Category Archives: Ant Control

Where do ants hide?

A recent survey of pest professionals across the country, conducted by the National Pest Management Association, found kitchens (96%) and bathrooms (89%) to be particularly vulnerable to ants.

Kitchen

It’s probably not a surprise the kitchen is considered a favorite ant hangout. In addition to food access, the sink provides a water source that ants need to survive. If you’re lax about immediately cleaning up crumbs and spills, you may be inviting ants in.  Here are a few tips to keep ants out of the kitchen:

  • Store sweet staples like sugar, syrup and honey in plastic containers that snap shut, and wipe them down to remove any sticky residue. You can also place a bay leaf inside canisters of dry goods like flour to keep the ants out. The herb’s pungent scent repels ants and other common pantry pests.
  • Clean up grease spills from countertops and floors as soon as they happen.
  • Any empty juice or soda containers should be rinsed out before recycling or throwing away. And, make sure to take the trash out regularly.
  • Check the fruit bowl – any over ripe fruit will attract ants.
  • Keep an eye out for water buildup in the sink and leaks around the faucet.
  • If you have pets, be sure to pick up any leftover food and wash the bowls regularly.

Bathroom

Areas around the house with excess moisture are known to attract ants, so bathrooms are highly susceptible to an infestation. Carpenter ants, for example, often build nests in damp areas like behind bathroom tiles or under sinks. To prevent an infestation in the bathroom, homeowners should:

  • Occasionally, inspect sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks or drips.
  • Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors with disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down the inside of drawers with warm soapy water.
  • Check to ensure shampoo, lotion and soap bottles are secured and no contents have spilled out of their containers.

Other Common Hideouts

Ants can easily find a way indoors through even the tiniest cracks, so other areas of the home are also common hideouts. The NPMA survey revealed ants are also found in the following areas:

  • Inside walls (73%)
  • Bedrooms (61%)
  • Living rooms (60%)
  • Basements (54%)
  • Air conditioning and heating units (37%)

To keep ants from finding a way inside, homeowners should pest-proof around the outside of the home. Experts recommend sealing any cracks with silicone caulk, repairing holes in window and door screens, replacing weather-stripping, fixing loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows, and keeping tree branches trimmed back and away from the house.

Hulett Environmental Services shares five simple steps to avoid an ant infestation

Hulett Environmental Services recommends the following five simple steps that homeowners can do today to thwart an ant infestation.

1.       Block off access points. Take time to inspect the outside of your home for cracks and crevices, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small holes or gaps with a silicone-based caulk. Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the structure.

2.       Eliminate sources of water in and around the home. Indoors, routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside, ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation.

3.      Keep a clean kitchen. Wipe down counter tops and sweep floors to removecrumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Also, make sure to dispose of garbage regularly.

4.       Don’t forget about the pets. After mealtime, keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can be easily accessed by ants, rodents and other pests.

5.       Work with a pest professional. Eliminating ants can be challenge without the proper treatment. Some species of ants, like carpenter ants, can cause serious property damage while others can pose health threats. If you see ants in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.

Important Tips to Stay Safe from Pests Outdoors

Important Tips to Stay Safe from Pests Outdoors

Small wasp nestStinging insects such as yellowjackets, wasps and hornets send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. And, if that’s not bad enough, they become extra feisty in late summer and early fall when their colonies forage for food to sustain their queens during the winter months.

While the thought of encountering a bee hive on the porch or a hornets nest under the patio is enough to make anyone want to stay indoors over the next few weeks, don’t fret. There are a handful of ways to ensure these pesky stingers won’t ruin your fun in the sun.

Seal cracks and crevices

One effective way to prevent an infestation of these insects and most other pests is to eliminate access and harborage sites around of the home. Stinging insects often build their nests inside attics and chimneys, behind porch lights and under decks or eaves. Homeowners should seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep these pests from moving indoors, and regularly inspect around the yard and along the perimeter of the house for nests.

Keep food covered

Have you ever been to an outdoor gathering where bees are swarming around the table of hamburgers, chips and fruit? Stinging insects are attracted to exposed food and open garbage cans. To avoid an unwanted encounter with a yellowjacket or bee during a picnic or cookout, cover all food when outside and be sure to keep tight fitting lids on trash bins.

Avoid excessive use of fragrances

Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. If spending long periods of time outdoors, avoid excessive use of perfume or cologne. When possible, also choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions and sunscreen.

Adjust your wardrobe

Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, since these patterns are known to attract stinging insects. It’s also important to wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas as bumblebees and some hornets often nest there.

Remain calm, cool and collected

If a stinging insect is flying nearby, many people’s first reaction is to either swat the insect away or flail their arms in panic. However, these movements may actually provoke an attack. Do not swat the pest, but rather remain calm, slowly walk from the area and it should fly away with causing any harm. If you do get stung, carefully remove the stinger and seek medical attention, as reactions can be severe in some cases.

Just Call Hulett! 

If a nest is found on the property, keep yourself and other members of the family away and do not attempt to remove it on your own. Depending on the species, a nest could contain hundreds (if not thousands) of stinging insects, which could swarm and sting en masse if they are disturbed or feel threatened. Instead, contact a licensed pest professional who will be able to identify the species and aid in stinging insect control by either destroying the colony or removing it to a safe location.

Stinging insects can be hard to avoid as they often show up to picnics, cookouts and pool parties. The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. To learn more about stinging insects, watch this Stinging Insects 101 video.

SHOULD HOMEOWNERS/RESIDENTS BE CONCERNED IF THEY FIND ANTS IN THEIR HOME?

SHOULD HOMEOWNERS/RESIDENTS BE CONCERNED IF THEY FIND ANTS IN THEIR HOME?

Most species of ants are considered ‘nuisance pests,’ meaning that they don’t pose a significant threat to health or property, but are an annoyance when found indoors. In fact, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States.

Some species of ants, however, can pose threats to health and property. Carpenter ants, for example, excavate wood in order to build their nests, which can cause extensive damage to a structure. Fire ants, on the other hand, sting when threatened, resulting in painful welts that can be dangerous to allergic persons. These species should always be handled by a professional.

Regardless of the species all ants can contaminate food sources and small infestations can grow quickly, so any sign of an infestation should be dealt with promptly.

Hulett Environmental Services shares tips to eliminate indoor allergens this spring

Hulett Environmental Services shares tips to eliminate indoor allergens this spring Exterminator in West Palm Beach

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, an ideal time to educate the public about triggers, prevention and treatment measures for asthma and allergic diseases. In recognition of this important observation, Hulett Environmental Services  reminds people that a few simple pest prevention measures can go a long way in combating allergies and asthma this spring.

Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

Hulett Environmental Services recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.

For more information on pests, please visit www.bugs.com

Where Do Ants hide?

Where Do Ants hide?

Kitchen                    

It’s probably not a surprise the kitchen is considered a favorite ant hangout. In addition to food access, the sink provides a water source that ants need to survive. If you’re lax about immediately cleaning up crumbs and spills, you may be inviting ants in.  Here are a few tips to keep ants out of the kitchen:

  • Store sweet staples like sugar, syrup and honey in plastic containers that snap shut, and wipe them down to remove any sticky residue. You can also place a bay leaf inside canisters of dry goods like flour to keep the ants out. The herb’s pungent scent repels ants and other common pantry pests.
  • Clean up grease spills from countertops and floors as soon as they happen.
  • Any empty juice or soda containers should be rinsed out before recycling or throwing away. And, make sure to take the trash out regularly.
  • Check the fruit bowl – any over ripe fruit will attract ants.
  • Keep an eye out for water buildup in the sink and leaks around the faucet.
  • If you have pets, be sure to pick up any leftover food and wash the bowls regularly.

Bathroom

Areas around the house with excess moisture are known to attract ants, so bathrooms are highly susceptible to an infestation. Carpenter ants, for example, often build nests in damp areas like behind bathroom tiles or under sinks. To prevent an infestation in the bathroom, homeowners should:

  • Occasionally, inspect sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks or drips.
  • Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors with disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down the inside of drawers with warm soapy water.
  • Check to ensure shampoo, lotion and soap bottles are secured and no contents have spilled out of their containers.

Other Common Hideouts

Ants can easily find a way indoors through even the tiniest cracks, so other areas of the home are also common hideouts. The NPMA survey revealed ants are also found in the following areas:

  • Inside walls (73%)
  • Bedrooms (61%)
  • Living rooms (60%)
  • Basements (54%)
  • Air conditioning and heating units (37%)

Hulett Environmental Services shares five simple steps to avoid an ant infestation

Hulett Environmental Services shares five simple steps to avoid an ant infestation

 

As weather conditions improve, ants will soon begin to enter homes in search of food and water. Hulett Environmental Services encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of seeing these nuisance pests in your garage or crawling across the kitchen counter in the coming weeks.

Ants often infest kitchens and bathrooms, but homeowners may also encounter them in cooler spaces like basements, garages and around air conditioning units. The key to preventing ants from finding a way inside is to eliminate harborage sites around the property.

Experts from Hulett Environmental Services recommend the following five simple steps that homeowners can do today to thwart an ant infestation.

1.       Block off access points. Take time to inspect the outside of your home for cracks and crevices, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small holes or gaps with a silicone-based caulk. Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the structure.
2.       Eliminate sources of water in and around the home. Indoors, routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside, ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation.
3.       Keep a clean kitchen. Wipe down counter tops and sweep floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Also, make sure to dispose of garbage regularly.
4.       Don’t forget about the pets. After mealtime, keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can be easily accessed by ants, rodents and other pests.
5.       Work with a pest professional. Eliminating ants can be challenge without the proper treatment. Some species of ants, like carpenter ants, can cause serious property damage while others can pose health threats. If you see ants in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.

4 biggest jumpers in the world of insects

The NBA’s best dunkers have nothing on these masters of the leap. Check out 4 of the biggest bug jumpers around.

Photo: John Tannflickr

Being able to jump is a hugely advantageous skill out in the wilds of nature. Being able to quickly propel yourself into the air means you can jump away from something that’s trying to eat you or towards something you’re trying to eat. Kangaroos use jumping as their primary way of getting around, while cats use it to pounce on their prey.
In the insect world, some species have evolved remarkable abilities to accurately hurl themselves vast distances. Some of the jumping bugs I’ve highlighted here throw themselves the equivalent distance of a human jumping hundreds of feet in the air over the length of a football field. Engineers have learned a lot about the mechanics of robotic jumping from insects (case in point, the “Sand Flea“) but they haven’t begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible when the mechanics of insect jumpers are translated to human-engineered devices.
Here are four insects that have mastered the art of the jump. Enjoy!
Froghopper
Froghopper
In 2003, researchers from the University of Cambridge in England declared a new champion in the world of insect jumpers: the froghopper. The small bug (0.2 inches long) uses a unique propulsion system to jump more than two feet in the air. Froghoppers use their bounding leaps to avoid predators and to search for food.
What’s maybe even more remarkable than the length and height of their jumps is what they have to endure to make them — froghoppers accelerate from the ground with a force that is 400 times greater than gravity. (Humans jump with a force that is two to three times that of gravity, and we pass out around five G’s.
The froghopper uses two large muscles to catapult itself around, literally locking its back legs down in such a way that they hold until their jumping muscles have generated enough energy to break the lock and send the insect flying through the air. This release of energy happens so fast that it proved difficult for scientists to capture it using a video camera capable of shooting 2,000 frames per second. The froghopper’s jump took up exactly two of those 1/1000th of a second frames.
Flea
Flea, the guitarist
The guitarist shares a name with an insect rock star. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Fleas — the real ones — are one of the more well-known jumping insects and are not creatures that most people like having around. Fleas are parasites that make a living sucking blood from their host. They use their mighty jumps to get around and to hurl themselves onto new host animals. It was discovered in the ’70s that fleas store up energy in their body to make jumps, but the exact mechanism wasn’t actually known until recently when faster, high-speed cameras showed that they actually push off with their “toes,” not their “knees,” as many entomologists had believed.
Grasshopper
Grasshopper
Photo: Orange Leaf/flickr
The grasshopper is the insect that jumps to mind when most people think of leaping bugs. Grasshoppers have long, hinged legs that they use to both walk around and jump when needed. Although the froghopper can jump farther than the grasshopper, relative to its size, the grasshopper is still highly respected (among those who respect insects for their jumping ability) for its prodigious leaps. The muscles they use to make their jumps have been shown to have 10 times the raw power than the strongest human muscle cell. The only known muscles in the world that are stronger are the ones used by clams to shut their shells, and even then the grasshoppers muscles fire more rapidly.
Katydid
Katydid
Photo: Challiyan/flickr
Katydids look a lot like grasshoppers but they are more closely related to crickets. Like grasshoppers, katydids have large hinged legs that they use to make enormous jumps. Unlike the grasshopper, katydids typically have long antennae that can grow longer than the rest of their body. There are hundreds of species of katydids and many combine a great leaping ability with masterful camouflage, perfectly blending into their green and leafy surroundings, ready to jump away if necessary.

Earth’s Most Extreme Insects

Entomologists at the University of Florida scoured the literature to come up with a list of insects that were the coolest, fastest, largest, longest, loudest and brightest. They also chose more unusual champions: best imitator, least specific vertebrate bloodsucker and most spectacular mating just to name a few of them. Wired Science put together a list of 40 of their favorites, all which have their own allure to them: Earth’s Most Extreme Insects.

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