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AUTUMN INVADERS: BOXELDER BUGS AND ASIAN BEETLES

As seasons change and temperatures drop, pests seek out new living arrangements to survive the cold. Boxelder bugs and Asian beetles often become nuisances in the fall as they search for overwintering sites. One common misconception about pest control is that if it hits a certain temperature outside, these pests are gone for good. They might have a hard time surviving outdoors, but your heated home is just the warm and toasty invitation these pests are looking for.

Both Boxelder bugs and Asian beetles are known to swarm houses when temperatures change. You’ll often find them hanging out on the sunny side of your home to capitalize on the heat. Asian beetles can invade a home through doors, windows, siding, and vents because their bodies are small enough to enter tight crevasses. Boxelder bugs, on the other hand, can’t get in as easily because they are larger in size.

Both pests will crawl into cracks and crevices around your home and sneak in under siding, through open windows and broken screens, and under gaps in interior doors to survive cold outdoor temperatures.

Once inside, Asian beetles tend to congregate in dark, secluded places to keep warm. You might find them in attics, closets, crawl spaces, or storage areas. They’re particularly prone to hiding behind frames and siding.

Boxelder bugs are easily recognized by their black and red exteriors. They can be found near trees during the hot summer months and feed on leaves, flowers, and seed pods.

Boxelder Bug

Asian beetles, first introduced to North America in 1916 to combat aphids, look almost identical to ladybugs. They are best distinguished by their pale, orange-colored shells and black spots and distinctive black “M”-shaped marking on their otherwise whiteheads. Unlike ladybugs, Asian beetles “bite” by scraping the skin they land on.

Asian beetle

Your home is a pest’s primary target for an upgraded living situation. Sealing off common entry points and having the interior and exterior of your home treated for pests can greatly reduce or eliminate pest issues. If you do find Boxelder bugs or Asian beetles in your home, it’s best to vacuum them up rather than squashing them. They both can release a foul odor as a defense mechanism when squashed.

A varied treatment and pest control product placement plan can keep your home pest-free this winter. We treat the exterior of your home to prevent pests from surviving long enough to nest and breed in your home. Interior treatments like wall dusting can also get rid of pests that already made it into your home. Don’t let Boxelder bugs and Asian beetles overwinter in your home this season. Call ​Complete Pest Solutions ​today!

GUTTER CLEANING AND PEST CONTROL

Cartoon of Man Cleaning Gutters

Gutter cleaning is a dreaded and daunting task but a necessary one. Most people think this is just to clear the leaves, but there are other reasons that keeping the gutters clean is so important.

The main purpose of a gutter is to move the water away from the house to prevent damage to wood and the foundation of the home. Gutters filled with leaves and other debris can trap water and lead to damage to the fascia board as well as the roofline. If water is left in the gutters over the winter, it can also cause interior damage to walls and framing. When the water fails to drain, it can back up under shingles or run down the house, causing the wood to become damp, which can cause mold to grow.

This invasion of water also gives pests a place to breed and multiply. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant, standing water. The eggs freeze in the winter, but with temperatures as low as the mid-50s, those eggs start to hatch. This means that if you don’t have your gutters cleaned in the fall, the mosquitoes will be out in full-force come springtime! Carpenter ants also thrive in the moist environment that clogged gutters create.

As leaves fall and gutters become packed, it can provide not only shelter but also a food source for pests. Wasp larvae feed on other insects, and this abundant food source can encourage them to build nests around your home.

Having your gutters cleaned can go a long way in preventing a variety of pest issues year-round and can be a simple solution towards eliminating many pest issues. We offer gutter cleaning for one-story homes for only $200.00 and two-story homes for only $400.00.

Call Complete Pest Solutions to schedule your gutter cleaning service or, for added protection, get your free estimate for gutter guards! Our specially designed, lifetime-warrantied gutter inserts will keep leaves and other debris from building up and decaying in your gutters, removing the food and water sources that insects thrive on. Call today!

STINK BUGS- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Stink Bug

This is the time of year when stink bugs begin to look for shelter in advance of frost and colder temperatures. They are triggered by the length of the day shortening. They hibernate during the winter in a comatose state, but on unusually warm winter days, they can get confused and become active. There are a variety of stink bugs in this region of the country, but the brown marmorated stink bug is the variety that most people seem to complain about.

The brown marmorated stink bug, native to Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea, was first discovered in the United States in eastern Pennsylvania in 1998. Since then, the stink bug has migrated to other states such as: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

After hatching, the wingless nymphs go through five immature stages before becoming full-sized, winged adults. Adults are approximately three-quarters of an inch and brown, gray, or dark green in color and are shaped like a shield. They have alternating light bands on the antennae and dark bands on the thin outer edge of the abdomen. It can be most easily identified by its shield-like shape and brown coloration.

Although stink bugs are completely harmless to people- they don’t bite, sting, or spread disease- the fact that they look to our homes as a winter vacation spot makes them a major nuisance this time of year. Stink bugs secrete a foul-smelling liquid from a specialized gland when threatened or crushed. This liquid has a light yellow or clear color and may smell like strong cilantro or coriander. It isn’t dangerous, but it could trigger mild allergic reactions. It may also stain furniture, carpeting, or other fabrics.

There are very few natural stink bug predators aside from the samurai wasp, which was discovered to be in the area in 2017. They lay their eggs inside the stink bug eggs, and then their larvae feed on what was inside the eggs, and they emerge instead of stink bugs. So they essentially kill the stink bug before it even hatches.

Although they don’t inflict structural damage or infest food products, stink bugs can invade homes in huge numbers. In one home, more than 26,000 stink bugs were found overwintering! They’re attracted to the leaves of maple, ash, black locust, and catalpa trees, and large numbers may cluster near homes with these trees in their yards.

Stink bugs enter under siding, soffits, around window and door frames, chimneys, or any space which has openings big enough to fit through. Vents, chimneys, and worn foundations also provide ways for these pests to sneak into your home. Some you will see, but many more will manage to hide in attics or other parts of the house. Their tendency to aggregate can cause costly problems by clogging wells, pipes, and chimneys.

Replacing worn weatherstripping and re-sealing your windows this fall will go a long way toward keeping stink bugs out. Caulk or otherwise seal off openings as you find them, and replace worn-down insulation as needed.

With professional treatment, you can rest peacefully knowing that your property is taken care of. Our pest control programs are designed to keep your home pest-free all year long, so call Complete Pest Solutions today!

Cooler Weather May Mean Rodents Indoors

A Rodent

When the season changes and the temperatures drop, the chance of unwelcome houseguests rises. Mice may seek shelter in your warm, cozy home when the cooler weather begins. While you may never see a mouse, you might see indications that they are living in your home. Some of these signs include droppings, disturbed insulation, chewed wiring or furniture, and nests made of paper.

Mice are opportunists and will seek out any defect in your home to gain access. They can slip through holes and gaps as small as ¼”, or roughly the size of a pencil! If an opening isn’t big enough for them to squeeze through, the mouse may gnaw until it IS big enough. Mice may enter your home through gaps in windows or ceilings and even through sewer lines. If drainage pipes aren’t properly sealed, they may even enter through sink or bathtub drains. They can also find their way inside through holes around plumbing and gas lines.

Mice breed very quickly, and a small problem can very soon turn into a large infestation. Along with the damage they can do, the diseases that they carry make it essential to take action early. Here are some low effort, low cost preventative measures to help avoid an infestation:

  • Store dry goods and pet food in plastic or metal containers with tightly closed lids.
  • Wipe down counters, stovetops, and tabletops after each use.
  • Vacuum and mop regularly
  • Regularly clean under the stove, refrigerator, and cupboards.
  • Seal indoor and outdoor trash cans.
  • Make sure doors are sealed thoroughly. Install weather stripping at the bottom if necessary.
  • Eliminate debris around your home to eliminate any potential shelters.
  • Inspect the perimeter of your home. Seal any holes in exterior walls around cables and pipes larger than 5mm. Cover vents with fine galvanized wire mesh, especially if they’re damaged.
  • Fix damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps.

Evaluate the exterior of your home twice a year to inspect for any new holes or gaps where rodents can enter. Look for cracks in the foundation, gaps around doors and windows, and where the gutters connect to the fascia board. Prevention is key in this situation.

If you’re concerned about mice invading your home this winter, or if you think you may already have a mouse in the house, contact Complete Pest Solutions to schedule an inspection.

THE BENEFITS OF FRANCHISING:

For many would-be entrepreneurs, franchising is a great opportunity as it offers the chance to be your own boss without taking on the significant risk that typically comes with starting a business. Franchising offers a higher rate of success than a sole proprietorship, a shorter time to opening your business, as well as initial training and ongoing support.

Franchises are a more secure investment than new businesses because they have the support and backing of an already established company whose business model has been tested and proven effective. This makes getting a franchise business loan easier to get than a loan to start an independent business.

Complete Pest Solutions offers a fast growing franchise opportunity with great potential. Our franchise costs are significantly lower than most franchises, particularly due to low initial staffing needs and no need to establish a retail space. Additionally, we offer discounts to military personnel.

Owning a Complete Pest Solutions franchise allows you to tap into our vast knowledge and experience, increasing your chances of success by minimizing the learning curve to help you become profitable more quickly.

Complete Pest Solutions will provide the training and support that you need to operate our business model. You’ll be privy to knowledge, experience, and industry secrets that you would otherwise have to learn over the course of years. You’ll also have a support system to turn to when you’re in need of advice or assistance. In owning a Complete Pest Solutions franchise, you’ll be in business for yourself, but not by yourself!

 

Complete Pest Solutions logo

Cockroaches

The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches and a major pest in the United States. It is just one of over 4,000 different types of cockroaches- that we know about. Read on to learn some astonishing facts about cockroaches.

 

    • The modern cockroach first came to be about 200 million years ago, and primitive roaches appeared even earlier- about 350 million years ago.
    • According to the National Pest Management Association, a headless cockroach can live for weeks, exhibiting basic behaviors. That’s because they breathe through openings along their bodies, not through the nose and mouth like we do. Not only would the decapitated body of the cockroach survive but so would the separated head! The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.
    • A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged underwater for half an hour.
    • Both males and females have wings and can fly short distances.
    • Cockroaches will eat anything- even you! Most roaches prefer sugar and other sweets, but they will eat just about anything: grease, soap, wallpaper paste, and leather. They’ll even munch on your toenails, eyelashes and eyebrows while you sleep.
    • American cockroaches can move at a rate of 50 body lengths per second. That’s the equivalent of a person running at 210 miles per hour!

Cockroaches Blog Post Photo

These facts prove that cockroaches are some of the most adaptable creatures on earth, which makes controlling and eliminating a cockroach infestation all the more difficult. Luckily, only about 30 species inhabit human dwellings.

Similar to houseflies, cockroaches become vehicles for spreading diseases when they take up residence among humans. Feeding on waste, trash, and food, they leave E. coli, salmonella, and parasitic worms in their wake. Additionally, studies indicate that cockroaches trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.

To get rid of cockroaches in your home, seal all cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, as they can serve as entranceways for the pests. In addition, basements and crawl spaces should be kept well ventilated and dry. Be sure to keep food sealed and stored properly. Clean the kitchen thoroughly every day, wiping counters, removing the trash, cleaning spills immediately, and making sure to remove trash in a timely manner.

In addition to the “ick” factor, cockroach control and management are clearly important for health and safety reasons. Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world making getting rid of them a difficult task for homeowners to do themselves. If you suspect a cockroach infestation, call the experts- Complete Pest Solutions.

 

Cockroach Blog Post 2 Photo

A comparison chart of different types of ticks

The Dangers of Ticks

When the weather gets warm, ticks are out in full force and can pose a serious threat to both humans and pets. Learn about some of the different types of ticks, the threats associated with these small but dangerous pests, and how to prevent tick bites.

Found throughout the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, southeastern and northcentral United States, black-legged ticks, or deer ticks, are known carriers of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, human babesiosis, and more. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, headache, fever and a bullseye-shaped skin rash around the bite site. 

Found throughout North America, the American Dog Tick is named after its favorite host, the dog. They are known carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Symptoms include chills, muscle aches, high fever, headaches, and sometimes a rash that spreads to the extremities 2-4 days after the fever begins. Exposure is most common during spring and early summer. 

Like the American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick is named for its preferred host. They typically attach to a dog’s ears or between its toes. Though not common, they will bite humans in the absence of a canine host. Brown Dog Ticks can be carriers of diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine Babesia.

Found mainly in the eastern and southeastern U.S., Lone Star Ticks are named for the single spot located on the female’s back. These ticks target humans more than any of the other tick species. They attach to their host by crawling up the tips of low-growing vegetation, such as grass, and wait for the host to pass by and brush against the vegetation. Lone Star Ticks are known carriers of many diseases, including tularemia, Heartland Virus, and Bourbon Virus. As with all ticks, early detection and removal is crucial, but lone star ticks have long mouthparts that can make removal especially difficult, as they often break off while being extracted, resulting in further infection.

To reduce the risk of tick bites, be sure to follow these prevention tips:

 

  • When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes. 
  • Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
  • Inspect people and pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.
  • Remove weeds and keep grass cut to discourage the presence of ticks.
  • Stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation, when hiking.
  • Wear repellent containing at least 20% DEET.
  • If you find a tick on yourself, a family member, or a pet, remove it slowly with tweezers, being careful to not break off the mouthparts. Flush the tick down the toilet or dispose of it by wrapping it tightly in a tissue and putting it in a closed receptacle. Wash your hands and the bite thoroughly with soap and water. 

If you are experiencing a tick problem, contact Complete Pest Solutions today.

BED BUG PRECAUTIONS DURING TRAVEL SEASON

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests. According to NPMA’s 2018 Bugs Without Borders survey, 97 percent of U.S. pest control professionals surveyed reported they treated for bed bugs in 2018, with 68 percent saying they treated hotels specifically. 

These pests do not discriminate and can be found anywhere, including 5-star hotels. Most people transport bed bugs back to their home without even realizing it. Bed bugs can wreak havoc if brought home after traveling, so it’s important to take the proper precautions.

Bed bug stats

To help avoid bringing home any hitchhiking pests this travel season, we recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Pay special attention to the following areas: behind the headboard, under lights, inside dressers, drawers, sofas, and chairs. Use a flashlight to assist your search. 
  • Pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspicious, request a room change immediately.
  • When you return home, vacuum and properly inspect suitcases. Don’t bring them inside until you do so!
  • Bed bugs are not a pest that can be handled with DIY remedies. If you think you’ve brought bed bugs home with you, call Complete Pest Solutions.

WASP OR HORNET?

wasp or hornet

 

Wasps are a family of insects that includes hornets, yellow jackets, and solitary wasps. This means that all hornets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets. Although hornets are not native to the area, there are several U.S. pests that go by this name. The most common, bald-faced hornets, are not true hornets. They are close relatives of yellow jackets. The European variety, or giant hornets, are the only true hornets in the country. 

Some basic features set wasps apart from other stinging insects. Unlike bees, both wasps and hornets have smooth, glossy bodies and a thin, thread-like waist. They also have two sets of wings.

Despite the ways in which they are similar, these pests can have subtle distinctions or more broad differences depending on their species. Many wasps have black and yellow stripes or bright, metallic coloring. Hornets have a different, more understated look. Bald-faced hornets are black and white, and European hornets are brown, yellow, and black.

Shape is another way to distinguish between wasps and hornets. Most wasps are long and thin. Both U.S. species that go by the name hornet are identifiable by their thick bodies and rounded abdomens. European hornets are the largest wasps in the country, measuring over an inch long.

Most wasps build paper nests of varying size and shape. Bald-faced hornets create football-shaped nests, while paper wasps build smaller, open homes in sheltered places like the eaves of buildings. Still others, the Eastern yellowjacket, build ground hives using abandoned ground burrows dug by rodents and other small mammals.

Finding wasps or hornets in or near the house may lead to harmful encounters. Wasps and hornets can be aggressive. Unlike bees, these insects can sting repeatedly. Hornet venom causes a particularly painful reaction. Often, the stings result in swollen, red, and itchy areas on the skin.  Wasp or hornet stings can be life-threatening for allergic individuals.

While homemade traps are inexpensive and easy to make, they fail to reduce populations to an acceptable level. There are several commercial bait traps available, but they are not attractive to German yellowjackets which are the most common nuisance in  Ohio.  

Because of their unpredictable and aggressive nature, it is best to call a pest control professional to safely handle a wasp or hornet infestation. Complete Pest Solutions has trained experts ready to help.

43 Roche Way

We have officially MOVED!!

All of us, here at Complete Pest Solutions, have been searching for this office for a while now. The old office in Canfield was a house turned into an office space. We had been there for years! In reality, it’s not as easy to accommodate the needs of the inner office, with only having one area for our Customer Care Reps and a small conference room for all of our Technicians to squeeze into. We haven’t always needed more room but it has been obvious the past few years that more would be needed.

It was time to find a more suitable space and it has been well worth the wait!

Our move had a bumpy road just like any other move.

Originally we were supposed to be moved out before Christmas! Then before the New Year!

Well, as exciting as it would have been to decorate a Christmas tree or start off 2019 in a NEW office, that isn’t what happened. What did happen, waiting, a lot of it, and setbacks from every which way. No matter how much we wanted to be in this space, it was not happening in the time frame we expected.

We thought, “Definitely before the end of January!” Not at all.

Feeling like we might be on the search again for another space…we found out that we would be moving out before March rolled around. This is just what we needed to hear!

We had been packed up since the moment we thought we were moving.

It is hard to work out of boxes throughout the office…not knowing exactly where everything is.

packing boxes for office

 

Is it in this box in this room? No, it’s in that box in the other room under 3 boxes.

Just knowing that we were moving, lifted a weight off of our shoulders and filled us with excitement for the new beginning that was approaching.

Then comes the rest of the packing away, all the items that could not have been previously packed must now find a temporary cardboard home!

Whenever you move your priority list gets filled with projects to bring your new home to what you imagine it to will be. We definitely have a long list here.

From getting rid of old wallpaper and cabinets to expanding other rooms and applying new paint!

 

With Anthony Farrell’s (owner) vision at work…each day we get one step closer to what it will be like to walk in this Office when it is finished. Especially knowing what it has come from and all the hard work that has been put into it along the way.
It is a process that we are enjoying here!

There are still projects in sight…

 

…but with everyone that we check off our list, it starts to feel more and more like home.

new office photo
The new location for our Main Office is
43 Roche Way in Boardman, Ohio 444512.

We are very excited about the growth that has happened, to bring us to this point!
We can see that there is a lot of growth to come.
Thank you for your loyalty to us, through the years!