State Pest Control Blog

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State Pest Control

Problems Humidity Can Cause Inside Your Home

Humidity ControlIt’s not the heat—it’s the humidity.” How many times have we heard that saying whenever we have complained that warm weather is making us uncomfortable? Though the statement may be a bit of a cliché, it does capture an important truth: high humidity makes the heat particularly unbearable. However, high humidity creates problems besides greater discomfort from the warmer temperatures. Left unchecked, humidity is a significant concern for homeowners, for excessive humidity can cause property damage, create unhealthy conditions and lead to many other issues. There are, in fact, several common problems associated with high humidity in the home. Mold Perhaps the best-known problem that humidity can create in the home is that it provides an environment in which mold and mildew can thrive. In the South, we have to be on the lookout for mold growth because the environment in general favors it, and if it gets too humid and...
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Differences Between Regular Ants and Fire Ants

AntsAs a family, ants are one of the most successful insects on the planet, estimated to comprise as much as 25 percent of the animal biomass on land. Antarctica is the only continent without a species of native ant, and only a few islands, including Iceland and Greenland, do not have native ants. There are approximately 2,000 species of ants in the United States and between 20 and 30 species in North Carolina. Nationwide, five distinct types of fire ants can be found, but only two — the red imported fire ant and the native southern fire ant — are currently present in North Carolina. However, the tropical fire ant is becoming well-established in South Carolina, and the little fire ant has been reported in Florida. Since the southern fire ant has been largely displaced by the red imported fire ant, it is the imported species that most North Carolinians are...
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How to Have a Pest-Free 4th of July Party

Ants on tableJuly the Fourth is a special time of year when people gather together for great food, good times and lots of fireworks. Though some people drive downtown for a grand celebration, others host parties at home for the convenience and the intimate setting. If you want to enjoy this holiday without pests getting in the way, State Pest Control has three tips for your Fourth of July party. 3 Pest Control Tips for Independence Day 1.) Inspect for Pests Before the Party Inspect your home for signs of pest infestations, such as droppings inside cabinets and insect carcasses under chairs. Look for dead insects in the windows and spiders in the corners. If you see the insects or detect activity, you'll need to take action before the pests get out of control. 2.) Clean up the Clutter Clutter gets in the way of you and your guests, but it also provides...
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Tips to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home from Your Next Vacation

Bed bug on skinIf you are like many other people, going on vacation each year is an event you don't want to miss, and you look forward to it months in advance. No matter where you go or what you do, keeping a few safety tips in mind can prevent you from running into unexpected problems. The large number of travelers during this time increases the odds of getting bed bugs when you stay at a hotel. Luckily, you can do many things when your mission is to keep bed bugs at bay, and the following guide will help. Protecting Your Clothes Your clothes are the first place bed bugs will hide if they are interested in following you home, and unless you know how to identify the pests, you won't even know about the threat until it's too late for you to take action. When returning home from a trip, put your suitcase...
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How To Prevent Lyme Disease

TickThe CDC calculates that well over 300,000 people get Lyme disease each year. It also estimates that the incidence of Lyme disease is drastically underreported. Many tick-bite victims are uninformed about the tell-tale signs of infection, the seriousness of the illness, or the steps that they could have taken to prevent Lyme disease and its resulting symptoms. Symptoms of Lyme Disease Lyme disease is actually an infection caused by a bacterium— Borrelia burgdorferi. It’s a zoonotic illness, meaning that the bacterium can be transmitted between animals and people. In this case, humans acquire Lyme disease through the bite of a tick infected with the bacterium. Signature symptoms include: a telltale bull's-eye rash that typically develops around the bite within a month flu-like complaints like fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and swollen lymph nodes If left untreated, symptoms can progress to long-term issues like severe headaches, body rashes, facial...
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Fun Facts About Termites

TermitesThere's something to be said for knowing your enemy. When it comes to termites, it's wise to know how to recognize these insects, and it's important to be aware of the signs that can indicate their presence. However, that's not all there is to know about termites. While some information about termites might not be particularly useful, it's still fascinating. Consider these bits of termite trivia. Sociable Fellows Although termites do their best to avoid interacting with people, they're classified as social insects. They live in colonies that can have millions of members and work together in a complex assortment of assigned roles to thrive. Destruction and Creation Termites are widely considered to be agents of destruction thanks to their appetite for wood, but there's a strong connection between destruction and creation. In nature, termites infest dead and dying trees. There, their destructive appetite speeds the natural cycle of deterioration and...
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The Differences Between Swarming Termites & Flying/Winged Ants

Winged termiteTermites have the potential to cause significant damage to homes in North Carolina. In addition to termites, winged, flying ants also live in the state. Termites and winged ants look similar, making it important for residents to know the difference. If you are uncertain about whether the bugs that you see are termites or winged ants, here are some ways that you can tell the difference. Wing Differences Some species of winged ants look similar to winged termites that swarm. Both the flying ants and the winged termites have four wings in pairs of two. The ants' wings are different, however. If you look at a flying winged ant, you'll notice that the ants have front wings that are much larger than the wings in the rear. By contrast, the termite wings are uniform in length in the front and the back. The wings of a termite are approximately twice as...
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Signs You Have a Termite Problem

TermiteTermites are small pests that can cause big problems. Because they consume wood, their activity can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Early detection can help minimize the damage, but termites are easy to overlook. These quiet, stealthy pests don't walk up to your door and announce their presence with a knock. Instead, they sneak into your home or business through cracks in the foundation and other tiny gaps in your home's building envelope. Once inside, they remain hidden away as they feast on wood and similar materials, devouring them from the inside out. How can you tell if these silent invaders have infiltrated your property? There are several red flags that can indicate a potential termite problem. Termite Swarms When it gets warm, winged termites sometimes emerge from their nests to begin the process of establishing new colonies. If you see flying pests swarming near your windows and doors...
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Why are Heat Treatments Effective at Killing Bed Bugs?

Bed Bug white backgroundBed bugs are a common issue that affects households all over the country. Bed bug infestations are not only very bothersome, these pests are difficult to kill. Once they take up residence in your home, they can successfully hide in tiny crevices and remain difficult to eradicate. What are bed bugs and why are heat treatments so successful in getting rid of them? Continue reading below as we address these critical questions in more detail. What are Bed Bugs? Bed bugs are a type of parasitic insect that can be picked up from a variety of locations such as hotels, nursing homes, and schools. They require a human host for their long-term survival. For this reason, it is common to find bed bugs around sleeping areas, mattresses, and even couches. Bed bugs become tricky to eradicate because they are tiny and can hide in the smallest crevices. What are the Signs...
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Bed Bug Free During Holidays

bed bugsIf you are like many people, you are planning to spend time with friends and family over the holiday season. Although you might not want to think about it, bed bugs are a problem for travelers across the nation. Whether you are going to visit someone or host a holiday event in your home, you will need to become aware of these pests and how to prevent them. Taking a few steps to protect yourself can work wonders, and you will know that you have made the right call. You will also want to know when you should contact a pest control professional for help. Bed Bugs Overview Learning about bed bugs and the problems they cause is a good place from which to start when your goal is to protect yourself and your family from the threat. These small bugs can get in bags and onto clothes and won’t waste...
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Thanksgiving and Pests

rodentFor many American families, Thanksgiving is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday where family members gather to create beautiful memories. The last thing you want to experience is the disruption that unwanted pests can bring to your holiday celebration. The following paragraphs will highlight some practical steps you can take to reduce the chances of having your holiday crashed by unwelcome guests. What are the Most Common Household Pests? Roaches, ants, and rodents are three of the most common household pests that can cause your holiday plans to be disrupted. Each one brings its own unique set of issues. Roaches Roaches are a type of insect that is detested by many. Similarly, to rodents, roaches are also capable of harboring a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Roaches are attracted to food waste, making them fairly common to find in...
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Preparing Your Home for Fall Pests

pest controlWhen the cooler weather of the fall season arrives, you might begin to notice new pests that begin to invade the home. Some pests simply want to be in a warm environment while others are looking for a source of moisture. State Pest Control can help prepare your home to prevent pests from getting inside when they aren't wanted. One of the ways to keep pests out is to treat the basement and attic spaces. These are common areas where insects and other pests tend to get inside the home as they are darker environments and sometimes have the moisture that pests desire. Get rid of as many spider webs as possible. It's also important to get rid of other homes that pests have made, such as wasp nests and ant hills. When State Pest Control gets rid of the pests’ homes, they will have to find somewhere else to live....
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Tips for Keeping Your Tailgate or Outdoor BBQ Pest Free

mosquitoNo matter the season, outdoor barbecues and tailgate parties are a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. However, with any gathering where there is tasty food, enticing aromas and large groups of people, you'll have to contend with flies, mosquitoes and other uninvited guests. With careful planning and diligence, however, you can prevent pests from ruining your outdoor party. Prepare Your Yard If you'll be hosting your outdoor party in your own yard, prepare your yard ahead of time to minimize opportunities for pests to gather. Mosquitoes breed in standing, stagnant water, so make sure you don't have any containers that can gather water and give mosquitoes an attractive breeding environment. Mosquitoes can thrive in as little water as you can fit in a bottle cap. Keep weeds, bushes and grass cut back to eliminate shelter for insects and other pests. Finally, inspect your yard for any insect nests...
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General Pest Prevention: Ants, Roaches

You are far from the only person worried about keeping their home free of annoying pests that can cause health problems. In fact, pest prevention is a major issue for the majority of North Carolina residents these days. High on the list of insects that no-one wants to see in their home are cockroaches and ants. Both of these types of pests can make your life miserable once they set up home and start breeding. So, what can you do about it? Ants The number of ants in the world is far greater than the human population. There are also many different types of them around too.In North Carolina, fire ants are among those you will most want to be aware of. You can identify them because of their red or copper body, with a darker abdomen. When this ant stings you, it can cause a painful infection like a white...
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Proofing Your Yard Against Fleas and Ticks

If you have pets, the last thing you want is for your beloved animals to suffer. Unfortunately for many of our four-legged friends, fleas and ticks can make life harder. Most people know that they should keep their pets away from other animals that show signs of infestations. You may be unaware, however, that the danger can start right in your own yard. Here’s how to take action and keep your surroundings flea- and tick-free. A Primer on Fleas and Ticks Although fleas are six-legged insects and ticks are eight-legged arachnids, both are parasites that survive by feeding on the nutrients found in other animals’ blood. They can prey on domesticated and wild mammals in addition to birds, humans and other species. Fleas Fleas are generally less than one-eighth of an inch long. They’re identifiable not only by their dark color but also because they can use their longer back legs to...
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Signs You Brought Bed Bugs Home From A Business Trip

You just got back from spending time on the road for business, and you’re itching and scratching like crazy. Your irritated skin and bumps may not prove that you have bedbugs, however. It’s vital to confirm that you’re really dealing with an infestation before taking action. Are You at Risk? The beds in hotels and similar lodgings are known for their potential to harbor bedbug colonies, and bed bugs are not discerning on the type of hotel—the fanciest of hotels to the most basic motels are subject to bed bugs. For instance, the problem is so well-established that you can even check free online databases like the Bedbug Registry to find out whether you stayed in a hotel that other travelers reported getting bedbugs from. Bedbugs don’t just infest bedding either. News sources say that if you spent time in a hotel that had a bedbug problem, then your luggage or...
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Preventing Ants From Joining Your Summer BBQs

While you probably want to have a lot of guests at your summer BBQs, one guest that you're likely to want to stay away is ants. Ants can get in your food, bite your invited guests and generally cause a lot of trouble. The good news is there are a few ways to ensure that these unwelcome guests stay away from your get together. Prep Your Lawn Ants and other pests find it easier to hide in tall grass, so it's a good idea to mow or trim your lawn before your event. There are also a number of substances that ants won't or don't like to travel over, so you may want to create a perimeter around the areas you'll be eating in. Lines made of chalk, cinnamon and crumbled up charcoal are all able to deter ants. Additionally, these substances are unlikely to bother pets or children who are...
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The Dangers Standing Water Can Cause

Water is a necessary ingredient for life, including the lives of pests. Standing water in your backyard can attract a long list of tenacious pests, including mosquitos. These critters can carry diseases, including the West Nile virus. Understanding the risks of standing water and taking steps to avoid sources in your yard can help you avoid close contact with these insects. What is Standing Water? Standing water is stagnant water that has no fresh source. This water typically comes from rainstorms or accumulates when you run your sprinklers. Common places for standing water in your backyard can include bird baths, buckets, empty pots and children's toys. If your yard has a pool or water feature that hasn't been cleaned, it can be a source of standing water as well. The Danger of Standing Water In the summer, insects are frequently on the lookout for a new place to breed. Summer rainstorms...
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Three Ways to Prepare for Termite Swarms

As spring arrives in North Carolina, many forms of life awaken or migrate north for the warm seasons. The new buds on the trees, early-blooming flowers and even bees are all beautiful and beneficial, but some of these life forms are considered pests and are the source of countless problems. One of the worst of these offenders is the termite, and when termites swarm, you must prepare your property or face serious structural damage. About Termite Swarms Termites are small insects that look like ants, and like ants, they live in colonies that range in size from a few hundred to a few thousand. Another trait that termites have in common with ants is that they are very specialized, and each job in the colony is performed by a designated specialist. When termite colonies get too large, they send out scouts with long, slender wings in search of sources of food...
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5 Signs of Termites

Termites can quietly tear your entire home apart. Contrary to popular belief, these destructive insects will cause trouble throughout the year. Termites are often mistaken for flying ants because of their similar appearance. If they are not eliminated from your home in a timely manner, you could be facing thousands of dollars in damage. Here are five key signs that termites have started to attack your residence. 1) Dirt Tubes To travel with an extra sense of protection, termites construct dirt tubes. It is not uncommon to find these passageways near your home’s foundation and along your exterior walls. Dirt tubes are quite brittle, so you can easily break them apart with your fingers. However, don’t be surprised if you fail to find any termites. They have probably moved on to destroy a new part of your home. 2) Damaged Wood If you have wood flooring or siding, pay very close...
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