Why Would a Pest Control Company Install Insulation?

A cockroach on a white background

If you’ve been looking into pest control techniques in Georgia, you may have heard of TAP Pest Control Insulation. It’s a specialized service offered by only a select group of exterminators across the country, but hearing that may come with some degree of confusion. What is TAP insulation? Why would a pest control company install insulation? Whatever questions you may have about the product or the process, we can answer them!

What is TAP® Insulation?

TAP, or T·A·P as it’s sometimes spelled, stands for Thermal, Acoustical, Pest Control Insulation. Unlike sheets of fiberglass batting or globs of foam insulation, TAP is made up of loose cellulose that is blown into your attic or the voids in your walls. It settles, and once it does it can kill a variety of pests while also functioning as an excellent insulation. It works for new construction or existing homes.

How Does TAP Work?

Unlike other forms of insulation, TAP is specially treated with a borate solution that, to humans, is about as toxic as table salt. But as insects come into contact with it, the material sticks to their bodies and is then ingested when they groom themselves. Since they are unable to pass the substance, it gathers in their guts and eventually causes them to die of dehydration or malnutrition.

What Pests Does It Kill?

You can see the complete list of pests that TAP insulation is effective against on the product’s EPA label. TAP is effective on smaller insects like ants and termites, as well as bigger bugs like beetles and cockroaches. TAP is not effective on rats, mice or squirrels, but at the same time, our insulation does not act as a food source the way that some others may.

Is TAP Insulation Eco-Friendly?

Yes! Cellulose is already viewed as one of the greenest building products in the world, and the cellulose we work with is over 80% recycled materials. If that wasn’t enough, TAP is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which has devoted entire studies to knowing exactly how this product can control bugs and protect your home in a way that is sustainable as well as effective.

How Long Does It Last?

Since insects cannot build up a tolerance to the borate inside the cellulose, TAP insulation has the benefit of maintaining its pest-killing properties for decades at a time. Unless the material is damaged by moisture or rodents, it can insulate and kill pests for decades, up to 100 years in ideal conditions!

Do I Need to Remove My Existing Insulation?

If your existing insulation is damaged by rodents or excess moisture, you may want to consider getting it removed before installing a new material. If that isn’t the case, since TAP is loose fill, it can be easily blown in over any existing insulation.

But Is TAP Insulation Good Insulation?

That’s ultimately what it comes down to, isn’t it? It’s nice in theory to have insulation that can combat pests, but that won’t hold up if that same material can’t regulate temperature or block out sound. Luckily, TAP Insulation does more than kill a majority of common insect pests that come into contact with it. Since cellulose is thicker than other forms of traditional insulation, it slows the flow of air through it. That means that it keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Your HVAC equipment will be able to use less energy, ultimately saving money on your annual heating and cooling bills. If that wasn’t enough, TAP is also highly proficient at reducing the sounds that may otherwise enter through your attic.

All in all, TAP Insulation is an extra layer of protection for any home in Georgia. And Active Pest Control can help install TAP in your home today to keep it more comfortable and pest-free. Want to know more? Visit our TAP Insulation page!

Why Mice Will Not Leave on Their Own

If you lived outside in the cold where there were dangers around every corner, and someone allowed you to come inside into a nice cozy den, would you want to stay? How about if they brought you food and water and kept your area nice and warm all winter? Would that make you want to hang around? If you said, “Yes,” then you should know that mice feel the same way. If your home is open and inviting and provides everything a mouse needs, then that mouse will be more than happy to set up housekeeping right inside your attic or wall voids.

Why Do Mice Enter Homes?

Mice, like all animals, are drawn to three basic things: shelter, food, and water. If your yard has lots of shelter, places to hide inside or under, then mice will be drawn in. If there are places to hide right up close to your foundation, like thick bushes or items, then they may come right in close. If there are food and water sources near your home, they will love you for it. And if there are areas in your foundation or walls where there are holes where they can squeeze into your nice warm basement, wall voids or attic, then they will love you even more.

Problems In Homes Caused By Mice

Being scared out of your wits and jumping up on a chair because there is a mouse loose in the kitchen is only the beginning of your worries if mice have infested your home. Mice, like all rodents, chew on anything and everything. This not only can damage the home itself, but it can be damaging to stored belongings, and could possibly cause a house fire if an electrical wire is chewed. Not only do mice chew, but they are possible vectors of several diseases and they also carry parasites. Mites, fleas, and ticks bring a whole new set of problems into the home.

Once Inside Mice Do Not Want To Leave

If a mouse or several mice have found their way inside, they will come and go freely, but it is unlikely that they will ever move their nests back outside, even in springtime when the weather warms up. If mice are cozy in their nests and have plenty of food and water in your home, they will not want to leave. One other reason they will be happy to stay inside your home is the protection your home provides from natural predators. In nature, mice will hide inside holes in trees, or underneath logs, or in any other place that provides protection. What better place is there to hide than a nice cozy attic space, wall void or crawl space?

How To Remove Mice From Your Home

While there are a number of steps you can take to try to keep mice from invading your home, once they are established, they can be very difficult to completely eradicate. Mice multiply quickly and can learn to avoid traps. To know for sure that all the mice have been safely removed and that no additional mice are going to make their way in, it is best to employ the help of a professional pest control company. For problems with mice, or any other household pest, reach out to Active Pest Control today.

Meet Will Lowery

Have you ever wondered what has made Active Pest Control so successful and why so many of your friends and neighbors have turned to us for effective, environmentally responsible pest control solutions? Part of the reason lies with the fact that we have more than 43 years of experience in local pest pressures, and part of the reason is that we have access to the most advanced tools and technologies that work to combat pests. Some people love the Active Pest Control‘ roots that are tied to our community; and others like the fact that we are an industry leader and hold QualityPro Certification.

But one of the biggest reasons that so many trust the reliable services offered by Active Pest Control is that we hire only the best and the brightest. Our employees are some of the most qualified in the industry, and they exhibit the time-honored values of honesty, integrity, and professionalism. We carefully screen our prospective employees to ensure that the person that knocks on your door from our company is trustworthy, respectful, and knowledgeable. Before we allow someone to don the uniform that bears our name, we want to know that you will be as pleased with your pest control technician as you are with our services.

Each month, we take great pride in introducing one of our stellar employees to you in this blog. This month we have chosen to highlight one of our Administrative Trainer’s, Will Lowery. Will works hard to ensure that the services you receive are appropriate and that they are performed to exacting standards. He is certified in HPC (home pest control) and WDO (wood destroying organisms); with his direction in training employees, you can be sure that your pest issues will be quickly resolved and that the conditions that drew them in will be addressed!

It is no wonder that Will is certified in wood destroying organisms since termites are his favorite pest. Termites are always a challenge, and understanding the habits and habitats of these elusive pests is an important part of understanding how to eliminate and control them. Staying abreast of the ever-changing tools and technologies that are effective at combating termites takes a lot of studies and hands-on training, which is something that doesn’t deter Will Lowery. He states, “I love to learn new things,” which is a very useful attribute when battling the “silent destroyer”!

When Will is not busy supporting the offices and their training efforts, he loves to spend time with his family. He and Beth have been married for 7 years and are the proud parents of two energetic boys, Lucas and Jacob!

The next time you need pest control services for your home, give Active Pest Control a call. Even if you do not see Will Lowery on the other side of your door, you will certainly meet someone that he has influenced and is worthy to wear our uniform.

What Damage Can Carpenter Bees Cause?

Bees love flowers. Even carpenter bees love flowers. They don’t eat wood. So, why should you have to worry about bees damaging your home? Well, those carpenter bees don’t attach nests to the side of your home like paper wasps. And they don’t establish their nests in the ground like some yellow jackets do. They create their nests in wood. If they choose the wood of your home, you may find yourself dealing with the unwanted repercussions.

When carpenter bees target a home, they usually target untreated wood. That means decks, porches, outbuildings, sheds, outside steps, fences, and other external structures are their first choice.

When carpenter bees make a nest, they prefer to tunnel upwards into wood. These tunnels go up a couple inches and then take a turn to follow the grain of the wood. This is usually horizontal to the ground.

While a carpenter bee tunnel is only likely to be about a foot or two in length, and only about the width of a nickel, the problem with these bees is that they prefer to use existing tunnels and expand on them. If you have multiple bees boring into the wood of your property, or carpenter bees visiting you year after year, the damage can become significant.

Most Common Carpenter Bee Damage

  • If these bees tunnel up into a railing on a porch or balcony, it can cause the railing to lose integrity and give way. This can lead to injury.
  • If carpenter bees make their nests in steps, it can cause a step to snap. And, like a rail that is not sound, this kind of damage can lead to physical damage.
  • When carpenter bees bore their tunnels into support beams, these beams can weaken and cause the larger structure to warp. And, if left untreated, damage done to support beams may cause a collapse to occur. Usually, the evidence of carpenter bees is seen long before the risk of such an occurrence. Carpenter bees often make tunneling to breach the interior of wood. This damage can look like dashes, dots, or trenches. Unlike termites, carpenter bees don’t have to worry about being exposed to the air outside of their tunnels.
  • If you see circular holes that are about the size of a nickel, it is likely that you’re looking at the hole of a carpenter bee. This will most often be found underneath structures, or in rafters.

If you’re seeing signs of carpenter bee infestation, let us know. The team here at Active Pest Control is trained in the most advanced pest control methods for dealing with this and other invasive pests. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.

Problems Carpenter Bees Cause

Carpenter bees are a unique species even among their own kind. These pests do not live in colonies, and they very rarely sting. In fact, the males do not even have stingers, and the females will only sting when handled or when they feel threatened. But that does not mean that they are not a threat. Before you discover the problems that carpenter bees cause, you should know a bit about them so you can accurately identify them.

Carpenter bees look very similar to bumble bees, who happen to be their cousins. They are very large and have fuzzy, black heads and large black abdomens. The major difference between the two is that bumble bees are fuzzy all over and carpenter bees are not.

Carpenter bees are solitary insects with each female living in her own home; however, several females can live in the same general area. They prefer to nest inside untreated wood, and will often nest in decks, sheds, other outbuildings, wooden play sets, fence posts, and other untreated wooden areas. Over time, these bees can cause significant damage to these structures, especially if several females are present.

The holes created by carpenter bees are around a half an inch in diameter. Once this nest is established, the female will lay her eggs in it; and when the eggs hatch and mature, these new bees are unlikely to stray very far from home. They will, however, travel a few feet or yards away, create a new hole, and move out on their own to begin the cycle all over again.

It is important for homeowners to know the signs that carpenter bees are near. The damages they leave are typically the most noticeable warning:

  • Holes in untreated wood around your home that are generally around a half an inch in diameter.
  • Markings around the holes in a semi-circular pattern resembling a fan.
  • Wood shavings gathered on the ground near the holes.
  • Scratching sound coming from inside the wood.

Understandably, these damages are enough of a reason to keep carpenter bees from choosing your home as their nesting site, but it gets worse. Much worse! As the larvae grow and move around inside the chambers that the mother bee has made inside the wood, they make noise. You probably will be unaware of this wrestling, but woodpeckers are not. And it just so happens that woodpeckers love to feast on carpenter bee larvae. Those holes that the carpenter bee made are going to seem inconsequential once the woodpeckers are done pecking and feasting. Repairing this extensive damage can be costly.

The best way to protect your property from the damages that carpenter bees and the pests that feast on them can cause is with help from the pest professionals here at Active Pest Control. Our pest control experts can treat and control carpenter bees on your property and eliminate the risk to your home and your wallet. To learn more about our effective solutions for carpenter bees or any of our other industry-leading pest protection services, give us a call today.

Meet David Baginski

Another month, another employee to highlight; and although these months seem to fly by at a faster rate, we never run out of exemplary people from our ranks to introduce you to. This is partly due to the fact that we have so many highly trained experts here at Active Pest Control, and it is partly because our company is always growing and always expanding and always adding worthy men and women to the Active Pest Control family.

This month the spotlight is on David Baginski. David has been an integral member of the Active Pest Control family for six and a half years now. He diligently serves as a pest control technician who is committed to the successful eradication of pests in and around your home. He particularly loves to deal with roaches, bed bugs, and fleas, but he enjoys the challenges that all pests pose. In fact, when asked what his favorite pest is, David responded, “roaches, bed bugs, fleas. I love them all!” – And, of course, by ‘love’ he means that he loves to discover their hiding places and eliminate them completely from your home!

One of David’s favorite things about working here at Active Pest Control is that he enjoys the new customer interactions daily; and there surely are plenty of those each day because we are a company on the move, growing and adding to our Active Pest Control customer family continuously.

David is a family man and has been married to his ‘wonderful’ bride for almost 17 years. Together, they are raising two sons who are the joys of their life. When David is not actively solving your pest issues, he can be found spending time with his family or casting a line in his favorite fishing hole…a destination that will have to remain secret for now, as most fishing holes must.

When pests threaten the safety of your family or the integrity of your home, turn to the team that thousands of your friends and neighbors have trusted for more than 40 years with their pest control needs. Perhaps it will be David Baginski that shows up at your door; but if not, you can be assured that it will be someone that is equally qualified and equally worthy to don the Active Pest Control emblem and who will be equally adept at solving your pest control issues. You have our word on that.

Roaches Love Wet Weather

Do you like to be cold and wet? As it turns out, neither do cockroaches. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be both at the same time. If it is too cold outside, cockroaches will look for a warm place to hide. If heavy rains saturate the ground, cockroaches will look for shelter above the rising waterline. Both of these can drive them into man-made structures. If you own a man-made structure, and you’d prefer to not have roaches getting in, there are a few things you can do.

Roach Exclusion Tips:

  • Keep things as clean as possible. While it is impossible to completely rid a home of everything cockroaches can feed on, you can deter roaches by reducing food sources, such as bread crumbs under the toaster, food particles in your rug, plates left on end tables and coffee tables, and juice spills under the fridge.
  • Don’t leave pet food dishes on the floor between meals.
  • Store all foods in the fridge or inside tightly sealed containers that pests cannot get into, such as glass or plastic.
  • Try to keep your home as dry as possible by using strategically placed fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Store all trash in cans with tightly fitting lids. Cockroaches can find a lot to eat in a trash can.
  • Make sure there are no food sources for roaches outside, such as pet food, bird seeds or leftover barbecue items.

    Inspect your exterior walls for gaps, cracks, and holes. Use a caulking gun to fill holes in until you have the money to do an official repair.

  • Make sure all of your screens are present and in good repair.
  • Make sure all door sweeps make good contact, and that weather stripping on sliding doors have a good seal.

If you do the above, you can make your home harder to infiltrate and less desirable for cockroaches to live in, but be aware that these are resilient and resourceful insects. They are able to climb walls, walk across ceilings, and compact their bodies to squeeze through cracks. Some roaches can even fly. You’re not going to be able to fully exclude them without an application of insecticide. For this, you should trust a professional pest technician. Not only will a professional know where to apply these products, they will follow strict governmental guidelines to ensure that it is done safely.

Is it cold or wet around your home? Call Active Pest Control and get the protection you need to keep cockroaches out.

Nobody Likes Spiders

Do you like spiders? Are you thrilled when a spider slowly lowers itself down in front of your eyes as you are eating your breakfast? Are you glad when you are walking to the bathroom at two in the morning and you get a spider web across your face? Maybe you enjoy it when you look up and see a big spider sitting on the side of your baby’s crib? While there are actually some people who do like spiders, even love them, most people do not want these creepy critters living in their homes with them. Although lots of different spiders can get into people’s homes, today we will talk about the common house spider, some facts, and how you can keep them out of your home.

There are several different types of house spider, but we’re focusing this article on the most common house spider which is also sometimes called the American house spider. Here are a few interesting facts you may not know about the common house spider.

  • These spiders live in houses, which is where they get their name. But they don’t only live on webs in the corners of your ceiling. Sometimes they live inside walls.
  • Female common house spiders can be up to twice as large as their male counterparts, with the females growing up to 6 mm long.
  • These spiders have 8 single-lens eyes, and their body is divided into two parts called the cephalothorax and the abdomen.
  • You can tell you have house spiders, even if you don’t see the spiders themselves, by the presence of their webs.
  • House spiders will often spin several webs in various places before they make one in a place that is suitable to catch prey.
  • Even if you don’t see spiders inside your home, you may still have large numbers of them living within your walls if there is enough food for them there.
  • House spiders typically catch and eat anything from roaches to earwigs, and from mosquitoes to moths.

Although the common house spider will not bite you unless you accidentally bring it against your skin and it feels threatened, they are still no fun to have invading your home. And take note; if you do have these spiders, then you also have other pests since these spiders will not stay in a home without sources of food.

The fact is it is extremely difficult to get rid of house spiders because they tend to hide out in places that you can’t see or reach. Some are tiny. Some are very large. But all are a nuisance! And all are an indication that you have other pest issues.

There are some steps you can take to discourage pests from staying, such as sealing up food sources and keeping your home clean and dry, but to get rid of the common house spider and all of the “foods” they eat you need the help of a pest control company. With decades of experience and the most advanced equipment and training, the experts here at Active Pest Control can turn common house spiders into uncommon house spiders. Every time!

What Are Flying Ants?

Are you finding winged ants on the insides of your windows? Are you curious how those ants got inside your house? It can be mysterious dealing with these pests every spring, but don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about flying ants.

Entomology of Flying Ants

When you find these pests in your home, the first thing you need to know is that flying ants are not a species of ant. They are a caste of ant. Flying ants (also known as winged reproductives or alates, or swarmers) are only one part of a thriving colony.

The cycle of a colony begins and ends with male and female reproductives. In the beginning, winged reproductives take to the air, mate with each other, and then establish a colony. The females become the queens of new colonies, and the males (also known as drones) die off.

When a colony has matured, it will begin to produce new male and female reproductives in order to establish new colonies and spread. When you see them on the inside of you windows, this is a bad sign.

What Flying Ants Mean

How long have you been vacuuming those flying ants up? If this is a chore you do every spring, you may want to stop and take a closer look at those ants. Not all flying ants are created equal. If your ants are large and black, you might want to call an expert. Carpenter ants cost U.S. property owners millions of dollars every year by burrowing into wood and weakening support structures. If you’ve been seeing these ants for years, you may have several mature colonies inside the walls of your home.

What You May Find Surprising About Carpenter Ants

If you’ve read this far and wondered how you could possibly have several mature carpenter ant nests in your home when you only see a few random ants in your kitchen, we understand. The truth is carpenter ants do most of their living and working within the walls of your home and typically forage for food outside of the nest at night so encounters with these pests will be uncommon.

When you see winged ants in your home it is important to get a professional opinion. The experts here at Active Pest Control know how to track and eradicate these elusive pests. That means safety for your equity.

Don’t let carpenter ants wreck your home.

Ants in My Chattanooga House?

It’s springtime again – Time to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful sunshine, colorful blossoms, the smell of flowers in the air, and lines of ants on the kitchen floor. Okay, you probably aren’t going to enjoy that last one, but ants are definitely part of spring. When temperatures warm, ants will make their presence known. Here are some ants you’re likely to find in or around your Chattanooga home.

Little Black Ants

These tiny creatures are dark brown or jet black and can be found all throughout the United States. They range in size from the 1.5mm worker ants, to the 4mm queens. They have antennae with 12 segments, and a thorax that is unevenly rounded. While these tiny critters have a stinger, it is too small to be a threat to humans or pets. Being an omnivorous insect, little black ants will eat anything from sweets and vegetables to greasy, oily foods. If they get into your pantry or on your counters, they can contaminate foods, but other than this, they are only a nuisance pest.

Odorous House Ants

These stinky little critters also live in most of the country and measure from about 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch in length. They have brown to black bodies, twelve segments in their antennae, and a thorax that is uneven. Foods these ants like to eat include honeydew, meats, sugary foods, dairy products, and vegetables. Odorous house ants, like the name suggests, give off a bad smell when they are crushed. It has been described as the smell of rotten coconut. Other than this unpleasant characteristic and the possibility of contaminating food items, these ants are mostly a nuisance pest.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are black or reddish-black. They are easily distinguished from other ants by their larger size and their heart-shaped heads. They have a smooth thorax, can be found throughout the U.S., and are far more than just a nuisance.

If you are seeing little black ants or odorous house ants in your home, there is little cause for alarm, but when carpenter ants appear, you’re going to want to take notice. Carpenter ants tunnel through wood and create galleries, and it is possible for these pests to be inside the wood of your home or inside decks and outbuilding for many years without being detected.

If you’re seeing ants in your Chattanooga home, Active Pest Control has a solution that will work for you. With 5 decades of experience and a ranking as one of the top 25 pest control companies in the United States, we are equipped to take care of any pest problem you’ll find in your home this spring–including ants.

Spring is better without ants. Give it a try with pest control you can trust from Active Pest Control.