Category Archives: pest control

Entry Point Elimination Service

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Looking for an environmentally friendly way to keep mice and rats from entering your home? Southern Pest Control is offering a new service called Entry Point Elimination. Rodents and other pests enter your home through holes and cracks in the foundation of your house and eliminating these entry points will greatly reduce the chance of an infestation. When you purchase the Entry Point Elimination Service, one of our technicians will inspect your property to identify rodent entry points. The technician will then use copper mesh and sealant materials to plug the entry points so that rats and mice will be kept out.

The price for this service ranges from $99 to $249 depending on the number of entry points that need to be sealed. Customers can receive $20 off the price of this service by liking our Facebook Page and downloading the $20 coupon.

We highly recommended recommend using the Entry Point Elimination Service in conjunction with our Pest Control Service Plan as this will provide an environmentally friendly and cost effective solution for your pest control needs.

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Hurricane Aftermath Brings Unwanted Pests

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Be proactive against pest invasions after floods to reduce risk of infestations, diseases and potential health issues.

Mosquitoes
If history is any indication, there will be several concerns regarding the increase in population of mosquitoes following Hurricane Harvey. Hurricanes bring rain and localized flooding and leave behind large areas of standing water (clog gutters and storm drains), the perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs (only needing a tablespoon of water to breed). These breeding areas spawn a new generation of blood sucking irritating biters, thus increasing the exposure of arboviruses, such as Dengue, Zika, and West Nile.

Tips to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito activity following a storm:

  • Empty any containers that hold water
  • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent when working outside
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when working outside, keep as much of your skin covered as possible
  • Clean clogged gutters and drains as soon as possible, eliminate as much standing water as possible to prevent mosquitoes from hatching

Pests can be relocated as a result of flooding.

Rodents
Rodents are excellent swimmers. Flooding forces rats and mice to vacate their hiding places (sewers) and hunt for dry shelter. Mice and Rats are experts at survival and will squeeze or chew their way into wherever they can find dry secluded areas.

Fire Ants
Texas residents dealing with flooding now need to worry about running into piles of stinging insects. Residents of the Houston area affected by Hurricane Harvey may have noticed an unusual red raft in the floodwaters. Colonies of fire ants will join together to form a floating raft. Some of these rafts may have more than 100,000 stinging ants. Whenever a major storm brings flooding, these ant rafts appear to escape floodwaters. Theses venomous insects quickly link together, with the queen and larvae at the center of the raft. The ants mesh themselves together tightly enough to trap air in the middle, with the ants on the bottom knitted so tightly that water can’t get through. Fire ants can survive in these structures for weeks or even longer, though they’re constantly seeking new dry land to colonize as they float.

While an isolated sting is painful, it’s usually only serious for people with an allergy. But a whole colony can pack a punch.

Flies
Decay, rotting perishable food items, garbage, dead animals, backed up sewage and bad odors will attract large amounts of blow and fruit flies seeking to deposit their eggs on the filth and waste.

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Japanese Beetles

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The Japanese beetle, an extremely destructive pest, is native to Japan and was first discovered in the United States in 1916. Since the larvae (white grubs) feed on the roots of numerous plants and grasses while beneath the soil and the adults consume leaf matter above ground, the Japanese beetle causes monumental damage to golf courses, gardens, fruit trees, shrubs, lawns and nurseries. Japanese beetles can fly as far as five miles in search of food and mating partners.

Characteristics

  • Japanese beetles don’t fly very well
  • Adult Japanese beetles are approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch long
  • Japanese beetles eat around 300 species of plants, even poison ivy
  • Japanese beetles are present in most Eastern and Midwestern states
  • If available, they will also feed on the fruit growing on the plants and flowers
  • The adult Japanese beetles excrete pheromones to attract other beetles and overwhelm plants
  • Adult Japanese beetles feed on the leafy material between the veins of leaves, thus damaging plants
  • The adults have metallic blue-green heads, coppery wing casings and small white hairs lining each side of the abdomen

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Reproduction

  • Japanese beetles go through four stages of development, egg, larva, pupa and adult
  • An adult female may lay as many as 40 to 60 eggs in her lifetime
  • Eggs are laid individually in the fall, or in small clusters near the soil surface, amid the roots of grasses
  • The eggs hatch within approximately two weeks
  • Japanese beetle larvae (white grub) hibernate over the winter in the soil
  • The larvae of Japanese beetles emerge in the spring when soil temperatures rise again
  • Within 4-6 weeks of breaking hibernation, the larvae will pupate and then emerge as adults
  • It takes one full year for an egg to mature into an adult beetle
  • Most of the beetles’ life is spent as a larva, with only 30-45 days spent as an adult
  • The life-cycle of the Japanese beetle is about two years

Prevention

  • Apply sprays in the morning
  • Natural repellents include garlic, catnip, tansy and chives
  • Shake plants to knock off the Japanese beetles onto the ground and destroy them
  • Japanese beetles may be manually controlled using a soap-water spray mixture
  • Strategically place pheromone traps around the perimeter of your property during May through July
  • Walking several times over infested plots of lawn where the larvae reside will kill the grubs just beneath the soil, according to researchers

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Head Lice

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What is a head louse? A head louse is a wingless parasite that resides on the human scalp drawing blood for nourishment. These lice will infest and spread to a new host by sharing belongings (brushes, combs, hats, towels, clothing or beds) or close personal head-to-head contact. Children are most likely to catch and spread lice. Estimates state that six to twelve million children under the age of 12 become infested with head lice every year.

Head lice can be very challenging and tedious to remove – this is where the term ‘nit-picking’ came from.

Characteristics

  • Head lice are nocturnal
  • Head lice don’t spread disease
  • Head lice have one pair of eyes
  • Head lice don’t have wings, they only crawl
  • An adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed
  • Adult female head lice prefer to attach their eggs to scalp hair
  • Head lice are highly adapted for piercing skin to extract blood
  • The adult head lice lay their eggs (termed “nits”) attached to hair strands
  • Three forms of head lice exist: nits, nymphs, and mature adults
  • Head lice have one pair of antennae, each with five segments, protrude from its head
  • The most common route of lice transmission is by direct contact with an affected person’s hair
  • Since head lice do not have any wings or the ability to jump, they move by using their claw-like legs to transfer from hair to hair, allowing them to move quickly and reach another host

Reproduction

  • Adult head lice reproduce sexually
  • Adult lice mating usually lasts more than an hour
  • Mating occurs during any period of the night or day
  • Copulation can begin within the first 10 hours of adult life
  • Young males can successfully pair with older females, and vice versa
  • The adult female head louse can deposit about 90 eggs, averaging three to four eggs per day
  • Eggs are attached near the base of a host hair strand
  • Eggs hatch six to nine days after incubating
  • Eggs (known as “nits”) are bright, transparent, but appear white after hatching
  • Newly hatched nymphs will molt three times before becoming sexually-mature adults
  • The head louse has a life span close to 30 days

Prevention

  • Use hair products designed to repel lice
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture upholstery
  • If infestations exists, get new combs, brushes, and hair ties
  • Do not share items that touch the head (combs, brushes, hats, scarves, helmets, and caps)
  • Wash affected clothing and items after an infestation in hot water and tumble/dry on high heat
  • Soak combs, brushes, and hair ties in a 10 percent bleach or 2 percent Lysol solution for one hour

Photo By Gilles San Martin – originally posted to Flickr as Male human head louse, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11208622

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House Dust Mites

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House dust mites have lived on earth for 23 million years. They are nest dwelling scavengers known to colonize and infest warm, dark and humid areas. In addition to consuming rotting discarded skin scales, as a scavenger, they will eat almost anything organic such as molds, fungi, pollen grains, insect scales, bacteria and plant fibers. Invisible to the naked eye due to their very small size and translucent bodies, one must use a magnifying glass to see them.

Characteristics

  • House dust mites don’t bite
  • House dust mites are shaped like a bean
  • House dust mites have evolved without sight
  • Adult house dust mites’ body weight is 75% water
  • The dust mite considers its dropping as food
  • Exposure to dust mites’ excrement may cause asthma in children
  • Active digestive enzymes, found in mite droppings, disintegrate leftover scraps turning them into nourishment
  • The active digestive enzymes found in its droppings can kill delicate defense cells (human tissue) thus entering the blood stream of the human body triggering symptoms of asthma, rhinitis (hay fever), eczema and conjunctivitis
  • Adult house dust mites have eight legs, each with a sucker and hooks
  • House dust mites will hide from light and burrow deep into a mattress clinging on with powerful hooks and suckers on each of their eight legs
  • Adult house dust mites measure 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters (0.008 to 0.012 inches) in length
  • House dust mites travel by clinging to socks, soft toys, feathers, fur, pajamas or anything that will give them a place to hide while allowing them to be transported to a bed
  • Due to the abundance of dander, the bed is the most common place to find house dust mites
  • House dust mites may also be found in living areas especially carpet, furniture, and clothing
  • Optimal conditions for a mite colony occurs at a temperature of 77°F and 75% relative humidity

Reproduction

  • Carpets are a perfect habitat for dust mites to breed
  • After 6 to 12 days the egg will hatch
  • House dust mites can live for six to eight weeks
  • House dust mites have five life stages: Egg, Larva, Protonymph, Tritonymph and Adult
  • An adult female house dust mite may lay 1 to 3 eggs a day totaling 60 to 100 eggs in the last 5 weeks of her life
  • Females lay up to 80 eggs and there are several stages of immatures. Populations can explode during humid months as mites are excellent at absorbing moisture from the air

Prevention

  • Hardwood floors instead of carpets
  • Changing the bed linen weekly reduces the risk of dust mites
  • Dust mite mattress covers protect your bedding from dust mites
  • Unmade beds allowing air flow/dry conditions have fewer dust mites
  • Vacuuming a mattress will reduce some of the dust that mites consider as food
  • A house dust mite colony will not thrive with the humidity below 54%
  • Maintain humidity less than 45% with a dehumidifier during summer and a room temperature of 71 degrees
  • Washing bedding weekly in hot water that is at least 140 degrees then place in a hot tumble dryer for 10 minutes kills dust mites
  • Placing soft toys and infested fabrics in a plastic bag and letting them sit in the freezer for 12 hours will kill house dust mites

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Camel Cricket

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Camel Crickets get their name from their humpbacked appearance, which is similar to that of a camel. They are nocturnal and very active at night, but hide during the day. Camel Crickets are found outdoors around buildings in cool, moist environments under mulch, woodpiles and leaf litter. Around the home, they can also be found underneath decks, in drainage pipes, wells, under sheds and air conditioner units.

Camel Crickets are able to contort themselves, since they have “no real body structure”, thus enabling them to squeeze into even the smallest cracks to get inside your home. Camel crickets are completely harmless. They do not sting or bite and are not known to carry any disease.

Characteristics

  • Camel Crickets have six legs
  • Camel Crickets have very poor eyesight
  • Adult Camel Crickets do not have wings
  • Camel Crickets feed on organic material
  • Camel Crickets have two very long antennae
  • Camel Crickets seek warm climates with high humidity
  • Camel Crickets are light tan and brown, about 1-1 1/4″ long
  • Camel Crickets are humpbacked with long, very enlarged hind legs
  • Camel Crickets are unable to create sound, and therefore unable to sing or chirp
  • When frightened, Camel Crickets leap as a defense mechanism to scare predators
  • Camel Crickets prefer moist, dark, and damp environments such as garages, basements and crawl spaces

Reproduction

  • Since adult Camel Crickets are unable to chirp, they find their mates by producing scented pheromones
  • Adult male Camel Crickets will try to court a female before mating in the fall by flexing, showing off their hind quarters and general masculinity
  • Females lay their eggs in early spring and they hatch during April and May
  • Camel Crickets inhabit long grasses and areas of loose soil or sand in which to lay their eggs

Prevention

  • Clean out your garage
  • Fix any and all leaky gutters
  • Store fire wood away from the house
  • Reduce areas of moisture in and around the home
  • Remove leaves from under your deck or around your home
  • Caulk around cracks, crevices and holes along the foundation of the home
  • Keep crawl spaces, basements and attics well ventilated reducing humidity
  • To deter Camel Crickets from nesting nearby, re-direct sprinkler system away from your house
  • Seal all possible gaps and points of entry around the structure’s foundation, especially around doors, windows and foundation cracks
  • Seek professional assistance and a pest prevention plan

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Top 100 Pest Control Companies

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Southern and Sovereign Pest Control were recently named one of Pest Control Technology’s (PCT) Top 100 pest management firms in the United States. The award recognizes pest control businesses based on performance, sustained growth, and revenue.

Ashley Carroll, Vice President of Marketing, is pleased to hear that Southern & Sovereign Pest Control made the list for the fourteenth straight year. “We are very proud to receive such a distinguished honor.”

As a company that specializes in strictly residential properties, we are extremely pleased to be compared with those whose revenues encompass residential, commercial and industrial combined. Southern & Sovereign Pest Control ranked #74 for 2016.

“We’re honored to say that Southern & Sovereign Pest Control has been annually listed as a top 100 pest control company. It validates the hard work and commitment to superior customer care our employees have put in along with the trust our customers have in us to serve their needs,” said Carroll.

List of Top 100 Companies

About Southern and Sovereign Pest Control
Southern and Sovereign Pest Control was founded in 1970 and serves 17 locations in Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia. The company is a member of the National Pest Management Association and is Quality Pro-Certified, which is the highest mark of excellence recognized in the industry. Southern and Sovereign Pest Control provides quality termite and pest control services. For more information, contact by phone at 1-800-627-0577, or by filling out our contact form.

Our “Service When You Need It” program is a unique and progressive approach to residential pest control that is the best value in the industry. This service concept combines quality, value, and convenience with environmentally responsible pest control techniques.

Link to PCT Magazine Online Article

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House Fly

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House flies hangout at places like dumps, sewers, and garbage heaps. They feed on fecal matter, discharges from wounds and sores, sputum, and all sorts of moist decaying matter such as spoiled fish, eggs and meat. But House Flies do have one use. House Flies affinity for corpses makes them quite useful to Forensic Entomologists. Forensic Scientists use the knowledge of the flies’ life cycle to gauge the amount of time a corpse has been decomposing.

Characteristics

  • House Flies cannot bite.
  • House Flies are generally 3/16 to 1/4 inches in length
  • Males are slightly smaller than the females
  • Females have more space between eyes than the males
  • The body of a House Fly is covered with hair like projections
  • There are approximately 100,000 species of flies in the world
  • House Flies have two translucent wings and a gray thorax marked with four dark stripes
  • House Flies eat rotting organic matter, such as decaying food and flesh, feces, and mucus
  • House Flies are the most common species found on hog and poultry farms, horse stables and ranches

Reproduction

  • House Fly eggs are laid near food source for larvae
  • House Fly eggs are laid in just about any warm, moist material, manure or fermenting vegetation
  • Hatchings take place, in warm weather, within 12 to 24 hours
  • The young maggots become fully grown in 3-7 days
  • When adults emerge they begin mating immediately
  • Female house flies can lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime
  • An entire life cycle; egg, larva, pupa to winged adult may occur in 6-10 days
  • Adults may live an average of 30 days in the wild

Prevention

  • Fly swatter
  • Good sanitation
  • Fly paper and fly traps
  • Seal garbage cans and bags thoroughly
  • Serious infestations may require a licensed professional
  • Seal all cracks and small spaces around the home preventing flies from enter the home

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Warning – Powassan virus

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True or False? A Bite from a Tick Infected with the Powassan Virus may Cause Death.

Not all ticks carry viruses and not all people bitten by a tick will get sick. A tick needs to be attached for a certain length of time before it can transfer disease. This time interval is not known for the Powassan Virus, but it is likely much shorter than the time needed for other tick-borne disease agents.

Powassan virus is transmitted by the deer tick. The virus can cause inflammation in the brain, which leads to permanent disability and some cases can be fatal. For those who are inflicted with the Powassan Virus, the statistics are grim: 10 percent die and 50 percent suffer from some form of neurological disability. As of today, there is no real treatment for the virus.

Symptoms of the virus may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Loss of coordination
  • Speech difficulties
  • Seizures

You can reduce your risk of being infected with POW virus by using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, and doing thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors.

  • Walk in the center of trails
  • Find and remove ticks from your body
  • Avoid tick habitat such as densely wooded areas
  • Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET
  • Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors
  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Apply pesticides outdoors to control ticks

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Warmer Weather Pushes Pests from a Winter’s Rest

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Expect a Very Buggy Spring and Summer

Thus far 2017 has been warmer than usual. Warm weather wakes hibernating pests from their winter hiding spots. Due to pests and insect species being able to survive the warm winter weather, they may appear earlier and more abundantly. When you mix the warmer weather with the amount of rain, expect to see more pest in the next few weeks, especially snakes, spiders and mosquitoes.

There are some things you can do to reduce the presence and the negative impacts of pests. One of the best control plans is to get an early start on control. If you wait until summer, you might lose the battle and have a heavy infestation.

  • Check for debris around your house.
  • Remove any firewood stored near the home.
  • Remove leaf piles (perfect places for snakes to hide) and keep yard well landscaped.
  • Cracks by doors and walls should be covered, and wooden boxes should be checked closely.
  • You can disrupt the breeding of mosquitoes by eliminating areas of standing water (anything from flower pots, clogged gutters, birdbaths and old tires).
  • To prevent ants, earwigs and other invasive pests from entering your home this spring, make sure your house is properly sealed, with window screens in good condition and weather stripping around the doors.

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