Posts Tagged ‘Bed bugs’

Bed Bug Invasion 101: Exploring the Top 5 Paths They Take to Reach Your Place

Posted on: July 7th, 2023 No Comments

Bed Bugs. The name strikes fear in the hearts of all who hear it.

These tiny insects have a reputation for making many lives miserable. But rather than hiding and hoping for the best, let’s explore the most common ways they manage to enter our homes and learn how to prevent it.

Bed bugs are small, flat, reddish-brown insects. They cannot fly or jump and are most active at night.

Understanding The Enemy

They do not spread diseases among humans, but their bites leave swollen red marks similar to mosquito bites and cause itchiness and discomfort. Common signs of them in your home may include pieces of shed skin, small droppings, bloodstains on sheets, or sightings of the bugs themselves

Bed bugs feed on blood and are constantly moving from one place to another, searching for a new host.

A super zoomed in closeup of a bed bug

But it is not the blood itself that they are attracted to. Instead, it’s the things that they associate with humans, primarily body heat, carbon dioxide, and our scent.

When they find a host, they produce a natural chemical called histamine which attracts more of their kind. They also have the ability to survive several months without a host, so infestations can quickly get out of control if not handled properly.

Luckily there are many actions we can take to protect our homes and reduce the likelihood of this kind of situation. Let’s explore some of the most common causes of bed bug infestations.

Human Transportation

A graphical closeup of bed bugs biting a persons back shoulder area

The number one way that bed bugs are introduced to a new house is by hitching a ride from the people that live there. They can travel on our clothing, our shoes, purses, or backpacks, and even on our skin or hair.

So, the next question becomes… Where do we come into contact with them?

There are many answers to this question since they can be found in practically every public place or form of transportation. However, we will break down some of the most significant.

1. Hotels, Motels, Hostels, Airbnb’s, etc.

Overnight accommodations are a well-known source of bed bug problems, and rightly so. To reduce the risk of bringing home unwanted guests, it is important to read reviews in advance and to thoroughly inspect your room before you make yourself at home.

Check the room, give special attention to the bed, and look for the telltale signs we discussed previously.

2. Public Transportation

Buses, trains, and ride-sharing vehicles are all possible hotbeds for bed bug activity. The same is also true for less common forms of transportation, such as airplanes and cruise ships.

In situations like this, where you have less control of your surroundings, you must do what you can to protect your own belongings.

Stand instead of sitting and avoid putting your things on the floor when you can, and consider lining the interior of your bags with sealed plastic bags or other bedbug-proof storage options.

3. Public Areas

Any place where lots of people spend time is a possible source.

Some include movie theaters, hospitals, and schools. Protect yourself in the same way you would for public transportation.  

4. Multifamily Dwellings

It’s important to be aware that in any building with multiple residents, like apartments, there is a risk that bed bugs could travel from one unit to another.

One of the best things you can do is to read reviews in advance to be sure that your home is not at high risk. If you think your unit may be at risk, make an effort to seal any cracks that may provide an easy entrance.

5. Secondhand Items

Used clothing, furniture, and cars are more potential bed bug risks. It is very important to perform a thorough inspection before bringing these things into your home.

A closeup of a bedbug found on a secondhand purchased white sweater

You can also wash and dry them on high heat in order to kill the insects.

6. Guests

The final and most complicated cause is the people that you invite into your home. As we have discussed, bed bugs are expert hitchhikers and can travel on people for extended periods of time.

There is no simple solution to this problem, but you may suggest that guests leave shoes, coats, etc., outside the house.

The purpose of this article is not to inspire hopelessness and constant fear but to promote awareness of the risk and to educate on prevention and treatment

Precautions and Preventions at Home

Remember, bed bugs are not attracted to dirt or food, only human body heat/scent and CO2. So, when you are bed bug-proofing your home, think about minimizing sources of warmth and scent that bed bugs could mistake for an actual human.

This means picking up piles of laundry, cleaning bed sheets regularly, etc. It is also a good idea to clean and remove clutter to reduce potential hiding places for insects.

A pile of dirty unwashed laundry in a hamper in the corner of someones bedroom

When returning from a trip or an outing to an area where bed bugs may have been present, be sure to wash and dry all clothing on high heat to kill off any that may have hitched a ride. Do the same with any new used items you bring in.

Finally, seal cracks and openings in your house to make it more difficult for bed bugs to follow your scent and body heat into the building.

Even when you take every precaution and do everything correctly, there is always the possibility that bed bugs will find their way into your home.

A Tabor Pest Control team member standing by the company truck

In this scenario, it is wise to seek professional help before the infestation gets out of control. Tabor Pest Control specializes in dealing with these problems and offers the highest quality service in the southern Alabama region.

Frequently Asked Questions

How easy is it for someone to bring bed bugs to your house?

It is very easy for someone to bring bed bugs into your house. All it takes is for them to have stayed in an infested hotel room or to have come into contact with infested furniture or clothing. Bed bugs can also be spread through public transportation or shared spaces, such as movie theaters or libraries.

Can bed bugs travel in my shoes?

Yes, bed bugs can hitch a ride on any piece of clothing, including your shoes. The best way to get rid of them is to wash and/or dry them at high heat before setting them down in your house.

How did I get bed bugs when I haven’t been anywhere?

It is possible to get bed bugs even if you haven’t been anywhere. Bed bugs can be brought into your home through used furniture or clothing that you have purchased. They can also be spread through shared spaces, such as apartment buildings or college dorms.

How can you tell if bed bugs are in your clothes?

Inspect your clothes carefully, looking for signs of the insects themselves, shed skin, or eggs. Pay special attention to the seam lines. When in doubt, wash and dry on high heat to kill any bugs you might have missed.

Do bed bugs only infest beds and mattresses?

Bed bugs can essentially hide anywhere, although they will take interest in anything that carries human body warmth or scent. This means clothes, shoes, backpacks/purses, blankets, etc.

What kills bed bugs instantly?

There is no one solution that will instantly kill bed bugs. However, there are several methods that can be effective in eliminating them, such as heat treatments, insecticides, and vacuuming. It is important to consult with a professional exterminator to determine the best course of action for your specific infestation.



Posted in Company News & Updates, Prevention & Control | No Comments »

Common Pests In Southern Alabama & Georgia And How To Identify Them

Posted on: March 1st, 2023 3 Comments

Identifying common pests can be difficult for property owners as they come with multiple species. Any incorrect identification of any insect, mammal, microbe, or organism could damage your property and health severely.

Incorrect pest identification could cost you your time, money, and energy.

That’s what we at Tabor Pest Control specialize in, where our experts help you identify the kind of pest that’s infesting your property and find an effective way to terminate it.

What’s the importance of identifying pests?

One of the common pests in the south (especially Georgia) is ticks, external parasites that feed on mammals’ blood. There are 15 species of ticks, and finding what is commonly found in properties can be challenging.

For example, the American Dog Tick is the most active spring, summer, and fall species. Wooded paths, parks, and farm pastures are their common dwelling areas.

Now, if you’re not aware of how to differentiate this particular species from the rest, you won’t be able to know to what extent they are dangerous, how they transfer, how they live, and how they interact with their environment.

Correct identification of pests helps find different strategies to manage, control, and terminate a species.

Common pests in Southern Alabama

Many pests dwell in Alabama, and in the peak pest season, it feels like all that’s around you are just pests.

Alabama’s moderate temperature is ideal for all kinds of bugs, insects, and pests to survive and make their colonies all year round.

Alabama is ranked 8th in states with the most bugs present. Here are some of the common pests you’ll find in Alabama:

1. Ants

Many red ants are crawling around on someones back porch

Ants are the most common invaders in your house and are recognized by their different colors of red, black, or brown. The most common species found in southern Alabama include:

Danger level

Ants might seem harmless, but they can be dangerous for spreading diseases. As they roam in the dirt, they can easily contaminate food and various surfaces in your home with bacteria and pathogens.

You must have heard fire ants being named the most dangerous as their bite is painful and hurts the most. They are aggressive, and once they sting, their venom is strong enough to produce an allergic reaction, sometimes even becoming life-threatening.

Where to find them?

Ants can invade your home through various sources, such as attacking your trash, pest house, gardens, compost, and any moist area.

Since these are small, they can quickly get through the tiniest cracks in your property and invade your home, trying to build their nest.

For fire ants, you have to look for open and vast sunny areas as they love to reside in such places, but the Argentine ants prefer the exact opposite, which is moist areas, so keep a lookout under sinks.

How to get rid of them?

We at Tabor Pest Control have experts who can identify which kinds of ants dwell in which secret spots of your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

2. Bed Bugs

A pest control expert is examining a bed mattress that is infested with bed bugs

These blood-feeding pests not only exist on your bed but can be found in various other places where they can hide for up to a year without feeding if the temperature is just right and build their colony.

Danger level

Of course, bed bugs are dangerous as they bite warm-blooded mammals and can leave you feeling extremely itchy all over or cause allergies.

Another added mess they make is ruining your sleep and making you feel uncomfortable and worried.

Where to find them

We know beds are a common place for bed bugs to exist, but other places include:

Your family, you, and your pets could also come in contact with bed bugs and bring them over from various places such as relatives’ or friends’ homes, movie theatre seats, and any other public spaces.

You can identify their traces by looking for the skins they shed after sometimes blood stains on clothes and mattresses and feeling unexplainable itchiness whenever you sit somewhere or sleep.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify if bed bugs are dwelling in which secret spots of your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

3. Cockroaches

These most popularly feared pests can fly as quickly as they can crawl. Cockroaches are the world’s most resilient and highly adaptable creature, and can survive and grow in any corner of your house if you don’t eliminate their species.

Many cockroaches are causing chaos in someones home

There are different kinds of cockroaches, including species that share the same roof as you:

Danger level

Cockroaches can be pretty dangerous because they spread diseases such as Salmonellosis, Dysentery, and E.coli.

Since they can travel through gutters and survive anywhere, they carry various pathogens and bacteria infecting your surroundings.

Their shed skin and excrement also cause an allergic reaction in children.

These pests are also good at destroying your property as they can eat through anything in your home, from wallpaper to rugs, so you need to eliminate them.

Where to find them

These pests can enter through any source, from delivery parcels to traveling through drains and sinks and popping up in your bathrooms in the middle of the night.

They mostly travel through the night and come up to find their food during the night, which is another reason you wouldn’t know they exist in your home.

They would mostly hide in drains or in cracks around your home. If you tend to leave food open along with kitchen cabinets, it’s like a free buffet for them and gets inside your pantry as well.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify if cockroaches are dwelling in which secret spots of your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

4. Fleas and ticks

Fleas can jump easily from one spot to another and travel this way to invade your home, but ticks can’t do the same, and they crawl and then attach themselves to a food source.

But both have something in common: they feed on blood.

Warm and humid weather is essential for their survival so they can multiply quickly. While ticks prefer to feed on human blood, fleas don’t prefer humans.

But food is still food, so it might still count as food to them at the end of the day.

Danger level

Both fleas and ticks spread lots of diseases, including causing allergic reactions.

Flea saliva is a common source of an allergic reaction, and their bite may cause dermatitis making us feel itchy and uncomfortable.

They can also infect with parasitic tapeworms, so the danger level is pretty high.

Ticks, on the other hand, may be responsible for causing the following diseases:

Where to find them

Most animals, such as pets, tend to bring ticks or fleas to our home if they’re overlooked and not given proper cleaning or bath, but any animal might also carry it, such as rats.

Wild animals should, therefore, never be played with as there’s a high possibility of them carrying both ticks and fleas.

When talking about fleas, you can find them surviving indoors as easily as outdoors, but ticks can’t breed indoors and can only survive outside.

Fleas tend to hide in dark shady areas such as bushes, thrown-away furniture, and any garbage pile. Ticks are likely found in tall grass, under leaf piles, wooded pathways, or ditches.

You can find fleas in bedding, around baseboards, inside rugs, carpets, and drapes when indoors.

You won’t even know about their eggs hidden away which only become active when they find the right temperature to hatch. Therefore, proper treatment and timely cleanliness of the house are required.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify if ticks and fleas are dwelling in which secret spots of your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

5. Mosquitoes

One of the common pests around us is mosquitoes, the most annoying. They feed on our blood, and that’s how they multiply.

A young girl is scratching an area on her arm where she was recently bitten by a mosquito while playing outside her house

Despite us killing them easily with even our bare hands, a bite from the wrong mosquito species is enough to get us sick and even lose our life.

Danger level

Yes, their bites are itchy and painful. Still, they cause more harm than that by spreading numerous diseases through their bites, including the eastern equine encephalitis virus, the St. Louid encephalitis virus, and more.

They are quick to multiply and always travel in a herd, so you’ll find a bunch of them dwelling around your house or inside. They also carry parasitic heartworms, which are transmissible to dogs and cats.

Where to find them

Leftover water, which is unused, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that are used to lay eggs by the females and hatch into mosquitoes. So still water is a major source, including even a small ditch near your home or a pond nearby.

The more it rains, the more water is going to accumulate and cause a breeding ground. In Alabama, the humid temperature is highly favorable for their growth.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify if mosquitoes are dwelling and in which secret spots around your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

6. Moths

You can identify moths as scale-covered winged pests with threadlike or feathery antennae. They might appear in different bright color patterns on their wings as well.

Danger level

The larval stage of the moth, a caterpillar, can be dangerous as they’re big eaters causing a lot of damage to their surroundings, including your property.

Of course, your plants are in danger, and if they latch on to the indoor plants, you’ll quickly find them half-eaten. Their danger level differs depending on their species. While some damage fabrics, others damage your pantry.

Where to find them

You can see traces of moths in your clothes and pantry full of food items, so you’ll have to pay attention to such things. Of course, not keeping your house clean is a significant factor in attracting moths to your home.

They seek dark, quiet areas to survive. You might commonly find them in kitchens, bathrooms, closets, basements, and attics.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify if moths are dwelling and in which secret spots around your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

7. Rodents

A mouse has found its way inside someones house and is trying to find bits of food to eat

Rodents include rats and mice, which are pretty commonly found dwelling in residential areas and around them. They are quite the survivors eating away at anything with their front teeth, so dwelling on our property is easier for them.

Danger level

Rats and mice survive year-long but can be dangerous in various ways. Not only do they eat away at your furniture, destroying your property, but they also share your food with you and thus share their diseases with you.

Their excrement is enough to make things contaminated, and they spread bacteria, disease-causing pathogens, and parasites to make people ill.

It’s easier to identify their colony from the rotten smell and their chew marks.

Since they chew away at anything, this includes electrical wires and pipes, which can cause major damage to your property.

Where to find them

You can most commonly find them in gardens, trash cans, compost areas, pet foods, and outside areas.

They can gnaw away at anything, so it’s easier for them to exist in your hard if it’s not maintained or kept clean, which then becomes an easy gateway to your house.

They tend to remain in dark and quiet areas, and their movements are quick to give them away. Outside they might live near hollow trees or any such cavity inside your home.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify if rodents are dwelling and in which secret spots around your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

8. Spiders

This eight-legged creature is despised and feared by many, which is why it’s essential to remove its existence from your home. Common species which invade properties in Alabama include:

Danger level

Some species of spiders, such as black widow and brown widow spiders, are dangerous, and their venom is strong enough to create health issues. But then there’re other common household species too.

It’s normal for them to create their web in any place where their food, such as other insects, is available in plenty.

Where to find them

Though they prefer to stay outside, they mostly move inside when the temperature drops as their prey moves indoors.

Cellar spiders can be found living in basements and humid areas of a property.

How to get rid of them

We at Tabor Pest Control have experts who can identify which spiders are dwelling and in which secret spots around your house.

9. Stinging insects

Stinging insects have their stinger at the end of the abdomen or tail to get their prey or defend themselves.

Now they have some benefits, as they eliminate insects like mosquitoes and flies, but they are also dangerous.

Some of the species existing in Alabama include:

Danger level

Some species can be aggressive in nature and possess venom, which, when injected, is enough to cause serious allergic reactions. Their stings are pretty painful and cause damage on different levels.

Species like mud daubers might sting if they feel threatened, but wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets are aggressive and may sting multiple times regardless of that too multiple times.

Where to find them

If you have other insects living on your property, it will be an attractive point for stinging insects to build their homes for food purposes.

Properties with huge backyards and vast gardens are prone to insects living there for water and food.

Yellow jackets can be found in recycling bins, trash cans, and outdoor eating areas.

You can find scorpions seeking humid environments to thrive, so inside the home, they can be found in basements, bathrooms, laundry areas, sinks, and tubs.

Wasps, mud daubers, and bald-faced hornets can be found living in chimneys and wall voids.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify which stinging insects are dwelling and in which secret spots around your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

10. Termites

How can we forget the biggest culprit behind destroying properties that all property owners fear more than anything?

Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage each year in the country with their colonies.

The exterior of a home is rotting away as termites are chewing away at the rotting wood

They stay easily hidden inside the wood, and sometimes all that’s remained is a hollow piece of furniture.

Drywood termites and subterranean termites are famously found in Alabama, while southeastern drywood termite is found primarily in southern Alabama.

Danger level

Termites are a big issue in states like Alabama. Their colony eats away at your property from the inside, causing lots of damage; therefore, their elimination is quite popular amongst property owners.

Where to find them

Alabama’s humid and warm weather allows subterranean species to survive as they get the perfect temperature.

They live near the moist soil forming at the dead tree trunks and can easily follow into your house through the garden and backyard through soil tubes.

They can be found inside any wood or furniture you own, on the floors, or even behind walls. The subterranean species seek water-damaged or decaying wood but also ordinary pieces of wood.

How to get rid of them

We have experts who can identify which termite species dwell and which secret spots around your house. Contact us to get a free quote.

Common Pests in Southern Georgia

1. Ticks

There are 15 species of ticks existing in Georgia. The three species you could come in contact with are:

Blacklegged tick

Lone star tick

American dog tick

2. Termites

Eastern subterranean termites are the ones you should look out for, and they live in large colonies and cause huge property destruction.

3. Stink bugs

4. Odorous house ants

5. Rats

Rats in Georgia can carry diseases such as murine typhus, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis. Chewing away electrical wires, pipes, and property damage is an added disadvantage.

6. Norway rats

7. Roof rats

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