Dehumidification and Termites

800px Termite damage 300x225 Dehumidification and TermitesTermites live in large colonies with several statuses or castes. There are king and queen, soldier, and worker termites. At a size of about ¼ inch, all termites are small except for the royalty which are several times as large as the workers and soldiers and easily distinguished.

They like dead plant material to eat and are attracted to damp areas with decaying material. These horribly destructive little bugs live in nests built into dead wood or tunnel into the ground and live in colonies which are similar to ant hills. Any news of termites in the vicinity is bad news, unless precautions have been taken to protect structures from this harmful pest.

No structure with wood or any cellulose debris such as fiber backing on carpet, cardboard or the paper covering on sheet-rock is safe from termites. Subterranean termites, the ones that are good at making tunnels and tubes are famous for building their tubes made of their excrement mud over structures they don’t like to eat such as a masonry walls in order to get to the good stuff like roof trusses.

Damage estimates from termites are as high as 5 billion dollars per year in the US. Termite damage is suffered in every state except Alaska. Even the White House and the Statue of Liberty have been victimized by termites.

In states like North Carolina that experience large amounts of moisture and humidity, subterranean termites are the most common. The damp crawl spaces under homes and in basement areas are the most widespread trouble spots. To prevent infestation, action must be taken to keep a home from becoming a termite magnet.

Pest control professionals recommend dehumidification of moist areas which involve vapor barriers and dehumidifiers that are designed for this type of task. The vapor barriers prevent moisture from rising from the earth under the house and causing dampness to the structure. Dehumidifiers are machines designed to remove moisture from the air. The powerful dehumidifier machines used by professionals remove moisture from the air quickly, allowing damp areas to dry before decay sets in.

Any home that is without effective vapor barriers could easily be infested by termites. For complete termite protection, regularly scheduled inspections performed by pest control experts are the best way to prevent termite damage.

In addition to controlling any moisture related issues, you also need to have a liquid or bait termite prevention service performed at your home that must be inspected and maintained on a scheduled basis.

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

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Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes

As the weather warms up in the Carolinas, it sometimes seems that mosquitoes are everywhere. Most people consider mosquitoes bothersome, but they can be dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry and transmit a number of diseases to humans and animals, including West Nile virus, malaria, several forms of encephalitis, and other diseases that are less common in the United States, like dengue fever and chikungunya. Some of these diseases may cause serious complications or be deadly. Dogs and cats may also be at risk, as mosquitoes transmit heartworms.

mosquito cdc small Diseases Caused by MosquitoesBy some estimates, there are more than 2,500 different types of mosquitoes around the world, with around 150 of them found in the U.S. Male mosquitoes feed on the nectar of plants, while females feed on the blood of mammals, birds and reptiles. Male mosquitoes live an average of seven days, while females live around 30 days. Only a small number of species cause most of the problems we see with diseases and even fewer are carrying these transmittable diseases. It’s still good to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Here are some tips to help you avoid mosquito bites:

  1. Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus. This is especially important if you’ll be outside between dusk and dawn since this is when the mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are most active. Note that some of the natural repellants need frequent re-application and do not offer the same amount of protection as DEET.
  2. Wear pants and long sleeves, especially if you’ll be working or playing in wooded areas.
  3. Remove sources of standing water on your property. Mosquitoes require standing water to lay and hatch eggs, though specific environments may differ by species. On average, mosquito eggs hatch in around 10 days, so if you have areas of standing water in your yard, you should dump them out frequently.
  4. Make sure windows and doors you plan to leave open have screens.
  5. Talk to your vet about heartworm prevention drugs for your dogs and cats.
  6. Get more information from your pest care professional on mosquito prevention and treatment programs.

Another word of warning: if you will be traveling internationally, do some research ahead of time about the risks of mosquito-borne illness in the areas you will be visiting, and take precautions while you are there. If you become ill or show any unusual symptoms after you’ve returned home, call your doctor and make certain he or she knows you have been out of the U.S.

If you would like to learn more about keeping the mosquito population in check around your home, please speak with your Clegg’s technician or give us a call today.



Residents Are Free of Infestations – Customer Testimonial

One of our customers who receives a scheduled visit for her apartment complex sent us a wonderful letter of appreciation.

As a property manager it is incredibly important to have consistent inspections and services to provide your tenants with the best living conditions possible. Nothing makes a resident want to split faster than a kitchen full of cockroaches.

Below are Aimee’s kind words:

I would personally like to send a special thank you to our weekly service provider, Rae Horrell. He is always so polite and professional, even when dealing with situations that aren’t the most pleasing. He can always be counted on to do a thorough job and we appreciate him letting us know whenever there may be a problem in a particular apartment. Without him, we may never know that a resident may have an infestation or living in less than desirable conditions. I felt it was important to send this letter of appreciation because of Rae going above and beyond for us here at The Creek.

Aimee D, Community Manager, The Creek at Forest Hills Apartments

We always love to hear from our customers and especially love to hear when they are truly satisfied with our services.

For more information on regularly scheduled services, contact us online or call us at 888-672-5344.

Bed Bugs: Affecting Homes & Businesses Worldwide

bed bugs on chair 300x200 Bed Bugs: Affecting Homes & Businesses Worldwide

Bed bugs on a chair

Bed bugs usually travel from place to place by hitching a ride with humans. Since we tend to be rather mobile, bed bugs can easily find their way to your home or business. Certain types of businesses are more likely to encounter bed bug infestations, but everyone is potentially at risk. We have treated hotels/motels, multi-family housing (apartments and condos), nursing homes, university dorms, public schools, military bases, firehouses (and rescue trucks), and hospitals, among others.

If you think about situations such as these, you can see how easily bed bugs can move from place to place:

  • A home health care worker treats an individual whose house is infested and returns home without recognizing that he or she is carrying bed bugs. Now the nurse’s car and house are at risk of infestation.
  • Rescue workers pick up a person who has collapsed at home without noticing the person’s clothing carries bed bugs. The rescue vehicle, fire station and individual medic’s homes are now at potential risk.
  • A couple whose house is infested attends church, not realizing that bed bugs have hitched onto her purse and his dress shoes. The bugs may drop off and look for another warm host, continuing the cycle.
bed bugs in shoes 300x200 Bed Bugs: Affecting Homes & Businesses Worldwide

Bed bugs in a shoe

There have been many cases reported in the news around the globe, from a hotel so badly infested in India that the owners decided to just shut it down, to reports of ongoing challenges with ambulances in Hawaii. There was even a case a few years ago where two international flights were grounded until the planes could be treated for bed bugs.

While there is no evidence that bed bugs transmit any diseases and their bites are not venomous (though some people may have allergic reactions), these bugs have quickly become a worldwide problem once again. Bed bugs were essentially eradicated back in the mid-twentieth century with the use of strong insecticides. Unfortunately, these chemicals were found to cause environmental issues and were banned. Bed bugs have made a steady comeback, spreading quickly in part because our society is so mobile. People who use many of the reduced-strength over-the-counter products to treat bed bugs themselves are, in many cases, worsening the problem when the bugs build up resistance to the chemicals.

So if you own or manage a business, what should you do?

It is virtually impossible to prevent bed bugs from entering your establishment. The best thing you can do is train your employees on what to look for as an indicator of a potential bed bug problem and teach them the steps they should take if they find an issue with bed bugs or other types of pests. As soon as you find any indication of an infestation, contact a pest professional. They will send either trained inspectors and/or bed bug dogs (K-9 inspectors!) to confirm and treat the problem. Delaying will only make it more difficult to get rid of the bed bugs.

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.

To learn more about bed bugs, read our recent articles:

Bed Bugs FAQ (includes information on how to identify an infestation)

Avoiding Bed Bugs While Traveling (great for businesses with employees who travel frequently)

Bed Bug Heat Treatments (the most efficient way to get rid of these pests)

If you suspect you may have a bed bug problem, contact Clegg’s today to schedule an appointment to have your premises checked. Waiting will only allow an existing bed bug infestation to get worse and cause the problem to spread. If you have questions about bed bugs, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MR-CLEGG.


5 Steps to Take When Your Attic Has Been Invaded by Squirrels

Squirrel 300x231 5 Steps to Take When Your Attic Has Been Invaded by SquirrelsSquirrels may be an adorable source of entertainment when they’re darting through a yard or leaping from tree to tree, but they can be devilish little critters once inside your home. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a difficult ordeal. If squirrels have set up shop in your attic, follow these five simple steps to get them out of the house and back where they belong.

Set a Trap

A live trap is a simple, effective means for removing a nuisance squirrel. They can be purchased at many home and garden stores, and they offer the added benefit of causing no harm to the squirrel. Simply set the trap as directed, wait until the little critter finds its way inside, and then promptly remove it and release it outside. Note, however, that this method may not be an effective choice if your attic is home to more than one squirrel.

Lure Them Out

If your attic is host to multiple squirrels, it may be best to let them come out on their own. To do this, first ensure that there is a clear, easily accessible way for the squirrels to exit your attic, and then block off any other entrance or exit points. Purchase some squirrel food and use it to bait the pests away from the attic. Alternatively, you can make your own bait with corn, sunflower seeds and peanuts.

Call a Professional

It seems obvious, but sometimes the best choice is to call the experts. Pest control experts are well-trained and well-equipped to handle any pest, including squirrels, and they offer the quickest and easiest way to rid yourself of your squirrel problem. This may also be the best choice if you happen to find a nest with baby squirrels in your attic.

Seal the Attic

Once your guests have been evicted, be sure to closely inspect the attic area for any holes or other potential entrance points. The most common entry point for squirrels is a chimney. Consider installing an animal guard, which is a stainless steel mesh fitting that covers the chimney opening without preventing smoke from exiting as normal. It’ll keep the pests out, and it won’t have to be removed when you use your fireplace.

Prevent It from Happening Again!

An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure. While there are several options to remove squirrels from your home, your best bet is to prevent them from invading in the first place. Squirrels are proficient leapers, so trimming any branches that overhang your roof can help to restrict access. Another option is to install motion-activated sprinklers around the perimeter of your home. This will scare away any curious critters while also keeping your lawn nice and healthy.

For squirrels and other nuisance wildlife, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

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The Truth About Snakes

Photo of black snake

Many people we talk to are terrified of snakes. While there are some species of venomous snakes in North Carolina we need to watch for, in reality most snakes are harmless. In fact, snakes can be beneficial in helping keep the rodent and insect populations under control.

According to the NC Cooperative Extension, there are approximately 37 types of snakes found in North Carolina. Of these, only six are venomous. The Copperhead is found throughout the state. This snake is normally 2-4’ long and normally lives in wooded areas or near water. The Cottonmouth, so named for the white near its mouth, is usually found near water in the eastern part of the state and in South Carolina. Cottonmouths grow up to 6’ long and are highly venomous. The Pygmy Rattlesnake is elusive, preferring to hide under rocks and downed trees. This small rattler grows up to 2’ in length and can be found in southeastern NC. The Timber (or Canebrake) Rattlesnake can be found in most areas of the state, though it lives primarily in undeveloped areas. It can also reach 6’ in length. The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is rather rare, though some can be found in the very southeastern section of North Carolina. These snakes can grow to more than 7’ in length and prefer to live in pine flatwoods or areas bordered by forests. The Eastern Coral Snake prefers sandy soil and can be found in the very southeastern sections of the state. It has red and black stripes and a black head, and is often confused with the non-venomous Scarlet King Snake (red head). Visit the Cooperative Extension website for some great photos of all North Carolina snakes.

The most common snakes we come across are non-venomous snakes like Black Racers, rat snakes and garter snakes. These snakes may come close to your house looking for rodents and insects. We often find snake skins that have been shed in crawl spaces where the snakes are finding (and eating) mice and rats! If you have firewood piled near the house, the snakes may hunt for food or seek shelter in the wood piles, so use caution when removing wood in warmer weather.

Most snakes – even venomous snakes – are not terribly aggressive. The best thing you can do to protect yourself against snake bites is to be aware of your surroundings and not provoke any snake you see. Many people are bitten when they try to kill or handle a snake. If you see a snake, just let it be. All snakes can bite and most can break the skin. Non-venomous snakes tend to have smaller teeth and are less likely to break the skin. If you are bitten by a snake you know is non-venomous and it breaks the skin, wash the area with soap and water. If you have any type of allergic reaction, see a doctor immediately. If you are not certain if the snake was venomous, you should head to the emergency room just to be safe. [Note: some people still believe you should cut open a venomous bite and “suck out” the poison. This does not help and is not safe!]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that between 5,000-6,000 people in the U.S. are bitten by venomous snakes, and approximately 5 people die from those bites. To put that in perspective, according to the Department of Transportation, almost 30,000 people died in 2011 in car crashes. If you work or play outdoors, be aware of your surroundings. If you come across a snake, do not try to pick it up or kill it. Simply back away and allow it to go on its way.

If you are worried about snakes around your house, give us a call and we can investigate!


Insecticidal Soap: What is it and does it work?

Insect on plant 300x214 Insecticidal Soap: What is it and does it work?Looking 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.

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Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Warehouse

Rat 300x205 Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your WarehouseYour 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.


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.

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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

Snail 300x225 Snail or Slug: Which One is Eating My Plants?In 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?

Slug 300x199 Snail or Slug: Which One is Eating My Plants?When 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.

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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

SubTermites 300x209 April 2014 News: Seasonal Guide to 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 spiders 300x244 April 2014 News: Seasonal Guide to TermitesWe 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

AccreditedBusinessSeal Vertical 185x300 April 2014 News: Seasonal Guide to TermitesBBB 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.