Learning About Hiring Pest Control Experts

Canine Bed Bug Detection: Four-Legged Friends Find Six-Legged Pests

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Canine Bed Bug Detection: Four-Legged Friends Find Six-Legged Pests

Dogs just keep proving themselves as man’s best friends. They protect homes, provide comfort, and constantly promise unconditional love. They are used as companions to the blind and as comfort to wounded soldiers. Dogs also are invaluable back-up assistance for police officers, running down bad guys and holding them until they can be cuffed and hauled away. Is it any surprise to hear that dogs are increasingly being used to aid pest control technicians? Bed bug detection dogs are becoming a popular option for sniffing out these sneaky insects. If you are battling bed bugs, you may want to consider using a pest control company that offers canine detection. How dogs sniff out bugs Bed bug detection dogs (usually hunting breeds such as terriers, beagles, and retrievers) start their training at about eight to twelve months of age. The training process has three steps. Matched with handlers who are their primary human contact, detection dogs first learn basic obedience. This time spent in obedience training gives dogs and trainers the opportunity to bond together successfully. Dogs then learn how to sniff out live bugs and viable eggs in many different containers. They learn, through reward and praise, how to alert only to those items, disregarding dead insects and exoskeletons. The dogs are then exposed to many different scenarios and locations, such as mock hotel rooms. Training canisters that hold live bugs, eggs, or dead shell casings are hidden throughout the mock inspection site. These “dry runs” prepare them for real inspections. By the time training is complete, dogs can find evidence of active infestations far more quickly than their human counterparts, promptly alerting technicians to specific areas that need treatment. This saves you time and money when you need to know where bugs are burrowed in your home. Even skilled pest control technicians can miss infestation sites or mistake old burrows as current bed bug hideouts. Proper training is imperative Because this is a relatively new business area, established within the past ten years, uniformity of practice is still being settled. In fact, it was as recently as 2011 that the National Pest Management Association outlined standards for the training of detection dogs. Several accredited programs now exist around the country, which offer 800-1000 hours of training for certification as detection dogs. Whenthe dogs’ training is complete, they undergo certification testing through the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association. Other organizations certifying dogs for this line of work include the North America Detector Dog Association and the International Association of Canine Pest Inspectors. How effective is canine bed bug detection? Again, because this is a relatively new area in the pest control field, there is a lack of definitive data proving or disproving the dogs’ effectiveness. While handlers acknowledge their dogs can sometimes alert falsely or miss true infestations, the overall anecdotal reports are positive. The training and certification processes are ensuring more accurate results from the dogs’ work than when these services were first offered. It is assumed that as this area of pest detection improves, there will be fewer false alerts and missed positives. If you have been battling bed bugs on your own only to find them reappear after treatment, you may be missing some of the locations where the insects have hidden out in your...

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Frightful Flies: Three Tips To Move Them Away From Your Back Door

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Frightful Flies: Three Tips To Move Them Away From Your Back Door

Ah, summer! The sun is shining, you’re stepping out to the back deck with a plate of burgers ready to go on the grill and as you head out the door you’ve instantly got four flies flicking around your face. Yuck! Flies love the heat of summer which is why they are more in-your-face this time of year. As house flies can spread diseases through the germs they are carrying on their legs, it is important you tackle this pest problem before it becomes the plot of a bad movie. Here are three ways you can beat back these winged insects from your back door. Outside Fly Attractions After you’ve finished off eating that freshly grilled burger, it is time to head back outside to determine whether there is something specific outside your back door that is drawing flies into this area. Common fly attractions include: A dirty grill that is covered with food remnants from previous cook ups. Flies love to feed on the leftover specks of meat sitting on your grill, and the odors from the buildup of grease in your grill grease trap will bring flies flocking. A buildup of dog waste in the lawn. Dog feces is another attraction to flies as it contains sugars that have been expelled from your canine friend. Flies have a love for sugar, so this is another feeding opportunity for them. Garbage cans. Your trash cans are a source of food for flies. They will breed in an area that has an excess of food available to them, and that leads to even more flies to contend with. So, step one in your bid to beat back the flies is to remove any feeding grounds that are bringing them closer to the house. Clean the grill on a regular basis, keep it covered when not in use and pick up all dog waste on a daily basis. Move your garbage tins to an area that is nowhere near an entry point to your home. If you remove their food supply, the flies will move elsewhere. Homemade Repellents Once you have removed all food and waste that could be attracting the flies, it is time to get on the defensive. One way that you can do that is to put repellents into place around the back door that make it a place that flies do not want to go. One popular homemade repellent is to take a clear plastic bag, partially fill it with water, place one to four pennies in the water and then attach a piece of string so you can hang it outside the back door. It is thought that the light reflecting off the pennies is magnified because they are in the water and that scares the flies away. There is no scientific evidence to support this one way or the other, but many people swear it works well. At worst, it is going to cost you a plastic bag and four cents, so it is worth trying at your own home. Pest Control If the flies are getting to the stage where you are afraid to open the back door for fear of them trying to swarm in, it is time to call in pest control. You can click here to get in touch with...

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Finding And Destroying Terrible Termites

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Termites are tiny bugs that can do enormous damage to your home and property if left to their own devices. Because termites tend to attack wood from the inside out, it can be hard to tell whether you have them. That means they are likely to cause extensive damage before you even know they are there. However, some detective work can help you discover if your home is being invaded by terrible termites. Here are a few things to look for and what to do when you discover the creepy critters.  Termite Warning Signs Termites live in large nests, and they often leave clues of their presence around your property. Take a walk around your yard and home’s foundation while keeping your eyes open for these signs.  Check spider webs for termites that are likely to get caught up in them and saved for an upcoming meal.  Look around the base of your house for small tubes that resemble tiny brown straws. Termites build these tubes to travel from their food source, the wood in your home, to their nests.  Look for spaces or cracks in concrete structures that have been oddly filled in with dirt. Termites will often seal their nests to keep moisture inside.  Knock on wood in your home to determine if it is hollow. If some wood in your home sounds more hollow than other wood, termites could be the reason why.  Check your window wells for discarded termite wings and termite poop, called frass. It looks like black dust.  Look for a large cloud of termites swarming in spring. This is when young termites fly out from the nest in search of food. Track the source of the swarm, and you will find the termites’ nest.  Fight Back There are several ways to fight termites if you believe they are attacking your home or property. You can begin by taking these steps on your own.  Take Infested Furniture Outside Termites cannot live in direct sunlight. If you believe you have termites in your furniture take it outside and let it soak in the sun.  Spray Vinegar You can eliminate a small group of termites by spraying them with vinegar. Be sure to completely moisten the entire areas where you have seen the termites, or spray down the nest. Some people like to try this method first because it does not involve chemicals.  Set Bait Traps You can buy commercial termite bait traps, or you can try making your own. To create bait traps, spray pieces of wood with water and then add boric acid. The boric acid will become attached to the termites’ legs, and they will carry it back to the nest where it will eventually kill the entire colony.  Invest in Nematodes Take your termite fight to the next level by purchasing some tiny worms called nematodes. You can find these little creatures at garden supply stores. Spray them onto areas where termites gather, especially on and around the nest. The nematodes burrow into and kill the termite larvae, and the colony dies out.  Website Organic Gardening suggests that nematodes can be useful in the garden by killing other pesky insects and by helping to decompose materials in a compost bin.  Call the Professionals The most effective way to handle a termite...

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Termite Control: Using Infrared Cameras For Detecting Termites

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although termites appear small and harmless, these pests damage approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. each year, as each one of the termites are capable of consuming anywhere from 2 to 3% of its total body weight. In addition, each colony can have over 2 million members. More often than not, the presence of a single termite will often indicate that a full-blown infestation is already underway and the structural integrity of the home has been severely compromised. Infrared cameras are often employed by professional exterminators to detect the presence of termite colonies. Prevention Is Key In Termite Control Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each and every year. Unfortunately, most of the time, termite damage is not covered by homeowner insurance policies. As a result, homeowners are often left to foot the entire bill. Instead of waiting for a full-blown infestation, implementing preventive mechanisms is key to termite control. In short, figure out which areas of your home may be compromised or vulnerable early on, so that you can deal with the problem then instead of waiting to be attacked. You should: patch up any holes in the walls, ceilings or flooring that will provide termites access to the internal compartments, which are made up entirely of wood. replace any wooden planks or structures that are found to be rotting or wet. determine whether there are any water leakages in the residence that need to be addressed. Most experts recommend getting an infrared camera inspection before purchasing the building to identify areas that will be likely targets, so that appropriate measures can be implemented to secure these locations. Homeowners who are particularly concerned about termite infestations can also opt for infrared camera inspections if they ever suspect that their homes are under attack. Process Involved with Termite Detection If you’re interested in getting an infrared camera inspection, you can expect the exterminators to first perform a thorough, visual inspection of the attic, crawlspace, walls, and overall architectural structure of the residence in order to determine whether there are any areas that may require more attention. This is generally followed by a complete infrared camera inspection of the entire home to confirm whether there are any anomalies.  If there are anomalies, a moisture meter will be utilized to determine whether the area is susceptible to termite infestations, and a microwave test will be implemented to track any movement that may be behind the walls. Acoustical testing, along with infrared camera detection, will then be used to determine the size of the colony, and the type of nest that has been built, before a fiberoptic scope is used to determine whether there are any live termites on site.  Once a termite colony has been detected and identified, most exterminators will generally take the time to identify the type of termites that they are dealing with in order to recommend cheaper and more effective extermination techniques and methods. With an infrared camera inspection, the amount of inspection damage that may occur will be significantly reduced. Conclusion Traditionally, exterminators relied on flashlights and screwdrivers to identify where the problem areas may be. As you can tell, this type of inspection and examination is not very thorough, and areas that may be missed can easily become the Achilles’ heel of the residence. Infrared cameras...

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Does That Beehive Need To Be Removed?

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As the eco-conscious movement grows, more people are becoming aware of the important role bees play in the daily life of every human on earth. Bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the world’s plants, including more than 90 food crops. Without them, our food supply would drastically decline. So when you realize you have a bee infestation in your yard, are you supposed to remove it? Here is how to decide. Can You Live with It? Bees are typically not aggressive. They don’t attack unprovoked, and mind their own business, looking for some nectar to slurp. If you have a garden you might definitely want to consider leaving the hive alone, since having a bee hive in the general vicinity of your garden will increase your yields. A lot of people want to remove bee hives immediately simply because they fear bees, but now that you know they’re not going to hunt you down in your sleep, are you more willing to learn to live harmoniously with them? If not, you have other options. Can the Hive be Relocated? Maybe you, someone in your family, or a close neighbor is allergic to bee stings, and having them nearby is too big a risk. Maybe you just simply don’t know how you can learn to be okay with bees buzzing around you all the time. No matter your reason for deciding to remove the bee hive, the next thing you should consider is relocation. This involves hiring a bee removal professional, since inexperienced folks stand the risk of being stung many times. The professional will use these steps to relocate the hive: They will wait until the bees are inactive. They begin very early in the morning before bees start foraging, or they wait until after sunset, when they cluster together inside the hive for warmth and rest.  They spray some smoke into the hive about 10 minutes before they pick it up to relocate it. They cover the entrance of the hive with tape or flywire. They wear protective clothing. They spray more smoke about 10 seconds before picking up the hive, then gently pick it up and move it to a more suitable location. Relocating the hive protects the bee population and helps prevent stings. That’s a win-win if ever there was one. What if You Just Want the Bees Dead? Sometimes relocating a hive is not possible. It’s in an inaccessible location, no one is available to do it in a timely manner, or you just cannot deal with bees in your space for any longer than necessary. When that happens, it’s time to consider having the hive destroyed. There are a couple of ways to do it. You can hire a professional if you cannot find the hive or prefer not to take the risk of being stung, or you can do it yourself. Here’s how: Do it very early in the morning, before the sun comes up, or late in the evening after sunset. This ensures that the whole colony is inside the hive. Leaving a few individuals free could provide an opportunity for them to reestablish themselves. Spray the whole hive with a foaming insecticide, making sure to get it into the entrance. As the poison expands it will contact all the bees...

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Bats In The Belfry? Reasons Why They’ve Gotta Go

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bats have long been legends in their own time. From Batman to Count Dracula, bats have been featured in stories and lore spanning centuries. While they might be fun to read about and interesting to see flapping around at sunset, having bats in your attic (or in the belfry, if you happen to live in a building with a bell tower!) is no laughing matter. Bats can be hard to detect, because they are small and nocturnal, so by the time you realize you have a bat infestation, it’s important to act quickly. Lest you be tempted to let them continue to shelter in your attic, here are some reasons why it’s not a good idea. Rabies Although bats can carry several diseases that are harmful or fatal to humans, rabies is the most feared, and for good reason: If a mammal, including a human, acquires rabies, death is almost sure to occur. This is why it’s so important to have your pets vaccinated and to stay away from wild animals. While it’s not common for bats to carry rabies, it’s not worth the risk of allowing them to roost in your attic. If you notice a bat or any other wild animal acting strangely, call your local animal control to investigate. Do not approach or try to help the animal, and keep your pets and children far away. Guano Guano is the term for bat droppings. As you can imagine, an infestation of bats in your attic could lead to immense piles of guano, which is disgusting in its own right. Aside from the esthetics, however, guano can cause a disease called histoplasmosis. This is a lung infection that can be caused by the fungal spores that accumulate in bat droppings. In addition, pests such as cockroaches are attracted to guano, so your bat infestation could quickly turn into a bat and cockroach infestation. The only surefire way to stop the accumulation of guano is to rid your attic of bats. Once the bats are removed and the attic has been repaired so as to inhibit them from returning, a lengthy (and potential expensive) decontamination process is necessary to remove the guano without stirring up the fungal spores that can cause illness. Do not try to do this on your own; call in a professional clean-up specialist or get advice from an environmental agency to avoid getting sick. Bat Urine If piles of bat droppings were not bad enough, bat urine can actually weaken the wood and drywall of your attic. As you can probably imagine, this would not only smell terrible, but could also cause major structural damage. Damp wood can lead to mold, as well. After your bat infestation is taken care of, you might need a clean-up specialist or a home improvement contractor to come in and replace the damaged wood and drywall. Chances are good that if you have bat urine in the attic, you also have dangerous guano, so this is best left to the pros. How Can You Remove Bats to Avoid These Problems? As you can see, a bat infestation can lead to a big headache if it’s not taken care of quickly. If you think that you might have bats roosting anywhere in your home, call a pest removal company...

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Plague: Medieval Disease Poses Modern Reasons For Pest Control

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bubonic plague might be a term that immediately conjures up medieval Europe, but every year many people still die from this disease. In fact, last summer there were four cases in Denver, Colorado. Rodents are one of the main vector species for plague, which is transmitted through bites from their fleas. There are many reasons you don’t want rodents in or around your home, but plague just might be the most critical rationale for pest control. So what is the plague, and how concerned should you be that it could affect your city? Could it break out in the United States? Plague: the facts There are three types of plague. Bubonic plague. This is the kind you probably associate with the term “plague,” and is the most common type. Once bacteria enter a person’s body, they head for the lymphatic system. Within a few days, symptoms similar to the flu begin (headache, fever, chills, weakness, swollen lymph nodes). The lymph node closest to the bite will swell the most. Although the symptoms are similar to the flu, for which people might not seek medical attention, it is important to see a doctor, as the disease can be fatal without intervention. Septicemic plague. This type of plague develops when the bacteria enter the bloodstream. It can be a complication of bubonic plague or a unique event. It involves similar symptoms as above, but the infected person also develops abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding underneath the skin. Skin appears black from the bleeding, and tissue can become necrotic (dead). Pneumonic plague. The most dangerous type of plague, pneumonic plague can also be either a complication of bubonic or a distinct event. It can be transmitted between people, unlike the other two types, through droplets expressed into the air by coughing and then inhaled by others. In one to three days, the infection infects the lungs; severe pneumonia develops, with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and bloody or watery sputum. Plague: the numbers Each year, there are between 1,000 and 3,000 reported cases of plague around the world, although experts believe the actual numbers are higher. Only about 10-15 of those cases occur in the United States, most of them bubonic in nature. Small numbers are perhaps because health officials monitor and test wildlife regularly for the disease, taking careful measures whenever plague does arise in an area. Ongoing pest control is standard procedure for most businesses, which helps to control rodents in urban areas. Still, there is the potential for plague outbreaks in local areas, as evidenced by the Colorado cases last summer. In fact, Chicago was just ranked the top city for rat infestations in the country (followed closely by Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York City). Health officials poisoned 39,000 rat locations in 2014, and it stands to reason that for every one they knew about, there were many of which they were not aware. If a number of rats in one of these big cities were to test positive for plague, an outbreak could occur. Dr. Tim Brooks, an English infectious disease expert, states plague has the potential to break out once again. Because rodents reproduce so rapidly, aggressive rodent control is critical where they have a stronghold. Plague: avoiding exposure If you are an avid outdoorsman...

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