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CLARK'S BLOG

Unwanted Winter House Guests

lightmin - July 11, 2016

UnwantedGuestsWhen the weather gets cold, you’re not the only one who will want to snuggle up in your home. All types of wildlife will be on the look out for warm places to make their new home through the winter. Although some of these creatures may look cute and cuddly, it is important to have them removed as soon as you find them or their evidence. Not only can they cause physical damage to the structure of your home, they can chew wires which can lead to a house fire. Different types of wildlife can also expose your family to dangerous diseases or introduce fleas into your home. It is very important to let a professional handle all wildlife trappings and removals. Wildlife technicians are prepared for finding, trapping and removing any animals that may have made their way into your home. They are able to lift heavy ladders and use them safely while placing or removing traps. Also, they can manuver within tight spaces such as attics or crawlspaces to capture the animal without being attacked. Our wildlife specialist will communicate his findings and clearly explain the best course of action to make sure the animal is removed a quickly as possible.

So, if you’ve got an unwanted house guest this winter (and we’re not talking about your in-laws) give us a call today to set up an evaluation!

You Think You Have Mold?

lightmin -

blogpost-mold

Mold is everywhere. There is no need or ability to get rid of all mold in the world. Mold is a fungi that exists naturally. In fact, when the interior of a home is tested for mold, the exterior must also be tested to determine the relative spore types and concentrations.

There are numerous different types and species, and the kind of mold will determine the impact on your home and/or health. In order for mold to grow, it needs moisture, a nutrient or food source, and a warm environment. Moisture is the main element required for mold growth. This can be in the form of water or even just high humidity. Nutrients for mold are mainly materials made from plants. Many building materials will fall into this category. Food sources for mold can come from almost anywhere including wood products, dust and dirt. Mold generally grows above 32 degrees Fahrenheit and will grow faster as the temperature rises to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In higher temperatures, the mold will continue to grow, but the rate of growth will slow. Without these factors, mold will remain present but dormant for many years. However, as soon as moisture, a food source or the right temperature is reintroduced, the mold will begin to grow again.

Mold is not a new problem, but there has been a heightened awareness concerning mold over the last decade. There have been changes to home design and building over the last few decades as homes have become more energy efficient in that the buildings are tighter. While that is great for reducing energy usage, it has created problems in indoor air quality. Indoor air pollutants, including mold spores, can no longer escape to the outside.
How much is too much? There are no set standards for “acceptable mold levels.” From a health standpoint, it will vary from person to person. Some people are highly allergic to even slight amounts of mold, and others are not affected. The exact correlation between adverse health effects and mold still needs more scientific study. It has been difficult to make a direct link between mold and a specific health claim. But in general:

  • Mold should be removed from inside your home and/or crawlspace when found.
  • Mold should be seen as an indication of another problem – generally with water or moisture.
  • Mold may or may not be a health issue.
  • All molds are not the same. Some molds are called indicator species and require more available water to grow than other molds.
  • Some of these indicator species of molds are also more likely to be associated with health issues, particularly Aspergillus and Stachybotrys which are often talked about.

Keep in mind again that mold is everywhere and cannot be eliminated completely. However, mold inside a home or crawlspace should ideally be similar in type and quantity to mold found naturally outside the home. Mold that is present will generally need to remediated and then prevented. If you have a real mold problem and/or you or someone in your home is highly sensitive to mold, contact a professional mold remediation company to determine the best course of action. Check references and licenses for mold expertise. If you attempt to remove small amounts of mold on your own, you need to take precautions to protect yourself and avoid spreading mold spores to other areas of the home. When investigating options for mold remediation, keep in mind that some methods may cause mold spores to become airborne, and bringing in certain chemicals can create other health concerns.

Clark’s offers mold remediation services for our customers. These treatments vary but often include a mold inhibitor/surface protectant being applied to the wood framing and/or sub-floor, a crawlspace ventilation system, a Moisture Guard Barrier and/or a drainage system. Clark’s offers a 25-year warranty to protect crawlspaces from mold. This warranty is transferable to subsequent buyers and works very much like a termite bond.

Remember that a house will never be mold free. Even after an expensive mold remediation, without eliminating further moisture, the problem may still exist and mold could grow back again quickly. A moisture control system installed in a crawlspace can stabilize the moisture levels, but it cannot remove mold that is already present. Remediation is the only way to eliminate any existing mold growth and should be considered along with the proper moisture control system.

Buyer Beware- Don’t Fall for Scare Tactics!

lightmin - June 24, 2016

Every year we get calls from customers regarding pest control companies selling door-to-door. Unfortunately, some of these folks resort to scare tactics and high pressure sales pitches to get you to sign up for their service. The most recent involves poisonous spiders. We’ve had customers call and indicate that they have been told that their homes and neighborhoods were “infested” with black widow and brown recluse spiders. While the black widow is common in South Carolina, they are not normally found inside the home. Although the brown recluse has been confirmed in several areas of the state, it’s not a common spider.Generate Samurai siege Diamond

The October 28th, 2012 edition of the Techletter for Pest Control Technicians (which we use as part of continuing education for our technicians) indicated that “about 80% of spider bite diagnoses are wrong.” Spider bites are not as frequent as some would like you to believe.  Spider control involves a combination of control methods, including web removal , chemical treatment and elimination of harborage. A routine pest control service will also help reduce the number of insects available as a food source. There’s a reason it’s called pest “control.” We don’t eliminate or eradicate anything , especially in South Carolina! Our goal is to reduce pest populations to acceptable levels.

Alan Written by: Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson is the Technical director for Clark’s Termite & Pest Control.
He has a Masters degree in Entomology from Clemson University and
25 years of experience in the structural pest control industry.

Take Back Your Outdoor Living Space!

Jenna Friendly - May 27, 2016

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1824" src="http://www.clarkspest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/May2016Newsletter_cookout.jpg" alt="May2016Newsletter_cookout" width="600" height="355" srcset="http://www.clarkspest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/May2016Newsletter_cookout.jpg 600w, http://www.clarkspest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/May2016Newsletter_cookout-300×178 herbal slimming tablets.jpg 300w, http://www.clarkspest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/May2016Newsletter_cookout-450×266.jpg 450w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />If you’ve lived in South Carolina for more than a few minutes, you know what mosquitoes look like. Although they look fragile, they are extremely resilient and prey on both people and a variety of animals. This year they’ve introduced a new threat to our state, the Zika virus. 

 

The Zika virus is primarily spread via mosquito bites and most cases within the United States are the result of people returning home after traveling outside of the country. The first Zika case in South Carolina was reported back in April. The virus was contracted outside of the country and was no longer contagious once the affected individual returned to the states. While there is concern about the rapidly spreading disease due to its link to a birth defect called microcephaly. The most common symptoms of this birth defect include fever, joint pain, rash and blood-shot eyes. Experts say there is no immediate need to worry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released tips to help you protect your family. 

 

Here’s how to protect yourself: 

 

1.  Use an Environmental Protection Agency approved repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, KBR 3023, Bayrepel, icaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535. These products should be used according to the product label. 

2.  Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, and closed toe shoes. Treat items with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing and gear. 

3.  “Mosquito-proof” your home by using screens on windows and doors, running air conditioning, and make sure there is no standing water around your home including in tires, buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, trash cans, etc. 

 

For more information please visit www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitos

 

In addition to the three tips listed above, residents are being asked to handle their own mosquito control treatments in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the Zika virus.

 

Clark’s offers several treatment packages that can help provide you with peace of mind. Our skilled technicians will eliminate the need to worry about these disease-carrying pest with two simple steps that immediately kill mosquitoes. Our treatments are guaranteed to suppress current and further populations of mosquitoes. This guarantee lasts between each treatment. The residual of each treatment lasts up to 21 days depending on weather conditions. Although the spread of the Zika virus may be alarming, Clark’s offers solutions to help protect you and your family so you can take back your outdoor living space! 

The Time of Mosquitos is Here!

lightmin - April 14, 2014

It’s that time of year again! We’re looking forward to long days and warms nights full of swimming and barbeques. Most of us will be spending more time outdoors with out families and friends. However, we know that with spring’s warmer weather comes mosquitos, and it doesn’t take many to ruin your outdoor fun. Here are a few facts to help you survive this mosquito season:

  • All mosquitos require a water source in order to breed. Several common items around your home can become breeding sites when they collect water including bird baths, pet water bowls, children’s toys, and even clogged gutters. Mosquito larva can hatch in a little as 4 days. So, we recommend keeping possible water collectors turned over in combination with a mosquito reduction service.
  • Mosquitos have terrible eye sight. So, the darker your clothes are, the easier you are for them to see-making you an easy target! If you plan to spend some time outside, wear light colored clothes to remain out of sight.
  • What mosquitos lack in eye sight, they make up in their ability to detect carbon dioxide. They’re able to detect it from up to 75 feet away! The hotter you get and the more you exhale, the more vulnerable you are for attack. Therefore, we recommend trying to stay cool while you’re outside. Make sure you drink lots of water and a fan wouldn’t hurt either!
  • Mosquitos transmit diseases in many ways and can even pass certain viruses down to their larva. They are responsible for over 1,000,000 deaths a year due to spreading diseases like West Nile and Malaria. In addition to West Nile, Mosquitos can also pass heartworms to your pets. The best way to protect your furry friends and family is with mosquito repellant and a mosquito reduction service.

If you have any questions about mosquitos or our mosquito services please don’t hesitate to call or email our office. We’re excited about the improvements we’ve made to our service in order to provide an affordable, strong, longer lasting service.

Ladybug, Ladybug, Let Me Be!

lightmin - November 25, 2013

lady bug blog drawing.

Ladybugs aren’t typically seen as pests. In fact, as predators to aphids and other insects that feed on plants, they are extremely beneficial to our gardens. However, when the weather begins to change  as we enter into fall and winter, ladybugs begin to search for a place to hibernate.  Unfortunately for us, it seems our homes are sometimes the perfect, cozy place for them to rest and they begin to make their way indoors.

While ladybugs do not damage your home (they won’t eat furniture, curtains, or your expensive fur coat), in overwhelming numbers they become a pest and can even get a little messy. When a ladybug becomes scared or agitated, they release a yellow, smelly substance that can leave stains on a surface. We absolutely do not suggest swatting, smashing, sweeping or anything else of that nature. If you have ladybugs inside your home, it’s time to get out the vacuum! Place a knee-high stocking inside of the end of the vacuum wand, this way the ladybugs will get caught inside the stocking and you can release them outside again. If left inside the vacuum bag or canister they will simply crawl back out again.

The best way to deal with ladybugs is to have a little patience. Ladybugs are a seasonal insect and they will make their way back outside as soon as the warmer months arrive. In the mean time, here are a few different things you can do to keep your home [almost] ladybug free.

1. Pest Control! Although we cannot guarantee to completely prevent or remove all ladybugs from your home, our barrier will help prevent them from making it inside of your home.

2. Caulk! Make sure to caulk around all entry ways like doors and window sills. Ladybugs can fit through even the tiniest of spaces.

3. Check your weather stripping! Take a look at all of the weather stripping on your exterior doors and windows. Replace any that looks ripped or dried out. If you find any exterior door without weather stripping make sure to add it to help keep pests out.

In addition to these preventative measures, some retail stores offer lady bug light traps to attract and capture large numbers of ladybugs for re-release outdoors or ladybug houses (similar to a bird house) to divert them from coming inside you home.

Kelsy Blog

Blog by Customer Service Representative, Kelsy Judy

 

matt-headshot

Picture by Customer Service Representative, Matt Jeffcoat

Unwanted Winter House Guests

lightmin - April 16, 2013

UnwantedGuestsWhen the weather gets cold, you’re not the only one who will want to snuggle up in your home. All types of wildlife will be on the look out for warm places to make their new home through the winter. Although some of these creatures may look cute and cuddly, it is important to have them removed as soon as you find them or their evidence. Not only can they cause physical damage to the structure of your home, they can chew wires which can lead to a house fire. Different types of wildlife can also expose your family to dangerous diseases or introduce fleas into your home. It is very important to let a professional handle all wildlife trappings and removals. Wildlife technicians are prepared for finding, trapping and removing any animals that may have made their way into your home. They are able to lift heavy ladders and use them safely while placing or removing traps. Also, they can manuver within tight spaces such as attics or crawlspaces to capture the animal without being attacked. Our wildlife specialist will communicate his findings and clearly explain the best course of action to make sure the animal is removed a quickly as possible.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

So, if you’ve got an unwanted house guest this winter (and we’re not talking about your in-laws) give us a call today to set up an evaluation!

Pesticides vs Natural Fungus in the War on Bedbugs

lightmin - November 26, 2012

Penn State entomologist are claiming that naturally occurring microorganisms called biopesticides might be the solution to our bedbug problems. The quick increase in the bedbug population throughout North America and Europe has brought up new concerns over the amount of pesticides being used in frequented public places. Biopesticides might be a “green” alternative visit their website. Nina Jenkins, senior research associate in entomology says that a natural fungus which causes diseases in insects , Beauveria bassiana has shown encouraging results in recent bedbug control tests. Jenkins explains, “They are natural diseases that exist in the environment. They are relatively easy to produce in a lab and stable, so you can use them much like chemical pesticides.”

The researchers completed the study by using an airbrush sprayer to apply spore formulations to paper and cotton jersey. Cotton jersey was chosen because it is a standard bedsheet material. The researchers then sprayed the same control surfaces with blank oil only. After drying at room temperature overnight, 3 out of the 10 groups of bedbugs were exposed to one of the two surfaces for exactly one hour. Once removed, they were placed on clean filter paper in a petri dish to be monitored. The results show that all of the bedbugs exposed to the biopesticide became infected and died within five days of exposure. She and her colleagues have published their results in the most recent issue of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.

Once of the most encouraging findings was that the bedbugs carried the biopestidcide back to their hiding places, infecting all of the bedbugs that did not go out and search for food. This is important because bedbugs are often in hard to reach and hard to find locations. Jenkins says, “The fungal spores were transferred from the exposed bug to their unexposed companions, and we observed almost a hundred percent infection. So they don’t even need to be directly exposed, and that’s something chemicals cannot do.” So far, B. bassiana is proving to be an effective, and fast, alternative to regular pesticides. Moving forward, researchers will test effectiveness in more “lifelike” settings where harborage areas are present and then start field work.

Source: http://live.psu.edu/story/62832

Christmas giveaway!

lightmin - November 20, 2012

In honor of Rivalry Week, we are launching a new Christmas giveaway! The prize is our smallest but biggest prize yet—a new iPad Mini!

How to enter to win:

1. Find our Gamecock themed Clark’s truck driving around and take a picture of it!
2. Post it on our Facebook wall or tweet us @Clarkspest
3. Like our page!

CockTruck

The truck will be driving through the midlands from now until November 25th, it will then head into the Upstate November 26th until December 2nd, next it will be traveling into the Sumter area from December 3rd through the 9th, then it heads down to the Charleston area from December 10th to the 16th and finally returns back to Columbia until December 18th. We will announce the winner on December 19th and one lucky person will have a brand new iPad mini just in time for Christmas! We will be giving hints as to where the truck might be throughout the month so you have a better chance to snap a picture.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Clarkspest and check out our Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/clarkspest!

SC Special Olympics 8th Annual Give to Gain Gala

lightmin - August 8, 2012

Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

We recently participated in the Special Olympics 8th Annual Give to Gain Gala. Here is our very own director of sales, Brandon Jeffcoat having a great time. We’d like to remind everyone that any contribution, no matter the size is appreciated.  Join us in getting behind a great cause!

Thank you!

lightmin - July 30, 2012

live streaming movie Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising 2016

Exploding Termites!

lightmin - July 27, 2012

Check out this article on Discovery News! A particluar kind of termite will explode in order to protect the colony.

http://news.discovery.com/animals/old-termites-can-become-suicidal-terrorists-120726.htmlWatch Cyberbully (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Bald-faced Hornet

lightmin - July 26, 2012

Our Wildlife Specialist, Mike Gibson, found this bald-faced hornet nest in a tree near a customer’s house.

Record Heat, Drought Kick Insects Into High Gear

lightmin - July 25, 2012

http://www.wltx.com/news/onyourside/article/195222/325/Record-Heat-Drought-Kick-Insects-Into-High-Gear

McLean, VA (written by Doyle Rice/USA Today) — As if this summer isn’t bad enough already, the unusual warmth is turning bugs extra frisky. “We’re calling it a breeding bonanza,” says Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Control Association. Across the country, as a result of record heat, pests from grasshoppers to crickets and ants to bees are arriving earlier and in greater numbers than usual, entomologists at HomeTeam Pest Defense say. “We’re seeing an increase in a lot of different pests right now,” company entomologist Russ Horton says. Pest controllers are battling grasshoppers in Texas, ants in Florida, and crickets and bees across the country, he says. “Insects develop more rapidly with higher temperatures,” says entomologist David Denlinger of Ohio State University. He adds that insects did well this past winter given the lack of intense cold. Through June, the USA was sweating through its warmest year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Insects such as grasshoppers and crickets can be a nuisance to homeowners, but they are “very devastating” in the agricultural world, Horton says.As harvesting season nears, the ongoing hot, dry weather could have grasshoppers and similar insects feeding in greater-than-normal numbers on alfalfa, tobacco and some vegetable crops, says Lee Townsend, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky. “Grasshoppers should be abundant, because the bacteria and fungi that normally provide natural control are not very effective under hot, dry conditions,” Townsend says. Grasshoppers are already plentiful in New Jersey because of the hot weather, says entomologist George Hamilton of Rutgers University. And the most annoying summer pest of all, mosquitoes, are enjoying the warmth, despite the record drought. “Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter- to half-inch of water,” Henriksen says. Texas and Florida are two spots where mosquitoes are particularly bad, Horton says, because those two states have been both unusually warm and rather wet this year. Forty-seven human West Nile virus infections, which mosquitoes spread, have been reported this year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One man in Texas died from the virus. Drought can drive insects into homes: Ants, for instance, Henriksen says, will come into homes to find water. “If they’re not finding it outside, they’ll come inside,” she says. If the warmth stays into the fall, insects will continue to do well until the frost comes, Denlinger predicts. And beyond that, “if we have another mild winter, we’ll continue to see more pests out there,” Horton says.

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51st Annual Spring Southern Home & Garden Show

lightmin - February 27, 2012

We will be attending the 51st Annual Spring Southern Home & Garden Show March 2-4, 2012 at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, SC.  Come out and see us!