Fact or Fiction: Bed Bug Myths

Myths about bed bugs in Henderson NV area - Western Exterminator of Las VegasBed bugs were once a pest of the past, but had a resurgence in the 90s. Since then, there has been a lot of false information spread about these pests in due part of the fear people hold for them. In order to better prepare yourself for a bed bug problem, it’s important to learn the facts and to stop believing the bed bug myths. Bed Bug Awareness Week is here, and the team at Rentokil Las Vegas is here to dispel common misconceptions about these bloodsucking pests. Read on to learn more!

Bed Bug Facts and Myths

If you’ve had a bed bug problem before, you know how distressing an infestation can be. We receive a lot of questions about bed bugs and want to clear the air on the false information:

  1. Are bed bugs only active at night?
    • No! Bed bugs are active when their hosts are at rest. This usually means overnight, but they can adjust their schedule to fit yours.
  2. Do bed bugs only infest beds and bedrooms?
    • Bed bugs can infest anywhere–including chairs, sofas, cracks in the wall, and even power outlets. They prefer to congregate near where their hosts rest, making bedrooms the main target.
  3. Can you see bed bugs with the naked eye?
    • Although nymphs are nearly impossible to see, adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and can absolutely be seen with your own eyes.
  4. Should you throw away infested furniture and mattresses?
    • No! In fact, you shouldn’t move infested furniture in the midst of an infestation. Doing so can contribute to bed bugs spreading into other areas.
  5. Are bed bugs attracted to messy homes?
    • This is one of the most common myths about bed bugs. No matter how clean or messy your property is, anyone can get bed bugs.
  6. Can bed bugs fly or jump?
    • No! Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs have underdeveloped wings and are only capable of crawling.
  7. Do bed bugs transmit disease with their bites?
    • Thankfully, no. Bed bug bites can leave you with red, itchy marks on your skin but they do not transmit diseases like mosquitoes can.
  8. Are bed bugs capable of living for months without feeding?
    • Yes, but it’s unlikely for them to live for a year unless they are in the most optimal conditions. Young bed bugs in particular must feed on a regular basis in order to survive.

What to Do About Bed Bugs in Las Vegas

Getting rid of bed bugs is no job for an amateur. If you have them, you’re almost certainly going to need the help of a professional to get rid of them. With so many people traveling to and from Las Vegas, it’s important to stay vigilant about preventing them. Contact our team today for more information.

Everything You Need to Know About Centipedes in Las Vegas

House centipedes in the Las Vegas area can be prevented and controlled by Western Exterminator.As gross as the sight of a centipede may be, there’s little reason to fear them. Homes in the Las Vegas valley are most likely to harbor just two types of centipedes: the desert centipede and the house centipede. While neither are known to bite people, it’s important to learn the differences between the two, their habits, and how to prevent them in your home. Although they’re generally harmless, no one wants to deal with these creepy crawlers!

All About House Centipedes

House centipedes are, true to their name, the most common type of centipede found inside of homes. Like all centipedes, they are elongated, flattened insects with one pair of legs per body segment, which differs based on species and age. Adult house centipedes have 15 pairs of legs with their last pair nearly twice the length of their body, which is typically no more than 1½ inches long and a dirty yellow color. Some of their habits and behaviors include:

  • They feed on other common household insects such as silverfish, cockroaches, and spiders.
  • They prefer to live in cool, damp places and are thus frequently found in basements, crawlspaces, and bathtubs.
  • House centipedes move extremely quickly, but are not known to be aggressive or chase after people.
  • While they are not known to bite unless directly handled or threatened, their bite can be painful but won’t cause any serious side effects.

Identifying Desert Centipedes

Unlike the house centipede, desert centipedes are dark brown and color and can appear even more frightening, as they grow to be 4 to 6 inches in length. In addition to being one of the biggest centipedes homeowners may come across, they have a distinctive dark stripe running across the segments of their body, which is why they’re often called the tiger centipede. Additionally, desert centipedes are poisonous and are known to bite when threatened. While their bite is not very serious, it still needs to receive medical attention from a professional. If these centipedes make their way inside your home, they are likely hiding out in a damp, secluded area.

Preventing Centipedes in Your Home

Thankfully, centipedes are not common household insects and can be prevented and controlled fairly easily. There are a number of ways you can actively work to keep centipedes out of your home:

  1. Reduce moisture: Staying vigilant about fixing water pipes or leaky faucets can eliminate the preferred environment of centipedes as well as other pests.
  2. Eliminate clutter: Removing hiding spots for centipedes is a reliable way of making sure they can’t hide out in your home.
  3. Seal openings: Inspect the perimeter of your home and seal any cracks, holes, or openings to keep centipedes from getting inside
  4. Control other insects: Centipedes feed on other insects in the home and will thus appear when you have other insect problems.

Professional Centipede Control in Las Vegas

Let’s face it: No one wants to come across a centipede inside their home. Despite being rather harmless, they look frightening and move at a quick speed. If you believe you have a house or desert centipede inside your Las Vegas home, call the experts at Western Exterminator. We can help keep your property free of centipedes for good!

Why Do I Have Wasps in Winter?

Western Exterminator provides exceptional paper wasp control and removal in Las Vegas Nevada.The last thing you expect in the dead of winter is to witness wasps in or around your home. If they are seen, they are most likely paper wasps and are probably the future queens of a new colony. During the early fall, paper wasps begin to die off. Some of the females, however, remain alive in order to seek out new places to nest in a few month’s time. If you notice one of these wasps in your Las Vegas home during the winter season, it’s important to understand why it’s there and what you should do about it.

Paper Wasps in the Winter

After their male counterparts have died off, some surviving female paper wasps will begin to seek out a protected place to overwinter. Their winter survival guide includes some of the following behaviors:

  1. Because your home is a safe, warm escape from the dropping temperatures outdoors, female wasps often enter a house through small crevices near the roof lines.
  2. Once inside, they will often take up residence inside attics or in wall voids.
  3. When they have settled in, they will enter a state of diapause in order to suspend their development through the coldest months of winter.
  4. They likely won’t be active again until spring, but warmer winter weather can compel them to awaken early.
  5. When they do become active again, they’ll start to fly around looking for an escape route to start a new nest outside. This is when homeowners are most likely to see them inside the house.

Preventing Wasps in the Home

Thankfully, winter paper wasps inside homes are often sluggish and can easily be removed. However, populations are still known to occasionally grow in the winter, in which case you need to call a professional. Wasp stings can cause pain and irritation, so removing wasps from inside the home is of the utmost importance. The best way to avoid dealing with wasps inside your home is to implement preventative measures to keep them outside:

  • Inspect your property to identify and seal any cracks or holes in your home’s building.
  • Pay attention to any openings in porch ceilings and around roof eaves, attic rafters, windows, and door frames.
  • Be vigilant about checking your attic and walls for signs of nests of all pests throughout the year.

Professional Wasp Services

If you notice a wasp inside your home during the colder months, it’s smart to call a professional who can check for signs of nests and populations. At Western Exterminator, we are dedicated to helping our customers stay pest-free during the winter and year-round!

Bed Bug Travel Tips

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the last thing you need to worry about is bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs are commonly spread through travel-based circumstances. It’s always important to inspect not only your hotel room, but also your luggage when you return home to avoid an infestation in your home. Even though it’s somewhat of a myth that bed bugs infest every single hotel, it’s still important to stay vigilant. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and can go unnoticed for some time as the infestation becomes worse.

Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs in Hotels

When you check in to your hotel, it’s best to never assume your room is free of bed bugs. There are several helpful bed bug avoidance tips to take into consideration next time you go out of town:

  • Check out your room. When you get into your hotel room, pull back the sheets and inspect the corners of the mattress seams for signs of bugs. If you notice anything, it’s important to inform the staff right away.
  • Don’t unpack right away. Check out other areas in the room, such as the headboard or an accent chair, for bed bugs. Just because they aren’t on the mattress doesn’t mean they’re not elsewhere.
  • Move to a further room. If you have noticed bed bugs in your hotel room, make sure to request a room further than simply the adjacent room or the one directly or below the infected one. Bed bugs can quickly be spread by hitching a ride on housekeeping carts.

Although these prevention tips may seem over-the-top, you’ll surely regret not looking for bed bugs should you come home with them. Hotels take bed bugs very seriously and will of course accommodate your requests for a new room should you find bed bugs.

Checking Your Luggage for Bed Bugs

Traveling requires you to pass through airports, hotel lobbies, hotel rooms, and more with your luggage, meaning you’re coming in contact with a lot of heavily trafficked areas. Just as it’s important to stay vigilant about checking for bed bugs at your hotel, it’s equally if not more essential to inspect your luggage once you return home. Some tips to keep your luggage bed bug-free include:

  1. Consider placing your luggage in a plastic trash bag or other plastic covering while it is sitting in your hotel room.
  2. When you arrive home, inspect your suitcases outdoors before bringing them inside. Once you unpack, use a vacuum to clean out the interior of the bag. Garment steamers also work well to kill and bugs or eggs inside.
  3. Wash all your unpacked clothes, worn or not worn, in a hot water cycle before putting them away in your dresser or closet.

Professional Help for Bed Bug Removal

If you’ve followed all the above prevention tips and still come home with bed bugs after traveling, give the experts at Western Exterminator a call. We can help protect you and your family from worrying about bed bugs biting and infesting your home!

Bug of the Week ~ The Diving Bell Spider

The diving bell spider is the only species of spider in the world that spends its entire life underwater.  The spider uses a “diving bell” or bubble of water that actually acts like a lung! You won’t find these arachnids anywhere in the Las Vegas valley. Found in ponds in Europe and Asia, these small spiders have adapted to hunt for insects and crustaceans under the surface, living safe from land-dwelling predators though they aren’t safe from frogs and fish.

Using silk to form a “bell”, the air-breathing spiders trap air in hairs on their abdomen and legs at the surface of the water and fill the bell with the trapped air. They can then live inside the bell, and in fact females live almost their entire lives inside the bell only coming out to snatch prey or to refill their air supply.

 

Insect of the Week ~ The Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders get their names from the belief that the female devours her partner after sex. But this gruesome ritual doesn’t always happen after mating. The males of the species are thought to be harmless, it’s the mature female whose bite can cause severe illness.

The black widow avoids light and is usually found in dry, undisturbed places outdoors. Their favorite places are in man-made outdoor structures such as block walls, sprinkler valve boxes, sheds, and under porches, patio furniture, decks or eaves. Indoors, they can be found in undisturbed corners of garages or basements.

Like other spiders, the black widow is not aggressive unless disturbed or when guarding her egg sac. But that’s the catch. Because she is so reclusive, hidden away in dark corners and under objects, it’s easy to accidentally “disturb” her.

A black widow spider web is messy and unorganized, like a cobweb. The strands will not come together to form a definitive pattern. Due to the overlapping strands a black widow spider web is very strong and hard to pull apart. Any webs of this variety around your home most likely belong to black widows.