The Weather is Frightful, But a Pest-Free Home is Delightful

Winter is here, but that doesn’t mean overwintering pests and rodents are hibernating. As temperatures drop, it can be harder to find a food source and your home provides that food source they’re searching for. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to prep your home this season to keep pests and rodents out. Check out our checklist below to determine if you’re winter ready!

  1. Find and seal the crevices and openings to your home – It sounds simple, but really look closely to see what openings or cracks you find. Pests and rodents don’t need a large gap to find an entry point into your home. A mouse can fit through an opening about the size of a dime and a rat can fit through an opening about the size of a quarter.
  2. Store hardwood at least 25 feet away from your house – It may be a pain to walk a little further to get hardwood to build a fire, but pests love to live in hardwood piles. Storing the piles closer to your home gives them easier access to get inside.
  3. Tightly seal items in your pantry – Store cereals or snacks in airtight containers. Cardboard boxes and bags with chip clips will not keep the pests away.
  4. Install vent screens over your chimney and shafts – It’s a simple and easy shield for blocking overwintering pests.
  5. Clear the clutter – Your clutter is a pest’s treasure. Organize and clean out storage spaces to avoid an unexpected surprise next time you need something from your storage closet.
  6. Repair leaks – Water accumulation attracts pests and serves as a breeding ground for some overwintering pests. Check your plumbing and repair any leaks you find.

As always, if you see an invader in your home and are not sure how to properly identify it, contact our staff entomologists (the bug doctors!) to help out!

Spiders & What You Need to Know

With the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures, we commonly hear from our customers that they are seeing more spiders around their home. Depending on the type of spider, the presence of them in your home is not always a bad thing. Here are some facts about spiders you might not know.

  1. Spiders can be effective pest control. Spiders feed on common indoor pests like cockroaches, mosquitos, flies, earwigs, and moths. If left alone, spiders may eat most of the indoor pests in your home proving to be effective pest control for you.
  2. Spiders kill other spiders. When spiders come in contact with each other they typically battle it out to see who is the dominant spider. The battle results in the winner eating the loser.
  3. Spiders are vital to a healthy ecosystem. In addition to eating other pests, they pollinate plants and recycle dead plants and animals back onto the Earth. They also serve as a food source for other animals like birds and fish.
  4. There are over 38,000 known species of spiders. While some are harmless, others are not. If you’re unsure about a spider in your home or backyard, trap it and send us a photo. Our team of entomologists can help identify the species that you’re seeing. Contact our entomologists here.
  5. Keep out spiders by eliminating their entry point and food source. Like with many other pests, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of sealing your doors and window tightly. Broken seals allow other pests to get in your home, which leads to spiders following them to get their dinner. Your home is also an attractive place to hang out as it gets colder outside.

Bed Bugs: What You Need to Know & How to Prevent Them

Bed bug activity has increased rapidly in the past five years and has left many people wondering why these pests have made a comeback. Here’s what you need to know about bed bugs and the things you can do to prevent them in your home (hint: it’s not just about cleanliness).

  • Bed bugs travel. Furniture, clothing, and bedding are all items that bed bugs can live and travel in. If you’re getting second-hand furniture or clothing make sure you inspect it before bringing it into your home.
  • Bed bugs are capable of surviving without feeding for up to a year. If you detect signs of bed bug activity it’s important you call to treat your home because they won’t go away on their own.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Reduce clutter to reduce the number of places bed bugs can hide.
  • If you’ve been somewhere that you suspect there may have been bed bugs, put your clothes in straight in the dryer at a high temperature. Heat will kill bed bugs, water will not.
  • Mattress encasements make it easy to detect bed bugs by trapping them and making them easier to see.

Call Triple S Pest Control if you need an inspection or are suspicious you have a bed bug bite. 703-368-8000

Protect Yourself from Tick Bites

Ticks are so small and hidden to the human eye that preventing a tick bite may seem next to impossible. However, there are preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and your family if you’re adventuring outside or even playing in the yard.

  • Know Your Surroundings – Ticks can be found in your yard, the woods, or brush piles. Be conscious when you’re outside. After being outside, high heat can kill ticks. Remove your clothing and put it directly in the dryer on high heat to kill loose ticks.
  • Use Permethrin – Products that contain .5% permethrin can help to repel ticks. You can find these products at places like Walmart. Spray the permethrin on clothing, outdoor shoes or camping gear. The permethrin will remain active through several washings.
  • Wear Light Colored Clothing – Light colored clothing makes it much easier to spot ticks on you.
  • Go Long – Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when feasible to minimize the amount of skin that’s exposed.
  • Wear Insect Repellant – Many insect repellants are effective at preventing ticks. A repellant that contains deet is a good option and easy to find.
  • Check Your Furry Friends – We all love to cuddle with our animals, but they can carry ticks in the house after being outside. Give your dog or cat a thorough check for ticks and keep your animals off the couch or bed.

Virginia has a large population of deer ticks, which are notorious for transmitting Lyme disease. Put these suggested practices into place and make sure you soak up all the good that the remainder of summer has to offer!

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{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.

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 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.