Falling Temperatures Draw Wild Animals In And Around Homes

Squirrels, raccoons, skunks and opossums are more apt to wander closer to human environments in search of food, water and shelter during the colder months. As these and other wild animals pose various health and property risks, Sureguard Termite and Pest Services encourages homeowners to take steps to prevent an intrusion this fall.


We typically receive an increased amount of calls this time of year in regards to woodland critters cavorting in and around our customers’ homes, especially those located near parks, golf courses, creeks and heavily forested area. The presence of wild animals can be quite problematic for homeowners, as they are known to damage plants and greenery in yards, spread diseases like rabies and carry other dangerous pests, including fleas and ticks, into the home.


Sureguard Termite and Pest Services offer the following prevention tips for homeowners to ensure wildlife stays in the wild as the season changes:


  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys.
  • Cover exhaust fan openings, soffit and attic vents, and tops of window wells.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree limbs cut back 6 to 8 feet from the roofline and store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Keep garbage in a secure container that cannot be opened by raccoons.
  • Place birdbaths where wildlife cannot reach them or provide birds with water away from the home. Birdbaths, fountains or pet water dishes may draw wildlife pests, especially where water is scarce.
  • Do not leave brush, leaf piles or other debris to accumulate.


Some wildlife may be seen as cute and cuddly, but the public should not attempt to remove any wild animals on their own. It’s best to contact your local pest control professional for assistance.

Why Do Termite Queens Live Ten Times Longer Than Their Offspring?

Why Do Termite Queens Live Ten Times Longer Than Their Offspring?


Most insects do not live long lives, but queens belonging to groups of social insects live significantly longer lives than their offspring. Queens belonging to wasp, bee and ant colonies all live for longer periods of time than other colony members. Of all the social insects that exist, termite colonies possess the most impressive queens. Termite queens amaze people on account of their large bodies and their incredibly long lifespans. For example, queens belonging to the Macrotermes natalensis species can grow up to a full six inches in length, which dwarfs their tiny offspring. Termite queens can also lay up to seven thousand eggs per day and they can live as long as fifty years. Researchers have long wondered how termite queens can live for unusually long amounts of time. Now recent research is showing that queen termites age more gracefully than other termites thanks to antioxidants.


Japanese researchers have recently discovered that termite queens possess a unique antioxidant system that enables them to live much longer than non-reproductive termites. For the experiment the researchers compared Japanese termite queens to workers. The researchers examined levels of oxidative damage and they analyzed enzyme expression in order to find anti-aging mechanisms in queen termites. The researchers found that termite queens had less oxidative damage to their DNA, proteins and lipids when compared to workers. The researchers also found that termite queens and workers both possessed antioxidant-producing genes, but queens showed higher expression-levels for these genes. These two genes produce important antioxidative enzymes that are known as catalase and peroxiredoxin. These enzymes were more active in queen termites than workers, which helps explain the queen’s longevity. The researchers learned that queen termites possess efficient antioxidative systems that make use of enzymes that prevent oxidative damage to cells. Worker termites did not produce nearly as much of these antioxidative enzymes. These enzymes act as anti-aging mechanisms that are are expressed more frequently in queen termites than they are in worker termites.


Why do you think that king termites live much shorter lives than queen termites?

Public School Teachers Are Protesting Their School’s Bed Bug-Infested Conditions

Public School Teachers Are Protesting Their School’s Bed Bug-Infested Conditions


If you are in your adult years now, then you may not have had to worry about bed bugs in your school as a child. Sadly, bed bugs have become so numerous in the world that they are beginning to make appearances within schools. Just during the past two months, several stories have been released in the media that describe bed bug infestations within American public schools. Some of these bed bug infestations are not being handled properly by school administrative authorities. At least this is what several teachers and staff members at a public school in Buffalo, New York are claiming. In response to the administration’s failure to respond appropriately to the presence of bed bugs within a school, several teachers have band together in order to file a grievance against the school district’s leadership.


At the moment numerous parents in Buffalo are worried that their children are going to bring bed bugs home with them from school. Bed bugs have been spotted multiple times within the public school, which is being referred to as school number thirty seven. According to the Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore, school employees, students and parents are all hoping that the school district will decide to professionally monitor and control the bed bug situation in the school so that teachers and students do not have to go to school worrying about bed bugs.


The school district sent letters to the student’s parents that describe the bed bug issue within the school. Pest control professionals have also visited the school. These professionals believe that the bed bugs were brought into the school by an individual. Students are worried about bed bug bites, and teachers are worried about both bed bugs and angry parents. The school district has claimed that if a student brings termites to their family’s home from school, then the school district will direct the affected families to the proper resources–that is big of them.


Would you allow your kid to attend school if you knew that the school was infested with bed bugs?







A Surprise Cockroach Sighting Causes A Crash

A Surprise Cockroach Sighting Causes A Man To Crash His Car


Hiring a pest control professional to inspect a home for insect infestations is a normal and everyday occurrence, but how often do people suspect insects of infesting their vehicles? Although it may seem out of the ordinary to discover large insects in your car, many people have reported finding insects in their car while driving. If you have a fear of insects or spiders, then you can understand how finding a bug in your car could be potentially hazardous. In fact, many people have caused accidents after discovering creepy-crawlies within their vehicles. Recently a sixty one year old woman crashed her car into an overhead bridge after becoming startled by an ugly bug that she found within her vehicle.


A female senior citizen crashed her red Mazda into a staircase that led to a road-bridge after panicking over a cockroach that she spotted in her car. Pictures of the crash have been posted to social media sites for all the world to see. The pictures show a car that has been badly damaged by making contact with the base of a concrete stairwell. Luckily, there were no pedestrians located on the staircase at the time of the crash. The woman was alone in her car at the time of the accident, but her son soon arrived on the scene to offer his shaken mother support.


Although it may seem obvious, a private driving instructor, Patrick Ong, recommends staying calm when pests are located in your vehicle while it is in motion. According to experts, the best way to prevent insects from gaining access to your car is to never eat in a car. Cleaning your vehicle regularly will nearly guarantee a lack of bugs in your car. Inspecting grocery bags for bugs is also recommended before placing them into your car, as insects often hitch rides from food-markets into cars. Cockroaches are easily the most common insects to invade vehicles. If roaches are spotted in your car during the daytime hours, then you can assume that your car is heavily infested with roaches that come out to eat during the night.


Have you ever spotted a cockroach in your car either when it was parked or while it was in motion?



Termites Panic When Ants Invade Their Nests, Unless The Invading Ants Bring Alcohol

Termites Panic When Ants Invade Their Nests, Unless The Invading Ants Bring Alcohol


Ants and termites do not get along well. Some ant species spend much of their time going to war with termites. These ant species will travel and wreak havoc from termite nest to termite nest. When a few termites in a colony can sense an impending invasion, an alarm cue is sent to the rest of the colony. Once every soldier and worker termite within a colony receives these alarm cues, the termites will mobilize within their nests in order to prepare for the coming ant attack. Once ants gain access to a termite nest, a massacre normally ensues. In these cases ants are almost always the winners. Although most termites would freak-out if they sensed enemy ants within their nests. One particular group of termite-hunting ants does not seem to bother termites, even after the ants gain access to their nests. It is rare for a termite colony to remain calm when ants begin to invade their nests. Why would termites remain calm when their ant enemies gain access to their nests? To put it simply, the termites are fooled by a “non-visual” sort of camouflage used by aggressive ants.


The ant species known as Decamorium velense is one example of an ant species that invades termite nests undisturbed as a result of their unique form of camouflage. The Decamorium velense species, and many other ant species, eventually invade termite nests by first sending out a scout to locate termite nests that are well suited for invasions. Once the scout locates a nest, it signals around thirty other ants in order to begin an invasion. Once this occurs the nesting termites do not seem off-put by their new ant roommates. However, the ants quickly start to immobilize their termite pray without drawing the attention of other nesting termites. It turns out that this species of ant secretes aliphatic ketones and aldehydes (alcohol). The first listed substance sends termites into a panic, but the second substance, which is basically alcohol, does not. The scent of alcohol obscures the ketone secretions, therefore termites only smell the alcohol, which is why they do not panic. Later studies showed that any type of ant that secretes alcohol may go unnoticed by their termite prey.


Do you think that ants developed the ability to secrete alcohol solely to remain unnoticed by their termite?



How Are Termites Different From Other Social Insects?

How Are Termites Different From Other Social Insects?


Although termites are social insects like bees, ants, and wasps, termites are not closely related to other social insects. All insects that live in social groups belong to the insect order known as Hymenoptera, except for termites. The Hymenoptera order includes bees and ants, but termites belong to an order all their own. This order is referred to as Isoptera. Surprisingly, termites are more closely related to cockroaches than any type of social insect. The social order of termites appeared on earth long before other forms of social insects. Although termites are not closely related to other social insects, there are still many similarities between Hymenoptera and Isoptera insects.


Unlike termites, social insects such as bees, ants and wasps hatch from eggs as larva before going through a sudden metamorphosis that is similar to how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. This metamorphosis brings bees, ants and wasps into full adulthood in just one step. Termite metamorphosis is more gradual, and is similar to the development of roaches, grasshoppers and many other insects. Termites pass through developmental stages by moulting. With each moult, a termite’s exoskeleton is discarded and a new stage of maturation is reached. However, termites are unique in that workers and soldiers do not moult beyond the juvenile stage. This is why termite workers and soldiers lack sexual organs as well as eyes. Eye development among individual termites can vary somewhat, but eyesight is, at the very least, weak. This lack of eyesight makes sense given the darkness of termite habitats. Termites do not require eyesight to function. Sexual organs are not needed since workers and soldiers do not exist for fulfilling reproductive duties.


Termites are also the only social insects that have kings in their colonies. Other social insects like bees, ants and wasps live in colonies that contain only a queen. These queens mate only once and store sperm for the duration of their lives. Termite bodies are also notably less durable than the bodies of other social insects. This may be due to the protection that termite mounds and underground nests offer termites. Other social insects live in nests that are not as well protected against predators. Beehives, for example, are well exposed to predators, which means individual bees must have durable bodies for defending themselves against predatory attacks. The stunted growth of termites makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint.


Have you ever heard of a social species of insect that was not a termite, bee, ant or wasp?

Villagers Bless The Ground To Keep Termites Away From A Newly Constructed Hospital

Villagers Bless The Ground To Keep Termites Away From A Newly Constructed Hospital


The world is full of superstitions, most of which may seem pretty silly. However, when it comes to the people living in the village of Tabernacle on the island of St. Kitts, a bit of superstition can bring a lot of comfort. For the past several years, the people of Tabernacle have not had access to a medical care facility. This lack of medical care resulted from a widespread termite infestation that was never treated in the village’s last hospital. The termite infestation eventually rendered the previous hospital uninhabitable. The termites destroyed so much of the last hospital that at one point the basement served as the only functioning part of the hospital. Obviously the basement was not adequate for the town’s population size. The basement did not last for long, as the entire structure was quickly demolished. For years the population of Tabernacle survived without access to medical care.


Recently the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis decided to fund the rebuilding of a medical center in Tabernacle. Understandably, the residents of Tabernacle became ecstatic when they realized a new medical center was going to be built in their town. In fact, a ground-blessing ceremony was held at the site of the new medical center. Many superstitious residents are blessing the ground with the hopes that the blessing will keep subterranean termites away from the soil that will soon lie beneath the new medical center. The blessing-ceremony included a large amount of participants despite the fact that the soil had already been treated heavily with insecticides. A vast area of soil at the construction site was treated with a large amount of insecticide solution that is specifically designed to kill subterranean termites.


The new medical center being built in Tabernacle is not a small-scale construction effort. The new medical center will cost nearly two and a half million dollars. The new medical center will include a daycare, exercise facilities, environmental health services, and of course, human healthcare service. This new hospital will provide relief for those suffering from terminal diseases, and children can finally be administered immunization shots. China’s Government donated one million US dollars to the construction project.


Do you think that termites will infest the new hospital after the ground insecticides wear-off?



Is America The Only Country That Struggles To Prevent Lyme Disease Infections?

Is America The Only Country That Struggles To Prevent Lyme Disease Infections?


Tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases are both considered vector-borne diseases. Seventeen percent of all infectious diseases in the world are vector-borne diseases. More than one million victims of vector-borne diseases die annually. Here in America, lyme disease has become the most common vector-borne disease. The increasing rate of lyme infections in America is a major public health concern. Although ticks may be more of a problem in the United States than anywhere else, ticks spread lyme and other diseases in many different countries. In some African countries, tick-borne diseases are currently regarded as serious public health threats.


The very first outbreak of lyme disease occurred in the US state of Connecticut back in 1975. Since then outbreaks of lyme have occured in nearly all regions within Europe. Lyme disease is also considered a public health nuisance in certain rural regions of Asia. Lyme disease is currently the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. However, lyme disease is certainly not the only tick-borne disease that has spread among large populations.


Many regions of Africa also experience tick-related public health scares. In these regions lyme disease is not the tick-borne disease to be feared; instead there is Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever. This tick-borne disease is currently causing unrest among many African people. For example, since August of 2017 several citizens of Uganda have sought treatment for Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever. Unfortunately, Uganda’s health minister is attempting to hide the country’s current struggle with tick-borne disease outbreaks. The health minister is asking the public to ignore the many news reports that are describing the full scope of the epidemic.


Despite the effort to hide the country’s struggle with tick-borne diseases, some victims are receiving the treatment they need. So far four confirmed cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever have been reported in Uganda. But, there are likely many more undocumented victims within the country. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever has infected people living in Europe and Asia as well. People living in north Africa also have to worry about another tick-borne disease known as “relapsing fever”. This illness is caused by the same bacteria that causes lyme disease. Despite the fact that neither relapsing fever nor Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever have vaccines, they can both be treated. Relapsing fever rarely causes fatalities, and basic antibiotics can speed up recovery.


Have you ever heard of relapsing fever before? Do you think that a vaccine for Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever will be developed soon?

Winter Season Still Poses Pest Infestation Risks | Pest Exclusion Services

Although some pests like mosquitoes seem to be out of sight in most areas of the country now that the weather is too cool, there are still many pests looking to get into your this time of year, such as rodents House mice can carry harmful diseases like Hantavirus and rats can cause property damage by gnawing their way indoors, ruining wiring and insulation.”


Winter is also a prime time for moisture problems to become established. Ice dams, clogged gutters and wear and tear on the home from wet, blustery conditions can create vulnerabilities in the home that can draw pests in.


To help homeowners protect against a winter pest invasion, Sureguard Termite and Pest Services recommends the following prevention tips from the Sureguard:


  • Look for missing roof shingles, ripped window screens and clogged gutters, all of which are entry points for pests.
  • Seal cracks and holes including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Vacuum around doors and windows. Frequent vacuuming can catch invaders like spiders, silverfish, earwigs and beetles.
  • Inspect garages and outbuildings for rodents or signs of a rodent infestation. Organize cluttered debris, boxes and random items along the walls where mice may hide or nest.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and brush it off before bringing it indoors.

Several Houses Will Have To Be Demolished Due To Extensive Termite Damages

Several Houses Will Have To Be Demolished Due To Extensive Termite Damages


Living in a home that is infested with bed bugs would be terrible. However, unlike termites, a bed bug infestation will not result in a home’s eventual demolition. Normally, termite infestations are eradicated promptly as soon as they are discovered. But in some situations, landlords may ignore termite infestations that are occuring on their property. This is never a wise idea, as unchecked termite infestations can eventually lead to entire houses being reduced to rubble. This scenario is becoming a reality for several landlords in the city of Bellaire, Ohio. After several months of issuing warnings, one inspector in the city is having several houses labeled as “condemned”. These homes will have to be demolished due to extensive damages. Termite infestations are to blame in many of these cases.


According to Dick Flanagan, a Bellaire Code Enforcement Officer, some homes may appear structurally sound despite being hazardous to the people living within them. This is why Flanagan believes that a home’s internal conditions should also be investigated during routine inspections. As a result of Flanagan’s relatively thorough approach toward home inspections, many more homes than usual are being deemed “unlivable”. Termite damage is often cited as one of the reasons for a home’s condemnation under Flanagan’s authority. In one case, Flanagan noticed a termite infestation on one questionable home while being interviewed by a local news station. In this case, Flanagan noticed the visible infestation before he entered the house. Despite the vast amounts of snow that draped the home, an active termite nest was still discovered from the outside.


Flanagan began citing several landlords in the city last fall for code violations. Many of these warnings went ignored by the homeowners. Now that several months have passed, Flanagan is having many of these homes condemned and scheduled for demolition. So far two houses and one commercial property have already been torn down under Flanigan’s watch.


Do you believe that home inspectors should take a hard-line approach toward termite infestations that are discovered in homes?