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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Truth about Bug Bites

Today because of the media publicity around Bed Bugs many people jump to the conclusion that the bites they discover are caused by bed bugs. Bug bites do not always form into a bump immediately after the bite and can go unnoticed until the next day. The truth may have a much simpler explanation.

Were you outside early morning or evenings?
Do you sleep with your windows open?
Do you have a pet that partially lives outside?
Were you sitting out on a lawn or at a park?
Have you been hiking through the woods?
Were you gardening?
Did you discover a bird’s nest by a window?
Do you have a lot of dust and lint in your home?

We are exposed to the insects listed below during these activities.

Bed bugs are wingless biting insects that feed at night. Often associated with bedrooms and motel/hotel rooms. Infested rooms often have a distinctive odor.

Bed Bugs Facts:
Bed bugs bite every 3-5 days
One bite is not indicative of a bed beg infestation
As the infestation grows biting will increase to daily
Bed Bugs cause no known health risk
They are not caused by dirt but clutter helps them hide

Mosquitoes are small, delicate flies. Female mosquitoes need a blood meal in order to successfully lay eggs. A number of important diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes.

Fleas are small, wingless insects that bite people and pets in order to draw a blood meal. New medications make flea control relatively easy.

Ticks are eight legged, wingless arthropods. Ticks are a type of mite that bite to get a blood meal. Ticks can transmit diseases like Lyme disease .

Bird mites (rodent/nest mites) are tiny mites that live in the nests of their animal hosts. These mites occasionally invade homes and bite people as well.

Head lice or Pubic lice are small, wingless insects that bite in order to draw a blood meal. Bites result in itchy lesions. Seek medical attention.

Dust mites are tiny mites that inhabit the dust in our homes and may cause allergies.

Spiders are related to ticks and mites. While most spiders are harmless and even beneficial. Spiders only bite humans in defense.

Outdoor & Garden Pests

Yellowjacket wasps are medium-large stinging wasps. Most Yellowjackets are yellow with black markings; some are all black with white markings. Wasps are not clothed in fine hairs as are honey bees.

Africanized "killer" bees are a highly aggressive strain of honey bee that has moved into the southern states (US). Great care should be taken when these dangerous insects are encountered.

European paper wasp (Polistes dominulus) has become a pest in many parts of the US in recent years. Close in appearance to yellowjacket.

Chigger mites are tiny, extremely annoying biting mites. They produce an intensely itchy bite that can drive gardeners from their gardens. Found only in the southern states.

Fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) inflict extremely painful stings with any encounter. Currently, there is a highly invasive species (Solenopsis invicta) making inroads in the southern US and Australia.

Horse & deer flies are large, biting flies. These flies breed in moist areas around ponds, ditches, etc. and can be very persistent and annoying. Their large, dark or multi-color eyes make these flies easy to identify.

Biting midges are tiny, biting flies sometimes called "no-see-ums" or "punkies". These midges breed in salt marshes, mud flats, and shallow freshwater. Bites can be extremely irritating.

Black flies are biting flies whose larvae are aquatic, found in shallow, fast-flowing streams. These flies bite during daylight hours. Found mostly in Northern NY and New England.

Centipedes are medium to large arthropods with many pairs of legs, one pair per body segment. Like their spider relatives, centipedes are predators, whereas millipedes, with two legs per segment, are mainly scavengers. Centipedes may bite producing a painful but localized reaction. Centipedes are rarely a problem, however.

Mange is a condition in dogs, cats and other mammals caused by tiny mites. Sarcoptic mange is closely related to human scabies. Seek the help of a veterinarian.

Scabies mites are tiny mites that burrow into the skin causing a condition called scabies. Seek medical attention.

Unknown or mysterious bug bites can sometimes be traced to real insects or mites but often have another explanation.

Individual description credited to Jack DeAngelis, PhD OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.) edited by Ralph H. Maestre BCE

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In letter grades, McDonald's trumps Jean Georges

August 09, 2010 3:25 PM By Lisa Fickenscher

Popeye's Chicken in Flushing, Queens, receives an A grade, as does a White Castle in Manhattan, while some high-profile restaurants are threatened with B's and C's.

Image by Buck Ennis

If New Yorkers assumed that fast-food eateries, chains or lesser known delis and cafés would rate poorly, they will be surprised to learn that many of the As given out so far went to such places as a Popeye's Chicken in Flushing, Queens, a McDonald's at 405 Sixth Ave. and a White Castle on East 103rd Street in Manhattan.

Since July 27, when the city's health department began issuing letter grades evaluating restaurants' cleanliness, 443 eateries have been visited by an inspector and just 16% of them received an A, the highest mark.

The rest are waiting for a second inspection before their final grade is posted, probably within the next few weeks. If they don't improve, 209 of them could get a B and 164 could be slapped with a C grade. A health department spokeswoman said that by early September the first Bs and Cs will start to be posted prominently in restaurant windows.

If New Yorkers assumed that fast-food eateries, chains or lesser known delis and cafés would rate poorly, they will be surprised to learn that many of the As given out so far went to such places as a Popeye's Chicken in Flushing, Queens, a McDonald's at 405 Sixth Ave. and a White Castle on East 103rd Street in Manhattan.

The T.G.I. Friday's at 1 Penn Plaza, which was inspected last Wednesday, was found to be spotless. It had zero violations.

More surprising are some of the celebrated restaurants and hotels that were inspected last week and received enough violations to earn a B or C, though they have an opportunity to improve their score when they are re-inspected.

Restaurants that receive 0 to 13 points qualify for an A; while 14 to 27 points equal a B; and 28 or more points equal a C.

Jean Georges restaurant received 15 violations and was faulted for holding cold food above 41 degrees and smoked fish above 38 degrees Fahrenheit, while The Palm at 837 Second Ave. received 20 violations. The Four Seasons Hotel earned 17 violations, and SoHo Grand Hotel racked up 25. Balthazar restaurant in SoHo received 18 points, Amy's Bread bakery on Ninth Avenue was hit with 29, and Tony's Di Napoli on Second Avenue and East 83rd Street received a whopping 39 points.

At least one celebrity chef who will likely come out of the new grading system looking like a hero is Thomas Keller, whose Per Se in the Time Warner Center has been inspected four times since 2008 with inspectors continually finding zero infractions. The restaurant was last inspected on April 13 this year.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New York City Bed Bug Advisory Report Published

The long awaited NYC Bed Bug Panel Report has been published (full report here). I remember attending the public hearing with Ralph Maestre BCE Magic's Board Certified Entomologist.

Like so many of us in the Pest Control industry the Bed Bug Epidemic came fast and furious. Mr. Maestre along with our field managers and advise from other leading Entomologists (Dr. Austin Frishman, Dr. Bobby Corrigan & Dr. Louis Sorkin etal.) began to develop a treatment plan for the eradication of Bed Bugs.

Magic's Treatment Plan has been deployed in the field for over three (3) years with a 97% Success Rate after only one (1) treatment:
  • Inspection of the property (If an infestation is found Magic always advises to treat the entire premises and/or apartments.)
  • Educational Material and Lectures as the situation requires.
  • Do Not Throw Anything Out - Magic's Heat Chamber and Vault Fumigation options provide Green eradication of all pests.
  • Steam Treatments.
  • HEPA Vacuums.
  • Strict Preparation Guidelines.
  • Certified Bed Bug Covers.
  • Alcohol based application.
  • Non repellent pest control products.
  • Dusting of electrical outlets, wall voids, cracks & crevices.
  • a 60 Day re-treatment option.

Magic's Bed Bug Treatment Plan meets and exceeds the guidelines outlined in the Advisory Report (click here). For more information feel free to contact us.

Remember no matter the problem Bed Bugs, Rats, Mice, Roaches, bees Magic is ready to assist you.