Termite Swarmers – What are they and why do they swarm?

Termite swarmers are special members of a colony that grow wings and fly away to establish further colonies. These males and females will fly to a new location, mating in flight along the way. Once they land, their wings come off, which indicates that they’re an “item.” The queen termite can live for 30 years after becoming queen.

Termite swarmers aren’t dangerous themselves. Because they’re specially designed for mating and propagation, they don’t have time to sit down and begin chewing up your property. Their significance lies in what they portend. If you see winged termite swarmers inside your home, that means that there is an established colony of some sort within your four walls someplace.

Seeing the swarmers outside just means that there is a termite colony on your property somewhere. Both require immediate attention, although “inside swarmers” are a much more pressing situation than outside swarmers. Because termites “do their business” largely out-of-sight, the damage they wreak can go undetected for years until part of your house collapses. Remember, it takes at least three years for a colony to mature to the point of producing its own swarmers.

It’s also important to figure out which species of termite is involved or even if the winged swarmers you see are termites at all. Many species of ants, for example, also produce winged kings and queens that fly off to create new nests. Ants cause their own problems, but they seldom cause serious structural damage. Be sure to collect any wings or dead insect carcasses you find so that you can have them examined by a professional.

Most pest control services have the entomological training to be able to identify the species and recommend the proper pest control treatments. Professionals are not only equipped to handle an infestation but also to apply preventative measures for the future. Termite removal is certainly not a do-it-yourself proposition, but professionals can instruct homeowners in helpful measures to boost the professionals’ prevention efforts, such as removing debris that contains cellulose from around your property, repairing cracks in foundations, roofs, and soffits, and keeping water away from the house with proper downspouts and clean gutters.

Heat Treatments vs. Chemical Treatments

Scientists have discovered that bed bugs are increasingly resistant to pesticides. Multiple chemical treatments kill off only 75 percent of the population. Since bed bugs mature quickly, just one pregnant survivor could multiply to a population of 5,000 in a few months.

At best, their bites cause redness and itching. At worst, they trigger allergic reactions or become infected. Bed bugs usually infest mattresses, box springs, and bedding, but they can also slip through cracks in walls, electrical outlets, and electronic devices. They leave a disgusting trail of excrement in their travels through a room. Intense heat treatment is the only proven method for eliminating these nasty pests.

Why Pesticides Are Ineffective

One perk of being a bed bug is the ability to survive for up to a year without feeding. When pesticides are sprayed, bed bugs simply find more secluded hiding places and wait. Survivors scatter and invade an even larger area. If you live in an apartment or townhome, they’re likely to move next door. You’ll be the most unpopular neighbor on the block.

Meanwhile, bugs continue to breed. Their offspring inherit the resistance to chemical pesticides. When the residual chemicals have worn off, some bugs return to their favorite spots. Then, the problem is more widespread and difficult to treat than a localized infestation.

Preparing your home for chemical treatments is a lot of work. The technician will have to have access to every square inch of the infested site. The perimeters of rooms have to be exposed. Your furniture and possessions must be moved and covered.

Bed bugs can slip through a crack no thicker than a credit card. Even when a room is properly cleared, sprays don’t always penetrate their unreachable hiding places.

For pesticides to kill even some of the bugs, multiple treatments must be done. This process can get fairly expensive and drag on for weeks. If the treatments are ineffective, you’ll probably have to discard furniture, bedding, electronics or other infested items.

Why Heat Is the Best Solution

Our Titane Propane 3000 equipment packs 500,000 Btu and can handle 3,000 square feet. It kills bed bugs and destroys their eggs in 20 to 90 minutes. No chemicals are necessary.

For more than 20 years, Pest Solutions Termite & Pest Control has been committed to the safety and comfort of Orange County families. Our friendly, professional technicians can identify all kinds of insects and animals and pinpoint their hiding places. They know pest behavior and are trained in up-to-date treatment methods.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite. Call today for a thorough inspection of your property and solutions for any kind of pest problem.

PMPs Predict 2017 Pest Trends

At a recent conference for pest management professionals, experts gathered and discussed the biggest threats to homeowners in 2017. Here are five predictions every homeowner in Los Angeles should take seriously.

Ants are Always a Pest Control Problem in Orange County

It doesn’t matter what time of the year you’re talking about, ants seem to be a constant problem for homeowners in Los Angeles and Orange County. If you find ants wandering in your kitchen, pantry or any other areas where food is accessible, you should contact pest control immediately before one marching squad turns into a battalion.

Mosquitoes Continue to be a Major Concern for Customers

The Zika virus continues to be a concern for residents in the United States, especially for those living in climates that have received heavy amounts of rain recently. While southern California had suffered a drought for nearly six years before 2017’s winter, it has since experienced wetter conditions that have increased mosquito activity as a result.

Wet Winter Has Lead to More Subterranean Termite Infestations

With wetter winter conditions also comes a greater risk for termite infestation. In Los Angeles and Orange County, pest control professionals have witnessed an increase in subterranean termite activity and received more calls for infestations. Considering how costly a termite infestation can become, it’s important to take action right away.

Bed Bugs Thrive in Populous Areas Like Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is ranked the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million residents inhabiting it. When you have that many people squeezed into that small of a space, bed bugs become an even bigger problem to deal with. To make matters worse, they’re one of the hardest pests to get rid of – for good.

Bee Calls Have Increased Because of Rain and Will Continue

Although we usually start receiving calls to take care of bee problems in March, including hives and other property nuisances, the wetter winter season has resulted in customers contacting us even earlier in the year. Pest control professionals expect the influx of bees and bee-related problems to continue until at least June or July.

If you need help ridding your property from the aforementioned pests in Los Angeles and Orange County, contact Pest Solutions at (888) 904-8897. Our pest control specialists, who all have the knowledge and experience needed to take care of any pest control problem, are standing by to restore your sense of peace. Don’t wait before it’s much too late!

Why You Need Professional Ant Control

More than 700 ant species have been identified in the United States. While the majority live in the wild, approximately 25 of these annoying insects can be found inside homes. Ants are the most common type of pest infesting residences in Southern California. Species found in our area include the Argentine, carpenter and odorous house ants as well as the pharaoh, harvester and red imported fire ants. These insects enter indoor spaces through tiny holes and cracks in search of food, water, and shelter. Once the scouts locate a suitable location, other members of the colony follow their scent trail into your home. An infestation can develop quickly.

Ant Control

While carpenter ants tunnel through wood weakening structural support members, the painful bite of fire ants can prevent your family and guests from enjoying outdoor living spaces. If left unchecked, carpenter ants can cause significant damage that is expensive to repair. Other species of ants contaminate food and food preparation surfaces with a variety of potentially harmful bacteria and other pathogens as they invade pantries and kitchens. Their bites can also cause localized redness, swelling, and itchy hives. Depending upon the species, ants can be found inside your home year-round. Killing the ones you see is not enough to eradicate the colony that can include millions of ants. While carpenter ants can be found in walls, floors, and ceilings, fire ant mounds are located outside. Other species of ants set up their colonies behind or under large appliances as well as other areas inside your home.

Why Use a Professional?

Do-it-yourself pest control solutions can go awry. In March 2017, a man accidentally burned down his parent’s home in Old Orchard Beach, Maine while trying to exterminate ants. He was trying to burn the ants with matches when he inadvertently ignited some combustible material. The flames grew out of control rapidly. The house was destroyed before the fire department could extinguish the blaze. Commercially available products may not provide the right mix of chemicals in quantities sufficient to accomplish the task satisfactorily. Because these chemicals may also be harmful to pets and children, homeowners must designate a location to store the products safely.

Our highly trained technicians can identify the type of ants causing the infestation. This expertise enables the team to recommend a targeted approach that eliminates the risk of over- or under-applying the required treatment. Using our service eliminates the need to store potentially harmful chemicals in your home. We can safely eliminate an ant infestation as well as other pests. Give us a call at Pest Solutions. We can schedule a convenient time to inspect your home and provide a free, no-obligation quote for our pest control services.

Preventing Ants From Joining Your Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time of the year for you to host a cookout. Beautiful weather and delicious food creates a festive atmosphere. Don’t allow ants to intrude on your fun. Not only can they ruin your meal, but species such as fire ants can deliver a painful sting.

Why Do Ants Love Summertime Cookouts?

Ants are lured by the mouth-watering scent of freshly prepared food. Ants especially love sugary foods. They would love to chow down on barbecue sauce and sip sweet lemonade. Cupcakes are yet another favorite treat for ants. Whether you are dealing with black ants or carpenter ants, you must remain prepared for these foraging pests.

What Can You Do to Deter Ants?

1) Keep Foods and Beverages Covered

When cooking outdoors, it is critical that you keep everything covered up. After taking food off the grill, be sure to put it in a closed container. Not only will this keep smells from floating in the air, but it will also prevent ants from crawling on your food. Pies should be tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. Avoid using a punch bowl for beverages.

2) Keep the Area Clean

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your used utensils lying on a table. After you have finished eating, be sure to place any paper plates and cups in a tightly sealed trash container. Clean up spills immediately!

3) Spray Vinegar on Ant Hills

If you notice any ant hills in your backyard, use vinegar to send these pests running the other direction. Ants despise the smell of vinegar. Mix a spray bottle with equal amounts of vinegar and water. However, be sure to apply the vinegar solution before firing up the grill.

4) Use Cornstarch

Cornstarch is like Kryptonite to ants. If they attempt to consume cornstarch, their entire digestive system will ultimately shut down. You can place a line of cornstarch around the perimeter of your barbecuing area.

Although these strategies can help keep ants away, they are not always 100 percent effective. Nothing beats the security of having your backyard treated by a professional. Be sure to contact Pest Solutions for all of your pest control needs. You will be able to truly enjoy your Memorial Day barbecue.

How To Fool Roaches Into Your Trap

You turn on the lights to a blur of movement. You might even glimpse a flattened body disappearing neatly through a paper-thin crevice. Yet, German cockroaches leave their evidence everywhere. Their frass, or feces, has been linked to both Salmonella and E. coli food poisoning as well as respiratory problems. Traps and contact sprays are not going to be enough. You need something that will:

– Kill the roaches that you have.
– Make sure that there won’t be any more.

What you need is bait. However, for it to work, you have to understand cockroaches and their behaviors.

Key Facts About German Cockroaches

1. Roaches require environmental contact on both sides of their bodies. They keep to areas where this is possible—cracks, crevices, layers of materials, and small enclosed pockets or pathways.
2. Cockroaches are nocturnal, preferring warm environments that provide darkness.
3. Females remain secluded and hidden when carrying eggs. Even once nymphs hatch, breeding females rarely stray from cracks and crevices.
4. Nymphs feed exclusively on their mother’s frass for their first stage of life.
5. Adult males are typically the roaches most likely to explore as they forage for food and water or seek out a mate.
6. In diet, adult roaches prefer grease and carbohydrates. They also need water. That’s why kitchens are prime targets.

What Is Roach Bait?

Cockroach bait is a compelling poison that your undesirable visitors will want to consume. Baits come as both gels and stations, but the important factor is that the poison acts slowly enough to let the cockroach reach its friends and family. Among others, the roach shares the poison both through its frass and when others consume its dead, poisoned body.

How To Use Roach Bait

Most roach bait failures are due to mistakes that people make in using them. If you’re going to use bait:

– Use bait only. Bait works on the principle of attracting roaches. Contact poisons and sprays work on the premise of repelling or instantly killing roaches. If you put repellent near bait, roaches won’t take the bait. If you use contact poisons with it, you may never eradicate breeding females and their offspring.
– Place bait in strategic, high-roach-traffic locations. If you’re not sure where that might be, place a few sticky traps in corners where surfaces meet. You may see a pattern that will help.
– Stick to gels. Moist gel baits are often more effective for the small German cockroaches while granular stations are for use with larger cockroaches like water bugs or palmetto bugs.
– Clean up. Cleanliness is essential. Any available food waste is competition for bait.
– Declutter. Clutter only provides more places for roaches to hide. Limit roach-friendly habitat to areas that you can bait.
– Keep it fresh. Baits dry and harden over time. Persistence and fresh applications are essential to long-term success.

Professional Help for Roaches

Like many other pests—from rodents to bedbugs—there’s no such thing as a solitary roach. If you’re battling a roach infestation or want to take proactive steps to ensure you never have one, call Pest Solutions Termite & Pest Control at 888.904.8897, or visit our website. We serve the residents of California’s Los Angeles County and Orange County. With free inspections and green solution options, we’re ready to service all your pest control needs.

Why You Need A WDO Inspection

It’s hard to overstate how important a Wood-Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection can be, both for homeowners and business owners. When we think of WDOs, we think mainly of termites, which are some of the most destructive pests around. A WDO inspection can look not only for signs of termites (both drywood and subterranean) but also for signs of wood-boring beetles, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and wood-destroying fungi.

What the Inspector Looks For

The WDO inspection can only note damage that’s visible and accessible, so it won’t catch termites behind the walls, for example. Still, there’s a lot an inspector can look for.

Termites leave behind wings and distinctively shaped droppings, and subterranean termites are known for the mud tubes they create, which lead to their colony underground. Piles of sawdust and wood shavings could indicate carpenter ants. Round holes in unpainted or unvarnished wood are usually the work of carpenter bees. Powderpost beetles give themselves away through a powdery excrement called frass. Fungi, if not immediately seen, can still be inferred through weak wood structures.

The Benefits of a WDO Inspection

We don’t often look at the eaves or fascia on the exteriors of our homes, much less the wood framing in our attics or basements, which means that most of the wood structures that are vulnerable to WDOs are out of sight, out of mind. An inspection could show you damage that you never would have dreamed of. If it’s caught in time, you could save hundreds of dollars that would otherwise have gone to structural repairs or termiticide treatments. The inspection could also bring to light any issues, such as leaky pipes, that may have helped to invite those WDOs.

By having this inspection done, you can also have an edge when putting your home or commercial property on the real estate market. The inspection can also give you peace of mind if you’re the potential buyer. Most lending institutions will require that you get a WDO inspection done before taking out a loan. If you want to purchase a home with a VA or FHA loan, the inspection will be required.

Give Us a Call

Pest Solutions is licensed to perform WDO inspections, and being a family-owned and veteran-operated company, we’ll be detail-oriented and honest with our findings. Our report will mention any evidence of WBOs in addition to any areas that might potentially harbor them. If you have trouble deciphering the report, a team member will be glad to help you. Give us a call today to begin with this crucial inspection.

Don’t let bed bugs get in between the sheets

Don’t let bed bugs get in between the sheets

Although they were almost pushed to extinction, bedbugs have recently returned with a vengeance. If you have bedbugs living in your home, then you know how disturbing and terrifying these little creatures can be, and you might be wondering what steps you can take to get them out of your life for good.

When faced with this problem, most people don’t know how to respond in a way that produces the best possible results, but no matter how tempting, don’t look the other way when your home is infested. The problem might not seem intense at first, but it won’t take long for the parasites to spread and become all but impossible to eliminate.

How Bedbugs Get Into Your Home

When your goal is to safeguard your home from bedbugs, taking steps to prevent them from getting inside is a great place to start, but when you travel, bedbugs can get on your clothes, bags and shoes. If your friends or relatives have bedbugs, the insects can easily hitch a ride when they come to visit you.

Also, bedbugs can easily travel from one apartment to another, and they will be quick to infest the entire unit. If you want to reduce your odds of encountering this problem, always check for bedbugs when you travel. If you spot any signs of them in a hotel, leave as quickly as you can if you don’t want to bring the creatures back home.

Common Hiding Places

Behind electrical outlets, in the corners of your mattress and behind your headboard are just a few of the places that bedbugs like to hide. Although you might spot them anywhere in your house, they usually like to create a nest near their host. If you want to find these insects, carefully use a flashlight to check each of these common hiding spots.

Bedbugs are small and have flat bodies until they feed, but after consuming a fresh meal, they can appear round. Bedbugs are skilled when it comes to hiding and blending in with their environment, so they are easy to miss. You might not locate them on your first try, but persistence will help you reach your goal.

Understanding What Attracts Bedbugs

Feeling hopeless and confused, homeowners often find themselves wondering why bedbugs are in their home. Although some pests are attracted to certain environments, a human host is the only thing that attracts bedbugs. As you sleep, the insects are drawn to the carbon dioxide that you produce from breathing, but they will also use your body heat to locate their next meal.

No matter where you live or who you are, bedbugs will be happy to invite themselves into your home if you give them a chance. You can find these parasites in almost any climate, and they will stop at nothing to find a food source.

Getting Help

If you have already spotted bedbugs in your home, then you need to take action right away. When it comes to pests, bedbugs are among the most difficult to manage, and they can elude all but the most experienced pest control professionals. If you are looking for a company on which you can depend, then turn to Pest Solutions, and your bedbug problem will be under control in no time.

Why Use TAP Insulation?

Why Use TAP Insulation?

Holiday Visitors

During the holidays, we open our hearts, our doors and our homes to friends and family. Many will be overnight guests who travel hundreds of miles to be with us. We want the experience to be perfect. Uninvited guests like bed bugs, however, have the power to mar or even cut short what should be a celebration of the good things in life.

Signs You Have Bed Bugs

Cleanliness alone is not a safeguard against bed bugs. Unfortunately, they’re equal opportunity pests with a single demand—blood. Yours is preferred, but they’ll settle for a pet’s. Young bed bugs can live for months without feeding, and adults can last a year. Meanwhile, each adult can lay up to 250 eggs in that time.

Bed bugs are flat and tiny—about ¼ inch long or less. They hide during the day, and they’re a bland beige until they feed. So, besides being bitten, how do you know you have bed bugs?

  • Shed Skins. The insects molt, or shed their exoskeleton, repeatedly as they grow. You may find tiny insect casings or cast skins in or around your mattress, box springs, bed frame or pillows. However, any furniture, crack or crevice in any room can host bed bugs. Bed bugs have even hidden in picture frames.
  • Stains. After feeding, bed bugs excrete fecal matter that is essentially digested blood. You may see small reddish-brown spots on sheets, bedding, furniture upholstery or carpeting.

Five Ways Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home

Bed bugs have become problems for retail stores, healthcare offices and institutions, libraries and public transportation as well as schools, from daycare facilities and preschools to universities. All they need is one point of entry to your home, and you only need one bed bug to start an infestation:

  1. Luggage. Traditionally, this is the most common source. Insects can wedge their bodies into an external seam or piece of trim or hide in a seam of packed clothing.
  2. New Purchases. Even if you haven’t brought home a mature bed bug, you may have bought a bed bug egg.
  3. Bodily Contact. That seat on the plane, bus, taxi or handicapped scooter can hold a hungry traveler who may now target you.
  4. Shared Clothing. Not everyone realizes that they have bed bugs. Some people don’t react while others break out in itchy rashes or hive-like bites. Your friend’s jacket may in fact be a bed bug micro-environment.
  5. Sleepovers. If you have children or teens, sleepovers are a commonplace venue for sharing an infestation.

Unfortunately, washing and careful inspection may not be enough to stop bed bugs from setting up house in your home. However, you can make your home as bed bug-unfriendly as possible.

Fighting Bed Bugs With TAP Insulation

Thanks to borate, TAP pest control insulation offers a green solution that can help. TAP insulation can make your home a killer environment for insects while keeping it a safe, pleasant one for people and pets. TAP insulation works because:

  • It’s made of paper fiber evenly and thoroughly treated with borate—a derivative of boric acid and a relative of the more familiar borax laundry booster.
  • Contact with the insulation coats insects in borate. They ingest the borate—toxic to them—when they groom; yes, bed bugs do groom themselves.

TAP insulation is a highly effective insulator for any climate, offering the appropriate selection of R-flows. It also reduces noise, with higher R-flows able to quiet many of the loudest urban disturbers.

Professional Help for Bed Bugs

Because bed bugs multiply so rapidly and can be hard to locate or treat, they require professional solutions. If you’d like more information on how to make your home more secure against pests, the weather or the noisy racket of life, call us at 888-904-8897, or contact us through our website. Serving Los Angeles and Orange County, Pest Solutions offers professional daytime bed bug solutions that will let you sleep safely and peacefully at night.

Have a Pest Free Holiday

Have a Pest Free Holiday

As cold weather approaches, many people are looking forward to the holiday season, and most plan to spend time with their friends and family. If you want to have an enjoyable winter, then it’s vital you take steps to protect yourself and your home from pests. Common winter pests can make their way into your house and cause damage if you don’t have a solid plan in place. The good news is that safeguarding your property does not need to be a difficult or challenging process. With a little effort, you can ensure that your holiday activities don’t include any unwanted guests, and you will be able to put your mind at ease.

Common Pests

Those who wish to keep harmful invaders away from their homes need to learn about the pests for which to look during the winter months. Mice, spiders and insects are what you can expect to find in your home because they will be searching for a warm place to stay until spring. While you can find spiders in your closets or basement, mice enjoy hiding in your attics and walls. Insects can be found throughout your home during this time, and although they have common hiding spots, these creatures can venture to any area of your home. Also, raccoons might attempt to use your attic or garage to take shelter from the cold.

Signs of an Infestation

Homeowners are often caught off guard by common pests because they don’t know the signs that could indicate an infestation. The longer you wait to address the problem, the harder it will be to get the unwanted guests under control. If you have mice in your home, you might notice chewed plastic, droppings and small holes in your walls. When insects are nearby, they are easy to spot flying and crawling throughout your living space. If you want to determine whether spiders are in your home, look for them in dark, quiet spots. You are also likely to notice webs in the corners of your walls and behind your furniture.

When to Call a Professional

To avoid the expenses associated with a pest control professional, some people try to get the invaders under control by themselves. Although it’s possible to resolve an infestation without help, it’s vital you know when to contact a professional if you want to enjoy the best possible results. If you catch a mouse, spider or insect invasion in the early stages, then at-home remedies should be enough to reach your goal. On the other hand, if the pests are starting to spread, enlisting the help of a trained team is your best option.

Pest Solutions

Pest Solutions is a pest control company that services Orange County and Los Angeles, and if you need assistance getting your situation resolved, their friendly team will be happy to help. Contact them right away, and they will kindly answer your questions, and when you hire them, the team will promptly arrive at your house and do what it takes to rid your property of the creatures before they have enough time to ruin your holiday plans.