SMALL ANIMALS A GROWING URBAN PROBLEM
As urban growth sprawls to outlying areas, this often invades the normal habitats of a multitude of small animals. These may include the likes of raccoons, opossums, skunks, ringtailed cats, squirrels, snakes, feral birds, etc. Some go away, but some may “adapt” to live in these changed environments. It seems every year we get more and more calls on such problems. Some of these small animals actually thrive and co-exist in close proximity with man. Some of these animals along with rats and mice can become serious problems in our yards and even in structures that are not well sealed. Every “case” has its own uniqueness. We would remind you that thoroughly inspecting and sealing your home and other structures is the way to go to avoid these problems. Some of these animals can and will create points of entry via their gnawing. So periodically checking and resealing is appropriate. Avoiding and/or eliminating piles of debris in outside areas will help cut down on the potential problems. We urge you to do what is necessary to avoid these problems. Dealing with any such animals once they gain structural access is aggravating, to say the least.
FLIES OF ALL SIZES A GROWING PROBLEM
Some are small, some are larger, but all fly species seem to be increasing as pest problems each year. Perhaps in earlier years we associated fly problems uniquely with food service facilities such as restaurants. Not so any more! We now find some such problems in a multitude of structures – even homes. Solutions to control and/or prevent such problems are often evasive. As we “network” with research institutions and peers across the nation we realize this growing pest problem is not just in this area alone. Our PhD Entomologist Dr. Bart Foster is working diligently to come up with effective solutions to these growing fly problems.
TICKS & FLEAS – PESTICIDE RESISTANCE CAUSES PROBLEMS TO INCREASE
If you have dogs and/or cats as pets, if your neighbor has them, if you have visitors bringing them in, or, if you visit someone with pets, you can bring in fleas and/or ticks on your clothes. Point is, if you are associated in any way with dogs and/or cats, you have had or will “have your day” with fleas and/or ticks somewhere along the way. Many years ago we had “effective tools” to deal with these problems. Evolved pesticide resistance by fleas and ticks has been such that controlling these pests today often is a challenging problem. A given “case” may be a snap for us. The next one may be a nightmare. Totally avoiding such problems may not be possible. Even Vets products are caught up in this resistance. A few tips that might be helpful in avoiding such problems; INSIDE – 1) Keep animals “treated” per vet as often as possible to help avoid outbreak; 2) Deal with a problem promptly rather than letting it drag out to a serious problem; 3) Frequently vacuum areas where animals are at rest (empty vacuum contents outside immediately); 4) Get a few washable rugs or mats and place where pet(s) mostly lay around – try to train pet to use them (good luck on cats). Then every week or two fold mats inward and toss in washing machine. Outside – Cats go where they please. Dogs will choose a few spots to lay around. Keep a vet recommended pesticide dust to periodically (every 2 or 3 weeks) to dust “lay around” areas. Frequently “treat” animal!
It is not an easy task to avoid these problems. Maybe these “tips” can help!
CELEBRATING OUR 50TH YEAR
Wow, it seems like 1957 was just yesterday when I first came to this area to set up a business in pest control. With the Navy behind me and fresh out of Texas A&M with a B.S. degree in Entomology, I had no fear. At first I sold and then serviced. The biggest jump was when I hired my first employee. Then on and on until today when we have almost 50 staff members. Growth at one per year sounds mighty slow. But it was slow, cautious growth – never a flash in the pan. So here we are – 50 years later – one of the top independent Pest Control firms in Texas and ranked in the top 100 nationwide. Our tenured staff of BUGSPERTS got us here and keeps us here. They are why you use our services. As we soon begin our second 50 years, we pledge to continue providing knowledgeable, quality service. You well know – “WE’VE GOT THE ANSWERS”!!!!
HOW FEARFUL – AND PERHAPS IGNORANT – ARE WE OF “CHEMICALS” (copied)
“A junior high student in the Pacific Northwest designed a science project. His project included a petition demanding strict government control of or total elimination of “dihydrogen monoxide”. He gave the following justifications:
• It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting.
• It is a major component of acid rain.
• It can cause severe burns when in the gaseous state.
• Accidental inhalation kills.
• It is one cause of soil erosion.
• It decreases the effectiveness of automobile brakes.
• It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.
Of the fifty people asked to support the ban, forty-three said “yes”, six were undecided and only one knew that “dihydrogen monoxide” was water. His award-winning project was entitled “How Gullible Are We?”
A CHANGE OF GUARD – KIKER OUT, BJORNAAS IN
General Manager Buzz Kiker decided to retire at the end of 2006. Kiker, as we called him (‘cause we have another Buz) grew up in the Fannett area and has for many years lived on the old family farm. If you are an old Beaumonter, you’ve known some of the Kiker family. All of us at BCPC are really gonna miss him – his wit, his forthright honesty, his deep caring for all people – all traits any of us would like to have. Kiker is spending more time with his horses, cows and grandchildren. WE WISH HIM THE BEST!!! So, in comes Glenn Bjornaas who has been in this field all of his adult life in the Dallas and Houston areas. We had known him in the industry for many years so he is no stranger to us. Glenn brings a wealth of experience to the table and all of us are excited as we watch him getting up to speed.
FINDING TERMITE SWARMERS JUST MIGHT BE YOUR LUCKY DAY
That’s right, finding and seeing termite swarmers motivates most folks to take action to control and prevent termites. Termites don’t always swarm where you can see them. Such cases can go on for years where serious termite damage accrues. Dr. Roger Gold, Entomology Endowed Chair holder at Texas A&M looks at structures in our area in three ways: they have termites; they had termites but problems have been corrected; will have termites in time – 100%. Wow! And when you consider termites do some two (2) billion dollars worth of damage each year in the U.S., and, the further south you get, the worse the problem, and, tree laden areas are the worse of the worst – you get the picture! This area is the “dark zone” for termites. So, if you have termite protection, keep it. If you don’t, get it. If you build new, treat it during construction. DON’T RISK COSTLY TERMITE DAMAGE!!!
SPECIAL SERVICES – A NEW DIVISION OF OUR COMPANY
As I write, we are working toward developing a new division of our firm called SPECIAL SERVICES. Though not totally firmed up yet, we are looking at a dedicated department who would deal with the likes of minor carpentry repairs, termite damage repairs, removal of conducive conditions (on termites and other pests), sealing & pest exclusion, small animal removal and exclusion, venomous pest removal (bees, wasps, etc.), and sealing, etc. Though we already do some of these Special Services, the demand for such causes us to look intensely at a dedicated department to handle these needs. We will be in touch as this progresses.
OUR NEW FIREANT PROGRAM
About a year ago we introduced a program where we could treat fireants and guarantee this service for a full year. Many folks jumped at this and are now renewing for yet another year. If you didn’t get in on this, consider it – it works! Call us for a free inspection, measurement (small or large areas) and the cost of this much appreciated fire ant prevention program.
SWARMING HONEY BEES
From early spring until fall we get many calls from folks that have discovered a colony of honey bees somewhere in a crevice in their home or office building. When such occurs, ideally we would want to call a bee keeper to remove these highly beneficial insects. Problem is, with the advent of the Africanized “Killer Bees” and parasitic mites, bee keepers are reluctant to capture and retain these wild bees. Certainly with the coming of the “Killer Bees”, folks tend to panic when they see a swarm of bees. Some bees may have already entered and colonized in the structure but sometimes they may be clustered on the side of the house or a limb waiting for the scouts to find a home for them. This comes from colonies splitting up when they become overpopulated. The Africanized Honey Bee splits up many more times during the year than our native Honey Bees. Because we never know when we may encounter the Killer Bees, our staff members have bee suits that we encourage them to wear. Sealing would be highly beneficial in preventing most colonizing of Honey Bees in structures.
THIS PAST WINTER’S IMPACT ON PESTS – Seemed like a lengthy and cold winter. But, do you realize it only got barely below freezing two or three times? So, insects fared just fine with plenty of “seed” for the summer and fall buildup in numbers.
TRAVELER’S SUGGESTIONS FOR AVOIDING BED BUGS
1. Treat your bags with insect repellent to deter Bed Bugs from hitching a ride home.
2. Avoid bringing personal items (pillow, blanket, etc.)
3. Bring a penlight flashlight to look into dark places.
4. Pay attention to unusual odors. A musty, sweet odor might indicate a significant Bed Bug presence.
5. Place luggage on luggage rack, or against the far wall, away from the bed and nightstands, not on the bed.
6. Avoid placing clothing in bureau drawers.
7. Remove headboard, look for Bed Bugs & blood spots.
8. Look in drawers & bedside tables for Bed Bug signs.
If you find signs of Bed Bugs, call hotel management & have them move you to another room. Make sure the room is NOT immediately adjacent to the infested room you are departing.
BEDBUGS? YES, THEY ARE HERE!
Big hype going on – and, it’s real! They are here! They are nation wide! They are very difficult to control given the ordeal of needed preparation and “tossing” of furniture, mattresses, etc. Yea! So, you don’t want them. Cut out and carry on trips “Travelers Suggestions” on left. Call us – if problems; if questions!!!
BILL’S BITS ‘BOUT BUGS…..Yes, KILLER BEES have come through this area. How soon we have forgotten all the hype and fear of them. They can be really dangerous. We wear Bee Suits just in case…..Our annual ritual with LOVE BUGS will soon happen, and, will repeat occurrence this Fall. Grin and bear them…..CARPENTER BEES (the wood drillers) are usually repeat performers. Meaning, if you have had them previously, you will have them again…. ACCURATE PEST IDENTIFICATION is usually essential knowledge before you act. Bring specimen by for free I.D…..The common HOUSE FLY is not just a nuisance, it is known to carry meningitis and other ailments – not to mention pathogens it spreads as it darts around…..MOLD, as old as dirt itself, has been villianized by some. Most molds are beneficial with problem molds a rarity…..A WOODPECKER hammering on your gutters at daybreak on Sunday morning is merely a male woodpecker making as much noise as possible to keep other male woodpeckers away (Like – “this is my territory”.)…..COCKROACH ALLERGENS continue to be a serous problem – especially among children…..PANTRY PESTS may include various species of beetles, moths, etc. You must deal with this yourself via finding and tossing contaminated foods…..LIGHT ATTRACTED INSECTS can dampen our enthusiasm for outside activities in the evening. Reduce outward emitting lights; avoid using the popular “bug zappers” (or, buy two and give one each to your neighbors); get our mosquito services…..HEAD LICE continues to be a QT problem in many schools…..SPIDERS are feared by most folks. Of the many dozens of species we have in this area, only a couple are truly dangerous. But quick identification of the Black Widow or Brown Recluse is not easy – thus we fear them all…..How old is old TERMITE DAMAGE? Nobody knows – not even the courts. But one thing is for sure – it never goes away…..RATS & MICE seemingly have been worse this past winter probably due to lots of nasty weather driving them inside…..BENEFICIAL INSECTS contribute more than $57 billion a year to the U.S. economy. This includes insects as nutrition for wildlife, predacious insects, pollinating insects, and dung burial insects (yes)…..We continue to have TREES DYING from the ravages of Rita…..The BIG, OUTDOOR COCKROACHES survived this past winter just fine…..BIRD FLU – it’s not a joke…..Silken webbing on oak and other limbs may soon be showing up. These are BARK LICE which feed on lichens. They spin the webbing to protect against predators and weather. Harmless!…..The U.K. is alarmed at the decline of several species of BUMBLEBEES in that country. All bees visiting flowers may be considered beneficial…..
BRAND NEW MOSQUITO CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR YOUR YARD
Unfortunately, living with mosquitoes in our yard has become a way of life here in S.E. Texas. This, even though in Jefferson and Orange Counties we have outstanding Mosquito Abatement Districts. Though these programs help to reduce the overall mosquito populations, they are not sufficient to keep our premises free of mosquitoes. Thusly, we either avoid the outdoors in the evening hours or, we slap on the DEET. We don’t like being bitten by mosquitoes – period. Though our chances of encountering mosquito vectored diseases such as West Nile Virus is remote, ignoring such is not to our liking. Periodic aerial applications or street fogging rigs DO NOT adequately control mosquitoes in our yards. To address these deficits, we have researched a multitude of control methods that work. We are just now introducing the Costal Mister System that bridges the gap to effectively control your yard mosquitoes 24/7. We also have an alternative program if you choose not to go the automated route. Either way, you can “TAKE BACK YOUR YARD”. Call us to get a free inspection and details on these new services. WE KILL MOSQUITOES – GUARANTEED!!!!