Category Archives: Pest Database

Fall in Love With These End of Summer Tips for a Pest Free Home

The warm, Summer days are coming to a close and as we slowly transition into Fall, it is easy to forget that pest activity does not necessarily disappear with the balmy breezes and flip flops that are indicative of the hot summer months. In fact, over the course of summer, the warm weather provides the perfect opportunity for certain pests to breed and colonize new areas in and around your home. The summer months would have seen a proliferation of everything from stinging insects and flies to ants and mosquitoes.

As if summertime pests weren’t bad enough, entering the cooler months is sure to bring about a new season of pest activity and a host of challenges for homeowners. Not to be outdone, pests such as spiders and rodents are only too eager to invade your home this Fall, in an effort to stay warm and escape the cold reality of the cooler months.

Truly Nolen of Mansfield, OH identifies some of the common pests that present a problem to homeowners during these fall months and explores tips for keeping your home pest free. Here, we also learn about Truly Nolen’s treatment approach, aimed at addressing pest activity that is specific to this time of the year.

Common Fall pests – What you need to know.

As the weather changes, certain pest activity will decrease, while others will be more active as they prepare for the cold months ahead. This is the opportune time for homeowners to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent Fall pests from entering the home.

As we enter into the cooler part of the year, rodents are keen on finding warm areas to settle into. Attics and basements make the coziest retreats for rats and mice that are extremely capable of finding sneaky ways to enter your home, even through the smallest of openings.

Both rats and mice are vectors of disease and their need to stay close to food and water sources means that seeking refuge in your home is ideal for them as the weather gets colder.

Although many common varieties of spiders pose no significant threat to us, spider activity within the home may increase as summer comes to an end, as these pests are seeking a quiet, warm place to call home for the next few months. Addressing a spider problem early on can prevent these guys from laying eggs in areas of the home such as basements, tops of cabinets, inside closets and more. It is also important to avoid the growth of the spider population as they are also a source of food for other pests in the home.

American Roach
Perhaps one of the worst Fall pests, guilty of triggering allergies and exacerbating issues such as asthma, roaches are one of the primary vehicles for the contamination of food and the spread of pathogens and bacteria. Your home provides the perfect environment for roaches to stay close to food and warmth, so an increase in roach activity during this time is not uncommon.

Fall Head over Heels with Keeping your Home Pest Free

While you and your family are relishing the last remnants of Summer, Fall pests are already looking for ways to start to prepare as the weather cools down. Homeowners can still fall head over heels with keeping their home pest free by taking extra steps at doing their own control and prevention:

  • Monitor areas of the home prone to rodents (entry points, basements, cabinets, etc.) for indications of possible infestation (mouse/rat droppings, gnawed electrical wiring).
  • Keep both exterior and interior trash in lidded bins.
  • Avoid letting debris and clutter pile up on both the exterior and interior of the home. This gives rodents the perfect hiding spot!
  • Maintain regular service and treatment of spiders throughout the year.
  • Trim any shrubs or trees that are close to the home as overhanging branches make an easy roadway for spiders to get in.
  • Eliminate any existing cobwebs that you may see.
  • Avoid leaving piles of clothes or newspapers in any one area for too long as spiders like to hide in dark, quiet places.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and avoid leaving used dishes out in exposed areas.
  • Holes or gaps on the exterior of the home make for easy entry so be sure to have these caulked and sealed.
  • Avoid bringing boxes into the home where possible, instead unpacking prior to going indoors.
  • Monitor dark, damp areas such as under the sinks and near faucets and appliances as roaches tend to gravitate toward these areas.

Truly Nolen – Treatment Approach to Fall Pests

As the long days of summer come to a close, pests will aim to make their way inside your home as a means of protection from the outdoor elements, and to continue their feeding and breeding habits in a more controlled environment. Based on this seasonal change in pest behavior, Truly Nolen adapts to meet the needs of homeowners looking for safe and effective pest treatment that will eradicate brewing infestations and eliminate pests inside the home.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative approach to tackling wintering pests involves using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly products that work to minimize pest resistance over time. This method is a more proactive approach designed to keep working throughout the year.

Some of the techniques used are:

  • Botanical aerosols to naturally eliminate pests hiding in closets or cabinets.
  • Removing spider webs from windows, beams and ceilings.
  • Setting of bait stations throughout the home, especially under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Application of powder to treat pests hiding in smaller areas of the home (window and door frames, eaves and fixtures).
  • Placing monitoring stations in specific areas to trap pests.
  • Dust treatment in small crawl spaces and attic.

Through targeted methods and applications, Truly Nolen is able to utilize innovative means to keep your home pest free from Summer into Fall and keep you falling in love with your home. Call your local Truly Nolen of Mansfield pest professional today at 419-520-9290 for a pest inspection.

Fleas & Ticks? Get Tips on How to Keep Your Columbus Home Flea and Tick Free

During the Spring and Summer months, residents of Columbus, OH may notice a proliferation of pests in and around their homes. These months are particularly high in pest activity due to the reproductive habits and behavioral traits of many of Columbus’ common pests. Ticks and fleas are no exception with April to September being prime months for both of these ghastly parasites to inflict the most damage. In fact, during the peak summer months (June, July and August) the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives as many as 30,000 reported cases of Lyme disease, one of the most potentially serious tick-borne illnesses. These numbers may actually be as much as 10 times higher than what is reported as ticks and fleas are very active during this time, coinciding with the vast droves of people that spend these months engaged in outdoor activities.

Fleas and ticks can indeed pose a challenging pest control problem in the Columbus, OH area affecting both pet and non-pet owners. Here, Truly Nolen of Columbus, OH takes a closer look at the potential dangers of fleas and ticks, as well as provides tips for identification, control and special concerns for parents and pet owners.

Fleas & Ticks – What’s the difference?

FleaFleas are blood sucking parasites that are typically no more than 1/8 of an inch and are small and flat. The most common varieties feed off the blood of mammals, which means that our beloved dogs and cats (as well as us humans!) are at risk of being bitten. Though microscopic, fleas can be spotted on pets, but will move quickly to get out of sight, including jumping up to 7 inches in the air!

TickTicks on the other hand, are slightly larger and are part of the Arthropod family. This means, that they are technically considered to be Arachnids and share 8 legs in common with the spider. Their bodies can be hard or soft, and their sharp mouths are used to attach themselves to their prey. A female tick can often draw enough blood from her victim to make her swell to many times her weight and size.

In a nutshell, the main differences between fleas and ticks are:

  • Fleas can jump and will bite and then move quickly to the next area. On the other hand, ticks are slow and will crawl over their victim and can nestle in one spot and feed for days before falling off.
  • Flea bites can cause itching and dermatitis, while ticks should be taken more seriously as they are able to transmit diseases.

Dangers of Fleas & Ticks

For pet owners and non- pet owners, the dangers of fleas and ticks can have adverse effects on us all. Truly Nolen of Columbus, OH takes a microscopic look at some of these more common dangers including:


Tapeworms are long, flat worms that attach themselves for extended periods of time, to the intestines of both humans and animals such as dogs. Tapeworms can reside within a flea, which can then be transmitted to another host, such as your pet.

Plague Bacteria

Although said to have been wiped out centuries ago, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the United States has about seven annual cases of the plague, over 80% of which have been in the bubonic form. Plague bacteria is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected flea, that more often than not, has moved on from its previous host, that of an infected rodent.

In a recent case, a young boy was diagnosed with plague bacteria after visiting Yosemite National Park in California.

Lyme Disease

Carried by deer ticks, Lyme disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called ‘spirochete’ that is transmitted to both humans and animals when bitten by these ticks. If Lyme disease is caught in the early stages, it can be cured; however the danger in the disease lies in transmission through the bloodstream and into the nervous system and joints. If left untreated for an extended time, symptoms can be persistent and last for as long as several years after treatment is finally administered.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 150,000 cases of Lyme disease have been reported since 1982. Lyme disease has been prevalent in both northeast and upper mid-west areas because of white-footed mice and deer, two of the deer tick’s preferred hosts.

Tips for identification and control

For both pet owners, as well as parents, knowing what to look out for if you suspect your home may have a flea or tick problem, is important for the safety and well being of your entire family.

Flea/Tick Identification in pets

For the health and well being of your beloved pets, taking note of the warning signs could help eradicate the problem before it worsens:

  • Intense itching, scratching or licking
  • Red, irritated skin or scabs
  • Droppings (dark specks) seen on the skin of your pet, in-between the fur

Flea/Tick Identification in humans

Unlike a mosquito bite that will swell in size after being bitten, flea or tick bites remain small but offer several warning signs including:

  • Several small, red lumps aligned in groups of three or four
  • A red “halo” around the center of the bite
  • Bites on parts of the body that are usually exposed, such as ankles
  • Signs of a rash developing near the bite

Flea/Tick control

At Truly Nolen Columbus, OH, we provide flea and tick control for both residential and commercial customers. Though professional help is recommended, we also encourage homeowners to take preventative measures that can help a potential flea or tick problem from getting out of hand.

  • For pet owners, fleas can easily be transported from the exterior of the home, to inside. It is important that pets are consistently checked, as well as taken to the vet right away if there is a suspicion of fleas or ticks on the animals.
  • Pet linens should be washed frequently in hot, soapy water and put to air dry in the sun.
  • For homeowners without pets, special attention should be paid to the exterior environment such as decks and yards. Fleas and ticks stay away from the sun, so shaded areas should be kept clutter free to avoid providing them with nesting sites. Since fleas like tall grass, keeping your grass consistently cut prevents these parasites from finding places to live.

Truly Nolen Columbus, OH is here to help homeowners battle their flea and tick problems. We remind residents that these parasites do not only invade spaces where pets are present! Pet owners and parents should be vigilant especially during the summer months when fleas and ticks are anxious to hide from the sun, and find a shadier place to call home. Whether you have pets or not, if you suspect that fleas and ticks may have invaded your space, contact your Truly Nolen Columbus team today at 614-448-5030 to schedule an inspection.

Ants and Their Superpowers

Often seen marching around front porches, driveways and kitchen countertops, ants are considered to be one of the most common and pervasive insects we encounter on a daily basis. From regular, household ants mostly regarded as a simple nuisance, to more harmful types such as Carpenter Ants or Fire Ants that can damage property or even cause allergic reactions, these insects are always seem to be present in our immediate environment. Controlling the presence of ants can be an arduous task. After all, these tiny insects seem to appear out of nowhere and can be found in any area of both the interior and exterior of your home or business.

Despite their size, ants’ strength and abilities should not be underestimated and with over 20,000 species in the world, the amount of unique abilities ants possess is seemingly limitless. While ants play a very important role in their natural habitat, they are unwelcome in our residential and commercial environments. Despite our aversion to these insects, getting to know the inner workings of their habits and behaviors can be quite fascinating.

Though we enjoy watching superheroes on the big screen, we only need to look down to observe the superhero abilities of ants. Truly Nolen takes a look at these small, yet mighty insects which encourages you to ask the question, “just who is the real superhero?”

Ants versus The Hulk

Small in Size, Big in Strength

Ants Carrying Leaves
One of our favorite characters is that of The Hulk, who when provoked or angered has the ability to display unlimited strength and stamina, making him one of the most powerful superheroes. Ants on the other hand, need no provocation in order to display their strength. The iconic image of a trail of ants carrying leaves is a good display of just how strong they are for their size. This strength is especially helpful for ants to carry food back to their colonies, or to carry materials used to build shelter.

Almost all ant species, but in particular the Allegheny Mound ant and Carpenter ant, are capable of lifting nearly 1,000 times their body own weight! To put things in perspective, that is the equivalent of a 180 pound man would be able to lift the weight of a Boeing 737! By researching this amazing attribute scientists and engineers can take inspiration when designing new machines and take this concept to real world applications.

Ants versus Iron Man

Suit of Armor

Odorous Ants
The physical characteristics of ant’s exoskeleton can give the technological capabilities of Ironman’s suit a run for its money. Just as Ironman’s suit protects him from the outside world, so does the physical structure of an ant’s body. For example, odorous ants will release a foul odor when disturbed or crushed, which protects them from predators. Fire ants live up to their name when it comes to the impact of their sting. As a defensive mechanism, as well as a strategy to catch their prey, fire ants will use their mandibles to lock into their victim and inject venom using their stinger, causing a sudden burning sensation. In severe cases, allergic reactions are serious enough to require a trip to the hospital. Allegheny Mound ants are especially fascinating as their neck is structured in such a way that they are able to withstand enormous amounts of pressure. The membranes that connects the heads to their bodies are made up of microstructures that when used at a certain angle, can support any object an ant may need to lift.

Ants versus Aquaman

Follow my scent!

Odorous Ants
Aquaman’s most notable powers are his ability to breathe underwater as well as communicate with sea creatures if they are within “earshot” of him. His ability to breathe on both land and under the sea makes him unique and comparable to those ants that do not actually have lungs, but instead breathe through tiny holes in their bodies where oxygen passes through, otherwise known as spiracles.

Like Aquaman, ants can communicate with other ants in close proximity by releasing chemicals into the air that other ants sense. These pheromones serve as messages that ants use to ‘speak’ to each other, as well as provide warnings for approaching predators. Odorous house ants in particular, are known for releasing a chemical trail for other ants in the colony to follow.

Ants versus The Avengers

Let’s get Social!

Even though each superhero character has his/her own strengths and unique powers, they are far more effective when they work together. Ants are social insects and, unlike humans and termites, are the only species that have evolved to Eusociality. “Eu” meaning true, signifies that ants are not just social creatures, but creatures whose livelihoods depend on the cooperation of the whole colony. Eusocial animals all have the following characteristics:

  • Adults live in groups
  • Individuals care for offspring that are not their own
  • Division of labor when it comes to reproduction with the subject behaving altruistically
  • Overlap of generations

Carpenter Ants
In the case of carpenter ants, each colony starts off with a single Queen, can produce colonies of anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 ants and even super colonies as large as 100,000 ants or more! As leader of the colony, the queen enjoys the benefit of having workers who take care of the young by providing food and services as protection from outside predators. Odorous ants operate in large colonies with tens of thousands of ants. Unlike the carpenter ant that has one definite queen of its colony, odorous ants can sometimes have multiple queens leading the group.

The Eusocial aspect of ants shows every ant has its defined role within the colony. The queen lays the eggs, workers care for the nest, and reproductives or “swarmers” ensure that new areas are found for colonization.

Ants are indeed remarkable insects, but they have no beneficial or symbiotic relationship with people. Keeping an observant eye out for signs of an infestation, can help to catch any issues before they have time to escalate. Homeowners should be aware if they see a trail of ants entering the home through a door, a window, or vent opening, as this indicates that ants are in search of food. If you notice ant activity around electrical outlets or inside cabinets, then the chances that ants are already forming nests somewhere in the home are pretty high.

Whether you already have a problem with ants, or prefer to take preventative measures, contact your local Truly Nolen to schedule a free ant inspection today!

Honey Bees: Pest or Necessity?

Honey Bee
It is no secret that bees play a vital role in our ecosystem and that their contribution to our way of life is invaluable. Over 400 different types of agricultural plants, as well as nearly one sixth of the flowering plant species found all over the world can be attributed to the hard working pollination efforts of bees.

With over 25,000 species of bees worldwide approximately 4,000 of them call the United States home. One of the most well-known species of bees is the Honey Bee, famous for its production of several important items such as pollen, beeswax, royal jelly, and perhaps the most economically important one, honey. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service, honey bees made 149 million pounds of honey in 2013. With the cost of honey at a record high at about $2.12 per pound, that’s a value of over $315 million. In addition to honey, beeswax is the second most popular by-product of the honey bee with the United States claiming one of the top spots as a major producer of raw beeswax, as well as a global supplier of refined beeswax.

Although the value of the hive products is important, from a consumer perspective, as well as economically, the biggest contribution from honey bees is their ability to pollinate trees, flowers, fruits and crops. In fact, the USDA estimates that the agricultural benefit of honey bees is estimated to be between 10 and 20 times the total value of honey and beeswax with bee pollination accounting for about $15 billion in added crop value.

At Truly Nolen, West Metro, we understand the value and impact that these insects have on the environment and ecological makeup of our world. When bees or beehives are in close proximity to highly populated areas however, we also understand the health and safety concerns that potential bee stings can have, which lends itself to the question, are bees a necessary pest?

The Importance of Bees for Bee-utiful Landscapes

To appreciate just how important bees are when it comes to vegetation and landscape, Truly Nolen West Metro takes a closer look at how these pollinators strongly impact the stability and variation in the plant world.

So what exactly is pollination?

The transfer of pollen from the anther (male part of the flower) to the stigma (female part of the flower) is called pollination. While some plants are self-pollinating (transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma of the same flower), most other plants require an external factor for the transfer of pollen from one flower or plant to the other. This is where the amazing abilities of bees come in. Their biological makeup (stiff hair on their outer bodies as well as small ‘pockets’ on their legs) give them the ability to collect pollen and easily transfer it between plants.

This is especially important for various ecosystems and landscapes as the pollination of these enables the survival of all manner of vegetation including:

  • Temperate , deciduous forests
  • Tropical forests
  • Woodlands
  • Farmed areas with cultivated crops.
  • Flowering plants, shrubs and trees
  • Trees and plants that bear nuts, seeds and fruits.

Common species found in Atlanta

Carpenter Bees
Carpenter Bee
Carpenter bees (more specifically, Eastern Carpenter Bees) are one of the most commonly seen bees in Atlanta. Similar in appearance to Bumble Bees, homeowners will often see these bees hovering near to the home, decking, underneath roofs and any other structure primarily made of wood. Carpenter bees derive their name (as do Carpenter Ants!) because of their wood excavating abilities. Large, with black and yellow coloring, these bees have powerful jaws that are used to tunnel their way into wooden structures in order to store their pollen, build nests and lay their eggs, in the case of female carpenter bees. Although male carpenter ants are more aggressive, they do not have a stinger, unlike the female who is equipped with one, but will seldom sting.

Honey Bees
Honey bees are generally mild mannered, social insects. Measuring about ¾” long, most honey bees are a light brown color, though some can be very dark. Almost all honeybees however, have distinguishable yellow and brown bands around their body that are meant to warn predators. The most significant role that honeybees play is that of producing and storing honey and they will often build large nests to accomplish this. Though honey bees do not generally sting unless provoked, Truly Nolen recommends that residents in Atlanta exhibit caution if there is a hive in close proximity to your home and seek professional pest control right away.

Africanized Honey Bees
Africanized honey bees have existed in Georgia for several years now. A hybrid of an African and European honeybee, Africanized honey bees are very aggressive and defensive of their territory. They are known to actively pursue a perceived threat without provocation and will attack swiftly, often in numbers. Since they are very similar in appearance to European honey bees, it is best to avoid being in close contact since the sting from an Africanized honey bee can be potentially dangerous.

Pros and cons of bees in Atlanta

With approximately 2,000 honey beekeepers in Atlanta, the statistic is enough to incite opposing viewpoints on the advantages and disadvantages of having that many beekeepers and how this affects homeowners in nearby areas.

The purpose of establishing oneself as an Atlanta beekeeper, whether on a small scale or large, is to support Apiculture (beekeeping) and reap the rewards of being able to contribute to 80 million dollar industry in Georgia. With over $700 million in fruit and vegetable agriculture in the state, bees are responsible for their pollination skills that make these crops possible.

Both the Georgia General Assembly and the Georgia Department of Agriculture provide guidelines for beekeepers to practice safe beekeeping including:

  • Promoting a positive image of beekeeping
  • Providing adequate water sources for bees so that they are not likely to seek water elsewhere
  • Placement of hives in areas that will lessen the likelihood of a neighbor getting stung.
  • Responding in a timely manner to neighbor’s concerns
  • Maintaining only the number of hives that your land can support.

The Georgia General Assembly recognizes the importance of honey bees – even in the urban and suburban environment – and has adopted several statutes to protect beekeepers.  These statutes are:

  • O.C.G.A. §1-3-3, apiary products are included in the definition of “agriculture”,
  • O.C.G.A. §2-1-6, relates to local ordinances and production of agricultural farm products,
  • O.C.G.A. §2-14-41.1, local governments cannot prohibit beekeeping, and
  • O.C.G.A. §41-1-7, commonly called the Georgia “Right To Farm Law”.

One of the biggest benefits of Georgia beekeepers is that they provide a wealth of knowledge and resources that can aid in being able to monitor and detect changes in bee activity. This is especially helpful if there are any significant problems with bee infestations or instances where bees are out of control.

Although many beekeepers reside in suburban areas, many homeowners also feel that engaging in beekeeping on a personal scale, can contribute to increased bee activity that may extend a little too close for comfort.

In these cases, homeowners can protect their homes by :

  • Removing outdoor clutter to avoid giving bees a place to lay their eggs
  • Reduce water sources to discourage bees from coming nearby
  • Repair window and door screens to prevent bees from entering the home
  • Caulk cracks in windows, doors, roofs and foundations

To ensure that you and your family are always safe, Truly Nolen West Metro recommends scheduling an inspection to determine if there are any potential bee hives or nests nearby that will need to be professionally removed. Contact us today at (404) 939-7277 to learn more about our bee removal services and how we can help keep your home safe and free from bees.

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.

Mansfield, OH –Termite & Carpenter Ant Tips for Control

Inside the walls of your home, termites and carpenter ants may be hard at work doing what they do best; destroying any wood they encounter. Though these wood loving insects are not known for making their debut out in the open, homeowners may take notice of certain warning signs and clues that these insects leave behind.

In some cases, many homeowners make the unfortunate discovery that they are sharing their home with carpenter ants or termites. This can lead to a number of questions as to what is the next best course of action. For example, if you have spotted only one or two carpenter ants, should you treat them yourself? Or, when is it really necessary to call in a professional pest control company?

Truly Nolen of Mansfield takes a look at some of the warning signs that homeowners should be aware of, the questions that many homeowners may ask and provides a guide on what to look for in a company.

Carpenter Ant & Termite Warning Signs

Since carpenter ants and termites (also known as “the silent destroyers”) work behind the scenes, it is not uncommon that these insects cause a great deal of damage before the problem is finally discovered by the homeowner. Residents of Mansfield are encouraged to pay attention to clues these insects may leave behind. Spotting the signs of infestation early may mean the difference between a minor issue, and an expensive one.

Termite Warning Signs

winged termites

  • Mud tubes – made from wood and soil, subterranean termites are experts at tunneling their way with mud tubs, designed to protect and be a source of transportation between colonies and food sources.
  • Wood damage- although internal wood damage caused by termites goes unnoticed until it has progressed to a more destructive level , keeping an eye on visible areas of the home that are made of wood, can be helpful for early detection. Broken or torn wood is a good indication that termites have been around.
  • Discarded wings- after a termite swarm, swarmers will shed their wings after taking flight, leaving behind small piles.

Carpenter Ant Warning Signs:

Carpenter Ants

  • Unlike termites, carpenter ants chew through wood without eating it. They will always leave a trail of sawdust behind as evidence that they’ve been busy. Homeowners should pay close attention to wooden window sills and doorframes.
  • Carpenter ants are attracted to damp wood. Areas that you may spot carpenter ants are around old door frames, bath tubs, sinks and roofs that have been affected by a leak.
  • Wood piles, decaying tree stumps or logs are also ideal spots for carpenter ants to take up residence and lay their eggs and you may often see a trail of these outside in your yard if the wood piles are present.

Homeowner Q & A

Are annual termite inspections really necessary?

Annual termite and carpenter ant inspections are recommended to help monitor any activity that may be brewing without the homeowner’s knowledge. Truly Nolen’s termite inspections will expose any termite activity and provide homeowners with a plan to eradicate the infestation to help prevent further damage.

Can I treat my home myself?

Nowadays, ‘do it yourself’ products have become more popular and have certainly improved over the years. Everything from store bought chemicals and organic, homemade treatments are all at the homeowner’s disposal. While there are some pest problems that can be relieved solely at the homeowner’s discretion, there are cases where do it yourself treatments can worsen the problem and treatment should be left to a pest professional. Older homes or houses that are in areas that have been known to demonstrate higher pest or termite activity are more likely to be in need of a professional treatment plan. Homeowners should also be aware that if high levels of infestation have been discovered (either by a pest professional or by the homeowner themselves) it is always advisable to have a pest professional assume the responsibility of treating the affected area. Expert knowledge and advanced treatment techniques and products present the best chance against hard to treat pests such as termites and carpenter ants.

Which treatment methods and products are most effective?

After a thorough termite inspection and evaluation of the suspected infestation, your Truly Nolen pest expert can assess and recommend several different treatment options that have been tried and tested, and proven safe and effective by the Truly Nolen team. Treatment will require eliminating the problem at its source. Treatment methods are not a “one size fits all” as many different factors should be considered to target and treat pests in the most efficient way possible.

What should I look for in a pest control company?

The National Pest Management Association outlines key aspects for homeowners when selecting a professional pest control company including:

  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

Benefits of Truly Nolen Mansfield’s Treatment Approach

At Truly Nolen of Mansfield, we focus on treating current infestations with targeted solutions, but also employ preventative treatment measures to help protect your home from future termite or carpenter ant infestations.

Our Sentricon system starts by eliminating the queen and ending the termite food chain in order to kill the entire colony. The process includes use of bait stations. By eliminating the termite infestation at the source, the colony can be controlled and eradicated. Similarly, carpenter ant treatment also includes bait stations and treatment at the source.

Residents of Mansfield can enjoy the benefits of working with their local Truly Nolen for any pest and termite issues including:

  • Satisfaction guaranteed- We work until you are satisfied with your end result.
  • Innovative- Advanced application methods and products are always utilized when treating your home for pests.
  • Convenient- We work to fit your schedule, whether it be for a one-time visit or for on-going treatments
  • Environmentally friendly- Truly Nolen tries to keep things green whenever possible, always keeping the safety of your family and pets in mind.

Call Truly Nolen of Mansfield to schedule your free termite inspection!

Carpenter Ants and Termites: Meet Columbus Ohio’s Wood Destroying Insects

Residents of Columbus, meet your neighborhood wood-destroying insects, otherwise known as Carpenter Ants and Termites. Though small in size, these insects can cause big problems for homeowners if proper inspections are not performed, and infestations are not caught in their early stages. The negative impact of these insects, particularly termites, extends beyond the time and inconvenience caused to the homeowner. Financially, homeowners may have to dig deep into their pockets to cover the costs associated with repairing damage to the structure of the home.

Since both of these insects do their damage behind the scenes, it is important for homeowners to be aware of the potentially destructive habits, so that routine inspections are scheduled and action is taken immediately. Truly Nolen of Columbus provides homeowners with termite and carpenter ant expertise, effective treatment plans and guaranteed service to safely get rid of these wood destroying insects.

What Time of the Year are Carpenter Ants and Termites more active?

Termite and Carpenter Ant activity can occur throughout the year if temperatures are consistent, but during the spring and into the summer months, the warm weather makes it the ideal time for eggs to hatch. This year in particular, Columbus residents are more likely to see an increase in termite and carpenter ant activity due to moderate temperatures last year. Without any noticeable fluctuations in temperature, consistent weather and steady rains provide the ideal environment for ants to produce larger colonies. In addition, mulch and fresh soil are favorable areas for ants to thrive in, and during the spring season, homeowners tend to engage in more landscaping activities.

Identification – Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants are typically brownish black in color and can range in length of ¼” to ½” in size. Their bodies are divided into three segments with their abdomen area bulbous in shape. Most carpenter ants do not have wings, but during late spring, “reproductives” or winged carpenter ants can be seen. Though they seldom bite humans, carpenter ants have powerful jaws that are used to chew and tunnel their way through wood. Unlike termites who actually consume the wood, carpenter ants remove the wood that is blocking their way and leave it behind as they move through. It is this characteristic that will give homeowners clues as trails of sawdust can often be spotted in areas that the carpenter ants are present.

Identification – Termites

Winged Termite
On the rare occasion that homeowners may actually spot termites, they can often be mistaken for flying ants as in the case of “swarmers” or winged termites. Termite workers can be properly identified by their beaded antennae and uniformly shaped bodies. Although these insects keep a low profile, there are some common signs of an infestation that homeowners can be aware of including small piles of discarded wings left near windowsills. In more obvious cases, small to large termite mounds can also be spotted, as well as mud tunnels.

The Truly Nolen Treatment for Columbus Residents

Homes in Ohio are built to showcase the natural beauty of wood through wooden porches, decking and wooden siding. It is these areas, as well as other vulnerable areas like attics and basements that give carpenter ants and termites the perfect opportunity to cause severe damage.

Truly Nolen of Columbus provides homeowners with safe and effective treatment methods for both carpenter ants and termites who may pose a threat to the structural integrity of your home. Being observant to the warning signs can prompt homeowners to call their local Truly Nolen pest expert, however, year round inspection is important to circumvent any potential damage.

For both termites and carpenter ants, your Truly Nolen pest professional will begin by:

  • Performing a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior areas of your home that are prone to wood destroying insects.
  • Accurately identifying possible areas of infestation and assessing damage.
  • Determining the right course of treatment and scheduling an effective treatment plan to be performed.

Treatment plans encompass several steps that work to prevent these insects from entering the home including:


  • Treatment of direct infestation
  • Bath traps and plumbing
  • Garage expansion joints
  • Slab cracks/expansion joints


  • Dead tree stumps
  • Landscaping material
  • Wooden fences


  • Spaces or voids in foundational structure
  • Crawlspace and crawlspace pier
  • Liquid treatments are applied in trenches to protect foundations and slabs.

Your Truly Nolen professional will provide a free home inspection and customized treatment plan that will ensure that homeowners in Columbus are protected from the threat of these wood destroying insects. Call to schedule your free inspection and discuss how we can help you keep your home termite and carpenter ant free!

Why Roach Allergies are So Scary

roachIf the idea of ghouls and ghosts is not scary enough for you this Halloween, there’s a common household pest that’s turning up the scare factor all year round. With millions of people suffering from allergy symptoms, roach allergies are not often top of mind when compared to the more common “triggers” such as dust mites or pollen. A stubborn indoor allergen (a substance that causes an allergic reaction), roaches are difficult to get rid of entirely, even in the cleanliest home. Not just a residential problem, roaches can find their way into offices, restaurants, and in some of the more dangerous cases, schools. If left untreated, they can cause long term health problems and exacerbate already existing conditions such as asthma, the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15. Although emphasis should be placed on treating and eliminating live roaches, it is also important to pay close attention to the removal of dead roaches. Over time, the deterioration of their cast skins can create allergens.

For individuals already suffering with respiratory ailments or weak immune systems, or in the case of the elderly or very young, an undetected roach infestation may lead to the development of chronic allergies.

Snapshot- Roach Allergen case study

A good example that showcases just how damaging a roach infestation can be to one’s health is in a recent case where a Truly Nolen service expert was able to perform a service that would ultimately reverse the negative effects taking place on a homeowner. Unknown to her, a severe roach problem was the main contributing factor in her steady decline in health. An initial visit to the customer’s home was able to reveal the full extent of this infestation. Plagued with chronic fatigue, respiratory problems and emotional distress, the homeowner suffered greatly. Even at the time of service, she was unable to physically move around and directed the service expert while seated on her couch.

The treatments were performed in various parts of the house, with extra attention paid to areas where roach carcasses existed. The Truly Nolen service expert was genuinely concerned for this woman’s health issues, and went above and beyond to make sure that the current infestation was dealt with properly, and that the cast skins were thoroughly removed. After eliminating the roaches from the home, the service expert saw a dramatic improvement several months later on his follow up service with the homeowner. Not only was her chronic tiredness gone, but so were her respiratory problems. Unlike the first visit where she could barely move, the follow up visit revealed a new person whose physical and emotional health was getting better day by day. The health and well-being of your home can never be taken for granted as it can have a great impact on your life.

Since the allergens left behind by roaches can become airborne and contaminate multiple areas, roaches do not even need to be present to wreak havoc on the daily health and well-being of those living in affected surroundings. In the case of the homeowner, roach carcasses found in her home were a major contributing factor in the decline of her health. These dangerous scavengers are vehicles of bacteria, contaminants, and sometimes diseases that are found in their saliva, feces and on their bodies.

The allergens produced by roaches have been shown to cause health concerns, ranging from mild to more severe including:

  • Asthma (mild onset to severe complications)
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin rashes
  • Itching
  • Digestive problems
  • Food poisoning
  • Severe respiratory conditions
  • Intestinal diseases

The most common symptoms of a roach allergy are: wheezing, coughing, skin rashes and shortness of breath. Although these symptoms can be associated with many different ailments, it is important not to discount roach allergens as a potential culprit. As a cautionary measure, seeking professional medical advice is always the safest option in determining the root cause of your allergies.

RoachesAttracted to dark, damp areas, roaches gravitate to places that are more prone to moisture, such as pipes and faucets found under your sink. Since roaches tend to live in groups, even if you have only seen one or two, chances are there are many more hiding behind the scenes. If you suspect a roach allergy may be to blame for certain health issues, it’s always a good idea to take a few extra steps in safeguarding your space against these stubborn insects:

  1. When entering your home with boxes or bags, always double check to make sure they are roach free before resting them inside.
  2. Keep food containers tightly sealed and away from countertops and avoid leaving spilled food unattended.
  3. Fix and seal any leaking pipes and faucets.
  4. Use lidded garbage containers wherever possible.
  5. Have your space professionally treated to address more serious roach issues.
  6. Visit your doctor if your symptoms become severe.

For more information on allergies, as well as resources for helping to cope with asthma, visit: