February 27, 2013
After a brutal winter that sent stink bugs into hiding, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is warning homeowners that these pests will become active again with the warm weather and that their growing populations are likely to make infestations significantly worse than in previous seasons.
“Findings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the size of overwintering populations support NPMA’s prediction that this season’s stink bug population will be larger than in the past,” says Jim Fredericks, director of technical services for the NPMA. “As the weather warms, stink bugs emerge from overwintering sites and try to exit structures, but sometimes they enter our living spaces instead.”
Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California and Oregon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops.
“Although these smelly pests do not pose serious property or safety threats to homeowners, their tendency to invade homes in high numbers can be a nuisance,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Luckily, there are steps people can take to prevent stink bugs from entering their homes.”
NPMA offers the following tips:
â€¢Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans, and light switches.
â€¢Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
â€¢Repair damaged window screens. Also screen attic and crawlspace vents.
â€¢Use a vacuum to eliminate stink bugs indoors. Seal vacuum’s contents in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately.
Remember that Pest Ops can pre-treat homes for stink bugs before they become a problem; however, if an infestation develops, contact Pest Ops promptly. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
February 25, 2013
What Bed Bugs Are and What They Do
- What are bed bugs?
- What can bed bugs do to me?
- What does a bed bug bite look like?
How to Find Bed Bugs
- Where do bed bugs live?
- How do I find out if I have bed bugs?
- How do I have specimens identified?
- How did I get bed bugs in the first place?
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
- How can I avoid bed bugs when traveling?
- What can I do if I just got back from a place where there might have been bed bugs?
- Will bed bugs actually travel on me?
- What should everyone know about bed bugs?
How to Deal with Bed Bugs
- I have bed bugs. What do I do?
- What shouldnâ€™t I do when trying to eliminate bed bugs?
- What do I do with my pets if I have bed bugs?
- How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?
- What should Pest Ops do for me and vice versa?
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, contact Pest Ops at 865-966-0750.
Original source for articles:
February 18, 2013
I have bed bugs. What do I do?
First: step back a minute. Because several different kinds of insects resemble bed bugs, specimens should be carefully compared with good reference images and sent to Pest Ops for accurate identification.
Next: make a plan. You want to get rid of bed bugs, limit your exposure to insecticides, and minimize costs. Don’t get rid of stuff and don’t treat unless you have a plan. A big part of your plan: call Pest Ops (865-966-0750) for a team of experienced professionals. Trust us, it’ll save you time and money in the long run. You’ll still have a lot to do â€” just leave the treatment to the professionals. Working as a team with Pest Ops is the quickest way to get bed bugs out of your life.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the way to go for pest control. Itâ€™s cost-effective, it works, and it lessens reliance on insecticides. Note: IPM does not mean that no insecticides are used. You should call Pest Ops, a company dedicated to IPM, so the least amount of insecticides can be used and still be effective.
Here are the basics of bed bug IPM:
Inspection: ALWAYS inspect. Proper identification helps you know what to do and where to target your efforts. Along with looking, you should write down what you do and see. Use this reporting form to track what youâ€™ve done. Having a history will help if more people become involved.
Cultural and Mechanical Control: This makes your home unwelcoming to bed bugs, blocks them from feeding, or at least makes finding them easier. Here are some examples:
â€¢ Choose furniture of plain design. A metal chair offers fewer places for a bed bug to hide than a wicker one.
â€¢ Don’t buy or pick up used furniture.
â€¢ Choose light-colored bedding (easier to see insects and blood spots).
â€¢ Don’t store things under beds. In fact, get rid of clutter anywhere near the bed.
â€¢ Use tightly fitting, zippered, bed bug proof mattress and box spring encasements. Putting them in place ahead of time (proactively) makes bed bugs easier to see since encasements have no piping or tags and they’re light-colored. Putting them on during an infestation means that there is no need to throw away the mattress and box spring. But check periodically to be sure the encasements haven’t torn.
â€¢ Vacuum regularly. Use an attachment to get in cracks and crevices.
â€¢ Maintain a gap between the walls and your bedroom and living room furniture.
â€¢ Seal cracks in wooden floors.
â€¢ Repair peeling wallpaper.
â€¢ Keep bedding and dust ruffles from touching the floor. Better yet, remove the ruffles.
â€¢ When returning from a trip, unpack on a light-colored, bare wood or vinyl floor while keeping an eye out for bed bugs. Put everything that traveled in a warm or hot dryer for an hour. Put things that can’t be heated in a freezer for two weeks. Inspect everything else carefully!
â€¢ When you travel, inspect rooms, keep luggage closed, and use luggage racks pulled away from the wall â€” don’t leave things on the bed!
Chemical Control: Get Pest Ops involved. As licensed pest management professionals, the team at Pest Ops knows what products and treatments should be used and where. Pest Ops knows how to be selective and effective â€” fewer chemicals used and best results.
Monitoring: This involves inspecting regularly to be sure:
â€¢ Control is working.
â€¢ Bed bugs havenâ€™t been brought back in.
â€¢ Encasements havenâ€™t torn.
â€¢ There isnâ€™t any way you could improve your cultural or mechanical control.
What shouldn’t I do when trying to eliminate bed bugs?
Don’t panic. Although bed bugs can be annoying, you can get rid of them if you adopt a well-considered strategy.
Don’t put the legs of the bed frame in kerosene or coat them with petroleum jelly. Bed bugs have been known to climb on the ceiling and drop down onto the bed. Plus, kerosene is a fire hazard.
Don’t depend on thyme oil. Thyme oil may discourage bed bugs, but it won’t kill them. Chances are it’ll spread, not fix, the problem.
Don’t leave the home unoccupied through winter as a control measure. Bed bugs have adapted to the unpredictable habits of humans. If given time to go dormant â€” for example, in a vacation cabin that slowly gets cooler, then cold over fall and winter â€” bed bugs can survive, living without a meal for many months while waiting for humans to return. The quick penetration of killing cold (or heat) is the key to any temperature treatment.
Don’t turn up the heat. Exposing bed bugs to 120 ÂºF or more an hour will kill all life stages. But high heat must be maintained at every point in the building: the outer walls, deep in the sofa, etc. for the full hour. Pest Ops encloses the structure, using tools to guarantee that it reaches the right temperature.
Don’t sleep with a light on. Bed bugs feed when hosts are inactive. Usually that’s when it’s dark, but they’ll feed under lights if they’re hungry.
Don’t sleep in a different room. Bed bugs will move to a neighboring room if they can’t find food. And they can live months between meals. Sleeping in a different room, staying at a hotel, or moving in with friends won’t solve the problem. And the chances of carrying the bugs to a new place are good. Keep sleeping in your bed. If you have awful reactions to the bites, try to get someone to sleep in the bed.
Don’t throw a bed bug-infested mattress away and buy a new mattress. Buying a new mattress won’t solve the problem. Bed bugs hide in more than just mattresses. New mattresses might be transported in the same trucks that pick up used and possibly contaminated ones. If you need a new mattress, wait until the infestation is eliminated before buying a new one. (Remember: A bed bug-proof mattress and box-spring encasement kept in place for 1 Â½ years will starve them to death. Inspect often for torn spots in the encasement (and evidence of bed bugs).
Don’t dispose of good furniture. Infested furniture can be cleaned and treated. Placing infested furniture (particularly mattresses) into common areas or on the street could spread bed bugs to other peoples’ homes. If you’re getting rid of infested furniture, deface it; make it less attractive to other people. Paint a picture of a bug on it and write “bed bugs.” Building managers should make sure disposed furniture is in a dumpster or taken to a landfill or waste facility right away.
Don’t wrap items in black plastic and leave them in the sun: it needs to get hotter than that to kill bed bugs, and heat needs to evenly penetrate the entire item.
Don’t move infested items out of the room without wrapping them in plastic. Bed bugs or eggs could be knocked off into an uninfested area.
What do I do with my pets if I have bed bugs?
Pest management professionals have seen bed bugs feeding on pets, but no one knows if they prefer pets. The bugs might get caught in a pet’s hair, but they won’t live on pets the way fleas do. Still, a pet could carry a bed bug from one room to another.
Since bed bugs rarely feed for more than 10 minutes and their feet don’t grip onto hair, twenty minutes of grooming outside lets you rest at ease. All bedding and cage items should be inspected and washed and dried (one hour on hot) or frozen (for 2 weeks). Inspect furniture, floors, and walls near the pets’ areas.
How long does it take to get rid of bed bugs?
It will take at least three weeks to be rid of bed bugs. Here’s why:
â€¢ Preparation usually takes about a week.
â€¢ Two weeks in a freezer kills the crawling bed bugs.
â€¢ Insecticides don’t kill the eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch â€” Pest Ops will inspect again and apply more insecticides if needed two full weeks after the first treatment.
â€¢ The fastest IPM fix relies on the team effort of Pest Ops and the homeowner. The homeowner must do the necessary preparation and do the cultural and mechanical control work while Pest Ops handles the treatment.
What should Pest Ops do for me â€” and vice versa?
â€¢ Pest Ops educates you so you understand why time-consuming and thorough preparation is so important.
â€¢ Pest Ops may ask you to launder all clothing, bedding, and draperies; buy resealable bags for all possessions in drawers and closets; clean rooms thoroughly; and vacate rooms on all treatment days.
The time and money it takes to battle bed bugs will be easier to grasp if you understand:
â€¢ Clutter makes it harder for Pest Ops to find and treat all likely hiding spots of loner females that could restart an infestation.
â€¢ Bed bugs aren’t found just in beds. Any space a credit card edge could slide in is a possible hiding spot. Pest Ops needs to treat baseboards, picture frames, bed frames, dressers, drawers, and tables.
â€¢ Remember: Insecticides don’t penetrate the eggs, which take up to two weeks to hatch. The follow-up treatment is usually scheduled two or three weeks after the first treatment to get those newly hatched nymphs. You want to get them before they become adults and lay more eggs. Prepare the same as for the first treatment. You can save time and money by unpacking only a few essentials until the follow-up is done.
Technicians who inspect and treat should be able to answer questions about bed bug biology and behavior as well as explain their plans. Technicians will always inspect the area before treating. Proper inspection takes time and shouldn’t be rushed.
If people or pets are present, they should be in a different room. Don’t enter a room that has been treated with an insecticide for at least 4 hours.
Count on at least one follow up treatment. Bed bugs should be gone after two or three visits. Unless the structure is fumigated, one visit won’t get rid of bed bugs. Follow up treatments should still include a full inspection, followed by insecticide if bed bugs are found.
Because complete elimination is hard to achieve for any pest, most bed bug contracts don’t guarantee it. Bed bugs can be reintroduced, but it is possible to eliminate bed bugs from a home.
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, contact Pest Ops at 865-966-0750.
February 13, 2013
Here is a recipe that’s great for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy this holiday with loved ones and chocolate!
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 10 Min
Ready In: 2 Hrs
Original Recipe Yield: 3 dozen
- 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- In the microwave or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the butter stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until well mixed. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets so they are 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112 | Total Fat: 6.8g | Cholesterol: 23mg
February 11, 2013
How can I avoid bed bugs when traveling?
Every traveler should learn about bed bugs. Always inspect before settling into any room. Pack a flashlight (even the keychain LED variety) and gloves to aid in your inspection. The inspection should focus around the bed. Start with the headboard, which is usually held on the wall with brackets â€” lift up 1 to 2 inches, then lean the top away from the wall to gain access to the back. If you’re traveling alone, someone on staff should help. After checking the headboard, check sheets and pillows for blood spots. Next, pull back the sheets. Check the piping of the mattress and box spring. Finally, look in and under the drawer of the bedside table. If all these places are clear, enjoy the night. The next morning, look for blood spots on the sheets â€” bed bugs defecate soon after they feed.
If you find evidence, but no live bed bugs, the evidence may be old and doesn’t mean that the hotel is dirty. Tell the front desk discreetly what you found and ask for another room â€” one that doesn’t share a wall with the room you just vacated. Bed bugs are a public relations nightmare for the hospitality industry. If you run to a competitor (who is just as likely to have bed bugs), it makes it less likely that the industry will become more open about this issue. Communication is key. Ideally, hotels and motels would pride themselves on their bed bug programs and show customers how to inspect to keep all parties bed bug free.
If you can avoid it, don’t unpack into drawers, and keep luggage closed on a luggage rack pulled away from the wall. Never set luggage on the bed.
What can I do if I just got back from a place where there might have been bed bugs?
Launder your clothes before or as soon as these items are brought back into the home. If you found bed bugs after moving into a hotel room, you could ask the hotel to pay for laundering and for steam-cleaning your luggage. The hotel may refuse, but it’s worth asking. Regardless, once home you should unpack on a floor that will allow you to see bed bugs â€” stay off carpets! Unpack directly into plastic bags for taking clothes to the laundry. Suitcases should be carefully inspected and vacuumed â€” freeze if possible.
Will bed bugs actually travel on me?
It’s unlikely that a bed bug would travel on you or the clothes you are wearing. You move too much to be a good hiding place. Bed bugs are more likely to be spread via luggage, backpacks, briefcases, mattresses, and used furniture.
What should everyone know about bed bugs?
â€¢ You can stop their spread
â€¢ Adults are Â¼”, reddish-brown, and flat. You can see them without magnification.
â€¢ They like to hide in cracks and crevices.
â€¢ Inspect sleeping areas; if you find a bed bug, STOP looking and contact Pest Ops (865-966-0750).
â€¢ Live bugs or eggs may drop off while moving things from one place to another â€” items with bed bugs should be sealed in a bag before moving them.
â€¢ Avoid used furniture and items left on the curb â€” they might have bed bugs!
â€¢ Tell your friends! Not warning others robs them of the chance to avoid bringing bed bugs into their homes and businesses.
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, contact Pest Ops at 865-966-0750.
February 4, 2013
Where do bed bugs live?
Bed bugs live in any place with a high turnover of people spending the night; hostels, hotels near airports, and resorts are most at risk. But the list continues: apartments, barracks, buses, cabins, churches, community centers, cruise ships, dormitories, dressing rooms, health clubs, homes, hospitals, jets, laundromats, motels, motor homes, moving vans, nursing homes, office buildings, restaurants, schools, subways, theatres, trains, and used furniture outlets are also at risk. Bed bugs do not prefer locations based on sanitation or people’s hygiene. If there’s blood, they’re happy.
Bed bugs and their relatives occur nearly worldwide. They became relatively scarce during the latter part of the 20th century, but their populations have resurged in recent years, particularly throughout parts of North America, Europe, and Australia.
Where might they live in your home? Most stay near where people sleep, hiding near the bed, a couch or armchair (if that’s where you snooze), and even cribs and playpens. Their flat bodies allow them to hide in cracks and crevices around the room and in furniture joints. Hiding sites include mattress seams, bed frames, nearby furniture, or baseboards. Clutter offers more places to hide and makes it harder to get rid of them. Bed bugs can be found alone but more often congregate in groups. They’re not social insects, though, and don’t build nests.
How infestations spread through a home or within an apartment building differs from case to case. Inspect all adjacent rooms. Bed bugs travel easily along pipes and wires and the insides of walls can harbor them.
Before treating, you need to confirm that you have bed bugs. The only way to do that is to find a bug and get it identified by your local pest management professionals at Pest Ops.
To find a bed bug, look in the most likely places first (see above). Â If you find one, freeze it for identification or put it in a sealed jar with a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Then stop looking â€” you don’t want to disrupt the bugs â€” and call Pest Ops (865-966-0750).
How do I find out if I have bed bugs?
Look for bed bugs in all their life stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. Also look for cast skins and blood spots. But note: blood spots, hatched eggs, and cast skins may be from an infestation that has been dealt with already. Live bed bugs are the only confirming evidence. Use a flashlight â€” even if the area is well lit â€” and work systematically. A magnifying glass will help you zoom in on hard to see spots. Start with one corner of the mattress and work around the piping, down the sides, and underneath. Do the same with the box spring. If you own the bed, slowly remove the dust cover (ticking) on the bottom of the box spring and seal in a trash bag. Next, inspect the bed frame. If you can take it apart, do so. Bed bugs could be hiding in the joints.
No bed bugs yet? Work out from the bed in a systematic way (clockwise or counter-clockwise) to the walls of the room. Look in the pleats of curtains, beneath loose pieces of wallpaper near the bed, the corners and drawers of desks and dressers, within spaces of wicker furniture, behind doors, windows, and baseboard trim, and in laundry or other items on the floor or around the room such as cardboard boxes. Inspect everything. Any crack, crevice, or joint a credit card edge could fit in could hide adult bed bugs. This routine gives you a systematic approach and increases the chance you’ll find evidence early on.
One last way to inspect â€” about an hour before dawn, lift the sheets and turn on a flashlight. It might lead to a discovery, but this method can also be unsettling.
If you don’t find bed bugs but bites continue or you find blood spots on bedding, contact Pest Ops and have us inspect.
If you find bed bugs at home, it’s best to keep sleeping in the bed â€” or try to find someone who will sleep there. Packing up to spend time elsewhere could bring bugs to an uninfested area; the bugs could move to neighboring rooms in search of a meal.
How do I have specimens identified?
Put specimens in small, break-resistant containers such as a plastic pill bottle or a zipper-lock bag with one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol in it. Also, you can tape them to a sheet of white paper with clear tape.
First, look at pictures on websites. If you think it’s a bed bug, package it carefully to prevent damage and contact Pest Ops for positive identification. Bed bugs have close relatives: poultry bugs, barn swallow bugs, bat bugs, and tropical bed bugs, to name a few. These bugs can also feed on humans and act like bed bugs do. For accurate identification, send a sample to Pest Ops or call our office.
How did I get bed bugs in the first place?
Bed bugs come in as stowaways in luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, boxes, and more when these are moved between dwellings. Moving out won’t solve the problem, since bed bugs will just come with you. In fact, while dealing with bed bugs, it’s best not to sleep away from home. Used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses, are most likely to harbor bed bugs. Watch out for items found on the curb! Because they survive for many months without food, bed bugs could already be present in clean, vacant apartments.
The source of the infestation determines where your inspection should start. Look through these scenarios and see which fits:
â€¢ Only one bedroom: inspect that room first.
â€¢ People watch TV or sleep on a couch: check it after inspecting the bedroom.
â€¢ A traveler returned home: insects can hide in luggage and then crawl out when it’s dark and peaceful â€” begin where luggage was placed upon returning home.
â€¢ A used bed or piece of furniture (bought or from the curb) was brought into the house: inspect it first.
â€¢ The problem began after visitors stayed overnight: inspect the beds that they slept in and where their luggage was placed. Next, inspect the nearest place where people sleep.
â€¢ An infestation persists after several treatments by a professional: bed bugs may come through the wall from a neighboring apartment. Inspect rooms that share a wall with a neighbor. (This scenario happens in large apartment complexes and hotels where management didn’t get adjacent rooms treated.)
â€¢ If the building has a laundry room, inspect it too.
â€¢ Home health aides come in frequently: bed bugs may have hitched a ride on their bags.
â€¢ Backpacks go to and from school: could have bed bugs. Inspect the bed or couch nearest the spot where backpacks are kept.
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, contact Pest Ops at 865-966-0750.
January 28, 2013
What are bed bugs?
Some fast factsâ€¦
â€¢ Appearance: 1/4â€ long, oval, flat, 6 legs, and reddish-brown.
â€¢ Life Stages: Eggs hatch into nymphs. Newly hatched nymphs are tiny â€” about 1/16th of an inch.
â€¢ They feed only on blood.
â€¢ They feed when people are sleeping or sitting quietly, often when it’s dark.
â€¢ They seek shelter in cracks and crevices when not feeding.
â€¢ They excrete “blood spots.” Spots look like dots made by a fine felt-tipped marker. You’d see them near where they fed and near their hideouts.
â€¢ Adults can live over a year without a meal.
â€¢ Can be found in the cleanest of places. But clutter makes them harder to get rid of.
â€¢ They have no “grooming behavior” â€” meaning that insecticides meant to be swallowed by roaches and flies won’t work on bed bugs.
â€¢ Anatomy: A bed bug has 6 legs. Its antennae point forward and are about half as long as the body â€” not longer. Its head is broadly attached to its body and it has no wings. Eight legs indicate a tick or mite. Six legs and long antennae with two spikes coming off the back might be a roach nymph. Carpet beetle larvae have hairs all over their bodies. Carpet beetle adults have two hard wings.
â€¢ Color: A “drop of blood with legs” is probably a recently fed bed bug. It will be red, plump, and oval. After it digests its meal, it’ll be mahogany-colored, round, and flat. Unfed nymphs are tan. Eggs are oval, white, and stick to whatever they’re laid on.
â€¢ Size: You can see the adults â€” they’re about 1/4″ long. The trick is finding their hiding spots. They can wedge themselves into any crack or crevice. If the edge of a credit card can fit, so can a bed bug. Eggs and just-hatched nymphs are tiny: 1/16″ (1mm) long. Bed bugs plump up after feeding â€” just like a mosquito.
â€¢ Behavior: Bed bugs crawl â€” scurrying into dark, tight spaces to hide. They move as fast as an ant. They can’t jump or fly and you’ll never find them burrowing into your skin. If the insect you have came out on its own accord at night when the lights were out near the bed or a couch, it was probably a bed bug looking for a meal. Bed bugs aren’t social insects like ants, so they don’t need a colony. But while they group together in good hiding spots, loners could be hiding elsewhere.
Good pest management professionals know how to find bed bugs and how to target every hiding place without harming people.
What can bed bugs do to me?
The serious negative effects of bed bugs are more mental than physical, but the itchy bites can’t be ignored either.
The mental effects are stress and lack of sleep. (And then there’s delusory parasitosisâ€”meaning the bugs really are gone, but you can’t shake the feeling that they’re still there.) Even if the thought of sleeping with bed bugs doesn’t keep you up at night, the time and money it takes to get rid of them can stress you out.
Householders worry what friends, family, and neighbors will say if their problem becomes known. Bed bugs aren’t associated with filth or social status, but many people think they are.
Bed bugs aren’t known to transmit disease. And some people don’t even get marks when bit. But scratching bites can lead to a secondary infection. Resist the urge to scratch. People with health problems and children are more at risk for infection because their immune systems are compromised or they can’t stop scratching.
What does a bed bug bite look like?
You can’t describe the bites as looking only one way. Some look and feel like mosquito or flea bites. Some people don’t react at all. On the opposite extreme, others get big, itchy welts that take two or more weeks to heal. Bites can occur singly, in clumps, or in a line. Bites can show up within hours â€” or two weeks later. Confirming an infestation on bites alone is impossible. You need evidence: a bed bug.
Bed bugs usually feed while people sleep, about an hour before dawn. But if they’re hungry and given the opportunity, they feed anytime. Feeding itself is painless â€” the bed bug’s saliva numbs the skin and makes the blood easier to drink. But later, many people react to the saliva, getting itchy bumps or rashes. After feeding for about five minutes, drawing only a drop or two of blood, bugs return to their hiding places. Although bed bugs can live for over a year without feeding, they typically seek blood every five to ten days.
The only way to know for sure what bit you is to find a bug and get it identified.
Bed bugs live off only blood â€” like mosquitoes do. They probably prefer to feed on people. But if people move out, bed bugs can survive by feeding on rats or mice â€” so control these pests, too. They’re attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide â€” what animals and humans breathe out.
Remember, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites. You could get an itchy rash while your home companion gets nothing.
If you think bed bugs bit you, call Pest Ops (865-966-0750) to have a pest management professional do a thorough inspection to determine whether a bed bug is in your living space.
January 21, 2013
The summer of 2007 was marked by a dramatic increase in the presence of Japanese beetles across the nation. Although devastating to plants and gardens, the Japanese beetle is rarely more than a nuisance to human beings. However, there are two species, powderpost and merchant grain beetles that emerge in summer and can pose significant threats to health and property.
“Beetles are not commonly considered a threat to one’s health or home,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Yet, beetles, such as the powderpost and merchant grain, can cause damage to homes and can contaminate food. Homeowners should take proactive steps to pest-proof their property to keep beetles outside.”
A reddish-brown pest, which lays eggs in the cracks of wood, such as baseboards and floors, powderpost beetles can affect a home’s structural dependability. Second only to termites in their destruction of wood and rarely observed, powderposts are named for the powder-like dust left behind by their larvae as they tunnel through wood surfaces.
The merchant grain beetle is brown, flat, and can fly. These beetles like fat-based products and will readily infest chocolate, cereal, cake mixes, and even dried pet food. These pests seek out these foods’ packaging as a place to live, eat, and reproduce. Often found in pantries and kitchens, merchant grain beetles contaminate food.
NPMA offers these tips to help homeowners prevent merchant grain beetle infestations:
- Inspect all susceptible products when you bring them home from the store.
- Keep all products in sealed plastic tubs when stored in your pantry.
- Keep an eye on any grain-based products when you use them looking for small worm like larvae or even adult beetles. Segregate and destroy any infested product.
If you see signs of beetles in your home, contact Pest Ops so one of our trained professionals can inspect and treat the pest problem. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.
January 16, 2013
- Bed Bug Basics: 10 Tips to Protect Yourself
- Attention College Students: Donâ€™t Let the Bed Bugs Bite
- Bed Bug Frequently Asked Questions
- Bed Bug Prevention
- Bed Bugs: Cimex lectularius
- Bed Bug Blog
- Bed Bug Videos
- Bed Bug Photos
- Bed Bug News
- Bed Bug Information
January 14, 2013
Color: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brown or black
Legs: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 6
Shape: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Segmented; oval
Size:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1/16-1/8â€
Antennae: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Yes
Region: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Found throughout U.S.
The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.
Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially melon.
Typically living for several years, odorous ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks.
Odorous house ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.
With our trained technicians and professional experience, Pest Ops has the resources to remove an infestation of this bothersome pest from your home. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.