Pest Advice Blog

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!

Powerful Pests: Know the Difference – Carpenter Ants and Termites

At first glance it may seem that Atlanta termites and carpenter ants have no discernable contrasts, but in fact, these swarming pests have several differences.


Carpenter antTermite white ant isolated

Carpenter ants are large in size, approximately 3.4 to 13 mm long and range in color from yellowish to black. Carpenter ants look different from termites: whereas termites have straight antennae, carpenter ant antennae looks slightly bent. The carpenter ant has a narrow waist while the termite’s body is more solidly rectangular. The four wings on a carpenter ant are all of equal size; termites also have four wings, but there the similarity ends. The termite’s front wings are longer than the two wings in the back. While termite workers are often a light color, carpenter ant workers are often red or dark. They can also be clearly visible where as termite workers are often transparent.


Carpenter ants create communities inside moist or rotten wood, while termites will damage healthy wood. Carpenter ants also live in any wooden structure that connects to the ground, such as telephone poles. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually feed on wood. Instead, they burrow through the wood itself, digging tunnels to make a home. Overall, the termites’ mud tunnels are not as complete or neat looking as the tunnels of the carpenter ants.

A possible sign of a carpenter ant infestation is sawdust on the ground nearby burrow openings in the wood. Termites, on the other hand, will actively eat their way through wood. Signs of a termite infestation include finding wings by the termite-infested area.

Possible Damage and Treatment

Termite Damage
Termites can cause major structural problems, an estimated 5 billion dollars in damage each year. Because termites can do so much damage, it’s always a good idea to be proactive and immediately contact pest control professionals if you suspect a termite issue.
Carpenter Ant Damage
What about carpenter ants? The main carpenter nest is often outside of the house, so experts recommend using insecticide bait and sealing all possible entries through which carpenter ants could get in. Are carpenter ant infestations as severe as termite infestations? Not necessarily, but as carpenter ant colonies expand in size, they can cause major damage over time. While there are some ways to manage carpenter ants by yourself, it’s recommended to call professionals.

There are many differences between carpenter ants and termites, ranging from behavior and appearance to types of damage. Not sure if you have termites or carpenter ants? Call Truly Nolen Atlanta at 678-561-2847 for an inspection.

Back to School: Charlotte’s Most Common Pests

The kids are back to school and it’s time for the parents to go back to school too! It’s important for parents to learn about some of the most common kinds of pests found in Charlotte.


Carpenter AntsThese tiny pests often infest woodpiles and trees in the outdoors. While many kinds of ants are prevalent, fire ants are one of the most common ant species found in North Carolina. As of 2010, they were found in 71% of NC counties. They range from 3-6 mm long and are far more aggressive than black ants or ghost ants. When they are disturbed, fire ants can lash out by biting their perpetrators. Fire ant bites can swell up and cause itching, pain, and even allergic reactions. They are at their worst during hotter weather and are fairly adaptable. Fire ants are attracted to trash, so it is important to keep the area around trash cans free from debris and prune back any trees or greenery around your home so that fire ants can’t use branches as a way to invade your home. An old wives’ tale recommends pouring grits or hot water over the ant mound, but these methods are questionable: call a pest control professional for best results.


CockroachCharlotte makes a cozy home for roaches, whether it is a large, flying American roach (also known as a palmetto bug), a wood roach, or any other kind of roach. While the habits of individual roach subtypes greatly vary, you can find most roaches by looking for droppings that seem similar to coffee grinds. Roaches can cause breathing issues or allergies. They are most active at night and are drawn towards heat as well as damp areas. As roaches are drawn to damp areas, be sure to repair any holes or gaps around water pipes, doors, or baseboards and dispose of trash, leaves, and paper debris. Be sure to store food carefully and clean the kitchen after use.


RodentWhen you think of mice, you probably think of Mickey Mouse. Well, think again; not every mouse or rat is as harmless as the Disney mascot. Mice and rats breed year round, carry diseases and harmful organisms such as Salmonella. They damage property, and chew through food packages or insulation. Do you have rodents? Look for mice and rat droppings or household cats exhibiting stalking behavior. Be careful to immediately clean any droppings: breathing air associated with their waste can cause illness. Try rodent proofing your HVAC system and make sure that all food is carefully stored. Install foundation vent screens, seal all cracks in the property, and remove outside brush clutter away from your home.


subterranean termitesAmong the most common pests found in Charlotte are termites. Termites have been known to cause an annual $5 billion dollars in damage in the U.S. Catching them early can save you thousands of dollars, as many home insurance policies do NOT cover termite issues. Termites are most active in the spring and summer months. Subterranean termites use moisture from the soil to survive and then build “mud tunnels” to reach their food, while drywood termites live inside dry wood and can easily spread. Look for tiny wings (or in the case of subterranean termites, “mud tunnels” along a surface) near a possible entry point or termite droppings. Does your wood sound hollow when tapped or do your wooden surfaces appear to be puckered or damaged? Then termites may be the cause. Keep A/C units and areas clean, and direct water away from your home, as some termites are attracted to moisture.

Termites, ants, roaches, and rodents are some of the most common pests in Charlotte. To prevent these pests from choosing your home, keep inside areas clean of food debris and water issues, and keep outside areas clear of tree branches and other plants that may act as bridges to the pests. Don’t share your Charlotte home with pests, call Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for an inspection.

What’s the Buzz, Atlanta?

Yes, bugs can be creepy and crawly, but bugs are an important part of life. From food to flowers, from bug myths to bug snacks, here’s the “buzz” on Atlanta’s bugs!

Beneficial Bugs

How do bugs help the environment? Do they improve our lives? There are many ways that bugs are beneficial to the environment – and to us. First of all, they’re a food source around the world. Bugs have had a huge influence on the economic world as they have created valuable products: most silk comes from silkworms, for example. Bugs of all kinds have a unique responsibility: they keep nature in balance in many ways, including by breaking down and disposing of dead animals and plants.

Debunking Myths

Bed Bug
A common myth about bed bugs is that only dirty homes attract the little critters. Not so; bed bugs are attracted to clean homes as well as homes that are more cluttered. They’re attracted to your body heat, blood, and the air you breathe. In contrast to their name, bed bugs don’t just make their homes in beds: they can be found in chairs and couches, as well as stuffed toys. Similarly, love bugs – those tiny, flying couples that show up on your windshield in spring and summer – weren’t created by an accidental experiment from the University of Florida. And you know that gross old wives’ tale that we accidentally swallow several spiders a year as we sleep? There’s no truth to that, so open-mouthed sleepers can breathe a (spider-free!) sigh of relief.

Brunching Bugs

What do bugs eat? Bed bugs, one of the top bugs in Atlanta, can live for most of the year without a meal, just about ten months, according to sources. (But if they come to your house to eat, give us a call!) While some bugs can only eat specific plants, others enjoy devouring a variety of plants, flowers, and even decaying creatures.

Edible Bugs

In many parts of Southeast Asia, spiders and ants are snacks. According to sources, there are almost 2,000 edible bugs – and that’s a good thing. They’re high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. A handful of American companies –many based in California- are slowly introducing bugs into the food market as an alternative protein source.

Bug Homes

Almost 100% of bug “homes” are found on land. However, some such as dragonflies live in water until they’re adults; once they reach maturity, they fly away. Insects live pretty much everywhere on the earth’s surface.

Communicating Critters

Conversation of antsBugs communicate in a variety of ways. Like us, they can communicate through touch and visual signal – and because many insects can’t see very well, they rely on other ways to communicate. Many insects “talk” through their antennae or through sound. Some insects, such as fireflies, signal the start of the mating process by flashing light at each other; some butterflies use colors of their wings to find a mate, while others “talk” through pheromones to find a mate or even to send out warning signals.

Bugs are an important part of our environment. They provide beauty and even food, all while keeping nature in balance. However not all bugs are welcome, Truly Nolen Atlanta can help you decipher between the two, call 678-561-2847 for an inspection.

The Termite Revolution

Termites are staging a revolution in Atlanta. For the second year in a row, according to sources, Atlanta is in the top ten of the nation’s ranking of termite-infested cities, coming in at number eight in a recent list. That’s up only slightly from Atlanta’s 2013 ranking as the nation’s number one.

Why Termites Spell Trouble

Although termites are tiny, their damage is vast. Termites are one of the biggest contributors to home destruction every year – and that amount continues to skyrocket. U.S. homeowners spend an estimated $5 billion dollars a year to fight back against termites, and all too often, homeowners won’t usually realize there’s a termite problem until considerable damage has been done ( According to sources, Georgia homeowners are spending over $200 million dollars annually to combat these destructive critters. As most Georgia homeowner’s insurances don’t cover termite damage, preventing termite infestations with annual inspections is crucial to the safety of your home.

Subterranean Termites and…Possible Rise of the Super Termites?

subterranean termites
While other kinds of termites may cause considerable issues to Atlanta homes, the eastern subterranean termite is one of the most problematic termites. As their name suggests, subterranean termites need moisture from the soil to survive, and they do so by creating underground communities that build moisture tubes leading from their safe underground haven to a lucrative food source – your home, woodpile, or nearby trees on your property. Subterranean termites are the cause of major structural damage, and their colonies are huge, home to several hundred thousand termites – which may cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and structural issues.

Another concern is the possible rise of what some news outlets are calling the “super termite” – and no, we’re not making that up. The “super termite” is a hybrid species of termite that may prove twice as structurally and financially devastating as its predecessor. While this possibility is an extreme example, it illustrates the potential adverse effects of a hybrid termite and shows the intense need to manage existing infestations.

Fighting Back Against Termites

Take steps to prevent termite infestation by trimming trees and shrubs so that branches or wood do not touch the structure. As termites are attracted to wood, move any debris or firewood a safe distance away from the house, minimizing any contact that wood has with the soil around your home. Termites are also attracted to moisture, so use downspouts or gutters to prevent water from collecting near the foundation of your home. Termites of all kinds can slip through the cracks of a home, so seal any small openings with grout or cement. Are wooden structures blistering or exhibiting dark patches? Is there evidence of mud tunneling? These may be signs of an active infestation.

Clearly, termites in Atlanta are a major problem. Termites can cause thousands upon thousands of dollars in structural damage, so homeowners would be well advised to contact professional exterminators in addition to following these preventative tips. Considering that most home insurance policies don’t protect against these destructive critters, the most efficient way to protect your property and peace of mind is to employ a trusted and experienced pest control company. Truly Nolen Atlanta can safeguard your home from termites, call 678-561-2847 for a termite inspection.

Flying Ants in Tucson, Arizona

Reports flooded in this morning, September 5th, of swarms all over Tucson. People from many different locations throughout Southern Arizona reported seeing small winged creatures swarming about one to twenty feet off the ground above a nest where many more insects lay on the ground below. It turns out, these critters are Harvester ants, and they were swarming in hopes of finding a mate!

Reproductive members of a Harvester ant colony will leave the nest in search of a mate, typically during one or two days each year. What is truly amazing is that most Harvester ant colonies all begin this mating process at almost the same exact day! This usually happens in late summer to early fall, depending on weather, moisture and other factors. The ants exit their mound, take flight and search for a mate using chemicals called pheromones. The ants then return to the ground with their newfound partner and finish the mating process.

Harvester ants are very prevalent in the Southwest. They typically prefer desert climates and tend to stay away from homes and urban areas but as we build structures further into their territory, we are bound to run into one another. When threatened, Harvester ants will defend themselves and sting what they perceive as a threat! So use caution, and remember to contact Truly Nolen for your free inspection if you see these or any other pests near your home or business!

Columbus, OH Ranks 3rd in the Nation for Bed Bug Infestations

While the great city of Columbus, Ohio boasts impressive rankings such as being the 15th largest city in the United States, as well as having the 4th largest football stadium in the nation, there is one official ranking that does not bode well for Columbus residents. In 2014, Columbus was ranked number 3 in the nation for being one of the most bed bug infested cities.

A pervasive and stubborn pest, bed bugs are very difficult to treat. In almost every case, ‘do it yourself’ treatment methods prove to be ineffective, making this a task for pest professionals with expert knowledge and training. Though treatment of this pest can be a challenging experience, there are certain precautionary measures that homeowners can take to decrease their chances of bringing bed bugs into the home. In addition to these measures, at the first sign of bed bugs, homeowners should be prompted to call their Truly Nolen Columbus pest expert who can quickly and accurately identify the bed bug issue and apply the necessary treatment methods to alleviate bed bug problems.

What are Bed Bugs and why are they so hard to control?

Bed bugs are small, flat bodied parasitic insects that feed off of sucking blood from humans or animals. The difficulty in controlling this parasite is as a result of several factors:

  • Due to their small, flat size, bed bugs can hide in just about anything in the home including inside mattresses, between headboards, picture frames, inside curtain rods and many other inconspicuous places. This also means that they can be easily transported from the outside environment to inside your home, undetected until they begin to spread.
  • If bed bugs are not noticed right away, a small infestation can escalate quickly as females can lay around 5 eggs per day.
  • Since these insects feast on blood, they are not actively feeding off of other food or particles. This means that pesticides that are commonly used to kill other pests, will not work on bed bugs as they do not ingest substances that could potentially be chemically treated.

How to Spot Bed Bugs

The most obvious sign that bed bugs are in your home will be if they happen to bite you in any exposed area, such as your arms, legs or face. While their bite is not painful, most people will see a reaction such as a small, itchy welt on the skin with more than one occurring in close proximity to each other.

If these bites do occur, checking for other signs is important in order to confirm that the bites did in fact come from the bed bugs. Other signs can be seen in either small blood stains found on areas that they typically infest (which means that bed bugs have been squashed) or in the small, black spots (bed bug feces) that they leave behind.

Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs in the Home

Not only is a bed bug infestation a timely and costly problem for homeowners, but the difficulty in controlling them can take an emotional toll, disrupting your everyday routine as careful attention will now have to be devoted to fixing this problem. To help avoid this, Truly Nolen outline several ways that Columbus, OH residents can help prevent bed bugs from invading your home:

  • If you are travelling, inspecting your hotel room upon arrival can help stop the problem before it even begins. Although it is not the first activity you’d like to be doing on your vacation, quickly inspecting your hotel room’s mattress, box spring, sheets or any exposed areas on the bedding is a good way to see if there are bed bugs present. Always try to keep your suitcase off the ground and avoid resting it on the bed or couch.
  • After returning home, it is important to inspect your luggage carefully for any signs that bed bugs may have found their way onto your suitcase. It is recommended that clothes be taken from the suitcase and directly put into the washing machine. Drying the clothes at a higher temperature will also help to kill any existing bed bugs. Luggage should also be vacuumed and cleaned immediately.
  • Bed bugs can also enter the home on packages, boxes or second hand furniture. These should be carefully inspected before they are brought inside.
  • Keeping a high quality, tear resistant cover on your mattresses and box springs helps to keep bed bugs out.
  • Bedding should be washed frequently, including bedspreads, pillows and blankets.
  • Although a common misconception is that bed bugs exist in homes that are not clean, keeping clutter at a minimum can deter bed bugs from finding places to lay their eggs.

Truly Nolen Bed Bug Control

Bed Bug Prevention
Truly Nolen of Columbus, OH focuses on both preventative and corrective treatments for alleviating bed bug problems through detailed inspections and remediation techniques:

  • The first step in the bed bug treatment process involves a thorough inspection of the areas that are suspected of infestation. Often times, your Truly Nolen professional will actively engage the homeowner in the inspection, in order to demonstrate the best way to go about looking for these pests. As the inspection progresses, detailed findings are documented so that a proper course of action can be determined.
  • With the customer’s cooperation, bedding should be removed, as well as items in nightstands or dressers so that a truly thorough inspection can take place.
  • For prevention and correction of bed bugs, Truly Nolen uses various liquid application and high misting techniques such as the Tornado and Temprid, allowing for the liquid to be injected into areas where bed bugs can hide such as cracks and crevices in bed frames, headboards, box springs, luggage, bedding and wall voids.
  • After the area has been treated, an encasement system is recommended for each bed in the house and at least one monitoring station is installed near to the suspected hot spot.

After your inspection and treatment, Truly Nolen’s professionals can also outline ways to help reduce the possibility of bed bugs in the home. With a 90 day warranty on the applied treatment, homeowners can feel confident that if any bed bug activity occurs within that time, your Truly Nolen professional will return to address any issue that needs immediate attention. Bed bugs may be challenging, but with Truly Nolen on your side, residents of Columbus, OH might just be able to let go of their infamous ranking of being a bed bug infested city. Contact your Truly Nolen Columbus pest professional today at 614-448-5030 to schedule your bed bug inspection.

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