All posts by Truly Nolen of Charlotte NC

Four Seasons Pest Control Approach: What Does That Really Mean?

Charlotte’s beautiful climate and pleasant temperatures not only make it a wonderful home for people, but also make it desirable to all sorts of pests. With each new season comes new changes and challenges. Treating pests year-round is key to ensuring a pest free home.

Truly Nolen’s approach to pest control is a year-round effort using the Four Seasons Pest Control Program. This program is designed to adapt to the changes pests undergo as the seasons change. Our research and development team created this program to effectively address changes in pest behavior from season to season in Charlotte, from summer ants to winter rodents, we are prepared to keep your home and business pest free.

Known for charming historic homes, neighborhoods in Charlotte easily foster pests due to structural deficiencies allowing easy access for pests year-round. And no matter how clean your home or business is, pests migrate inside through these structural deficiencies, such as hairline cracks and dime-sized holes, making themselves at home in your basement, attic, on your pets or on your belongings.

Charlotte pests come in a variety of shapes, sizes and environmental needs. As the seasons change, so do their needs. Truly Nolen has compiled a list of pests and their seasonal needs and behaviors:

Spring

Spring in CharlotteWarmer spring temperatures invite a multitude of pests to begin nesting and mating including ants, bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and spiders. Spring is also a mating season for rodents; a rodent infested home can easily house up to 30 new rodent offspring. Spring showers invite mosquito breeding as well. Fly larvae typically reach maturity at the beginning of spring and seek sweet liquids and food to eat.

Summer

Summer in CharlotteAfter a few months of warmer weather, stinging insects seeking to build new colonies and multiply are at their peak activity during the summer season, in addition to ants, termites and flies. Freshly matured mosquitoes enjoy water sources in new homes and businesses to lay their eggs in during the summer months, while feeding on the blood of sun-bathers and others enjoying the outdoors. Roaches and spiders change very little, enjoying dark and damp corners of homes and businesses.

Autumn

Autumn in CharlotteMost rodent infestations occur during the fall months, as rodents begin moving closer to human populations in search of a warm shelter. Like rodents, most insects begin seeking warm shelters and move indoors in preparation for the upcoming winter months. Stinging insects often become aggressive in the fall, as they struggle to feed the large colonies they built during the summer season.

Winter

Winter  in CharlotteRodents’ fur coats keep them warm and active during the winter months. They even begin nesting in preparation for spring. Some species of roaches also thrive in the winter months, such as the German Cockroach which enjoys lurking in dark and damp areas. Bed bugs are another common winter pest, that can easily spread from holiday-traveling humans staying at infested homes or hotels. Ants, spiders, termites, flies and even stinging insects are usually dormant during the winter season, many of which die from the cold temperatures.

The seasonal demands of pests can make pest control challenging for homeowners but not for Truly Nolen Charlotte. Our Four Seasons approach to pest control takes into account the seasonal behaviors of pests and allows us to keep your home and business pest free year-round. Let us help you proactively protect your home from pests throughout the year. Call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection with one of our highly-trained pest control specialists.

Mice 101: Everything You Need to Know About Mice in Charlotte

Rat in the houseHomeowners will most often see mice scampering through their residence in the fall and winter seasons due to the cold; however, mice can live in homes year-round in North Carolina. If you see one mouse in your home, there is a likely chance that more have already broken in through openings and entryways and burrowed away in the walls, under the stairs and in other warm crevices of your home.

Unveiling the Mystery of Mice

Mice are more common and cause significantly more damage than rats in a home. Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, and a female mouse can start reproducing as early as 2 months old, having up to 150 babies a year.

Basic facts on house mice:

  • Although small, mice can eat up to 20 times a day.
  • Mice are good jumpers, swimmers and climbers.
  • A house mouse produces between 40 and 100 fecal droppings each day.
  • Mice can survive in a lab for up to two years but usually only live for about five months on their own in the wild (mostly because of predators).

Rodent Prevention and Avoidance Techniques

Mice infestations can happen overnight, and it’s best to catch them while still in the beginning stages so as to minimize the damage done. Expenses for loss of contaminated personal property due to droppings and urine, electrical fires and issues due to mice gnawing on wires, and transmission of diseases are some costly examples of the negative consequences of an infestation. This being said, it is always easier to avoid the situation if possible.

Here are ten simple tips to rodent prevention:

  1. Repair damaged door and window screens.
  2. Install door sweeps on all outside doors.
  3. Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  4. Seal up cracks and fix holes on the exterior of your home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home using caulk, steel wool or a combination of the two.
  5. Store food in sealed containers and don’t let trash build up.
  6. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces dry and well ventilated.
  7. Eliminate moisture sites, including leaky pipes and clogged drains that provide breeding sites for pests.
  8. Inspect items such as delivery boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into your home.
  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and keep landscaping trimmed with bushes cut back from the house.
  10. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest expert to inspect and treat the pest problem.

Prevention methods such as those mentioned above, specifically maintaining a tidy, clutter and crumb-free environment, can help you avoid the problem altogether. If it’s already too late, a pest control company like Truly Nolen Charlotte can implement a successful and highly effective rodent control strategy, involving sanitation, rodent-proofing and population management.

Truly Nolen Charlotte also offers pest prevention programs, instead of waiting for an infestation, taking professional precautionary measures to safeguard your home before the problem starts can also give you peace of mind. Call 704-910-2936 to schedule an inspection.

Winter Pests Are a Reality in Charlotte

Cracks appearing in an interior wallSome people think that winter pests don’t exist in Charlotte, NC but they most certainly do, and infestations are no joking matter! It is much easier to prevent a pest problem than to face one head on. Wintertime attracts termites, stink bugs, roaches and other crawling critters into your home through the cracks and crevices in your walls, chimneys and other entryways unless you take proper preventive precautions.

Common Winter Pests & Their Destructive Qualities

Pests target the warmth in your home as a safe and appealing place to survive the winter. Here’s a list of destructive qualities of pests that you can avoid altogether this winter through prevention:

  • Physical damage to the structure of your home and personal belongings
  • Contamination of walls and surfaces
  • Infestation of food products
  • Adverse effects to your health by spreading germs and irritating allergies
  • Disruption to your comfort and sense of well-being

Spiders, mice, roaches, termites and more are some examples of the critters you could find in your family room, garage and basement so best practice is to take action and prevent the problem before it starts.

What to Do for Winter Pest Issues

To safeguard your home from pests this winter, here are some pest control and prevention tips:

  • Seal up cracks in the walls, ceilings and flooring when first cold hits
  • Block entryways, fix window screens and chimney screens
  • Maintain a clean yard free of debris
  • Avoid leaving standing water or damp spots
  • Clean up potential nesting areas and remove cobwebs

If you find unwanted critters like ants, roaches or mice have already entered your home to escape the cold, call a pest management company like Truly Nolen Charlotte who can end the infestation promptly and manage further prevention. If you would like to take precautionary measures to safeguard your home against pests, Truly Nolen Charlotte also specializes in pest prevention programs. Don’t let anything bug you this winter, call an expert at 704-910-2936 to handle all your pest control needs.

Bed Bugs: Fact vs. Myth

Bed BugThe holidays can call for very hectic traveling schedules for many people. Hotel rooms, fold out couches, airport benches, extended family living quarters and a friend of a friend’s man cave may be some of the exciting destinations holiday travelers will experience this winter. To keep your mind off bed bugs and on more important topics like food, family and the warmth from the fireplace, it’s helpful to be able to differentiate between truth and myth when it comes to bed bugs.

Top 5 Common Bed Bug Myths Exposed

  • Bed bugs are invisible!
    False. Adult bed bugs, nymphs and their eggs are all visible to the naked eye.
  • Bed bugs live in filthy surroundings or prefer dirty places.
    Bed bugs prefer to live in clutter, however they are not drawn to the dirt but rather to the warmth. Blood and Carbon Dioxide (C02) are also magnets for this pest but dirt itself is not appealing to bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs can only bite you at night.
    False. Although they prefer darker lighting, bed bugs can and will bite you at any time, that is, if they are hungry and you are around. Popping on the light unfortunately does not deter this pest.
  • Bed bugs only infest mattresses.
    False. Bed bugs can also live in couches and chairs, be transported by bags and pets and be picked up at places as common as the movie theater, on the bus or at the mall.
  • Bed bugs transmit deadly diseases.
    False. As strange as it seems, there are actually no reported cases of bed bugs directly transmitting human disease. Other symptoms, like insomnia and nervousness as well as side effects such as secondary infections, can be caused by the presence of bed bugs. However, zero cases of disease transmission have been reported even though they can, in fact, harbor over 20 human pathogens.

Prevention and Avoidance Practices

Prevention is the best approach for bed bugs. Making sure not to pick up furniture off the side of the road or that has been stored outside can help to decrease your chances of bed bugs getting into your home. Sealing up any cracks and entryways in walls lessens the chances for pests to enter and multiply. Another helpful tip is to keep a tidy and organized living space. Bed bugs find more places to live in cluttered areas than in those that are well maintained. You can knock out your holiday cleaning and prevent bed bugs from entering your home at the same time, keeping these tips and tricks in mind.

If however you do find yourself with a bed bug infestation, then the best thing you can do is call a pest professional like Truly Nolen Charlotte. When bed bug infestations aren’t handled properly, they can spread the bed bugs instead of eliminating them. Call Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 to schedule an appointment.

Professional Pest Control Services: How do I know when to call in the pros? What should I ask when choosing a Charlotte pest control company?

Whether it’s mosquitoes on your patio, roaches in your basement or ants in your kitchen, pest problems are a drag and you can’t always handle them DIY style. Pests can damage the structure and foundation of your home, leave toxic messes and cause allergies and even asthma. Some DIY methods of pest prevention and extermination, such as pesticides purchased from a home improvement store and taking measures to block pest entryways can be less expensive options but, more often than not, a pest control company can facilitate a quick and long-lasting solution before the problem spreads.
Ants

Let the Pest Professionals Handle It

When self-treatment fails to fix the problem, experts from a pest control company can save you further time, money and frustration by promptly and appropriately extinguishing the issue. Paying for peace of mind is money well spent, and when pest infestations overwhelm your home, timing is everything. Pest control companies come equipped with the proper equipment and training to handle a vast range of problematic situations. Equipment and services offered by most companies are guaranteed, which allows you to feel the reassurance and relief you need. When left untreated, some pests, such as termites, can lead to structural damage, resulting in higher costs for removal and repairs. If you are to the point where you believe you have an infestation or have sighted a pest that you fear can potentially harm you or your home, it’s time to call in the professionals.

How to Choose the Best Pest Control Company

Great! You’ve decided to bring in the experts. But how do you choose a qualified pest control company in Charlotte to tackle your pest problem?

Here is a list of topics you can discuss to help with your decision:

  • Ask about licensing in the company.
  • Request information on credentials staff holds.
  • Inquire about employee training.
  • Gauge their ability to treat out of reach areas of your home.
  • Request a detailed description of services for which you are paying.

If you are experiencing pest problems in or around the Charlotte area, Truly Nolen, a trusted pest control brand since 1938, has a step-by-step Four Seasons Pest Management program. This service confronts residential pest problems, utilizing different equipment and the highest quality materials to get the best results for you and your family. Locally owned and operated, pest control experts at Truly Nolen Charlotte specialize in bugs inhabiting the Charlotte area as well as the Rock Hill-Ft Mill area, offering free estimates and thorough inspections. Call 704-910-2936 to discuss pest control services and how to get rid of your pest problem!

Commercial Services from Truly Nolen Charlotte

Keeping up with the daily operations of a housing development, restaurant or commercial kitchen, or educational institution can be taxing. Owners and managers in Charlotte, North Carolina who run these businesses thrive when they’re able to keep their focus locked on things such as team management, financial planning and security and meeting the current health standards. If pests come around, there are bigger things for you to worry about, and the fastest fix will come from a pest control expert, such as Truly Nolen Charlotte.
Bugs on Sandwich

Commercial Services

Truly Nolen Charlotte hones in on commercial services with specific programs outlined to manage pest problems, including rodents, bed bugs, termites and other common infestations. Pests can cost a business financially with the loss of business and reputation if not handled in a timely and targeted manner. The following are a few pest management programs from a list of commercial services offered by Truly Nolen:

Truly Nolen offers a restaurant program, which is a twelve step monthly food handling program as well as a commercial progressive pest program, which is a nine step monthly non-food handling program, both of which use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to deal with most crawling insects in a commercial environment.

Benefits of Commercial Programs

Commercial programs, such as those listed above, help to provide peace of mind to both management as well as clients and customers who frequent these businesses. HOAs, property managers, residents and tenants all benefit from a sound night’s sleep, knowing their pest problems are not compounding overnight. Restaurant management and kitchen staff can rest assured they will pass the food safety portion of their health inspection. Last but not least, time and money is saved in the long run when you choose a professional pest control agent to eradicate your pest problem or for preventative service.

Contact Truly Nolen of Charlotte at 704-910-2936 and let us take one thing off your to-do list.

Mosquito Madness in Charlotte

Mosquito sucking blood
Charlotte, NC is nationally ranked one of the worst cities for mosquitoes. High temperatures and moist conditions attract mosquitoes, and standing water allows them to breed. Mosquitoes can be identified by their slender bodies and long legs. Adults can live from 10 days all the way up to 6 months. With summer in full force, taking a proactive approach against these pests is key to preventing bites.

Do Mosquitoes Favor Some More Than Others?

An article from Smithsonian magazine explains that some individuals are more prone to mosquito bites than others. Individuals who have type O blood type are especially favorable to mosquitoes. Larger individuals who emit more carbon dioxide when they breathe are also on this list. This group includes tall people and the obese. Elevated body temperatures, excess sweat and bacteria on the skin are also contributing factors.

Prevention and Types of Mosquito-borne Illnesses

Mother Applying Bug Spray To Daughter
Families in the Charlotte area should take precautions against mosquitoes, mainly during the months of June, July and August, to reduce chances of the transfer of mosquito-borne illnesses. Mosquito bites are known to spread diseases and cause allergic reactions. Some mosquito-related illnesses that have been reported are Zika, Malaria, Encephalitis, Chikungunya Virus and West Nile Virus. Over a thousand people have died from West Nile since 1999. There have been three confirmed cases of Chikungunya Virus in North Carolina with symptoms of fever, headache, muscle ache and joint pain. If you have been bitten and are experiencing any enhanced symptoms, we urge you to seek immediate medical attention.

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind that can help you avoid and prevent the dangers and annoyance of mosquitoes:

  • Wear long sleeves and white or light colored clothing when camping or outdoors for an extended period of time.
  • Steer clear of wearing flowery fragrances before spending time outdoors to decrease your chances of becoming a target.
  • Place citronella plants and candles on patios and porches. Chemical-free repellents also come in handy for warding off mosquitoes.
  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water so keep an eye out for pooling water in your yard and stay up to date on pool upkeep if you have a swimming pool at home.

Beat the Bite!

Pest control services, such as Truly Nolen Charlotte, offer mosquito mitigation for residential and commercial customers. Expert pest removal agents search for moist areas and conditions conducive to mosquito breeding around the bite site to begin a program designed to control mosquitoes through larval to adult stages. If avoidance and prevention fail to defeat the problem, reach out to Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for answers.

Summer Pests Get in the Way of Summer Fun in Charlotte

Summertime pests can put a real damper on fun in the sun for people living in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. As the heat rises, more and more of these creepy crawlers catch your eye at softball games, picnics and even in your own backyard. Are they ALL dangerous? The answer is no, not all. However, bites from most common pests in the area can leave a red, itchy or irritated mark or bump on the skin, and there is the possibility of diseases being transmitted. Avoiding these pests by educating yourself and using the techniques described below, can prevent discomfort and save your outdoor plans this summer.

Wasps, Bees & Hornets

WaspWasps, bees and hornets can become a threat to food stores or homes in Charlotte if the aggressive types of the species begin to rely on people as a source for food. Controlling and managing the situation starts by first determining the species of the infestation – i.e. wasps, bees, stinging insects? Once identified, the pest and its swarm can be removed and further infestations prevented with treatment.

Fleas & Ticks

Fleas Ticks are found outdoors, in parks and in the woods. They are blood-feeders and hosts include both humans and animals. Fleas are more prominent outdoors and attack animals mainly, causing an intense itch and discomfort from their bites. Fleas and ticks can migrate indoors when attached to a pet, and this can cause a host of problems for the household. Getting rid of fleas and ticks starts at the vet’s office, where a diagnosis and treatment are provided. In conjunction with treating your pet, it will be necessary to clean your home and affected areas extensively, and talk to a local pest control expert about treatment and future prevention.

Mosquitoes & Common House Flies

Mosquitoes Pesky mosquitoes and flies can be found in open areas outdoors, such as parks, fields, forests, parking lots and backyards. They can also live in your home and cause quite a nuisance. Mosquitoes are attracted to higher levels of moisture on patios, hot tubs or other wet areas. Treating resting sites for these insects, and implementing moisture control in problem areas to remove moisture and prevent future infestation is available by your local pest professionals. Prevention has become a priority with outbreaks such as the Zika virus.

How to Steer Clear of Summertime Pests

Pests have an exceptional sense of smell, and this helps them target their preferred hosts. Bites can result in itchy rashes, spots and pain.  Some may also carry diseases which, at times, may be life-threatening, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and West Nile Virus to name a few. Some proven prevention and avoidance methods to practice include:

  • Generously applying and re-applying proper insect repellent before spending time outdoors.
  • Wearing long socks, long sleeves, long pants and a hat or scarf when camping or in the woods.
  • Checking your head and body thoroughly for tick and other insect bites when returning from the outdoors. Quick removal of ticks is important in disease prevention.
  • Using repellent torches or candles on your porch and at outdoor events, as instructed on the directions, is recommended.

Taking a proactive approach to pest prevention and management can decrease your risk of running into unwanted insects while soaking up sun and family fun. Truly Nolen Charlotte can help take care of your unwanted pests this summer. Call (704) 910-2936 for a free pest inspection.

 

Spiders Commonly Found in Charlotte

North Carolina is home to dozens of species of spiders. While most species of spiders are relatively harmless, two poisonous species are common in the Tar Heel state, the black widow and the brown recluse spider.

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiderThe black widow spider may cause severe neurological problems and under extreme circumstances, even death. Female black widow spiders will, on occasion, even kill and eat the male after mating. They’re larger than the male, by about half, and have a reddish hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. A bite from a black widow spider contains 15 times more venom than a prairie rattlesnake.

Female black widow spiders will hang upside down from their web to keep an eye on their egg sac. These spiders are quick and will attack anyone that comes near their egg sac. After a bite from the black widow, the following may happen:

  • muscle aches
  • redness
  • burning
  • swelling at the bite site
  • abdominal pain

If any of these symptoms arise, head to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse SpiderBrown recluse spiders are very small, often smaller than a quarter and have six eyes and a violin shape. In some areas of North Carolina, brown recluse spiders are referred to as fiddle-back spiders. Brown recluse spiders like to hide in cool, dry places such as cardboard boxes.

Brown recluse spiders are often found in the flaps of cardboard boxes. Storing items in cardboard boxes in North Carolina pretty much guarantees you will have a brown recluse clan moving into your home soon. Brown recluse spiders are timid and often don’t bite humans unless they are pressed against the skin.

The bite of a brown recluse spider can result in redness and necrosis of the tissue around the bite site. In extreme cases, individuals may end up losing a limb or finger from a brown recluse spider.

Others worth mentioning

Another common spider found here in North Carolina is the golden orb weaver spider. This spider is harmless and will keep to itself enjoying the bugs found in your yard. Grass spiders are common all over the U.S. and spin dense, sheet like webs.

While most spiders are harmless, they can be a nuisance when they make their way into our homes. And while spiders generally prefer living outdoors, once they find a way into our homes, they are hard to get rid of.

In some cases, a separate pest problem may be attracting spiders into your home. A professional pest control company can examine the exterior and interior of your Charlotte area home to check for a spider infestation. Contact Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for a free pest inspection and keep your home pest-free.

Flying Ants vs. Termite Swarmers

Flying Ant vs Termite Swarmer comparison

Spring in Charlotte not only means warmer weather and boating on Lake Norman, it also signals the beginning of increased pest activity. In Charlotte, like most of North Carolina, bug season starts in late winter and lasts until October. Flying ants and termite swarmers are common at this time of year.

In the spring and summer, Mecklenburg County homeowners witness young adult termites and some species of flying ants swarming, as part of their annual mating rituals. Usually in the daylight and following rain showers, winged reproductives, known as alates, fly around. They are looking for other reproductives of the same species to mate with and form new colonies.  This swarming activity can be alarming as well as confusing and many Charlotte homeowners want to know how to tell the difference between termite swarmers and flying ants.

Differences between flying ants and termites

Flying ants and termites may look similar but they actually possess very different physical attributes. Using a magnifying glass, you can see the following differences:

Flying Ants

FLYING ANTS

  • Ants have thin waists, which is the very narrow area between the thorax and first abdominal segment.
  • Ants have a pair of front wings that are much larger than the hind pair.
  • Ant wings have few veins and are usually clear.
Termite Swarmers

TERMITES

  • Termites’ thoraxes and abdomen are broadly connected.
  • Termites have two sets of wings that look approximately the same in size and shape.
  • Termite wings have many veins and may be milky-colored.

Prevalent flying ant species

The presence of flying ant swarms indicates that your home or property is either infested with ants or their nests are nearby. In the Charlotte area, the most prevalent flying ant species include:

  • Pavement ants – Found often in homes with concrete slab foundations, but can be found in just about any type of construction.
  • Odorous house ants – The most common indoor pest ant, named for their coconut smell.
  • Carpenter ants – Wood-destroying pests, can cause significant damage to Charlotte homes.
  • Red imported fire ants – Don’t come indoors but inflict painful stings that can result in dangerous allergic reactions.

Consult a pest control professional

Because ant colonies can consist of a primary nest with several satellite nests, contact a professional pest control company to eliminate ants from your Charlotte home. Truly Nolen’s trained and certified technicians inspect your home and property to determine a plan of action that includes pet friendly ant control treatments that eradicate colonies. By circulating materials via worker ants, these solutions eventually kill queen ants. With no queen ants, colonies cannot reproduce and will collapse.

Termite swarming can be an indicator of more serious issues, with different solutions.

  • Swarming activity outdoors, a reminder
    Outdoors, near tree stumps and other wooden materials, swarming may not indicate a termite infestation in your home, but a reminder to contact a professional pest control company for an annual inspection.
  • Swarming activity indoors, an indicator of termite invasion
    Indoors, swarming usually indicates an infestation somewhere in your home, in which case you should contact a pest professional immediately, as termites, especially subterranean termites can go unnoticed for years. Termites cause structural damage homeowners may not be aware of until expensive repairs become the homeowners’ nightmares.

Signs of termite activity

Most termite species prefer soft or water-damaged wood and some species will infest dry, solid wood as well. Unlike ants, termites do eat wood and subterranean termites build tunnels and claylike tubes from their nests in nearby tree trunks to their food sources in your home. Blistering wooden structures and blackening wood can be indications of termite activity, along with tunnels and claylike tubes leading from the soil to your wooden structure.

Contact Truly Nolen Charlotte

If you find evidence of termite damage to any wooden structures, this may be a sign of infestation. Truly Nolen Charlotte’s skilled professionals take your individual needs into consideration, designing a customized solution for your termite situation. With our combination of above and below ground treatments, we can provide the most complete and thorough termite protection. Our Total Termite Protection Plan treats attics, eaves, walls, windows, doors, plumbing pipes, foundations, slabs and other termite prone areas. Truly Nolen Charlotte protects your home against all types of termites, unlike many pest control companies who only treat for one type of termite.

If you suspect flying ants or termites in your home, call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection and have a pest-free spring and summer!