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Preparing your home for bedbugs eradication

     -  Beds must be stripped of linens
    
     -  All wool fabric in treated room(s) must be dry cleaned

     -  Other fabrics must be placed in a dryer for a minimum of 15 minutes at 140 degrees
    
     -  Floors must be washed and rugs vacuumed
    
     -  All treated areas should be cleaned and any debris removed

     -  Bedbug proof covers are required for mattresses and box springs

     -  Occupants must not enter a treated home for 24 hours

The following are some facts our customers may find helpful regarding the most common pests found in peoples' homes.

BEDBUGS
Bedbugs came to America from Europe in the 17th century. They like to suck human blood and get their name because they like to live and feed in beds. Although bedbugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. Female bedbugs can lay over 500 eggs in a lifetime.

Bedbugs are only a quarter inch long and are a reddish brown color. They like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment. Bedbugs like to travel and will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply.

We are bedbug experts. Note from Wikipedia: Selection of pest control professionals -- Due to their absence from North America for several decades, not all exterminators are familiar with extermination techniques for bedbugs. Those who are unfamiliar with bedbug extermination techniques may attempt to use ineffectual techniques, such as fumigation. Care must thus be taken when selecting an exterminator, in order to select a professional that knows how to conduct proper bedbug removal...more at Wikipedia. 

ANTS
More than 20 varieties of ants invadehomes throughout the United States during the warm months of the year.Worldwide, there are more than 12,000 species, but only a small numbercause problems.

Destructive ants include fire and carpenterants. Others ant types include the honey, Pharaoh, house, Argentine,and the thief ant.
All ants share one trait: They're unsightly and contaminate food.
Ants range in color from red to black.

Fire ants are vicious, unrelenting predators with a powerful, painful sting.
At least 32 deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to severe allergic reactions to fire ant stings.
Millions of dollars are spent each year eradicating fire ants alone.

CARPENTER ANTS
Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.

Acarpenter ant colony can have a long life span. Each colony is foundedby a single fertilized queen that establishes a nesting site in acavity in wood.

A carpenter ant colony does not reach maturity until it contains 2,000 or more workers, which can take three to six years.

May range from red to black in color.

Build nests in deteriorating, moist wood; often the colony will extend its nest into adjacent, sound wood.

Arecommonly found in porch pillars and roofs, window sills, telephonepoles, live and dead trees, rotting logs and stumps and wood in contactwith soil.

Do not actually eat the wood removed duringnest-building activities; rather, deposit it outside entrances to thecolony in small piles.

CARPENTER BEES
Resemble bumblebees, but the top of the carpenter bee's abdomen is hairless, often shiny, black, and has no yellow stripe.

Are about one inch in length.

Bore into dried, seasoned and untreated wood surfaces, preferring softwoods such as cedar, redwood, cypress, pine and fir.

Males are noted for aggressive behavior and a white spot on their face. They are harmless, however, and do not possess stingers; females have stingers but are generally docile.

Nest in nail holes, exposed saw cuts and unpainted wood.

Leave sawdust piles near perfectly round tunnels in wood; often these sawdust piles are accompanied by defecation stains.

Usually emerge from the nest in spring.

Are commonly found in porch and shed ceilings, railings, overhead trim, wooden porch furniture, dead tree limbs, fence posts, wooden shingles, wooden siding, window sills and wooden doors; prefer wood that is at least two inches thick.

CICADA KILLER WASPS
The adult cicada killer is a very large (1-1/8 to 1-5/8 inches long), robust wasp with a black body marked with yellow across the thorax (middle part) and on the first three abdominal (rear part) segments. The head and thorax are rusty red and the wings russet yellow (brownish). Legs are yellowish.

Coloration may resemble yellowjacket wasps.

Cicada killer females use their sting to paralyze their prey (cicadas) rather than to defend their nests.

Adults feed on flower nectar and other plant sap exudates.

CLOTHES MOTHS
Two species commonly infest homes - casemaking moths and webbing moths.

Attack clothing, blankets, comforters, rugs, carpets, draperies, pillows, mattresses, brushes, upholstery, furs, piano felts and wool mixed with synthetic fibers.

Infest homes by finding their way into woolens improperly stored in dark places and left undisturbed for long periods of time.

Deposit soft white eggs in clothing and household furnishings. A single female is capable of depositing from 100 to 300 eggs.

COCKROACHES
One of the oldest insects - fossil remains date back 200 million years. Crawl around on six legs, have wings and two antennae.

Like dark, damp places with a plentiful food supply; hide during the day in warm, dark places, such as under sinks, behind dishwashers, stoves and refrigerators, and inside cupboards.

Feed on a variety of foods, especially starchy and sugary materials, including book bindings, photographic film, linens, leather goods and numerous food items; usually forage at night.

Can survive a month or more without food, but less than two weeks without water.
Have an acrid odor that may permeate items with which they come in contact.

Can transmit bacteria and organisms responsible for diseases in humans including food poisoning, cholera, dysentery, salmonellosis and strep.

A study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a report in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that exposure to cockroach allergens is a major health concern for asthmatic children.

Under optimum conditions, cockroaches can produce two million offspring in one year, with an average breeding season resulting in 350,000 offspring.

Found around the world. Two species are prevalent in the United States, the American cockroach and the German cockroach.

The American cockroach has reddish-brown wings and light markings on its thorax and reaches lengths of up to 1.5 inches.

The German cockroach is between one-half and five-eighths inches long and is light brown with two dark stripes down its back.

FLEAS
More than 2,400 species exist worldwide.

Attracted to animals by body heat, movement and the carbon dioxide that animals exhale.
Adults feed on blood; larvae feed on organic debris.

Found on cats and dogs year-round, but most common during warm and humid weather.

Life span on dogs is typically more than 100 days - enough time for a pair of fleas and their descendants to produce millions of offspring. Under ideal conditions, assuming no mortality, a pair of fleas has the potential to produce more than 20 trillion descendants in one year.

Found on opossums, rats, other rodents and humans.

Can transmit tapeworms from dogs and rodents to other animals and humans.

Can jump up to 150 times the length of their body.

Transmit several major human diseases including plague, murine typhus, Bartonellosis and tapeworms.

FLIES
More than 120,000 species exist ranging in size from one-twentieth of an inch to well over three inches long.

Take on various shapes. In the larva or maggot stage, flies resemble greasy white worms.

Do not have teeth or a stinger, but rather thrust needle-like hooks into victims and inject a digestive juice that breaks down cell tissue.

Have life span of approximately 21 days (house flies).

Are attracted to a variety of warm, moist substances from animal feces to human food and garbage.

Spread at least 65 human pathogens including typhoid fever, diarrhea, tuberculosis, salmonellosis and cholera.

Breed in garbage cans, compost heaps, pet feeding and pet elimination areas.
More Flies for reference

MERCHANT GRAIN BEETLES
Merchant grain beetles are dark brown and have six saw-like teeth on each side of their bodies.

These beetles can grow to be one-eighth of an inch long and have extremely flat bodies. This body shape allows them to crawl into packaging to eat, live and have babies.

They are typically not found in grain products, but instead like to attack cereals, cake mixes, macaroni and cookies.

This pest can be found worldwide and can live in cooler climates.

MICE
A female house mouse gives birth to a litter of approximately six mice about 19 days after mating and is capable of mating again in two days.

Can produce six to 10 litters a year.

Are able to mate two months after birth.

Can produce 2,500 heirs in six months, with ideal conditions and no mortality.

Establish a nesting site near sources of food and feed 15 to 20 times a day.

RATS
Various species are problematic in the U.S., mainly the Norway rat and roof rat.

Bite more than 45,000 people each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Can burrow three feet straight into the ground, chew through buildingmaterials such as glass, cinderblock, wire, aluminum and lead, and canclimb inside pipes with diameters between one-half and four inches.

Primarily rely on smell, taste, touch and hearing.
Eat and urinate on human and animal food.

Support many ectoparasites.

MOSQUITOES
Can transmit West Nile encephalitis, a sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain.

Acquire the West Nile Virus from infected birds.

Breed in stagnant or putrid water. Mosquitoes are unlikely to breed in clear, clean water such as a well maintained swimming pool.

Are effectively repelled by products containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide).

POWDER POST BEETLES
These reddish-brown beetles are found all over the world with 11 species found in the United States. They have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces.

Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface filling it with a very fine powder-like dust.

Adult beetles are very active at night, enjoy flying and are attracted to the light.

SILVERFISH
Can be found in homes and buildings throughout the United States.

Are small, silver-scaled insects, about one-half inch in length with two long antennae projecting from the front of the insect and three bristly antenna-like appendages projecting from the rear.

Live two to 3.5 years.

Prefer dark, warm, moist areas such as attics, closets, baseboards and around bathroom fixtures.

Feed on carbohydrates and proteins contained in flour, starch, cereal, paper, drywall and natural fiber clothing (cotton and linen).

Cause damage to books, wallpaper, flooring and clothing. Signs of silverfish damage include uneven holes in paper and small yellow stains on fabrics.

SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES
Cause serious damage to structures often long before they are discovered - more than $1.5 billion in property damage a year to over 600,000 homes in the U.S.

Feed on books, papers or anything containing cellulose.

Favor warmer climates and actively avoid light.

Live in underground colonies - some containing over two million members.

In a larger nest, a queen and king may live for 15 years, with the queen laying up to one egg every 15 seconds for most of her life.

VARIED CARPET BEETLES
Varied carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their back surfaces.

These pests enjoy dining on carpets, woolen fabrics, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones.

It can take 249-354 days to three years for varied carpet beetles to grow from an egg to an adult. Adult beetles live between 13 and 44 days.