Common Rodents Invading Homes

Common Rodents Invading Homes

Dealing with a rodent is never an ideal situation for a homeowner. These creatures can pose serious health risks and property damage issues for your home and family. Different factors can attract varied species of rodents. To avoid these pests, every homeowner should be aware of the different types of rodents that can invade, along with how to prevent each one.

Norway Rats

Norway rats are one of the largest species of rats, measuring around 10 inches in body length. These rats have thick fur, usually brown with black shading. Norway rats are nocturnal and will often burrow into piles of garbage to search for food. If these creatures invade homes, it’s usually due to sparse food sources. They will typically invade areas in the house that go undisturbed such as crawlspaces or basements.

Norway rats can cause serious property damage by gnawing through materials like plastic and lead pipes. They can also bring house fleas and mites into homes. To prevent these rodents, make sure to tightly seal all trash cans outside your home. Check around the exterior and foundation of the home to search for any holes or gaps leading inside and seal them if needed.

Roof Rats

Roof rats are about 8 inches long with slender bodies. Their fur is smooth with gray coloring and black shading throughout. A great way to identify them is that their tails are darker than Norway rats and they are usually hairless and scaly. These rats are known to be extremely agile and skilled climbers. They live in colonies and prefer to nest in higher levels of buildings, trees, and homes. While they do prefer to eat fruit, they will still eat any available food source they can find.

If you happen to have fruit trees on your property, it’s important to clean up any fallen fruit as soon as possible as it will attract these creatures to your yard. Repair any roof damage such as broken tiles or gaps under eaves as these rats can sneak into any gap or hole that is as small as a quarter.

House Mouse

Light to gray in color, house mice weigh around 1 ounce or less! These small rodents like to nest in dark, secluded areas inside structures. House mice are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot in height, which allows them to reach isolated or withdrawn areas.

House mice can be a threat to homes as they are known to spark electrical fires by gnawing on wires inside the house. They can also pose serious health threats as they can contaminate stored food and spread diseases such as salmonella. House mice often like to hide throughout household clutter. It’s essential to keep storage areas clean and well-organized and keep the boxes off the floor.

If you start to see signs of rodents in your home, contact a professional pest control company to ensure they don’t multiply and cause severe damage!

Are Daddy Long Legs Poisonous?

Are Daddy Long Legs Poisonous?

Daddy long legs, also known as harvestmen, belong to the arachnid family but they aren’t, in fact, spiders. They are cousins of spiders, mites, and scorpions. There are several differences between harvestmen and spiders. One of the most prominent is that harvestmen have one pair of eyes while spiders have 8 pairs of eyes. Harvestmen also cannot spin silk to make webs, so they can’t capture their food like spiders do. They have to ambush their prey instead.

Daddy long legs are omnivores and mostly eat spiders, earthworms, and other insects. When their food supply is limited, however, they will scavenge for whatever they can find like dead insects, insect eggs, and even decaying plants. In fact, these creatures are considered beneficial to have around your house and garden because they eat both garden and household pests.

Harvestmen prefer dark, moist environments so they are most often found in basements, crawlspaces, and garages. They have a unique ability to escape their predators by two different means: they can detach their legs (which will continue to twitch for up to an hour after they fall off) to trick their predators and escape; and they can also secrete a foul-smelling, bad-tasting chemical to deter their attackers.

Now you’ve found a daddy long legs inside your house. Should you be worried? Are these pests poisonous? It is important to distinguish the difference between poisonous and venomous. Poisonous pests cause harm when they are touched or ingested. Venomous pests cause harm by injecting venom through a bite. Although harvestmen do have fangs (also called chelicerae), they are primarily used to grasp and chew food. These arachnids are not known to bite humans and are not considered dangerous to either the health or structure of your home.

Because harvestmen are considered beneficial pests, it’s ok to leave them be if you find them lurking around your house. If you just can’t stomach the thought of sharing your personal space with them, the best way to get rid of them is to sweep or vacuum them up. If you have a problem with any other pests, contact a professional pest control company for a thorough evaluation and pest control plan.

 

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Preventing the Top Three Summer Pests

Preventing the Top Three Summer Pests

Summer can bring out a mass of pests looking for food, water, and shelter. If certain preventative measures are not put in place around your home, they can easily infest inside, making them difficult to get rid of. Here we break down the top three most popular summer pests to look out for and how you can prevent them.

Ants

Ants are small, sneaky, and looking for your leftover food crumbs! These pests can access your home through only a small gap or hole leading inside. Inspect and seal all cracks and crevices throughout the inside and outside of your home. Likewise, eliminating potential food sources they find attractive is a great way to prevent ants. Make sure that you are keeping a clean home by sweeping, mopping, taking the trash out regularly, and immediately cleaning up any spills.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are most active during warmer, humid weather. It’s certain you will come across these pests in the summertime but preventing them from infesting is easier than you think. Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in any standing water. Avoid standing water throughout your property by getting rid of objects that can hold water such as toys, pet bowls, tarps, birdbaths, etc. If clogged, gutters will also hold water, so make sure they are clear of debris to avoid providing them a place to breed and lay their eggs.

Roaches

Roaches eat just about anything, making them difficult to get rid of once they’ve infested your home. These pests can be a health threat as they are known to spread bacteria and cause severe allergic reactions. Eliminating any food source available to them is key to discouraging these pests. After each meal, wipe down any grease from the stovetop and appliances, clean up any leftover crumbs and spills from the countertops, and seal leftover food in airtight containers. Always take the trash out regularly and use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. Before bringing in any newspapers or packages, inspect them throughout to ensure these pests are not sneaking in.

Dealing with summer pests can be a hassle and take away from all the summer fun! If you are having a summer pest problem, consider calling your local pest control provider. These professionals can provide you with a thorough inspection, identify the type of pest you are dealing with, and provide a treatment and prevention plan fit for your property.

Millipede vs Centipede – Which Is More Dangerous?

Millipede vs Centipede – Which Is More Dangerous?

Although they are often confused with each other, millipedes and centipedes are two completely different pests. While both are classified as arthropods, the similarities end there. Which one is more dangerous to humans – millipede vs centipede?

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. These legs enable centipedes to move very quickly. They also have long antenna. Centipedes do have the capability to bite and are classified as predators, killing and eating their prey.

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. These shorter legs make millipedes move much slower than their long-legged counterparts. Millipedes are also unable to bite. They are scavengers and do not kill prey to feed.

So which one is more dangerous? When millipedes are disturbed they will curl into a tight ball similar to a pill bug or “roly poly.” Since they are unable to bite, they emit a foul-smelling fluid that can cause irritation to the skin and eyes of humans if handled. Centipedes, on the other hand, will bite humans on occasion if they are disturbed. A centipede bite is similar to that of a bee sting, leaving behind a red bump that can swell, itch or sting. Despite these defensive mechanisms, neither millipedes nor centipedes are considered dangerous to humans or pets. Neither of these pests are known to transmit diseases or contaminate food, furniture, or plants either.

Although they aren’t considered harmful to humans, we still tend to be a little leery of their presence. You can prevent millipedes and centipedes by:

  • Repairing any leaks and removing 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.
  • Store firewood away from the house and elevated off the ground. Inspect it for any pests prior to bringing it into your home.
  • Seal any doors or windows that are low to the ground to help prevent easy entry into your home.

If you have a problem with millipedes or centipedes, contact your local pest control company who can help identify which of these pests you have, as well as help identify how they are getting into your home and the best method to eliminate them and prevent them from returning.

 

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Avoiding Stinging Pests at Your Business

Avoiding Stinging Pests at Your Business

Spotting stinging pests around your business can be alarming. Yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets are all active during the warmer season as they go in search of a food source and a place to establish their colony. These pests can pose a serious health risk to your customers and business. We break down the most common stinging pests and the best ways to avoid them.

Wasps

Wasps will build their paper-like nests on eaves, porch ceilings, branches, and windowsills. These pests search for food during the summer months. They are highly attracted to any food found outdoors, along with anything with a fragrant smell such as candles or flowers. When threatened, these pests will sting multiple times and eventually call on reinforcements from other wasps by emitting pheromones.

Hornets

Hornet nests are built in hollow trees or the walls of buildings and attics. These pests are attracted to light and will often fly into open windows at night if they see a light. Hornets like to eat fruit and honeydew, causing them to congregate in areas where these foods are found. While they are non-aggressive near their nests, they will sting if they feel threatened. When stings occur, the stinger can get lodged in the skin.

Yellow Jackets

Yellowjackets are social insects and can be found wherever humans are. These pests like to eat sweets and proteins and will invade outdoor events to find these foods. Yellowjackets build their nests in high places, such as on trees and buildings, or on the ground. If they feel threatened, they will sting multiple times which can be extremely painful.

Stinging Pest Prevention for Your Business

  • Always keep outside food areas clean, wiping up any leftover food debris.
  • Keep garbage cans tightly sealed and emptied regularly.
  • Untreated wood can attract stinging pests; make sure to stain, seal, or paint wood throughout your business exterior.
  • Perform weekly inspections throughout your business property to keep an eye on these pests.
  • If you have a public area where customers can eat, use signage to remind them to throw away food scraps and clean up spills.

If you have a problem with stinging pests, contact Commercial Services for an inspection and treatment plan.

Controlling Birds During the Summer Months

Controlling Birds During the Summer Months

As the weather starts to warm up, you may see an increase in bird activity around your home. Birds will often leave a mess on your patio or deck and can even be found taking a dip in your swimming pool. Nuisance birds will build nests in the most inconvenient places putting you and your family in harm’s way. Here are a few tips on how to prevent birds from taking over your outdoor fun this summer.

Protect Your Pool

There are several things you can try to keep birds away from your pool and deck. One of the easiest is to install a decoy bird near your pool. Owl statues are the most common but hawks and falcons will also work well. These statues make other nuisance birds think a predator has already claimed that territory and they will take up residence somewhere else. Remember to move the statue occasionally, especially if birds get used to it or start ignoring it.

You can also use automatic pool vacuums in your swimming pool to help deter birds. Automatic vacuums are constantly moving which discourage birds from landing in the water. Leaving brightly colored toys and floats in the pool can also help keep these pesky birds away. Keep your pool covered if possible. You can even use a simple solar cover instead of a traditional cover to help protect your pool from droppings and feathers.

Guard Your Grill

Birds will often nest in your grill or in the eaves around your patio. To protect your grill in between uses, invest in a high quality cover and use it any time the grill is not in use. If that’s not an option, cover your grill with bird netting when it’s not in use. Clean the grill after use and make sure there is no food residue left over. Birds will keep coming back if they continue to find food in the area.

Defend Your Deck

If you’re finding birds flocking to your deck or patio area, try installing bird spikes on fences or in gutters. It is difficult for birds to land on them, making it undesirable for birds to nest. You can also try wind chimes or ultrasonic noise machines which are also helpful and driving nuisance birds away. The noise machines give off a high-pitched sound that is undetectable to humans but will annoy any lingering birds.

Prepare Your Property

Taking preventative measures against birds will help in your bird control efforts. Discourage people from feeding birds in and around your home. Clean up any spilled grain or birdseed from feeders daily. Block any openings in your home (lofts, vents, eaves, window sills, etc.). Change your ledge angles to 45 degrees or more to prevent birds from roosting on them. Screen the underside of rafters with netting or wire mesh screening.

While birds aren’t usually a dangerous problem, they can become quite a nuisance, especially when you are trying to enjoy time outdoors. If you have a problem with birds or any other pests, contact your local pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and treatment plan.

 

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Does Hot Weather Bring Out Cockroaches?

Does Hot Weather Bring Out Cockroaches?

Although cockroaches are considered a year-round pest, their populations swell in the summertime. Particularly in the southeast, roaches cause problems for both residential and commercial properties during these hot summer months. Cockroaches are hardy pests that are highly adaptable to a variety of conditions. They particularly thrive in warm, humid environments, which are readily available in the hot, muggy summer heat. Infestations are more likely in the summertime because this increase in temperature spurs them to feed and reproduce at a much faster rate. When the temperature gets too hot, even roaches that usually stay outdoors will make their way into your home or business in search of food, water, and shelter.

How can you prevent a cockroach infestation this summer? Check out these tips to prevent cockroaches from taking over your home.

1. Clean It Up

Roaches will come indoors in search of food and water. Eliminating their food source is one way to discourage them from coming into your home. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight; wash them and put them away after each meal. Clean up any crumbs or spills immediately. Wipe up any grease from the stovetop and other appliances. Seal food, including pet food, in airtight containers. Mop and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight. Take out the garbage before going to bed. Use garbage cans with tight fitting lids. Wipe out the trashcan regularly. Make sure to check behind cabinets and appliances for spills/crumbs. Roaches like these areas because of the warmth the appliances give off combined with the likelihood of spilled food.

2. Clear It Out

Roaches hide out during the day so they will seek out dark, protected areas to hole up in until nightfall. Declutter your home and get rid of anything they can use for shelter. Roaches also love to breed in cardboard and newspaper. Recycle any old newspapers and get rid of unused cardboard boxes. Try to use plastic storage containers rather than cardboard boxes if possible.

3. Seal Them Out

Roaches are very creative when it comes to finding ways into your home. A good rule of thumb is if you can see daylight around a door or window, roaches can get in. Inspect at least once a year around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, attic and crawlspace vents, and around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines. Seal any cracks and holes you find. Use caulk to seal smaller holes, steel wool or foam for larger holes, and fine wire mesh on chimneys and attic vents.

4. Dry It Out

Roaches (along with many other pests) are attracted to moisture because they need water to survive. Regularly inspect your home for any leaking faucets, sinks, or pipes and check refrigerators and appliances to make sure they aren’t producing excess moisture. Get any known leaks or plumbing issues fixed immediately.

5. Call A Pro

Prevention can only get you so far when it comes to keeping roaches out. Nothing eliminates a pest as well as professional service. If you suspect you have a roach infestation, contact a pest control company who can thoroughly inspect your home to help identify which type of cockroach you are dealing with, help identify any potential areas where they are getting in, provide you with the most up-to-date elimination and control methods, and help you with a prevention plan going forward.

 

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Preventing Ticks & Fleas

Preventing Ticks & Fleas

Fleas and ticks are small, annoying, and can be a major health risk to both your family and pets. These parasites can transfer diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. While it can be difficult to prevent these pests, it is possible. We break down our tips and tricks on keeping these pests away!

Vacuum Frequently

Fleas like to live in carpets, rugs, and pet bedding. To keep these pests from infesting, consider vacuuming at least once a week and even more often if you spot fleas. Fleas also avoid high traffic areas and will live in harder-to-reach spots such as baseboards, under furniture, under cushions, and anywhere your pets like to sleep too.

Check Your Pets

Pets are highly susceptible to flea and tick exposure. Both fleas and ticks will jump onto pet’s skins, easily making their way inside your home. Perform tick and flea checks on your pets regularly. Make sure that you’re checking all over your pet’s skin, in ears, and under their armpits. If you find a tick or flea, remove them immediately and notify your veterinarian to provide the best treatment plan for your pets.

Stop Attracting Wildlife

Opossums, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and even feral cats will bring fleas and ticks into your yard. It’s essential to keep this wildlife from entering your property to help avoid a flea and tick infestation. Check around your property for any items that might be attracting these animals, such as pet bowls, water bowls, opened trash cans, and even bird feeders. Check around your house for any open holes in gaps that lead to your garage, sheds, decks, and crawlspaces.

It can be difficult to prevent fleas and ticks on your own. If you suspect that you have a flea and tick infestation, consider calling your local professional pest control company to inspect your property and provide you with the best plan of action.

Have a Pest-Free BBQ!

Have a Pest-Free BBQ!

It’s officially barbeque season! Many of us are looking forward to getting together with family and friends during this warm weather for a backyard cookout. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who love our outside parties; summer pests are also likely to show up and ruin the fun! While it’s impossible to get rid of all pests outside, it is possible to reduce the chance of them crashing your party by taking a few precautions before your next backyard BBQ!

Prepare Before the Party

Before your party day arrives, put preventative measures in place to avoid pests. Check your doors and windows for any gaps or holes and secure them if needed. Check your yard for items that can hold water such as buckets or toys, which can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and empty or remove them.

Choose the Party Time Wisely

Many pests, like mosquitoes, are most active at dusk and dawn. If your party will take place before sunset, plan to have plenty of insect repellent on hand, especially those that contain DEET. Consider putting citronella candles outside near the party area where they can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes.

Secure the Food

Be prepared for pests to swarm the food and drinks you serve. Some pests, like ants, are looking for any food source such as fruit or sweets. Consider serving your food and drinks indoors and use your outdoor space for eating and entertaining. Try to keep your food in sealed containers when possible and, throughout the party, try to wipe and sweep up any food crumbs or spills to keep pests from infesting.

After the Party

As important as it is to prepare for a party, it’s equally important to clean up afterwards to keep pests from taking over your property afterward. Make sure you clean up any trash that’s been left behind, along with sweeping up crumbs and wiping spills. Wash dishes right after the party instead of letting them lay in the sink overnight. Make sure that you’ve placed your trash in sealed, tightly closed garbage containers outside of your house.

Preparing for a party can be stressful enough, but when pests become a problem they can definitely add to your stress. To ensure a pest-free party, consider calling your local pest control company who can provide you with an inspection and a treatment plan.

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