Pest Advice Blog

Truly Nolen Expecting Earlier Termite Swarm Due to Atypical Atlanta Winter

With a mix of mild temperatures and unusually large amounts of rainfall, this atypical Atlanta winter weather pattern has brought something else to the Georgia surface – Termites!

“I handled a few termite swarm situations in residential homes in February,” said Chris Ashley, Truly Nolen franchisee, Canton. “Subterranean termites generally swarm in the spring when the weather warms up. With the amount of rain and warmer winter temperatures, we expect more termite activity this spring season.”

When people fail to identify a termite problem as serious, the result can be quite costly to a homeowner.

“Termites cause an estimated $5 billion dollars in damages in the U.S. every year,” said Ashley. “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 swarm season has kicked off earlier than expected.”

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 Ashley. “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 atypical winter weather ensures a surge in termites sooner than later,” said Ashley.

For more information about termites, call our North Atlanta service office at (678) 561-2847.

 

Celebrate Brain Awareness Week, March 14-20

Join the global initiative to promote public awareness of the benefits of and recent developments in brain research. Every year the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs partners with networks of brain research and healthcare professionals, to bring you a variety of events. From March 14-20, brain awareness events will be taking place all over the globe. Find events in your area by searching the BAW Calendar of Events. In honor of Brain Awareness Week, Truly Nolen Pest Control gives homeowners some food for thought:
Brain Awareness Week

Rat Brains: Exploring Similarities Found in the Brains of Rats and Humans

Neuroscientists are constantly studying the human brain to fully understand its complex nature; they recently revealed more similarities between human brains and rat brains than we used to think existed. In a 2013 Penn State Center for Neural Engineering and affiliates of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences paper, published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits, researchers Jared Smith and Kevin Alloway discovered game-changing parallels between the motor cortices in rats and humans.

Significance for biotechnology advancement

The significance of this discovery helps engineers in the biotechnology industry in developments, such as brain-computer interfaces that advance prosthetic limb movement control. Due to a growing demand for state-of-the-art prosthetics, for injured troops returning from Middle Eastern conflicts, researchers are always on the lookout for ways to improve the functionality and enhance end-user experience.

Similar structure and functions of the motor cortex

In order to design biotechnological devices, engineers and neurologists are required to understand the workings of the brain’s motor cortex. The motor cortex sends messages to the body to execute behavioral movement. Due to the discovery that a rat’s brain functions more like a primate’s brain than previously believed, rats make model subjects for neurological studies.

Subdivisions in human and rat motor cortexes are similar

Subdivided into multiple regions, a primate’s motor cortex corresponds to inputs responsible for specific motor functions. According to the study conducted by Smith-Alloway, although the motor cortex in rats’ brains is smaller, it responds in much the same way as primates’ brains respond. This illustrates that rat motor cortexes are subdivided into distinct regions that perform specific motor functions as well. Like the human brain, sensory inputs to the rat’s motor cortex end in a smaller region that is distinct from the regions that generate motor functions.

Whiskers are to rats are eyes are to humans

As Huck Institutes’ neuroscience program graduate student and one of the study’s authors, Jared Smith said, “You have to take into account the animal’s natural behaviors to best understand how its brain is structured for sensory and motor processing.” Smith went on to say that for humans, “That means a strong reliance on visual information from the eyes, but for rats it’s more about the somatosensory inputs from their whiskers.”

As it turns out, even though a rat’s whiskers take up a mere 1/3 of one percent of the rat’s total body area, more than 1/3 of a rat’s sensory motor cortex is dedicated to managing “whisker-related” information. Almost 40 percent of the entire motor cortex in humans is dedicated to handling visual information, even though the eyes are the smallest organs in the body.

Sensory centers totally separate from motor function controls

In understanding how the rat’s motor cortex is constructed and functions, the Penn State researchers focused their experiments on the medial agranular region, the part of the motor cortex that responds to whisker stimulation, eliciting whisker movement when activated.

“We discovered different sensory input regions that were distinct from the region that issued the motor commands to move the whiskers,” said Alloway. Going on to say that with the help of Patrick Drew, Penn State Engineering Science and Mechanics and Neurosurgery Department Assistant Professor, the team, “showed that the sensory input region was significantly less effective in evoking whisker movements.”

Smith and Alloway’s discovery, revealing the similarities between the human motor cortex and the rat motor cortex opens many avenues into the study of neuroscience, a better understanding of the human brain and its practical biotechnological applications in the real world.

Rats think a lot like their human counterparts

The Smith-Alloway findings point to the fact that rats think a lot like their human counterparts, begging the question, “When rats invade your home, are they clever enough to avoid detection and elimination, until their plot to take over your home, contaminate your food and cause structural damage, while spreading diseases and pathogens succeeds in a full-blown rodent infestation?”

In observance of Brain Awareness Week, Truly Nolen asks homeowners to call us for a free rodent inspection. When you’re up against a mind that thinks like humans, contact Truly Nolen.

What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

Over the last few weeks, the Zika virus has been in the news as it continues to spread around the globe. The Zika virus initially appeared in Brazil in May of 2015 and has since affected more than 1 million people in over 30 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global emergency as experts agree that the disease has “explosive pandemic potential” and could affect more than 4 million people by the end of this year.

Here is what you need to know about the Zika virus:

What Is the Zika virus?

Zika VirusThe Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It was named after a forest in Uganda where it was first discovered in 1947 from blood drawn from rhesus monkeys that scientists were testing for yellow fever. The first case of a human being infected wasn’t until 1952 when it was reported in Uganda and Tanzania.

Since 1947 no large scale outbreaks have been reported until now. Micronesia in 2007 had 49 confirmed cases but no hospitalizations were reported from that outbreak. In 2013-2014, 19,000 suspected cases were reported in French Polynesia. The current outbreak has already passed 1 million suspected cases making this the worst outbreak in the virus’ history.

What Happens to people who have been infected?

Less than 20% of those infected with the virus will show symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain, and red/itchy eyes. Side effects are mild, rarely fatal, and fade within a week. The Zika virus has made headlines mostly because of conditions that the virus has been linked to. It was recently associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disease often triggered by infections in which the immune system attacks the myelin lining of nerve cells. Individuals who suffer from Guillain-Barre may experience widespread weakness and paralysis after an attack. A large majority of those who suffer from this disease will lose mobility and may need a mechanical ventilator because of weak respiratory muscles.

Another condition linked to Zika is microcephaly, a birth defect in which a developing baby’s brain fails to grow to its proper size. Since the start of the Zika pandemic nearly 4,000 Brazilian infants have been born with microcephaly. In addition to microcephaly, doctors in infected areas say that newborns who have been exposed to Zika may also suffer from vision and hearing problems. Pregnant women are being warned not to travel to areas where the Zika virus is spreading due to the risk.

How is Zika Spread?

The Zika virus is spread by yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes Aegypti, who are distinguishable by the white markings on their legs. These mosquitoes are most active in the morning and early evenings and fly on every continent but Antarctica.

Is the United States at Risk for the Zika Virus?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO are looking ahead to the summer months when mosquitoes become more active. While the outbreak has mostly stayed out of the United States, the chance of an outbreak is still of concern.

As of February 24, 2016, the CDC has reported 107 travel-associated cases of the Zika virus and zero locally acquired in the United States. American’s who are traveling to South America should take steps to protect themselves while overseas. This could include wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, staying in lodgings with screened windows and air conditioning, using insect repellants, and using permethrin-treated clothing and gear.

How You Can Protect Yourself

As we move into the warmer months you should take the following steps to control mosquitoes in and around your home:

  • Remove any sources for standing water, including bird baths, rain barrels, and recycling containers.
  • Cut back vegetation around your home to eliminate breeding and hiding grounds.
  • Get rid of old yard items that may be attracting mosquitoes such as old pots and spare tires.

As there is currently no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus, the CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing any travel to countries where Zika transmission is ongoing and all other travelers use due caution if traveling to infected areas.

Truly Nolen offers a mosquito control program designed to reduce the number of mosquitoes found in and around your home. Combined with our Four Seasons Pest Control program that provides year round protection against household pests, it is a comprehensive approach.

It is best to be proactive and prepare your home for mosquito season while the weather is still cool than to wait until mosquitoes become more active. Contact us with any questions on our mosquito control program or if would like to schedule a free pest inspection. For more information and tips to prepare for mosquito season, go to https://www.trulynolen.com/other-services/mosquito-control.asp.

Pest Alert for Atlanta Residents: The Zika Virus and Chagas Disease

Recently in the news, there have been several reports of viruses coming from mosquitoes and insects that Atlanta residents should be aware of. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently been communicating information on the Zika virus and the Chagas virus.

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to brain damage and birth defects in babies in Brazil. Pregnant women are being warned to re-think traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean at this time since there is no vaccine for this virus.
kissing bug
The Chagas virus has also been on the news, this virus comes from the “kissing bug” that transmits a parasite, trypanosoma cruzi, to those it infects. Like the Zika virus, most of those infected visited Latin America where it is most often found.

It is important to be aware of deadly pests that are emerging. Truly Nolen of Atlanta offers a mosquito control program and a Four Seasons Pest Control program that include preventative measures to keep your family safe. Call for an inspection 678-561-2847.

Franchisee Satisfaction Leads to Franchise Business Review Hall of Fame for Truly Nolen

As a company that strives for excellent customer satisfaction as well as franchisee satisfaction, Truly Nolen Pest Control is excited to have recently been inducted into Franchise Business Review’s Hall of Fame for making the publication’s “Best of the Best” list 10 separate times. Truly Nolen’s 10th time was part of the “Best of the Best” Top 200 List for 2016.

Franchise Business Review is the leading national franchise market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction and franchise buyer experiences. All six of Franchise Business Review’s annual reports can be found at www.FranchiseBusinessReview.com. Truly Nolen has made multiple appearances in the Guide to Today’s Top Franchises and Top Franchises for Veterans.

“I decided to invest in a Truly Nolen franchise in order to grow quicker by utilizing its corporate assets including its marketing department, fleet management, and corporate buying power,” said Chris Ashley, Canton, Ga. franchisee. Ashley is one of many Truly Nolen domestic franchise owners located in the United States and Canada.

“We have a great franchising team that really supports all franchisees,” said Ashley. “If we need help, need a logo, need new contract designed, etc. all we have to do is ask and they always lend a hand.”

Ron DeSear, Truly Nolen Vice President, Domestic Franchising, said he was excited about the company’s Hall of Fame induction. “We always strive to help our franchisees any way we can, and this honor recognizing a full decade of franchisee satisfaction is something we will cherish,” said DeSear.

For more information about Truly Nolen Domestic Franchising, call (855) 534-9139 or visit www.trulynolenfranchising.com.

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).

Six Truly Nolen Pest Control Service Offices Recognized as 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award Winners

Truly Nolen Pest Control was pleased to recently announce that six of its service offices have been recognized as 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award winners. The winners include Fort Worth, Tex., Chandler, Ariz., Cooper City, Fla., South Miami, Fla., Naples, Fla., and New Holland, Penn.

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

“All of our service offices strive for excellence each and every day,” said Mark Ringlstetter, Director of Training/Technical Services and Customer Care. “We’re extremely excited that nearly 10 percent of our service offices were recognized with this honor and we could not be prouder of the teams at each of the winning locations.”

Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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).

10-Year-Old Boy Truly Understands the Meaning of the Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, paying it forward and giving back to those who are less fortunate than you are two common themes. On Sunday, December 13, 10-year-old Nathaniel Sandoval and his father Jorge distributed blankets to homeless people in the Santa Ana courthouse area as part of the younger Sandoval’s vision to help others in need.

Most youngsters who attend elementary school are thinking about what toys they will be getting for the holidays or which relatives they will be seeing. Jorge, the Branch Manager for Truly Nolen’s San Diego location, said his son was motivated by something he sees every day on his way to school in Santa Ana.

“One day, we were driving home from his grandparents’ house and he asked me if I could help him with something he had been thinking about,” said Jorge Sandoval. “He said he wanted to make the homeless people he sees on his way to school a little more comfortable and he wanted to provide them with blankets because they probably do not have friends and family that can help them.”

For his part, Nathaniel said he was reading a social studies book at his school in which he saw people giving blankets to the homeless. He wanted to help the people he sees everyday like the people in the book. “Once my father agreed to assist me, my father’s boss allowed me to talk to the other managers in his area by video conference and I asked them for help donating blankets as well,” said Nathaniel Sandoval. “My mother, godmother, aunts, and grandparents are also helping me collect blankets.”

Nathaniel named his project “Giving Warmth & Spreading Hope”, and with the help of his family, friends, and other Truly Nolen branches in Southern California, they will be riding around delivering blankets to those who need them. “I want to bring warmth and I want to give them hope, and I’m happy so many people have agreed to help,” said Nathaniel Sandoval. “I feel really good when I help people.”

“My son is a special kid and I could not be prouder of him,” said Jorge Sandoval. “I’m also happy so many of my co-workers as well as Nathaniel’s family members are donating blankets to help with this project.”

For those interested in donating blankets for future distribution, please call Jorge Sandoval at (714) 326-5848.

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).

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Woodward to Assistant Manager, Sarasota Branch

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of Steve Woodward to Assistant Manager of the company’s Sarasota, Fla. Service office at 2525 Whitfield Industrial Way.

Woodward joined the company in 2010 and was most recently in the dual role of Service Manager and Coordinator. He has over 20 years of experience in the pest control industry.

Prior to joining Truly Nolen, Woodward owned a landscaping company in the Philadelphia area for over a decade. As part of the services he offered, Woodward treated trees up to 150 feet tall for insects. In addition, he served for three years in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer and worked for the Chester (Penn.) County Sheriff’s Department for four years before launching his landscaping business.

“Steve’s wide array of field experience combined with his terrific customer service skills and his innate ability to help train and develop his fellow employees make him a wonderful asset to his branch,” said Tim Phillips, Truly Nolen District Manager, District 604. “We know he will be a fantastic assistant manager, and we are excited to follow his continued growth within our company.”

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).

“Toys in the Attic” Ended up Delivered by Mouse Cars in December

Long known for its iconic mouse cars, Truly Nolen Pest Control also enjoys giving back to its local communities. The company’s Las Vegas service office participated in their annual “Toys for Hope” Toy Drive which raised approximately $26,000 in toys for children in need to take home with them for the holidays.

“Over 100 families benefited from this toy drive with over 300 children,” said Lee Schroeder, Truly Nolen Manager, Las Vegas. “Our team also served over 350 hot dogs during the drive and we never tired of seeing the smile on the kids’ faces when they went to the area to pick up their new toy!”

Other service offices got into the community holiday spirit as well, including:

  • Parent Aid’s “Adopt a Family” for the Holidays, Corporate Office in Tucson, Ariz.
  • Toy Drive for Ronald McDonald House and FREE pest control service, Tucson (Ariz.)
  • 28th Annual South Florida President’s Council Toys in the Sun Run, South Florida District
  • Peoria Police Department’s Shop with a Cop Event, Sun City (Ariz.)
  • Toy Drive for Salvation Army, Sierra Vista (Ariz.)
  • Drew Saves Christmas’ Secret Santa, Pinellas Park (Fla.)
  • El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank Assistance, El Paso (Tex.)
  • “Giving Warmth & Spreading Hope”, San Diego (Calif.)

“One of our 12 core values as a company is to embrace and drive change for the better,” said Michelle Nolen Senner, Truly Nolen Director of Marketing & Philanthropy. “We’re proud that all of our branches across the country helped add value to the lives they touched this holiday season by embracing / this core value in a way that is meaningful to them and their community.”

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).

2015: Strong El Niño Leads to The Year of the Pack Rat

When someone says the term pack rat, people likely think of a friend or relative who has trouble letting go of old souvenirs and clothes. Most people likely do not realize 2015 was the year of the rodent known as the pack rat! In fact, Truly Nolen website research shows “How to get rid of pack rats” was the eighth-most visited page for the company’s website in 2015 and the most visited one overall for any insect or rodent.

Pack rats, also referred to as woodrats or trade rats, are typically gray rat-sized mammals with large ears, large dark eyes and a relatively long tail. Although absent from most of the New England area, eight species of pack rats are widely distributed through much of the rest of North America. They are usually found entering homes in the winter to have their offspring, which means this is the exact time of year to be mindful.

“With El Niño on track to be one of the three strongest ever over the last 70 years according to NOAA, it should come as no surprise that pack rats became more common this year in terms of our service calls as well as people wanting to find information about them online,” said Scott Nolen, Truly Nolen Pest Control CEO/President.

In houses, pack rats are active at night, searching for food and nest material. Pack rats are known for their characteristic searching of materials to bring back to their nests creating an ever-expanding collection. As the name “pack rat” implies, they have a tendency to pack away small objects such as jewelry, utensils, can tabs, and other items.

 A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying and “trade” it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.

Pack rats can cause extensive damage to your property. Not only do pack rats damage and destroy landscaping, they can also chew through wiring, spoil food, and leave behind fecal pellets. They may also shred upholstered furniture and mattresses for lining nests.

In terms of getting rid of pack rats, there are three standard things people can do. “The most effective rat control begins with prevention by disposing of trash properly and maintaining sanitary conditions in a home,” said Nolen. “When pack rats become a problem in and around structures, making sure any openings in the structure foundation and pipes should be sealed as well as checking for openings in attic vents.”

The majority of pack rat populations in structures can be controlled by using traps. “Pack rats show little fear of new objects in their environment,” said Nolen.

For more information about pack rats, visit our pest identifier page at http://www.trulynolen.com/pest-identifier/, or to take care of your pack rat problem, call one of our local branches to schedule an inspection.

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).


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