Archive for the ‘Tmo HTC-HDC Camera Pics’ Category

Picture of the Day: Seize The Day!

This crafty little lizard was sunning himself in the mouth of a “bird” lawn ornament. As we approached, a  hungry black snake hustled away towards the neighbor’s house, obviously frustrated in not finding his morning meal. We walked by the lizard several times and he was totally at ease will our presence.

We mentioned the lizard of our customer and she said that he (or she) is there everyday doing the same thing, seizing the day, Carpe Diem everyone!

Where is my lizard?

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First Fruits Hydroponics – Sweet!

  The other day I was treating a new customer’s residence for pest, the customer mentioned that he was getting ready to go pick some tomatoes at the farm down the street. I looked at him as if he was insane and asked with slight confusion “Farm? Pick some tomatos? Around here…Where?”  He pointed east and said that it was located about a few blocks from where we were standing.  I was still totally confused (more so than usual). I have lived in south Pinellas county all of my life and I know every ditch, alley and telephone pole…I thought.

The customer explained that it was a large hydroponic garden hat had all kinds of fruits and veggies. Now my curiosity was seriously perked.

I went back to the office and googled hydroponic gardening in St. Pete and…I’ll be darned! There is was….

First Fruits Hydroponics
3215 46th Ave. N.
St. Petersburg , FL 33714
Phone: (727) 492-8908

(For those of you, who do not know what hydroponic gardening is; check out their websites description that is located at the bottom of this blog.)

Spending most of my Saturday on paperwork, Sunday officially became my day to play and I was going to market!

The hydroponic gardens are located directly behind the owners other business, Kellogg’s Kennels

Who would have thought all those wonderful fruits and veggies were located behind this building?

I walked around the side of the kennell and was amazed at first sight. There were alot of plants here!

Wow, what a selection!

 

The hydroponic gardens are surrounded by a chain link fence and I was very pleased at how well kept the entire project was. I was instantly greeted by Shelly Kellogg, owner of this little hydroponic paradise. Her first question was “Are you new here?” It was later explained that around half the people that come are new visitors. Shelly went instantly into her mini lecture of what hydroponic gardening is, how it works and what benefits it offers.

I’ll tell ya right now, I was impressed.

Even the bee’s enjoy the hydroponic gardens!

 

As I was leaving I had the chance to talk to the other owner(Shelly’s husband) Jeff Kellogg. He was just as nice as his wife and equally informative.

The Kellogg’s illustrate one of things that made this country great, when the economy took a dive and their kennel business slowed down, they did not ask for help….they helped themselves!  A definate thumbs up.

There is so much to tell you about Jeff and Shelly’s endeavor but I would rather have you read it on their website and hear from them in person. Seeya!

Please check out their website and their hydroponic garden

Home

 

Curiousity Almost Killed The Cat

We received a telephone call from a woman who claimed that she had a cat in the attic. “Did you say a rat?” I asked. “A cat!” she said..I still had to clarify..”A bat?”..”No, a cat and I think I heard it meowing” she said.

Well this was first for us, so we rushed straight to women’s house. If there really was a cat, he was in big trouble but I have to admit, I expected a raccoon.

We arrived, grabbed the ladder and flashlight and Brandon was in the attic in seconds. he was very cautious in case there was a raccoon in the attic. With moments I heard him say…”It’s a cat, dad!”

I warned my son to be very careful of his approach of the cat but he said the cat was very weak and wobbly on its feet. I climbed the ladder and stuck my fat head into the attic to see the cat “zip’ by me…..not too wobbly I thought.

It was a sight to see, my son chasing the cat all around the very low and very hot attic. Brandon disappeared behind some A/C ducts at the far end of the attic and I heard him say “Gotcha!”

I asked Brandon if the cat was vicious and he replied that the cat was now barely alive. Brandon cradled the cat all the way from the far end of the low attic, gently climbing over A/C ducts and coughing on “raised” dust and insulation.

At my first look at the cat, I thought, “This thing is dead”. It just hung there, lifelessly.

Brandon crawled out of the attic, down the ladder and out the front door with this poor exhausted, hungry and very dehydrated feline.

The cat laid in my son’s lap with very little movement. The cat could not even lift its head. After a few minutes, we gave the cat some water, being sure not to give it too much too fast. At first it did not want the water but then gradually started to drink. We offered it some sardines in a can (our raccoon bait) and the cat ate slowly but then increased as he ate.

Brandon had to actually put water on his finger and rub it on the cats mouth to get the poor animal to drink

After some more water and a little more food, the cat could finally make a meow sound, it was very weak and dry sounding but it was a meow.

Now we were faced with the next ordeal…what to do with this cat? I was afraid to take it anywhere that may put it to sleep due to its extreme weakness, it looked very pitiful with its bones protruding from it’s skin.

Brandon is actually holding the cat up, if he released of the cat, it would immediately collapse.

The homeowner stated that the only time the cat could have entered the attic was FIVE weeks ago when the A/C people were working in the attic. Apparently they removed the gable air vent for some reason and the cat must have wandered in. The A/C workers movements may have startled the cat and it must have hidden, that’s what a cat would normally do in this type of situation. unfortunately, the A/C workers sealed the attic back and went home, leaving the cat in the attic.

The woman was totally freaked out about the cat, she also said that there was a “missing cat” poster on the telephone pole in front of her house. I ran out to the telephone pole and the poster was ripped up with only a few remaining pieces of paper left hanging. I talked to several neighbors and they knew nothing about the missing cat.

 We refused to give up, this cat survived the hot Florida attic with no food or water for five weeks….it did not give up and neither were we!

Brandon sat on the front porch sidewalk, cradling the cat in his lap. He gave it little sips of water and food and then let it rest.

I drove all over the neighborhood looking for more posters of missing cats. finally I located a poster that was less damaged than the rest. The poster was still torn but had a better picture of the cat…but no phone number.

The picture looked exactly like the half dead cat in Brandon’s lap, things were looking up for us and the cat. I started knocking on doors and asking about the “missing cat” poster but no one knew anything. I saw a few kids on bicycles down the road and remembered an old saying from a when I was a private investigator, “If you want to know anything about a neighborhood, ask a kid…they see everything.”   I drove over to the kids, asked about a lost cat and they immediately pointed to a house farther down the block.

I went up to the house, knocked on the door and a women answered. I inquired about her lost cat and she bent down and picked up a cat and said that it had been found days ago. Directly in front of me was the perfect copy of the cat that was fighting for his life in Brandon’s lap….not  good news at all.

By the time I returned to Brandon, the cat was doing much better, it was holding its own head up and its eyes looked much clearer.

We knew things were not looking good for the cat but we refused to quit. I called several friends and finally hit pay dirt. We were directed to a woman who loved cats and was willing to nurse the little guy back to health.

Within thirty minutes, we were at a McDonalds parking lot and meeting the cats new owner. The woman almost cried when she saw the cat. It’s funny because to us, the cat looked damn good (compared to the non responsive attic cat we intially observed) ! It was purring and meowing so much better. It was still a little wobbly on its feet but all in all, it was going wonderful!

Break time for Brandon and the cat. Brandon ate french fries while the cat enjoyed more sardines.

She took the cat and the last we heard it was  recovering and doing very well. A happy ending all around!

Update: It’s been well over a week and the cat is GREAT!

TICKS that don’t tock

Ticks…what can I say…I hate them. They are nasty little creatures and I do not know of one well seeded bugman that does not roll his eyes at the mere mention of the word….. “TICK” (BTW, I just rolled my eyes).

We responded to a tick problem from a new customer and much to our dismay, the event was a normal tick job…nasty. Not nasty as if the home was dirty, actually the home was immaculate in appearance. When I say “nasty”, it is in reference to the fact that we felt imaginary ticks crawling on us during the whole treatment. If you are an experienced pest control operator, you instantly understand what I am speaking about. This happens quite often when treating for ticks and bedbugs.

Our somatosensory system becomes superhuman and even the slightest dermal sensation is perceived as if a horde of ravenous ticks are attempting to attack us with their blood sucking parasitical bite.

Our inspection revealed that the heaviest concentrations were in the areas of where the family dog slept. The crate and the owners bed.

 Yes, the dark spots that you see on the mattress are ticks.

After ticks feed on the host, it is normal for the ticks to climb upwards and deposit their eggs.  Here is a photo of an infested curtain. 

Here is a photo of the ticks that were removed from the customers bed once the fitted sheets were removed, the customer was never bothered by ticks.

Do you see the small dot on the side of the plastic cup, below is the same picture enlarged.

The tick larva stage is very small and can hide practically anywhere.

LIFE CYCLE

Ticks have four developmental stages: egg, six-legged larva, one or more eight-legged nymphs and adult. Hard ticks usually mate on the host animal. The female then drops to the ground and deposits from 3,000 to 6,000 eggs, which hatch into larvae or “seed ticks.” Larvae climb nearby vegetation where they collect in large numbers while waiting for small rodents or other vertebrates to pass within reach. After a blood meal on the host, the engorged larvae drop to the ground. shed their skins (molt) and emerge as nymphs. Like larvae, the nymphs await the passage of a host, engorge themselves with blood, drop to the ground, molt and become adults. Adult ticks seek host animals and after engorgement, mate.

Male hard ticks usually mate with one or more females and then die, although some may live for several months. Females die soon after depositing their eggs in protected habitats on the ground. The life cycle requires from as little as 2 months to more than 2 years, depending on the species.

The treatment for ticks has to be custom-made for each and every job. It is imperative that the technician perform a complete inspection of the interior of the residence as well as the exterior for the residence. This residence was treated for ticks a month prior, the customer stated that the other pest control company never removed bed linens or even moved the dog crate around. Inspection is incredibly important.

Simple Friday Observations From A Usually Clouded Mind

I had some time open yesterday (Friday Oct. 22, 2010) and a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to join him on a trip to Parrish Florida. My friend Chris Shankle is also a local pest business owner and thought it would be a hoot  for us both to service a Once-A-Year account.

A Once-A-year type service takes much more time and some serious attention to detail since this treatment is to last the next twelve months.

Anyway, I took the exterior of the large home that we were treating as he took the interior. this consisted of the removal of spider’s and their webs, wasp and their nest and mud daubber nest which resemble a clump of mud that is stuck to the side of the home. I then applied a long-lasting residual product around the windows and door frames as well as a six-foot band around the perimeter of the home. I finished with insect bait to the flower beds and a long-lasting granule to the entire yard.

I had some time while outside and stood next to a very colorful plant. I have always been one to take the time to smell the flowers but upon some inspection this colorful plant was teaming with life.

This monarch butterfly did not want to cooperate with my picture taking very well.

This Wasp acted like he was happy to pose for the camera in my HTC-HD2 cell phone

 This colorful little bug was hidden with the petals of the flowers. It’s funny because I noticed him hiding but I did not notice that the bush was covered with the rest of his family.

And what did you get out of this little post? Well, you learned what a Once-A-Year pest treatment is like…ok, just the outside portion, you will have to call us or email us for what happens in the interior…but thats not what I wanted to convey to you.

In this hustle and bustle world where every moves fast and have appointments and  deadlines..seriously, stop and take a look at the immediate “little” world around you. I believe that you will be amazed at what life there is at your very finger tips.

Take that little plant for instance, on a normal day I would have walked right past it but on this day I stopped and truly enjoyed  watching the little insects in their daily lives. In fact I enjoyed it so much I took pictures of it to share with all of you.

Enjoy the weekend!

Continuing Education: Bed Bugs

As you know, we at Beucher & Son Termite and Pest Control are always investigating new pest control techniques as well as brushing up on the old ways. We stay on the cutting edge of all pest treatments, this ensures that our customers are getting the best service possible.

My son and I traveled  to a special class on bed bugs this morning and as I am sure that you have heard many times over, bed bug activity is skyrocketing! It seems that every bit of news on pest that is put out nowadays concerns those dastardlyblood sucking  bed bugs.

The class was the the Marriot in Tampa and hosted by Residex, a local pest control supply business. The class was taught mostly by Paul J. Bello of PJB Pest Managment Consulting, LLC.

It was a very informative class on a subject that seems to be very difficult to eliminate. The lecture covered the  complete cycle of the treatment for bed bugs as well as what the technician and what the customer should expect from the treatment.

The highlight of the class, (atleast it was for me) was when Paul Bello removed the lid of a small glass jar that contained actual live bed bugs and secured the open end of the jar to his forearm with rubberbands. Why would a sane individual do this, why would someone purposly allow bed bugs to penetrate your soft skin and suck out your blood?

 I can’t really answer that but it was super cool to watch those little suckers go!  I grabbed the TMO HTC-HD2 cell phone, shoved it in hands of my son Brandon and pushed him into the crowd of on lookers to get some pictures of this for you all.

Pretty cool, huh?

QUICK BED BUG FACTS

Hemiptera: Cimicidae

SIZE: 1/4 to 3/8 inch (4-5 mm)

COLOR: Reddish brown or brown

DESCRIPTION: Bed bugs are sometimes called “red coats,” “chinches,” or “mahogany flats.” The adult bed bug is a wingless insect that is flattened from top to bottom.

HABITAT: At the beginning of an infestation, bed bugs are likely to be found only in the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and bed covers. In areas of heavy infestation, bed bugs can be found in crevices in the bedsteads. Because bed bugs can live in bird nests, houses and buildings with several bird nests in the eaves and on the roof often will have bed bugs coming into the living areas.

LIFE CYCLE: The life cycle stages of a bed bug are egg, nymph, and adult. The females lay about 200 eggs, usually at the rate of three or four a day, in cracks and crevices in the floor or bed. Newly hatched bugs begin feeding immediately. They shed their skin five times before becoming adults.

TYPE OF DAMAGE: They feed principally on human blood by piercing the skin with a long beak and sucking blood into their stomachs. They feed mostly at night, but will feed during the day if hungry and the light is dim. Their presence is indicated by leaving blood stained smears on walls, sheets, pillows and other light-colored surfaces.

INTERESTING FACTS: Usually discovered in unsuspected areas such as in floor cracks, under carpets, behind loose wallpaper or wall pictures, and in old, unused stoves.

Source: University of Virginia Cooperative Extension Program.

Got Bed Bugs, Call Us Now  727-388-6759

Getting Dirty with Bathtraps

As I was performing a termite inspection for Enrique Behrens of INQUEST Home Inspections, I wondered what to blog about next.

  Enrique Behrens, owner of INQUEST Home Inspections doing what he does best…Inspecting!

Enrique informed me that he had already opened up the bathtraps and they were ready for our termite inspection.

BATH TRAPS, now there’s something to blog about…here we go!

One of the areas that some pest control technicians forget to treat on their customers first pest service is the bathtrap area (if accessable). The bathtrap is where a “squarish” hole was cut so that the plumber can have access to the plumbing pipes that supply water to your tub.

These water pipes usually come up through the (concrete/wood) floor via a hole. If the hole is in concrete, the hole is sometimes pretty large and usually sealed with a hard black “tar-ish” substance or concrete. Sometimes there is not any type of sealant, leaving just bare dirt below your tub. Not good.

If the hole is in wood floor, the water pipes access is usually smaller but not sealed. This is not good either because everything from an ant to a oppossum can be under your tub!

What is so important about the open area for plumbing pipes to be sealed?

Pest can harbourage under the tub, such as cockroaches, ants, springtails, spiders and rodents to name a few. But the big name that you really need to worry about is “TERMITES”.

leaving the ground “unsealed”  in your bathtrap is a recipe for disaster! It is a very important area that that needs attention when treating for either household pest or termites.

Just where is that darn hole in the wall located anyway? Easy, just go to your bathroom and notice which side of the tub that your bath faucet is located, the hole will be located on the opposite side of the wall.  I have seen the bathtrap  in bedrooms, front rooms, kitchens and hallways…they can just about be anywhere.

This bathtrap was located in a bedroom, while the other bathtrap of this house was located a closet on the other side of the house.

Here is a close up of that bathtrap, notice the hole in the concrete for the plumbing  pipes. this one was sealed with the hard black “tarry”  sealant.

Just look at all that hiding space under the tub…whats under your tub?

Some people want a pest inspection but did you know that most people need a pest inspection.

Call us now for a FREE 57 Point Pest Inspection   727-388-6759