How do You Get Bed Bugs? The Story of the White Chair.


One of the most common questions we get asked is: Where do bed bugs come from? Unfortunately, one of our customers found out the hard way. She didn’t know what bed bugs looked like or how to check for bed bugs until they were suddenly everywhere.

The truth is, we don’t always recognize the early signs of bed bugs. This story illustrates how quickly they can become a problem and how difficult it can be to get rid of bed bugs once they’ve infiltrated your world. Take heed!

What Causes Bed Bugs?

A dear friend of ours, Carol, tripped over a childproof gate at the bottom of her stairs and broke her ankle. She ended up in a large hospital for three days. During her stay, Carol was put in a patient room with a sofa and a stuffed, white chair for visitors.

On the first day of Carol’s stay, her whole family visited her: her husband, her son, her two daughters, daughter and sons-in-law and multiple grandchildren. Several family members took turns sitting in the white chair. One of her sons-in-law thought he felt something biting him and mentioned at the nurse’s station. The nurse did a quick inspection but didn’t see anything.

That afternoon, Carol’s friends from church showed up with the usual assortment of balloons and flowers. One of the church deacons sat in the white chair but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

The next morning, the gardening club ladies showed up. The woman in the white chair noticed something biting them and mentioned this to Carol. Carol, remembering her son-in-law complaining the night before, called the nurse.  

A new nurse inspected the chair and saw a small dark red insect along the seam. This nurse had been trained in the identification of bed bugs and in the hospital’s bed bug action plan. He immediately reported the sighting and began the process to correct the situation.

Carol and her clan were moved to a different room. The room with the white chair was quarantined and treated for bed bugs.

How Bed Bugs Spread

The story is far from over. During the treatment, 20 adults and a handful bed bug babies emerged from the folds of the white chair. At least 4 people had sat directly in the white chair which also probably contained microscopic beg bug eggs.

 -The son-in-law had left to go back to work at his financial planning firm, a large office building downtown, with 11 floors.

 -An adult granddaughter took the train back to Chicago where she attends college. She lives in a dorm on campus with 3 other girls.

 -Carol’s other grandchildren attend daycare and middle school.

 -The deacon didn’t go directly home, he visited another parishioner in the same hospital.

-The gardening club ladies? After visiting with Carol, some of them returned home, while others went out to lunch and then window shopping at the mall.

A home mattress with bed bugs

How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs

The long and short of this story: getting bed bugs is as easy as catching a cold. Bed bugs are really a communicable disease and are treated so by public health departments.

Because of bed bugs’ size, you won’t always see them. If that first nurse had identified the source of the son-in-law’s bite, the spread could have been stopped sooner.

Know the signs of bed bugs. If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home or workplace, contact Griffin Pest Solutions today. The sooner you address the problem, the faster we can stop the spread!

Termite Prevention Tips For Homeowners


While termites are most associated with warm, humid climates like Florida, Louisiana and Texas, the eastern subterranean termite is a serious wood-damaging pest in Michigan. These destructive insects are much more common than most people realize. To keep your home or business safe, learn to identify and prevent termites.

Protecting your home from termites in Michigan is no easy task. They are an aggressive, relentless pest that feeds around-the-clock. They often go undetected since enter through the soil beneath your home. A colony of 60,000 termites can eat the equivalent of 2 ft. length of a 2” x 4” piece of lumber in a year’s time if left to their own destructive ways!

What to Do if You Have Termites

If you suspect that termites have targeted your home for their next dinner buffet, Griffin Pest Solutions and the EPA recommend you contact a pest management professional for a thorough inspection and review of treatment options.

Termite damage to window sill.

DIY termite prevention can end up backfiring and may lead to unwanted headaches, hassles and cost a significant amount of money to correct. If you discover termite wood damage or see termites, a pest control tech can eradicate the colony quickly and permanently.

If you don’t have termites, consider yourself fortunate and keep them the away with our prevention tips.

How to Prevent Termites

Prevention is the best method of pest control. To keep termites from ever becoming an issue, take precautions in these three areas.

Reduce soil to wood contact.

This is where termites enter your home or building. Block them from ever coming in with these tips:

  • Maintain a 12-inch vertical barrier of smooth concrete, sand, or other non-cellulose material between the soil surface and substructure wood crawl spaces.
  • Identify and correct stucco siding or untreated wood that comes into contact with the ground.
  • Use synthetic wood and non-cellulose building materials for fences, decks or other structures.
  • Paint or treat existing wooden structures with anti-termite products.
  • Remove untreated fence posts, tree stumps and buried scrap wood near structures.
  • Keep wood piles 8” off the ground and away from your home.
  • Repair foundation cracks and seal openings on exterior walls and soffits to deny termites easy access.
  • Keep landscape shrubs trimmed and not touching exterior walls.
A leaky outdoor faucet.

Avoid moisture.

Termites thrive in warm, wet conditions. In most cases they will gravitate towards wood that is already soft or rotted. Maintain a cool, dry environment by following these steps:

  • Keep basement and crawlspace areas well ventilated and dry.
  • Don’t overwater your lawn or sprinkle stucco or wood siding.
  • Keep your gutters and downspouts clear of wet leaves so moisture does not build up.
  • Repair leaky pipes, faucets and air conditioners.
  • Make sure water doesn’t pool inside or outside after rainstorms.

Regular termite inspection.

Knowing the signs of termites and watching for them regularly can reduce your chances of a serious infestation. Here’s how:

Termite mud tunnels in a home.
  • Regularly inspect porches and exterior structural or foundation wood for signs of termites.
  • Look for mud tubes along walls, floorboards and in basements.
  • Examine used lumber carefully before bringing it home.
  • Watch for peeling paint or walls that look water damaged.
  • Apply a termite prevention treatment.
  • Consult a pest control expert.

Your Michigan Termite Control Experts

If you have questions about termites call or contact Griffin today. We are your local experts at treating termites in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Don’t take chances with termite colonies in your home. We’ll put a stop to all infestations before they can do serious damage to your property.

Beetles in Michigan

Michigan is home to 100s of varieties of beetles. Most of them are harmless, some are invasive, and many can be a nuisance. Beetle larvae – or grubs – are voracious eaters that destroy plants and lawns at the root. Wood burrowing larvae can damage and kill trees.

A beetle is an insect with six legs, a head, an abdomen and a thorax. What distinguishes beetles are two sets of wings – a hard protective outer pair called elytra and a soft inner pair. We cover some of the more popular beetles in Michigan and answer where beetles come from, whether they’re harmful and how to keep them away.

Stag Beetles

Stag beetles in Michigan are easily identified by the large pinchers or mandibles on the male members of the species. Theses mandibles are used in battles over food and mates. Despite their imposing appearance, stag beetles aren’t normally aggressive towards humans.

Stag beetle larvae

Stags are a black beetle with long shiny bodies. The females are smaller than the males. Stag beetle larvae are smooth white grubs with orange heads and legs. The larvae spend 3-5 years underground before becoming adults. Adult beetles hatch in early summer and usually die by September.

Stag beetles live in forests and wooded areas. Stag beetle larvae feed on dead and decaying wood. Adult stag beetles can’t eat solid food beyond tree sap and soft fruit and rely on built up fat reserves from when they were larvae. These beetles are a vital part of woodland habitats for their role in consuming dead and decaying trees.

Carpet Beetles

Close up of a black and orange carpet beetle.

Carpet beetles are small oval shaped beetles with dark brown, orange and black mottling. They are named for their penchant for eating carpet as well as other textiles like wool, leather, felt and feathers. The larvae are the actual destructors; adult carpet beetles only eat flower pollen,

Carpet beetle larvae are small grubs covered in long orange hair. These small worms have a big appetite and leave behind shed skins and fabric holes as they grow.

Carpet beetles are sometimes confused with bed bugs. Both are small and prefer quiet areas like bedrooms, but carpet beetles don’t bite humans. Bed bugs lack wings and are usually a flat tan or brown color without mottling.

The best way to prevent carpet beetles is by vacuuming. Adult beetles will lay eggs in your carpet or in quiet corners. Vacuuming regularly usually catches the tiny eggs that you would never notice otherwise. If you encounter a carpet beetle infestation and see damaged textiles, Griffin Pest Solutions’ highly trained specialists can help.

June Bugs

June bugs encompass a variety of beetles that relate back to the Egyptian scarab. These large beetles in Michigan are popular around decks and patio lights. No one knows for certain why June bugs are so attracted to light.

Close up of a brown June bug.

June bugs or June beetles get their name from the time of year they normally appear. Like stag beetles, June bugs spend several years as grubs before they become adults. As the ground thaws after winter, the grubs pupate into their adult form and emerge as the shiny beetles you see around your home.

June bugs are mostly harmless. They aren’t aggressive and don’t bite humans. The main issue is with the larvae. June beetle grubs eat plant roots and grass while underground. If you have a grub infestation, it could cause brown patches in your lawn or garden.

Invasive Beetles in Michigan

Close up of Asian long-horned beetle

Michigan has two invasive beetle species : the Asian long-horned beetle and the Japanese beetle.

  • Asian long-horned beetles are large black beetles with speckled markings and long antennae. Their larvae live in tress and create feeding tunnels. Eventually these tunnels can cause branches to break or even kill the infested tree. The best method for dealing with Asian long horns is, unfortunately, to remove the affected trees.
Close up of a shiny green Japanese beetle
  • Japanese Beetles are shiny green metallic beetles with white hairs on their abdomen. These insects feed on flowers, fruits, vegetables, beans and corn. They can strip plants of their leaves and damage crops. The grubs can damage lawn and turf via underground roots. You can use pesticides as well as several natural methods to get rid of Japanese beetles in your garden.

Michigan’s Strangest Beetle

Close up of a black and red blister beetle

The blister beetle may be the oddest beetle we have in Michigan. While these garden dwellers help by reducing the grasshopper population, they also drip a toxic yellow ooze. This irritant is toxic to humans and will cause skin to blister.

Blister beetles are long and narrow with a slim neck. Their soft bodies range in color from black to gray with yellow or red stripes. If you come in contact with a blister beetle, you may not react right away. Welts typically appear 24-48 hours after contact. They are mostly harmless but can cause a painful burning sensation. To treat beetle blisters, keep the affected areas clean and use a topical steroid if needed.

Keeping Michigan Beetles Under Control

Griffin pest solutions quickly addresses insect infestations of all kinds including beetles. If you are concerned about beetles or grubs around your Michigan home, call or contact us today. We’re happy to help you stay bug-free this summer.

Do Cockroaches Bite?

A cockroach on an apple with a bite out of it in Michigan.

There are cockroaches in Michigan. If you’ve spotted one in your home or your workplace – or anywhere – you probably have one pressing question above all others: Do cockroaches bite?

Yes, cockroaches in Michigan do bite!

And it’s gross and horrible like you’d expect. But they don’t bite often or in the way you’d expect.

The fact is cockroaches rarely bite humans. You’re much more likely to be stung by a bee or bit by a spider than a cockroach. That doesn’t make getting cockroaches out of your home or office any less urgent. It just means you won’t have red cockroach bite marks on your skin in addition to the constant fear of a small brown oval scuttling across your kitchen floor. We present the sometimes disturbing answers to your questions about nature’s perfect survivor – the cockroach.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches are omnivores in the truest sense of the word. They eat nearly anything from fruits to rancid meat to book bindings and wallpaper. They are scavengers and opportunists who will raid any food supply they can get their grubby mandibles on.

With so little discretion for what they ingest, cockroaches rarely bother with potentially dangerous food sources such as humans. Why risk biting you when they can simply dive through your garbage? The fact that they can survive a month or more without food also means there’s no need for them to panic if they go a day or two without dinner leftovers.

Why Do Cockroaches Bite?

Most documented cockroach bite cases (and there aren’t that many) involve a large infestation of cockroaches with little to eat. Early accounts of this come from sailors on long sea voyages where they had to wear gloves and protective gear to fend off hungry roaches trying to get at their fingernails and eyelashes.

Other occurrences of cockroaches biting humans usually happen at night while the person is asleep. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that prefer quiet. If no other food sources are available, they may scavenge over your hands and face for traces of whatever you last ate. Even in these cases, the roaches are likely more interested in the food particles under your fingernails than your flesh. More terrifying than being bitten is the possibility of waking up to roaches using your face as a drive-thru window.

What Does A Cockroach Bite Look Like?

Cockroach bites don’t look much different than other insect bites. They appear as raised red dots along your skin. They are slightly bigger than bed bug bites and may itch in the same way. A tell-tale difference is that bed bug bites appear in clusters; cockroach bites will usually appear independently.

Cockroaches don’t transmit disease through their bites, but you do want to keep them clean. Like any animal or insect bite, if a cockroach bite becomes infected, it could become a health risk.

Do Cockroaches Carry Disease?

Roaches don’t carry specific diseases like a tick might carry Lyme disease. Instead, they are a health risk due to their behavior. Roaches often eat feces or rancid food found in sewers and dumpsters. They pick up harmful bacteria and germs and then spread them wherever they go.

If cockroaches contaminate your food with germs they’ve picked up, it could result in diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and other maladies. All the more incentive to keep a clean kitchen with food safely stored from prying insects.

Do Cockroaches Fly?

A cockroach flying mid air.

The bad news is cockroaches do fly. The good news is that they usually don’t like to. It seems that, despite having large prominent wings, most cockroaches are clumsy fliers and prefer to crawl. Makes sense when you realize that on land cockroaches are quite fast. They can run over 3 miles/hour. That’s equivalent to 100 miles/hour for a human when you account for size!

Some species of cockroach are more adept at flying than others. In warmer weather (over 85º) flying cockroaches will use their wings to glide as a means of conserving energy. They might glide down to your countertop if you left a midnight snack out for them.

What Do Baby Cockroaches Look Like?

Some cockroaches can get quite large and you may wonder if you’ve seen a baby or a full-grown adult.

A baby cockroach nymph

Baby cockroaches, also called nymphs, look like their adult counterparts. The three main differences between an adult and a nymph cockroach are:

  • Baby roaches are smaller in size (measuring about ¼ inch)
  • Roach nymphs are darker in color than adult cockroaches
  • Baby cockroaches don’t have wings yet. 

As cockroach nymphs grow, they go through several stages of molting. During each stage, they shed their exoskeleton in favor of a new, larger, one. Roach babies start out dark in color and become more reddish brown with each molt. They will eventually grow wings by adulthood.

Other Cockroach Facts

  • Cockroaches can live without their head for up to a week.
  • Female cockroaches lay their eggs in ootheca or egg sacs which can hold around 40 eggs.
  • Cockroaches have been around since the dinosaurs.
  • Cockroaches die on their backs because their thin legs can no longer support their heavy body mass.
  • Some cultures boil cockroaches and use the tea for medicinal purposes.

You Don’t Want Cockroaches in Your Michigan Home

Roaches may be fascinating but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home or business. If you’ve spotted a roach, it usually means there are others nearby. While they may not bite, they can cause health problems. Contact Griffin Pest Solutions for fast help when cockroaches show up hungry at your door.

Pest Control in the time of the Coronavirus

Where do rats live; Griffin Pest Solutions

The coronavirus changed just about everything very quickly, and Griffin’s pest control is no exception. In order to keep our employees and clients safe, we’ve had to carefully re-assess how we conduct our treatments. These are the measures we’ve adopted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus while we continue to tackle Michigan’s pest problems:

Coordinating from Home

As of the shelter in place order, all of our in-person team meetings have been indefinitely suspended. All personnel who can work from home are doing so, including the technicians who come to your home. Any technician who comes to your home is responsibly social distancing whenever they aren’t on the job.

When you call or contact Griffin for pest control help, our call center team receives the call from home. We coordinate to ensure we send a single nearby technician in a clean, disinfected truck. After the treatment, you will have the option to sign contracts, pay, and receive follow-up information electronically. We can coordinate the whole process effectively without putting our employees–or you–at risk.

On-site social distancing

Our commitment to responsible social distancing extends to our conduct on the job, as well. All technicians will wear extra protective clothing, including CDC-approved face masks and gloves, at all times. We avoid coming within six feet of you whenever possible. You can even ask us to call when we arrive and conduct our service without meeting you in person.

Whenever a technician has to touch something on your property, we will disinfect it immediately when we’re finished. We’ve also issued all technicians hand sanitizer, which they will apply before, during, and after treatments. Thanks to these precautions and treatment streamlining, we may never need to approach you while conducting service.

Outdoor-only Treatment

Griffin has altered our pest control treatments to emphasize outdoor-only treatment whenever possible. More details for what this means for your particular treatments are available on our service pages. Don’t worry: we’re still administering the same holistic, integrated pest control process we’ve proven so effective. We’re just only administering it to the areas outside your home or business.

For most pests, conducting exterior-only pest control actually won’t affect the efficacy of the treatment in the slightest. We can still find and seal off access points, eliminate attractants, and introduce effective repellents, baits, traps, and other methods of controlling and preventing pest access. If we ever determine that we do need to enter your property in order to provide effective pest control, we’ll explain why and ask permission first. Technicians will take your safety very seriously when we’re inside your home or business.

On-site Disinfection and service

Griffin hasn’t just altered our existing services in response to the coronavirus; we’ve actually developed some new ones, too. Griffin’s new DSV Disinfection and Sanitation service was developed in order to help protect our clients from the coronavirus. During this service, our technicians will use an EPA-approved Disinfect, Sanitize, Virucide solution to effectively kill the COVID-19-causing virus on all at-risk surfaces.

DSV Disinfection and Sanitation works as either a means of treating known infected areas or an effective precautionary measure. Technicians administer the DSV solution very carefully, while maintaining social distancing and wearing appropriate safety gear. Even if you don’t opt for the DSV treatment, Griffin’s technicians will still disinfect areas of your property we come into contact with during other treatments.


Griffin Pest Solutions is taking the coronavirus and shelter in place order very seriously. Your health and safety is our top priority. If you have a pest problem, we want you to know you can call on us for help without anxiety–no ifs, ants, or bugs! We’re doing whatever we can to make sure that’s the case.

If you have more questions about our temporary exterior-only approach to pest control, our new DSV service, or how we’re committed to keeping you safe during our pest treatments, please call or contact us right away. We’re always ready to help–and from a safe distance.

Why Are There Crawling Insects in My House?

Unless uninvited guests arrive carrying a free cake or a large check, you’re probably not a fan. When uninvited visitors have six or more legs and creep across your floor, they’re even less welcome. Nobody wants crawling insects to infest their homes, but how do you keep them out? What causes them in the first place? Why won’t they leave you alone?

First: you keep them from happening by taking preventative measures. Second: the things that cause them are usually easily fixed. Third: they won’t leave you alone because there’s something at your home drawing them in. Today we’ll cover the four most common crawling insect invaders people face. We’ll also arm you with the easy fixes and preventative measures you can take to keep them away.


Ants are one of the most commonly-faced crawling pest problems for both home and business owners. There are over seven hundred different known species in the United States. Of those, there are a few ant varieties that are best known for infesting homes. Those include carpenter ants, pavement ants, odorous house ants, and field ants. Ants typically live in large colonies that work together to build and maintain their nests.

How can I keep ants out of my home?

  • Practice regular perimeter maintenance. Ants like to sneak in through small breaches or holes in your home’s perimeter. Make sure to regularly give your home visual inspections and seal any gaps, cracks, tears, or holes you find as you go. 
  • Keep a watch out for scouts. Single ants are scouts. They come up from their nests to look for food, water, or shelter. Get rid of any solo ants you find so they’re unable to share that information with the rest of their colony.


Despite their name’s disturbing implication that centipedes have one hundred legs, the crawling pests usually don’t. Instead, they have one pair of legs per body segment and can have, on average, between fifteen and seventy total pairs. There are many varieties but they all have flat, elongated bodies. They can measure from one-sixth of an inch to six and a half inches in length. Coloring varies but usually stays between shades of brown, red, and orange.

How can I keep centipedes out of my home?

  • Eliminate their food sources. Centipedes mainly consume other insects. If you’re practicing the rest of the prevention tips listed in this post to keep other pests away, you’re doing well. 
  • Reduce and remove clutter. A tidy home is a home that doesn’t have places for insects to hide. That includes but isn’t limited to centipedes.


Everybody knows about roaches. They’re one of the hardiest creatures on the planet, able to survive in temperatures at both spectrum extremes. The most common pest cockroaches are the German cockroach and the American cockroach. German cockroaches are brownish-black, measuring between ½ and ⅝ inches. American roaches are darker in color and large, measuring between one and two inches. They’re both active throughout the year, are nocturnal, and are drawn to decaying organic matter.

How can I keep roaches out of my home?

  • Wipe up crumbs and spills as soon as you make them. Cockroaches love organic matter. They especially love decaying organic matter. Don’t leave it out for them to find. Wipe up spills and crumbs as soon as they happen and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. 
  • Pay special attention to cleanliness. This tip is mentioned more than once, but that’s because it’s important. Insects like cockroaches thrive in unkempt spaces. Take the garbage out regularly, remove grease from the stovetop, and keep your floors clean. These small efforts will go a long way toward preventing roach infestations.


Let’s start out by dispelling a popular earwig myth. No, they won’t actually crawl into your ear while you’re asleep and eat your brain. They won’t even crawl into your ear and take a nap, leaving your brain alone. They won’t go inside your head. What they will do, however, is infest your home. Earwigs are typically a quarter-inch to one inch in length with elongated, flat bodies. Their color can vary between different shades of tan, brown, and red. Their most distinctive physical characteristic are the pincers located on the back of their abdomens.

How can I keep earwigs out of my home?

  • Eliminate the places they like to hide. Earwigs love dead and distressed outdoor spaces. They hide in these spaces and use them as jumping off points for interior infestations. Take away their hiding spots by removing leaf piles, overgrown vegetation, and untended woodpiles. 
  • Make sure your gutters are working properly. Moisture build-up from gutters that are clogged pointing in the wrong direction will draw in earwigs. 
  • Use dehumidifiers. Once more with feeling: earwigs love moisture. Make sure you’re policing the moisture in your home and removing any standing water as you notice it.

If your question is, “Why are there crawling insects in my house?,” the answer is, “Because you’re not keeping them out.” Luckily, with the help of this blog post and other useful tips and tricks, you’ll be able to turn things around. For the rest, you can call the team at Griffin Pest Solutions. We’ll help keep your home safe, secure, and crawling pest free.