Is it a Water Bug, Palmetto Bug or American Cockroach?

University of Nebraska, Dept. of Entomology

University of Nebraska, Dept. of Entomology

Waterbugs, Palmetto bugs and American cockroaches are common names for the same insect. It’s not unusual to find them in homes, especially in South Carolina. Like any pest, they are an annoyance and can spread filth and disease if their population gets out of hand. Here are some tips to prevent American cockroaches, water bugs or Palmetto bugs from taking over your home:

  • Use trash cans with very tight fitting lids.
  • Place food inside Tupperware or airtight containers.
  • Clean up all crumbs and spills on floors, counters, and shelves as soon as they occur.
  • Keep faucets and drains under sinks and appliances in good repair. Do not let water stand in the sink for long periods of time.
  • Keep clutter from accumulating, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Cockroaches often hide in messy cabinets and in stacks of newspapers, bags, and rags.
  • Vacuum often. Vacuuming is very important because it can remove small food crumbs, and cockroach egg-cases that may not be killed by insecticides.
  • Good sanitation is important, both inside and outside the house. It is often the best control measure for cockroaches.

If cockroaches have taken over your home, the best solution is to call a pest control company like Cayce Exterminating. Get a free estimate or call us at 803-796-BUGS – Your Pest, Our Problem!

How to Kill Bed Bugs

Bedbugs are a growing problem in South Carolina and all across the United States. Greenville-Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach and Charlotte were all on this year’s list for the worst bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are not only a nuisance, they can easily spread disease and cause skin infections. Don’t underestimate these pests!

How to Identify Bed Bugs

Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectulariusThe common bed bug is visible to the naked eye. Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in cracks and crevices. After a blood meal, the body elongates and becomes swollen. They are about 3/16″ long, broadly oval and flat. Most are mahogany or red-brown in color. The larvae are very small and clear. After feeding bed bug larvae can resemble small drops of fresh blood.

If the top of the mattress has any rips, the bed bugs may hide there as well. Look in your box springs also, both top and bottom for any rips that might shelter these bugs.

Common Home-Remedy Bed Bug Treatments

  • Sticky traps: While useful in first detecting and diagnosing a bedbug infestation, such traps are not a reliable solution for removing the bugs.
  • Dismantling, cleansing and/or disposing of beds: Bedbugs earn their name—biting and feeding upon the blood of people while they sleep. But bedbugs can nest in any hidden corner or crevice several yards from the bed itself! Replacing a mattress is an expensive solution which often makes no difference in removing the bedbugs!
  • Vacuuming and/or steam cleaning: Though effective in reducing the adult bedbug population, vacuuming is a “band aid” solution at best. Bedbug eggs adhere to surfaces with a cement-like substance which cannot be vacuumed or steam-cleaned.
  • Insecticides: Insecticide treatments effective against bedbugs are not for sale at big box stores.

Amateur methods lead to amateur results!

The unfortunate bottom line: nature has gifted the bedbug with defenses against even the most aggressive means available to the average household or business. Professional knowledge and bed bug treatment methods are your best defense against bed bugs. If you suspect bedbugs, immediately call the pest control pros at Cayce Exterminating – 803-796-BUGS – Your Pest, Our Problem!

Our experience is support by a study by Ohio State University that shows that over-the-counter bug bombs will NOT get rid of a bed bug infestation.

Termite Damage versus Water Damage

Have you noticed damage to your wood in your home or business? Unsure if it’s water or termite damage? Here are a few photos from recent Cayce Exterminating jobs that show the difference.

Termite Damage versus water damage

Termite damaged book

Termite damaged book

termite damaged book

Termite damaged book

Water damage to subfloor

Water damage to bath subfloor due to leaking shower

Water damaged subfloor

Water damage to bath subfloor due to leaking shower

Cayce Exterminating can repair termite damage and water damage to your home or business. Contact us today for a free quote!

Your Treatment Options for Termites: An Interview with David Day of Cayce Exterminating

David Day, owner of Cayce Exterminating, was recently featured on SouthCarolinaHomes.com discussing treatment options for termites. You’ll find the full article in the link below.

Check out my interview, Your Treatment Options For Termites on South Carolina Homes For Sale, one of the top sites for South Carolina homes for sale, including Anderson, SC homes for sale. South Carolina Homes For Sale also services North Carolina homes for sale and Florida real estate.

How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

When you go on vacation, the last thing you want to bring back as a souvenir is a bed bug infestation. However, that’s exactly what many travelers have been experiencing over the last couple of years. Public awareness of bedbug problems cannot help but increase, thanks to the increase of news reports of innocent travelers coming back with angry red welts, skin infections and other nasty side effects of being attacked by bedbugs while on vacation. Then there are the lawsuits that follow.

In a recent National Pest Management Association Bed Bugs in America survey of pest companies across the USA revealed that a shocking one in five households have experienced a bed bug infestation. Additionally, 80 percent of Americans believe that bedbugs are a growing problem and are fearful of encountering them at hotels. The general awareness of bedbugs has also increased with 27 percent of those surveyed inspecting their clothing upon returning from trips, and a 25 percent checking their hotel rooms for bugs. Over 10 percent of travelers have even altered or cancelled their trips due to concern over bringing back bedbugs to the states.

While you cannot always the areas where bedbugs hide, there are some steps you can take to avoid bedbugs while traveling, and the worry of bringing these critters home with you. Here’s what Cayce Exterminating recommends:

1. Store all clothing and travel items in airtight bags inside suitcases and travel bags, while traveling and while lodging. If at all possible, choose hard-shelled suitcases because this makes it harder for bedbugs and other pests to crawl inside.
2. Inspect your mattress, sheets, pillows, headboard and any furniture for tiny, oval shaped bugs that are clear to reddish brown in color. Eggs may look like tiny grains of rice and will be in clusters. Alert the hotel owner immediately if you spot these critters and change hotels because it is likely that adjoining rooms are infested.
3. Keep your luggage away from beds and curtains, where bedbugs may be hiding out. Instead, opt for hanging items in plastic dress or suit bags in closets when traveling. Keep all toiletries sealed in plastic bags and containers as well.
4. Buy only new items from local shops, and avoid buying from thrift shops and charities while on vacation. That “great deal” you found may turn into an expensive bedbug treatment once you get back to your home or office.
5. Upon return, keep your luggage in the garage until you can inspect it for any stowaways. Most bugs will die within 48 to 72 hours, but be sure to immediately call Cayce Exterminating if you spot any unwanted pests in your luggage before putting your cases back into home storage.
6. Thoroughly wash all clothing and bedding in the hottest water possible upon return from your trip followed by the highest setting on your dryer. Remember to respect your neighbors by not using the local Laundromat to clean your clothes following vacation if you can avoid this.

Have more questions about avoiding bedbugs when you travel? Contact pest control experts Cayce Exterminating.

The How To’s of Rodent Removal and Prevention

There’s a reason why elephants are afraid of mice. The Centers for Disease Control has identified over 35 diseases spread by rodents, including some of the most deadly forms of Hepatitis, Salmonella poisoning, Meningitis, and multiple viruses. It’s clear that the only way to stop these illnesses from spreading is by eliminating the pests that transmit them.

In addition to illnesses, rodents are also responsible for damage to property. Rats and mice can easily damage a home, starting in walls and wiring, which can oftentimes cause fires and structural damage. For as long as there are humans, there have always been the presence of rodents. Consider that rodents are most often found in homes, schools, businesses, and in food processing plants, and the “yuck” factor goes way up.

How to prevent and eliminate rodents

There are only three ways to truly eliminate rats and mice from taking up residence in human territory. Call Cayce Exterminating today for a FREE Inspection and consultation to “Rodent Proof” your home. For the purpose of this article, we’ll call this the SCT method of rodent elimination.

Sealing – If you want to get rid of rodents, the first thing to do is find out where they are entering and exiting a structure, then seal them out. But not any door will do. You need to block rodents using a tried and true method of stuffing the hole with something that rodents hate to chew on – steel wool kept in place with caulk. This works well for small holes, but if you encounter a larger hole, use lath screening, metal sheeting and cement to seal it up for good.
Cleaning – Rodents generally only hang around if there is a steady source of food. This is something you can control, by removing the source of food as soon as you discover there is a rodent presence. Start by taking out the trash every day, cleaning up floors, counters, and cupboard and behind cabinets for any crumbs or food particles. Avoid eating in bedrooms or areas where food can drop between furniture and walls. Store pet food and bird seed in plastic containers. Then replace the food with a nice diet of approved bait for rodents.
Trapping – Now that you have eliminated two of the factors that make rodents come around, it’s time to trap any that either remain in the building breeding or those that try to make it past your barriers. Get glue traps and place them around any places where you’ve noticed mice droppings. Use snap traps to catch larger rodents and rats. If you have spotted possum or other large rodents, get the professionals to bring in the right kind of traps.

Eliminating rodents can be a long process, and it’s not easy getting into crawl spaces and attics of buildings. New EPA regulations have removed effective baits from stores shelves to prevent accidental poisonings of pets and children. It’s recommended that you contact a qualified pest control company like Cayce Exterminating anytime you suspect a rodent problem. We will perform an inspection and customize a plan to eliminate your rodent infestation, safely and effectively.

Protecting Your Home From Termite Damage

In the Southeastern USA, termite damage has been cited as the number one destroyer of homes and other building structures more than fires, floods and hurricanes. Termites can easily make a meal of any wooden structure, causing it to become unsafe quickly. Many homeowners don’t realize their property has suffered termite damage until it has progressed to the point of needing expensive repairs. However, there are ways of protecting your property from the ravages of termites.

How do I know if my home has termites?

This is a question Cayce Exterminating hears often. While it takes the trained eyes of an experienced termite technician to determine the nature and extent of termites present, there are a few signs of termite damage you may notice as a homeowner.

Termite swarms in the warmer spring months. One of the reasons we get called out to homes in the early months of the year is due to termite swarms. This happens when the termite colony has matured and releases “swarmers” or secondary reproductives to mate and begin a new colony. The newly winged termites may swarm out of walls or trim when they sense the warmth of spring. This may be a sure sign that you have a deeper termite infestation that needs prompt treatment.

Small holes in walls, window frames, and floors. Subterranean Termites are fairly small in size, and travel by “mud tunnels” that are rarely seen. They can remove the wood from behind paint or the paper in drywall, leaving only the paint intact. If you spot new holes or indentions in drywall, wallpaper, or interior trim you may be seeing an exit or entry point for these voracious eaters. Don’t try to patch the holes before you get an inspection as you may be hiding a larger problem.

Sagging wood beams and uneven floors. If you start to notice floors or beams sagging in your home, don’t wait to call Cayce Exterminating for a FREE inspection. This may be an indication of an active infestation and structural damage. Not only can your home be treated to eliminate the termites but repairs can be made by a licensed builder to restore the damage caused by termites.

The only proven way to protect your home from costly termite damage is to hire a reputable and licensed Pest Management Company. By performing an effective treatment and regular inspections, your home can be termite free for many years. For Peace of Mind, call Cayce Exterminating for a Termite Protection Plan today. Let Your Pest be Our Problem.

Termite Control – What You Need To Know

Termites are a group of insect that mostly feed on dead plant material and live in colonies that range from several hundred to several million. While they are essential to our ecosystem, in the United States they pose a severe threat to the structure of your home. If left untreated, termites can silently damage your home costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in structural repairs and severely reduce the resale value your real-estate.

What do termites look like?

While people often confuse termites for ants, they are only distantly related to ants. In addition, it can be hard to tell the difference between termites and winged ants, but there are telltale signs that can help make the job easier.

Winged Ants – have a narrow waist and body that is divided up into three distinct segments. Winged ants have two pairs of unevenly sized wings, and their antennae are bent into an elbow shape.

Termites – have extremely large wings compared to their body size. The wings are also evenly sized. Termites have no waist and their bodies are the same width along their length. Finally, termites have generally straight antennae. Termite workers look a lot like ants except they have translucent or white bodies with no waist.

Types of Termites

• Dampwood Termites
• Drywood Termites
• Formosan Termites
• Subterranean Termites

Termite Damage

Homes constructed of wood are most susceptible to termite damage; however, termites are also capable of traversing plaster, metal siding, concrete and more. They’ll feed on your furniture, cabinets, wooden floors or any other wooden structure once inside your home.

Termite Inspection

Termite inspections are performed by a termite control specialist who looks for visible signs of infestation and termite damage. In addition to identifying termite activity, your termite control specialist should indicate areas in or around the home that can be conducive to termite activity. These areas include standing water on the roof or around the foundation, wood mulch close to the foundation, and wooden deck supports that touch the soil. They also look for discarded wings, wood damage and termite exit holes.

Termite Treatment

• Termite Bait Stations – This treatment includes liquid treatment at infestation sites, plus termite monitoring stations strategically placed around the home. If termites are found in the monitoring stations, your pest exterminator will replace the monitoring stations with termite bait stations. Termites ingest the bait, carry it back to the colony which leads to effective termite control.
• Termite Fumigation – This treatment provides termite control to the entire area of your home. Your home is covered with a tent like structure and then gas is pumped into your home or business for full penetration of the entire area. Termite fumigation is generally recommended when multiple colonies have been found within a structure. This type of termite control should only be performed by a highly trained termite specialist.
• Liquid Treatment- This treatment involves placing a chemical treated zone around the foundation of the structure to prevent termites from entering building.

Termite Warranty

A termite warranty is a legal agreement between the homeowner and termite control company. A termite warranty outlines the frequency and type of termite treatment. In addition, it may include retreatment and repair guarantees at no additional charge. In most cases, the terms of the termite bond state that a pest management professional will inspect the home on a regular basis (usually quarterly or annually, depending on the treatment provided) and provide additional treatment, when needed.

Termite Treatment Cost

Termite treatment and cost depend entirely on the size of your home and the degree of termite infestation. If subterranean termites are found, the termite control specialist will remove the tubes (the termite “gateway” into your home) and then drill down around the foundation about every 12 inches, and inject an organic pesticide into the holes. The holes are then filled, and the site is monitored by termite monitoring stations that placed around the home to check for re-infestation.