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How Can Fish Help Combat The Zika Virus?

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 10:00 am September 27, 2016

Zika VirusIf you’re like many Americans, you may be worried about the spread of Zika virus — especially if you have a pond, lake, or decorative water feature that tends to draw mosquitoes during the spring and summer months. Although most of the Zika cases diagnosed among U.S. residents so far have been travel-related, the easy transmission of this virus from person to person by mosquitoes (or sexual activity) can lay the groundwork for a latent epidemic. Read on to learn more about how ordinary fish can help you battle the Zika virus in your own neighborhood.

How can fish protect against Zika?

For certain young fish, mosquito larvae are one of the most delicious and nutritious food sources available — and by placing a few fish in standing water where mosquitoes are likely to lay eggs, you’ll be able to eliminate these pests at the larval stage and avoid the risk of mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus, Eastern Equine encephalitis, dengue virus, and even yellow fever. The fewer mosquitos who are able to make it to adulthood, the lower your risk of mosquito-borne diseases — and the less you need to spend on DEET spray and citronella candles in order to have a pleasant evening outside.

Although larger fish like sunfish are generally happiest in ponds or lakes (at least at the adult stage), smaller fish can be kept in birdbaths, water fountains, and other bodies of water that can often serve as a depository for mosquito eggs. As the warm summer weather turns to autumn, you’ll be able to transplant these fish to public water sources like rivers or creeks or even keep them in your own indoor aquarium so that you can use them to control the mosquito population on your property during the spring thaw and early summer.

Where can you get mosquito-eating fish?

MosquitofishMany states, including New Jersey, have engaged preventive efforts to avoid the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by handing out five free varieties of fish — the fathead minnow, freshwater killifish, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill sunfish, and mosquitofish. These fish are available at a number of county fairs in New Jersey, or you may be able to contact the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination directly to request some fish for your property.

If no fish are available for free in your area, you may want to consider purchasing some from an agricultural supply store or even a pet store. These fish are very low-maintenance, inexpensive, and can significantly minimize your risk of contracting the Zika virus or another potentially harmful illness.

Need help with mosquitoes? Contact Horizon Pest Control for professional NJ mosquito control. Call 888.612.2847 now!

How Hiring an Exterminator Can Make Your Life Easier

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 10:00 am September 20, 2016

New Jersey ExterminatorHiring an exterminator is usually not a pleasant job, typically because it means the homeowner has a pest problem. However, an exterminator can make your life much easier. It really helps to call in a pro for most pest jobs.

Pesticides that are Safer around Humans and Pets

Most people know that professional grade pesticides are more effective than those found on store shelves. What they may not know is that these products are also safer for human and pet exposure. Pest control products purchased over the counter are potentially more lethal than professional products, partly because of the chemical composition and partly because an inexperienced, untrained person is making the application.

Proper Application of Pesticides

Pesticides are poison. This is especially true of products that may be found on the shelves of home improvement stores and mass merchandiser big box stores. While professional products are safer, a trained technician knows how to properly apply the pesticide so that the home and yard remain safe for people and pets.

Expert Pesticide Use for Maximum Effect

The typical layperson will apply pesticides to the insects or pests that they see. Sometimes they will set off bug bombs in an effort to gain control of their pest situation. While this may work at first, it is not effective in eliminating an infestation. A pest control professional knows what products to use, where to use them, and how often to make applications in order to achieve the best results.

Able to Identify Source of Pest Problems

A trained pest professional can inspect a home and tell the homeowner what is causing their pest problems. They are able to do this because they can identify the pests and know their habits. From there they can often trace the insect activity to the source and let the homeowner know why they have an infestation. Sometimes this will alert the homeowner to problems with their home, like a leaky pipe or clogged drain, that they were unaware of.

Can Find Out how Pests Enter the Home

Pest control technicians are trained to not only exterminate pests that invade your home and property, but also to find the various access points into the home. Most homeowners do not have the training or knowledge necessary to know what to look for and even though they may temporarily eliminate pests in their home, if they don’t find the access points they risk a re-infestation.

If you are looking for professional, reliable pest control in New Jersey, give us a call. At Horizon Pest Control, we select the best products in the industry so that we can effectively take care of your pest problem. Give us a call or visit our website and request a free inspection. Protect you home and family with quality pest control service you can count on.

City Officials Spraying to Protect Against Mosquitoes

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 10:00 am September 13, 2016

MosquitoCombating Mosquitoes in NYC

Each mosquito season, the New York City Health Department enacts a mosquito-control plan. This year’s round of spraying is a little more extensive than usual In response to the emerging threat of the Zika virus.

Anti-Mosquito Insecticides

Throughout the summer months, city officials have been targeting a number of residential New York neighborhoods with “adulticide.” This is a liquid spray, usually applied from a truck, that kills adult mosquitoes. While largely safe, residents are cautioned to observe the following guidelines:

  • People with respiratory conditions should remain inside during spraying and for 30 minutes afterwards.
  • Pets and outdoor furniture should be brought inside during spraying.
  • Air conditioners should either be run with the vent set to the closed position or the recirculation function selected.
  • Any skin or clothing that has been exposed to adulticides should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.

The city also aerially drops “larvicide” granules that contain beneficial bacteria and a natural insecticide into local bodies of water. This substance is essentially the same as the “mosquito dunks” you can get at the hardware store. It targets the larvae of certain pest insects, including mosquitoes, and is completely safe for humans, pets, and even most beneficial insects.

If you’re curious about when spraying is scheduled for your neighborhood — or whether it’s already occurred — you can check out an official schedule hosted by the Health Department’s website.

Mosquito-Caused Health Concerns

Despite these precautions, the only cases of Zika in New York have so far been among people who have recently traveled to Zika-affected areas — and were thus most likely infected there. There is no current evidence of New York mosquitoes carrying the disease, but with hundreds of cases reported in the area that may change. Additionally, while Zika may not yet be a concern for the average New Yorker, it’s still important to guard against the other diseases they transmit. West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis are both potentially deadly mosquito-borne illnesses already endemic to the area.

Even when not transmitting disease, mosquitoes can still be bad for your health. While most people are mildly allergic to mosquito bites, some are especially sensitive. For them, bites can cause symptoms ranging from hives to fever to even anaphylaxis. Mosquito bites are also known to trigger flares in people with certain autoimmune conditions.

Protecting Your Home

For those wanting to be extra vigilant, our yard guard treatments can protect against mosquitoes and other outdoor pests. Whether you need a single application for a special event or are looking for protection all season long, consider contacting us at Horizon Pest Control today!

Bed Bugs Bite: How to Get Rid of Them

Filed under: Bed Bug,Bed Bug Extermination — admin @ 10:00 am September 6, 2016

Bed BugsChildren have been told countless times, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” It is an enduring term that passes from generation to generation. Yet what happens when it isn’t true? “Sleep tight; the bed bugs may bite” just doesn’t carry the same soothing tone. Yet people throughout the United States, particularly in New Jersey, contend with this reality far too often, according to Dr. Changlu Wang and his research team at Rutgers University.

After inspecting more than 2,300 low-income apartments in Bayonne, Hackensack, Irvington, and Paterson, researchers concluded that one in eight low-income apartments had bedbugs. Surprisingly, half of the residents didn’t even realize they had an infestation. Among the buildings examined, infestation rates wavered between 3.8 to 29.5 percent, with an average rate of 12.3 percent.

Yet the problem isn’t religated to apartment complexes. In recent months, bedbugs have been found in the upholstery at the South Orange library, leading to the library’s closure. They have been discovered in hotels, motels and homes as well.

Why the rise in bedbugs

Though bedbugs were nearly non-existent in the United States up until several years ago, the pests have become resistent to pestisides, thereby causing an insurgence. With the popularity of international travel, the critters are catching a ride into the country as well. Mistakenly, many people view bedbug treatment as a costly and time consuming endeavor. As a result, they avoid pest control, often either trying to ignore the problem or moving out of the location.

How to get rid of bedbugs

Pest control company

The most effective means of getting rid of the creatures is to call a company well-versed in pest control. Technicians are experienced and specially trained to eradicate the problem. Bedbugs are resistant to commercial bombs and sprays. Moreover, most of the chemicals available to consumers at hardware stores is used incorrectly, thereby driving the pests (temporarily) to an adjacent location, only to see them reappear shortly after.

Set traps

Bed bugs survive by eating blood, so it’s useful to look under mattresses and inside the box springs to find evidence of the pests. If you’re unable to find where they are hiding, it can be effective to set pitfall traps. Traps can be found at hardware stores and prevent bugs from climbing up the legs of the bed. Another option is to use dry ice to lure the bedbugs out from hiding.

Clean and clean again

Bed bugs are narrow and like to hide in small cracks and crevices. It’s important to keep your house as clean as possible, including steam cleaning and emptying vacuums after every use.

Contact Horizon for professional New Jersey bed bug control. Call 888.612.2847 today!

What’s the Difference Between Bumblebees and Carpenter Bees?

Filed under: Bee Removal & Management — admin @ 10:00 am August 25, 2016

Although you’re likely to host a variety of different insects in your yard or garden, it’s important to be able to identify any that can pose a threat to people or property. You want to keep an eye out for bees in particular, since carpenter bees can cause structural damage to your home. However bumblebees, which are commonly confused with carpenter bees, are not as destructive. Here area few of the differences between them and ways you can identify one from another.

What do carpenter bees and bumblebees look like?

One of the reasons they’re confused is because both carpenter and bumblebees have large, round bodies roughly ½” to 1″ in size and similar wing shape. The easy way to tell them apart is to look at their bodies. Bumblebees are furry and have the typical bright yellow and black coloring. Carpenter bees, on the other hand, have more muted coloring and have a shiny abdomen that’s solid black.

What sort of habitats do they live in?

Even though they’re both bees, they live in very different habitats. Bumblebees are social, often living in colonies underground where they divide the “work” that needs to be done. In contrast, carpenter bees are more solitary, living by themselves and caring only for their own young. Rather than nesting in the ground, they bore holes in wood that can be 6″ to 10″ deep or more. The tunnels can branch into multiple “rooms” where they store eggs and food. These holes can sometimes be what homeowners notice before ever spotting a single bee. If you see dime-sized holes in your eaves or exterior beams, you could have an infestation.

What distinct behaviors do they have?

Besides being a nuisance and digging holes in your home, carpenter bees don’t usually pose a physical threat. They mainly spend their time doing normal bee activities like pollinating plants. Bumblebees, on the other hand, defend their nests aggressively and will chase and sting any threat. If you’ve ever been stung by one, you know that a bumblebee sting is especially painful and the pain and discomfort can last for days. One common behavior trait they both share is the ability to sting multiple times since their stingers are smooth, not barbed.

Being able to spot the difference between bumblebees and carpenter bees will help you identify the type of pest problem you have and aid professionals in determining the most effective plan for removal and prevention. Because of their different habitats and behaviors, each requires a specific approach for optimal results.

Garden Pests You Should Look Out For

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 10:00 am August 18, 2016

There’s no better time to turn your garden into a lush, vibrant sanctuary. However, summer is also the time for garden pests that can eat and destroy your plants. There are certain pests you should look for so you can get rid of them. Here is a guide on garden pests.

SlugSlugs

Slugs love dampness. Whenever you water your plants, this attracts slugs. Slugs feed on many plants and leave large holes in leaves, flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Fruits are some of their most favorite plants to munch on. To get rid of these pests, place copper tape around the perimeter of your garden to keep them out. Sprinkle salt over concrete and rocks. You can also purchase iron phosphate pellets to place in your garden to kill slugs that get past your barriers.

Caterpillars

Caterpillars are ravenous larvae of moths and butterflies. While they’re pretty to look at when they’re grown, the babies can devastate your garden. Caterpillars will eat leafy green plants and vegetables, fruits, and beans. You can use an insect control spray to prevent a caterpillar infestation. To kill caterpillars, add a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis to the soil. The bacteria doesn’t harm your plants, animals, or other bugs.

Bean Leaf Beetles

Bean leaf beetles can eat green bean plants, soy beans, and clover. They will create large holes in plants and can cause leaves to fall off. You can prevent a bean leaf beetle infestation by spraying young plants with soapy water daily. The best way to get rid of these beetles is to use an insecticide spray or to contact a pest control company.

AphicsAphids

Aphids are tiny bugs that can do major damage to plants. Their favorite things to feed on include flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees. To repel these insects, spray your plants with an insect control spray, or make your own spray by mixing hot pepper or garlic sauce with water. You can also spray plants with dishwashing soap and water.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs feed on juice from flowers, fruits, and vegetables. These bugs are most prevalent in the summer. Stink bugs will cause fruit to mottle and dimple and distort plants. The best way to prevent an infestation is to get rid of weeds, which are nesting places for stink bugs. Other bugs including wasps and flies will prey on stink bugs.

If you’ve noticed any of these pests in your garden, contact a pest control company like Horizon Pest Control to prevent and treat infestations. A pest control company will know how to get rid of pests without harming your plants.

How to Check for Bed Bugs While Traveling

Filed under: Bed Bug — admin @ 10:00 am August 11, 2016

Bedbug Everyone knows that classic bedtime rhyme: “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” You might laugh or scoff at the idea of bugs in your bed, secure in knowing that your own bed is bug-free.

But can you be so sure when traveling? You don’t know how well your hotel room and bed were cleaned before you got there. A bed bug infestation could even be missed by regular cleaning staff if they don’t check certain places often. The best thing you can do to enjoy your hotel stay and avoid an encounter with bed bugs is to check the room and bed yourself. But first, what are bed bugs?

Knowing a Bed Bug When You See One

Bed bugs are technically public health pests, even though they don’t spread any diseases. They bite you and feed on your blood, resulting in itchiness and irritation. Some people have severe allergic reactions to the bite or develop secondary skin infections. They probably won’t kill you, but at the very least they are extremely annoying to deal with.

If you’re going to check for bed bugs, you should know what they look like. On average, they are five millimeters long (about the size of an apple seed) and are oval and flat, like a squashed football. Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, but younger bugs are smaller and more translucent.

A Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Inspection

Now that you know what bed bugs look like, it’s time to find them. They like to hide in and around beds, especially near the seams of the mattress and box spring. Pull back the covers and sheets of the bed so that you can inspect the mattress and its seams. You’ll be looking for a number of things:

  • Live bed bugs, as described above
  • Rust-colored stains from a bed bug being crushed
  • Tiny eggs or eggshells, or the translucent yellow skin that juvenile bed bugs shed as they grow
  • Fecal spotting, which looks like dots made by a ballpoint pen

Bed bugs also hide in the cracks of bed frames and headboards, so make sure you check those areas, as well.

It’s extremely important that you do this inspection the minute you enter the hotel room. Once you’ve encountered bed bugs, it’s difficult to get rid of them as they are very good hitchhikers—they latch on and follow you wherever you go. Not only do bed bugs affect you, they affect everyone you come into contact with. So do your part and stop the problem before it spreads. Check every hotel room for any sign of bed bugs, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you need help with bed bug control, call Horizon Pest Control. Our pest are trained to look for bed bugs and treat infected sites.

Bed Bugs May Be Growing Resistant to Pesticides

Filed under: Bed Bug,Pest Control — admin @ 10:00 am August 4, 2016

Bed BugCimex lectularius, the common blood-sucking bed bug, continues to plague New York City. The City’s bed bug infestation has not only spread throughout the city in the past years, but has now become so intractable and ubiquitous that the official complaints to the City have become to decrease. Official complaints fell from 7,760 in the first five months of 2012 to 3,950 in 2016. Rather than news of winning the war against the irritating menace, this instead demonstrates that New York City residents have moved from anger and annoyance and onto despair in their war on the tiny vermin.

People are not necessarily complaining to the city about bed bugs any more, but the problem is still there.  Theaters, restaurants, hotels, apartments, hospitals, schools, cabs and buses are all suffering their own widespread infestations and independent testing indicates that the bugs are still found found in high concentrations throughout the city.

Evolving Resistance

The compact nature of the city and the increased human activity of the summer months have both contributed to their continued spread. Apart from the fact that the biting insects are virtually everywhere, the use of weak pesticides has spurred an evolutionary reaction in the NYC bedbugs. In short, they have become resistant to the pesticides used, rendering them far less effective. Just as overuse of antibiotics is allowing resistant bacteria to thrive, creating new antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so too bedbugs are evolving a tolerance for the chemicals used.

The pesticides available to the general public for use against bed bugs are by now almost entirely ineffective. Already among the most chemical tolerant of insect pests, bed bugs in New York are not only developing a biological immunity but also evolving anatomical adaptations as well. Etymologists have observed that the exoskeletons of the pests have thickened to better protect them from contact with the chemicals meant to eradicate them. The misting pesticides in particular help build their tolerance and further the process of evolution first by exposing the bugs to smaller, sometimes nonlethal doses that allow them to build their tolerance to the chemicals and second, by leaving alive the strongest bugs with the thickest exoskeletons.

A recent study on the genetic code specific to the NYC bedbugs examined bed bugs at 1,400 sites. Louis Sorkin, a senior scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural History, found that many bedbugs have a genetic mutation making them resistant to typically bed bug treatments. The academic paper goes on to cite just this phenomenon of evolutionary adaptation due to weak residential pesticides that has helped to guide their evolution, making them stronger in the process.

Direct contact with high doses of some chemicals will kill the some of the bugs, but this direct contact is very difficult to achieve for the average City resident because after a few minutes of the spray’s application, most chemicals have lost their potency and the bed bugs generally only emerge at night when they detect sleeping humans.

What To Do

Avoiding contact is ideal, but with so many infestation vectors now, from public transportation to a hotel room, from a package in the mail to even the entrance of the electric wires, keeping bed bugs out is nearly impossible. The infestation is expected to continue to worsen as City residents continue to accelerate their evolution without actually killing the bugs. Calling a professional bed bug exterminator and looking for effective alternatives to weak pesticides are what experts are recommending.

What Do Cockroaches Look Like?

Filed under: Cockroach Control — admin @ 3:00 pm July 26, 2016

It is important to know what cockroaches look like because they are a nuisance and can infest homes and businesses.  Cockroaches are insects that can spread diseases.  Thought of as dirty insects, and you want to be able to identify them for proper elimination.  There are about 4,600 different species, but luckily in the US there are only five major species.  Cockroaches can inhabit a variety of environmental temperatures, from cold to tropical heat.  Here are some tips to identify roaches.

cockroach controlGeneral Appearance

Cockroaches come in different sizes; from the size of a thumbnail up to about 40 mm long.  They have a small head and a broad flat body that is an oval shape.  The body is divided into three segments with the outer shell being tough to protect their organs.  The body is coated with wax to repel water and will feel oily.  Most roaches have a reddish-brown to dark brown color and the young roach is much lighter color and does not have wings.

Cockroaches may or may not have wings and not all that have wings use them to fly.  They can have two sets of wings; one set is bigger and tougher that flatten against their body for protection and a smaller set that is more delicate for flying.  Roaches have six legs, two attached to each segment of their body and the front legs shorter than the back legs.  Each leg has tiny spines they use for climbing most any surface and each foot has little claws to help them climb walls and ceilings.  The female cockroach tends to be larger than the male species and their young are similar in appearance with their lighter color.

Different Species

The five most seen species are each a little different in size and color but have the same basic features.  German roaches are tan and 13 to 16 mm long.  Brown Branded roaches are a dark-reddish brown and 10 to 13 mm long.  The American roach is reddish brown and at 40 mm is one of the longest species.  The Pennsylvania wood roach is about 20 mm and the males are tan.  Oriental roaches are dark brown to black in appearance, have a thinner body, are 30 to 40 mm long, and can grow much longer.

Roaches versus Beetles

Cockroaches vary in size and shape to a degree, and some may have an appearance close to the beetle. Beetles have smaller bodies than roaches, and their body is not flattened and much tougher than a cockroach’s.  Beetles are pests that, unlike the cockroach, eat other insects and considered human-friendly.

If you need professional NJ cockroach control, let us know and we’ll let you know your best course of action.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies in Your Kitchen

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 3:00 pm July 19, 2016

fruit flies

Summertime is a great time to know how to prevent fruit flies in your kitchen. A beautiful bowl of fresh fruit or vegetables on the kitchen counter looks amazing to people and fruit flies alike.  You want to enjoy the fresh seasonal fruits and veggies without pesky fruit flies. Here are some tips to help prevent and eliminate fruit flies.

Prevention

You can prevent fruit flies with these simple steps.  Do not keep fresh fruit or vegetables sitting out for extended periods of time.  It’s best to keep them covered and refrigerated.  Keep counters, sinks, and table tops clear of food, spilled sweet juices, and drinks. Rinse out glasses and pitchers when finished.  When cleaning up, remember to wash counter crevices and faces for possible splashes and cracks in flooring where decomposing food material may become trapped.

Use an all-purpose cleaner and paper towels or washable rags because sponges are another breeding ground for fruit flies. Take out the trash frequently and be sure to wash the sides and bottom where juice and drinks might spill.  Discarded food wrappers after eating and use a garbage can with a sealed lid.  Tightly seal compost containers in the home and locate the outdoor bin away from the home.  Keep kitchen areas dry and free of standing water by wiping out the sink after each use, turning over rinsed dishes, and watch for leaky faucets.

Elimination

fruit fliesA fruit fly problem can develop in your home even if you follow the prevention steps.  Fruit flies lay approximately 500 eggs at once and generally near the surface of ripening foods (including liquids), such as sink drains, empty bottles and cans, open garbage sites, and damp mops.  A fruit fly’s lifespan is about eight days, so you will want to act quickly if you notice them.

Leaving a saucer or bowl of cider vinegar with fresh basil leaves on the table or counter overnight will attract fruit flies.  The flies will fall into the liquid and drown, and you discard the contents in the morning.  Another option is to put some wine into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes in the top.  They will be attracted to the wine, climb in the holes, and become trapped for disposal.  You can repeat either option until the flies are gone.

Summary

Fruit flies are pesky and often come with the seasonal fruits and vegetables from the local farmers market.  You can use these simple tips to prevent them from infesting your home and use the easy elimination steps at the first sign of fruit flies.

If you find pest control issues in your home, let us know and we’ll let you know your best course of action.

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