Pest-Proofing your Home to Common Household Bugs

Plants are a double-edged sword when it comes to pest-proofing your home to common household bugs. On the one hand, some plantings can ward pests off with the scent such as basil, lavender and rosemary. Planting these around your home may assist in your fight against pests.

Pest-Proofing your Home to Common Household Bugs

However, having plants too close to your home can be dangerous. If you have plantings that touch your siding, this can be a direct way for pests to gain access to your home. Especially, if these plants trap moisture that may rot siding and create easy access for bugs to enter through the damp area (or perpetuate it, like termites might), it will be necessary to cut these plants back.

Sealed Trash

Keeping your trash outside near your home can be a problem when it comes to all sorts of pests from ants to mice to raccoons. It is essential, at the very least, to keep these sealed. Keeping them away from the building is ideal. Reducing proximity of anything that might attract bugs–like a tasty trash snack–increases your odds of keeping them out of the house.

Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can cause all sorts of issues for homeowners, but one of the most inconvenient is granting access to insects. In fact, seeing bugs in your basement might be a sign that you have foundation cracks you don’t know about. Staying aware of any cracks in your foundation and using basic caulk techniques to seal these up can save you the trouble of an infestation on top of foundation damage.

Updated Screens

Bugs love to come inside. Whether attracted by food or light, they will attempt to find a way in. Updating screens can help keep common household bugs out.

Screen frames get bent over the years. Small tears may occur in the screening itself. Replacing frame or heavy duty screening can reduce the amount of bugs entering the home via windows and screen doors. If it is too big of a project to completely replace, duct-taping around frame edge gaps and using small screen repair patch kits can save you some time and money in getting your screen functional again.

Regular Cleaning

The best defense is a good offense. The second you notice a nest or insect activity, it is essential to act. It’s much easier to knock down a hornet’s nest that can fit a single hornet than to knock down a basket-ball sized nest attached to your front entrance. Don’t let pests get comfy in your home–they’re the sort of houseguests who never want to leave.

Got some bugs moving in? Consult with us at Maine Bed Bugs for tips and tricks to keep them away. Call (207) 650-8654 to speak with us today.

There’s no Evidence That Bugs Transmit the COVID-19 but They Still Spread Other Diseases in Portland

Just when you think you’ve got your COVID-19 mask/to sanitize/social distance routine underway to protect yourself from one virus, new concerns arise with the season as tests begin to come back positive for summer insect-carried diseases, like Lyme Disease or West Nile Virus. Pest control can protect you from the germs carried by bugs that spread disease.

Cockroaches

There's no Evidence That Bugs Transmit the COVID-19 but They Still Spread Other Diseases in PortlandThey’re creepy. They’re crawly. They’re dangerous. One of the big dangers of cockroaches is the bacteria and viruses they carry into your environment. From hepatitis to salmonella, cockroaches can wreak havoc on the cleanliness of your home.

To keep your home less susceptible to roaches, make sure it remains dry. Clean out and dark, damp spaces that could be good breeding grounds for pests in general. Put food away so as not to attract cockroaches or other insects.

Ticks

The slow and steady spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness in the United States has been riddled with much confusion and frustration. Preventing and treating the illnesses spread by ticks that are no bigger than the head of a pin has been frustrating, to say the least. Those who have been victim to bouts of Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more can attest to the seriousness of preventing the spread of these diseases.

Maine residents have many precautions they can take. From using personal bug sprays when they are going outside, to wearing long sleeves and pants, as well as maintaining your property to have less high grass, avoiding a tick bite is the first step to stop these diseases.

Mosquitoes

Throughout human history, mosquito-borne disease has sickened and killed many. In the Northeastern United States, including Maine, there is a slow spread of the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus. Both can infect people.

Though cases are relatively rare, the viruses can be deadly. Municipalities work to track, spray, and disrupt the cycle of mosquitoes so as to protect citizens from these diseases. Often cropping up mid-summer, these viruses remain a danger until the first frost kills off mosquitoes.

To avoid having mosquitoes on your property it is essential to empty any and all standing water and to maintain landscaping in such a way that puddles do not remain for long. Mosquitoes will use standing water to breed, creating an unpleasant horde of them in your own backyard.

Bug spray is effective for mosquitoes, but for those looking for a more natural approach, barriers work as well. Mosquito-netting and screened porches can make your backyard tolerable and safe even in the thick of mosquito-season.

Call us today to schedule your pest control services in Portland at (207) 650-8654!

Bed Bug Travel Tips

There is always the fear when traveling that you’ll bring home an unwanted friend. No, not the weirdo from the plane next to you in 4C—bed bugs! Bed bugs are an insidious and downright threatening pest that you don’t want to accidentally tote home in your suitcase.

Bed Bug Travel Tips

While traveling, follow these commonsense guidelines to avoiding bringing bed bugs home to Maine with you:

Be choosy about where you stay: It’s rare you’ll be able to tell if a hotel is likely to have bed bugs just when arriving at check-in. The most expensive hotel could have them, and the cheapest motel could be totally clean. However, if you notice a lack of cleanliness throughout the hotel or a clear lack of vacuuming or laundering, hightail it out of there. Both skimping on vacuuming and doing laundry can let a bed bug infestation persist.

Keep your clothes bagged: Don’t lay your things around the hotel room. Avoid putting them away in drawers, especially if your stay will be brief. Bed bugs are easily carried in fabrics, so avoiding contact with too many surfaces is important.

Check for bed bugs: It may be a simple step, but how many people really every look? Bed bugs are often detected by small stains on the sheets (from their droppings and the blood of victims who were bitten in the night. Inspecting the mattress, especially the edging, is also important as droppings may be obvious there. They will be dark, round pellets, often stuffed along the seams of the mattress. If you see these, get out immediately.

If you bring home an unwanted visitor: Even the most conscientious traveler may bring home some bed bugs. Due to their persistent nature, it is important to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Besides infesting all of your fabric decors, biting you in your sleep, leaving you open to infection, and possibly even driving you to psychosis due to extended sleep deprivation, bed bugs are just pests that have no business being in your home.

To get started removing an infestation, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. Our preferred method of pest control for bed bugs is heat treatment, which kills the bed bugs by exposing them to 118-degree heat. There are no chemicals involved, so there are no risks or inconveniences associated with tenting your home.

Bring home an unpleasant souvenir? Give Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control a call at (207) 650-8543 to say goodbye to bed bugs.

Tired of Sharing Your Yard with Outdoor Bugs? Pest Control Services Can Help

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when the weather turns from timid to temperate and you want to spend as much time in your yard as possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pests that want to spend time there, too! Tired of sharing your yard with bugs? Here are some ways to send them on their way.

Make Your Yard Unwelcoming (for Bugs)

Tired of sharing your yard with outdoor bugs. Pest control services can help

Whether it’s ants at your picnic or flies in your summer cocktails, bugs put a definite damper on enjoying your yard. Some simple tips to deterring bugs from wanting to hang out in your yard can go a long way to keep infestations at bay.

  • No standing water. Be sure to drain any water features, pet bowls, birdbaths, or rainwater, as mosquitos love to breed there. This includes the unseen water reservoirs, too, like roof gutters and potholes on the lawn.
  • Keep trash at a distance. Ants love to eat trash and flies love to breed in it. Keep garbage cans covered and as far from your usual hang out spots as possible.
  • Cover food. Summers are filled with picnics and barbeques, but bugs love to join in. Keep food covered when you’re not cooking or eating. Even consider lids for cups, especially for alcohol or sugary drinks that can attract fruit flies.
  • Don’t let the landscaping go. Tall bushes and overgrown weeds are ideal places for insects to hide, so keep your landscaping trim and tidy. Also consider planting naturally bug-repellent species, like lavender, marigolds, and lemongrass.
  • Befriend birds. A lot of birds that fly through your yard like to dine on insects. Attract more with bird feeders and small trees.
  • Scent it up with citronella. Citronella candles use a variety of natural oils that both repel bugs and cover up the scents of carbon dioxide and human lactic acid, which attract bugs to us in the first place.
  • Protect pets. Humans aren’t the only ones battling with bugs. Make sure your dogs and cats are protected from fleas and ticks. And keep in mind that even though the buggers won’t attach to a treated animal, they can still hitch a ride in the house.

When to Call a Professional

Despite all the do it yourself efforts noted above, the best defense is professional pest control services. When your home is treated regularly, bugs will back off and think twice about crashing your garden party. This can control bugs in your yard AND in your home. For the best yard defense, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

Safe Bug Sprays to Use for My Family

Bug sprays can be used in many different ways. Some are used on the body, while others can be used outdoors to spray in areas prone to ticks and mosquitos. The diseases these arachnids and insects carry can be extremely uncomfortable or even deadly.

Safe Bug Sprays to Use for My FamilyTicks carry bacteria which can cause Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, among others. Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus and Zika Virus. Some municipalities use sprays in public areas to kill or disable these pests.

Individuals can also use bug sprays on themselves as needed. Some may worry bugs sprays are more dangerous than the narrow chance of the illness.

The safety and efficiency of both natural and traditional bug sprays have been established over time, giving consumers many options to pick a spray they feel good about using.

How to Choose

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which contain the following ingredients:

  • DEET
  • 2-undecanone
  • Picaridin
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • IR3535
  • Para-methane-diol

DEET is one of the most traditional insect repellents. It is made of diethyltoluamide and is safe, even directly on the skin. It is recommended particularly in areas where viral illness is likely to be spread by mosquitos. However, there are longstanding stories about neurological reactions to DEET. Though evidence in the sixty years since these stories first arose seems to prove safety, many prefer to use alternative sprays.

An in-between option for those wary of DEET but also looking for something that works is 2-Undecanone. It is an oil that can be lab-created or extracted from plants, like tomatoes. It is shown to work against ticks and mosquitos, and a North Carolina State University study shows it to be more effective than DEET.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is popular for those looking for something strictly natural, and can also be used safely in pet versions of insect repellant. An added benefit is the sweet citrus smell from the lemon. Many natural solutions contain a spray version of oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Summer brings with it a host of pests. It is best to be prepared with sprays that protect your family during these times. Nothing ruins a vacation like the sudden onset of Lyme Disease. For help choosing a safe bug spray, give Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control a call today (207) 650-8654.

Pest Management Industry Facts

For Maine residents, bed bugs can be a nightmare. Whether they are in your home or in your vacation rental, bed bugs surely mean disruptions to day-to-day life.

Who Gets Bed Bugs

Pest Management Industry FactsBed bug infestations are insidious and notoriously difficult to get rid of. Relying on professional services and advice is necessary to fully clear an infestation. It is no surprise that nearly 100% of pest management professionals have dealt with bed bugs in the past twelve months.

Apartments, condos, and houses get bed bugs at the same rate. Hotels get them slightly less (about 20% less), but still at an alarmingly common rate. About 20% of Americans are personally familiar with a bed bug infestation, either their own or a friend’s. Bed bugs are equal opportunity offenders. Even the cleanest homes are susceptible.

What Is An Infestation like?

The infestations cluster, often in fabric. A well-known place to look is the edge seam of a mattress. There fecal matter from the bugs may be obvious. They feed on blood and will bite humans while sleeping, leaving obvious bite marks. Tiny bloodstains on sheets are also a telltale sign.

Besides the general ick factor of bed bugs, they can rarely cause serious health issues. It is thought insomnia they can cause is linked to anxiety and depression in some unlucky victims. Fortunately, bed bugs do not carry illnesses, but bites could become secondarily infected.

You’ve Got Them, Now Get Rid of Them

It is reasonable to attempt to rid yourself of bedbugs. Washing all washable fabrics in hot water is one important step. Thoroughly vacuuming is another. Some layered fabric items, like mattresses, may need to be disposed of.

However, if your infestation is hard to kick, calling in the professionals like us from Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control may be your only option. Extermination options consist of the following:

  • Thorough cleaning and disposal of items
  • Fogging
  • Insecticides
  • Heat treatment

Professionals have access to the most effective and safer option of heat treatment. By exposing the bed bugs to the high heat of 118 degrees Fahrenheit,  we ensure the bed bugs are exterminated without a chance of coming back due to resistance to the chemical treatments. Heat treatments are safe for your family, while being extremely effective against bed bugs and their eggs, and it assures that soon you’ll have your bed back to yourself.

Seeing some spots on the sheets? Feeling something crawl across your skin in the night? You aren’t crazy, you’re infested—and Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control can help get your house back. Call us today at (207) 650-8654.

Removal of Bee and Wasp Nests Can Be A Pain – Literally. Call a Professional For Safe Removal

Removal of bees and wasp nests is not something that should be taken lightly. While a nest in your backyard may seem okay to remove yourself at first, the removal of it may come at a literal cost: a buildup of hives, the potential for lots and lots of stings, and damage to your home from a melting, honey-filled hive.

Save yourself the risk and call the professionals at Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control for safe removal!

Why Call the Professionals

Removal of bee and wasp nests can be a pain, literally. Call a professional for safe removal

You should call the professionals for the removal of bee and wasp nest because a DIY project might come with more than you bargained for. Not to mention, if you’ve never been stung by a bee or wasp before, you could experience an allergic reaction, from minor irritation to a life-threatening symptom.

The process of removing bee and wasp nests can be exhausting. Nests can be anywhere, from the lawn, trees, or hidden beneath leaves.

To be sure you’ve removed all hazards, you should call the professionals. It’s not worth the risk or hassle to do it on your own, and the professionals can ensure the process is done safely and efficiently.

Bee and Wasp Nests Removal with Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control

The pest professionals at Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control can remove bees, wasps, or hornets’ nests safely and effectively. We use an eco-friendly approach with an appreciation for the insects that pollinate our world.

When you call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control, you can be confident the insects will be removed and without any major stings to you or your wallet. If there is a hive in the backyard of your home, give us a call at (207) 650-8654 today!

If You Have Wildlife in Your Home and They Aren’t Family, Call a Professional for Safe Removal

Let’s face it: animals are cute, but not all belong in your home.

Rodents like squirrels or rats most commonly find their way into your home by means of the attic, porch, or even literally beneath it. While these rodents may seem harmless within their newfound home, they can cause major health and safety hazards from chewing on wiring or leaving parasite-infected droppings in your living space.

Wildlife Removal in Portland ME.

If you are experiencing any kind of wildlife or rodent infestation in Maine, you should call the professionals at Maine Bed Bug and Pest Control immediately for safe removal.

Safe and Professional Wildlife Removal

If you are a wildlife lover, it may be hard for you to call a pest removal service to take care of a rodent infestation. However, the professionals at Maine Bed Bug and Pest Control can handle the situation with care. Depending on your particular rodent infestation, we will create a plan for wildlife removal that handles the situation with the safety of both you, your home, and the wildlife in mind.

Preventing Wildlife Infestation in Maine

To prevent future wildlife from returning, you can exercise a series of daily precautions. Because wildlife is attracted to food, disposing of trash properly and strongly sealing trash bags will help keep wildlife from sniffing out your home. Not allowing clutter to accumulate will keep wildlife from finding shelter within that.

Though, wildlife also sees your home as a shelter. Limit access to your home by sealing the chimney and repairing damaged windows, screens, and doors. Simply finding and blocking even the smallest of access points will prevent all sorts of critters from using your home as a shelter. If you are experiencing wildlife in your home, and it isn’t your beloved pet, call us at (207) 650-8654 today!

Suspect You Have Termites In Your House In Lewiston, ME? Look for These Signs

Termites – critters no one likes to think about – are a national problem and cause approximately $5 billion in property damage each year. That’s a lot of damage considering termites are not as easily seen as critters like cockroaches and mice. Seek help if you suspect you have termites in Lewiston, Maine in order to protect your home from costly damages.

Signs of Termites in Your House

Termites in Lewiston, Maine eating woodBefore they can do too much damage to your home, look for these signs of termites in Lewiston, Maine.  If you do see them,  seek help from a professional termite exterminator:

  • Blisters in wood flooring. Blistering wood is a sign that termites are within, feeding on the wood. Subterranean termites can cause damage to the subfloor, which makes your flooring look as if it has been water damaged.
  • Wood damage. Probably the biggest and most known sign of a termite infestation, wood damage is caused by termites chewing through wood to find cellulose, leaving behind long grooves in the wood.
  • Check around the access points to your home – windows, doors, etc. – for discarded termite wings. Discarded wings happen when termites swarm away from their nests to mate and to find a new place to create a colony. When termites land, they twist off their wings because they won’t need them again – they’ve already found and made their new home.
  • Mud tubes. Found outside your home where ground meets your home or other food sources like a shed or a tree, mud tubes are used by termites that require certain temperatures and humidity levels to survive. The mud tubes help block out cool, dry air, creating the perfect environment for these termites to survive.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, seek help from Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control.

Seeking Help from the Best for Termites in Lewiston, Maine

Even if you don’t see these signs, that doesn’t mean termites aren’t there. Termite damage can go unnoticed for a while and, by the time the damage is noticed, significant structural damage to your home may have occurred. So if you notice any signs of termites or the wood in your house weakening, seek help from the best pest control service in Lewiston – Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. We’re a family owned company so we know how important it is to get rid of termites quickly. Let us help you keep your home and family safe. Call us today at (207) 650-8654.

Fleas Aren’t Just Your Dog’s Problem. When to Call a Flea Exterminator

There’s nothing quite like the fear you feel when you find out your pet has fleas. You’re thinking about the comfort of your pet, but you should also be thinking about your home. Many people don’t realize that having a flea infestation is not just a problem your animals have.

Getting a flea infestation is just like any other insect infestation – difficult to remove if waited too long. Fleas aren’t just your dog’s problem. Here’s how to know when to call a flea exterminator to get your home free of these critters!

Does Your Home Have Fleas?

A hand looking for fleas on a dog to see if it's time to call a flea exterminator.

The first step of getting rid of fleas from your home is finding out if you do in fact have fleas in your home. If you have a dog, they should be the first thing you look at. Dogs are the most common way fleas get into your home. They make your dogs very uncomfortable and they will continue to get more and more uncomfortable the longer the fleas go unnoticed and undealt with. You can use a small flea comb and brush backward on your dog’s hair to see if they have fleas.

If your dog does have fleas, you’ll want to perform what is called a “sock test” to see if your home has them. Put on knee-high white socks and walk around your floor – particularly carpeted areas – shuffling your feet, creating heat that fleas are attracted to. The fleas will cling to your warm socks as you pass them, showing up as little dark specs.

Flea Infestation Signs

Besides the sock test, which not everyone has time to do, there are a few tell-tale signs of a flea infestation to watch out for:

  • Flea dirt. Basically flea poop, this will show up as tiny blackish specs – almost like black pepper – that usually turn rusty red when smeared.
  • Flea eggs. Run your fingers through any carpet in your home and see if you can feel and see flea eggs which appear as tiny white specs.
  • Since fleas are attracted to heat, you can set up a lamp and some hot water with soap under the lamp. The fleas will be attracted to the heat of the lamp and fall into the soapy water which will kill them.

There are a dozen tested ways of getting rid of fleas from your home, like washing your bedding and steam cleaning your carpet, however, you should call an exterminator if you want the job done quickly, efficiently, and correctly. For all of these qualities in your flea exterminator, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

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