Renting or owning your own home is a fantastic feeling that most people chase after for years. But living in your own property can be full of surprise problems such as pests, especially if your house, flat or apartment is in a city rather than a smaller town or village.
There are many pests found in our cities but here are the worst offenders to watch out for.
Surprisingly, foxes really can be a pest in cities. Over the last fifty years foxes have adapted well to life in cities and are now found across many urban locations. Foxes love cities because there are plenty of food sources available and they find shelter in gardens and other open spaces. As an example of numbers, there is an estimated 10,000 foxes currently living in the city of London.
Inner-city foxes can cause a wide range of problems for residents, from raiding through your rubbish bags and spilling the contents all over your property to digging up your lawn and garden searching for worms. Foxes also leave scents to mark their territories using strong smelling urine and droppings which can also be a nuisance to city residents.
Foxes can carry diseases which can be transferred to domestic cats and dogs. The animals often also carry fleas and parasites such as worms.
Rodents such as mice and rats are rife in cities and urban environments, mainly due to these places offering the most food and protection. Rats and mice consistency gnaw at things to keep their teeth filed down and often cause damage by chewing furniture and fittings. Besides chewing their way through electrical cables (possibly causing electrical fires), rats also carry parasites and diseases, which can be harmful.
Cockroaches are another common pest in urban environments because they love to hide away in rubbish and waste is plentiful in cities. Besides their unsightly physical appearance, cockroaches are a nuisance to city residents because they also carry harmful diseases and can be found tucked away in the strangest of places including furniture, wall and ceiling voids.
Bedbugs are another troublesome pest found in cities. Incredibly small and flat as a sheet of paper, bedbugs are a nuisance because they can fit into the smallest gaps of pretty much anything, from furniture to fittings. This makes them incredibly difficult to spot let alone remove. Bedbugs are particularly rife in cities because they are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, of which there is plenty in urban communities.
Last but not least we have fleas. Fleas are a troublesome pest because they carry diseases and they lay eggs whilst they are on animals, which are then transferred around the home. These eggs eventually hatch into larvae which feeds on two things that are found all over homes: dead skin and dust. These larvae will then turn into fleas which in turn repeats the cycle again.
If you live in a city and believe you may have a problem with one or more of the pests mentioned above, it is strongly advisable that you visit your local council website for more information about how you can remove them from your home. If needs be, hire a private pest control company with a proven track record for complete peace of mind.
Tony Bond is the director of North London Pest Control, a company which specializes in removing pests from properties in the city.
Boxelder bugs may not bite, sting, or transmit diseases, but they certainly are a nuisance. Although they don’t cause much damage to homes or plants, their feces has the ability to stain light-covered surfaces, not to mention that smashing them can release a rather foul stench.
So what, exactly, are boxelder bugs? They are black-and-red bugs that attracted to the box elder tree, hence their name. They also are drawn to maple and ash trees. Boxelder bugs are considered a nuisance bug, as they swarm in droves and can find their way inside your home, although they mostly tend to stay outside during warmer weather. They tend to invade buildings during the autumn, in order to find a place to overwinter.
Adult boxelder bugs narrow, elongated, flat-backed insects that are about Â½ inch long and 1/3 inch wide. They are a dark, brownish-black color with three red strips going lengthwise from the area behind their head. Their heads are black with an reddish-orange proboscis, or beak. They have four segmented antennae that are long and thin, and are usually half as long as their body. Their wings are membranous on top, while being thick and leathery at the base. Boxeleder bugs have red veins in their wings, and their abdomens are red beneath the wings. Nymphs, or baby boxelder bugs, closely resemble adults, except they are rounder, smaller, wingless, and completely bright red.
During the autumn, boxelder bugs must seek shelter for overwintering during the cold, harsh months of winter. They are attracted to lights and often fly in through open windows and doors. When they are outdoors during the hot, dry summer months, they are usually found on the sides of trees or buildings. They reemerge during the warm months of spring, relocating from their hiding places into living spaces.
During warm spring and summer months, boxelder bugs feast and reproduce upon female box elder trees. They consume sap by sucking it from the leaves, tender twigs, and developing seeds. Occasionally they will also feast and reproduce on male box elder trees, which can cause minor deformities of fruit and leaves, as well as yellow leaf discoloration.
Since boxelder bugs mainly feast on box elder trees, the obvious solution for these nuisance insects is to remove the source of the problem. By taking out the trees they like to populate, you would be dramatically decreasing the boxelder bug population. Some towns have outlawed these types of trees, although adult bugs can fly up to 2 or more miles in search of another place to live.
Boxelder bugs are a nuisance, which is why you really don’t want them hanging around. They could ruin your curtains of furniture with their fecal matter, and they will literally stink up the place upon death. If you’ve noticed a large population of boxelder bugs in your area, you should consider contacting a pest control professional.
About the author: Chris is a blogger for a odessa pest control company. His wife has appointed him as official bug remover of the home, and regardless of what he is doing he drops it and takes care of the spider, beetle, or other creepy crawly.
Think you have bed bugs? It can be hard to tell sometimes if your house has bed bugs or some other pest. It’s important to know how to read the signs so that you know what you’re dealing with.
Most people first suspect bed bugs if they’ve been bitten in their sleep. Bedbugs leave rows of itchy, red circular bites, usually along your arms or shoulders. You won’t feel their bite because they inject an anesthetic to numb the area where they intend to feed.
Finding the bugs themselves is the best way to confirm an infestation. Since they’re most active at night, it’s difficult to see them on the move. Your best option is to place interceptor traps under the legs of a bed or a couch. Bed bugs that try to approach the furniture will fall into the interceptors and will be trapped in by the slick talcum-coated walls. If bedbugs are active in the area, you should have a few specimens in the interceptors within 7 days.
While you’re waiting for the interceptors to show results, perform an inspection of the area around your bed and upholstered furniture. Check under fitted sheets, and remove the mattress from the bed to examine the box spring. Be slow and careful with any visual inspections – bed bugs are very small and tough to spot.
Bed bugs are mostly active at night, so you’re not likely to see them on the move while you’re awake. Instead of looking for the bugs themselves, look for signs of their activity.
Blood stains on sheets & furniture can often be a dead giveaway. When bed bugs feed, they often regurgitate small amounts of their host’s blood. These small stains will show particularly well on white sheets, in addition to mattresses, sofas, chairs, and other upholstered furniture.
Black droppings are another natural leftover you can bet on if bed bugs are active in your home. It’s usually dark and round, and can be easily smeared when rubbed.
Bed bug skins are left behind by bed bugs as they shed or molt. This is a natural part of their growth and development. The discarded skin will be clear with a tint of brown, and should be easy to spot during a home inspection.
Even if you don’t see any signs of bed bugs in your home, you might wake up feeling it, rows of red welts that burn and itch could be an indication of bed bugs feeding on you. Bites are most commonly found on the arms and shoulders, and are usually in rows. The burning and itching sensations can be reduced by running hot water over the infected area, or by using hydrocortisone. Taking an oral antihistamine (usually used for allergy relief) can help control the swelling and rashes caused by some bites. Make sure you follow the instructions on any medications you use!
Mark Sanders is a blogger for www.bedbugsupply.com.
During the past few years US cities, including St. George, UT, have been dealing with a bedbug epidemic. Bedbugs have been found in Southern Utah apartment complexes, hotels, movie theaters, buses, nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and even Dixie State College. Property managers and tenants alike need to be able to identify bedbugs, know the best bedbug prevention measures, and know the Utah bedbug laws.
Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown in color, and are a flat, oval shape. After feeding on a blood meal, a bedbug will no longer be flat, but will appear engorged and swollen. They will also turn a darker red in color after eating a blood meal. Adult bedbugs are approximately ¼ inch in length. Bedbug larvae are much smaller.
In know it’s easier said than done, but the best way to prevent bedbugs is to take caution when traveling and sleeping in hotels. Before crawling into an unfamiliar bed, thoroughly check the mattress seams and bedding for bedbug activity. Check the furniture, outlets, and baseboards for activity as well, as bedbugs like to hide there too.
If you do happen to bring home some blood-sucking bedbugs, professional pest control measures should be taken.
Currently, there are 22 states in the United States that have bedbug laws. As of 4/2013, there is only one law in Utah’s books that specifically addresses bedbugs. It’s important to note, that proposed bedbug legislation is continuously being brought to the table, and that the laws can change. The law reads as follows:
Utah Administrative Code Rule R392-200. Design, Construction, Operation, Sanitation, and Safety of Schools
Effective measures intended to minimize the presence of bedbugs on the premises shall be utilized. The premises shall be maintained so that propagation, harborage, or feeding of is prevented.
The purpose of this blog post is to provide general information to the residents of Southern Utah. If you are a landlord, tenant, or bedbug victim, seek the professional advice of a licensed St. George attorney who specializes in bedbug cases.McMullin Legal Group, PLLC
If you have the unfortunate task of battling bedbugs, don’t go at it alone. Instead, get the help of a licensed pest control professional. The same goes for battles against cockroaches, ants, spiders, and scorpions. Get pest control!