Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2014

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Happy 30th Anniversary Bug Busters USA!

October 30th, 2014

How to protect against termites

October 29th, 2014

How to protect against termites:

  • Carefully inspect the perimeter of the home for mud tubes and rotting wood.
  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and check it for pests before bringing it indoors.
  • Divert water away from the home through properly functioning downspouts and gutters.

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Facts About Termites

October 27th, 2014

Termite Facts

  • Termites are insects. They have hard, saw-toothed jaws that help them to eat lumber, wallpaper, plastics, and fabric made of plant fibers.
  • There are four different groups of termites: dampwood, drywood, subterranean and mound builders. Dampwood termites like to live and feed in very moist wood. Drywood termites can survive in very dry conditions and do not need moisture or soil. Subterranean termites are very common and live and breed in soil. Mound builders live in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and part of South America; they are able to build large earthen towers 25 feet or higher.
  • Termites can be found in almost every state as well as Mexico and parts of Canada. They favor warmer climates and actively avoid light. (See range map below)
  • As a species, termites date back to the time of the dinosaurs.
  • Termites are 24/7 bugs, which means they eat non-stop – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They feed on wood and may also destroy paper products such as books, cardboard, boxes and anything containing cellulose. Even buildings with steel framing and masonry walls are targets because of the wooden door and window frames, cabinets and shelving within the buildings.
  • Termites live in underground colonies, some containing over two million members.
  • The social structure of a colony includes the queen, king, winged reproductive swarmers, soldiers, and workers. Worker termites are small creamy white insects. They are the most numerous and the cause of all the termite damage.
  • Swarmers, or winged reproductive’s, are termites that leave the colony to mate, reproduce and start new colonies.
  • In a large nest, a queen and king may live for 15 years, with the queen laying up to one egg every 15 seconds for most of her life.
  • Termites can cause serious damage to structures often long before they are discovered, i.e., more than $1.5 billion in property damage a year to over 600,000 homes in the United States.
  • How do termites enter the home? The most common termite, the subterranean, builds its nest in the ground. These termites construct mud tubes that are used to explore for food and connect their underground nest to that food source. They can enter a building without direct wood contact with the soil through such tubes. They can find their way into a structure through an opening as small as 1/32 of an inch (smaller than the size of a pinhead!).

Spooky Pests You May Encounter This Halloween

October 24th, 2014

While it’s normal to see spiders, bats and other creepy crawlers invade your front doorstep on Halloween in the form of trick-or-treaters or spooky décor, homeowners should also to be on the lookout for real-life ghoulish pests this fall.

Here’s a guide to some common household critters, and a few simple tips to prevent them from turning your home into a haunted house.

Rats

Rats are one of the most reviled pests, due in part to their strange, hairy appearance. They are primarily nocturnal and can be found nesting in a variety of places – from inside piles of garbage to undisturbed areas of basements.

Rats can fit through an opening the size of a quarter, so it is easy for them to find access to our homes. Once inside, they can spread diseases by contaminating food and put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing through wires.

  • Tip: Before homeowners bring boxes of pumpkins and faux cobwebs inside to decorate for Halloween, they should inspect them for signs of an infestation such as gnaw marks and rodent droppings. Once Halloween is over and it’s time to pack away the ghoulish decorations, make sure they are stored in a plastic box with a sealed lid. This will prevent rodents from making out-of-season décor their new home.

Bats

For centuries, bats have caused unfounded fear in people, as they are often associated with vampires and haunted houses. Bats are nocturnal mammals that roost in dark areas of buildings, such as attics, belfries and under fascia boards, and in other sheltered areas like caves. They are known to fly from their secluded nests at dusk to get food and return just before daylight. Bats are frequentcarriers of rabies, which can be fatal if left untreated.

  • Tip: Homeowners should screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and install door sweeps this fall to keep bats out of the home. If an active bat infestation is suspected, it’s important to contact a licensed pest professional because bats are protected by law in most states.

Spiders

The sight of a spider crawling on the wall can frighten just about anyone, especially around Halloween. Although spiders often get a bad rap, only a few species found in the United States are actually dangerous. Homeowners should be particularly aware of the brown recluse spider, the black widow spider and the hobo spider, as these types of spiders are known to administer a painful bite when disturbed or threatened.

  • Homeowners can avoid coming in contact with spiders by keeping garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free. Make sure to wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time, like Halloween decorations.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are similar to vampires in that they feed off of human blood, typically at night. Although bed bugs are often found in beds, they can also conceal themselves behind baseboards, underneath electrical switch plates and in furniture crevices. Bed bugs will hide in luggage, purses, laptop cases and other personal belongings in an effort to find a human food supply. Luckily, these elusive pests do not transmit disease, but they can leave red, itchy welts on the skin.

  • Tip: If you plan on purchasing a Halloween costume from a rental or second-hand store, make sure to inspect it for bed bugs before dressing up to go trick-or-treating. Pay particular attention to the inside seams, looking for any signs of sticky white eggs, shed skins and the bugs themselves.

Atlanta Bed bug control

October 23rd, 2014

Bed bug control

3 Keys to a Successful Heat Treatment:

  1. Bring Heat. Electric bed bug heaters are placed within the space; introducing and recirculating heated air with a target temperature not to exceed 135°F.
  2. Monitor. Temperatures are monitored in real time from a remote location using wireless sensors to ensure lethal temperatures are reached without damaging the space and its contents.
  3. Move Air. High temperature fans move heated air throughout the space to reach insects in cracks and crevices or high infestation zones.

Connect With Bug Busters USA by utilizing your QR Code Reader

October 22nd, 2014

Follow Bug Busters USA by utilizing your QR Code Reader

 

Pollinator Health Supporter

October 21st, 2014

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A newly uncovered fossil shows just how ancient bugs got down to mating business

October 20th, 2014

Who said archeology isn’t sexy?! A newly uncovered fossil shows just how ancient bugs got down to mating business.