Mosquitoes target who they bite.

Mosquitoes menu_comicBased on a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Smithsonian Magazine, here are a few reasons mosquitoes are more attracted to some people more than others:

  1. They prefer Type O blood.
  2. They are attracted to carbon dioxide and body temperature so the more you sweat and exhale, the more likely you are to be bitten.
  3. Pregnant women tend to be targeted more often.
  4. Mosquitoes also use vision to locate their target and will see you wearing red more easily than when you’re wearing neutral colors.
  5. Mosquitoes favorite time to be out is around dusk.
  6. They thrive around water so make sure you spill out any collected rain water around your home, keep bird bath water fresh, and keep your gutters clean.
  7. Mosquitoes are attracted to motion so if you’re running around, they will notice you.
  8. According to one study, one 12-oz can of beer can make you more attractive to mosquitoes. There are theories about this but for the most part it’s still a mystery.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using products with ≥20% DEET on exposed skin to reduce biting by ticks and mosquitoes that may spread disease.

Call Royal Pest Solutions and let us show you how we can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard. 800-762-2158.


Ice. Snow. Wind. And Pests

Ice_20dam_205Beware of Ice Dams on Your Roof
During the Winter, we protect ourselves from ice, snow and wind.

There are also a few things to think about when it comes to protecting your home from pests this winter:

  •  Snow and Ice: Keep on the lookout for ice dams which can damage walls, ceilings, insulation and drywall and also attract pests that love moisture such as termites and carpenter ants. Keeping gutters clear can help prevent ice dams, and leaky spots in the home could indicate that one has formed.
  • Wind: Strong winds can damage roofs and siding, allowing points of entry for nuisance wildlife such as raccoons and bats. Periodically check for missing roof shingles or holes. A simple check is to go into your attic on a sunny day, take a flashlight so you can see where you are walking, turn out lights and inspect your roof.

Royal Pest will do a FREE INSPECTION of your home in the winter to look for entry points for pests. We can also check the insulation level in your attic to make sure you have the correct R value for an energy-efficient home.

Click here to schedule a FREE INSPECTION or call us at 800-769-2573.


Cold Weather Drives Mice Indoors

Cold Weather Drives Mice Indoors

Mice chew on electrical wires

Mice chew on electrical wires

As the temperatures drop outside, mice and rats head inside to search for food, shelter and warmth.
"Every home either has or will have mice," says John Moore, Entomologist at Royal Pest Solutions.

Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. They squeeze through cracks and crevices in the foundation and crawl space, between siding and concrete block and the space where the fascia board meets the decking on the roof. They have even been known to swim through sewer lines or climb vertically up drain pipes to enter homes.

Most people realize they have a mouse problem after noticing droppings, evidence of nesting, gnaw marks on doors and furniture, or damage to packaged foods and dry goods.
One of the main reasons mice and rats take up residence in homes is due to the abundance of food and protection from the cold.
The gnawing can cause considerable damage to your home. Rodents have been known to chew on things like wires, PVC piping, furniture, bricks and anything made of wood. In some cases, rodents have started house fires from chewing through electrical wires.

The greatest threat mice and rats pose to humans, however, is contact with disease and bacteria transmitted through rodent droppings and bites. Exposure to rodent droppings can transmit serious illnesses such as hantavirus, salmonella and leptospirosis. Rodent bites can transmit plague, rat-bite fever or infection.

Call Royal Pest and let us do a free inspection of the exterior of your home. We’ll look for all the ways mice can get into your home such as cracks in the foundation, gaps around doors and windows and where the gutters connect to the fascia board.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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!




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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