Formosan termites can be traced all along the Florida coastlines and beyond, and the Asian subterranean termites continue to spread to new areas raising concern in the pest control industry. It is important to keep in mind how quickly termite species have been known spread and move.

Study analyzes increasing termite activity

By analyzing the geographic spread of subterranean termite specimens from 1990-2015, the UF study estimates that any home or structure within a 500-foot radius of a Formosan or Asian subterranean termite would be at risk for a termite infestation, and that is the minimum as cases have occurred from farther distances.

Since 1990, these two types of termites have expanded their ranges considerably in Florida. Because of the distances these two types of termites fly and due to a rising increase in moving termite-infested material from one location to another, the UF Gator team said that as a result, “the number of infested structures has increased exponentially.”

Another potential threat, according to the University of Florida study is that Formosan and Asian termites have been able to breed producing a stronger, super breed termite hybrid. Known by most as the “super termite” found only here in South Florida recently.

Fortunately, South Florida homeowners do have a variety of options for both preventative and curative treatments and can contact Hulett Environmental Services; as we have been treating South Florida homes for termites for over 45 years and are a full service, fully licensed and certified family business. We offer a free home and landscape inspection with no obligation, and then customize a family and pet-friendly termite prevention and monitoring plan for your South Florida property.

Pest Q and A

What makes homes attractive to pests?

Pests are attracted to food, water and shelter. Exclusion techniques and removing food and water sources will help deter pests. Simple measures such as keeping food in sealed containers and cleaning up after each meal to avoid leaving crumbs can help. Fix leaky pipes and drains to ensure that if pests do get in, they won’t have ideal conditions in which they can thrive.

How do pests get into homes?

Pests enter structures through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, along foundations, ripped screens, uncapped chimneys, and also through holes where utilities enter a structure. Firewood, groceries, and other deliveries can carry pests in, too. Seal any openings with silicone caulk or steel wool, and to avoid hitchhiking pests, examine packages thoroughly before bringing them inside.

Where are pests most likely to settle in?

Pests have direct access to basements and attics through roofs and foundations, so they should be kept well ventilated, dry, and clutter-free. Also, because of the concentration of food and water, kitchens and bathrooms are other common areas.

What should I do if I have an infestation?

Despite even the best efforts, pests can still find their way inside. If you have a pest problem or need advice on how to better pest-proof your home, Just call HULETT!

Off With Their Heads! Brutal Insect Decapitators

Off With Their Heads! Brutal Insect Decapitators

We’re all pretty familiar with the gruesome practice of using the guillotine during the French Revolution to decapitate hundreds of French nobility. But that was actually the most humane method of head removal us humans have come up with to date. We’ve been chopping off heads left and right for centuries, and not always in the most clean manner…but it turns out we’re not the only species to use this gruesome killing method. There are actually a number of insect species that specialize in decapitation.

One of the most ruthless headhunters in the world is the seemingly unassuming tropical flies of the Dohrniphora genus. Three species of these phorid flies make their living by slicing the heads off of trap-jaw ants. A female fly will surgically remove her victim’s head with her very long proboscis that is tipped with a sharp blade-like organ. She will then either drag off the head so she can eat the goo inside in peace, or use the empty head as a vessel for her to lay her eggs in. How do these tiny flies outwit these fearsome giant ants? They attack them when they are injured during a colony battle. That’s pretty clever if you ask me.

What do you think of this ruthless behavior in such innocent looking flies? Will this make you a little more wary of these seemingly insignificant creatures in the future?

 Serving All of South Florida Since 1968 (All 12 Counties)

Pest Control Palm Beach

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West Palm Beach, FL 33411

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Phone800-285-7378

Pest Control Fort Pierce

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Fort Pierce, FL 34945

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Phone800-411-2286

Pest Control Fort Myers

Location13790 Treeline Ave S, Ste 1
Ft. Myers, FL 33913

Phone239-225-6323

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Pest Control Miami

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Miami, FL 33126

305-341-9716

800-639-9820

Pest Control Ft. Lauderdale

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Lauderhill, FL 33351

954-797-7221

866-317-0867