seasonal pests Archives - Pest End

Category: seasonal pests

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.

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.

 

Preventing Holiday Pests

With only three weeks ‘til Thanksgiving and seven ‘til Christmas, the holidays seem to be  closing in fast. Chances are that you are planning some family events or parties to “deck the halls”, right? Do you know which uninvited guest you don’t want showing up at your holiday bash? Pests! Let’s take a quick look at how you can prevent these unwanted seasonal guests from getting into your home through firewood, stored seasonal decorations, and greenery that we all love so much during this time of year.  

 

  • Firewood – Who doesn’t love a crackling fire during these cold winter months, especially when friends and family are stopping by to celebrate the holidays? Unfortunately, firewood is a prime place for rodents, termites, and other pests to take shelter in and nest around. Whenever you bring firewood into your home, it’s important to inspect the pieces of wood for pests that can easily hitch a ride indoors like spiders, termites, and rodents. Firewood should always be stored at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or palettes.
  • Seasonal Decorations – Most of us have boxes somewhere in our home, whether it is the attic, basement, garage, or the back of closets, in which we store our holiday decorations. Be sure that these decorations do not become a nesting place for squirrels or rodents by keeping them in sealed and locked plastic storage containers, or totes.  Before bringing decorations (or even decoration bins) into the main living areas of the home, it’s critical  to unpack and inspect them for signs of a potential pest infestation like gnawing marks and rodent droppings.
  • Greenery – Decorating with freshly cut greenery has become tradition in many homes especially in the New England region. Whether your home has kissing balls, wreaths, a Christmas tree, or garlands that you decorate with, be sure to inspect them all so that there are no wildlife still living in them. Shake out each item before bringing into your home to avoid any hitchhiking insects, rodents, or even termites.

 

We all want to enjoy the holidays so be sure to keep an eye open for any unwanted pesky guests this season. Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321

Raccoon Reminders

Ricky Raccoon and other cartoon raccoons make it seem like these creatures are adorable and friendly animals. The reality is that raccoons are not cuddly, masked animals making a mess of your trash. They are dextrous, smart and desperate for food this spring. That combination makes them creatures to be wary of and to be on guard for especially after a whole winter of hibernating. Here are a few reminders of how to prevent and deal with these pests when they find there way onto your property.

 

  • Keep garbage in tied off bags and secured in trash barrels. Some homeowners find that even this is not enough to keep these intelligent creatures out of your barrels. A locking mechanism may help but they have been known to get through many layers of locks. They are extremely dexterous and can quickly solve any locking trick.
  • Raccoons will eat just about anything from garbage to gardens. That means keep all food related items contained including pet food.
  • Raccoons have extremely long and sharp claws so do not approach them to scare them off.  They may feel trapped and use those claws.
  • Raccoons are nocturnal meaning they sleep all day and come out at night. If you see one during the day it could be confused, sick or rabid. Please keep your distance.
  • If raccoons have made their way into your crawl space or attic do not try to remove them on your own. Experienced professionals should be called to remove them and exclude them from your property.
  • Know the signs that raccoons are making themselves at home on your property. These include: tipped trash cans, raided bird feeders, pilfered gardens, damaged crops (ex. chewed sweet corn, hollowed out watermelons), uncapped chimneys, torn shingles and raccoon tracks: five long toes and fingers resembling human hands.

 

As always if you suspect a raccoon problem call Pest-End Exterminators to eliminate and exclude the problem.

 

Avoiding Winter Pests

While many pests hibernate, enter diapause or migrate, some decide that our warm homes are a perfect winter get-away from the cold of the outdoors. In fact, when it is cold and wet or snowy outside, pests are even more likely to seek the warmth and shelter of our homes. In our last blog we discussed common winter pests and how they try to survive the winter. For the pests that try to use our homes as a haven, here are a few quick tips to avoid these unwanted winter guests.

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool since mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime and rats an opening as small as a quarter.
  • Regularly inspect areas that rats and mice would find to make a good nesting area. Look for signs such as gnawing marks, droppings and damaged food.
  • Since many pests look for food and water sources to help them make it through the winter, keep areas such as the kitchen and bathroom free of water leaks, and crumbs.
  • In addition to cleaning up crumbs take out the garbage often and keep all food in sealed containers that pests cannot gnaw through.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. These “bridges” to our homes make for easy entrance.
  • Inspect the outside of your home for access points, such as broken vent covers. Repair any loose siding or shingles.
  • Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry.
  • Keep firewood at least fifteen feet away from your home. Inspect the wood by pounding it before bringing it into the home.
  • Remove clutter in the basement or attic so that pests do not have a place to set up shop during the winter months.

These tips will help you to remain vigilant of winter pests that may find your home a comfortable place to endure the winter. Vigilance is only part of the solution. Sometimes it is just better to call on a professional. Call Pest-End Exterminators if you suspect a pest invasion this winter.

While many pests hibernate, enter diapause or migrate, some decide that our warm homes are a perfect winter get-away from the cold of the outdoors. In fact, when it is cold and wet or snowy outside, pests are even more likely to seek the warmth and shelter of our homes. In our last blog we discussed common winter pests and how they try to survive the winter. For the pests that try to use our homes as a haven, here are a few quick tips to avoid these unwanted winter guests.

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool since mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime and rats an opening as small as a quarter.
  • Regularly inspect areas that rats and mice would find to make a good nesting area. Look for signs such as gnawing marks, droppings and damaged food.
  • Since many pests look for food and water sources to help them make it through the winter, keep areas such as the kitchen and bathroom free of water leaks, and crumbs.
  • In addition to cleaning up crumbs take out the garbage often and keep all food in sealed containers that pests cannot gnaw through.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. These “bridges” to our homes make for easy entrance.
  • Inspect the outside of your home for access points, such as broken vent covers. Repair any loose siding or shingles.
  • Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry.
  • Keep firewood at least fifteen feet away from your home. Inspect the wood by pounding it before bringing it into the home.
  • Remove clutter in the basement or attic so that pests do not have a place to set up shop during the winter months.

These tips will help you to remain vigilant of winter pests that may find your home a comfortable place to endure the winter. Vigilance is only part of the solution. Sometimes it is just better to call on a professional. Call Pest-End Exterminators if you suspect a pest invasion this winter.

What Happens to Pests Every Winter?

In elementary school, we all learned about how some animals survive winters. Some go into a very deep sleep, called hibernation, during the winter months. Birds and Monarch Butterflies migrate south during the winter. Hibernating animals usually retreat to a den, a burrow, or a hollow log for protection and shelter. Some of these animals include: bats, bears, skunks, bees, and groundhogs. But what about other pests that seem to be found in abundance all summer long buzzing, marching and trailing around your yard and home? Where do they go to survive the long, harsh winters of the New England area? Let’s examine the techniques used by pests to persevere the historically cold and brutal winters of the New England region.

Overwintering – Some insects live through the winter by entering our homes and surviving on our food and water supplies. In the fall, these insects know that it’s time to find a protected place to hunker down and wait for spring. For example, ants are very successful at overwintering in the great outdoors, including our own yards. During the fall months, they indulge in vast amounts of food with the goal of putting on fat to survive for weeks on end without eating. As the winter chill arrives, their body temperature – and productivity – significantly decreases, so they seal up their colony and hunker down in deep soil or under rocks until spring has sprung.

Diapause – Some insects enter into a dormant, semi-frozen state, called diapause, until they thaw out in the spring. They usually hide under the tree bark or natural cavity and “do nothing”, just wait. They are right under our feet just not active.

Anti-freeze – Some insects actually prepare for the cold by making their own “anti-freeze” in true sci-fi fashion for protection. This substance, glycerol, gives the body a supercooling ability and allows body fluids to drop dramatically in temperature without freezing. It will protect tissue and cells from damage during icy conditions. Once spring returns, the glycerol levels return to normal. Some other insects, such as woolly bear caterpillars, actually freeze into solid statues and be still. If you touch them, they are as hard as a rock, but still alive.

Pass the Torch – Some pests know that the fall and winter mean the end of the line for them. Some insects die in late fall but will leave behind either eggs to hatch in the spring or young ones in the form of nymphs or larvae that will become active in the spring. Yellowjacket wasps, for example, die in the fall except for a few females from a colony that are destined to be next year’s queens. These few will overwinter and start new colonies.