pest control Archives

Remedies for Ticks, Blackflies & Mosquitoes

Ah, summer in Maine. There’s nothing like the sun, the fresh air, the blooming flowers—and the ticks, blackflies, and mosquitoes. For most people, it wouldn’t even feel like summer without these pests, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcome guests on your patio.

Pests Remedies for Ticks, Blackflies & Mosquitoes

Try out some of these remedies for ticks, blackflies, and mosquitoes to make your yard and home a little more comfortable this summer.

Ticks

If you’re looking for some less intensive remedies for ticks, think environmentally and herbally. There’s a variety of steps you can take that make getting to you harder for ticks.

When it comes to your yard, strategic landscaping may reduce the presence of ticks. Some suggest ringing your yard in a barrier of wood chips that make it more difficult for ticks to cross.

You can prevent carrier animals that carry ticks from crossing into your yard as well. This means keeping animals like mice and deer out of your yard. A good fence can prevent larger carriers from entering. Making your yard less attractive to small carriers by removing food or water sources can also reduce your mouse and thus tick population.

Bring in the birds. If you want to remove ticks that are present in your yard, getting chickens or guinea fowl can take care of your tick population. These hungry hunt-and-peck birds eat a variety of pests that show up in your grass.

For prevention on yourself, there are many herbal remedies that may fight off ticks. Some of these include strong-smelling oils from plants like lemon, peppermint, and citronella. These may repel ticks due to their strong scents.

Blackflies

Black fly season can be deeply unpleasant as these buzzing, biting insects invade your personal space. It’s no surprise folks are desperate for a way to evict these unwelcome intruders from the home.

Luckily, a tried and true home remedy seems to get these flies every time (and will also work on things like fruit flies). Mix a sweet, pungent liquid like wine or apple cider vinegar in a shallow container with liquid dishwashing soap. Black flies are attracted to the sweet scent but will die after drinking the soap.

Mosquitoes

Like ticks, repelling mosquitos involves a multi-layered approach to several remedies both environmentally and personally. If you have any citronella leftover from banishing ticks in your yard, you can try putting it to use against mosquitoes, too. Citronella has long been added to candles, torches, and personal repellent sprays as a natural remedy against mosquitoes.

You can try planting citronella as well as some other strongly scented herbs like lavender and basil which hold promise for warding off mosquitoes. Strategically placing these plants around your yard while also removing standing water from planters, puddles, and more makes your outdoor space inhospitable to mosquitos.

And if these remedies don’t work, there’s always Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control to bring in the heavy-duty equipment and treat pests like ticks, black flies, and mosquitoes. Call today for complete pest control services at (207) 650-8654.

Summer Insects to Watch Out for and How to Control Them

It’s no secret that everyone loves a good summer picnic—including the ants. Summer activities are all too often ruined by unpleasant run-ins with unwanted insects. Control pests better with expert help on your side thanks to Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control.

Summer Insects to Watch Out for and How to Control Them

Mosquitoes

In many parts of the world, mosquitoes are feared for the deadly diseases they carry. In Maine, getting seriously ill from a mosquito is unlikely. However, the risk of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, Jamestown Canyon Virus, and West Nile Virus does exist. Prevent these infections and the nuisance of mosquitos with proper pest management and DIY control measures.

Mosquito-proofing your patio is a great way to enjoy your time outside more without feeling harassed by pests all along. Using hanging screens or mosquito netting around a porch or patio shelters you from a variety of flying insects. In summer evenings where you are likely to have lights or candles going that attract bugs, using screening to ward them off is a simple, affordable step to make your space more comfortable.

Bees

There are a great variety of bees that you may come in contact with over the summer, but all pose their own risk. There’s a balance between protecting these essential pollinators and living with a hive in your home. Not only can you be stung by bees living on or near your home, but their rapidly expanding hives can do damage to walls, siding, and attic spaces.

Particularly if someone in your home has a bee sting allergy, contacting us for hive removal is essential.

Ants

Ants are another nuisance insect that occasionally causes bigger problems. In general, finding long trails of ants throughout your home in the summertime is simply an unpleasant occurrence.

Occasionally, ants can be dangerous if they are the type that stings or if they get into food. Ants can carry bacteria and funguses. When they get into food, these germs could be spread to humans who consume the food unknowingly. They can also lead to food spoilage.

Pest control can help block ant access points and remove those present in the home.

Flies

Perhaps a little worse than ants, but for all the same reasons, flies that arrive for the summer are a real buzzkill. Also carrying bacteria and other pathogens, flies are a huge problem in the kitchen. Removing them and preventing their return is essential to keeping your home happy and healthy during the summertime.

Like ants, pest control can help prevent and remove flies in your home.

Eco-Friendly Treatment

Just because you want to curb the population of nuisance bugs sharing your living space doesn’t mean you want to go scorched earth on the environment around your home with dangerous chemical pest control. Protect the other wildlife, pets, and vegetation around your home by contacting Main Bed Bugs and Pest Control to learn about our eco-friendly treatments for summer pests.

From heat-based treatments to other non-toxic options, we know how important it is for families to control pests without putting pets and children at risk. Contact us today at (207) 650-8654 for more information about treatment today.

Spring Is the Perfect Time for Pest Control Services

Just when the weather gets good enough to throw open the windows and enjoy the outdoors you remember…it is mosquito season, too. Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about scheduling your pest control services. When it comes to making your outdoor spaces safe and keeping your indoor spaces pest-free, Maine Bed Bugs knows what it takes to keep things on lock.

Spring Is the Perfect Time to Consider Scheduled Pest Control Services

Ants

If you’ve been asking yourself “Who invited these ants to dinner?” you’re not alone. One of the earliest signs of spring can be that steady, squirming line across your kitchen floor as the ants come marching in.

Ants aren’t typically dangerous in the way infectious disease-carrying or stinging insects are. But they do carry germs and given their attraction to food sources are an undoubtedly gross pest to see crawling over your fruit basket. Large numbers of ants can ruin food.
With enough contact—say accidentally sitting on some burrowed between couch cushions—ants will also bite. Though these are not typically dangerous, they can be painful and uncomfortable.

Treating ants and preventing their re-entry into the home is a project Maine Bed Bugs can help you tackle this pest control project. Protect your food and get rid of these unwelcome guests before they take hold this spring.

Mosquitos

If you’ve lived in a mosquito-laden area for a while now you’re probably familiar with the claim that mosquitos are the deadliest animal. Indeed, around the world, people die in high numbers from mosquito-borne diseases. In Maine, we’re lucky that mosquitoes rarely carry serious diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis or West Nile Virus. But as these diseases spread in New England every year, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Treat your outdoor spaces for mosquitos this spring before summer gets underway. You can use a combination of holistic treatments such as planting anti-mosquito herbs as well as industrial treatments to prevent mosquitoes from returning and manage this pest control.

Ticks

As tick-borne illnesses continue to spread across the new territory in the United States, concern regarding the presence of ticks in yards during the spring and summer heightens. Nobody wants to spend a spring weekend in bed with Lyme Disease.

Strategize the best ways to prevent ticks from inhabiting your yard or infesting your pets’ fur when you talk to the experts about how to manage these nasty arachnids.

Stinging Insects

Wasps and hornets can make being outside a frightening experience, especially for kids and pets. Plus, given their penchant for setting up nests in doorways and window wells, forced interaction with these unpleasant stinging insects becomes almost unavoidable. For folks living with allergies to these types of stings, spring and summer are difficult times.

Maine Bed Bugs offers comprehensive extermination to remove dangerous stinging insects from your property.

In fact, Maine Bed Bugs offers prevention and removal of a wide variety of pests that arrive in the warmth of spring. Scheduling regular pest services can keep you pest-free this spring and summer. Reach out today to see how we can help solve your pest problem when you call (207) 650-8654.

Preparing Your Site for Pest Control Services

If you have scheduled pest control services to visit your home or business, there are some steps to take before they arrive. Follow these suggestions to make for a seamless pest control treatment.

Preparing Your Site for Pest Control Services by Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control.

Move Objects Out of the Way

You want pest control services to be able to get into all the nooks and crannies of your building or outdoor space with their tools. To make this easier on them and the process more efficient, move furniture and materials out of the way.

By creating clear paths around your property, you make it possible for pest control workers to get in and out as quickly as possible.

If you are being treated for termites, move your belongings—everything, including your couch, fridge, coat rack and more—three feet away from the walls. Take clothes out of closets and cover any fabric items that can’t be moved as there will be drill dust from the termite treatment.

A similar strategy is needed for bed bugs. Moveable items like clothing should be removed. This will expose the floor and other surfaces that need to be treated.

Sanitize and Clean

For both flea and bed bug infestations, tackling fabric areas where the infestation may take root is essential pre-pest control treatment. Disposing of bedding may be the safest option, but you can also try washing it in extremely hot water to kill fleas, bed bugs and their eggs that may be on the fabric. Don’t bring this back until after the treatment is over.

Thorough vacuuming should also be done before pest control arrives. This can make it easier for them to see any new pest arrivals while also removing some living pests from carpets and drapes.

Put Away Food

Make sure all food is removed or safely put away before any chemical pest control is applied around your kitchen or pantry. Likewise, pick up your pet’s food and water dishes and put them away. Pest control sprays can be very dangerous to both humans and pets if consumed.

Food can also be the item attracting infestations like ants. By putting away food and vacuuming up any crumbs or spilled food, you can start to reduce your ant bait before the treatment even begins.

Remove Yourself

Your final preparation is finding somewhere else to be for the day or so while your pest control workers are tackling the site. This will give them enough space to get the work done, and also protect you from any dangerous chemicals. Make a plan to bring your pets with you as they may be more susceptible to some insecticides on the ground level.

At Maine Bed Bugs, we always appreciate the effort you put into preparing a site for us to work. Not only does it help us, but it is also a big factor in preventing reinfestation. If you have questions about how to prepare before we arrive for treatment, call us now at (207) 650-8654.

Safety Precautions for Home Use of Insecticides in the Lewiston, ME Area

At Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control, we prefer to avoid chemical treatments when possible (check out our highly effective heat treatment for bed bugs!). But some infestations just can’t be dealt with without insecticides.

Safety Precautions for Home Use of Insecticides in the Lewiston, ME Area

If you’re at the point where you need to use insecticides in Lewiston, ME, there are some safety precautions you should take to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe from these potentially toxic substances.

Read the Labels

Double and triple check your labels. Make sure these can be applied safely where you plan to put them. Distinguish indoor and outdoor products. Stick to the recommended doses.

Buy Less

Use a little insecticide as will get the job done. If you over-buy these products, you will either need to store them, which could be dangerous with children or pets in the house. Or you will have to throw away some of it, which is not great for the environment.

You can always go back to the hardware store for more. Be conservative in your first buy.

Dress for the Job

Cover-up so as to not spray yourself with insecticides. Long pants and sleeves should be paired with heavy duty gloves. If you are concerned about fumes at all or the label says not to breathe in the spray of your insecticide, look for a recommended respirator mask to protect your lungs and brain while working with the product.

Prep the Area

Move items that could get sprayed out of the way. Kid’s bikes, dog bones, outdoor furniture. It’s better to not spray these with insecticides at all than to try to guess where to wipe them down later.

Give the home insecticides time to dry before putting things back.

Package Food

Don’t spray indoors if there is food out. Take the fruit basket off the counter and close up any packaging near where you are spraying. Cover the dog’s food and water bowl.

Consuming home insecticides is dangerous for both humans and pets. If you think you may have eaten any contaminated food accidentally call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

Call in the Experts

We have the tools and know-how to safely apply insecticides. From our fully-vetted personal protective equipment to our familiarity with spraying and application, it’s easier for us to be safe after doing this 1,000 times than for you to be on your first try.

Let us handle the dirty work for you so that you can stay safe and pest-free. Give us a call to schedule an appointment (207) 650-8654.

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!

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.

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