All posts by Mike Sperling

Irrigation Start Ups

We are so excited that spring is finally here … at least on the calendar. The temperature may take some time to get a bit warmer, but soon we will begin to see the awakening of life in our yards and gardens. The grass will begin to grow ever so slightly and you may even see a crocus sprout sticking out of the dirt in a few weeks! This means that soon it will be time to start thinking about watering again. Is your Irrigation system ready to go after the harsh winter we just experienced?

Spring start ups for your irrigation system are a good chance to give your entire sprinkler system a complete exam. Not only can this get your system ready for the growing season, but also prolong the system’s life and improve watering efficiency. As a result you could save time, water and money.

Care for your irrigation system last fall probably included a blow out and winterization. Now that spring is here, Pest-End can help with your start up. This is the perfect time to run through the whole system to check it out and see that no damage occurred during those long, cold, winter months. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Hire an irrigation contractor who can inspect all the piping and irrigation components before starting the system up.
  • Evaluate if your system needs an upgrade for needs more efficiency.
  • Inspect sprinkler heads for damage that may have been caused over the winter. This would include looking for bent heads and clogged openings.
  • Inspect every valve and station to make sure the head coverage is proper.
  • Examine heads to be sure they are turning as they should be.

Once all of these inspections have taken place the system can be started. A specialists can carefully open each zone and be sure the pressure is correct. Opening too quickly can cause a surge of pressure that may cause cracks. As each zone is turned on, check for rotation, coverage, and correct pressure. Be sure to check and clean and filters that are poorly performing. It is at this point that you or your irrigation specialists will want to reprogram watering for the beginning of the season and uncover the rain sensor where applicable.

Are you excited for growing season? If you need help starting your irrigation system, consider Pest-End specialists. Call us at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Carpenter Ant Invasion

If you live in the northeast region of the U.S., chances are you have experienced the insidious carpenter ant. In fact, when homeowners see them, they are never alone. They come in large numbers and they can be damaging to your home. Let’s take a closer look at these pests that usually start showing up in the early spring.

First of all, the name carpenter ant may be a bit of a misnomer. These ants do not build but rather excavate wood and leave smooth tunnels inside the structure. Keep in mind that the carpenter ants do not eat the wood (like termites), but merely hollow it out. The excavation is done to build nests and can be extremely damaging to the integrity of the wood in your home.

The normal size of an ant colony can be around 20,000 ants with larger colonies usually topping out around 50,000 ants! Usually there is only one queen per colony. With these numbers, your home could see some serious wood damage.

Since carpenter ants require a water source to survive it is a good idea that homeowners fix any leaks and drips that may be occurring outside their home around faucets and do the same for indoor water sources. It is also a good idea to seal up even the smallest entry points to your home including: windows, doors, screens, venting or pipes. Ants will usually have a nest that begins outdoors but may move indoors if the conditions are right. In addition, keep branches and bushes trimmed back from your home and keep firewood stacks a good distance from your home.

In order to solve an ant invasion, you will need to not only eliminate the ants that you can see but also identify the location of the nest. It is also a good idea to evaluate the wood damage that may have been caused so it can be repaired. Finding the source of the problem can be difficult. We suggest contacting a licensed pest control professional who can assess the situation. Our technicians can evaluate your carpenter ant invasion and create a plan for elimination and exclusion. Call Pest-End exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Solving your Spring Skunk Problem

Whether you have ever met a skunk face-to-face or not, you probably know the unmistakable smell they give off. Skunks are famous for their malodorous spray that be smelled as far as a mile away. Their spray can shoot at distances of 10-12 feet. Being sprayed can be the worst, but having a skunk that has made your home theirs, can be an even bigger problem. Read on to find out how to solve your spring skunk problem.

Skunks are often misunderstood or, at least mischaracterized, as evil critters who randomly spray anyone in their path. This is not true. Usually these black and white striped fur balls spray after giving several warnings (stomping feet) and then, only spray in cases where they feel threatened. It is a defense mechanism that helps keep predators away or at least is a reminder to give skunks a wide berth.

If a skunk, or family of skunks, has made a home somewhere within your property line, you may smell the natural comings and goings of these critters after a night of scavenging. There are several steps you can take before involving a professional exterminator that will help keep skunks away from your property.

  • The Farmers Almanac suggests that the best skunk repellent is a light. Skunks are nocturnal and their eyes are very light sensitive. A bright light or a motion sensor flood light will scare skunks away.
  • In addition to installing motion detecting light sensors outside your home, try keeping trash barrels covered and locked when possible. This will keep the smells emanating from your trash, and you won’t be tempting skunks to enter your property.  
  • Since skunks love to eat grubs, take preventative measures to ensure that your lawn does not have grubs. Treatments by a lawn care company can help keep grubs at bay.
  • Seal up areas that a skunk may be able to use as a hiding spot such as: under decks, stairs, sheds or hidden areas of your yard.

Skunks don’t have to be a problem this spring. If skunks persist and keep coming back to your yard, consider calling a pest exterminator such as Pest-End exterminators. Call us at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 

Spring Pests on the Move

Spring is almost here! Well, at least according to the calendar. It may take Mother Nature and the temperature time to catch up but you can tell it is inching closer and closer. This means sunny weather, rising temps and getting outside finally! Unfortunately, this also means that the pests are, “on the move” as well. Let’s take a closer look at what pests to be aware of and where you are likely to spot them.

Springtime, with its wonderful warmth means that, like most animals, pests are awakening too! Along with coming out of hibernation or come out of their overwintering location, this is also a prime time for mating. This means an increase in the population of pests. It’s no wonder you are seeing more and more emerge into the interior of your home.

The main culprits this time of year include: rodents, ants, Indian meal moths, stink bugs, spiders, cockroaches, and beetles. Each of these pests have areas of your home that they tend to frequent. Here is a quick run down of where you can find these critters and some simple steps to solve the problem. For large infestations or recurring pests, we suggest that you have one of our technicians evaluate the area and come up with a treatment solution.

Ants

These pests tend to be found in areas where there is access to food and water. Therefore, your kitchen and bathrooms are prime real estate for finding what they need. Keep areas clean and free of crumbs. If you have drips or leaks in your sink, tub or toilet, be sure to have them fixed to avoid ants from being drawn to the area.

Indian Meal Moths

These pests are known as pantry pests because they make good use of the cereals and food crumbs that can be found in that area. Inspect pantry shelves and food items often to be sure these pests have not found their way into your food containers.

Stink Bugs

These pests tend to reemerge in the spring after overwintering in the walls of homes where they can survive the cold. Be aware that they bugs are called stink bugs for a reason. If you should step on or even scare they release an awful scent.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are constantly in search of food, water and a dry home. You may find these critters scuttling around your kitchen or bathroom. Sealing entrances can help but you may need to begin a treatment plan to rid yourself of these creatures.

Beetles

During the fall months beetles sometimes make their way into homes for warmth. In the spring they reemerge and work their way back outside. Keep food tightly sealed, thoroughly clean up spills and do not leave food sitting out for an extended period of time, if possible.

Spring pests are on the move. Do you have pests that you would like to see eliminated from your home? Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

The Hunt for Termites

As we head toward spring and the warmer weather, it is time to take a quick look at termites and how you can hunt them down in your home. Many homeowners don’t think too much about these hidden pests that seem to be, “out of sight, out of mind.” We are here to warn you that even though you may not see termites, you should at least keep an eye out for any signs that may indicate that you have an issue. Termite problems could impact the structural integrity of your home, or, at the very least, cause damage to the wooden parts of your home. Let’s take a closer look at how you can be on the hunt for termites in your home.

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year in the U.S.. Mostly, they feed on wood, the kind that can be found in the woods surrounding your home, the firestack, or even the wooden foundation of your home. They can also damage paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems. The most dangerous thing about these pests is that they often go unseen. They do most of their work inside wood or in mud tubes connecting their colonies.

As a homeowner, you should be alert for some of the following signs. Early detection could help lessen the damage and allow an extermination company to begin treatment early.

  • Spring is typically when large numbers of winged termites, known as “swarmers,” emerge inside homes. This dispersal is due to the warmer temperatures and the instinct to start a new colony.
  • Winged termites are attracted to light, so you may see wings near windows or doors.
  • In order to travel in darkened shelter, termites construct mud tubes. You may see earthen “mud” tubes extending over foundation walls, supports, and floor joists.
  • Damaged wood may be one more sign you have an infestation. Using a screwdriver or pole, bang on wooden structures in your home. Hollowed or damaged wood can tell you that termites may have been present.
  • Termite droppings or frass may be visible as termites eat the wood and have droppings emerge from the main areas of excavation.

If you have any of these signs of termite infestation, call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 

The Accidental Bed Bug Invasion

There is a misconception out there that bed bugs are drawn to filth and decay. Given this mistaken belief, many homeowners and apartment dwellers assume that as long as they keep living and sleeping areas clean and tidy, that they should be safe. The reality is, the places we go, and the normal behaviors most of us follow may be making us prone to an accidental bed bug invasion. Are you unaware of how a bed bug could enter your home? Read on to find out more.

There seems to be a lack of awareness in the public about the frequency and habits of bed bugs. For instance, did you know that bed bugs can be found in all 50 states and in countries all over the world? While they are not drawn to clutter, as we spoke of previously, they can hide in untidy areas and take longer to be discovered. Bed bugs can live in any environment, as long as they have access to their food source. They require blood to breed and to survive. Since they can not fly like other pests, they must live close enough to their food source that they can feed often. That means your main living spaces are a perfect environment for bed bugs to hunker down.

Most of us have heard through news or word-of-mouth that bed bugs often can be found in hotels or motels. This is true. But did you know that they are also found in common places like buses, trains, planes, cruise liners, taxi cabs, schools, libraries, theaters, work places, dorms, retail stores, hospitals, and buildings of all varieties. Yikes!

The important thing to know, so you do not become an accidental bed bug “carrier,” is that these pests are fantastic hitchhikers. They can hitch a ride back to your home anytime and any place. Due to this, we suggest the following guidelines when you are out and about.

  • Check your seat wherever you go, whether it is at the mall, in a hotel or on a bus. Look to see if you can spot these small pests. Look for black fecal deposits, insect shells, and blood staining. If you see any signs –  inform management immediately.
  • When you visit any of these locations listed above, don’t put your purse, backpack or jacket on the floor. Rather, hang them wherever possible.  Never accept used furniture without a thorough inspection.
  • Wash all bedding and clothing at the hottest temperature possible.
  • Inspect all bed and furnishings in your own home often to catch an accidental infestation early.

Do you suspect that you may have bed bugs? Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

Kitchen Pests in the Winter Months

There is no doubt that spring and summer are the prime months for pests. It is true that they are most active during those warm months where food is around and the weather cooperates. However, we encourage our readers not to get complacent when it comes to pests during these cold, harsh winter months. Pests neither die off completely nor disappear during the winter months. In fact, many seek shelter in your home as you freely offer warmth, shelter, and access to food and nutrients they need. There is no room that fits this description in your home more than the kitchen. Let’s take a closer look at some of the pests that you should be especially vigilant of this winter season.

Winged Ants in the Winter?

Spring is usually the season that you start seeing lines of black ants marching through your kitchen in search of the spare crumbs you have left on the floor or along your counter. Winter is a bad time to see these winged carpenter ants because if you are seeing them now, it is a sure sign that there is a carpenter ant infestation somewhere in your home.

Flies Around the Kitchen

Flies are a real nuisance any time of year. During the winter months, you may notice fruit flies in your kitchen as you unwittingly bring them in on fruits such as oranges or melons. Be sure to wash and store your fruit properly to stop the spread.

Cockroaches

Those creepy insects that scuttle from one end of your kitchen to the other in a flash really don’t care if it is winter. They can survive pretty much any kind of weather, so New England weather doesn’t scare off these pests. Sealing up cracks and keeping the kitchen clean are just a couple of ways to prevent a cockroach invasion.

When it comes to pest control, the winter months usually go overlooked or forgotten completely until an issue becomes more serious. Don’t wait till spring to take care of your pest problem in your kitchen. Call our experts to have an assessment done and find out what treatment is right for your home. Call Pest-End at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 

Those Crazy Squirrels

According to the dictionary, the word squirrely means eccentric and flighty. This is an apt description of squirrels, especially during the winter months in the northeast. They busily scramble – quite literally – to gather as much food for the winter as they can. Unfortunately, these critters are not always successful and attempt to find haven in the walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, fireplaces, and attics of structures. That structure might end up being your home, garage, or shed. Let’s take a closer look at squirrels, the damage they can cause, and how you can determine if they have found a home within your precious home.

Signs that squirrels have made it inside your home include noises such as scampering, jumping sounds, and persistent scratching if one has gotten itself stuck somewhere in the walls of your home. Another red flag that a squirrel or squirrels have taken up refuge in the warmth of your home this winter is the sight of droppings. Squirrel droppings are quite similar to bat droppings and can be mistaken for those pests as well. Chew marks to gain entry is another sure sign that something has made it inside that shouldn’t be there. Squirrels can chew through most building materials including fascia boards, shingles, eaves, and outer panels, all while leaving all kinds of damage along the roof line.

Upon close inspection of your attic and crawl spaces, you may find that there is even more evidence of squirrel nesting. There may be insulation strewn about or chew marks on stored items in your attic. Wildlife Control experts report that this chewing is among its most damaging and dangerous behaviors. Squirrels will gnaw on anything and everything. If it finds wall space where your electrical wiring is hiding, the damaged wiring can set your house ablaze.

Humanely trapping, removing, and preventing future access of these critters is really a job for the experts who know exactly how to set a trap and remove an animal. Our specialists also know what entry points to look for and how to exclude these areas as future problems. If you have a squirrel or a family of squirrels within your home’s structure, then we encourage you to call Pest-End at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

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.