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Forward Thinking Pest Control

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EHS Pest Control

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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.

Newcomer Tick to the Northeast Brings New, Very Serious Concerns

22 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Norwood, MA, June 22, 2017: Though the Lone Star tick doesn’t transmit Lyme disease, it brings several new threats to the tick scene in the Northeast. It is most commonly believed that climate change, which is having a major impact on tick populations in general, is the main cause of their spread. They have made their way in significant numbers as far north as Maine, and are known for some unique characteristics.

The Lone Star tick is named for the white spot on the back abdomen of females, along with their previous home in and near Texas. What this tick is most well-known for is it’s inclination to aggressively pursue a blood meal. Questing, or passively waiting with legs outstretched for an unwitting passerby to brush up against them, is the method of choice for other species of ticks. The Lone Star tick actually chases down its victim, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, is known to move long distances in pursuit of the host. Adding to that is the fact that the Lone Star is the only American tick that will bite in its larval form as well as adult.

Health threats are significant from this tick, and include an illness called the Heartland virus, as well as the bacterial infection human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis. Heartland virus, discovered in northwestern Missouri by Dr. Scott Folk of Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri, has a total of 8 reported cases by the CDC, with one fatal. There is no cure for Heartland virus, and early intervention and management of symptoms is the only treatment at this time. Human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis is far more widespread and serious, and symptoms can range from almost none to toxic shock-like. Unlike Heartland virus, testing can detect human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis and it responds to antibiotics, similarly to Lyme disease.

An allergy to red meat is yet another phenomenon associated with the Lone Star tick. Once bitten, the human host can develop an allergy to meat and meat products, cat dander as well, which can cause a serious skin rash and even potentially life-threatening anaphylactic symptoms. Once diagnosed, they are certainly at the least life-changing. Allergic symptoms can occur even with cross contamination, with at least one report of an incident of a reaction from a customer eating in a vegan restaurant.

It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change is playing heavily into the spread of the Lone Star tick and the overall increase in tick populations. Senator Jim Dill is a pest management specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and believes heavy snow has insulated ticks in winter that would normally freeze and die, and warmer temperatures and heavier rains in the summer have allowed them to thrive. Dill says, "They were fat and happy all winter long, and we're seeing a lot of ticks in the spring." In addition, a team of scientists led by Taal Levi of Oregon State University and Richard Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies analyzed 19 years of data on blacklegged ticks in the Northeast. “The bottom line is that as the climate warms, it is pushing the timing of tick nymphs and larvae forward, potentially changing the interactions they have with their hosts,” said Levi, an assistant professor in OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agricultural Sciences and lead author on the study.

As our climate changes, so does our world. The clear and present danger of growing tick populations and tick-borne diseases puts public awareness and pest control on the front lines of this very real threat. Environmental Health Services, Inc. was founded 30 years ago with a commitment to not only provide effective and state-of-the-art pest management solutions for customers but to also be stewards of the environment.

Ticks Carrying Potentially Deadly New Disease Found in New England

20 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

The CDC and state agencies are tracking a new and potentially fatal tick-borne virus, adding to an already significant threat from mosquitoes and ticks in New England that Environmental Health Services, Inc. is working to counter with environmentally responsible treatments.

Norwood, MA, April 15, 2017: A continuing and significant health and safety threat exists from vector borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there are at least 10 mosquito borne diseases and over a dozen tick-borne diseases. New England has seen mainly EEE and West Nile Virus, as well as other types of Encephalitis and even Malaria and Denguee Fver from mosquitoes. Tick-borne diseases are the most commonly seen Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, having shown up just a few years ago and causing 12 deaths per year in 18 states, and a new potentially deadly illness that has shown up in Connecticut called the Powassan Virus. The CDC reports there have now been 65 cases of Powassan Virus confirmed in the US, with 5 cases in Massachusetts that have all occurred within the past two years. 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.”.

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. Chemical pesticides are commonly used for mosquito and tick control but there are risks to people and pets associated with the active ingredients in these products as well as the unwanted consequence of killing of non-target beneficial insects. Some of these insects help control garden pests, many are pollinators, and some, such as the dragonfly and damselfly, actually help control mosquito populations. Chemical pesticides also leave behind residue and sprays can drift off target creating a significant risk of coming into contact with non-target organisms such as children and pets.

An effective alternative 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, the environment or non-target insects and wildlife. This type is treatment is a preferred method at EHS, a company focused on eco-sensitive pest solutions.

Mice had made a home in the air filter box - Boston, MA

20 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS - Rodent Exclusion in Boston, MA

A client's car sat peacefully in a garage under a grand old oak tree for about 5 weeks this fall and into winter while they vacationed in a relaxing, warm destination.

Upon return, they noticed while driving the vehicle didn't seem to have its previous vigor when accelerating. They sent first professional diagnosis.

Mice had made a home in the air filter box! Restricting engine air intake. It was fresh bedding from the interior headliner, grass and a few acorns is a grand home!

43% of mammals are rodents.

Rodents survived under the feet of the great dinosaurs that occupied the land we live on. They are keen survivors.

We completely pest proofed our clients garage to prevent this from happening again. Now this structure is rodent free, they plan to purchase a vintage car to occupy the other space.

Problem solved! Exclusion is Prevention! Call EHS Pest for more information.

Rats and Mice are Serious Public Health Threats - Norwood, MA

16 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Structural and ​Landscape rodent exclusion, Norwood, MA

​A New York City resident recently died from ​exposure to ​a rat-borne bacteria, leptospirosis.​ Two others were hospitalized.​

Solving rat​, ​r​odent ​and many other pest ​issues is vitally important to protect human health. Structural and ​Landscape rodent exclusion is one of our specialities. ​

​Leptospirosis is just one of many rodent-borne pathogens.​ The CDC says that without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress and death.

Here are a few basic precautions after possible exposure:

  • Avoid contact with rats or with places where rats may have urinated.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after any contact with areas where rats may live.
  • If you cannot avoid areas where rats have been seen, or are cleaning areas where rats have been, use a solution of one part household bleach and 10 parts water to kill the leptospirosis bacteria.
  • Protect yourself from contact with their urine: wear rubber gloves (especially if you have any cuts or sores on your hands or arms), boots, masks and some type of eye wear.

Additional information available at: https://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis

Environmental Health Services, Inc. Looking Ahead To Worst Termite Season Ever Seen Predicted By Experts in 2017

16 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Two Dangerous New Exotic Species Mating To Potentially Create the Most Destructive Hybrid Termite in the World

Norwood, MA, January 1, 2017: Asian and Formosan subterranean termites are two of the most destructive termite species in the world, responsible for much of the estimated $40 billion in economic losses attributed to termites annually. New Englanders who own homes in the region have good reason to worry about these pests, with their colonies and level of destruction growing each year. Since their mating swarms usually occurred during different months, the two species never previously came into contact. But recently not only have they have been discovered swarming together, they have already produced a hybrid that is the most aggressive and destructive termite yet.

This hybrid grows more vigorously than the original species, forming much larger colonies. While the Asian and Formosan termites are currently confined to the southern US, their range is expanding north. With weather patterns shifting more drastically every year, it even seems possible that they could migrate even further.

With aggressive insects like these new termites, equally aggressive treatment to combat them is often required to avoid massive damage. Sentricon is one cutting-edge system that utilizes bait termites prefer even more than wood. a better and more precise approach than liquid insecticides because it targets and kills the colony and the queen. The active ingredient in this particular treatment is the first and only termite product to be awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It uses only a few grams of active ingredient on each property, compared with a liquid chemical treatment that surrounds a typical structure with more than 200 gallons of diluted insecticide with potentially serious adverse effects to non-target organisms, including humans. This treatment system also utilizes termite bait that is strategically placed in stations by termite specialists only when and where needed to further minimize the amount of active ingredient in the environment. Sentricon is the most effective termite treatment in the industry, and with its low impact on the environment, the primary eco-sensitive solution at EHS.

Tracking Rodents - Cambridge, MA

14 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Tracking Rodents in Cambridge, MA

Tracking rodents can be very difficult. Years of practice hone our observation skills to see what others overlook.

We at EHS sometime love fresh snowfall. Especially when assisting clients with rats and mice outside of their home or business. Snow can make it easy for the novice and expert alike.

Our great friend and colleague in Cambridge sent us this no brainer showing Norway Rat trails to and from the den site and food source.

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

Momentum Growing To Stop Use of Honeybee Killing “Neonic” Pesticides

13 Feb 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Local environmentally-conscious pest control company Environmental Health Services, Inc. working to change its industry from within, making it more Environmentally friendly.

Norwood, MA, January 1, 2017: When Lowe's Cos Inc announced it will stop selling a type of pesticide suspected of causing a decline in honeybee populations contributing hugely to pollination of around 70% of the world’s food supply, it was roundly applauded by scientists, consumer groups, beekeepers fighting to stop mass pollinator die-offs. (http://www.reuters.com/arti- cle/2015/04/09/us-lowes-pesticides-idUSKBN0N023F20150409)

The class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, are sold by agrichemical companies to boost yields of staple crops but are also used widely on annual and perennial plants used in lawns and gardens.

A study released by environment group Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute in 2014 showed that 51 percent of garden plants purchased at Lowe's, Home Depot and Walmart in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained neonicoti- noid pesticides at levels that could harm or even kill bees. In a very unfortunate twist, it has also been discovered that honeybees actually prefer plants containing deadly neonicotinoids. (http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/bees-prefer-neonicoti- noid-laced-food?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=socialmedia)

EHS, a company that was founded on principles that promote reducing and even eliminating chemical pesticides in pest control, has been implementing these ideas for the thousands of Commercial and Residential clients throughout New England since its inception.

Environmental Health Services, Inc. is located in Norwood, MA. The company was founded by John Stellberger in 1985 and is dedicated to providing environmentally responsible commercial and residential pest control. Stellberger’s forward-thinking approach has made him an industry leader in eliminating nuisances and health threats while pioneering sustainable practices in pest control and general company operations. You can contact EHS at info@ehspest.com or learn more about their services at www.ehspest.com.


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

823 Pleasant Street
Norwood,
MA 02062
Email: info@ehspest.com
Phone: 877-507-0698