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Taking Notes from Plants: The Potential Future of Natural Pest Control

pesticide use

Mother Nature has a way of taking care of itself. Since the beginning of time, plants have evolved and developed their own natural defenses against pests. In the May 2014 article “Can Plants Help in War on Bugs?” Kat McGowan discusses how plants successfully use their own eco-friendly pest control methods as humans continue to use pesticides in vain. Washington and Oregon pest management experts agree that plants can teach humans an important lesson about smart pest control.

How Plants Defend Against Pests

When an insect starts munching on a leaf, the plant creates its own defensive chemicals to repel it. The plant also releases chemicals into the air to tell nearby insects to stay away. Other plants in the area interpret the plume of chemicals as an alert and begin making their own chemical defenses. It’s like nature’s own social network.

Scientists first discovered that plants could chemically communicate in the early 1980s after studying willow trees. Plants can create thousands of volatile compounds, and a single emission may contain 200 or more different chemicals. The trick is getting plants to release the right chemicals, as the wrong combination could actually attract pests instead of deter them. The right mix of chemicals, however, could attract beneficial insects before the harmful pests can do damage.

Oregon and Washington pest control professionals share that a better understanding of how plants defend themselves and communicate could lead to the creation of crops that identify and defend against pest without the use of harmful chemicals. While some of the modified crops in the U.S. lost their ability communicate chemically, reintroducing genes from crops from other parts of the world could help. Such an endeavor has already been successful in parts of Africa.

Eden Pest uses eco-friendly pest control methods that sometime employ nature to keep bugs at bay, like the use of plants that naturally control garden pests. Contact one of Eden’s experts today to prevent and control infestations today.

[ Photo by: Greencolander, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Eden Pest Knows Bugs: Did You Know the First “Superinsect” was Reported 100 Years Ago?

In 1914, entomologist A.L. Melander with the Washington Agricultural Experiment Station wrote about “superinsects” in his essay “Can Insects Become Resistant to Sprays?” It’s considered the first published article of its kind to discuss insect resistance to pesticides. Washington pest control experts state that Melander found that some insects became less affected to sulpher-lime after improper treatments.

Washington Pest Management: Why Chemicals Aren’t Always the Answer

Melander found that sulpher-lime was once effective at killing scale insects in an experiment conducted in Wawawai, Washington. He reported that when scientists conducted the same experiment in Clarkston, 90 percent of the insects survived. After increasing the active ingredient ten-fold, 74 percent of the bugs still survived, making them “superinsects.”

What is a ‘Superinsect’?

Green pest control specialists explain that some type of insects become resistant to toxins or pesticides when the chemicals are applied incorrectly. Instead of being toxic, incorrectly applied pesticides allow certain insects to build up an immunity or resistance.

In the article, Melander predicted that an insect population would not become resistant to a toxin if some non-resistant insects survived because they’d pass on their genetic information (i.e., the genes that made them non-resistant to a pesticide) to the next generations.

Eden Pest believes that green pest control methods are more effective than general insecticides. The pest management methods that the technicians use are targeted and the safest choices for your family and the Earth. Contact Eden Pest for your Washington pest control needs.

Spider Update: Portland Keep an Eye Out for Brown Widows

Brown Widow

Oregon pest management professionals warn residents to keep an eye out for brown widow spiders as they were recently spotted in the Portland area in April 2014. Brown widows are not the same as black widows or brown recluse spiders, but their venom is more toxic.

Portland Pest Control Tips: Brown Widow Spider Identification

Appearance

Brown widows are smaller than black widows and brown recluse spiders. Like the black widow, it has an hourglass figure on the underside of its abdomen, but it’s orange instead of red.

A mature female spider’s upper body is dark brown or black, but its abdomen is tan with black and brown spots that are outlined with black markings, including a longitudinal stripe that runs along the dorsal part of the abdomen. The adult female brown widow looks similar to a young black widow, but its markings are darker. Like the black widow, the brown widow spider’s legs have black and tan bands on them.

Habitat

In residential areas, brown widows generally hide in the nooks and crannies of plastic patio furniture and trashcans, or under them. You may also find them in window shutters, shoes or bed linens.

Diet

The brown widow primarily eats soft- and hard-bodied insects like caterpillars, mosquitoes, flies and grasshoppers.

Egg Sacs

Brown widows have distinctive egg sacs that are tan and look like spiky balls.

What to Do if You See a Brown Widow

If you see a brown widow spider on your property, the safest thing to do is contact a pest control company like Eden Pest. In general, the spiders don’t want anything to do humans, but they will attack if startled or provoked. While the spider’s fangs aren’t always strong enough to break the skin, a bite requires emergency care.

Don’t hesitate to call Eden Pest to get a suspicious spider identified or to schedule an inspection of your property.

[ Photo by: incidencematrix, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Meet our Family of Professionals: Jenn Petitte, Commercial IPM Consultant

Jenn PetitteEden Pest wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for the leadership skills and talents of our employees. We’re excited to share more about what makes our team exceptional.

Jenn Petitte is the Commercial IPM Consultant out of Eden’s Olympia pest control office. Jenn has been in the pest control business ever since her parents opened up shop in the 1980s, and shares, “So there I was at 8, crawling in crawl spaces, attics and doing carpenter ant and termite jobs! I loved the carpenter ant and termite jobs because I got to use power tools! …I worked in the office growing up doing everything from dispatch, customer service, billing/ collections, inside sales and scheduling.”

When she turned 18, Jenn got licensed and started working as a pest control technician. After a break to take care of her son, Jenn got back in the business: “I started to learn entomology and IPM, and I was hooked. I love inspecting for conducive conditions and finding out what is drawing the pests in. I also enjoy working with my customers to educate them and solve their specific problems. But my favorite thing is identifying insects… Maybe because when I was 9 I asked for a puppy and got subterranean termites instead.”

Eden Pest thinks Jenn is great. Her Washington pest management teammates had this to say about her: “Jen is just a ball of energy everywhere she goes!  She just seems to go nonstop, almost always has a smile to share, even when she may not feel like it. Friendly and personable and very energetic.”

The Olympia office services areas from Gig Harbor to Kingston, Tacoma to Winlock and Fife to Steilacoom. Learn more about the other members of our team here. Our Washington pest control experts can help you with issues related pests like ants, termites, bed bugs, mosquitoes, rodents, birds, moths, bats and birds using environmentally friendly techniques. Call one of Eden’s IPM consultants to learn more.

This One’s for the Bees! Oregon Agriculture Officials Place Restrictions on Pesticides

Bee Happy

In the early summer months of 2013, an estimated 50,000 bumble bees dropped dead under the trees at a Wilsonville retailer. The bees represented a loss of over 300 bee colonies. A similar incident occurred a few days later when residents found hundred of dead bees in downtown Hillsboro. When it came to pest management, Oregon businesses made a lethal mistake that’s costly to the environment.

Oregon pest control experts share that the culprits of the bee-related deaths were insecticides containing imidacloprid and dinotefuran. To help provide safer pest control, Oregon Department of Agriculture officials temporarily restricted the use of pesticides on linden trees, basswood and others in the Tilia genus if they contained the two ingredients in question.

According to a November 2013 article in the Oregonian, this the second time in the past decade that the Department of Agriculture restricted the use of pesticides. Consequently, those who are licensed to apply pesticides must undergo additional education and testing.

The article states that “properly used (pesticides) pose no harm to the environment.” However, Oregon pest control specialists remind you that toxic chemicals pose the risk of harming beneficial and harmful insects alike. In addition to killing thousands of bees, the insecticides also killed ladybugs. Ladybugs are beneficial insects that serve as a great natural pest control tool because they eat garden pests.

The studies that state agriculture officials are conducting regarding the bee deaths will conclude in mid-December. Hopefully their findings will yield solutions that will better protect the already vulnerable bee population.

If you have a pest problem in or around your property, seek the natural solutions offered by pest control companies. Unlike exterminators, the technicians use targeted methods that are safe to humans, animals and the environment to prevent and control infestations. To learn more, contact Eden Pest today.

[ Photo by: Treesha Duncan, on Flickr, via CC License ]

We are Thankful for Our Hardworking Team here at Eden!

eden pest control employees

The work that Eden does isn’t possible without our talented and interesting Oregon and Washington team members, which includes our dedicated office staff. Without our valued employees, this pest control company would not be what it is today. For this, we wish to extend a big thank you to all our employees. Thank you!

Eden is a family-owned company that Jack Marlowe started in 1986, establishing a corporate office in Olympia, Wash. The Washington pest control team has offices in Clark, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston County that serve the surrounding areas. The Oregon pest control team works out of offices in Washington, Multnomah, Coos, Clackamas, Coos, Douglas, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Lane and Marion County, which also serve the surrounding cities.

Both teams use environmentally friendly and natural techniques to help control pests like ants, bed bugs, rodents, beetles, spiders, birds, bats, silverfish and moths throughout the year. In addition to providing inspections, the professionals offer green pest prevention services for which you can be thankful because they:

  • Keep your family and pets safe from dangerous chemicals.
  • Makes schools safer.
  • Help protect the environment.

To learn more about our green pest control company and how we can help you, give our office a call today.

Eden Pest Knows Bugs: Bed Bugs Have Been Plaguing Humans Since Ancient Times

Ancient Egypt

Bed bugs have been the object of human nightmares for over 3,500 years. Artifacts show that the ancient Egyptians took advantage of the pests and used them to make an antivenin for snakebites. The ancient Greeks and Romans burned bed bugs to make leeches loosen their grip on human flesh. Since then, the only purpose that bed bugs serve is to drive people mad.

Learn more about Bed Bugs                                                    Schedule an Onsite Bed Bug Inspection

[ Photo by: Alex Holyoake, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Eden Pest Knows Bugs: There are Over 100 Species of Spiders that Mimic Ants

Ant mimic

Over 100 species of spiders have evolved to look and act like ants, and some have similar pheromones. These spiders often walk with their front pair of legs above their heads so they look like antennae and then try hide their large abdomens behind bark or leaves. This tactic helps the spiders trick predators and, in some cases, prey on unsuspecting ants.

 

Learn More About Spiders                                                     Schedule an Onsite Spider Inspection

[ Photo by: jeans_Photos, on Flickr, via CC License ]

Meet our Family of Professionals: Jesse Huie, Integrated Pest Management Specialist

We are so proud of all of our team members and are excited to share more about what makes them great!

Jesse Huie has been a wonderful asset to our company for over 10 years working with Eden Pest’s Olympia team, providing quality and personable Integrated Pest Management services to customers in Gig Harbor, Kitsap County and the surrounding areas.  Jesse works hard and takes pride in taking care of his customers. Jesse’s reputation for being helpful and responsive has made him one of our many highly sought after AND appreciated IPM specialists. 

We think Jesse’s great but don’t just take our word for it. Our customers have lots of good things to say about him too:

Customer Quote about Jesse Huie

“I just wanted to let you know that our experience with Jesse was very positive! He was extremely helpful and we got rid of our rat problem! I would recommend him to anyone.”   Bremerton, WA customer, March 2013

“Jesse is the BEST!” Squamish, WA customer, January 2013

“Jesse has been doing a great job and I thank both Jesse and Eden for providing this service.” Poulsbo, WA customer, June 2013

Jesse has been working in the pest control industry for 16 years and has seen many approaches to services come and go.  Keeping up with current bug and other pest management issues in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Fife and the rest of the area is what Jesse and the entire crew in our Olympia location does for their customers.

Learn more about Jesse (he plays both golf and baseball) and other members of our Olympia pest management staff here.

Eden Pest Knows Bugs: Honey Bees Dance to Share Information with Each Other

Hovering Honey Bee

The “waggle dance,” it’s the hottest honeybee dance trend where the bees fly in a zigzag pattern, turn to the right, zigzag again and turn to the left. Because honeybees know that the world is round, can calculate angles and have the ability to communicate distance, scientists have discovered the meanings behind the different waggle moves. The dances indicate the presence and location of food, shelter, predators. The waggle dance is also effective because honeybees emit a constant and modulated electric field, which aids in social communication.

[ Photo by: wwarby, on Flickr, via CC License ]