Termite Season is once again knocking at the door

Termite season will arrive in just a few weeks. When the weather breaks, the termites will begin to swarm. Swarming is when the new reproductive termites take flight looking for a new place to call home. The termite swarm will usually occur on a sunny, humid morning. Termite Swarmers - AlatesOnce the termites have swarmed, they find a mate, and attempt to return to the soil to begin a new life. Most of the swarming termites will die. If they swarm inside a house, they die. When they swarm outside, other predators such as birds, lizards, spiders, and other insects will dine on the termites.

Many homeowners ask what they can do to protect their home. The first step is to have a qualified pest control technician inspect the home. The Bug Man offers a free termite inspection and evaluation. The inspection and evaluation takes between 30-60 minutes, depending on the type and size of home you have. Our technicians are all certified with the State and will provide a detailed report of each inspection, and even photo document any concerns. The next step is to design a gameplay to protect your home. This could include a treatment of the home or we may recommend having the home checked again in 12-18 months. The Bug Man features Termidor HE, America’s number 1 Termite Termite WorkersDefense! And The Bug Man is a locally owned and operated company, established in 2001.

Spring is the time termites swarm, so now is the time to have a checkup.  If your home has not been properly inspected in the past 2 years, now is the time to act.  Don’t wait until you see a problem, be proactive.

Don’t wait, contact The Bug Man today and ensure your house is protected!  We can be reached at 615-217-7284 or email us service@thebugman.us

Honey Bee Swarms – HELP is here!

How can we help the honey bee?

honeybee pollinated of flower
honeybee pollinated of flower

We have asked ourselves this question here at The Bug Man for many years.  We practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in our business, this basically means to be successful at our jobs while making the smallest impact on our environment possible.  Each year, we receive calls reporting honey bee swarms hanging from trees and the sides of houses.  We attempt to seek out a beekeeper to catch and relocate these bees safely.  Most of the time, the beekeepers are unable to respond in a timely manner because most of them have regular jobs and can’t get away.  This year, we have solved this problem!  Dan and Vicky Cassidy, owners of The Bug Man, have become the beekeepers!

Endor Farms – Honey Bee Apiary

Endor Farms - Apiary
Endor Farms – Apiary

Dan and Vicky Cassidy have started a small honey bee farm out in Rockvale to relocate and raise honey bees.  They will be available to catch and relocate honey bee swarms to this property and to care for them.  Dan and Vicky also have contacts (other beekeepers) in the local association that would be happy to take any hives that they are unable to keep.   Dan and Vicky are members of the Rutherford County Beekeepers Association (since July 2014), and constantly seeking out additional training in this new field.  Eventually, our customers will be able to purchase the local honey at The Bug Man office.  We will keep everyone posted when it becomes available.

What to do if you see a honey bee swarm

Honeybee swarm hanging from tree.
Honeybee swarm hanging from tree.

Most people become worried and even scared when they see a honey bee swarm.  While this is a normal reaction, the honey bees are not usually dangerous during a swarm.  Their goal is to seek out a new home quickly before they run low on energy stores.  The queen will land on a branch or wall and all the bees will gather around the queen bee and form a large ball-like mound.  This is often referred to as a basketball of bees.  This is the best time to contact a beekeeper.  They may stay here for 30 minutes or 2 hours.  Eventually, they will move on to another area until they find a suitable home.

When you see this cluster of bees, call our office and we will dispatch Dan & Vicky, with the bee response equipment.  If successful, the honey bee cluster will be captured and relocated safely to Endor Farms and the bee will be able to pollinate the crops out in the country.

If you find a swarm of honey bees, call us at 615-217-7284 and we will dispatch our beekeepers!

When mice and rats come knocking

Are the mice and rats knocking at your door?

family of miceAs the cold weather approaches, we all head inside where it is warm, sit by the fire and relax.  The same happens to all the pesky rodents this time of year.  The rodents are also looking for a nice warm place to nest for the winter time.  Here at The Bug Man, we receive an increasing number of calls about rodent activity after the first frost, and it continues until Spring.  Our trained technicians are well equipped to handle the pesky mice and rat calls as they occur.

The Bug Man recommends that business and homeowners proactively take steps to help keep these rodents away form the structures.  Sealing all entry points on the exterior larger than 1/4″ will help to keep them out.  Mice are able to enter through the smallest of holes while rats require a slightly larger opening for entry.  Many times rodents are able to enter into the crawl space of a home from utility lines or near the HVAC system.  It is best to seal these holes and openings with hardware cloth (metal screening) or mortar.  We find that the expanding foam can be chewed through by the mice and rats sharp teeth.

Removing alternate food sources that may attract the mice and rats

The Bug Man recommends storing all pet food, bird and grass seed in metal containers.  This will help to remove alternate food sources that the rodents are searching for.  It is recommended that you not leave pet food outdoors, as this will attract the rodents to your house.  Inside, it is best to remove all foods from tables, counter tops, and floors.  The mice and rats can climb and jump over 3 feet!

What do you do when you have a rat or mice infestation?

The Bug Man recommends that you trap indoors and bait outdoors when necessary.  Baiting in living areas is not recommended.  This can cause two main issues, it will attract the mice and rats into your house and they will die in your house.  Neither of these two results are what we are trying to accomplish.  The Bug Man will place bait in tamper resistant stations outside, in the crawl space, and possibly in the garage depending on the situation.  Your trained technician may place traps inside the house.  By placing the bait (think food source) outside, we are luring the rodents out of your living space!  This is our goal.

If a mouse or rat dies inside your home, it could smell for a few days.  Unfortunately, they will occasionally die in places that they are not accessible.  This could be in the attic or inside the walls.  When this occurs, it is usually impossible to locate the exact location for removal and you must resort to an odor neutralizer!

When it comes to rodent control, it is best to seal them out before the arrive.  A little preventative maintenance goes a long way.  But if you are faced with a rodent situation, feel free to contact The Bug Man, and our trained service technicians will be out to help.

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Murfreesboro Jazz Festival May 2-3, 2014

The Bug Man proudly supports the MainStreet Murfreesboro Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival LogoWith spring in the air, what better way to enjoy the beautiful weather than a weekend of jazz music and carnival food while sitting in the grass in the Historic Downtown Murfreesboro Square?  The Southeast Tourism Society has named Main Street JazzFest one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for May, 2014.  We are fortunate to have such an event right here in our own backyard.  The Jazz Festival with have music, food, and activities for the children.  And don’t forget to purchase a souvenir t-shirt, as the proceeds from the sales help keep this event returning each year.  So pack a blanket, a chair, and your kids in the van for a weekend of fun and relaxation.

Volunteer Opportunities at Jazz Fest

I have been a volunteer at the Murfreesboro Jazz Festival for the past 13 years.  The first year I volunteered in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Youth Group tent.  I was then recruited onto the Jazz Fest Committee and have held a role each year since.  My wife Vicky and two sons have also put in many hours during the event hauling ice, greeting sponsors, erecting tents and signs, and cleaning up once the music stopped playing.  This has been a great learning experience for the children over the years.  I encourage you to volunteer, it only requires a 2-3 hour commitment, to help Jazz Fest be a success again this year.  If interested, click on this link to register at the Jazz Festival website.

Saturday Performance Schedule Announced – Main Stage Schedule

Saturday, May 3 2014

11:00  Stewart’s Creek High School

11:40  TBA

12:20  Murfreesboro Youth Jazz Orchestra

1:00   MTSU Jazz Ensemble I

2:00   Kevin Whalum

3:15   MTSU Faculty Combo

4:30   Dara Tucker

5:45   Joe Davidian

7:00   Music City Swing

8:00   Joe Johnson

9:15   129th Army Jazz Band

  • Clinic at 3:30 featuring Kevin Whalum

The Friday Night schedule will feature the Rutherford County School Jazz Bands and on Saturday the Kroger Stage will also be running music all day long.  We are looking forward to seeing these schedules posted soon.  Are you ready for a weekend full of Jazz Music, food, and fun?  I know I am.  I hope to see everyone out at the MainStreet Jazz Fest 2014.

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Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee

It is termite season in Middle Tennessee, are you ready?

Termite WorkersEvery Spring, as the temperatures warm and the rains fall, a tiny insect wakens.  This tiny insect, know as the subterranean termite, emerges from inside walls, floors, trees, and the ground to make a mating flight and begin a new life as the king and queen of a newly established colony.  In the pest business, we call this termite swarm season!  When this occurs inside a home, thousands of winged ant-like insects begin to fly from out of the wall and towards the windows and other light sources.  Fortunately, all of these will die if they are unable to reach soil quickly.  But what they leave behind are the worker and soldier termites inside the walls of your house.  These are the termites that do the damage, eating the wood that your home is built with.  These are the termites that the homeowners in Tennessee must be concerned with.  But what can you do?

There are signs to look for around your house that may indicate a termite issue during swarm season.  A few of them are:

  • Termite shelter tubes or mud tunnels on the foundation of you house.  These may be found in the crawl space, on exterior foundations, and in the garage walls.  In Middle Tennessee they are usually orange in color, due to our clay soil.
  • Crumbling baseboards or drywall on the interior of the house.  The termites will eat the wood and paper behind the paint, and then the paint will crack or sink in, making it brittle.
  • Swarm castles and pinholes are usually found in the drywall; termites will penetrate through the paint layer in preparation for the swarm.Termite Swarmers - Alates
  • Dead insects that are usually black in color and look similar to ants and or wings.  The termite swarmers will break off their wings after fight before returning to the earth.  They can usually be found near windows and under light sources.

Prevention is the key, and here are a few tips on what you can do:

  • Termites eat the cellulose in wood, so it is recommended to remove all wood debris from around and under your house.  This includes the fire wood.  It is best to move it 10′ from your house and off the ground.
  • Termites need water, and we recommend that all gutters and downspouts are in working order and directing water away from the house.  Make sure you don’t have water puddling under your home.  Keep it dry.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are sealed properly to keep rain and moisture out.  Wet and rotting wood is a favorite of termites.

If you discover signs of termites in Middle Tennessee, what should you do?

Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee, but don’t panic… Really!  Termites damage homes, but not overnight.  Take a deep breath and relax.  Contact a professional and ask for a Free inspection.  Everyone does these, as it is an opportunity to educate the homeowner and earn your business.  A few questions you will want to have answered:

  1. How long has your company been in business and are you a member of the BBB, Pest Control Association, Chamber of Commerce, and a Quality Pro Company?
  2. What product are you planning to use to protect my home?  We use Termidor HE, as it has the best proven track record of success.
  3. Has the termite technician attended the 3 day Termite Master Apprentice training program hosted by Tennessee Department of Agricuture that regulates all pest control companies, along with company training?
  4. Does the termite service offer a damage repair warranty or just a treatment warranty?

At the end of the day, you must feel confident that the company you hire to eliminate the termites will do the job right, and be there to stand behind their work in 5, 10, or 20 years if an issue ever arrises.

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Ticks and Lyme Disease: Put the Lyme in the Coconut and Call Me in the Morning

Now, let us get it straight, you got the lyme disease from the ticks and now your neck hurts? Put a lime in the coconut and call us in the morning to set up an appointment to treat your yard for ticks!

Did we stretch that comparison too much? 🙂

With this year’s super-abundance of ticks, you’ve got to wonder if there will be more cases of lyme disease reported. Although only 2% of tick bites result in lyme disease, we wanted to give you a brief explanation of what lyme disease is.

    • Lyme disease is most common in boys between the ages of 5 and 19. It’s also common with people over 30 years old.

 

    • 80% of the people with lyme disease develop a rash around the tick bite

 

    • Lyme rash is often confused with spider bites. The rash enlarges in size over time, and is usually red in color

 

    • Lyme disease must be diagnosed by a doctor

 

    • 20% of people with lyme disease have flu-like symptoms, but not a rash

 

    • A cough and runny nose are not symptoms of lyme disease

 

    • Fever, aches, and fatigue can be signs of lyme disease

 

    • If lyme disease is left untreated, it could lead to temporary paralysis, and numbness in the face and limbs

 

    • Over time it could also lead to short-term memory loss, migraines and dizzines

If you’re in an area that has lots of ticks, be on the lookout for any signs of a rash or these symptoms. Just because you wake up with a sore neck doesn’t mean you have lyme disease, though. Put a lime in a coconut and call your doctor in the morning to discuss any symptoms.

If you’re in Rutherford or Wilson County in Middle Tennessee and you’d like to get your yard treated for ticks, please give us a call at 615.217.7284. You could also call us to sing us the lime and the coconut song, if you’d like. We’re all about random times of amusement throughout the day.

How Acorns are Contributing to More Ticks This Year

Did you know that 2010’s acorn crop is contributing to this year’s increase in ticks?

acorn

It’s not the early hot weather that we’ve had. It’s acorns!

While browsing Twitter the other day, we came across a story that the National Pest Management Association (@PestWorld) tweeted. To read their full article on the topic, you can follow this link: Acorns, Not Weather, to Blame for More Ticks.

Basically, the increase in the acorn crop led to an increase in mice eating the acorns. And with more mice, come more ticks. The science of pest control has a lot to do with the predator and prey food chain. One pest affects another pest.

The Bug Man serves Rutherford and Wilson County in Tennessee. We have a specialized tick service. For more information on how we can take care of your tick problem, please call us at 615-217-7284 or email us at service@thebugman.us.

And, we’re active on Twitter and Facebook. We frequently post updates about pest issues in our area, as well as funny photos and videos. Join us there!

The Bug Man Wins Fourth Ruthie Award for Favorite Pest Control Company

The 2011 Ruthies results are in! Ladies and gents, we won! For the fourth consecutive year, The Bug Man won first place in the Favorite Pest Control Company category of the Daily News Journal’s Ruthies awards. The 2011Ruthies results are in! Ladies and gents, we won!

For the fourth consecutive year, The Bug Man won first place in the Favorite Pest Control Company category of the Daily News Journal’s Ruthies awards.

We send a virtual thank you to all who voted! We’re honored and humbled.

Just like us, you’re probably curious about who else won an award. Well, click no further than this website:RuthiesAwards.com.

Voting for the 2011 #Ruthies is Coming to an End

The voting for the #ruthies is coming to a close on August 28. Thanks to all who have voted. With less than a week to go, let’s keep on voting!Throughout August, we’ve been rounding up our friends, family and fans for support as we go after our fourth Ruthie award for Favorite Pest Control Company.

We are so honored that so many people show their support via kind words, notes, comments and visits to the office. We’ve been voted as number one three years in a row and we’re hoping that we come out with a fourth Ruthie win.

Here’s how to vote:
Voting is coming to a close–the last day to cast a daily vote is August 28th. To vote for The Bug Man in the Favorite Pest Control Company category go to RuthiesAwards.com, click on Retail and Professional Services, and then Favorite Pest Control Company. You’ll find The Bug Man at the top of the page under Bug Man.

Thank you so much, everybody! No amount of words can express our profound appreciation for you!

UPDATE: We won the Ruthie! Wohoo! Read our announcement for more information.

Stink Bugs on the Rise in Middle Tennessee

Tennessee, as well as 32 other states in America, are dealing with the rotten reality of stink bug infestations.

When considering the odoriferous occasional invader that is the stink bug, they can be described much like Mr. Grinch:

“The three words that describe you are as follows, and I quote, ‘Stink, Stank, Stunk!’”

Tennessee, as well as 32 other states in America, are dealing with the rotten reality of stink bug infestations. Unfortunately, because they secrete a smelly liquid when threatened, even a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole won’t help.

Stink bugs have already been reported in the Middle Tennessee area. Some species of the bug attack crops and can cost farmers millions of dollars in damage. Other stink bugs only attack the noses of people who happen to step on or disturb them.

To prevent stink bugs from entering your home, make sure you seal around windows and doors with silicone-latex caulk. Also, patch any holes or replace any damaged screens on windows, porches or doors. Vacuuming an affected area may help, as long as the vacuum bag is disposed of properly and not left inside to release the nasty odor.

The National Pest Management Association warns homeowners this week that the bugs’ growing populations are likely to make infestations significantly worse this year. “This season’s stink bug population will be larger than in the past,” says Jim Fredericks, director of technical services for NPMA.

If you encounter stink-stank-stunk bugs in your home or work place, do not squash them. Call us at 615.217.7284 or email service@thebugman.us. We’re happy to help you defeat those mini Mr. Grinches!