Bug Archives: Boston

Florida, Hawaii, Europe, And Bedbugs… No Thanks!

We are in the middle of Summer now and people are still getting on those planes heading all over. And like all vacations you have your worries, luggage loss, money loss, someone gets sick, you lose your phone, there was a mistake and your hotel is fully booked, anything can happen. But what about the bedbug worry??? This one is a real stinker, one that can come home with you, ruining your vacation and the days, or longer after. It is smart to be prepared, be as prepared as possible before, during and after a vacation.



Unfortunately these pests don’t differentiate between a 5-star hotel or a cheap low amenity motel. To them, a bed is a bed as long as a blood meal is sleeping in it. A 2011 NPMA and University of Kentucky survey found that 80 percent of pest professionals have treated bed bugs in hotels and motels.  Most travelers will stay in a hotel at one point or another during their vacation, putting themselves at a higher risk of picking up these hitchhiking bugs. Once inside a hotel, they spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, because they can crawl through the walls between rooms.

What To Look For:

  • Place your suitcase in the bathroom as that is the safest place for it. Bed bugs are least likely to hide in a bathroom.
  • Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains or spots or even the bugs themselves. Adult bed bugs resemble a flat apple seed.
  • Check behind the headboard, inside couch and chair cushions.
  • If you see anything notify management immediately!
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Even if you determine your room is clear of any bed bugs, consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.

When You Return Home:

  • Inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Your neighbors may give you strange looks, but better safe then sorry. Take the opportunity to educate them as to why you’re unpacking your suitcase on the front porch. You might save them from a bed bug infestation in the future.
  • Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which can kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash and dry on high heat all clothing your brought on vacation, even if you did not wear them, this will kill anything on them.
  • Keep clothes that must be dry-cleaned in a plastic bag and take them to the dry-cleaner as soon as possible.

So, Do You Have Bedbugs?

Maybe you didn’t check the hotel room as thoroughly as you thought or perhaps you were too tired to vacuum your suitcase.  Perhaps you did everything right but a few days after you came home, you wake up with red itchy welts on your body and notice the telltale pepper-like stains on your sheets. A few bed bugs snuck by you and have made themselves at home. Don’t panic! Although bed bugs are a difficult pest to treat, pest professionals like A1-Exterminators have many treatment options available to them and are successful in eliminating infestations.

The key is to begin treatment as soon as infestation is suspected or discovered. Bed bugs are not a DIY pest, treatments should be left to licensed and experienced pest professionals, like A1 Exterminators. If you suspect a bed bug infestation contact us at 1-800-525-4825 today!

Herbs in Your Garden that Help Repel Bugs

No one likes flies! Actually most will tell you that flies are one of there least favorite bugs. They are annoying nasty flying bugs. Or what about mosquitoes? Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘gee, lets go outside it’s perfect mosquito weather’… NO! How about moths, maybe they don’t bother you, but how about the weevils you get in your dried cupboard food because of them???

No one wants to be spraying bug spray all day everyday and in your home never the less, so why not try these tried and true herbs. That’s right, you heard me correct, herbs! They will grow from just about anywhere and lots of us have them in our private garden for eats, so why not try them as a pest solution??

Herbs That Will Repel Flies And Other Nasty Bugs

1. Basil

Most people know fresh basil is delicious in pesto, tomato based dishes, and salads but did you also know that it is one of the best ways to keep flies out of your house? Just plant basil next to the doors, use as a foundation planting mixed in with your flowers, or plant in containers. The flies will stay far away. Basil is a beautiful fragrant plant that grows easily in most climates. You can grow basil in containers by your picnic table or on your patio and cut a nice size bunch of it to decorate the blanket with when you go to a remote picnic spot. As an added bonus, mosquitoes don’t like it either.

2. Bay Leaf

You can grow bay outside in the summer but you will need to bring it indoors during the winter months. You can buy dried bay leaf at the store if you find you are unable to grow it; the dried variety that you put in stews and soups works as well as the fresh for keeping pests away. You can put one bay leaf in fifty pounds of wheat berries or organic white flour and it will keep the weevils out of it. If you don’t happen to buy flour in those quantities you can add a bay leaf to a smaller sized container with similar results. Don’t forget to add a bay leaf to all your other dried food like, cornmeal, rice, and oatmeal. And I am sure there are many other, give it a try! Scatter a few leaves on the pantry shelves to repel moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice. Flies seem to hate the smell of bay leaves, too!

3. Lavender

Lavender smells wonderful and repels moths, mosquitoes, and fleas:

  • Hang a bundle of it in your closet or lay a few sprigs of it in with the out of season clothes you are storing.
  • Grind it to a powder and sprinkle it on your pet’s bedding.
  • Grow it in containers on your patio to repel mosquitoes.
  • Grow it in your kitchen garden to keep rabbits out of your lettuce and spinach.

4. Mint

Mint planted around the foundation of your house can keep both ants and mice out of your home. Neither of these pests seem to like the smell and all but the most determined will head to a better smelling yard. You can also place shallow bowls of the dried mint leaves in your pantry to discourage mice.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, not only for cooking and grilling but because it has a number of uses medicinally and as a household herb. As it grows it repels mosquitoes. Try planting it around your patio or any area that you use in the evenings to keep the air smelling fresh and the mosquitoes on someone else’s property.

Some Facts About The Earwig


Earwigs are small bugs that got their name from the myth that they climb into people’s ears and therein lay their eggs or tunnel into the brain. That is just a myth, earwigs may climb into your ear to get away from the cold, but that is not the only insect that may climb into your ear. But, earwigs do NOT lay eggs into your brain, your eardrum blocks the insects from getting anywhere near your brain.

Male earwigs also have two penises! Both are larger than it’s body and if it needs the second one just in case one of them snaps off! “It’s an interesting phenomenon,” says Mike Siva-Jothy of the University of Sheffield, UK. He thinks there must be some evolutionary advantage to the earwig’s “unusually long” and fragile organs.

Earwigs do not bite, but rather pinch. The pinch is really painful, but is not known to carry or transmit any kind of disease. Earwigs are not venomous and their bite may lead to a secondary infection if scratched by nails.  You need to look out for any broken pincers or curved forceps left back in your wound.

These pests rarely colonize indoors and if you do observe them inside, it maybe because you have something moist within your home or they are in to escape the cold temperatures outdoors. If there are earwigs in the house, look for cracks in your door, windows or foundation. Find the source of entry and get the door, window or screen fixed right away. You can even apply caulk or weather stripping to keep them out and get rid of earwigs.

Next, look out for moist areas, wet leaves, loose stones and rotting newspapers around your house. Clean up everything that is rubbish and moist and make sure your foundation is dry. Clean the rain gutters and sprouts and keep them a bit away from the house foundations.


Customized Mosquito Treatment Plan For You

Mosquito Treatment

mosquito Mosquito ControlWe will customize our maintenance programs to fit your personal needs. Each A1 client receives an unique service program that will give you the reliable service and effective mosquito treatment you deserve. Our certified technicians are trained in the latest methods of dealing with and eliminating your mosquito problems in MA and NH. We will conduct our business without interfering with the day-to-day operations of your home or business.

Our dependable technicians will work with your schedule to give you the best mosquito treatment without disrupting your daily home or business activity. 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.

A1 Exterminators will visit your home or business and spray around your yard, home, or business to help repel these irritating pests. With our customized mosquito treatment, you can feel safe and comfortable in your yard or outside your business, while enjoying a rewarding outdoor lifestyle.

Call A1 at 1-800-525-4825 (1-800-499-5866 for Cape Cod) for a mosquito treatment in MA & NH!

Signs, Symptoms & Treatment For The EEEV Disease


The incubation period for Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) disease (the time from infected mosquito bite to onset of illness) ranges from 4 to 10 days. EEEV infection can result in one of two types of illness, systemic or encephalitic (involving swelling of the brain, referred to below as EEE). The type of illness will depend on the age of the person and other host factors. It is possible that some people who become infected with EEEV may be asymptomatic (will not develop any symptoms).

Systemic infection has an abrupt onset and is characterized by chills, fever, malaise, arthralgia, and myalgia. The illness lasts 1 to 2 weeks, and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement. In infants, the encephalitic form is characterized by abrupt onset; in older children and adults, encephalitis is manifested after a few days of systemic illness. Signs and symptoms in encephalitic patients are fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma.

Approximately a third of all people with EEE die from the disease. Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after onset of symptoms but can occur much later. Of those who recover, many are left with disabling and progressive mental and physical sequelae, which include can range from minimal brain dysfunction to severe intellectual impairment, personality disorders, seizures, paralysis, and cranial nerve dysfunction. Many patients with severe sequelae die within a few years.


No human vaccine against EEEV infection or specific antiviral treatment for clinical EEEV infections is available. Patients with suspected EEE should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, appropriate serologic and other diagnostic tests ordered, and supportive treatment provided.

Clinical Evaluation (for Health Care Providers)

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings include neutrophil-predominant pleocytosis and elevated protein levels; glucose levels are normal. Brain lesions are typical of encephalomyelitis and include neuronal destruction and vasculitis, which is perivascular and parenchymous at the cortex, midbrain, and brain stem. There is minimal involvement of the spinal cord.

EEEV is difficult to isolate from clinical samples; almost all isolates (and positive PCR results) have come from brain tissue or CSF. Serologic testing remains the primary method for diagnosing EEEV infection. Combined with a consistent clinical presentation in an endemic area, a rapid and accurate diagnosis of acute neuroinvasive EEEV disease can be made by the detection of EEEV-specific IgM antibody in serum or CSF. EEEV IgM tests are available commercially, in some state health department laboratories, and at CDC. A positive EEEV IgM test result should be confirmed by neutralizing antibody testing of acute- and convalescent-phase serum specimens at a state public health laboratory or CDC. To submit specimens for testing at CDC, please contact your state health department.

All EEEV disease cases should be reported to local public health authorities. Reporting can assist local, state and national authorities to recognize outbreaks of this rare disease and to institute control measures to limit future infections.