Venom

The biggest worry people have about having creepy crawlers in their house is getting bitten. while sometimes people just fear their presence, the way they look, or the damage to their food or home. the main concern is getting bitten by these pests. that is why the least popular creatures that invade a home are spiders and (depending on the area) scorpions. Some people don’t like cockroaches because of how gross they look, others dislike ants because of how they scourge food. Spiders and scorpions easily top both of those and it’s for one reason, they can bite and sting. Ants can bite too, but the difference between those little guys versus spiders and scorpions are the affects of the bite. Scorpions and spiders have a bit of a unique quality that differs from other pests, venom.

To be fair, ants, bees and a few other insects do have venom, however that venom does not have the same impact on our body that scorpion and spider venom do. We have an inherent fear of spiders because of the horror stores we have heard about the notorious Black Widow and Brown Recluse. These two spiders carry a venom that can potentially be deadly, so we tend to put that venomous umbrella over all types of spiders.  Scorpions carry a similar amount of clout compared to spiders, and this is often attributed to movies in which we see the effects of the Emperor Scorpion and other dangerous scorpions, we have a fear of what could happen.

 

 

 

 

Black Widow

 

A surprising aspect of venom, is the effect that it has on our bodies when we are bitten or stung. When you are bitten by a black widow the effects usually happen after about 20-60 minutes. After being bitten the venom will travel throughout your body and you will begin to feel pain at the location of the bite, and you may also experience nausea, abdominal pain and muscle cramps. If you have those symptoms, please call 911 or visit your local E.R. or urgent care. Though the affects often wear off within 24 hours, and it isn’t likely that you will die, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Brown Recluse spider bites only differ slightly from that of the Black Widow; after being bitten you won’t notice any effects until about 2-6 hours. Symptoms include pain and itching in the bite area as well slight skin color change in that area due to skin cell damage. It is best to treat these bites by applying ice to the bite and contacting emergency help. As with black widow bites, most of the time the effects will go away without medical treatment as time goes by. Unfortunately, for both of these spiders’ bites, children and the elderly are most susceptible to them and could be fatal danger if the bites go untreated.

Even though there are thousands of species of spiders within the United States, the only two that are “dangerous” are those mentioned above. Among the thousands of spiders that could potentially be in your home (not all at once), most of their bites’ could not even penetrate your skin. We have this inherent fear of spiders in our home because we are terrified of being bitten, but the chances of a bite are minimal, and if you do get bit, it will probably go unnoticed.

AZ Bark Scorpion

Regarding venom, the same holds true with both spiders and scorpions. When a scorpion stings you, the venom will travel throughout your whole body and you will feel quite a bit of pain at the location of the sting. A large difference within this sting versus that of a spider bite, is that there will be quite a bit more pain where the sting occurred, and there will be a bit more swelling. As with spiders, if a child is stung, call 911, poison control, or go to your nearest urgent care of ER because the effects can be detrimental. This same thing is true with scorpions regarding venom. Most of the time the affects of the sting will soon wear off and you will be fine, but again, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Although spiders and scorpions may seem scary and dangerous, they have been over dramatized for years in movies and television shows and therefore seem absolutely terrifying. It is still a good idea to avoid spiders and scorpions when possible, the real pests that can hurt your home are insects like termites that can “erode” your home away. Whether you have termites, spiders, scorpions, ants or another pest, Bulwark Pest Control is the best option to rid of any pests you may have! Call us today at, 1-800-610-7576.

What is a spider’s web made out of?

For any of you who have seen any Spider Man movie *cough* Spider-Man: Homecoming *cough* which recently came out, you’ll notice that Spider-Man makes his own webbing! Let’s look into what a spider’s web is actually made of, and is it possible to recreate our web slinging friends antics? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When people think about the structure of a web they often think about the rumor that states that they’re stronger than steel… Well, not only is that true, but a spider’s web is actually stronger than steel! This is because of something called tensile strength, which refers to the tension of which the material can withstand, and why a web is more elastic than steel. Without that elasticity, people would be hurting themselves left and right as they try to clear webs.  The spider’s web is made of spider silk, which is an extremely elastic material constructed of lots of protein fibers. That being said, spider silk can bare more weight than steel, however it is much less dense. A spider creates its silk within a very specialized organ, called the spinneret. Another benefit of this silk, is that it contains glue like properties which aid in catching its prey. When an insect comes in contact with the web, they are likely stuck until their demise. Spider silk is also conductive to electricity, and the spider actually uses this to its advantage. They use this conductivity to build up a static charge, and like a sock sticks to a towel if there is too much static in the dryer, an insect with any static charge clinging to it will stick to the web as well, and they are unable to escape. At first glance, a spider web may seem like an intricate design for spiders to lounge on, but the underlying properties are absolutely fascinating. 

 

Roach Eats Spider!

A few days ago, we tried feeding our Giant Huntsman Spider, one of the largest species of spider in the world, a cockroach. Upon first glance, one would think, “oh the spider won of course!” however in this crazy turn of events the roach won the battle. While filming the attack, the spider missed its prey and ended up tangling its font two legs within its own webbing! Overtime we thought it might get free and try again, but a few days later we noticed that the spider no longer had a face and the cockroach was completely unscathed. A few more days passed, and the spiders entire body was soon missing.  After close examination, we realized that there were indeed a few remains of the spider’s legs, and with that it was decided that the cockroach decided to make a meal out of its predator. Huntsman Spiders are known to catch on average, 90% of their prey, and after some research we have not been able to find a similar event in an enclosure or captured in the wild. We are completely awestruck because roaches don’t generally win, and if they do they certainly don’t eat the predator!

See the video here:

What The 2012 Election Means For Pest Control Operators

President Obama Re-Elected For Second Term 

The highly contested 2012 election has come to an end, with President Barack Obama coming out victorious over Governor Mitt Romney. The President retained a second term from an extremely divided nation and electorate. This was illustrated by the popular vote, which Romney lead most of the election night; eventually closing with Obama obtaining 58,720,700 (50.1%) votes to Romney’s 56,145,950 (48.4 %).

This Country’s voters who elected President Obama to another four years, also elected a divided congress. Republicans re-established their majority in the House of Representatives, and the Democrats will keep control over the Senate. As pest control operators, we will wait and see what affects this has on our industry.

What the 2012 Election Means For Pest Control Operators 

With congressional seats up for grabs, pest control operators were not only watching the presidential race, we were watching the congressional races as well. Should some environmental activists gain more control, of both houses, there is a possibility that they could potentially push through significant amounts of legislation that will impact the pest control industry.

Bob Rosenberg, Senior VP of The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says:

“An environmental movement is re-gaining its footing, and will have the potential to create legislative and regulatory challenges for pest management professionals. There are people in positions of authority that have a long history of going after our industry.”

Knowing this, the National Pest Control Association Political Action Committee, which is/was a PAC qualified committee, contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the 2012 election; according to the most recent FEC filing. Other pest control contributions varied from state to state, depending on the particular legislation.

Most pest control experts believe, with a balance in both houses now, we can expect to see more of the same in the industry. It is unknown how much legislation will change, but our Nation’s elected leaders will strive to make the industry more regulated, with safer pesticides.

US Flag

Going Forward 

All of us here at Bulwark Exterminating want to congratulate everybody who participated in this year’s election. Whether your candidates won or lost, we should all be thankful to live in these United States. As fellow Americans, and pest control professionals, it is one of our greatest civic duties to vote. We appreciative the opportunities we have to do so, and truly believe that every vote does count.

While our nation and industry is politically divided at this time, it’s best that we all come together and find some common ground to build this Country and help make it better.

 

God Bless America!

 

Navigating the Pest Control Software Maze

Navigating MazeFinding a pest control software program for your small business can be challenging and often times overwhelming. With technology changing rapidly some businesses are finding their current software outdated. There are a few things to keep in mind while navigating the pest control software maze.

You’ll want a software program that is organized, easy to use, and will make daily, weekly, monthly, or even a year’s schedule easily accessible. A strong customer relationship management program is a must. Look for software that easily enables you to log and track new or existing customers while giving you the ability to route, invoice, and print reports. Many of the software programs will let you do all this from your Smartphone or Tablet through the Cloud.

The standard among the pest control professionals today are PestPac and ServPro. They get the best reviews from other service professionals offering help with core accounting, customer relationship management, inventory management, routing and scheduling.

PestPac Review

PestPac can be considered the Cadillac of Pest Control software programs. They offer all the things that pest control software’s should. Scheduling, invoicing, account management and inventory management come standard. In addition, they also have additional integrated marketing services. These services include a pay for performance lead generation service, customized website design, and a search engine optimization service. Conversely, PestPac can be very expensive. They have a standard version that will run on your server for an approximate $7000.00 up front cost. An additional $14,000.00 may be needed to upgrade to the Enterprise version if you are interested in using multi-platform. Conversion from a previous customer database can be challenging, so make sure you are totally ready to convert before making your purchase. It is highly recommended that you sign up for an initial training. For more information go to www.pestpac.com

Pros: Everything you’ll need in a pest control software. Many features. Integrated marketing services.

Cons: Very pricey depending on services and features with annual maintenance fee. Higher learning curve. Challenge converting customer databases. Limited schedule calendar.

ServPro Review

ServPro does most of what PestPac can do, but is a little less expensive. The software updates and backs-up itself. Customers can log into their accounts, pay their bill with a credit card, and the payment then automatically posts to their account. Users of this software say that it’s very user friendly, taking very little training to get up and running. Processing of completed invoices and inputted payments are seamless and the “En Route” function will send an email to your next customer letting them know that you’re on your way. Customer response has been great to the Work Order and Invoice emailing options that can be sent right from your Tablet or Smartphone. The software instantly updates data like customer history and customer retention notes. Like PestPac, conversion from a previous customer database can be challenging and time consuming. For a live demo on ServPro go to www.theservicepro.net

Pros: User friendly. “En Route” function emails customers. Less expensive.

Cons: Challenging and time consuming converting customer databases.

Smart Service Enterprise Review

One of the biggest complaints from those looking to change their software to PestPac or ServPro is the challenging nature of transferring their customer databases, especially from QuickBooks. Smart Services Enterprise has created software that works with QuickBooks with some other nice features. They have a portion called iFleet, which works off of the iPad or iPhone, and is completely paperless. It updates your routes instantly to the phone, along with and any added jobs during the day. The software also has GPS tracking through Google Maps. You can also capture customer signatures and then email the invoice to them. If this is more of what your company is looking for go to www.smartserviceinfo.com

Pros: Works with QuickBooks so no customer database needed. GPS tracking. iFleet.

Cons: Purchase vs. subscription. Not as many features as other software programs.

There are many other pest control software options available out there. Other options include:

Many of these companies offer free trials, so do your research and let us know what has been working best for you. The software that best fits your business really depends on what kind of business you have.

What pest control software have you found to be the best for your company’s needs?

Weekly Pest Control News

Have I Got News for You

Seattle Tunnel Dig Could Bring Rats and Cockroaches To Surface 

The big dig along theSeattlewaterfront that will build a traffic tunnel could also displace scores of rats and cockroaches.Pestcontrol experts say the pests will flee the massive construction project for quieter homes and food.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019141467_apwatunnelrats1stldwritethru.html?syndication=rss

What To Look For When Hiring A Pest Control Company 

Here are some criteria our customers are taking into consideration when they are looking to hire a pest control professional. As a pest control operator, look to align yourself with most of these demands to be successful in the industry.

http://smithereenpestblog.com/2012/09/13/what-to-look-for-when-hiring-a-pest-control-company/ 

Prevention and Elimination of Slugs and Snails 

Many people are familiar with the old “pour salt on the slugs and snails and watch them shrivel up” philosophy. However,Grand Rapidspest control agents do not recommend this method because it can alter the chemical make-up of your ground, causing even more damage than what’s already occurred due to the slugs and snails. For some great alternatives on preventing and eliminating slugs and snails from your garden read:

http://www.pinnaclepestcontrol.com/grand-rapids-pest-control/prevention-and-elimination-of-slugs-and-snails/ 

Stung By A Scorpion? Now What? 

Our friends at Pest Control San Antonio offer some excellent tips on what to do if you are stung by a scorpion. Make sure to check out:

http://pestcontrolsanantonio.com/2012/09/stung-by-a-scorpion-now-what/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stung-by-a-scorpion-now-what 

Remove a Hornet’s Nest the Right Way 

Here’s a great read on removing a hornet’s nest from your property. ARAB Pest offers some advice from getting outfitted, to your weapon of choice, and acting quickly possibly at night.

http://www.yespestpros.com/pest-control/remove-a-hornet%E2%80%99s-nest-the-right-way/ 

Pest Control: All You Ever Wanted To Know About Slugs and Snails

For a complete breakdown on snails and slugs, including their differences, check out:

http://www.customizedlawncare.com/hartford-pest/pest-control-all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-slugs-and-snails/ 

Centuries Old Australian Wasp Is Redback Spider’s Worst Enemy 

EvenAustralia’s most common dangerous spider is no match for a nearly forgotten 200 year old flying insect, according to recent findings.

http://macclesfieldpestcontrol.com/2012/09/centuries-old-australian-wasp-is-redback-spiders-worst-enemy/

We Will Never Forget

Sept 11 Memorial

 

Tuesday, September 11th 2001 started off as any normal day for most of us in the world. We were eating our oatmeal, thinking about everything we had to get done for the day. We were taking our kids to school, and heading to our own jobs. A few of us were even waking up to greet a birthday or a wedding anniversary, but none of us had any idea it would be a day, and a date, etched on the memory of the world forever.

Eleven years later, we all still remember that day. Most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the horrible news. I was waiting in line at a bank drive thru, on my way to my freshman chemistry class, when I turned on the radio and was shocked to hear two planes had crashed into each of the World Trade Center buildings. We later heard the horrific news that additional planes had crashed into a Pennsylvania field and the Pentagon building respectively.

All together, 2,996 innocent people lost their lives. They were mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.

Eleven years from that tragic day, many of us can still close our eyes, and remember in almost near perfect detail, those painful moments when grief somberly crashed over us like a tidal wave. Americans the world over held each other tight, seeking the assurance that the country we knew and loved wasn’t collapsing under our feet.

Our memories will always be fresh, along with our sympathy for the victims and their families. As painful as this day is, and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are as a nation. No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for. Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly without wavering.

For all of us here at Bulwark Pest Control, we will never forget those innocent people, whose lives were lost September 11th 2001. We are grateful for the opportunities afforded to us in this Country, and are grateful to those who continue to defend it against any further acts of terror.

We will never forget.

 

10 Qualities of Outstanding Pest Control Employees

For the employee of the month
For the employee of the month (Photo credit: 4nitsirk)

As pest control operators it can be challenging at times finding extraordinary employees and technicians to work for your company. Showing up to work everyday and performing adequately is expected, but it doesn’t make for an outstanding employee.

Several pest control operators were asked, “What qualities do their most outstanding technicians and employees possess, and what traits do you look for when hiring them?”

Here are their top 10 responses:

1. They have a positive attitude. Working for a pest control company might not always be the most glamorous of jobs at times, but the most outstanding employees will always show up to work everyday with a positive disposition, enthusiastic about their jobs. Staying above the fray of office politics also helps.

 

2. They are punctual. This quality is a no-brainer in the pest control industry. Customers expect technicians to be on time for a treatment, as many make special accommodations to be at home to let techs inside. Punctuality shows that an employee is committed to the job, interested in the work, and able to handle responsibility. It facilitates a sense of professionalism and commitment. When an employee is late, its effects spread throughout the entire workplace and even to other employees.

3. They are organized. This quality is a definite must in the pest control industry not only for customer satisfaction, but for safety reasons as well. An organized technician needs to manage the different pesticides, inventory, and service routes to be effective.

4. They are self-motivators. Knowledge, intellect, talent, and skill are necessary, but personal drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job. Self-motivators look around to see what needs to be done and do it. They ask questions to try to learn more.

5. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation is often derived from a need to show that the doubters are wrong. The pest control technician without a college degree, or the secretary who was told she didn’t have leadership potential, often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong.

6. They possess excellent interpersonal communication skills. Pest control employees must have strong communication skills, as they have to communicate directly with customers, with fellow employees, and with supervisors. Listening skills are also essential, as employees must listen to different approaches and ideas for service assignments, especially when working with a team of technicians.

7. They’re neat in appearance. This attribute is self explanatory. Our customers are letting our technicians on their property and in their homes. They need to feel safe. Techs should to be clean cut, dressed in uniform, and always greet a customer with a smile.

8. They are always tinkering. Some employees are seldomly content, and I mean that in the best of ways. They are continually tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, fine-tuning a process, or tinkering with workflow. Great pest control employees follow processes. Outstanding employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can’t help it.

9. They publicly praise and privately complain. Outstanding pest control employees identify the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words are even greater. When issues need to be brought forward these employees will present them to their boss, privately, without setting off a company firestorm.

10. They are eccentric, but know when to dial it back. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a workplace into a place other employees can look forward to coming to each day. These eccentric employees also know when to conform, and when to back off. It’s a tough balance, but an infrequent few can walk that fine line effortlessly.

Human capital is the single most important aspect in running a successful pest control company. In this industry, having employees with these qualities can be the difference between thriving or closing your doors. As a pest control operator, look for these qualities during the hiring process—Hire tough, and manage easy. If you are a pest control employee, look to align yourself with these 10 outstanding qualities.

This Weeks Pest Control News

news
news (Photo credit: JSF539)

Fruit fly sex lives impact effectiveness of pest control strategies

Scientists in Australia have been hard at work watching fruit flies mate to figure out how fly sex is affecting your food. During this process they are discovering more effective pest control strategies. For a great read, check out:

http://nittygrittyscience.com/2012/09/06/fruit-fly-sex-lives-impact-effectiveness-of-pest-control-strategies/

Mosquitoes Plague the Northwest as West Nile Cases Increase

Recent rains, warm weather, and high humidity have made mosquito control in the Northwest challenging. The number of foreclosed properties in the area, with their sometimes un-kept swimming pools and scattered backyard debris that’s collecting water, is making mosquito control more difficult.

http://blog.pestcontrolceus.com/mosquitoes-plague-canyon-hills-neighborhood-as-west-nile-cases-increase/

New Kind of Ant Discovered in New York City

We can now add one more type of ant to the 13,000 plus known breeds in the world. A new type of ant was discovered by a biologist earlier this week near 63rd and Broadway in New York City.

http://www.longislandpestcontrolblog.com/2012/09/06/new-type-of-new-york-ant/

Scorpion Sting Leaves Arizona Woman With Massive $83,000 Bill

Our friends at Pest Control Mesa AZ bring us this unfortunate story coming out of Phoenix. Imagine being in your garage, opening a box of air conditioner filters, when you are suddenly stung by a scorpion—and that’s not even the worst part! Read all about it at:

http://pestcontrolmesaaz.com/scorpion-sting-leaves-arizona-woman-with-massive-83000-bill/

Top 10 Considerations when Hiring Pest Control Companies

Here are ten criteria our customers are taking into consideration when they are looking to hire a pest control professional. As a pest control operator, look to align yourself with most of these demands to be successful in the industry.

http://xtremeartandentertaiment.blogspot.com/2012/09/top-10-considerations-for-pest-control.html

The Basics of Dust Mites

For all the ins and outs about dust might behavior, including: where they like to hide, how they get into your home, and the health concerns they can cause, check out:

http://www.richterslawncare.com/detroit-pest/the-basics-of-dust-mites/

Ants Use The Internet?

Florida harvester ant polymorphic workers
Florida harvester ant polymorphic workers (Photo credit: bob in swamp)

Contrary to popular belief, Al Gore did not create the internet– Ants may have thousands of years ago.

New research from Stanford University suggests that Harvester Ants use their own type of internet, or “anternet,” for decision making inside the nest. These ant colonies are able to determine how many foragers need to be sent out by using a protocol system that is similar to the one IT professionals use to find out how much bandwidth is accessible on the internet.

Harvester Ant Evolution

It has long been thought by scientists that there may be some connection between ant behavior and computer science. Biologist Deborah Gordon and computer scientist Balaji Prabhaker of Stanford University have verified in this research that ant decision making and behavior is synchronized by a complex set of algorithms. It is suggested in the research that Harvester Ants have developed these algorithms over the course of millions of years of insect evolution, and that they still continue to evolve.

Transmission Control Protocol

After observing the Harvester Ants, the Stanford scientists were able to determine that the ants were using an algorithm similar to Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). TCP was a significant advancement in the formation of the internet. It permitted information technologists to take the internet from a few dozen nodes to the billions currently in use today. It works by moving a file from a source to the destination in a series of packets. The source is continually informed by the destination as to when the packets have arrived. So, if it’s taking too long, there must not be much bandwidth available, and the source will re-adjust by decreasing the rate of packet transmission.

English: Harvester Ant This ant is most likely...

TCP and Harvester Ants

Harvester Ants use their own type of TCP to determine how much food is available based on information brought back from the worker ants. The workers leave the nest in search of food. They harvest pollen directly from plants, gather dead insects, and forage for fallen seeds. Workers usually forage for only one specific type of food each day, changing their specialty daily, and will only return to the colony after it finds food. If the amount of food available is high, a higher number of worker ants will return. They’ll transmit acknowledgment messages, through the antennae, to the rest of the colony about the abundance of food. Much like TCP controls the release of data depending on bandwidth, the Harvester Ant colony will release worker ants depending on the amount of food.

What These Findings Mean for Pest Control Operators

All this new research is just confirming what many of us pest control operators already know… A Harvester Ant colony’s nest must be directly treated, not just the areas affected by the foraging ants. The foraging ants may be few, or many, depending on the TCP release of ants. No matter the number of foraging ants on a property, there will be thousands more inside the actual nest. Harvester Ant colonies will occur in open areas, and only have a single opening near the top of a dirt/gravel mound. There will be no vegetation within a three foot radius of the mound, and colonies are widely separated. Workers ants forage April thru September– Foraging throughout the day during cooler months, and only 5–11 am and 3–9 pm during the summer. Ant insecticide should be applied directly to the colony’s nest during the warmest part of the day when the ants are least active.

What Else Will Harvester Ants Teach Us?

Harvester ants continue to amaze us all with their capabilities. Working together as a collective, they are able of performing remarkably complicated responsibilities. As they continue to evolve, these ants may continue to teach our society more and more about network systems.

 

Source: io9.com