Image of magnifying glass showing bed bugs

7 Questions About Bed Bugs We Have the Answers To

Nothing is worse than an interruption to a good night’s sleep. Okay, there may be worse things, however, no one wants to be woken up to the painful, irritating, and unsightly presence of bed bug bites all over their skin. And that’s exactly the risk these pesky little bugs pose. Even if you don’t have a current issue with bed bugs in your home, it’s still important to recognize the signs. Bed bug infestations have been on the rise in recent years, so they could be lurking in hotels, Airbnb’s, friends’ homes, or in your own. To be equipped with the knowledge needed to combat these little pests, here’s what you should know about bed bugs:

1.    What are bed bugs?

Let’s start with the basics. Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on human blood. While bed bugs are considered parasites, they differ from parasitic lice, ticks, and scabies because unlike those bugs, bed bugs don’t stay attached to the host. Instead, they feed and quickly retreat back to their hiding place. On top of this, bed bugs are nocturnal – making nighttime their prime feeding time.

2.    What do bed bugs look like?

Now, we’re not here to ruin your doctor’s favourite fruit, however, adult bed bugs are most comparable to apple seeds. They have the same size, shape, and colouring as an apple seed, with a smaller head and a flat, oval-shaped body, six legs, and two antennae. Bed bugs are reddish brown, but as they feed, they get larger and deeper in colour. Baby bed bugs, known as nymphs, are very difficult to spot. When bed bugs first hatch, they’re about the size of a pinhead and white in colour. So, if you spot an adult bed bug, there’s likely babies to boot. To thoroughly address the problem, professional pest control in Vancouver is the best solution – for pests of all ages.

3.    Do bed bugs carry disease?

It’s an important question with a relieving answer. Unlike mosquitos, ticks, and other biting insects, bed bugs do not spread disease. Typically, the worst-case scenario with a bed bug bite is that you’re left with a small, itchy mark on your skin that looks similar to many other types of bug bites. In some rare cases, you may be allergic to bed bugs, however, this is quite uncommon. If you have unexplained marks/ bites on your skin that are causing unusual reactions, seek medical attention immediately.

4.    Why do bed bugs like beds?

Bed bugs are creatures of habit. They like calm, dark spaces that allow easy access to people at rest. Hence their favourite home: the bed. Because bed bugs don’t attach to their hosts, they need access to people for extended periods of time when they’re lying down or sitting, making the bed the optimal spot of attack. Additionally, since they tend to be nocturnal, they like to live where people sleep. Making homes, hotels, university dorms, hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and even airplanes, airports, and trains the perfect place to hide out and wait for a host.

5.    Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs don’t like to travel unnecessarily – even for food. So, they’ll typically stay in proximity to their food source, which is typically mattresses, bed frames, box springs, couches, etc. Ultimately, any piece of furniture that’s close to the bed is at risk for bed bugs. Some surprising bed bug hiding spots include:

  • Rugs
  • Carpets
  • Headboards
  • Nightstands
  • Dressers
  • End tables
  • Baseboards
  • Closets
  • Picture frames
  • Electrical outlets
  • Toys
  • Cars

Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may find bed bugs in kitchens and bathrooms, however, this is rare as they like to stay very close to sleeping areas.

6.    How do you find bed bugs?

Identifying bed bugs can be tricky as they like to hide during the day. Therefore, the best way to spot them is to inspect what they leave behind. Look for:

  • Dark spots on bedding
  • Rusty or reddish stains on mattress and sheets
  • Eggs or eggshells left behind from hatching bed bugs
  • Shed skin casings of matured bed bugs

If you want to spot a live bed bug, the best time to do it is at night with a flashlight. Check the seams of your mattress, along your headboard, and in your nightstand – these tend to be the bed bug hot spots. At night, when the room is dark, leave any overhead lights turned off and shine a flashlight at these areas. This will be your best bet for catching a glimpse.

7.    How do you get rid of bed bugs?

These little pests are durable. They can live up to a year without feeding and can survive in all sorts of temperatures and climates. Therefore, the best way to eradicate a bed bug problem is with professional pest control in Vancouver. At Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control, we have the equipment and treatment to rid your home of bed bugs permanently. For safe and effective pest control in Vancouver, reach out to our team today!

Image of bat hanging upside down off a branch

Bats: 10 Fun Facts to Feast Your Fangs Into

If you’ve been paying attention to pop culture news lately, you likely weren’t able to escape the chatter surrounding The Batman: the newest DC installment that takes the reluctant, unsung superhero to even darker depths. While receiving mixed box office reviews, it did its job in bringing bats to the forefront of our brains. To celebrate this new fanged, feature flick, here are 10 fun facts about bats you may not know:

1.     Bats can live more than 30 years

Bats have quite the lifetime, living more than 30 years in many cases. When they’re born, baby bats are called “pups,” and most bats only have one pup per year. This makes them extremely vulnerable to extinction. To find their pup and keep them safe, mother bats track their baby’s unique voice and scent. This can help them distinguish their pup from thousands, even millions, of other baby bats.

2.     Bats are the only flying mammal

Sure, flying squirrels roam the city but their name is misleading as they don’t actually fly, they glide. Bats on the other hand (or wing) can fly for considerable amounts of time in a sustained fashion. So, they’ve taken the title as the world’s only flying mammal.

3.     Bats are nocturnal

We don’t call them creatures of the night for nothing. Unlike (most) mammals, bats choose to sleep during the day, and roam in the night. In fact, if you see a bat during the day, it usually means there is a problem. They may be sick, or their resting spot may have been disturbed by a predator, leaving them to hunt for a new home. Luckily, they’re not too picky when it comes to real estate. From caves and hollow trees to buildings, chimneys, or crevices in rocky areas, bats prefer dark, confined spaces. While this versatility works in the bat’s favour, it could mean trouble for homeowners. If you suspect there’s a bat living in your home or commercial building, call Atlas Pest and Wildlife for quick and effective pest control in Vancouver.

4.     Bats are not in the bird family

While you may assume these creatures of flight evolved in similar fashion to birds, they actually come from separate genealogies. In fact, bat wings are completely unlike that of a bird. A bird wing features an “arm-bone” design that runs along the forward ridge and supports a thick blanket of feathers. Whereas a bat wing is composed more similarly to a hand, with finger-like structures running from the forward ridge of the wing to the back. Also, there’s not a feather to be found, just a thin membrane of skin called patagium.

5.     They don’t flap as much as they swim through the air

In both air and water, bats move in a swimming motion like that of a fish. Rather than flapping their wings like a bird, bats have a great amount of flexibility and range, allowing them to utilize a flap and glide technique to “swim” through the air.

6.     Bats LOVE bugs

One pro to having a bat in your backyard is their capacity for bug eating. It has been estimated that some species of bats can eat more than 6,000 bugs per hour. So, after you call for pest control in Vancouver, don’t be surprised if your mosquito count greatly decreases while you’re waiting for our experts to show up.

7.     Bats go with the bugs

If there are no bugs to eat, bats will either dip down to the south for the winter or go into full hibernation mode until their food source returns. Either way, they get a sunny vacation or a four-month nap. Life is not too shabby for bats!

8.     Bat heartbeats have great range

A bat has a wide range of heartbeats. When they’re hibernating, they’re using significantly less energy, therefore, their heartbeat slows to just four beats per minute (bpm). However, when they’re in flight, on a long-distance journey, or amid a hunt, their heartbeat tops out between 400 to 1,100 bpm. To give some context as to just how fast this is, the average human has a range of 70 to 150 bpm.

9.     Stay calm and hang upside down

Bats hang upside down when resting or hibernating, which protects them from predators as they can choose hard-to-access places. Thanks to their one-way valves, bats don’t experience a head rush like humans would. This protects their heads and brains from drowning in blood.

10.  Bats use sound, not sight to find food

For bats living the night life, they use a technique called echolation. By emitting high-pitched sounds into the air, around 10-20 beeps per second, they listen to the echos to locate insects.

Got a Bat? Call Pest Control in Vancouver to Help

As cool as bats are, they don’t make the ideal houseguest. If you have a bat problem in your home or commercial building, we have the solutions. For professional, efficient, and effective pest control in Vancouver, our team at Atlas Pest and Wildlife have the means to help. Contact us today to learn more!

Image of mouse entering a house

Rodents – 4 Things They Love About Your Home

If you have ever seen a mouse or rat in your house, you know that they can be pesky to deal with. These little creatures are experts at finding ways into your house, and once they’re there, they can be very difficult to get rid of. They contaminate food, damage property, and can spread harmful diseases throughout your household. While pest control can help get rid of them, it is important to know what attracts them in the first place. So, to keep your home rodent free, here are the 4 major things that rodents love about your home…

1. Food

One thing that rodents love about your house is that it provides them with a lot of food. Many small rodents, such as mice, only need around three to four grams of food per day to survive. Compared to us humans, that’s practically nothing. So, you can understand why it only takes a few crumbs. Most appetizing is foods high in sugar or salt, such as cereal, candy, and pet food. You can reduce the likelihood of rodents coming into your home by keeping food stored away in the fridge or in airtight containers.

2. Poor Sanitation

You don’t need to be sitting on a garbage heap to attract a rodent. While it can be tough to keep a spotless house 24/7, regular cleaning and maintenance can keep these pesky visitors at bay. From crumbs on the counter to rotting leftovers, minimizing food debris should be top priority if you’re worried about rodents. However, the sanitation doesn’t stop at the interior of your home. If you have fruit or nut trees surrounding your home, it’s important to discard fallen fruit from your yard. Pay attention to bird feeders, veggies gardens, and lawn seeds. If you don’t, it’s just a short journey from your yard to the kitchen for the rats and mice.

3. Shelter

If you have a rodent problem, it could be nothing other than it is a warm place to stay. Think about it: would you rather be shivering in the cold or seek refuge in a big, warm, inviting household such as your own? Unfortunately, rats and mice feel the same. They like to hide in warm, dark places where they feel safe from predators. To prevent them from taking up residence in your home, make sure all the cracks and crevices around doors and windows are sealed properly, as well as any holes in the walls, floors, and ceilings. With Atlas Pest Control in Vancouver, we can examine your home for potential entry points or weak spots to ensure your house is pest-proof year-round.

4. Privacy

Rodents are naturally skittish creatures. Typically, rodents will seek out places like attics and basements to stay comfortable and out of sight. Not only does this increase their chances of building a nest and avoiding exposure, but it’s also a great place to raise their young. If you have an infestation of rats or mice, chances are you may find juvenile rodents running around.

Looking for Pest Control in Vancouver?

If you’re stuck with a rodent problem in your home, Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control has you covered. With over 40 years in the Pest Control Industry, our team has the expertise, equipment, and experience to rid your home of rodents. Serving Greater Vancouver and the lower mainland, our team at Atlas Pest can be by your side in a flash to treat a variety of issues requiring extermination. Reach out for a free quote on making your home pest free today.

Image of cockroach pest control in action

7 Facts You MUST Know About Cockroach Pest Control in Vancouver

Cockroaches are one of the most dreaded household pests there are. While there are many pests that are more harmful than a cockroach, people can’t help but catch the “ick” when they think of roaches. And we get it, their size, shape, colour, and the smug way they scamper across the room is a recipe for catching the creepy-crawlies. So, without further ado, here are 7 things you must know about cockroaches…

1. Cockroaches Are Prehistoric

Dinosaurs anyone? One cool, potentially unsettling fun-fact about cockroaches is their age. While we humans prefer to conceal our true number, cockroaches relish in their multimillion-year timestamp. There are many species of insects that have graced this earth for millennia, however, cockroaches may just be the oldest living insect still around today. In fact, fossil records indicate that these tough-as-nail crawlers have been around for more than 300 million years.

Even more interesting is the fact that cockroaches have hardly evolved over their long existence. Why? Because what’s the point of changing if you’ve already found the perfect way to survive? So yes, this means that cockroaches are incredibly difficult to exterminate. Therefore, if you stumble across a family of cockroaches in your home, leave it to the pest professionals.

2. Roaches Are Family-Oriented

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but it is true that cockroaches have huge families. In fact, some cockroaches can produce an unbelievable number of offspring. For example, the ever-famous female German cockroach can birth over 30,000 babies in a single year. How can they manage such an alarming feat? Well, a cockroach often lays egg sacs that contain between 16-50 eggs each. They do this once a month, for 10 months out of the year. So, bad news is: if you see one cockroach, there are likely many to follow. That’s why the cockroach pest control in Vancouver is so crucial.

3. Cockroaches Don’t Need Food to Survive

Unimaginable we know. However, it is true that cockroaches can go very long periods without eating, oftentimes up to a month. So, while mice may scurry on if you don’t keep good snacks in your home, cockroaches are much more stubborn – and far less picky! They’ll survive off anything they can find, from crumbs to dead insects, glue, soap, and cloth, nothing is off limits.

4. Off With Their [Cockroach] Heads!

Did you know that cockroaches can survive up to a week without their heads? This is potentially because of their unique circulatory system that allows them to breathe through their bodies rather than their mouths, rendering their heads optional (sort of). While they can breathe sans mouths, they do still need to consume food and water with it. Therefore, their time as headless roaches are limited to however long they can thrive on an empty stomach.

5. A Cockroach Can Hold Its Breath Longer Than an Olympic Swimmer

Unsettling? Quite. Nevertheless, drowning your unwanted cockroach visitors will do nothing more than strengthen their backstroke. So, before you try to flush them down the toilet or drop them down the drain, cockroaches breathe through their skin, not mouths, and can survive under water for up to 30 minutes. They’re also incredibly advanced when it comes to breath-holding competitions, making them particularly tenacious against gas-based chemicals. Rendering professional pest control in Vancouver a must-have to combat cockroach infestations.

6. Roaches Can Be Dangerous

They’re not just unsightly…cockroaches carry diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid, and a variety of respiratory diseases. Also, a cockroach can spread E. coli and salmonella throughout your house as well as aggravate allergies and contribute to asthma, specifically in children. Last but certainly not least, cockroaches have been known to transmit parasitic worms. If you didn’t have the “ick” before, you certainly do now.

7. They Can Be Stopped with Pest Control in Vancouver

If you’re wondering how to get rid of cockroaches, Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control has the answers. When it comes to cockroach pest control in Vancouver, our team has the expertise, equipment, and tenacity to make your home free of roaches. It’s not an easy job, but it’s one we’re fully capable of doing. So, if you’ve got a roach problem, we have the solutions. Contact our team today!

Image of living room decorated with Christmas decorations

Tips for a Pest-Free Holiday Season

December is here and the pests are near. With the holiday season upon us, we’re welcoming friends and family into our homes to partake in the Christmas cheer. While it’s a wonderful time of year to mingle in merriment, there may be some house guests you don’t want to wander into your midst. And no, we’re not referring to an unexpected visit from your in-laws. Pests love to invade homes in the colder months and can put a real damper on holiday cheer. To keep your home pest-free this Christmas, here’s what to look out for:

1.    Inspect Your Christmas Tree

While a real Christmas tree brings the fresh smell of pine into your home, it can welcome insects, spiders, and mites in as well. While the chilly outdoor temperatures act as a great deterrent for infestation, a tree brought indoors can awaken these insects due to your home’s heating. Before picking a Christmas tree, give it a thorough inspection. Some signs of pest infestation include:

  • Nests
  • Webs
  • Empty casings
  • Tiny red and brown dots
  • Brown cocoons

From a variety of flies to beetles and aphids, no tree is exempt from the threat of holiday bugs. It’s best to be thorough and scrupulous now so you’re not dealing with an infestation later. Give the tree – as well as garland and wreaths – a good shake before bringing them inside.

2.    Keep Your Space Clean and Food-Free

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s no better time to indulge in delicious foods. And sadly, there’s nothing a pest loves more than free food. Especially when they’re rich and tasty holiday treats. As a result, it’s crucial you engage in prompt and thorough cleanups throughout the holidays.

Additionally, ensure you’re storing leftovers properly to keep pests at bay. Keep them in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers, as paper and cardboard ones are easy for pests to access. Furthermore, don’t leave leftovers to rot in the fridge and regularly empty your shelves of baked goods and other uneaten treats. Lastly, since pests love to hide in warm, humid areas, keep your sinks, toilets, showers, and garbage/ recycling bins clean and dry as well.

3.    Be Mindful of Boxing and Unboxing

Unless you keep your Christmas decorations up year-round, they likely lay dormant for a good chunk of time. If they’re stacked in cardboard boxes inside a dark, warm basement, you risk pests like beetles, roaches, and rodents nesting amongst your precious ornaments.

So, when you drag your holiday decorations out of their hiding space this year, open them outside and look for signs of pests. If you notice signs of an infestation, box them back up and call for pest control in Vancouver so it doesn’t spread to the rest of your home. When packing your holiday decorations back up, keep in mind that it’s best to use tightly sealed, plastic bins as these are harder to infiltrate.

4.    Be Careful with Edible Decorations

Using food to construct holiday décor is a fun and cost-effective way to introduce some Christmas cheer into your home. Building gingerbread houses, hanging popcorn garlands, utilizing candy canes, and placing milk and cookies by the tree for Santa are all part of the holiday fun. While you may expect to see a cookie or two missing after a visit from Mr. Claus, a gathering of pests isn’t the Christmas scene you hope to awake to. Keep an eye on your edible decorations to catch pests before they have a chance to infest and do your best to toss them at the end of the season.

5.    Seal All Entry Points

Prevention is better than a cure, therefore before the holiday season hits, give your home a once over to seal off any potential entry points. Look for gaps and holes in the structure of your home, sealing them with caulking or sealant if found. You can also hire our team to locate these points if you’re unsure of what to look for.

Call For Pest Control in Vancouver and Surrounding Cities

While googling “pest control near me” isn’t at the top of your list for fun, holiday activities, we know that pests don’t adhere to seasonal hours. If you have a pest problem this holiday season, our team at Atlas Pest Control are here to not only rid your home of pests, but stress as well. Reach out today for reliable, efficient, and responsive pest control services.

visual image of mouse chewing electrical wire

Why is Fall Pest Control So Important?

You’re probably aware of the problems that come with pests. Whether it be compromising your health or the structural safety of your home or commercial building, pests can be a real nuisance any time of year. However, as the seasons start to change and the crisp fall air starts blowing through Vancouver, so do the autumn critters. If you’re wondering why fall pest control is so important, here’s why:

Weather Change

While pest control is important year-round, it’s particularly important during the chillier months. As the temperatures outside starts to drop, critters like to seek shelter in warm places. What’s better than your cozy basement to a family of mice? To avoid unwelcome pests from hibernating in your home this winter, make sure your fall is full of pest-free practices.

Tips for a Pest-Free Fall

To minimize the number of pests sneaking into your space, follow these tips:

  • Minimize food droppings, including couch crumbs, rotting fruit, and dirty pet dishes.
  • Take out your trash regularly to avoid attracting pests.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Place screens over your attic and dryer vents, chimney openings, windows, and any area that opens to the outdoors.
  • Check the outside of your home for easy access points such as cracks in the foundation, broken seals, or faulty pipes.
  • Keep a well-ventilated and dry house, particularly the basement, attic, and crawl spaces.
  • Clean out any leaves or debris from your gutters to prevent standing water and mildew.
  • If you have firewood, store it at least 20 feet away from your home or commercial building.
  • If you sense a pest infestation, call a licensed pest control contractor to get ahead of the problem.

Which Fall Pests Should You Look Out For?

While you may love frolicking in the fall leaves, some critters prefer to bask in the warmth of your home. To optimize your fall pest control, keep an eye out for these pesky creatures:

1.     Rodents

While bugs are annoying, rodents pose a huge threat to your health and safety. For starters, rats and mice love to hibernate in warm spaces during the fall and winter months. They’re also attracted to the smell of food – aren’t we all – and can be found hidden within the walls, pantries, and cupboards. Basically, if there’s food lying around, leave it to a mouse to sniff it out.

Rodents are particularly hazardous as they can carry dangerous illnesses and diseases. Something you’d probably prefer to keep out of your kitchen. While it may sound crazy, rodents have a slight skeletal frame that allows them to fit through small openings. Frightfully enough, a coin sized hole gives them plenty room to wriggle through.

Lastly, you don’t want these pests near your electrical wiring or building structures. They love to chew, but sadly teeth and wire don’t mix. If you have rodents in your home or commercial building, your risk of experiencing electrical fires and faulty structures greatly increases. Before these rodents start nesting within your insulation or leaving droppings throughout your space, contact our residential and commercial pest control team.

2.     Ants

While you may be thinking ants are more of a summer problem, the cool weather tends to bring these pests indoors. To escape the crisp air, ants may crawl into your walls, bringing their colonies to set up shop in the foundation of your building. If you spot trails of ants in your home, get to work as soon as possible. Setting up ant traps can help, however, if it’s an infestation you may need the help of a professional.

3.     Flies

A year-round annoyance, flies never seem to rest. As the summer ends, the warmth of your home or office can attract these winged pests. They’re very drawn to food smells, so be mindful of where you’re eating. Crumbs in your bed or couch cushions, rotting compost, or even food particles in your keyboard can attract flies.

Have a Pest Problem?

At Atlas Pest and Wildlife Control, we have over 40 years of experience in the industry. We’ve seen and treated every pest control problem you can imagine. As such, we have every confidence that we can provide you with the quickest and most efficient commercial and residential pest control services. Reach out today for a quick quote on our services near you!

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.