This April, Hulett Environmental Services is proud to celebrate National Pest Management Month, a public observance formally recognized each year by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to acknowledge the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health and property from household pest threats. Additionally, as spring is an especially busy time for pest-related activity, Hulett Environmental Services encourages homeowners to take proactive pest proofing steps in the coming weeks.
We are proud to be members of an industry which plays an important role in people’s everyday lives and are committed to helping homeowners protect their homes and ensuring public places and residences are free of disease-carrying pests.
As pests emerge from their overwintering spots, we encourage the public to tackle simple home improvement and landscaping projects that will make a big difference in staving off infestations during the warmer months.
Hulett Environmental Services experts recommend the following tips to pest-proof the home this spring:
- Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
- Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
- Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
- Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
- Just call HULETT if an infestation is suspected.
Maggots and Modern Medicine
Maggots are amongst some of the most despised critters for many, but they have actually been huge assets to medicinal purposes for centuries.
Most have heard about maggot debridement therapy, or MDT, in which sterile larvae are applied to a wound to essentially “eat away” the infection. Believe it or not, this procedure has saved not only limbs, but also lives!
And according to reports, researchers from North Carolina State University and Massey University in New Zealand have found that genetically engineered maggots can clean non-healing wounds and promote cell growth more than initially thought.
Researchers are exploring a human growth factor, which the maggots secrete while removing dead tissue, enabling cell growth.
Not only is this good news medically, it is also a fairly cost effective procedure compared to alternative treatments.
What do you think? Are you as impressed by these ‘magical’ maggots as we are at Hulett Environmental Services?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are familiar with the Zika virus and the threat it poses, particularly to pregnant women. But with so much news coming out with each passing day, what are the basics of Zika that we should all know?
For starters, Zika first appeared in Brazil in May of 2015. Outbreaks have occurred before in Africa and Asia, but the disease is new to the Western Hemisphere. Since then, it is suspected than 1.5 million people have been infected in Brazil alone, and the virus has spread to Latin America.
Symptoms are typically mild (fever and joint pain) and only affect 1 in 5 people, and usually last only one week.
Most notably, however, if a pregnant woman is infected, it’s suspected the virus can cause brain damage in her unborn child. It has also been reported that the Zika virus is linked to a rare condition called Guillain Barre, which causes temporary paralysis in patients of all ages.
The Zika virus is carried by the same mosquito that carries yellow fever, chikungunya, and dengue. This mosquito is present in areas of America, but mosquito control in the U.S. is often much better than in Latin America.
Have you been staying up to date with the news surrounding the Zika virus? Are you concerned it will start spreading in the U.S.?
Woman Almost Loses Sight Due to Insect
Charlynne Boddie from the United Kingdom experienced a very scary, and odd, situation from an insect that flew into her eye.
While walking along the beach on vacation in Cornwall, a bug flew into her left eye. Over the next few days her eye was becoming more and more irritated and painful, which prompted her to visit her doctor who sent her to the hospital for immediate treatment.
So, what happened? It seems the insect flew into her eye and got stuck behind her contact lens, causing a small abrasion.
Keith Malcolm, senior clinical manager at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, said: “Most people would probably be astounded to know that something as seemingly innocuous as a bug flying into your eye can cause blindness. It is uncommon for an insect to cause so much damage but it certainly can happen. If these scratches would have then got infected [it could] cause ulcers. This infection can also spread between a person’s eyes. It’s just as well Charlynne came in when she did, otherwise she could have lost her sight completely.”
Does this story surprise you? Did you know a bug flying into your eye could cause so much damage?
We’re glad to hear that Charlynne did not lose her sight—and we’re also glad that her experience is very rare!
If this story has you worried about bugs on your property, contact a professional pest management company.
Hawaii Signs Emergency Zika Virus Proclamation
The Governor of the Aloha state has taken a substantial preventative measure to guard against the Zika virus and other mosquito born illnesses.
In a news release, Governor David Ige said, “There have been no locally acquired Zika cases in the U.S. or Hawaii, and we’d like to keep it that way … This is about getting in front of the situation across the state.”
The Zika virus has caused worldwide concern because of its link to neurological abnormalities in babies born to mothers who have contracted the virus. This caused the World Heath Organization to declare a global health emergency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to instill special travel guidance and precautions for protection against mosquito bites.
Clearly, the Governor Ige is taking this very seriously and Hawaiian officials will be working closely with both organizations to mitigate the risk and keep its residents and tourists to the islands safe.
What do you think? Do you think the Governor’s decision is well-founded or do you think it is premature? Do you think this will cause Hawaiian residents and tourists to feel more protected or more fearful?
Hulett Environmental Services will be staying informed and up to date on any decisions made by Florida officials regarding the Zika virus. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out our mosquito control services.
The Lowdown on Insect Repellents
With the spread of mosquito-born viruses such as the Zika virus and dengue, wearing the right insect repellent and knowing the right way to wear it is more important than ever. So, here is everything you need to know about insect repellents.
First you need to know what chemicals will provide the best protection against mosquitos. DEET takes first place when it comes to effectiveness. Scientists have found it to be the most effective repellent so far. Studies show that 23.8 percent can give you up to five hours of protection, and levels between 10 and 30 percent are safe for children over two months of age. While some people have voiced concerns as to its safety, very little evidence has been found linking DEET to any significant health issues, and its been proven safe even for pregnant women and young children. The next ingredient you should look out for is Picardin. It’s been shown to be just about as effective as DEET and is odorless and non-greasy. For people who want something more natural there is lemon eucalyptus oil and soybean oil, but these have only been shown to be as effective as low concentrations of DEET, so don’t expect the same level of effectiveness. Permethrin is an insect repellent that can be applied to clothing. Some companies sell clothing already treated with Permethrin, as well as clothing treating services. Permethrin lasts even after you’ve washed your clothes.
When you apply insect repellent don’t put it on areas already covered by clothing. Experts also recommend that you don’t use products that combine sunscreen and insect repellent, as the repellent can lessen the effectiveness of the sunscreen. If you are going to wear both, put the sunscreen on first under the insect repellent. The best way to apply repellent is with a spray or a lotion. There are many electronic devices, candles, and other manners in which repellent is sold, but these really don’t provide adequate protection against mosquitos. Unfortunately, you just have to suck it up and slather on that spray or lotion.
Do you make sure to wear insect repellent when you go outdoors? What kind of insect repellent do you recommend?
The Zika Virus: A Global Health Emergency
The World Health Organization has officially stated that the Zika virus is a global health emergency. They are urging countries to unite against this devastating virus and work together to find a way to stop it spread. The WHO has put the Zika virus in the same category as Ebola, calling it an “extraordinary event” that needs a united and coordinated response. With the WHO taking such an active interest in the virus research and aid are being given top priority and efforts to tackle the infection are widespread and well funded.
Margaret Chan, the WHO director general, stated that protecting pregnant women and their babies from this virus is taking top priority, with efforts to control the mosquito population spreading the infection coming in a close second. She advised women to delay any travel to areas affected by the virus, and for women living in those areas to seek advise from their physician and take all available precautions against getting bitten by a mosquito. Dr. Chan declared that it is time to take action against this virus before it becomes another incident like the Ebola outbreak.
Have you been paying attention to what the different health organizations have been saying about the Zika virus? Do you think it is too soon for the WHO to be declaring the Zika virus a global public health emergency, or just in time?
Zika Virus Buzz
There’s a new disease wreaking havoc upon innocent citizens, the Zika virus. You may have heard the name whispered around, but don’t know exactly what it is. The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted virus that is relatively harmless unless you are a pregnant woman. Around eighty percent of people who catch the virus don’t show any symptoms, so it’s not going to kill you. However, if you are pregnant and catch it, the health of you unborn child is seriously at risk. The Zika virus has been linked to an alarming increase in the rate of the birth defect known as microcephaly. This defect causes a child to develop a debilitating small head and brain, resulting in them needing constant care their entire life. The CDC has posted a travel alert to all pregnant women, advising them to postpone travel to areas where the Zika virus is currently active. Officials also recommend that all pregnant women who have traveled to these areas get tested for the Zika virus. So far two women have returned to find themselves infected even though they experienced no symptoms. The best way to stop this virus from spreading is to use insect repellent, and keep mosquitos from biting you. Cutting down on mosquito breeding is one way we can prevent this and other mosquito-spread diseases. Empty any standing water in or around your home, as these mosquitos can breed in as little as an ounce of water.
Have you heard of the Zika virus? Are you taking care to empty containers with standing water in order to prevent mosquitos from hanging out in your area?