The best way to get rid of termites is to act fast. Termites are a problem that will only get worse — and no matter how much you want them to, they usually don’t magically move out on their own. There are three main types of termites: drywood, dampwood and subterranean. Drywood and dampwood termites sneak through cracks in your exterior paint, nail holes, and gaps near windows and other openings and begin to eat through your wood. Subterranean termites enter your house from the ground up by creating mud tunnels. In all cases, they survive by eating the wood of your house. The type of termites you have can steer the treatment plan.
Methods of termite extermination include fumigation, use of pesticides, and use of natural elements that are poisonous to the bugs. The extent of your termite infestation will help determine the treatment method. If you have drywood or dampwood termites that have infiltrated all aspects of the wood in your home, the pest control pro may recommend enclosing the whole house in a tent and gassing the termites via fumigation. If you have subterranean termites, often the entire footprint of the home must be treated by drilling liquid treatments into the slab or foundation of the home to exterminate the colonies. In any case, once you see signs of termites, it’s time to take action and call a pest pro.
Pest control companies handle all aspects of bug, rodent and animal extermination or removal. Pest control professionals visit your home or office to identify the type of pest that is troubling you and offer various treatment plans — complete with clearly outlined costs. Once you and the pest control company have a signed agreement, the pro will begin treatment. Pest treatment can range from the use of spray pesticides and gel bait to live and/or kill traps. There are a wide range of types of pesticides, many of them nontoxic for humans and other small animals. This means you may be able to have your home treated for pests without harming nearby wildlife or your dog and cat. The pest control pro will carry out the treatment plan and, depending on the service agreement, provide follow-up such as emptying traps, inspecting access points, or reapplying pesticide spray if the pests return. Costs will vary based on the type of pest you are having removed and the extent of the infestation.The average national pest control price range is $80-$130. From a minor bedbug event to an entire home termite infestation, pest control companies have got you covered.
The increase in bed bug infestations in the U.S. is a result of increased travel, lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices, explains the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s easy to mistake bed bugs for carpet beetles or similar-looking bugs, so infestations are often not noticed when they first occur. Prevention tips include keeping areas free of clutter, regularly washing sheets and mattress covers in hot water (and don’t forget to wash the laundry bag, too), and vacuuming regularly and safely disposing of the sealed vacuum bag. Not everyone has reactions to bed bug bites, which also may be mistaken for the bites of other pests such as mosquitoes, so timely bed bug extermination depends on identification of bed bug activity. If you notice physical signs of an infestation, contact a bed bug extermination professional as soon as possible to learn about chemical and non-chemical (such as heat) treatment options. An integrated pest management plan may incorporate one or more methods.
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but depending on where they are in their life cycle they can be hard to see. Adult bed bugs are the easiest to spot. According to the EPA, they are roughly the size of an apple seed and the height of a credit card. Adults are flat and oval-shaped, have six legs, and are rusty red in color. Bed bug larvae, also referred to as nymphs, are white-yellow or translucent in color and are much harder to spot due to their small size. The nymphs go through five stages of life, shedding an exoskeleton at each stage. Throughout these stages the nymphs grow in size from approximately 1.5 millimeters to approximately 4.5 millimeters. Bed bug eggs can be the most challenging to see as they are roughly 1 millimeter — about the size of a pinhead — and are white or clear. Bed bugs tend to be more active at night, as this is when they feed.
Bed bugs can happen to anybody and there typically more than 200,000 cases in the U.S. per year. They are sneaky little pests that hitchhike into your home in a variety of ways. Getting a bed bug infestation is not a reflection on how clean a home is; bed bugs can infiltrate the cleanest of places — although their presence is easier to detect and eliminate in clutter-free spaces. Here are some tips from the EPA to prevent bed bugs from entering and taking up residence in your home:
- Carefully inspect secondhand furniture, beds, or couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover (encasement) over mattresses and box springs to prevent bed bugs from hiding in them. Select an encasement in a light color to make bed bug spotting easier. Also choose one of a strong material that won’t tear, and check it often for holes.
- Keep your home clutter-free to eliminate bed bug hiding spots.
- Vacuum your home regularly and dispose of sealed vacuum bags carefully.
- Shared laundry facilities can lead to bed bug exposure in both directions. Transport laundry in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove laundry from the dryer directly into the bag and fold it at home. Use high heat to kill any potential bed bugs.
- The EPA suggests that if you live in a multi-family home, isolate your unit by:
- Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.