All posts by StacyD

Spring Time Occasional Invaders

As spring comes more into focus and we open our doors and windows to let the fresh air and sunshine into our homes, we are likely to experience some nuisance insects. Within the industry we call them occasional invaders, simply because they are not a year round problem. Insects like clover mites and spider mites are extremely tiny and can be carried on the breeze as they begin to emerge from their over wintering habitats. You will likely find them on the sunny side of your home and more times than not you will find them in sinks or tubs as they seek out water sources. Neither of these insects do damage to anything other than the plant leaves they feed on, however, clover mites can leave a red streak if squished on a wall.
Get more information on clover mites at http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/clover-mites

/clover mites Spider mites Continue reading Spring Time Occasional Invaders

Let’s Talk Pollinators!!!

Honey Bees Carpenter Bee

Hummingbird Monarch butterfly

Spring is close and everything will be turning green. Plants will https://abctpc.com/wp-content/uploads/Carpenter-Bee-1.jpgbegin showing their Spring finery for us all to enjoy. While we love to see the beautiful colors and taste the sweet fruits that spring and summer have to offer, we must not forget how those things happen. POLLINATORS!! That’s right, but who are the pollinators? When we speak of pollinators, most people think of honey bees. Yes, honey bees are pollinators. However, honey bees are not the only pollinators native to Virginia. Hummingbirds, butterflies, certain species of moth and carpenter bees are also native pollinators. while some of these pollinators can be a nuisance, pleas keep in mind they are beneficial to the growth of our plants. Honey bees, in fact, are protected and cannot be exterminated, they must be removed by a beekeeper so as not to injure the hive.

Termite vs Ant Swarmmers

Hopefully within the next few weeks we will be seeing warmer temperatures around the Hampton Roads area. As the weather warms, termite swarmmers will begin to emerge. They are typically found in door jambs, baseboard areas and window sills. If you notice swarnmers, it is important to do/know a couple things to ensure an accurate assessment of the situation.

1) Swarmmers are the reproductives of the termite colonies, they do not do physical damage.
2) Swarmmers will shed their wings shortly after emerging.
3) Swarmmers will fly to light so it is common to find them on the sunny side of the house in a window. This is NOT necessarily where they originated.
4) Swarmmers can be “knocked down” using any household insecticide such as RAID, Black Flag, anything of the nature.
5) Leave the swarmmers where they are, do not vacuum or sweep them up. This will allow a qualified Pest Management Professional to pinpoint the point of origin.
If you haven’t had your property inspected by a qualified Pest Management Professional within the last 1-2 years, call for an appointment and free evaluation of your property.

Termites Vs Ants

2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

ABC Pest Management LLC Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

ABC Pest Management LLC has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

“Customer service is our number one priority. We are not content until our clients are completely satisfied!”

“Only about 5 percent of the Pest Control companies in Hampton Roads Area have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2014 Super Service Certification logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

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Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

CONTACT: Cheryl Reed, 317-396-9134, cherylr@angieslist.com

Holiday Travel & Bed Bugs!

WELCOME TO 2015!!!

We hope everyone had a truly wonderful holiday season!
This is a long read but chalked with useful information, especially if you travel frequently.

With all the holiday traveling, we felt it appropriate to impart some bed bug information.

This information was retrieved from www.bedbugcentral.com, it is one of the best sites we know of for information on all things bedbugs.

Identification

Adults are small, brownish insects, just under a 1/4” long and are relatively flat. They are nearly as wide as they are long, and oval in shape. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are much smaller and lighter in color. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and are no bigger than a pinhead (1 mm). After feeding on a blood meal the immature bed bugs may appear bright red in color. Bed bugs lack wings and therefore they do not fly, but they are capable of moving swiftly on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. The eggs are very small (approximately 1mm), whitish, and very difficult to see on most surfaces without magnification (individual eggs are about the size of a dust speck).

Early Detection

The detection of bed bugs can be very difficult and bed bugs can easily go undetected during an inspection particularly during the early stages of an infestation when only a few bugs or eggs are present.

Even the most qualified inspector will be challenged when the entire infestation consists of only one or two bed bugs or eggs that are present on a piece of luggage that hitch hiked a ride back to your house after a recent stay at a hotel.

The use of mattress and box spring encasements that have been specifically designed and tested for bed bugs is another tool that can be used to help detect the presence of bed bugs. The reason that encasements are so helpful is because your mattress and box spring have many hiding places for bed bugs that make inspection time consuming and difficult. Without an encasement, evidence of bed bugs is often buried deep inside your mattress and box spring, and can be almost impossible to find. However by encasing the mattress and box spring the bug’s access is restricted to the smooth exterior of the encasement where signs of bed bugs, such as spotting and shed skins or the bugs themselves, are readily detected during an inspection. However by encasing the mattress and box spring the bug’s access is restricted to the smooth exterior of the encasement where they are much more readily detected during an inspection. An additional benefit is realized as the encasements prevent the subsequent infestation of the mattress and box spring.

Are Bed Bugs Difficult to Control?

Bed bugs may in fact be the most challenging pest problem currently facing the pest control industry. There are many pests that homeowners may decide to try and control on their own but bed bugs should not be one of them. Even the most experienced pest management firms will have their work cut out for them and it may be difficult to guarantee the total elimination of bed bugs from some infested environments. Reduction of bed bug populations is not difficult in most cases, however it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to eliminate every last bug in some situations. If even one adult female survives, the environment may become re-infested. For example, one adult female may be hiding inside the binding of a book sitting on a book shelf, another may be located beneath a floor board etc. These small pockets of bugs allow the infestation to continue at low levels and make elimination an uncertainty. The consumer needs to be aware that 100% elimination cannot always be guaranteed with current conventional pest management methods. When dealing with a company that is offering a guarantee, consumers should inquire what the guarantee really covers, does it guarantee complete elimination and how long is the guarantee? Most guarantees will be limited to no longer than a few months due to the potential for re-introduction of new bugs into the environment.

The bottom line is that bed bug work requires a highly trained professional. It takes hard work, follow-up efforts and it can be expensive.
How to inspect a hotel roomBedbug BitesBedBugs Life Cycle

SPIDERS!!!

Most people have a dire fear of spiders whether poisonous or not. Spiders are able to live in almost any climate and are not constricted to one kind of habitat. Spiders can live anywhere they can find food like fields, woods, swamps, caves and deserts. To help reduce the potential for spider inhabiting your home clean up any areas that are cluttered or would otherwise be protective of spider habitat. Remove or cut back shrubs, grass, etc, from the exterior. If a web or spider is spotted, remove the web by using a broom or vacuum for example, and thoroughly but carefully inspect around the noted area to make sure there are no additional webs or spiders. Be sure to throw the vacuum bag in an outside trash receptacle if a spider is vacuumed. Contact your local pest control company if a problem persists and you want a professional opinion of control.

Spiders are arachnids, a group of arthropods that also includes scorpions, harvestmen (Daddy Long Legs), mites, and ticks. Approximately 3,500 species are known to inhabit North America. Spiders, like insects (also a group of arthropods), have jointed legs and a hard external or outer skeleton. Spiders have four pair of legs, with a body divided into two regions the cephalothorax and abdomen. Insects have three pair of legs and the body divided into three regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. Spiders have no wings or antennae, but have enlarged, sharply pointed jaws called fangs.

All spiders are predators. They feed on a wide variety of insects and other soft-bodied invertebrate animals. Spiders attack and subdue their prey by biting with their fangs to inject a poison. As predators spiders are beneficial. Spiders are beneficial to humans because they eat harmful insects. They eat grasshoppers and locusts which destroy crops. Spiders also eat flies and mosquitoes which carry diseases. Spiders feed mostly on insects but some capture and eat tadpoles, small frogs, small fish and mice. Most females are larger and stronger than the males and in some cases they eat males.

All spiders spin silk, but the silk is used in a wide variety of ways. Most spiders construct a silken case to protect their eggs, but not all spiders make a web. A few use silk threads much like a parachute to aid in dispersal on wind currents such as a balloon spider. Spiders spin webs so they can catch insects for their food and even larger and stronger insects cannot escape. Web spinning spiders spin webs to catch insects. Others lie and wait for insects to come.

All spiders are poisonous, but not all should be feared because some are too small or possess poison that is too weak to harm humans. Most have a toxicity level high enough to kill insects and other small invertebrate prey. Only a few have bites that are dangerous to humans. However, the bite of these few species can cause serious medical problems and possible death under certain circumstances. Spiders are not naturally aggressive to humans but bite when they or their egg sacs are threatened. The most dangerous spiders to humans in North America are the widow spiders (usually known as black widows), the brown spiders (also known as the fiddlebacked spiders or brown recluse), the tarantulas, the sac spiders, and the funnel-web spider.

RATS!!!

In the past five years we have seen major increases in the number of rats infesting our homes. More than ever, we get calls from people thinking they have mice, only to find they are in fact rats. With the increased number of man-made lakes, gullies, construction of commercial buildings, and new subdivisions; combined with the adverse weather and increased hurricane activity we have been experiencing in the last several years, the rats have been moving inland in search of new shelters. Unfortunately, the rats’ search has brought them into the warmth of our homes.

Rodents are among the most successful mammals on earth; they are adaptable, can colonize many different types of land masses, and feed on almost anything. They live in the wild for about one year, procreating up to 12 times in that year with each liter producing 6 to 12 pups. Of the nearly 1700 varieties of rat; we, in this area, are most likely to see either the Norway (Rattus Norvegicus) or the Roof (Rattus Linnaeus) rat.

The Norway is a ground dwelling species — dependent on people for food. Norway rats will typically burrow under decks, in shrubbery, or in the crawl space of a house. Like most rats, the Norway rat has poor vision, blunt noses, and is color blind. The typical Norway rat is 7 to 10 inches long with an additional 6 to 8 inches of tail. Their paths, or runways, can be determined by greasy rub marks on vertical surfaces. They will also be free of dust and cobwebs. Norway rats prefer to eat meat, fish, cereal and dry goods with dog food being a favorite. Many of this variety of rat have been seen in crawl spaces.

The Roof rat, the more aggressive of the two varieties, prefers its solitude; they are less dependent on humans for their survival preferring the elevations of the treetops or roofs. Like the Norway rat, the Roof rat has poor vision and is color blind. Their body and tail length is just the opposite of the Norway rat, having bodies 6 to 8 inches long and tails 7 to10 inches with pointed noses. Unlike the Norway rat, a Roof rat’s runway may not be as apparent outside because they travel along power lines, telephone lines, or along fence tops. They also prefer fruits, vegetables, and cereals to eat.

Although most people think rats are nocturnal, but this is not the case. They are most active during the early evening hours/ preferring to sleep in their nests to protect their young throughout the night. Both types of rats, although curious, will tend to shy away from new things such as bait stations, for example, placed in their environments. Gnaw marks and feces are present in areas where rats spend most of their time. Rats tend to follow established paths and have been known to travel 100 to 150 feet in search of food and water; each type/ requiring at least 1 ounce of water per day.

Fungus & Health Issues

Do any of these conditions apply to your home?

• Wet Insulation
• Musty Odors
• Dripping water/condensation
• Buckling Floors
• Peeling floors
• Wood Rot
• Increased Pest Activity
• Allergy Complaints

Studies have shown that 1/3 to ½ of the air in the main living area comes from the crawlspace of your home. In summer, when the outside temperature is at 70° with 60% RH the warmer exterior air mixes with the cooler air of the crawl space causing an increase in RH up to 82% in the crawl space.

Wood moisture contents in excess of 28% during the summer months and 18% during non peak air conditioner use times constitute a moisture problem. This indicates that conditions are right for increased fungus growth. Fungus spores float on the air and can get into your living spaces through the floors of your home. This can cause increased allergy and asthma problems for your family. You may also experience musty smells in dark closets or unoccupied rooms. Additionally, fungus is considered a wood destroying organism because the fungus feeds on the cellulose (sugars) in the wood decreasing the integrity of the wood member.

If you are experiencing any of the above conditions call ABC for a free evaluation of your homes unique situation!

It’s Termite Swarmer Season!

The weather has FINALLY broken. If you are like me, you can’t wait to get out into the yard and start cleaning the winter mess away and planting new things to get some beautiful colors waving in your yards. As you dig around in your yard, be mindful that it is termite swarmer season again.

Termite swarmers are the reproductives of an existing termite colony. As the colony matures, usually 3-5 years old, swarmers will appear. They are released from the colony in pairs, if the pair mates and is able to get back into the ground or a suitable environment to sustain them, a new colony will begin.

Swarmers do no physical damage to wood or property. Their sole purpose is to mate and forma new colony. They will lose their wings shortly after swarming and will nearly always be found in a lighted area (window sill, bright light in a room). Remember that just because you find termites in a window sill or by the front door does not mean that is where the swarm originated from; termites are light sensitive from living underground all their lives so they naturally head to the light when they emerge.

If you experience a swarm inside your home, it is best to leave the dead swarmers where they are and call for an experienced professional to evaluate the problem. Tracking the point of origin helps the pest management professionals when developing a treatment plan for your home. If you simply cannot leave the dead swarmers (small children or animals playing or eating them) please note where they were found. Digital photos are useful and also remember to save some samples for the PMP to examine; it’s very difficult to determine what the problem is when there is nothing to see.

Below is a picture identifying the differences between termite and ant swarmers. Ants and termites can swarm at the same time of year and knowing the difference between swarmers will save some anxiety and frustration.
Be it termites or ants, among other things, bugging you, our knowledgeable, professional, courteous staff will help solve your termite, pest and moisture problems, quickly and efficiently.

Termites V Ants