Markle Pest Free Blog

7 Best Reasons to Hire a Bedbug Exterminator

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bedbug Exterminator

If you spot any sign that you might have bedbugs, you'll want to contact a bedbug exterminator right away. The last thing you should do is wait if you're unsure since if you do have bedbugs, the longer you wait, the bigger the problem will get. However, not all bedbug exterminators offer the same quality services. The following are some the things that you should expect from a qualified and reputable bedbug exterminator:

  1. Experience - One thing to keep in mind is that not all exterminators are experienced with bedbug control. Make sure that the exterminator you hire has extensive experience treating bedbug problems.

  2. Friendly and clear communication - When speaking to the exterminator, they should use a friendly tone and answer any questions that you might have. Look for an exterminator that makes an effort to provide you with all the information that you need to know. Think of it as a job interview and them as the candidates. If they're not friendly or helpful, why would you want to hire them?

  3. Bedbug ExterminatorThorough inspection - It's not a good sign if they ask you where the problem is and then just begin treatment. A good bedbug exterminator will do a thorough inspection of the area surrounding the place where you found the bedbugs in order to determine where the source is and what the extent of the problem is.

  4. Proof - An honest bedbug exterminator will show you proof that you have a bedbug problem before they begin treatment. This way you know that you aren't paying for treatment that you don't need.

  5. Explanation - Once they've done a thorough inspection, they should recommend to you a course of action and explain every step of their treatment process. It's only after you've signed off on their solution that they should begin work.

  6. Clear instructions - They should tell you exactly what you need to do in order to prepare for the treatment.

  7. Transparency - If they're honest, they will tell you how long treatment will take, any potential safety issues, how much it will cost, whether additional treatments will need to be done, and if there are any guarantees.

This is what you should expect when you hire a reputable bedbug exterminator, and it's what you'll get when you work with us here at Markle Termite & Pest Management. To schedule a free bedbug inspection, be sure to contact us at Markle Termite & Pest Management in Dallas today.

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Signs You Have Termites

Friday, May 25, 2018

There is nothing quite like springtime in the greater Dallas area. The air is filled with the scent of bluebonnets, mesquite trees are budding, squeaking scissor tails dive for flies. Every weekend, there’s a crawfish festival to go to, and every day, there’s a pub with the best thirst-quencher ever—a summer shandy.


And then there are the termites. Swarms of termites. Granted, not a pretty sight, but at least now we can see them and now we can do something about them. If it weren’t for the swarms, we would never know they are chowing down on our homes. Spring is mating season for termites. The longer days and climbing temperatures and humidity levels arrive, and out come the winged termites ready to mate and establish new colonies—millions and millions of them.


Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for the swarms. There are other ways to detect termites.


Termite Shelter Tubes


Look for shelter tubes running up a foundation or across other surfaces—pencil-sized tunnels made out of tiny articles of soil, wood and feces. The tubes allow termites to travel between their nests and their food resources (your wood) protected from predators, of which there are many: animals (and that includes us), reptiles, birds, ants and spiders. To make sure the termites are still using it, break out a center section. If it’s repaired in a few days, you have termites!


Termite Tapping


If you listen closely, you can hear termites talking (so to speak). They communicate by tapping their mandibles and heads on the wood to send signals to the rest of the colony. When your home is heavily infested and the termites tap incessantly, you’ll hear it.  


Termite Droppings and Wings


Termite droppings are tiny pellets mostly found at or near the entry point of the termites. The piles look like sprinklings of salt or pepper. The wings they leave behind look like fish scales.


Bubbling or Peeling Paint


You might think at first that the peeling paint is due to water damage. And in a way it is. When termites infest wood, they are just below the surface. They stay there because they don’t like sunshine or dry air. The moisture they form causes the paint to bubble or peel.


Stuck Windows


Those times when we are yanking at and pounding on window frames to get them open? We think unkind thoughts about the installers. Or we blame the foundation of the house. Or the recent weather that has bloated the wood. Turns out it can actually be due to a termite infestation. As they snack their way through the wood, the window frames become warped.


Termites are tough. They’ve been around for more than 240 million years, way longer than we have. They’ve managed to adapt to every sort of environment, and we can trust they will continue to—maybe long after we are all gone. That doesn’t mean we have to let them eat our homes out from under us. Watch out for the signs and contact the experts as soon as you suspect your home has become a mess hall for multitudes of termites.

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Chigger Elimination

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chigger eliminationTechnically, chiggers are arachnids in the same family as spiders and ticks; however, they're quite tiny and are considered part of the mite family. Dealing with a chigger infestation can be more than just a nuisance due to the fact that they bite and can cause intense itching as a result. If you have a chigger problem on your property in Dallas or the surrounding areas, then you'll want to make sure that you hire a chigger elimination service as soon as possible, especially if you have children or pets in your household.

Our Chigger Elimination Process

Here at Markle Termite & Pest Management, we have extensive experience dealing with chiggers and use an integrated pest management system to ensure chigger elimination.

  1. Identifying the chigger problem - Before we do any kind of treatment, we will do a thorough evaluation of your property to identify where the chiggers are concentrated and what the extent of the problem is. We will look for the source of the problem as well as for any breeding grounds throughout your property's landscape, which is where they are likely to be.

  2. Chigger elimination

    Monitoring your chigger problem - Once we've identified where they are concentrated, we will monitor the existing chigger population in order to get an idea of how they are interacting with the surrounding environment. Every type of chigger requires different control methods. By monitoring the existing chiggers, we can figure out what type they are so that we can implement the most effective method of control.

  3. Implementing prevention methods - We will apply five pounds of granular sulfur, dusting sulfur or diatomaceous earth for every 1,000 square foot of the affected area. We typically recommend the use of granular sulfur if your property has alkaline soil. Applying these substances will help to get rid of and prevent chiggers from finding a home in your yard again.

  4. Future control - We offer a Markle Barrier Bundle Plan that includes regular preventative maintenance and which covers chigger control.

If you think that you have chiggers on your property, then you'll want to hire our chigger elimination services. We will implement an integrated pest management system that will help identify the extent of your chigger problem, treat the problem effectively, monitor the situation and, finally, take measures to prevent future chigger infestations. To schedule a pest audit of your property, be sure to contact us at Markle Termite & Pest Management today.

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Spring & Summer Pests in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Our out-of-state relatives and friends love to visit in the springtime. And we love sorting through all the fun and affordable entertainment available for them, things like an indoor rainforest at the Dallas World Museum, the many events (and all the yummy food trucks) at the Klyde Warren Park, and beautiful White Rock Lake to bike or walk around or rent paddle boards to get out on the lake. Whatever you choose for your visitors, they are sure to leave with great memories, and you’ll think back fondly to the visitors who don’t stay too long.


Now, how about those other visitors, the unwelcome ones, who arrive in spring and stay all summer and into fall? We sometimes feel at their mercy, but it doesn’t have to be that way.


Mosquitoes


Dallas made sixth place on the “Worst Areas for Mosquitoes in the U.S.” roster. Not a recognition we aspired to. There was a time not all that long ago that they were merely a nuisance. Now with the dramatic increases in the mosquito population, they are a public health hazard. Those little mosquitoes are the most prolific carriers of disease ever in the history of the world!


At the first hint of spring, we get out our shorts and tank tops to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Maybe we’ll get a bite here, a bite there, but as the temperature rises, we are attacked. If we get back inside with fewer than six mosquito bites, we count ourselves lucky.  

Ants

Dallas has more than its fair share of ants, but I’m singling out the crazy ants here. Their proper name is Nylanderia fulva, but “crazy” fits better (and is loads easier to pronounce). They are erratic creatures, both their behavior in general and their “hopscotch” feeding patterns.


You know how much you hate fire ants? The ugly mounds all over the lawn and in the public parks, the aggressiveness, the extremely painful stings. That’s nothing compared to crazy ants! Go through one infestation of crazy ants and you would welcome fire ants back with a brass band!


Granted, crazy ants have no stingers—a bite is nothing more than a moment’s discomfort. The problem is that massive numbers of them get together and swarm. It’s like some 1950s horror film. They smother chickens, trigger blackouts by short-circuiting electrical boxes, destroy mechanical equipment and drink grasslands dry.


Scorpions


Texas is home to 20 different species of scorpions, but only one species is found in the Dallas area: the striped bark scorpion, pale yellow with two dark stripes running down its back, about two-three inches long. They are nocturnal and get really upset if disturbed during the day. Contrary to their reputations, all scorpions are not deadly, and the striped bark variety is not. However, their venom is full of neurotoxins that cause swelling and pain so intense that knowing you are not going to die is of small consolation when you are in the throes of it.


Also, because the scorpions are nocturnal, you can be housing them without knowing it. They like attics in particular and, worse, migrate to any air-conditioned area in the summer heat.


You don’t have to suffer alone with these annoying and sometimes dangerous visitors. At the first sighting, contact Markle Termite and Pest Management.

 

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The Best Form of Bedbug Control

Monday, May 14, 2018

bedbig controlIf you think that you might have bedbugs, then you'll want to take steps to get rid of them right away. Bedbugs can become a real nuisance if you don't take care of the problem as soon as possible, which is why you'll want to schedule a bedbug control service immediately. However, the best form of bedbug control is bedbug prevention. The following are a few tips on how to prevent bedbugs from infesting your home in the first place.

  • Be careful about buying second-hand furniture - If you're thinking about buying used furniture, whether it's at a garage sale or at an antique store, make sure that you inspect the furniture for bedbugs. If the seller is delivering the furniture to you, make sure that you inspect it again before taking it into your house. Some trucks that regularly deliver second-hand furniture may have bedbugs.

  • bedbug controlVacuum regularly - Bedbugs can enter your home by hitching a ride on your pets or even on your clothes. This can happen if you're coming home from a trip where you stayed at a hotel. Even the cleanest hotels often have to deal with bedbug problems. Vacuuming regularly will help remove those stray bedbugs that latched onto you or your pets before they can begin multiplying.

  • Clean up your clutter - The more clutter that's prevalent in your home, the more places there are for bedbugs to hole up.

  • Put a cover on your mattress - Bedbugs are called bedbugs for a reason -- they tend to make their home in the creases of a mattress where they have easy access to their hosts. Encase your mattress in a protective cover to eliminate hiding spots.

  • Be careful about using shared laundry facilities - If your building has a shared laundry facility or you go to a laundromat, make sure you dry your clothing on high heat (to kill any bedbugs) and take your clothes directly home after they're dried instead of folding them there.

Use these tips to keep your home bedbug-free. Unfortunately, bedbugs can still invade your home even if you do everything you can to keep them out. If you do end up with a bedbug problem, you'll want to hire a bedbug control service with a reputation for being able to deal with such problems effectively. To schedule a bedbug control inspection, contact us at Markle Termite & Pest Management in Dallas, TX, today.

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When It's Time To Hire a Professional Mosquito Exterminator

Monday, May 07, 2018

mosquito exterminator

Mosquitoes can be a real pain to deal with, especially during the more humid days of summer. However, a lot of people won't resort to much more than just spraying a mosquito repellent on their skin. This isn't the most effective way to deal with mosquitoes, especially if you have a serious mosquito problem on your hands. The following are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a professional mosquito exterminator.

  • Mosquitoes carry serious diseases - Dealing with the itchiness caused by a mosquito bite isn't just a small annoyance. Mosquitoes often carry serious diseases that are spread rather easily. In fact, some of the world's most serious disease outbreaks, such as the West Nile Virus, were spread by mosquitoes. If you have a mosquito problem on your property, dealing with it is a matter of health safety.

  • Sprays and creams don't deal with the problem directly - Having to apply a spray or cream every time you go outside is a little excessive. Not to mention that covering every inch of your skin is rarely achievable, which means you'll likely still be exposed to mosquito bites. Besides, by allowing mosquitoes to just live on your property while you apply creams and sprays is basically the equivalent of accommodating the mosquitoes!

  • mosquito exterminatorStore-bought treatments contain chemicals - Sprays often contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment. There are other ways to deal with mosquitoes besides applying creams or sprays. For example, there are foggers or misters that spread chemicals over the property to kill mosquitoes, but these are rarely environmentally-friendly -- and could even be irritating to your health.

  • A professional will provide prevention advice - A professional mosquito exterminator won't just provide treatment that will effectively eliminate your mosquito problem, they'll also do a thorough evaluation of your property and provide professional advice on how you can prevent further mosquito problems from developing. Such advice is invaluable to ensuring the comfort and safety of your property.

As you can see, you're much better off hiring a professional mosquito exterminator than attempting to deal with your mosquito problem on your own. We offer full-fledged mosquito control services that will not only effectively eliminate your mosquito problem, but will do so in an environmentally-friendly manner. To schedule a free professional mosquito inspection in Dallas or the surrounding areas, be sure to contact us at Markle Termite & Pest Management today.

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What You Need to Know About the West Nile Virus

Monday, April 30, 2018

west nile virus

Nobody likes being bitten by a mosquito. Mosquito bites are an extreme nuisance, after all, especially since they tend to itch so much. However, itchy bites could be the least of your problems if you're bitten by a mosquito. Mosquitoes are known for carrying all kinds of diseases, one of the most dangerous being the West Nile Virus.

What is the West Nile Virus?

The West Nile Virus is a virus that typically occurs in birds. It's spread when mosquitoes feed on infected birds. It can be spread to other animals as well as humans. The virus was first discovered in the early 20th century in the West Nile area of Africa, but it has been found in other parts of the world, including Mexico, Canada and the U.S. The first American case of the West Nile Virus occurred in 1999.

west nile virusMost people who are infected with the West Nile Virus won't experience any symptoms. However, roughly 20 percent of those who are infected will experience symptoms that include fevers, headaches, body aches, diarrhea, rashes and vomiting. Severe symptoms can occur as well. It's estimated that one out of every 150 infected people will develop severe illness, such as encephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, which causes inflammation around the spinal cord and the brain.

Some of the more severe symptoms that can be caused by the West Nile Virus include high fevers, coma, loss of vision, numbness, weakened muscles, tremors, convulsions and paralysis. Around percent of those who develop serious symptoms that affect their central nervous system die. There is no vaccine or antiviral treatments available for the West Nile Virus.

Professional Mosquito Treatment

Although West Nile Virus-related deaths are rare amongst those who contract the virus, it's not a risk worth taking. If you have a mosquito problem on your property, the last thing you'll want to is to risk you or your family contracting any kind of disease, whether it's the West Nile Virus or one of the many other diseases that mosquitoes are known to carry.

Fortunately, a professional mosquito control service can help to eliminate your mosquito problem and recommend preventative measures as well, thereby reducing the risk of exposure to the West Nile Virus. To schedule a mosquito treatment service in the Dallas area, be sure to contact us at Markle Termite & Pest Treatment today.

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It's Time for a Professional Mosquito Treatment

Monday, April 23, 2018

mosquito treatment

Do you have a mosquito problem on your property? If you do, the last thing you want to do is to ignore it. Even if you have a mosquito spray or cream that you are using to try and repel those mosquitoes, there's no reason why you should continue to risk being bit, especially since mosquito bites not only itch, but also come with the risk of disease. If you're having mosquito issues, you'll want to schedule a professional mosquito treatment right away.

Our Mosquito Treatment

Instead of just spraying your entire yard with chemicals, we use an integrated pest management method. This involves doing a thorough evaluation of your property to determine how big of a problem you have and then determining the best course of action.

mosquito treeatmentDepending on the extent of your mosquito problem, we may implement chemical, physical, biological or cultural techniques -- or a combination of these techniques, to effectively eliminate your mosquito problem. You can trust us to treat your property in a manner that is budget-friendly as well as environmentally-friendly. One of the issues with store-bought treatments is that many of them contain potentially harmful chemicals that could not only hurt the environment but could cause potential health issues for members of your household.

Preventing Mosquitoes

Once we treat your property, we recommend taking preventative measures in order to keep your property mosquito-free. The following are a few tips for preventing mosquitoes:

  • Get rid of standing water - Mosquitoes breed in standing water, which means that any water left outside in the form of water collecting in buckets, flowerpots, glasses and more will attract them.

  • Keep your gutters clear - Debris that build up in your gutters, such as leaves and dirt, can block the flow of water. This prevents your gutters from dispersing water effectively and could cause rainwater to build up within the gutters. If this happens, the water will just sit there, attracting mosquitoes to your roof.

  • Put mosquito fish in your pond - If you have a fish pond, use predacious minnows, also known as mosquito fish. They will help prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your pond.

  • Plant citronella - Citronella plants are known for keeping mosquitoes at bay as a result of their scent.

If you have a mosquito problem on your Dallas area property, then be sure to schedule a professional mosquito treatment today by contacting us at Markle Termite & Pest Management.

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Start Preventing Termites Today!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

preventing termitesOut of all the pests out there, few cause the amount of property damage as the termite. Not only do termites eat through wood, they are difficult to spot, which means that they can end up doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home before you even know it. While there are effective termite treatments that can help to eliminate your termite problem, the best way to deal with termites is by preventing termites from infesting your home in the first place.

Treatment for Preventing Termites

Termites cause billions of dollars worth of property damage every year, which is why it's well worth investing in termite prevention. Here at Markle Termite & Pest Management, we are in the business of preventing termites. We make use of a pre-treatment called Bora-Care.

Bora-Care is a treatment that is sprayed directly onto wood, concrete and foundation penetrations. It works by penetrating deep into the wood that it's applied to, thereby providing residual protection against all types of termites, including Subterranean termites, Formosan termites and Dywood termites. It also offers additional protection against carpenter ants, wood-destroying beetles and certain types of fungi.

termite inspectionBora-Care will kill any termites it comes into contact with and will eliminate the wood it's applied to as a food source, creating a barrier that termites will not be able to get across. It's also a long-term treatment, which means that once it's applied, you'll have protection against termite damage for years.

Additionally, unlike other termite treatments, Bora-Care is very environmentally friendly. Its active ingredient is borate mineral salt, which has low mammalian toxicity, meaning that it's safe to use even if you have children or pets in your household. It also emits no volatile organic compounds (VOC), which means that it won't affect the environment. Last, but not least, there's a very minimal risk of chemical run-off as a result of its application.

Bora-Care is the only borate-based termiticide that's registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a primary perimeter termite pretreatment and one the Overall Grand Prize and the Best of Show awards at the Green Builder magazine GBS Show in 2006.

Schedule a Free Termite Inspection

The best way to protect against termite infestation is by preventing termites in the first place. For more advice on preventing termites or to schedule a Bora-Care treatment for your property, be sure to contact us Markle Termite & Pest Management for a free inspection today.

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Do You Have a Chigger Problem?

Monday, April 09, 2018

chiggersChiggers are a type of mite that can be challenging to deal with. They're not something you'll want to ignore since they feed off of skin cells. While their bites are not painful, they do cause itchy skin, which can make things really uncomfortable. However, they can be difficult to get rid of simply because they are hard to spot. This is because the mites are so small that they are impossible to see unless in groups.

About Chiggers

Chiggers are typically found in overgrown grass and areas of high humidity but can be found in any type of vegetation. Keeping your law trimmed short is one way that you can prevent a chigger infestation. However, if you do have chiggers on your property, you'll want to make sure that a professional comes to take care of them. Otherwise, you'll have to wear long pants to avoid chigger bites.

You can also use bug sprays to eliminate chiggers, but this only works in concentrated areas -- and most bug sprays that target chiggers contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment.

Our Chigger Elimination Methods

chiggers-1Because chiggers can make their home in pretty much any type of vegetation, we use an integrated pest management system to eliminate your chigger problem. The following are the steps we take:

  • Identify the extent of the problem - We will evaluate the chigger problem on your property to see how bad the infestation is. We will identify chigger breeding spots as well to determine the best course of action. We will then monitor the chiggers to determine how they are reacting to the environment and to identify the type of chigger we're dealing with.

  • Implement control methods - Our chigger control techniques include the application of diatomaceous earth or either dusting or granular sulfur. Both of these methods are environmentally-friendly alternatives to most bug sprays that are available on the market.

Every chigger problem is different. Because of this, we will customize our integrated pest management system to meet the specific needs of your property. In addition to treating your property for chiggers in order to eliminate the problem, we will provide professional advice on how to prevent a chigger infestation in the future.

If you think that you might have a chigger problem, then be sure to contact us at Markle Termite & Pest Management to schedule a free chigger elimination inspection today.

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