Household Chemicals That Can Kill Pests

Professional extermination is necessary when your home or property are invaded by pests or at risk of being invaded by pests. Any time you have an insect or rodent problem that you simply cannot get rid of, calling a pest control professional is your best bet to get rid of the problem as quickly as possible.

But many people want to remove pests on their own, and while do-it-yourself pest control isn’t always as powerful as professional services, there are several household chemicals and strategies that may help you exterminate pests that have entered your home.

Do-It-Yourself Pest Control

Do-It-Yourself Pest Control

Household Pest Control Tools

When you have pests in your home, you don’t always have to go to the store and try to purchase some type of home pest control kit. Often there are household chemicals that are effective enough at killing off a small number of pests. This includes:

  • Windex

Windex is a popular household cleaner that is considered very safe for humans, and very dangerous for pests. If you see a pest inside of your home, spraying them with Windex often means instant death. Windex can be very effective for spiders, and for killing large numbers of ants. Keep in mind, however, that ants breed quickly and do not take Windex back to their nest, so Windex is more of a temporary treatment rather than a type of elimination.

  • Boric Acid and Borax

Boric Acid and Borax are two popular natural chemicals that are available in many grocery stores. Borax is used primarily as a laundry additive and Boric Acid is used in gardens – although nowadays it has been associated much more with pest control. These elements are safe for humans (provided you do not eat them), but poisonous for pests and damages their exoskeletons. Placing these chemicals around areas commonly associated with pests can prevent them from entering your home, and kill those that do.

Dish soap can also be an effective pest control tool, especially for fleas. Simply take a little bit of water and some dish soap and mix them together in a bowl. Place the bowl underneath a small lamp, turn the lights off and make sure the heater is off. The fleas will bounce towards the light and heat, sink into the water, and drown. The soap breaks up the surface tension. Without it, the fleas would be too light and float on top of the water.

Killing Pests With Household Items

There are no household items that can rid your home of pests. Those types of pesticides require expert handling, because they need to be applied in the right places, in the right amount, and in a way that’s safe. They’re also longer lasting and specific chemicals are necessary for different types of pests. If you are in need of these pest control services, contact Green Pest today.

However, if you simply need a quick tool to at least temporarily rid yourself of certain pests, sometimes you can find that with simple household items – as long as you know where to look.

Back to School Pest Protection Tips

Children eat dirt, sneeze on their hands, and jump in mud. Kids don’t always do what’s best for their health or their safety. But as a parent, the best you can do is make sure that your child is prepared for what lies ahead, and one way is to make sure they’re ready to protect themselves from back to school pests.

Family sitting in hammock

Family sitting in hammock

No, we’re not talking about kid that blows boogers on all of his classmates. We’re talking about the insects that seem to be out in full force in the late summer, early fall months, when your child is out in short shorts and t-shirts almost begging to get bit. Kids often know very little about pest protection, but you can improve their knowledge and make smart choices for helping keep your child safe.

How to Prepare Your Child for School Bugs

It starts with education and making sure your children know which pests are safe and which are dangerous. Often as a parent this involves educating yourself as well – which ants to fear, which spiders are safe, and so on. Children will probably find learning this information fun as well, and it can teach them information they can use to impress their friends. You’ll also want to:

  • Show Them What to Avoid

You may not be able to stop your child from falling into grass on the playground, but you can teach your child not to move wet logs or spend time near swampy water. This will reduce the risk of them encountering some of the more dangerous pests.

  • Dress Them in Dull ColorsAsian Killer Hornet

Children that are allergic to stings may be better dressed in dull clothing, especially if their school does a lot of outdoor activities. Bees and other stinging insects are attracted to bright colors. FUN TIP: If you have a rambunctious child that is prone to provoking danger, you may also want to watch out for black colors. When bees are angry, they attack black colors.

  • Plastic Wrap Moist Food

While a lunch box offers some protection, it’s can’t protect against all insects. But if you have moist foods that attract attention from bugs (like meat sandwiches), you may want to consider an extra layer of protection in a sealable bag, so that insects have a more difficult time getting into the food.

  • Have Kids Notify You Of Bite Patterns

Bed bugs are becoming a serious problem in local schools. So make sure that your child also notifies you immediately if they have “itchy bumps” in the traditional bed bug bite

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bites

pattern of multiple bites in a straight line (the “breakfast, lunch, dinner” pattern). If they mention they have bites, make sure you check their backpack and clothes thoroughly and contact the school to check for these invasive pests.

Bed Bug Nymphs

Bed Bug Nymphs

Pest Control for Kids

It can be tough to keep your kids completely safe from pests, because kids will always be kids. But there are things you can do to protect your children at school, and of course regular pest control treatments can help your child stay safe from pests at home.

Contact Green Pest today to find out more about our late summer and early fall pest control services, and make sure your home is free of pests for the 2014-2015 school year.

Green Pest Solutions Wins Best of Philly – Exterminator

The editors at Philadelphia Magazine have named Green Pest Solutions the 2014 winner of the Best of Philly award for “Best Exterminator”

2014 Best Exterminator - Philadelphia Magazine

2014 Best Exterminator – Philadelphia Magazine

It’s quite an achievement to win and be a part of the Best of Philly series. This is a huge accomplishment for Green Pest Solutions and we can’t accept the award without recognizing the importance of superior customer service. We are graciously honored to receive such an elite award, and be looked at as the region’s best pest control provider” says Matt Jesson, President.

For 41 years, “Best of Philly” has been the recognized mark of excellence in Philadelphia. Green Pest Solutions’ designation signifies that in the estimation of Philadelphia Magazine’s editors, Green Pest Solutions is the very best at what they do. Green Pest Solutions is proud to be included amongst the Philadelphia region’s elite in 2014.

Philadelphia area consumers are used to seeing Best of Philly awards for restaurants, recreation centers and salons, so it’s delightful for Green Pest Solutions’ employees to have earned the esteemed regional recognition they deserve for keeping consumer’s homes pest free.

Green Pest Solutions isn’t new to these kind of accolades as they were named an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in 2012 and 2013. The company has also received an excessive amount of online feedback via Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Yelp and Google sites. Green Pest Solutions has now attained over 750+ reviews on online reputation sites!

Anti-Mosquito – Sonic Repelling App

With West Nile Virus, Malaria other Mosquito-borne diseases on the rise, avoiding Mosquitoes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware is crucial for Philadelphia tri-state residents. Consumers in the Philadelphia area have many different ways of battling the itchy, disease-ridden pests. But now, technology may be stepping in to rid your days of these invasive pests.

Anti-Mosquito

The Anti-Mosquito Sonic Repeller is available to all Android and iOS users.

Anti Mosquito – Sonic Repeller is an application made available to most smartphone users. The creators of the application claim that the app works by producing a high frequency sound (ultra sound) that most mosquitoes find distasteful. They creators don’t claim expect the sonic-pitching sounding application to protect and cover you 100%, but they believe it will ease the pain of mosquitoes attacking and biting you.

The application doesn’t offer much customization. But then again, how much customizing do you need? As long as the application can help reduce the mosquito population around you that’s all that should matter. However, they do offer a range of pitch selector to help target various types of mosquitoes as some pitches may work more effectively for a certain species. The consumer can use the pitch controls to find the optimal repelling frequency for your region.

According to multiple scientists, Electronic Mosquito Repellents (EMRs) are designed to repel female mosquitoes by emitting a high-pitched sound that is inaudible to humans. However, scientists have found there is no evidence in multiple field studies to support any repelling effects of EMRs, hence no evidence to support their promotion or use in protection against mosquito-borne diseases like the malaria infection.

(Electronic mosquito repellents for preventing mosquito bites and malaria infection, by A Enayati, J Hemingway and P Garner.)

 

Tips to Vacuum Your House of Fleas

Flea infestations vary in severity. Some homes have only a few fleas that are difficult to find and easy to remove. Others have fleas that seem to come in swarms, causing you to wake up every morning with bites all over your or your pets bodies. The little fleas often simply die off on their own, and a little bit of flea medication on your pet is often enough to get rid of them. But what about severe flea infestations?

Saint Bernard and Fleas

Saint Bernard and Fleas

Vacuuming Fleas – How to Make it Work

Flea

Flea

One of the most common ways to try to remove fleas is by vacuuming them. Fleas tend to live on the ground (and on easy to vacuum furniture), so going over them with a vacuum should, in theory, make it possible to remove them off the floor and out of your home.

Vacuuming does work, at least in terms of reducing the severity of the infestation. But fleas breed quickly, and in the case of severe flea infestations it’s unlikely you’ll be able to remove all of the fleas from the carpet. In addition, flea eggs are sticky and attach themselves to carpet fibers. Traditional vacuuming is unlikely to work. Luckily, there are strategies you can try to increase the effectiveness of flea vacuuming. The following are several important vacuuming tips to help remove fleas from your home in their entirety:

  • Vacuum Every Day

Because flea eggs are difficult to see and even more difficult to remove, every time you vacuum you should assume you’re only removing the adults. That’s why it’s important to vacuum daily. Every day you vacuum you’ll be able to remove all of the hatched eggs before they’ve become adults and create more flea eggs.

  • Always Seal And Remove

Once you’re done vacuuming, place the vacuum bag in a sealable bag, close it, and remove it from your property. Make sure the bag is air tight so that the fleas can’t escape. Fleas are often drawn to your home, so if you simply throw the bag outside many of those fleas are going to re-enter.

  • Consider Boric Acid

You may also want to consider first treating your carpet with something that can kill fleas and flea eggs before you vacuum them up so that they do not have an opportunity to jump away from the vacuum. Boric acid is a natural powder that causes severe dehydration in fleas. By sprinkling some on your carpet and in all flea-infested areas and keeping it there for several hours you can kill off most fleas and then vacuum up both the fleas and boric acid afterward.

Help to Remove Fleas From Your Home

There are natural ways to reduce flea infestations, and with something as simple as a vacuum and flea medicine for your pet you should be able to reduce the flea population dramatically in mild to moderately infested homes. If you find that you have a severe flea infestation and need immediate help, fill out our service form and get $50 off your first service.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Dinner Ingredients

You’re in the mood to bake. You take out the flour, the sugar, the salt, and a few other ingredients and get ready to place them in a large plastic bowl. You mix the flour and water together and start to pour in a little bit of sugar. But when you pour out the sugar, something else comes out. It looks a little like a tiny Rice Krispie, but upon closer inspection, you realize it’s not food. It’s a maggot, and as you look through your sugar you see that there are a lot of these little maggots lying dead in your box of sugar.

Keep pests out of the kitchen!

Keep pests out of the kitchen!

Bugs Get Into Food

It’s not uncommon to find pests invading your pantry, getting into all of your cooking ingredients. Sugar, of course, is one of the most common pest targets, but they may also invade honey, vanilla extract, and anything else that satisfies their sweet tooth. They may even invade salts and other foods they do not even like, only to die inside during the exploration and ruin your ingredients forever.

Tips to Keep Bugs Out

The best way to keep pests out of your food is to ensure that they’re eliminated outdoors. That’s why it’s important to call green pest solutions if you live in the Philadelphia tri-state area and get a quarterly pest control service to ensure pests stay away. However, there are also several strategies you can also use yourself to keep pests out of your cupboards, including: Cleaning Cabinets, Clutter, and Messes.

  • Cleaning Cabinets, Clutter, and Messes

Pests don’t usually come into your home to get into your sugar. They often invade because your cabinets have messes and spills that attract them. It’s only after they start to swarm that they get into your boxes. That’s why once every few weeks, make sure you wipe down your cabinets completely and clean up after any spills or messes that may attract bugs.

  • Plastic Bag Your Items

Anything that pests are known to get into should be placed inside of a sealed plastic bag. This will prevent any scents from attracting pests and make it much harder for them to get in. While pests are excellent at fitting into small spaces, a sealed plastic bag is much less likely to get their attention.

  • Put High Risk Items in the Fridge

You may also want to consider placing any item that is at high risk for an insect attack in the refrigerator. Most pests will avoid cool places, and so even if they smell something delicious in your refrigerator, they are very unlikely to try to enter. Refrigerators also tend to be air tight and make it much more difficult for pests to invade.

Keeping Pests Out of Your Meal

Stay pest free in the kitchen!

Stay pest free in the kitchen!

It’s stressful when pests get into your food, because usually you are in the process of cooking before you discover it. The best strategy will always be prevention, because unless you keep insects away from your home it is difficult to guarantee you can keep them out of your food. But with the above tips, you should be able to see a significant decrease in the number of ants, flies, and other pests that tend to invade cabinets and ruin both your meals and your appetites.

If you are looking for preventative pest control solutions in the Pennsylvania tri-state area, contact Green Pest today for $50 off of your first treatment.

 

6 Common Types of Corporate Pests

While most people associate pest invasions with the home (since that is where invasions are most upsetting), businesses also need to make sure that they are connected to a trustworthy and effective pest control service. Corporate pest control is important for both the safety of your employees/customers and the safety of your company’s property, which is why it’s important to keep an eye out for some of the most common pests that infect local businesses.

Commercial Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen

Invasive Corporate Pests

Pests do not differentiate between homes and corporations, so the same pests that can affect your home can affect businesses as well. That’s why businesses need to keep an eye out for:

1)     Bed Bugs – It may seem unlikely that a business with no beds would be infected with bed bugs, but it’s actually not that uncommon. Bed bugs live anywhere that people frequent, and since so many people go in and out of most businesses, there is a higher likelihood of bed bugs.

2)      Rats – Any place with food is at risk for rats, and because company properties are also much larger and often not well maintained, there are usually more entrance ways and places for rats to hide and live.

3)      Flies – Restaurants and eateries may also be prone to flies. While not many homeowners call pest control companies for flies, restaurants cannot afford to have fly problems, as they may affect business and possibly ruin some ingredients.

4)      Ants – Like rats, ants are willing to go anywhere with even a little bit of food, and while not every business is a restaurant, many have workrooms and places to eat that may be at serious risk for ant invasions.

5)      Termites – Termites are attracted to wood, and commercial businesses often work on properties with a significant amount of wood. A termite problem could cause significant damage to your property, and may affect your company valuation.

6)      Mosquitoes – This is cheating a little bit, as mosquitoes are not usually a problem with most businesses, but the point is that pests are a problem everywhere, and if you’re a business with, say, a lawn that is infested with mosquitoes, your ability to please your customers is contingent on mosquito elimination.

Corporate pest control is an important part of maintaining your business, and the above pests are only a small number of the types of issues that could affect your company property.

If you’re looking for a skilled commercial pest control company to help you with your business, contact Green Pest today. We work with numerous Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware businesses and are happy to provide a Free Commercial Pest Inspection and $50 off your first commercial pest treatment. Call today.

5 Steps to Check Your Hotel for Bed Bugs

You are most likely to come into contact with bed bugs while travelling. Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers, and if someone has bed bugs in their home, they often take a few with them to their hotel, where they then breed and spread even further.

Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

It doesn’t matter if you’re at a 5-star hotel or a motel in the “bad area” of the city – bed bugs live and breed everywhere. If you truly want to stay safe from bed bugs while travelling, you should inspect your room as soon as you enter.

Where and How to Inspect

If you’re genuinely concerned about bed bugs (as you should be during summer travel months), you should inspect the room before you bring your luggage inside. Bed bugs hitchhike quickly, and can get onto your luggage while you’re searching the hotel.

Bed Bugs in Corner

Bed Bugs in Corner

Bed Bug Nymphs

Bed Bug Nymphs

Also, you’re not just looking for bugs. Bed bugs – especially those that have been in a room for a long time – tend to leave trails. For example:

  • Droppings – Tiny dark pellets that look like dried brown blood.
  • Dead Bugs – Bed bugs have a fairly long lifespan, but dead bedbugs are still a common sight.
  • Cast Skins – Bed bugs shed their skin while they grow.
  • Nymphs and Eggs – The babies and eggs of bedbugs are very small, but tiny rice shaped eggs and very tiny white/clear baby bedbugs can still be visible when in bigger numbers.

If you’re not sure, play it safe. Ask for a different room, and make sure you get a room that is nowhere near the initial room to ensure that you’re not anywhere near the initial source.

  • Mattress CrevicesStart with the mattress, but keep in mind that it’s not the mattress itself but the crevices in the seam where bed bugs hide.
  •  Chair Crevices Hotel workers often do such a good job cleaning mattresses that bed bug markings may not be visible, or the bugs may have dispersed. But rarely do cleaners pay as close attention to chairs, so check the chair crevices as well for signs of bugs.
  • Edges of Room 

    Make sure you also check the edges of the room, especially where the carpet connects to the wall. These are often forgotten corners that are difficult to hit by vacuum, and thus less likely to be free of bed bug signs in an infested room.

Keep and Open Eye

It’s also simply a good idea to walk around the room and check every hidden spot or piece of fabric for any signs bed bugs may have been present. Cheaper motels may have pillows with bed bug feces stains, as can the underside of their blankets. Checking each sheet, reviewing each corner – all of those activities will help you avoid running into an unexpected bed bug problem.

Unfortunately, it’s still very easy for bed bugs to hide. If you think there is any way you have come home with a bed bug infestation, contact Green Pest today. We offer free bed bug inspections and affordable removal options in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Call now.

6 Easy Ways to Annoy Mosquitoes

With their high-pitched buzz, rapid spawning and endless biting, mosquitoes are one of the most annoying insects to have living on your lawn.  Take the following steps to annoy mosquitoes as much as they annoy you, and hopefully drive them off of your lawn for good.

Mosquito on Skin

Mosquito on Skin

  • Rake Up Grass Clippings – After mowing, it’s tempting to leave the grass clippings lying all over the lawn. Avoid giving in to this temptation, as mosquitoes will hide in grass clippings, while clippings that land in or drift into stagnant water will make it extra appealing for mosquitoes to lay eggs in.
  • Change Water in Birdfeeders – If you have birdfeeders, you can keep birds happy and discourage mosquitoes by replacing the water every 1-3 days. Standing water left out for 4 days or more makes an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Fill Puddles – If there are places in your yard where puddles consistently form when it rains, try filling them with dirt or mulch so that they don’t have the chance to become filled with baby mosquito larvae.
  • Empty Water in Plant Dishes –Plants in pots with water dishes underneath for catching excess water make a lovely addition to a lawn, but leaving water sitting in those dishes can attract mosquitoes in no time. Watch these dishes and try to empty them the next day if the excess water has not yet evaporated.
  • Grow Plants Mosquitoes Hate – Mosquitoes are not fans of plants that have strong scents, such as marigold, lemon grass, mint, garlic or rosemary. All of these plants except for marigold make excellent cooking ingredients, and eating them yourself can help to make your body slightly mosquito repellent, as well.
  • Make Sprays – If you don’t have the time to wait for plants to grow, you can use the oil of plants that mosquitoes hate combined with water in a spray bottle to spray over your lawn. Try and spray your lawn early in the day to give it a chance to evaporate, as direct sun on wet plants can actually burn the plants.
Family sitting in hammock - Mosquito free

Family sitting in hammock – Mosquito free

If you are sick of being covered with red, itching bites every time you go outside and would prefer to have someone professional see to your mosquito-ridden lawn for you, call your local lawn service professionals at Green Pest.  We are proud to offer our mosquito, flea, ant and tick control to residences throughout the state of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Benefits and Weaknesses of Bug Zappers

As soon as you start to notice insects swarming around your home, it’s not uncommon to go to your local hardware store and seek out a bug zapper. Bug zappers are outdoor machines that attract insects and zap them with low amount of electricity, thus decreasing the insect population around your home and cutting down on the number of pests that may invade your property.

Bug zappers do work. After the first day, you’ll often find hundreds of insects lying on the ground, ready to be cleaned up. But they also have their struggles. Below are the benefits and weaknesses of bug zappers.

Bug Zapper

Bug Zapper

Bug Zapper Benefits

Clearly the most obvious benefit of the bug zapper is that they eliminate dozens of insects right away, and vastly reduce the insect population in your area. There may be piles upon piles of insects within a few days, and while eventually other insects will make note and come “clean up” after a night of bug zapping, there is no denying that the zappers make a big impact.

Similarly, bug zappers allow you to eliminate insects with few chemicals and little personal involvement. There is no health risk, nor is there necessarily any risk of disturbing or a nest or facing an insect you fear. Bug zappers are out of the way and have limited personal involvement. For many, that’s enough to make them a popular choice among those with pest problems.

Bug Zapper Weaknesses

Unfortunately, bug zappers are a little too good to be true. While they do eliminate hundreds of pests, they tend to only attract the most beneficial pests for your lawn, garden, and home. Mosquitoes are not generally attracted to bug zappers, and some insects – like cockroaches – do not typically fly towards them. Spiders, wasps, and other insects either do not fly at night or are not attracted to light either.

So while zappers are killing insects, they’re not typically killing the insects that you want to kill. They tend to eliminate the helpful bugs that are good for the environment and rarely cause any fears or diseases. There are some carbon dioxide patches that can be used to attract mosquitos, but they tend to be short lived and do not eliminate the entire population.

Bug zappers also attract the very insects they’re trying to kill from other yards when they may not otherwise have been attracted to your property. They also break down easily and need regular cleaning.

Overall Impressions of Bug Zappers

Bug zappers are an intriguing option for those that have a lot of insects on their property. The key is to not have high expectations. They probably won’t eliminate any of the pests you’ve been struggling with, but if your goal is to simply eliminate insects it should work.

However, if you’re struggling with any pest problem – especially mosquitoes – you’ll probably need something better than a bug zapper. For those that are interested in mosquito control or any other type of pest control service and want to receive $50 off their first treatment, make sure you contact Green Pest today.