A recent shift has been made toward LED bulbs in everyday use. The bulbs, which emit blue wavelength light, consume 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours for filament bulbs. They also “burn” at a cooler temperatures.
Sure, the bulbs are more environmentally efficient, lessening energy consumption and overall waste, but it can ALSO play a role in making your home significantly MORE attractive to pests… especially if your LEDs are positioned outside.
If pests are influenced to gravitate toward a home due to lighting, it becomes more likely that they will seek to get inside in their search for additional food… through cracks, gaps, and doorways or windows that are not sealed properly.
It’s obvious that insects are attracted to most sources of light… just walk down the street on a warm evening.
In addition to being attracted to white and yellow spectrum lights, they are strongly attracted to the LED wavelength of light, according to a New Zealand study… in the study, they compared insect activity near LED lights vs sodium-vapor lightbulbs. Sodium vapor is often used for streetlights in place of LEDs). The LEDs had a 48 percent INCREASE in bug activity over the sodium-vapor lights.
This increase in activity could contribute to various insects (such as the gypsy moth and other nighttime insects) to change their migration / behavior patterns due to their affinity for the blue-spectrum light. Experts believe it could even go as far as enticing the insect to change patterns and end up in the jaws of a predator.
The cause of this “fatal attraction” seems to be genetic. Insects have specific photoreceptors for blue lightwaves, according to Scion, the company which performed the study.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use lights such as LED lights. Experts suggest that you make sure you select lights that emit a spectrum that does not increase pest attraction. Research shows that LED light emissions less than 550 nanometers may be more attractive to pests than those with higher wavelengths. Basically, this means that any LEDs without ultraviolet in their spectrum should be “safer” for use than regular LEDs.
Whether you choose to stay with traditional bulbs, or decide to make the switch to LEDs, be sure to do some research beforehand… what you learn could help you avoid bug problems in the future!
Everyone is gearing up for the holiday season, planning trips and booking tickets… but despite the jovial spirit of the season, a mood-killer lurks in the shadows: bed bugs!
Bed bugs don’t just “go away” for the winter. They like to find a nice warm, cozy spot and settle in… and a prime place for this to happen is in hotel rooms! Unfortunately, bed bugs can strike ANYWHERE… a 1-star motel in a rural area, or even 4 star accommodations in the ritziest parts of the city.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 EASY things you can do to make sure bed bugs don’t ruin your holiday experience:
1) Research it!
Most of us usually do a little research before booking our hotels and flights, to make sure that we’re getting the most out of our time holiday time and hard-earned money. Paying special attention to reviews COULD alert you to potential issues or a history of bed bug infestation… but you should also take reviews with a grain of salt. Sometimes negative reviews can be the result of a disgruntled employee or a patron who may be exaggerating to draw negative attention.
Once you’ve gotten your dream vacation (or your “pit-stop” on the way TO your dream vacation) booked, however, there are additional things you can do to ensure the only “extras” you bring back are presents from Grandpa and Grandma.
2) Store it!
As soon as walking through the door to your hotel room for the first time, you should immediately store your belongings in the bathroom. Don’t worry, it’s not a long term thing! Bed bugs are less likely to make a home out of the bathroom, which will keep your luggage safe from infestation until you’ve determined that the room is clear.
Check the bed by pulling back the linens, looking around and under the mattress and behind the headboard. Bedbugs are similar to the size (and shape!) of an apple seed. You may find them in the bedding, or you may find little black dots that look sort of like peppercorn. If so, alert hotel staff immediately.
Bed bugs will stay close to the bed for the most part, but can be found in chairs, curtains, and the closet, so be sure to check those areas as well!
3) Elevate it!
Once you’ve determined that there aren’t any bed bugs in the room, the trick then becomes prevention, which is relatively easy. If possible, keep your bags on the desktop, on top of the dresser, or on a luggage rack… but definitely OFF the floor! That way, any bed bugs which are scouting for a new place to settle down won’t have easy access to your stuff!
4) Wrap it!
For extra protection, purchase a zip-up plastic bag (most luggage retailers carry these nowadays as protection in the midst of travel) and keep your luggage wrapped when not in use. Some airports will wrap your luggage for you (for a fee), and a cheaper alternative (but a less viable “long term” solution) is to use garbage bags to wrap your luggage.
Added bonus: the plastic can also protect your luggage from rain / moisture.
5) Wash it!
When you return home from vacation, wash everything in hot water. That includes the stuff that didn’t get used or worn.
If a bedbug does manage to get into your luggage, it won’t be able to survive the heat from washing. Sending items to the dry cleaners will have the same effect as washing.
Of course, be sure to inspect your baggage/suitcase before you put it away. Vacuum out the nooks and crannies and (if possible) wrap it in plastic until you need it again.
So there you have it! 5 easy tips to avoid bed bugs this holiday season. Nevertheless, bugs can be persistent and if you DO end up plagued by those bothersome bed bugs, we’ll be there to protect your home and loved ones!
Do you have any other travel tips to share? Let us know in the comments section or tag us with the hashtag #PPPC
Safe travels and Happy Holidays!
Bugs aren’t something that most people want in the house… yet if you have kids, it seems like they’re EVERYWHERE! And we’re not just talking about the bugs that come around because of ice cream your son or daughter dropped on the brand new rug… we’re talking about bugs popping up in TV cartoons, as toys, and even on DVDs…
So for this post, we decided to list the top ten cartoon bugs… Sorry, no bunnies allowed.
10 The Caterpillar – Alice in Wonderland
Though not very verbose, the Caterpillar is one of the most recognized supporting characters in Alice in Wonderland. Originally short, a bit rude, and aloof, he eventually turns into a butterfly… although an angry one.
Why he’s number 10:
The Caterpillar showed the potential for change… but didn’t take advantage of it, keeping his distant attitude even AFTER changing into a beautiful butterfly.
9 -Bert the Caterpillar – Sesame Street
Our second caterpillar on the list (already?!?!) comes courtesy of Sesame Street’s Butterfly Pageant. Bert gets corralled by Ernie to act out the life cycle of a butterfly. As usual, Bert is his less-than-enthused self. Bet Ernie makes the most of Bert’s participation in this musical rendition.
Why he’s number nine:
Bert CLEARLY does not want to be involved in the pageant, and doesn’t play the role of a team player well AT ALL. Had he shown a little more enthusiasm, we probably would have put him higher on the list!
8 Zorak – Space Ghost / The Brak Show
Zorak originally appeared in an animated series by Hanna Barbera, Space Ghost and Dino Boy in 1966. Originally, Zorack was one of Space Ghost’s most fearsome enemies, but Cartoon Network revamped him decades later as a comic foil to Space Ghost in a late night talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and then again revamped him as a “best-bud” to a fellow Space Ghost villain, Brak, in The Brak Show.
Why he’s number eight:
Grumpy doesn’t go over well, just ask Bert and the Caterpillar! Zorak edges out Bert because of his sarcastic sense of humor and his willingness to go along with a plan, but falls flat because of his attitude problem.
7) The Cockroaches – Oggy and the Cockroaches
In this French cartoon, Oggy the cat is constantly vexed by three roaches: Joey, Marky, and Dee Dee. The three troublemakers cause unbelievable amounts of mayhem for poor Oggy, often interrupting his attempts to have a peaceful dinner, swim, or venture into small business.
Why they’re number 7:
These little guys are as resilient as their predecessor, Jerry the Mouse… though they often up the antics to the extreme, often sabatoging their own plans in the process.
6 Zipper – Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers
A close friend to Monterey Jack, Zipper is the only Rescue Ranger who doesn’t really speak… but in most cases, he doesn’t need to.
Why he’s number 6:
He’s small in size, but has a huge heart… and a huge temper, which has caused a headache or two for his Rescue Ranger teammates in the past. It even led to Monterey Jack losing his home in the first episode they appeared in.
5 Baxter Stockman – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Baxter Stockman was a misguided inventor who tried to sell his Mousers to the Ajax Pest Control company. The company threw him out of the building, saying that the machines were TOO efficient and would put them out of business. The Shredder approached him shortly afterward and offered him a job to build evil constructs to get rid of the Ninja Turtles. Hey Stockman! Forget the evil thing… we’re ALWAYS looking for advancements in pest control technology!
Why he’s number 5:
Stockman is the epitome of scientific genius, creating his “mousers” in an effort to eliminate rats…. Now if only he’d use that genius intellect for good!
4 The Tick – The Tick
Baxter Stockman may have used his brains for bad, but The Tick uses his Brawn for Benevolence! Though we don’t always get his allusions, or metaphors, or… well, pretty much anything that he rambles on about, he’s got a heart of gold and a penchant for the dramatic!
Why he’s number 4:
Whether battling the uncommon cold, or going prehistoric on Dinosaur Neal, The Tick only has one modus oprandi: Justice!
3 Flik – A Bug’s Life
Flik is the zero-turned-hero in Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life.” Seen as a social outcast, Flik manages to screw up everything he’s involved in, which quickly leads his colony to enact a strict “Flik-can’t-touch-ANYTHING” policy. He’s eventually sent to recruit help to fend off grasshoppers that have been terrorizing the colony, but returns with circus performers instead.
Why he’s number 3:
Sure, Flik is clumsy, but he’s likeable… and he has big ideas and even bigger dreams. We can definitely see why the Princess fell for him! Plus with some quick thinking (and some help from a giant bird), he’s able to save the colony from any more grasshopper attacks!
2 Atom Ant – The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show
Co-star of The Atom Ant/ Secret Squirrel Show, Atom Ant was THE pinnacle of modern luxury… his anthill had a mainframe computer, exercise equipment, and other state of the art items. But don’t worry, he didn’t let these great resources go to waste… Atom Ant often fought the likes of Ferocious Flea and Professor Von Gimmick.
Why he’s number 2:
Possessing flight, superspeed, and superstrength, Atom Ant was the miniature version of Batman, assisting the police department whenever needed… no case was too small!!
1 Jiminy Cricket – Pinocchio
Jiminy is Pinocchio’s right hand ma— errr, bug. The Blue Fairy appointed this comical umbrella-toting, top-hat-wearing hopper to be Pinocchio’s guide, and to act as his conscience.
Why he’s number 1:
Selfless, courageous, and even a little daring, it’s nice to know Jiminy has always got your back… and he’s a pretty good singer, too.
So there you have it, our Top Ten Cartoon Bugs. There are many MANY more… Especially in the “golden age” of cartooning. So what do you think? Should we have included some different characters? Which ones are your favorites and why?
Gobbling on grubs and scarfing down scarabs for Thanksgiving?!?
Just double-checked… “How to make bug-filled Thanksgiving dishes” was NOT in our recipe books.
Gizmag posted an article about entomophagy (eating insects), stating that 80 countries have some form of insect consumption in their diet. A London company even gave away free insect-inclusive items as part of a publicity stunt.
Sure, we’re aware that some cultures have included insects as part of their menu…
Street vendors in Asia, Africa, and the Americas have been offering meal(worms) to go for years but it looks like the bug craze — which is still a very foreign concept in the US — is hitting a little “closer to home” as of late… and no, we’re not talking about Bear Grylls’ latest survival/reality show…
Although we’re BIG supporters of keeping bugs off our kitchen tables — especially during the holidays when family is over— our interest was piqued by a rather “buggy” Thanksgiving meal being offered up this year in the Audubon Insectarium‘s “Bug Appetit” kitchen in New Orleans.
Some items on the Thanksgiving-themed menu include “turkey with cornbread and mealworm stuffing,” “wax worm cranberry sauce” and “pumpkin pie with a crispy cricket topping.”
The Insectarium is known for its exhibits housing THOUSANDS of live bugs (our tech’s hearts just skipped a beat), and in addition to their seasonal offerings, they have “year-round” insect cuisine available, such as chocolate “chirp” cookies and “six legged salsa” using crickets as an ingredient.
This isn’t the first year the Insectarium has offered this type of holiday fare, either… they’ve made their own tradition of it!
Hope they don’t mind, but we’ll stick to our bug-free dishes and traditions this year!
What about you? Have you ever had a buggy dish? Would you be adventurous enough to try a turkey dinner that’s a little more “exotic?” What dishes/traditions are you looking forward to as Thanksgiving approaches?
bed bugs, Featured, General Pest Control, News, Pest Control, Property Managers, Realtors, Uncategorized
The Smithsonian recently reported that current studies indicate that bed bugs could be significantly more hazardous to our health than we thought!
Sure, nobody like having bugs as bunkmates. They come in uninvited, eating whatever they want and generally making an unsightly mess. Not to mention the biting, itching, and scratching that goes on when pests are involved… but now—to add to those sleepless nights— research indicates that bed bugs in the US could become a carrier for Trypanosoma cruzi… the parasite which causes Chagas disease.
Chagas disease is a disease that can result in heart failure and, ultimately, death. In the early stage, symptoms are typically either not present or mild and may include: fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, or local swelling at the site of the bite. After 8–12 weeks, individuals enter the chronic phase of disease and in 60–70% of individuals, it never produces further symptoms. The other 30 to 40% of people, however, develop further symptoms long term, such as enlargement of the ventricles of the heart. 20 to 30% of theses cases end up leading to heart failure.
Early treatments for Chagas are effective at curing the disease, but often have side effects, and the longer an individual goes undiagnosed or untreated, the less effective the treatment becomes. There is no vaccine currently available for preventative measures. The best method of prevention is to eliminate the threat of being bitten.
Although Chagas disease is typically attributed to Triatominae (also known as “kissing bugs”) in South American regions, researchers have found evidence of the Chagas virus in the US — 40% of “kissing bugs” captured by researchers in Louisiana were infected with the parasite. “Kissing bug” territory has been positively identified in half of the United States (see chart above). Studies indicate the T. cruzi parasite has ALSO taken up a comfortable residence in the digestive system of bed bugs, which are a close relative of the Triatominae.
How likely is the scenario of a wide scale infection? An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. are already positive for Chagas disease, and in addition to having kissing bugs AND bed bugs as carriers, the T. cruzi parasite can also live in pets who have been infected by those bugs. Any fecal matter left by these pets can potentially be contaminated. The disease can also be transmitted via blood transfusion / contact.
The CDC is already predicting that “kissing bugs” (the primary carriers for the disease) will expand their territory range as the national climate begins to warm, and bed bug activity has been on the rise in Los Angeles and surrounding areas since 2011.
ABC News reported in 2013 that Los Angeles and surrounding areas ranked 3rd in “Worst Bed Bug Infestations” based on bed bug services provided… the year before the city was ranked at number 5. This year, Los Angeles and surrounding areas rank at #2 and San Diego jumped up 6 spots on its own! Bed bug activity is on the rise, and shows no indication of slowing down… which compounds the risk of Chagas infection.
Which is a prime reason to get started on bug and pest prevention now!
Contact us to find out about our pest prevention services today.
Think your city might be infested? Check out the map below to see the 50 spots that have had the largest occurrences of bed bug infestations in 2013. Click on the dot to see the latest ranking and the previous year’s ranking.
For reference, these are this year’s top 50 U.S. cities, ranked in order of the frequency of bedbug treatments, and their ranking compared to last year:
2) Los Angeles (+1)
3) Columbus, Ohio (+3)
4) Detroit (-2)
6) Cleveland/Akron/Canton (+2)
7) Dayton (+4)
8) Washington D.C. (-1)
9) Denver (-5)
10) Indianapolis (+6)
11) Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+1)
12) Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+3)
13) Dallas/Ft. Worth (-4)
14) Syracuse, N.Y. (+7)
15) Atlanta (+14)
16) Houston (+2)
17) New York (-7)
18) Seattle/Tacoma (-5)
19) San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (-5)
20) Boston (+2)
21) Milwaukee (-2)
22) Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (+3)
23) Nashville (+17)
24) Pittsburgh (+12)
25) Charlotte (+18)
26) San Diego (+6)
27) Baltimore (-7)
28) Phoenix (+7)
29) Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (+4)
30) Charleston/Huntington, W. Va. (+1)
31) Knoxville, Tenn. (-4)
32) Louisville, Ky. (-2)
33) Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, Mich. (+5)
34) Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-8)
35) Champaign/Springfield, Ill. (+13)
36) Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, S.C. (+11)
37) Omaha, Neb. (-20)
38) Buffalo, N.Y. (-10)
39) Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (+2)
40) Lexington, Ky. (-16)
41) Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+4)
42) Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (-19)
43) Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-1)
44) Minneapolis/St. Paul (-10)
45) Honolulu (-8)
46) Toledo, Ohio
47) Peoria/Bloomington, Ill.
48) Davenport, Iowa/Moline, Ill.
49) New Orleans
50) Kansas City
In preparation of the warmer weather in spring, preventative measures should be taken for the expected influx of insect presence in homes. Common prevention techniques like keeping food resources off the counter, cleaning liquid spills promptly, storing sugar in a sealed container, or distributing insecticide granules on the lawn can be effective.
Depending on your geographical location and thoroughness to keep bugs out, your home may still be invaded by pests. Particularly, ants seem to slip through the cracks (literally) when it comes to preventative methods.
So how do ants continually find their way into your home? Well, understanding what attracts ants, how they travel to the attractant, and their means of communication during their journey, will be much helpful in effectively controlling an ant infestation. Then, you will be able to eliminate the source of the ant problem, instead of putting a temporary fix to the problem. First off…
Are You Guilty Of This…
And don’t do anything about it! Ants might not be the only problem you are facing if these scenarios aren’t cleaned up right away. While your situation might not be as explicit as these examples, it is necessary to clear any liquid or food (visible or not) in your home to effectively keep ants out.
While ants can sense food particles or syrupy drinks, they only eat anything that is not solid – they’re on the liquid diet. The narrow connection between their thorax and abdomen make it impossible for solids to pass. However, they will carry the bits of food back to feed the larvae. The larvae then regurgitate the digested nourishment which the worker ants will feed to the rest of the colony.
Their feeding habits are very communal and the reason why bait insecticides are so effective in controlling an entire ant colony.
What You Can Take From This To Control Ants: If one ant eats the bait, it will be shared with the rest. Distributing baits in ideal locations can be an effective strategy for eliminating an ant infestation.
How Do Ants Find Food
The initial discovery of food is a random hunt by worker ants that set out in opposite directions from the nest. While on their hunt, trail pheromones are put out as a navigational device to guide them back to the nest. As a result, the ant that finds food first will head back to the nest with its findings, again leaving a pheromone scent on its return route.
Eventually, the scent on the trail to food will become the strongest because it is heavily trafficked – with each ant leaving their pheromone mark. Workers that set out of different paths will eventually abandon theirs and follow the stronger scent. This will be the main pathway to food resources and is called the trunk route – used every day by ants.
In the series of images below, the light grey lines symbolize the pheromone trail left behind by each ant. The path that leads to the strawberry begins to darken (meaning a strong scent) as the ant reapplies more pheromones each time the route is traveled. The other ants pheromone trails will begin to fade (lighten on map) as they abort their search and join the trunk route to the food – also leaving behind more pheromones.
What You Can Take From This To Control Ants: There is not an arbitrary method that ants use to get to the food once it has been discovered. It is a systematic process that you can use to your advantage. Follow the trail from the food or liquid back to the nest for insecticide treatment at the source.
Common Travel Methods For Ants
The route to food and liquid resources is almost never a straight line. Instead, these tiny insects use structural guidelines to orient themselves during travel. There are four different types of guidelines they will follow: bilateral-elevated (rounded edge), bilateral-depressed (rounded grooves), unilateral-raised (sharp edge), and unilateral-depressed (inner corner).
Bilateral-elevated guidelines include round or curved outward objects like wire, tree branches, and hoses. Bilateral-depressed objects are groove-like such as cracks in sidewalks or walls or indentions in tree bark. Unilateral-raised are where two planes meet to form a corner like on a counter, sidewalk, brick, or board. Unilateral-depressed is anything that forms a right angle like baseboards or where the ground or ceiling joins at the wall.
In previous studies, ants use structural guidelines for more than 80% of their routes.
In the illustration below, the green, dashed path is the route of an ant from the entry point to the food source. A majority of the route follows a few of the structural guidelines mentioned above. Also in the below illustration, the route depicts a straight path, however; ants travel in wavelength form over the guideline. This allows them to orient the position of the guideline. The example above illustrates the side-to-side movement of ants along the path.
What You Can Take From This To Control Ants: Following an ant trail is not always a straight line from point A to point B. Understanding the navigation and traveling habits of this insect will enable you to accurately determine the entryway of the problem. Consider the different types of structural guidelines when tracking where ants are entering.
Putting Your Knowledge to Use
Now that you how ants find food, the routes they use to get to the food, and how they share the food with the rest, you can establish an effective control method to keep these critters out.
Start by cleaning any potential food sources from floors, counter tops, tables, pantry, and cabinets. If you spot an infestation, you will want to target the source. Follow the trail while keeping the trunk path and structural guidelines in mind for successful tracking. Once the origin of the problem is identified, use recommended insecticides to eliminate the problem.
Please leave any questions or comments regarding this guide in the comments below. Look forward to chatting with you!
Recent moviegoers have put a damper on ticket sales at three movie theaters after experiencing bites on their back, bottom, and thighs while catching a flick. The bite victims quickly blasted the news on social media sites causing the allegations of bed bug infestations in the cinema to spread quickly.
One of the three cinemas in downtown Toronto is hosting the Toronto International Film Festival next week so the news was not taken lightly. Thorough inspections were ordered immediately bringing an army of experienced technicians and dogs trained specifically to sight out these types of pests. The patrons claims were soon put to rest after no cases of bedbugs were found in the entire property.
The other two theaters in New York City have received an abundance of media coverage and guest inquiries about the recent tweets of their customers. The posts on Twitter were from theater guests that suffered from bed bug bites after watching a movie at these cinemas. These film venues have reported that a full investigation is underway.
Bed bug reports are on the rise this year and are not confined to just movie cinemas. Other sightings of bed bugs have been in hospitals, libraries, stores, apartment buildings and hotels.
Pro Pacific has solutions to your bed bug problems so the only fear you will experience will be from that creepy horror film. Call Pro Pacific today for a free inspection and quality service!
So there once was a cat always devising a master plan to capture a mouse that shares the home the cat lives in. The relentless cat repeatedly attempts to have the mouse for a meal but always comes up unsuccessful as his plans backfire causing him all sorts of injuries. You can find the cat in casts and crutches or having singed hair from his boomerang plans. Is this story starting to sound familiar? Of course it is, that clumsy cat and clever mouse are from “Tom and Jerry”, the cat and mouse cartoon classic. Although the show is a cartoon and far from reality, Tom portrays the perseverance we have to rid our homes of mice.
Jerry may be an adorable mouse on the show but rats and mice can do more harm than good to your homes and family. They can gnaw through boxed pantry items to consume for nourishment and contaminate your food and food-preparation surfaces with their excrement which carries the bacteria that causes food poisoning (salmonellosis). Rodents and the parasites that can live on them can easily spread diseases.
Rodents use our homes for shelter and food and can gain entry by an opening only ¼ inch wide. Plastic sheeting and screens, wood, drywall, and insulation are no match for a rat or mouse’s teeth to gnaw through and begin to make your home a mouse haven. Also, a mouse is capable of chewing through wiring which can pose as a serious fire hazard to your property.
Pro Pacific Pest Control can inspect your home and draw up a defensive plan to keep your home pest-free. Our plan is to identify any problem areas that may attract rodents to your home. Our techs will cover any opening that a rat can use to gain entry to your home with wire mesh and other materials that cannot be gnawed through. All the corners of doors, windows, and screens will be covered with metal to prevent the rodents from making a crevice.
In addition, the lawn is another area to target for rodent proofing. Piles of wood or brush can be an ideal place for rodents to nest and hang around your property. Also, branches that hang over your roof can provide easy access for rodents to enter your home through roof vents. These areas or situations should be properly managed to prevent an infestation. Our trained technicians can spot any potential areas that could be welcoming to rodents and effectively keep them from entering your home.
So, call Pro Pacific today for a free rodent proof inspection and estimate to put an end to the mouse-chasing days.