By working here at Loyal Termite and Pest Control I am constantly learning new things about the insect and bug world. If you recall, my last blog was about an insect that I had never seen or heard of before. A friend that lives in Deltaville sent me a picture of a very large nasty looking bug that was identified by one of our technicians as a “Wheel Bug”. It turns out that the 21/2” long Wheel Bug is capable of giving a painful bite and is also in the “kissing bug” class. Bugs in this class prefer to have a blood meal (just like a bed bug) rather than consume other insects; it’s other food of choice. Needless to say, my friend appreciated my identifying the Wheel Bug and advising her to stay away from this dangerous bug at all costs.

This morning I was looking in the Professional Pest Management Association (PPMA) website and was surprised to read and learn about another bug that has actually been attacking and killing people in Japan and China. The recent death toll in what experts are calling ground zero, in the outskirts of An Kang, China is 42 and counting, and the number injured is in excess of 1,600! Officials in An Kang say the actual number of dead and injured is much higher. This aggressive killer is the Asian Hornet or the Giant Asian Hornet (pictured above) as the larger species is known.

“These hornets have been killing people for some time, said an official who requested anonymity, “This year, just in this district more than 20 people have been killed. The number should be much higher than that. The number is shocking.” The Asian Hornet, or Vespa Mandarina, can grow to be thumb-sized. It is capable of flying at speeds of up to 25 mph and a distance of 50 miles. Their stingers carry a lethal mix of foreign protein and when mixed in the human bloodstream can cause sepsis. Without proper treatment, such as dialysis, a victim will die.

spiderRecently, I received an email from Donna, an old friend of mine who now resides in Deltaville, VA. She attached this photo and asked me what kind of spider this is; saying she had hundreds of these things all around her house. From her photo, you may not be able to see a lot of detail; however, the cap on this deck railing is a 2x4 which means this thing is about 2 inches in length. I can imagine Donna’s concern having hundreds of these two-inch gnarly looking characters hanging around her house.

I’m a marketing guy; however, in my 2+ years here at Loyal Termite and Pest Control, I have seen just about every spider, insect, or bug that are common inhabitants of our Central Virginia region. I had never seen one of these before. I figured Hunter would know, but he is still on temporary assignment in Florida. I figured Nick or Gena Lupini would know, our company’s President and Vice-President respectively, but they are in Arizona at the National Pest Management Association convention. (I’ll speak more about the NPMA convention in my next blog)

temp assign

For those of you who are tuning into this blog expecting to hear from Hunter, our Loyal K-9 Termite and Bedbug Detective, we ask for your patience and understanding. Hunter remains on a temporary work assignment in Florida until Nick and Gena Lupini, President and Vice-President respectively, of Loyal Termite and Pest Control, hire and train more staff. With the growing demand for our quality services; we are in need of 4 or 5 more top quality technicians. We are making progress, however; Nick and Gena insist on employing only people of equal character, work ethic and dedication to our customer's needs as those technicians who have been working here for many years.

This is a difficult task that takes a lot of time and effort. Until the Lupini’s are completely satisfied with the new personnel hired and fully trained; will it then be time to bring Hunter back and put him on a full schedule sniffing out both Termites and Bedbugs. When he does get back, Hunter is going to be one busy hound dog. As you know, Hunter is not shy. He will be anxious to tell you all about what he is up to on a weekly basis and share his wealth of knowledge about the termite and the pest control business.

temp assign

It must seem a little strange to you Hunter "dog-blog" fans that he is not barking out his 74th weekly blog, "What's Buggin' You?" Well, if you followed us through Hunter's last blog that he wrote 2 weeks ago; and have tuned in to our monthly newsletter, The Loyal News, emailed out September 5th you know what is going on. For those of you who are not caught up, this blog, my first blog in a short series named, Glen's Loyal Blog, "What's Buggin You? will be educating and entertaining you until Hunter gets back from his temporary assignment in Sarasota Florida.

Briefly, this is what's going on. Hunter has completed his 9-week training class at the Florida K-9 Training Academy. He graduated with honors, Magna Bark Loudly, and is now a Certified Bedbug Detective, in addition to being a Certified Termite Detective.

Loyal Termite and Pest Control is going through a well planned and very calculated growth period. We have recently hired 1 new technician and are looking to hire 3, maybe 4 more. The hiring process is very tedious in that Nick and Gena Lupini, our company's President and Vice-President respectively, are looking for special people to fill these positions; people that are upstanding in character, dedicated to their work and the Loyal customers they serve and are looking for a career providing quality pest control services for many years to come.

It's been a long time coming and no pup could be more excited than I am right now. My K-9 Bedbug Detective Training graduation is happening this Saturday and I am proud to say I reached my goal of graduating number #1 in my class. The honor of graduating "Magna Bark Loudly" in this class, as well as, in my prior K-9 Termite Detective Training class puts me in a unique position as the only graduate in the history of this Academy to hold this honor in two separate disciplines. I will again give the Commencement Speech during the graduating ceremony. This is a great honor.

If you remember in my prior blogs, I have been mentoring a brilliant young pup; Buster or Little "B" as I call him. He aspires to be the same type of team leader that I have been throughout my career. "B" has not left my side since we got here. In every category; classroom, field study, physical training, and real-time exercises, Little "B" has come in second only to me in every section. He will be a K-9 Bedbug Detective superstar in North Carolina and with my continued long distance tutoring; he will soon have his own weekly blog and monthly column in his company's newsletter. I'm proud of you Little "B".


Bottom Decor

We needed a termite inspection for a closing on the sale of my Mom's house. We called another pest control company, who originally said we needed $3000 to $4000 worth of work, then backed down to $772 termite treatment within 45 minutes of me telling them no, on top of the $110 we paid for the inspection. We called Nick at Loyal Termite & Pest Control, who scheduled Phillip to come out and provide a second opinion for $75. They notified us when they were coming, sent us a picture of Phillip, so we knew it was him. Phillip did the inspection and found no signs of a current termite problem. He promptly called to notify me and the report was written and delivered to the closing attorney with 24 hours. I am glad there are still some honest people in the pest control business!!

- James Toczko