The Bedbug Traveler

bedbugTraveler is a word used for something that moves around a lot. Unfortunately, the particular traveler we are talking about is not a wanted guest.

With multiple ways to move from one place to another, the bedbug has become a traveler both across the United States and worldwide. This insect’s ability to squeeze into so many small seams and gaps makes it almost impossible to know one has hitched a ride with you. And the worst part about this traveler is that it is hardly even noticed until several weeks after you have returned from your trip.

Bedbugs love dark places until it is time to feed and can be found hiding in a bed, couch, chair, bus terminal seat, movie theater seat or any other location that someone can be expected to sit for an extended period of time.

The bedbug can sense the air a person blows out of their mouth or nose and follows this flow of carbon dioxide to their next meal. No, you can’t hold your breath and hope they will go away. These are persistent insects that will not leave even if you aren’t home for a few days or weeks. They will just wait for your return.

The only solution to a bedbug problem is to get to the source and start suppressing the bugs’ ability to feed. Closely follow a prep sheet on resolving the issue and contact Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120 and they will set up a plan that will solve the problem.

As they always say: Sweet dreams and don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Protect Your Home from Pests this Spring

cleaning backyard in springAfter a beautiful spring weekend here in Western New York, unwanted pests like ants, spiders and silverfish are sure to have begun foraging around your yard, searching for ways into your home. And unless you want bugs raiding the snack drawer in your kitchen, it’s time to employ some preventative measures to ensure an insect-free season.

Clear Your Perimeter

The first and easiest step you can take to prevent insects from getting into your home is clear the area around the perimeter of your home. Shade, moisture and plant growth will all attract insects, making your home a target for these unwanted visitors.

We recommend starting your spring cleaning by clearing away any weeds, sticks and debris that have gathered against your foundation during the cold winter months, preventing ants from establishing their colonies near to your house.

Once insects are centrally located near your home, it is only a matter of time until they find a hole they can enter through, ensuring trouble for your family and woodwork.

Seal Up Entrances

As you are cleaning up around your home’s exterior this spring, pay close attention to the areas around your windows and doors, looking for cracks in their seals as well as holes in screens. Sealing up cracks and replacing screens will help to keep bugs at bay, warding off insects from the interior of your home.

Use a Dehumidifier

The summer heat causes many basements to get damp, creating the perfect breeding ground for insects like silverfish. Remove excess moisture and prevent these creepy crawlers from enjoying your space with a dehumidifier. Also take some time to clean up boxes around the basement to eliminate dark hiding spots critters would like to hide in.

Call An Exterminator

For an extra layer of protection from insect pests, Comfort Pest Control offers exterior barrier applications as needed. Available in the spring, summer and fall months, give us a call at 716-366-2120 to let us know what type of protection you need and we will provide it!

Check for Pest Infestation during the Hunt for Your Next House

family looking at house for saleSpring is almost here, and as the weather warms up, more and more individuals begin to hunt for their dream home. From water in the basement to electrical problems, there are lots of things to consider when shopping for a house, which is why Comfort Pest Control likes to remind our customers to check for pest infestation before they buy. There are plenty of signs to look for, and the warm spring season is the perfect time to search, since bugs will be waking from hibernation and rodents will be out and about hunting for food.

Dead Bugs, Droppings and Nesting Evidence

One of the most noticeable signs of a pest infestation is the sighting of dead bugs or pest droppings in a home. Take some time to check behind appliances, on windowsills and in the basement for evidence. While one dead bug is no cause for concern, a few of the same type of bug is a sign that infestation is likely.

As you check for dead bugs and pest droppings, we also recommend paying close attention for nesting evidence like shredded paper. Used by many different rodents, nesting supplies are often found in attics, basements and the back of cabinets.

Odd Odors and Sounds

Most pests have a particular odor about them, and if you notice an odd, musty odor while walking through your next potential home, this could be a sign of pests. Especially if you are touring a home that hasn’t been lived in for a while, you will also want to keep your ears open for the sounds of rodents. Mice and rats often travel behind walls and under floorboard, and can be heard scurrying about if you listen carefully.

Holes, Grease Marks and Tracks

Signs of a pest infestation can also be found in a home’s yard, so take some extra time while checking out the backyards of your favorite houses. Review the foundation for holes, also looking for grease marks and tracks. Rodents like mice and rats tend to follow the same paths, and if they have been frequenting an area, their presence will be easy to spot.

Experiencing a pest infestation in the Dunkirk, New York area? Don’t hesitate to contact Comfort Pest Control for help at 716-366-2120.

Have You Found Carpenter Ants This Winter?

carpenter ants indoorsThe sight of carpenter ants inside your home during the winter is never a good thing, as the weather is much too cold and the snow much too treacherous for them to have made their way in from the outdoors. So what does the appearance of these creepy, crawly creatures mean? You may be facing an infestation.

Where Are the Carpenter Arts Coming From?

If you find carpenter ants inside your home during the cold winter months, chances are that they were already dwelling inside – in door frames, windowsills and other areas where moist wood can be found. And while colonies of ants hibernate throughout the winter, the odd sunny day or heat from a fireplace or furnace can cause them to wake up, thinking it is spring. It is when the colony residing in your home accidentally awakes that you will catch a few insects skittering about in search of food.

How Can You Stop Carpenter Ants?

Especially during the winter months, it can be difficult to find a colony of carpenter ants residing in your home. Since so few of the insects are out and about, and fluctuating temperatures are putting them back to sleep, you may not be able to distinguish where they are coming from, which is why it is important to call an exterminator.

Able to cause an exponential amount of structural damage, it is important to stop carpenter ants in their tracks as soon as you see them – even if there is snow on the ground. If you have found these insects in your Dunkirk area home, don’t hesitate to contact Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120 for help.

Stop Silverfish in Their Tracks

silverfishA long, wingless insect that is typically found in bathrooms and basements, the silverfish is fond of moist, dark areas, often going unnoticed by homeowners for long periods of time. Silver or brown in color, these quick insects grown between a half inch to an inch in size and love to feed on paper products and clothing.

Detecting a Silverfish Infestation

With long antennae and fluid, fishlike movements, the silverfish can cause a fright, and females can live up to eight years! Completely harmless to humans, this bug does not bite or carry diseases – but it will get into your clothes, destroy your paper products and eat the food in your pantry. Usually caught in a sink, bathtub or box in the basement, silverfish are incredibly fast, making them tough to get rid of. Luckily, these insects have a slower mating process than most other bugs, with females only laying up to 100 eggs in a lifetime.

Worried that these critters have infested your home? Common signs include holes in books, papers and clothing, along with yellowish stains.

Extermination

Able to squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices throughout your home, silverfish are a nuisance to catch, which is why the best way to eliminate this pest is by calling an exterminator. Whether you find one of these wingless bugs crawling across your floor or notice signs of their presence in your Dunkirk area home, contact Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120. Our expert team takes pride in protecting our neighbors from pests and will ensure that they don’t come back.

Source: http://pestkill.org/insect/bugs/silverfish/

Arthropods are everywhere, but there is no need to worry!

gall midgesA recent article from The Atlantic has uncovered some interesting information about bugs – arthropods in particular – that can be found throughout our home. Unlike the carpenter ants, bed bugs and roaches that can harm us or our houses, most arthropods are not pests. Instead, these hard-shelled critters live in harmony with us, going undetected by all but the keenest naturalists.

Insects and microorganisms have lived alongside humans for millions of years, and as our housing has developed, so have the expansive variety of arthropod species. Led by Matthew Bertone, a team of entomologists decided to take a systematic census to determine how many different types of arthropods could be found across 50 different homes in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Each home had between 32 and 211 species, belonging to between 24 and 128 families.”

Much to our surprise, and probably the surprise of the homes’ residents, more than 10,000 specimens were found as Bertone and his group searched room by room with headlamps, forceps and nets. From cobweb spiders and cellar spiders to gall midges, almost all of the tiny tenants found within the homes were harmless and rarely, if ever, noticed by their human cohabitants.

“…in terms of benign or beneficial insects in the home, we know next to nothing,” notes Emily Hartop of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

So instead of worrying about what you can do to keep all insect-life out of your home as you are lying in bed at night, consider just how incredible it is that these itty bitty life forms have lived alongside us for hundreds of thousands of years, working in harmony and going almost totally unnoticed.

And if you happen to come across an insect pest in your Dunkirk area home while searching for arthropods, contact Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120 to have the problem dealt with right away.

Prevent Bats from Entering Your Home

bat hanging A strange and unique mammal that flies through the night snacking on bugs, the bat has earned a bad reputation for being a dangerous and frightening creature that will suck your blood or land in your hair. In all actuality, bats are just as afraid of us as we are of them. Which means it is extremely unlikely that you will find one flapping around your living room when you get home from work.

You may, however, find a bat nestled up in your attic, enjoying the warmth, dark and safety that your home provides – especially during the winter.

Seal Your Home

To prevent bats from roosting in your attic, the first thing that you should do is check for cracks and gaps in your roofing. Bats can squeeze their way into extremely small holes, so don’t skip over and spots when sealing your home up. Once a colony of bats have made their way inside, sealing the cracks up will only force them to find another way out, usually leading to a swarm of terrified critters flying around your house.

Cover the Chimney

Bats are also known to take up residence in chimneys, which can easily lead to a furry, flying creature interrupting your dinner when it mistakenly flies all the way into the house. To prevent from this scare, we recommend installing a chimney cover which will keep out bats and any other pests that try to make their way inside. The winter is the most common time for pests to venture indoors, since our homes offer a warm escape from the snow and freezing temperatures outside.

Look for Warning Signs

Whether you had a run in with a bat in your house or think you have heard wings flapping above your head, check for warning signs and call an exterminator right away. While bats are not vicious creatures, they can be carriers of diseases like rabies and Histoplasmosis.

Bats are extremely quiet creatures, and the most common sign you will find is the droppings that will accumulate where they are entering your house. If you see evidence of bats in your Dunkirk area home, contact Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120.

Tips for Raccoon-Proofing Your Home

raccoon in garbageWhen most people think of pest control, they think of ants, spiders and the occasional mouse or rat. Animals like raccoons are also known to cause problems, especially as the weather gets chilly and they start looking for a cozy place to escape the snow. Nocturnal critters that make themselves at home in attics and under porches, raccoons are also the wild animal most commonly carrying rabies. The first line of defense against these pests is prevention. Raccoons love squeezing down chimneys and raiding the garbage, so take the proper steps to keep them out of your home and yard.

Close Off the Chimney

As you head to the roof to clean out gutters and hang Christmas lights this December, we recommend covering your chimney with a chimney cap as well. These covers will prevent raccoons from gaining access to your home while allowing smoke to escape when you light a fire. You can also trim back branches on nearby trees to keep pests off of your roof altogether.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

Raccoons have been known to enter homes through a variety of spaces, including vents and holes as small as a baseball. Take some time to inspect the outside of your home for cracks and holes in the foundation and soffits, fixing those that you come across to prevent unwanted guests from sneaking inside. Install screens to cover outdoor vents as well, checking them regularly to make sure no one has broken through.

Properly Seal Trash Cans

From dog food to garbage, raccoons are scavengers that will eat almost anything! If your trash cans are being tipped over and raided in the evenings, place a brick on top of each can, switch to ones that lock shut or start keeping them in your (well sealed) garage. If raccoons are unable to get into your home and garbage, they will move on to somewhere they can gain access to.

If you see signs of damage to the outside of your Dunkirk, New York home or hear the critters moving about in your attic, call Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120 today. Our technicians are available at all times for all of your pest emergencies.

Keep Stink Bugs from Invading Your Home this Winter

stink bug infestationA common pest across the country, stink bugs are often spotted in homes as the weather grows cooler in the fall months. As winter approaches, stink bugs head toward our warm abodes to find a cozy place to hide from the snow and freezing temperatures. Named for the smelly odor that they emanate, the stink bug is rather large in size, making them a quite the nuisance for homeowners. While you may not see many stink bugs during the winter, they will pop their heads up on warm days and will come out in full force as the grass begins popping up through the snow next spring. Luckily, there are a few preventative steps that can be taken to keep stink bugs and other winter pests out of your home.

Seal Up Cracks and Crevices

The easiest way to keep stink bugs out of your house this winter is to seal up any cracks and crevices on the exterior of your home. Pests can weasel their way into even the smallest of spaces, so take some time to walk the perimeter of your home this fall, paying special attention to the cracks around your doors and windows. Seal these spaces up with caulk or weather stripping to prevent further infestation. Also remember to seal your attic up tight, placing a cover on the chimney and using screens to cover vents. Once your home is sealed up tight, it is time to deal with the critters that have already made their way indoors.

Don’t Squish the Bugs

The worst thing about the stink bug is the odor it emits when killed. Instead of squishing these bugs like you would with any other insect pest, we recommend catching them and flushing them down the toilet or vacuuming them up. If you choose to use a vacuum, be sure changing the bag immediately after use to prevent odors from clinging to your machine. Also, throw the used bag in the trash outside to keep the stench away from your home.

If you are experiencing a stink bug infestation this fall, don’t hesitate to contact Comfort Pest Control. Located in Dunkirk, New York, our phone number is 716-366-2120.

Advice for Winter Pest Control

winter pest control As December approaches and snow begins to fall in the Dunkirk, New York area, pests like bees and mosquitoes go into hibernation, making many homeowners think that pest control is not needed during the winter months. Unfortunately, there are many other critters that may be crawling underfoot this season, looking to escape from the chilly weather outdoors. Rodents and spiders are both known to migrate inside as the weather grows cold, making it important to keep your home protected. You don’t want a mouse making an appearance at your annual holiday party!

Firewood Storage

For families that heat their home with a wood burning stove or fireplace, firewood is a necessity in the winter. It also creates a cozy location for critters like mice and ants to make their nests. To prevent these pests from gaining access to your home, we recommend keeping your firewood pile at least 20 feet from the house.

Leaky Pipes

Cockroaches are another common cold-weather pest that can trigger allergies and worsen asthma symptoms. Often found in kitchens and bathrooms, these pests love warm, damp areas and can often be found under appliances and sinks. Perform a thorough check of your home this season, tightening leaky pipes to keep cockroaches from making themselves at home.

Cover your Chimney

As you are decorating the outside of your home this holiday season, take some time to protect it from pests as well. A mesh cover or chimney cap can be installed to keep squirrels and raccoons from making their way indoors. Homeowners should also trim back bushes and trees, preventing these animals from getting access to your roof.

Whether you find a pest in your home or are interested in taking preventative measures to keep them out this winter, contact Comfort Pest Control online or by phone at 716-366-2120 today!