|Venus Pest Blog
Our society's ever increasing environmental awareness has driven a booming desire for green products and services, and the pest control industry is no exception. A green product or service is defined as one that protects or improves the environment. However, green should not be confused with organic, which infers that the product or service is natural. Natural does not necessarily mean environmentally friendly either, especially if the end result of going organic is a greater use of energy. Venus Pest Company was originally founded as Venus Organic Company as Dr. Scott Lingren saw the growing need for environmentally friendly services. Although we have expanded to become Venus Pest Company with many options available, doing our part to protect the environment is still at the heart of everything we do.
You can find many theories out there regarding natural or organic pest control and some will actually work, although most will leave you scratching your head. Even still, remedies that will actually kill pests on contact often do not truly eliminate a pest infestation and offer no residual, or long term control of the pests. Here is a review of a few organic or natural methods of pest control that we have come across. We want you to know which methods can be effective, but would also like to leave you with some realistic things to consider about them. Our Bee GreenTM pest control service was developed to satisfy both the need to control pests in your home or business and the desire to protect your families, pets, coworkers, and the environment. For more information on each, read The Truth About Natrual, Organic, or Green Pest Control.
- Plant Oils - Rosemary, Citrus, Thyme, Pyrethrum, Basil etc.
- We use citrus oils on occasion when we need a quick knockdown kill and cannot use any insecticides, like on an fire-ant mound at a day care while children are playing.
- There is no residual, or long term control offered and they usually have very strong odors.
- They act fast and dissapate fast. Spraying a wasp nest will kill any wasps currently there, but within minutes other wasps that were away from the nest can land safely.
- Diatomaceous Earth - Made up of the remains of tiny sea creatures.
- This abrasive material is supposed to control insects by scratching their waxy under belly and causing dehydration.
- It claims 48 hours to 1 week to control cockroaches, but we haven't seen that. It is so slow acting that we would argue that it doesn't work at all.
- Don't waste your time on this one.
- Spices - Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Mint Tea Bags, Cucumber Peels etc.
- Some insects will avoid things like cayenne pepper and will not cross a line laid out in front of an entry point, like ants coming out of a wall into your kitchen for instance.
- It is nearly impossible, and probably not a good idea, to leave piles of spices or tea laying around if you have pets or children.
- The insects may avoid one spot, or multiple spots if you want to spread cinnamon all around your house. But you still did nothing to control them, they're still in your walls foraging for food. How long before they find a new entry point somewhere else? Don't forget insects are excellent climber
- Soapy Water
- Soapy water will have similar benefits to plant oils or spices. You can achieve some mortality, and soapy water won't last in the environment.
- Moderate efficacy and no residual, or long-term control, meaning increased applications and energy use.
- Rice for Ant Control
- The theory holds that if you spread rice around an ant mound they will take it in, eat it, and die when they're stomachs explode from the expanding rice.
- How do you get the ants to eat the rice? Ants are not naturally attracted to eat rice, so you have to somehow trick them with a different ingredient to eat the rice.
- Finding the right way to make this work is not worth the effort when extremely effective baits are available.
These methods of attempting to control pests naturally or organically will often lead to less than desirable results. But not to worry, there are other environmentally conscious options that are more effective. Below are examples of green pest control methods that we regularly practice and should be incorporated into a good pest management program. For more detailed descriptions of each of these, please visit The Truth About Natural, Organic, or Green Pest Control.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - In this 2002 study, Green & Breisch described IPM as the central technological paradigm for achieving pesticide reform and demonstrated IPM strategies reduced pesticide use by more than 90%. Be sure that any pest control company you hire can clearly define IPM and how they use it.
- Bait - Unlike cayenne pepper and other things that might repel insects from a particular location, baits will be taken back and shared throughout the nests, eventually gaining complete control of the pests.
- Boric Acid - Sounds scary, but this naturally occurring insecticide dust has been used for almost 100 years. It is slow acting, but has a very low toxicity to humans and animals, and is very long-lasting.
- Indoxacarb / Dinotefuran - These are two recent synthetic insecticides that have received fast track registration from the EPA because of their low environmental risk. Showing great promise for the future of green pest management, we began using Indoxacarb in 2009 as part of our green service offerings.
- Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) - Bacillus thuringiensis is an insecticidal bacteria that is so specific that certain strains of it only kill one species of insect. It is invaluable against mosquito larvae because it can be applied directly to water and will ONLY kill mosquito larvae, commonly called mosquito dunks.
- Spinosad / Abamectin - Derived from bacterial fermentation, these two natural insecticides are used mainly in baits against ants or cockroaches and in animal applied products for controlling parasites. Spinosad is the active ingredient in some flea medications for your pets.
It can be difficult to filter through all the information floating around regarding natural, organic, or green pest control. After extensive research, field trials, and experimentation with various control methods, our Bee Green service was created. Bee GreenTM pest control service is the best solution available to protect your home or business from pests while reducing the reliance on pesticides and minimizing harmful effects on the environment.
Oh, and if you're one of those that the plastic bag full of water over the door works for warding off flies, you are lucky and in the minority!
Bed bugs are becoming a serious problem everywhere. Even here locally, infestations are on the rise. Sanitation is usually not an issue so being clean doesn't mean you won't get attacked. They are usually brought into your home or business in someone's bag or clothing where they were picked up at a previous location.
Even Jay-Z and Rihanna are susceptible as their studios in New York had to be shut down because of bed bugs!
Here are some tips on how to check for bed bugs and call Venus Pest Company if you feel you have an infestation or would like an inspection.
You all know by now that inbreeding in the animal kingdom often yields less than desirable results in offspring. Well, the same rule applies to insects. When it comes time to mate and reproduce, even insects must leave their homes in search of a suitable partner. Each kind of insect does this in their own way, but today we’re talking about how carpenter ants
accomplish this feat, what to look for, and how to protect yourself and your property.
While carpenter ants do not eat wood for food, they do nest in wood. They build galleries by cutting tunnels through soft wood, attracted by rotting or decaying wood. As their colony grows, they must cut through more wood to make room for a larger population. Because of this, they are classified as wood destroying insects and considered a major threat to homes and businesses.
Swarming Carpenter Ants
· Once a colony reaches a certain size, they begin to produce “winged” males and females capable of reproduction. You can see one with wings in this picture.
· When conditions are right and typically after a rain storm, usually February to March in Texas, these winged ants will take a coordinated flight in search of a mate.
If a mate is found, the new queen carpenter ant
will search out a proper place for a new colony, remove her wings, and begin laying her first round of eggs.
Signs of Infestation
· Live Carpenter Ants:
Carpenter ants are some of the largest ants, and have a variety of species and colors. Workers can be 1/2 inch and the queens can be up to 3/4 inch long. Go to our Pest Identification
page for examples of carpenter ants and how to spot them.
· Carpenter Ant Evidence: Piles of sawdust or “frass” will appear under openings into their nest where they remove any loose particles and also dispose of their dead bodies and other waste. It’s pretty gross to come across a huge pile of ant carcasses and other bug parts in a dark corner of a room you don’t go into very often!
· Conducive Conditions: Moisture damaged wood or limbs touching your house make it easier for carpenter ants to get started.
How to Protect Yourself
· Trim back all tree limbs and shrubs touching your home, and closely monitor power lines that are contacting your structure.
· Replace any rotten or decaying wood.
· Eliminate sources of high moisture.
· Have your house inspected for wood destroying insects (i.e. carpenter ants & termites) by a pest management professional at least once per year.
If an infestation is present, a carpenter ant control
treatment may be necessary to eliminate the colony and prevent future outbreaks. Correcting a few simple problems could make the difference in keeping them out of your home or business
Up to about a year ago, I would have laughed you out the door if you said I'd be writing in blogs and participating in social media! But hey, even I can see the allure and the value it can provide to our businesses. We recently spent a lot of time and effort researching what blogging really is, why it's useful, and the best approach for us to take for our own efforts. We learned tons of information from sites like socialsmallbiz.com, and began communicating with a few of them directly to help us get our social media strategy ironed out.
I became part of a panel of "experts" (term used loosely of course) at socialsmallbiz.com, where we discuss experiences and strategies for how to incorporate social media into our marketing plans. They liked one of my answers enough to post it as one of their guest posts regarding blogging. Check out my guest appearance, 5 Things To Remember When Starting a Blog.
Hope you like it!
Rob Jones, CMO
- February, 2013 ( 1 )
- January, 2013 ( 1 )
- December, 2012 ( 2 )
- October, 2012 ( 1 )
- February, 2012 ( 1 )
- January, 2012 ( 1 )
- November, 2011 ( 2 )
- October, 2011 ( 2 )
- September, 2011 ( 3 )
- August, 2011 ( 1 )
- July, 2011 ( 2 )
- May, 2011 ( 1 )
- April, 2011 ( 3 )
- March, 2011 ( 3 )
- February, 2011 ( 2 )
- January, 2011 ( 1 )
- December, 2010 ( 2 )
- October, 2010 ( 1 )
- September, 2010 ( 1 )
- August, 2010 ( 2 )
- July, 2010 ( 2 )
- June, 2010 ( 2 )
- May, 2010 ( 2 )
- April, 2010 ( 3 )
- March, 2010 ( 5 )
- February, 2010 ( 4 )
- January, 2010 ( 4 )