Western Exterminator Company partnered with celebrated regional restaurant Mondo Taco to show that insects aren’t always pests — sometimes they are delicious.
On Oct. 8, Western Exterminator and Mondo Taco hosted a pop-up “Pestaurant” in the heart of Santa Monica, Calif., at the center of the 1300 Block on the Third Street Promenade. Passersby were encouraged to sample a wide array of dishes created especially for the event, including “Jamaican Me Hoppy Jerked Seasoned Grasshoppers with Pineapple Salsa,” “Deep South BBQ Beetle Tacos” and “Thai Mai Mealworm Salad.” To top off the menu offerings, there were sweet and savory treats such as “Rice Cricket Treats” and a “Chocolate Goes with Everything” dessert. For each bug dish sampled Western Exterminator donated $1 to the Westside Food Bank. A cricket-eating contest was also held, and Western Exterminator donated $10 per each participant to the organization.
The “Pestaurant” is designed to raise awareness of pests in a fun, experiential way and draw attention to the fact that while they can be destructive and a nuisance, they can also be a low-impact, sustainable and nutritious protein alternative. As consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their food supply, insects offer an unconventional but intriguing option that has already been embraced by approximately one-third of the world’s population. Western Exterminator’s goal is to generate general mindfulness around insects — both as pests and as a food source.
“The ‘Pestaurant’ concept is one that we have implemented in a number of cities across the West Coast, and has been very well-received by those adventurous enough to give these unique dishes a try,” said Eric Rimiller, vice president of Western Exterminator. “We are eager to give residents of the Greater Los Angeles area the opportunity to find out for themselves just how tasty bugs can be!”
For additional information on Western Exterminator, visit www.westernexterminator.com.
Yankee Pest Control’s Murphy Runs in Marine Corps Marathon
Galvin Murphy Jr., of Yankee Pest Control, Malden, Mass., ran the Marine Corps Marathon 2016 on Oct. 30, to raise funds for the Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Fund.
Murphy, a Marine and a combat-disabled veteran who was twice deployed to Iraq, was training for the marathon, which was his first, by running five to six days a week.
The Massachusetts Fallen Heroes was established in 2010 by Boston firefighters, local veterans, Gold Star Families, police officers, and other patriotic citizens. The group is comprised of combat veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are committed to memorializing their fellow service members who did not return home to their families.
Massachusetts Fallen Heroes broke ground on a permanent public tribute in the fall of 2014 to honor the commonwealth’s brave servicemen and women who died while in service to this grateful nation. Murphy had a close friend, Kyle, who was a U.S. Marine pilot and lost his life in combat. He left behind a wife, daughter and, at the time, an unborn son. For veterans like Murphy, it is important to have a memorial like this where families like Kyle’s can have a place to sit and remember their loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Termites are cryptic, eusocial organisms that consume wood day and night. That limited information is enough to convey the significant challenge termites present to PMPs. While subterranean termites deservedly receive most of the attention, drywood termites can be exceedingly difficult in their own right. Drywood colonies are considerably smaller, with mature colonies ranging from dozens to a few thousand individuals, and lead a secretive lifestyle. A single piece of sound, seasoned wood can sustain a drywood colony, functioning as a colony/nesting site and food source. The lack of water is not an issue; drywood termites are able to extract all they need via metabolic processes and from the wood they consume.
Drywood termite colonies excavate a complex network of galleries. The size and shape of drywood termite galleries vary, but they are often smooth and close to the surface of the wood. Drywood termites will consume wood up to the surface and leave just a thin layer of paint or veneer between the external environment and the colony. The gallery system is unpredictable with some areas that narrow to the width of one termite and others consisting of open cavities. Unlike subterraneans, drywoods will excavate galleries by eating spring and summer wood along and across grain.
If you have food, water, shelter and protection from predators and the elements in one place, why would you leave? Other than alates produced by mature colonies, they don’t. This makes drywood termite detection and inspection difficult at best.
TREATMENT OPTIONS. Drywood termite control strategies fit into three basic options: fumigation (whole structure or container), localized treatment or replacing/discarding infested material. Despite killing 100 percent of termites when performed properly, fumigation is not a realistic option for all scenarios. Infestations that are believed to be small may be approached with a spot treatment protocol, the most common method being to “drill and treat” — drill, or otherwise gain entry into the gallery system and inject dust, foam or some other formulation of termiticide/insecticide.
Ideally, product will reach the gallery system and eventually eliminate the colony. In reality, the complex and unpredictable excavation of the gallery system presents challenges. Drilling where termites are believed to be active may not actually contact the gallery system and any application that doesn’t provide results is just wasted product.
Another complicating factor is the possible presence of multiple colonies in the same area, potentially even in the same piece of wood. It might take years after wood is infested with drywood termites for there to be any outward indication that an infestation exists. Without destructive sampling, there isn’t a reliable way to determine if you’re dealing with a single or multiple colonies. Your overall treatment will be a failure if you treat the gallery system of one colony and there is another nearby colony with a separate gallery system.
How can localized drywood termite treatments be improved? It goes back to inspection. As a graduate student at the University of Florida, I evaluated the TermaTrac T3i as an alternative to traditional inspection methods. The most relevant feature of this device is a function that uses microwave radiation to detect movement, gathering real-time evidence of termite presence through wood and other materials. Although every situation is unique, I was able to create some baseline readings of termite movement (frequency and intensity) based on a known number of termites and set distances between the device and the activity.
In the field, I looked for termite movement at nine locations in northern Florida where there was evidence of a drywood termite infestation (swarm, visible damage or fecal pellets). I used a kick-out hole or damage as my initial measurement spot and then took termite movement readings every 10 cm to form a grid. Locations with termite movement were marked with electrical tape and numbered to allow for comparisons of termite movement before and after treatment at the same spot. I used the drill and treat method with Termidor Dry, a micro-cellulose “dust” formulation containing 0.5 percent fipronil, and returned to each site every three months for one year after treatment to re-measure the immediate area. (No treatments were made after the initial.)
Out of the 80 spots with initial termite activity, I detected movement at 26.7 percent of those spots six months after treatment, and at 6.3 percent of them one-year post-treatment. In total, there was a 91.3 percent reduction in detected termite activity and 6/9 sites showed no termite activity at all one-year after treatment.
Given how cryptic drywood termites are, a localized drywood treatment can only responsibly be referred to as “not yet a failure,” because a persistent absence of swarms, new damage or fecal pellets are only supporting evidence, but not definite indications, of a lack of termite activity. However, the TermaTrac T3i gave me another layer of information to judge the effectiveness of my treatments. Without access to movement data, each site would have been considered a tentative success, but with it I could target additional applications to pockets that still had activity.
It’s unrealistic to expect localized drywood termite treatments to ever be as effective as fumigation, but advancements in technology are helping to close that gap. With the right knowledge, tools and patience, drywood termites can be beaten.
The author is director of technical support and regulatory compliance, Copesan Services, Menomonee Falls, Wis.
Copesan is an alliance of pest management companies with locations throughout North America. To learn more, visit www.copesan.com.
Pest management professionals have a new weapon in the fight against voles, ground squirrels and commensal rodents with P.C.Q. PRO, featuring the active ingredient diphacinone. This restricted-use rodenticide offers PMPs greater flexibility to control meadow and pine voles, California ground squirrels and commensal rodents, Bell Labs reports. This powerful multi-feed, first-generation anticoagulant has a broad label for use against a wide variety of pests in industrial, commercial and residential accounts, Bell says. P.C.Q. PRO is approved for burrow baiting for meadow and pine voles.
2016 Nissan Titan XD pick-up owners can choose from an array of rugged, weatherproof BOLT Locks designed specifically for this new model. BOLT Lock products enable Nissan Titan XD owners to enjoy the added security and convenience the BOLT product line offers across several applications, the firm says.
BOLT’s “Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology” permanently programs the lock to the pickup’s ignition key the first time the ignition key is inserted into the BOLT Lock cylinder. Spring-loaded plate tumblers uniquely code the cylinder to the specific ignition key, reducing the number of keys needed. This patented technology is designed to deter theft, while offering one-key convenience for the vehicle owner. Designed with an electroless nickel-plated carbon steel pin or shaft assembly for strength and durability, BOLT locks feature an automotive-grade stainless steel lock shutter; a durable, protective rubber shell; and a six-plate tumbler sidebar that prevents picking and bumping.
Termidor HP high-precision termiticide from BASF has been approved for use in California. Termidor HP termiticide is designed to work exclusively with the Termidor HP High Precision Injection System.
This injection system provides control of termites with a completely different application method that places Termidor HP termiticide in precise, measured doses around a structure, BASF reports. The Termidor HP injection system uses less water, minimizes landscape disruption, reduces labor-intensive trenching and rodding, and creates a more uniform treatment zone as compared to conventional liquid termiticides, the manufacturer adds.
To ensure accuracy and consistency, the Termidor HP High Precision Injection System is equipped with a digital onboard computer and inline mixing system. A computer-generated report provides pest management professionals a detailed record of the treatment for greater homeowner confidence, the firm says.
Central Life Scienceswww.strikeproducts.com
Central Life Sciences, makers of Strike products, recently launched a newly redesigned website for the product line at www.strikeproducts.com. Strike products are used primarily in wastewater treatment facilities, but they can be applied in any facility or site seeking control of midge and filter flies in water on the premises. Potential sites include food-processing facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, chemical plants, pulp and paper facilities, golf courses, parks and resorts. The environmental compatibility of all three formulations make them a great solution for controlling midge and filter flies, Central Life Sciences says. The new website highlights the various use sites where Strike products can be applied, helps PMPs and facility operators find which products best fit their needs, and provides easy access to informational resources. New additions to the site include multiple use rate calculators and information about various application sites.
Strike midge control products stop midge and filter flies, eliminates the next generation of flies and, with continued use, keeps new infestations from developing, the manufacturer says. Strike products contain an EPA-registered insect growth regulator.
With more than 20 years of use, the U-Trap-It Pest Management System provides an easy-to-use, methodical approach to proactively prevent pest activity where pests cannot be tolerated, the company says. The U-Trap-It System simplifies record keeping and eases compliance with regulations and audits while standardizing data collection and analysis across all corporate facilities, the company added. The U-Trap-It system can handle 100 pest control devices in a plant facility or thousands of devices deployed in a city for rodent control; or the system can track the services and inspections of thousands of rooms in a hotel or dormitory. U-Trap-It features:Proactive pest prevention system Auditing and regulatory compliance with trending Pesticide tracking Dynamic site plans and floor plans Pest activity spatial analysis Facility pest risk assessments Tracks environmental deficiencies and corrective actions Alerts and corrective actions Centralized management of plants worldwide
Nixalite premiered the new HS-10 Bird Blaster at PestWorld 2016. Bird Blaster is a small portable acoustic haling device that will scare away birds and wildlife from large open areas, the firm says. Weighing only 15 pounds, the HS-10 packs a peak acoustic output of 144dB with a range up to 750 meters. Use the HS-10 to play predator and distress calls or activate the built-in high frequency alert tone with the push of a button. This is an ideal tool for dispersing birds/wildlife from airfields, landfills, industrial sites, agriculture crops, water ways and more, Nixalite reports.
Regardless if you are treating a residential or commercial account for small flies, all buildings have plumbing and pipes. “We get not only food debris down in these lines, but biofilm,” said Dr. Gerry Wegner.
No matter the fly, Wegner, former technical director for Varment Guard Environmental Services, said eggs are always laid in the food source. The type of small fly depends on the location of the food source. Wegner used drains and pipelines as examples. If organic matter is on top of the drain, fruit flies are likely to be the culprit. Inside the drain, however, Wegner said PMPs will be looking at phorid flies or moth flies depending on how deep the organic matter is on the sides.
DOS AND DONT’S. Wegner said bleaching drains and pipes to get rid of flies is a misconception. “Insect eggs can tolerate bleach, particularly if the eggs and larvae are deeply embedded in the biofilm,” Wegner said. “They pour down the bleach water and it’s pretty much going to use gravity and go straight down here.”
To help eliminate the breeding source, eliminate the organic matter and biofilm that collects in and on top of the drain, Wegner said. “Solve the problem with a live biological product eating away at the residues,” he said. This may include unscrewing drains and scrubbing the sides if larvae and flies are closer to the top. Foams help eliminate fruit fly and moth fly larvae down in drain lines, however, make sure the floor has been cleaned before you apply the foam or else the treatment will be washed away. “You’re going to want to leave those bacterial cultures or enzymes working,” he said. “Time it so you’re working after the floor and most of the drainage has occurred from the mop water.”
BE THE EXPERT. In some cases, when breeding is in areas below slabs and in broken pipes, Wegner said customers will try to avoid a multi-thousand dollar bill and ask you not to open up the slab. Use your expertise and tell the client drilling holes and filling the floor with insecticides is not a long-term solution — you must break the slab.
“All sorts of nasty, decaying organic material in the fill really needs to be excavated out,” he said. “Insecticides alone may slow things down for a while, but consider you’re going to have continued leakage from the broken line, causing more water and decaying material. There will always be a number of flies that continue to lay eggs, repeating their life cycle down in there.”
MORE ACCESS. The job sometimes comes down to having enough confidence in your knowledge to take on challenging accounts that require special permissions. For example, Wegner recalled a phorid fly problem at a mausoleum that required temporarily opening a façade covering multiple casket vaults in order to access the vault with a broken seal. “You may not get very good cooperation with your client in opening up sections. There’s also certain rules and regulations honoring the rights of the family.”
Phorid flies can breed inside vaults and caskets. Wegner had to do some convincing to get mausoleum staff to access and reseal the errant vault. “When relatives come to mourn the dead, they’re not going to allow little flies skipping around.”
TAKE ADVANTAGE. Wegner said make friends with a plumber if drainage cleanouts are necessary. He or she can help unscrew the cap and give you access.
In the case of fungus gnats, Wegner said check to see if your state requires a license to deal with “plantscapes,” where fungus gnats often breed. Standing water can occur on flat roofs and fungus gnats can breed there, so get permission to access the roof if you suspect flies are present.
PACKAGE IT UP. Accounts aren’t keen on buying fly service as an add-on, so Wegner suggests building it into the service and simply charging more. “Small flies are going to be problematic and time consuming,” he said. “Too often, technicians are rushed through their day. They’re not doing a thorough enough job inspecting these accounts that deal with food and beverages.”
Pest control companies that have their own sales team should be trained side-by-side with service technicians on knowing how to sell fly control, he added. Accounts to target include those that manufacture pharmaceutical drugs and also medical facilities. “Owners and managers definitely need to be on board with selling fly control and charging more for it,” he said.