Monday, February 20, 2012

10 Proactive Steps to Prevent Pests

Servall Pest Control bringing you ten tips to prevent pests in a commerical setting, this article comes from

Pest control is an important component of any food or beverage plant’s food safety plan, but implementing a proactive preventive program rather than a reactive control program can provide even greater protection against adulteration from food-contaminating pests.

“Control has the designation of being reactive; it means a population exists and you have to deal with it,” said Massey Services Technical and Training Director Tom Jarzynka. If, on the other hand, you implement an effective pest prevention program, the opportunity for pests to come into a protected environment is greatly reduced.

“Then,” he added, “because you’ve taken away the opportunity, there is no reason for pesticide application.”

The difference between control and prevention of pests is similar to that of any potential food contaminant. Control means there is a problem and a solution needs to be found to fix it, said Adam’s Pest Control President Todd Leyse, whereas prevention means one is taking steps to keep a problem from happening.

Ten Tips. Whether conducted by in-house staff or an outside service provider, some recommendations for incorporating a preventive program include:

1. Understand your plant’s needs. The geographic area of a plant can have significant impact on pest potential. Adam’s is located in Minnesota where the cooling temperatures of autumn mean that pests begin to seek shelter in buildings. Thus, prevention can be the seasonal application of a perimeter treatment to keep insects out. For this same reason, one needs to have an understanding of the potential pests, said Adam’s Technical and Training Director Mohammad El Damir.

2. Look for conducive conditions. Pests will enter buildings in search of food, water, or shelter. Thus a preventive program needs to include a complete inspection of both the exterior and interior of the plant for potential entry points and attractants, then taking corrective action to fix these.

3. Reduce attractants. Controlling a pest problem means finding and eliminating the source—identifying the issue then trailing back to determine its origination, Jarzynka said. In the same way, to prevent pest problems, a plant should inspect for and eliminate all potential sources and attractants.

4. Pay attention to the exterior. Often, companies will take care of the inside of the facility but neglect the outdoors, El Damir said. But if outlying conditions and exterior attractants are reduced, there will be fewer pests around the exterior, thus fewer pests seeking to come into the interior.

5. Implement exclusion techniques. One of the most important areas of prevention is the closing and sealing of potential pest entry points, he added. Keeping doors closed and dock doors lowered will help, but sealing pest-sized entry points is just as critical. Rats can enter your facility and seek harborage through half-inch holes; mice through gaps of one-quarter inch; and insects through the tiniest of cracks and crevices.

6. Maintain a sanitary environment. You can prevent a great deal of chemical usage through “heavy doses of water and soap,” Jarzynka said. The cleaner the plant, the less a pest will be attracted or want to stay. If you take away its access to food and water, it will leave or starve; if you reduce clutter and seal off cracks and gaps—taking away its ability to find harborage and shelter, it will be put under a tremendous amount of stress, reducing its ability to thrive. When this is combined with the placement of traps and baits, the pest is left in exposed areas because it has no shelter and must travel farther to seek food and water. “There is greater opportunity for it to come in contact with control measures and be eliminated,” Jarzynka said. “So anything you can do from a sanitation point of view will stress the pest and enable treatment activities to be more successful.”

7. Implement an employee hygiene program. Employees can carry pests into food plants on their belongings and their clothing. Although there has long been a focus on such potential for introducing cockroach infestations, the latest trend, of which many are unaware, is the increasing potential for employees to carry in and introduce a bed bug infestation.

8. Train and educate employees. It is important to encourage a culture of prevention, educating employees to the what and the why. For example: Don’t prop doors open during breaks because any variety of pests can creep, slither, or fly in behind you. Plants need to make cultural changes, or mechanisms to keep the building secure will be of little use.

9. Maintain records for trend analysis. Both federal inspectors and third-party auditors will want to see that pest service and pest activity logbooks and records are maintained—and that steps are taken for corrective action if and when activity is found. But just as important is the data that you can extract from such records. Both Jarzynka and Leyse emphasized the importance of monitoring pest trends. By doing so, recurring problems can be detected and corrected and potential problems can be anticipated—and prevented.

10. Conduct regular assessments. At least once a year—or quarterly if feasible—inspect the entire facility, focusing on all nine steps listed above. Then assess the results for conducive conditions, structural or cultural needs, and trends; address issues; and take corrective action.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Landscape Factors Impact Urban Pest Control

Servall Pest Control bringing you an article from

Most people have had pests in their house at some point or another, and the problem may have been so extreme that it required treatment of some sort--a trap or two, or perhaps even some sort of chemical. These sorts of measures can be effective at removing target species, but they may also have an impact on other animals that find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. One well-known example of this is the massive die-offs of large bird species, particularly vultures, that have resulted from the birds' unwittingly feeding on carcasses of poisoned pest species. Because nuisance animals are often considered a more interesting research topic for exterminators than for scientists, many pest systems are not understood in the sort of detail that helps managers develop good treatment plans, or lawmakers to write bills protecting innocent animal bystanders caught in the crossfire.

Two collaborators from the Western Ecology Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently published results of research aimed at rectifying this situation. Their study focused on the use of anticoagulant chemicals in two urban/suburban areas in California. Anticoagulants are commonly used on mammalian targets such as rats and mice, but they may also impact non-target species such as squirrels, rabbits and other small mammals, as well as the avian and terrestrial predators that eat them. Other at-risk species include those that are threatened, protected, or regulated for any number of other reasons, including foxes, bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions.

The researchers suspected that use of chemicals might be associated with both landscape factors, such as the proximity of "natural" habitat and the type/age of the buildings in which treatments were used, as well as socioeconomic factors. In order to investigate this, they distributed questionnaires to residents in the two study sites--southwestern Bakersfield and a suburban area near the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SAMO)--in order to collect information allowing them to better understand how chemical usage patterns are related to mortality rates, and also to investigate landscape variables associated with the use of these products. The study sites were chosen after local biologists conducted necropsies and home range analyses of dead wildlife there; these examinations revealed that the animals had died from poison distributed in and around Bakersfield and SAMO.

While rats and mice were the most common target species at both sites, residents in Bakersfield also used poison to control for kit foxes, while residents in SAMO treated for small mammals such as squirrels, gophers, and rabbits, as well as for larger animals such as bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions. Although you might think that older homes would be more permeable to pest species, control and chemical use did not vary with building age in either study area. Likewise, residents in both locations were more likely to treat for nuisance animals if they lived in single-family dwellings rather than apartment complexes, and in lower-density developments. The main difference between Bakersfield and SAMO chemical usage patterns was related to distance to open space. In the former, only squirrel control efforts were associated with this variable (with more treatment occurring nearer open spaces), while in the latter, distance to open space influenced control of the two main target species, rats and mice (with more treatment occurring closer to open spaces). These differences probably stem from the fact that Bakersfield is, in general, less densely urbanized than SAMO, and located much farther from large tracts of natural habitats; both of these variables influence availability of resources and the movements of small mammals.

Both study sites had control and/or chemical "hotspots," where large numbers of residents reported taking measures, chemical or otherwise, to reduce the incidence of pests. The single Bakersfield control hotspot was located near both a golf course and a construction site, and was close to otherwise open habitat. The two SAMO control hotspots overlapped with three chemical hotspots; all were near densely-vegetated wash channels close to open space, and one was associated with development of a new residential subdivision. Thus, it appears that pest mammals are likely to become particularly problematic to humans who live near "natural" areas and those located in habitats under construction.

Cumulatively, the results indicate that landscape patterns impact the distribution of nuisance species, which, in turn, impacts use of chemicals and other control measures. Predictably, the most human-commensal species, mice and rats, were targeted fairly uniformly across the habitats. However, other species were only controlled for in pockets. The researchers hypothesize that this is because the presence of these animals is strongly related to both the presence of land cover (acting as shelter and facilitating safe movement between habitat patches) and patterns of land use (e.g., for feeding, breeding, or hiding). Survey respondents frequently associated the presence of some pest species with exotic vegetation--particularly fruiting trees that provide an attractive source of food for many animals. Future research will need to investigate the extent to which invasives influence habitat use by potential nuisance species--and to what extent this encourages nearby humans to use chemicals and other control measures.

Also intriguing is an apparent link between socioeconomic factors and the proximity of pests. Survey respondent income was linked to two variables (distance to open spaces, density of housing) that impacted chemical use. According to the authors, this suggests there is a "possible feedback loop of interacting ecological and social phenomena." Specifically, human habitat alteration creates appealing wildlife habitat, which draws animals in closer to humans; when these species become a nuisance, they are controlled for and, often, the damage they caused is repaired; because the original wildlife-attractive variables remain in place, more wildlife appear over time, and the cycle starts all over again. The researchers hope that the "hotspots" identified by their analyses can be used to pinpoint which urban areas are particularly at risk of entering this feedback loop. In these locations, landscapers and managers may need to get creative in order to find safe and effective ways to discourage pests from utilizing anthropogenic resources, while also ensuring that innocent bystanders don't get harmed in the process.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Servall is Hiring!!

Servall is hiring!!!!
**Servall, LLC of Murray**
Seeking Applicants for Termite Technicians!!!

Friendly, welcoming pest control company is seeking energetic and enthusiastic persons to join our team. We care about our customers and strive to improve their lives. We enjoy our work and get it done in a spirit of cooperation with one another, not competition. Persons applying must possess diligence, communication skills, and the ability to work in conjunction with others. Servall, LLC provides many benefits including competitive wages, Monday-Friday work schedule, paid holidays, vacation, 401k, medical and dental insurance, paid training and bonuses. Servall, LLC is an equal opportunity employer and all applications are considered with no discrimination based on age, sex or race. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. If you wish to join our team, contact us at 1-800-264-143 or e-mail us at

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unseasonably Warm Weather Could Mean Earlier Termite Activity

Servall Pest Control wants you to be prepared for the upcoming pest season. Here is an article from regarding termites:

The above-average temperatures much of the U.S. has seen recently could mean earlier termite activity. Subterranean termite swarms have already been seen in south-central Florida and will move west into the Gulf states, north into the Carolinas and then spread throughout the country.

When the temperature rises above 60 degrees, termites often swarm inside homes before moving outdoors to search for food and water. Homeowners should not assume termite swarms are flying ants, a common misconception based on appearance. Termites are found in every state except Alaska and thrive in warm and damp, humid climates.

Termites get moisture from the ground or use moisture found in a home or building from leaks or condensation. Moisture combined with increasing temperatures make springtime conditions in the South ideal for termite activity.

Even though termites are most visible in the spring, they can damage property year-round. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause about $5 billion in damage per year in the U.S. Homeowners should contact a pest management professional if they suspect any termite activity, because the warning signs can be subtle and often go unnoticed until structural damage has already occurred.
Signs of an infestation can include termite swarms, mud tubes and piles of discarded wings. After the termites swarm—usually during warm spring days—they can shed their wings and leave piles of them behind.

Termites are attracted to light, so swarms are typically found around lighting fixtures and windowsills. Mud tubes act as a protective tunnel and provide moisture for the termites. The mud tubes are about the size of a pencil and usually run vertically on the inside or outside of a building's foundation.

Here are some tips to help prevent termites from entering your home:
-Keep gutters clear, and direct water from downspouts away from your home.
-Do not pile mulch or allow soil to accumulate against your home's siding. This could provide access  for termites to enter your home.
-Pay close attention to dirt-filled porches and crawlspaces. Termites could have easy access to wood -through cracks in foundation walls or if wood is in contact with the soil.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Invader Hits British Ladybug Numbers

Servall Pest Control likes to stay up to date with pest news from all over the world. We are living in a global market so it doesn't take long for pests to travel. Here is news of a new pest from the UK, this article comes from

WALLINGFORD, England, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A decline in ladybugs native to Britain is being driven by an invasive species of the family of colorful little beetles, scientists say.

The Asian harlequin ladybug, or ladybird as the beetles are called in many parts of the world, is responsible for a decline of seven out of eight native species examined by researchers, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The harlequin species was brought into Europe for pest control but is now seen as a pest itself, as harlequins breed more frequently than many native European species and compete for food and habitat, researchers said.

"This study provides strong evidence of a link between the arrival of the harlequin and declines in other species of ladybird," said Helen Roy from the Center for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxfordshire.

The invasive ladybugs could have a damaging effect on ecosystems throughout Europe, researchers said.

"Ladybirds provide an incredibly useful ecological function by keeping aphids in check," said Tim Adriaens of the Research Institute for Nature and Forest in Belgium.

"At the continental scale, the arrival of the harlequin could impact on the resilience of ecosystems and severely diminish the vital services that ladybirds deliver."

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