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Tips & Inspirations

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

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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/

Rodent Trapping Tip – Big Ed’s Trapping Tips

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

In the first installment of our 2019 rodent trapping tip series, Big Ed shares one tip with many benefits for utilizing plastic snap traps like our Easy Set snap traps.

Rodent Trapping Tip – Anchor your snap traps to increase catch rates. 

When rodents first interact with newly installed traps they often approach and investigate the device from the back and side.  As a result, they may inadvertently avoid the deadly trigger.  They often push and slide the trap around while inspecting the new item in their environment.  Therefore,  setting it off without a capture.  Another benefit of anchoring your trap is that it optimizes and directs the force generated by the system to maximize killing power.  When a snap trap is triggered, energy can be lost as the device reacts.  Focusing this energy allows the trap to dispatch the pest in a quick and humane manner.

Rodent Trapping Tip - Easy Set

Additional Resources

Catchmaster® Easy-Set™ snap traps have been optimized with feedback from the field, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/easy-set-mouse-snap-traps/

Learn more about Big Ed here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-big-ed-and-his-trapping-tips/

If you liked this rodent trapping tip, get more 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/

 

Spotted Lanternfly Control Services 101

By | Insects, spotted lanternfly, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Spotted lanternfly control 101

As a pest pro, spotted lanternfly control services can benefit your bottom line.  If you live in the northeastern part of the United States you have likely heard of the pest.  As a result,  you may be getting calls from concerned home and business owners. For instance, this invasive species has already caused twenty-two counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to go into quarantine.  It has been spotted in New York to the north and states as far south as Virginia. The pest poses a significant threat to our agriculture including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood industries.

spotted lanternfly map

If you are on the fence about offering spotted lanternfly control services, or have an interest but don’t know where to start, then this article is for you.  As the threat grows, your role as a pest professional will be more important than ever. Let’s take a closer look at getting started in spotted lanternfly control.

4 Tips to get you started in spotted lanternfly control

  1. Not familiar with tree-banding, no problem! Tree-banding creates an effective insect barrier – and you’ll be happy to know that you do not need to obtain any special licenses to offer tree-banding services for the spotted lanternfly.  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. Market to those diamonds in your own backyard. If you live in a geographical area already impacted by the spotted lanternfly then you have a great base of customers to draw upon. Employ 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. Become a part of the solution. Use digital channels to get the word out in your service area.  For example, you can utilize social media posts, e-mail blasts and dedicated portions of your website to educate the public about the importance of monitoring for the spotted lanternfly. Our Social Media Resource Library has lots of educational content free for your use.  As a result, you can help educate the public on the spotted lanternfly. 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 a free service in exchange for some advertising. Perhaps there is a local park in a downtown area or a sports field that gets lots of traffic in your service area. Consider offering free tree-banding to a select area of your town in exchange for some simple signage warning the public to be on the look out for the spotted lanternfly.  Get your brand out by placing yard signs in the area offering your services to monitor or control the pest.

how to spot a spotted lanternfly invasion

Act now!

Unfortunately, the spotted lanternfly will likely be a concern for some time to come.  Fortunately, is the time to get in the game and own your local market for tree-banding services.  By deploying some (or all!) of the tips above you can be well-positioned to grow your business.

Additional Resources

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

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

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

 

How to Spot a Spotted Lanternfly Infestation

By | blog, Insects, spotted lanternfly, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

If you are unfamiliar with the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), it’s a good idea to get acquainted with this sap-feeding insect before it’s too late.  Your trees and produce may already be at risk.

Spotted lanternfly background

First spotted in the United States in 2014, the invasive pest was originally discovered in Pennsylvania and has since spread rapidly.  It is known to feed on vines, shrubs, fruit trees, hardwoods, grapevines, and over 70 other species of trees. Infestations are often accidental but can occur seemingly overnight when eggs are transported by landscapers or homeowners doing yardwork. Egg masses and other life stages can also be found on a variety of other outdoor items including vehicles, patio furniture, swing sets, and more. For that reason, it’s very easy for them to spread quickly when humans move anything bearing the eggs.

So, how do you spot an infestation of the spotted lanternfly? The following can help as you check for egg masses on trees and items stored outside.

Identification & Life Cycle

If you hear of an infestation in your area, it’s a good idea to look for eggs all over your property.  They can be anywhere – not just on trees. The spotted lanternfly has one generation every year. Adult females lay eggs in September and continue until early December. Early detection is key as the eggs can survive the winter months and hatch in early spring.

spotted lanternfly eggs

Resembling mud, the pod-like egg masses are usually gray or off-white and will crack and darken over time.

spotted lanternfly nymphs

The eggs hatch in the spring and the nymphs immediately begin feeding. They are recognized as small black nymphs with white spots.

spotted lanternfly instars

The spotted lanternfly completes four life stages, also known as instars, before maturing into adults. The first three instar nymphs are black with white markings while the fourth instar nymphs are reddish-orange with white markings.

spotted lanternfly adults

Mostly seen in late summer and fall, adult nymphs have wings and are about an inch long and a half inch wide. They have gray forewings with black spots and hindwings that can be red, white and black striped.

Tree-Banding for the spotted lanternfly

If you are concerned about populations of the spotted lanternfly in your area, consider working with a pest professional who can perform tree-banding. Tree-banding creates a physical barrier on tree trunks that consist of a wrap and glue. The process allows homeowners to monitor trees proactively for the spotted lanternfly. Click here to learn more.

Additional Resources

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

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

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

Back to School Pest Control

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Avoid Pests this Back to School Season

With back to school season upon us, it is also time to brush up on your back to school pest control. The start of the school year coincides with the fall season and a popular time for indoor pests to re-surface. Avoid the possibility of your students bringing pests home to you this school year with the following back-to-school tips:

Back to School Pest Control 101

Keep backpacks clean and properly stored.

Backpacks can easily become a breeding ground for germs and an open invitation for pests. As remnants of lunch and clutter build up over the school year it can attract pests to your home like ants, fruit flies, rodents or even bed bugs. To avoid these pests, regularly clean out your student’s backpack and wash it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Always store backpacks out of bedrooms, in a mudroom or area away from sleeping areas.

Change bedding often and inspect for bed bugs.

Bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking their way into a home. The school year presents a heightened risk of picking up this dreaded pest. Bed bugs can easily drop off one backpack and into another. The risk is even greater at a boarding school or college where the student sleeps. Be aware of what a bed bug infestation looks like and always inspect bedding as well as the mattress and box spring when changing bed sheets. If bed bugs are detected, alert the school and work closely with a pest professional to eliminate the problem.

Never buy or pick-up used furniture.

Experts recommend that you avoid buying or picking up used furniture. Used furniture can easily be infested with bed bugs or other pests and may be very difficult to detect for the average person.

Wash & dry all clothing upon returning home from school.

Two of the biggest hitchhiking pests known to infiltrate schools are lice and bed bugs. Clothing is an easy carrier for these pests to make their way into your home. Whether it’s the art smock that is occasionally brought home or the extra sweater that has been hanging in the locker, be sure to wash and dry at the hottest temperature that the fabric will allow to kill these pests.

Regularly monitor your home for pests.

The easiest way to deal with a pest infestation is to catch it early. Monitoring your home with glue boards can offer you peace of mind that you will detect a pest problem before a full blown infestation has the chance to settle in.

Additional Resources for Back to School Pest Control

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

To help your customers with back to school pest control consider our 288i insect traps and monitors: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

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

Outdoor Pet Protection Tips

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Protecting your pet from pests may not always be top of mind. Sure, keeping pests away from your pet will give him a better quality of life; but it can also protect his or her life. Some pests like ticks, scorpions and poisonous spiders, to name just a few, can pose a serious threat to your pet. Here are 5 outdoor pet protection tips.

5 Outdoor Pet Protection Tips

  1. Maintain Your Outdoor Space. Big or small your lawn and garden areas should be cut regularly and kept clear of debris. Seasonal lawn cleanups are essential to remove leaf litter, twigs and other plant material that may attract pests to the area.
  2. Treat Your Lawn. Despite your best efforts, ticks, mosquitoes and even fleas can infiltrate your outdoor space. Talk to your landscaper about a safe lawn treatment to keep these pests at bay.
  3. Treat Your Pet. Speak with a trusted veterinarian on the best flea and tick treatment for your pet. Be sure to set calendar reminders to ensure you never miss a dose.
  4. Regularly Inspect Your Pet. Be sure to closely examine your pet after hikes, walks and time spent outdoors. Despite your best efforts and prescription treatments, your pet can still come into contact with fleas, ticks and other pests.
  5. Monitor Your Home. Don’t let your guard down on pests just because most time is spent inside of the home. Fleas, ticks, scorpions, spiders and other pests can easily infest a home and latch onto your pet while indoors. Glue boards offer an extra layer of protection to alert you early on to an indoor pest infestation. Use them near your pet’s sleeping area but always safely out of reach of your pet.

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 from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

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

 

5 Tips for a Naturally Pest-Free Garden

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Controlling pests in a garden is no easy task but there are 5 tips for a naturally pest-free garden that will help. Pests are naturally drawn to landscaping as plants offer pests food, moisture and shelter.  All of these elements are necessary for their survival. Naturally controlling the bad pests in a garden can help ensure plantings will flourish.  In addition, a home with a well-maintained landscape adds enjoyment and increases a home’s value.  But the benefits don’t end there.

Naturally controlling bad pests in the garden will help to ensure a pest-free home. Overgrown shrubs, trees and plantings, leaf debris and unsightly weeds will attract pests to the exterior of your home. Eventually, those garden pests near the perimeter of your home may make their way inside in search of food, water and shelter.

Follow these tips for a naturally pest-free garden and enjoy the added benefit of protecting your home pest invaders.

5 tips for a Naturally Pest-Free Garden

  1. Use physical barriers, such as a copper tape, that will act as a repellent to deter pests like snails and slugs. As the copper develops the green patina the compounds become toxic to pests.  Many gardeners have found this will help to deter snails and slugs from crossing it.
  2. Overgrown trees and shrubs can be a perfect spot for pests to nest in. Keep plants and shrubs well-trimmed, away from the home, as overgrown branches also offer pests the perfect highway into the home as they seek out food and water.
  3. Rake-up leaf litter and plant debris that serves as the perfect hiding spot for ticks and other pests and an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  4. Remove anything that may collect water and drain decorative items weekly.  Objects like birdbaths and plant dishes may offer mosquitoes a place to breed.
  5. Stay ahead of the pests – ask your pest management professional about monitoring with Catchmaster® AG sticky cards.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Catchmaster® AG sticky cards here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/sticky-cards/

Learn more garden tips from the National Gardening Association here: https://garden.org/