While cobwebs and spiders may make good fall decorations, it's no treat if they give you the creepy crawlies. There are many different types of spiders and they come in all different sizes, colors and shapes. Luckily even though some people may get a slight reaction to spider bites, there are no poisonous spiders native to Pennsylvania. So if you just can't deal with the spiders any longer, give us a call and we can come out and do a treatment for you.
Whether you want just the exterior treated or both your interior and exterior treated, here are a few things to make your treatment more successful:
Preferably the day before your scheduled treatment, take a broom and knock down any cobwebs that may be hanging around. We spray under your eaves, around your window and door frames, and up into your porch ceiling so concentrate on these areas. This will ensure good coverage of our spray to the exterior of your home.
If you are planning on having the exterior of your home washed, do it before your treatment.
Keep leaves and other debris cleaned up and away from your foundation and trim bushes and shrubs back away from the walls of your home.
We use a slow acting, microencapsulated product that lasts about 30 days. Microencapsulated means that even if it gets wet, once it dries itwill reactive itself. Also keep in mind that spiders have a raised body on skinny legs, so not much of the actual spider touches the surface.They will die, but not immediately.
Approximately 2,500 species of fleas infest birds and mammals around the world but we typically encounter only a few of them, the most common being the cat flea. Although called the "cat" flea it infests both dogs and cats equally and is what most pet owners encounter. The cat flea has 4 stages in its life cycle, the egg, larva, pupa and adult.
Egg - Female adult fleas lay tiny, pearly white eggs (about 1 per hour) on the host where they fall to the ground and larva hatch in one to six days depending on conditions.
Larva - are slender, white and maggot-like. Because they avoid sunlight they burrow down deep into your carpet or in the cracks and crevices of your hard surface floors where they feed on organic debris. The larval stage usually lasts five-11 days but can be extended up to three weeks depending on conditions.
Pupa - When the larva is matured, it secretes silk and spins a cocoon where it molts to a pupa and then molts to the adult. During this stage the pupa is very resistant to insecticides and can also lie dormant for up to a year if they have adverse environmental conditions or the absence of stimuli such as movement, heat, carbon dioxide or a host.
Adult - Once the pupa evolves into the adult it emerges and finds a potential host where it will remain for the duration of its life starting the cycle over again
Understanding the life cycle of fleas will help you understand treatment. Since the eggs fall onto the floor, treatment should concentrate on floor areas, pet bedding and other areas where pets lay and the pets themselves. Treatment should be done using a product containing a growth regulator (IGR) which will render the fleas sterile so they won't be able to reproduce and will kill the adults. However, there is no product on the market that can penetrate the hard pupa stage, therefore after treatment you will continue to see fleas for about 3 weeks until all pupas hatch out and come in contact with the residual insecticide. We tell our customers to be patient; you need to let them hatch out. Daily thorough vacuuming will go a long way in reducing the amount of eggs, larva and pupa speeding up treatment. Be sure to empty your vacuum bag or canister into an outside trash receptacle or sealed plastic bag to prevent reinfestation. Wash pet bedding and have your pet treated professionally or use a topical flea product such as Frontline or Advantage on your pet. We also recommend having the lawn treated since that is where most fleas originate.
In the past few weeks you may have notice what looks like giant bees buzzing around. These giant bees are called carpenter bees and while not aggressive or harmful to humans they can do quite a bit of damage to any areas of exposed wood on your home such as deck or balcony railings, soffits and window or door frames
Carpenter bees appear in April and usually disappear by the end of May or early June. During that short amount of time the female will look for wood in which she drills a perfectly round hole about ½ inch in diameter and deposits her eggs. Although the hole may look fairly shallow, it usually turns a can tunnel for several inches. Once the female deposits her eggs, she collects pollen and deposits it into the hole to feed the newly hatched eggs.
Carpenter bees are very territorial and will return to the same spot every year. If left untreated for several years the amount of carpenter bees that return each spring will continue to increase as new eggs hatch out and return to the same spot.
Many people think that by plugging up the holes the carpenter bee will die without an escape route, but in reality they will just create a new place to drill out of. When treating carpenter bees, first of all be patient. We tell our clients you really can't stop them from drilling but when the season is over around the end of May to the beginning of June, we can come out and treat the holes. Each hole must be individually treated with an insecticide dust labeled for carpenter bee use. This odorless dust gets puffed into each hole and will kill the eggs and any adults that are in the hole or which visit the holes after treatment. This will greatly reduce the population of carpenter bees next season. Once the holes have been treated, customers can use wood putty to patch up the holes and repaint if so desired. Better yet, if possible cover the exposed wood areas with easy to care for vinyl or metal.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) just conducted a comprehensive study on the consumer's knowledge and perceptions of bed bugs. Did you know 1 in every 5 Americans either have had bed bugs, or know someone who has had bed bugs? The bad news is bed bugs are here and unfortunately the number of reported cases is growing. The good news is bed bugs do not spread or transmit diseases.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs have several stages of growth from eggs to adult. The eggs are extremely small and very hard to see. The adult bed bugs are what most
people will encounter and are small (about ¼") reddish brown insects resembling a dog tick. Bed bugs have been found just about everywhere
from 5 star hotels, movie theaters, retail stores, office buildings and residential homes. Cleanliness does not have anything to do with who does
and does not get bed bugs (of course the more clutter and dirt the harder it is to treat). Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers and most people
unsuspectingly bring bed bugs into their environments in luggage, or rental/2nd hand furniture or clothing. They are nocturnal creatures and are
attracted by the gasses you exhale while sleeping. They feed on the blood of humans and can go for several days, weeks and even months between
blood meals, hiding in tiny cracks and crevices between meals.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
The only way to know for sure if you have bed bugs is to see the actual bugs. For most people the first indication can be the itchy red welts caused by bed bug bites, however, don't assume all bites or red marks on your skin are bed bug bites. There are many other causes of bites or red marks. Small dark spots (or staining) on the mattress, box spring or sheets caused by bed bug excrement are another indication. If you suspect you may have bed bugs, call us and we can send out one of our trained professionals to conduct a thorough inspection.
How do I treat an infestation of bed bugs?
First of all don't panic. If you suspect you have bed bugs call us. Trying to treat them yourself, while tempting, can result in spreading the infestation. Most over the counter pest control products are not designed to treat bed bugs. A trained professional (PMP) may use a variety of treatment methods such as specially formulated pesticides, steam, vacuuming, heat and special monitoring devices. But no matter what the methods used, the key to an effective treatment is cooperation between the customer and the PMP. Follow any preparation or special instructions provided, reduce clutter and install hypoallergenic mattress and boxspring encasements. A series of treatments spaced approximately 2 to 3 weeks apart is recommended with the first treatment being the most thorough. All of Kirchner Brothers technicians are fully trained in bed bugs and the treatment of bed bugs.
A few simple common sense rules can help lessen your chances for getting bed bugs. Resist the urge to pick up that "Free" sofa, mattress or chair sitting at the curb. If you do buy used or second hand furniture thoroughly inspect all furniture and ask what the store's policy is concerning bed bugs. If you buy second hand clothing, inspect it and immediately wash and dry it before wearing or hanging in your closet.
When checking into a hotel room never put your luggage or belongings directly on the bed. If possible leave your luggage outside until you have done a thorough inspection of the bed. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress and boxspring paying attention to the seams and roping along the edges, lift up the mattress and check between the mattress and boxspring. Look for the actual insects or "staining". If possible check behind pictures, mirrors and the headboard. Immediately report anything suspicious to the management. When you have satisfied yourself that there are no signs of bed bugs, bring your luggage in and place it on the luggage rack (which you should have thoroughly inspected). Keep this rack located toward the foyer area of the room and away from the bed.
When returning home, unpack outside or in a garage area, clothing should be immediately placed in plastic bags and sealed shut for transporting to the laundry area. Wash and dry using the highest heat the garments can tolerate. The plastic bags should be disposed of in an outside trash receptacle. Items that cannot be washed, such as shoes, can be cycled through the dryer. Thoroughly examine your luggage and other bags for any signs of bed bugs and vacuum out your luggage. Empty your vacuum bag and dispose of in outside trash receptacle or sealed container. We carry several different types of sprays you can use on your luggage both before and after traveling and can be purchased at our office. Remember it's better to be cautious. Don't be afraid to ask at the front desk before checking in if they have had any problems with bed bugs. Many states are passing legislation requiring disclosure of bed bug infestations and treatments.
What can I do?
If you suspect you have a vole problem, contact us. We will place tamper resistant boxes containing poisonous bait in the landscaping around the exterior perimeter of your home. Depending on the severity of the problem you may be able to get by with one treatment and a follow-up although many of our customers need a year round monthly maintenance program to control these prolific creatures.
As the nights and days turn cooler, outside insects such as spiders, the Asian lady beetle, brown marmorated stink bug, boxelder bug, elm leaf beetle, earwigs, millipedes, etc. begin to enter buildings with the intent of finding a sheltered place to spend the winter. When fall invaders get inside, some of them will die fairly soon due to drier indoor air, but others will end up in the attic, behind baseboards or in wall voids. Then the heat of your house or an occasional warm day in the winter may bring them out into the open where they may be seen crawling along baseboards or up walls. Here are a few tips to help prevent entry.
As you are doing your fall yard work take a few minutes to check out the perimeter of your home's foundation.
We can also do an exterior perimeter spray around your foundation to prevent entry.