Category Archives for "Bugs"

How Do Bed Bugs Spread? And How to Stop Them.


Where can bedbugs be found?

Bedbugs do not just live in beds. They are spread by the multiple products they attach themselves to. They can be found in furniture, clothing, and bedding. When you buy used furniture or clothing their eggs could already be present and you wouldn’t even know it. They will spread throughout your house, contaminating multiple rooms. Bedbugs can even spread throughout building complexes such as hotels and apartments.

The bedbug can also be found in boxes, suitcases or items that are taken from one place to another. If you stay in a hotel that has a problem with bedbugs there is a very good chance you will bring some home with you in your suitcase. If you are in an area infested with bedbugs they can transfer to your clothing. When you leave this area you are most likely taking some of them with on your clothes.

The CDC reports the bedbug is a master at hiding. With their body structure they fit into the smallest of areas and go for a long time without eating. Their main way to travel is with humans; by attaching themselves to our articles we travel with they move from place to place as we move about.

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Symptoms of Bedbug Bites

Bedbugs eat by sucking our blood. They are most active at night and will bite any exposed skin they can find. Your neck, face, hands and arms are the most vulnerable for getting bit. The bite does not hurt so it doesn’t wake you to alert you the event is even happening. You will not know until the small, flat and raised bump appears on your skin.

The bumps will turn red, start to swell and itch. One odd thing about the bedbug bite is how they appear to be lined up on your skin. Infectious disease specialists call this the, “breakfast, lunch and dinner” sign. Sometimes these bite marks will not show up for days. There are even reports of them taking up to 14 days to show after the bite has occurred. This unfortunate fact may make it difficult to verify where the bite occurred, especially if you have been traveling.

The bedbug bite can also be mistaken for the mosquito or flea bite or even skin rashes. They have glands which secrete musty odors and may also leave fecal spots on the bed sheets or areas they are hiding in; so these may be good signs you are suffering from the bedbug bite.

It has not been proven that the bedbug carries infectious microbes. Researchers have thought the bedbug may be responsible for Chagas disease in some areas but it is inconclusive at this point. Studies are being conducted on this disease and others. While the disease aspect has not been determined, it is known there are some severe allergic reactions to the bed bug bite. No treatment is specified for the bites; if itching persists or allergic reactions occur you can use a topical steroid cream to ease symptoms.

How do you know if you have an infestation?

The bedbug will leave fecal stain, egg cases and they also shed their skins which are signs to look for when looking to see if you have a bedbug infestation. They also produce a sweet musty smell if they are present you may notice this on your linen or furniture. They can hide anywhere with their size; check behind picture frames, under wallpaper in your couch and any small crack or crevice.

How to get rid of a bedbug infestation

It is not easy to bet rid of bedbugs. Many times calling a professional pest control is your best answer. These pesky litter critters can actually live up to a year without eating so there is no way to eliminate their food source like with most household pests.

Mattress

There are mattress bed encasements to place over your mattress and you can even spray an insecticide over it and then zip it closed to kill the bedbugs. There are also Active Guard Liners you can place on your beds which are effective in preventing bedbugs. There are several safe spray insecticides to use on a mattress: Cimexa Dust, Bedlam Aerosols, Temprid SC Insecticide and Steri-Fab Bed Bug Spray.

Baseboards and Furniture

There are several sprays and dusts on the market to spray or powder around areas you feel may be harboring bedbugs. Make sure to cover inside and under all suspected areas as they are small and will hide their whereabouts.

Bedbugs can found anywhere; even some 5-star hotels have been reported to have problems. Their presence is not determined by how clean a place is or isn’t. You do want to check for signs and if present- get rid of them if discovered.

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Palmetto Bugs or Cockroaches?


What are Palmetto Bugs?

Well, in short, Palmetto bug or is a fancy nickname for the common American cockroach. The nomenclature appears to be regionally focused on Florida and neighboring states. The bugs got the nickname because they can be commonly found hiding under the big leaves of the palmetto tree. Cockroaches are indigenous to the region. The weather and habitat are perfect for them to thrive in large colonies. In other parts of the country it’s much easier to eliminate a roach infestation. In Florida, the conditions are just right for them to overrun almost every home if left untreated.

Are there different kinds of Palmetto Bugs?

While it is true that every Palmetto Bug is actually a cockroach, it is also true that all kinds of different roaches get lumped in under the name. The most common is the American Cockroach, but there are others, such as the wood cockroach and the increasingly widespread asian cockroach.

Do Palmetto Bugs bite?

While they are capable of biting, cockroaches don’t see humans and large animals, like dogs and cats, as a food source. They live primarily on waste, both meat and vegetable matter; anything you would be able to compost can feed a cockroach. Their diet can include strange items such as book pages, paper, plaster and most definitely each other. Cockroaches will eat their dead because it’s efficient. If cockroaches resort to biting humans it means they’re hungry. They have run out of whatever natural source of sustenance they’ve been living on and are on the lookout for new food sources. Normally this is not a big problem, but there have been cases where roaches took a liking to infants or elderly bed bound patients.

Water Bugs, which are related to cockroaches, but a different subspecies, live outdoors, near ponds or creeks and these bugs are active hunters. If a water bug crosses your path, it may take a bite out of you and it can be rather painful. These specific bugs are known in some locations as toe biters.

Do Palmetto Bugs fly?

Palmetto bugs do have wings that they will use under certain conditions. Only adults have fully developed wings which they use primarily to glide. Cockroaches tend to use their wings to drop from high elevations unharmed and you can see them flying from ceiling fans or walls if they are startled and are trying to make a quick getaway.

Not all species of cockroaches are equally proficient fliers. The American cockroach does well with its wings, using them frequently to traverse distances or drop down onto unsuspecting people from the ceiling. Some other species, such as the german cockroach don’t fly, although they have wings.

Even though a large portion of the cockroach population is capable of short distance flight and gliding, they tend to prefer foot over wing. The reason for this is weight. For many of the larger specimens it would be a less efficient use of energy reserves to fly. So they only do it if it’s absolutely necessary. Or to scare the bejeebus out of you when you least expect it.

How to fight a Palmetto Bug invasion

The best bet is to contact a professional to fight a roach infestation with special bait, fumigation and roach traps. Over the counter roach killer may or may not work effectively, depending on the level of immunity the colony has developed. In recent years, roaches have been growing resistances and immunity at an alarming rate. New and stronger methods of eradication are required to fight the growing plague.

Things you can do to get rid of Palmetto Bugs

Keep a clean kitchen. Palmetto bugs love to eat whatever you love to eat and your leftovers are what draws them into your home. Dishes left in the sink overnight and overflowing trashcans are an open invite to an all you can eat buffet for the little pests. Keeping a lid on pet food and storing your food in sealed containers goes a long way towards cutting off the supply lines.

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There are also a number of home remedies that may work on keeping a growing roach population in check. You can create different kinds of traps with glass jars, vaseline and food based bait. The vaseline prevents roaches from crawling back out after falling into the baited jar. Some of the best kinds of natural bait reportedly include coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable clippings. Pretty much any kind of compostable refuse will do. Set up these bait jars around the house and wait for them to fill up with roaches. Once the jars have a number of roaches trapped, dump them into a bucket of hot, soapy water. Cockroaches are not very good swimmers because they breathe through their legs and the soap in the water will prevent them from floating. Any kind of dish liquid will get the job done. Be aware though, roaches can hold their breath for about 40 minutes. The water needs to be very hot and you have to wait them out. Flushing them down the toilet might remove them from your home temporarily but it may not kill them and they could just crawl right back in through the pipes.

Boric acid has been widely and successfully used to eliminate large roach populations. It is commonly available as a fine powder that you use to dust your home. Be mindful though, boric acid is a toxic substance and you don’t want to accidentally inhale the powder. Dusting with boric acid may also be unwise if you have pets or small children in the home that could potentially inhale or eat the insecticide dust. Any time you deal with poisonous pesticides, use safety precautions.

clean-bed-bugs

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Fast and Easy


Bed bugs are one of the most troublesome infestations that you can ever have in your home. These insects set up camp in the sleeping areas of warm-blooded animals and will feast nightly on all humans and cats, dogs or other pets on the premises. If you’re tired of waking up to a fresh rash of painful, itchy bites each morning, you need to learn how to get rid of bed bugs fast. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to eliminate of this problem within a very nominal amount of time.

Make A Positive Identification

Before you rush out and invest in costly insecticides to perform a home bed bug treatment, you have to make sure that you are actually dealing with bed bugs. The best way to do this is by checking your bedding and mattress for signs of bed bugs feces. Given that bed bugs live entirely on the blood of warm-blooded mammals, their feces looks exactly like digested blood. This will be present on the mattress and bedding in small, dark-brown or black speckles. Bed bugs are notoriously good at hiding and thus, you may not spot the actual bugs when checking your bedding, but you will definitely see evidence of their presence in the form of their feces.

Other Places To Look For Bed Bugs

Although bed bugs will climb right into the bed with you at night, this is not always where you’ll find them hiding. Check around the baseboards near your bed, under or behind picture frames and in the crevices of your nightstand or any nearby dressers. When checking your mattress, be sure to pull back the rolled mattress seam at the edge. Wherever they are, you’ll find the tell-tale signs of feces and the light-yellow or light-red, discarded shells of growing bed bug nymphs.

Verifying Bed Bugs Bites

Bed bug bites feel similar to spider and mosquito bites given that they leave the affected area red, hot and itchy. In appearance, however, these bites are much smaller than the bites that mosquitoes or spiders make. They are usually small, reddish, raised bumps and some bites may have white tips or heads that make them look similar to tiny pimples. People often get these bites on their arms, stomachs and faces, however, they can also be present on the hands, back, legs and feet depending upon where the infestation is centralized.

Bed Bugs And Your Pets

These insects don’t just feast on humans. They will happily climb into the bedding of your cat or dog and thus, areas in which pets regularly sleep should be checked and treated as well. Dogs and cats that scratch themselves frequently and yet exhibit no other signs of fleas are a likely sign of a bed bug infestation. Behavioral changes and moodiness in pets are also indicators of an infestation. Animals cannot vocalize their discomfort and thus, they often show their displeasure by acting out or by refusing to sleep in their normal sleeping areas. It is also important to note that bed bugs could be living off of other pests in the home. For instance, if you have a rodent or raccoon infestation on the property interior, you will need to eliminate these pests first given that they are the underlying problem. Treating human and pet sleeping areas will only cause the infestation to abate temporarily when other, warm-blooded hosts exist.

Getting Your Home Ready For A Treatment

In order to ensure that a self-managed treatment is wholly effective, it is important to prepare your home before getting started. Given that bed bugs are excellent hiders, you’ll want to clear out all unnecessary clutter. The more clutter that exists in your home; the more places that these insects will have to hide. When eliminating unwanted items, however, it is vital to always place these things in the trash rather than donating them or leaving the out in the yard to be picked up by unsuspecting parties. This will prevent the spread of your infestation to other homes. You should also vacuum your home thoroughly while using the hose attachment to vacuum at all baseboards and unsealed cracks. All linen and clothing should be washed and then dried at the highest possible temperatures and then double-bagged to prevent re-infestation.

Using Steam Heat

Steam heat is an excellent addition to any multi-pronged treatment plan given that it is easy to disburse and relatively inexpensive. Bed bugs will succumb to high enough temperatures and thus, you can use a standing or hand-held steamer to treat all likely hiding places before disbursing any chemicals. Use your steamer at all baseboards and cracks. Once the resulting moisture has dried, seal these areas with a high-quality caulk to prevent re-entry.

Mattresses, boxsprings and upholstered home furnishings can be treated with your steamer as well. These same areas can then be coated in a spray-on insecticide. After the insecticide has dried, consider putting zippered, bed bug covers on all applicable items. This will prevent any living bugs from getting back out and causing problems.

Never Use Foggers

Always use spray-on insecticides rather than foggers when treating a bed bug infestation. Foggers do not permeate all of the cracks and other crevices in which bed bugs are likely to be hiding. Spray-on insecticides, however, allow for a direct application in all targeted areas. It only takes one healthy male and one healthy female for an infestation to start anew and this makes it vital to disburse treatment chemicals in the most effective manner possible.

Treat Just One Room At A Time

Move from room to room so that no treatment area is missed. When possible, always use multiple resources to eradicate these insects. For instance, you can combine steam heat with spray-on insecticides, bed bug covers, caulking and diligent vacuuming for optimal results. Always make sure to immediately empty your vacuum canister in a receptacle outside of the home when finished. Cover all areas in which pets sleep as well, so that your animals can enjoy bed bug-free living quarters as well.

Break The Breeding Cycle

One of the most important steps in a bed bug treatment is making sure that you have broken the breeding cycle. Many store-bought insecticides only kill living adult bugs and do not impact bed bug eggs or nymphs. You will therefore need to repeat all applications of insecticide throughout the home within two weeks of the initial treatment in order to effectively break the breeding cycle.

silverfish

Silverfish Control – Prevention and Removal Tips


What are silverfish?

Silverfish are small nocturnal insects without wings. These insects are also called urban silverfish, paramites, fringe tail, carpet sharks, tassed tail and fish moth. The name silverfish comes from the colors of the animal, which are silver light grey and blue. Fish moth can reach large numbers and they can thrive in people’s homes. When this happens, you need to take some measures for eliminating the infestation, controlling the insects and preventing them from infesting your home again.

What do they eat and how do they behave?

Silverfish eat different items that are normally found in a household, such as shampoos, paper, glue, photographs, wallpaper paste, clothing starch, cotton, linen, leather, rayon fabrics, cereals, wheat flour, dried meats and dead insects. These tiny insects can live up to one year without food in ideal conditions, with the proper humidity levels and temperature, like fireplaces, heat pipes and furnaces. The behavior of silverfish is similar to the ones of cockroaches. Speed is used as a mean of defense and this is the reason for which you will see fish moth running a lot when they feel threatened.

What are their reproduction habits?

A ritual is involved in the reproduction of silverfish that consists of three phases. With their antennae trembling, the two genders are positioned face to face (first phase). The two insects back off and then they return to their initial position. The female chases the male while he runs (second phase). In the third phase, the two genders stand side-by-side and head-to-tail. The male is vibrating his tail and releases a sperm capsule that the female receives into her body. Up to sixty eggs are deployed by the female in one round. Whitish nymphs come out of the hatched eggs.

What do silverfish look like?

Silverfish have an appearance that people may consider ugly. When you move your furniture, when you take your carpets off or when you clean your bathroom, you see these tiny insects running around. They prefer the dark, but they can be caught by surprise when you turn on the lights. With a body length of thirteen to thirty millimeters, silverfish have an external skeleton and this allows them to only walk on horizontal surfaces. You will not see them on walls, but on the floor. If you would touch one of these insects, you would feel like they are soft.

Where do silverfish come from?

Fish moth are rarely found in natural settings, because they mostly live indoors. They come into your home in a variety of ways. Silverfish can come from the area around your home’s foundation, but they can also be brought with various products. They come in homes in search for a place where they can find food and water. Outdoors, fish moth live under rocks, leaf mold and bark, but also the nests of birds or mammals. Ant and termite nests are also common places. In our homes, they are considered a pest and people try to get rid of them.

Can silverfish hurt people or pets?

Silverfish are not harmful in the way people may think. They do not hurt humans and pets, but they can cause a lot of damage in homes. They don’t bite or sting like other insects. However, they can destroy clothes, books, wallpapers and items, because these items are their food source. This is why they are considered a threat to any home. Just because these insects look hideous, it doesn’t mean they are venomous. They don’t carry diseases and they flee to safety when they feel threatened.

Signs of silverfish infestations

When you have often encounters with these little creatures, this may be a first sign that you are dealing with a silverfish infestation. You may spot the insects in your bathtub, bookcase shelves, garage, sinks, attics and any other humid and dark place in your home. Paramites can stain your clothes with yellowish stains, wallpapers and books can look like they are chewed and you may find holes in wallpapers. Even if you have seen a few of these insects, there are probably much more hidden. They also leave excrement traces everywhere and these look a lot like black pepper.

How to prevent and control silverfish?

One of the first things that anyone can do to prevent fish moth from entering their homes, but also to deal with an already existing infestation is to buy a dehumidifier. When the moisture level in your home decreases, you make this environment less attractive to the insects. Another way to discourage silverfish is to keep areas under your fridge and stove lighted. There are various ways to control silver fish, such as traps and baits or the use of insecticide and repellents.

Traps and Baits

You can build your own traps. A good example can be the one in which you use a jar wrapped in tape in which you place a piece of bread. The insects will get in and eat the bread, but they will not be able to get out. There are also traps that you can buy in stores. Another way to trap silverfish can be to use a rolled newspaper and band its ends with elastic. Then you need to moist the newspaper and leave it as a bait. After the insects have started to eat it, burn it outside.

Can cockroach sprays kill silverfish?

Silverfish are insects and if the spray is strong enough to kill cockroaches, it is good to kill silverfish. But, killing these insects with spray is not enough. First, make the environment unsuitable for them and use pesticides after. Instead of just using the spray, it is better to make sure that the insects don’t have easy access to a food source. Even if you can read on the spray’s recipient that it only kills cockroaches, people who have used cockroach sprays on fish moth have said that fish moth died and they haven’t returned for months.

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Residential Silverfish Control

If you don’t want to do the control yourself, you can rely on the services of a firm that deals with residential silverfish through pest control. Some of these company can handle different types of insects, so you must make sure they include fish moth control in their list of services. These firms know the needs of their customers and can do anything that they can to help you get rid of the insects in your home. They will perform an inspection of your home and they will choose the right methods for helping you to get rid of silverfish.

Do-It-Yourself silverfish control

For minor silverfish problems you can usually take care of the problem yourself, but it just depends on the degree of the infestation. It is usually cheaper to at least attempt to kill the silverfish in your home by yourself before contacting a professional. Silverfish are rarely harmful and are not likely to harm your home, so go ahead and give one of the DIY methods a try. If they do not work for the silverfish in your house, then contact a Silverfish Control Professional for quotes or estimates.

Diatomaceous Earth for silverfish

Scrub Diatomaceous Earth into drawers and floor then clean vacuum up and or clean off with mop or rags.

Commercial Silverfish Control

Some companies also deal with commercial pest control, which means that they can provide their services to offices and other commercial-type of buildings that are infested with silverfish. Offices can become infested too, especially because there is a lot of paper involved and they can also have bathrooms and kitchens. Your commercial property will be inspected and the best course of action will be decided. It is best to rely on the help of professionals than to deal with the problem yourself. Commercial buildings can be much harder to deal with, especially because the space can be much larger.

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