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Understanding Bed Bug Prevention for Hotel Managers

bed bugs in bed with Florida Pest Control in Gainesville FL

The last thing a hotel guest wants to see when getting into bed for the night is bed bugs. In hospitality, the well-being and comfort of your guests are of the utmost importance, and bed bugs are an easy way to tarnish their experience and your reputation. With the constant flow of people coming in and out of your hotel, it may seem impossible to keep bed bugs out, however, there are some precautions you can take to help minimize your risk. Here’s what you need to know about bed bugs to keep your establishment as clean as possible.

How Common Are Bed Bugs in Hotels?

Bed bugs are a common issue at any hotel. As people come and go, bed bugs will hitchhike on a single traveler into the hotel and then begin an infestation with the new guests coming in. Bed bugs can thrive in any type of hotel environment and can occur in even the best-kept hotels. 

How Can You Prevent Bed Bugs as a Hotel Manager?

While completely preventing bed bugs is not likely, there are steps that you can take to protect guests and your reputation. By taking proactive steps and acting quickly when early signs are noticed, you can minimize the risk of a severe infestation. These steps include: 

  • Put insect-proof encasements on mattresses
  • Incorporate inspections into regular cleaning routines
  • Steam clean all upholstered furniture, including headboards
  • Keep guest rooms and common areas free from clutter
  • Monitor feedback from guests to see if anyone reports bed bugs
  • Coordinate with a commercial pest control professional

Signs of Bed Bugs in Hotels

As your staff cleans rooms after each guest, they should also be on the lookout for bed bugs. The faster they can catch an infestation, the more easily you will be able to contain it. Educate your staff on the signs of bed bugs in hotels, which include:

  • Visible Bugs: Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that can sometimes be seen crawling on mattresses, bedding, or furniture.
  • Dark Spots: Dark spots or stains on bedding, mattresses, or furniture may indicate bed bug fecal matter or blood stains left behind after feeding.
  • Eggshells and Shed Skins: Bed bugs shed their skins as they grow, leaving behind translucent eggshells and molted exoskeletons in areas where they hide.
  • Musty Odor: A sweet, musty odor may be present in rooms with a significant bed bug infestation, particularly in enclosed spaces like closets or behind furniture.

What to Do if Your Hotel Has Bed Bugs

Bed bugs in a hotel room can shock anyone who comes upon them. Taking fast action to slow the infestation is a must to prevent the bugs from getting out of control. Should the situation go beyond your abilities, it’s best to turn to professional bed bug exterminators. 

At Florida Pest Control, we’re proud to offer a wide range of bed bug removal services for hotel managers in Florida. We offer discreet services that will quickly contain the issue without alarming guests. If your hotel is experiencing an outbreak of bed bugs, contact us today!

Should You Be Worried About Dengue Fever in Florida?

Should You Be Worried About Dengue Fever c

Recently, the buzz around Dengue fever has grown, especially with the disease’s creeping presence into the United States. For those in Florida feeling uneasy about Dengue fever knocking on their doors, the outlook is promising: the risk is minimal.

Understanding the anxiety surrounding this issue, we’ve crafted a guide to arm you with crucial insights on Dengue fever, including its transmission methods.

How Is Dengue Fever Transmitted?

The disease spreads through the bites of Aedes mosquitoes carrying the infection. Contrary to some misconceptions, Dengue cannot be passed directly from one person to another. However, once a mosquito feeds on an infected individual, it becomes a vector for the disease, potentially infecting others. This transmission chain is common in areas where Dengue is widespread.

What is Dengue Fever?

Affecting over 100 countries across Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands, Dengue fever sees between 100 and 400 million new cases each year. Although many cases don’t show symptoms, approximately 500,000 individuals experience severe illness, and around 40,000 succumb to the disease annually.

Dengue fever symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Intense headache
  • Eye pain
  • Muscle and joint ache
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash, emerging two to five days post-fever
  • Minor bleeding episodes (nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)

Should You Be Concerned About Dengue Fever?

The likelihood of contracting Dengue fever within the United States remains exceedingly rare, akin to lottery odds. In 2023, Florida reported only two cases of local transmission, highlighting the remote risk.

Yet, these instances underscore the potential for mosquito-borne diseases to expand into new territories. Various theories exist regarding Dengue’s emergence in previously unaffected locations. For current statistics on Dengue fever within the United States, the CDC offers up-to-date information.

Mosquito Control Experts in Florida

While Dengue fever constitutes a major concern globally, its presence in Florida is notably low. If mosquito activity worries you, Florida Pest Control provides dependable mosquito management solutions. Our expertise ensures your environment remains secure against mosquito-related dangers, offering you tranquility.

What Are Some Common Pests Found In Warehouses?

Commercial Warehouse Pest Control with Florida Pest Control in FL

The large layouts of warehouse properties offer pests a wide selection of corners, cracks, drains, and other locations for hiding, feeding, and breeding. The open doors and loading docks easily invite pests in, and the constant shipments can transport new inhabitants of pests. With all the moving pieces of warehouse function, it can be easy to overlook an emerging infestation.

If you work in, manage, or own a commercial manufacturing facility warehouse, it’s essential to be aware of which pests could cause issues for you and your facility. Here are some of the most common pests found in warehouses and the problems they may cause:

Cockroaches

Potential problems: Cockroaches are potential vectors for bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Further, these pests leave pungent odors and unsightly spots on floors, walls, and equipment. Cockroaches live and thrive in the materials found in warehouses, including wood and cardboard boxes. They will usually come into warehouses or businesses via shipments and deliveries. Cockroaches can be difficult to find as they live in dark cracks and crevices. Unfortunately, this means that large populations can develop before they are noticed. 

Birds

Potential problems: High ceilings, rafters, and open beams make attractive nesting and perching spots for birds. Besides unsettling and distracting swooping and chirping, birds pose danger with their unsanitary droppings. These droppings can contaminate whatever it touches, including products and equipment. These droppings carry pathogens that cause numerous diseases. It’s important to consider that some bird species are protected and must be controlled and removed with those regulations in mind. 

Rodents

Potential problems: Rodents, such as rats and mice, can enter warehouses through cracks and holes the size of a quarter or dime, depending on exactly which rodent you’re dealing with. Rodents can reproduce at high rates, establishing large infestations over a short period. These infestations should be addressed quickly as rodents can cause several diseases and leave behind unhygienic droppings that contaminate products, and equipment. Droppings also threaten the safety and health of workers, visitors, and customers. Further, rodents are prone to gnawing, which can damage electrical systems, packaging, products, equipment, and structures. 

Flies

Potential problems: Flies can infiltrate your warehouse through open doors, windows, cracks, and other openings. Beyond being a nuisance, flies can carry pathogens that can cause disease and help spread foodborne illnesses. Flies are known to be difficult to eliminate as small fly larvae can develop and thrive in warehouse floor drains, as well as in trash and recycling bins. This is especially the case in areas with warmer weather, leading to summer months causing large fly infestations. 

Wildlife

Potential problems: Nuisance wildlife pests, like raccoons, squirrels, bats, and other small animals, often seek the warmth and shelter of warehouse properties. In addition to these animals disturbing workers and visitors, wildlife can leave behind unsafe droppings. They can also damage structures and property, as well as your business reputation. Wild animals can be aggressive when they feel threatened, so hiring a professional may be the best course of action.

Warehouse Pest Control Experts!

It’s vital to keep in mind that the presence of pests may violate compliance and regulatory standards in certain industries. Florida Pest Control is aware of the importance of warehouse standards and has expert knowledge in locating and removing all types of warehouse pests. Florida Pest Control offers effective, specific, and fast solutions to your needs. Our warehouse pest control solutions strive to cause minimal disruption to your operations, plus proactive prevention and monitoring strategies to help deter new problems from starting. Contacts us today to get a free estimate, and take pests out of your inventory.

Malaria in America: How Wary of Mosquitoes Should Floridians Be?

Man with headache in florida

Florida’s enchanting landscapes, warm climate, and abundant water sources are what many residents and visitors cherish. However, amidst the beauty, a hidden threat looms the risk of malaria transmission by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are one of the most serious pest issues for home and business owners in Florida, and for the first time in 20 years locally transmitted cases of Malaria have been confirmed in Florida and Texas. With the advent of these cases, the importance of mosquito prevention is at an all-time high. 

Malaria Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Malaria

Also known as a plasmodium infection, malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. There are many types of malaria parasites, some more harmful than others. The US cases have been identified as the P. Vivax malaria parasite, a strain that typically causes milder symptoms but can be fatal for pregnant individuals and children. 

What Are the Symptoms? 

Symptoms of Malaria are very similar to the flu: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • General feeling of discomfort 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Muscle or joint pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Cough 

Some people experience malaria “attacks” of chills, followed by high fever and sweating, then a return to normal temperature. Symptoms typically begin within a few weeks of infection, but some malaria parasites can lie dormant for up to a year. Any malaria case should be considered a medical emergency, so if you suspect you may be suffering from malaria, please seek medical treatment. 

How Can I Prevent Infection?

While there’s no way to ensure prevention of an infected mosquito bite, there are ways you can mitigate the risk:

  • Barriers such as doors and window screens at every entry point 
  • Repellants including DEET or picaridin 
  • Treatment and removal of standing water

Understanding Mosquitoes’ Role and the Need for Prevention  

Mosquitoes serve as carriers for malaria parasites, transferring the disease from infected individuals to healthy ones through their bites. In Florida, species like Anopheles quadrimaculatus and Aedes aegypti are known transmitters of this parasite. Aedes mosquitoes are particularly concerning, given their adaptability to urban environments and their involvement in the spread of other diseases like dengue and Zika.  

Malaria can lead to severe illness and even death, especially in vulnerable populations. Preventing mosquito bites reduces the risk of transmission and safeguards community well-being. To counter the threat of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, comprehensive prevention strategies are imperative. That’s where the experts at Florida Pest Control come in. 

Expert Care You Can Trust 

The highly trained professionals at Florida Pest Control have over 70 years of experience serving the residents of Florida. With a passion for providing quality service, and innovative solutions, our team is dedicated to keeping you safe and your home free from pests. For a free quote, call us today! 

How Do Rats Get Inside The Attic?

Rat on a piece of wood in the attic

Discovering unwanted visitors in your attic can be an unsettling experience for any homeowner. Among the numerous pests that may invade our homes, rats hold a notorious position, and their presence in the attic is a common problem faced by many. Understanding how these resourceful creatures gain access to your attic is crucial in addressing the issue effectively. 

How Rats Get Inside

Your attic may seem like a strange place for rats to invade, but infestations up high are more common than many people realize. Rats are excellent climbers – especially roof rats, which have extra-long tails that make it easy for them to balance. Once they climb up the side of your home, rats may enter your attic by:

  • Entering through cracks or gaps
  • Looking for soft spots or holes in your roof
  • Crawling through attic fans or vents
  • Looking for plumbing or wiring openings

Keeping your roof and siding in great condition is one of the best ways to prevent an upstairs invasion of rodents. You can also seal any existing openings with caulk to make it more difficult for rats to access your space. 

Signs You Have Rats in Your Attic

Identifying the presence of rats in your attic is crucial in tackling the issue promptly. The sooner you spot an infestation, the easier it will be to address the problem and avoid property damage or health risks. Here are some telltale signs that indicate a potential rat infestation:

  • Strange Noises: If you hear scratching, scurrying, or squeaking sounds coming from your attic, especially during the night when rats are most active, it’s a strong indication of their presence.
  • Foul Odors: Rats have a distinct musky smell that can permeate the air in your attic. If you detect a strong, unpleasant odor that persists despite your efforts to eliminate it, it could be a sign of a rat infestation.
  • Droppings: Rat droppings are a reliable indicator of their presence. These small, pellet-like droppings are usually dark brown or black and can be found near their nesting areas, along pathways, or near food sources. 
  • Gnaw Marks: Rats constantly gnaw on objects to keep their teeth from growing too long. Look for gnaw marks on wooden beams, wires, insulation, and other materials in your attic. 
  • Grease Marks: Rats have oily fur that can leave greasy smudges along their regular paths. These marks may be visible along walls, beams, or near openings where they enter and exit your attic.
  • Nesting Materials: Rats build nests using various materials like shredded paper, fabric, insulation, and plant matter. Check for nests tucked away in secluded corners or within insulation. Finding nests is a clear sign of a rat infestation.

What to Do if You Have Rats in the Attic

When faced with a rat infestation in your attic, it’s tempting to tackle the problem on your own. However, opting for professional rodent control services offers numerous advantages that make it the best choice for effectively eliminating these unwanted guests. Our services are eco-friendly ensuring your family is safe while the pest problem is dealt with, and with over 70 years of service, that’s a legacy you can rely on.

Bees, Wasps, and Hornets, Oh My! – Preparing for Stinging Insect Season

a wasp pulling its stinger out of a human arm

Most people look forward to the return of summer each year. They cannot wait to spend time enjoying the outdoors and the many activities Florida has to offer. However, the return of summer also signals the return of stinging insects. Just the sight of these pesky insects can send many people running or cause them to freeze in fear of nasty, painful stings. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep these stinging insects out of your yard, allowing you and your family to safely enjoy your outdoor space all summer long!

Types of Stinging Insects

Stinging insects can be categorized into three species; Bees, Wasps, and Hornets.

  • Bees can often be identified by their fuzzy appearance. These hard-working pollinators are an essential part of our ecosystem; pollinating many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Honey Bees and Bumblebees are the most common type of bees and are fairly harmless unless threatened. Carpenter bees are known to cause extensive damage to homes, burrowing into wooden structures to build their individual nest. 
  • Wasps come in a variety of shapes and colors; Mud Daubers, for example, are mostly black and have extremely thin long waists. While Yellowjackets are bright yellow and black. They are one of the most common wasps you may see. Yellow jackets and Paper Wasps build easily identifiable papery nests from chewed-up wood fibers. Wood daubers, on the other hand, build distinct nests made up of many small mud tubes.
  • Hornets are extremely useful in keeping the insect population at bay. Hornets have a reputation for being extremely aggressive, like the Bald-Faced Hornet. These hornets have unique white and black markings and will attack anyone who gets too close to their nest.

Clearing Your Yard of Stinging Insects

Getting rid of stinging insects is a top priority for many homeowners. Below are a few tips to keep your yard free of these unwanted pests!

  • Use Traps: Traps are extremely effective at eliminating any stray wasps or hornets that may come to crash your barbecue but will not get rid of nests. 
  • Remove abandoned nests: Some stinging insects will return to abandoned nests in the spring. Most stinging insects will abandon their nests when it gets cold, making winter the perfect time to scout your property and remove any nests you may find. Call professional exterminators to remove any nests during any season to prevent stings!
  • Keep food covered: Wasps and hornets are often attracted to your food. Make sure to cover any food left outside to deter these pests from crashing your picnic.
  • Secure garbage cans: Stinging insects will often swarm dumpsters looking for leftover food or sugary snacks. Keep garbage can lids tightly closed to keep hornets and wasps away.
  • Landscape to keep pests away: Some stinging insects are attracted to bright flowers that produce nectar. To keep these pests away from your patio, plant peppermint, citronella, or lemongrass around your home instead!

Professional Extermination

Removing a bee, wasp, or hornet nest can be a risky endeavor. These nasty pests have painful stings that can send some to the hospital. Removing stinging insects from your yard should be left to the professionals. The experienced pest control technicians at Florida Pest Control have the expertise and equipment to remove any nests from your yard safely and effectively. At Florida Pest Control we want you to be able to enjoy your yard without worrying about being stung.

Don’t let stinging insects ruin your outdoor fun; contact us today for a free quote and let us handle the job!

Mosquito Control: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

A child itching their leg with mosquitos swarming around them.

Mosquitoes are a problem every Floridian knows about due to the year-round warm and humid climate. While professional exterminators are the best solution to your pest problem, there are things you can do for at-home mosquito control. However, it’s important to know which mosquito control methods work and which ones don’t. . 

Dangers of Mosquitoes

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquito bites account for the deaths of more than 700,000 people every year, with a majority of these deaths due to malaria. Diseases from mosquito bites fall into Vector-borne diseases, which also include malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, and yellow fever. Along with diseases, mosquitoes also cause itchy bites that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. It can vary from redness and swelling to, in rare cases, severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. 

With these dangers, it’s no wonder that you would want to find a way to control mosquitoes around your home and yard.

What You Shouldn’t Do

There are dozens of DIY mosquito control methods on the Internet, but many of them are ineffective – and some could even attract more pests to your property. While some methods work, here is a list of the ones that you shouldn’t waste your time or money on:

  • Citronella Candles: These candles work in a small area, lose their potency quickly, and have to be replaced often. 
  • Bug Zappers: Bug zappers use an ultraviolet light to attract insects. Mosquitoes are not attracted to this light and it will kill more beneficial insects.
  • Coffee Grounds: Mosquitoes are not attracted to the smell of coffee and there are not enough insecticidal properties, such as caffeine, for coffee gounds to be a proven and effective repellant. 

What You Should Do

While EPA-approved DEET-based insect repellents work well, there are other natural ways that you can prevent mosquitoes from making you their next meal. 

  • Add Mosquito Netting: Outdoor seating areas are a buffet line for mosquitoes. By adding mosquito netting around your seating area and your doors provides a barrier from mosquitoes and other insects. 
  • Remove Standing Water: Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To avoid an infestation directly in your yard, make sure to drain any standing water. This water can accumulate in buckets, wheelbarrows, or debris in your yard. 
  • Outdoor Fans: Mosquitoes are weak fliers and their plans are thwarted easily with a swift breeze. By using multiple outdoor fans that oscillate, you can help prevent mosquitoes from easily landing on you and your family. 

Licensed Mosquito Exterminators

If you’ve tried some natural methods to eliminate mosquitoes but they keep coming back, it may be time to call a professional. Florida Pest Control are the mosquito experts. They have been protecting homes and businesses across Florida since 1949. We offer mosquito prevention services and long-term mosquito control to provide home and business owners with the peace of mind that these pests are taken care of. Call today to get a free quote! 

Avoiding Spring Insect Swarms

A swarm of termites in Florida

The warmth and humidity of spring in Florida draws many species of insects out of their winter habitats to feed and reproduce. Some of these insects are merely a nuisance but some of them can harm people or property. Learn which insects to watch for and what you can do to protect yourself and your home.

Insects That Swarm in Spring

Lovebugs: These small black flies with a red thorax and head are common in Florida during the spring and fall. They are known for their mating swarms, during which large groups of lovebugs can be seen flying together. While they are harmless to humans, their swarms can be a nuisance for drivers and can cause damage to cars if not cleaned off quickly.

Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are a year-round problem in Florida, but their populations tend to peak in the spring and summer. Female mosquitoes swarm to find a mate and a blood meal, which they need to lay their eggs. Mosquito swarms can be a nuisance for people spending time outdoors, and they can also spread pathogens like West Nile virus and Zika virus.

Termites: Termites are known for their swarming behavior in the spring. In Florida, where the climate is warm and humid, termite swarms can occur as early as February or March. Homeowners should be vigilant for signs of termite activity, as they can cause serious damage to wooden structures.

Ants: Several species of ants are common in Florida, including fire ants, carpenter ants, and Argentine ants. In the spring, these ants may swarm to start new colonies. While they are not usually harmful to humans if not provoked, they can be a nuisance.

Bees: Several species of bees are active in the spring, including honeybees and carpenter bees. Swarms of bees can be dangerous for people who are allergic to bee stings, and homeowners should take care to remove any bee nests or hives near their homes. Particularly carpenter bees, which bore into wood to nest and can do significant damage to wooden structures.

Ways to Thwart Swarming Insects

There are several steps you can take to keep swarming insects away. Here are a few tips:

Eliminate sources of standing water: Mosquitoes and other insects are attracted to standing water, which they use for breeding. Remove any standing water from your property, including in bird baths, flower pots, and other containers.

Be cautious when eating or drinking outside:: Numerous insects, especially wasps, are attracted to food and sugar. If you have a barbecue or picnic, clean up promptly. Put leftovers in sealed containers. Ensure that sugary drinks are covered or sealed.

Maintain your lawn and landscaping: Keep your lawn and landscaping well-maintained to reduce the likelihood of insect infestations. Remove any dead or decaying plant material, and keep bushes and trees trimmed away from your home.

Consult a professional pest control company: If you’re dealing with an insect infestation, contact a professional pest control company, like Florida Pest Control. We can identify the type of insect and recommend the most effective treatment options so you can get back to enjoying your yard or outdoor space this spring.

Core Aeration is Essential for Lawns in Florida

how core aeration works graphic - keep pests away from your home with florida pest control

The process of core aeration involves extracting plugs of soil from the lawn. There are many benefits to core aeration, such as:

  • It allows water, oxygen, and nutrients (such as fertilizer) to move easily down to the root zone.
  • It reduces compaction which helps the roots to grow deeper and thicker, increasing the health and vigor of the turfgrass.
  • It reduces excess thatch. Thatch is a layer of organic material between the grass blades and the soil. When it becomes excessive, it can promote pest issues.

As you can see, anyone interested in having a healthy stand of turfgrass should have this service performed, especially in conjunction with a fertilizer application. The benefits speak for themselves! Contact us if you’d like to have your lawn aerated in the spring.

TAP Out with Pest Control Insulation

a cluster of ants gathered on the floor - keep pests away from your home with florida pest control

Pest control in Florida is an ongoing process. You might already know some of the helpful habits that can help deter any unwelcome guests from infesting your home. By clearing out clutter and keeping your food supply stored in airtight containers, you limit the appeal of your home to a variety of pests. These are the kinds of precautions you can take throughout the year – but what if there was an extra layer of defense you can take with no added effort? And what if this defense could actually make your home more comfortable and even more efficient? All of that is possible with TAP® Insulation, a service offered by the team at Florida Pest Control. Curious about why a pest control company would install insulation? Keep reading to learn more!

What is TAP® Insulation?

TAP stands for Thermal, Acoustical, Pest Control Insulation. Unlike batting or spray foam, TAP comes in the form of loose-fill cellulose that can easily be blown into the walls of new buildings or the attics of existing homes. Once it settles, it activates a very special superpower. Because TAP is treated with Boric acid, a naturally occurring mineral that cannot harm pets, children or adults unless ingested in large quantities. But when insect pests come into contact with it, they end up ingesting it through grooming themselves or other people. Insect pests are unable to pass Boric acid, and they eventually die of malnutrition or dehydration. And, with that, you’ve stopped a soon-to-be infestation without you having to do a thing.

While it is unable to kill rats or rodents, TAP can effectively control a wide range of pests. This covers ants and termites (especially Formosan termites), all the way up to snails, roaches, and many varieties of beetle. And that’s only the beginning of how TAP can make your home a more comfortable place to live.

Benefits of TAP® Pest Control Insulation

In addition to being a constant, effective pest fighter, TAP is a quality insulator. That’s because the cellulose that it’s made of slows the transfer of heat and leaves you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It can even do a passable job of absorbing noise from outside the home – not as well as spray foam, but better than fiberglass batting. Many of our clients love the reliability of TAP insulation, and how it remains effective nearly perpetually after the initial installation.

Of course, it isn’t a perfect insulator in all conditions. Cellulose is especially vulnerable to rot and moisture damage, so to care for it you need to make sure your attic isn’t experiencing moisture intrusion or a leaky roof. As long as that’s the case, you can enjoy an eco-forward insulator that’s made primarily out of recycled material.

TAP® Insulation From Florida Pest Control

There’s a lot to like about TAP insulation. Not only will it kill pests for as long as it’s kept intact, but it’ll also actually save you money. You’ll spend less on your monthly HVAC bills since your furnace and A/C will be able to function better and with less energy. And that’s not to mention the cost saved on pesticide treatments you won’t need. Don’t get us wrong, if you still need residential pest control we’re happy to help. But we’d rather have your house keep itself pest-free* on an ongoing basis. Contact us to schedule an estimate for TAP Insulation.