Get Your Kids Into Insects

When reflecting on the interaction of kids and bugs, you’re reminded of how fascinating these little creatures can be – not only to adults, but especially to children.


Unlocking the door to a miniature universe of wonder can be as simple as just poking around under a rock or in the grass. Collecting insects can be a rewarding and educating experience for both you and your child as well as a great opportunity to bond and build a stronger relationship.

You and your little explorer can try these fun ideas, courtesy of Scholastic:

  1. Listen! Catch a non-stinging insect that makes noise in a paper cup. Crickets and flies are good candidates. Cover the cup with waxed paper and hold it on with a rubber band. Now place your ear against the paper and listen.
  2. Plant a butterflyinsects garden. In a sunny spot out of the wind, plant blooming varieties like geraniums and hydrangeas, plus plants that provide food for larvae such as Mexican milkweed. Find out what else the butterflies in your area need at
  3. Do the worker-bee waggle! Honeybees “dance” to communicate the location and distance of a nectar stash to the other bees. Talk with your kids about this fascinating communication, and then make up your own version.
  4. Take an umbrella out on a sunny day. Place it open upside down under a leafy, low-hanging branch. Shake the branch like you mean it — then identify what lands in your umbrella with an insect book or online.

Tools for the Trade
These items will make your child feel like a real scientist:

  • Butterfly net
  • Tweezers (only for dead specimens)
  • Observation jar (punch holes in the lid of a clean jar)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Notebook for recording thoughts and sketches
  • Bug and spider identification book like Simon & Schuster Children’s Guide to Insects and Spiders (Simon & Schuster, $23; ages 9 to 12) or Don’t Squash That Bug: The Curious Kid’s Guide to Insects (Lobster Press, ages 4 to 8, $15)
  • Referencing Massey’s Bug Database

As part of our CFHLA Adopt-A-School program with Killarney Elementary School, we brought displays and educated students on a variety of insect species!

Massey Services provides pest prevention services for residential and commercial properties, but not all insects are harmful.
Have fun exploring!


Ant Activity On The Rise This Year

Fluctuating temperatures and rainy weather have led to a hotbed of ant activity across the southeast, and not just in yards, but also in homes.


Bob Belmont, Board Certified Entomologist, and the Pest Prevention Technical & Training Director for Massey Services, notes that ants are year-round pests across the Southeastern states and ant activity can be relentless, even throughout the winter months.

Types of Ants To Look Out For

antWe may easily spot a trail of ants indoors because ants such as the Ghost ant, which typically nest outside in plant materials near a building’s foundation, can form colonies in the thousands in wall voids, behind cabinetry and in dark voids.
antWhite-footed ant colonies may also reside in walls and under attic insulation, though they are most commonly found in decaying plant materials or within palm fronds, leaf litter and hollow plant stems.
Argentine antsCaribbean Crazy ants and Red Imported Fire Ants can also move indoors in search of food and water, especially if disturbed by heavy rainfall.

Massey Services can help prevent these ants from taking up permanent residence. Contact us for a free pest inspection today and learn more about our Pest Prevention.

Milder Winter Means More Spring Pests

spring pests

A unpleasant consequence of a milder winter is earlier and heavier pest activity in the spring. In colder winters, many pests will die due to freezing weather. In warmer winters, the majority of pest colonies survive, and as soon as the warm spring weather arrives, pest colonies will begin to thrive.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) releases a bi-annual Bug Barometer, forecasting what to expect from pest populations in regions across the country.

In the Southeast, rainier regions collected more standing water, creating ideal mosquito breeding grounds. Areas that were hotter and drier may experience increased rodent pressure in buildings as temperatures cool in fall and winter. The warmer winter season can yield above normal ant and occasional invader activity through the winter months.

Tips To Prevent Spring Pests:

  • Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of a building.
  • Keep mulch at least 15-inches from the foundation.
  • Seal cracks and small openings along the bottom of the house.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants trimmed back from the house.
  • Keep indoor and outdoor trash containers clean and sealed.
  • Screen windows and doors.

Massey Services offers additional homeowner tips for preventing pests around your home.

Massey’s Pest Prevention program will identify and eliminate the avenues and other unseen entry points pests use to gain access to your home.  Contact us today for a free pest inspection!

Pest Prevention vs. Pest Control – There is a BIG Difference!

The development of our Pest Prevention program proves our dedication to providing the best service and the best results, while minimizing our impact on the environment. That dedication has consistently driven us to find new and better ways to serve our customers better. In the early 1990’s, Massey Services introduced this unheard-of new program, a concept that shattered the paradigm of ordinary pest control.

pest prevention

So what exactly is the difference?

Pest control involves the indiscriminate application of pesticides in and around your home, whether needed or not, to control and eliminate pests.

Pest PREVENTION is a customized environmental management program that focuses on eliminating the conditions, avenues and sources conducive to pest infestation in and around a home.

How a Pest Infestation Begins – Focus Points of Pest Prevention

Conditions:  Pest infestations start outside your home in conditions where they can live and breed, such as unsanitary areas around garbage cans, standing water and wood stored near your home’s foundation.

Avenues:  Pests use ready-made pathways to get inside your home, such as unsealed cracks and crevices in walls and the foundation, limbs of trees and shrubs touching the roof and breaks in caulking or weather stripping around windows and doors.

Sources:  Pests breed near areas that provide a food supply, such as mulch beds, accumulated leaves and clogged drain gutters.

By eliminating the conditions, avenues and sources around your home, we prevent pests from getting inside your home in the first place!  Contact us today to schedule a free pest inspection!


Cooler Weather Brings Unwanted Attic Guests

rodent_01roofrat_enlAn unwelcome consequence of the change of seasons is an increase in rats, mice and other animals finding their way into our attics. Adam Jones, vice president of quality assurance at Massey Services, recently shared his expert recommendations for keeping these unwelcome guests out of our homes with the readers of Pest Control Technology magazine.

Massey Services recommends a comprehensive rodent control program that incorporates sanitation, exclusion, repellents, traps and baiting. “Taking one action without the others may allow rodent problems to persist,” Jones says.

Homeowners can apply many of these strategies in their own efforts to keep rodents out of their homes.

Sanitation. Proper sanitation is the first step. Animals need food, water and shelter. Eliminate debris such as piles of unused lumber or trash to reduce potential shelter. Remove fruit that falls from trees in your yard and keep lids on trash cans. Store pet food and seeds in rodent-proof containers.

Exclusion. Rodents can squeeze through any opening their heads can fit through. For mice that can be an opening as small as ¼ inch. Conduct inspections for possible access points, focusing around wires, conduits and pipes, chimney and plumbing stacks. Also inspect soffits, eaves, attic and crawlspace vents for openings, and check your doors for worn or missing door sweeps. Seal small access points with rodent proof materials such as copper mesh, ¼-inch hardware cloth, 24-gauge metal or cement.

Repellents. Place gel repellents made with plant and pepper oils in and around access points. If you have a heavily pitched roof or a crawlspace with large open areas, consider using strobe lights to drive animals out of the space. The light should be placed in an area that allows for maximum coverage.

Traps & Baiting. Use snap traps or sticky traps baited with seeds, fruit and other foods that attract pests. Secure the traps so that the pest cannot move it. Repeater traps can also be used. It’s important to follow up once traps are placed. Dead rats or mice must be removed before decay begins. This helps avoid odor and staining and prevents the attraction of other pests, such as flies and beetles. Note: Rodenticides should never be used in the attic.

For more information on preventing rats and mice from entering your home, contact Massey Services for a free, detailed inspection and written analysis.

Tips for Choosing the Best Pest Prevention Company

Not all pest prevention programs are created equal. While many programs claim that they can keep your home or business pest-free, the methods to achieve these results may not be environmentally-friendly. One of the most important first steps of any pest prevention program is the inspection, which will determine what pests are present and what needs to be done to eliminate them.

How To Choose The Right Pest Prevention Company:

  • Make certain the company does a detailed inspection, from crawl space or basempest prevention companyent all the way to the attic.  This helps to identify the exact type of pest that is present and avoid broad applications to eliminate them.  It also allows the company to determine where the pests are gaining access so they eliminate the entry point the pest is using to get inside.
  • Check that the pest prevention team is made up of full-time employees who have received consistent internal training and are screened to ensure they can properly manage the job.
  • Find out if the company has in-house entomologists who continually work to refine treatments. An entomologist is a broadly trained and educated professional in the study of insects.
  • Ask if the company has a money-back guarantee that will cover you if any problems ever occur.
  • Research to see if the company has received numerous awards for their environmentally sensitive practices.

Massey Services, the 5th largest pest management company in the industry and the largest family-owned company in the business, adheres to these practices and standards to ensure its customers have the best service to protect their homes and businesses.

It’s National Good Neighbor Day, Pass It On

It’s great to have a good neighbor…someone who lends a helping hand, watches out for your home when you’re away, or meets you with a friendly greeting when you’re walking your dog, mowing your lawn or washing your car. National Good Neighbor Day celebrates the importance of good neighbors.

Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation that called upon people to observe National Good Neighbor Day, noting that “the noblest of human concern is concern for others” and that a sense of community “is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family.”

Often neighbors rely on neighbors for recommendations regarding services for their home.

pass-it-on-and-earn-with-massey1Massey Services customers already know how great Massey’s Guaranteed Pest, TermiteLandscape and Irrigation services are. By recommending our services to their friends, family and neighbors, they not only show that they are good neighbors, they also have opportunities to earn gift cards for themselves and their neighbors through Massey’s Pass It On program.

Massey’s customer referral program, Pass It On, allows current Massey customers to earn a $25 Publix gift card* for everyone they refer to Massey who signs up for service! And the new customer receives a $10 Publix gift card*.

In order to participate, have your neighbors, friends or family call 1-866-302-7950 to schedule a free, no obligation inspection. There’s no limit to the number of people you can refer!

So Pass It On and Earn with Massey Services!

*Louisiana customers earn Cabela’s gift cards. Texas (excluding Austin) customers earn Kroger gift cards. Austin customers earn HEB gift cards, and Oklahoma customers earn Crest gift cards.

Fire Ants Were Transported by Spanish Ships

tropical fire ants

Photo by Stephen Ausmus

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), invasive ants cost billions of dollars annually in control, damage repair and medical care. A recent genetic study revealed that tropical fire ants were transported by Spanish ships from Acapulco, Mexico, across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines, where they were then transported to other parts of the world.

Researchers at the the Agricultural Research Service’s Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in Gainesville, Florida; the University of Vermont; and the University of Illinois used genetic markers to retrace the history of the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminate), which was a native of Central America and parts of South America. They also studied the trading patterns of Spanish vessels during the 16th century.

CMAVE entomologist DeWayne Shoemaker, whose earlier research reconstructed the invasion history of the red imported fire ant said, “We theorized that tropical fire ants were likely moved around by people and that the early trade routes most likely provided that transportation. Sure enough, when we started looking at the Spanish galley trade routes, the movement of the ants, inferred from genetics, mirrored the historic trade route.”

According to Shoemaker, early ships used soil as ballast to stabilize the ship. When the soil was removed to make room for cargo, it likely contained ant colonies.

Knowing the history and travel patterns of insects can help in in determining the best way to prevent them from invading other places.

The full story “Genetic Detective Work on Invasive Ants” was published in the December 2015 issue of AgResearch magazine.

Origins of Cyber Monday

It’s Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving and the biggest U.S. online shopping day of the year. Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday didn’t evolve organically over time.

In 2005, the National Retail Federation’s online arm,, coined the name “Cyber Monday” in a press release to encourage people to shop online. The theory was that after a weekend of brick-and-mortar shopping, people would return to work — where internet connections were faster — and shop online. The release reported that online retailers were responding to this trend with online discounts and promotions on “Cyber Monday.”

In 2014, Cyber Monday shoppers set a single-day spending record of nearly $2.04 billion even though many retailers had extended their deals over the entire week.

According to ABC News, gaming consoles, televisions and drones are among the hottest items on wish lists this holiday season, and many retailers started their Cyber Monday deals on Saturday or Sunday.

At Massey Services you don’t have to wait until Cyber Monday for great sales. Our annual winter savings event started earlier this month. For a limited time, we are extending a special discount offer to new and existing customers. It’s our gift to you!

Save on any of our services* to protect your home and family:

  • Pest Prevention
  • Termite Protection
  • GreenUP Landscape Services
  • Irrigation Maintenance
  • Mosquito Abatement
  • Rodent Exclusion

Offer ends December 31, 2015.

Contact Massey Services to schedule a free inspection today!

* Please call for service availability

Have Clothes Moths Been Eating Holes in Your Favorite Sweater?



With the holidays rapidly approaching, many of us are pulling out our favorite sweaters, coats and scarves in anticipation of cooler temperatures and holiday travel. Sometimes this happy ritual can lead to the discovery that clothes moths have been eating holes in these items that have been stored away in the dark undisturbed areas of our closets.

Clothes moths are well-known as pests of stored woolens and consume a wide range of other fibers including wool carpeting, hair, fur, silk, felt and feathers. The larvae tunnel within and under oriental carpets, nibble up the felt within pianos and destroy hats, woolen sweaters and valuable suits, blankets, animal trophies, leather, skins, down pillows and clothing soiled with food stains or body oils.

The casemaking clothes moth larvae will travel away from infested materials and attach themselves to the ceiling or upper areas of the room to develop into adults. Adult clothes moths fly around the home and land on other susceptible items to lay eggs.

The best way to avoid clothes moth infestation is through prevention.

  • Woolens and other susceptible fabrics should be dry cleaned or laundered before being stored for long periods.
  • Store clean suits inside zippered plastic suit protectors.
  • Pack other articles in tight-fitting containers with moth balls.
  • Don’t put moth balls or moth crystals in the open inside of closets or under beds. If the area is not tightly sealed, the fumes will not kill or repel the moths and can pose a health risk.
  • Cedar closets or chests are seldom effective by themselves, because the seal is insufficient to maintain a lethal or repellent concentration of the volatile oil of cedar.
  • Inspect material that is susceptible to infestation regularly.
  • Standard household insecticides should not be used to treat clothing; however, mothproofing solutions may be applied to susceptible clothing by professional dry cleaners.
  • Store valuable garments such as furs in cold vaults (a service offered by some furriers and department stores).
  • Vacuum regularly, including along baseboards, under and behind furniture, inside closets and both sides of oriental carpets.
  • Consider cleaning oriental carpets annually to prevent moth damage.

If you discover evidence of clothes moths, contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

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