pest prevention Archives - Pest End

Category: pest prevention

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.

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.

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.

 

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!

 

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.

Quick Guide to Stinging Insects

If you love to entertain outdoors this time of year you know that no one likes an uninvited guest, especially the stinging kind such as wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets. As with many things in life, the best way to prevent getting stung is a good defense. Let’s take a quick look at these three stinging insect behaviors and nesting locations so you can avoid a painful sting this spring and summer.

Wasps
  • Appearance – While there are many different varieties of wasps, the most common wasps appear to have black with yellow stripes on a slender body.
  • Nesting Areas – Wasps tend to have an umbrella-shaped nest found in areas that are shielded from wet weather, such as building overhangs and ceilings of little-used structures. In a natural setting, they tend to nest under tree branches and rock outcroppings.
  • Behaviors – When wasps are away from their nest, they enjoy feeding on nectar and other insects. They rarely sting, unless they feel their nest is under attack, and then they will launch themselves at the attacker. If you find one of their nests, call in professional help that can remove the nest safely and prevent you and your family from being stung.
Hornets
  • Appearance – As with wasps, there are several types of hornets, including bald-faced hornets and European hornets, but the most common are white and black with prominent white markings on their head.
  • Nesting Areas – Bald-faced hornets tend to build paper nests at least three or more feet above the ground, usually in trees, shrubs, on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds, or other structures. Many homeowners find them in the upper corners of garages, outdoor sheds, or covered patio areas. These nests can be as large as 14 inches in diameter and more than 24 inches in length. The size of the colony can range anywhere from 100 to 400 colony members.
  • Behaviors – Unlike other types of stinging insects, hornets tend to be extremely aggressive. They will sting even if unprovoked. Since their stingers are smooth rather than barbed, they have the ability to sting over and over again. We caution staying away from nesting areas once they are identified and calling in professionals to help in the removal process.
Yellow Jackets
  • Appearance – Yellow jackets generally are black and yellow, and have no hair.
  • Nesting – Unlike other stinging insects, yellow jackets tend to make their nest underground in old rodent tunnels, or in low-lying bushes or branches. They especially like access trash piles, garbage cans, and outdoor grills.
  • Behaviors – Yellow jackets can live in colonies that can surpass thousands of members. These insects are extremely aggressive and will swarm an individual if they sense danger.  

Visit our blog next week as we discuss steps you can take to make your backyard a little less friendly to stinging insects, and prevent you, your family, and/or guests from getting stung at your next outdoor party. Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Here Come Summer and Summer Pests

Now that the calendar has turned and summer has finally arrived, most of us have begun to emerge from our self-induced winter hibernation indoors. Time to shed the winter clothes and start enjoying life in our yard and patio again. Unfortunately, we humans are not the only ones who have decided to awaken from our dormancy; the summer pests have done so as well! What are the summer pests that we should all plan for and try to prevent this season? Let’s take a look at the summer pests that will bug you the most.

 

  • Deer Ticks – The deer tick or blacklegged tick “nymph” season starts in early June, peaks in early July, and ends in August. The risk of contracting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases is highest at this time because nymphs, which are smaller than a sesame seed, are difficult to see and their bite is painless. Be sure to use protective spray and wear clothing that can protect you when out and about this summer. Always check yourself and your children for ticks every time after coming in from outdoors.
  • Mosquitoes – These little buggers are not just annoying when people are trying to enjoy the fresh air and the outdoors, but they are dangerously known as the world’s biggest disease spreaders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests protecting yourself with bug repellent (containing DEET) or by wearing longer sleeves and pants to avoid bites. They also suggest avoiding being outside during peak mosquito times, such as dawn and dusk. Pest-End Exterminators and our sister company, Pro-Tech Lawn Care, can help you combat these pests with treatment options for your yard.
  • Carpenter Ants – For many homeowners it seems like one day the ants just appeared in the kitchen and bathroom looking for crumbs and a water source. While these pests are unsightly, they can also do some damage to the wood in your home. Contact our specialists who can hunt down the nest and create a solution that fits your budget and family lifestyle.
  • Termites – These wood-eating pests can become a serious problem in the summer as they begin to increase in number and emerge when the temps hit 70 degrees and over. If you see termite tubes, wings, or signs of termite damage in your home, call Pest-End immediately.

 

Are you looking to avoid these summer 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 for these small but damaging pests!

 

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.