21
Aug

Honey Bees News

bee_health_300HONEY BEES NEWS

Excerpt from PMP Magazine

Honey bees have a tremendous impact in our lives, back yards and communities, including pollinating many of the fruits and vegetables we love to eat.  Without them, feeding our families and growing beautiful gardens would be a bigger challenge.

On this National Honey Bee Day, there is good news on bee health:

  • Honey bee populations are stable or increasing globally;
  • After a long winter, hives on two continents were stronger than in previous years;
  • The President started an initiative to find ways to improve honey bee health; and
  • New public/private partnerships are addressing forage and nutrition challenges.

Even with this good news, there remains much work to do as bee experts agree that honey bee health is affected by many stressors.  From a lack of food and heavy workload while being trucked from coast to coast pollinating crops to diseases and deadly pests, honey bees are constantly facing obstacles. There’s even the deadly Varroa mite, which has been called “the single most detrimental pest of honey bees” because it sucks their blood just like a giant tick and can ultimately destroy an entire colony. Honey bees are vital to our agriculture and urban landscapes, and it is important that they stay strong.

If you have a honey bees nest you want removed, call Royal Pest planet-friendly pest control and we can relocate the nest.

 

30
Jul

NPMA/AAFA study links pests with asthma, allergies

NPMA/AAFA study links pests with asthma, allergies (PMP June 2014)

American Cockroach

American Cockroach

FAIRFAX, Va. — More than nine out of 10 allergists surveyed (97 percent) believe a pest-free home is an important step in preventing asthma and allergy symptoms, according to a recent survey conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) supported by a grant from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The survey was conducted among medical professionals at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy,  Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in March 2014 in San Diego. The study, which included nearly 500 allergists, was conducted to assess physicians’ views on pests and their recommendations to patients with sensitivities to pest allergens. “The health threats posed by pests like cockroaches, rodents and stinging insects are serious but can be reduced by taking action against pest infestations,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NPMA.

From the American Lung Association:

Simple precautions can protect individuals who are particularly sensitive to cockroach allergens.

  • Keep your home clean.
  • If you have a cockroach problem, contact a professional exterminator.
  • Reduce humidity.
  • Common problem spots are beds, carpet, furnishings and clothing.
  • Carpeting should be replaced by smooth flooring in homes with allergic individuals. If this is not possible, regular vacuuming of carpets (two to three times a week) may minimize exposure to allergens. However, vacuuming also can stir up dust and allergens in the carpet and temporarily make air quality worse. People with allergies to cockroaches should not vacuum or be in the room while it is being cleaned.

Contact Royal Pest at www.royalpest.com or call 800-769-2573

23
Jul

WASPS and Other Stinging Insects Tips.

WASPS and Other Stinging Insects Tips.50_Paper Wasp

Here are a few facts to help you protect yourself from stinging insects this season:

  • Unlike some stinging insect species, wasps are known for their unprovoked aggression. A single colony of wasps can contain more than 15,000 members, so an infestation should not be taken lightly.
  • Some stinging insects can build their nests in the ground, including yellow jackets and velvet ants, which despite their name are a species of wasp. Velvet ants have a painful, needlelike stinger that can provoke an allergic reaction. Over-seeding your yard provides more coverage and
    discourages these pests from nesting on your property.
  • Painting or staining untreated wood in fences, decks, swing sets and soffits will help keep stinging insects such as carpenter bees out.
    Carpenter bees resemble bumblebees and create nests by drilling tunnels into soft wood, which over time, can severely compromise
    the stability of a structure.
  • Only female carpenter bees have stingers. Female carpenter bees will only sting if threatened, but reactions to these stings can range from mild irritation to life-threatening respiratory distress.
  • The NPMA recommends inspecting your property frequently for signs of a stinging insect infestation. Common nesting sites include under eaves, on ceiling beams in attics, garages and sheds and under porches. If you find a nest or suspect an infestation, it is critical that you hire a pest professional. Attempting to remove a nest on your own can be extremely dangerous.

Please don’t try and remove a nest. Call 800-769-2573 or visit www.royalpest.com and we’ll determine if you have a dangerous nest and remove it or relocate it if they are beneficial bees.

13
May

Termite Prevention Tips for Homeowners

Termite (Hi-Res)Termite Prevention Tips

There are many steps a homeowner can take to help prevent termites from infesting their property.
Most importantly, a homeowner should eliminate or reduce moisture in and around their home,
which termites need to thrive. Here are some other tips:

  • Divert water away from your home's foundation by installing properly functioning downspouts,
    gutters and splash blocks.
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
  • Trim vines, hedges and other vegetation to prevent them from blocking vents.
  • Remove old form boards, grade stakes, tree trunks and roots near a building, as they may attract termites.
  • Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and and 5 inches off the ground. Check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
  • Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.

If you suspect you have termites or see a termite swarm, call Royal Pest at 800-769-2573
or visit www.royalpest.com for a FREE inspection and evaluation.

8
May

7 facts about – Flies

7 facts about – Flies

  • Flies have been around as long as mankind and have been found on all seven continents.
  • There are more than 120,000 species of flies.Fly
  • Flies are attracted by movement more than color.
  • Flies can transmit deadly diseases such as typhoid fever,
    dysentery, cholera, yaws, anthrax, leprosy and tuberculosis,  just to name a few.
  • A fly’s feeding range usually is limited to two miles.
  • Flies have a smelling distance of more than 750 yards.
  • A single garbage can, if not emptied, can serve as the breeding ground for 30,000 flies.

For fly control at your home or business
contact Royal Pest 800-769-2573
or www.royalpest.com

 Source: www.jfoakes.com

6
May

Safeguard Your Home Against Pests To Help Prevent Allergies And Asthma

American Cockroach droppings can be an asthma trigger

American Cockroach droppings can be an asthma trigger

Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses during the spring season on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well. It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If you suspect an infestation, Royal Pest Solutions to safely remove the threat.
21
Apr

Why are there Spiders in My Bathroom?

We are all familiar with the bathroom-spider. The one spider that stays quietly creeping in the corner near the ceiling. Or perhaps it is a new spider every day, the first begetting the next and so-forth so that there is a constant flow of closely related bathroom-spider buddies. Whatever your guess, whether winter or spring, we have all been haunted by these pesky spiders that climb in through small cracks in the window or get carried in from other rooms in the home.

To a homeowner, the bathroom seems like the farthest place any insect would want to be. It's nowhere near the kitchen and no amount of human-food has ever passed over its threshold. Despite all of the unattractive qualities of the full bathroom, spiders seem to love to make it home. And, to those familiar with the biological needs of insects and bugs, we know this is no accident.

What bathrooms provide to spiders is a water-park paradise. Spiders and insects have what is called a poor surface-area-to-volume ratio. The small size of spiders keeps there volume very low, while their surface area is still significant. This makes them prone to evaporation, removing great amounts of water through their exoskeleton into the air. Like all creatures, spiders need water to survive. Because they cannot risk becoming dehydrated, living near a source of water helps them to survive.

So despite our paranoia that spiders choose to lurk in bathroom corners to strike us when we are most vulnerable, they are likely equally displeased to see us. Each time we enter the bathroom, we replenish their fountain of life so that they can live another day. And as we leave, they can take advantage of the drops of water we have left behind and sweep up other insect visitors into their webs to satiate their hunger.

21
Apr

Are You a Good Bug or a Bad Bug?

For the past several weeks I have been working to complete a presentation to show that many bugs that are considered "bad", make a lot of helpful environmental contributions. For someone new to Royal Pest, they may think that to be in the pest industry, you must want to destroy all matter of insects and pests. But at Royal, working alongside knowledgeable entomologists, they realize that some insects should be protected.

While termites inside an individual's home can cause expensive damage and be dangerous, it is not necessary to crush every termite you may see as you take a leisurely hike through the forest. As termites break up wood and soil, they create rich mulch that aid in the growth of new vegetation. Additionally, as they travel through the soil, they help to aerate the earth to produce hearty growing conditions. Termites are very helpful in producing new growth.

Ladybugs are easily recognized by all. We are taught at an early age to recognize the beauty of the ladybird beetle (its "scientific" common name) and its wish-fulfilling properties. With the exception of the gardening community, few know that they are wonderful at eliminating harmful insects like aphids from from garden flowers and vegetables. While aphids feed on the sugars of plants and can ruin their productivity, the ladybugs eat them all up and protect the plant.

Taking this concept one step further, ladybugs are VORACIOUS predators - especially as larvae. They have immense appetites and will eat nearly any insect small enough to eat. I remember my early days of insect catching. I was not familiar with the appearance of the ladybug larvae and accidentally caught a live one in my vile. Before I knew it, nearly half of the other bugs had been devoured by the hungry critter! Most are not taught that, while beautiful, these small, red beetles have lion-sized appetites!

ladybug_larvae

 

7
Apr

Insect-Inspired Design: Honeycomb Humvee Tires

Humvee_NPT01

Despite a lack of consciousness, insects never cease to surprise me with regard to their nearly unfaltering programming. Insects are truly hardy insects that continue to evolve to withstand constant environmental changes. Their actions appear to have true purpose. The pattern and color on a butterfly's wing, the birth of an ant into a worker or a queen - each action is driven by a biological knowledge of what is best for the species.

As researchers grow to understand more about insect behavior, innovators are inspired by insects' efficiency. A simple Google search of "insect-inspired design" brings up a wealth of articles. Fashion designers are inspired by a tropical beetle's colors and an architect uses the structure of a dragonfly's wing to design a green building for a city landscape. However, I was drawn to a particular design by Resilient Technology, a Wisconsin-based polymer engineering company. In 2008, they designed an air-less wheel for Humvees, inspired by the structure and strength of a honeybee's hive.

Opening a beehive will reveal a beautiful display of hexagonal honeycomb. These wax structures are home to developing larvae and store pounds of honey and pollen for food. The use of hexagons, although often overlooked, should be recognized as having great purpose. Hexagons in this array are able to withstand great amounts of pressure without compacting. The strength of this design makes it desirable for other purposes.

These Humvee tires, while still in development, will be able to maintain the great weight of the Humvee while eliminating the need for air in the tires. Air-less tires, as the developers suggest, will create safer conditions for drivers and passengers in the vehicle. Traditional tires run the risk of blowouts which could leave service men and women in a dangerous situation, but a honeycomb design will enable the vehicle to continue to move regardless of circumstances. In fact, testing has indicated that even after the destruction of  large portion of the comb (about 30%) the tire can still function normally.

It is encouraging to see insects receiving the recognition they deserve for innovative and constructive behavior. Insects continue to inspire the work of artists, engineers and architects in ways that are streamlined and beneficial to all.

For more info: http://www.resilienttech.com/images/pdfs/Resilient-Tech-Airless-Tire_Diesel-Progress.pdf

24
Feb

Sitting in on the Short Course

talking_ants_wideLast week I had the opportunity to sit in on the 55th Annual Short Course hosted by the Delaware Pest Association at the University of Delaware. The Short Course is a two day seminar for technicians and other pest management professionals that hosts a number of speakers in the field. Each speaker has an hour to discuss a unique topic pertaining to the pest management business. It is an opportunity for pest professionals to network, learn from one another, and discuss new and exciting improvements being made in the field.

As I am only starting out in the field as an intern for Royal Pest, I found that, like my experience here, the seminar stressed the importance of balancing smart business practices with the utilization of innovative pest management techniques. Topics ranged from the discussion of smart advertising and management of ant and bed bug contracts, new heating methods to remove bed bug infestations, all the way to a history lesson on the impact of insects in public health.

Having an entomology background and knowing that all pest control companies do not strive to be as planet friendly as Royal Pest, I had some concerns that the seminar might be a detailed step-by-step manual for destroying all insects as quickly as possible. However, after a day of accomplished speakers, it was clear that this was not the case. The individuals in the room had a respect for insects - a curiosity about their practices and their history that I share.

As each speaker began and introduced the insect they were focusing on, they stressed the necessity of identifying the insect correctly and recognizing its behaviors. Not all ants are the same - this is a point that was repeated over and over to those in the audience. The discussions assisted technicians in giving them the tools to know what to look for: how to identify an insect, its biology and life cycle. Being in the pest control world is not completely driven by knowing what chemicals do what, but also by what insects do what and acknowledging their impact inside a home and in an environment.

For example, one of the speakers that drew my interest the most discussed the history of pest control and insects' impact on public health. Although we have nearly eradicated malaria from this part of the world, mosquitoes continue to vector this harmful disease in other areas. Realizing that mosquitoes vector a harmful disease once empowered interested individuals to take action and find ways to eliminate the disease in this country. The information and history expressed in this speaker's presentation could be the inspiration that drives today's pest professionals to update their methods for controlling other potentially harmful pests like ticks and mice.

The Short Course was an environment full of knowledgeable, engaged pest control professionals hungry to learn more about their field and how they can contribute to it. While raised, questioning hands were scarce, the alert attention given to the speakers was apparent. It was a refreshing experience for me that has continued to stress the necessity of fueling technicians, sales people, and managers with the most updated information.

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