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Preventing Termites This Summer — Tips From Pest Control Experts

Posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 11:38 am.

Termites are destroyers. Their insatiable appetite for wood can wreak havoc on your home. Each year in the US, these pests cause structural damage, necessitating billions of dollars in repairs. In fact, their dietary need for cellulose — the main component in the cell walls of plants and wooden structures, furniture, money, clothes, etc. — causes more wood destruction in homes than do fires and high winds.

To help protect your home this summer, Baltimore’s go-to pest control company, Armor Pest Control, would like to share with you some tips for preventing termites from invading and destroying your home. If you’re in need of a termite inspection or eradication, give us a call today at 410-788-8014.

Look For Signs of Termites

It is not enough to assume that you will know when termites have entered your home. This is a false assumption because termites prefer dark, moist areas, typically the undersides of wooden materials. Naturally, these are places you don’t inspect every day. To overcome this oversight, you can test your wood by giving it a tap. If it seems hollow, termites may be hard at work. Other visible indications of termites include mud tubes, which are what they construct to get the moisture they need. Another sign is termite droppings. However, these can be hard to spot for the untrained eye, because they are very small and the same color as wood.

How To Prevent Termites

Exterior

The exterior of your home naturally serves as a portal into your home. For example, broken shingles or tiles on your roof can pool moisture, which can attract termites. Similarly, AC units can provide a nice moist home for termites, as well as a nice stopover before destroying the wood in your home. To prevent this from happening, stay on top of roof maintenance and ensure that all moisture is being properly directed and released.

Attic

When is the last time you’ve been in your attic? If you are like most, it’s probably been awhile. Termites see the attic as a prime location. All the wooden beams and cardboard boxes provide an excellent and bountiful meal for termites. Check this prime spot for termite activity regularly, paying particularly close attention to the wood, moisture levels, and other potential signs of damage.

Living Room

If termites are able to make their way into your living room, they have hit the goldmine. Wood flooring, furniture, and skirting boards are all a great source of food for termites. To ensure that your living room doesn’t become a termite buffet, carry out regular inspections, keep furniture off the walls, and, if you are in the process of building a new home or remodeling, consider adding a termite barrier.

Garage

Garages can both be plentiful sources of food for termites as well as a passageway into your home. If your garage is like most, it probably contains a wide variety of items and potential termite food. Regularly check the shelves, containers, and items of your garage to ensure that termites aren’t gnawing away.

Garden

Garden areas are often full termite food. Mulch, for example, is termite heaven — moist wood chippings. Similarly, old tree stumps, fencing and decking, and piles of wood are all potential termite lures. To lessen the likelihood of termites setting up shop in your garden, remove old stumps and wood piles, leave a gap between mulch and your home, and use termite-resistant wood for decking and fences.

Termite Inspection and Removal

Although these tips can effectively deter termites, these are not a guaranteed fix. The best way to prevent termites and get peace of mind is to call a termite exterminator. A pest control professional knows what to look for and the best way to protect you and your home from these burdensome pests. If you are in the Baltimore area, give Armor Pest Control a call today. We can perform your termite inspection and, if necessary, extermination.

Pest Control Tips—Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather

Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 2:24 pm.

Shorter days, colder temperatures and autumn rains signal the arrival of fall. Though it might be hard to believe, before too long, cold weather will be moving into the Baltimore area, and—as always—overstaying its welcome. And as you and your family take to your home for warm and dry refuge, so do pests.

At Armor Pest Control, we take pride in our work and in helping the families of Baltimore eradicate pests and keep homes safe, clean, and comfortable. To help with this mission, in this blog we will be focusing on some of the ways you can keep your home free of pests and rodents as the weather changes. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Add the below tips to your list of winter-preparation tasks.

Eliminate Pest Habitats

As temperatures begin to drop, insects and rodents are going to start looking for warmer places to stay. Therefore, begin by walking around your home and looking for any potential pest and rodent habitats.

Insects typically seek locations that are covered, free of moisture, and safe from predators. In addition to looking for any objects or features that may serve as a portal for insects to enter your home. The following list can provide you with an idea of where pests may take refuge.

  • Gutters and Downspouts—Debris that has accumulated in your gutters and downspouts can provide a suitable habitat for bugs. To keep them from possibly moving into your home, clean out gutters and downspouts thoroughly, making sure that water can flow freely—this will also keep your roof and gutters in optimal condition.

  • Firewood—If you burn wood or have a collection of lumber outside your home, store it as far away from the house as possible. A stack of wood can be an ideal habitat for not just insects, but also snakes and rodents.

  • Push Back Mulch and Debris—If you have garden beds or trees around your home, it is likely that leaves and/or mulch are pushed up against your home. Eliminate any debris or leaves that are resting against your residence. This includes rock piles, old boards, bricks, etc. If insects have taken refuge there, when it gets colder, the decision to make their way into your home will be a no-brainer.

Seal Access Points

After eradicating some of the potential pest habitats, you will then want to make sure that they have no easy way into your home. This will not only help with pest and rodent control, but it will also keep the heat in and cold air out.

  • Check Seals Around Windows and Doors—Replace worn weather stripping and add caulking to any vulnerable areas. Remember, bugs and rodents don’t need much room to get in.

  • Inspect Basement Windows—Windows located at ground level are prime access points. Pay close attention to these areas, and if seals are missing or concrete is chipped, consider a replacement.

  • Seal Pipe Entry Points—Pests like cockroaches will often enter your home through outside connections like gas or water pipes. Check these areas and do your best to seal them off from outside invaders.

  • Secure Vents—Vents that go into the attic or bathrooms are an easy entry point for pests. Inspect these vents and make sure that they are equipped with proper screens and don’t have any gaps or holes.

Perform Home Pest Control

The last necessary wall of defense against preventing an infestation is to create a chemical barrier in and around your household. To schedule this treatment for your home, contact the exterminators at Armor Pest Control. We specialize in pest and rodent control, as well as termite and bed bug treatments. Contact Armor Pest Control for all your residential and commercial pest control needs!

Protect Your Home from Bed Bugs

Posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 4:08 pm.

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It sometimes feels like an understatement to call bed bugs a pest—especially here in Baltimore, a city often regarded as the most bedbug-infested in America. They are a royal annoyance and pain. In our last blog post, we looked at bed bugs and some of their traits and habits, and what to do if you’ve been infiltrated. In this week’s post, we are going to shift this focus to prevention.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers that often travel by latching onto clothing, luggage, and furniture. For this reason, it can be nearly impossible to truly prevent them from entering your home. However, there are some steps you can take to protect your home. To help keep these pests out, Armor Pest Control has put together this list.

Simple precautions to protect your home from bed bugs:

  • Reduce clutter and therefore the number of hiding places for bed bugs.

  • Proactively cover your mattress and box springs in an encasement. This will eliminate hiding spots, and by using a lighter colored encasement, it will make spotting them easier.

  • Keep your home clean and vacuum regularly to sweep up any unwelcome guests.

  • Take caution when using shared laundry facilities. Since bed bugs love fabrics and clothes, laundry facilities can be a haven. Transport clothes in tightly sealed plastic bags and set your dryer to high heat—intense heat can kill bed bugs.

  • Isolate your room or apartment. This might include plugging and sealing cracks and crevices around the baseboard, light sockets, doors, and windows. This will impede the movement of invading bed bugs.

If you fear your home has been infested by bed bugs or some other pest, contact Armor Pest Control. We are Baltimore’s go-to pest control company!

Eww! Bed Bugs!

Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 9:22 am.

Baltimore has a reputation for plenty of things, some of them great, like amazing football and baseball teams and Natty Boh, and some of the things are not great. Among these is bed bugs. Earlier this year, a well-known national pest control company listed good old Charm City as the number one town for bed bugs. And while we all wish we’d be number one for lots of other things instead, the fact is that bed bugs are here and if you want to “get them gone”, you need professional help in the form of a pest control company that knows how to treat them. In case you don’t know enough about bed bugs to make the decision to get professional help, we’ll dedicate this week’s post to bed bug basics. When you are ready to cry uncle and get help, call Armor Pest Control.

Are bed bugs real?

Alas, they are real. For a long time they were not a problem and so the bedtime send off, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” was just a saying. In fact, around the 1940s, bed bugs were pretty much eradicated from the developed world, according to Wikipedia. But, as a result of pesticide resistance, they have been making a comeback, likely having arrived back in the country via the suitcases of travelers. So, they are indeed all too real.

What ARE they?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that have been around humans since we were living in caves and were mentioned in early Greek texts, and it seems they will be with us for quite a while into the future. These bugs are just 2.5 millimeters when they are nymphs and grow to 4.5 millimeters—that’s about the size of an apple seed.

I don’t see them on my bed, where are they?

Bed bugs are mostly active at night, though not strictly nocturnal. They spend the day hiding in cracks and crevices near where humans sleep.  They can be found in the seams of the mattress, corners of drawers in night stands, electric outlets, and picture frames.  It can be quite hard to catch them moving around since they are well practiced at hiding from humans. It is often easier to conclude that they are there by looking for their waste and/or blood streaks on the sheet or pillow case from them biting you.

You can often tell that you have bed bugs by the bites they inflict on you. Instead of random bites, for example, one on your calf and one on your arm, bed bugs will bite in a row or in clusters. They often bite people on the upper body, back, arms, and shoulders.

I Think I Have Bed Bugs

Lots of people have bed bugs these days and there is no shame in it. You can get them anywhere, from a vacation to the gym. It’s not your fault and there is something you can do about it. Since they made their come back as a result of resistance to pesticides, other means need to be used to treat them. Heat treatment is often the best way to get rid of them for good, but only after the scale of the infestation is seen by a pest control professional.

Call Armor Pest control for an inspection and send those bugs to their final good night!

Water Attracts Pests

Posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 at 4:19 pm.

Everyone wants to make sure they are doing everything they can to keep pests out of their house. Insects can carry disease and destroy food meant for humans and pests. Rodents can create lots of different types of problems that range from disease and chewing through electric wires, to biting people. And we at Armor Pest Control have good news there are easy things that you can do in and around your home to keep insects and rodents out of your home.  To learn some of these tips, keep reading.

Watch the Water

  • Of course, all creatures depend on water, and insects and rodents are no exceptions. If you have standing water or a dripping faucet you have a blinking “vacancy” light inviting all types of critters to your home.

  • Standing water is known for being a breeding spot mosquitoes.

  • This can be water in water dishes, poorly draining gutters, or just puddles of rainwater that don’t drain well.

  • Mosquitoes are carriers of diseases, including Zika and West Nile Virus and so any standing water around your yard would be dumped out.

  • It takes only 48 hours for mosquitos eggs to hatch into larvae so make dumping standing water out a daily chore.

  • You can pour pea gravel into puddles to discourage mosquitos and four-legged pests.

  • Water also encourages animals to come drink and pests are more likely to set up house close to a water source.

If you are doing these things already, and notice an increase in pests, call Armor Pest Control and we’ll come out and do an inspection. After an inspection we’ll make some recommendations for your. Call us today.

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Outsmart Mosquitos

Posted on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 12:43 pm.

As spring rapidly approaches, it looks like winter 2016-17 has been a bit of a dud. Yes, we saw a few flurries, but compared to past winters, there has been little accumulation and few days of deep freezing temperatures. We all know what that means: pests have not died off and will return with a vengeance on the first warm day. Add in the marshy topography of our area, and you have the makings of a mosquito, tick, and termite population explosion. Armor Pest Control can help keep you safe and your home free of destructive pests.

West Nile Virus Concerns

  • West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that is spreading around the world as global temperatures rise.

  • According to the CDC, less that 1% of people who are infected will develop the serious neurological symptoms associated with this disease, but as the number of people bitten rises, so too will the number of people who end up with the potentially fatal results.

Other Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

  • Many people are concerned about the spread of the Zika virus and the return of Yellow Fever and Dengue fever.

  • The global population is more highly mobile than it has ever been and when people who have traveled from tropical zones come to Maryland, they can act as reservoirs for these illnesses. Luckily there have, to date, been no reports of Zika in Maryland.

Measures to Control Mosquitos

  • Inspect your property for standing water and eliminate them. This includes old tires, mud puddles, heat pump drip trays, and plant trays.

  • Make sure you wear long sleeves and pants and apply DEET.

  • Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk.

  • Have Armor Pest Control help you identify trouble spots and spray apply insecticide against mosquitoes.

Call Armor Pest Control today for Baltimore area pest control, including mosquito control.

Watch Out for Common Winter Pests! Part 1

Posted on Friday, November 18th, 2016 at 4:20 pm.

As the weather gets cooler, many people welcome relief from bugs and other pests. Maryland winters are no joking matter, and they do tend to kill of a majority of insects off. However, there are smart insects and small pests that seek out the warmth of homes over the winter, which means you might end up dealing with pests all year long. Don’t let this happen. Keep an eye out for the most common pests that get into households and get our help if you see them. In the next few blogs, we’re going to share the most common winter pests to make sure you’re watching for.

Moths

The warmth of your house will attract moths, and the clothing in your house will feed them. They feed on cotton and will chew through your clothing to survive. Even worse, they usually leave behind larvae that also eat cotton. If you start to see holes in your clothing or spot moth larvae, contact us immediately. We will be able to effectively exterminate them and allow you to keep your clothing.

Ants

These tough little pests can get anywhere and into anything. Drawn to warmth, they will head for your food and you’ll probably notice them quickly. They don’t go anywhere on their own, and their great numbers are a dead giveaway. They favor jars, cereal, syrup bottles, and other easy sources of food.

Stay snug and warm in your home this winter, and enjoy the absence of insects and other pests. If they try to encroach on your winter sanctuary, contact us for premium insect pest control!

How to Avoid Bedbugs on Vacation – Part 5

Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 at 2:37 pm.

We know summer has wrapped up, but if you find yourself traveling for school activities or simply to enjoy the fall colors, there are pests waiting to hitch a ride with you! If you’ve read our previous blogs, you know we’re talking about bedbugs. Bedbugs are becoming more and more prevalent in the United States, and it’s essential to be on your guard if you’re staying in hotels. In our last blog, we talked about checking with your hotel to see what they do about bedbugs and having a plan for your clothing when you get home. Today, we have two more important tips.

Carefully check out reviews

  • You can go to the Bed Bug Registry, Yelp, and Tip Advisor to access insights on whether or not your lodging has bed bugs. The key is to take everything you read with a piece of salt. Sometimes, competing hotels or disgruntled employees go on these rating sites and lie in order to damage reputations. Additionally, if a hotel has a problem, chances are good they immediately addressed it.

Watch for bites

  • If you brought bed bugs home with you, sometimes bites are the first indicator. The bugs tend to bite three times in a line called “breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Keep in mind that bites don’t always indicate an infestation; they simply mean you should call our insect pest control company for a professional inspection.

Armor Pest Control is your closest ally when it comes to pests in your home or business. We have the experience and expertise to quickly and effectively deal with any pest issue. Give us a call today!

How to Avoid Bedbugs on Vacation – Part 3

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 at 9:29 am.

Summer may be winding down, but vacations are still going on! Fall is a popular time to travel, and because the bugs we’re talking about don’t come and go with the seasons, you need to be on your guard no matter what time of year you’re traveling. Once bed bugs make their home with you, it takes professional help to dislodge them.  At Armor Pest Control, we can handle the issue, but we want to empower you to prevent them from lodging with you in the first place! In our last blog, we discussed how inspecting your hotel room and keeping your luggage off the floor can help you avoid these pests. Today, we have to more travel tips for you!

Teach Kids How to Handle Hotels

  • If you have kiddos, be sure to inform them about bed bugs. If your kids know what to look for, they can help out, which is to everyone’s advantage. We also recommend you keep an eye peeled for traces of white powder, especially around the hotel room’s perimeter. If you see powder, it may be leftover pesticide from a bedbug treatment. We recommend you ask for a different room to keep your children from being exposed.

Get a New Room Two Floors Away

  • If you ask for a room change due to bed bug concerns, moving one floor up or down isn’t enough. Bed bugs are small enough to travel through electrical sockets and wallboards, and it’s normal policy to treat the rooms above, below, and around an infested room. We recommend finding a new hotel altogether, but if you need to stay, request a new room at least two floors away from the issue.

Keep your home pest-free with our insect pest control services. We are ready to go above and beyond for you in Maryland!

How to Avoid Bedbugs on Vacation – Part 2

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2016 at 11:55 am.

If you’re taking a vacation this summer, you’ll probably come home with some souvenirs to remember where you went. Unfortunately, you may also come back with bedbugs. These are souvenirs you do not want! They are difficult and expensive to eradicate, they inflict itchy bites, and they  bring anxiety, isolation, and financial trouble. The good news is, there are ways to ensure you don’t bring bedbugs home with you.

In our last blog, we talked about putting your luggage in the bathroom until you confirm your hotel room is bedbug-free. We also told you how to check bedbugs’ main hangout: the bed. Today, we have two more important tips for you.

Inspect the room

  • Bedbugs can be found within 15 feet of the bed. Therefore, after checking the bed, look over the surrounding area. Check behind pictures and under the phone and alarm clock. If there are nearby chairs, check the seams and cushions. If everything is clear, you can bring your luggage out of the bathroom.

Don’t put your luggage on the floor

  • Here’s the thing: bedbugs can travel from room to room. If some bugs come into your room from next door seeking food, they may crawl onto your luggage or any clothes you leave on the floor. The free bed isn’t a safe place, either. Instead, put your luggage on the dresser or luggage rack.

Bedbugs are spreading through the United States, but the good news is, if you follow our simple tips, you should be able to avoid them. If you end up having issues at your home, contact us today. We offer everything from bedbug extermination to termite inspection. Contact us in Baltimore today!

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