image of magnifying glass with large bug in centre in front of bed

7 Natural Bed Bug Solutions

Don’t let the bed bug’s bite. A goodnight’s sleep is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. That’s why interruptions to a peaceful rest, especially at the bite of a bed bug critter, is most unwelcome and needs to be remedied. Sadly, bed bugs have become common place around Vancouver. While these bugs are neither poisonous nor life threatening, they are incredibly irritating. While the risk of experiencing illness or disease brought on by bed bugs is minimal, they do have painful bites that cause severe itching.

If you come across bed bugs in your home, treat them quickly and thoroughly. Atlas Pest Control in Vancouver are well versed in the treatment of bed bugs. Should you discover an infestation of bed bugs in your home, hiring professional help can ensure the job is completed properly. If you’re in a bind and would like to try some at home remedies, here are 7 ways you can naturally prevent and treat bed bugs in your home:

Signs of Bed Bugs

Before you begin your treatment for bed bugs, it’s important to properly identify them. Bed bugs closely resemble ticks and are rusty brown in colour. They’re oval, flat, wingless and are about 1/5 of an inch long. How to check for bed bugs in your home:

  • Blood stains on the sheets and/ or mattress
  • Bites on skin
  • Bed bugs love small cracks and crevices so you must carefully inspect mattresses, bed frames, walls, and floors for the physical bugs
  • Inspect the places above for signs of feces and look for rust or brown coloured spots/ smudges
  • A musky odour may come from the bed bugs themselves/ areas of infestation

How to Naturally Treat Bed Bugs

If you catch bed bugs early enough, you can try some home remedies to treat them. However, if you get caught in a bed bug infestation, it’s advisable to seek the help of expert pest control professionals. At Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control, you can sleep soundly knowing that your home is critter free through their use of non-toxic treatment methods.

While professional extermination is the most reliable way to treat bed bugs, some natural bed bug solutions include:

1.    Starving the Bugs

This takes time and dedication; however, you can treat bed bugs by starving them. Start off by thoroughly vacuuming your bed and infected areas, then you’ll need to wrap your mattress, sheets, pillows, etc. in tightly sealed bags for at least a week. This will enclose the bugs and prevent them from being able to move and feed off available sources. It will also kill any eggs that have yet to hatch.

2.    Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great method for both cleaning the air in your fridge and treating pesty bed bugs. This fine powder soaks up moisture and kills bed bugs by drying out their bodies. Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda over infected areas such as beds, walls, doorways, headboards, floors, etc. Let this sit for a week and then vacuum up the powder and dried up bugs.

3.    Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an underrated remedy for many cases. From lice prevention to the treatment of bacteria and fungi, this essential oil has anti-parasitic properties and can be used to kill bed bugs. To try this method out for yourself, mix two teaspoons of pure tea tree oil with 50ml of water in a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly and apply to infected areas, paying close attention to small cracks and crevices.

4.    Vinegar

While good on fries, vinegar is also known to kill bed bugs. The strong odour is irritating to the bed bugs and while it will kill the hatched bugs, vinegar won’t treat the eggs. You’ll need to thoroughly saturate the infected area and surroundings to make sure the bugs cannot escape the substance.

5.    Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol works much in the same way as vinegar, damaging the nervous systems of the bed bugs when inhaled. Spray rubbing alcohol in infested areas to kill the bugs.

6.    Lemongrass

If you’d rather your home not stink of vinegar and rubbing alcohol, you can use lemongrass to repel bed bugs. The strong scent is off-putting to the little critters and increases the acidity levels in their bodies. Liberally spray lemongrass in infected areas daily for a week or more.

7.    Steam Clean

Be very cautious when using this method as steam is incredibly hot and can result in skin burns if not properly handled. Use a steamer, such as one for clothes, and drag the nozzle across infected areas slowly. You want the temperature of the steamed area to reach 71-82°C to effectively kill the bugs. Don’t miss high risk areas such as mattress seams and stitching, bed frame, curtains, carpets, hardwood floors, doorways, etc. Let the areas dry then repeat to target any remaining bed bugs.

If These Don’t Work…

While the above home remedies are worth a shot, they may not effectively kill both the bugs and the eggs. Professional extermination can guarantee a thorough and efficient treatment of bed bugs in your home. If you’re in need of pest control in Vancouver, Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control has you covered. Servicing cities around Greater Vancouver and surrounding areas, the team at Atlas Pest can be by your side in a flash to treat any extermination issue. Receive a free quote today to make your home pest free.

visual image of summertime pests

Prevent Summer Pests in Vancouver

Would you like to know to how to prevent the top 5 worst summer pests in Vancouver? While summer is a great time to bask in the sun and have BBQ’s by the beach, it’s also prime pest season. Some of the most tedious pests love to invade homes during the summer so it’s important to incorporate pest control practices in your home early-on. However, if you’re already having summer pest control issues, the experts at Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control can help.

Here are the 5 worst summertime pests in Vancouver and what you can do to prevent having them in your home:

1.   Mosquitoes

Summer is great for a lot of reasons, but mosquitoes are not one of them. One of the dreads of summer is the wrath of these itchy pests. They buzz, they bite, and they carry diseases that you probably want to keep out of your house this season. Like most living creatures, mosquitoes are simply looking for environments to feed and continue their life cycle. That doesn’t need to occur in your home though.

Prevention

In Vancouver, mosquitoes tend to start creeping out around June, but tend to peak in July and August. The key to summer pest control for mosquitoes is to avoid standing pools of water in your home. Mosquito eggs develop in stagnant pools of water, therefore, by eliminating this breeding area, you can minimize the risk of mosquitos infesting and reproducing in your home.

2.   Ants

Ants are like tiny, reproducing magicians. You see one then suddenly, trails of ants are covering your floors and walls, stealing crumbs and scraps to feed their queen. Ants are typically harmless; however, some do have nasty bites. For the most part, they’re just annoying, unsightly little creatures who love explore your home.

Prevention

The key to eradicating the risk of ant colonies is early intervention. Make sure there’s no excess food laying around, especially in basements and lower floors. Keeping your food properly sealed and stored can help to keep ants at bay, as they’re always on the hunt for scraps. Regularly taking out the trash and compost is another good habit to incorporate into your summer routine. If you spot an ant in your home, try to track its path to locate the nest and take appropriate action. You can block off points of entry , however, if there are already trails of ants in your home, the team at Atlas Pest can take proper action. Ants colonize and reproduce at very rapid rates, so it’s important to handle the issue promptly and efficiently.

3.   House Flies

House flies are a particularly frustrating pest to have in your house as they love to buzz and are notoriously tricky to catch. They also transmit diseases, and some types of flies have nasty bites. If you don’t deal with flies quickly and efficiently, they reproduce at alarming rates, quickly creating a pest infestation in your home.

Prevention

Keeping a clean home is the key to preventing house flies. They’re attracted to food and sweet beverages, so ensuring that there’s no food residue left on the countertops or leftovers lying around is a great first step. You should also discard your trash and compost as regularly as you can, to avoid the smell attracting them. Eliminating the main draws for flies can prevent infestations, however, it’s nearly impossible to keep a fly here and there out of your home. If you think you may have a house fly issue, consult the experts at Atlas Pests. Their professional equipment and years of experience can help keep your home as pest free as possible.

4.   Ticks

Ticks are incredibly detrimental to human health. Lyme disease is transmitted through tick bites so if you think you’ve been bitten, consult a doctor right away for preventive measures. Ticks are often found in nature, such as hiking trails with long grass or damp meadows. However, ticks also attach to skin and can be carried into the house by dogs and cats.

Prevention

Avoid going in areas with long grass and weeds, especially if you’re towing a pet along. After outdoor trips, conduct a quick inspection of your pets’ fur by combing through and looking for ones attached to the skin. If any are discovered, remove the tick from the skin using tweezers and a magnify glass to ensure the head and body are completely detached. There are also shampoo treatments you can use on your pets’ skin as an extra safety measure.

5.   Wasps & Bees

Wasps and bees are vital to the ecosystem, however, they’re not the type of visitors you want buzzing around your home all summer. Wasps and bees are very territorial and will sting or bite if threatened. While they’re generally harmless creatures, some people are deathly allergic to their stings/ bites.

Prevention

Since these types of pests are so integral to the environment, they should only be interfered with if posing serious risks to the health of you and your household. As they breed in nests, the key to removing them from your home is by eliminating the nest on your property. As this is highly dangerous, nest removal should only be handled by professionals. Atlas Pest Control have the equipment and technique to keep your household safe when removing nests. They’ll handle the hive safely to avoid unleashing a life-threatening swarm and properly dispose of the nest and insects.

Who to Call?

If you’re having pest control issues in Vancouver, the team at Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control in Vancouver can handle the job. They specialize in the proper identification, removal, and prevention of pests in commercial and residential properties. Reach out to Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control today to learn more.

 

 

learn how to check the bed bugs on the mattress

How to Check For Bed Bugs?

These two words are enough to send shivers up the spine of homeowners, renters, and travelers alike—actually, enough to send shivers up the spine of any human being.

 

While bed bugs are not necessarily dangerous to our physical health (signs point to them not carrying any kind of disease that can infect humans), there is no doubt that they can wreak havoc on our sense of psychological safety. After all, they infect the areas that we tend to think of as the most secure places in our lives, such as beds, couches, and other sources of comfort.

 

One of the best ways that you can protect yourself against a bed bug infestation is by learning about the possible signs that a bed bug may have taken up real estate within your home. Here are some of the easiest ways to check for bed bugs, as well as the major signs that a bed bug infestation may be near.

 

5 Signs of Infestation

 

1. Small Black Dots

The best way to determine whether or not bed bugs have made a home in your bed is by looking for small black flecks in the corner of your mattress (or couch cushion, etc). These are not the bed bugs themselves, but rather bed bug excrement. To get an accurate look, find a flashlight, or use the flashlight on your phone. Using a thin firm tool like a credit card, pull the sides of the mattress or the cushion down to expose the crevices. If you see long lines of black dots, this may be a sign of bed bug excrement.

 

2. Blood Stains

Bed bugs feast on blood, although their bites are so mild that it is unlikely that you would feel it while you sleep. One telltale sign that you are being bitten by bed bugs may be the presence of unexplained blood specks on your sheets.

 

3. Musty Smell

Bed bugs excrete a musty smell that some humans may be able to pick up on. If you notice the sudden onset of an unexplained musty smell in your bedroom, it made be a sign of bed bugs.

 

4. Bed Bug Bites

Although it can be tempting to rely on bite evidence as a tell-tale sign of a bed bug infestation, try to resist the urge to jump to conclusions at the sight of a bite. The reason for this is that bed bug bites can resemble other common sources of biting, such as spiders or mosquitoes. They can even resemble rashes or pimples. That being said, bed bug bites usually appear in a cluster of three or more (often somewhat disturbingly called “breakfast, lunch, dinner”). If you favor one side while you sleep, you may notice that bites appear on one side of your body more than another.

 

5. The Sight of a Bed Bug

It is a common misconception that bed bugs are minuscule beings that you cannot see with the naked eye. While this may be true of some very young bed bugs, the average adult is about the size of an apple seed—very visible. While they usually come out at night more often than not (that’s when their food source—you— is sleeping), they certainly are known to walk around during the day occasionally. And if you spot one, there is never just one. You have an infestation.

 

Pest Control Services in Vancouver

If you have followed these techniques and made the unfortunate discovery that you do in fact have bedbugs, you need to get in contact with a pest control company. Atlas Pests are the experts in bed bug extermination in Vancouver—reach out to us today to see how we can help you eliminate these fickle pests from your life.

pest control is important for your home when it is in Fall in Vancouver

Top 10 Pest-Proofing Tips for Fall in BC

When people think of falls they think of watching a romantic movie while wrapped in a fleece blanket, drinking warm Pumpkin spice lattes and celebrating Thanksgiving. However, it’s nearly impossible to enjoy the fun times when your home is infested with pests. As the summer weather starts to fade away, the fall pests never cease to disappoint. Are you wanting to protect your house from the pests before they move in and make themselves at home?

The Top 10 Ways to Pest-proof Your Home in Vancouver

 

1. Locate Possible Entrances

Pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches, spiders and more can come into your home from any gaps and cracks in the windows or walls. You want to inspect the outside of your house for easy access points. Use a hand mirror to help inspect the underside of the siding. When you find any gaps make a mark using masking tape to indicate what you need to seal. Calling a Pest Control professional to get the job done properly could potentially save you in the long run.

 

2. Seal the Gaps

When you have marked all the gaps you have found with masking tape go back and seal the cracks and holes with silicone caulk. Fill the spaces inside your home with pieces of steel wool, as pests do not like the roughness of the steel fibres. Be sure to pay very close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure. Some rodents are able to fit through a hole as small as a dime.

 

3. Screen Any Openings

If your home doesn’t have screens on the windows, chimney, attic vents, mail slots or even on the pet doors, you need to fix that immediately. Make sure that the screens on the dryer vents are sealed tightly between the vent and the wall. You should install the door sweeps and repair damaged screens for the utmost protection. Torn window screens and gaps under doors are the most common entry point.

 

4. Clean the Gutters

Clean any leaves and other debris from the gutters to help prevent standing water, which happens to be the perfect breeding ground for a lot of pests. Installing gutters or fixing a pre-existing system will help draw water and moisture away from the home, to stop any leaks or build up that attracts fall pests.

 

5. Clean Pet Food

If you have any pets, it’s important that you don’t leave their food out for a long period of time. Pests don’t ride off any food, they take what they can get and dog or cat food is nothing less than a great meal for them. Leaving out your pet’s food is tempting to rodents and insects. Storing the food in plastic containers or sealed bags will help keep the pests out and away.

 

6. Dehumidify and Remove Cobwebs

You want to use a dehumidifier to maintain a 40 percent humidity level in your basement which will keep it nice and dry. Cleaning the cobwebs whenever you see them will help slow down the appearance of spiders. Keep the window sills clean too. Within a month you can see the population of spiders in your basement decrease dramatically.

 

7. Check Your Boxes

Pests are sneaky and can be quite smart. Their creative approach to finding their way into your home may shock you. If you leave any boxes or grocery bags outside before bringing them in your home rodents and insects can climb in without you even noticing. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left outside or stored outside before entering your house.

 

8. Store Firewood Away

Store firewood 20 feet away from your home and keep shrubbery and branches well-trimmed. When you reduce areas where pests can hide it decreases the chance of them finding an entryway into your home.

 

9. Keep Kitchen Clean

Keep kitchen counters clean and keep your food in an airtight container to prevent infestations. Dispose of your garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. The build-up of garbage and crumbs are very appealing to pests who are looking for a nice meal. The best way to prevent pests from coming into your kitchen is to clean after every meal and to keep all garbage stored away properly.

 

10. Snap-type Mousetraps

When snap-type mousetraps are placed properly, they can be a very effective way to get rid of your unwanted friends. One of the most common mistakes people make is poor placement of the traps or using too few of them. The best place to put the traps is where you’ve seen the mice before and where their brown pellet droppings are. Mice are smart and are able to jump over one trap, that’s why placement is crucial. By placing two traps beside each other makes it not possible for the mouse to jump over and will successfully trap the mouse. The best type of bate that Vancouver pest control professionals love to use is chocolate syrup and peanut butter.

 

The most beneficial way to keep your house, your home and not share it with any unwanted pests is to take these preventative measures to protect your home. It is best to practice these pest-proofing tips in the fall when the temperature begins to drop, so when the winter rolls around you won’t have to worry and contact our Vancouver pest control professional.

understand the efficient way by using coffee grounds to keep pests out of your garden

Do Coffee Grounds Attract Pests?

If you are somebody who feels like you are in the constant battle with pests in your outdoor living areas, it is natural to consider every type of deterrent out there — even the ones that seem outlandish.

 

While many budding gardeners may be concerned that coffee grounds can attract pests, the reality is quite to the contrary. In fact, when implemented correctly, coffee grounds can be an effective way to repel certain pests such as wasps, snails, and mosquitoes. With years of experience in pest control in Vancouver, Atlas Pest Control can help explain why this is the case.

As our question: “Do coffee grounds attract pests?” — no! The opposite is true. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), coffee grounds are an efficient way to keep pests out of your garden. Not only is this option more environmentally-friendly than the average pest repellant on the market, but it is also easier to source and even easier on the wallet.

How Do Coffee Grounds Work to Repel Pests?

As a human, you understand that, whether you like it or not, the smell of coffee is very strong. For insects with heightened sniffers, this is especially true. Like some humans, insects are not usually big fans of the smell, which causes them to stay clear of its source, as insects do not want to settle somewhere that it smells unpleasant.

Which Kinds of Coffee Grounds Should I Use?

The type of grounds you can use will really depend on the kind of coffee you enjoy! Whatever you do, don’t go out and buy coffee just for the sake of having grounds for your garden. Whether you enjoy a light roast or a dark roast, or anything in between, all types of coffee are passable for the garden.

 

One thing to note: it is essential that you use coffee grounds and not whole beans!

Do I have to Burn the Coffee Grounds?

If you go into a rabbit hole of researching coffee grounds online, you may see many suggestions calling for you to burn the coffee grounds. While this has not necessarily been scientifically proven, some gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts insist that the smoke works to repel insects as smoke can be a signal of damage to them, which can cause them to stay away from the surrounding areas.

 

If you do decide to burn your coffee grounds, start by ensuring that your grounds are dry. Then, burn the grounds as you would incense, on a bowl or on a flat piece of aluminum foil.

What Kind of Pests Will be Repelled By Coffee Grounds?

The following insects have been reported to be disgusted by the scent of coffee grounds:

  • Slugs
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Fleas
  • Ants
  • Snails

What are the Other Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds in Your Garden?

Coffee grounds have other positive effects on your garden aside from keeping pests away, such as:

  • Coffee grounds can help your plants and flourish, which in turn can help with pest control
  • Coffee grounds are especially helpful for plants that thrive in acidic soil, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, and evergreens
  • Coffee grounds can act as mulch which will discourage the growth of weeds

Things to Consider

  • Just like most things in life, the old adage “too much of a good thing” can also apply to coffee grounds in your garden. As coffee grounds are very acidic, it’s important that you practise restraint when adding them to your soil, ensuring that they never make up more than 15 to 20% of your soil’s total volume.
  • If you do not indulge in a cuppa at home, don’t be afraid to reach out to your local coffee shop! Many establishments will be happy to share their coffee grains with you for free, as it is a mutually beneficial practise that also helps them cut down on the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill.

 

If you are looking for advice on pest removal in Vancouver, Atlas Pest Control can help you find the solutions you need. Whether you are dealing with a problem that can be efficiently treated by coffee grounds or something much larger, we can find a way to help get your garden under control.

Vancouver in the TOP-3 cities for bed bugs

Vancouver Has the Third Most Bedbugs in Canada in 2020

Vancouver is a great Canadian city known for plenty of amazing and exciting features, landmarks and natural beauty. Unfortunately, not everything nature has to offer in this city is good. Some of it is downright disgusting. While Vancouver isn’t the worst in the country for the amount of bed bugs we have (sorry, Toronto), we are currently ranked third in the nation. That is not a top three list we want to be a part of, which is why it is so important to recognize the signs of bed bugs, and deal with the issue as soon as possible.

Why Vancouver?

Major cities with dense populations are the ideal place for bed bugs to thrive. They literally live on human and animal blood, so the more bodies they can access, the more food they can consume to grow and multiply. Due to the large population and the amount of different people that travel to and from Vancouver on a regular basis, bed bugs can find plenty to live on in this city.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Although they are a serious pest in any home or apartment, bed bugs aren’t very subtle. This means that you will likely be able to spot them in or around your bed before the infestation really takes hold. Keep an eye out for tiny black spots or stains on your bed sheets or mattress. You also may find some old bed bug skins scattered about your room. If you notice these signs, start to examine the nooks and corners of your mattress and bed frame. You should also take a look at any other furniture or carpeting for additional critters. Finally, bed bugs can actually emit a musty odour, especially if they are allowed to grow over time.

When it comes to your own skin, bed bug bites are fairly obvious. They often look like clusters of red pimples or mosquito bites, but they are far more itchy than these. Unfortunately, these sores take a while to appear after being bitten, so it’s hard to know when they occur. The point is if you have been bitten by a bed bug, more will likely follow if you don’t tackle the issue promptly.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs have a distinct shape and colour, so they are often easy to spot and identify. Look for a tiny bug about the size of the top of a pen cap with a striped brown back. In some cases, you will be able to see more darker bed bugs who have recently finished eating. Check out what bed bugs looks like.

Treating Bed Bugs

Keeping things clean and tidy and free from clutter is a good first step for dealing with bed bugs. You can start by picking up smaller belongings and putting them in the dryer on the highest temperature setting for 30 minutes. You can then brush off your bare mattress, and do a major vacuum of any and all nooks, crannies and carpeted areas. You need to then promptly empty your vacuum outside as soon as possible. In some cases, it is best to throw out any infested blankets, pillows, comforters or even mattresses. At the end of the day, you will need to call in an expert exterminator to track down any additional issues with bed bugs.

useful and harmful insects at home

Useful vs Harmful Household Insects

When most of us see an insect or arthropod of any kind in our home, our first instinct is usually to get rid of the bug. Whether we trap the bug and let it go outside, or if we just squash it and throw it away, the reaction is usually the same. Most homeowners prefer to have a bug free home, or at least if there are bugs in our homes, we prefer not being aware of their presence. Despite our wishes however, our homes play host to a number of different crawling creatures. The good news is that most of these insects, arthropods, crustaceans and other creatures are harmless. To help you determine which of these potential pests is just a minor annoyance, which ones can be helpful, and which ones are actually harmful to you or your property, take a look at the following descriptions of common household bugs listed below. Read more

attic pest control prevention bats pests rodents

How to Avoid Unwanted House Attic Pest Infestations

To small creatures like mice, squirrels and rats, an attic can seem like the perfect place to call home. Unfortunately, the attic they decide to make their home might happen to be your attic! Once a pest has got into your attic, you should make sure to call your local pest control expert to get rid of the problem as soon as possible. If they are allowed to remain in the attic for an extended period, they may decide to venture down into the house where its warmer and where there is plenty of food to eat. To avoid this issue altogether, be sure to follow these helpful tips on how to avoid a pest infestation in your attic. Read more