Pest Advice Blog

Bee Basics: Bee & Wasp Treatment 101

During the summer time, stinging insects become much more active. Each year some 500,000 people are sent to the hospital due to stings from insects such as yellow jackets, honeybees, paper wasps, and hornets. Bee and wasp stings can cause significant reactions, ranging from pain that is localized to serious or potentially fatal conditions.

In order to keep your family healthy and safe from potential stings, it is important to know everything you can about bees and wasps and how to handle their presence.

What is the Difference Between Wasps and Bees?

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Wasps and bees are often mistaken for one another since both are capable of delivering painful stings. Identifying the difference between wasps and bees is important when it comes to treating stings and identifying infestations in your home or yard. Bees measure around 2.5cm long with hairy bodies while wasps vary in size but have smooth and shiny skin. Most bee colonies can have populations close to 100,000 while wasps have smaller colonies.

What Are the Most Common Bees & Wasps Found in Atlanta?

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In the Atlanta area there are several species of both wasps and bees that residents and their pets may come in contact with. Yellow Jackets is a generic term that is applied to a number of wasp species. The most common species in Georgia that is often referred to as a yellow jacket is Vespula. Yellow jackets build nests out of paper with some nests getting quite large. Nests can be found in hollow trees, attics, roof soffits, and other areas that are not frequented. Yellow jackets will keep their distance from humans unless their nests are disturbed. If you get too close to their nest they will attack in numbers and their stings are quite painful. Paper Wasps build nests out of paper as well but unlike yellow jackets they usually build their nests in exposed areas such as window frames.

honey-bee
Honey bees are a social species that lives within colonies with the queen. Honey bees are only aggressive when they feel their colony is in danger. A honey bee is only capable of administering one sting in its lifetime since their stinger is attached to their intestines. When a honey bee stings it releases a venom that includes pheromones that will alert other bees telling them to attack. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times throughout its life.

How to Treat Stings from Bees and Wasps

If you have been stung by a bee or a wasp, unless you are allergic, there are a few steps you can take at home before seeking medical treatment. Remove the stinger with tweeters or scrape it away using your fingernail – do not pinch the stinger as this can inject more venom. Control swelling to the area by icing it down. If you were stung on your arm or leg, elevate it. For pain, take an over-the-counter painkiller such as ibuprofen. If you’re feeling itchy apply a mixture of baking soda and water or a calamine lotion. Seek emergency care immediately if you’re experiencing shortness of breath, tightness of the throat, abdominal pain, fast heartbeat, or loss of consciousness.

What if I have Wasps or Bee Nests in My Yard?

While you might be tempted to douse chemicals or water on a visible nest in your home, it is best that these infestations be left to professionals. Spraying the nest will cause the pests to go into defensive mode which will trigger aggressive behavior and increase the chances of an attack. A pest professional will take the time to carefully remove the nest and relocate it to a safer location. Bees are very important creatures and if possible their nests should be saved and relocated to an area where they are no longer a nuisance.

For more information about bees and wasps in Atlanta, call your local Truly Nolen Atlanta pest professionals at (678) 561-2847.

Mansfield, OH –Termite & Carpenter Ant Tips for Control

Inside the walls of your home, termites and carpenter ants may be hard at work doing what they do best; destroying any wood they encounter. Though these wood loving insects are not known for making their debut out in the open, homeowners may take notice of certain warning signs and clues that these insects leave behind.

In some cases, many homeowners make the unfortunate discovery that they are sharing their home with carpenter ants or termites. This can lead to a number of questions as to what is the next best course of action. For example, if you have spotted only one or two carpenter ants, should you treat them yourself? Or, when is it really necessary to call in a professional pest control company?

Truly Nolen of Mansfield takes a look at some of the warning signs that homeowners should be aware of, the questions that many homeowners may ask and provides a guide on what to look for in a company.

Carpenter Ant & Termite Warning Signs

Since carpenter ants and termites (also known as “the silent destroyers”) work behind the scenes, it is not uncommon that these insects cause a great deal of damage before the problem is finally discovered by the homeowner. Residents of Mansfield are encouraged to pay attention to clues these insects may leave behind. Spotting the signs of infestation early may mean the difference between a minor issue, and an expensive one.

Termite Warning Signs

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  • Mud tubes – made from wood and soil, subterranean termites are experts at tunneling their way with mud tubs, designed to protect and be a source of transportation between colonies and food sources.
  • Wood damage- although internal wood damage caused by termites goes unnoticed until it has progressed to a more destructive level , keeping an eye on visible areas of the home that are made of wood, can be helpful for early detection. Broken or torn wood is a good indication that termites have been around.
  • Discarded wings- after a termite swarm, swarmers will shed their wings after taking flight, leaving behind small piles.

Carpenter Ant Warning Signs:

Carpenter Ants

  • Unlike termites, carpenter ants chew through wood without eating it. They will always leave a trail of sawdust behind as evidence that they’ve been busy. Homeowners should pay close attention to wooden window sills and doorframes.
  • Carpenter ants are attracted to damp wood. Areas that you may spot carpenter ants are around old door frames, bath tubs, sinks and roofs that have been affected by a leak.
  • Wood piles, decaying tree stumps or logs are also ideal spots for carpenter ants to take up residence and lay their eggs and you may often see a trail of these outside in your yard if the wood piles are present.

Homeowner Q & A

Are annual termite inspections really necessary?

Annual termite and carpenter ant inspections are recommended to help monitor any activity that may be brewing without the homeowner’s knowledge. Truly Nolen’s termite inspections will expose any termite activity and provide homeowners with a plan to eradicate the infestation to help prevent further damage.

Can I treat my home myself?

Nowadays, ‘do it yourself’ products have become more popular and have certainly improved over the years. Everything from store bought chemicals and organic, homemade treatments are all at the homeowner’s disposal. While there are some pest problems that can be relieved solely at the homeowner’s discretion, there are cases where do it yourself treatments can worsen the problem and treatment should be left to a pest professional. Older homes or houses that are in areas that have been known to demonstrate higher pest or termite activity are more likely to be in need of a professional treatment plan. Homeowners should also be aware that if high levels of infestation have been discovered (either by a pest professional or by the homeowner themselves) it is always advisable to have a pest professional assume the responsibility of treating the affected area. Expert knowledge and advanced treatment techniques and products present the best chance against hard to treat pests such as termites and carpenter ants.

Which treatment methods and products are most effective?

After a thorough termite inspection and evaluation of the suspected infestation, your Truly Nolen pest expert can assess and recommend several different treatment options that have been tried and tested, and proven safe and effective by the Truly Nolen team. Treatment will require eliminating the problem at its source. Treatment methods are not a “one size fits all” as many different factors should be considered to target and treat pests in the most efficient way possible.

What should I look for in a pest control company?

The National Pest Management Association outlines key aspects for homeowners when selecting a professional pest control company including:

  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

Benefits of Truly Nolen Mansfield’s Treatment Approach

At Truly Nolen of Mansfield, we focus on treating current infestations with targeted solutions, but also employ preventative treatment measures to help protect your home from future termite or carpenter ant infestations.

Our Sentricon system starts by eliminating the queen and ending the termite food chain in order to kill the entire colony. The process includes use of bait stations. By eliminating the termite infestation at the source, the colony can be controlled and eradicated. Similarly, carpenter ant treatment also includes bait stations and treatment at the source.

Residents of Mansfield can enjoy the benefits of working with their local Truly Nolen for any pest and termite issues including:

  • Satisfaction guaranteed- We work until you are satisfied with your end result.
  • Innovative- Advanced application methods and products are always utilized when treating your home for pests.
  • Convenient- We work to fit your schedule, whether it be for a one-time visit or for on-going treatments
  • Environmentally friendly- Truly Nolen tries to keep things green whenever possible, always keeping the safety of your family and pets in mind.

Call Truly Nolen of Mansfield to schedule your free termite inspection!

Carpenter Ants and Termites: Meet Columbus Ohio’s Wood Destroying Insects

Residents of Columbus, meet your neighborhood wood-destroying insects, otherwise known as Carpenter Ants and Termites. Though small in size, these insects can cause big problems for homeowners if proper inspections are not performed, and infestations are not caught in their early stages. The negative impact of these insects, particularly termites, extends beyond the time and inconvenience caused to the homeowner. Financially, homeowners may have to dig deep into their pockets to cover the costs associated with repairing damage to the structure of the home.

Since both of these insects do their damage behind the scenes, it is important for homeowners to be aware of the potentially destructive habits, so that routine inspections are scheduled and action is taken immediately. Truly Nolen of Columbus provides homeowners with termite and carpenter ant expertise, effective treatment plans and guaranteed service to safely get rid of these wood destroying insects.

What Time of the Year are Carpenter Ants and Termites more active?

Termite and Carpenter Ant activity can occur throughout the year if temperatures are consistent, but during the spring and into the summer months, the warm weather makes it the ideal time for eggs to hatch. This year in particular, Columbus residents are more likely to see an increase in termite and carpenter ant activity due to moderate temperatures last year. Without any noticeable fluctuations in temperature, consistent weather and steady rains provide the ideal environment for ants to produce larger colonies. In addition, mulch and fresh soil are favorable areas for ants to thrive in, and during the spring season, homeowners tend to engage in more landscaping activities.

Identification – Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants are typically brownish black in color and can range in length of ¼” to ½” in size. Their bodies are divided into three segments with their abdomen area bulbous in shape. Most carpenter ants do not have wings, but during late spring, “reproductives” or winged carpenter ants can be seen. Though they seldom bite humans, carpenter ants have powerful jaws that are used to chew and tunnel their way through wood. Unlike termites who actually consume the wood, carpenter ants remove the wood that is blocking their way and leave it behind as they move through. It is this characteristic that will give homeowners clues as trails of sawdust can often be spotted in areas that the carpenter ants are present.

Identification – Termites

Winged Termite
On the rare occasion that homeowners may actually spot termites, they can often be mistaken for flying ants as in the case of “swarmers” or winged termites. Termite workers can be properly identified by their beaded antennae and uniformly shaped bodies. Although these insects keep a low profile, there are some common signs of an infestation that homeowners can be aware of including small piles of discarded wings left near windowsills. In more obvious cases, small to large termite mounds can also be spotted, as well as mud tunnels.

The Truly Nolen Treatment for Columbus Residents

Homes in Ohio are built to showcase the natural beauty of wood through wooden porches, decking and wooden siding. It is these areas, as well as other vulnerable areas like attics and basements that give carpenter ants and termites the perfect opportunity to cause severe damage.

Truly Nolen of Columbus provides homeowners with safe and effective treatment methods for both carpenter ants and termites who may pose a threat to the structural integrity of your home. Being observant to the warning signs can prompt homeowners to call their local Truly Nolen pest expert, however, year round inspection is important to circumvent any potential damage.

For both termites and carpenter ants, your Truly Nolen pest professional will begin by:

  • Performing a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior areas of your home that are prone to wood destroying insects.
  • Accurately identifying possible areas of infestation and assessing damage.
  • Determining the right course of treatment and scheduling an effective treatment plan to be performed.

Treatment plans encompass several steps that work to prevent these insects from entering the home including:

Interior:

  • Treatment of direct infestation
  • Bath traps and plumbing
  • Garage expansion joints
  • Slab cracks/expansion joints

Exterior:

  • Dead tree stumps
  • Landscaping material
  • Wooden fences

Foundation:

  • Spaces or voids in foundational structure
  • Crawlspace and crawlspace pier
  • Liquid treatments are applied in trenches to protect foundations and slabs.

Your Truly Nolen professional will provide a free home inspection and customized treatment plan that will ensure that homeowners in Columbus are protected from the threat of these wood destroying insects. Call to schedule your free inspection and discuss how we can help you keep your home termite and carpenter ant free!

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Pest Free

Are you concerned about keeping your home safe from pests and rodents but aren’t sure how to keep your home pest free? Being proactive in pest prevention is key. By the time you notice a cockroach, a fly, or any other rodent it might be too late. A single rodent or pest is probably a sign of a larger problem lurking in your home. Here are some simple tips that can help you keep your home pest and rodent free this summer and year round.

Commit to Making Seasonal Checks

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During the winter months, rodents and pests take shelter in warmer areas such as sheds or cracks in our home. Small cracks in the foundation of your home can be an invitation for bugs and even squirrels or mice. Once they are in, they can stay for spring, summer and fall as they now have a stable source of food and shelter with no need to go elsewhere.

  • Inspect your home each season and look for cracks where pests and rodents could easily crawl through and repair them.
  • Check your windows and doors as well and seal any edges that might have cracks. This will make your home more energy efficient as well.
  • Remove large piles of leaves and wood debris from your yard as insects and rodents will use these spaces for warmth and shelter. The soil underneath these piles becomes moist and will attract rodents.
  • Store firewood away from your home as well as this will attract ants and rodents.

Deep Clean Your Kitchen

While even a spotless home might still have insect problems, a pest issue is greatly reduced when a kitchen is kept clean.

  • Keep your kitchen sink clear of dirty dishes and your counter free of food.
  • Sweep floors to remove any crumbs that might have fallen during meal prep.
  • Take the trash out regularly.

To pests and rodents your kitchen is a buffet so be diligent about keeping it picked up and clean.

Keep Up the Outdoors

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Trim back the trees and bushes outside of your home. Animals such as squirrels and raccoons will use tree branches to access your roof and make their way into your attic space. Consider hiring a tree trimming service to avoid providing these pests with access to your home. Your recycling bins and garbage cans should be sealed and stored away from the home. If you compost, use a sealed compost container and keep it as far away from your home as possible.

Control Excess Moisture

Water is a magnet for insects and rodents. Stay on top of plumbing leaks, roof leaks, or gutter leaks to keep rodents from being attracted to your home. Overwatering your lawn can also be attractive to rodents.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Consider scheduling seasonal inspections with a pest control company to make sure that your home is secure and pests are staying out of your home. These inspections should include perimeter checks of your home as well as indoor. By doing this you will ensure that no problem is ever too big to fix.

Call your local Truly Nolen Atlanta pest professional to schedule your free pest inspection.

Truly Nolen of Port Richey Displays Collective Act of Kindness

Our service office in Port Richey, Fl had a customer, Ms. Mary Pettit, who lost her husband this past year, while being simultaneously diagnosed with cancer. Wes, her neighborhood service coordinator, noticed Ms. Pettit’s yard getting out of hand and decided to do something about it. A few our team members then teamed up to pluck all of her dead vegetation, remove weeds, trim her plants, and put in some mulch. The look on her face was priceless. Thank you Mary for letting us add value to your life. 


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