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Cockroach…Fact or Fiction?

Cockroaches: Fact or Fiction?

Because of their close association with humans, cockroaches have enjoyed a prominent place in human evolution, culture, science and mythology. Legends abound about the strength, prowess, and survivability of the cockroach. So what is true and what is not?

Fact or Fiction?
1. Cockroaches can run faster than humans. Not really, they can run about 3 mph, which is about walking pace for humans. If speed were factored by size, the cockroach would certainly have the advantage, but then you’d also have to consider the fact that they have six legs while humans have only two. All that said, though, cockroaches can run faster than any other insect.
2. A cockroach can live without its head. This is, in fact, a truth – at least for a week or so. The circulatory system of the cockroach is different than that of humans, so a clot is formed at the site of a wound (or completely severed head), so it would not bleed out as we would. Additionally, because it has multiple “brains” along the ventral nerve cord that process sensory input or control motor functions, and it can breathe through holes in its body segments, the cockroach can continue to live until it needs food or water. Without a mouth, it has no way to get this sustenance.
3. Cockroaches can swim. Yes, the American cockroach can swim almost four inches in a second and “hold its breath” for 40 minutes. So, because this cockroach is known to inhabit sewers, it is, indeed, an unfortunate fact that they can come into a home from the sewer system, making their way through plumbing traps and swimming up into toilets.
 
4. A cockroach bite can hurt – a lot! Yep, this one is true too. A study by Cambridge researchers found that the force of a bite by an American cockroach is five times greater than that of a human, and 50 times its body weight. Thankfully, though, while cockroaches have been known to bite humans, this is not a common occurrence.
5. Cockroach milk is the new super food, one of the most nutritious substances known. True! Researchers in India who analyzed cockroach milk found it to be a complete food, rich in proteins, fats and sugars, and peptides that can impart significant health advantages. In fact, they found cockroach milk to be three times as nutritionally rich as buffalo milk, and four times as concentrated as cow’s milk.
6. If you have a cockroach problem, it most likely came in with potatoes, so getting rid of the potatoes will get rid of the cockroaches. Uh, no. Although cockroaches certainly could be brought in with any food or item from an infested store or supplier, they are no more likely to be in with potatoes than anything else. Collins Pest Management President Dan Collins said he often hears customers blame a cockroach problem on a potato purchase. Perhaps it is because they’ve heard that cockroaches are attracted to starches or because potatoes are often shipped in net bags. “I don’t know why,” Collins said. “I’ve never really seen them with potatoes, but potatoes seem to have become the default ‘blame game.'”
7. And the ultimate factoid … True or False? Cockroaches could survive a nuclear explosion. The answer – Maybe. Factoids about cockroaches and nukes are so common that Discovery Channel’s MythBusters took on the challenge to test its validity. Their finding: “Plausible.” Here’s why: Using German cockroaches as their subjects, the MythBusters exposed three groups of cockroaches to three different levels of radioactive metal cobalt 60 for a month: 1,000 (which would kill a human in 10 minutes), 10,000 (about the radioactivity of the Hiroshima bomb), and 100,000 rads. The results: After the 30 days: 50% of the group exposed to 1,000 rads and 10% of those in 10,000 rads were still alive, but all those exposed to 100,000 rads died. Thus the “plausible” verdict – cockroaches could survive an atomic bomb depending on its intensity. Additionally, since only the German cockroach was tested, which is one of the smallest species, there is plausibility that other species could survive at even greater levels.
A similar verdict was reached by Purdue University Professor of Urban Pest Management Gary Bennett: Will cockroaches be the last surviving creature on this earth? “Who knows – could be true, considering their adaptability.”
8. So, who started this cockroach survivability rumor anyway? And why? According to the MythBusters episode summary from Discovery, shortly after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, reports came out that cockroaches were among the Japanese cities’ only survivors. Then, the summary states, “during the Cold War, anti-nuclear activists and scientists spread the myth far and wide as a cautionary tale of the atom bomb’s destructive potential.”

5 Things to Remember About Pest Control

Keeping your property free of any pests is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, no matter your best efforts, these stubborn pests find a way to sneak past your defenses and get into your home-in between your walls, in dark spots and corners, or underneath the floorboards. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you suspect you have pests in your property:

Know the signs

It is often easier to tell if there are certain pests more than others that live and thrive in your home. Roaches often leave behind eggs. Plus, they are not the shyest type so they typically come out of the shadows at night. Fleas, bugs or termites however are not as easy to spot. If you think you have a pest problem-ants swarming your table 5 minutes after you leave behind donut crumbs, cobwebs everywhere, or bad smells-it is time to call in for the pros.

Hire a professional

Hiring an emergency pest control expert helps you identify possible sites of pest infestation in your home. By doing so, you can easily determine what kind of pests you are up against and you will be in a better position to know what steps or solutions you can use to eliminate the problem.

Know the cause

Professionals will also take a look around to find out the root cause of the infestation. For instance, termites are attracted to dead wood. If you have a lot of wood debris, dead tree trunks or stumps in your backyard or garden, an emergency pest control expert will suggest you clear all that from your garden and give other preventive measures to keep future pests out.

Pack the right tools

Do not try to take on pest problems by yourself, no matter how easy a Youtube tutorial makes it seem to be. Professionals have the proper tools to efficiently and effectively eliminate your pest problems. Do not waste your time, money and energy on DIY solutions. Hire an expert to take care of your pest problems for you.

Finding Help

Pests can lead to health problems, structural damage and much more. It is important to hire an expert pest control professional to stop pests from thriving in your home. Contact us at Chet’s Termite & Pest Management for a quote. With over 30 years of field experience, a proven system, and a dedicated team, we will make sure your home is going to be pest-free in no time.

What’s Pest Control?

Pest control includes the process of removing or minimizing a broad array of undesirable insects and additional pests from areas occupied by people. This process might take place inside the home, within a place of business, or inside a public building. Normally, controlling pests includes using some kind of insecticide to keep them from getting into the space, and to destroy any pests which already have set up a presence inside the space.

When to call in the experts

It isn’t unusual for businesses, homeowners, as well as municipalities to employ the services of our Pest Control Companies in Tampa. Alongside handling the usual pests which might seek shelter and food inside a building, professional exterminators also can address the presence of pests which might cause severe structural damage to a property. For instance, a pest control service is very likely to handle ants and termites which may infest the building and surrounding landscape of a property and eventually cost a property owner a good amount of money in replacement and repairs of buildings.

Oftentimes, people use both individual and professional efforts to sustain a pest-free atmosphere. It often will mean keeping the area uncluttered and clean and making certain there aren’t any crevices or cracks to permit easy accessibility from outside. In order to compliment those efforts, exterminators are contracted to enter and treat the area on some kind of continual basis, like one time per month.

What is the goal of pest control?

The eventual goal of all types of pest control include removing roaches, mice, termites and additional kinds of pests from spaces in which humans work, live, and play.

Termite Invasion Hits Tampa Bay Area Homes!

It’s that time of year again…

“Termite Invasion Hits Tampa Bay Area Homes!”

The pirate invasion has come and gone in the Tampa Bay Area…now it’s time for the TERMITE INVASION!! It happens each year, just like Gasparilla and so many other wonderful annual Tampa Bay events. However, this annual event doesn’t have all the fantastic floats, colorful beads and thousands of people having a great time. In fact, I can’t think 1 joyous thought about termites as a homeowner. They’re not pretty, they have a ravenous appetite that can literally eat you out of your home and they cost a lot of money to treat and repair damages.

Did you know that Tampa is ranked the #3 city in the US for termite activity? Not exactly a distinction we’re proud of, but it is a fact that nearly every home in Tampa Bay and surrounding cities will have a termite infestation at some point.

Whether you’ve had Subterranean Termites, Formosan Termites or the much dreaded Drywood Termites in the past, termites are just not welcome guests for any homeowner at any time. The Subterranean Termite & the Formosan Subterranean Termite don’t get as much coverage simply because homeowners aren’t too inconvenienced with the treatment process. Drywood Termite treatments, on the other hand, can make homeowner’s lives miserable.

I actually think Drywood Termites get a bad wrap. What do I mean? Well, Drywood Termite colonies are smaller and take longer to develop, which means the potential for structural damage is actually less than Subterranean Termites and much less than Formosan Termites. I’ve seen Subterranean & Formosan Termite damage so bad that structural support pieces of wood actually crumble into tiny pieces in my hands. Imagine having that wood supporting your entire home. (I have many videos on YouTube.com at the ChetsPestControl channel that shows exactly what I’m talking about).

So, from a wood damage perspective, Subterranean & Formosan termites are most destructive. However, the inconvenience factor makes the Drywood Termite a more formidable foe.

For a Subterranean & Formosan termite treatment, you don’t have to leave your home for treatment. Besides the sound of loud drill noises, the only inconvenient part of the treatment is…you have to be home for service. Not too bad, right?

Well, the complete opposite is true when treating for Drywood Termites…in most cases. Most Drywood Termite infestations require Tent Fumigation, which means you and your entire family, including pets have to leave home for a few days. You also have to bag up food and medicines and a plethora of other things that need to be done prior to treatment. For most families with kids and pets, this can be a very difficult and daunting task.

In recent years, I’ve offered a unique, natural, no-tent alternative treatment called XT2000 Chet’s Orange Oil. This treatment allows you to remain in your home during treatment so you don’t have to go through all the hassles that are involved in tenting.

The XT2000 Chet’s Orange Oil treatment is a very specialized process and not all homes qualify for the treatment. To find out if your home qualifies for the Chet’s Orange Oil treatment, schedule your free inspection today.

Late Spring, early Summer marks the return of the Drywood Termite. We’ve already seen a few swarms in Tampa & St. Pete, but we haven’t seen the major swarms yet….oh, but they’re coming just like the Love Bugs come each year. If you’ve ever experienced a swarm of termites, you’ll never forget it. For those of you that have yet to see a swarm or want to know what to look for, here is some information you may find helpful:

Drywood Termite Swarmer, immature and pellets

Drywood Termite Swarmer, immature and pellets

Drywood Termite Swarmer, immature and pellets

Drywood Termite Swarmer, immature and pellets

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll usually find them around your lights and windows. They’re naturally attracted to light. It’s not unusual to be watching TV or reading by a lamp at night and suddenly hundreds of these termites come swarming out of a crack or a kick out hole.

pile

A kick out hole is a small nail size hole they make in wood or drywall and pellets or piles of droppings, especially around window sills, baseboards or on hardwood floors.

Usually a swarm is the 1st indication you have a termite problem. If you see a swarm, don’t panic…because they don’t bite, and believe it or not, they can’t eat wood. These are the reproductives, whose only function is to find a mate and reproduce. Their job is the same as all love bugs we get a few times year here in Florida.

parachutesDo you remember watching World War 2 movies? In scenes where the plane would be circling over a target to let out the paratroopers? Once they were over the right location they would open the door of the plane and start jumping out, one after another. Floating to the ground and then discarding their parachutes.

This is similar to what reproductive swarming termites do. They develop during the course of each year and when the time is right they make their own little door and come out, one after another.

Since they are really bad fliers, they’ll land on the closest window or light. Once they land, just like a paratrooper, who no longer needs his parachute, they break off and discard their wings.

This is why you’ll see so many wings lying around without their bodies.

We get a lot of calls about flying termites that turn out to be swarming ants. At this time every year most insects are breeding and flying around. You’ll see both termites and ants around your outside lights.

One of the most dreaded pests that any homeowner can have is termites. Termites left unchecked can literally bring the house down around your ears. We know your house is a major investment, and we want to help you protect it.

We’ve had some homeowners wait decades before calling us to come out and solve the termite problem. By then it could be too late, and may require lots of wood replacement. Why would a person put a free inspection or treatment off for so long? It’s simple. They flat out refused to move out of their house for three days. Some people don’t want to put their dog in a kennel or they just have too many pets to move out. I know it can be very stressful and interrupts you and your pet’s daily routine.

Termite control begins with a thorough inspection process. We provide this free of charge to businesses and homeowners. We search all of the visible and accessible areas of the structure for wood destroying pests.

termatracWe’ve added a revolutionary new device called a Termatrac. It detects termite activity even through walls. We move it along drywall or the wood itself. It picks up any unusual movement, insect body heat or moisture. Just like being able to finding wall studs with a stud finder. It’s the same way the military finds its targets with thermal imagining.

“How Chet’s Treats Drywood Termites”

There is no ONE treatment that will work for all homes and businesses. There are a lot of cases when fumigation is the preferred method, but there are many cases when the XT2000 Chet’s Orange Oil is also an option. Since Chet’s Termite & Pest Management is the only company in all of Florida who is trained and certified to offer you both options, you can count on us to recommend the proper treatment for your home or business.

With either treatment you get a 100% money back guarantee.

Call my office 813-935-7554 right now while it’s fresh on your mind. Ask for your FREE INSPECTION and more specific details. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing one way or the other.

Ants in a Keurig Gross!

We had someone recently send in these pictures and a story about how they ended up with ants inside their Keurig coffee maker. We know, disgusting right?

They had a trail of ants on the counter and did some spraying in the typical spots (baseboard, floor, etc), thinking that would solve the problem.

But later they saw where the ants were hiding when they went to add water to their Keurig.

Inside the water container were a ton of dead floating ants as well as live ones getting water. The ants had moved in underneath the container and even had eggs stored in there. They basically took up residence in there where it was dark and near water.

You just never know where you will find ants and should always check areas near water.

Oh and give us a call to make sure they don’t get inside in the first place!

Ants in Keurig Ants in Keurig

7 Steps To Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s never too late to have a fresh perspective and some new resolutions or goals. According to many sources, the top resolutions people make are: losing weight, eating healthier, getting fit, quitting smoking, spending more time with the family, getting a better job, saving more money and traveling…all great goals!

Now here are 7 tips for keeping your 2015 resolutions…

1. Be realistic.

Maybe you can’t achieve all of your goals at one time. Have you ever heard this? “The easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” So, whatever you’re tackling this year, take it slow, chunk it down. For example, instead of saying I’m going to lose X amount of weight by such and such date, resolve to eat healthier, have portion control, and move your body for 30 minutes a day.

2. Put it in writing.

Some people say, “a goal not written down is just a wish.” So put it in writing. Hang your words up where you can see them and be moved by them every day. Who cares if there are sticky notes all over the bathroom mirror, you’re keeping yourself motivated here.

3. Make a plan.

Do more than write the end goal, created a tangible map for your journey. How are you going to get from point A to point B?

4. Enroll people.

Get the support of the people in your life who care about you and want to see you reach this goal. Enroll their support by telling them about your plans, you can do this both offline and through social media online.

5. Find Resources to support you.

You’ve got the world at your fingertips and whether you are losing weight, quitting smoking, going to school, or saving money there is probably an App for that.

6. Chart your progress.

There is no growth without measurement, so measure! Create a visual system that will help you to chart your progress and keep you on track towards your goals.

7. Don’t give up.

It’s not over til it’s over. If there are roadblocks, and there will be, you just figure out a way around them. Don’t let anything keep you from your goals this year.

Keeping your resolutions can help you to feel happier and more fulfilled. Be tenacious and stick to your plans. Then next year, you can look back with a sense of accomplishment.

I heard that UF was responsible for releasing the lovebug. Is that true?

Reposted from  on May 6, 2014 on UF | IFAS.

No, it’s not true. Not by a long shot. Not even close. NO!

This rumor’s been around for decades and its origins are unknown. But we can tell you a few things to bust this myth:

First, it’s clearly contradicted by the historical record:

The lovebugs commonly seen flying over highways in the Southeast are native to Mexico and Central America. They’ve been observed in the U.S. since at least the late 1930s. It’s believed that lovebugs first entered the U.S. by natural range expansion, or possibly through an accidental introduction.

The species was formally described under the name Plecia nearctica in 1940, by an entomology graduate student at the University of Kansas, D. Elmo Hardy. He had witnessed swarms of the insect in Texas and Louisiana. Incidentally, the lovebug had been recognized by scientists even earlier, and was given a provisional scientific name, Plecia bicolor.

Florida was one of the last Gulf Coast states the lovebug moved into. They were initially reported in 1949, in Escambia County – the county at the westernmost tip of Florida’s Panhandle. The insect gradually made its way further east and south into peninsular Florida.

This brief article from a 1970 issue of The Florida Entomologist documents the extent of the problem lovebugs caused as they became established in North Florida in the late 1960s.

UF’s only significant research on lovebugs came in the early 1970s, when the USDA funded studies to determine the extent of Florida’s newly arrived lovebug problem.

lovebug02

Figure 1. Adult lovebugs, Plecia nearctica Hardy, swarm on a building.
Photograph by Debra Young

Second, the basic idea is ridiculous.

As a biocontrol organism to use against mosquitoes, Plecia nearctica has very little going for it. Its larvae develop on land, unlike mosquito larvae. The adults feed on nectar, they’re slow fliers, they’re mainly active during the day, and their bodies aren’t well-adapted for seizing and devouring prey.

There’s nothing about the lovebug that would harm Florida’s blood-feeding mosquito species. So it’s hard to imagine any competent scientist looking at Plecia nearctica and thinking “this creature could help us control mosquito populations.”

We suspect that part of the reason this misconception has persisted is because it contains two elements that often appear in urban myths – foolish behavior by supposedly smart people, and good intentions leading to bad and unforeseen consequences. Also, it may be that sports fans at other Southeastern universities have kept the story going, as an off-the-field aspect of the rivalry between the Gators and local teams.

At any rate, the story isn’t true. UF gave you Gatorade, not lovebugs.

You can read more about lovebug myths and facts at this UF/IFAS document.

 

To Tent or Not To Tent…That IS the Question….

Home Being Tented for Drywood Termites

Condos Being Tented for Drywood Termites

Dear Friend,

I must admit, I’m not much of a Shakespeare fan, but the quote does seem very fitting these days as our entire staff gets asked this question on a daily basis….and we ask ourselves this question every day when evaluating Drywood Termite issues. What do I mean by this?? Well, here’s an actual phone conversation our office had with a caller today:

Carol: It’s a wonderful day and I appreciate you choosing Chet’s Termite & Pest Management, this is Carol, how can I help you.

Gary: Hi Carol.  My name is Gary and I’ve heard a lot about this Orange Oil treatment and I would like to talk to someone who can help me understand the process of treating termites without tenting.  Can you help me with this?

Carol: Of course I can.  How did you find out about the Orange Oil and how did you find Chet’s?

Gary:  Well, I recently found what I believe are Drywood Termite droppings in the back portion of my house and I really don’t want to go through the tenting process.  I’ve been through that before about 10 years ago and I really don’t want to do it again.  I recently received a copy of the Hillsborough County 5 Star Rated Home Services Review and I found your company in the book.  I liked what you had to say, so I decided to go online and look at your website.  Wow, there is a lot of information there and Chet does really seem like a nice guy from his welcome video on your site.  That’s really “The Chet”, right?

Carol: Yes sir!  The one and only.  Not another one like him in this world.  They broke the mold when they made him. I’ve been with Chet’s for over 20 years now and I can’t imagine working for anyone else.  He really does stand behind his word and work.  So, did you find what you were looking for on the site and is that what prompted you to call our office?

Gary: Carol, I must have spent an hour going through the videos and looking at the testimonials on the site. I also went to youtube and watched a few of Chet’s videos.  He sure seems passionate about what he does.  I like that.  I also went to The Better Business Bureau website to check your review and to make sure you were a reputable company…and it seems like you are.

Carol: Yes sir. That’s right Gary.  We’ve been in business since 1980 serving the Tampa Bay Area. We wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t stand behind our work and our products.  We have the best trained technicians in the business and most of our employees have been with Chet’s for 12 or more years.  In other words, we don’t have employee turnover, so the services remain consistent, which is why we’ve earned our high ratings.  And in your case, when it comes to Drywood Termite issues, our technicians are the best in the industry.  They’ve seen a lot of termite issues and they’ve done a lot of tents as well as Orange Oil treatments.  They will evaluate your home to see if it actually qualifies for an Orange Oil treatment.

Gary: Qualify?  What do you mean by QUALIFY for an Orange Oil treatment?  Don’t all homes qualify and what makes a home NOT qualify?  I don’t think I understand.

Carol: No problem Gary.  Excellent questions, and ones not easily answered by phone.  We have a saying around the office, “To Tent or Not To Tent, That Is the Question.”

There is a lot of termites in the Bay Area and not all homes qualify for an Orange Oil treatment. Why?  Well, there are several reasons homes don’t qualify for that treatment. Unfortunately, we’ve learned the hard way the factors that make a home less than desirable for this organic alternative to tenting.  Since 2009, when we starting doing these alternative treatments to tenting, we’ve compiled a list of factors that determine if an Orange Oil treatment will be effective.

So, here’s a short list of questions we ask before determining if an Orange Oil treatment is an option:

  1. How long has it been since you had your home tented?  Or what is the age of the home?
  2. Have you already had Drywood Termites swarm inside the home?  If so, how long ago?
  3. Do you have an attic or do you have a flat roof?  If there is an attic access, how tall is it?
  4. How many stories is the home?
  5. What is the foundation type? Crawl space or slab?
  6. Is the home concrete block or is it a wood frame home?

I know this sounds like a lot of questions, but we want to be sure we’re not offering something we don’t believe is the solution to your termite issue.  The only way to know for sure whether your home qualifies for an Orange Oil treatment is to set up a FREE inspection of your home.

Whether it’s tent fumigation or an XT2000 Orange Oil treatment, Chet’s is here to help guide you through the termite eradication process.  We are not limited to offering you 1 type of service for Drywood Termites, we offer both the Orange Oil and tent fumigation.  So we have it in your best interest, as well as ours, to recommend the best solution in the treatment of YOUR home.

Gary: So you offer both treatments?  Tent & Orange Oil?

Carol: Yes, that’s right.  We offer both.  And both have their advantages and disadvantages.  There is no perfect solution when it comes to treating Drywood Termites.  I know you’ve been through tenting before and really don’t want to do it again, but sometimes that really is the BEST option.  Only a thorough inspection by 1 of our highly qualified technicians will determine which program is best for you.

Gary: Do you offer warranties on both services?

Carol: Yes, 100% Money-Back guarantees on both.

Gary: Ok, great.  Let’s set up an inspection and see what my home qualifies for.  I sure hope it’s the Orange Oil.

Carol:  Sounds like a plan.

This is a typical phone conversation regarding Orange Oil and Tent Fumigation.  Only an inspection by 1 of our highly trained
technicians will determine which treatment options are available to you.

If you’ve seen termites near your home,…or if you’ve spotted some small mysterious piles of “sawdust” (that’s actually drywood termite “droppings”)…

Drywood Termite Pellets on Window Sill

Drywood Termite Pellets on Window Sill

Drywood Termite Swarmers on Window Sill

Drywood Termite Swarmers on Window Sill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or if you just have a gut-feeling there’s a termite problem… then call my office right now at:

813-935-7554

And we’ll send one of my highly qualified…and certified termite experts right away.  Your Chet’s Termite and Pest Management termite specialist can diagnose your pest problem and solve it quickly and safely.

Even if you’re only curious and would like an inspection, you should request your FREE inspection now, while it’s fresh on your mind.

Yours for a pest-free home…..

Termite & Pest Control Services for  Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties Since 1980

Ant or Termite…Which Do You Have?

Dear Friend, 

Over the years, the question I’ve been asked more than another other question is…”How can I tell if I have termite or ants”?

Here are some tips to help you determine if you have Ants or Termites:
Take a look at the picture below and answer some questions while looking at your bug:

Ant vs. Termite Comparison

Ant vs. Termite Comparison

1.  Does your specimen have wings? 

If there are 4 wings, 2 sets, what are the wing lengths?

— Termites will have 2 sets of equal length wings that will extend well past the abdomen, or end of the body.
— Ants will also have 2 sets of unequal length wings.  1 set will be shorter than the other and extend just beyond the abdomen.

2.  Does your specimen have 2 or 3 body parts/segments?

—Termites have only 2 body segments…a head with a thick waist.
—Ants, on the other hand, have 3 body segments…a head, thorax and an abdomen with a ‘pinched’ waist.

There are many other factors that determine if you have ants or termites, but these are the easiest to identify with the naked eye.

Whether you have ants or termites, you’ll want to have a thorough, professional inspection of your home to determine how and why they are entering your home and how they can be eliminated.

Call our office @ 813-935-7554 or request your free inspection online at chetspest.com.  We’ll send one of my highly-trained professionals to locate the main source of the nest or colony and apply the latest treatments to eliminate the problem.

Yours for a pest free home……