Pest Post News

Previous Issues

A Native American Mosquito Can Transmit Zika Virus

The only mosquitoes in this country that we knew were capable of transmitting the dangerous Zika virus were Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito). These mosquitoes are both more common in warmer, southern areas of the country (although the Asian tiger mosquito is…

Your Questions Answered

Q What is an ‘alien species’? A An alien species has nothing to do with something from outer space. Sometimes also called ‘exotic species’, these are living organisms that invade a new geographical area and thrive in it. They can also wreak havoc with the native species in the area….

Pests Love Pet Stores

Pet food is very attractive to pests. Scientists surveyed eight retail pet stores in Kansas for insect pests during a seven month period, and collected an amazing 30 species and over 41,000 insects. The insects were most often concentrated near bulk food bins, in stockrooms, or on the shelves that…

Common Indoor Fly Problems

We are often asked about indoor flies and where they are breeding. The answer depends on the kind of fly, because different types of flies come indoors, and each have very different breeding places. Here are some of the more common indoor flies we see in homes and businesses. The…

Scorpions on Two Planes

The Snakes on a Plane movie is a horror film, but recently scorpions were found on two planes—in real life! A scorpion was found crawling on a passenger’s clothing in May. The scorpion did not sting anyone, but the flight from Houston was delayed three hours and as a precaution…

Birds Sing Differently in Cities

When songbirds move to cities, they change their tune, research shows. At least that is true for the great tit, a small bird with a yellow breast and belly. Research on the great tit in 10 European cities, including London and Paris, showed that in every case, their singing was…

July Pest Prevention Tip

Check your window screens and repair or replace them as needed. For screens pulled out from the edges, replace the old spline along the edges. If doors tend to be left open, install screen doors that shut automatically.

Avoid Yellowjacket and Wasp Stings!

Ouch!! Stings from yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and bees really hurt! Plus, they’re dangerous. A healthy adult may be able to sustain about 1,500 stings before being killed, but a child, with his or her smaller body, can be killed by far fewer stings. Even one sting can be dangerous for…

Vacationing with Bedbugs

Rob McMaster of Halt Pest Control offers tips on how to ensure you don’t bring bedbugs home from your vacation.

Spiders – Friends with Benefits

Rob McMaster of Halt Pest Control discusses the benefits that spiders offer to our homes, gardens and the eco-system.

New Bee Drills into Sandstone

An amazing, newly discovered bee species bores into solid sandstone and lays its eggs in it. These bees do not live in colonies. They are solitary, although they may eventually build many tunnels near each other. The bee has been found in Utah, southwest Colorado, and the Death Valley area…

Your Questions Answered

Q. Why do mosquito bites itch? A. When a mosquito punctures your skin in search of a blood meal, she (only female mosquitoes bite—they need blood before they can produce a batch of eggs) also injects some saliva. The saliva contains several substances, including a very effective anticoagulant that prevents…

What’s That Bug in My Ear?

Another study has confirmed that cockroaches, not earwigs, are by far the most common insects that enter people’s ears, according to the records of physicians who have extracted insects from people’s ears. The report, in the South African Medical Journal, studied insects removed from ears by South African hospital physicians…

Carpenter Ants Becoming Active

You would think with a name like ‘carpenter’ that these ants would do something constructive. Actually, by nature they are destructive rather than constructive. In forests this is good because they break down fallen trees and branches so the nutrients can be re-used. But you sure don’t want them ‘recycling’…

Weird New Snake

One of the strangest snakes was described as a new species in 2006. The spider-tailed viper is from Iran. This snake has a spider-like appendage on the end of its tail that it uses to lure in birds. The deadly viper lies perfectly still, well camouflaged among the rocks, just…

The Smell of Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are a common household ant throughout most of the U.S. They can easily be mistaken for other ants, except for their distinctive odor when crushed. The odor is often described on the internet as rotten coconuts or just coconuts, but various websites describe the ants as smelling…

May Pest Prevention Tip

Remove bird nests from eaves and branches touching your home immediately after the young birds stop using the nests. Various blood-sucking and scavenging bugs live in these nests, and leave the nests when the birds leave. These pests sometimes crawl into homes from the abandoned nests.

Summer-Time Pests Are Coming

Summer-time and hordes of pests go hand in hand. One reason is that warm weather causes pests to multiply much faster. For instance, the common house fly can take up to 6 weeks to grow from egg to adult fly in cool weather, but in warm weather this takes only…

May 2017 Cartoon

Carpenter Ants and Your Home

Rob McMaster of Halt Pest Control discusses the differences in types of carpenter ants and how to spot them.

March 2017 Cartoon

Advice When Choosing a Kitchen Counter

A study by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management showed that not all kitchen countertops are equal when it comes to how well they can be cleaned. In the study, each different surface was contaminated with nearly 2 billion E. coli bacteria, then the surfaces were washed and rinsed…

Trillions of Insects Flying Overhead

Did you know insects are moving in a vast congested highway over our heads? A few months ago a report in the journal Science documented a study of insects that fly over a region in south-central England. Using a special radar and balloon-supported aerial netting system, they trapped airborne insects…

Those Busy Ants

Around the country, both native and new ant species are spreading and invading new areas. Many of these ants are new species from other parts of the world, and they are especially serious pests. Newer, spreading ants include various species of fire ants, crazy ants, trapjaw ants, Argentine ants, white…

Pest Trivia!

1. When is National Pest Management Month? April. It recognizes the valuable contribution of what we do, as pest management professionals, every day to protect health, food, property, and homes from pests and the diseases they carry. 2. What percent of people have encountered bed bug problems? In a recent…

Migrating Birds Spread Ticks

Scientists have found that birds are an important way that ticks are carried to new areas, and that sometimes those ticks are carrying diseasecausing organisms. In one study, 9 species of ticks were collected from 33 species of passerine birds (these are songbirds or perching birds). Some birds migrate from…

March 2017 Pest Prevention Tip

Moisture attracts and sustains various pests, so eliminate anything that is creating areas with excess moisture both inside and around the outside of your home. This includes leaky faucets, condensation, foliage close to the sides or roof of your home, clogged gutters and downspouts, and thick layers of mulch.

Our Perimeter Treatments Protect

Outdoor pests become active again as soon as the weather starts to warm up. As these various pests with four, six, eight, or even more legs crawl and fly about, some eventually find their way into unprotected homes and other buildings. Fortunately, there is an easy, painless way to prevent…

New Study: Mice Are A Major Cause of Allergies in Children

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that children’s asthma symptoms can be triggered by exposure to rodent allergens, especially in schools. In the study, dust samples were taken at 37 inner-city schools in the Northeast, and analyzed for allergens. Allergens from mice were found in almost every sample…

Zika Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned that pregnant women should now avoid Brownsville, Texas, where local mosquitoes have infected five people with the spreading Zika virus. The virus can cause birth defects to a fetus when a woman becomes infected during pregnancy. The Miami and South Beach…

Food Pests: An Ancient Problem

From caveman times to modern times, stored food pests have greatly reduced the amount of food available to humans. It all started when cave man learned he could survive winters better by storing food. In doing this, he created a new food bonanza for certain pests. When he harvested the…

Please Don’t Smuggle in “Pets”!

Did you know there are over 50,000 non-native species of plants, animals (including insects) and microbes in this country? This costs us over $150 billion a year in control and damages! Plus, nearly 50% of our native species listed as endangered or threatened in the U.S. are at risk because…

Germs & Kitchen Sponges

When testing 500 wet dishcloths and towels from five cities, researchers at the University of Arizona found 2/3 contained bacteria that can make people sick! Remember, wash your dishcloths frequently and replace kitchen sponges often. Many people do not realize that they can wash sponges in the dishwasher—simply place them…

January 2017 Pest Prevention Tip

When you are in your attic, possibly putting away holiday decorations, make sure any vents there have strong, well-attached screening on them. Squirrels, rats, and other wildlife will push aside or chew around screens that are not strongly attached, and any gaps and holes then become an entry for bats…

Spring Pests Waiting to Emerge

Spring is just around the corner, so where are all of those pests that will start invading homes in just a few months? Pests have developed a number of clever ways to wait out cold conditions. Some, such as carpenter ants, actually produce an antifreeze—glycerol—that allows them to survive at…

January 2017 Cartoon

November Cartoon

Thank You!

Whether you are a new or longtime customer, we want to take this opportunity to say “Thank you” for your valued business, and for telling others about our services. We appreciate the opportunity to protect your property and make your lives healthier and better by eliminating your pest problems. We…

A New Bed Bug in Florida

The common bed bug has come back with a vengeance. But there is also another bed bug, the tropical bed bug, which has recently been found in Florida. The tropical bed bug is almost identical to the common bed bug in most ways, but is restricted to more tropical and…

Mice & Rats—Yikes!

Ever had that creepy feeling of seeing something move out of the corner of your eye, only to suddenly realize that it really was a mouse scurrying for cover? There’s a lot of that happening these days! Even people who haven’t had problems with mice or rats at other times…

Can Spiders Hear You?

It has always been thought that because spiders don’t have ears or eardrums, they can “hear” sounds only up to a couple inches away. A recent discovery with jumping spiders showed that these spiders actually have a much more acute sense of hearing than ever believed. Spiders have very sensitive…

Mice Make Ultrasonic Sounds

Mice are able to make ultrasonic “songs” to attract mates as well as help them defend their territories. The sounds are high frequency whistles, and are completely inaudible to the human ear. Until now, it was not known how the mice were making these sounds. It turns out they are…

Lone Star Ticks Spreading

Many tick species are expanding their range, including the lone star tick. This tick use to be restricted to Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and the Gulf Coast. Now it can be found as far north as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maine, and is particularly abundant along the East Coast. The primary host…

November 2016 Pest Prevention Tip

Install or renew weather stripping on the bottom, side, and top of all outside doors to help reduce the number of pests that enter through these cracks. This, along with our regular treatments, will help keep out pests that are attempting to invade your home.

Safeguarding Children’s Health

Whether it’s our children at home or in schools and other public places, we all want to protect them from any threat to their health and well-being. Pests are one important threat to children. A wide variety of pests are involved, but listed below are the four top pest health…

Silly Bug Jokes – Feb. 2016

What do you call a rabbit with beetles all over it? Bugs Bunny What did one flea say to the other flea? Should we walk home, or take a dog? What game do elephants play with ants? Squash! What did the mother grasshopper say to her children? Hop to it….

Keep a Pet-Safe Garage

Garages are common storage areas for pesticides, fertilizers, cleaning agents, and other chemicals. Using our professional services reduces or eliminates the need for many of these products. But there is one common item people often aren’t aware of that can be deadly if ingested. The common antifreeze, ethylene glycol, tastes…

Yes! It’s OK to S-c-r-e-e-e-a-m!

As a dinner guest, have you ever been in the awkward position of spotting a spider, cockroach, or other pest on or near the dinner table? Perhaps in years past, in some situations, the polite thing would have been to ignore it. Thank goodness proper etiquette no longer requires us…

Secretive Silverfish

Silverfish are so sneaky that homeowners are often unaware that these pests are in their homes. Silverfish stay hidden during the day and come out at night, eating irregular-shaped holes in paper products, especially books, magazines, and other papers in undisturbed places. Silverfish like to eat the glue on envelopes,…

Moths That Drink Blood?

In nature there are many kinds of organisms that drink blood—mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, some flies and gnats, some other insects, leaches, and vampire bats. But vampire moths? It’s true—there is a group of moths in the genus Calyptra that are known as vampire moths because they are capable of drinking…

Electric Mosquito Swatter Causes House Fire

In the Philippines, a person swatted a mosquito with one of those electric insect swatters, killing the insect. Unfortunately, the dead mosquito fell on and ignited some firework rocket fuses that were going be used for the holidays, setting them on fire. The resulting fire completely burned the house to…

January 2016 Pest Prevention Tip

Have piles of paper items? Now is a great time to go through your old magazines, newspapers, catalogs, files, etc., and either throw out, donate, or recycle any you don’t need. Lots of papers provide food and hiding places for silverfish and many other pests.

January Cartoon

Pests Survive Adverse Weather

In this El Nino year where weather around the country won’t be typical, the question arises, “How will this affect household pests?” A common myth is that floods or unusually cold weather eliminates household pests outdoors. But we have seen in the past, that pest populations are surprisingly resilient. Once…

Thank You!

As we head into the holiday season, the Halt Pest Control team wants to take this opportunity to say “Thank You!” to all of our long-time and new customers. We value your business and many referrals, and appreciate the opportunity to eliminate pest problems, protecting your property and making your lives…

Holiday Pest Prevention Tips

Holidays are typically a busy time filled with wonderful treats and indoor gatherings. Our warm indoor environments become beacons to many pests and nothing spoils a good time like finding uninvited creepy crawlies flying or scurrying about. Fortunately our ongoing professional pest services reduce the likelihood of pest attacks. There…

November 2015 Cartoon

November Pest Prevention Tip

About 23 million U.S. homes are invaded by rodents each winter. Reduce invasions by sealing cracks and holes on the outside of your home, especially where pipes and utility lines penetrate the walls. Inspect cracks under and around all doors, and install or replace weather-stripping.

Little Fire Ants

Among ants, here is an especially serious one that has been spreading. The little fire ant is on the list of the world’s top 100 nastiest invasive pest species. It is in southern Florida, has been spreading in Hawaii, at times has been battled in California and Texas, and is…

Fear of Spiders Leads Man to Start Dangerous Fire

A man’s fear of spiders while at a gas station lead to him starting a dangerous fire. He spotted a spider on his car gas tank and tried to kill it by lighting his cigarette lighter. Of course a blaze erupted almost instantly. The fire burned part of his car…

Rats and Mice Are Invading NOW

Rats and mice spell trouble year-round,but they are especially likely to invade in the fall and winter. Rodents that were living and breeding outdoors are looking for new food sources and protection from the weather, and our homes and businesses become prime targets for invasion. They can get inside through…

How Effective is Pressure-Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is wood that has had a chemical preservative forced into it, to help prevent it from being destroyed by wood-eating pests and decay fungi. Pressure-treated wood should be used whenever wood touches soil, or is close to soil. The problem is that over a period of 7-10 years…

Lyme Disease is on the Move

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report this year that shows that tick-transmitted Lyme disease has greatly expanded in the last decade. The number of counties in northeastern states where there is a high incidence of Lyme disease has increased more than 320 percent over the last decade….

Cockroaches to the Rescue?

After an earthquake or other disaster, accurately and quickly locating people trapped in rubble can save lives. While specially trained dogs have been invaluable to locate trapped people in many situations, small cockroaches can go places a dog can’t. Researchers are getting closer to being able to accomplish this. A…

Rats & Mice… So Cute!

CLICK HERE or on the image below to view the video.

Preventing the Spread of Head Lice

Controlling Head Lice is a Challenge in Schools With children going back to school, outbreaks of head lice in schools are more likely. The best control for this pest is using an over-the-counter head louse shampoo or lotion, plus combing the hair with a louse comb—a finetoothed comb that hair…

Honey Bees – New Findings

Getting Closer to Answers on Decline in Honey Bees Population We all want to do whatever we can to protect our pollinators—especially honey bees. Honey bees have been hit with a number of problems over the last decade, and entire task forces of scientists have been trying to figure out…

Drones May Be Used in War on Mosquito Borne Diseases

The number of potential uses for drones is being expanded. Special drones are being developed to aid in the war against mosquito borne diseases. These drones would fly mosquito catching traps into remote areas, then the drones would pick up the traps and bring them in. New technology is being…

Year-Round Pest Control Services Pay Big Dividends

On-Going Pest Control Service Protects Best Why is regular, on-going professional pest management service so important? Some pests multiply more slowly this time of year, but others take their place and are even more active now. On-going service provides the best protection against the constantly changing invaders, and is your…

Cockroach Allergens May Increase Glaucoma Risk

Pests Increase Risk of Glaucoma Exposure to cockroaches and cats may increase the risk for glaucoma, new research shows. People with glaucoma had significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin E, a type of allergic antibody, compared to people without glaucoma. The tests showed that it is specifically cockroach and cat allergens…

Care for a Scorpion Vodka?

Bugs In Your Beverage and More Tarantula, Centipede and Scorpion Vodka Looking for some unusual foods? An online Thai company is offering specialty foods that feature insects. Care for a vodka with a scorpion, centipede, or tarantula in it? They’ve got it. While it sounds crazy for most of us…

Pest Prevention Tip – September 2015

Don’t inadvertently bring pests indoors! Check furniture, food, grocery bags, boxes, rolled up newspapers, luggage, and other items you carry in. Also check potted plants you bring in. There may be ant colonies in the soil, pests underneath the pot, and pests on leaves.

Fall Pests – The Invasions Are Starting

Fall is a surprisingly busy time for pests. A wide variety of pests start invading homes, looking for a place to spend the fall and winter. Their instincts tell them it’s time to search for a dry, warm crevice or cavity. They are searching for loose bark to get under,…

Cartoon – September 2015

Cartoon – August 2015

How Long Do Bedbugs Live?

Although bedbugs are problems year-round, the warmer months from July to September are peak bedbug months, when these pests are multiplying faster and are more active and noticeable. Under ideal laboratory conditions bedbugs live an average of 6-12 months, although in the real world their average lifespan is probably shorter. However, we have heard some people…

New Breathalyzer Test for Malaria

New research shows that the breath of patients infected with malaria has much higher levels of certain compounds in it than people not infected with malaria. What is exciting about this discovery is that these chemicals are present at very early stages of infection, before other methods can even detect that the malaria parasites are present. The…

Ants Are Invading

Ant problems both indoors and outdoors are common this time of year, and these problems will continue well into fall. Not only are ant colonies huge this time of year (ant colonies may double in size by late summer), but there are more ant colonies now than there were in the spring. The natural outdoor food supply…

Why Lyme Disease is Difficult to Treat

New research shows that the bacterium that causes Lyme disease forms dormant persister cells. These cells are known to evade antibiotics, and may explain why Lyme disease is so difficult to treat in some patients. If caught early, patients treated with antibiotics usually recover quickly. But about 10 to 20 percent of patients, mostly those who…

‘Spider Rain’ Reported

In an event that received world-wide coverage a few months ago, the sky was filled with millions of spiders and their silky threads in New South Wales, Australia. The spiders floated around and then down, landing in everything, even in people’s hair and beards. This occasional phenomenon is called a ‘spider rain’ because of the huge…

Formosan Subterranean Termites Swarming

Formosan subterranean termites are especially damaging to wood, and they are spreading in the United States. One of the ways these termites get started in an area is from boats and ships that pick up these hitchhikers when they are in infested areas, or take on infested cargo, and then dock on our shores. When the winged reproductive termites…

Pest Prevention Tip – Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are common tiny flies. You will see them flying around potted plants, and they are attracted to windows and lights. Their larvae thrive in the soil of overwatered houseplants. You can often control these flies by watering potted plants less often, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

Summer Stinging Pests – Yellowjackets & More

Stinging pests are out in force during summer, and if we get on the wrong side of them, they will make us regret it—”OUCH!” These pests have developed stings to defend themselves or their colony, and those stings are meant to hurt and make us want to ‘head for the…

June 2015

Carpenter Ants Bring Trouble, New Tick-Transmitted Diseases, Allergists: A Pest-Free Home is Important, Hybrid “Super” Termites Discovered

May 2015

Video: Cockroaches, The Plentiful Pests of Summer, Pest Prevention Tip, True Amphibious Insects Discovered, Invasion of 8-Foot Lizards