Monday, October 24, 2011

Stink Bugs Expected to Invade Homes As Cooler Weather Approaches


As the season begins to change and cooler weather approaches, stink bugs are starting to leave the garden and seek warmth and shelter indoors. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA)encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent a stink bug infestation in and around the home this fall.

Since arriving from Asia, brown marmorated stink bugs have become a nuisance for homeowners in the Eastern United States. The species can be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California and Oregon. Notorious for their “smelly” reputation, stink bugs secrete a bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid when disturbed or when crushed. They are not known to bite humans but caution should be used when handling them to avoid a release of their odor.

“Homeowners should expect to see an increase in stink bugs in the coming weeks as they begin to take flight in search of overwintering sites,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Although these pests do not pose any serious health or property threats, their tendency to seek food, water and shelter in homes during the colder months can be a nuisance.”

NPMA offers the following stink bug prevention tips:

- Seal and caulk cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia and other openings.

- Repair or replace damaged screens on windows or doors.

- Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum as stink bugs are attracted to lights.

- If stink bugs have already entered a home, use a vacuum cleaner for their removal and dispose of the bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area. - If an infestation has developed, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem.

If you do find you have an insect problem of any kind please contact Servall Pest Control at 1.800.264.1433 or visit our website at

Friday, October 21, 2011

Is Your Spider Problem a Problem?

Have you been seeing a lot of spiders lately? Are you worried about whether it's becoming a problem for your home? Servall can help you with any spider or bug problem you have and help you decide what your best treatment option would be. Here is an article from that explain a little bit about spiders in your home.

"You probably know that spiders prey on insects. Most homes have a resident spider population that help reduce other pests from entering and taking over your home. Often, spiders will live outside the home, especially in a garden, where they play an important beneficial role. The spiders living in your home tend to stay in hidden places such as attics and basements, and under or behind the furniture. Sometimes, though, you'll find these spiders venture out during the day. In most cases, the best idea is to simply let the spider be, capture and release it outside the home, or kill it.

If you have begun to see spiders on a semi-regular basis, have an insurmountable fear of spiders, identify the spiders as poisonous, or have an allergy to spiders, you may have more than just spiders in your home—you may have a spider problem.

Spider Management
Spider problems are usually taken care of with simple spider management. To minimize your exposure to spiders in your home, you'll want to reduce the hospitality of your home environment. A good spring cleaning focusing on secluded areas should unearth and scare away a good number of the more visible spiders from your living area. Naturally, you'll want to knock down any cobwebs you find. Screens and weatherstripping on your windows and doors will reduce the influx of outdoor spider populations into your home.

Spider Bites
Spiders will usually only bite you if there are disturbed. If you believe your home is shelter to poisonous spiders or if you're allergic, you should wear clothes and other protective clothing when gardening or working in undisturbed areas of your home. If you are bitten, attempt to capture or at least visualize the spider so the spider can be identified. If you know what the spider looks like, identification shouldn't be terribly difficult. If you can't identify the spider, monitor the bite and any ill-effects. If you're allergic and/or identify the spider as poisonous, seek immediate medical attention.

Protect your home from a wide variety of pests with Servall Pest Control. Serving the Western Kentucky region all year long. Learn more at!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Treatment Options for Getting Rid of Insects

It's important to protect your home against a wide variety of pests. Here are some considerations for deciding on how to handle your pest problem from the people at the

To get rid of wood-destroying insects (WDIs) and other pests, consider an approach — “integrated pest management” — that combines common sense with prevention techniques, conventional pesticides, and green alternatives, such as natural plant extracts and minerals.

Back in the late 20th century, spraying or pumping poisons became the widespread method of choice as home and garden pesticides grew into a $1.4 billion industry.

But today, amid growing concerns about the dangers of toxins to people, animals, and the environment, homeowners and pest-control professionals are looking for ways to reduce the amount of pesticides used by incorporating a range of treatments that are often less toxic but still effective.

Conventional pesticide treatment

With conventional pest control, the name of the game is extermination. The operator kills the insects with chemicals—often applied as sprays—and reapplies the pesticides on a regular schedule to prevent another infestation. That means you’re paying for treatment whether or not insects are actually present.

The risks of unnecessary exposure to pesticides aren’t to be taken lightly. While perhaps effective in the short run, pesticides have been shown to produce long-term consequences, including adverse effects on the endocrine, reproductive, and nervous systems of people and animals. Children are especially sensitive to the toxins found in many pesticides because their immune systems, organs, brains, and nervous systems are still developing.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency regulates all pesticides for safety, they remain potentially deadly to humans and harmful to the environment—especially if misapplied.
A less-toxic approach

The new buzzword in the pest-control industry these days is integrated pest management. Rather than merely blasting pests with poisons, IPM uses a combination of strategies to control pests and includes homeowners as partners in the process.

IPM consists of three basic steps: identifying pests; preventing pests; and—as needed—treating them.

What to expect from a pest-control pro

Just because a pest-control company says it practices IPM doesn’t make it so. The first thing to look for is knowledge about pests. An operator must be able to tell different insects apart and understand their habits and habitats to decide how best to help you control them.

IPM stresses prevention. The pest-control representative should inspect your home for signs of infestation and then recommend steps you can take to eliminate pests by denying food, water, and access. Example: Deterring termites and carpenter ants by keeping the soil around your foundation dry.

Although prevention is the preferred solution, the professional may need to take immediate action to treat an existing infestation. That may include using pesticides, but only as a last resort against an active infestation and never as a matter of routine. Ongoing monitoring of pest activity by you and your pest control operator determines if or when pesticides are reapplied.

When using pesticides, the exterminator should choose the least toxic product possible, apply as little as possible, and treat the smallest area possible—just cracks and crevices, for example, instead of an entire baseboard. Baits—gels, pastes, and granules applied directly or contained in bait stations—are preferred over sprays because they reduce exposure to fumes and residue.

Natural alternatives

If you’re uncomfortable with even limited use of pesticides, ask the pest-control expert about products that rely on natural substances for their active ingredients.

Examples include boric acid, a naturally occurring mineral, and essential oils, derived from the natural defense systems of plants. Although slower acting than chemical pesticides, products made from natural substances can be highly effective.

A word of caution: Even pesticides made from natural substances can be harmful if mishandled. They are, after all, intended to kill living organisms. In addition, some products include chemical additives that make the natural substance more effective, but which also are toxic.

Costs vary

How much you’ll pay to solve your problem will depend on the type of insect, the size of the infestation, and the type and intensity of treatment. Many pest-control pros offer free inspections, but the bill for actual service can range from less than $100 to spot treat an ant nest to several thousand dollars to eradicate termites and offer ongoing protection.

Compare estimates from several pest-control companies. A few national pest-control companies, such as Orkin and Terminix, provide free online estimates. But the best way to find out the extent of your problem and the options available is to have an expert come to your home and do an on-site inspection.

Make sure the company is licensed and a member of a local, state, or national pest management association. You may also want to check the company’s status with state regulatory agencies for consumer affairs and agriculture.