Preventing Lyme Disease

July 24th, 2014

Prevention is Key!

During the summer months, it’s best to take precautions against ticks whenever outdoors, especially in areas known for tick populations.

  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses.
  • Wear light colored clothing, which makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Wear a bug spray containing at least 20% DEET when outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • When hiking, stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation.
  • Take steps to keep your own yard tick-free. Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris, which can attract ticks and other pests.
  • Inspect your pets for ticks on a routine basis. Just like humans, pets can contract Lyme disease from ticks.
  • Inspect yourself and your family members carefully for ticks after being outdoors.
  • If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, remove it with a slow, steady pull so as not to break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. Then, wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water. Ticks should be flushed down a toilet or wrapped in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of tick bites, such as a telltale red bull’s eye rash around a bite. If you suspect a tick has bitten you, seek medical attention.
  • Learn the symptoms of Lyme disease and consult with your doctor immediately if you believe you have contracted it.
  • If you find a tick in your home or suspect you have ticks on your property, contact a licensed pest professional who can inspect and recommend a course of action to reduce or eliminate ticks on your property.

Educational – Before You Buy

July 23rd, 2014

Educational – Before You Buy

Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist with the NPMA, shares some crucial advice for homebuyers about wood destroying insects and the damage they can cause to homes.

Is West Nile virus something that the average American should be concerned about?

July 22nd, 2014

Is West Nile virus something that the average American should be concerned about?

West Nile virus is a common concern among Americans – and rightfully so. West Nile virus has continued to spread across the country since the first reported incidence in 1999. The worst year for the mosquito-borne disease was 2002, which saw nearly 3,000 severe cases and 284 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, experts are predicting that the outbreak in 2012 might become the deadliest ever. As of September 18, there have been 3,142 cases and 134 deaths reported to the CDC this year. Texas has remained the epicenter, accounting for forty percent of the nation’s West Nile virus cases.

Stink Bug Chemical Language Decoded By Scientists

July 21st, 2014

Stink Bug Chemical Language Decoded By Scientists

The discovery may have agricultural applications right away

The pheromones of the brown marmorated stink bug, scientifically known as Halyomorpha halys, have been decoded by scientists according to a new report. Research on the insects has found that they use their distinctive pheromones in order to attract other members of the species to various locations in order to point out areas with food and other useful resources.

The research, which was led by Ashot Khrimian, of the Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory in Beltsville, shows that adult males of the stink bug species use two different chemicals in order to lure other stink bugs to various locations. The scientists recreated the chemicals in a laboratory and used them as lures in order to prove their efficacy.

Research decodes insect language

Many insects communicate by the use of chemicals called pheromones. The Stink Bug is native to Asia, but became an invasive species in the United States in the last fifteen years. The first example of the insect found in the mainland United States was found in Pennsylvania in 2001. The insect is now known to inhabit more than 40 states, and causes millions in damage to the apple industry every year.

The researchers carried out their research by collecting airborne samples of the insect pheromone. Laboratory testing and experimentation led to the development of a method of synthesizing the chemicals which are apparently three times more effective when combined.

The research was, in part, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, appeared in a paper in the Journal of Natural Products. It involved researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology in Taipei, Taiwan as well as from the Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory. Alongside Ashot Khrimian the other authors include ARS researchers Shyam Shirali, Don Weber, Filadelfo Guzman, Tracy C. Leskey, Jeffrey Aldrich Aijun Zhang, and Karl E. Vermillion,

Stink bugs cause problems for farmers

The research may have applications right away for some farmers. Stink bugs are a known pest in agriculture and the insects have been known to eat everything from fruit and vegetables to grains. The stink bug is specifically regarded as a pest in the apple industry, and that may be one of the first places that the artificial pheromones discovered by the scientists could be used.

Right now most of the effort to control insect subversion of the food industry revolves around the use of pesticides. Those chemicals have, for many years, met resistance because of their possible contribution to human diseases. The use of insect pheromones to draw animals away from the crop, rather than killing them when they get to it, may be a more efficient way to control pests, and it’s likely better for the environment and the human food supply.

There is no information on when the synthetic pheromone might be available to be used commercially, but it may be years as the chemicals go through testing to ensure that they are safe to use in agriculture.

Atlanta Pest Control Company Reviews | Angie’s List

July 18th, 2014

Please write Bug Busters USA a review on Angie’s List!

Please write us a review on Angie’s List if you would recommend our company to friends and family.(Click Here) 

 

Atlanta Pest Control

Sting Bug FAQ’s

July 17th, 2014

What are stink bugs?

Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Why are they called stink bugs?

Stink bugs get their name from the odor they emit as a defense against predators, including birds, spiders and assassin bugs. When handled or disturbed, stink bugs are able to secrete a bad-smelling fluid from pores on the sides of their bodies.

Are stink bugs more prevalent during a specific season?

Adult stink bugs enter homes and other structures in the late fall to seek shelter from the winter weather, often from mid-September through mid-October. They reemerge from overwintering sites in early spring and try to exit, but sometimes enter living spaces instead.

Why are stink bugs problematic?

Stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be increasingly harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops.

Do stink bugs pose a threat to human health?

Stink bugs are not known to bite humans, but their tendency to invade homes in high numbers makes them a difficult pest to control once inside.

What can homeowners do to prevent an infestation?

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
  • Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum because stink bugs are drawn to light. Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
  • Repair damaged window screens. Don’t forget to check for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar.
  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Also, install screens over chimney and crawlspace vents.
  • A licensed pest professional can pre-treat homes for stink bugs in the late summer or early fall just prior to their full maturation and congregation.

How can a homeowner get rid of stink bugs once they are inside their home?

  • If stink bugs have already entered a home or building, use a vacuum cleaner to aid in their removal
    • Remove the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area, as dead stink bugs leave a residue inside the bag that can stink up your home.
    • Seal contents from the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.
  • If an infestation has developed inside the home or building, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem and help to identify the access points for these invasive species.

Tick Control Experts

July 16th, 2014

Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), recommend the following tips to reduce the chance of being bitten by a tick this summer:

  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Wear a bug spray containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or IR3535 when outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • When hiking, stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation.
  • Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris, which can attract ticks and other pests.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of tick bites, such as a telltale red bull’s eye rash around a bite.
  • Learn the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, and consult with your doctor immediately if you believe you have contracted it.
  • If you find a tick in your home or suspect you have ticks on your property, contact a licensed pest professional who can inspect and recommend a course of action to combat the pest.

Studying bugs on a body can help solve murders, students in Hunterdon learn

July 15th, 2014

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.

QR_CODE_FACEBOOK_634469218399790224-260x300

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

What is the best way to neutralize bee or wasp stings?

July 14th, 2014

What is the best way to neutralize bee or wasp stings?

The stinger should be removed as quickly as possible without regard to method. This may not neutralize the venom, but it may help to minimize the amount of venom that is injected into the tissues

Atlanta Pest Control

There is a plethora of traditional home remedies that have been suggested for bee stings including damp pastes of tobacco, salt, baking soda, papain, toothpaste, clay, garlic, window cleaner, onions, aspirin or even copper coins taped over the bee sting. There is little concrete evidence to support the use of these remedies. The truth is that neutralizing a sting is unlikely because the venom is injected under the skin and into the tissue, where anything that is topically applied will not readily penetrate.

Download The Pest Detectives for your Kid(s)

July 11th, 2014

Download “The Pest Detectives,” a free children’s eBook that teaches children about bugs, entomology and the pest management profession.