Author Archives: anthonyb

Give The Gift Of Insect Candy This Christmas

Insect CandyChristmas is right around the corner, which means it’s that time of year to load up on candy, either to munch on yourself or to gift as stocking stuffers. But why stick to the traditional chocolates and peanut brittle? To add a fun little kick to your Christmas candy this year, consider giving your loved ones candied insects. There are many types of bug candies to choose from, whether you want to give your family and friends chocolates, brittle, suckers, or other insect snacks.

Insect Suckers

Insect suckers have long been a favorite among children, tweens, and teens, making it a great choice as a stocking stuffer this holiday season. These colorful suckers actually contain a real insect in their center. You can choose from a variety of colors, flavors and insects, including grasshoppers, crickets, ants, worms, and scorpions. Flavors include toffee, apple, banana, blueberry, grape, strawberry, orange, tequila, and watermelon.

Chocolate Covered Ants

Chocolate covered ants are another long-time favorite, with many forms of this treat to choose from. Likewise, you can also choose from chocolate covered crickets. This would be the perfect gift for an adult relative who’s got a sweet tooth, or an older teenager.

Amber Brittle

Peanut brittle has always been a popular delicacy during the holiday season, so why not spruce it up this year by giving out amber brittle with insects inside? This ribbon-style toffee-flavored candy houses insects and a fern inside, and is designed to look like fossilized amber. How could anyone NOT want this in their stocking?

Chocolate Covered Scorpion-on-a-Stick

Scorpions are a popular treat in many parts of the world, and one of the more popular ways to enjoy these critters is on a stick… dipped in chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. The appeal of a chocolate covered scorpion is that it still maintains its shape, all the while making a delicious snack. This would be a great gift for the adventurous eater in your family, or for that relative you don’t like.

Butterfly Candy

While butterfly candy isn’t made from real butterfly, this ribbon style flavored hard candy does feature a real insect, along with edible flower petals to simulate the appearance of an actual butterfly. This candy is available in blueberry and strawberry flavor, and would make a delightful gift for anyone on your Christmas list.

Ant Candy

Ant candy is a hard candy that is designed to look like an ant farm. It contains real black ants, and is available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, apple, and cherry. Your family members are sure to get a kick when they find one of these in their stockings this year. One thing’s for sure – Christmas will be a lot more interesting if you hand out insect candy instead of the normal Christmas fare. Your loved ones are guaranteed to get a kick out of receiving these exotic candies – or they will run screaming from you. Which would be a good thing if they are a relative you don’t necessarily enjoy.

Chris is a blogger for Excel Termite & Pest Control a NJ based pest control company.

Top 3 Pests In Houston

I was fortunate enough to sit down with one of the pest management professionals at Bulwark Exterminating in Houston a few days ago, and get some much needed advice about some of the pests in the area.

One of the questions I really was interested in getting an answer too was, “What are the most common pests in the Houston area you guys get call about?”

Here are the top three pests in Houston:

3. Crazy Ants

Ants on raspberries

If I was to ask what the most called about pests are in Houston a couple years ago, the Crazy ant would not have even made the top ten. This ant, also referred to as the Rasberry Crazy ant or the Tawny Crazy ant, is a virtual newcomer to Houston. Even though this ant is relatively new to the area, it is taken over in huge numbers; pushing out other species of ant.

The reason Bulwark get’s so many calls about Crazy ants is that they will literally go everywhere. They invade homes, attracted to electrical impulses of our electronics and appliances. Once inside, they’ll nest in walls, and will damage electrical equipment by swarming inside. This behavior in known to cause air conditioners, and other electrical equipment to short out and fail. The result? Expensive repairs. Its because of this reason, homeowners get professional Houston ant control; before Crazy ant problems escalate.

Learn more about Houston Fire ants being driven out by Crazy ants. 

2. Fire Ants

Fire Ant Face

It’s hard to argue with the Fire ant being number two on the list of most common called about pests in Houston… Their stings are miserable! Fire ants make it really hard to send your kids out in the back yard to play. When your kids’ curiosity sets in, they’re going to disturb one of the fire ant mounds… It may even be by accident. Upon doing so, the colony of Fire ants will come spilling out of the mound, ready to defend their nest by stinging! When they sting, they grab tight with their pinchers and continuously sting with their abdomen in a circular motion. Multiply this a dozen times, and you have a very painful and unfortunate situation on your hands. Ouch!

When you see those huge ant mounds in your backyard, it’s time to enlist the services of a Houston Fire ant control professional.

Learn more about Houston residents battling Fire ants. 

1. Cockroaches


The hot and humid Houston weather, combined with the moderate winters, make ideal breeding conditions for cockroaches. Their sheer numbers are almost incomparable to almost any other major U.S. city. The mass quantities of cockroaches in Houston make them the number one most frequent pest in Houston.

Cockroaches are bugs of the night, scurrying around in the darkness looking for food and water. They are not fussy eaters at all, eating whatever organic substance they can find inside your home. Roaches are reported to spread some 33 different kinds of bacteria, diseases, worms and parasites. Professional Houston roach control is needed to eliminate them from your home.

Houston Pest Control 

If you are tired of battling Crazy ants, Fire ants, cockroaches, or any other type of pest; it’s time to call an exterminator!

Bulwark Exterminating
10900 Brittmoore Park Drive
Houston, TX 77041
(281) 668-4930 
AAAnimal Pro: Wildlife Control
8280 Golf Green Circle
Houston, TX 77036
(832) 248- 7804 
16155 Park Row, Suite 190
Houston, TX 77084
(832) 460-3698 

Three Tips For Buying A Texas Cattle Ranch

Texas RanchWhen you decide to buy into a ranching legacy, you are most likely talking about cattle ranches in the great state of Texas. From dairy farms to grazing land, cattle ranches have become a part of the Texas identity, specifically in the land south of San Antonio. Some of the oldest ranching families in Texas started out around these parts, making it easy to see why many want their ranches here, as well. It’s inviting to not only enter into a potentially successful and lucrative business venture, but also to continue a proud history in a proud state. As a cattle rancher in Texas, you’d be shouldering generations of tradition and continuing that legacy for future generations. If you have decided to purchase this type of property, you need to go into the process equipped with a few tips and tricks. You might buy the first property that you see, but you still need to be cautious in this purchase.

1. Figure out what you want to do with the ranch.

The first step in buying a ranch should always be to make a list of your needs and wants. This involves deciding what you want to do with the ranch. The topography of the land caters to different needs. You need to make certain that you have these priorities in order. The search will be more tedious if you don’t know exactly what you want. Also, your broker won’t be able to find you the right property if you don’t express your needs. Depending on the type of cattle ranch that you need, you might face different county zoning and land use regulations.

2. Pay attention to the resources on the land.

The resources available to you on your piece of potential property can dictate whether your cattle ranch is the right fit for you. It is important to consider the resources on the ranch, such as live water sources. This resource will be necessary for many ranches that have livestock and crops.

3. Factor in the number of animals that the property can support.

If you are interested in buying a cattle ranch, you need to know just how many animals the property will support. Whether you are running a large or small cattle operation, you need to be upfront with your broker on your ranching goals. If you think you will expand, your land should allow for it. Some factors that will also dictate just how much cattle you can have include soil type, precipitation, vegetation and forage condition. Again, your broker should be able to educate you on the land and know just how much livestock the land can support.

Purchasing one of the many Texas cattle ranches that are currenly available can be an exciting endeavor. No matter the size of ranch that you are looking for, you have decisions to make that will impact the business of the ranch. These decisions largely come in the buying process. As you look at different properties, you will be able to fine-tune your wants, wishes and needs in a ranching space.

Clarence recently acquired a Texas cattle ranch through He has never been happier than he is running this property, and was glad of the help of a professional broker in finding his dream ranch. He thinks that others who long to own ranch land in Texas should find a way to follow their dreams.

Houston’s Oddly Absent Zoning Laws

Houston NeighborhoodHouston, Texas is one of the largest cities in the United States, ranking in at number four in terms of population. It’s got all the hallmarks of a huge metropolis.

The bustling city represents the locale of headquarters and flagship establishments for many of the world’s largest companies. It’s a logistical and economic artery, with railways and shipping channels. NASA is right around the corner, and it is an epicenter of the energy and oil industries.

But Houston also has a huge, sprawling populace with residential suburbs peppering the entire landscape. In most cities, especially larger ones, the commercial and residential sectors are somewhat segregated by zoning. But Houston has a quirky exception to this convention – No zoning laws.

The absence of zoning code means that there are no city-wide rules that regulate the use of land or the placement of business and residential establishments with respect to each other throughout the city. Your home could be right next to a business park. In some cases, a home can also be a business itself.

While there is no actual zoning code placing restrictions on building and land use, most property deeds contain contractual obligations that act in a similar fashion as zoning laws would. The difference is that the land owner and developers usually govern them.

As for whether or not this unusual absence of zoning laws in Houston is positive or negative, we have to look at it from a few different perspectives: Commerce, Residents and Prosperity.


In terms of commerce, Houston’s zoning laws grants a bit more flexibility to where a business can set up shop. Unlike other cities with zoning codes, it’s easier for a business to find a good location without such restrictions. Investors, however, sometimes find the lack of zoning somewhat tricky.

In suburban markets, real estate investors are apprehensive about working through the unusual zoning situation. Values and returns might be tough to feel confident about if a subdivision ends up sitting next to an airport. But residential developers have created a method to give investors peace of mind by building deed restrictions and land use covenants into the properties.


The one obvious drawback for residents living in a big city like Houston and having no zoning laws is the potential misfortune of a home right next to an industrial complex. But that occurrence is very rare. On the other hand, residents who wish to run a business out of their own homes might find it easier to accomplish that compared to a city with zoning codes.

Another benefit for residents is the convenience of easier commutes to work and the nearby locations of businesses and services. A worker in Houston could have a potentially long commute given the sheer sprawling size of the city. But because they have more options to choose from when selecting a home close to their workplace, residents can enjoy very short commutes.

Overall Prosperity

Even with all the varying opinions of both residents and commercial enterprises alike regarding the advantages and disadvantages of having no zoning laws, the real proof can be gleaned from the historical prosperity of the city.

Throughout the years, despite an absence of zoning laws, Houston has seen great prosperity. Whether you look at the continued population growth, or the influx of tourism and fresh investors and entrepreneurs, or perhaps the strong economic stability and growth in Houston; all of the signs point to a successful city. And it didn’t need zoning laws to get there!

Austin Faux works for We Buy Ugly Houses Houston. When not dealing in real estate Austin loves helping his wife relax, playing with is kids, and taking the family to the park.

Infographic: How To Spot a Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse Infographic

Houston Brown Recluse Control

The most feared pest in the Houston area is the Brown Recluse spider. Don’t let this spider ruin your way of life. If you are seeing Brown Recluse spiders in or near your home, get Houston Brown Recluse control!

Bulwark Exterminating
10900 Brittmoore Park Drive
Houston, TX 77041
(281) 668-4930 
AAAnimal Pro: Wildlife Control
8280 Golf Green Circle
Houston, TX 77036
(832) 248- 7804 
16155 Park Row, Suite 190
Houston, TX 77084
(832) 460-3698

5 Things You Don’t Know About Tarantulas

tarantula in handsTarantulas may be big, hairy, and just a wee bit scary, but these spiders are interesting and unique in many ways. In fact, although they are the largest spiders in the world – some can grow up to 10 inches, or the size of a dinner plate – in reality they are some of the most harmless arachnids in the world. Below are five facts that you probably didn’t know about tarantulas.

1. Female Tarantulas Can Live Up to 30 Years

Female tarantulas are known for their long life spans, and can live up to 20 years in captivity or 30 years out in the wild. Males, on the other hand, only live about 5-10 years, and don’t even molt once they’ve reached sexual maturity.

2. Tarantulas Hunt at Night

Tarantulas don’t use fancy webs like other spiders to catch their prey – they do all their hunting on foot. Smaller tarantulas eat insects, but larger species have been known to eat frogs, birds, and mice. Tarantulas use their venom to paralyze their victims, just like any other spider, then use digestive enzymes to turn their prey into a liquid meal.

3. Most Tarantulas Sightings are During Summer Months

During the warm summer months, male tarantulas head out in search of females to mate with. This tends to be the time of year when tarantula sightings occur during daylight hours. Males are willing to risk their safety in order to seek out a female during daytime; if he happens to stumble upon a female’s burrow, he politely taps the ground to announce his presence. The consummation of a tarantula courtship is quick, with the male scurrying away as quickly as possible once his sperm has been deposited, lest the female make a meal out of him.

4. Tarantulas Use Silk Rather Than Spin Webs

Tarantulas don’t spin webs, but they do produce silk like all other spiders. They put their silk to use in different creative ways. Females use their silk to decorate the interior of their burrows, which helps to strengthen the dirt walls, while males produce silken mats in which to “lay” their sperm. Females also wrap their eggs in silken cocoons, as well use silk trap lines around their burrows to notify them of any potential prey or predators in the area. Tarantulas can also produce silk with their feet, as well as with spinnerets.

5. Tarantulas Rarely Bite People

This may be a surprising fact, since most people are raised with the impression that all spiders are just waiting for the chance to attack, but in actuality, tarantulas rarely bite humans. Most larger predators would make a meal out of tarantulas, so anything as large as a human is something to be avoided. A tarantula’s venom isn’t very toxic, anyway – a bite from a tarantula is no worse than a bee sting.

Tarantulas may look big and scary, but really they are fairly harmless. As long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. However, if you notice a large outbreak of tarantulas in your yard, you may want to call a pest control professional.

About the author: Chris is a blogger for a long island exterminator company. For pet’s he has had a dog, a bird, a hamster, and a rabbit. He’s never had a tarantula, but maybe he’ll get one for his son one day.

Pest Word Search: What Pest Did You Find?

In Houston, it’s really easy to find pests inside your home (unless of course you’ve hired the pest management professionals of Bulwark Exterminating); especially the disgusting and disease carrying cockroach.

What may prove to be a little tougher challenge, is finding all the pests in the “pest test” word search puzzle that has been going around Facebook all summer.

Haven’t seen it?

We’ll here you go:

The Pest Test Word Search

Word Seach of Pests

How’d you do?

Could you find all the pests hidden within? Hint: The pests are bugs, ant, scorpion, wasp,  roach, fly, bedbugs, lice, termite, gnat, spider, flea, and centipede.

What pest did you see first?

Over 10,000 people commented the first pest that they found in the puzzle, as the social media piece made its way around Facebook. Want to know how your find stacks up against the others who also searched for the pests? Look no further than the following infographic:

Pest Word Search Infographic– What Pest Did You Find?


Pest Infographic

Thomas Ballantyne

Key Points To Consider When Hiring A Professional Pest Control Firm

RoachWhether it’s rodents, wasps, mice or cockroaches, coping with pests in your home can be a very unpleasant experience and can dramatically increase your stress levels. Unfortunately, catching them and removing them can also be a difficult task, especially if you’re out of the house for most of the day. That’s why it is often a good idea to hire the professionals, who have years of experience in dealing with pest-related issues. This article looks at some of the main reasons why people prefer to use pest control firms as opposed to removing the pests on their own.

Check Credentials

A reputable company will have a valid license and certificate. Find out if it is a member of the British Pest Control Association, a major trade body representing more than 7,000 people and more than 500 members across the country. You may also want to consider hiring a pest control company that a friend, family member of neighbor has used, or try finding some online testimonials to see what previous customers have said about the service. The better their feedback, the better the company’s success rates.

Ask Plenty Of Questions Beforehand

For peace of mind, pest control firms may offer a guarantee with their services, although this does not necessarily mean that they will be able to remove all unwanted pests quickly and without delays. Before you hire the company, make sure they explain the procedures involved and ask as many questions as possible before signing a contract for a long term service. Even the most experienced professionals will not be able to answer all of your questions. So if they simply say ‘I don’t know’ and that they plan on finding out the answer as soon as possible, it shows that they are being honest and are not simple making up answers on the spot.

Does The Pricing Reflect The Market Rate?

It’s always tempting to choose the cheapest service, but consider the quality of service you may receive if you choose a pest control company that charges significantly lower prices than the industrial standard. Sometimes it is worth paying more to get more, although feedback and recommendations are still the most accurate way to determine how reputable a pest control firm is. Typically, companies with plenty of satisfied, long term customers will not need to charge extortionately high or exceedingly low prices.

Can You Remove Pests Yourself?

Mice are notoriously quick at escaping underneath the tiniest gaps and holes and are difficult to capture yourself. It is also dangerous to venture near wasps’ nests without sufficient protective gear. Pest control companies will have all the professional equipment, chemicals and other resources they will to combat pests and will usually know which techniques and/or products are most effective for different types of unwanted creatures or insects. If you decide to do the job on your own, you may have to resort to the internet to find out what you need to do. Of course, the internet is full of contradictions and is not always the most reliable source of information with regards to situations like this.

Dan Mange is a professional pest removal expert for Essex Pest Control-leading providers of comprehensive commercial and residential pest management services to the South East of England

Published by Thomas Ballantyne

Mosquitoes Invade Alaska

Mosquito SwarmHow would you like to be caught in a swarm of ginormous mosquitoes? Well, in Alaska this is a true story.

Unbelievable Mosquito Masses

Researchers Jesse Krause and Shannan Sweet were caught in an awful swarm while researching at the Toolik Field Station on Alaska’s North Slope. Alaskan mosquitoes are notorious for their size and swarms. The mosquito is sometimes joked around as the state bird. They come in such numerous amounts that it’s unbelievable! Sweet states on video how “the whole horizon is nothing but mosquitoes.” Crazy Alaskan stuff!

Like with most insects, mosquitoes in Alaska have a season of strength. They’re most abundant in the summer from late June clear through July. That’s the worst time to be caught in shorts and a tank.

West Nile & Other Inconveniences

There are 35 species of mosquitoes in Alaska and of these 35 only 2 of them actually spread West Nile Virus in the state. The virus has not been able to take hold in higher latitudes. So Alaskans might have to deal with the angry swarms and itches, but this menacing virus doesn’t seem to pose a threat.

For the residents of the lower 48 states, the virus is much more common. West Nile Virus has been on the rise in the continental United States. More and more cases are reported each year. According to the CDC, there are 43 species of mosquito known to carry West Nile Virus.

The biggest inconvenience that these seekers present is physiological stress. Preparing for a summer, especially in Alaska, seems like quite the burden; from buying the right repellent to wearing the right clothing to not being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is all a nuisance that really should just go away.

Mosquito Tips

Getting ready for that harsh summer time, when the mosquitoes are in full bloom is definitely agitating. The following are tips that mosquito plagued areas should consider every year.

• Stock up on anti-seeker supplies. Insect repellent with lots DEET will definitely work best. Purchasing mosquito coils might also help keep them away from your home or other unwanted locations.

• Wear appropriate clothing. It’s really tempting to wear shorts and sleeveless clothing during the summer, but beware that this will give the mosquitoes a free and easy meal.

• Wear neutral colors. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.

• Don’t use scented lotions, shampoos, or perfumes. They love this.

Author Bio:  is a journalism student and blogger for Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. When I’m not playing with my two adorable nieces, I’m on the tennis court chasing that little green ball around.

A Few Good Reasons For Scheduling a Termite Inspection

Termite InspectorIf you are a homeowner that is lucky enough to have never had to deal with a termite problem thus far, you should count your blessings, but never get too comfortable and think you are forever safe. Annual termite inspections are recommended for good reason even if you haven’t come across any evidence to cause alarm. It can take several years of termites secretly chomping down on your house before you begin to see the damage they’ve created. It’s best to make sure you’re doing what you can do now to prevent a termite infestation or catch it early on before you’re stuck paying quite a bit out of pocket for home repairs. There are a few specific instances where you will want to schedule a professional termite inspection to ensure accurate results so you may take the appropriate course of action from there.

Buying or Selling a Home

An inspection is oftentimes required by the lender or insurance company before a house can be sold. If you are in the process of buying a home, arranging a termite inspection will allow you to know exactly what you are getting into before you’ve committed to the purchase. If no termite activity is found, you will be given peace of mind, and if there do appear to be signs of damage, you may have the choice of walking away from the sale, negotiating the price or working it out with the seller to take care of the situation. As a seller, you might not have any idea that termites have taken up residence alongside you, so an infestation hasn’t been disclosed, but if you’re serious about putting your home on the market, having a termite inspection done beforehand can be beneficial to assessing the problem before you have a potential buyer withdraw after their own discoveries come into the light.

Signs of Termite Activity

Any indication of termite activity means it’s definitely time to call in the experts for a termite inspection. Seeing swarms outside your home with your own eyes are never a good sign. This usually happens as a colony is relocating and looking for a place to settle in. Finding mud tubes in or around your structure reveals a termite’s means of travel into the foundation and walls from the soil. Hollow sounding wood is another signal of termites since they eat from the inside out, making them undetectable until the damage is already done. You should also keep an eye out for droppings and discarded wings, and if you notice any of these things, schedule an inspection right away to prevent further destruction.

Your Neighbors Have Discovered Termites

If your neighbors or another homeowner in close enough proximity to your beloved dwelling have uncovered a termite infestation in their home, it may be time to have an inspection done in yours. Although another house being treated in the neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean termites are going to relocate next door or a few doors down, it can still be a scary thought. Speaking with your neighbors to determine some facts can be helpful in deciding what your next step should be, but it’s almost certain that you will want to remove all risk factors away from your home and then call a termite professional because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Many people have false peace living in a home that is unknowingly being damaged by termites. It will be more detrimental in the long run if they just let these pests continue to consume their structure and furniture than if they take responsibility and have regularly scheduled termite inspections.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson writes regularly on pest control topics and has gleaned much information from her friends at Killroy Pest Control who specialize in termite inspections in Union City. When she’s not writing on or researching pest control, you’ll usually find her on a weekend road trip, cooking, or hanging out with good friends.