TERMITE PROBLEMS MADE WORSE BY RITA
South East Texas has always been a mecca for several species of termites. But, as the saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”! Rita damaged structures are open invitations for termites to hammer. Folks priorities are such that termites and their ravages may be briefly forgotten. The incredible numbers of fallen trees with underground stumps and roots will provide food for termites for years to come. These ideal conditions will greatly enhance the spread and survival of termite swarmers this spring. Some might wonder if this massive availability of food (wood) might deter the termites from infesting structures. To the contrary! Even though ample food (wood) might be available, the very nature of subterranean termites is to constantly comb their territory and stake out additional sources of food. Though these “new sources” of food will be staked out, then, due to natural sap, may not be immediately as palatable as other wood. As time goes by, this will be a mecca. Structures cooled in summer and heated in winter are extremely attractive to termites. The many hidden areas of entry are ideal for the recluse termites. The dread Formosan Termites continue to spread across the state now known to exist in 20 odd counties. Entrenched throughout our area, the effects of Rita will cause an explosion of the Formosan Termite population over time. By the way, wood “chips” are available for free. DO NOT USE for mulching around foundation. We have always urged the protection of structures from termites given that sooner or later virtually every structure will have it’s day with termites. Rita traumatically compounds the need for protection. So, if you have a Termite Service Agreement with us, keep it! If you don’t, consider getting this protection. The damage that termites can do should make “protection” a high priority. Call us about “protection”!
EFFECTS OF RITA AND A MILD WINTER COMPOUNDS VIRTUALLY ALL PEST PROBLEMS – Look out folks, virtually every pest known to man has been favored by what Mother Nature has dished out during recent months. Large roaches, several ant species, termites, lawn chinch bugs, mosquitoes, rodents, nuisance animals – you name it – all have been “blessed” by favorable weather – thanks to Mother Nature. We are gearing up to deal with these problems! Our ongoing maintenance services – for pest control and/or termites is your best way to effectively deal with these problems. Ignoring the “maintenance” approach allows problems to get out of hand. Don’t let it happen to you – keep our maintenance services.
TERMITE SWARMING – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Termite swarming is a strange phenomenon that happens every spring. Existing colonies of termites develop massive numbers of reproductives or “swarmers” during the winter months. They stay in a “hold” status until spring when favorable temperatures, humidity, and moisture trigger their emergence. This “triggering effect” causes simultaneous swarming over a large region – millions of them fly out of hiding, settle down, find a mate and pair off, and start a new colony. Existing colonies gear up to spread out and search for new food sources (some in our structures) as warm weather favors their activity. Our native subterranean termites swarm mostly in March and April with the Formosan Termites a bit later. So, swarming of termites is a natural happening that spreads their kind. Percentage wise many will not survive! But the many favorable effects from Rita will likely cause a higher percentage of survival this year. The “swarmers” are a reminder to be on the lookout for structural infestation. Be aware!
OUR COUNT DOWN TO FIFTY (50) YEARS IN BUSINESS HERE
It’s hard for me to realize that come next Christmas we will begin counting down to our fifty years in business in this area. Fresh out of Texas A&M with a degree in Entomology, having worked for Stroope Pest Control in Waxahachie during the summer months, Don Stroope and I came to Beaumont during the Christmas holidays in 1957 and decided to open a branch office in this area. This partnership was dissolved in 1965 when I bought out Stroope’s interest. We changed the name to Bill Clark Pest Control, Inc. – the rest is history! Fifty years is a long time! Years ago I felt I would be retired by now – but, “I got over it.” I still enjoy what I do immensely. Blessed with an incredible good staff, I enjoy this life – thanks to clients like you who use and appreciate our expertise and our services.
EXPECTED PEST PROBLEMS DURING NEXT FEW MONTHS
We strive to get this PESTTRENDS bulletin out to you in the spring and fall. So, what’s in store, pest – wise, from now until fall? Space doesn’t allow me to touch on all possible pest problems – and, weather is a big factor in determining the intensity of problems. But, here are a few “mentionables”: Various ROACH SPECIES are always a problem! The two greatest are the small German Roaches (a problem inside the year around) and the large Smoky Brown Roach (can live inside or outside) Several ANT SPECIES infest structures and close proximity with enhanced problems as warm weather comes TERMITES (several species) swarm in spring but are active the year around MOSQUITOES have survived the winter very well. They will be a problem FLEAS can be a serious problem as warm weather helps their cause Ditto on TICKS PANTRY PESTS (moths and beetles) are a year around problem to watch out for CLOTHES MOTHS and CARPET BEETLES can crop up at any time on animal origin fabrics LOVE BUGS, also called “March Flies,” do their annual thing in March or April with a second generation in the Fall LAWN CHINCH BUGS are expected to be a serious problem – and earlier than usual due to the mild winter Small creatures such as SPRINGTAILS and SHRIMP BUGS can show up around – or in – structures in spring and summer BARK LICE may encompass tree limbs and trunks with a visible webbing during warm months RODENTS may be worse than normal from Rita effects LIGHT ATTRACTING INSECTS are tugged to structure proximity from light emissions HONEY BEES will soon be swarming. (Killer Bees are here and have moved in to Louisiana.)
THESE ARE BUT A FEW “PEST PROBLEMS” that you may encounter from now until fall. Call us for positive identification and how best to deal with them should you encounter these or other “pests”.
ABOUT OUR STAFF
YOU, OUR CLIENTS are precious to us! But also precious is our trained, experienced, and dedicated staff. These staff members make us what we are. Our Support Staff (office), our Managers, our Sales Staff and our Service Technicians make me proud to come to work each day. I know they are out there using their training and experienced expertise to solve and/or prevent pest problems. Our General Manager Buzz Kiker along with our Technical and Training Director Dr. Bart Foster are key in helping all of us to be the very best we can be. YOU, OUR CLIENT benefit from this incredibly good staff. We are proud to offer them to protect you from pest problems.
CARING ABOUT YOUR LAWN
Scalp it soon, fertilize it with proper fertilizer, water it (infrequently, heavily, and early in the day), mow it frequently about two inches high, and let it grow. “Weeds” exist in virtually every yard – do those good deeds to help the St. Augustine grass outgrow the weeds. I prefer to avoid the use of selective herbicides. Our mild winter has allowed Brown Patch Disease to flourish. Effectively controlling this disease with fungicides is iffy and expensive. A healthy lawn will usually come back quickly from the effects of Brown Patch Disease. Lawn Chinch Bugs were bad last year and many lawn owners didn’t act soon enough to avoid serious damage. Chinch Bugs often kill sections of lawns. Our mild winter has allowed the Chinch Bug population to over-winter in abundant numbers. So, as spring and summer unfurls, watch out for yellow or brown “spots” – call us to inspect and advise.
FIRE ANTS CAN BE CONTROLLED
Fire ants are the number one pest problem in the south. More than 325 million acres in the Southern United States are infested with fire ants. They are a serious pest that are both an economic and heath risk. Fire ant stings (not bites) can cause serious reactions that can result in hospitalization and death. Fire ant control is especially critical when children, pets and people susceptible to allergic reactions are sharing the same areas fire ants invade. Home and business owners spend over 2 billion dollars annually on fire ant treatments. Most of this is for over the counter “do-it-yourself” materials that fails to get the desired results for the user. There are many reasons for these failures. Using the correct materials is very important, but knowing how and when to apply the different materials is most important. This is where most home and business owners that do it themselves fail. The Bugsperts at Bill Clark Pest Control have extensively studied the biology and habits of fire ants for years. Without this knowledge, everything you do may be hit and miss, mostly miss, treatments. We have spent much time studying research information on the various fireant treatment methods and materials to determine which gives the most effective control, and for the longest time. We have determined that the most effective fire ant treatment material IS NOT AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER. With our experience and using what we consider to be the most effective fire ant treatment materials, we can now offer a fire ant treatment program and give our clients a ONE YEAR GUARANTEE. The cost is affordable, especially when you consider ridding your property of fire ants and the threats they pose. The cost can be pennies a day for an average size residential lawn. Many yard owners spend this or more on do-it-yourself products that fail to accomplish desired results. Call us, or, talk with your Service Technician for a FREE PROPOSAL and explanation of how our ONE YEAR GUARANTEE fire ant program will give your lawn back to you. We don’t just move the fire ants, we exterminate them.