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The Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees

By | spotted lanternfly | No Comments

Should You Heed the Warnings and Opt for An Artificial Christmas Tree This Year?

There is nothing like the scent and look of a real Christmas tree.  This year, however, one pest threatens to dampen the tradition.  The spotted lanternfly is being a true grinch.  These tree-gobbling pests have led some to wonder about the threat of mixing the spotted lanternfly and Christmas trees.  Could it be possible that trees will bring this pest indoors?

The Spotted Lanternfly & Christmas Trees – A Background

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that poses a significant threat to our agriculture.  Crops threatened  include grapes, apples and hops.  In addition, the pest can cause significant damage to a wide variety of tree species.

Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees - Map

The Spotted Lanternfly has spread throughout much of the northeastern part of the United States. Homeowners are on alert, following advice to squish the pest when they see them and reporting them to the Department of Agriculture to help track their spread. With this in mind and Christmas season quickly approaching some news reports are warning consumers to steer clear of real trees this year.

But, do spotted lanternfly typically infest Christmas tree varieties? According to Penn State Extension experts, the good news for live tree fans is that “Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternfly”.

Many experts agree that while they do not typically infest this type of tree it is always a good idea to inspect a live tree for pests before bringing it into your home. Our blog on ‘How to spot a spotted lanternfly infestation’ can help you to understand what to look for when inspecting a tree.

Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees - Infestation

To be extra cautious you may inquire as to where the live tree originated from. According to the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, Christmas trees grown in New Jersey are completely safe to buy according to one NJ.com report.  Doing research prior to purchasing and inquiring from sellers about where the tree was grown certainly cannot hurt.

So, go ahead and bring that live tree home this year. We hope the tips above help ensure your holiday remains pest-free and enjoyable.

Additional Resources

Looking for help with the spotted lanternfly?  Consider tree-banding with our TB series glue: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Are you a PMP looking to get into the spotted lanternfly business?  Here are some helpful hints on getting started: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/spotted-lanternfly-control-services-101/

Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Summary of Integrated Mosquito Management in Southern California Schools

By | Mosquitoes | No Comments

Integrated Mosquito Management – Background

Invasive mosquitoes, especially the Yellow Fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus, are spreading rapidly in the United States and California is no exception.  These species prefer to breed in artificial containers such as tires, cans and bottles, children’s toys, plant drainage saucers, clogged gutters – basically, anything that will hold water.  Also, they bite primarily during the daytime so school children are at increased risk.  Not only are they a biting nuisance, but they can also spread serious diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika virus and yellow fever.

Integrated Mosquito Management - Fun Facts

Successful Control in Schools Using Integrated Pest Management

In Southern California, school districts deal with large numbers of complaints about mosquitoes.  These complaints come from students, teachers, staff and parents.  With current restrictions on treatments in sensitive areas like schools, hospitals, child-care, etc. the integrated pest management teams were frustrated because they had almost no tools to address these mosquito issues.  The IPM staff were limited to inspecting to remove breeding sites and treating with contact insecticides made from essential oils.

Our installation of Ovi-Catch at the Anaheim Union School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District provided excellent results.  The IPM Technicians were delighted to have “some options” to actually impact the mosquito population and satisfy the concerns of staff, students and parents.  The Ovi-Catch traps were installed in discreet and/or locked areas and had no issues with tampering.  The staff noted less mosquito activity and were very happy with the reduction of mosquito issues.

This success was enhanced with the introduction of Final Feed mosquito spray.  Final Feed improved results and offered a treatment method that lasted for 30 days or more.  One of the major issues in schools is the surrounding properties.  IPM Technicians frequently expressed that they had thoroughly inspected the school properties and removed breeding sources.  However, they have no control over the surrounding properties and standing water located there.  Final Feed provides a method of mitigating mosquitoes moving onto school property from adjacent areas.

The Final Feed applications and Ovi-Catch installations provided vital “leave behind” products that help to mitigate mosquitos that are originating off the property and are making their way onto the campus. “Ovi-Catch and Final Feed are an important part of our mosquito management program.  If you can use these valuable tools, you should” said Rich Kravetz, IPM Technician, Anaheim Union School District.

In general, we are having excellent results.  However, as is the case with most devices and materials, training is key. Results have been strongly supported by the management and staff in the IPM programs who are motivated and very willing to accept training on the proper application of Final Feed and placement of Ovi-Catch.

Information compiled by:

Stanton E. Cope, PhD, VP, Technical Products and Services, AP&G

Past President, American Mosquito Control Association

scope@catchmaster.com  Tel: (551) 689-8073

Jim Shaver, Western Regional Manager, AP&G

jshaver@catchmasterpro.com  Tel: (480) 760-5874

Additional Resources

For help with your upcoming mosquito season, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

Learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Discover more efforts in mosquito management with the American Mosquito Control Association here: www.mosquito.org

 

Helpful Holiday Pest Prevention for People with Pets

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Holiday pest prevention may not be top of mind this time of year.  With family visiting, gifts to wrap and meals to cook it is easy to forget protecting your turf from pests.  But pests are persistent, and they would love nothing more than to get in on your holiday feast.

Holiday Pest Prevention - Rodent Destruction

The Importance of Holiday Pest Prevention for your Pets

Not only can pests ruin your meal, they present a health danger to your pets.  Mice alone can bring dangers like salmonella and hantavirus into your home.  Without a doubt, pests can impact you during the holidays and year-round.  Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to keep your home pest-free this holiday season.

5 Helpful Tips for Holiday Pest Prevention for people with pets

  1. Deck, and inspect, the halls (and other areas) – pests seek the same things we seek at the holidays – food, warmth and shelter. Did you know an adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime?  Inspect your home for any openings like cracks in the foundation or gaps in doorways.  Importantly, if openings are found seal them up.
  2. Say no to the table scraps – not only will the feeding your pest possibly be bad for them, the food waste that is left can attract all sorts of pests
  3. Check the box(es) – when getting out the decorations, be sure to see if there is any damage to the boxes. If you see any gnaw marks it may be an indication of rodents.  Use glue traps to monitor your attic or other storage space year-round and be sure to check for activity.
  4. Inspect your decorations – if signs of rodents have been detected make sure to double-check all of your electrical decorations – frayed wires could present a danger to pets
  5. Maintain your outdoor areas – seasonal debris like twigs and leaves can provide harborage to rodents and help draw them close to your home. In addition, pests can find homes in piles of unkempt firewood.

Holiday Pest Prevention - Inspection

Trust the Experts

If you discover a pest problem in your home or on your pet work closely with your veterinarian and pest management professional for a safe solution.

Learn more about Catchmaster® insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

 

Cankerworm Control Services 101

By | blog, Insects, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Cankerworm control 101

Looking to expand your business offerings? Consider cankerworm control. Cankerworms, also known as inch worms, are a common pest that occurs throughout much of the United States. The pest can be quite destructive. It feeds on the leaves of trees of many types of trees, including:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Basswood and more

The pest may cause trees to defoliate. As a result, it places great stress on the tree leading to significant damage. Cankerworms are a nuisance for both home and business owners. Areas with cankerworms infestations are often unpleasant.  In particular they can take over backyards, make an unsightly nuisance and even fall into outdoor eating areas.

Your role as a pest professional can help conserve the beauty and necessity of trees in your service region. At this time let’s take a closer look at getting started in cankerworm control.

Cankerworm control 101 - lifecycle

4 easy tips for getting started in cankerworm control

  1. Tree-banding is the solution!The good news is you do not need to obtain any special licenses to offer tree-banding services for the cankerworm. And adding this service to your repertoire will also help you to get into the Cankerworm business as well.  Not sure how to tree-band?  Fortunately, we have you covered with detailed instructions in our Tree-Banding 101 one-pager. The process is very straightforward and simple.
  2. Cross-market to your current customer base.Simply make your current audience aware of your new business offering. Use your usual marketing channels to notify customers of the threat and your additional service offering. We recommend both monitoring and control service options. Fortunately, tree-banding will allow you to do both.
  3. Protect tree health and preserve the beauty of your community.Get the word out in your service area.  Utilize social media posts, e-mail blasts and dedicated portions of your website to educate the public about the importance of treating for and monitoring for cankerworms. Pictures of the insect as well as the damage they cause can be very effective in your marketing. Our Social Media Resource Library has lots of educational content free for your use.  As a result, you can help educate the public on cankerworms and their control. For example, you could offer your expertise to your community through local newspapers and radio stations.  These organizations are often looking for local experts.
  4. Consider donating your services.Have you noticed cankerworm damage in your service region? Consider treating a small area of trees in a busy part of your community for free in exchange for placement of lawn signs advertising your business.  Lawn signs are a great way to get the word out about your brand and new service offering.

Additional Resources

Learn more about tree-banding with our Catchmaster® TB-1 glue here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Learn more about cankerworms from the University of Maryland here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cankerworm

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

 

Rodent Exclusion Tips

By | blog, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Get Proactive Protection with these Rodent Exclusion Tips for the Fall

The temperatures are getting colder, the leaves are out of the trees and the rodents are heading indoors, but, don’t fret, use these rodent exclusion tips to get ready for the season.

According to PestWorld, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States each winter! Don’t be a part of that staggering statistic. Ensure a pest-free living environment via exclusion work.  Exclusion work can prevent insects and rodents from gaining access to your home.

The importance of rodent exclusion work

Did you know that an adult mouse is able to squeeze through a hole the size of a dime? An afternoon of uncovering and sealing entry points into your home can help you to ensure a pest-free living environment all winter long.

Exclusion work simply means sealing and securing all possible points of entry into a building.  Taking this proactive step can easily reduce and even eliminate pest and rodent activity in the home. Exclusion is cost effective and more efficient in the long run. It reduces the need for chemical pesticides or rodenticides.  The result is a safe alternative for both humans and the environment.

Rodent Exclusion Tips - Home Graphic

In order to be through, begin with an inspection of your home from the inside out.

7 areas to check for rodent exclusion work

  1. Cracks and crevices in the foundation
  2. Improperly sealed vents
  3. Attics
  4. Drain pipes
  5. Door sweeps
  6. Window screens
  7. Garage doors

Caulk works well for tiny gaps, however, for openings two inches or more us copper mesh in order to fill-in holes and entry points.  Because of the mesh, Rodents cannot chew through and gain entry.

Once exclusion is performed remember to monitor indoor areas that cannot be fully sealed with glue boards and trays. Being alerted to a pest or rodent problem early can make the infestation much easier to solve.

Take some time to be pro-active this fall by performing exclusion around your home and enjoy a pest and rodent-free winter.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional resources

Get more rodent tips in your in-box by signing up for our newsletter here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about rodents from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/rodents-101/

CDC Mosquito Control Statistics

By | blog, Mosquitoes | No Comments

In this update from Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) learn more about some eye-opening CDC mosquito control statistics.

Diseases On The Doorstep:  An Eye-Catching Report From CDC

In May of 2018, our federal Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report I like to call ‘3X-9-8/10’.  That is NOT a code from a James Bond movie.  What is it then?

3 Startling CDC Mosquito Control Statistics from Vital Signs:

  1. 3X – From 2004-2016, there were an estimated 640,000 cases of disease in humans transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites.  This represents a 3X increase!
  2. 9 – Since 2004, 9 new “germs” spread by mosquitoes and ticks have been discovered in or introduced into the United States. An example of the former is Heartland virus; the latter, Zika virus.
  3. 8/10 – About 84% of local vector control agencies in the United States are lacking in at least 1/5 core competencies, and many are lacking in more than 1.

CDC Mosquito Control Statistics - Fun Facts

CDC Mosquito Control Statistics – Central Message

The central message here?  Diseases spread by biting arthropods are clearly on the increase, while our organized ability to detect and control them is sadly lacking.  This points toward a public health calamity.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Click here for the CDC May 2018 Vital Signs referenced above: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/vector-borne/index.html

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Keeping Your Home & Pumpkins Safe from Pests this Halloween

By | blog, Insects, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Halloween pest control can help keep your holiday festive.

Halloween Pest Control - Cota

It’s October, a chill is in the air and homeowners are busy decking their halls with spiders, rats and other creepy crawlers in preparation for Halloween.  It is about the only time of the year that pests are an acceptable décor choice around the home.  Holiday displays aside, here are some tips for keeping the real pests at bay this year.

Spiders – better out than in

Did you know that spiders can actually be a beneficial pest, particularly in your garden? Perhaps not the best news if you suffer from arachnophobia. It’s true though, spiders in your garden play a pivotal role in keeping down the number of plant-killing bugs and may also prevent you from being stung while working in your garden. However, very few of us want to share our homes with these creatures.

Spider pest control tips

  1. To keep spiders out of your home, consider performing some exclusion work, filling cracks and crevices, sealing gaps and openings around the home and replacing door sweeps that may no longer provide a strong seal.
  2. Another great line of defense against indoor spiders is your vacuum cleaner. Suck up any visible spiders and be sure to remove cobwebs around your home as well.
  3. Finally, consider monitoring your home for spiders with our glue traps and boards. Place our glue trays or boards in out of the way areas to find what’s really creeping around your home this fall.

Halloween Pest Control - Rat Facts

Halloween Pest Control – Keeping the Rats at Bay

Much like spiders, rats can enter your home through relatively small cracks and holes. Did you know that a rat can squeeze its body through a hole the size of a quarter? There are a couple of actions you can take to keep rats away. First, fill any holes or gaps you find around the perimeter of your home. Second, keep your plumbing in tip top shape. Like many other pests, rats are drawn to moisture and a leaky pipe can be the water source needed.

Beware the Pumpkin Eaters

Lastly, be careful where you place that seasonal pumpkin. Pumpkins are a huge component of Halloween Pest Control.  Pumpkins left outdoors are a great food source for rats, mice and other rodents and will also draw pests to your home particularly as the pumpkin begins to rot.

Pumpkin pest prevention

  1. Display pumpkins in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and rot from setting in early and attract insects.
  2. You can protect your pumpkins with a simple mixture of bleach and water. Simply spray this mixture on a carved pumpkin each day before Halloween for an easy, effective pest management practice to keep fruit flies and other insects at bay.
  3. To avoid your pumpkin serving as a food source for rodents and squirrels in the area, try coating the pumpkin inside and out with hot pepper sauce.

We hope these tips help you to enjoy the Halloween season where the only pests you see are a part of your seasonal décor.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional Halloween Pest Control Resources

Looking for more Halloween pest tips?  Gest some mosquito tips from our own Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/halloween-mosquito-prevention/

Learn more about pests at Pest World, the official site of the National Pest Management Association here: http://pestworld.org/

Halloween Mosquito Prevention

By | Insects, Mosquitoes, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Don’t let mosquitoes take a bit out of your fun this year – use these 4 Halloween mosquito prevention tips to enjoy pest-free trick-or-treating!

Ah- Halloween!  The season of gremlins and ghouls is upon us, and costumes and candy rule the day!  However, if your locality has not experienced a heavy freeze, nasty mosquitoes will still be out on Halloween. Here are a few tips from Vampire Captain Stan to minimize your exposure whether you are dispensing candy or seeking it yourself.

Halloween Mosquito Prevention - Mosquito Fun Facts

4 Easy Halloween Mosquito Prevention Tips

  1. If costumes permit, cover as much of your exposed skin as possible. Limit access for the blood-seekers (mosquitoes, not vampires!)
  2. If needed, use a mosquito repellent that has an EPA-registered active ingredient (https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html)
  3. Mosquitoes love entering houses through open doors. When answering the doorbell, don’t leave the door wide open while giving treats.  Invite the visitors in or go outside with them.  If weather permits, you can set up your candy store outside or in the garage but be sure and protect yourself!
  4. Many kinds of mosquitoes are highly attracted to white light. Consider using yellow ‘bug lights’ or perhaps even super cool Halloween bulbs in your outdoor fixtures.  This will help limit the mosquitoes attracted to your front door as well as to your property.

Happy Haunting and remember:  Safety First!

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Catchmaster Pestimonial – Envirosafe

By | Insects, Pestimonials, Rodents, Uncategorized | No Comments

Catchmaster Pestimonial – Envirosafe

In this edition of our Catchmaster Pestimonial series, Veteran PMP Gary Pietrucha says the Catchmaster® brand listens to its customers, creating a corporate culture that values relationships and drives innovation.

The Value of Relationships

Relationships are important to Gary Pietrucha, owner and president of Envirosafe Pest Management, Itasca, Ill. Upon launching his company in 1988, the veteran PMP knew he wanted to operate a “boutique business” providing high-quality, environmentally sensitive pest control services, but one which also maintained close ties with its customers and employees as it grew.

“From the day I started, I wanted to be directly involved in the business,” he says. “I wanted to be large enough to handle major accounts, but small enough to know what was going on in every facet of the business. I didn’t want to lose track of my customers or employees. I wanted to be that ‘go-to’ person for both of them, and I think I’ve been successful.”

Catchmaster Pestimonial – The Value of Glue Boards

Those are also qualities Pietrucha values in his vendor relationships, which is why he thinks so highly of AP&G, manufacturer of the popular Catchmaster® line of products. Pietrucha says one of the reasons AP&G has been successful for so many years (the company was founded in 1952) is they listen to their customers.

A longtime proponent of glue boards, Pietrucha says he uses these valuable IPM tools in a variety of accounts, from warehouse and distribution centers to food-service facilities.

“Glue boards are an amazing pest control resource,” he says. “Us old-timers remember taking a gallon of bulk glue and making giant glue boards designed to capture large numbers of rodents. They were effective in reducing populations, but they looked unprofessional.”

Thanks to companies like AP&G, however, glue boards have become more sophisticated and increasingly effective over time. Today, the New Jersey-based company offers a comprehensive line of adhesive products, including rat glue boards, mouse glue boards, custom glue boards and glue trays.

“Glue boards are a very simple devices with multiple uses,” Pietrucha observes. “We use them in a variety of different applications and they also offer a number of public health benefits. Rodents not only get stuck on the boards, but the pathogens and parasites that reside on those rodents also get stuck.”

Catch Zone™ Pest Boundary Roll – A Timely Innovation

Catchmaster Pestimonial - Catch Zone

“I also use Catch ZoneTM in a number of accounts,” Pietrucha says. Perfect for clean outs and protecting large, sensitive areas, Catchmaster® Catch ZoneTM comes in 60-foot by 12-inch rolls that can be cut easily to conform to virtually any space, providing a first line of defense against both rodents and insects.

Pietrucha was so impressed with the product that he wondered if it could be adapted to control rats by applying a thicker layer of glue. “I asked Dave Johnson, my sales representative, and he listened,” Pietrucha says, shaking his head in amazement. “I’m small potatoes, just a little pest control guy from Itasca, but they listened to me! They took my comments to heart and helped me out. Now I can level the playing field against rats. I can put this long strip of glue out there and provide very effective rodent control.”

Catchmaster Pestimonial - Pallet Image

Learn more about our Catch Zone™ Pest Boundary Roll here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/catch-zone-pest-boundary-roll/

Learn more about Envirosafe here: http://www.pestmgmt.com/

Read other stories in our Catchmaster Pestimonial series here: https://catchmasterpro.com/?s=pestimonial

Special thanks to the team at PCT Magazine for their contributions to this article: https://www.pctonline.com/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

By | Insects, Mosquitoes, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – History

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), also known as sleeping sickness, was first recognized in 1831 when 75 horses died in Massachusetts.  The EEE virus was first isolated from horse brain in 1933.  Human cases were recognized in 1938 when 30 children died in the Northeast US.

Geography

Most cases occur in the Eastern US or Gulf Coast states as well as the upper Midwest.  Many cases are associated with hardwood swamps.  The virus is maintained in a mosquito-bird-mosquito cycle.  In the summer and early fall it is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes .  These mosquitoes are referred to as ‘bridge vectors’, as they ‘bridge’ the virus from birds to humans.  The virus cannot be transmitted human to human.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis - Mosquito Fun Facts

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – Impact on Public Health

About 30% of those who get Eastern Equine Encephalitis die, and those who survive have significant neurological impairment.  Those over the age of 50 and under 15 are at increased risk of severe disease, and infection provides life-long immunity.  There is no vaccine for humans.

Clinical illness presents in two forms:

  • A systemic illness, with symptoms much like influenza, that lasts 1-2 weeks with complete recovery
  • An encephalitic (inflammation of the brain) illness with restlessness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and coma.

2019 Update

The average number of cases per year is about 7.  However, in 2019 there have already been at least 27 cases in 6 states with 11 deaths (as of October 3rd).  Cases so far by state with deaths in parentheses include Massachusetts – 11 (4), Michigan – 8 (3), Connecticut – 4 (3), Rhode Island – 1 (1), New Jersey – 1, North Carolina – 1.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/