4 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Termite Control

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Termite Control

Termite infestations are a major worry for American homeowners. According to a survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association, 38% of Americans are worried about finding termites inside their home. With fears come misconceptions, and there are a lot of myths being circulated about termite infestations. Here are four myths that you shouldn’t believe about termite infestations. Termites don’t live very long One particularly harmful myth about termite infestations is that termites don’t live for very long. It’s not true that termites die off in the winter and that their colonies will go away by themselves when it gets cold. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite. Workers and soldiers have the shortest lifespans in a termite colony: they only live for one to two years. However, the queen can lay more than 30,000  eggs per day, so the lifespan of the workers and soldiers doesn’t much matter. The most important member of the colony, the queen, can live for as long as 50 years. Since termites can live for so long, you need to be proactive when it comes to getting rid of them. While waiting for winter is a valid approach for some other types of pests, like bees, it is not a good approach for termites. Termites are not a concern up north It’s a common misconception that termites are only a problem in the southern portions of the United States. Unfortunately for Northerners, this is not the truth. The truth is that termites can be found in every single state except for Alaska. The probability of encountering a termite infestation in your home varies based on where in the country you live, but unless you’re in Alaska, the risk is still there. The highest risk is in the southern states (specifically California, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida), but homeowners in the rest of the country are not safe. Homeowners in the Northeast, Midwest, or Southwest have a moderate to heavy risk of a termite infestation. Homeowners in the Pacific Northwest have a slight to moderate chance, while homeowners in the northernmost states, such as North Dakota, have a very slight chance of getting termites. Termites do not affect brick homes Everyone knows that termites eat wood, so it seems like common sense that people who live in brick homes have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even brick homes have wood frames, wood floors, wood furniture, or other sources of delicious wood, so all homeowners need to be worried about termites. While termites don’t eat bricks, they can get through them fairly easily. This is because the bricks on the outside of your house are assembled with mortar, a type of cement. As the mortar ages, it dries out, and when this happens, cracks form. Termites can then squeeze through these tiny cracks in your mortar to reach the wood on the inside of your home. DIY termite control is practical There are many types of household pests that you can get rid of by yourself, but termites are not one of them. Termites make their homes in hard-to-access tunnels deep within the wooden structure of your home, so it is very hard for you to reach them with insecticides. Another obstacle is that there can be as many as 14...

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Moving Truck Fumigation: Tips For Eliminating A Bed Bug Infestation When You Move

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moving Truck Fumigation: Tips For Eliminating A Bed Bug Infestation When You Move

If you’re getting ready to move and you’re in an area where bed bugs have been a concern, it’s important that you take steps to prevent the bed bugs from moving with you. Although you could spend a month or two undergoing repeated treatments to eliminate the population in the house before you move, you may still want to be sure that you aren’t bringing any residual bed bugs into your new place. One of the best ways to do that is to work with a pest control company to fumigate your moving truck. Here is a look at what you need to know about the moving truck fumigation process. When Should You Do It? Fumigating the moving truck is an effective way to eliminate a bed bug infestation, but you need to do it at the right time. The best thing to do is to rent your moving truck about 2 days before you’re going to move into the new place. That way, you can spend one day loading the truck and then deliver it to a pest control company like Garrie Pest Control to fumigate it. Most pest control companies will need about 24 hours to treat the truck, because that provides sufficient time for the pesticide to do its job before you open the truck to unload it. How Does it Work? When you take your truck to a pest control specialist to fumigate it, they’ll seal the truck’s cargo area completely. Then, they introduce an inorganic gas product that will draw all of the oxygen out of the air in the truck. This will suffocate the bed bugs and their eggs all at once. After treatment, the truck is unsealed and opened. The gas compound breaks down and dissipates safely, leaving no residue of any kind behind on your belongings. What Do You Need to Do? There are a few special steps you’ll have to take to be sure that the treatment is effective. The gas needs to be able to reach every air pocket in the truck. Here are some tips to ensure that your packing works well. Wrap your furniture in plastic sheeting to keep all of the bed bugs contained when you’re moving furniture from the house to the truck. That way, none escape and spread the infestation. Remove the plastic as soon as the furniture is safely on the truck. Leave glass, plastic and metal containers open. This ensures that the gas can reach them, because it cannot penetrate the containers. Don’t leave plants or other oxygen-requiring items in the back of the truck. The gas eliminates the oxygen in the air, which will kill those plants. Make sure your prescription medications and toiletries are secured in plastic storage bags so that the pest control company can look through them. Cover your mattresses and box springs with zippered cases. This will keep the bed bugs contained. Once they’re on the moving truck, unzip the covers so that the gas can permeate the whole thing. Put everything you own in the truck, because bed bugs can tuck into any corner, including in your backpacks, suitcases, pet bedding and electronics. By having everything fumigated, you’ll reduce the risk of spreading the bugs to any other area. By taking these steps, you’ll be able to...

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Chikungunya – A Rising Mosquito-Borne Threat You Should Know About

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Chikungunya – A Rising Mosquito-Borne Threat You Should Know About

Have you heard of chikungunya? If not, you may soon know more about this debilitating disease than you’d care to because it has become a growing threat in the Americas. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this disease, which is similar to painful dengue fever, was originally found in tropical areas of Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. But in 2007, an outbreak in which the disease was locally transmitted was reported in Italy. Since that time, chikungunya transmission has also been reported in France and Croatia. And now the mosquito-borne disease is quickly spreading across the Americas. Frightening Speed The first case of chikungunya transmission in the Americas was reported in late 2013 on the island of St. Martin. Before that point, some cases of this viral illness, which has earned the nickname bone-break disease, had been diagnosed in people who had contracted the disease while in another country, but there had never been a report of transmission till that outbreak. Since that initial report, there have now been a staggering 1.2 million suspected cases throughout the Americas, including in Florida. While there have only been 11 locally transmitted cases in the U.S. so far in the two years since the first chikungunya transmission was reported in the United States, there is fear that the disease could gain a toehold in this country.  Symptoms of Chikungunya Chikungunya translates to “bending over in pain” in the African Makonde language. Its English nickname is bone-break disease for the pain it causes. The following are some of the symptoms of this disease: Severe joint and muscle pain Joint swelling Rash Severe headache and fever While many people recover within three to seven days, the disease can leave other people feeling weak for weeks and, occasionally, even months.  Steps You Can Take Mosquito control will be the most important step to keeping chikungunya at bay. According to WHO, a major risk factor for contracting chikungunya is being close to the breeding site of the mosquitoes that carry this disease. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so step one is to get rid of anything that may be collecting water. In addition, if you are concerned that your property may be a potential mosquito breeding ground, consider hiring a pest control company so that they can: Conduct an inspection of your property for potential breeding sites. Because the pest control companies are experts, they are better able to ferret out probable breeding areas. For example, they may look under your structure to see if you have water in your crawl space or if rainwater has collected in clogged gutters. Apply insecticides to vegetation around your home. Some mosquitoes use the bushes and shrubbery near your home as resting spots. The pest control service may also recommend that you trim some of your vegetation back. Use microbial insecticides. These insecticides, which contain microscopic living creatures, are applied to mosquito breeding sites.  Perform monthly spraying of a killing agent to your property. Some pest control services offer a bait that actually causes mosquitoes to stop feeding on people.  In addition, you should: Wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors whenever possible Apply insect repellent to your exposed skin While bone-break disease has only been transmitted rarely in the United States to this date, there is concern...

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2 Pests That Can Destroy Your Lawn

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Pests That Can Destroy Your Lawn

When most people think of pest control, they imagine eradicating spiders or ants lurking around the kitchen or bedroom. However, pests can cause just as much trouble outside—and they can be even harder to control. Here are two pests that can destroy your lawn, and how a professional exterminator can help: 1: Grubs Lawn health starts at the roots, which is why grubs are so destructive. Grubs, which are actually the larva of adult beetles, feed on the tender roots of your lawn, creating large patches of dead grass. Unlike other pests, when grubs attack, they actually cut the turf free. To check for grubs, look for yellowed, dead grass, and tug on it slightly to see if it separates from the ground. If you can roll up your turf like a piece of carpet, you might have grubs. Before you call your exterminator to report the problem, try to identify the type of grubs that you have. Here are a few key characteristics that might help your pest control professional to prepare for your appointment:  June Beetles: June Beetle grubs are usually between ½ an inch to one inch long whitish in color, with brown heads. June Beetle grubs are the largest grubs most homeowners find around their yards, so they are easy to spot quickly. Black Turfgrass Beetles: Unfortunately, not all grubs are easy to detect. Black Turfgrass Beetle grubs are small, usually around a quarter of an inch long. To spot these grubs, look for small black scarab beetles, usually about 1/5th of an inch long.  Northern Masked Chafers: If you want to find Northern Masked Chafer grubs, you will want to look in late September, when the grubs are the largest. Although Northern Masked Chafers are destructive, healthy turf can tolerate about 20 of the grubs per square foot without sustaining serious injury. When your exterminator arrives, he or she might start by applying a chemical pesticide, such as Dylox or Carbaryl to kill off any live grubs. However, depending on the area the grubs attacked, your exterminator might also ask you to make some changes to keep the pests from coming back. For example, since beetles don’t like to lay eggs on long grass, keeping your lawn at least 2 inches long might fend off future problems. 2: Field Mice You might not worry too much about spotting a mouse outside where it belongs, but those furry little rodents could be creating a network of tunnels underneath your lawn. Field mice, also called voles, are short-tailed, brown rodents that can destroy your grass. These destructive pests munch away on grass blades and roots, leaving behind a grid of soil trails called “runways.” Believe it or not, the destruction doesn’t stop there. Field mice can even eat away tree bark, root vegetables, and even flowers—leaving your yard a mess. Fortunately, your exterminator has several options to protect your yard from these annoying pests. Here are a few methods he or she might use: Soil Protector: Field mice don’t like sharp soil, which is why some exterminators choose to use soil protector to fend off voles. This soil contains large pieces of sharp gravel, so that field mice might choose greener pastures instead of your yard. Mesh Barriers: Since field mice use common entrance and exit...

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