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[PCT Annual Rodent Control Issue] Something’s in the Attic

Features – Cover feature: Annual Rodent Control Issue

Sanitation, exclusion, repellents, traps and baiting are the keys to a comprehensive rodent control program.

  • September 28, 2015
  • Adam Jones

 

As the weather turns to fall and rats and mice seek warmer shelter inside homes, pest management professionals need to be ready for the inevitable increase of calls from customers about animals in their attics. Our company, Orlando, Fla.-based Massey Services, recommends incorporating sanitation, exclusion, repellents, traps and baiting in a comprehensive rodent control program.

Taking one action without the others may allow rodent problems to persist, which can make for frustrated customers and service technicians.

Sanitation.

Proper sanitation is the first step in controlling rodent pests. All animals have three requirements for life: food, water and shelter. Removal of any one will force an animal to leave. Rodents are first attracted to a home based on what’s available outside. Eliminating debris such as piles of unused lumber or trash will reduce potential shelter areas for rodents. Collecting and removing fallen fruit from backyard trees and keeping lids on trash cans also will make an area less attractive to rats and mice. Suggest that clients store pet food and seeds, such as wild bird seed, in rodent-proof containers.

Exclusion.

Rodents can squeeze through any opening their heads can fit through. That is a ¼-inch opening for mice and a ½-inch opening for young rats. Conduct inspections to find rodent access points. Focus around wires, conduits and pipes, or chimney and plumbing stacks. Pay attention to soffits and eaves, and attic or crawlspace vents. Don’t forget doors — rodents can slip under worn or missing door sweeps.

Seal off small access points with rodent-proofing materials such as copper mesh, ¼-inch hardware cloth, 24-gauge sheet metal or cement.

Repellents.

Gel repellents made with plant and pepper oils are effective at keeping rodents from moving through an area. Place the gel repellent in and around the access point. Contact with these products causes skin irritation to the pests and deters them from the site.

Strobe lights also are a good tool to drive rodents out of an attic. The constant flashing of high-powered light stresses the animal and drives them out of the attic space. This method is especially useful in attics with heavily pitched roofs and crawlspaces with large open areas. The light must be placed in an area that allows for maximum coverage.

Traps & Baiting.

Snap traps and sticky traps are excellent tools to eliminate mice and rats. Bait your traps with seeds, fruit and other foods the pest is familiar with so they are enticed to enter the trap. Make certain to secure the trap where it’s placed so the pest cannot move it.

Repeater traps are another effective tool when dealing with mice. Mice are curious creatures and they are attracted to the scents of their own species.

Ensure that frequent follow-up services are scheduled once the traps are placed. This will allow for the removal of any dead rats or mice before the process of decay begins. Decaying pests not only cause odor and staining; they invite other pests in, including flies and beetles. Note that rodenticides should never be used in the attic.
About the author: Adam Jones is vice president of quality assurance, Massey Services, Orlando, Fla.

 

I love NY with bug

Bugs Love the Big Apple – New York City Tops Buggiest Cities List

Monday, June 8, 2015

 

National Pest Management Association offers tips for keeping pesky pests at bay

 

FAIRFAX, Va. – The summer months usher in warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, however, the season also brings with it plenty of bugs. While pests are problematic across the country, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), compiled the list of the “Top 10 Buggiest Cities,” which will leave residents buying repellent in bulk and looking for ways to prevent infestations.

According to traffic to NPMA’s website – www.pestworld.org – the “Top 10 Buggiest Cities” are:

  1. New York
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Chicago
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Atlanta
  7. Boston
  8. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
  9. Dallas-Ft. Worth
  10. Houston

“While these 10 cities may be the buggiest, pests are plentiful in every city and state. As Americans spend more time outdoors during the summer months, we encourage them to take precautions to protect themselves, their families and their pets from the multitude of health risks posed by pests,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA.

Here are NPMA’s summer pest prevention tips:

  • Seal cracks and small openings in the home’s foundation, around windows and doors.
  • Repair ripped window screens.
  • Keep tree branches and bushes trimmed and away from the house.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
  • Inspect the outside of a home for nests built by stinging insects — typically found in the eaves under roofs.
  • Keep kitchen counters clean, and store food like sugary cereals in sealed containers.
  • Empty garbage containers frequently and seal indoor containers.
  • Make sure pets’ food and dishes are not left out for long periods of time.
  • Always apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • Keep grass cut low. Remove weeds, woodpiles and debris.
  • Inspect yourself and your family members carefully for ticks after being outdoors.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visitPestWorld.org.

Global - termite-damage-15

Termites are back! Make sure your structure is safe.

Warmer weather invites termites to become more active as they search for food. Unfortunately, your structure is on the menu! Especially if moisture damage is present.

Any wood in contact with soil is also vulnerable as a food source. Termites even construct mud tubes within cracks in concrete, cement blocks, bricks and stone to reach a source of wood.

It’s time to take action against these pests before irreversible damage is inflicted on your home or commercial building.

Click here to see how a termite swarm became dinner for geckos!

Be safe! Click here to book an inspection and to learn more about the dangers, treatment and prevention of termites (866)399-8200.

 

 

 

PC_how-to-control-squirrels-squirrel-problems-prevention-tips-305x170

How to Control Squirrels: Squirrel Problems & Prevention Tips

Spring-Green Lawn Care – www.spring-green.com 

Deer are primarily a problem in rural areas or near forest preserves. Squirrels, on the other hand, can be a problem in the city, suburbs, or the country. They have adapted to city life very well, and can be a major annoyance in terms of grass and lawn care. They will dig up your bulbs, eat all the birdseed you put out, dig holes in your lawn, chew a hole into your attic, make a mess of your garden, harass your dog, and are generally a nuisance. They can also be very cute when they hold a piece of food in their little paws and delicately nibble at it.

Here are answers to some typical questions you may have when you’re trying to control squirrels:

What are the common squirrels species I should look out for?

The most common squirrels are the gray and black species. They mainly inhabit trees and build their ‘nests’ in the crotch of large trees. They may be cute to watch, but they can be annoying and destructive in their search for food and shelter. Since they can cause a variety of problems, it is difficult to give one yard control method that will work in every situation. As with deer problems, it is often best to implement several different approaches instead of relying on one.

How do I prevent squirrels from hurting my home and landscape?

The first thing to do is to try to prevent their access to the area they are disrupting. If they are getting into the attic or storage shed, try removing any over-hanging branches that may give them easy access to the structure. The same is true for any decorative trim that would also allow access. If they are gaining access across utility or phone lines, there are cone-shaped shields that can be attached to the wire. Some of the commercially-available squirrel repellent products leave a sticky residue on ledges to discourage their entry into an attic or other structure. Other products are placed inside the structure and aid in keeping the squirrels outside.

What do I do if squirrels are on the inside of my house or walls?

If squirrels do gain access to an attic or other structure, they can do a lot of damage. They will rip up furniture, gnaw at windowsills, rip apart curtains, and generally make a mess of everything. They are most active in the early morning (4a.m. to 7a.m.) and late afternoon (5p.m. to 8p.m.). They can be heard scurrying about at these times, causing mischief and mayhem. It may require the use of a live trap in these situations. There are many animal removal services and they can assist in the removal process. Live traps may be rented from many rental companies or villages. Relocation should occur at least five miles away from the point of capture to prevent them from coming back. Be sure to release them in an area where they will not become a problem for another homeowner. Pick a forest preserve or natural area and release them there.

How do I stop squirrels from eating birdseed from my birdfeeders?

Devouring all the birdseed that is put out for the birds is one of the biggest problems with squirrels. They are voracious eaters and will gorge themselves on the feed, especially if the mix contains sunflower seeds. There are many squirrel-proof feeders available, but they are expensive. Prices are more than $75, and are usually purchased by serious bird lovers. Mixing pepper-based additives into the seed mix will act as a deterrent and not affect the birds. Be careful when adding the product as it is very hot, and will cause a burning sensation in the eyes or mouth.

Is there a way to make squirrels stop digging up my landscape?

Another problem with squirrels is digging up grass and feeding on landscape or vegetable gardens plants. Pepper sprays can be used in these situations. Some other sprays have a foul odor or taste, which will act as a deterrent. Check the labels of these yard care products to make sure they can be used on edible plants. Visual repellents are usually not very effective. Squirrels normally ignore them. To prevent them from digging up garden bulbs in your yard, place chicken wire over the area. Bury the fence about an inch underground. The plants will grow through the holes in the fence, but the squirrels cannot get through the netting. Be sure the holes are at least an inch in size to allow the plants to grow through it.

Squirrels can be entertaining, but more often they are a nuisance. As was mentioned with deer, squirrels are part of the environment. It is impractical to attempt to eliminate them. Reducing the amount of the yard damage they cause and putting up with a certain amount of their lifestyle is the best scenario. And they are cute!

Termite or Flying Ant

Termite Identification: How to Spot Termites in Your Home

 – Pest World

Monday, February 23, 2015

Every year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the United States. Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected for years—damage that isn’t covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies.

As spring approaches and the ground begins to warm across the country, termite populations will emerge in search of new structures to invade. Starting from South to North, termite explorers, referred to as swarmers, will look for hospitable homes, with buildings that have sustained damage from severe winter weather particularly at risk. Once swarmers have determined your home to be a good fit, it’s likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow, resulting in a full-blown termite infestation.

By becoming familiar with the species of termites that are most prevalent in their area along with their habits, homeowners are better equipped to detect the warning signs of an infestation, and call in a pest professional to assist with termite identification before the problem gets out of hand.

Termite or Flying Ant?

Many people will see termite swarmers in homes during the spring and mistake them for flying ants; this can end up being a costly mistake if the rest of the termite colony follows the swarmers. Winged termites have a straight waist, straight antennae and their wings are equal in size. Flying ants on the other hand have waists that are pinched in the middle, bent antennae and two sets of wings, with the top set being larger than the lower. Termites are also most likely to swarm in the spring, while flying ants may swarm at various times of the year.

Alates

Subterranean Termites

Found in every U.S. state except Alaska, subterranean termites are creamy white to dark brown or black and 1/8 inch long. They live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to two million members. Subterranean termites also build telltale “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and protect themselves from the open air. This termite species is considered to be by far the most destructive of all termites throughout the United States.

Subterranean termite

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are similar in color to subterranean termites but can grow to 1/2 an inch long. They can be found in Hawaii, California and much of the southern U.S. Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive known termite species, capable of consuming one foot of 2X4 wood in just 25 days. They live in huge underground colonies with an average of 350,000 workers and build intricate mud nests inside the walls of a structure. Because of their aggressive nature, Formosan termites are difficult to control once they infest a building; a mature Formosan termite colony can cause severe structural damage to a home in as little as six months.

Formosan termite

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites can be found throughout the pacific coastal and adjacent states, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and in southern Florida. This termite species is typically between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch long. As the name suggests, dampwood termites infest wood with high moisture content and don’t usually infest structures because of their need for excessive moisture, but it is important to avoid attracting them as they can cause serious property damage if they make themselves at home.

Dampwood termite

Drywood Termites

Unlike subterranean and Formosan termites, drywood termites do not require contact with the soil. They are typically between 3/8 and one inch long and often establish nests in roof materials and wooden wall supports, along with dead wood that may be around the home. They are found in the southern states, from North Carolina through the Gulf Coast and in to the coastal areas of California. They form colonies of up to 2,500 members and usually swarm on sunny, warm days after a sudden rise in temperature.

Drywood termite

It’s not always possible for an untrained eye to spot evidence of termites, but homeowners should keep a look-out for the certain signs of termites that can help them identify a termite infestation. Read more about signs of termites in home.

 

pantry-pests-101 image

Baking for the holidays? Make sure these pantry pests aren’t hiding in your cabinets.

Pantry Pests 101

 – www.pestworld.org

Thursday, December 4, 2014

 

A guide to identifying common stored product pests

 

During the holiday season, families and friends across the country gather in the kitchen to create favorite treats. However, nothing ruins a day full of baking fun quicker than opening up a bag of flour to find it has been taken over by pantry pests.

These stored product pests tend to gather around food stored in pantries and cupboards such as grains, dry cereals, spices, candies and chocolate. They breed quickly, which can allow small infestations to grow out of control in short periods of time.

Keeping pantry pests out in the first place is vital to preserving kitchen ingredients along with holiday memories! Here is a guide to help you identify and prevent the most common pantry pests.

Merchant Grain Beetles

  • Region: Merchant grain beetles are found throughout the United States.
  • Habitat: These beetles are typically found year-round in pantries, food processing areas and warehouses where any accessible food can quickly become a buffet. Despite their name, merchant grain beetles prefer cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate to grains.
  • Threats: Merchant grain beetles can quickly take over food products and contaminate them. Their body shape allows them to crawl in to packaging where they eat, live and reproduce, allowing infestations to grow quickly.
  • Prevention tip: Add one bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods – the herb’s pungent scent repels many pests.
  • Unique fact: Merchant grain beetles have six saw-like teeth on each side of their flat bodies.

Indian Meal Moths

  • Region: Indian meal moths are found throughout the United States.
  • Habitat: These moths are attracted to light and any area where food is stored, including pantries and cabinets. They prefer to feed on dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, pet food and powdered milk.
  • Threats: Indian meal moths will infest available food sources, rendering them unfit for future use.
  • Prevention tip: Always store food in thick plastic or glass containers with airtight, secure lids to keep Indian meal moths from sneaking their way inside.
  • Unique fact: The Indian meal moth was given its name after a scientist found one feeding on cornmeal, also known as Indian meal.

If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional. Pantry pests can reproduce quickly to take over your kitchen, and what may initially seem like a small problem can quickly turn in to an infestation. To learn more about how to prevent merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths inside the home, watch thisvideo on keeping pests out of the kitchen.

Boxelder Bug image

It’s Fall, and Boxelder Bugs Want In

Nov 25, 2014, 9:14 AM ET

 

Batten down the hatches. It’s that time of year when boxelder bugs are snooping around looking for a winter home. Your home and mine, that is.

You know these bugs. They are about a half-inch long and charcoal gray, with three red stripes on their thorax and red veins on their wings. Viewed objectively, they might be pretty as individuals or clustered on the south wall of your home some warm fall or winter day. But viewed subjectively? Yuck.

Boxelder bugs are “true bugs.” That is, they are in the insect order known as Hemiptera, commonly known as true bugs, a group to which flies, bees, mosquitoes and aphids do not belong. Some identifying characteristics of true bugs are two sets of wings, the rear ones shorter than the front ones, wings at rest held flat on their backs, sucking mouthparts and a beak at the front of the head.

Another characteristic of many true bugs is their scent, which is bad. As a gardener you may have experienced this scent from another true bug, the squash bug. Stink bugs also are true bugs. Boxelder bugs are actually among the scentless true bugs.

ALL THEY WANT IS SOMEWHERE COZY

In their search for a cozy, dry spot in which to spend the winter, boxelder females will sneak into cracks in a home’s foundation and around windows and doors, even gaps beneath siding. From there, some might accidentally find their way inside.

Come spring, the females will be out and about, eager to lay eggs. The eggs hatch into bright red nymphs who resemble their mothers, except they have small or no wings. The nymphs go through a series of molts to reach adult size, each time shedding their old, undersize skeletons, climaxing in the emergence of the fully developed adult in July. Given enough time, the cycle from egg to adult might be completed again before winter sets in.

NO THREAT TO PLANTS

While the insects are growing, they are, of course, eating, and their food of choice is their namesake, boxelder. The tree, like the insect, is ubiquitous over much of the country.

The bugs will eat boxelder flowers, fruits, leaves and small twigs. They actually do little harm to boxelder trees, which many people consider little more than weeds ? weak-wooded trees with muddy yellow leaves in autumn.

If pressed by hunger, the bugs also will feed on ash trees, other maple species (boxelder is a species of maple) and fruit trees.

Boxelder bugs also do little harm if they get in your house. They might take an occasional taste of some houseplant, but they don’t eat clothing or food.

The worst that can be said of them is they’re a nuisance, perhaps enough so to warrant some human intervention. This does not mean dousing them with pesticide, although oil, insecticidal soap, and pyrethrum or rotenone are allegedly up to the task. Within walls, silica aerogels, such as Drione, kill the bugs by absorbing their waxy coating and causing dehydration.

A better approach, besides just ignoring the bugs, is to avoid the problem in the first place. Prevent their entry by caulking openings in your home’s foundation and around windows and doors, and screen vents, such as the one from a clothes dryer. (All this has the added benefit of making your home more energy-efficient.)

Finally, cut down boxelder trees near your home, especially the female ones whose flowers are a particular delicacy to boxelder bugs. I cut down a large boxelder near the south side of my home and the boxelder bug problem is no more.

Not so for Asian multicolored lady beetles, which also seek shelter in fall and inadvertently wander indoors ? but that’s another story.

Chicago Street Sign

Pest Company Says Chicago Has Most Rats of Any City

PestWeb by Univar

Keep an eye out, Chicago.

The Windy City was the most rat-infested city in the country in 2013, according to pest-control company Orkin. The company based its rankings on the number of rat-eradication service requests it received in specific cities. It says cities, in general, can be great homes for rodents because they can thrive with help from human infrastructure — specifically by eating garbage and taking shelter in  buildings.

From a press release that announced Orkin’s rankings:

Fall is a prime time for commensal rodents to actively seek food, water and shelter when temperatures drop and before the winter weather arrives. Each fall, rats and mice invade an estimated 21 million American homes. It only takes a hole the size of a quarter for a rat to squeeze inside, and a hole the size of a dime for mice. Rodents are also known to chew around holes to make them larger, after which they can slip into homes. It is not uncommon for homeowners and businesses to begin spotting rodents beginning in October.

Orkin reminds city-dwellers that besides being gross and annoying, too many rats in an area can also be a health issue. They can carry and spread respiratory and neurological diseases and are the hosts for several types of insects that can carry and spread even more diseases. Plus, they can trigger allergic reactions. Pregnant women and children are at particular risk.

Five of the most infested cities:

1. Chicago

2. Los Angeles

3. Washington, D.C.

4. New York

5. San Francisco

See the five cities that round out the top 10 most-rat-infested cities in the U.S. at Reboot Illinois.

The City of Chicago website says the Chicago species of rat is called the Norway rat-but the species originated in Asia.

The rat has an average life span of six to twelve months. Beginning at the age of two to three months, a female rat can produce four to seven litters per year with each litter containing eight to twelve pups. Females can become impregnated within 48 hours after giving birth. The number, size and survivability of litters produced depends upon the amount of food and shelter available.

They prefer fresh food, but will eat many things such as pet food, dog feces, garbage and plants. If food is scarce, the strongest rats may even eat the weakest and young.

Norway rats prefer to live in burrows in the ground. They are excellent climbers and swimmers and most active at night. They have very hard teeth and can chew through wood and plaster or any other material that is softer than their teeth. They can crawl through holes the size of a quarter, tread water for three days and land unharmed after a five-story fall.

Norway rats live in colonies that have very well defined territories. The strongest colonies get the best places to live.

A rat in an alleyway may be creepy, but a rat in the home is downright icky. Orkin offered some advice about how to prevent and deal with these twitchy pests:

–Regularly inspect the home – inside and outside – for rodent droppings, rub marks or burrows.

–Seal all cracks and gaps around utility penetrations larger than 1/4 of an inch, as well as install weather stripping at the bottom of exterior doors.

–Trim overgrown branches, plants and bushes near the home, and consider keeping a 2-foot barrier between any landscaping and the home.

–Store all food (including pet food) and garbage properly in sealed containers both indoors and outdoors.

–Remove all pet bowls after animals are finished eating, and remove pet waste from the lawn promptly.

 Contact Global for assistance managing rodents, as these pests can be dangerous and difficult to control.

Chicago has also been named the top city for bedbug infestations for two years in a row and general pest infestations by Orkins, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. According to Crain’s, 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti in March suggested the city use a bait that sterilizes female rats as a way to control the animals.

 

Will water bags at this restaurant in San Miguel, Mexico really protect guests? 
Photo courtesy of John Wood

Restaurants Use Bags of Water to Keep the Flies Away

Restaurants swear that hanging water bags keep flies out of the food. Or do they??? Read on…

Can a bag of water keep flies away?

by  – HowStuffWorks.com

Perhaps you’ve visited a restaurant and seen clear, water-filled bags hanging on the doors or cinched up in the outdoor dining area. You might ask, “What’s all this about? Some crazy new way to control temperature? A scheme to save money on water pitchers?”

While any effect on temperature is purely accidental, these hanging bags are all about driving pests away. People hang these bags outside their homes, businesses and even in their barns to drive fliesaway.

Various takes on the water-bag practice exist. Some advocates insist the bag must have flakes of floating tin foil; others say a single penny. A couple of industrious Web sites even offer commercial takes on the concept, selling specially designed water bags to be used as repellents.

Flies spend much of their time buzzing around such germ havens as dumpsters, carcasses and animal droppings. Then, loaded down with germs, these flies swarm around your chicken sandwich — it’s only natural that you’d want to keep them away. After all, flies aren’t just annoying, they carry diseases.

But how can a bag of water help? Does it even work? Experts and amateurs alike are split on the question. Here, we’ll examine both sides of the issue.

Why Flies and Water Bags Just Can’t Get Along

The common housefly boasts an incredible array of eyes which allow it to see in almost every direction. ©iStockphoto.com/Tomasz Pietryszek

The common housefly boasts an incredible array of eyes which allow it to see in almost every direction.
©iStockphoto.com/Tomasz Pietryszek

The water bag method of flyrepellant has many supporters, from restaurant owners to backyard grill-masters. Many success stories ranging from the mild to the miraculous litter the Internet.

So how does the method drive flies away? Some insist the flies perceive the clear liquid as the surface of a body of water. Others claim the insect flies away at the sight of its own magnified reflection. But the most popular reasoning that pops up among entomologists and patent-filing entrepreneurs is simple light refraction.

Refraction takes place when a clear or opaque object, such as a piece of glass or a bag of water, alters the course and velocity of light. The rays of light, which normally travel in a straight line, bend. This effect is responsible for a number of optical illusions, such as mirages, that occasionally baffle humans as well. For more information on refraction, read How Light Works.

In theory, refraction can be just as confusing for some species of insect, especially the housefly. It boasts a highly sensitive array of eyes which allow it to see in multiple directions at once.

The insect’s head mostly consists of a pair of large complex eyes, each of which is composed of 3,000 to 6,000 simple eyes. These eyes can’t move or focus on objects like human eyes, but they provide the fly with a mosaic view of the world around them. Each simple eye provides one small piece of the puzzle, much like the way a screen’s pixel delivers one detail of the larger picture.

A housefly bases its sense of direction on the direction sunlight comes from. Some entomologists believe that when these complex, sensitive eyes experience refracted light, the insect becomes confused and flies away.

While some supporters claim water bags keep all kinds of flying insects away, most report success with complex-eyed insects, like houseflies.

Not convinced? You’re not alone. Read the next page to explore some of the doubts about optical fly repellent.

Debunking the Water Bag Myth

There are plenty of people who don’t think water bags can repel flies. Critics often classify this theory in the realm of old wives’ tales and modern superstition. They chalk success stories up to confusion between correlation and causation.

Imagine a traveling salesman offers you an irresistible bargain: For only $19.95, he’ll give you a belt buckle that can prevent shark attacks. You wear it for a week and, sure enough, no shark bites. Does this mean the magic belt buckle works? Is there an actual correlation between wearing the belt buckle and avoiding sharks? Is one the cause of the other? To properly measure this, you’d have to consider how often sharks attacked you prior to wearing the buckle, and the various other reasons sharks may be leaving you alone.

If all the factors are not taken into account, hanging water bags used to repel flies may seem to work due to the placebo effect. In medical terms, this is when people who think they’re being treated for a condition feel better, even if that treatment treats nothing at all. The same effect could occur for people who think they are treating a pest problem.

But what if the situation is even worse? What if the placebo actually increases the problem being treated? When Mike Stringham, professor of entomology at North Carolina State University, investigated the use of clear plastic water bags as a fly deterrent, he encountered just such a situation.

Stringham conducted a 13-week field trial by installing commercial, water-based optical fly repellants on two egg farms. Stringham measured the fly activity based on the spots of regurgitated material the flies left after feeding. He concluded that areas equipped with water bags actually experienced higher levels of housefly activity.

However, the study was not conducted under natural lighting conditions. Its purpose was to determine whether the water bags could be used to decrease fly populations on egg farms. The study didn’t explore the possibility that direct sunlight increased the water bags’ efficiency.

So do bags of water lower the number of houseflies around homes and restaurants? There are reasonable explanations that argue yes and significant evidence that proves no. Regardless, you can still find water bags hanging near restaurant patios and backyard porches across the globe.

 

open door

Lurking in Your Chutes: What you don’t know CAN hurt you

Servicing trash chutes is key, especially when you consider tenants disposing of their trash improperly, in torn or leaking bags, or none at all. In light of this, it’s hard to believe that proper trash chute hygiene and maintenance is often overlooked until there is a violation or a blockage.

In the heat of summer, the breeding environment in compactors and chutes is particularly suitable for pests to flourish. Sludgy chutes are breeding grounds for bacteria and a major source of nourishment for roaches and rodents who carry their own diseases and germs. Anyone unfortunate enough to cut themselves on a trash chute door, or to touch a door with an open wound on their hand, can end up with a dangerous infection.

Additionally, these unkempt chutes are highly combustible because they contain grease. A small trash room fire can turn into a major conflagration, leaving residents homeless, if not hurt. The chute acts like a chimney, sucking flames and smoke upwards. Trash chute doors that don’t self-close and self-latch allow the fire and smoke to escape into the corridors of the building, spreading the danger.

Don’t wait another day – call us now to find out how our chute cleaning services can give you peace of mind.

We service your chutes with a customized blend of detergents and enzymes to ensure long-lasting disintegration of organic material. Our dusting method protects from pests and our exclusive disinfectant withstands odors long after treatment. Our refuse and linen chute doors are fabricated entirely of 304 stainless steel, a locking T-Handle and rubber baffles for refuse doors. All makes and models installed, repaired and maintained.