Pest Advice Blog

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.

Keep Unwanted Guests Out of Your Restaurant

Restaurants are a place to enjoy a good meal, catch up with friends, or celebrate a special occasion. They are also the target of pest attention because of the food waste they regularly produce. Pests pose a serious threat to your business by compromising sanitation, causing regulatory fines, ruining your restaurant’s reputation, and eventually costing you customers. Prior to social media and the Internet, if a business encountered a pest control problem, the chances of such news spreading was low. Now the accessibility of customer reviews allows information to be seen by a worldwide audience just with a single click. Commercial pest control is more important than ever when it comes to protecting your investment and reputation.

Why Commercial Pest Control Matters

The health and safety of your employees and customers is of utmost importance for any commercial business owner. It is necessary to take preventative pest control measures inside your business by eliminating potential food, water, and shelter sources for pests.

Truly Nolen’s Commercial Pest Control

Ensuring that your business remains pest free is a foundational step in protecting your investment and your business’ reputation. A thorough initial inspection and treatment is the critical first measure in Truly Nolen’s commercial progressive restaurant treatment program. The commercial pest control services Truly Nolen provides include:

  • Bee Service Options
  • Bird Control
  • Fire Ant Control
  • Flea & Tick Control
  • Fly Control
  • Mosquito Control
  • Rodent Control
  • Stored Product Pest Program

Location, Location, Location

Threats to food sanitation exist both in and outdoors. Typically areas used for food storage and preparation have just the right conditions to attract a wide variety of pests. The specifics of these “hot spots” can vary from restaurant to restaurant and require particular attention to ensure a pest-free environment. However, even the most rigorous inspection and maintenance practices are sometimes not enough to prevent pests. The professional pest control experts at Truly Nolen can help you get rid of unwanted guests and keep your business pest free. Your Truly Nolen pest control professional will help you implement an effective pest control strategy to save you from treating an infestation and ensure your business’ reputation. Truly Nolen has you covered both inside and out:

The Red Zone. As part of Truly Nolen’s commercial pest control service, we will inspect and treat all public areas in the restaurant including:

  • Kitchens & food storage facilities
  • Waiting area (interior and exterior)
  • Dining room
  • Bar areas
  • Patio areas
  • Restrooms
  • Cash register area
  • All hallways with public access
  • Elevators & stairways

The Yellow Zone. We will inspect and treat all interior areas not listed above including:

  • Employee lounges, break rooms
  • Utility service areas & janitorial closets
  • Employee restrooms & locker rooms
  • Loading docks/receiving & shipping areas
  • Business offices
  • Laundry/linens storage areas

The Green Zone. We will inspect and treat all exterior areas including:

  • Walkways
  • Parking lot
  • Landscaped islands
  • Publication dispensers
  • Benches
  • Dumpsters & enclosures
  • Driveway/customer drop points
  • Landscaped areas adjacent to walkways
  • Building perimeter and vertical surfaces
  • Roof, including eaves

Proper pest management is critical for all businesses to run a clean and safe operation. Ensuring that your establishment is pest free enables you to focus on keeping your customers and attracting new ones instead of defending your reputation. Contact your local Truly Nolen today to discuss options for a commercial pest control program that is just right for your business.

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.

Truly Nolen in Columbus, OH: We Know Ohio Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

Columbus residents and those in the nearby, surrounding areas are in good hands with Truly Nolen whose seasonal approach to pest control is the best way to treat common household pest problems in Columbus, OH.

From one season to the next, pests are able to adapt to fluctuating temperatures and changes in weather conditions. In addition, many pests thrive during specific seasons, typically flourishing during the warmer months. For Columbus residents, this means that pests can prove to be a problem all year round. Fortunately, the experts at Truly Nolen are always one step ahead of pests and with innovative treatment methods; our pest professionals also stay one step ahead of the competition.

Truly Nolen’s Four Season approach to pest control is designed to take into account the changes in the seasons and pest behavior, and seeks to establish preventative treatment methods ahead of time in order help stop pest activity before it starts. Understanding pest behavior is important and no one knows Ohio pests like Truly Nolen! Here, we take a closer look at why this method of pest control makes the most sense for Columbus residents.

Why Is a Seasonal Approach The Best?

By understanding how pest behavior differs with each season, Truly Nolen’s experts can employ preventative pest control techniques that address current pest problems, as well as problems that have yet to occur.

Spring – With many pests using the cold, winter months to lay eggs and stock up on food, the onset of spring will see many of these pests emerge from their eggs, ready to do what they do best. In particular, termite activity generally sees an increase around this time of the year as spring provides the optimal weather for termite swarmers to find new areas to inhabit. Often mistaken for flying ants, homeowners may not even be aware of a potentially dangerous termite issue until it is too late. Termites, along with other insects, should be accurately identified and treated before populations have the chance to grow and spread to other areas of the home, or homes nearby. Truly Nolen of Columbus works to decrease these populations by focusing treatment applications on the exterior of the home to prevent insects from entering. Applications also consider long term damage, seeking to provide protection beyond the season.

Summer – Mosquitoes, flies and spiders are just some of the creatures that make themselves well known during the hot summer months. With grass and flowers in high bloom from spring showers, overgrown landscaping can provide the ideal condition for insects to infest your space. In addition, the hot summer months can drive pests indoors as they seek water and shelter. Keeping bugs out is key during these months as Truly Nolen pays special attention to entry points and landscaping areas where bugs may be hiding.

Fall – As the weather starts to cool down, pests are instinctively looking to find areas that they can begin preparations for the winter months ahead. Rodents are especially active during this time as they seek to find shelter from the cold. With the ability to fit through the smallest of openings, rats and mice can pose major problems for homeowners at this time of the year. Truly Nolen focuses on integrating exclusionary methods to seal entry points and create barriers around the home to prevent pests from entering and settling down for the next several months.
Winter – During the full blown winter months, if homeowners have not proactively sought out pest control inspections in previous months, the possibility of carpenter ants, termites and rodents taking up residence in your home can be quite high. Like you, these pests prefer to remain in the warmth and safety of your home, not daring to venture outside too often when it’s cold. With a focus on eliminating pests that have entered the home, Truly Nolen of Columbus also concentrates on safe and effective treatments to decrease the propensity for pests to enter.

What Impact do Pests Have on Homeowners?

Termites, roaches, flies, rodents and more can all severely and negatively impact your quality of life, especially if there is prolonged exposure to these creatures. Their presence in your home can not only cause structural damage, but more importantly your health and safety are compromised with the onset of allergies, asthma, respiratory issues, headaches, food borne illnesses, diseases and more. The danger in neglecting this aspect of home maintenance means that pests are then given a greater opportunity to cause their damage.

When Should I Schedule My Free Inspection?

There is no wrong time to schedule a free inspection with your Columbus Truly Nolen! Whatever season you find yourself enjoying, is the right time to have one of our pest experts come in and have a look at your current situation. Accurately identifying any pest problems that you may have, would be the first step in eliminating pests from your home. From there, your Truly Nolen expert can recommend safe, pet and environmentally friendly ways to treat your pests so that you and your family can enjoy your home for seasons to come. Call Truly Nolen of Columbus at (614) 448-5030 to schedule an inspection.

Mansfield Ohio’s Most Wanted Pests

As the Carousel Capital of Ohio, Mansfield’s residents can enjoy the historic charm of downtown, coupled with the outdoor beauty of being nestled near the foothills of the Allegheny Plateau. Numerous parks and scenic bike trails also encourage residents to spend time in nature. While these outdoor activities provide great summer fun, being one with nature does come at a price. With warmer weather comes an increase in pest activity, including stinging insects such as bees, wasps and hornets.

Truly Nolen of Mansfield helps homeowners with any stinging insect problem by accurately identifying the type of insect posing the threat, and providing a range of treatment options to safely address the issue. In addition to preventative methods such as swarm and scout traps, Truly Nolen also removes colonies to prevent future infestations from taking place.

Stinging insects generally do not attack humans unless in self defense, however, large enough swarms that are in close proximity to homes, schools or work, can endanger those nearby.

In fact, the National Pest Management Association cites, “Stinging insects like bees and hornets send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. The most serious sting-related reactions come from insects that belong to the Apidae family (honey bees and bumble bees) or Vespidae family (yellowjackets, yellow hornets, white faced hornets, and paper wasps).”

With some basic, yet important knowledge and awareness, residents of Mansfield can practice safety measures including cautionary next steps should you be stung. Here, Truly Nolen outlines how to identify some of the more common stinging insects, their habits and general degree of aggressiveness. However, if homeowners suspect an infestation or see a growing number of stinging insects near their property, contacting a Truly Nolen of Mansfield pest expert is the safest way to remove the threat.

Stinging Insects 101

Yellow Jacket



Yellow jackets are one of the most aggressive in the stinging insect species. Typically, yellow jackets are between 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch with yellow and black heads and black bodies with yellow bands.


Considered a ‘social’ insect, yellow jackets live in large colonies or nests and are active in late summer. Usually nesting in the ground, yellow jackets are known to be spotted outdoors, near sources of food as they feed on proteins and sweets.

Degree of aggressiveness

Yellow jackets are extremely territorial and will not hesitate to sting if they feel that their hive is threatened. They also tend to cause severe allergic reactions as they sting repeatedly.

Bald-Faced Hornet



Bald faced hornets tend to be larger with black bodies and white faces. Shaped almost like a wasp, the queen bald faced hornets can be as much as ¾” in size.


Just like yellow jackets, bald faced hornets are also social insects, but living in colonies that are significantly smaller. Bald faced hornets will not reuse their nests each season, instead opting to inhabit a different one each time.

Degree of aggressiveness

With smooth stingers containing venom designed to make its victim sting and itch, bald faced hornets are aggressive and are known to sting repeatedly. Homeowners should never attempt to remove a bald faced hornet nest on their own.

Paper Wasp



Paper wasps are brown in color with yellow or reddish markings. Their name is derived from the paper like substance used to construct their nests. They can range in length of 5/8” to 3/4”.


Occupying small colonies, paper wasps are not as social as yellow jackets or hornets and will often find their way indoors. They prefer to eat nectar and small flies.

Degree of aggressiveness

Paper wasps are generally more docile but can deliver a painful sting if they are disturbed.




Oval with black bodies and yellow stripes, they are easily recognizable by their size, typically 1 inch in length.


Bumblebees are best known for their loud buzzing sound as well as their aggressive nature when it comes to defending their nests.

Degree of aggressiveness

Bumblebees are chasers! They can often swarm after a nest invader for a long time and deliver a very painful sting.

You’ve been stung? Here’s what to do next:

Types of Reactions

If you have had the misfortune of being stung by one of these stinging insects, it is important to recognize the type of reaction you may experience. A local reaction to a bee sting for example, could include swelling and redness of the area that was infected. These reactions are generally not life threatening and will disappear within a few hours.

A systemic reaction can start out similar to a local reaction, but within 15-20 minutes more severe symptoms will start to show including difficulty breathing and hives. Some systemic reactions can even be fatal as in the rare cases of more extreme allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Here, symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and tightness in the throat. Individuals or those nearby should call 911 if they begin to experience any of those symptoms.

Yellowjacket, Hornet & Wasp Stings

  • Immediately clean the area with soap.
  • Use cold water or a cold compress.
  • Antihistamine and hydrocortisone creams are useful to alleviate redness and itching.

Bee Stings

  • While the above recommendations can apply to a bee sting, because of the barbed stingers it is important to pay close attention to removing it. The stingers detach from the bees’ body and can get lodged in the skin, leaving behind the venom.
  • If possible, elevate the area that has been stung.
  • Immediate removal of the stinger is necessary to avoid further release of the venom and avoid getting infected.
  • If you have removed the stinger and still experience pain, swelling or fever even days after, than seeking medical help is important to delay an onset of infection.

The National Pest Management Association outlines general rules for avoiding and removal of stinging pests, especially if they begin to become a problem:

  • The first rule when a stinging insect approaches is to STAY STILL. Remember, people who keep bees professionally wear protective clothing and ALWAYS MOVE SLOWLY.
  • Be careful when you shake out clothing that has been left on the ground. Wasps or other stinging insects could be in the folds of the clothing.
  • Avoid orchards in bloom, clover fields, and any areas that are abundant with flowers. Don’t wear dark clothing, and don’t wear perfume or hair sprays.
  • Do not mow lawns, trim hedges or prune trees during seasons in which honeybees and wasps are plentiful.
  • Keep a “bee cloth” (even in an enclosed car) to trap frightened insects before they sting, or keep an insecticide spray in the glove compartment of your car.
  • Caution children about not throwing stones or sticks at insect nests.

Residents of Mansfield are encouraged to enjoy their time outdoors, but knowing how to quickly identify certain stinging insects can possibly help to avoid being stung. Truly Nolen is licensed and trained to deal specifically with the delicate task of handling stinging insects. Homeowners should never attempt to remediate these problems on their own, instead, contact your local Mansfield Truly Nolen branch at (419) 520-9290 to provide immediate treatment.

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