Bed Bugs: Don’t Let Them Bite!
Bed Bugs! We thought this pest had disappeared. But, recently bed bugs (cimex lectularius) have made a comeback in North America and are more pesticide resistant than ever before. One sure way to get rid of Bed Bugs? CALL MIDSTATE. We know where they hide and how to eliminate them. Our first step is to perform a thorough inspection.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Your home can be infested with bed bugs in a variety of ways, including:
- Bugs and eggs that “hitchhike” on pets, clothing, and luggage.
- Introducing infested items such as used furniture or clothing.
- Nearby dwellings such as adjacent apartments.
- Visitors from a source of infestation, where bed bugs are transferred by clothing, used furniture, including mattresses, bedding, and luggage.
Where Do They Hide?
Bed bugs can be found on their own but often congregate once established. They usually remain close to hosts, commonly in or near beds or couches. Nesting locations may include: luggage, vehicles, furniture, bedside clutter, behind light switches and outlet covers, behind baseboards and around carpet edging. Bed bugs may also nest near animals that live in your home. They may also infest areas known to harbor mice, rats and other warm-blooded pests.
Get Rid of Them…How?
Eradication of bed bugs frequently requires a combination of pesticide and non-pesticide approaches. Pesticides are used to treat broad areas of a room. Mechanical approaches, such as vacuuming, heat treating, or wrapping mattresses are also recommended. Heat treatments involve removing all clutter in affected rooms. All cushions, mattresses and bed linens must be treated. Also, curtains, clothing and furniture must be removed and treated. Applying low moisture steam to carpets, walls, and behind baseboards, molding and furniture. Every crack and crevice must be treated. DO IT YOURSELF treatment of your home for bed bugs will usually spread them and make treatment more expensive. It’s best to call MIDSTATE.
Mosquitoes are among the most annoying pests a person could have around their household. Due to their ability to lay multiple eggs and their relatively fast growth to adult stage (sometimes as fast as 4 days) they can quickly become a severe problem regardless of location. The mosquito has four life stages, egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They also possess an uncanny ability to detect carbon dioxide concentrations which are indicative of a host in close proximity.
Reducing the population of mosquitoes around a home takes a multi-angle approach. Knowing the mannerisms of these pests make this process more effective. Midstate takes advantage of these mannerisms to drastically reduce the population as quickly as possible. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing pools near the surface of the water. Popular breeding sites around residential areas include trash cans, birdbaths, tires, or any low or swampy areas. These eggs hatch and the mosquito larvae begin to quickly develop into adults. Our treatment is focused, in part, on localizing chemicals to these areas of standing water to prevent the larvae from becoming breeding, feeding adults.
For the existing adults, the treatment is a little broader. Mosquitoes are lazy, which means that they will not typically fly great distances, non-stop, to get to the host. Once a mosquito is able to detect that a host is nearby, they will fly in its direction in multiple short trips taking time to stop and rest on the underside of leaves. We are able to broadcast chemicals using a backpack fogger onto the trees and shrubbery near the house that will kill the mosquitoes that will be trying to make their way toward the house.
A typical treatment includes a broadcast of weather-resistant chemical onto the house and shrubbery, and a broadcast onto any tree lines around the perimeter of houses located near wooded areas. Following this treatment, any areas of standing water will have a growth-inhibiting granule broadcasted into it to prevent the reproduction of mosquitoes. For houses located on larger properties, the treatment process may be altered to make the treatment more effective closer to the home.
Why use crawlspace moisture control? You probably think about your crawlspace very little, and see it even less. But your crawlspace is the foundation of not only your home, but your home’s structural health. A damp crawlspace can lead to the growth of dangerous mold and fungus and create an ideal environment for termite colonies to thrive. Our crawlspace moisture control specialists can install a moisture barrier to keep dampness from invading your crawlspace. Eliminating moisture under your house leads to better indoor air quality within your home (fewer bothersome allergens and asthma triggers), eradication of funky odors and reduced warping of expensive hardwood floors.
We Do Not Recommend Crawlspace Encapsulation
Midstate Pest Control does not endorse crawlspace encapsulation. Encapsulation involves installing various materials to prevent moisture from entering a crawlspace from the soil below. Our humid Tennessee environment makes encapsulation seem like a good idea to many area homeowners, but we do not recommend it. Here’s why: We do not endorse encapsulation because it makes this area inaccessible to inspection. This may void your termite warranty and increase your risk of termite infestation that goes undetected. Also, encapsulation of this area can be considered a structural alteration by the state and may void your warranty. These areas would be marked as inaccessible on a wood infestation report. However, if you build a new home with the crawlspace encapsulated, the state may not deem your structure in compliance. Keep in mind the goal of moisture control for this area is to create and maintain proper conditions to sustain the integrity of the structure as a whole. In our opinion, the standards currently in place have served consumers well. If you alter your structure and go outside the mainstream, it may hinder your ability to market the property in the future. Spray foam insulation in the crawlspace or in the attic can also make areas no longer accessible for inspection if it covers the wooden members.
Moisture Control Steps
Where is excess moisture coming from? gutters draining properly, ground sloping away from structure, holes in foundation, ductwork or plumbing leaks?
Gutter extensions, sump pump, repair drainage problems.
Placing cover over the dirt in the crawlspace is essential for moisture control. This is called a Moisture Barrier because it keeps the moisture from the ground coming up into the crawlspace area. However, DO NOT PLACE THIS UP THE FOUNDATION WALLS!! This traps the moisture on the foundation wall causing deterioration of the foundation; prevents proper termite inspections and treatments, provides a perfect environment for mold and fungi growth, causes the crawlspace to have to be conditioned, and it covers up the problems and creates others. So, DO NOT PLACE THIS UP THE FOUNDATION WALL!!
Now that the main sources of moisture have been addressed, the last area is the moisture in the air. Moist air, also called Humidity, in the crawlspace or basement areas can cause condensation on surfaces. This can lead to insect infestation, fungi growth, deterioration of wood, and other problems. There are two options for handling this. First, a quality dehumidifier that works at low temperatures, or having constant air flow to replace humid air with low humidity air. Good ventilation and fans can do this if the air outside is low humidity air. So, the best solution is to limit the moist air and remove the moisture or dehumidify it. A wood treatment can be provided if conditions cannot be fully corrected or for added protection.