Advice For a Bed Bug Free School Year

Summer vacation is almost over and soon schools and universities will be back in session. Kids love shopping for the their school supplies and new outfits for school during the next few weeks, A-1 Exterminators, a pest management company servicing Massachusetts and New Hampshire, encourages parents and students to also spend some time reading up on bed bug prevention tips.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and love heavily populated places. This makes classrooBed bugms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

NPMA experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  • Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs.
  • If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin.
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures.
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans.

NPMA also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips.
  • Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for stains or spots.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs.
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing.

For more information on bed bugs, please visit http://www.a1exterminators.com/residential/bed-bug-control/.

Traveling Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs

Bed Bug

Bedbug
An adult bedbug (Cimex lectularius) is about 1/5″ long and 1/8″ wide. Its reddish-brown body is greatly flattened and oval-shaped. A bedbug has piercing-sucking mouthparts which enable it to piece the skin and suck blood from its host.

Summer is almost over, but that also means there are a ton of last minute vacation plans. Before hitting the road to enjoy some rest and relaxation, we encourage travelers to learn and practice bed bug prevention tips to help avoid bringing home these unwanted souvenirs.

“Bed bugs can turn a relaxing vacation into a nightmare, especially if they return home with you,” said Gary Weisberg, owner at A-1 Exterminators. “Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control, but taking precautions, such as inspecting hotel rooms, beach rentals and cabins prior to settling in, is a critical first step in helping travelers avoid coming into contact with these blood-sucking pests.”

Keep these tips in mind when traveling this summer:

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire hotel room or rental before unpacking, including behind headboards, and around the bottom of cushions and seams of other furniture.
  • Pull back bed sheets and inspect mattress seams and box springs, particularly the corners, for pepper-like stains or shed bed bug skins.
  • Use a large plastic trash bag or a protective cover to store your luggage during your stay.
  • Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces. The safest place is typically in the bathroom in the middle of a tile floor or on a luggage rack after it has been thoroughly inspected. Do not use a luggage rack if it has hollow legs, where bed bugs may hide unseen.
  • If any pests are spotted, notify management and change rooms or properties immediately. If staying in a hotel, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room.
  • When you return home, inspect and vacuum your suitcases thoroughly before bringing them into the home. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs.
  • Wash all your clothes – even the items not worn – in hot water or dry on high heat.

If you suspect that bed bugs may have hitchhiked a ride into your home, contact A-1 Exterminators at 800-525-4825 for a free estimate.

Mosquitoes Thriving As Summer Comes To An End

A1-Exterminators encourages ongoing vigilance against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases.  As the final weeks of summer come upon us, that doesn’t mean mosquitoes will disappear with the arrival of cooler weather. People should continue to remain cautious of mosquitoes, as they are known to flourish well into the fall months, continuing to pose a health risk.mosquito

“Although mosquitoes are often associated with the summer heat, they also thrive during the fall season,” said, Gary Weisberg, Owner of A-1 Exterminators. “In fact, mosquitoes will remain active until the temperature drops below 60 degrees, which means the threat of mosquito-borne diseases is still a concern in the coming weeks.”

In the United States, mosquitoes are known to spread West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and, in recent months, chikungunya virus. These illnesses do not have specific vaccines or treatments, so prevention of mosquito bites throughout the fall months is crucial.

As the seasons begin to change, it’s still important for people to apply bug spray containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors. This alone will significantly decrease their chances of getting bitten by an infected mosquito.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, also recommends the following tips to avoid exposure to mosquitoes.

  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to protect the skin.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home, such as flowerpots, birdbaths and baby pools, Mosquitoes only need about ½ inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors, repairing even the smallest holes that could serve as entry points for pests.

For more information on mosquitoes, please visit http://www.a1exterminators.com/?s=mosquitoes

Mid-Summer Mosquitoes

We have reached the mid-summer point and mosquitoes are still biting us with force. In order to enjoy the rest of our summer nights, don’t let uninvited guests like mosquitoes crash your party. Steps to protect yourself from Mosquito bites and the illnesses that they can cause:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 when outdoors durimosquito-150x150ng night or early dawn.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and socks when outdoors during these mosquito hours.
  • Protect your pets by draining standing water around your house, this attracts mosquitoes to lay eggs in the water.
  • Mosquito proof your home by fixing or replacing any broken screens where mosquitoes could enter the house.

Our dependable pest control technicians will work with your schedule to obtain the best quality service and mosquito treatment to fit your unique needs. Did you know that mosquitoes have been around for more than 30 million years? In those 30 million years, mosquitoes have been working on developing new skills to help them find their prey. Mosquitoes track their prey by using their senses for chemical, visual and heat. Some mosquitoes will even fly over two miles to get a good meal. Mosquitoes can transmit several potentially life-threatening diseases. While humans can obtain West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis from mosquitoes, pets can contract heartworm disease from them. Mosquitoes are considered to be one of the most deadly insects in the world.

A-1 Exterminators will visit your home or business and spray a mosquito treatment to help repel these irritating pests. With our customized mosquito control program and treatment, you can feel safe and comfortable in the yard of your home or outside your business while enjoying a rewarding outdoor lifestyle.

Beware of the Sting

The summer season is a time to enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors, but it’s also the time when stinging insects can make an appearance at picnics, cookouts and pool parties. A-1 Exterminators, warns that yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and other common stinging insects can pose an increased threat to one’s health. In fact, they send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.

“From painful stings to severe allergic reactions, stinging insects can put a damper on summer fun,” said Gary Weisberg, owner of A-1 Exterminators. “Whether you plan to fire up the grill, go to the plabeey ground or relax by the pool this summer, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by certain stinging insects.”

Below are the most common stingers people might encounter during the summer months.

  • Yellow Jackets – Yellow jackets are distinguished by the black and yellow color pattern banded across their abdomens. They are territorial and may sting repeatedly if threatened.
  • European Hornets – European hornets are active at night. They have smooth stingers that carry venom known to cause itching, swelling and pain for about 24 hours. Like yellow jackets and wasps, European hornets can sting repeatedly during an attack.
  • Paper Wasps – Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature, but they will sting if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.
  • Bees – Africanized “killer” bees defend their colony and will attack in large numbers when threatened. However, they can only sting once as their stingers are barbed and tear off when trying to get away. Killer bees have been known to chase people for more than a quarter mile.

The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. If you come in contact with a bee or wasp, do not swat it, as that may actually provoke an attack. Remain calm and the insect should fly away without causing harm.