Pest Control Blog About Bugs and Rodents

Welcome to A1 Exterminators’ Uninvited Guests blog! Here we talk about anything and everything bug related. Big and small, from ticks and bed bugs to roaches and termites; from bugs and insects to mice, rats, squirrels and rodents. Follow us to keep track of the new pests you should be worried about in your area. Get the latest news on pests, tips on how you can keep pests away from your home and business, and some other fun and interesting tidbits about bugs.

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Winter Spider Prevention

Are you noticing a lot of spiders in your home? These pests love to spin their webs indoors to keep warm throughout the winter. Here are some spider prevention tips to try to keep these pests from entering your home.

Seal up your home. Patch up cracks and holes leading from the outside in to prevent spiders from finding their way indoors.

  • Use caulk to fill in large gaps of space in closed doors and windows. Also apply caulk around wires, cables, faucets, and electrical components, since all of these must run to the outside.
  • Replace or fix torn window screens. Spiders can easily find their way in through even the smallest holes.
  • Cover your vents and chimney with fine mesh insect screens.
Keep your outdoor lights off. While outdoor lights will not attract spiders, they will attract other pests that can serve as appetizing food sources for spiders.

  • On a similar note, block indoor lights from shining through your windows by using opaque blinds or shades.
  • Consider switching to yellow sodium vapor lights. These are less appealing to insects and less likely to draw in a food source for your spiders.
Keep a tidy house. Clean homes give spiders fewer places to hide out in, making them less likely to stay even if they do slip inside.

  • Do not leave leftover food lying around. Food crumbs will attract other pests like ants, which, in turn, will attract spiders.
  • Regularly sweep and vacuum your floors. Wipe down your counters and tables, and avoid letting your dirty dishes sit out for more than a few hours.
  • Pick up as much clutter as possible. Old newspapers and piles of dirty clothes make the ideal hiding place for spider species that thrive in darkness.
  • Use plastic storage containers. Airtight plastic containers are difficult for spiders to crawl into, but cardboard boxes are fairly easy.
Vacuum spiders and spider webs. One of the simplest methods for getting rid of spiders is vacuuming up egg sacs and webs as you run across them.

  • This method works best when trying to get rid of a few spiders. It may not be very efficient if you have a large spider population living in your home.
  • You can also use a broom to sweep away webs.
  • Rather than killing spiders, you should transport them outside if possible.
Call a A1 Exterminator. If you have a large spider infestation and measures you take yourself are unable to control the problem, we will be able to rid these pests for you.
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How to Spot Mice or Rats in the Home

Common Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Many people associate the cold weather with high heating bills, power outages and other related problems, but rodent infestations should also be added to this list of winter woes. In fact, a survey by the National Pest Management Association found that 45 percent of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter. Since now is the time of year that mice and rats tend to move indoors in search of food, water and shelter, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a rodent infestation. The National Pest Management Association put together the following list to help determine if your home is indeed infested with rodents.

What to Look For

Ordinary house mouse (Mus musculus) nose pokes through a hole in the wall

Droppings: Finding mice or rat droppings around the home is one of the most common signs of a rodent infestation. Measuring approximately 1/8-1/4” (3-6 mm) long, these pellets are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries. Homeowners may also find mouse droppings under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams. Mouse feces can carry harmful bacteria, transmit serious diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus, and trigger allergies. Mice are capable of producing more than 50 droppings a day, so prompt removal using protective gloves is key to keeping the family safe from the potential health threats posed by these critters.

Gnaw marks: Rodents can cause serious property damage by chewing through almost any type of material – including plastic and lead pipes – to obtain food or water. House mice and Norway rats are also known to gnaw on wires behind walls, which can increase the risk for a fire in the home. It’s necessary to keep a watchful eye for gnaw marks around the house, as this is a clear sign of a rodent infestation.

Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. House mice, specifically, like to build their nests out of shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics. If you see these materials scattered around the home, it might be time to call in a licensed pest professional to perform an inspection.

Tracks or rub marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food. Keep an eye out for these rub marks, which are actually caused by the rat’s oily fur.

Strange noises: Hearing strange noises in the walls, especially at night, can be a bit concerning. Chances are these sounds can be attributed to a family of rodents scurrying about the house, between the walls and up in attics. Rodents are especially fond of attics because they provide dark, secluded spots to build nests. Unfortunately, attics are among the rooms in a home that are easily overlooked during the pest-proofing process. Make sure to keep this area well ventilated and dry, and opt to store any family heirlooms in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes.

An actual rodent: Mice can breed rapidly, so if you spot one mouse in the house, it’s likely there are others playing hide and seek. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, up to 35 young per year. That’s a lot of mice!

If you recognize any of these signs of a rodent infestation, don’t mess around! Rodents are not only a nuisance; they can multiply fast and are known to spread more than 35 diseases. They are also capable of chewing through drywall and even electrical wiring in the home, which increases the risk for a potential fire. The best thing to do in the event of an infestation is to contact A1 Exterminators to inspect the home and recommend a proper course of treatment.

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Keep Rodents at Bay

Not looking to cuddle with a rodent for warmth? We don’t blame you! Here’s how to keep mice and rats out of your home in the winter.

No matter how tiny they are, rodents  have the capability to wreak havoc at your home. Not only are they irritating, but they can cause a lot of material damage and health issues.

Rodents can chew up things at your home, spoil food, spread a number of diseases and inflame or create allergies. So, before they find access to your home and start making trouble, it is vital to rodent proof your home. Allston MA rodent removal

When it comes to rodent proofing your home, you will need to locate all the points that can allow entry to rats or mice and seal all those places. It is also crucial that you maintain proper hygiene and sanitary conditions so as to discourage rodent infestation.

 1. Inspect your foundation

To rodent proof your home, you should start with inspecting the foundation of your building with an aim to discover any holes or gaps. The holes that are large enough to allow for entry to the rodents should be blocked. The best material to block the gaps is a wire mesh or black foam.

2. Check all entry points

The next step towards rodent proofing should be to inspect all the entry points of your home, such as the doors and windows. It must be made sure that all the windows and doors close properly, without leaving any gap in between that can act as an entry point for rodents. In order to bridge any gap, metal kick plates can be used.

3. Examine your roof

The roof of the house should be well examined for rodents as well. Check the ventilators, shingles and chimneys for any breakages, gaps or leaks. If found, the gaps should be filled in, and the chimney has to be kept capped to ensure that no rodents can enter the home through it.

4. Pay close attention to your garden

The garden area also should be properly inspected, to see that there are no piles of rubbish or lots of overgrowth that can be perfect living locations for rats. If there are any tree branches that are close to your house, these can be used as passage by rodents to enter into your home. Therefore, the garden must be well maintained.

5. Watch for pipe or wire lines

Any pipe or wire lines that enter the house from the outside can be possible passage for rodents. Metal rodent guards can be used to avoid access.

6. Cleanliness is important

Rodent proofing requires that adequate cleanliness is maintained, especially in the areas where food is cooked and kept, as any leftovers or open food can invite rodents. The concealed areas in the kitchen should be kept clean, and unfinished food of pets should be disposed off immediately.

As far as possible, clutter and piling up of things should be avoided, as these places can become a home for the rodents.

8. Keep your garbage sealed

Garbage must be kept in sealed bags or containers, and any kind of debris should be removed. It is essential to take care of hygiene and sanitation in order to rodent proof your home.

By implementing these techniques, you can assist in keeping your house from being bombarded with rodents and provide both yourself and your family the comfort of knowing you are living in a safe and sanitary home.

 

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Bed Bugs Can Ruin Your Romantic Getaway

If you’re planning a romantic getaway, don’t let bed bugs crash your trip. Check out these prevention tips to avoid an encounter with these blood-sucking pests.

If you stay in a hotel or motel, keep these bed bug travel tips in mind. It is important that you take some precautions to ensure that your room is bed-bug free before you settle in. In a recent survey by NPMA, 75% of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered infestations of bed bugs in hotels and motels. We recommend the following tips for bed bug prevention when traveling:

  • At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots.  If you see anything suspect, notify management and change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.  If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
  • Remember: bed bugs travel by hitching rides. After your trip, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.
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Prevent a Spring Termite Invasion

Moisture from rain or snow can attract termites, which will emerge in full force before we know it in the spring. Here’s how you can prevent a termite invasion before the season begins.Preventing termites from accessing your home and treating known termite colonies is your ultimate termite control.

 Help to Prevent Subterranean Termite Infestations?

  • Remove Access
    • Seal gaps around water and gas lines where they enter your home to help eliminate entry points.termite damage graphic
    • Wood-to-ground contact is a common access point for subterranean termites seeking entry into your home. Where possible, try to reduce wood-to-ground contact. In addition, you also can treat wood to make it unattractive to termites.
  • Reduce Food Sources
    • Throw out extra cellulose materials around your house, such as in crawlspaces. Replace landscaping mulch with cellulose-free alternatives or move it back at least six inches from your foundation.
    • Make sure wooden siding is at least six inches above the ground.
  • Reduce Excess Moisture
    • Make sure water does not pool around the foundation of your home or on your roof.
    • Address moisture problems in basement and crawlspace areas.
    • Fix leaky plumbing, faulty gutters and air conditioner condensation lines that may be dripping.
  • Monitor for Activity and Adopt Prevention Techniques
    • Inspect lumber: especially used lumber and railroad ties for termites before using it in home or garden projects.
    • Our professional technicians can recommend prevention techniques around your home, which could include monitoring stations and treatment options.  Proactive treatment can help protect your home against future infestations.
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Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Winter Spider Prevention

Are you noticing a lot of spiders in your home? These pests love to spin their webs indoors to keep warm throughout the winter. Here are some spider prevention tips to try to keep these pests from entering your home.

Seal up your home. Patch up cracks and holes leading from the outside in to prevent spiders from finding…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

How to Spot Mice or Rats in the Home

Common Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Many people associate the cold weather with high heating bills, power outages and other related problems, but rodent infestations should also be added to this list of winter woes. In fact, a survey by the National Pest Management Association found that 45 percent of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter. Since now…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Keep Rodents at Bay

Not looking to cuddle with a rodent for warmth? We don’t blame you! Here’s how to keep mice and rats out of your home in the winter.

No matter how tiny they are, rodents  have the capability to wreak havoc at your home. Not only are they irritating, but they can…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Bed Bugs Can Ruin Your Romantic Getaway

If you’re planning a romantic getaway, don’t let bed bugs crash your trip. Check out these prevention tips to avoid an encounter with these blood-sucking pests.

If you stay in a hotel or motel, keep these bed bug travel tips in mind. It is important that you take some precautions to ensure that your room is bed-bug free before you…

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Prevent a Spring Termite Invasion

Moisture from rain or snow can attract termites, which will emerge in full force before we know it in the spring. Here’s how you can prevent a termite invasion before the season begins.Preventing termites from accessing your home and treating known termite colonies is your ultimate termite control.

 Help to Prevent Subterranean Termite Infestations?

Get the Latests News for Pest Control in New England

Bed Bug Prevention for Travelers

Planning a vacation to cure the post-holiday blues? We’ve got your prep covered with these bed bug tips for travelers.

  1. Pick up the mattresses in the rooms and look under it. Check around the edges of the box springs.
  2. Check under the box spring.
  3. Look at the corners of the room….
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