Month: April 2014

Termite Swarmers inside your home?

If you have termites swarming in your home, track down where there are coming from and quarantine them off from getting into any other part of your home. Do not spray the termites with any chemicals. It will alarm them and the termites can retreat to other parts of your home.

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My home is brand new! I couldn’t possibly have termites…

Your home might be new construction but has it been properly treated to prevent termites? You’d be surprised how often we find newly constructed homes with a termite infestation. It could be because the lumber was sitting for a long time on the ground before it was used to put up a wall and termites got into that pile of lumber. FYI: In one (1) single acre of land, there could be as many as twelve (12) different colonies of termites. In one single colony of termites, there could be as many as two million members of that colony foraging around trying to find a food source. Be sure to have your home inspected once a year for termites. Prevention and early detection is your best defense against termites. 

Bed Bug

The common bed bug has long been a pest. It feeds on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human host. They are considered to be a public health pest, although they are not known to spread or transmit diseases.

The recent increase in bed bugs in the United States may be due to more traveling, lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, and an increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides. The good news is that there are ways to control bed bugs and the first step in both prevention and control is knowing what to look for. While there is no chemical quick fix, there are effective strategies to control bed bugs involving both non-chemical and chemical methods.

Bed bugs are small in size size. They can stay hidden very well, making it difficult to find and identify bed bugs. Although it’s helpful to know what they look like, a more accurate way to identify a possible bed bug infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. When cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for the following:

-Reddish-brown stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
-Dark spots (approximately this size: •) are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a black marker would.
-Live bed bugs.

When they are not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Look around the mattress and box springs. They can be found near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and in cracks of the bed frame as well as the headboard.

If a room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains, drawer joints, electrical receptacles and appliances. Bed bugs can also be found under loose wall paper and wall hangings.

Suggested Cleaning methods when dealing with Bed Bugs:

-Place all clothing, linens, shoes, coats, pillows, in large, clear plastic bags
-Take down all things hanging on walls such as clocks, picture frames, posters, etc
-All clothes and plush items should put into a HOT dryer for 1/2 hour
-Separate cleaned items from items that have not been checked or cleaned
-Personal belongings should remain in bags until they can be inspected
-Room should be emptied of all belongings, and floors vacuumed
-The mattress, box spring(s), and bed frame should be vacuumed thoroughly
-Buy and install certified “bed bug” covers for the mattress and box spring(s)
-Non-porous furniture, floors, and walls should be washed with warm soapy water.
-Wash in and around any steam or hot water radiators (do NOT wash electric baseboard heat).

It’s termite season in East Texas

 

Termites cause most of the structural damage in East Texas. Termites are social insects that have colonies subdivided into three groups: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Each of these groups have distinct physical and behavior characteristics.

Termites feed on any cellulose material, such as roots, paper, and cardboard.  They are important to our ecosystem since they decompose cellulose.  However, subterranean termites become economic pests when they invade our residential and commercial structures. Subterranean termites live in colonies underground and can have up to 2 million termites in one single colony.  These insects have an extensive tunneling system underground that allows them to carry food resources back from a food source into the colony. Termite infestation can be detected by the presence of mud tubes, damaged wood, and the swarming of winged termites inside of the home or structure.  Termite damage may also appear on or around door frames and window sills as well as baseboards.

It’s always a good idea to have a termite inspection done once a year on your home to make sure that if there are any signs of damage, it can be treated sooner than later.

Things to look for and to remove away from your home are the following:

  • Stumps, scrap wood, grade stakes, foam boards, cardboard boxes, and newspapers found around structures should be removed.
  • Firewood, landscape timbers, compost piles should not be stored around foundations.
  • Minimize moist areas by grading the soil and installing gutters to allow water to drain away from the building.
  • Do not allow shrubs, vines, tall grasses and other dense vegetation to grow against structures.  Thick vegetation makes it hard to inspect for termite activity, and these plants tend to trap moisture.
  • Use mulch sparingly and do not allow the mulch to contact wood siding or framing of the doors/windows around the structure.