Five Unknown Facts About Mice

Finding a stray mouse in your home is definitely not something you want to do. Mice in your home usually mean dirt, mess and disease, and responsible homeowners do everything they can to keep them out.

Even so, mice are fascinating animals, and there’s more to them than just looking for cheese. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about mice:

Mice Have Terrible Eyesight

Maybe it’s because they tend to do most of their exploring at night -- or maybe it’s the reason for it. Either way, mice have weak eyes. They’re no good in both bright light or pitch black. In fact, mice see best in dim conditions -- but even then their eyes are not that good.

To make up for this poor eyesight, a mouse’s other senses are actually very developed. Smell, touch -- both of those are very strong. However, where a mouse’s senses really take off is hearing. Mice have incredibly sensitive ears, able to hear sounds well above anything humans can detect.

Mice Can’t Stand Cold

If you’ve ever had a mouse sneak into your house from the outside, chances are it happened in the fall or winter. Why? Well, mice might be wild animals, adapted to living outside, but that doesn’t mean they have to like it! In fact, mice really don’t like the cold at all. Once the weather changes and the thermometer starts to plummet, most mice will try and find warm places to spend the next couple of months -- and the central heating in your house will fit the bill just nicely.

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5 Ways to Tell if You Have a Rodent Problem

As a homeowner, there are few things more headache-inducing than a rodent problem. In addition to being dirty they can also leave behind a pretty significant trail of destruction that can take a lot of time and money to fix. Even when you’re doing everything in your power to keep them out of your home, it’s possible a few could sneak past your defenses and get inside. If that happens, do you know the warning signs that tell you if you have a rodent problem? Here are five signs to look out for:


Typically, rodents are pretty quiet. However, if they decide to run around inside your walls or in your attic, there’s a good chance you’ll hear them. If you hear what sounds like the pitter-patter of little feet in an otherwise unreachable or uninhabited area of your house, you probably have something living there.

Pet Behavior

If you have a dog or cat, they might hear noises or pick up on smells that you won’t. If they start to act different, like noticing things in the ceiling or trying to dig through a wall, don’t dismiss it simply as strange pet behavior -- make sure to investigate to see what they’re noticing that you aren’t.


Another sure sign of an infestation is the presence of droppings. While these little pellets can show up anywhere, you’ll most likely find them around food packages or in hidden places like cupboards and drawers. If you do find droppings, make a note of where in the house it occurs, and then clean it up -- it’s gross, but it’s also a health hazard!

Nesting Materials

Rats and mice build nests out of shredded material like paper and cardboard. If you find what appears to be a stash of chewed up stuff then you’ve probably stumbled on a nest, or at least the beginnings of one.

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What Attracts Flies to Your Home

They might not top most people’s lists of insects to worry about but ask anyone who has had them in their home, and they will tell you: an infestation of flies is nothing to take lightly. They can be annoying, sure, but more than that they are incredibly hard to eradicate, and one fly soon leads to dozens more if you’re not careful.

As with any infestation, the best way to get rid of flies is not to attract them in the first place. Flies are attracted to many different things, so knowing this can help you learn what to avoid in the future.

Uncovered Trash

In general, flies are attracted to old, decaying, organic matter. As gross as that sounds, there’s usually a good bit of it lying around the average household in various forms. One of the most obvious is in the trash. When you go several days without emptying your trash can, whatever is in there has nothing to do but decay, attracting flies from all around.

Animal Droppings

Another common form of decaying organic matter comes from feces. If you have a dog, there’s a good chance there’s poo in your yard that you haven’t cleaned up. Even if you’re diligent about this, pieces get missed. Flies love feces, unfortunately, so this is a prime method of attracting flies. However, it doesn’t have to stop with pets. Critters and rodents who live around and inside your house can also contribute to this problem.

Old Fruit

Often when we shop, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We end up buying food we never get to – and there might be no better example of this than fruit. When fruit stays uneaten for too long, it gets overripe and starts to decay. This is like sending out a beacon to all the flies in the area, and they will definitely answer the call. What’s even worse, though, is when the fruit attracts not only the common housefly (which is bad enough), but also its smaller, more annoying cousin, the fruit fly. These little guys swarm quick, and once they’re in, they are almost impossible to get rid of.

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Why Your Home Attracts Bugs

Ants, termites, spiders and other types of bugs are important to nature, but they do not belong in your home. If you have an infestation problem, then you may need to call in the professionals to eliminate the pests. However, there is a reason bugs were drawn to your home in the first place. Find out why your home attracts bugs and what you can do to stop them.

On the Lookout for Food

Like all living things, bugs need food and shelter to survive. If your home provides either or both of these things, then pests are likely to move in. Easy access to food will attract pests. Routinely leaving food or dirty dishes out will bring around pests searching for food. Even pet food that is not secured in a sealed container can entice bugs into your home.

Untraditional Food Sources

Pests can also be drawn to things you may not think of as food. Garbage is another attractant and possible food source for bugs. Termites eat and prefer moist wood. If you experience water damage in your home, either because of a leaky roof or a burst pipe, that can attract termites.

You can address these attractants by putting food away in sealed containers, cleaning dirty dishes and countertops and regularly taking out the trash. Also, stay on top of repairs and replace any water damaged wood.

Scouting for Shelter

When it comes to the ideal location to build a nest or web, bugs normally don’t have a lot of requirements. They need a place that provides protection from the elements and predators while also being in close proximity to food. Most homes fit these requirements, and bugs will be drawn inside if there is a way for them to enter. Cracks or holes in the foundation or structure of the home can provide points of entry.

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What to Do About Silverfish

Silverfish are considered one of the planet’s oldest insects. These silvery scaly creatures have been around for some 400 million years! While that’s certainly impressive, they’re a nuisance to modern humankind. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.

The Quiet Destroyer

While silverfish look scary and startle many people with their surprising speed and propensity to hide in small spaces, they aren’t exactly harmful to humans. They aren’t known to carry disease or bite in defense and are not poisonous in general. However, they can cause allergies due to their shedding skin, which creates dust that can trigger a reaction in some people.

The real threat silverfish pose is to your belongings. This insect loves to feast on sugars and carbohydrates, and it isn’t picky about where they come from. Your books, clothes and favorite foods are all fair game, as is any hair shed by you or your family. As an infestation grows in size, you may start to see holes appear in your valuables seemingly overnight. That’s because these bugs are nocturnal. You may also see even more unsightly things, like yellow stains, black specks of feces and shed scales. At worst, silverfish can fall from ceilings and light fixtures, which is more than off-putting.

A Proactive Plan

The truth is that it is quite difficult to get rid of a silverfish infestation. Extermination is best left to the professionals. Before it gets to that point, however, there are a number of things you can do to make your home less of a breeding ground.

First off, invest in a set of dehumidifiers for your basement, attic or any damp area, because these bugs love moisture and humidity. Check the ridge vents on your roof to make sure they work, as they can keep the humidity down in your home, as well. Keep dry goods like pasta, beans and pet food sealed in airtight containers. This will prevent silverfish from sensing food in the area. Vacuum your carpet, upholstery and floors regularly to keep them free of crumbs. Also, take the time to check your home for cracks and other gaps that insects can maneuver through. Seal them with caulk, especially those found on the exterior of your home.

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Mosquitoes 101: How to Keep the Bites at Bay

With the coming of summer come all the fun things to do. But you cannot forget about the pesky little critters, mosquito's too. You can protect you and your family from these little blood suckers if you follow these simple tips.

Removing the Breeding Grounds

If you want to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area, you need to remove the places where they can breed. You should check around your home and yard for places that can collect water. Mosquitoes breed in wet and stagnant water. So, if you remove the places water can sit, you remove the breeding ground.

The recommendation is to check your yard and home every week or two. You should empty any buckets or any containers that collect water. If you have a large pool, you should make sure to cover it when it is not in use. But if you have a small kid’s pool, you should empty that at least once a week to keep the mosquitoes away.

Mosquito Repellents

If you are outside, you should use a mosquito repellent on your exposed skin and clothing. You will want a spray that contains DEET. But, if you want a natural mosquito repellent, you do have options. The natural repellents include lemon eucalyptus, catnip oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil and IR3535 which is an amino acid. With any insect repellent, you need to reapply to keep the effectiveness. You need to follow the directions for reapplying the repellent.

When you use any type of repellent on your skin, you should test it on a small area to make sure you do not have a reaction to it. To test the repellent, place a small amount on your forearm and wait for 10-15 minutes to see if a rash appears. If you develop a rash, wash your skin thoroughly with soap and water. Contact your doctor if you have a severe reaction.

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Your Guide to Ant Pest Control

Ants are found on six of earth’s seven continents, so unless you live in Antarctica, there is always a serious possibility of ants intruding your house. Once inside, they can cause a lot of harm to it and the people living inside by spreading diseases and destroying property. To ensure the safety of you and anyone else living in your home, you need to keep ants away from it. Here is a guide to controlling ant infestations and preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Removing Ants from Your House

It is much simpler to prevent an infestation from occurring than to eliminate a colony already within your walls. However, if you already have an infestation, you should handle it as soon as possible. An effective, easy way to take care of an ant problem is to lay out a few ant bait traps. Place them in high traffic areas where ants are likely to walk by and let them do the rest of the work themselves. Best of all, ants can even take some of the poison with them when they go back to their colony, killing off large amounts of the population. If your ant problem is especially out of control, then hire professionals. They will find the exact spot that the ants have chosen to create their colony and eliminate them where they live.

Preventing Infestations from Occurring

Once you’ve taken care of the ants in your house, you’re going to want to make sure they never come back. A critical way to stop ants from making their way into your home is to keep it clean at all times. Ants are attracted to food, and even a small smear of honey or syrup on the countertop can give them the nutrients they need to survive. The same goes for water as well. Fix any leaky pipes, dry up any standing water sources in bathtubs and sinks, and invest in a dehumidifier. Once you make your house as unappealing to ants as possible, tape up broken window screens, seal cracks around your house, and when you close your garage door, make sure it’s completely level with the ground. That way, ants won’t be able to come in even if they wanted to.

Ants are stubborn little creatures, but that doesn’t mean you need to let them have their way. Take control of your own home and keep these harmful pests out. For more information, or to receive quality pest control services, contact us at Ideal Pest Control today.

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Understanding Rat Colonies and How They Spread

There aren’t many drawbacks to living in the Coastal Empire, but rats would definitely rank among the number one complaint. Our unique ecosystem of water, humidity and foliage is particularly suited to rodents. Therefore, they tend to show up in homes and businesses often.

Ideal Pest Control understands that our clients want to keep their living spaces free from invading rodents. Rats bring concerns that go far beyond health hazards - a colony of rats can cause extensive property damage before the homeowner realizes they have established nests within their structure.

It’s for this reason that if you notice any signs of rats in your home, you should contact-us right away. Our fully trained technicians will take a multi-faceted approach to protect your home and eliminating the issue permanently.

To further understand why one rat is too many, let’s look at how a rat colony is organized and explore some little-known facts about rodents.

R-Adaptive Species

Scientifically, rats are classified as an r-adaptive species. This means that they mature rapidly and breed at an incredibly fast pace. A single female rat can live between six months to two years, and during a single year can have up to 84 babies through multiple litters.

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Your Guide to Roach Species

Everyone knows about cockroaches. At this point, they’ve almost become shorthand for pests themselves. They’re creepy, unsanitary and notoriously difficult to eradicate. But not all roaches are the same, there are actually multiple different types cockroach species out there, eager to crawl into houses and make homeowners lives miserable. Since all these species can get a bit confusing, here’s a guide to help.

American Cockroach

American cockroaches are reddish brown and are located throughout the United States. The American cockroaches thrive best in warmer climates, preferring about 70 degrees, but they can live in colder climates if necessary. Of the ‘house-infesting’ cockroaches, the American cockroach is the largest and they prefer humid, damp environments like sewers, basements, pipes and drains.

Brownbanded Cockroach

Brownbanded cockroaches are also found in the United States, but unlike the American cockroach, the brownbanded cockroach prefers drier, less humid environments, and frequents cabinets and garages over sewers and bathrooms. The brownbanded cockroach gets its name from two brown bands they have wrapped around their abdomens. They have wings as well, with the male's wings being larger than the females. Brownbanded cockroaches hide their egg cases under pieces of furniture.

German Cockroach

Despite their name, German cockroaches are also found in the United States and are tan, oval-shaped and have two dark stripes on their backs. German cockroaches are the most frequent cockroaches to invade houses and the cockroach most often to cause illnesses and allergic reactions in people. Similar to the American cockroach, the German cockroach prefers warm and humid environments and is often found crawling around bathrooms and kitchens.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental cockroaches are entirely black and have a glistening outer coating. They are also found in the United States, however, mostly in the North. Oriental cockroaches traverse through many different locations. They can be found in sewers or entering buildings through drains, living in garages, crawl spaces and basements, and they also sometimes inhabit leaf piles and stacks of firewood outside. Some of the nicknames they go by are ‘water bugs,’ because of their tendency to crawl out of drains, and ‘black beetles,’ because of their dark reflective appearance. They are notorious for their filth and emit a strong stench.

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The Dangers of Silverfish

Silverfish are tiny, crustacean-looking creatures, often found in moist dark spots around the house such as basements, toilets, shelves and closets. Many scientists consider them the oldest living species of insect on the planet, existing roughly 100 million years before the dinosaurs. They have a gray coating, antennas and they shed their skin continually throughout their lives. Despite their frightening appearance, they do not bite humans, nor have they been known to be venomous. However, this does not mean they cannot cause their fair share of problems to you and your household. Here are some of the dangers of silverfish and how you can avoid them.

Silverfish in Your Home

Although silverfish do not bite, sting or transmit any major pathogens that spread human diseases, there is a reason to believe that they may trigger allergic reactions in people who are exposed to them. As mentioned above, silverfish molt multiple times throughout their lives, leaving behind their old scales. These scales or skins turn into dust, which over time, may begin to irritate people who are allergic to them, causing coughing, sneezing, congestion or rashes. Not only this, but silverfish may even attract other pests into your house such as dust mites.

The really aggravating aspect of silverfish is their propensity to consume everything from books to sweaters to wallpaper. Silverfish live on a diet of sugars and carbohydrates which they get from things like paper, cardboard, tissue, cotton and wood. Silverfish do not discriminate between the things they devour. They’re just as quick to eat holes through an antique war uniform or a precious book as through an unattended paper towel. This is why everyone with any items of value made from cloth or paper should make sure their house is free and clear of any silverfish who may want to destroy them.

To keep these pests at bay, make sure all food sources are kept safe in sealed off areas. Don’t leave crumbs lying on the floor or the counter top, as that will attract silverfish by the dozens. Also, use dehumidifiers in high moisture areas like basements, as silverfish thrive in damp environments. Furthermore, seal off any openings where silverfish may sneak through. Use caulk around the outside of your house and repair any window screens which may be torn. Hopefully, these tricks will keep silverfish out of your home for good.

For more information, or to look into extermination services for all your pest control needs, contact Ideal Pest Control today.

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Common Myths About Home Pests

While most homeowners know that preventative pest control is the most effective way to protect your house, it's also very easy to dismiss pests if you only notice a few around your property.

Ideal Pest Control wants to help you protect your investment and maintain the health of your home. We want to dispel common myths regarding home pests so that you can take the necessary precautions and treatments to keep your property at it's best.

Common Myths:

If you only see a few pests, its not likely to be a problem.

Pests can be sneaky. If you notice any pests around your home, the chances are high that they've found a place to hide. Many places in your building structure can provide shelter and breeding spaces to insects, bats and termites. Foundations, floor joists, garage attics and more can quickly become infested with pests that pose a danger to your health and structure before you notice a large number within your home. If you see any pests, the best action to take is contacting a pest control service to eliminate them and help prevent future infestations.

Carpenter ants are harmless.

It's true that carpenter ants don't typically bite people, but that's because they're saving their chewing power for the wood in your home. They don't eat the wood, but they tend to build tunnels through all the support systems. As ants multiply, these tunnels can become elaborate and severely weaken the structural supports of your building. Take note of not only your home but also the trees that surround your property. If you notice carpenter ants, it's time to take preventative measures to avoid an infestation in your home.

If the queen is removed from a hive, the other bees will leave.

This myth is partly true. While the hive member will leave, most people don't realize that certain species will lay several queen eggs in the hive. Depending on where they are in development, if an intended queen hatches, your bee or wasp issue won't be rectified. The new queen will simply re-establish the colony. To avoid a bee or wasp infestation, both the bees and the hive need to be removed.

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Signs You Have a Rodent Infestation

Rodents are filthy creatures that can transform your dwelling into a cesspool. Not only will rodents expose your family to germs, but they can also cause a great deal of property damage. Here are some of the key signs that you have a rodent infestation.


If you find rodent droppings in your home or business, this is a big indication of an infestation. While fresh droppings look dark and moist, old droppings tend to turn gray over time. Droppings are most likely to be found in cabinets, drawers, and along walls. The best approach is to take action immediately. If you wait to address the problem, it’ll only become worse.

Strong Musty Odor

When dealing with a rodent infestation, expect to smell a very musty odor. The ammonia-like scent of urine often lingers in the air for days at a time. Even if you attempt to spray a deodorizer, it’ll only temporarily mask the putrid smell. Think twice before inviting guests over to your residence. They are bound to get a whiff of the foul scent. The stench of a dead mouse will send everyone running for the hills.

Strange Behavior by Pets

Pets have a keen sense of smell and great hearing abilities. Often times, cats and dogs will notice the presence of rodents before you do. Pay close attention to their everyday behavior. While some pets will become noticeably agitated, others may begin to paw at the walls. This is especially true during the evening hours.

Late-Night Sounds

Contrary to popular belief, rodents aren’t always quiet. While you’re peacefully sleeping in your bed, you may hear them scratching and gnawing in walls. Don’t be surprised to hear scampering noises as well. Mice and rats are generally nocturnal animals. After a while, the late-night activity of rodents will eventually become unnerving.

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Back to School Basics: Bed Bug Avoidance 101

School will be back in session soon, and you can almost hear the ringing bells that signal you get to take a break from constant parenting. While it's nice to soak up some peace and quiet while the little ones are off learning, the tantalizing break isn't a sure thing. If your kids get bed bugs, then all hope of actually appreciating the school year will vanish.

How can kids avoid picking up bed bugs along with their homework? Here's what you should know.

A Bed Bug Infestation Primer

Bed bugs feed solely on blood, but that doesn't mean they only live on humans. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, notes, they routinely hitchhike from one hunting ground to the next. For instance, your kids might carry these parasites home on their clothing, backpacks, textbooks or bodies. From there, it's just a matter of time before it spreads to the whole house.

Keeping Your Home Clean

Bed bugs are extremely good at surviving in harsh conditions. This versatility makes it harder to fight back against suspected infestations. Furthermore, the EPA says that merely applying pesticides usually doesn't cut it. Proper control is a matter of establishing an effective, comprehensive strategy.

Did you receive a letter telling you that your child's school has bed bugs? It's up to you to take precautions that help minimize the problem's spread. Smart ideas might include

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Pests to Look Out for in Your Dorm

College dorms are meant to be places where students can hang out with friends, study, and rest. None of this is likely to be accomplished when your assigned dormitory has a pest problem. Though you should always expect to have access to a clean dorm room, here are a few pests that might nevertheless pop up from time to time while you are pursuing your degree.


Dorms are often rowdy places with a lot of different things happening at once. Ants are attracted to sugar, and they will likely sniff out any morsels that have been left in the study room down the hall. Ants release chemical trails that guide other ants to a food source, and you should be especially careful of starting infestations during the spring and summer.


Roaches, like ants, can be hard to eradicate once a colony gets started in an indoor area. In dormitories, roaches are most likely to be found near sinks and toilets. They are known to feast on garbage, and dirty bedrooms or living areas are likely to attract the creatures. German cockroaches are fairly common across the country, and infestations are often first discovered by the droppings that the insects leave behind. Study areas that have been overtaken by loose papers and food scraps will be prime areas for roaches, and you will want to keep things as neat as possible to avoid a breeding colony, which will then be difficult to get rid of without professional intervention.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs, unlike ants and roaches, do not generally invade dormitories without being brought in on sheets, blankets, or some other soft material. They are brown or black and are almost microscopic in size. Bed bug infestations are most likely to occur when one student brings sheets that are already infested into the dorm. Bed bugs require blood in order to reproduce, and students are likely to first notice infestations by observing straight lines of small, red bite marks on their wrists, arms, legs, or ankles. Bed bugs require either a heat treatment or a chemical treatment to completely eradicate them.

Flies and Bees

Flies are classic summer-time burdens in dorms. They come in through open windows, propped doors, and other weaknesses in the building. Dead flies are often found on window ledges, but because the insects breed so quickly, there will always be a few buzzing around the dormitory. Wasps and hornets, on the other hand, can build nests near the entrances of buildings and will have to be dealt with quickly for the safety of the dorm residents.

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Common Mosquito Breeding Areas in Savannah

Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid areas like the Southeast, especially in Savannah where there's plenty of rainfall and aquatic sites. The females lay their eggs in water, so it's important for them to have access to standing water in order to breed and to increase their population. These insects transmit diseases to people, making them a threat during the summer months. Ideal Pest Control has a few areas to look for if you're trying to reduce mosquito infestations on your property this year.

3 Common Mosquito Breeding Areas

Concave Surfaces

Concave surfaces are the perfect places for standing water to form, such as old tires, wheelbarrows, potholes and tree hollows. Dips in your driveway and cracks in your sidewalk can also collect standing water after it rains. These areas and more give mosquitoes a few places in which to lay their eggs. If you can reduce the concave surfaces in your yard, you'll prevent unnecessary mosquito infestations in the summer.

Pet Dishes

Your dog's or cat's water bowl also makes the perfect spot for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes only need about an inch of water for breeding, and a water bowl provides a constant breeding site for these insects. You can reduce the risk by bringing your pet's dishes inside at night. If that's not an option, dump out the old water each day, and refill the bowls with fresh water to reduce the mosquito threat.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters trap water in the channels and become a breeding ground for pest insects. Weeds will also grow in the gutters and give insects a hiding place in which to breed in safety. It's important to clean out your gutters at least once a year to prevent clogs. You'll reduce the risk of water damage to your home's facade and erosion along the foundation, as well as stop mosquito and other pest infestations on your property.

Professional Mosquito Control in Savannah

Don't avoid going outside during the height of mosquito season. Contact Ideal Pest Control to learn more about our mosquito control services and to schedule an inspection in your yard. Mosquitoes won't go away during the summer without professional assistance. In fact, they first appear in the spring and oftentimes thrive until November. Our certified technicians will treat your property for mosquitoes and help to prevent recurring infestations for several months.

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Surprising Places You Can Encounter Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have made a huge resurgence in the Savannah, Georgia, area during the past decade. Naturally, many homeowners are concerned about keeping these pests out of their beds, but did you know that the name bed bugs is a misnomer? Although they like to hang out in bedding because it makes it easier for them to feed on human blood, bed bugs can actually be found in a wide variety of surprising places, including your bedside alarm clock.

1. The Library

Bed bugs have been found in many public libraries nationwide. In some cases, the library staff even kept this news to themselves and allowed the general public to continue being potentially exposed to these pests. When that happens, it only takes a single bed bug hitchhiking in a book or on your clothes to start an infestation in your house.

2. The Movie Theater

The next time you're sitting in a darkened theater, you might want to consider the fact that bed bugs could easily be living within your upholstered seat. This is especially important for people who have a coat, bag or purse with them, as these items tend to get sat down in an empty seat where bed bugs can hop inside them. 

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Why Do Roaches Infest Homes?

Cockroaches are a hardy group with approximately 4,600 separate species distributed around the world. About 50 different species are found in North America, but most types of roaches are content to make their homes outdoors. However, four species are considered major household pests in the Savannah area, finding human dwellings to be much more attractive than the great outdoors. 

Why Cockroaches Infest Homes

Cockroaches find human homes inviting for several reasons. A home provides shelter from the elements and protection against predators. There is an abundant source of easily obtained water and food, allowing the roach population to increase rapidly. 

However, while most humans prefer to spend their time in open areas, roaches prefer tight spaces where they can conceal themselves when they are not foraging. A typical home has baseboards, crown molding, wall art, furniture, large and small appliances, cabinets, boxes, kitchen drawers and closets that are ideal hiding places.

Damages Caused by Cockroaches

Cockroaches rate high on many lists of the most disgusting, most hated and most psychologically disturbing insects potentially found in a home. However, the damage that roaches can cause goes far beyond emotional unease.

Cockroaches are known to carry bacteria and viruses on their feet. When a roach contaminates food, dishes or eating utensils with these organisms, it can lead to a variety of diseases in humans, including dysentery and salmonella. There is also some evidence that roaches could be vectors for cholera, plague, E. coli, listeriosis, staph and strep.

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What You Need to Know About Mosquitoes This Spring

Every spring, Savannah residents look forward to warmer weather. When people come out to play, mosquitoes are ready to ruin the fun. During April and May, I receive many calls from customers asking what they can do to keep mosquitoes off their properties and away from their families. In most cases, a strong defense is the best way to minimize infestations. There's always a chance that pests will arrive from other areas, but you can make your yard less hospitable to adult mosquitoes as well as the eggs and larvae.

Warning Signs of Mosquito Infestations

Mosquito populations ramp up in May and hit their full stride in June when nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees and daytime highs exceed 80 degrees. High humidity, increasing rainfall and warmer temperatures all contribute to surging mosquito infestations in the spring and summer.

Depending on the species, adults may awaken from hibernation, or eggs that were deposited the previous fall will hatch. Antifreeze compounds allow some mosquitoes to survive the winter chill. Dormant eggs can withstand frigid temperatures and prolonged droughts. Once the weather warms up and there's enough moisture, they spring to life.

Mosquito Breeding Grounds

Preferred habitats vary depending on the species. There are also substantial differences in their behavior. For example, Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, lives near people. It deposits eggs in man-made containers, and it seldom travels more than 300 feet from its home, which may also be your house. Other mosquitoes will fly several miles to find food and mates.

The one thing that all mosquitoes have in common is that their eggs, larvae and pupae need moisture to hatch and molt. When conditions are right, mosquitoes can reach adulthood in just 12 days. Most female mosquitoes lay several hundred eggs at once, so the populations swell quickly.

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What Climates Do Termites Thrive In?

Termites are found in all states except Alaska. Termites can do significant damage to a building before anyone knows they are there. The climate of Georgia and other subtropical southern states is ideal for termites, with high humidity, ample rainfall and abundant food sources. Georgian homeowners spend between $200 million and $300 million every year on repairs to damage caused by termites.

The good news for Savannah homeowners is that the highly destructive Formosan termite is not common in the area. However, two other types of termites, the subterranean termite and the drywood termite, are active in Savannah and other areas of Georgia. Eliminating the conditions termites require to thrive is the first, and most important, step in effective termite control.

How Termites Thrive

Termites require moisture and food to survive. They seek out wood, objects that contain cellulose and moist areas. They eat wood as well as plastic, paper, books and other plant-based materials. They require moisture to keep their bodies from drying out. 

Savannah's moist, warm climate is ideal for termites. In addition, areas within a home in any climate can provide optimum conditions for termites to live. Wet or decayed wood, contact of wood with soil and pooled moisture around foundations are favorable conditions for termites. 

Termites are social insects, forming nests with thousands of individuals. Subterranean termites build mud tubes that connect nests in the ground to food sources up to several hundred feet away, giving 24-hour access to your home. When conditions are right, they swarm and create new nests. Warning signs of termites include mud tubes with the insects inside, damaged wood and clusters of wings near wooden windows, doors or furniture. 

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Bed Bug Myths

A worldwide source of frustration, bedbugs infest dwellings ranging from hotels to apartments and single-family homes. While it is true that the bugs do bite, there is a lot of confusion about these parasites. Keep reading as we dispel some of the more popular myths.

Myth #1 - Bedbugs prefer unsanitary conditions

While bedbugs can thrive in dirty locations, cleanliness is not a deterrent. These parasites are attracted to carbon dioxide, warmth and a source of blood. The condition of your home does not matter.

Myth #2 - Bedbugs are only found in bedding materials

Although most often found in bedding material, the insects also may hide in carpeting, draperies and upholstery as well as the crevices of furniture and molding. Bedbugs will hide in any place situated close to people. 

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