Serving all of South Florida

How to Choose the Best Termite Warranty for Your Home

termites wreak havoc

Did you know that termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year and that the damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance? All pest control companies are not the same and the same is true for their warranties. There are a variety of companies that offer a wide range of options that differ in what they cover and what they don’t. Choosing the right termite warranty can be tough, but protecting your largest investment shouldn’t have to be.

Questions to ask when reviewing your warranty options

What is the deductible?

no-deductibleThe Hulett warranty provides you with a zero dollar deductible! This is not true for all pest control companies. Make sure you know what your deductible will be when comparing the cost of treatment options presented by other companies.

Is there a limit to the life of the agreement?

renewableWhile some companies put a limit on the life of their warranty, Hulett’s renewable agreement is extendable for the life of the structure as long as annual coverage is maintained. It can be transferred at no additional charge to the new homeowner if you choose to sell your home! Other companies limit coverage making a full retreat necessary.

Will the cost increase after a certain period of time?

rising-costBe sure to ask when you might expect a rate increase on your warranty. Some companies in their agreements can change the cost of the renewal at any time without notice. But Hulett guarantees your renewal price with no increase for 4 years! Understanding the “real cost” of treatment will ensure you are comparing apples to apples when choosing a professional termite control company.

Are annual inspections included?

annual-inspectionsNot all companies provide a free annual inspection with their termite warranty. The Hulett warranty provides you with annual exterior inspection as well as offers a perimeter spray at no additional charge at the time of your annual inspection! Annual inspections are critical to ensuring your home remains protected helping to prevent long-term structural damage to your home by identifying early warning signs.

What happens when I sell my home?

sell-houseIf your home is sold, your Hulett warranty can be transferred to the new homeowner at no additional charge. Most companies will not allow for transfer of ownership and this can be detrimental to the marketability of your home.

Will anything void my warranty?

protectedRead your agreement carefully. Some companies will void your warranty for structural issues like foundation cracks and masonry failure and other things like soil disruption. Other companies do not cover common things like soil disruption caused by new landscaping as enough to invalidate your warranty. But not with Hulett. You can rest assured that Hulett has you covered. Structural issues and/or soil disruption like these will not invalidate Hulett’s warranty! With Hulett’s professionalism and experience we take pride in taking care of our customers.

What treatment method would Hulett recommend to protect my home from termites?

termiteDifferent types of termites require different types of treatments. Drywood termites require treatments such as Hulett’s structural (tent) fumigation or Hulett’s unique “No Tent” Termite Control. Both services are effective and customized by Hulett to meet your needs. Subterranean termites are treated with Hulett’s Liquid Defense treatment or a Termite Baiting System. No matter the type, Hulett provides all of the most effective and environmentally responsible treatments! Hulett can help you decide which one works best for you during your FREE inspection.

Annual termite inspection

It is estimated that termites annually cause more damage to South Florida homes than all fires and hurricanes combined. That is why it is so important to inspect your home regularly. Termites can be “silent invaders” and can gain access into your home without you ever knowing it. As part of Hulett’s inspection, a HealthyHomeTM certified inspector will perform a complete inspection of your home to ensure no new threats have developed. For over 45 years Hulett has treated thousands of homes and buildings throughout South Florida for termites!

Award-winning service

Hulett has been awarded the Dow AgroSciences “Commitment to Excellence” Program in fumigation every year since the awards inception in 2000. Admission into the program requires extensive and continuous training with special emphasis on all mandatory safety practices including proper aeration and the use of secondary locks. To ensure that all members maintain the high standards established by the program, a series of written examinations must be passed without exception. Hulett is proud to provide you with only the best in fumigation services.

Your satisfaction is our top priority. We pledge to swiftly and effectively resolve any concerns you may have at no additional charge. Our steadfast commitment to customer satisfaction has been our guiding principle for three generations. Do you live in South Florida and think termites may be invading your home or office? Call Hulett today at (866) 611-BUGS (2847) to schedule your FREE Termite Inspection with no obligation!

*See full agreement for details

Drug Bugs May Be Flying at an Airport Near You

Drug Bugs May Be Flying at an Airport Near You

Dog training certainly seems accessible for any interested owner, and lab mice and rats are well heeled with the assistance of their scientist overlords, but trained bugs?

Turns out bees are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.  Maybe it’s the prejudice of their small size, or alien insect natures, but humans have figured out how to communicate with bees. And in the process, these friendly little yellow and black critters may be the next big thing in security.

Airport security, that is.  Bees work cheap, and don’t take up a lot of space.  Not only that, they bring their own uniforms.

But how do we know when they’ve found drugs, or bombs?  At this stage, they have only proven their ability to locate cocaine and heroin, and it’s the antennal response.

Cockroaches and moths did a pretty decent job, too, but the honeybees had the most sensitive antenna.

As bizarre as trained bugs may seem, they have some definite advantages over highly trained dogs.

First, dogs have difficulty re-learning to identify new drugs – and bees show no such problem. Dogs also can adopt human prejudices, because they are so well tuned to our behavioral cues.  Bees don’t pick up on our opinions.

 

So far, bees have only been tested at sniffing drugs, but the future for bug-training is wide-open.

Soybean Fields Fertile Ground for Bug Control

Soybean Fields Fertile Ground for Bug Control

A widely used food staple, soybeans provide a nutritious food source to more than just humans.  A huge variety of bugs go after the plant, and as conditions change due to weather and bug resistance, researchers have to go farther afield to protect them.

At Louisiana State University, the Agricultural program has its hands full monitoring soybean crops for how effective current pest management approaches are.  Teams of agricultural researchers are studying how well various integrated pest management approaches work.  By comparing past pest control methods with new ones, they hope to find the best way to keep the bugs away.

Part of pest control is insecticides, and another part of an integrated program is using other bugs to prey on plant-eating insects. In addition, every season brings a slightly different type of bug into contact with soybeans.  Last year, red and black banded stinkbugs proliferated, while this year it’s the green and brown kinds.

Insects also develop resistance to insecticides, but the level of resistance can change.  Researchers work closely with farmers to determine how much pesticide needs to be used to optimize growth and minimize economic harm.

Male Flies Do More Harm Than Good in Seeking ‘Hot’ Mates

Male Flies Do More Harm Than Good in Seeking ‘Hot’ Mates

We all know the “It” girl – the one woman every man wants, no matter how much money or status he has to gain to get her.  “It” girls often develop a repertoire of skills to dissuade and even repel their many suitors.  Apparently, female fruit flies need to get some of these skills, too.

In the case of some fly species, the male harassment of the hot female flies is not an evolutionary advantage.  The superior genes in the females are what causes male attention, but this behavior ultimately puts Drosophilia serrata at evolutionary disadvantage.

Experimenters observed the flies over 13 generations, allowing groups to adapt to a new environment.  They found through careful study, and by manipulating the potential number of mates for females, that too much attractiveness backfired.

When the experiment was finished, researchers sequenced the genomes of all flies and compared those harassed to the non-harassed.  When the male attention was allowed to occur at high rates and without intervention, the offspring were increasingly less adaptive over generations.

Associate professor Steve Chenoweth at the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences noted that the results clearly showed a lack of adaptive ability in species where harassment of attractive females was common.

The Stuff That Rat Dreams Are Made Of

 

The Stuff That Rat Dreams Are Made Of

Researchers know that rats dream, and even what they dream about.  But do the rats themselves experience their dreams?  One researcher says, “you’d have to ask them.”

The new research on rats involved electrodes strapped to the heads of rats as they wandered around trying to find food.  The experiments set up a chamber filled with foods that the rats could see, but not get to.

After monitoring waking activity in the search for a meal, the observers then attached electrodes during rat sleep.  When they awoke, and were allowed to get at the food.

The data from all three phases (searching, sleeping, and finding) showed that two activities – dreaming and going toward the available food – were the most alike.

Lead researcher Hugo Spiers, a professor of experimental psychology at University College London, explained the conclusions. “During exploration, mammals rapidly form a map of the environment in their hippocampus,” “During sleep or rest, the hippocampus replays journeys through this map which may help strengthen the memory.”

The replay of images is considered to be the stuff of dreams, but there is no way to confirm whether the rats remember this information.  It’s the brains way of helping mammals solve pressing problems.

 

Space Mice Launched Where No Man Has Gone Before

Space Mice Launched Where No Man Has Gone Before

Conditions in space look quiet and peaceful, but the lack of gravity takes a toll on human bodies.  With ambitious plans to man a mission to Mars, the effects of time in deep space need to be further explored before human explorers leave the earth.

Enter space mice, creatures on a mission.  They’ve been (involuntarily) working to help humans understand how long-term exposure to space conditions, with a seminal experiment of 91 days aboard the International Space Station.

Six astromice were housed there and the results of their mission produced fascinating data about the threats to human for prolonged space travel.  These included anemia, skin thinning, osteoporosis, and muscle wasting.  Immune and heart function were also studied.

Dermal atrophy is a concern based on some data from humans.  The main result from the mice trials showed significant reproductive organ decline, with mice losing almost all sperm due to degeneration of testicles.

Microgravity conditions have similar effects on mice and humans, and more tests are underway.

SpaceX, a private company launched by Elon Musk, has sent 20 mice into space to live for a month, while being monitored for physical responses to microgravity.  They will be housed in a state-of-the-art NASA habitat.

Robot Design Copies Sleek Roach Shell

Robot Design Copies Sleek Roach Shell

In robot science, even tiny inventions can change the shape of things.  A simple seek-and-find type of robot has been fitted with one small but powerful addition to overcome obstacles in its path.

Clutter is the enemy of robots, because each new and different obstacle must be overcome with a different feature.  Sensors are often used in complex ways on robot bodies to keep the artificially intelligent creature moving toward its goal, without being derailed by something as simple as a steep hill or drop of water.

Most robots are designed to avoid obstacles by sensing their proximity and moving around them.  But a team at Berkeley, led by postdoctoral researcher Chen Li, has developed a robot that can scamper between obstacles.

The breakthrough in design came after observing a common roach, species Blaberus discoidalis, make its way through an obstacle course resembling tightly crowded sticks of grass.  Researchers then ran their rectangular-bodied robot through the same course, and noted how it got hung up on the pillars, or became stuck, or even collided with the pseudo-grass.

A new robot with streamlined “roach” shell was built, and made its way much like the real thing through the course, traversing and rolling through the fake grass pillars rather than bumping into them.

Branding Bugs-As-Food Poses Challenges

Branding Bugs-As-Food Poses Challenges

Common sense and science agree that bug-eating (“entomophagy”) is a better use of limited land and water resources, but getting westerners to chow down on this unfamiliar food is no easy task.  Despite the fact that 80% of humans eat bugs regularly, those who never have tend to balk at six and eight-legged entrees.

North America and Europe are the two continents where bugs haven’t caught on.  In the tropics, where food resources are limited, munching on mealworms or gnawing on grasshoppers is no big deal.  Although younger generations in countries like Thailand and Kenya find western hamburgers and fries more appealing, there is no doubt that bugs are still considered tasty and nutritious worldwide.

Insect eating in South America, Asia and Africa isn’t just a novelty – it’s part of the daily diet for many.  But can entomophagy catch on in the western hemisphere?

Already, many foods contain insect parts.  The US Department of Agriculture allows a certain proportion of insects into foods – the reasoning being that a few insects are better than the buckets of pesticide necessary to remove them all.

One wedge to open up the door to insect-eating is the agreement that meat-eating is just too wasteful and expensive.  Vegetarians and vegans are the logical choice as a target audience for insect-based menus.  Some products marketed to vegetarians are already on the market:  Amazon sells “chirps chips” a bean and corn-based chip made with crickets.

Caterpillar Feud Behind Some Spicy Plants

Caterpillar Feud Behind Some Spicy Plants

Strong flavors from plant life range from mustard seed to the sharp, bitter taste of kale, and they came about as a result an evolutionary “arms race” between butterflies and certain plants.

To survive and reproduce, a species of plants called Brassicales (which includes cabbage) produced a chemical defense to repel the hungry caterpillar – and the chemical is what provides us with a variety of bitter and spicy flavors.

Brassicales developed compounds called glucosinolates over millions of years.

“Seeing the variation in the detoxification mechanisms among species and their gene copies gave us important evolutionary insights,” said Hanna Heidel-Fischer, one of the lead authors, who worked on the study at the Max Plank Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany.

The team was able to examine genetic differences from nine Brassicales genomes across 14 families, enabling them to create a detailed map of the “family tree” of this species evolution.  The map pointed the way to where changes in defense mechanisms occurred.  In parallel, scientists examined the evolutionary “family tree” of several species of butterflies.

Comparisons between evolutionary benchmarks for Brassicales and butterflies revealed three significant evolutionary signposts over 80 million years, showing where plants developed chemical defenses and butterflies responded with adaptations and counter defenses.

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