COMPLETING OUR 55TH YEAR – Yes, come Christmas we will have completed our 55th year in business here in S.E. Texas. Bill Clark the originator and still the owner and manager – one of 5 kids raised on a 50 acre farm S.E. of Tyler; off to the Navy during the Korean Conflict; on to Texas A&M obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Entomology in 1957; came to S.E. Texas and started a pest control business and a family – the rest is history. Bill Clark Pest Control has grown to be one of the larger pest control firms in Texas and has been honored as one of the top 100 in the nation. Almost sixty staffers with industry unique minimal turnover who have evolved to be specialists on various pest problems. Regionally we reach out to counties including Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Chambers, Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Liberty, and the Bolivar Peninsula. Per our coined name BUGSPERTS, we pride ourselves in being the pest experts – “We’ve Got the Answers” or can find the answers for virtually any pest problem in S.E. Texas. Yes, we are proud of our history and look forward to our future in offering and performing exceptional pest control services in S.E. Texas.
NEW INVASIVE PEST SPECIES JUST KEEP COMING (OR BUGS WITHOUT BORDERS) – Dozens and dozens of new species have settled into this region since our starting in business here in 1957. And, they just keep coming via world travel and massive product imports. Try as they might, inspectors can’t find ‘em all and keep them out. Some pest names that you might recognize in this group would be the likes of fire ants, Formosan termites, Africanized honey bees, smoky brown roaches, the Asian tiger mosquito, and a multitude of new ant species including the currently “hot” Rasberry Crazy Ant. Though some folks might say the Bed Bug is a new invasive species, not really! Via some super pesticides, bed bugs were greatly suppressed from the 1950’s forward. But with the restrictive use and/or removal of some of these pesticides along with bed bugs developing natural pesticide resistance, they came back on the scene with gusto in the 1990’s and have evolved to be a huge problem worldwide. So, such resurgences and the introduction of new invasive species keep us Entomologists on our toes striving to figure out effective control strategies. It’s a challenge we thrive on.
RASBERRY CRAZY ANTS – Yes, this new invasive species came on the scene in the early 2000’s and has quickly evolved to be a serious pest problem throughout our area. Though they don’t spread by flying, their massive numbers and setting up housekeeping everywhere and on everything mobile allows them to spread to new areas rapidly. So, what’s the problem since they don’t bite or sting? Their uncanny reproductive rate allows quickly their numbers to build up into thousands and millions and infest buildings, lawns, vacant lots, equipment, dumpsters, vehicles, etc. These massive populations make control techniques quite challenging as they just keep coming. Though we might kill a million, it seems two million come to the funeral. Some pesticide materials seem to have little or no effect them. Working closely with research entities like Texas A&M we continue to evolve the very best control methods that are helping to slow them down.
EXCLUDE WILDLIFE INVASIONS INTO STRUCTURES – Twice per year we get a surge of calls where unwanted animals are getting in to attics and walls of homes and businesses. As winter approaches, these animals search for and even create entries via their gnawings as they seek winter harborage areas. It happens again in the spring as animals search for sites to bear and raise their young. The ordeal of dealing with such makes prevention (exclusion) a really wise idea. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, skunks, ring-tailed cats, bats, feral birds as well as rats and mice are some of those animals we deal with. Our inspection and exclusion service, then setting up an annual inspection to reassure all is well is growing in popularity. Nobody wants the unnerving experience of having undesirable animals in the attic or walls of their homes and offices.
BEDBUG PROBLEMS SERIOUS – Locally, state wide, nationwide, and worldwide these blood-sucking insects keep evolving to be an enormous problem. Calls coming in to us as well as our inspections detecting them reveals serious problems even locally. Controls are challenging! Reoccurrences happen! Nobody having a problem wants to talk about it. The problem is so rampant and widespread we work with others across the country to bring in the best ideas to attain effective control.
MOSQUITOES – I reckon we’ve always had them. For many years our approach to mosquitoes was somewhat like an approach to Love Bugs – that being to “grin and bear it”! Well, over the years with the advent of several mosquito borne diseases we’ve had to change our approach and get pro-active in providing some relief. We now have a fleet of mosquito fogging trucks going in to refineries and other such “around the clock” operations to fog and give some relief from mosquito problems. We also do “fogging” in communities. In small sites such as yards in residential and commercial settings we can spray or use portable back-pack foggers to give some relief. We also install and maintain mosquito mister systems to timely emit mosquitocides. Born of necessity, these mosquito services have grown to be a large part of our business.
WEATHER & SEASONS DRASTICALLY AFFECTS PEST POPULATIONS – Temperatures – high, low and normal as well as rainfall – high, low and normal all have huge impacts on pest populations and how they impact man. For example, hot, dry temperatures enhance outbreaks of Lawn Chinch Bugs. Timely rains in the fall enhances Lawn Brown Patch Disease which is easily confused with Chinch Bug Symptoms. Hot, dry weather enhances the development and migration into structures of the outdoor Vega Roach (a look-a-like with the common kitchen German Roach). Timely rains and temperature throughout the year can cause surges of mosquito populations. Cold weather in the fall causes pest populations to seek winter shelter in man-made structures. Excessive rains move a variety of pests into structures at any time of the year. A mild winter like last year allows most pest populations to survive with minimum cold weather mortality. These are but a few examples of how we Entomologists see the pest world as affected by weather.
TERMITES – WORST EVER THIS YEAR – The three primary species we deal with – Native Subterranean, Formosan, and Drywood termites – all seemed to have subsided in the past ten to fifteen years, but, came back with a vengeance in 2012. Some reasons we understand – like a mild winter and ideal spring weather – but some of the reasons we don’t yet fully understand. We were challenged this year to stay on top of massive swarming and infestations like never before. This resurgence of these termite problems cause us to plea to any and all who own structures – residential and commercial – to keep them under a termite control / surveillance program to prevent massive damage these termites are capable of doing. Formosan termites, a novelty twenty years ago, have now spread all over S.E. Texas. PLEASE, take termites seriously!
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE KILLER BEES? – Well, they are still around but somewhat camouflaged. Camouflaged because they have crossed with domestic honey-bees and may have lost some of their aggressive habits. As this varies greatly from colony to colony, we don’t trust them and wear our bee-suits. Also, while Mother Nature is doing her thing with this genetic crossing, the news media is not nearly so interested in them. Thus, you don’t hear much about them unless somewhere there is a mass attack resulting in serious injury or death. Plant pollination is the great benefit of honeybees. Honey is mere “dessert” to man! We prefer to leave ‘em be if not a threat to man and his domestic animals. There was a time when bee-keepers would jump at the chance of acquiring a colony. Fearing the Killer Bee strain, they now would rather “NOT”. Some perhaps beneficial side effects of this Africanized strain (Killer Bees) and their crossing with our native honeybees might be: (1) They tend to be more energetic and accumulate more honey; (2) Their reproduction is much greater. Native bees may only send out swarms (surplus offspring) once or twice a year whereas the Africanized and hybrids may send out a half dozen or more “swarms”. Indeed, though nationwide there is a decline in honeybees, our “incidents” in dealing with honeybees has risen sharply in recent years. More bees (which we need), more pollinating (which we need), more “concerns and incidents” (which we don’t need) – Sorry! Again, we only need to be involved if they are a threat to man and domestic animals. They truly are very beneficial!!!
BILL’S BITS ‘BOUT BUGS & BUGSPERTS – …..We were honored to receive the 2012 Dr. Robert A Swerdlow Small Business Person of the Year by the GBCOC…..Marketing Director Barry Bryant frequently cooks and serves bugs at various functions…..Our staff numbers keep growing reaching almost sixty now…..Except for Bill Clark, Gwen Owens is our highest tenured staffer now in her 38th year…..Bring unfamiliar bugs to us for positive identification before taking any action on them. Yes, some are important or even dangerous. But some are beneficial. Most are insignificant of the more than one-million identified species…..Best technique for removing ticks is to apply a glob of liquid soap with a cotton ball…..Not many folks are fond of lizards but they are truly beneficial per their diet of insects…..Lights in, on, or near your home or office can attract insects from afar…..Yet again the Love Bugs have come and gone. Twice per year in March/April and August/September they emerge from swampy areas. ASAP clean ‘em off your car paint; avoid painting during swarm time; grin & bear it!…..Go to www.billclarkbugpserts.com and like us on Facebook…..BC’s greatest thrill is to hear compliments of our staff – like “where do you get such good people?” Well, we work at it hard – recruiting, hiring, training, retaining the best. We’ve had a lot of experience over almost 55 years now. It’s not a perfect art though we try hard at perfection. This makes us who we are. And, enhances your trust in our services and our people…..