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Killroy Kourier
Spring 2009

President's Message: Preventative Pest Control

Pictured to the right is one of our journeyman technicians – Steve Peterson, who services the Willow Glen area – applying a low pressure directed foundation general pest treatment.  He is using either an eco-exempt liquid spray or one of the low-toxic pyrethroids along the foundation of a home to protect from ants and other crawling insects. Preventative applications around homes have proven to be highly effective and less costly than curative measures. Technicians inspect all around the home for signs of pests and for conditions causing pests. Carefully applied, small amounts of low-toxic pesticides are an important tool for controlling and preventing ants, spiders, fleas, ticks, earwigs and other perimeter invading pests.

This brings me to my main topic for today: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” It has become highly popular of late to use scare tactics to frighten the general public into believing a particular law will protect them, or a “completely safe” advertized service (an illegal claim, as nothing in life is completely safe!) will solve all their termite and pest problems without any “toxic” pesticides… BALONEY! 

Much of our modern society is impacted by chemicals, and safety derives from understanding risks and properly managing exposure. This is why we spend so much time training and mentoring our applicators, and why our targeted pest control services are safer and more eco-friendly than the average do-it-yourselfer. When you receive a pest control service by a licensed professional, we carefully follow state regulations and safety procedures, and apply any products based on the pest pressure, following labeled rates.  Whereas often a do-it-yourself homeowner will purchase a can of over-the-counter spray from a home store and proceed to apply the entire can, well over what is indicated on the label. 

Regular maintenance service is an affordable luxury. That is why so many of you continue to support us by electing to have our preventative maintenance service. Because prevention of pests often requires less time and material, it follows the motto “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Thank you for your loyal patronage of our preventative pest control services. Please read the other side of this newsletter to learn about our new “refer a neighbor” program to create a neighborhood defense against pests!

- Dennis Merrill, President

Marketing News: Refer-A-Neighbor Program

In this tough economy we truly value the loyal business from you, our pest control and termite control clients. Killroy Pest Control has been around since 1956 — protecting homes in the Bay Area from insects and pests for over 50 years!

Not only do we value your continued use of our many pest services — from ant control, to rat control, to termite control, and more — but we also value your referrals. We wanted to do more than just offer a “thank you,” so we are starting a new Refer-A-Neighbor program.

Please spread the word about Killroy Pest Control to your friends and neighbors.  Let Killroy create a whole neighborhood defense against pests!

Here’s what to do:

1. Tell your neighbors about our services! When they sign-up for regular pest control service, we will give you $25 off your next regular service.  They also get the benefit of our $30 new customer discount, so everyone saves, which is important in this economy.

2. Fill out a referral ticket (included with this newsletter) with your neighbor’s information so we can track your referrals.  

3. Once they get their first service we will apply the discount to your account.  The more neighbors you refer, the more savings you will get, and the better your neighborhood will be protected from insects and pests!  Additional referral tickets are available to print out in the coupon section of our website.

Thank you again for your business and your referrals.  If you have any questions about this new rebate program, please email questions to [email protected].

Sensitive Solutions News: Look Out! There Are Ants in Your Pantry!

Have you noticed any uninvited guests in the pantry, on the counter, or in the pet food? It is springtime, and you may have spotted some activity outside in the yard, along walkways, fence lines or the foundation. The ant colonies have been “hunkering down” over the winter, or they have found refuge inside or under structures.

As the weather starts to warm, ants become much more active in their foraging behavior. The colony is busy working on their primary goal — making the colony grow as much as possible. Out in your yard you might notice some of your plants, especially your citrus have a black substance on their leaves. This is sooty mold, and it is indirectly connected to the ants in your yard.

Ants have a symbiotic relationship with many “sucking” insects. These include aphids, white fly, spider mite and scale to name a few.  A bi-product of this sucking action is the excretion of their waste called “honeydew.” The ants love this material, which is rich in carbohydrates, providing great energy meal for the colony. The ants will actually protect these pests from their natural predators.  In some cases they have been known to take egg laying female aphids into their colony in the winter, sheltering and feeding them.  Come spring time, they will place them back on the plant so that they can begin the “honeydew” factory anew.  The leaf surfaces become sticky, and mold spores traveling in the air attach themselves and thrive in this moisture rich environment. Some plants have been undergoing this siege for a number of years, and their health becomes greatly weakened.

Controlling the ant population is the first step in stopping this cycle to protect your plants and garden. Then, an application of supreme or dormant oil in the late winter/early spring by your technician can be the next curative step.

The ant we deal with the most in our area is the Argentine ant. They originally came to the New Orleans in the late 1890’s off coffee ships from Brazil.  They are about 3mm long, and are very aggressive. Although they don’t sting, they can bite; however their mandibles are too small to hurt humans. They have no known predators in the US, as they are too bitter. None of the common predators such as spiders and reptiles will eat them.  In addition, while our native ants have one or two queens per colony, Argentine ants have up to 10% of the colony as egg producing queens. This enables the colonies to grow to enormous numbers.

Your Killroy or Sensitive Solutions tech can help you control your ant and other pest problems using the latest technologies and environmentally sound materials.  Call us to schedule an inspection or service today!

Did You Know? Interesting Pest Facts

- An Ant can lift 20 times its body weight.

- A cockroach can live for up to one week without its head!

- The total weight of all of the termites in the world is greater than the weight of all the humans in the world.

- A flea can jump up to 8 inches high. That's 150 times its own height.

- Earwigs get their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into the brain. They do not really do that!

- A rat only needs space about the size of a quarter to get into your home, while a mouse only needs space the size of a dime.

Killroy Pest Control Services

- Pest Control for Ants, Spiders, Roaches, Fleas, Flies, & More. Anything that BUGS You!
- Termite Inspections & Treatments
- Rodent Control
- Gopher & Mole Control
- Wild Animal Trapping
- Seasonal Tree Spraying: Oaks, Olives, Ash, Fruit Trees & More
- Dormant Spraying
- Fertilization & Root Feeding
- Weed Control

We hope that you continue to be satisfied with our pest control services.  We also value your referrals, and hope that we can continue to serve you, as well as your friends, family, and neighbors. 

If you ever have any pest control or termite control problems please give us a call at 1-888-KILLROY (1-888-545-5769) or 408-378-0441.  Or, fill out an online pest control service request form and we will contact you ASAP to discuss your pest problems and schedule service. 

         National Pest Management Association         Pest Control Operators of California
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