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Where Do Roaches Come From?

an American cockroach in a home

If you turn on a light in the middle of the night and see a cockroach scurrying out of sight, you may be wondering: where do roaches come from? Why is this pest in my home? Is this a sign of an infestation?

To answer these questions, we must first determine which type of roach is in your home. While there are over 70 species of cockroaches that live in America, there are two types that you’re likely to see in your home. On your property, you’ll most likely see American cockroaches and German cockroaches.

The American Cockroach

The reddish-brown adult American cockroach, which is pictured above, averages a body length of around two inches. This roach has lighter-colored edges along the pronotum. Males tend to appear larger than females. But, this is most often due to the fact that the male’s wings extend past their abdomen while the female’s wings do not.

American … Read Full Post »

My Toilet Won’t Flush: What’s Going On?

a toilet that won't flush

Panic can quickly set in when your toilet won’t flush. What could have gone wrong and is there anything you can do to fix it?

Fortunately, there are some easy fixes for this problem. Unfortunately, others will require the help of a licensed plumber.

Let’s dive into these common issues and their fixes.

The Water Shut-off Valve Is Turned Off

In order for the toilet to flush, the water shut-off valve that feeds water into the tank of a toilet has to be on. Occasionally, something can hit the shut-off valve or it can get adjusted while cleaning. When this happens, the toilet only has one or two flushes before it runs out of water.

To check if this is your issue, look behind the base of the toilet. Your shut-off valve should be a few inches off the floor. Make sure the valve is turned all the way to the left. If it’s not, … Read Full Post »

How To Repel Mosquitoes

a mosquito biting someone

As the weather warms up in spring and early summer, most people want to start spending more time outdoors. But if there’s one thing that can chase even the biggest nature lover right back inside, it’s mosquitoes. These annoying, biting pests can make yard work, patio time and outdoor adventures downright miserable. If you’re wondering how to repel mosquitoes, you need to know the most effective ways to keep these pests at bay.

The thing about mosquitoes is that they aren’t just annoying. They can actually be dangerous for both people and pets. Mosquitoes are known to carry diseases that they can transfer to humans when they bite us. Some of these diseases can make us very ill, including viruses like malaria, Zika and dengue.

And, mosquitoes bite dogs too! Dogs can contract heartworm from a bite from an infected mosquito. Excessive mosquito bites can also cause allergic reactions and hives in … Read Full Post »

What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

Homeowners all across the United States deal with the presence of bed bugs in their homes. A bed bug outbreak can happen to anyone because bed bugs are attracted to humans in a variety of ways. By learning more about bed bugs and methods of controlling them, you will be better prepared to identify the signs of bed bugs.

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to blood, heat and the carbon dioxide humans breath out. Because bed bugs are parasites, they feed on the blood of the people and pets in your home. These pests will bite you during the night for up to ten minutes. They prefer to live wherever they can get an easy meal, which is most often in the bedroom. Although bed bugs often bite when you are sleeping, they are not afraid of light. They may bite you, your loved ones or your household pets … Read Full Post »

Pharaoh Ants: Identification & Control Guide

The pharaoh ant is a common household ant that is thought to have originated from Africa. Some scholars speculate that the ant earned its name from a mistaken idea that it was one of the plagues that hit ancient Egypt. Wherever the name began, it is a nuisance that can seem like a plague to people living in the many areas this ant frequents.

The pharaoh ant is found in every inhabited region on the planet, and it nests outside only in places below the equator. However, it has adapted to some of the southern United States. That is because the ant’s favorite home is in places where it is between 80 to 86 degrees, humid (80 percent or more) and is close to food and water.

But that definitely does not mean the pharaoh ant is only in the southern area of the United States. The pharaoh ant has adapted to … Read Full Post »

Why Are There Mosquitoes in My House?

“Why are there mosquitoes in my house?” This is a common question many people ask pest control professionals. Having mosquitoes outdoors is bad enough. Their itchy bites can turn yard work or hanging out on the patio into a miserable experience. But getting mosquito bites inside the house, where you’re supposed to be safe, is even worse. How do they get in, and why do they stay?

Mosquitoes get into the house the same way as any pest: through open doors and windows. They also sneak in through rips in screens or gaps around exterior doors and windows. Mosquitoes are not very strong fliers, so they might seek shelter from the wind inside your home. They are also attracted to standing water since they need water to breed. If they can find a good place to breed indoors, they can become an annoying ongoing problem.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and … Read Full Post »

How To Know if You Have Bed Bugs

a bed bug crawling on a finger

So you’ve woken up covered in itchy, red bites. Or maybe you simply have suspicious-looking red spots on your skin that aren’t itchy—yet. Could you have a bed bug problem? Most people live in fear of bed bugs, which is understandable. Once they infest an area, these pests are notoriously hard to eliminate. Learning how to know if you have bed bugs will help you determine what’s going on. Then, if you do have a bed bug problem, you can decide on the best way to get rid of them.

The first sign of bed bugs that most people notice is small, red, itchy bites on the skin. These bites typically show up in the morning, since bed bugs are nocturnal. This means they are most active at night, under the cover of darkness. Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other animals. They take advantage of our nighttime … Read Full Post »

My Air Conditioner Smells: What’s Wrong?

an air conditioning vent that is blowing smelly air through the home

If your air conditioner smells when it runs, there is a good chance that something within the system is broken and needs to be fixed. In some cases, it’s actually a sign of a problem that could be making your health worse. There’s also a chance that it’s something simple you can resolve on your own. Either way, it’s important to do some investigation and troubleshooting. The best option is always to have your AC system checked out by a heating and cooling specialist, to make sure everything is working as it should.

Musty or Moldy Smells Coming From the AC

Humidity within the AC system is one of the most common causes of bad smells coming from the AC when it runs. Many people don’t realize that the AC doesn’t just cool the air in your home on a hot day. It also removes humidity. When there’s too much moisture in … Read Full Post »

Does Fire Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Fending off mosquitoes is a ritual of both spring and summer—sometimes year-round depending on the weather and location. People try just about everything to keep these pesky, annoying little pests away, from sprays to candles to home remedies. Some people even try to eat certain foods to keep mosquitoes away. None of these options are particularly effective, however.

Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance. They can also carry a variety of diseases, including Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue and malaria. These aren’t things you want to mess around with!

Many people believe that mosquitoes only come out and bite at night, but that isn’t the case. Though it is true that the variety that carries the West Nile virus is more active from dusk until dawn, other types keep a different schedule. During the day, in shaded areas, you can find active mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus and chikungunya. … Read Full Post »

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

a plant near a window in a humid home

When the temperatures start to rise, we can all be very thankful for the invention of the air conditioner. The cool air pouring from the vents brings the inside temperatures down to a livable level. The cool air pouring from the vents brings the inside temps down to a livable level.

Hot air might make you uncomfortable, but high humidity can trigger breathing issues for people with asthma or other disorders. It also can increase the chances of mold growing in your home, which is a whole other problem. So removing that moisture from your home’s air is important for several reasons. Doesn’t the air conditioner do the job?

The short answer is yes, but there is more to it. An air conditioner does reduce the amount of moisture in your home. However, it does so as a secondary benefit to its main job, which is to cool the temperature of the … Read Full Post »