Category Archives: Pest Database

Slacker Ants

Think colony ants are the last word in insect industriousness? A recent study published by the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Journal and reported on in PC Mag and Science Magazine states that colony ants are lazy slackers.

Over 70% of Colony Ants are Inactive

While colony ants have always enjoyed a solid reputation for efficiency and dedication, it turns out many ants that live in colonies may not do much of anything at all. A group of researchers studied five separate colonies, marking all of the members with spots of colored paint, each with a specific color code. Then, the research team set up a camera to record the ants in five minute segments, six times a day over the next two weeks, and sat back to watch what happened. The researchers learned that so-called worker ants were actually inactive over 70% of the time! Additionally, just about a quarter of all the ants were not recorded working at all. In fact, only about 3% of the ants were consistently active at all during the recorded segments. But what does this mean in the bigger picture? Since the ants aren’t watching Netflix or playing on tiny smart phones, why are they so inactive?

Lazy…or Labor Distribution?

Ant inactivity isn’t news to researchers. While previous studies have shown that the lethargy of the ants might be temporary and due to the influence of circadian rhythms, this new information seems to imply that time of day has nothing to do with the laziness of the ants. However, the scientists suggest that the inactivity of the ants may have something to do with the way a colony distributes labor, possibly allowing the ants that are either too young or too old to stay inactive, while the healthier ants do the brunt of the work.

In a recent interview, one of the lead researchers on the project confirmed this theory of labor distribution, stating that it may be a critical part of the colony’s organization, potentially having something to do with an overabundance of ants, not all of which need to be working at once.

Dealing with Ants

No one wants to share a home with ants – industrious or otherwise. If you think you’ve got an infestation of either active or inactive ants, give us a shout.

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

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

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

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

Clean Up Your Act

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

What If I Suspect I’ve Been Pantry Hacked?

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

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

Indian Meal Moths and Saw-toothed Grain Beetles

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

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

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact a Professional

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

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

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

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

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

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

Africanized Honeybees: Bad News Bees

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

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

Bullet Ants: Shoot Me Now

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

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

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach: From Hollywood Star to Household Pet

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

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

Japanese Giant Hornet: Move Over Mothra

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

Jewel Wasp: Diabolic Perfection

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

Giant Isopod: Pill Bug From the Deep

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

Mexican Red Rump Tarantula: Cuddly Pets

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

Tarantula Hawk Wasp: Just Lie Down and Start Screaming

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

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

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

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

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

Common types of pantry pests

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

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

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

Government limits for insect parts and rodent hair

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

How you can secure food products

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

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

How to Survive a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed Bugs On the Rise: Be Proactive

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

Bed Bugs: Information and Habits

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

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

Bed Bug Infestation: What To Do

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

What You Can Do: Before Your Inspector Arrives

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

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

Treating Bed Bug Infestations

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

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

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

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

Encasement Systems Work

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

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

Out of the Woods: Monitoring and Prevention

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

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

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

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

Truly Nolen Atlanta

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

Powerful Pests: Know the Difference – Carpenter Ants and Termites

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


Carpenter antTermite white ant isolated

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


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

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

Possible Damage and Treatment

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

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

Back to School: Charlotte’s Most Common Pests

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Spot Bed Bugs

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

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

Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs in the Home

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

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

Truly Nolen Bed Bug Control

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

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

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

Bed Bugs: Back From the Dead

It seems that over the last decade there have been an increasing number of outbreaks of bed bugs in the Lexington area. A common saying most kids heard before “lights out” was a good night and a reminder to “not let the bed bugs bite” and most of us didn’t realize the true impact of what was being said. A common misconception in regard to bed bugs is that only dirty or unkempt homes qualify for infestation of this pest to happen – that is simply untrue. Bed bugs can be found in many places including homes, hotels, city transit, and even movie theaters. Here is some valuable information about the outbreak of bed bugs in Lexington.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed BugBed bugs are small, oval shaped insects (they look a lot like an apple seed) that live off the blood of humans and animals. They have piercing sucking mouthparts and the adults and nymphs feed on blood. Adult bed bugs are flat but after feeding they are plump and appear red. Bed bugs cannot fly but they are able to move quickly over floors, walls, and even ceilings. A female bed bug may lay hundreds of eggs over a lifetime. In favorable conditions a bed bug can become fully developed within a few months and produce three or more generations each year. Even though bed bugs are a nuisance, they do not transmit any diseases. They are creepy because they feed on you while you are sleeping and most of the time they do not even wake you up or create a skin reaction.

Where do Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed Bug MattressBed bugs can enter your home through luggage brought back from an infested hotel, clothing, used furniture, and many other items. Bed bugs typically hide in mattresses, box springs, headboards or overstuffed easy chairs or sofas, really any place people sleep. These hiding places are where they lay their eggs and they give bed bugs easy access to human beings on whom they feed while they sleep at night. Bed bugs can eventually move throughout the home or even through pipe chases and other accesses into other apartments or bedrooms.

How to Check for an Infestation:

Waking to itchy areas that weren’t present before you went to sleep, is a good sign that you may have a bed bug infestation. Blood stained pillow cases and sheets are good a sign that your bed is infested. Bed bug excrement may be present on sheets or in mattress piping. If you see any signs of this, call your local Truly Nolen Lexington exterminator immediately.

Aren’t Bed Bugs Difficult to Get Rid Of?

Bed bugs are notorious for being difficult to eliminate from a residence but it is not impossible. Truly Nolen knows what steps are needed in order to rid your home of these unwanted pests. Spending time trying to combat the problem on your own could potentially spread the infestation, making it harder to stop in the future.

Furniture TreatmentTruly Nolen Lexington will provide an in-depth inspection and confirm the presence and extent of infestation of bed bugs within your home. While your first reaction might be to panic once you find out that you do in fact have bed bugs, take a deep breath and don’t throw everything you own away – we can probably save it.

Our Truly technicians will treat your sleeping area including your mattress, box springs and the areas and upholstered furniture surrounding it. Bed bugs can move into closets where they can attach to clothing so our technicians will take time treating these areas as well. All crevices that are found in your walls where bed bugs can be hiding will be treated as well. A technician will make recommendations to you based on your personal needs and the severity of your infestation. A check-up will be scheduled to ensure that the infestation is under control and you’re getting your home back.

Finding a bed bug infestation in your home can be an emotional and stress inducing situation. Let us take care of the problem for you. Call Truly Nolen Lexington for more information about our bed bug services at (859) 277-0716.

Don’t Bug Me: Does Atlanta, GA Have a Bed Bug Problem?

Bedtime should be a calming, serene part of the day, a time for relaxation and quiet. But it’s hard to feel relaxed and cozy if you’re sharing your sleeping space with bed bugs. Americans spent an estimated $70 million in 2004 to get rid of bed bugs. That number jumped to a whopping $446 million in 2013, according to leading pest control reports.

Atlanta’s Sizable Bed Bug Problem

Atlanta is a city rich in culture and history. Its unique beauty has served as a backdrop for some of the most important events in American history, including the Civil War. However, now Georgia is fighting another kind of war: bed bug infestations. According to data, Atlanta ranks at No. 25 among the top U.S. cities struggling with bed bugs. A 2014 survey revealed that almost 40% of renters listed bed bugs as the critter they’d most hate to have in their home – and with good reason. In the last five years, Georgia has continued to receive high rankings on bed bug infestation lists. Bed bugs are invading Georgia hotel rooms as well. According to the Bed Bug Registry, there were over 500 reported incidents of Georgia hotels with bed bug issues (

No Southern Hospitality for Bed Bugs

While bed bugs don’t necessarily cause disease, that’s no reason to show them southern hospitality! Bed bugs can cause a host of extreme issues for the Atlanta residents, including anemia, stress, infections, and, of course, itchy and red welt-like bites. Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs in one lifetime, so preventing or stopping an infestation is crucial.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed Bug
Bed bugs often leave a trail of blood spots or fecal matter around the bed or mattress. They sometimes hide inside plush toys or furniture. They can also be found in small crevices or cracks in the surrounding room. Bed bugs are tiny and hard to see, so call our licensed Truly Nolen Atlanta professionals to help you identify them.

If you have identified the bed bugs, there are some actions you can take. Heat will kill bed bugs, so wash bedding in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Put the items that can’t be washed, such as shoes or stuffed animals, in the dryer on the highest heat setting for at least a half hour. Bed Bugs can hide in clothing or even in stacks of paper, so reduce the clutter around your bed. While bed bugs are attracted to clutter, they aren’t attracted to dirt or unsanitary living conditions. They’re attracted to blood, warmth, darkness, and carbon dioxide.

Vacuum your mattress and bedroom thoroughly and be careful to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed plastic bag before throwing it away. What if your mattress is infested? Either get rid of it entirely or invest in a zippered, fully sealed mattress cover. If the cover is left on for over a year, it will successfully contain and kill any remaining bed bugs.

Bed Bugs on the Go

Bed bugs may enjoy hitching a ride back from a family vacation or entering your home by way of second hand padded furniture. If you find evidence of bed bugs while traveling, inform a hotel staff member right away. To protect your home against a possible bed bug invasion, vacuum your travel bags and wash all clothing from the trip in hot water. Keep your suitcases off the carpeted floor, wooden luggage racks, or bed when in hotel rooms: bed bugs often hide in these areas.

Be Vigilant Against Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are more than just a pesky nuisance – they pose a unique threat to Atlanta’s population, contributing to many health issues such as anemia, infections, and possible allergies, which, in turn, may cause anaphylaxis. Finding one bed bug means that there may be thousands more where it came from. Take proactive steps to prevent these tiny critters from taking over your bed, your wallet, and your life.

Truly Nolen Atlanta has been exterminating pests in the Atlanta metro area for over a decade and nationally for over 75 years. Call us at 678-561-2847 to set up a home inspection and get the kind of deep sleep you deserve.