ANTS

Ants are the most common pest problem in America, with more than 80% of homeowners experiencing ant problems.  Most ant species are highly developed social insects that live in permanent nests, which depending on the species, may be in the soil, in timber, under pavers, in wall cavities or roof voids.  Ants may travel large distances in search of food.  Even the cleanest of homes can provide a ready food source for ants which can invade in large numbers.  Once ants get into your home, there's little chance that they're going to go away on their own.   The best way to get rid of ants in the house is to learn how to prevent them.  This can include interior and exterior treatments and sealing up entry points around the home.

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BEDBUGS

Once eradicated from the US, bed bugs are back with a vengeance.  They have recently returned to residential and hospitality settings and are unlikely to be going anywhere soon.  No longer a sign of economic status  or sanitation concerns, bed bugs can invade all residences and businesses. They are transported with luggage, clothing, and other articles, but not on the person.  Bed bugs  are blood-suckers and bite at night.  You may see dots of blood in a line on bed linen.  The blood has a sickly sweet odor.  Also, look for dried blood deposits around cracks in the bed, flooring, bedside furniture and mattress.   Bed bugs can live for up to a year without a blood meal.  This means they can linger in furniture for long periods of time until they are near a human host.  Managing bed bug infestations quickly will help us to help you.

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COCKROACHES

Cockroaches are known to carry 33 types of bacteria, 6 parasitic worms, and trigger asthma attacks.  They can wreak havoc on your home.  They can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, and drain pipes.  We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, and even on our person.  Your home is an ideal breeding ground.  With plenty of food, warmth, water, and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.  Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from many over-the-counter insecticides.  Without special equipment, materials, and know-how, cockroach control can be  a losing battle. 

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WASPS

​Having a wasp's nest in or around your home is an unpleasant situation to be in, especially if you have small children or somebody with an allergy to wasp stings.  Because a wasp's stinger is not barbed like a honey bee's, the wasp can repeatedly sting its victim.  

If a wasp nest is located in a high traffic area such as along walks or near doorways, control is justified to reduce the threat of being stung.  Yellowjackets and paper wasps are very protective of their colonies and will defend them if they feel threatened.  Do not attempt to eradicate a wasp nest yourself, unless you have the complete range of protective equipment and professional knowledge essential in the circumstances.

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FLEAS

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts, which are normally humans or pets.  The female lays tiny, white eggs loosely on the hairs or in the habitat of the host.  The eggs readily fall off the host onto the ground, floors, bedding, or furniture.  The cat flea is the most frequently found species, even on dogs and other mammals.  They are most often brought into the home on pets from outside.  Ensure your home is clean:  vacuum thoroughly, sweep and mop regularly, and wash all bedding and linens on the hottest water temperature setting allowable.  Additionally, make sure to take your pet to the vet for flea treatment.

FUN FACT

Fleas have been on the earth for at least 165 million years. Their fossils date back to the Jurassic period.  At that time they were giant compared to today's fleas, and their victims would have been dinosaurs.

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RODENTS

In perfect conditions, a nest of mice can deposit 18,000 droppings and produce 2,500 heirs in a six-month period.  They invade our homes and businesses seeking food, water and warmth.  Mice are great at getting into small spaces and can wriggle through a crack or a hole that is as small as a half-inch wide.  Their bodies are collapsible, allowing them amazing access through even the smallest hole.  Their teeth can chew through hard materials such as wood and rubber.  That's why they can chew their way through the wood of your home or gnaw the rubber on your garage door to get inside.  Some of the diseases that mice carry include:  Salmonella, Hantavirus,  Lymphocytic choriomeningtis, and several tick-borne diseases.

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CARPENTER BEES

 People often mistake carpenter bees for bumblebees, which look quite similar.  Bumblebees nest in the ground.  Carpenter bees are solitary bees that burrow into wood.   If you see a bee that looks like a bumblebee emerging from a hole in your porch, it's a carpenter bee, not a bumblebee.  You can differentiate the two by examining the upper side of the abdomen.  If it's shiny and hairless, its a carpenter bee.   A bumblebee, by contrast, has a hairy abdomen.

Carpenter bees spend the cold months tucked inside their empty nest tunnels, protected from freezing temperatures.   Most people encounter them during April and May, when they've just emerged to mate.  Though they burrow into wood, they don't eat wood like termites do.  Since their nest tunnels are limited in size, they rarely do serious structural damage.    So when it comes to carpenter bees, your best defense is a good offense.  

Carpenter bees prefer to excavate untreated, unfinished wood.  You can discourage, if not prevent, carpenter bees from nesting in a wood structure by painting or varnishing lumber.  If they are already a problem, an insecticide dust applied in the spring, just before adults emerge to mate,  should do the trick.  However, if you don't apply the insecticide before the spring adults emerge, you will need to treat the nests twice --- once in the spring and again in late summer.

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brown recluse spider black widow

SPIDERS

Arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders, has been listed as one of the top five phobias for decades.  But of the 3,000 species of spiders throughout North America,  only two groups are considered poisonous to humans, the black widow and brown recluse spiders.   Both  have venom that is dangerous to  humans, and females are known to be aggressive and bite in defense. 

The brown recluse is found in the US from the east to the west coast, with predominance in the south.  Its venom can cause significant cutaneous injury with tissue loss and necrosis.  And adult spider is 1/4 to 3/4 inch in body with a dark violin shape located on the top of the leg attachment region with the neck of the violin pointing backward the abdomen. 

The black widow spider can inflict a painful bite which can be fatal, especially to the young and elderly. Only a small amount of venom can cause serious illness, as the poison attacks the nervous system.

The body of a black widow is about 1/2 inch long. The female is normally shiny black, with a red hourglass marking on the underside of the abdomen. The marking may range in color from yellowish orange to red and its shape may range from an hourglass to a dot. 

If someone has been bitten by a poisonous spider, keep the person calm and seek medical attention. 


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brown recluse spider black widow

TERMITES

Termites date back more than 120 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. They are known as "silent destroyers" because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected.  Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage - costs that aren't covered by homeowners' insurance policies. This is why being vigilant about termite control and termite extermination is so important.

Spring typically is when large numbers of winged termites, known as "swarmers," emerge inside homes.  Even though swarmers are incapable of eating wood, discovering them indoors almost always indicates an infestation warranting treatment.  

Other signs of infestation are mud tubes extending over foundation walls, support piers, sill plates, floor joists, etc. The mud tubes are about the diameter of a pencil. Termites construct these tubes for shelter as they travel between their underground colonies and the structure. 

Termite-damaged wood is usually hollowed out along the grain, with bits of dried mud lining the feeding galleries.  Occasionally, termites bore tiny holes through plaster or drywall, accompanied by bits of soil around the margin. Rippled or sunken traces behind wall coverings can also be indicative of termites tunneling underneath.  Oftentimes, though, there will be no visible indication that the home is infested. 

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