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- Spider Prevention Tips from Hulett Environmental Services July 29, 2014
- What is the most effective type of termite treatment? July 28, 2014
- Termite Warning Signs July 25, 2014
- How do I properly take out the stinger from a bee? July 24, 2014
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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.
Huett Environmental encourages homeowners to take precautions against common household pests
April is National Pest Management Month, a public observance by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, that celebrates the pest management industry for its commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from common household pests. It’s also the ideal time to prepare homes and help thwart those pesky spring and summer pest invasions. During the month-long observance, Hulett Environmental encourages homeowners to take stock of the conditions in and around homes and eliminate any harborage points that could attract pests over the next few months.
National Pest Management Month occurs during a time when homeowners begin to notice an increase in pests, such as ants, termites, mosquitoes and other stinging insects. It’s the perfect opportunity for homeowners to complete simple home improvement projects like screening windows and proper landscape techniques that will help keep pests outdoors where they belong.
Hulett Environmental Services experts recommend the following tips to pest-proof the home this spring:
- 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.
For more information on common household pests or more pest-proofing tips, please visit www.bugs.com
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When Chen looked out of the window of his house, he noticed a swarm of bees outside. Not wanting to kill them, he contacted a specialist to come in and extract the bees, but was surprised to find a massive hive inside his walls.
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The NBA’s best dunkers have nothing on these masters of the leap. Check out 4 of the biggest bug jumpers around.
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!
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hulett Environmental Services offers advice for homeowners on mosquito prevention around the property
Hulett Environmental Services offers advice for homeowners on mosquito prevention around the property Hulett Environmental offers the following mosquito prevention tips: Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects … Continue reading
After buying a home, homeowners should consider scheduling a professional inspection annually, or at least once every 3-5 years, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. Also, keep the following termite prevention tips in mind:
- Keep it dry: Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units which are on the outside of the home. Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Avoid providing harborage: Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
- Know the signs: Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
A home is often the single largest investment a person will ever make. Homebuyers should arm themselves with as much information as possible about the existing home so they can make informed decisions for their families.
Hulett Environmental encourages public awareness of termites during the spring season
As temperatures continue to increase across the country and the ground becomes warmer, winged termites will emerge in search of a suitable spot to create a new colony, often in residential settings. To promote public vigilance against termites, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recognizes March 16-22 as Termite Awareness Week Hulett Environmental Services is proud to take part in this annual observance by educating homeowners about the threat of termites and the possible signs of an infestation this spring.
Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They are known as “silent destroyers” due to their ability to compromise the structure of a home without being noticed until it’s too late.
Termites are very destructive and the damage inflicted can be quite costly if left undetected are most likely to cause problems in South Florida this time of year, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property.
Here are a few clues that termites may be present in a home:
- Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
- Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
- Darkening or blistering of wood structures
- Cracked or bubbling paint
- Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest
- Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home
If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan.
For more information on termites, please visit www.bugs.com