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Mohney: Don't let mental termites attack

Posted: February 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

My friend and her family live in an old but large and beautiful home. In the process of having the house painted, they discovered it was being destroyed by termites — small and mostly out-of-sight creatures that worked without ceasing.

In a similar way, people often go through the crises of life with flying colors. They take time to mourn the traumas and tragedies. Yet, those same people are often being destroyed by the mental termites of negativism, fear, worry, anger and resentment. During the next few weeks, we'll look at some of these.

One of the most common is negativism. That isn't hard to understand since we are bombarded with news of violence. If we choose to fill our minds with this, we will be inundated by negativism. We will become pessimistic, unhappy people.

Several years ago, I was speaking to the Junior League of Richmond, Va. The mother of one of the members asked me if I would stay over and speak to senior adults at her church. The following day as I entered the meeting room, I was amazed at the obvious vitality and energy, especially when the hostess told me that the average age of those present was 86.

Seated by a woman in her early 80s, I said, “I like your new church. It's so beautiful.” Without so much as a smile, she replied curtly, “It's too big; it cost too much money; I wasn't in favor of building it.” Realizing I needed a new approach, I thought the weather would be safe, so I said, “Haven't we been having lovely weather this week?” Still without a smile, she said, “Yes, but it snowed six times this year.” Subsequently, every time I said anything, she said, “Yes, but …”

Finally, my hostess rescued me, saying, “I sat you down by Mrs. Jones because she's so negative that I thought you might help her.” Wearily, I replied, “If you'd left me by her five more minutes, I couldn't have spoken.” Negative people infect others with their heavy gloom.

What about you? Is there anyone who hopes they don't see you until after they have had a strong cup of coffee? Negativism is usually a thought pattern that has become habitual. Maybe you were reared in an environment where you were negatively conditioned by authority figures. You can, however, interrupt the pattern. It will take time and effort and prayers. Remember that whatever you are now, you will become more so as you get older unless you change the pattern.

If you are a bore at 20, you will be an impossible bore at 50; if you are stingy at 18, you will be a terrible tightwad at 80. When speaking to a mixed audience, I often say, “Women, there is nothing worse than an old woman who is mean, petty, whining and complaining unless it's an old man who is mean, petty, whining and complaining. Both are the crowning work of the devil!” It's time to change the pattern.

Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. She may be reached at

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Slidell-based Epworth Project volunteers still hammering away at devastation in the area

Posted: February 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

There is no shortage of need for reconstruction assistance six years after Hurricane Katrina, said the leader of the Epworth Project, a nonprofit group working to make a difference in the lives of people affected by natural disasters and personal challenges.

“We are still working on Hurricane Katrina rebuilding projects. We have also recognized the need to help people affected by other natural disasters like tornadoes, fires or because they have health issues that make it difficult to manage the project themselves,” said Executive Director Dale Kimball of Slidell.

The Epworth Project, a self-supporting nonprofit community group, was born last year when the Louisiana Methodist Conference moved its disaster recovery support from the area to address needs in other parts of the country. The Slidell program is the faith-based arm of Northshore Disaster Recovery, Inc.

In 2011, volunteers from the Epworth Project helped in the aftermath of the tornado touchdown in the Bush area, along with hurricane-related rebuilds.

“About 70 percent of our projects last year were still Katrina-related. The other 30 percent involved tornado damage here and in Alabama, as well as social need-based projects,” Kimball said.

The management team at the organization receives daily requests for help. The criteria for the acceptance is broad, with each case reviewed individually.

“We look at the vulnerability of the client, and that is our key guide. Are they elderly or have health issues that make it difficult to understand, afford or manage a reconstruction project? Or maybe there are small children involved, and there is a special need. We consider all these things before accepting a project,” he said.

The center’s team has a good relationship with the Slidell Police Department and fire districts and the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office. They call the Epworth Project’s staff when they see a concern that needs to be address. When a request for help is received, a four-person team is involved in the evaluation of all projects, Kimball said.

“I, or our project manager, Ken Ward, will meet with the homeowner and decide on the feasibility of the request. If we feel we can do the work, then our case manager Susan Arnold meets with the client to get more information on that person’s situation. Then the three of us, along with our financial manager, Cynthia White, and our volunteer coordinator, Danielle Fleming, sit down and see whether we have all the resources, financial and manpower, to get the job done,” said Kimball.

At that table, Kimball said at least one person plays the devil’s advocate to make sure the job fits the scope of the program’s parameters. After they reach this point, he said, approximately 90 percent of requests received are accepted into the program.

“It comes down to the human issue. Is there a genuine need, and if so, can we do the work? If we can, we need to make it happen,” Kimball said.

The Epworth Project has approximately 50 projects in progress and another 75 or so currently on its waiting list. In 2011, volunteers helped reconstruct approximately 90 homes, with about 50 of them in greater New Orleans, and the remaining ones on the north shore and as far away as Alabama. This included work on homes also damaged by fire, tornadoes and termites.

“One duplex in New Orleans involving multiple families turned out to be a total rebuild,” said Kimball. “There wasn’t much left after Katrina and the termites. But it’s done.”

That’s where the more than 1,900 volunteers entered the picture last year. Volunteers paid for the privilege to come and work and sweat, Kimball said. The Epworth Project is a popular place for church groups wanting to do mission work, the executive director said.

“Over the last few years, we have built a one-stop shop for volunteers. They pay $275 per person. That covers their housing, food, building materials for the job sites and tools. All they need to do is get here and we put them to work,” he said.

Already this year, 914 volunteers have reserved their places in the Epworth Project’s bunk house on the Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s campus. Another 451 have expressed an interest, but have not confirmed.

The nonprofit’s next big rush will be in March when the church campus will be inundated with college students during what is now dubbed, “Alternative Spring Break.”

“Instead of heading to the beach and partying, these kids choose to be a part of recovery efforts all over the country. It’s phenomenal the amount of support we get through these groups and the work that they can do on their spring break,” said Kimball. More than 400 students will use the Epworth Project as their home base for volunteer work during that month.

“We are thankful for Aldersgate’s help during these big weeks. Our sleeping quarters hold 56 people. The rest of the students will be spread out all across the church campus for a few weeks,” he said.

Funding for rebuilding projects is always an issue. Donations are always welcome, as well as help with fundraising.

“Our waiting list shows there is a need. But we can’t go forward with a project unless there is the money to do it,” Kimball said. Sometimes even the volunteers that come from out of state help with the financing.

“As often happens, volunteer team members get very close to the homeowners at their job sites. A connection is made that can last for years. It is not unusual that the team will go home and raise funds for a job that needs to be finished back here and then send us the funds,” said Kimball. He also has had volunteers hand him checks as they are leaving to go home, many with the stipulation that the donation remain anonymous, especially to the donor’s volunteer teammates.

“They leave more than their sweat here. One person put a check in my hand as she left. I didn’t look at it until later. It was for several thousand dollars. That’s the kind of thing that finishes houses. Her money helped complete two house projects and build two wheelchair ramps for people who really needed them,” he said.

Kimball also has been on the road, sharing how the Epworth Project works and showing other communities how they can set up a similar program. Some communities have done well following the model, while others have not, Kimball said.

“We have shared the blueprints for our operation, and it can work anywhere with a little alteration for their particular situation. Many people want to reinvent the wheel when it’s not necessary. We learned a lot of things by trial and error. A town in Iowa that was devastated by flooding took our model and is doing great. We’ve met with people in other towns, and they have not shared our success because they have altered the basis of the plan too much. But we know it can work,” he said.

Local volunteer involvement also is extremely important to the center’s continued success.
“Someone doesn’t have to commit to a week’s time to volunteer to make a difference. We want local people to be involved. If they have a day or a half-day or even an hour, we’ll find something to do to match their skills, and they can make a difference in their own community,” he said.

For more information about the Epworth Project or to volunteer, call 985.781.7990.

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Pesky Bugs Coming Early This Year

Posted: at 7:43 pm

MINNEAPOLIS – After a mild winter, pest management professional are predicting an early influx of insects like ticks, wasps, ants and termites this year.

Earlier this month, the Minnesota Department of Health warned more black-legged ticks — better known as deer ticks — are being found farther north than before, and their expansion is also increasing the risks of contracting Lyme disease.

Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have high concentrations of the bacteria-carrying ticks, according to a distribution map released by researchers in New Hampshire.

Read more: Deer Ticks Spread North, Lyme Disease on Rise

Pest prevention tips
from the National Pest Management Association

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.

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My Husband and Other Animals — A moveable feast

Posted: at 7:43 pm

Harvesting Termites When pests become snacks Photo: Rom Whitaker

Before I met Rom, everyone I knew thought termites were pests. When the rains first arrive, clouds of these winged creatures begin to swarm. They buzz around lights and eventually commit suicide in our beverages and dinners. The rest of the year, diligent workers find devious ways of attacking wood furniture. Friends who cry “Herbal mozzie repellent only please” nuke termites with awful chemicals without a second thought.

When Rom and I moved to our farm, I realised that a termite swarm is a major natural-history event. Termites are a rich source of protein that every creature regards as a feast. As the insects soared on their conjugal flights, watchful drongos made acrobatic sorties snapping them up.

Once termites find mates, they lose their wings and burrow underground to nest. Lacking superior aerial skills, shikras perched ungainly on the ground, pecking at these wingless ones. The birds’ prime prey, garden lizards also engorged themselves. They scurried noisily through the dry leaf litter aware that for the moment, their nemesis preferred the fat succulent bodies of these insects to their own scaly, tough ones. Nearby, a flock of white-capped babblers competed with magpie-robins and bulbuls in chasing termites through the grass.

Toads sat like statues, only their tongues flicking in and out mechanically. These were especially greedy little buggers, stuffing themselves more and more when they couldn’t even waddle out of the way. Scorpions rammed so many insects down their throats that the wings stuck out of their mouths, looking like feathered chimeras.

Perhaps this was the only occasion when nocturnal and diurnal creatures, predators and prey dined together. We once found a monitor lizard lying draped over a termite mound, sated, incapable of movement. Even palm squirrels, which I thought were vegetarians, joined in. The normally alert mongooses were so focused on stuffing themselves that they didn’t notice our presence.

Our two young emus were nowhere near as proficient as the others in finding termites. With their large round eyes affixed on an insect in flight, they chased it round and round in comical circles, only occasionally snatching one from midair. Later when the sun rose higher in the sky and the swarming died out, life returned to normal.

The arrival of rains is the cue for the insects to take off on their nuptial flights. But the Irula tribals are wizards in exploiting this resource even without a shower. Many years ago, on a moonless night, I watched them tie a sari around a mound to simulate the stillness before rain. A tin can was buried in the ground. An oil lamp, the only source of light, was balanced on cross-sticks on top of the can. They blew the powder of a local seed called ‘eessal kottai’ (‘termite nut’), which smelt of rain, over the mound. They chanted with a lot of sibilance, like the whispering wings of termites.

Initially nothing happened and I thought this was all hocus-pocus. Then the termites started emerging. They were unable to fly; perhaps their wings were not fully formed yet. They headed for the light and fell into the can. Soon, hundreds of thousands of them came pouring out like a black river. The Irula emptied the can into a gunny sack every few minutes and within an hour, the sack was half full.

Back at the Irula hamlet, we gathered around the fire as they roasted the insects on an iron griddle with rice, turmeric and chilli powders and salt. The fat from the termites sizzled and made the rice grains pop. When I gingerly sampled a roasted termite, I could barely taste it.

I followed the Irula example and shoved a whole handful into my mouth. And then another. Was it insects I was eating? They tasted of fried nuts with a buttery texture but the flavor was unique. Like those toads, I couldn’t stop stuffing myself. With a knowing grin, one of the Irula asked me how the midnight snack tasted.

I answered in Tamil, “Super.”

My Husband and Other Animals — A moveable feast

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Terminix to Host Job Fair in Atlanta Area

Posted: February 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm

NORCROSS, Ga., Feb. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

WHAT: Terminix is a job fair at its Norcross, Ga. Contact Center (located off of Peachtree Pkwy, 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta city center). The industry-leading billion-dollar company is looking to hire 25 additional full-time inside sales representatives. Full-time employees are eligible for a competitive benefits package, which includes healthcare as well as 401(k) options.

At the job fair, applicants can meet hiring managers and additional Terminix staff and learn more about Terminix. Interested applicants should arrive at the job fair with valid identification and a resume and are encouraged to apply online for the Inside Sales position (#574655) prior to arriving: Dress is business casual.

WHEN: Saturday, February 18, 10:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Terminix Contact Center
3790 Data Drive
Norcross, GA 30092

MORE: For more information about Terminix, visit or email Melissa Cornuet at

About Terminix

Terminix, a division of The ServiceMaster Company, is the nation's largest pest control provider. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Terminix services more than 3 million customers in 46 states and 14 countries. Terminix provides pest control services and protection against termites, rodents and other pests threatening human health and/or safety. To learn more about Terminix, visit

About ServiceMaster

With a global network of more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. The company's high profile brands are TruGreen, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 24,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands serves more than 8.2 million customers every year. Our brands hold market-leading positions in residential and commercial lawn, tree and shrub care, termite and pest control, home warranties, furniture repair, home inspections, residential and commercial cleaning and disaster restoration. Go to for more information about ServiceMaster or follow us at or

Heather Wilson

901.597.7710 (O)

901.233.7226 (C)

This information was brought to you by Cision,c9221179

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Former Brooklyn rec building may get new life

Posted: February 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

The Brooklyn Board of Selectmen later this month will consider a draft of a request for proposals for use of the former recreation building.

First Selectman Austin Tanner said the board voted last week to move forward with the request to determine if anyone has interest in the building.

The Recreation Department moved out of the Prince Hill Road building in 2008. The building has water damage, collapsed ceilings,  mold and damage from termites and rodents. Renovation estimates range from $31,000 to $130,000.

Selectmen voted in September 2008 and in February 2009 to demolish the building, budgeting $10,000 to raze it. But the building is a town asset, so approval from residents is required. The issue was never brought to town meeting.

Since 2008, groups have expressed interest in the building, Tanner said, but none has made a formal presentation to the town.

Selectmen have discussed options for the building, which include renovations by Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School and use of the building by the Last Green Valley and the town’s agricultural commission. Brooklyn resident Paul Archer, of Archer Surveying, has also expressed interest. Archer could not be reached for comment Monday.

Tanner said he spent last month researching the restrictions on the building. By deed, the building can only be used for recreation or conservation. Any other use would require permission from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Tanner said.

Tanner said the request for proposals will be broad and open to anyone interested in purchasing, leasing or renovating the building. But Tanner said some cautionary words for any potential buyer or tenant.

“The town doesn’t want to put money into it,” he said. “So if they wanted to (renovate) it, they’d have to do it themselves.”
Tanner said the board has not set a timeline for sending the request out.
Resident Paula Burns said she does not see a reason to rush to tear down the building, even though the town has been talking about it for years.
“If people are interested and will fix it up, the town should do what it can to help them,” Burns said.

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Unseasonably Warm Weather Could Mean Earlier Termite Activity

Posted: February 13, 2012 at 5:07 am

ATLANTA, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — According to Atlanta-based pest control leader Orkin, the above-average temperatures much of the U.S. has seen recently could mean earlier termite activity. Subterranean termite swarms have already been seen in south-central Florida and will move west into the Gulf states, north into the Carolinas and then spread throughout the country.

When the temperature rises above 60 degrees, termites often swarm inside homes before moving outdoors to search for food and water. Jim Warneke, Orkin's Southeast division technical services manager, noted homeowners should not assume termite swarms are flying ants, a common misperception based on appearance. Termites are found in every state except Alaska and thrive in warm and damp, humid climates. 

“Termites get moisture from the ground or use moisture found in a home or building from leaks or condensation,” said Warneke. “Moisture combined with increasing temperatures make springtime conditions in the South ideal for termite activity.”

Even though termites are most visible in the spring, they can damage property year-round. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause about $5 billion in damage per year in the U.S. Warneke suggests homeowners contact a pest management professional if they suspect any termite activity, because the warning signs can be subtle and often go unnoticed until structural damage has already occurred.

“Signs of an infestation can include termite swarms, mud tubes and piles of discarded wings,” said Warneke. “After the termites swarm—usually during warm spring days—they can shed their wings and leave piles of them behind.”

Termites are attracted to light, so swarms are typically found around lighting fixtures and windowsills. Mud tubes act as a protective tunnel and provide moisture for the termites. The mud tubes are about the size of a pencil and usually run vertically on the inside or outside of a building's foundation.

Warneke recommends the following tips to help prevent termites from entering your home:

Keep gutters clear, and direct water from downspouts away from your home. Do not pile mulch or allow soil to accumulate against your home's siding. This could provide access for termites to enter your home. Pay close attention to dirt-filled porches and crawlspaces. Termites could have easy access to wood through cracks in foundation walls or if wood is in contact with the soil.

About Orkin, LLC

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. With more than 400 locations, Orkin's almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries, including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Orkin is proud to be recognized by the National Pest Management Association as a QualityPro and GreenPro-certified company, addressing not only our customer's pest control needs, but also their concern for protecting the environment. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL – News).



This release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements about the Company's belief that an early termite season could occur.  Actual occurrences could differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements because of various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, climate and weather trends.  All of the foregoing risks and uncertainties are beyond the ability of the Company to control, and in many cases the Company cannot predict the risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements.  A more detailed discussion of potential risks facing the Company can be found in the Report on Form 10-K of Rollins, Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2010.

Media Contacts:
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Sarah Robinson


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Hidden Dangers Of Moisture Hanging Around Old Window – Termite Damage – Video

Posted: February 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

21-01-2011 23:45 Click on This link to learn more about some of the problems you could face hiring contractors and some of the solutions to those problems. This video will provide you with some relative information about termite damage, water damage, moisture, windows and old homes. In other words, old homes usually have problems with moisture that leads to wood damage and if you have aluminum windows, the water damage could attract termites. I think I covered everything, but if I didn’t, that’s okay. Plan on visiting our websites, to raise your old house repair IQ. I guarantee that you will find something that peaks your interest at one of our websites.

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Taming Termites

Posted: February 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Turns out, we're not the only ones enjoying this warm winter. Because we haven't seen much cold weather this year, entomologist John Cooksey with McCall Service, says termites think it's already spring. So already, they're starting to swarm.

“Typically, in a winter we'll have a few freezes that will knock insect populations down,” he said.

Cooksey says the little bugs pack a mean punch. Your house might be infested if you start to see:

– sawdust on the floor

– small holes in wood

– mud tubes

– damaged drywall

– or the tell tale sign, a termite swarm.

“You won't be able to miss it. They'll be on your window sills. They'll be around your door. It's a sure sign that you've got a problem,” he said.

Cooksey says when you see the swarms, the damage has been done. And often, your homeowners insurance policy won't cover the damage.

So, what do you do to keep the critters at bay? You can try to kill them yourself, but Cooksey wouldn't recommend it. He says your best bet is an in-ground pest control system, like Sentracon. That system will run you between $600 and $800, plus an annual maintenance fee.

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Pest experts say homeowners should act on problem areas now

Posted: at 12:20 am

Warm winter and pests


It's one of the consequences of an unseasonably warm winter this year. Experts say the warm weather is bringing more and more bugs into the area.

“We've already seen an increase in pest activity,” said George Richardson with Peninsular Pest Control. “We actually had termites swarming last Friday in great numbers.”

Richardson said the calls to his company have increased this year; he's already seen swarms of termites during a month when there should be very little activity. He said bugs like mole crickets and ants are also showing up more in the Jacksonville area.

“Many people think it kills the insects,” said Richardson. “[Cold weather] doesn't kill, it just slows down reproductive cycle. Causes slower activity as we see temps increase we see pest activity increase.”

Richardson recommends pest control for lawns and homes. If people already have problems, Richardson said they will probably get worse by spring.

“Anytime that you have pests, obviously you want to address the situation,” said Richardson. “It can be a danger to kids in the yard, our recommendation is to have a professional inspect them and treat them as needed.”

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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