AZ Local: Those Pesky Scorpions Could Win You $500!!!

Unfortunately scorpion season has arrived here in Phoenix, BUT that pesky evil critter could maybe win you $500 cash, so read on to see this very unique contest that could potentially turn your scorpion story into cash!

“ULTIMATE SCORPION HUNTER CHALLENGE” OFFERS ULTIMATE PRIZE

Bug & Weed Mart, the Valley do-it-yourself retailer specializing in pest and weed control supplies, will host a contest, boasting a grand prize of $500 and one year of scorpion prevention supplies. Bug & Weed Mart owner, Jim LaBrie wants to raise awareness to help Valley residents learn how they can get rid of scorpions in and around their homes.

To enter, participants are asked to create and submit an original “How-to” video showcasing their techniques for scorpion prevention. Participants must demonstrate what makes them the ultimate scorpion hunter. LaBrie is looking for a clever, informational and entertaining presentation, plus a brief 150 word description.

“Scorpions are one of the most common pests plaguing Valley homes and the idea of them often stirs fear,” says LaBrie. “The good news is with the right materials they are easy to get rid of, but when left untreated, a scorpion problem can spread quickly.”

The contest is open to Maricopa County residents 18 years of age or older, who are not employees of landscaping or pest control companies and have not been a previous Bug & Weed Mart contest winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight Friday, June 3, 2016.

Here is an example of one clever entry!

“We’ve been in the DIY pest control business for 36 years and almost every day we see at least one customer with a scorpion story or issue,” LaBrie said. “We hope this contest will educate the public and help them understand that living in the desert doesn’t mean they have to live with scorpions.”

Submissions should be emailed to [email protected]. The written description should be typed in the body of the email. Videos can be a link or an MP4 file. No fees or purchases are required to participate.

Once the submission is received, Bug & Weed Mart will review and upload entries to Facebook. An email confirmation will be sent to participants with the link to the social media posts, they are then encouraged to share their story’s post with family and friends. The entries with the most likes will be selected as finalists. Finalists will be reviewed by the Bug & Weed Mart owners, who will determine the winner. The grand prize winner will be announced June 10, 2016 and awarded $500 plus one year’s supply of scorpion prevention supplies, and a feature on the Bug & Weed Mart website.

Contest rules and instructions can be found at bugweedmart.com. Questions should be directed to “Ultimate Scorpion Hunter Challenge” Facebook Contest at: [email protected].

 

About Bug & Weed Mart

Founded in 1979, Bug & Weed Mart offers professional grade products, equipment and instruction. With a highly experienced staff the retail chain provides free, friendly and easy-to-understand information about all aspects of do-it-yourself pest and weed control. For more information on Bug and Weed Mart’s services and five valley-wide locations visitbugweedmart.com

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Tackling the Zika Virus: What Moms Should Know

On Sunday, I looked out my bedroom window and saw a huge mosquito.  I was so relieved that it was on the outside of the window.  Even here in Phoenix with our sunny dry desert climate, we still get those pesky little pistols that seem to find me and my daughter especially tasty.  I immediately thought of the dreaded Zika virus when I saw that uninvited pest and felt happy that pregnancy is in my past and not in any of my immediate family members’ near future.  But I am still worried about this virus and the potential of contracting it with every mosquito that I know we will soon see more and more.

mosquito drinks blood out of man - macro shot

So when insect and pest expert, Jim LaBrie, owner of Bug & Weed Mart offered to share some much needed information about the Zika virus threat on my blog, I readily agreed.  Here is what we need to know…

Jim says:

Tackling the Zika Virus: What Moms Should Know

zika sign

 What is the Zika virus?

If you’ve seen or read any news over the last few weeks, chances are pretty high you’ve heard something about the Zika virus. But how much do you really know or do you need to know? According to the CDC, the virus has had no locally active transmissions in the continental United States. However, the rate at which Zika has spread in countries just south of the border is certainly a cause for concern. We anticipate Zika virus will be in Arizona, probably by summer. It’s already in California, New Mexico and Texas, so Arizona is a logical next stop.

The primary way someone may be infected by the virus is from a mosquito bite. There have also been recent reports of the virus spreading through blood or sexual contact.

Living in a transient community like Arizona that attracts many visitors from around the globe, the spread of the Zika virus is not news we should ignore.

Protecting Home, Familyspray leg

So what can be done to prevent any possibility of a localized infection as mosquito season approaches?

  1. Check for standing water

Regularly check your yard and the perimeter of your home and take note of any trouble spots of water accumulation.  Areas around air conditioning units where condensation can form or drip lines, valve boxes for sprinklers, leaky hose bibs, bird baths, pool or spa pumps, watering cans, potted plants with bottom dishes, and shrub and garden beds are all areas where sitting water can commonly be found.

It only takes an eighth of an inch of standing water plus a rise in temperatures (which is inevitable in Arizona) for mosquitoes to appear. When you do discover standing water, treat these moist areas with natural bacteria that will consume the mosquito larvae.

  1. Consider time of day

Avoid playing or hanging out in the grass or near shrub areas at dawn or dusk.  If you are going to be outdoors during the early morning or evening, wear long sleeved clothing and pants.  Also remember to wear insect repellent, and look for products with DEET and/or Picaridin. Better yet, get both.

  1. Take action

Consider hanging a chemical-free, low-voltage electric repellant on or around your patio to naturally ward off mosquitos in and around backyard areas.  These nifty tools can effectively control up to an acre!

Treat shrubs, lawn, under awnings, on patio columns, and walls with a permethrin liquid spray.  Using a hose-end sprayer will speed things up.  Repeat as necessary, up to every two weeks.

Use a pyrethrin aerosol spray, which is safe to use indoors, to keep away any mosquitos that occasionally get through doors, windows and cracks. These can deliver a lot of sprays for continued use, and are safe for people and pets.

If you are planning a vacation, avoid travel to Zika-identified countries (Remember to check back to the CDC website for up-to-date info). This is especially important if you are pregnant, as the virus has been known to cause birth defects when a mother passes the virus on to her unborn child.

The intention here is not meant to cause panic, but to help with prevention and protection.

 

Jim LaBrie is a father and grandfather and the owner of Bug & Weed Mart, a do-it-yourself retail store that specializes in bug and weed prevention, with five location. To learn more about pest prevention and protection you can visit www.bugweedmart.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/bugandweedmart.

 

Creepy Scorpion Encounter Contest Spreads Scorpion Awareness

Manic:  If you live in Arizona, chances are you have had a chance encounter with one of those creepy critters that no one likes called scorpions.  We have had a few in our home, not too many…knocking on wood right now!  Last year I wrote an article about how our three fearless felines saved me from a sneaky scorpion. See that story here.

Managed:  Decided to welcome Jim LaBrie’s, owner of Bug & Weed Martkind offer to write a guest post for managedmoms about how to protect our family from these dreaded and unwelcome potential pests….the evil scorpion.  And he is holding a pretty clever (icky, but clever) contest with a $1,000 grand prize for the entry who has the creepist scorpion encounter story.  Here are the details and Jim’s expert advice about those dreaded and scary scorpions…

scorpion-largeJim says:

Phoenicians are experiencing an early start to scorpion season after one of the warmest winters on record. As a result, the chances of running into a scorpion this summer are fairly high; unless you take the proper precautions.

To protect your home and family from scorpions, consider the following:

Be in the know:

Before getting too concerned, it is valuable to know the enemy you may fear. There are about 90 species of scorpions in the United States, and approximately 40 reside in Arizona.

While it is true that a scorpion sting can be dangerous, most scorpion stings are harmless. The Bark Scorpion is the most common scorpion found in Arizona and is the most venomous. The Bark Scorpion is also very agile; it can crawl up smooth walls and on high ceilings. While its sting is rarely fatal, it can cause extreme pain, convulsions, breathing difficulties and numbness lasting up to 72 hours. The Bark Scorpion poses the most danger to  young children, infants and adults over 80.

Simple steps to keep your home scorpion free:

The best way to protect yourself and your family from potential harm is by reducing the opportunities for pests to make your home theirs.

  • Make sure areas surrounding the house are free of debris.
  • Sprinkle preventative granules around the perimeter of your home 4 times a year, especially in areas with river rock or gravel.
  • If you frequently find scorpions in or near your house, apply spray to the outside walls of the home, including the perimeter of doors, window frames, walkways and patios.
  • Apply an inside spray along baseboards and doorframes twice a year

Scorpions will always call the desert home, but that doesn’t mean you will have to invite them into yours.

To help raise awareness about scorpions, we are asking residents of Maricopa County to share their creepiest scorpion encounter. If you have ever screamed from the sight of a scorpion or, worse yet, experienced its numbing sting, consider sharing your story and participating in the Creepiest Scorpion Contest. The contest winner will receive $1,000 for their submission.

 

Tell us about your scorpion encounter:

To participate, submit a brief written description of your creepiest scorpion encounter in 250 words or less, and include an original photo or video. The video can provide an up-close look at the actual scorpion, a theatrical reenactment of the encounter, or a retelling of the creepy story. Contestants are encouraged to make entries creative and compelling.

The deadline for submission is midnight Wednesday, June 25, 2014. No purchase or fees are required to enter. For complete contest instructions and rules visit bugweedmart.com.

 

Do you want to see some of the creepy entry pictures so far?  Look down or look away…ugh!

 

Erin Lynn  scorpion photo

Erin Lynn scorpion photo submission

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Infantolino's photo

Jamie Infantolino’s submitted photo

 

About our guest writer:

Jim LaBrie is the owner of Bug & Weed Mart, a do-it-yourself retail chain that specializes in bug and weed prevention. To learn more about pest prevention and protection you can visit www.bugweedmart.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/bugandweedmart

 

Travel Alert: Protect Your Family From Bed Bugs

Manic:  Summer travel is fun, but it can be manic for the Mom (or Dad) doing the planning.  So much to do, packing, budgeting, planning  plus the worries about sunburn, bug bites and don’t forget the dreaded and very unwelcome bed bugs that can come home with you.  Ugh!

Managed:  Decided to welcome Jim LaBrie’s, owner of Bug & Weed Martkind offer to write a guest post for managedmoms about how to protect our family from these dreaded and unwelcome potential pests….the evil bedbug.  Here is what Jim has to say about the issue…

Jim says:

shadesGoing on vacation? Make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid bringing  bed bugs back with you!  Living in Arizona during the summer is often too hot to handle. As a result, many people choose to spend the summer traveling to cooler destinations where they can beat the heat. While traveling, bed bugs may be something you never think twice about, but it is crucial to be aware of what or who may be stowing away in your suitcase when you return home. Travel is considered one of the major causes for the spread of bed bugs.

Facts about Bed Bugs:

*They can be found in every state in the U.S. except Alaska

*One pregnant bug can lay 500 eggs

*Bed bugs are the fastest growing pest problem and the hardest to get rid of

*A bed bug will travel 100 feet to get a blood meal

*They can live up to a year without a meal

 

What’s the deal with Bed Bugs?

The most common bed bugs only feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts.  Bed bugs can conceal themselves in tight cracks and crevices, which is why bed bugs are often found in bed parts such as mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs also thrive in temporary habits such as backpacks and under the seats in cars, buses and trains. Although bed bugs do not transmit diseases, their bites can become red, itchy welts.

But don’t cancel your next family trip, just know there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from bringing home any unwanted guests.

 

How can you prevent bringing bed bugs into your home?

  • Before packing your bags, pre-treat luggage and purses
  • Pre-treat your car if you are taking a road trip
  • When you check into your hotel room, place suitcases in the bathtub
  • Never put your suitcase on the luggage rack (bed bugs like to hide in vinyl webbing)
  • Pull back bedspread and check sheets for dark spots
  • Pack bed bug detection strips to place under leg of bed and between headboard and mattress
  • Pack an LED flashlight

 

What should  you do if you discover bed bugs:

  • If you are staying at a hotel room immediately report it to the manager and find a new hotel
  • If you are staying with a relative and find bed bugs, check into a hotel
  • Don’t panic.  There is no need to throw everything away
  • Spend the money and use the best mattress protectors on all beds (you do not need to throw away your mattresses)
  • If you think you or someone in the family was exposed to bed bugs, remove clothes, put shoes in the garage, bag everything up and immediately wash and dry, and treat suitcases
  • Do not move to another room in your home, this will spread the bed bugs
  • Beware of professionals that claim they can eliminate bed bugs for less than $400 per room
  • Know that you can safely treat rooms, furniture and mattresses yourself, with the proper materials, but plan to spend approximately 2 hours on each infected room

 

Bed bugs are not dangerous and to our knowledge they do not carry diseases, but they are one of the most difficult and costly pests to eliminate. Practicing prevention when you travel is the first step to take in order to avoid the problem altogether; but if you do find yourself one morning with bites on your arms or chest, take action immediately.

About our guest writer:

Jim LaBrie is a father, a grandfather and the owner of Bug & Weed Mart, a do-it-yourself retail store that specializes in bug and weed prevention, with five location. To learn more about pest prevention and protection you can visit www.bugweedmart.com or on the Bug & Weed Mart Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bugged By Bugs? What To Do About Our Desert Pests

Manic:  The number of Facebook posts that I noticed the last few weeks that talked about the unwelcome visitors that have arrived with the Spring season.  It seems like everyday I’m reading about scorpion sightings, worries about bee stings, black widows and more.  Speaking of those three pests, in the 8 years that we have lived in our home, we have dealt with all three all these types.  Not fun!

Managed:  Accepting a guest post from Jim LaBrie, pest expert and owner of  Bug & Weed Mart, a do-it-yourself retail store that specializes in bug and weed prevention.  He has some great recommendations about what to do in our homes to help prevent visits and stings from these very unwelcome creatures.  He first describes the different types of bugs and their stings and then he provides some great prevention recommendations, so be sure to check this out…

Jim says:

Scorpions, Spiders, Mosquitos, Oh My!

Living where the average annual temperature is 84.5, means Valley of the Sun residents enjoy a lot of outdoor time. It also means sharing our home with a number of potentially dangerous bugs. While some are certainly more dangerous than others, it is important to be aware and to know what you can do to protect your house and children from these precarious pests.

Scorpions

The most well-known desert dweller to send fear down our spines is the scorpion. While it is true that a scorpion sting can be dangerous, it is the common Bark Scorpion that is most dangerous to very young children and infants and those over 80. arizona-bark-scorpion-museum2.utep.eduUnfortunately, the Bark Scorpion is also very agile and can crawl up smooth walls and under ceilings.

Spiders

Black widow spider image-sicb.orgAs spiders go, the Black Widow has the most potent venom of any spider on earth, but they fortunately have very little of it. A bite from a Black Widow would be most dangerous to a child three years-old and younger. The more dangerous spider is the Brown Recluse, which is not native to Arizona, but finds its way here in shipments. A sting from a Brown Recluse can cause the skin to die and untreated may result in the loss of a limb.

Bees

Unless you have an allergy, a single bee sting is of little concern and can be easily treated. The real danger is when they swarm and spring in Arizona is bee swarm season. bee-swarm-franklinbees.co.nzIf confronted with a swarm of bees, don’t freeze;  keep moving, get indoors as soon as possible and don’t try to take cover in water—bees will wait for you!

Mosquitos

Ten years ago mosquitos in Arizona were scarce, but today our state is considered a hot bed for the West Nile Virus.  Symptoms for West Nile Virus includes fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Fortunately only one to three percent of people with WNV will develop a serious disease, according to the Maricopa Environmental Services, however, it’s still important to be aware of these potentially dangerous pests.

Bug Off

The best way to protect your kids from potential harm is by reducing the opportunities for pests to make your home theirs.

1.       Clear out the clutter

Keep areas clean around the perimeter of your home. Remove dried leaves and shrubbery, where bugs love to hide and multiply. Sweep under patio furniture, and remove spider webs under eaves and around doors. Stack wood piles off the ground to eliminate the opportunity for scorpions and spiders to hide and nest.

2.       Keep things dry

Repair leaky faucets, always empty your kiddie pool, remove any stagnant water and be sure fountains are in working order and running to keep water moving. As little as two ounces of water can become a breeding ground for hundreds of mosquito. If you have a backwash pit for your pool this can also be a hot spot for scorpions and spiders to nest and breed.

3.       Be proactive about prevention

There are a variety of products available for you to safely use around the perimeter of your home and yard that will keep pest away. Granules can be sprinkled as little as four times a year and soaked into the ground with the hose so it can sink in and kill larvae. If you find your yard infiltrated with bees, use Pro Zap, and they will usually leave within one to two days.  There are also sprays you can use around your door ways, windows and your garage that will help eliminate crickets, which are a big source of food for spiders and scorpions. Lastly, when you or your children are outside during dawn or dusk, use a bug spray like Deet to keep yourself safe.

 

About our guest writer:

Jim LaBrie is a father, a grandfather and the owner of Bug & Weed Mart, a do-it-yourself retail store that specializes in bug and weed prevention, with five location. To learn more about pest prevention and protection you can visit www.bugweedmart.com or on the Bug & Weed Mart Facebook page.