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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. 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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