Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well. It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.
We recommend the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:
- Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
- Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
- Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
- If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
- Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.
Tips to keep pets pest-free:
- Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
- Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
- Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
- Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
- Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
- Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
- Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.
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Termite Warning Signs
Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They are known as “silent destroyers” due to their ability to compromise the structure of a home without being noticed until it’s too late.
Termites are very destructive and the damage inflicted can be quite costly if left undetected. Subterranean Termites are most likely to cause problems in Southern Arizona at this time of year, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property.
Here are a few warning signs that termites may be present in a home:
1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures
4. Cracked or bubbling paint
5. Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest
6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home
If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan. Homeowners are encouraged to get an free annual termite inspection courtesy of Hulett Environmental Services. To schedule your free termite inspection visit www.bugs.com
“They inspected our home and showed us the termite damage. We needed the traditional tenting, not the tentless method. Theyare very professional about their work, and explain everything they do. We will now follow up with the bi-monthly pest control service for maintenance. Jonadab, who will be doing this for us, is very thorough and, again, explains everything he does.”
- 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.
As it turns out insects can tell you a lot more then you might initially believe. It is known as forensic entomology and it is helping detectives solve murders. By studying the kind of bugs that are on a body a investigator can learn a number of things to help them solve the crime.
From time of death, to cause of death, and other information bugs can be a real clue to helping police crack a case wide open. To learn more how bugs are helping solve mysteries check out: Studying bugs on a body can help solve murders, students in Hunterdon learn
A recent study published in Science magazine has revealed that insects, much like birds, utilize the wind stream and their bodies to attain high speeds. (Up to 60 MPH) The new study by Jane Hill, an entomologist at the University of York in the United Kingdom and co-author of the research appearing in this week’s issue of Science, has great implications in the pestworld. She exclaims,“They go with the wind, but they choose which winds to go with.” The recent technological advances in science have contributed to this intriguing finding as researchers were never able to effectively track tiny insects flying thousands of feet above ground until now. With this better understanding of insect migration farmer should be able to effectively prepare for seasonal pest infestations.
Be sure to check out the full article from Discovery Here.
Beware of the Stings This Summer
Hulett Environmental Services profiles the most dangerous summer stingers
The summer season is a time to enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors, but it’s also the time when stinging insects can make an appearance at picnics, cookouts and pool parties. Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing South Florida warns that yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and other common stinging insects can pose an increased threat to one’s health. In fact, they send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.
From painful stings to severe allergic reactions, stinging insects can put a damper on summer fun. Whether you plan to fire up the grill, go to the playground or relax by the pool this summer, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by certain stinging insects.
Below are the most common stingers people might encounter during the summer months.
Yellowjackets – Yellowjackets are distinguished by the black and yellow color pattern banded across their abdomens. They are territorial and may sting repeatedly if threatened.
European Hornets – European hornets are active at night. They have smooth stingers that carry venom known to cause itching, swelling and pain for about 24 hours. Like yellowjackets and wasps, European hornets can sting repeatedly during an attack.
Paper Wasps – Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature, but they will sting if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.
Killer Bees – Africanized “killer” bees defend their colony and will attack in large numbers when threatened. However, they can only sting once as their stingers are barbed and tear off when trying to get away. Killer bees have been known to chase people for more than a quarter mile.
The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. If you come in contact with a bee or wasp, do not swat it, as that may actually provoke an attack. Remain calm and the insect should fly away without causing harm.
For more information on stinging insects, visit www.bugs.com