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Author Archives for Gerry Weitz

Bugs in Your Food – Cochineal, A.K.A. Carmine

Wednesday January 8, 2014
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Bugs in Your Food

– On Purpose!

(Note: some of the photos are graphic in their content regarding bugs) Do you eat yogurt with strawberries?  How about pink grapefruit juice, or red velvet cake?  Most likely you are consuming bugs……a particular scale insect to be exact.  It´s called “cochineal,” harvested in South America and Mexico from the prickly pear cactus.
Flowers of the Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia phaeacantha).

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Inspiration from the World of Insects – An Artist´s Palette

Meadowhawk Dragonfly Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly – Sympetrum corruptum

Many insects are a rainbow of colors just waiting to be emulated in art, fashion, and interior design. It may seem that the “Universe” has arranged in them the oddest color combinations but somehow they do work. Read more


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It is not easy to hire the right person for any job. In the pest control industry, it can be exceptionally difficult to find the right candidate: positive, articulate, hard working, ethical and team oriented. Kia was a great find. Below her picture is a wonderful review we received on this new pest control techncian.

Kia Goode, recently hired pest control technician

Kia Goode, pest control technician

“Hi Gerry,

I am writing to share my experience with your employee, Kia.

I just wanted you to know that in my brief interaction with Kia today, her friendliness and professionalism was excellent, and really appreciated. I usually never arrive home from work early enough to encounter your employees, and I know nothing of the pest control treatment that is actually applied on Heart’s visits. (Until today, I have only known that Hearts was another bill to pay.) Having met Kia today, and having paid attention to the various treatments she applied today, I was impressed.

I just thought you should know that Kia makes a terrific first impression, seems to have a great work ethic, really cares about the customer, and is a great representation of your firm. The employees on the front lines can make or break your relationship with your customer base, and she has certainly cemented ours in the brief time we interacted. She may be relatively new, but she’s a terrific asset to your firm.

(And – my wife Jackie gives Rob very high marks too!)

Kind regards, R.B. —- Inspiration Lane Escondido, CA 92025 Acct 13524″


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Acorns of California and the Acorn Weevil

From wildlife to prehistoric cultures, the acorn has sustained many a life – be it human or critter.  In California, gathering acorns to support life during the harsh winter months is important to many animals, especially Acorn Woodpeckers.  (Not that California has harsh winters but tell that to a Southern Californian and he/she will say, “It really does get chilly…..and, on a cold winter´s morning, there´s even frost on our windshields…….!”)

Male Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker – Melanerpes formicivorus

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Spiders, Scary or Beneficial?

Monday April 1, 2013
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Spiders are predators and almost all carry venom but their purpose is to kill insects, not attack humans. Whether spiders create webs for catching prey or dig burrows with trap doors, or hunt by chasing insects over short distances, their goal throughout the day (like some of us humans) is to – eat.  Many spiders are beneficial outside of the home where they eat ants, crickets, flies, sow bugs (roly-polies), aphids, and other insects. Inside, spiders will help eliminate termites but most people prefer not to share the same living space with these arachnids!

Green Lynx Spider(Peucetia viridans) with egg sac on a Sycamore tree in Escondido, CA

Green Lynx Spider(Peucetia viridans) with egg sac on a Sycamore tree in Escondido, CA

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California EPA I.P.M. Innovator Award

Friday March 1, 2013
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California Environmental Protection Agency I.P.M Award Recipient

Hearts Pest Management goes to Sacramento to receive the prestigious California Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award.  This award has been handed out to outstanding organizations that have advanced integrated pest management in California over the past 15 years.  One quick review of the list of recipients shows that only two other pest control companies (both in the San Francisco bay area) have achieved this award.  As has become a mantra, “Hearts Pest Management is the first pest control company in Southern California” to achieve the coveted California EPA Integrated Pest Management Award.

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The Wall Street Journal came out with an article entitled “Critter CounterOffensive,” with a notable mention for Hearts Pest Management as a contributer to the article. Hearts is quoted for its’ service of “tony Southern California cities such as Beverly Hills and Malibu.”


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Christmas Tree Pests

Tuesday December 4, 2012
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Pest-Free Christmas Trees

Sniff, sniffahhhh, tis the season for the smell of pine needles..and with the wonderful aroma of pine, you just might have a few pests hitching a ride on that Christmas tree — right into your home!

Christmas tree with ornaments

Christmas trees can bring in pesky guests during the holidays.

Christmas Tree Farms and Pesticides

There are very few Christmas Tree Farms in southern California where you can actually have a tree cut fresh for the holidays, but you can purchase a live one in a pot for later planting. Most trees are shipped in from other states and are treated with pesticides during the year; however, sometimes small critters may be shipped into the state along with the trees. Read more


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Bumble Bees

Tuesday November 13, 2012
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A Bit About Bumble Bees

The Bumble Bee Lifecycle

As the cool weather subsides and spring begins the strongest of the fertilized queen bumble bee begins her search for new and suitable conditions for her colony.

The early stages of forming a new colony are filled with much work for the queen, and she first must establish a location. Not all bumble bees share the same preference when it comes to nesting sites; some choose to make their nest in underground burrows, or perhaps a nice patch of grass above ground, while others inevitably find your attic or eaves quite to their liking.

Close up of Bombus Vosnesenkii Yellow-Faced Bumblebee at work in the garden

Here is a close up of Bombus Vosnesenkii
Yellow-Faced bumble bee at work in the garden

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Rats in the Attic

Tuesday November 6, 2012
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Rats in the Attic

Ahhhh, toasty fires, warm comfy rooms, holiday cheese tidbits — just the place for critters to come in from out of the cold. With winter around the corner, rats and mice may also want to share in the warmth of your cozy home…..

Roof Rats Climbing Roof Rats (Rattus rattus) – Tail is longer than the body.

“Su Casa Mi Casa!”

Fall is a good time to trim any overhanging branches touching your home; otherwise, the trees are like the Bering Strait, providing a bridge for rats to crossover into new territory—your roof and into your attic!!! If you hear scratching noises coming from the ceiling or in the walls, these explorers may have already set up camp in your home. Read more


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