Household pest threats
Pests are more than annoying; they can pose serious risks to your health and property. Pest-o-Rest extensive training and advanced technology focus on attacking any pests already in your home and breaking the pest lifecycle to help control unwanted invaders in the future.
On the hunt for food, a single ant can lead the way for the entire colony to invade your home. The best way to control the problem is to find the nest and remove the queen.
Ants: Facts, Identification & Control
Ants are the number one pest problem in the country. Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behaviour can lead to big headaches for you and your home:
Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas.
Scent trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source.
Nest locations: They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations.
Colony size: Can number up to 300,000 to 500,000 and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened.
Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years and the queen may live as long as 15 years.
Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches only kill the ants you see. Some truly effective treatments can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.
Bed bugs can be easily transported and are often found hiding in fabrics in bedrooms and mattress covers. Their thin bodies allow them to hide in crevices and small opening. Best method for control is to contact a local pest control expert.
Latin Name: Cimex lectularius L.
Appearance: Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects about 3/16-inch long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal.
Habit: Cracks and crevices including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage.
Diet: Feed on blood.
Reproduction: Females can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live over 300 days.
Facts: Bed bugs (often misspelled as bedbugs) are small, nocturnal, wingless insects that belong to the family of Cimicidae. They feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts. They are oval in shape and grow up to 4-5mm long when fully grown. Their skin color is rust brown to a deeper red brown. Bed bugs are also known as "mahogany flats", "red coats" and "chinches." The adult bed bug does not have any wings and has a flattened body.
Bed Bugs Petri Dish
· Not only are they dorsoventrally flattened, but they are also thin which creates a great advantage for them. They can hide in unusual places such as behind baseboards, floor cracks, and under carpets or behind loose wallpaper, which makes them difficult to detect.
· Not only are they undetectable, but bed bugs also tend to stay close together and have a distinctively sweet, yet unpleasant smell. Blood spotting on mattresses and nearby furnishings are also signs of a bed bug infestation.
· Their bites can leave itchy, welts on the skin and can cause allergic reactions, such as severe itching.
· Bed bugs have existed since the ancient times and are found in temperate climates throughout the world. There are different types of bed bugs, but the common bed bug with a scientific name of Cimex lectularius, is adaptable to human environments.
· In tropical regions, including Florida, other visible kind of species called Cimex hemipterus, are also known to swarm among poultry and bats. Other places, such as West Africa and South America, are home to the Leptocimex boueti species that infests bats and humans. On the other hand, the species that are found among bats are called Cimex pilosellus and C. pipistrella.
· Since they can survive in birds' nests, they can be seen in houses and buildings that have several bird nests, particularly on rooftops. They are also known to feed on bats or household pets, but their typical source of nutrition is human blood.
· Bed bugs have a great worldwide distribution due to human travelers who transport luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Though they may reside in unusual places, they are also likely to be found in small cracks near a bed or in comforters and bed sheets.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs:
It’s possible to pick up bed bugs almost any place – they’ve infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms and countless other places we never would have imagined just 10 years ago. They can hide in your luggage, personal belongings, or even on you, and hitchhike a ride back to your home, condo, townhouse or apartment. Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to eradicate without the help of an experienced pest control professional.
A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness – you can pick them up in even the finest hotels, and they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.
Traveling: When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps to help avoid taking bed bugs home with you.
Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-coloured spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard, and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day, they are most likely found within a 5-foot radius of the bed.
Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind head boards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
In the House: When at home, follow these handy tips to help keep bed bugs at bay.
Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
Wash and dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
Closely inspect any second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your residence.
Inspect your residence regularly – after a move-in, a trip, a service worker comes in, or guests stay overnight.
Think You Might Have a Bed Bug Infestation?
Notify your local pest control provider immediately, or tell your property manager if you are renting. Bed bugs can multiply quickly so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation.
Cockroaches can spread germs, make allergies worse and multiply at a record-breaking speed.
Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war in cockroach control, here’s what you should know:
Entry: Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, purses and on our person!
Ideal environment: Your home is an ideal breeding ground most species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.
Reproduction: Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
Evasiveness: Because cockroaches are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day could mean they were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation.
Allergies/Asthma: The dust created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in children and sensitive individuals.
Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from insecticides. Without special equipment, materials and know-how, cockroach control can be a losing battle.
More homes are damaged by termites each year than by fire.
Termites are often called the "silent destroyer" because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your basement or yard without any immediate signs of damage. While each termite species thrives in different climates and eats different types of food, all termites require four things to survive — food, moisture, shelter and optimal temperature. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide these ideal conditions for termite infestation.
Termites are detrivores, or detritus feeders. They feed on dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees, including wood and wood in the soil. A termite's mouth is capable of tearing large pieces of food. This ability is what causes concern in human dwellings: while termites only measure approximately one centimeter in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property. House foundations, furniture, shelves, books, carpets and insulation are all possible feeding sites for termites.
Subterranean termite homes are usually formed in soil. Within these mounds, termites build elaborate tunnel systems and mud tunnels through which they access aboveground food sources. Drywood termites live within the wood they consume and oftentimes infest walls and furniture.
When a colony has matured, winged, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime. After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Home?
Since termites are a constant threat to your home, here are some things you can do during the year to help maintain the effectiveness of The Pest o Rest termite treatment plan. Small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan. Start by eliminating moisture conditions and food around your home. These simple steps make your home a less attractive target, helping deter termites.
Eliminate Moisture Problems
· Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and a/c units
· Divert water from foundation
· Keep gutters and down-spouts clean
· Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
· Get rid of standing water on roof
· Keep all vents clear and open
· Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
· Remove Food Sources
· Keep firewood, lumber, or paper away from foundation or crawl space
· Get rid of stumps and debris near house
· Place screens on outside vents
· Check decks and wooden fences for damage
· Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil
· Termite Warning Signs & Identification
Some indications you may have a termite infestation:
· A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home.
· Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
· Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
· Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces.
· Discarded wings from swarmers.
Find out how flies carry more than 100 pathogens that can cause dangerous diseases in humans and animals, such as typhoid, polio and tuberculosis--and how to control these pests.
More than 100 pathogens are associated with the house fly including: Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Shigella. These pathogens can cause disease in humans and animals, including: typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery, hepatitis, ophthalmia, polio, tuberculosis and infantile diarrhea. Sanitation is critical to controlling these pests, but accurate identification is essential for successful fly control.
Here are some other things you should know about flies and fly control:
· Depending on the species, the life expectancy of a fly is eight days to two months, or in some cases, up to a year.
· Flies belong to the Order Diptera, meaning two wings. There are 16,000 species of flies in North America.
· Flies plague every part of the world except the polar ice caps.
· One pair of flies can produce more than 1 million offspring in as little as six to eight weeks.
· As many as 33 million microorganisms may flourish in a single fly’s gut, while a half-billion more swarm over its body and legs.
· Flies spread diseases readily because they move quickly from rotting, disease-laden garbage to exposed human foods and utensils.
· Because they only have two wings, flies land often and therefore can deposit thousands of bacteria each time they land.
Because rodents multiply so quickly, just a few can lead to an out-of-control infestation before you know it.
Rodents’ instincts make them difficult to control, and they present a serious menace to your home. If you’re in need of rodent control services, here’s what you should know about these pests:
Instincts: Rats are instinctively wary of rat control measures such as traps and bait, and colonize in attics, burrows, under concrete and porches, in wall voids and other hard to reach places.
Disease: Rats can harbour and transmit a number of serious diseases. They can also introduce disease-carrying parasites such as fleas, lice and ticks into your home.
Access: They invade your home seeking food, water and warmth. Without mouse control intervention, one pair of mice may produce 200 offspring in four months.
Contamination: Each mouse can contaminate much more food than it eats.
Not only are their webs a nuisance around the house, but spiders can inflict painful, sometimes dangerous bites.
Latin Name: Class Arachnida
Appearance: Eight legs, no wings or antennae.
Habit: Some spiders like moisture and are found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of buildings. Others like dry, warm areas such as subfloor air vents, upper corners of rooms and attics. Hide in dark areas.
Diet: Feed on insects.
Reproduction: Produce an egg sac.
The threat of mosquito-borne diseases could affect your family and pets.
Heard High Pitched Buzzing of Mosquitoes?
We have all had to deal mosquitoes. The high pitched buzz tells us that we have mosquitoes nearby, and that we should beware since mosquito bites might not be far behind. Mosquitoes can chase us indoors during the best time of the year. Is there anything short of pitching a tent that you can do to take back your outdoor living space around your home?
Mosquitoes or Flies?
Mosquitoes can be confused with flies. Mosquitoes have long legs, and a long proboscis or “nose” that female mosquitoes use to “bite” people and pets to draw blood, needed to lay eggs. Most flies won’t bite and even long legged flies are usually much smaller than mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are pesky pests and can spread disease such as West Nile Virus, dengue, and malaria. Believe it or not, there are over 1,000 cases of malaria every year in North America. More commonly, though, mosquitoes threaten family events more than health.
Found in areas of high humidity, silverfish eat through paper and other items with high starch content.
Latin Name: Lepisma saccharina
Appearance: White to brown-grey or bluish-silver in color, silverfish are teardrop-shaped insects that measure up to one inch in length. Three long bristles on rear. Grow from egg to adult without visible change in appearance.
Habitat: Capable of thriving in most climates, silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.
Diet: Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Cellulose, shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects may be food sources. Some experts classify silverfish as most destructive pest of stored food. Have been found in un-opened food packages.
Reproduction: Silverfish undergo love dances prior to mating. Males lay spermatophores, which are taken into the ovipositor of female specimens. Females lay clusters of up to 50 eggs.
Predators: Centipedes, earwigs and spiders are known to feed on Silverfish.
Fleas feed on human blood through small bites in the skin. They can jump from your carpet up to your ankles and calves, and a female flea can produce up to 800 eggs during her lifetime.
Latin Name: Order Siphonaptera
Appearance: Small, wingless, about 1/12- to 1/6-inch long. Covered in spines with piercing mouth parts.
Habit: A parasite that attaches to a host.
Diet: Larvae feed on organic debris, particularly the feces of adult fleas, which contain undigested blood.
Reproduction: Eggs are not attached to the host. Eggs will hatch on the ground, in nests, carpet, bedding, upholstery or cracks in the floor. Most hatch within seven to fourteen days.
· Fleas are external parasites which can be found attached to the skin of their hosts. Adult fleas measure approximately 1/8-inch in length. Their bodies are shiny and reddish-brown in color. They are covered with microscopic hair and are compressed to allow for easy movement through animal fur. Fleas do not have wings, although they are capable of jumping long distances. They have three sets of elongated legs. Read more about what fleas look like.
· The cat flea is the most common flea in North America, although the dog, human, and sticktight fleas are also quite common. Fleas commonly attach themselves to dogs, cats, humans, chickens, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice and other domesticated or wild animals.
· The female flea lays her eggs on the surface hair of the host. Eggs then drop from the host and can infest carpets, bedding and furniture, hatching into larvae within 14 days. Flea larvae avoid light and feed on organic matter found within cracks and crevices. Usually within 18 days, larvae enter the pupal stage by constructing small, cocoon-like structures around themselves. Approximately two weeks later, adult fleas emerge and begin to search for food sources. Fleas establish large populations where pets and other animals, such as livestock, are present. Multiple treatment methods are often employed to eradicate a flea population.
· Pets suffering from flea bites scratch themselves incessantly. Fleas also feed on humans and some people exhibit flea allergies. Fleas may also carry human diseases such as typhus and tularemia.
Get Rid of Fleas: Flea Control
· Flea infestations require multi-faceted treatment plans. Addressing a pet's infestation or individual flea bites will not prove effective for ridding your home of fleas. Effective flea control should encompass both chemical and natural methods and should be conducted on your pet as well as inside and outside of your home. Of course the primary plan of action should be to examine your pet daily. Catching fleas early will hamper their effect on your pets and in your house.
· Fleas are not the only pests that can cause discomfort to your pet. Contacting your veterinarian and pest control professional will help you determine if the problem impacting your pet is fleas. They will encourage you before they arrive to ensure that your home is clean: vacuum thoroughly, sweep and mop hard-surfaced floors, wash all bedding and linens and clear the floor of debris.
· After taking these steps, your pest control professional will administer proper treatment to infested locations within and outside of your home. Your pest control professional may ask you to complete other tasks around your home in preparation for treatment. They can also help advise you on ways to prevent future flea incursions and the best shampoos once fleas are on your pets.
Ticks carry many serious diseases, including Lyme disease, encephalitis and typhus. They can live for over 500 days without a meal.
Latin Name: Ixodidae (describes most common ticks)
Appearance: Ticks vary in color by species. Adult ticks are smaller than a sunflower seed (1/8- to 5/8-inch long if engorged with blood), while nymphal (or immature) ticks are less than 1/16-inch. Common problem ticks include the American dog tick, deer or black legged tick and lone star tick.
Habit: Often found near wooded and highly vegetated areas. Some species require moisture to survive.
Diet: All females and males of most species feed on blood of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Reproduction: There are four stages in a tick’s lifecycle – egg, larvae, nymph and adult. Ticks have only six legs during their larval stage and eight legs during their nymphal and adult stages. They consume blood meals during all stages. Pathogens, or organisms that cause diseases in the animals they infect, can be passed through the stages of a tick’s life cycle.
Bees by their smooth, rather than hairy, bodies. Very protective of their nests, the will defend against invaders with painful stings. The common bee sting, while harmless to most people, can be very painful.
· Found globally, bees are winged insects of the super-family Apoidea, order Hymenoptera. There are more than 20,000 recorded bee species. Chalicodoma Pluto, the largest of these creatures, is reported to be 1.6 inches long, while Perdita minima, the most diminutive of bees, are only 0.07 inches long.
· Bees can be black or brown with red, yellow or lustrous blue stripes. Some bees are notable for their ability to collect substantial amounts of honey. All bees are hairy, a trait which is crucial to the collection of pollen. Flowers and flourishing vegetation usually indicate the presence of bees: there is no insect as important as the bee when it comes to pollination.
· Many female bee species have rows of bristles on their hind legs which form a hollow basket. When the bee lands on a flower, pollen grains are combed into the hollow basket and bristles. Cross-pollination occurs when the displaced grains of pollen are distributed to the fertile pistils of other flowers as the bee alights upon them.
· Although only females are able to transfer pollen, all bees are able to sip the nectar from flowers using a tongue-like organ. This nectar is their primary source of energy. Pollen is sustenance for both adult and larval bees, as it contains protein and other nutrients necessary to their survival. Bees possess an organ that converts nectar into honey, which is collected depending on the species inside the hive, or bee colony.
· While some bees are insular and solitary, species such as honey bees and bumblebees are tremendously social. Bee colonies are comprised of three castes: the queen bee, infertile female worker bees, and male drones. The queen mates and lays eggs for the span of her life. Queens can live up to five years, though most average a lifespan of two to three years. Male drones exist solely to fertilize the queen and die soon after having fulfilled their task. Female worker bees perform a multitude of tasks necessary to the survival of the hive. As a result of their constant labouring, their average life span is usually a mere six weeks.
Carpenter ants cut "galleries" into the wood in your home. Colonies can contain up to 50,000 workers, and infestations are very difficult to control. Carpenter ants may also be mistaken for termites.
Latin Name: Camponotus
Appearance: Among the largest ants, from 1/4- to 3/8-inch long. The most common species is black, but some have reddish or yellowish coloration. Workers have large mandibles.
Habit: Resides both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut "galleries" into the wood grain to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. Can leave "sawdust" behind that provides clues to nesting location.
Diet: Does not eat wood, but will feed on nearly anything people eat—particularly sweets and meats. Will also feed on other insects.
Reproduction: Queen lays 15 to 20 eggs the first year and up to 30 eggs the second year. Eggs complete their life cycle in about 60 days. Worker ants can live up to seven years, while a queen may live up to 25 years.
· Carpenter ants are large insects, ranging in size from 1/2-inch to one inch in length. They are most commonly black, but some carpenter ants exhibit both red and black coloration. They are common in many parts of the world.
· Carpenter ants are active year-round and can be found both indoors and outside. It is also common for carpenter ants to have to have an outdoor nest, appearing indoors only to obtain water or food.
· In nature, carpenter ants live in dead trees, rotting logs and tree stumps. They tend to build nests in deteriorating wood, but their colonies may extend to healthy wood, as well. In urban surroundings, carpenter ants will make their homes in telephone poles, house porch pillars and roofs, windowsills and wood that comes in contact with soil. Carpenter ants prefer to burrow into damp wood rather than dry wood.
· Carpenter ants burrow to provide a nest for their colonies, and over a long period of time, their burrowing may compromise a structure. In controlling an infestation of carpenter ants, it is necessary to first find the nest. Once found, it can be removed or treated chemically. All moisture conditions that the ants found conducive must be corrected.
· It is advisable to seek professional help in containing carpenter ant infestations, as incorrect procedures may allow the colony to "rebound" when surviving member resume their burrowing and foraging.
Depending on where you live, pests such as pill bugs, centipedes and scorpions can invade your home.
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