Our Story: 37 Years in Business and Counting

In January of 1981, spearheaded by Clem Sfreddo along with his two brothers, Phil and Joe, Triple ‘S’ Pest Control was founded here in Manassas. These brothers decided to take a risk, and now 37 years later that risk has paid off and Triple ‘S’ has grown to become one of the Top 100 Pest Management companies in the U.S.

Family owned and operated since inception, the Triple ‘S’ philosophy is really quite simple – quality service at an affordable price that guards human and environmental health.

Initially, the business focused on residential pest control only, but that focus shifted in 1985 when Triple ‘S’ began to also service commercial accounts, mostly apartment and condominium buildings. As expertise in the concepts and practices of Integrated Pest Management (“IPM”) developed and expanded beginning in 1989, the business began to service health care, food service and other commercial industry clients.

In 2000, family, friends, and employees were shaken up and deeply saddened when one of the founders, Clem, passed away. His sons Tony and Phil wanted the Triple ‘S’ legacy to live on and embody all the great things Clem believed in. Both sons had been with the company for about a decade at the time when they officially took the family business over and they still run it together today.

“My father always used to tell me we are not given or guaranteed customers. People don’t care what you know until they know you care,” said Tony. “Talk with your customers, but listen to them even more.”  This mindset continues to permeate how Tony and Phil run the business today.

Triple ‘S’ may be a small business, but it’s a mighty business making a difference in the local community. Call today at 703-368-8000 or 800-457-3785 to experience top-notch customer service and pest control.

Happy Anniversary Triple ‘S’!

5 Tips to Prevent Mice This Winter

Cooler weather is here, which leaves some pests and rodents seeking shelter and warmth. This time of year, we receive multiple calls about mice making unwanted visits in people’s homes. We’re sure mice in your home aren’t on your holiday wish list, so we’ve pulled together five tips to help keep them away.

  • Keep your doors closed: This sounds simple and intuitive, but it’s easy to forget to close the garage door or leave the door open if you accidentally burn something in the kitchen. Make a conscious effort with your roommates or family to keep the doors closed as much as possible.
  • Seal the cracks in your home: Make sure doors and windows are sealed tight and cracks in the drywall or foundation are repaired. Mice can fit through an opening about the size of a dime, so even the smallest cracks and crevices can invite them in.
  • Don’t invite them to enjoy your leftovers: If you have leftovers or dirty dishes in the sink, don’t leave them sitting out for long periods of time or mice are more likely to be drawn into your home for a bedtime snack.
  • Keep storage away from the perimeter of your home: It may seem easier to keep the firewood right next to your back door, but that makes a nice home for a mouse and easier for them to move into your home. We recommend keeping stockpiles at least 20 yards away from your house if possible.
  • Use peppermint oil: Mice can’t stand the smell of peppermint. Put a couple of drops of peppermint oil on a cloth or paper towel and leave it near where mice may try to enter your home or at the bottom of the trash can. This is a natural and safe way to repel them.

If you still experience signs of mice in your home, give us a call to come out and inspect your home to determine the best method to eliminate them.

10 Tips to Prevent Stink Bugs in Your Home

It’s that time of year again where those pesky stink bugs are back. Let’s face it stink bugs, stink! Although there isn’t a pest solution out there to completely eradicate them from your home. There are ways you can prevent them and contain them. Here are 10 Tips to Prevent Stink Bugs in Your Home:

  1. Block their point of entry: Inspect your screens and doors to ensure a tight seal. Stink bugs can get through the smallest cracks and crevices (about an 1/8 of an inch). Make sure to seal any openings you find.
  2. Rub screens with dryer sheets: According to Bayer Advanced, this method has helped homeowners reduce the amount of stink bugs in their home by up to 80{ad5e8aa3ff70a065ec921f73ddc1066dff67ecaeac85a84c725cb4d67ce49b4f}.
  3. Scare them with their own stink: Squish a few stink bugs that are outside your home. The odor from them warns other stink bugs to stay away.
  4. Turn off the outdoor lights: Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so minimize the time your outdoor lights are on and close blinds when you’re home.
  5. Check your pipes and drains: Leaks create an increased amount of moisture and stink bugs will flock to it.
  6. Cut off food sources: Remove their access to food sources by sealing food in containers and disposing of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Also make sure you vacuum up crumbs and clean up spills.
  7. Ventilate: Check ventilation in areas like your basement, attic or garage. Improper ventilation creates more moisture in the air and you guessed it: they’ll flock.
  8. Store firewood away from your house: Keep firewood over 20 feet from your house and elevated off the ground.
  9. Clean those shrubs: Keep your landscaping clean and trimmed to keep these bugs from living in your gardens.
  10. Vacuum (with caution): You can vacuum these pests, but will need to throw the bag away afterwards. If you leave the bag too long, the bugs will begin to release their odor.

Special thank you to Pest World for their insights!

Protecting Your Home from Pest Damage

We all hate those unexpected expenses that pop up in life that we just can’t plan for. Termites cause over 2 BILLION dollars in damage each year to homeowners that is not covered by insurance. Viruses from mosquitos and lyme disease from ticks can result in expensive and burdensome medical bills and loss of your well-being.

It’s easy to forget about these tiny pests and parasites as we go through our daily lives because most of the time we don’t see them. However, in our office we are constantly reminded about what these pests and parasites are capable of and the great interference they can add into a family’s life.

Our Bundled Services Plan was created to protect your home and you guessed it, save you a bundle! All year long you can have a peace of mind with our plan that provides complete pest coverage, termite prevention, and mosquito abatement.

For just $89 a month you can protect yourself and your family from thousands of dollars in damage and bring you a peace of mind. These three services when combined can save you almost $500 per year in pest prevention costs. Want to learn more about getting started? Call us today 1-800-457-3785 or 703-368-8000 to schedule a free inspection. Our pest solutions are designed to reduce risk to humans and lower the impact on the environment to give you and your family peace of mind and a pest-free home.

The Tick and the Mosquito

Towards the latter part of the summer it becomes very important to be on the lookout for, and protect yourself from, ticks and mosquitos.

Due to the size they begin their life cycle as (one-eighth of an inch) and the size they grow to (one-half of an inch) ticks can be extremely difficult to detect and protect against. They live on the blood of mammals and birds, obtaining it by burrowing into the skin and extracting the requisite amount.

Sixteen types of ticks exist throughout Virginia, but only three bite people: the lone star tick, the blacklegged tick, and the American dog tick. People are most often bitten by the lone star tick.

There are numerous ways to prevent being bitten by a tick. Using a repellent with DEET and wearing long-sleeve clothing are two of the more effective ways to keep ticks at bay. It is also recommended to take a break during outdoor activities to perform a tick check. If a tick is found, stay calm and simply remove it.

Mosquitos are most active during the dawn to dusk period of the day. Proper maintenance and repair of screen doors and camping equipment goes a long way toward keeping mosquitos away. The use of netting when sleeping outdoors is an easy and effective way of preventing mosquito bites.

For more tips on preventing tick and mosquito bites, checkout these useful guides from Fairfax County Government:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/your-field-guide-to-battle-ticks/

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/your-field-guide-to-battle-mosquitoes/

 

 

 

The Ant Taketh and Giveth

The ant can be one of the more pesky and destructive bugs, especially as the weather warms at the end of spring and the start of summer. Yet, on the other hand, ants are not without benefits.

Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) illustrate this dichotomy. They pose a threat to picnickers and frolickers in parks when they swarm and sting people. If disturbed from their mound, they attack and impose a painful sting on their victims. Animals are not immune to the dangers of RIFA either. Livestock are at similar risk to red fire ants, which attack the mouths of cows and horses when grazing for food. Calves can be painfully stung, and in some cases blinded, before they are able to stand up and walk.

On the other hand, ants can have a beneficial impact on the environment. They do a better job than worms at improving soil. When they dig tunnels and move soil, nutrients are redistributed. The open spaces left behind in their tunnels improve air and water circulation in the soil.

Termites and ticks, among other nuisance bugs that carry disease, are a favorite staple of an ants’ diet. By eating pests such as these, ants provide an invaluable service to farm animals. Irritating red fire ants are especially good at devouring pests, sometimes even ones larger than them, such as scorpions as stinkbugs.

If RIFA are creating a problem on your property, contact Triple S Services at 800-457-3785 for a free ant inspection.
We have over 35 years in business as a family owned and operated business.

The Pesky Mosquito

Mosquitos are pesky, annoying, and pose a serious health risk to the general public. They are carriers of a wide range of diseases, all of which have the potential to cause significant health issues.

Beginning with one of the more recent threats, the Zika virus, infected Mosquitos pose a great risk to women who are pregnant. The Zika virus has been known to cause microcephaly (which can lead to intellectual disabilities), and other brain malformations in some babies.

The West Nile virus, for which there is not a vaccine, brings on mild side effects such as fever and muscle soreness. In some cases, more serious illness such as encephalitis and meningitis may occur. Encephalitis causes inflammation of the brain, while meningitis inflames the lining of the brain and spinal cord.

After being bitten, many people are unaware they have been infected with St. Louis encephalitis (SLEVE), as the most common symptoms (fever, headache, and nausea) don’t usually overwhelm them. Yet, SLEVE can cause neuroinvasive disease such as inflammation of the brain.

Humans are not the only ones who are susceptible to infected mosquitos. Horses need to be protected from eastern equine encephalitis (a/k/a sleeping sickness), which causes inflammation of the brain and the spinal cord. Signs of infection, which can appear anywhere between three to ten days after a horse has been bitten, include staggering aimlessly, inability to swallow, and at times, death.

Triple ‘S’ Services recommends scheduling a visit to address cleaning up areas on a property that may attract mosquitos. Call us today at 800-457-3785.

Termites Be Gone

The Sentricon® Termite Elimination system is a powerful and effective way of ridding a home of termites. Their Always Active baiting technology is at the forefront of the termite eradication industry.
The Always Active Recruit HD termite bait is placed in a ring around a house and does not decay over time. By placing the bait outside of a home, Sentricon uses science and termites’ natural foraging behavior against them.
Termites have been found to like the active ingredient in the bait (noviflumuron), ten times more than wood. Once ingested, it is spread throughout the colony and prevents termites from maturing. When termites are unable to mature, the colony dies off, which in turn kills off the queen.
Unlike most liquid treatments (Termidor, Premise), Sentricon’s Always Active bait does not disrupt a lawn or the water supply, and provides tangible evidence of protection. In addition, liquid treatments do not kill the queen every time, tend to decay over time, and do not inform the homeowner if termites return. Sentricon kills the queen 100{ad5e8aa3ff70a065ec921f73ddc1066dff67ecaeac85a84c725cb4d67ce49b4f} of the time.
With follow-up service from a Sentricon service specialist, homes are continuously protected from the threat of termites. If termites happen to return, Sentricon’s Always Active baiting technology provides notification of activity.
Triple ‘S’ has been a Sentricon Service Specialist for 22 years. Contact Triple ‘S’ Services at 800-457-3785 for a free inspection.

You May Be Caught Unawares

Subterranean termites, as their name indicates, make their way into a house by burrowing under the ground and looking for their comfort zone, mainly soil and a moist area. Once inside a structure, they create tunnels and look to feed on wood and other like material. After forming organized colonies and assigning duties in a similar way to that of ants and worker bees, they are capable of creating significant damage in a very short period of time.

A large majority of the time a homeowner is not aware of the existence of a colony until the termites have begun their work and wrecked significant havoc. Similar to other pests, as they gain a foothold in a structure, they like to multiply and continue their onslaught. It is considered wise, especially in certain climates, to take preventative measures.

There are many types of subterranean termites across the United States (eastern, western, dampwood, drywood). While it is not good to be infested with any of these creatures, the eastern subterranean termite causes the most damage nationwide due to its large population. They generally swarm during the spring, more towards the morning, when soil temperatures are hovering around 70 degrees.  

Prevention is the key to avoiding swarms of termites from entering a home. Control of entry points around the outside of a house, especially near damp and moist areas, is one of the better means of preventing swarms from gathering and multiplying. Setting baits and traps at these locations can also help prevent the formation of colonies. Once a colony is discovered, there are several proven solutions available to eradicate termites including Sentricon® or Dupont™ Altriset™ termiticide. Another viable way of ridding a house of subterranean termites is injecting the nest with borate and liquid nitrogen, which the termites must ingest or come in contact with to work. A trusted professional is recommended to test for termites and propose a solution if needed. Contact Triple S Services at 800-457-3785 for a free inspection.

We have over 35 years in business as a family owned and operated business.

Canine Pest Detection for Bedbugs

Why use canines for bedbug detection? In addition to the superb sense of smell dogs possess, using them for bedbug detection also cuts down on the use of pesticides, which in turn can save you money and help the environment.

Dogs have a sense of smell that is 1 million times more sensitive than that of a human. It has been reported that canines have a 97{ad5e8aa3ff70a065ec921f73ddc1066dff67ecaeac85a84c725cb4d67ce49b4f} accuracy rate of detecting live bed bugs by scent compared to the 30{ad5e8aa3ff70a065ec921f73ddc1066dff67ecaeac85a84c725cb4d67ce49b4f} rate humans do by sight. Since bed bugs have five cycles in their lives, the easiest ones to see with the human eye are adults. Dogs can sniff them out at all life cycle stages, from nymph to adult. By using canines, we can detect where bedbugs are located which helps pinpoint where to treat for them. And with our heat remediation treatment, we don’t use pesticides, only heat to kill bedbugs. Bedbugs are becoming increasingly more resistant to the pesticides created to kill them, which means several treatments are needed to achieve the desired effect. By combining canine detection and heat remediation, we can cut down on the number of visits and eliminates pesticides.

The breeds of canines used for pest detection typically include Hounds and Beagles, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers and Aussies. However, not all dogs within these breeds are a good fit, just like there can be dogs in other breeds that are excellent for the job. It depends on the individual dog and their desire to “hunt.”

Some important information to know about the canines used for bedbug detection are: Where and how are they trained? Can certification be provided of their training? What does the dog do during the inspection? These questions and more are answered using our service.  Call us today to find out more about canine pest detection. 800-457-3785.