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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