Every spring, millions of Americans plan vacations during their annual Spring Breaks. I am writing this "dog-blog" to remind those travelers that the best way to prevent pests like mosquitoes and bed bugs from ruining their trips is through preparation and awareness.

Spring Break is one of the most popular times of the year for families and students to escape to tropical destinations. We, at Loyal Termite and Pest Control want to remind those travelers that in order to avoid returning home with pest-related illnesses and issues, they must be vigilant and prepared.

I have been having so much dog gone fun writing my “dog-blog”, What’s Buggin’ You?; time has just been flying by. Believe it or not, this is the 50th edition of my weekly blog. When I started this venture, after continually nipping at Daddy Nick Lupini’s heals for permission, I decided I wanted to do something special with each 10th blog.

Loyal’s employees; inspectors, technicians, and support staff are what make this company tick, and the main reason Loyal Termite and Pest Control has enjoyed so many honors over the years. 2012 was no exception; with our receiving the esteemed Angie’s List Super Service Award, awarded to <5% of service companies on Angie’s List , our 7th year in a row, and the second year in a row chosen as Richmond Magazines Reader’s Choice #1 Pest Control company! These honors are not taken lightly by the Lupini family. They are all very proud of every employee. In keeping with Papa Lupini’s past experience as a professional baseball umpire, I affectionately refer to the Loyal employees as the Loyal Team All Stars. This 50th blog is dedicated to everyone who has contributed to Loyal’s success.

I have been blogging the past several weeks about foreign invader pests; most notably Asian hitchhikers that have arrived in shipping crates over the years. These are pests that are currently in our region, or are expected to arrive in our region very soon. Being the conscientious dog blogger that I am, I feel it is important that my readers are educated and prepared if they come in contact with any of these critters which were previously unknown to them.

This past Friday we had a regular training session at our 7:15am meeting. Our feature guest was a field representative from one of our chemical suppliers. His training session was about arthropods, primarily geared towards the spider world. Arthropods have 8 legs and 2 distinct body segments, unlike insects, which have 6 legs and 3 body segments. Anyway, it was a very informative training session. Ticks are also arthropods and he spoke of a tick now in our area that is becoming more and more prevalent. He really got me interested in knowing more about this tick; the tick is named the Lone Star Tick.

I started this bog series knowing little about the "new arrival" insects that are sure to eventually impact our lives. If not now, certainly sometime in the future; we will encounter this group in one way or another. The next insect in this series is the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Where the Asian Beetle will create havoc with American agriculture, and the Argintine Ant will prove to be a real ambitious household pest, the Asian tiger mosquito could cause some major drama to American's health. This is a real concern and again the reason this dog is actively informing my dedicated blog readers about the particulars of this insect group. Hunter here, your dog gone Loyal Termite and Pest Control K-9 Termite Detective, welcoming you back to my blog What's Buggin' You? Now, let me continue barking about this week's headliner, the Asian tiger mosquito.

Forget a casual swat to silence that irritating buzz near your ear on a summer's night. It may be enough to shoo away your garden variety mosquito but it will take more than a light slap to kill this aggressive monster.

Hello, Loyal "dog-blog" fans. Thank you for joining me again this week. It is time for another dose of "K-9 pest control" wisdom. Of course this is Hunter, Loyal Termite and Pest Control's Certified Termite Detective. Thank goodness; in addition to my termite detection credentials, I minored in general Pest Control. I don't mean to brag, well yes I do; I finished at the top of my class in Pest Control, as well as, Termite Detection. Graduating "Magna Bark Loudly" is an honor I'll always cherish. The gold highlights on my graduation detective shield indicate this special designation. Well, that's enough about me; for now.

I don't know why, but I am extremely interested in all household pests. I guess being the dog of both the President and Vice-President of Loyal Company has given me the desire to be well versed in all areas of pest control. In time, I have acquired the knowledge to be able to understand a great deal about our region's current pest population. The content of this blog series, however; concentrates on pests that are recent arrivals to our region, or are very close and lingering at Virginia's southern borders, soon to make their presence known to all of us. This blog concentrates on a pest that has been in our country since the 1800's but is now starting to show itself to Virginians living near the North Carolina border. Our topic today is The Argentine Ant.

Testimonials

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My experiences over several years with Loyal have all been great. Staff is respectful and response. Their insect control services have been thorough and effective.

- Kathleen McSweeney

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