Tag Archives: Ant Control

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

Hulett Environmental Services shares five simple steps to avoid 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.

Florida Ant Control

 

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.

Crazy Ants Explained!

What are crazy, hairy ants? Are they referred to as Rasberry Crazy Ants or Caribbean Crazy Ants?

  • These are probably all one and the same species Nylanderia pubens with multiple common names.
  • Rasberry crazy ants were first found in Texas in 2002. They are believed to be related to a species from the Caribbean.
  • Caribbean crazy ants are found in Florida – have likely been there since the 1950’s but pest professionals have been receiving more and more reports since 2000.
  • The more common Crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis) looks similar to the Rasberry and Caribbean crazy ants, but have marked differences. Their antennae and legs are significantly longer and their bodies are slightly larger. Their populations are also more spread out around the U.S.

 

10 Steps to Stay Pest Free in South Florida

Hulett Environmental Services recommends the following steps to pest proof your home:

  1. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of your home including areas where South Florida Pest Controlutilities and pipes enter your home. Frequent vacuuming can help to eliminate tiny pests that other pests feed on.
  2. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
  3. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  4. Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking insects.
  5. Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  6. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  7. Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off of the ground.
  8. Repair fascia and soffits and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
  9. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
  10. A licensed and qualified pest control professional is your best resource to ensure these steps are completed properly.

Protect yourself from stinging insects over the next few months

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.