Posts Tagged ‘www.alhoffer.com’

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

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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

10 Most Diabolical Creepy Crawlies On Earth

April 28, 2011

10 Most Diabolical Creepy Crawlies On Earth

by Karl Fabricius

Electron_microscope_photo_of_a_Flea_86_times_magnificationPhoto:
Photo: RBirtles

Evil, diabolical call them what you will, the wingless microscopic or near microscopic critters we’ve gathered together here are a veritable roll-call of the repulsive and the abhorrent. Fleas, lice, ticks, mites and bedbugs make up the minuscule menagerie, and alongside the mug shots we’ve endeavoured to explain what it is each featured pest does to us that makes it equally if not more repugnant than it looks. Feeling itchy yet? These little guys are certainly getting bloated.

10. Bedbug: 4–5 mm long

Bed_bug_bites_and_sucks_up_bloodPhoto:
Photo via Alternative Health Journal

Ever been bitten by Bedbugs? Well, it isn’t pretty; in fact it’s excruciating. Feeding on the blood of humans and other mammals, these night-time nasties get their name from their preferred habitat of mattresses, bed frames, sofas and other furniture, and are often picked up in hotels. Although visible to the naked eye, they’re masters at moving undetected and hiding out of sight in nooks and crannies. They reach their host by crawling or by climbing the walls to the ceiling and jumping down, paratrooper style, on feeling a heat wave.

Elusive menace: Bedbug
Cimex_lectularius_the_common_bedbug_from_slides_at_the_University_of_EdinburghPhoto:
Photo: Adam Cuerden

Like fleas, Bedbugs are attracted by warmth and CO2. Once landed on their host, they pierce the skin with two tubes, one of which injects saliva while the other sucks up blood. The bites cannot usually be felt until much later, when the welts caused are often accompanied by a severe itching as the skin reacts to the anaesthetic injected. Stress, insomnia, and in rare cases nausea are among the reactions to Bedbug infestations, which are undergoing a global resurgence. Infected? The thermal death point for these insect horrors is 45°C.

Infest! Bedbug cases are on the rise
blood_fed_Cimex_lectularius_bed_bugsPhoto:
Photo: A.L. Szalanski

9. Cat Flea: 1.5–3.3 mm long

cat_flea_in_a_microscope_as_a_modelPhoto:
Photo: gucic

Like other fleas, the Cat Flea – one of the most widespread on earth – is an insect with mouthparts modified for piercing skin and sucking blood – to distinctly itchy effect. Housecats are its choice host, but it also commonly infests dogs, and will bite humans – albeit without being able to breed on us. A few Cat Fleas are unlikely to cause much harm unless their host is allergic to substances in their saliva, but they can transmit other parasites and infections to pets and humans including murine typhus and tapeworm. Nasty.

Flee! It’s the Cat Flea
Cat_Flea_head_showing_small_round_ocellus_(simple_eye)_Magnification_Approx_X225Photo:
Photo: Used with permission from the University of Bath

8. Human Flea: 1.5–3.3 mm long

slide_mounted_human_flea_Pulex irritansPhoto:
Photo: David Walker www.micscape.org

Despite its name, the Human Flea will gleefully infest a range of mammals and birds. Like all fleas, its hind legs are adapted for jumping about 130 times its own body height; its tough body is able to withstand great pressure; and it is compressed, allowing ease of movement through hairs, feathers or clothes. An adult flea’s number one objective is to find blood so that it can mate. Human Fleas can also act as ‘middlemen’ hosts for parasitic flatworms and tapeworms. No need to be a good host to these agile little suckers.

Up close and personal: Human Flea
Electron_microscope_photo_of_a_Flea_86_times_magnificationPhoto:
Photo: RBirtles

7. Oriental Rat Flea: 1.5–3.3 mm long

Plague_infected_male_Xenopsylla_cheopis_28_days_after_feeding_on_an_inoculated_mousePhoto:
Photo: CDC/Dr. Pratt

Although a parasite primary of rats, the Oriental Rat Flea is also a dark agent of potentially deadly diseases like bubonic plague. Transmission occurs when the offending flea first bites an infected rodent and then a human. The unsavoury pathogens are spread due to the way the flea’s mouth functions, squirting saliva or partly digested blood into the bite at the same time as sucking up blood. It should be jumping out at you by now that the Rat Flea – onetime bringer of the Black Death – can be much more than just an irritating nuisance.

Harbinger of disease: Rat Flea
Scanning_Electron_Micrograph_of_a_FleaPhoto:
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / Janice Carr

6. Scabies Mite: 0.2–0.45 mm long

Sarcoptes_scabei_under_the_microscopePhoto:
Photo: Kalumet

The name Sarcoptes Scabiei is a bit of a giveaway of the sin this critter commits as it quite literally gets under our skin: the skin infection scabies. The fertilised female of this pernicious parasite tunnels into the skin, laying eggs in the ever-lengthening S-shaped burrow she digs using her mouthparts and blade-like front legs. The larvae then hatch in 3-10 days, climb out onto the skin’s surface, roam about the place, and turn into nymphs, before maturing into adult Mites to begin the cycle all over again.

Under the microscope: Scabies Mite
Sarcoptes_scabei_Scabies_mitePhoto:
Photo via liberty4you

All this moving about on and inside the skin causes some pretty intense itching, but it’s the presence of the eggs that seals the scabies deal, bringing about a massive allergic reaction and yet more often unbearable itching. The resultant scratching of this rash can severely damage the skin, particularly through the introduction of infective bacteria, which may lead to nasty secondary infections like impetigo. Making matters worse, Scabies Mites are easily spread through the house by skin contact with carriers, clothing and bedding.

Scabby? Could be Sarcoptes Scabiei
Photo_taken_at_100x_magnification_through_a_microscope_of_a_scabies_mite_(Sarcoptes_scabiei)Photo:
Photo: Joel Mills

5. Body Louse: 1–3 mm long

body_louse_microscopic_imagePhoto:
Photo via Impact Pest Control

It’s time to deal with the true cooties, beginning with Body Lice. While indistinguishable to look at from Head Lice – indeed the two interbreed under lab conditions – in their natural state Body Lice have evolved to attach their eggs to clothes. These dress rather hair styled insect parasites are not only an annoyance due to the intense itching they cause, but are also vectors of diseases such as epidemic typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever, whose recurring symptoms include fever and chills. If in doubt get boiling your linen.

Engorged: Body Louse on human skin after blood feeding
A_female_human_body_louse_(Pediculus_humanus_corporis)_on_human_skin_after_blood_feedingPhoto:
Photo courtesy of Richard Webb

4. Head Louse: 1–3 mm long

Pediculus_capitis_Human_Head_LousePhoto:
Photo: Department of Biology, Gettysburg College

Next up is the Head Louse, the foul parasite that spends its entire life on the human scalp feeding solely on our blood and laying eggs called nits. This light-shunning vampire is so specialised, its stumpy legs are unable to even walk capably on flat surfaces. Its mouthparts are highly adapted for piercing skin and bloodsucking – when it may also excrete dark red faeces. Nice. Infesting new hosts usually comes about via head-to-head contact. About the only nice thing you can say about the Head Louse is that it is not a known transmitter of disease.

Itchy, flaky scalp? Male Head Louse
Male_of_head_louse_under_the_microscopePhoto:
Photo: KostaMumcuoglu

3. Pubic Louse: 1.1–1.8 mm long

Pediculus_humanus_Human_Body_LousePhoto:
Photo: Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites

Pubic Lice, commonly known as crabs, are infamous for infesting the – ahem – human genitals, though they may also live on other areas with hair, including eyelashes, armpits and beards. While sharing the flattened body and claw-like legs of its cousins – ideal for crawling from hair to hair – the Pubic Louse is otherwise distinct in appearance and more distantly related. Still, this is one mean sucker as those infested will testify – albeit discreetly. Infection usually comes through sexual intercourse. To ensure full removal of nits, shaving is advised.

Nice claws: Pubic Louse or crab
Pthius_pubis__crab_lousePhoto:
Photo: PHIL

2. Sheep Tick: approx 5mm

Ixodus_ricinus_5x_sheep_tickPhoto:
Photo: Richard Bartz

Last to grace the stage, it’s the not so loveable ticks, represented first up by the Sheep Tick. Small arachnids similar to mites, ticks are external parasites, living by feeding on the blood of various animals as well as humans. Like others of their kind, Sheep Ticks are found lurking in tall grass and shrubs where they lie in wait. They then attach themselves to passing hosts by inserting their cutting mandibles and feeding tubes into the skin, with backward pointing teeth-like spikes acting as an anchor. The Sheep Tick is an agent Lyme disease in humans.

Tick love: Male Sheep Tick copulating with a much larger female
male_Ixodes_ricinus_tick_(smaller)_shown_copulating_with_a_female_tick_(larger)Photo:
Photo: WHO

1. Deer Tick: approx 5mm

Adult_deer_tick,_on_skin.Photo:
Photo: University of Wisconsin

However, the Deer Tick that is by far the most notorious vector for Lyme Disease, a condition transmitted by the bite of infected ticks whose more serious symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system. Given its name due to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer, the female Deer Tick latches onto a host and drinks its blood for several days, then once engorged, drops off and overwinters on the forest floor. Naturally this little glutton has a taste for humans too. A suitably disgusting, not to say dangerous, critter on which to end the post.

Ticked all the boxes? Deer Tick
A_deer_tick_Ixodes_damminiPhoto:

Mosquitoes bite but Hollywood is biting back this April

March 25, 2011

Mosquitoes bite but Hollywood is biting back this April

From now until March 18th, you can get 15% off your ticket purchase with promotional code “MNM15“!

Some of today’s hottest stars will take the stage at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on April 16th at 7:30pm for Hollywood Bites Back!, a night of celebrities and comedy to benefit us, Malaria No More!

Conan O’Brien, Elizabeth Banks, B.J. Novak, David Arquette and Jeff Probst are among the many celebrities, comedians and musicians that will entertain to help end malaria deaths.

Although malaria was eradicated in the U.S. 60 years ago, it still claims the lives of 781,000 people every year — and most of them children under 5 years old in Africa. Get your tickets to Hollywood Bites Back! to help bring that number to zero:

  • Tickets start as low as $10. Get yours here.
  • VIP tickets are $500 and offer premium seating and access to the after-party; available here.

Hollywood Bites Back! is an extension of the Comedy Fights Malaria campaign that launched last October with the help of 25 stars, including John Mayer, Orlando Bloom, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Helms, B.J. Novak, Josh Groban and many many more.

www.malarianomore.org

“Toxic Truck” Driver Lacks State Pest Control Docs

February 16, 2011

“Toxic Truck” Driver Lacks State Pest Control Docs

MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Miami man who was found in the cab of a fume-filled pest-control pickup truck along I-95 in Palm Beach County Monday apparently was not legally allowed to do pest control work, according to an investigation by CBSMiami.com.

A search of state records indicates Jorge Barahona, who was found in a truck bearing the name CJ’s Pest Control, may have been having trouble with the pest control business he has run from his Southwest Miami-Dade home since March of 1998.

Barahona was found in a truck identifying his business Monday morning, along with a 10-year-old boy said by police to be a foster child in his care. Fumes in the truck sent the Barahona and the boy to the hospital, along with 4 firefighters. A body was found in the truck later in the day, sparking a major investigation.

Barahona and his wife, Carmen, incorporated CJ’s Pest Exterminators Inc. in March, 1998, and operated the business from their home on SW 47th terrace in Southwest Miami-Dade, according to records on file with the Florida Secretary of State.

Neighbors were aware of the business, and some had good things to say about Barahona and how he managed toxic pest-control chemicals.

“He was always very cautious when he did his stuff,” said neighbor Jim Sheppard. “He sprayed my house, and when he came in and sprayed my house he’d always put on a big respirator and ask me to step out. He’s always really cautious and careful about the chemicals.”

But according to state records, Barahona should not have been applying pest control chemicals in any home but his own.

The Florida Department of Agriculture database of licensed pest control operators  shows that while Barahona is a certified operator in good standing for general home pest control, a state ID card he was required to carry to do business in people’s homes expired in August of 2009, and had not been renewed. Without it, “It’s not legal for him go go out and perform pest control,” said a clerk in the Agriculture department’s department of Entomology and Pest Control.

Michael Page, Chief of the Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, told CBSMiami.com that Barahona’s company’s license expired November 15th, 2009

There are other apparent lapses in Barahona’s business. In March, 2010, he failed to file a required annual report for CJ’s Pest Exterminators Inc. with the Secretary of State. According to state records, his corporation was dissolved 6 months later, in September 2010.

There is no record Barahona attempted to have the corporation reinstated, which would have required paying a $400 late filing penalty. Instead, in order to have the legal status to maintain a business bank account, Barahona filed a “Fictitious Name” request with the state, paying a $50 fee to use the name CJ’s Pest Control, which was the name on the pickup truck along I-95 Monday.

The state approved that request February 8th, 6 days before Barahona was found inside his truck, with a body in the back.

In Miami-Dade County, the law requires all businesses, including those operating from a home, to obtain a tax receipt. County records show there is no such certificate for Barahona’s address or any of the businesses located there. In addition, some businesses require a certificate of use depending on the type of business and where they operate.

Hilda Castillo, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade Building and Zoning, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the county has no certificate of use on file for Barahona’s address.

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

The Pest Protection Daily

January 20, 2011

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Click Here to read the Al Hoffer’s Pest Daily

New red imported fire ant enemies in place for combat

January 11, 2011

New red imported fire ant enemies in place for combat

By Sharon Durham

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are releasing the fifth species of phorid fly to control fire ant populations. Red imported fire ants first arrived in the United States in the early 1930s and have been expanding along the southern portion of the country ever since, resulting in medical, agricultural and environmental impacts that cost the U.S. public billions of dollars each year.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist Sanford Porter and his colleagues at the ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research Unit in Gainesville, Fla., have collected, bred and released phorid flies that help to control fire ant populations in the southern part of the United States. ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency.

Scientists at CMAVE and cooperators in several states conducted the fire ant biocontrol program to suppress the stinging insects in large areas. Since the program began in 1995, five species of phorid flies have been released to parasitize various sizes of fire ants, from large to very small. According to Porter, the relationship between phorid fly and fire ant is very specific: The introduced phorid fly species only attack imported fire ant species.

The fifth phorid fly species, Pseudacteon cultellatus, is currently being released at several sites in Florida to control tiny fire ant workers that belong to multiple-queen colonies. These colonies are particularly problematic because they usually house two to three times the number of worker ants.

Of the four phorid fly species previously released, only one has failed to establish itself and widely spread out. P. litoralis, released in 2004 and 2005, was only able to establish itself in Alabama. The others—P. tricuspis, P. curvatus, and P. obtusus—have expanded well beyond their release sites and are attacking fire ants across large areas. P. tricuspis and P. curvatus each cover over half of the U.S. fire ant range, and that is expected to increase to well over two-thirds of the range by the end of 2011, according to Porter.

Read more about this research in the January 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online.

News from Al Hoffer’s Termite Lawn Pest

January 7, 2011

Happy New Year! January News from Al Hoffer’s Pest Termite Lawn

Bedbugs and your health

December 21, 2010

Are Bedbugs a Health Threat?

The old adage “sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite” is taking on new meaning this summer as bedbug infestations are on the rise, from Iowa to Seattle, Minnesota to New York City, CBS Early Morning News reports.

In fact, infestations are becoming so common that exterminators can barely keep up: Calls about bedbugs are up 71 percent, from one or two calls a year to 10 to 50 per week since 2001, says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. Health officials in Manchester, N.H., even started a Bedbug Action Committee tasked with bringing the issue under control.

Infestations are on the rise, experts say, because bedbugs hitch a ride on our clothes and hang out in our beds. And they are not only found in homes; more and more bedbugs are showing up in hotels, dormitories and places where people frequently travel. Even retailers are not immune: Victoria’s Secret in New York City closed its doors for several hours to exterminate the nasty critters.

Bedbugs are many things, but one thing they are not, is a threat to your health. They are not disease vectors and are not considered a public health risk, according to entomologists at Purdue University’s Public Health and Medical Entomology department. But their bites do tend to leave itchy welts on human skin, and some people experience an allergic reaction. What’s more, bedbug sufferers say these persistent creatures wreak havoc on the psyche.

“Besides the ‘icky’ feeling of knowing bugs have crawled over you in your sleep, even after the infestation has been dealt with, people may still have a fear of falling asleep and feel anxiety about the whole experience,” says Henriksen. “In some cases, furniture [and] clothes have had to be thrown away, increasing the costly toll of the problem.”

Bedbugs are typically most active at night and tend to bite exposed skin while people are sleeping. The face, neck, hands and arms are the most common sites. Typically, the bites produce redness, swelling and itching, but if scratched, they can become infected, which is the most bodily damage they can cause. A particularity of bedbug bites is that they show up as multiples in a row.

Entomologists say the bugs’ presence has nothing to do with cleanliness, but the insects do produce small brown or red dots on sheets. And getting rid of them is not easy or cheap.

How do you spot a bedbug? Adult bedbugs are about 1/4-inch long, oval, reddish brown and wingless. Their bodies are very flat, and they possess long, slender legs and antennae, according to the Purdue scientists.

Bedbugs can travel easily — from beds to sofa cushions, from room to room and even home via suitcases from travel. Once an infestation develops, whether in a home, a hotel or even a movie theater, bedbugs are extremely difficult to remove and require the experience of a pest professional. Bedbugs can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to almost 113 degrees Fahrenheit, says Henriksen.

And since it is the height of travel season (the resurgence of bedbugs is tied largely to international travel), it is important for travelers to know what to look for in hotels. The NPMA offers these tips:

* Pull back the hotel bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly the corners, for telltale brownish or reddish spots.
* Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Do not put your luggage on the bed.
* If you change rooms but choose to stay in the same establishment, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the potentially infested room.
* Use a large plastic bag to store your luggage.

Florida Bed Bug Control