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Pest Control in Food Processing Facilities

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 9:06 am May 26, 2015

Food Processing Pest ControlIf you’re a restaurant owner or food processing facilities manager, the very thought of pests in or around your food probably keeps you up at night. When you first move into a new facility or discover a major pest problem, you may need to call in professional pest control to take care of the situation. But we aren’t your only line of defense. There are tons of natural, effective ways to prevent and maintain your space that will keep your food clean, safe, and free of harsh chemicals (and pests). Here are our top recommendations:

Opt for organic insecticides

“Pesticide” can sometimes sound like a dirty word. It conjures images of harsh chemicals that are unsavory and potentially dangerous. Although using chemicals may not always be necessary, it’s important to understand which chemicals are safest for food and for the environment so you can make an educated decision. Naturally occurring insecticides are often a safer option for chemical pest control than synthetic alternatives. Pest control specialists, such as our team at Horizon Pest Control, can explain the pros and cons of different chemicals and help you choose the best option so your needs.

Don’t underestimate homeopathic repellants

Most pests venture inside to find shelter and food. Although you can’t operate a restaurant without food, keeping food storage and preparation facilities clean and tidy can create a less hospitable environment that doesn’t encourage pests to set up shop. Making sure all lids are closed, bags are sealed and fresh produce is in a cooler or proper storage container is the first step. If you see early signs that pests have discovered your food, try to deter them with natural remedies. Soapy water or cucumber peels are known to drive away pesky ants. Taking you’re your garbage out a few times per day or using fly paper can eliminate houseflies that carry salmonella bacteria. Remove standing water that attracts mosquitos by draining your sinks and buckets during warm weather. Kill silverfish with natural, non-toxic bug traps in damp, dark areas.  These simple steps can have a big impact.

Figure out where pests are nesting

If you have discovered evidence of furry pests (think: mice and rats), try to figure out where they’re nesting. There may be holes in your insulation that let rodents in, or old boxes and storage containers that make a nice bed for these types of pests. Do an inventory of your facility to see where pests may be living: eliminating these areas can often take care of the problem. If all else fails, box traps and glue boards are a safer alternative to poisons and chemicals.

 

Having pest problems in your facilities? Horizon offers a pest solution for food processing facilities. Make the call now!

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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 need 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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