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It's right about this time every year when we start to see an increase in the number of phone calls inquiring about scorpion control and scorpions in general. In the greater Austin area the scorpion populations seem to be the highest west of I35 and the further west you go the more scorpions you seem to find. With that being said there are plenty of scorpions in the surrounding areas as well. The Bastrop area starting east of Austin around Garfield going east through Cedar Creek, Bastrop and on out through Smithville is home to a large scorpion population with some homeowners counting multiple scorpions per day. The most common species of scorpion found in Texas is the Striped Bark scorpion. Scorpions are arachnids, close relatives of ticks, mites and spiders. The adult striped bark scorpion usually reach about two and half inches in length. They are flat bodied with four pairs of legs, two small pincers and a tail that can reach back over the body. At the end of the tail is the poison gland with a stinger. The scorpion uses the stinger and poison when ever it is threatened as defense and also when attacking prey. People usually get stung when accidentally applying pressure to the scorpion by stepping on one with bare feet or lying on one in bed. The sting from the striped bark scorpion for most people is similar to that of a wasp sting however some people have been know to be allergic to the venom. Scorpions have poor vision and rely on their since of touch more than eye sight to since prey. Scorpions prefer to live in dry habitats and prefer to remain hidden from the elements during the daylight hours. Because of the flat shape of their bodies scorpions like to hide in cracks and crevices, wood piles, under stones and in tree bark. From these hiding places they tend to lay in wait to ambush prey. Scorpions will feed on most small insects, spiders, worms and even other scorpions. Scorpions can live up to twenty five years but most live three to five years in the wild. Female scorpions give birth to live young in then transparent sacs. As soon as the young scorpions free themselves from the sacs they climb on to moms back where they stay for for about two weeks. Already capable of stinging these tiny babies are on their own by the time they climb down from their mother's back.
Ahhhh, spring, lovely spring, it’s always my favorite time of year for a number of reasons. We get beautiful fields of bluebonnets, warm weather, Barton Springs, and bugs. Yep bugs, for termite and pest control companies like me, we think bugs because this is the beginning of peak season. Right now most insects and creepy crawlers are peeking out of their winter hiding places and could be trying their best to make their way inside your humble cozy abode. This takes us to the baddest bug of them all, the termite.
I am sure that this is a dangerously brazen move that could undoubtedly upset our dedicated yet limited readership for years to come. However as an Austin pest control provider I feel it is well with my job description, nay my duty to drop some knowledge on you here and now. So watch your feet cause you might just step in some truth.
As our focused, yet limited readership enters into a new and exciting termite season, I thought this might be a good time to give you just a little bit of updated information about our current termite and pest control program. This will be a good one, I can feel it. I live in Austin. There is a pretty good chance that you also live in Austin. Being an Austinite, I’m not going to say you are a hippy flat out (you could have grown up in oak hill like me) but I’m just saying that maybe, just maybe you have owned a tie die shirt. Not judging, it’s a pretty good look, especially with cowboy boots. Anyways the point is you could have some environmental concerns. Many people looking for termite and pest control are going to ask about our green pest control services.
OK so here’s the deal. Bed bugs are biting folks all over town. Bed bugs in Austin are what one might call unacceptable. The real problem is that bed bug control is an expensive. No joke, when I give bed bug Austin customers a bid for service they faint right then and there. But, you might say, “How does one get rid of bed bugs in one’s home without paying an arm and a leg”. I am sorry to report that generally speaking this is not a job for a do it yourselfers, you will have to cough up the money. The sad truth is that bed bug control is a job for a professional pest control company. In reality, you will have very, very, very slim chances of getting rid of bed bugs by yourself. O.K. getting rid of bed bugs is expensive and requires lots of preparation work on the part of the customer. Thanks for the bad news. But wait! Our team at The Bug Master has some good news. We have a more cost effective, method that requires extremely limited preparation on the part of the customer. I know, bed bug control has never sounded so appealing to me either.
Termites are among the most ancient of animals and have been on the planet for millions of years. Like ants, and some bees and wasps termites divide labor among castes, produce overlapping generations and take care of young collectively. Hakuna Matata? Termites mostly feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Ewwwww. It is estimated that 10% of the four thousand species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. That my friend in a nutshell is why you require termite control and I offer termite control. In fact many local termite and pest control companies offer termite control, and they stay busy with it; although not as busy as past years. Some say that the decrease in termite activity over the past 30 or so years is due to the types of products used and may in fact be dwindling down the termite populations. That is a whole other can of worms we should save for another blog. Let’s just say termites are an issue and they eat stuff you live in.
That’s a great question. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of termite treatments. The idea behind a termite baiting system is that termites are social insects much like ants. They live in large colonies I the soil. The colonies have workers and reproductives and soldier termites. The workers venture out away from the colony in search of food. Most of the year the soldiers and the reproductive termites stay within the colony while the workers provide the food. It is the worker termites that cause damage to structures. Termites feed on cellulose which they get from wood and when one worker finds food it will leave a pheromone trail telling all the workers of the colony that food has been discovered. Termite bait systems take advantage of this behavior. Termite monitoring stations are placed at a certain interval (10’-15’) around the structure. The monitor which is six to eight inches long is placed in the ground so that the top will be flush with the surface. Inside each monitor is a cellulose bait matrix which actually has no poison or active ingredient in it at all. The monitors must then be checked at least once a quarter (every three months) for the presence of active termites. If there is a colony in the vicinity of the structure, the worker termites will find a monitor or multiple monitors. When the inspector finds termite activity in a station or stations, the inert matrix is replaced with an active matrix which does contain termiticide. The worker termites then begin to forage on the active matrix and to transport the active matrix back to the colony. If, or when enough of the active matrix has been consumed by the colony, the colony can be eliminated which is the ultimate goal of the service.
So… this is a topic of conversation that will soon be of great relevance to many. I’ll go ahead and address said topic now so that our dear, focused yet limited readership will have something to sink their teeth into as they sit around their backyard being eaten alive by those damn mosquitoes. Mosquito control is all about attitude and atmosphere. Meaning that your environment and your acknowledgment of environmental deficiencies can and will have a huge impact on the itchiness of your ankles.
As I sit down to put together a quick blog for our selective audience, I can only think of one thing. It is raining outside. Right now as we speak we are getting some much needed rain. Even if it comes at a moment when we should be enjoying a phenomenal SXSW weekend here in Austin TX, the clouds are always welcome to open up and pour down upon this town. Water good. Oh, water real, real good. So this brings me back to our blog’s title. Termite treatment season is on its way.
When it comes to central Texas, whether you’re in Austin, Waco or the Dallas Fort Worth area one thing is certain. Spring season brings a lot of changes. The spring season can be exciting in a lot of ways. One of my favorite aspects of this season is the appearance of new life. The trees begin to turn green. Lawns begin to green up and flowers bloom. Where everything was once grey and lifeless, life is emerging.
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