Tag Archives: Quality Pro

10 Tips to Help Keep Pests Outdoors

Cold weather brings everyone indoors. Sitting in your living room with a pair of slippers and a blanket wrapped around your shoulders can be a comforting feeling… until a mouse scurries across the floor.

Your family may not be the only ones enjoying the warmth of your home. Pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches and some species of spiders have life cycles longer than a year, meaning they need to find shelter during the winter to survive. These pests can pose serious risks to both people and homes.

When making their nests in walls, rodents can chew on electrical wires and drywall, and they are known to pass on diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches can contaminate stored food, leave droppings around the home and trigger allergic asthma, especially in children. On top of all that, some spiders commonly found around homes are poisonous.

Tips every homeowner can follow to keep pests outside during the fall and winter:

  1. Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, like mail slots and animal doors.
  2. Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive. Using dehumidifiers in basements and garages will help keep these areas dry.
  3. Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  4. Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Crumbs and a buildup of garbage are attractive to pests scrounging for food. It is recommended to clean up after each meal and to properly close garbage cans when they are stored in the home or garage.
  5. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests, but also cold air out of the house.
  6. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
  7. Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens. Torn window screens and cracks under doors are an ideal entry point for household pests. When you open the window, you could be letting in more than just fresh air.
  8. Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Pests can find creative ways to get inside a home. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored outside.
  9. Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time. Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds of insects and rodents.
  10. Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or repairing an existing system will help draw water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract pests.

Spiraling whitefly needs to be treated

Spiraling whitefly needs to be treated

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<p>Pest: The gumbo limbo whitefly spiraling infest southeast Florida.<br />

Pest: The gumbo limbo whitefly spiraling infest southeast Florida.

UF/IFAS

By Adrian Hunsberger dade@ifas.ufl.edu

Q. My plants are getting covered in white fluffy stuff and a black mold. Even my car is turning sticky. What can I do?

A: You sent me a sample of the gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly (the new name is the rugose spiraling whitefly). This pest has been in the Miami area for a few years and now infests much of southeast Florida. It is not a serious pest to most plants but it does create a mess.

You can treat infested plants yourself or hire a landscape pest control company. Use a soil applied systemic insecticide and always follow the label directions. This type of insecticide is available at garden centers, retail nurseries and agricultural supply companies. Many products last up to a year, so don’t apply them more often. They take a few weeks to work but they are long-lasting.

To learn more about whiteflies and other South Florida pests, visit this website: http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/ If you have questions, you can call your local University of Florida Extension office (Broward County 954-357-5270, Miami-Dade County 305-248-3311 x 228 or x 222, Monroe 305-292-4501, Palm Beach 561-233-1700).

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/13/2496088/spiraling-whitefly-needs-to-be.html#ixzz1dfMn00kV

Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth

Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth

Ker Than

for National Geographic News

Published August 8, 2011

Predatory dragonflies the size of modern seagulls ruled the air 300 million years ago, and it’s long been a mystery how these and other bugs grew so huge.

The leading theory is that ancient bugs got big because they benefited from a surplus of oxygen in Earth‘s atmosphere. But a new study suggests it’s possible to get too much of a good thing: Young insects had to grow larger to avoid oxygen poisoning.

“We think it’s not just because oxygen affects the adults but because oxygen has a bigger effect on larvae,” said study co-author Wilco Verberk of Plymouth University in the U.K.

“So a larval perspective might lead to a better understanding of why these animals existed in the first place, and maybe why they disappeared.”

(Also see “Oxygen-Free Animals Discovered—A First.”)

Baby Bugs Can’t Control Their Gases

Fossils show that giant dragonflies and huge cockroaches were common during the Carboniferous period, which lasted from about 359 to 299 million years ago. (Explore a prehistoric time line.)

During this time, the rise of vast lowland swamp forests led to atmospheric oxygen levels of around 30 percent—close to 50 percent higher than current levels.

According to previous theories about insect gigantism, this rich oxygen environment allowed adult bugs to grow to ever larger sizes while still meeting their energy needs. (Related: “Did Rising Oxygen Levels Fuel Mammal Evolution?”)

For the new study, Verberk and colleague David Bilton instead focused on how varying oxygen levels affect stonefly larvae, which, like dragonflies, live in water before becoming terrestrial adults. Higher concentrations of oxygen in air would have meant higher concentrations dissolved in water.

The results showed that juvenile stoneflies are more sensitive to oxygen fluctuations than their adult counterparts living on land.

This may be because insect larvae typically absorb oxygen directly through their skin, so they have little or no control over exactly how much of the gas they take in. By contrast, adult insects can regulate their oxygen intake by opening or closing valve-like holes in their bodies called spiracles.

While crucial for life, oxygen can be poisonous in large quantities: Humans exposed to excess oxygen can suffer cell damage leading to vision problems, difficulty breathing, nausea, and convulsions.

(Related: “Penguins Safely Lower Oxygen to ‘Blackout’ Levels.”)

It’s likely the larvae of many ancient insects also passively absorbed oxygen from water and were not able to regulate their oxygen intake very well—a big danger when oxygen levels were so high.

One way to decrease the risk of oxygen toxicity would have been to grow bigger, since large larvae would absorb lower percentages of the gas, relative to their body sizes, than small larvae.

“If you grow larger, your surface area decreases relative to your volume,” Verberk explained.

Lower Oxygen Led to Poor Bug Performance?

The new theory could also explain why giant insects continued to exist even after Earth’s atmospheric oxygen levels began decreasing, he said.

“If oxygen actively drove increases in body mass to avoid toxicity, lower levels would not be immediately fatal, although in time, they will probably diminish performance of the larger insects,” since adults would have evolved to require more oxygen and would get sluggish in air with lower levels, Verberk said.

“Such reduced performance will eventually have made it possible for other species to outcompete the giants.”

The giant-insect study was published online in late July in the journal PLoS ONE.

Another Blogger Likes our Commercials

Remember when that blogger wrote a post about how much he loved the Hulett Environmental advertisements? Well another blogger has praised an old school Hulett advertisement on his blog. You can see it here. Something tells me this isn’t the last blogger to love, share or write about our commercials :-)

Eat Bugs, Save The World

Allow me to introduce you to Daniella Martin. She is the host of Girl Meets Bug, the insect cooking show. Her website explains, “She is passionate about teaching people that insects are fabulous food –in addition to being the most environmentally-efficient animal protein source on the planet!” She makes some valid arguments on her site noting that “insects require up to 20 times less food than cattle, meaning that per pound of food they are given, they produce several times the amount of protein.” The bottom line is if you want to help save the world then get on the insect diet. Although she brings some valid arguments to the table I don’t foresee insect diets catching on in the near future. Considering many people have fear of such insects is just the beginning, I have been around bugs my entire life and I wouldn’t for one second dream of letting this yummy “cuisine” anywhere near my mouth. Just check out the clip below, looking at it just makes me wonder how many organisms may be growing out of her. None the less we bid her good luck in the insect eating quest, but please be sure to save some for Hulett.

The mark of excellence in pest management ~ Hulett Enviromental

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:

  1. All Employees must undergo a comprehensive background check before ever showing up to service your account.
  2. 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.
  3. Motor vehicle record checks must be conducted on all employees that drive a company vehicle or a personal vehicle for company business.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.
  6. Clear communication practices must be followed, including procedures for contacting the customer to schedule the inspection and notification.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.

The Young Native Writers Essay Contest is a writing contest for Native American high school students and is designed to encourage young Native Americans to sample essay