Family Pest Control Service in Charlotte North Carolina
About Our Service:
Hello, my name is Adam. I am a co-owner of Bulwark Exterminating, LLC. My family and co-workers work hard to create the highest quality pest control service. We are excited about the opportunity to serve you.
Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) (Photo credit: Futureman1)
One of the most common and most destructive ant pests in the Charlotte, NC area is the Carpenter ant. In North Carolina, the Carpenter ant that is most frequently pestering homeowners is the Black Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). This species of Carpenter ant is also referred to as the Pennsylvania Carpenter ant. Whatever you want to call it, this ant species can be very destructive.
One of the largest groupings of ant species is the Carpenter ant. They are most well known for their ability to tunnel through wood; and this is one of the primary reasons confuse Carpenter ants for termites. Carpenter ants do differ from termites, in that they do not eat the wood in which they tunnel. North Carolina Carpenter ants reach lengths of about 1/4 inch long, but a few ½ long ants have been spotted.
Normal Carpenter ants have black heads and abdomens, but have a dark red thorax. The Black Carpenter that North Carolina homeowners see is very similar in appearance, but is black all over. It’s important to note, that sometimes these ants can also have wings.
Carpenter Ant Destruction
Like I mentioned before, Carpenter ants build their nests in wooden structures in your home and on your property. Unused, rotten, or decaying wood seem to be the ant’s favorite nesting choices; but old, cracking furniture is also susceptible. This nesting behavior can be destructive.
Carpenter ant nesting habits destroy the integrity of wooden structures, including that of your house or furniture. These ants vigorously chew through wood, building tunnels for their nests. If you see piles of sawdust near a wooden structure on your property, it’s a good sign you have a pest problem… And that pest could be a Carpenter ant. It’s about this time you should have your home inspected by a licensed pest control professional.
Carpenter ants tending treehoppers (Photo credit: cotinis)
North Carolina Carpenter Ant Prevention
Get rid of vacant wood. Whether it’s an old decaying tree stump, abandoned construction materials, or a wood pile; get rid of it! Carpenter ants love to build their nest in this wood.
Fix leaks and eliminate standing water. Just like you and I, Carpenter ants need water to survive. Do not make it readily available.
Eradicate sources of food. Carpenter ants love to eat proteins, starches, and sweets. Clean up crumbs and food debris from around your home, and tightly seal food containers.
Close up wooden cracks with sealant. Cracks in tree stumps, wooden furniture, etc. are an open invitation for Carpenter ants to build a nest. Put up a closed sign by sealing up those cracks with a wood sealant or epoxy.
If you suspect you may have Carpenter ants around your Charlotte, NC property, do not wait until it’s too late before you get some help. Waiting will only further damage the integrity of anything that’s made of wood which is located on your property. Get professional ant control!
1801 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 321-3716 bulwarkpestcontrol.comA-1 Wildlife Control
Charlotte, NC 28227
(704) 334-1922 a1wildlifecontrol.netOrkin Pest & Termite Control
100 Reagan Drive #3
Charlotte, NC 28212
(866) 713-9979 orkin.com
Adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Despite their name, “bed bugs” can be found in almost any part of your house and are often found far away from the bedroom. Bed bugs might be lurking in your bookshelves (avoid buying used books on the street for this reason) or in your couch (avoid buying used couches too!) or in other places too. There are several ways to tell if you have bed bugs – maybe you saw an actual bug or egg so you are 100% certain; perhaps you have woken up covered in bites leading you to believe you might have bed bugs; or maybe you have even had an inspector come to your house to confirm your fears. Either way, now that you know you have an infestation, you are probably wondering how to take care of it.
First, save a specimen.This might sound gross, but you should hold onto the physical bodies of the bed bugs in a Ziploc. Beyond helping the exterminator confirm the infestation, you might need to show them to your landlord or insurer so that you can recover your costs. You may never see an actual bug, so if you do, grab it. Take pictures of any damage as well.
Second, don’t switch to another bed in your house. Your first instinct might be to sleep elsewhere if the bed bugs are actually found in your bed. But unfortunately, all this will achieve is spreading the infestation. So don’t start sleeping on the couch, and definitely don’t stay at a friend or relative’s house. The bed bugs will be waiting for you when you get home and will have left some cousins wherever you went.
Third, consult a professional. Even if you are sure you have bed bugs, you should always get a professional pest control operator to come in, identify the pest and then treat it. Call them as soon as you suspect an infestation and get them into your home right away. Treatment takes time, so start sooner rather than later.
Fourth, check the other beds.Not everyone will know if they have bed bugs just by being bitten. Not everybody reacts to the bites in the same way, so there could be bugs in their beds without them knowing. Make sure your professional pest control operator does a thorough check of the home.
Fifth, don’t start throwing everything away.Not every piece of furniture in your home needs to be sent to the landfill. Ask your professional pest control operator what can be saved and what should be tossed. Once you know what cannot be saved, the professional can help you dispose of it properly and safely so as not to spread the bugs even further.
Sixth, do start washing your linens and clothing.Your clothing and bedding should be dealt with right away. Machine wash everything on hot and then dry them on hot for about two hours. Dry cleaning is also an option. Whichever option you choose, the key part is to put the cleaned clothing and linens in sealed, airtight bags until you are going to use them in your bed bug free house.
Finding out you have bed bugs is never fun. But if you follow the proper precautions and have patience, hopefully the bed bugs will be handled quickly and without major loss of sleep, furniture, and money.
About the Author: Michelle Lim has been writing about designer bedding for this website for years. When she’s not spending her time writing, she enjoys shopping and going on vacations with her boyfriend.
One of the most diabolical pests found in the Charlotte, North Carolina area is the Red Imported Fire ant. While these ants bite, they are notorious for very painful stings. You want more bad news? Fire ant season is just around the corner. Fire ants are most active, building their mounds and stinging their victims, from April-September.
Red Imported Fire ants prefer to build their mounds in open, sunny yards that are mowed and watered regularly. That is the majority of yards in North Carolina. Chances are you’ve come across the malevolent ants once or twice; and that means you can be stung.
Fire Ant Stings
A human leg three days after coming in brief contact with a fire ant colony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are stung by a fire ant, you will know it immediately. Stings begin as little red marks, and are accompanied by moderate pain. The sting will eventually turn into white pustules or blisters. Fire ant stings will go away after several days, unless the area becomes infected.
There are no other stinging ants in North America. So if you get stung by an ant, you can pretty much assume it’s a fire ant.
Reactions To Fire Ant Stings
Swelling & Inflammation
Confusion & Disorientation
Treating Fire Ant Stings
If you have been stung by a fire ant, and are experiencing some of the more severe reactions (vomiting, light-headed, etc.), seek medical attention immediately. If you know you are allergic to bees, wasps, or other insects; you need to be very cautious of fire ant stings. There will likely be an allergic connection, and you will need medical attention.
If you’ve been stung by a fire ant, and are not experiencing allergic reactions, stay calm. You will be in pain for awhile. Take a pain reliever. Clean the infected sting area out with watered down bleach, ammonia, or meat tenderizer. This will help denature the fire ant’s venom.
Preventing Fire Ant Stings
Preventing Fire Ant stings is about taking extreme precautions. If you see a fire ant mound, keep your distance. Point them out to your children, and teach them to keep their distance. If you disturb their mounds in any way, the worker ants will spill out of the nest and aggressively attack the intruder. If you step on a fire ant mound on accident, multiple ants can crawl up you leg and sting repeatedly.
There will be a multitude of things on your mind when purchasing a new home, and although a termite inspection may not be at the top of your list, you certainly don’t want to brush it off and find out later that you are being invaded by the wood-eating tiny creatures. Becoming a responsible homeowner from the beginning will only help prevent what could cost you dearly in the end. While most insects that find their way into your home are just considered a nuisance, termites can cause serious damage and leave your home in shambles. Termites can go undetected for years, not only eating away at the wood-framed structure you’re living in, but also feeding on books, papers, furniture, carpet, cloth and insulation. This is why professional termite inspections are recommended at least once a year to prevent infestations or detect an already existing problem. Areas determined to be high risk should be inspected more frequently.
What To Expect During A Termite Inspection
Termite Visual Inspection Zone (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)
An inspector should begin by going over any areas of concern the homeowner may have to get a better understanding of any signs of termites already recognized. From that point, the inspector will continue their interior and exterior search for three things: current activity, past activity and potential access. Current activity would show evidence of the actual insects, either in the damage they are causing or in the mud tubes they create to travel from soil to structure.
Inspectors are also trained to look for exit holes and droppings, which are strong indicators your home has been violated by the pests. Past activity is determining old wood damage by termites in particular without an indication that they are still present. Potential access allows the proprietor to know of any places in their home that could prove easy entry to termites and cause future infestations, such as cracks in the foundation, wood-to-ground contact, exposed and untreated wood and moisture sources.
A complete list of the inspected areas will be provided, and if it is determined treatment is needed, discussing options and pricing will conclude the inspection, which typically takes 45 minutes to an hour.
What About Do-It-Yourself Inspections?
Termite mud tube found in pest inspection (Photo credit: danielmoyle)
Doing a termite inspection yourself is not recommended in most cases. For an accurate report of damage or potential damage to your home enlisting the service of a properly trained and licensed professional is the way to go, and in most states any real estate transaction involving a wood-destroying insect inspection requires the appropriate training on biology, construction and control of termites. Experienced inspectors use tools when searching homes that a typical homeowner doesn’t have access to, like probing tools, moisture meters, infrared camera technology that can reveal termite tubes and moisture infiltration in hidden areas.
Making termite inspections part of your home maintenance routine will prevent or minimize damage and save you the headache of a much bigger problem down the road. Your home is arguably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and putting that in jeopardy to save a couple extra bucks just isn’t worth it.
Tiffany Olson works a small firm in California where her primary duty is to educate the public by blogging on many topics including termite inspection in Union City. On her off time you’ll most likely find her enjoying outdoor activities or hanging out with good friends.
A woman reached out to Channel 9 News in Charlotte, claiming she got bedbugs from the Homewood Suites Hotel while she was in town during CIAA weekend.
The woman, identified as Stephanie Eason, claims she took the bedbugs home with her without even knowing it, and now they are now infesting her Raleigh, NC home.
Eason said she checked into the hotel on February 28, 2013. During her three night stay, her and her friend saw what appeared to be bugs crawling on the couch inside their room. She contacted the hotel staff, who immediately came and sprayed to room for bugs.
It’s about the room was sprayed, that Eason began noticing red welts on her legs. She determined them to be bites; bites from the notorious bedbug.
Charlotte Hotel Treated For Bedbugs
Eason contacted the County Health department who investigated the matter. It was determined that the Homewood Suites Hotel did in fact have bedbugs.
Before the Country Health Department had arrived, the Hotel had been very proactive in treating the bedbug infestation. The room had been closed down, along with three other adjacent rooms. The rooms were treated by pest control professionals.
Eason also sought the services of a Raleigh pest control professional to eliminate the bedbugs from her Raleigh home. She is seeking compensation for the incident, and working with the hotel’s insurance company.
Bed Bug (Photo credit: agrilifetoday)
Bedbugs are malevolent bloodsucking insects that are easily transferred from hotels, buses, taxis, to apartments and homes. Bedbugs are reddish-brown in color. The are flat, and look much like an apple seed.
Bedbugs hide in the bedding, mattresses, carpet and furniture; emerging to feed on human hosts. Bedbugs need blood to survive, and are very resilient and hard to eliminate. If you fear you have brought bedbugs into your home, contact a pest control professional immediately.
The garden is an extension of the home, and in the right weather conditions it can be the best part of a home. Whether you like to work, study, exercise or relax in the garden, it seems that being surrounded by nature is good for the soul. Gardens are also great places to socialize and eat, and what could be better than a barbecue on a fine summer day with family and friends?
When we’re trying to make the most of our garden it’s very unfortunate when tiny insects ruin our fun, and while flies and other insects might be undesirable and unhygienic, wasps strike the most fear into our heart.
Bees have a sting, but they have a good reputation, as happy bumbling insects carefully making honey for our toast. Their sting can make you very uncomfortable, but it’s hard to be angry with a bee when you realize it took its own life, kamikaze style, in order to dispatch that tiny sting.
Wasps, on the other hand, can dispatch as many stings as they like without feeling any consequences, like a fighter jet with an endless supply of fuel and ammo. This is why we’re scared of wasps, and why we dance around, ducking and diving when they are present.
Eliminating Wasps From Your Garden
Before you use harmful chemicals to tackle the wasp problem, consider the repercussions. Wasps are part of the natural balance, so if you wipe out every wasp in the area you may find that other insect populations will grow without them. This could mean your flowers or vegetables get chomped by a growing caterpillar or aphid population. You should also consider the impact of poisons and pesticides on wildlife and plant life in the garden, as well as any pets or children who spend time in the garden.
There are a number of ways to stop wasps from ruining your barbecue without massacring them with pesticides. One of the easiest and most efficient solutions is to simply draw any wasps to another area of the garden. Jars of jam or other sweet, sticky food will attract wasps and keep them off your dinner.
There are a few insectivorous plants which can solve a wasp problem, including Sarracenias. They attract wasps and other insects, before trapping them, smothering them and consuming them. The Venus Fly trap is one of the better-known insectivorous plants, but it can’t eat wasps.
Think twice before using traps and other devices to hold wasps prisoner – when they are trapped they can emit a pheromone which will alert other wasps in the area to their plight. It can lead to more wasps descending on the area and the problem getting worse rather than better.
Of course, you should take hygiene precautions to ensure that flies and other insects cannot get to meat, salad, and any other food at your barbecue. Don’t let wasps ruin your barbecue. Don’t be scared, just grab a jam jar and position it at the other end of the garden and get back to flipping those burgers!
I am not scared of roaches. However, I do hate the bugs. They make my skin crawl just by being what they are. What I hate the most are flying cockroaches. You just never know where they’ll land. In case they land on your arm or face, their tiny feet will feel repulsive on your flesh. Also, I’ve seen grown men scream like little girls when such things occur. I admit that I do find these events quite hilarious.
The apartment where we lived before had plenty of roaches. We couldn’t do much because the units were right next to each other and not everyone liked to keep their places clean. So, even though we made sure that our spot was garbage-free, our neighbors weren’t as careful. Thankfully, we moved to our own house. We’ve been here a year and we do see occasional roaches outdoors. But our house has stayed roach-free. Here are some of my regular practices that I feel have kept these bugs outside my home.
1. Clean with Vinegar
My mother taught me that pests do not like the smell of vinegar. She always cleaned kitchen surfaces, gas stove tops, and tables with a water and vinegar solution. To make, just blend equal amounts of water and white vinegar in a container or a spray bottle. Just apply or spray and then wipe.
Aside from vinegar, many people also recommend the use of certain essential oils as the scents are said to deter roaches. Rosemary and citrusy oils are popular alternatives. For me, I place dried bay leaves in dark corners, especially those where I think roaches might hide. I crush the leaves first to further release the odor. Some people also say that catnip is a great roach deterrent.
2. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
One of my neighbors has a roach problem. She doesn’t know where they hide, but she sees a few during the day. At night, however, once the lights are out, so many of these bugs come out of hiding. Every time she turns on the light to drink water or do something, she sees the critters quickly scuttling to dark corners. I’ve advised her to contact a pest professional because it seems that her problem is already pretty extensive. Also, because I am afraid that the roaches might think about moving in my home too, I have began to sprinkle DE around my house, especially near the garbage bin.
DE is a fine powder that is non-toxic and Earth-friendly. It sticks on the outer skin of roaches and other pests that have exoskeleton, like ants and spiders. Then, the substance slowly scrapes the outer layer, creating injuries that make an insect dehydrated, which then leads to death. I have to use a mask during application because the dust is so fine that I can readily inhale it, which isn’t good because the minute particles stick to the lungs.
3. Keep House and Yard Clutter-Free
Cleanliness is really the best way to avoid getting a roach infestation. Don’t leave food lying around, and don’t throw garbage carelessly. Clean up dead leaves and wood, and keep your rooms free of clutter. Make it a point to vacuum at least twice a week, and always clean up after spills.
Claire Trent, the author, wants to share her experiences about pest control so that people will learn about how some creatures can affect quality of life and health. Read more about common household pests here.
Everyone here at Bulwark would like to give Charlotte and its surrounding cities a giant Valentine’s Day hug. Everybody deserves to have a valentine this year. At Bulwark, we thought we’d surprise some unsuspecting, but very deserving people to show our appreciation.
Last week we sent out an order of flowers and chocolates to three of our favorite news casters on television: Natalie Pasquarella from TV 9, Dianne Gallagher from NBC Charlotte and Kelli Bartik from FOX Charlotte – all lovely and professional young ladies. Without being too creepy-viewer, we thought flowers and chocolate was the best and safest item to send. Every girls like flowers, right?
Kelli even posted a picture of her flowers on her twitter page. We appreciate the shout-out, Kelli.
Last week we also released our newest video. We created it specially for Valentine’s Day and sent a link to all three ladies for them to view. Take a look.
We certainly don’t want to let you all make the same mistake, so here is a small checklist of things to do before Thursday.
- Schedule Babysitter
- Make dinner reservations or buy homemade meal ingredients
- Buy a semi-expensive bottle of wine
- And chocolates
- Call Bulwark Exterminating (This one is REALLY important, we can’t stress it enough.)
Only in a college town
Here’s a funny story for you. When I was in my last year of college, my girlfriend (now wife), was in school with me as well. I had a night class on Valentine’s Day and the teacher promised she would let us out early. After getting out of class 15 minutes late, and I without any plans, started to drive around town looking for a place to eat. I picked her up, and we headed over to Outback Steakhouse (Gimme a break! I was in college!). Wait time? FOUR hours! “That’ll be like, midnight?” I asked the girl. “Yeah, about”, she responded. We grabbed some pizza on the way home, popped in a movie at home, then called it a night. We both had class early the next morning.
English: The tick Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ticks are blood-sucking pests that can spread many different types of diseases. Some diseases include: Lyme disease, typhus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. When they bite, they can cause significant lesions on the skin, and infect living tissue.
Ticks eat blood, and are creatures of the North Carolina fields and woods. They will look for hosts to attach themselves to by climbing trees and other vegetation. They will then passively wait for an unwary person or animal to brush up against it. The tick will then attach itself to it’s host, until it finds an appropriate place to feed.
Avoiding Tick Bites
The best way for Charlotte, NC residents to keep from contracting a tick-borne disease, is to not get bit. Staying away from areas infected with ticks is best, but if you happen to make your way into such an area, take the following precautions:
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while working or walking in tick-infested areas.
Wear light-colored clothing, which will make any stowaway ticks easier to see.
Tuck your long pants into your boots or socks. This will prevent ticks from making their way up your leg.
Apply a permethrin-based tick repellent to the outside of clothing, predominantly to the pant legs
Immediately wash clothing with hot water and detergent, avoiding throwing clothes on the floor or in the hamper.
After leaving a tick infested area, carefully inspect yourself for ticks. You may need help from a friend or family member, because ticks love to feed on the back of your head. Ticks will often times adhere themselves to the back of your skull, where they can hide in your hair. It’s important to note, that very young ticks and their larvae are very tiny and can be confused for a freckle on your body.
Species of Charlotte North Carolina Ticks
The Lone Star Tick
The lone star tick eagerly feeds on human blood, and will also attack and large wild or domestic animals such as deer and dogs. Adults and nymphs are abundant in the spring and summer months. The mite-like larvae of this species, sometimes called seed ticks, are plentiful in the fall months. It’s during this stage when the lone star tick will attack humans the most.
The Brown Dog Tick
This tick is active year round in North Carolina, but will rarely attach itself to humans. It’s your pets that you need to worry about when it comes to this tick. Pets need to be protected by preventing them from venturing into tick-infested areas.
The American Dog Tick
These ticks will prefer humans and dogs as hosts. They are active March-November, and live along woodland paths and in North Carolina parks. They can also be found in the shrubs of suburban homes.
Charlotte Pest Control
If you are having a problem with ticks near your Charlotte, NC property, get professional help. Save yourself the worry of contracting diseases spread by ticks. If you’re having problems with pests other than ticks; like spiders, roaches, or ants, an exterminator can help you with that too.
It’s a tradition many of us look forward to every year. We round up the family and head to a Christmas tree lot or farm; or we head to the woods to chop down a beautiful Evergreen or Spruce. Great care is taken in selecting the perfect tree. It can’t be too tall, and its branches have to be sufficiently filled in. When selecting the perfect Christmas tree there is one thing on need to watch for; before bringing that wonderful smelling Christmas tree inside your home. It is Christmas tree bugs!
Christmas Tree Bugs
According to NBC, Christmas tree bugs may be an unforeseen present waiting for you underneath your tree this Holiday, and this present could potentially be a nightmare.
The usual tree bug culprits are aphids, bark beetles, gypsy moths, bagworms, weevils, and spider mites. If you bring them inside your home, they could hatch and multiply causing a full on pest infestation. They will get in your carpet, your bedding, and in your couch.
Many of these insects are considered harmless. Harmless or not, you probably don’t want to spend the holiday season with bugs crawling around among you and your presents.
Common Christmas Tree Bugs
Aphids–Are small sap sucking insects the flourish on plant hosts like Christmas trees. They may be green, black, brown, pink or almost colorless. They are very tiny, and have antennae, with long, thin legs. Approximately two-hundred and fifty species of aphids are known to create serious pest control problems.
Spider Mites– Can cause pest control concerns when their minute exoskeletons and feces become airborne and inhaled. This can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, and can cause several forms of allergic diseases; including hay fever, asthma and eczema.
Gypsy Moth—Range in color from white, gray, or tan. They eat the leaves of over 300 species of trees, and are one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees in the Eastern United States.
Bark Beetles—If bark beetles have infested your Christmas tree, they will leave winding tracks that are visible throughout the trunk. Bark beetles are known to reproduce in the inner bark.
Tips On Selecting A Pest-Free Christmas Tree
Get you’re trees from a reliable source, someone who has their gypsy moth permit.
Look for trees that have a certificate.
Ask if the tree has been sprayed for insects.
Look for aphids, gypsy moths, spider mites, and their egg sacks near the top and trunk of the tree.
Look for small holes with sawdust trails (pictured right), which are a sign of bark beetles.
Shake your Christmas tree vigorously before bringing it inside your home. This can dislodge spiders and other unwanted hitchhikers.
Charlotte Pest Control
If you happened to bring any unwanted pest hitchhikers inside your home with your Christmas tree, seek the help of a licensed Charlotte exterminator. Whether you are dealing with Christmas tree bugs, unwanted roaches, or house spiders; a Charlotte pest control professional can help ensure you have a pest-free holiday.