A wonderful day adding value and touching the lives of our local Tampa community on Wednesday, October 28. Team 094 delivered smiles and decorated pumpkins with the children at BayCare Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital as part of our second #TRULYSpooktacular for October. This was one of four similar events we did across the country for Halloween 2015!
In terms of both number of species and number of individuals, insects are a dominant form of life on Earth. With somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 insect known species, that’s more than all other animals combined! For every human, there are approximately 1.5 billion bugs! But some of these insects are so horrifying, just one is too many. This Halloween, Truly Nolen Atlanta brings you an array of terrifying insects, some in far-away and exotic locales and some that may be right in your own Atlanta neighborhood, skittering across your front lawn, up the steps of your home right now.
Palmetto Bugs: Call Them What You Want, Theyre Flying Cockroaches
Up close and personal to Atlanta and most of the southeastern US, the American cockroach goes by many names, including palmetto bug, water bug, and flying water bug. Georgia residents can tell many tales of giant flying cockroaches that wont hesitate to drop out of a tree onto your noggin, run right across your feet or fly right at you. Some experts say that these larger than life creepy-crawlers fly at people, mistaking them for trees, but some southerners will swear that these aerial nightmares have chased them around their homes, stalking them. Creepy! Slight differences exist between species of American cockroaches.
Africanized Honeybees: Bad News Bees
In the mid-1950s, twenty-six African honeybee queens imported to Brazil escaped with swarms of local worker bees from an experimental facility near San Paulo. This established renegade colonies of Africanized bees in Central America, Mexico and Texas.
Africanized honeybees dont look a lot different than European honeybees, but they have killed some 1,000 people since their escape in 1957 and they sting ten times more per victim than European bees. More aggressive than your average honeybee, Africanized bees are more easily provoked, attack in larger groups at ten times the speed of European bees and can chase humans as far as a half mile. Dont even try to outrun them!
Bullet Ants: Shoot Me Now
Looking like a 1.5″ long chunky, wingless wasp, if thats not enough cause for alarm, the bullet ants sting ranks highest on the Schmidt pain index and has been likened to being shot with a gun. The bullet ants venom can cause victims intense, throbbing, burning, relentless pain for up to 24 hours with possible uncontrollable shaking for days afterwards. Yikes!
Some Brazilian tribes sew bullet ants into gloves that are then placed on the hands of boys as part of their warrior rites of initiation. To complete the initiation, warriors must wear the gloves for a full ten minutes!
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach: From Hollywood Star to Household Pet
Like Will Smith said, Dont start nothing, wont be nothing, taunting a giant, interstellar cockroach in the 1997 film, Men in Black, as he squished the bug monsters relatives. Those guys, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, popular in Hollywood films for their creep factor are actually so easy to handle they are sold as pets and worn as living jewelry. As one of the worlds largest cockroaches, hissers, measuring 2″ to 3″ are fortunately, wingless, unlike other cockroaches we know. They make excellent climbers, able to scale smooth glass.
Madagascar hissers are found only on the forest floor of the island of their namesake, off the coast of Africa. Some twenty known species of hissing cockroaches share this remote island. So, except for the 1000s living here as pets or working as live jewelry or making you squirm in movies, youre perfectly safe.
Japanese Giant Hornet: Move Over Mothra
Japanese giant hornets are about 2″ long with a .25″ stinger and venom that not only dissolves flesh but attacks the nervous system. These hornets can even fly 25 miles per hour in a 60 mile range. Relax, Atlanta, these ferocious buzzing beasts live in Asia. Seriously aggressive and fearless, Japanese giant hornets massacre European honeybees, attacking their hives and chopping their heads off with their powerful mandibles. They then ravage the dismembered bees, lapping up their honey and slicing their thoraxes into bite-size pieces to feed to their young.
Jewel Wasp: Diabolic Perfection
Equally terrorizing, the jewel wasp, a.k.a., the emerald cockroach wasp has a more sinister plan. Cant stand roaches, Atlanta? In a diabolically brilliant process the jewel wasp preys on roaches to feed to her young. First, she partially paralyzes her victim. Next she injects venom directly into the roachs brain blocking neurotransmitters that leave the roach alive, but just enough to be tasty. Dragging her zombie-like victim into her underground lair, the jewel wasp lays an egg in the roachs abdomen. When the egg hatches, the larval wasp eats the live cockroachs insides. In eight days, the roach finally dies.
Giant Isopod: Pill Bug From the Deep
Lurking in the deep waters off the coast of Georgia, the giant isopod, one of almost twenty species of large isopods are distant relatives of shrimp, but look more like their other cousin, the woodlouse. As excellent examples of deep-sea gigantism, these segmented monsters can weigh almost 4 lbs. and measure 14″ in length. And, they can, like some woodlice curl up in a ball as a defense mechanism. They prefer the cold, gloomy, pitch-black deep, where they act as deep-sea scavengers.
Mexican Red Rump Tarantula: Cuddly Pets
The Mexican red rump tarantula has a 5″ leg span, a furry red abdomen and the ability to overpower small lizards and rodents. Able to break human skin by biting, most tarantulas prefer the more passive aggressive practice of flicking skin and respiratory irritants called urticating hairs at you, to actual full on confrontations with humans. Found mostly in Mexico, the red rump tarantula has been seen as far south as Belize, the Yucatan, El Salvador, and Guatemala. In 1996, the red rump tarantula was discovered in the wild in St. Lucie County, Florida.
Tarantula Hawk Wasp: Just Lie Down and Start Screaming
As non-aggressive and skittish as tarantulas can be, their predators, tarantula hawk wasps, are equipped with a powerful and painful sting, second only to that of the bullet ant. The pain lasts only three minutes but is described as so intensely electric that, according to invertebrate experts in a peer-reviewed journal, the only recourse after a human gets stung by a tarantula hawk wasp is to just lie down and start screaming. Because not many people are able to function mentally or physically after getting stung and they might just go off and injure themselves, this is the best advice.
Lucky for you, Atlanta residents, except for some of these gigantic, bizarre, dangerous flying, wild things sold in pet stores or gracing Fernbank Science Center exhibits, most of these creepy crawlers arent very likely to jump out and scare you to pieces this Halloween. Or will they? Jeepers Creepers! If they do, contact your Truly Nolen Atlanta pest control professionals today at 678-561-2847. Happy Halloween!
You may have unwanted visitors this fall. These visitors are nibbling on your food, multiplying, and slowly taking over your home. Theyre known as pantry pests. These pesky insects can be hidden from view for quite some time in your pantry and in your food. The dried foods they often infest include flour, cereal, pasta, baking mixes, grain products, cookies, crackers, powdered milk, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, popcorn, spices, pet food and cured meats.
Eventually, these pests get really comfortable and decide to let their presence be known. Some will chew their way out through paper, plastic and foil storage bags, and expand their living quarters by accumulating in pots, pans, and dishes. They may even take a stroll along your windowsills or fly right by you as they roam the interiors of your home.
Common types of pantry pests
Your most common pantry pests are certain types of beetles and moths. Four types of pantry pests that frequently appear include:
- Anobiidae Beetles, specifically the Drugstore Beetle and Cigarette Beetle species: Their nicknames should give you a clue about their preferred food choices. They have curved, reddish brown, oval shaped bodies that can even bore into wood. They will eat up every dry food in your pantry as well as your pets food. They will show up in your kids macaroni art, attic, pet food storage, garage, or utility room. They are strong flyers, and since they seek light, youll find them along your windowsills.
- Dermestid Beetles: If you come across cast-off skins with tiny little hairs or larvae thats a bit fury, youve got them. The black and rust or solid black-colored species show up in the pantry, kitchen, garage, or utility room. These beetles eat anything thats organic.
- Flour Beetles: These are usually reddish brown in color, and theyre not necessarily great flyers, youll likely find them crawling around in your flour.
- Indian Meal Moths: Youll know them by their webbing and cocoons. They have pale gray, reddish brown and coppery wings. They eat everything and their larvae are found in cracks and crevices.
Since you didnt invite them in, you may be wondering how these insects ended up in your home. Well, some have traveled a long way. They may have hitched a ride inside or on top of your food product as it was transferred from the food processing plant to your home. They could have crept into the food package through its folds and seams as it sat on the store shelf. Some grain-loving insects clung on for dear life when the grain was plucked from the plant. However, one thing to keep in mind is that these insects dont like to be alone. They will reproduce, especially in food products that are left undisturbed on the shelf, and thrive for months.
Government limits for insect parts and rodent hair
Believe it or not, the Food and Drug Administration lets insect particles and rodent hair enter food, but the amount is miniscule and poses no health hazards. Some defects in food are unavoidable. The FDA sets extremely low limits, but it does happen.
How you can secure food products
Dont let a pantry pest infestation surge. You can cut the length of their stay. Here are five tips we suggest for protecting your pantries from these types of pests:
- When youre purchasing grain-based foods at the store, take a moment to inspect the food packaging for any insect activity.
- Keep foods in a tightly closed containers, but also determine which pantry foods can survive in the freezer or refrigerator if possible especially if you have experienced a recent infestation.
- Make it a habit to use older foods first and dont let them stay in your pantry for longer than two months. Remember to stock your food pantry first in, first out.
- Wiping down or vacuuming the pantry shelves as part of your weekly cleaning routine is key to keeping pantry pests out. This way you can keep an eye out for any unusual activity, clean out food spills, discard infested food products and paper etc. Wipe down any crumbs and food particles that may have built up in the shelves.
- Use caulking to seal the cracks along the cupboards and pantry shelving to prevent easy access into cupboards and pantries.
Bed Bugs On the Rise: Be Proactive
As the Southeasts major commercial, economic and tourist hub, Atlanta hosts hundreds of thousands of business and leisure visitors each year. With this many visitors, who can wonder that bed bug infestations in Atlanta continue be on the rise? Atlanta residents can also take precautions when traveling to avoid unwittingly returning home with bed bugs in tow. Some of these precautions include washing and drying everything in your luggage with hot water and a high temperature drying cycle. Taking an extra precaution to vacuum your luggage is also advisable, especially if you suspect any bed bug activity. If there are signs of a bed bug infestation in your Atlanta home, consulting a professional pest control company is the best form of action.
Bed Bugs: Information and Habits
Even though bed bugs pose no threat of disease to Atlanta residents, their bites can cause ongoing physical discomfort to their human hosts, as well as creating anxiety and psychological mayhem, leading to sleep disorders and sleep deprivation that can ultimately lead to health issues and disease.
- Flat, oval, reddish brown insects, about .5″ in length, bed bugs, engorged with blood, grow to the size of a small droplet of blood.
- Nocturnal and fast-moving, bed bugs feed on blood, preferably human.
- Attracted by warm bodies at rest and exhaled carbon dioxide, bed bugs come out of hiding at night and feast on their human hosts before returning to their hiding places, in mattresses, in upholstered headboards, in cracks and crevices and on curtains.
- As their numbers increase, bed bugs can spread to furniture, artwork and walls: any object that they can cling to.
- The first signs of a bed bug issue usually manifests in small, itchy welts on the head, neck and upper extremities.
Bed Bug Infestation: What To Do
Okay, so its undeniable, youve got bed bugs. Do not panic. Your first two impulses might be to throw away all bedding, beds and other affected furniture, and move out immediately. But, just hold on! Removing infested items may spread bed bugs to other parts of your home, making them harder to eliminate. Even worse, retreating to your relatives and friends homes could bring bed bugs into their homes. The best line of defense for Atlanta homeowners is to contact a pest control professional immediately.
What You Can Do: Before Your Inspector Arrives
Even before your licensed inspector arrives, you can take some initial steps towards prepping your home for treatment.
- Launder all bedding, clothes and other washable items, like curtains, that can endure high temperature drying.
- Non-washable items like shoes, some handbags, backpacks and stuffed animals can be placed in clothes dryers for at least one half hour, on the highest heat setting to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
- Lose the clutter. Bed bugs love clutter because it makes great hiding places and is difficult to treat. Eliminating clutter around and under beds has proven to be a crucial key to getting rid of bed bugs.
- Dont change where you sleep. Fight the inclination to sleep in a different room or on the sofa in another room, or at relatives or friends houses. Sleeping in different places increases the potential of spreading bed bugs to the other areas of your home and even worse to your friends and relatives homes as well.
- Vacuum all carpeting in affected area. Place vacuum cleaner bags in plastic bags, cinched tight and dispose of them in an outside container or dumpster.
Treating Bed Bug Infestations
After your Atlanta pest control inspector verifies a bed bug infestation, skilled technicians apply a high pressure misting system that drives control components into seams and cracks where bed bugs hide.
All mattresses and box springs are treated, along with any window treatments and upholstered furniture. Removing hardware and drawers in dressers, clothing chests, nightstands and armoires can ensure as many bed bugs as possible are exposed to treatments.
Heat treatments may be required for some upholstered furniture. Additionally, attention is paid to places where carpeting meets baseboards or wall surfaces, doorframes and crown moldings, at wall abutments and ceiling surfaces. Trained technicians inject material into each wall void to eliminate hidden bed bugs and their eggs.
Technicians treat artwork and moisture sensitive items, by enclosing them in plastic bags and emitting a one-second blast into the bag. Contents remain sealed in the bag for up to a week to allow treatment to eradicate any bed bugs.
Encasement Systems Work
In order to protect and prevent future re-infestations in central Georgia homes, pest control experts recommend installing encasement systems for mattresses and box springs to seal out any future bed bugs, while sealing in existing bed bugs, that will die in a few weeks. Encasement systems offer cost-effective alternatives to buying new beds, and future bed bugs are easy to spot on the slick outer surfaces of encasements. For encasement systems to succeed, take care to purchase bed bug specific encasements. Inspect the zipper to make sure the zipper fully closes.
Unless you are just looking for a good excuse to purchase a new bedroom suite, encasement systems offer cost-effective alternatives to buying new beds and coordinating pieces.
Out of the Woods: Monitoring and Prevention
After ten days, treated areas must be inspected. Skilled technicians will thoroughly inspect, monitor and perform appropriate control actions that will address any signs of bed bug activity.
Surviving a bed bug infestation is no joke. Even with a professionals most diligent and thorough techniques, a bed bug re-infestation can occur, as bed bugs can still enter Fulton County homes through guests clothing and luggage or your college students laptop or backpack.
Controlling bed bugs can be a daunting and frustrating task filled with tedious challenges. Theres no quick fix. Contacting a professional takes a huge load off homeowners in the Atlanta area, as DIY treatments rarely work and professionals, like Truly Nolen Atlanta can contain and exclude bed bugs through a proven step-by-step process that prevents bed bug eggs from hatching and works to control adult bed bugs.
Working towards prevention of future infestations, Atlanta homeowners are advised to wash and heat dry bedding often, vacuum often and eliminate clutter in your homes. Also, before traveling, research the Bed Bug registry site at http://www.bedbugregistry.com before you book a hotel room.
Truly Nolen Atlanta
Bed bug infestations are difficult, but not impossible to conquer. Truly Nolen Atlantas bed bug control program will provide a solution for treatment and prevention. Highly trained technicians will determine the extent of your bed bug infestation and devise a plan to eliminate bed bugs from your property as well as educate you and your family on ways to monitor and prevent further infestations. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, call Truly Nolen Atlanta today at 678-561-2847. Sleep tight!
Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the addition of longtime public relations professional Toby Srebnik as in-house Manager of Public Relations, Social Media and Community Events. He will be based in South Florida.
A graduate of Florida State University, Srebnik has nearly 15 years of experience in public relations and seven years in social media. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, Srebnik was the Director of Social Media for Fish Consulting in Hollywood, Fla. and is a past-president of both the Public Relations Society of America’s Greater Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach Chapters.
Among his responsibilities, Srebnik will oversee the company’s public relations and social media strategy and tactics. In addition, he will help the company gain exposure through local branches’ participation in community events.
He first worked on the company’s public relations and social media during his tenure at Tilson Communications. It was Srebnik who helped Truly Nolen become the first of Tilson’s clients to be involved with social media following an August 2008 webinar he attended about Twitter. Among the projects he previously handled were the 2008 launch of the company on Facebook and Twitter, the 2009 Nevada State Insect Contest, and the 2010 South Florida #MousecarParade.
“Toby’s work in the past and obvious love for our company made him a natural candidate for our newly created position,” said Michelle Nolen Senner, Truly Nolen Director of Marketing/Advertising. “We’re excited to have him as part of our team.”
About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).
The just-completed 2015 Arizona Monsoon Season brought over six inches of rain to Tucson and surrounding areas, which is the largest monsoon rainfall amount for the area since 2011. The increased rainfall figures to bring something else to the Tucson surface – Termites!
When the flash flood style rains let up, heat returns and termites emerge from their subterranean or cellulose homes in search of a new place to live and populate. As a result, a tremendous termite season is expected to begin.
“Termites cause an estimated $5 billion dollars in damages in the U.S. every year,” said Scott Nolen, Truly Nolen Pest Control CEO/President. “Since early discovery of termites can help provide a head start for home protection, we wanted to make sure local residents are diligent in this process now that the monsoon season is over.”
In addition, fighting termites successfully takes a unique understanding of termite behavior, biology, and home construction especially since there is no simple solution for termites.
“Do-It-Yourself termite treatment methods may seem like a cost-effective option; however, damage caused to homes from ineffective treatment can cost homeowners thousands of dollars and is not covered under most homeowner’s insurance policies,” said Nolen. “Most professional termite control companies provide additional protection through a warranty protecting your home from future damage and covering the cost of treatment should termites return.”
As a homeowner, there are measures you can take to minimize the conditions that are conducive to termites and help reduce the likelihood of an infestation. From eliminating wood-to-soil contact wherever possible to diverting water from the foundation of the home, prevention is key.
“Whether you end up trying to handle the problem yourself or calling a professional to conduct a termite inspection, the above-average monsoon season’s end ensures a surge in termites sooner than later,” said Nolen.
For more information about termites, visit http://www.trulynolen.com/locations/az/tucson/tucson.asp or call our Tucson branch at (520) 326-4201.
At any given time, there are more termites in Charlotte than there are people. Charlottes Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Zone rating is high and the city is dealing with a massive termite invasion. Particular construction methods commonly utilized in the region increase the vulnerability of residential homes and may be adding to Charlottes termite problem.
The TIP Zones
Whats a TIP Zone? A TIP Zone is based on calculations and studies from the US Forest Service. TIP Zones are used to calculate the potential for termite damage in a geographical area and to determine what is needed to protect homes. The International Code Council uses this zone information to figure out code requirements for the prevention of termites. TIP Zone information is also used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create mortgage loan underwriting requirements.
Charlotte is located in TIP Zone #2, which means that its termite population is moderate to heavy, and thus, a significant issue for homeowners. This is a huge concern, considering that termites cause over $5 billion in damage to homes and businesses every year, according to the National Pest Management Association. This is more than fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes combined. Additionally, there are a certain types of Charlotte construction that make this area uniquely vulnerable to termites.
Termite Prone Types of Charlotte Construction
There are certain kinds of home construction found in Charlotte that are prone to termite issues, and because of Charlottes high TIP Zone rating, more termite control measures are required in the building codes.
According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, there are several types of construction concerns found in Charlotte homes. One concern is the concrete slab, which rests on soil (LINK: http://www.ncagr.gov/SPCAP/structural/pubs/preconstruction.htm). Usually, over time, a slab will slowly move away from the foundation wall. This allows termites to infest the above wooden structure. In general, concrete slabs give the termite population many places through which to enter the home, such as through plumbing outlets or construction joints. In cases like these, the soil surrounding the slab must be treated for termites.
Homes with a crawl space are also particularly vulnerable to termite pressure. If the foundational voids and spaces are found close to known termite activity, they must be treated accordingly. The side walls of porches that are within three feet of structural wood or a foundation wall must also be treated or drilled. (LINK: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/termites/#chemical).
Before purchasing a home, it is a good idea to have a termite inspection. If you already own a home, taking preventative measures is essential. These precautionary measures can save you money in the future. Call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection.
Subterranean termites cause billions of dollars of damage annually and are notorious for their destructive habits. Termites, aid in breaking down cellulose substances (cellulose is what wood is made of) in the environment, turning them into nutrient rich material. This behavior makes them a homeowners worst nightmare.
Subterranean termites are social insects forming large colonies that move together. As the name implies a subterranean termites home is underground, working and winding their way through the soil. It is important for homeowners to be aware of the differences in behavioral characteristics of subterranean termites versus other types of wood destroying organisms (other creatures can damage the structure). Familiarizing yourself with these traits can prove to be helpful in identifying signs of a possible infestation, as well as knowing what to look out for and where.
Your local Truly Nolen expert can provide a free termite inspection to help you identify the type of termite that may be posing a threat to your home, as well as diagnose the level of activity present. Accurate identification of possible entry points, from the exterior leading into the interior of your home is critical. Seeking out and determining how termites are entering your home, provides a good foundation on which your Truly Nolen termite control professional customizes an effective treatment plan for your home.
Knock Knock. Whos There? Termites!
Termites do not discriminate against home construction type and will eventually find their way inside any type of structure if the right conditions exist. Even homes constructed of concrete provide no match for a termites determination when attempting to invade your home. Although subterranean termites live below the soil, their tunneling capabilities allow them to weave and tunnel their way until they find an appropriate entry point.
So how exactly do subterranean termites enter a home?
- Mud Tunnels ? Although the common way of entering the home is at ground level, subterranean termites also construct mud tunnels that allow them to reach entry points above the ground. These entry points can include even the smallest cracks and crevices in brick mortar and concrete slabs, (termites only need 1/64th of an inch) allowing them to travel through the interior of the foundational walls. The mud tunnels will usually be visible on exterior walls.
- Wood-to-Ground ? Structures that allow for wood-to-ground contact make the perfect roadway for termites to enter. Wooden support beams and posts, wooden decking and steps, doorframes and more all provide ample opportunities for subterranean termites to find their way indoors. Additional wooden structures built onto the homes also provide possible entry points as homes built on concrete slabs are closer to the ground.
- Expansion joints ? In-between the concrete slabs of your home and the beginning of the brick and mortar, there are joints that may sometimes expand, allowing for a small enough gap to allow termites to enter. In fact many expansion joints are often separated by a type of cork material, termites have no problem moving through these.
- Wall fractures ? small fractures in the concrete foundation or brick mortar running throughout the perimeter of your home also provide the ideal entry point for termites to enter, feeding off of the insulation and wooden framing on the interior of those walls.
The True way to Truly Get Rid of All Types of Termites
Unlike other pest control companies, Truly Nolens termite treatment application methods extend beyond the conventional. Our termite control professionals go the extra mile to treating concrete slabs, as well as the perimeter of your home.
The areas that are left untouched by most other pest control companies include: Crawlspace foundation, crawlspace pier and foundation voids. Truly Nolen leaves no space unturned; our Total Termite Protection TTP plan incorporates all areas that are potential entry points for termites with exterior slab and concrete application methods such as:
- Thin-walled, light weight stainless steel rod injections systems that do not disturb the integrity of the slab, yet delivers an effective treatment application. The multi-directional tip of the injection rods ensure that a 360 degree coverage area and improves the flow and reach of the treatment product.
- Liquid treatments that ensure slabs and foundations are also protected, as well as the nearby soil where termites are known to flourish.
Truly Nolen provides a complete and thorough treatment for all termites not just subterranean termites with one of the best guarantees in the business. Call us today to schedule your free termite inspection and let our experts inspect, identify, treat and monitor your home to keep it termite free!