February 6, 2015

Termite Season is coming...Are you Ready?

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The most visible sign of a termite infestation is the production of winged reproductive termites called swarmers.  Thousands of winged termites emerge from the colony in the spring months seeking mates and places to start a new colony.  Most of the swarming termites do not survive the event because predators like birds or lizards feast on the swarm or they do not find a suitable place to begin a new colony.  In order for a recently mated king and queen termite to start a new colony, they must locate an adequate location that offers moisture, a cellulose food source and soil.  Because of these prerequisites, most swarming termites inside a home do not spread the infestation, but do serve as an important warning sign that the structure is infested.

To the untrained eye, winged termites can sometimes be mistaken for flying ants.  Superficially, flying ants and winged termites may look similar, but there are three easy ways to tell the two pests apart.  First, termites can be differentiated  from ants by the shape of their bodies.  Ants and termites, like all insects have three body parts - head, thorax and abdomen.  Unlike termites, ants have a distinct waist-like division between the thorax and abdomen.  Termites have a broad waist.  Another way to distinguish between ants and termites is to take a close look at the antennae, but ants have bent, or "elbowed" antennae.  Wing shape is the 3rd and final way to gell a winged termite from a flying ant.  All four wings on a termite are the same size, while the front wings of ants are larger than the hind wings.  

Even though swarming termites represent an easy way to determine an active infestation of termites, homeowners shouldn't be lulled into thinking that the structure is free of termites just because there's no sign of a swarm.  Termite colonies typically don't swarm during the first few years of their existence while the population grows.  Alternatively, swarms may occur, but may happen outdoors, or in other areas where they remain undetected.

If you observe winged insects or suspect termites may be present inside or around your home, contact us immediately for a thorough inspection.  In fact, it is a good practice to have an annual inspection of your property.  Call today to request a quote.

February 6, 2015

April Showers Bring May...Pests? 

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Weather can dramatically influence the number and kinds of pests that enter a structure.  Extreme heat and dry weather in the summer can cause ants to seek water and cooler environments indoors.  In the winter pests like the elder bugs and cluster flies seek warm structures to over winter.  Rainy springtime weather is no different.  Warmer temperatures and wet weather can cause pests to move from their outdoor locations into structures.  

Many outdoor insect invaders, including ants, spend much of the winter in sheltered locations in the soil and under rocks, logs and mulch.  Spending the winter underneath insulated items or below the frost line in soil can help entire colonies to survive cold temperatures.  When the weather warms and spring showers begin, saturated soil forces many of these pests out of their hiding places in search of drier places to nest.

Ants are especially likely to enter homes following heavy rain.  In addition to seeking higher ground, ants may be forced indoors to forage for food when the wet secretions of honeydew producing insects like aphids and scale insects is washed away during heavy rain.  Honeydew is an important food source for many ant species.  Without their primary food source present outdoors, ants may come indoors in search of food.

One of the best ways to keep these opportunistic pests from entering your house is to seal all cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and utility penetrations.  Pest-proofing your home is one of the best ways to keep pests out this spring.

Environ Control's Tips for keeping pests under control:

Tips for Control on the Interior:
  • Repair Leaky pipes
  • Seal cracks/holes around pipes and wiring.
  • Keep food in sealed containers (includes pet food) & store in refrigerator.
  • Leave out pet food containers only while pets are actively feeding.  Once done, put away & store.
  • Wipe counters frequently.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers.  Take out regularly.
  • Clean up dirty dishes.
  • Vacuum carpets frequently.

Tips for Control on the Exterior:

  • Trim shrubbery & tree’s away from the house.
  • Keep firewood and wood mulch away from the house.
  • Clear gutters and channel water away from the house.
  • Maintain foundation and keep moisture free.
  • Keep standing water from the yard.
  • Keep windows and exterior doors screened and be sure they’re sealed.
  • Seals cracks and holes where utilities enter the house.
  • Keep garage tidy and garage door closed.
  • Keep trash cans inside and sealed.
  • VIP -  Inspect anything you bring into the house for “Hitchhikers”

Still having problems - click on the link to request a quote...

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February 6, 2015

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

IPM is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for treating and controlling pests. These solutions incorporate three basic steps: 1) inspection, 2) identification and 3) treatment. 

  

2012 Christmas Newsletter

2012 Environ XMas Newsletter resized 600

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"Environ's - 12 pest control tips of Christmas"

 

Environ Mouse Santa

 

 

T’was the season of Christmas and outside da house, ALL the bugs were a-stirring, and yes, even the mouse!  

See below for Environ’s Twelve  (pest control )Tips for Christmas…

 

  1. Check potted plants, fresh fruits and veggies, boxes, or items that have been in storage for bugs before bringing into your home.
  2. While walking your dog (or cat), fleas and ticks may be waiting…  Talk story with others to inform or be informed of known infested areas.  Check your pets before and after your outings.
  3. BED BUGS can travel with you during the holidays. While staying in hotels, motels, dorms – they’ll climb on you &/or into your luggage.  They may also arrive with travelling guests and their belongings too!  So beware…See website:  http://www.pestworld.org/multimedia-center/pest-tv/educational/bed-bug-basics-10-tips-to-protect-yourself for more information...
  4. Close doors and windows to keep out the flies, mosquitoes, roaches, and rodents.
  5. Patch or repair holes in window screens, exterior walls, around cabinets, pipes, or wires with caulking, expanding foam, screens, wire mesh, steel wool, and so forth.
  6. Repair leaking pipes, roofs, windows to avoid wood rot, mildew & ground termite infestations.
  7. Put away or otherwise prevent water from collecting in potted plants and empty containers.  Check your lawn sprinklers for over watering or leaks.  Be sure gutters and downspouts are clear.
  8. Trim or remove grass, plants, tree branches or fronds that are either growing up against or touching the exterior of your home.  Bugs, termites, and rodents may easily get into or on top of your home.
  9. Decrease or eliminate clutter, they make great hide-a-ways.
  10. Ants going in and out of electrical outlets, switches, appliances, and even your flat screen TV may cause damage.
  11. Be sure that lids for garbage containers and recyclables fit snugly and are kept closed.  The aroma is irresistible to rats, mice, flies, and roaches.  Especially pet food containers (metal is best, hard for rodents to chew thru).
  12. Make 100 copies of our newsletter and GEEV’ ‘UM away, they make GREAT STOCKING STUFFERS!
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“Wiping out ants 100 percent is impossible, but controlling them is possible.”
Bob Koide, Pres., Environ Control

“Our advice to other condos (during tough economic times): postpone painting, remodeling, even plumbing, but keep Sentricon.”
Carole Paulsen, president of her condo association, about Sentricon’s dependability.

“We emphasize the Golden Rule—treating people with honesty and dignity. It’s not about how we treat the problem, it’s about how we treat people.”
Bob Koide, accepting the BBB award