Are You A Liar?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Pest Control in Arnold, Missouri 63010

The question is pretty simple, are you a liar?  Well are you?…  Okay, okay I can feel your anger, but can I get you to answer just a couple of questions?  Great, let’s begin.

First let me say I think for the most part people are as a whole good.  Yes, of course there is a very tiny percentage of humans that are just pure evil.   But over all if given the chance most people will eventually do the right thing.  That however doesn’t prevent them from being a liar, you see most people lie every day….  In fact I’ll bet you told a lie in the last 48 hours.  Don’t believe me?  Then answer my first question:  In the last couple of days have you indulged with excessive calories that you told yourself was okay because you would eat good the rest of the day or even burn off the fat with extra exercise?

Tricky question?  Maybe, but truth be told when people lie it is most often to themselves.  Yes, you could call yourself a liar!!!  Whether it’s cake at the office birthday party, donuts at the morning meeting or fast food when time runs short people routinely fib to cover actions they know are bad.  I choose food as my example because it applies to nearly everyone, but each of us as individuals have other issues that make us liars. 

What makes you a liar?  Is your credit card debt?  Your bed time?  Your chore list?  The list of possibilities is endless, but by now I’m sure you see that for one reason or another you are in fact a liar.

In the examples seen above the lies told are not intentional, for the most part they are only lies because of a failure to pay attention to detail.  You really believe you are going to burn off the extra calories, stop over spending and go to bed on time, but life gets in the way, one thing leads to another and you my friend are a liar, if only to yourself.

But then you cross the line, someone questions you about your actions and you tell them the same line you told yourself.  When you fall short you became a liar in their eyes.

So what does your status as a liar have to do with pest control? 

Do you need your home treated today?  That simple question makes many people a liar whether they realize it or not!  I love meeting people and introducing them to our business.  One of my favorite things to do is walk door to door passing out information about Gateway Pest Control.  As I visit each home I always look around for signs of pest, some homes are absolutely perfect with not so much as a hint of critters.  However, in over 75% of the homes I visit there are clear signs of an insect problem and yet only 1% of those homes will schedule service.

I have stood under spiderwebs so large they would do the Munsters proud and been told by a home owner they never see bugs around their home. 

Why?  For many the answer is how do you enter your home?  We are a society built around the automobile and as such many people don’t even carry a key to their house always entering through the garage.  It may sound funny, but some people never see their home the same way a visitor does and as a result they never notice the assortment of spiders living in and around their porch.

I didn’t mention other insects primarily because spiders are a tell tale sign.  Spiders depend upon other insects for their food supply, thus anytime you see an abundunce of spiders know they are only there because they have found an excellent food supply.  In short, you have an insect problem that has grown to the point of becoming a spider issue as well.

Spiders are not the only issues I see that have gone unnoticed, just this past weekend I visited a home  that had active termites in the frontyard, just inches away from the home.  The over grown shrubs told me only an occasional visitor ever used the front door and as such “critters” were free to call the property home.  These home owners routinely tell me they if they ever need service they will call, but I know by the time they realize the seriousness of their problem my brochure and business card will have long been discarded.

Then there are home owners that toss my information in the trash as I walk away all the time thinking they keep their home so clean they never have to worry about bugs….  Yes, many of the people I meet are liars and they never even realize.

When was the last time you looked at your home like it was the first time you ever saw it?  Start on the curb, maybe by your mailbox and slowly walk to the front door.  Look for ants on the sidewalk and around the foundation, spider webs on the eves and porch corners.  Maybe your property will be spotless, but chances are you will see the reason we exist.  You can reach me directly at (636) 525-1008

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Preventative Treatments Will Save You Money

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Best pest control in St. Louis

One day last week I received a phone call from a prospective client requesting information on having their home treated for spiders.  I spoke to her for several minutes and then arranged a time to treat their property.  The reason for her call was simple, they had seen spiders and she had actually been bitten.  With children in the home they needed dangerous pest removed and as soon as possible.

As always before we treat a property I conducted a pre-treatment interview.  These interviews are really communication sessions in which we attempt to learn as much as possible about our client’s property which in turn allows us to prepare the best possible plan of action. 

This session was like so many before or so it seemed in that we had been called to rid a home of pest primarily because preventative treatments hadn’t been performed in several years.  Many pest control companies would have just gotten her signature and sprayed the home.  But at Gateway Pest Control we take great pride in our customer service, when we earn your business we plan on keeping it forever and that involves going the extra mile to ensure our clients’ needs are actally being addressed.

With that said it quickly became apparent to me that spiders were not the issue at hand.  Why?  It has been said the devil is in the details and the more the client spoke the more concerned I became.  The initial call was for a spider treatment, however it was revealed we were also dealing with a pretty severe flea investation.  In addition to three children the property owners share their home with two cats and a dog.  The owner told me they needed help with the flea situation and mentioned the fleas were getting worse especially in her bed.

With just a few additional questions I began to think we were dealing with more than spiders or fleas.  Specifically I began to suspect Bed Bugs….  Long story short my client recently visited a local hotel and brought home an unwanted guest.

Bed Bugs have been all over the news lately, every city in America is dealing with the epidemic.  Their attack doesn’t depend upon your income, how clean you keep your home or the property type (apartment/condo/single family).  Your risk is depends almost entirely on your exposure.  Bed Bugs are found in all types of public locations; hotels, movie theaters, cabs, restarants and airplanes.  In short, you are exposed to a possible Bed Bug attack anytime you visit an area frequented by other humans previously exposed.

Isolation isn’t an option for most people and that is why we suggest you schedule a preventative treatment once every quarter.  For $95 we will apply a preventative treatment that will protect your property from a variety of pest including Bed Bugs.  Yes you read that correctly, for just $95 we will apply a Bed Bug preventative treatment to your home.  As with any preventative it is still possible Bed Bugs will attack  your home, however in most cases the preventative treatment prevents them from establishing a population in your home.

Typical Bed Bug treatments start at $750, and thus the title of the article comes into play as paying up front for a preventative treatment can really save you money in the long run.  Had the client previously mentioned above had spent just $95 for a preventative treatment they would have been protected against the spiders, fleas and even the  Bed Bugs too. 

Don’t make the same mistake so many others have made,  schedule your preventative service today.  You can reach your pest control professional at (636) 525-1008 or www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

 

 

 

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The Best Pest Control in St. Louis and Jefferson County Missouri

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Best pest control in St. Louis, Jefferson County Missouri  Discounts on pest control

Who do you call in St. Louis, Missouri if you have ants?  Or maybe your problem is a bee hive, or hornet’s nest.  Of course you could have spiders, or a host of thousands of other insects invading your home.  Maybe the threat includes rodents, for instance rats and mice.  But which is the best pest control company in St. Louis?  Which is the cheapest pest control company in St. Louis?  Which is the highest quality pest control service in St. Louis?  Does St. Louis mean Saint Louis, or does it cover the entire metro area including Jefferson and St. Charles County?

 Worried about termites?  Can termites attack my home in St. Louis?  Which exterminator should I call for termites?

 Are pest control companies exterminators?  So which is the best exterminator in St. Louis? 

 Are you tired yet?  I’m writing this goblycluck and I’m tired, so surely you’re wondering where this is headed.  Today’s article is about how to find the best pest control company in Jefferson County, St. Louis County and St. Louis city.  Or it could be about how our company, Gateway Pest Control tries to find you.

One of the most frustrating things in running a business is finding new customers.  We are extremely proud of the services we provide and are confident once we have earned a shot at your business we’ll keep your business for years to come.  The hard part is keeping our company’s name on your lips, or speed dial when you have a problem the first time.

Of course we have lots of options ranging from TV, radio, yellow pages to the internet and of course word of mouth.  When was the last time you talked about your exterminator?  Maybe you neighbor mentions he has a bug problem and you tell how Gateway Pest Control saved your home, but more likely your friend is too ashamed to acknowledge a problem.  Pest problems are often wrongly associated with filth; yes having a dirty home can bring on an insect or rodent problem.  But even the cleanest home can have a problem, and just so you know every museum has a standing contact for pest control.  Yes, you read that right, even buildings that are always perfectly clean, don’t allow food or drink and are professionally maintained require pest control services.  In short, there is no shame in needing help from a pest control or extermination professional.

A decade ago you might have rushed to the Yellow Pages to find a pest control company, but one of my long term clients summed it up best; “…I never hire the biggest ad in the yellow pages, because I don’t want to pay for the biggest ad in the yellow pages!”  You hear radio ads for various types of businesses that are actually quite surprising, for instance portable toilet ads seem to dominate some St. Louis radio stations, again the cost must be passed on to the consumer and radio isn’t exactly cheap.  One local show offered to mention our company once per day Monday through Friday in a spot that would last about one minute for just $600 a week if we would commit to a minimum of six months. 

Yes, marketing is expensive but we haven’t answered your question how do you find the best pest control service in St. Louis, St. Charles or Jefferson County Missouri?  You simply call (636) 525-1008, a pest control professional will answer you call, provide you with free assistance and schedule service if needed.

Gateway Pest Control takes great pride in having never lost a client because they weren’t happy with our service.  If given the chance we firmly believe we’ll be your bug man for years to come.

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com for the best pest control in your area.

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Rough Sex, Why It’s Important To You.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Best Cheapest, quality pest control Missouri, serving Jefferson County

For our normal readers the title of today’s article may be a little shocking, for those of you that googled us I am pretty sure you never thought ROUGH SEX would lead you to a pest control company.  But atlas, it is true that rough sex may impact you.

If you came here looking for beautiful women, whips and chains or even just a left hook I’m sorry to say you’ll be disappointed.  In fact, the rough sex we are talking about today is more commonly called Traumatic Insemination.  You might call it rape, or abuse if the participants were human.  But we are a pest control company, and as such our topic is Bed Bugs. 

Our clients frequently ask questions concedrning why Bed Bugs are often found in rooms far from beds?  The answer is rough sex, traumatic insemination if you will. 

The relationship between male and female bed bugs is not that of loving mates, or even companions, but that of abusers.  Male bed bugs will mate with any female bed bug and as often as they can, regardless of the females desires.   Because of this “rough sex” female bed bugs will often attempt to escape the torment by fleeing thus their population may be widespread throughout your home.

This is important to you because it is both expensive and time consuming to rid your home of bed bugs.  The cost to treat a single room will likely surpass $800, just imagine if they migrate to every room…

 

Do you have a question about a specific topic you would like us to answer?  If so simply email us at Questions@gatewaypestcontrol.com

 

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Mice and Rats….. or Urban Hunting

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22nd, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Kill mice and rats in Jefferson County Missouri and St. Louis, MO

No matter how many times I meet someone that keeps a mouse or rat as a pet I am always surprised.  Why?  Why would you want to invite one of these disease carrying critters into your home.  Ok, I’ll grant you they could be considered cute, but so are pot belly pigs and I don’t have one of those in the house either.  For most of us the thought of mice or rats running a muck in our home is unpleasant at the least and the very sight of one is enough to instigate an arms race in which no limits will be placed on the amount of cash spent to purchase poison, traps and wonder if we should adopt a cat. 

The title of this article is only slightly an attempt at humor because ridding your home of rodents in many facets is a form of hunting.  In order to trap or even poision mice and rats you must first attempt to understand their behavior.  A common mistake is people often assume a rat is just a very large mouse, and though they are somewhat related their differences make “hunting” them species specific.

Thus the first step in ridding your home of rodents is to determine the type.  For our purposes we will address mice and then rats. 

Mice can enter your home through an opening on 1/4 of an inch in diameter.  Thus, the opportunity exist for them to enter via cracks under doors, drilled holes such as cable and telephone lines as well as holes created for pipes carrying water and gas.  As a species mice are very curious, they love to explore and will quickly check out changes in their environment.  Thus, if you are “hunting” mice it is to your advantage to use their curiosity against them. 

Any change in their environment will bring mice out to explore the addition, this includes traps and poison baits.  And though they are very curious, they also display fear or a lack of trust in the manner in which they eat; nibbling.  An adult mouse will only eat about 3 ml of food per day, which equals about 3 pieces of plain M&M candy.  However, their food will not be eaten in one location or from just one source.  A mouse will nibble a little here and there in effect spreading their risk among their total supply of food. 

Therefore, the best practice for trapping or baiting mice is to insert many opportunities into their environment as possible.  They may in fact eat poison from a dozen or more bait stations before they finally consume enough to obtain a lethal dose.  If you do not have enough bait stations it may take weeks for them to consume enough poison to expire.

Rats do not display a great deal of curiosity.  In fact, any change in their environment sparks fear and they will not approach any new or moved item.  In fact, you may get rats to leave your property by moving items making them uncomfortable.  In a 24 hour period an adult rat will consume about 30ml of food, which equals about 30 pieces of plain M&M candy.  They will eat all of their food from location and take a lethal dose in one sitting. 

Therefore, with rats you want to have enough bait at one location to provide a lethal dose and be patient once the bait is placed.  Remember, the  poisoned bait station may sit untouched for weeks until the rats determine it is not a threat.

Unless you use Gateway Pest Control to rid your home, business and property of mice and rats you should be aware of major changes coming June 4, 2011 to federal regulations referring to rodenticide.  These changes will greatly affect how poison is purchased and used, in short, many folks that have always done their own rodent control may find it necessary to turn to a professional.  At Gateway Pest Control we bundle rodenticide with other services, many of our clients are shocked how affordable it is to add the service to their preventative insect control management program.

Do you have questions on how to rid your home of mice and rats?  We have service technicians available 24/7/365 to answer your questions and book service if needed.

Gateway Pest Control (636) 525-1008

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The first insects of the year…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Don't try this at home, as a carpenter bee lands on my hand.  How to kill carpenter bees.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone but a good deal of winter still remains for Missourians before spring will once again return.  This past weekend I watched as my children played outdoors as the temperature touched 70 degrees.  Ironically mounds of snow were their play ground as even a warm spring like day wasn’t enough to melt the remainder of the “Blizzard of 2011.”

Suddenly my wife began screaming swinging her arms like a rag doll in a whirlpool and running in staggering circles across the yard.  Yep, the first insects of 2011 are out and about.  My wife’s screaming fit was brought about by a bee that found her blond hair too tempting to resist.    That bee got me to thinking, the phones will soon be ringing off the hook as warm days bring Missouri’s insect population back to life, and thus the reason for today blog.

Every home should be treated at least 4 times per year, however, many people choose to only have their property sprayed spring and fall.  In many cases they wait until they are over ran with springs hatchlings before they call for help, don’t make that mistake.  Don’t jeopardize your home and family by waiting too long to protect your environment from invading insects.  Yes, warm days will undoubtedly bring on the insects, however cold nights also means those bugs will be looking to curl up next to you to survive.

Gateway Pest Control reccomends you treat your property so ensure residual pest control coverage does not permit the first insects of spring to reproduce.  In short, preventative treatments are 100 times more effective than attempting to rid your home’s wall voids, attic and crawl spaces of diesase carrying insects.

Print this article and save $10 off any treatment in February 2011.

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November, when spiders move indoors

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22nd, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

We kill spiders in Missouri

Thousands of spiders in one basement...

Lately, you may have noticed there seems to be an abundance of spiders around your home. Rest assured you are not alone. Much of the United States sees an uptick in arachnid activity through the fall. Right now, spiders are trying to pack on calories (eating other bugs), and most are looking for a place to stay for the winter (as are multi-colored Asian lady beetles, cluster flies, stink bugs, and boxelder bugs). In addition, many spiders are mating at this time of year. So if you are seeing even a few spiders now, by spring your home will be flooded by hundreds more.

Thankfully, your living room or really any living space of your home is not their objective. While a spider might accidentally wonder through your living room as they look for a mate or a meal, most are not interested in staying in our 70 degree environment. They would really prefer to spend the winter in a cold – but not freezing – location. Those calories from the fall must last until spring when bugs become active and abundant again. Staying in cooler temperatures slows all metabolic processes, and allows them to survive comfortably until spring arrives.

Examples of places spiders might stay the winter would be:

•The exterior walls of a home
•Piles of leaf or other plant debris
•Under tree bark
•Between logs of firewood (do not spray insecticide on firewood that is to be burned)
As always, the best approach to keeping these pests out of your home is not to encourage them to live near your home. Knock down webs as soon as you notice them on the building. Don’t allow leaves to accumulate against the exterior. Don’t store firewood adjacent to the structure. Additionally, you can treat or mechanically seal the crevices and seams of the exterior where spiders could squeeze in. This means doorways, windows, and the joint where the foundation meets your exterior fascia (stucco, brick, siding, etc.)

Most spiders you see in your living spaces are harmless, so there’s no need to panic if you start seeing a higher number of these eight-legged invaders, but no one wants to share their home with insects. And of course some types of spiders are extremely dangerous with a constant threat of severe injury or even death after just one exposure.

Spiders most often live in one of two areas of your home, the basement ceiling area and closets. 99.9% of the time when we are asked to treat a home the closets are so cluttered that we are unable to properly treat that area of the home. Sadly clutter is a perfect environment for spiders, not unlike piles of leaves or plant debris cloths on a closet floor provide a place shelter for spiders.

Every home should be treated for spiders at least once per year. This treatment should include both interior and exterior barriers. In additional spider webs should be removed and the area monitored. If your home is in an area ideal for spiders you may need bi-monthly treatments to control spiders and other pest.

We will be closed Thanksgiving Day, however we will offer service for the Friday and Saturday following the holiday. Call today and we’ll schedule your appointment.

At Gateway Pest Control a live person answers the phone 24/7/365 because we realize your problem may not be between 8 and 4 pm. For 24 hour a day emergency pest control at no additional cost call today (636) 525-1008

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We are having trouble giving money away!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8th, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Jefferson County Missouri Pest Control serving Arnold, Imperial, Barnhart, South County, St. Louis city and your local area too

Hard to believe, but it’s true we are having trouble giving money away!  It will come as a surprise to no one that America’s economy isn’t exactly purring along.  However, it may surprise you that Gateway Pest Control is trying to give money away, and we’re finding it difficult to do.  Yes, you read that right, we are having trouble giving our money away.

If you are a regular attendee at church, or involved in nearing any non-profit organization I’m sure you are aware that donations are off.  Sadly the impact is reaching those most in need and emergency services that once were readily available are now slipping away.  As a small family owned business we understand America’s money crunch, we live it everyday.  And like most Americans we have said those famous words, “…if I won the lottery I would…..” and of course we all have our special interest we would help support if we actually won the lotto.  Atlas, we have never won…  But it didn’t stop us from dreaming….

Early in 2010 as we were crunching the advertising dollars for FY 2010-11 it became apparent that our over all largest expense was advertising, much of which we really aren’t sure is worth the cost and then someone made the statement, if we didn’t have to spend all this money for people to find us just think how we could help the community!  And with that an idea was born.  We are going to give away our advertising budget and trust the people that benefit from our generosity will spread the word about Gateway Pest Control.

This is the program we developed, any church, non-profit organization or youth group that simply request to be part of our program, will receive 10% of our gross sales when a customer says they want to support that organization.  For instance, if your church is part of the program and you book service with us, we will actually hand you a check made out to your church at the time of service.  There is no question if we follow through, it is done instantly.  And the greatest part is all your organization has to do is share our contact information.

We were proud of our program, created a press release and waiting for the rush.  Much to our surprise some organizations were offended by the program thinking mixing business and their organization was nearly a sin.  We attempted explain all they have to do is make their members aware of our offer, but still some complained.  Some mentioned they didn’t share their members’ contact information, so we explained we don’t contact your members, you tell them about our offer and they contact us only when they need our services.  And yet still confusion continued.

After months of administrating the program I am still amazed how many organizations are not taking advantage of our offer.  I personally know of one local church that publishes weekly in their bulletin how many thousands of dollars their collections are off for the year.  Ironically the number is exactly the same if every member family of their church booked our service just one time in 2010.  Not to mention every home in the St. Louis area should be treated at least twice per year if only for preventative measures.

If you have a child involved in any activity no doubt you have bought or sold something to help fund the program.  Did I mention we will support any youth group regardless if they are officially a non-profit organization or not?  We at Gateway Pest Control believe nothing is more important than our children and thus we gladly open our hearts and wallets to support their activities.  In short, every youth organization in the St. Louis area should be a part of our program, if you know of one feel free to forward our information.

Our goal is to give away at least $100,000 in the next twelve months, with your help we can reach our goal and help our communities to thrive too.

For information regarding our “Tithing Program” simply email us at info@gatewaypestcontrol.com

Again, this is how the program works:

Any church, non-profit organization or youth group may contact Gateway Pest Control and simply say they would like to take part in our program.  At that time we will secure their contact information and provide media materials regarding Gateway Pest Control to provide to their members.  The participating groups must then share our contact information and information regarding the program with their members so they understand how to contact us when they need our services.  From that point it becomes a standard transaction with the exception of our donation back to the organization, which we actually hand to our new client so they know we followed through with our promise.

We typically charge $95 to treat a home in the St. Louis area, though prices can vary if the home is larger than 4,000 square feet or if unattached buildings are also involved.  Thus, our 10% donation is normally $9.50 or in other terms $950 for every 100 families serviced.  Since we started this program from the heart it is very special to us and we have fielded many questions including people questioning our prices.  $95 is our standard charge, our service is simply the very best you can buy.  However, this program is so special to us that we also include our best price guarantee in which we will match any advertised price in the area.  We are sincere in our efforts to give back to the community, we simply need your help to spread the word.

Gateway Pest Control ~ (636) 525-1008

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Monster Squirrel Attacks St. Louis…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5th, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Are giants squirrels attacking your home?

Truth be told giant squirrels only attack Tokyo, Japan however if their smaller American cousins invade your home it may sound different.  Hearing squirrels run through your attic is not unlike hearing a Labrador Retriever run across your hardwood floor, you know damage is being done but at the moment you are helpless to stop the animal.

At Gateway Pest Control we believe a good deal of communication needs to take place between us and the client before any agreement is reached to remove pest animals.  In the majority of cases no work is performed simply because it would be unfair to take the client’s money.  For instance, not so long ago a gentleman ask us to remove squirrels from his lawn.  Simply stated we could have removed them, but before the month was over another squirrel family would have moved in…  His property is a perfect environment for several types of wildlife and as such will always be a hotbed of activity.  After reviewing the situation we felt it would be unfair to take the $260 fee knowing the problem or a similar one would reoccur again and again.

If you have an animal problem, or a pest problem of any kind call today for free advice and a quote.

Gateway Pest Control LLC

(636) 525-1008

 

At Gateway Pest Control we employ trained pest control professionals who will help you get rid of carpenter ants, spiders and other insects and rodents and offer a variety or residential and commercial pest control services including but not limited to; home pest control plans, bed bug control, termite control, fly control, bioremediation services and problem animal removal. A thorough knowledge of pest behavior and biology and regulatory compliance is essential in effective pest control and at Gateway Pest Control we provide solutions; we do not simply treat symptoms. Give us an opportunity to show you what we can do. We would like to help whether you live in Jefferson County or St. Louis city, operate a business in Festus or St. Charles.  Gateway Pest Control is the full service pest control company who can help you get rid of unwanted pests. To learn more about this St. Louis area pest control company, call us at (636) 525-1008 or click here for a free pest control estimate.

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Every Home Needs Protected

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3rd, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Go to fullsize image

  

We realize the economy is tuff….  Our business is ”living” through the same hard times as everyone else.  And we have seen the effects of the economy on business; clients that once requested bi-annual treatment now get by with quarterly service.  Those on once on quarterly plans call spring and fall and then sadly there are some living with bugs because the economy has forced them to choose between food and comfort.

As I mentioned most clients are now calling spring and fall, lucky for us fall is at hand.  But I wonder how many people actually realize why the fall treatment is so important?  All insects must survive the cold winter months. Some insect species congregate together in large groups as temperatures drop during fall, and seek out locations where they will be protected during winter. Once cold weather is past, they become active again and disperse away from their protected areas.

If an insect ‘congregation’ selected your home to pass the winter, and they were able to get inside through cracks, crevices, vents, or poorly fitting screens and doors, their spring migration may leave them trapped inside your home. Two insect species, the boxelder bug and the multicolored Asian lady beetle, are commonly trapped indoors during the spring and will often appear during late March to early April.
 

What kinds of insects usually get trapped indoors during the spring?
 

Boxelder Bug (Boisea trivittata)

This bug is approximately 1/2″ long. It is mostly black with red lines on its back. Immature stages are mostly red, with black legs and head. These bugs are plant feeders and feed almost exclusively on female (seed-bearing) boxelder trees (Acer negundo). They may also be found on female silver maple trees (Acer saccharinum). They do not feed on male trees, but may occasionally feed on the fruit of apple or plum trees.
 

Boxelder bugs invade homes in October and November and congregate in wall voids and other undisturbed locations. When crushed, they produce a strong odor. Their feces can cause a red stain on curtains, walls, clothing, and other resting places. They have been reported to bite occasionally, which causes a skin irritation and a red spot resembling an ulcer. Adults become active and move outdoors in spring when the boxelder buds open.
 

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
This lady beetle is approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long and comes in a variety of colors ranging from beige to yellowish-orange to dark reddish-orange with between 0-19 black spots on their body. The area behind the head and in front of the wings is ivory colored with a black M-shaped mark. They are very beneficial insects that feed on several pests of horticultural plants and crops. Adults may live for up to three years.
 

Asian lady beetles invade homes during October and November and congregate in dark, undisturbed locations such as wall voids or attics. When they become active in March or April, large numbers of them may be seen crawling on walls and ceilings inside the home. They do not sting, carry disease or bite. They have not been observed feeding on wood, cloth or stored food items in the home. If these beetles are handled, they will release a defensive chemical, which has a mild odor and may stain walls and fabrics.
 

What should I do now?
 

If these insects appear in your home during the spring, it is too late to solve the problem for this year. It is better to wait until summer and begin preventing next year’s invasion. You can provide immediate relief by using a vacuum cleaner to remove insects that are trying to get outside. If you decide to use the vacuum, remember to remove and seal the vacuum bag immediately. This keeps the insects from escaping and prevents the insect’s odorous defensive secretions from contaminating your vacuum cleaner.

It is very important your home’s protection is up to date, because if you allow insects to invade your home unmollested you may have to live with them all winter.  No attempt should be made to kill these insects while they are passing the winter in wall voids or attics. Killing them without cleaning out all of the dead bodies would provide a food source for scavenger insects like larder beetles and carpet beetles to get established. If these beetles are established, they are a bigger problem than either boxelder bugs or lady beetles because they will infest stored products, fabrics, etc.
 

How do I prevent another infestation next year?
 

Long-term control of boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles begins outdoors. Although total exclusion is not realistic, all exterior openings should be considered as possible routes of entry and covered in some way to keep these insects out. Seal cracks and crevices that allow these insects to gain access to interior wall voids or attics. Caulk around cable entrances, window frames, doorframes, overhangs, facia boards, etc. Vents, weep holes, etc. that cannot be sealed should at least be covered with 16-mesh screening. These steps should be taken in June or July to prevent invasions later this fall.
 

Since lady beetles are beneficial insects, no direct control is recommended.  However, it will be helpful to reduce populations of boxelder bugs outside your home. Removing boxelder and silver maple trees around your home and neighborhood will reduce populations of this insect. In cases where homeowners do not want to remove these trees, infested trees can be sprayed with an appropriately labeled insecticide. The application should be made to trees during the spring, just after the young bugs have hatched from their eggs. Such treatments require special equipment and a license, so contact a company that specializes in treating ornamental plants.
 

In some situations, preventative chemical barriers may be applied around the home prior to invasions in the fall. They are applied to all outside walls and adjacent overhangs. However, without sealing exterior openings, these barriers provide only temporary relief.  In these cases it is useful to contact Gateway Pest Control to help protect your home.

Just because no direct control is recommended to control beneficial insects does it mean you can’t decide to go ahead and have them killed.  After all, we all have different tolerance levels for beneficial insects.  Personally any insect that enters my home has exceeded my tolerance level and will be treated as a nuisance and thus killed.  Most of our clients share my view, oh sure most people like to at least appear to be “GREEN” but truth be told living a green life-style tends to end when it involves sharing your home with bugs.

At Gateway Pest Control LLC we hope you have enjoyed our blog entry and would like to suggest today is a great time to schedule your fall service.  We answer the phones 24/7/365 because we know when you have a pest problem it doesn’t always happen between 8 and 5.

 

 

 

 

 

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