Signs of Pest Infestations p.2

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In continuation from our previous post, here are more RED FLAGS of a potential pest infestation!

  • Odd smells and sounds: Bed bugs have a sweet, musty odor. Mice give off a musty, urine smell. Rats smell like ammonia. Roaches are said to smell like oil or bad soy sauce. If you notice these smells, you know to take a closer look around the property. Also, keep an ear out for the sounds of rat and mice feet scurrying across the floors of your home.
  • Holes and chew markings: Small holes are straight giveaways for pest infestations. Holes on walls, on floors, or really anywhere on your property are a warning sign. Rats and mice are huge gnawers and will gnaw on almost anything.
  • Path marks and tracks: Rats and mice are creatures of habit. They tend to travel along the same pathways and trails. Droppings, urine trails, and footprints will reveal if you have a rodent problem.
  • Signs of termites: A termite infestation is the WORST, so the earlier you act, the better. Termites feast on wood that causes structural damage to buildings and furniture. Visible holes, sagging floors, and wood that sounds hollow when knocked upon. Also, termites shed their wings, so if you see them as well as little dropping pellets, give American Pest Control a call right away!
  • Former Complaints: If at all possible, try to contact the former owners or tenants of your new home to ask about the history of pest problems, if any.  Neighbors may also be a source for finding out this information.

Signs of Pest Infestations p.1

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Whether you’ve lived in your home for over 20 years or you are in the market for a new home, it is important to know the signs of possible pest infestation. Here are the tips you need to identify if your home or potential home has a pest problem!

  • Active pests: Obviously, if you see any type of pest in your home, you should call American Pest Control immediately for an evaluation. However, you may not know what some pests look like. Prepare yourself my becoming familiar with what common pests look like so if you see one… you’ll know what to do. Make sure to check bathrooms and kitchens, especially in any nooks and crannies.
  • Dead bugs indoors: If you see dead bugs indoors, try to note what they are. A sign of an infestation are multiple dead bugs of the same kind.
  • Pest droppings: This is another one of those things that you have to do a bit of research for. It is gross but go ahead and look up different house pest droppings and what they look like. Knowing this information can help you determine if you need to seek professional help.
  • Nests: Rats and mice are nesters. They will use whatever they find to build their nest. Keep an eye out for bunches of shredded paper or other material in corners and under things.
  • Pest Control Products: This one is for those of you who are looking for a new home. If you are at a viewing, check under sinks and in the garage to see if there are a lot of pesticides and other pest control products. This is a sure indication that there is an infestation somewhere on the property.

Pests Through The Seasons Visual Presentation

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To read the original article this visual presentation is based off of, click here.

Wildlife-Proof Your Garden Visual Presentation

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Read the original article here.

Keep Your Home Safe From Termites

Termites are an old home’s worst enemy. Unlike most insects that make their way into your home, termites have the ability to make gross amounts of physical damage. In fact, termites can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home’s skeletal structure. To make matters worse, termite infestations are difficult to catch. They are an elusive foe, going undetected until there are tens of thousands eating away at your home. If you have termites, you will need a professional to eliminate the pest. If you don’t, here are a few tips you can use to keep your home termite-free.

 

  • Keep soil dry and remove excess moisture from around your home

 

Termites travel faster and require moisture in order to thrive. If the soil around your home is often moist, it increases your chances of having termites. Cover the soil under and immediately around the house by covering it with plastic. This will help dry out the soil and prevent termites from coming near your home.

 

  • Keep mulch and wood debris away from the foundation

 

Again, moist soil and wood are perfect living environments for termites. If you’re doing some planting or gardening around your lawn, make sure to keep mulch away from your home. Termites will be attracted to the mulch, but even more so to your home!

 

  • Bushes and branches should be away from the house

 

Although termites prefer living in soil, they will travel to plants and bushes for moisture and wood. If these plants are touching your home, termites may use the plant’s branches to reach your home. Be careful here, and make sure your home’s wood coverings are away from any immediate plants or soil.

 

  • Remove infested trees, and stumps

 

These are just breeding grounds for termites to grow and populate in. If there are any dead trees or stumps near your home, make it a priority to remove them.

 

  • Keep firewood and lumber away from the house

 

Much like the last point, you’ll want to keep old wood away from your home. Wood is a termite’s feeding source. Any wood scraps, lumber, or firewood near your house may attract them.

 

  • Keep Gutters clean and clear

 

Clogged gutters mean collected and stagnant water. Not only will you be attracting other pests like mosquitoes and spiders, you will be attracting termites. Make sure to clean your gutters and clear any clogged leaves to prevent water and moisture from collecting around your home.

According to one source, termites are extremely proficient in terms of gaining access to homes. Sometimes, they’re arrival is inevitable. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take preventive measures regardless. If termites make their way into your home, don’t worry, professionals will be there to help.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on pest control, check us out on twitter @American_Pest. Thanks for reading! –American Pest Control

Take Control: Natural Mosquito Prevention Practices for Your Home

Mosquitoes are pesky little creatures. They buzz, they bite, they repeat. Mosquito bites are especially annoying, causing irritation, swelling, and sometimes even bleeding. But mosquitoes are sometimes much more than just a summer nuisance, they can be deadly.

Mosquitoes are hosts to an array of infectious diseases that spread through bites and stings. Some of these diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, and Zika, can even be deadly if left untreated. In fact, according to the American Mosquito Control Association, over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year.

Home and Outdoor Mosquito Control

Removing Empty Containers

Mosquitoes like to breed and multiply around moisture. Mosquito World reports that Mosquitoes have the ability to breed in as little as one inch of still water. It is therefore vital to rid your home of all possible mosquito breeding sites. Containers, buckets, or bins that are left out in the yard should be removed in order to prevent a mosquito nesting ground.

Maintain your Lawn

Make sure to keep your grass short, and your bushes trimmed. Mosquitoes rest and nest in moist, unmaintained grass and shrubbery. Keeping your lawn clean-cut and trimmed will prevent mosquitoes from finding solace in your yard.

Maintain your Rain Gutters

Clogged gutters can bring your home an array of problems. Clogged gutters where water is left stagnant will become the perfect nesting place for mosquitos to lay eggs in. Clean your gutters after all rainfalls to ensure there is no standing water.

Natural Repellants

Citrosa, lemon thyme, and rosemary are all plants that reportedly repel mosquitoes. These specific herbs contain oils which mosquitos simply can’t stand. However the application of such natural repellants often proves troublesome to apply. The oils are only released into the air once its leaves are crushed.

In Case of Small Pond or Fountain

Gambusia

If you have an ornamental garden with either a pond or fountain as its centerpiece, you probably won’t want to remove it because of mosquitoes. In this case, get yourself a few Gambusia, or Mosquito Fish to feed on mosquito eggs and larvae. The fish are tough, capable of surviving in standing water for extended periods of time. Best of all, these fish never grow past two inches, preventing your pond or fountain from ever overcrowding.

Dragonflies

Dragonflies are insects that also eat mosquitos and their larvae. In some towns and counties, dragonflies are used to keep mosquito populations at bay. Although slightly terrifying insects, Dragonflies are harmless to humans but lethal to mosquitoes.

Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis

BTI is a naturally occurring bacteria that is used as larvicide in ponds and other wet areas. Larvae eat the bacteria, but are killed as soon as the bacteria is ingested. BTI is commercially sold in the form of pellets, and is neither harmful to humans, nor animals.

Most Common Summer Pests

Wondering what pests to keep an eye out for this Spring and Summer?

Here is a list of pests to watch out for this season and prepare your home accordingly!

Mosquitoes

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June Bugs

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Raccoons

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Cicadas

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Bats

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Ants

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Squirrels

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Every Pest should be dealt with accordingly and a professional should always be consulted before you attempt to do anything yourself. Head to ampest.com for more information!

Spring/Summer Pest Forecast

The National Pest Management Association has released its bi-annual Bug Barometer report and we have the results to report.

The report features the forecast for bugs and pests in the various regions of the United States during the spring and summer (the second report is for the fall and winter). The Bug Barometer simplifies how the wacky winter weather has affected early pest life for the entire country and how that will affect the coming months.

“The Bug Barometer is developed by our entomologists who examine recent weather reports across the U.S. and analyze precipitation patterns to determine the effect on the pest pressure index. Inconsistent weather patterns can alter when, and even where, these pests become active, and our barometer will help people be more prepared and can safeguard their homes,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Knowing what to expect for the season is especially important as some springtime pests, such as ticks and mosquitoes can have a direct impact on our health, especially with the threat of Lyme disease and Zika virus becoming a heightened concern in recent months. And other pests, including ants and termites can cause damage to our homes.” 

The following are the determined forecast for the 5 sections of the U.S.:

Northeast

The winter in this region, specifically December was unusually dry in the beginning and ended more wet and warmer than usual with very little snowfall. This resulted in earlier pest activity than normal and early activity with ants, ticks, and stink bugs should be expected as the early thaw continues. Also, frequent showers may attract more mosquitoes.

Southeast

The winter was rainier and very warm, much more than usual. This may have enabled mosquitoes to breed in strong breeding grounds and they may continue to thrive. During the hottest times of spring and summer termite swarms and ants will be at their fullest force.

Midwest

Record breaking temperatures and wetter than normal, December in the Midwest may have jumpstarted ant and tick activity. More premature mosquitoes have been reported.

Southwest

Most of the Southwest experienced warmer and wetter conditions than average, with the exception of Southern Texas, which stayed mostly dry. Thankfully, a cooler spring may push off termite swarms, but increase mosquito frequency and urge ants inside. If the summer is dry, an increase in tick populations should be expected.

Northwest and West Coast

This portion of the US experienced heavy rainfall, more flooding, and increased snowfall this winter. Remaining rainier than average and predicted to remain wetter over the next few months, larger than normal mosquito populations are expected and ants will seek shelter indoors.

Mice: They’re Here to Stay

Mice are by far the most infamously common household pest.

Although, while some mice may not seem threatening, they are usually unwelcome guests in most households. Not only do they burrow into food supplies and furniture, they are also disease carrying critters, spreading bacteria and viruses through saliva, droppings, and fleas. Mice are relatively harmless to humans otherwise, however precautions must be made to prevent an infestation.

There are a few ways in which you can rid your home of mice humanely. Although the most effective method is to seek professional help, you can put into practice some of these useful tips to curb the infestation until help arrives.

If you’re looking to treat your mice problem humanely before pest control services take over, you will want to stay away from glues, poisons, and mouse traps. There are an assortment of techniques to use if you hope to repel mice away from your home and your pantries. One online source suggests using peppermint tea, oil, and extracts to keep mice away. The potent smell of peppermint interferes with a mouse’s very sensitive sense of smell, causing it to stray far away from enclosed areas smelling of peppermint. You can try dousing cotton balls with peppermint extract, and laying them throughout your house and in mice entry holes and crevices. Another temporary fix involves mixing a half gallon of apple cider vinegar with two gallons of water. Once a month, sprinkle the solution outside of your house, and on all possible mice entry points.

If you’re house or its surrounding area is messy and disorganized, mice will probably take shelter and nest in your crowded mess. Bundles of old paperwork, magazines, and old furniture can provide mice with the perfect home within a home. Avoid storing food within cardboard boxes containers, as mice can smell and eat through cardboard. Store food in plastic jars and containers to safeguard food supplies and force mice to go elsewhere for food.

If you have an outdoor shed or yard full of equipment, these can become havens for field mice and other outdoor rodents. Make sure to allow a path of mowed lawn and cut grass between your home, and possible nesting sites like sheds, or wood piles.

Also available on the market are some botanical rodent repellant products you spread in and around your home. These repellants usually contain herbs with extracts and smells that disturb rodent nests. The herbs and chips are condensed into pouches that fit easily through holes, crevices, and cracks where mice take shelter. While forcing mice out, the scents offered by these botanical repellents can offer any household a breath of pleasantry and freshness. Fresh Cab and Stay Away are some brands to look for.

These solutions however may not lead to a permanent solution, as mice can be extremely persistent pests. In most cases, the use of more assertive practices by pest control professionals will need to be considered. If you liked this post and would like to read more on pest control info check out our twitter @American_Pest for more. If you’re interested in our services, check out our main site. Thanks for reading !

Dealing With Your Pet’s Fleas

Dealing with Fleas can be a daunting task. If you have pets that frolic outside in those beautiful, temperate summer afternoons, it’s almost inevitable that your pets will catch more than a few fleas.

Unfortunately once you bring those fleas indoors, they are next-to-impossible to get rid of. First off, fleas are very difficult to spot. By the time you spot your first fleas, your home may already be well on its way to infestation. Secondly, fleas are very difficult to exterminate. Once you’ve killed them on your pets, there may be thousands living in your carpets and furniture. Worst of all, these little buggers can jump over three feet high, allowing them to spread fairly easily throughout your household. If you’re hoping to get rid of your flea problem, seeking professional help may be your best bet. In the meantime however you will want to alleviate some of the problem as much as possible. Here are some tips from Wiki How on how to deal with flea infestations in your home.

Pets or no pets, fleas may be dwelling in your home. In the case that you do have pets carrying in fleas, make sure you begin to address the problem with them. Firstly, give your pet a proper soap bath. A soapy bath with a proper, and safe flea repellant solution is a very effective way of ridding your pet’s flea problem. Soapy solutions prevent fleas from grasping onto the hair shaft, drowning them into the flea-repellant filled water. Also, add a small cup of white vinegar into the bathing solution to ensure flea repellency. Thereafter, use a flea comb to pinpoint and kill any live fleas still left. Begin from the head and ears of your pet, and continue downward to the legs and tail. You can also use oral and topical medications that contain Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), which also kills bugs in their larvae or pupae stage. If you are wary of using chemicals to treat your pet’s flea problems, use strong scented oils that act as moisturizers for your pet’s skin, such as Citronella, Lavender and Lemongrass.

Once you’ve cleared your pets of their infestations, you may move onto your house. If you do not have pets, you can jump right onto this step. Most eggs are planted right in your carpets or floorboards. Once these eggs hatch into larvae, they may move onto their pupae stage, which envelopes them into a waterproof cocoon before developing into a full fledged adult flea. Therefore, it is important to machine-wash all bedding, and fabrics with warm soapy water. Rugs and carpeting should be washed and scrubbed thoroughly with warm soapy water to eliminate all larvae and cocoons. Thereafter, vacuum your entire house diligently. Vacuum furnishings, upholsterers, furniture, curtains, etc. to ensure you pick up any cocoon or larvae remnants. Do this everyday for more than a week. Finally, use either food grade diatomaceous earth or borax on your carpets to kill all remaining bugs. Wait about a week or two before you vacuum again. This process may very well become a bit extraneous, but it is the best temporary fix before extermination teams come to the rescue.

If you found this post interesting and would like to read more on extermination techniques and tips, check out our twitter @American_Pest for more. If you’re interested in our services, visit our other site ampestfacts.com. Thanks for reading !