Oh Rats! Controlling Unwanted Guests In Your Home

Oh rats. You just saw a little critter out of the corner of your eye, and the panic sets in. So what do you do? Well, it’s definitely important to take care of it one way or another. Rats can cause extensive damage to your home, and carry diseases that could harm you and your family. As the weather gets colder, they’re looking for a new home. So don’t let it be yours!

rat home infestation

  1. See the signs. Look for rat droppings. They’re more active at night, so take a look around in the morning. You might also hear scratching noise on the roof, walls and under floorboards. Look at wood or cables and see if it’s been gnawed at.
  2. Cut of access points. Prevent the infestation before it happens. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens, screening vents and chimney openings. Seal cracks and holes on the exterior of your house, where utility lines and pipes enter the home. Use caulk and/or copper mesh.
  3. Keep it clean. It’ll provide less places for rats to nest! Keep a lid on outdoor garbage cans and keep them distant from the house. Clean up any debris outside the house as well.
  4. Keep food sealed. Be careful about what you use to store food. Avoid bags or boxes, but rather seal food in metal or glass containers with lids. Keep up with sweeping and picking up any crumbs.

Still having issues with rats? Call in a professional! Protect All Pest Control serves all North Metro Atlanta for unwanted fall pests. Give us a call at 770-212-9990 or visit our site for a full list of pest control services.

DIY Flea Repellents!

This time of year we love to let our pets roam outside. They roll in the grass, play with other animals and seem to have a blast. It’s all fun and games, until you see that first flea.  It seems like such a hassle going to the vet for flea removal, and most medicine can get all gooey and gross. These few repellents are easy to throw together, and they’re natural!

flea repellants

Keep your pets safe and keep fleas out!

DIY Flea and Tick Spray

Ingredients:
-8 oz. apple cider
-4 oz. warm water
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-Spray bottle
-Funnel

Directions:
1. Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle.
2. Apply to pet and brush daily to every other day.
3. Comb through fur.
4. Do a daily check or fleas/ticks whether or not you spray it that day or not!

Homemade Flea Powder

Ingredients:
-1 cup food grade diatomaceous earth
-1/2 cup neem powder
-1/2 cup yarrow powder
-20 drops eucalyptus essential oil (leave this out if it’s for cats)!

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together and put in a shaker top container.
2. Apply from head to tail along your pets spine in dry condition. Brush your pets fur going the opposite direction so the powder comes in contact with the skin. Avoid the eyes and nose. Rub the powder onto the belly and legs as well. Try to get the flea powder on as much skin as possible.

Tip: Fleas seem to like the tails, area right above the tail and the belly/groin area. Concentrate a lot on those areas!

Here are a few other DIY repellents we found helpful:

Still need help with fleas? Protect All Pest Control does a complete home inspection prior to treatment! We’ll use only the safest products in your home, and educate you on all things fleas. Give us a call at 770-212-9990. 

 

Control And Banish Bed Bugs!

They’re not attracted to dirt, they’re small, and they can’t fly…but they can bite! Bed bugs are commonly found in hotels and inns. They tend to crawl from the infested bedding and furniture into your luggage, ready to infest your home (and your body) when you return home. Once introduced in your home, they can spread easily from one room to another, and once spread, can take weeks to months to control. Luckily, you can prevent bugs when you travel and while in your home.

how to get rid of bed bugs

Here’s a few things you can do to get rid of bed bugs!

1. Inspect. Bed bugs most often hide near where you sleep because you are their food source. Also, remember that they tend to prefer wood or fabric over plastic and metal. When inspecting for bed bugs, check for live and dead bugs, rusty stains, small spots of red/black fecal matter, tiny cream-colored eggs, and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow. Look in cushions, carpet edges, loose wallpaper, dark cracks, headboards, etc.

2. Declutter. Cluttered areas are bad because it allows the bugs a place to hide. Cleaning regularly will make inspection easier and prevent bugs from gathering. Get rid of items that you no longer use, or that cannot be washed, heated or steam cleaned. If your mattress has holes or multiple tears, think about replacing it!

3. Vaccuum. Suck up those bugs, and their eggs! You may have to take the attachment off the vaccuum to really get in those deep crevices. The floor is only the start; consider vacuuming your mattress, bed seams, box spring, bed frame, joints and bed curtains.

4. Do Laundry. Wash and dry your infested clothes and bedding with warm water and high heat. Around 120 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. To be completely safe, consider washing and drying twice. For items that can only be dry cleaned, use a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.

5. Steam. Steam cleaners emit steam at a minimum temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and bed bugs generally die at 50 degrees Celsius, or about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam clean mattresses, upholstery and items that can’t be washed. You can choose a dry steam or a low vapor steamer that leaves behind less moisture.

Protect All Pest Control specializes in bed bug infestations! You’ll be on your way to a stress free and pest free house with our quick and effective services. Contact us at 770-212-9990!

Summer is Prime Time for Bed Bug Infestations

how to get rid of bed bugs

The only things you should bring home from your summer vacation are happy memories!

Here in Woodstock, Kennesaw, and Acworth, summer is the season when we celebrate the little things in life- a cold popsicle on a blazing hot Georgia afternoon, watching fireflies from the front porch on a sultry evening, backyard barbecues with friends on the weekend- but unfortunately those are not the only “little things” that come with summer. It’s also a major season for bed bug infestations!

Increased need for professional bed bug treatment

Pest control companies have been seeing more and more cases of bed bug infestations over the last decade. According to this year’s survey of pest control professionals by the National Pest Management Association, 99.6 percent had applied bed bug treatment in the past year. But 15 years prior, that number was only 25 percent.

Why is summer the season of bed bugs?

While a bed bug infestation can happen at any time of the year, summer is particularly risky due to summer vacations. Increased travel from home to hotel means that unsuspecting homeowners end up bringing bed bugs home in their clothes and luggage. Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association says,

Our survey has found that residential settings and hotels continue to be the top places where pest professionals are finding and treating for bed bugs. As summer travelers eagerly visit destinations, new and familiar, it’s important to remind them that the best way to stem the spread of bed bugs is to be vigilant during and after their trip.

How to banish bed bugs

At Protect All Pest Control, we provide bed bug treatments in Kennesaw, Woodstock, Acworth, and throughout the north metro Atlanta area. By the time you see the signs of an infestation, it’s already a pest control code red, so don’t wait– call us immediately for bed bug treatment so we can help you banish bugs from your home or business!

Give us a call at 770-212-9990 to discuss our residential and commercial pest control services today, and be sure to check out our tips to avoid bringing bed bugs back from vacation.

Photo by photostock via freedigitalphotos.net

Flea Season Tips for Your Pets and Home

Woodstalk flea treatments

Keep your furry friends flea-free!

With the arrival of warmer weather, your dog or cat is at risk for attracting fleas, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. The fleas come in on your pet, fall off in your house, and take up residence in your carpets, furniture and bedding. Once they’ve infiltrated your home, they’ll continuously lay eggs and multiply into a full-blown infestation that’s difficult if not impossible to exterminate without the help of a professional pest control company.

Flea-borne disease and health hazards

Fleas aren’t only a nuisance; they also present a health hazard to both your pets and family. Their bites can cause:

  • Itchy allergic reactions
  • The spread of parasites, such as tapeworms
  • Skin infections
  • Anemia

How to prevent and treat flea infestations

You can help protect your pets and home and avoid infestations by following these tips:

  • Watch your pets for signs of fleas, such as excessive scratching, licking, or flea dirt (dried blood on their skin).
  • Bathe your pets after coming in contact with other pets, such as in dog parks, vet visits, or boarding.
  • Keep the grass in your yard trimmed and keep your pets away from tall grass where fleas live.
  • Wash your pet’s bedding, gear, and stuffed toys often in the warmest water possible.
  • Frequently vacuum your floors, rugs, and furniture.
  • Launder your bed linens in hot water.

If you do end up with a flea infestation, don’t panic- but don’t delay, either. You’ll need the assistance of a pest control company to rid your home of these uninvited guests. That’s where we come in at Protect All Pest Control! Give us a call at 770-212-9990 for professional and safe flea treatment in Woodstock, Kennesaw, Acworth, and Canton.

Photo by KatrinKerou

Holiday Hazard: Bedbugs!

how to kill bed bugsAre you going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house this holiday season? Or perhaps you’re escaping the stress of overstuffed shopping malls and social schedules for a tropical vacation, celebrating with Christmas lights in the palm trees?

This is one of the biggest seasons for travel, with people visiting far-flung family members and getting in some end-of-year vacations. Unfortunately, all that travel can bring an unfortunate side effect- bed bugs!

Bed bugs are easy to get and hard to get rid of, which makes it vitally important that you familiarize yourself with our tips for avoiding bedbugs while traveling. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize there were bedbugs in their hotel room or a family member’s house until they return home and make an unpleasant discovery. Instead of a special delivery from Santa, they now have an itchy, irritating problem on their hands.

The sooner you call Protect All Pest Control for bedbug treatment of your Woodstock, Kennesaw, or Acworth home, the easier it will be to beat the bugs. Keep an eye out for these signs of bedbug infestation:

  • Live or dead bugs under the mattress, behind the headboard, etc.
  • Fecal stains on sheets, mattress, or boxspring- tiny dark spots that smear if wiped
  • Waking up with itchy bites
  • Molted skins left behind in any of the aforementioned places
  • Bed bug aggregations- these can look like mold from a distance

To discuss your problem and schedule a bedbug treatment estimate and application, contact us today at 770-212-9990. 

Photo by photostock via freedigitalphotos.net

Pest Control for Your Rental Properties

Kennesaw pest controlBeing a landlord is a tough job; there’s always something (usually many somethings) on your to-do list, especially if you own multiple rental properties. As you know, the rental industry is competitive and it can be challenging to make your property stand out from the competition. Renters these days have no qualms about taking to the internet to air their grievances on review sites and social media. One of the most common complaints? Bugs!

While you may not be obligated to provide pest control unless the problem is a public health issue, let’s get serious: Your tenant can move out and leave the bugs behind, but you’ll still be stuck with a pest-infested building. Word of mouth can be a blessing or a curse, and if you get a reputation for being “buggy,” you can bet it’s going to affect the rent you can charge.

An unfortunate but all-too-common truth of the rental industry is that your tenants will not treat your property the same way you would treat your own home. That’s why it’s in your best interests to be proactive. Have clear policies in place to prevent pest infestations in the first place, like where, when, and how tenants should dispose of trash, what they can or cannot store in the yard/on the porch, or what yard work they are responsible for. (Remember that simple maintenance like clearing leaves and trimming foliage can prevent many pest issues.)

You may also want to take the responsibility out of the hands of your tenants and charge a fee for pest control of your choosing. We have a variety of pest control packages to ensure you get exactly the coverage you need for your unique properties. You can rest assured that your properties are protected, rather than putting your rental property at the mercy of your tenants.

If you own rental property in Woodstock, Kennesaw, Acworth, or Canton, contact Protect All Pest Control to schedule your free estimate on our commercial pest control services.

Photo by siamesepuppy via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

How to Choose a Woodstock Pest Control Company

Woodstock exterminatorHiring a pest control company is an important decision that can affect your home, family, and even pets. At Protect All Pest Control, we appreciate the fact that each of our clients is entrusting their family’s home and health to us, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We want you to feel empowered as a customer and secure in the knowledge that your home is in good hands. Before you hire a pest control company, be sure to ask these questions:

Are you bonded and insured?

Never hire a pest control company that isn’t bonded and insured (including liability coverage). They should be willing to show you proof of the aforementioned credentials.

Are you a member of any professional organizations, and if so, which ones?

Professional and community involvement is important, so choose a company that is part of national and local pest control and business organizations. We are a member of the National Pest Management Association, the Georgia Pest Control Association, and the Cherokee County, Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Can you tell me about the products you will use in my home?

A pest control professional should be able to answer any questions you have about the chemicals that will be used in your home, their effects, and their safety around your family- or be willing to find out. We want our clients to feel comfortable about the pest control services we provide, so giving you control over what products are used and where is one of our top priorities.

How much will this cost and why?

Clear and honest pricing is important, so avoid pest control companies that give you the run-around on price. Also remember that the cheapest deal is not always the best deal. It’s better to pay more to deal with a pest problem the right way than to pay for an inexpensive service, and then have to pay all over again for someone else to come in and do it right.

When you’re ready to hire a pest control company for your Woodstock, Kennesaw, or Acworth home, we’re here to provide you with the best service in the area. But don’t take our word for it- head over to Yelp to see what our clients have to say!

No Stowaways: How to Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home

Bedbugs WoodstockSchool’s out for summer, the weather is heating up here in Acworth, Canton, and Woodstock, and many families are heading out of town for much-anticipated vacations. If you plan to do any traveling this summer, be careful not to bring home this dreaded pest- bed bugs!

According to the National Pest Management Association, bed bug infestations are on the rise throughout the country. Even seemingly clean hotels can host these pests, which not only cause itchy bites, but can also be extremely challenging to get rid of once your home is infested.

Signs of bed bugs

Signs of a bed bug infestation include discarded skins, egg cases, and fecal matter under mattresses or around beds. The bites usually go unnoticed at the time, and many people assume the small, raised bumps left behind are a rash, rather than bites.

 How to avoid bringing bed bugs home

The best way to avoid a bed bug infestation in your home is to be proactive when traveling.

  • As soon as you enter your hotel room, put your luggage in the bathroom and inspect the room for signs of an infestation. The hard surfaces of a bathroom make it hard for bed bugs to hide there.
  • Look in and around the bed, night stand, curtains, upholstered furniture, the luggage rack, and anywhere else where bed bugs could hide. If you see signs of an infestation, ask to be moved to a different part of the hotel- or better yet, head to another hotel altogether.
  • Don’t leave your suitcase, clothes, or any other fabric items on the floor. Sit your suitcase on the previously inspected luggage rack or on a hard surface like a desk, tile floor, or shelf.
  • Put your clothes in a plastic bag after wearing them.

Unfortunately bed bug infestations can be hard to spot, so you could still end up with some unwanted guests. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation in your Woodstock home, contact us immediately! Our monitoring and control programs can help you eradicate and prevent future outbreaks. We can also teach you how to inspect for bed bugs in your home and on the road, and our monitored customers even get discounts on bed bug extermination treatments.

Don’t let these annoying pests ruin your summer. Let Protect All Pest Control help you with all of your Woodstock pest control needs.

Photo by phasinphoto via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Facts About Bed Bugs

how to get rid of bed bugsBed bugs are small insects in the family Cimicidae. Mature bed bugs are no more than 5 to 7mm long and oval in shape. Their flat appearance often confuses people into thinking they are either small cockroaches or ticks. They prefer to feed on human blood, which makes them impossible to ignore. Bed bug treatment is not easy and is best performed by a professional pest control company.
The adult bed bugs are brownish in color and their bite marks can range from small bumps to large hives, depending on the size of bed bug that bites and an individual’s allergy level. The bites resemble in looks with mosquito bites and are typically itchy.

Why Are Bed Bugs on the Comeback?

Recent news reports have detailed the bed bug infestations of major hotels and businesses. Even though the use of a bed bug exterminator was incorporated, hotels have been subject to lawsuits arising from bed bug bites suffered by guests. The reasons that bed bug reports are on the rise are twofold: lack of DDT and International travel.

The DDT Connection

DDT was used heavily as a pesticide in the 1950s and 60s as a method of preventing bed bugs. Little thought was given to side effects until horrible birth defects began showing up and a study concluded that it was too harmful to use as a pesticide. The ban of its use has been a boon for our health and the environment, but we lost an effective form of bed bug treatment.

International Travel

Bed bugs were never completely eradicated in all parts of the world. Hotels across the nation are conveniently located close to an international airport, making it easy for these pests to hitch rides in a traveler’s personal belongings.

Preventing Bed Bugs

Preventing bed bugs is certainly easier than fighting an active infestation. Look closely for the signs of bed bugs, such as feces on the sheets or mattresses. Try and keep your luggage to a minimum and store it off the floor, preferably on hangers away from the walls. Consult a professional pest control company.  At Protect All Pest Control we offer monitoring and control programs to help stop infestations before they start. We can even teach you how to inspect for these bothersome pests both at home and when traveling.

If you feel you may have brought the problem to your home in Woodstock or surrounding areas and need bed bug treatment contact the pest control professionals at Protect All Pest Control to schedule a consultation. Phone us at 770-728-8520 or use the “Contact” feature on our website.

 

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net