CRAZY RASBERRY ANTS IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS
What has six legs, two antennae, thousands of sisters, and can out-compete fire ants? That’s right, Crazy Rasberry Ants and they may be coming to a yard near you. This new invasive ant species was first found in Houston in 2002. Since that time the ants have spread to more than seven counties in Southeast Texas. The first reported cases in Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties were discovered by Bill Clark Pest Control this summer. This new invasive species is difficult to manage and requires treatment above and beyond our normal service agreement. The unusual name comes from the ant’s rapid erratic movement and the last name of the pest management professional who first encountered them. The ants were likely moved from the Caribbean region. They may have been introduced by shipping into the Houston area. Crazy Rasberry Ants cause great annoyance for business and home owners. In fact these ants can become so numerous that they wipe out fire ants and many other insects. Thankfully these ants do not sting but they can short out electrical devices. Currently these ants have only been reported from the a few locations in our region but their spread to additional areas is certain. The exact impact on our area is yet to be seen. For more information about this ant species see our website at www.billclarkbugsperts.com.
PREMIUM PEST SERVICES PROVIDE THE MOST VALUE
Have you wanted termite protection for your home but worry about the cost? Or have you considered the time and money you spend to control fire ants in your yard? What about fleas or rodent exclusion and control? Our premium service options provide solutions to these pest problems for a small additional cost to your quarterly pest service. Here is some brief information about the premium options we offer.
Termites – This option provides termite coverage for much less than the cost of a full treatment. We will inspect and monitor for subterranean termites and will treat areas next to structures when termites are found for no additional cost.
Fire Ants – Provides year-round treatment for fire ants for less than $15 a month for an average yard.
Fleas – This option provides year-round protection from fleas for homes and yards.
Rodent Exclusion and Control – We will inspect and close all rodent entry points observed around your structure and provide control for any rodents that may enter the building.
Add one or more of these services to your quarterly treatment program. Choose multiple premium options and we will reduce the cost for each add on and your quarterly pest service. By combining services, you receive complete pest protection at a great value. Premium services are available for most homes and businesses. Structures must be qualified before service begins.
EXPANDED PERIMETER TREATMENT MEANS LESS PESTICIDES INSIDE AND EASIER SCHEDULING – WE CALL IT ZONE DEFENSE!
Did you know we offer an expanded perimeter treatment that provides you the same level of pest protection without the need to regularly apply pesticides inside your home or business? Our ZONE DEFENSE approach focuses on the areas around the building and the yard that are the source for most pest problems. If pests ever enter the structure we will correct the problem at no additional cost. Advances in pest management products and methods make this approach a reality. Exterior service also means easier scheduling since it is not necessary to be home at the time of treatment. This service is available for new clients or for our current clients who would like to switch to this program.
Each day we hear more and more about “going green”. It’s easy to say but not that easy to define. One extreme would have us change our light bulbs, our diets, our fuel source, and our mode of transportations. Change is fine but it has to work. For us being “green” is about responsibility in the choices we make. Many pests are serious threats to human health and well being and this must also be considered along with environmental factors when developing a pest control strategy. Here are some of the methods we use to protect both human health and the environment:
1. Our treatment is based on Integrated Pest Management which considers non-chemical options as the first method of pest prevention and control.
2. We recommend the correction of conditions conducive to pest activity.
3. We offer pest exclusion and minor repair services to limit pests entry into structures.
4. We continually adopt new methods and products that are effective with the least risk.
5. Our technicians are continually trained to apply products correctly.
6. We encourage a perimeter based treatment that limits pesticide application inside homes and businesses.
7. We believe in doing jobs right the first time, to reduce travel in vehicles and fuel usage.
PANTRY AND FABRIC PESTS
Yes, these are the beetles and moths that eat your food or chew holes in your clothes. Both can be difficult to control. This is why they are not included under our normal service programs. Generally the best thing to do for both is to eliminate the source of the problem. Unfortunately finding the source is not always easy either. For pantry pests, go through food and pet food items. Throw away potentially infested items that have damaged packaging or look old and out of condition. For fabric pests, regularly check clothing or rugs made of wool or other natural fibers. Work with a dry cleaner to protect these items. Some pesticide treatment is possible for both situations but results are mixed.
WASPS LOOKING FOR A WINTER HOME
Wasps must find shelter to survive the winter. Mated females find a secure location though the cooler weather and start new nests in the Spring. Sometimes groups of wasps will shelter in attics or other places around homes. Clusters of wasps are normally not aggressive but should be treated by a professional.
WHAT ABOUT BATS
Each year we take a small number of bat calls. Bats are protected by state laws but there are rules that allow bat removal from structures. Bat removal can range from simple to extremely complex. Removal involves making a one way barrier where bats can exit a structure but not reenter their roost site. A small portion of all bat populations have rabies. Although the risk is small, always avoid contact with bats and seek treatment if any contact occurs. Untreated rabies is 100% fatal. Treatment must be started before symptoms appear.
WHY DO SKUNKS SMELL SO BAD
Skunks are well known for their foul odor but have you ever wondered what makes them smell so bad? The liquid produced by the skunks scent glands consist of sulfurous compounds that mix to form one type of mercaptan. Related chemicals are released by decaying plants or animals and used as additives to natural gas. In addition to the odorous element, skunk “spray” also contains chemicals that make it stick. This is why a faint skunky odor can linger for several weeks. The chemicals that make skunk spray cling are used in cosmetics and perfumes for lasting effect. Skunks spray when stressed or attacked and can release liquid up to 15 feet. Reactions to skunk spray which include eye irritation and vomiting are similar to the reaction to tear gas.
HOW OLD IS THAT TERMITE DAMAGE
This question has led to debates and even lawsuits by property owners about who is responsible for termite damage. The simple answer is that there is not a positive, proven method to determine how long termites have been in a structure or when damage occurred. The only way damage can be dated is to connect it to some known event. In one example paint was found inside termite galleries proving at least some of the damage was there at the time the house was repainted. This is an exception to the rule. The bottom line is there is no reliable way to know. We offer a termite monitoring program that provides detection and treatment for termites around structures. This service can be done along with your quarterly pest service. Let us start this program to give you peace of mind about termites today.
RODENTS – ANOTHER FALL TRADITION
Along with hunting season and football, there is another fall tradition- rodents. As the first few cold fronts move through, rodents move towards buildings seeking shelter and warmth. Rodents will take advantage of existing holes in structures or enlarge small openings to allow entry. Common entry points are around doorways, window, or utility conduits that are not properly sealed. The key to long-term rodent control is to prevent rodent entry in the first place. We offer rodent exclusion and rodent management services to prevent and correct rodent infestations. Don’t let rodents be a part of your fall season.
This condition occurs when people believe they are being bitten or attacked by bugs when no “pest” is present. These complaints most often occur in the spring and fall with changes in temperature and humidity. In some cases real environmental factors such as static electricity, paper fragments, and other true causes can exist. The power of suggestion is also strong. One person complaining about bites can make a whole office feel they are infested. As with other physical ailments, this conditions can cause social and emotional stress. Working through these situations is difficult. Sometimes a dermatologist—or even a psychiatrist needs to get involved. The key point is that we do not treat structures without an identified pest.
BIRD FEEDERS A FAVORITE FOR RATS – An English study of 6,500 rat problems confirmed that more than a fourth were linked to residents feeding birds in their yards. Rats are attracted by excess feeding and spillage. In our area this problem is compounded when these households back up against our numerous bayous and waterways whose banks are prime habitats for rats. We certainly don’t want to discourage feeding birds but want you to know feeders are an attractant for rats. Bird feeders should be cleaned and maintained to reduce spillage. Also, do not put out too much food to begin with.
BITS ABOUT BUGS AND OTHER PESTS
Rodents destroy an estimated one fifth to one third of the world’s human food supply. Norway Rats can stay afloat for 72 hours in water before drowning. Feral Hogs in Texas are estimated at over 2 million. One sow can be the ancestor of 1000 hogs in a five year period. What if ¼ of the 2 million hogs in Texas are sows?