Serving all of South Florida

Mosquito-Borne Keystone Virus: Positive Test Results for a Teen in Florida

Mosquito-Borne Keystone Virus: Positive Test Results for a Teen in Florida

In August 2016, a teen attending band camp in central Florida developed a rash and a fever after being bitten by a mosquito. Because this incident took place during the Zika outbreak in Florida, the teen was tested for Zika. Testing negative for the Zika virus, doctors were back at square one, trying to discover just what caused the boy’s illness.

Keystone is known to affect animals

Although researchers at the University of Florida (UF) were familiar with the Keystone virus as an animal pathogen in north central Florida, Dr. Glenn Morris, Emerging Pathogens Institute Director at UF said, “We couldn’t identify what was going on. Morris told NPR, “We screened this with all the standard approaches and it literally took a year and a half of dogged laboratory work to figure out what this virus was.” On June 9, researchers revealed the Keystone virus as the culprit for the teen’s condition in a report published in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Keystone virus, discovered in 1964, is named for an area near Tampa in Hillsborough County. Known to infect raccoons, squirrels and whitetail deer in coastal areas from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay, researchers say this is the first time Keystone has been reported in a human.

Finding syncs with May’s CDC report

This finding coincides with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) May 4th report in Vital Signs, that revealed new mosquito, tick, and flea-borne viruses have tripled between 2004 and 2016 and that nine new vector-borne viruses were discovered during this period. While Zika, dengue and West Nile top the list of mosquito-borne viruses in the US, in a CBS news article, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. said, these mosquito, tick, and flea diseases have been “making a lot of people sick – And we don’t know what will threaten Americans next.”

Keystone transmitted by mosquito related to the Zika spreading mosquito

Thought to be primarily transmitted by the Aedes Atlanticus mosquito, cousin of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, associated with the Zika virus, Aedes Atlanticus belongs to the California-serogroup of viruses, “known to cause encephalitis in several species including humans, lead study author and UF research professor, Dr. John Lednicky, told NPR. Inflammation of the brain, as well as brain disease, has been reported in animals. The virus can cause a rash and mild fever in humans, as noted in the 16-year old’s case. Fortunately, the Florida teen showed no signs of encephalitis or brain swelling but researchers said that the virus grows well in mouse brains, so it’s a cause for concern for human brains.

Keystone virus in humans on researchers’ radar for several decades

While it took a year and a half to figure what made the Florida teen sick, researchers have suspected that humans have been infected with Keystone virus for nearly half of a century. In a 1972 study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, researchers reported finding Keystone antibodies in one in five participants in a Tampa Bay area study.

University of Florida researcher says more vector-borne research in order

In a Tech Times article, Morris said he thinks that a lot of people in the Southeast could be carrying the Keystone virus. “Although the virus has never previously been found in humans, the infection may be fairly common in North Florida,” he said. “It’s one of these instances where if you don’t know to look for something, you don’t find it.” Now that a test for Keystone virus has been established, Morris said in a University of Florida statement that more research needs to be conducted into vector-borne diseases to discover ways to decrease risks of infection from these emerging pathogens. In addition to keeping an eye on emerging pathogens, like the Keystone virus in humans, South Florida health officials are closely watching the yellow fever outbreak in Brazil.

Yellow fever outbreak affecting more urban centers than usual

In the CDC’s May report in Vital Signs, the agency cited several theories for the increase of vector-borne diseases from 2004 to 2016. Along with rising global temps and increased travel on a global scale, increased awareness of vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile, Zika, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and dengue fever has likely caused an increase in reporting symptoms in the US.

The yellow fever outbreak that began in 2017 has expanded into urban areas not usually at risk for yellow fever. Health officials worry that travelers, arriving at South Florida airports may bring the disease to the US. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) says an outbreak in the US is unlikely, travelers from Brazil infected with the virus could infect other humans, through a mosquito that contracts the virus.

Hulett recommends Florida residents and visitors practice vigilant prevention measures when it comes to mosquitoes and other insects known to carry infectious diseases. Remembering to wear insect repellent when outdoors and eliminate sources of standing water on your property are good starting points. If mosquitoes are ruining your backyard plans this summer, contact Hulett for a free mosquito inspection. Our people- and pet-friendly approaches to pest control and prevention keep your Hulett Healthy Home happy all year round. Get the most out of your summer fun, just call Hulett!

Which Pests Love Your Pets?

Which Pests Love Your Pets?

With summer in full swing, it’s likely you’ll be spending more time romping, walking and hiking with your four-legged family members. The more time your fluffy ones spend outdoors, the more likely they are to run into summer’s troublemaker pests – fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Some pests pose health threats to your pets

Mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas can cause a range of serious, even life-threatening, diseases when they bite your tail-wagging buddies. From minor skin conditions to heartbreaking illnesses, prevent these pest-borne diseases from affecting your furry best friends.

  • Allergies caused by fleas: Overall, the most common skin allergies in dogs are caused by flea bites. Allergic reactions often caused by flea saliva can result in hot spots, hair loss and excessive itching that can result in superficial wounds. Consult your vet to prescribe allergy medications for pets experiencing allergic reactions. Topical skin products are also available along with oatmeal and aloe vera shampoo. Supplementing your pet’s food with products containing Omega 3 fatty acids can help improve skin health and alleviate dry skin conditions.
  • Heartworms: Mosquitoes carry the virus that transmits heartworms to dogs. Often deadly, heartworm infections are expensive and difficult to treat. Heartworms can grow up to a foot in your dog’s lungs and heart and compromise heart and lung functions. Heartworm medications are available in monthly pills or in a more costly injection form. It’s important to have your dog checked for heartworms regularly.
  • Lyme disease: Deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks, are known to carry Lyme disease transmitted to humans and dogs. Lyme disease symptoms include fatigue, fever, and If left untreated, Lyme disease can spread to joints, the heart, and the central nervous system.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by Rocky Mountain wood ticks, American dog ticks, and brown dog ticks. RMSF can mimic other conditions. Typically, in dogs, symptoms include lack of appetite, fever, joint pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling in the face and legs, and depression. Your vet can perform blood tests to detect Rocky Mountain spotted fever in dogs. Flea, tick, and mosquito prevention products can help protect your pet from Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other tick-borne diseases, such as Ehrlichiosis.
  • Ehrlichiosis: Actually, dogs can suffer from two types of Ehrlichiosis, canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), caused by brown dog tick bites and canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis (CGE) transmitted through Lone Star tick Both forms cause similar symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, poor appetite, and neurological disorders, with swollen lymph nodes, abdominal bruising and chronic eye inflammation in CME cases, while lameness, diarrhea, and vomiting are common in CGE.
  • Tick paralysis: A neurotoxin found in the saliva of female ticks can cause this frightening and debilitating disease. A loss of muscle tone and overall weakness characterize this disease that can sometimes only affect the hind legs in dogs but can also affect front legs and the muscles associated with respiration.
  • Tapeworms: Typically transmitted to dogs by ingesting fleas when they chew at fleas and flea bites, tapeworms can negatively affect your dog’s digestive system. Evidence of tapeworms can be seen in your dog’s stool when some of these segments break off. Pets will exhibit weight loss and symptoms of a mild illness. Dewormers are available from pet stores and your vet’s office.

Flea, tick, and mosquito prevention products

With many tick, flea, and mosquito prevention products on the market, you should have no problem finding one that’s right for your pet. From flea collars and topical treatments to ingestible pills and tablets, most vets suggest using these products year-round, not just in the summer.

Inspect your surroundings

Take a close look at your yard for tall grass, piles of debris, and areas where water collects. These conditions all attract ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Keep your lawn cut short and eliminate all clutter in your yard. Store anything that can collect water indoors, such as gardening equipment, dog bowls, and kids’ toys. Change the water in birdbaths every couple of days to prevent creating a mosquito breeding area and make sure the water in fountains and ponds is circulating. Keep a tight lid on trash receptacles to discourage rodents that carry ticks and fleas. Clean up all pet poop from your yard to avoid roaches and fly issues.

Inspect your pets

Brush pets’ coats when returning from outdoor activities. Check your pet’s skin for red itchy patches and ticks. Regularly bathe pets with flea and tick shampoos but don’t overdo it as some dogs and cats can suffer from dry skin conditions as a result. Long-hair breeds benefit from shortcuts that make pests and skin issues easier to detect and your pet will thank you for the cool, breezy summer cut. Regularly clean your pet’s bedding, toys, and collars and be sure to clean outdoor bedding and check resting areas for signs of pests.

At Hulett, a pet-friendly environment is an essential component of the Hulett Healthy Home approach. Our pest control program delivers the highest level of pest protection while keeping your family and pets’ health our priority. With our custom prescription treatments, we take charge of any existing pest control issues and prevent future pest activity. Contact us to schedule a free in-home evaluation. Prevent and protect your pets from pests all year long. Just call Hulett!

World Cup vs. Bugs

World Cup vs. Bugs

It’s summer and as most South Florida residents and vacationers know, the outdoors is teeming with flying insects, including gnats, midges, flies, and mosquitos.  Soccer matches were not unscathed, swarms of bugs have teamed up for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia this summer. On Monday, June 18 at the Volgograd venue, small, non-biting insects scored large on the nuisance scale, during the first of four group games scheduled at the Volgograd Arena stadium. England’s and Tunisia’s teams were both plagued by vast numbers of small flying insects.

England’s captain reported bugs in his eyes, nose and mouth

Players could be seen swatting at insects on the pitch, as England pulled off a nail-biting, emotional roller coaster of a win over Tunisia. Instructed by the FA, players were advised “to apply high strength insect repellant liberally before the game,” according to the BBC. “There’s a lot more than we thought,” said England’s captain, Harry Kane, after his team’s 2-1 win. “We had a lot of bug spray on, before the game and at half-time,” Kane said. He went on to say, “I got some [flies] in the eye, nose and some in my mouth.” Conversely, Tunisia player, Nabil Maaloul commented that he “did not feel the midges,” as he “was focused on the team, on the game.”

Reporters also struggling with bugs

Not only did the multitude of impertinent intruders add a new challenge for players, reporters avidly fought against the onslaught of non-biting insects. In videos featured in Liz Roscher’s Yahoo Sports article, Roscher said, “It feels like that Associated Press reporter was mere seconds away from his face being completely covered by bugs.”

 However, in an inspired moment of journalistic fortitude, BBC Sport’s Natalie Pirks sprayed massive amounts of bug repellant around her head, soldiering on through her broadcast. They are on your face, stick to your lips, get inside your nostrils, your ears and your hair,” she said. “I’ve had to debug myself at bedtime as you find dead ones you’ve splatted in the strangest of places.” At some point the invasion of insects caused some reporters to call it a day and retreat indoors. A series of interviews planned to take place in front of the English team’s hotel was canceled for the time being.

 Commentator said bugs numbered in the billions

Also, the BBC quoted Radio 5 live commentator, John Murray who estimated that the bugs numbered in the billions. “At one point last night,” Murray said, “it felt like I had a hundred thousand in my hair.” Fans in the stands found themselves at a disadvantage as liquids, including bug repellent, weren’t allowed in the Volgograd Arena stadium.

Helicopters sprayed area over the weekend in anticipation of a possible infestation

Located on the southern banks of the Volga River, Volgograd officials were aware that the non-biting midges, chironomidae, causing all the ruckus, with a few mosquitos thrown in the mix may cause trouble as it’s mating season for these insects. Yay! Adding to the annual mating flight, Monday’s warm 80-degree temps may be also have assisted in bringing about midgeagedon. Spraying the area over the weekend allegedly reduced the number of insects but by Monday evening’s game, they were back.

Non-biting midges are not blood-feeders

Chironomidae, a large and diverse family of flies, with worldwide distribution, include over 20,000 species. Often confused with mosquitos, due to their narrow bodies and long legs, chironomidae are not blood-feeders, like mosquitos, hence they are commonly known as “non-biting midges.” Relatively small, measuring from 1 to 20 mm or .04 to .79 inches, if they feed at all, adults prefer nectar or smaller substances. Many freshwater ecosystems depend on midge larvae that are nearly all aquatic or subaquatic. Interestingly, unlike mosquitos, who need stagnant water in order to breed, non-biting midges can be found in a wide array of aquatic environments as diverse as brackish estuaries, pools, tree-holes, low oxygen lake sediments as well as in fast-flowing mountain streams. In Ireland and Scotland, non-biting midges are known as “blind mosquitos.”

The area around the Volgograd Arena consists of marshlands on the outskirts of the Volga River that flows through the city. These areas act as excellent breeding grounds for World Cup midges.

Some sources say that getting rid of the non-biting midges is almost impossible but that because midges are attracted to dark colors, wearing lighter colors when going outdoors during the midges’ mating season could help ward off these pesky pests.

 The good news is:

  • According to the BBC, few of the offending insects are actually mosquitos.
  • Going outside won’t result in getting angry, red itchy welts.
  • Midges only swarm during mating season and mating season doesn’t last long.
  • Regulations banning liquids were relaxed so supporters gathered at a fan zone to view the games via a giant movie screen could bring in insect repellent.

Back in South Florida, summer brings out the worst in mosquitos, midges, gnats, no-see-ums and other flying insects. At Hulett, we want you to enjoy your backyard this summer. Hosting an outdoor World Cup event soon? If you suspect mosquitos and other flying insects might ruin your party, contact Hulett to schedule a free pest inspection today! As one of the top 25 pest control companies in the nation, South Florida’s locally owned and operated family business, Hulett has been a leader in the pest control business for over 50 years. Learn more about our Hulett Healthy Home approach. We guarantee you’ll be satisfied with your Hulett Healthy Home! Just call Hulett!

Termite Spotlight: Drywood Termites in South Florida

Termite Spotlight: Drywood Termites in South Florida

While invasive subterranean termites gain the attention of South Florida due to their quick ability to cause significant structural damage, the slower action of drywood termites can often go undetected within walls, floors and attic spaces, resulting in concealed and accumulating damage. Drywood termites do not require an external water source, such as a roof leak, because they are biologically adapted to conserve water, putting at risk even the most structurally-sound homes.

 According to the University of Florida’s Entomology Department, drywood termites invaded South Florida during early commerce in the 17th century. Drywood termites were transported here from the tropics, concealed within infested wooden ships and materials. Drywood termites are prevalent in the high-humidity, exterior landscapes and forested areas of South Florida. However, a particular species of drywood termite, Cryptotermes brevis, is adapted to thrive in conditions of lower-humidity, such as found within homes. As a result, Cryptotermes brevis is the most common structure-infesting drywood termite in the tropics worldwide. South Florida is the only true tropical region in the continental United States, and has optimal conditions for this structure-infesting termite.

 Drywood termite colonies are comparatively small, consisting of ~2,800 members, whereas

invasive subterranean termite colonies can be comprised of millions. Drywood termite infestations are typically confined to a single region of a home, but multiple colonies can establish following a reproductive swarm within the structure. Infested lumber or furniture can be detected by the presence of “frass”. Frass is termite fecal material that can be identified by a sawdust-like appearance, earning Cryptotermes brevis their nickname, “powder post termites.” Drywood termites excavate lumber from within and expel their frass from “kick-out” holes. This is done in order to make room for their growing colony, and the damage will continue to accumulate until treatment is performed.

 Description of drywood termites

  • Drywood termites range in size from 1/4 – 3/8 inches long, depending on age.
  • Worker termites vary in color, from cream to almost white, and are typically shorter than the alates and soldiers. Workers are responsible for brood care and feeding the other caste members, such as soldiers (responsible for defense) and alates (responsible for reproduction).
  • Soldier termites range in color from cream to brown and are equipped with strong mandibles and a well-developed tarsal claw. The head capsule of Cryptotermes brevis soldiers is dark, rugose, and plug-like.
  • Alates, the caste member that swarms and is responsible for reproduction, vary in color from caramel brown to black, and alates have slightly longer bodies than the soldiers. Alates have two pairs of equally sized, membranous wings.

 Signs of a drywood termite infestation

Cryptotermes brevis typically perform their reproductive flights from April – June. During these flights, the alates fly out of the infested lumber in attempt to find a mate and begin a new colony. At this time, an existing infestation can spread, or a new home can be infested. Alates gain access to homes via doors, windows, soffit vents, etc. After the alates land on a surface, they will detach their wings to easily crawl into lumber through an imperfection in the wood. Because of this, homeowners may notice termite wings scattered about the home, especially near windowsills or other light sources. Wings or whole-bodied alates can indicate an infestation, or that your home is surrounded by an infested structure.

Because drywood termites live within the wood, they can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Drywood termites extract and conserve the available water in lumber, and do not require an outside water source. Thus, they produce distinctly dry and six-sided pellet-like fecal material. Homeowners may notice this “frass” expelled from kick-out holes in the wood’s surface. These pellets indicate feeding from an active infestation.

Wood may appear to be water-damaged, but upon further inspection, may actually be hollowed-out due to drywood termites. Homeowners can use tools, such as a screwdriver, to tap on suspected areas, and determine if the wood has been hollowed out, depending on the sound made from the tapping.

These indicators often go unnoticed by homeowners, which is how drywood termites can potentially cause significant and costly structural and cosmetic damages, even when equipped with a relatively slow metabolism and small colony size. Therefore, at the earliest detection of possible infestation, a Certified Pest Control Company should be notified. In fact, with the extreme termite pressures applied to South Florida, a free inspection, or a preventative treatment is recommended.

Prevention of drywood termites

Included are a few suggestions that homeowners can complete to reduce the likeliness of becoming infested by either drywood or subterranean termites. Although these methods can help, they are not nearly as effective as a Termite Prevention Program serviced by a Certified Pest Control Company.

  • Caulk or seal all cracks, holes, and crevices
  • Screen soffit vents
  • Limit exterior lighting during flight season
  • Remove or replace damp wood
  • Ensure all drain spouts face away from your foundation and drain properly
  • Avoid direct wood to soil contact

Treatment for drywood termites

Structures infested with drywood termites should be treated accordingly by Certified Pest Control Technicians. Hulett Environmental Services is ranked as one of the top 20 pest control companies in the United States and has over 50 years’ experience treating drywood termites in South Florida.

While we’ve fumigated plenty of South Florida homes and businesses over the years, with the introduction of new technology, training, and methodology, Hulett now recommends their “No-Tent Treatment”. This treatment is perfect for customers looking for a less invasive, less time consuming, less expensive, yet effective solution for drywood termites. The “No-Tent Treatment” offered by Hulett can save you money, time, and does not require the tedious preparation and evacuation required for fumigation.

Our Certified Technicians can target drywood termite colonies using an advanced, non-repellent product that is injected directly into termite galleries, therefore not leaving any discoloration or scent. Termite workers spread the product throughout the colony during social grooming and feeding, resulting in complete mortality of the colony in entirety. After treatment, Hulett will continue to monitor your home for any activity, without the need to bag foods, remove medicines, and evacuate, as required for fumigation.

 Annual Termite Prevention Program

Hulett is proud to offer a Termite Prevention Program. In this program, Hulett offers proactive services to help prevent initial infestation. Hulett’s Annual Termite Protection Service creates a termite barrier, protecting your home and family from the costly repairs and emotional burden associated with drywood termite infestation. This program is backed by our guarantee, giving our customers peace of mind that if termites come back, so will we, and at no extra cost. As a token of our appreciation, Hulett also includes a free annual perimeter spray with your Termite Renewal Program.

Contact us today to schedule a free termite inspection. Gain peace of mind and year-round termite protection by enrolling in our Termite Prevention Program backed by our Healthy Home Guarantee. We take pride in our ability to be flexible to you and your home’s needs. Remember, for the best in termite prevention and protection, just call Hulett!

Termites Weakening Trees as we Enter Hurricane Season

Termites Weakening Trees as we Enter Hurricane Season

Asian subterranean termites are at it again. Last year, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) published a study predicting that invasive Asian and Formosan subterranean termites were on track to threaten infestation of half the structures in South Florida by 2040. The study also suggested that these two aggressive species may form a hybrid super termite due to warming climates that could see Asian and Formosan termites swarming at the same time.

UF study raises concerns about termites weakening trees in hurricanes

Adding to the concern over destructive invasive termites, in March, a UF/IFAS study published in the journal, Florida Entomologist revealed that not only are South Florida homes and businesses at risk of infestation but that Asian termites have apparently been helping themselves to slash pine trees and live oaks, as well. Getting wind of this study, as the hurricane season approaches, Hulett emphasizes the importance of maintaining preventative termite renewal plans for South Florida business and homeowners.

Termites slowly kill slash pines by cutting off vascular system

According to Deborah Strange’s May 20 St. Augustine Record article, Asian subterranean termites can’t eat the sappy core of slash pines, so instead, these pests consume the dead wood on the outer ring, “girdling and eventually killing it,” by cutting off the tree’s vascular system. In the case of live oaks, Asian termites hollow out the insides of the giant trees, not killing them, but weakening them. Last year, three large live oaks toppled in Hurricane Irma. “Some trees that had fallen had been eaten from the inside by these termites,” Chouvenc said.

Concerns for wildlife habitats from a direct hurricane hit

Slash pines and live oaks, along with other native Florida trees, create a natural canopy for birds and other wildlife populations in South Florida. Asian subterranean termite activity on South Florida wildlife habitats, in combination with direct hits from hurricanes and tropical storms, possess the potential to restructure or, worst case scenario, “irreversibly alter the urban forest composition.”

Since most of South Florida hasn’t experienced a direct hit from a hurricane in 12 or 13 years, entomologists suspect Asian termites may have weakened and killed so many trees that a direct hit could see slash pines disappear from the South Florida landscape. Losing live oaks can destroy whole ecosystems, as well.

Study focused on Ft. Lauderdale slash pine trees and live oaks

The study, created by Thomas Chouvenc, Assistant Professor of Urban Entomology, along with former UF student, Jeremiah Foley, revealed that Asian subterranean termites are responsible for felling slash pines and weakening other trees, such as live oaks. Conducted in the Ft. Lauderdale area, the team found that since 2013, Asian termites killed 12% of the slash pines in residential areas, in addition to 3% in area parks. Additionally, the study found 46% of residential pines showed infestation, along with 15% of all park trees.

Asian subterranean termites introduced to the US in 1996

These invasive pests were first recorded in the US, in Miami in 1996, in fact. Since then, they have become “a major structural pest,” Chouvenc said. “It’s becoming a new norm in some of these areas,” he added. Asian subterranean termites are found from the Florida Keys to Miami and West Palm Beach.

Asian and Formosan termites live in the ground near structures

Asian and Formosan subterranean termites, much more aggressive and destructive than native species, live in colonies in the ground around your home. With colonies numbering in the millions, these pests will attack anything containing wood as well as plastic and metal to get at wood sources.

Preventive measures are called for to protect trees

While Chouvenc admits, “There’s not an easy way to prevent termites from taking over your trees”.  He wants to study preventive measures and improve remedial solutions. For homeowners, the best way to deal with Asian subterranean termites is to prevent them from getting into your home. Hulett stresses, once again, the necessity to get your home on a termite protection program and renew your contract annually to protect your most valuable possession.

Hulett’s Total Termite Protection

Termites, especially Asian and Formosan termites should be addressed by certified and licensed pest control professionals. A family-owned business with over 50 years of experience, Hulett Environmental Services, with over three generations in termite technology expertise in the South Florida area offers a free termite inspection, along with a wide range of solutions for your termite concerns. Our qualified technicians assess your home for termite activity and develop a plan to eliminate termites from your home and property.

Get on board with the fight to protect your home and property from termites, this hurricane season. Just Call Hulett!

Southwest Florida’s Lee County May Use Drones to Fight Mosquitoes this Season

Southwest Florida’s Lee County May Use Drones to Fight Mosquitoes this Season

As advances in technology expand the potential for drone applications beyond pizza delivery and Amazon’s fulfillment vision, unmanned aircraft systems are showing promise as agricultural and pest control applications, along with other commercial and industrial uses. In Chrissy Sexton’s May 18 earthnews.com post, she remarked that in Florida’s Lee County, drones will soon take flight in the fight against mosquitoes. As one of ten sites chosen to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, officials in Lee County “will soon be testing out drone technology to battle mosquitoes.”

FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program to help identify and test drone technology applications

A game-changer for drone technology, the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems or UAS program will allow drones to fly over people, vehicles, and structures and to operate at night, loosening current restrictions on drone operation laws. The FAA’s goal in creating this program centers on collecting information that the government can utilize to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System, “effectively and safely.”  Through this program, the government will also explore and “identify the range of applications” that could benefit from incorporating drone technology in an array of different industries.

Lee County has relied on aerial operations for 60 years

In southwestern Florida, Eric Jackson, Lee County’s public information officer for the Lee County Mosquito Control District said that the area already relies heavily on small aircraft to address mosquito and other pest problems. Jackson explained that “We’ve been doing this for 60 years with aircraft dealing with mosquito issues, he said, “So I’m thinking that might have played a part” in the FAA choosing Lee County to participate in this new program.

Southwest Florida’s Lee county the only site in the program tasked with pest control

Lee County, the only site in the program to utilize drone technology for pest control issues, plans to combat mosquitoes using a 1,500-pound drone, as part of the program’s operations. Other cities participating in the FAA’s program include diverse locations, with a wide spectrum of ground-breaking drone technology applications, from Topeka, Kansas, where drones will facilitate agricultural operations, and Reno, Nevada, where drones will be used to deliver time-sensitive, life-saving medical equipment, to Fairbanks, Alaska, where drones will inspect pipeline data and perform maintenance and surveillance tasks in remote areas, using advanced technology.

The Lee County Mosquito Control operations will include surveillance and targeted control of not only nuisance mosquitoes but more importantly, mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika, Dengue fever, and others.

Surveillance and monitoring of mosquito habitats and behavior essential to mosquito control

Traditionally, mosquito control personnel seek out and target mosquito breeding sites with chemicals that kill immature mosquitoes before they can grow into adult females that need the protein from blood meals to grow their eggs. Unfortunately, as South Florida denizens know all too well, female mosquitoes’ food of choice is you, your family and pets. In urban areas and neighborhoods, data collected from adult mosquitoes in light traps baited with carbon dioxide (CO2) determines control development procedures. Different mosquito species lay their eggs in locations containing stagnant water. Surveillance and monitoring of mosquito habitats and mosquito behaviors help agents refine control efforts in various areas.

Remote areas affect mosquito control efforts

Remote areas present many challenges to control efforts, as backwater tide pools, irrigation ditches, and saltwater marshes may be in areas that cannot be easily accessed but can still compromise mosquito control in neighborhoods. Because of this, mosquito control technicians are turning to technology in locating and managing mosquito habitats in these areas.

Geographic Information Systems help control mosquitoes in remote areas

Currently, satellite images or infrared technology imported into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) assist researchers and mosquito control initiatives in mapping stagnant water areas and mosquito harborage areas. While GIS systems can improve long-term surveillance and control efforts throughout municipalities and counties, cloud cover, environmental conditions and quality of remote sensing technologies can limit the effectiveness of daily operations for mosquito control programs.

Drone technology may offer many benefits in mosquito control

Mosquito control programs are exploring unmanned aerial systems as a more effective way to enact surveillance, monitoring, and control applications in remote areas such as irrigation ditches and brackish salt marsh locations. Drone technology permits operators to view potential breeding habitats, monitor drainage patterns, and investigate soil types and topography, in real time. Other benefits of mosquito drones include:

  • Less disruption to eco-systems and environments
  • Potential to be more cost-effective than helicopters in remote areas
  • Capacity to apply insecticides to both larva and adults mosquitos in targeted areas
  • Can be equipped with global positioning systems (GPS) to track flight patterns to correlate to the application of insecticides
  • Potential for autopilot programs for pre-programmed flights
  • May prove budget conscious for smaller mosquito control programs that can’t support piloted aircraft

The Lee County UAS Program offers the potential to advance mosquito control in South Florida with the capacity to reinvent mosquito control methods nationwide. In South Florida, mosquito control is a priority for home and business owners.

If mosquitoes are keeping you from enjoying gardening or entertaining in your yard, this usually means mosquitos are breeding nearby. Hulett’s Mosquito Reduction program treats mosquito-prone areas with a residual product and applies a sticking agent to places where mosquitos are likely to hide out during the day. A micro-encapsulated product applied to all entry points keeps mosquitos from entering your home. We also use an insect growth regulator that adheres to adult mosquitoes which then transfers to breeding areas which mosquitoes may come from that inhibits mosquito larvae from developing into adults. This may be on property being treated and also to surrounding properties that may not be treated.

With over 50 years in the mosquito fighting business, Hulett was recently named one of the top 25 pest control companies in the country. Contact Hulett to schedule a free mosquito inspection or schedule an inspection online today! Have a great mosquito-free summer.  Just call Hulett!

Jurassic Park Ticks Plaguing Dinosaurs? Never Before Found: Mummified Tick Wrapped in Spider Silk and Trapped in Amber

Mummified Tick Wrapped in Spider Silk and Trapped in Amber Found

Back in the prehistoric day, a hapless tick, probably clinging to a hairy-legged, tree-climbing dinosaur met its untimely demise in the snare of a spider’s web. Wrapped in silk, as a precaution or to save as a snack, the tick’s attempt to escape resulted in yet another cruel trick of nature. Enveloped in oozing tree resin, our tick became preserved in amber forever. In Michael Greshko’s May 25, National Geographic article, Greshko said this odd fossil is a big deal, as “it is the first of its kind ever found.” True, other bits of spider webs containing insects have been found before preserved in amber but “few fossil ticks have been recovered before” and, Greshko said, “none preserve evidence of spiders and ticks interacting.”

Rare and unusual find

The main take away from this find seems to be “the rarity and unusualness of this discovery,” said the study’s leader, Jason Dunlop, arachnid curator at the Berlin Museum of Natural History. Other arachnologists, such as Paula Cushing at the Denver Museum of Natural Sciences said, “it’s fascinating to see evidence of prey wrapping in fossils.”

Verifying filaments

Determining if the filaments surrounding the tick were actually silk or some kind of fungi, coauthor, Lidia Chitimia-Dobler offered answers. A tick expert at the Institute for Microbiology of the Bundeswehr, Chitimia-Dobler illustrated how ticks decompose. Showing that fungi start at tick’s orifices and spreads from there, she concluded that there was no evidence of a fungal origin for the filaments but instead, the filaments shroud the tick exactly like a spider wrapping its prey would.

Spider webs near small raptors nests

American Museum of Natural History paleontologist, David Grimaldi, thinks that spiders probably built their webs close to the cavities in trees where raptors nested. “It is quite likely that spider webs were close to cavities in these trees where the little raptors and their parasites resided, perhaps even stretched across nesting holes,” he said.

What kind of spider?

What kind of spider built the web that caught the tick? Well, scientists remain somewhat unclear on that point. “We haven’t got a huge amount of knowledge about which spiders prey on ticks,” said University of Kansas paleontologist and coauthor, Paul Selden, adding that “those for which we have records belong to groups of spiders whose geological records don’t go back that far.” Selina Groh, University College London paleontology Ph.D. candidate studies arachnids. “Their simple absence from amber,” she said, “does not mean they could not have been responsible for wrapping the tick.” This latest find, along with other “exciting arachnids in the Burma amber,” according to Selden opens new roads in learning more about how arachnids (spiders) evolved.

Take precautions when dealing with ticks

Taking precautions before going on walks or hikes can help control ticks along with equipping your four-legged family members with tick and flea collars, ingestible or topical treatments, available from your vet and pet stores. When hiking or walking near tall grass:
• Apply insect repellent
• Wear long-sleeves and closed-toe shoes
• Stay on marked trails and paths
• Check thoroughly for ticks when returning from hikes or walks
• Run hiking clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes immediately after walks

As for spiders, most spiders in the US, with the exception of black widows and brown recluse, don’t pose health threats to people or pets. Apart from their scary reputations, spiders can be quite beneficial in controlling other pests.

Hulett Healthy Home

At Hulett, we believe prevention works better than control. Make your home unattractive to pests, by sealing all cracks and crevices in your foundation and around entry points, correcting water prone areas and cleaning your house thoroughly. Also, reduce harborage areas around the exterior of your home like debris, overgrown grass, ornamentals and trees. We offer free in-home inspections, treating your home with our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach that safeguards your loved ones from household pests. Creating a pest barrier around your home, Hulett guarantees you’ll be satisfied with our services. For reliable, environmentally-responsible pest prevention, Just call Hulett!

Asian Termites are Killing South Florida’s Pine Trees

Asian Termites are Killing South Florida's Pine Trees

As if invasive Asian subterranean termites weren’t causing enough harm to homes and businesses in South Florida with their super-sized colonies and voracious appetites, the Sun-Sentinel reported in an April 24 article that now these aggressive termites are chowing down on South Florida pine trees. According to the Sun-Sentinel, a University of Florida (UF) research team just published a study in Florida Entomologist that zeroes in on the destruction of native slash pines in Ft. Lauderdale. Thomas Chouvenc, assistant professor of urban entomology at the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, led the study that examined 400 slash pines in residential areas and parks in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

Asian termites are infesting live pine trees

What the team found raises concerns for native Florida trees that have provided shade, oxygen and wildlife habitats for South Florida’s tropical bird populations and other animals, for over a century. The study revealed that over the past five years, 12% of the slash pines in the residential areas and 3% in the city’s parks surveyed were killed by Asian termites. Chouvenc warned that these aggressive termites are on course to cause deadly damage here and in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and parts of Broward County if left to their own devices. “The clock is ticking on most of our slash pines in greater Fort Lauderdale,” he said. “I think we’re on the way to irreversibly lose most of these slash pines if we don’t do anything.”

Non-native Asian termites swarm at night

Most South Florida homeowners are familiar with Asian and Formosan subterranean termites. Both species of subterranean termites have been making headlines as they ravage homes and businesses in search of food for their growing populations. Far more aggressive than native termites, Asian termites are yellowish-brown and about one-half inch long, with colonies consisting of over a million members.

Where did these Non-native Asian termites get here?

Southeast Asia natives, Asian termites were probably introduced to South Florida as stowaways on cargo ships and yachts, according to most sources. The first reported sightings in the US occurred in Miami in 1996 as well as Ft. Lauderdale and Riviera Beach in 2005. Building extensive colonies underground, new Asian termite colonies are established when swarms of reproductive alates take flight on spring nights in search of mates. These newly formed pairs then burrow into trees and houses to start growing their own colonies. Chouvenc indicated that the park trees may have been spared from more Asian termites than residential trees because Asian termites swarming at night are attracted to the lights in residential areas.

Slash pine – one of South Florida’s signature trees

Slash pines, one of old South Florida’s most distinctive trees, gets their name from the slashes cut at angles into their trucks in order to extract sap or resin. Extracting pine resin or sap for waterproofing boats and making turpentine was at one time a major component of the southern economy. As a popular, sturdy building material, known as Dade County pine, many older slash pine homes in South Florida have weathered a century of hurricanes.

Slash pines were “one of the original canopy trees in the area,” said Michael Orfanedes, Broward County extension agent for commercial horticulture. “They’re just a fraction of what they were originally because of development. They’re famous for harboring birds in their hollows.” Slash pines grew in rockland habitats where the dry land was much sought after by real estate developers. This development considerably reduced slash pine populations, resulting in slash pines scattered through parks and neighborhoods.

Asian termites slowly starve trees

Because termites can’t eat the dead tissue in the sappy, inner wood, or believe us, they would, the termites attack the live tissue on the outer layers of the trunk. Eating the wood in the trunks of slash pines severs tubes that transport nutrients, such as sugar, to the live tree. The tree slowly starves as its vascular system is cut off or disabled. To make matters worse, the UF study also revealed that Asian termites are not terribly picky eaters, as a number of other trees that make up the South Florida urban canopy show signs of infestations, in particular, live oaks.

Live oak and other tree losses could be devastating in a direct hit by a hurricane

Elegant and massive live oaks, a grand feature of the southern landscape, by design, have withstood hurricanes through the years. Asian termites, while not killing these graceful giants, hollow them out, weakening them in storms. Due to their hollowed-out insides, three live oaks in Broward County perished when Hurricane Irma glanced by Broward County. Chouvenc said that these live oaks would have survived if they had not been affected by Asian termites. The UF researcher also said that due to the fact that so many trees have been affected by Asian termites, “a direct hit would have been that much more devastating.” Chouvenc pointed out that since Wilma in 2005, the area hasn’t been hit by a major hurricane, “so it’s been 12 or 13 years of damage that’s been piling up in these trees.”

Further research is needed to assess the threat of Asian termites on our tree population

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Asian termite activity in live trees may pose a serious threat but Mark Torok, senior forester said Asian termites may be a serious threat but that further research is needed. “It’s definitely something we shouldn’t ignore,” he said. “But we don’t have a full understanding yet about this pest. Are they attacking weakened trees or are they attacking healthy trees? How aggressive are they? How much damage do they do? Does it like any tree more than others?”

Area-wide management and collective consciousness efforts may be necessary

Chouvenc suggested that even though pest control companies can eliminate colonies on a house-to-house basis, if increasing structural damage is occurring in infested neighborhood trees, area-wide management could be a necessary solution, with entire neighborhoods cooperating, in addition to a “collective consciousness that maybe we have to do something on a larger scale than protecting our tiny half acre.”

Wondering if your trees are infested?

  • Homeowners can peel back a piece of dead outer bark to check for termites.
  • Cutting infested trees won’t get rid of your Asian termites, as they live underground.
  • Tenting isn’t a viable solution, as again, most of the colony lives underground.
  • Contacting a professional pest control company is your most sensible solution.

 Hulett’s Healthy Home approach

Termites, especially aggressive invasive species such as Asian and Formosan termites, should be handled by a trusted pest control professional. Hulett Environmental Services, a family-owned business with over 50 years of termite expertise in the South Florida area, offers a free termite inspection along with a wide range of solutions for your termite concerns. Our licensed and certified technicians assess your termite situation and develop a plan to eliminate termites from your home and property. Because subterranean termites live in extensive colonies under the ground outside your home, strategic placement of a non-repellant liquid that worker termites transport from the infested area back to their nests works effectively and quickly to kill queens and destroy colonies.

The very best way to fight termites is to prevent them from entering your home at all. Our Annual Termite Renewal Program wards off would-be invaders and we’re so sure of our Total Termite Protection Program that we offer a million dollar guarantee you’ll be satisfied with our services. Eliminate the stress of worrying about termites damaging your home and your trees. Just call Hulett!

Zika May Be Carried By Another Mosquito Species

Zika May Be Carried By Another Mosquito Species

Right on the heels of a May 1st CBS News story reporting that the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Vital Signs publication revealed that mosquito and tick viruses had tripled from 2004-2016, Pest Control Technology magazine highlighted a study published by University of Florida (UF) researchers that speculates that another mosquito species may carry Zika virus. Led by UF/IFAS Medical Entomology Department’s Associate Professor, Chelsea Smartt, her team detected Zika virus in the saliva of southern house mosquitoes, collected from Gainesville and Vero Beach. The study revealed that further testing is needed to confirm early lab reports to establish a species, known as Culex quinquefasciatus, as a Zika carrier.

Zika first gained wide recognition in Brazil as the country underwent an outbreak of the virus just prior to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. A single-stranded RNA mosquito-borne arborvirus, Zika cycles between mosquitos and humans in urban environments. Brazil’s Zika outbreak in 2016 quickly spread to the southern US, “transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti.” Currently, Aedes aegypti is still the primary Zika carrier. According to Smartt’s study, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, field-collected Culex quinquefasciatu from Brazil “were found infected with genome fragments of ZIKA and field collections from Mexico were found infected with live Zika.” However, lab report results differ concerning the viability of the Culex species to support Zika.

Zika and microcephaly

The major health concern regarding the spread of Zika centers on the cases of microcephaly that this virus can cause. Microcephaly, a rare neurological condition, results in infants born with significantly smaller heads than other newborns. While Zika has been hard to pin down as the definitive cause of microcephaly, many of the mothers whose babies were affected in Brazil reported an illness, according to IFL Science, “that was consistent with Zika virus infection in early pregnancy.” About a year before the critical numbers of microcephaly incidents occurred, a dengue-like illness, featuring fevers and rashes began in northeastern Brazil. Zika was identified as the cause six months later.

Culex quinquefasciatus is common in Florida

Meanwhile, as Smartt indicated, more research and experimentation is required to determine what role, if any, Culex quinquefasciatus, aka southern house mosquitoes, play in the spread of the Zika virus.  While southern house mosquitoes are common in the southern states, they thrive in abundance in Florida. Culex quinquefasciatus, found in tropical and sub-tropical areas, like most mosquitoes, is common also in Brazil, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Worldwide concerns

Much attention and research worldwide, in addition to Smartt’s study, are underway to understand the origins of Zika and gain insights about how to control the virus. “In areas of the world where these mosquitoes feed on humans, there may be populations of Culex quinquefasciatus that can spread Zika,” Smartt said.

Nine new vector-transmitted diseases since 2004

In the CDC’s Vital Signs report, the agency also reported that nine new tick and mosquito germs have been discovered since 2004. CDC director, Robert R. Redfield, M.D. said in a briefing, “Zika, West Nile, Lyme, and chikungunya – a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea – have confronted the US in recent years, making a lot of people sick. And we don’t know what will threaten Americans next.”

Globalization and rising temps

When asked about the reasons for the increases in occurrences of vector-related diseases, one of the study’s authors and the CDC’s director of vector-borne diseases, Lyle Peterson, M.D., said that, continued globalization has played an important role, especially when it comes to mosquito-borne diseases, noting that with “expanding global travel and trade, all of these diseases are basically a plane flight away.” Lyle went on to say, “This was the case during the 2016 Zika outbreak, which began in Brazil and spread to other parts of South and North America,” after mosquitoes bit infected travelers who unknowingly brought the virus home.” The CDC said also that warmer temps and longer warm seasons are playing an important role in tick populations moving north.

For the first line of defense in controlling mosquito and tick diseases, the CDC suggests

State and local health agencies should develop and sustain programs that test and track diseases spread by mosquitoes and train vector control staff on the five core competencies used in prevention and control protocols including:

  • Conducting routine mosquito surveillance through standardized trapping and species identification and make treatment decisions using surveillance data.
  • Applying larvicides and adulticides or both.
  • Conducting routine vector control activities that include biological, source reduction and environmental management.
  • The CDC stresses the importance of state and local health agencies launching initiatives that educate and remind the public to take precautions during outdoor activities, by increasing community and neighborhood awareness.

In addition to education, monitoring and reducing mosquito populations on the state and local level, Hulett would like to remind South Florida homeowners that vigilance in your own backyard will help prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer. With mosquito-borne disease on the rise, applying insect repellant when gardening, mowing or entertaining is an essential precaution as is:

  • Repairing or replacing window and door screens
  • Removing all containers from your property that can collect water
  • Changing water in bird baths at least once a week
  • Correcting all water prone areas where mosquitoes might breed

Many products, such as citronella and DEET only mask the scents that attract mosquitoes to humans. If mosquitoes are putting a damper on your outdoor plans, contact Hulett to learn more about our Mosquito Reduction Program. Our licensed and certified technicians will inspect your property, identifying areas where mosquitoes are likely to breed and hide. Treating those areas with a residual product, we also apply a sticking agent to areas where mosquitoes rest in the daytime. A micro-encapsulated product applied to all entryways will create a protective barrier from mosquitoes and other insects. Enjoy your summer without the worry of mosquitoes ruining your plans. Just call Hulett!

Ants: What You Need to Know

Ants: What You Need to Know

You can tell it is summer in South Florida when you spot ants checking out your kitchen, bathroom or boldly foraging along walls and floor in search of food to feed their fellow ants in nearby nests. Social insects, ants live in colonies and these colonies can number in the thousands. Some of South Florida’s ant species form colonies consisting of only one queen, while others can support many queens through a process called budding. The queen ants’ only function is to reproduce while worker ants care for the young, forage for food and defend the colony from intruders and would-be predators. The pesky ants you just can’t seem to get rid of are worker ants on a mission. The vast majority of ant issues are best resolved by a professional pest control company such as Hulett Environmental Services.

Identification

Which ant species call South Florida home? The short answer is: there is no short answer. Many ant species live in South Florida – some are native, but many invasive species arrive in containers, along with tropical plants and the like. In order to devise a plan to eliminate your ant issues, it would be a good idea to know what type of ant you have. Some ants are attracted to carbohydrate-based baits and some to protein-based baits. How can you tell which type of bait to use? Ant identification can be tricky with so many ant species prevalent in South Florida. The good news is there’s a short list of the usual suspects that invade homes, sting (or bite), or cause structural damage.

  • Acrobat ants: Light brown to dark brownish black, workers measure 1/8th of an inch, with heart-shaped abdomens they can raise over their thoraxes and heads, as a defense mechanism. Acrobat ants generally nest outdoors in soil, wood or leaves and indoors in abandoned wood galleries hollowed out by termites or carpenter ants, in addition to rigid foam insulation. These ants eat sweets, as well as protein.
  • Argentine ants: Light brown to medium brown, 1/10th of an inch long, Argentine ants, an invasive species, often with large colonies containing multiple queens and the ability to move their nests daily, move in large trails on structures and up trees. Argentine ants prefer sweet food but will eat almost anything.
  • Big-headed ants: Light brown to dark reddish brown, ranging from 1/16th to 1/18th of an inch long, big-headed major workers’ heads appear disproportionately large for their body size. Big-headed ants often forage in trails covered with soil and prefer foods high in protein.
  • Crazy ants: Most often dark brown to black but range from red-brown to grayish, crazy ants measure from 1/12th to 1/8th of an inch in length and are distinguished from various other ant species by their seriously long antennae and legs. Crazy ants move in erratic patterns, use formic acid to defend themselves against fire ants and can cause electric circuits to short out by the accumulation of dead ants that occurs when one crazy ant is electrocuted, and other crazy ants answer attack signals sent out by dying ants. Crazy ants prefer honeydew secreted by aphids and will eat sweet food.
  • Red imported fire ants: Reddish brown bodies with darker abdomens, ranging from 1/16th of an inch to 1/4th of an inch long, fire ants use their powerful jaws to grasp a victim’s skin and inject venom from the stinger in their abdomen, when disturbed or threatened. Medical attention may be required in severe cases and in people sensitive to formic acid. Typically nesting in sunny exposed areas away from structures, fire ants prefer foods high in protein foods but will eat plants as well.
  • Florida carpenter ants: Reddish with black abdomens, as long as 3/4th of an inch, Florida carpenter ants are among the largest of Florida’s ants. Unlike other structure damaging carpenter ants, Florida carpenter ants do not destroy wood but nest in previously insect- and water-damaged wood. Foraging in loose trails, these ants prefer sweet foods and will bite and inject formic acid into wounds, if not removed quickly.
  • Ghost ants: Dark heads and thoraxes with pale abdomen and legs, ghost ants measure less than 1/16th of an inch long and are not easily seen with the naked eye. Often nesting in moist areas, ghost ants, aka “sugar ants” are known for their attraction to sweets.
  •  White-footed ants: Usually black with white tarsi, measuring 1/8th of an inch long, white-footed ants have become a major nuisance pest in many parts of the world, including South Florida. Often mistaken for crazy ants and Argentine ants, white-footed ants build enormous colonies and forage in thick trails up the sides of buildings. White-footed ants can cause agricultural damage by protecting aphids and other insects that produce the honeydew nectar these ants like to eat.

The list goes on to include pharaoh ants, little black ants, odorous ants and other nuisance ant species that can enter your South Florida home. Visit our bug database for more information on these and other ants you are interested in identifying.

Keeping Ants Away

The very best way to eliminate ants is to exclude them and keep your home as clean as possible. Keep the following in mind:

  • Keep all snacks and open packages of food in air-tight containers or in the fridge.
  • Wipe up any spills and clean dining and food prep areas regularly.
  • Wash dishes immediately after meals and dispose of any food scraps in air-tight receptacles.
  • Sweep or vacuum floors in dining and snacking areas.
  • Seal or caulk all cracks and holes in your foundation and around entryways.
  • Repair all leaky faucets and water-damaged wood.

To tackle persistent ant issues in South Florida, contact Hulett to schedule a free inspection. With over 50 years serving South Florida, Hulett’s certified and entomologist-trained technicians know how to nip your ant issues in the bud. Ranked as one of the top 20 pest control companies in the US, Hulett’s Healthy Home approach to integrated pest management uses only quality materials and methods for environmentally responsible treatments keeping your home pest-free and your family stress-free this summer and every season. Got ants? Just call Hulett!

 Serving All of South Florida Since 1968 (All 12 Counties)

Pest Control Palm Beach

Pest Control Fort Pierce

Pest Control Fort Myers

Pest Control Miami

Pest Control Ft. Lauderdale

Pest Control Naples

Pest Control Miami Gardens

Better Business Bureau Hulett Environmental Services