Category Archives: Pest Control Advice

Identifying Common Types of Bees in Arizona

Arizona is home to many types of bees. There are about 20,000 different species of bees in the world. With the exception of Antarctica, bees are found throughout the world. The greatest diversity of bee species is found in warm, arid or semiarid areas, like the Southwest.

Bees play an important role in nature pollinating plants and wildflowers as well as providing wax and honey. Bees are dependent on pollen as an important protein source and on flower nectar or oils as an energy source. Most bees will not sting unless they feel threatened. Social bees, such as honey bees, are the most common type in Arizona and will typically sting in order to protect their colonies or babies.


Closeup of an American Honey Bee

Although some types of bees may be solitary, the honey bee is a social insect and populates in colonies or hives. These hive colonies have a three-tier caste system consisting of: the single queen bee whose only job is to lay eggs; male drones that mate with the queen and die soon thereafter; and female worker bees that don’t reproduce. However the worker bees perform many jobs necessary for the survival of the hive; they clean the hive, collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony, and they take care of the offspring. Their wax hives are perennial and can harbor up to 80,000 bees at once. The average lifespan of a honey bee queen is two to three years – considerably longer than the six weeks of a female worker bee.

Honey bees are the most active in summer months; during winter, bees gather within the hive and self-regulate the internal temperature to keep warm. Honey bees also have specialized feathery body hairs that help collect pollen. They are the most important pollinating insects, and their interdependence with plants is mutually beneficial. While foraging, bees inadvertently transfer pollen from flower to flower resulting in cross-pollination. Honey bees are vital in agriculture as pollinators and they account for 80% of all insect pollination. Each year, bees pollinate an estimated $10 billion of crops in the United States alone. And some estimate that these insect pollinators contribute to one-third of the world’s diet. In addition to being important pollinators, honey bees have an organ that converts flower nectar into honey, which is collected inside the hive or bee colony.


Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) are distantly related to the common domestic European honey bee. This bee, first brought from Africa to Brazil in the mid-1950s in hopes of breeding a bee better adapted to the South American climate, escaped into the wild and its descendants have been moving slowly north toward the US ever since. The first AHB colonies arrived in southern Arizona in the early summer of 1993. They are becoming more prevalent in the Southwest and can now be found in most of Texas, almost half of New Mexico, throughout Arizona, the majority of New Mexico, and portions of California as they continue their migration northward.

Truly Nolen Bee Removal

The “Africanized” honey bee – melodramatically labeled “killer bees” – is a hybrid between domesticated European honey bees and African honey bees. Compared to European bees, the AHB are more likely to sense a threat at greater distances, become more upset with less provocation, and sting a greater number of times, although individual stings from the AHB are not more powerful or painful. AHBs defend their hives very attentively. But away from the hive, they are no more aggressive than other bees or wasps. With their hairy bodies, yellowish-orange abdomens with black bands, to the untrained eye the AHB looks very similar to the honey bee. Only a trained entomologist, using sophisticated laboratory equipment, can tell them apart via a precise measurement or genetic testing.


Bees are all around us most of the year in Arizona and typically forage around flowers and water. Foraging bees may sting if they are disturbed accidentally or intentionally. They may also become defensive if they are foraging close to the colony. Avoid close contact with them, and they will go about their nectar-gathering without a second thought to the humans around.

A Hive of American Honey Bees

Just like their mild-mannered relative the domestic honey bees, the Africanized honey bees establish colonies of up to 40,000 individual bees. Both types of bees will swarm, a process where the swarm forms a visible cluster of many bees that is on the move (hundreds to thousands). The queen sets out to find a new location for the hive, some of her worker bees come along with her. They will temporary stop-over to allow the queen to rest but will eventually produce new colonies. Don’t panic – most honeybee swarms are not dangerous if you leave them well alone and keep your distance.

AHB colonies have faster growth rates, which means more swarms splitting off from a nest. Each Africanized honeybee colony typically swarms four to eight times annually compared to an annual rate of less than one swarm per five colonies for European honeybees. They will not however form large swarms and hunt for you as suggested in some movies. If you encounter an AHB swarm, never dive underwater, the swarm will simply wait for you to surface stinging your head and face when you surface. If you are being chased, run in a straight line – AHBs are slow fliers and most people can out run them. Treat honey bee colonies as you would a venomous creature such as a snake or a scorpion; be alert and stay away.

Honey bees are social creatures that create large communal hives with nesting galleries and large honeycombs. AHBs are not specific about the location of their hives, making it likely for them to come into contact with humans. Bees who are working to establish a colony can be seen actively entering and exiting small holes/voids in hollow tree trunks, walls, junk piles, pots, eaves, roofs, or similar location.


Never attempt to remove a hive on your own. Be careful and remain calm. If you think you may have a bee infestation, you must first call an expert to determine whether you’re actually dealing with bees and not some other stinging insect. Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are sometimes mistaken for bees. Bees are commercially valuable and an important part of our ecosystem, but in the wrong place at the wrong time, they can become pest. The sooner a hive can be identified, the safer and cheaper it can be to have removed as established colonies can be extremely protective of the hive.

Homeowners should immediately contact a pest control company and take special precautions to avoid agitating bees to prevent being stung. Do not try to remove a colony yourself.

Professional Bee Hive RemovalA professional hive removal will focus on removing the queen bee from the hive. If the queen is not removed from the hive bees will continue to return. Relocation of the hive must also be considered in concert with a commercial bee expert for agricultural reasons. If the hive can’t be relocated safely treatments to remove the hive will be conducted. Your bee control professional will apply treatments on the exterior of the hive working inward to kill the bees and properly bag and dispose of the hive. When the hive is removed it is knocked down within an enclosed area and material is forced into the void and within the combs to ensure all bees are dead and removed. Though their venom is no more or less toxic, the AHB tends to sting in greater numbers and is more easily provoked than the European honey bee. Keep pets and children well away from any suspected nesting sites until you get a professional inspection.


People can all react to honey bee stings differently. Generally, however honey bee stings do not pose a health concern unless an individual is allergic or sensitive. If the stung person is allergic, go to the hospital immediately or use an epinephrine shot, if available. Most importantly, stay calm. And if possible, get to a cool indoor location. If you are stung and can’t find shelter indoors, avoid running near other people. Once you have been stung a chemical called a pheromone signals to other bees that you are a threat inviting other defensive bees to sting.

In general, bees tend to sting people or animals when they feel threatened. Remember that your pets can also be vulnerable to bee stings and keep them away from bee hives. While yellow jackets, hornets and wasps tend to sting repeatedly during an attack, worker bees are equipped with barbed stingers that have little barbs or hooks on them and typically become lodged in the skin. When a bee stings, its stinger, the venom sac attached to the stinger, and other parts of the honey bee’s body rip away from the insect’s body and are left behind, killing the bee. Although the bee dies, its sting takes effect quickly, and, if the stinger is not removed quickly, the symptoms gradually increase as the venom sac continues to pump venom into the wound for several seconds. So if you are stung, it is important to remove the stinger and poison sac as quickly as possible. Do not pull them out with tweezers or your fingers as this will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Scrape them out using your fingernails, the edge of a credit card or a dull knife.

After removing the stinger, it is important to immediately clean the area with soap and cold water and to use cold compression like an ice pack. It is also helpful to elevate the limb where you were stung. Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also help to reduce the pain. An antihistamine and hydrocortisone ointment can help calm the local reaction. In case the local reaction worsens, your doctor may prescribe an oral steroid or antihistamine to help calm the swelling or itching.


The symptoms that result from a sting vary, depending on the amount of poison that has entered the victim’s system. Typically, people who get stung will immediately feel a sharp, burning pain, rapidly followed by a red welt at the sting site, with a small, white spot at the center marking where the stinger punctured the skin. In most cases, the swelling and pain resolves within a few hours, however, as many as 10 percent of individuals develop a large local reaction experiencing exaggerated redness and swelling at the sting site.

Although a bee sting is not commonly hazardous, some people may be allergic to the bee’s venom. Those who have sensitivity to bees should immediately seek out emergency medical assistance or call 9-1-1 if they experience symptoms of an allergic reaction. In rare cases, individuals experience an extreme allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. These reactions may be life threatening and require immediate medical treatment. Seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Itching and swelling around the eyes
  • Tongue and throat swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry cough
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Hives, rashes, or generalized itching
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shock or loss of consciousness

If you are stung multiple times or experience any of the above symptoms, even if you don’t have a sensitivity, you should seek medical attention as a precaution. If you come in contact with an Africanized honey bee, the most important thing to do is not panic. Most deaths related to bee stings happen because people panic and act irrational. Each year, stinging insects send approximately half a million people to the emergency room and are the leading cause of anaphylaxis-related deaths in the United States.

Florida Summer Pest Guide

Florida Summer Pest Guide by Truly Nolen Florida’s summer weather creates an ideal paradise for bugs. The increased temperatures, rain, and humidity lead to an increase in insect activity – including your lawn and in your home. Checking your home and lawn is key to maintaining a pest-free environment.


Florida homeowners often spend a great deal of time and energy keeping their lawns lush and green all year long. However, even the most beautifully manicured lawn can have pests hiding in the grass. Recognizing problems before they get out of control is key to keeping your yard healthy and beautiful.

Tips for a Healthy Green Florida Lawn What can I do to protect my Florida lawn from pests this summer? Your Florida lawn requires particular attention during the summer to ensure the proper nutritional balance and to control both the weeds and insect intrusion.  Stressed grass is more susceptible to pests and diseases than healthy grass. You can reduce your chances of insect infestation by mowing frequently but leaving your grass a bit higher (at least three inches to enhance the deep rooting process), use fertilizers sparingly, and avoid watering too often. When summer rains are frequent, you may need to reduce your watering schedule to keep the grass from becoming overly saturated.  

Common Lawn Pests Found In Florida If your yard shows signs of damage, it is important to identify the problem before taking the appropriate steps to treating it. It is essential to monitor your lawn and grass weekly throughout the summer for signs of insects. Some common summer insects are listed below:

Fire Ants

Fire ants are small, aggressive ants that live throughout Florida. They have dull red bodies and are relatively small in size. Fire ants interfere with outdoor activities and can harm wildlife and your pets. In Florida, fire ants are commonly found in open fields and lawns, preferring to nest in dry, flat, and sunny locations. They build rounded dome-like nests or mounds that can be as large as 3 feet wide and high.   These mounds can damage mowing, harvesting, or electrical equipment. Typically they build their nest mounds in the ground near landscaped areas or structural foundations, as they prefer loose earth for mound construction. Ant mounds are unsightly and may reduce land values. Fire ants are least active during the hottest hours of the day. During the cooler part of the day they are very active and aggressive, they will repeatedly sting any intruding animal or person. They avoid darkness and shade, yet are incredibly resilient. If mounds remain undisturbed and the colony rapidly multiplies, fire ants may send additional queens to begin new mounds nearby. Large colonies can have up to 250,000 workers. These ants leave the colony in a massive mating flight. Keep an eye out for heavy ant trails around the walls, driveways, windows, fences, and throughout the yard.


Whiteflies are a severe problem that is facing Florida homeowners. These creatures develop rapidly in warm weather, making Florida summer an ideal time for infestation. Whiteflies get their name from a white, waxy substance that covers the wings and bodies of adult flies. The adult whitefly is very small – less than 1/16” long – and resembles a tiny moth. There are more than 75 types of whiteflies in Florida. Whiteflies can seriously damage host plants. The flies lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves, where the eggs hatch. Whiteflies feed by sucking the sap from leaves with their needle-like mouths. Both whiteflies and their nymphs pose a threat to plant life, as all stages feed on plant juices. As the whitefly drains off the plant’s juices the leaves dry out, turn yellow, and eventually drop from the plant. Whiteflies congregate in such large numbers, they are able to effectively drain off the plant’s source of water and nutrients, quickly damaging the host plant causing yellowing, stunted growth, wilting, leaf drop, and even plant death. Be careful, because leaves play host to eggs and other life stages of the insects, it is important that you do not allow any damage trimmed from an infested plant to come in contact with other plants because this can spread to the infestation.

Plants affected by the whitefly:  The whitefly has a wide range of host plants, though different whitefly strains prefer certain plants over others. In all, over 500 plant species are affected by the whitefly. This list continues to grow as the whiteflies spread. Fruit and edible plants such as avocado, banana, citrus, mango, guava, plantain, squash, tomatoes, and others are typically affected. Several species of palm trees including King palm, coconut palm, sabal palm and other less common palms can also be affected. Some of the affected ornamental plants include azaleas, bird of paradise, gumbo limbo, bird of paradise, black olive, bougainvillea, buttonwood, fig (ficus), live oak, mahogany, hibiscus, poinsettia, sea grapes, lantana, live oak, wax myrtle and many annuals. Plant damage:  Whiteflies cause visible landscape damage to trees, plants and shrubs. The most noticeable sign of a whitefly infestation are white spirals, combined with a build-up of white, waxy substance on bottom of the leaves. Often times, the build up is so great that plants are actually covered and can lose all their leaves.  These stressed and weakened plants may fall victim to other insects & diseases at this point.

Other damage:  Whiteflies produce an extremely significant amount of “honeydew,” a sticky, sugary honeydew excretion which causes the growth of an ugly sooty mold – a black fungus that grows on the insect’s excrement.  This “honeydew” is the cause for many problems, as it sticks to vehicles, sidewalks and driveways, outdoor furniture, homes, etc. causing damage to car paint and leaving a sticky mess. The honeydew also attracts ants that drive off the natural predators of whiteflies. Control and prevention:

Be sure to check your plants daily for any sign of infestation. Check the undersides of leaves for whitefly eggs or larvae, as this is a good indicator of whitefly presence. If any evidence is found, take action immediately. The best course of action is to call a professional pest control that specializes in using a broad-spectrum insecticide that treats and removes whiteflies. These pests will not leave on their own; they are best treated by a professional and treated quickly.

Chinch Bugs Chinch bugs have black bodies, silvery wings, and antennas and are one of the most common yet damaging pests. Sucking plant juices from infested grass, these pests injure your lawn and can cause large yellow or brown patches to appear. Typically, most chinch bug damage occurs along driveways and sidewalks but can sometimes be found in open sunny areas in the middle of the lawn. One way to keep chinch bugs under control is to water the lawn infrequently yet deeply.

Chinch bugs can cause extensive damage on your lawn if infestations are heavy, so it is often necessary to seek professional help to eliminate them.

Grubs and Common Worms White grubs are the larvae of beetles and rest in a C-shaped position. Grubs and worms damage turf grass by feeding on the roots. Injured grasses will have uneven notches chewed along the sides of the blades. The first signs of infestation resemble drought conditions. Grubs can kill small plants and gnaw cavities in root vegetables. Heavy infestations of grubs attract other pests like raccoons, opossums, crows, ibis, and other birds, which make holes in the lawn and garden to feed on the grubs. Professional lawn spraying is the best solution. A lawn care professional will exterminate the larvae and eggs to prevent further damage.

Other Bugs

You may notice insects swarming (flying) in and around your yard. Insects spread and mate this way. Fleas are also very common at this time of year. The most common flea problem we encounter is with the Cat flea. They breed in sand and dirt, and the hotter it gets outside the worse a cat flea problem can become. When a pest professional treats your lawn for some of these common pests, it also controls fleas and ticks in your yard as well.


The summer rains and hot temperatures also make it easy for prolific foliage growth. As your plants grow out and touch the side of your house, ants and other pests are able to use the tree limbs as a bridge to your home. Trim tree limbs and foliage away from the house to reduce the chance of these pests getting inside. Yard debris should be bagged and properly disposed of to decrease harborage areas for insects. Insects need shelter, moisture and food. Your home provides all of these and without the presence of their natural predators.


Widely recognized as the top nuisance pest in America, ants are likely to make an appearance in many homes around Florida this summer. The common myth that seeing one ant indoors equals a full-blown infestation is not necessarily true. However, ants do cooperate by leaving an invisible chemical trail (pheromones) for other ants to follow once they locate a promising food source. If that food source is in your home, you can count on ant colonies developing. They can enter your home through the smallest cracks and invade your kitchen and your pantry. While most ants are considered a harmless nuisance, there are those that pose a serious threat to your family’s health and property. Carpenter ants can cause severe property damage as they tunnel through wood to build nests. The highly invasive crazy ant, can infest homes, recreational vehicles, and any laptop or smart phone left in its path. If you have an ant infestation, vacuum trails of ants, wipe them with soapy water, or spray with window cleaner. Locate entry points then caulk openings or plug with petroleum jelly. Put out bait stations or apply gel bait at entry points. Baits take time to work, so continue to clean up trails. If possible, identify the species of ant for more targeted control of the problem. Always call a professional for a targeted expert removal protocol.

Mosquitoes, Termites, and Other Pests

Interior activity will probably be focused around the kitchen and bathrooms, or near any possible water source. If the bugs are swarming inside of your home, you could have an infestation problem. Limiting access for household bugs is the best way to prevent an infestation. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house. Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows. Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground. Call Truly Nolen or Ask our Pest Expert for additional advice on control and treatment. Make sure your Florida Home is Truly Protected this summer!

Effects of warmer weather on potential pests

Snow and ice begin to melt as the air gets warmer, and plants start to bloom. It’s a great time of year, but it’s also a great time for pests to get into your home. Read more to learn what warmer weather means for pest control indoors. 

When water gets into cracks and freezes, it also expands. So when moisture is present in existing cracks in foundations and walls, the spaces will get larger. Most pests only need a quarter-inch to enter a home, and if water caused damage over the winter, it could mean new vulnerabilities that didn’t exist last season. Check for possible bug entrances with every significant temperature change, and fill new cracks with foam, screens and caulk. 

As snow and ice melt, it leaves the ground soft, damp and easily picked up by shoes and pets. Lots of pests, namely ants, are more than willing to be transported indoors without having to find an entrance themselves. Keep a welcome mat by the door for visitors (and residents) to wipe their feet on. Bugs and insects are also attracted to dampness in attics, basements, and garages. Keeping these areas dry and free of leaks will make it less tempting for unwanted guests to move in. 

Warm weather brings plants, plants bring pollen, and pollen brings bees. Equip all open windows with thicker screens to keep pollen out, and brush off pets after they’ve been out in plant-heavy areas. 

Earlier winter thaws also mean earlier infestations. The majority of pests are most active in warmer climates, so be aware of when the temperature is expected to rise, and make the necessary preparations. Pest eggs hatch more easily in the heat, so an untreated problem can exponentially worsen. It may be best to book an exterminator agency in advance, as the demand for them will increase with the heat. 

Avoid luring pests into your bedroom

Having pests in the home can pose various dangers to the family. Mice gnaw on wires and increase the risk of electrical fires, cockroaches can increase the likelihood of asthma and silverfish can destroy valuable documents. To avoid any of these occurring in their bedroom, homeowners should be sure to take the following precautions.

Avoid food in the bedroom 
Allowing food in the bedroom may invite pests, whether or not falling bits of food are clearly visible. When eating at a desk or in bed, crumbs are inevitable. It’s important to clean the areas that are utilized for meals frequently and thoroughly. If you do keep food in the bedroom, keeping it in air tight containers limits the risk of uninvited guests, though always eating in the kitchen cuts down on the amount of cleaning that is necessary. If there’s nothing to eat, mice and other pests are less likely to make that area their habitat.

Reduce nooks & crannies
Seal the perimeter. If pests can’t get in, they can’t make themselves at home. This Old House warns that most critters need less than a quarter-inch diameter space to get into a room, so plugging up potential entrances, especially in older homes, is essential. Make sure that all windows have screens, and that the screens don’t have any holes in them. Cracks in walls can be filled with expanding foam or steel wool. Use a flashlight to check the corners and floorboards in the rooms of the house to prevent the potential for pest entry. If your bedroom has hardwood floors, be sure to check for gaps and cracks wider than a quarter-inch.

Keep It Neat
TLC notes that it’s vital to keep all spaces in any house neat and free of clutter, since piles of clothes or boxes make ideal hiding spaces for unwanted guests. Most everyone would hate to find a mouse or spider in their shoe when getting ready for the day. This can also be used as an incentive for keeping bedrooms tidy. Keeping a doormat by the front and back entryways can help to reduce dirt, which in turn reduces the risk of tracking pests into the bedroom.

Keep pets clean
Pets are also a great way for creatures to hitch a ride through the front door and then into the bedroom. Cleaning and drying pet’s paws and fur before allowing them into the house, especially before they get into the bedrooms, can cut down on pesky passengers. Luckily it’s not necessary to give cats and dogs a bath every time they come in from the yard. Special cloths are available at most pet stores that make maintaining the cleanliness of a household animal significantly easier.

If pests do make it into the bedroom, many pest control services such as Truly Nolen offer a free inspection.

Recognizing pantry pests and preventing an infestation

With the holidays around the corner, many homeowners are pulling out baking supplies to create seasonal goodies. Nothing can dampen the spirit of fun in the kitchen quite like a pantry pest infestation. Bugs can invade flower, sugar, cereal, rice, nuts and other packaged foods commonly brought out of the cupboard during the holidays..

To avoid inviting these pests into their pantries and cupboards, homeowners should learn to identify infestations and have them treated by a professional immediately.

According to the University of California Davis' Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, pantry pests are often brought into the home in infested packages of food. Homeowners should examine their groceries to ensure they are not bringing pests into their homes and pantries.

Meal moths
The Indian meal moth is the most common species found in pantries, states UC Davis. Larvae attack cereal, flour, cornmeal, dried fruit, pasta, candy and other stored products. A grown indian meal moth is recognizable by reddish-brown and whitish-gray wings. Their eggs hatch within a few days into white caterpillars.

Because these bugs travel far to pupate, or transform, they may found be outside the kitchen and infest other areas of the home.

Pantry beetles
There are several species of beetles that are commonly found in dry foods. Warehouse beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles and the drugstore beetle are just of a few of them.

These critters attack a variety of products and most lay eggs in packages of pasta, cocoa, nuts, dried beans and more. Some species have short life cycles, while others can live up to three years.

Infestation dangers
In addition to being troublesome, the presence of bugs in the kitchen can be extremely dangerous. UC Davis explains pests contaminate food with their bodies and byproducts. Secretion, webbing and excrement created by moths and beetles in their larval phases give foods disagreeable odors and taste. Meanwhile, warehouse beetle setae, or hair, can irritate the mouth, throat and stomach if ingested. Pantry pests can also bring microbes into food, which produce highly carcinogenic compounds.

Taking a stand
To avoid opening their pantry and cabinet doors to these bugs, homeowners can take precautionary measures to keep food safe.

It's a good idea to inspect all food storage space periodically to ensure it's not infested. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) advises residents to seal up any cracks or crevices around the home to avoid any kind of infestation.

The NPMA also highly recommends investing in airtight containers for all dry foods and checking expiration dates of ingredients before using them to bake or cook. Placing a bay leaf in dried foods can help to keep beetles away. 

When shopping for goods, residents should inspect the packaging thoroughly. If bags or cardboard show any sign of even slight damage, homeowners may consider alerting the grocer.

Good sanitation goes a long way in preventing visits from unwelcome bugs. Spills and crumbs should be cleaned up immediately and cupboards and shelves should be wiped down frequently. Not only can this help to keep pests away, it can also help a homeowner discover an infestation in a timely manner.

When preparing for festivities, homeowners should inspect decorations made of dried plants, like potpourri and Indian corn to ensure they aren't home to any pests that could invade their pantry. These festive items should be stored in sealed containers and unpacked outdoors before bringing them in the home.

If pantry pests continue to be an issue after infested food is disposed of, homeowners should contact an exterminator.

Pest control tips for the fall

Although pest control professionals are often needed to remedy various bug and insect infestations, home and business owners can take their own measures in removing critters from their properties.

With fall rapidly approaching and the temperature dropping, a new variety of pests are making themselves known to home and business owners alike across the country, and there are new actions that can be taken to deal with the situation given the weather.

First, as a home or business owner, you can protect your area by sealing any cracks or holes on the outside of the building as these are points of entry for many pests. As a homeowner, you should make sure your attic is well ventilated and dry, and use a ventilator or dehumidifier if needed.

Homeowners can also use pest control insulation to further protect their properties from ants, termites, cockroaches and other critters.

However, DIY pest control initiatives can only take you so far, as the professionals will likely be needed in order to completely take care of an infestation. Trusted exterminators use the latest technology in getting rid of pests of all varieties and have all their equipment and methods licensed and insured.

Why you need a fall pest inspection

Because summer is winding down, many homeowners think hot-weather insects are a thing of the past. However, bugs can invade your home at any point, and autumn is one of their favorite times to head indoors. Stop a problem before it gets out of control and call your local insect control expert to evaluate your home and check for any infestation problems today.

Cool weather drives us all indoors
Like humans, insects don't like being left out in the cold. When the temperatures start to drop, backyard bugs start to head inside for shelter. To prevent pests from sneaking indoors to warm up, it's important to make sure there aren't any entry points through which insects can gain access to your home.

Is your chimney vent screened? Is your weather stripping in good condition? An exterminator can ensure there aren't any pest-friendly areas homeowners aren't aware of. Nearly unnoticeable tiny holes or cracks outside can lead to a serious problem indoors if insects find them and enter the home. Even if all your crevices outdoors are sealed, pay special attention to screens. On pleasant fall days, it's tempting to leave the windows and doors open to get some fresh air, but one tiny snag in a screen can be an entry point for a pest infestation.

Your yard may put your home at risk
Many insects enter homes through the yard, and an expert could reveal that your outdoor space could be putting your home in jeopardy. A trained eye may reveal that that stack of firewood you use to build a fire on chilly autumn days is too close to your house, and could be contributing to a pest problem. A professional may also find that your bushes and trees outside need to be trimmed before they lead insects into your home.

Better safe than sorry
You may think a few ants on the floor are nothing to be concerned about … but what if you're wrong? If you spot some pests, a fall inspection is essential. An exterminator can let you know if there really is a problem, or if you're successfully keeping the insects at bay. It's better to discover and deal with an infestation early on, instead of letting it get worse as time goes by. Have pest control professionals take care of your insect issues now, and you won't need to worry about a bug problem days before your holiday guests arrive.

Keep pests out of the home this fall

Summertime isn't the only season when bugs attempt to invade homes. When the autumn weather hits, the natural resources an insect relies on for survival become increasingly scarce. This can cause backyard bugs to march into homes as they search for food and shelter. No matter what sort of pests an area is known for, almost any bug can get into a residence and set up a home. As the weather begins to cool this fall, it is important for homeowners to be vigilant about pest control measures in order to prevent an infestation.

Make homes unfriendly to pests
Insects come into homes in a search for food, water and shelter that are no longer available to them outdoors. It is important to make sure these resources are not available to them. Make sure dirty dishes are washed promptly, teach all family members to put food away in tightly sealed containers and wipe down counters and other surfaces that tend to accumulate crumbs. These steps will prevent pests from finding food in the home. Deny insects water by getting rid of standing water in or around the home.

Ensure there are no entry points
Keep insects away by denying them access to the home. Once the air conditioning is turned off to let the cool fall breezes in, it's important to check screens and make sure there are no tears or holes. Inspect the exterior of the home to ensure there are no ways bugs can get in. Any cracks should be sealed, since a small pest can easily squeeze through a tiny area. Doors should close completely and not have any extra space at the sides or underneath that a bug could sneak through. While examining the outside of the home, it is also important to check on plants that are near the house. Bushes, trees and shrubs that are right up against windows or doors can provide easy access for some insects, who use them to crawl up to an entry point.

Keep the problem under control
When a homeowner has carefully taken the proper precautions to avoid a fall infestation, it can be discouraging to discover a pest inside the home. Although one bug may not be a problem, it can be a sign of a larger infestation. Keeping an eye out for more of the insects will reveal if a bigger issue exists. If fall pest troubles are discovered, it is important to have insect control professionals assess the situation. Exterminators can take a look at the problem, recommend the best form of treatment and let a homeowners know other preventative steps to take in the future.