10 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Pest Control Company

Pest control services in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlPeople often wait until it is too late to look into professional pest control services. No matter what pest you’re dealing with, trying to take care of an infestation on your own can be tricky. If you don’t approach it the right way, you could end up allowing the pests to multiply without any signs of slowing down. Many DIY strategies fall far short of a long-term solution, and improper use of professional pest control products by untrained individuals can lead to serious health risks.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring an exterminator recently, read on for ten reasons to follow through. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have seen great success servicing homes and businesses around Eastern & Central Virginia and hope to help you, too!

DIY Pest Control and Health Concerns

Hiring certified pest control technicians can eliminate many health concerns that you might accidentally expose yourself to without their help. Our first three reasons to hire professional pest control are in the interest of your health:

  • 1: Controlled pesticide use. A professional will only use pesticides as a last resort, and when they do, they will use them safely. Improper or untrained application of pesticides can expose you and your family to harmful toxins. Loyal Termite & Pest Control is proud to be a Green Pro Certified Company.
  • 2: Decreased chance of illness. Many pests in Eastern & Central Virginia can pass on serious diseases through their bites or droppings. Technicians can help you avoid pest-related illnesses by handling the dirty work for you and your loved ones.
  • 3: Less itching and scratching. Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and more pests in our local area can leave you with itchy bite marks. You don’t have to endure the bites every year! Hiring a professional pest exterminator to rid your home of these biting pests!

Save Time with Professional Pest Control

Hiring professional pest control can eliminate extra tasks from your life in a more efficient manner. Our next three reasons have to do with saving you time:

  • 4: Efficient solutions. Licensed technicians have the necessary experience to resolve pest problems quickly and efficiently, much more so than the average homeowner.
  • 5: Less cleaning. Having pests in your home means constantly cleaning up pest-related debris. Getting rid of them altogether will greatly reduce the time you have to spend cleaning!
  • 6: Safer structures. If you have rodents, termites, or carpenter ants living in your home, you’re likely inspecting your home constantly for new damage. Take that task off of your plate by hiring professionals to remove the pests and stop them from causing more damage.

How Professional Pest Control Helps You Stress Less

Being aware of a pest problem in your home comes with lots of stress. Our last four reasons pertain to your mental well-being:

  • 7: Better sleep. Having a fear of bed bugs or spiders in your home can cause you to lose sleep. Get rid of this worry by finally getting rid of the pests themselves! Professionals also have options to monitor for these pests to catch a problem right at the start!
  • 8: Save money. Sticking to DIY remedies can add up after a few unsuccessful attempts. A professional pest control company can come to remove certain pests in just one session given the right circumstances!
  • 9: Learn about the process. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control not only eliminate pests from your home but teach you about how they do it. We aim to give you the knowledge to avoid pests on your own going forward. Prevention is key!
  • 10: Peace of mind. Once your pest infestation has been dealt with, it feels like you can finally breathe again! Don’t hesitate to have a professional rid of your pest problems—you don’t have to deal with them!

If you’re ready to take the first step towards a pest-free* home, contact your local pest control company. Our expert technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have helped people all across Eastern & Central Virginia live pest-free* since 1960. For a free quote, contact us today!

How do you Check for Bed Bugs at Your Airbnb or Hotel

bed bugs in hotel in virginia | loyal pest controlEmbarking on a traveling adventure offers a wonderful chance to discover new places, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and create lasting memories. Unfortunately, amid the thrill of exploration lies a frequently underestimated concern, the potential of encountering bed bugs in hotels and Airbnb rentals. These small, stealthy pests can effortlessly tag along back to your home, leading to a nightmarish infestation. Let’s examine the difficulties associated with stumbling upon bed bugs during your travels and the crucial steps to prevent them from taking root in your home.

Bed Bugs and Travel

Renowned for their ability to conceal themselves in small crevices, bed bugs exhibit remarkable survival skills, allowing them to live for extended periods of time without food. They can skillfully hitch a ride in your luggage, clothing, and personal items during hotel stays, rentals, or visits to your friends and family.  

The genuine risk of these pests becomes real once they infiltrate your possessions, easily making their way back to your home. With their rapid reproduction abilities, what begins as a minor infestation can rapidly escalate, causing discomfort with itchy bites, sleepless nights, and heightened stress levels.

How to Check for Bed Bugs at Your Airbnb or Hotel

During your travels, practicing precautionary steps and staying alert can spare you from the potential horror of dealing with a bed bug infestation. Consider the following steps to detect bed bugs in your Airbnb or hotel: 

  • Take a careful look at the bedding, mattress seams, and box springs for any evidence of bed bugs before getting comfortable. Search for small reddish-brown insects, tiny white eggs, discarded exoskeletons, or small black stains (signifying fecal matter).
  • Inspect upholstered furniture, headboards, and nightstands for the same signs of infestation. Bed bugs can hide in any small crack or crevice.
  • Elevate your luggage on luggage racks and avoid placing it directly on the bed. When you get back home, unpack in an outdoor setting or a designated space, conducting a meticulous inspection of your belongings for any potential signs of bed bugs.
  • A flashlight can help you fully examine even the darkest corners for signs of bed bugs.

Preventing Bed Bugs From Hitching a Ride

It’s vital to stop bed bugs from hitching a ride with you. Follow these steps to steer clear of bringing these pests into your home:

  • Seal clothing and items in plastic bags or packing cubes. This forms a barrier, preventing potential bed bugs from coming into contact with your belongings.
  • Bed bugs can easily hide in the fabric of soft luggage. Consider choosing hard-shell suitcases as they are less likely to offer hiding spots. 
  • Wash all your clothes, even those that were unworn, in hot water after returning from a trip. Bed bugs and their eggs are eradicated by intense heat.
  • Before bringing your luggage inside, inspect it for any signs of bed bugs. Vacuum and wipe down the exterior.
  • If you suspect bed bugs, contacting a professional bed bug exterminator is often necessary for a thorough inspection and effective treatment. 

A Call for Professional Help: Loyal Termite & Pest Control 

In the event that you suspect your home has been invaded by bed bugs after traveling, reaching out for professional help is crucial. By taking preemptive actions and teaming up with our pest control experts, we can establish an environment free from pests, granting you the ability to enjoy your travels without the worry of bringing back unwelcome occupants. 

Contact Loyal Termite & Pest Control for expert assistance identifying and addressing bed bug infestations with efficiency, restoring your home to a pest-free* condition.

Our Guide to Finding Bed Bugs in Hotels

What bed bugs look like in Eastern & Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlOf the many measures that workers in the hospitality industry must take to keep their customers safe and happy, bed bug control is up there with the most important. If one of your customers reports to management that they’ve found bed bugs in their room, it could lead to a slew of negative reviews, lost business, and even a potential temporary closure. You have to keep up with bed bug inspection to prevent this from happening, and your inspections have to be spot-on. If you’re looking to learn the best ways to check for bed bugs in hotel rooms, read on for advice from Loyal Termite & Pest Control, your bed bug extermination leaders in Eastern & Central Virginia!

Why Do Bed Bugs Live in Hotel Rooms?

A hotel room is the perfect mixture of all the things that bed bugs need to thrive. Here are the main three reasons why bed bugs love hotel rooms so much:

  • Hotels see tons of different people. In a busy hotel, hundreds of guests are coming in and out of rooms every day. Each person is a new opportunity for bed bugs to find a host.
  • People bring their belongings in and out. Bed bugs often spread between hotel rooms by crawling into guests’ luggage for transportation.
  • Hotel rooms have plenty of hiding places. Bed bugs will take advantage of even the tiniest, unexpected hiding spots for shelter.

5 Places to Check for Bed Bugs in Hotels

Bed bugs rely on their ability to hide to survive, so it’s important not to miss any spots in your search for bed bugs in hotel rooms. These are the 5 most common places that you might find bed bugs in hotels in Eastern & Central Virginia:

  1. Mattress, box spring, and bed frame: Bed bugs will hide all over your bed and its parts, including the seams and creases of the mattress, inside rips and tears of the box spring, and in the slats and joints of the frame.
  2. Furniture: You should look along similar places on furniture in the room as well, like under the cushions of couches and in the joints of chairs.
  3. Wardrobes, dressers, and baseboards: Bed bugs might be congregating in the back corners of your dresser drawers or wardrobe cabinets.
  4. Nightstands and wall fixtures: Anything that meets the wall could be hiding bed bugs. This means furniture like nightstands, but it also means paintings, clocks, and anything else hanging on the wall.
  5. Closet items: When guests leave their belongings in the closet, such as a suitcase on a luggage stand, they might transfer bed bugs from their suitcase to your room.

Read our full guide to hotel bed bug inspections here.

Professional Help with Bed Bugs in Hotels

If you want to know for certain that there are no bed bugs in your hotel room, team up with your local pest control company. At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we offer holistic bed bug inspection services for hotels backed by decades of experience working in the industry. If we do find bed bugs, no matter how many, we will work with you to develop a plan to get rid of them exhaustively and as discreetly as possible. For a free quote, contact our bed bug control team today!

How Quickly Do Bed Bug Infestations Spread?

Bed bugs travel easily in Eastern & Central VA - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlBed bugs are one of the most feared pest problems for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that they are capable of spreading quickly throughout your home—even worse, they often do so silently. Compared to some pests, bed bugs move and reproduce at a relatively slow rate. However, it is because they move so silently that their spread can go unnoticed for some time. Before you know it, you could have a full-force infestation on your hands. For this reason, it’s crucial to learn how to stop a bed bug infestation in its tracks. Learn how with the bed bug control experts here at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!

Can People Spread Bed Bugs?

Because bed bugs bite people, it’s easy to assume people can spread bed bugs. However, this is not the case. Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs do not latch onto people. Instead, they will retreat after feeding. Bed bugs most commonly are spread when infested items are moved from one area to another. Typically, this happens when infested furniture or items are moved from one room to another. The spread of bed bugs can also be traced back to travelers and college kids bringing home infested suitcases.

Tips to Keep Bed Bugs From Spreading

To prevent bed bugs from spreading throughout your home, it’s important to learn how to inspect for bed bug activity. In addition, some of the best ways to prevent bed bugs are to:

  1. Be wary of purchasing second-hand furniture unless you’ve inspected it thoroughly for bed bugs.
  2. Place protective covers over the mattresses and box springs in your home.
  3. When traveling, use hard shell suitcases and thoroughly inspect your hotel room for bed bugs. Always store luggage up off the ground.
  4. When arriving home from traveling, steam clean your suitcase and wash all clothing before storing everything away.
  5. If you utilize shared laundry facilities or a laundromat, seal your clothes in a plastic bag to and from the facility, and always fold your clothes at home.

The Spread of Bed Bugs in Virginia

If you’ve done all you can to stop bed bugs from getting in your home and are still noticing the signs of their activity, it’s time to call the bed bug control experts at Loyal Termite & Pest Control. Our team of experts will get rid of your infestation and keep you safe from bed bugs for good. Contact us today to get started!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Loyal termite and pest controlEntomologists from Loyal’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Don’t Let These Pests Ruin Your Halloween!

Spiders are one of many pests that can invade Virginia homes in the fall - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlRats, spiders, and bats—oh my! You may gladly hang up spooky webs and fake spiders as decorations this Halloween, but you certainly don’t want the real thing infesting your home. A few pests in particular are very common this time of year. Infestations are also common right now as you start to pull out boxes containing all your seasonal decorations. To keep pest problems from ruining your Halloween festivities, the team at Loyal Termite & Pest Control is here to shed light on creepy-crawly pests to keep an eye out for.

Common Pests During Halloween Time

Pest infestations in the fall months are very common. This is due to the fact that many pests begin to seek shelter indoors to escape the impending drop in temperature outdoors. Here are the pests to look out for this season:

  1. Rats. Rodents infamously squeeze their way inside this time of year for warmth, food, and shelter. They could be nesting in your boxes of decorations.
  2. Spiders. Spider populations are abundant in the fall and many get indoors. They may be lurking in your box of decorations!
  3. Bed bugs. While common at all times of the year, traveling or college students lead to an increase in infestations. They also could be found on second-hand costumes.
  4. Stink bugs & boxelder bugs. These seasonal bugs appear on the sides of homes and could crawl indoors if given the chance.

How to Prevent Pests This Halloween

You may be putting fake rodents or bats out as decorations, but you definitely want to prevent the real ones from getting indoors! As you would any other time of the year, it’s important to implement preventative measures to keep fall pests away. This includes sealing all cracks and crevices in your home with caulk, installing new window or door screens, cleaning up your yard’s foliage, keeping a tidy kitchen with sealed food containers, and storing all seasonal decorations in airtight plastic bins. If you are having trouble sealing off your home to pests this fall, it’s often best to contact your local pest control expert for more prevention tips and tricks.

Seasonal Pest Control

The last thing you have time to deal with this holiday season is a pest infestation. Always be extra cautious when unpacking your decorations or buying secondhand items. If you find yourself with an infestation or want to further protect your Virginia home from seasonal pests hibernating in your home, the residential exterminators at Loyal are happy to help. 

8 Debunked Bed Bug Myths

Learn about bed bug myths in Henrico VA - Loyal Termite & Pest ControlFor decades, there has been a lot of theories and myths about bed bugs circulating. As one of the most dreaded pest problems, it’s easy to understand why bed bugs are so feared. However, are the reasons why you most fear bed bugs even true? With bed bug awareness week upon us, the team at Loyal Termite & Pest Control wants to debunk common bed bug myths we often hear about. Keep reading to learn how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to bed bug problems!

Bed Bug Myths vs. Facts

When it comes to any pest problem, it’s easy to incite fear when you read false facts. Some of the most common questions we see about bed bugs include:

  1. Can bed bugs transmit disease?
    • Thankfully, no. Bed bugs may cause you anxiety and even itchiness, but their bites do not transmit disease as mosquitoes do.
  2. 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 need to feed more often than adults.
  3. Are bed bugs nocturnal?
    • No! Bed bugs are active when their hosts are at rest. This usually means overnight, but they are able to adjust their schedule as needed.
  4. Can bed bugs infest areas of your home other than your bedroom?
    • 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.
  5. 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 appleseed and can absolutely be seen with your own eyes.
  6. Do you have to get rid of infested furniture?
    • 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.
  7. Are bed bugs more likely to infest messy homes?
    • This is one of the biggest myths. Anyone is prone to a bed bug problem, regardless of how clean or cluttered your property is!
  8. Can bed bugs fly or jump?
    • No! Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs have underdeveloped wings and are only capable of crawling.

What to Do About Bed Bugs in Virginia

If you have a bed bug problem, it’s important to act quickly. When it comes to bed bug control, DIY is not the answer! Getting rid of bed bugs requires the pest control industry’s best treatment options that are designed to get rid of all life stages of bed bugs in your property. The team at Loyal is proud to offer comprehensive bed bug removal services–contact us today to learn more!

Choosing Between Professional & DIY Pest Control

Sprays are a common DIY pest control method. Learn about the pros and cons of DIY pest control in Henrico VA from Loyal Termite & Pest ControlThe DIY movement is popular, but does it work for everything? When it comes to pest control, do-it-yourself methods can be a gamble. Everyone has tried them: vinegar sprays for ants, store-bought roach spray, rat traps, the list goes on. Unfortunately, these methods are unreliable and will rarely work to get to the root of a pest infestation. For quick, effective, and trustworthy pest control, a professional exterminator is always the way to go. Here at Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we want our customers to be informed when making choices about their pest control plan. Read on to learn how to choose between professional and DIY pest control services.

How DIY Pest Control Fails

A lot of people gravitate toward DIY pest control thinking it’ll save them money. However, in the long run, this can be false. Although store-bought pest control works to control small issues, it rarely works to control big infestations. There are several downfalls to DIY pest control: First of all, they simply won’t work to control more dangerous pests such as bed bugs, termites, rodents, carpenter ants, and more. Also, many store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for your family if applied incorrectly. These products also rarely come with a guarantee or warranty on their effectiveness. In sum, it’s always a guessing game when it comes to DIY pest control.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Exterminator

Yes, a professional pest control company is going to be more of a commitment. However, the investment will pay off in the long run when you are guaranteed with pest-free* living! Some of the benefits to professional pest control are: 

  1. An experienced exterminator has the knowledge and experience to tackle any current infestation you have. They are experts in the behaviors and habits of pests, making it easier for them to control any problems quickly and efficiently.
  2. With a focus on IPM practices, they can also work to prevent future problems. As often as possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively with little invasion or disruption to your daily life.
  3. When you decide to have regular pest control services, your exterminator will work with you to develop a customized pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home.

What Choice is Right For You?

DIY pest control may sound like an easier option, but more often than not, is fruitless. Serious pest infestations always need to be handled by a professional pest control company. For long-term protection against pests, the professional exterminators at Loyal can help!