Pest Advice Blog

Pest Management Basics: Atlanta Winter Pests 101

Residents of Atlanta, Georgia would all likely agree it’s been a long cold winter. The winter months aren’t typically thought of as a very active time for household pests. When temperatures drop, pests have a harder time moving, eating, and reproducing, but even in very cold weather they don’t die off. In fact, in winter months, pests will typically look to your home for warmth and shelter. With the cold weather outdoors you will often find pests, rodents and other wildlife hidden in walls or attics seeking shelter and food patiently waiting for spring and warmer temperatures.

As homeowners, often times we overlook winter pests but pests like; cluster flies, spiders, cockroaches, rodents, crickets and even raccoons and skunks can be a problem in the winter. It’s important to understand the different types of pests commonly found and what you can do to protect your home.

These pests make our Atlanta, GA “Winter Pests Most Wanted List”:


Rodents

rodent
Rodents are little concern during the temperate months when mice and rats can be found actively roaming outdoors where there is plenty of food. However, when the temperature begins to cool and food sources become more scarce, rodents will seek out a more welcoming environment like your home. Rodents can enter your home through cracks or holes near plumbing, electrical outlets and where your HVAC pipes come in from outside. Holes can be as small as a nickel for them to squeeze through so ensuring all cracks and crevices are sealed is key to preventing a rodent infestation. Once inside, they build nests and begin to forage for food at night when you are fast asleep leaving droppings, bacteria and other pathogens behind.

Nuisance Wildlife

squirrel
Squirrels, raccoon, skunks and bats are a few of the common types of nuisance wildlife likely to enter your home in the winter. They are most likely to be found in attics and basements or in other areas of the home that provide a perfect hiding place. Squirrels and other nuisance wildlife aren’t just looking for a place to hide out for the winter, they are usually using your home as the ideal spot to breed and raise their young growing brood. Unlike rodents who scavenge for food within your home, the adult squirrels will leave the home daily to seek food outside then return to feed their offspring daily.

Cluster Flies

cluster-flies
Cluster Flies spend the winter relatively inactive, hiding out in attics and wall voids inside the structure of your home. Once they are safely hidden indoors, their populations grow quickly making early identification and treatment key to preventing a wide-spread infestation. Although harmless, cluster flies can prove to be a nuisance to homeowners once indoors.

Other winter houseguest pests include; box elder bugs, lady bugs and stink bugs which invade in the fall and normally hibernate during the winter but are also likely to stay active once they have made their way indoors. The key to treating winter pests is taking steps to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Here are some steps to take to ensure your home is pest free for the winter.

Winter Checklist

  • Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home.
  • Repair damaged screens on windows or doors.
  • Seal off any entry points. Inspect the outside of your home for easy access points.
  • Remove all moisture build up around your home. Check for leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Clean counters and sweep floors to eliminate crumbs and residue.
  • Inspect items such as boxes containing holiday decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  • Keep items in garages, basements and attics in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes to prevent rodents from nesting inside.
  • Keep branches and shrubbery well-trimmed. Make sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.

Taking these steps to properly seal your home can help you prevent a winter pest infestation. Call Truly Nolen of Atlanta for a free pest inspection if you suspect you have an infestation or see or hear any rodents or wildlife in your home.

Hate Bugs? These Bugs Play Such an Important Role in Nature You Might Fall in Love

branch of blossoms
With spring time right around the corner, embracing a love for nature and the outdoors is something commonly enjoyed by many. While families may love spending time outside and the activities that come with it, the words “love” and “bug” are typically not associated with one another in a positive context. In all honesty, who really loves bugs? Critters of the creepy, crawly category are not particularly loveable! These small, misunderstood creatures are hardly ever welcome in our personal space, yet play a crucial ecological role. Not only do bugs serve as an excellent source of food for larger animals, but they are critical in the process of pollinating our trees, fruits and veggies.

Insects can be found in almost any habitat, varying in species more than any other animal. We may consider bugs to be pests, it’s important to be aware of the benefits some bugs have to offer from an ecological standpoint. Some ways that bugs are vital to our ecosystem include:

  • Biological control in agriculture
  • Serving as a food source for mammals, fish and other animals
  • Biological control for harmful/dangerous pests
  • Aiding in the decomposition of dead materials, allowing nutrients to be easily absorbed in our soil
  • Pollination by some bugs aids in the production of food for humans
  • Being a direct food source for people in many countries! Insects provide protein, minerals and vitamins

Before you make up your mind one way or another about bugs holding a special place in your heart, let’s be sure you have an informed opinion by taking a closer look at a few bugs that we’d have a tough time living without.

Bees

bees
With over 20,000 known species of bees, it is difficult to imagine a world without them. It is impossible to think of a world without bees as their existence is essential to human life. Aside from producing wax and honey, bees stay busy by having one of the most important jobs on the planet. There are other insects and elements that aid in pollination such as wind, nothing can compare to the pollination power of bees. While bees are consuming pollen, the micro-hairs on their bodies collect pollen and transfer it from plant-to-plant as they fly. It is the pollination process where various fruits, flowers and nuts are formed. Since bees have very species specific feeding habits, plants of similar species enjoy the full pollination benefits of them.

It is the process of pollination that keeps the world’s plants and flowers thriving from generation to generation. Imagine a world without the beauty of flowers — without popular foods like pumpkins, apples, blueberries and cucumbers. Without pollination these would cease to exist.

Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly
The butterfly’s visual appeal and beauty as they flutter from flower to flower is a commonly enjoyed sight. Attracted to fragrant, brightly colored flowers, butterflies are a close second to bees when it comes to pollination and the benefits from it, including the development of plant species.

Simpler in appearance, moths are also considered an important element as they, along with butterflies, are a source of food for other animals, such as birds. Both butterflies and moths create a bodily chemical used to defend themselves against predators. While this chemical may taste bitter to predators, it has proved to be useful for humans, especially for medical reasons. For example, chemicals produced by the Meadow Brown butterfly have help scientists and doctors develop more effective antibiotics.

Ladybugs

ladybug
The bright red exoskeleton coupled with scattered black polka dots is a familiar sight in most gardens. Sometimes referred to as Ladybirds, Ladybugs are natural bodyguards when it comes to the safety and security of a garden. Since they are an effective and organic form of pest control, Ladybugs are used beyond the personal security of a garden. Many species of ladybugs are also used by farmers in the agricultural industry to feed on other insects considered harmful to crops. Ladybugs provide farmers a safer alternative to hazardous chemicals used to keep pests away.

Fruit Flies

Beautiful Fruit Fly
Fruit flies are often cast aside as nothing more than pesky flies that show up when half-eaten fruit is left lying around, however thanks to their frequent breeding habits and genetic makeup, these small insects prove that they are more than meets the eye. For many years, scientists have studied fruit flies and their chromosomes in search of more information regarding genetic variations. As irritating as they are, fruit flies provide valuable data that can be used to understand more on human genetics as they share roughly 75 % of the genes that cause human.

While we may be tempted to simply dismiss all bugs as pests, it is important to show some bugs a little love considering their living habits can be far more beneficial to humans than we may realize at first glance. Our world would be a completely different environment if some of these bugs weren’t around in to regulate our ecosystem and help maintain the world that we have come to know and love.

Clay Soil in Dallas, TX Could Mean Easy Entry for Pests and Termites

Termite
It is well documented that certain areas of both north Texas and Dallas-Fort Worth have long standing issues with housing foundation movement. While there can be numerous factors associated with the “how” and the “why” a home’s foundation shifts over time, the overwhelming cause is a result of soil movement (i.e. contracting and expanding).

Many houses, particularly those in north Texas lie on top of clay soil that interacts with moisture differently than do most other soil types. Clay soil has properties comparable to a sponge, expanding with higher levels of moisture and contracting when less moisture is present. When parts of the foundation move disproportionately to others, the remaining areas of the foundation are under distress. This constant duress over time causes cracks in the foundation that eventually cause cracks in surfaces such as brick and dry wall in and outside the home.

Cracks in a structure’s foundation do not have to create structural issues for them to be a problem. Small cracks in a home’s foundation or walls can grant easy access for common household pests. North Texas and Dallas-Fort Worth residents are no stranger when it comes to pest issues such as ants, cockroaches, beetles, and spiders.

One “silent destroyer” especially prevalent is the termite. Despite the devastating damage they’re capable of causing, termites are roughly only a few millimeters to 1 centimeter in length. The termite’s small size is particularly problematic if there are drywall cracks in your home due to the fact that termite swarms gain entry into your home practically undetected through these small cracks.

Subterranean termites specifically pose a very serious threat when the foundation of your home shifts drastically, considering they enter a home upwards from the ground, making any cracked slabs of concrete or expansion joints a potential infiltration point. A slight crack as narrow as 1/64th of an inch, is enough for termites to squeeze through, especially if that same crack is emitting a source of moisture, which in turn makes plumbing pipes critical areas to monitor.

Truly Nolen’s Total Termite Protection PlanSM is the most comprehensive termite control program in the industry (covering all species of termite), as it is backed by a $1 Million Dollar Guarantee. For more information on scheduling your Free inspection for your Dallas, TX home visit: https://www.trulynolen.com/locations/tx/dallas/dallas.asp#local-termite-control or https://www.trulynolen.com/locations/tx/fort-worth/fort-worth.asp#local-termite-control.

Truly Nolen Pest Control RI & MA #450 Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Truly Nolen Pest Control RI & MA Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Truly Nolen Pest Control RI & MA has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

“We are TRULY excited and honored to have been chosen for the fourth consecutive year to represent the top pest control companies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our focus is always to deliver on what we promise and provide our customers with excellent service and it’s great to see so many customers reach out and take the time to send us their feedback.” Said Sean Crowley, Co-Owner of Truly Nolen Pest Control RI & MA.

“Only about 5 percent of the pest control companies in Massachusetts & Rhode Island have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s  a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

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Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

 

Truly Nolen El Paso Helped Franklin High School Baseball

Branch 70 was lucky enough to be able to help out with the Franklin High School Baseball’s 100 Inning Fund Raiser this year. The branch donated hot dogs, buns, waters, sodas and condiments which were sold to raise the funds for the team to attend the Phoenix Tournament this year, where the players will be exposed to college coaches and have the opportunity to take their game to the next level.

(The picture is of manager Omar Martinez with John Brady, the Franklin Baseball Booster President)


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