Posts tagged: pest control company

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 

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

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.

 

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.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes In San Antonio

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Summers in San Antonio, TX are filled with swimming, sunshine, and fun, but sadly, mosquitoes always like to crash the party. The season of sun creates perfect conditions for skeeter snack time. We all know of just how much harm mosquitoes can have on us, but the Asian Tiger Mosquito definitely steps that up a level.

About The Skeeters

Asian Tiger Mosquito

This mosquito is small, and dark colored with clearly visible stripes, which is where it gets its name, the Asian Tiger mosquito. Its name can also be attributed to its more aggressive nature. Unlike most species of mosquito, this pest attacks throughout the entire day, not just at dawn and dusk. Dina Fonseca, associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University states, “Part of the reason it is called ‘tiger’ is also because it is very aggressive. You can try and swat it all you want, but once it’s on you, it doesn’t let go.”

This mosquito is also known to transmit many harmful diseases; more than 20. The most common here in the States are West Nile Virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, and two types of encephalitis. With summer in full motion, the presence of these mosquitoes is growing; especially close to people and their homes.

How They Got Here

These mosquitoes are not native to America, but where accidentally introduced from Japan through old tire shipments. Old tires can harbor perfect moist and wet environments for these pests to grow and reproduce.

Originally these mosquitoes are from the Southeast Asian tropics and wetlands, but have been able to spread throughout the world in the last few decades due to international trade and shipping. Now they can be found in 29 American states ranging from Texas to New Jersey, South America, Central America, southern Europe, and several pacific islands.

Prevention & Protection

Mosquito Swatter

Mosquitoes require standing water to breed. Getting rid of any puddles, or built up water near your property would diminish the amount of mosquitoes nearby.  Wearing clothing that covers exposed skin would make it difficult for mosquitoes to bite. While the common bug spray may not work too well against these mosquitoes, trying Deet, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus would be the best options against the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

San Antonio Pest Control

If you are in need of additional protection from mosquitoes this summer, get professional pest control in San Antonio.

Mosquito Control

Mosquito Nix
12500 Network Boulevard
San Antonio, TX78249
(210) 699-7700
mosquitonix.com

General Pest Control

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706
bulwarkpestcontrol.com
 
Critter Control
1075 Grassland Drive
Bulverde, TX 78163
(830) 438-6108
crittercontrol.com

 

7 Steps To Avoid Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider

Homeowners in San Antonio, TX have been on high alert as of late, due to the increase of Brown Recluse activity in the City and surrounding areas. These spiders are very dangerous, and their presence should not be taken lightly. If you are frequently seeing these deadly spiders in and around your San Antonio home, you need to take some effective yet practical measures to ensure your safety. Here are a couple steps to take in your bedrooms to keep from getting bit by a Brown Recluse spider:

7 Steps To Avoid Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Brown Recluse spider bites most frequently occur when a spider is trapped against the skin in shoes, clothing, towels, and bed sheets. Take these seven steps to minimize possible bites:

  • Move beds away from walls and curtains.
  • Remove or adjust bed skirts that touch the floor.
  • Do not leave clothes or towels on floor.
  • Shake out articles of clothing before putting them on.
  • Inspect bedding before climbing under the covers.
  • Keep shoes in plastic storage containers.
  • Store articles of clothing in sealed plastic containers inside drawers or closets.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Picture of a brown recluse spider bite

Brown Recluse spider bite (Photo credit: Armed Forces Pest Management Board)

If you are bitten by a Brown Recluse spider, seek medical attention immediately; even if you only suspect the biting culprit to be a Brown Recluse. Early stages of Brown Recluse bites have been passed off as something less significant until rotting dead tissue (necrosis) begins to set in. By then, it’s too late, with treatment possibly requiring skin graphs. The longer a bite victim waits to seek medical treatment, the less effective that treatment will be.

Initially, a bite will look like a raised, red, bump that is accompanied by tremendous pain. A bite will soon blister, turn white, and then eventually turn black as the skin dies.

San Antonio Brown Recluse Control

It’s no secret that San Antonio has Brown Recluse spiders. Do not get bit by these spiders. Take a few steps to minimize your chances of getting bit, and get San Antonio Spider Control!

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

How To Get Rid Of Nuisance Crickets

Imagine that your backyard is filled with hundreds of crickets that are chirping in the dead of night. Do you think that you’ll be able to get enough sleep? The repetitive noise that a single cricket makes is tolerable, and it can even be considered as quite enchanting since it is one of those nighttime sounds that call to mind quiet family picnics or barbeques. You might even prefer the sound over the clamor of city noises. But what if your backyard is filled with too many crickets that are all chirping at the same time? That can really be a huge nuisance. But getting irritated by the noise made by these insects is the least of your worries. If you love your garden or if you want to protect your home, you have to take measures to control the cricket population in your area.

Why Crickets are a Nuisance

- Crickets can be noisy.

As mentioned, a hundred or more crickets can create a raucous noise that could disturb your sleeping habits. A cricket problem can be a huge headache especially if you have a child or a baby at home who wakes up at the slightest sound.

- Crickets eat vegetation.

Crickets like to eat all sorts of ornamental plants. Your once lush landscape could die after the crickets have eaten most of your plants. You also need to prevent a cricket infestation if you have garden plants and fruit trees.

- Crickets can invade your home too.

Inside the home, crickets can also do a lot of damage because they also consume many types of textile and paper products. Crickets that have found their way inside your house can definitely cause damage to your furniture, clothes, as well as wallpaper and other fabrics.

How to Get Rid of Them

Before you consider a pest eradication method, you have to be aware that crickets are a vital part of the food cycle. These animals are an integral part of the ecosystem. Understanding their value to the environment will make you realize that you do not have to totally eradicate them. Instead, you can utilize pest control methods that will help in controlling their population. Below are a few suggestions.

1. Using insecticides

There are several forms of bug sprays that are readily available in the market. Most of these are easy to apply — just find your target and spray. But using a bug spray is best if you only see a cricket or two inside your home. When dealing with a serious infestation, ask for help from pest control experts. These people can apply stronger chemicals, such as cyfluthrin, propoxur and pyrethrins. Because these are more concentrated substances, exposure can also pose serious health risks.

2. Using traps and baits

You can create your own cricket bait with molasses, a bowl and some water. For more ideas about how to make a homemade cricket bait, do some research online. You can also use sticky traps to catch the bugs that have found their way into your home.

3. Preventing an infestation

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Cricket can be drawn to your property if your landscape or garden is not well-kept. These insects are attracted to moisture, mulch, dense vegetation, weeds and garbage. By eliminating the features that attract these bugs, you also reduce the possibility of a getting a bad infestation.

Claire Lassiter’s specialty is pest management. She usually discusses the health effects of having pests around, but you’ll find her talking about Bentonville cricket control at times too.

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