Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pest Control

Ah, springtime. The melting of snow, the sprouting of tulips, the return to life for many of us … and when I say “us,” I’m not just talking human beings. Spring cleaning can unearth unwanted house guests such as termites and carpenter ants that have been sleeping—that is, burrowing, building nests—in your walls and floors.
According to the Termite Institute, termites are a $5 billion problem for homeowners. Perhaps an even bigger problem, ants—not just carpenter but 10 different species that can threaten homes—are capable of infesting and multiplying at rapid rates. You know what I mean if you’ve ever left a can of pop open outside in summertime, or dropped fruit scraps in the kitchen; in mere hours, ants are at the scene like paparazzi on Britney (another unwanted, gross house guest).
Besides entomologists and Gary Larson fans, nobody wants to talk about pests unless you’re already facing an infestation; however, because termites and ants can strike without warning, even the best-kept homes are at risk.
The Termite Institute and the Ant Institute are trying to change all this by speaking out to homeowners about these pesky pests, providing homeowners with identification, prevention and eradication information. Especially interesting, both websites offer live web cameras that vividly simulate what it would be like if either bug moved in.
If you’ve read this far, you’re either worried about infestation or already dealing with one. Horror stories certainly abound across the Web, from those dealing with ongoing struggles that want to share their knowledge, to notification of goings on Down Under, where admittedly, the bugs look a whole lot scarier. For elimination of termites, the University of Kentucky’s Department of Entomology has a straightforward guide for homeowners, including how to deal with the problem and how toprevent it from happening in the first place.
The University has a similar site for ants, again directed right at homeowners. Why so generous, Kentucky? Maybe it’s all that tasty blue grass.


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