Posts Tagged ‘Exterminators’

Crazy Ants Counteract Fire Ant Venom With Chemistry

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Crazy Ants Counteract Fire Ant Venom With Chemistry

Bug Busters USA encourages public awareness about insects of foreign origin

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Invasive Species a Hindrance During Summer Months

Bug Busters USA encourages public awareness about insects of foreign origin

Invasive species, or insects of foreign origin, can cause major issues for American homeowners during the summer months. Bug Busters USA a pest management company servicing the Southeast, urges vigilance against invasive species including red imported fire ants (RIFAs), Asian tiger mosquitoes, brown marmorated stink bugs and Formosan termites as the weather continues to warm.

Most people are aware of the risks posed by common summer pests like ticks, mosquitoes and bees. However, invasive species can also cause property damage and, in some cases, injury to humans.

We encourage homeowners to also be on the lookout for the following invasive species this summer:

Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – RIFAs were brought to the United States in 1930 from South America and are mainly found in the southern region of the country. When disturbed, they are known to swarm and sting humans, often causing painful welts on the skin.

Asian Tiger Mosquito – Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito is now found throughout the eastern, Midwestern and southern states. This mosquito species can cause an irritable bite and spread several diseases, including Dengue fever, West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Likely introduced from Eastern Asia, stink bugs are most prevalent in the northeast. While stink bugs don’t pose any health threats, they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.

Formosan Termite – Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite species. They are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, posing a serious structural threat to a property if left untreated.

Due to the health and property risks posed by invasive species, homeowners should frequently inspect the home for signs of an infestation and contact a licensed pest professional to treat any potential pest problems.

How to Avoid an Insect Sting

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Preventing the Sting

The best way to avoid the sting is to avoid attracting stinging insects in the first place.

  • Trim vegetation near your home, as thick vegetation may provide nesting places for wasps and bees. Yellowjackets and wasps often nest in ground under porches. If you, or a family member, are allergic to bee stings, it’s best to keep flowering plants to a minimum on the property.
  • Overseed grassy areas to get better coverage, as this will deter ground-nesting insects.
  • Keep garbage in sealed receptacles and thoroughly rinse soda cans and other containers before placing them in recycling or garbage receptacles.
  • Do not leave sweet drinks or meats in accessible areas and serve drinks in clear cups so you can easily spot an insect before you sip. Keep food covered in outdoor areas and be sure to remove food and trash after picnics and outdoor events.
  • Note that DEET and other insect repellents are not effective against bees, wasps and hornets.
  • Do not swat at stinging insects as it may provoke them. Instead gently blow on it from a distance.
  • If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat. Do not try to do it yourself.

Brown Window, Golden Silk Spiders Creep Northward in Alabama

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

AL.com: Brown Window, Golden Silk Spiders Creep Northward in Alabama

Two spiders whose habitats used to be only in the tropics or coastal regions of the southern United States have made a move into central Alabama and northward.

One is the venomous cousin of the black widow, the brown widow.

The other is the eye-catching golden silk orbweaver, or banana spider.

A class from Samford University found a golden silk spider last week at Oak Mountain State Park, said Kristin Bakkegard, a biology and environmental sciences professor. Others have been found previously in the area and as far north as Florence, she said.

“It’s closest relatives are generally tropical, South America, Africa, Australia — this is the only member of this group in North America, she said. “It has traditionally been around the coastline. In Texas and Florida, it is relatively common down there, but not here.”

The golden silk orbweaver finds suggest climate change may be pushing the spider’s range northward, and the spider “may be a model species to track climate change,” Bakkegard asserted in a 2012 paper published in Southeastern Naturalist.

The brown widow, too, is believed to have originated in the tropics, but Mike Howell, a retired Samford professor and spider expert, found one in 2009 in the Altadena area of suburban Birmingham. At that point it was rare to even find them in the southern region of the state, said Howell, who co-authored “Spiders of the Eastern United States: A Photographic Guide” with Samford colleague Ronald Jenkins, now deceased.

“When we found it we hypothesized it came up with a load of furniture from Florida or somewhere,” Howell said. “Florida, California, has a lot of these guys.”

But then they found one on Red Mountain north of Homewood, then one in Vestavia Hills.

“The one we found in Vestavia had seven egg sacs which very likely would be several hundred spiders” when hatched, he said.

Finds in Pinson convinced him. The brown widow is here.

The brown widow has distinct egg sacs, which are white and round with little spikes coming off them “like World War II landmines in the ocean,” Howell said.

Like the black widow, the brown widow has a distinct hourglass on its belly, but it tends to be yellow or orange, not red. Also like the black widow, the brown widow’s bite contains a neurotoxin, but by most accounts the spider’s bite isn’t as serious as the black widow’s.

A Florida extension service website, in partnership with the University of Florida, said the venom of the brown widow is actually more potent than the black widow, but the spider doesn’t inject as much of it, so its effects are less severe.

Ann Slattery, supervisor of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama hospital, said while have received calls over the years regarding black widow and brown recluse bites, she doesn’t know of someone specifically referencing a brown widow. But the protocol for treatment would be the same, she said.

As for the golden silk orbweaver, it certainly is no threat to anything unless you are a fly or a mosquito.

“They are impressive beautiful animals,” Bakkegard said. “I hope people will leave them alone and let them do their thing.”

Not only do they eat bug pests, but the spiders also serve as food to birds and wasps, she said.

“And hummingbirds use spider webs to make their nests,” she said.

How to guard against termites:

Monday, August 26th, 2013

How to guard against termites:

  • Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes and rotting wood.
  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  • 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 check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
  • Divert water away from the home through properly functioning downspouts and gutters.

Termite Control

Invasive Pests

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, encourage homeowners to also be on the lookout for the following invasive species:

Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – RIFAs were brought to the United States in 1930 from South America and are mainly found in the southern region of the country. When disturbed, they are known to swarm and sting humans, often causing painful welts on the skin.

Asian Tiger Mosquito – Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito is now found throughout the eastern, Midwestern and southern states. This mosquito species can cause an irritable bite and spread several diseases, including Dengue fever, West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Likely introduced from Eastern Asia, stink bugs are most prevalent in the northeast. While stink bugs don’t pose any health threats, they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.

Formosan Termite – Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite species. They are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, posing a serious structural threat to a property if left untreated.

Due to the health and property risks posed by invasive species, homeowners should frequently inspect the home for signs of an infestation and contact a licensed pest professional to treat any potential pest problems.

For more information on invasive pests, please visit www.bugbustersusa.com

Bedbug Questions and Answers

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

What do bedbugs look like?

They are brown, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and look like an apple seed or a lentil.

Has there really been a resurgence in bedbugs in the U.S. and how do you know?

There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations.  Pest control companies who received 1 or 2 bedbug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week.  According to 2010 research conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 95% of pest control companies report encountering a bed bug infestation in the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25% of pest control companies surveyed had encountered a bed bug infestation.

In addition, another survey by NPMA found that one in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.

Where have you been finding the bedbugs?

These pests are not limited to any one specific type of environment.  Pest control companies have been reporting infestations in both single and multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories, public transportation, laundry facilities and even movie theaters.

What states have been affected?

Pest control companies have reported bed bug activity on a national scale.  Bedbugs are being found from the East to the West Coast; and everywhere in between. Every state has reported bedbug infestations.

Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?

Bedbugs should NOT be equated with filth or sanitation problems — in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are VERY elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed, and they are hardy.  They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bedbugs CAN be controlled with vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.

What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?

To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing.  If you think you may have a bedbug infestation, contact a pest control professional.  This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.  To find a pest control professional in your area you can visit pestworld.org.

Why are bedbugs an issue for hotels, visitors, and homeowners?

Bedbugs leave itchy, bloody welts on human skin.  Adult bedbugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control.  Once inside a hotel or home, bedbugs spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage.  In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests are may end up moving to another room.

Are bedbugs just in beds?

Bedbugs are not just in beds.  They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames.  In other words, they can live pretty much anywhere.

How does one control bedbugs?

Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring.  This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures.  As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.

Atlanta Exterminator

Monday, August 19th, 2013

More on spiders: http://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/s…
Spider bites can be painful, but a spider’s venom is the real concern.

Thankfully, most spiders don’t bite, and 98% are harmless.

Prevent Unwelcome Guests at Backyard BBQs

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Prevent Unwelcome Guests at Backyard BBQs

Bug Busters USA helps homeowners avoid pest-filled picnics

Weekends and holidays during the warm, summer months often draw people outside to have some fun in the sun at picnics and barbeques. However, these enjoyable times with family and friends can quickly become troublesome with the arrival of pesky party crashers, in the form of ants, flies and stinging insects. Bug Busters USA, a pest management company servicing the Southeast, cautions that these pests are more than just an annoyance and can be a health concern for partygoers.

Ants, flies, mosquitoes, wasps and other stinging insects are most active when the temperature is hot, so they are likely to show up at festivities without an invitation. Not only do these pests irritate guests, but they can also cause painful stings and transmit disease, which can put a real damper on summertime fun. Some people can suffer severe allergic reactions to insect stings and mosquitoes have the potential to transmit West Nile virus.

Here are some tips:

  • Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning a barbeque before sunset, plan on having plenty of insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET, picaridin or IR3535 available for you and your guests. Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites.
  • Ants and flies are attracted to barbeque fare, so take steps to keep food safe by using tightly sealed containers or coolers. Also, be sure to clean crumbs and spills from picnic tables immediately. Store all trash away from the party and always keep your garbage bins covered.
  • Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume, and candles, so avoid using these scented items beforehand.
  • Provide clear plastic cups for your guests as aluminum cans and plastic bottles are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
  • Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes. Once the guests have arrived, remind them to shut the door behind them in order to keep pests from entering your home.

For more information on summer pests and how to prevent them, please visit www.bugbustersusa.com

Commercial Pest Control services

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Pests are attracted to sources of food, water and shelter – three things that restaurants and commercial food facilities provide in spades. Without taking proper preventative steps, restaurants and food service facilities could see populations of rodents, flies, cockroaches, ants and more.

Many restaurants and food service facilities have already contracted with pest professionals to prevent infestations from occurring. A working partnership between facility managers and licensed, trained pest professionals is critical in controlling pest populations.

Licensed and professionally trained pest professionals are best suited to keep health and property-threatening pests in check. Today’s pest professionals have the training necessary to identify pest problems and recommend the most responsible and effective pest management methods available. But, restaurants and commercial food facilities should train their internal staff to work as partners with pest professionals.  While these locations may receive regular service from their contracted pest management firm, internal employees can take steps every day to help reduce pest populations.

Are there steps a restaurant or food service facility can take on their own to prevent/control pest populations?

  1. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of the facility including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  2. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
  3. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed.
  4. Inspect boxes, bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking pests.
  5. Don’t allow food to sit on counters or shelves in open containers.  All food and water sources should be kept sealed unless currently in use.
  6. Clean all food spills regularly.
  7. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  8. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
  9. Never store food on the floor.  Always lift it up on shelves so that rodents and insects do not have easy access.
  10. Comply will all regulations regarding pests in food service facilities.
  11. A licensed and qualified pest professional is your best resource to ensure these steps are completed properly.

Bug Busters USA recommends that restaurants and food service facilities implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program.  IPM is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for treating and controlling pests. These solutions incorporate three basic steps: 1) inspection, 2) identification and 3) treatment. Treatment options vary from sealing cracks and removing food and water sources to pesticide treatments when necessary.

What should a restaurant, food service facility or homeowner look for when hiring a pest professional?

  • Ask friends, neighbors and other reputable businesses to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
  • If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest control companies.
  • Don’t rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.
  • Buy value, not price. Beware of bargains that sound too good to be true.