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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.


Seeding and Hydroseeding in the Spring

Believe it or not, spring is really just a few short weeks away. The time to start thinking about your plan for your lawn and garden is now. Last fall, did you notice thinning or brown patches around your lawn? Is your grass as thick and lush as you would like? Now is the time to think about hydroseeding or reseeding your yard. Here are some ideas to consider.

 

Hydroseeding

Hydroseeding is is a planting process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch. It is sprayed on by a lawn care professional and can cover a large area and areas that are prone to erosion such as hillsides or on sloping lawns. Growing results are often quick with high germination rates producing grass growth in about a week and mowing maintenance beginning around 3 to 4 weeks from the date of application. The mulch included in the slurry helps retain water in the ground, accelerating germination. Hydroseeding is the fastest, most cost-effective, and highest quality method of seeding lawn, landscape, and erosion control practices.

 

Seeding

Grass seeding either by hand or using a rotary seeder is another method that many homeowners use. This method is best done in the spring, summer, or fall. There needs to be a watering source nearby and possibly a covering of straw over the seeds to avoid having birds eat the seeds. While this method is probably the most affordable method, it does take the longest to germinate. Homeowners should see full grass growing within a couple of months.

 

Another option that tends to be fairly expensive, but allows for instant gratification, is sod. Once laid it needs water and a chance to attach to your soil. Then all you need to do is enjoy the thick, lush lawn. Do you have questions about hydroseeding, seeding, or sod for your lawn? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.


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.

 


Preventing and Treating Bed Bugs

Our last two blogs, “Bed Bugs and Your Health,” and  “Signs You May Have a Bed Bug Problem,” have focused closely on bed bugs and the problems they cause. Today, we are delving into our last bed bug topic for our readers – how to prevent and treat bed bugs. Read on to see how you can avoid these pests and how to treat if you are unlucky enough to find that you have a bed bug problem.

Preventing Bed Bugs in your Home

  1. Become a savvy traveler who inspects their hotel room, airplane seat, or conference room before settling in. If you discover bed bugs, ask for a new room/seat and inform the management. Avoid bringing bed bugs home with you by keeping clothes off the floor, washing and drying in hot water and high heat, and inspecting all items that you bring back into your home.
  2. Cut out the clutter from your home. Clutter is a bed bug’s friend as it gives them yet another place to hide.
  3. Vacuum often to rid and hitchhikers from your living areas.
  4. Inspect your furnishings including your bed often. The sooner you catch a bed bug infestation, the easier it is to treat.
  5. Learn how to identify bed bugs at each stage of the life cycle and well as identify bed bug bites.
  6. Use a mattress cover.
  7. Avoid using moving blankets from movers.
  8. Check all second-hand appliances and furnishings that enter your home.
  9. Seal your home as much as possible including electric outlets in your bedroom.
  10. Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities.

 

Treatment

Pest-End Exterminators has a few options if you do discover that bed bugs have found their way into your home. We offer…

  • Steam and Vacuum Service – This eco-friendly treatment uses no chemicals. Two of our technicians will arrive at your home and, after an initial inspection, will steam and vacuum all rooms of concern and the furniture inside of them. Although this is a time consuming and invasive treatment, it is highly effective.
  • Thermal Remediation™ – During this very effective process we heat up an area to 120 to 140 degrees and maintaining that temperature for 3 hours. This process also entails the smallest amount of preparation as most of the belongings are left in the home to be heated. Due to the amount of time that the structure is heated, this treatment is the most effective.

Do you have questions about prevention and treatment for bed bugs? Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321. Our team can create a treatment plan, and even use our canine detection program to root out the locations of your infestation.

 


Signs You May Have a Bed Bug Problem

No one wants to even consider that they are being bitten and drained of blood on a nightly basis. It is enough to give even the strongest of us the creeps! Unfortunately, the statistics show that one in five Americans has dealt with bed bugs in their home at some point in their lives. The problem only seems to get worse as places other than single-family homes and hotels are reporting incidences annually. Nursing homes, mass transit, dorms, and even hospitals are reporting outbreaks of bed bugs. Our blog today is dedicated to helping our readers spot the signs that they, too, may have a bed bug problem.

  • Spots or Itchy Blotches – One of the first and most obvious signs of a bed bug issue are the very itchy marks on your skin. These spots are small, red, usually occur in groups and can be inflamed. Often these bites occur in a line.
  • Stains – Many homeowners report that they began realizing that there was a bed bug problem when they saw blood stains on their sheets. Others noticed stains on their box spring or mattress when changing the sheets, especially in the corners and crevices.
  • Bug Remains – Other homeowners notice dead bugs at different stages of development on their mattress, walls, or furnishings. This may be a true sign that you have a bed bug problem.
  • Musty Odor – Your nose may key you off to a problem as bed bugs tend to have a musty odor similar to that of a wet towel that has been left around for too long.
  • Restless Nights – If you have begun to notice that you are tossing and turning throughout the night for no reason, you may have been bitten and not even realize it.

Do you have any of these signs that your home or business has bed bugs? Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321. Our team can create a treatment plan and even use our canine detection program to root out the locations of your infestation.

 


Bed Bugs and Your Health

When most of us think about diseases and biting pests we usually consider mosquitoes or ticks. Not often do we think about bed bugs. While it is true that bed bugs do not spread disease as mosquitoes or ticks do, they can cause some issues with your health regardless. Let’s take a closer look at bed bugs and your health.

First of all, bed bugs do not spread diseases to humans, that we know of yet. That should be a weight off your mind if you are dealing with a bed bug infestation in your home, office, dorm, or school. They can, however, have negative effects on your health such as itchy, annoying bites,  insomnia, increased anxiety and, in some cases, anemia due to blood loss.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, bed bugs feed on humans and other warm-blooded hosts, in order to survive and reproduce. They find a host by detecting carbon dioxide emitted from warm-blooded people or animals and respond to warmth/moisture. In order to feed, they penetrate the skin of the host and inject a salivary fluid that contains an anticoagulant to help them obtain blood.

Once a host (you or your family members) has discovered s/he is being targeted each night, there may be a level of anxiety and stress to finding and eliminating these pests. Obviously hiring a professional team of exterminators will be the first step and after treatments, your mind should be put to rest. Until that time, however, many homeowners who are experiencing bed bugs find that they suffer from insomnia and high anxiety. After all, this is a stressful situation.

In addition to insomnia, some people who experience bed bugs do have some health problems. For example, there are some who are allergic and will need to seek treatment immediately to stop the itch or the rash. In other cases, hosts have been drained of blood so often that they suffer from anemia. These cases should be seen by a doctor immediately to resolve the symptoms and put you on the path to recovery quickly.

If you are experiencing bed bugs and need assistance in eliminating them from your home or business, call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321. Our team can create a treatment plan and even use our canine detection program to root out the locations of your infestation.


Worst Nightmares – Identifying Termites in your Home

In our last blog, “Nightmare Pests – What’s Attracting Termites to Your Home?” we discussed the conditions that tend to attract termites to a home or a structure. Today, we are taking a closer look at the signs of a termite infestation. Take a moment to read further to find out the red flags or signs that you should look for in a termite infestation.

Since termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a home, it is a good idea to know what to look for in the dark, warm areas of your home that may be indicators of the presence of termites. In addition to the cost of the damage, the repairs can cause chaos in a home for weeks, if not months.

Red Flags:

  • Mud Tubes or Tunnels – One of the first things that homeowners may notice are these winding tubes that may be forming on your foundation walls or on the wood supports in your basement or crawl spaces. They may even be present outside along your firewood stack on outside structures. These pencil-sized mud tubes can be found wherever the ground meets your home. They are the means of transport for termites from location to location.
  • Wings – The discarded wings of termites may also be a sign that you have an infestation. These wings may be visibly collecting around the doors, windows, or other entry points of your home.
  • Wood Damage – While this sign may not be as fully visible as the tubes and wings are, all it takes is tapping on the wood in your basement to hear the difference between solid wood and that which has been eaten and hollowed out by termites.
  • Frass – Termite droppings are called frass and if you have termites you may notice this as an indicator of an infestation. Frass can appear as small black markings near an opening in the wood.

Do you have any of these signs of a termite infestation? Call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321 with any of your questions or if you would like an inspection.


Nightmare Pests – What’s Attracting Termites to Your Home?

Homeowners understand the dangers that catastrophes such as hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes can cause on a home’s structure. They know steps to take to safeguard their property and home in those circumstances. But many homeowners are either unaware or not fully informed about the steps to take to safeguard against one of the more destructive nightmare pests: termites. Read on to find out some of the conditions that may attract termites to your home and how to avoid this situation.

The Statistics:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans spend at least $1 billion on Formosan termite control and repairs each year. The average homeowner with termite damage will spend approximately $3,000 to repair the damage. To combat these stats, it is important to understand the behavior and living conditions that can attract these nightmare pests.

The Attraction:

In order to fully understand termites, homeowners should know what termites are attracted to. Here are some of the conditions termites thrive in…

  • Wood and Cellulose Materials – To a termite, it’s what’s for dinner. Termites feed on lumber, firewood, newspapers, and other cellulose materials. Avoid storing stacks of newspapers in your basement or near the foundation. Also, consider the location of your firewood stack in relation to your foundation. The closer the stack the more likely they will find a way into your home’s structure. Inspect the wood structures in your basement annually to be sure there are no hollow spaces or chewed areas.

 

  • Warmth, Darkness, and Moisture – Warm, dark, and moist places are a favorite of termites. Places in your home that may meet these requirements include your basement, crawl spaces, or under sheds or adjoining structures. These are ordinary places where homeowners do not regularly visit, so termites can chew away undisturbed for months, sometimes even years at a time. To avoid this, inspect your creepy places annually to see if you notice any termite tubes or hollowed wood. In addition, you may want to install a moisture barrier so that termites are not attracted to the moisture in the soil under your foundation. Keep things in your basement as dry and clean as possible.

 

If you suspect you have a termite problem, call Pest-End Exterminators now at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.

 


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 Control Common Winter Pests

Every winter, when the weather takes a turn for the worst, and the temperatures drop below freezing, the National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take several precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches, and spiders. The winter is an especially common time to find pests in your home due to the fact that, just like humans, these critters are looking for a safe and warm place to ride out the winter. Let’s take a quick look at the most common winter pests and how you can control them.  

The Likely Suspects

Pests are always looking for a warm, safe shelter and a dependable food source. Don’t think of the winter as a time off from pests, but rather a time when the pests merely move their activity from outdoors to indoors. Homeowners most commonly find that the following pests make their way into their homes during the winter months:

  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders
  • Raccoons
  • Flies

Prevention

It is essential to the health and happiness of your family that you take preventative measures to keep pests out of your living areas. Pests can cause more hazards than just cobwebs in the corner. For example, rodents, like rats and mice, are known to carry diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus. Certain types of spiders can bite, causing serious side effects, and cockroaches can be a trigger for asthma and allergies. Take these quick steps to avoid diseases and allergic reactions this winter.

  • Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements. Make sure leaks and drips in bathrooms and the kitchen are repaired quickly.
  • Regularly inspect inside the home for signs of an infestation, including greasy rub marks caused by the rat’s oily fur, droppings from mice, or gnaw marks.
  • Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.
  • Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Store trash cans and recycling bins in sealed areas such as a locked shed or the garage.
  • If trash cans are kept outdoors, use animal-proof lids.
  • Inspect the outside of your home for access points that would allow unwanted pests inside your home.

Do you have unwanted guests this winter? Contact Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.