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Enjoying a Pest-free Memorial Day

 


Memorial Day

Next Monday is Memorial Day, the official start of summer. While you enjoy the day off and take in a ballgame, parade, or partake in a backyard barbeque, the Clark Man wants to remind you that unwanted pests are more than eager to crash the proceedings. 

How do you keep flies, cockroaches, stinging insects, and ants from becoming a nuisance and a potential health threat to your picnic basket? By following good food safety practices and a healthy dose of common sense before, during, and after an outdoor meal, you can help to protect yourself, your family, and your guests.

Pests – especially stinging insects and ants – are attracted to foods that contain sugar, including soft drinks, cake frosting, barbeque sauces, and marinades. Flies and cockroaches have less-discriminating palates and will feast on crumbs, oils, grease, garbage, and waste. For flies, the smellier the food is, the better, as they are attracted to foul odors.

Aside from spoiling a perfectly good burger or bowl of fruit, these pests can spread harmful bacteria, including salmonella or E. coli, by coming in contact with your food after they have visited other less-appetizing items such as rotting garbage, feces, or animal carcasses.

When planning your Memorial Day picnic, or any outdoor event that involves food, make sure to follow good sanitation and food preparation practices. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Pick up leftover bottles and wrappers and clean up crumbs and spills.
  • Empty garbage or recycle bins frequently to make your picnic or cookout less attractive to these hungry pests.
  • Keep food tightly covered in plastic containers or covered with foil or plastic wrap, before and after cooking.
  • Do not leave soda cans uncovered, as the sugary ingredients can attract ants or stinging insects.

Pest Activity on the Rise

As we move toward the holiday weekend, California residents are seeing increased insect pest activity in and around their homes. This is due, in part, to the severe drought the state is experiencing, which is forcing pests to seek alternate sources of food and water, and seek access inside homes more aggressively.

Clark Pest Control’s Technical Director Darren Van Steenwyk was interviewed recently by CBS13, the CBS network television affiliate in Sacramento. Van Steenwyk discussed the drought’s impact on pest behavior and how Clark Pest Control is dedicating more personnel to help homeowners maintain pest-free living areas.

To view the complete interview, visit http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/05/13/california-drought-has-more-insects-swarming-toward-homes/ 

In closing, as we prepare for the long holiday weekend, Clark Pest Control would like to take a moment and salute all of those who have served our great nation, especially those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take them for granted. If you see a veteran this weekend, please thank them for their service to our country.

If you’re experiencing a pest problem in your home, call 800-936-3339, or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thank you for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Battling an Old Adversary: Cockroaches

 

Nothing gets a homeowner more worked up than seeing a cockroach scurrying along the kitchen baseboard,german roach or darting around on a shelf in the pantry when the light is turned on. Cockroaches have earned a nasty reputation, and deservedly so, which precedes them.

Let’s be honest: any pest that has been around as long as the cockroach – more than 300 million years, according to some researchers – can develop some less-than-desirable habits, which include infesting homes in search of food, water, and shelter.

While no pest will win an award for its sanitation habits, cockroaches seem to go out of their way to travel in areas where human and animal waste, grease, stagnant water, and rotting food are present.

Cockroaches are nocturnal pests, and will hide in dark, warm areas, especially narrow spaces where surfaces touch them on both sides. Their ability to hide in very small spaces – in cracks as tight as 1/16-inch wide – can make them a challenge to control.

Cockroaches tend to congregate in corners and travel along the edges of walls or other surfaces. The most commonly encountered cockroaches in residential settings are the German and American cockroach, respectively.

The repulsion homeowners feel when they encounter a cockroach is trumped by the threat they pose to food safety. Cockroaches – especially the American cockroach, which comes into contact with human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings – can transmit bacteria such as Salmonella if they come in contact with food preparation or serving surfaces.

Not to be outdone, German cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms, including those that can cause staph infections and hepatitis. They also can spread dysentery.

The Clark Man has years of experience dealing with this nasty adversary, and recommends the following tips to protect your home, family, and food from exposure:

The Clark Man’s Top Seven Cockroach Prevention Tips

  1. Keep kitchen counters, sinks, tables, floors, cabinets, and pantries clean and free of clutter.
  2. Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills right away – cockroaches love grease and waste.
  3. Store food in airtight containers where cockroaches cannot access it.
  4. Seal cracks or openings around home foundations and inside cabinets.
  5. Eliminate excess moisture buildup (i.e., a leaky faucet).
  6. Inspect packages, school backpacks, and laundry bins for signs of cockroaches (and other pests). Don’t be afraid to give items a good shake!
  7. Keep the landscape plants next to your house trimmed, and don’t use too much mulch, as it can provide an ideal harborage for cockroaches.

Remember, if your home has a problem with cockroaches, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU, or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

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Protecting Your Summer Picnic From Pests

 
picnic ants

 

June is quickly approaching and for some the official start of summer. While you are enjoying a ballgame, parade or backyard barbeque, the Clark Man reminds you that unwanted, bacteria-carrying pests are more than eager to crash your party.

Protecting food from the harmful bacteria that pests can spread and following good food safety practices before, during and after a meal can protect your family and guests.

Pests such as flies, cockroaches, ants, rodents and birds can spread harmful bacteria like salmonella, listeria or E. coli if they come in contact with your food after having feasted on other less appetizing items such as garbage, feces or animal carcasses.

These pests, especially stinging insects and ants, are attracted to food high in sugar content - spilled soda, cake frosting, barbeque sauces and marinades. Rodents and cockroaches have less discriminating taste pallets and will feast on crumbs, oils, grease, garbage and waste.

Good sanitation practices are essential to preventing pests from becoming a problem in and around your home. The Clark Man recommends picking up leftover bottles and wrappers, cleaning up crumbs and spills, and frequently emptying garbage or recycle bins to make your summer picnic or cookout less attractive to these hungry pests.

Another step to preventing pests from contaminating food is to keep food tightly covered in plastic containers or covered with foil or plastic wrap before and after cooking.

While pests do contribute to food-borne illnesses, there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the risk before packing the picnic basket for your next trip to the beach or cookout. Remember, you can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness, so keep the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mind all summer long:

  • Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Wash utensils, countertops and cutting boards with hot, soapy water or other appropriate cleansers; rinsing with just water won’t cut it.

 

  • Separate — Do not cross-contaminate foods – keep raw meats, fish and eggs separate from other foods. Use separate utensils, cutting boards and storage containers.


  • Cook — Cook food to the proper temperatures and use a meat thermometer. The CDC recommends 145 degrees for whole meats, 160 degrees for ground meat and 165 degrees for poultry.


  • Chill — Refrigerate leftovers promptly – within an hour in the summer heat - or discard them. Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator – never on the counter or kitchen sink.

Remember, if you are experiencing a pest problem in your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Micke Grove Zoo's Howl-O-Ween Event

 

Micke Grove Zoo Present's Howl-O-Ween, This event is Saturday October 27th from 11-3, Adult admission is $4.00, children $2.00 and the little ones under 2 are free. Activities include: Arts, Crafts, Creepy critter encounters, costume parade and much more. Be sure to bring your trick or treat bag as trick or treating will be in full effect!

The Clark Pest Control Bug Zoo will be out showing some of their creepy crawley critters such as; Tarantula's, Scorpions and rocaches. The roaches are very friendy so handling is allowed! Our Bug Zoo Keep will be doing handling demo's with both Tarantulas and a Scorpion. Hope you join us at this creepy event!

 

 

howloweenflyer2012

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Cockroaches for Charity!

 

How many cockroaches would you hold in your mouth ... for charity?

Sean Murphy stuffs them in one by one as they hiss. The small barbs on the cockroaches' kicking legs cut his lip and the inside of his mouth, but he is doing this for a cause.

Murphy, a pet store employee, will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for holding Madagascar hissing cockroaches in his mouth for 10 seconds on Sunday.

The record attempt will be part of the Halloween Spectacular at Preuss Pets, where Murphy works, to raise money for the Harris Nature Center.

After seeing a video of the unofficial cockroach record holder, Murphy said he knew he could top it. That inspired his attempt last October, when he held 16 hissing cockroaches in his mouth for 10 seconds, but it was not verified as an official Guinness World Record because it did not meet several guidelines.

The official Guinness World Record for this feat is six cockroaches, and Sean hopes to officially double that by putting 12 of the insects in his mouth Sunday.

Earning a title is not his primary motivation though, he said.

"To raise money for the nature center is even better," Murphy said.

Money raised at the event will go toward building a new river outlook for educating classes at the Harris Nature Center.

Click here to read the entire article

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Ancient Cockroach Relative Revealed in 3-D

 
cockroach
livescience.com - Tue Apr 13, 8:03 pm ET

An early ancestor of the cockroach that lived around 300 million years ago has been revealed in a 3-D virtual fossil.

The new 3-D model is derived from a fossilized specimen of Archimylacris eggintoni, which is an ancient ancestor of modern cockroaches, mantises and termites. This insect scuttled around during the Carboniferous period 359 - 299 million years ago, which was a time when life had recently emerged from the oceans to live on land. The fossils of these creatures are normally between 3/4 and 3.5 inches (2 cm and 9) cm in length and approximately 1.5 inches (4 cm) wide.

"The Carboniferous period is sometimes referred to as the age of the cockroach because fossils of Archimylacris eggintoni and its relatives are amongst the most common insects from this time period," said Russell Garwood of the Imperial College London. "They are found all over the world."

The study reveals for the first time how Archimylacris eggintoni's physical traits helped it to thrive on the floor of Earth's early forests.

The researchers created their images using a CT scanning device, based at the Natural History Museum in London, which enabled them to take 3142 x-rays of the fossil and compile the images into an accurate 3-D model, creating a 'virtual fossil' of the creature, using specially designed computer software. The scientists used the models to visualize the Archimylacris eggintoni's legs, antennae, mouth parts and body, which had never been seen by human eyes before.

The bug had sticky structures on its legs called euplantulae that probably enabled it to stick to smooth surfaces such as leaves, which may have helped them to lay their eggs above the ground in safer locations away from predators, Garwood and colleagues figure. There are also claws at the base of its legs, which helped it to climb rough surfaces like trees, so that it could perch above the forest floor for safety or find alternate sources of food higher up.

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As you read this, hundreds of mice feast in McBain

 

Critters—mice, rats, cockroaches, pigeons, bedbugs—happen to have easy access to our dorm rooms. Proud as I may be of the ability of a mouse to sneak into my building, I am never glad to find one scurrying over my foot in the middle of the night in McBain.

By Mark Hay

Published March 1, 2010 

 

Last year, members of Columbia University’s Urban Landscape Lab aided in the launch of an interactive exhibit, known as Safari 7, exploring the interaction of architecture and natural ecosystems along the number 7 subway line. I mention this because each time I recall the exhibit or happen to travel on the 7, I remember the life teeming along that line. The tenacity of wildlife in this city never ceases to amaze me. For God’s sake, Queens has urban chickens. Trite though it may be, I sometimes stop while strolling the campus at night, to catch the faint twitch of life in the bushes. But it is only sometimes that I stop to wax poetically over the success of life springing from the concrete. And there is more than occasional life—less than beautiful life—lurking on campus. Although, from the way the University treats it, you would never know.

Unfortunately, some of the sturdiest creatures in an urban environment happen to be some of the most disgusting. These critters—miceratscockroaches, pigeons, bedbugs—also happen to have the easiest access to our dorm rooms. Proud as I may be of the ability of a mouse to sneak into my building, I am never glad to find one scurrying over my foot in the middle of the night in McBain. To a certain extent, one must accept such things when living in New York, but, disturbed as I have been of late by recurrent outbreaks of mice and other critters in McBain, I have gotten to thinking about vermin at Columbia. As a result, I have come to the following conclusion: through some odd strain of luck, Columbia has become an ideal breeding ground for critters.

 

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Cockroaches Increase the Risk for Allergens & Asthma Attacks

 

Winter Weather Draws Cockroaches Indoors, Increasing Risk for Allergens & Asthma Attacks

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

National Pest Management Association reminds families of health risks associated with cockroach infestations

When most people think of allergy and asthma triggers, they likely think of pollen, dust and animal dander. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), however, warns that cockroaches can also pose a threat to those that suffer from allergies and asthma. The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain allergen proteins known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma symptoms.

Children are especially at risk for suffering allergic and asthmatic reactions to cockroach infestations. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that one in five children in the U.S. have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens. More, cockroaches spread 33 kinds of bacteria including E coli and salmonella, six parasitic worms and more than seven other types of human pathogens.

The threat for accumulated cockroach allergens is elevated in the winter because not only is there a greater chance for cockroaches to invade homes in search of warmth but also, because families spend more time indoors. The NPMA encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent cockroach infestations this winter to help keep their families healthy and safe...

Click here to read the entire article presented by Pest World

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Cockroaches-Big Apple Bugs: New Cockroach Species Discovered

 

Mystery cockroach found in NYC apartment.
mage: Brenda Tan and Matt Cost.


Moving overseas has been a challenge, but worst of all for me has been the fact that my writing has suffered. I still read scientific papers and science news stories, but have been unable to find the time necessary to write these stories for you. Hopefully, my life is returning to some semblance of predictability, which means I can now start working again. I have several half-finished stories that I am working on and will be publishing over the next few days. The first story I want to share with you is about a simple high school DNA barcoding project that yielded an astonishing discovery; a new species that has been living in one of the largest urban areas in the world, New York City.

As a New Yorker, I am both surprised and not surprised at the same time by the discovery of a new species of cockroach hiding in our cabinets and showers and running around under our feet. I mean, where else would a new species of pest insect most likely be found?

Like an episode from the popular television series, CSI: NY, two high school seniors sought to identify hundreds of specimens that they had collected throughout Manhattan. Their goal? To identify the species by analyzing at a small portion of their DNA using a technique known as "DNA barcoding." As a method for quickly identifying species, DNA barcoding has become increasingly more accepted within the previous six years.

The two "DNAHouse investigators" made a number surprising discoveries using DNA barcoding, including mislabeled food items, and -- most astonishing of all -- the discovery of a species of cockroach that is new to science. The insect, which looks like the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, a widespread pest in NYC and other large cities, turned out to have a different "DNA barcode" from that species.

A DNA "barcode" is a short nucleotide sequence shared between organisms. Although the identity of the "barcode" gene is not standardized as yet, a 648-basepair long region of the mitochrondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (CO1) gene is typically used as a DNA "barcode" for most eukaryotes. This genetic region is ideal because it is nearly universal, it is small and easily sequenced using current technology, and it contains large nucleotide variation between species (but relatively small variation within a species). Additionally, as of 2009, there were more than 620,000 known CO1 sequences from over 58,000 species of animals -- larger than databases available for any other gene. These features allow for direct sequence comparisons and analyses between different species.

"It's genetically distinct from all the other cockroaches in the database," said DNAHouse investigator Brenda Tan. Ms. Tan, a senior at Manhattan's Trinity School, worked on the project, along with fellow classmate Matt Cost.

Click here to read the entire article

If you feel you have an infestation of domestic cockroaches, contact Clark Pest Control TODAY!

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Halloween Treat! Tribute to bugs in the movies

 

In the Halloween spirit (no pun intended) we will be giving our viewers a treat! The 4 days of Halloween. We have compiled the pumpkinstop 4 scary pest related movies, showcased daily. Now these are not your everyday run of the Mill horror movies, meaning no Frankenstien, Dracula or even the Wolfman but instead Giant Ants, Creepy Cockroaches and Scary Spiders (at least portrayed to be scary)!

This time of the year horror movies are plentiful, take the challenge and watch each one we post and then comeback and give a review on the specific movie!

 

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