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Snake Control & Removal – Get Rid of Snakes – Orkin.com

Latin Name

Suborder Serpentes

What do they look like?Varies greatly depending on species.Overall, they lack fully developed legs and eyelids. They range from around 10 cm to several meters in length.Colors can be vivid greens, reds or yellows to darker black or brown. Many snakes have distinct stripes or patterning.

Though many people fear them, snakes are a very important part of our ecosystem. They help control pest populations for a variety of animals. Many snakes found in the United States are nonvenomous and pose no risk to humans other than fright or a potential secondary infection in a bite.Despite this, many people have a deep-seated fear of snakes and dont want any around their homes.

Yards rich in small prey, like rodents and birds, attract snakes. Additionally, overgrown grass, firewood piles, and piles of other kinds of debris provide shelter for the pests.

Homes with existing rodent infestations may end up with a snake problem. These reptiles often access buildings through torn screens, open windows and doors, or cracks in foundations. In warmer climates, snakes sometimes enter garages or sheds to escape the heat.

Although snakes frighten many people, they are actually shy creatures that prefer to remain hidden and undisturbed. Most will not strike unless threatened or injured. However, there are a few venomous species in the U.S. with bites that can be medically significant or even life-threatening, depending upon the snake species and how long it takes to get medical treatment. While snakes may be problematic for residents, one of the more likely scenarios to occur is a snake defending itself or its nest from pets./p>

Some nonvenomous snakes mimic more dangerous species in appearance, so misidentification is common. Most bites occur when people try to move or handle these animals carelessly.

Whether snakes already populate your land or theres a worry they might, a couple of steps can help prevent a long-term stay.

First, remove as much of their preferred habitat as possible. Snakes like something to hide in like wood piles, piles of debris, high grass and overgrown vegetation. If such harborage is removed, snakes will relocate.

Second, seal any openings leading into structures (homes, outbuildings, garages, etc.).

For more information on snake removal contact your local Orkin branch office.

What do they eat?Snakes have several different ways to kill prey. Snakes eat such animals as frogs, salamanders, insects, worms, small rodents and birds.

Venomous snakes & fangsVenomous snakes have sharp, hollow fangs designed to pierce skin and inject venom. They are located in the upper jaw with venom glands connected above. When not in use, the fangs fold back onto the mouth.

Nonvenomous snake & constrictionNonvenomous snakes use constriction to subdue their prey.They bite the prey and quickly wrap themselves around it. The snake applies pressure until the prey usually suffocates. Regardless the method of capture, the prey is consumed whole.The lower jaw is hinged and can open to surprising sizes, allowing the snake to consume prey larger than their mouth would otherwise accommodate.

HibernationSnakes are cold-blooded animals, which is why they sun in the warmer months and go into hibernation during the colder. To help keep body temperatures from dropping too low, sometimes snakes will even hibernate in dens together, thus sharing the limited heat available.

Snakes often mate in the spring. Somespecieslay eggs, while other give birth to live young. Number of offspring varies by species.

All snakes should be treated with respect and left alone regardless of venom.Most venomous species in the U.S. are a type of pit viper, including copperheads and rattlesnakes.There are various ways to identify a pit viper from nonvenomous snakes. The physical differences focus on features of the head. Characteristics of the nonvenomous snake are narrow head, no pit between eye and nostril and round pupils. The pit vipers have a triangular shaped head, a prominent pit between eye and nostril and elliptical pupils. There are also tail differences. Of course, close examination of a snake of unknown type can be dangerous. Contact a professional wildlife management technician for positive identification.

Common (Eastern) Garter Snake

Copperhead Snake

Cottonmouth Snake

Giant Garter Snake

Glossy Snake

Rough Earth Snake

Rubber Boa Snake

Scarlet Snake

Sidewinder Snake

Timber Rattlesnake

Trans-Pecos Rat Snake

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

Western Worm Snake

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Pest Control | Bed Bug Exterminator Iowa City, Cedar …

Thermal remediation or heat is the strategictool we use to exterminate all stages of Bed Bug life.Not only is heat a reliable and effective method for Bed Bug Extermination, but it is safe and all natural. Bed Bugs are becoming more and more resistant to chemicals, which leads to constant reapplications.

When using heat, you are effectively killing all Bed Bugs and eggs in the treated area. It only takes one treatment and your home can be safely occupied within a few hours of completion.

Bed Bugs cannot survive temperatures above 122F longer than 7 minutes. With special temperature sensors and heating equipment, we bring your home to 135F -145F, effectively killing every Bed Bug in all stages of life.

The heat is evenly distributed and blown around the roomallowingheat to be driven into the tiniest crevices. Temperatures around cracks, cold spotsand other possible points where the heat could escape are monitored throughout the process to ensure a consistent level of heat. Once 130Fis reached in all areas, the heat treatment will continue and temperature will be maintained for a minimum of 3 hours.

Heat treatment is an environmentally safe and non-toxic method for Bed Bug Extermination. You can rest assuredyour children wont be playing or sleeping next to any residual chemicals.

We preform Bed Bug Extermination all throughout Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Davenport, Des Moines, Burlington, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant.

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Pest Control | Bed Bug Exterminator Iowa City, Cedar …

Mice, Rodent, and Rat Exterminator in Buffalo, NY

The common house mouse is widely considered to be one of themost troublesome pests in the US, living and thriving under various conditionsin and around homes and farms. As few astwo mice can become a major problem in your home in only a matter of months.

Mice are not the only troublesome rodents one may find in their home. Any rodents found in or around your home can cause damage and transmit disease, and it’s best to call a professional for extermination. If you have a rodent infestation in your home or business, call Ehrlich Exterminating for fast and effective mouse or rat extermination services today.

Rodent Facts:

Mice Can:

The common house mouse measures about 31/2 inches and weighs less than an ounce. Mice have lived up to six years; however, most have a life expectancy of less than one. They produce young year round with an average litter of six being reared every 50 days. Two mice can grow into a major problem in only a few months.

In addition to the nuisance of hearing mice scampering inside walls and attics, a number of medical maladies have been caused by contamination related to mice, their fecal droppings and their urine. Salmonella food poisoning, infectious jaundice, rickettsial pox, meningitis, tapeworm, hantavirus, asthma and a number of other diseases are often associated with mice.

While over-the-counter rodent baits and snap traps may kill mice, the safety issues associated with both approaches make using professional help a wise decision. Mice develop large populations very quickly, so complete control must be gained as soon as possible avoid long and costly efforts later on.

If there is a rodent problem in your home or business, don’t delay. Contact Ehrlich Exterminating for a free quote today.

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My Home is Infested With Fleas | ThriftyFun

Question: Home Infested With Fleas

I work for a lady who had cats inside, the cats are gone but the fleas stayed! What can we use inside to get rid of them? We’ve sprinkled bags of Sevin dust in every room, it’s help very little. It’s very bad, she’s bitten several hundred times a day, I’m bitten about a 100 times everyday while I’m there. What do we need to do? We are willing to try anything that’s not poisonous because it is inside and she doesn’t get out.

Thanks for any help. Chas from WV

August 31, 20061 found this helpful

Best Answer

Borax! Sprinkle borax on all furniture, sweep into the carpets, put in all corners. Vacuum it up after an hour or two but some will stay behind to keep killing them at the base of the carpets. It continues to kill the eggs and is much safer than insecticides. I agree that you need to continue vacuuming. If this does not take care of the fleas, do it again. If you are getting that many bites, there must be a bunch of them and with no animals left, the humans are the targets. You can also mix the borax with table salt as it works, too.

By kay (Guest Post)

August 31, 20061 found this helpful

Best Answer

If you go to Walmart or you local pet store. There is a spray the brand is Adams in a blue bottle. It works great you can spray this on you furniture, carpet, anything it works great.Kay

By Tone (Guest Post)

September 1, 20062 found this helpful

Best Answer

Hello, All the posts are good ones. And yes continuously getting bitten is not healthy besides being nerve wracking. Is there carpeting in the house? I have had flea problems in the past but always got rid of them. I always used a heavy application of salt on the carpeting and letting it sit and then vacumming. Get rid of the vacuum contents immediately. Also wash down everything in that house with a strong vinegar solution. If the person can get out for a while an exterminator might not be a bad idea though I hate the thought of chemicals myself. Salt is cheap as is vinegar. Nothing to lose by trying.

Have a great Labor day weekend all

By Janie (Guest Post)

September 12, 20074 found this helpful

Best Answer

If you put a flat dish of warm water and a drop of Dawn dish detergent in each room the fleas will get in and die. PLUS vacuum and after you are done put the vacuum bag in a zip lock bag and freeze over night. This saves a lot of money on a new vacuum bag every day. You must vacuum all areas of the house and around base boards and furniture. The fleas will be gone in no time and no chemicals needed.

August 30, 20061 found this helpful

My cat has recently been infested with fleas, and so has my house. We have tried everything, from Frontline to fogging the house, and we still have them. I do not have the slightest idea of what to do with them. It is disrupting our sleep, and is not hygienic. How do you propose we get rid of these disgusting blood sucking insects?

Hayley

Hope this helps…

RIDDING YOUR HOME OF FLEAS by Mike Potter, Extension Entomologist

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Ridding a home of fleas can be a frustrating and costly endeavor. Unlike some pests encountered around the home, fleas cause discomfort and irritation to both pets and people. Fleas account for more than half of all dermatological conditions requiring veterinary assistance, and even a single flea bite to a hypersensitive animal or person may cause intense itching and irritation.

For successful flea control, the home, pet and oftentimes, the yard must be treated. Yet the manner in which these treatments are performed can greatly influence the results. The following information will help frustrated pet owners effectively rid their homes and pets of fleas. Essential Facts About Fleas

Adult fleas (the biting stage seen by pet owners) spend most of their time on the animal, not in the carpet. This is why treatment of the pet in conjunction with the pet’s environment is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas.

Adult fleas lay all of their eggs (up to 50 per day) on the pet. However, the eggs soon fall off the animal into carpeting, beneath the cushions of furniture, and wherever else the pet rests, sleeps or spends most of its time. This is where homeowners should focus control measures.

After hatching, flea eggs develop into tiny, worm-like larvae. Larvae remain hidden deep in carpet fibers, beneath furniture cushions and in other protected areas. The larvae feed mainly on adult flea feces (dried blood) which accumulates, along with the eggs, in pet resting and activity areas.

Before becoming adult fleas, the larvae transform into pupae within a silk-like cocoon. Pupae remain inside the cocoon for 2 to 4 weeks, sometimes longer. The cocoon is resistant to insecticides and this is why some adult fleas are seen for an extended period, even after the home and pet are treated.

Treatment of Premises

If you neglect to treat the pet’s environment (the premises), you will miss more than 90% of the developing flea population — the eggs, larvae and pupae. If the pet spends time indoors, the interior of the home should also be treated. Before treatment, the pet owner should:

1. Remove all toys, clothing, and stored items from floors, under beds, and in closets. This step is essential so that all areas will be accessible for treatment.

2. Remove pet food and water dishes, cover fish tanks, and disconnect their aerators.

3. Wash, dry-clean or destroy all pet bedding.

4. Vacuum! — vacuuming removes many of the eggs, larvae and pupae developing within the home. Vacuuming also stimulates pre-adult fleas to emerge sooner from their insecticide-resistant cocoons, thus hastening their contact with insecticide residues in the carpet. By raising the nap of the carpet, vacuuming improves the insecticide’s penetration down to the base of the carpet fibers where the developing fleas live. Vacuum thoroughly, especially in areas where pets rest or sleep. Don’t forget to vacuum along edges of rooms and beneath furniture, cushions, beds, and throw rugs. After vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag in a garbage bag and discard it in an outdoor trash container.

Insecticide Application – Once fleas become established in a home, insecticides are almost always needed to control them. Always read and follow label directions on the insecticide container. Other than the person performing the application, people and pets should be out of the house during treatment. People and pets should also remain off treated surfaces until the spray has dried. This may take several hours, depending on carpet type, ventilation and method of application. Opening windows and running the fan or air conditioner after treatment will enhance drying and minimize odor.

Many different products are available for home treatment. The most effective formulations contain both an adulticide (e.g., permethrin) effective against the biting adult stage, and an insect growth regulator (methoprene or pyriproxyfen), necessary to provide long-term suppression of the eggs, larvae and pupae. Pet owners will need to carefully read the active ingredients panel on the product label to determine if these ingredients are present. Examples include Raid Flea Killer Plus(R), Siphotrol Plus(R), Bio Flea Halt(TM), and Fleatrol(R). Most homeowners will find aerosol formulations easier to apply than liquids. Moreover, aerosol products which can be dispensed by hand — and thus directed under and behind beds, furniture, etc. — tend to be more effective than foggers or bug bombs which are indiscriminately set off in the center of a room. It is essential that the application be thorough and include all likely areas of flea development. Carpets, throw rugs, under and behind beds and furniture, and beneath cushions on which pets sleep should all be treated. Pay particular attention to areas where pets spend time or sleep, as these will be the areas where most flea eggs, larvae, and pupae will be concentrated. For example, if the family cat sleeps within a closet, or hides under the bed, these areas must be treated or the problem will continue. Hardwood and tile floors generally do not require treatment, but should be thoroughly vacuumed.

Expect to see some fleas for 2 weeks or longer following treatment. Provided all infested areas were treated initially, these “survivors” are probably newly emerged adults which have not yet succumbed to the insecticide. Instead of retreating the premises immediately, continue to vacuum. As noted earlier, vacuuming stimulates the insecticide-resistant pupae to hatch, bringing the newly emerged adults into contact with the insecticide sooner. Flea traps, such as those utilizing a light and glue board to attract and capture adult fleas, can be helpful but will not eliminate a flea infestation unless used in combination with other methods. If adult fleas continue to be seen beyond 2-4 weeks, retreatment of the premises (and pet) may be necessary.

Treatment of Pet

It is important that the pet be treated in conjunction with the premises, preferably on the same day. Adult fleas spend virtually their entire life on the animal — not in the carpet. Untreated pets will continue to be bothered by fleas. They may also transport fleas in from outdoors, eventually overcoming the effectiveness of the insecticide applied inside the home.

Pets can be treated either by a veterinarian or the pet owner. A variety of on-animal formulations are available that may be prescribed by veterinarians. Many provide only short-term relief against biting adults (a few hours to a few weeks); however, two new veterinarian-supplied products, Advantage and Frontline, control adult fleas on pets for 1 and 3 months, respectively. Some products also contain an insect growth regulator (IGR) to prevent eggs from hatching as they are laid on the animal (e.g., Raid Flea Killer Plus, Ovitrol Plus(R), Bio Spot(TM)). Convenient, long-term prevention of egg hatch can be accomplished either with the Ovitrol(R) Flea Egg Collar, or Program(R), administered orally to pets as a tablet. (See ENTFACT 628 – A Smarter Approach To Flea Control). Both of these products are available through veterinarians.

Pet owners should always read the product label. Certain products can be used only on dogs, and some list specific treatment procedures for puppies and kittens. Do not treat pets with the same products used to treat carpeting or the yard. As previously mentioned, it is important that pets be kept off treated carpets and surfaces until the spray has completely dried.

To re-cap, “de-fleaing” the pet is an essential step in ridding a home of fleas. However, pet owners must also treat the pet’s environment, the home. Having your pet dipped will not, in itself, eliminate fleas in an infested home.

Treatment of Yard

Most flea problems in Kentucky can be eliminated by treating the pet and the interior of the home. In cases where pets spend most of their time outdoors, it may also be necessary to treat the yard. One way to determine if the yard is infested is to walk around the property wearing white athletic socks, pulled to the knee. If fleas are present, they will be seen against the white background of the socks.

Outdoor flea treatment should focus on areas where pets rest, sleep, and run, such as doghouse and kennel areas, under decks, along fences and next to the foundation. It is seldom necessary to treat the entire yard or open areas exposed to full sun. Insecticide formulations containing chlorpyrifos (Dursban) or permethrin are somewhat effective for outdoor flea treatment. These can be applied with a hose-end or pump-up sprayer. Long term suppression of fleas infesting kennels or outdoor areas can be enhanced with formulations containing an IGR such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen.

Fleas can be successfully controlled by diligently following the steps outlined above. Homeowners who lack the time to control fleas themselves or who are uncomfortable applying pesticides may wish to enlist the services of a professional pest control firm.

Where trade names are used, no endorsement is intended, nor criticism implied of similar products not named.

Issued: 2/93 Revised: 11/97

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.

Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE! (09/09/2005)

By Joe

At the beginning of this year we acquired a house that had sat mostly vacant for over half a year. The flea problem was intense to say the least. Thank goodness we became aware of them *before* we moved anything into the house.

Since neither we nor the previous owners ever owned a pet, we couldn’t figure out where the fleas were coming from.

We had Terminex come out and treat for fleas … and the fleas just laughed. it made virtually no difference. We followed their direction of vaccuuming every other day (house is entirely tiled so at least that was easy) and immediately tossing out the bag.

Terminex told us that if we still saw activity after 30 days it was a sign we had a severe problem and we’d need a re-treatment (no charge). Not only did we still have fleas after 30 days but after just two weeks it was clear we were losing the war … the fleas problem was worse.

We asked Terminex to come back out and they re-treated. The technician then suggested the flea problem was probably due to some itinerant animal (feral cat, raccoon, possum, etc).

He was right, 11 racoons, and one possum later we quickly licked the flea problem. The treatment worked and we’ve been flea free ever since.

By the way, for all the wildlife that visited you might think we live out in the country. We don’t. We’re less than two minutes away from downtown Houston, TX in what is termed an Historic District. The house is up on blocks and is about 122 years old.

The raccoons would come underneath the house and crawl between the gaps created between the beam and the original flooring (now covered with tile). They would then go through the subflooring and spaces into the wall and climb up to the second floor.

In addition to the flea treatment we found it necessary to close up the gaps underneath the house and put latticework along all sides so no more animals could come visit.

With all the raccoons we had, it must have been quite a party.

Best of luck, Kathryn

(09/12/2005)

By Kathryn

With kids in the house I would really try to stay away from chemicals. For your pet, add a capful of vinegar to their water. You can also add a small amount of garlic powder to canned food. Both of these make them unappealing to fleas. If you are able to wash the cat, wash it in Dawn dish detergent. As for the house, sprinkle all of your carpets with table salt and leave in all day, then vacuum. This dries out the fleas. Also set out a pie pan filled with water and a little dish soap. Set it under a lamp that you leave on overnight. The fleas seek out heat and will jump toward the bulb and drown in the water. Set these up around the house. Good luck – I’ve been there and it can be quite a job. Also realize you may have to repeat in a week or so when the eggs hatch. (09/12/2005)

By Ann

My cat has a flea problem I read in a book that if you comb lavender oil through their coats it deters them. We also have a lavender plant in our back yard so I got some of the flowers and rubbed it along the cat’s fur, the fleas actually came out of the fur as they hate the scent of the lavender and we were able to then comb them out. To make your own lavender oil pick the lavender flowers and put them in some olive oil and leave to soak for three days then just strain the lavender out. (09/15/2005)

By bb

I was told that here in Southern California, fleas breed in wet ivy. So if you have ivy in your yard, you don’t need pets to help you bring fleas into your home, they just ride along with you.

I like the story about “itinerant” animals, since here in historic Pasadena, we have them in our historic homes. Aren’t they darling? That’s where a friendly “mouser” comes in. They work for cat food, and they agree to be deflead themselves. (09/16/2005)

By Carrie

Wash the dog with Head and Shoulders. Then I got a small spray bottle filled it with vinegar and gave the dog a misting of vinegar. Or you can use Skin So Soft (Avon). Also do the salt thing! (10/31/2005)

By Jackie

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My Home is Infested With Fleas | ThriftyFun

Can Squirrels Cause Roof Damage? | Knockout Roofing

Should you worry about roof damage from squirrels?

Squirrels can be cute and entertaining creatures, and watching them scamper around the roof and trees can be fun for the entire family. Unfortunately, it isnt all fun and games when it comes to squirrels and rooftops.

In fact, if you have these critters running around on your roof, it may indeed be cause for concern.

When you look at squirrels up close, you can see they have sharp teeth and claws.

These sharp teeth are necessary to break open nuts and acorns, and their claws help with climbing and defending themselves. But thats not all squirrels use their teeth and claws for squirrels are known for gnawing and scratching at rooftops too.

These little rodents can chew their way through your roof shingles and move on to destroy the decking and underlayment. They can easily work their way into your attic as well, eating away the insulation and chewing through any wires they encounter.

Once they infest your attic, squirrels like to settle in and build nests. After a while, the urine and feces buildup results in a pervasive odor and creates a potentially toxic environment in your home.

Weve established that squirrels are no friend to your roof. So how do you go about getting rid of them?

Start by checking your roof and exterior walls for holes that squirrels could use to enter your home. Next, take a flashlight (and potentially an allergy mask) into the attic. Look for signs of rodent life. You may notice gnaw or claw marks, torn or missing insulation, shredded paper or concentrations of urine or feces.

Seal any potential entry holes and cracks. Be careful, as you dont want to seal the holes while the critters are still inside. The best way to accomplish this is to go into the attic and make a lot of noise before sealing. This will encourage the rodents to leave. You can also set traps or have an exterminator do it to capture the destructive little creatures.

Once youve gotten rid of the rodents, contact us to evaluate and repair any roof damage. Dont delay, because destruction caused by squirrels can lead to roof leaks and problems with the decking and underlying support system.

Once the squirrel damage has been repaired, its time to figure out how to keep them form coming back.

As long as they can access your roof, theyre likely to keep causing problems. Trimming nearby tree branches will help solve the problem. But keep in mind that squirrels are incredible jumpers. Prune any branches that are within 10 feet of your home to effectively prevent the critters from leaping onto the roof.

Eliminating bird feeders is another way to discourage squirrels. Bird feeders attract rodents because they present an easy source of food. And once they come for the free food, theyre likely to look around for shelter and more food.

Whether you have roof damage from a squirrel problem, weather or simply age, the professionals at Knockout Roofing can inspect your roof and make repairs to secure its integrity.

Contact our Salt Lake City, Utah, office today to request an estimate for roof damage repair.

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Can Squirrels Cause Roof Damage? | Knockout Roofing

Squirrel Pest Control & Removal – Get Rid of Squirrels

Latin Name

Family Sciuridae

What do they look like?

Squirrels typically have a bushy tail. and common U.S. species are around 40 to 50 cm.

By simply watching a squirrel, one sees a free-spirited daredevil. They playfully scamper across the ground, fearlessly leap from tree branch to tree branch, and masterfully run along power lines without a misstep. Squirrels seem to live a fairly carefree lifestyle, but they can create a number of problems for humans.

Squirrels are adept climbers that scale houses and trees on the lookout for predators or nesting sites. If they find a way inside, these curious pests will enter a house seeking food, warmth, and safety. Common squirrel entry points include damaged vent screens and uncapped chimneys. If tree limbs are growing over houses, squirrels are likely to use these overhanging limbs to move onto the house roof and then inside the attic.

Outside, squirrels tear up gardens, eat growing vegetables, and dig holes to store nuts for later use. The pests also chew on utility wires and even gnaw through wooden walls to access homes and outbuildings.

Once squirrels enter a home, they often build nests in attics or wall voids. A squirrel that wanders inside may panic and run around erratically, causing property damage or making so much noise during the night that occupants have trouble getting a good nights sleep. In addition, the pests can spread diseases like ringworm and carry fleas, mites, and other parasites. If you have problems with squirrels, contact your Orkin office and ask them about using non-lethal methods of squirrel exclusion.

Removal & Exclusion ServicesSquirrels can be a challenge to control. Its advised that a professional be contacted to handle the situation.

The Orkin Man is trained to help manage squirrels and wildlife. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Keeping squirrels out of homes and buildings is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkins exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps Assess, Implement and Monitor.

The Orkin Man can provide the right solution to keep wildlife in their placeout of your home, or business.

For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact a local Orkin branch office near you.

Aside from seeing the squirrels, signs include their gnaw damage, such as for food and nesting sites, as well as daytime sounds of their activity, such as in attics.

The most commonly encountered species of tree squirrels are the following:

Where do they nest?Tree squirrels generally nest within trees in wooded areas. As humans expand into natural areas, squirrels are forced to look for alternate means of lodging, including entering buildings. The most frequently invaded areas are garages and attics. Squirrels reach these areas by chewing holes in the exterior of the structure and typically nest, store food or both. Their activity is usually noisy and heard by anyone in close proximity.

When are they active?Tree squirrels are most active in the early morning and late afternoon hours. They spend this time in search of or storing food.

What do they eat?A squirrels usual diet consists of fruit, bark, nuts, seeds, buds, leaves, bulbs and insects. If immediate nourishment isnt needed, it will store the food in a cache for winter keeping. Flying squirrels, by exception, are primarily active at night.

Ground squirrels typically do not climb into trees and can cause damage to crops, ornamentals and gardens. These can be trapped and relocated or controlled by rodenticides where permitted.

Most young are born during two periods of the year early spring and late summer. Tree squirrels generally bear two litters per year, while flying squirrels tend to give birth only once annually. Litters vary in count between three and eight, depending on the species.

What can you do to prevent squirrel problems?

Proper prevention is important since whatever is done will prevent damage and possibly avoid health-related problems related to the presence of squirrels.

Inspect for the signs of squirrels.

Signs include:

Habitat Modification

Squirrel InfestationSquirrel DamageFlying Squirrels

Excerpt from:
Squirrel Pest Control & Removal – Get Rid of Squirrels

Bed Bug Facts & Pest Information: How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

What Are Bed Bugs?Bed Bug FactsIdentification

Bedbugs are small, nocturnal, wingless insects belonging to the insect family of Cimicidae. They feed on humans and other warm blooded animals. They are an oval shape and are up to 4-5 mm long when fully grown. Adult bed bugs have a flattened body and their skin colour is either rust brown or a deeper red brown. Nymph bed bugs are clear or a yellowish colour and are generally 1-4mm long. Bed bugs have two antennae and six legs. Read more on what a bed bug looks like.

Bed bugs have been known to travel over 20 feet from hiding in order to feed butwill generally hide within 3-6 feet of their host.

Due to the flattened body of a bed bug they can easily hide in small places such as baseboards, cracks in floors, under carpets, behind loose wallpaper, bed frames, sofas, behind picture frames and many other places which makes them very difficult to detect. They tend to stay together and large infestations will give off a sweet but unpleasant smell.

Read more about the bed bug life stages

The combination of re-introduction, increased international travel and the fact that pest control professionals no longer use older pesticides (such as DDT, Chlordane and Lindane) means that bed bugs have been able to stage a resurgence and become a very serious pest in the 21st century. They have a unique ability to hide and due to their ability to spread, new inspection and control methods must be far more thorough and extensive than with many other pests.

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that live near their hosts. Since they feed on humans (their hosts) their habitats include houses, hotels or any property that we frequent. All they require is a protected area in close proximity to a feeding source. Bed bugs bite people when they are sleeping usually on exposed skin. When looking for a meal bed bugs can move very quickly to feed and then back into hiding after their meal. Unless you know specifically how to look for bed bugs these pests can be easily overlooked.

Bed bug bites can also go unnoticed, and are even often misdiagnosed, making detection that much more difficult.

Bed bugs do not cling to people but they can accidentally get caught up in our belongings (i.e. suitcase, purse, laptop bags). From there they can move from their current home into new ones in homes, hotels, offices, hospitals, or any other building as well as modes of transportation. Sanitation and cleanliness of a property is not an issue as bed bugs are notorious hitch hikers and can show up almost anywhere.

Even the cleanest of places can fall victim to bed bugs and once inside they spread rapidly. Bed bugs are great hitch hikers and easily travel from place to place in someones personal belongings or luggage.

Bed bugs do not pose any health risks from communicable diseases but their saliva does contain proteins that can leave itchy red welts on some people.

If you suspect bed bugs, or want to be proactive, look for live or dead bugs or the skins they can leave behind when they are molting. After feeding bed bugs will regularly leave behind small spots of reddish-black fecal matter on your bedding, mattress or box springs. They will lay their eggs (1/32 to 1/8 in size) in dark crevices near feeding areas. Learn more about bed bug signs in your home.

Bed bugs are not limited to any one particular kind of dwelling. They have been found in houses, multi-family dwellings, apartments, hotels, airplanes and hospitals. Sanitation or cleanliness is not an issue in where you can find bed bugs.

Bed bugs never really left. They are common in many nations around the world. We are seeing a resurgence in North America for several reasons including a reduced use of pesticides, the use of second hand furniture and increased international travel as bed bugs are notorious hitch hikers.

Bed bugs do not cling to people but they arenotorious hitch hikers andcan hide in our belongings (i.e. suitcase, purse, laptop bags). From there they can be introduced into a home, hotel, office, hospital, or any other building as well as modes of transportation. Sanitation is not a factor in whether or not you get bed bugs.

Once established, bed bugs tend to stay put but can spread due to any of the following;

QUESTION:True or false: bed bugs are only found in dirty places.

ANSWER:False. Cleanliness of a property is not an issue as bed bugs are notorious hitch hikers and can show up almost anywhere. Even the cleanest of places can fall victim to bed bugs and once inside they spread rapidly.

Schedule a Bed Bug Inspection

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Bed Bug Facts & Pest Information: How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

Bed Bug Extermination Cost: Inspection and Treatment Costs

There are many insects which invade your home, but one of the most frustrating is the bed bug. These pests usually go unnoticed, but once they make their presence known, they can spread quickly wherever you go. Do-it-yourself methods have limited effect, and usually only by working in conjunction with a professional exterminator service can an infestation be completely eliminated.

Unlike other pests, a single bed bug may invade your home and never be noticed. Unfortunately, once they begin to breed, the infestation will grow quickly. Learning to identify the signs of bed bugs early on can help to shorten a sometimes long and arduous extermination process.

The bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a parasitic insect which has been spoken of since Ancient Greece. They feed on blood and have gained their name from one of their most common dwelling places. Adults are reddish brown to light brown in color. They measure .16 to .2 inches long and .059 to .118 inches wide (about the size and shape of an apple seed), making them difficult to spot. During the 1900s, bed bugs were nearly eliminated from developed countries, but populations of pesticide-resistant bed bugs have exploded since the 1980s for reasons unknown.

Able to survive temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, it is possible to kill up to 95 percent of bedbugs after freezing at a constant 10 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of three days, although this is impractical.

However, a seven minute or longer exposure to temperatures of 115 degrees or 13 minutes at 26 degrees will kill a bedbug at any life stage. They are tolerant to low humidity, but cannot survive long periods of time exposed to high amounts of carbon dioxide.

Bed bugs start off as tiny, milky eggs about the size of a period. These eggs hatch into tiny nymphs which must molt six times before reaching the adult stage. They must feed in order to prepare for each molting, and the shed exoskeletons are often one of the first signs of a bed bug issue. Female adults lay four to five eggs every day and can live up to nine months in warm conditions.

Beginning with their first nymph stage, bed bugs will feed exclusively on blood. Contrary to popular belief. they are not entirely nocturnal, feeding whenever opportunity strikes. Once a nymph has found a viable food source, it will nest somewhere close. This is the primary reason bed bugs are usually found in beds.

When a bed bug feeds, its mouth parts penetrate the host painlessly and blood is pushed up through the feeding tube using natural pressure from the pierced blood vessel. A secondary tube injects anticoagulants into the hosts skin to prevent clotting. Once full, the bed bug retreats in order to molt or digest. Contact with the host is generally less than 20 minutes long, and feeding between five and ten minutes.

Unless a bed bug has been spotted, the first sign of an infestation is usually the presence of skin irritation. This may be a rash or blister, although some people do not manifest visible signs. Bed bugs may become infected by at least 28 human pathogens, although there are no clear findings that they can transmit these pathogens to humans. In some rare cases, a bite may result in a severe allergic reaction which requires medical attention.

Bed bugs are small and adept at sneaking into your belongings. They can be picked up in hotels, gym, schools, offices, or anywhere else an infestation may be present. They have also been known to be present in refurbished mattresses, although regulations have greatly reduced the risk of purchasing a bugged bed.

Bed bugs are small and very difficult to spot. In addition, they resemble many other species of household insect. One of the quickest ways to identify bed bugs is to check for rashes or other skin reactions in the morning. Also, check your headboard, mattress, and linens when changing sheets for any bugs or tiny black spots of dried blood. If you spot any bug that resembles a bed bug or identify signs a bed bug has been feeding, it is best to call a professional exterminator to inspect your home.

There are three phases when dealing with a bed bug infestation: inspection, preparation, and treatment. The overall process can be quite costly, but the price is not necessarily from the inspection or treatment itself. You may have to destroy some of your furniture and discard many other items. Furthermore, if you do not properly prepare, the treatment may not be fully successful.

Upon spotting bed bugs, the first step is to contact a professional exterminator and report the sighting. It is important to have your whole home inspected, as the infestation may be confined to only a few rooms or throughout the house. This step may end up saving you a lot of money if the bed bugs are in a limited area.

Starting in the bedroom, the inspector will examine each piece of furniture, rugs, and the area immediately surrounding it for any signs of infestation. In some cases, they may probe cracks and crevices looking for hidden bugs. These signs include:

Upon completion of the inspection, the exterminator will be able to confirm whether there is an infestation and, if so, how extensive. From there, they will be able to recommend the best possible treatment method.

An alternative method of inspection uses dogs trained to detect bed bugs. The accuracy of canine inspections may be as high as 96 percent. Note that not every extermination company will offer this service.

The cost of an inspection varies depending upon the size of your home and local rates. In some cases, you may be able to get the inspection at no cost. However, it generally costs between $50 and $200. Canine inspections typically cost between $300 and $600 for the average home. Larger buildings such as apartments or hotels will run between $900 and $1200 for a canine unit.

Dealing with bed bugs is a complicated process, and the exterminator will require extensive preparations. As with many other aspects of bed bug treatment, the requirements may vary from one exterminator to another. The following items may or may not be required, depending upon the company youre dealing with.

Removing potential infestations from fabrics is an involved but necessary measure. Bed bugs are known to hide within the material, and must be eliminated before reusing cloths, curtains, linens, etc. The process must be carefully followed to avoid any cross contamination.

Steam clean and/or use a heavy suction vacuum on all furniture, carpets, and unwashable cushions. If you use a vacuum, carefully dispose of the bag. Any furniture which is in poor condition or infested should be bagged carefully using storage bags available from a moving store, then disposed of. If you are willing to part with any furniture, then dispose of them in the same manner. Pull any remaining furniture away from the walls and vacuum around the edges of the room.

Any wooden bookshelves, desks, or other wooden furniture must be cleared off, as the bed bugs will attempt to hide between the boards. The exterminator will remove the bottom cover of box springs and couches to access potential hiding spots.

Depending upon the exterminator, you may not be permitted to use any boxes. Some companies will permit plastic or Tupperware, but cardboard is porous and provides places for the bed bugs to hide. Clean any plastic bins to store items in and seal tightly.

It is important to carefully bag or box all loose items when preparing for an extermination, as the bed bugs will attempt to hide in any available space. These items should be treated and/or inspected before placing them back in the rooms. All electronics and appliances will also need to be unplugged and moved away from the walls.

Bed bugs are resistant to pesticides and home remedies tend to scatter more bugs than they kill, making treatment more difficult. Instead, professional exterminators use a combination of methods to eliminate the infestation. The success of these methods may be adversely affected if you do not properly prepare for the treatment.

There are a number of treatment methods available. Some methods work well on their own, although some may require multiple applications or work best in conjunction with other methods. Note that any given treatment may not be available through your local extermination companies.

Fumigation is a complicated process usually associated with termite extermination. During a fumigation, your home will be covered in tarpaulin, which is generally anchored using large containers of water you must provide. Vikane gas is then pumped into the house where it is distributed throughout the structure by strategically placed fans. The use of fumigation has numerous advantages and disadvantages which you should consider before selecting this type of treatment.

Advantages include:

Disadvantages include:

Bed bugs are unable to survive high temperatures, making heat a highly effective treatment method. Plastics and other items with low resistance to heat need to be removed prior to treatment. The exterminators will then pump heated air into the home, raising the temperature to 120 degrees. This method will kill everything from eggs to adults, although it leaves no chemical residue and therefore cannot prevent a future outbreak.

Your exterminator may decide to use liquid and powder chemicals in conjunction with other treatment methods. Powders are used for open, or void spaces, while liquids are used on cracks and crevices. Fleeing bed bugs are killed upon contact, making this a useful treatment method when used in conjunction with other methods. Unfortunately, bed bugs are becoming more resistant to pesticides, so these chemicals are not very effective on their own.

A variation on heat treatment, some professional exterminators will use a powerful steam cleaner to eradicate the bedbug infestation. These special cleaners have a high heat setting and may be used to clean everything from mattresses to curtains and even wall cracks. Water vapor penetrates materials better than other substances, and the exterminator will clean each item thoroughly, leaving no surviving eggs or bugs. While steam treatment is an effective means of exterminating bed bugs, it may take more than one pass to completely eliminate the problem.

The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation is to practice caution when in areas that may contain them. If you are currently suffering from an infestation, this will include taking measures to avoid spreading them to work or school. Hotels and other places where people may congregate are common transfer points for this pest.

Developed by Orkin Pest Control, this acronym helps you avoid bringing bed bugs home from hotels, motels, gyms, and other places where people congregate.

Take some time to inspect for signs of an infestation. Tiny black or rust colored spots from bed bug feces may be found on sheets, mattress tags, bed skirts, pillows, or seams. You may also spot bugs or shed exoskeletons during your survey.

Carefully lift the mattress, bed frame, headboard, and nearby objects which bed bugs may be hiding under. These insects tend to remain within five feet of a potential food source, making the search radius smaller. Again, you may locate exoskeletons, even if there are no live bugs visible.

Bed bugs cannot fly so placing your luggage on an elevated rack or shelf will reduce the risk of them hiding among your belongings. The location should be away from the bed and nearby wall. Remember that bed bugs may hide in picture frames, behind wall outlets, and other crevices near the bed.

Even if your initial inspection found nothing, there is a risk of picking up hitchhikers on the way home. Carefully examine your belongings and suitcases as you pack for any stray bugs. Packing in an area away from the bed will further reduce the risk of infestation.

To avoid the risk of eggs in your belongings, place your clothes in the dryer immediately upon your return home. Run the dryer for at least 15 minutes on the highest setting. This will eliminate any bed bugs or eggs you did not spot while packing.

If you are already suffering from an infestation, it is important to avoid spreading these pests to others. Many prevention methods are simple and easy to incorporate into your daily life even when your infestation has been eliminated. Remember that bed bugs are small and may hide in tiny places you cant see.

Items which routinely leave your home; such as backpacks, briefcases, and jackets; should not be kept in the bedroom. When possible, keep them in an entryway or your car. This greatly reduces the risk of contamination. Avoid taking unnecessary items with you to reduce the potential number of hiding places.

If you are not required to leave your home for more than a few hours during the extermination, or if you are preparing for the exterminator, there are a few ways to avoid taking bed bugs with you. Using a spray on anything you are taking out of the house will help kill most of the bugs, but is not 10 percent effective. Carefully inspecting items will also help to catch any bugs. If you are staying with a friend, buy any toiletries on the way and take an immediate shower upon arrival, placing your clothes in the washer to avoid contaminating their home.

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Bed Bug Extermination Cost: Inspection and Treatment Costs

Secaucus NJ Pest Control | Exterminators In Secaucus

Secaucus is a town located in Hudson County, New Jersey. It is within the boundaries of the New Jersey Meadowlands and offers plenty of outdoor space with a suburban atmosphere. It provides its residents with many housing options, community activities, and outdoor entertainment opportunities. Secaucus is also home to various stores and some commercial properties, making it a place where people can truly live, work, and thrive. The New Jersey pest control experts here at ChemTec Pest Control want to help keep your Secaucus homes and businesses free of dangerous and damaging pests by offering residents effective, affordable, and eco-sound pest control services. With our help, worrying about pests like ants, termites, roaches, beetles, spiders, and rodents will be a thing of the past!

Since we opened our doors, ChemTec Pest Control has been dedicated to providing New Jersey business owners the services they need to keep their commercial facility free of pests. When you choose ChemTec, you are choosing a company that takes great pride in offering local, responsible, and trustworthy commercial pest control services. You will have the full commitment of our entire team, including our state certified and licensed technicians and Quality Control Supervisors.

We have experience in providing pest control services for a wide variety of industries and businesses. The comprehensive services we perform are going to be unique to your facility and will ensure that pests are eliminated and preventative measures are put in place. By working together, we can help to ensure the health and safety of your facility, your employees, and your customers!

Spiders are commonly found living outside, but often enter homes and other buildings while foraging for food sources or looking for a safe place to overwinter. Once spiders have entered your home, they tend to hide in the dark, hard to reach areas like closets, basements, attics, crawl spaces, and underneath furniture, making eliminating them a difficult task. While most spider species found living in New Jersey are harmless, there are a few whose venom is strong enough to cause health risks to people.

If spiders have invaded your Secaucus property, it is important to call the professionals here at ChemTec. Our professionals can come to your property, provide an inspection, correctly identify the species present, and provide effective treatment services. We can then follow-up with year-round pest control services to prevent future problems with spiders and to prevent problems with other common household insects and rodents.

Bed bugs can find their way into any Secaucus home; and once inside, they can only be eliminated through professional services due to their small size and their ability to hide in the small cracks and crevices throughout a home or other property. ChemTec Pest Control has years of experience dealing with bed bugs, and we have the services needed to completely eliminate an infestation.

To ensure the complete elimination of an infestation and to help prevent a re-infestation, our bed bug control program includes three treatments. ChemTecs highly skilled, thorough, and experienced technicians will get rid of the bed bugs in your home using specialized materials that are effective at treating bed bugs. After treatment is completed, we highly recommend purchasing Protect-A-Bed bed bug bite-proof mattress and box spring covers to aid in preventing a re-infestation.

For added peace of mind, we have our 6 month bed bug guarantee (which begins on the date of first treatment) which states that if bed bugs re-appear after the third treatment, we come back and perform a targeted treatment to get rid of the remaining infestation. Contact us today to schedule a bed bug inspection for your Secaucus property!

Mice, rats, and other rodents are considered year-round pests; and, therefore, require year-round pest control services to protect your home, your family, your business, and your customers from their damages. Listed below are some facts about rodents, along with how ChemTec can help to control them:

ChemTec can help to control and prevent problems with rodents in homes through our year-round PestGuard Home Protection Plan. We can provide commercial pest control services to eliminate and control mice inside businesses and other commercial facilities as well. Our professionals have the skill and experience needed to provide a thorough inspection of your property and provide the control and prevention measures needed to ensure that your property becomes and remains rodent free!

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Secaucus NJ Pest Control | Exterminators In Secaucus

Do your own pest control | Family Handyman

The right bait is the keyLive trap

To live-trap a ground hog (aka a woodchuck), bait the trap with cantaloupe-the more rotten, the better.

Michael Finfrock, Field Editor

In the past seven years, I have trapped well over 50 small animals. Finfrock says his success at doing his own pest control comes down to researching appropriate baits and trapping methods for each particular animal. Local extension services, the critter library on havahart.com, and state DNRs provide detailed trapping and baiting information on their Web sites.

In many areas, its illegal to relocate nuisance animals, so check with local authorities. Also, according to wildlife experts, more than 50 percent of relocated animals dont survive because they dont have an established shelter, food source or territory.

I dived into our pool and came face to face with a baby brown snake, the second most lethal snake in the world. Getting ready to strike, it hissed at me and I leapt out of the pool faster than I had dived in! We got it out of the pool, and my wife grabbed a spade and chopped the snake into three pieces with one swing! Three hours later, as she showed my son the snake pieces, it lifted its head and hissed at him. An old man explained this, saying, Snakes only die once the sun goes down.

Lee Dashiell, Associate Editor,Handyman Australia

Tiny drain flies are harmless but can gather in huge numbers in your house. Theyre sometimes mistaken for fruit flies, but they actually live on the gunky slime in your drainpipes. Field Editor Lindsay McLeod told us about a recent plague of drain flies in her basement.

An exterminator would have charged $65 to come investigate plus the cost of exterminating. Instead, I poured a teaspoon of bleach down the basement drain and the flies started pouring out! Gross! So I poured a little more bleach in, blocked the drain hole, waited an hour and presto! No more drain flies!

If the bleach doesnt work, experts suggest starving the flies by cleaning the gunky slime out of the drain with a long-handled brush.

I have one heck of a yard nightmare huge mounds of dirt in our yard filled with hugeand I mean hugeJurassic-size cicada killer wasps. Their tunnels have killed the grass, and they come back every year.

Jill Bucolo, Field Editor

These large wasps live in all states east of the Rockies. Male cicada killer wasps are aggressive, but they dont have stingers. The females do but will only sting if they feel threatened. These wasps, which feed cicadas to their young, typically nest in disturbed, sandy areas and rarely infest healthy turf.

Adequate lime, fertilizer and frequent watering promote a thick growth of turf and can usually eliminate a cicada killer wasp infestation in one or two seasons. Mulch heavily around flower beds and shrubs to cover sandy soil. For severe infestations, call in an exterminator.

Matt Langford

A lot of cricket-like bugs had taken up residence in my basement. Im concerned about chemicals in bug sprays, so I came up with this simple trapduct tape. I set out a long strip of duct tape sticky side up in my basement. When I returned a couple of days later, I found it had about 15 to 20 bugs attached. Since then, I have set tape out several times with the same results.

Matt Langford

Editors Note: To permanently banish crickets, seal entrances by caulking around basement windows. Also dehumidify your basementthey like damp areas.

Lemongrass will help keep mosquitos away.

Lemongrass contains citronella. Repel mosquitos by growing it in clumps around your deck and mash up the inner leaves and rub the juice on your skin.

Get rid of the grubs that are their food source, suggests Field Editor Jerry Young. Use a good grub insecticide in the spring and again in July and youll starve out the moles.

Several Field Editors recommend the Victor Out O Sight Mole Trap (available through our affiliation with Amazon.com). Visit amazon.com and type in this products name and youll find tons of helpful advice, tips and tricks by customers who have used this trap successfully.

Even the experts dont agree on what works for moles, so we cant give you any magic bullets. But some of our readers have real-world success stories about controlling these pests.

Ed Stawicki, Field Editor

I tried all of the typical mole products and remedies and finally the Wire Tek Easy-Set Mole Eliminator Trap did the trick, says Field Editor Ed Stawicki. It traps the moles with a scissor-effect. Very effective.

The Mole Eliminator is available through our affiliation with Amazon.com.

Scott Craig, Field Editor

The Mole Chaser worked for me, says Field Editor Scott Craig. Its a foot-long metal cylinder that vibrates underground intermittently and causes the moles to find a new home.

Mole chaser stakes are available in several models for $12 and up at home centers and online.

We have chickens in our backyard, so we have a problem with foxes and raccoons. I installed an electric fence, which helped, but the biggest success was a motion-activated light on the chicken coop along with a motion-activated sprinkler. It works quite well.

Hans Ocken,Field Editor

Discourage ants from entering your home by planting a mint barrier around your foundation, says Field Editor Wayne Piaskowski.

Over the past three years Ive tried ant bombs, spraying their nests out in the yard. I even physically dug up a stubborn colony near the street that was three feet deep and wide. The mint that Ive planted around the house seems to be helping a lot.

When Field Editor Chris Phelps counted 70 bats exiting his attic one evening, he knew he had a problem. He quickly discovered the solutiona bat exclusion doorwhich lets bats out but wont let them back in. One type of exclusion door is a piece of netting that hangs a foot below the bats exit point. You tape the netting along the top and sides but leave the bottom free. The bats will slip out the open bottom, but wont be able to fly back in.

Bat exclusion doors help you control these pests on your own: Bats can exit but cant return.

Chris Phelps,Field Editor

We installed the door, says Phelps, and within a week the bats were gone. I sealed the hole to keep them out permanently. We also built a couple of bat houses since bats eat mosquitos.

Craig Taylor, Field Editor

Ive captured and relocated armadillos, a raccoon, water moccasins, pine snakes, rats, you name it. My trap of choice is a big, empty 32-gallon plastic trash can. Lay the can on its side and to the critter it looks like a dark tunnel to hide in. Force them in with a stick, flip the can upright, put the lid on and transfer. For the armadillos, Ive placed the trash can over them and slid a flat board underneath and flipped the whole thing upright.

Craig Taylor,Field Editor

John Williams, Field Editor

I propped a soda bottle up at about a 20-degree angle and baited it with peanut butter. A day later I had a very scared mouse trapped in my bottle. He was relocated to a field more suited to his skill set.

A swipe of vegetable oil around the inside of the lip will prevent the mouse from slipping away.

Chemical ant baits are most effective for grease-eating and sweet-eating ant species. The key is to allow the ants to eat the bait and take it back to kill the entire colony, which may take several weeks. Gel ant baits let you apply bait in hard-to-reach areas such as behind appliances and in cracks and crevices (keep all chemical baits away from pets and kids).

Great Stuff expanding foam seals small holes and cracks. The newest productGreat Stuff Pestblock (sold at home centers)contains a bitter ingredient (but not a pesticide) that discourages insect pests and rodents from gnawing on the insulating foam to gain entry to your home.

We live on 20 acres in the mountains of northern New Mexico and have regular visits by elk, deer, coyotes and bear when I forget to take my bird feeders in at night.

Joe Stehling,Field Editor

To repel ants, set whole bay leaves around kitchen food canisters and sprinkle crushed bay leaves along windowsills.

Drape plastic netting from the gutters and angle it toward the house. Staple it to the siding. Then angle it to the ground, about 3 in. away from the house. Staple it to 2x4s on the ground. Wrap the edges toward the house to seal the entire area.

Woodpeckers sometimes peck holes in a house to get to insects. But they also peck to attract mates and establish their territory. And once they find a good spot on your home, youll have to act fast or youll never get them to leave. However, its easy to do your own pest control.

Start by covering all woodpecker holes with metal flashing or tin can lids (fix the actual damage later). Then hang shiny deterrents like Mylar strips, magnifying mirrors or pinwheels all around the repairs. If that doesnt work, cover the entire side of the house with plastic netting from a garden center. Once the woodpeckers leave, you can remove the netting.

After college, I moved into my blind grandfathers decrepit house to care for him. I kept seeing big ants in the kitchen, but ant bait did nothing and my grandfather insisted the ants were from the houseplants Id brought with me. One afternoon, I walked into the kitchen and headed for the ancient refrigerator.

Suddenly, I noticed strange movements on the walls. I looked around and there were literally hundreds of winged carpenter ants covering the walls, counters and ceiling of the kitchen. It was a scene from a horror movie. Turns out carpenter ants had been nesting behind the refrigerator for years and had tunneled through nearly every bit of wood. The entire back of the house was being held together by lath and stucco.

Elisa Bernick,Associate Editor

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you startyoull save time and frustration.

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Heres a list.

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Do your own pest control | Family Handyman


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