Bald Faced Hornets

Posted: October 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

How’s this for a surprise? You are outside doing yard work and trimming bushes when you aggravate a hidden Bald Faced Hornet nest! In fact an elderly woman died exactly this way when she was doing the exact same thing. Once these very aggressive hornets are disturbed they set of an alarm pheromone that tells nest mates to attack. Once stung there is another pheromone released with the sting that puts a bulls-eye right on you!

These nests start small and quasi-slowly in the spring but by August they can exceed the size of a basketball and by September they can be as big as a medicine ball! Wasps and hornets can cause anaphylactic shock in people and pets so do not get a can of “wasp & hornet jet freeze” and try and solve this problem on your own because you could be taking your life into your hands! Trust EHS to protect your health & property.

Jon Hinthorne
Service Specialist
Environmental Health Services, Inc.

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 

Cool Insect Picture

Posted: October 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I am an mature photographer so whenever I see the opportunity to take a cool picture I am ready. Being in pest control means I can get some cool and interesting pictures. I know most people are freaked out by insects but I have to admit, they are pretty cool, especially up close! It is easy to see why science fiction people often steal looks from insects.

I happened to see this grasshopper on a bush and was able to get him onto my hand where I snapped the up close shot. Looks like he is posing for me! From an artistic standpoint the fade to out of focus in the background made for an awesome picture!

Jon Hinthorne
Service Specialist
Environmental Health Services, Inc.

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 

Baby Car Seat and Yellow Jackets

Posted: September 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

You NEVER know what you are going to find in this crazy industry! I got called out for a Yellow Jacket nest under a deck at a customers home. The Yellow Jackets were really active. I saw a ground nest but then right next to it I see a baby’s car seat. Sure enough another Yellow Jacket nest was built right into the seat! They are amazing insects and they will construct their nests in anything!

Jon Hinthorne
Service Specialist
Environmental Health Services, Inc.

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 

Man Dies From Mouse Borne Disease

Posted: September 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Mouse-Borne Virus Kills Camper

A Bay Area man has died after contracting the rare hantavirus - a viral infection carried by mice and passed to humans by the rodents' feces or urine - that he was probably exposed to while staying in Yosemite's popular Curry Village tent cabins, public health officials said Thursday.

The 37-year-old man, whose name and hometown were not released, died in late July, about six weeks after his stay in Yosemite National Park. Another visitor to the park, a woman in her 40s who lives in Southern California, also became sick with hantavirus but is expected to survive, according to the state Public Health Department.

The woman and the Bay Area man were in Yosemite at the same time in mid-June and staying in cabins about 100 feet from each other, but did not know each other, Yosemite officials said.

Lab tests taken after the two fell ill confirmed that the virus was present in fecal matter from mice trapped near Curry Village, a collection of tents and cabins in the eastern end of Yosemite Valley.

"The mice shed the virus in urine, in feces, and when the urine or feces, or nests, are disturbed, the virus can become airborne and infect people," said Vicki Kramer, chief of the state health agency's vector-borne disease section.

Both victims suffered from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear after exposure to hantavirus.

Most people suffer flu-like symptoms first, including fever, headache and muscle pains, often in the thighs, back and hips. After two to seven days, many patients have severe difficulty breathing and can die.

There is no cure or virus-specific treatment for hantavirus. Patients typically are hospitalized and get help breathing while their body tries to fight off the virus.

'Bad options'

"It's supportive treatment only. We have pretty unacceptably bad options for treating hantavirus," said Dr. D. Scott Smith, chief of infectious disease and geographic medicine at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Redwood City.

"By the time someone comes in with a bad cough and a fever, sometimes it's too late."

There have been about 60 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome reported in California since the virus was identified in the United States in 1993. About a third of those patients died. So far this year, there have been four cases of hantavirus reported in California.

The virus is most commonly seen in the eastern Sierra and is rare in lower-elevation parts of the state. These two most recent cases are the first ever to be reported from Yosemite Valley, although the national park has had two cases in past years, both in visitors to the higher-elevation Tuolumne Meadows, said park spokesman Scott Gediman.

In California, the virus is spread primarily via deer mice, which have solid-colored backs and white bellies and generally live at higher elevations. Yosemite officials regularly monitor the activity of deer mice in the park, and crews that clean tent cabins are instructed to inspect rooms for mouse droppings, Gediman said.

No infestations

After the recent hantavirus cases were connected to the park, officials with the state Public Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited Yosemite and found no evidence of mouse infestations or unclean lodgings, Gediman said.

He and public health officials advised visitors to Yosemite and elsewhere in the Sierra to take precautions against contracting hantavirus.

People should avoid leaving food in the open, which can draw mice, and they should avoid contact with mouse feces or nests.

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 

Rats Infest New Country

Posted: September 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Rare Rat Infestation Spotted

The Canadian province of Alberta, which has long treasured its status as one of the world's few regions free of rats, said on Thursday it is working to rid itself of an infestation of the vermin discovered in a landfill.

Sixty Norway rats have been killed so far in a garbage dump outside Medicine Hat, a city of 61,000 in Alberta's southeastern corner, and officials are taking steps to eradicate the rest of the colony.

"We've got them isolated in a specific area within the dump and we have the dump also contained," said Vaughn Christensen, the provincial official who runs the province's rat control program. "And then ... for a number of miles surrounding the dump we have an active baiting program."

Alberta has billed itself as being rat free for more than seven decades after moving in 1950 to wipe out the rodents which eat agricultural crops and spread disease. The province maintains a 29-kilometer (18-mile) buffer zone along its eastern border with Saskatchewan where bait traps are monitored in order to watch for any rat populations headed west.

The Medicine Hat colony was spotted after rats began turning up in traps in the spring and through public reports.

While some infestations are occasionally spotted and dealt with, Christensen said it is rare to find a colony the size of the one in Medicine Hat's landfill.

"It's hard to put a number to the size," he said. "But if we recover 60 rats above ground then it's logical to assume, because they (live) primarily underground, there's more there. ... But I think we're talking hundreds, not thousands, and not the hundreds of thousands you might find in other parts of the world."

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA