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Carpenter Ants vs. Termites

Filed under: Carpenter Ant Control,Termites — admin @ 8:53 am May 22, 2015

Termite Control

Spring brings some wonderful things: warm weather, sunny days, and pretty flowers. Everything is fresh and new. Spring also brings other less desirable things like household pests, ants and termites. Many people see small, dark insects swarming inside their home or near it and worry if they have a termite infestation. It is a valid concern which is why it is important to know the difference between swarmers (termites that reproduce) and ants. They can look very similar but there are some distinctive differences that will help.

Know your Termites

Termites have a very straight, distinctive looking body. It is rectangular and broad-waisted in shape with antennae that are almost completely straight. Its four wings extend beyond the body (about twice the body length) and are all four the same size. You cannot see the wing veins of termites without a magnifying glass. Termite wings are also very fragile. If you touch them they will likely fall off. In fact, if you find an area where the insects have been swarming look for broken wings on the ground or floor. That is a good indication that you are dealing with termites as opposed to ants. Termites can do serious damage to wood structures.


Know your Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant ControlCarpenter ants are also quite distinctive in appearance. The ant body is noticeably segmented. You can clearly see the segments and thin-waisted appearance. Their antennae are bent or elbowed and the front wings are much larger than the rear ones but they barely extend beyond the body. If you look closely at the wings you can see dark veins running through them and often a black dot at the tip of the longer front wings. They are also not as fragile as termite wings. Ant wings do not easily break off. Carpenter ants are capable of doing significant damage to a structure, but the typically pose more of a nuisance than a damage problem.

If you can’t tell or need help with an infestation

If you notice swarmers in or around your home or office it is a good idea to have a pest professional come out to take a look. Even if you correctly identify the type of pest, whether ant or termite, it is a good idea to take steps to get rid of them. If you can’t tell the difference or you aren’t sure, then it is very important that you get a pest professional out as soon as possible. If you do have an infestation, time is crucial. Waiting could cost you. Read more on pest control or call Horizon now.

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Does Your Hotel Room Have Bed Bugs?

Filed under: Bed Bug — admin @ 8:43 am May 19, 2015

Bed Bug ControlIf you stay in a hotel room that is also occupied by bed bugs you can be sure these small insects will travel with you when you check out. You will not recognize that they have gained access to your luggage and clothing. Bed bugs will then infect your home with rapid reproduction. Since bed bugs are the size of an apple seed, detecting them requires a careful inspection of the room. If you find signs of bed bugs, ask for another room immediately.

How To Check Your Hotel Room For Bed bugs

Inspect your room when you arrive. The first step is to place your luggage in the bath tub since this is a hard surface which is less likely to be a home for bed bugs. Never put your luggage or any item of clothing on the bed, and don’t place your luggage on the luggage rack.

Begin your inspection with a flashlight by closely examining the mattress, Bed bugs are most likely to live in the bedding since this where they find their food source. Carefully remove the bedding and the mattress pad while inspecting the four corners of the mattress and the box spring.. Check the edging, seams and other small areas of the mattress and the pillow covers. Lift the box springs up to a vertical position and thoroughly check the box spring.

Look behind the headboard by removing it if possible. Otherwise, pull it out as much as you can. If this is not possible, then slide a piece of cardboard between the headboard and the wall. This may bring out parts of bed bugs which will tell you to look further. Inspect every area of the night stand including under the drawers and behind the night stand. Next, check any upholstered chairs by carefully examining the seams and under any cushion that is a separate part of the furniture. Look at any welting or piping that may decorate the upholstery. Check the luggage rack also.

 Signs To Look For

Don’t just look for live bed bugs. Look for droppings, cast off skins or staining.

If you need help in dealing with pests in your hotels, Horizon has the best pest hospitality program for you.

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Prevent Against Kitchen Ants

Filed under: Ant Control — admin @ 7:58 am May 15, 2015

Ant ControlAnts may be attracted to your home for any number of reasons. Foraging ants go out in search of food and the smallest crumb may attract them to the inside of your home, no matter how clean you may be. At the first sign of ants in your kitchen, you n
eed to take action. Try to determine the type of ant(s) you are dealing with, why they are entering your home, and what can be done to deter them from coming back. Preventing against kitchen ants can be simple, with a proactive approach. However, if you leave the ants as they are or just kill them as you see them, a bigger problem may start to form, as there’s never just one ant.

When you see an ant, try to follow it to see where it goes. It may lead you to an entry point that you can seal or a nest you can kill. And, when you figure out what type of ant it is and what it’s after, the easier it will be to choose the right pest control method. Once you determine why the ants are coming into your home and how they are getting there, preventative measures can be taken to get rid of them for good.

Complete prevention against kitchen ants requires more than just a one-time pet control solution to keep them from coming back. One of the best preventative measures is keeping your house clean, especially in areas where food is stored, prepared, and consumed. After meals, sweep or vacuum the floor, clean the counters and table, and don’t leave dirty dishes lying around or in the sink. Store any food that doesn’t go in the fridge in tightly sealed, clean containers. Make sure pantry and cabinet shelves are free of crumbs. At the end of each day, empty the trash cans and take the garbage outside. The further away from the house you keep your outdoor trash bins, the better.

Further preventative measures can include caulking any cracks that lead to the outdoors, including around windows and doors, ensuring pet food is put away and no crumbs are left behind near food bowls, and cleaning any standing water around the sink or on the counters. Trimming bushes and trees that are close to the side of your house will also help to reduce any bridges the ants can use to get into your home. Keeping firewood stored away from the house and maintaining a clean and healthy lawn will also help to keep ants at bay. With a proactive approach you can reduce or virtually eliminate those pesky little black insects.

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Cockroaches, Know the Basics

Filed under: Cockroach Control — admin @ 5:45 am May 1, 2015

Cockroach ControlRoaches. The word alone gives most people the heebie jeebies. They are widely recognized as disgusting creatures that live off the filth of humans or in dumpsters – and OMG some of them can fly!

There are around 4,500 species of roaches in the world, but only around 60 or so actually share their habitation with humans. In New Jersey, the number of roaches that are actually household pests is down to a handful. That is enough, though, because roaches are known to carry dangerous bacteria and their presence can exacerbate health conditions like allergies and asthma.

So we are going to give you the scoop on these gnarly little creatures, how to get then out of your home and keep them out.

Cockroach Species

The most common species of roaches in homes today include the American cockroach, German cockroach, brownbanded cockroach, and oriental cockroach.

American

At 1 ½ to 2 inches in length, these are one of the larger species of roaches that infest buildings, these roaches tend to favor restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. They do wander into homes occasionally, but that is not their habitation of choice. Yes, they fly.

German

This is the most prevalent indoor cockroach, often referred to as a “kitchen roach.” They are small and like to hide in moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens, often near piping. They also hide in cabinets, drawers, and just about anywhere else in a house.

Brownbanded

These are small roaches similar to the German roach, but that is where the similarities end. The brownbanded tends to gravitate toward areas that are dry and warm. You will rarely see German cockroaches with brownbanded roaches.

Oriental

These roaches can get up to 1 ¼ inches in length and prefer very damp environments like sewers, basements, and crawl spaces. They are sometimes referred to as water bugs.

Why your house?

When you find a roach, or (egads!) an infestation of roaches in your home, the first thing you would probably ask is “Why my house?” It depends on the type of roach that is found in your home. Different species are attracted to different elements in a home. It just depends on what your home is offering.

The other part of the answer boils down to just two things:

  • Harborage
  • Food

They will come into your home or shelter and a place to lay eggs, or they will come seeking food and water. Often they come seeking both. If your home offers any of these things it is like putting a welcome mat out for them.

What’s more, they can come in on shipments you receive, visitors to your home, things you purchase at the store (even the grocery store), and from outside. Once they are in and start laying eggs if can lead to an infestation which can get out of control in a short time.

Sanitation and Food

There are things that you can do to make your home less appealing to roaches. Put away all food and don’t leave any food or dirty dishes sitting out, especially overnight. Clean counters, sinks, and stovetops with soapy water to remove all residue. You should also sweep the floor thoroughly to ensure that no food particles are left. Taking out the garbage regularly will also help minimize pests.

Harborage

Roaches love to hide in boxes and cracks in walls or around cabinets. Remove any bags, newspapers, or cardboard as well as other clutter, from your home. If you don’t give roaches a place to hide, they will look elsewhere for a place to live. Seal up any cracks and spaces and repair any holes in the walls, particularly around pipes.

When to call a Pro

Roaches can quickly become immune to the bug spray that you purchase at the store. In fact, those products can actually make an infestation worse. If you have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of roaches then you need to contact a pest professional. They can come in and apply product that will not only take care of current roaches that you see, but also roaches that you don’t see because they are hiding in the walls and cabinets. These pros can apply product that renders the roaches sterile, preventing them from reproducing. They can tailor their applications to fit the reproduction cycles of the roaches, thus killing off any young that may emerge later.

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How to Know If You Have Termites

Filed under: Termite Control — admin @ 5:23 am April 28, 2015

Termite ControlFew pest problems are more troublesome or annoying than a termite infestation. Fortunately, the little buggers make it pretty clear when they’re present and causing havoc, assuming you known the signs they leave as calling cards.

This article highlights the termite warning signals, damage signs and tips you need to eliminate a termite infestation.

Know the Warning Signals That Suggest a Termite Presence

In order to know whether you have a termite presence, there are a few key signs you can look for and find if termites are indeed present.

  • If wood in or near your home sounds hollow when you tap it, termites could be present
  • Watch for cracked paint or termite droppings (frass)
  • Along your home’s outer walls, crawl spaces and wooden beams, check for mud tubes
  • If there is a swarm of winged insects in the home, the soil around your home or discarded wings from said swarms, this is usually a clear indicator of termite activity

Look for Tell-Tale Termite Damage Signs

If you have spotted one or more of the previous termite warning signals, begin looking for actual damage signs. In some cases, the damage is so obvious that you won’t even need the aforementioned warning signals as a clue.

Termite cement, which occurs when termites seal cracks and holes around a home’s foundation with a muddy cement, are a classic indicator of termite activity. Similarly, mud tubes are usually damage signs that signal termites are currently damaging the home. However, they still classify as potential warning signs since mud tubes can remain from old infestations, so they are not always signs of current damage.

Finally, look for wood damage. Unfortunately, noting actual wood damage means the infestation is quite advanced, so this is usually a bad time to first become aware of an infestation. Try to snuff it out by discovering hollow wood warning signals. At any rate, once you know present termite damage exists, it’s time to call in the professionals.

If You Have Termites, Eliminate Them with a Professional’s Help

If you have established termites have made your home theirs, it’s time to let them know that they are a most unwelcome guest. Take the time to find quality professionals in your area that know how to get the job done right and send those pests packing.

 

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Say Good Riddance to Kitchen Ants

Filed under: Ant Control — admin @ 3:32 am April 24, 2015

Ant ControlScientists say there are at as many as 100 trillion ants crawling around the earth. If a significant portion of them seem to be occupying your kitchen, you want to take immediate action to get rid of them. Here’s how to do it in three quick steps:

1. Upgrade Your Storage to Remove Ants’ Food Sources

The only foolproof way to protect yourself from marauding ants is prevent them from finding anything to eat in your home. Before you do anything else, deal with an ant infestation by removing all possible food sources and locking them up in airtight containers. If your fridge seals properly, ants can’t get in. Anything not in the fridge should be in a sealed plastic or glass container. Wipe down all your counters with a bleach-based cleaner and take out the trash frequently, too. Finally, vacuum and mop thoroughly to eliminate any crumbs on the floor.

2. Mounting the Attack: Chemicals to Use on Ants

Once you’ve eliminated their food source, it’s time to eliminate the ants. If you think your ant problem is coming from a nest inside your home, you’ll need to rely on a heavy duty home pesticide like a bug bomb. That usually requires vacating your home for a full day while while the poising works its way through the house.

If your ants are coming from outside, however, you can probably rely on a hand-held spray can pesticide. Target the pesticide at the ants’ favorite trails and apparent entry points. That should be enough to deter the next the wave from entering your home.

3. Maintaining an Ant-Free Kitchen

Once you’ve got the ants cleared out of your kitchen, you want to make sure they stay out. Maintaining a disciplined food storage system is the best and most effective way to do this, but you can also resist ant invaders sealing off all possible entrances physically or with chemicals.

Start by checking all corners, baseboards, windows and doors for cracks. Anywhere you see gaps, you can apply caulk to seal up the hole. If caulk isn’t feasible in a particular spot, the second best move is to spray a small amount of pesticide on the gap. Coat the surrounding surfaces within an inch or two of the opening. That should be enough to kill any scout ants that stumble upon the opening, deterring the foragers.

Don’t let ants control your life or your kitchen. Get rid of them today!

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Pesticides: Safer Then You Think?

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 11:30 am April 17, 2015

PesticideThere has been a lot of talk in the media lately regarding the safety of pesticides around humans and pets. This has led to some spirited debates as terrible accounts of pesticide use gone wrong are blasted into our living rooms on the evening new and splatters all across internet news sites. The media is using fear as a very effective tool for promoting agendas and selling papers but the truth is, the public is only seeing a sliver of the story. Were they to reveal that whole picture it would be very apparent that most of the problems that are seemingly caused by pesticides are due to human error. When pets and people are adversely affected by pesticides it is usually because the person making the application did not handle it or use it correctly.

From Research to Application

There is a very lengthy, rigorous process involved in getting a pesticide approved for use in the United States. The chemical ingredient has to be tested and researched thoroughly, which can take as many as 15 years. Only after it has been through this stringent process can it be approved for use, but even then a detailed label is created that describes exactly where the product can be applied, what pests it is intended to control, how it is to be used, and how it is to be prepared. Failure to follow these instructions explicitly is against the law and it carries stiff penalties. This ensures that people, animals, and the environment are protected from any adverse effects of pesticide application.

Pesticide Safety

The chemicals that are used by pest professionals, when used according to their labels, are safe. While sensitivities and allergies to the chemicals do occur, those instances are very rare. Most product can be applied and they cannot be detected. Most are odorless. You can request to see the label of any product that is applied in or around your home, though. You should also ask any questions that you may have. Your pest professional can answers most of the questions that you have regarding the chemicals. They also know how to safely use them. That is why you want to hire a company that you trust and that has a good reputation. Pesticide safety is important.

A Word about “Green” Pesticides

There has been a big push recently toward what are called “green” pesticides. The reasoning is that by using these so-called natural products you can avoid the “toxic” effects of chemical pesticides. This is mostly fed by the very media that is creating the frenzy about pesticides in the first place. The truth is, anything on this earth can become toxic when it reaches a certain level. In the 1500’s the German-Swiss physician, Paracelsus, said, “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” Even aspirin, when mishandled and not taken according to the instructions on the label, can be harmful.

Store bought Pesticides also have the Potential to Harm

When you go to your local grocery or mass merchandiser store and pick up a can of pesticide, you may be putting your family or pets in danger. These products have the potential to cause health problems. Additionally, most insects, especially roaches, will quickly immune to them rendering them ineffective on pests. Most of the problems encountered with people or pets, though, are because the instructions are typically not followed correctly. When they are used incorrectly people get sick, especially young children and pets. Poison control centers around the country field hundreds of calls each year regarding people who are experiencing illness after using or being in the vicinity of store bought pest control products.

A Matter of Trust

The only way you can really know that your best interests are being considered when it comes to controlling pests in or around your home is to hire a pest professional. Find a company that has a solid reputation, someone who will talk to you, build a relationship with you – someone you can trust. The majority of pesticides are safe for humans and animals to be around, others may require some precautions. A trained, experienced pest professional knows this. He or she has been trained in preparation, handling, and application. When used and handled according to the label, pesticides are indeed safe.

 

Photo by CGP Grey. Used under CC BY 2.0.

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Keeping Pests out of Your Business

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 9:20 am April 10, 2015

Commercial Pest ControlIf you run a business then you know that having pests like roaches, rats, ants, flies, or mice is not conducive to a good work environment. Many pests carry diseases and can make your employees sick. When customers see pests – or evidence of pests – it can turn them away and you can lose business. There are ways to keep pests out of your business and it isn’t as difficult as you may think. With a little vigilance and a lot of consistency you can keep your business pest free. These tips will help.

Keep it clean.

Poor sanitation is a leading cause of pest infestations in businesses. Do not leave food lying around and don’t allow water to sit out. If you have a kitchen area, wash and dry any dishes immediately. Don’t leave them to “soak” in the sink. Water attracts pests, particularly roaches.

Mop and sanitize all floors every day. In food preparation areas, keep grease from building up on the floors. Also, clean any devices that are used to prepare food as well as countertops and sanitize them daily. Keep garbage in a container with a lid and dispose of it daily.

Make work areas unappealing to pests.

There are a few things you can do in your office or cubicle that will keep the pest populations down.

  • Keep desks and work areas free from clutter.
  • Do not store food in desks unless it is in an airtight, sealed container.
  • Do not overwater potted plants.

Store food properly.

If food is brought in, ensure that it is stored in airtight containers. Roaches, rats, and mice can and will get into food packaging such as boxes and bags. Make sure that the lids on any food containers seal well and are secured. Loose lids are invitations for pest to invade your space.

Hire a pest professional to do routine pest control on a regular basis.

Even the most vigilant of workplaces can still have pests from time to time. They can catch a ride on employees’ clothing or bags, they can come in with shipments, or they can come in with customers. While your business may not be the most hospitable place for pests you can still see one or two from time to time so it is wise to hire a pest control company to do scheduled maintenance to help you prevent pests from coming into your business.

 

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Protecting Your Home from Mold after a Flood

Filed under: Mold Control — admin @ 11:48 am April 3, 2015

Mold ControlWhile most people know that flood damage is nothing to scoff at, often it is the aftereffects of a flood that can be the most damaging to your home. The moist conditions after a flood occurs are the perfect breeding ground for mold. There are serious health risks associated with mold, so it is essential to understand the ways you can dry out water damage, prevent mold from growing and defeat mold once you find it.

Drying Out the Water Damage

When it comes to drying out the water damage, take a sooner rather than later approach. Dehumidifiers, fans and heaters will all help dry moisture quickly and efficiently when water damage is minimal to moderate. If your home has experienced severe water damage, you may need to get it pumped out by professionals, and they will have the tools necessary to handle the job. No matter which strategy you choose, complete moisture removal is imperative in order to alleviate safety concerns and reduce further home damage.

Preventing Mold Growth

The best way to prevent mold growth is through a proactive approach. In short, always be on the alert for mold. When you catch mold growth in its early stages, you can prevent further growth by a comprehensive bleach and water cleaning. You can also prevent further mold growth by disposing of irredeemably moldy items such as carpeting and other porous household items that have been damaged past the point of no return. Examples include drywall, upholstery and certain woods, leathers and ceiling tiles. Another excellent mold defense strategy is adding mold inhibitors to your paint before water damage has even occurred. This can make all the difference between expensive and lengthy drywall repairs and a home with minimal repair costs and hassles after flood damage.

Eliminate All the Mold You Discover

Finally, be sure to take no chances with mold. Eliminate all the mold you discover by fully drying out your home, and then fully removing all mold sources. Even dead mold can cause health risks, so only total mold elimination is acceptable for your home. When it comes to complete mold remediation and removal, it is highly advisable to seek out professionals with the equipment and knowledge you need to restore your home and your peace of mind.

If you need mold services for your home, you can contact Horizon Pest Control now!

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Ways to Rid of Rodents in Your Home

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — admin @ 11:33 am March 31, 2015

Rodent ControlWhen rodents invade your home you want to get them out of there as quickly as possible. Many rodents carry diseases like Hantavirus and rabies. They can also introduce a flea infestation into your home. These tips will help you serve those unwelcome guests with an eviction notice.

Make your home uninhabitable (for rodents, that is)

Before you start getting rid of the rodents, you need to find out how they are getting into your home in the first place. Look around for cracks and holes in walls or near windows and doors. Make sure that your doors are sealed well. A mouse can go through an opening that is just 3/8 inches wide so any opening that is larger than around ¼ inch should be sealed.

Next, you want to clean your home well and put any food into air tight containers. Cereal boxes, bags of rice, and cookie packages are nothing more than open invitations to mice and rats. If it isn’t in the refrigerator, then it needs to be in an airtight container, preferable glass or plastic.

Types of extermination

There are two basic methods for getting rid of rats and mice: trapping and baiting. In severe infestations you may want to combine the two methods, but if you only have a couple then you are probably good with one or the other.

Trapping

One of the best perks of trapping is that you can dispose of the dead mice and rats before their odor spreads through your home. You bait a trap, lay it out, the rat gets caught, and you dispose of the animal. It is that easy. This is preferable for smaller rodent populations.

Baiting

Rat and mouse bait is a powerful poison that the animal ingests and then dies. If you have children or pets around you need to put the poison in a tamper resistant bait station so they cannot get to it. This is a good option for populations of just about any size, but when the animal dies it may be in your home – and you may not be able to find it. This means you may have to endure the smell for a few days.

Don’t be afraid to call in a professional.

If you see one mouse or rat it usually means that there are many more nearby. Typically, you would only see evidence of the rodents – feces or chewed food packaging. If you actually see a mouse or rat in your home then your situation may be bigger than you can handle on your own. If you have a large infestation or you can’t seem to get a handle on your rodent problem, your best bet is to call a pest professional and let them help you get your home pest free.

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