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Accel Blog

This is the official blog of Accel Pest of Richmond
Accel Pest - Richmond

Friend or Foe?: How Spiders Help You Dispel Unwanted Pests

Spiders have a bad reputation. Many homeowners consider them just one of many pests they wish to rid their houses of. However, spiders are not the threats they are seen as, and may actually help us fight off the other pests that cause the real harm.

The idea of humans and spiders living in harmony is not new. Since ancient times, many breeds of spiders have lived inside human houses, even adapting to live in human-built structures better than outdoors. In a way, spiders and humans have the same natural habitat.

Not only are house spiders generally harmless to humans, but they are also great allies for helping you defend against unwanted pests such as earwigs, mosquitoes, moths, roaches and horseflies. Spiders pose a minimal inconvenience to people (they bite infrequently, and only when they feel directly threatened), while the benefits of having them are plentiful.

When spiders are working to their fullest potential, they will take care of most of the pests in your house. Though, while spiders are beneficial, it is still difficult to see one crawling across the floor without a sensation of dread, if not complete disgust. However, there is a way to get the positive effects of spiders without needing to cross paths with them on a frequent basis.

Spiders Are Friends

Firstly, house spiders should not be thought of as intruders. In fact, an incredibly small percentage of spiders, which have adapted to indoor life, have never even stepped foot outside. Therefore, while catching a spider alive and releasing it in the yard may seem like a polite way of dealing with them, it is difficult for the spider to get along anywhere else but where you found it.

Meanwhile, using pesticides to exterminate spiders from your house is a cumbersome affair that is ultimately unnecessary. Instead of eradicating spiders from your home, you can keep them under control, away from your kitchen and living room and out of sight, while still allowing them to spin their webs and take care of the pests in your house from the shadows.

Start by checking the windows in your house and clearing them of cobwebs. Caulk any openings by windows or doors of areas where you don't want any spiders crawling around. Doing so won't remove spiders from your house, but it will drive them into out-of-the-way places like boiler rooms, garages and vents. Spiders are tenacious, and it is difficult to cast them out of your house entirely. However, with just a little effort, you can manage them without needing to wage war completely.

While roaches, moths, mosquitoes and flies spread diseases, destroy clothes, and contaminate food, spiders are rather friendly creatures to live with, doing practically no harm to humans while guarding us against trouble making pests. Though the instinctive reaction when witnessing a spider crawl across the room may be to grab a shoe, they may not be as malicious as their reputation suggests. Working with spiders, not against them, will be better for all involved.

Be sure to contact Accel Pest in Richmond for all of your pest control needs! Get a free quote today.

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Accel Pest - Richmond

Why Controlling Rodents Is Critical

Rodents are a serious problem for any homeowner or business owner to face. Having rats, mice, and other pests in your property can make daily life challenging as you try to cope with the presence of rodents in your living space. Rodents can even expose you to liability since courts can hold you liable when pests attack your guests. If you are struggling with rodent problems, you should make sure that you take the right actions to protect yourself. Start by understanding the importance of taking care of your rodent problems to avoid greater costs in the long run.

Why Take Care of Rodent Problems?

People who find rodents in their properties often assume that these pests will eventually leave on their own. In reality, rodents that decide to form nests in a building rarely vacate the premises without human intervention. Animals seek warm shelters that protect them from the brutality of the natural world, and they tend to feel fortunate when they discover a dwelling as ideal for living as a home or commercial building. Rodents that enter a property will begin to construct unsanitary nests and cause severe property damage.

Avoiding an Infestation

Worst of all, rodents often reproduce upon establishing their nests. Rodents carry their young for just three weeks before giving birth, and they can produce as many as 15 offspring in a single litter. You can, therefore, face an uncontrollable infestation if you do not take prompt action after discovering rodents in your property. New generations of rodents can be ready to reproduce when they are just six weeks old, so rodent populations can grow at an exponential pace. To avoid an unmanageable infestation, you need to take prompt action to implement pest control measures before rodent populations start to expand.

How to Overcome Rodent Problems

Property owners can take control of rodent problems by implementing proven countermeasures that can eliminate pests in a minimal amount of time. You should avoid attempting to remove rodents from your property on your own because these pests are often very aggressive. A rodent bite can lead to dangerous infections that can require hospitalization, and rodents can carry hundreds of chronic diseases. Additionally, remedies that are designed for property owners to administer on their own are only effective in rare cases because the products used by professionals are not available to the general public.

Finding an Expert to Help

You should seek professional assistance to take care of your rodent problems before serious damage occurs. Contact Accel Pest and Termite Control and let our team implement safe and effective treatment solutions so that you can get your rodent problems under control before they get worse.

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How to Treat a Bee Sting

For Richmond, Virginia residents, bees are a common sight during the spring and summer months. While bees are important for the ecosystem and help vegetables and flowers to grow, they can also be annoying or even dangerous. You may only suffer one bee sting in your life, but it can be very painful. Other people who have allergic reactions may need immediate medical attention. If you are stung by a bee, here is what you should do to treat it.

Treating Ordinary Bee Stings

If you are stung by a bee but do not have an allergic reaction, you can treat it at home. Start by removing the stinger, Then, wash the area where you were stung with soap and water. After you have washed it, use a cold compress to help bring down any swelling. To help you to relieve pain, you can take any over-the-counter pain-relieving medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. For stings on your legs or arms, elevate the stung body part. You can use calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream to help to reduce any itching, redness or swelling. If you become very itchy, you can take an antihistamine such as Benadryl. Avoid scratching your sting because doing so can increase the chances of infection.

Treatment for Bee Stings That Cause Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to bee stings can be very serious and may cause you to go into anaphylaxis. An anaphylactic reaction can cause you to stop breathing and your heart to stop beating. It is very important for you to seek immediate medical attention if you have an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Your doctor may give you a shot of epinephrine to help to stop the allergic response. If you are having trouble breathing, he or she may also administer oxygen. You might also need to get cortisone and antihistamines intravenously. After you have been treated, your doctor may prescribe an albuterol inhaler to help you breathe.

If you are allergic to bee stings, your doctor is likely to prescribe an epinephrine pen. It is important that you carry it with you all of the time in case that you are stung again. If you are, use it to inject yourself to stop the anaphylactic reaction. Finally, you may be prescribed immunotherapy, which is a series of allergy shots from an allergist to reduce your allergic reactions to bees.

Contact Accel Pest & Termite Control

If you have a problem with bees infesting your lawn or home, you may want to talk to the professionals at Accel Pest & Termite Control. We can help you to control the bees in your yard and around your home so that you can enjoy the outdoors with little worry about bees. Contact us today to learn more about how we might be able to help you.

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How Fall Changes Pest Activity

When the weather changes, we look forward to the unique joy each season brings. Winter gives us the big annual holidays—Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day. In the spring, bursts of colorful flowers emerge after months of cold weather. Summer brings backyard BBQs and long days off from school. Brilliant autumn colors and cooler, crisper temperatures make us glad that fall has arrived.

Along with the joys that come with the change of seasons, we also find that pests are on the move. Each season brings new pest problems, and being aware of them can help us keep pests from becoming a big issue. Fall, in particular, is a time for homeowners to be especially vigilant regarding pest invasions.

What Do Pests Do in the Fall?

The response of each pest to seasonal change is different, but broadly speaking, with the fall season comes an increased risk of indoor pest infestation. Many pest species cannot survive outdoors in the cooler temperatures, so they start looking for warmer places to hang out. The warmth of your home is particularly inviting to pests, and insects will look to invade through open doors, small cracks in the siding, poorly sealed windows and other access points.

Pests Especially Active in the Fall

Although many pests will seek the warm indoors when cooler weather arrives, there are some pests that can pose particular problems in the fall. These pests include:

  • Spiders that come inside looking for bugs to feed on since the population of flying insects diminishes every fall.
  • Cockroaches that invade because they are especially susceptible to damage and death from freezing temperatures that are soon to arrive.
  • Fleas that do not like the cooler weather either, and since your pets are spending more time indoors, that means fleas are more likely to hang around as well.
  • Rats and mice that also frequently choose to seek warmer habitations during the fall months, coming in to build nests and find food.
  • Raccoons that are very active and enjoy building dens in attics that are not properly closed off to invaders.

What Can Homeowners Do?

Fortunately, since it is no secret that pests will be looking for warmer weather in the winter, homeowners can do much to prepare. Regular fall maintenance is key. Seal windows and doors. Replace broken screens. Make sure attics are closed off well. Fix any plumbing leaks. These simple practices make it more difficult for pests to get into your home.

When Pests Invade

Even after diligently preparing your home to keep the pests away, you might still run into pest problems in the fall or at other times during the year. Contact Accel Pest and Termite Control and let our experts help you solve your pest problems and prevent undesirable critters from returning. Contact us today for more information on how we can serve you.

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What Attracts Roaches?

Roaches aren't picky. They're opportunistic scavengers that will infest your home for any reason. That's why you got to be extra careful and proactive as the homeowner. Roaches love more than just a filthy indoor environment that's cluttered and dark.

Food and Junk

These hideous critters have a strange diet. Yes, you can rest assured that your pastries are high on their menu, but roaches will take a bite out of anything, including books and strands of hair. For this reason, it's advisable to keep all sources of food properly stored. Overlooking the smallest crumb can potentially lead to a roach invasion.

Unsanitary Conditions

Did you know that roaches are somewhat similar to cats? These critters clean themselves more often than you may think. However, despite their fastidiousness, they are desirous of a dirty, cluttered house because it provides not only the warmth that they need but also the food sources that they want. Ergo, it's in your best interest to tidy up every room, especially the kitchen and the pantry. Use disinfectant wipes to get rid of any sticky substances on your countertops. You'll be taking away one of the main things that roaches love: a mess that will keep them coming back for more.

Exposed Trash Cans

To us, garbage is nasty and unwanted, but roaches find garbage to be irresistible. That's why your trash cans shouldn't be too close to your home, and they shouldn't be overflowing with garbage. Also, you might want to start washing your trash cans every now and then because the goal is to eliminate every mess that can potentially attract roaches.

Dark and Damp Areas

Roaches like to handle their business in the dark just like any other culprit that scavenges to survive. Does this mean that you have to keep your lights on around the clock? The answer is no, but you may want to consider limiting the amount of moisture that's in your home or office. You can do this by simply opening a window in the kitchen to let out the steam coming from the stove. Also, get in the habit of wiping down your windows and surfaces. With less dampness, roaches won't find the dark areas to be as appealing.

Easy Access to Water

It's never a good idea to leave out your pet's water bowl because it can attract roaches just as easily as filth can. This largely explains why you'll find countless roaches in the sewer. The leaky pipes and filthy water go a long way toward quenching these critters' thirst. If you don't want them to infest your home or office, don't hesitate to deal with leaks and moisture problems. More importantly, contact Accel Pest and Termite Control and let our professional pest exterminators treat your property for roaches.

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How to Rid Your Yard of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can ruin even the simplest of outdoor activities. For some, a covered deck solves the problem, but for many, that isn't a practical or viable solution.

Before you move all of your summer festivities indoors this season, consider trying some of these simple tips to keep mosquitoes away from your home and yard.

Know Your Herbs

There are several herbs and plants that mosquitoes can't stand the smell of, which makes them perfect additions to your backyard parties.

This summer, try adding one or more of these plants to your garden or potted plant collection:

  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigold
  • Catnip
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Geranium

Lemongrass and marigolds are especially effective repellents, so it's worth keeping a few pots of each near your home. Additionally, if you have a charcoal grill, you can burn rosemary or sage sprigs on the coals for extra repelling power.

Remove Standing Water

Mosquitoes can breed in just an inch of standing water. This means that it's important to keep your yard free of anything that can collect water, including:

  • Bird baths
  • Toys
  • Patio furniture
  • Tires or hubcaps
  • Empty flower pots
  • Barrels or tubs

If you keep furniture in your yard or on your deck, be sure it stays as dry as possible, or flip it upside down when not in use.

Use Citronella

The reason you see citronella candles every season is because they are effective. Mosquitoes especially hate the scent, so it's always good to have citronella on hand.

If you can't burn candles, you can also purchase citronella oil for a variety of uses. It can be set out in small dishes or used as a DIY repellant spray.

Many people will combine lemon juice with citronella oil and another repellent oil such as eucalyptus, lavender, mint or clove and spray around their homes and yards to protect from a mosquito invasion. This spray is eco-friendly and has a pleasant scent, so it's safe for children and pets while also being pleasant for guests.

These same oils can be carefully diluted and applied to skin or clothes for additional protection. Be sure to follow dilution directions closely because concentrated essential oils can be irritating to the skin.

Keep Your Lawn Mowed

Cutting your grass a bit shorter than usual is another way to minimize the chances of mosquitoes taking up residence in your yard. Since you're likely already mowing once a week or so, this is an easy way to add some extra mosquito protection.

Don't Let Mosquitoes Ruin Your Summer Fun

There are many great DIY options out there to help you keep the mosquitoes away from your family and party guests. However, if you're still having trouble keeping the pests away, don't hesitate to call the professionals. Contact Accel Pest and Termite Control today and we can help you eliminate your mosquito problem once and for all.

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5 Tips to Keep Food Stored Properly

Food storage is an essential part of any pest-control regimen. Keeping insects and other bugs from smelling your food supply is a simple preventative measure that anyone can take when minimizing the chances of a pest infestation.

Tip #1

Adopt a system that allows you to quickly identify the approximate dates on the food. This is a common technique used at fine restaurants when protecting the food against various pests. This technique is effective because it was developed by an industry that may face heavy penalties if an insect infestation is detected. Food rotation means that the oldest material is the first to be used. This requires you to organize your food supply and even label the outside of the containers.

Tip #2

Take extra precautions when dealing with fruit. Fruit usually needs time to become fully ripe, and this means that you will need to leave it on the counter or in a plastic container until the desired level of ripeness occurs. Once this happens, make sure that you store the fruit in the refrigerator immediately. To help ripen other fruits, store them in plastic with bananas, which contain ethylene. This will accelerate the ripening process, and you will be able to refrigerate them quickly. Avoid ripening fruit in air-tight containers because this could cause them to spoil. If you see any fruit flies, store the fruit in the fridge immediately.

Tip #3

Keep all grain products stored within airtight containers. This includes food like rice, beans, lentils, wheat, oats and other grains. Use glass jars with airtight lids or plastic containers that also have a special design that keeps the air out of the container. There is a high chance that bugs can get into the container if air can also seep through the lid.

Tip #4

Keep in mind that root vegetables do not need to be stored in airtight containers. Anything that grows underground can be kept inside a simple brown paper bag in an area of the pantry that is dark and cool. Breads should also be stored in brown paper bags, and these can be simply placed on the counter top or inside of a bread box.

Tip #5

Store refrigerated items in sealed containers, and keep the inside temperature consistent and optimized for freshness. Any food that is stored in a fridge within a certain range can begin to grow bacteria, and this will ruin the food.

Accel Pest and Termite Control

These are several easy methods that can be used when storing dry food, and this will help you to maintain the safety of your family. Consider these simple tips and tricks when storing your food supply. If you require additional assistance, contact Accel Pest and Termite Control.

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Surprising Facts About Ants

Ants are fascinating creatures. The following list contains 10 facts about ants:

1. Ants Have Inhabited the Earth for Approximately 200,000 Years

Ants have been living on Earth before humans ever existed. The ant's long historical presence on the planet is just one of many amazing facts.

2. A Common Ant Displays Amazing Strength

Depending on the species, an ant can lift between 10 to 100 times its own body weight, especially the noteworthy Asian weaver ant.

3. Ants Do Not Have Ears

Ants feel vibrations in the ground with subgenual organs located in their knees.

4. An Ant Does Not Have a Nose

A person may wonder how an ant breathes without a nose. Ants breathe through tiny holes called spiracles. Located on both sides of their bodies, spiracles disperse oxygen to the cells.

5. Ants are Highly Social Creatures

Ants form collective societies and even brains. One ant does not exist without the help of a group of ants. Working collectively as a unit, ants accomplish their purposes in life without unnecessary hardships.

6. Ants Communicate via Pheromones

Ants communicate with one another via chemicals known as pheromones, chemicals that are related to hormones. Ants secrete pheromones when they perceive that danger exists. They send these alerts to their fellow ants to protect them from harm.

7. Amazonian Ants are Asexual

It seems as though Amazonian ants have already mastered the art of cloning. According to some researchers, Amazonian queen ants reproduce themselves without the help of male ants. The result manifests as female ant colonies devoid of male inhabitants.

8. Army Ants Do Not Have Homes

Army ants constantly travel. They destroy other ant colonies for their food. They live nomadic lifestyles that closely resemble the patterns of homeless people.

9. At Least One Ant Lived for 30 Years

An ant residing in Idaho supposedly lived for 30 years. The person who recorded this particular ant's life span is unknown. Generally speaking, ants can live a few weeks up to several years. In fact, ants live longer than other insects.

10. Ants Exist as Members of more than 12,000 Species

Representing more than 12,000 different species, researchers believe that about 10,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quadrillion) ants are in existence. These large numbers of ants pleasantly reside in countries all over the world. Many of these ants operate luxurious bed and breakfast inns for their fellow ant travelers. The last sentence of this paragraph was deliberately added to test whether the reader is paying attention.

Although it is noteworthy to read facts about ants, homeowners may not want these tiny creatures living in their homes. For more information about how to eliminate ants, contact Accel Pest and Termite Control today.

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3 Ways to Keep Your Home Protected From Termites

Every year, termites are responsible for causing $5 billion in damage to homes and businesses across the U.S. On average, a homeowner will spend $3,000 on repairs per termite infestation. A majority of homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage, making it important for people to take steps to protect their homes. Here are three ways that you can keep your home protected from termites.

Remove Wood and Lawn Debris Away From Your Home's Exterior

Termites feed on wood and plant material, so it makes sense to keep both away from your home. Move wood piles away from your home, and promptly clean up lawn clippings, twigs and leaves. If you have stumps in your yard, you should have them completely removed. Mulch should be a minimum of several inches below the wooden portions of your home.

Seal areas where termites can enter.

When you perform your regular maintenance on your home, you should look for any areas that might serve as entry points for termites and seal them. You should check around your doorframes, planters, deck posts and deck, which may all serve as ways for termites to get into your home. Seal up cracks in your home's foundation or brick because termites may use them to get inside of your home.

Reduce Moisture

In addition to a food source, termites also need water. Try to limit your home's exposure to moisture by making certain that your gutters and downspouts are in good condition and that they divert water away from the foundation of your home. Don't use excessive amounts of mulch because it can lead to a buildup of excess moisture. Inside of your home, repair any faucet or pipe that is leaking and seal around any utility lines or pipes.

In addition to these three steps to protect your home from termites, you might also want to consider termite prevention from the experienced technicians at Accel Pest and Termite Control. A preventative program can keep termites from invading your home and your property so that you can avoid problems from the start. The expenses involved with termite prevention are far less than the costs associated with termite removal and damage repair. By keeping wood and moisture away from your home, sealing all entry points and getting termite prevention, you can protect your home from termites and preserve its value for decades to come.

Our service area covers multiple Virginia towns we proudly serve. Contact us and let us help rid your pest problems today!

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What Attracts Rodents to a Home?

Prolific breeders, rodents need a habitat that supports the needs of their offspring. These animals seek secluded locations that shelter them from the harsh weather and their predators. The ideal location typically has a reliable of source of food and water. Rodents are opportunistic animals that will infest your home if the conditions are right.

Is Food and Water Available?

Food scraps, crumbs and trash left out uncovered overnight emit odors that attract various pests, including rats, mice and other rodents. Ensure food products are in sealed containers, inside cupboards or the pantry area. Clean up spills as soon as they occur. Avoid leaving pet food in open bowls for extended periods because it may also attract rodents. Repair any leaky pipes to restrict access to water. You should empty or remove containers located outdoors and fill in low-lying areas that collect water near your home. A small amount of moisture can sustain rodents for substantial periods.

Are There Warm Places to Hide?

Clutter and unnecessary items piled near the house provide good hiding places. Holes in floors, walls and along rooflines allow the animals to gain access to attics, crawl spaces and garages. Rodents are instinctive climbers and can squeeze through extremely tight spots. They can run along tree limbs, power lines and other architectural features to reach your home. Once they establish a nest, rodents begin producing litters year-round. In addition to removing sources of food and water, you can make your home less susceptible to rodent infestations by sealing potential routes that the animals typically use.

Signs of an Infestation

Inspect your home every few months for signs that rodents may be trying to chew through wood or metal eaves, soffits or vents. Check for holes where pipes and wires pass through the wall or foundation. Look for gnaw marks on electrical cables. Check to see whether there are scratches or nibbles on food packaging. Inspect warm areas like closets and laundry areas for signs of rodents. Look for tracks in carpeting, grease stains on molding or furniture legs and footprints in disturbed dust. You may also notice their waste material or hear the sounds of these pests running inside the walls or ceiling.

If You Think You Have an Rodent Infestation, Act Quickly

Most do-it-yourself baits and traps are ineffective. If you have a rodent infestation, you can rely on Accel Pest and Termite Control to handle the issue. Our team is familiar with the locations rodents are likely to nest. The technicians also have the expertise and resources necessary to eradicate the rodents. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote and information about your pest problem.

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