Expert Pest Control with Homestead Pest Management of West TN

When you call Homestead Pest Management we listen to your problem and prescribe a treatment that will fit your individual needs after a thorough property inspection. We suggest the most beneficial service for your needs without overcharging for additional services you don’t need, because we feel that you should only pay for what is necessary to properly protect your property and not what makes us the most money. 
With Homestead Pest Control, you have multiple options for Pest Control including:

  • One-Time Service Visits
  • Monthly Service Visits
  • Bi-Monthly Service Visits
  • Quarterly Service Visits
  • Inside Only Treatments
  • Outside Only Treatments
  • And MORE!

At Homestead Pest Management, we live with our families in West Tennessee and understand that times are hard for everyone. For that reason, we do not hold our fellow residents to a binding contract. If you need to cancel at any time, you can, and we will still be here for you when conditions improve.

 
Homestead Pest Management can take care of all your West TN  pest control needs whether it be roaches, ants, termites, mosquitoes, spiders or anything else that's bugging you. Contact us today to schedule a complete individualized assessment of your home and property.

Let HPM Prevent Moisture-Related Problems in your Home

Excess moisture in a home can cause damage to the structure and illness in the occupants.  It is important to take precautions to prevent moisture from causing damage and the growth of mold and mildew.  Mold particularly can be very hazardous to people's health, so steps should be taken to ensure that it does not get a foothold in your home.  Homestead Pest Management offers moisture prevention services that can help keep excess moisture and the problems it causes at bay.  Just how bad is it to have mold build up in your home?  Jay Roman of TheNewYorkTimes.com had this to say about it in his 2001 article, "Your Home - The Dangers of Mold in Homes:"

"MOLD can cause health problems that range from itching eyes, sneezing and coughing to serious allergic reactions, asthma attacks and even permanent lung damage. And what many people do not know is that mold could be growing in their homes right now.

''I've gone into houses that are so neat and clean there's not even a teacup out of place,'' said Jeffrey C. May, principal of J. May Home Inspections, an indoor air quality testing company in Cambridge, Mass. ''Then I go into the basement and find mold growing on the legs of the furniture.''

Mr. May, the author of ''My House Is Killing Me: The Home Guide for Families with Allergies and Asthma'' (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), said that while mold in a house is most often found on walls, floors, ceilings, carpets and fabrics exposed to moisture, one particularly troublesome hiding place is inside the ductwork and associated components of central forced-air heating and air-conditioning systems.

''This is the time of year my phone starts to ring off the hook,'' Mr. May said, explaining that as homeowners start up their central heating systems many find themselves suddenly coughing, wheezing and sneezing.

Mr. May said that while mold needs moisture, oxygen, a food source and a surface on which to grow, a mold spore in search of a home can come by those essentials relatively easily, even inside a central heating system.

That is because such a system constantly circulates mold spores found naturally in the air through parts of the system that often have dust on their surfaces.

Once a mold spore has embedded itself in that dust -- which provides the nutrients it needs -- all the spore needs is moisture. And that moisture, Mr. May said, can come from condensation produced by the air-conditioning coil, from a faulty humidifier attached to the system, or even from high levels of humidity in the air itself.

While it is possible for mold to grow in the ductwork of a central heating system, he said, it is more common to find it in the parts of the system that collect the most dust and have the greatest potential for being exposed to moisture: the air-conditioning coil and its fiberglass lining, and the cabinet that houses the blower fan.

''I've seen coil linings that were completely infiltrated by mold,'' Mr. May said, adding that when the heating system is turned on, the blower fan distributes mold spores throughout the house. ''Most people don't even know they have a problem until they start getting sick.''

In most cases, he said, the only way to determine with certainty whether mold is growing inside a central heating system is to gain access to the coil, its lining and the blower, and take a dust sample from the surface of the components.

That sample must then be examined under a microscope. ''I'm looking to see whether there's actively growing mold in the dust,'' Mr. May said.

He explained that he looks for actively growing mold because it is possible for mold spores from other areas of the house to get caught in the dust in the furnace.

''I'm trying to distinguish between mold that is being collected in the system and mold that is growing in it,'' he said.

The cost of an inspection can range from $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on scope and complexity.

If active mold is found in the heating system, Mr. May said, a homeowner should hire a professional remediation expert -- preferably one certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, a trade group based in Washington -- to clean the furnace and the ductwork. Its Web site is www.nadca.com.

''You want to make sure the whole system is cleaned thoroughly,'' he said, explaining that in addition to removing any dust and mold in the blower cabinet and air-conditioning coil housing, a remediation expert should also clean the interior surfaces of the ductwork with a brush and a HEPA vacuum.

If there does not appear to be actively growing mold in the heating system, but members of a household have reason to suspect there is mold elsewhere in the house -- either because inactive spores were found in the heating system or because they are experiencing respiratory problems -- additional testing may be necessary.

Joshua Sarett, president of ALC Environmental, a testing and remediation firm in Manhattan, said that when his company inspects a house for a mold problem, the inspector takes air samples from both inside and outside.

''The outdoor reading gives you a baseline,'' he said, explaining that since mold spores are always in the air, it is necessary to look for a difference between the amount and type of mold spores inside and outside.

If high levels of hazardous mold spores are found in the house, Mr. Sarett said, the inspector will then make a visual inspection to determine where the mold is growing.

Ira Whitman, president of the Whitman Companies, an East Brunswick, N.J., company that specializes in environmental science, said that in most cases the most obvious indication of mold in a house is the presence of dark-colored spots on porous surfaces exposed to moisture.

If no obvious signs of mold are visible, Mr. Whitman said, it is possible that mold is growing inside a wall or ceiling.

''If you don't see the mold itself, look for signs of moisture,'' he said, explaining that leaks from apartments or appliances on the floor above can saturate the wood, wallboard and insulation in walls and ceilings, creating an ideal incubator.

Determining that mold exists in interior wall cavities, however, requires more work.

Damon Gersh, president of Maxons Restorations, a Manhattan company that specializes in restoring damaged property, said that to find mold behind walls it is often necessary to cut holes in wallboard or paneling to insert a small camera.

In most cases, he said, small amounts of visible mold on an exterior surface can be removed by scrubbing with a 5 or 10 percent solution of chlorine bleach in water.

Mold growing inside a wall, however, can be more difficult to remove. ''In some cases, we have to go in with respirators and Tyvek protective suits and take an entire room down to the studs,'' removing the interior surface of the walls, he said, adding that whenever a mold remediation project is completed, it is critical to make sure that the cause of the problem -- generally the infiltration of moisture into the house as a result of a leak from the roof or poor drainage -- is corrected.

The cost of such a cleanup can range from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

''You don't want to tear your house apart and put it back together,'' he said, ''only to have a new infestation six months down the road.''

Homestead Pest Management is here to help with moisture prevention as well as all your pest control needs. Contact us today for an assessment of your West TN home or property!

Rolly-Pollies and Sow Bugs: Serious Summertime Pests

Though often seen as cute and harmless, pill bugs (aka rollie-pollies) and sow bugs can be quite the little pests if they decide to invade your home or yard in great number.  A staff writer for Springerpest.com had this to say about these insects:

“These funny-looking bugs are closer in relation to shrimp and crayfish than their cousins in the Crustacea class of insects. Sow bugs typically have two appendages at the tip of their abdomen. Meanwhile, pill bugs lack appendages all together and are commonly called Rolly-Pollies.

These guys usually live outdoors, feeding on decaying organic matter, young plants and roots. Pill bugs and sow bugs hang out around flower bed mulches, grass clippings, leaf litter, rotting boards, trash, and rocks. Thankfully, they are not vectors and don’t carry disease, and unable to live for long indoors.

But pill bugs and sow bugs do crawl for cover. It’s in damp basements and crawl spaces where they launch their home invasions. Pill bugs and sow bugs are vampires (minus the fangs) who remain under objects on damp ground during the day and only become active after sunset when the temperature falls.

Thankfully, they are spring and summertime-only pests. Pill bugs and sow bugs are inactive during winter months.  But if you spy one pill bug or sow bug, you’ve likely spotted an army. Heavy infestations of pill bugs and sow bugs usually indicate a large population residing right outside the building.

Adequate moisture is essential for pill bugs and sow bugs survival, which leads them to group in masses to reduce water loss.

How do you tell sow bugs and pill bugs to get lost for good?

Destroy Their Habitat. Preventing a sow bug or pill bug infestation starts outdoors by removing harbor aging locations that hold moisture, like wood debris, rocks, grass and leaf clippings, and debris around foundation walls, doors, basement windows and other points of entry. Store firewood off the ground. Water your lawn in the morning to ensure your grass is dry in the afternoon. Remember, flowerbeds are sow bugs’ and pill bugs’ favorite hotels, so don’t over mulch your bed.

Bug-wire Your House. Now go inside and ensure your basement and entry points are not prime real estate for sow bugs and pill bugs. Properly ventilate basements and subfloor crawl spaces to eliminate excessive moisture. Repair and seal cracks and openings in your foundation walls, around doors, and basement windows with caulking compound and weather stripping (all doors should be weather stripped). Drain and remove any standing water and moisture around potential points of entry.

Terminate The Colony. Apply professional residual insecticides around your home’s exterior foundational walls about three feet long for a perimeter treatment. D-Fense SC Cyper Wp is an extremely effective perimeter treatment. Then spray entry points, cracks and crevices and baseboards. D-Fense WC doesn’t leave visible residue on dark surfaces and is a good weapon for entry points like doors and windows. Aerosol sprays like Micro Care Pyrethrum are also proven pillbug and sowbug killers. Re-apply liquid residual and granule treatments like Bifen LP every three months to maintain a strong defense shield around your home. Granule treatments offer an advantage over liquid residuals because they hold up under rainfall.”

 

Like most insects, sow bugs and pill bugs can be stubborn home invaders. For troublesome lingering home invasions of these and other pests, consult us at Homestead Pest Management! Contact us today to learn more about all the services we offer or to schedule an assessment for your home or property.