How to Keep Bugs Away While Camping

When it comes to camping, there’s nothing like the outdoors. Sometimes it’s an escape from the modern world, from the noises and buzzes. The outdoor, no doubt, is the perfect place to breathe again, and to reconnect with yourself, loved ones, and nature.


Being in nature doesn't mean you're going to be alone. There are tons of creatures like yourself that enjoy the outdoor too. Wild and untamed, and quite unpleasant to behold - bugs.

For a fun camping trip, you might have to seek ways to keep these bad buggies away.

Below are methods you can use to keep bugs away while camping.

  1. Homemade essential oil repellent

There is a lot of essential oil with bug repelling properties, and you can use it to keep bugs away while camping. Although the essential oil is commonly sprayed on the skin, it's advisable to spray on clothes to avoid irritating your skin, especially if you have a sensitive skin.

  1. Vinegar

Another way to keep the bugs away is to combine both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar to act as a bug repellent. Insects are not fond of the strong overpowering scent, so they quickly move away when they perceive this homemade repellent.

You can apply it directly to your skin or your cloth. As long as you're comfortable with the strong scent, you're good to go.

  1. Bug repellent bracelets

If you can’t stand spraying things on your body or clothes, this could be a viable option to keep bugs away while camping. You can wear it on your wrist, or perhaps fasten it into your belt or anywhere else you prefer. If you have kids, it's also a good option.

  1. Bug repellent diffusers and coils

Some well-known bug repellent brands now sell diffusers that can repel bugs while you're camping. These diffusers emit a pesticide known as metofluthrin, a component that scars bugs and mosquitoes away.

Some diffusers include a battery and could last as long as 12 hours while offering 80 -100 percent protection. Similar to diffusers, pyrethrum-infused coils are great repellents, and bugs will instantly hate you upon scenting these coils.

  1. Foods that little buggies hate

You might not know this, but some foods are the least favorite of these bugs - like garlic, onions, citrus fruits like lemon, and oranges. Believe it or not, bugs can’t stand them. For them to work, you might need to eat a whole lot of them, while rubbing some on your skin. 

It also doesn’t hurt to cook with these ingredients, as they could also be beneficial to your body while helping repel these nuisances as you enjoy your camping trip. If you believe you’ve been besieged by bugs, give us a call (718) 550-7483 asap and we’ll get in touch form.

Insect Marvels: The Cicadas – Are Cicadas Coming In 2021?

Are you prepared for another resemblance of the biblical locust plague? Well, it isn't a plague per se, but the sound of an emergence sends cold shivers down your spine still.

Cicadas are part of the superfamily, Cicadoidea. And are non-venomous, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about except from their ear-piercing buzz.

Some species of Cicadas emerge annually, while an exclusive species to North America, Magicicada, which spends most of its lifespan thriving underground as nymphs emerge every 13 to 17 years.

Periodic Cicadas emerge annually in a large swamp numbered in billions with a loud, buzzing sound. You may have noticed this occurrence in previous years, but everyone is talking about the Brood X Cicadas. 

This species of cicadas' last emergence was in 2004, and if you have your numbers right then, it's about time we expect another emergence. That leads to the question: Are Cicadas Coming In 2021?

Before emergence, the periodical Cicadas spend most of their time in their underground abode sucking tree saps from roots before going above ground.

When will the Cicadas emerge?

Talking to the New York Times, Matt Kasson, a West Virginia University biologist, said, "They are ready but waiting for the soil to be warm enough. The ideal soil temperature for cicadas is about 64 degrees [Fahrenheit]. For the Mid-Atlantic region, that usually comes by about the third week of May, but it could be sooner. Usually, you have stragglers on either side.”

One thing is certain; this phenomenon can never go unnoticed as they will signal their arrival with loud mating calls once on sight.

What people are saying

With reports from citizen scientists showing the emergence of the Brood X Cicadas, reports come in from people who have sighted these supernatural creatures in their yards. And the most reports coming from Tennessee, Bethesda, Ohio, Washington DC, Maryland, etc. The emergence has already begun! 

If you stay close to these areas and haven’t sighted these creatures yet, then you should very soon.

Should you be worried about the emergence?

Unlike locusts which feast on our crop fields, you have absolutely nothing to worry about as these creatures are harmless to humans and crop fields. However, they may be a little destructive to slender tree branches that they utilize as a nesting ground to lay their eggs. 

The cicada's emergence will last over the next few months. In the coming months, you should expect billions of these creatures to cloud the woods and neighborhoods in most U.S states. 

However, you can always find new reports on sightings and tips on handling the emergence with our 24/7 expert environmental services. You can go ahead and give us a call right away or better still, fill out our contact form.

Does alcohol kill bed bugs?

Noticed redness and itchiness on your skin as well as small, raised bumps? This could mean one of many things, or the most common, a bed bug infestation! 

Being faced with a bed bug insurgence might seem obscure to the eyes as these little creatures can easily hide and thrive in upholstered furniture and belongings unnoticed.

How do you get rid of these nocturnal bloodsucking creatures?

Well, for starters, it will mean making use of pesticides, but how effective is this? Research has shown this creature to develop some kind of resistance to pesticides.

Speaking on this, the lead author and research assistant professor at the Purdue's Center for  Urban and Industrial Pest Management says, "The longer you use any product for the control of a particular pest, the more resistance issues you are going to have.”

Of course, this info will not go down well with people who depend heavily on these fighting agents to stop a teaming bed bug infestation. But do you know what works? Alcohol! Sounds easy, right? 

Does alcohol kill bed bugs? To some extent, Yes! Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) has shown to be effective at killing bed bugs and their eggs but doesn’t stop an infestation.

How does it work?

According to research, the bed bugs' epidermal layer houses pesticide-resistant genes, which may be responsible for slowing or stopping altogether the toxins that pose a threat to these creatures. 

So how then does alcohol kill these creatures with such defensive factions? It's simple, the alcohol eats up the layer, which is one way and then finally induces a drying out effect, which should be enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs.  But utilizing alcohol to get rid of bed bug infestation isn’t a 100 percent strategy against killing these creatures.

Why people don’t depend on alcohol to kill bed bugs

  1. You will have to apply alcohol directly on the bugs

Bed bugs are barely visible to our eyes, making applying alcohol directly on them more challenging. These creatures are “stealth” veterans and will hide in cracks and crevices, which makes the task of eliminating them more difficult, and in most cases, impossible.

  1. Running alcohol isn't an all-round effective tool in killing bed bugs

Alcohol has shown some positive results in eliminating bed bugs but isn't overly effective at wiping out its entire population. Hiring a professional extermination service is the right measure to take against bed bug infestations.

A bed bug infestation is totally avoidable when you follow the right measures. If you ever feel like you’re under a bed bug siege, we’ve got you covered with our 100% effective bed bug elimination services. You can go ahead and give us a call or fill out our contact form.

How To Get Rid Of Summer Ants

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Ever wondered how many ants are on earth? Estimates put the number at about one quadrillion ants, proving these seemingly little creatures to be one of the most successful species on earth. But when they plague your home during the summer, what do you do?

Typically, they either come to have a share of your pie or perhaps looking for a nesting habitat where they can feel at home. But before the invasion, there were a couple of attractions that got their attention.

Getting rid of summer ants is easy if you know the type of ant you’re dealing with and what attracts them. 

Five main types of ants are prone to invade your home, and they are:

Photo from Wikipedia

Carpenter ants are renowned for their woodworking ability. If allowed to continue practicing their innate carpentry talent, your furniture will never be the same again. Fire ants derive joy in eating the roots of your plants in your garden, while the odorous house ant is renowned for the repulsive odor they emit when mashed.

When you identify the ant causing havoc in your home, you’re halfway through getting rid of those nasty pests. So, here are some secret ways you can use to get rid of summer ants. 

  1. Eliminate water sources in and around your home

A common attraction as long as ants are concerned is water. They need water to live, just as much as you do. But they have got to go, right? That means ensuring you remove any water source that might attract summer ants to your home.

  1. Get rid of food sources

Ants are hardworking hungry creatures, and they are always on the lookout for foods, especially crumbs left behind on your countertops or outside your home. If you must get rid of summer ants from your home, make it a duty to regularly clean and remove any food source.

  1. Eliminate breeding sites

If you don't want ants partying in your home, crash the party by eliminating potential breeding areas such as overgrown grasses around the house, yard debris, and even old landscape materials. If there is no breeding area in your home, ants will never invade your home cause it will be a futile effort.

  1. Seal Access Points

To get rid of ants, ensure you seal all access points. When you seal all nooks and crannies in your home, you make it evident that they are unwanted.

When you take the appropriate precautions, you can get rid of summer ants from making your house a home. If you suspect you’re already under siege, call or get in contact with us as soon as possible.

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The Staten Island Stink Bug Epidemic and how you can protect your home and family

Back in 2010, SILive posted about Stink bugs appearing all across Staten Island in large numbers. Lately, the same seems to have been happening. We have had reports of Staten Island Stink bug infestations in homes, commercial offices, kitchens, & classrooms across the Island, putting people on edge and making them uncomfortable in their own homes.

Photo from Wikipedia

Why are stink bugs out this late in the year?

Wild up-and-down temperatures can contribute to these bugs rising up at unusual times in the year. When the weather gets cold and then hot again repeatedly, it can fool the insects into thinking that springtime is coming, causing them to come out like they usually would at that time of year, but without their usual predators, causing wild population increases and infestations if you do not safeguard your property.

How stink bugs can cause harm

Stinkbugs won't bite humans, but they can still cause damage in other ways. They eat tomato plants and other fruits, meaning they can destroy produce at supermarkets and outdoor markets all over the island.

It's rare for any negative impact to spread to humans, but it's not something you prefer to be ingesting, that's for sure.

Be vigilant for their bite marks. They leave minimal damage to the outside of the fruit, usually in the form of scars and depressions. The food often seems good enough to eat. Although it seems minimal at first, insects (these included) can carry disease and viruses that they spread to the plant.

How to find them in the home

Stink bugs tend to congregate in sunny and warm areas of the home. They usually come in in spring. They also have a telltale odor that you will recognize when they are in high numbers. In your garden, you will notice damage to vegetables and fruits, especially tomatoes.

How to get rid of stink bugs

In large numbers, stink bugs are difficult to eliminate. Contacting a professional pest control company is your best bet. You can get in touch with us for more information and an estimate on the help you need and what it entails.

Get in touch.

Get rid of mice in your home with natural mouse repellants

image via Pinterest

Mice can be a nuisance. Not only do they pee and poop around your house and in your walls, but they can contaminate your food, causing your family to become sick. The "new wave" in mouse control is the humane removal or annihilation of the little critters, causing them as little suffering as possible in the course of their removal.

They aren't easy to remove on your own, and sometimes the help of a professional is needed, but here are your best bets for DIY methods of mouse removal and prevention.

Keep your home clean

Mice enter the home not only looking for a warm place to sleep and breed, but a place where they can find food and water as well. By keeping your home clean and free of these things, you will reduce the chances of mice finding their way in.

Make sure to clean up spills and dropped food right away, not letting it linger over night or longer. When there is nothing for them to munch on, you'll find they're less likely to ever enter in the first place.

Keep your food sealed tight

A determined mouse is able to chew right through packaging to create a food source for themselves right in your pantry. This not only keeps them alive and well, but can become a health risk to you and your family if not noticed before consuming the food.

Placing food in containers will keep mice away and prevent existing food from becoming contaminated. Mice like to go after cereals, fruit, grains, pasta, and seeds. Be sure to keep an extra tight eye on these areas.

Seal entry points

Here's a little lesson in mouse anatomy:

Their bodies are made of nothing but soft cartilage. They are able to bend and deform their shape to enter the tiniest gaps and spaces.

Take some time to check your house for any small gaps or openings. Gaps in the walls, roof tiles, and plumbing are all potential entry points for invaders.

You can seal up these spaces using caulk or other sealants you can find at your local hardware store. This will cut off their entry and make it far less likely.

Aside from that, you can use steel wool to block pipes while still letting water get through. Steel wool can't be chewed through and works well being mixed with caulk. Copper wool is a slightly more expensive option but will last longer because it doesn't rust.

Essential oils*

Essential oils are not just good for entering your moment of "zen."

You can also repel pests with them. Mice and most other pests (and animals) have a strong sense of smell. Certain essential oils like peppermint and citrus are especially good at repelling them.

***Be careful if you have pets!

This might not be a good option if you have cats and dogs or other pets around. They share that heightened sense of smell and won't enjoy the use of these oils.

Ultrasonic repellers*

Similar to the way a "silent whistle" works for training your dog, you can get an ultrasonic emitter that will drive mice away.

An ultrasonic repeller emits a sound so high pitch that it is inaudible to humans, but mice and other animals find unbearable.

***This is another product that you're probably best staying away from if you have animals.

Other household items*

There are a couple of things you might already have laying around your house that are good for repelling mice.

Dryer sheets are heavily scented and not attractive to mice and other rodents. Pop a few of them in spaces where you think mice might frequent - cabinets, closets, and trash cans are good places to start.

Ammonia is also a good tool for repelling mice. Fill a water bottle cap up with it and place it in corners of the room or places where you think mice might be entering. It will repel them.

***ammonia can be harmful to pets and children so make sure to use this method with extreme caution!

Mouse Traps

One of the first ever invented ways to get rid of mice, and now considered one of the MOST HUMANE!

A mouse trap is a simple and effective way of annihilating your little home invaders. They come in various different types, but the humane and quick way to go about it is the snap trap.

Glue traps are now known to cause too much suffering for our little furry friends.

Of course, the downside here is having to dispose of them later.

Get a house cat

You shouldn't adopt a pet just to become your personal killing machine, but if you're considering getting a pet, a cat might be a good move for you.

Cats will kill mice wandering around the home and keep new ones from entering at the same time very quickly.

Sometimes they'll even bring it to you as a gift!

Call a specialist

If you try some or all of these options to no avail, you can always call us.

Mice can cause disease and cost you money in contaminated food. They're not pests you can have hanging around with no side-effects.

Contact a certified pest control specialist like ours at Annihilator eX-Termination. Our staff is trained in pest prevention, detection, and elimination.

The Spotted Lanternfly could be coming to New York on our Christmas Trees to destroy NY Parks

Image result for Spotted Lanternfly, a Christmas tree superbug, could destroy New York parks
A group of spotted lantern fly on a tree trunk

The Spotted Lantern-fly is a species of insect that consumes leaves, leaving a Swiss cheese-like destruction behind, often destroying the trees and plants the leaves come from. They can be quite invasive and could be coming to New York City; hitching a ride on Christmas trees that come into the city from other states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The one-inch long Chinese native insect has infested parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, causing quite a few problems there and warranting a $17.5 million budget from the feds to fight the bugs off in PA.

They feed on plants, hopping from plant to plant over a period of time. Their eating pattern is harmful to the plants they feed on and can kill them or damage them beyond repair.

“We haven’t seen too many of them in New York, thank God, but if we do nothing, we will,” he said. “We are very worried that this pesky bug. The Spotted Lanterfly, if nothing is done, could do damage that would light up New York like a Christmas tree.”

US Sen. Chuck Schumer

As you can tell, the problems are pretty rare at the moment. NYC officials are aware and doing whatever is necessary to avoid these bugs turning into a real issue. Hopefully, there shouldn't be many problems with these insects arising in the Staten Island area.

If you do have infestation with lanternflies or any other kind of insect, though, you can call us. We are on call and ready to help you out with any problem you might be having with these flying, leaf munching pests.

Give your backyard foliage a quick look, especially if you had a real Christmas tree this year.

Are Deer on Staten Island Pests?

There's often a thin line between local wildlife and pests. Once they begin to encroach on your property and affect your daily life, they can be classified as pests. Deer on Staten Island have been growing in numbers since Hurricane Sandy. When do we officially have to consider them pests?

They're pretty to look at, but we have to consider the dangers that come along with a high deer population in an urban area like Staten Island.

The dangers of deer

This one happened in New Jersey, but it is a good indication of the danger of deer. In Staten Island, roadkill along the side of the road is more and more common. When you hit a deer with your car, you and other drivers on the road at the time are in serious danger. They can do serious damage to the car and injure drivers and passengers. People have even been killed in collisions with deer.

Are we doing population control?

The good news is that we are attempting to control the population. As a matter of fact, after years of uncontrolled mating and reproduction, The Staten Island deer population has gone down by about 8%.

In order to do this, bucks are being snipped to prevent uncontrolled mating. According to White Buffalo, a non-profit company taking care of this, baby deer numbers were down by "more than half."

Vasectomies for male deer in Staten Island has been going on since as early as 2016. This involves laying traps, tranquilizing bucks with darts, and having vets perform a surgery to neuter the deer. They're tagged, and released back out into the "wilds" of Staten Island.

Still, the population is considered too large. Rounds of vasectomies will continue until they are able to get deer into a healthy, safe range for a borough of New York City.

New York City is no longer the bed bug capital of the United States

As reported by Fox News Health this month, New York City is no longer the bed bug capital of the country! Due in part to the work the fine exterminators at Annihilator eX-Termination and other pest control providers have done over the past 10 years, there are now several cities ahead of New York City in the top 50 list for bed bug treatments per year.

For the first time ever, Baltimore is leading the list.

We all know bed bugs and have heard the horror stories. These little blood-sucking pests can come into your home in many different ways, attaching themselves to luggage or people to travel from one place to another is most common.

And believe it or not, they don't only infest unsanitary homes. The cleanest, most well-kept home is at risk just as much.

Though there is a new city now topping the list, it doesn't mean that the bed bug problem in America has become any less severe. Even though these bugs were virtually unheard of as little as 10 years ago, there are more people in the United States effected today than ever before. There are many cities on the list that have never appeared there before. Cities like Las Vagas, Portland, and Salt Lake City.

List of cities in the US ranked by bed bug treatments per year:

1. Baltimore (+9)

2. Washington, D.C. (+1)

3. Chicago (-2)

4. New York

5. Columbus, Ohio

6. Los Angeles (-4)

7. Detroit

8. Cincinnati

9. Philadelphia (-3)

10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (+4)

11. Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (-2)

12. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (-1)

13. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-1)

14. Indianapolis (+1)

15. Dallas-Ft. Worth (-2)

16. Atlanta (+3)

17. Houston

18. Buffalo, N.Y. (+2)

19. Charlotte, N.C. (-3)

20. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va. (+10)

21. Knoxville, Tenn. (+3)

22. Denver (-4)

23. Nashville, Tenn. (-1)

24. Pittsburgh (+5)

25. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. (-4)

26. Phoenix (-3)

27. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (+5)

28. Boston (-3)

29. Milwaukee (-3)

30. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (+12)

31. Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (+3)

32. Dayton, Ohio (-4)

33. Omaha, Neb. (+3)

34. Seattle-Tacoma (-6)

35. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (-4)

36. Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. (-1)

37. St. Louis (+3)

38. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa (+3)

39. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C. (+11)

40. Syracuse, N.Y. (+6)

41. Louisville, Ky. (-2)

42. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.

43. Lexington, Ky. (-10)

44. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. (-6)

45. Kansas City, Mo. (-1)

46. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (-3)

47. Salt Lake City, Utah

48. Honolulu, Hawaii

49. Las Vegas

50. Portland, Ore

Challenges of performing pest control in New York City

There are thousands of things that make life in New York City different from the lives of other people throughout the country, even in metro areas, right? Why shouldn't the same be true of life for our bugs? Turns out, it is. Pest control in New York City is a whole different "animal."

The New York metro area is a unique environment for humans, bugs, and mice/rats. There are a lot of people, places, and things in a relatively small space compared to other metro areas. Buildings in the city often have restaurants at the bottom with offices or apartments directly over them and above.

The problem with apartments

Apartments are a great, low-cost alternative to owning a home that allows people to live in the city of their dreams. Unfortunately, your chic Manhattan apartment is also a safe haven for insects and rodents. Now mention the fact that you have a diner on the bottom floor of your building. What could be better?

Not only are many buildings heaven for pests, but the close proximity between you and your neighbors promotes the fast spread of problems.

Frequent fliers

Manhattan is an urban metropolis full of important people who go to important places for important meetings. The traveling is nonstop. Have you ever been to Laguardia? Then you know.

Unfortunately, the people we brush shoulders with and the places we stay when traveling are not always of the highest quality. Pests like bed bugs can be rampant even in a posh, 5-star hotel.

People who often travel are at risk of exposing themselves to pest issues and then bringing the home to fester and infect other apartments. Bed bugs, especially, are often not noticed until it is far too late, costing you thousands of dollars in bedding, clothing, and furniture.

Ample food supply

Manhattan is the only city in the world where you can walk out of your building and go grab a burger at 5 am. Every New Yorker has had a late night dinner escapade, right?

Commercial pest control is a much-needed service in Manhattan.

This ample food supply is also a benefit for the rodents and pests that try to barge in. They are drawn to the food, and New York City is the food capital of the world where you can eat around the clock.

Get pest control help right away

Just like New York City, we are the pest control company that never sleeps. If you have an emergency, get in touch. We are available and can have someone at your home to check out the problem by the next day. 

If you need help or think there might be a pest control issue, get in touch right away. A few days of time could make all the difference depending on the pest you are dealing with.

You can get in touch with us for emergency service here or you can call us at 718.227.5001.