Termite FAQ’s

What do you do when you’ve found your dream home, but discover that it’s crawling with termites?

The truth is, there are two kinds of homes: those that have had termites and those that will get them.  And, while they cause $5 billion in damage each year, there is no reason to run away from the purchase.  A pest control professional can correct the problem so that you can live comfortably in your dream home.

How difficult are termites to treat?

Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own.  On the other hand, pest control professionals have the training, expertise, equipment, and technology to eliminate termite infestations.

How much does a termite treatment cost?

They can range anywhere from $800 to $1,800 dollars, depending on where you live, the construction of your home, severity of the infestation, and the type of contract offered by Tips on how to protect against termite damage.your pest control professional.  Your pest control professional will give you a free estimate.

What are the different types of termite treatments?

There are two primary types of treatments available for use by the professional: liquids and baits.  Liquids are used around a home area to ensure long-term protection or used to treat wood directly. Baits systems involve placing monitoring stations in the ground.

Are these products dangerous to kids and pets?

All professional pest control products have been registered for use by the EPA.

When they are applied according to label instructions by technicians who have been trained and licensed to use them, they pose little risk. Also, the products are applied in areas not frequented by people (under soil surface, in walls, in stations under the soil).

What is the most effective type of termite treatment?

A trained and licensed pest control operator is the best person to make a recommendation for each particular property. Also, homeowners might have a preference as to which technology to use so it is important that they have a detailed conversation with their pest control company.

Why should someone hire a professional instead of attempting to control their pest problems by themselves?

Just as you wouldn’t prescribe medicine for yourself or drill your own cavities – you shouldn’t attempt to control termites – or other pests — on your own. The products and the expertise offered by professional pest control far surpasses what a homeowner could do on their own.  Leave it up to the experts for peace of mind. Why risk it?

What questions should homeowners ask during a professional termite inspection/treatment?

  • What type of treatment is recommended?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take to get rid of the termites?
  • What type of contract or guarantee is offered?
  • Are they a member of the National Pest Management Association?

How long does a termite treatment typically take?

Termite treatments typically will take no more than a day.

How long until the termites are gone?

That depends on the location, extent of damage, and the products used to treat the infestation.  After a thorough inspection, your professional pest control company should be able to tell you what they will use to get rid of the termites and how long it will take.

What can a homeowner do to prevent termites?

  • The most common types of termites love moisture, if you have any moisture around the foundation of your home, take steps to remove the moisture and eliminate the source.
  • Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
  • Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering vents.
  • Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the building was constructed. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
  • Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
  • It doesn’t hurt to routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.

Can pests other than termites damage property?

Absolutely. Carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder post beetles are all categorized as wood destroying insects.  That’s why it’s important to have a professional identify the source of your problem and provide the treatment to control it.

What should a homeowner look for when selecting a PCO?

  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest to be controlled, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary. 

If you hire a pest control professional, are you guaranteed a pest-free home?

Pest control companies differ in their guarantees. Pests and pest conditions constantly change around a home, so pests can come back. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

It is important that homeowners remain active participants before, during and after all pest control treatments.   This type of vigilance helps the homeowner better understand their contract and possible guarantee, and helps the PCO understand the homeowner’s expectations.

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Expert Advice For a Bed Bug-Free School Year

Hulett Environmental Services shares back-to-school tips to prevent a bed bug infestation

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Summer vacation is over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over the next few weeks, Hulett Environmental Services a pest management company servicing South Florida, encourages parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places. This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

Hulett Environmental Services experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  • Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
  • If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans

Hulett Environmental Services  also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
  • Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing

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

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Hulett Enviornmental Services offers advice on pest-proofing this fall to keep spiders out

Florida Pest Control

Hulett Environmental Services, a pest management company servicing South Florida warns that homeowners might begin to notice more spiders in and around their home as the cooler weather rolls in.

Much like humans, spiders seek shelter from cooler weather in warm environments. Unfortunately, our homes provide the perfect harborage site for these creepy crawlers to ride out the colder months, which can lead to a larger infestation.

Spiders prefer to spin their webs in dark, undisturbed areas around the house, so homeowners should pay special attention to basements, garages and attics. recommends keeping these areas particularly clean and free of clutter. Experts also suggest the following tips to avoid contact with spiders:

  • Install screens and weather stripping on windows and door sweeps on doors.
  • Fix any cracks in siding and walls, especially where pipes or wires enter the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  • Store clothing inside plastic containers and check shoes before putting them on, as spiders often hide in these items.
  • If you suspect that a spider has bitten you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.
  • If you have a spider infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional.

Spiders are a beneficial part of the ecosystem, as they provide a natural form of pest control by catching insects in their webs, but that doesn’t mean they have an open invitation to wander inside our homes.

For more information on spiders and other common household pests, please visit www.bugs.com

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Protect yourself from Stinging Insects

Here are a few facts to help homeowners protect themselves from stinging insects over the next few months:

  • Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year. They can swarm and sting en masse, which can be life threatening especially for anyone who has an allergic reaction.
  • Unlike some stinging insect species, wasps are known for their unprovoked aggression. A single colony of wasps can contain more than 15,000 members, so an infestation should not be taken lightly.
  • Common nesting sites include under eaves, on ceiling beams in attics, garages and sheds and under porches. Some stinging insects can build their nests in the ground, including yellowjackets and velvet ants (which are actually a species of wasps). Over-seeding the yard provides more coverage and discourages these pests from nesting around the property.
  • Painting or staining untreated wood in fences, decks, swing sets and soffits will help keep stinging insects such as carpenter bees out. Carpenter bees create nests by drilling tunnels into soft wood, which can severely compromise the stability of a structure over time.
  • Only female carpenter bees have stingers. Female carpenter bees will only sting if threatened, but reactions to these stings can range from mild irritation to life-threatening respiratory distress.
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Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!

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Video Captures Ants Working Together

Someone captured footage recently of an ant colony working together to haul off an enormous dinner.  Some ants crawl under and support the meal, while others form a chain to pull it away. Together, the ants are able to move something hundreds of thousands of times their weight.

The footage was posted to LiveLeak. Check it out:

 

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Ask the Pest Professor: Spider Bites

Dr. Jim Fredericks from the National Pest Management Association discusses if all spiders bite.

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Hulett Environmental Services encourages public awareness about insects of foreign origin

Hulett Environmental Services encourage homeowners to also be on the lookout for the following invasive species this summer:

Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – RIFAs were brought to the United States in 1930 from South America and are mainly found in the southern region of the country. When disturbed, they are known to swarm and sting humans, often causing painful welts on the skin.

Asian Tiger Mosquito – Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito is now found throughout the eastern, Midwestern and southern states. This mosquito species can cause an irritable bite and spread several diseases, including Dengue fever, West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Likely introduced from Eastern Asia, stink bugs are most prevalent in the northeast. While stink bugs don’t pose any health threats, they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.

Formosan Termite – Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite species. They are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, posing a serious structural threat to a property if left untreated.

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Rugose (Gumbo Limbo) Spiraling Whitefly

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For information on Rugose (Gumbo Limbo) Spiraling Whitefly Click the image above!

 

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Cockroach prevention tips

 

  • Seal cracks around the outside of the home to prevent pest entryways.Top 5 ways to Rid Your Home of Roaches
  • Properly ventilate basements and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points.
  • Vacuum frequently and remove garbage from around the home on a routine basis.
  • Do not allow dirty dishes to accumulate in the sink and remain there overnight.
  • Keep food in the refrigerator or in containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent contamination.
  • Periodically check and clean the evaporation pan under the refrigerator or freezer.
  • If you suspect you have an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.
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Hulett Environmental Services shares tips to eliminate indoor allergens

Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well. It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.

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We recommend 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.
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How to prevent a rodent infestation

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It’s much easier to prevent a rodent infestation than to remove them after they’ve turned your home into their new residence. Here are a few steps homeowners can take to keep their homes rodent-free:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from finding easy entryways.
  • Keep shrubberies cut back from the house and store firewood a good distance away. The NPMA recommends that you tore firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five inches off the ground.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and clean up crumbs and spills.
  • If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
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Tips to keep pets pest-free:

Tips to keep pets pest-free:

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  • Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
  • Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
  • Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.
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Termite Prevention Tips from Hulett Envrionmental Services

Hulett Environmental offers the following prevention tips for homeowners to help guard against termites:

Termite Pest Control

Termite Pest Control

  • Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes and rotting wood.
  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
  • Divert water away from the home through properly functioning downspouts and gutters.

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

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South Florida Pest Control Reviews

Florida Pest Control Reviews of Hulett Environmental services via Yelp:

FloridaPestControlReviews“They inspected our home and showed us the termite damage.  We needed the traditional tenting, not the tentless method.  Theyare very professional about their work, and explain everything they do. We will now follow up with the bi-monthly pest control service for maintenance.  Jonadab, who will be doing this for us, is very thorough and, again, explains everything he does.”

 

  • Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and rotting wood.
  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Some termites are drawn to deteriorating wood.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches up off the ground, and inspect it closely before bringing it indoors.
  • Divert water away from the property through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
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5 steps to prevent Ants

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.

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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.

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Don’t Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your Vacation

To prevent an unwanted encounter with bed bugs, Hulett Environmental Services shares the following prevention tips for travelers:imagegen.ashx1

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams and box springs for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting

 

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Occasional invaders to look out for

Occasional invaders to look out for:RJNL6936

Centipedes – House centipedes have poisonous jaws to inject their prey with venom. If handled roughly, some larger species can inflict a painful bite that can break human skin and cause pain and swelling, similar to a bee sting.

Earwigs – Contrary to popular myths, earwigs do not burrow into people’s brains at night. However, they are known to live together in large numbers. Earwigs can be found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes, and they can gain entry to a structure through exterior cracks.

House Crickets – House crickets are nocturnal and usually hide in dark warm places during the day. Indoors, they can eat away at fabric, leaving holes and are especially attracted to soiled clothes.

 

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How to get rid of spiders in the house and stay safe from bites.

How to get rid of spiders in the house and stay safe from bites.

Spider Control for HomeownersFear of spiders is consistently ranked as one of the top phobias in America. Whether it is an evolutionary trigger that kept our ancestors alive or the result of Hollywood horror films, spiders have a reputation as being creepy, crawly, venomous pests.

But spiders aren’t all bad. They do provide a form of natural pest control by catching insects in their webs. However, that doesn’t mean they have an open invitation to come into our homes. A spider infestation can cause contamination of food in kitchens or pantries, and depending on the species, there could be health risks if family members unexpectedly happen upon a web or lurking spider. Taking action to prevent spiders goes a long way in avoiding these risks.

Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free.

Most spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal, so an attic or basement that has been left unused over thepast season could be harboring these pests out of sight. Avoid leaving clothing and shoes on the floor and consider storing them inside plastic containers. It is also advised to shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing.

Seal any cracks or crevices around the home.

Spiders can crawl into homes through damaged window screens or cracks in the siding. The outside of homes should be inspected for these defects seasonally as weather and changes in temperature can cause or worsen existing problems.

Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.

Packages are often left on the front step if delivered when you’re not at home, and groceries might be placed on the driveway while unloading. These are opportunities for spiders and other pests to crawl onto bags and boxes and be carried inside. Inspecting packages before bringing them into your home reduces this risk.

If a spider bites you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.

Species such as house spiders and cellar spiders pose no health threat to people. They don’t have very strong mouthparts, so if they tried to bite, they wouldn’t be able to pierce the skin. These spiders are simply nuisance pests, but they are much better off living and laying eggs outside.

Other species such as black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders do have the ability to pierce the skin and inject venom. Their bites cause varied reactions in people, but are very rarely fatal with proper treatment. Symptoms include localized pain, fever and nausea. In the case of a brown recluse spider bite, there’s also a possibility for skin necrosis at the site of the bite.

If you have an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional.

Being proactive about spider control will reduce the likelihood of any species making a home in your abode and possibly harming a member of your family. But if you suspect you have a spider infestation in your home, contact a pest professional to identify the species and properly remove the pests.

 

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Spiders use electricity for catching prey

Anyone can tell you that spiders are able to trap their meals in their sticky silky webs – but there’s a bit more to it than that. Spiders are actually able to conduct electricity across the surface of the web, which attracts the potential prey. The research was led by Fritz Vollrath of Oxford University and was published in the journal Naturwissenschaften.

 

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