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Mouse in the House

christmas mouse

Photo by Alan Turkus

 

Mouse in the House!

“ ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a ….” EEEEK!!!

Mouse?

Was that the word you were looking for before you were so rudely interrupted?? Well, dear reader, I am afraid that is probably incorrect. When it comes to a mouse in the house, he’s seldom a solo invader. You see, a mouse leaves powerful urine scent trails that send a high alert to their other field-wandering friends. After all, the never-ending smorgasbord of Christmas cookie crumbs, cakes, and other delightful holiday goodies left sitting out and lining the corners of the kitchen floor, is simply too good not to share. No, unfortunately, it’s not a mouse you’re dealing with. It’s MICE.

Your Next Problem

If you’re not able to remove all existing mice within your home immediately, and successfully pinpoint and seal all areas of access, those mice will rapidly reproduce. The gestation period for a mouse is 19-21 days, with each litter consisting of 3-15 mice. Furthermore, a single female mouse can bear anywhere from five to ten litters a year, so those numbers can add up pretty quickly.

Damage & Disease

Now imagine all those teeth gnawing away at your wires, your plumbing and your insulation – a major potential fire hazard! Then there’s the soiling of so many precious family keepsakes with their concentrated urine and feces. After that, think about the disease, germs, and even fleas that mice may be carrying. Had enough? Even if you try to put the thought of them out of your mind, there it is; that incessant chewing and gnawing you suddenly hear while you’re trying to sleep. Now have you had enough?

Don’t Worry.

At HonorGuard Pest Management, we know how to handle Nashville mice extermination. We’ll remove all existing mice, thoroughly clean all traces of their presence, and ensure every point of entry is sealed up tight. No more gnawing in the night, or disgusting souvenirs in your food pantry. You’ll be back to enjoying a 100% mouse-free house!

Contact HonorGuard Pest Management of Nashville

We are grateful to continually be recognized for our excellence in service. At HonorGuard, we are your Middle Tennessee Pest Management Experts for commercial properties as well as residential homes. For professional help with lasting results for all your pest elimination issues, give us a call at HonorGuard Pest Management Services at (615) 242-5440. We look forward to serving you!

For info about special offers and savings from

HonorGuard Pest Management, click HERE: www.pestmanagementashville.com/

Protect Your Home and Family From Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bugs Get Around

Did you know that Bed Bugs love to travel? It’s true. That’s why it’s especially important to be on the lookout for signs of the dreaded insects during the holidays, when the number of visitors entering your home is at an all-time high. They can secure handy spots to stow away in clothing, purses, bags, luggage, and shoes. So what’s the best way to detect and protect your home and family from Bed Bugs?

The First Step:

Knowing what you’re looking for. Bed Bugs are:

  1. Small reddish brown insects
  2. Most often found on your mattress near the seams and edges, often appearing as dots
  3. Bed Bugs lay little white eggs, and shed crusty skin as they progress through life cycles
  4. Often indicated in large numbers by the detection of an oddly sweet smell in an area
  5. Known for leaving swollen red bite marks on skin exposed while sleeping

Second Step:

Clean your home thoroughly, especially all places where guests are likely to place their belongings while visiting.

Third Step:

In the case of overnight guests, be sure to change all bedsheets to light colors. That will make it easier to detect the presence of invading insects.

Fourth Step:

When guests arrive, prepare a singular location for all coats & belongings to be stored, such as a hall closet, and clean immediately upon guest’s departure. If coats are to be stored upon a fabric surface such as a bed or sofa, cover the surface with a clean, sturdy sheet before guests arrive, and toss directly into a hot water wash as soon as the last guests leave.

Fifth Step:

If you’ve detected Bed Bugs in your home, don’t try to go it alone. Call HonorGuard Pest Management as soon as possible. We’ve got all the experience you need to help you eliminate Bed Bugs from your home thoroughly, and permanently.


Protect Your Home and Family From Bed Bugs

With HonorGuard Pest Management of Nashville, your family and home will be free once more from the bane of Bed Bugs. As your Middle Tennessee Pest Management Experts we are happy to help you find lasting results for all your pest elimination issues. Give us a call at HonorGuard Pest Management Services at (615) 242-5440. We look forward to serving you!

For info about special offers and savings from

HonorGuard Pest Management, click HERE: www.pestmanagementashville.com/

Pest Control Tips for Restaurants

Depositphotos_31449051_originalNo one wants to dine in a restaurant with unwelcome critters crawling around, and if your restaurant suffers from an infestation, your health and safety inspector will quickly make sure no one does dine there. Pests like flies, cockroaches and rodents all point to an unsanitary environment because they all carry diseases that could be passed onto your customers. However, you have many options to control pests like these to keep your restaurant clean and your customers coming back for more.

What Can I Do About Flies?

Flies are a big red flag to customers, because they symbolize a dirty environment. Flies feed off of decaying organic material, and each time they land on a new meal, they leave behind the waste from a previous feeding. Along with this waste, the flies leave behind many disease-causing pathogens that can lead to illnesses like cholera, dysentery and worse.

To control the fly population, there are many measures you can take. First, install screens on all your doors and windows to keep flies from sneaking in through gaps. Next, maintain an orderly cooking area. Flies swarm to food left out, so take garbage out more often and rotate stock to make sure nothing builds up for the flies to eat. Another good idea would be to store trash containers away from doors to make entrance to that room less enticing for the pests. Also use a powerful disinfectant on a regular basis to ensure complete elimination of any decaying organic matter on the floors and the cooking surfaces.

What About Other Pests Like Mice and Roaches?

Other common pests you may come across are cockroaches and rodents. Keeping these tricky vermin out is not as simple as shutting the doors and windows, unfortunately. They find their own ways into your restaurant, often forcefully, and inspectors are quick to spot these damaged areas. The recommended methods of keeping these critters at bay are similar to the flies. Maintain an immaculate cooking and dining area and the rodents and cockroaches will have no reason to invade your space. Clean thoroughly on a regular basis, and do not forget to clean out those dark corners you sometimes forget about.

A great option for keeping all types of infestations from happening is to talk with your local pest control service. They not only help you eliminate an infestation that has already begun, but they also give you tips and provide services to help stop them before they even become a problem. If you live in the area of Atlanta, Georgia; Knoxville, Tennessee; or Nashville, Tennessee; contact Honorguard Pest for a professional consultation. Take preventative measures to control any pests will help keep customers happy and your restaurant open for business.

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Control Fall Pests Before They Control You

critter_control_honorguard_pest_control_nashville_tnAs summer fades away along with the warm temperature and sunny days, fall becomes more apparent. Leaves begin to change color and fall to the ground, and the wind has a cool, crisp edge to it. The weather turns chillier and we turn to the protective warmth of our homes. This idyllic seasonal change comes with just one problem: pests like the warmth of your house as well. Little critters like rodents and insects take the changing weather as a signal to find shelter before winter sets in and a heated home acts as the perfect refuge.

Most people rightfully feel disturbed at the thought of a pest infestation in their homes. Imagining disease-ridden mice scurrying about behind the walls or cockroaches scuttling out from under the refrigerator is enough to make your skin crawl. Unfortunately, these pests and others come with more hazards than a few sleepless nights.

One common pest is the rodent. Mice and rats are the most frequently seen rodents that infest homes and they can be quite dangerous. These animals carry diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus, which can be left behind as the rodents explore your kitchen at night or can be dispersed in the air if you accidentally disturb their fresh droppings. Another issue they cause is physical damage to your home. Mice and rodents chew on everything including wires, and these hot wires can eventually cause a house fire. They also enjoy nesting in insulation, so once they feel comfortable in your house, convincing them to leave is nearly impossible.

Another pest you might find in your home is the cockroach. These hardy bugs not only disturb homeowners, but they can also be hazardous to your health. Cockroach saliva and waste will induce physical reactions in people who suffer from allergies and asthma. They gather near improperly stored food such as old meals left in the open or garbage that has not been emptied recently. Killing cockroaches is challenging, as well. Seeing as they have survived for millions of years essentially unchanged, cockroaches are resilient critters. The only way to effectively eliminate cockroaches is to have a professional pest control company treat your home.

Spiders also pose threats to people. Several species of spiders in the US have venom that cause severe allergic reactions. These bites may require hospital visits, so eliminating spider infestations is crucial to your family’s health.

A pest that everyone fears is the infamous termite. These insects feed off of dead plant material, which means your home’s wooden support beams are not safe. Termite infestations happen quickly and often quietly, and before you know it, your home has become structurally unsound. Ridding your home of termites as soon as possible will save you thousands of dollars in long-term damage.

If you suspect you have a pest problem, get in touch with a professional pest control service to take care of it. In the areas of Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia, contact Honorguard Pest [] for an expert consultation. The service men and women at Honorguard want to protect your home as much as you do.

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All You Wanted to Know About Bed Bugs

No Bed Bugs SignAt HonorGuard Pest, we take the war against pest infestations seriously. When bed bugs invade your home, WebMD recommends you turn to the professional exterminators to rid you of this parasitic insect. HonorGuard Pest specializes in bed bug management by using a team approach with our certified technicians who are trained in exterminating bed bugs. Although bed bugs do not transmit any diseases, these insects do leave behind itchy bite marks and welts. Bed bugs can be incredibly difficult to spot, but if you ever wake up with itchy marks that were not there the day before, it is possible you have bed bugs in your home. We would like to share with you some facts about bed bugs to help you be informed about the signs and symptoms of an infestation.

How Bed Bugs Enter Your Home and Where They Hide 

With flat bodies about the width of a credit card, tiny bed bugs can sneak into small spaces, including your luggage, clothing, and any type of used furniture. Arriving undetected into your home, bed bugs tend to travel in groups and live in hiding places. Since they live on blood, these bugs tend to hide out in mattresses, box springs, headboards, and bed frames to have be in close proximity to people to bite overnight in their sleep. It is a myth that bed bugs are a sign of dirtiness because eventually these bugs spread throughout a property as they populate.

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

Using their long beaks, bed bugs pierce the skin of sleeping victims and feed on their blood for three to ten minutes. Once bed bugs become engorged with blood, they sneak back into hiding. At first, the bites are unnoticable but soon develop into red welts that itch. Unlike fleas who tend to only bite around ankles, bed bugs will bite any exposed part of your body. To truly know if you have an infestation of bed bugs, you need to call HonorGuard Pest to schedule an inspection of your home to locate and identify these insects.

Signs of Bed Bug Infestation 

Besides waking up with itchy welts that were not there the day before, you should also look for the following signs:

  • blood stains on pillowcases and sheets
  • dark or rusty bed bug fecal stains on bedding and walls
  • bed bug egg shells and shedded skin in typical hiding places

an unpleasant, musty smell caused by the scent glands of bed bugs

Steps to Take to Clean Up Bed Bug Infestations

Although you will need to call Honorguard Pest to completely get rid of bed bugs, you can do a few things to start the cleanup process, including:

  • clean all bedding items, curtains, and clothes in hot water and then dry them on the highest setting of your dryer
  • vacuum frequently around your bed and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in your trash can outside
  • encase your mattress and box springs in a plastic zippered cover to keep bugs from entering or escaping

If you suspect your home is infested with bed bugs, contact HonorGuard Pest today. We can schedule an appointment for a bed bug inspection to see if we need to proceed with the extermination process.

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Cave Crickets: an Overview

All About Cave Crickets

Here at HonorGuard Pest Management Services we receive quite a few phone calls from bewildered customers asking about infestations of “lots and lots of, um, really big crickets that jump.” Usually it takes only a quick glance for us to tell that the bug in question is a cave cricket, also known as a camel cricket, spider cricket, or “spricket” since they look as much like spiders as they do crickets. Their large hind legs—usually about 4 inches long—paired with their super long antennae, brown color, and stripey or mottled pattern are dead giveaways.

These crickets are large, but no worries...just give us a call.

These crickets are large, but no worries…just give us a call.

Help! They’re Jumping at Me!

Cave crickets use their uncannily long legs and antennae to feel around in the dark environments in which they live and thrive. These members of the Rhaphidophoridae family of crickets usually live in a shed, basement, cellar, or someplace dark and damp … like a cave, under a rock, in the woods, even in a compost heap.

These are pests we frequently treat and which we often get calls about, not only because they tend to be present in large numbers but because they are known for jumping at anyone or anything they perceive as a threat. It usually doesn’t take long for homeowners to get tired of having huge spider-looking crickets jumping on them every time they open the door to their shed.

However, in spite of their gnarly appearance, cave crickets are completely harmless. That doesn’t mean you should leave them be, though, especially since large cricket populations tend to attract a mouse population. They also tend to indicate moisture problems in or around the home.

How Do I Get Rid of Cave Crickets?  

The good news is that it’s not terribly hard to kill off cave crickets. Sticky traps work wonders. But we also find that the insecticide we spray, perhaps along with one or more of our pest control services, is very effective against these predators. And for a longer-term fix you may want to consider waterproofing your basement or crawlspace or wherever you’re noticing the infestation. Even improving ventilation to your basement or putting screens on your crawlspace vents and basement windows can help your cave cricket situation.

As Patricia Zungoli, a professor of entomology at Clemson University, told HouseLogic.com, “You can discourage [camel crickets] a lot by reducing moisture level. If you can reduce the humidity and you no longer have a wet basement, you’re going to have better luck in not having these populations. … [Camel crickets … [are] an indication that you need to dry things out a little bit.”

If you live in Atlanta, Nashville, or Knoxville and share your home with cave crickets—or any other type of cricket or insect—and you’d rather not, contact HonorGuard Pest Management Services today.

 

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What Bugs are Good to Have Around?

Spring gives us sunshine and flowers... and BUGS! But wait a minute, there are actually good bugs out there. Get to know what they are so you'll think twice before swatting them.

Spring gives us sunshine and flowers… and BUGS! But wait a minute, there are actually good bugs out there. Get to know what they are so you’ll think twice before swatting them.

Spring is finally here, and with the warmer weather, the bugs are out in full force. Before you become alarmed at the insect invasion, familiarize yourself with the bugs that are actually good to have around you. Not all creepy crawlers are harmful; some insects are helpful as they will even eat the bad guys for you! When you contact us at HonorGuard for a FREE Home Health Evaluation, we will help you work with those good bugs to defeat the bad bugs.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, certain bugs do many different good things in all sorts of ways. From helping farmers battle crop-eating insects to giving doctors and scientists cures for diseases, some kinds of bugs can be good to have around as they do certain tasks that are both good for us and the Earth.

The Good Bugs

  • LADYBUGS. An aphid is a horrible insect to any farmer or gardener as it can destroy plants and crops, but a ladybug will eat 500 aphids before it even grows up.
  • BRACONID WASPS. These wasps lay their eggs inside caterpillars that feed on tomato plants. This prevents the caterpillars from destroying a crop of tomatoes.
  • DUNG BEETLES. Without these insects, the world would be a lot more unsanitary. A dung beetle finds poop, breaks pieces off, presses them into balls, rolls the balls away to bury them to save to eat or lay eggs in.
  • CRICKETS. These bugs also recycle waste such as leaves and dead branches by eating them. This keeps the forest floors clear; think of all the brush that would be built up without crickets and beetles.
  • BEES. Although they sting, bees are quite the helpful bugs. Not only do they make sweet and delicious honey, bees also help the environment by pollinating, spreading a powder called pollen from flower to flower. This process fertilizes flowers, allowing them to produce seeds and fruits we can eat.
  • BLOWFLIES. If you are interested different types of treatments used in the medical field, you might be surprised to learn that doctors use blowflies when a person has wounds that are hard to heal with traditional medicine. While this process sounds a bit disgusting, it works! When blowfiles produce their babies, tiny maggots, doctors place these maggots directly on a wound, and they work hard by making bacteria-fighting juices that digest the dead and infected tissue in the wound. The wound heals more quickly, naturally, thanks to blowflies.
  • DRAGONFLIES. These beautiful, colorful flying insects might do the most important good deed of all: they eat mosquitoes.

As you can see, good bugs do exist, and we at HonorGuard want you to be educated on these insects. In fact, we even have an online pest identification guide where you can look at our collection of photos of bugs to click on and get more information. You can also upload your own picture of an insect if you can’t find its picture in our gallery, and we will be happy to identify that bug for you. At HonorGuard, efficient customer service, education, quality pest control, and value are all important to us. Contact us today for a FREE 12-point home inspection, and let us help you with your pest control needs.

Do Pests Hibernate?

Pests Don’t Disappear With The Winter Chills

The winter chills do thankfully bring a reprieve from those mosquito bites we’re constantly fighting in the South during the summer. But unfortunately, winter doesn’t bring a big break from pests overall — in fact, in a lot of ways, winter brings a bigger need to beef up our pest control efforts.

The short answer about pests in winter months is (unfortunately) no.

The short answer about pests in winter months is (unfortunately) no.

HonorGuard can help with seasonal and year-round pest management services – and that means both dealing with current pest issues, and working to prevent future issues from happening.

As the temperature is dropping, here’s why being diligent about pests during the winter months is key:

Pests Like Your Warm, Cozy Home, Too

We all seek solace in our warm homes during the winter — and unsurprisingly, a host of pests have that same instinct. Ant colonies will often take up residence in your home during the cold months. And rodents, including mice and rats, will seek out any weak points they can find to get inside and nest in your cozy walls, whether it’s through your basement or attic or your regular living areas.

HonorGuard can evaluate your home to find any problem areas that could allow pests to get in. And if you’re already dealing with pest issues, we can provide solutions, and help you prevent infestations from happening again.

Stop Spring Insect Infestations With Winter Prevention

Insects don’t disappear in the cold months. They’re generally holed up indoors too, preparing to lay eggs that will hatch in the early spring.

We’ve all become somewhat accustomed to expect potential bug problems with the spring thaws. But what you may not know is that you can do a lot to prevent spring insect problems by thinking ahead, in the winter.

By treating insects with HonorGuard’s winter pest control services — before those bugs are able to lay eggs and before those eggs are able to hatch — we’re able to get faster and more complete results than we would with treating an infestation after the fact.

Protect Your Business In The Winter

Pests will head for your warm office or shop just as readily as your warm home, and that’s not just frustrating; it can have a serious effect on your business, too. HonorGuard doesn’t just help homeowners keep pests out in the winter — we help business owners too.

Hold Off Pests All Year Long

At HonorGuard, we’re huge proponents of T·A·P Insulation — an insulation product that’s treated with boric acid, making it hugely effective at controlling (and eliminating) indoor pest colonies while still being safe for you, your family and your pets. T·A·P has other benefits too, from energy savings to sound dampening. Ask our technicians for more information!

Let HonorGuard help you keep pests out year-round, including during the winter months. Give us a call to make an appointment!

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Bees and Wasps — DIY or Not?

Bees or Wasps Nests – Can I Handle This Myself?

Many people suffer severe, even life-threatening, allergic reactions to certain ‘bee’ stings, so finding things that may be nests for bees or wasps can be upsetting. Finances may dictate a DIY approach, in which case it is important to know as much as possible before beginning. However, for those who suffer from such stings and can afford it, it makes better sense to take advantage of professional pest controllers.

Dealing with wasps - Nashville TN - Honorguard Pest

Dealing with wasps – Nashville TN – Honorguard Pest

 How to Recognize and Distinguish Nests

There are a number of things that homeowners can do to determine which kind of nest they are probably observing. Here are a few:

  • Notice the appearance and behavior of ‘bees’ around the house
  • Become familiar with the differences between them
  • Learn to predict where they are likely to build ‘unseen’ nests
  • Understand and recognize the differences between nests
  • Undertake preventive measures to discourage future nesting

As you can see from this brief list, there is a great deal of specialized knowledge required in the safe removal of bees and wasps’ nests. Becoming expert enough to recognize differences in the flying creatures, their nests and future nesting behavior is no small undertaking.

When Pest Control Makes Better Sense

Whether it is for convenience or to prevent stings, you may want to consider hiring a pest control professional. They are already highly trained experienced in handling all aspects of removal. Weighed against the costs involved in dealing with extreme reactions to stings and questionable effectiveness of DIY solutions, the expense of pest control plans and their trouble-free ‘administering’ may be a more attractive option.

This may be especially true for people who suffer strong reactions to certain bee or wasp stings. There are not only medical costs to consider but associated expenses and inconveniences to your time and comfort. Individual homeowners need to look carefully at their finances, consider all the variables, and then make a decision.

What Pest Control Professionals Offer

Professional pest controllers offer much more than a one-time removal of the bothersome bee or wasp nest. They work with homeowners to develop plans that make the most sense given all of the individual variables to be considered. They can control all pests with regularly scheduled and as-needed inspections, treatments, preventive measures, and nest removals. If possible, leave the worry and risk to a professional.

 

 

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Summertime – Sunshine, Grilling and…Ants

Ants Love Summer – Just Like You

During the warm summer months, it is not uncommon for homeowners to find that they have an ant problem in their home. Ants like the summer months too! Particularly if it has been a mild winter, ants breed in the warmer months. Ants, like all other living things, are on the hunt for sources of food, water and shelter from the Sun. There are a few things you as a homeowner can do to make sure they find this outside of your home.

To avoid an ant problem altogether, it is critical to investigate and discover how the ants are finding their way in. These insects will gravitate to any area that offers them a constant supply of food and water. With that in mind, the best way to avoid them is to make sure that everything in the house is clean and free of any leftover food products. This includes not only vacuuming and cleaning surfaces but also keeping the sink, in particular, sparkling clean. When the sink is dirty, it provides the insects with a source of both food and water. Cleaning up will cut off that supply and force them to head somewhere else if they wish to survive. Don’t forget to wrap up the pet food bowl too!

Ants look for water, food and shade - Nashville TN - Honorguard

Ants look for water, food and shade – Nashville TN – Honorguard

Although these particular types of pests are typically found in colonies, there will sometimes be a lone bug seen wandering across the floor or counter top. This is the scout and their job is to find a food source and relay its findings to the rest of the colony. If you see one on its own, it is a safe bet that there will be a whole line following within a short amount of time. Where there is one…

In the best case scenarios, it is easy for a homeowner to identify the exact spot from which the pests are entering the house. This may be a crack in a window or even a small crack in the walls of the home. The ideal way to handle this situation is to seal the crack up with caulk. It is not toxic and will not pose any threats to pets or babies living in the home. As an added benefit, this method of pest control adds extra temperature control to the home, which can lower the energy bill. At the first sign of a problem, inspect the home carefully for any possible entry point and seal it up immediately.

Sometimes caulk or other home remedies don’t do the trick. In this case, hire a professional pest control company. Find a licensed pest control professional that has experience dealing with this specific problem. Different kinds of ants can point to different kinds of problems. A professional may be able to come up with a more permanent and efficient solution to the problem. They can pick up clues that tell the story of how the ants came to take up residence in your house to begin with and what you can do to make sure they don’t return after treatment.

There are many recommended steps in hiring the right pest control company. Make sure that the company you hire is licensed and call the Better Business Bureau for additional peace of mind.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get several bids before you make a decision. If someone is pressuring you to sign, take the time you need and pick another provider. You need to feel confident about the company — the ants are headache enough, right?

Paying for service can provide a couple of wonderful safeguards. Make sure you read and understand the guarantee offered from the pest control company. Many companies will continue to treat your home until the ants stop appearing. Another benefit of calling a professional is simply not having empty can after can of pesticide into your home and not knowing whether or not it will actually stop the problem.

Summertime is full of fun and excitement…but no one wants the excitement of a line of ants marching across their kitchen. In order to make sure that this does not become an issue, keep all surfaces in the home free of food and other debris. Also, make sure that the sink is left completely clean at all times. Remember, ants are looking for sustenance and shade and your job is to make them look outside of your house to find it. You may not be able to able to take care of the problem on your own, in which case be deliberate and find the pest control professional that is right for the job.

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