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Blog post about Pest Control topics
Bed bugs are a pest viewed by most homeowners with a degree of loathing. This distaste is warranted as bed bugs have the capacity to be a frustrating and expensive problem for homeowners. A great amount of misinformation exists surrounding bed bugs, and it is important that homeowners have a firm understanding of what bed bugs are and how they can be a pest. This knowledge can help you to better identify bed bugs and mitigate the threat that they pose to your home.
Bed bugs are an insect taxonomically sorted into the Cimicidae family. Cimicidae contains a variety of parasitic pests, most of which have a specific animal that they feed on, such as the bat bug. The name bed bug, which is given due to the pest’s tendency to hide on mattresses, is usually referring to the Cimex lectularius, which is considered the common bed bug.
Bed bugs are infamous for feeding on human blood, and in fact the common bed bug has been shown to prefer human blood sources over other warm blooded mammals. Bed bugs are some of the most tenacious parasites in the pest world, able to survive in a variety of climates and go without food for up to a year.
Fortunately, while they do take blood from hosts, they are not a known vector of disease or illness. This means that, unlike other blood sucking pests such as mosquitoes, they do not pose a threat to homeowners as a spreader of disease. Despite this, bed bugs still leave behind bite marks on the bodies of their victims, which can be itchy and inflamed.
How do you identify bed bugs?
Due to their reclusive nature, it can often be difficult to identify bed bugs in your home. Because they are nocturnal, they often only emerge from their hiding places at night to feed. For this reason, the most obvious sign of bed bug activity are bite marks left by their feeding. While it is preferable to identify bed bugs before they begin to feed, the bites are the most common sign homeowners find.
If you believe that bed bugs are active in your home, the best way to confirm this is to search in areas where bed bugs tend to hide. Common areas where you might find bed bugs include:
• Cracks and crevices
• Sheets and other linens
• Furniture and luggage
• Inside boxes or bags
• Crawling on baseboards
If bed bugs are active in these areas, you will often find black or brown stains left behind on any porous surfaces, and it is sometimes possible to spot immature bed bugs in these areas. Bed bugs are flat, round shaped insects that are typically reddish-brown in coloration. The adults are usually around 4-5mm in length. Even spotting one or two insects matching this description should be cause for concern, as a much larger population could be hidden elsewhere.
It is important to remember that bed bugs are excellent at hiding, and it can require a very detailed search of the home to locate them in some cases. Homeowners should be careful to keep their home free of unnecessary clutter, as this can provide bed bugs with easy hiding places.
Keeping your home safe:
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to remove from a home. Their rapid reproductive rate and ability to remain hidden for long periods means that they can sometimes outlast any treatment products that you might use in your home. To make matters more complicated, if the infestation is not completely eliminated, even one single female bed bug can rebuild the entire infestation anew.
Due to this, it is very important that homeowners call in a professional pest service to deal with bed bugs as soon as they are spotted. The sooner treatment begins, the easier it is to completely remove the problem from your home.
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating for pests. Our technicians begin any treatment with a thorough inspection of the property, identifying any signs of pest activity or conditions conducive to infestation. After this, we will formulate a safe, targeted treatment plan to deal with your pest problems once and for all!
So if you are dealing with bed bugs, call us today at 770-479-1598!
Customers occasionally call us and report finding swarms of small ants in and around their kitchens as well as on the outside of the home. Sometimes, the ants in question are of a species known as the white footed ant.
White footed ants are extremely small, growing to only 2.7mm (About 1/10 inch) in length. They are usually black or brown in color, and can be most easily recognized by their white or yellow colored feet.
The white footed ant is most often found in Florida, where they are a common problem for homeowners during the spring and summer seasons. However, while they not as prevalent outside of Florida, the white footed ant can be found throughout the Southeast, including here in Georgia.
White footed ants are often spread unintentionally by humans when they hitch a ride on plants or on landscaping materials such as mulch. These materials will be taken to a new location, such as a home, and the ants will spread around the area in search of food to scavenge. Because of their small size, the ants are sometimes able to access areas that would be sealed from other pests.
One scenario that can be particularly problematic is when a homeowner brings a plant that is carrying the ants inside the home. This can allow them to establish a nest indoors, which can be an unexpected and unwanted surprise for homeowners.
The white footed ant has a fairly diverse diet, feeding on sweets, proteins, and dead insects. They are very fond of food scraps left by humans, and for this reason will often be found around kitchens or outdoor eating areas. Once an ant has found a food supply, they will communicate with the rest of the colony, and swarms of ants will move into areas where food is available.
Fortunately, white footed ants do not sting or bite, and their workers do not cause any structural damage to your home. However, the ants are often a nuisance to homeowners due to their scavenging. With each nest of ants containing millions of members, they can be problematic due to their sheer numbers.
The best way to protect your home from the nuisance of white footed ants is to prevent them from accessing the home in the first place. Carefully inspect any plants, pine straw, or mulch for ants, and be especially careful with any house plants.
If you are spotting these ants in your home, it is likely that they have a nest somewhere nearby. The best way to find these nests is to simply follow the trail of ants back from a food source to their nest. This can allow you to find the source of the ants and remove it from your home. If the ants are already well established in your home, it is often best to call in a professional pest service to inspect and treat your home.
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating for pests of all kinds, including wildlife. Our technicians begin any treatment with a thorough inspect of the property, and use this to identify any signs of pest activity and any conditions that might be conducive to future infestations. Rather than using basic, generalize treatment options, we formulate safe, targeted treatment plans to deal with your pest problems in the most efficient way!
So if you are dealing with pests, or simply have a question, call us today at 770-479-1598!
Here’s to YOU living pest free!
Smokey Brown Cockroaches
Here at Canton Termite and Pest Control, we receive many calls regarding smokybrown cockroaches.
No one likes roaches, and many people find them to be terrifying. They are often associated with a lack of sanitation. Unfortunately, even well-kept homes can sometimes have roach infestations. In the Southeast, the most common cockroach is the smokybrown.
Smokeybrown cockroaches are a fairly common pest. They are the largest local species of cockroach and can be identified by their brown/black body pattern. The smokeybrown is what most people associate with the word…cockroach, due to their shiny brown bodies. In outdoor environments, they are often found in warm, moist areas. This is because the smokeybrown is easily dehydrated and therefore must live near a water source.
The smokeybrown can often be found in gardens and forested areas around homes. Common areas include wood piles, mulch, and other outdoor debris. They are primarily nocturnal and will go out at night seeking food and water. The cockroaches can consume a wide variety of substances and are opportunistic eaters. This means that they will consume any food source available. Common food sources include:
- Human food scraps
- Plant Matter
- Fecal Matter
- Dead insects
The smokeybrown has a life span that widely varies, from around 200-700 days. The female will reproduce by creating approximately 10 egg sacs, also known as ootheca. Each of these egg sacs will contain an average of 20 eggs. The female will often attach these egg sacs to a safe surface where they will remain until the young hatch.
Smokeybrown cockroaches living outdoors do not pose a significant threat to homeowners. However, the roaches can sometimes be attracted to the lights in a home, and will make their way inside a building. They can enter through doors, windows, ventilation shafts, and any other opening in a home.
Once inside, they can often find a dark, warm place, such as an attic, to hide and reproduce. Due to the amount of time in the life cycle of the roaches, they will often stay hidden for up to a year before you begin to see them in your home. They will hide in a dark space and grow into adults before venturing out into the home.
Due to the requirement for moisture, the smokeybrown will often have difficulties surviving in any areas with a lot of air movement, such as ventilation shafts. However, if they find a moist area of the home, with limited ventilation, they can quickly become a frustrating pest to remove.
As they are the largest roach species in the area, it can be somewhat disconcerting to find them around your home. They will often leave their indoor hiding place at night and can be found around the home or outside seeking food. When looking for signs of roaches, homeowners should look for a blackish, tar-like residue. This residue is excreted by the roaches and is the best sign of an infestation.
To deal with an infestation, it is best to seek professional help. Some DIY products can eliminate some of the indoor roaches, but often roaches are continuing to enter the home from the outside. Non-professional grade products simply do not have the strength to keep the roaches out longterm. A professional technician is able to apply sufficient and longer-lasting chemicals to eliminate the infestation and keep the roaches out.
Exclusion and home repairs are other important steps to eliminate the infestation. The cockroaches will often have a particular area that they are entering through. So it is important to seal any potential entrances into the home. Important exclusion steps include:
- Maintain ventilation in attics and crawl spaces
- Discard old boxes and debris
- Repair any leaking drains, faucets, and other sources of moisture
- Remove any rotting leaf piles near to gutters and windows
- Seal any exterior cracks or holes
- Repair any caulking damage
- Place mesh screens on vents and drains
These steps, combined with any other necessary repairs and chemical treatment, will help to quickly eliminate the cockroach infestation. As a homeowner myself, I can completely understand how unpleasant the idea of cockroaches in your home can be. For that reason, I am pleased to be able to provide you with the most efficient, affordable, and effective treatment options available. My team at Canton Termite and Pest Control has over 20 years of experience in the field! We are industry leaders in all forms of pest and wildlife control, including roaches.
My technicians will eliminate your roach problem as quickly and safely as possible for an affordable price that fits your budget! So if you have a cockroach infestation, or any other pest or wildlife concerns, call us today at 770-479-1598! Ask for me, Tim McWhirter, I would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have.
Here’s to YOU living pest free!
Indian meal moths
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we will occasionally receive calls from customers who report spotting small moths flying around their home. While they are often mistaken for clothes moths, these moths can sometimes be the destructive Indianmeal moth. While the adult moths pose little or no threat, the larvae of this species can consume and contaminate a variety of food sources in your home.
Indianmeal moths are fairly small, with a wingspan of around 16mm. Their wings are grey in color, but are characterized by a brownish-orange pattern on the back half of the wings. The larvae of the species resemble small worms and are cream colored.
Indianmeal moths often enter homes as larvae. They infest dry food sources such as pet food, cornmeal, bread, rice, and flour. In most cases, the larvae will infest a food source at a food distributor or grocery store, and then will be brought into the home by the homeowner. Once inside, they will spread and infest other food sources around the home.
The adult moths can often be found around the home around nighttime. The adults are nocturnal, and like many moths they are photosensitive. This can lead them to spread far from the original infestation while following light sources in the home, which can make it hard to identify the cause of the infestation.
When the larvae feed, they leave behind silk webbing as well as fecal matter. This leads to the entire food source being contaminated. Due to their diverse diet, the larvae can quickly ruin a variety of foods in your pantry or storage cabinets.
If you are dealing with an Indianmeal moth infestation inside your home, the most important step to eliminating the problem is identifying the source of the infestation. Typically this will be a particular food source around the home that the larvae are feeding on and living around. Finding and removing any contaminated food sources helps to eliminate the population from your home.
It can also be helpful to identify and seal any cracks or gaps in your cabinets, pantries, or food storage areas that could have allowed the moths to spread around the home. Since pet foods are the most commonly infested food source, it is important make sure that they are sealed and kept moth free.
If you are still dealing with moths after taking these steps, it is often best to call in a professional service to inspect your home. At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating for pests of all kinds. Our technicians can thoroughly inspect your home, identifying any signs of pest activity and conditions conducive to infestation, and then use this information to formulate a safe, targeted plan to deal with your pest problems!
So if you have pest problems, or simply have a question, call us today at 770-479-1598!
Here’s to YOU living pest free!
Sugar Ant Control
During the spring and summer months, homeowners often call us to deal with infestations of ants that they find foraging for food in and around their homes. One species of ant that is often the culprit in these cases is the sugar ant.
While the term “sugar ant” is often applied to any ants that seek out sweet foods, they are actually a unique species known as the banded sugar ant. Sugar ants vary in size depending on food availability, but can grow to around 15mm in size. The female ants are orange in coloration, and have a unique dark band on the rear of their bodies. The males, on the other hand, are completely black in coloration.
Sugar ants are right at home in suburban areas due to the abundance of food, but naturally occur in woodlands and forests. They typically prefer warm, humid climates, and this makes Georgia an ideal region for sugar ant activity. Like most ants, they are social insects, and build large nests inside of dirt mounds.
As their name suggests, sugar ants prefer sweet, sugary foods. However, they have a diverse diet, and can consume nectar, insects, and will sometimes farm honeydew from aphids. Sugar ants become a problem for homeowners when they enter into homes or outdoor eating areas foraging for food. They are attracted to any food scraps or stains, and will communicate with one another to allow hundreds of ants to descend on a food source at once.
While they do not sting, sugar ants can be a frustrating problem for homeowners due to their voracious attraction to any unsealed food sources. For this reason, it is very important to keep food sealed and to clean up any food spills, especially at outdoor events. If sugar ants have already established themselves near to your home, it is often best to call in a professional pest service to treat your property.
Here at Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating for pests of all kinds. Our highly trained technicians will inspect your entire property, identify any signs of pest activity, and provide you with the best treatment options to resolve your pest problems once and for all!
So if sugar ants are ruining your spring activities, call us today at 770-479-1598!
Here’s to YOU living pest free!
Best of Life Award
Canton Termite & Pest Control Inc. has been honored recently with the Family Life magazine’s Best of Life award.
Readers have voted us the Best Pest and Termite Control company in the Canton area.
We appreciate our customers’ support, and we will continue to work hard to provide superior service throughout Cherokee county.