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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.

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% 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.

Do You Smell a Rat?

The weather is getting colder, which means rodents are looking for a cozy place to settle until spring. Mice aren’t the only rodents that can wreak havoc in your home.  Rats are responsible for gnawing wood and electrical wires, spreading disease and eating food in your home. Rats are not only spotted in alleys in big cities, but also in rural and residential homes.  Chances are, you can’t actually smell a rat, but you can learn how to identify if you have rats in your home.

The most common type of rat is the brown rat, also called the Norway rat.  They are larger than mice but to the common eye look like a larger house mouse with a very long tail.  They can measure approximately 10 inches in length with a tail that can also reach up to 10 inches.

Rats are nocturnal, so they do their dirty work when you’re sleeping.  And boy is their work dirty!  Rats are known for spreading disease such as salmonella and Hantavirus – a dangerous respiratory virus. (The black rat was responsible for the deadly spread of the bubonic plague in Europe.) Rat droppings should not be handled unless proper precautions are taken as germs and viruses can become airborne.

How do you know if you have a rat infestation?  Some noises are indicative of rat activity, such as clawing, or gnawing on wood or plastic.  These sounds can reverberate on concrete.  If you have rats in your attic, you might hear scratching, gnawing and clawing sounds as rats try to make a nest.    If you have horses, or other outdoor animals and store their food in a garage, shed or barn, you might notice that bags are being gnawed through or there are droppings around the vicinity of the food.

Like most pests, they are opportunistic.  If you limit opportunities for them to get into your home, you are ahead of the game.  Rats are long animals that are designed to burrow into holes, so they can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces.  Survey your home and seal off small holes around pipes and wires.  Don’t leave piles of firewood close to the perimeter of your home and cut back shrubs.  Rats like clutter, so keep your floors free of clutter piles or seal items in a rodent-proof container with a lid (preferably not cardboard). Inspect your attic for holes in the roof or along the roofline. If you have outdoor animals, store food and treats in rodent-proof containers with lids.

If you think you may have a rat infestation, it is best to let a pest control company with years of experience handle it.  These are dirty rodents and we are trained in containing rat infestations and removing their dirty debris.  Call us at 800-457-3785 for an inspection and to receive more tips on preventing a rat infestation.

Spiders Belong Outside

Spiders are fascinating — they have eight legs, eight to 12 eyes and some are even hairy. They sound like frightening creatures, yet they are helpful and control the insect population naturally.  It is true, spiders do eat insects, even other spiders, but is it wise to let them share your habitat?

Many house spiders are harmless.  By nature spiders aren’t aggressive and won’t bother you unless you bother them.  However, there are some types of spiders native to our region that you don’t want living with you in your home.  Living up to its name, the brown recluse spider doesn’t want to be bothered. But if it is, its bite is painful and can be harmful. Black widows like to lurk in backyard woodpiles or drain downspouts.  They also can strike if they feel threatened and their bite is very dangerous (though if treated in a timely manner, will not be fatal.) Hobo spiders, indigenous to the Virginia, Maryland and DC area are also reclusive spiders that will only bite if they feel threatened.  So while these spiders aren’t aggressive and won’t seek you out, they do pose some level of threat in your home.

There are ways to minimize the likelihood of spiders in your home.  Spiders like quiet and dark areas such as the attic, or cool areas such as the basement, corners and flowerpots are a favorite habitat as well. Keep these areas clean.  If you see a web, use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove it. The vacuum cleaner can be especially helpful because it can remove any egg sacs with minimal disturbance. Spiders like cardboard, so store items in plastic containers with airtight lids. Keep your woodpiles away from the foundation of your home.  Most importantly, let the experts inspect and treat your home.  Call us today 800-457-3785 for a spider inspection and to learn more tips on how to make your home most unwelcome to these eight-legged arachnids.

How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

Bed bugs are no fun to have and are very hard to get rid of. If you are planning to travel this holiday season you will want to prepare yourself well to help prevent bringing any bed bugs back to your home. Trying to prevent bed bugs while traveling can be very hard nowadays. There are certain pesticides that are being banned and the increase in ease of travel has caused bed bugs to come back and allowed them to grow in number and locations. Don’t let bed bugs follow you home with the help of these tips.

Tips To Help Keep You Free of Bed Bugs

  • Check online at www.bedbugregistry.com to help make sure your travel location has not experienced a recent outbreak of bed bugs.
  • Pack a flashlight: A flashlight can be used to search the room you’re staying in.
  • Check areas that bed bugs can be using as hiding areas: Bed, headboard, the nightstand, behind mirrors, pictures, in crevices of furniture, and around electrical outlets.
  • Before packing your clothes put them inside plastic bags.
  • Try to only bring clothes that can be washed at high temperatures: If you do bring bed bugs home washing your clothes at really high temperatures helps kill any bed bugs present.
  • Leave your luggage on a luggage stand. Do not leave your suitcase open when you are not using it.
  • Keep an eye out for the signs of bed bugs: Brown or reddish spots on bed linens or mattresses, a sweet or musty odor when there is a large infestation, shed bed bug skins, and little red bite marks on your skin upon waking.
  • When you get home check all your belongings: If you find bed bugs wash all your clothes at very high temperatures and treat your suitcase.
  • If you find bed bugs, or think you may have them, call a professional pest control company.

If you are planning on traveling and don’t want to get bed bugs, follow these tips. If you do bring home bed bugs, call Triple S Pest Control today. The experts at Triple S will be able to help determine if you have indeed brought home bed bugs from your trip, and will be able to help you get rid of them. Triple S will also be able to help by giving you tips to help prevent the return of bed bugs and how you can keep from spreading them to others.

Fruit Fly Prevention Tips

Almost everyone loves a piece of fruit every now and then, and sure, leaving your fruit out in a fruit bowl may seem like a great idea for easy access, but it’s not. Leaving your fruit out can cause an infestation of fruit flies. Fruit flies are attracted to over-ripened fruit as well as other decaying matter. Fruit flies may be very small but they are not a pest to ignore. Fruit flies carry all types of diseases that are harmful to you and your family.

What is a Fruit Fly?

Fruit flies are very tiny, only measuring about ⅛ of an inch in size. Since fruit flies are so small, they can get into your house through window screens or crevices around windows or doors.The fruit fly is usually black and tan with bright red eyes. They can be found near alcohol, drains, produce, and garbage. Fruit flies love fermented produce and decaying material. The longer your fruit bowl sits out, the more likely you are to have fruit flies. Fruit flies don’t only want to eat your fruit and other decaying matter, they want to lay eggs in it.

What Makes Fruit Flies Bad?

Fruit flies can cause your family to become very ill, because they carry many pathogens. Flies are capable of spreading over 65 diseases to humans.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies?

  • Do not let your fruit over ripen on the counter
  • Keep all your fruit in the refrigerator
  • Keep all alcohol sealed
  • Make sure to empty your trash regularly
  • While your trash is in your home, keep it covered with a lid
  • Make sure your sink drains are clean and free of decaying food
  • Keep counter tops disinfected regularly
  • Dispose of all trash properly
  • Keep floors and all other place clean from crumbs and other bits of food

Fruit flies are one pest you will want to definitely prevent. Nobody wants nasty flies laying eggs in their fruit. If you do find that you have fruit flies and need help getting rid of them, call Triple S Pest Control today. The experts at Triple S Pest Control will be able to help you get rid of the fruit flies as well as give you helpful tips on keeping them away. Don’t let these nasty pests make your family sick. Keep your home safe with the help of Triple S Pest Control.

Ants vs. Termites: How to Tell the Difference

You’re in your kitchen when you suddenly notice that there are flying insects all over your counter. Your first panicked thought is “Termites!” But wait, they could just be flying ants. So how can a person tell the difference? Well, in the springtime, ants and termites both swarm. This is their mating ritual and they keep at it until they find a mate. Both have wings and black bodies but there are distinct differences that you can look for.

A termite has no “waist” whereas an ant has a narrow, defined one. A termite also has two distinct body segments while an ant has three. There’s also a difference in the wings – a termite has four wings that are very long and narrow. They are of equal size and extend far past the rear end of the body. They also lie against the body. An ant, on the other hand, also has four wings but the hind wings are shorter than its front ones. Their wings also extend beyond the body but only by a little bit. They also tend to point away from the body at the bottom. A termite’s abdomen is rounded on the end while an ant’s is pointed. And one of the most telling signs is the shape of the antennae. A termite has straight antennae that look like strings of small beads while an ant has a definite bend or elbow in each antenna.

If you should see a swarm of these flying insects around your home, there are several things you can do to get rid of them. First of all you should know that swarmers usually live less than 24 hours unless they are able to dig into soil. If you notice them doing this you should call a pest control company immediately, especially if you notice wings left on the ground. This is because after termites mate they leave their wings behind. If you see no wings, then you probably have ants, which can be gotten rid of by putting out ant bait.

A good way to get rid of a lot of swarmers at a time is to put up one light source in a darkened room. Since they’re naturally attracted to light they’ll probably all go to that source. Then you simply suck them up with a vacuum cleaner and dispose of the bag. If you can’t tell whether you have an ant or termite problem, just contact a pest control company and they’ll be able to help you.

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Treat Crawl Spaces to Control Pests

Do you know what might be lurking around in your home’s crawl space? Whether the crawl space is dirt or concrete, you could be at risk for many kinds of health and structural problems. Unsafe conditions can exist and you might not even know it. For example, your crawl space could be home to many kinds of mold growth or fungus. These conditions can also attract the types of pests we’re all familiar with, such as insects and wildlife. This can cause harm to your home’s structure in the form of dry rot or termite damage.

An untreated crawl space is an open invitation for all kinds of problems. Because of its location between the ground and the underside of your home, there are countless ways for molds and pests to enter your living space. Even the smallest opening can give a mouse or other pest the chance it needs to get inside. And since crawl spaces are a source of moisture you are always at risk for mold and fungus growth. These all have the ability to affect your health and your home.

Seal off all Openings

  • Take the time to go over your entire crawl space and close off any openings you find. It’s harder to get rid of pests once they are inside your home. Set traps and check them often.

Check Causes of Moisture

There are many ways moisture gets into crawl spaces. You might have a plumbing leak or poor drainage around your home. You could also have poor air flow or a high water table. No matter what’s causing the moisture the end result will be mold, fungus and rot. By controlling the amount of moisture in your crawl space you can help prevent or reduce mold growth. Mold in the crawl space can seep into the air you breathe in your home and cause many health problems. It can also lead to structural damage in your home.

You should also check your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they’re in good working order. Broken downspouts or overflowing gutters causes water to puddle near the home which can result in moisture seeping into the crawl space.

Once you’ve fixed all the cracks, openings and moisture problems the best thing you can do is to install a vapor barrier. Installing a thick sheet of rubber or plastic will go a long way to reduce or eliminate mold, pests and rot in your home. Not only will the air you breathe be cleaner but you’ll also save on heating and cooling costs.

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Have Bug Questions? Ask our Expert Entomologist

There is a lot that we do not understand about insects and why they do what they do. To find out, most people would think to talk with an entomologist; however, not many people may know how to go about finding one. Triple S Services has made talking to an entomologist easy. Triple S Services have a full-time entomologist available to answer all your bug questions.

What is an Entomologist?

An entomologist is a scientist who studies insects. Since there are so many different types of insects, most entomologists only study a specific family of insects. Entomologists study insect behavior, morphology, nutrition, and ecology. Entomologists help to produce information about endangered species, fragile ecosystems and our environment. They also help prevent the spread of serious diseases in plants and animals. Entomologists can be found in such careers as medicine, law, pharmacology, veterinary medicine, teaching, and research.

Who is Triple S Services Entomologist, Dr. Timothy Dickens?

  • Has handson experience with Integrated Pest Management
  • Participated in the Department of Defense Pest Management Program
  • Former Navy entomologist
  • Was a major developer of training courses leading to EPA category certification in pest management
  • Developed and conducted IPM training for U. S. Navy Ships in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets
  • Presenter in DoD workshops
  • Regular lecturer at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • Board certified in Urban Entomology by the Entomological Society of America
  • a member of Phi Sigma Research Honor Society

What Does Dr. Dickens Do at Triple S?

Triple S Services added staff entomologist Dr. Timothy H. Dickens to its team in 1997. Dr. Dickens’ role has been to improve quality assurance. He accomplishes this through assisting in Triple S’ IPM program’s design and development, insect identification, development of documented technician training programs, and contract supervision of government contracts. He also helps customers with any questions they may have about insects.

So if you have a question about bugs and why they do the things that they do, then head over to   Triple S’ website today to ask their full-time entomologist Dr. Timothy Dickens. If, when talking with Dr. Dickens, you find you may have a pest problem, call Triple S Services at (703)348-9561 and talk to one of their trained professionals about your pest control needs. Get the facts, then get the service you need, all from one company: Triple S Services.

Benefits of our Home Guardian Plan (HGP)

Do you have annoying pests in your home such as cockroaches, spiders, termites, or mice? If you have any of these pests and need to get rid of them, Triple S Services has the perfect plan for you. Even if you do not have any of these pests, but want to prevent them, Triple S can help with that as well. Their Home Guardian Plan will guarantee that your home is pest-free with monthly visit, on-call services, and proactive ant management.

What is the Home Guardian Plan

The Home Guardian Plan is protection against insects and other common household pests. The Home Guardian Plan also protects your home from carpenter ants, fleas and ticks. The Home Guardian Plan is also a form of proactive ant management.

With the Home Guardian Plan you will get nine monthly visits a year which are March through November. From December to February you will receive on-call service. With the Home Guardian Plan you have an unlimited request service.

The Home Guardian plan Starts at about $475 per year. Existing members can also ask about eligible discounts such as pre-paying for the year to save 10%.

Other Services

Triple S also has two other pest control services to help protect your home. First the Regular Home Service or RHS is similar to the HGP. However, there are a few differences, such as getting quarterly visits instead of 9 months’ worth of visits a year. It is also not a form of proactive ant management. The RHS costs about $375 per year. The second service is the Gold Service Plan. The Gold Service plan includes the complete RHS package as well as carpenter ants. With the Gold Service Plan you will get 6 termite prevention visits per year. The Gold Service Plan costs about $59 per month with no renewals or annual fees.

So if you are wanting to get rid of all those pesky insects and other pests that may be in your home, call Triple S Services today at (703)368-8000. Don’t let pests ruin your home! Let Triple S Services help you take back your home and protect it from the annoyance of insects and other pests. With one call to Triple S you will be able to find the perfect plan for you and your home and get peace of mind.