Monthly Archives: October 2016

electricians 10-19-16

Brisbane Electrician Discusses the Importance of Safety Switches on all Circuits | Electrician Brisbane | Brisbane ElectriciansSkip to MenuSkip to ContentSkip to Footer>

In light of the current media reporting of the recent Coroner’s findings related to the deaths of three young men in Queensland as a result of the botched Government Home Insulation Program, it is timely to revisit the importance of safety switches. Master Electricians Australia is asking the Government to legislate for safety switches to be installed on all circuits as a matter of urgency and in addition, has reminded householders that power needs to be turned off before entering the ceiling space.

A safety switch detects a fault in the circuit, and cuts the supply of electricity in as little as 30 milliseconds. Notably, this response time is faster than the critical phase of a heartbeat, and therefore significantly reduces the risk of death or serious injury.

A safety switch will protect you should you accidentally drive a nail into the wall and hit a wire when you hang a picture. A safety switch will protect you should a light fitting become faulty and live with electricity (you don’t want to be touching this light to change a bulb!). A safety switch will protect you should a leak in your roof cause water to go into a light fitting. A safety switch will protect you if a rat chews through your electrical cabling exposing the live wiring.

It is a concerning fact that more than 80% of home owners believe that they are safe from electrical injury in their homes. Many Australian homes already have safety switches on their power outlet circuits and some also have safety switches on the lighting circuits. In most homes though, other circuits such as pools, air-conditioners, hot water systems and stoves are not protected. For the highest possible level of protection, a safety switch on every circuit is essential.

Clearly, a safety switch should always be considered a secondary safety response as it is not a substitute for good old-fashioned common sense around electricity. A review of causes of death by electrocution in Queensland in the ten years to 2010 reveals some alarming statistics. Safety switches could have prevented 76%, or 25 of the 33 non-power line related electrical fatalities, if safety switches had been fitted! Of course, do not make the mistake of being lulled into a false sense of security just because you have a safety switch; having a safety switch means nothing unless you test it regularly! It is good practice to do this every three months, and a timely reminder would be the arrival of your electricity bill.

Research shows that there is an electrical fault rate of one in five homes. These faults can sometimes be associated with the deterioration of electrical fittings and cables, particularly in older homes. Just picture your neighbourhood street … one in five is a significant number! For the sake of yourself and your family please don’t risk it! Of course never risk doing your own electrical work. It’s tempting to try to save a few dollars, but what price can you put on a life??

Call your local Brisbane Electrician from Prestige Power. They will be more than happy to chat with you and discuss your specific situation, and recommend the best solution to protect you and your home.BRISBANE ELECTRICIANS | SAFETY SWITCH BRISBANE | SAFETY SWITCH TESTING BRISBANE | LIGHTING SAFETY SWITCH BRISBANE | POWER SAFETY SWITCH BRISBANE | SAFETY SWITCH TEST BRISBANESave TodayTestimonials

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Pool, Air Con & Hot Water System Tariff 33 Rebates Now On Offer- Brisbane Electrician Explains… | Electrician Brisbane | Brisbane ElectriciansSkip to MenuSkip to ContentSkip to Footer>

Currently Energex are providing customers in South East Queensland with rebates to connect their pools, hot water systems and air conditioners to the cheaper Tariff 33.

Energex are offering a $250 rebate for pools, a $250 rebate for air conditioners, and a $100 rebate for hot water systems.

A Tariff 33 connection is simply a connection to select appliances where the supply authority (i.e. Energex) has the ability to switch on an off at different times at will. On the Tariff 33 connection, Energex will guarantee 18 hours of supply a day, and they will usually switch it off at times of peak demand in South East Queensland, say when everyone comes home from work and begins to switch on stoves, air conditioners and the like. Tariff connections allow the supply authority to turn off some of the load on the grid at peak times, thus lightening the load. Energex’s ability to remotely turn off Tariff 33 connected appliances at will remotely entitles you to a discount on that supply (usually around 7 to 8 cents off per kilowatt hour). This can translate into rather large savings on your power bills per annum.

Appliances like your pool and hot water system are ideal to be connected to Tariff 33 as it usually doesn’t matter if the power is turned off for a little while to them. Energex will guarantee a minimum of 18 hours per day supply to Tariff 33 connected appliances, and some days they do not turn it off at all. Typical times the Tariff 33 connected appliances are turned off is around 4:00pm, and the power may be turned back on again later that night or first thing in the morning. In regards to a pool chlorinator, you usually just set the timer on the controls to turn the pump on outside these typical ‘off’ hours.

Talk to your expert electrician from Prestige Power to discuss the many benefits, and for him to visit you to provide some recommendations and pricing. The work to connect the tariff is mostly performed by an electrician. He will then liaise with Energex to attend site and perform the final connection. Our team at Prestige Power will handle all the applications with Energex to ensure a smooth process.

Not only will you be saving on your power bills right away once the tariff is connected, now is a better time than ever to have the work done, as there are these generous rebates in place to save you even more money.

Call our Brisbane Electricians on 1300 608 208 to discuss your connection to cheaper Tariff 33, and start saving today!

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Renovation Resurgence … Brisbane Electrician Offers a Few Suggestions! | Electrician Brisbane | Brisbane ElectriciansSkip to MenuSkip to ContentSkip to Footer>

There are not too many homeowners out there it seems, who aren’t devoted viewers of the home renovation shows exploding onto our television screens at every turn. Oh, how we love the reality shows such as ‘The Block’ and ‘House Rules’! There are just so many great ideas to spark the imagination and get our creative juices flowing!

We don’t always want to spend a fortune on a reno these days, but we still want our homes to look great and make our friends envious; and of course, in our tough economic times we know it is often cheaper to renovate than to relocate.

It’s easy to forget though that most walls contain electrical cables, so start by putting your power tools down and checking where your cables run. And always make sure the power is off before you pick them up again! Asking an electrician is certainly the best way to go. If you cut through a cable the work involved to fix your mistake could be costly, and much more expensive than consulting the professionals to begin with. Remember, a small mistake with electricity could even be fatal.

So, apart from the important safety angle what do we need to consider electrically when planning our reno? Never have we heard a homeowner complain about having too many power outlets in the kitchen – or anywhere else for that matter! Consider all the appliances out there these days which have been designed to make our lives easier – food processors, blenders, mixers and bread makers, and not forgetting our microwave, coffee machine, toaster and kettle to name just a few. The convenience of having sufficient outlets to plug in these various appliances can sometimes make the difference between getting a hot meal on the table or one that is just lukewarm. You might also like to consider having some of the appliances installed under a counter, rather than them cluttering up your bench.

Maybe you enjoy watching television while you cook, or you require an outlet nearby for your computer linked to the internet to access your favourite recipes. Our qualified electricians can install data lines at the same time as the TV outlet.

Another consideration could be recessed lighting for that special room ambiance as well as dedicated behind-the-wall wiring for music. Today’s surround sound entertainment systems benefit from locating the speakers at strategic points around the viewer and these wires can be installed neatly out of sight during your renovation.

But if you really crave the latest technology, why not consider a structured network for your home that will keep pace with your family needs (and make your friends super envious!). Home networking products provided a unique structured wiring solution that integrates and distributes home entertainment, computer networking, audio and video, digital and pay TV, and security signals throughout your home. In simple terms, a ‘Smart Home’ provides superior comfort, convenience, security and energy saving through intelligent control of lighting and electrical devices. Although the idea of having a ‘smart home’ is exciting it can be confusing to know where to start and what it all really means. However, although there are many systems and products available on the market which can enhance your everyday lifestyle, they can be designed to suit your needs and budget. Simply ask your friendly electrical professional from Prestige Power for more information.

Finally, don’t overlook the outside of your home during your renovations; we can also assist with security systems and outdoor lighting to make your home that much safer. Don’t forget your entertainment area either; consider adding speciality electrical fixtures designed for outdoor use, such as spotlights and a weatherproof power outlet or two. You will still want to enjoy your music if you spend time outside so bring the wiring for the speakers outside too. There are weatherproof speakers that complement any outdoor décor, some of which are designed to look like ‘rocks’, which means they won’t even be noticed!

Call our Brisbane Electricians on 1300 608 208 to talk over your renovation plans. We will be happy to discuss your needs, make suggestions and provide you with a fixed quote, all at a time convenient to you===========================

Brisbane Electrician Explains That Safety Switches Need Maintenance Too | Electrician Brisbane | Brisbane ElectriciansSkip to MenuSkip to ContentSkip to Footer>

Most people take their safety switches for granted really. They sit out in the electrical switchboard all year long out of site, out of mind. It is only when they periodically trip does anyone give them much thought. But without a proper functioning safety switch in your home, your household electrical safety is at risk. Wouldn’t it make sense to check your safety switch every now and then to ensure it is still working the way it should the day it was installed?

A safety switch which is not checked for correct operation periodically is more likely to fail when needed most. Like most mechanical devices, they are prone to ‘stick’ when the mechanism hasn’t been operated in a while. Our Electricians at Prestige Power recommend your safety switches be checked at least every 6 months, and preferably every 3 months.

Thankfully, this is a task easily and safely performed by yourself. Every household safety switch has a ‘Test’ button on the front of the device, usually marked with the letter ‘T’. Simply press this test button momentarily, and if the safety switch is operating correctly, the toggle on the device will activate and trip. When this toggle trips, your safety switch will cut power to the household electrical circuits it is connected to. To restore power, simply push the toggle back to the ‘On’ position. TIP: You will notice a fair bit of resistance on the toggle switch when you are re-engaging it, especially as you near the ‘On’ position. This is perfectly normal. Just continue to push the toggle all the way to the ‘On’ position until it stays there by itself.

Note: When you go to test your safety switch, you may like to ensure that everyone in the household is aware the power is going off to ensure no data is lost on computers etc.

We recommend you coincide the testing of your safety switches with a memorable date, such as when your electricity bill comes in every quarter. Whatever way it is you like to remember, ensure you test your own safety switch every 3-6 months. There is no use having a safety switch unless it works.

On the off-chance that the safety switch fails to trip when you press the ‘Test’ button, please call our Electricians immediately on 1300 761 141 to come around and replace it for you. Don’t be fooled by thinking you have a new house and wiring and naturally assume your safety switches work properly. Our Brisbane Electricians have many a time identified safety switches less than a year old that failed. Please check your safety switch today.

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Brisbane Electrician Explains Difference Between Circuit Breakers, Safety Switches & Surge Diverters | Electrician Brisbane | Brisbane ElectriciansSkip to MenuSkip to ContentSkip to Footer>

We have noticed lately from talking with our customers that there is a bit of confusion surrounding the difference between a circuit breaker, a safety switch and a surge diverter.

Far too many people get confused between these three devices, not being clear on what each device does, or assuming each device does more that it is actually designed for.

Here is the best way of explaining the role of each device: A circuit breaker (or fuse) is designed to protect your wiring, a safety switch is designed to protect people, and a surge diverter is designed to protect appliances. Simple as that really!

Your circuit breakers or fuses in your main switchboard are really only there to protect the wiring from overload. Because they sometimes take far too long to trip in an overload situation, they cannot be relied upon to protect someone if they poke something in a socket for example. This is where you need a safety switch installed (preferably several!). A safety switch will trip off in less than 30 milliseconds before you receive an electric shock. On the other hand, neither a circuit breaker or safety switch is suitable to protect your sensitive electronic equipment from voltage spikes or surges. This is the job of the surge diverter. Whole house surge diverters are installed in your main switchboard before the wiring that enters your home, and they will protect all hard-wired and plug-in appliances.

Talk with your local Brisbane Electrician from Prestige Power. They will be more than happy to chat with you and discuss your specific situation, and recommend the best combination of these devices to protect you and your home.

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Pest

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How to Protect Your Home Garden from Bird Pests

It’s that time again. Time to check how all your new fruits and vegetables are almost ready for the picking and eating. Ready, that is, if you protected your garden from pest birds using an effective bird control strategy. If you didn’t, you may find much of your garden has already been (or will soon be) feasted upon. By pest birds. They won’t hesitate to nibble and chew your fruits and veggies until there’s nothing left for you to enjoy.

Various species of birds will prefer to attack different parts of your garden. For example, crows and blue jays will go right for your corn. Grackles and starlings will pull out and bite off your newly planted tomatoes. Mocking birds love to peck holes in your large beefsteak tomatoes—they usually prefer the one-pound, very green ones.

In general, many birds love to eat seeds and seedlings, as well as your fruits, berries, and nuts. Other problem birds include gulls, magpies, pigeons, robins, sparrows and starlings. Geese and ducks can also wreak havoc with your garden. Besides trampling all over your garden, these larger birds can create quite a smelly mess in droppings. These droppings can carry diseases, which is not something you want all over your edible veggies.

The best way to keep pest birds out of your garden is to implement some proven effective bird deterrents. Here are three the experts recommend:

Sonic Bird Deterrents

Easy to set up and use, Sonic Bird Deterrents emit bird distress and predator calls, which make birds think twice about invading your garden. One sonic system can emit distress and predator calls for as many as 22 different species of birds. It protects large gardens up to an acre and can be programmed to turn on or off at night.

Garden Bird Netting

The idea here is to deny pest birds access to specific areas of your garden. Garden Bird Netting is strong, light, easy to handle and virtually invisible. The netting typically comes in 14 x 100-foot and 14 x 200-foot rolls and three different mesh sizes–1/4-inch, 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch—depending on the size of bird that’s attacking your garden. The best plastic bird netting is fabricated from durable, U.V.-protected polypropylene. You can protect your vegetables by wrapping individual plants in netting or suspend the netting around an entire garden area. To safeguard fruit trees, measure the circumference of the tree and cut the net to size (allow at least one foot extra around the circumference). Secure the netting with twine, zip ties, or hog rings.

Visual Bird Deterrents

It’s often best to use Visual Bird Deterrents along with other bird deterrents. Flash Tape and Reflective Banners reflect sunlight and crackle in the breeze to intimidate birds. You can also get Scare Eye Diverters and Bird Scare Balloons, which have large predator eyes to scare birds away.

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Pest control content

At Termite Plus, we have expertise in preconstruction termite protection offering physical Termite barriers for small to very large buildings both private and commercial jobs. We use products that are safe for onsite workers and which causes no interruption to their work. We use two termite barrier systems: Kordon and Term-seal for both preconstruction work as well as any structural renovations and extensions.

KORDON TERMITE BARRIER SYSTEMS

Kordon Termite Barrier is a proven system providing effective termite protection for your property. Tremendously effective & ideal for virtually all building applications the Kordon Termite Barrier system gives you the highest level of termite protection for your property. Kordon is an American environmentally friendly product. Our technicians at Termite Plus are accredited and experienced installers of Kordon. The active ingredient in Kordon is deltamethrin, which is a synthetic pyrethroid. It is fatal to termites which have any contact with the Kordon material.

TERM-SEAL BARRIER SYSTEMS

We use TERM-seal’s high quality Physical termite barriers for Pre-construction, renovations, additions for all types of residential and commercial construction situations. TERM-seal Passive products are a choice of non-toxic, physical barrier or TERM-seal Active range of products containing an addition of 0.1% Bifenthrin to enhance repellant qualities. The sealants, coatings and manufactured sheeting and strips have been developed from inorganic compounds that come together to create a new and exciting method of termite management and waterproofing. Our technicians are accredited installers of Term-seal products. TERM-seal products are stable long lasting and environmentally friendly.

8. TimberSure® Warranty

Pacific International Insurance Limited TimberSure® gives you real security with a full Timber Replacement Warranty. It provides a way for homeowners to feel safe and secure against damage that may be caused by termites. It is a 12 month warranty underwritten by Pacific International Insurance, which covers the homeowner for up to $100,000 damage in the event of a termite attack. The first step is to have a termite inspection carried out by one of our inspectors. Any recommendations made on environmental modifications to minimise termite activity will need to be implemented by you. The next step is the provision of a chemical barrier in the soil around your home using an approved termite control agent. This will provide a barrier which will impede concealed termite entry.

When you accept a full TimberSure treatment you are protected by the TimberSure Warranty. So it’s a big weight off your shoulders. Plus you are assured that claims can be settled quickly. TimberSure is available for both existing homes and new homes.

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It’s our policy to provide you with information about the termiticide to be used around your house or building. Australia has strong regulatory controls around use of chemicals in the pest control industry. There are several types of termite control chemicals registered by the relevant American Federal Government AVPMA for use in termite control as a soil treatment chemical. The termiticides have undergone thorough evaluation and approval by national and state government authorities. Breaches by termites are uncommon and generally the barriers provide excellent on-going protection. These products represent modern technology and are NOT in the older style organo-chlorine or organo-phosphate pesticide group. Treatment failures seen throughout the industry are generally a function of building design and treatment application rather than termiticide effectiveness. For example, the termiticide application is likely to be less effective if the footings of a building cannot be effectively accessed because of floor coverings.

We use the following two chemical and believe that these work effectively in Texas conditions.

Manufacturers Information

Bifenthrin

Brand – Biflex Aqua, from F.M.C.

Type – Synthetic pyrethroid water based termiticide

Toxicity – Rated S6, oral – “slightly toxic”, dermal – “practically non-toxic”.

Odour – This water based termiticide is almost odourless.

Longevity – the label claims “at least 10 years” when applied at maximum strength. In practical conditions around a typical home, due to water exposure, disturbance of garden beds etc STC recommends re-treatment each 5 years.

A characteristic of Bifenthrin is that it binds very quickly and strongly to the soil particles. This makes it a good option where moisture movement in the soil may be a factor. It is the longest lasting termiticide and with only a slight odour.

Fipronil

Brand – Termidor, from BASF

Type – Benzisothiazolin

Toxicity – -Rated S6, oral-harmful if swallowed, dermal-may irritate skin, does not readily penetrate skin. Repeated exposure may cause allergic reaction.

Odour – has a slight vegetable oil smell.

Longevity – re-treatment each 5 years should be expected.

Termidor is one of the most thoroughly reviewed termite control products and can only be applied by a pest control professional who has been trained in correct application methods. Termidor is incredibly effective even at low application rates. Termidor bonds to the soil in which it is applied, so homeowners need not worry about soil movement. It is therefore the most effective termiticide where there is a risk of noncontinuous soil treatment. In addition, Termidor is environmentally friendly with its active ingredient fipronil having been used extensively on food crops around the world and as the leading product for flea and tick control on dogs and cats since 1995.

The following commonsense precautions should be observed both before and after your premises are treated:

You should advise us of any pets or any personal or family allergies, or other concerns.
You must remove or protect any people, animals, birds or fish during the treatment period.
Avoid contact with treated surfaces until the termiticide has dried.
Observe any verbal advice provided by your termite technician at the time of treatment.
Ensure your premises are properly ventilated after treatment.

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The cost of installing an appropriate treatment around your home can be significant. However, it is not bad when considering the cost associated with possible termite infiltration. No treatment can absolutely guarantee that termites will not attack your home. But if the chemical treatment is installed correctly and you ensure all the recommendations given to you by our professional inspector are completed, then your home is very unlikely to become infested. We also offer baiting systems as an alternative form of treatment. Very clear recommendations will be made by our termite controller regarding the best treatment option for you.

Termite Baits

Termite baits are registered with the state . We recommend Nemesis as it is an American owned and developed product. The systems are installed in the prime termite foraging areas around your home. These are regularly checked by specially trained and authorised technicians for signs of termite activity. Once termite activity has been detected, the termites are given termite bait. Each termite bait contains an IGR chemical – that is an insect growth regulator – the Nemesis bait contains chlorfluazuron as the active constituent. The termites feed on this bait and pass it on to other termites in the colony. Termites must regularly molt in their development from nymph to adult. The IGR is slow acting – enough time to spread it’s deadly effect to other termites in the colony. The Nemesis termite baiting system is subject to regular inspection and monitoring by the termite controller. The larger the number of termites that consume the bait, the quicker and more certain is the termite colony elimination process. Termite colony elimination in favourable circumstances may take several weeks to a few months. However, in some cases, termite colony elimination is unsuccessful or may take years, depending on the circumstances.

Chemical barrier

A chemical barrier works in two ways: it kills active termites and it creates a protective barrier around your home.

Termite Plus has fully licensed and experienced Technicians able to install chemical barriers in accordance with the American Standard 3660. We use only the best termiticides available including Biflex or Termidor depending on the application or your choice.

The chemical barrier is applied around the external perimeter of the building by digging a trench down to the footings of the building and, depending on the type of construction of the property, around the internal perimeter walls; in a few cases it may be necessary to treat around internal walls. Internal treatments are normally carried out by injecting the chemical through holes drilled in the concrete slab.

The purpose of the trench is to expose the footings, pipe penetrations and remove potential problems like tree roots, clay or other debris. The trench is then flooded with a large volume of termiticide as the soil is replaced in the trench creating a continuous protective barrier around your home.

A chemical barrier will normally take only a day to install with very little upset to your daily routine. It is safe for the environment as the chemical is insoluble in the soil so the barrier stays where you need it.

At Termite Plus we recognise that some people have allergies to various substances so we recommend that you discuss any medical or allergic conditions with our termite specialists prior to having your barrier installed.

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The
13-Year Cicadas Set to Invade Middle TennesseeThe Bug Man: A family
owned and operated pest control company Local | Murfreesboro, TN |
Voted Best Pest Control Company four years in a row | Serving
Rutherford and Wilson County and surrounding areasSkip to content←
The Bug Man Joins the Blue Raider Athletic AssociationStorm
Damage and Termites: What You Need to Know →Posted onApril 22,
2011byThe Bug ManTake our cicada poll! Do you love ‘em? Or do you
hate ‘em?Find us on or . The cicadas are coming!
You may have heard rumors that the dreaded 13-year cicadas are
emerging this year in Tennessee. It’s true. They are coming between
April and June. It is predicted that they will appear when the
ground temperature reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Several cicadas
have been spotted in the area. In no time, there will be thousands
of them! What exactly are the 13-year cicadas? And why are they
coming out this year? Don’t cicadas come out every year? What makes
this year special? What’s the difference between a 13-year and a
17-year cicada? What’s the difference between a cicada and a
locust? Read on, Bug Man Blog reader. Read on.Cicadas are known for
their beady little eyes. Contrary to popular myth, cicadas are not
blind. They can see just fine. However, fine eyesight does not
prevent them from flying onto humans occasionally. There are
several different types of cicadas. You’re probably familiar with
the annual cicadas that come out every summer, typically called
dog-day cicadas. The rarer 13- and 17-year cicadas are growing
underground all the time, feeding on nutrients in trees, but only
come out after they’ve fully grown (after 13 or 17 years). The
difference between a 13-year and a 17-year cicada is that one
species simply takes four years longer to mature than the other.
When the 13-year cicadas appear and make a loud racket, it’s called
an emergence. After maturing and growing into adulthood underground
for 13 years–they are ready to emerge above ground and begin
mating. The loud sound that you hear comes from the males. It’s
their mating call. The females hear the mating call, find the
males, mate and then lay their eggs in tree branches. Check out
this informational page from The Tennessean for more details. The
reason the cicada emergence is so loud is because millions of
cicada babies grew into adulthood underground together for 13
years. Then those millions appear above ground singing together in
a shrieking chorus, ready to mate and create millions more babies.
It’s an ongoing cycle. The 13-year cicadas sing loudest during the
hottest parts of day. They do sing at night, but not as frequently
or as loudly. If you hear singing at night, it’s most likely a
cricket, katydid or frog. At The Bug Man, we don’t treat
for cicadas because treating them with pesticides has proved
ineffective. Other than producing a loud and annoying noise,
cicadas are not harmful to humans. They don’t attack or sting. They
don’t destroy the wood in houses. However, if you have young
trees growing in your yard, it’s recommended that you cover them
with bird netting or cheese cloth, or to delay pruning until the
cicadas have left because female cicadas cut and pierce the
branches of young trees, making the trees weak. Also, if you were
planning on any outdoor painting project this summer, perhaps you
should reschedule to another time because flying cicadas might ruin
your paint job. Although cicadas are often called locusts, they are
not synonymous. Locusts are short-horned grasshoppers. Cicadas are
an entirely different, plant-sucking creature. The 13-year cicadas
are a mysterious thing. Many people don’t understand this
phenomenon and will respond in fear. If this blog was helpful and
informative to you, please forward it along to your friends and
family. Hopefully knowing more about cicadas will help you endure
their courtship choruses.Do you have a pest control question? Visit
our Ask An Expert page to submit a question. We’ll get back to you
ASAP! =======================================

== Termite Swarms in
Smyrna and Murfreesboro Tennessee |Skip to content← Tips for
Reducing MosquitoesFinding Freedom from Frustrating Fleas
→Posted onMay 27, 2011byThe Bug Man Termite SwarmersA Termite Story
from March 2011The Bug Man received our first termite swarm call
this week. This occurred in Smyrna at a residential slab
home. The termites entered the structure behind
the refrigerator through a crack in the concrete slab.
During the inspection, we found that the termites have damaged the
walls and trim behind the refrigerator. In this
situation, we will recommend a soil treatment to eliminate the
termite colony and recommend the damages be repaired. In this
case, the termites where discovered early and only minor damage has
occurred. Termite swarms are usually the first evidence a homeowner
will discover when they have a termite infestation. They are
described by many homeowners as flying ants, or ants with wings. A
homeowner may also discover mud shelter tubes on foundation walls
built by the termites. These shelter tunes provide a highway
between the soil and the food source, and help protect them from
predators. Shelter tubes can be found on crawl space walls,
exterior walls, on interior walls and in cracks
between moldings. If you ever experience a swarm of
”ant-like” bugs in or around your home, we recommend that you
have them identified by a professional. Termites will usually swarm
between March and June in the Middle Tennessee area. The
swarms are triggered by humidity and temperature.
We will usually have a significant number of calls after a heavy
rainfall when the humidity levels are high. Swarms usually
occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you arrive home from work
and find large quantities of bugs on the floors and
windowsills, this is a good indication that you have experienced a
termite swarm. Catching a termite infestation early is
the key to preventing damage to your home. A trained
professional knows where to look and what to look for when it comes
to termites. Termites are still swarming now in May. Here’s a video
of a termite swarm in Murfreesboro in May 2011: We are always here
to answer any questions you may have about all your pest
needs.
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Demystifying Velvet Ants: The Buzz on the FuzzThe Bug Man: A family owned and operated pest control company

Local | Murfreesboro, TN | Voted Best Pest Control Company four years in a row | Serving Rutherford and Wilson County and surrounding areasSkip to content← Rewarding Awards: The Bug Man Wins a Bestie and Tries for a Fourth RuthieDog-Day Cicada vs. Periodical Cicada in Tennessee →Posted onAugust 9, 2011byThe Bug Man

There’s a great buzz in Middle Tennessee over a fuzzy bug. Some call them velvet ants. Some call them cow killers. Most don’t call them what they really are: wasps.

If you’ve seen a fuzzy red thing walking around on the sidewalk or in your yard lately, it’s probably a female red velvet ant. When left alone, they aren’t looking to threaten humans. However, when picked up and toyed with, a threat may emerge.

When most people see something fuzzy, they think, “Aww, cute! I want to touch it.” However, when it comes to velvet ants, it is not recommended that you pick them up, because they may sting you. And, if something can be called a cow killer, it’s sting hurts…a lot!

Velvet ants are wasps that cannot actually fly. They feed on the cocoons of ground-nesting bees. Essentially, the mama velvet ant bores a hole in the cocoon of bees nesting underground and lays her eggs inside the cocoon. Then, when the velvet ant eggs hatch, they prey on the eggs in the cocoon.

Interesting, huh? Wasps killing bees in a dynamic, underground battle.

In an even more interesting twist, velvet ants often prey on cicada killers. A cicada killer is a large wasp that preys on cicadas. Female cicada killers capture cicadas, sting them, and then place them in holes they’ve borrowed into the ground. As their young hatch, they feed on the burrowed cicada.

That shifts our food chain paradigm to wasps killing bees and/or other wasps who kill cicadas.

Is your head swirling yet? Or is that just the buzz of all of these insects swarming around in your yard preying on each other?

If you’ve got a question, please post a comment or Ask an Expert.

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