Archive for Pest Control

Fleas & Ticks: Not Just a Problem for Your Pet

Fleas and ticks aren’t picky. Both fleas and ticks normally live outdoors, but they can easily move inside by entering your home through open doors or windows, come in with you or your pets, enter your home on mice or rats, or even be carried in on items you bring inside. Once indoors, they may jump onto furniture, rugs or carpets to lay eggs. In no time flat, you may find you have a flea or tick infestation. You don’t even have to have pets.

More About Fleas

Flea OrientalRat 300x204 Fleas & Ticks: Not Just a Problem for Your PetMost people with pets notice the telltale signs of fleas when their dogs or cats begin scratching more frequently, chewing on themselves or losing patches of fur. You can easily confirm the presence of fleas by combing your dog or cat with a narrow-tooth flea comb. Live fleas and eggs will be visible in the fur you comb out. While Fido may be the typical host for fleas, these pests are more than happy to use humans for a meal. Since the fleas often make themselves at home in your carpeting, you may recognize you have a problem when you suddenly find unexplained bites on your feet and ankles.

The most common symptom reported from flea bites are red, itchy areas, however fleas may also carry tapeworms that can be transmitted to dogs, cats and children, and they have been known to transmit Typhoid Fever and the Bubonic Plague, though these diseases are not common in our state.

More About Ticks

Tick LoneStar 300x284 Fleas & Ticks: Not Just a Problem for Your PetWhen the weather warms up, ticks also become very active. Ticks can come inside on your dogs or cats, or may attach themselves to you or your clothes. Ticks may transmit diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever through their bites. Several types of ticks may be found in North Carolina, however not all of them carry the same potential diseases. If you find a tick that has attached to your skin, remove it carefully (see detailed instructions on how to remove a tick) ensuring you get the entire tick and wash the area with soap and water. If you see any signs of a bullseye rash at the bite location, or if you have any other symptoms, contact your doctor and let him/her know you were bitten by a tick.

Treating Fleas & Ticks

Treating a flea or tick infestation is normally a three-step approach, with the steps taking place at the same time. If you have pets, there are various treatment options available, with some being more effective than others. In our experience, a flea collar is the least effective option, while a systemic product provided by your veterinarian is the most effective. Your lawn should also be treated to prevent a reinfestation. Finally, you must treat the inside of your house with an insecticide to kill the fleas and ticks. We recommend washing your pet’s bedding and drying on high heat. You should also remove the vacuum bag (or empty canister contents into a bag and seal) after vacuuming the carpets and place it in the outdoor trash sealed in a plastic bag to ensure any live fleas or eggs are gone. After the inside of your home is treated, you should vacuum every three days for the next two weeks, discarding the vacuum bag each time. Read more about getting rid of fleas and ticks in your home.

Questions about fleas or ticks? Ask us!

Steps to Take When You Notice a Tick on Your Pet

Australian Shepherd 600 Steps to Take When You Notice a Tick on Your PetIn many regions in the US, while stroking and petting your pets, small foreign objects will be discovered that are often ticks embedded in the animal’s skin. At about ¼ inch in diameter, a tick body is hard, round and almost flat.

The first time a tick is discovered, it may be confused with a scab, but most small scab-like things on pets turn out to be ticks. Pets spending any time outside in untreated areas are very likely to get ticks.

In the South East US, ticks are inevitable unless the pet never wanders from untreated areas. Ticks cannot be ignored, they carry Lyme disease and the bites become infected. Once a tick is discovered, there is a recommended process, and it is important to be prepared before the tick is removed.

A small jar of alcohol, tweezers and rubber gloves should be within reach.

Most dogs and some cats enjoy the stroking and contact involved with tick exams. Rubber gloves are important because ticks do carry Lyme disease and rubber gloves are protection. When a tick is found, complete the following process.

  1. With one hand separate the fur hair so the tick is completely visible.
  2. Using the other hand, grasp the tick with the tweezers and slowly pull straight out. The tick will not move once embedded in the animal. Tick removal is not painful if there is no infection.
  3. Drop the tick in the jar of alcohol. The tick will still be alive and you can see the little legs kicking. The alcohol will kill the tick. If the head or part of the head is left in the animal, that is fine, it will be broken down without any problems. The important thing is to pull out the tick body which is full of the fluid that will make the animal sick.
  4. Examine your pet for more ticks and repeat the process.
  5. At each tick removal site, treat with a dab of anti-biotic ointment or touch with hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab.

During tick season, examining your pet frequently for ticks is important.

Pest control experts are able to help protect you and your pets from tick bites. A schedule of professional applications will not only help protect your home and garden from ticks and fleas but will also prevent infestations of other dangerous or annoying pests.

For pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344 for a free pest control evaluation and quote.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Dog#mediaviewer/File:Australian_Shepherd_600.jpg

How to Find the Source of the Fruit Fly Infestation

400px Fruit Fly 200x300 How to Find the Source of the Fruit Fly InfestationFruit flies can infest a home at any time of the year, but the situation becomes especially problematic during the summer. Rather than chemically eradicating them, population reduction of fruit flies is most effective when you find and remove the source of the infestation. When you know where the most common sites of infestation are, you can take measures to prevent future fruit flies.

Clean the Kitchen

The kitchen is most likely where fruit flies began their infestation because they need a source of water and sugar for breeding. Rotting fruit is a favorite of these pests. Clean up any rotting fruit or food that is left out on your kitchen counters or dining table. Clean off all the surfaces and the drains to get rid of any food particles. As soon as you note fruit going bad on your kitchen counter, throw it away in a sealed bag. This will keep the fruit flies from breeding around it in the trashcan, which is another potential site of infestation.

Check the Trash

Another common breeding ground of fruit flies is in the trash. Open trashcans are worse because they allow fruit flies to escape easily into the kitchen. Use a garbage disposal to discard any food waste and rinse out cartons, bottles and boxes before throwing them into the trash can. Even the dregs of a beer bottle can invite a fruit fly infestation. If you have to throw away food scraps, put them into an old coffee can or jar with a lid and seal the container. This will prevent fruit flies from getting into your garbage and multiplying around your home. Keeping your trash clean could stop the pests in their tracks.

Wash the Dishes

Dirty dishes left on the counter or the sink could invite fruit flies to the after party for your dinner. Wash all dishes and put them in the dishwasher as soon as the meal is over. The food, wine, beer or juice left on plates, bowls and glasses are a feast to the fruit flies who are looking for a quick, sweet snack around your home.

Clear the Drains

When you run your garbage disposal, ensure that all the food put into it has cleared the drain. Periodically, clean out the garbage disposal to ensure that no food particles are left behind. The moist environment of the drain coupled with the food bits left in a garbage disposal creates an ideal environment for fruit flies.

Getting rid of the problems that cause fruit flies in the first place is often the best way to deal with these pests.

If you have any more questions about fruit flies or want more help clearing your home of these or any other pests, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

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

Steps to Identify a Cockroach Infestation

German Roach 300x192 Steps to Identify a Cockroach InfestationNo family wants to find out that their home has become a breeding ground for cockroaches. Cockroaches can spread diseases, especially those affecting the stomach and intestines, and be a general nuisance. Homeowners can take several steps to determine whether they are dealing with a cockroach infestation.

 

Live Cockroaches

First, they should be on the lookout for live cockroaches. Most of the time, cockroaches hide during the day because they are nocturnal creatures. However, if the pest problem is big enough, they may be seen in their favorite hiding places even during the day. Homeowners may particularly notice cockroaches in places that are warm and moist, such as behind or under large kitchen appliances, in crawlspaces or attics and in sinks or drains. They also frequently hide in narrow spots, such as under rugs and in cracks in walls and floors. Cockroaches have flattened, oval-shaped bodies measuring up to two inches long, six legs, antennae and brown or black coloring.

Casings

Second, even if the homeowner does not see any live roaches, he or she may notice their casings lying around the home. This is one of the most typical signs that there is an infestation. The casings appear after a roach hatches from its egg. It then leaves the thin brown casing behind. The casings, also called oothecae, are usually oval-shaped and can be found scattered in somewhat difficult to see places on the floor, such as behind furniture.

Brown of Black Feces

Third, homeowners may notice small unexplainable brown or black specks on their floors or belongings. This is often feces that is inherent in a cockroach infestation. The amount of feces that is seen may indicate how big of a roach problem the homeowner has. Most feces will look similar to coffee grounds although larger roaches may produce larger, cylindrical feces.

Musty Scent

Finally, homeowners with a cockroach problem may notice a telltale smell. The smell, which is often a musty scent, comes from the bodies of many cockroaches. However, the smell can do more than simply irritate one’s nose; it may also penetrate food that is left out on tables or counters.

Homeowners in North Carolina who notice any of these common cockroach problems should contact Clegg’s Termite and Pest Control. A pest control professional can inspect the home thoroughly and outline a plan for elimination. With today’s excellent methods of cockroach extermination, no one needs to live with these unwelcome pests.

For cockroach treatment and eradication, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Home Remedy Fact or Myth: Do Homemade Vinegar Fly Traps Work?

VinegarFlyTrap 175x300 Home Remedy Fact or Myth: Do Homemade Vinegar Fly Traps Work?You’ve seen the adhesive fly traps swinging from patio beams, displaying many insects caught in flight. However, these traps are unsightly and must be replaced periodically. A homemade option is naturally a better selection, but its effectiveness is often questioned. Catching flies with vinegar is a widespread story across the Internet. Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control wants you to know if this trap is effective or not.

Its Attraction

Most vinegar fly traps use a mixture of vinegar and dish soap to attract flies, but it doesn’t bring in every fly species. There are dozens of fly species in nature, even in North Carolina. They are all attracted to different scents. The fruit fly, in particular, senses sugar and sweet tastes wafting from fruits. When you use the correct vinegar fly trap recipe, you’ll trap fruit flies, but not other types.

Choosing The Right Vinegar

The Saint Louis Science Center performed this fly trap experiment with two different vinegars: white and apple cider. The white vinegar is too pungent, and lacks sweetness, to attract fruit flies. However, apple cider vinegar brings in fruit flies by the dozens. It’s crucial to have a sweet temptation to make the fly trap work. Otherwise, the flies flock to nearby fruit bowls and other kitchen treats.

Adding Dish Soap

Fruit flies are extremely small, allowing them to balance their bodies on the vinegar’s surface tension. The fly trap is often a cup filled with vinegar and dish soap with plastic wrap covering the top. Small holes are created in the plastic to allow flies into the mixture. If you forget the dish soap, flies will enter the cup and drink the vinegar as they perch on the surface. The soap forces the flies to fall into the liquid, trapping them perpetually.

An Interesting Alternative

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar in the house, you can try adding a piece of apple to a cup filled with water and dish soap. You create the same sweet temptation and reduced surface tension to trap the flies. However, the decaying fruit may be unsightly and produces a foul smell over time. Choosing apple cider for the trap is a smart choice.

For pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

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

Indianmeal Moth Prevention for Your Bakery: 5 Tips

Moth IndianMeal 257x300 Indianmeal Moth Prevention for Your Bakery: 5 TipsIndianmeal Moths are one of the most common pests found in kitchens and pantries. These pests enter your bakery from products that are infested. Hiring an exterminator to rid your business of these pests once you have an infestation is important, but preventing them from infesting comes from a few simple tips.

Plastic Storage

A great way to prevent an Indianmeal Moth infestation is to store all of your food products, especially flours and grains that these moths feed on, in airtight plastic containers. You will want to take special care when resealing these containers that the seal is tightly fixed, so no creepy crawlers can find their way inside to lay eggs and feed.

Do Not Add New Products to Old Products

It is easy to open a new bag of flour and add it to a container of flour that is almost empty, but don’t. One way to help prevent an Indianmeal Moth infestation is to use or throw away any old product before opening and storing your new products. Since most infestations come from food stock that is already infested this will keep you from having a larger outbreak.

Clean, Clean, Clean

The lifespan of the Indianmeal Mouth is six days and those days are devoted to reproduction. Clean and wipe your shelves and cupboards routinely, paying close attention to remove any food or crumbs. Make sure to scrub out your storage containers thoroughly with hot water and soap between each use.

Refuse Damaged Packages

When you receive your food order, check each bag and box carefully for damage. If there are openings or tears, it is possible that Indianmeal Moths may have gotten into the product. Do not accept any damaged packages and ask that the company you buy your stock through send replacements.

Dry As a Desert

Indianmeal Moths need a moist environment to develop and thrive in. When cleaning your storage containers make sure to dry them thoroughly and store them in a pantry that is dry and humid. When cleaning your shelves, take a few extra minutes to dry them with a kitchen towel or paper towels.

Prevention is always easier than ridding your bakery of an infestation. These few simple tips should help lower your chances of an infestation of the Indianmeal Mouth even though it was of the most common kitchen pests. If any infestation occurs, you will want to have it expertly treated immediately, and Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control has the tools and staff to address whatever pest control problem you are experiencing.

For Indianmeal Moth infestations, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indianmeal_moth_2009.jpg

Are Roly Polys Good or Bad for Your Garden?

Woodlouse Pillbug 300x225 Are Roly Polys Good or Bad for Your Garden?Roly Polys are also known as pill bugs, wood lice, armadillo bugs or potato bugs. Even though most people think of Roly Polies as bugs, they are actually part of the Crustacean family and are more closely related to shrimp and crayfish than the other real garden bugs.

Children love to play with Roly Polys because they are easy to find and collect, are not slimy, and do not bite or sting. Chickens and other birds find these little guys very tasty and these non-bugs are also wonderful soil conditioners because they process decomposing matter and speed up composting progression.

Pest control experts and master gardeners say there is a down side and sometimes the population must be controlled before the beloved Roly Polys become a pest.

Roly Polys like very moist habitats and are found under rocks and frequently where lawns meet sidewalks and foundations. These critters will not survive without moisture so they are always found in moist habitats with dead plant material for their food.

If there is a lack of dead plant material, Roly Polys are known to eat young and tender plants and some gardeners have declared them the culprits that destroy the marigolds, but other gardeners dispute this and insist that the wrongdoers are more likely the slugs.

Most gardeners consider Roly Polys an asset to a garden as opposed to a pest problem because they work such wonders with the moist decaying material that will be compost one day soon.

Since Roly Polys can live for several years and produce 3 broods per year of between 25 to 200 offspring per event, they multiply fast and that is the downside. Thousands of creepy crawly little critters are unpleasant no matter how cute and fun they are to play with. Because moisture and dead plant material is what sustains them, they reproduce very close to, and sometimes inside a home because they love the area where the garden meets the foundation.

In moist regions where the growing season and the rainy season are one and the same, finding clumps of hundreds of little bug like creatures every time vegetables or flowers are harvested can get tiresome. A trusted pest control expert will know how to achieve the perfect balance of maintaining the right populations of beneficial creatures in any garden habitat without making the human inhabitants cringe.

For pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Armadillidium_vulgare_001.jpg

How to Spot a Silverfish Infestation

Silverfish 300x215 How to Spot a Silverfish InfestationUnfortunately, silverfish are among the most common pests that North Carolina homeowners deal with. While spotting one here and there from time to time may not be an obvious cause for concern, even just one silverfish sighting could mean that there are dozens or hundreds more lurking in other areas of the house. Because silverfish thrive in warm and humid areas, they are most common during the warm months of spring and summer and are often found in basements and bathrooms.

Dangers of Silverfish

Unfortunately, silverfish can cause a great deal of damage within the home if they are not taken care of promptly. Often times, signs of a silverfish infestation are quite obvious. Homeowners may find holes in a room’s wallpaper or in clothes that show up suddenly and inexplicably. Sometimes, these holes are surrounded by a yellow stain. Silverfish feed on these materials and others that contain cellulose, starch, and sugar. Therefore, it is not uncommon for homeowners to also find holes in carpet, books, and photographs.

Other even more obvious signs of an infestation can be as seemingly harmless as finding a few silverfish in the home on the same day. Most often, the pests are discovered in laundry rooms, showers, bath tubs, and on shelves.

Steps to Take

Lowering thermostat temperatures during the summer can make the home a less suitable place for silverfish to live and may discourage more from infesting the residence. However, this may not take care of the silverfish that have already set up shop within the home.

In general, it is best to hire a pest control expert that specializes in silverfish control and eradication. This will help to ensure that the problem is taken care of properly and in a timely manner. Specifically, homeowners looking for assistance with silverfish control can always turn to the professionals here at Clegg’s. We know what it takes to handle a silverfish infestation at any home. Furthermore, we offer pest control services for bed bugs and termites as well.

No homeowner should have to live with an insect infestation of any kind. Turn to the dedicated experts at Clegg’s today to handle pests such as silverfish and prevent one’s property from incurring any more damage as a result.

For silverfish infestations, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lepisma_saccharina_1a.JPG

Why Are So Many People Afraid of Spiders?

Do you have arachnophobia? By some estimates, up to 50% of people are afraid of spiders. Why, you may ask? No one knows for sure! There has been a lot of research done and there is speculation it might be a leftover survival instinct from mankind’s early days. Others believe it may be more of a cultural or learned fear. Maybe all the scary movies with spiders (think of the scene in the Harry Potter series where the spiders, large and small, terrify Ron Weasley) feed the fear, or maybe it started when your brother dropped that spider on your shoulder when you were two. If you are afraid of spiders, the reason doesn’t much matter!

Brown recluse spiders 300x244 Why Are So Many People Afraid of Spiders?Scientists say there are around 40,000 different types of spiders in the world, and they’ve existed for more than 300 million years. While all spiders can bite, most of those bites cause no problems for humans. There are only two spiders in North Carolina you need to avoid. These are the black widow, easily identified by the red hourglass shape on its back; and the brown recluse (shown left). 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.

Common Spiders in North Carolina

Salticidae sm permission from author 051614 Why Are So Many People Afraid of Spiders?Most spiders live outdoors and feed off of insects. Some build sticky webs so they can trap their prey, while others hunt. They do not eat the insects immediately, but instead grind and liquefy their food with digestive enzymes before ingesting it. Spiders are beneficial to the landscape as they keep the insect population down. Some of the most common spiders you’ll find include the Black and Yellow Garden Spider, most commonly seen during the summer in large webs; the Wolf Spider, usually gray, black and brown with a noticeable stripe down its back; spider on baseboard 300x204 Why Are So Many People Afraid of Spiders?the Grass Spider (shown left crawling along a baseboard); Crab Spiders, small, colorful spiders that live in flowers and prey on small insects; and Jumping Spiders (shown above, right), that stalk their prey. Harvestmen, sometimes referred to as “Daddy Longlegs,” are also common to the area. These insects are not spiders at all, but are Opiliones. They also hunt and eat other insects. For a great resource and more photos of area spiders, visit the NC State University website.

The more you know about spiders, the less afraid you’ll be. If you see spiders in your yard or garden, just leave them alone. If you do find one or more black widows or brown recluses in your house, you may want to call a pest management professional.

Common Pests That Will Attack Your Bulbs

APhid 300x300 Common Pests That Will Attack Your BulbsAny gardener who has spent time growing flowers knows that bulbs are especially vulnerable to attack from pests. While some bugs actually benefit your garden in a variety of ways, there are a whole host of other insects, mites and invertebrates that particularly enjoy munching on your growing bulbs. It’s very difficult to totally eliminate these pests, but the best way to begin addressing the problem is to understand what you’re up against. With that in mind, here are a few of the most common pests that may be eyeing your bulbs for their next snack.

Aphids

Aphids are one of the most common pest infestations, and they can be a serious problem if they are allowed to get out of control. Most common in early spring, these small, soft-bodied little critters are pear-shaped and may appear various shades of green, yellow or even black. In addition to causing physical damage to plantings, they can also transmit viruses that can infect and kill your plants.

Slugs and Snails

These small, slimy little pests are easier to spot than some other pests, but they can still cause damage. They’re most active at night, and they like to hide out in cool, dark places and under piles of plant debris. They generally feed on decaying vegetation, but growing populations can also cause damage to live plants. Cleaning your garden regularly and occasionally inspecting it at night with a flashlight can help to minimize the threat. You can simply pick the slugs off or use traps to cut down on the slug population.

Mites

There are a few varieties of mites, but bulb mites are unsurprisingly known for damaging bulbs. More closely related to spiders than to any insects, bulb mites live in the soil and are nearly translucent white in color. They most often feed on bulbs that have already been damaged or weakened in some way, so it’s best to discard damaged bulbs before planting if you suspect mites may be an issue.

Thrips

Thrips are extremely small and slender, but they can do a lot of damage. They’re most easily identified by their two pairs of wings, which are fringed with long, delicate hairs. They often live inside the bulbs of plants, and it can be hard to detect them until it’s too late and the bulb has already been permanently damaged. You can help to prevent a problem by soaking bulbs in 120 degree water for at least an hour before planting, which should kill off any thrips inside.

For pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acyrthosiphon_pisum_(pea_aphid)-PLoS.jpg