Links Round-Up: 5 For Friday

Links Round-Up: 5 For Friday

 

Weekly Links RoundupRasberry Ants Spreading Through Texas

The Rasberry ant (not raspberry) was first discovered in Houston, TX in 2002, but has now spread to 24 different counties in the state of Texas. They are now also found in North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. More…

NPMA Legislative Day in Washington – Clark Pest Control

Clark Pest Control participated in NPMA Legislative Day sending two executives, Here’s what they learned. More…

Bulwark Scorpion Control Makes The Evening News

With the scorpions making an earlier than usual appearance in Arizona this spring, residents were in need of some answers. CBS 5 News in Phoenix called Bulwark Exterminating for some those answers. Watch the video here.

Wolf Spiders: Pests or Diamonds

We’ve all had an experience with a wolf spider at least once in our lives. Here’s EnviroTech’s experience with the hairy looking spider. More…

Spring is Bee Season

Aww, spring is finally here… For some of the country anyway. Be on the lookout for hives popping up on your property. Here are a few tips on what to do, and what not to do, if you have a bee hive(s). More…

 

Pest Of The Week: Black Widow Spider

 

Female black widow spider guarding an egg case...
Female black widow spider guarding an egg case – Species Latrodectus mactans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most recognizable, and perhaps the most feared, spiders in the United States is the Black Widow spider. This distinction comes from the female’s notoriously venomous bite. While the female Black Widow spider is generally shy in nature, she can become aggressive and bite when she is provoked, or when she is protecting her young. Her venom is one of the most potent venoms found on the planet. Only female Black Widows will bite humans. The males, who are brown and white in color, cannot bite because of their size.

The female Black Widow spider measures about 1/2 inch in length, with a shiny black body, long thin legs and large oval abdomen with a red “hourglass” pattern on the underside. Black Widows make their webs wherever there is water or other insects. They are common among the garages, patios, sheds, and storage areas of a home. Professional spider control methods are successfully used to eliminate them from around the home.

Top 5 Steps to Avoid Pest Control Sprayer Hose Problems

Have you ever had a hose break on you in the middle of a service? Try having that happen when doing weed control and having the tractor dye spray all over a home. Hose problems can be a real mess, costing lots of time, and causing lots of customer headaches and dissatisfaction for changing routes last minute. Well here are 5 easy steps to keep your pest control hose it top shape.

 

Top 5 Pest Control Sprayer Hose Problems You Can Avoid
By Andrew Greess

Here are a few simple actions you can take to extend your pest control hose life and reduce chemical spills.

  1. Clean hose exterior. When rewinding hose, run the hose through a rag to remove grit and debris that will reduce hose life.
  2. Periodically completely unroll all the hose off the reel.Turn the power spray on to put some pressure in the hose. Rewind the hose. This will prevent the hose from becoming permanently flattened out, which can negatively affect system performance, especially on low pressure sprayers.
  3.  Reverse the hose. In the same way you rotate tires on a vehicle, reversing the hose regularly will even the wear and extend hose life.
  4. Cut and replace bad portions early. Inspect hose, particularly the first 20 feet for wear and damage. If it looks bad, don’t wait for it to leak, cut it off. This will prevent chemical spills and downtime.
  5. Make a hose repair kit a standard part of your pest control equipment inventory. The kit will allow you to fix minor hose problems so you can finish your route before having to return for a permanent hose repair or replacement.

These simple tips can reduce equipment problems, missed stops and chemical spills.

Andrew Greess is the President of Quality Equipment & Spray, which designs, builds and sells pest control equipment. Follow Greess on Facebook & Twitter. For more information or to share comments, check out www.SprayEquipmentBlog.com

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Mesa Exterminator Receives Angie’s List Super Service Award

Bulwark Exterminating Earns 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award 

Bulwark Exterminating has been awarded the 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award for the company’s excellent customer service rating in Arizona.

Super Service Award recipients have maintained an “A” grade average in Angie’s rating formula. Only an estimated five percent of companies listed on Angie’s List receive the prestigious award on an annual basis. This will be the 3rd time that Bulwark has received the award here in the Phoenix area.

“Our technicians and office staff deserve this award 100%”, said Mesa Branch Manager Joe Davey. “They work tirelessly to ensure the needs of our customers are met day in and day out.”

Bulwark Exterminating services over ten thousands customers valley wide from offices in Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix and Peoria. The family owned exterminating company has made a name in Arizona as the pest control provider in the valley that absolutely guarantees to eliminate scorpions with a money back guarantee. In 2010, 97% of Bulwark’s current customers said they would recommend their pest control services to a friend of family member.

“We appreciate that our customers take the time to recognize the hard work of the technicians that service their homes,” said Davey. “Our techs are the face of Bulwark. Receiving the Super Service Award is an honor and it validates the hard work of our entire staff across the valley.”

While the award went to the Mesa pest control branch of Bulwark Exterminating the owners feel that the award is shared by all of the valley locations as customers on Angie’s list don’t often realize which branch services them.

Phoenix Metro Locations include:

Bulwark Exterminating, 40 N Central Ave #1400, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (602) 652-2251
Bulwark Exterminating, 10401 North 91st Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345 (623) 572-3016
Bulwark Exterminating, 1228 East Broadway Road Mesa, AZ 85204 (480) 969-7474
Bulwark Exterminating, 18256 E Williams Field Rd # 2 Gilbert, AZ 85295 (480) 539-4933

English: Bulwark Exterminating

About Bulwark Exterminating

Bulwark Exterminating LLC is based in Mesa, AZ and is an industry leader in providing high quality residential pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in seven states, including eleven major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common insects such as ants, roaches, crickets and spiders, the company’s differentiating specialty is scorpion control. To do this, Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems. Bulwark is privately and family owned, has approximately 250 employees and services over 50,000 customers nationwide, providing pest control in Raleigh, NC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Tulsa, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St. George, UT, Phoenix and Las Vegas. For more information, visit http://www.BulwarkPestControl.com.

 

5 Things You Might Not Know About Arizona Bark Scorpions

Photo by Bulwark Exterminating

The Arizona bark scorpion is the only species of scorpion in Arizona, that can cause very serious harm to small children (and anyone who is ill or has a compromised immune system), and can truly be considered life threatening. However, thanks to a powerful anti venom scorpion stings are now rarely life threatening.

Aside from their powerful, painful and venomous sting, here are five (5) remarkable facts about the Arizona bark scorpion, you might not have known:

  1. The Arizona bark scorpion has 8 jointed legs, that are lightly covered in hair, which helps the scorpion detect subtle vibrations; in the air.
  2. Although all other species of scorpions are known to live a solitary lifestyle, with the exception of mating and carrying their young, the Arizona bark scorpion prefers to live in packs and will congregating in large groups; when hibernating for the winter months.
  3. Unlike any other species of scorpion, the Arizona bark scorpion can climb walls, and even hang from ceilings and doors.
  4. Arizona bark scorpions are preyed upon by birds, especially owls, and bats. As well, these scorpions may fall victim to large centipedes, tarantulas, lizards, shrews, and grasshopper mice.
  5. At birth, approximately 25 to 35 baby scorpions, will ride around on their mother’s back; for up to 21 days.

Furthermore, warnings from Phoenix pest control staff and local exterminators, caution residents that the Arizona Bark Scorpion is often discovered in urban areas; rather than the surrounding desert regions. This is likely because they prefer the cooler and moist spots, under pieces of tree bark, beneath rocks and inside buildings and homes. As well, property and home owners should be aware that these scorpions are a very light in color, so they will blend-in well with the various desert elements; found in Phoenix and other cities in Arizona.

Bulwark Pest Control‎
40 N Central Ave #1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 652-2251

Promoted Tweet on Pest Control Twitter Stream by WHO?

A Promoted Tweet on Pest Control term by an electrical company?

“Technology has to be invented or adopted.”  – Jared Diamond

Okay so this a cool quote and all, but why?

Why would GE want to promote this tweet on the pest control stream? Where is the connection? Did someone just do some keyword research and find pest control related to technology?  Are exterminators a large consumer of light bulbs? Sorry, just not getting it.  Pest Control Technology… Hmmm…. I mean there is a pest control technology magazine. And I often feel that Bulwark Exterminating is becoming more of a technology company than a residential pest control service… but still not getting the full picture here.

I guess the plus side to this is that I am blogging about this simply out of awe. But does it make me more inclined to buy from the promoter of said tweet?

 

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Vertical Measures Hosting All-Day Search Marketing Workshop

Arizona based Vertical Measures is hosting an all-day search marketing workshop, The Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing, on April 7, 2011, in Tempe, AZ.  Arnie Kuenn, founder and president of Vertical Measures will be speaking on topics such as content marketing, keyword research, link building and measurement.  The all-day Vertical Measures workshop is designed to be hands on by students and Kuenn together.

Students of the workshop will not only leave with ideas and feedback from Kuenn regarding their specific business or industry, but will also take home a handful of free, helpful resources for implementing and maintaining a successful content marketing strategy.

Not convinced yet?

Here are the Top 5 reasons to attend the workshop.

5.  Kuenn has more than 20 years of digital marketing experience.  He has started various companies that have serviced many big name clients.  He is a regular speaker at internet marketing conferences throughout the year and is the president of AZ Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA), which holds monthly dinners with renowned speakers from across the country.

4.  Who wouldn’t mind being in Arizona at the beginning of April? The weather is going to be stellar!

3.  A FREE copy of Kuenn’s new book: Accelerate!: Content Development and Marketing to Grow Your Business Online.

2.  Kuenn + You + workshop schedule = better business = more revenue.

1.  Giving you absolutely no more excuses, we’re providing you with an exclusive promo code (vm4friends) worth 40% off the price of registration.  Boom!

Now, no more excuses.  Register.  We’ll see you there!

Location

Dynamic Worldwide – 4500 N. Lakeshore Dr. #695, Tempe, AZ 85282

Nearby Hotels

Embassy Suites Phoenix-Tempe – 4400 South Rural Road, Tempe, Arizona 85282

Our Night With The Phoenix Suns @ #SunsTweetup

Bulwark’s marketing department spent last Friday night with the Phoenix Suns for their third annual #SunsTweetup event.  Early access to pre-game shootaround.  Club seating.  Tour of TV productions trucks parked right next to all the players’ vehicles.  Tweetup t-shirt.  And post-game chat session with the Suns’ Jared Dudley.  Here’s all the evidence.

We arrived 2 hours before tip-off to get an up-close look at both teams warming up.

After the team’s introduction we were ready for some basketball, in club seating no less!

During halftime we were treated to a little VIP access on the production side of things. Suns’ staff member, @SunsDigitalDiva took us down for a tour of the TV broadcast trucks. Audio, video, lighting, camera direction, statistics – it all happens here.

And of course we couldn’t pass on getting a few up-close shots of the player cars in the parking lot. Is that the coach’s car by its lonesome?!?

The Portland Trailblazers ended up winning that game. Oh well! After the game our Tweetup group got on a 1-on-1 session with Suns Forward Jared Dudley. Dudley is a consistent tweeter either talking about life in the NBA or where the best eateries are around town.

And thanks to our friend @SunsWebmaster, we were able to get our customized @JaredDudley619 t-shirt in his hands right before our very eyes. The tweet we put on his shirt reads: “I was having a good day but after I heard @jrich23 Spartans lost to Iowa my day got a whole lot better. Maybe next year.” (@Jrich23 is Dudley’s Suns teammate Jason Richardson, who played college ball for the Michigan State Spartans)

Phoenix Suns Forward Jared Dudley

All in all, it was a great night with great people.  Thanks to the Suns crew and Jared Dudley for all their hard work and effort.  Here’s one last picture from the Suns’ official Planet Orange page.  View the rest of the gallery as well.

Jared Dudley Holds Up His Custom T-Shirt SEO shirt

El Tour de Tucson: 109 Miles to Freedom

The longest I had ever ridden my bike was 85 miles, and that was only 2 weeks ago.  Everyone that I knew riding in this year’s El Tour de Tucson was riding the 109 distance.  I was thinking I might only do the 80-mile race, but when a couple of older riding buddies (44-year-old female and 58-year-old male) kept egging me on to go the distance, there was absolutely no way I could back down from that.

I buckled down about 3 months ago.  I went from riding once or twice a week to three or four times a week.  I haven’t had a normal Saturday morning in that long.  I would actually get up earlier on Saturdays than any other work day.  Up at 4:15ish, meet my riding buddies around 5:00, back at home by 9 or 10.  Home around 1:00 more recently.

I ran cross country and track in high school, and continued to run recreationally in college.  I even entered a couple home-town races just to make my running worth it and feel the edge of competition again.  But this was different.  The physical demands were different.  The training and inherent tactics were different.  The nutrition was only similar.  I never ever drank anything in the middle of a run under 8 miles.  I was having to learn to not only drink during a ride, but also eat once and sometimes twice.  I was having to learn how to properly eat for the rest of the day after a long ride.  And post-ride naps were out of the question per my wife and mother of our two small children.  If daddy was going to be gone on Saturday morning, then there was no napping or other me-time for the rest of the day.  Or weekend, for that matter.

El tour started at 7:00 am, but with nearly 9,000 riders, we’re wanted to get in the start line around 5:45.  We were up at 5, trying to down bagels and peanut butter at 5:15, checking tire pressure at 5:30 and out the door at 5:35.  Arrived to our place in line around 5:45 and had the next hour and 15 minutes to chat and stay warm.

Seven ‘o clock came rather quick and before we knew it we were off.  It felt like it took me a good 15 or 20 miles to decipher how cold I was vs. how much adrenaline I was pumping vs. how hard I was really working before I settled into a manageable pace that would work for the next 90 miles.    Just when my saddle started to feel somewhat comfortable around 8 miles in, we came across a dried river crossing.  One or two riders tried to brave the dirt pathway, while the remaining 8,990 of us didn’t hesitate to get off the bike and safely walk across the ravine.  The culture of Tucson awaited us on the other side, and I was in a much better mood now than I was going to be much later in the race, so I had to document this…

Other than the dried river and another wooded hiking trail that would come a little while later, I didn’t take my first real pit stop until 45 miles in.  Refill one of my bottles, grab some orange slices, stretch a little bit and apply some Bengay on my left knee, and off we go.  I was a little disoriented as to where we were in relation to downtown where we started, but the next several miles were through the suburbs of Tucson…I think.  I’m not gonna lie, it was fun to blow right through red lights as police had traffic stopped in all directions.  A lot of the locals even took time to camp out on the sidewalks with their cowbells and signs of encouragement.  I figure that’s about as close as I’ll ever get to climbing the Alps in the Tour de France with thousands of rabid fans running along side my bike waving United States and California flags in my face.

At this point there’s still 50+ miles to go, so one, especially a newcomer like myself, has to be smart about how you ride.  As a first timer, I didn’t have any shame or guilt about drafting behind other riders the entire race.  Drafting can save up to 40% of your energy, and with winds coming out of the south at 20 mph, I made sure to never lead any packs.  I’ll admit it, I even drafted behind a couple of girls.  Another factor I couldn’t overlook was fatigue.  That sounds simple enough, but I was about to surpass my longest ride by 25 miles.  I was feeling my way through the race as far as food and drinks were concerned.  How much to eat, how much to drink, a Clif Bar with higher density vs. an energy gel with no density and maybe half the calories.  When the body is tired, then the mind soon becomes tired.  When the mind is tired you forget things.  Simple things.  I needed to consciously remember to eat and drink and map out the remaining miles ahead in my mind to do so on a course I had never ridden.  My friends that have raced Tucson before cramped up around mile 85 or 90, so I needed to stay well hydrated to avoid that.

Things were going about as well as I could have expected until I hit the frontage road of the I-10 going south back to downtown Tucson.  The winds were still blowing as hard as they were earlier, but now I was getting a face full of headwind.  I knew I had the energy to finish, but I didn’t have any explosion left in my legs, so I was consigned to finish the last 12 miles at whatever pace I could go.  Riders would creep up on me and pass right by.  A couple times I tried to go with them, thinking that if I could get enough momentum to stick behind them, I could use their draft.  But every time I tried to fall in line, they just kept passing me.  Five feet head.  Ten feet ahead.  Now twenty.  Oh well.  I’ll try it again with this next group.  Nope.  That didn’t work either.  Oh well.

Aside from it being the last 10 miles of the race, there were 2 things that made it exponentially more difficult than I expected.  First, the wind.  Physically speaking, if there is no wind whatsoever, and you’re riding 20 mpg down the road, you actually have 20 mph of wind pushing back against you.  We call it “drag”.  But now there is actually 20 mph of wind pushing back against me, plus my drag at about 12 or 13 mph.  The second characteristic of this final stretch was loneliness.  It’s a frontage road, so there’s not a lot of businesses, or parking lots, or neighborhoods along side.  Which means there were no spectators yelling and clapping.  It all of a sudden got real quiet.  Just the sound of my wheels spinning and my legs hurting.

Eventually the police escort standing in the middle of the intersection directed me to turn left.  All of a sudden, people.  And they were clapping.  For me?  I think so!  And more people.  Still clapping. I turned one last corner and the finish line is about 100 yards away.  And then, out of the hum of hundreds of people cheering I hear “STEVE-O!!!”  Me: “Hey, that sounded a lot like my wife!”  In fact, it was my wife.  After I crossed the finish line and got off the bike I was staggering back towards the crowd  and I see my wife emerge from a sea of people.  After 7.5 hours of riding with complete strangers it was nice to see a rather familiar face.  There was absolute, positively no way I would be riding and racing as much as I have without the love and support of my wife.  She’s been the #1 reason I’ve been able to get on the bike and push myself like the good ‘ol days.  And then I saw 2 more faces.  My 5-month-old, Leia, and my 2-year-old, Max.  I picked Max up and to no surprise all he wanted to do with play with my glasses and helmet.

I was done.  I did it.  This was something no one could ever take away from me.  This race was apart of me.  I didn’t really beat anybody on the course but myself.  I pushed my body further than it had ever gone before, for longer than it had ever gone before.  I was an El Tour de Tucson finisher.

I have to admit it was a bit emotional for me to finally be done.  Months of training. Rides at 5:00 am.  No Saturday mornings.  Gatorade economy cases at Costco.  Clif Bars.   Smoothie Powerbars.  Two or three tube changes a month.  A new bike.  A different pair of shoes.  Stiff legs.  Pulled muscles.  Rides in the rain.  Rides in the wind.  Fifty five degrees outside.  A hundred degrees outside.

Three days later I’m still a bit stiff.  I’ll get back on the bike sometime this week and warm my body back up and let my muscles stretch back out.  And then…I’m not touching my bike at least until after New Years.  But I already can’t stay away.  I’m already thinking about how I want to train differently next year and areas I want to work on.  Maybe I can make it out to CA for either the AMGEN Tour de California or Levi’s GranFondo.  Tour de Phoenix will be a must.  And it’ll all end this time next year at El Tour de Tucson.

Going Viral: A Slow Defeat, Not a Quick Victory

Viral Marketing Dicussion at BlueGlassFL 2010

I arrived back in Arizona on Thursday after having spent the previous few days in Florida, attending BlueGlass FL 2010.  I got a number of good takeaways from the sessions that I was anticipating, but the session that really shook the boat was Viral Marketing.  All the speakers blew us away with simple, but priceless bits of information.

Starting the hour was Brian Chappell, Sr. Social Search Strategist at Ignite Social Media.  Brian made no bones about his philosophy of taking something viral.  While most emphasize the quality of content as the “king” of viral, he argues that the mechanisms and seeding techniques of that content are atop the royal hierarchy.  While the content must be top notch, the mechanisms and techniques that get it moving must be the appropriate driving force behind a good viral piece.  What’s a Ferrari without gas to make it go, or streets on which to drive? Exactly!

Mechanisms are the literal actions you are requiring of your public.  It can be forwarding an email, clicking a link, a facebook like, a retweet, a public leaderboard of participants, or use of an affiliate program.  These are the actions that spread the word.  Seeding techniques happen on two levels.  Initial seeding begins with the marketer, and includes tools such as a press release, a pay-per-click ad, a media buy, facebook and twitter updates on the company profiles, community and blogger outreach, or simply word of mouth.  Second level seeding is done by the audience.  This is achieved via their facebook and twitter updates, social shares on those platforms, their retweet, their blog posts, etc.  It’s these seeding techniques that make the content shine.

Next up was Chris Bennett from 97th Floor.  The heart of his presentation seemed to be the simplicity of viral content.  Even the most complex ideas and concepts can be portrayed in pictures and graphics in a simple, easy-to-understand fashion.  Politics, social debate and the stimulus package all have its place in viral America if it can be displayed in a fun, simple and even humorous manner.

Obama Stimulus Infographic by 97th Floor

Chris advised to stay away from your typical “Top 10” list (which is the reason why this piece isn’t entitled “5 Things I learned at BlueGlassFL”).  Make sure your pieces are visually pleasing.  If your piece flops, keep trying.  It will eventually spread.  Don’t sell out your brand.  Also, remember that the best pieces are always informative.

Amy Vernon, Director of Viral Marketing Strategies from the host agency, BlueGlass, rounded out the panel of speakers.  Her main theme centered on the community aspect.  No matter the social channel, you will inevitably be a member of some sort of community.  Amy reminded us to figure out what communities and circles would be the best fit for our brand.  Once you’ve narrowed that down, study that community, know your place within it, and be a good member.

Switching gears just a bit, Amy gave us a great example of transparent and effective tweeting.  @DKNY came heavily endorsed as a perfect mix of personal narrative, active engagement and minimal brand mention.  Naturally, all good characteristics of a good community member.  Remember that @DKNY is not a channel of corporate info or industry tidbits, but it is managed by DKNY’s PR girl, and listed on the front page of DonnaKaran.com.  There’s no holding back with her.  From earlier this morning: “The good thing about today is……wait thinking….thinking…..let me get back to you.”  A case of the Mondays perhaps?

These speakers really opened up my understanding of viral marketing.  When I thought of viral, I would think of Rainbow dude screaming in the middle of the wilderness, or the ad that’s going to get your 50,000 facebook likes in a couple days.  I thought of it as the quick strike that delivered the decisive blow.  The KO in Round 1.  Viral is so much more than that.  Maybe it’s the piece that leads to 25,000 facebook likes over 9 months, or the YouTube video that gets viewed 100,000 times in a year.  It also doesn’t need to infest every inbox in the country or be seen by every single stay-at-home mommy when it’s featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show’s “Videos from the Web” segment.  If it can easily be understood, shared and appreciated, then it already has a head start.  It’s mostly likely the TKO in Round 9.  Or, as Brian reminded us: “Viruses only spread when they are easy to transmit.”  I guess it doesn’t take a doctor to understand that.

Bulwark Exterminating’s New Pest Control Methods?

311 that should kill your bugs
311 that should kill your bugs... and everything else.

John Honoré was a little dumbfounded when he saw yesterday’s high for Phoenix, AZ.  …Does heat cause dyslexia? Bulwark Exterminating denies all reports of organic pest control methods that they could be testing that might cause such an occurrence.

“Bulwark will make no formal statements on the the 311 degree high in Phoenix reported by ABC, even if it were beneficial for pest control the evidence that would suggest our involvement is circumstantial at best.”

Special thanks to our San Antonio pest control guys for bringing this to our attention:

Hot Flash: News Flash from San Antonio ABC 12