Atlanta Winter Pests: What to Look For!

Where do pests winter?

Rat Control
Summer is long gone; Atlanta’s chilly and days are short. As you cozy up by the fire and sip hot chocolate, do you ever wonder what insects, rodents and other pests do during the winter? We are smart enough to know that pest problems aren’t going away and that pests don’t just die off in the colder months and magically reappear in the spring.

All the warm weather gets pests scurrying, burrowing, gnawing, buzzing, biting and stinging but as temperatures drop, pests slow down, making them more vulnerable to predators. So in the winter, pests are looking to find shelter from the cold and from predators. They look for a food source and a cozy place to multiply, and your home is on their list especially if they can easily sneak in through cracks, crevices and other entryways.

Where are these pests hiding?

Attics, crawlspaces, basements, wall voids and vacant rooms make favorite places for pests to slow down, build nests, grow their young and hibernate. Also, some insects like your pantry so much they have their own designation as “food insects.” Indian meal moths, grain beetles and other food insects like grains, flour, dried fruits and well, most items in your dried food storage. Dark, quiet pantry cupboards provide excellent breeding grounds for all sorts of food insects that lay their eggs and contaminate food. Even outside, in storage sheds, in woodpiles and neglected debris, insects and rodents can make happy little nests.

Exclusion: Blocking pest intruders

rodent control
Keeping pests out of your home in the winter can be tricky. The first and most important thing to remember is that if pests can’t get into your home, more than likely you won’t have a pest problem. The problem is: Pests can gain entry into your home through smaller spaces than you might realize. Rodents need no more than nickel to quarter size holes to make your home their home. Rodents can spread diseases and wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your home and possibly destroy your home by causing electrical fires by gnawing at wiring. Insects can also easily get inside your home and need less space than rodents to invade your Atlanta home.

On the exterior: Proactive things to do to exclude and deter pests

  • Seal, caulk or repair any and all holes, cracks, crevices and other potential entryways on the exterior of your home.
  • Remove all debris from around your home. Pests love clutter, so clean up woodpiles, surplus building supplies and other materials on your deck or patio that can make nice cozy nests.
  • Stack firewood at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Repair or remove damp wood, as some pests seek entry through soft, wet or rotting wood.
  • Clear out weeds and overgrown vegetation that attract pests.
  • Trim shrubs and trees branches away from walls and roofs, eliminating pest pathways into your home.
  • Ensure that your outdoor trash receptacles close securely.
  • Whenever possible, unpack boxes outside.
  • When returning from vacations and overnight trips, especially if you stayed in a hotel, launder or dry clean all clothing and vacuum luggage thoroughly to avoid introducing an insect that knows no season: bed bugs.

On the interior: Please do not feed the pests

  • Always wash dishes after meals and wipe down food prep and dining areas.
  • Sweep or vacuum kitchen and dining areas after meals.
  • Store all dried food in airtight containers, including pet food and birdseed.
  • Clean all spills, loose flour and grains from pantry shelves.
  • Be on the lookout for pest activities, like droppings near food areas, evidence of chewing, and random sawdust, plus scurrying and scratching sounds in your walls and attic.

You don’t have to go it alone: Contact a pest professional

To put your mind at ease this winter or to address winter pest problems, contact Truly Nolen Atlanta. Truly’s Four Seasons approach takes into account pests’ seasonal behaviors. Utilizing a combination of innovative application methods, materials and exclusion tactics, Truly Nolen Atlanta’s proactive process impacts pests’ reproductive cycles to reduce future generations and eradicate pests from your home. Convenient quarterly inspections ensure that your home is protected throughout the year. Truly Nolen’s eco-friendly pest control solutions strive to keep your family and pets safe and your home pest-free from season to season.

For effective year round pest control, call Truly Nolen Atlanta to schedule an inspection at (678) 561-2847. So, throw another log on the fire and savor that hot chocolate!

New Headquarters, 10 Openings since July Have Truly Nolen International Poised for a Terrific New Year

With nearly 20 new locations worldwide in 2015 including historic milestones of the 200th location and 60th country outside of the United States last September, a need for more headquarter office space was apparent to Truly Nolen International company executives. As a result, the Truly Nolen International Training Center recently opened at 1800 33rd Street in Orlando.

“Thanks to our continued growth around the world, we outgrew the second floor of our local Orlando branch just a few doors down,” said Jose Lutz, CEO, Truly Nolen International. “We are excited to continue our success in 2016 here at our new location!”

The franchises that have opened since July 1, 2015 include Tarlac, Philippines; Cartagena, Colombia; Republic of Kazakhstan; Baixada Fluminense, Brazil; Ribeirao Preto, Brazil; Sao Joao da Boa Vista, Brazil; Lelystad, Netherlands; Davao, Philippines; Sur, Oman and Abha, Saudi Arabia.

Offering the same quality service for which it is known domestically, Truly Nolen International, which employs over 3,500 around the globe, has the largest footprint of any pest control company in the world, in terms of countries in which they operate. Currently, 90 percent of the company’s international branches serve businesses both for active and preventative protection from pest issues.

Lutz, who has been CEO since the International division was founded in 1989, has always had a clear vision of mouse cars around the world and is excited by his new surroundings. “The extra office space will come in handy as we work on finding new places to bring our fleet of mouse cars across the globe”, said Lutz. “One thing that is truly universal around the world is that people do not like pests in their homes!”

For more information about Truly Nolen International Franchising, call (800) 771-6423 or visit  

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit or follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Reduce Clutter and Stay Pest Free in 2016

There’s a difference between a house that is comfortable as opposed to one that is filled with clutter. Cluttered homes can lead to organization issues as well as sanitary concerns. From dishes in the sink or clothing left on the floor, to stacks of paper on surfaces and crowded closets, clutter can take on many forms and can invade every room in your home. Not only can clutter prevent you from having a clean space, it can also be an open invitation for pests to share your home.

Want to evict the pests by the end of 2015? Follow these tips and eliminate places for pests to hide!


KitchenMost pests are drawn to trash – and the food within trash. Bugs and rodents love to snack on leftover food, assorted waste, and crumbs in the garbage can. Make sure that house trashcans are emptied right away so that pests don’t make a buffet out of your trash can. Similarly, unclean counters or dishes left in the sink can provide a welcome haven for pests. Do the dishes and clean kitchen surfaces on a regular basis. Be sure to properly store pet food and promptly remove anything that was not eaten by your furry friend.

Paper and Fabric

Newspaper ClutterItems such as old newspapers, books, random papers, and cardboard boxes can provide a cozy home for pests. These items can also serve as a food source. Many pests will eat paper, as well as fabric, especially if the paper or fabric has become moldy or stained. For this reason, donate old clothing instead of leaving it around the house. Don’t want to provide hiding places for potential pests? Recycle old newspapers, put books away, place papers into a filing system, and get rid of old boxes.

Clutter Free Kitchens and Bathrooms

bathroom clutterPests are often drawn to areas with standing water, so check under sinks and around pipes. Most of all make sure that kitchens and bathrooms are free of clutter. That means putting dirty clothing in the laundry basket and keeping counter surfaces clean and clutter free.

Outside Clutter

Bag of LeavesKeep your home and the surrounding outside areas clean. Bag leaves, tree or plant clippings, and other garden debris and put them out with the trash right away. Don’t let garden debris clutter up your yard or outside areas, as pests will be attracted to make nests. The same rules apply for outside trash: place it into bins and move the bins away from the house so that pests aren’t tempted by the inside of your home. Do your best to keep your attic, basement, or garden sheds neat and tidy, with items placed on shelves or safely stored away and sealed in containers if possible.

Do you think you’ve got pest problems stemming from clutter? Call Truly Nolen Pest Control today.

A Bug’s Life: Holiday Travel

Hundreds of tiny bed bugs climbing aboard suitcases and backpacks, cars and planes, hitching a ride to travel with you… It sounds like a charming holiday movie, doesn’t it? But there’s nothing cute about bed bugs seizing the chance to infest your home. Thousands of Charlotte residents travel during the holidays, but when you’re packing your coats and holiday presents to go home, you might not be traveling alone. Learn how to keep a bug free holiday season and prevent critters from sharing the holidays with you.

Bed Bugs: How to Recognize Them and Where They Hide

Bed BugTiny, parasitic bed bugs survive on the blood of sleeping animals and people. They’re reddish-brown, have no wings, and are extremely tiny (between about 1mm to 7 mm). They can wait for months between meals, and they’re considered one of the most problematic bugs for homeowners and travelers. While bed bugs aren’t considered a health hazard, they are extremely irritating, and can cause difficulty sleeping and itching, which may result in a secondary infection. Some people may also be allergic to bed bug bites and need medical attention as a result. Bites, which may take up to two weeks to show up on the skin, can often be found on the face, back, hands, arms, and other limbs.

Bed bugs may be found in the fold of sheets and their exoskeletons may be found on or around the infested item of furniture. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not only found in mattresses, although they are often found nearby where people sleep. They’re also found in stuffed animals or in any material covered with fabric, such as a chair, sofa or luggage, as well as in bed frames, headboards, behind wallpaper, or even living in clutter piled close to the bed.

Preventing Bed Bugs from Coming Home to Charlotte

Bed Bug Registry: Prior to checking into a hotel, look it up on a bed bug registry. Once you’re checked in to your room, don’t be fooled by cleanliness, as these blood-sucking fiends can hide in clean environments and five-star hotels.

Bed Bug MattressUse a Hand Held Flashlight: Shine a flashlight around the four most common areas where hotel bed bugs can be found: the mattress, the box spring, the headboard, and the footboard. You’re looking for either tiny bugs or blood spots along these areas. Look in screw holes as well.

Don’t Put Stuff on the Bed: What’s the first thing most of us do when entering a hotel room? Swing our luggage up on the bed. Don’t do that – bugs will likely be hiding either there or in the carpet. To avoid bed bugs, put your suitcase either on a luggage rack or in the bathroom. (Bed bugs are far less likely to be prevalent in rooms with chrome or tile.)

Heat It Up: Bed bugs can’t stand heat, so if you think that the luggage itself may have become infested with bed bugs, throw soft bags into the washer and drier. Empty suitcases directly into the washing machine and wash clothes in the hottest water possible. Dryer time will kill most bed bugs.

Car Tips: Those who rent cars for trips would be advised to check the trunk, regardless of the time of year. Rental cars are not often prone to bed bugs in the summer because of the heat but it’s best to be cautious throughout the year.

Storage: When not in use, luggage should stay out of the bedroom. Instead, store luggage and travel bags away from the bed. Rather than store them under the bed, make sure they’re in the closet or the garage.

Make it hard for bed bugs to travel home to Charlotte! Prevent them from hitching a ride inside your suitcase. If you have any concerns, call Truly Nolen of Charlotte today at 704-910-2936!

Tis the Season: Pest Control

The holiday season is upon us! Like many Atlanta homeowners you’re probably decking the halls, throwing another log on the fire and baking delicious holiday treats to celebrate the season. While you’re getting your fa-la-la-la-la on, take a moment to follow some simple tips to ensure that your merry and bright is also pest-free. The holidays offer rodents and insects numerous opportunities to have their own happy little holidays in your home. How do they get in, and how can you keep them out? We thought you might ask.

Oh Ho the Mistletoe

Christmas treeWhen you’re ringing in the season, check to see you aren’t also bringing in pests with your seasonal greenery. Always carefully inspect Christmas trees, mistletoe, fresh fir garlands and other botanicals before purchasing them for signs of insect activity. Also, before bringing plants and greenery indoors, just give them a hearty holiday shake to dislodge any pests. Spiders and other insects make much better Halloween decorations than Christmas tree ornaments.
The same goes for firewood. First, clean up woodpiles and stack firewood at least twenty feet from your home. Inspect firewood for insect activity before bringing a stack inside, as you might not burn an entire stack immediately and any insects in the wood can invade your home. So now you’re ready to decorate! Just a few words of caution: Holiday décor presents more fun ways pests can celebrate the holidays.

Break out the decorations

Cardboard boxes stored in attics, basements, garages and sheds make excellent places for rodents and insects to settle down for that long winter’s nap. To be on the safe side, unpack stored cardboard boxes outside whenever possible. Storing your holiday decorations in tightly sealed hard plastic totes helps to eliminate chances of insect and rodent infestations occurring inside your Griswald lighting extravaganza. Treasured tree ornaments you’ve collected over the years store nicely in large decorative cookie and popcorn tins that you can leave out under the tree, as an added décor element.

Holiday Wrap

You know those decorative gift boxes from last year, plus last holiday’s tissue paper and wrapping paper that are hanging around in your closets or under the bed in the guest room? Turns out rodents love to chew cardboard and paper to line their nests. Cockroaches love collections of random piles of paper and cardboard boxes to hide in as well. The easy solution would be to just toss old wrapping paper and boxes. But if you really can’t just throw away perfectly good wrapping supplies, find some hard plastic totes, made just for rolls of wrapping paper.

Popcorn, Cranberries and Candy Canes

While popcorn and cranberry garlands, sugar cookies, candy canes and other edible ornaments lend a homespun charm to Christmas trees; to rodents and insects they’re like hanging holiday feasts. Rodents and insects want to move into your home for warmth, shelter, food and water. Food, whether ornamental or just crumbs, spills and dirty dishes is fair game to pests.

Getting ready for guests

Holiday Dinner
About those dirty dishes— while we know this season is chock full of holiday activities, from baking, to decorating, to gift giving and holiday parties, keeping your home clean in this frenzy of festivities is essential for keeping pests out. While hosting family and friends requires extra cleaning, with more than usual trash generated, here are a few cleaning tips for the holidays:

Before visions of sugarplums start dancing in your head, give your Atlanta home a thorough cleaning. Wipe down pantry shelves, eliminating crumbs and spills. Store dried food items in airtight containers, including dry pet food and birdseed. Clean dishes after meals, so leftover food can’t attract insects and rodents. Wipe down countertops, plus all food prep and dining area surfaces after baking and/or preparing meals. Sweep or vacuum food prep and dining areas often to keep crumbs from attracting pests. Eliminate clutter in attics, basements, extra rooms and storage sheds. Pests love clutter; it’s like Christmas every day to them.

Recapping: Pest-Free Holiday Checklist

  • Always carefully inspect Christmas trees, mistletoe, fresh fir tree garlands, firewood and other botanicals before purchasing them for signs of pest activity.
  • Unpack decorations outside whenever possible.
  • Decorate with inedible ornaments: Skip the candy canes, popcorn garlands and sugar cookies.
  • Store holiday décor and wrapping supplies in airtight, hard plastic totes.
  • Keep your home wiped clean of crumbs and spills, dishes washed, floors swept and vacuumed regularly.
  • Keep outside trash in secure receptacles.
  • Seal any cracks, crevices and holes on the exterior of your house to exclude pests.
  • Eliminate debris and clutter from your property. Mow or remove all overgrown vegetation.
  • Stack firewood at least twenty feet from your home.
  • Trim shrubs and trees off the walls and roof of your home, eliminating pest pathways indoors.

Truly Nolen Atlanta wishes you and yours a happy holiday season. In the event you run into pest problems this holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact us at (678) 561-2847 for a free inspection. Happy Holidays!

Gross and Ugly: A Closer Look at the Insects that Make Us Squirm

Insects can be downright creepy. Countless movies have capitalized on Americans’ love/hate relationship with creepy crawlies. From films like The Fly to Mimic, our fear of insects has made its way onto the silver screen to captivate audiences everywhere. Here are just a few gross and ugly insects guaranteed to make you squirm!


From films like Eight Legged Freaks to the creature features of the 1950s, spiders have gotten a bad reputation. Perhaps we’re secretly terrified of something that – if huge – could grab us with any one of its eight legs, trap us in a web, and enjoy us for lunch. But nature boasts a host of utterly creepier-than-normal spiders. A particularly horror-film worthy arachnid is the glass-climbing, fast-moving Brazilian Wandering spider (also known as the banana spider).

Brazilian Wandering spiderLike the Goliath Bird Eating tarantula, the Brazilian Wandering spider is also very large, approximately the size of a human face. While it is usually found in Asia, the Brazilian Wandering spider has been spotted in subtropical areas of Florida, California, and Texas. These spiders are among the most dangerous and venomous in the world and its bite can be fatal to humans. It’s also been known to hitch rides on bananas. According to the Daily Mail, a spider that may have been a Brazilian Wandering spider recently traveled on a bunch of bananas into a terrified British family’s home.


Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Roaches keep to the damp dark, and they’re attracted to debris and garbage of all kinds. Maybe that’s why horror movies, such as the Stephen King classic Creepshow, feature them so prominently. A hissing cockroach can seem like only something found in a movie, but it’s a reality – at least in Madagascar. The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, which grows to an estimated 7.5 centimeters – make their trademark creepy noise by channeling air through many breathing holes on their body. Similarly gross is the aptly named Death’s Head Cockroach, which measures up to 60 centimeters. That’s a whopping 23 inches!


Wasps don’t die after one sting. That might be a reason behind creature feature films like 1959’s The Wasp Woman or 2012’s Dragon Wasps; wasps can be very dangerous and can continue to sting a victim, causing pain, potential allergies, or death. At the very least, being stung by a wasp is downright uncomfortable.

Tarantula HawkHowever, the terrifying tarantula hawk – a solitary wasp that inflicts stings so painful that they’ve been described as electric — will experience what doctors call the world’s most painful sting. It lasts for approximately three excruciating minutes. The good news is that if you don’t bother one of these tarantula hawk wasps, they likely won’t bother you. Still, turning around and fleeing the area might not be a bad idea.

The odds are good that you’ll never run into these spooky creepers here in the U.S. However, if one of these bugs should make your autumn even scarier, call us – we’ve been the name you trust for over 75 years.

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Three Employees from Within for Southeast U.S. Commercial Division

Truly Nolen Pest Control recently announced the promotion of three employees in the company’s Southeast United States Commercial Division. Matt Lentine has been promoted to Branch Manager of Fort Myers Commercial, Benjamin Newmark has been promoted to Branch Manager of Orlando Commercial, and Jason Dixon will be moving into the Commercial Sales Trainer role for Orlando Commercial.

Lentine joined the company earlier this year and was most recently a Manager in Training. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he was with uniform company G&K Services as a Service Manager and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York. Lentine is looking forward to working with his new team and helping them reach their potential.

Newmark also joined the company earlier this year and was most recently a Manager in Training. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he spent many years in the film, television and web content development industry and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from William Patterson University in Wayne, NJ. Newmark is most excited about the opportunity to continue the growth of his division in Central Florida.

Dixon has been with the company for over five years and was most recently the Branch Manager for Orlando Commercial. Prior to joining Truly Nolen, he spent five years in the telecommunications industry and five years in the construction roofing and remodeling industry. A military veteran, Dixon is excited about the opportunity to help his division grow commercial sales superstars while focusing on the company’s core values.

“Matt, Benjamin and Jason are tremendous representatives of our brand and culture and have demonstrated the ability to succeed in their previous roles,” said Chris Maher, Truly Nolen Vice President, Commercial Operations. “We’re excited about the level of professionalism each brings to their new role, and we look forward to their future successes.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit or follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Truly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Three EmployeesTruly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Three EmployeesTruly Nolen Pest Control Promotes Three Employees