Posts Tagged ‘National Pest Management Association’

April Designated as National Pest Management Month

The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take steps to prevent infestations
FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) celebrates April as National Pest Management Month, an observance that has been taking place for more than 30 years. National Pest Management Month honors the professional pest control industry for playing a key role in protecting both health and property from significant pest-borne threats.

“The NPMA is pleased to have the opportunity to publicly recognize the important work that pest professionals do every day during National Pest Management Month,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “In honor of National Pest Management Month, the NPMA is dedicated to raising public awareness about the risks posed by household pests and encouraging homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent pest infestations in their homes and properties.”

Pest such as termites, rodents and carpenter ants can cause extensive property damage by chewing through walls, flooring and even electrical wiring. Other pests, including ticks, mosquitoes, cockroaches and stinging insects pose health threats to humans. Ticks can spread Lyme disease, while mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus. Cockroach allergens can trigger asthma attacks, while stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year.

During April, the NPMA recommends that homeowners follow these tips to prevent pest infestations:

Seal up cracks and small openings along the foundation of the house.

Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.

Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.

Keep kitchens clean by wiping counters and emptying the garbage frequently.

Keep all food containers sealed.

Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time.

Keep trash containers clean and sealed, both indoors and outdoors.

Screen windows and doors.

If you see signs of pests or suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional.



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Bed Bugs Make A Comeback

click for larger image Panama City, Fla:
Good night… sleep tight… don’t let the bed bugs bite.  It’s a well-known bedtime rhyme and increasingly, a real problem.

Bed bugs hide in small cracks and crevasses, but they’re often found in mattresses and box springs – hence, the name.  Once thought eradicated, the lowly insect is making a comeback.

“We have a lot more calls today than we’ve had in the years past,” said Jimmy Strickland, owner of Gulf Coast Pest Control in Panama City.

Bed bugs hitchhike on suitcases, boxes and shoes in their search for food.  That food is the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts.  Adults are about a quarter-inch long.

“If you do an inspection and you look in the cracks and crevasses of your mattresses along the sewn edges… they are visible to the naked eye,” said Strickland.

According to the National Pest Management Association, there are several ways to prevent bed bugs.  Vacuum suitcases when returning from vacation; hotels and motels are breeding grounds.  Check bed sheets for blood spots – a tell-tale sign of their presence.  Never bring second-hand furniture into your home before thoroughly examining it for infestations.  And, regularly inspect areas where pets sleep.

A polyurethane mattress protector can also help.  “It will give a nice soft feel but it won’t allow the bedbugs to penetrate your mattress,” said Richard Branham, owner of The Sleep Center, a mattress retailer in Panama City.

Although do-it-yourself treatments are available, it’s a good idea to call a professional once bed bugs invade.

“It’s very intense and very time consuming and of course, the more knowledge the applicator has, the better chance of him finding the bugs,” said Strickland.

And it can be expensive.  According to Strickland, treatment can cost $300-$500.

“Usually it’s a one time treatment,” said Strickland.  “If they’re deep into furniture, in the cracks and crevasses of furniture… more than one treatment is necessary.”

Bed bugs don’t carry diseases, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.  Beyond that, they just don’t make good bedfellows.