How to Prepare for Fall Pests in GA 2021

Each season has its pest control problems, and with fall about to arrive, now is the time to prepare for those 2021 fall pests. By taking the proper preparations, you can stop an infestation from developing. Pests that tend to move indoors when the cold weather arrives include rodents, raccoons, spiders, and cockroaches. If they make their way inside, they’re sure to become more than just an annoyance. Rodents contaminate food, damage electrical wires, and transmit diseases while raccoons create massive messes. Spiders bite when they feel threatened, and cockroaches bring filth and diseases into homes. The easiest way to combat this is to use residential pest control services like what we offer, but we do have tips below.

How to Prepare for Fall Pests in GA 2021
Beautiful Fall Day in Georgia

Preparing for Fall Pests The Checklist

To prepare for fall pests, inspect the exterior of your home for places that permit them to enter.

  • Search for cracks, small holes, and crevices. If you spot these features, seal them with silicone caulk.
  • Pay special attention to the sections where utility pipes enter your home. If you come across large gaps or holes, then block these areas with steel wool. The roughness of the product’s fibers will dissuade pests from entering your home. Rodents are deterred by steel wool because they are unable to chew through it.
  • Install screens across the openings of attic vents, chimneys and any other places that leave your home open to the elements. This may include pet doors or mail slots.
  • Add door sweeps to the bottom section of your doors, and repair any screens that are damaged. Cracks underneath doors permit numerous critters to enter your home as do torn window screens.
  • Keep your gutters clean by removing leaves and other debris that accumulates in them. This step prevents standing water, which is the ideal place for many pests to breed.
  • Also, make sure that your basement, crawl spaces and attics are dry and well ventilated. You can do this with a dehumidifier.

When it comes to landscaping, be sure to care for it properly. Also, avoid creating areas where pests like to live. Keep your outdoor landscaping maintained by trimming branches and shrubs. This will dissuade pests from moving in with you. Consider eliminating vegetation from around the exterior of your home. For even more protection, install a perimeter of crushed gravel or rock. If you have a fireplace and store firewood, keep it at least 20 feet away from the outside of your residence or business.

When Pests Invade

When pests invade your home, they can cause damage. Rodents chew up insulation and wires. In some cases, they can even harm the wood used to build your home. Pests can also transmit dangerous diseases like salmonella or hantavirus. Pest infestations often make your home smell foul, and it can be tough to sleep when you know that there are pests living with you. Some pests bite while others feed on your blood.

Prevention

When temperatures begin to drop, small critters start searching for a warm place to spend the winter, and your home is sure to fit the bill. Use these fall prevention tips to keep pests from discovering how nice it is to live with you. If you need pest control, be sure to call Flexible Pest Services. They have the experience and equipment to resolve any pest problem.

Understanding Termites and Why They Love to Eat So Much

It can be hard to understand termites and how much they can do for as small as they are, termites really can cause a lot of damage! While they primarily feed on wood, they can also damage other non-wood areas of your home and yard. Termites do not carry diseases that are harmful to humans or animals, however some people may experience allergic reactions or asthma symptoms when residing in a termite infested space. The average termite damage costs homeowners $3,000 in repairs. Read on to learn more about termites and how to treat infestations. 

Termites Common In Georgia

Termites are very common throughout Georgia. In fact, we have some of the highest rates of termite infestations in the United States. It is estimated that 1 in 5 homes in Georgia have been, or will be attacked by termites. 

Termite swarming typically occurs in the spring in Georgia, though can also occur during the summer months, to a lesser degree. Ideal swarming conditions include soil with a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, often in the morning, followed by a warm rain shower.

Understanding Termites and Why They Love to Eat So Much

Understanding Termites Feeding Habits

Termites eat cellulose material commonly found in wood, plants, carpet, insulation, cardboard, fabric and animal feces. In nature, termites feeding on decaying trees and dying plants is helpful, not so much when they begin to infest your home or yard. These pests become a problem when they feed on wooden residential structures, like decks, fences, wooden shingles and furniture. Due to living in large colonies, infestations may go undetected until there is visible structural damage.

How To Treat Termites

There are plenty of “do it yourself” termite treatments on the market. Unfortunately, these products are usually ineffective and do not prevent termites from re-infesting your property. Without specialized training, it can be difficult to detect the precise location of termites in and outside of your home.

Properly trained pest control experts, like our Flexible Pest Services professionals, are necessary to ensure termite treatments are properly applied. Here is the method we use for effective termite extermination:

  • Inspection: A trained technician will inspect your property and determine both the species of termite and the severity of the infestation.
  • Implement: A customized treatment plan is devised based on your unique situation and circumstances. This may include termite baiting, fumigating, liquid defense and/or termite spot treatments.
  • Monitor: Following your treatment, a technician will monitor your home for future signs of termite activity. This continuous, additional layer of security ensures your property is protected from re-infestation.

If you are concerned about the possibility of a termite infestation, our pest control professionals can help. We understand this can be a stressful experience. The fastest, most efficient way to address a termite problem is to contact us at Flexible Pest Services for a FREE inspection today!

How To Make Your Yard Mosquito Free

How to Rid Your Yard of Mosquitos

We all know mosquitos can be a nuisance, but they can also pose a serious health hazard to people and pets. With 175 species of mosquitos in the United States alone, mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent nationwide, including right here in Georgia. Read on to find out how to create a mosquito-free yard that you and your family can thoroughly enjoy and learn how to make your yard mosquito free!

Mosquito Season in Georgia

Many types of mosquitoes hibernate during the winter and return with warmer weather, usually once temps hit 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These pests tend to return to Georgia in March or April and continue to thrive until the temperature drops again following summer. Mosquitos thrive in hot, humid environments, making Georgia a prime location, particularly in the spring and summer.

How To Make Your Yard Mosquito Free

Mosquito Habitats

All mosquitos need water to breed and survive. They prefer stagnant water, so if you live near a pond, marsh, swamp or other wetlands, the mosquito population may increase. Yet, mosquitos can also thrive near any standing water. Be sure gutters are clear, and equipment, furniture and holes in your yard are not collecting water. Always be sure to put any object that may fill with water away, and check for standing water following a rainstorm.

Identifying Mosquito-Prone Areas

Mosquitos breed and lay eggs in water. Inspecting your yard for potential mosquito breeding sites must be done on a regular basis. Eliminating water sources where mosquitos may lay eggs and develop is your first step. Typical mosquito breeding sources commonly include:

  • Clogged gutters
  • Buckets
  • Damaged foundations
  • Ponds
  • Lakes
  • Ditches
  • Swamps
  • Tree/flower pots
  • Puddles
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Pet dishes
  • Birdbath
  • Inflatable pools
  • Backyard toys

Treating Your Yard

Often times professional mosquito control is the way to go when it comes to effectively halting your mosquito problem. Flexible Pest Services based out of Loganville Ga, and serving all of Metro Atlanta will inspect your yard for current and potential mosquito breeding sites and apply a proactive treatment to eliminate adult mosquitos, eggs, and larvae. Insecticide spray applications will need to be applied on a recurring basis to continue to keep mosquitos at bay. All areas of your yard will be treated, including trees, bushes, tall grasses, structural overhangs, decks, and other shady, moist areas. These applications are a quick, cost-effective way to immediately rid your yard of the annoyance and health hazards mosquitos possess.

Call today for a free, no obligation quote. We are here to help you create a pest-free backyard oasis that your family, friends and pets can truly enjoy.

Fun Facts About Termites

Termites have a terrible reputation that strikes fear into the hearts of the owners of residential and commercial property owners almost everywhere. While it can be tough to look beyond their destructive appetites, these insects are actually intriguing creatures. How much do you really know about termites? Here are a few fun facts to spark your curiosity.

A Global Phenomenon

With more than 2,500 species of termites in the world, it’s not surprising that these industrious insects are found on almost every continent. While different species prefer different conditions, termites are not fond of low temperatures, so there are no termites in Antarctica. Roughly 40 species are found in the United States. In fact, subterranean termites are found in every state except Alaska.

In for a Penny

Termites are often called silent invaders because they slip into buildings and feast on wood and other similar materials unnoticed. How do they manage it? Their ability to squeeze through even tiny gaps in a structure’s building envelope helps. Some termites can gain entry through cracks that are roughly the width of a penny.

Feeding Appetites

Termites may be best-known for their taste for wood, but there are several species that turn the tables on these insects and use them for a food source. Anteaters, pangolins, aardvarks, echidnas, aardwolves, birds, other bugs and people all munch on termites. In Singapore, termite queens are regarded as a delicious treat. They’re often served up either live or preserved in rice wine.

Medicine From the Amazon

In some regions of the Amazon, termites are thought to have medicinal properties. Some prescribe a hot, sugar-sweetened serving of boiled termite soup to cure whooping cough. For those fighting the flu, a prescription to inhale the smoke from a burning termite nest might be the healer’s recommendation.

Nearly as Quick as a Blink

Termite colonies can be incredibly large with populations numbering in the millions thanks to their speedy reproduction capabilities. Consider this. On average, people tend to blink every five seconds or so. Termite queens lay one egg every 15 seconds. That’s one egg for every three blinks, and it adds up to some 30,000 eggs a day. A queen’s lifespan can stretch up to 25 years, so it’s easy to see why the sight of even one termite should worry homeowners.

Are termites a concern for you? If you suspect termites are threatening your residential or commercial property, don’t wait, and contact Flexible Pest Services. Serving the owners of homes and businesses in and around Atlanta, Georgia, we take pride in delivering top-notch professional pest control with personal service. Our highly trained team is ready to rid your property of termites and other troublesome pests. To learn more about our services or request a free estimate, call us today.

5 Things You Might Be Doing That Attracts Pests in Your Home?

Insects and small animals such as mice are always looking for new places to live. If you aren’t careful, your home could become a prime target. Aside from the nasty germs, you also have to consider the potential property damage that could occur. Here are five things you may be doing to attract pests to your home.

Failing to Maintain Your Yard

Not only does keeping your yard neat enhance your property’s appearance, but it also helps deter pests. If you fail to do things such as mow your lawn and collect old leaves, your home will ultimately become a hot spot for certain pests. Simple tasks, such as cleaning your rain gutters, can make a big difference as well.

Providing Reliable Sources

Like you, pests need reliable sources of food and water. Don’t make it easy for pests by providing these necessities. After eating a meal, some families have a bad habit of tossing their leftovers outside. From ants to rats, expect a wide variety of different pests to be on the prowl. It’s also not a good idea to keep garbage near your home for long periods of time.

Allowing Stagnant Water to Remain on Your Property

Be sure to eliminate sources of stagnant water on your property. Although a lot of different critters are attracted to water, mosquitoes are especially problematic. These blood-sucking insects need standing water in order to develop eggs. Mosquitoes will quickly transform a small puddle into their new breeding spot. Old tires, empty flower pots, an even toys can easily collect excess rain water.

Not Properly Sealing Your Home

Small cracks and holes will give pests easy access to your home. If your doors aren’t properly sealed, don’t be surprised to see roaches and spiders scampering inside. For good reason, rodents are considered to be an even bigger problem. These disgusting pests can make your life at home a total nightmare.

Ignoring the Importance of Keeping a Tidy Home

Although any home can come under attack by pests, keeping your house clean will give you an extra measure of protection. Make it a priority to sweep and vacuum your floors on a regular basis. Even tiny bread crumbs will draw pests into your home. Also, take the time to get rid of any old boxes. Bed bugs and roaches can use them as hiding places.

You can contact Flexible Pest Services for all of your pest control needs. Our highly trained technicians promise to give you and your family an extra peace of mind. Call for a free quote on service.

Are There Different Species of Termites?

Entomologists have identified approximately 2,000 species of termites worldwide and 45 species in the United States. The behavior and biology of each species impact the preferred environment, nest location and propensity to attack homes. The various species are broadly classified as either subterranean, drywood or dampwood termites. In Georgia, one type of drywood and two types of subterranean termites are the most common varieties found.

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Eastern subterranean termites are extremely common in 36 of the 48 continental states. In addition to the economic impact these termites have on the timber industry, approximately 20 percent of all homes built in areas of high activity will be or have been attacked by these particularly voracious termites.

Eastern subterranean termites typically build underground nests that are between the water table and the frost line. They then construct mud tubes to travel between the nest and food sources. These mud tubes are often found on the walls or foundations of homes that the termites are attacking. However, they may also construct subsidiary nests inside walls or other voids if moisture collects in that area.

Formosan Subterranean Termites

Native to China, the Formosan subterranean termite was first discovered in South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana during the 1960s. Since then, they have also been found in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Mississippi.

One colony of Formosan termites may consist of millions of individuals; the colonies of species native to the United States usually contain a few hundred thousand. A mature colony often consumes more than 12 ounces of wood each day, inflicting severe damage on a home in little more than three months and significant structural damage in less than six months.

The nesting habits of the Formosan subterranean termite are virtually identical to those of other subterranean termites. However, Formosan termites require less moisture than other species, allowing them to build nests above ground if other conditions are right.

West Indian Drywood Termites

West Indian drywood termites are also known as furniture termites since they are quite willing to infest movable objects. They construct their colonies inside the wood that they infest, and because they do not need to travel between a nest and a food source, they do not normally build mud tubes. However, they may occasionally build tubes to serve as a bridge to a nearby piece of wood.

Colonies are relatively small, seldom exceeding 5,000 individuals. Unfortunately, the small size of the colonies means that they usually establish multiple colonies within the same structure. Small colonies also allow them to infest objects as small as a picture frame or windowsill. They can build colonies in tables, doors, headboards, chairs and cabinets as well as in the wood used to construct or trim the home. Drywood termites prefer sound wood rather than wood that has started to decay.

Let Us Help You

If you suspect that termites have invaded your home, contact the professionals at Flexible Pest Services. We proudly serve multiple Georgia towns and offer an extensive range of safe, effective solutions for pests of all types, including termites, wildlife, stinging insects, roaches and fire ants. Contact us today to request a free quote.

The Difference Between Bees and Wasps

Fearing the sting, people often use the term “bee” to describe any flying insect striped in yellow and black. Meanwhile, the insect in question may or may not be a bee. In fact, it may instead be a wasp, a quite different type of flying, stinging insect. While bees and wasps are related, their differences are significant for identifying as well as treating them.

Know the Difference

Shape

While there are a number of types of bees and numerous types of wasps, a quick means of identification is the insect’s waist. Honey bees, bumblebees and carpenter bees all have a rather fat middle where their thorax connects to their abdomen. In contrast, members of the wasp family—paper wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, mud daubers and cicada killers—all sport a distinctively pinched wasp waist between their well-defined thorax and abdomen. This more aerodynamic design lends wasps the remarkable maneuverability and speed that bees lack.

Color

Honey bees, bumblebees and even carpenter bees have fuzzy, downy yellow-and-black combinations. Those little hairs help collect pollen. However, among the wasps, colors vary, with no fuzzy down. For example, hornets are patterned in black and white while paper wasps may be reddish brown versus the more common yellow jacket’s shiny yellow and black. While a wasp may at first resemble a bee, the two are quite different.

Purpose

Honey bees are responsible for pollinating over half of all our fruit and vegetable crops as they collect pollen and nectar to make honey. They also feed on that nectar and pollen. Surprisingly, wasps can also play a beneficial role by preying on and eating other insects and larvae, many of them pests that can harm or destroy crops.

Sting

If a “bee” stings multiple times, it is most likely a wasp. For bees, to sting is to die because a bee can sting a victim only once. A bee’s stinger is an integral part of its abdominal muscles and organs but has a barb to anchor it in its victim. This usually limits a bee to one sting that leaves behind an attached venom sac. In contrast, the more aerodynamic wasps have a smooth stinger that they can repeatedly jab and withdraw with relative ease without doing harm to themselves. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times. Bee or wasp, only females can sting.

Venom

The power of the sting depends on the capacity of the bee or wasp’s venom sac. While a honeybee can deliver about 50 micrograms of venom, wasps typically deliver a smaller quantity, about 2 to 15 micrograms per sting. The exception is the hornet, which boasts closer to a 30-microgram venom payload per sting. While a bee’s single sting is typically more potent, wasp venom contains a pheromone that alerts other wasps to join the attack.

Nests

Social creatures, both bees and wasps will defend their hive or nest against a perceived threat. However, each constructs its own specific type of hive or nest:

  • Honeybees will grow and expand a colony over years to number as many as 50,000 bees. Their nests are made of tiers or combs of beeswax. Meanwhile, bumblebee nests usually top off at 200 bees while carpenter bees are solitary creatures. Bees are typically looking for a suitable cavity or space that will hold and shelter their hive. This can include old animal burrows, spaces in rock formations, or protected pockets or void areas in buildings. When a hive grows too large, honeybees will swarm in search of a new site.
  • Wasps use a nest for just one season, spring to fall. Most construct their nests of a papery substance they make by chewing wood to a pulpy mixture that they then form into tiers or combs. Nests are often ovoid, football-like or umbrella-shaped, with an opening at the bottom. Others may be a single papery layer. Sizes vary widely, as a hornet nest may house up to 700 wasps while a yellow jacket colony may number 3,000 or more. A paper wasp nest may hold a comparatively small 75. Meanwhile, wasps like mud daubers or cicada killers are solitary dwellers. Locations can vary as well. While nests are often found in inconspicuous elevated corners or cavities, some yellow jackets and other wasps will also nest in the ground.

When Bees or Wasps Present a Danger

Bees and wasps can become a stinging danger when they nest too close to or in people’s homes, commercial buildings or public spaces. A single sting can be life-threatening to individuals allergic to the venom. Likewise, multiple stings can be especially dangerous to young children, the elderly, or people with heart or breathing problems. To remove bees or wasps, the nest or hive must be moved or destroyed, which can be a dangerous endeavor.

If bees, wasps or other stinging insects are affecting your ability to enjoy your home and yard, reach out through our website, or call us at 770.450.6524. We have the experience to quickly identify and safely treat stinging insects and their nesting sites. Contact Flexible Pest Services, and let us worry about the pests.

How often should I get my gutters cleaned?

Regular gutter cleaning is a key part of a well-planned home maintenance routine. Debris and excess moisture can cause a host of hazards in and around your house. But how often should you have your gutters cleaned? Find out as the team at Flexible Pest Services weighs in.

Damage from Clogged Gutters

Cleaning the gutters may not be high on your list of priorities. Whether you hate climbing ladders or simply forget to schedule regular gutter cleanings, you may be like many homeowners who neglect this essential task. But did you know that dirty, clogged gutters can cause the following problems?

  • Pests
  • Rotten wood
  • Wet basements
  • Mold and mildew
  • Foundation damage

Don’t risk causing costly damage to your home. Whether you go it alone or skip the hassle and dangers of doing it yourself, create a gutter cleaning schedule that works for your situation.

How Often Gutters Should Be Cleaned

Most homeowners should have their gutters cleaned twice yearly. This schedule will keep excess water flowing properly through the gutters of most homes. You’ll prevent pools of standing water from forming near downspouts and stop ice from damming your gutters. Proper gutter maintenance also helps prevent water damage to your house and landscaping, as well as the need to paint your home’s exterior often. Leaky fascia boards and wet basements are other potentially costly hazards. 

Other Gutter Cleaning Considerations

The fall and spring months are important times for clearing debris from your gutters. If you have pine trees around your property, you may want to consider quarterly cleanings. Pine trees shed more than many other common trees, and the needles can really build up in your home’s gutters. If you have physical issues that stop you from climbing ladders to clean your gutters, or you’re simply too busy to tackle this chore, consider calling in a team of well-trained professionals.

At Flexible Pest Services, we consider regular gutter cleanings an integral part of any home maintenance regimen. From eliminating accumulations of leaves, debris and water to helping keep pests at bay, sticking to a gutter-cleaning schedule can make a big difference in reducing upkeep and expenses. Contact us today to schedule an inspection at your Georgia home.

Why Not to DIY Pest Control

Do-it-yourself pest control has hit an all-time high thanks to the internet. You can go online now, research a pest, find a product and have it delivered to your door. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and most people find out that the infestations get worse as a result. If you’re thinking about DIY pest control, you should consider the bigger picture.

3 Don’ts of DIY Pest Control

Don’t assume that you can identify the pest.

Some pests look alike. Termites look like ants; ladybugs look like Asian lady beetles. Soldier bugs and stinkbugs also look alike. If you don’t know the differences, you might treat the wrong insects and even harm beneficial species. Trained technicians know how to spot the differences between species and which products to use for eliminating nuisance pests without harming beneficial insects.

Don’t underestimate toxic chemicals.

Pest control products contain many different chemical ingredients for targeting specific insects. These chemicals can also harm people, pets and wildlife if they’re not applied in the proper way. Harmful sprays can drift with the wind and affect beneficial insects like honeybees or contaminate water sources, resulting in the loss of fish and other aquatic life. If you’re not trained to apply chemical pesticides, you could cause more problems than you realize.

Don’t rely on your instincts.

If you’re a carpenter or another skilled worker, you have the confidence to do your job correctly. Certified pest control professionals have the same confidence as they’ve gone through training to identify pests, to understand chemical products and to use proper procedures to eliminate infestations. If you have any doubts concerning which products to use or how to apply them, it’s best to leave the job to trained technicians.

Professional Pest Control for Infestations

In the battle between professional and DIY pest control, the professional way always wins. Experienced technicians can correctly identify numerous pest species and target them accordingly using the proper treatments. They understand how to apply the chemicals to reduce the risk of harm to people, pets and the environment. If you’re battling a pest infestation, don’t rely on DIY methods. Flexible Pest Services can treat your home and keep it free of pests every season.

Ant Control Myths

Ants are nuisance pests and interrupt everything from picnics at the lake to family meals in the kitchen. They’re always on the search for food and new places to expand their colonies. Even if you put down baits or spray with an over-the-counter product, they find ways to come back and to continue invading your home and property.

3 Myths About Ant Control

Boiling water kills ants

Boiling water will indeed kill ants. It doesn’t, however, kill them all. If you pour boiling water on an ant colony, it will kill the ants on the top layer. The water can only damage the ant colony while it’s boiling. It will cool eventually and put the ants in repair mode. You’ll still have the original ant colony to deal with, including new colonies that pop up after you’ve sent the ants running for cover.

Vinegar and cinnamon keep ants away

Ants dislike the smell of cinnamon, but it won’t kill them or deter them from coming into your home. Some people use vinegar to treat ants, but when it doesn’t work, they wonder what they’re doing wrong. Vinegar disrupts an ant’s pheromone trails, causing confusion and making it hard for the ant to find a way back to its colony. However, vinegar won’t stop other ants from finding a way to your home.

Mixing ant populations will kill them all

Ants are aggressive when it comes to defending their colonies. They’ll attack most any bug or insect that invades their space, including other ant species. It’s a myth that introducing a different ant species to a colony will make them fight to the death. Though some ants might die in the process, they will all stop fighting after a while and head their separate ways.

Myths Debunked With Professional Pest Control

The internet makes it easy to do a quick search for do-it-yourself ant control. Unfortunately, homemade remedies almost always fall short. They might cover up the problem for a little while, but the ants will come back and take over your property again. Flexible Pest Services uses the most effective techniques and treatments to deal with numerous ant species. We’ll eliminate ant colonies in your home and set up a preventative maintenance plan to keep them from coming back.