Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Tell if You May be Hosting a Termite Invasion

Regardless of how well your life may be going, as a homeowner, you always need to consider the threat termites can pose to you. Not to say that you should be checking for them on a daily basis, but it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the many signs of termites being present in your home. If they aren't taken care of immediately, the termites can carve a path of destruction across your house, especially if you have many furnishings made from wood.

Contrary to what most people believe, termites aren't only active during spring. While it is a time of elevated activity where swarms are most easily detectable, termites stay engaged in their wood-eating activities throughout the entire year. There are many different types of termites, but they all resemble ants with wings, having six legs, two antennae and are about half an inch in length. They prefer to hide in dark and humid environments, meaning that you will probably have to make some efforts when searching for them.

One of the most common signs of termites you are likely to find in your house is hollowed out wood. If you believe that you are the victim of an infestation, go around your house and knock on your wooden items, especially furnishings such as night stands, tables and chairs (anything that is in contact with the ground basically). As mentioned above, termites prefer dark and humid environments to nest it, and so they usually eat wood from the inside out, safely staying away from the watchful human eye and in total comfort. Needless to say, if you tapped a piece of wood and it sounded hollow, then you’d better check it for termites, or at least signs of their presence.

While some signs of termites may be a bit harder to detect, this one isn't: groups of winged insects as well as discarded wings. Needless to say, one can always easily identify a swarm of insects when it's in their house, especially when said insects tend to discard their wings. The winged termites are generally referred to as "swarmers," and their functions are mainly reproductive as they are in charge of finding new colonies for their brethren to live in. If you have spotted some in your house, get ready for the possibility of there being a full-scale infestation.

If you are being invaded by subterranean termites, your best bet at finding them would be to look for mud tubes on the outside walls of your house. The termites build these tubes in order to make sure their environment remains moist while they are busy scavenging for food. If possible, try to store any wood-related supplies away from your house as much as possible, for as you can guess, they tend to attract the termites like nothing else.

Finally, there is the king of signs of termites: Frass, a more or less polite term used to designate excrements dropped by termites. As it happens, eating through wood requires termites to constantly make space in their bodies, which leads them to make frequent droppings while eating. They are tiny wood-colored, and pellet-like in shape, and wherever the termites dig, you are going to find them.

Should you confirm the presence of a termite infestation in your house, it is highly advisable that you get in touch with a termite extermination agency; the longer the problem persists, the higher the chances of your house becoming irrecoverable.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Telltale Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

While they aren't exactly deadly or exceedingly harmful, bed bugs can be one of the worst annoyances people have to deal with, and it has to be noted that if the problem is not taken care of, the bugs will turn their environment into the optimal breeding ground for bacteria and, consequently, infections. If bed bugs aren't taken care of quickly, they can spread like the plague and even infect entire buildings in some cases. Fortunately, there are bed bugs signs you can look for in order to detect their presence, even early on in the infestation.

First of all, you should be acquainted with how bed bugs look and when they tend to come out. In most cases, they are extremely small (about 5mm in width), are oval-shaped, flat, have six legs (although counting them may prove difficult), two antennae, as well as very short, dark brown or golden hairs. Their larvae are shaped quite similarly, except that their skin hasn't formed a thick layer yet, and so they appear bright red right after feeding, and golden at all other times. Bed bugs are nocturnal animals, meaning they only tend to come out at night and hide away during the day.

In addition to knowing what bed bugs look like, it would also help to know where they hide. Contrary to what their name may imply, bed bugs aren't exclusively confined to beds and mattresses; they will pretty much hide in any crack they can find. For this reason, it is possible to find bed bugs signs in mattress seams, sofas, carpet edges, night stands, behind picture frames, curtains, and even the smallest fissures in your walls and floors. Somewhat fortunately, bed bugs stay only a few feet away at the most from their feeding spots, meaning you should start your search for bed bugs signs at your bed, or wherever you tend to sleep.

One of the most common telltale bed bugs signs everyone looks for time and time again when trying to determine if they have bed bugs are tiny, dark brown bloodstains, usually found in sheets, mostly because it is where they are easiest to spot. These tiny bloodstains are actually the bed bugs' fecal matter, and anything which has them is probably infected with the nefarious pests.

Unfortunately, apart from seeing bed bugs themselves, waking up with plenty of little red bites on your body, and finding their fecal matter stains, there aren't really any effective methods of detecting them, but thankfully, they aren't exactly masters at playing hide-and-seek. Remember, you don't need to find every single bed bug in the colony to know that you have a problem: a few little stains or perhaps a couple of live bed bugs are good enough signs that you have an impending problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.

At this point, you could try dealing with the infestation using your own means and bed bug control products available to the public. However, if you are new to this business, there is a good chance that you won't get them all as they reproduce with great speed. Alternatively, you can always hire the services of a professional extermination company as they have access to much more powerful tools than anyone else does.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hello reader

Welcome to my first post on my brand new blog. If you've ever lived in a home, you've probably encountered some kind of pest. I started this blog as a way to share with you the many methods of keeping pests out of your home and the importance of preventing pest invasions.

I hope you find this blog helpful!

Thank you for reading.