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.

Droppings

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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