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.
Northern Arizona researchers Kasey Yturralde and Richard W. Hofstetter tested four different products, none of which successfully drove away bed bugs.
With bed bugs bunking just about everywhere these days, people battling the bloodsucking insects may be tempted to try their hand at driving them away. But ultrasonic bug zappers, which retail for less than $25, aren’t the solution, say entomologists who tested some of the devices.
Northern Arizona researchers Kasey Yturralde and Richard W. Hofstetter tried out four different ultrasonic devices available on Amazon: one designed specifically for bedbugs and three that claimed to repel insects and small furry mammalian pests.
Their simple experimental design consisted of two 5-gallon buckets lined with sound-muffling insulation that were connected by a tube. An ultrasonic device was placed in one bucket, and eight to 10 bed bugs were placed in the tube.
More care was given to how the bedbugs were housed in the lab. The researchers kept them in large jars, like those used for canning, which were placed in bins full of soapy water. And every lip or edge over which a rogue bed bug would have to crawl was covered in a slippery substance a little like liquid Teflon, Yturralde says, to keep them from escaping.
In test after test, the bed bugs showed no preference for either bucket. None of the four devices drove the bed bugs away.
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.
While rodents are unwelcome house guests, the real concern is that these pests can cause property damage and carry disease. Rodents such as mice and rats spread salmonella and Hantavirus by contaminating food and preparation surfaces. They can also chew through wood and electrical wires, in some cases sparking house fires.
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.
For further information on rodents or if you have other questions related to your pest control needs, visit www.bugs.com
Occasional invaders are pests that find their way into your home once in a while. They are typically looking for food, warmth, or just lost their way and stumbled into your home. Traditionally they are not disease-spreading pests and will not cause any kind of structural damage to your property.
Ladybugs, boxelder bugs, spiders, and cluster flies are all examples of this type of pests.
The good news about occasional invaders is that once they are inside they don’t reproduce or feed, but are just a nuisance with their presence. Some of these pests, like the ladybug, are actually beneficial pests! Remind yourself of this as you scoop them up from your windowsills during the winter months. Ladybugs feed on a wide range of insects making them a pest that you want to have around – just not INSIDE your home!
The best strategy for dealing with occasional invaders is preventing them from penetrating your home. However, once they are already inside, depending on your tolerance level you can remove small amounts of nuisance pests simply by vacuuming them up. If there are too many pests inside or if you have a lower pest tolerance, a pest control professional will be able to assist you in controlling your infestation. Just remember, if you vacuum them up you should remove the bag when finished. Seal it in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.
There are many steps homeowners can take to reduce the likelihood of occasional invaders:
Keep all kitchen areas clean (including floors) and free of useless clutter. Kitchen appliances should be kept free of spills and crumbs. Clean shelves regularly and store foods such as cereal, flour, and dog food in resealable containers.
Periodically sweep and vacuum floor areas in the kitchen, under furniture, and around dining areas.
Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be stored in sealed containers and disposed of regularly.
Seal cracks, crevices, and other gaps around doors and windows. Doors and windows should always be kept closed or well screened.
Check pipes and pipe areas around the house for leaks, cracks and gaps and seal and patch any problems if necessary. Leaky faucets should also be fixed.
Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. If you have mold and mildew in your home or office crawlspace, it’s a symptom of an excess moisture problem.
Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly. Insects have also been known to come in on potted plants and in luggage.
When you hire a GreenPro provider we want to ensure that you receive the best service and have the highest level of confidence that all individuals sent to your home or business have met stringent criteria that go far beyond state and federal requirements. To guarantee this level of quality, GreenPro requires member companies to meet high standards that include:
Perform criminal background checks on all employees.
Comply with the toughest green standards.
Employ highly trained, credentialed employees.
Offer a clear, easy-to-understand warranty and termite service agreement.
Maintain an up-to-date insurance policy.
Advertise truthfully and ethically.
Check employee references and driving history.
Maintain a drug-free workplace.
Require a professional dress code and service vehicle maintenance and appearance policy.
In addition, when providing a green pest management service, your GreenPro certified technician will develop a plan to precisely manage pests in your home and business in accordance with our rigorous third-party standards. GreenPro companies will:
Provide green pest management training and testing for all sales persons and technicians selling or providing green services.
Designate a manager that must attend a comprehensive green training program and whom is responsible for ensuring that the company is complying with GreenPro standards.
Create a unique partnership with you to determine the best and most responsible way to solve your pest problems.
Inspect and monitor the structure being serviced.
Eliminate sources of food, water and shelter that pests need to survive.
Follow guidelines to treat in and around your structure using the least invasive measures to manage your problem, while minimizing or eliminating the need to use pesticides.
Only make traditional pesticide applications after discussing the options with you and getting your consent.
Document all actions taken to accurately identify solutions that work for you.
To ensure GreenPro companies are complying with program standards, member companies are audited by independent auditors.
Serving All of South Florida Since 1968 (All 12 Counties)