Posts Tagged ‘AL Hoffer’s’

Giant Ant Colony is a World Wonder

May 24, 2011

Giant Ant Colony is a World Wonder.

http://embed.break.com/NjU1NDIw
Giant Ant Colony is a World Wonder – Watch more Funny Videos

Florida Do It Yourself Pest Control Store

May 23, 2011

At our Melbourne pest control and lawn services store, not only can you get professional products, but you can also get advice from our professionally trained technicians. They will give you information like how, what, where, and why to apply different products for different pests.

Florida DO It Yourself Pest Termite Control & Lawn Care

The Happiest Bug You’ll Ever See

April 26, 2011

Mantis

Bug Bites: Which Ones You Should Worry About

April 12, 2011

Bug Bites: Which Ones You Should Worry About

AP/The Huffington Post By LAURAN NEERGAARD

WASHINGTON — It’s that time of year when the bugs emerge to bug us.

Some can pose real threats – Lyme disease from tiny ticks, West Nile virus from mosquitoes, or life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings. But most bug bites in this country are an itchy nuisance.

How itchy or big the welt depends in part on your own skin, how much of the chemical histamine it harbors. Yes, some people really are mosquito magnets. And no, most of the bites people blame on spiders aren’t from them at all.

In fact, chances are you won’t be able to tell the culprit unless you catch it in the act. Yet doctors and entomologists alike field calls asking, “What bit me?”

“People call up really bummed out,” says spider expert Jonathan Coddington of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, who points to just two worrisome types in the U.S., the black widow and brown recluse family. Spider phobia, he says, is “out of all proportion to actual risk.”

It’s not uncommon to have a large skin reaction to any bite or sting, and Dr. Reid Blackwelder, a family physician from East Tennessee State University, sees a couple of them a week in the early spring and summer.

“Most of the time, what people need is reassurance,” he says.

To explore the most bothersome biters, Coddington offered the AP a behind-the-scenes look at some of the millions of specimens in the Smithsonian’s entomology collections that scientists use to identify and study insects and arachnids.

Mosquito bites probably are the most common. Sure we’ve been told to watch out for them at dusk and dawn. But the Asian tiger mosquito – a fairly recent immigrant that has spread to 30 states since arriving hidden in some tires in Texas – bites all day long. It’s a more aggressive, harder-to-swat version than native species, Coddington says.

If it seems every mosquito’s after you, well, there are about 3,500 species around the world and Coddington says most don’t bite humans, preferring other animals instead. But those who do can be attracted by sweat, alcohol, perfumes and dark clothing.

Bedbugs are the latest headline-maker. Scientists can’t explain why they’ve suddenly rebounded in many U.S. cities after all but vanishing in the 1940s and `50s. But once they’re in a building, they’re famously hard to eradicate. You won’t feel their needle-like bite, but you might see a line of red dots in the morning.

Not so with horse flies and black flies. They cause painful welts, and they’ll chase any blood meal. And yellow jackets may be a bane of summer picnics, but they’re most aggressive in the fall, the reproductive mating season, Coddington notes.

Most people face no risk other than infection from scratching, but there are some important exceptions:

_Blacklegged tick species, commonly called deer ticks, that are as small as poppy seeds can transmit Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted more than 35,000 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme in 2009, the latest data available. These ticks are most active from May through July, and are most common in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, upper Midwest and Pacific coast.

If a tick’s been biting for less than 24 hours, chances of infection are small. So do a daily tick check. And the CDC recommends using insect repellent with DEET.

Antibiotics easily cure most people of Lyme. But other than Lyme’s hallmark round, red rash, early symptoms are vague and flu-like. People who aren’t treated can develop arthritis, meningitis and some other serious illnesses.

Different tick species around the country can transmit additional diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tickborne relapsing fever, and STARI or Southern tick-associated rash illness.

_West Nile virus is the main mosquito concern in the U.S. Although cases have dropped in the last decade, the CDC recorded 45 deaths from West Nile last year. Severe symptoms fortunately are rare but include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, muscle weakness and paralysis, and the neurological effects sometimes are permanent.

To avoid mosquitoes, the CDC advises wearing insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Empty standing water where mosquitoes breed.

_At least 40 people a year die from allergic reactions to stings from bees or other insects, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Potentially life-threatening reactions occur in fewer than 1 percent of children and 3 percent of adults.

But seek care quickly for signs of an emergency, Blackwelder stresses: Swelling on the face or neck, shortness of breath or feeling dizzy. People who know they’re allergic should carry an EpiPen.

_Bites from a black widow or brown recluse can require medical care, although fatalities are incredibly rare. You may not feel the black widow’s bite, but within about an hour pain spreads through the abdomen, with cramping or rigid abdominal muscles. Poison centers stock antivenom, but most people do fine with muscle relaxants and other care, says Blackwelder, a spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

A brown recluse bite eventually forms an ulcerlike lesion that can get fairly large but usually requires just good wound care, he says. But other infections can be mistaken for these bites, so Coddington says bringing in the suspect spider helps identification.

Florida Pest Termite & Lawn Services

February 25, 2011

AL Hoffer’s Pest Termite & Lawn has been serving South Florida since 1975! We have been providing superior Florida lawn care, Florida pest control, Florida termite control, and Pest inspections for over 30 years!  Now you can follow Al Hoffer’s on Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, and other social media sites for your entire pest, termite, and lawn care needs! Also be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed while you’re here. We thank you for visiting our blog and encourage you to come back real soon!

New ‘super termite’ moving in

February 23, 2011

Florida’s list of non-native bugs causing problems continues to grow, including one nicknamed the “super termite,” also known as the Formosan subterranean termite.

So far the termite hasn’t hit St. Johns County, but it has arrived in Putnam and Duval counties.

“They were first discovered (in the U.S.) in South Florida near Hallandale and then they were discovered in the Panhandle around Fort Walton. From there they’ve just moved in,” said Bruce McCowan, an entomologist with Florida Pest Control in Gainesville.

The Hallandale discovery was made in 1980. University of Florida researchers estimate the termites were actually there five to 10 years earlier.

The Formosan termite has been found in areas around the state in Ocala in Marion County and Leon County and well as Putnam and Duval counties.

The good news about the termite is that “they don’t seem to travel very well. It’s unfortunate if you’ve got them. It’s fortunate they don’t spread very well,” McCowan said.

The Formosan subterranean termite is actually a native of Southern China that was transported to Formosa, Taiwan, where it picked up its name. From there it went to Japan prior to the 1600s. It has slowly spread since, with the first colonies in the U.S. found in the 1960s in Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina.

The South is likely to remain the major target of the Formosan termites since they prefer warmer climates and their eggs don’t hatch at temperatures below 68 degrees.

McCowan said the Formosan termite is “very similar in habits” to native subterranean termites that plague Florida. While their appetites are about the same what’s different is the size of the termite colonies. A subterranean colony can have up to 500,000 termites. The Formosa termite colony can have several million termites.

“There’s that many more mouths in the same amount of space. They really do damage, it’s just the sheer number that do the damage,” he said.

Treatments are available.

“It’s something you don’t want to try yourself. As professionals we do have the ability to control them for you,” he said.

Tenting is rarely needed, he said, noting that’s for dry wood termites, a different breed. Soil treatments are the most common means for controlling the Formosa termites.

“The peculiar thing about Formosa termites is that once they get above ground, if they find moisture from a roof leak or a leaking pipe, they can survive even a soil treatment,” said McCowan.

About Formosan termites

* Sometimes referred to as the “Super Termite”

* Resemble the native subterranean species.

* Colonies can have several million termites

* Found in structures including boats and high-rise condominiums.

* Most aggressive and destructive timber pests in the U.S.

* Also attack non-cellulose materials including plaster and asphalt looking for food and moisture.

* As of 2010, found in Alabama, California (an isolated infestation in San Diego County), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Source: www.floridabugs.com and http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/termites/formosan_termite.htm

Read More: http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2011-02-22/new-super-termite-moving

KEEPING TRACK OF BED BUG INFESTATIONS IN FLORIDA

February 11, 2011
KEEPING TRACK OF INFESTATIONS

Cities with the most bedbug reports from 2008 through 2010.

Fort Lauderdale 12 reports

Orlando 12 reports

Kissimmee 10 reports

Jacksonville 10 reports

Miami 7 reports

Hotels with repeat problems:

• Budget Lodge Motel, Jennings:  3 reports in 2009 and 3 in 2010.

• Beach Plaza Hotel, Fort Lauderdale: 2 reports in 2008 and 1 in 2010.

Info Via Heraldtribune.com

Lodgings in Broward, Central Florida lead state in 2010 bedbug violations

January 27, 2011

Lodgings in Broward, Central Florida lead state in 2010 bedbug violations

For the Gipson family of Harvey, La., last summer’s trip to the Liki Tiki Village condo resort in Winter Garden is one that they will never forget.

“Pretty much all of them went to the doctor and got creams,” Archie Gipson said about eight of his dozen relatives, including a 9-month-old baby, who vacationed together and who, he said, were bitten by bedbugs. “No one got fever, but the bites were kind of severe.”

Bedbugs are persistent parasites that have likely been around as long as the human hosts from whom they suck blood. Since 2000, there has been a resurgence of bedbugs around the world. The bugs’ resistance to pesticides, international travel and the growth in human population all have been blamed.
But no expert can pinpoint the reason for the parasites’ defiant prominence.

They prompt headlines when they bite people in movie theaters and clothing stores or hitchhike in children’s backpacks.

In 2010, inspectors from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation found bedbugs in 68 accommodations, accounting for just 0.18 percent of 36,947 licensed hotels, motels, apartments and condos, an agency spokeswoman said.

In 2009, when there were slightly fewer lodgings, 30 establishments, or 0.08 percent of 36,866 licensed facilities, had bedbug violations.

People, who can carry the bugs in their clothing, laptop computers and luggage, brought them to Florida counties with the most popular destinations: Broward (with 13 establishments cited) and Orange County (10 accommodations with bedbug violations) led the state with confirmed parasite infestations.

And no lodging, whether fancy, family-friendly or budget, is immune from the scourge.

In New York City, even the Waldorf- Astoria on Park Avenue has been stricken by bedbug infestations and is reportedly being sued by customers who claim to have been bitten by the parasites.

The glamorous landmark has hosted President Barack Obama, as well as other heads of state, royalty and celebrities. A spokesman for Hilton Worldwide, which owns the Waldorf-Astoria, said that for hotel management, “the safety and comfort of our guests are our top priority” and that the hotel “maintains high levels of vigilance and performs regularly scheduled inspections.”

“If the Waldorf can get ’em, anybody can get ’em,” said Allen Fugler, executive vice president of the Florida Pest Management Association. “Bedbugs are not respecters of property or prestige. They are equal-opportunity offenders.”

While Broward leads the state in bedbug violations, Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said of the county’s approximately 565 hospitality business owners: “Unfortunately, any location that hosts world travelers is susceptible. Broward hoteliers, many of which carry the top flags in the hospitality industry, are aware of the global issue and are diligent in their operating procedures to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and fix any problems that might arise.”

The global issue is fueling “a steady number of calls for support,” Fugler said of the growth industry for the pesticide control group’s 800 members.

“It’s good, steady business, at a higher level than two years ago,” he said. Those were the days when the state’s exterminators did not even report doing bedbug work, Fugler says. “Now there is a segment of the industry dedicated to it.”

Specialists use tactics like bedbug-sniffing dogs and heat treatments for building interiors to bake the bugs to death.

Fugler thinks international travel is the most probable cause, considering that Broward and Orange counties attract tourists from around the world.

“Aircraft containers are likely prospects, with luggage adjacent to each other in dark holds for a long time,” Fugler said. “Because aircraft are not kept on the ground for long, with luggage holds there are not large opportunities to do treatment, and holds are not the most frequently thought of places to treat. More often, experts are treating the galley for cockroaches because of food and beverage service.”

Though travelers rely on websites like bedbugregistry.com to see if hotel rooms and apartment buildings are infested, Fugler says, “those sites are consumer-driven, not monitored, not verified and information cannot be considered conclusive or authoritative.”

But such sites can give peace of mind, along with searching a hotel bed’s headboard, mattress seams and the 8-foot floor area surrounding it for the bugs, blood spots and fecal matter, as Fugler advises.

And if the telltale bites appear on your body, or the bugs scurry in your luggage or bedroom, experts advise you to forgo home remedies and use a licensed pest-management professional with experience in the identification and treatment of bedbugs.

That’s what community college instructor Archie Gipson did after his family’s long, itchy trip home to Louisiana.

“We had an exterminator come to two houses as a precaution,” Gipson said. “Total it all up, it was close to three or four grand, with the exterminators and doctors.”

He called last summer’s trip “a lost vacation.”

“It killed the whole spirit of the thing,” he said. “We were talking about that for weeks.”

He said that he asked Liki Tiki, which did not respond to the Sun Sentinel’s request for comment, to make amends.

“It’s a beautiful place. You wouldn’t expect that to happen because of all the staff they have on duty,” Gipson said. “Seems like housekeeping should have found it.”

He said he belongs to a time share, and that Liki Tiki was the family’s destination to enjoy Walt Disney World Resort or the Universal Orlando Resort every two years for the past 15 years. But Orange County won’t be the family’s 2012 destination.

“We would always go there, but I’m going to another [time share] instead near Daytona, because it’s brand new and will be near the beach,” Gipson said. “The kids don’t want to be bit no more.”

Florida Bed Bug Control

Bed Bug Registry

January 24, 2011

Be sure you check out the Bed Bug Registry before booking your next vacation. www.bedbugregistry.com allows users to get online and post bedbug sightings on the web in order to alert others as to where bed bug infestations are. A great tool for any traveler.

Florida Bed Bug Control Experts

Rat Crawls on Man in Subway

January 21, 2011

Rat Control