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Avoiding Spring Break Souvenirs – Bed Bugs

For many families, the school spring break week means getting away from it all by heading somewhere tropical. What a fantastic idea: sun, beach, cocktails, and a hotel staff to wait on you hand-and-foot. It sounds like a dream. Unfortunately, far too many vacationers are coming home with spring break souvenirs that they did not plan on – bed bugs! Here are a few tips to help you avoid bringing home any unwanted spring break guests.

 

  • Do some homework before you book your trip. Check on the Bed Bug Registry online to see if the resort you will be visiting has any complaints. Before you head out on vacation, figure out what to look for when examining your room upon your arrival.
  • Once you arrive at your hotel or resort, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Look for blood stains or small spots on the mattress as well as looking for eggs, larvae or actual adult bed bugs. If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Keep your suitcases off the floor. Bed bugs are hitchhikers and suitcases are one of the main vehicles they use to hitch a ride home with you after a lovely vacation. You may want to consider keeping your clothes in plastic bags so that any pests can not find a way onto them.
  • After you return home from your trip, inspect your suitcases and clothes before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.

Need to know more about bed bugs or are looking for solutions in your home? Call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.


Return of the Spring Skunks

Yes, it is that time of year again – the return of the spring skunks. Perhaps you have smelled the distinct and pungent odor of skunks when you leave your home in the morning or have seen one or two of them late at night while you are walking your dog. This is the time when skunks begin to come out from their winter sleep and stink up neighborhoods all over New England while they search for food and water.

If you have regular odorous visitors around your home, you may want to call Pest-End Exterminators to solve the skunk problem before you, your child, or your pet gets sprayed by these black and white critters. In the meanwhile, here are some tips to avoid a nasty spray.

  • Avoid walking your pet after dark. This is the time of day that skunks, who are nocturnal, typically start foraging for food. If you have to take Fido on one last walk before bed, make noise and bring a bright light to warn a skunk so you don’t sneak up on it.  That is a sure fire way to get sprayed. Chances are if the skunk hears you coming it may give you a wide berth.
  • Be alert! If you are out after dark, whether it is for a walk or to bring out the trash to the barrels, be aware of your surroundings. If you hear digging, banging, or animal noises, back away so as not to frighten the animal into using the spray defense technique.
  • Keep garbage locked – Skunks typically want food and water so if they smell your trash, they may be intrigued enough to investigate your property. Keep the trash cans covered to reduce the smell from getting out that would attract these pests.
  • Do not agitate a skunk. While it may seem like common sense to avoid skunks like the plague, if you see one on your property, let the professionals handle it instead of trying to corner it or trap it yourself. This can only end in a few weeks of bad smells and lots of tomato juice baths.

 

Do you have a skunk problem? Call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.


“The Ants Come Marching In”

Remember that old song about the ants coming marching in two-by-two and the four-by-four, hurrah? Well, now that spring has really begun to set in, you may have noticed that this song is playing out in earnest in your kitchen or bathroom. And you certainly are not singing “hurrah” as you see the line of ants. What can you do as a homeowner to prevent this seemingly inevitable occurrence?

 

When ants begin arriving in the early spring it may feel like they suddenly materialized overnight and have now set up shop in your home. Pest-End has some treatment options to help you eradicate these pests, but in the meantime here are some simple things you can do to make your home less welcoming to ants. Let’s take a closer look at some simple habits that may help curb your ant problem.

 

  • Understand the Enemy – In order to stop ants from making themselves at home in your home, learn a little bit about them first. For example, to solve an ant problem, you need to first eliminate the ones you don’t see to get rid of the ones you do see.This means that the queen ant, who never leaves her nest, is the one who lays all the eggs and the one that needs to be exterminated to solve the root of your ant problem. If you don’t have time to learn about ants, trust in a reliable, experienced exterminator like Pest-End.
  • Eliminate Food Sources – What is causing ants to make a pilgrimage to your kitchen or bathroom? The answer is the food and water source that is usually readily available in those areas. Clean thoroughly the floors and other surfaces that could contain crumbs or sticky food residue. Make sure your kitchen or bath are as sterile as possible and that faucets are not dripping or leaking. For the kitchen pantry area this includes putting food items in plastic resealable containers.
  • Seal Up your Home – Face it, ants are small and don’t need a large opening to get inside your home, so try to do as much as possible to seal up the openings you can see such as under doors, near windows, and around vents.
  • Choose Plantings Wisely – If your home has plantings close to the foundation you may be inviting ants to get close to your home. Ants use vegetation for shelter and food, so any vegetation that is close to your house is just a bridge between the ant’s natural habitat and yours. To keep ants away, trim those plants as soon as you notice any contact with your home.

 

If you have the beginnings of an ant invasion in your home call  Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

 


Everyday Pest Prevention Tips

No home or business is immune to the infestation of pests, be it the common house fly, cockroaches, termites, rodents, or the dreaded bed bug. So what, then, can you do to prevent these pests from becoming a huge problem for you, your family, or your workplace? There are some preventative techniques that can help your home or property from becoming overrun with common pests. Here are just a few of the ways that you can practice everyday pest prevention.

 

  • Keep your home clean of clutter and food spills/crumbs. One of the biggest attractions for pests is the ability to access food inside your home/office, so keep areas well cleaned including: sweeping, vacuuming, wiping down counters, and keeping food stored in plastic containers that can not be easily chewed through.
  • Seal up openings that provide access to your home or business interior. Many pests look for nesting or warmth, food or water inside structures. Exclude them from gaining access by sealing up cracks in the foundation, under doors, around windows and vent openings. Just by doing this you may be able to make it difficult enough to enter your structure and exclude them from finding safe harbor in your building.
  • Keep outdoor areas clean as well. Store firewood away from your home and keep rotting debris (such as that found in garbage cans), away from the structure. This includes cleaning and storing recycle bins away from your home if at all possible. The drips of beer or soda cans could attract pests.
  • Inspect regularly. This means go around your home or business and think like a pest. What areas are easy to access? What areas have clutter that would provide for a great nesting area? What areas are not frequently visited so they would be a safe area? Either evaluate several times a year or hire an expert to do it for you. Early discovery can save lots of headaches and costs later.

 

If you are looking for more pest prevention ideas visit our website or call Pest-End Exterminators at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.


Fascinating Bug Facts

While we spend most of our days helping homeowners and business owners remove unwanted pests from their property, it does not go unnoticed that bugs and pests do have some fascinating abilities and characteristics. Here are just a few bugs facts for fun!

  • Insects can be found everywhere on Earth . .  almost. They just barely have a foothold in Antarctica where the wingless midge called Belgica antarctica, calls the southernmost continent home. So finding them in your home is not that unusual!
  • Did you know that insects were around almost 170 million years before the dinosaurs came on the scene?
  • Termite queens can produce 6,000 to 7,000 eggs in a single day. That is a lot of work and a lot of chewing, especially if they call your home their own.
  • A cockroach can survive up to nine days without its head. The reason it can’t live even longer is because without its head, it can’t eat.
  • A housefly regurgitates its stomach contents, and then eats them again. Gross!
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees.
  • An average bed contains up to six million dust mites. Sleep well!
  • Out of every 1,000 Mosquitos, one female carries a disease that could be fatal to humans.
  • Bees are probably the most useful of all insects to humans, because they make it possible for plants to grow by pollinating them.
  • Bees, termites and ants live in well-organized social colonies.
  • Ants leave trails and communicate with each other using pheromones as chemical signals.

 

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


Is your Home Attracting Termites?

Termites cause damage to approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. every year which translates into an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage. Given these startling statistics it is no doubt that homeowners do not want to attract termites. But could your property be unintentionally attracting termites? Let’s take a closer look at what activities and actions could be drawing termites to your property.

  • Clogged Gutters – No one likes to clean out their gutters but, unfortunately, the moisture and debris can attract termites. Be sure to divert water away from your house and clean those gutters every year.
  • Firewood/Wood  – For many New Englanders, cold winters and cool springs mean warming the house with a fireplace or a wood burning stove. Unfortunately, a stack of firewood placed close to the structure of your home can be an attraction to termites. Be sure to stack your wood at least 20 feet from your home and give each piece a few hits before bringing it inside to jar loose any pests hiding inside. In addition to the firewood stack, be sure to clear your yard of dead wood including dead tree stumps and rotten branches.
  • Mulch – So many homeowners use mulch as a way to line their gardens and walkways. While the mulch may have a positive aesthetic impact, it can serve as a source of food for termites and also retains moisture, which attracts these destructive pests. Minimize the use of mulch around the foundation of your home if at all possible and lay as little as necessary to get the “look” you desire.
  • Bushes and Trees – Plantings such as bushes and trees that are placed near your home can serve as a bridge to the structure. Keep these trees and bushes trimmed back from your home.

Need more ideas on how to keep termites away from your home? Call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

 


What is Attracting Cockroaches to your Home?

Cockroaches are pretty darn ugly pests and can cause fear and panic in homeowners when they realize they have a cockroach infestation. Beyond the creepy feeling of seeing one of these pests crawl across the floor in your home, there are other worries such as the spread of disease or possibly the allergic reaction that many people experience when in the presence of a cockroach. Unfortunately, once cockroaches have made themselves “at home”, in your home, they tend to be fairly resistant to getting out. Therefore, making your home less attractive to them is of paramount importance. Let’s take a look at what is attracting cockroaches to your home in the first place.

 

Knowing what is attracting cockroaches to your home is the first part of the battle to avoiding a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches tend to be attracted to certain conditions.

 

  • Food – The biggest attraction for these pests is food! This means any food including: human food, pet food, discarded food, grease droppings from an outdoor grill, and crumbs just laying around your home especially in the kitchen. Ensure that your food items are tightly sealed and in containers that are not easily chewed through. Also keep your kitchen and grill especially clean. Wipe down counters, sweep corners and crevices, vacuum often, and scrub the grill after each use.

 

  • Water Sources – Cockroaches need water to survive so be sure that drips in kitchens and bathrooms are kept to a minimum and that pet dishes are not left out. Keep an eye out for leaky pipes as well.

 

  • Clutter – Cockroaches tend to like to hide in dark, damp, wet, or cluttered places. This means that garages, basements, and sheds are an excellent place for cockroaches to hang out. Keep these areas clean and organized so that cockroaches don’t find a safe place to hide.

 

If you have cockroaches in your home or business and need help excluding and exterminating, call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.


Mouse in the House!  

Seeing a mouse scurry across the floor in your home can be very off-putting. Not only can it be startling to see a critter where it shouldn’t be, but also there are the worries about disease spreading, contamination of food, building of nests, and the fear of damage caused by gnawing on wires. The initial screams of, “There’s a mouse in the house!!!” often evolve into worry about these issues. Here are some of the signs and problems associated with finding a mouse in your house and what you can do about it.

Signs of Mice: While seeing a mouse may be your first indication that you have a rodent problem, there are usually signs long before a sighting may occur. Look for the following red flags that there may be mice in your house.

  • Mice droppings – these small black droppings are about 1/4 – 1/8 inch with pointed end or ends.
  • Food scraps left around where they would not normally be.
  • Gnaw marks or holes on food items.
  • Rodent hairs that are coarse.
  • Grease marks from mice or rats running or scurrying across the same areas over and over.
  • An odor that cannot be explained.
  • A nest of papers, straw, or other household items found in a dark, out-of-the-way area.

The Problem with Mice: It may seem like an odd thing to think about but many homeowners often say, “But it is only one mouse.” One mouse can be a problem. Here is why. . .

  • The reproduction rates of female mice is an alarmingly fast cycle. One female mouse can breed up to 10 litters of 5 to 6 young. These 60 offspring can then begin to reproduce themselves in as little as six weeks. So within months, you could have a huge population of mice. So think of “one” mouse as the potential of being many, many mice.
  • Rodents such as mice can harbor a wide range of parasites such as mites and ticks that carry lethal pathogens. Even without parasites, rodents can directly transmit deadly germs excreted in their urine and feces. In the last century alone, rodents such as mice and rats have caused the deaths of 10 million people.
  • Since mice are always on the hunt for food, they often contaminate food and kitchen surfaces with urine and droppings.
  • Damage from mice on the structure and electrical wiring of homes is well documented. If a mouse happens to gnaw on electrical wires in your attic or crawl spaces, you may be looking at an electrical fire. In addition, extensive damage to structures, furniture, and personal belongings can occur due to  constant gnawing.

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


Pantry Pests

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is where family and friends gather for meals, drinks, and celebrations. The kitchen, therefore, should be a place that is free and clear of pests that could easily ruin a social occasion or family dinner. Some of the most dreaded pests in the kitchen tend to be the ones that gather and feed on the food in your pantry like cereals, grains, rice, chocolate, and dry goods. Let’s take a look at common pantry pests and what you can do to prevent them.

 

Pantry pests seek out the food that is stored in your kitchen cabinets, cupboards, or pantry area. These types of pests tend to live near their food source and, in some cases, that means living right inside your food items once they have gained access to them. Some of the common pests you might discover include several types of beetles, a variety of weevils, and Indian Meal Moths. These pests can breed quickly, so a small problem could quickly become an infestation.

Prevention –

  • While shopping at a bulk store may seem like a cost saving strategy, it may be better if you buy only what you need for a month at a time. If an infestation is common in your home, smaller packages may mean discarding less in the long run until the problem is solved. Use oldest products before newer ones, and opened packages before unopened ones.
  • Inspect packages or bulk products before buying. Packages should be sealed and unbroken. Also check the freshness packaging date. Look for evidence of insects, including holes in the packaging or wrapping. If you discover any, report it to the store and discard the item.
  • Store insect-free foods in tightly closed glass, metal, or heavy plastic containers. You can also store foods in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Keep food storage areas clean. Do not allow crumbs or spilled food to accumulate. Remove and discard old, unused products and inspect the remainder. Thoroughly clean cracks and corners with a vacuum cleaner. Also check and clean areas where pet food and birdseed are stored as these are common sources of infestations.

 


What Is Hiding in Your Basement?

Cue the creepy, horror movie music because we are heading into the cellar to finding out “What’s Hiding in Your Basement?” Some of you may remember that, as a child, you feared venturing into your basement due to the dark, unknown area, or perhaps you believed in the spooky “boogie man” who lurked behind the clanking furnace. As you grew, however, you began to understand those fears as merely a figment of your childhood imagination. Now as adults, however, there may be something even more cringe-worthy and loathsome hiding in your basement – an infestation of pests! Let’s take a look at what could be hiding in your basement.

 

Typical basement pests include: rodents, squirrels, termites, cockroaches, earwigs, silverfish, crickets, and spiders. Most of them are in your basement due to the darkness, tendency towards high moisture, and easy access to needed nutrients like household food items, decaying organic matter, or even other basement dwelling creatures that will serve as a meal. Most of these pests seek out the lowest level of your dwelling because the upper levels are too dry and do not allow for easy concealment. Basements provide the perfect combination of a good hiding space, the right climate, and accessibility to food.

 

In order to prevent these pests from making your basement a much feared location, here are a few steps that homeowners can take to prevent their basement from becoming a pest hangout.

 

  • Repair any leaky pipes or dripping appliances to prevent musty smells, mold, and moisture that may attract bugs and rodents.
  • Try using a dehumidifier if dampness persists – but don’t forget to empty it because the water tank itself could attract pests too.
  • Clean up clutter and organic debris that could become a food source for some pests.
  • Seal any entry points bugs may use to make their way inside, including doors, bulkheads, windows, vents, and electrical boxes.
  • Inspect every dark corner and regularly check storage boxes for signs of bugs.

 

Preventative pest control is critical. If you ever find evidence of bugs during your usual inspections, act quickly to prevent the infestation from getting out of control. Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321, Phone: 603-382-9644, Phone: 978-794-4321.