Insecticidal Soap: What is it and does it work?

Insect on PlantLooking for a way to get rid of pests on your plants, but avoid the toxic chemicals? Insecticidal soap might be just what you need.

Insecticidal soap is composed of potassium fatty acid soaps used to control plant pests. It was used regularly in the past by gardeners to protect their crops before poisonous pesticides become the popular choice later on. However, with safer gardening treatments becoming more widespread, insecticidal soaps are having a comeback. In order to avoid the use of toxic and stronger chemicals, gardeners are now opting for more natural ways to keep insects from disturbing their plants.

The soap eliminates the protective wax on the insect, causing them to lose a great amount of water and die. The insecticidal soap acts on contact. After the soap has dried, it leaves no residual effect. These soaps must be applied to the insect directly, and cover them fully.

These effective and safer soaps are used to control insects such as mealy bugs, sawfly larvae, thrips, whiteflies, aphids, lace bugs, spider mites, adelgids and leaf-hoppers. They’re not as effective on honey bees, ladybird beetle larvae or parasite wasps. Chewing insects, like caterpillars and beetles, also seem to escape the effects of insecticidal soap.

These less harmful soaps are certainly less toxic than the incredibly strong pesticides used by gardeners before, but can be dangerous to some plants if oil is in the soap spray. Before covering the insects you see with insecticidal soap, test it beforehand.

Take a small section of the plant, spray the soap on the leaves and wait one full day to see if there are any side effects. Examine the plant for any signs of leaf scorching, brown or yellow spotting, wrinkling or burned tips on your plants. Stop using the product if you see any damage. The sensitive plants tend to be cucumbers, gardenias, peas, ferns and beans.

To maximize effectiveness, spray the insecticidal soap in the early morning or early evening hours. Applying it when the dew covers your plants allows the soap to dry as slowly as possible. This provides maximum effectiveness.

If at all possible, don’t spray the insecticidal soap during the hottest parts of the afternoon when the spray dries much too quickly to be successful. Spray the insecticidal soap thoroughly on the plant, but not to the point of overflow.

Whether you purchase your insecticidal soap or make your own at home, you’ll be pleased to be rid of the pests who are destroying your beloved plants.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_cotton_bug_(Dysdercus_koenigii)_on_Tulasi_Plant_(1).JPG

Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Warehouse

RatYour business’s warehouse is a hub of storage and distribution, but it can also be a perfect place for rodents to hide. Both rats and mice prefer hidden areas away from predators, especially when they are nesting. Although you may not see the rodents in your warehouse, there are telltale clues that point to an infestation. At Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control, we want your North Carolina business to be rodent-free.

Excrement

The simplest way to determine a rodent infestation is through excrement discovery. Commonly overlooked as pebbles or rocks, rat and mice droppings are typically near walls where they scurry in the night. Appearing black or brown, these pellets can even be slightly shiny. Take a strong flashlight and shine it along the warehouse’s perimeter. Try to access hard-to-reach areas to find even more excrement evidence. By following the droppings, you may even discover their main nesting area.

Travel Clues

Become an investigator by looking for travel clues. Look along ceiling beams, pipes and side passageways. You are looking for paw prints, tail marks and even greasy stains. Rats and mice move through confined spaces to find the best areas to hide, allowing their fur to catch oil, grime and grease. They may leave that grease directly on your clean warehouse floor. Any areas with lumber often leave fine sawdust on the floor. Examine this area as well for paw prints in the dust.

Chewing Evidence

You may run a clean warehouse, but rodents make a mess in corners and along walls. Inspect any wood, such as fixtures, pallets or even cardboard boxes. Rodents chew on these items, leaving gnawing marks and sawdust behind. You may be able to follow the gnaw marks to their main hiding place, or the chewing area could be confined to one spot. Call Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control if you’re unsure about your infestation’s severity.

Nesting Instinct

Rodents naturally want a safe place to nest, but they also need materials. Your warehouse is potentially full of choice items, including newspaper and packing supplies. Take a look at your loose materials, pinpointing any torn or missing areas. Rodents literally shred materials to create a nest when they are ready to reproduce. Finding damaged materials gives you an idea of what to look for in any known hiding places.

At Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control, we strive to keep your warehouse clear of all rodent infestations. Keep your business and employees happy and healthy with our professional services today.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rat_agouti.jpg

Snail or Slug: Which One is Eating My Plants?

Now that spring has sprung, and the weather is warming up, many in North Carolina are planning their landscaping and planting their gardens. As you go on through the season, you might find that some of your plants have irregular holes in them, that the edges of the leaves are getting eaten, or your fruit, like strawberries, are being eaten away. You might also see shoots and stems being eaten. All of these can be signs that you have slugs or snails, perhaps even both, in your garden.

Other Signs of Slugs and Snails

SnailIn general, slugs and snails will do the same type of damage in your garden, and in either case, you may notice other signs, as well. Both of these creatures live underground much of the time, so though you might not see the snails or slugs, but you might notice the distinctive slime trail that they leave in their wake. This slime trail can be seen for several days, assuming it doesn’t rain.

Another sign that you might have slugs or snails in your garden is that the plants they love the most, like hostas or delphiniums are all but destroyed. If you don’t have these plants, you will need to rely on the other signs.

Slugs, Snails, or Both?

SlugWhen you see this damage, you might be wondering if you have snails or slugs. The truth is, you could have snails, slugs, or both. There isn’t a lot of difference when it comes to the damage that snails versus slugs bring to your garden.

Instead, you will find that the main difference between them is how they look. Snails, of course, have a shell on their back. Because they have this shell, snails will need to eat foods that are higher in calcium.

Slugs don’t have the same dietary needs. You might find, if you have snails over slugs that calcium rich plants like kale, collards, garlic, turnips, and okra are all targets for snails. Slugs just like plants of all types, so they likely will not focus on one plant over another.

If you notice that you have damage from slugs or snails in your garden, you should contact a professional pest control company like Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control, LLC for assistance, especially if other home treatments have not worked. Though other pests could certainly cause similar damage, slugs and snails often are more destructive than others.

Images via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Common_snail.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Slug_pic.jpg

April 2014 News: Seasonal Guide to Termites

In this month’s edition of the Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control news: A Seasonal Guide to Termites, Must Love Spiders (or maybe not!), Commercial Bed Bug Training, and Clegg’s Recognized by BBB.

A Seasonal Guide to Termites

Subterranean TermitesWe’re sorry to tell you this: termite season is once again here. When the weather starts to warm again in the spring, people begin noticing signs of termites and our phone begins ringing. In some cases, homeowners find signs of termites when they begin sprucing up their homes. In others, termites may swarm inside the home or around the foundation. As soon as you think you might have a termite issue, you need to call a professional and have your home inspected.

 

The most common type of termite found in North Carolina is the subterranean termite. These insects live in colonies underground and eat cellulose products like wood and paper. You may find damage to wood beams in your crawlspace or even to baseboards. You may also see swarms of termites around mating season in the spring and summer or find piles of discarded termite wings around windows.

Learn the signs you might have termites and what you should do about it in our latest article, A Seasonal Guide to Termites. If you do find signs of termites, call us right away at (888) MR. CLEGG to schedule your free termite inspection!

Must Love Spiders

brown recluse spider controlWe can honestly say we don’t hear too many of our customers say they love spiders. In fact, most people are afraid of arachnids. While most spiders are harmless, there are a few in North Carolina that are venomous, including the black widow and brown recluse. Of the two, the bite of a brown recluse is likely to cause more damage to humans. These spiders prefer dark areas, so if you encounter them inside your house it may be in your garage, attic or storage area. Learn how to identify a brown recluse and what to do if you find one in your house.

Commercial Bed Bug Training

If you have a business that is at increased risk of exposure to bed bugs, Clegg’s offers periodic bed bug classes to train your employees on how to deal with these determined pests. The session covers identifying bed bugs as well as action steps to take if the bugs are discovered. If you would like to learn more, please contact us via email or call 1-888-672-5344.

Clegg’s Recognized

Clegg's is an Accredited BBB BusinessBBB serving Eastern North Carolina recently recognized Clegg’s for being a BBB Accredited business for 20 years! A big shout out to our great team of North Carolina pest professionals for all their hard work.

 

 

 

Termite Identification Tips: How to Identify the Termites You Have

If you have termites on your North Carolina property, you will certainly notice the signs. Some of the signs associated with termites that you might see are mud tubes, wings on the ground, or even a sawdust-like material on counters, in sinks, and in other areas of your home.

At the first sign of termites, you should reach out to a professional pest control company because usually you won’t notice their presence until the damage has already been done.

There are two different types of destructive termites in North Carolina and here are some tips on identifying the type you have:

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Subterranean TermitesThe eastern subterranean termite is extremely destructive, and they tend to eat the inside of wood, leaving only a shell behind. This is important because the timber might look perfectly fine from the outside, but it could be extremely weak from the inside. As you can imagine, this could be disastrous if it happens in your home.

These termites are very small, only about 1/8 inch in size. They have large mandibles, or pincers, on their heads and are dark in color. You will know if you have these termites as you will notice the presence of mud tubes on the side of your home and likely see swarming or wings on the ground as the weather warms up in spring. Each colony of subterranean termites will contain thousands of insects, some colonies closing in on a million individuals.

Drywood Termites

Drywood TermiteThe other type of termites you might see in North Carolina that are highly destructive are drywood termites. These termites will often be found inside of the home feasting on your wood furniture.

The main sign that you have drywood termites is the presence of a sawdust-like substance on, in, and around wood in your home. This substance is actually termite feces that they kick out of the small irregularly placed holes they drill through wood. These holes are another sign that you have drywood termites, not subterranean termites.

If you see any sign of termites, first contact a pest control specialist like Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control, LLC, then take some time to identify the type you have. Based on the signs, you might be able to do both at the same time. Remember, the sooner you contact a professional, the less damage you will be dealing with, which will significantly lower the cost of repair.

Images via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:K8085-6.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Macro_Termite_Soldier.jpg

What Should Pet Friendly Extermination Solutions Provide?

Pet-Friendly ExterminationAre you concerned that an exterminator’s efforts may harm your pet? Many pest control efforts do involve toxic chemicals. Pest control professionals have safe and effective methods to do their job while protecting companion animals, however.

The exact approach depends on the type and severity of your pest problem. In some cases, exterminators can apply pest control substances that are not toxic, or at least not toxic to any species but the pests they target. In other cases, pest removal pros may be able to use preventive techniques, such as sealing holes, cleaning gutters or drying damp areas to reduce the risk of future infestations, and therefore limit the need for pest control chemicals to be applied.

Here’s what you should expect from a pet-friendly pest-removal service:

1) Instructions on whether larger pets (cats and dogs, for example) should be removed during the procedure. You’ll be told when it’s safe for people and animals to return.

2) Notification of which areas have been treated, so you can keep an eye on your pets and shoo them away from affected spots until chemicals have lost their potency. This usually occurs a short time after the pest control treatment.

3) Instructions for protecting smaller pets that can’t be easily moved (aquarium fish, for instance). In most cases, this involves covering the living habitat.

4) Reassurance that modern pest control chemicals are highly targeted to harm vermin and remain harmless to other species. Products are applied in small quantities and dry quickly, so only pests are likely to come into contact with them.

5) Explanation of any alternative treatments to substitute for poisons, if your pest problem allows. These solutions can range from applying non-toxic substances that trap insects to preventive techniques that reduce future infestations.

6) Recommendations on where you can place any interim treatments (for example roach powders), so that pets cannot reach them.

7) Information to help you recognize if your pets are bothered by pests, for example, how to spot signs of bed bug or other bug bites in pets.

Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control is one of North Carolina’s most established extermination services. We have the expertise needed to protect your home from pests common to the state, and to ensure the safety of you, your family and your pets.

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:YellowLabradorLooking_new.jpg

Termites Beware: This Home is Off Limits – Customer Testimonial

Termites tend to spring up more in the Spring. These relentless critters feast on anything that contains cellulose which can include paper, cardboard, and unfortunately for your home, wood.

Eliminating a termite infestation not only rids your home of pests, but it can also provide you with peace of mind. Termites are known to deploy costly structural damages to homes. Not only can they deface the exterior of your property, but they can bring about the need for extreme home rebuilding.

Luckily our team at Clegg’s Termite and Pest Control is very experienced with the elimination of prevention of termites. In fact one of our customers, Charity, even left us a kind message with regards to her termite issues.

If I were a termite, I would hesitate to approach this house now that it has been protected by your company’s efficient system…..The entire scheme was thoroughly explained to me by Steve Arnao. He answered all my questions reassuringly with patience and courtesy. It was an altogether pleasant initial interview. Steve made me feel fortunate to have chosen Clegg’s.

- Charity C.

Learn more about termite control and contact Clegg’s to request an inspection. You can also give us a call at 888-672-5344.

Steps to Take When You Encounter a Brown Recluse

brown recluse spider controlAre you dealing with spiders? Whether you have a fear of spiders or not, you probably don’t want them in your home, especially if they are brown recluses. Here are some steps to take if you do encounter a brown recluse:

1. Identify it as a Brown Recluse
First, it is important to identify if the spider is a brown recluse. The nickname for a brown recluse is the violin spider because of a mark on its back resembling a dark brown violin pointing backwards. As its name suggests, it is brown in color and only has six eyes instead of the usual eight, with one pair in front and another pair on either side. Its body is only about 3/8 inches long, and its legs have no stripes.

2. Don’t Panic
Second, don’t panic if it is a brown recluse. Although brown recluse spiders have a reputation of being extremely dangerous, experts say most bites heal quickly without any serious consequences. The severity of a brown recluse’s bite depends on the amount of venom injected. Redness and swelling typically result, although the bite may go undetected for several hours. If you are bitten by a brown recluse, though, and experience medical concerns appearing to be serious, you should seek the aid of a medical professional.

3. Be Aware of Hiding Places
If you encounter a brown recluse, chances are fairly good that others are around. Therefore, you should watch for places they may be hiding, such as in your slippers or clothes lying on the floor. This is where neatness becomes a virtue. Because brown recluse spiders like to live under and between items, such as cardboard boxes or wooden boards, you can reduce the possibility of an encounter by eliminating clutter. Remove bed skirts and ruffles to help keep spiders out of your bed, and store firewood away from the house.

4. Hire Pest Control Services
One of the best solutions for eradicating brown recluse spiders is to use the services of Clegg’s Pest Control. They have the necessary knowledge and experience to formulate an effective treatment plan that will work well for you. Their service personnel are knowledgeable in what areas to treat, and they have the specialized equipment to get the job done right.

Brown recluse spiders are nearly impossible to eradicate completely. However, by implementing the measures outlined above, you should be able to drastically reduce their number and avoid painful contact with them in the future.

Request pest control services online or call us at 888-672-5344.

March 2014 News: Pest Control & Safety

In the March 2014 issue of the Clegg’s newsletter: Pest Control & Safety, Should You Be Collecting Rent? and Spring is Here: Termites Will Follow.

Pest Control & Safety

Deer TickPest control products got a bad reputation in the twentieth century when the long-term effects of products like DDT and chlordane were discovered and these pesticides banned. The pesticides in use today are much safer and are still effective, especially when used as part of an integrated pest control and management process. In many cases, finding the access point(s) in your home and sealing them will keep pests out. When we are talking about something as tiny as ants, this can be challenging!

It is important to know that no pesticide is 100% safe, simply because all pesticides are designed to eliminate insects. Clegg’s however, uses the most current methods and products for the safest pest management possible, and our technicians are trained on the proper use of these products. Pesticides applied by our technicians are targeted where the insects hide, reducing the risks to your family. Your family’s safety is our first priority.

If you’d like to learn more about pest control and safety, check out this recent article or email us your questions.

Should You Be Collecting Rent?

Clegg's Removes Nuisance WildlifeWould you willingly open your home to a friend or relative knowing they would pay you nothing and cause expensive damage to your property? Probably not, but every month we get dozens of calls about nuisance wildlife-critters who have moved in and damaged property, caused sleepless nights and unwanted expense for the homeowners.

While any number of different animals may try to make your home theirs, squirrels, opossums and bats make up the bulk of the calls we receive. In most cases, they are simply looking for a warm, dry environment to call home. If they can get into your attic or crawlspace easily, they’ll do it. Clegg’s will identify the type of animal in your home and then set traps to capture the animal(s), after which they will be relocated. Read more about nuisance wildlife…

Spring is Here! Termites Will Follow

Every year we welcome warmer weather, greening trees and beautiful flowers, and longer days filled with sunshine. Unfortunately, while it may be beautiful outside this is also the time of year that termites become very active. Termites are active year-round, but many people don’t know they have an infestation until they see a swarm in or around their home or are doing some spring cleaning and find mud tubes near the foundation. Learn more about termites or call us for a FREE inspection!

 

Termite Season is Coming!

Subterranean Termites

The termites are coming, the termites are coming! In reality, termites are in North Carolina eating wood and other cellulose based materials year round, but spring is the time when most people first discover they have a termite problem.

Signs of termites

In spring each year as the weather warms up, winged termites take flight in an attempt to leave and start new colonies. When they swarm inside your house, they head toward the windows and daylight. They cannot escape and die there at the window, leaving piles of termite wings on the sill and surrounding areas. Outside, you may find piles of wings around the foundation. These piles are a sure sign there is an infestation close by.

Mud tubes are another indicator of a termite infestation. These tubes may be found inside or outside your house, usually (but not always) low to the ground around the foundation of the home.

As termites eat wood, the surface may not initially appear damaged, but the wood will sound hollow. In other cases, the damage may look like paint that has gotten wet and has bubbles. As you clean your baseboards, look for signs of damage or listen for the wood to sound hollow when you tap it.

You may also find signs of live termites around the foundation. Look for wet areas or signs of damage near your home, pull mulch or dirt back from the house and look for live termites.

Don’t panic

While termites eat day and night, there’s no need to call 9-1-1! Do have a termite professional come and inspect your property to confirm that the problem is indeed termites. If you do have termites, there are several treatment options available, including liquid treatments and baiting systems. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to have repairs done to any wood the termites have destroyed.

If you believe you may have termites, don’t wait to get your home inspected! Give Clegg’s a call. Our pest professionals can help tell you if you have termites and offer a solution to meet your specific needs. Contact us today.

Learn more about termites in these related articles:

What You Need to Know About Termites

A Seasonal Guide to Termites