Beware the Groundhog

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow and ducked back into his burrow for six more weeks of snooze time, but groundhogs in New York, NYC, Manhattan and New Jersey are starting to emerge from their dens. After their long winter’s nap, they’re hungry and your tulip garden looks mighty tasty.

If tulip time comes around and all you see is a few green stems sprouting from last year’s unraked leaves, blame it on the groundhog. Members of the squirrel family, groundhogs can chew through a garden in one feeding. The proficient tunnelers can even attack your garden from underneath, feasting on bulbs that will never get their day in the sun. Voracious feeders, groundhogs eat nearly two pounds of vegetation a day, generally feeding in early morning and evening.

Once established, groundhogs can be tough to get rid of. You certainly don’t want to try to remove them from their den yourself. They’ll take a taciturn view of your efforts and since they carry rabies you should be circumspect about bearding the proverbial groundhog in his den. This is a job for the pros. Call Stern; we’re your groundhog removal experts. Our experts use humane trapping methods, and we offer 24-hour emergency service. Click here to find out more about our groundhog removal services

Encasements Protect Your Mattress from Bed Bugs

If you’ve served as the main course at a bed bug buffet, you may feel like you’d rather burn your mattress than ever sleep on it again. Of course, with the cost of a good mattress, that’s pretty expensive revenge. And if one tiny bed bug lingers (well, OK, it takes two), your new mattress could become infested before you drag the box out to the dumpster. Instead, consider encasements.

Encasements trap any lingering bed bugs and eggs inside where they can never get at you. The bugs can’t bite through the plastic, and specially designed seams and zippers keep them from crawling out. Eventually they suffocate and die. Encasements are meant to remain on your mattress and box springs for as long as you own them.

The beauty of encasements is that they also protect your mattress and box springs from future bed bug infestations. If you cover your mattress and spring set as soon as you buy it, bed bugs will never be able to burrow inside and hide. Should you ever suffer a bed bug infestation, encasements make it easier to find and kill the little nasties. To find out more about Protect-a-Bed bed bug-proof encasements, click here.

‘The Cryoniter’ Zaps Bed Bugs Dead

The thing about bed bugs is that they’re hearty little devils. They hide in tiny cracks and crevices where pesticides don’t reach. They can go months, even a year, between feedings. They can survive in hostile weather, both extreme heat and cold. And they’re prolific enough to put rabbits to shame. A female bed bug lays 1 to 12 eggs per day which hatch in 6 to 17 days. In a year’s time, you can have three generations feasting away.

Nearly eradicated in the U.S. after WWII, bed bugs are back — with a vengeance. New bed bugs are more powerful than a speeding bullet, able to survive commercial pesticides at 10 times the recommended dose, and practically immune to the DDT that wiped out their ancestors in the 1950s. Now, of course, that’s not all bed bugs; but a growing number are being found to be resistant to normal chemical pesticide treatments.

Stern to the rescue! We are among a select number of pest control companies able to offer “The Cryoniter,” a revolutionary new bed bug control system that is popular throughout Europe. Cryonite uses a carbon dioxide “snow” to reach bed bugs where they hide, immobilizing them before they can scurry out of reach. The fast-freezing gas kills adults, nymphs and eggs alike, unlike pesticides which are impotent on eggs.

The best thing about Cryonite is that it uses no harmful pesticides and leaves no toxic residue so it is safe for use around children, seniors and pets. Your home or business can be used right after application. Our customers have been so excited about Cryonite, we’ve had to purchase another system to meet demand. If you get bed bugs, call Stern today and ask for “The Cryoniter.”

Bed Bugs Making Nationwide Resurgence

“Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite.” The old good-night rhyme didn’t used to hold much meaning for people born after World War II. The bugs that used to be part of the daily landscape, like lice and fleas, were practically annihilated in America by DDT and other powerful pesticides in the post war years. With environmental concerns trumping creature comforts, the little nippers have been making a major comeback in recent years.

“We’re finding them [bed bugs] in luxury apartments and hotels and motels, all the way down to low-income housing,” said Susan Jones, an Ohio State University associate professor of entomology. “And it has nothing to do with being unclean.” OSU experienced a nasty bed bug infestation in several of its dorms last year.

Bed bugs are an equal opportunity nuisance. All the little blood-suckers need is a warm body to feed. They don’t care which side of the tracks it lives on. They’re accomplished travelers, hitching a ride on clothing, luggage, used furniture, mattresses, etc. That’s why they’ve become such a problem on college campuses, in multi-family apartments, nursing homes, cruise ships, hotels and motels. It just takes one guest to carry them in and before you know it, you’re overrun with the pesky critters.

While bed bugs aren’t known to carry or spread disease, their bites can become irritated and inflamed, leaving red, itchy welts. Then, of course, there’s the “creep” factor. No one likes to think about sharing their bed with the little blood-sucking vampires. But there’s hope on the horizon. Tune in next time; I can see Stern riding to the rescue!

Got a Call from the “Rat Pack?” Call Stern Today!

If you’re a landlord and you get a call from one of Bobby Corrigan’s “Rat Pack” (see our Feb. 6 post), give Stern a call. Don’t risk being saddled with a city citation. NYC’s new rat master will only give you two weeks to evict the varmints if rats are discovered on your property.

Stern Environmental Group provides expert rat and mouse control and eradication. We use snap traps, rodenticides and mechanical traps to get rid of disease-ridden rodents. We also provide rat and mouse inspection services for restaurants, industry, multi-family units and homes.

Our revolutionary new Track & Trap mouse control installation is the perfect choice if your rodents come in small packages (a bigger rat-sized system is under development). The Track & Trap system is the smart, innovative, green way to take care of your mouse problem. A special tracking box is loaded with food to attract the furry critters. As mice scurry around the food trough, their feet become dusted with fluorescent powder, leaving tracks that can be followed back to their dens, ensuring that no mouse is missed by our eradication team. Click here for complete information on Stern’s Track & Trap mouse control system.