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RI, MA EHS Pest Control Blog

Bedbugs are Masters at Hiding

29 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Bedbugs are masters at hiding. It’s a strategy that has suited them for all the centuries they have been following humans. These three tools will help you locate and expose them.

  1. An LED flashlight. Bright white light is what you need to illuminate the dark shadowy areas they live between feedings. Look for insect skins, dark spots that don’t belong.
  2. A thin spatula, palette knife or thin screwdriver. Investigate cracks and crevices, seams, base and headboards and every hidden area.
  3. A can of compressed air. Keyboard cleaners are very effective at flushing out insects of all sorts and are pesticide free.

Take your time and proceed in an orderly fashion, millimeter by millimeter.

To find out more about bedbugs and how to control bedbug infestation, contact EHS Pest.


24 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

EHS Pest - Bedbug Control MA, RIWhen Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Bedbug bites

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don't realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn't have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs' scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can't be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

To find out more about bedbugs and how to control them, contact EHS Pest.


Ticks are Still a Concern in Winter

24 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - Bedbug Control MA, RI

Although most insects stays dormant in freezing weather, disease carrying ticks are far from idle during the winter months. Ticks are still out there looking for a host and you, your dog or cat can be one if you give them a chance.

Unfortunately, ticks can endure temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit. When the freeze is not deep enough, they don't die off, and become active again when temperatures are above freezing. Ticks have also developed a type of anti-freeze, glycoprotein, to survive the cold. So during a milder winters such as we have had thus far, you need to remain diligent in tick prevention.

Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Tularemia and Babesia. These diseases can significantly affect both humans and dogs. Therefore, even in winter it is important to take preventative measures to stop tick infestation.

Aside from regularly checking the dog for ticks whenever it goes outside you can also count on pest professionals in MA, RI to create a program to protect your family, yard and pets from these threatening pest.

Contact EHS Pest to find out more about tick control.

Bedbugs in Boston: How Bad?

22 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - Bedbug Control, MA, RI

Bed bugs are nasty. There's no two ways about that. They're basically tiny nocturnal vampires that leave painful, itchy red marks on your skin and can lead to thousands of dollars in property damage.

A description for the the tiny parasites on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website sounds more like something from a horror movie than an actual living creature: They "feed solely on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep."

And according to exterminators at the Atlanta-based Orkin, the Boston metro area ranks 38th in the country for the most bedbug eradication treatments in the year ending Nov. 30, 2018. Both residential and commercial treatments were included in the results.

Boston is obviously not the worst place for the devilish little creatures. But if you plan to stay in Baltimore, bring a magnifying glass and scrutinize the mattress. For the third straight year, the "Charm City," as it's affectionately known, ranked No. 1 in the country for bed bugs, followed by Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Here are the top 10 cities:

  • Baltimore
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • New York
  • Cincinnati
  • Detroit
  • Atlanta
  • Philadelphia

The list saw five newcomers this year: Lansing, Michigan; Orlando; Davenport, Iowa; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and Youngstown, Ohio. New York City moved up two spots while Atlanta and Philadelphia joined the top 10.

Bed bugs are the "number one urban pest" in many cities, Orkin entomologist Chelle Hartzer said in a release.

"They are master hitchhikers, so no one is immune," Hartzer said. "Sanitation has nothing to do with prevention: From public transit to five-star resorts, bed bugs have been and can be found everywhere humans are."

The bugs are reddish-brown and range from as small as 1 millimeter to as large as 7 millimeters, or about the size of Abraham Lincoln's head on a penny on the larger end of the scale. They can also live for several months without a blood meal, federal health officials said.

And they don't discriminate. They're found across the globe, including in five-star hotels and on public transit. Most often, they're found in areas where people sleep. This includes apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains and dormitories. It's harder to find them during the day.

They're pretty good at hiding in places such as mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. In fact, they often live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Bed bug bites affect each person differently. Some bed bug bites won't physically show up at all, others will leave small marks that can take as long as two weeks to develop. And you might not know you've been bitten. The parasites actually "inject" — that's the CDC's language — an anesthetic and an anticoagulant into you, preventing you from realizing you've been bitten.

"Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite," the CDC wrote on its website.

While bed bugs are not considered dangerous, they can lead some to experience serious allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention.

Once bed bugs are established, the multiply quickly.

An adult female lays two to five eggs per day, and up to 500 over the course of her lifetime, Orkin said. This makes treating the infestation difficult.

"Bed bugs are an elusive threat to your household and beyond, so it's critical to detect and treat for them as early as possible," said Orkin. "Anyone who suspects a bed bug infestation should contact a pest management professional immediately."

To find out more how to control bedbug infestation, contact EHS Pest.


Bed Bugs Are Active Even In Winter

18 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - Bed bug Control, MA, RI

As the days become much colder, it is safe to say that winter is now here. Most of us think that these temperatures will . kill most insects and cause most animals to hibernate. However, a bedbug infestation does not diminish regardless of the season or temperatures.

As a matter a fact, bed bugs can remain active in the colder months as long as there is a food source. Normally, these pesky insects stay in a warm indoor space, such as furniture and beds and mattresses. This means they are not affected by frigid temperatures. In fact, bed bugs can endure below freezing temperatures.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you suspect a bedbug infestation in your home, hire a pest expert. Attempting to do it yourself will be time-consuming, inefficient, and often more expensive than hiring a professional. Pest experts in MA and RI will perform a meticulous inspection of your home and are quicker at spotting habitats and evidence. A series of treatments will be done to prevent the infestation from recurring.

How to Keep Them Away

Like any infestation issues, prevention is better than a cure. If you've never had a bedbug issue at home before, you want to keep it that way. They are commonly contracted from hotel and motel stays. It is good practice to keep your luggage in the tiled bathroom or even in the tub when not in use. When you return home, was your clothes from the trip right away. Always inspect your luggage to make sure no hitchhikers have latched on.

For more information on preventing or eliminating bedbug infestations, contact EHS Pest.

Pest-Proofing Your Home Should be A New Year's Resolution

11 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - MA, RI

Have you made your New Year's Resolution list? Be sure to include pest-proofing your home. This can help you save money and spare you from the hassle of dealing with pests indoors. Here are some measures you can take to implement your pest-proofing plans and keep your pest-free resolution throughout the year.

Start with proper storage of holiday decor.

Taking down your tree and holiday adornments can be a workout but don't rush things. Securely pack them in a durable plastic container with tight sealed lids to keep pests from infesting the decorations while stored.

Always keep the kitchen and dining area tidy and clean.

Pests are attracted to food. Make sure these areas of your home are clean after cooking and dining. Small crumbs can entice ants, mice, and other pests. Make sure to store food and dispose of garbage properly. And, store edibles in receptacles with tight lids and keep them organized and clean in your pantry.

Seal holes and crevices.

Make sure outdoor openings, doors, windows, and pipes are properly sealed. These can be a potential port of entry for pests into your home.

Store firewood away from your house.

Pests often gather in wood piles. Make sure to store the firewood at least 20 feet from your home. Before you bring wood inside, brush it off to ensure that no pests have hitched a ride.

Clean the exterior of your home.

Remove leaves and debris from the gutters and repair loose shingles to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Doing these preventative measures can help keep pests from infesting your home. However, if you have already noticed any signs of infestation starting to occur in your home, contact EHS Pest. We can help you safely get rid of any pest infestation.


Rare tick infection leaves teacher with memory loss, fatigue

04 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest, MA, RI

A 40-year-old English teacher from the U.K. who was bitten by a tick in his ear while volunteering in Nepal two years ago said he still has trouble with his memory and coordination after the infection left him suffering from hallucinations and brain swelling.

Keith Poultney, who said he didn’t realize he had been bitten by the tick during his 2017 trip until a few days after developing discomfort in his ear, initially wasn’t concerned about his illness while in Nepal because others in his group had developed colds or the flu, according to The Sun.

“They treated me with antibiotics, but what they didn’t know was that the type of infection I had developed was resistant,” he said of his treatment in Nepal. “I flew home as planned, but the flight, a 12-hour flight via the Middle East, was the worst experience of my life.”

He said at one point his temperature reached 104.9 and he developed severe head pain. He was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where he was eventually diagnosed with encephalitis and a rickettsial typhus infection, which is typically transmitted by fleas, ticks, mites and lice and in some cases can be fatal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), immediate treatment should be started in a patient with a suspected case of rickettsioses before confirmation is complete due to the rapid progression of the infection.

Transmission is most common during outdoor activities in the spring or summer months when ticks and fleas are most active, with a 5-14 day incubation period for most rickettsial diseases, meaning symptoms often don’t start until after the trip as ended. The most common rickettsial diseases found in travelers are in the spotted fever or typhus groups.

“I felt different in myself,” Poultney, who is still dealing with fatigue, told The Sun. “I had real problems with my balance and was unable to walk in a straight line. I physically felt as though I was impaired or drunk. I could not gauge space or distance and would often walk into door frames or knock things such as drinks over.”

Nearly two years after his diagnosis and treatment, Poultney said he still has issues with his memory, and has started working with Headway, an organization that provides support to brain injury patients.

“Without Headway’s help, I know my recovery would have been slower and more frustrating,” he told The Sun. “They were there to pick me up from a very low point in my life. I know my brain has been altered and that will most likely never change. But I also know that I shouldn’t try to deal with this on my own.”

To get rid of tick infestation safely, contact EHS Pest.

Source: FOX NEWS

Some Wasps Linger in Homes During Winter

04 Jan 2019

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Paper wasp stings are painful and can cause allergic reaction to those who are hypersensitive to insect bites and stings. Many think that these wasps diminish during the winter, but unfortunately, they actually tend to stick around all season.

Most paper wasps die at the start of autumn, but female wasps who are to be the queen mother to a new colony start looking for a protective shelter. You can spot them inside your home during the cold winter. They sneak through tiny holes near the roof-line, infiltrate your home, and hide in wall gaps and inside warm attics.

In order to prevent wasps from invading your home, look for any openings that can potentially serve as an entry point for these insects. Using steel wool and silicone based caulk, seal all cracks and gaps. Windows and door frames, attic rafters, porch ceilings, and around the roof eaves are the usual sites where they gather. Those are great spots to check.

These insects are more likely indolent and inactive during cold temperatures so its a perfect time to remove them from your house. However, it is still important to seek the help of a pest control professional for safe removal, especially when you are dealing with a larger population.

Contact EHS Pest when you need a pest expert to perform wasp removal treatment in your home.


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