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Do Fleas Die in the Dryer? Flea Control Secrets Revealed

Can fleas drown in the washing machine

Fleas. The word itself makes many homeowners shudder, especially if they also happen to have pets. After all, these pesky insects may be tiny, but a flea infestation can mean big trouble for your pet, your home and you.

Many homeowners wonder, do fleas die in the dryer? Can they drown in the washing machine, or is washing flea-infested items a waste of time? When you find even one flea in your living space, it’s tempting to toss everything you own—sheets, clothing, cushion covers, your dog’s bed—into the wash. While it seems as if that should take care of the problem, the reality isn’t quite so straightforward. Let’s take a look at the facts.

Can Fleas Drown in the Washing Machine?

Before we delve into whether fleas can survive a trip through the spin cycle, it’s important to understand a bit more about these tiny, fascinating insects—what they are, what they do … Read Full Post »

Soldier Termite: Winning the Battle Against These Pests

Soldier termite

Termites. They’re one of the worst fears of every homeowner, for good reason.

Catch an infestation too late and your house can literally be eaten away from beneath you, costing you time, stress and a lot of money. All told, termite damage costs Americans billions of dollars every year, with additional billions being spent to get rid of them.

How can you protect yourself against these high costs and win the fight against termites?

Know your enemy.

In this post, you can learn all about soldier termites and the role that they have in subterranean colonies.

When you have a better understanding of what you’re up against, you’ll be far more successful at combating these incredibly destructive pests.

The Role of the Soldier Termite

Bee colonies have workers and drones and a queen. Ant colonies follow a similar structure, with a single queen, workers and males who only mate with future queens.

A termite colony is a bit … Read Full Post »

Cigarette Beetle In Bedroom: Punchline Or Pest Problem?

Cigarette Beetle in Bedroom

Although you may not realize it, the cigarette beetle is one of the most common pests to infiltrate our homes. Also referred to as pantry pests, these small reddish-brown shelled beetles are usually found in stored household commodities like spices and flour—items most homeowners have in their kitchen. Cigarette beetles get their name because they also feed on chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and dried tobacco leaves. While it makes sense to find these creatures in your kitchen, can you find a cigarette beetle in the bedroom?

Yes, unfortunately, this beetle can be anywhere and will feed on items we don’t even consider food, including leather, dried flowers, books and even silk. Although this pest has such a funny name, homeowners find dealing with cigarette beetles is no laughing matter. While no one wants pests in their home feeding on our spices, pasta and cereal, both the cigarette beetle and the drugstore … Read Full Post »

Do Chigger Bites Spread? Your Questions Answered

Do chigger bites spread

When you’re walking your dog through a field, skipping rocks near a riverbank or even just in your yard and suddenly feel an itching sensation, it could be because of chiggers, which are also sometimes called grass mites. Within hours of being bitten, you will probably feel an intense itching sensation around the affected area. One thing that might be stopping you from scratching is the question that you can’t get out of your head: do chigger bites spread?

If you’ve spent enough time outside in warmer parts of the country, you’ve probably already fallen victim to chigger bites. These microscopic pests, which are red, orange, yellow and straw-colored, latch onto passing people and animals. The chigger larvae are what actually attach to your clothing and skin. Once these creatures become adults, they are referred to as mites.

When you pass through an area with chiggers, you could have a few … Read Full Post »

The Truth About Spiders

From the movie Arachnophobia to hearing your mom’s high-pitched scream coming from the kitchen, it’s safe to say that spiders are some of the most feared creatures on Earth. Over the years, they have earned themselves a deadly reputation, invoking fear and chills at the mere sight of them. Despite their notorious reputation, not all the frightening rumors about spiders are true. While some spiders are dangerous to humans they are also an integral factor in keeping other harmful pests at bay. While no one wants a spider infestation, it’s still important to understand these creatures better – and to know when to panic or when to set them free. The experts at ABC Home & Commercial have put together a few myth-busting facts on these misunderstood creatures.

The Truth Behind the Myth

  1. The average person swallows about 8 spiders a year when sleeping.

No matter who you are, this image is disturbing … Read Full Post »

Grain Mite: Is That What’s In My Pantry?

Grain mite

Never heard of grain mites? You aren’t alone. This small pest can have a big impact on the food we store inside our pantries. Grain mites, or flour mites, as they are also called, are typically pale whitish-gray pests. They are small, the biggest measuring just a quarter of an inch, but they can cause significant damage when they infest pet food, horse feed, cereals, rice, dried vegetables, cheese, corn, cornmeal and dried fruit. A female grain mite can lay up to 800 eggs, so these pests can spread rapidly throughout the infested food source.

Although this pest largely affects bulk grain storage, grain mites can be found in your home. So, what should you do if you see signs of grain mites in your home and kitchen, is it bad if you unknowingly eat them and how do you get them out of your house? Keep reading to learn more about … Read Full Post »

Keeping Pests From Moving In While You’re Away This Holiday

Keeping Pests From Moving In

The holidays are upon us and that means one of two things: family and friends flooding your house or traveling to visit loved ones. It makes the perfect opportunity for overwintering pests to sneak into your empty home unnoticed.

Overwintering pests are the insects and animals that seem to disappear for the winter. Instead of disappearing, these pests find a warm, safe space to lie dormant for the winter. Your home provides the ideal winter hideout for insects such as stink bugs, Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs, to name a few. This is also the ideal time for rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels to escape the winter elements in your home until warmer weather arrives.

If you are planning to leave for the holiday be sure to prepare your home and eliminate any possible points of entry before you leave. Taking preventative pest control measures for keeping pests from … Read Full Post »

Carpenter Ants vs Fire Ants—Which is Which?

Carpenter ants vs fire ants

Because of their size, identifying ants can be difficult. Some ant species can only be accurately classified by a pest control professional or under a microscope. However, if you know some key characteristics of different types of ants, you can usually determine which variety you are seeing in your yard or inside your home. Knowing how to distinguish carpenter ants vs fire ants can help you protect your home and your family from painful bites and the damage these pests can do. While carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects, capable of impacting your home’s property value, fire ants inflict their damage through bites that can become swollen, itchy and unpleasant.

Keep reading to learn how to identify carpenter ants, several different species of house ants, types of ants that bite, and, perhaps most importantly, how to get rid of ants in a room.

Carpenter Ants Identification

Carpenter ants are very common in Texas … Read Full Post »

Mold Mites: What Are They and Why Does It Matter To Me?

Mold Mites

Most of us are familiar with mold. In addition to this fungus that can grow on food, plants and areas where you have moisture or high humidity, you may run across tiny creatures called mold mites. These microscopic white or tan colored mites feed on mold and fungi and are part of the larger species of mites, including cheese mites, flour mites and grain mites.

Mold mites are wingless, smooth and so small that they don’t cause structural damage, and they don’t bite humans. However, these soft-bodied pests do have long “hairs” which can cause an allergic reaction in some people. These creatures can also affect your air quality. Most importantly, the mold that these animals feed upon can pose health risks which can result in coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and nasal stuffiness, particularly in individuals with compromised immune systems. One in three people can experience an allergic reaction to mold. When … Read Full Post »

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Christmas Tree

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Christmas Tree

During the holiday season, thoughts of yummy food, a fire in the fireplace, warm sweaters, cute boots and spending time with family and friends fill your head and heart. The months around Christmas evoke warm and fuzzy feelings from treasured memories and family traditions. A freshly-cut Christmas tree fills your home with a welcoming, nostalgic aroma. The excitement and anticipation surrounding your visit to find the perfect tree may only be matched by the enthusiasm around the arrival of favorite family members and guests who come to stay. While we prepare to welcome these house guests, we don’t want to have to deal with creepy crawly, uninvited visitors. 

Like any live plant, Christmas trees can suffer from diseases, including root rot, Swiss needle cast and insect infestations. When you bring such a large once-living tree into your home, you can sometimes also bring in creatures who hitch a ride. One of the most common … Read Full Post »