Unexpected Winter Visitors

During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to have an unexpected visit with a rodent who has made its way into your home uninvited. People do not realize that these pests can be much more than a nuisance. Rodents, such as rats, mice and rabbits, are associated with a number of health risks. In fact, mice-bathrobe-web-adrats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, and through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through fleas, ticks, or mites that have fed on an infected rodent.

This is especially concerning as this frigid weather continues and rodents need someplace warm to live.  The National Pest Management Association estimates that rodents invade about 21 million homes in the United States every winter, squeezing through spaces as small as a nickel.

Rodent droppings can trigger allergies and transmit food borne illness such as salmonella, and as mice are capable of dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, an estimated 70 times each day – prevention and prompt removal in case of an infestation is key.

If you think you have a rodent infestation, contact A-1 Exterminators today for a free consultation. www.a1exterminators.com

Traveling Bed Bugs

Family and friends have either come to visit you or you have gone to visit them this winter.  You are either unpacking or getting your guest room back in order and you discover what look like bed bugs. Could it be that your guests brought unwanted pests or you brought them home? Unfortunately, yes it can be just that.

The bed-bug epidemic continues across the country and travelers can be unintentional culprits of bringing bed bugs.bed-bugs-1.jpg

Bed bugs are very small, the size of an apple seed, and they are used to hiding. Check in crevices, folds of materials and between cushions. They crawl out to feed on human blood, usually at night, and leave small bites. Many people with an infestation report that they found them by finding deposits that resemble small drops of blood in bedding. You may also find a rash after having been bit.

When you find these pests, it’s important to treat the problem right away and the right way. Don’t try homemade pest controls for bed bugs. Household sprays or grocery store remedies are not going to help, bed bugs can be tough to treat. You need to treat all of the bedding, clothing and other items that may have come in contact with the bed bugs.

When guests stay with you, it’s a good idea to do a quick review of the bedding and mattresses after a visit. As well as when you stay with a friend or family member, discreetly check the room where you will be staying. A couple extra minutes can save you some trouble in the long run.

Love for Bugs

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air. Mating habits of some insects are more bizarre then romantic. A-1 Exterminators wants to share some of the oddest mating rituals found in the world of insects.

Insect species have their own peculiar ways of attracting the opposite sex. Aside from Red-clipart-love-heartbeing strange, some of these mating rituals involve people and can even put them at risk.

Below are examples of what passes for romance in the world of bed bugs, termites, kissing bugs and fire ants:

  • Bed Bugs: These pests are infamous for their ability to reproduce rapidly, creating major infestations in short periods of time. Bed bugs repro reproduce by the male pierces the abdomen of the female. Male bed bugs often attempt to mate with other males, killing them in the process.
  • Termites: Female termites release “mating pheromones” that act as a perfume to entice male termites. Once the males locate the female termites, they will break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple.
  • Kissing Bugs: Despite their name, there’s nothing romantic about these bugs! Kissing bugs have a tendency to bite the faces and lips of humans while they sleep, not only causing welts and allergic reactions, but they are also capable of spreading the potentially fatal Chagas disease. This blood meal is necessary for male kissing bugs to mate and for female kissing bugs to lay eggs.
  • Fire Ants: In fire ant colonies, the queen ant is in charge of laying eggs and can even control how many male and female eggs she lays. The queen can live for up to seven years and produce more than 1,000 eggs each day. Male ants, called drones, are not so fortunate. Their only role in the colony is to mate with the queen and then die soon after doing so.

For more information on these and other pests, please visit www.a1exterminators.com

The Cold Air Will Send Pest to Your Home

As the temperatures in the New England area are continuing to fall, homeowners are going to possibly be joined by a few unwanted pests moving into their house.  We know that pests including ants, spiders and rodents are looking for a warm space from this bitter cold weather.

There are many pests that can’t  adapt to the colder weather, so the dip in the temperature forces them to search for a safe environment indoors. Unfortunately, your home acts as the perfect place for pests because they have access to shelter, food and water throughout the winter.

Experts at the National Pest Management Association, recommend the following tips to keethermometorp these pests outdoors where they belong:

  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with caulk. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed.
  • Consider partnering with a licensed pest professional to identify pest problems and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

Try to do your best to eliminate all moisture sites, termites and carpenter ants are specifically attracted to this type of environment. Once they find a spot they like and move in, these pests can cause extensive damage to homes.

For more information or to schedule an inspection visit www.a1exterminators.com or call us at (800) 525-4825.

Tips on Checking for Bed Bugs

Here are a few tips on how to check for Bed Bugs at home.

  1. Starting with the area closest to the bed, visually inspect using a good, strong flashlight. Check for bed bugs in the mattress and pillow seams thoroughly.Bedbug Chart
  2. Check for dark brown or reddish blood spots from the bed bug fecal droppings on all bedding surfaces (sheets, comforters, dust ruffles, mattresses, pillows).
  3. Slowly lift the mattress or box spring off the frame. Check the underside of the box spring– the most common hiding place for bed bugs. Remember, that fine mesh lining the bottom of your box spring is no match for bed bugs wanting to hide inside.
  4. Check for bed bugs along the top and underside of the frame carefully. This is a particularly favorite place for bed bugs as it is close to its blood meal (you) and is an undisturbed and well-hidden location on the bed.
  5. Clutter on the floors, closets, bookshelves, etc, are all good hiding places for bed bugs. Inspect these areas methodically and carefully.
  6. Inspect yourself and your family. Bed bugs typically, but not always, bite in a straight line. The bites appear red and swollen and may have a small dip in the middle, much like a mosquito bite. Beware it is difficult, even for professionals, to diagnose that a bite is indeed from a bed bug. And remember, not all family members will show signs of bed bug bites, even though they are being fed upon.

If you think you have a Bed Bug infestation, contact A1 Exterminators at 781-592-2731 to rectify the situation.