Selecting A Pest Control Professional
- What should a homeowner look for when selecting a pest control professional?
- If you hire a pest control professional, are you guaranteed a pest-free home? Pest control companies differ in their guarantees. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary. It is important that homeowners remain active participants before, during, and after all pest control treatments. This type of vigilance helps the homeowner better understand their contract and possible guarantee and helps the Pest Management Company understand the homeowner’s expectations.
I have little tiny bugs coming from my potted plants. Can I spray for these?
This occurs often in plants and unfortunately there are no sprays or products that will get rid of these bugs. These pests are breeding in the soil as a result of moisture and sometimes as a result of the soil being old. The easiest thing to do that usually takes care of the problem is to simply repot the plant with fresh soil.
I have roaches in my home and have tried sprays and bombs and these don't seem to be working. What else can I do?
Cockroaches can be very difficult to control because so many things can contribute to their survival such as food, water and shelter. Aerosol bombs are not very effective in controlling cockroaches however proper placement of the other materials is the key to success. Nixtermite service professionals can assist in controlling cockroaches as well as other pests.
We have bugs in our house. Can I get something to spray that is child friendly but will get rid of the bugs?
In order to control and/or eradicate the insects you must first eliminate their food sources, nesting areas (if any), entry points, etc. With the Nixtermite STEPS Total Protection System, our IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach identifies not only the pests but the true cause of the problem. We will then treat in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and help prevent any future recurrence
I have bees drilling holes in my house. What can I do and will they sting?
The bees you are describing sound like carpenter bees. They bore into wood to nest and lay eggs. They are not very aggressive, and the male (white spot on face) does not sting. There isn’t a lot that can be done to prevent this from happening however it is important to treat the holes and then seal them as the bees will reuse the holes each year.
I am a current Nixtermite customer. Does your quarterly service control fleas and ticks?
The materials that we use would have some impact on fleas and ticks, however the places that we apply these materials may not be where the ticks or fleas are located or nesting. Please contact your Nixtermite Service Center and they should be able to modify your service to include treating for fleas and ticks when necessary.
I have roaches but I keep a clean house. Why do I still see them?
Having a clean house will not eradicate roaches entering your home since they are looking for food, shelter and water to survive. If it is a larger cockroach you are seeing, they are coming from the outside to the inside, through windows or doors that might not be sealed properly when shut, or through attics, basements, etc. If it is the smaller German cockroach, they can be brought in on groceries, bags, furniture, etc.
What are termites?
Termites are wood-destroying insects. Their presence dates back to the dinosaurs. While they play an important role in nature, experts estimate they cause $5 billion of property damage each year.
Are there different kinds of termites??
Yes, the three major kinds of termites in the United States are dampwood, drywood and subterranean. Dampwood termites commonly live in heavily forested areas of the country as they prefer wet wood; while, drywood termites, much more rare in the United States, prefer extremely dry wood. Subterranean termites require moist environments, live mainly in the soil and are the most destructive species.
How do you recognize termites?
Depending on your geographical location, termite swarms should be visible in the early spring. Termite swarms can be confused with flying ants. Telltale signs of termite infestation include soft wood in the home, mud tubes in the interior or exterior of your home (often near the foundation), and darkening or blistering of wood structures.
How much damage do termites cause?
The truth is there are two kinds of homes: those that have had termites and those that will get them. Termites work 24 hours/7 days a week at damaging the wood in and around a structure. And, while they cause $5 billion in damage each year, there is no reason to think that termites cannot be controlled.
When does a homeowner see termites?
Termites swarm in the early spring, depending on their geographical location.
What can a homeowner do to prevent termites?
The most important thing is to remove the conducive conditions termites need to survive. Termites love moisture; avoid moisture accumulation around the foundation of your home. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering vents. Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the building was constructed. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building. Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal. It doesn’t hurt to routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.
Does homeowners insurance cover termite damage?
Homeowners insurance does not cover termite damage.
How are termites controlled?
A Nixtermite pest control professional will come in and treat the problem so that you can live comfortably in your home.
What is the most effective type of termite treatment?
Nixtermite and the entire industry are committed to providing highly effective treatment options for all pest issues. The most effective type of treatment depends upon the severity of the infestation, the species of termite, and the location and construction of the home or building. Our trained and licensed pest control operators can assess each infestation separately and recommend a rigorous treatment plan that will effectively control the termite population.
How difficult are termites to treat?
Termites are nearly impossible for homeowners to treat on their own however, Nixtermite pest control professionals have the training, expertise and technology to eliminate termite infestations.
How much does a termite treatment cost?
They can range anywhere from $800 to $1,800 dollars, depending on where you live, the construction of your home, severity of the infestation, and the type of treatment recommended. Nixtermite will provide you with a free home evaluation.
Are these products dangerous to kids and pets?
All professional pest control products have been registered for use by the EPA. When they are applied according to label instructions by service professionals who have been trained and licensed to use them, they pose virtually no risk.
Why should someone hire a professional instead of attempting to control their pest problems by themselves?
Just as you wouldn’t prescribe medicine for yourself or drill your own cavities, you shouldn’t attempt to control termites or other pests on your own. The products and the expertise offered by Nixtermite trained professionals far surpass what a homeowner could do on their own. Leave it up to our experts for peace of mind. Why risk it?
How long does a termite treatment typically take?
Termite treatments typically will take no more than a day.
Are termites active above ground and/or below ground in the winter months?
Termites are less active in the winter but are still present in the soil. They actually move lower in the soil to avoid the colder temperature at grade or turf levels. If termites have already gained access to a home, they will continue to forage for cellulose but at a slower pace.
Pests, Pest Control & Asthma
What's the connection between pests and asthma in children? Could you explain it?
Cockroaches and rodents contain allergens that aggravate existing asthma in children.
How does pest control (commonly called exterminating) help alleviate asthma?
Proper pest control will help prevent or remove pests that can trigger asthma. Nixtermite service professionals can inspect the home for these pests, treat to get rid of them and provide homeowners tips to prevent reinfestation.
What are cockroach/mouse allergens? What is it in these pests that causes the problem?
Allergens include pest “frass,” or carcasses, feces, and other debris.
What happens after you control the pests? If the frass is left behind, won't it pose a health risk also?
The residual frass is still an allergen, even after the pests are removed. Nixtermite service professionals can remove the frass as well.
What types of pests are included in the stinging insect category?
Several pests are included in this category. The most well known are bees, wasps and hornets. Some species of ants, such as fire ants, are included in this category as well.
Are stinging insects considered public health threats?
Stinging insects send half a million people to the emergency room each year. Although they are not labeled as public health threats, like mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus, they are certainly dangerous. Homeowners who suspect a stinging insect infestation should not attempt to control the infestation by themselves.
What time of year are stinging insects at their peak?
Stinging insects are at their peak during the warmer summer months.
Why shouldn't homeowners try to control stinging insects without the help of a trained professional?
Many types of stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, are social insects. They will sting to protect themselves and members of their colony. The insects give off pheromones, which cause other members of the colony to react as well. The chaotic reaction is too dangerous for a homeowner to address alone.
What will a professional do to control stinging insects?
The first step in controlling any pest is to identify it correctly. There are many kinds of beneficial flies that closely resemble wasps, and there are many kinds of “solitary” wasps, such as sand wasps, which also look exactly the same as yellow jackets, but pose a lower hazard. After the type of pest is identified there are a variety of control methods that a professional could take. Arrow’s service professionals use an approach called integrated pest management, or IPM. This approach involves removing the pest’s food, water and shelter. In the case of stinging insects, this could involve cleaning up your yard and sanitizing outdoor areas. Our professional will use appropriate steps and approaches to addressing the particular type of infestation. Vacuuming is a new technique in stinging insect control.
Can stinging insects also be a property threat?
Certain species of stinging insects can pose a large property threat. Carpenter bees are wood-destroying insects that can cause serious structural damage if not caught in time and properly controlled.
What can a homeowner do to avoid an unwanted encounter with a stinging insect?
Homeowners can take a clue from the professionals and practice integrated pest management to avoid stinging insects and other types of pests. Again, it is important to consult a Nixtermite pest management professional to address an infestation correctly.
What are some tips to deal with stinging insects?
Be aware of stinging insect nesting areas, and use extreme caution when around them. Stinging insects can build their nests in attics, crawlspaces, building corners, under gutters, and under patios or decks. Seal exterior cracks and crevices to prevent insects from entering a structure and building nests. Stinging insects are attracted to open garbage cans and exposed food. Cover all food when outdoors. Be sure to keep tight fitting lids on garbage cans and empty them regularly. When spending time outdoors, avoid excessive use of fragrances, which can attract stinging insects. If you have an allergic reaction to an insect sting, seek medical attention immediately.
Bed bugs have been all over the news lately. Has there really been resurgence in bed bugs in the U.S.?
Bed bugs have been all over the news because there HAS been an increase in bed bug infestations. Pest control companies who received 1 or 2 bed bug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week! According to research conducted by the National Pest Management Association bed bug reports have increased 71% from 2000 to 2005.
Why are bed bugs back?
The bed bug resurgence is being attributed to the dramatic increase in world travel. The ban on DDT is also thought to be an attributing factor. DDT was often used to treat for bed bugs before it was officially banned in 1972.
Are bed bugs a real problem?
Yes – they are a real problem! Bed bugs are resilient pests that are known for their superior hitchhiking abilities. They can travel easily from room to room within a house or from hotel to home via suitcases. They are extremely difficult to remove and require the precision and experience of an experienced pest professional to entirely eliminate an infestation.
Are bed bugs just in beds?
Bed bugs are not just in beds. They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames. In other words, they can live pretty much anywhere.
Where have you been finding the bed bugs?
These pests are not limited to any one specific type of dwelling. Pest control companies have been reporting the infestations in homes, multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, college dorms and even hospitals.
What states have been affected?
Pest control companies have reported bed bug activity on a national scale. Bed bugs are being found from the East to the West Coast; and everywhere in between. It has become a very widespread problem.
Why are bed bugs an issue for hotels, visitors, and homeowners?
Bed bugs only feed on blood and their bites can cause an allergic reaction in most people, leaving itchy, bloody welts on the skin. These welts can take up to 12 days to appear, although most reactions are seen immediately. Adult bed bugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control and a single female bed bug produces up to 500 offspring in her lifetime. Once inside a hotel or home, bed bugs spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bed bugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests in an infested room may end up moving to another room. Bed bugs can also be transported from location to location through its eggs. Bed bug eggs are whitish and are often no bigger than a pinhead. When eggs are freshly laid, they are sticky and adhere to surfaces easily.
Why are bed bugs so hard to treat?
Bed bugs are VERY elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. Bed bugs are also equated with filth or sanitation problems, which is NOT true. They are often found in clean homes in other areas besides the bed. They can also live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to almost 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bed bug infestations?
To prevent bed bug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing-shake clothes out outside and vacuum suitcases before bringing them in the house. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag immediately. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a Nixtermite local service center. This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.
How does one control bed bugs?
Any effective bed bug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough home evaluation by Nixtermite. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures. With Nixtermite STEPS Total Protection System, our trained bed bug control professionals will inspect to pinpoint pest issues, identify not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem and develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.
What do bed bugs look like?
They are reddish brown, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and can be likened to an apple seed. See our pest guide for more information on bed bugs.
With summer being the most popular months for travel do you have any suggestions for vacationers to avoid bed bugs?
Although bed bugs derive their name from their tendency to live in beds, they can be found in carpets, under wallpaper, behind baseboards, and in small cracks and crevices throughout a room.
A few tips for travelers to avoid a bed bug infestation are:
• At hotels, pull down the bed covers at night. If you see something moving, or if you see spots on the sheets, move to another room or switch hotels.
• Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. If any pests are spotted, change rooms or establishments immediately.
• After traveling, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Consider vacuuming them thoroughly to remove any suspicion of pests.
What can travelers do if they find themselves in an infested room?
Guests who see signs of an infestation or have physical bites should report their concerns to hotel management immediately and request a different room. Hotels across the country have been very proactive in working to prevent and treat bed bug infestations. Should you be in a room with bed bugs, hotel management has proven to be quite amenable to guests’ requests to change rooms and floors. Do not hesitate to contact them about this problem.