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Happy Groundhog Day!

Every February 2nd, a groundhog named Phil emerges from his burrow in Pennsylvania to predict the weather for the rest of the winter season. Legend states, if Phil sees his shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, spring will arrive early.

The USA Today  reports, this morning at 7:20am, Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow proclaimed another six weeks of winter. How is that so?

For many this year, especially here in the Hudson Valley, this year’s mild weather feels like spring is already in the air. Yesterday’s temperatures in Albany reached a high of 58 degrees. Wow!

Today on our Facebook and Twitter Pages, we are discussing Groundhog facts. Here are some:

  • The National Climatic Data Center reports the groundhogs prediction accuracy rate is around 39%.
  • The groundhog is one of the few mammals that are true winter hibernators. Their breathing slows and heart rate falls to 4 beats per minute.
  • Thegroundhog is in the Sciuridae family, which embraces all tree squirrels, ground squirrels, prairie dogs and marmots.
  • Groundhogs are most active during daylight hours. During the warmer months they forage for grasses, flowers and cultivated crops.
  • If disturbed groundhogs will stand erect and motionless for to identify the danger and may emit a shrill whistle when alarmed.
  • Groundhogs can infest favorable habitats, especially alfalfa and clover hay fields, at a rate of as many as 10 chucks per acre.
Happy Groundhog Day from your local pest control expert!
Harsh Weather Yet to Come

Is it really winter? With below average snow fall totals in the Northeast, it certainly does not look like winter. It may be cool, but experts states this is one of the mildest winters in years. Despite the mild winter, pests can still invade your structure, is your Rhinebeck or Cornwall home protected?

The National Pest Mangment Assocaitons states, “dangers posed to roads and airports, the winter weather trifecta of ice, snow and wind also poses a threat to homes.”  A combination of these elements can cause new cracks and openings in foundations and roofs, leaving the house vulnerable to spring rains and unexpected pests. Unfortuantely winter storm damage may not be noticeable until pests are already in and infesting your home. Moisture from ice and snow can lead to damaged walls, ceilings, insulation and drywall attracting wood destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants.

NPMA recommends the following tips for homeowners to ensure their homes are and remain pest-free:

  • Look for missing roof shingles, ripped window screens and clogged gutters, all of which are entry points for pests.
  • Seal cracks and holes including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Vacuum around doors and windows. Frequent vacuuming can catch invaders like spiders, silverfish, earwigs and beetles.
  • Inspect garages and outbuildings for rodents or signs of a rodent infestation. organzie cluttered debris, boxes and random items along the walls where mice may hide or nest.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional.

For more information about pest maintenance and tips on identifying an infestation, contact Craig Thomas Pest Control. Serving the Hudson Valley with local, 3rd Generation Experience you can TRUST!

Bed Bug Infested Clothing

A recent article from CBS news expresses the reality of bed bugs facing people across the country. A dryer cleaner in Edmonton, Canada said, “Accepting bedbug-infested clothing is too risky.”

After discovering an infestation of bed bugs, many peoples first reaction is to throw items away. However, this is not always necessary. The key is to contain infested or suspected items by placing in a plastic bag or container. Once contained, follow these simple steps:

  1. All items (clothing, bedding) should be washed and dried on the highest heat for a minimum of 1 hour. Once cleaned, place in plastic bags or plastic containers until you are cleared bed bug free.
  2. Items that can not be washed (suitcase, shoes, electronics, couches), place in a plastic bag or plastic container. Contact us about our heat chamber, where items can be heated and be removed after 6 hours bed bug free.
  3. Mattresses do not have be thrown out. Ask about our mattress encasements.

When returning home from traveling, place all items (clean and dirty) in washer and dryer. Place in the dryer on the highest setting for a minimum of an hour. This will kill all life stages of bed bugs. In regard to your suitcase, inspect the suitcase, vacuum the suitcase and use a scrub brush along the seams and folds.

With the increase of bed bugs across the nation, especially locally in New Paltz, Woodstock, Ellenville, we are your bed bug specialists. With news coverage and raised awareness, become educated and more cautious when traveling or visiting bed bug prone areas. Contact us for a free estimate and/or information.

Animal Planet's newest show: Infested

Growing up in the pest management industry I have been surrounded by insects, rodents, creepy crawly bugs and much more. Even though I can handle a huge bee’s nest, I cannot handle rodents. I have to admit watching the newest pest control show; “Infested,” I am certainly entertained.

“Infested” is a series featuring unbelievable stories of families dealing with extremely infested homes. While the show depicts the squeamish and scary aspects, my colleague Jeffrey White provides an educational view. White, is a well known bed bug expert who will appear in upcoming episodes as an expert on cockroaches, bird mites, ticks, scorpions and cave crickets.

White offers a few tips on preventing, dealing with and eradicating insect pests:

Tell someone. If you are a tenant, do not be afraid to tell your landlords if there is a pest or rodent problem. If you avoid the issue, the problem could become out of control.

Pesticides are not always the answer. Over the counter products do not always solve the root of the problem. If not applied according the label, it can be a safety issue. Getting to the source of the problem is the real solution.

Hire a professional: Trying to deal with the problem on your own or DIY measures can often make the issue worse.

Check the house: Again, get to the source of the problem. Prevent pests from getting inside your home in the first place. Seal cracks, holes, around windows, vents, etc.

Be careful when you travel: Bed bugs are often spread in hotels. Learn bed bug travel tips during your travels and what to do when you return home. If you travel frequently, there are tools to provide early detection.

Living in the Hudson Valley, most homeowners and businesses can expect a pest problem. Craig Thomas Pest Control is your pest removal experts and excited to offer pest, wildlife, home improvement and insulation services.

 
 
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Your technician Donald is very professional and very informative

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