Yellow Jackets Pose Danger at Outdoor Events

Beware of yellow jackets. These yellow-and-brown-striped stinging insects may look like bees, but they are actually dangerous wasps whose aggressive behavior can ruin outdoor events. For reasons scientists have yet to understand, yellow jackets become increasingly aggressive as summer draws to a close. Often stinging without provocation, these wasps can pose a serious stinging danger to employees and customers during end-of-summer outdoor events.

Like other wasps, yellow jackets have straight stingers which means they can sting their victims multiple times. When agitated, they stream from their nests in large numbers, swarming around and attacking their victim. Multiple stings can be dangerous and may be fatal, even to people who are not allergic to yellow jacket stings.

Yellow jackets build their nests in some surprising places. Aerial nests that look like large gray footballs hanging from tree limbs are typical; but these wasps will also colonize abandoned animal burrows and build nests between evergreen boughs.

Their attraction to food scraps and sugary drinks brings yellow jackets into frequent contact with people during the summer months. They can usually be found buzzing around outdoor trash containers, picnic tables and barbeques or food courts at outdoor events.

Eliminating yellow jackets is a job for well-trained and experienced NYC and NJ pest control professionals. Don’t place yourself, your family, your customers or your employees at risk. Call Stern Environmental for safe wasp removal.

Time to Protect Your Property from Stink Bug Invasion Is Now

The annual invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug invasion is about to begin and smart New York City and New Jersey commercial building owners have already started scheduling commercial pest control appointments with Stern Environmental. The time to protect your building from stink bug invasion is now before chilly nights force these smelly insects to seek a warm place to spend the winter. Treating exterior building surfaces can help prevent the kind of horrible invasion that occurred when an estimated 100,000 stink bugs took up residence in a Virginia farm shed. (Click here to see the Washington Examiner video.)

An Asian transplant, brown marmorated stink bugs are prevalent in 40 states including New York and New Jersey and do more than $21 billion damage to U.S. crops each year. Pest control should be scheduled before stink bugs begin invading buildings, typically between mid-September and mid-October. Stink bugs seem to be particularly attracted to sunny, light-colored surfaces. In early fall, great numbers of these insects may be seen blanketing sunny exterior building walls. Their goal is to slip inside where they will overwinter in attics and in voids inside walls, behind trim and cabinets and under flooring.

The warm winter has produced a bumper crop of these pests. Don’t wait until these pests start invading. Contact Stern Environmental today to schedule commercial pest control services.

Report Shows Bed Bugs Are Spreading to Smaller Towns

Fewer news reports of bed bug infestations have lulled many people into believing that America is winning the bed bug battle. However, a new survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) indicates that not only do bed bugs still have the upper hand; but they are expanding the battlefield into small towns and rural areas.

Conducted by the NPMA and University of Kentucky, the 2013 Bed Bug Survey of U.S. pest control professionals found that nearly all had treated bed bug infestations in the past year with 72% indicating an increase in bed bug activity in their region. Nearly all pest control firms surveyed had treated residential bed bug infestations in single-family homes, apartments and/or condominiums.

Commercial facilities with a high incidence of bed bug infestations included:

  • 79% hotels and motels
  • 47% college dorms
  • 47% shelters
  • 46% nursing homes
  • 41% school and day care centers
  • 36% office buildings
  • 33% hospitals
  • 25% doctor offices and outpatient clinics
  • 21% transportation services (trains, buses, taxis)
  • 15% retail stores
  • 12% libraries
  • 10% movie theaters

Consumers need to maintain their vigilance and watch for signs of bed bugs, especially now with schools starting and students returning to college campuses. Call Stern Environmental for bed bug information and expert bed bug extermination in New York City and northern New Jersey.

Moth Flies May Be Vector for Disease in Hospitals

A new insect threat has been identified that poses potential disease contamination problems for greater New York City and northern New Jersey hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities, the National Pest Management Association warned recently.  New German research has identified moth flies as a possible mechanical vector for bacterial pathogens linked to nosocomial infections. In plain language, moth flies may transmit harmful bacteria between patients in hospital and other communal medical environments.

Also known as drain flies, filter flies and sewage flies, moth flies are a common structural pest with a worldwide range. Commonly found flying around drain pipes, garbage containers and sewage disposal sites, these flies breed and develop in the gelatinous scum of decaying organic matter that lines drain and sewage pipes.

To determine whether moth flies could transmit and spread disease, two German scientists collected moth fly specimens from four hospitals infested by the insect. In the exoskeletons of the collected specimens, they were able to identify 45 different species of bacteria from 40 genera, including one drug-resistant strain of bacteria. Study results were published in the Journal of Hospital Infection earlier this year.

The discovery of a new vector for bacterial disease points out the importance of practicing good sanitary procedures in hospitals and other patient-care facilities, as well as the need for expert commercial pest control and pest management services in these facilities.

Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Barrier for College Students

The start of the fall term always brings a rash of bed bug reports from college campuses. Often students are forced to endure nightly bites from blood-eating bed bugs until housing authorities can arrange for professional bed bug extermination. Frustrated college students ask what they can do to protect themselves while they wait.

We’d like to pass along instructions for a simple do-it-yourself bed bug barrier that we received from colleagues Robert Hayden of Phoenix Pest Control and Dr. Gale Ridge of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. The barrier can be made from common household supplies and may also be of interest to apartment dwellers who have to wait for building managers to arrange bed bug extermination. Use this simple barrier to protect yourself from bed bug bites until the professionals arrive.

  1. Use tin foil baking pans or plastic jar lids.
  2. Pour a very thin layer of cooking, salad or baby oil into the bottom of the container. Soapy water can also be used as bed bugs cannot swim.
  3. Place one container under each leg of your bed.
  4. Unable to climb in the slippery oil, bed bugs looking for a meal will become trapped and drown.
  5. Flush dead bed bugs in the morning.

Stern Environmental also sells bed bug barriers and other bed bug protection products. Call Stern for expert bed bug extermination.