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McCauley: Groundhogs in my garage, but not like the ones on TV – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 12th, 2020

A new animal has arrived.This follows a pattern. Two years ago, it wasmoles munching on cicadas underground; their tunnelingturned my postage-stamp front yard into a tiny Monster Truck rally course.

Last September,Nancy the Chicken clucked around here for several days then disappeared. And, of course, Nukuler Rat gave my family a real-life American Horror Story until it met an untimely demise (Thanks, Adam the Exterminator).

Over the weekend, Phil the Groundhog showed up.

It spentmost of the day Saturday munching in my backyard while standing on its hind legs. At first, I did not know what it was. Neither did my teenager. I did what any red-blooded American would do. I Googled it. Here's what I wrote in the box:"Large, grey burrowing rodent, Ohio, stands upright"

Yup, it was a groundhog. Teenager agreed, and wanted nothing more to do with the conversation or the management of the "problem."Growing up on a farm in the South, I sawall manner of wildlife. Never agroundhog, at least not in person.

A member of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle holds Phil for a picture after he makes his weather prediction on Groundhog Day at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Feb. 2. The best way to keep those winter-time blues from getting you down is to stay active outside doing things you wouldn’t want to spend time doing during the hot growing season.(Photo: Margo Reed/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Like mostly everyone else I knew, I did see a groundhogon TV every February fromPunxsutawney, Pa., where it's usually freezing cold.Some convivial gentleman in a top hat and tux hoistedthe famous Punxsutawney Phil, who is said to determine how much longer winter will last based on whether he sees his shadow.

Phil usually lookedclueless or maybe alarmed, as if he's thinkingwhy is giant penguinholding me way up here? Put me down, fool. I just woke up.Media from all over the world report this event.

Now, here he was before my eyes, the size of a house cat, in the middle of my back yard, standing up, eating a salad.

I opened the back door and went outside. He scampered,his head disappearing into a hole under my garage door. I had not noticed ahole!A few minutes later, he emerged to eat some more. We played this game for a while. Open door. Run tothe hole. Open door. Run to the hole.

Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo and botanical garden, told me that groundhogs are actually big squirrels who like to eat plants.They can climb trees, too. This made me feel no better.Perhaps they were attracted to seeds or feed in the garage, Thane said.Problem is, there is no feed or seed in there. Maybe they like motor oil?

Phildid not seem cuddly, nor was he cute. And he probably has rabies. And what if he was not a he, but a she with babies?! She surely had rabies and would not hesitate to bite my tibiaclean in two if she felt threatened by me.

But I had work to do and I needed to get into the garage. Google also told me that while lavender smells pleasant to humans, groundhogs hate it. As luck would have it, my preteen grows lavender in pots.

There was no sign of Phil when I raised the garage door to get the lawn mower. I mowed the lawn, returned the mower, plucked some of the preteen's lavender and scatteredit inside the length of the door.

I closed the doorandwalked back to toward the house.

Not 10 seconds later, I heardhigh-pitchedsqueals and banging behind the garage door.

Not one, but two groundhogssqueezed out andbolted like Secretariat, soundinglike pigs. Google also told that me that groundhogs are called "whistlepigs," because theyapparently squeal to alert the others of danger. One ran to the neighbor's yard,the other toward the street. I did not see them again.

Thankfully, Jill was not home and did not see them at all. However, sheis convinced they have returned, based on "displacedrocks" near the garage. She has had about of enough wildlife within the city limits.I can't saywhether seeing Phil and Phyliss, coupled with the stressors of COVID life, would have sent her overboard. But I know this: thehorror of Nukuler Rat nearly took her out.

Earlier that day, I sent Jilla text about the cat-sized animal in the backyard that I had never seen before. For all I knew, it could have been the legendary chupacabra.The textraised her blood pressure and heart rate unnecessarily.I am not proud that I sentit. (Partner lesson: sometimeshandle things and keep details to yourself.).

Google also told me groundhogs do not like cayenne pepper, basil,lemon balm, mint, sage, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.

So, now we know groundhogs would not enjoyItalian dining, either.

Suddenly, Jill wants to plant anherb garden. I'm 100 percent behind her.

Enquirer columnist Byron McCauley.(Photo: Amanda Rossmann/The Enquirer)

Byron McCauley is an Enquirer columnist. He writes about the intersection of politics, race, free enterprise, social justice and sometimes wildlife adventures. Email: Phone: (513) 504-8915.

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McCauley: Groundhogs in my garage, but not like the ones on TV - The Cincinnati Enquirer

How Termite Treatment Works Exterminator

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 10th, 2020

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year to homes across the U.S.

Theyre a nuisance to your health, your house, and your property value and getting rid of these pesky invaders is harder than it seems. In fact, termite treatment is one of the most-requested professional pest services in the country and in many cases, homeowners could have saved themselves time and money by turning to professionals first.

If youve noticed termites or signs of damage in your home, what should you do? And how does termite treatment work?

The first step in treating a termite issue is first identifying the problem and figuring out which type of termites youre dealing with. There are three primary types of termites in the U.S.:

Subterranean termites are commonly found in homes and they burrow in from underground.Drywood termites live in colder climates, fly in swarms, and eat any dry wood source they can find.Dampwood termites only eat moist wood so theyre more often found outdoors than inside homes.

Signs of a termite infestation typically include finding wood shavings, noticing small holes in walls or framing, and even seeing skeletons or wing remnants of termites in your property. The bad news is, by the time you see evidence of termites the infestation is often way out of hand.

If you wish to try and treat your termite problem without professional intervention you should realize youre taking a big risk. Termites are master hiders and its often difficult to fully eradicate them without careful, consistent treatment. Many hardware stores sell over-the-counter termite bait stations and sprays, all of which have varying degrees of effectiveness.

Professional termite experts provide the best chance at nipping your infestation in the bud. Theyre trained to find exactly where colonies are based, identify the queen, and even in the intricacies of construction that may invite colonization. There are several different termite treatment methods used regularly among pest professionals.

Bait systems are designed to lure termitesawayfrom your property with a control agent thats meant to kill off the colony. The bait stations are placed around your property and the agent is carried back to the nest by worker termites who believe it to be food. This method is often used when a moderate termite infestation has already been detected in the home.

From a preventative standpoint, liquid and/or foam applications often make the most sense. An exterminator treats the perimeter of your home with a liquid or foaming control agent which kills termites on contact, stopping them from ever entering your property in the first place. Its particularly effective at controlling subterranean termite infestations.

In cases of serious termite infestation, particularly when drywood termites are involved, fumigation (or tenting) may be necessary to fully rid your home of pests. Since drywood termites can live in furniture, walls, and even your attic, exterminators may need to tent your entire property then use a fumigant that penetrates all wood surfaces in the home, killing all pests. These treatments are specially designed to leave no residue behind, but theyre often the most inconvenient.

Though these are the most common types of professional termite treatment, other methods may be employed in particularly tricky situations.

Your termite professional can talk you through the best choice for your home and help you decide which treatments right for your family. One things for sure: the sooner you deal with termites, the less damage and hassle youll have to deal with later. One in thirty U.S. homes is infested with termiteseach year. Dont let yours be one of them.

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How Termite Treatment Works Exterminator

The 10 Best Termite Exterminators in Brooklyn (with Free …

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 10th, 2020

The best way to get rid of termites is to act fast. Termites are a problem that will only get worse and no matter how much you want them to, they usually dont magically move out on their own. There are three main types of termites: drywood, dampwood and subterranean. Drywood and dampwood termites sneak through cracks in your exterior paint, nail holes, and gaps near windows and other openings and begin to eat through your wood. Subterranean termites enter your house from the ground up by creating mud tunnels. In all cases, they survive by eating the wood of your house. The type of termites you have can steer the treatment plan.

Methods of termite extermination include fumigation, use of pesticides, and use of natural elements that are poisonous to the bugs. The extent of your termite infestation will help determine the treatment method. If you have drywood or dampwood termites that have infiltrated all aspects of the wood in your home, the pest control pro may recommend enclosing the whole house in a tent and gassing the termites via fumigation. If you have subterranean termites, often the entire footprint of the home must be treated by drilling liquid treatments into the slab or foundation of the home to exterminate the colonies. In any case, once you see signs of termites, its time to take action and call a pest pro.

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How to Get Rid of Termites – The Home Depot

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 10th, 2020

Termites and flying ants possess a very similar appearance, enough so that, without closer inspection, you may mistake one for the other. In order to effectively treat your pests, you must properly identify which insect is responsible for your infestation.



So what are termites? In addition to identifying termites by sight, there are a number of signs that indicate their presence. Termites often build mud tubes, which are thin mud structures as small as 1/4-inch diameter that connect the ground to your house, garage or other wooden structure. Inspect wood structures closely for signs of decay by gently tapping on them. If a solid beam sounds hollow, chances are you have termite trouble. Discarded wings are a physical sign that termites may be in the house, as reproductive termites shed their wings once they find a new place to set up a colony.

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How to Get Rid of Termites - The Home Depot

This new app will protect you from deadly snakes and spiders – Euronews

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 10th, 2020

If youve ever come across a snake or spider and wondered whether it could kill you, theres an app for that now.

It might not be particularly useful in Europe, but Critterpedia could save lives Down Under, where it is being launched. Australia is home to 170 species of snake, most of which are venomous, and 2,000 species of spider.

Although fatal bites from snakes and spiders are increasingly rare in Australia, its still particularly useful to know which animals you can swat away with your hand and which you definitely need to call an expert for.

This is where Critterpedia comes in. Its an app which allows you to upload a photo of a snake or spider, and then immediately tells you what species it is - and whether you need to be scared or not. The programme analyses your photo, and then uses a smart algorithm to figure out the classification of the species.

The data behind the app comes from a partnership between founders Nic and Murray Scarce and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)s Data61 department.

Nic is originally from the UK, so when she moved to Australia she found herself with an English expat heightened paranoia of Australias deadly wildlife. When her mother came to visit, Nic and her husband Murray saw the need for the app.

During one of her trips to Australia, my mother-in-law acted as a magnet for all of our countrys big-name snakes, spiders and insects, explains Murray. The questions relating to their identification and danger levels were relentless, and the fact that we didnt have all the answers simply exacerbated the situation.

After searching for a programme like Critterpedia, the pair realised there was a major gap in the market for a resource like this, and turned to CSIRO for help.

Currently the programme is still in testing phase, and is described as a learning search engine, so it will continuously update its information as the initial users begin to interact with the app.

While a lot of the data already exists, it can be difficult when two types of spider or snake look almost identical.

The visual differences between two species can sometimes be quite subtle, and so a great deal of training data is needed to adequately identify critters, explains project lead and Data61 researcher, Dr Matt Adcock.

Weve started off with an enormous amount of images sourced from zoological experts collaborating with Critterpedia, and have developed a suite of tools to help semi-automatically label these images, verify the information, and cross check with other data sources.

Users can also opt to contribute their own photos to help improve the system, as part of the phase one testing process.

Helping protect biodiversity

For anyone with a fear of snakes or spiders, hiring an exterminator might seem tempting. But the creators of Critterpedia hope their app can help instil a sense of harmony between humans and Australias misunderstood wildlife.

Educating people on our wildlife in a fun, and interactive way, especially focusing on our venomous friends, and delving into the reasons as to why people harbour so many fears, is the key to delivering a platform that can really make a difference to peoples lives, explains Murray.

Critterpedia can create a world where people of all ages, backgrounds and status can appreciate and respect our environment, and where we and animals can peacefully coexist, he adds.

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This new app will protect you from deadly snakes and spiders - Euronews

Reds Ants vs. Black Ants: Top Differences and How to Kill Both –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 10th, 2020

Its easy to lump ants into one category (you know, annoying pests you want out of your house ASAP), but there are actually more than 12,000 species around the world and each type of ant has its own unique qualities.

But given how tiny these critters are, most people just spot obvious differences, like their coloring. Most ants you will come across are black, but if you happen to spot a red ant wandering around you home, youre probably going to have questions.

Heres everything you need to know about red ants vs. black ants, how they differ, and what you can do to get rid of both.

The term black ants is pretty wide-reaching, given that most ants are black, says entomologist Roberto M. Pereira, Ph.D., an insect research scientist with the University of Florida. The name black ant doesnt mean anything, he says.

Thats because there are many species of ants that are colored black, adds Desiree Straubinger, a board-certified entomologist and market technical director for Western Exterminator. To properly identify ants, you need to examine the ants with a microscope to count antennae segments and see the body structure of the ant, she says. Using color to identify ants is difficult because they will vary in color between populations.

However, there is an ant called the little black ant (Monomorium minimum), and they tend to swarm in the summer around June to August, says Frank Meek, technical services manager at Rollins.

While they may meander into your home in search of food, water, or shelter, they typically like living outdoors, Straubinger says. Ants are extremely resourceful and will form colonies in spaces like wall and ceiling voids if they are able to get in and establish themselves indoors, she says. Eliminating colonies outside before they get inside is preferable as they are much more difficult to eliminate once indoors.

Yes, but the bites are so small and minor that you may not even notice. Just about every ant will bite you as a form of defense, Pereira says. Most little ants dont have much of a punch with their bite, though. Plus, most dont have a stinger and you really wouldnt feel anything.

Experts say there are two main methods of getting rid of black ants, and they generally break down into these categories:

There can be more than one type of red ant but, in general, these are usually red imported fire ants, Pereira says. Fire ants are usually medium size (when compared to other ants) and some can be up to inch long. Fire ants are notorious for their aggressive nature and will go on the offense when their nest is disturbed, Pereira says.

Fire ants like warmer climates, so youre more likely to see them in southern states. They dont usually occur above Maryland or Oklahoma, Pereira says.

Fire ants often nest in soil and other moist environments such as irrigated lawns and the edges of riverbanks and ponds, Meek says. Indoors, they can be found entering through cracks and utility penetrations in concrete at times.

Just like black ants, red ants will bite as a form of defense. Even the fire ant can bite you with their mandibles, but it doesnt hurt that much, Pereira says. What will hurt, though, is a fire ants sting.

When theyre going to sting you, a fire ant will first bite you to hold onto your skin and then sting you with their stinger, Pereira says. Theyll inject venom, and that causes a burning sensation.

Red antsespecially if theyre fire antsare not something you want to mess with. If you see just a few, you may have luck with bait traps and cleaning up spills. But, if youre noticing more, Straubinger recommends calling in a professional exterminator.

Because red imported fire ants can be sometimes a danger to humans and pets, it is a good idea to consult with professionals regarding ways to control them, she says. A trained professional will come to your home and conduct a thorough inspection inside and outside to develop a customized treatment plan.

In general, Pereira says you can often get rid of ants with the proper bait and clean-up methods. But if youre struggling or the ants just dont seem to be going away, dont hesitate to call for help.

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Reds Ants vs. Black Ants: Top Differences and How to Kill Both -

The 10 Best Exterminators in Secaucus, NJ (with Free …

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 14th, 2020

If you are concerned you have a bed bug infestation, look for physical signs of their presence. Bed bugs love to hide in small, dark spaces and typically come out to feed (generally on human blood) after dark although they will come out in daylight if hungry enough. The Environmental Protection Agency states that indications of an infestation can include seeing shed exoskeletons of bed bugs, rusty spots on your bedding (which are either bug droppings or bloodstains), live bed bugs, bed bug egg casings, a sweet and musty odor (if the infestation is severe), and evidence of bites on your skin.

To spot bed bugs, look in and along mattress seams and bedding, in curtain and furniture folds, inside cracks or crevices in the walls, behind picture frames and mirrors, under loose wallpaper seams, on recently used luggage or backpacks, inside electronics, and inside clothing or cluttered areas such as closets. If you see signs of bed bugs, be careful not to disturb them too much as you dont want them scattering to other parts of your house.

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The 10 Best Exterminators in Secaucus, NJ (with Free ...

Kill It With Fire brings its spider-slaying action to PC in August – Critical Hit

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 14th, 2020

I know that spiders play a useful part in the ecosystem, but at the same time theyre freakin spiders and they make my skin shiver worse than the thought of hugs from my family on a winter day. Who hasnt seen a freshly-hatched spider, ad wanted to take a month off of work thanks to the panic attack youve just suffered.

Theyre creatures designed to inflict fear on you, what with their beady eyes, hairy legs and insatiable lust to see their lineage continue through their spawn. Just like your mom after her broodling-senses begin to tingle when you talk to someone of the opposite gender for more than three seconds. Kill It With Fire may just be one of the most cathartic experiences in that field then, because its giving you free reign to work out your arachnophobia by giving you the one tool that can easily rid any home of the wallcrawlers: FIRE!

Also bullets, weed-whackers and ninja throwing stars to use in the eternal struggle. Itll finally be bringing that eight-legged terror to Steam on August 13. Heres the fancy trailer to show it off:

The spider mankinds most ancient and deadly nemesis. As a licensed Kill It With Fire exterminator, its time to fight back! Gather your arsenal and pursue the eight-legged menace on a journey across suburbia although not necessarily in that order.

To defeat spiders you must exploit their one weakness: FIRE. Or bullets. Or explosions, throwing stars, gettin smushed by stuff pretty much anything, really. But that doesnt mean itll be easy first youve gotta find the spiders. Use state-of-the-art arachnid tracking technology to pinpoint your quarrys location among hundreds of potential hiding spots then, torch everything and smash the spider with a frying pan after it runs out. Its the only way to be sure.

If youre keen to join the good fight (Im doing my part!), you can try out a demo from July 17 that includes features such as Gratuitous chaos and destruction and the chance to finally learn the truth about spiders. Just remember: Im from Buenos Aires and I say kill em all.

Last Updated: July 14, 2020

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Kill It With Fire brings its spider-slaying action to PC in August - Critical Hit

Kill It With Fire Receives A Launch Date From TinyBuild – Bleeding Cool News

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 13th, 2020

TinyBuild Games revealed today that they will finally be releasing their spider exterminator game Kill It With Fire next month. The game got a lot of attention earlier in the year as you will come in to take care of spiders with the one weapon you know they're powerless against: fire. Well, almost powerless, they can run like hell, which is part of the challenge. Developed by Casey Donnellan Games, the game will be released onto PC via Steam on August 13th, 2020. In the meantime, since we have to wait a month, you can check out more about the game below along with the latest trailer showing you all the mayhem you're in store for. What's worse, the rates you charge are terrible.

The spider mankind's most ancient and deadly nemesis. As a licensed Kill It With Fire exterminator, it's time to fight back! Gather your arsenal and pursue the eight-legged menace on a journey across suburbia although not necessarily in that order. To defeat spiders you must exploit their one weakness: FIRE. Or bullets. Or explosions, throwing stars, gettin' smushed by stuff pretty much anything, really. But that doesn't mean it'll be easy first you've gotta find the spiders. Use state-of-the-art arachnid tracking technology to pinpoint your quarry's location among hundreds of potential hiding spots then, torch everything and smash the spider with a frying pan after it runs out. It's the only way to be sure. Coming to PC, the first-person action game is all about hunting spiders and causing collateral damage. Budding arachnid hunters must be ready to take on these creepy crawly critters armed with anything any normal person would find around their average house to protect themselves; books, vases, frying pans, throwing stars, guns, flamethrowersbombs?

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vero, for random pictures and musings.

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Deadly Premonition 2: Where To Find All Animal Types | Sidequests Guide – Gameranx

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 13th, 2020

To make money in Deadly Premonition 2, which youll totally need for all those bowling challenges, you can visit the police station and take on tasks for the residents of Le Carre. Theyll ask you to hunt squirrels, bees, and other random critters that are seemingly terrorizing the town. The strange part is these missions are really vague. Many players wonder where theyre supposed to go, or how theyre meant to find the animals in question.

The exterminator sidequests are actually a lot easier than they seem. It sounds like youre meant to hunt specific animals, but any animal will do. If a family asks you to stop a squirrel from eating them out of house-and-home, you just need to go find a squirrel and blast it with your tranquilizer gun. Its super simple, and one of the many ways you can earn money, which youll need to pass certain gates in the storyline.

Here, Im going to explain where to find all the different animal types in Deadly Premonition 2. There arent that many, so it wont take long. Consider this a PSA.

Exterminator quests are located on the job board in the Police Station. These are simple quests that can help you earn money between story missions. To complete them, simply use your tranquilizer gun to shoot the different animal types.

You dont need to hunt specific animals. You just need to find the type of animal listed and shoot it. Animals always spawn in similar locations, and heres where you can find all animal types.

No need to find a specific animal or location. If youve got an animal hunting quest, just go tranquilize any animal that matches your quest. It sounds weird, but everything is weird and kind of janky in Deadly Premonition 2.

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Deadly Premonition 2: Where To Find All Animal Types | Sidequests Guide - Gameranx

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