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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.

Rodent Proofing for the Fall and Winter - Rodent Control

 

Clark Pest Control
www.clarkpest.com 

Rodent-control

When fall and winter arrive, the cold weather motivates us to find warmth indoors. But we’re not the only creatures who seek such comfort. Mice and rats prefer a toasty environment over the shivery outdoors, too – and if they can find a way into your toasty environment, they will. The problem, then, is how to keep these rodents from coming in and setting up housekeeping.

As with other pests, a lot of rodent pest control problems can be solved by employing two simple principles: exclusion and sanitation. The Clark rodent control approach is anchored in Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, a process that seeks to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and to the environment.

Let’s start with rodent exclusion, or keeping these animals out. A house mouse only needs a 3/8-inch opening – less than the circumference of a dime – to get in; a Norway rat or roof rat needs a 3/4-inch opening, which is less than the circumference of a quarter. So, to rodent-proof your home effectively, you’ll want to close off anything larger than a 1/4-inch opening.

We’ll start with doors, one of the most common points of entry. Gaps along the bottom edge, ones big enough to let rodents in, can be eliminated by installing brush strips, usually made from nylon or polypropylene bristles. Garage doors can be fitted with compression seals that perform the same function. Also, check window screens to make sure they are not torn or otherwise compromised, and make sure that basement windows, if you have them, don’t provide a way in.

Once all doors and windows are secured, you’ll want to examine the walls and foundations around your home for cracks and holes, which can be blocked temporarily with copper or steel wool wire mesh until more permanent repairs can be made.

Look for other potential entry points, too – specifically, holes where utility lines or pipes enter, which can be blocked off with wire mesh and caulking or plastic foam. Vents and ventilation openings will need to be covered by secure screens.

Rats are excellent climbers. If you have a chimney, it should be rain-capped with a spark arrestor, and think about other places high up where a rat could get in – roof defects, gaps between roof and structure, attic vents. Also, make sure you’ve trimmed any overhanging branches that might provide an easy route for rats to access your roof.

The other principle to bear in mind that should keep your living space rodent free is sanitation.  While rodent exclusion measures will help keep them out, good sanitation practices will eliminate many of the causes and conditions that help rodents to thrive.

Every pest, include rodents, needs food, water and harborage to survive. Outside, things like unsecured garbage cans, pet food left in the open, or overgrown patches of weeds, are like hanging out a sign that welcomes rats to your yard. Make sure your garbage is kept in cans or containers that can’t be accessed by rats, along with raccoons and opossums.

Keep any pet food in secure containers, too, and pick up pet dishes and empty the contents once your pets have finished feeding. Remember that if your yard is acting as a rat magnet, when a cold snap hits, you can bet those rats will try to find a way into your home’s more comfortable interior, should they be presented with the opportunity.

Inside, clutter is the enemy. Mice, in particular, will thrive in harborage provided by randomly scattered items. By cleaning up any areas in basements, garages or other rooms, if mice do find a way into your home, they won’t have as many places to set up housekeeping.

Solving rodent pest control problems isn’t rocket science. Putting the common-sense ideas we’ve outlined into practice in your home will help you make it through the winter months without unwanted guests.

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

Fall is here and so are those pesky rodents! - Clark Pest Control

 

 

During the cooler months (October through February), we have the luxury of snuggling up in a blanket or by the fire in our homes and apartments, but, their may be something lurking in our dwellings with us. Mice and rats often take shelter in our homes, causing 

Need a rodent exterminator? Call Clark Pest!

damage to bothour health and property.


Rodents enter homes through almost any opening larger than a dime, damaging sheetrock, cardboard, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the risk of fire and exposure to diseases.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the fall and winter months:



  • Seal off all voids around pipes coming into your home from the outside
  • Keep branches and other plants cut back from the house
  • Keep your garages and sheds tidy and uncluttered


In the event you do have a rodent problem, contact a qualified pest professional, such as Clark Pest Control, that specializes in exclusion and IPM. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program will involve you and your pest management provider, working together as a partnership.

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

Sniffer dogs deployed to combat rat plague in Queensland

 

Rats

ox terriers Mya and Pepper, pictured with handlers Charlie Cinconze and Nicholas Snabaitis, are part of the rat detection squad in Goodna. Picture: Annette Dew

By Anna Chisholm

RATS chewing through phone cables are causing chaos in abandoned flood-hit homes at Goodna, southwest of Brisbane, and as far as Birdsville in west Queensland.

Diamantina Mayor Robbie Dare said the rodents wreaked havoc, chewing cables and causing major communication problems.

"Telstra have technicians out there replacing the cables it's affected internet, all communications and tourism," he said.

"Not many tourists carry cash any more they go to pay with a card and the terminals don't work because communications are down."

Cr Dare said the problem is too big for any local government to bait.

"We catch about 60 a night at the back of the roadhouse at Bedourie; it's been going on since before Christmas and it doesn't seem like it will let up," he said.

"They're breeding like wildfire and spreading further out north and further east."


Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/big-rat-problem-has-gone-to-the-dogs/story-e6frfkvr-1226076734126#ixzz1PYLiBrg8

 

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

Bobby Corrigan - Live from the 25th annual Educational Conference part 2

 

We be beginning shortly...

 

 

Roof rats - cont.

  • Locate the lines:
  • locate the shadows
  • locate the crannies and corners:

Be the hunter 

Be able to read a room, building backyard and etc. be the hunter. How do you read say, a back yard...Look to the fence, notice the lines and look for rubbing, it is important to be able to read your environment.

Rodents do have control of their scat and urine, mice use urine to communicate.

Lush landscape = Roof Rat

Habits: why:

a. Great cover

b.stems,leaves for water

c.slugs/snails

 

Trapping/baiting strategy for the Roof Rat

keep track of how many males, females and how many are pregnant

why pay attention to the males and females = general ratio of 1:1

Note Pregnant females with teets - this will tell you how many juveniles are still at the facility, she has a mate and this means she will stay close to home, this is for maximum survival of her young. You now have a zone to focus on. The house mouse in this same scenario, your zone is about 10 feet.

The greatest success tip for trapping:

Location based on high activity areas

Based on awesome inspections

  • look for heat sources
  • ask the customer where the warm zones are (anything motor or electrical driven)

Bring the traps to the rats, don't wait for the colony to find them.

to pre-bait or not to pre-bait:

That is the debate:

Pre-bait for 3 days vs. Trapping immediatly

come back in 3 months and count the rats

Count the callbacks $$$ 

Rats will leave pheromones within the rub, this is effective communication for the rat

What is the best bait?
there is no best bait, certain colonies may not want protein at the time, maybe they will be in the mood for carbs. Use 4 different kinds of baits, each representing each food group. 

is tying on your bait to the trap a good idea? YES

Try natural foods i.e. nuts, berries,snails,slugs and etc.

remember rats are cognitive thinkers

 

Thank you very much Mr. Corrigan, you really captivated the audience!

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

Bobby Corrigan - Live from the 25th annual Educational Conference

 

Bobby is leading off with how he found his way into the pest control industry, his first job working below ground (the sewer). Bobby looks at pest control as a living experiment and refers to it as "cool science". 

Rodents

Looking at New York City, Setting the rat traps, customers always ask what the best bait...

The Rat is capable of cognitive thinking, this means the rat can plot and plan. 

Bobby refers Pest control as "Deep Science" its a fine line the pest controller walks, is it a business or a science.

Norway and Roof rats are nocturnal as well as mice, working under the cloak of darkness.

NYC is the #1 Pestropolis - due to density of humans (about 14 million). with that many people producing that much trash!

Bobby is now talking about how he followed a Norway rat through NYC as the rat is thinking how many muscle movements it will take to get to a local fast food establishment. Bobby tells how as he followed this little guy he snapped photos. The Norway rat after 5 minutes out of the sewer he finally makes it to the fast food's trash area.

Daily foraging of the Norway rat in exterior city enviroment 90-450 ft. from nest. 

60 lb bag of trash - 1lb feeds 22 rats per night (10 adults, 12 Juveniles)

One NYC restaurant waste bag; one night can feed 1.320 rats

 

Rodents 2011 Updates in biology, behavior and control

(roof rats, Norway rats and the house mouse)

4 hairs on the front portion of the head that detects low objects such as pallets, when they detect they begin to dig with their front paws.

The tail is used for balance and asks as a sensor. The tail is also used for aggression.

How long can a rat live in the real world? depending on conditions, ideal would be up to 3 years for the rat, although most do not live past a year.

Roof Rats (Rattus rattus) are cleaver and secretive - originated from southeast Asia the roof rat loves lines

1. active and tyravels in areas of dense heavy cover

2.feeds more like a mose and not a rat

3.bushes filling in fence corners or covering fence supports (lines) 

fresh rub marks - how to tell...if it has hair in it, still oily and can be either shiny or dull.

new smudge marks can be scratched old is just a stain.

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

Safeguarding Your Home Against Rodents - Winter is almost here

 

During the cold winter months rodents are looking for a cozy place in your warm home!

During the fall, as temperatures starts to decline, Rats and Mice are looking to set up a harborage in and around your home. Here are some tips to help you rodent proof your home during this winter season.

  1. Tree’s are a thing of beauty, but they can also give rodents access to 2nd story vents, bird blocks, gutters and your roof. Keep your trees trimmed back away from the house.

  2. Make cure all exterior doors have door sweeps installed, keeps the rodents out and may save you money on both heating and cooling your home.

  3. Seal around all plumbing that is entering your home from the outside

  4. Seal any large cracks to the exterior of your home

  5. Keep a tidy living space, rodents love an abundance of newspaper, old magazines and clothing that they can turn into bedding

  6. Keep trash cans, firewood and any storage away from the structure

If you would like additional tips and advise on rodent proofing your home for the holidays, contact your local Clark Pest Control office, were just a call away and offer free inspections.

 

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

California Rats - Rats Gone Wild: Rodents Invade SoCal Homes

 

As temperatures rise, experts say more and more residents are discovering rat infestations in their homes.


Watch Lu Parker's Report
Source: KTLA.com

LOS ANGELES -- As the temperatures start to rise, so too do unwanted pests in and around your house. Residents of a number of Los Angeles neighborhoods are reporting rat infestations in their homes.

With the recent discovery of mice infected with hantavirus in Devore and Coyote Canyon near Fontana in San Bernardino County, officials are urging residents to avoid contact with any kind of rodent and to take precautions to reduce rodent populations.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends residents eliminate any available food sources by storing food and trash in rodent-proof containers, and frequently cleaning the containers with soap and water. Pet food and birdseed are favorite snacks of rodents. Pet food should not be left out, but removed after the pet has eaten. If you have rats or mice, you may want to remove any birdfeeders around your home as well.

Residents are also advised to trap any mice or rats they see, rather than using poison which can lead to unwanted odors and hidden carcasses. Be sure to seal up all entry holes and plug any gaps inside as well as outside your home with steel wool, metal lath or caulk.

Keep in mind that rodents can enter your home through holes as small as a quarter and can breed seven times a year. They typically invade cool spots in search of water. They can often be found in crawl spaces underneath homes and in attics, but can eventually migrate into other parts of your home with enough time and opportunity.

Click here to read the entire article

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Haiti Earth Quake - Terry Clark Recaps Their Final Day

 

Day 3 update - Sorry for the delay, Terry was recovering from the trip and an illness he had suffered.

Day 3 began with a presentation to Boucard Pest Control with plans to adopt a hospital. Using Boucard Pest Control as the labor source, the NPMA is funding this project and will visit from time to time as well as oversee the project.

Boucard Pest Control will receive supplies and equipment to assist in the effort.

After the presentation we drove to the Israeli Consulate's residence to evaluate termite damage, we found both West Indian dry Wood and Formosan termites.

The Consulate's home was severely damaged by the quake and was unoccupied due the structural damage.

The treatment method offered by Boucard novel, consisting of sticking a hose in the ceiling releasing methyl bromide into the ceiling void. we discussed complete fumigation of the structure, the operator did not have what was needed to completely fumigate the structure which was, tarps, clips and sand bags. We suggested sub-contracting to either the Dominican or the U.S.

termite

Sorry for the blurry shot of the Formosan termite, the soldier was very aggressive!

After the Consulate we met for lunch and then departed for the airport. Very few photos from day 3, I was rather burned out from the whole voyeur aspect.

9 of the 14 fell ill upon our return, all have recovered and 5 required hospitalization including myself. 

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

Clark Pest Control official from Lodi on a mission to help Haiti

 
 Terry ClarkTerry Clark, of Clark Pest Control, will be traveling to Haiti this week to offer ideas to help control that nation's rampant pest problem. Since the massive January earthquake, Haiti has been overrun by cockroaches and rats that are spreading disease. (Jordan Guinn/News-Sentinel)

 

By Jordan Guinn
News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 6:21 AM PDT

Rats are gorging themselves on corpses, cockroaches are crawling over the infirm and the Haitian government is asking for help.

Terry Clark of Clark Pest Control in Lodi is answering the Haitian government's call to help draw up a plan to deal with the nation's rampant pest problems after the massive January earthquake. The nation reached out to the National Pest Management Association, a non-profit dedicated to protecting public health, and some of its delegates. Haiti was ravaged by poverty long before the earthquakes struck. Since the January quake, the Third World country is in even worse shape. The World Health Organization reports that infectious and parasitic diseases account for 24 percent of registered deaths for children ages 5 to 9 years old.

"Since it sometimes rains in Haiti, it's a little better than Hell," Clark said.

The vice president of Clark Pest Control in Lodi is as ready as he can be for his trip. Having been vaccinated for Typhoid fever, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Hepatitis already, Clark joked that he was going to don a flea collar during his three-day excursion to the island country. He leaves Wednesday and returns to the United States on Friday.

The visit will focus on what hospitals and the numerous tent cities are doing to combat their fly, cockroach and rodent problems.

Clark and colleagues will set traps to help them estimate the populations of rats and cockroaches in problem areas. Whatever methods of pest control they adopt will have to be easy to put into practice and can't fully revolve around the use of toxic chemicals since the rainy season is set to begin soon. Toxic chemicals could wash away and make a bad situation worse, he said.

One way Clark intends to fight the outbreak of rats is through bucket traps filled with soapy water and sunflower seeds. The seeds lure the rats into the five-gallon buckets where they drown in the soapy water, Clark said.

Using the traps will help figure out where the population of rodents is the most concentrated and where the extermination efforts should be focused.

This week's mission is one of several planned by the National Pest Management Association to curb the pest population explosion and give Haitians the tools to handle the issue.

The task will be difficult, Clark said, because the overwhelming majority of the country is illiterate.

"We will have to train with diagrams and pictograms," he said. "Training will be critical."

The 12 members of the delegation have held conference calls and done preliminary research about what they are up against, Clark said, but he admitted that much of it is guesswork until they actually land and figure out what they are dealing with.

"I'm expecting the worst," he said.

Clark is wise to expect the worst, said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association.

"Everything going on right now is hearsay, but there are real examples of problems," she said. "The latrines so are infested with flies, residents are choosing not to use them and relieving themselves outside instead. That is adding insult to injury."

Although Clark and his constituents will be focusing on flies, rats and cockroaches, they must also be worried about mosquitos carrying Dengue fever, a virus spread by the insects. Dengue fever can cause a rash and the body's temperature to skyrocket to as high as 105 degrees.

If Clark is bitten by a mosquito carrying Dengue fever, he can pass it along to others when he returns stateside.

"If I'm bitten and then that mosquito bites someone else, they will contract Dengue fever," he said. "The Center for Disease Control said 100 percent of the mosquitos in Haiti are carrying it."

While the disease isn't deadly, Clark said he isn't taking any chances. He's brought extra mosquito nets and hopes everyone in his group does the same, because he isn't about to share.

Clark is taking every precaution to insure he returns safely.

He's bringing his own suture and syringe kit in case he is injured and can treat himself. The water in Haiti is largely undrinkable as well. To combat this, Clark is bringing his own and plans on wearing earplugs and chewing gum while showering to prevent water from accidentally entering his body.

While supportive, Clark said his both his wife and mother have reservations about the mission.

He and his wife are in the process of arranging a surrogacy and Clark said his doctor has concerns about his trip as well. Clark understands their worries but said this is something he has to do.

"What we do as an industry is protect people," he said. "This is a chance for us to put our money where our mouth is."

Clark will have a satellite phone on him and plans to blog about his experiences. To read his blog, visit blog.clarkpest.com.

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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