5 Ways To Kill Bed Bugs

kill bedbugs

There are many opinions on the best ways to get rid of bed bugs. They are hard to kill, not because they are exceptionally strong creatures, but because they are excellent at hiding and it is virtually impossible to find all of their hiding spots. For this reason, several techniques have been developed that work, but have some unsavory side effects. Also, the effectiveness of some is in question due to the simple fact that these critters are great at finding places to hide away from the danger until it is safe to come out again. What are the options, and how do you know which one or ones will work best for you?

Pesticide Sprays

This may very well be the most common form of bed bug extermination, and maybe one of the least effective. The problem with spray, other than the fact that is exposes you and those you love to dangerous chemicals, is that is only works where the spray is. You can spray mattresses and other places where the bugs are known to have been, but they can hide in walls and come out through air vents. You can spray into the vents but how far it will go, determining how effective it is, is questionable. Still, due to the cost effectiveness and the fact that success is often had, spraying for bed bugs is a popular option that should not be ruled out completely. It should always be done by a professional however, not only to increase effectiveness but also to ensure safety.

Mattress Encasement

Encasing the mattress in plastic is an option that actually works pretty great for killing the bugs on the mattress. The plastic is effective at suffocating them. However, any bugs that are not on the mattress are not going to be handled and will still be free to roam and suck.

Pesticide Dust

This is an alternative to sprays that is most effective when used in conjunction with the spray. It tends to stick around longer, so it is not ideal for areas with heavy human traffic. However, it is perfect for settling into cracks and crevices that bed bugs creep out of and catching them as they enter. The dusting must be light however, or else the bugs will simple go around the powder.

Freezing

Freezing is a safe and non-toxic way to get rid of bed bugs. The bugs are killed on contact with the temperatures of -108 degrees Fahrenheit. The process is dry and all furniture can be used immediately.

Heat Treatment For Bed bugs

Heat treatment for bed bugs is an option that does require leaving ones home for a time, and some furniture and electronics must be removed, but it is in an option that is ideal for major infestations. According to Bed Bug Finders, LLC, the reason for this is that it does the job and does it well. There are two different methods, one using steam heat and the other using thermal heat. While there can be a bit of an inconvenience, each type of heat treatment for bed bugs is highly effective.

Killing bed bugs is not an easy task. They are sneaky and hard to detect with the human eye. Hopefully these suggestions will give you some options should you ever have to deal with them.

Faith Stewart 

Happy Halloween From Your Friends At Bulwark Exterminating

Halloween is upon us. Soon enough we’ll have waves of ghosts, goblins and princess fairies crawling our streets. Your friends at Bulwark would like to remind you to have a very safe and happy Halloween. Be safe. Have fun. Eat lots of candy.

Take a moment to enjoy our new Halloween video. We certainly hope this won’t be happening at your house.

Infographic: The Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse On Wall

In the state of Texas, one of the most feared pests (if not the most feared) is the Brown Recluse spider. Unfortunately, there are many reasons to fear this dangerous spider. A Brown Recluse spider bite can cause painful skin lesions where the skin will actually rot. It’s a condition called necrosis, and is just one side effect of the Brown Recluse’s toxic venom.

A bite by a Brown Recluse spider can lead to expensive medical bills. Case in point: A Brown Recluse Bite Costs Woman $1 Million in Medical Bills.

When it comes to spiders found in the home, we can’t be too careful if the spider even resembles that of a Brown Recluse.

The following infographic, put together by the spider control professionals at Bulwark Exterminating, helps us understand the Brown Recluse:

Infographic: The Brown Recluse

brown recluse

brown recluse

San Antonio Brown Recluse Spider Control

When it comes to the Brown Recluse spider, there are actually 7 steps to take to prevent Brown Recluse Spider bites. Take these precautions, and do these steps. If you are still seeing Brown Recluse spiders inside your San Antonio home, or anywhere near your property, it’s time to call some San Antonio Brown Recluse spider control professionals. Brown Recluse spiders are actually one of the more difficult spider pests to treat. Make sure you do some research online, thoroughly looking through pest control company reviews, and make sure the spider control professionals you choose are up-to-date on all the most recent Brown Recluse control methods. We recommend:

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706
bulwarkpestcontrol.com
 
San Antonio Chimney & Wildlife
333 West Olmos Drive #123
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 607-0347
texaschimneywildlife.com
 
Critter Control
1075 Grassland Drive
Bulverde, TX 78163
(830) 438-6108
crittercontrol.com

5 Interesting Facts About Tarantulas Physiological Features

Desert Tarantula In Hand

Tarantulas may be big, hairy spiders, but they have some physiological features that truly set them apart from other arachnids. Unlike most spiders, tarantulas are fairly non-aggressive towards humans, although they are natural born killers when it comes to other insects, mice, birds, and frogs. Below we’ll discuss five interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about tarantula’s physiological makeup.

Tarantulas Can Grow Up to 10 Inches

Tarantulas are some of the world’s largest, with some species growing up to 10 inches at full leg span, or approximately the size of a dinner plate. It’s no wonder movie directors display these fuzzy arachnids in horror flicks – can you imagine a spider the size of a dinner plate heading toward you?

Tarantulas Throw Needle-like Barbed Hairs in Self-Defense

Tarantulas rarely bite people, but if they feel threatened they will use their back legs to scrape barbed hairs from their abdomens and fling them and the so-called threat. Sound strange? It gets stranger – you’ll definitely know if you’ve been hit, as these barbed hairs tend to cause rashes. Some people suffer severe allergic reactions. Not that the tarantula gets off scott free – it ends up with a nice bald spot on its belly.

A Fall Can Kill a Tarantula

Tarantulas actually have thin skins, especially around the abdomen. A fall from even a short height can cause a fatal rupture in the spider’s exoskeleton. This is the number one reason why it’s recommended that you never handle a tarantula – it’s easy to get spooked when this large, hairy spider species is crawling on your hand, and the knee-jerk reaction is to drop it, which can result in the spider’s death.

Tarantulas Have Retractable Claws on Each Leg

Evolution didn’t leave tarantulas totally defenseless against the risk of falling – in order to provide them with a good grip, they have a retractable claw at the end of each leg to help them climb. Most tarantulas stay on the ground, but some climb up into trees or on other objects, which is when the retractable claws come in handy. In this aspect tarantulas are rather cat-like – by extending their claws, they can get a better grip on the surface they are climbing.

Tarantulas Can Regenerate Lost Legs

Tarantulas molt throughout their lives, giving them the ability to repair injured parts of their bodies. If a tarantula happens to lose a leg, a new one will grow in its place by the next time it molts. Depending on its age and how much time passes by before the tarantula’s next molt, the leg may be a bit smaller than the rest, but over time it should catch up with the rest of the spider’s body. Sometimes tarantulas eat their own severed legs in order to recycle protein.

Tarantulas have very interesting and unique physiological qualities which set them apart from other spiders. Though fairly harmless, if you’ve noticed an outbreak of tarantulas around your home, you might want to call in a pest control professional to check things out.

About the author: Chris is a professional for a ct pest control company. The movie Archanaphobia scared the daylights out of him as a kid, and although he doesn’t like spiders, they don’t freak him out anymore.

Termites 101: A Basic Primer on Termites and Termite Inspection

When anyone mentions the word “termite”, images of damaged homes usually come to mind. And rightly so as termites feed on wood, and wood is the number one material used to build homes in the U.S. But just what are termites, what do they do to wood, what can be done about them, and how does termite inspection help homeowners?

Meet Mr. and Ms. Termitoidae

Worker Termites on Rotten Wood

The scientific name for a termite is termitoidae. Not every termite is bad, as many feed on dead leaves and plants, soil, animal waste, and some forms of wood. But the destructive kind can cause havoc on crops, forests, trees, and significant damage to homes and buildings.

Termites are social animals that live in colonies numbering from a few hundred to a million or more. These insects live in different types of environments and form colonies underground, in large pieces of timber or wood, in mounds above ground, in trees, and in the wood of buildings.

Some species of termites are “polycalic” or form more than one nest. As a result of this behavior, termites are sometimes hard to get rid of because they form multiple nests throughout an area. One nest may be eliminated from a home, but the underground tunnels that termites form are connect to other nests and reinfect the original location.

Subterranean and dry-wood termite species are the ones responsible for damage to buildings and homes, and these pests must be detected to prevent serious long-term damage to property. They literally eat up the wood in a home and cause extensive damage by weakening and destroying the beams, walls, floors, and joists.

How Do I Detect A Termite Problem?

Termite Evidence

Termite Evidence

Termites are shy creatures and rarely make a public appearance in the open because they are usually tunneling underground or infesting the wood of buildings. Although a termite inspection by a pest control expert is the best way to find out if your home is infested, there are also some common tip-offs that may indicate there is a termite problem:

Mud tubes: These look like long quarter-inch diameter tubes running up and down outside walls, fences, floor joists, and other similar structures; they appear brown in color like mud. There are many stands of tubes, are hollow, and serve as a transportation system between underground termite nests and the upper levels where buildings are.

If a mud tube is broken, inspect the inside to see if small, cream-colored insects are there. If there are, these are worker termites.

Insect swarms: In some cases termites are mistaken for ants. During the warmer months of the year, termites swarm and can be identified by their cream-colored bodies, small wings, and narrow-long shapes.

Little holes and residue: The telltale signs that termites may be present in a building are little holes appearing in plaster or drywall. If termites are present, there will be small bits of soil that line the rim of the hole.

Wood that has been damaged by termites may appear sunken or dented and may be weak or soft when pushed upon. There may also be “sawdust” or dirt in and around wood.

Solving The Problem

Pest Control Tech Termite Damage

If you suspect that your home has a termite infestation, the best way to approach this potential problem is to call a professional pest exterminator for a termite inspection of the premises. He or she can tell you if your home or building is infested with termites.

The solution for termite elimination are varied and can incorporate insecticides, soil treatment, fumigation of the premises, or green methods using natural oils from fruits and plants, or by using methods to disrupt the insect’s digestion through the use of certain strains of microbes. For new home builders who want to greatly reduce the risk of a termite infestation before it even happens, there are several pre-construction treatment options available.

Check with your pest control professional to see what options are available to you.

Author Bio

Frank Ling writes for websites and companies and thinks it is fun to learn about so many different things, while on the job. His favorite food is anchovy pizza—something that not many others seem to appreciate; but he finds that there are always more slices left for him to eat.

 

Live Brown Snake Found In Toilet

Toilet Snake

Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Most of us don’t see a brown snake in the toilet until after we’ve done our business; so imagine the horror of looking down and seeing a live brown snake wrapped around the toilet bowl, before you’ve done your big job!

That’s exactly what happened to Bruce Ahlswede in a San Antonio Starbucks last week, proving once and for all that toilet snakes do exist!

Toilet Snakes In Starbucks: Would You Like Snakes With Your Coffee?

Toilet snakes in Starbucks isn’t the next B-list Hollywood movie; a follow up to the 2006 hit Snakes On A Plane, but was one’ mans experience at a San Antonio Starbucks.

After a business presentation, Bruce Ahlswede decided to stop in to a San Antonio Starbucks for a latte and a bathroom break. Upon entering the Starbucks bathroom he was utterly shocked when he saw a brown snake curled up around and inside the toilet bowl.

At first the snake appeared to be a fake. A plastic snake used to pull off a prank. Then, the snake slithered, proving that it was indeed real! Upon finding the live brown snake, Ahlswede bolted out of the bathroom and alerted the nearest Starbucks’ employee.

A crowed gathered around the toilet to see what all the commotion was about. The snake must have been shy; slithering around the toilet bowl and eventually disappearing. The above photo was taken by Mrs. Ahlswede, before the snake disappeared, and posted on Facebook so that we all may be aware of the possibilities of brown snakes in the toilet.

What Type Of Live Brown Snake Is Found In A Toilet?

Experts agree that it’s very uncommon to find live brown snakes in your toilet. In the rare chance of finding a live toilet snake; it may give you the runs… you’d run out the door! The live toilet snake that was found in a San Antonio Starbucks’ bathroom appears to be a brown rat snake. These snakes are not poisonous, but can bite if they feel threatened.

It is proposed that the brown rat snake slithered up into the toilet through the pipes; but many experts also suspect that this snake could’ve been somebody’s pet that was abandoned in the coffee shop. If so, what a sick joke!

Next time you use a public toilet, better check for a toilet snake. Better safe than sorry!

Author Bio:

Thomas Bulwark is a lively blogger for Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control. After reporting this toilet snake story, I’ll be double checking every public toilet I use from here on out!

5 Low-Maintenance Plants To Keep The Mosquitoes Away

Mosquito

Mosquitoes can be a real issue, especially during the hotter, more humid times of the year. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy the weather or go about your day than being hassled by blood sucking mosquitoes.

There are a number of things that you can do to try and keep mosquitoes from eating you alive, such as using mosquito repellent, turning on your fans and lighting citronella candles. However, these are all short-term solutions. For a long-term solution, you should consider introducing a few naturally mosquito repelling plants.

The following are five plants that are not only mosquito repelling; they are also easy to grow and to maintain:

1. Citronella

Citronella

Many people will use citronella-scented candles to get rid of mosquitoes, so it’s only natural that the citronella plant will do the same – except it won’t burn out after a period of time like a candle will. The citronella plant provides a distinctive aroma that covers up nearby smells that tend to attract mosquitoes, which will make it more difficult for mosquitoes to find you. Citronella can be grown wherever frost does not occur. It’s a perennial grass that grows to between roughly five or six feet. If you do live in an area with frost, you can grow the Citronella in a pot or planter and simply move it indoors during the colder periods of the year.

2. Marigolds

Marigolds

The great thing about marigolds is that they will not only provide your home with a natural mosquito repellent, they will also make the area you plant them in look absolutely beautiful. These annual plants contain Pyrethrum, which releases an odor that mosquitoes hate. Pyrethrum also happens to be used often in many different types of insect repellents. Keep in mind that marigolds need plenty of sunlight and fertile soil in order properly thrive. You can also grow marigolds in pots or planters and place them around the home for additional protection from mosquitoes.

3. Catnip

Catnip

Catnip is a perennial herb that is related to mint, and is also quite easy to grow. According to recent studies, it was found that catnip is actually as much as ten times more effective than the chemical known as DEET, which is used in a large amount of commercial insect repellent. However, catnip only has an effect on mosquitoes within a close proximity. Many people will apply crushed leaves for better protection from mosquitoes. You should also keep in mind that catnip plants do affect cats, which means that if you own a cat you may want to consider using a different plant.

4. Ageratum

Ageratum

Like many of the previously mentioned plants, ageratum contains an element that mosquitoes find incredibly offensive and that is commonly used in insect repellents. This component is known as coumarin. Like marigolds, ageratums boast some especially gorgeous flowers. Its blooms are typically blue, but they come in several varieties that include white, pink and violet as well. Ageratum plants don’t need very much sunlight and can thrive with in full or partial sunlight. You won’t need very rich soil either, which is why they are often used in rock gardens, especially because they are a low-lying plant.

5. Horsemint

Horsemint

Horsemint has the same effect that citronella plants do; they produce a strong scent that tends to mask nearby scents that attract mosquitoes. Horsemint has several positives going for it, including that it grows fast, can grow in the shade, can resist droughts and does well in dryer conditions.

Use some of these plants near your deck, backyard, pool area, or other outdoor areas of your home in order to naturally repel mosquitoes.

Nicole loves her beautiful little home that she shares with her husband. She enjoys learning about anything to do with home improvement, from ways to keep the bugs away to the best decking suppliers in Perth, Australia.

Little Brown Bats In Danger Of Extinction

Little Brown Bat

The little brown bat is one of the most common species of bats in North America, and has been the preferred model organism for bat studies, and research. As well, these insectivores have been widely acclaimed by pest management experts, for their natural insect pest control services.

Little Brown Bats In Danger Of Extinction

Unfortunately, recent studies released have offered evidence that the little brown bat population in the North Eastern United States, is experiencing a steady and hasty decline from exposure to White nose syndrome- a disease caused by exposure to a particular fungus; first discovered in 2006. This infliction could result in the complete extinction of these natural exterminators, and the subsequent increase of insect pest control problems in the North Eastern United States; and throughout the rest of North America.

Concerned American biologists are asking the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to place the little brown bat, once one of the most common mammals in North America and (to date) the most-affected species, on the endangered species list; until a formal review can be completed.

White-Nose Syndrome

The White-Nose Syndrome fungus was first discovered back in 2006, in the caves of New York. It has since spread to some 28 U.S. States. It’s believed that the fungus was brought over from Europe, where WNS didn’t seem to have the same affect as it has on the 26 different species of hibernating North American bats.

White-Nose Syndrome affects Little Brown bats by altering their hibernation. Essentially, a white fungus will grow on a Little Brown bat’s nose and awaken the bat when it should be hibernating. The bat will use all of it’s energy reserves needed for hibernation, and eventually die off before spring rolls around and the bat can once again hunt bugs. The fungus also affects the little brown bat’s blood pressure, body temperature, and ability to fly and catch insects. It’s estimated that WNS has killed between 7-10 million hibernating bats.

The Little Brown Bat

As this bat’s name would suggest, it’s fur is uniformly dark brown and glossy on the back. The upper body is slightly paler, with greyish fur underneath. This species of bat has thirty-eight, relatively sharp teeth. As is typical for most insectivores, the little brown bat’s canine teeth are very prominent, enabling it to grasp hard-bodied insects; while still in flight. Considered very effective exterminators, a healthy population of Little Brown bats, can consume thousands of pounds of insect pests; each year.

 

5 Ways To Rid Your Home Of Fleas

Fleas can be a major headache that no one wants to deal with. Unfortunately for pet owners, fleas are also a common problem, and can infest your home fairly quickly. The good news is there are several effective DIY ways to rid your home of fleas, without having to resort to bug-bombing your house.

Flea

Use Botanical Dust and Borate Acid

Botanical dust is among the world’s oldest pesticides; borates are minerals commonly used in detergents, insecticides, and wood preservatives. Mixing botanical dust and borate is safe, although it is wise to wear a mask to avoid breathing any of this mixture in. You’ll want to dust the carpet, furniture, beds, and areas where your pet sleeps and allow to sit for approximately 24 hours (you should leave your home while you allow it to do its magic.) When you return, vacuum all the areas where you sprinkled the dust, as well as wash all sheets and furniture covers.

The botanical dust/borate acid mixture helps prevent a full-on infestation by targeting flea larvae. Botanical dust essentially cuts into the fleas body and dries out all the fluids, causing death by dehydration.

Set Out Small Dishes of Water and Dish Detergent

Water and dish detergent creates a toxic swimming pool for fleas, causing them to die as soon as they jump into the mixture. Placing this mixture into shallow dishes set in low areas throughout your house will encourage fleas to accidentally jump in and die. Placing the dishes near a nightlight will also encourage the fleas to flock to this toxic swimming pool, as they are attracted to the light and will fall into the soapy water when they leap for the warm glow emitted by the nightlight.

Scatter Cedar Chips in Flea-Ridden Areas

Fleas despise the scent of cedar and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Place handfuls of cedar chips in corners of the rooms throughout your house, as well as in your dog pen or sleeping area. (However, it’s important to know whether your dog has a cedar allergy or not, as many dogs are allergic to cedar.) Scattering the chips along windowsills and door thresholds will prevent more fleas from coming in. You can also wrap a handful of cedar chips in a cotton cloth and place under your pillow or bedding in order to keep your bed free of fleas. Cedar chips can be purchased in your local pet or home improvement stores.

Sprinkle Salt Over Your Carpet

Salt works similarly to botanical dust, in that it dries up moisture. When a flea comes into contact with a salt crystal, the salt cuts the flea so that it basically bleeds to death. Very fine-grade salt works best when using this method (in fact, the finer, the better.) Make sure to vacuum up the salt (and flea carcasses) after about a week. Repeat the process a couple more times to break the flea cycle in your home.

Vacuum Regularly

This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised what a difference good vacuuming habits will make. Fleas rarely survive being vacuumed up, but in the off-chance that they do, it’s wise to discard the vacuum bag after vacuuming. Replacing the bag with a new one will help prevent re-infestation.

Fleas may be an unpleasant fact of life, but they can be effectively dealt with and conquered. When all else fails, call a pest control professional.

About the author:

Chris is a blogger for Excel Pest Control a NJ based pest control company.

You Think You May Have Bed Bugs. Now What?

bedbug

You may feel a little itchy, or notice some bug bites on yourself. So you might be worried that you have bed bugs. Here are some things that you need to know about your situation:

It may not be bed bugs

Yes, you heard that right. Zocdoc.com, a medical site, recently ran a question of somebody who asked “Been waking up with little red, itchy bumps on my skin around my ankles and on my stomach. I keep washing my sheets but the bumps are still there. Does that mean that I am allergic to my detergent or do I have bed bugs and they don’t wash out?”

The site advised that the person get the bumps checked out with their primary care physician, and thought that the bumps could be from bed bugs. But if you are in such a situation, you definitely want to also get a bed bug specialist in to check out the situation and see what’s what. It could very well be bed bugs, and the longer you wait, the more they can multiply.

Did you know that according to Bed Bug Central, the typical female bed bug can lay one to five eggs a day, and up to 500 eggs in her lifetime? And those bed bugs will lay eggs, too, potentially resulting in thousands of bed bugs?

Ignoring the possibility of bed bugs will not make them go away

Given how quickly a few bed bugs can turn into hundreds or even thousands of bed bugs, you need to call in one of the top bed bug experts as soon as you suspect that you have the pests. Really, you have nothing to lose by doing so. If the bed bug experts tell you that you have bed bugs, you can work on getting rid of them with the help of a bed bug removal expert. If you don’t have have them, you can breathe a sigh of relief and look to see what else it might be.

The way many bed bug pest control professionals work is that they bring in a bed bug dog to sniff around and see if your home or business has them. You see, dogs have a must better sense of smell than humans, and the dogs that are trained to sniff out bed bugs can have a very high accuracy rate. When you team a bed bug dog with a trained pest control professional that knows what he or she is doing, you will get an answer very quickly as to your question about bed bugs.

Now, if you do have bed bugs, there are a variety of treatment possibilities, and the bed bug experts can talk with you on the situation. Bed bug companies like Bed Bug Finders LLC use safe heat treatment, while other companies freeze out the bed bugs, and others use chemicals. What is important is that you feel comfortable with whatever treatment is used, and that it works for you. Good luck!

Lisa Swan writes for a variety of home and business websites, including Huffington Post. She lives in New York City.

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