How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

It’s travel season! Whether you’re heading to grandma’s through the woods, or to your mom’s house across the pond, bed bugs are a real threat during the holidays, especially if you’re staying at a hotel.

Don’t head to a hotel for the holidays without reading this…

Bedbugs can easily hide in luggage, clothing, and other personal items, so take a few precautions while traveling to keep them from ruining your trip—or worse—coming home with you!

  • As much as we all love our very own pillows, don’t bring yours with you while traveling. It gives bed bugs a perfect place to hide so they can make their way into your home. Leave your favorite pillow and blanket on your bed at home.
  • Pack some large white sealable plastic garbage bags so you can separate any belongings while on the road if you do notice bugs in a hotel room or someone’s home.
  • Purchase light-colored plastic luggage because bedbugs are less attracted to plastic and the lighter color makes them easier to spot. If only have dark luggage or cloth luggage, you can enclose the luggage in a white plastic garbage bag and seal it.
  • When you check into your hotel room, follow these steps: 1) Do a complete inspection of the room. 2) Don’t put luggage on the bed. 3) Inspect the bed very carefully using a flashlight. 4) Check drawers and closets, also. 5) Never store anything under the bed. 6) Keep your stuff in your luggage, if you’re able to. 7) Inform hotel staff immediately if you find bed bugs.

Check out these great tips for avoiding bed bugs:

  • Before you check out your hotel room’s minibar or oceanfront view, give it a thorough bedbug inspection—and until you’ve done that, stash your luggage in the loo.
  • Here’s how to check for a bedbug infestation: Pull back the linens, and check all the way around and under the mattress and behind the headboard.
  • Next, broaden your bedbug search to the area immediately surrounding the bed: behind picture frames, under the telephone and alarm clock, and even in books, says Johnson.
  • Leaving suitcases and bags on the floor—or on a second spare bed—may be one way to bring home an unwanted souvenir, says Henriksen.
  • With a little Internet research, it’s easy to find out if bedbugs have been reported at your hotel: The Bed Bug Registry, for example, is a free online database of user-submitted reports across North America. Travel sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp may also offer clues in their customer reviews.

And, if you do bring bed bugs home, you’ll want do this:

1. Find the hideouts of the bedbug: Start by finding the hideouts of the bedbugs; dismantle the bed check for any dark spots for dried bed bug excrement on the cracks and edges of wooden frames and also along mattress seams.

To avoid purchasing a new mattress and for easy inspection in future you can use a bed bug proof mattress cover to trap them inside the cover.

(It can take up to 400 days to starve them in the cover)

2. Inspect your upholstery: inspect the sofa sets and the cushions since sofas can be a major hideout especially when people sleep on them.

3. Check the walls and common places of your house: bed bugs will also find the walls, ceiling and cracks in wood moldings a nice place for them to congregate and also lay their eggs. A flashlight can be of great help to check at the dark edges.

4. Treating: There are several methods for treating and even controlling bed bugs in your premises. You can kill bed bugs by washing infested beddings and spreading hot water over the wooden beds and furniture. Hot machine wash is recommended for the clothing and for those valuable such as leather jackets you can use non-toxic bed bug sprays.

Using parathyroid insecticides are also another advisable way for treating and controlling these pests in your home. You will have to spray on the cracks crevices on the walls .You will need to spray the insecticides for several times to make sure that you kill any bed bug that could have escaped the attack and the eggs that could have hatched from the hideouts.

In serious cases like where the clothing and bedding have been infested a lot you may need to dispose those that have highly been infested to avoid recurring infest.

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Thanksgiving Ants

Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, football and maybe a little alcohol. Thanksgiving is not when you want ants invading your home. Unfortunately, ants are the most common unwelcomed guest this time of year.

All that sticky, sweet, sugary food ends up on the floor, left on tables and counters, even on the patio and in the grass. And all that sticky, sweet, Thanksgiving food attracts hordes of hungry ants.

What can you do to keep ants from invading your property and home?

Follow these steps:

Clean: No one actually enjoys cleaning, but if you want to keep pests out of your home, particularly ants and cockroaches, which ultimately lead to spider and scorpions invading your home, you need to keep things clean. No crumbs on the floor, no crumbs on the counter, no dirty dishes in the sink. A clean home means a pest free home…most of the time.

Pantries: We often shut the door of the pantry, or close the door of the cabinet, and thing the food is secure. In reality, that is the biggest mistake most homeowners make in terms of pest control. Food is never safe from ants. If your cereal is not in a container, if your chips and crackers are not sealed properly, ants will sniff those things out and will find them.

Sugar: If you have kids, and you send them outside with a tasty treat in the heat of summer, that tasty treat can very easily end up all over the patio…which will absolutely attract ants and all kinds of pests. Sugar is the ultimate calling for ants, so be sure to keep not only the floors and countertops clean inside, but spray off the patio and keep food and sugar and soda spills off the concrete.

Home Sealing: Ants and other pests can come through cracks in your caulking smaller than you probably realize. Sure, you can DIY seal your home, but it’s best to call in the Magic Pest Control experts and have them seal up every nook and cranny of your home.

Ultimately, you do have control over whether pests are going to find their way into your home…

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Termites Hiding in Plain Sight

Termites Hiding in Plain Sight

Termites aren’t always easy to find. From rotting wood to water stains, strange lines on the garage wall to cracks in the foundation of your home, termites can hide in plain sight.

From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites are invading the valley. They are causing millions in damage every year, and your home could be next.

Today, let’s talk about some of the places termites like to hide in plain sight…

Rotting Wood: When the mornings are dewey and moist, and water droplets form out of thin are and attach themselves to your car and grass, it’s easy to see some rotting wood along the trim of your house and think, “That’s perfectly normal. I’ll take care of it later.” Unfortunately, the longer you wait the more termites will invade your home. If you have rotting wood in your home, you have a termite problem…I can pretty much guarantee it.

Paint Chipping: Another tell tale sign of a termite problem is paint chipping along the wood of your home. Either on the wood trim around your roof, doors, and windows or the pain on the inside of your walls, these are all signs of a termite problem. Paint chipping could mean that the wood underneath that paint is moving, Moving would, disturbed wood, is a tell-tale sign of termites.

Hollow Trees: If you have any trees of firewood on your property, you probably have had termites, or you currently have a termite problem. It’s difficult to tell if termites are invading your trees unless you look closely. Any frass on the ground or sawdust could be a sign of termites hiding in plain sight. If you were to cut a branch off of one of your trees and notice termite tubes within the tree itself, you have a termite problem.

Oddly Shaped Designs: I drove past a home the other day with oddly designed lines running up from the patio roof to the bedroom window. Initially, these designs looked like water lines, perhaps left over after some house cleaning or heavy rain. Maybe you’ve noticed these strange lines on your foundation, the inside of your garage or the outside of your home? These strange lines are not water stains or dirt stains, they are termite tubes….termites hiding in plain sight.

If you think you might have a termite problem, call Magic Pest Control immediately.

Kandice Linwright No Comments

Heavy Termite Season Hitting Arizona

Heavy Termite Season Hitting Arizona

We have been seeing an influx of termite infestations here in Arizona. From Gilbert to Phoenix and Glendale, termites have invaded the valley. Part of the problem is that homeowners aren’t being diligent enough to seek out termite symptoms and signs of a termite problem until it’s too late.

Termites will hide within the walls of your home, but there are nearly always signs and symptoms of a termite problem.

Today, let’s talk about some of the termites that might be living in your home right now, and what to do about it…

Subterranean Termites

This termite species is extremely common in southern states and hotter climates. Subterranean termites live in underground colonies with as many as two million members and are also found in moist, secluded areas above ground. They build distinctive tunnels, often referred to as “mud tubes,” to reach food sources and protect themselves from open air. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive termite species — their hard, saw-toothed jaws work like shears and are able to bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. Over time, they can collapse a building entirely, meaning possible financial ruin for a homeowner.

Signs of a Termite Problem

Symptom of Termite: Discarded Wings

What To Look For: Wings all of the same size (look like tiny fish scales) shredded near an entry point to your home.

Swarmers are usually winged and as a part of their behavior, they usually discard their wings in places like windowsills, doors or in cobwebs.

Symptom of Termite: Mud Tubes

What To Look For: Mud tubes are usually built by Subterranean termites, which are the most destructive species. As they move out from their colony in search of food, they build mud tubes to provide moisture. These mud tubes are often found near the foundation of the home, so those places should also be checked regularly.

Symptom of Termite: Wood Damage

What To Look For: Termites often eat wood from the inside out thereby making the wood soft. The damage may not be visible on the outside. The wood’s surface might still appear smooth even if termites are causing damage from inside. So if the wood sounds hollow when tapped, it may be because termites are eating the wood from the inside.

Symptom of Termite: Cracked Paint

What To Look For: Swarming drywood termites can enter through very tiny openings. Always try to cover up cracks in the home’s foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. If your paint is cracking, it means there is moisture build up in it which could be as a result of either water damage or termite problems.

Symptom of Termite: Frass

What To Look For: As Drywood termites infest wood, they leave behind wood-colored droppings called frass. You can prevent this by keeping gutters and crawl spaces free of debris and cellulose materials so that termites don’t use them as sources of food.

Symptom of Termite: Noise

What To Look For: Some species of termites, like the soldier termites, usually make loud noises while eating or while trying to sound alarm to warn others of impending danger. The soldier termites make a banging noise with their heads on the wood to serve as an alarm to alert others. So if you tap on a piece of wood where you suspect termites, and you hear a loud banging sound, then there is termite infestation in your home.

Slow Moving Scorpions…

Slow Moving Scorpions…

You may have noticed the weather dipping. It’s beautiful outside now, which can lead many to think that pests like scorpions and termites are done for the season. In fact, the opposite is true.

Scorpions and termites are simply seeking better shelter to keep them warm and fed during the chilly winter months. As they seek out the warm places to spend the winter, they’ll find their way into your home.

Let’s take a flashback to a blog we posted last winter on the topic of scorpions, and other pests, during winter…

When it is mild winter weather, so many pest populations stay active. Although there is a common myth that scorpions die off during the winter time, they don’t, they just hibernate. In fact, since scorpions hate cold weather, they often choose a time to hibernate in homes where they can stay warm throughout the wintertime. Here is what you need to be aware of about scorpion operation in the winter months.

Scorpions are very resilient insects, and just like a termite, they can survive the freezing weather and bark scorpions hibernate during the winter. While scorpions are creatures, naturally live in solitary, bark scorpions hibernate together in clusters of up to 30 scorpions.

Even though scorpions can survive cold temperatures, they don’t like the cold, so they hide in warm places in the winter. As the temperatures begin to decrease in the fall, scorpions search for warm dark places to hibernate. Many times, this indicates that they will make their way into your home during the winter months in order stay warm. Once they are inside, they will find any warm, dark crevice to hide. Scorpions only need an opening 1/16” wide to intrude into your home so that they can be found in crevices between baseboards and floors, behind furniture, layers of clothes and even in shoes.

You will likely start to notice scorpions’ activities in your home during winter as the days start to get a little bit warmer. It is common to see people requesting for scorpion control when the weather starts to heat up, and one of the widespread misconceptions is that scorpion season is approaching. Indeed, these scorpions found in your house were most likely hibernating in a dark, warm crevice all winter long. Sometimes, they aren’t noticed at all until the outside temperatures start to warm up, and scorpions come out of their hiding place.

To tackle scorpions’ scourge, prevention is one of the best processes you can embark upon to ensure winter control of scorpions. You start by making sure that all entry points are blocked off, and no space enough to accommodate the poisonous insect is left open. Scorpions can break into a home through the tiniest space, so it’s imperative to make sure that your home is sealed at utility entry points, pipes, and doors. A firm rule of thumb is that if you can see daylight into your home through an entry point, it probably needs to be replaced or repaired. For instance, changing old weather stripping on doors will help prevent scorpions from accessing your home. Another good step to take to avoid scorpion entry into your home is to make sure trees, shrubbery and foliage are trimmed away from your house, and not to overwater plants as scorpions thrive on water.

If you have taken the necessary steps to repair common entry points into your house, your home is adequately prepared to begin preventative scorpion treatment. A licensed pest control company can then come in to exterminate scorpions and focus on areas that are difficult to seal. A precautionary approach to winter scorpion control will set you up for success in wintertime. You don’t to let your guard down because it is wintertime, insects like a scorpion, termites are hiding somewhere in the dark and warm crevices, furniture present in your home.