Tips to avoid a pest infestation when decorating the home for the Holidays
As families across the country get into the Holiday spirit by digging out their decorations and unpacking strands of twinkling lights, Hulett Environmental a pest management company servicing South Florida urges caution against pests that can make their way into the home via boxes of ornaments, fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreathes and even firewood.
Ants and spiders can easily hide in the branches of trees and crevices of firewood, while mice can chew through cardboard boxes of decorations that have been stored away since last season. Unfortunately, these pests can pose serious health threats, from food contamination to the spread of disease, once they find a way inside.”
Hulett advises homeowners to carefully inspect these all items for pests before bringing them inside the home. Hulett recommends the following tips to specifically prevent a pest infestation when decorating for the Holidays:
- Inspect live, fresh cut evergreen trees, wreathes and garlands for spiders, insect nests or eggs before purchasing. Shake greenery outdoors to remove any pests before bringing them inside.
- Unpack decorations outdoors so pests aren’t released into the home. Repack decorations in durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or poles.
- If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem.
Argentine Ants: Colonies of Argentine ants are found throughout the southeastern parts of the U.S. and California usually in wet environments near a food source. Argentine ants do not pose a health threat, but they can contaminate food and give off a musty odor when crushed.
Carpenter Ants: This aggressive species of ant is found nationwide, especially in the northern region. Carpenter ants attack wood and can cause severe property damage, which is usually not covered by homeowners’ insurance.
Crazy Ants: First found in Texas in 2002, crazy ants have spread to other southern states, nesting in both dry and moist habitats. This species does not pose a health threat, but they can become a nuisance.
Odorous House Ants: This species is found in every region of the U.S. and commonly nests in basements, crawl spaces and adjacent structures. Odorous house ants do not pose a health risk, but they give off a strong, rotten coconut-like smell when crushed.
Pavement Ants: These black ants are found throughout the eastern portion of the U.S., and in California and Washington. They get their name from making nests in or under cracks in pavement. Pavement ants can contaminate food and should be avoided.
Red Imported Fire Ants: These red ants are found in the southeastern U.S., from Virginia to Texas, as well as California and New Mexico. They are commonly introduced to new areas through potted plants, shrubbery and trees. Fire ants will sting humans who disturb a nest, often causing painful welts.
If you suspect an ant infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment. For more information on ants, please visit http://site1.das-group.com/bugs_database/ants.asp
Did you know? The brown recluse #spider bite is painless but may cause a spreading, tissue-killing wound. Infrequently, reactions include fever, chills, joint pain and convulsions. Just Call HULETT!
Checking for Bed Bugs
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights, and inside dressers, drawers, sofas and chairs.
- Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams and box springs, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains, spots or shed bed bug skins.
- Place suitcase in a plastic trash bag during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
- Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces. The safest place is in the bathroom in the middle of a tile floor or on a luggage rack after it has been thoroughly inspected. Do not use a luggage rack if it has hollow legs, where bed bugs may hide unseen.
If You Suspect Bed Bugs Are In Your Hotel Room:
- Notify management and request to change rooms immediately.
- Do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
When You Arrive Home:
- Inspect your suitcases outdoors before bringing them into the house.
- Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which can kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have traveled home with you.
- Wash and dry all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – on hot cycles.
- Keep clothes that go to the dry cleaner in a sealed plastic bag until they can be transported.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER PEST FREE
Rather than enjoying backyard barbeques, poolside picnics and other outdoor summer sun activities, homeowners are being chased indoors as summer pests put a stinger in summer fun
A 2005 study by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) found that summer is the greatest season of concern for pests among homeowners. Hulett Environmental recommends several tips to help homeowners take back their weekends and alleviate the problems of summer pests.
- Eliminate standing water and other sources of moisture in or around the home.
- Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
- Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the house.
- Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to the home.
- Move food indoors or under screened tents during outdoor gatherings.
- Check yourself and your pets regularly for ticks.
To learn more about common summer pests and tips to prevent them visit www.bugs.com
Most homeowners strive for that perfect lush green lawn and landscaping with bright green tropical plants. It is a time consuming and labor intensive process which leave you frustrated when it is ruined by bugs and insects. South Florida is home to several bugs that not only do damage to your lawn, but pose health and safety risks as well. It’s essential you get your lawn treated from a lawn pest control professional to ensure your family’s safety and preserve your hard work.
Fire Ants are a common insect in South Florida that can attack humans and pets. They not only attack, but with force with hundreds and sometimes thousands in a colony. According to a University of South Florida publication there are several varieties of fire ants that thrive in the warm climate of South Florida. One variety is a mound building type that can wreak havoc on your landscaping building mounds up to 18 inches in diameter. It is essential that you get your lawn treated when you first see these ants or before to prevent a colony from forming.
Grasshoppers are a common outdoor insect that most homeowners don’t think of as a pest. In some areas their population can become out of control and they do severe damage to common landscaping plants. They constantly feed on green vegetation and often times the plants you cherish and maintain on a regular basis.
There are two types of whiteflies in southern Florida which affect a variety of trees and plants including ficus, palms and some fruit trees. Symptoms of an infestation include a large number of small white-colored flies, discolored leaves or an excessive amount of fallen leaves or branches. Treatment for these is necessary as they not only damage your landscaping but can affect your outdoor pool and ponds.
If you are concerned about your lawn or have an existing pest problem contact us at 866-611-2847 or online to schedule your free lawn analysis and receive a $50.00 coupon
Pest Control Fort Lauderdale FL | Call 954-797-7221
Hulett Environmental encourages public awareness about insects of foreign origin
Invasive species, or insects of foreign origin, can cause major issues for American homeowners during the summer months. Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing South Florida, urges vigilance against invasive species including red imported fire ants (RIFAs), Asian tiger mosquitoes, brown marmorated stink bugs and Formosan termites as the weather continues to warm.
Most people are aware of the risks posed by common summer pests like ticks, mosquitoes and bees. However, invasive species can also cause property damage and, in some cases, injury to humans.
Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, encourage homeowners to also be on the lookout for the following invasive species this summer:
Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – RIFAs were brought to the United States in 1930 from South America and are mainly found in the southern region of the country. When disturbed, they are known to swarm and sting humans, often causing painful welts on the skin.
Asian Tiger Mosquito – Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito is now found throughout the eastern, Midwestern and southern states. This mosquito species can cause an irritable bite and spread several diseases, including Dengue fever, West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Likely introduced from Eastern Asia, stink bugs are most prevalent in the northeast. While stink bugs don’t pose any health threats, they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.
Formosan Termite – Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite species. They are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, posing a serious structural threat to a property if left untreated.
Due to the health and property risks posed by invasive species, homeowners should frequently inspect the home for signs of an infestation and contact a licensed pest professional to treat any potential pest problems.
For more information on invasive pests, please visit www.bugs.com