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Traveling for the Winter? Protect Yourself from Pests

New Englanders have always been known as a hardy bunch who can deal with even the worst of weather. Unfortunately, for some of us, winter weather can be just a bit too much to bare sometimes, and therefore escaping to a warmer destination until spring arrives is a smart move. Whether your destination is a remote, tropical island or closer to home in sunny Florida, be sure to take precautions as you travel for pests that can either ruin your vacation or hitchhike back to your New England home upon your return. The two culprits we want to caution travelers about are the mosquitoes and the dreaded bed bug!  Read more on how to protect yourself from these pests and enjoy your winter.

 

Travelers should take these precautions when dealing with mosquitoes:

 

  • Check on the Centers for Disease Control website about the threats of insects, especially mosquitoes in the area where you are visiting.
  • Plan ahead. Are you settled into an area with a lot of bugs? Is your destination known for their mosquitoes? Being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Bring protection in the form of repellant and clothing that is light but will also cover your body. Avoid outdoor activities at peak mosquito times, including dusk and daybreak. Invest in netting if your hotel or vacation home does not supply them.

 

Travelers should take these precautions when considering bed bugs:

  • Check your hotel room or the furnishings in the home where you are staying. Specifically look around the edges of the mattress and cushioned chairs and sofa. If you notice any blood spots, eggs, or the bed bugs themselves, then tell the management and request a new room.
  • Check your materials before bringing them back inside your home. This includes all of your clothing, suitcases, purses and carry on bags.
  • Depending upon the area where you are visiting you may want to check the Bed Bug Registry.

 

Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321 if you need help with pests in your home or those that have hitchhiked on your possessions and have set up shop in your home.

 


Top 5 Winter Pests

Just as the winter weather arrives, many creatures head into a state of hibernation or overwintering to protect themselves from the harsh climate and precipitation. Humans are similar in that we spend much more time indoors trying to stay safe and warm from all that which Mother Nature throws our way. Unfortunately, many winter pests like rats, mice, raccoons, and cockroaches also try to take refuge from the cold in our homes!  In addition, there are also pests that are with us all year ‘round which we need to continue to be wary of, including termites and bed bugs Let’s take a look at the top 5 winter pests and how you can prevent them from becoming a problem in your home.

 

  1. Rodents – Mice and rats love to make their way indoors to set up nests in the warmth of an attic, garage, crawl space and/or basement. It doesn’t take much of a crack or hole for one of these critters to find entrance, so do your best to seal up potential access points. In addition, inspect areas where there are seasonal storage items to be sure there are no droppings or gnaw marks which would indicate the presence of rodents.
  2. Raccoons – These intelligent animals can not only find a space to enter your home, like through a chimney or a basement window, but can cause a serious mess around trash cans and or gardens that were not closed for the winter. Install a mesh cover to your chimney to prevent access and seal up broken basement windows, vent covers, or sheds that could be an entry point for a tired and hungry raccoon. In addition, use locking garbage cans and keep all pet food indoors.
  3. Cockroaches – Cockroaches love to hitch rides into homes from grocery bags or sometimes items that you have left outdoors. Occasionally second hand appliances like refrigerators and stoves have hidden cockroaches. These pests are often found in bathrooms and kitchens due to the proximity to water and food sources. Prevent a cockroach infestation by keeping the counters and floors clean and free of crumbs. Also, vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
  4. Termites – Many homeowners think of termites as warm weather pests, but they can be present in homes all year ‘round. Keep an eye out for mud tubes in your basement or areas you do not frequent often and look for signs of termites such as frass and wings. A thorough home inspection can prevent termites from causing lasting damage to your home.
  5. Bed Bugs – The dreaded bed bug can be a problem all year. These bugs are known to be hitchhikers that travel between locations on clothing, luggage, and purses. They have been found on airplanes, buses, and in hotels. Travelers this winter season should remain vigilant in order to prevent bringing these pests into their homes.

 

If you have a pest problem call Pest-End Exterminators Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.


The Invasion of the Winter Moth

Now that the sun is gradually setting earlier it can be disheartening and somewhat depressing to come home after a long day of work to utter darkness. It can be comforting to have a welcoming exterior light to greet you at the door with the promise of a relaxing evening ahead. What is not welcoming is the mess that may be drawn to your exterior lights or front door – the winter moth!  Let’s take a look at these creatures which seem to be out in droves and are attracted to the lights of your home.

 

Winter moths, both male and female, usually emerge around the week of Thanksgiving, and this may continue well through December. This may occur whenever milder temperatures prevail during that time period. You may find the males and females on tree trunks around your home. They may be mating or simply attracted to the lights that are in your home. This may mean that they find their way to your front entryway or the siding of your home (windows with lights on). Many homeowners feel under attack by these creatures which may attempt to enter every time the door is opened.

 

Winter moths can cause serious damage to deciduous plants and trees in the Northeast region of the United States. The Winter Moth was first introduced to the east coast through Nova Scotia from Europe. The local areas which experience the worst of them include coastal Massachusetts, including Cape Ann and the North Shore of Massachusetts. Unfortunately the pest has spread south into Connecticut and north into Maine, as well.

The Winter Moth caterpillar has been defoliating deciduous plant material at an alarming rate in our region. Trees at risk are maple, oak, cherry, basswood, ash, white elm, crabapple, apple, and blueberry, and they can also drop from trees into your plant beds to feed on perennials.

 

There are several ways to combat winter moths including treatment for the trunks of trees and plantings so that the eggs can not survive after they are laid. Pest-End Exterminators can recommend the best course of action for your home and property if you find that the moth mess is too much to take and that your trees and plantings are becoming damaged. Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.


Preventing Holiday Pests

With only three weeks ‘til Thanksgiving and seven ‘til Christmas, the holidays seem to be  closing in fast. Chances are that you are planning some family events or parties to “deck the halls”, right? Do you know which uninvited guest you don’t want showing up at your holiday bash? Pests! Let’s take a quick look at how you can prevent these unwanted seasonal guests from getting into your home through firewood, stored seasonal decorations, and greenery that we all love so much during this time of year.  

 

  • Firewood – Who doesn’t love a crackling fire during these cold winter months, especially when friends and family are stopping by to celebrate the holidays? Unfortunately, firewood is a prime place for rodents, termites, and other pests to take shelter in and nest around. Whenever you bring firewood into your home, it’s important to inspect the pieces of wood for pests that can easily hitch a ride indoors like spiders, termites, and rodents. Firewood should always be stored at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or palettes.
  • Seasonal Decorations – Most of us have boxes somewhere in our home, whether it is the attic, basement, garage, or the back of closets, in which we store our holiday decorations. Be sure that these decorations do not become a nesting place for squirrels or rodents by keeping them in sealed and locked plastic storage containers, or totes.  Before bringing decorations (or even decoration bins) into the main living areas of the home, it’s critical  to unpack and inspect them for signs of a potential pest infestation like gnawing marks and rodent droppings.
  • Greenery – Decorating with freshly cut greenery has become tradition in many homes especially in the New England region. Whether your home has kissing balls, wreaths, a Christmas tree, or garlands that you decorate with, be sure to inspect them all so that there are no wildlife still living in them. Shake out each item before bringing into your home to avoid any hitchhiking insects, rodents, or even termites.

 

We all want to enjoy the holidays so be sure to keep an eye open for any unwanted pesky guests this season. Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321


Bed Bug Prevalence and Trends

Bed bugs have been around for nearly 3,500 years. How we control and treat them is constantly evolving as our knowledge and technology improve. During the late 1990’s bed bugs saw a large resurgence, especially in the United States. The comeback meant a growth in the pest control industry, including a large array of chemicals, treatment methods, and monitoring devices. While some products have stood the test of time, others have not. Pest-End Exterminators proudly incorporates a combined, comprehensive technique of Canine Inspection, Thermal Remediation, and Cleaning and Vacuuming Services. Let’s take a look at the trends and prevalence of bed bugs as they have begun to evolve.

 

Bed Bug Trends

 

  • Bed Bug Awareness – Globally, more and more people are becoming aware of the issue of bed bugs in hotels, airports, schools, and theaters. Google reported that the term “bed bug” is searched more than a half a million times each month. That means more travelers are becoming savvy about how to prevent the notorious hitchhikers from getting into their homes. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has created a website and a guide meant to educate Americans on how to prevent bed bugs and what to do in the case of an infestation. https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs

 

  • Tracking – Thanks to a heightened awareness and the tracking capabilities of several pest websites, bed bug awareness across the country is at an all-time high and is evident in the success of sites like BedBugRegistry.com which has over 20,000 bed bug reports since 2006.

 

  • Treatment Methods – While some homeowners still believe in using pesticides, other extermination professionals have started using a multi-pronged comprehensive approach to identifying where the bed bug problem is and how to resolve it. Check out our prevention and treatment techniques on our website at https://pestendinc.com.

 

  • Prevalence of Bed Bug Survey – The National Pest Management Association’s “Bed Bugs in America Survey” has shown that bed bugs are found in all 50 states. Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West. The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living, and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs. As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation.

Stinky Stink Bugs

Fall is such a great time of year, but it is also a time when pests are looking for a place to survive the cold, harsh winter. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is one such pest that is looking for a safe place to “overwinter”. That place may unfortunately be your home, apartment, condo, or business. Let’s take a look at these creatures, what they are and what you can do about them.

Identification – The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is grey/brown and can usually be easily identified by the shield shape of its body. The bugs are generally less than an inch long and are  native to Asia. While they were first noticed in Pennsylvania, they have spread to the Northeast, especially the New England area for many years. However, in recent years they have begun to expand their area and are being noticed in the Midwest region.

Behavior – Stink Bugs have a very predictable schedule. They love to feed, beginning in late May or early June, on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants including: peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherries, raspberries, and pears. But in the fall they are in search of a place to survive the cold winters. That may mean crawl spaces, the siding, or soffits become home for these pests that can become for the duration of the winter. When the weather becomes warm again they emerge from their spots and become active again.

Smell – Yep, these pests emit a peculiar scent if you frighten or squish them. While it may be the first instinct to kill the Stink Bug when you find it in your home, don’t do it! Instead, call Pest-End Exterminators if you have an infestation or try to push it out a door or window to remove it from your home if there are one or two who have found their way into your living area.

Damage – Stink Bugs are agricultural pests and can cause some real damage to fruit trees. The most common signs of stink bug damage are pitting and scarring of the fruit, leaf destruction, and a mealy texture to harvested fruits and vegetables.

Do you have Stink Bugs? Call Pest-End Exterminators for a thorough inspection and remedy. Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644   Phone: 978-794-4321

 


Fall Checklist for Pest Prevention in New England

Autumn is such a beautiful time. The air is cool and crisp, the leaves put on a spectacular show and, of course, we prepare to watch the Pats win another Superbowl! But in between football games and apple cider donuts, homeowners should take a look at our checklist to ensure that pests do not seek out your property as a safe haven this winter.

 

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens. Mice can enter a space smaller than the size of a dime.
  • Places screens on vents and openings to chimneys. Rodents, bats, and other wild animals can seek refuge in your attic this winter if they find an entry point.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  • Store food in airtight containers in your kitchen to prevent pantry pests and other insects from finding easy access to food.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. This may mean investing in a metal container or one with a locking mechanism. Raccoons are incredibly smart and can unlatch even the trickiest of garbage can covers.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house. Many pests use firewood as an excellent location to nest. Pests can also be transferred into the home so inspect all wood that you bring in for the fireplace.
  • Keep shrubbery well-trimmed and away from your exterior walls so that pests can not use them as a bridge to your home.
  • Keep pet food indoors at all times so that the smell does not attract unwanted critters.
  • Clean your grill thoroughly. The smell of grease and meat can attract all sorts of wildlife.
  • Completely clean up your garden before the first frost.

Completing these exclusion routines can mean a pest-free winter. Call Pest-End Exterminators if you find any pests during this winterization process. Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644   Phone: 978-794-4321

 


Is My Home Rodent Proof?

No home is immune to the occasional rat or mouse looking for a free meal or a warm place to nest. There are, however, some homes that are a bit more rodent-proof than others. What is the secret to keeping these pests at bay? Let’s take a closer look at some steps every homeowner can take to make their home just a little more rodent-proof than it currently is.

 

  • Do Some Inspecting – Mice can fit into a crack or hole about the size of a dime, so check your foundation around your home including where it connects to the siding. Are there any cracks or openings that you could seal up? If so try to identify as many of those locations and remedy the problem first. Once you have inspected the foundation, start looking at other openings such as windows, soffits, and doors. Even a small opening under a door is practically an invitation for entry.

 

  • Examine the Roof – While you may need a professional to climb safely onto your roof, it may be worth it if your area tends to see a rise in mice and rats during the fall and winter seasons. Check for cracked or torn shingles. Also ensure that any vents and/or chimneys are capped so as to keep rodents from using that as an entry point.

 

  • Clean Up Your Yard – Mice and rats love to take safe haven in sheds, under decks, and anywhere they can make a nice, warm nest. Check that these areas are also clean and free of clutter. A cluttered garage or shed can become a home to many rodents. In addition, use garbage can covers to prevent your garbage from becoming an easy meal.

 

  • Good Gardening Practices – Any tree branches or hedges that touch or hang over the house should be cut back to prevent rodents from using them as pathways onto and into the house. Keep grass short and trim the bottoms of hedges or bushes to expose soil beneath and eliminate rodent harborage areas.

 

If you suspect that you have a rodent issue in or around your home, call Pest-End Exterminators for an inspection. Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321


Bed Bug Misconceptions

In recent years bed bugs have become one of the most feared pests. Whether you travel for work, visit movie theaters, pick up a friend at an airport, or just enjoy being out in public places, bed bugs can ruin your day. While most of us know a little bit about how to avoid transferring these pests from hotel rooms to our own home, there are still many erroneous statements that are made and passed on about these annoying creatures. We advise that homeowners do their homework and don’t believe everything you hear about bed bugs. Here are some of the more flagrant falsehoods about bed bugs.

Misconceptions about Bed Bugs

  1. Bed Bugs are Microscopic – Adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs are visible with the naked eye. We suggest regular checks of beds, furniture, and other locations to be sure that there are no bed bugs making a home in your home.
  2. Bed Bugs Hate Light So Keeping a Room Lit is a Deterrent – While bed bugs prefer darkness, keeping the light on at night won’t deter these pests from biting you.
  3. Bed Bugs Can Only Be Found in Dirty Places – Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt and grime; they are attracted to warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide. However, clutter offers more hiding spots.
  4. Bed Bugs Only Live in Mattresses – While these pests may be called bed bugs, they also live in other locations such as movie theaters, schools, planes, in suitcases, on clothing, and on our beloved pets. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are bed bug-free if your mattress is not infested.
  5. Bed Bugs Transmit Diseases – Bed bug bites can lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, and even secondary infections, but there have been no reported cases of bed bugs transmitting disease to humans.
  6. Bed Bug Spray Can Rid Your Home of Bed Bugs – Wouldn’t that be great!  Bed bugs have become pesticide-resistant in the last few years and can survive pesticide applications. They also know where to hide. At Pest-End Exterminators we use several methods including Canine Detection, Thermal Remediation and Steam and Vacuum Services as a comprehensive way to identify hiding spots and rid your home of these pests.

 

If you believe you have bed bugs in your home or business, call Pest-End Exterminators today Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321


How Do Pests Enter Your Home?

One of the most common questions we get as exterminators is, “How did that get in here?” Your home may be unknowingly inviting pests in due to being easily accessible. Here is our list of the most common ways that pests are finding their way into your precious home.

 

  • Things you Carry In – One of the most common ways that bed bugs find their way into your bed and furniture is by hitching a ride with people or their belongings. Always check hotels, airports, and other travel locations before putting your suitcase on the floor. Wash and dry clothes on high heat to kill any hitchhikers as well.
  • Foundation Holes – If you live in New England, you may have a fieldstone foundation. Mice and other pests love these because they allow for easy access. Be sure to seal up holes and cracks to avoid making it easy for pests to find a way into your home.

 

  • Exhaust Fans and Dryer Vents – Double-check all vents and exhaust fans from your dryer, bathroom, or kitchen. Inspect vent dampers to be sure that they’re moving freely and not stuck open or broken.

 

  • Chimney Openings – Bats, squirrels, and other pests may be able to access your fireplace or attic through holes or uncapped chimneys. Be sure that the flue and cap are secure as well as inspect for cracks and or holes in the chimney itself.

 

  • Siding, Doors, and Windows – Inspect all of these areas for gaps, cracks or openings. Check for broken screens and openings under doors as well.

 

  • Soffits, fascia and roof vents are also prime areas where pests tend to enter homes.

If you have a pest problem, call Pest-End Exterminators at 603-382-9644 or 978-794-4321 for an inspection and treatment solution.