Annual Termite Inspections a Must in South Florida!
Pest proofing and home improvement projects are often designated to the spring season. Now is the perfect time of year to remind homeowners to take the necessary steps to protect their greatest investment from costly damage. Because termites aren’t often detected until it’s too late, we advise consumers to arrange for annual termite inspections from a qualified pest professional.
Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They can silently chew through structures undetected and cause more than $5 billion in property damage every year, an expense that isn’t typically covered under homeowners’ insurance policies.
Hulett offers the following prevention tips for homeowners to help guard against termites:
- 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.
To learn more about termites and look for information on termites, please visit https://site1.das-group.com/termite_control_services/termite_control.asp?type=termite
If you have not had the opportunity to explore our bug database you don’t know what you’re missing! We have one of the most comprehensive and elaborate database of bugs across the entire web. If you can’t find your bug in our database you can always upload a picture to our Ask the Experts section on our website and we will tell you what it is you’re dealing with.
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Below is a list of time-proven tips and techniques to help make the exterior as well as the interior of your home less susceptible to termite attack.
- Install shrubs, mulch and other landscaping at least 2 feet from the foundation of your home.
- Minimize or eliminate the use of wood mulch.
- Keep wooden fences, planter boxes and other wood items at least 2 feet from the foundation.
- Stack firewood and scrap lumber well away from your home.
- Make sure soil is at least 6 inches away from the bottom of stucco or other siding and that wood steps, lattice work and door frames are not in contact with surrounding soil.
- Keep crawl spaces and basements clear of wood debris, newspapers and excess moisture.
- Fix plumbing leaks anywhere in the house, as they can cause moisture to accumulate.
- Keep an eye open for mud tubes, discarded termite wings and other signs of termite activity.
- Place sprinkler heads more than 2 feet from the foundation and make sure they don’t wet the walls.
- Divert air-conditioner condensation, sump discharge and other water away from the foundation of your home.
- Slope soil away from the house so surface water drains easily.
- Clean gutters and downspouts and keep splash blocks in place.
- If you’re adding a room or deck to your home, make sure the lumber has been treated to discourage termites.
- Never bury wood scraps or forms in backfill.
What Is QualityPro
QualityPro is an initiative designed to increase professionalism in the pest management industry. This dynamic program certifies companies based on comprehensive standards. Known as “the mark of excellence in pest control,” the QualityPro designation can be achieved by ensuring that all employees voluntarily ascribe to a set of standards far above what is required by state and federal regulations.
Reserved exclusively for member companies of the National Pest Management Association, QualityPro companies are a distinguished group that continue to act as leaders and pioneers to better serve consumers across the country. Therefore, it is with great pride that we recommend you look for the QualityPro logo the next time you select a professional to eliminate your pest problems.
Here are some examples of QualityPro standards that must be met before a company can achieve this exclusive designation:
- All Employees must undergo a comprehensive background check before ever showing up to service your account.
- Companies must have a drug-free workplace policy that not only prohibits illegal drugs, but also requires employees to notify management if they are using prescribed medication that may impair their judgment, driving ability, performance or behavior.
- Motor vehicle record checks must be conducted on all employees that drive a company vehicle or a personal vehicle for company business.
- Each employee that shows up to your residence or business is required to adhere to a strict uniform dress code and service vehicle maintenance and appearance policy. (We want to make a great first impression…no leaking oil on your driveway or dirty boots on your carpet!)
- QualityPro ensures that companies must provide you with a warranty/service agreement that clearly outlines the scope of service in BOLD type on the first page of the contract.
- Clear communication practices must be followed, including procedures for contacting the customer to schedule the inspection and notification.
- Sales and service technicians must first meet testing minimums before they are eligible to work on your account. QualityPro feels that testing and training are among the most important aspects of any service industry.
- The QualityPro program also contains an environmental stewardship aspect that requires companies to offer integrated pest Management services (IPM) to its customers. If you would like more information on what “IPM” means, just ask your service provider.
- Advertising practices are put in place to ensure that companies don’t make false claims when soliciting your business. No images, words or misleading terminology!
- All companies that enroll in the QualityPro program must have insurance minimums in place for workers comp, general liability and vehicles.
In addition, we here at QualityPro, strive to ensure that all companies in the program are meeting these criteria through continually conducting random audits on all program members.
A man crossing into the United States from Mexico forgot to declare his bugs as food at the port of entry. The unidentified driver told agents he forgot to declare the bags as food items. He was given a $175 fine and the insects were seized. Agents sent the bugs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture where they were identified as a type of stink bug. Pests must be reported when brought into the country because they feed on plants, CBP officials said in a release.
Moral of the story is don’t forget to report pests when crossing the border since they feed on plants!
Most blood-sucking insects urinate while they feed so they can avoid filling up on fluid and get more nutrients out of their meal.
But some species of mosquito also do what is called preurination – they excrete drops of freshly ingested blood without extracting any of the nourishing blood cells.
The behavior has always confused scientists because “blood is a very precious resource,” said Claudio R. Lazzari, an entomologist at François Rabelais University in Tours, France. “The risk of taking it is very high.”
New research, conducted by Dr. Lazzari and colleagues and published in the journal Current Biology, shows that the preurine may serve to keep the cold-blooded mosquitoes from overheating while they take their blood meal, which can be as warm as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the host animal.
Roughly one to two minutes after she starts feeding, an Anopheles stephensi mosquito will excrete urine and preurine through the anus, at the end of the abdomen. Sometimes a drop of the fluid will form and cling to the body before falling off; when this happens, some fluid evaporates like sweat and cools the mosquito’s abdomen by almost four degrees.
Mosquitoes also feed on nectar, but they tend not to preurinate when they eat lower-temperature, sugar-based meals.
The mosquito is not the only insect that uses ingested food to regulate its temperature. Aphids excrete honeydew to prevent their abdomens from getting too hot, and some bee species regurgitate a bit of nectar to keep their heads cool while they fly.
By Alex Wild
While science journalists’ attention remains focused on the Nobel prizes, another set of awards- rather diminutive in scope- were also released this morning.
Nikon has announced the 2011 winners of its prestigious Small World Photomicrography Competition. The contest, now in its 37th year, received over 2,000 entries. And I must say, the galleries are simply gorgeous. Go visit:
This year’s 1st place was taken by Igor Siwanowicz, whose sublime insect portraiture I’ve admired for years. Siwanowicz’s winning image is a cross section of a lacewing larva. These common insects consume prey by piercing their skin with hollow, needle-like jaws and sucking their juices. It’s a fascinating image.
Even though Small World is the grandaddy of microscopy contests, they’ve remained remarkably current with social media. You can follow @NikonSmallWorld on twitter. And, for those who differ with the judges’ picks, Nikon is also holding a popular vote.
For those of you with something small to share, next year’s deadline is April 30, 2012.
Do you have a pest related question for the experts at Hulett Environmental Services? Hulett is the Florida pest control expert! Please fill out the following form and a Hulett representative will contact you within 24 hours or the next business day. Please call 866-611-2847 if you need immediate service.