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Varmint and rodent control

Varmint and rodent control

As human civilization encroaches on the natural habitats of wild animals, homeowners may experience an increase in the number of pests that invade their homes. When this happens, it might be tempting to deal with the problem yourself. After all, dealing with a pest problem yourself can be cheaper than hiring a professional, and the problem might seem minor as varmints, such as squirrels, raccoons, or skunks are not very big.

However, pest control involves many hazards you have to consider. After all, these pests are wild animals. From safety concerns to health hazards, interacting with a wild animal introduces a lot of variables–many of which cannot be foreseen by the amateur pest remover. That said, if you are intent on dealing with a rodent or larger varmint without calling an exterminator, evidence exists supporting the opinion you might be making a mistake.

Hazards

Prior to attempting to remove a varmint, you should understand the many hazards that accompany DIY pest removal.

Rabies

The first problem a skunk poses is obvious: its tail. However, most skunks are naturally wary of humans and will avoid them. If you have a skunk on your property and it does not seem afraid of human interactions, you might have a problem far worse than the possibility of being sprayed.

Rabies is not uncommon among skunks. Additionally, it is carried by raccoons and bats. If you discover any of these types of animals on your property, in your garage or crawl space, or attic, it is not the most prudent step to attempt to capture these animals by yourself. If you attempt to kill or trap an animal, most will attack when they feel threatened. Additionally, a raccoon is much faster than a human and can strike and bite before you even understand what happened.

Infections

Even if an animal does not carry rabies, many have filthy claws. A scratch from an animal claw can cut deep. Introducing bacteria into a deep cut can result in the need for a tetanus shot or round of antibiotics.

Respiratory problems

In terms of mice or bats, it is important to know that although some bat species carry rabies, all bat and mice droppings can create respiratory problems if inhaled. Additionally, fleas on mice can carry disease. In either case, exposing yourself to this type of hazard is unwise as removing a rodent can take much longer for someone not used to doing so.

Preventing future incidences

Fencing or lattice work

For many larger animals, such as skunks, fencing will serve as a future solution for pest control. However, for ground hogs, you will need to flood their burrows, fill up the holes, and surround any crawlspaces beneath your deck or home with lattice work.

Siding

In terms of raccoons, you cannot keep them off your property, but you can keep them out of your attic. To do so, you must place grating on the inside of any louvers or vents. Additionally, you must patch any holes in your siding or gaps near your soffit boards.

Raccoons can flatten their bodies more than you might imagine, and they can squeeze into very small holes. The general wisdom is if a raccoon can get its head into a hole, it can get its entire body through that hole–as remarkable as this might sound. To protect your home, you need to patch all entries and exits such that nothing can get in.

Problems that accompany different species

Skunks

Skunks stink. There are no other ways to describe them. If you startle them, you are in a uniquely horrible situation that will cause trouble for weeks until the odor from their scent glands fades from your skin, your clothes, or house. Additionally, they can pose serious problems to children or pets.

Raccoons

Raccoons are intelligent, and an adult raccoon is fierce enough to fend off just about any dog. If it is rabid, it cannot be chased away. A raccoon in your attic can also lead to feces, which can then lead to respiratory problems that endure long after the animal has been removed. Finally, they can destroy insulation or electrical wiring.

Squirrels and other rodents

More annoying than they are dangerous, squirrels can cause problems in your electrical system as they are known to chew through wires. Mice, especially, can cause problems in your walls if they chew through wires and leave the inner copper wire exposed. Once a wire is exposed, it is now a fire hazard.

Traps

Shooting an animal can pose hazards to people and property, so it is not the recommended means to get rid of an animal. Often, live traps are the only way to contain an animal. That said, a non-professional with little experience handling a trap containing a skunk or raccoon can find him or herself in serious trouble.

A raccoon, for instance, if trapped in the wrong type of trap, may very well be able to squeeze through the bars enough to bite or scratch a nearby hand. A skunk in a trap is a nightmare waiting to happen. In terms of removal, you might be able to handle a trap with a raccoon, provided you wear the right type of gloves and cover the cage with some sort of leather sheathing when you pick it up.

However, there are few people who can successfully handle a skunk. If you have trapped a skunk and are not familiar with dealing with these animals, the only thing anyone can say to you is that you should not have done that. Someone is soon going to be sprayed, and that someone is likely to be you. The thing is, a frightened skunk will continue spraying–over and over again–until their scent glands are exhausted. You do not want to be at the receiving end of this chemical assault.

Last resort should often be the first resort

You might find that your attempts to safely and successfully deal with a rodent or varmint problem end with more problems than you originally started with. Often, the last resort of calling an exterminator should actually be the initial strategy. When this time comes, you will find there are two important reasons that you should have simply hired a professional.

Financial

The time and money it costs you to buy a trap, stock it with food, and finally attempt to dispose of a very angry animal might save you only about $18 or $20. You might think that you will be able to save more, but often, things go wrong. First, you might have to buy multiple traps. If you end up going to the doctor, you will have a copay. If you miss work or if the problem drags on too long and damage occurs to your home–well, the problems simply become more and more expensive.

Emotional

In terms of pest control, killing the animal is sometimes the only way to solve the problem, and an exterminator is often the only person legally and professionally capable of doing so. Finally, many family members are going to be emotionally against harming any animal–pest or not. If an animal needs to be killed, you might not want your loved ones looking at you as someone who killed a cute little animal doing cute little things. Leaving the bad-guy work up to professionals is one sure-fire way to keep your home peaceful and quiet.

Keep your home spider and insect free

Keep your home spider and insect free

Owning a home is one of life’s greatest investments, and the benefits of owning a home are many. However, not all homeowners are familiar with the various ways that the structure of their home can be damaged. One of the biggest concerns for property owners can come from deferred maintenance. Over time all homes will need preventative care and structural maintenance. One of the most essential home care basics is caring for the structure and protecting it against infestations by insects.

Understanding Insects and Home Infestations

Because homes are surrounded by land, they are automatically exposed to the elements of different types of insects. Learning how to maintain a home and protect against an insect infestation properly is one of the most important home care basics. Certainly, some of the most troubling types of insect’s that can invade a home are ones that do direct damage to the structure. Most often, these are wood-boring insects such as carpenter ants, termites, and carpenter bees. These insects can be especially problematic because they can cause massive amounts of structural damage and decay to walls, wood joists, and wood casings.

These types of infestations by insects can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in repairs if left unattended or unobserved for long periods. While these types of infestations are the primary concern for homeowners, other types of insects can invade a home or yard. Infestations by insects can be unsightly, make life miserable, become a health hazard, and cause indirect damage to property. This can include insects such as spiders, flies, Box Elder Bugs, wasps and the Asian Beetle. Each of these bugs can readily invade a home or yard and become problematic to the homeowner and the home.

Infestations From Spiders Are a Cause for Concern

Certain types of insects such as spiders can be a sign of a bigger problem lurking since spiders are insectivores and mainly survive off other insects. Some spiders invade homes looking for a dry place to nest where they are less exposed to the outside elements. Spiders will readily nest in a home as long as they have direct access to the outside or a food source inside. That is why home infestations from pantry pests, moths, flies, Box Elder Bugs, ants, wasps, and the Asian Beetle can be an invitation for a spider infestation as well. While not every spider sighting is a sign of a more significant infestation, it is a sign to pay attention to.

Because certain spiders can be poisonous as well as unsightly, it’s essential that homeowners become proactive in enacting ways to control spiders and control insects that attempt to infest their home. Signs that an infestation is lurking from pantry pests, moths, flies, Box Elder Bugs, any type of ants, wasps and the Asian Beetle should be quickly addressed with a pest control company before they get out of control. A professional exterminator can help protect against pantry pests, moths, flies, Box Elder Bugs, ants, wasps, the Asian Beetle, and spider invasions. They are licensed and trained to control insects as well as control spiders.

It is important to know that spiders can multiply rapidly like other insects. A spider can create a nest of eggs or may carry them inside. A single spider can have hundreds of eggs or baby spiders which means they can multiply fast and get out of control. If you start to see multiple spiders that look the same, this could be a sign of a much bigger problem lurking.

Some of the Most Common House Spiders Include:

  • Domestic House Spiders
  • Wolf Spiders
  • Daddy Long Legs
  • Garden Spiders
  • Barn Spiders
  • Jumping Spiders
  • Brown Recluse Spiders
  • Black Widow Spiders

The two most dangerous spiders are Brown Recluse Spiders and Black Widow Spiders. While they are not common infestations, these spiders can be found in hidden areas around a home such as under porches, in basements and hatchway entries as well as in garages and attics. Both spiders tend to shy away from humans but will attack if they feel threatened. Because they are insectivores, their diet consists of other insects. Keeping other insect infestations away and having annual pest control exterminations from inside and around the home will provide better protection from either of these spiders planting a web in or around a house.

Secondary Insect Infestations

In some cases, homeowners will find a secondary insect threat in their yard. A secondary threat from insects is one that has effects on a homeowner that may not directly affect the home structure but creates other hazards. Spiders are considered a secondary threat because while they do not damage a home, they can be poisonous, and often feed off the insects that can cause structural damage, and they can become a significant nuisance.

Insects that infest trees and consume agriculture can become hazardous to homeowners when the trees or large bushes they infest become weakened and have the potential for structural collapse of branches and limbs. When this occurs, the result may be damage to person and property. That is why the use of an exterminator for pest control to control insects and control spiders in and around a home may be the best investment.

Through annual pest control treatments by a licensed professional exterminator, homeowners have greater security and protection against a wide variety of potential insects, including both primary and secondary infestations. All infestations carry risks to a homeowner. Infestations by insects can damage a house such as termites and carpenter ants, become hazardous to the health and safety of homeowners such as spiders and wasps, can cause damage to surrounding trees such as beetles and moths or are nuisance infestations such as flies, food and clothing moths and other pests.

Understanding the underlying risks to home, safety, and property with insects is important, so homeowners remain vigilant against infestations. While a homeowner can treat some smaller pest invasions, nests should always be cared for by a certified and trained pest control exterminator.

How to get rid of bed bugs and prevention tips

How to get rid of bed bugs and prevention tips

bed with white sheets and pillows

Discovering bed bugs in your home, while traveling, or even while visiting a loved one is daunting and never pleasant. Bed bugs themselves are known as parasitic insects, providing little to no benefit to their surrounding environment. When bed bugs infest a home or property, it can quickly become an issue that results in a loss of furniture and personal belongings, especially if it is not addressed immediately and with a proper resolution.

Understanding the basics of bed bugs, how to prevent them from entering your home, and what to do if you discover bed bugs is essential to gain peace of mind while keeping you and your family safe and protected at all times.

What are the Dangers of Bed Bugs?

While bed bugs are commonly referred to as parasitic insects, they do not typically pose life-threatening risks to humans, even after they feed. Bed bugs are extremely small and can be difficult to discover during the day as they are nocturnal. Bed bugs typically live within creases of beds, furniture, and even in suitcases after leaving from a hotel or home that is also infested with the bugs. At night, bed bugs are known for biting individuals and living off of their blood. However, bed bugs do not often lead to serious medical issues unless the bites themselves become too itchy. Scratching bed bug bites repeatedly can lead to a secondary skin infection, depending on the seriousness of the scratch itself.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Preventing bed bugs is possible by always remaining aware of your surroundings, especially when you are traveling out of town, out of the country, or even to a friend or family member’s home. Always inspect each mattress you sleep on, lifting cracks removing sheets before placing them back on and resting. Whenever you stay in a hotel or in a foreign location, inspect the space and mattress for specks of blood as this is a common sign of a bed bug infestation. Steer clear of any space that you believe may be infested with bed bugs.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home

Getting rid of bed bugs in your home does not have to feel stressful and overwhelming, especially if you have access to local professionals who specialize in pest control and eliminating bed bugs. Once you have determined that you have a current bed bug infestation, there are a few steps to take to help minimize the risk of spreading the infestation and problem even more:

  • Remove all of the sheets on each bed throughout your home and wash them immediately. Using a heat-treating solution in your wash cycle can help kill off and eliminate current bed bugs.
  • Inspect all of your mattresses as you check for bed bugs and specks of blood
  • Use heat to help with killing off additional bed bugs you may discover within your mattresses or other areas of your home. Heat is one of the quickest ways to kill existing parasitic insects such as bed bugs.
  • Call a professional control service in your area. Working together with a professional bed bug control company is one of the quickest ways to gain peace of mind after you have discovered that you are dealing with an intense bug infestation.

Heat Treatment

One of the best ways to eliminate bed bug pests from your home is to consider heat treatment solutions. Heat treatments for bed bugs help to kill of bed bugs using high temperatures which are not suitable for life. With heat, it is much easier to guarantee that the bed bugs are completely gone from your bedroom or throughout your home.

Benefits of Working With a Professional Company

While it may be tempting to address the issue of bed bugs in your home alone, it is highly advisable to work together with a professional exterminator that specializes in treating bed bugs in residential and commercial properties. A professional bed bug control company understands the seriousness of having a bug infestation. Additionally, pest control companies arrive well-equipped with the proper chemicals and heat treatment solutions necessary to address your bug issue head-on while also removing them as quickly as possible from your home and surrounding property.

Additionally, some of the advantages of working together with a professional company include:

  • Get Educated: Learn more about bed bugs, how they likely entered your home, and the best ways to prevent them from infesting your home again. Ask bed bug control professionals about prevention tips based on your climate and their own professional experience.
  • Proper Plan of Action: A professional bed bug control company that specializes in treating bed bugs and other home pests are well-versed in a wide variety of treatment options. Whether you require chemicals, heat treatment solutions, or alternative treatments, a pest control company can help choose the right plan of action for you.
  • Guarantee: Many professional bed bug control companies provide clients with a warranty or guarantee for their services. Before choosing a professional pest control company to help with your bug infestation, be sure to inquire about any warranties or guarantees you are provided. A great professional exterminator provides warranties or guarantees to all clients because they are confident in the work they do and the results they deliver.

Although bed bugs are not considered inherently dangerous or life-threatening to humans, they are parasitic and only provide discomfort and uneasiness for those who currently have them in their home. With the right professional exterminator company, gain peace of mind knowing the parasites have been properly eradicated with the use of heat treatment and various solutions specifically designed with bed bugs in mind. Taking the time to research and locate a reputable professional pest control company is a way for you to eliminate the bed bugs in your house without allowing the infestation to spread and damage even more of your property.

Find Out How Mosquito Control Can Protect Your Family

Find Out How Mosquito Control Can Protect Your Family

Every year, your home and family find themselves under siege from a number of pests. While all of them are annoying, some are simply more dangerous than others. However, one pest is far more dangerous and deadly: the mosquito.

According to the World Health Organization, mosquitoes are among the deadliest creatures on the planet. These insects carry and spread diseases to humans, and they’re found in nearly every part of the world. WHO estimates that the diseases that mosquitoes spread result in the deaths of millions of people every year.

Thankfully, you can protect your home and family from these flying, disease-carrying pests. Doing so requires you to arm yourself with knowledge about mosquitoes. This includes learning why it’s important to hire a professional to keep the population of mosquitoes around your home under control.

What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry?

The diseases that mosquitoes can carry seem almost limitless. In fact, most health experts blame mosquitoes for being the main culprit of the growth of many diseases.

For example, more than 438,000 people died in 2015 because of malaria. WHO believes that the majority of them caught malaria after being bitten by an infected mosquito. To make matters worse, it only takes a quick bite for mosquitoes to spread infected blood to unsuspecting people.

With that said, what other diseases can mosquitoes spread? Some of the most common ones include:

  • Dengue
  • Yellow fever
  • Chikungunya
  • Zika
  • West Nile virus

An Outbreak in Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquito control has always been important because of the diseases that mosquitoes carry. Over the years, though, there has been an outbreak in the number of mosquitoes that carry diseases. What is causing this outbreak and putting your family in danger?

Unfortunately, many of the factors that have led to a surge in mosquito-borne diseases are out of your control. For example, travel is at an all-time high. Many people who travel to and from third-world countries bring diseases with them. When mosquitoes bite these individuals, they can spread those diseases to others.

Also, experts believe that climate change is one of the culprits. In recent years, areas around the world have had some of the warmest spring seasons ever. This warm weather creates the perfect environment for mosquitoes. Because of that, professional pest control is more important than ever before.

In addition, keep in mind that mosquitoes don’t just transmit diseases between humans. They also bite animals, so they can spread certain animal diseases to humans as well.

What Can You Do to Prevent Mosquito Nests Around Your Home?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely eliminate the mosquitoes around your home without hiring a mosquito control service. However, you can take certain measures to at least limit the population of mosquitoes that nest around your home.

1. Eliminate Standing Water

Did you know that mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in standing water? That’s why it’s important to eliminate any source of stagnant water from around your home.

For instance, replace the water in birdbaths every week to keep mosquitoes from wanting to lay their eggs in them. Also, keep outdoor buckets turned over so that they don’t fill up with rainwater.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply eliminate some sources of standing water. If you live near a lake, for example, there will always be a source of standing water nearby.

PRO TIP: Keep your gutters clean. A mosquito can lay its eggs in as little as 1 inch of water. Dirty gutters can fill up with water and hold it for weeks.

2. Replace Your Weatherstripping

Mosquitoes are small little pests, so they can easily crawl under damaged weatherstripping. If you notice an influx of mosquitoes inside of your home, check your doors and windows for damaged weatherstripping. It could be how the mosquitoes are so easily entering your home.

3. Switch Your Outdoor Lighting

Like many flying insects, mosquitoes are attracted to lights. Thankfully, you can buy special bulbs that most experts refer to as “bug lights” or “bug bulbs.” The wavelength that these bulbs emit is far less attractive to bugs. While it won’t repel bugs, it won’t attract any extra.

4. Protect Yourself With Bug Repellent

If you plan to be outside, it’s a good idea to protect yourself. It’s even more important during the spring and early summer when mosquito activity peaks. There are several bug repellents that you can choose from. It’s best to use one of the repellents that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.

PRO TIP: Don’t have any bug repellent handy? Did you know that lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint oil act as natural bug repellents? These oils have many helpful properties, and you can add bug repellent to that ever-growing list.

Why Hire a Professional Exterminator?

There are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to protect your home from mosquitoes. While these tips might limit your contact with mosquitoes, it doesn’t attack the problem at the source. That’s where a professional can help.

A professional exterminator can limit the population of mosquitoes around your home. This includes wiping out baby mosquitoes before they have a chance to become adults.

In order to do that, an expert pest control service will survey the area to find the nest and eliminate the source. All of this can be done safely without putting other animals or people in danger. Best of all, you only have to make a simple phone call.

Don’t let mosquitoes put your family’s health at risk. Hire a professional for mosquito control today. You and your family will rest easier knowing that you have taken the proper steps to protect yourselves from these disease-carrying insects.

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