pest control Archives

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.

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!

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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