Pest Control Archives - Pest End

Category: Pest Control

Tick Resilience in the Winter

Do you like to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter months? If you are a winter hiker, downhill skier, cross-country skier, or just someone who enjoys playing in the snow, be aware that ticks are now considered a year-round issue. According to recent news reports, ticks are becoming more resilient and are surviving the winter months, even in the harsh northeast corridor.

Tick expert Dr. Thomas Mather from the University of Rhode Island reports that ticks that were once only considered a nuisance in the spring and summer months are now active during the colder winter months, too. He goes on to say that, “Tick season is pretty much every season.” This is alarming news for many outdoor enthusiasts who see winter as a safe time to venture into the wilderness without the fear of being bitten and contracting a tick-borne disease.

The science behind why this phenomenon is occurring is still being studied, but it is believed to be due in large part due to the increasing population of the white-tailed deer. These deer are a favorite meal for the deer tick. The ticks stay on the deer for 5 to 7 days. After filling up on blood, they drop off and stay under leaves and snow, where they hibernate until spring. If there is little to no snow cover and temperatures rise above freezing, it is possible to find an active adult tick searching for a host on a warm winter day, according to experts.

Due to this information, we encourage our readers to continue vigilance during the winter months for the signs of a tick bite and the physical ailments that come with tick-borne diseases. This is especially true if you spend time outdoors and notice a change in your health. As always be safe, and call Pest-End or our sister company Pro-Tech Lawn Care if you have any questions. You can reach us at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

New Home Pest Inspections

So you have decided to take the leap and invest in a home of your own! There are so many benefits to home ownership and the rewards of caring for your property can be amazing. Before you place an offer on a house, however, an inspection should be done. This can check for faults with big-ticket items such as the heating and ventilation system, the roof, plumbing, and electrical systems. When having one of these inspections don’t forget about getting a pest inspection as well. Read on to find out about home inspections and the importance of a pest inspection.

Home inspections are a routine part of the home buying process. They are usually done by a certified home inspection professional during the ten or so days after the offer has been accepted and both parties have signed the purchase and sale documents. Normally this period allows the home buyer to confirm that all the systems are working properly. It gives the buyers a chance to ask for repairs or a reduction in price if any issues are raised during the inspection. It is also a good way for the home buyers to know what condition the home is in from a professional’s point of view.

A general home inspection seeks to ensure to the person buying a home that the house is hazard free, in good repair, and is relatively energy-efficient. Most home inspections evaluate items such as foundation issues, roofing issues, electrical systems, and heating and ventilation systems. Unfortunately, many home inspectors do not do more than a cursory examination of problems with pests.

A home pest inspection can determine the risks of or presence of some of the more damaging pests. For example, a pest inspector can evaluate if a home has termites or termite-related damage. In addition to termites, inspectors can evaluate the damage of ants, pantry pests, wildlife, bed bugs, fleas, rats, mice, roaches, and other home pest problems.

If you are a home buyer and are concerned about what pests may be lurking in your home, consider having a pest inspection before you buy. Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 

Signs of Wildlife in Your Attic

It’s that time of year again when many species of wildlife are searching for food, warmth, and shelter. The weather has not been kind to nature’s creatures who need to find a way to survive until spring. For some homeowners, this means putting out seeds for the birds who did not migrate. Unfortunately, for others, it means suspecting that there may be an animal taking refuge in your attic. If you are wondering if wildlife have made it to your attic, read on to find out the signs that this may be occurring right under your own roof!

Unusual Sounds

Noises such as scampering, scratching, or squeaking are sure signs that something is up there in your attic. The time of day will help give clues as to what type of animal it is. For example, mice and rats tend to move more at night while squirrels are active during the daytime hours. Listen carefully and you may be able to tell whether the creature is large or small, or if it is in pain and scared.

Droppings

Another sign that a creature has taken up residence in your attic are droppings. These can vary greatly from animal to animal. Bats produce guano which is a dark, hard substance usually found under the roosting area. It turns to dust when picked up, and sometimes has a shimmer from the insects consumed by the bat. Guano also has a distinct stench that you will notice throughout your home if you have a family of bats in your attic. Raccoons have large droppings about the size of a dog. Rodent droppings are much smaller but are usually very abundant. Squirrel poop is similar to rat poop, albeit slightly larger – about the size of a bean. Droppings also change to a lighter color much quicker than rat poop due to their more environmental diet. With squirrels, the feces are normally in close proximity to the entrance they use to get into your home.

Entry Damage

Finding a way into your home, particularly the attic, usually takes some effort on the part of the different types of creatures. Squirrels are known to chew a hole about a few inches in diameter to gain entry. Raccoons need a larger entry and may cause more damage with those large, nimble claws. Rodents tend to leave grease marks around the area where they have entered. Mice and rats are also known for squeezing in through extremely small holes, even as small as a dime!

Damage Within

Behaviors vary greatly from each species of wildlife. Therefore, they tend to take part in different activities while nesting or procuring shelter. Rodents tend to chew constantly and may make gnaw marks on your stored items or even your electrical wires. Squirrels like to nest and may bring in large amounts of plant debris from your yard. Raccoons can pull apart ductwork and make a huge mess of your attic space.

Do you have any of these signs that some creature has set up shop in your attic? If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Avoiding Apartment Pests

Apartment living is ideal for people who are not ready to settle down in one area or are saving for a downpayment on a house. Unfortunately, living in a rental means dealing with a management company or landlord whenever there is a problem such as a leaky faucet, clogged plumbing, or an invasion of pests. While owners of the property are legally bound to deal with these types of problems, including pests such as mice, rats, bed bugs, cockroaches, and the like, there are some steps you can take on your own to help your situation. Here are a few suggestions of how to deal with apartment pests.

  1. Clean Often – Living in an apartment complex many times means you have to share close quarters with people who are loud, cook with strong smelling ingredients, and leave behind a mess. Keep your area as clean as possible including: taking out the garbage and cleaning out the barrel regularly, wiping down your kitchen of crumbs and spills, keeping pet food bowls away until needed, and sweeping areas that can harbor crumbs and food items.
  2. Avoid Secondhand Furnishings – While finding a deal on a mattress or sofa may seem like a great idea at the time, these items may be harboring bed bugs and other pests that you do not want to bring into your home.
  3. Organize your Pantry – Since the kitchen area is a big draw for pests of all kinds, get your food items organized in your pantry. Store cereals, rices, and other food boxes in plastic containers to avoid attracting pests hoping to find a food source. Clean the pantry often and get rid of old items.
  4. Request Repairs – Check under your sinks in both the kitchen and bathroom(s) for potential leaks or drips that could be attracting pests. Call your property management team and request a repair in a timely manner.
  5. Check Packages – Whether you are returning from travel or are expecting a box from Amazon, check all packages for hitchhiking pests that would love to make their home inside your home.

 

Need more suggestions for how to prevent or rid your apartment of pests? Check back with our blog and 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

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The weather is near perfection, the flowers and garden are at their pinnacle and, of course, the leaves are putting on a fabulous color show! There are few things that can diminish the joy of this season for me. Fall pests, unfortunately, are one such thing that can be a nuisance this time of year. Here are just a few to be on the lookout for so they don’t squelch your fall fun.

Stink Bugs

Every fall, stink bugs begin to look for a warm, safe place to overwinter. For many homeowners, this place is inside the walls of their home. While stink bugs don’t usually cause much damage they can be offsetting with the smell that can emanate from them if you startle or squish them.

Lady Beetle or Ladybugs

Usually, the fall is when homeowners begin asking our pest specialists why ladybugs have begun to cling to the side of their home or their front door. They too, like the stink bugs, are looking for overwinter locations. Although these pests are considered a nuisance, they have the potential to stain clothing, curtains, and other fabrics with their droppings and emit a strong odor if crushed. Vacuum often and seal cracks around the home to prevent them from entering the home. Damaged screens on doors and windows should also be repaired or replaced.

Ants

Just like when they first appeared in the spring, these pests are a huge nuisance. They can cause food contamination and certain types, like carpenter ants, can damage the structure of your home. Talk to one of our pest specialists about treatment that is right for your property.

Rodents

Mice and rats are common invaders in the fall since they are getting ready to find safe havens from the cold that the winter promises to bring. Clean your gutters, store stacked wood away from your home, and seal up openings that could allow these critters entry to your home.

Bees

Many types of bees, like wasps, are more active in the fall as they are searching for carbohydrates to feed on. Be aware that just because the summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean you can let down your guard when it comes to entertaining outdoors. If you notice a nest or bees that are aggressive, call Pest-End for treatment plans.

Are you having trouble with any of these common fall pests? 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 Checklist for Pests

The weather is getting cooler and the days are markedly shorter. To most of us, this signals the beginning of that wonderful time of year when the leaves put on a spectacular show. To pests, though, the change in climate signals something entirely different. The changes that autumn weather brings signal to critters small and large that winter is around the corner and preparations should be made. Some pests overwinter, some hibernate, and still others find safe haven in structures like our homes! Here is a quick fall checklist to avoid pests this season.

 

  1. Eliminate entry points to your home. This means sealing up holes in window screens, gaps under doors, openings around utility vents, cracks in the foundation, and openings in soffits. Mice can get through a hole as small as a dime, so be thorough in your inspections.
  2. Keep wood piles at least 20 feet away from your home, especially if you do not use much throughout the winter. The longer the pile sits the more likely it is that pests will find a home in the wood.
  3. Trim back all tree and bush branches from your home as they serve as a bridge to get inside your home.
  4. Store and empty trash cans often, as they tend to invite wildlife to your property.
  5. Wash and clean the grill on your patio. The smell and grease drippings can attract all sorts of pests.
  6. Have pest control specialists regularly inspect and treat your home and property.
  7. Keep pet water and food bowls inside.
  8. Maintain a lawn maintenance program to ensure that pests do not overtake your lawn.
  9. Inspect trees and shrubs for any damage that may have been caused by pests.
  10. Begin harvesting and cleaning out your garden so pests do not see it as a free-for-all buffet.

 

Do you need help this fall managing pests? 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.

 

Forgotten Areas of your Home

Basements, garages, storage areas, and attics are often forgotten areas of the home. They become dumping places for seasonal items, broken tools, and off-season clothes. These forgotten areas can unfortunately become safe havens where pests can live, thrive, reproduce, and feed. These areas tend to have a steady temperature, moisture, humidity and, sometimes, a food source nearby that make the location a perfect place to spend the winter, nest, or raise a family! Here are some of the areas you may want to keep an eye on to avoid a pest infestation.

Attic

Pests can find entry points pretty much anywhere in your home, from the foundation to the gaps in the chimney cap. Since the attic is an area that people tend to only visit a few times a year, this area can be a safe place for critters to hide out for months at a time without being discovered. Rodents are especially capable of destroying insulation, chewing through walls, and potentially causing electrical fires if their teeth come in contact with electric wires that they attempt to chomp on. We suggest keeping storage and seasonal items in thick plastic containers that can not be chewed through and inspect the attic regularly for signs of infestations.

Basement

Basements tend to attract pests that are looking for damp, highly humid, and moist locations. Do not overlook this area that can also be forgotten for months at a time. Clean up storage items and inspect for gaps and openings in utility vents, the foundation, and basement windows. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the foundation and basement windows/doors.

Garage

Garages are great at protecting your lawn equipment, cars, and tools. But they are also good at harboring pests like rodents, skunks, raccoons, ants, and any number of pests that can make their way inside. We suggest closing the doors at night to keep out scavengers looking for a free meal, such as raccoons, skunks, and squirrels. Keep the area clean and organized so that if a pest does find its way in, you will know immediately instead of finding a nest under a pile of old bikes a month from now.

While forgotten areas of the home are common, don’t make harboring pests common. 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 for these small yet damaging pests!

 

Beetle Mania

Let the wild screaming commence because it is beetle mania time! Paul, John, Ringo, and George? No, no, no, not the once-famed British band, but rather the kind that crawls around destroying trees and lawns – Japanese Beetles, Asian Longhorned, and Emerald Ash Borer. Not the beetle mania you were hoping for I am guessing? Well, no one really wants to deal with lawn and tree pests, but your best chance at avoiding the destruction associated with these beetles is to learn a little about them and their behaviors. Let’s take a closer look at these three types of beetles in the hopes that a little information can help.

Japanese Beetles

The Japanese beetle is one of the most common lawn pests in New England. In fact, Japanese beetle grubs make up about 90 percent of the white grubs that live in Massachusetts lawns. These particular type of pest enjoy eating a wide variety of trees, fruits, shrubbery, and lawns. These flying pests eat away chunks of tree leaves and flowers. Often, they’ll leave nothing more than the skeleton behind. When a Japanese beetle infestation is severe, tree leaves may brown at the top of the canopy or leaves may drop prematurely. There are a variety of treatment options ranging from traps to chemical control that can be determined by one of our lawn specialists.

Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)

This non-native beetle originated in China, Japan, and Korea, but since 1996 has made its way into our region probably through shipping containers. The ALB infests hardwood trees, such as maple, birch, horse chestnut, poplar, willow, elm, and ash. Signs that your trees are infested could include scars on the tree, holes about the size of a dime with round, smooth edges, or seeing the beetle itself. (see image) Early detection is critical to eradicating this beetle. Report suspected sightings by contacting the Massachusetts ALB Cooperative Eradication Program.

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is one of the many destructive beetles that can be found in North America. This one is unique in that it is a highly invasive species capable of populating a large area in a short amount of time. The metallic green coloring makes this beetle easy to spot along with the distinctive and highly visible “D” shaped hole they create in ash trees. Areas that have been identified are quarantined to stop the spread of the beetle.

While this Beetle mania may not be the type you were hoping for, a little knowledge can go a long way to preventing the destructiveness of these pests. Have a beetle or pest problem? 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 for these small yet damaging pests!

 

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.