Holiday

Bed Bug Travel Guide

As you head out on vacation this year be careful not to bring bed bugs home with you. Learn how to protect yourself wherever you go this summer with our free guide. 

Bed bug travel guide

Most of us head out of town during the summer and travel off to a stress-free destination for some long over due time off. Whether you’re headed off to the beach or a mountain lake, to another country or remain in the U.S., remain aware of bed bugs.

Bed bugs are masters at hitchhiking and may infest five-star hotels, planes and vacation homes, along with everything in between. Rest assured that while bed bugs don’t spread disease, they can inflict itchy swollen welts. And who wants to spend their vacation time digging at their flesh or making an unexpected trip to Urgent care?

I am often asked: can you actually see bed bugs? The answer is yes, you can! The adult bed bugs are about a 1/4-inch long by roughly an 1/8-inch wide. Bed bugs are a reddish brown in color, but may appear more red after feeding. Bed bug nymphs,(or young) are visible as well, but hard to see as they are smaller - about 1/32 inch.
 
The last thing you want to do is bring bed bugs home back from vacation with you! I have been told over and again about how horrible people have felt after taking bed bugs from a hotel to a friend or relative’s house. While it's not really your fault, we definitely encourage everyone to take these steps to vacation bed bug-free.  
 
IN HOTELS

  • Place your luggage on smooth-surfaced furniture away from the bed, like a desk. If using a luggage rack, inspect it for bed bugs before placing your luggage on it - it only takes a few seconds. Look underneath, check the frame and so forth.
  • Pull back the four corners of bedding and check the mattress and box spring for bed bugs - follow the seems as this is where bed bugs typically hide. If you notice black dots on the mattress, that could be an indication of a problem.
  • Inspect all night stands, desks and headboards for signs of bed bugs.
  • If you believe your hotel room has bed bugs, call the front desk and ask for a different room. Each time I stay at a hotel I ask if there has been any bed bug issues I need to be aware of at the time of check in.

 
AFTER TRAVEL

  • Before unpacking, inspect your luggage for bed bugs. Do this outside.
  • Place clothing from luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes on high heat. This will kill any bed bugs that may have come back with you. 


By following these simple steps you can easily enjoy your vacation this year without worry of bed bugs keeping you up in your hotel room at night. You need to relax and have as much fun as possible so what are you waiting for? Have a great vacation!

Avoid Sand Fleas This Summer

Not to bust your summer fun or time on the beach but... our number one bug for the summer is the sand flea. Otherwise known of as a sand hopper, these tiny little creatures are actually crustaceans. Due to their ability to inflict irritating bites, the name "sand flea" is often used to describe a wide variety of insects like midges, biting gnats, flies and your typical flea. With each of these insects, the aftereffects of their bites are similar leaving itchy, red welts that can, well... make for a memorable vacation.

Sand fleas can easily be found on beaches along Atlantic coastal areas and marshes, but can also be found in the desert as well. Before you get too worried relax because truth is sand fleas will never really come home with you from vacation. Unlike bed bugs, they prefer their ocean view habitat. Now, before you get too relaxed know that the female sand flea has the ability to burrow under your skin to lay her eggs

Sand fleas can easily be found on beaches along Atlantic coastal areas and marshes, but can also be found in the desert as well. Before you get too worried relax because truth is sand fleas will never really come home with you from vacation. Unlike bed bugs, they prefer their ocean view habitat. Now, before you get too relaxed know that the female sand flea has the ability to burrow under your skin to lay her eggs

How ToAvoid Sand Fleas

  • Sand fleas typically feed in the early morning and late afternoon so, avoid the beach during those times. I know, right?
  • Avoid placing your towel (or blanket) right on the sand. Make use of folding beach chairs and lounges instead. (Ladies, here is a great selling point for the hubby for renting one.)
  • I would say wear close-toed shoes but, then why walk the beach to begin? Sand fleas can't jump that high so... your call.
  • Spray on some insect repellent if you do end up getting bit - it is the most effective prevention.
  • Avoid areas with seaweed since this is where they can usually be found feeding.

What To Do When Bitten

According to the National Institute of Health, if bitten by sand fleas avoid scratching. While extremely rare for the female to deposit her eggs in your skin, look after bites and if you find a black center to one consult your physician immediately.

Who's Your Love Bug This Valentines?

While you may be celebrating an anniversary or the start of a new relationship Gladhill Services wants to share the ultimate love interest with you. Say what you want about humans, when you get right down to the sexiness and love we all crave the insect community has the ultimate lovers. 

Love bug valentines

Each year, Florida plays host to the ultimate lovers not too long after Valentines Day. "Love bugs,” are a nuisance pest any Florida traveler should become familiar with. 

Each spring, mega swarms of "love bugs" take flight filling the airspace along roadways. During this time, love bugs mate during a non-stop flight of sexiness. That is until their sexy time comes to an abrupt end as they both smash into windshields, headlights, grills and the side mirrors of vehicles. Swarms of these tiny creatures can cause drivers to pull over as their crushed bodies make it impossible to see out of windows, darken headlights and worse, cause radiators to overheat. Sounds like something out of a horror movie but, it's all too real. Just ask anyone living or traveled in Florida during Love Bug season.

Having lived in Florida for several years, I will never forget the crushing pop heard at least once every two to three seconds while driving. The mess left behind as they go out with a bang was the worst part. I would carry extra washer fluid in my truck during "Love bug" season but it really didn't help. Truth is every three days I had to pressure wash my windshield to clean off the juice left over from crushed bodies. 

Campers Guide To Pest Control

Camping is all about getting lost and intimate with nature so, don't let a few bugs ruin your trip. Here you will learn the 6 most common outdoor pests campers encounter and 7 tips to help ensure a great outdoor experience. 

You get lost in the wild for a reason. But some outdoor insects can make your camping trip more irritating than peaceful. If swatting bugs wasn't irritating enough, think about how some insects could bite leaving you with harmful and life-long effects. Have fun and enjoy your time outdoors without insects taking over your campsite eliminating that  peace of your natural bliss. Before you pack all that gear and head outdoors this summer, be prepared to prevent and reduce your worry.

You get lost in the wild for a reason. But some outdoor insects can make your camping trip more irritating than peaceful. If swatting bugs wasn't irritating enough, think about how some insects could bite leaving you with harmful and life-long effects. Have fun and enjoy your time outdoors without insects taking over your campsite eliminating that  peace of your natural bliss. Before you pack all that gear and head outdoors this summer, be prepared to prevent and reduce your worry.


6 Insects Every Camper Needs To Know

Planning to get into the wild this summer? When packing your camping gear, s'mores, and other campsite delights, batteries and sleeping bags be prepared to face several insects that want exactly what you have. Face it, when you begin sleeping under the stars you’re sure to invite a few more friends you typically don't sleep with at home. Some of these insects will steal a little bit of food while others may want to feed on you. Here are 5 common insects that campers usually face when getting back to what's real, as well as 7 tips for helping you during your getaway.


7 Tips to Help You Enjoy Camping This Summer

 

1. Clothing - It's No Option

You should wear long sleeves, pants and light-colored clothing when camping as this will help cover skin insects would bite. Light colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks also. When hiking through dense woods or tall grass remain in the middle of trails stopping periodically to check for ticks.

2. Insect Repellent

When using bug repellents follow the manufacturer's directions. If applied properly insect repellent won't kill insects - it sends them off in another direction.
If your pets come along, be sure to consult with a veterinarian about tick and heartworm prevention. 

3. Avoid Insect Habitats

Avoid camping near pooled water, marshes and ponds with stagnant water. This is a mosquito habitat with plenty of gnats, no se ups, midges and ticks. Look for an area close but not too close for your safety and enjoyment. 

4. Pay Attention

Nature is home to thousands of bugs and other creatures all trying to make their way in life. When we share their natural environment don't get too upset with them as they are trying to live too. Just keep an eye out for ant mounds, beehives, spider webs and such. Keep an ear to the wind for buzzing sounds. If heard, locate the nest and set up camp further away from it. 

5. Secure Tents & Gear

For the most part, your tent is zipped up and secure but, bugs find their way in at times. If you keep food in your tent then expect more bugs. During the night try keeping food in your vehicle if possible. Secure all openings before turning down for the night. And, more importantly you can spray the exterior base of your tent with an approved insect spray to help prevent unwanted visitors from getting in. 

6. Take A First Aid Kit

Tweezers come in handy for removing ticks, splinters and thorns. The Center for Disease Control says stocking a health kit when traveling with, anti-itch ointment for bites and stings is a good thing to do. If anyone on your camping trip has a history of severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, the CDC also recommends carrying epinephrine auto-injectors.

7. Store & Secure Food

Keep all food sealed tightly in containers and keep up off of the ground - especially during the night. Use coolers inside tents, hang trash from a tree, and discard all trash in a proper receptacle. Do this for your safety and enjoyment along with protecting others and the environment. 

Christmas Tree Pests

efore you grab that Christmas tree be sure it's not home to unwanted pests this holiday season.

christmas tree pests

Freshly cut Christmas trees not only liven the holiday spirit, they may be a direct way for insects, mites, and spiders to enter your home. When brought inside, some insects may remain on the inner trunk of the tree never being noticed but, others may come out to venture around your home once they feel warm temperatures inside. Most insects remain on the tree for winter hibernation while some may be attracted to light fixtures and windows. Following a few preventive steps can help ensure you won't introduce them into your home this holiday season.

Mechanical tree shakers
These are very useful in removing insects and nests from trees. If not done when purchasing your Christmas Tree, shake the tree vigorously before setting up inside for the holidays as this will serve the same purpose.

Bird nests, although considered decorative by some people, bird nests may contain mites and lice. Any nests should be removed by hand if not by mechanical or hand shaking.

Natural Aerosol sprays can be sprayed on the Christmas tree.
There are many useful and natural aerosol products you can easily find to spray directly into the tree. With having no residual and being natural, these products quickly repel any insect that may be hiding within your tree. Your tree will be safe to set up inside shortly after you spray them. 

Vacuum cleaners
Vacuums work very well by removing insects that may collect on walls, floors or ceilings. Quickly remove nesting debris, eggs, cocoons and live insects this way. 

A Christmas tree may be home to numerous structural, environmental and landscape pests like adelgids, wooly adelgids, aphids, bark beetles, mites, chiggers, ticks, fleas, praying mantids, scale insects, psocids, and spiders. The odds of finding all the listed pests on your Christmas tree this year is slim but, sometimes one or more may have made a home in it. So follow these holiday hacks to limit any pest problem this holiday season. 

New Year Pest Resolutions

New Years Pest

With 2018 upon us, many are trying to determine a so-called New Year’s resolution to keep. Some of us choose lifestyle or dietary changes while others take a class or try something new to enhance their lives but, Gladhill Services wants you to consider something different this year. When thinking about home repairs and other household duties for this new year why not begin thinking about pest prevention first. Every task performed (or not) can make or break a pest problem inside and around your home. 

IN THE PANTRY
There is nothing critters prefer more than crumbs on floors and shelving. No need to worry about ants and other pantry pests this year. Take proper preventative steps by putting a little time aside to clean up the pantry. Wipe the floor and shelves of your pantry this year and, make sure that all containers are properly sealed.

TEND YOUR FIREWOOD
A huge mistake us guys make is by stacking up the firewood right at or near to the house. Carpenter ants, spiders, earwigs, springtails, mites, borer insects, and termites flock to wood piles, where they are then carried right into the house. Start this year right by moving the woodpile away from the house and porch.

SEAl UP THE CRACKS
If you haven’t done this yet, make a resolution to do it now. As temperatures drop, rodents, in addition to  insects, seek out warmth, and, from the tiniest of places. Seal up any and all cracks and crevices around the foundation while checking to ensure the doors and windows are tightly sealed.

PRONE TO PESTS?
After taking the top three preventive steps, remember to inspect your home for any signs of pest activity monthly. Gladhill Services recommends checking your attic, basement and exterior foundation walls each month. Even if you see just three critters crawling in the same month, contact us right away at 717-597-1040 Both insects and rodents reproduce quickly.