Pest Advice Blog

Fall is Here: Lookout for Common Pests This Season

If you’re already noticing a chill in the air and have an intense craving for everything pumpkin, then it’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to the fall season. Though you’ll be glad to be rid of pesky summer pests, the cooler months promise pest problems of their own. Here, Truly Nolen outlines the common types of pests found in the fall months, tell tale signs of what to look out for and pest hot spots in and around your home.


House MouseAs the temperature drops outdoors, you won’t be the only ones happy for the warmth your home provides. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons will also look to find a warm, safe haven for the fall and winter months. Since rodents are one of the bigger pests prone to invading your home this fall, keeping a keen eye out for signs can help you identify a rodent problem before it gets out of hand:

  1. Rodent droppings- black in color and capsule shaped, you may notice these around food and water sources in your home or in attic or basement corners.
  2. Rodents will gnaw on wiring, PVC pipes, ducts, plumbing, and through insulation because they need to constantly wear their teeth down. Rodents will often chew through electrical wiring which can lead to electrical fires. Wires are covered with insulation in order to protect objects nearby from getting overheated. Rodents gnaw through the protective coating often leaving the hot metal exposed. With wires left exposed they often end up shorting out causing a spark, causing nearby objects to ignite.
  3. You may hear a “scratching” sound coming from your roof or attic. This is in fact the chewing noise that rodents make as they are having a field day with that insulation in your attic!
  4. Plumbing or wiring inspections may reveal a rodent problem. If it is brought to your attention that wires have been chewed through, address the wiring and rodent issue immediately.


cockroachAs one of the main perpetrators of the spread of bacteria, pathogens and allergies, roaches are also likely to seek out protection from the cooler weather. Your home is the perfect environment. With access to water, food and shelter inside your home roaches are all too glad to stay close by. Here are some of the typical hot spots for roaches:

  • Cockroach droppings or dark spots may be near small cracks or openings or in corners of rooms. Droppings can also resemble ground pepper on countertops and may give off a “musty” smell.
  • Empty egg cases from female roaches may be left behind.
  • Roaches gravitate to places that are more prone to moisture, such as pipes and faucets found under your sink. Roaches live in groups, so even if you only see one or two, chances are there are many more hiding behind the scenes.


SpiderAlthough intimidating, most spiders that enter your home (such as the common household spider) are not dangerous. Even though the majority of spiders are not dangerous they can be a sign that other pests are present in the home. Here are some of the typical places you might find spiders in your home:

  • Spiders are likely to make their homes in garages and attics, as well as near windows, eaves and doorways.
  • Certain spiders, such as the retreat spider, may also venture through cracks in wood flooring or shelving and in between furniture.
  • Where there are spider webs, there are spiders. Some webs represent the abandoned home from a previous set that may have exhausted its food supply in that particular area.
  • Keeping a close eye out in dark, moist areas such as garages, basements, window wells, and crawl spaces is also a way for homeowners to be aware of any spider activity that may be taking place.

Truly Nolen Treatment Approach

During the winter months, pests will aim to make their way inside your home as a means of protection from the outdoor elements, and to continue their feeding and breeding habits in a more controlled and comfortable environment. Based on this seasonal change in pest behavior and life cycle, Truly Nolen protocols adapt to meet the needs of homeowners looking for safe and effective pest treatment that will prevent and eradicate brewing infestations and eliminate pests inside the home.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative approach to tackling fall and winter pests involves using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly products that work to minimize pest resistance over time. Your Truly Nolen professional will work with you to identify ways pests and rodents may get in your home in the first place. This method is a more proactive approach designed to keep working throughout the year.

Truly Nolen’s Fall Treatment Approach Includes:

  • Botanical aerosols to naturally eliminate pests hiding in closets or cabinets.
  • Removing spider webs from windows, beams and ceilings.
  • Setting of bait stations throughout the home, especially under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Application of powder to treat pests hiding in smaller areas of the home (window and door frames, eaves and fixtures).
  • Placing monitoring stations in specific areas to trap pests.
  • Dust treatment in small crawl spaces and attic.

Through targeted methods and applications, Truly Nolen is able to keep your home pest free this fall and winter, allowing you and your family to enjoy the warmth and comfort of your home without the worrying about pests. Call Truly Nolen today to schedule your free inspection!

Home Invasions on the Rise in Atlanta: Pantry Pests Making Their Way Indoors for Thanksgiving

Fruit fliesThis season, before you gear up for Thanksgiving preparations, think about safeguarding your home from pantry pests that could potentially turn your Thanksgiving feast into a Thanksgiving fiasco. Certain types of moths, and beetles, along with other food insects, can often be found in grains, cereal, nuts, dried fruits and other holiday pantry items. So before you start on your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, take a few minutes to see where your pantry stands on your pest prevention program.

Out of Date, Don’t Remember the Last Time you Used It, Out of Here

Stored foods items, especially those you don’t use a lot, tend to be invitations to pantry pests, who like dark, undisturbed places to breed. So, if you don’t break out the baking skills except to make holiday musts, then chances are you’ve got flour, as well as other grains and possibly nuts from last year’s holiday season in your pantry. To be on the safe side, toss anything not stored properly in metal, glass or heavy plastic. Because insect infestations are more likely to occur in dried food products that have been open for long periods of time, check dried good expiration dates. If you find yourself on the fence about how long you’ve had an item, it’s better to toss it.

Clean Up Your Act

To help safeguard your home against pantry pests, consider pulling everything out of your pantry and vacuum the area, especially cracks and crevices where crumbs can attract insects. Then, as an added precaution, caulk cleaned crevices and cracks, then empty or discard the vacuum cleaner bag. If you suspect you have a pantry pest infestation, do something about it as soon as possible.

What If I Suspect I’ve Been Pantry Hacked?

For starters, what kind of insects am I dealing with, and how did these pesky pests get in my pantry?

The most reported pantry pest is the Indian meal moth, with the saw-toothed grain beetle following close behind. Grain moths, silverfish, centipedes, millipedes, ants, stinkbugs and weevils can also be found.

Indian Meal Moths and Saw-toothed Grain Beetles

Indian Meal MothsAn adult Indian meal moth measures a mere 1/2”, with distinctive beige and copper wings. Cereals, grains and dried dog food make excellent places for the adult female moth to lay her eggs.

Sawtoothed Grain BeetlesThe saw-toothed grain beetle, a flat 1/8” long insect, with a row of teeth just behind its head, is almost as common as the Indian meal moth. They can also be found in the same food sources as Indian meal moths, with the addition of birdseed, chocolate, dried fruits and nuts.

All of these flying and creepy-crawling household pests may be hard to detect as they also hide out in other dried goods including corn and pasta. Some also like dried herbs and spices. Some dried food insects even thrive on plant décor, like dried flowers, gourds and ornamental corn. Equally as attractive to pantry pests are dried garden seeds, birdseed, and potpourri, not to mention rodent baits.

The Bottom Line

While these miniscule food foes are not known to transmit diseases or cause structural damage to your home, according to The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), “Stored product pests can introduce bacteria into foods, and their presence and wastes can spoil the taste of food.” This is not good for your Thanksgiving meal.

Generally, pantry pest infestations occur from dried food products, infected in retail outlets and in homes. Inspect any boxes, bags and plastic containers before purchasing them. Bulk bins should be inspected before purchasing grains, cereals, nuts, spices and dried fruit. Indian meal moths produce silky webbing in food items, and you can detect beetles with a magnifying glass.

Signs of a pantry infestation can include Indian meal moths flying around your house and/or finding small beetles in cabinets and on counters or collecting on windowsills. These are the adult stages of pantry pests.

The good news: You can fight back. Take these steps:

  • Eliminate all open or suspect food products.
  • If you suspect a recently purchased, unopened food item of an infestation, put it in the freezer for at least four days, or until you can return it. Pantry pests don’t do well in extreme cold or heat.
  • Thoroughly clean food storage areas.
  • Vacuum crumbs and wipe loose flour, paying special attention to any cracks or crevices.
  • As an added precaution, caulk any cleaned cracks or crevices.
  • Empty or discard vacuum bag to avoid re-infestation.

Take these additional steps when purchasing and storing food products, in the effort to eliminate pantry pest infestations:

  • Check freshness and expiration dates.
  • Inspect all packages for holes or tears in packaging.
  • Inspect bulk bin items before purchasing.
  • Store all items in metal, glass or heavy plastic containers.
  • Label items with purchase or expiration dates.

Contact a Professional

If a pantry pest issue proves persistent, or if you are not sure your visitors are in fact, pantry pests, consult a professional. Truly Nolen of Atlanta takes care to address all of Atlanta homeowners’ pest problems, season to season. Call 678-561-2847 for a free inspection.

With the Thanksgiving holiday drawing near, the only home invasions Atlanta residents need to be thinking about are those with family and friends, and not those of the pantry pest variety. A proactive approach and a few practical precautions will go a long way towards a happy, healthy Thanksgiving meal, Atlanta style. Enjoy!

Rodent Awareness Week

Be Aware: Rodents want to winter where it’s warm

RatTemperatures are dropping and before Atlanta settles into a chilly winter, pest control professionals suggest that Atlanta residents take some necessary precautions to exclude rats and mice from wintering in their walls, attics and basements. Rodent infestations are on the rise and Atlanta ranks among the top five cities in the US in rodent population problems.

Atlanta: Growing by squeaks and bounds

According to the city’s website, Atlanta continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the US, with a metropolitan population of 5.45 million. It seems that the city of Atlanta’s culture, art and nightlife appeal to college educated young adults, while young at heart baby boomers are moving to Atlanta for the scaled down convenience of art and culture in the city. While rodents aren’t known to be art lovers, they do love the large-scale waste Atlanta generates, as well as the availability of human living spaces to invade in the city and in Atlanta’s far-reaching suburbs.

Contributing to Atlanta’s rising number of rodent infestations are homes abandoned by foreclosure during the Great Recession, plus a succession of relatively mild winters in the past few years. Getting ahead of the rat and mice curve, proactive homeowners will want to know what to do to prevent a rodent infestation, and what to do when they suspect they have one.

The Rub about Rodents: A Few Things to Know

  • Norway rats, house mice and roof rats make up the majority of rodent problems in Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
  • Rodents can squeeze into incredibly small spaces. Mere nickel and quarter-sized spaces are all it takes to allow rats and mice entry into your home.
  • Rats and mice attract disease-carrying insects. Vectors—fleas and tick that feed on rodents’ blood and cockroaches that feast on rodent droppings can spread diseases to humans and pets.
  • Rodents need to gnaw to keep their front teeth in check. They can chew through electrical wiring, causing electrical fires, in addition to causing structural and other property damage.
  • Rats have been known to bite humans when threatened, exposing humans to diseases transferred from insects to rodents.

Put Out the No Vacancy Sign

Excluding rats and mice from your home can be a daunting task. New homes require less attention than older homes. Sealing or caulking entries includes filling in cracks, crevices and holes that are more than a 1/4” in size. Often, the foundations of older homes need to be completely re-sealed to exclude rodents. It is also important to take a look at the items stored outside your house.

  • Clean up any woodpiles around your home and store wood at least 20 feet from your house.
  • Clear your property of any overgrown grass and weedy areas. Rats and mice like to nest in woodpiles and enjoy the camouflage of tall grass and weeds.
  • Trim trees away from your house so branches don’t create convenient bridges for rodents to enter your home

Keep it clean

Mouse In Basement
Not needing a lot to eat, rats and mice enjoy the crumbs you leave on the counters and in your pantry. Although rodents prefer grains, fruits and vegetables, they will easily adapt to dog food if it’s convenient and readily available to them. But not only do rats and mice go for leftovers and spills, they can contaminate food with disease-carrying insects and bacteria from their own droppings.

Remember to keep all food, including pet food and birdseed in tightly sealed metal, glass or heavy plastic containers. True sanitation means not leaving snacks for rodents in your kitchen or pantry, wiping down food prep and dining areas, as well as washing all dirty dishes and sweeping and vacuuming often.

Rats and mice like presents as much as you do. Rodents especially like cardboard and other paper products that you store in a closet or the attic for building and cushioning their nests. Try to resist the temptation to save a lot of cardboard and left-over packing materials. If possible unpack boxes outside to avoid unknowingly escorting critters into your home.

Uh-oh! Do you hear what I hear?

If you hear scratching in your walls, scurrying in your attic or squeaking sounds in your home, it is very likely you have a rodent infestation. Check for tell-tale pellet-shaped droppings in or near food areas and any signs of chewing. A word of caution: Be quick about it. Rodent populations grow at alarming rates.

Seeking Professional Help

Contact a pest control professional as soon as you detect a rat or mice problem. You’ll want to nip it in the bud before it becomes a full-blown infestation. Rodent infestations take anywhere from days to weeks to conquer and eradicate. Get in touch with Truly Nolen Atlanta at 678-561-2847 for a free inspection immediately.

Truly Nolen’s highly trained technicians will determine whether or not you have a rodent issue. After identifying the culprits, skilled pest control professionals will devise a plan of action tailored to your particular home, keeping your individual needs in mind.

Keeping Mice out of Your Charlotte Home

Mouse In KitchenOver the last few weeks there has been a noticeable change in the weather in Charlotte. Fall has arrived and with that means shorter days, pumpkin flavored desserts, and preparing our homes for winter. Rodents have noticed the change in the weather as well. During the cooler months, field mice will search for warm locations that can provide access to food and water. Unfortunately, this usually means your home and once they arrive, they make themselves comfortable. They eat food left on the counter, chew the trim on the walls, tear up insulation, and possibly cause electrical damage.

There are many steps you can take to prevent mice and the snakes that chase after them from finding their way into your home. Here are some tips to keep your home rodent free this fall.

Stop Feeding Them

Your home is full of food sources for rodents. Leftovers, dirty dishes in the sink, loosely sealed items in the pantry, and even your pet’s food bowl are all scrumptious meals for mice. Before you go to bed, spend some time wiping down the counters, putting away leftovers, and cleaning up the dishes.

Seal Them Out

mouseWhile small cracks in your homes foundation might appear too small for a mouse to crawl through, anything larger than a quarter is the right size for a mouse to squeeze through. Take a walk around your home and check for cracks in the foundation, gaps in doors or window frames, or missing screens on crawl spaces or vents. Fill holes with caulk or cover them with wire mesh to remove an access point.

Check your basement, attics, and crawl spaces to make sure they are sealed and dry. Also, make sure any blankets, rugs, or coats that are stored in these areas are in bags or plastic bins.

Keep It Clean

Secure the trash cans both in your home and outside with a lid. Mice are scavengers who will seek out any food source possible. If possible, keep your garbage cans in your garage rather than outside. Having them inside provides one more obstacle between the mice and the food source.

During the holiday months, our homes are a location to enjoy our families and loved ones. Don’t let pesky field mice invade your space. If you notice mice in your home this winter, contact Truly Nolen of Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for an inspection. Our certified technicians will work with you to evict the mice and return your home to the tranquil place you know and love.

Team 094 Provided Halloween Cheer for Kids at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

A wonderful day adding value and touching the lives of our local Tampa community on Wednesday, October 28. Team 094 delivered smiles and decorated pumpkins with the children at BayCare Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital as part of our second #TRULYSpooktacular for October. This was one of four similar events we did across the country for Halloween 2015!

Jeepers Creepers: What’s Creeping in Atlanta, GA this Halloween

In terms of both number of species and number of individuals, insects are a dominant form of life on Earth. With somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 insect known species, that’s more than all other animals combined! For every human, there are approximately 1.5 billion bugs! But some of these insects are so horrifying, just one is too many. This Halloween, Truly Nolen Atlanta brings you an array of terrifying insects, some in far-away and exotic locales and some that may be right in your own Atlanta neighborhood, skittering across your front lawn, up the steps of your home right now.

Palmetto Bugs: Call Them What You Want, They’re Flying Cockroaches

Up close and personal to Atlanta and most of the southeastern US, the American cockroach goes by many names, including palmetto bug, water bug, and flying water bug. Georgia residents can tell many tales of giant flying cockroaches that won’t hesitate to drop out of a tree onto your noggin, run right across your feet or fly right at you. Some experts say that these larger than life creepy-crawlers fly at people, mistaking them for trees, but some southerners will swear that these aerial nightmares have chased them around their homes, stalking them. Creepy! Slight differences exist between species of American cockroaches.

Africanized Honeybees: Bad News Bees

Africanized Honey Bee
In the mid-1950s, twenty-six African honeybee queens imported to Brazil escaped with swarms of local worker bees from an experimental facility near San Paulo. This established renegade colonies of Africanized bees in Central America, Mexico and Texas.

Africanized honeybees don’t look a lot different than European honeybees, but they have killed some 1,000 people since their escape in 1957 and they sting ten times more per victim than European bees. More aggressive than your average honeybee, Africanized bees are more easily provoked, attack in larger groups at ten times the speed of European bees and can chase humans as far as a half mile. Don’t even try to outrun them!

Bullet Ants: Shoot Me Now

Looking like a 1.5″ long chunky, wingless wasp, if that’s not enough cause for alarm, the bullet ant’s sting ranks highest on the Schmidt pain index and has been likened to being shot with a gun. The bullet ant’s venom can cause victims intense, throbbing, burning, relentless pain for up to 24 hours with possible uncontrollable shaking for days afterwards. Yikes!

Some Brazilian tribes sew bullet ants into gloves that are then placed on the hands of boys as part of their warrior rites of initiation. To complete the initiation, warriors must wear the gloves for a full ten minutes!

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach: From Hollywood Star to Household Pet

Like Will Smith said, “Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing,” taunting a giant, interstellar cockroach in the 1997 film, Men in Black, as he squished the bug monster’s relatives. Those guys, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, popular in Hollywood films for their creep factor are actually so easy to handle they are sold as pets and worn as living jewelry. As one of the world’s largest cockroaches, hissers, measuring 2″ to 3″ are fortunately, wingless, unlike other cockroaches we know. They make excellent climbers, able to scale smooth glass.

Madagascar hissers are found only on the forest floor of the island of their namesake, off the coast of Africa. Some twenty known species of hissing cockroaches share this remote island. So, except for the 1000s living here as pets or working as live jewelry or making you squirm in movies, you’re perfectly safe.

Japanese Giant Hornet: Move Over Mothra

Japanese Giant Hornet
Japanese giant hornets are about 2″ long with a .25″ stinger and venom that not only dissolves flesh but attacks the nervous system. These hornets can even fly 25 miles per hour in a 60 mile range. Relax, Atlanta, these ferocious buzzing beasts live in Asia. Seriously aggressive and fearless, Japanese giant hornets massacre European honeybees, attacking their hives and chopping their heads off with their powerful mandibles. They then ravage the dismembered bees, lapping up their honey and slicing their thoraxes into bite-size pieces to feed to their young.

Jewel Wasp: Diabolic Perfection

Chrysis - Ruby-tailed Wasp
Equally terrorizing, the jewel wasp, a.k.a., the emerald cockroach wasp has a more sinister plan. Can’t stand roaches, Atlanta? In a diabolically brilliant process the jewel wasp preys on roaches to feed to her young. First, she partially paralyzes her victim. Next she injects venom directly into the roach’s brain blocking neurotransmitters that leave the roach alive, but just enough to be tasty. Dragging her zombie-like victim into her underground lair, the jewel wasp lays an egg in the roach’s abdomen. When the egg hatches, the larval wasp eats the live cockroach’s insides. In eight days, the roach finally dies.

Giant Isopod: Pill Bug From the Deep

Lurking in the deep waters off the coast of Georgia, the giant isopod, one of almost twenty species of large isopods are distant relatives of shrimp, but look more like their other cousin, the woodlouse. As excellent examples of deep-sea gigantism, these segmented monsters can weigh almost 4 lbs. and measure 14″ in length. And, they can, like some woodlice curl up in a ball as a defense mechanism. They prefer the cold, gloomy, pitch-black deep, where they act as deep-sea scavengers.

Mexican Red Rump Tarantula: Cuddly Pets

The Mexican red rump tarantula has a 5″ leg span, a furry red abdomen and the ability to overpower small lizards and rodents. Able to break human skin by biting, most tarantulas prefer the more passive aggressive practice of flicking skin and respiratory irritants called urticating hairs at you, to actual full on confrontations with humans. Found mostly in Mexico, the red rump tarantula has been seen as far south as Belize, the Yucatan, El Salvador, and Guatemala. In 1996, the red rump tarantula was discovered in the wild in St. Lucie County, Florida.

Tarantula Hawk Wasp: Just Lie Down and Start Screaming

As non-aggressive and skittish as tarantulas can be, their predators, tarantula hawk wasps, are equipped with a powerful and painful sting, second only to that of the bullet ant. The pain lasts only three minutes but is described as so intensely electric that, according to invertebrate experts in a peer-reviewed journal, the only recourse after a human gets stung by a tarantula hawk wasp is to just lie down and start screaming. Because not many people are able to function mentally or physically after getting stung and they might just go off and injure themselves, this is the best advice.

Lucky for you, Atlanta residents, except for some of these gigantic, bizarre, dangerous flying, wild things sold in pet stores or gracing Fernbank Science Center exhibits, most of these creepy crawlers aren’t very likely to jump out and scare you to pieces this Halloween. Or will they? Jeepers Creepers! If they do, contact your Truly Nolen Atlanta pest control professionals today at 678-561-2847. Happy Halloween!

Stored Food Pests: What’s Lurking in your Food & Pantry?

You may have unwanted visitors this fall. These visitors are nibbling on your food, multiplying, and slowly taking over your home. They’re known as pantry pests.   These pesky insects can be hidden from view for quite some time in your pantry and in your food. The dried foods they often infest include flour, cereal, pasta, baking mixes, grain products, cookies, crackers, powdered milk, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, popcorn, spices, pet food and cured meats.

Eventually, these pests get really comfortable and decide to let their presence be known. Some will chew their way out through paper, plastic and foil storage bags, and expand their living quarters by accumulating in pots, pans, and dishes. They may even take a stroll along your windowsills or fly right by you as they roam the interiors of your home.

Common types of pantry pests

Your most common pantry pests are certain types of beetles and moths. Four types of pantry pests that frequently appear include:

  • Anobiidae BeetlesAnobiidae Beetles, specifically the “Drugstore Beetle” and “Cigarette Beetle” species: Their nicknames should give you a clue about their preferred food choices. They have curved, reddish brown, oval shaped bodies that can even bore into wood. They will eat up every dry food in your pantry as well as your pet’s food. They will show up in your kids’ macaroni art, attic, pet food storage, garage, or utility room. They are strong flyers, and since they seek light, you’ll find them along your windowsills.
  • Dermestid BeetlesDermestid Beetles: If you come across cast-off skins with tiny little hairs or larvae that’s a bit fury, you’ve got them. The black and rust or solid black-colored species show up in the pantry, kitchen, garage, or utility room. These beetles eat anything that’s organic.
  • Flour Beetles: These are usually reddish brown in color, and they’re not necessarily great flyers, you’ll likely find them crawling around in your flour.
  • Indian Meal MothsIndian Meal Moths: You’ll know them by their webbing and cocoons. They have pale gray, reddish brown and coppery wings. They eat everything and their larvae are found in cracks and crevices.

Since you didn’t invite them in, you may be wondering how these insects ended up in your home. Well, some have traveled a long way. They may have hitched a ride inside or on top of your food product as it was transferred from the food processing plant to your home. They could have crept into the food package through its folds and seams as it sat on the store shelf. Some grain-loving insects clung on for dear life when the grain was plucked from the plant. However, one thing to keep in mind is that these insects don’t like to be alone. They will reproduce, especially in food products that are left undisturbed on the shelf, and thrive for months.

Government limits for insect parts and rodent hair

Believe it or not, the Food and Drug Administration lets insect particles and rodent hair enter food, but the amount is miniscule and poses no health hazards. Some defects in food are unavoidable. The FDA sets extremely low limits, but it does happen.

How you can secure food products

Don’t let a pantry pest infestation surge. You can cut the length of their stay. Here are five tips we suggest for protecting your pantries from these types of pests:

  1. When you’re purchasing grain-based foods at the store, take a moment to inspect the food packaging for any insect activity.
  2. Keep foods in a tightly closed containers, but also determine which pantry foods can survive in the freezer or refrigerator if possible especially if you have experienced a recent infestation.
  3. Make it a habit to use older foods first and don’t let them stay in your pantry for longer than two months. Remember to stock your food pantry first in, first out.
  4. Wiping down or vacuuming the pantry shelves as part of your weekly cleaning routine is key to keeping pantry pests out. This way you can keep an eye out for any unusual activity, clean out food spills, discard infested food products and paper etc. Wipe down any crumbs and food particles that may have built up in the shelves.
  5. Use caulking to seal the cracks along the cupboards and pantry shelving to prevent easy access into cupboards and pantries.

How to Survive a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed Bugs On the Rise: Be Proactive

Bed Bug
As the Southeast’s major commercial, economic and tourist hub, Atlanta hosts hundreds of thousands of business and leisure visitors each year. With this many visitors, who can wonder that bed bug infestations in Atlanta continue be on the rise? Atlanta residents can also take precautions when traveling to avoid unwittingly returning home with bed bugs in tow. Some of these precautions include washing and drying everything in your luggage with hot water and a high temperature drying cycle. Taking an extra precaution to vacuum your luggage is also advisable, especially if you suspect any bed bug activity. If there are signs of a bed bug infestation in your Atlanta home, consulting a professional pest control company is the best form of action.

Bed Bugs: Information and Habits

Even though bed bugs pose no threat of disease to Atlanta residents, their bites can cause ongoing physical discomfort to their human hosts, as well as creating anxiety and psychological mayhem, leading to sleep disorders and sleep deprivation that can ultimately lead to health issues and disease.

  • Flat, oval, reddish brown insects, about .5″ in length, bed bugs, engorged with blood, grow to the size of a small droplet of blood.
  • Nocturnal and fast-moving, bed bugs feed on blood, preferably human.
  • Attracted by warm bodies at rest and exhaled carbon dioxide, bed bugs come out of hiding at night and feast on their human hosts before returning to their hiding places, in mattresses, in upholstered headboards, in cracks and crevices and on curtains.
  • As their numbers increase, bed bugs can spread to furniture, artwork and walls: any object that they can cling to.
  • The first signs of a bed bug issue usually manifests in small, itchy welts on the head, neck and upper extremities.

Bed Bug Infestation: What To Do

Okay, so it’s undeniable, you’ve got bed bugs. Do not panic. Your first two impulses might be to throw away all bedding, beds and other affected furniture, and move out immediately. But, just hold on! Removing infested items may spread bed bugs to other parts of your home, making them harder to eliminate. Even worse, retreating to your relatives’ and friends’ homes could bring bed bugs into their homes. The best line of defense for Atlanta homeowners is to contact a pest control professional immediately.

What You Can Do: Before Your Inspector Arrives

Even before your licensed inspector arrives, you can take some initial steps towards prepping your home for treatment.

  • Launder all bedding, clothes and other washable items, like curtains, that can endure high temperature drying.
  • Non-washable items like shoes, some handbags, backpacks and stuffed animals can be placed in clothes dryers for at least one half hour, on the highest heat setting to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Lose the clutter. Bed bugs love clutter because it makes great hiding places and is difficult to treat. Eliminating clutter around and under beds has proven to be a crucial key to getting rid of bed bugs.
  • Don’t change where you sleep. Fight the inclination to sleep in a different room or on the sofa in another room, or at relatives’ or friends’ houses. Sleeping in different places increases the potential of spreading bed bugs to the other areas of your home and even worse to your friends’ and relatives’ homes as well.
  • Vacuum all carpeting in affected area. Place vacuum cleaner bags in plastic bags, cinched tight and dispose of them in an outside container or dumpster.

Treating Bed Bug Infestations

After your Atlanta pest control inspector verifies a bed bug infestation, skilled technicians apply a high pressure misting system that drives control components into seams and cracks where bed bugs hide.

All mattresses and box springs are treated, along with any window treatments and upholstered furniture. Removing hardware and drawers in dressers, clothing chests, nightstands and armoires can ensure as many bed bugs as possible are exposed to treatments.

Heat treatments may be required for some upholstered furniture. Additionally, attention is paid to places where carpeting meets baseboards or wall surfaces, doorframes and crown moldings, at wall abutments and ceiling surfaces. Trained technicians inject material into each wall void to eliminate hidden bed bugs and their eggs.

Technicians treat artwork and moisture sensitive items, by enclosing them in plastic bags and emitting a one-second blast into the bag. Contents remain sealed in the bag for up to a week to allow treatment to eradicate any bed bugs.

Encasement Systems Work

In order to protect and prevent future re-infestations in central Georgia homes, pest control experts recommend installing encasement systems for mattresses and box springs to seal out any future bed bugs, while sealing in existing bed bugs, that will die in a few weeks. Encasement systems offer cost-effective alternatives to buying new beds, and future bed bugs are easy to spot on the slick outer surfaces of encasements. For encasement systems to succeed, take care to purchase bed bug specific encasements. Inspect the zipper to make sure the zipper fully closes.

Unless you are just looking for a good excuse to purchase a new bedroom suite, encasement systems offer cost-effective alternatives to buying new beds and coordinating pieces.

Out of the Woods: Monitoring and Prevention

After ten days, treated areas must be inspected. Skilled technicians will thoroughly inspect, monitor and perform appropriate control actions that will address any signs of bed bug activity.

Surviving a bed bug infestation is no joke. Even with a professional’s most diligent and thorough techniques, a bed bug re-infestation can occur, as bed bugs can still enter Fulton County homes through guests’ clothing and luggage or your college student’s laptop or backpack.

Controlling bed bugs can be a daunting and frustrating task filled with tedious challenges. There’s no quick fix. Contacting a professional takes a huge load off homeowners in the Atlanta area, as DIY treatments rarely work and professionals, like Truly Nolen Atlanta can contain and exclude bed bugs through a proven step-by-step process that prevents bed bug eggs from hatching and works to control adult bed bugs.

Working towards prevention of future infestations, Atlanta homeowners are advised to wash and heat dry bedding often, vacuum often and eliminate clutter in your homes. Also, before traveling, research the Bed Bug registry site at before you book a hotel room.

Truly Nolen Atlanta

Bed bug infestations are difficult, but not impossible to conquer. Truly Nolen Atlanta’s bed bug control program will provide a solution for treatment and prevention. Highly trained technicians will determine the extent of your bed bug infestation and devise a plan to eliminate bed bugs from your property as well as educate you and your family on ways to monitor and prevent further infestations. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, call Truly Nolen Atlanta today at 678-561-2847. Sleep tight!

Invasion of the Termites: Charlotte

At any given time, there are more termites in Charlotte than there are people. Charlotte’s Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Zone rating is high and the city is dealing with a massive termite invasion. Particular construction methods commonly utilized in the region increase the vulnerability of residential homes and may be adding to Charlotte’s termite problem.

The TIP Zones

What’s a TIP Zone? A TIP Zone is based on calculations and studies from the US Forest Service. TIP Zones are used to calculate the potential for termite damage in a geographical area and to determine what is needed to protect homes. The International Code Council uses this zone information to figure out code requirements for the prevention of termites. TIP Zone information is also used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create mortgage loan underwriting requirements.

Charlotte is located in TIP Zone #2, which means that its termite population is moderate to heavy, and thus, a significant issue for homeowners. This is a huge concern, considering that termites cause over $5 billion in damage to homes and businesses every year, according to the National Pest Management Association. This is more than fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes combined. Additionally, there are a certain types of Charlotte construction that make this area uniquely vulnerable to termites.
TIP Zone

Termite Prone Types of Charlotte Construction

There are certain kinds of home construction found in Charlotte that are prone to termite issues, and because of Charlotte’s high TIP Zone rating, more termite control measures are required in the building codes.

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, there are several types of construction concerns found in Charlotte homes. One concern is the concrete slab, which rests on soil (LINK: Usually, over time, a slab will slowly move away from the foundation wall. This allows termites to infest the above wooden structure. In general, concrete slabs give the termite population many places through which to enter the home, such as through plumbing outlets or construction joints. In cases like these, the soil surrounding the slab must be treated for termites.

Homes with a crawl space are also particularly vulnerable to termite pressure. If the foundational voids and spaces are found close to known termite activity, they must be treated accordingly. The side walls of porches that are within three feet of structural wood or a foundation wall must also be treated or drilled. (LINK:

Before purchasing a home, it is a good idea to have a termite inspection. If you already own a home, taking preventative measures is essential. These precautionary measures can save you money in the future. Call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection.

Subterranean Termites- The Danger Underground

Subterranean termites cause billions of dollars of damage annually and are notorious for their destructive habits. Termites, aid in breaking down cellulose substances (cellulose is what wood is made of) in the environment, turning them into nutrient rich material. This behavior makes them a homeowner’s worst nightmare.
Termite Damage
Subterranean termites are social insects forming large colonies that move together. As the name implies a ‘subterranean’ termites’ home is underground, working and winding their way through the soil. It is important for homeowners to be aware of the differences in behavioral characteristics of subterranean termites versus other types of wood destroying organisms (other creatures can damage the structure). Familiarizing yourself with these traits can prove to be helpful in identifying signs of a possible infestation, as well as knowing what to look out for and where.

Your local Truly Nolen expert can provide a free termite inspection to help you identify the type of termite that may be posing a threat to your home, as well as diagnose the level of activity present. Accurate identification of possible entry points, from the exterior leading into the interior of your home is critical. Seeking out and determining how termites are entering your home, provides a good foundation on which your Truly Nolen termite control professional customizes an effective treatment plan for your home.

Knock Knock. Who’s There? Termites!

Termites do not discriminate against home construction type and will eventually find their way inside any type of structure if the right conditions exist. Even homes constructed of concrete provide no match for a termite’s determination when attempting to invade your home. Although subterranean termites live below the soil, their tunneling capabilities allow them to weave and tunnel their way until they find an appropriate entry point.

So how exactly do subterranean termites enter a home?

  1. Mud Tunnels → Although the common way of entering the home is at ground level, subterranean termites also construct mud tunnels that allow them to reach entry points above the ground. These entry points can include even the smallest cracks and crevices in brick mortar and concrete slabs, (termites only need 1/64th of an inch) allowing them to travel through the interior of the foundational walls. The mud tunnels will usually be visible on exterior walls.
  2. Wood-to-Ground → Structures that allow for wood-to-ground contact make the perfect roadway for termites to enter. Wooden support beams and posts, wooden decking and steps, doorframes and more all provide ample opportunities for subterranean termites to find their way indoors. Additional wooden structures built onto the homes also provide possible entry points as homes built on concrete slabs are closer to the ground.
  3. Expansion joints → In-between the concrete slabs of your home and the beginning of the brick and mortar, there are joints that may sometimes expand, allowing for a small enough gap to allow termites to enter. In fact many expansion joints are often separated by a type of cork material, termites have no problem moving through these.
  4. Wall fractures → small fractures in the concrete foundation or brick mortar running throughout the perimeter of your home also provide the ideal entry point for termites to enter, feeding off of the insulation and wooden framing on the interior of those walls.

The True way to Truly Get Rid of All Types of Termites

Unlike other pest control companies, Truly Nolen’s termite treatment application methods extend beyond the conventional. Our termite control professionals go the extra mile to treating concrete slabs, as well as the perimeter of your home.
Above ground termite treatment floor plan
Below ground termite treatment floor plan
The areas that are left untouched by most other pest control companies include: Crawlspace foundation, crawlspace pier and foundation voids. Truly Nolen leaves no space unturned; our Total Termite Protection “TTP” plan incorporates all areas that are potential entry points for termites with exterior slab and concrete application methods such as:

  • Thin-walled, light weight stainless steel rod injections systems that do not disturb the integrity of the slab, yet delivers an effective treatment application. The multi-directional tip of the injection rods ensure that a 360 degree coverage area and improves the flow and reach of the treatment product.
  • Liquid treatments that ensure slabs and foundations are also protected, as well as the nearby soil where termites are known to flourish.

Truly Nolen provides a complete and thorough treatment for all termites not just subterranean termites with one of the best guarantees in the business. Call us today to schedule your free termite inspection and let our experts inspect, identify, treat and monitor your home to keep it termite free!

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