Here Kitty, Kitty


Got a cat? Might want to take some time today to make sure your cat is flea-free!


Stinkbug 101


These little stinkers (and in this case, quite literally!) sometimes look like some type of superhero bugs with their triangular shield-shaped bodies. Their superpower? The defensive odor they give off when disturbed or crushed. Not too hard to figure out how they got their name, huh? First arriving in the Pennsylvania from Asia in 1996, stink bugs can now be found all over the continental United States.

While they aren’t known to bite humans or do any direct damage property such as your home, stink bugs have become a serious problem in the agriculture industry. Once they invade farms, stink bugs can cause damage to crops and plants that has led to growers losing their entire crops as well as millions of dollars in losses. Stink bugs attack crops such as apples, peaches, corn, tomatoes, green peppers, citrus fruits and soybeans among others. The piercing and sucking mouthparts they use on these crops permanently damages them by resulting in a character distortion known as “cat facing”, making all these crops unmarketable. With no natural predators, stink bugs continue to increase in numbers which leads to an increase in problems for growers all over.

Adult stink bugs are most commonly spotted in spring and fall. In the fall, stink bugs enter homes and businesses in search of a place that will keep them safe and warm during the winter. During the springtime, they come out of hiding & try to find a way to get back outside in order to mate. If you find stink bugs in your house, the best thing to do is vacuum them up. Be sure to empty the canister or change the bag in your vacuum to prevent their stinky smell from also invading your house.

Click here to learn more about stink bugs & what we can do to treat for them.



Proper Tick Removal Procedure


Oops! You went for a walk in your neighborhood after dinner and accidentally brought home a hitchhiking tick. While this can be a scary experience, no need to panic. Most ticks don’t carry any diseases and the ones that do typically have to feed for an average of 36-48 hours before they can transmit any dangerous bacteria to you. Just make sure you remove the tick using proper tick removal techniques within the first 24 hours. What’s the proper technique to remove a tick? Well, we’re glad you asked!
Some tick removal techniques you may have read about on Pinterest or Facebook that involve painting the tick with nail polish, suffocating it with petroleum jelly or using a heat source like a match to burn the tick off your body are not recommended. The tweezer method is hands down the most common method for tick removal. It’s endorsed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) for humans as well as the Humane Society and ASPCA (for pets). This process is not only simple but also safe and effect. Here’s what to do:
Make sure you have a set of fine-tipped tweezers at home. Nothing fancy needed; however, this is kind of an essential here! 🙂
Stay calm as you pull any hair back from around the tick exposing the skin around the tick.
Use the tweezers to grasp the head of the tick as closely to the skin as possible. Grabbing the tick’s body can increase the chance of injecting the tick’s blood into your skin. Once you have located the head, gently squeeze.
Do not twist. Do not wiggle. Do not pass GO and collect $200. (Okay, I digress a bit but you get the point, right?) Pulling upward in a perfectly straight motion helps ensure that you fully remove the tick’s head rather than tearing its head off and leaving it lodged in your skin.
No need to save the tick to show your doctor as ticks are very rarely tested for specific diseases. The tick can be flushed right down the toilet. Use soap and water to wash the tick bite and your hands.
If you develop a rash near the site where your tick bite was or start running a fever within a few weeks of your tick bite, a visit to your doctor might be in order.
Whew! Now that the tick is gone you’ll want to be sure you plan better before your next after dinner walk or hike. We know how hot St. Louis summers can get but dressing in long pants and long-sleeves with closed toe shoes make it much harder for ticks to find a way onto your body. Light colored clothes will not only help keep you cooler but (bonus!) they also make it easier to spot a tick that’s crawling on your clothes. If you’re on a wooded trail, stick to the center of the trail (rather than the sides) where you’re as far as possible from trees, grasses & plants where ticks may be hiding. Be sure to spray yourself with an insect repellent that contains at least 20 % DEET. (If this is a long walk, read the label to see if/when you need to reapply.) Don’t forget Fido! Once you get back home, be sure to not only check your clothes and body for ticks but also look through the fur of any 4-legged babies you have who might have joined you for that walk.
PS While designed for mosquitoes, our mosquito treatment program is also proven to be quite effective at controlling fleas & ticks. Learn more here.




Blue Chip + The Muny = Fabulous Summertime Combo!

Congrats to the Muny on their huge success with opening night of their 99th season last night! Blue Chip is proud to announce that we are one of the sponsors of the Muny this year. Looking for something fun to do this summer? Come join us! Nothing better than some exceptional musical theater right under the stars in St. Louis’s beautiful Forest Park.

The Muny seats over 11,000 theater-goers each night in the summer and offers a different show each week. Fun fact: Did you know that the 1,500 seats in the last 9 rows are completely free and yours for the taking on a first-come, first-serve basis? The Muny’s 2017 Summer Season includes:

June 12-18: Jesus Christ Superstar

June 20-29: The Little Mermaid

July 5-11: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

July 13-19: All Shook Up

July 21-17: The Unsinkable Molly Brown

July 29-August 4: A Chorus Line

August 7-13: Newsies





If the weekend HAD to end and Monday simply HAD to arrive again, we might as well kick off this week with some fun celebrations for some of our Blue Chippers this month!



Ant Gel Baits: How Do They Work?


Gel baits are a common pesticide application for ants, these baits provide both sugar and a source of water — and ants rarely turn their nose up to this delictible combo. Ants ingest this material, head back home and ever-so-kindly share it with the wife, the kids and all his buddies. He tells other ants about this open bar who, in turn, head out to find it for happy hour. They return to share even more. Then everyone in the ant colony has a bad day. The end.