I think spring may have finally made its way to NW Indiana!
With temperatures close to 70° this weekend and overnight temps staying above freezing, (finally) the ants and other crawlers are back with a vengeance. Soon the flowers will be blooming and we can get out and enjoy the sunshine. But with this great weather comes bugs and we want to keep them out of our homes. While nothing is foolproof, there are ways that you can protect your home and make it more difficult for pests to get in.
Check out the tips below
Cut Back – Keep bushes, shrubs and other plants away from the side of your home by at least 12
Cut shrubs back at least 12 inches from the side of your home.
inches. Do not store firewood against the side of your house.
Seal It Up – Make sure there are no cracks and crevices along your foundation. Check that the porch and stairs are in good condition.
Mix And Fix – Mix your mulch and thin it out. This will help to keep it dry – insects love moisture. Fix those screens and doors. Make sure screens have no holes and that there are no gaps around the doors.
Let It Flow – Don’t allow containers in your yard to gather standing water. This could include planters, birdbaths, kiddie pools, etc. Standing water is the
Standing water in a bird bath.
mosquito’s breeding area. Tip those containers over and let the water flow away.
By keeping the exterior of your home neat and in good repair you are protecting yourself, your family, and your home from unwanted visitors. If you find that some ants or other crawlies have found their way in, we can help. Contact Rapid Pest Solutions for a customized quote, our inspections are free. Let us help you get back to enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
I have been in the pest control business for close to 10 years. During that time I have learned a lot. I have worked with professionals that have spent decades in the industry and their knowledge is immeasurable. In this business, people call you when they are in need, they may be frustrated, scared, angry or disgusted. Part of my job is educating my customers. Sometimes overcoming their preconceived notions can be difficult. I am here to talk about the three things I wish everyone knew about pests.
Bed Bugs have nothing to do with cleanliness. When people call with a bed bug issue they sometimes talk about how clean their house is or how they are afraid people will think they are dirty. Please know – bed bugs have nothing at all to do with the cleanliness of your home. They are hitchhikers and will take a ride from anyone, anywhere. From 5 star hotels to public transport, schools and more.
It’s most likely not just ONE mouse. I hear this one a lot. A call comes in and they tell me ‘I have a mouse, but it’s just one.’ Unfortunately, that is probably not the case. Mice can have a litter approximately every 20 days and they have around 6-8 babies per litter, although it can be up to 14. In the winter months especially, mice are looking for somewhere warm to hunker down. That means that they are not just passing through, they are looking for a permanent place to make home and have their babies.
Lemon juice does not kill ants. Ants leave a pheromone trail behind that they and other ants follow. The acidity in lemon juice may mask that trail and deter them for a short time. All this means is that you won’t see them, at least not for a while. It has zero effect on killing the colony and the ants will be back with a vengeance.
If you have any questions about these or other types of pests, please give me a call. I am happy to answer any questions. Pest control isn’t only eliminating existing problems, it’s also learning how to prevent future issues.
October begins my favorite time of year. The crisp weather, beautiful colors, and scent of fall bring a smile to my face. And of course, there is Halloween – my very favorite holiday! Lots of bugs and other creepy crawlies are associated with Halloween and part of the fun of Halloween is the scary movies that you watch, curled up in the dark. Let’s bring these two things together in what I like to call
“Who Scares You More?”
Hannibal Lecter – vs – Spiders
On the surface, you may think Hannibal Lecter wins scariest of these two hands down. But hold on, let’s take a closer look. Sure Hannibal is intimidating and smart, and he wants to eat you. So, yeah, those are pretty scary qualities, but spiders are really intimidating, too, especially big ones. They may not want to eat you but they can definitely bite you. Spiders also have that sticky web that you can never get off of you if you happen to walk into one. Hannibal will literally bite a piece of your face right off.
Hannibal wins scariest on this one.
Shark from Jaws – vs – Rats
Here we have a horror villain that you will only encounter in the ocean. Rats can be found in every major city in the U.S. Your odds of encountering a rat are much greater than a shark. Although there are stories of rats nibbling on live people as they slept, I don’t find that to be a big concern of mine. In the ocean though, sharks are a concern. And if one attacks you it won’t be just a nibble.
The shark is scarier.
Jigsaw -vs- Roaches
Jigsaw forces his victims to play games in order to escape harm. The games are both mentally and physically challenging. Roaches can invade your space, only coming out in the dark, hiding in cracks and corners; that right there sounds like a horror villain. I think that it is possible to solve one of Jigsaw’s puzzle and make your escape. There is no escape from creepy roaches that come out while you’re sleeping and contaminate every single thing they come in contact with.
Roaches are much scarier!
Cujo -vs – Bats
Well, this one is a dilemma, isn’t it? Cujo is a sweet, cuddly St. Bernard who gets bitten by a bat. The dog contracts rabies and it turns him into a murderous beast. Now, most people would say that a large dog that can maul and kill you is scarier than anything, but the fact that the bat is the one that gave the dog rabies makes me feel that he is much scarier.
Bats are scarier. (at least rabid ones are)
Well, it seems that there is a tie, 2 – 2.
What are your opinions on who is scarier? What would your tiebreaker be?
If you find yourself up against any of these pests give Rapid a call, we can help. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the horror monsters.
Here at Rapid Pest Solutions, we love Halloween and it’s only two weeks away! What better way for us to celebrate than to list some of the best scary movies that involve BUGS!
Here are our picks for the Top 5 Scary Movies Involving Bugs.
Let the countdown begin!
5. Them! (1954) – The movie Them! uses the premise of atomic bomb testing as having caused ants to mutate into giants that eat humans. These giant ants live under the city and come out to capture children. This movie is from the 50’s so it might seem a little underwhelming by today’s standard but it is still a classic of that time.
4. Arachnophobia (1990) – While not super scary perse this movie does feature the gross factor as well as the jump scare. When a South American spider makes its way to the U.S. and mates with our domestic spiders a deadly crossbreed is created. John Goodman as the exterminator is worth the watch.
3. The Swarm (1978) – In the 80’s you probably heard about the ‘African Killer Bees’ that were headed toward the United States. I know that as a grade schooler I was terrified of them killing me and my family. This movie surely fed into that fear as it depicts the killer bees forming swarms that kill thousands of people in numerous cities.
2. Bug (2006) – This movie is full of suspense and will truly make your skin crawl. Finding bugs in the bed is only the beginning, the rest is a nightmare!
1. The Fly (1986) – I consider this a horror classic. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. A scientist that accidentally combines himself genetically with a fly seemed really far fetched when this movie came out. The way technology is developing this might be something more likely than we imagined.
There you have Rapid Pest Solutions picks of the top five scary movies involving bugs. There is still plenty of time to watch these movies leading up to Halloween. Maybe you want a little treat while you watch? Here are some snacks that will fit the occasion.
Bed bugs are a growing problem. They can affect anyone and are brought in from an outside source. There are a lot of misconceptions about bed bugs and their behaviors. I get asked questions all the time about where they come from, where to look for them and how to get rid of them. Here, I am going to answer some of the questions I get asked most often.
1. Where do they come from? The short answer is they are brought in from an outside source. They can be picked up on your clothing or bags at the gym, in doctors’ offices, schools, public transportation and more. There is also the chance that a guest may have brought them into your home. They do not have to stay the night to leave bed bugs behind. It is possible for them to be on clothing and get left behind on furniture. Another possibility is buying used items such as mattresses, sofas, chairs, and rugs.
2. Can you see them? Yes! Some people are under the impression that they are too small to see with the naked eye but that is not the case. An adult bed bug is about the size of a pea. Although the eggs are quite small, resembling a grain of rice, you are still able to see them.
3. Can they burrow under your skin? NO! I have had people say to me that they are itching and that they are worried that the bed bugs have burrowed under their skin and laid eggs. This is not possible. Bed bugs will come out to bite you but then they go back to their hiding spot.
4. What do their bites look like?
Bedbugs and their feces (the little black dots) on a mattress.
Generally, they are small red welts that resemble a mosquito bite. Bed bugs usually come in three, follow a straight line and match up with where your body lays against the mattress. Some people may have an allergic reaction to them, just like some do with mosquitoes, and the welts may be bigger and itchier. Other people have no reaction at all.
5. I think I might have bed bugs. What do I look for? While bed bugs are small, they do leave visible evidence. There will not only be the bed bugs themselves, but skin casings, eggs, and excrement. Bed bugs like to hide so look on the edges and under the mattress, in the corners of dressers and nightstands, behind headboards and in spaces between the baseboard and wall. In the living room, flip your couch and chairs over and look underneath, remove the cushions and check all corners. There may also be blood spots on your sheets and blankets.
While the idea of getting bed bugs can be intimidating, don’t let this prevent you from living your life. Be cautious about used furniture, check hotel rooms before you bring your belongings in, and when in doubt, throw everything you can in the dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.
If you have questions that I did not answer, please reach out. I look forward to addressing your concerns.
RAPID PEST SOLUTIONS Because Timing Is Everything!
Nobody wants to be the recipient of a sting. Not from a bee, wasp or hornet. The whole experience just screams NOT FUN! Unfortunately if you plan on spending any time outside this summer you put yourself at risk for a possible sting. It’s not as if the risk is incredibly high but it is there. I’m going to help you out, first by telling you how to avoid a possible sting and then by telling you how to treat a sting should you be one of those unlucky enough to get one.
7 WAYS TO PREVENT STINGS
Floral scents attract bees
Don’t Smell Pretty – Bees and wasps are attracted to sweet, flowery scents. Perfume, laundry detergents, hair care products, lotions, etc. will attract bees and wasps.
Don’t Smell Badly – Bees and wasps become agitated around the strong odor of sweat. If you’ve been working outside or working out, freshen up with unscented soap and water before any activity where you may come into contact with bees or wasps.
Dress For It – Dress in light colored, loose fitting clothing. Long pants and sleeves are best although this could make you rather warm. Stay away from floral prints and dark colors.
No Cans – When drinking outside, use a see through cup. Wasps are notorious for crawling into soda cans. Also, be careful when eating fruits or sugary foods outside as these will attract the bees and wasps too.
Be careful when barefoot. You don’t want to step on a bee or wasp.
No Barefeet – Going barefoot is my favorite! Any time I can get away with no shoes I’m a happy camper. However, wasps often make their nests in the ground and bees may be collecting nectar from the flowers. You don’t want to step on one them!
Keep Away – Try to stay away from nests and hives. Bees and wasps will defend their territory. Even the most docile will protect their home.
Stay Calm – When a bee or wasp comes into your area it is not a good idea to wave your arms about rapidly and become hysterical. This behavior will be considered a threat and will invite stinging.
What if those suggestions to prevent stings don’t work, you ask? What if I still get stung? Most important is to STAY CALM. You will want to act quickly once stung. Cooler heads will prevail.
4 WAYS TO TREAT A STING
A stinger with venom sac attached.
Remove The Stinger – Do this as soon as possible. The stinger injects venom into the body so remove it right away. Use fingernails or tweezers – just get it out!
Clean The Area – Wash the area of the sting with soap and water.
Ice It – Apply a cold compress or ice. This will help reduce swelling. (and pain)
A bee sting with a normal reaction. A dot in the middle with bulls-eye type swelling around it.
Ease Symptoms – Apply a hydro-cortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching. You may also choose to take an oral antihistamine (like Benadryl) to help with itching, swelling and redness.
If you are allergic to stings or have any symptoms of anaphylactic shock – seek medical treatment IMMEDIATELY.
Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue, a weak and rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fainting. If you have ANY of these symptoms seek immediate medical attention.
You are now armed with the information needed to avoid a sting and treat one. Don’t let bees, wasps and other stinging insects keep you from enjoying your summer. Be aware of your surroundings and you can still enjoy your fun in the sun.
February is coming to a close and Spring break is just around the corner. Are you looking for some cool things to do with the kids? Let Rapid Pest Solutions recommend the top four insect-inspired activities that you can check out this Spring.
1. The Field Museum – Check out the Underground Adventure running now through the end of 2020. This exhibit makes you feel as if you have been shrunk down to just 1/100th of your actual size. That’s smaller than a penny! As you wander through the underground you will meet a giant mole cricket, a wolf spider, and other animatronic creepy crawlies. You can also see snail eggs hatching and the snapping tail of a mama earwig as she defends her young.
2. Chicago Academy of Science & Nature Museum – Here you can participate in Bunking with the Butterflies. (special reservations required) Spend the night in the museum sleeping in select exhibits. The evening’s events will include live animals and many activities to participate in. The overnight also includes an evening snack and light continental breakfast.
3. Lincoln Park Zoo – Take a trip around the Nature Boardwalk. Open year round you will find the greatest concentration of insects in the Spring through Fall. Native birds, frogs, fish, and turtles are some of the other creatures that you may cross paths with on this walk.
4. Chicago Flower and Garden Show – Now this sounds like the most fun of all! The Chicago Flower and Garden Show hosts an insect petting zoo. Take the opportunity to pet the Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, the Large African Millipedes, tarantulas, stick bugs, worms and more!
March brings the warmer weather. Take advantage of that and plan something different for your family this year. And if you find that any of these creepers have made into your home, call Rapid Pest Solutions. We have the treatment that is right for you!
.Rapid Pest Solutions. Because Timing Is Everything!
Everyone knows the old saying, April Showers Bring May Flowers, but there should be a catchy phrase about spring and bugs. Like, Showers Bring The Plants, Warmth Brings The Ants. I’m not a poet so it needs some work. What I’m trying to say is that the rain we are getting along with the warming temperatures leads to a major increase in pest activity. And in our area that means ANTS.
Ants are pretty interesting creatures. From their elbowed antennae to their slender waists, they are easy to recognize. Ants live in colonies that can range from a few dozen to millions. Each colony will have a queen that can live up to 30 years. The male workers will live only 1 – 3 years.
Here are some fun ant facts
If you find that your home has become a hot spot for ants, all Rapid Pest Solutions. We can help! We will customize a program to fit your individual needs.
Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and you might be asking yourself, “What does that have to do with bugs?”. Well, I’m going to tell you. Something that we all associate with St. Pat’s is the color green. We may also think of following the rainbow to the lucky pot of gold, four leaf clovers, green beer and Irish whiskey or leprechauns. I’m going to show you how some of these things do pertain to insects.
NUMBER 1 – Some pests are naturally ready for St. Patrick’s Day all year round. Many such as the Praying Mantis, the Grasshopper and some types of beetles are green.
NUMBER 2 – Some pests resemble the rainbow. That beautiful arch that some believe leads to a lucky pot of gold at its end. These insects carry that beauty with them.
NUMBER 3 – The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. These insects are as golden as the coins the leprechauns carry.
Believe it or not, Spring is just around the corner. Our weather will be warming up and along with that warm weather come the insects. The most common home invader in our area is the Ant. There are several different types of ants but I think we can all agree we don’t want any of them parading across our countertop, or anywhere else for that matter! Take advantage of your Spring cleaning to help keep pests at bay. Room by room you can make a difference. Take a look below for some helpful tips.
KITCHEN – Wiping the countertops and sweeping the floor is great but during your Spring cleaning you should go a bit farther. Pull major appliances and items on the counter away from the wall and clean behind them. Also, empty your pantry and cabinets. Throw out old food items, wash everything down with warm soapy water and replace shelf paper.
BATHROOM – Pests are attracted to water. In the bathroom, the best bet is to clean out under the sink and check for leaky pipes. Also, make sure that there is no seepage around your tub and shower.
BASEMENT – Basements are a favorite spot for pests, especially spiders and mice. They are dark and tend to be cluttered which lends itself to being an attractive hiding place. Take the time to go through your storage. Rather than using cardboard boxes, invest in some plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Remember, rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime and many insects only need the tiniest crack to make their way into your home.
EXTERIOR – Keeping up around the exterior of your home can help prevent pests before they get in. Make sure that landscaping and bushes are trimmed at least 15 inches from the home’s foundation. Clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. Replace weather stripping and make sure to repair crumbling mortar.
Take the time this Spring to make sure your home is ready for the upcoming warm months. If you do find yourself with a pest problem give Rapid Pest Solutions a call. We have the answers to all your pest problems.