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Termite and Pest Control: Read Your Contracts

TermitesWith the hot summer months bearing down upon us, bugs are quickly becoming a part of our lives whether we like it or not. After six months of bliss with nary a tiny ant walking over the back yard patio, we are now deluged with bugs, insects, creepy crawlies and multi-legged creatures seen only in horror movies.

As they move their entire families into our homes and yards, many of us head to the phone to call exterminators to rush over and rid us of our unwanted house guests. However, before deciding on which exterminator to use, or committing to lengthy contracts, make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting in exchange for your hard earned money.

A professional company will survey your home and yard to determine what needs to be eradicated. If you have “samples” of your problem to show the workers when they show up, great. Otherwise, show them where you have seen the offenders, or even where you have seen damage they have caused.

If you have a major infestation, don’t just hire a one man company that shows up with a few spray bottles. Exterminators at professional pest control companies have years of experience and many have degrees in biology and perhaps botany. (If you have never seen professional exterminators at work, do yourself a favor and catch the new … READ MORE

How to Make an Easy Trap to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Try This Natural Solution!

Ugly fruit flyFruit flies are extremely annoying, and they seem to come out of no where after overripe fruit is left out on a table or a countertop. They swarm around the fruit, but they can also invade other areas of the home. They seem to be slower than ordinary houseflies, but they can be even more bothersome.

Unfortunately, fruit flies are attracted to more than just overripe fruit. These pesky little insects are attracted to drains, damp mops, rags, sinks, sponges, bathtubs, and even toilets. Fruit flies can live on the tiniest of nutrients found in cracks and crevices in any room of the house, and they don’t just dine on fruit. These tiny files love yeast, and unless they’re eradicated they’ll continue to multiply and invade the home.

If you’re bothered by pesky flies, try the following ideas to get rid of them. The average lifespan of a fruit fly is only 8 days, but each female can lay as many as 1,000 eggs, and the offspring will also mature and multiply. Give these ideas a try, and get rid of the flies in your home without using chemicals or costly store-bought products. You can make a trap to get rid of them without spending a dime!

Make a Simple Fruit Fly Trap

When fruit flies are taking over your home, … READ MORE

Do-It-Yourself: Affordable Way to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you’re still part of the population that thinks bed bugs are part of an old bedtime saying or that they only infest dirty, unkempt households, well, reality check: You’re just as much a target as anyone. If you’re reading this because you do have bed bugs, then you’re in luck and so is your wallet. The first step is to know your enemy.

Step 1: Know your Enemy

Check Your BedBed bugs were thought to have been generally extinct in the U.S. after DDT, but in the last ten years, have made a startlingly huge comeback. Bed bugs, unlike mice or other “dirty” pests don’t care how neat your room is or if you sleep naked or if your refrigerator is organized by shape, color and size. They are tiny parasites that function much like mosquitos without wings. They have several stages of life from egg to adult. They appear tick-looking and have a very flat abdomen, often white while young and redder as they grow older. (Note: Red means it’s got your blood in it) From birth, they seek out warm and blood filled things on which to feed. (Note: You) They cause bite marks much like mosquitos but tend to last around 24 hours or so and tend to be a lot less annoying. It takes them a little under 10 minutes to feed … READ MORE

Controlling Japanese Beetles – Naturally and Effectively

Having just moved into a new home with a mature grapevine, I was excited for the summer to come. I promptly began researching how to care for my grape vine. I spent hours reading, researching and pruning with the goal of producing the best harvest possible. Rather quickly, spring came and that grapevine had sprouted new growth. Patiently waiting with excitement, I checked my vine daily. Heading out to the vine one day, I noticed that suddenly my grape vine was covered in Japanese Beetles. Those pests already started eating their way through my crop! Would all that work be for nothing?

Japanese Beetles were first identified in the United States in 1916. Since then, the beetle has spread to become a severe threat to agriculture in the eastern portion of the United States. The larvae will feed on the roots of our plants, while the beetles will completely destroy the leaves. In response to this not so friendly insect, a number of remedies for controlling pests such as Japanese beetles have been implemented. Chemicals, Biological organisms and Traps are all available for use.

Due to the regulations and possible harm to other beneficial insects, I would not recommend the use of chemical grub killers, except under severe conditions. In my opinion, chemicals can be difficult to use and have negative impacts on the environment. … READ MORE

Controlling Japanese Beetles in Your Garden

Environmentally Friendly Options for Beetle Control

Japanese beetles are destructive copper colored beetles that decimate all plant life they come in contact with. The beetles attack everything from ornamental flowers, to fruit, to vegetable crops. Controlling Japanese beetles in your garden can become a full time task if not approached correctly.

Grubs

Start controlling Japanese beetles at the grub stage. Milky spore disease is a natural control for the grub stage; however it does not affect adult beetles. Controlling Japanese beetle grubs is important. It breaks the life cycle of the beetles and it will control the grubs that are eating your lawn.

Adults

Traps are one of the most effective ways to control adult Japanese beetles. Pheromone traps lure the male beetles to their demise, thus breaking the life cycle by removing the males from the population.

Another way to control the adult beetles is with homemade organic sprays. Boil ¼ cup of chopped jalapeño peppers and ¼ cup of cayenne pepper flakes in a covered pot. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to simmer and let it cook for an hour. Strain out the solids and pour into a hand sprayer. Wear gloves if you are sensitive to hot peppers and avoid getting the steam into your eyes. Add a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to the sprayer. Shake well and spray onto … READ MORE

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies – 5 Easy Steps

Saying Goodbye to Your Unwanted Pets – the Easy Way

Fruit fly on a leafPlagued by a fruit fly invasion many years ago I found the following solution to getting rid of fruit flies to be very effective.

Step 1 Locate the breeding grounds

The first obvious place to check is of course your kitchen. Fruit flies love slightly off fruit and vegetables so make sure you don’t keep anything that you do not plan on eating anyway. Check in your office. Did you really have to put the banana peel in the office trash can? Check your bedroom. That unfinished glass of wine from last weekend still there? Continue checking all other rooms and remove all potential breeding grounds.

Step 2 Clear living space of all potential “fruit fly food”

You cook in your kitchen. You don’t necessarily eat there but you get my drift. There is no reason to have open food anywhere else but in the kitchen besides while actually eating. Try and limit potential fruit fly food to your kitchen.

Step 3 Think over the way you store food

Use containers that you can seal. Store fresh fruit and vegetables in one place and put a fruit fly trap as mentioned in step 4 beside it. Make sure you have a trash can you can close tightly and empty it often. Do not leave any … READ MORE

How to Control Cockroaches in the Home Without Pesticides

cockroach logoCockroaches have survived on earth for more than 300 million years, and they aren’t likely to become extinct anytime soon. Because they easily adapt to virtually any environment, it’s no wonder that safe and effective control of cockroaches in the home can be a real challenge. While ridding your residence of cockroaches without spraying potentially harmful, and often ineffective, chemicals may seem an impossible task, with the proper information, and a little detective work, you can do it! Just like any other living organism, to live, cockroaches require three basic conditions:

  • Harborage, or a safe, preferably dark, protected place to live,
  • Water, and
  • Food

In the pest control industry, Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is the managing or removing of one or all of these basic life requirements to control or eliminate a pest infestation. In the absence of any one of these items, cockroaches will either find another home, or die. The first, and most important step in gaining control of cockroaches in the home is to conduct a thorough inspection of your home to find out where the cockroaches are eating, drinking and sleeping.

The Inspection:

Equip yourself with a good, bright flashlight. Then start by looking for sources of water. Generally, I head straight for the kitchen and look for any leaking or sweating pipes, especially under the sink, and around … READ MORE

The Changing World of Pest Control

Options Homeowners Should Consider

As a professional Home Inspector and Service Representative for a major pest and termite control company with fourteen years experience, I have seen our industry evolve in ways I find advantageous for the environment and the people whom live in the homes our industry treats. There is a saying within the industry that mankind has added twenty five years to his life expectancy thanks to prescription drugs, sanitation, and pest control.

It’s become a well known fact that insects in our living areas lower the quality of of our environment through the germs they spread. Roaches are a genuine contributor to asthma among children in most major cities. Rodents are responsible for some of histories worst plagues and in the southwestern United States spread Hantavirus. Those are just two of the most glaring examples of the health risk posed by pests infesting our homes.

Property damage is another major concern. For the average man or woman their home is their single biggest investment in life and it’s the wise homeowner that takes steps to protect that investment from wood-destroying insects and organisms such as termites, powder post beetles, and wood-decay fungi. Termites alone cause billions of dollars in property damage per year. this totals more than fire, wind, and flood damage combined. Wood-decay fungi such as Poria Incrasata can cause … READ MORE