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Most Common Ways Termites Enter Your Home

Filed under: Termites — Megan Howard @ 9:40 am June 24, 2014

Termite Control

To effectively combat termites, it is necessary to first know about how they get inside in the first place and why they want to stay for good! This is crucial to prevent an infestation. Since termites live in colonies and feed on the cellulose in wood, it is likely that you will be able to find hundreds or even thousands of them, once their colony has been found. These termites can cause significant damage both structurally and financially. If termites are found, you should eliminate them as soon as possible, or else, they will keep on infesting until enough structural damage is done.

Ways Termites Come in Your Home

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termite colonies live underground and can enter your home at ground level or below. They can also create mud tubes to enter places several feet above ground level.

The most common way subterranean termites enter your home is through wood-to-ground contact that includes doorframes, deck posts, and porch steps or supports. They can also enter homes through cracks in the foundation or cracks in brick mortar.

Drywood Termites

A common drywood termite infestation will start when swarmers or alates search a crevice in the wood of your home, dig out a little nest and seal themselves in. Once they find a suitable nesting site, they will begin to produce eggs to build a new colony. Since it is difficult to find termites, it may take several years before you realize that they have been there for some time because their colony has already grown to a size capable of causing serious wood damage to your home.

It can be a challenge to prevent drywood termite infestations since they can create nests in any part of the home in any floor. They just do not nest near the foundation or soil like the subterranean termites do, but they can do it anywhere.

Drywood termites never have to come out for any reason. After they seal themselves in, they will not go out. But, there is only one time of the year that they take flight and swarm away to create their own colony. Once these termites established themselves in your home during the swarming season, it is likely that they will just move from one wood to another, which will cause more damage to your home.

Preventing Entry

Preventing termites to enter a home will include addressing trouble spots, such as water that pools around the foundation, and monitoring for signs of activity. It is also necessary to have a regular maintenance to keep the exterior wood of your home in good condition. It is also necessary to have your home inspected any time of the year since that can provide you with evidence of a live infestation within your home.

Although a termite inspection can be challenging for most technicians since a termite inspection is quite limited to only about 19% of the structure that can be inspected for an active live infestation. However, subterranean termites are usually the easiest ones to be found because they create little mud tubes up from the ground to the foundation. When it comes to drywood termites, you will need skilled and experienced termite inspectors because drywood termites can actively live inside the wood framing of your home. And, it may be a bit late before you finally realize that you have an infestation.

To know if you have a drywood termite infestation your technician will search for evidence in windowsills and baseboards. This evidence is similar to sand or small little pellets and their presence can be very obvious to experience termite inspectors. After the inspection of your home, your technician will provide prevention and control tips specific to your home’s construction type, termite species that they found in the home, and structural and moisture conditions favorable to the termites.

Horizon Pest Control understands the need to ensure the health and longevity of your home that is why we designed an environmentally-friendly pest control solution that focuses on protecting your home against termites. Schedule an appointment with Horizon Pest Control Termite Control and have your home protected.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs while Traveling

Filed under: Bed Bug — Megan Howard @ 9:38 am June 20, 2014

Bed Bug ControlOne of the easiest ways of encountering bed bugs is when you travel. Whether traveling locally or internationally, your luggage might come across with bed bugs. Bed bugs might be in your hotel room, in the trunk of the taxi, in the luggage compartment of the airplane, and so on. While you may not be able to control bed bugs while you are traveling, you can also do some ways to prevent them from coming home with you.

Preventing Bed Bugs when Traveling

Research your hotel

Before booking for a certain hotel, do some research first. Search TripAdvisor.com about the hotel you want to book and see if there are complaints about bed bugs. You can also go to BedbugRegistry.com and check if there have been complaints at a specific hotel. However, you also need to consider that bed bugs are becoming prevalent and a hotel that you like should still not be blacklisted from your list. If you are still going to check-in on a place where there is a history of bed bugs, make sure to ask for a room that has never had a bed bug problem or a room that has been thoroughly treated.

Invest in your luggage

It is most likely that bed bugs will come with you on your luggage since they like to hitchhike and attach themselves to the seams and zippers of soft-sided suitcases. When purchasing a new luggage better invest in hard-sided luggage, which bed bugs will have a hard time attaching themselves in. The hard-sided luggage have latches and not zippers. This type of luggage does not have folds or seams where bed bugs can hide, and it closes completely so pests cannot get inside.

You can also consider getting a collapsible luggage, where you can place your bags in the dryer for 30 minutes at high heat, as soon as you return home from your trip. If you must use soft-sided luggage, use lighter colored bags since it is also going to be difficult for you to spot bed bugs if your luggage is black or dark colored.

Pack your clothes smartly

Pack your belongings, such as your clothes, toiletries, and shoes in sealable plastic bags before putting them in your luggage. Make sure to seal everything you can inside since even a tiny opening can allow a bed bug to get in. When in a hotel room, keep your sealable bags zipped shut unless you need to access an item inside.

Spray your luggage with a bed bug deterrent spray

Before you travel, buy a bed bug deterrent spray and spray them all around and even inside your luggage. These sprays use lime and cedar, which bed bugs hate.

Inspect your room

Once inside your hotel room, do not put your luggage on the bed or on the floor of the room. Better bring your luggage inside the bathroom or in the bathtub. Have a little flashlight with you and start inspecting common hiding places of these bugs. The three most common places where they hide are on the headboard, nightstand and mattress.

Don’t bring your suitcase in with you once you get home

Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage. Make sure you are away from furniture and sleeping areas when you do this. If you live in an apartment, you can use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bed bugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and can easily be seen against light colors). Pay close attention to pockets, linings and seams. While you may be tired from traveling, but it is mostly important to first wash all your clothes in hot water and dry them for at least half an hour with heat before bringing them inside your room. Wash all your clothes, even those unworn on a high-heat setting, and dry them for at least 30 minutes to kill any bugs that might have traveled with you.

Make your Home Bed Bug Free

Since you like to travel make certain ways to also stop them from entering. It will take a lot of discipline on your part on how you view your travels. From inspecting the right rental car, to getting your suitcase protected when you travel by plane, and how you inspect your hotel may take a lot of your time. However, this will benefit your home if you can do it right. Your home in return should also be protected by placing mattress covers, avoid storing stuff under your bed, unless they are tightly sealed, throw out cardboard and paper, and so on.

Is your property infested with bed bugs? We can help you! Call 1.888.612.2847 today and ask about our Bed Bug Control services.

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Common Issues with Rodents in the Spring

Filed under: Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 9:37 am June 17, 2014

Rat ControlRodents, especially rats are a city-wide problem. And, with spring on the way, their population is expected to multiply. Rodents can grow to be a foot long and can easily squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. They can reproduce quickly and will eat anything. They can chew through pipes, tread water for at least three days, and easily infest homes if solutions are not made.

In the spring, these rodents will try to find ways to get inside a house or building so they can stay warm. And, it is during this season that homeowners report rat invasions to their technician who will continuously lay rat poison in one corner after another.

What Common Issues can You Expect from Rodents this Spring?

Transmission of different diseases

Rodents are also responsible for the transmission of different diseases. This is because their feeding habits are deadly, and their nesting behaviors can undermine the area they are infesting. List of diseases these rodents can give homeowners are:

  • Bubonic plague
  • Salmonella
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tapeworms
  • Murine typhus
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Ringworm

Reproduction

In the spring and fall, rats have reproductive peaks. Their gestation period is between 22 to 25 days and an average litter contains 5 to 10 offspring. Young rats are sexually mature at 3 to 4 months of age, and can have their own litter after mating. These rats do not recognize incest, so brothers and sisters and even mothers and sons mate. They can also create large litters if abundant food is available.

Rat Infestation

Rats do not commonly live in the wild. In truth, these rodents are widely associated with human activity. When rats start infesting a home, they can be troublesome and can create damage to the home they are infesting. They will eat and contaminate food, transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans, damage structures and property.

Once their number grows, these rodents can camp by the hordes in the sewers, chew through vents, invade trash cans and pantries, scurry through allies and under bushes, and harass residents at night. However, rats are secretive and will try to avoid being seen by humans.

Ways to Know if You Have an Infestation

The presence of dead or living rats

Rats like to hide, given that they have enough space. But if rats are seen in plain sight, it is likely that your home is infested. Since their reproduction is fast, it is likely that their living conditions become cramped, which forces them to expose themselves out into the open.

Rat droppings may be present

Since they cannot control their bodily functions, they excrete wherever they go. A single rat can leave up to 25,000 fecal pellets per year. Rats leave 30 to 180 dropping per day, and will range from one half to three quarters of an inch in length. When fecal dropping are seen, these can indicate an infestation.

Dirt or grease marks

Rats tend to leave dirt or grease marks along the walls and floorboards. Rodents have front teeth that are continually growing, so they must continually gnaw to reduce the size of their front teeth. However, these gnawing can cause damage to the structure and is a sure sign of rats.

Minor Problems in Houses

These rodents can also create minor issues in houses, especially with furniture, food, and insulation and wiring. Chewed wiring is one problem that should be taken into consideration this coming spring since this can expensive to repair and can also lead to fires.

Rats will Eat Anything

Rats are omnivorous creatures. They are known to eat almost anything. On average, a rat can consume 25-30 grams of food and drink approximately 60 milliliters of water per day. When they are in a house, they can eat anything not sealed in an air-tight container. But, because they have exceptionally powerful jaws, even air-tight containers are not safe. Rats can eat most food that is stored in paper, plastic, or cardboard containers.

They can come indoors searching for a nice place to nest with a good supply of food. If they find your home that offers an adequate amount of it, you are certain to have an infestation any time soon. Some items that can attract rats are:

  • Rubbish and litter
  • Pet and bird foods that has been left out and not eaten
  • Dog droppings
  • Discarded food
  • Fruits and that have fallen on the ground

An Easy Prevention

While rodents can greatly multiply this coming spring, it does not mean that we should just wait for them, then just get rid of them once they are there. Make sure that before spring comes that you have already rodent proof your home. Keep in mind that if there are no attractants present and if they cannot find access inside, they will look for other places to harbor. Repair and seal holes. Clean cupboards, keep all garbage in metal containers with tight fitting lids, ensure the compost is away from the house, remove fallen fruit from the yard, remove pet food at night are all simple steps, but can work wonders to stop rodents from even coming near your home.

Dealing with rat infestation? Call Horizon Pest Control for a FREE inspection. For more info, visit Rat Control.

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Top 5 Signs You Have Termites

Filed under: Termite Control,Termites — Megan Howard @ 9:36 am June 13, 2014

Residential Termite ControlIn the U.S., termites are notorious in destroying wood structures. It is even estimated that more than $2 billion of damages is spent yearly in controlling and preventing invasion of termites.

Termites are considered social insects. They live in a nest that is commonly created underground. In their natural habitat, termites often build their colonies in a tree or wood pile. Their colony follows a hierarchy with a king, queen, soldiers and workers. Once they find a good settlement for their colony, they will populate and in most cases, it would be difficult to find them. Cases where it takes years to finally find these termites from their hiding places are common. So how would you know if your home is infested?

Here are five signs to know if your home have termites:

Swarming. Swarming is a telltale sign that you have a termite infestation. Swarming usually occur during the spring. It can also happen September or October and in late winter, and will occur during the day, commonly on warm days following rain.

Shelter tubes. Termites do not go out of their colony. Once they are there, they stay there. The wood that they are staying in will be their source of food and home. These termites will build a tunnel through materials such as wood or they can build larger mud tubes.

Hollowed wood. Termites choose to be in dark, humid environments, which is why they commonly feed inside the wood where they would not be seen by anyone. You may be able to see the wood’s surface to be intact and smooth outside, but the truth is, these pests are already infesting and damaging the wood. When tapped, if wood sounds hollow, this may be the cause of termites already eating the wood from the inside out.

Frass. Termites also produce wood-colored droppings called frass. This is produced as they eat their way out through rotten wood, or they will simply chew small holes in the wood to push these droppings out. These fecal pellets can be found in little piles beneath the infested area.

Dirt in wood. Termites commonly bring back dirt to the wood, which is a good indicator of an infestation. Mud that can be found are about the size of the width of a pencil along interior or exterior walls. These pests will build tunnels to travel from around their nest to their food source, which is commonly the wood around your home. Since they are particularly attracted to damp wood, the mud tubes that they create may be found in basements and tunnels. Tunnels that are created by subterranean termites are made of their own feces or frass as part of their material for tubes.

Termites do not just invade wood. They also infest anything that has cellulose such as paper, cardboard boxes, carpeting, and the likes. While they feed and create a colony, they can destroy non-cellulose products like plastic and foam board. The damage they cause may depend on when the infestation was discovered, the area where it infested and the years they spent destroying the structure. However, extreme termite damage commonly takes about three to eight years.

Once you find a termite infestation, do not panic! Make sure to have your home inspected by a pest management professional and do not rush into making decisions on how to deal with them. Assess the pest management professional that you called and see if they are the right people to work on your problem. Once you have allowed the professional to do the work for you, you can just sit back and relax for a while since your home will soon be rid of these pests.

Horizon Pest Control offers solutions on termite infestations and can properly identify and eliminate the different types of termites. If you want to learn more about our services or if you want to schedule an appointment visit Residential Termite Control.

 

Paper Party Straws (Set of 25)
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New Ticks Found in New Jersey and New York

Filed under: Tick Control — Megan Howard @ 5:28 pm June 6, 2014

Residential Pest ControlIt is summer season once again and time for us to spend more time outdoors. However, this season also brings a particular risk, especially for children and even the elderly who love to stay outdoors. Risk such as tick bites and Lyme disease are common during summer. In fact, Lyme disease is particularly severe in the Northeast region with New York having the highest number of reported cases of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is commonly transmitted by the bites of ticks, which are carried around by deer. A common victim may be a New Jersey resident who enjoy gardening or a child who likes to stay out in the yard to play. But, it is not only Lyme disease, residents should be worried about since New Jersey and New York residents are up to a new threat with new rare tick-borne disease and a new disease transmitted by the same deer tick that causes Lyme disease are now affecting these areas.

Powassan Virus

A couple of months after a woman from Warren County passed away, the Department of Health of the state has confirmed the cause of her death. According to them, they have confirmed that the woman passed away due to  a uncommon tick-borne disease that is the first New Jersey and in New York. The unnamed victim developed symptoms, which included high temperature, headache, rashes, and encephalitis. Her death last year of May was caused by the Powassan virus, a disease that is rare and only eight other people have been diagnosed in the U.S. this year.

This virus is transmitted by two different ticks – deer tick and woodchuck tick. Another dreaded tick-borne disease, Lyme disease, is spread by the deer tick. Death from Lyme disease is uncommon but the Powassan virus is deadly in 10% of cases.  Half of those who survived will have neurological complications like paralysis.

However, residents should not worry because not a lot of ticks in the area are infected. Only 1% of the adult stage ticks are  infected by the Powassan virus.

Borrelia Miyamotoi

Another type of disease was found with Anna Felix, an 81 year old, New Jersey resident. Although she also showed symptoms of Lyme disease, she tested negative. Lab technicians at Hunderdon Medical Center examined her spinal fluid and found an unusual strain of bacteria that they had never seen before. They confirmed that the strain they found was the bacteria Borrelia myamotoi, a new disease transmitted by the same deer tick that creates Lyme disease. Felix is the first American case of this new disease, and she was fortunate to have survived it.

Symptoms of the new disease are similar to Lyme disease, which include flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, nausea and muscle pain, although they do not include the rash that commonly develops with Lyme.

The good news with the virus Borrelia miyamotoi is that it responds to the same antibiotic treatment for Lyme. However, if this is left untreated, this can create recurring fever, and may also cause confusion and dementia-like symptoms in some patients with compromised immune systems.

Babesiosis

Also, federal health officials are also warning New Jersey and New York residents with another tick-borne infection, which is babesiosis. This can be fatal in the elderly, infants, children, and those with weak immune systems.

The risk of ticks is highest for people who like to spend time outdoors, commonly in wooded areas. To protect against ticks, make certain to wear skin-covering clothes, especially when hiking or camping. It is also advisable to use bug repellents that contain at least 20% DEET, and thoroughly check your body and clothing once you return home. Parents should always check their children for ticks. And, of course, it is essential for pet owners to regularly check their pets for ticks and make certain that their pets be freed of ticks once they find that they have them.

Preventing tick bites should be your first line of defense for keeping you and your pets safe. Horizon Pest Control offers effective tick control treatment for your home and pets. To learn more about our services and programs, and to know how to combat ticks, schedule an appointment with us, visit Residential Pest Control.

 

Source: NJ.com <link>

 

 

 

 

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