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What is IPM? 

IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management. In IPM, we learn about our pests and select the best control methods to manage pests with the least effect to people, pets and the environment. By anticipating and preventing pest activity and combining several pest control methods, you can achieve long-term results.

Why is pest control important to our environment and why is it our responsiibility?

It is very important to have proper pest control around any area where food is present. This includes everywhere from the farms where food is grown to the grocery stores where it is sold. If not accurately managed, pests can contaminate food, making it impossible to grow and eat. Most people would consider bugs to be the primary “pests” to prevent where food is concerned. Other pests that also need to be handled are rodents, and other plant eating animals. Successfully controlling these pests can be done by using chemicals or organic pesticides, setting traps, building fences or creating other deterrents.

Taking measures to control pests that cause damage to our property is equally important. Spraying chemicals to manage insects that eat wood, burrow holes in our homes, build nests in our trees and chew holes in our landscape helps secure the survival of that property. The cost of pest control is very insignificant to the cost of repairing or replacing things that have incurred destruction from pests. For instance, consider the cost of new plant material for a yard. People who choose not to apply any pest control are running the risk of losing these plants to leaf eating insects. If this happens, they would incur the cost of new plant material, possibly replacing soil and the labor costs for the installation. By managing pests at the beginning this project, they would only have had their initial investment.

Disease can be spread rapidly if proper pest control is not done. Bugs and insects can transfer strands of flu and viruses to animals, people and food. Our government tries to manage and prevent this from happening by placing strict guidelines on what is allowed to be brought into our country. This is a form of pest control. People need to take such measures at home as well. By applying bug repellent, people can reduce their exposure to mosquitoes and other biting insects. Applications of chemicals to yards and perimeters of homes will limit the number of pests that can impact our health, as well as the health of our house pets.

Taking measures to control pests that cause damage to our property is equally important. Spraying chemicals to manage insects that eat wood, burrow holes in our homes, build nests in our trees and chew holes in our landscape helps secure the survival of that property. The cost of pest control is very insignificant to the cost of repairing or replacing things that have incurred destruction from pests. For instance, consider the cost of new plant material for a yard. People who choose not to apply any pest control are running the risk of losing these plants to leaf eating insects. If this happens, they would incur the cost of new plant material, possibly replacing soil and the labor costs for the installation. By managing pests at the beginning this project, they would only have had their initial investment.

How do you know if you have a mouse problem and what should you look for?

First and foremost you would see droppings. If black specks start to show up in areas then it is probably mouse droppings. They look like skinny tic tacks with pointed ends. Another sign is holes in boxes or other food containers. The next would be gnawing.  Mice have to gnaw in order to keep their teeth from getting too long.  The last would be simply sighting them. If you suspect a mouse problem then contact KC Pest Away today!  913 937-PEST (7378)

Is it possible to get rid of cockroaches and keep them from coming back?

Cockroaches can be eliminated from a home, but infestations can occur depending on the particular species involved and where the home is situated. Outdoor cockroaches, like the large american, smoky browns or oriental cockroaches, may continually try to enter a home from the outside. Regular exterior service in addition to sealing outside cracks and holes in walls can help limit such invasions.

Why do I need ongoing pest treatment? 

In any pest control program, ongoing maintenance is necessary to ensure control of any infestations and to help prevent future ones from occurring. Pests want three things: food, water and shelter – all things that are inside your home. They often are relentless in looking for ways to get inside your home, so we must be vigilant in keeping them out. Also, different pests are active as the weather changes, requiring different treatments as the seasons change. We partner with our customers, encouraging them to take simple steps in addition to the appropriate pest treatment, to help keep potential pests in their place all year round, and to help keep your home protected.

I have a clean house but still have bugs – why?

Pests want what we have – food, water and shelter. Many pests such as roaches and even rodents can fit through tiny cracks and crevices in search of these resources. This can happen no matter how clean your house may be. Other pests like bed bugs are not related to cleanliness at all. They are hitchhikers in search of a blood meal that people can easily – and often unknowingly – provide. It is best to have Blue Star conduct a thorough inspection to identify pest risk factors around your home.

My kitchen is inundated with small ants.  What should I do?

It is important to identify the ant involved before trying to control it. Some ant
species can be controlled using ant baits, while others cannot. The key to
success is following the ants back to their colony and treating the colony
directly.  (913) 378-8899

  • What does a termite inspection entail?

    • A termite inspection is a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of a home for evidence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) and wood-destroying organisms (WDO). The inspector will visually inspect the entire interior of a home (including accessing and entering any sub-space such as basements and crawlspaces) and exterior of the property. In areas where Drywood termites are prevalent, and in houses where there are no sub-areas, the attic may also be accessed and inspected. After the inspection has been performed, the findings are reported on the applicable/appropriate form.

  • How long does an inspection take?

    • The average termite or pest inspection takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes for a thorough inspection, depending on the size and conditions (e.g. clutter; storage of personal items, etc.) of the home and property.

  • Can termites live in colder climates?

    • Yes, termites have been found throughout the United States, even in Alaska! Cold weather does not kill them off; rather it slows them down or causes them to go into a hibernation state. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that 1 out of every 15 houses in the Chicago area have termite infestations.

  • Why inspect the attic if termites stay close to the ground?

    • The termite inspection is actually an inspection for wood-destroying insects and organisms. The inspector is also looking for ants, bugs and fungus. Sometimes, in areas where Drywood termites are prevalent, and in houses where there are no sub-areas, the attic may also be accessed and inspected. Inspectors routinely look in the attic area for Drywood termite pellets (fecal matter), which are oblong, vary in color from light gray to very dark brown, and are only 2 to 3 millimeters long. They generally accumulate on surfaces or in spider webs near the eaves area of the attic.

  • What do termites look like?

    • Subterranean termite colonies consist of three different castes–reproductives, workers and soldiers. All of the Subterranean termites are generally creamy white in appearance and are translucent, looking very much in size, shape and color as a grain of rice. The reproductives, or “swarmers,” have a pair of even-sized wings and are often mistaken for flying ants. The workers look similar to the “swarmers,” only they are a little smaller and do not have wings. The soldiers are also similar except for their oversized heads and large, crushing mandibles.

  • What is the difference between carpenter ants and termites?

    • There are a number of differences between carpenter ants and termites. The body shape of a carpenter ant is like an hourglass–it narrows between the abdomen in the rear and the thorax in the front. The body of a termite is more cigar-shaped without the narrowing between the front and back halves of the body. When wings are present, carpenter ants have larger wings in the front and smaller wings in the back, whereas termite “swarmers” have relatively equal-sized wings. Carpenter ant wings are less “veiny” than termite wings. Also, ant wings have a stigma (dark spot) on the leading edge of the front wing, and termite wings do not.
    • Carpenter ant antennae are bent or curved, while termite antennae are relatively straight. Also, termites eat the wood they tunnel through and ants do not.

  • How do you treat termites?

    • There are several methods available to treat Subterranean termites. A chemical treatment is the most common treatment type available for Subterranean termites. The goal of a Subterranean termite chemical treatment is to establish a continuous termiticide barrier between the termite colony (usually in the soil) and wood in a building. This is done by placing termiticide in the soil on both sides of all foundation elements to provide a barrier preventing termites from entering the structure. Technicians trench the soil and inject termiticide beneath it at 16-inch intervals. They also drill into hollow masonry block foundations and inject termiticide into the block voids. This creates a protective barrier around the property.
    • In-ground baiting systems are also becoming a popular method for treatment of Subterranean termites. A subterranean termite baiting system involves placement of cellulose (wood material) bait stations at strategic locations around the perimeter of the home. Worker termites, which constantly forage for wood to feed their colony, locate the cellulose bait stations and leave special scent trails to summon their mates to the food source. The cellulose material in the bait station is then replaced with a chemical inhibitor, retarding the molting process in termites and preventing them from growing. The carrier termites then bring the chemical back to the colony and–if everything goes well–spread the inhibitor throughout the remainder of the colony. Because of the growth inhibitor, the carrier and the rest of the colony will die.

  • Could there be hidden termite damage?

    • Absolutely! One of the main characteristics of termites and termite colonies is their tendency to avoid open air and bright lights, meaning they will stay underground or within wood products. It is almost impossible for an inspector to visually identify or locate an active termite infestation just by looking at the finished surface of a wall or the accompanying trim.

  • What can I do to prevent termite infestation?

    • The current standard method of preventing termite infestation on newly constructed homes is to have a pest control contactor visit the home and spray a liquid termiticide over the entire foundation area prior to the concrete being poured. The building sciences are continually coming up with new methods of infestation prevention. A homeowner could also make post-construction adjustments to the home that are less conducive to an infestation of wood-destroying insects. Common conditions that are conducive to an infestation are: earth to wood contact at support posts; cellulose debris and form boards left in the crawlspace; improper drainage away from the structure; and inadequate ventilation in the crawlspace. Correction of these conditions will greatly reduce the likelihood of an infestation.

  • Why do I have to treat if there are no live termites?

    • If there is evidence of a termite infestation and no evidence of a termite treatment having been done, the inspector must report that the infestation is active, which means in need of treatment, even though no live insects were discovered.

  • Does the termite inspection cover all types of wood-destroying organisms?

    • This depends mostly on state and local code. Most states use the NPCA-1 Wood Destroying Inspect Infestation Inspection Report, which limits its scope to the inspection of termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and re-infesting wood-boring beetles.

  • Is a termite inspection included with the cost of a general home inspection?

    • No, it is not. The initial cost of a general home inspection does not include any other inspections.

Article published with permission from: U.S. Inspect
913 937-PEST (7378) or 913 378-8899

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