Bed Bugs and Your Furniture

If you see signs of bed bug infestation in your home, it is best if you find it early before it spreads. Treating the infestation when it is still minor is far easier and less costly than after it spread and become established. However, a small outbreak is very hard to find and identify. You can easily mistake other insects like carpet beetles with bed bugs, and if you misidentify bed bugs, it gives them more time to spread all over the house. Bed bug bites are indicators of infestation, but you can also confuse them with bites from other insects like mosquitoes and some people do not react to the bites at all, which makes it hard to identify a bed bug infestation by bites. The best way to determine if you have a bed bug infestation is by looking for physical bed bugs signs which include; Rusty stains on the mattresses or bed sheets. The reddish stains are as a result of bed bugs being crushed as you sleep Dark spots, the size of a dot on the fabric which could be as a result of bed bug excrement Tiny eggs and eggshells and yellow skins shed off by the nymphs as they grow bigger Seeing the bed bugs themselves Bed bugs hide in many places when they are not feeding. They can be found near the seams, piping, and tag of the mattress. They also hide in the cracks on the bed headboard and frame. If your house is highly infested you can find them in other places like; The junction where the ceiling and the...

Learning More about the Wolf Spider

The word wolf spider itself sounds scary. From the word wolf, you can tell the dangers that come with this animal. The name encompasses a family of many spiders, which are mostly dark colored and athletic. The spiders catch their prey by hunting it down violently using their sharp eyesight rather than looking for food while on the web like other spiders do. Their parenting is unique and exciting too. Wolf spiders are commonly found in grasslands, but they are also present in deserts and rain-forests provided they find insects. Appearance Wolf spiders are large and hairy that they are at times mistaken for tarantulas. They come in different colors brown, gray, black or tan. They have dark markings which are at times stripes. However, the spiders can be distinguished by the following main features; Eight long and hairy legs Sharp horizontal fangs Eight eyes arranged in three rows Unique Jack impression on their back They range in size from about ¼ to two inches long Wolf spider camouflages which help them to catch their prey and protect them from predators. The male spiders are typically smaller than the females. Bite and threats Wolf spider can only bite when threatened, but their poison is not very harmful to human beings. Wolf spider’s bite symptoms include redness, mild pain, and swelling. At times a fever can be experienced and swell of the lymph glands. It is advisable to seek medical assistance immediately after the bite or do first aid especially for young children and the elderly. Habits and defense The spiders commonly roam alone at night as they stalk their...

Winter Pest Solutions for Pest Control

We are right in the middle of Winter! Pests become more attracted to your home during the winter season. Here are some of the methods to deal with different winter pests. Rodents like rats and mice can fit in very tiny places. They do not have collapsible skeletons, and as such, they can fit in holes the size of a dime. To prevent this, secure the entry places like doors, windows, chimneys and the openings around pipes entering your home. You can use hardware cloth to close the openings and seal the holes. Mice and rats love staying in warm places with plenty of food supply. One way to ensure you do not get the pests’ infestation is to make sure they don’t have access to a food supply. Clean the kitchen properly and put away the pet food and keep dry foods in sealed plastic bags or containers. Do not forget that rats are capable of chewing most materials so lock up the food well. Spider and arachnids Spiders and arachnids are known for being creepy. Some spider varieties are harmless, but it still feels uncomfortable to see them crawling around your home. It gets hard to spray them like you spray bugs since spiders have long legs and they can crawl over the area covered with pesticides without getting the poison on their body unless they crawl on their abdomen. However, you can still use insecticides against spiders since the more insects you kill, the less the food for the spiders to feed on. To ensure the spiders do not come to your house, seal all the openings...

Reduce Pests by Cleaning the Yard

Sanitation is a crucial step in reducing problems caused by pests and diseases. Just like people, trees and flowers will need a healthy environment too. We ensure to get fresh air, water and live in a clean home so as to reduce the chances of getting ill, but we tend to neglect the yard by leaving fallen fruits, dead branches, plants, and weeds in the garden. The fallen leaves and fruits are an ideal location for pests to survive. The shrubs and plants provide the pests with hiding places by increasing humidity and reducing airflow, and this could even cause fungal infections. To mitigate this risk, you have to clean up your yard regularly. The living environment for human beings also provides the necessary conditions for pests to satisfy their life requirements. For this reason, it is crucial for homeowners to reduce the pests access to some possible elements like water, food, and shelter around the home to keep the living space hospitable. Pest management is a process that involves understanding and identifying the pests’ behavior and what they like most then using the information to get means on reducing them. One common feature among all pests is that they like living in dark places like under the rocks where they live as a group. The harborages are mostly sites that are protected from air movement. They also love places where food is available, and the temperature is suitable for their survival. If you have a hip of rocks in your yard, you are likely to be attracting them. They also enjoy living under wood where they make holes,...

Mice Causing Problems During The Winter Season

As the winter season approaches, homeowners may start to witness rodents in their houses. One of the pests that attack homes during this season is mice. The risk of mice increases as the temperature drops which comes with a lot of problems. One of the reasons the rodents population undergoes a large boost during winter is because they are looking for shelter to protect themselves from cold. During the warm season, the mice live outdoor like in the bushes, hollow logs, and tall grass. When the weather turns cold, their food sources disappear, and they need to look for places to survive until spring. Mice run for warmth and food in homes and other structures that are not temperature controlled like garages and sheds. For this reason, even if you might have a mice problem during summer, you will not notice a large number of them until it is winter because they spend a majority of time indoors. Cold causes building materials to contract and this can cause holes and cracks that were not there during the warm season, making it easier for the mice to sneak in. Mice manifest themselves in different ways. You will spot droppings, tracks or chewed plastics and furniture. They also emit musky smells, and you can hear noisy movements especially at night. The signs can help you get the nesting areas. The nests are mostly made of shredded fibers or any other chewable materials. You will find them in hidden and undisturbed areas like crates or wardrobes, shoe boxes, kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Mice will make nests in the uncommonly used cabinets since...

Taming Spiders in and Around the Home

Spiders are found in many places. There are different species found in and around the home. These spiders are of different species and are not identical. The only thing spiders have in common is that they have eight legs. Spiders are known to eat insects and act as a natural exterminator. However, despite these wonderful things they do, people are still afraid of them. The fear of spiders comes from the belief that they are all poisonous while that is not the case. Most spiders are harmless to human beings and can be kept as pets. Spiders can make fascinating pets, but you need to know how to deal with them. Here are some tips on taming a spider and having it as a pet. If you want to have a spider as a pet, you should first catch one. Before you go looking for one, educate yourself on the different spiders around and the venomous ones to prevent any accidents. Most spiders found in homes and their compounds are usually harmless. When going to catch a spider, ensure you have a jar to put it in and avoid having more than one spider in a jar since they will kill and eat each other. You can look at the best spiders to keep as pets online, and you can ask at the pet store. Ensure you have a cage for your spider. You can keep them in jars as long as they have breathing holes that are big enough to let air in but small to ensure they do not escape. Spiders do not need a lot of...

Stinging Insects and How to Protect Yourself From Them

There are many kinds of insects. Most are considered harmless while others are known to sting. Stinging insects use stingers that were initially used for laying eggs. In most insects, they are found in females while in arthropods, they can be found in both males and females. Stingers are delivered for either defense or to paralyze prey. Every year, thousands of people are treated for insect stings. These insects are mainly active during summer and spring. There is a need for people to be informed about the types of stinging insects and how to prevent them. Common types of stinging insects include bees, wasps, mosquitoes, stinging caterpillars, and other insects. These insects are commonly seen during warm seasons and care should be taken to prevent one from being attacked. Other examples of stinging insects include spiders and scorpions even though they are not considered to be true insects because they are arthropods. Stinging insects usually have venom in their stingers. Depending on the kind of insect, one can have a mild or adverse reaction. Some of these insects have venom that is deadly to humans. These include scorpions and spiders. Other insects may have little amounts of venom in their system but can still cause serious damage when they attack in large numbers. It is not unusual to hear that a person has been stung to death by bees and wasps. There are protective measures in place that can be taken to prevent this from happening: Hire trained professionals to inspect and destroy any hives and nests that in and around the home. Trying to get rid of them...

Definitive List of Termite Prevention

People believe that prevention is better than cure. When it comes to pests, the saying applies even more. Pests cause a lot of damage when left to infest their property. Termites are known to be destructive when it comes to property especially wood. Termites are pests that take advantage of any environment that is conducive for their sustenance. Termites, like any pests, will linger in a place that provides food, shelter, and water. Most structures have wood that termites eat. If left in the building, it will damage the structure of the building making it unsafe. Instead of waiting until your place is fully infested with termites, you should practice different ways to prevent them from coming. These means include: Since termites are attracted to moisture, you should ensure that moisture does not accumulate in the interior and exterior of your home. Do not sprinkle wood siding on your lawn while watering it. Ensure that there no cracks in the foundation of the house and anywhere else. Any cracks should be sealed to block any potential entry points. Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clean and repair them if necessary. Wet leaves provide moisture that attracts termites. In case you have firewood, store it at a high place off the ground and ensure it is away from your home. Ensure old tree stumps are removed, and the same applies to any roots. They will become shelters for termites. Ensure there is no direct contact between wood and soil. There should be a gap between the wood and soil to reduce the chances of termites reaching the wood. The idea;...

How to Protect Important Pollinators

There are many resources in the media and everywhere else concerning the health of pollinators. Pollinators are important since they help in pollination. Examples of these pollinators include bees, butterflies, birds, beetles, and birds. There are many threats facing pollinators, and the major one is the lack of nectar and pollen sources. Pollinators are important components of our environment for the following reasons: Thousands of plants need to be pollinated to produce finished products that are used in food, spices, beverages, fibers, and medicines. Pollinators make this possible by distributing the pollen. Most of the foods consumed by people and animals are produced through pollination. Without the pollinators, these foods will not be available. Through pollination, a country can produce food in surplus that can be sold to generate income. Currently, pollinators have been under crisis with beekeepers recording losses every year. These losses translate to less production of fruits and vegetables. The reason is that pollinators are declining in number. There are different things that could be done to protect the pollinators. These things include: Have a variety of plants of different shapes and sizes to encourage diversity. Remember to get wildflowers that are adapted to the climate of the place. Pollinators are of different species and sizes hence the need for a variety of flowers. By having different flowers in your garden, you will beautify your garden Ensure there are plants blooming every season. Some species are active throughout the year while others are available seasonally. There should be plants during each season to ensure that they have food at all times. The feeding is necessary for...

Say Bye Bye to the Mouse Living in Your House

As small, harmless and attractive as they may seem, mice can undoubtedly cause a lot of harm to you and your family. During dry seasons, pests and rodents including mice start preparing for fall seasons, hence look for alternative sources of food, water, and shelter inside structures. Much like other groups of rodents, mice require food and water for survival and your home is their target. Mice are aggressive on getting food; they can spoil, and contaminate their target source of food by chewing container tops and other food packaging and in the process transmit harmful bacterias such as salmonella. The mice will spoil your furniture and the house in general not forgetting the awful smell they bring. When mice invade your home, you can use traps. They are inexpensive and incredibly effective. Traps use a simple principle. A mouse smells food (for instance cheese), comes inside the trap, and the trap closes. As a result, the mouse will be trapped. So, you may take it to a safe place and set free. Some traps kill mice. However, you may use the ones that only capture them, if you do not want to kill mice for reasons such as disposal. Proper sanitation is the key to getting rid of mice out of your home. You should collect and keep your garbage receptors tight or empty it, clean your counters, collect garden debris regularly and make sure you eliminate clusters. Also, prevent mice and other rodents from gaining access to your home by blocking any form of the entrance they may access such as holes and cracks. Below are preventive...

Putting Pest Allergies to Sleep This Winter

Putting pest allergies to sleep this winter The cool temperatures of winter bring with it the comforting fact that there is reduced amount of pollen levels in the air thus translating into minimized incidences of allergies. However, that does not, in any way, mean that you would experience no allergies during this time of the year. There are yet still sources of allergies all over your house including pets, mold, dogs, dust mites, and cockroach droppings just to mention a few. They can pose a significant health risk to families if not properly handled. Luckily, there is a myriad of ways you can alleviate the risk of getting allergies from these sources. Here are some of the ways Eliminate dust to mitigate dust mites Foremost, you have to get rid of dust mites around your home. The surest way to achieve this is by eliminating the dust in the first place. Dust mites are among the most common allergies you will find indoors. As such, by getting rid of the dust, you will naturally get rid of the dust mites from your environment. You would want to do the best you can to avoid kicking the dust during cleaning.In this case, you will need to put on a mask and use a dust rag dumped in water or some treated cloth that works to attract dust instead of spreading it all over in the air. Clean your beddings frequently This goes without saying. Dust mites often thrive in sheets. This is where their ideal environment and as such they tend to multiply even more in dirty sheets and beddings....

Myths and Facts About Bed Bugs

When it comes to bed bugs, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. These annoying creatures have become the subject of just about everything from media reports to fictional stories. Whether you’ve dealt with them in the past or your home is trying to remain bug free, check out these common myths that could change the way you look at the tiny terrors. Myth: Cimex Lectularius First Appeared In The 1990s Verdict: False Bed bugs appeared in great numbers before World War II, but seemed to go away in 40s and 50s. Many experts believe this was due to cleaner living conditions and rise of household bug killers. Their resurgence in the past ten years is thought to have come about after increased international trade. Myth: Bed Bugs Fly Verdict: False Though some homeowners are sure they’ve seen the pest fly, it’s impossible for these bugs to lift off. Instead, they crawl across any surface. Myth: Bed Bugs Are Cold Blooded Verdict: True Bed bugs are actually cold blooded for an important reason. Colder blood temperatures protect them from hunger based issues by slowing their metabolism. In some cases, they can go a full year without eating! Myth: Bed Bugs Are Protected By Warmer Climates Verdict: False We’re not sure where this one came from, but it is probably one of the most well-known myths. In fact, warmer climates offer challenges for these pests. Most bed bugs can only go two to three months without eating in a warmer climate and higher temperatures may inhibit their feeding options. Myth: Bed Bugs Are Active Day and Night Verdict: True Make...

How to Identify and Control Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the bug world. There are a number of different carpenter ants that will infest a building. Identifying these ants is the first step in ridding a building of the pests; calling a professional and helping to kill the ants follows. Preventing a new infestation is the final step; however, carpenter ants are diligent, and even the best pest control efforts may not keep them all outdoors. Identification Carpenter worker ants are sometimes black, sometimes red and black. They are typically up to 1/2 inch in length, and will be the first ants noticed, as they are the “scouts” that come out of the nest for food. The queen carpenter ants are winged, and as large as one full inch in size. They hide in the nest to lay eggs and care for young, so they are not as commonly found in the open. A typical colony divides itself between three different categories: workers, males, and queens. The worker ants could be different sizes, as these ants have specific jobs, as mentioned above. Some defend the nest while others gather food for the colony. As these are the ants that will be seen first, it’s important to use these ants to positively identify that the ants are carpenters. Look for a waist with one node, and a thorax that has an evenly rounded upper surface. This is important, as other ants will look similar to carpenters, but are not. The thorax will be the biggest difference in knowing if you have carpenters or another breed of ant. It’s important to know what...

How to Keep Your Home Wasp Free

Finding wasps around your home isn’t exactly something anyone wants to deal with. They pose a major threat to you and your loved ones. Just coming in their vicinity can cause them to act up and end up stinging you for no reason. You don’t even have to provoke them to get them to react. The best thing you can do is to prevent them from building a nest around your home to begin with. In doing so, you and your loved ones will be safe and sound from potential harm and attacks. For those who are already fighting with a wasp infestation, the best thing you can do is to turn to the help of a trusted exterminator to get rid of them once and for all. Preventing the Wasps from Building Their Nests in the First Place Wasps tend to build a papery type of nest. This nest is large enough for their entire swarm to move in and make themselves at home. Once their habitat is set in place, they become extremely aggressive and will do whatever it takes to protect their home. That’s why you want to do whatever you can to prevent them from even forming a nest to begin with. Wasps tend to build their nests in a crack of your home. Because of this, you want to go around and do an inspection to identify any gaps. If you find any, you need to get them filled in right away to prevent wasps from accessing the inside of your home from an exterior wall. These pests are always foraging for food to...

Tips for Preventing Bugs While Traveling

The tension of the number of bedbugs rising in many states is causing many travelers to have sleepless nights. Many travelers are ending up canceling their trips in fear of bed bugs. Notably, bedbugs are found in office buildings, movie theaters, apartments, department stores and plenty of homes. Many a time we think that lack of proper cleanliness only, causes bedbugs, but one thing you should remember is that bugs feed on blood. Thus, bugs can be found anywhere people spend a lot of time or where people sleep. Bedbugs should not be your stumbling block in your success by making you cancel your business trip or even cause dull days because of making you cancel your vacation. Bedbugs can be prevented while you are traveling. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure here are some of the useful tips on how bugs can be prevented: Be Informed – According to research, lack of precautions and awareness, using a different method to control pest and increase in the number of travelers causes the rise of bedbugs. As a traveler, you need to wake up and smell the black coffee. Be informed and stay up to date on the latest trends in traveling news on articles, online and on social media. Research before making any bookings – Log in sites that provide traveling advice and check if the hotel you are planning to book has any reported cases related to bedbugs’ issues. It takes only one customer to influence the hotel with the outbreak of bedbugs. Investigating from customer reviews will be more efficient than making a phone call at...

How To Prevent Mice From Your Home

Mice are known to be cute animals. Still, even the cuteness is nothing compared to the damage these tiny creatures can cause. Mice are more prone to come to your home if you live in California since they are looking for moisture to cool them from the dry weather. They are moving to homes since they find it as an easy source of food and water.   Mice are known to spoil food and water with their urine and droppings. They can also transmit dangerous infections through food contamination. Not only are mice bad for your home, but they also threaten the structural integrity of your home. Mice are known to chew through almost everything from cardboard to wires and even water pipes. Mice can cause a lot of damage if left alone especially in large numbers.   To keep them from damaging your home, some things can be done. It is important for you to practice proper hygiene to ensure the mice do not have access to your home. Even when your house is infested by mice, you can get rid of them using humane measures. Mice are still animals and those who vouch for animal rights maintain that they still need to be respected. Here are some of the simple things you can do to ensure that your home is mice free. Prevent them from accessing your home by sealing all cracks and holes outside the home. You should pay attention to places where utilities get into the home such as water pipes and electric cables. Mice are known climbers and are willing to scale a wall...

Common Diseases Caused by Pests

No one likes pests and if a homeowner is experiencing severe allergies, dealing with extreme sinus congestion or having trouble breathing, it might be a sign that there are pests present in the home. Homeowners should keep in mind that there are various disease and illnesses that can be spread from having animals in the home that can lead to fleas, cockroaches, mice, rats, ticks, mosquitoes and other pests. Even if a homeowner has a dog or cat, vermin can get in if they smell food that can be left behind in crumbs from a pet treat. Animals can also bring in unwanted pests in their fur. To avoid diseases and illnesses, home environments should be kept clean and tidy and homeowners may want to contact a pest control company to minimize pest invasions. Diseases caused by pests Babesiosis: Transmitted through black-legged ticks that dogs can carry, symptoms include chills, fever, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Advanced stages may cause liver or spleen distention. Bacillus cereus: This is a food poisoning caused by cockroach droppings. Cat Scratch Disease: A common bacterial disease spread by fleas, it is often experienced after a cat bite or scratch. Symptoms include chills, fatigue, vomiting, chills, nausea, fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Chikungunya: Caused by mosquitoes, this is a pathogen that started in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. As of 2014 it has been found in the US and is rare in the West Coast. Symptoms can include joint pain, headache, muscle pain and fever. Chloriomeningitis: This is a disease spread by mice and it can lead to cerebral meningitis. It has been found to occur in the West...

Pantry Pests

Pantry pests include insects found in food, spices, pasta, herbs, flour and cereal such as beetles and moths. There are many types of pantry pests, but the most common insect pantry pests are Indian meal moth and merchant grain beetles. Both these types of insects can multiply quickly and have a preference for packaged, dried foods. The Indian meal moth is attracted to foods like bird feed, chocolate, dry dog food and dried fruits. Pantry Beetles are usually brought home unknowingly and are barely noticed until you see them near a food source or a moth-like insect flying if it’s a pantry moth. Whereas it can be easy to tell the difference between the two adults, the larvae can be a little bit harder to identify. Difference between pantry moths and pantry beetles There are various stored product pests known as pantry weevils or pantry beetles. These are; the Cigarette Beetle, Saw tooth Beetle, Drugstore Beetle, Merchant Grain Beetle, Red Flour Beetle, and Confused Flour Beetle. These beetles feed on a wide array of foods such as cereals, pet foods, nuts, candy, potato chips, dried legumes, pasta, spices, dead insects, cookies, crackers and even dead animals. The bean weevil, the rice weevils, the lesser grain borer and the granary weevil mostly feed on seeds and grains. Weevils are less likely to feed on grains and cereals unless they’ve been caked and hardened. There are also some beetles of fabric pests that should not be confused with pantry pest. These include; furniture carpet beetle, varied carpet beetles, and black carpet beetles. How to get rid of the pests You can...