Pest Control Blog

PEST CONTROL A MUST HAVE FOR MOST WOMEN!

Pest Control Receives Approval By Women

Pest Control, Naturally, gets a “Thumbs Up” from Most Women. Insects can be real pests and most women are ready for the fight.  Yes, even though they are easily scared by a passing bug and will stand on a chair with one leg while screaming at the top of their lungs, they will do anything to get the right pest control company in to resolve the issue.  If you have ever seen a women when a rodent or roach passes by, it is rather comical. Believe me!

In our line of work, we see many bugs and the problems they can create. Ants on the counters, roaches on the floors, mice in the garage. All just a regular day at work here at New Era.

It is interesting to note that 85% of our business comes from women who simply will not stand by and let these critters take over their home.  The more critical issue is the concern for the possible effects of pesticides on their children and pets. When Asked, women prefer a more pest control approach to getting rid of these pests. A more common response from men is “I can do it myself”.

If asked, most women will admit the “man of the house” does not want to hire a professional company.  He will hold his ground and would rather spend more money and time going back and forth to the local Home Depot store to pick up a plethora of sprays or traps to resolve the issue.  In reality  the problem still exists or worsens and the house has an odor of nasty smelling pesticides. Sorry Guys! We know you tried your best!

Don’t take a chance! Isn’t your family worth it? If your looking to get rid of your bug issues without harmful, smelly chemicals, pest control is the way to go! Call New Era Pest Control at 786-462-5912. You will be glad you did!

 

Ghost Ants

Ghost Ants

The dreaded Ghost Ant!  Image provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Ok, so you have ghost ants. You’re not alone! Ghost ants are the #1 complaint we receive. These tiny, tiny spider looking ants trailing around your kitchen and bathrooms. Across the countertops, around the sinks, where they go, nobody knows.  It seems like they are everywhere! So you grab the can of pest control spray and blast them in hopes of them dieing, never to return.  That works for a short while, only for them to return, seemingly healthier, and more plentiful. Those trails of ants are driving you nuts! You keep the counters clean. You take out the trash regularly. Your at your wits end! What do you do?

Ghost Ants Require Professional Knowledge

  1. Pest control pros know and understand the feeding habits and food requirements of ghost ants
  2. They know the life cycle of ghost ants
  3. They know ghost ant nesting habits and where they are typically located
  4. They understand ghost ant mating and nesting habits.
  5. They understand Pheromone trails and how ghost ants follow those trails back to a water or food source
  6. They are armed with the knowledge of how to best treat and eliminate a ghost ant infestations

Hiring a Ghost Ant Professional

Let’s face it! You have done a good job trying to get rid of the problem, however hiring someone with all this knowledge sure will save you a bunch of trial and error and many days with even more ants than what you started with. Now that your friendly pest control professional has come to the rescue, he’s going to come in and wave his magic wand and the problem will magically disappear, right? Wrong!

Most customers don’t truly understand what it takes to get rid of a ghost ant problem, they just want them gone, and we get that. We truly do! We also don’t want to preach about ants, but we do like to educate our customers, so they know what to expect. Remember, you did not acquire these ants overnight, and even though your technician is a master at getting rid of ghost ant infestations, he is not armed with that magical touch we all wish they possessed. Ghost Ants require time and patienceTypically 3 to 5 weeks. This time frame is not always the case, depending on the level of customer participation, and involvement. With customers assistant this time frame could be significantly less.

Its easy to grab a can of Raid and blast these ants into kingdom come. Please remember if you choose to do so, you may be creating your own nightmare!

Don’t Kill The Messenger!

Killing those trailing ants is only going to make the problem worse! Here’s Why!

  • Ghost ants are one of very few ants that have multiple queens
  • The Worker ants duties are to care for the queens and the nest
  • They collect food and water for the nest
  • You see the (worker) ants maybe on the counter or sink area in the bathroom. You spray and kill them with whatever means you have. (Insecticides?)
  • The queens realize their workers are not returning with the food and water expected
  • Now, under stress, the good of the colony becomes the main focus. Survival mode kicks in
  • One of the queens leaves the colony to start a new colony. A phenomenon known as “Budding” The splitting of the colony occurs
  • 1 colony splits into 2. And 2 into 4, and 4 into 8, etc. etc. And now you will see more ants than ever.
  • Ultimate result is simply put “Ants all over the place”

Ghost_BaitedThe proper way to treat these types of ants is a professional baiting program. The concept is to supply a series of baits that will attract the ants. The ants will carry the baits back to the colony and feed the queen(s) and the brood (colony) and die. Killing the entire colony is the ultimate goal and this concept brings forth a much more effective result! Yes, you can buy products from home depot that are boric acid rich. These baits (Terro) contain boric acid. The true downside to this product is, by the time the ghost ant worker consumes the liquid sugar based bait, and carries it back to the nest, the workers die from the boric acid. Creating the same dilemma. Dead workers and stress on the colony.

One more thing to consider. Ghost ants can be finicky eaters. Ghost Ants prefer sweets and is the reason they are found surrounding sugar based goodies. Cookies, candy, sugar, etc. However, they are also known to be attracted to protein based foods. Meats, carbs, grease, etc. There are many times when professional technicians will offer sugar based baits, yet the workers will pass right by this type of bait, in search of the proteins they crave. The trick is to know when to offer sugar based baits or protein based baits. Knowing which to offer greatly increases your chance of success.

Many times, this ant species lives outside and will easily sneak inside for search of water and food. In turn these ants will set up camp in a wall void, making it virtually impossible to find. Locating the nest is key indoors, but can take some time to find. Were sure you don’t want us to start ripping your walls apart in a desperate search to locate a nest of ants, so a more methodical method of baiting or dusting is usually preferred. These methods also require time to perform. Time and patience are required when dealing with Ghost Ants!

Now that were here! Here are some things that you can do to assist in the removal of ghost ants

  • Check all flowerpots for ghost ant nests. This is very common! Bringing in flower pots from outside is a main reason for ghost ant infestations. Check under flowerpots on the exterior as well.
  • Trim all trees from the structure. Any tree or shrub touching the structure, will create a bridge for them to cross over into the house. They then find small hole/crack and enter the home.
  • Be sure to remove any clutter surrounding the home. Rocks, construction material, mulch, bricks, bags of mortar, fire wood, etc. Removing these will help dramatically!
  • Inside of the home, keep all sink and countertops dry. I know that’s hard, especially with kids but is a must, especially at night during the baiting program
  • Leave all countertops and floors, free from food particles. Even the smallest morsel will provide an abundance of food for ants. Wipe counters then sweep the floors in that order on a regular basis.
  • Remove trash regularly
  • If you leave something out with sugar, they will find it. Keep all sugar based items in sealed containers and wipe the outside of container to remove any sugary residue.
  • Clean and wipe out all shelves in cabinets, or pantry with household cleaner so that they are not attracting ghost ants.
  • Clean the sides of your stove! Nobody ever thinks of this, but when in protein feeding phase, the grease accumulated on the side of the oven offers some great protein treats for these ants.
  • In the bathroom, during treatment phase, place toothpaste and toothbrushes in sealed plastic bags. Ghost ants love bathroom sinks. They get sugar from toothpaste and water from the sink.
  • Ghost ants on your tables, desks, nightstands? Clean up all water, even water rings from a glass and food morsels, and you will not attract them.
  • Remember even the smallest drop of water or food looks like a mountain to them. Imagine a steak the size of Mount Rushmore. You could feed a lot of people with that!
  • We encourage the feeding of ants with our bait products. Please do not clean them up. Wiping counters is ok. But refrain from any major cleaning of the backsplash area, window sills, under the lip of the counter. Etc., as our baits are close by. Wiping them up only ruins an opportunity for the ants to find them.
  • LASTLY! DO NOT INTERRUPT THE ANTS TRAILING ACTIVITY! THEY ARE TRAILING TO A FOOD SOURCE. WERE EXPECTING THAT IT IS THE BAIT PROVIDE

Remember, Time and Patience is key when dealing with Ghost Ants in Miami

Good Things Take Time

 

Together, we can get rid of your ghost ant issue, but please remember, this process of baiting takes more time to deliver the active ingredients to the queen and brood. Due diligence will shine through as a reward for your patience. The ultimate goal is an ant free home.

Thanks for reading this information and use it to your benefit! Have a pest free day!

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Mosquito Control Zika

Mosquito Control Zika

It’s summer! Heat and humidity are now the norm in Miami.  Something is gnawing on your noggin. As soon as you step outside something bites you. As you’re relaxing outside barbecuing a steak or burger, having a beer or two, the bites continue. One on your arm, then your leg, then your face, what in the world is that stinging sensation? Your natural reaction is to scratch the itch and you look at the area and find a small welt on your skin. The more you itch it, the bigger it gets and the itching seems to get even worse.  Now you finally see this sucker on you and you smash it. Nothing but blood. How gross! What is it?

Mosquito

The word mosquito is spanish for “Little Fly” Mosquitos are insects and have been around for millions of years, biting at will. Mosquitos can sense carbon dioxide and lactic acid from up to 100 feet. Mammals and birds produce these gases as a part of their normal breathing process. It also seems that a certain chemical in sweat attracts mosquitos and those that sweat more attract more mosquito bites. Things that move are likely to be alive, and something that is alive more than likely has blood. Something with blood, is exactly what the mosquito needs. Heat also attracts mosquitos, as they assume its a mammal or bird and a source of blood.  Something this alert seems like a weapon for our military. Thats why its easy for them to locate you and begin to feed on you.  

 

Life Cycle and Breeding habits of the Mosquito

Like all insects, mosquitoes hatch from eggs and go through several stages in their life cycle before molting into adults. Females lay their eggs in water, and the larva and pupa stages live in water. When the pupa change into adults, they leave the water and becoming free flying insects . The life cycle of a mosquito’s vary from one week to several weeks depending upon the species (the adult, mated females of some species can survive the winter in cool, damp places until spring, when they will lay their eggs and die.) Mosquitos lay their eggs primarily on the surface of the water.

Places like tree holes, pools, spare tires, gutters, any place that holds water for a period of time. Eggs typically hatch in the spring. The eggs hatch in to Larva or “wigglers”and live just below the surface of the water, breathing through an air tube like snorkel. Larva molt several stages into pupae for about 1 to 4 days depending on temperature. At the end of the pupal stage, the pupae encase themselves and transform into the adult mosquito. One of the first things that adult mosquitoes will do is seek a mate. They will mate and then feed. Male mosquitoes have short mouth parts and primarily feed on plant nectars. Males do not bite for blood. Only females bite (feed) for a blood meal. Female mosquitoes have a long proboscis used to bite animals and humans to feed on their blood. The blood provides protein that the females need to lay eggs.  Females must have a blood meal in order to lay eggs. Once they feed, the females will lay their eggs. Females continue this cycle and live anywhere fro  days to weeks. They will live longer during cooler periods. The males usually live only a few days after mating.

Why do Mosquitos bite?

mosquito_blood_feeding

Only Females Bite and Feed on blood!

 

Females must have a blood meal in order to lay eggs. The mosquito lands on your skin, penetrates the skin with her proboscis (very thin sharp and thin) and continues to suck your blood until her abdomen is full. After she has finished feeding, some of her saliva remains in the wound. The protein from the saliva creates an Immune reaction. The area swells up.  The bump around the bite area is called a wheal. As a response provoked by the saliva, the wound itches. In reaction to the itch, you scratch. Eventually, the swelling goes away. The the itch remains until your immune cells break down these saliva proteins. Calamine lotion seems to work well with mosquito bites. Some say if you make an “X” with your finger nail, it stops the itching. Wash with soap and water and refrain from scratching the bite.

Are Mosquitos disease carriers?

Mosquitos have been known to carry diseases caused by bacteria like Dengue Fever, Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, and Malaria. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS cannot survive in a mosquito. Therefore it cannot be transmitted from one person to another through mosquito bites.

Controlling Mosquitos populations around the house

The best way to reduce mosquitoes and their diseases is through mosquito control.

water holders2

Place lids on open containers. Believe it or not, some plants hold water and form as adequate mosquito breeders.

water_holders

Remove any standing water sources that would form as refuge for eggs evolving into adult mosquitos.

water_holders_3

Empty anything that can hold water, tires hold water and are a perfect environment for breeding mosquitoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One water holder that most people do not think of is the rain gutters. These gutters become clogged with leaves, etc. and hold water very well. Clean the gutters and free yourself from some mosquito headache

Contact the City for Mosquit0 Control

Lastly, contact the city you reside in and ask them when they will be doing the next mosquito fogging. Periodically, the city sends a large fogging machine on wheels to assist in controlling  these blood suckers. Many times they offer a form or database online to let them know who is having the most problem. Once they determine that there are many people calling in from a certain area, they will send the trucks as a control method. In Miami, Florida Clink this link to report a mosquito problem: http://www.miamidade.gov/publicworks/mosquito-control.asp

Keep Mosquito’s from biting you

You can do a few things to reduce the number of mosquito bites that you get while enjoying the outdoors. First, wear clothing that covers most of your body, if temperatures permit. Second, use a mosquito repellent that contains NN-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) at a concentration of 7.5 percent to 100 percent. Lower concentrations are sufficient for most outdoor protection, and a 15-percent concentration is recommended for children. Avon’s original Skin-So-Soft is a weak, short-lasting (less than 20 minutes) mosquito repellent, although there are newer Skin-So-Soft formulations that include EPA-recognized insect repellents. For outdoor protection of the neck and face, you can purchase bee treating head gear. Its like putting a screened patio on your face. Cover doors and windows with screens. The ultimate protection method would be a screened porch.

German Roach Cleanout Preparation

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Prior To Treatment

  • We graciously ask that all children and pets remain out of treatment area. It is recommended that Children & Pets stay in another room while service is being performed.
  • Remove ALL items stored in cabinets (upper and lower), pantries, drawers and storage bins in kitchen and bathroom areas. (place these items in plastic bags. Seal each bag, and place  on outside porch.)
  • DO NOT PLACE BAGS IN DINING ROOM OR IN LIVING ROOM! if the bags are not sealed well, the roaches will escape and an infestation may occur in those areas.
  • Vacuum all areas as you remove the items. This will eliminate roach feces and old carcasses.
  • You can even vacuum up live roaches. BE SURE TO EMPTY BAG OR TRAY IMMEDIATELY!
  • German RoachUnload the dishwasher.
  • Take everything off the stove.
  • Pick up and remove pet food dishes and food from floor. Do not leave food out overnight.
  • Take all garbage outdoors and place away from the structure.
  • Clear all counter space, except microwave ovens, blenders, other electric utensils. Knife blocks should be left on counter as roaches love to hide in them.
  • Clean behind and under refrigerator, stove, or anything else that can be moved in the kitchen.
  • Clean Floors prior to pest control service.

After Treatment 

  • Allow 2 to 3 hours before placing items back into cabinets.
  • Clean up all dead roaches using  paper towels.
  • Remove all EGGS! Roach Eggs Are your worst enemy. 30 – 45 Babies in Each EGG. Thoroughly look through kitchen and remove all egg sacks. You will be glad you did
  • Wipe down, vacuum all counters and floors, including cracks and gaps.
  • German_Cockroach_UthecaWipe down, vacuum all cabinets.
  • Wipe down all appliances.
  • Vacuum again before putting items back into cabinets and storage bins.
  • Be sure to CHECK ALL ITEMS FOR ROACHES AND EGGS before placing them back into cabinets and drawers. This is critical. If you put boxes, etc. with roaches in those boxes you still have roaches.

Keys to keeping your home German Roach Free:

German Roaches require 3 things, Food, Water, and Harborage. Take these away and get rid of roaches.

  • FOOD: Be sure that countertops, stovetops, and floors are free from food scraps. These scraps provide food for these pests. Want to get rid of the roaches? Get rid of the food!
  • WATER: Do not leave any water for these guys! At night, wipe up any excess water. Keep sink area, counters, stovetop, and floors free from water. Keep sink area and counters completely dry. Remember even the smallest drops provide water German Roaches. Want to get rid of the roaches? Get rid of the water!

HARBORAGE: Roaches love cracks & Crevices to hide and lay eggs. Seal all cracks around the kitchen counter. German Roaches will try to stay close to the sink (Water Supply). Seal all cracks with standard caulking. Want to get rid of the roaches? Seal the cracks & Crevices and take away their hiding places.

  • Clean uGerman Roachesp all spilled foods from floors and countertops. We place baits in certain areas for the roaches to eat. If you leave even small crumbs they will not eat the bait.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers or ziplock bags.
  • Keep counter space clean of food and water at all times. Make sure floor are free from food remains.
  • Take garbage out every day and keep outside garbage can away from the house.
  • Do not leave pet food or water in a feeding dish overnight. Transfer pet food to a tightly sealed container once it is opened.
  • Run dishwasher regularly.
  • Roaches look for hiding places to lay their eggs. Be sure to clear clutter from countertops, cabinets, pantries. Clutter provides hiding places for roaches. Remove clutter and greatly reduce your roach population.
  • Get rid of all boxes that store food. Your better off with the cereal bag than the box. Roaches love boxes, even ones that appear sealed. They love to get under the flaps. Ideal for laying eggs.
  • Inspect all grocery bags for roaches before storing product. Yes believe it or not. Many times German Roaches come into your home via sources like grocery stores, restaurants and work.
  • Discard any cardboard boxes immediately.