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Since 1921
 

The Demand for Pest Management Services Is on the Rise

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The need for professional pest management services continues to grow across the country and the West is no exception. In a recent national study conducted by the National Pest Management Association, 37% of homeowners in the U.S. used a pest management professional in the past year – a 4% increase from last year and more than double the number from 2001 (18%).

Homeowners living in the West, which includes Western Exterminator’s service areas of California, Arizona and Nevada, ranked second in the country when it came to calling for services with 44% of respondents indicating they contracted with a pest professional in the last year.

The area of the country that has homeowners’ most irritated and annoyed with unwanted pests in their home is the South. Half (50%) of homeowners in the region indicated they used a pest professional to eliminate termites, palmetto bugs, ants or a host of other pests from their living space. Homeowners in the Midwest (28%) and Northeast (23%) rounded out the survey.

What pests are habitually the most annoying, drawing the greatest ire of homeowners? While my long-time nemesis Menace Mouse tops the list of annoying pests in my book, the survey indicated that ants (58%) are the pests homeowners were calling about the most.  And, our experience at Western Exterminator agrees with the survey.  The #1 pest that consumers call us about is indeed ANTS!

Other pests earning spots on this not-so-popular list include:

  • Termites (42%)
  • Spiders (40%)
  • Cockroaches (32%)
  • Mosquitoes (31%)
  • Rodents (31%)
  • Ticks/Fleas (27%)
  • Stinging Insects (24%)

You know, just like in football, the best defense is a good offense.  If you are proactive in eliminating food sources, entry places, water sources and harborage areas from your property, you’ll greatly reduce the number of annoying pests that come near.

If you had a problem with pests and already called Western Exterminator, thank you, we appreciate your business. If you a currently experiencing a problem with any pest, me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com. I’ll be sure to get back to you right away with an answer or just some friendly advice.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day.

mrlittle_sig

Crawling Into Fun at the Spider Pavillion

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The ringtone on my iPhone (crickets – what else would you expect?) reminded me today that we are well into October and near my favorite holiday – Halloween.

And what insect is most often associated with this ghoulish, fiendish holiday? The answer is: SPIDERS!

Spiders are remarkable, fascinating creatures that are the perfect symbol for Halloween. In my decades of studying and observing insects, these arachnids have risen to the top of my list.

That’s why I am thrilled that Western Exterminator Company is once again sponsoring the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s Spider Pavilion that is currently on display until Sunday, November 2nd.

Visitors to the Spider Pavilion will have the opportunity to view and observe more than 300 species of spiders from around the world, all in their natural habitats.  You can experience what it’s like to be a giant wood spider (the largest orb weaving spider in the world that can spin a web 10 feet wide!) or a golden silk spider (one of North America’s largest).

You can go nose to nose, or nose to tarsal in this case (!), with your favorite spider or choose to observe them from a more comfortable distance. Either way, there is a lot to learn about these fascinating creatures whose web silk, in case you didn’t know, is actually stronger and tougher than steel is for its weight. Just try knocking a spider web down – they can really hold on to most any surface.

As you stroll through the Spider Pavilion, you can observe feeding demonstrations (Did you know spiders like to eat insects, including other spiders?) and have all your spider-related questions answered by one of the museum’s knowledgeable interpreters.

From jewel garden spiders to common orb weavers, the Spider Pavilion at the L.A. County Natural History Museum is not to be missed.

And while the spiders at the museum can be observed from a safe distance, we know that sometimes humans and spiders can get a little too up close and personal for comfort with each other to the chagrin or horror of both.

Although most spiders have no interest in humans, and they prefer to just stay hidden away, if you do come in contact with one it could cause serious injury (i.e., skin lesions or infection) from its bite. We can all greatly reduce the chance of surprise encounters by following my “Mr. Little’s Spider Prevention Tips.”

  • Remove and reduce trash and rubbish from your property, such as woodpiles and any un-used items that are rarely moved, where spiders are apt to hide.
  • To avoid spider bites when working in the yard or removing boxes from storage areas, wear a pair of heavy duty work gloves to give protection while reaching into areas where spiders might be resting.
  • Check boxes, packages and shoes (yes, shoes!) that are stored outside or even in your garage before opening them or putting the shoes on. Save your hand or your big toe an unpleasant encounter with a spider by double checking!
  • Regularly remove spider webs from eave areas and ceilings.  No point in making them feel too at home.

Special Note:  If you seek medical attention for what you think is a spider bite, make sure to nab the offending spider. Everyone reacts differently to insect bites, and just looking at the bite will not allow medical personnel to correctly identify the biter!

If you spot a spider lurking in your backyard or garage, approach with caution.  If you are concerned, I recommend you give us a call, or send me a picture, and we will help identify it for you. It may be nothing more than a nuisance spider, but I think we’d all rather be safe than sorry.

For a really fun approach to the spiders, and a great day of fun, I absolutely recommend exploring the cool world of spiders by making plans to visit the Spider Pavilion. You can get more information on hours and tickets by visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County website at:  www.nhm.org.  If you dare, you may even want to attend “Halloween at the Museum” on October 26th. Remember, the Spider Pavilion exhibit runs through Sunday, November 2nd, so hurry on over and don’t miss out on the fun of this spooktacular event!

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day!

mrlittle_sig

Back to School Tips From Mr. Little

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It’s back to school time for thousands of kids in Arizona, California and Nevada, and Mr. Little wants you to study hard, have fun with your friends and enjoy a pest-free school year.

Pests in schools have been around as long as chalk has been meeting blackboards. And it’s not just the K-12 schools either. Preschools, daycare centers, universities and colleges are all common breeding grounds for pests.

Nuisance pests are attracted to schools due to the abundance of food, water and shelter that is available. There are numerous places an insect or rodent can call home in a school environment starting with the cafeteria or college dining hall where meals can be served around the clock to hungry students.  Add to that classrooms and dorm rooms where students bring in their own food and it’s literally a self-service meal ready to eat for hungry rodents and insect pests.

With food being delivered, stored and prepared in kitchens, there is bound to be crumbs, spills, leftovers and garbage, giving ants, cockroaches, rodents and stored product pests a buffet of options. Student lockers, desks and dorm rooms are areas where pests can feed on a leftover granola bar or an open bag of Cheetos.

One particular pest which isn’t interested at all in the spilled food – bed bugs – is known to become an unwanted homework assignment for students and their families. Their highly mobile nature, small size and ability to hitch a ride home in a backpack, gym bag or in a student’s shoes, makes them a challenge to control.  Add to that the likelihood they can easily hide in a castoff couch or bed that looks like a good deal for a dorm room or apartment, and the start of school sounds more daunting than those mid-terms that are just around the corner.

Here are my Top Five Bed Bug and Pest PreventionTips to keep pests from enrolling in classes in your home, whether your student is a daily commuter or might be coming home for Thanksgiving:

  1. Regularly inspect student belongings – backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes, suitcases – for signs of bed bugs and other pests.
  2. If your child’s school has reported a bed bug infestation, consider storing all school related items in a sealed plastic bin in the garage.
  3. Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures.
  4. Remind your budding scholars not to leave food or snacks in backpacks, lockers or desks. An open package of chocolate chip cookies or a spilled soda is extra credit for mice, ants or cockroaches.
  5. Speaking of parasites, make sure students understand the risks involved in using their friends combs and brushes. Lice seem to come off vacation too when school starts and no one wants to start school meeting those tiny new friends.

For college students I suggest the following steps to give bed bugs and other pests a failing grade:

  • Before putting sheets on your dorm or apartment bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, the back side of the top mattress, and the box springs for telltale stains or spots.  In fact, a mattress cover especially made for sealing in bed bugs is recommended—just in case.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs.
  • Use storage containers or sealed plastic bags to store clothing and bedding. This will keep bed bugs and other pests from hitching a ride home for the weekend.
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs or other pests – mice for one – before bringing it into a dorm rooms or off-campus housing. Be leery of bringing into a dorm room that used couch that was ‘such a good deal.’  It could be a living science experiment for bed bugs, their eggs and other pests.

If you have questions on or experience any problem with pests trying to enroll in your home or visit your business, send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com.  I will get back to you with information on how to expel unwanted pests from your living environment, or will be happy to have you speak with one of our pest control experts about whatever is bugging you.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day!

mrlittle_sig

Milestone Accomplishments For Western Team Members

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The biggest and most critical component of the customer service equation is people. And at Western Exterminator we are very fortunate to have some of the best in the business working on our team.

How do we know this? It’s really quite simple – Western Exterminator can proudly say that once our technicians, inspectors, managers, customer service representatives, office staff, and sales representatives start wearing the green and yellow they really don’t want to leave!

More than 80 members of the Western family have been with the company for 25 years or longer. Twenty-five or more years seems like a long time but when you enjoy coming to work every day and are protecting customers’ homes and businesses pest-free, the days (and years) fly (excuse the pun!) by.

The dedication my colleagues have demonstrated is something few, if any, of our competitors can match. Being part of Western Exterminator is more than just showing up every day for work; it is about being part of culture that strives for excellence and innovation when it comes to solving customers’ pest problems.

From our highly trained and knowledgeable commercial and residential Service Technicians and Inspectors to our team of certified entomologists, sanitarians and a registered environmental health specialist, Western Exterminator is in a position to provide solutions to any pest problem our commercial or residential customers may encounter.

We leave no stone, garbage can or dumpster, couch cushion or commercial freezer unturned in search of pests. And when we find ants, bed bugs, cockroaches or rodents we get rid of them for good.

For our team members who have reached these impressive milestones in 2014, on behalf of the entire Western family I want to say thank you and congratulations to each of you.

 

45 Years

Wally Oslund – Sales/Service Technician (San Fernando Valley)

 

35 Years

Randy Bergman – Operations Manager (Los Angeles)

Earl Cole – San Diego District Manager

Brian Edey – Sales/Service Technician (Riverside)

Edna “Toots” Fisher – Accounting Manager

Glenn Green – Central Regional Director

Michael Katz – President

Brian Krutil – Sales/Service Technician (Los Angeles)

Doug Schmidt – Sales/Service Technician (San Gabriel Valley)

Clyde Seals – Sales/Service Technician (Los Angeles)

Gomez Stevenson – Sales/Service Technician (Los Angeles)

Tom Thole – Sales/Service Technician (Sacramento)

 

30 Years

Sandra Quintana – Los Angeles District Manager

Lillian Sandoval – Customer Service Rep (Lennox)

Keith Willingham – Vice President Training & Technical Division

 

25 Years

Edith Alson – Human Resources Manager   

Rocio Diaz – Sales/Service Technician (Orange County)

Ron Quintana – Service Center Manager (Chino)

Gloria Reyes – Customer Service Administrator (Palm Springs)

Mark Stackhouse – Orange County District Manager

Olga Thompson – Customer Service Administrator (San Fernando Valley)

Ned Tursky – Sales/Service Technician (Riverside)

 

Congratulations to you all!  We are so proud you are a part of our Western Family.

If you have questions on or are experiencing a problem with pests in your home or business, our experienced team can help.  Please send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com.  I will get back to you with information on how to keep your living or work space pest-free.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day!

mrlittle_sig

 

The Buzz on Carpenter Bees

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When most people hear the words stinging insects they think of honeybees, yellow jackets or wasps, and the threat of being stung by one of these sometimes ornery pests. There is, however, a stinging insect whose appearance and sound is much more frightening but is actually more of a threat to the wood railings, posts and wood siding on the exterior of your home than it is to you.

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Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees and when seen up close appear to be HUGE, but actually they are usually only 5/8 to 1 inch in length.  They are shiny black with metallic blue reflections and while their appearance is intimidating only the female carpenter bee can sting and will only do so if provoked.

 

carpenterbee3Carpenter bees do not live in hives, but build their individual nests in wood.  This nest building can weaken the structural integrity of wood, as well as leave unsightly holes and stains on a structure’s surfaces. Their entry holes could earn the praise of a skilled finish carpenter since they are perfectly round, with a drill like appearance.

Female carpenter bees bore into healthy wood to establish their nests but they will also attack dead wood on trees or lumber from southern yellow pine, white pine, California redwood, cedar, Douglas fir, cypress, mimosa, mulberry, ash, and pecan trees. In most instances they avoid hardwoods.

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A carpenter bee’s nest usually consists of ½ inch diameter tunnels that extend 6 to 10 inches into the wood and includes multiple chambers. These skilled excavators will expand their tunnels and have been known to burrow as far as 10 feet into wood timbers! With those skills I sometimes wonder if they have an engineering degree!

They mate and lay eggs in the spring and new adults emerge in late summer to feed on nectar and pollen, and then overwinter, often in old tunnels that they have stocked with pollen.

carpenter bee According to the Agriculture and Natural Resources service at the University of California, carpenter bees are generally considered beneficial insects because they help pollinate various crop and non-crop plants. But how do you keep these noisy insects from boring into the wood around your home?

You can follow my Five Tips for Controlling Carpenter Bees to make the wood around your home less attractive to infestation:

CARPENTER BEE_clpd1.) When possible use hardwoods for exterior construction of posts, siding, etc.; Carpenter bees will not normally bore into hardwoods.

2.) Fill depressions and cracks in wood surfaces with caulk or suitable material to make them less attractive to carpenter bees.

3.) Paint or varnish exposed surfaces regularly to reduce weathering and make it less prone to attack.

4.) Fill in unoccupied entry holes with steel wool and caulk to prevent their reuse. Do this after the bees have emerged in late summer and while they are getting ready to hibernate for the winter. Once filled, paint or varnish the repaired surfaces.

5.) Protect exposed rough wood areas, such as ends of timbers, with wire screening or metal flashing.

If the carpenter bee infestation is significant or is posing a serious threat to the structural integrity of the wood I recommend that you call a pest management professional – stinging insects of any kind are nothing to mess with.

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One of my Western Exterminator highly-trained service technicians can inspect your home and provide you with a report of findings. If treatment is required, we will also provide you with recommendations and design a customized program to treat the tunnels and seal up the holes to prevent future infestations.

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Do you have questions about carpenter bees, or any other structural pest? If so, I want to hear from you. You can send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com. I’ll be sure to get back to you right away with more information.

 

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®.”

Have a pest free day.

mrlittle_sig

Scratch That Flea Itch Right Out of Your House

southern_house_mosquitoWhile swatting away mosquitoes is an inconvenience, these flying nuisances can pose serious health threats to both humans and animals. Mosquitoes – both the northern and southern house breeds – can spread West Nile virus, dengue fever, eastern equine encephalitis and dog heartworm, and that’s just for starters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 48 states reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. In those states there were a total of 2,469 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 119 deaths.

Despite the glorious weather and the lack of screened in porches that dot yards in the Midwest, Southwest and East Coast, the West still has issues with mosquitoes.  In California there were 379 reported cases – the second highest number of reported cases in the country – and unfortunately 15 deaths linked to West Nile virus.  County vector control departments do a great job controlling mosquito populations, but short of eradication there are things we as consumers can do to thwart these little pesky pests.

Recently, my good friend Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association was a guest on NBC’s Today Show talking about the threat mosquitoes pose and how to protect your family.   Both Missy and I recommend the following personal protection steps you can take to keep mosquitoes at bay:

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET or eucalyptus oil.
  • Use citronella candles on the patio.
  • Since mosquitoes are not good flyers, install a ceiling or box fan to literally blow mosquitoes away from your deck or patio.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and pants, including specially treated mosquito repellant clothing.

But more importantly, how can you prevent mosquitoes from becoming a nuisance in the first place?

The key is to eliminate any standing water (over a tablespoon is too much) on your property because water is prime real estate for mosquitoes. Standing water can gather due to over irrigation, broken sprinkler heads, clogged gutters, ornamental ponds, swimming pools, bird baths, trash cans and flower pots. Such casual puddles are important breeding places for these annoying and sometimes very serious disease vectors.

Adult mosquitoes usually take blood from birds but to our misfortune are also happy feeding from unsuspecting humans. It is the female mosquito you really have to watch out for as she is active from dusk to dawn in search of a tasty blood meal.  Mosquitoes even try and enter homes and businesses in the fall as temperatures drop, looking for a place to settle in over the winter months.  Given the opportunity, most mosquito targets (that would be humans in general) can’t tell the difference between a male and female mosquito, so it’s best to stay clear of them all.

As I mentioned, if there is standing water present on your property for any length of time, mosquitoes are likely to try and move in and develop a new mosquito nursery.

To prevent mosquitoes from invading your turf, follow Mr. Little’s Top 10 Mosquito Prevention Tips:

  1. Dispose of unwanted or unused artificial containers and properly dispose of old tires.
  2. If possible, drill drainage holes, cover, or invert any container or object that holds standing water that must remain outdoors. Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or buildings.
  3. Clean clogged rain gutters and storm drains. Keep outdoor drains flowing freely and clear of leaves, vegetation, and other debris.
  4. Aerate ornamental ponds to avoid letting water stagnate.
  5. Change water in birdbaths, fountains, and animal troughs at least once per week.
  6. Ensure rain and/or irrigation water does not stand in plant containers, trash cans, boats, covers, or other containers on commercial or residential properties.
  7. Regularly chlorinate swimming pools and keep pumps and filters operating.
  8. Unused or unwanted pools should be kept empty and dry.
  9. Minimize sites mosquitoes can use for refuge (harborage) by thinning branches, trimming and pruning ornamental shrubs and bushes, and keeping grass mowed short.
  10. Control plant growth in ponds, ditches, and shallow wetlands.

 

Have a question about mosquitoes? If so, send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com and I’ll get back to you right away with the information you are looking for.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day.

mrlittle_sig

 

Pests and Allergens: An Un-Dynamic Duo

In a recent survey of allergists from across the United States, 97% of respondents said they believe a pest-free home is an important step in preventing asthma and allergy symptoms.

The survey, conducted jointly by the National Pest Management Association and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, revealed that aside from dust mites, cockroaches are the most problematic household pest for patients suffering from asthma or allergies. Rounding out the top three allergy-inflaming pests are rodents and stinging insects.

First reported back in the 1940s, cockroach allergies are most common in urban areas. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates 23% to 60% of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to the cockroach allergen.

Cockroaches are one of the oldest and most adaptable pests pest professionals are asked to eliminate from homes and businesses. Consumers in California, Arizona and Nevada are most likely to encounter the German cockroach but the American and Oriental cockroaches are also arch nemeses.

These disease carrying pests can be found both inside (German) and outside (American and Oriental) structures and thrive when they have access to food, water and secure harborage spots.

A cockroach’s food tastes can be described accurately in one word – all-encompassing. Cockroaches eat just about anything including decaying matter such as food, garbage, feces and the like. They also enjoy strength in numbers; did you know a female German cockroach and her offspring can produce over 30,000 little cockroaches in one year.  So, the sighting of one cockroach is nothing to sneeze at!

The allergens these filthy pests leave behind in homes linger in the air or settle in house dust. They become airborne when the air is stirred up by movement like children playing or running through the house.

Diagnosing to determine if a person with persistent asthma is allergic to cockroach allergens can only be made by a skin test. A doctor will scratch or prick the skin with cockroach extract and if redness, an itchy rash or swelling appear, then it is likely the person is allergic to cockroaches.

Western Exterminator has years of experience effectively eliminating cockroaches from homes and businesses. Based on our work in the trenches, I offer you Mr. Little’s Eight Simple Steps to Eliminating Cockroaches from your kitchen cupboards, laundry room or pantry:

  1. Cockroaches can sneak in with paper products, packaging and used appliances. Inspect bags or boxes of groceries brought into your home or shipments brought into your business.
  2. Regularly vacuum or sweep areas that might attract cockroaches.
  3. Seal cracks and openings around or inside cabinets.
  4. Store food in sealed containers. Never leave food, crumbs or trash uncovered anywhere.
  5. Clean up any food debris or spills right away; do not allow them to sit overnight; do not leave uneaten pet food out overnight.
  6. If you must leave dirty dishes, put them in the sink and cover them with soapy water.
  7. Use trash cans with tight fitting lids. Avoid placing trash under the sink. Empty trash cans often. Put garbage in sealed containers.
  8. Fix leaky faucets and drains.

 

Do you have questions about eliminating cockroaches in your home or business, or concerns about any other pest related suject? If so, I want to hear them. You can send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com. I’ll be sure to get back to you right away with an answer.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day!

mrlittle_sig

Take A Bite Out of Termites

Did you know that you can only see 25% to 35% of the interior of your home that the most damaging of residential pests – the termite – might find just delicious?

Like many of their pest brethren, termites and wood destroying pests (wood borers, carpenter ants and carpenter bees) are opportunists that look to take advantage and gain access to that other 65% in a structure where they can hide and begin their destructive antics.

Having your home inspected annually for termites and other wood destroying organisms by a trained professional who knows where to look and what to look for is the peace of mind you deserve and is the best way to combat these voracious little pests.

Experienced termite inspectors focus their expert eyes on the most vulnerable areas of a structure and can recognize signs of termite presence such as blistering or weakness in wood, frass (termite droppings) from hidden termite galleries or termite wings near light fixtures or window sills.  They also know how to spot what are called “conducive conditions” – conditions that, when present, can invite termites in for a feast.

With 40% of subterranean termite infestations originating at utility entrances through slabs, and settlement and expansion cracks in the slab, our inspectors will start at the foundation and work their way up examining every crack, crevice and potential termite entry point.

When the weather is right, usually in late summer, drywood termites colonies will split, and winged reproductives will ‘swarm’ to find a new place to start a colony. Often they will start their buffet of your home on a window sill or through a gap that leads to the attic or a patio post.  Depending on the weather over the next year, drywood termites will move to various parts of the structure, eating away the wood members as they travel to the areas that are most comfortable and tasty to them.

When inspectors identify the presence of termites or wood destroying pests and organisms in your home they will first determine the source of the infestation and then provide you with treatment recommendations. They will also make recommendations for any necessary repair work for damage as a result of the infestation, and finally point out ways you can change conditions so that termites aren’t as likely to reappear.

Protecting Your House

Homeowners can also join the fight against destructive termites and other wood destroying pests by following my “Mr. Little’s 11 Tips for Taking a Bite out of Termites:”

  1. Keep shower pans free of leaks and all plumbing in good repair – termites are attracted to moisture.
  2. Routinely fill in any cracks in your masonry or concrete; make sure there are no entry points to your attic.
  3. When watering your lawn, don’t sprinkle stucco or wood siding causing excessive moisture conditions.
  4. Keep your gutters and downspouts in good repair and clean. Wet leaves provide moisture and food.
  5. Keep foundation air vents fully exposed; don’t let them become overgrown with shrubbery so that subareas are fully ventilated.
  6. Avoid moisture accumulation around the foundation of your home.
  7. Remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., if they were left in place after the building was constructed. Also, don’t store firewood on the ground next to the house.  These are great food sources for termite colonies.
  8. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
  9. Eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
  10. Avoid planting trees too close to the house. Trim trees and shrubs when necessary. Keep them from touching your house since it provides an easy pathway for termites.
  11. Keep the exterior of your home well painted and in good repair. A good coat of paint acts as an excellent line of defense and works as a barrier from drywood termites.

Enjoy your home, but make sure that termites aren’t munching away while you’re sleeping.  They do eat 24/7 you know!  Get a professional inspection today.  Do you have questions or concerns about termites or other wood destroying organisms? If so, I want to hear from you. You can send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com. I’ll be sure to get back to you right away with an answer.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day.

mrlittle_sig

Honoring Those Who Serve

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As Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, I urge you to take a moment to remember that freedom is not free.

On behalf of our Western Exterminator team I’d like to offer a special tip of my Top Hat Salute to all of those who have served our great nation and given the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take them for granted nor the freedoms they so heroically defended; let’s fly our flag proudly in their honor.

Over the years Western Exterminator’s ranks have been filled by men and women that have nobly worn the uniform on behalf of their country.

When our founder, Carl Strom, arrived in the United States from Sweden in 1914, he passed through Ellis Island and was offered a deal familiar to many immigrants of the World War I era: U.S. citizenship in exchange for service as an American soldier.  He accepted, and was immediately shipped back to Europe.

Strom served his time on the battlefields of France and Germany, returned to the states and headed West. He stopped briefly in Ohio working for a tire manufacturer, and then decided that his true destiny lay further west – in Los Angeles. 

He arrived in L.A. with little money, only one pair of shoes and no contacts; he luckily secured a job with Darby Pest Control. He was soon driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and the American dream to create his own successful business based on one pivotal paradigm—quality service at a fair price.  He set up shop with a desk, phone, a shared office, $25 in chemicals and with that simple but powerful principal he created Western Exterminator Company in 1921. He was 25 years old.

Strom came to the United States because he sought what many before and after him have—the freedom to be who he wanted to be.  He believed in the American dream—that hard work could give you the life you sought, and that the circumstances of your birth, your gender, your race or your religion just didn’t matter.  No matter our political beliefs, it is these freedoms promised in the Declaration of Independence that have caused hundreds of thousands of dedicated men and women to fight for the freedoms we all enjoy today.

What is a proper thank you for these honorable men and women? It could be simply saying “thank you for your service” whenever you come across a member of our military or a Veteran. It could be picking up the tab for a military member’s meal or groceries or it could be stopping by a retirement home to spend time playing cards or talking with a Veteran.

No matter the size or amount of the gesture, never taking those freedoms or the sacrifices made for them for granted is something we all need to remember on this Memorial Day and always.

In honor of the memory and service of all our soldiers, I encourage you to support any of the many opportunities we have to give back to these very brave men and women. (Just be careful and check out the organization to make sure the lion’s share of your donation actually goes to helping the Veterans.) There are numerous military and veteran-oriented charities to which you can donate time and services and we have listed just a few of the most highly regarded:

www.woundedwarriorproject.org  

www.uso.org

www.militaryfamily.org

www.fisherhouse.org

www.fallenheroesfund.org

www.semperfifund.org

www.operationhomefront.net

www.homesforourtroops.org

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

 

Have a pest free Memorial Day, and a heartfelt “thank you” to our troops!

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Join A Colony Of Insect Aficionados At Bug Fair 2014

 

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Did you know there are more than 15,000 known ant species around the world with more than 680 species calling California, Arizona and Nevada home? Did you know some ants can lift and carry up to 100 times their own weight? Did you know most ant communities are headed by a queen, whose sole function is to lay thousands of eggs to ensure survival of the colony?

These are just a few of the fascinating facts visitors will learn about ants when they attend the 2014 Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s Bug Fair.

Scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th, Bug Fair 2014 celebrates the “Year of the Ant,” and visitors can explore every aspect of their fascinating world, as well as the world of hundreds of other flying and crawling insects including live pet tarantulas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, butterflies, and the list goes on and on.

Western Exterminator is proud to once again partner with the L.A. County Natural History Museum to let visitors get up-close and personal with ants and all things ‘bugs.’  You’d be surprised at the whole range of fascinating insects who share our environment.

Western has been sponsoring the Bug Fair for over 20 years, and we look forward to the event as much as the over 20,000 visitors who attend annually!  Bug Fair traditionally attracts more visitors than any other event at the NHM.  And no wonder.  What’s not to like when it comes to the world of bugs?

The Bug Fair, North America’s largest insect festival, offers insect devotees (like me!) as well as the casual insect observers an ant colony-size (and that’s really big) load of information and activities that are sure to entertain and inform.

~~~~~~~~~~ The “trail” for this year’s Bug Fair includes the following highlights ~~~~~~~~~~

Insect Chef Cooking Demonstrations: 11 a.m./12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m.

Presenting…David George Gordon, Zack Lemann, & David Gracer

Did you know bugs are a nutritional snack? Come get your protein fill in the OBP, where there will be four insect chefs on hand to whip up some bug delicacies for the adventurous snacker!

Antsy Activities: Visit The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Discovery Center for hands-on activities that include piecing together a buggy friend and joining the Museum ant colony. Also craft your own seed balls with local flower seeds and build a habitat bugs can call home.

Insect Meet & Greets: 10:30 a.m. / 3 p.m. Meet a six or eight legged animal!

nhm_bug_fair_2012     Girl with Cockroach (Small)

Insect Encounters: 10 a.m. / 11 a.m. / 2 p.m. / 3 p.m. While the dinosaurs are away the bugs will play! Join talented Museum performers as they delight you with six and eight legged antics. Butterfly stilt walkers, cockroaches, and bees will emerge throughout the day.

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Citizen Science Monarch Butterfly and Caterpillar Hunt: 11 a.m. Learn how to participate in some buggy citizen science! Meet in the Garden at the bottom steps off the rotunda.

A Labrador Retriever that Smells Bed Bugs?  11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet “Honey”, Western Exterminator’s certified canine bed-bug inspector!  Stop by Western’s booth to see Honey and learn about her unique job finding bed bugs.

Toy Theater: 11:30 a.m. / 2:30 p.m. / 3:30 p.m. Bug out with performing artists at the Garden’s observation deck for a variety of insect themed theatrics!

Bugs of L.A. Tours: 1 p.m. / 4 p.m. Join the hunt for an up-close look at some of our L.A. bug neighbors! Tours begin at the Get Dirty Zone. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.

Citizen Science School of Ants Project: 3 p.m. Learn how to participate in some buggy citizen science! Meet in the Garden at the bottom steps off the rotunda.                    

Make plans to stop by the museum this weekend from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and join in the fun. For more information on the Bug Fair visit www.nhm.org. Bug Fair and other programming (excluding the Butterfly Pavilion) are included with regular Museum admission.  Western Exterminator Company customers who bring in a copy of their May bill will receive discounted admission.

Have a question about Bug Fair, ants or any kind of bugs? I’d like to hear it. Send me an e-mail at AskMrLittle@WesternExterminator.com. I’ll get back to you right away with more information.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day and see you at the Bug Fair!

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