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How to Look for Termites When Searching for a New Home

termitesWhen touring homes to potentially buy, you may be focused specifically on the amenities and the ways you could make the house your own. But by just paying attention to that, you could be dealing with some serious issues beneath the surface.

Termites can ruin a house without the homeowner even knowing. But since they reside within the walls, it can be hard to spot them. Here are some things to look for.

Mud Tubes Around Your Home

When touring homes, pay close attention to the exterior foundation, the bottom and top of basement walls, and crawl spaces. Mud tubes along those areas are really easy to spot with the naked eye but do mean that there is a problem with termites. If you notice any tubes, ask the current owner if they’re aware of it and if they’d be willing to take care of the problem before you move in.

Weakened or Hollow-Sounding Wood

Termites tend to feed on the wood that sits beneath the surface making the structure hollow when you tap or knock on it. In every room you look at, take a few seconds to tap on the walls to see if you hear a hollow sound. If you do, chances are termites have eaten all of the wood that was once supporting the wall. The sound should raise a red flag in your mind significant issues with the foundation down the road.

Damage in Your Outdoor Wooden Features

Not only can termites cause issues inside of the home, but they can also cause extensive damage to the outside. If the home you’re looking at has a deck, a wooden fence, or even a wooden swing in the backyard, check to see if you notice any holes in the material. The holes usually mean that termites have eaten their way through the surface and are living inside of the wood.

Termites never sleep – they are always eating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because they never sleep, they can do a lot of major damage. If you’ve fallen in love with a house but there is a termite issue, determine with the seller how bad the problem is. Regardless of its severity, you must reach out to pest control services to get rid of pests and to prevent the issue from getting worse in the future. The exterminators will also be able to determine how bad the issue is, so you can always call them in before putting money down on the home.

4 Ways to Prevent Bed Bugs in Your Hotel

get rid of pestsIf you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you may have taken that extra step when getting to your room for the first time to check the bed for bed bugs.

Many people lift up the sheets and check under the covers for signs of the creepy crawlies. But hotel owners can prevent their guests from having to do so in the first place. Here’s what can, and needs to, be done.

Don’t Ignore Bed Bug Comments
If one or a few of your guests complain that their room has been infested, don’t take it lightly. Bed bugs are serious as they can do harm to your guests. In fact, bed bugs feed on the blood of humans (though some species have a taste for other mammals and birds, too) by inserting a sharp proboscis, or beak, into the victim’s skin. The critters become engorged with blood in about 10 minutes, which fills them up for days. When you hear of a bed bug complaint, address the situation immediately and be prepared to check every other room in your hotel. When the pests are in one room, chances are their friends have traveled to others down the hall.

Work With an Expert
If you think that taking a room out of operation for a few weeks is going to get rid of the bed bugs naturally, you’re wrong. To fully get rid of them you need to work with a team of exterminators that know how to get rid of pests. They will only take the room out of operation for a few days, which is also good news for you as a business. You also won’t have to worry about the issue occurring as the pest control services will use tools to prevent the bugs from coming back.

Train Your Staff to Identify Bed Bugs
While the bugs themselves may be hard to stop, the traces of them are pretty identifiable. Train your cleaning and management staff to look for brown or red streaks on the bedding, skin sheddings, and marks on their own bodies. While the streaks could have been from a scratched mosquito bite, a lot of marks typically mean the bed bugs pooped or burst and left their remains.

Bring Professionals in to Get Rid of Pests on a Regular Basis
Even if you’re not having an issue with bed bugs currently, have a team of professionals come in on a regular basis just to check. They can prevent any problems from happening in the future and catch things you may have missed. It’s always a good idea to have a second opinion every once in a while.

As a hotel owner, you should make it a priority to get rid of pests in your guest rooms. Bring someone in regularly to check for pests, train your staff to look for bugs, and pay attention to all incoming guest comments.

pest control

Signs You Need to Call a Pest Control Service

Unless you love bugs and termites taking over your home, you probably want to do whatever you can to get rid of them. But the presence of pests and rodents might not be as obvious as you think.

 

While one bug sighting might not mean much to you, once you’ve seen one, there are probably more hiding around. As soon as you see your first bug, call pest control services to prevent a problem from getting much worse. Explain that you’ve only seen one pest, but you’d like them to come over and check to see if there is a larger issue.

 

Bugs and rodents are notorious for causing property damage. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your walls, roof, and floor and check for any potential damage. Pests such as termites will eat through your walls, so if you start noticing any holes, reach out to your local pest control service. It’s likely that there’s a large troop of termites lingering around. The pest control service will inject a chemical into your walls and soil around your home and kill all existing termites. That chemical will also prevent any others from coming into your home. Each year, about $2 billion dollars is spent to prevent or treat termites.

 

Another sign that you need to reach out to exterminators is the sight of urine or droppings. Look in your kitchen for wet spots that didn’t come from washing dishes. Pest droppings will be very small and might look like ground black pepper, so be careful of that. As soon as you notice anything that you think might be coming from a bug or rodent, call an affordable pest control to get it checked out.

 

No one wants bugs or rodents in their home, so it’s important to make sure you’re aware of potential signs. If you notice urine or droppings, damage to your walls and foundation, or just one bug, call your local exterminator immediately.

How to Tell If Your Home Is Infested with Bed Bugs

exterminatorsEven if you keep your home spotless, there’s a chance you could experience a bed bug incident. So how do you know if these tiny creatures are lingering around in your house? Here’s what you should look out for.

Bites
This is one of the easiest ways to determine if you actually have bed bugs or not. The pests will bite you while you’re asleep or laying on your bed, so check your body every morning. Common bed bug symptoms are flat or raised red welts appearing in groups on your face, feet, back, etc. It is worth mentioning that not every individual will react to a bed bug bite so it is good to know what other signs you can look for.

Blood
Keep an eye out for rusty-colored, reddish-looking streaks, stains, and smears on your bedding. This sign can be easily dismissed but can be really easy to spot on lighter-colored sheets. When you move in your sleep and you have bed bugs, you might unknowingly squash a bug with an undigested blood meal. But similar to the bites, these bloodstains might not actually be from bed bugs. They could have simply come from a mosquito bite that you scratched while in dreamland.

Bed Bug Exoskeletons
Look for any clear, empty exoskeletons that kind of look like popcorn kernels. If you didn’t have popcorn recently, there’s a good chance you’re not finding snacks on the ground. When a bed bug hatches and grows, they shed their skin.The skin will look like a clear, kernel-like bead and can be found on box springs, wooden furniture, and framing.

Bed bugs are nothing to mess around with. If you notice them around, reach out to your exterminators immediately. The exterminators will be able to get rid of bed bugs for you so you don’t have to worry about getting bitten or having your sheets ruined anymore. While 68% of pest control workers in 2015 said that bed bugs were the most difficult pest to control, they have the proper tools and skills to do so.

Fecal Stains
Fecal stains are a dead giveaway for a bed bug problem. Fecal stains are small black dots that will look like someone poked the area with a sharpie. If bed bugs are present you will often find fecal stains in the seams of the mattress and box frame, around wood bed slats, and in other cracks and crevices around the bed area.

 

 
termites

5 Warning Signs You Have a Termite Infestation In Your Home

You would want to get rid of termites right away if you found out you had them in your home, right? Look out for these warning signs so you know you might have destructive, uninvited guests in your home.

Clicking sounds

Termites actually make a sound when they are eating away at the structure of your home. They are either banging their heads against the wood, or they are shaking their bodies, and that’s what makes the clicking sound.

Hard to close doors and hard to open windows

Usually, these are just an indicator of damp or hot weather. However, doors and windows that are hard to open and close can be a sign of termites. They create a high humidity environment inside their galleries, causing the frames to warp. Elements of construction that have moisture problems are also at a higher risk of future termite infestation.

Exit Holes

Subterranean Termite exit holes are most commonly observed on walls, window frames, ceilings, and siding. Look for small holes with dirt protruding from them. The areas around these exit holes are often soft.  

Swarmers

Reproductive termites have wings while other termites in the colony do not. They are attempting to leave and start new colonies elsewhere. You will often find them congregated in mass, dead or alive. Keep an eye out for their wings too, they lose them after they have mated.

 

It can be easy to confuse flying ants with termite swarmers. The two biggest differences are the wings and body shape. Termite swarmers have the cigar shaped body with two sets of wings that are of equal length. Flying ants will have a pinched waist and one pair of wings will be smaller than the other.

Hollow wood

As most people know, termites eat wood from the inside out. They leave a thin layer of wood or even just the paint. It can be hard to discover the infestation because you can’t really see it on the surface. Some people report finding the problem because their vacuum cleaner went through the skirting board or their fingers pressed through a door frame.

In the spring of 2017 alone, 6.32 million people said they lived in a household that planned to initiate pest control services within the next 12 months in the United States. If you notice any of these signs above, you may have termites. It’s essential that you have exterminators come in right away to inspect so you can avoid potentially hazardous and expensive damage to your home.

4 Tips for Preventing Pests in Your Workplace

eliminate pestsIf you own a home, you’re probably familiar with pests creeping in throughout the year. But homes aren’t the only places pests can invade. If you’re a homeowner and a business owner, you have two locations to worry about.

Pests can not only be a huge pain in general, but can also impact the health of your employees. So, do you want to eliminate pests in your business? Here are some tips.

Clean Up After Yourself

While messes are sometimes inevitable, do what you can to clean up after yourself. Say you offer your employees pizza and wings every Friday afternoon. Once everyone is done eating, wipe down the countertops, get rid of the garbage, and vacuum up any crumbs on the floor. Neglecting to clean up properly may give pests and rodents an excuse to enter the building, even if the mess is extremely small.

Get Everyone On the Same Page

Even if you’re picking up the crumbs and throwing out the trash, your office as a whole needs to get on board and help you out. They can keep their cubicles or office spaces clear from any left-out food and clutter. Assign each person a task each week, like wiping down the counters, to try and get everyone involved.

Seal Any Cracks

If you notice any cracks in the walls or near entryways, make sure you seal them immediately. Those are the perfect entrances for bugs, so if you’re hoping to eliminate pests, closing their walkways is a big help. The tiniest of cracks and holes can be used as entry points for bed bugs and termites, so don’t let those go unnoticed. Termites never sleep — they eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means preventing them from entering your business is crucial.

Keep the Humidity Down

If you notice that your office is damp and cool, consider a dehumidifier. Pests and rodents tend to thrive in areas that are damp and cool, so keeping your space dry will steer them away. It will also help prevent your employees from coming down with any illnesses.

If you’re a business owner, your office space and employees are just as important as your home and family. Keep both spaces and the people who inhabit them safe by preventing rodents and pests from entering. If you’re having major issues, reach out to exterminators for additional help to eliminate pests.