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.

 

Staying Free of Nuisance Wildlife This Winter

Although rodents are often the most common wintertime pest, homeowners should be aware of the other several nuisance wildlife pests. Such as, raccoons and squirrels that can also frequently invade homes during the colder months.

Wild animals are more apt to wander closer to homes and buildings this time of year as they search for shelter from the winter elements. While they may be cute to look at, in they find a way inside your home, they can pose some serious health issues.Big_brown_bat

Below are some of the most common wild animals that may try to gain access to homes in the winter months.

  • Bats – There are about 40 different bat species found in the Unites States, most of which are active during the warmer months and hibernate for the winter season. Bats commonly move into attics, belfries and behind shutters or loose boards. Like other nuisance wildlife, bats can carry rabies and spread disease.
  • Opossums – The opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. Opossums occasionally den in attics and garages where they may make a messy nest. They are also known to bare their sharp teeth and hiss when threatened, and in rare cases may bite.
  • Raccoons – Raccoons are rarely seen during the day due to their nocturnal habits. They can cause significant damage to roofs and chimneys while searching for places to build their dens in preparation for the winter months. Raccoons are one of the major hosts of rabies in the United States.
  • Squirrels – During the colder months, squirrels are known for invading homes in search of a place to keep warm. Fortunately, squirrels rarely pose a threat to homeowners, but they can damage electrical wires and telephone lines outdoors.

A1 Exterminators and The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to keep trash in fully sealed containers, cut back tree limbs from the roof line and be considere fencing off openings to the home to prevent wildlife from accessing the property. Anyone who encounters a wild animal on their property should contact one of our trained pest professionals for assistance. Please do not try to trap it on your own.

For more information on nuisance wildlife, visit www.a1exterminators.com

Keep Your Home Pest-Free in Winter Weather

Winter is here and in New England that brings all kinds of crazy weather. There’s snow, ice, wild winds and heavy rain. During any type of weather, homeowners should take steps to prevent any unwanted pests from moving into their home. Some new areas of concern can arise during this season and needs some review with the different weather scenarios.

Typical cold weather pests in New England, such as mice, spiders, rats and roaches, tend to seek shelter in higher numbers with the arrival of winter weather. These pests can not only cause structural damage to walls and electrical wires, but also spread diseases during a time when people are spending more time indoors.

Snow, ice, wind and rain can all cause different types of home deficiency issumice_ratses that could end up granting pests entry ways into your home. There are many precautions homeowners can take during the winter season to keep pests at bay.

  • Snow: When the temperature drops and snow starts to accumulate, rodents including mice, rats and squirrels will be searching for warmth indoors. Rodents can squeeze through small cracks and crevices that might get overlooked, especially where pipes and wires enter the home. Once inside, they can cause structural and electrical damage and spread disease. Homeowners should regularly inspect the exterior and interior of their home for any possible access points for pests.
  • Ice: Homeowners should keep on the lookout for ice dams, which form on roofs and can prevent snow from melting. The moisture backup from ice dams can cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and drywall. This can attract a number of pests that love moisture such as carpenter ants. Keep an eye out for any leaky spots in the home that could indicate an ice dam and take action to remove it before further damage occurs.
  • Wind: Strong winds can cause damage to roof shingles. Cracked areas in the roof and siding are perfect places for nuisance wildlife, including raccoons and bats, to gain access to the home. Periodically check the roof for missing shingles and be sure to fix damage right away.
  • Rain: Homeowners should check trouble spots for any leaks or areas of moisture caused by rain or melting snow. Pests such as termites are attracted to moisture and often go unseen as they build nests and grow their colonies inside homes. Be sure basements and attics are dry and clear of water damage after heavy rain or snowfall.

The winter weather is aggravating and stressful, but if you take the precautions to keep the pests out of your home, it is one less worry and headache of a future pest infestation.

For more information on winter pests, please visit www.a1exterminators.com.

Take Precautions Against Pests This Winter

Winter PestsNow that the winter is really in high gear with this cold weather, some pests go into hibernation while others move indoors in search of food and warmth. A1 Exterminators encourages homeowners to read through these tips in order to protect their home from several different types of pests, especially over the next few months.

“Many people are under the impression that pests don’t cause problems in the winter,” said Gary Weisberg, Owner, A1 Exterminators. “When in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If it is cold and snowy outside, rodents, wild animals and small pests are have no choice but to seek shelter in warm structures.  Much to our dismay, this is usually our homes.”

A1 Exterminators and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) suggests following this simple pest prevention guide to avoid an infestation this winter.

Rats: Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as a quarter. To keep these rodents from sneaking into the home unnoticed, inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or cracks and fill them with silicone caulk and steel wool.

Mice: House mice are known to contaminate food, spread disease and cause property damage by chewing through drywall and wires. Homeowners should be aware of any scurrying sounds in walls and regularly inspect for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

Spiders: Several types of spiders are found in homes.  Many types of them can be found inside items, such as shoes, gloves and baseball mitts, that aren’t used as frequently as other things around the house. People should store these items inside plastic containers to prevent spiders from crawling inside.

Cockroaches: German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, which is why they are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. Homeowners should keep their counters and floors clean, vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage on a regular basis.

Raccoons: This type of wild animal occasionally enters homes through attics or chimneys in search of a warm site for the winter to start a family. Homeowners should install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry. It’s also a good idea to install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.

For more information on winter pests, visit www.a1exterminators.com/pest-library/winter-pests-massachusetts

 

Is a Common New England Spider Venomous?

According to LiveScience.com, a common spider found in New England may be venomous.

This common Broad-Faced Sac Spider, has a surprisingly painful bite.  This spider is found wandering around the windowsills and kitchen floors of our New England homes.  He usually enters our homes in the fall season looking for heat and warmth.  trachelas6

A woman in Connecticut had been bitten by one of these pests.  Not many people in New England consider this an issue since he has been spotted int eh area for years.  Although the bite can be painful, New Englander’s should not be too alarmed by this new finding.

The woman who sustained the spider bite didn’t suffer any serious side effects, according to a recent study that was published in the September issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology. The area in which the woman was bit  became red and slightly swollen almost immediately. However, by the following day, the swelling around the bite had gone down, and the woman didn’t require medical attention.

According to Charles Vossbrinck, a co-author of the report and a scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the woman explained the bite to feel like the sting of a wasp while she was standing in her kitchen.