Pest Control for the Single Gal

Pest control isn't just for the boys!

Causes of Bed Bugs

April 1, 2013

You may be wondering what causes bed bugs and why they keep on increasing in number. Bed bugs lead to a lot of health problems. However, many individuals are not aware of how damaging they are until they cause severe problems. Symptoms of bed bug bites include itchiness, redness and irritation in the area. Chronic exposure to bed bugs can cause health conditions which may turn out to be complicated.

Bed bugs are nocturnal insects which feed on human blood. These insects usually attack humans during the night while they are asleep. They are one of the few species of insects which can survive for long periods of time even without food. These very nasty insects can hide in many structures even in tiniest holes and spaces. Understanding how they spread in number and what causes bed bugs can be very helpful to decrease their effects on human health and to prevent them from moving from one area to another.

What causes bed bugs?

-Traveling
Moving from one place to another can cause the spread of bed bugs. These tiny creatures are capable of sticking on to pillows, clothes and other materials which you may be bringing with you when you travel. Upon reaching a certain destination where they find adequate warmth, the bed bugs may move out of the suitcase and find another home. By feeding on human blood, they can multiply in number and invade the area.

-Hotels
You can also get bed bugs when you stay in certain hotels. The bed bugs may stick into your clothes or into your suitcases and drift away when you get home. They can even enter their dormant stage or the inactive state so you do not notice them living in your home. But once they become active, they can cause severe damages.

-Materials
Since they can stay inactive for several months, bed bugs can stay in mattresses and furniture. When these materials are transferred from one area to another, the bed bugs which live in them will also be transported.

-Other animals
Animals can also spread bed bugs while transferring from different areas. Bed bugs can attach themselves in feathers of birds and chickens or into the fur of other animals. Since animals are not capable of removing the bed bugs from their body, they can suffer from severe itchiness and irritation.

-Reproduction
The fastest way bed bugs increase in number is through reproduction. Reproduction of bed bugs happens through traumatic insemination. This means that the male bed bug pierce its genitalia into the female's abdomen, leading to fertilization. The female then lays eggs. Studies show that a female bed bug lay at least 5 eggs a day and up to 500 eggs in its whole lifespan.

Now that you know what causes bed bugs, you can do your part to prevent them from entering and spreading in your home. If you detect a bed bug infestation in an area, you should report it immediately to a bed bug exterminator to prevent them from multiplying.

Why You Should Hire a Pest Control Professional

March 18, 2013

Hiring a pest control professional when dealing with rodents and other types of insects is one of the safest ways to go. Professionals are thoroughly trained in what they do. Some specialize in specific areas while others are familiar with all types of rodent and insect control.

There are several benefits to hiring a pest control professional versus trying to rid your of the problem yourself. The first reason is cost. Products in the pest control aisles of stores abound to overflowing. Each label promises to rid you of your problem for a hefty price. You read each label carefully. After rereading again and again you make your decision. You go home determined to get rid of your insect or rodent problem. You wait only to find out the rodents or insects are not affected by it. You head back to the store and try another product. The cycle continues to go on and on and the cost gets higher and higher. Hiring a pest control professional will cut the time and the cost it takes to make repetitive trips to the store. The pest control professional will come out find out the problem and give you a one-time cost.

Another benefit of hiring a pest control professional is understanding the ingredients in treatments. It is important to know the hazardous materials in the treatments you use both inside and outside of your home. Professional exterminators are trained to know which treatments containing which ingredients are safe to use around children and pets yet strong enough to kill your problem. If for some reason your problem is extreme enough where harmful chemicals must be used pest control professionals will provide you with proper information and techniques to ensure the safety of you and your family.

Another benefit is the information you receive about the rodents and insects. A pest control professional will provide you with important information such as the rodents and insects most prone to your area, precautions you can take to repel rodents and insects by knowing what attracts them. Pest control professionals will also educate you on the best over the counter products which can be used for minimal pest control maintenance.

One of the most important benefits is peace of mind for you and your family. No one can rest easy when there are rodents or dangerous insects roaming throughout your home. Trying different products and hoping one of them will work is almost compared to playing the cat and mouse game, no matter how many times the cat tries he never seems to catch the mouse. Do yourself and your family a favor by calling a pest control professional. Your problems are pinpointed, destroyed and you have the extra added benefit of being properly educated. This peace of mind allows you to spend more time enjoying your home and family instead of dreading the problem you will have to face when you open your front door.

Termite Reproductive Cycle

March 12, 2013

Termites have a complicated social structure and produce amazing structures as they build their colonies. They appear to be similar to ants both in appearance and in lifestyle but are actually more closely related to cockroaches; they appear ant like as the majority of termites retain many larval characteristics even into adulthood, which makes them susceptible to desiccation. The colony produces a colonizing group on a regular basis; these individuals leave the nest and fly off to begin a new colony nearby.

There are distinct castes in a termite colony, the king and queen, worker and soldiers. The only winged forms are produce in preparation for the colonizing flight; these winged termites are known as alates from the Latin word for wing, although they will only make one flight and tend to be carried by the wind as they are not strong fliers. Once they land their wings break off and they begin the business of starting a colony; building a nest and laying eggs, they care for the first generation of young themselves, until enough workers have grown to take over. The king will remain with the queen, mating with her repeatedly as she produces many hundreds of eggs; queen termites can live up to 25 years, but their reproductive ability decreases with age.

termite control, termite inspection, termite removal, termite prevention, pest control, exterminator

The main role of the king and queen is to produce offspring; they also control the levels of workers, soldiers and alates but producing pheromones that determine which caste the eggs will develop into. Termites grow from eggs into nymphs and then into adults, going through a number of molts during the process. The majority will develop in to workers and become responsible for the day to day tasks in the nest which include looking after young and eggs, collecting food, building and maintaining the nest and providing food for the queen. Workers are the most likely to be found in timbers as they collect wood for feeding purposes, however it is quite easy to create a barrier to keep them out as they are sterile and blind, with bodies that are susceptible to drying out which means they cannot venture far from the nest, especially in dry climates.

Soldiers are responsible for the defense of the colony, and have specialized mandibles and strongly armored heads for this purpose, although they are also blind, sterile and wingless. They do not generally venture far as they are also vulnerable to desiccation, and they have to be fed by the workers as their jaws have become so specialized that they are unable to feed themselves. Some species have different sizes of soldier with distinct jaw shapes; others produce a secretion from their heads which is thought to be a deterrent to predators.

Some immature termites will only complete partial metamorphosis and form a group that function as workers but have the potential to become alates or possibly supplementary reproductives. These supplimentaries are ready to replace a queen or king if they die, or fully metamorphose into alates and leave the nest to form a new colony of their own.

Bed Bug Treatment at Home

March 7, 2013

Learning how to get rid of bed bugs yourself is information that you should be equipped with. Bed bugs can inconvenience your life in such a major way. Most people assume that this is are only a poor people's problem but they can also be found in the best and the cleanest rooms. After birth, they might be difficult to notice especially if your bedding is white since they are born white in color; this is before they have their first feed. After feeding, they instantly become red which becomes their permanent color. They are usually found in large groups but their location is not limited to beds only. They can be found in carpets, wall cracks and torn wall paper. Once you notice them, it is advisable to act fast by learning bed bugs treatment yourself. You can hire help but doing it yourself is much easier and cheaper.

You first need to find their location before taking any action. Check on the corners of your mattress, on the edges of your carpet and in torn wall paper. Determining this will make your work easier as you do not need to run around looking for them and catch them off guard. The eggs are a clear sign that the adults are around. These are usually on the mattress and are coated with a sticky layer to hold on to your mattress.

bed bugs treatment


One of the most effective ways of getting rid of bed bugs is through extreme temperatures. In this case, you could choose hot or cold because either way the bed bugs would die. Put the infested clothes in a seal-able bag and expose it in some of the hot areas. You could also choose to put the bag under direct sunlight for a period of twelve hours. This will see the bed bugs dead and your problem solved. You can also choose to expose infested clothes in very cold temperature like the freezer. This only leaves the bugs alive for a few minutes and your problem over within a short while. For instances where the bugs are in mattresses and carpets, you could choose to use a steam cleaner. Point it directly at the eggs and the bugs then steam thoroughly. They will fall dead within a few seconds which easily takes care of your problem.

You can also get rid of the bed bugs through vacuuming. Simply direct the hose at them then suction them all out without pausing. Once they have all been sucked in, quickly tie a knot at the top of the bag and burn it immediately. This is also a fast and effective way.

It is advisable to repair torn wall paper to effectively get rid of the bed bugs' hiding place. This is usually in dark corners as they prefer places that they can go unnoticed. Another way that you to learn how to get rid of bed bugs yourself is through the use of insecticides. This is effective as it kills all the bugs around the house with ease. It is preferred since it tackles even the hiding bugs that the naked eye cannot see. It is however advisable to get everyone out of the house when spraying as the fumes might be toxic especially for small babies and pets.

Your Termite Treatment Options

March 2, 2013

Every year, termite infestations cause damage worth millions of dollars. They damage homes, commercial properties, and swimming pool filtration systems among other structures. If you are among the homeowners whose property has been infested by termites, opting for termite treatment is a must, otherwise your home will be destroyed.

Many people tend to think that they can control termites on their own. However, termite control requires special skills, and you can spend a lot of money without success if you try to do it yourself and you are not skilled. Some people choose to buy retail pest control products to treat their homes, but you should understand that these products may not eradicate termites effectively. Hiring the services of professional termite exterminators is the best way to get rid of termites on your property. These professionals have special skills as well as the appropriate equipment to address any termite problem successfully.

You can also hire the services of termite treatment specialists before constructing a building. A pre-construction treatment procedure ensures that the area you are planning to carry out construction is termite free. This kind of treatment creates a chemical barrier between masonry and ground slabs thus preventing termites from entering the building. In this kind of treatment, the termite specialists treat sides and bottom of excavations, the areas where walls and floors intersect, the perimeter of the construction, and pipe beddings. In general, the specialist will ensure that the construction area is well treated to avoid termite infestation in future. 

If you never had a pre-construction termite treatment performed on your property, it is never too late since you can have a post-construction treatment procedure performed. In this kind of treatment, a specialist will start by carrying out a thorough investigation to determine the kind of termite infestation in your property, the extent of damage if any, and the location of termites. With this, he or she will know what to treat and the kind of chemical to use to ensure that the insects have been eradicated from your property completely. 

There are many types of termite treatments that specialists make use of today. Wood treatment is one of the options in which a specialist applies the treatment direct on the wood or injects it into bare wood. This kind of treatment is odorless and brings immediate results. Fumigation or entire structure treatment is the other treatment option available. This kind of treatment is normally recommended where one structure is infested by multiple termite colonies. A specialist will pump in gas, which reaches crevices and cracks, which may be harboring termites. 

The other type of treatment is liquid application with non-repellent or repellent chemicals. These chemicals can be injected directly to the infested area and they can be used either inside or outside a property. In order to be on the safe side and ensure that you get quality services, it is advisable to hire the services of a licensed termite control company. With this, you will rest assured that your property is safe. Note that different companies charge differently and the termite treatment cost will vary depending on several factors like the total footage, the size of termite colony and the treatment option used among other factors.

Video: Rodent Control at Home

February 24, 2013

Check out this video all about how to see if you have a rodent problem in your home. Definitely remember to keep the area around your house clear of debris and other materials that could be hiding rodents and pests!

6 Ways to Kill Bed Bugs at Home

February 18, 2013

Bed bugs are flat reddish-brown, sneaky little creatures that infest our homes. Bed bugs feed on human blood and are known to spread deadly diseases. Essentially, bed bugs infest our homes by hiding in places such as cracks, crevices, sheets, furniture, mattress, behind baseboards, picture frames, electrical outlet plates, etc. Additionally, bed bugs also hide in visitors' luggage when traveling thus infesting hotel rooms. Ignoring the menace of bed bugs at home doesn't help matters in any way. Knowing ways or methods of killing bed bugs is critical to any person wanting peace and tranquility and at home.

While there many ways of getting rid of the bed bug menace at home, some methods are more effective than others when it comes to killing bed bugs and getting rid of them completely. Here are 6 effective ways of bed bugs extermination that every homeowner or hotel attendant should know.

Application of heat
Heat application is probably one of the easiest and most effective ways of getting rid of bed bugs. Directing heat at spots where bed bugs hide for 30 or more seconds is sure way of killing both bed bugs and their eggs. Bed bugs can also be terminated by the direct heat coming from a hair dryer.

Use of Insecticides
Another effective way of killing the sneaky little creature is to use insecticides in powder, dust, or spray format. Such insecticides can be bought from your local store. However, it's important for one to ask for repellent or insecticides that are specifically made for getting rid of bed bugs. Additionally, bed bugs can be terminated completely by using permethrin, a common household pesticide.

Steam
Using steam to get rid of bed bugs is fairly popular among homeowners. Steam can be applied using an electric kettle or a vacuum cleaner. The heat from steam effectively gets rid of bed bugs hiding in places such as inside the carpet, mattress, curtains, walls, couch skirts, seams, corners, etc.

Silica gel
The application of silica gels in areas where bedbugs live is a sure way of killing the sneaky creatures. Silica gel ideally dehydrates and suffocates bed bugs til they die. Silica gel should be applied in places such as inside the mattress, cracks, crevices, seams, etc. However silica gel is not recommended where there are children or pets. Inhaling the aforementioned chemicals can be harmful to your health.

Suffocation
Suffocation is another effective method of killing bed bugs at home. Bed bugs can be suffocated by using encasements or large plastic bags. Covering infested items with plastic bags or encasements is another fairly cheap way of exterminating bed bugs at home.

Tea tree oil
Lastly, tea tree oil is a natural substance that has been found to be effective in getting rid of bed bugs. Tea tree oil can be applied using bottle sprays to spots where bed bugs like to hide. Some of the places or spots where one can apply tea tree oil include in the mattresses, seams, corners, box spring, furniture, pillow walls, etc.

America's Number One Pest

February 15, 2013

pest control

 

Interesting infographic about ants, the number one pest in the US.

 

When to Call a Bed Bug Exterminator

February 11, 2013

Bed bugs are not just imaginary insects invented by your parents to warn you when it's time to go to sleep. They're real blood sucking critters that move around your house and in beds. It's much harder to keep them from biting than you ever thought, and once you notice them inside your house, it's the perfect time to give a call to the bed bug exterminator. Let's have a close look at some warning signs that can help you in identifying them in your house.

Look for bites. Bed bugs usually come out in the middle of the night when you are sleeping. That's why they're so difficult to catch. An experienced bed bug exterminator knows where to find them, but with you it's an entirely different matter. We only know about them from their bites! It can be very difficult to spot their bite and different people react differently to the bites. Some may get swelling, while others may get itchy rashes. They don't like hair and would only bite you in the area where there is no hair.

Inspect your bed sheets. Sometimes, bed bugs may leave behind some evidence on your bed sheets that they are indeed munching on you. Your chosen bed bug exterminator will often inquire if you've seen any brownish trail left behind on bed sheets at night. This fluid is left behind by bugs as they crawl back to their hiding spots. It all depends upon your skills, and if you were not able to find those trails, the pest exterminator will surely find out ways to find their colonies and exterminate them.

Check the cracks. Sometimes bed bugs leave behind fecal stains, egg cases, or even shed their skin in areas around your bed. So look specifically in the cracks on the walls located on the floor. These are the likely places where bugs may hang out when they are not on your bed biting you. While you may not be successful in finding them as they are so good at hiding, but you might definitely find some evidence that they'd been there. When you find this stuff, you know that there is indeed bed bug infestation, and it's time to make the call.

Caught red-handed. Even though it's uncommon, but some people do catch bugs in the act. These tiny critters are oval in shape and are reddish brown in color. They cannot fly at all. On an average, adults are around 5 millimeter in length and are quite small. They are flat and may resemble ticks, which they are often mistaken for.

These are really harmful and as real as you and me, and if you have bed bugs and home and living with them, then surely they'll be feeding on you at night, so you can have really serious discomfort and pain. So if you really have a bed bug infestation, the only lasting solution is to give a call to bed bug exterminator. They have years of hands-on experience in this field and can offer you a lasting solution to this menace. They have the necessary expertise, tools, and safe chemicals to get these little buggers right where they actually live, and you won't wake up with bug bites and itchy skin anymore.

Termite Prevention Methods

January 25, 2013

Termites can be a major problem for home and building owners. These little pests can cause significant damage to property and even make it unsafe to live in. Whether it is before you ever have any problems or after a recent extermination, availing yourself of some basic tools to prevent further termite damage can help avoid problems in the future.

About Termites

In order to understand how termite prevention methods work, it is necessary to know something about termite biology. In the U.S., subterranean termites are the most common type of pests. They eat wood fibers such as roots and buried branches when they are not eating your house.

Subterranean termites require a suitable habitat, including a certain amount of moisture and a food source. The gardens around homes are often popular with them because they watered and mulched, which keeps the soil damp. If there is exposed wood in the home that is near or in contact with the soil, termite damage may result.

Avoiding Termite Exposure

There are several ways to limit termite access to your home. Some are simpler to implement than others. For example, keeping a six-inch distance between any exposed wood and the ground is a great idea for when you are building a home but can be difficult to implement if your home is already built.

Other recommendations for denying termites access to your home and encouraging them to look elsewhere include:
- Keep mulch levels well below wooden parts of the home
- Remove sources of termite food such as dead stumps, branches, and logs near the perimeter of the home
- Don't store wood or paper near the foundation
- Remove wooden debris that creates a path between the soil and your home
- Slope the soil away from the foundation of your home to prevent water accumulation
- Drain gutters and other water sources away from your home
- Make sure your sprinklers are not coming too close to the home's foundation
- Keep plants a distance of three to four feet from your home

Catching Problems Quickly

While no one wants to deal with termite damage, catching it quickly can avoid having to employ expensive efforts to exterminate them from the entire home. A brief but regular termite inspection process can help identify any problems quickly and get treatment at the earliest stages. Some things to be on the lookout for include:

- Swarms of termites on the property, most commonly in the spring
- Termites themselves may be present where damp dirt and mulch is disturbed
- When removed, damaged pieces of wood have been visibly hollowed out
- If it looks like water damage but there is dirt present, it may be termites instead

Dealing with the Problem

A termite infestation is a serious problem, especially if caught in the later stages. It is possible for homeowners to kill the termites themselves, but choosing an exterminator is often a wise choice because true extermination requires expert knowledge of termite behavior. Not treating the right areas or using the right products could result in a false sense of security when, in fact, there is still termite damage occurring.

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