Monday December 2, 2013
With the holidays approaching, the air is filled with songs of the season. Although mice, squirrels, cockroaches and beetles may only really sing in cartoons, don't be surprised if it seems as if you are hearing some tiny voices humming along to Let It Snow ... "Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow." Those tiny voices may just be the rodents, wildlife, ants, cockroaches, moths, and bed bugs that have found your home to be quite a delightful way to get away from the frightful weather outside.
As you'll see in reading the three-part series on Winter Pest Control - Part 1 and Part 2 (Part 3 to follow next week), pests don't disappear in the winter. In fact, they often reappear in your home at the strangest of times, in absolutely no hurry to have anyplace else to go. If they could, you'd probably even see them warming them hands by that delightful fire.
But whimsy and jest aside, pests don't disappear in the winter and neither does the need for preventive, proactive and, yes, even reactive pest control practices in and around your home to keep those warmth-seeking pests out.
Wednesday November 27, 2013
Whether you are celebrating the holidays in your home, vacationing, or visiting friends or relatives, coming home with insects hiding in your luggage can take all the joy out of the season.
If I were writing this a couple decades ago, it would have focused on cockroaches. The tiny German cockroach was one of the most incessant of insects and most commonly transferred in people's luggage, backpacks, and other personal items.
Then bed bugs made their resurgence in the U.S. and across the globe to become one of the most dreaded pests, most common of "hitchhiking" insects, most feared of biting insects - and one of the most difficult of all pests to control.
As with so many of the insect pests, the best way to control bed bugs is to prevent their entry in the first place. You may not always know if your guests had bed bugs in your home, but you can take precautions to prevent them from coming into yours by following the tips in:
And other pests:
Wednesday November 20, 2013
Whether it is about the food or giving thanks, Thanksgiving in America is generally a time for a gathering together of family and friends, with everyone bringing something to share.
While that "something" is usually a food, drink, or house gift, the last few decades have increased the possibility that an unexpected, unintended, and unwelcome "something" could end up being bed bugs.
Whether you are traveling to visit relatives for Thanksgiving, having friends over to your home, or have a son or daughter coming home from college, bed bugs are one thing you definitely don't want to be sharing and carrying into your home for the holidays.
As is true for so many aspects of pest control, the best defense against bed bugs is a good offense:
- If you are stopping at a hotel during your travels, or staying over at a friend's or relative's home, check the bed mattress and frame for evidence of bed bugs (eggs, adults, blood spots) before setting your belongings nearby. While it may seem rude to go to such lengths at a friend's or relative's home, you will quickly regret your "politeness" if you end up bringing bed bugs home with you afterward. Be discrete, but thorough.
- If the gathering is at your home, do not place coats on unprotected beds as is so often done. Instead, clean out a coat closet to provide space, as this area can be cleaned afterward if you suspect bed bugs have been brought in. Another option is to spread plastic sheeting over the bed, then discard the sheet afterward.
For more bed bug prevention and control tips, read Eliminate Bed Bugs Step by Step andáPrevent and Control Bed Bugs.
Photo Courtesy of NYSIPM/Cornell
Thursday November 14, 2013
It began in the 1990s, and in the decade since, the resurgence and spread of bed bugs has only continued to get worse. Every time you visit a hotel, stay the night at a friends' house, or have someone else's belongings brought through your door, there is the potential of carrying bed bugs into your home. And with the holidays approaching, that potential increases ... as students return home for the winter break bringing backpacks and suitcases (and presents) galore, friends and relatives visit and invite you to their homes, and your own travel possibly increasing with a stopover at a hotel along the way.
While the possibility of a bed bug infestation is not something that should cause excessive stress or worry, it is valuable to understand bed bugs, what - and why they do what they do, how you "get" them, what to do about it if you do, but most importantly, what you can do to help prevent a problem from starting in the first place.
To find out more than you probably ever really wanted to know about bed bugs, check out our Bed Bug FAQs: 20 Questions about Bed Bugs, Part 1 and Part 2.