Pest Control Blog

David MooreOur staff entomologist (bug scientist) and Pest Detective, David Moore, writes about topics related to keeping your home pest free.

You can also visit with our Pest Detective on Facebook. Post your questions on our wall, with pictures if possible, and David Moore will answer the most common ones. When submitting photos, include as much information as possible, including size and color, and where any damage in your home is occurring.

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19
May
2015
Fleas

In a month or so, temperatures should be warm enough for your pets to spend time outside.  This means that they will be exposed to fleas left behind by other pets, wild/feral dogs and cats, and wildlife such as raccoons,o possums, etc.  Fleas are small insects that feed on the blood of humans, dogs, cats, and other warm-blooded animals.  Fleas prefer to live on dogs and cats. They may also be found on humans and other warm-blooded animals.  Pet owners may not be bothered by fleas until their pet has been gone for a long period of time. Fleas look for other sources of food and begin to bite humans. Bites often occur around the waist, ankles, armpits, and in the bend of the elbows and knees.

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16
Mar
2015
Signs of Termites
Termites VT
Termites
(Photo: Va Tech)
Termite tubes VT
Termite Mud Tubes
(Photo: Va Tech)

Hearing the word termites brings fear to many homeowners. The thought of their home being destroyed and the costs associated with resolving the issue bring shivers to wallets across the country. I am going to review the signs of termites so you can hopefully catch the problem early.

Termite Swarmers:

With the warm weather breaking, there will be triggers for termite swarmers that may impact your home. The most common termite in our area is the Eastern Subterranean Termite. These termites are actually the most common and widely distributed termite in North America. They are social insects that are usually located in soil or wood and have high moisture requirements, which generally cause them to maintain some type of soil contact unless there are special circumstances. Termites feed on cellulose from wood and wood by-products such as paper and damage more houses each year than do lightning or fires. National Pest Management Assocation (NPMA) estimates that termites cause over 5 billion dollars in property damage each year. Because of the size of the colonies, termites can generally continue to destroy a home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in our service area with little interference with weather.

Read more... [Signs of Termites]
 
20
Feb
2015
Preventative Outdoor Maintenance

mulch blog 36Mulch
(Photo: Todayshomeowner.com)

Good outdoor preventative maintenance is the first step of preventing pests from intruding into your home. The best way to reduce pest intrusion is to proactively control invading outdoor pests before they can enter a structure. The second step is to seal any potential entry such as holes in exterior walls, closing gaps under doors, screening windows and vents. Taking these measures will help reduce the amount of time required to inspect and find a pest’s entry point and can reduce the amount of pesticide that may be required to solve your problem.

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20
Jan
2015
Termite Renewal Inspections

Termites VTTermites
(Photo: VaTech)

After a subterranean termite treatment has been conducted on a home, many homeowners are faced with an annual renewal and inspection to maintain coverage of their home. These homeowners are often curious about what goes into the renewal and the value that these services hold. In this session, I hope to clarify what the service entails and some basics around what is covered.

The whole goal of a termite renewal is to provide additional value to a termite treatment. Typically there is a charge for this, but it is at a fraction of the cost of a new chemical treatment. It is easier and more cost effective to perform a termite treatment once on a home and then re-treat only when necessary. A termite treatment can cost thousands of dollars that is an unexpected cost to a family. The type of treatment and how involved it becomes is determined by numerous factors including where the termites are located, how large the home is, the construction of the home, how much drilling is necessary, how compact the soil is around the home, and other extenuating circumstances such as a location of a well. The termite renewal inspection is a service that helps to maintain the coverage of your home to help ensure that termites do not continue to damage the structure at a fraction of the cost for having a whole home treated again.

Read more... [Termite Renewal Inspections]
 
27
Dec
2014
Christmas Plants - Poinsettias & Mistletoe, Dispelling the Myths
Mistletoe-southern-living
Mistletoe
Poinsettia grande
Poinsettia

Since this is a concern of many people, it bears repeating Dr. Eric Smith’s post from last December. I was brought up with the belief that poinsettias and mistletoe were very poisonous and that ingestion could be toxic. There was special concern for cats and other animals in particular.

Read more... [Christmas Plants - Poinsettias & Mistletoe, Dispelling the Myths]
 
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