Bed Bug Tips for Everyday

It is important to be aware of how to prevent bed bugs in your everyday life. Here are some prevention tips to keep in mind regarding how to avoid bed bugs:

  • Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
  • Check your sheets for tell-tale blood spots.bedbug
  • Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.

Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation. You might want to consider having a pest control professional come inspect any used furniture before you bring it into your home, as it is difficult to detect an infestation.

Where your pets sleep should also be regularly inspected for signs of bed bugs.

Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is important to contact a professional pest control expert to address any infestations.  A1 Exterminators can assist you in determining if you have bedbugs in your home and properly rid them from your property.  Contact us at 781-592-2731 to schedule your free consultation.

Termite Season is Approaching

As temperatures continue to increase here in New England, and the ground becomes warmer, winged termites will emerge in search of a suitable location to create a new colony.  Too often their new home is your home. To promote public vigilance against termites, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recognizes March 15-22 as Termite Awareness Week. A-1 Exterminators is proud to take part in this annual observance by educating hTermite Damage Infographicomeowners about the threat of termites and the possible signs of an infestation this spring.

Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They are known as “silent destroyers” due to their ability to compromise the structure of a home without being noticed until it’s too late.

Termites are very destructive and the damage inflicted can be quite costly if left undetected. It is important for homeowners to be on the lookout for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property this time of year.

If you find any of these things happening in or around your home, you may have termites:

1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures
4. Cracked or bubbling paint
5. Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest
6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan, our specialist at A-1 Exterminators can help you with a plan to get rid of any termite infestations.

For more information on termites, please visit www.a1exterminators.com

After Winter Home Inspection

Winter has come and lasted quite a while. Now that Spring is on its way, that usually means rain is on the way too. The spring rain can also cause pest problems that should not be ignored. Moisture is one of the main ingredients needed for many pest invasions, such as termites or carpenter ants around your home. Post-winter exterior home inspections and repairs are very important in the early spring to help prevent these and other possible invaders. What should you look for when inspecting your home for damage from the winter season? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Follow this Checklist for a Proper Inspection of Areas Vulnerable to Pests

  • Broken downspouts and gutters— are they in need of repair?
  • Ice dam areas that cause moisture and rotting wood— can they be repaired?
  • Missing roof tiles or shingles— are they replaced/repaired?
  • Misplaced splash blocks, or misdirected or turned-over splash blocks— are they righted?
  • Leaking hose bibs— can they be replaced?
  • Is there proper grading and drainage around your home to remove water?
  • Is there any structural wood-to-soil contact, creating a pathway for termites?
  • Firewood stacked and stored against the home’s perimeter— can it be moved away or stored off the ground?
  • Any vegetation touching the structure— is it trimmed back?
  • Gaps around utility conduit openings— are they sealed?
  • Screening on vents to the outside of the home— are they in place?
  • Screens on windows— are they ripped or compromised in any way?
  • Door sweeps and weather stripping on doors– are they secure and in place?
  • Is the lighting around the home conductive to pests? Do you need yellow light bulbs that attract fewer insect pests, and thus spiders?
  • Do you have chimney caps and are they in place to exclude large animals like raccoons?
  • Louvers and venting in attic— are they secure/not compromised?
  • Is your siding intact?
  • Are your eaves intact?

Contact A-1 Exterminators for a full through inspection of your home for any vulnerable areas for pests to move in. Our specialists can be reached at 800-525-4825.

Cockroaches can be Hard to Control

Cockroaches are some of the most adaptable pests alive. These creepy insects have been around for more than 280 million years, and they have displayed some unique behaviors and survival tactics.  This allows them to thrive in many different environments, including homes. Controlling cockroaches can be particularly challenging for homeowners.  However, doing so is vital to protecting your family’s health.

Cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. These pests can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. are the most likely species to infest homes in and if spotted, homeowners should call A-1 Exterminators to evaluate the severity of the problem and recommend a course of treatment.

Some of the reasons that make cockroaches so difficult to control:

Resilience: Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads. They can also hold their breath for 40 minutes and even survive being submerged in water for half an hour. Additionally, some species are able to withstand freezing temperatures.
Size: Cockroaches are small pests, so they can easily hide in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.
Speed: Cockroaches are very fast and can run up to three miles an hour. A newborn cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.
Feeding habits: Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and one week without water. They are omnivores and are attracted to all types of foods, including sugars, proteins and fats.

To prevent cockroaches, the National Pest Management Association suggests keeping a meticulously clean kitchen, eliminating moisture in bathrooms, sealing all cracks and crevices inside and outside the home and keeping basements and crawlspaces dry and well-ventilated.

If you suspect a cockroach infestation, please contact us at 800-525-4825 or visit www.a1exterminators.com

Unexpected Winter Visitors

During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to have an unexpected visit with a rodent who has made its way into your home uninvited. People do not realize that these pests can be much more than a nuisance. Rodents, such as rats, mice and rabbits, are associated with a number of health risks. In fact, mice-bathrobe-web-adrats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, and through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through fleas, ticks, or mites that have fed on an infected rodent.

This is especially concerning as this frigid weather continues and rodents need someplace warm to live.  The National Pest Management Association estimates that rodents invade about 21 million homes in the United States every winter, squeezing through spaces as small as a nickel.

Rodent droppings can trigger allergies and transmit food borne illness such as salmonella, and as mice are capable of dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, an estimated 70 times each day – prevention and prompt removal in case of an infestation is key.

If you think you have a rodent infestation, contact A-1 Exterminators today for a free consultation. www.a1exterminators.com