How to Eliminate Pests for Good

5 Things Homeowners Need To Know About Odorous House Ants

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Things Homeowners Need To Know About Odorous House Ants

There are many different species of ants that American homeowners encounter in their backyards and inside their homes. It can be hard to identify the various species of ants that you find on your property, but identifying them is important since not all ant species will respond to the same pest control methods. Some types of ants, such as odorous house ants, have multiple queens, which complicates the pest control process. Here’s what you need to know about these unusual ants. Is there an easy way to identify them? Odorous house ants look fairly similar to other types of ants. They’re very small at about 3 mm long, with bodies that are either dark brown or black. However, there is one very easy way to identify these ants. When an odorous house ant is crushed, it releases a very bad smell, which is how these ants got their name. The smell is very bitter and has been described by some sources as smelling like rotting coconuts while others compare the smell to blue cheese. What states do they live in? Odorous house ants are widespread, but they aren’t found in every state. Most sightings of these ants come from the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes region, and New England, but they’re also quite common in Colorado. What these areas have in common is that they all provide the high moisture environments that odorous house ants prefer. Do they only live inside houses? Odorous house ants, despite their name, are also found outdoors, not just inside homes. In your backyard, you may find them living in dark, moist places like beneath patio stones, decorative rocks, or other objects. When they decide to live inside homes, they prefer to live in the same types of places as they do outdoors: dark and moist. You may find them living underneath your sinks, around your pipes, and if you’ve recently suffered from water damage, inside your walls. How do multiple queens make an ant colony harder to get rid of? Multiple queens give an ant colony a better chance of surviving your pest control attempts. Ant bait stations are designed to kill colonies that only have a single queen since most types of ants live in colonies with a single queen. With bait stations, the worker ants collect the poisoned bait and feed it to their queen, and when she dies, the entire colony crumbles. Odorous house ants have many queens, and this makes them more likely to survive your attempts at killing them with bait stations. You need to kill every single queen to get rid of the colony, and when there are a lot of queens, that’s harder to do. Are there any effective methods for getting rid of them? Ant bait stations aren’t a good way to get rid of odorous house ants, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no way to get rid of them. Outdoor colonies can be killed with drench treatments; look for pesticides that are meant to be poured into an ant mound. These pesticides saturate the nest and kill all of the ants inside, even multiple queens. Getting rid of indoor colonies is a little bit more complicated, and may include things like getting rid of the food and moisture that’s attracting them to your...

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Bed Bug Prevention: Tips For Travelers

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Once you’ve paid to have professionals clear up a bed bug infestation, it’s important to take steps to ensure that you don’t have to do so again. Unfortunately, people who travel a lot have a difficult time with this. That’s because hotels are a prime location to encounter bed bugs. In fact, a survey shows that almost a quarter of all hotels involved required treatment for bed bugs during the time span of the study. That’s why it’s so important for frequent travelers to limit their exposure to these nasty pests. These efforts should involve steps taken both while on the road and at home. Bed Bug Prevention On The Road The easiest way for a traveler to prevent bed bugs is to never use a room that has them. As you might expect, this is easier said than done. Bed bugs are notoriously small and flat and can set up shop in amazingly small nooks and crannies. A quick glance at your hotel room is likely to miss them. To help ensure that you know what condition your room is in, you should look for a few important signs of a bed bug infestation. These include: Rust-colored stains–These stains are the remnants of crushed bed bugs. You’ll want to look for these on mattresses and on the underside of any removable couch or chair cushions. Yellow shells–These are the eggs and casings left from a bed bug birth. You can find these on bedding, and also in the nooks present at the joints of drawers.  Dark blood spots–When a bed bug eats, they often expel a portion of their previous feeding. Since they feed on blood, this excrement can resemble a dark-colored blood.  Live bed bugs–If you see any actual bed bugs in the room, immediately leave and ask for a different location. Fortunately, bed bug infestations are local and other rooms could be free of pests. Make sure you complete a thorough inspection of your room the moment you arrive. Use the metal rack for your belongings–bed bugs cannot climb that surface–and check every conceivable area for these signs. Only then should you unpack and make yourself comfortable. Bed Bug Prevention At Home In spite of your efforts at preventing bed bugs on the road, you might come into contact with the pest at some point. To counter this, you’ll need to take precautions in your home as well. By setting up the proper physical space and personal habits, you’ll minimize the extent of any possible infestation and ensure that you catch it quickly. The most important thing you can do is conduct the same type of inspection of your bedroom that you’d conduct in a hotel room. A complete inspection of your room should happen every three months, or two weeks after a trip–since bed bug eggs require 4-12 days to hatch. You’ll also want to consider purchasing a few physical features to help protect your bed. The first are called bed bug interceptors. These are, basically, two concentric plastic rings that go on the foot of each bed leg. They create a trap for bugs that try to climb up onto the mattress and also those who try to leave. Interceptors help you both contain and locate an infestation in this way. Box spring encasements are...

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Caution: Do It Yourself Bed Bug Destruction Can Be Dangerous

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just last week, a family in Alberta, Canada was devastated by the deaths of two of their five children after exposure to an unlicensed pesticide. The children were exposed to pesticide pellets, purchased by the family in Pakistan, which the mother had positioned around the house to get rid of bed bugs. It is unclear how the family got the phosphine into the country past officials. The substance is highly toxic and, in both Canada and the U.S., is only approved for use by people with special training. In fact, it is not even approved for use on bed bugs. However, the family had apparently heard it was effective and took the pest problem into their own hands–with tragic results. Health Canada issued an immediate warning to use only industry-approved substances to kill bed bugs. If you have a bed bug problem that you would like to handle on your own, do you know how best to do so without endangering your family? Practical measures Before even considering any pesticides, you first need to take some practical measures to begin the bed bug battle. Find the bed bugs. You will get nowhere in your elimination efforts if you don’t first identify where the bed bugs are nesting in your home. There may be multiple burrows in your bedroom alone. Start with your mattress and box spring, moving to your headboard, the baseboard close to your bed, and bedroom furniture in successive order. Clear the clutter. Clutter contributes to bed bug infestations, so clear out cluttered areas close to where you’ve seen evidence of the bugs. Throw away papers, trash, food wrappers, and old clothes. This will make it easier to get to affected areas. Decide whether your mattress is salvageable. Because bed bugs’ primary goal is to get to you while you sleep, your mattress and box spring are probably infested. You may be able to clean the mattress thoroughly enough to remove the bugs, and then wrap your mattress in bed bug-proof plastic casing to prevent further problems. However, if your infestation is severe or you just can’t imagine sleeping one more night in a bed where bugs crawled, then you may want just to invest in a new one. Vacuum and steam clean. Vacuuming is an excellent way to clear out bed bugs, but must be done properly. Steam cleaning applies both heat and suction to your carpet and upholstered furniture, which are both excellent removal methods. Professional help There are numerous pesticides approved by the EPA to kill bed bugs in the United States. If you decide to use one of these, read the label carefully and follow directions completely. Make sure not to use the pesticide on any surface for which it isn’t approved; for instance, it may not be safe to use on mattresses or carpets. What pesticides aren’t safe to use? Substances not approved by the EPA should never be used for your bed bug problem. Even if your great aunt swears by some strange chemical or concoction, stick to a pesticide that has the government’s nod of approval. You could end up sickening yourself, your family, and your pets. Although you can use a pesticide on your own, you may want to enlist the use of a professional pest control company at...

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What Bugs You About Termite Infestation? 4 Common Fears

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The word “termite” is sufficient to strike fear into the heart of any homeowner. These tiny pests can create both huge problems and huge anxieties about those problems. Some of the concerns related to termite treatment and infestation may be overblown, but others are right on target. Here are four common fears associated with this threat to your home. 1. A Neighbor’s Termites Migrating to Your Home If you’ve discovered, or at least suspect, that the house next door has a termite problem, you may be tossing and turning with nightmares about hordes of tiny wood chewers making their way over the property line to your beloved home. While such an attack isn’t likely to be so focused, you might still want to regard your neighbor’s problem as a wake-up call of sorts. The good news is that the termites next door probably have more than enough paper and wood to keep them busy for a while, and that termites don’t set course toward specific sources — they simply wander around until they’re fortunate enough to find what they need. But even if your house won’t be singled out as the next course, that doesn’t make it immune. The presence of termites in the general area should prompt you to contact your pest control company and schedule an inspection. 2. Danger to Your Home’s Structural Integrity This common fear is unfortunately well justified. Termites can consume a great deal of wood without giving their presence away. By the time you actually see one, your home may have sustained serious damage, not only to cosmetic features but also to major structural components such as wooden beams. Termites are especially fond of damp areas such as basements and crawlspaces, chewing up the wood beams supporting your floors. They can also destroy the beams that hold up your walls and roof. Listen to this fear, and let it spur you to schedule annual termite inspections. 3. Toxicity of Pesticides Pesticides should be thought of as serious business, and termiticides (pesticides specifically used to kill termites) are no exception. Many of the chemicals used can indeed have toxic effects, especially when the instructions and warnings on the label aren’t followed to the letter. It’s usually wiser to leave the exterminating to the exterminators, instead of doing it yourself just to save money. When properly applied, these pesticides shouldn’t harm you or your loved ones, although you may be instructed to leave the home for a certain period while the chemicals do their work.  Some methods for exterminating or preventing termites have little or no toxic potential. Boric acid, a common preventative sprayed onto wood during initial construction, can discourage termite infestations with no risk to pets or people. Orange oil or neem oil may also stop a small-scale infestation in its tracks; heat and cold applications have also been employed against these pests. If you’re worried, ask your exterminator about non-toxic options. 4. Choosing an Unqualified Termite Exterminator You have every right to be anxious about whether you’re hiring the right termite exterminator for your problem. The dangers associated with the pesticides is reason enough, but you must also feel reasonably sure that the termite treatment will be properly administered to ensure complete success. Put your fears to rest asking to see the exterminator’s...

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5 Of The Strangest Pests That Could Invade Your Connecticut Home

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Don’t worry, the bugs that you are seeing inside your home are not some type of alien species. The state of Connecticut is known for a variety of common bugs like a honey bee, but the state is also filled with a number of oddities. When you can properly identify the strange pests in your home, it will make it a lot easier for pest control services to eliminate the problem. The professionals can come up with strategies to remove the bugs and prevent more bugs from wrecking havoc on your daily life. Be on the lookout for the following five strange pests that can be found in the state of Connecticut. Arrowhead Orb Weaver Spider There’s an innocent looking daddy long leg spider and then there’s the evil-looking arrowhead orb weaver. Instead of a round body, the arrowhead spider features an angled and shaped body with pointed ends on it. These spiders love to dwell in bushes and plants just outside your home. Instead of camouflage coloring, the predatory insect makes itself known with stark black and yellow coloring. The life cycle of these spiders is only a year, but they lay plenty of eggs to keep the pests around for as long as possible. Along with ways to get rid of the spiders, pest control specialists may recommend a landscaping change to attract less of the spider. House Centipede One of the creepiest bugs found in Connecticut can get into any crack, crawl up your wall, and truly looks like an alien creature. Unlike an outdoor centipede, a house centipede has a longer body, softer shell, and extended legs that give them the ability to move at fast speeds. These small bugs like to come out at night and can be seen dashing across walls or floors. The bugs are attracted to rooms with high humidity, so it’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier to help deter them. To completely eliminate the bugs, pest control workers can use a variety of techniques to protect the edge of your home and remove any nests or eggs from the house centipede. The Assassin Bug Connecticut residents never had to worry about the poisonous bug with a nickname like “The Assassin,” but global warming has increased sightings of the critters. The bug feeds off of mammals and is specifically known to to bite around the face and neck region. The bugs are about an inch long, feature a long flat black back, and have red coloring on the side. A cone shape of the head indicates that this variety of the bug does not just feed on insects, but humans too. If bitten, an anti-itch lotion can help remove any pain. Because of the biting, Assassin Bugs are a very common insect that pest control workers deal with. Hag Moth Caterpillar What looks like a patch of fur is actually a poisonous caterpillar. Dark, gray, and flat, the hag moth caterpillar features stinging setae on the top of its body. Touching these parts of the caterpillar can cause a slight inflammation and irritation. Children may be tempted to hold or pet these, but they should be kept away until a pest control worker can handle the situation. The hag moth caterpillar is also commonly referred to as a monkey...

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