Sunday, December 16, 2018

See How Termites Inspired a Building That Can Cool Itself | Decoder


How do you cool a building without air conditioning? Using an approach called biomimicry, see how architect Mick Pearce harnessed the ingenuity of termites to design a natural cooling system for the largest commercial building in Zimbabwe.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tips for Selecting a Pest Control Service


How do we select a competent pest control service?
First of all, many of us as homeowners, renters and landlords can control household pests through a combination of preventive measures, including proper sanitation and good home maintenance practices. However, some pest infestations may be extensive, or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring the services of a pest control company.

You should select a pest control company the way you do any other service - Look for Quality and Value. Costs and competency are important. When selecting a pest control service, cost should not be the only factor that determines the company you pick. It is important to make sure the pest control company you choose is competent. If pesticides are misused, both health and property can be damaged. Before contracting with a pest control company, consider the following:

Take Your Time/Do Your Homework
When most people discover a pest problem, they want the problem eliminated immediately. However, most problems can wait a few days so you have time to select a competent, reasonably priced company. It is wise to obtain several estimates from prospective companies. Most companies will provide free estimates.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Pest Control Firm

How many years have you been in business at your present address?
Contact organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, the States Departments of Agriculture, or the States Attorney General’s Office, or the EPA to determine if complaints have been filed against the company or its applicators for misusing pesticides.

Would you provide me with a list of references?
Contact several references to find out if they are satisfied with the service provided by the pest control company.

Will the person(s) performing the services be a certified, licensed pesticide applicator or a licensed technician? Each company must have at least one certified, licensed commercial pesticide applicator in the proper service category. Other company applicators must be certified applicators or licensed technicians under the direct supervision of an certified applicator.

Licenses may be verified by calling the various State Departments of Agriculture.

Would you provide me with a copy of your pest control license, copies of the labels for all pesticides used and the rates at which they will be applied?
Reliable applicators will show you their credentials and will be able to provide you with copies of pesticide labels that indicate how the product should be applied, including the proper application rates, and the necessary precautions.

BEWARE OF COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS THAT.......

  • Want to do pest control as part of a package deal, such as general home repair or tree trimming or that will give you a special price if treatment is done immediately.
  • Don’t have a listed or working telephone number.
  • Sell services door-to-door or target the elderly or infirm persons who live alone. CHECK THEIR IDENTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALS!!!
  • Arrive unexpectedly and show you insects they have found in your neighbors house as evidence of a neighborhood problem.
  • Quote a per-gallon price. Termite control can require several hundred gallons of diluted insecticide.
  • Claim to have a secret formula. All pesticide products must be registered by the U.S. EPA and the States Departments of Agriculture. Registered pesticide labels contain a list of active ingredients.
  • Try to pressure you into immediately signing a contract by suggesting your house is structurally unsound and may collapse if not treated.
  • Claim to have excess material left over from a previous job and offer a reduced price for immediate treatment.
  • Claim to be endorsed by the States Departments of Agriculture, the U.S. EPA or other government agency. Government agencies DO NOT endorse any service company or specific pesticide product.

More Points to Consider

Some pest control companies offer service contracts in which structures are routinely treated for a particular pest. Contracts may be necessary in some situations such as warehouses that receive crates often infested with cockroaches. In general, routine pesticide applications in and around your home are not good unless there is a constant infestation by a pest and non-chemical methods have failed to control the pest. Service contracts for the homeowner should include periodic inspections, but pesticides should not be applied unless the pests are actually present and cannot be controlled by other means.

Generally, it is customary for termite control work to be guaranteed from one to five years. Make sure you know what the guarantee covers and determine if there is a yearly inspection charge. In addition, find out if the pest control company is responsible for structural damage if the treatment fails to control the termite infestation. The guarantee is only as reliable as the company that offers it.

If the service person asks you to do certain things before, during or after the pesticide application, cooperate and follow instructions. For example:

  • If the service person asks you to remove personal items from the floor, empty kitchen cabinets and remove pets, make sure you have done this before they arrive.
  • Do not allow children or pets into treated areas until the pesticide spray has dried.
  • Aquariums should be removed from the treatment site or covered with heavy plastic and the air pump turned off.
  • Remove all other household pets from the treatment area.
  • If the service person suggests non-chemical methods of pest control in addition to the pesticides, be sure to follow the instructions.

Good cooperation between you and the pest control company will help eliminate pests and reduce pesticide use.

Pesticides are inherently toxic and may cause health problems and/or damage to the environment if used in a manner inconsistent with the label directions. Certain pesticides may pose greater risks than others. To determine the pesticide that best fits your needs, contact your local University Extension Service.

Article Source: https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/tips-selecting-pest-control-service

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Loathsome, Lethal Mosquito - Rose Eveleth


Everyone hates mosquitoes. Besides the annoying buzzing and biting, mosquito-borne diseases like malaria kill over a million people each year (plus horses, dogs and cats). And over the past 100 million years, they've gotten good at their job -- sucking up to three times their weight in blood, totally undetected. So shouldn't we just get rid of them? Rose Eveleth shares why scientists aren't sure.

Lesson by Rose Eveleth, animation by Karrot Animation.

Friday, December 7, 2018

5 Pest Control Myths


If you have recently become aware of a potential pest control problem in your home or business, you do not have time to waste with repellents or trap ideas that don't work! Taking quick action to deal with the problem and guarding your home or business against further invasion is essential in preventing a larger infestation.

Unfortunately, there are many old wives tales and ineffective DIY methods spread across the internet and social media. To help put some of these misconceptions to rest, here are top five pest control myths that tend to mislead consumers.

MYTH: A cleanly kept home will not have mice or bugs

Although keeping an immaculate home is an important way to reduce the risk of vermin challenges, it does not guarantee it. Bed bugs, for example, can be found everywhere from upscale homes to low-end hotels. The reason for this is that they are not drawn to dirt, clutter, or garbage - they are attracted to blood. Where ever people are living and sleeping, so too might bedbugs!

Therefore, whether your place is amazingly clean or overflowing with clutter makes no difference to a bed bug. Bed bugs can be brought home from hotels, nursing homes, libraries, movie theatres and more. You might be shocked and surprised by the top 10 bedbug infestation spots.

The only reason a dirty household would be more susceptible to a bed bug infestation would be due to clutter hiding early warning signs of a problem.

Mice are another undesirable that can be found in clean homes but they will need a food source before they will attempt to make your home theirs. So with this one, it does help to keep the home free of clutter and to eliminate all possible food sources.

MYTH: Professional control treatments are dangerous

The use of harsh chemicals is a thing of the past for responsible companies. Where stronger treatments are needed, the health and safety of the residents can be adequately planned to ensure there is no unnecessary risk. The majority of treatment options today, however, are completely safe for you, your family, and the environment.

Some companies are even offering green options for pest control that are less toxic to humans and, as an added benefit, are often less costly than traditional options that include pesticides. The focus of these types of treatments is on preventing rodents and insects from getting into your house in the first place, rather than eliminating them once they are already present. For example, a door sweep, which covers up the hole between the bottom of your door and the floor, can be added to a home to block off the tiny space that a rodent can easily utilize to enter a home.

MYTH: bedbugs are not visible to the naked eye

In fact, adult bed bugs are easily seen with the naked eye. The challenge is that they are nocturnal and they are good at staying hidden during the day.

MYTH: Ultrasonic repellents as deterrents

Ultrasonic devices are designed to use ultra-high frequency sound waves to drive vermin away. It seems like a great idea, but the problem is that manufacturers of these products have yet to support their claims with scientific evidence.

MYTH: Consult a professional expert only when there is a serious problem

Thinking that a problem will clear up on its own is a mistake. By the time you notice the first signs of pests, your home or business could already be infested. Don't wait until you have a serious problem before you take action.

If you suspect even the slightest pest control problem, contact a professional to get advice immediately.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9724953

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Why Are There So Many Insects? - Murry Gans


If insects suddenly morphed into large beings and decided to wage war on us, there’s no doubt that humans would lose. There are an estimated 10 quintillion individual insects on earth, outnumbering humans by more than a billion to one. So what’s their secret to success? Murry Gans details the reasons behind insect abundance.

Lesson by Murry Gans, animation by Echo Bridge Pictures.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Why You Should Hire a Pest Control Service


Many people try to fight bugs using store-bought chemicals, only to lose the battle in the long run. If you're having problems with insects, a pest control service can get rid of the issue once and for all. These are just a few of the reasons why you should go with a professional rather than try and handle an infestation on your own.

Costs

A pest control service may cost you hundreds of dollars each year, but that amount is only a fraction of what you'll pay if carpenter ant colonies or termites are allowed to do damage to your home. You could be looking at several thousands of dollars in repairs and structural problems that possibly cannot be fixed. A professional will conduct regular inspections of your property and take care of any problems before serious issues can occur.

Customized Plans

Whether you are treating an older home or trying to protect a new one, a pest control service can provide you with a plan that will meet your exact needs. A professional will take several factors into consideration when recommending the plan that is best for you, including the size of your home, the level of infestation that has occurred, and what methods will best bring about long-term prevention.

Safety

Technicians undergo extensive training in how their products work and how to safely place them inside and outside of a home. Several companies have turned to environmentally friendly sprays that are safe for humans and pets. This is in stark contrast to the dangerous chemicals you can find at your local store.

In addition, professionals also know how to safely attack potentially dangerous areas such as beehives and wasps' nests. A novice could easily disturb a hive, for instance, and cause a swarm that could result in serious injuries. If you have an infestation of mice and don't know how to properly eliminate it, you could unknowingly allow them to scatter and spread potentially severe diseases.

Convenience

It can be a hassle to try and find places where bugs are gathering and eliminate them. If you don't want to spend your entire day trying to play the role of an exterminator, let a professional handle it. Most pest control service companies will work around your schedule, allowing you to focus on things you'll actually enjoy doing. Professionals will also continue to monitor your property and re-treat any problem areas should an infestation unexpectedly return.

When you call a pest control company, you can rest easy knowing that you and your family will be protected from infestations for months at a time. You won't have to waste money on harmful chemicals, and you'll get quality, guaranteed service that will rid your home of unwanted visitors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8806735