Common Household Pests: Bed Bugs

bedroomYou may have heard a lot recently about bed bug problems in different hotels. However, bed bugs have been around for thousands of years. They feed on blood, but do not spread any diseases to humans. Some people can be allergic to their bites. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is not easy, but there are steps you can take to control the problem. Read on to find out more about controlling bedbugs in your home.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects that are reddish brown in color and about one quarter inch long. They hide during the day on beds (mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, headboards) and in crevices and cracks of walls, furniture, and floors. They come out at night. These bugs do not fly or jump, but can crawl rapidly.

How can bed bugs get into my home?

Bed bugs can come from other infested areas, or from used furniture. They can hitch a ride in purses, backpacks, or luggage. They can also travel between rooms in multi-unit buildings, such as apartment complexes or hotels.

How can I avoid bringing bed bugs to my home?

When you are staying in a hotel, keep your bag on a suitcase stand rather than on the bed or the floor. Keep the rack away from walls or furniture. When you are returning home, wash the clothes from your trip and put them in a hot dryer. It is also important to inspect new and used furniture before you bring it inside. Look in seams, tufts, and under cushions.

How do I know I have a bed bug problem?

You will see the bugs themselves, or shed skins, or the droppings in mattress seams and other items in a bedroom. There may also be blood stains on the sheets.

How do I control a bed bug problem in my home?

It can be done, but it usually requires an “integrated pest management” approach. This combines techniques that pose the lowest risk to your health as well as the environment. Try the following strategies:

  • Clean and rid your room of clutter
  • Move your bed away from walls or other furniture
  • Vacuum molding, windows, and floors every day. Vacuum sides and seams of mattresses, box springs, and furniture. Empty the vacuum or the bag immediately and dispose of it outside
  • Wash sheets, pillow cases, blankets, and bed skirts and then put them in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Seal cracks and crevices and any openings where pipes or wires come into the house.

If you do these things, you will rid your home of bed bugs before you know it. Bed bugs are a very common problem, but they’re not too difficult to get rid of if you know the proper techniques. Remember that bedbugs are not a significant harm to your health, but their bites are painful and annoying, and nobody wants to sleep with bugs.

For more information,talk to a Las Vegas Pest Control specialist for more information.

Principles of Integrated Pest Management

las vegas pest controlLas Vegas pest control  is a member of integrated pest management and supports it completely. Integrated pest management is a great way to make sure that pests are removed in the best possible way, but also with the smallest harm to you.  Today we have some interesting ways to help you understand what integrated pest management is and how you can incorporate it into your daily life.

Grow a healthy crop

The focus of integrated pest management is on cultural practices that are aimed at keeping your crops healthy. Selection of varieties that are resistant or tolerant to pests is an important aspect. Attention to soil, nutrient and water management is part of growing a healthy crop. Many integrated pest management programs adopt a holistic approach and consider a wider range of agro-ecological parameters related to crop production.

Managing the agro-ecosystem

It is important to do this in such a way that your pests remain below economic damaging levels, rather than attempt to eradicate the pest. Prevention of the pest build up and encouragement of natural mortality of the pest is the first line of defense to protect the crop. Non-chemical practices are used to make the field and the crop inhospitable to the insect pest species and hospitable to their natural enemies and to prevent conditions favorable to build up weeds and diseases.

Apply external inputs 

External inputs may include predators or parasites, labor to remove the pest manually, pest attracting lures, pest traps, or pesticides. The choice of external input varies for each situation. Pesticides are generally used if economically viable pest control is not available, or fails to control the pest. These are applied only when field monitoring shows that a pest population has reached a level that is likely to cause a positive effect on net farm profits. Selection of products and applications techniques should aim to minimize adverse effects on non-target species.

Different groups use different interpretations of IPM. Claims of individual pesticide companies that products are IPM-compatible, or fit in IPM strategies do not imply that an IPM strategy is actually pursued. IPM is broader than any rationalization of pesticide use, such as stretching intervals of of calender-based applications, or limiting number of applications by observing economic levels.

If you have any questions about integrated pest management, talk to our professionals today. We have all the tools you need to help you on your way to getting rid of pests, and doing it in a way that will harm your home and family as little as possible. We provide tools to you and your home for removal of pests.

Our pest control in Las Vegas specialists know just how to control problems for you and keep your home pest free. For immediate service, or if you believe you have a pest problem in your home, contact us today. We can help you understand what you need.

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Keeping Mosquitoes Away

mosquitoNobody likes the redness, swelling, and uncontrollable itchiness that comes with a mosquito bite. Because of this, many people turn to store bought insect repellents to keep the mosquitoes away, but these repellents often contain a toxic pesticide that is dangerous to health. This pesticide is known as DEET. Heavy exposure to DEET has been linked to many health problems, and is particularly toxic to children. Read on to find out more about controlling mosquitoes in a natural way.

Homemade citronella candles

Citronella essential oil is one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents in the world, and one of the best ways to take advantage of this wonderful oil is in candles. These candles are easy to make, all natural and will release an aroma that keeps mosquitoes away. Place a few candles around your patio or garden and create a mosquito proof barrier.

Lavender

Lavender is loved by humans all over the world, but mosquitoes are not fans. To keep mosquitoes out of your home, add a drop of lavender to some ribbon and place it around open windows. The mosquitoes will think twice about entering.

Lavender body oil

Adding 30 drops of lavender essential oil to two tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil will help if you rub it on exposed skin. Not only will you smell great, but mosquitoes will not land on you.

Mosquito repellent sunscreen

Getting sunscreen that has mosquito repellent is multi-purpose. It protects from harmful UV sun rays like any good sunscreen, but it also repels bugs and mosquitoes. On top of that, it’s all natural and contains no toxic chemicals found in many over-priced store-bought sunscreens.

Throw some rosemary on the barbecue

Mosquitoes often strike while we are barbecuing, but this simple trick will turn your barbecue into a natural mosquito repellent. This also adds a delicious flavor to your food. Throw some stalks of rosemary on the hot coals to give a mosquito repelling aroma.

Plant mosquito repelling plants

There are many plants that have mosquito repellent properties. Some examples are citronella, lavender, and catnip. Plant these in flower beds or containers placed around your garden to keep mosquitoes away.

Eat more garlic

This will repel mosquitoes, but it may also repel your friends too. After eating a lot of garlic, garlic oil is gently released from your pores. This garlic oil acts almost like a barrier between your skin and mosquitoes.

Doing these things are the most natural ways to keep mosquitoes away from you and your home. If you do this, you will find that mosquitoes are gone and you’re much happier. Most of these remedies smell a lot better than mosquito repellents, anyway.

If you have any questions about keeping mosquitoes away from your home or yard, talk to our pest control specialists in Las Vegas. We have everything you need to keep mosquitoes away from your home.

For more mosquito-repelling tips, click here.

 

Getting Rid of Pests: Ants

las vegas pest controlIf you have never encountered ants in your school, home, or office, you are among the lucky few. But, if you’re like most people, you’ve fought your fair share of battles against these annoying pests, whether it’s a nest of pavement ants in your garage, or a parade of house ants marching across your kitchen counter. Ants are the top nuisance pest in the United States. With more than 700 species occurring in the country and more than 20 types known to infest homes and other structures, it’s not surprising that so many people report having issues with this pest. Today we have some simple steps that homeowners can take to reduce chances of having ants in your home.

Know their hangouts

It’s probably not surprising to learn that most ants frequently infest kitchens. After all, kitchens are full of food and water, which is everything ants need to survive. Bathrooms, bedrooms, inside walls, near air conditioning or heating vents are also known to attract ants.

Eliminate water sources

Reducing moisture and standing water in and around your home can go a long way to help prevent ants. Repair your leaky pipes, and routinely check under the sinks in your home for areas of moisture. Consider using a dehumidifier in a damp basement, attic, or crawl space. Outside, be sure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from your home’s foundation.

Eliminate food sources

Keeping your kitchen tidy will help keep ants away from coming indoors. Wipe down kitchen counters and sweep floors regularly to eliminate crumbs and residue from spills. If you can, store food in sealed pest-proof containers, and keep ripe fruit in the fridge, rather than out on the counter. Wipe down sticky jars, such as ones containing soda, syrup, or sweets. Use a lid on trashcans and dispose of garbage regularly.

Don’t forget about your pets

Dogs, cats, and other pets can invite ants into your home. Their water and food bowls are attractions for ants, so be sure to keep them clean and wipe up any spills promptly. Try to store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than paper bags they come in, which can be easily accessed by ants. Inspect dog and cat doors to make sure ants cannot get through. Ants can fit through even the tiniest of openings.

Don’t do it alone

Without proper training and tools, battling ants can be an uphill battle. What’s worse, is that an infestation can continue to grow if it is not properly treated in the right amount of time. Some species of ants can actually cause serious property damage (i.e. carpenter ants) and others can pose health threats to your family (i.e. fire ants). Even species that are considered nuisances can contaminate your food.

If you follow these tips, you will find that your home stays as ant-free as possible. If you have a large infestation, or are concerned about keeping your home pest-free, contact our Las Vegas pest control specialists for more information. We can help you with all of your pest control needs!

Keeping Pests Away From Your Garden

rock gardenIf your garden was taken over by pests last year, you may be worried about a repeat performance. As the gardening season approaches, it is important to have tips in line to keep yourself and your garden rid of pests.

Mix signals

A confusing mix of sights and scents can help deter certain insects pests. Try to increase biodiversity in your garden and avoid monoculture by mixing plants from different families. Instead of planting long rows of a single crop, plant onions along side broccoli, tomatoes with basil and chives, and peas with carrots. This will create a problem with your pests, but will rid your garden of pest problems.

Attract an airborne defense squad

One of the best ways to get rid of an onslaught of pests is to attract an airborne calvary of beneficial insects. Many of these – including the small wasps that prey on pest caterpillars – will gratefully take advantage of flat-topped floral landing platforms offered by members of the pest family. Be sure to allow parsley and carrots to overwinter and grow into their second year to get umbrella shaped flowers. Other plants beloved by beneficial include mints and chamomile.

Get rid of nematodes

Marigolds can greatly reduce the damage that is caused by root-attacking nematodes.This can only be done if you do this correctly. For the best effect, grow a thick stand of marigolds as a cover crop for a season, then turn them under the soil. The next year, plant what you like in that area. The nematodes won’t be around to cause trouble in the ground.

Grow a decoy

Try allowing a single weed to grow as a decoy among your cultivated crops. Decoy crops may attract pests and help keep the bad ones away from the crops you wish to preserve. Striped blister beetles prefer redroot pigweed over tomato plants that grow nearby. To keep the insects from moving to your tomatoes, check the decoy plant every morning and shake the beetles into a bucket of soapy water.

Set up traps

Sow bugs, earwigs, pill bugs, snails, and slugs all have one thing in common: they like to hide out in damp, shady places during the heat of the day. To take advantage of this trait, lure them in with attractive “trap nests” which consist of boards, pieces of paper, seashells, broken crockery, and etc. Get out early every morning to check each lure, then dump the trapped pests into a bucket of soapy water.

Doing each of these things will keep pests away from your garden and you will be happy with the results. If your home or garden is overrun with pests, call Las Vegas Pest Control. We can help you with these problems and rid your home of pests before you know it. If you have any problems, don’t worry. We can handle them for you. Our professionals will help you on your way to having a great pest-free home. Talk to us today!

Final Tips for Avoiding Bedbugs on Vacation

las vegas pest controlNobody wants to run into bedbugs on their vacation, and we have all your tips for avoiding these pesky problems. If you have any questions or concerns about bedbugs either on vacation or after you have returned home, contact our Las Vegas pest control specialists immediately. If you do, you will find that we can help ease your mind and get you on your way to keeping these pests out of your home. Read on to learn about our final tips for controlling the pests in your home.

Have a plan when you return from your vacation

When you get back from your vacation, wash all your clothes – even the ones you didn’t wear – in hot water. Bedbugs can’t survive in temperatures above 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This will assure they didn’t take up residence in your drawers and closets. If you have delicates, send them to the dry cleaner, too. It is also very wise to inspect and vacuum out your suitcases before you store them away, as well. If you’ve invested in a plastic luggage case, keep it sealed until you need it again.

Watch for bedbug bite marks

Bite marks are one sign that you may have brought bedbugs into your home with you. They often bite in a line-shaped pattern, in threes. In the industry it is called breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Itching or bites alone don’t confirm an infestation. However, if you experience these symptoms, you will need a professional to evaluate your home before you can seek treatment for bedbugs.

Call a professional

Bedbugs are not a pest that you can get rid of on your own. If you suspect that you have brought these pests into your home, call a pest-management service to conduct an inspection. A professional will look around your bed for signs of the insects, and may even use a bedbug-sniffing dog if he can’t identify the source immediately. Once an infestation has been confirmed, a professional may use heat, freezing, vacuuming, or steaming methods to clear your home of pests.

Don’t panic

Bedbugs have been found in all 50 states, in many locations – rural, suburban, and urban. They can be in budget properties as well as four-star resorts. However, even knowing this, there is no reason to douse yourself, your kids, or your home with insecticides. Panic and paranoia doesn’t help at all. Vigilance is the most important thing. Follow your checklist, do an inspection, and those are the things that are going to minimize the likelihood of you finding an infestation.

If you feel you do have a bedbug problem, contact our Las Vegas Pest Control specialists immediately. However, if you are careful and catch it before it is a problem, you won’t have anything to worry about. You can still enjoy your vacation immensely as long as you are careful and know what to look for. Contact our offices today for more information!

If you are concerned about bedbugs and want to learn more, click here.

Tips for Avoiding Bedbugs on Vacation, Part 3

DIY Pest ControlIf you enter a hotel room and feel that you may have a bedbug infestation, it is vital to inform the hotel staff immediately. If you don’t, you may be going home with more serious consequences than just bug bites- you could bring the bugs home with you, and infect your home, and even your neighborhood. It is important to catch these problems as quickly as possible if you feel you have an infestation. Read on to find out our final tips about avoiding bedbugs on vacation.

Ask your hotel about bedbug prevention plans

Before you check in, ask your hotel what practices they have employed to deal with treatment and prevention of bedbugs. The majority of businesses in the hospitality industry are doing a great job to have an action plan in place to protect their guests and themselves. Many hotels will conduct a proactive inspection and work with Las Vegas pest management companies to remedy any problems.

Read reviews (carefully)

With a little bit of research on the internet, it is easy to find out if bedbugs have been reported at your hotel. The Bed Bug Registry, for example, is a free online database of user-submitted reports across North America. Travel sites may also offer clues in their reviews. Don’t put too much stock in these resources, though. There’s no accountability for what people are posting, so it could be a disgruntled employee or a competing property. And even if the hotel does in fact have a room with a problem, they should jump on it right away. Just because one guest has a problem on Saturday, doesn’t mean another will have it on Wednesday, or that it’s a hotel-wide problem.

Pitch a tent

One way to make sure you don’t have bedbugs on your vacation is to bring your lodging with you. Bedbugs are hitchhikers and they come into your life based on you being somewhere that they are, too. Because of this, there is little chance you’ll come into contact with them if you’re pitching a tent in the woods, or traveling in your own mobile home. Don’t feel compelled to avoid hotels forever, though. Wherever you are, there’s a chance you could pick up and bring home bedbugs when you’re out and about. If you’ve planned a camping trip, your likelihood of catching bedbugs will be lower.

Bedbugs are tricky pests, and hard ones to be rid of on your own. If you feel you have a bedbug problem, contact our offices today and find that you’ll have much better success getting rid of them. If you have run into a bedbug problem on vacation, it is wise to be sure you are rid of them before you leave, otherwise you may bring them into your home. Contact our offices and professionals today if you have any questions regarding bedbugs, and we can help you get rid of them.

For more information, click here.

Tips for Avoiding Bedbugs on Vacation, Part 2

Commercial Pest Control in Las VegasNobody wants to arrive on their vacation only to find that their hotel room or space has been infested with bedbugs. If you believe you have a bedbug problem in your hotel room, contact the hotel staff immediately, and then have your luggage thoroughly inspected for these critters. Not only can they travel home with you, but they can cause large-scale infestations in your home. Read on to find out more tips for avoiding bedbugs in your hotel room.

Wrap your suitcases in plastic

For extra protection from bedbugs, keep your suitcase enclosed in plastic during your stay. Luggage retailers should sell zip up bags for this specific purpose. You may even try wrapping a garbage bag around your suitcase. This precaution will not only protect your belongings while in your hotel room, but will also protect them in transit. Bedbugs can also hide in trains, taxis, and airplanes.

Teach your kids

Tell your children why you’re inspecting the hotel room and what you are looking for. Teaching kids about concerns will help them be aware and help you find them if you do have a problem. It is also important to watch for traces of white powder. It could be a pesticide used to treat a previous problem. Insecticides aren’t good for anyone, but especially not for young children. If you see this problem, you may want to ask for another room or switch hotels if you think you are being exposed.

Move two floors away

If there is any suspicious marking or evidence of bugs that should warrant a room switch, hotel staff should be more than willing to oblige. However, it is wise to request that your room be at least two floors away from the previous one. Bedbugs may spread to other rooms via wallboards or sockets.

Speak up

If you don’t like confrontation, you  may be tempted to stick with the room you have, even if you notice signs of problems. There are potential consequences. Bedbugs, unlike other bugs, do not actively transmit diseases. They can, however, carry germs from one person to another including the antibiotic resistant germ. This is the time to be a little bolder and ask the right questions. You do not want to be a victim, especially when most hotels will move you without a question and will do a proper inspection right away. They don’t want their guests to leave the hotel with bedbugs, and they don’t want the problem to go untreated, either.

If you find bedbugs in your hotel room, it is vital that you tell the staff of the problem immediately. You may find that the problem is eradicated quickly and that the hotel staff is very kind and courteous about the problem. They should be willing to help you in any way possible to ensure you can still have a good experience. If you have a bedbug problem in your home, contact pest control in Las Vegas immediately for help.

Tips for Avoiding Bed Bugs on Vacation, Part 1

Las Vegas Commercial Pest ControlIf you are sleeping somewhere other than your home, beware. Bedbugs prevalence is on the rise, and motels and hotels are some of their most favorite hangouts. These critters can cause severe itching and welt-like bites, and it is very costly to get rid of them if they follow you back to your home. Research also suggests they can cause financial distress, anxiety, and social isolation. No need to get depressed yet! Just follow these tips to avoid bedbugs while you’re on the road.

Check out the Bathroom

Before you check out the nice view from the hotel room, or the stocked minibar, take your luggage to the bathroom. Bedbugs are least likely to be found in there, because they don’t like tile floors and there aren’t as many places to hide. They like to be closer to where people are sleeping. If your luggage is in the bathroom and you do find a hotel infested with bedbugs, you will be less likely to take them home with you.

Inspect the bed

Here’s how to check for a bedbug infestation: pull back the linens, and check all the way around the mattress, as well as under it. Next, check behind the headboard. You may also want to look for blood stains or small black dots that look like mold or ground pepper. Bedbugs are about the size and shape of an appleseed, and you may find them hiding in the corners or seams of bedding. If you see any suspicious signs, contact hotel staff immediately.

Check the rest of the room

Once you have finished inspecting the bed, you may want to broaden your search to the area surrounding the bed. Look behind picture frames, under telephones and alarm clocks, and even in books. Studies have shown that most bedbugs are found in or within 15 feet of a bed, but some may even be further away. Check in couch cushions and seams, and in the closet before you put your clothes away.

Keep your Luggage off the Ground

Leaving bags and suitcases on the floor or even on a spare bed may be one way to bring home unwanted souvenirs. Bedbugs can travel from room to room, so even if you don’t have them initially, they could be in the room next to yours and they may come looking for meal sources. For your entire trip, keep your bags on the desktop, on top of the dresser, or on a luggage rack in the room. Don’t leave your clothes lying out, either.

These tips will help you avoid bedbugs if a hotel happens to have them when you arrive. Nobody wants to deal with these pesky critters, and even worse, nobody wants to bring them home and have to get professional help to remove them! If you believe you have a pest problem, contact Las Vegas Pest Control immediately for more information. We can help you rid your home of unwanted pest guests.

 

DIY Pest Control Tips

Pest control is a tricky business. If you feel you have a pest problem in your home, the wisest choice is to call a pest control specialist to come eradicate the problem for you. However, if you think it’s simple enough to solve on your  own, first start out with these tips:

Grub damage

To prevent grub damage, homeowners and gardeners can simply distribute hair, animal fur, or cayenne pepper over their lawns to preserve their health and also to keep animals such as raccoons and skunks away.

Getting rid of ants

If you have a pesky ant problem, you may be able to rid your home of these little pests by saving your coffee grounds. These are a great ant deterrent – they do not like them and will not come anywhere near them. This also won’t use any chemicals that will stink up your home, or make it dangerous for you and your family.

Bye bye flies

Fill a glass container with 1-2 inches of apple cider vinegar. Wrap the top of the bottle neck with plastic wrap and poke holes. Fruit flies will actually drown themselves in the vinegar after they are lured in by the sweet scent.

Natural fly repellent

To rid your home of other types of flies aside from fruit flies, use cloves, eucalyptus and clover blossoms in a sachet and hang it from your ceiling. This will attract flies and they won’t be able to withstand the chemicals.

Ridding your home of mothball smell

Do you have a bad mothball smell in your home? Simply make a sachet to hang in your closets using dried mint, peppercorns, rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, cloves, and cedar chips. You’ll rid your home of the odor once and for all.

Keeping rats away

If you wish to repel rats, add one tablespoon of peppermint castile soap with half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and eight cups of water, then spray the mixture along your baseboards. This will keep the rats from entering your home.

Roaches 

To get rid of roaches, spice them up! Place 2 tablespoons of very hot sauce in 1 quart of water and then mix well and spray where problems exist. You’ll never see a roach again.

Ridding your home of termites

To get rid of termites, combine 4 tablespoons of grape jelly, 3 tablespoons of canned cat food, and 1 tablespoon of boric acid. Place a teaspoon of this recipe in locations you think these pests may be nesting (don’t place it in locations where pets can find it). The workers will bring this mixture back to the nest and offspring. You will shrink the nest in no time.

Following these simple tips may help you rid your home of small infestations. However, if you have large problems or simply don’t have the time to do this yourself, contact our offices today! We can help you with even the largest types of pest invasion problems, and get your home back in order in no time. Las Vegas Pest Control is the place to call!