Clothes Moths – how to prevent damage

clothes moths

When you pull your favorite pair of pants or top out of your closet, the last thing you want to see is a big, ragged hole in what seems to be the worst place for a hole and on that you can not mend.  For more background information see our post on holes in my sweaters.

Unfortunately, clothes moths and their voracious offspring have no regard for fashion, other people’s property, or your reluctance to show off your underwear in public. All they know is that they have 40 to 50 babies to feed, and your wardrobe looks tasty.

Read more

Overwintering Stink Bugs – what to do

, ,
Overwintering stink bugs

Overwintering Stink Bugs: What to do About Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

As Thanksgiving Day draws near, many of us are getting ready for an influx of guests. Unfortunately, in the midst of preparing for fun and festivities, some people are discovering a different and much less welcome type of visitor in their home: brown marmorated stink bugs.

These malodorous, shield-shaped insects have been taking up residence in people’s homes, sometimes by the thousands. Once they’re established, they start getting into everything – your clothes, your belongings, even your food.

Killing them just makes the smell even worse, so many people are at a loss for how to handle them.

Why do they enter your buildings, and what can you do about them?

Read more

Spiders – keep them outside this year

PA spiders

How to Stop Spiders from Moving Into Your House This Autumn

For many people, the phrase “there’s a spider in the house” is incentive to call for help, to grab a tissue or three with which to squish it, or to move out of town, burn down the building, and call in an air strike to deal with whatever’s left.

OK, maybe not that last one. At least, not unless an egg sac has hatched and flooded your house with baby arachnids.

But even if you’re all right with spiders, there are some species you REALLY don’t want in your house – especially if they’re pregnant. Unfortunately, as the weather starts to cool down, in your house is exactly where many spiders are going to go in order to escape the cold.

In this article, we’ll tell you about some of the more dangerous spiders you might encounter, and how to prevent them from entering your home.

Read more

Stink bugs – how to get rid of stink bugs in your house

stink bugs

How to get rid of stink bugs for good

As the weather starts to cool down, thousands of stink bugs are being driven indoors to set up camp for the winter.

These smelly pests may not be dangerous to humans, but their enormous numbers, ability to enter buildings through small spaces and eponymous stench can make them intensely irritating for anyone unlucky to have a swarm of them in their house.

They can also seriously damage crops by sucking the juices from their fruits and transferring plant-harming pathogens such as yeast-spot disease.

Stink bugs will attack almost any plant that makes a seed or fruit, they breed rapidly, and they have no natural predators, all of which can make them a serious problem for farmers.

In fact, the U.S. Apple Association estimated that stink bugs cost apple growers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia $37 million in damage in 2010.

Once they get inside your home, they can be hard to get rid of, and an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to identify stink bugs and the signs of their presence, as well as how to keep them from getting inside, and how to get rid of them once they’ve entered your home.

Read more

Termites or water damage – how to tell

, ,

Termites in Western Pennsylvania

Water-Damaged Wood in Western Pennsylvania is Attracting Termites. Here’s How to Protect Your Building.

In the wake of the heavy rain and subsequent flooding that recently swept across western Pennsylvania, many homes and business buildings are still suffering from residual water damage.

Unfortunately, the harm to some properties is only beginning. Some species of termites, such as dampwood termites, only feed on wood that’s been damaged by water, so if your building was affected by the flood, it may be in danger of being compromised even further by an infestation of tiny wood-eaters.

In this article, we’ll explain how to tell whether you have a termite infestation, and what to do if you realize you have one.

Read more

Bed Bugs – come home from vacation without them

bed bugs

I want to talk to you about how to avoid getting bed bugs while on vacation, or traveling for business.

We’re well into the vacation season here in western Pennsylvania. Many of us are off to the surrounding mountains, while the other half of Pittsburgh seems to be headed to the outer banks.

Whichever your destination of choice may be, you might end up visiting places where previous guests have left some bloodsucking visitors behind, and those visitors would be more than happy to hitch a ride home with you.

If you’re going on vacation in the near future, here are three bed bug prevention methods you can use to avoid picking up pests while you’re on vacation, and some strategies you can use if they come home with you despite your best efforts.

Read more

Stinging insects – here are four ways to get rid of them in Pittsburgh

Stinging insects

Had it with Stinging Insects?

Are stinging insects threatening to ruin your summer fun, or possibly even infect your family with dangerous insect-borne diseases?

As a species that effectively amounts to a swarm of dirty used needles with wings, mosquitoes can range from a chronic irritation to a major health hazard, and they aren’t the only flying pest that can threaten your ability to enjoy the warm weather in peace.

Just as the Penguins won the last two games of the Stanley Cup with great defense, it’s time for you to defend yourself and your children against the threat of annoying and potentially sickness-bearing insects.

Here are four stinging insect prevention strategies you can start using this week:

Read more