Pest Control Blog About Bugs and Rodents

Welcome to A1 Exterminators’ Uninvited Guests blog! Here we talk about anything and everything bug related. Big and small, from ticks and bed bugs to roaches and termites; from bugs and insects to mice, rats, squirrels and rodents. Follow us to keep track of the new pests you should be worried about in your area. Get the latest news on pests, tips on how you can keep pests away from your home and business, and some other fun and interesting tidbits about bugs.

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Bug Tip Tuesday | Mosquito Repellent Candles

Just follow along below to get the instructions to make your own Mosquito Repellent Candles.

Supplies for making mosquito repellent candles:

  • Pint mason jars
  • Floating candles
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Basil
  • Lemongrass essential oil

Instructions:

  •  Slice one lemon and one lime (this will be enough for two candles)
  • Add a couple of slices of lemon and lime to the jar
  • Add a couple of sprigs of basil
  • Fill jar with water up to threads
  • Add in 10 – 15 drops of lemongrass oil
  • Stir
  • Add in floating candle
  • Light the candle and enjoy a pest free summer!
These not only look pretty but they will keep away the mosquitoes and other bugs from your summer parties.Start making your own mosquito repellent candles and you will never buy citronella candles at the store again.
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Bug Tip Tuesday | Marigolds for Mosquitoes

Besides being an awesome mosquito repellent plant, Marigold plants are also great at repelling various insects and, because of that, are often used in vegetable gardens around tomatoes and peppers to help reduce insects that may destroy those plants. Marigolds are also deter, rabbits and other rodents.

Marigolds do very well in sunny locations.

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Posted in Pest Control News

Bug Tip Tuesday | Essential Oil Bug Spray

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the flowers are emerging from the ground. Unfortunately this weather also can cause some nuisance pests while outside enjoying the lovely spring weather.

There is nothing worse than going for a walk by the lake or a hike up into the mountains and being attacked by creepy crawly bugs. Here is an easy do-it-yourself bug spray. Keep in mind that citrus oils can cause the skin to be more susceptible to the sun, so be sure to keep covered when using or use after the sun is down.

Ingredients and Supplies

  • Hot water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • 40 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 30 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 ounce spray bottle (glass spray bottles are best when using citrus oils)
  1. Fill a spray bottle half way full with hot water.
  2. Fill the remaining half of your spray bottle with rubbing alcohol. Just be sure to leave a small amount room at the top unfilled so you have room for your essential oil drops.
  3. Carefully add 40 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 30 drops of Rosemary essential oil and 10 drops of lemon essential oil to the bottle.
  4. Place the lid on the spray bottle, and shake well before each use.

To Use

  1. Shake the bottle to make sure everything is well combined.
  2. Mist the mixture onto your skin wherever you wish to protect yourself from insects and bugs.
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Posted in Pest Control News

Spring is Swarmer Season

Understanding the Termite Life Cycle

When you think of spring, you probably envision blooming flowers and the return of warmer weather. But in the pest control industry, spring marks the beginning of peak pest season, when most insects are coming out of their winter hiding spots, mating – and in some cases – finding their way into our homes. Unfortunately, one of the most common springtime pests is also one of biggest threats to our homes and properties – termites.

Termites have been around for more than 120 million years. They are social insects and live in colonies that are usually located in the ground or in wood. Termites feed on the cellulose in wood and wood by-products, such as paper. They are estimated to cause $5 billion in property damage every year. What’s worse, this damage is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance, and – because they tend to remain out of sight – their damage can go unnoticed for many years, until serious issues arise. Therefore, it’s important to understand the life cycle of termites, and the signs that a colony has taken up residence in your home. 

Termite Life Cycle

There are more than 2,000 known termite species in the world, with at least 50 species occurring in the U.S. Termites are typically classified into three groups based on the location of the colony – subterranean, drywood and dampwood. A colony is made up of workers, soldiers and swarmers. Workers maintain the colony, construct or repair the nest, and forage for food for the colony. Soldiers are sterile, and their main role is to protect the colony. Neither workers nor soldiers have wings.

Swarmers, also known as reproductives, have two pair of wings, which lie flat over the abdomen when not in use. In the springtime, after the last freeze – usually when temperatures reach about 70 degrees – the young adult male and female swarmers emerge from their nests in large groups. The female termites release ‘mating pheromones,’ much like perfume, to entice male termites. Once the male locates an alluring female, they break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple. The new couple then select a nest location, mate, and become king and queen of a new colony. The queen has been known to live for 30 or more years.

Depending on the species, it can take three to four years before a newly founded colony reaches maturity and produce its own swarmers. In the first year, the queen can lay anywhere between zero and 22 eggs. So at the end of the first year, a subterranean colony may contain as many as 75 individuals, whereas drywoods may contain only a dozen. Because of this, it can take many years before a colony is large enough to cause visible damage to the wood they infest.

In colder regions where termites do not typically survive the winter, new colonies can be started in one of two ways; when infested wood is introduced to a new location, or by division. Division typically occurs when a new food source is located and a subcolony is formed to exploit the source. Eventually, this subcolony can then produce the needed reproductives from nymphs (young termites), and completely break off as its own colony.

Signs of Termites

Swarms (and the shed wings left behind) are often one of the only outwardly visible signs of the existence of termites. Because of this, many people are under the misconception that termites are only a problem in the spring. However, some termite species – including subterranean termites – can remain active (though out of sight) year-round, especially in warmer climates. In these cases, termites can be at work, eating away at wood 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

With the exception of conehead termites, most termite species cannot crawl on the open ground like ants and other pests. Instead, they build mud tubes to travel between their colony and food sources. These mud tubes are another sign homeowners can use to identify the presence of termites near their homes. Homeowners should also be on lookout for cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. If you do see signs of termites in or near your home, it’s important to work with A1 Exterminators to treat the infestation before serious damage is done. Termites are not a pest that can be treated with DIY measures.

 

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Posted in Pest Control News

Keep Carpenter Bees Away

If you have not had a problem with carpenter bees in the past, hopefully you can keep it that way by following these steps.

Carpenter bee causing damage

  1. Assess your exposed wood, look for any divots or areas that could be seen as potential nests.  Keep a special eye out in areas that are well sheltered, like under an overhang or in the corner of a house.  These areas will be most alluring to nesting carpenter bees.  If not already, seal up any cracks or holes in your wood siding with putty to make those areas flush.
  2. Stain, paint, or treat your wood.  This is a big task, but hopefully it’s something that you already have done just to preserve your wood.  By no means does this step guarantee that carpenter bees will not find your wood an ideal location for a nest, but it does help considerably.
  3. Do you have wooden furniture to protect?  Try using a citrus extract spray on the furniture. Carpenter bees do not like the smell of citrus.  You can easily make this yourself by boiling citrus fruit peels in a shallow pot of water.  Re-apply this spray at least twice a week (more if it is rainy) to keep the furniture safe.
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Posted in Pest Control News
Do you need these pests exterminated? Call A1 Today!

 

It’s Your Yard. Defend It.

Against Mosquitoes And Ticks.

A1 Exterminators is now offering an Organic Mosquito and Tick Program.

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Bug Tip Tuesday | Mosquito Repellent Candles

Just follow along below to get the instructions to make your own Mosquito Repellent Candles.

Supplies for making mosquito repellent candles:

  • Pint mason jars
  • Floating candles
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Basil
  • Lemongrass essential oil

Instructions:

  •  Slice one lemon and one lime (this will be enough for two candles)
  • Add a couple of slices of lemon and…
    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Bug Tip Tuesday | Marigolds for Mosquitoes

Besides being an awesome mosquito repellent plant, Marigold plants are also great at repelling various insects and, because of that, are often used in vegetable gardens around tomatoes and peppers to help reduce insects that may destroy those plants. Marigolds are also deter, rabbits and other rodents.

Marigolds do very well in sunny…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Bug Tip Tuesday | Essential Oil Bug Spray

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the flowers are emerging from the ground. Unfortunately this weather also can cause some nuisance pests while outside enjoying the lovely spring weather.

There is nothing worse than going for a walk by the lake or a hike up into the mountains and being attacked by creepy crawly bugs. Here is…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Spring is Swarmer Season

Understanding the Termite Life Cycle

When you think of spring, you probably envision blooming flowers and the return of warmer weather. But in the pest control industry, spring marks the beginning of peak pest season, when most insects are coming out of their winter hiding spots, mating – and in some cases – finding their way into our homes. Unfortunately,…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Keep Carpenter Bees Away

If you have not had a problem with carpenter bees in the past, hopefully you can keep it that way by following these steps.

  1. Assess your exposed wood, look for any divots or areas that could be seen as potential nests.  Keep a special eye…
    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Tips to Eliminate Indoor Allergy Triggers

The arrival of spring also means the start of sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes for the more than 50 million people who suffer from allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Outdoor allergens like pollen and mold are much to blame during the warmer months, but indoor allergens can also cause symptoms to flare.

Dust mites, dander…

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