Dustin Pest Control Blog

How to Stay Bed Bug-Free While Traveling

Traveling usually requires sleeping somewhere other than home, and if you ever need to do so, beware. There is a rise of bed bugs around the country, and hotels and motels are some of their favorite places to call home.

Bed bugs can cause severe itching and welt-like bites. It’s also costly to get rid of them if they happen to hitch a ride back home with you. In order to stay bed bug-free, here are a couple of tips to take into consideration when having to sleep in your next hotel room.

You should pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners. Check to see if there are any telltale stains of tiny blood spots or small black dots that look like mold or ground pepper. Bed bugs are about the size and shape of an apple seed.

Next, you should thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Broaden your search to behind the headboard, sofas and soft chairs to behind picture frames, under the telephone and alarm clocks. Just keep in mind that bed bugs are usually found in an area about 15 feet from a bed. Until you have completed your search, you should store your luggage in the bathroom. Bed bugs are less likely to be found in the bathroom because they don’t like tile and there are fewer dark hiding spots. One last thing you should keep an eye out for is traces of white powder, which could be an indication of a pesticide used to treat for a previous problem.

If any signs of bed bugs are found, you should notify management immediately.

When switching rooms, you should make sure you don’t switch to a room that is anywhere near the infested room. Remember bed bugs can easily hitchhike on housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. Ask for a room at least two floors from the original to be on the safe side.

After you’ve returned home, it’s always safe to act as if you did bring some unwanted critters back with you. You should inspect all your luggage before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider a garment hand steamer to steam the rest of your luggage, which in turn can kill any bed bugs or eggs due to the hot temperatures of the steam. Wash all of your clothes, even the ones that have not been worn, in hot water to kill any bed bugs that may have made it.

Remember, bed bugs can live for several months or even up to a year without feeding, so try keeping your suitcases in a storage bag until the next time you and your family take a trip.

Traveling is fun especially when you’re with loved ones. To help protect them, make sure to teach kids the proper protocol for checking for bed bugs. And if you have an issue with bed bugs, call a local professional pest control company.

5 Facts About German Cockroaches

These five facts about German cockroaches will be sure to have you dialing your pest control terminator ASAP! Read the facts about them below and consider calling cockroach control if you’ve seen any around your home.  

1. They’re Scavengers

German cockroaches will eat just about anything, and they don’t need to eat much at all. In fact, they can live without food for about a month. However, they only need a few crumbs to fulfill their appetites.  

2. They Don’t Fly (Thankfully)

While German cockroaches do have wings, they do not fly like some of their relatives. They may glide if startled, but their prepared method of fleeing is quickly crawling away.  

3. They’re Attracted to Heat & Humidity

German cockroaches prefer climates that are hot and humid. So naturally, they will hide in the warmest, most humid areas of a home – such as places near the refrigerator, heated appliances, and hot water pipes.  

4. One Female Can Lay 400 Eggs

German cockroaches are phenomenal breeders. In the span of a female German cockroach ’s lifetime (about 200 days), she can lay up to 400 eggs! These eggs only take about 50-60 days to hatch, too. So if any more females are born, that’s an extra potential 400 eggs! This is why it’s important to contact a pest control terminator to exterminate a German cockroach infestation before it gets way out of hand.  

5. They’re Difficult to Kill

German cockroaches aren’t exactly easy to kill for these reasons:
  • They spend most of their time hiding, so you most likely haven’t seen any in your home recently.
  • They disperse to different places in homes frequently.
  • They detect and avoid pesticides.
  • The infestation may develop a resistance to pesticides.
  • The egg cases that the female German cockroaches produce to protect the eggs from pesticides. The female also carries and protects these eggs until about two days before they hatch.
  • As stated earlier, they reproduce quickly and vastly.
Exterminating an infestation of German cockroaches is not an easy job for the average person. There are many advanced strategies used in exterminating these pests that have a rather steep learning curve. Our advice when it comes to an infestation of German cockroaches is to contact a cockroach control service like us, Dustin Pest Control. If you have any issues with cockroaches or any infestation contact us today so we can get your home cockroach free.

Why Your Rental Property Needs Pest Control

Every wise landlord knows it’s in their best interests to keep a healthy relationship with their tenants. Infestations of all kinds are bound to happen in rental properties, which can upset the relationships between landlords and tenants – as well as damage the property. This is why landlords should invest in professional rental property pest control.    

Seasonal Pest Control to Attract Tenants

A great strategy for a landlord to prevent property damages and maintain a healthy relationship with their tenants is offering them free, seasonal pest control services. Pest control should be done regularly on any property if one wishes to maintain its value, regardless of the type of property that it is. However, adding free pest control services to rental properties is a huge bonus in a customer/tenant’s eyes. Nobody in their right mind enjoys bugs lingering around their home. Plus, tenants without roaches crawling in their bedrooms will be much happier to pay their bills! To top it off, tenants may leave reviews of the properties you’ve rented out. If the property was infested with cockroaches or other bugs, the odds are they’re going to talk about it. When people read reviews of properties with infestations, they will put their money elsewhere.    

Preventing Property Damages

Pest control prevents property damages. Termites and mice, in particular, can devastate the structure of a property. The damage will be a costly expense to repair. However, all can be prevented when a professional pest control company comes into action. The termites aren’t going to be eating at the value of your property anymore. The mice will no longer chew the structure of your property apart. Seriously, pests can do a ton of damage to property, so it’s important to prevent that damage by contacting a professional pest control company such as us, Dustin Pest Control.

3 Major Signs Of Termites

Termite Treatment in FresnoTermites ruin homes, so knowing the major signs of termites early on can save you a ton of money. Once any key signs of termites are found, it’s important to contact a pest control company to prevent any more damages. Here are the top three signs of termites. &nbsp    

Termite Swarmers

Termites begin colonization after the queen gives birth to winged termites, which are known as swarmers or alates. Swarmers will fly around a home until they find the perfect spot in the soil next to the foundation. Then the swarmers will begin reproduction of the new colony within their burrows underneath the soil. Swarmers are typically found during the months of March through June and are about a half inch long, with four wings. Recognizing these winged termites is important because it’s the beginning of a termite infestation.

     

Mud Tunnels/Shelters

Once a colony of termites has been formed, small mud tunnels that act as sheltered highways to their food sources can usually be found on the foundation of a home. The size of the mud tunnels can be anywhere from the width of an ink pen to several inches wide. Identifying the mud tunnels on your home is one of major signs of termites, and termite control should be contacted as soon as possible.

    

Property Damage

Termites destroy the structures of homes and furniture – it’s nothing new. However, they don’t only eat wood. Termites are known to consume many other materials such as drywall, plaster and even some metals. Unfortunately, by the time any property damages from termites are discovered, the termite issue could already be a full-blown infestation. Don’t panic though, a pest control company can easily take care of the problem.

If any of these major signs of termites are identified, contact a professional termite control service such as Dustin Pest Control.

Host a Pest Free Holiday Party

As the seasons continue to change, your risk of a pest problem can actually increase while temperatures drop. Do not let this risk keep you from hosting a successful and pest-free holiday party. Be proactive and follow a few tips for not attracting bugs during the holiday.
  • Keep lights low – Begin your pest control from the exterior of your house. No matter what the season, and even more so in the colder months, some bugs are drawn to light. There are a few different reasons why certain insects seem to be attracted to your firepits and patio lights. One of these reasons is the warmth that some bulbs/light/fire provide. To help avoid a gathering of moths from greeting your guests at the door, try replacing your bulbs with a warm-colored LED light.
  • Vents and Candles – The same delicious smells of ham or turkey and fresh baked pies are just as appealing to unwanted pests. As enjoyable as it might be to have your home filled with holiday scents, it could make you a giant magnet for bugs also looking for a feast. Cracking windows and turning on fans is like putting an open sign on your door for bugs. Make use of your kitchen vents, and light some candles. Try to avoid using sweet smelling and food-scented candles. Instead turn to an air “freshening” scents.
  • Keep things covered – During the process of cooking, it can be hard to keep everything constantly covered – but you should still try especially once everything is finished. Sometimes you do not necessarily want to clean up and put all the food away. Who knows how many, second, or third servings, might be taken? Instead try your best to keep your dinner covered whether it is with foil or airtight containers – anything will help to prevent contamination. This will also help with sealing the smells that could attract flies and other insects as well.
  • Keep your space clean – During a holiday party, things are certain to get messy – whether it is during food prep, eating or just plain partying. Do your best to stay on top of that mess. Clean up spills quickly and have the materials to do so available to guest and easy to access. Throw trash as it is made and remove full bags. Also, if possible, use trash cans that have a lid on them to help keep the smells from spreading.This will help prevent certain things annoyances like rats, cockroaches or ants.
  • Regular pest maintenance – The weather outside is frightful, and pests are not delightful. Just like us, pests are also seeking refuge from the elements outside. While it is cooler outside, your house is warm and inviting to insects and pests. Check your home for any cracks or small openings that could be entry points and seal them. Schedule regular pest maintenance to include an inspection and even a treatment every few months.

3 Untraditional Ways to Keep Bugs Out of the Home

Pest control is not an easy accomplishment on your own. While preventing and preparing a possible infestation is the most effective way to combat pests, once you have an infestation there are many methods you can try. Seeking professional help from an expert might be the route if you are dealing with an extreme or unknown problem, but there is nothing wrong with trying to tackle the task on your own. Through all the sprays, powders and traps, there is bound to be something that can help you with your pest problem. But what if you feel like you have tried it all? Or what if you want to try something more environmentally friendly than buying the same old products? No matter what the reason, here are three untraditional ways you can try to help keep bugs out of your home.    

Essential oils and herbs

Insects and rodents react to different smells just like humans do. If they do not like the way something smells, they will stay away and avoid the area. Mint has been proven to be one of the scents that will drive ants, spiders and fleas away. Rosemary is often used to repel mosquitos and flies – whether applied directly to the skin, like a bug spray, or around the house. Lavender, basil and garlic can also help keep the bugs away and are easy herbs to keep around the house in small planters.

   

Homemade and natural pesticides

Along with the idea of scent, a citrus spray from lemons, oranges or limes can be an effective repellant. Spiders do not like citrus, so keeping peels or rubbing areas like floor boards and window seals with them can help provide a barrier. This spray can also be used on contact to get rid of smaller, pre-existing problems. Vinegar is a cheap and natural repellent that can be used on many different surfaces to prevent any bugs from getting in. Epsom salt can either be sprinkled outside of your home or dissolved and used as a spray inside to combat pests. Cornmeal has also proven to be effective with ant infestations, as their body cannot properly digest the grain.

   

Electronic pest repellent

While there is some speculation whether this method is as effective as advertised, there are some devices that promise to repel pests for you electronically. There are a few different options available, the top two being ultrasonic and electromagnetic. Ultrasonic devices are supposed to emit a high-frequency sound undetectable to humans and small animals. Electromagnetic devices claim to have an effect on the nervous system of pests. Together, these two are supposed to both repel and even kill existing problems.

If you are in need of a professional pest control service in the Fresno area contact Dustin Pest Control. For over 50 years the professionals at Dustin Pest Control have served Fresno and the surrounding area’s pest extermination, prevention and removal needs.

5 Ways to Keep Termites Away

One of the biggest enemies in pest control is termites. While some house damage and pest infestations cannot be stopped, there are some preventative measures that you can take. Continue reading to learn five different ways you can actively prevent termites.

Keep your home dry.

Termites are attracted to moisture, so fix any leaks and stop any excess water build up. Invest in a dehumidifier if you tend to have a muggy house.

Seal any cracks or openings you can see in the house.

If termites are interested, they will find any way they can to get in. If there are any holes or openings around window or door frames, fill and patch these as soon as possible.

Keep up with the exterior of your house and the yard.

Maintaining the outside will help protect in the inside. Keep the lawn clear of any debris. Clean out gutters, and fix any damages such as loose siding and lost shingles. Debris that contains wood, especially wet wood, is like a buffet to termites. 

Termites live off of wood, so protect the wood in your home.

If you have a wooden structure, make sure the wood is properly sealed and that you keep up with the maintenance. If there is any rotting or damaged wood, remove or replace it as soon as possible. If you use firewood, store it away from the house and try for covered and dry location.

Check Your Property

The best preventative measure you can take is having a professional check your property. They will be able to check your property for any damages or vulnerable areas. Call your local pest control company to set up a routine inspection. Do you see signs of termites in your home? If so, let the professionals at Dustin Pest Control help get rid of those pests.

3 Green Upgrades this Fall for an Eco-Friendly Home

When it comes to making your home green friendly, there’s a lot to take into consideration. As the cold weather of fall starts coming around, you’re not going to find a better time to start making upgrades around the house. But what can you do this Fall to make your home green-friendly? How can you go about setting a positive impression for your children while teaching them the importance of an energy efficient home? Take a look at the following three green upgrades you can put towards your home to make it more eco-friendly this Fall.

Green upgrades for your home this Fall

1) Blown-In Attic Insulation

If you’re looking to get an immediate ROI for your green-friendly upgrades this Fall, consider adding blown-in attic insulation. Doing so, you’ll reap the benefits with some tremendous savings. According to the Department of Energy, the average homeowner has experienced a savings of up to 50% on their monthly energy bill. That’s easily one of the best investments you can make for your home.

2) Upgrade to newer appliances

As appliances around your home get wear and tear from years of use, you may want to consider swapping them out this Fall. Upgrading to more modern appliances will be more efficient completing tasks they were built for. Not only this, but your water-based appliances will use considerably less energy considering the water lines aren’t clogged up by hard water elements. Not sure what the lifeline of your home appliances looks like? Schedule a whole home energy assessment of your house. A specialist will complete an inspection of your homes energy usage and let you know what areas of your home will give you the most return for your money. A whole home energy assessment will not ly be useful, but it’ll save you loads of money over the long-term.

3) Use green pest control

While traditional pest control methods are the most used on the market, organic pest control services are on the rise with homeowners. As the crisp Fall weather starts taking over your yard, insects and other common household pest are going to be looking for a new home to stay warm. You may want to consider hiring an organic pest control specialist. As a quality substitute to those harmful chemicals, it offers a great opportunity for you to remove common pests. Ants, roaches, and other creepy crawlies will no longer turn your home into their home. It’s safer for you, your family, and your pets. Plus you’ll rest easy knowing you’re doing your part to help the earth. Once you’ve had your home sprayed with an organic pest control solution, invest a little money into having a fresh flower and vegetable garden. This will attract good bugs to your home which eat other insects. As an added perk, you’ll have fresh vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner. Not to mention the kids will have fun watching the ladybugs and praying mantis explore your mini suburban jungle. Which of these three green friendly upgrades for your home will you be making around your house this Fall to conserve more energy and have a greener impact to your community?

4 Pests That Love Water

4 Pests that Love Water

Why are cockroaches in my bathroom? Rainfall, changing temperatures and leaky appliances are all inevitable, but a pest infestation doesn’t have to be! Some of the biggest pests here in Fresno are bugs that love water. Take a look to help educate yourself about pest control and possibly prevent a future invasion.

Mosquitos

Mosquitos can easily transmit and carry disease like West Nile Fever, Dengue Fever and, with rising concern, Zika. These tiny, flying pests are ones to keep yourself concerned with and actively prevent. Mosquitos depend on water to reproduce – they lay their larva in and around standing water. Gutters, empty buckets/flower pots and even puddles are all perfect breeding grounds for mosquitos. Frequently check for leaks and dump standing water to help avoid a mosquito problem.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are impressive creatures, but not one you necessarily want to share your home with. Cockroaches tend to hide in dark, moist areas like under sinks and water closets as they look for food and water. While sealing food is one preventative measure to keep cockroaches from becoming unwanted guests, water leaks are more likely to cause a problem. If you see one cockroach, there’s a good bet there are more in hiding. So you should act as quickly as possible.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants may be tiny but can cause significant problems fast. A humid home or clogged gutters are a welcoming call to a miniature army of ants. While you might not find this pest inside your home, the outside of your house may be under attack. Carpenter ants prefer to nest in soft and dead wood, making the space under your house or voids around water appliances prime real estate. Take precautionary measures inside by sealing cracks and openings.

Termites

Termites are one of the most dangerous pest infestations for your home. Much like carpenter ants, termites commonly prefer to colonize in moist structures. Water-damaged wood is a starting point for these bugs to enter your home. Professional help is often needed for this type of pest control, but quickly repairing leaks and checking for damage in vulnerable areas often can help prevent or stop a termite problem. All these water-loving Fresno bugs are common pests in the area – so Dustin Pest Control has plenty of experience in tackling these problems. Keep these four critters in mind to help keep your home pest free!

4 Facts about Bed Bugs

Sleeping tight isn’t always enough to keep bed bugs at bay. Bed bugs are small parasites that feed on human blood. Typically, they leave red, itchy bites on their hosts, but sometimes they leave nothing behind. Without any marks, the only way to discover a bed bug infestation is to see them. Bed bugs are about the size of a grain of rice and can be found in the cracks and crevices of homes. If you think you have a bed bug problem, check out these four facts about bed bugs so you know what you’re dealing with.

Bed bugs are everywhere

It’s a popular misconception that bed bugs are only found in underdeveloped countries or unkempt places, when in reality they can be found almost anywhere. Bed bugs can crawl more than 100 feet per night, and they often sneak into luggage to travel even further. Bed bugs have been found in all 50 states, in both urban and rural regions.

Bed bugs are tough

Bed bugs are made to last. They drink nearly seven times their own weight in blood and can go several months in between feedings, which comes in handy when they’re on the go. While some things can’t stand the heat, bed bugs certainly can. They can survive in temperatures up to 122°F, meaning they’ll last through any hot summers. To make matters worse, scientists have come to realize bed bugs are building up resistance to some popular over-the-counter insecticides. If you have a bed bug infestation, call a local pest control company to remove them as quickly as possible.

Bed bugs don’t spread disease

According to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, half of their respondents believed that bed bugs spread disease. Studies have shown that bed bugs are unable to carry disease from one host to another.

Bed bugs are up all hours

Bed bugs are most active at night, but they can be up all hours during the day as well. Bed bugs usually hide during the day to avoid being seen, but they will adjust their schedule based on your habits to take advantage of when you’re most vulnerable. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we emit when we breathe, and feeding when we’re asleep makes getting their lunch much easier.   Bed bugs are a nuisance that feed on our blood when we are least expecting it. They are fairly common and can be found all over the world, in all kinds of conditions. You might be tempted to try to remove bed bugs by yourself, but they are hardy insects that have built up a resistance to popular over-the counter-treatments. To help prevent bed bugs from invading your home, check regularly for their presence in mattresses, luggage and folded clothes. If you need help with a bed bug infestation, call a professional pest control company so you can remove them before they can spread even further.  
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