Business owners have a laundry list of priorities when it comes to running their companies effectively – competitive pricing, keeping both customers and employees happy, maintaining their bottom line while generating profit. One of the most important aspects of running a business is making sure the customers, employees, and the building itself are safe and healthy. For this reason, commercial pest control should be included on the top priorities list. Pests are not only a serious health hazard to both employees and customers, they can also cause significant structural damage to buildings and property. Their presence alone is enough to taint the reputation of a business, often causing irreparable damage and loss of business.
Commercial pest control offers many benefits to business owners:
Year Round Protection
Pests are active year-round. Whether it’s termites swarming in the spring or spiders in the fall, customers don’t want to see pests in your business during any season. Partnering with a commercial pest control company offers the benefit of year-round pest protection regardless of the type of seasonal pest you have.
Different pests can plague a business at different times throughout the year. Commercial pest problems can range from roaches in the kitchen of a restaurant to bed bugs in the guest room of a hotel and any variety of problems in between. A professional pest control company can provide service for any type of pest you encounter, providing the latest and most innovative techniques and treatment options for a variety of pests.
Most pest control companies offer a service guarantee meaning if you encounter a pest problem between scheduled visits or if you continue to have a recurrent problem after they have treated, they will come back and retreat at no additional cost to you.
A commercial pest control company can thoroughly evaluate your company to assess any pest issues you may have, as well as any areas of concern that may lead to future pest problems and provide you with a customized program tailored specifically to your company’s needs.
Commercial pest control provides many benefits to business owners and services including schools and daycares, hospitals, restaurants, offices, apartments, and more. Pest problems can be detrimental not only to a company’s reputation but also to the health and safety of their employees and customers and even the structure of the property itself. Consider implementing a commercial pest control program for your business today.
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Signs of a rodent infestation are pretty easy to spot – droppings in the house, chew marks, gnawed wood, and scratching and squealing sounds at night are all pretty good indicators of a rodent problem. Before deciding on a course of treatment, however, the first step is determining which type of rodent you have. So how do you know if you have a rat or a mouse?
Mice are small rodents, usually about 2 to 4″ in length, with thin, long, slightly hairy tails. They have triangular shaped noses with long whiskers and large floppy ears. Mice can be brown, gray, or white in color. Mice droppings are small and smooth with pointed ends, usually about 1/8 to 1/4″ in length. They leave anywhere from 40 to 100 droppings per day. Mice prefer cereal grains or plants but will eat almost anything. They are nocturnal and tend to be bolder than rats. They are curious and will explore new things, making them easier to trap. They are skillful climbers and their small size allows them to access more areas of your home.
Norway rats are larger rodents, usually weighing about 11 ounces and measuring 7 to 9 inches in length. They have heavy, thick bodies that are brown in color with black shading and shaggy coats. Norway rats have blunt, rounded noses and short ears. Their tails are thick, hairless, and scaly and are dark colored on top and pale underneath. Norway rat droppings are brown and blunt on both ends and they leave anywhere from 20 to 50 droppings per day. They prefer fresh grains and meat but will eat just about anything. These rats typically live in burrows and prefer lower levels of homes and buildings. Norway rats are nocturnal and are more fearful and cautious than mice, making them more difficult to trap. They can climb but prefer to stay closer to the ground.
Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats, weighing about 7 ounces. They have light, slender bodies that are gray in color with smooth coats. They have thick, hairless, scaly tails that are dark in color. Roof rats have pointed snouts with large ears. Roof rat droppings are dark with both ends pointed. They will also eat just about anything but prefer fresh grains and meat. They are nocturnal and timid in nature. Because of this, they can be difficult to trap. They are excellent climbers and are more often found nesting in walls, attics, and trees.
Regardless of whether you have mice, Norway rats, or roof rats, all of these rodent species can cause damage to your home and property by chewing through wires, pipes, insulation, and drywall. They can also cause damage to furniture and carpets. All rodents can contaminate food and countertops. Serious diseases caused by rat droppings and mouse droppings include Hantavirus, salmonellosis, and more. They all reproduce quickly and a minor problem can become a major infestation in no time.
Keeping these pests out of your home is critical to helping protect the safety of both your family and your property. Here are some rodent control tips you can implement in and around your home:
- Put A Lid On Your Trash: If possible, use trashcans made of metal with snug fitting lids. If you must use plastic, make sure there are no holes in it.
- Don’t Leave Pet Food Out: Store pet food and birdseed in glass or metal containers with tight lids. Make sure to remove them at night and store them away until morning. Make sure to pick up any fallen fruit or nuts off the ground outside your home, as well. Remove standing water from bird feeders.
- Elevate Your Compost: Raise your compost container at least 1 foot off the ground.
- Keep Your Garage Clean: Rodents like to eat lawn seed, tulip bulbs, bone meal, and other items frequently used in gardening. Make sure they are stored in glass or metal containers with tight lids. Keep firewood a good distance from the house. Organize and store boxes in the garage off the ground to eliminate nesting places.
- Clean The Kitchen: Keep food stored in tightly sealed containers. Clean up spilled food and crumbs nightly.
- Keep Your Home Maintained: Make sure openings around your home are properly sealed. Keep your gutters clear of debris and water. Screen your attic vents. Keep screens on windows and doors in good repair and replace when needed.
- Call A Pro: If you suspect you have a rodent problem, call a professional pest control company or a professional wildlife removal company who can evaluate your home and provide you with a comprehensive treatment and exclusion plan.
As temperatures start to cool off, panic can overtake pests who need to seek out shelter from the impending cold weather. They will often, unfortunately, set their sights on your warm, cozy home. Here are a few of the most common overwintering pests and what you can do to prevent them.
Stink bugs flock to homes in large numbers during the fall. They position themselves on the side of your home that receives the most sunlight in an attempt to keep warm. A thorough inspection for possible entry points is key in prevention of an invasion.
Boxelder bugs are one of the more aggressive species of overwintering pests. Like the stink bug, they will make use of the sunny side of your home and cars. They will utilize openings they find and gather by the hundreds. Crushing these pests is not recommended as their remains can attract carpet beetles. Vacuuming should be used to remove them from the home.
As universally adored as they are, lady bugs are an overwintering pest that can take over your home in a matter of days. They utilize windows and door openings to enter; therefore, checking and replacing weather-stripping and sealing with silicone-based caulk can help keep them out before fall starts.
If you have an issue with overwintering pests, reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection.
As you break out your fall decorations, you may have noticed an abundance of spider webs or had a spider run across your hand; now the house must burn! WAIT – before you jump to meme-worthy conclusions, spiders do act as nature’s form of pest control; however, having them in your home is not ideal. Follow these tips to prevent spider encounters in your home so that you can enjoy hanging up fake cobwebs without stumbling upon a real one.
CLUTTER-FREE AND CAUTIOUS
- Store all belongings that are in the attic and basement in plastic containers with a lid.
- Shake clothing when removing from a clothes bin and shake shoes that have been sitting out.
SEAL THEM OUT
- Replace any damaged window screens and weather-stripping.
- Seal any existing cracks found with silicone-based caulk.
PLAY IT SAFE
- When bringing in packages that have been on the ground outside of your home, use caution as spiders may have crawled on the package, allowing transportation inside.
- Call a professional pest control company. If you think you have a spider infestation, an inspection will help with spider identification and a proper course of treatment.
There are thousands of species of cockroaches in the world but only a handful are found in the United States. The most common species found in the US include the German cockroach, the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. While there are significant differences between these four species, there are some common features that are shared between ALL species of cockroaches. All roaches have flattened, oval-shaped bodies with antennae on their heads. They all move surprisingly fast and they all present a health risk for households. Roaches are known to spread more than 30 types of bacteria and even parasitic worms. One can find all of these species of cockroaches in the house. However, each species has its own characteristics and can be found in different parts of the home – making treatment methods vary from type to type. Let’s take a look at the different types of cockroaches and some ways to prevent them.
The German cockroach, also known as Blattella germanica, is a smaller species of cockroach, usually only growing to about 5/8″ in length. They are usually pale brown or caramel colored with two dark brown stripes behind their heads. They have wings but do not fly. German cockroaches are found across the United States and prefer warm, moisture-rich habitats. They are often found near dishwashers, sinks, and stoves and are mostly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can live up to 12 months and produce more eggs than any other cockroach species. They eat a wide variety of things but prefer meat, grease, and starchy foods. They are notoriously responsible for outbreaks of illness and triggering allergic reactions in humans. Their small size allows them better hiding capabilities making them harder to get rid of.
The American cockroach, also known as Periplaneta americana, is one of the largest cockroaches found in homes. American cockroaches grow up to 1-1/2″ in length. They are reddish-brown or brown in color and have light yellow bands around the shield behind their heads. American cockroaches have wings and can fly short distances. They are found throughout the United States and are often found in warm, dark areas like basements, crawlspaces, bathtubs, drains, and sewers. They are also common in households where food is stored. They will eat everything from plant material to garbage and contaminate any surfaces they walk across. American cockroaches can live up to 2 years. They are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher but have also adapted to survive at much lower temperatures with the right conditions.
The brown-banded cockroach, also known as Supella longipalpa, is a smaller species of cockroach found throughout the United States. Brown-banded cockroaches are distinguished by 2 light yellow to brown bands across their bodies. Males have larger, dark brown wings that lighten in color as they extend to the tips. Females have smaller, reddish-brown to dark brown wings. Even though they both have wings, only males can fly. Brown-banded cockroaches like warm, dry environments that are higher than other species. They are often found in upper cabinets, behind pictures hanging on the walls, or in the hollow parts of furniture. In fact, they will often hide their egg casings in or under furniture. They will also gather near larger appliances like refrigerators and TVs because of the heat they give off. These cockroaches are often found in offices, apartments, kitchens, and hospitals. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer starchy foods like glue from envelopes and stamps and also paper products. They can live from 3 months up to 1 year and will jump when they have been disturbed.
The Oriental cockroach, also known as Blatta orientalis, “water bugs,” and “black beetles,” has a glossy appearance that is dark brown or black in color. Oriental cockroaches can grow up to 1-1/4″ in length. These cockroaches cannot fly and are not as fast as other species. They prefer cool, dark, damp environments and are often found in basements, sewers, drains, and near woodpiles. They commonly enter homes through drains in search of food. Unfortunately they cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces and are often found stuck inside sinks and tubs. They primarily feed on decaying organic matter. Oriental cockroaches have a 6 month life span and give off a strong smell. They are considered one of the dirtiest species of cockroaches.
Prevention and Treatment
Seeing one or two cockroaches in the house usually means there are several more hidden out of sight. They are much more difficult to get rid of once a roach infestation is established. There are some steps you can take to help prevent roaches from taking over:
- Keep pet food stored in sealed containers and don’t leave it out overnight.
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, as well.
- Keep kitchen surfaces free from food debris and crumbs.
- Wipe down countertops often.
- Sweep often.
- Take out the trash frequently.
- Clean in, around, and under appliances.
- Check under sinks for leaks and drops.
- Vacuum carpets and mop floors on a regular basis.
- Keep basements and crawlspaces dry. Consider crawlspace enclosure to help prevent moisture buildup.
- Seal any cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior.
If you suspect you have a roach problem, contact a licensed pest control company. Professional pest control technicians can provide expert advice and thoroughly assess your home to help identify not only the type of cockroaches you have but also the most up-to-date treatment options and prevention techniques.
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Millipedes are arthropods (not insects) that are commonly found in damp, moist locations. They feed on decaying organic matter. Millipedes will usually hide during the day and come out at night when the humidity is higher and dew is present on the ground. Millipedes are often mistaken for centipedes – they have elongated, worm-like bodies with 2 pairs of legs on each segment of their bodies. They are usually about 1 inch long with a hard, round, cylindrical body that is brown to black in color. When they are disturbed or dead they will curl into a spiral.
Finding a millipede in the house is not common. They cannot reproduce indoors and usually only come inside when there is a period of extreme wetness (during the rainy season) or in search of somewhere to overwinter (usually in late Fall). Millipedes are most commonly found in gardens but when they do come indoors they are usually found in the garage, basement, or the lowest level of the home. Millipedes that wander indoors typically die in a short amount of time because of the dryness.
If a millipede does get into your home, are they helpful or harmful? Should you be concerned? Millipedes are NOT harmful to humans. They do not feed on buildings, structures, or furnishings. They also cannot bite or sting. In fact, they can be beneficial in your compost pile as they help to break down the contents. They can cause damage to your garden by destroying seedlings or feeding on vegetables; however, there is no need to eliminate them unless they are causing damage to your plants.
While a millipede infestation is rare, there are things you can do to help prevent these pests from getting into your garden or home. Here are some tips on how to get rid of millipedes:
- Eliminate moisture in garden areas where millipedes are often found or where their eggs can overwinter.
- Rake out any old mulch under plants and replace it with either fresh mulch or straw.
- Put piles of raked leaves into the compost pile away from your home or bag them for disposal.
- Aerate your lawn to reduce thatch.
- Move anything that could provide a habitat for millipedes away from your home (compost piles, firewood, stones).
- Elevate any of these items that cannot be moved.
- Install a band of gravel between foundations and flower beds.
- Seal any cracks in the outside foundation.
- Seal around the bottoms of doors and basement windows.
- Use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity in your home.
- Water lawns in the morning so they can dry out by afternoon.
- Contact a licensed pest control company who can inspect your home for entry points and help set up a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.
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