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The Threats Mosquitoes Pose on Workers

As we approach Summer, the threat of mosquitos grows larger. For workers, especially those who work outside or travel, mosquitoes can pose a dangerous threat. Therefore, it is important that you, and your employer, take steps to protect you against the threats mosquitos pose. While, in the United States, it is not common for mosquito-related illnesses to cause death, mosquitos are still able to make a person sick.

At Risk Workers

Because different species of mosquitos inhabit different parts of the United States, those at risk include:

  • Those who travel for work
  • Outdoor workers
  • Healthcare workers who may be handling infected patients
  • Those who work with infected samples

Each of these areas has the possibility, some higher risk than others, of contracting mild to life threatening mosquito based diseases.

Keeping Your Employees Safe

It is important that steps are taken to ensure that employees are provided a safe environment to work in. Therefore, consider the following steps to ensure that mosquitos look the other way:

  • Stop mosquitos from breeding by eliminating stagnant water
    • properly store equipment
    • remove debris (from ditches, holes, and trenches)
    • remove areas that collect stagnant water (tires, buckets, barrels, bottles)
    • ensure proper drainage away from worksite
  • If working indoors, ensure that all doors and windows are outfitted with proper screens
  • Give worker training
    • the risk mosquitos pose
    • symptoms of mosquito based diseases
    • proper use of insecticide and repellent
  • encourage workers to wear proper clothing that covers the whole body
    • in particularly bad areas, encourage workers to wear a net that covers their face
  • provide repellents with an EPA registered active ingredient (DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon, eucalyptus, para-methane-diol, 2-undecanone)
    • it is vital that workers have proper training when handling repellent to avoid injury

Keeping Yourself Safe

While it is extremely important that your employer helps to maintain the office space or jobsite, it is equally important that you are able to take care of yourself as well.

  • If you are provided repellents, do not be afraid to use them
    • FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS
    • Permethrin can be applied to clothing and gear
    • If using skin based insect repellent, but you are also using sunscreen, apply the insect repellent first
  • Wear clothing that covers the entire body and extremities (hands), and consider wearing hats that have built in nets to protect the face and neck
  • Help remove stagnant water from office space or jobsite
  • If you begin to encounter symptoms of a mosquito related illness, or notice a coworker experiencing similar health issues, do not hesitate to inform a supervisor and get medical attention

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, do not hesitate to reach out to us! Accurate Pest Control is certified in handling mosquito related issues and will handle the issue professionally and safely.

Preventing Ants in the Workplace

When it comes to having ants in the workplace, nothing is quite as annoying. Not only does it represent a dirty office, but it also can lead to broader issues as well, such as contaminated food, disease, and can even cause issues with the infrastructure of the office building. Therefore, it is crucial that one always maintains a clean office space and takes preventative steps that make sure ants look the other when approaching your office.

Prevention

Food Storage

  • One of the most important preventative steps you can take is food storage. Ensure that all food is secure within a plastic container that will not only keep the pests out but also keep the smell locked in. Furthermore, always make sure all food is put away when the office is closed. Food should never be left out, especially when there is no one around.

Clean Up

  • If your office has a kitchen, it is essential that after each person is done using plates or utensils, that they clean them. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink is leaving an open invitation for ants, especially if they are left in the sink overnight. In addition to doing the dishes, it is also important that all crumbs are picked up and cleaned. While there is an argument for not eating at one’s desk, if one practices good clean up (eating with a tray, wiping down the surface after eating, etc.), there will never be an issue.

Garbage

  • Make sure that after each workday the garbage is disposed of outside, away from the office building. This is twice as important if there is food in the garbage as well.  Leaving food in the trash overnight is another way to invite ants into your office building.

As long as one follows these steps, preventing ants in the workplace is easy! However, if you find that you already have an ant infestation in the workplace, consider calling Accurate Pest Control for assistance. We will make sure the ants are gotten rid of in a professional and timely manner without interrupting the workday.

Rodents and The Workplace

No one wants to find out their business has been infested with mice. Not only are they unsightly, but they are also a health risk to yourself, your employees, and your clients. Furthermore, they can create discord between employees who wish to either save or kill the rodent, raising office tensions. Whatever your stance on mice is, I think we can all agree that they do not belong in the workplace. Therefore, it is important that steps are taking in order to prevent such an event from occurring. Together, let’s review what can happen if a mouse has found its way into your business, and what to do if one has decided to make your business it’s home.

The Risk Mice Pose

  • Disease
    • The most pressing issue of having mice in the workplace is that they are capable of spreading disease.  This is usually done through droppings and urine.  Therefore, if you notice dropping or urine, make the matter known immediately and begin to take measures to remove the infestation from your office.
  • Cable Chewers
    • Another sign you have a mouse in the office is chewed cables. Mice, known as curious creatures, explore the environment around them by chewing, potentially costing your company hundred, if not thousands of dollars in repairs.
  • Data Loss
    • Due to their tendency to chew on anything them come across, cables included, a mouse chewing through an important cable is not unlikely. If a mouse chews through the right cable they can cause data loss or corruption, and in more extreme cases can complete destroy computers and servers.
  • Fire Hazard
    • Again, due to their tendency to chew, if a mouse chews on a cable with a steady electrical current, a fire could erupt.

It is extremely important that preventive measures are taken to keep mice out of the business office.

Preventive Measures

  • Clean
    • Mice, as previously read, will chew and eat just about anything, making it extremely important that the office cleans up after itself while and after eating. If the office has plates, it is important that after each use they are thoroughly rinsed and cleaned. This will not only prevent mice, but other pests as well such as roaches and ants.
  • Empty Trash
    • No one likes having to be the one to take out the trash at the office, but someone has to do it. In the combined effort to maintain office cleanliness, it is important that trash cans, especially those with food, are removed from the office and properly disposed of outside.
  • Maintain a Clean Workspace
    • While this can be interpreted as saying, “Do not eat at your desk!”, the message we are trying to convey is that it is important to clean up after yourself. If you decide to snack while at your desk, which is still not recommended, make sure that all crumbs are disposed of properly, and all trash is taken too the proper trash can so that it can removed promptly, not sitting at your desk overnight.

Following these preventive measures will make sure mice look the other way when approaching your office building.

However, if your office building has already been infested with mice, the best course of action to take is too seek professional help. Consider contacting Accurate Pest Control! We are professionals at dealing with mice infestations in office buildings and will make sure your office building is properly cleaned, without causing harm to your employees or clients. At Accurate Pest Control, we will make sure your rodent issues are resolved completely, without causing any unnecessary interruptions for your business.

Mosquitoes are in the Air!

With the arrival of Spring, despite the cold weather as of late, brings the arrival of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes, perhaps the most annoying insect to deal with, are extremely dangerous due to their tendency to spread a variety of diseases, some even capable of death. It is important that you arm yourself with the proper ways to deal with these pests, in order to protect yourself and your family.

Protecting Your Home

Before opening your windows to let the nice Spring breeze in and cool down your house, make sure each window is outfitted with screens. If you open your windows without a properly fitted screen, you are unintentionally inviting, not just mosquitoes, but numerous other pests into your home. Therefore, before opening your windows during the Spring, make sure screens are installed and are free from any tears or rips. Furthermore, ensure all cracks and holes in the house are sealed off as well.

Protecting your Yard

Mosquitoes are most prominent, and most annoying, in one’s back yard.  This is not only because it provides them with a steady source of food (pets and humans), but it also provides them with a safe, reliable breeding ground. After mating, the female mosquito will search for stagnant water (clogged gutters, planters or pots, toys, bird baths, open trash cans, puddles) in the immediate area. In order to prevent mosquitoes from setting up camp in your backyard, consider the following:

  • Citronella Repellant Candles – while proven to provide some relief, this method is not reliable on windy days.
  • Natural Plants – consider panting rosemary, catnip, marigolds, and citronella in your backyard.
  • Bug Sprays – sold at most retail locations, bug sprays are another effective way of dealing with mosquitoes but will not provide lasting relief and will need to be done every few weeks. This also include bug spray that is safe for skin contact, which can help relieve an individual from mosquitoes for a short time.
  • Foggers – while not recommended for individual use, if you do decide to use this method, it is extremely important that you read and follow ALL instructions. This method will provide most lasting relief and can kill on contact.

Consider the Professionals

While we understand wanting to resolve this issue on your own, we encourage you to reach out to us for help, if you require assistance! We use proven methods known to reliably remove mosquitoes from your property while keeping your family’s safety as priority. If you have any questions regarding our methods and availability, do not hesitate to reach out to us! At Accurate Pest Control, we ensure the job is done properly, while keeping your family’s safety as our top priority.

Rats: The Threats They Bring & How to Keep Them Away From your House

Winter has a habit of bringing unwanted house guests. Rats have quite the criminal history as well. Rats carry a variety of diseases and contagions that can harm you and your family. This risk of illness rises exponentially for children. Therefore it is important that steps are taken to keep them away from your home at all costs.

 

Crafting Your Defense!

In order to create a strong defense, one must be aware of and understand why rats may be attracted to your home in the first place. First and foremost, it is the warmth and shelter your home provides for them. The winter season is harsh for everyone, and this does not exclude rodents. Winter also brings a lack of food; however, it just so happens that your home is constantly supplied with all kinds of different foods, allowing even the pickiest rats to target your home. To deter rats from targeting your home during the winter is it important that you:

  • Clean
    • With food and drinks left out for days, spills not cleaned, and plates not cleaned, rats will take this as an open invitation to “help” you.
  • Secure Garbage Cans
    • Leaving your trash can uncovered, or throwing trash bags in the alley or street with no can is not only disrespectful to your neighbors, but it is also a for sure way of attracting rats
  • Easy Entry
    • It is vital, not only to prevent rats, but all kinds of infestations, that easy access to the home is eliminated. Patch cracks in the walls, place fine mesh wire under porches, eliminated areas that could be utilized for nesting.

Keeping the Pests at Bay

As always, it is easier to take prevent the infestation than eliminate it once it has begun. Therefore, to eliminate a severe headache in the future, it is important to invest in a strong defense before rats become an issue. Constructing a strong defense includes:

  • Leaks
    • If there is a steady leak outside the house it is important that it is fixed as soon as possible, especially during the warmer months. Many animals will take advantage of the free drink, including unwanted ones.
  • Landscaping
    • Trimming tree branches is extremely important, especially if they are close to the home. These tree branches can be used as jumping points to reach the house. Furthermore, if there are vines on the side of the house, ensure these are removed for they can be used as climbing points.
    • Ensure the yard is also free of debris
  • Pet Food
    • Ensure that all pet food is seal away in a container made of glass or metal.
  • Firewood
    • Firewood stacks can and will be used as a shelter, therefore, ensure that it is far away from the home.

Now armed with a strong defensive, act! Following these steps in this guide will help you protect yourself and your family from disease and other illness that rats carry. If you are worried that you may have an infestation or have questions, call Accurate Pest Control! Your pest issues are our pest issues, and we will handle the situation without putting you or your family at risk!

 

 

 

Preventing and Disinfecting Your Carpet from Fleas

Fleas are a nuisance, like any pest, that can be difficult to get rid of once infected. The good news is that it is not impossible, and with the help of this guide, we will go over the basics of preventing an infestation as well as getting rid of one.

Prevention

The easiest way to get rid of fleas is to not let them become a problem in the first place. Here are some methods you can use to ensure that you have the strongest defense possible:

  1. Check Pets
    1. One of the most common ways fleas make it into the house is through our pets. If you notice that your pet is scratching more than normally, check to make sure they do not have fleas. If you fear your pet has fleas, consider purchasing a flea brush which is designed to trap fleas between its very thin, narrow bristles. To further ensure your pet is clean from the pests, give them a bath afterward with specialized flea soap. The combination of the water and soap will ensure that all fleas on your pet are disposed of as quickly as possible. After you are sure your pet is clean, consider taking them to the vet for medication or purchasing a flea collar. However, be aware of what chemicals are in the collar. A collar that contains organophosphates, with prolonged exposure, can cause allergic reactions that can turn harmful if not treated immediately. Do research before purchasing a collar, should you decide to go down that route.
  2. Gardening
    1. Often unknown, but there are a variety of plants that act as a natural repellant for fleas. Many, if not all, can be purchased locally at the store, and simply planted in the garden at your home. Plants act as a cheap, useful deterrent against fleas.
      • Chamomile
      • Lavender
      • Lemongrass
      • Mint
      • Rosemary
      • Sage
    2. Essential Oils
      1. By mixing certain essential oils along with water, you can make your own flea repellant right at home! This is a great preventive measure to take before or after an infestation. However, cat owners beware, cats are highly sensitive to essential oils and will react extremely poorly if exposed to the oils. This methods will only work for dogs. The essential oils that will work for this are as follows:
        • bergamot
        • citronella
        • eucalyptus
        • lavender
        • cedar wood
        • geranium
        • lemon
        • lemongrass
        • peppermint
        • rosemary
        • sage
        • sweet orange

Disinfecting

If you already have an infestation however, preventative steps will do nothing for you at the moment. Therefore, below are a few tips you can use to rid yourself your unwelcomed guests.

  1. Vacuum
    1. Regardless of where the fleas are located, vacuuming will ensure they are taken care of. Once you feel you have vacuumed enough, remove the bad or canister from the vacuum, empty it into a trash bag, and proceed to tie it as tightly as possible. Quickly remove it from your house and place it outside far away from the house.
  2. Steam Clean
    1. Steam clears are another great way to dispose of both eggs and adult fleas quickly and safely. Once you have steam cleaned an area to your liking, vacuum the area to dispose of any dead fleas. Dispose of the bag outside as quickly as possible to ensure proper clean up.
  3. Indoor Insecticide
    1. When using any indoor insecticide, it is VITAL that you pay attention to what you are purchasing. Make sure that the spray is safe for you, your family (especially kids) and pets. If the wrong one is purchased, the side effects are painful and life threatening for humans and pets. Keep your whole family safe, pay attention.
  4. Diatomaceous Earth
    1. A great alternative to insecticide, diatomaceous earth (food grade) is just as effective at disposing of your infestation. Ensure that the food grade is purchased and NOT the swimming pool grade. Food grade diatomaceous is safe to ingest for large animals (pets and children included), but for insects with an exoskeleton, death is inevitable if they happen to walk along the metaphorical microscopic razors.
  5. Accurate Pest Control
    1. If any of these options scare you, or you would rather have a professional do it, give Accurate Pest Control a call! We will be more than happy to work with you to remove of the pests in the most efficient way possible. We put your family’s safety as our top priority and use only the highest quality materials. When you choose Accurate Pest Control, you can consider your pest issues a thing of the past!

 

 

 

How To Deal With Stink Bugs During the Winter Season

The Winter Season brings many of us a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside. We think about spending time with family, and the upcoming holidays we will be able to share with them. However, this seasonal change is not just a time to watch the leaves change colors. One should also be preparing their home for the possible invasion of Stink Bugs. Known for their rotten smell, stink bugs will often seek shelter inside during the fall and winter seasons. While they are no threat to humans or the house itself, they are rather unappealing to the eyes, if I do say so myself, and can put off a nasty stench.  And once inside, they can become a somewhat tricky pest to deal with.

Ways to Prevent an Infestation

One should be pest proofing their household year-round, but winter time is the season to make sure fortifications are in the best of shape. Practice pest proofing year-round will ensure your house is safe from all intruders, not just stink bugs. Whether you are trying to get rid of a stink bug infestation, or want to keep any possible invasion at bay, here are some tips to consider employing in your home!

Seal off Entry Points

Spend time inspecting your house inside and outside. Look for any cracks in the foundation or siding of your home. Look around utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath wood porches. Should notice any cracks or openings, seal these off immediately. This will not only keep your protected from stink bugs but also roaches, ants and other nasty critters that want to seek shelter. Use a robust and high-quality sealant (silicone or silicone-latex caulk) to keep these pests out.

Replace and Repair

The “R & R” of pest control! Pay close attention to tears in screen doors or windows. Many pests not just stink bugs can use tiny openings to enter a home. Often overlooked, make sure to check for weather-stripper and loose mortar. Install door sweeps as well as an added precaution. These measures will not only improve the integrity of your home but will also make it a safer environment.

Lights Out

Consider turning the lights off during the evening. Stink bugs, as well as many other pests, are attracted to light sources. Outside lights will bring unwanted attention to your home, and if there are openings in your home, this light is an opening invitation. Ensure your house is fortified before decorating for the holidays!

Reduce Moisture

Search around your house and ensure there are no leaks. If there are, have it taken care of immediately. Not only will it save your money on the water bill, but it will also keep the pests away. Many pests are drawn in by moisture, therefore keeping the leaky pipes outside is another open invitation.

Remove Food Sources

If you are keeping an infestation at bay, or are in the middle of a battle, it is important to cut off easy access to food in your home. Store food in art tight containers, take out the trash early instead of late and place them in seal containers. Keep the kitchen clean by washing dirty dishes as soon as you are no longer using them. Wipe down the counters and sweep floors to ensure any crumbs or spills are taking care of. Cutting off the food supply is a great defensive and offensive step to take!

Practice Proper Landscaping

If you have tree and bushes, make sure they are well trimmed and eliminate overgrowth. This will remove a possible home be established close to yours! Also if you have firewood, ensure it is kept 20 feet away from your home, and at least 5 inches off the ground.

Air Flow

Use proper ventilation in areas such as a basement or attic. These areas are prone to become a home base for many pests. By using items such as a dehumidifier, you can eliminate any moisture lingering in the air, as well as keep these areas better ventilated. Also, make sure you keep attic vents and chimneys closed off to unwelcomed guests. Have screens installed over them to ensure proper airflow and protection!

Inspect Foreign Elements

Before bringing those groceries inside, or that package you just got that’s been laying on the ground all day, inspect them. Stink bugs will make themselves at home inside these packages and once inside, will spread like wildfire. Make sure you take extra caution when bringing in boxes that have been outside for long periods.

Proper Disposal

Should you encounter a stink bug in your home, do not attack it! Once provoked or killed, they will release an unpleasant odor that tastes and smells awful. Instead, use a vacuum cleaner. Once you have ridden yourself of the infestation, dispose of the vacuum immediately to prevent any infestation or bad smelling odors in your home!

 

Pests of any kind are a nuisance and are always unwelcomed in the house, but stink bugs bring an unpleasant sight and odor with them. This makes them all the more annoying to deal with. However, now that you are equipped with the knowledge and tactics for a reliable defensive, act! Make your house ready for the winter so that you and your family can enjoy the winter rodent free! Should you feel nervous about addressing this situation alone or have any questions on how to better prepare yourself, give us a call! We will take care of your pest issue professionally, where your safety and the removal of the pests are our number one concerns!

Practicing Safe Pest Control

When it comes to using pesticides as a means of pest control, it is important you to understand that there could be harmful side effects if you are not careful. Therefore, it is important that you understand the dangers your face if you decide to take pest control into your own hands. So before you start firing on all cylinders, allow us to walk you through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Do’s and Don’ts of pest control.

Avoid Inviting Pests In

The safest and most effective pesticide is prevention. Taking preventative steps will ensure you and your family remain healthy and free from the toxicity of pesticides. To prevent pests from attacking your home make sure too:

  • Remove left over food or water and remove any potential shelter.
  • Ensure all food is sealed away in either plastic or glass containers.
    • Any scrapes should be disposed and placed inside a covered trash can
  • Remove garbage from your home regularly
  • Fix leaks and remove any still water.
    • Do not let water build in plant trays or under the refrigerator
  • Remove clutter from your home.
    • Clutter provides a shelter and breeding place for pests and makes finding pests more difficult. Ensure that old newspapers, magazines, and cardboard are picked up and recycled.
  • Close of entry points and hiding spots
    • Ensure cracks and holes are caulked and closed off. Close off the area around pipes by using steel wool. Use wire mesh as an extra means of protection.
  • Do your research
    • Research the pest you are dealing with and find the most effective way to deal with them
  • Inspect packages
    • Before you bring any package into the house, inspect it. Make sure it does not have any holes or pests crawling around it.

Proper Use of Pesticides

  • Close off treated areas
    • Make sure children and pets cannot enter these areas
  • Baits are low risk but high reward
    • Baits are a good defense and offer low health risks
    • Ensure they are kept out of reach of both children and pets
  • Pesticides found in mechanical sprayers should be used in focused locations
    • Do not spray the entire room
  • Foggers should be a last resort
    • Handle with extreme care
  • Always follow the directions on how to use each pesticide
    • Assume no two pesticides are the same
  • Avoid products that require mixing
  • Only use chemicals that have been approved for indoors
  • Learn proper disposal of pesticides
    • The label on the back of pesticides will mention the best way of disposal

Improper Use of Pesticides

  • Do not use outdoor pesticides indoors
    • Pesticides listed for use outdoors have a much higher toxicity level than ones listed for indoors.
  • Use the recommended amount
    • Using more than is needed can endanger your family’s health
  • Do not use other containers to store the chemicals
    • Use the original containers the pesticides came in
    • Do not reuse empty pesticide containers

If you are having any doubts or are nervous handling these chemicals, give Accurate Pest Control a call! Your family’s health is a number one priority!

Fortifying Your Home This Winter Against the Coming Pests

Winter should be a wonderful time. A time to spend with family and friends, enjoying holidays, food, and the company of each other. The last thing we want is for this to be interrupted by uninvited guests. We aren’t speaking about that one weird uncle. We are talking about the critters who have decided to take shelter in your home this Winter season. We are speaking about mice and how you can prevent them from getting into your home.

Mice may seem cute to some, but the bottom line is that they can carry a multitude of diseases such as Hantavirus and Salmonella. Hantavirus is life-threatening and can be spread through a mouse’s urine or feces. While this disease is spread mostly through deer mice, for those living near a rural environment, the threat is still high. Salmonella is a bacteria food-borne illness and is a high health hazard for children or the elderly.

Before we learn how to keep these critters out, let us go over the steps of making sure mice have not already created a breach into our home. If you have heard anything, especially at night, such as, scratching, gnawing, running, and rustling noises, these are signs of a possible infestation. However, a silent night does not mean you have a clean bill of health either. Be on the lookout for droppings that look like chocolate sprinkles, nests made of shredded paper, mouse hallways and burrows in your insulation, chew marks on items like boxes, plastic containers, clothing or wooden spoons. In the case of a massive infestation, be on the lookout for areas that appear stained in urine or smell like urine. All of these possible signs of an outbreak, and it is wise to seek professional help in the removal process. Consider calling Accurate Pest Control. We are certified professionals in the field and will ensure you are back to normal life, pest free!

Now that we know the signs and hazards of these pests let’s talk about setting up your defenses. The first step is to close any entry points. Check your home for ways mice could possible enter your home, including loose siding, gaps around windows and doors, cracks in the foundation and holes around dryer vents. Seal any opening larger than one-quarter inch.  Next, make daily checks to make sure your kitchen is clean. While this will not keep mice away, a dirty kitchen will open the floodgates. Make sure your kitchen has no food on the floor, counter, or in sink traps. Ensure you keep dried foods (pet food) in seal containers made of materials that mice cannot chew through, such as metal or glass. One often over thought method of defense is landscaping.  Mice will often cross tree limbs and enter your home through the attic or eaves. It is also wise to keep the garden trimmed so if new entryways are being made, you can spot them before trouble occurs. Finally, make sure to remove any clutter around the house. Remove potential shelters such as piles of wood, bricks, or stones far from the foundations of your home. This will discourage mice from setting up a base right outside your home.

Now equipped with the knowledge and tactics for a reliable defense; act! Make your house ready for the winter so that you and your family can enjoy the winter rodent free! If you feel nervous about addressing this situation alone, or have any questions on how to better prepare yourself, give us a call! We will take care of your pest issue professionally, where your safety and the removal of the pests are our number one concerns!

Bed Bugs and How to Combat an Invasion

Bed bugs have been an issue in the United States for quite a while now. They are known to feed on human hosts, leaving itch bites on the skin. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Department of Agriculture all classify bed bugs are a public health issue. However, while that should remain a concern, especially if you have children, bed bugs are not known to help spread disease. However, this does not mean you should let your guard down. Bed bugs have become a significant issue in the United States, and once an infestation starts, it can be hard to eliminate. With the addition of their small size and their ability to stay hidden, they can be tough to find before it is too late.  However, despite their elusiveness, there are ways to combat them.

On the Defensive

Bed bugs can hide in many places and have proven to be quite resilient, with some capable to live up to a year without feeding.  By taking a few precautions, you can improve your chances of infestation or eliminating a current one.

  • When trying to prevent a bed bug infestation be sure to:
    • Inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home. This is a step you should take to help avoid any kind of pest infestation. However, bed bugs are notorious for hitching rides. This includes inspecting a floor model at a furniture store or furniture that has been sitting outside. Make sure to examine the furniture before purchasing them thoroughly. If you have the slightest doubt, you are better off buying something else.
    • When purchasing a mattress or box spring, use a protective cover for both (one that zips). This cover will not only eliminate the harder to see hiding spots but also, in the event of an infestation, allow for better visibility.
    • Make sure to keep your home clutter free, ensure fewer hiding places.
    • If you are using a laundromat, be extra careful. Transport your clothes using a plastic bag (a trash bag for instance). Once you are done washing and drying, place those clothes directly into the bag. Do not fold them at the laundromat, you risk infecting yourself. Also, if you are currently dealing with an infestation, bring an extra bag with you, once you have washed and dried your clothes, place them in the second bag.

On the Offensive

If you are currently dealing with a bed bug infestation, there are steps you can take to deal with the issue yourself, although seeking help is recommended. With their ability to reproduce quickly, hide effectively, and resilience to many pesticides, bed bugs are formidable. Furthermore, your infestation and recovery may not be entirely up to you. In the event of the outbreak being a result of a dirty neighbor, you must focus more on the defensive side, once the infestation has been eliminated.

Before beginning your attack, make a plan! The EPA suggests:

  1. Identify the problem
  • Inspect all areas of your home. This will help determine the level of the infestation
  • If you live in an apartment, be sure to inform your landlord. Other flats will need to be inspected to help a prevent a vicious circle from occurring.

 

  1. Develop a strategy
  • Keep a detailed log of where pests have been found and where you have treated and cleared. Write down the date in which this occurred.

Remember to leave time for observation once you believe a place has been cleared. Keep a close eye over this location until   you have 100% determined for it to be clean.

 

  1. Keep the infestation from expanding
  • Remove anything from the room that has shown signs of infestation and places it in a sealed plastic bag. Treat the items in the bag and proceed to leave the items sealed away for an extended period (could be up to a year).
  • Do not discard furniture if not needed. Although, if infestation cannot be contained, or you would rather eliminate the risk altogether, discard the furniture responsibly. Mark the furniture with spray paint or rip the furniture with a knife to prevent others from bringing it into their home.

 

  1. Prepare for treatment

While it can be tempting, you cannot just jump into treatment. Before treating make sure you have:

  • Reduced Clutter:
    • Ensure your bed has been cleared from any signs of infestation and move it 6 inches away from the wall.
    • Clean all items in the living area
    • Eliminate bed bug habitats
    • These could be electrical outlets, cracks in walls or wallpaper, or in the crevices of furniture.

 

  1. Eliminate the bed bugs

First ensure the methods you choose are safe, especially if you have children.

  • Consider non-chemical methods first:
    • Heat: Bed bugs can only survive up to about 115 F. Therefore, try a steam cleaner, hair dryer, leaving sealed bags of items outside in the sun.
    • Cold: If the freezer is set below 0^0 F you can use you can attempt this method.

While non-chemical methods are the safest way to treat this issue, chemicals will most likely need to be used in order to eradicate the infestation. It is highly recommended you seek professional guidance when using pesticides.

  • Chemical Methods as a Last Resort:
    • Pesticides: When looking at pesticides look for EPA-registered pesticides, and make sure that bed bugs are listed on the product.
    • Foggers: Sometimes referred to as “Bug Bombs” are extremely dangerous and must be handled carefully. Improper use can cause explosion and harm.
    • Desiccants: These are drying agents, and work by drying out the bug (permanently disabling them from developing a resistance to it)
      • Do not use pool or food grade diatomaceous earth – These can harm your health when breathed in
      • Desiccants can be very useful yet can take a while to work

Prevention

Now that we have the bed bugs under control and eliminated, we must take prevention! Make sure you:

  • Continue to check and clear your house for any signs of a return for at least a week.
    • Ensure there are no eggs remaining
    • Place Interceptors at the feet of your furniture. These contain harmful chemicals, that when steps in, will trap and kill the insect.
    • Remain vigilant and practice cleanliness!
      • This will help you not only with bed bugs but all types of insects.

If any of these methods worry you, confuse you, or you just have general questions, consider calling Accurate Pest Control! We will handle your bed bug issue with diligence and professionally, placing your safety, and the safety of your family, as our top concern!