Common Pest Control Myths | Hulett Environmental Services

Sprinkle grits on the counter to provide a barrier against ants.

FICTION. I suppose in the south, where grits are revered, they are considered good for most anything. However, in this case, you are better off saving them for your dining pleasure, as they are NOT a deterrent for ants. In fact, ants may enjoy them as much as you do! This southern staple will ATTRACT pests rather than DETER them.

Bait your mousetrap with cheese.

FICTION. Thanks to television, cheese seems to be the food lure most often thought of for mice. Remember the old cartoon where Tom the Cat frequently tried to attract Jerry the Mouse to mousetraps with cheese treats? Silly Tom. He might have been more successful if he knew that mice prefer peanut butter.

Use bay leaves to keep pests away.

FACT. To protect your cooking supplies, place a bay leaf in or around your flour, rice, and other dried pantry staples. Some people prefer to place the leaves directly in contact with the food, while others favor taping the leaves around the canisters. Caution: While bay leaves are a deterrent, they are not a substitute for properly cleaning the pantry of spilled products.

Put a penny in a bag of water to repel mosquitoes and flies.

FICTION. This notion is so wrong. In fact, it’s actually backwards. Research has shown that shiny pennies might actually do more to attract insects then repel them. Keep your change in your pocket.

Vinegar can eliminate fruit flies.

FACT. Have you heard of the expression “you can catch more flies with sugar than you can with vinegar?” Well, that adage is only half true when it comes to fruit flies! They are frequently attracted to your kitchen by the sweetness of rotting or decaying fruit; however, a cup of vinegar covered with plastic wrap (with a hole in it) is incredibly effective in combatting a fruit fly infestation.

Spraying peppermint oil on webs will eliminate spiders.

FICTION. Generally speaking, spraying anything that isn’t water on a spider web can cause them to abandon it…and construct a new one nearby. That leaves you with increased housing for spiders, which is never a good idea.

I could spend days and days exploring this topic. I will write again soon in the continuing effort to separate pest control fact from fiction. In the meantime, if you have any questions on natural remedies you’ve heard about, I’d love to hear from you.

West Palm Beach Termite Control

  • Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Contact a licensed pest professional if an infestation is suspected.

South Florida Termite Control Experts | Just Call HULETT!

  • Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Contact a licensed pest professional if an infestation is suspected.

Love Bugs!

The love bug (Plecia nearctica) is a member of the family of March flies. They are also called the honeymoon fly, kissing or double-headed bug. Love Bugs are common to parts of Central America and southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. The bugs are synonymous with love or romance because during and after mating adult pairs can remain coupled, even in flight, for several days.

Their appearance each May and September becomes very noticeable as they collide with vehicles on local roadways. Generally seen in pairs locked in an amorous embrace, the slow-moving critters enjoy two mating seasons a year with, according to the University of Florida, four-week peaks each May and September.

Here are a few things residents need to know about these crazy critters as they begin their invasion courtesy of the University of Florida:

Where they come from – Supposedly, the University of Florida (UF) introduced love bugs to the Sunshine State. As with most urban legends, this is not true. UF says the bugs migrated from Central America, arriving first in Texas and Louisiana before spreading to Florida

When they are active – Love bugs tend to be most active between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. They prefer it when the temperature outside is above 84 degrees.

Why they love highways so much – Love bugs are attracted to decomposing plants. Unfortunately, for people’s cars and their paint jobs, the odor of exhaust fumes confuses the bugs and attracts them. They also like heat, so highways are perfect environments.

Other things that attract them – The University of Florida’s entomology department posted an online primer about the bugs that lists a host of attractants. One of the reasons why the critters seem drawn to garage doors is the fact that adults are attracted to surfaces that are light-colored. They also seem to enjoy freshly painted surfaces.

How to remove them from vehicles – These little guys are known for getting “baked” onto hard metal surfaces and can damage paint if left in place. It is best to wash them off as soon as possible using soap-and-water solution. UF’s entomology department notes a good soaking of about 20 minutes might be required to loosen them befor removal.

http://patch.com/florida/brandon/love-bugs-begin-seasonal-invasion-florida-0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovebug

Bee Books for Kids | Hulett Environmental Services

Bee Books for Kids!

Educating our children about the importance of bees to our environment is essential to the preservation of an important insect. Here is a list of books courtesy of the Book Doctor at theguardian.com/.

James Maclaine’s Bees and Wasps is really designed for the classroom but it is just as useful as an introduction at home. It begins by naming all the parts of bees and wasps and simply describes the purpose of each. Even though the insects continue to look pretty ferocious – especially the hornet – knowing that the wiggly things on their heads are feelers that help them to smell and touch makes them seem a little less sinister. It also describes the vital role both bees and wasps play in pollination and therefore in giving us attractive flowers, before showing how bees make honey.

Steve Voake’s Insect Detective illustrated by Charlotte Voake is such a visually charming introduction to the wider world of insects including wasps and bees that it will disarm most children. In words and pictures, the book guides children to look closely at the many insects that live nearby but prefer to not to be seen. It makes them all, wasps and bees included, seem far more frightened than frightening.

But let’s face it, wasps (and hornets) are fairly difficult to present in a really positive light so wasps tend not to do well in stories. Bees do better.

In Edward Gibbs’s attractive picture book Little Bee, the Little Bee is fleeing from the hungry frog who is himself about to be eaten by a scary snake, who is itself trying to escape from the mean mongoose and so on. As the circle is completed it becomes clear that there is someone fleeing from the bee… the story doesn’t minimize the fact that the bee can sting but it shows that it is also at risk, which makes it seem far less unpleasant.

No one who has enjoyed Angela Banner’s many classic books about best-friends Ant and Bee can dislike bees all the time. Introduced first in Ant and Bee – with their initial letters so conveniently beginning this story and the other “alphabet” stories in the series such as Ant and Bee Go Shopping and Around the World with Ant and Bee – the two friends have a number of delightfully fanciful and largely human experiences which are very far removed from anything like stinging!

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/may/05/fear-of-bees-and-wasps-childrens-books

Termite Prevention Tips and Termite Destruction Signs

Termite Prevention Tips and Termite Destruction Signs – Tips for Recognizing an Termite Infestation

Experts at Hulett Environmental Services propose several tips to avoid termite infestations for your home:20304955_s

  • As most termites are attracted to moisture, avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  • Quickly repair house damage from a leaky roof or window as termites can thrive in this moisture.
  • Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard, especially near the building. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
  • Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. Maintaining a 1-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.

34553763_sRecognizing the destruction termites can cause, it is important to be aware of infestation warning signs:

  • Swarming of winged forms in the fall and spring – termites can easily be confused with flying ants.
  • Evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood structures
  • Wooden structures exhibit darkening or blistering
  • Damaged wood becomes extremely thin and can be easily punctured by a knife or a screwdriver

As termites are known to cause over $5 billion dollars in damage each year, virtually all experts recommend calling a pest professional to protect one of your most important investments, your home, from termite infestation.

Professionals offer the specialized skills necessary to rid a home of termite infestation: knowledge of building construction, an ability to identify termite species and the knowledge of applicable methods of termite control.

How Termites Communicate

Termites normally keep to themselves, working on building a colony. They don’t really focus on starting fights with other neighbors. But when danger approaches, these termites only do one thing – bang their heads on the walls.

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Slamming your head against a wall may not seem very helpful, but it’s actually the vibrations that the banging does which alerts the rest of the colony. The noise travels downwards throughout the tunnels at approximately 430 feet per second, meaning that an average 3 foot tall mound would be alerted almost immediately. Termites ‘hear’ these vibrations through their legs. The leg closest to the vibration picks up the sound first, and the farthest leg picks up the noise last. It was found that termites were able to tell which leg felt the vibration first, which allowed them to learn which direction to head to.

Scientists began to wonder exactly how short the gap could be for termites to feel the vibration in between their legs. The answer? 0.20 milliseconds. In literally less than a blink of an eye, termites were able to decipher which way they should be heading – whether it be to battle, or to hide. Soldier termites would immediately head towards the vibrations in order to protect their horde, while worker termites would begin to retreat back down into their cave system in order to protect themselves. When all is said and done, the remaining termites either go back to working on their nest, or begin constructing a new mound, had they lost the battle.

Article: https://student.societyforscience.org/article/how-termites-%E2%80%98hear%E2%80%98-about-trouble

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