Thursday, December 27, 2012

Six 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 often tempts 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 for 5 to 10 minutes until repletion. Sometimes the pattern of bed bugs feeing is jokingly referred to as breakfast, lunch and dinner as bites will often be found in a pattern. But the bite marks they leave behind – often in clusters or in a row 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 components in bed bug saliva act as an anesthetic and promote increased blood flow at the bite site, making the feeding process quick and nearly painless.
After feeding, bed bugs 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.

 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

Source:Pest World

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keeping Your Home Bug Free For The Holidays

The holiday season is upon us and amid all the joy and celebrations some people may be dealing with unwanted guests. The thought of bed bugs in your home or carried by visitors can cause unnecessary stress during the holidays. By following a few simple steps you can reduce the risk of encountering bed bugs.
For many of us, the winter holidays are an important time to enjoy time with family and friends. Isolating yourself or others due to issues with bed bugs is unnecessary and not a healthy or practical way to deal with a bed bug situationf you are having a party and are worried about bed bugs here are some simple steps to take:
  • Do not put your guests’ coats or bags on your beds. There may be bed bugs on these items and they could move from these items onto your bed.
    • Clean out your front closet and use for guests coats and bags during the party. If you are worried about bed bugs you can vacuum the closet after the party to reduce the risks. If you use a vacuum to capture bed bugs, seal and dispose of the vacuum bag as soon as you are done.
    • If space is limited, place a sheet over the bed before putting any coats on the bed. As soon as possible after guests leave, place the sheet in a dryer on medium-high heat for at least 20 minutes and vacuum the bed. See Laundering Items to Kill Bed Bugs and Vacuuming to Capture Bed Bugs for more information.
    • Place shoes on a plastic mat near the door. This plastic mat can be washed with hot soapy water once guests have left.

Prevent Bed Bugs from Entering your Home with Overnight Guests

If a visitor is coming to stay and you know they had (or have) bed bugs, there are precautions that you can take. Remember that people do not usually carry bed bugs on their bodies, but bed bugs will sometimes hitch a ride on clothes that people are wearing. However, bed bugs are more likely to be on personal belongings, such as bags, purses, luggage, laundry, wheelchairs, and similar.
You can take these precautions to reduce the chance of bed bugs entering your home:
  • When guests arrive at your home be prepared to immediately:
    • Ask your visitor to change into clean clothes.
    • Launder all their clothing; see Laundering Items to Kill Bed Bugs.
    • Place suitcase/bags into a plastic box or large plastic bag which can be tied shut.
    • Wipe shoes with a damp cloth and hot water (not hotter than 120 F), or if possible place in a dryer. Some dryers have shoe racks designed for this purpose
    • Wipe down plastic or wood items with a hot, damp cloth,immediately throwaway boxes and wrapping in a sealed plastic bag.

Traveling and Dealing with Bed Bugs

If you are going to stay with friends or family who have been dealing with a bed bug infestation you can reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs home by:
  • Putting mattress encasements on the bed you will be using, or ask your host to do so.
  • Not putting your suitcase, clothing or other personal items on the bed. If possible keep these items distant from the bed.
    • Bring a couple of large plastic bags and store your suitcases inside the bags.
  • After returning home, immediately launder your clothing, or seal in a plastic bag until you are able to do so.
Above all, do not panic! Bed bugs are in society and they usually become a problem when people are not cautious. With a few simple steps, bed bugs are easily preventable and should not become an all-consuming worry as we approach and enjoy the winter holidays. Please remember to enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends.

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, December 12, 2012

Overwhelming evidence shows pesticides are destroying bees


As reported recently by the U.K.'s Guardian, a new study published in the journal Nature is the latest in a long line of recent studies to show that common crop chemicals are destroying bee populations worldwide, which will also eventually destroy much of the world's food supply if left unaddressed. And even though at least two-thirds of the world's bumblebee population is now likely dying off as a result of combined pesticide exposures, regulatory bodies in the U.K., the U.S., and elsewhere continue to deny that these harmful chemicals need to be banned.

A much greater threat than so-called global "climate change," the decline in bee populations due to pesticide and herbicide exposure is one of the most serious environmental threats in the world today. Without bees, food crops that rely on these important insects for pollination will wither and die, causing widespread food shortages. For this reason, ecology experts are urging government authorities to rediscover their consciences by standing up against this chemical-induced insect genocide, which has the very real potential to eventually unleash human genocide.

One of the ways in which they are accomplishing this is by drawing attention to studies like the recent Nature study, which clearly illustrates the fact that bees are severely threatened by combined exposures to multiple pesticide chemicals. Since bees encounter potentially hundreds of pesticide chemicals in real-world conditions, studying such exposures in a laboratory setting was the goal of the new research.

"Work in my lab is building on previous work looking at neonicotinoids, the systemic pesticides that are used extensively in agriculture at the moment," said Nigel Raine of Royal Holloway, University of London, author of the study, in a recent video report. "What we're doing is we're looking at the effects of multiple pesticides, not just the neonicotinoids but also pyrethroids, which is the sort of situation that bees are faced with in the field. They visit multiple crop species which may have different pesticides applied to them."


Most bumblebees die after being exposed to both pesticides

After closely monitoring bumblebees exposed to low levels of two different pesticide chemicals for four weeks, Raine and his colleague Richard Gill observed that individual bee performance suffered considerably. Combined exposure to both neonicotinoids and imidacloprid, two common pesticide chemicals, caused worker bees to perform at levels far lower than other bees. And it is precisely the cumulative effect of exposure to both chemicals, which many previous studies involving bees have failed to address, that is the most striking.

Another interesting discovery was the fact that two-thirds of the bees exposed to both chemicals ended up dying, compared to just one-third of those not exposed to both chemicals. This further illustrates the fact that previous studies analyzing the effects of only one pesticide chemical, and for just a few days rather than several weeks, ignore the actual, real-life exposures to multiple pesticide chemicals that many bees throughout the world face.

Many industry-funded studies, after all, which have been used by government regulators to approve these dangerous chemicals in the first place, erroneously conclude that certain pesticide chemicals are safe simply because they did not necessarily elicit immediate harm during the few days in which their effects were studied. Pesticide harm often takes weeks to be observed, which makes Raine's study far more accurate in its assessment of long-term pesticide damage in bees.

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!
Source:Natural News

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pest Free Holiday

The holiday season is filled with decorating, baking and celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately, many pests, including rodents, pantry pests, spiders and mites, have been known to try to join in the holiday fun. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) urges consumers to take precautions against pests that may invade their homes via decorations, firewood and baking ingredients.
“Everyone enjoys the festive spirit of the holidays. Unfortunately, as we bring beautiful parts of nature indoors to decorate and warm our homes, we could be rolling out the red carpet for pests, as well,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Ants, spiders and more can easily be brought in on firewood, Christmas trees and other greenery. Mice can be smuggled in through boxes of decorations and baking ingredients can harbor pantry pests. By taking a few preventative steps, homeowners can keep their homes safe and healthy for their families this holiday season.”
To keep pests from spoiling your family’s holiday fun, the NPMA offers the following tips:
  • There are many Christmas tree pests. Inspect live, fresh cut evergreen trees, wreathes and garlands for spiders, insect nests or eggs before purchasing. Shake greenery outdoors to remove any pests before bringing them inside. 
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or poles.
  • Unpack decorations outdoors so pests aren’t released into the home.
  • Check expiration dates on ingredients before use and only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage.
  • Store freshly baked sweets and opened ingredients in airtight containers.
  • Add a bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods like flour and rice - the pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
  • Repack decorations in durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through.
  • If an infestation occurs, partner with your local, licensed pest professional.

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!