Seasonal Guide to Termites

north carolina termite pest control

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.

What are the signs I have termites?

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. We recently had a situation where termites had gotten into books stored on a bookshelf and eaten holes in the books! The other obvious sign of infestation is mud tubes on the interior or exterior walls, especially near the ground, or around doors, including the garage door framing at the expansion gap on the ground. One homeowner walked into her shower one day and discovered mud tubes that had appeared overnight right at the top of the tile surround. You may also see swarms of termites around mating season in the spring and summer or find piles of discarded termite wings around windows.

If the inspector confirms I have termites, what happens next?

Once our trained technicians identify a termite infestation, they will review the extent of the problem and detail the location(s) of the damage, and then create a customized treatment plan for your home. They will review the treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have. You can then choose an option for treatment. If the damage is severe, you may also need to involve a contractor to handle the repairs to your property.

What termite treatment options are available?

For subterranean termites, a liquid termiticide is usually applied around the foundation of your home. For homes built on a slab, the concrete will be drilled and the termiticide pumped under the concrete. Some homeowners may have high moisture areas or they may be concerned with the impact of some types of liquid termiticides on the environment. It is important to note that there is a new liquid termiticide that only affects termites- Altriset® (Syngenta). Altriset specifically paralyzes the jaw muscles of termites, and therefore will not harm beneficial insects like honey bees. Altriset is termed a “reduced risk” insecticide by the Environmental Protection Agency, and therefore has no signal word like other EPA pesticides require.

A second option is a baiting system like the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination system. In this type of system, baiting stations are set around the perimeter of your house and termiticide bait is placed in the stations for the termites to collect and take back to the colony. If an infestation already exists, a liquid termiticide may be applied first and the baiting system installed as a preventive measure. Our recommendations will be based upon your specific situation.

What can I do to ensure I don’t get termites?

When new homes are built, they are treated with a termiticide product that protects the home for around 5 years. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to have a new treatment applied after the original loses effectiveness. Both liquid and baiting options are available. Clegg’s liquid termite protection plan requires an annual termite inspection. This allows us to ensure the treatment is working. Once the initial application has lost effectiveness, a termiticide booster treatment is applied and the annual inspection process continues. Of course, one of the most important things you can do is be vigilant. Make sure there is no excess moisture in and around your home that can attract termites or other wood-boring insects. Keep your eyes open for signs of termites and follow some common sense precautions like storing firewood away from the foundation of your home, keeping bushes and trees trimmed away from the house, and not piling mulch against the foundation. Again, if you see any signs of termites, don’t ignore them!

If you see damage to the wood around your home, you could have termites or other wood-destroying insects that result in similar damage. At the first sign of trouble, you should have a professional inspect the property to see exactly what you are dealing with and recommend how to best treat the problem. To learn more, read our article, What You Need to Know About Termites.

Clegg’s offers free termite inspections. Call us today to schedule an appointment at the first sign you might have a termite infestation.

Preventing Pests and Saving Energy Bills: How TAP Insulation Does Both

Clegg's offers TAP insulationOne pest control measure you probably don’t think of too much is your insulation. Believe it or not, insulation can make a big difference in having unwanted guests inside your home versus outside.

One of our solutions is TAP Insulation. We are a certified provider and recommend it due to its variety of benefits.

Pest Control Assistance

Made primarily from recycled paper, TAP Insulation is constructed by putting the paper through a disc-mill. The newly created cotton-boll-like substance is then infused with borates.

TAP Insulation is “loose-fill” and works in conjunction with your existing insulation. This provides your home with increased benefits including pest control. The insulation helps prevent common pests such as roaches, ants, termites, and silverfish from nesting in your attic and walls.

Reduces Energy Bills

TAP Insulation also provides your home with additional insulation to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This allows homeowners to reduce the amount of times they need to turn on the heat or A/C.

Overall this installation provides your home with a long-term way to reduce your energy bills.

Noise Control

Due to its makeup, TAP Insulation provides an acoustically superior product to generic insulation. Not only does it reduce exterior noise such as traffic and planes, but it also reduces the amount of interior noise. Flushing toilets, leaky pipes, running appliances, and similar interior noises are all reduced from room to room if TAP Insulation is installed.

Environmentally Friendly

The product is made from 80% recycled paper. Installation improves the carbon-footprint of homeowners and businesses by reducing the amount of energy they need to use. There is also no post-installation waste, which means nothing is going back into a landfill.

TAP Insulation is the only product to receive an Energy Star Label and noted by the EPA to control insects.

There really is no downside to TAP Insulation. As far as we’re concerned, less pests, lower energy bills, and less noise is a win-win-win.

Learn more about TAP Insulation at their site or contact Clegg’s to find out more about TAP Insulation installation in your home or business. As always you can call us at 888-672-5344.

Home Remedy Fact or Myth: Does Pouring Bleach Down the Drain Stop Roaches from Using It for Travel

American CockroachThe last thing you want to see as you stumble into the kitchen for breakfast is a roach skittering around in your sink. The shock will wake you up faster than any cup of coffee ever will, but the knowledge that roaches are using your drains as a sort of highway could turn the strongest of stomachs. These pests carry diseases with them and can live in between the walls of your home as well as your pipes.

You might have heard that you can pour bleach down your drains in order to stop roaches from using your plumbing to roam around your house. Most people know that bleach sprays can be used to kill errant roaches that skitter around your floors. In a desperate situation, you might be ready to put an entire jug of Clorox down your bathtub drain, but does it really work?

Bleach can kill roaches on contact, so pouring it down a drain will really only work if your plumbing is full of the pests. As roaches like to be close to a source of water, you could kill them and flush them out of your drains using this method. Following it up with a few cups of boiling water can catch any roaches that might have survived the bleach.

You need to be very careful about how and when you use bleach, as it is corrosive and toxic to humans just as it is to pests. If you pour it down your sink or into your toilet bowl, make sure that you keep a nearby window open for ventilation and that you do not get any bleach in your mouth or eyes. Wash your hands as thoroughly as possible after you are done, and store the bleach away from children or pets.

So as it turns out, using bleach to keep your drains roach-free might be a good idea. However, carefully pouring bleach down a drain is an efficient short term solution if you have spotted a few roaches in your sinks or your toilet and you can kill them immediately. If you have a full-blown infestation, you will definitely need to get in touch with a professional instead. Misusing bleach in an attempt to kill the roaches in your home could end up causing you harm as well.

Request cockroach service or call Clegg’s now at 888-672-5344.

Identifying a Termite Infestation in Your Crawlspace

Subterranean TermitesTermites are among the most dreaded pests in a home. If left untreated, an infestation of the insects can cause very expensive property damage. Because termites typically access a home through its foundation, homeowners can detect the early signs of infestation by inspecting their home’s crawl space. However, many homeowners are unaware of the signs they should look for when inspecting for termites.

One of the more obvious signs of termite presence is the formation of mud tubes. If mud tubes are found in a crawl space, the tubes should be broken open to check for active termite activity. If no activity is found, the tubes should be scraped away, and the area should be examined again at a later date to determine whether new tubes are present.

Signs of termite damage may also appear on structural wood on the foundation. All wood should be tapped with a metal object, such as a screwdriver, to determine whether the wood has been hollowed out due to hidden termite damage.

When searching for termite damage, it is also important to move the insulation walls and inspect behind them. Fallen insulation should be replaced to discourage moisture problems and also to eliminate the paper backing that is often found on insulation as a potential termite food source.

Areas in which leaks, flooding, or other sources of humidity are present are also especially susceptible to termite infestation.

If the crawlspace is being used for storage, all sources of cellulose, such as cardboard boxes and wood debris should be inspected and removed as termites are able to consume any form of cellulose as a food source.

Finally, dryer ducts should be directed outside the house to make the crawl space environment less inviting to termites.

Termite infestations can be tricky which is why it is highly advised to contact Clegg’s to make sure that all possibilities have been examined thoroughly.

If signs of termite activity are discovered, the next step should be to call a pest control professional that specializes in eradicating termites. Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control has experienced technicians who understand the biology of termites and are able to successfully remove them. In addition to eliminating termite infestations, the technicians at Clegg’s will also offer advice to homeowners to help their property remain termite-free.

Clegg’s offers a variety of liquid and bait termite control options to help homeowners win the war against destructive termites and to avoid the costly damage termites are very capable of causing.

Request termite service online or call us at 888-672-5344.

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Clegg's Pest Control | Nuisance Wildlife | Deer Mouse

Would 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.

Identifying nuisance wildlife in your home

In many cases, homeowners don’t immediately recognize they have a problem. They may hear some scratching or noise overhead and believe it’s outside when it’s really coming from the attic. Often times, the problem becomes apparent when urine soaks through from the attic into the ceiling drywall, leaving a stain. In other cases, there may be issues with electrical wiring as the result of rats or other pests gnawing through the wires. We actually had one call where an opossum was making so much noise building a nest at night near the duct work in a crawl space that the homeowner thought a person was living in his crawl space!

Common nuisance wildlife calls

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.

The damage they do

The degree of damage to your property may vary based on the type of animal in your home. Bats will leave droppings which may soak through and stain your ceilings over time. Mice, rats, squirrels and opossums also leave droppings and will build nests, chewing up wood, insulation and just about anything else they can find. These animals may also bring fleas and ticks into your home, and may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. We’ve had more than one call where a homeowner thought they had bed bugs but it turned out they were bat bugs coming down from the attic after being brought in by bats.

Stopping repeat visitors

The only way to ensure you don’t have a repeat is to find out where the animals are getting into your home and close the entry point(s). Most animals can get in through very tiny openings, so it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out how they are entering your home. A word of caution: don’t plug the hole until you are certain the critters are out of the house, otherwise they may cause more damage trying to get out or they may die inside if they cannot find an exit. If you do try to remove the animal by yourself, use caution so you don’t get bitten. While rabies is uncommon in squirrels and opossums, their bites can still cause infections or tetanus. It’s also important to note that bats are protected under federal law. They cannot be moved during nesting season (October through March), so it’s best to keep them out in the first place.

If you find signs that you may have a furry freeloader in your home, give Clegg’s a call. We’ll come out and identify your unwanted house guest and remove it from the premises.

 

Pest Control and Safety

Lone Star Tick

Safe pest control has been a hot topic for years, ever since scientists began to understand the environmental and health impacts of many pesticides used in the mid-twentieth century. Pesticides like DDT were commonly used between World War II and the early 1960’s before the environmental risks were discovered. Since then, pesticides have become safer. Homeowners still need to exercise caution in order to reduce their risk of harming the environment or themselves.

There are many products out there labeled, “all natural” or “safe,” however we often see situations where homeowners have not followed directions when applying these products. This includes using outdoor-only products inside and over applying the product. One issue with many of these over-the-counter products is that they are not very strong. This can lead to insects building resistance to the product, making it less effective.

It is important to know that no pesticide is 100% safe, simply because all pesticides are designed to eliminate insects. Clegg’s 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.

Pesticides are only part of an integrated approach to pest control and management. 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!

Other pests that can cause safety issues when you are outside working or playing in your yard are yellow jackets and bees. Both may build nests underground, and unknowing homeowners may disturb them. Both may be aggressive when defending their nests, resulting in multiple stings for the homeowner who initially finds the nest or attempts to remove it. We recommend calling in a professional to treat yellow jackets and bees.

A final warning: beware of nuisance wildlife. In most cases, if you leave animals alone they will not bother you. Unfortunately, when you have a squirrel, opossum, raccoon or other animal move into your home, you must get them out and remove access to your home so they cannot re-enter. While the incidence of rabies in squirrels and opossum has traditionally been low, there are other animals known as “rabies vector species” that are at higher risk of contracting rabies. These include raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, and groundhogs. If you attempt to remove any animal from your property and are bitten, you should immediately wash the area with soap and water, and contact your local health department for direction. Clegg’s recommends you call a professional if you have a problem with nuisance wildlife.

If you have safety questions regarding pest control, feel free to email us or give us a call. We would be happy to speak with you.

 

 

“We Won’t Be a Bed Bugs Dinner” – Customer Testimonial

adult male bed bug

Bed bugs are an unfortunate nuisance that can be really difficult to detect and treat. That’s why we employ some of the best bed bug detectors around. Once our aces have sniffed out an infestation, it’s on to the treatment portion of Clegg’s bed bug pest control services.

One of our customers was kind enough to write us a message regarding her bed bug situation. Like her, we’re happy that the bed bugs didn’t feast on her for dinner!

Me and my family received services from your company in Grimesland NC for bed bugs. I was so shocked to find that these pests were real. When I first noticed these I contacted your office and made an appointment with Tony. He came out and was honest with us to the point that he stated if I don’t find any, I can’t treat. Well upon inspection he found them, we proceeded with a game plan for treatment and here it is 3 weeks later and our home is bed bug free thanks to Tony, Paul and Rambo (the K-9 certified bed bug do). A big thank you for your services and for giving me and my family the peace of mind to know that we won’t be a bed bugs dinner at night.

Mary S.

Check out what other customers had to say about our services on our Customer Stories page.

Learn more about about Clegg’s bed bug pest control or feel free to request an inspection if you fear that you have bed bugs.

 

February 2014 News: You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers.

In the February issue of Clegg’s News: answers to common pest control questions, commercial businesses and rat infestations, and tips to help you prepare for an emergency.

You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers.

Clegg's North Carolina Pest ControlOur pest professionals hear a lot of great questions as they meet with customers. Everything from, “Why should I use a pest control company when I can do it myself?” to, “Is it better to use termite bait stations (like Sentricon™) vs. periodic termite treatments?” to, “What steps can I take to keep the pests out of my house?” We have put together an article that answers these and many other common questions we hear on a regular basis. Read the full article, post your question on our Facebook page, ask us on Twitter or email your questions to us!

Focus on Rats

Clegg's Pest Control | Nuisance Wildlife | Norway RatsIf you have a commercial business, you may have an issue at some point with rats. Our commercial pest control team is seeing an increasing number of calls for help removing rats, with a large number of these calls involving roof rats. Certain types of businesses are more prone to rat infestations. These include farms, feed mills, produce warehouses, and restaurants, among others, though all businesses and residences may have problems with rats.

How do I know if I have rats? Until you have a full blown infestation, you may not see any rats. They are usually nocturnal and prefer to hide from people. They will, however, leave evidence of their presence. Things to look for include rat droppings; chewed wood, walls and baseboards; dirt or grease marks along commonly traveled paths; a musky odor; small footprints in dirt or dust; smashed vegetation around points of entry; or the presence of live or dead rats. Read more…

Are You Prepared?

Be prepared for an emergency.It seems like every time a winter storm threatens the Carolinas, the stores are mobbed with shoppers buying staples and social media is flooded with people joking about milk, bread and toilet paper! In reality, though, it pays to be prepared. While your “winter storm” emergency kit may have some different supplies than your summer “hurricane” kit, it’s important to consider what you’ll do in different types of emergencies. What happens if you lose power for a week or if flooding or fire means you must evacuate your home?

There are some great sources out there that provide tips on what to include in an emergency kit and how to prepare for different types of emergencies. One of our favorites is the Ready.gov website operated by FEMA. They provide a list of basic emergency supplies (water, food, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, wet wipes, etc.) as well as specifics by season (i.e., in winter add blankets and warm clothing, include mosquito repellent in your summer kit). They also provide help with finding local shelters, should they be needed. The Clegg’s team encourages you to build and maintain your own emergency kit and develop a plan for your family. Stay safe!

 

 

Home Remedy Fact or Myth: Does the Smell of Cucumbers Really Repel Silverfish

SilverfishThe silverfish is a small, wingless insect that can infect your home. Whether you live in North Carolina or another state, this household pest can cause a lot of damage. The insect consumes almost anything made of starch or sugar such as paper, clothing, plaster, wallpaper glue, and carpeting. If you want to get rid of the silverfish, one home remedy is the smell of cucumbers.

What are Silverfish?

Silverfish are so named because of their silvery grey color. They have flat bodies that taper near the back, so they resemble fish. The insect has a length of up to one inch as adults. These pests also thrive in dark and moist places, and are most often found in basements, laundry rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and attics. Silverfish reproduce quickly, and can live up to a year without eating. Because they are also nocturnal, it may be some time before you notice an infestation.

Are Home Remedies the Answer?

Once you know you have silverfish in your home, you have a few options. You may want to start with natural or home remedies that don’t use chemicals. One popular silverfish repellent is cucumber peels because the insect doesn’t like the smell. You can cut thick pieces of cucumber peel, and leave them in areas where you see silverfish. The smell will drive the silverfish away. After a few days, the peels dry out, so you have to replace them with fresh cucumber peels.

While there is plenty of folklore about the effectiveness of using cucumbers to repel silverfish, there doesn’t seem to be any scientific evidence to support this claim. Still, that doesn’t mean cucumbers won’t repel the silverfish. However, cucumbers don’t kill the adults or their eggs. Total eradication is what you need to get rid of the infestation.

The Best Solution

If you want to completely rid your home of silverfish, the best solution is to hire Clegg’s if you are in North Carolina or South Carolina. As a professional exterminator, Clegg’s focuses on removing bed bugs and termites throughout North Carolina, but the company also has expertise in exterminating silverfish.

Although you can try cucumber peels to repel a silverfish you see in your bathtub or in a kitchen cabinet, the chances are there are a lot more silverfish that you don’t see. As an expert pest control company, we can eliminate the infestation. While home remedies are useful in some situations, sometimes they just aren’t enough.

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How Pest Control Affects Your Restaurant

RestuarantAs a business that is centered on the presence of food, many restaurants find themselves constantly battling the issue of pest control. While it is generally accepted that good food will attract guests of the human variety, patrons tend to not look kindly on the presence of insects and rodents that may also show up to enjoy fine cuisine. For this reason, it is important to understand the critical link between operating a sanitary dining establishment in which customers will feel comfortable and keeping pests at bay.

First Impressions

Even a restaurant that maintains a spectacularly clean kitchen will lose guests if pests are seen in seating areas or even near walkways. In the mind of dining patrons, seeing pests in an area in which the food is not prepared is no different than observing an unsanitary kitchen. The idea of a restaurant not being able to control its insect or rodent population creates a negative image in the mind of guests, and word will likely spread quickly and impact overall business.

Difficult to Control

Due to the nature of pest infestations, the issue can very quickly and easily spiral out of control, especially in settings like restaurants, where pests have a seemingly endless food supply. For restaurant owners who are tempted to ignore a stray insect or rodent here and there, the problem may be much larger than they realize. Furthermore, pests are easily attracted to food sources and reproduce quickly, thereby making what may seem like a small non-issue into a situation that is rapidly increasing in its level of urgency.

Calling in the Professionals

While restaurants can implement certain cleanliness practices to reduce the presence of pests, pest control in a food industry setting is best left to the professionals. By hiring a pest control company, restaurants are able to receive an evaluation of their current restaurant setup and practices. A qualified pest control technician will also be able to advise restaurant owners and managers on how to improve their practices to minimize pests. If necessary, the company can take steps to eliminate existing pests and treat areas with products that will deter pests from returning to the area.

Appearances are everything in the food industry. Therefore, it is best for restaurants to enlist the help of pest control experts when their reputation and customer base is potentially on the line.

To see how Clegg’s can help control the pest population from ruining your restaurant call 1-888-MR-CLEGG or contact us online.

Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_restaurant_Inside_Marriott_(5531365092).jpg