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Forward Thinking Pest Control

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Venom from the funnel web spider could prevent brain damage from strokes after 'world-first discovery'

23 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Venom from the deadly funnel web spider can be used to protect the brain from devastating stroke damage, scientists have found.

Australian researchers were sequencing the DNA of the venom when they discovered a compound, which they say could protect brain cells even when injected hours after a stroke has occurred.

"We believe that we have, for the first time, found a way to minimise the effects of brain damage after a stroke," Professor Glenn King, from the UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience, told AAP.

The scientists at the University of Queensland and Monash University made the discovery when they were examining venom extracted from spiders found in Queensland's Orchid beach, 400 kilometres north of Brisbane.

While the venom from these spiders can kill a human within 15 minutes, the protein they discovered, Hi1, is not only harmless, but could be a game-changer in treating strokes.

It stood out for scientists because it looked like two copies of another chemical that can protect brain cells. However, “it proved to be even more potent,” Professor King said, according to the Guardian.

A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, depriving it of oxygen. When this happens, the brain burns glucose, producing acid, which can kill brain cells.

During the tests on rats, the Hi1 molecule was found to block acid-sensing in channels in the brain.

A dose of the protein two hours after the stroke cut down the brain damage in rats by 80%, Professor King wrote in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Even when it was given eight hours after the attack, it reduced damage to the brain by about 65%.

"This world-first discovery will help us provide better outcomes for stroke survivors by limiting the brain damage and disability caused by this devastating injury," he said.

To learn more about spiders, call EHS Pest.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Man burns house, kills pets while trying to exterminate ants

21 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (AP) — Maine’s state fire marshal says a man burned down his parents’ house and killed three pets while trying to exterminate ants in his basement with matches.

Investigators say 21-year-old Devon Doucette was trying to incinerate the ants with wooden matches when one of them ignited combustible materials. The fire quickly spread to the rest of the house.

Authorities say Doucette was treated for smoke inhalation and burns after he carried some burning items out of the house. They say the house is owned by his parents, who were not home at the time.

Authorities say the fire killed two cats and one dog. They say charges are not likely.

If you want to exterminate ants safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: Boston.com

Some Bed Bugs Are Better Climbers Than Others - MA, RI

20 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Not all bed bugs are created equal, and some of the leading bed bug traps used by pest management professionals are ineffective against species with better climbing abilities than others.

In a study published today in the Journal of Economic Entomology, a research team led by Dae-Yun Kim at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, has shown that the tropical bed bug (Cimex hemipterus) can readily climb out of smooth-walled pitfall traps.

The researchers tested four leading traps, all designed in the United States, where the bed bug Cimex lectularius is more common. The traps were effective at trapping adult C. lectularius but not adult C. hemipterus. The tropical bed bugs, researchers found, are better able to use small pads on their legs to grip the surface of the trap and scale the inner wall.

Taking a close look using a scanning electron microscope, Kim and colleagues found that the tibial pad of adult C. hemipterus bed bugs showed the presence of a greater number of hairs than on that of C. lectularius, as well as a more well-developed organ for glandular secretion at the base of the hairs.

They observed the bed bugs using the tibial pad while climbing on the smooth surfaces, though they say further research is needed to understand exactly how the enhanced hairs and glands in the tibial pads enable C. hemipterus to grip a smooth vertical surface.

Regardless of how tropical bed bugs do it, their ability to escape pitfall traps “has profound implications in the monitoring and potential management of bed bug infestations,” says Chow-Yang Lee, professor of entomology at Universiti Sains Malaysia, and a co-author on the study.

C. lectularius is mainly found in temperate regions, and C. hemipterus is found primarily in tropical regions, but they often co-exist in regions such as Africa, Australia, Florida, Japan, Taiwan, and southern China. “Unfortunately, due to their close resemblance, most pest management professionals are unable to tell between C. lectularius and C. hemipterus,” Lee says. “Hence, if some of the pitfall traps used in this study, which otherwise could effectively contain C. lectularius, were used during the monitoring process, they would not be able to contain C. hemipterus, which may give a false impression that the monitored premises are free of bed bugs or having a low infestation rate. This may affect the decision-making process on the treatment type, and eventually lead to control failure.”

Learn more about bedbugs and how to get rid of them safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: entomologytoday.org

Termite Season is About to Begun, Prevention is Key – Boston, MA

14 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - National Termite Awareness Week 2017

The annual cost of termite damage and control measures in the U.S. is estimated at $5 billion dollars.

The most robust termite season is just about to begin.

There are two types of homes: Those that have termites, and those that could get them.

The type of destruction termites can cause homes is immense. EHS Pest Control does free examinations to check for the pests.

Signs like hollow-sounding wood or papery wings near windows mean termites could already be feasting on your home.

Termites might swarm out in another area, but if the sun is shining through a particular window, they're going to that window. And a lot of times that's when you're going to see the dead swarmers or the wings laying there.

Some preventative measures are as simple as where you store wood.

People have fire places and they generally store wood near the house. That's the last thing you want to do. You want to get that wood away from the home, because that is termite food right there by the home.

Homeowners can get termite bait systems set up around their homes; it’s best to get ahead of the problem.

Call a professional, have them come in and do a good inspection of your home. If there is an issue, you can go ahead and address it before it gets out of hand. If left untreated, it can certainly get out of hand.

For more information on termite control, contact EHS Pest in Norwood.

Source: WALB

Why 2017 could be very bad year for Lyme disease

08 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

For most, last summer's mouse plague in New York's Hudson River Valley was merely a nuisance. But for ecologists who study Lyme disease, it was a major cause for worry.

"An individual mouse might have 50, 60, even 100 ticks covering its ears and face," Rick Ostfeld, an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y, told NPR.

In the 20 years that Ostfeld and his wife Felicia Keesing, who is an ecologist at Bard College, have studied Lyme disease they've been able to predict how bad a season will be by looking at the number of mice the year prior.

While many associate the spread of infected ticks with deer, mice are one of the worst carriers in the Northeast since they infect 95 percent of ticks that feed on them.

"We're anticipating 2017 to be a particularly risky year for Lyme," Ostfeld says.

In the last few decades, Lyme disease has exploded in the Northeast and is now in 260 counties on the East Coast from Maine to Virginia and has made its way into the Midwest as well, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports from 2015.

"In the Northeast, most people catch Lyme around their homes," epidemiologist Kiersten Kugeler at the CDC told NPR. "What's important for people to know is that the ticks are spreading to new areas — and tick-borne diseases are coming with them."

So if you noticed a lot of mice around your house last summer in an area that Lyme exists, be sure to be extra vigilant this summer and follow this tips to keep them off you.

To learn more about how to get rid of mice and ticks safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: wcvb.com

Rats, Mice, Trains, Planes and Automobiles - Boston, MA

07 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS - Rat in the Car Showroom

Every year people in Boston have the unpleasant experience of learning how destructive rats and mice are to their cars, motorcycles, boats and other power equipment that may sit for as little a two weeks while they vacation.

The damage to a cars electrical systems can run into the many thousands of dollars.

We receive frantic calls every year on how to help.

Our pest proofing is 100% effective if these items are stored indoors. Outside it's a bit trickier. Reducing the area population is what we advise first. Landscape pest proofing, reduce habitat and food sources go a long way. Trapping and removal or for the period of storage is one suggestion. Baiting sometimes leads to a dead rodent inside of the vehicle, we don't recommend poisons. We have had some success with some paste repellants applied to areas of the item where it contacts the ground. A liquid application of a repellent to the general perimeter is less successful, but mechanical seems to work best.

Imagine what a wiring harness on this Rolls Royce cost? Worse yet, having decaying rodents inside of the ventilation system?

We are rodent experts.

Contact EHS Pest for a preventive solution to rodent and any other pest problem.

Where Are All the Rats and Mice? In Boston - Boston, MA Patch

06 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

It's perhaps one of the most upsetting sights a homeowner can see: a mouse, rat or cockroach darting from under a piece of furniture or kitchen cabinet, scurrying across the room and disappearing.

But where are they most often reported? Here in Massachusetts, rodents are a big problem. The second-highest percentage of respondents who said they have seen evidence of a mouse or rat in their home came in the Boston metro area.

Out of the more than 1.8 million polled, more than 309,000 said they had indeed seen evidence of a mouse of rat. That's 16.86 percent, second only to Philadelphia.

Thankfully cockroaches are seen muss less frequently; Only 35,000 reported evidence of cockroaches. That's 1.91 percent.

This is all according to the American Housing Survey, a review conducted every two years by the U.S. Census Bureau that gives us the closest idea of just how pervasive these visits into our homes are.

The full data from 2015's survey isn't available yet, but statistics from 25 major metropolitan areas were just released. They include the 15 largest areas and 10 other metros.

Respondents were asked if they had seen evidence of a rat, mouse or cockroach in their home in the last 12 months or since they had moved in.

Like any survey, the data shouldn't be taken as any sort of empirical evidence. Rat or roach populations are difficult to estimate across a large area. These numbers show only how many respondents said they had or had not seen one of these critters in their home.

See the full data for rats and mice below:

EHS - Full Data of Rats and Mice Evidence in US

For more information about how to get rid of rodents safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: Patch.com

Spring Brings More Deer Ticks and a Potentially Deadly New Tick-borne Virus

28 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Norwood, MA, May 5, 2017: It would only be anecdotal at this point to say that the coming tick season is going to be epic. As Eammon Carlton, President of the Blackstone Valley chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association puts it, “Even though the biking season has just begun I am diligent about applying repellent... Compared to previous years, I think their numbers are up considerably.” With the growing white-tailed deer and white-footed mouse populations, their hosts-of-choice, the constant and almost unseen threat of the deer tick has grown along with them. A recent study by a group of Connecticut researchers found a higher number of ticks following winters with heavy snow cover, said Rick Ostfeld, an ecologist who has been studying ticks for two decades at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies of Millbrook, New York. "We know snow insulates," he said, "So it makes sense that it would be protective for ticks.”

A new and particularly threatening virus called Powassan, can show symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, memory loss and speech difficulty within two or three hours of a person being bitten by a tick infected with it. In severe cases it can cause life-threatening inflammation of the spine and brain, resulting in death in about 10% of cases. Lyme Disease and Babesiosis, another recently seen and potentially fatal tick-borne illness with malaria-like symptoms, can both be detected with a test and treated with antibiotics. Powassan cannot, and managing symptoms with supportive care is the only treatment. Because of this, children can be at particular risk, since they are among the most vulnerable and also potentially among the most exposed to deer ticks.

Precautions that minimize risk include limiting skin exposure, utilizing store bought insect repellents, and avoiding areas where tick infestations most frequently occur. Richard Pollack, PhD, Public Health Entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, says “time is of the essence” in preventing tick attachment and disease risk. “A daily check can prevent this, so everyone in the family should be like little chimpanzees and look for them.” he said. Our four-legged family members should not be overlooked either, since dogs are particularly good at picking up ticks and should be checked most frequently of all.

If you’re thinking that staying out of the woods will keep you protected, think again. A researcher at New York’s Binghamton University said Lyme disease-infected ticks aren’t just in forests and fields. “We’re finding plenty of infected ticks in built environments, places like city parks, playgrounds, work campuses, college campuses,” said Ralph Garrote, head of the school’s tick-borne disease program. “What makes the problem worse is that people don’t perceive of these environments as risky.” It’s also important to keep in mind that our own backyards are havens for both ticks and mosquitoes. As John Stellberger, owner of Environmental Health Services, an eco-sensitive pest control company in Norwood, MA puts “We’re seeing growing demand for highly effective organic treatments that protect against threats in our own back yard without putting us or the environment at risk from chemical pesticides”. In a world of increasing awareness, “People also want to ensure that the cure isn’t more dangerous than the disease.”

Ticks, Mosquitoes and Ants - MA, RI

27 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

We are enjoying warm weather.

I killed a mosquito on my left arm, removed a deer tick from my dogs shoulder blade and saw an email addressed to us today with deceased, winged female Carpenter Ants ( we suspect last years insects ).

Climate Change ? You decide.

Always bet on the bug. For more information on how to safely get rid of pests, Call EHS Pest.

MA State Health Officials Declare Lyme Disease Epidemic

24 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Environmental Health Services, Inc. working to meet tick threat head on while educating the public about greater dangers than Lyme.

Norwood, MA, July 8, 2017: There are multiple new studies showing tick populations increasing with shifting weather patterns from climate change. Warmer temperatures are causing to reproduce at a faster rate and expand their range well beyond previous limits. Extremes in weather patterns resulting in heavier snowfalls are resulting in a decrease of tick die-offs in winter freezes by insulating the ground.

Massachusetts state health officials have now declared Lyme disease epidemic. Yet the Centers for Disease Control lists 14 tick-borne diseases in all, several potentially deadly. Lyme disease is fairly well-known, shows symptoms normally in 48 hours from being bitten, is testable and treatable, and is in only rare cases fatal. The Powassan virus, also transmitted by the deer tick, can show symptoms within 2-3 hours of being bitten. There is no test and no cure for this disease, and is potentially fatal.

The deer tick is not the only vector of concern, There is also the dog tick, which transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever, considered to be the most deadly and frequently seen. It has been reported in every state in the US except for Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska. And now the Lone Star tick, which unlike other ticks is particularly aggressive and actually pursues its host, has shown up in significant numbers as far north as Maine. Another unique characteristic of the Lone Star tick is that it bites in its three growth stages (larva, nymph, adult), as opposed to all other US ticks biting only as adults. In addition to the two potentially fatal illnesses this tick transmits, it can also pass on a meat and meat product allergy. This allergy is so sensitive that even cross contamination can trigger a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

Studies also show that the vast majority of tick bites occur in the human environment, rather than the natural tick environment. Pets, especially outdoor cats, are particularly likely to bring ticks into the home. Additionally, the numbers of ticks on wildlife are so overwhelming that it is believed to have caused a decline in moose numbers in New England. There are reports of moose actually dying from blood loss, with researchers counting over 100,000 blood engorged ticks on one carcass.

Precautions that minimize risk include limiting skin exposure, utilizing store bought insect repellents, and avoiding areas where tick and mosquito infestations most frequently occur. Richard Pollack, PhD, Public Health Entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, says “time is of the essence” in preventing tick attachment and disease risk. “A daily check can prevent this, so everyone in the family should be like little chimpanzees and look for them.” he said.

Environmental Health Services has been working to educate the public on the increasing tick-borne threat and the personal precautions and professional treatments that can reduce the risks to their health. The primary treatment at EHS is organic pest control, which is not persistent in the environment and is completely non-toxic to people and pets. It utilizes naturally occurring essential plant oils and have proven efficacy against target pests, reducing their threat by as much as 92%, with no adverse effects on humans or environment. This type is treatment is a preferred method at EHS, a company focused on eco-sensitive pest solutions.

Environmental Health Services, Inc.Environmental Health Services, Inc. $$

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