Pests Can Trigger Indoor Allergies in Spring

With spring comes some unpopular side effects: asthma and allergy symptoms. Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, coinciding with the peak season for allergy-related symptoms. Even though many people associate spring allergies with the outdoors, household pests such as cockroaches and rodents are also known to trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in children.

Cockroach droppings, saliva, skins and other body parts contain potent alleaafa-infographic-small2rgens that can cause allergic reactions and worsen asthma symptoms. Some species of stinging insects found in, New England such as bees, wasps and mosquitoes, can cause serious reactions in people whose immune systems overreact to the venom.

With plant-based allergens already making life harder for so many Americans this time of year, the last thing people need are triggers within their own homes. The National Pest Management Association recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against pests that cause asthma and allergies:

  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes and in screen doors and windows.
  • Keep basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.

A pest-free home is a happy home, and taking a few simple steps to keep them out can make all the difference in improving day to day quality of life.

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Wasp Queens Found in Spring

If you happen to see one or two lone wasps inside the house this spring, don’t be alarmed; it’s probably just an overwintering queen that has become trapped indoors.

Cold temperatures kill paper wasp colonies each winter, but before they are eliminated, the colonies produce male wasps to mate with a few lucky females who will be next summer’s queens. These mated females overwinter in sheltered places like under logs or behind loose tree bark to survive the dipping temperatures. Often these overwintering future-queens will climb behind siding or through attic vents to seek shelter.

As temperatures warm in the spring, most of these wasps “wake up” from their winter slumber and fly outside where they will begin the work of building a new nest, laying eggs and hunting for food to feed developing larvae. But instead of flying out, some overwintering wasps find their way into the living spaces of homes. You might see some of these wasps flying around windows attempting to exit. Often they seem sluggish or clumsy; this is because they are just waking up from their “Long winter nap.” In most cases, overwintering queen wasps are docile, although they are capable of stinging, they generally are more interested in getting outside than bothering humans.

Opening a window or door will usually be enough to encourage the wasps to fly outside, where they belong. It’s a good idea to let your pest management professional know about these sightings on their next visit so that a careful inspection can be made around the property to identify nest building activity and stop it in its tracks. Once paper wasps begin building their nests, they can be aggressive when disturbed and they can inflict a painful sting.

If you can’t seem to get the wasp out of the house, contact us at (800) 525-4825 and we will send out a qualified technician to rectify the situation.


Bee on the Look Out

Carpenter bees are large bees that look like big bumblebees, however, carpenter bees and bumblebees have different abdomens.  Carpenter bees can be identified by the shiny black abdomen with yellow hairs just on the first abdominal segment of their body and bumble bees have yellow hairs on other abdominal segments as well. Carpenter bees live alone and do not form colonies like many other bees.  The male carpenter bee cannot sting, but, the female can if it is handled.  Since carpenter bees are also pollinators they are beneficial to the environment.  However, they can cause damage to wood around your home. carpenter_bee

Carpenter bees bore tunnels for the females to lay their eggs inside. These tunnels can be 4-6 inches long and anywhere from a ¼ of an inch to ¾ of an inch in diameter. Cedar wood that is untreated is one of their favorites. You may notice that carpenter bees will fly close to your face when you are near their nest.  This is usually when people realize they have a problem.

Carpenter bees live in their nests during the winter months and emerge in April to mate.  Females may return to their same living space or may seek a new location for their eggs.  A female bee will lay an egg then pack in some pollen and nectar to feed the larvae, seal the cell and then start another cell within the tunnel to lay another egg.  This will continue until she is done laying eggs at which point the female will die.  Adult carpenter bees only live one year.

To prevent carpenter bees moving into your home or yard, keep all exposed wood either painted or polyurethaned.  A regular colored wood stain will not prevent damage from carpenter bees.  Be sure to seal up any holes to deter bees from setting up a new nest in an existing location.

If you notice any carpenter bees on your property, contact A1 Exterminators, so we can help rectify the problem.

Know Thy Neighbor

termite_worker2Many ask about what a termite looks like vs what a flying ant looks like.  Here are a few differences in the two:

There are 3 easy ways to tell flying ants and termites apart:

Wing size
Termite wings are all equal in length and extend well past the abdomen. Ants have wings which are unequal in length and generally end at the tip of the abdomen.

Antennae shape
Antennae on termites are straight and bead-like, but on ants they are elbowed.

Waist size
Ants have a pinched waist, but termites have no constriction in the body and are more streamlined.

If you do believe you have a termite swarm on your property, contact A1 Exterminators to rectify the situation.

Termite swarms occur when a termite colony has grown so large that they send out new reproductive termites to start new colonies. The swarmers can come out during the day or night depending on their species. Subterranean termites generally swarm during the day and have more individuals than other types of termites in different parts of the U.S.

It’s important to contact a professional when you see signs of swarmers since that will be evidence of a termite infestation, and that means you have a real issue on your hands.  Contact A1 Exterminators to come out to do a free consultation and discuss the best treatment for your property.

Tick Treatment Program

A1 Exterminators offers a traditional & green solutions for your home & business tick problems.

Our licensed staff will provide an initial survey of the property to determine the extent of treatment required. Our technicians will make additional recommendations that the homeowner can do to help minimize your exposure to ticks and Lyme disease and other potentially dangerous virus’s.

The following recommendations will help you create a “Tick Free Zone”

  • Keep piles of firewood and bird feeders away from your home.
  • Remove leaf litter as much as possible.
  • Trim trees and bushes to allow more light to enter shady landscapes.
  • When locating children’s play sets, choose areas that are sunny where the grass can be kept short.
  • Move firewood and bird feeders away from thOriginal Title: D.andersoni_202a.tife home to discourage rodent activity.
  • Keep your pets out of the woods or areas of tall grass.
  • Create a 3-foot wood chip, or gravel border between the lawn and woods.
  • Keep in mind, though, that these measures are not going to rid your property of mice, and a single mouse might well be carrying more than 100 deer ticks.

A1’s inspectors will devise a customized treatment plan for your property to manage and reduce existing and future tick infestations. Most homes and lawns will be treated 1 x per month times per month during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. (April-October)

Our technicians will apply a long lasting treatment to your lawn, mulch beds, leaf litter, and small non flowering shrubs or bushes around your home and property to control tick populations.

A1 Exterminators Traditional Treatment Program:

  • All traditional products that are used either meet or exceed state and EPA standards.
  • Lastly our technicians will apply lawn placards to advise you that your home has been treated and to stay off treated areas for 48 hours.
  • Call ahead: Our office staff will call you the day before to notify you when the service is going to be performed.
  • ECO- Green Program…Who choose an ECO solution.
  • We use only flexible, broad-spectrum EPA FIFRA 25(b) exempt products.
  • National Organic Program (NOP) compliant.
  • No aquatic toxicity, therefore, applications may be made near open water.

Contact A1 Exterminators at 800-525-4825 for your property to be inspected by one of our trained professionals.  More information on Ticks can be found on our website at