pest control

Tips for a Pest-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of our personal favorite holidays! Who doesn’t love indulging in delicious food and a day spent with loved ones? While it may be one of the best days of the year, your leftover Thanksgiving feast could quickly become a pest or rodent’s heaven. Here are a few simple tips to keep your house pest and rodent-free.

  1. Don’t leave food out overnight – Leaving food out overnight can attract pests and rodents into your home as they search for a feeding source. A mouse can fit into your home through an opening that’s the size of a dime, and a rat can fit through an opening that’s the size of a quarter.
  2. Take your trash out – Even if the trash can isn’t full, if you have left over turkey carvings, uneaten stuffing, or sides, pests and rodents will still be tempted to enter your home. After you’re done eating, put the trash in the bin or dumpster outside.
  3. Clean pots and pans – Clean the pots and pans your feast was cooked in on the same evening. Dirty dishes left out overnight can attract pests like ants and roaches.
  4. Don’t leave the door open – When family fills your home, it can get a little toasty in the house, but be cautious of leaving the door open for extended periods of time especially if you don’t have a screen door. An open door is an open invitation.

We hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for Thursday. Safe travels and happy eating!

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!

5 Ways to Detect Lyme Disease

Earlier this week we shared a study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on our Facebook page that found disease cases from ticks, fleas and mosquitoes have tripled in the last 13 years. In this month’s post, we would like to focus on Lyme disease.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Every year 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported in the U.S. and this number is likely higher as it can go undiagnosed in many people. This disease is a tricky one to treat as symptoms vary largely from person to person and some may not even experience symptoms at first. Here are a few things you need to know about Lyme disease and how you can detect it early:

  • Symptoms can take 3 to 30 days to appear – You won’t experience symptoms immediately after a tick bite, so it’s important to keep an eye on the site closely and be aware of how your body is feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, follow your gut and see your doctor to be tested for Lyme disease.
  • A majority of cases have been reported in the Northeast region of the U.S. – If you check out this map, you’ll see that a large majority of cases of Lyme disease were reported by residents in the northeast region of the U.S. from Virginia to Maine.
  • 70% to 80% of people experience a rash – Many people will experience a “bulls-eye” rash at the site of the bite. The rash is typically not itchy or painful and can have a bulls-eye look to it as the rash gets larger. Some people have even seen the rash on other areas of their body where they were not bitten.
  • Symptoms vary greatly across cases – People with Lyme disease have experienced symptoms such as headaches, joint pain or swelling, facial palsy, dizziness, shortness of breath, numbness in the hands or feet, and short-term memory loss. These are symptoms of many other medical conditions as well, but it’s important to get tested for Lyme disease if you are experiencing these symptoms to rule it out.
  • Early detection is key – Many patients who are treated for Lyme disease early recover rapidly and completely. The longer Lyme disease goes undetected symptoms may become more severe and treatment may be more complicated.

Although, it is impossible to completely eliminate the presence of ticks outside there are ways to greatly reduce their presence. Contact Triple S Pest Services today at 703-368-8000 to talk about treatment to prevent and reduce the presence of ticks in your yard. For more information on Lyme disease, read this comprehensive brochure from the CDC.

How to Prepare for the Arrival of Mosquitos

The warm spring weather may be slow to arrive this year, but prime mosquito season is on the cusp of beginning. While you may think of mosquitos only being present in the summertime, it actually only takes an outside temperate of 50⁰F for mosquitoes to start lurking around your home and backyard.

Aside from that annoying itch you get from a mosquito bite, that bite can become a real concern if that mosquito is carrying a virus. In Virginia, a common health threat from mosquitoes is the Zika virus. Typical Zika symptoms are a fever, rash, red eyes, joint pain, headaches or muscle pain. While it is typically not a life-threatening virus, it raises big concerns for women who are pregnant since Zika has been linked to birth defects.

However, the point of this post isn’t to scare you, but to help you get prepared, so you can enjoy your summer with a peace of mind. Here are our top 5 tips to conquer mosquito season!

  1. Sign up for a mosquito abatement program – People typically wait until mosquitos are present to sign up for a mosquito abatement program, which is a big mistake. By that point in time, mosquitos have already established their breeding population, and it’s much harder to eradicate the problem. Sign up for our mosquito abatement program today to get ahead of the issue.
  2. Reduce the items in your yard that collect water – Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitos. Reduce the items left out in your yard like a wheelbarrow, buckets, or empty flower pots that collect water when it rains. Otherwise, mosquitos will be treating your backyard like their next big party spot.
  3. Make your own repellant – It’s not ideal (or practical) to have a citronella candle burning inside your home to keep mosquitos away 24/7. A home remedy we would suggest is apple cider vinegar with a little bit of parsley. Leave a small cup of this mixture on a couple of windowsills or tables to help naturally repel mosquitoes away.
  4. Spray deet – If you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, we strongly recommend spraying on a mosquito repellant that contains deet. Deet can help keep the mosquitoes away while allowing you to enjoy your next outdoor adventure.
  5. Repair cracks and leaks – Lastly, check your foundation and walls for cracks and your pipes for leaks. Mosquitos can easily get inside through a small crack or crevice and water from a leak will attract them as well.

If you have additional questions about mosquitos, don’t hesitate to contact one of our pest experts or as we like to call them, “the bug doctors” to find answers.

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!

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.

Best Way To Detect Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are very hard to detect. This is most true at the beginning of an infestation, because only a few bugs are present. Even an experienced professional may have trouble detecting the bugs if there are only a few bugs present in the home. This means that a visual inspection is not very reliable and can be very costly.

Certain devices are made to help detect bed bugs in your home. A sticky insect trap is one way to try to catch bedbugs. It is not very effective, though, because there is no guarantee that you will catch a bed bug given how difficult they are to detect. Another device is the bed bug interception device. This is placed under the legs of beds and sofas. The bed bug interception device works by trapping the bugs as they move around naturally in your home going to and from your bed.Traps that use attractants such as carbon dioxide and/or chemical lures are also used to help detect bed bugs in the home. These traps that use attractants are still being evaluated as to how effective they actually are.

A mattress encasement is another great way to help detect bed bugs because it takes away any hiding spots in the mattress. The bed bugs are then limited to the smooth surface of the encasement which makes it very easy to detect them during an inspection. This also keeps the mattress and box spring from becoming infested with bed bugs.

Canine scent detection is also another way to help detect bed bugs. There are really good professionally run canine inspection companies that can detect even the smallest of infestations. But there are a growing number of poorly run companies which makes it a tough decision about trying canine scent detection. If you use a poorly run company, you can be paying for them to not be able to find anything even if bed bugs are present.

So if you think you have bed bugs but do not know if any of these detection methods will help you, call a professional today. The professionals at Triple S Pest Control can help you detect bed bugs and get rid of them if they are present in your home. Take back your home with the help of the professionals at Triple S Pest Control.