Tag Archives: The mark of excellence in pest management ~ Hulett Enviromental

Tips to protect your home from termites

There are many steps homeowners can take to protect their greatest investments from termites. Experts at Hulett Environmental recommend the following tips:

  • Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and rotting wood.
  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Some termites are drawn to deteriorating wood.
  • 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 5 inches up off the ground, and inspect it closely before bringing it indoors.
  • Divert water away from the property through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.

This one’s got legs: are insect chocolates about to take off in France?

This one’s got legs: are insect chocolates about to take off in France?

Chocolate-maker Sylvain Musquar has so far sold 60 boxes of his worm and cricket-topped confections for €22 each

French chocolate-maker Sylvain Musquar

Sylvain Musquar shows off some his chocolates topped with insects. Photograph: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Image
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From the country that brought the world the culinary delights of snails in garlic, frogs’ legs and pâté de foie gras comes another gastronomic first: cricket and worm chocolates.

Not to everyone’s taste, admits the French chocolate-maker Sylvain Musquar, who suggests customers should avoid looking closely at the original handmade confectionary in pride of place in his patisserie shop in Nancy.

“You mustn’t fix your eyes too much on them, or pay too much attention otherwise you won’t eat them,” Musquar said.

Even coated in edible gold dust, and even at a glance, there is no chance of mistaking the once-living decorations perched atop the chocolates.

Musquar, who uses a pair of tweezers to delicately place each insect or worm on the squares of chocolate “that shouldn’t be too soft or too hard”, says he came up with the idea while visiting Asia.

“There, eating insects is popular and part of the culture. I’m a chocolate maker, I thought why not mix the two,” Musquar told France 3 television.

He admits the crickets and mealworms he uses need a little “make-up … to make them a bit sexy” in the form of gold dust before being presented to the paying, consuming public.

“It makes them a bit more appetising and it covers the natural brown colour of the insects that might put people off,” he added.

For unsqueamish patriots heeding the siren call of the Made-in-France campaign, there is good news: the chocolates are 100% national produce.

The insects and worms are supplied by MicroNutris, a Toulouse-based specialist company that formed in 2011. “We began producing insects after an United Nations report on food and agriculture suggested they might be the solution to hunger in the world,” Cédric Auriol, the company’s founder, told Le Monde.

The crickets are raised for eight weeks and the mealworms for 12 weeks, during which Auriol says they are fed a “diet rich in vitamins, minerals and saturated fatty acids”.

Was this what the United Nations food and agriculture organisation had in mind when it suggested eating insects – or to give its proper name, entomophagy – might be a solution to global hunger?

Musquar believes mixing them with chocolate might just make the idea more palatable, and plenty of customers agree: he has already sold around 60 boxes of nine chocolates for €22 (£18.68) each.

Q & A: Healthcare Facilities & Pest Management

Q & A: Healthcare Facilities & Pest Management

What are the most common pests that healthcare facilities encounter, and what health threats do they pose to patients and staff?

Healthcare facilities are susceptible to most of the pests common in most houses and businesses. Ants, fire ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, ticks, fleas, mice, mosquitoes, rats and spiders, among others, can all slip into buildings as people and deliveries come in and out.   Pests can gain access in backpacks, boxes, delivery vehicles and on people and their belongings.

Pests can transmit a host of diseases to humans and animals with effects ranging from minor discomfort to death. Some diseases spread by pests include:

* Bubonic plague             * Rabies

* Cholera                             * Rocky Mountain spotted fever

* Dengue                            * Salmonellosis

* Encephalitis                    * Shigella

* Dysentery                       * Staph

* Hantavirus                       * Strep

* Lyme disease                 * Tapeworms

* Malaria                             * Trichinosis

* Murine typhus              * Typhoid fever

* Polio                                  * West Nile virus

A study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a report in the New England Journal of Medicine show that even among many common asthmatic triggers, cockroach allergens cause the most health problems for asthmatic children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.

Pest-transmitted diseases can be controlled through proper pest management techniques.  Identification of species, habitat and behavior can help a pest management professional control infestations and subsequently suppress outbreaks of pest-transmitted diseases.

Is it feasible for a facility to employ its own staff members to sustain a pest-free environment?

Just as a facility wouldn’t employ an unlicensed nurse or doctor, the National Pest Management Association recommends that they not take a chance with an untrained and unlicensed pest control professional. If in-house pest management is required, make sure that the individuals are qualified. Arming untrained personnel with pest management tools can be dangerous and most facilities depend on outside pest management firms.

Licensed and professionally trained pest control professionals are best suited to keep health and property-threatening pests in check. Today’s pest control professionals are experts in every sense of the word. They are trained in the latest techniques and necessary to identify pest problems and recommend the safest and most responsible pest management methods available.

Pest control professionals undergo training to meet state regulatory and certification requirements. They participate in industry workshops and forums to further their knowledge of the field. All states offer pesticide applicator certification programs, which require testing on chemical properties, selection, usage rates and safety. To remain certified, most states require continuing education, which includes the latest information about on-site pest management needs assessments and state regulatory requirements.

What are the most important steps to ensure proper pest management?

Pest management plays a major role in allowing us to live healthier, more prosperous and comfortable lives.  To ensure proper pest management always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations. Membership in the national, and state or local pest control associations is a good indicator that the company has access to modern technical information and is committed to further education.

Reach a complete understanding with the company before work starts; find out what the pest is, how the problem will be treated, how long the period of treatment will be, and what results can be expected. Effective treatment depends on correctly identifying the pest species and developing a treatment that takes the pest’s biology and habits into account.

In between professional pest control visits, employees can take a variety of steps to reduce the likelihood of infestation and ensure proper pest management.  They should remain vigilant in assessing their environment.  Encouraging employees to wipe down exposed areas, secure trash lids, maintain a clean floor space and keep windows and doors fastened will go along way in helping to prevent infestations. Employees can also track pest sightings in a pest sighting log – recording the type of pest, location and behavior.  This will help a pest management professional when they come in to evaluate the facility.

Can pest-control be managed without the use of insecticides? 

While it’s true that insecticides are used in pest control, the pest management industry is in the forefront of widespread efforts to make insecticides part of the program, not the only means to pest control.

The result is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a process that goes beyond traditional pest management techniques. Though centuries old, the latest IPM techniques have found broad-based support from the scientific community, government, and the pest management industry.

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a broad approach to pest management that focuses on addressing the reason that the pest problem exists rather than on just the pest itself. IPM accomplishes this by eliminating the three things pests need to survive: food, water and shelter. There are three common steps involved in practicing IPM. They include inspection, pest identification, the establishment of control measures(such as caulking cracks in sidewalks or walls, moving dumpsters away from buildings and appropriate pesticide applications),. To be acceptable, the pest management measures must be both environmentally compatible and economically feasible. The NPMA has advocated IPM for years through seminars, publications, and by supporting its techniques nationwide.

IPM is the springboard of pest management into the new century.  It is the smart way to conduct pest management.

 

The mark of excellence in pest control

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.

Ron Box Retires from Hulett

Ron Box Retires from Hulett

Box, director of training at Hulett Environmental Services, retired after a life-long career in pest control, including the last 15 years at Hulett.

Ron Box being recognized during his retirement celebration.

Editor’s note: Hulett Environmental Services announced that James Ronald “Ron” Box, Board Certified Entomologist, retired after a life-long career in pest control, including the last 15 years at Hulett, which submitted the following article recalling Box’s involvement in the pest control and some of his many contributions.

Little did Ron Box know back in 1959, when as a 12-year-old kid helping his Dad spray his first lawn that his life-long career in pest control would stretch all the way into 2012, and would have such a positive impact on families living throughout Florida. He worked for his Dad throughout high school and after serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force. Married with three children to support, he went on to earn his Associate of Science degree in Pest Control Technology from Broward Community College where he was introduced to the research and teaching aspects of the industry. He also taught a couple of semesters for entomologist, Doug Palmer.

He bought his Dad’s company in 1978, and later sold the business in 1985, with every intention of enjoying an early retirement playing golf in the Bahamas. But, he couldn’t stay away, especially when he saw a need to improve the living conditions around him that were being destroyed by natural pests both on Grand Bahama Island and in Florida.

After returning to the U.S., he wanted to get back into doing what he knew best, and while thumbing through a copy of Pest Control Magazine, Ron found an opportunity to learn a new treatment to get rid of dry wood termites using liquid nitrogen to kill these invasive insects. Later, he worked as the manager of 26 technicians who serviced properties for a large management group.

Then in 1997, he heard about an opening to work for Tim Hulett with Hulett Environmental Services, and that was when Ron found himself presented with opportunities to do more of what he loved to do — research, training, and education. Tim recognized Ron’s talent as an educator and put him in charge of the company’s training and certification programs.

In 1998, Ron’s wife, Jeannine, suggested perhaps now was the best time to pursue his lifelong dream, to go to the University of Florida and earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology. When Ron explained to Tim what he wanted to do, Tim graciously arranged it so that Ron would have time to do it. And though it took Ron until 2001 to finish his degree, shortly after graduating, he took his board examinations with the Entomological Society of America, and in 2002 he was awarded his Board Certified Entomologist status.

When asked about his experience working at Hulett, Ron replied, “It’s the esprit de corps and I love the people. They’re very upbeat and driving, and so is management. And our commitment to quality and service is unparalleled in the pest control industry.”

“Tim Hulett allowed me the opportunity to work with manufacturers, get involved with conducting trials, and dealing with Experimental Use Permits on new products such as Indoxacarb, as well as working with BASF on Phantom for its use on subterranean termites.,” added Ron, “and I have Tim to thank.” Ron was also involved in the first eradication program down in Davie, Florida, for the Florida Tree Termite, Nasutitermes corniger, where he worked on that project for close to five years, doing everything from the actual treating and through to the inspections. He was the first one in Palm Beach County to find, locate, and identify Coptotermes gestroi. Both Drs. Rudi Scheffrahn and Brian Cabrera helped him on that, which in turn, helped to expand their own research on Asian subterranean termites. He also identified the Heterotermes termite species in the Palm Beach area.

“You never had a dull moment at Hulett,” continued Ron, “there was always something going on, and it was always different. Whether it was writing the Certified Field Technician (CFT) Program, which is still in place at Hulett, or creating the support manuals to match up with the CFT manuals.”

As an industry leader, Tim Hulett knew that Ron was the man to create these comprehensive written programs. Ron has also mentored many of the certified operators he has trained while at Hulett, encouraging several of them to take their exams to become Associated Certified Entomologists. He also helped Chris Scocco get his own Board Certified Entomologist status.

Now that Ron and his wife, Jeannine, have retired to Georgia, she’s planning to expand her candy making business, Gifts of Love — and plans to sell her chocolates online and through local retail outlets. While Ron enjoys being the chief chocolate taster, he’s happier doing projects around the house and in the garden tending his small orchard of fruit trees — all the while keeping a watchful eye out for any pesky bugs.

Hulett is grateful for Ron’s many years of dedicate service to the company, for inspiring his co-workers, and his commitment to helping Florida families. He will be sorely missed and everyone at Hulett wishes him the best always.

Occasional Invaders

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.

Florida Pet Control

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.

 

Beware of Summer Pests

What are some examples of summer pests?

There are many different types of summer pests although some of the most prominent home invaders include ants, cockroaches, and termites.  Of course outdoors will bring us a different set of pests – mosquitoes, ticks, and flies are some of the most prevalent.

Are these pests dangerous?

Summer pests are much more than a nuisance – consider these statistics:

  • Termites destroy more homes each year than fires and floods combined; they cause over 5 BILLION dollars of damage.
  • Stinging insects send 500,000 people to the emergency room each year.
  • Recent medical studies show that cockroach allergens trigger asthma attacks in children.

Should we expect more summer pests than usual in our area this year?

We should expect an average amount of pests – comparable to last year – this summer.  A good indicator of pest pressure is winter moisture.  We didn’t have a terribly wet winter this year, so we should have an average summer for pests.

How can a homeowner get rid of summer pests once they are inside their home?

The best way to eliminate summer pests once they ALREADY infest your home is to call a pest professional.

What steps can homeowners take to reduce the likelihood of summer pests inside their homes?

There are many steps homeowners can take to reduce the likelihood of occasional invaders:

  • Keep all kitchen areas clean (including floors). 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. Pay particular attention to pet food and water dishes.
  • 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 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.

Do you have any good rules of thumb for dealing with summer pests?

  • When it comes to your home – the cleaner the better.  Many summer pests are attracted to food and water sources left out around your home.
  • Standing water attracts thirsty pests.  Try to remove all stagnant water sources in and around your home.
  • A safe bet about pests – there is almost always more than one.  Pests breed extremely quickly. If you notice cockroaches or termites in or around your home, chances are great that there are many more where they came from.

Tell me a little bit about ants…

There are as many ways to control ants as there are species of ants! Different species eat different things – making it almost impossible to inspect a single area and control the ant population.  The best strategy homeowners can employ when attempting to control ants is to clean, clean, clean. Kids are home more in the warm weather so wipe down counters, regularly remove garbage, clean up grease spills, remove empty soda cans and mop the floors.

Tell me a little bit about cockroaches…

Cockroaches enjoy damp, dark places with a plentiful food supply, They like to hide during the day, often behind kitchen appliances or in cupboards. Inspect these areas vigilantly and clean regularly.

Tell me a little bit about mosquitoes…

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water that collects in ditches, birdbaths,  flowerpots and old tires.  Check those areas and remove the standing water to help eliminate the threat.

Tell me a little bit about termites…

Termites build mud tunnels on the foundation of a home for covert access to wood. They can also be found by looking for broken-off wings .