Anthony Sfreddo

Spring into Warmer Weather Pest-Free

Warmer weather will be here before you know it, and with the arrival of spring comes the arrival of all those insects and pests that seem to disappear in the winter like ants, bees, mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Termites also become more active as the weather warms up. The best time to prepare and prevent these pests from doing any damage is now. Being proactive about treating your home is always the most effective route to take.

Our Bundled Services Plan provides maximum protection (and saves you almost $500 annually!) for your home covering:

  • Six visits per year covering 26 insects and common household pests
  • Bi-annual termite prevention visits
  • Seven mosquito abatement inspections and ­treatments, April – October
  • Peace of mind knowing you are ­protecting your home and family from ­damage, ­disease and unwanted pests.

In addition to Triple S Pest Services providing regular service for your home, there are a few things you can do as well to minimize insects and pests.

  1. Sweep and vacuum frequently – Get rid of debris and crumbs that serve as a food source for pests.
  2. Take the trash out regularly – If the trashcan is full, make sure you don’t leave it sitting for a few days. What’s your trash is a bug’s feast.
  3. Seal the food in your pantry – Don’t leave that cereal box open and make sure containers are fully sealed. Leaving food open welcomes pantry pests and ants.
  4. Get rid of stagnant water outside – Check around your yard for water that’s not draining or kid’s toys or pots filled with water. This standing water attracts mosquitoes to your backyard.
  5. Plant lavender – We may love the smell of lavender, but mosquitoes hate it. Plant some lavender in your yard or put some out around your home. The plant will act as natural repellant.

We hope these tips have been helpful! Call us today at (703) 368-8000 to set up a free inspection and discuss which one of our many service plans works best for you!

Eliminating Overwintering Pests

Temperatures may be dropping minimizing the pests you see outside, but you could see more pests inside your home. That’s because as it gets cold outside certain pests will “overwinter” or “survive the winter”. To put it in simple terms think about the snowbirds that travel to Florida each winter to escape the cold. Pests try to do the same, but their “Florida” is your home.

What are some common overwintering pests you may see? We commonly hear about spiders, ants, box elder bugs, ladybugs, cockroaches, crickets, stink bugs, and mosquitos.

If you’re looking to evict these pests, we have a few pointers to help.

  1. Make sure your doors and windows are sealed properly to eliminate the entry points for the pests.
  2. Minimize your lighting outside and turn off unnecessary lights inside as many overwintering pests are attracted to light.
  3. Install a damper if you have a chimney. After a fire, the chimney is an easy way for pests to get in. Adding a damper at the top of your chimney can help greatly with blocking pests from entering.
  4. Keep your house squeaky clean. Your mess can be an overwintering pest’s feast and provide them with the food supply they are looking for.

If overwintering pests are becoming a bother in your home, give us a call today. Our technicians can inspect your home for these types of overwintering pests and determine the proper treatment. Stumped about what kind of pest you’re seeing? We have staff entomologists, aka “the bug doctors”, to correctly identify how to treat the pest you’re seeing appropriately.

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:




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.