You may have a great aunt who passes down old wives’ tales with conviction or a confident coworker who touts some “facts” and holds steadfast to their truth (without giving any factual backing). Sometimes, nodding in agreement to these claims or even adhering to them can be harmless. But other times, listening to these “facts” can unknowingly put you and your family at risk.

“When it comes to pest control, you want to make sure you are getting facts from a trusted professional,” says A-1 Able Pest Doctors president Megan Crawford. “We have been assisting families and businesses in the Miami Valley to keep their homes and workplaces pest-free since 1936.”

Three of the most common pest control myths start out small but can quickly spiral into big hazards for your health and home, if they’re not addressed. A-1 Able is debunking these myths and providing the truth to keep you and your family protected.

Myth 1: “You don’t need pest control in the winter”

Many people think, once the first freeze hits, all of the insects and bugs die off. In reality, most insects simply seek shelter in the walls and attics of homes and businesses and enter a state of diapause (similar to hibernation).

“Stink bugs, in particular, can live for five or six years within walls,” says Crawford. “Many people fight stink bugs all fall. Then the temperature drops, and they no longer see the bugs, so they think the weather took care of the problem. But, once stink bugs are in walls, they colonize. When the temperature warms up in the spring, the bugs return to an active state, and people have an even bigger problem on their hands.”

The best way to prevent stink bugs or other pests from seeking shelter in your walls and attic is through complete exclusion of the building. A-1 Able offers an exclusion service, where all possible entry points are sealed or secured.

A-1 Able also offers an insulation product called Supreme Plus Insulation. This insulation provides the standard benefits of lowering your heating and cooling cost, but it is also treated to kill insects that start to nest in it, preventing colonization.

Myth 2: “I only have bed bugs in one room”

If a pest control company offers “partial service” for a beg bug problem, they are only partially treating the issue, and the bed bugs will turn up in another room within a matter of weeks.

“Bed bugs are hitchhikers and are built to cling to any warm-blooded animal—that includes humans, dogs and cats,” says Crawford. “If you or your pet moves from your bed to your couch, the eggs, nymphs, or bed bug can move with you and begin to colonize in the new spot.”

“You want to make sure your entire home and car are treated for bed bugs,” says Crawford.

A-1 Able is the only company in the Miami Valley that offers fumigation to treat bed bugs. It is the most effective form of bed bug treatment, at 99.9% efficacy.

Myth 3: “I only saw one mouse, so I don’t need to call anyone”

It’s easy to think, if you just see one mouse, there may not be a problem. You can set out a trap — maybe you’ll catch it, maybe you won’t – but as long as you don’t see it again, there’s no need to worry, right? This is a dangerous pest control myth for your family’s health and the integrity of your home.

“If you see one mouse, you need to do something,” says Crawford. “Mice are one of the most bacteria- and disease-ridden rodents, and you do not want them traveling through your home.”

If mice are nesting in your attic, they will eventually breed. The bacteria spores from their feces can travel into your ventilation system and spread dangerous airborne bacteria through your home. Mice can also cause significant and costly structural damage to your home. It’s important to have a professional promptly treat your home for mice, once one is spotted.

Although insects and rodents aren’t going to be as visible over the next few months, it doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk. Winter is a prime time to invest is a year-round preventative program.

A-1 Able offers a variety of pest control prevention programs for homes and businesses. “We care about our customers and want to make sure they’re protected,” says Crawford. “A bonus of having a preventative program is, if an issue does arise—say a skunk gets stuck under your deck—you already have a relationship with a company you trust, and you can call to quickly come take care of it.”

“We’re a family-owned business and care about the people in this community,” says Crawford. “We’re passionate about what we do, and we believe in what we do.”

To discuss a preventative program for your home or business, or to find out more about other pest-control services, call A-1 Able Pest Doctors at (800) 737-8189.