5 Most Common Types Of Household Pests In The United States

Household pests can be a problem in every home; every neighborhood; every city, and every country. Insects and pests in one form or another have been around since before the beginning of mankind, and show no sign of leaving the planet anytime soon. Household pests come in all different sizes, shapes, and species. Here’s a look at five of the most common pests we encounter here in the United States:

Ants

Some ants are so small you can barely see them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Here are some species of ants in the United States: pharaoh’s ants, pavement ants, ghost ants, garden ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, bull or bulldog ants, black house ants, and Argentine ants. While some are destructive, they are all creepy, crawly nuisances. Covering up food when not in use, whipping up sticky messes, treating apparently nesting areas outside, and ceiling obvious entry points can help control and save your home.

Bed Bugs

This is a pest problem that has come to light more and more lately, and can present an infestation problem in not just low-income areas or establishments that have seemingly countless visitors on a regular basis, but in high-end stores, luxury resorts hotels, well-known gyms, and ritzy homes. Bed bugs ride around town on clothing, in luggage, in purses – and when they can’t ride, they crawl. Their bites look similar to mosquito bites but they leave behind telltale signs on furniture, draperies, rugs, bed linen, and mattresses that let you know they’re bunking with you.

Mosquitoes

One would think that a creature that can carry and spread diseases like the Zika virus, malaria, and the West Nile virus should have been eradicated from the face of the earth. As pleasing as that would be to some of us, mosquitoes do have their own little place in the whole ecosystem being the main food source for some larger species. That doesn’t mean they have a place in and around our homes, however. At least partial control is available through insect repellents and insecticides, cutting back tall grassy areas, eliminating standing water, and wearing the right kind of clothing when you’re outside to avoid bites. This is another species that has somehow lasted millions of years.

Rodents

In the minds of many, rats are worse than mice but in the minds of others, a rodent is a rodent. No one wants either one of them in their house. Rats can devastate a home. They can undermine retaining walls and hillsides by burrowing through them. They chew cables carrying electricity which can cause a fire. They chew through walls and floor joists and damage the insulation in your home. Mice have equally destructive habits through feeding and nesting and are known, like rats, to spread disease. Some are so small that they can slip through almost unperceivable cracks and crevices.

Cockroaches

Just the name invokes shivers, the hair standing up on the back of your neck, goosebumps… you name it. These are some of God’s most disgusting, vile, and despised creatures. And for good reason. They have been around since the beginning of time and will be here long after humans are gone. That doesn’t mean, however, that they have to take up residence in your house! Would you believe that researchers have determined that certain cockroaches have actually developed personalities? It’s what may help some adapt to change and survive more than others. Worst of all, cockroaches bring disease: allergies, viruses, fungus, roundworm, tapeworms, dysentery, and food poisoning can all be attributed to cockroaches.

Ridding your home of these pesky creatures will likely mean killing some in the process. That’s too bad, but it is unavoidable in many cases. Few of us feel bad about it, truth be told. There are safe ways to get rid of insects and other pests in the home. Green methods of pest control are already in existence and new eco-friendly methods are springing up every day. Talk to us if you are having trouble with pests, and can’t seem to find the remedy you are looking.

Learn To Prevent An Ant Infestation This Coming Spring Season!

When spring is right around the corner, many people’s thoughts turn to flowers, robins, warm weather, spring break… you get the idea. Not ants. Their minds turn to food sources and how to get them. Unfortunately, your home is probably going to be the best place to grab a quick meal for many household pests this spring, including ants. The good news is that you can prevent an ant infestation this spring by any number of methods. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Where To Typically Find Ants

Finding ants around the outside of your property can eventually lead to finding ants inside your property – namely, your house. Air-conditioning units, garages, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens are popular infestation locations for not only ants but many other insects and household pets. They are not limited to those areas by any means, of course. Spring cleaning is a great time to take a look at your yard and areas around your house in order to head off the next ant infestation.

Pets Versus Pests

When you have pets around the house you provide an increased source of food for household pests. When your pet is done eating, promptly wipe up any water or spilled food and keep their bowls and/or dishes clean, as much as possible. Remove food from the bags in which it comes and transfer it to sealed plastic containers stored it a dry area. This also helps keep the food fresh. Ants and rodents can get into a paper bag in the blink of an eye.

Clean That Kitchen

As with cockroaches, it doesn’t take a lot of food to feed an ant. Take the trash out on a regular basis. Keep fruit, especially if it is right, in the refrigerator. Keep all food in sealed containers. And always remove spills and crumbs from the floor and wipe off countertops. This will also help curb the spread of disease.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Ants, just like any other creature, have to drink. Out-of-doors, make sure that water is flowing outwardly from the foundation of your home and that gutters and downspouts are operating properly. Indoors, in places like attics, crawl spaces, and basements, consider utilizing a dehumidifier to cut back on dampness. Check for leaky pipes or other causes of moisture under sinks and around tubs.

Seal Off Entrance Points

If you can stop ants before they come in you have taken the biggest step toward controlling an infestation. Trim shrubberies and tree branches back away from the outside of your house. Use a silicone-based caulk to seal tiny gaps and small holes through which ants may enter. Areas around utility pipes, cables, and other crevices and cracks are good places to start your inspection and begin sealing the tiny little entryways and to your home.

Killing the live ants in your home is only part of the process. You have to stop them from coming inside so that, once you do kill the living ants, more don’t come in to sublet the homes of the deceased. Thankfully, there are many methods with which to treat ants and other pest infestations. Best of all, eco-friendly, natural methods of pest control assure the safety of the ecosystem and our loved ones.

A Primer On The Zika Virus

First diagnosed in 1947, the Zika virus is commonly spread to both humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted or passed on by contaminated blood transfusions. The virus was most recently reported in the United States in Miami, Florida in July of 2016. From there, it spread across the continental US with reports of the virus now in all 48 states. Almost all of the cases occurred because of travel; the mosquitoes were transported on clothing, in cars, in luggage, etc. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika an international emergency in 2016 and it has now been reported in 75 countries worldwide.

The Zika virus is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other diseases such as Dengue fever, Yellow fever, and the West Nile virus. In general, symptoms are not dangerous for most people and include skin rashes, joint and muscle pain, fever, red eyes, and headache, all which generally lasts fewer than seven days. Many people may not even be aware they are infected.

However, pregnant women have every reason to be concerned. Research is revealing new and different ways that Zika can endanger unborn children. Severe birth defects of babies born to infected mothers include microcephaly and other abnormal brain development. An infection can also cause miscarriage.

How The Zika Virus Spreads

High humidity and heat create the perfect habitat for mosquitoes and assists the rapid spread of this virus. Ideal Zika breeding grounds are rice farming lands and any land near or below sea level in humid climates. Open, stagnant water, road drainage systems, water fountains, and goldfish ponds are also perfect homes for mosquito breeding.

To stop the spread of the Zika virus, it is imperative to eliminate these breeding grounds. Reducing their habitat means removing standing water, as well as maintaining trash disposal, spraying pesticides, putting screens on open windows, or adding netting around beds to reduce bites.

Precautions To Avoid Zika

Unfortunately, there is no current vaccine for Zika and no prescriptions to ease the symptoms of the virus. The only suggestion from health professionals is for bed rest, plenty of fluids, and acetaminophen (not aspirin) for fever and aches and pains.

The health community suggests avoiding mosquitoes if you are currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. The World Health Organization has also linked infections in adults to Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Obviously, the best way to avoid getting the Zika virus is to not get bitten in the first place. Take precautions when traveling to mosquito infested areas: wear plenty of bug repellent, wear long clothing to cover your arms and legs, sleep with netting around your bed, and put screens on the windows of your home.

Although only one new case has been reported in the United States in January, many countries around the world continue to struggle with Zika, making it just as important as ever to stop this dreadful disease.

How To Avoid Bed bugs During Your Hotel Stay

It’s hard to find a hotel these days that hasn’t had a problem with bed bugs. It’s up to you to learn how bed bugs spread and how to protect yourself. Reduce the risk and decrease the chances of bringing bed bugs home as an unwanted souvenir. As soon as you check in, the potential of a bed bug infestation begins. Here are ways they spread, and ways to avoid bed bugs while staying in a hotel.

How Bed Bugs Spread

While there is no way to ensure you won’t bring home a bed bug from your vacation, taking a few precautions will certainly help. Bed bugs usually travel to a new destination in suitcases or on clothing. Once a visitor has unknowingly delivered the bed bugs, they quickly spread around the room and lay their eggs. Bed bugs love the warm and safe seams of a mattress, the dark interior of luggage, and folded clothing.

Bed bugs hide inside suitcases, so the first step to avoid bed bugs is to protect your luggage even before you leave home. Start by using a sealed luggage liner. Your clothing offers bed bugs lots of hiding places, so sealing them inside a plastic liner will prevent bugs from getting in.

How to Avoid Bed bugs

When you enter your hotel room, do not immediately toss your luggage on the bed or lie down. Set the luggage in the doorway and quickly inspect the room for any telltale signs of bugs. Pull back the corner of the fitted sheet and check the folds, seams, and corners of the mattress for bug shells, fecal matter, or eggs. Open the drawers of the bureau. If you find any bugs, call the front desk immediately and ask to be moved to another room. Examine that room before agreeing to stay there as well. Don’t put anything in the drawers or on the bed until you’ve done a thorough inspection.

Frankly, one of the best ways to avoid bed bugs is to leave your luggage in your car. Just bring in a change of clothing and your toiletries and leave everything in the bathroom. If you decide to bring your suitcase with you, consider keeping it packed and in the bathtub. Bed bugs are unable to climb the smooth porcelain sides of the tub and are unlikely to infest your luggage there.

After you return home, be sure to leave your suitcases, clothing, and even the clothes you’re wearing outside. Don’t allow the possibility of a stray bed bug to get in the house. Keep everything in tightly sealed garbage bags until you do the laundry. The warm or hot water wash cycle and heat from the dryer will kill any eggs or bed bugs that may be lurking in your clothes.

Finally, thoroughly inspect your suitcases. Look at the seams, folds, and zippers for any signs of bed bugs. Like your laundry, tightly seal it in a plastic bag until you can treat it with a bed bug spray. With just a little work, you can avoid bringing bed bugs home from your vacation.

International Students More Apt to Bring in Bed Bugs and Develop a Need for a Green Solution, Expert Says

College and university housing professionals are facing a large bed bug problem with their international student population – mainly because those coming in from other countries don’t have the insect prioritized as importantly as American students do, per Bob Hughes, a veteran pest management professional who has worked with major universities for years to control bed bugs.

“With international traveling students, because some of the cultures in the world are not as concerned as we are with bed bugs they see it as a nuisance pest and not a health hazard,” said Hughes, a 20-year pest management professional who has worked supporting university pest control departments throughout the Midwest.

“You see the problem more so in international housing because schools tend to group international students together by country and culture so they have some familiarity. Thus, they have a bond and when there’s a bed bug problem students tend to not throw their friends ‘under the bus’ by tattling on them. That’s how it gets out of hand.”

A major issue facing pesticide control of bed bugs, Hughes said, is resistance. Bed bugs have formed a resistance to common insecticides, according to a study by University of Sydney researchers published in April 2016 in the journal PLOS One.

“Resistance is a tough issue because pesticides can’t skirt around it, it’s truly an issue and that’s why there are always other products to turn to but this study showed that most common insecticides are giving way to some form of resistance.

“I’ve run into it before, several times actually and the first was at least six or eight years ago, before it became news. Now once you experience that you have to seek alternative approaches for bed bug treatment.”

According to Hughes, EcoRaider and its botanical or “green” formulation allows for a strong performance but it is not susceptible to resistance, which makes it a game changer when seeking a product that can actually kill a bed bug infestation once and for all.

“EcoRaider is really good because its formulation is designed to prevent resistance and to help end a bed bug problem,” Hughes said. “By using EcoRaider, universities can help break that cycle of never truly taking care of the problem because it delivers the power of performance with the safety of a green product.”

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is a highly efficacious botanical-based bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs or ants are found without restriction. It carries no signal words or cautions and has no label restrictions or precautions on usage.

Because EcoRaider is a green product, it is an ideal fit for sensitive accounts and environments where low-impact methods are advised. These include college dorms, senior-living facilities, managed-care and assisted-living housing, schools, health-care facilities, public housing, multi-family, and hotels.

For more information, visit http://ecoraiderpmp.com/ or call 1-800-338-0212. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Why Are There So Many Ants In Your House?

Although ants are not usually dangerous, they are one of the most common pests that can infest your home. But that doesn’t mean you want them around. Below are seven reasons why you might see a lot of ants in your house and how to get rid of them.

1)   You have too many plants inside your home

Plants can be beautiful and a lovely way to decorate, but plants also attract a variety of unwanted insects. If you are having a problem with ants, it may be best to keep these plants on an outdoor patio or garden area instead of in your living space.

2)  High moisture levels in your home

Most insects, including ants, love water and a moist environment. If you live in an area with high humidity or one that has a rainy season, reduce the humidity level inside your home with a dehumidifier. Run it daily to create drier air quality which will significantly reduce the attraction for ants.

3)  You have a messy house

Most insects and ants love to live in a messy house. There are lots of things to use with which to build nests and hide in, making it very attractive. It is recommended to regularly clean your home – wipe off kitchen counters, vacuum rugs, put away shoes, throw away old newspapers, etc – in order to eliminate anything the ants would enjoy living in.

4)  There is leftover food on your counter

Food particles are a welcome mat for ants. Ants are omnivores, which means they will eat anything they can find, especially sweet or moist foods. Make sure to put food away in the refrigerator or in air tight canisters.

5)   High temperatures outside

You don’t like being out in the heat and neither do ants. As the temperature rises, ants will try to come into your home. Make sure the environment isn’t welcoming and they won’t stay for long.

6)  Your house has cracked walls or open windows

If you see a line of ants coming in, try to find the source. If you notice a broken window, an open window, or a crack in the wall, have it fixed as soon as possible because this may be how they’re getting in. Close up any access points to keep these pests out.

7)  You have a pile of wood leaning against your house

Many insects love to build their nests in wood. Keep wood piles away from the perimeter of your home by at least five feet to eliminate ants from getting in.

Keep these seven points in mind when you’re trying to eradicate ants and other pests in your home. Consider calling a professional pest control company if you’re having trouble getting rid of them. Professionals have proven strategies to remove and destroy insects quickly and easily. By the way, do you know that EcoRaider products are also used widely by pest management professionals in eradicating ants?

The U.S. Zika Battle Update in 2017

Approximately one year ago, there were twenty-three countries reporting Zika virus infections. Today, there are as many as seventy-five nations showing evidence of the Zika virus. As the number of reports of infections increase, as well as the measures taken to prevent them, the world is wondering – are we winning the battle against the virus and what can we do to minimize the damage? And has the government done enough to assist in the U.S. Zika battle?

What Are the Symptoms of Zika?

The Zika virus is spread mainly by being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include skin rashes, joint and muscle pain, fever, red eyes, and headache, all which generally lasts less than seven days. If these symptoms occur, it is important to see a doctor quickly to rule out the possibility of Zika.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress granted the CDC (The Center for Disease Control) a much needed $184 million to help fight the virus which was – and still is – spreading across the United States and its territories. The virus first made itself know when it arrived in the United States in July of 2016 in Miami, Florida through infected mosquitoes. From there, it has spread across the continental US and there have been reports of the virus in all 48 states. Only Alaska and Hawaii have been spared.

Are The CDC and Grant Money Working Together?

Although there have been 4,618 total cases reported in the Unites States, almost all of them occurred because of travel; the mosquitoes were transported on clothing, in cars, in luggage, etc. Only a handful of infections in Texas and Florida were spread locally. However, Congress is being aggressive in its response because the money granted to the CDC was just a small portion of the $1.1 billion set aside in September of 2016 to serve a number of purposes including mosquito control, vaccine research, and studying the virus’ effect on infants and pregnant women.

All of this may be working, because there has only been one new Zika case reported in the US within last month. Unfortunately, research is revealing new and different ways that Zika can endanger adults and unborn children. Severe birth defects in the brains of children born to infected mothers include microcephaly and other brain malformations. The World Health Organization has also linked infections in adults to Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Although only one new Zika infection case has been reported recently, many countries around the world continue to struggle with the burden of the disease. For example, Brazil has reported 1,749 cases of babies born with birth defects due to the Zika virus, and have estimated that it will cost the country nearly $4 million per child for life-long assistance – making it just as important as ever to stop this dreadful disease.

How To Tell Bed Bug Bites Apart From Mosquito Bites

Insect bites of varying origin are uncomfortable no matter where they spring up. The really irritating locations can be on your stomach, your ankles, or behind your ears. Distinguishing between the two most common bites, that of the mosquito and the bedbug can be difficult. And once you find the bites, what do you do about preventing further annoying bedbug bites and mosquito bites? There is a way to tell the difference and there are certain precautions and steps that one can take to do their best toward the prevention of future issues typically presented by mosquitoes and bedbugs.

Understanding Mosquito Bites

A typical mosquito bite usually presents with a reddish, raised welt on the skin. The area around the welt can be warm to the touch and the bite itself will be itchy. The welt can increase in size after the initial bite, but after time the welt does go down, leaving behind an itchy red dot. Diseases typically carried by mosquitoes, some of which can be life-threatening, are West Nile, yellow fever, and dengue. So if the horrible itching isn’t enough reason to try to avoid these pesky insects, the diseases certainly are reason to do everything you can to eliminate mosquito infestations whenever possible.

To keep mosquitoes at a minimum, cut back any tall grassy areas and eliminates any standing water. Both of these attract mosquitoes. If you must be outside during dusk or dawn, which are peak mosquito times, use the most effective insect repellent that you can.

Understanding Bedbug Bites 

Often noticed during early, waking hours, bedbug bites can look a lot like mosquito bites but frequently appear in groups of three to four. No known diseases are associated with these bites and they don’t itch on everyone. Stress and anxiety, however, do tend to go hand in hand with bedbug infestations. No one wants bedbugs in their home or the stigma that goes along with them. If you do notice bedbugs in your home, there are a number of remedies with which to combat them.

To check for bedbugs, look for reddish or dark brown spots of blood on mattresses, headboards, furniture, inside tables, behind hanging picture frames, in electrical outlets, seams of curtains or carpet, box springs, and bed linens. It is possible to pick up these nasty creatures in other public areas and bring them home with you so be on the lookout. Always check hotel rooms as these are the likeliest places to find the kinds of infestations that may inadvertently end up in your home.

Of course, the main objective is not to be bitten by any bug of any kind at any point in time. Knowing full well that this is a lofty if not unachievable goal, hopefully, this has helped you determine whether you have a bedbug problem or are just being terrorized by those pesky mosquitoes again – and what to do about it either way.

Seattle-Based DESC Uses EcoRaider® to Control Bed Bugs in Homeless Shelters

Bed bugs are a tough problem to deal with in any scenario. But in public shelters bed bugs can could potentially cause the homeless to move away from using the facility, giving it a bad name.

Sondra Nielsen, Director of Facilities and Asset Management for Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), wanted to avoid that situation when she started realizing that synthetic chemicals were unable to kill bed bugs in her shelters because a resistance had been built up to them.

DESC is a nonprofit organization of nearly 600 professional staff, board members, and community volunteers fighting to serve every aspect of Seattle’s homeless. According to Nielsen, once the pesticides were unable to solve her problem she turned to EcoRaider based on a referral.

“It’s been huge for us, it’s been tremendously huge for us,” said Nielsen. “EcoRaider was recommended to me by Dr. Fang Zhu at Washington State University and I then asked our pest management company Eden Pest Control about it and they were preliminarily using it in some locations already.

“But based on Dr. Fang Zhu’s research showing it was very effective against bed bugs I was convinced it would make sense to use EcoRaider and in the end, we would have to perform fewer treatments and save money by using it in our shelter environments. That’s exactly what happened, EcoRaider eliminated the bed bug infestation in our main shelter and two of our smaller shelters and although periodically we have hitchhikers we do not have infestations.”

As Bed Bug Operations Manager for Olympia, Washington-based Eden, Michele Cruzat has been focused on controlling a pest infestation that has been penetrating just about every type of customer sector – from hotels, hospitals and apartments to senior-living centers, residential homes, and apartment complexes.

The strains of bed bugs were completely resistant to pyrethrins and pyrethroids, leaving Cruzat without a solid bed bug solution until she continued using EcoRaider.

“Using EcoRaider made a huge difference for us,” Cruzat said. “We were using conventional chemical products – we tried many things and none were getting it under control and we were treating every two weeks. Once we started using EcoRaider we saw a difference immediately.

“I’d say within a few weeks we a drastic reduction in the bed bug population. We haven’t seen a bed bug infestation again in any shelter – at this point we are spot treating every two weeks with EcoRaider and it’s working incredibly.”

According to Cruzat, who has crews covering much of the Seattle and Olympia markets, her technicians are so convinced that EcoRaider is the product of choice for eliminating bed bugs that it has become part of regular protocol.

“EcoRaider is great to use in sensitive areas. With most products, you can only use them in cracks and crevices but with EcoRaider you can use a broad spectrum – you can spray full areas and that’s super valuable to a pest technician. We love the product.”

EcoRaider, available online and at distributors throughout the country, quickly kills bed bugs on all stages without adversary environmental effects. The product, named “the most effective bio-insecticide for bed bugs” by Entomological Society of America-published lab data in the Journal of Economic Entomology, offers PMPs a variety of benefits. Its uncompromising field performance comparing to leading pesticides are proven in recent report by USDA IR4 Public Health Pesticide Program.

EcoRaider offers ready-to-use, naturally derived bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs are found without restriction. EcoRaider can be used in various sensitive environments, including schools, health-care facilities and public spaces.

For more information, visit http://ecoraiderusa.com/ or call (201) 751-0011. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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EcoRaider® Announces Ron Wyandt as West Coast Sales Representative

Reneotech, manufacturer of EcoRaider botanical insect control products, announces the hiring of Ron Wyandt as West Coast Sales Representative.

Wyandt, a full-time sales representative with 14 years of experience working for pest control distributors, started working with the New Jersey-based manufacturer in January. He lives in Sacramento, California and will cover Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Missouri, as well as his home state.

“Ron brings a wealth of experience, integrity and connections in the structural pest control industry to support the growth of EcoRaider,” said Todd Zon, vice president of Reneotech. “We are pleased to have him join our growing team and look forward to great results from his efforts.”

Reneotech has two products designed for professional pest control, EcoRaider RTU and ER-22 concentrate. Both products are used by Pest Management Professionals as an efficient and green solution that delivers both a quick kill and strong residual for bed bugs and other pest control needs.

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is the only natural solution that kills bed bugs with 100 percent efficacy. EcoRaider has no signal words, is 100 percent natural, and is safe for children and pets – making it the ideal protocol product for every green program and it can be used in various settings, including schools, health-care facilities, and public spaces.

Ron can be reached at ron.wyandt@ecoraiderusa.com. For more information, visit http://ecoraiderpmp.com/ or call 1-800-338-0212. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.