Friday, July 27, 2012

US heat wave could lead to pest population explosion

It has definitely been one of the hottest summers yet! Staying cool has been one issue, but the heat is causing an increase in the pest population. Be sure to call your local Servall to prevent the pests from overpopulating your home!

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The heat wave currently gripping the globe is resulting in a myriad of less than welcome side effects, including withering corn crops in Europe, glacial flooding in Greenland to even death in the Midwest. There's more: According to the National Pest Management Association, the soaring, dry temperatures are ideal for America to see a boom in pest populations. 
“Insects are cold-blooded, which means that their body temperatures are regulated by the temperature of their environment,” said Missy Henriksen, the vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “In cold weather, insects’ internal temperatures drop, causing them to slow down. But in warm weather, they become more active. Larvae grow at a faster rate, reproduction cycles speed up and they move faster.“
Which means perfect conditions for a host of pests including fleas, ticks, termites, mosquitoes, brown recluse and black widow spiders and scorpions to flourish in the coming weeks. What’s worse, the hot, dry temperatures will eventually drive those pests to seek out moisture and cool places to dwell — like homes.
“Homeowners will likely encounter more pests in their homes than usual,” said Henriksen. “Even areas of the country that are receiving rain aren’t in the clear, as standing rain water breeds mosquitoes, which can spread West Nile virus.”
According to USA Today, there have been forty-seven reports of West Nile Virus in America this year, including one fatality in Texas.
The NPMA recommends taking a series of precautions to ward off the pesky bugs, like wearing insect repellant that contains DEET or picaridin when outdoors, and eliminating any standing water around your home. They also want to remind pet owners not to overlook their animals. 

As always Servall Termite & Pest Control is here for all of your pest control and home repair needs. Contact us today at one of our four convenient locations or visit! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stink bugs do's and don'ts

Tips for homeowners about how to prevent stink bugs from getting into your house - and what to do once they've entered.

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes and other openings.
  • If they've already entered, try to find the openings where they got in. Typically, stink bugs will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Seal these openings.

  • Experts advise against using insecticides inside, especially pesticides that are intended only for outdoor use.
  • Don't use aerosol-type foggers. They will not prevent more insects from emerging, and if used incorrectly they can cause illness in people and pets.

Servall Pest Control can help prevent/ get rid of stink bugs! 
Call us TODAY!

SOURCES: Maryland Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland, Penn State University, The Washington

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Six Facts You Didn't Know About Bed Bugs

Wacky, Weird but True Bed Bug Fact

Bed bugs are an ongoing problem! Read these six facts about the pesky bugs and take action to prevent them from entering your home or buisness! Servall Pest Control can help get rid of and prevent bed bugs so don't hesitate to call us TODAY!

6 Facts You Didn't Know about Bed bugs

If you follow the news and have seen all the attention bed bugs have received in the past few years, you might think you know all there is to know about this pest: They feed on humans while they sleep, they cause itchy, red bumps and they are hard to get rid of! But these pesky insects have a lot of secrets that you might be surprised to learn. 
1.    Bed bugs can live anywhere.
When most people think of bed bugs, they think of hotels. But the truth is, bed bugs can thrive in single-family homes, apartments, hospitals, college dorm rooms, office buildings, schools, buses, trains, movie theaters, retail stores and just about anywhere that humans are. In fact, according to the “Bugs without Borders” study, 89 percent of pest professionals report treating bed bug infestations in single-family homes, and 88 percent report treating bed bug infestations in apartments/condos. Respondents also report other common areas, with 67 percent treating bed bug infestations in hotels/motels, 35 percent in college dormitories, 9 percent on various modes of transportation, 5 percent in laundry facilities, and 4 percent in movie theatres.
2.    Bed bugs aren’t just city dwellers.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not just in big cities or third-world countries. They are found in all 50 states. The “Bugs without Borders” survey found that 17 percent of pest control professionals report treating bed bugs in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West. However, the incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.
3.    Bed bugs are hardy.
These pests can live for several months without a blood meal. This means they can linger in furniture, bags and suitcases for a long time until they are near a human host again. In addition, bed bugs can survive temperatures of nearly freezing to 122 degrees. Because of this, bed bugs are not a pest that can be treated with DIY measures. Professional pest control is the most effective way to treat an infestation.
4.   Bed bugs are smart.
As a survival instinct, bed bugs are elusive. They know to stay out of view during the daytime, hiding in mattress crevices, box springs, baseboards, behind electrical switchplates, in picture frames, and even behind wallpaper. But at nighttime, the carbon dioxide we exhale drawls them out of their hiding spots.
5.    Bed bugs are methodical.
Bed bugs have a predictable feeding pattern. Once a bed bug finds a host, it will usually feed three times, for 5 to 10 minutes each time. These three meals are often jokingly referred to as breakfast, lunch and dinner. But the three bite marks they leave behind – usually right in a row and on exposed skin on the chest, arms or legs – are telltale signs of a bed bug infestation.
6.    Bed bugs could have a degree in anesthesiology.
People often wonder why a biting bed bug doesn’t wake up its human host when it feeds. The answer is that bed bugs feed by inserting two hollow, beak-like feeding tubes into their host. The first tube injects the bug's saliva, which contains anesthetics to numb the feeding area. The second tube draws blood. After feeding, they move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.
If you have a bed bug infestation, don’t try to treat it alone. Instead, contact a licensed pest professional who is trained on the (unique, often sneaky) habits of bed bugs. They will be able to inspect your home and recommend an effective course of treatment. Call your local Servall Professionals TODAY!
Thank you Pest for educating us on bed bugs! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer's Most Dangerous Pests

Servall Termite and Pest Control wants you to stay safe and pest free this summer! Check out this article from Pest by Dr. Jim Fredericks.

Top Three Insects to Avoid this Summer

 Most people consider Memorial Day Weekend to be the unofficial start to summer, but in the pest control industry, we consider it the official start of pest season. It’s true, household pests are a concern year-round, but there is no doubt we see an increase in many types of pests once the weather heats up. If you’re like most and are planning to spend lots of time out in the sun this summer, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by summer’s most dangerous pests – and learn how to keep yourself and your family safe.

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1. Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are perhaps the most dangerous of summer pests. They are most well known for their pesky biting habits, which can leave itchy, red bumps. But the real threat posed by this pest is their ability to transmit numerous diseases including West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis.
Although many of these diseases are rare in the U.S., some – including West Nile virus – are more common. In fact, the CDC reports there were more than 700 cases of West Nile virus in the U.S. in 2011, resulting in 43 deaths. According to the CDC, symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and in some cases, skin rash and swollen lymph glands.
  • Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Eliminate or reduce standing water on your property, which can be a breeding site for mosquitoes. Drain flower pots, swimming pool covers, barrels and other objects that can collect water on a weekly basis. Add a fountain or drip system to ponds and birdbaths on your property to keep water fresh.
  • Repair or replace any torn screens on windows and doors.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin whenever outside for prolonged periods.
2. Ticks
Ticks are always an issue during the summer months, but with their populations expected to be unusually high this season, they will be a major concern for those spending time outdoors. Of greatest concern is the blacklegged deer tick, found in the Northeastern U.S., from Virginia to Maine, in the north central states, mostly Wisconsin and Minnesota, and on the west coast, primarily in northern California.
Blacklegged deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease to humans, as well as pets. The CDC describes the symptoms of Lyme disease as fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans, which forms in the shape of a bull's eye. According to the CDC, Lyme disease can also affect joints, the heart and the nervous system if left untreated.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses.
  • Wear light colored clothing, which makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Wear a bug spray containing at least 20% DEET when outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • When hiking, stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation.
  • Keep your own yard tick-free by cutting grass low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris.
  • Inspect yourself and your family members carefully for ticks after being outdoors.
3. Bees & Wasps
YellowjacketsAfricanized ‘killer’ beeswaspshornets and other stinging insects are a summer staple, frequently showing up at pool parties, barbecues and baseball games —especially in the late summer months. But these pests can pose a serious health risk if a hive is threatened or provoked, causing them to swarm and sting en masse.
Stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. Young children, the elderly and especially those with allergies are most at risk.
  • Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
  • Overseed grassy areas to get better coverage, as this will deter ground-nesting insects.
  • Paint/stain untreated wood.
  • Remove garbage frequently and keep trashcans covered.
  • Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
  • Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes.
  • Ensure all doors and windows in your home have screens that are in good condition.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if stung, as reactions can be severe.
Insects are an inevitable part of summer, but that doesn’t mean you should spend the next three months hiding indoors. Instead, follow our prevention tips to help reduce your risk of encountering pests in your home and on your property. If you discover that you have a growing mosquito, tick or stinging insect or other pest problem on your property, don’t try to remove them alone. Instead, contact a licensed pest professional who will be able to inspect your property and recommend an effective treatment and prevention plan.
Don't let mosquitoes, ticks, bees, or wasps be a problem for you this summer! Let Servall Termite and Pest Control take care of all your pest and termite problems!