How To Handle a Termite Infestation

A termite is a tiny insect known for living in a large colony deep within the earth. Although they may resemble ants, these “silent destroyers” generally differ in that their antennae are straight, and their wings may be roughly equal in length. Many are known for feeding off of wood, particularly causing significant damage to the wood bearing structures. This includes homes like yours.

According to the National Pest Management Association, these household pests are responsible for an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year, which is not covered by standard homeowners insurance. Termite season, which typically starts in early spring, can be identified by the presence of swarms flying around a potential infestation site.

Non-Chemical Versus Chemical Treatments

Once you have determined that you a have an infestation, the next step is to seek out a professional technician to properly treat the infestation. Now, you may have seen information on the Internet about how you can personally address the issue, but be advised that the risks are too great to attempt alone in most cases. A licensed pest management professional would be able to confirm your diagnosis of your household pests as well as safely eradicate the insects without causing further damage to your home.

Depending on the situation, your pest control technician may suggest one of two methods: non-chemical treatments or chemical treatments. Non-chemical treatments, which usually don’t incorporate the use of insecticides, generally include physical barriers of some sorts. Examples of such physical barriers include steel mesh and sand, as well as biological control agents like nematodes and fungi. On the other hand, chemical treatments do incorporate the use of pesticides and, therefore, carry certain risks to human health and the environment. These termiticides, as they are referred to, are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and typically include four options: liquid soil-applied termiticides, termite baits, building materials impregnated with termiticides, and wood treatments. Your technician will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation.


As with any household pest concern, preventative measures can be taken to ensure that you don’t have a repeat occurrence of an infestation after you have successfully rid them from your home. For starters, if your home is undergoing construction, be sure to use a concrete foundation and ventilation between the soil and wood to prevent any openings where the “silent destroyers” can get in. Thereafter, be sure to maintain proper grading and drainage, reduce openings, fix leaks, eliminate piles of wood in close proximity to the house, unblock any vents, and call a professional technician for periodic inspections.

Here’s How to Stop Squirrels From Stealing Bird Seed

If you are the type of home owner that enjoys giving back to nature and providing bird feed and bath houses for your friendly flying neighbors, then you are familiar with the squirrel problem that’s associated with this hobby. You have to give it to them; squirrels are clever and motivated critters that can solve problems and navigate around obstacles.

This trait also gives them an advantage when it comes to stealing bird seed. They love an easy meal that’s always available. The question is, how do you get squirrels to stop stealing all the birds’ food and making huge messes in the yard? Here are some simple solutions that any homeowner can try.

Non-Toxic Squirrel Repellent Spray

This is not the friendliest way to tell squirrels to lay off the free bird seed; however, it is non-toxic and mostly effective. A squirrel repellent spray can be purchased at almost any home good store, pet store, garden shop, and online. It is an inexpensive way to deter squirrels from wanting the bird seed. The spray simply makes the bird seed taste bad to the squirrels, whereas the birds seem to not mind it at all.

Once the squirrels realize the food is no longer desirable, they will let up on stealing the feed and making messes in the yard. The spray usually goes for anywhere from $5 to $15, depending on the brand and bottle size you wish to purchase. If you are looking for a less aggressive approach, and perhaps a more entertaining one, check out the next idea.

Try Out a Squirrel Dome

This is one of the more popular choices for deterring squirrels from accessing bird houses. Much of he reason is for entertainment value! The device is a dome shape, much like a muffin top. It is to be placed over, or under the bird house, depending on the style. Bird houses that hand from a pole inserted into the ground will need the dome attached under the house. This way, squirrels cannot gain access to the house once they have climbed the pole.

If your feeder hangs from a tree, the dome will be placed over the house. Watching the squirrels try over and over again to get to the bird feed is funny and entertaining. Eventually, they will exhaust themselves, and forget about the feed altogether. You can buy these at any commercial store, market, or again, online.

Give in and Buy Some Squirrel Feed

If all else fails, you can just give into the squirrels and give them their own feed! Place a bin or bucket of peanuts and other seeds or nuts on the opposite side of the yard where the bird feeder is, and allow the squirrels to have their own feeding grounds. This will distract them away from the bird houses for good!

Call a Wildlife Control Specialist for Professional Help

If your squirrel problem is so out of control that it is affecting the structural integrity of your home, it is time to ask a professional for some advice. Contact a wildlife control company for help putting a stop to nuisance squirrel activity, safely and humanely. If you have squirrels in the attic or walls, you need professional squirrel removal service too.

Why You Should Hire a Pest Control Service

Many people try to fight bugs using store-bought chemicals, only to lose the battle in the long run. If you’re having problems with insects, a pest control service can get rid of the issue once and for all. These are just a few of the reasons why you should go with a professional rather than try and handle an infestation on your own.


A pest control service may cost you hundreds of dollars each year, but that amount is only a fraction of what you’ll pay if carpenter ant colonies or termites are allowed to do damage to your home. You could be looking at several thousands of dollars in repairs and structural problems that possibly cannot be fixed. A professional will conduct regular inspections of your property and take care of any problems before serious issues can occur.

Customized Plans

Whether you are treating an older home or trying to protect a new one, a pest control service can provide you with a plan that will meet your exact needs. A professional will take several factors into consideration when recommending the plan that is best for you, including the size of your home, the level of infestation that has occurred, and what methods will best bring about long-term prevention.


Technicians undergo extensive training in how their products work and how to safely place them inside and outside of a home. Several companies have turned to environmentally friendly sprays that are safe for humans and pets. This is in stark contrast to the dangerous chemicals you can find at your local store.

In addition, professionals also know how to safely attack potentially dangerous areas such as beehives and wasps’ nests. A novice could easily disturb a hive, for instance, and cause a swarm that could result in serious injuries. If you have an infestation of mice and don’t know how to properly eliminate it, you could unknowingly allow them to scatter and spread potentially severe diseases.


It can be a hassle to try and find places where bugs are gathering and eliminate them. If you don’t want to spend your entire day trying to play the role of an exterminator, let a professional handle it. Most pest control service companies will work around your schedule, allowing you to focus on things you’ll actually enjoy doing. Professionals will also continue to monitor your property and re-treat any problem areas should an infestation unexpectedly return.

When you call a pest control company, you can rest easy knowing that you and your family will be protected from infestations for months at a time. You won’t have to waste money on harmful chemicals, and you’ll get quality, guaranteed service that will rid your home of unwanted visitors.

6 Facts To Know About Bed Bugs

When most of us envision bed bugs, we picture them crawling about an unsanitary home, day and night. This, in fact, is not always the case, as the pests can and will inhabit any space so long as they can find warmth and an available source of food.

Whether it’s a sparkling-clean, five-star hotel or a dirty apartment building, pests are not picky about their lodging and they are sneaky in their work. Continue reading to arm yourself with key information about the pests should they find a way into your home.

1. Rapidly reproduces

Since the critters can lay up to 400 eggs in less than two weeks’ time, working to eliminate the threat of infestation is crucial as soon as the bugs are suspected. Be sure to seek out remedial treatment when you observe the first sign.

2. Nearly eradicated

The itchy pests were almost wiped out in the middle of the twentieth century, but an increase in global travel along with regulations for pesticide uses have brought the bugs back from the brink. There is also some evidence that pests of today are more resistant to chemicals than ever before.

3. Unnoticeable bites at night

One reason why the pests are difficult to detect is that they are nocturnal and are most active when we are sleeping, leaving behind evidence of their bites but not waking their victim in the process. If you find yourself waking with new bites-usually red and multiple in number-be on the lookout.

4. Carriers of disease

Another common myth about them is that they are irritating but relatively harmless. In reality, infections can develop from bites, and studies now show that an infestation can lead to mental health problems. While they are not known to transmit diseases, they can carry a variety of viruses.

5. Not completely stealthy

The elusive pests can be difficult to detect, but they do leave behind clues as to their presence-in addition to the red bite marks on your skin. Tiny brown spotting may appear on bed sheets and mattresses and they may produce a musty scent. If you are unsure about pest activity, purchase a bed bug interceptor to catch bugs in your home.

6. Luggage hitchhikers

The pests are extremely mobile and can follow you home by hopping aboard your suitcase, handbag, dry cleaning-anything they feel to be warm and safe. This includes second-hand items such as furniture or appliances. Be sure to check belongings for pests-new and old-before bringing them into your home.

Understanding more about bed bugs will help you to decrease the chances of an infestation and to eliminate a problem should it arise. Above all, be sure to act quickly if you suspect presence of the pests before the situation escalates.

4 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

If you live in a humid area mosquitoes are definitely a big problem. The cool thing is that there are number of things that you can do to get rid of these annoying bugs. Here are some of the things that you can do:

Use skin repellents

Skin repellents prevent mosquitoes from getting on your skin. Most of the repellents in the market have two main active ingredients: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) and picaridin.

Repellents containing 30%-50% of DEET are ideal for both adults and children over the age of 2 months.

There are others that have lower concentrations of the active ingredient. While they are cheaper they remain effective for only a few hours thus you have to apply them often.

Repellents containing picaridin are available in the US and are often odourless and have a pleasant feeling. They don’t plasticize like DEET and you can apply them on children that are as young as 2 months.

You should avoid applying the skin repellents on children under 2 months. The best way of protecting the young ones is using a carrier draped with mosquito netting.


Rosemary, citronella and lavender are some of the herbs that mosquitoes can’t stand. You should plant the herbs in your backyard and you will definitely keep the bugs off. If you don’t have a yard or want immediate solution you should consider buying the herbs in your local stores.

The herbs come in different foams for example you can buy citronella oil and put it into a plate. You can also buy a citronella torch and the smoke produced will keep the mosquitoes away.

Get rid of breeding ground

One of the main reasons why mosquitoes come to your house isn’t because it’s very attractive-it’s because there is a breeding ground in the neighbourhood.

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water found in: old tires, clogged gutters, driveway puddles, empty flowerpots, unfiltered fish ponds and any other places that hold water for more than a few days.

To get rid of mosquitoes you should get rid of the stagnant water. You should use a broom to distribute the water stagnant water in small puddles. If you have large puddles you should use a siphon pump. You should also drain any water in tires and other areas.

If you can’t get rid of all the water you should use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI). This is a species of bacteria that kills mosquito larvae. The cool thing is that the bacteria are non-toxic to both children and pets.


Screens have been shown to be very effective in keeping the mosquitoes away. There are many brands of screens in the market and all you need to do is to buy the highest quality. As rule of thumb you should place the screens on the doors and windows.

How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs – Four Ways You Can Trust

Other insects, such as spiders, can cause bites, so how do you know you have bed bugs? You really have to be sure that you are infested before starting any type of treatment.

Most people will suspect they have them if they wake up with red bites on their arms or legs. It is common to see three bites in a row. The reason: the pest is following the same vein as it feeds.

This common bite pattern is also called breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You might think that you will be able to see the pests, however, it is not easy to see them as they like to hide within wall cracks, deep inside the mattress, under base boards and within electrical outlets, just to mention a few places.

If you are wondering how to see bed bugs in your bed, you can try flipping the mattress over very fast. They will look like apple seeds. If you going to try this, be sure to have the vacuum ready to scoop them up. You will be very surprised at how fast they can move.

So, how do you know if you have them? There are four broad ways of detection.

1) If you see the actual bugs, their eggs or their droppings.

2) By getting a pest control professional to inspect your home to confirm that you have them.

3) By using a detector

4) If you show signs of having been bitten by bed bugs

If you see them yourself…

– How big are they? The mature ones are about the size of an apple seed. They are brownish-red in color. And they have 6 legs.

– What color are their eggs? They are tiny, translucent and milky-white in appearance. You will need a magnifying glass and an LED flashlight to see them. They are usually attached in egg clusters to bed head boards and other solid surfaces.

– You see brownish spots on bed linen. This is common and caused by their fecal matter.

– You might also see shed skins on the bed or flooring

Inspection by a pest control professional…

– Try to get a licensed professional, one who uses a licensed bed bug sniffer dog.

Follow all the instructions they will give you to prepare for the dog’s visit.

The dog will zero in on areas that are infested. This will increase your chances of successful eradication by targeting these areas first when you start a treatment. A good dog handler will be testing the dog periodically by using live bugs.

These test bugs will be trapped inside sealed bottles and hidden throughout the house. This will avoid a bed bug dog false negative.

Inspection by this method can be very quick and accurate

Use detection devices…

There are products available that claim to detect, and prevent, the pests from crawling up the bed legs. For example, cup devices that are placed under each leg of the bed. The bugs cannot climb up smooth surfaces so they will fall into this jar-like device when they try to reach you in your bed.

As an alternative, you can also use plain glass jars.

You can make your own trap by using glue-boards (used for mice catching). Place these around the bed legs.

Some people have had success using two-sided carpet tape wrapped around the legs of the bed.

A word of caution here about traps: If you don’t trap any bugs, it doesn’t mean that they are not around. So don’t be fooled by a negative result.

If you show signs of having been bitten by bed bugs…

You might ask, what do bed bug bites look like? Most bites are large, raised, reddish and about the size of a quarter. If you don’t mind being alarmed, you might look on the Internet for pictures of them.

Do the bites itch? They certainly do. Try to avoid scratching them as they will only get more painful as a result.

But the bite test is definitely the ultimate one. It is the best answer to the question: how to tell if you have bed bugs.

Fleas, Ticks, External Parasites and The Treatment Are All Dangerous – Is There A Solution?

An external parasite is not always an animal (insect) it can also be in plant form. But all external parasites obtain nourishment usually by sucking the blood from another living organism called the host. There is no shortage of external parasites or shortages of the diseases caused by their attachment to the host.

Years ago, I owned a beautiful cat named Spooky. He wasn’t Spooky at all, in fact, he was a gentle animal. Spooky was born feral and my neighbor adopted his mother; Spooky, a baby kitten was then alone to live in the woods to survive.

I met Spooky when he was a “teenager” in cat years. I was outside sitting under a tree when I saw him run through the woods to my backyard. I felt he was starving. That night I placed a bowl of food and water near my porch.

Slowly over the next few weeks, I watched as he scurried up to the food, gulp it down, and ran back to the woods. My heart just filled with love for Spooky, he was beautiful and homeless. I wanted to help him. I had my dog Buffy and felt he needed a friend.

Each day after work I sat on the porch patiently waiting for Spooky go to the food bowl. And then one day he found it empty. Instead, I was there with the food in my hand. It was such a challenge, to help him learn that I was trustworthy.

Within three months Spooky was no longer an outside feral cat; he was my buddy; he and Buffy were soon friends. Spooky, now an inside domesticated cat needed an examination by a veterinarian.

I learned that he was healthy except for the fleas; I also learned that cats die a horribly painful death caused by external parasites that can carry deadly diseases. External parasites can transmit these diseases to pets and humans.

I left the veterinarians office with flea and tick medication, unaware of the harmful chemicals in these drugs; almost the same treatment I was using for Buffy. I applied the medications monthly as prescribed.

Have you had a pet die from these toxic medications? Beware how you treat your pet for external parasites. I have worked my Pet Business for three years, each day learning more about how harmful parasite medications are to pets.

Do you know that the same ingredients that we use to kill cockroaches are also in the flea and tick medications? And that’s what we give to our precious pets; it goes into their bloodstream to kill the external parasites.

There is a more humane natural method on the market and I talk to everyone about it every chance I get. My two dogs are healthy and external parasite free because of product I use to protect them from the bloodsucking parasites.

Yes, my dogs still have their veterinarian visits, but they don’t need the toxic medications. And their tails are happy and wagging.

Tips To Control Garden Pests Naturally

Planting vegetables and fruits in your own personal garden is becoming more and more popular these days especially with many households choosing to eat organic. By having your own organic garden you are able to see exactly what is going into your fruits and vegetables. This means no pesticides or herbicides and that you only use natural sources to fertilize your crops. One of the big complaints that are often voiced regarding organic gardening has to do with pest control. With that said this article will be speaking directly about insect pests that can adversely affect your fruits, vegetables and a lot more.

When it comes to organic pest control it is preferable to take a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. Before putting vegetables into the ground it is good practice to place some plants that naturally repel those harmful insects. For example marigolds are good at repelling aphids, nematodes and several other types of pests. Thyme has been known to ward off whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms and small whites. Fennel helps repel aphids, slugs, and snails. Chives are not only good to eat but they are known to keep Japanese beetles and carrot flies away from your garden. The beneficial plants mentioned are just a few of the many plants that can help you keeping your garden pest free. After these plants are in the ground go ahead and put your vegetables in the garden.

There are several types of insects that will prey upon the vegetable and fruits in your garden. The types and amounts of insects you get in your garden will largely depend on what geographic area you live in. Some insects will be more of an issue for people living in warmer climates where others will be more prevalent in the cooler environs. To name some of the most common garden pests we have ants, aphids, green vegetable bugs, worms and caterpillars, mealy bugs, spider mites, slugs and snails, squash bugs, stink bugs, thrips, and whitefly. The pests listed are just some of the annoying creatures that can destroy your garden if they are not kept in check. With organic gardening the main goal is to do your best to eliminate ants, bugs, etc pests to insure the highest possible crop yield. The next couple of paragraphs will outline some natural methods to controlling some of the garden pests listed above.

Unfortunately there are times when these pests just ignore the beneficial plants and will still end up attacking your precious vegetables. When this occurs it is time to take the reactive approach and hit them hard with some natural remedies. For the purpose of brevity let me share a few of my favorite DIY organic insecticides that you can create at home.

For example if you are having an issue with ants you can mix 10 drops of citrus oil with one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 cup of warm water. Shake well and spray over the effected area. This method worked for me last year to eradicate some pine needle worms that were attacking my conifers. The point here is that this concoction can be used to repel many different types of pests. Another mixture that is sure to upset those insects is to mix garlic, cayenne pepper and mineral oil. When making this mixture you take around 12 cloves of garlic and put them in a blender or food processor. Use a cheesecloth or strainer to remove any solid chunks of garlic that remain. Add the pureed garlic to a spray container with 4 tablespoons of mineral oil, and 1 or 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Shake properly and lit sit overnight. Also make sure to shake the container again before using. Its best to spray this mixture on your plants in the evening after the strong sun is gone. Word of advice when working with cayenne pepper or any strong pepper is to use gloves and keep the spray away from your face, especially your eyes. This mixture should work on a variety of insect pests that may be attacking your vegetables. If you find that none of these mixtures are fighting off those pests then you may want to search for remedies related to the specific pest you are battling.

If you are not 100% sure about the identity of the insect or pest that is eating your vegetables you can check out the pest control library online provided and run by the National Gardening Association. They have some great pictures to help you identify most nuisance insects. If you find yourself still stumped you can always send a photo of the bug or the actual bug itself to Cornell University’s Insect Diagnostic Lab. They will surely be able to identify that annoying garden pest so you will be best prepared to defend your garden.

The 3 Biggest Risks Associated With Wild Raccoons

Raccoons are a common presence in urbanized areas. Properties that are located near bodies of water, forests, and woods, also commonly experience nuisance raccoon problems. Although raccoons are truly innocent and fascinating mammals, they pose several dangers and should be controlled in a safe and humane way. If you still think raccoons are not a threat, continue reading to learn the top 3 biggest dangers raccoons pose to society.

1. People

The first and most significant risk posed by a wild raccoon presence on your property is the risk of harming people, especially children. Raccoons are known carriers of several viruses and infectious diseases, including serious ones like Rabies, leptospirosis, Distemper, and raccoon roundworm, as well as less serious ones, like lice, fleas, ticks, and more. Although raccoons do not generally bite or attack, they will if they are provoked. For instance, young children who may stumble upon a baby raccoon in the yard that they think is abandoned, but in actuality, the mother raccoon is nearby and ready pounce if she feels her pup is in danger.

2. Pets

Pets are often victims of raccoon attacks because they unintentionally provoke them simply by being curious and taking a sniff. This is why pet vaccinations are so vital for the safety of your dogs and cats. This includes vaccines for Rabies, leptospirosis, Distemper, Lyme disease, and raccoon roundworm. It is also vital to give your pet a flea, tick, and heartworm medication regularly.

3. Property

Raccoons are very clever, and they have excellent memories and problem solving skills. This is one reason why they are common offenders of attic and crawl space invasions. They can use their human-like paws to grasp, rip, and pry. They tear down attic insulation, chew up electrical wiring, soil floorboards and ceilings with their droppings, and more. However, even if raccoons cannot access the inner parts of a home or building, they can still cause a load of structural damages to a property. They will tear up lawns looking for grubs, wipe out gardens, pry off siding, rip off roof shingles, rummage through garbage cans, steal bird seed and pet food, and so much more.

Dealing With a Raccoon Problem

If you have a raccoon problem, you will need to take control by eliminating whatever it is that attracts them to your property. For example:

Only take the garbage cans out to the driveway on the morning of trash pickup day, do not leave pet food and other sources of food and water outside (bird baths, squirrel feeders, bird seed, pet food bowls, stored bags of pet food, etc.), installing motion lighting or sound machines to scare raccoons away, putting up fencing to protect your gardens, and eliminating shelter options like compost piles, log piles, pet houses, and more. You will also need to contact a licensed raccoon removal and control company to inspect your property and ensure there are no entry points for raccoons to enter.

Where To Look For Termites And How To Prevent An Infestation In Your Property

Termites are one of the most dangerous pests you can have in your property. They can cause more physical damage to your house and even in other natural and manmade structures in your property such as trees and wooden fences when compared to other types of pests. The structural damages they can cause can also cost any property owners thousands in dollars to have them repaired. These damages can sometimes even be irreparable.

Usual Breeding Grounds Of Termites

There are three areas that termites love to live in. Most termites are subterranean: this means that they burrow and live underground. They will create underground tunnel systems that connect their colonies to food sources above ground such as wood any wood materials found inside and outside your house.

Another type of termites love to live in or near areas water sources. They will make their abode in leaky faucets or in any area that is always damp. These places are the perfect breeding grounds for them since they will survive and thrive in areas that have high levels of moisture or dampness.

There are also termites that simply live in their main source of food: wood. You will find these termites living and multiplying in any material made of wood such as wooden walls, ceilings, fences, cupboards, cabinets and dressers.

Preventing A Termite Infestation In Your Property

If your property is still termite-free, there are several things you can do which are recommended by pest control experts to maintain this condition and prevent them from invading your home.

To start with, always inspect your home for any signs of leaky faucets or pipes. And if you do find one or more of these, have them repaired or replaced immediately. Check your house’s interior and outside as well for any area that is always damp. By following these tips, you can prevent termites from finding your home an appealing abode for them.

Never store firewood and other wooden materials inside or near your house. These items are the preferred food supplies of termites so never place them inside or even near your home.

If there are decaying or dead trees or stumps in your lawn, get rid of them immediately. These unhealthy trees and stumps are also food sources for termites and they will eventually live and breed in them if you don’t have them properly removed from your yard.

Finally, termites also love munching on mulches. As such, never place mulch areas near your house. Spread mulch only on parts of your lawn that are reasonably far from your house so that termites won’t eventually head to your home and infest it.