Keeping People Safe | Pest Control Tips

2 Things To Know About Bed Bugs & Winter Time

Posted by on Dec 6th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Things To Know About Bed Bugs & Winter Time

Many people wrongly assume that they cannot get bed bugs during the winter time. However, this is not true. Here are two things that you need to know about how bed bugs respond to winter and what you can do to fight against bed bugs.

#1 Bed Bugs Thrive Indoors During The Winter

It is true that bed bugs have a hard time surviving outdoors during the winter time. This is because bed bugs enjoy when it is nice and warm; when the outside temperatures get too low, any bed bug that is stuck outside may be killed and their eggs will not survive freezing temperatures.

However, most modern homes are kept at a nice and cozy temperature during the winter and do not get nearly as cold as it does outside. This allows bed bugs to continue to thrive inside homes even when the temperatures outside get really cold. Most homes are still warm enough for bed bugs to move around and continue to lay eggs. Even if you think your house is a little on the chilly side, it is probably still warm enough for bed bugs, especially since bed bugs like to seek out the warmest areas of your home, such as inside of your bed, chairs and couches —  places that are sure to be nice and cozy even if you turn down the thermostat.

#2 Thorough Cleaning Is The Best Way To Fight Bed Bugs

The best way to ensure that bed bugs do not get into your home is by keeping your home as clean as possible so that there are not conditions present for bed bugs to thrive. During the winter, make sure that you wash all the bedding in your house every week. This will reduce the number of dust mites in your bedding and reduce the food available to potential bed bugs. When you take your bedding off your bed, vacuum down your mattress as well. This will help further remove dust mites from your bed. At least once a season, use a steamer on your bed to kill any potential insects or bacteria lurking around it.

For other soft surfaces in your home, such as your couch or your chair, vacuum them every week as well to keep them clean. Wipe down all hard surfaces in your home with a wet rag each week as well. Doing this will help reduce the chances that your home will be appealing to bed bugs this winter.

Furthermore, if you have a humidifier, try to lower the humidity levels in your home and turn down your thermostat when you leave for the day. Making your home cooler and drier will make it a less appealing environment for bed bugs this winter. 

For assistance with bed bugs, contact a pest control company like Ottowa Pest Removal.

Three Things To Know About Using Ladybugs To Control Garden Pests

Posted by on Jun 9th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Know About Using Ladybugs To Control Garden Pests

If you’ve been battling pests not in your home but in your garden, you may have reached a tipping point where pesticides are starting to look like a good idea even if you’ve been trying to avoid their use. One tactic for controlling mites, aphids, and scale is to buy (or attract) and release ladybugs, but there are a few things you should know before actually buying a case of these winged garden saviors. They do a good job, but if you aren’t aware of these three considerations, you could end up making your situation worse.

Asian Ladybugs

While there are a few species in North America, two of the species stand out: Hippodamia convergens, also known as convergent ladybugs or lady beetles, and Harmonia axyridis, or the Asian ladybug. Buy only the convergent bugs because the Asian ladybugs can find their way into your home and become a pest themselves — not to mention, they bite humans and are considered invasive in many areas. If you try attracting ladybugs instead of buying them, assuming you live in an area not currently dealing with swarms of them, monitor the ladybugs you find. If they’re red and have distinct, separate white marks above the wings, they’re convergent. If they’re yellow or orange, and they have whitish blotches above the wings, they may be Asian beetles. If you start to attract a lot, spray the area (and douse the bugs) with warm, soapy water.

Supporting Your Ladybugs

So you’ve purchased or attracted the right species of ladybug; now it’s time to be a good host. Provide shelter and food for times when garden pests are few (Apartment Therapy suggests building a feeder laced with raisins); mist plants before releasing the bugs so that they have some water while they bug-hunt. Keep them cool; release them in the evening and not in the middle of a scorching day.

They’ll Leave Soon

Sadly, keeping ladybugs in your garden is a neverending project. Ladybugs you release will soon fly away, and those you attract may stick around for only a short time, too. If they do fly away, that’s kind of a good sign that they’ve eaten so many bugs that the food supply in your garden is now low. However, you’ll have to attract or release more ladybugs within a few days to prevent the garden pests from growing in number again. So you may have to work on this weekly or daily to ensure the ladybugs control the other garden pests.

If you have other questions about using ladybugs or have found yourself the unfortunate target of an infestation in your home, contact a pest control company, such as pest control by Peninsula Pest Control.

The Importance Of Calling For Professional Pest Control Right Away

Posted by on Dec 11th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance Of Calling For Professional Pest Control Right Away

It is very important to make sure that you are doing everything you can in order to keep pests out of your home. Of course, no matter how hard you try, you might occasionally run into a problem with the random pest or two. Instead of brushing it off and thinking that it is no big deal, you need to call in some professional reinforcements.

To make sure that you do not fall into the habit of thinking that this is not needed, you might want to review the following reasons as to why pest control is so important.

Quickly Ruins The Wood In Your Home

If your pest problem happens to be termites, you are putting your home at significant risk for complete destruction. The reason is that the termites eat wood and they move fast. They can destroy the foundation and support walls in a home within no time at all. While there are repairs that can be made if the problem is caught quick enough, don’t wait too long. After all, the larger the repairs needed, the more money it is going to cost you. 

Terrible Smells Could Surface

Should you find yourself face to face with a little mouse, you might think that it is cute and that it should not be too much of a problem, especially if you were able to catch it and release it outside. However, seeing one mouse, or even a rat, should indicate to you that there is a point of entrance into your home that these little critters will find and use once again.

As their fecal matter builds up behind your walls and in your attic and basement, there will be a particular odor that you are going to start to notice. Also, should these little things start to die off in your walls, the smell of their bodies will be enough to send you running from your own home.

There Will Be More Of Them

Never make the mistake of assuming that there is only mouse or there is only a handful of insects. When you see one, there are likely many more that you’re not seeing. If you do not address it, those pests can and will continue to breed. Before you know it, you will have a much larger pest problem than you ever thought possible. Also, the worse the problem is, the more the exterminator may have to visit, which means more money spent.

As you can see, there are many reasons to make sure that you are calling for professional pest control as soon as you notice a problem. To learn more, contact a company like ICE Pest Control and Wildlife Removal with any questions you have.

Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard To Kill?

Posted by on Aug 29th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard To Kill?

Bed bugs are the new boogeymen lurking in the nightmares of Canadians, spreading quickly throughout the country and seemingly impossible to eradicate. But what is it about these bugs that make them so much more effective than other pests such as fleas or cockroaches? Read on to discover the unique evolutionary advantages that make bed bugs such impressive survivors and, consequently, such nuisances for their human prey. 

Ability to Survive Without Feeding

Under ideal temperatures and conditions, a bed bug can live for over a year without feeding. They do so by slowing their metabolism drastically in the cold, both extending their lifespan and the time that they can last without nutrients. This means that you will not be able to starve bed bugs out unless you are willing to crank up the heat and abandon your home for weeks or even months. Since heat does increase their metabolism, however, it is still a viable option for the desperate. 

Stealth

Bed bugs are relatively large compared to ticks and fleas, and they leave ample evidence of their nightly intrusions through blood smears and fecal material. Still, many people do not see any bugs until they go actively hunting for them, since bed bugs are so adept at squeezing themselves into dark, flat spaces. They typically hide up to 20 feet from their feeding site, and it can be almost impossible to track down each and every bug.  

Quick Reproduction Through Inbreeding

How many bed bugs does it take to start an infestation? One, if that bug is a pregnant female. Bed bugs are capable of inbreeding without serious negative effects for many generations, so a single set of brothers and sisters is all it takes to overrun an entire building. The population may eventually die out due to deteriorating genetic quality, but not before they cause you serious grief or possibly run into an unrelated individual and start the cycle all over again. 

Chemical Detection

Don’t make the mistake of thinking of these pests as mindless drones. Bed bugs seek out their victims by following the trail of carbon dioxide that animals exhale, and this allows them to sniff out other chemical agents as well. If your resident bed bugs survive an initial blast of poison, they will avoid that scent and remain hidden in safety until it is gone. 

Immunity to Common Pesticides

The biggest frustration for pest control companies battling bed bugs is their growing resistance to toxins that could once eliminate them easily. Pyrethoids, a class of chemicals that kill bed bugs without harming human beings and their pets, are now useless against certain populations of the pest. And thanks to regular human travel, those resistant genes are spreading at an alarming rate. Although it is still possible to remove these unwanted visitors from your home permanently, there is no denying that their remarkably adaptive nature has made it more difficult than ever before.  

4 Methods To Keep Paper Wasps From Coming To Your Property

Posted by on Aug 15th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Methods To Keep Paper Wasps From Coming To Your Property

As a homeowner, you should take measures to prevent paper wasps from making a home on your property. Although paper wasps are not a species prone to attack for no reason, these wasps will sting when threatened and can cause a lot of pain or an allergic reaction. Instead of waiting for an infestation of paper wasps to occur, it is best to focus on prevention with the following four methods below.

Seal Off Potential Points of Entry

Since paper wasps like building their nests under shaded areas, homes make the perfect nesting ground. In order to protect your home, you should invest in sealing off any exterior cracks or broken siding. It may not be possible to completely protect the exterior of your home from being a potential nesting location, but you should have success when combined with other prevention methods.

Hang Imitation Nests

An excellent way to keep paper wasps from going on your property altogether is by hanging imitation nests. Paper wasps are territorial, so they are not likely to start looking for a nesting spot on your property when they believe one is already there. A free way to do this is to hang a paper bag and stuff it with newspaper to make it as close to an umbrella shape as possible, which paper wasp nests often look like.

Maintain Your Fruit Trees

While fruit trees can be great to have on your property because of the annual fruit yields, paper wasps are also attracted to them, especially when they are not maintained properly. It is important to minimize the amount of rotting fruit around your tree to keep the area from attracting nearby wasps.

Paint the Outside of Your Home

Wasps are attracted to certain colors, so you can use this to your advantage to eliminate the appeal of your home to them. For instance, house colors that should be avoided include yellow and white, and since wasps cannot see the color red, painting your home’s exterior to red can be an excellent deterrent.

Using these tips should help you deter paper wasps from making a nest on your property. However, despite your preventative measures, you may find that a nest has formed upon inspecting your home. Contacting a pest control company, like Green Valley Pest Control Ltd, to let an experienced professional handle the situation is the safest and most effective way to get rid of a paper wasp nest on your property.

4 Natural Ways To Keep Ants Out Of Your Home

Posted by on Jun 25th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Natural Ways To Keep Ants Out Of Your Home

Once ants find their way into your house, it can be hard to get them out again. A male ant scouts out the area and leaves a path of pheromones that the other ants are then able to follow to know how to get to food. If something blocks the original path, a new path will soon be discovered and established by another ant. Since ants will always find a way to get to food, it is important to try to find out where the ants are getting into the house so that you can stop them in their tracks. Below are a few tried and true methods for keeping ants at bay.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Keep apple cider vinegar close in your home at all times. When you see ants in your home, wipe the area down with a small amount of the vinegar. The vinegar will make it impossible of the ants to detect the pheromones and thus disturb their trail.

Mint

Mint has been shown to deter ants because it incapacitates their ability to smell pheromones. To use mint effectively, place the leaves in your windowsills and in your cabinets. Your home will smell great and you should see a significant decrease in your ant infestation in a relatively short period of time.

Garlic Cloves

Garlic cloves work great for keeping these pests away. Place a garlic clove in any area where you notice ants. The smell will not only disrupt their ability to smell the pheromone trail, but the smell will also be so vulgar to them that they will not return to the area.

Black Pepper

Sprinkling a dash of black pepper in areas that are infested with ants can help stop an infestation instantly. Ants will scatter in many different directions as soon as they come into contact with the pepper. Do not clean up the pepper right away as the ants may return to see if it is still there. 

These simple, all-natural methods of ant control are safe to use in your home because they are not toxic to children or pets. If you find that these methods do not get rid of the ants in your home, you need to call a professional from a place like Coastal Pest Management to take care of the problem for you. Ants will continue to come into your home unless you take the necessary steps to get rid of them for good.