Pest Control Company Archives - Pest End

Category: Pest Control Company

What to Know about Fireplaces, Chimneys and Pests

We often think about having a cozy fire during the cold winter months. We often envision being curled up with a loved one under a blanket watching a favorite show, reading a book, or just getting lost in the flames’ dance. Unfortunately, the fireplace and the connected chimney are two of the most common places where pests can hide or get caught unexpectedly. Let’s take a look at the pests that are most common, the signs of a fireplace pests, and what you can do to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place. Get back to enjoying your fireplace as soon as possible.

Most Common Fireplace Pests

If you have a fireplace, you know that it can be a welcome place of rest and relaxation in the winter. The same goes for pests! Chimneys and fireplaces are a quiet, safe, and warm place to nest, hideout or, sometimes, get trapped by accident. The most common pests that find their way into fireplaces are:

  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Rodents

 

Signs of a Fireplace Pest

Many times when there is a pest, (or a family of pests) taking shelter in your fireplace or chimney, there will most definitely be red flags or signs of an infestation. Here are the most common signs that you have someone other than Santa Claus in your chimney.

  • Droppings – All animals leave droppings near or around their nest. If you have a bird, bat, or squirrel living in your chimney, you may notice droppings in and around your fireplace, or even outside your home. The smell alone may key you off to an unwanted visitor.
  • Noises – Many homeowners report hearing scurrying, frantic flapping, or squeaking in the chimney. These noises could be the signs of rodents scurrying around, birds who have gotten trapped frantically trying to find a way out, or the sounds of wildlife making themselves at home in your chimney.
  • Pet Panic! – Many times, the presence of a pest in your chimney or fireplace will be just enough to set off a pet such as a dog or cat to act excitable. Look for those reactions.
  • Tracks – Some pests will venture into your home from the chimney and eat your food, or leave tracks or urine marks. Be on the lookout!

Prevention

One of the best ways to keep pests of all varieties out of your chimney is by shutting the flue after using your fireplace each time. Another method of keeping pests from entering your home via the fireplace is to install a door to your fireplace. If you suspect that you may be harboring pests in your fireplace or chimney, call us at Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

How to Check for Winter Pests: Follow This Checklist

Just when you thought that all the pests had died off, begun hibernating, or found a place to “overwinter,” you notice that you may have a pest problem. If your first thought is, “But it is winter, I didn’t think pests came out in the winter,” you would be wrong. Many times pests have the natural survival instinct to find a warm, safe place to spend the winter. Unfortunately for many New Englanders, that place may be your home. In order to avoid pests this season, we have created a quick winter pest checklist to help you prevent pests from finding a way into your home.

 

  • Seal all cracks and holes on the outside of the home. This includes examining the foundation, vents, utility pipes, plumbing pipes, and any openings that could allow a pest into your home.
  • Don’t forget the chimney! While you are looking up, check out the roofline to be sure there are no gaps or openings.
  • Replace and/or repair loose or rotting weather stripping or caulking around windows. Remember to look under doors, too! A door sweep is a quick and economical solution that will keep out the cold air and pests.
  • Keep firewood away from the structure of your home to avoid harboring nests too close or having the wood pile become a “bridge” of sorts to your structure.
  • Store all pet food indoors so as not to attract wildlife.
  • Keep bird feeders in locations where raccoons, skunks and other pests cannot access them.
  • Store the food in your pantry in strong plastic containers or glass containers that mice and rats can not chew through. In addition, keep your pantry clean and free of crumbs/spills.
  • Keep garbage tightly sealed outside your home.
  • Remove or trim branches that are touching your home, as they can become a way for pests to get inside.

Stay safe and warm this winter. As always, if you spot a pest problem, contact us at Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 

How to Pest-Proof Your Holidays

Something magical happens when a home is decorated for the holidays. Be it the twinkling lights, the decorated tree, or the fire blazing in the hearth, there really is nothing like this time of year. For many homeowners, the biggest worry during this season is the ever-growing gift list. As experts in the pest field however, we know that there are other worries. Some of these include unwanted guests just waiting for the right opportunity to hitch a ride into your home on items such as: your tree, decorations, or firewood. Read on to find out how pest-proof in order to make sure they don’t ruin your holiday cheer.

The Holiday Tree

Christmas trees, wreaths, and fresh garland are often cut from local farms and sold as decorations this time of year. An exhaustive (and gross) study by Science Daily has shown that, while your tree may be beautifully adorned with lights and ornaments, there could very well be up to 25 thousand insects, mites, and spiders sound asleep inside the tree. In order to avoid these pests coming out once they feel the heat of your home, here are a few steps to take prior to bringing your tree indoors. Inspect the tree for signs of pests, looking along the tips of branches and deep within the tree.

  • Shake the tree vigorously before bringing it into your home.
  • Vacuum up pests using an attachment.
  • Spray the tree with water if an outdoor source is still available.
  • If the tree is badly infested, return the tree for another one.
  • Do the same for garland and wreaths that could be harboring mice, spiders, and beetles.

Firewood

As we have stated in current blogs on our sister company website, Pro-Tech Lawn Care,  Firewood Pests can be a huge problem. Be sure to follow some simple guidelines when using firewood in your home. Just like with bringing in a tree, be sure to inspect the wood for pests, shake and bang the wood vigorously, and use the oldest wood first – first in first out rule. Be sure to store the wood far from the structure of your home.

Decorations

Every year, we take out the holiday decorations to adorn the mantle and living areas. Many times, homeowners find that critters have gotten into the boxes or made nests around them, as they are usually only accessed once or twice a year. We suggest the following safeguards so that pests do not find a way into your decorations.

  • Inspect all boxes before opening.
  • Use thick plastic containers that mice and rats can not chew through.
  • If you store your boxes in a shed or garage, open them outside before bringing anything indoors.
  • If you find boxes with droppings, chewed openings, or nesting sites, this could be a sign of rodent activity.

If you have signs of pests that have found their way inside your home this holiday season, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Most Despised Pests

It is no secret that bugs, critters, and pests are despised by almost everyone. There are many, many reasons why these pests have become unwanted including behaviors such as: biting, stinging, invading living spaces, tunneling within woodwork, or even damaging the structural integrity of a home. What are the most despised pests? Here are the top five that homeowners commonly name.

 

  1. Termites – Although these small pests are helpful to our ecosystem when it comes to breaking down decaying plant matter, don’t forget that a colony of termites can severely damage wood structures including your home! Termites win a high ranking in the “Most Despised List” due to the financial impact these colonies can cause. Latest statistics put annual damage between $1-2 billion!
  2. Bed Bugs – These blood feeders rank high on the list due to the fact that they not only hitchhike their way into your home and take over beds, furniture, carpeting, and upholstered items, but they also suck your blood while you sleep, leaving itchy bites and rashes. Bed bugs are hard to remove if a comprehensive treatment program is not taken, and can haunt you in your sleeping hours!
  3. Mosquitoes – These buzzing, biting, nuisance pests can be found just about anywhere. Along with being a royal pain when you are trying to entertain outdoors, these pests can carry diseases that can impact your health for months and even years to come in the form of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Be sure to protect yourself and your property every mosquito season.
  4. Wasps and Hornets – While bees are an important part of our ecosystem and are needed for pollination and the strength of our environment, some bees are more aggressive and pesky than others. Wasps and hornets make our list of the most despised pests due to their aggressive nature and tendency to attack when they fear their nest or colony is in danger.
  5. Cockroaches – Fear and revulsion of the dreaded cockroach is a story that is as old as time itself it seems. Cockroaches have been around forever and harbor a stigma that the area where they live and scavenge is unclean and unliveable. This is not the truth at all. The cockroach makes our list this year due to that stigma and creepiness factor.

 

Do you have any of these “Most Despised Pests” making inroads at your home or on your property? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected and treated. Our sister company Pro-Tech Lawn Care can also help with pests outside your home and in your trees and gardens.

Fall – Pests are On-the-Move

While most New Englanders see autumn as a time to enjoy the cool, crisp air and colorful show the leaves put on, many are preparing for the cold winter months that are just weeks away. Some homeowners stack wood, prep their yard, and  stock up on shovels and ice melt knowing that the harsh weather can strike whenever Mother Nature sees fit. Pests are doing similar preparations. They are on-the-move in the fall to find appropriate shelter, food, and supplies to overwinter or hibernate through what will be months of cold temperatures and dangerous precipitation. Let’s take a closer look at how pests are keeping busy in the fall preparing and how this can impact your home and property.

The shorter days and cooler temperatures are nature’s way of signalling to rodents, squirrels, and raccoons, among other pests, that, “Winter is coming, time to get ready!” According to the Humane Wildlife Control, “While raccoons, squirrels, and mice will slow down during winter, they do not hibernate and certainly do not travel south for winter. These species remain active and in the neighborhood year ‘round. The warmth and security provided by walls and attics make them ideal winter den sites. Their search for shelter often begins in fall and could lead them into your home where they cause can cause damage and create unsanitary conditions.”

Squirrels

Squirrels, especially in our area, are on the hunt for a safe haven to spend the winter, all while stocking up on food items. Maybe you have noticed the growing population in your area as females have had their two litters and the juveniles are in search of a place to survive the winter. Unfortunately, your attic may make a great hiding location. Check the fireplace, flue, and entry points that exist to your attic to be sure this is not the case.

Mice/Rats

As we have mentioned before, mice only need a space the size of a dime to make entry to your home. Seal up all foundation issues, vents, windows, and spaces under doors to stop mice or rats from making your home a haven this winter. The fall is an ideal time to take steps to stop mice and rats from entering and setting up nests in your home.

Raccoons

These masked bandits are among the cleverest in the wild. They can open garbage barrels, claw through openings, and find a way in to a property if there is something they want there. Instead of going out in the winter, raccoons will spend long periods of time in their den. Make sure they do not have a chance to set up their home in your attic, shed, or other area by inspecting this fall.

Have any of these critters started making inroads on your property this fall? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected and treated.

 

Where do Pests Lurk?

Ever wonder where the pests go when the cold weather sets in? Do they fly south for the winter? Take a vacation? While that would be interesting, the reality is quite different. Pests are fairly ingenious in finding places to lurk that will not be noticed such as in attics, basements, crawl spaces, plants, standing water, food, and untidy spaces in your house. In order to be proactive against pests that often invade homes, it is best to find these hiding spaces and take care of them quickly. Here are a few places in your home to be on the lookout for pesky pests.

 

  • Trash Areas – Let’s face it, pests are looking for a free meal and a place to call home. Your kitchen garbage might be a pest’s paradise. Avoid harboring an all-you-can-eat buffet by emptying your trash often and washing out the barrel where sticky messes and crumbs can be a beacon for rodents, ants, and all types of pests.
  • Kitchen – The number one spot in your home for pests looking for a meal is, of course, your kitchen. Clean up pantries and wipe down counters after every meal prep. Sweep the floor and keep things as clean as possible. The fewer crumbs and drips available make your kitchen less appealing to pests.
  • Bathrooms – Pests are also looking for drops of water to survive. Check all pipes and fixtures to be sure they are not supplying water to pests in your home.
  • Indoor Plants – Believe it or not, pests can get a meal and water from overwatered indoor plants. Make sure standing water is not a problem around your plants.
  • Attics – These areas are warm and provide easy access to needed water and food in nearby kitchens. Check your attic regularly to be sure there are no droppings, nesting signs, or damage from rodents, squirrels, or raccoons that can find their way in. Keep the area clean so storage boxes do not become home to even the smartest of pests.
  • Basements – Many homeowners find that their basement is a common place to find all sorts of pests. This is because your basement is usually safe from harsh weather, has access to nearby food, and tends to be dark and dank – the perfect pest hotel! Clean up down there and keep areas clear so any signs of infestation – whether it is termites, cockroaches or rodents – will be noticed.

Do you have pests that lurk in your home even during the winter months? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected and treated.

 

Fall Pest Proofing

The calendar is about to turn to September, which means that New Englanders are getting ready to enjoy the cooler weather of fall, and the spectacular show the leaves will be putting on over the next few weeks. Avoiding or forgetting to care for your home during this time of year can mean an open invitation to pests and other wildlife to use your home as a safe and warm place to ride out the cold winter months. Here are a few ways to get your home ready for fall pest proofing.

Seal It Up

Start your pest proofing by taking a walk around the perimeter of your home. Search the foundation, vents, and even the chimney cap, if possible, to see if there are any cracks or openings where a pest could enter your home. Keep in mind that a mouse only needs about the size of a dime to squeeze into a home’s interior!

Windows and Doors

Do the same type of inspection on all of your windows and doors. Are there screens that need mending or doors that need to have a fresh coat of caulking or sealant? These small openings are a welcome sign to pests.

Ventilation

Many pests are attracted to places that have a high level of moisture, so keep your basement, crawl spaces, and attic well ventilated. Try using a dehumidifier in the basement or even the garage to keep the air as dry as possible.

Wood Storage

If you start using a wood stove or fireplace in the fall, be sure to keep the wood at least 20 feet away from the structure of your home. These piles of wood are an excellent place for mice, rats, and other pests to hide out, or, worse yet, hitch a ride inside.

Keep it Clean

Including areas inside and outside of your home, try to keep things clean so that dropped or spilled food items do not attract pests. This includes the trash area outside of your home. Wildlife like raccoons can be especially adept at opening barrels and making a mess.

Do you need help pest proofing your home or property? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected.

The World’s Weirdest Pests

In our line of work we see a lot of weird pests. We are often asked about what the strangest pests and situations we have encountered. That got us thinking about some of the world’s weirdest pests. Here are a few of them and what makes them so different.

The Assassin Bug

The Assassin bug uses its straw-like mouth to inject prey with a toxin that liquifies their insides, which it then sucks back up through its straw mouth. That is so creepy!

The Australian Walking Stick

These woody-looking Australian insects give off a scent that smells like peanut butter to humans when they sense danger around them. These guys easily hide in trees because they look like the bark and branches they sit on.

The Titan Beetle

This species of beetle is one of the largest on record. The mandibles are so large and strong they can easily break a pencil in half!

 

Hercules Beetle

Another weird one is also in the beetle family. The Hercules beetle is a native to rainforests of Central America and are among the largest insects in the world. The most defining characteristic of this insect is the longhorn found in the male beetle.

The Giant Weta

Named one of the largest insects of the world, the Giant Weta can weigh as much as a golf ball. Native to New Zealand, these insects are known for their unique way of breathing through their exoskeleton instead of by using lungs.

 

Do you have pests in your home that are a little more common than the world’s weirdest ones listed here? We can take care of those for you! Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 to have your home or property inspected.

Wildlife Woes

Summer is a great time to watch the wildlife around your home. Each creature has its place in the ecosystem and plays its part in adding to it. Unfortunately, some wildlife can get too close or cause damage when they enter your property. From dumping garbage barrels to digging up gardens, wildlife can be a real problem when they stray too close to human habitats. Here are a few tips to keep the wildlife at bay this summer while still allowing the ecosystem to flourish.

  • Bunnies or deer in your garden? Fencing can be a real help when it comes to keeping out these wildlife. Make your garden and yard less attractive to wildlife by making smart planting choices and talking to your lawn professionals about good landscape design.
  • Bird feeders can attract squirrels, bears, and raccoons. Hang bird feeders where only birds can reach them. Store bird seed inside your home or in a locking metal bin that can not be opened by even the most clever of raccoons.
  • Trash barrels can be tempting to all sorts of wildlife including skunks, raccoons, and squirrels. Keep your garbage in a can with a tight-fitting lid that cannot be opened by animals.
  • Treat your yard for grubs and other pests that attract animals such as skunks and raccoons. The digging and lawn damage can be extensive if they find an infestation of grubs. You can identify skunk damage as small holes the size of a quarter to a half dollar. Raccoon damage can be recognized as large chunks of turf torn apart and strewn about.
  • Moles can damage underground piping and irrigation systems. Be on the lookout for tunnels and holes with mounds of dirt at the opening.
  • Groundhogs (aka woodchucks) like to eat flowers, shrubs, and yard and garden vegetation. They also dig large tunnels under decks, sheds, and hillsides.  The burrow entrances are usually soccer ball to basketball size.

 

Do you have a wildlife woe at your home? Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321, or visit our website for information about these pests.

Avoiding Bee Stings

No one ever intentionally tries to get stung by a bee, wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket. Nonetheless the Centers for Disease Control estimates that thousands of people are stung by insects each year, and as many as 90–100 people in the United States die as a result of allergic reactions. To understand how to avoid getting stung this season, it is important to understand bee behavior and habitats. A little information can go a long way on how to avoid bee stings. 

Sting Prevention Tips:

  • Be careful when drinking sweet beverages outside, such as soda, beer, or any sugary drinks. Bees tend to find their way into a can or partially covered beverage only to surprise a person drinking later. Open cups may be your best option because you can see if a bee is in them. If you can not use open-top cups, then inspect straws and cans carefully before drinking.
  • Keep all food covered at BBQs or outdoor gatherings.
  • Keep all garbage cans tightly covered.
  • Clean up outdoor food messes promptly. This includes: fallen fruit, grease from the grill, spilled drinks, chips, and all meats.
  • Dress for bees. Some bees like to build their nests in the ground and, if stepped on, can attack. It is a good idea to wear footwear at all times outdoors. In addition, avoid wearing brightly colored clothes or clothes that have a floral print. Don’t look like a flower!
  • When driving, keep your windows rolled up so bees can not enter and cause an accident.
  • Be careful when mowing the lawn or trimming vegetation. These types of activities might agitate insects in a beehive or wasp nest.
  • Bees are attracted to strong smells so avoid fragrances, including hair spray, scented soaps, lotions, and oils.
  • If a bee does come near you do not swat at it but rather stay still or blow on it. This can encourage it to move on while not startling it.
  • Do a regular inspection of areas around your home where a hanging nest of bees could develop, such as around sheds, soffits, gutters, and decks.
  • Have hives and nests near your home removed by a professional like our team here at Pest-End Exterminators!

 

If you have questions about bees or have found a bees nest around your property call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.