pest prevention Archives - Pest End

Category: pest prevention

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.

Winter Wildlife

While we all hunker down for the winter, it can be fun to watch some of the wildlife as they, too, try to stay warm and make it through the storms and temperature changes. If you have wildlife that like to visit your yard, there are some actions that you may want to take to both enjoy watching the critters and keep your lawn and garden safe. Continue reading to find out more about winter wildlife and what they may mean for your yard.

Some common animals that may find your yard appealing during the winter months include deer, coyotes, birds, and animals who may have awoken prematurely from their slumber due to an increase in temperature. These could include skunks, raccoons, gophers, and moles.

As you watch from the window, you may consider helping these creatures by putting out food so they have some sustenance. However, one of the main warnings from the Mass Gov website about feeding these animals is that it does way more harm than good. Environmental and wildlife experts say, “While people have good intentions, supplemental feeding of wildlife typically does more harm than good.”

Here are a few of the reasons why this is not a good practice:

  • Feeding wildlife tends to congregate them in one area making the spread of disease more rampant and allows for predators to more easily find their prey.
  • Feeding wildlife can attract them to a certain yard or area where grass and plantings can be trampled and eaten as well.
  • Competition over food being put out can cause aggression between wildlife.
  • Wildlife may need to travel distances to get to your yard, wasting energy and potentially crossing roads that will put them in further danger.

If you find that you have any of these wildlife in your area, watch and enjoy but allow them to do their instinctual thing and survive the way they know how. If the wildlife is destroying your yard, you may want to install barriers to protect your bushes and plantings.

 

How to Make Pest Control A New Year’s Resolution

Here at Pest-End Exterminators, we hope all of our clients have a safe, happy, and healthy New Year. Many of you may be creating your own Resolution list as 2019 draws near. Maybe you are resolving to straighten your finances, follow through on a workout schedule, or get more organized in 2019. These are all great resolutions! Since pest control and the comfort and safety of your family is our first priority, here is our resolution list for you to enjoy this year. Happy New Year!

  • May you avoid bringing bed bugs back with you from vacation by learning more about them from our blog Misconceptions about Bed Bugs.
  • May you be alert for the Red Flags of Rodents around your home.
  • May you promise to keep your gutters clean so you don’t harbor wildlife and other unwanted pests in this location.
  • May you keep your garbage cans locked so that wildlife will not create a mess and return to your home night after night.
  • May you use thick plastic or glass to store food in your pantry to avoid Pesky Pantry Pests.
  • May you store your firewood in the right location to avoid inviting pests into your home.
  • May you stay on top of sealing cracks and crevices around your foundation so pests do not see your home as having a “welcome sign” up.
  • May you store holiday decorations in rodent-proof containers. Replace cardboard storage containers with plastic ones.
  • May you clean up all messes and spills in a timely manner so as to not attract ants, insects, and pests inside and outside your home.
  • May you be wise enough to know when you need professional help in ridding your home of pests in the coming year!

Happy New Year from the Pest-End family to yours!

 

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.