Tag Archives: Hulett Pest

Cockroaches 101

Educational – Cockroaches 101

Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association discusses cockroaches and provides tips to help you keep these pests out of your house.

Bedbugs, Spiders, and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

Bedbugs, Spiders, Bats and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

This Halloween, vampires, ghosts and goblins will not be the only ghoulish creatures haunting the night; bedbugs continue to make a startling resurgence in U.S. residences, spider infestations are up, and wildlife pests such as bats plague homeowners across the country.

Scary movies aren’t the only thing giving homeowners nightmares this season. As temperatures begin to plunge, pests everywhere begin to seek respite in the very areas you want them the least – your home.

Pests such as bedbugs are actually very similar to one of our favorite Halloween characters – the vampire.  A nocturnal creature, bedbugs are bloodsucking pests.  As they bite human skin, they inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin and allows them to bite undisturbed.  In fact, humans don’t usually wake up when they are being bitten; however, they do find themselves scratching circular, red, itchy welts in the morning.

Luckily, a bedbug bite doesn’t transform you into a bedbug; the way a vampire bite makes you a vampire. In fact, the only good news about bedbugs is that their bites do not transmit disease to humans.

Other ghoulish pests cannot make the same claim.  Bats are the culprits behind 72% of rabies cases in the U.S. between 1990 and 2002; and various species of spiders found in the United States pose serious health threats and require vigilant control procedures.

“Homeowners have an easy way of waking up from this type of house nightmare,” commented National Pest Management Association Vice President of Public Affairs Missy Henriksen. “Pest professionals have the training and expertise to assist homeowners through this type of home horror.”

For further information on these nightmarish pests or to find a pest professional in your area, visit bugs.com and www.pestworld.org.

 

 

Rodent Control Tips

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  

Hulett Environmental reminds people to take extra precautions to guard against stinging insects

Hulett Environmental reminds people to take extra precautions to guard against stinging insects

The late summer and early fall are popular times for people to flock outdoors to enjoy the summer sun. Unfortunately, it is also the most active and aggressive season for stinging insects including wasps and yellow jackets, warns Hulett Environmental Services a pest management company servicing Florida.

“Whether completing home maintenance projects or attending a holiday cookout, anyone spending time outside during the warmer months is likely to encounter stinging insects,” said Greg Rice, Marketing for Hulett Environmental Services “These pests are known to dole out painful stings, which can be life-threatening to people who have an allergic reaction.”

In fact, the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, reports that stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year.

“It is important that people don’t provoke stinging insects by swatting at them. Instead, they can take a few extra precautions to prevent an unwanted encounter with these pests,” added Rice. Experts at the NPMA and Hulett offer the following tips to avoid being stung:

  • Ensure all doors and windows in your home have screens that are in good condition.
  • When dining outside, keep food covered until ready to eat.
  • Remove garbage frequently and keep trashcans covered.
  • Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
  • Overseed grassy areas to get better coverage, as this will deter ground-nesting insects.
  • Paint/stain untreated wood.
  • Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes.
  • Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if stung, as reactions can be severe.
  • Do not attempt to remove a hive or nest on your own.

For more information on stinging insects, visit www.bugs.com

Mitigating the Downside to Summer Fun

Mitigating the Downside to Summer Fun

Slide1Hurray – summer is finally here! This is a glorious time of long hours of sun and warmth, walks and hikes, swimming, camping and barbecues. There’s something for everyone in the great outdoors.

But sometimes, don’t you just wish the mosquitoes, bees and other pests would get the memo about being on vacation and just leave you alone? Unfortunately, we all know there are downsides to communing with nature and enjoying our summer fun.

So, let’s go over some of the more common summer insects, why we should be concerned about them and what we can do to mitigate the problem. Remember —especially when it comes to summer insects — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Bees, Hornets, Wasps and Yellowjackets

  • The upside: They pollinate plants and flowers and help give us fruits and vegetables. They also eat other harmful pests such as grubs and flies.
  • The downside: They dole out painful stings and give us anxiety about being stung. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are at risk for suffering severe allergic reactions.

Although typically a source of great anxiety for fear that they might sting you, in fact, bees and yellowjackets rarely do sting unless provoked. So, the number one rule is not to panic and swat at a bee when it comes for a visit. If it lands on your skin, just blow gently rather than smack at it. There are more aggressive species, particularly wasps that can sting in painful attacks if they feel threatened or you wander too close to their nest. While painful, most insect stings usually result in a limited local reaction, with pain and swelling. Unfortunately, about 3 percent of people have more widespread allergic reactions, with rash and hives. The most extreme cases of allergic reactions are called anaphylaxis and symptoms include tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness or even life threatening shortness of breath and drop in blood pressure. If these symptoms arise, call 911. If you are allergic to stinging insects you should know how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.

If stung and the stinger is still in place, first remove the stinger. Then clean the area with soap and cold water and apply ice. Benadryl and over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment may help calm the reaction. Consider taking a pain reliever as needed.

Mosquitoes

  • The upside: Is there one?
  • The downside: Mosquito bites are a common, insect-related reason parents seek medical help for their children. The local reactions and itchy lesions that are results of mosquito bites are no fun, but luckily, severe reactions are extremely uncommon.

Mosquitoes bite most intensely around dawn and dusk. If you must or want to be outside during those times, it’s best to be inside a screened-in porch or dressed in clothing that leaves very little exposed skin. Your best protection will be insect repellant, such as DEET or picaridin.

A mosquito bite typically results in a pink bump that itches. As tempting as it may be, don’t scratch it! Scratching only agitates the venom and increases your itching. In addition, over-scratching might cause breaks in the skin that can serve as a port of entry for bacterial superinfections. Although less common, some people can be more sensitive to mosquito bites and have more severe reactions, such as welts or hives. All bites should be washed with soap and cold water. Benadryl and over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream may be indicated for intense itching and the larger reactions. If there are signs and symptoms of infection you may need to see your doctor for antibiotics.

Unfortunately, mosquitoes can leave more than a local reaction. Sometimes they may transmit infections like malaria, dengue, or West Nile Virus (WNV). Luckily, in the United States we rarely encounter malaria or dengue, but WNV has become widespread. The good news is that in most cases WNV is a mild and self-limited infection. Symptoms may be so light as to go unnoticed, or present as a “summer flu,” with mild body and headaches and low-grade fever. In rare and extreme cases WNV is a potentially life threatening infection. Symptoms include higher fever, head and body aches, confusion and worsening weakness and such symptoms should prompt you to seek medical attention.

Ticks

  • The upside: None.
  • The downside: The serious illness that ticks can transmit, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesia (“tick malaria”), amongst others.

Obviously, the best way to avoid ticks and their associated problems is to not pick them up in the first place, but that can be easier said than done. It’s a good idea to wear clothing that leaves less skin exposed that can act as a barrier to the ticks. So flip-flops, sandals, shorts and T-shirts are out when planning a hike to areas that are likely to have ticks. Wear boots and long socks, and remember to tuck your long pants into your socks when hiking. The best protection against ticks consists ofpermethrin-treated clothing and gear, combined with DEET applied to exposed skin.

Keep in mind that most ticks need to feed for hours before they can successfully transmit infections. So, it is very important that after hikes you do a full body check (including in the hair) to look for ticks. If removed promptly, the risk of infection decreases significantly.

If you do find a tick on your body or that of a family member or pet, it’s important to carefully remove the tick right away. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick as this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. Avoid squashing the tick because spreading tick blood in the bite wound might increase the risk of infection. Once the tick is removed, clean the area with soap and water and perhaps an antiseptic. If you develop a rash, headaches, pains or fever, call your doctor immediately.

The lowdown on bug repellant

The good news is bug repellants really do work in deterring mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers and other insects. The bad news is that they are ineffective against spiders and stinging insects, such as yellowjackets, wasps, bees or hornets.

The gold standard of insect repellant is DEET. It has been in use for more than 50 years and is recommended for use in persons above 2 months of age. The alternative repellant of choice is picaridin is also effective against mosquitoes, ticks, and sand flies.

Ticks and Fleas Pose a Threat to Family Pets

Ticks and Fleas Pose a Threat to Family Pets

The National Pest Management Association Offers Tips to Protect Dogs and Cats from Pests

Fairfax, VA (May 23, 2012) – As the weather warms everyone is spending more time outdoors, including dogs and cats. Just like us, pets are at risk for attracting ticks and fleas when outside, which can pose serious health risks. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds pet owners to take precautions to protect their pets from pests when outside this season.

“The NPMA predicted an especially heavy tick season, making it all the more important that pet owners understand the dangers posed by pests and learn how to prevent them,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA.

Ticks are one of the most common pet pests. Blacklegged deer ticks can spread Lyme disease to pets, which causes fever, decreased appetite, painful joints, limping and lethargy. In serious cases, kidney disease can also occur.

American dog ticks, which are larger than deer ticks, can spread Rock Mountain Spotted Fever and cause tick paralysis, which occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord. Tick paralysis can lead to muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

Fleas are another common pet pest. They cause itchy, red bumps that lead to excessive scratching, anemia, dermatitis and tapeworms. Fleas can also infest a pet owner’s home when they fall off a pet onto bedding, carpets or furniture and reproduce.

The NPMA recommends these tips to protect your pet from pests:

  • Check pets frequently for ticks and fleas. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas and ticks often hide.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Frequently wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently.
  • If you suspect a pest problem, contact a licensed pest professional immediately.