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Pest Control: How to Prevent Flea Infestations at Home

Pest control services for flea under a microscope


Keep fleas out of your home with these pest control tips.

After a long winter, your family pet may be chomping at the bit to get outside and enjoy the nicer weather. As the spring and summer approach, however, the presence of fleas, ticks and other parasites can become more of a problem. Although proper pest control should be a priority throughout the year, flea populations tend to grow exponentially as the weather gets warmer. Take these precautions from Ideal Partners to safeguard your home and pets against fleas.

Pest Control Basics: A Clean Fight Against Fleas

If you have children, then you may already spend a good chunk of your day scrubbing, mopping and doing laundry. Meticulous cleaning habits are imperative when it comes to pest control, too. Fleas in their larval stage can use fibers or debris from your carpet to build their cocoons or pupae, which can be nearly impossible to detect with the naked eye. Fleas are also adept at burrowing into the fabric of furniture and carpet, so it is important to thoroughly vacuum, especially in areas where your cat or dog likes to hang out. Flea eggs can even hatch inside your vacuum cleaner, so be sure to empty the canister or change bags regularly.

Simple soap and water can be powerful pest control weapons. Wash your pet’s bedding in the hottest water possible to prevent flea infestations. Fleas can even congregate on your pet’s toys, so it’s not a bad idea to wash them in hot water periodically as well.

Of course, before they hitch a ride inside via your pet’s fur or the fabric of your clothes, fleas live outdoors. Standard lawn care practices can prevent your yard from becoming an inviting destination for fleas. Mow the grass and rake leaves regularly, ensuring that clippings and other debris are removed. Don’t let weeds and brush grow up along your fence lines. You can also treat your lawn with a vet-approved pest control spray to further protect against flea infestation.

Pest Control Treatment for Your Pet

If you find tiny black specks in your pet’s fur or bedding, then a flea infestation is likely already in progress. Commonly referred to as flea dirt, these specks are actually fecal matter left behind by the fleas. At this point, your cat or dog will need to be treated. Most effective pet pest control treatments will include two major components: one that kills adult fleas, and one that prevents the development of immature fleas, eggs and larvae. Contact your veterinarian for advice on which products to choose. This should be dealt with immediately. In addition to being an extreme irritant, fleas can lead to more serious health problems like flea allergic dermatitis, anemia and tapeworms.

Follow these easy pest control steps from Ideal Partners to keep your pets and home happy and healthy this spring and summer. If the problem has gotten out of hand and it’s beyond prevention, please contact us today. We will help you reclaim your home!

The Complete Homeowner’s Guide to Home Monitoring

Home monitoring via smartphone


New to home monitoring systems? Here’s how they work and what to expect.

A home monitoring system is an investment worth making for any family. In the event of an emergency, a quick response is crucial in guaranteeing everyone’s safety. Whether it’s a break-in, fire, or carbon monoxide leak, a home monitoring system can alert you to the presence of danger and notify the proper authorities. Ideal Partners presents this basic guide to home monitoring so you can make an informed decision when it comes to protecting your residence and family.

What is Home Monitoring and How Does it Work?

A home monitoring system is a network of electronic devices working together to keep your residence secure. The control panel serves as the communication link between various door and window sensors, motion detectors and surveillance cameras. It also sounds the alarm and alerts the monitoring company in the event of a breach. Enter a password on the control panel’s keypad to arm, disarm, and program the automated features of your security system.

Door and window sensors consist of two components: one that goes on the door or window itself, and one that’s mounted on the door frame or window sill. When the door or window is shut, the two components touch, forming a circuit. When an armed door or window is suddenly opened, the circuit is broken, telling the control panel to sound the alarm and alert the monitoring company.

Some home security monitoring systems incorporate motion detectors and surveillance cameras. Motion detectors set off the alarm any time movement is detected in a given area of the residence. Surveillance cameras are typically used to keep an eye on your property when you’re not around. Usually, they can be accessed remotely via computer or smartphone.

Home Monitoring Options Available to Customers

Home monitoring systems vary greatly in terms of cost and sophistication, but even the most basic systems will protect your residence against intrusion. More advanced home monitoring systems will also alert you to the presence of smoke or carbon dioxide. Fire can intensify very rapidly, and if your family happens to be sleeping, smoke can easily go unnoticed.

Carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that deprives your body of oxygen, can also occur in homes that use gas or wood heat. The lack of an odor, color or taste makes carbon monoxide impossible to detect without a special alarm. Having a home monitoring system to warn you of these dangers is vital to ensure the safety of your family, and there are plenty of excellent choices when it comes to selecting a home monitoring system. We can help you make an informed decision.

State-of-the-art home monitoring systems now offer a vast assortment of automated features. They allow you to view surveillance cameras, control your home’s thermostat, and manipulate lighting, even when you’re not there. Home monitoring systems can also give you the follow abilities:

  • Keep track of who comes and goes while you’re away from home by accessing your surveillance cameras via your computer or wireless device.
  • Enjoy remote access to your home’s heating and cooling. This can help keep utility bills down while you’re away.
  • Manipulate lighting and give the impression that someone is home to deter would-be burglars.

Few things provide the peace of mind afforded by a quality home monitoring system. With options ranging from basic home security to the latest home automated systems, Ideal Partners can help you find the perfect solution.

Spring Cleaning Tips from Ideal Partners

ouple cleaning out garage with tips from ideal partners


Ideal Partners is your partner for a clean, pest-free home.

After a long, harsh winter, spring comes as a welcome relief. Unfortunately, insects and other pests also become more active as the weather warms up. As you begin the annual chore of spring cleaning, Ideal Partners has some special steps you can take to keep these unwanted guests from entering your home.

Exterior Cleaning Tips from Ideal Partners

Effective pest control starts outside. The less hospitable your property is to pests, the less likely it is that you will have an infestation in your home. The following chores for the exterior of your property can help keep unwanted pests away.

  • Keep wood and brush piles away from your home, and preferably, off your property altogether. These piles attract termites, beetles and other nasty critters.
  • If you keep a supply of firewood, make sure it is stacked far away from your home’s foundation. Get rid of any fallen branches, weeds or dead plants while you’re at it. Pests are often drawn to this type of lawn clutter.
  • Ideal Partners also suggests you eliminate standing water from your property. All pests gravitate toward water sources, and standing water tends to attract mosquitos – winged pests notorious for carrying dangerous diseases.

Indoor Cleaning Tips from Ideal Partners for a Pest-free Home

As any technician from Ideal Partners will tell you, kitchens and bathrooms are popular destinations for unwelcome guests. Here’s how to keep the pests out of your home.

  • Do a deep cleaning of your kitchen, paying special attention to areas around appliances.
  • Empty all cabinets, cupboards and drawers, wiping them down with a disinfecting agent or cleaner.
  • Dispose of expired food items and any other trash that has accumulated.
  • Inspect your bathrooms to make sure water isn’t pooling around your tub, toilet, or under the sink.
  • Regularly wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant, and occasionally pour bleach down the drains to further discourage pests.

Ideal Partners also suggests a meticulous cleaning of all closets. It’s easy to neglect these storage spaces, and unwanted junk can accumulate before you know it. Old boxes and bags can serve as hiding places for moths, spiders and other pests. Take time to clear everything from your closets, getting rid of whatever you don’t need. Dust the shelves and vacuum or sweep the floors before returning the remaining contents.

Basements, attics and garages can be safe havens for insects and rodents if not properly maintained. Ideal Partners recommends conducting a thorough cleaning of these areas, getting rid of junk you no longer want. Dusty cardboard boxes and clutter can attract ants, roaches and other bothersome vermin, so eliminating these potential pest habitats is incredibly important.

For us, the arrival of spring and summer means it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors. For insects and other pests, however, the warmer weather means it’s time to head inside. Keep these invaders out of your home by employing simple spring cleaning strategies from Ideal Partners.

The Importance of Residential Pest Control Programs

pest control professional spraying inside home


Why invest in professional pest control?

There are several things you can do around your home to help prevent insect or rodent infestations. Regular vacuuming, mopping and emptying of trash receptacles are all ways to make your house less inviting for pests. Making sure dirty dishes don’t pile up and preventing moisture from accumulating in your kitchen or bathroom also discourage pests from getting comfortable inside your house. Pests are experts at invading homes, but sometimes in spite of your best efforts, these unwanted guests still manage to infiltrate your home. This is when you need the exterminating power of a professional-grade pest control program.

Initial Pest Control Evaluation

When you enlist the services of a pest control specialist like Ideal Partners, a team of licensed professionals will visit your property to perform an initial evaluation. They will inspect your home and the surrounding area to determine which pests are present and where they’re coming from. Once they’ve determined just how serious the problem is, a solution and plan of action can be devised. Our team of specialists will typically recommend a quarterly or bi-monthly program, depending on your specific situation.

Types of Pest Control Plans

A one-time general treatment can sometimes be enough to deal with a minor pest problem. However, most pest control companies strongly recommend ongoing treatment programs to eradicate pests and prevent future infestations. Quarterly programs include periodic inspection and treatment of your home’s interior and exterior, attic, eaves, lawn, etc. Many companies also offer a bi-monthly program, primarily focusing on the perimeter of your residence. Bi-monthly inspection and treatment of your home’s perimeter is perhaps the best way to prevent pest infiltration in the first place. Ideal Partners can advise you on the program that best suits your needs.

Do I Really Need a Pest Control Professional?

The answer to this question is a resounding, “yes.” A quick internet search will reveal countless do-it-yourself remedies for insect and rodent infestation, and you may be tempted to take pest control efforts into your own hands. However, there are a number of factors involved that require the attention of a trained professional. Without knowing the source of the infestation, it is impossible to devise an effective treatment. Also, without an intimate knowledge of each pest’s specific seasonal habits, it’s difficult to create a plan that prevents infestation throughout the year. Additionally, many commercial pest control chemicals and rodent poisons can be hazardous to children and pets. A licensed technician will know which chemicals and baits are safest and what the correct dosages are.

Pest control is a year-round battle and an experienced professional has the expertise to help you win it. Contact Ideal Partners for more information about available pest control options.

Testing Your Home Security System

ManTestingHomeSecuritySystem

Test your home security system on a monthly basis with these exercises.

Have you ever been at work or school when an alarm suddenly starts shrieking and everyone begins lining up and heading for an exit door or designated shelter area? In reality, there is no emergency – it’s just a tornado or fire drill. These sorts of exercises may seem like an annoyance, but they are a crucial part of keeping a building and the people inside it safe.

Alarm systems must be tested regularly to ensure proper functionality, and people must know where to go and what to do in the event of an emergency. The same is true with home security systems. You don’t have to put your family through the reenactment of a break-in, but there are certainly ways to make sure your home security system will perform when needed.

Home Security System Testing Process

There are two phases involved in testing your home security system. The first includes testing the functionality of all door and window sensors as well as motion detectors within your home. Begin by making sure your home security system is disarmed and in “ready” mode. This allows you to perform the test without alerting emergency responders. Open each secured door and window one at a time, checking to make sure your keypad displays the correct doors and windows as being open. Then, close each door and window. Your keypad should go back to “ready” mode. This exercise verifies that your home monitoring system has strong signals within your residence.

The second phase involves testing the signal between your residence and the monitoring station. First, call your monitoring station and ask that your home security system be placed in “test” mode. Again, we don’t want emergency responders to be dispatched unnecessarily. Make sure your system is armed, then open a door or window. Let your alarm sound for about a minute. Disarm your system and return it to “ready” mode, then check to make sure the signal was received by the monitoring station. Once this is verified, you can call the monitoring station and have your home security system taken out of “test” mode.

Regular testing of your home security system is highly recommended, but how often you do it is really up to you. You may live in a relatively low-risk neighborhood where the only would-be intruder setting off your alarm is the family dog. Or perhaps you live in an area where break-ins are more prevalent. In any case, monthly testing is the industry standard for home security testing.

Entrust the safety of your home and family to Ideal Partners. Offering a full line of Home Automation – Control 4, remote access, home security systems and local, 24/7 monitoring, Ideal Security has the technology and expertise to give you complete peace of mind.

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