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Bed Bug Basics: 10 Tips to Protect Yourself

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Carpenter Ants: Silent Destroyers

Carpenter Ants: Silent Destroyers

The real risks posed by these tiny pests

Carpenter Ants: Silent Destroyer

Did you know that there are more than 700 species of ants in the United States? In fact, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the country. Fortunately, most common ant species – like odorous house ants, pavement ants and Argentine ants – pose little threat beyond the annoyance of an infestation, but some ant species – like carpenter ants – can pose serious threats.

What’s the risk?

Of all the ant species, carpenter ants are one of the most problematic. They can cause serious property damage to homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Much like termites and other wood destroying insects, this excavation can compromise the structural soundness of the wood over time.

Where are they found?

There are nine types of carpenter ants in the U.S. These pests are most commonly found in cool, damp climates in the northern regions of the country.

Carpenter ants build their nests in various wood sources, including tree stumps, fence posts, firewood or landscaping. They prefer to attack wood that has been wet or damaged as a result of leaks. Indoors, this means they are often found in damaged window and doorframes, crawlspaces under roofs, chimneys, sinks and bathtubs.

A mature carpenter ant colony can contain more than 10,000 workers. In large colonies, it is not uncommon to have multiple nests inside structures as well as outdoors.

Carpenter ants usually gain access to buildings through cracks around doors and windows, holes for wires, or straight through wet, damaged wood. They will also crawl along overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs that touch the building far above the ground. Although carpenter ants first invade wet, decayed wood, they may eventually build paths through dry, undamaged wood, too.

How do I spot them?

Carpenter ants are larger than most other ant species. They range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters of an inch.  They are black or red, or sometimes a combination of both colors.

Typically, carpenter ants act as “silent destroyers,” quietly tunneling through wood without any external signs of damage. In some cases, homeowners may notice wood fragments and sawdust that fall through cracks the ants have created. Badly damaged wood will have small openings, like little windows.

How Do I Prevent Them?

Carpenter ants can be destructive, and the damage they cause can be expensive to repair. The best way to treat this pest is to prevent them before they ever find a way into your home.

Luckily, there are many things homeowners can do to prevent carpenter ants. For one, carpenter ants need a constant water source to survive, so eliminating moisture or standing water on your property can help to deter them. Consider using a dehumidifier in crawl spaces, basements and attics that are prone to dampness.

Homeowners can also trim tree branches and shrubs away from their home, as these often provide highways inside for ants and other pests. In addition, fill any gaps or cracks on the outside of the home with silicone caulk. Firewood and other wood building materials should be stored at least 20 feet from your home, and at least five inches off of the ground.

Most importantly, keep a close eye on your property for signs of carpenter ants. Inspect wood on your home for the appearance of small openings or sawdust.  And if you suspect you have a carpenter ant infestation, contact a licensed pest professional right away. The sooner carpenter ants are treated, the less serious the damage is likely to be.

Pest Control Blogs and Resources

Pest Control Blogs and Resources

California bed bug control

3 Keys to a Successful Heat Treatment:

  1. Bring Heat. Electric bed bug heaters are placed within the space; introducing and recirculating heated air with a target temperature not to exceed 135°F.
  2. Monitor. Temperatures are monitored in real time from a remote location using wireless sensors to ensure lethal temperatures are reached without damaging the space and its contents.
  3. Move Air. High temperature fans move heated air throughout the space to reach insects in cracks and crevices or high infestation zones.

Advantages to Heat Treatment:

  • Heat Treatment works where chemicals fail. No toxic fumes, no residue.
  • Kills every life stage from egg to adult.
  • Unlike chemicals bed bugs are attracted to heat – they won’t simply move to re-infest another day.
  • Infested items will not need to be thrown away.
  • Our trucks are discrete and the process is completed in one working day.

Heat Treatment is a proven non-chemical method of killing bed bugs. All life stages (adult, larva, and eggs) die within minutes at a temperature of 120 degrees F. Using 460 volt electric heaters powered by a trailer mounted diesel generator. Heat Treatment introduces temperatures greater than 120 degrees F(lethal temperature) and less than 140 degrees F (content damaging temperature).

Heat Treatment monitors temperatures in real time with 24 wireless sensors placed in treated areas to ensure lethal temperatures are reached throughout the area and its contents. High temperature blowers are positioned to move the heated air throughout the space, through mattresses, baseboards, cracks and crevices.

Depending on room furnishings, floor surfaces, clutter and square footage the treatment will take between 7 and 12 hours.

California bed bug control

WAL-MART LAUNCHES CRUNCHY INSECT SNACK MIX

Wal-Mart is launching a new insect snack mix! Get the details in the article below.

WAL-MART LAUNCHES CRUNCHY INSECT SNACK MIX
Posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 By Elsa Akesson

BENTONVILLE, AR – Wal-Mart has begun selling a crunchy snack mix that contains real insects!

Wal-Mart launched “Bug Crunch” a new line of salty, baked insects as part of their effort to branch out to new markets, as well as the larger global economy.

Wal-Mart admits they are taking a risk. But they are starting slow by launching just three flavors:

– Ranch Locust

– Barbeque Beetle

– Classic Cricket

Suzanne McNally, the head of Wal-Mart’s global nutrition initiative defended the decision to sell Bug Crunch at a press conference on Tuesday. “Insects are a great source of protein. We wanted to make them accessible to people who are looking for a healthy alternative to pork chops and ribeyes. Insects are a delicacy in many parts of the world. Now they are available for Joe the Plumber and people like him.”

Food critics all over the world received samples of each variety earlier this week. While none were willing to go on record before their official reviews were published, most agreed that Bug Crunch was an exciting addition to the world snack sector.

A dining critic at the New York Times requested to remain anonymous, but gave a brief review. “Plain and simple, they’re good. They have good crunch, a bit of salt, and a touch of earthy sweet. I will definitely serve the Classic Cricket at my next cocktail party as a bar snack paired with a fresh peach salsa or a spicy mango chutney.”

Expect to see all three flavors at your local Wal-Mart by the start of next week.

Japan Nuclear Disaster Caused Mutated Butterflies, Researchers Report

Japan Nuclear Disaster Caused Mutated Butterflies, Researchers Report

TOKYO — Researchers in Japan have found signs of mutation in butterflies, signaling one of the first indications of change to the local ecosystem as a result of last year’s nuclear accident in Fukushima, according to one of the first studies on the genetic effects of the incident.

Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, who led the research, collected 144 commonly-found pale grass blue butterflies two months after the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
Initial results indicated that roughly 12 percent of the butterflies showed signs of abnormalities, such as disfigurement in their antennas, smaller-sized wings, change in color patterns and indented eyes, Otaki said.

Even more alarming, when he collected another 238 samples six months later he found that those abnormalities had increased to 28 percent and the mutations had doubled to 52 percent in their offspring.

Click here to read the entire article.

Source:  http://worldnews.nbcnews.com