Category Archives: Bed Bugs

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!

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.

Bed Bugs In Atlanta, GA-A Historical Look at Prevention

Bed Bug
Despite their small size, bed bugs can cause big problems for almost everyone. Notorious for their pervasive nature, these blood sucking parasites are extremely difficult to get rid of yet can easily infest their current environment in the blink of an eye. Residents of Atlanta, Georgia can attest to this all too well as the city has seen a dramatic resurgence in recent years with bed bugs being reported everywhere from nursing homes, dorm rooms and schools to hospitals, residences, offices and more.

A common misconception with this insect is that its presence is indicative of lack of hygiene or unsanitary living conditions. This is simply not the case as bed bugs can infest even the cleanest of homes and due to their excellent hitchhiking abilities, can also quickly spread this infestation to nearby environments.

Although Atlanta is known to welcome throngs of visitors to the city each year, the increase in bed bugs is most definitely an unwelcomed activity. Ironically enough, the nature in which bed bugs can invade and spread, may be attributed to the frequent travelers that come and go every year. Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta is one of the busiest airports in the country, giving bed bugs the perfect opportunity to travel to and fro, unknown to the very travelers that are carrying them.

Truly Nolen of West Atlanta, GA holds a magnifying glass up to the major issue of these small, nuisance causing insects and takes a look at the historical aspect of bed bug prevention.

Hey Bed Bugs! Why Atlanta?

While there is more than one contributing factor to the prevalence of bed bugs in Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Public Health Environmental program identifies several probable causes for the increase of bed bugs in the city including:

  • Worldwide increase in bed bug activity
  • Frequent introductions of bed bugs during international travel
  • Changes in pest management practices and resistance to pesticides
  • Lack of public awareness, which can lead to the increase in the spread of bed bugs

So, why Atlanta? Although bed bugs are found in all 50 states, the population density in Atlanta is enough to provide easy avenues for bed bugs to transfer from household to household as the Metro Atlanta Chamber cites more than 5.3 million people residing in the city with nearly 150,000 businesses. In addition to the regular population, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau gives astounding numbers as the city boasts over 42 million visitors annually. Bed bugs can easily transition from suitcases and hotel rooms as either through the bug itself or their eggs, latching on to an unsuspecting victim only to be re-introduced to someone else.

Bed Bugs – Atlanta’s Unwelcomed Visitors

Bed bugs were always considered to be a common public health pest throughout the world. Though not dangerous, a bed bug infestation is time consuming and stressful on anyone who is affected. First brought to the United States by early colonists, bed bugs were busy wreaking havoc for many years until new pest control methods were adopted and people became more aware of preventative measures and best practices in the form of washing machines and vacuum usage.

Conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey found that “bed bug infestations in the United States continue at high rates, with 99.6 percent of respondents having treated for bed bugs in the past year. That number – which has been consistent for the past few years – is significantly higher than 15 years ago, when only 25 percent of pest professionals reported treating for bed bugs.”

Major Milestones in Eradication

Developed in the 1940’s shortly after World War 2, DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was one of the first chemicals used as pesticide. It was used as an effective pest control method for farms and homes and was largely responsible for the drastic decline in bed bug infestations. In 1972 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deemed its effects harmful on the environment, as well as posed health risks to humans and discontinued its usage.

Back then, DDT and Malathion were used on a wide-scale to combat bed bug infestations, however, since that time innovations and advances in pest control methods have introduced new products to the market. The EPA has over 300 registered products that are safe for consumer usage, with some for specific use by pest control professionals to aid in the eradication of bed bugs. Although new products have been introduced, regulatory agencies have also limited the availability of stronger insecticides.

Back to Basics- Bed Bugs 101

Bed bugs do not fall into the category of dangerous, disease transmitting pests, however, they are considered to be a public health pest that can have physical, emotional and financial repercussions.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency outlines the negative impact that a bed bug infestation can have, including:

  • Allergic reactions to their bites, which can be severe. Effects ranging from no reaction to a small bite mark to, in rare cases, anaphylaxis (severe, whole-body reaction).
  • Secondary infections of the skin from the bite reaction, such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis.
  • Mental health impacts on people living in infested homes. Reported effects include anxiety, insomnia and systemic reactions.

Bed Bug Identification

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are oval in shape, with flattened, wingless bodies. Typically a reddish brown or brown, they also appear to be a dull red color once they are engorged after feeding on warm-blooded animals or humans. At first glance, they can often be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches and can range between 1/4” and 3/8” long.

Bed Bug Habitat

Due to their flattened bodies, bed bugs are able to fit into small cracks and crevices and can go unnoticed for extended periods of time. Unlike ants, bed bugs do not colonize or live in nests, instead choosing to stay close to where people sleep at night as they are drawn to warmth. This means that bed frames, mattresses and headboards are the perfect places for bed bugs to inhabit.

Bed Bug Habits

Bed bugs can enter a home, office or school in many different ways including:

  • Renting or buying used furniture
  • Transported in luggage from an infested area
  • Direct human contact with areas already infested ( example: other homes or hotels)

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

The immediate bite from a bed bug is painless, so victims will often be aware that they have been bitten several hours or even days after. The most obvious signs of a bed bug infestation are bite marks on exposed areas of the body. In addition to bite marks, there are other tell tale signs that bed bugs may be lurking nearby such as a musty odor, rust colored spots on mattresses or sheets and bed bug exoskeletons left behind.

Bed Bug Treatment

Since bed bugs typically bite their victims at night, this gives them time to gorge for up to 10 minutes at a time, the result of which are raised welts accompanied by severe itching. In rare cases, bed bug bites can cause serious reactions, but generally speaking their bites are not considered a serious threat. If you have been bitten, it is best to avoid scratching the area if possible. Antiseptic lotions are also helpful to help with the itching.

Bed Bug Prevention

Bed Bug Prevention
Truly Nolen of West Atlanta can provide homeowners and commercial property owners with a free inspection to determine if bed bugs are a threat to your immediate environment. If there is a potential bed bug infestation brewing, it is important that professional help be sought out right away as this eliminates the threat of the infestation growing and spreading to other areas.

At Truly Nolen, our pest professionals are up to taking on the challenge of eliminating this difficult pest with effective methods and consistent follow up to ensure proper removal. Until our team of pest experts can come out to inspect and treat your home, here are some tips to help keep bed bugs from becoming an unwanted guest:

  • Wash sheets, mattress covers and bedding in hot soapy water on a regular basis.
  • When traveling, inspect your hotel room with a flashlight thoroughly before unpacking. This includes inside dressers, headboards, hotel bed sheets and chairs.
  • Upon returning to your home, carefully inspect your suitcase before bringing it into the house. Suitcases should be cleaned and vacuumed, and all clothes (clean and dirty) should be washed in hot water, and dried immediately.
  • Most important, upon first signs of an infestation, contact your Truly Nolen West Atlanta pest expert to schedule an immediate inspection. The suspected area should be left alone until your pest professional arrives for further analysis.

Bed bugs are a challenging pest and for many homeowners, the emotional headache and financial impact can take its toll. Contact your West Atlanta Truly Nolen pest specialist today at (404) 939-7277 to schedule your inspection and let our experts provide the best in bed bug control to help keep your family safe and happy.

Bed Bugs: What You Should Know

Bed Bug

2015 surveys conducted by NPMA and the University of Kentucky found startling facts/statistics regarding bed bug:

  • 99.6% of pest control professionals treated bed bugs last year
  • Bed bugs are found in all 50 states: From hotels to hospitals, to dorm rooms, and even prosthetic limbs!
  • Although bed bugs are not a “seasonal” pest, 2/3 of all instances were reported during summer months

Who’s At Risk?

  • Frequent travelers, recent travelers, and residents living in cities that have high tourist activity like Orlando, San Diego, and New York

How Do I Get Bed Bugs?

  • Attached to clothing
  • Attach to luggage/baggage
  • Hotel bedding
  • Hotel furniture

How Can I Tell I Have Them?

  • Cluster of red, itchy bite marks in an area after sleeping
  • Small red to reddish brown spots either in bedding or on walls
  • Molted bed bug skins or their white, sticky eggs/empty eggshells

What Should I Do?

  • Wash bedding in hot water (113 degrees and above)
  • Avoid placing clothing in hotel room dresser
  • Keep luggage from touching hotel beds by placing it on luggage rack
  • Unpack luggage without bringing bags inside house
  • Contact your local Truly Nolen pest control expert

Summer Household Pest Control Checklist for Columbus, OH

The transition from spring to summer is peak time for household pest activity. Truly Nolen of Columbus, OH wants to make sure that Columbus homeowners stay pest free this summer, giving you more time to spend outdoors without worrying about pests indoors. To ensure that Columbus residents are prepared for an increase in pest activity, Truly Nolen has created a checklist to help homeowners remain pest free this summer.

Summer Pests Checklist

Summer Lovin’- Common Pests Found in Ohio

Although homeowners should be watchful of pests all throughout the year, it is important to keep an eye out for pests that may have kept a low profile during winter. Pests who go into hiding in winter months to stay warm, are now emerging, eager to reproduce and expand their habitats. Here, we take a look at a few pests that Columbus residents may start to see more of than they might like during the summer!


Brown Recluse Spider
Most of the species of spiders found in Ohio are not poisonous and are considered more of a nuisance rather than a threat. However, where there is one bug, there are two, three or more and spiders are usually a sign of bigger pest problems.

German & Oriental Cockroaches

German Oriental Cockroach
Perhaps two of the more common species, German and Oriental roaches thrive in hot, humid climates making summer the perfect opportunity for these guys to be out and about. German roaches prefer to be indoors, and will always make their way to food and water sources, whereas Oriental roaches can also be found in the immediate exterior portions of your home. Since they carry pathogens and allergens in their cast skins and in their droppings, it is important for homeowners to immediately address any sightings of German or Oriental roaches to avoid further infestation.


Although treatment of centipedes should start from the exterior, these creepy crawlies can make their way indoors into basements and crawlspaces. Centipedes do not pose a threat to homeowners, but they are a nuisance as they can populate quickly if left alone for an extended period of time.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants use their strong jaws to chew through wooden structures, leaving behind a trail of sawdust wherever they go. Damp, soft wood makes the perfect environment for them as they can easily chew out holes to construct their nests.


Rat and mice activity will increase since they have hibernated during the winter months, only to emerge in full force from spring into summer. As rodent population increases due to the warmer weather, homeowners should be aware of the warning signs left behind by rats and mice that indicate their presence in and around your home.

Bed Bugs

As you travel this summer, be weary of hitchhiking bed bugs. No hotel is immune from bed bugs so be sure to inspect the mattress and under the sheets of your hotel bed to make sure there are no signs of bed bugs or their blood. Bed bugs can easily attach themselves to your luggage, clothes, laptop cases and more.


The hot summer weather is perfect for mosquitoes especially when there are backyard barbeques and pool parties. Be sure there isn’t standing water around your home where mosquitoes tend to breed and keep areas clean and free from crumbs.

Common Types of Construction for Ohio Homes

Along with the natural beauty of the state, Ohio homes also boast charming construction design elements indicative of the Midwest. These unique features are enjoyed by Columbus homeowners, but are also considered vulnerable areas that can attract pests:

  • Wooden siding, porches and decking
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements and attics
  • Fireplaces
  • Wooden door frames , windows and roof shingles on older homes
  • Lush landscaping and mulch placed close to the home

Tips to Keep Pests Out This Summer

While many pests are considered to be nothing more than a nuisance, there are those that pose more of a risk to the health and safety of homeowners. Truly Nolen recommends the following for helping to keep pests at a minimum wherever possible:

  • Avoid piles of debris on both interior and exterior of the home to deter pests.
  • Trim shrubs and trees that may have overhanging branches that touch the exterior walls or roof line of the home as these provide an easy gateway for pests to travel.
  • Holes or gaps in screens, doors, windows or foundations should be sealed to keep pests from entering.
  • Basements and crawlspaces should be frequently monitored for indications of possible infestation.
  • Existing cobwebs should be removed to prevent additional spiders.
  • Dark, damp areas such as under the sinks and near faucets should be monitored carefully for roaches.
  • Keeping countertops clean at night and sealing exposed food and water are good ways to keep pests from enjoying a midnight snack.

When do I call my Truly Nolen Pest Professional?

Although homeowners can take steps to ensure that their home remains pest free this summer, there are some pest problems that need the help of a certified, trained professional. One or two pest sightings may be tolerated by most homeowners, but without a thorough inspection, it is difficult to assess whether or not there are more pests behind the scenes.

To err on the side of caution, homeowners should be vigilant when observing possible signs of pest activity and contact a trained professional in the early stages so that the problem does not worsen as time goes on, eventually becoming a full blown infestation.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative Four Seasons Pest Control approach addresses the changes in pest behavior from season to season. Our trained technicians know what to look for, how to be proactive and how to treat an existing infestation. Call Truly Nolen of Columbus to keep your home pest free this summer and all year round.

Back to School Pesky Critters

By Scott Svenheim, ACE
Spokesperson and Associate Certified Entomologist, Truly Nolen of America 

With the back-to-school season nearing, parents have already started to think about preparing their kids – and how can anyone forget that the start of school is looming with commercials already airing!

With pesky critters like bed bugs, head lice and mosquitoes becoming more prevalent in our communities, parents need to take the necessary precautions to avoid infecting their homes.


Bed bugs are nocturnal and have the capabilities to climb softer surfaces such as that duffle bag you sent your children to camp with. Here are some tips to avoid allowing a possible bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Leave luggage outside, in a garage or a secluded area away from other soft materials where they can’t find a way to transfer to another item in your home.
  • Wash and/or Dry possibly infected clothing separately and with hot water, or medium temperature at least 20 minutes.

Head lice is one itchy problem and another pest that can easily hop from one head of hair to another. When your child arrives back from camp, make sure to conduct a thorough screening of his/her scalp with a fine-tooth comb. Many convenience stores will have specialty combs available for purchase. Signs your child may have head lice include:

  • Scratching
  • Small red bumps or sores from scratching
  • Adult lice or eggs on hair strands

Mosquito bites are one of the most common and with viruses like Chikungunya spreading quickly through the United States every bump and bite is worth inspecting. Check any suspicious bumps and circle them with a marker – this will allow you to monitor the bite to ensure it doesn’t get any larger, red or swollen.

If bed bugs or other pests become a bigger issue in your home, call your local pest control company who will be able to assess the level of infestation and recommend necessary courses of treatment.

About Scott Svenheim and Truly Nolen
Scott Svenheim, an expert for Truly Nolen of America and Associate Certified Entomologist, has 27 years of experience in the pest control industry.  Scott brings an informative as well as unique and entertaining perspective to consumers’ pest problems in the 21st century. Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and 60 countries. For more information, please visit

National Pest Management Month: Four Common Pests to Watch Out For

We all know the feeling of the cringe-worthy moment when we hear little scurries across the floorboards, or see teeny droppings in our cupboards and run to call for the first available pest control service appointment.

For more than 30 years, the National Pest Management Association has celebrated the month of April as ‘National Pest Management Month’ to recognize pest management professionals for their efforts in protecting individuals’ health and property from those cringe-worthy moments. With spring season upon us, now is a good time to brush up on four common household nuisances and how to prevent or identify an infestation.

So the next time you see a creepy crawler and wonder what it is, keep in mind these four common pests:

Ants: Ranging from reddish browns to blacks and even yellow, ants are common throughout the year. No matter the climate, ants have an arduous way about them, making their homes in the tiniest of places. As the number one nuisance in the U.S., ants are capable of infesting office buildings, homes and restaurants. Ants are often attracted by sweets and proteins, so keep spills, pet food and other foods cleaned up and/or containers tightly sealed.

Termites: Termites live in colonies that can grow to large numbers. Their usual methods of infesting a home can include entering through cracks in concrete floors from underground, a space as small as 1/64th of an inch or larger. Termites can also be carried in through infested wood such as old furniture, firewood or building materials. Both Subterranean and Drywood termite colonies even have members equipped with wings, being able to fly into a home and begin a new colony. Make sure to have your home thoroughly inspected yearly by a professional to spot termites and/or damage before it’s too late.

Spiders: Varying greatly in size, spiders are often the sign of a more serious insect infestation. As carnivorous hunters, spiders feast on insects such as ants and crickets and hide in cracks and crevices under well-protected areas inside or outside the home. Being popular all year round, the best way to reduce the risk of spider invasions is to remove clutter, repair windows and screens and dust regularly.

Bed Bugs: Bed bugs are known to be travelers, packing away in your suitcase until the most opportune moment to make themselves cozy in your home. Living up to one and a half years, bed bugs produce between one and eight eggs daily. Since you can’t feel the bite of a bed bug, homeowners should be aware of inflamed bites with clusters or rows. Inspect your surroundings carefully when traveling to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.

More Bugs: The Unwelcome Impact of Climate Change

What does the ever-changing weather patterns have to do with pest control? Quite a bit, actually. As northern parts of the country are experiencing extremely low temperatures, and other areas are oddly warmer than usual, the change in our typical seasonal patterns raises a red flag for changes in pest activity.

Irregular changes in the weather, such as spikes in cold temperatures, have the potential to significantly diminish a pest predator’s population, affecting the balance of the ecosystem and allowing pests to thrive and flourish as they take advantage and adapt without anyone to threaten their livelihood. As the populations of predators decrease, pests are able to recuperate from the weather change significantly quicker.

The impact of climate change on insects and humans is far reaching – forest and food crops could be affected and diseases spread by insects could have a wider range. Nature has a delicate balance and it doesn’t take much – a slight temperature variation, or even a movement in the course of a river – to cause changes that move throughout an ecosystem.

Since mosquitoes are the most common carriers of malaria and yellow fever, dramatic increases in these diseases would be likely. Moreover, both the National Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization report that current treatments for malaria and yellow fever are becoming less effective, leading to the potential for plague-like levels of these diseases, unlike anything seen since the U.S. Civil War.

Pests like the cockroach, bed bug, scorpion and mosquito are among the most adaptable and successful life forms on earth. For example, cockroaches are among the oldest living creatures. They survived the Ice Age, and are believed to have persisted for more than 350 million years. With that record of success, we can be sure they will adapt and thrive in changing climate patterns.

Bed bugs have been around since the 11th century and have learned to live and adapt as humans do while acclimating and adjusting to the warmer and milder climates, creating a new page in their pest evolution. In the southern part of the country, these nomadic pests have caused infestations to rise exponentially, threatening vacationers’ favorite sunny spots and bringing home with them unwanted house guests.

We know that there is a strong, direct relationship between the level of insect populations and fluctuating temperatures. As variations in the seasons become more evident, predictions for pest activity in 2013 reflect similarly to what we’ve seen in 2012. And since 2012 was one of the hottest years on record, what we can expect in 2013 is a continuation of abnormal pest activity.