Keep Pantry Pests Away this Thanksgiving

Keep Pantry Pests Away this Thanksgiving

It’s the season for cold weather, good food, and quality time spent with family. Don’t let pests ruin this special time, especially on Thanksgiving! Pantry pests are known to infiltrate dry goods that are key ingredients for this food-crazed holiday. Here are some tips to make sure pantry pests, or other insects, don’t sneak in to ruin your holidays.

  1. Check Expiration Dates. Utilize the first-in, first-out method to ensure none of your dry goods don’t expire. The older the package of food the more likely it is to be discovered and consumed by grain and flour beetles. Be sure to check any open packages before using.
  2. Inspect Items at Grocery Stores. Sometimes food packages can accidentally be cut open or damaged, without knowledge and this can create a good opportunity for pantry pests to find their way inside. Be sure to do a visual inspection of dry goods for any openings – just to be sure.
  3. Keep Dry Items Sealed. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing to have airtight plastic containers in your pantry, but they also provide a protective barrier against pantry pests for opened packages of food. Cardboard, plastic bags, even rice bags, can easily be chewed through by pests, so be sure to put anything opened into a sealed container.
  4. Clean Up Any Spills. Crumbs are likely to happen while baking or cooking; just be sure to clean up after yourself to deter any type of pest. Wipe down countertops and sweep up any fallen food crumbs to have a pest-free Thanksgiving.

If you see an increase in pest activity this time of year, call your local pest control company so you can have peace of mind during the holidays.

Don’t Forget About Winter Pest Control!

Don’t Forget About Winter Pest Control!

Contrary to popular belief, pests don’t just disappear when colder weather sets in. Overwintering pests are those that find a warm place to shelter during the winter, most often inside your home! Some household pests thrive year-round because the warmth, water, and food supply in your home allow them to survive even in the harshest weather conditions. Some common winter pests include rodents, roaches, spiders, and bed bugs. For this reason, it’s important that you don’t forget about winter pest control! Here are a few of our favorite winter pest control tips you can use to make your home pest-free.

  1. Seal cracks and crevices outside your home to keep pests from being able to get in, especially where pipes and utility lines come into the house.
  2. Replace any loose mortar.
  3. Replace weather stripping around doors and windows.
  4. Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and elevate it if possible.
  5. Keep your home decluttered.
  6. Use plastic storage instead of cardboard when possible.
  7. Eliminate moisture and standing water in and around your home (leaky pipes, clogged drains).
  8. Use door sweeps.
  9. Repair or replace screens on windows and doors.
  10. Use chimney screens.
  11. Ventilate and keep attics, basements, and crawlspaces dry.
  12. Clean up any food and crumbs.
  13. Invest in routine pest control from a professional pest control company.

 

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When Is Millipede and Centipede Season?

When Is Millipede and Centipede Season?

While often mistaken for each other, millipedes and centipedes are distinctly different pests. Although commonly referred to as insects, they are actually not – in fact, they are more closely related to lobsters and shrimp. Centipedes have bodies composed of many segments with one pair of legs on each segment. These long legs extend from the sides of their bodies and trail backwards behind them, making them very visible. Millipedes, on the other hand, are the opposite. These arthropods have only 1 pair of legs on their first 3 body segments but then two pairs of legs for each body segment after those. Their legs are shorter and do not trail behind their bodies like centipedes do.

Both of these land dwelling creatures prefer moist environments with high humidity. Most are nocturnal, as well. While neither carry diseases that can harm humans or pets, they can be a nuisance when they make their way into your home. Centipedes can bite, although this is rare. They do have poison glands and can cause skin irritation when a bite occurs. Millipedes feed on stems and leaves and can cause damage to gardens. They can also leave a stain if crushed. Both species can be a nuisance when they invade your home in large numbers.

Although there is no set season for millipedes and centipedes, they do come out in large numbers twice per year: in the spring when they lay eggs and in the fall when they prepare to overwinter.

Preventing centipedes and millipedes can be accomplished with these tips:

  • Remove their hiding places. Get rid of any trash or debris piles, rocks, boards, and leaf or compost piles that can hide them.
  • Seal them out. Make sure windows and doors seal tightly and cracks and crevices are caulked.
  • Get rid of water. Repair any leaks and remove standing water from around your home. Remove any moisture-holding ground cover and organic material that is close to your home’s foundation. Moisture is necessary for the survival of both of these species.
  • Call the pros. If you have a problem with centipedes, millipedes, or any other household pests, contact your local pest control company for a customized treatment and prevention plan.

 

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How Dangerous Are Orb Weavers?

How Dangerous Are Orb Weavers?

Orb weavers can be scary looking with their large size and the giant webs they weave. But are they dangerous to humans or pets?

The short answer is no. Although these spiders can bite, they lack the potent venom needed to cause serious damage to humans or larger animals. Their bites are comparable to bee stings. These pests are quite docile and usually non-aggressive; they are more likely to flee from you than to attack and bite you if disturbed.

Orb weavers are garden pests, often found in bushes, trees, wood piles, yard debris, under porches, under roofs, and under eaves. They get their name from the large, circular, wagon wheel shaped webs they weave. Because their family is so diverse, these spiders come in a variety of colors and markings, with some of the more common ones being bright yellow and black.

Orb weavers eat a variety of small insects such as mosquitoes, beetles, moths, flies, and wasps. They are quite beneficial to have around as they help keep other pest populations under control.

If you have an issue with spiders or other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and treatment options.

 

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What To Do If You See Roaches

What To Do If You See Roaches

Roaches are one of the most common household pests. These pests are resilient, adapting to just about any environment. When you spot one cockroach, there are usually several more hidden out of sight. Cockroaches carry diseases, contaminate surfaces they come into contact with, and can trigger allergies and asthma. They are extremely difficult to get rid of once an infestation is established, both due to their resiliency and their ability to reproduce quickly and often. So what do you do if you see roaches in your home?

The first step is to identify what type of roach you are dealing with. Some of the most common cockroaches found in homes in the United States are American roaches, German roaches, and Oriental roaches. The type of roach you have and the size of the infestation are both determining factors in the course of treatment.

The second step is to contact the professionals. Because roaches are so difficult to get rid of, the services of a professional pest control company are beneficial. A technician will come out and give your home a thorough inspection to help determine the type and size of the infestation to set up a custom treatment plan that targets only the intended pests. They will also set you up with ongoing pest control in the future.

The final step is ongoing prevention to keep the roaches from coming back. Cockroaches come into your home in search of food and water. They usually thrive in warm, moist environments. Help keep them out by:

  • Repairing leaky faucets
  • Sealing pipes
  • Wiping down countertops and appliances
  • Storing food in containers
  • Emptying garbage
  • Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming regularly
  • Carefully inspecting boxes, bags, appliances, and furniture before bringing it indoors

 

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Benefits to Winter Pest Control

Benefits to Winter Pest Control

You might be thinking that since the weather is cooling down, pests won’t be as active. While that’s the case to some, most pests will be making their way indoors to seek warm shelter. Some homeowners even claim to see more pests in their home once the weather cools down. Here are some of the most common questions about winter pest control.

Which Pests Are Most Active?

Surprisingly, there are some pests that survive throughout the colder months. The main ways they stay alive are through hibernation, migration, and overwintering. Overwintering pests are our main issue in the winter. These are the pests that will migrate indoors instead of to a different part of the region.

Some of the most common pests still seen in the winter are cockroaches, rodents, and termites. Most of the time their activity might slow, but they are still nearby and ready to get back into full gear once the weather warms up.

How Often Should Pest Control Be Done?

The goal of pest control is to keep pests away and prevent infestations. Therefore, quarterly pest control is important. If you miss your regular pest control in the winter, it can create an easy opportunity for pests to get inside.

Winter is the best time for a barrier to be put in place. Some pests including spiders, cockroaches, and rodents can be a bigger issue this time of year, so getting ahead of schedule is key.

If you are ready to set up your winter pest control, give your local pest control company a call and they can help you set up a customized plan to prevent these pests.

Rodent Control Methods For Your Home

Rodent Control Methods For Your Home

Rodents such as mice and rats are one of the most common household pests. While they are definitely nuisance pests, they can also cause property damage to your home, as well as transmit serious diseases to you and your family.

The first step in rodent control is to determine that you have an infestation. Common signs of rodents include droppings near food sources; shredded paper, fabric, and other nesting materials; chewed food packages; holes chewed through walls and floors; and stale smells from hidden areas of your home.

Rodents are attracted to unsealed food containers, pet food and water that’s left out, open bowls of fruit and vegetables, leaky faucets and pipes, open trash cans, and compost containers among other things. They enter your home in search of these things. They get in through holes from the exterior of the home, holes around sink and appliance pipes, cracked foundations, unscreened vents, and holes around windows and doors.

The first step in rodent control for your home is prevention. If you can keep these pests from infesting your home in the first place, you won’t have to get rid of them later. Common rodent control methods you can utilize in your house include:

  • Sealing entry points with metal mesh.
  • Removing those food and water sources they are attracted to.
  • Keeping your house clean.
  • Avoiding the use of ivy or other vines in landscaping (rodents use these to climb onto your home).
  • Keeping compost piles away from the home.
  • Keeping grass mowed short.
  • Keeping a buffer of at least 2 feet between landscaping and buildings.
  • Avoiding the use of birdfeeders.
  • Keeping outdoor grills clean.
  • Keeping firewood elevated and stored away from the home.
  • Using trashcans with lids.
  • Sealing food in containers.
  • Rinsing food and drink containers before throwing them away.
  • Keeping trashcans clean.
  • Avoiding leaving pet food and water out overnight.
  • Keeping stovetops and countertops clean.
  • Keeping your home free of clutter from paper, fabric, and other materials used for nesting.
  • Repairing leaky pipes.
  • Keeping attics and crawlspaces dry.
  • Promoting natural predators (owls, hawks, snakes) around your home.

If you have a problem with rodents or other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.

 

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Are Granddaddy Long Legs Spiders?

Are Granddaddy Long Legs Spiders?

When you hear the word arachnid the first thing that usually comes to mind is spiders. While spiders do make up a large portion of arachnids, they aren’t the only members. Ticks, mites, scorpions, and harvestmen (also known as grandaddy long legs or daddy long legs) are also members of the arachnid family. Arachnids are defined as animals with 4 pairs of legs, chelicerae (which are fang-like mouthparts), and pedipalps (appendages also found near the mouth). So while they are all members of the same family, granddaddy long legs are not, in fact, spiders.

There are several key differences between granddaddy long legs and spiders. Spiders have 2 body segments (a cephalothorax and abdomen) differentiated by a narrow “waist.” Granddaddy long legs have an oval shaped body with no separation. Spiders typically have 8 eyes while granddaddy long legs have 2. Spiders produce silk and spin webs; granddaddy long legs aren’t capable of this. Spiders are also predators, using their venom to disable their prey. Granddaddy long legs are scavengers and don’t need venom to neutralize food sources.

Although they can be a little creepy looking, these pests are quite beneficial to have around. Because of their varied diet which consists of small insects, worms, snails, droppings, and fungi, granddaddy long legs help keep other pest populations under control. They are harmless to humans.

If you have a problem with granddaddy long legs or other pests, contact your local pest control company for a free evaluation.

 

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Types of Rodents Found in the South

Types of Rodents Found in the South

We never expect our homes to fall victim to rodent invaders, but it can happen to anyone! Getting rid of these critters can be difficult, but with the help of a wildlife control company, it can be made possible. Before reaching out to someone for assistance, be sure you’re identifying these rodents correctly. Here are some of the most common rodents found in the South.

Deer Mouse

Often referred to as field mice, these rodents are typically found in the woodlands and desert areas. They rarely invade residential properties but will sometimes seek shelter in our homes for winter since they don’t hibernate. When indoors, deer mice are typically found in basements or attics. The biggest threat about them is that they can transmit the dangerous hantavirus, so it’s vital to get them taken care of as soon as possible.

House Mouse

Just like the deer mouse, these mice also carry diseases and shouldn’t be kept in your home for long once discovered. The house mouse prefers to move along baseboards and countertops and can be seen eating anything they can find. They will contaminate your food and can transmit diseases like salmonella and even the bubonic plague. They are also known to cause structural damage such as creating tunnels in walls and chewing exposed wires.

Norway Rats

These stocky, heavy-bodied rats are larger and more aggressive than the roof rat. They rely heavily on human activity for survival and will eat anything like cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and some fruits. Norway rats are more active at night and can cause considerable damage to homes, gardens, and structures. The main concern is the diseases they are known to spread, which include jaundice, rat bite fever, and salmonella.

Roof Rats

Known as a serious pest problem, they are also dependent on humans for survival and will usually infest homes. They have padded feet that make it easier for them to climb, so they are usually found in attics, eaves, and roof lines. Roof rats are known for spreading multiple diseases, including salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat bite fever. They contaminate food when they are foraging, impacting not just humans, but also pets and livestock.

If you think you have a rodent problem, it’s important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Reach out to your local wildlife control company so they can create a customized plan to rid your home of rodents.

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