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Rat catchers make 130 St Jamess Hospital visits in just three years –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 17th, 2019

A pest control company has been called to St Jamess Hospital more than 130 times over the last three years to pick up dead rats, rodent droppings and dead pigeons, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.

The data obtained by the Irish Mail on Sunday shows that the number of call-outs per month has increased, with construction under way next door at the 1.7bn National Childrens Hospital.

The hospital, which is being built on a 12-acre site on the St Jamess campus, has been mired in controversy over spiralling costs.

Excavation at the large site has been under way since 2017 and construction is progressing steadily having started earlier this year.

But apart from rising costs, which are likely to surpass 2bn, it is also having an impact on its nearest neighbours. Dead birds and dead rodents have all been collected from the hospital over the past three years, the documentation shows.

Rat droppings were found in the hospital on several occasions and rat traps have been laid consistently over the past three years. Suspected rodent sightings, dead rodents, laying rat traps and follow-ups to see if any rats had been caught were the subject of 52 callouts, or 40% of the pest companys work overall, while calls about ants represented 27% of its workload. A cat was reportedly seen in the hospital on another occasion and, while a cage was laid, no cat was caught.

In August 2018, giant ants were reported and a partial insecticide treatment was carried out in a hallway. The patient room was not treated as a patient has low immune system, state the hospital notes.

In 2017 there were 30 call-outs, another 49 call-outs last year, and up to October this year, a pest control company was called a further 45 times.

This year, the most calls recorded were in July, August and September, with a higher number of calls in those months than for any month in 2017 or 2018. Insecticide was sprayed in the hospital on multiple occasions for wasps, ants, woodlice and fruit flies.

Pests of all descriptions have been a recurring problem at St Jamess hospital for a number of years. In 2015 and 2016, a pest control company was called some 100 times over both years, after activity was reported in areas including a dialysis room, an endoscopy theatre and on bedside tables in hospital wards. Over this period, some 35,000 was spent on call-outs.

However, the hospital has refused to release the costs for the past three years to the MoS, saying this information is commercially sensitive.

Experts told the MoS that it is common for rat infestations, in particular, to rise in winter months and that both site excavations and the construction stages can both attract rats to an area.

Richard Faulkner, advanced technical field consultant for Rentokil, told the MoS: Rat infestations are typically more common at this time of year. During autumn and winter, the rodent population begins to move indoors to escape the cold weather, so this is usually when Rentokil experiences its highest level of call-outs.

Rats can be a serious issue for home and business owners, as they can spread disease, damage property and contaminate food. They can also introduce disease, carrying parasites like fleas, lice and ticks into a premises. Mr Faulkner continued: Construction works can also frequently disturb rats that may already be present in that location.

The demolition of existing old buildings can displace the rat and mouse populations and if the rodents have nowhere else to go, they can try to find shelter in nearby residential or commercial buildings.

As the construction sites themselves become more developed, they can become an ideal habitat for the rodents.

Another issue on sites can be the opportunities packaging and stored materials offer rodents. Rats burrow and make their nests under shelter such as timber stacks, piles of rubbish and untended vegetation.

The increase in construction workers and other tradesman on site bringing food with them and creating litter will make the area even more attractive to rats.

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Rat catchers make 130 St Jamess Hospital visits in just three years -

How to Get Rid of Squirrels in Attic | Terminix

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 9th, 2019

Find entry points around the home.They might be cute and fuzzy outdoors, but when you get squirrels in the attic or walls of your home, serious harm and injury can occur. Squirrels can cause damage to your house in places that are very difficult to reach, meaning lengthy and costly repairs. Further, they can transmit quite a few diseases, so an encounter with a frightened and trapped wild animal in your home could spell disaster for you and your loved ones. Thats why its important you not only learn how to get rid of squirrels in the attic, but also how to keep squirrels out of attic spaces. Here are five effective steps that will help make your home squirrel-free and practically impenetrable to these long-tailed invaders.

Seal up all entry points except one. Squirrels can squeeze through just about any opening in your home, so make sure doors and windows are properly fitted to your house and covered with fitted screens. Wire mesh can be placed over open vents and chimney tops (or you can invest in a chimney cap). Seal up other openings with caulk, steel wool or appropriate materials as needed (e.g., fill up holes with dirt, use bricks to fix a wall, etc.). A pest management professional can help suggest ways to shore up your homes defense. Just remember to always leave one entry point open so the squirrels can leave on their own. This should be the most obvious and accessible entry point. Cover this last entry point with a single sheet of newspaper, and if its still intact a few days after you stop hearing signs of squirrels in the attic, its safe to seal it off for good.

Give the squirrels some incentive to leave. Unfortunately, you might have to learn how to get rid of squirrels in your attic by giving them a little push. Squirrels wont always leave on their own, especially if theyve already given birth to a litter. In this scenario, the adult will repeatedly leave and enter the home to bring food to the young. If you seal up the final entry point when the adult squirrel leaves while the baby squirrels are still in the attic or walls, they will need to be removed by a pest management professional, dead or alive. To prevent this, drive the squirrels out as soon as they make themselves known, before they can give birth or set up shop. Playing loud music and keeping lights on can be effective as a squirrel repellent. Attics should be avoided while squirrels are in them since they can be dangerous and may even get scared and run into other parts of the house, creating a path of terror and destruction along the way.

Learn how to get rid of squirrels in the attic with traps.Traps are a very effective weapon in the war against squirrels in the attic. There are a few different types of squirrel traps that you can use, as well as a few different places to set them. Live-capture traps do just what their name sounds like: captures the squirrel alive. Unfortunately, you will still have to deal with the live animal after trapping, either through euthanasia or setting it free 5 or 10 miles from your home. This is dangerous to both you and the squirrel and may require a permit based on your states wildlife laws. Kill-traps are actually more humane than live traps and much safer, since the rodent will be taken out of the equation quickly and safely. Live traps also have to be checked frequently, as it is inhumane to let the animal starve to death. Both of these types of traps (kill- and live-capture) are typically box traps and can be placed in attic runways where squirrel activity has been noticed. A third type of trap is called a body-gripping trap and can be placed directly outside of entry points to catch the squirrel as it darts in and out of your home. Box traps can also be placed outside in the yard, near burrows, to capture squirrels before they can enter your home.

Learn how to keep squirrels out of attics and your home in general.Finally, its vital that you take preventative measures to keep not only squirrels, but also pests in general, out of your home. Insects, arachnids, wildlife and reptiles belong outside in nature (unless kept as pets), so start by sealing up entry points around your home (discussed above). Trim any trees that overhang your house, as squirrels and other pests can gain easy access to your roof, windows and attic. If the squirrel population around your home is a problem, use traps to alleviate it. Take necessary precautions if you have children or pets, as they can get caught in the traps as well.

By far, the best way to deal with squirrels in attic spaces, walls or around the home is to call a pest management professional. A professional from Terminix not only knows how to get squirrels out of the attic, but how to keep them and other pests outside where they belong. Call today and put a safe ending on this potentially dangerous situation.

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How to Get Rid of Squirrels in Attic | Terminix

Billy the Exterminator: Feisty Squirrel | A&E

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 9th, 2019

Ants in the Home: When to call an Exterminator | The Bug Man

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 9th, 2019

How do you know if you have an ant problem in your home? The most common type of ants youll find in the home are typically a foraging species that get into food storage areas and transfer bacteria. While ants are unlikely to carry serious diseases, they can cause a nasty surprise when you open up your cabinets in the summer.

Carpenter ants can bring their own array of problems by chewing through the wood in your home, and potentially lead to costly repairs for the structural features of your house. On the other hand, fire ants raise another kind of problem, as they can bite and cause painful irritation to the surface of the skin. In these situations, the best solution is to contact an ant exterminator. Portland-Vancouver pest control professionals will correctly identify the species of ant infesting your home and take safe and appropriate action to clear your home of these pests.

Each of these kinds of ants can be identified by where they are found in the house, but it takes a pest control professional to locate and exterminate. Here are some tips to help you figure out if you need pest control in your home.

Ants in or around areas of food, such as the kitchen cabinets and along entryway doors are not always a sign of an ant infestation that needs an exterminator. Especially during the warmer months of the years, ant colonies send out scouts to find sources of food and potential nest locations. One or two ants, especially in an area where there is old food or rotten wood doesnt necessarily signal the start of an infestation, but those areas should be cleaned up and trapped to prevent more ants from moving in.

However, if your home has a large population of ants around areas of food, or you find carpenter ants in an area with no rotting wood present, you may have an infestation. Many times, if you can hear ants in the walls by leaning your ear to the surface, that is the sign of a large colony that needs a professional ant exterminator to treat. While individual traps are useful for small ant problems, they do not take care of the whole nest. This is why your best option is to contact a professional ant exterminator. Portland & Vancouver homeowners can protect their families and possessions with effective pest control services as exterminators can effectively treat the structure.

If you are looking for an ant exterminator in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, contact The Bug Man. With an experienced team of exterminators who specialize in pest removal and control, you can remove the ants from your home in a snap.

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Ants in the Home: When to call an Exterminator | The Bug Man

How Much Do Bed Bug Exterminators Cost? (A Simple Guide …

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 8th, 2019

Bed bugs: frustrating, annoying pests at best...hungry, nocturnal bloodsuckers at worst.

When faced with a bed bug infestation, you're probably finding yourself deprived of a decent night's sleep.

Even worse, you feel helpless in dealing with the problem yourself considering their size makes them almost impossible to detect.

The only real option you have in this situation is to call a bed bug control service. While a bed bug exterminator is indeed just a quick phone call away, this critical first step is (sometimes) a lot more complicated than you might think.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Bed Bug Problem?

Bed bugs are indeed quite small and you may want to solve the problem on your own. But can you really get rid of the problem that keeps on biting you in your sleep? Or is it better to call in a pro for bed bug control service?

Why Make the Call?

If this is your first time to consider calling for bed bug control service, chances are that there are still a lot of things that you don't know about these small (but terrible!) pests.

The size and appearance of bed bugs make these pests nearly invisible to the naked eye. They're about the same size of a pin head with a brown appearance. Bed bugs have flat bodies that can easily squeeze into the smallest or most restricted hiding spots. They feed on human blood but can also live for more than a year without food.

Although these pests often dwell in bed mattresses, bed bugs can live almost anywhere. To top it off, they are impeccably clever when it comes to finding the best hiding spots during the daytime. Lastly, a single female bed bug can lay 300-500 eggs throughout her lifetime.

These are just a handful of the laundry list of reasons why bed bug infestations are better off in the hands of professional pest exterminators. When you find a warning sign, it's best not to let these bloodsuckers fester between your sheets any longer than necessary!

When Should You Call for Expert Help?

Are you still trying to find ways to get rid of these nasty bugs by yourself?

Well, whether you like it or not, bed bugs are very hard to get rid of. Apart from their nearly undetectable size, their population can balloon to an overwhelming size in a matter of mere days.

Even worse, they can easily spread throughout your home without you noticing them whatsoever.

How bad does it have to get?

Basically, your infestation shouldn't have to get really bad before you decide on calling for a bed bug exterminator.


Bed bugs are extremely good at hidingespecially during daytime. In most cases, homeowners who do the inspection on their own are actually faced with a far greater problem than what they expected.

It's best to call for professional bed bug control assistance at the very first sign of infestation. A few classic signs of infestation to look out for are:

Can I do it myself?

Although bed bugs are not known to be carriers of diseases (unlike cockroaches and mice), an infestation CAN severely affect your day-to-day life. And this triggers a lot of homeowners to try to deal with the problem immediately on their own. But is it really a good idea to do so?

The answer is NO! Why?

Most DIY solutions are not actually effective in totally eradicating the entire population of bed bugs inside the concerned property. Even worse, some of these DIY treatmentsbug bombs, for examplepose a serious threat to you and your family's health.

And since bed bugs literally live and hide on your personal belongings such as your clothes, blanket, and mattress, spraying solutions directly without proper knowledge can also lead to your things getting damaged at the same time.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Bed Bug Problem?

Now that you've made your decision about effectively dealing with a bed bug infestation, the next important thing to deal with is the actual cost of hiring an exterminator.

How much is today's bed bug control cost from inspection to treatment?

One-Time Treatment

For those who prefer dealing with bed bugs in one blow, pest control companies offer a one-time type of treatment application. The program starts with a thorough inspection and is followed by treatment application within the same day.

This type of control is applicable for all types of infestation (slight to severe) and often preferable to homeowners with a busy schedule.

One-time bed bug control ranges from $300 to $1,500 depending on the size of property and severity of infestation.


Larger properties with severe cases of bed bug infestation spread throughout the house often requires multiple visits from the pest control company.

This is made possible through a contract, which is spearheaded by property inspection to identify contaminated areas while searching for possible entry points. The inspection phase can cost you somewhere between $150-$200, depending on the complexity of your home's internal structure and its total area.

The contract should indicate the frequency of the visit as agreed by both parties.

Bed bug infestation has reemerged worldwide. These pests can easily enter your property in various ways, and there's no telling when a single insect can trigger a recurrence of the infestation.

These pests can spread quickly, which prompts many homeowners to acquire regular maintenance from their trusted bed bug control specialist.

Important Details to Tell Your Exterminator

Calling an exterminator is the very first step in overcoming your bug problem.

The overall success of bed bug control treatment also depends on how well you can communicate with them. You should know exactly which details to tell your exterminator, especially if this is your first time to make such a call.


Pest control companies know that bed bugs take refuge in your bedroomparticularly mattress and blanket most of the time.

But as mentioned earlier, bed bugs can live anywherefrom behind baseboards and wallpapers to furniture crevicesand all types of upholstery found in your home.

Conducting a thorough sweep of your property on your own prior to the exterminator's actual inspection can help save valuable time and secure a good head start for the treatment on the big day.

When did it start?

It is very critical to be very specific especially on the time you first observed the signs of the infestation. The pest control company will then most likely ask you if you have accommodated guests recently or if you have traveled out of town and stayed in a hotel or someone else's house. Such details will help the exterminator conclude as to how your property got infiltrated by bed bugs.

Room Temperature

The temperature of your room also plays a critical role in the progress of bed bug infestation. Bed bug population thrives at normal room temperature, particularly at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

It would also help to take note of the usual temperatures in other rooms of the house. This will help the exterminator determine other possible hiding spots for bed bugs throughout your property.

What do you smell?

Although small in size, bed bugs also give off quite a scent.

Bed bugs are known to release pheromones that have a musty scent. If your bedroom smells like a dirty locker room, it could be that you're actually smelling bed bugs, and not your dirty laundry!

Worse cases of infestation give off a much stronger scent.

Any bite marks?

Bed bugs consume human blood to survive. If your bedroom has bed bug infestation, it simply means that YOU ARE THEIR FOOD!

Waking up to a number of red and itchy bumps is one of the very first signs of bed bug infestation. Bed bug bite marks are usually found on the arms and legs and sometimes on the neck, face, and shoulders. These bite marks appear in tight lines or in clusters. They are either flat or raised red welts with a dark spot at the center.

How to Choose a Bed Bug Exterminator

Long story short: there are a lot of bug exterminators out there willing to deal with your infestation problem.

However, it's crucial to realize that not all of them are truly capable of delivering the results you need. Here are some important things that you need to consider before making that critical decision on which pest control company to trust.


Checking the credentials of the prospective company is the very first step in making sure that your chosen exterminator works with strict adherence to state laws. Ask if the company is a duly registered exterminator with licensed and certified pesticide applicators and technicians.

You can call the pest control regulatory agencies to check on the authenticity of the exterminator's credentials, as well as if there are any recorded complaints or malpractices.


Ask for a list of the bed bug exterminator's previous clients. Try calling at least two or three from the said list and ask for their opinion regarding the concerned company's overall performance.

A confident pest control company will have no problems or hangups providing such a list to a prospective client. In doing so, they're furthering their own business and highlighting satisfactory jobs which have been previously completed.


A company's experience isn't measured only in the number of years it has been operational in the industry of pest control services, but also effectively gauged by the number of clients served.

The bigger the roster of satisfied clients, the better. A preferred option would be an exterminator with deep experience in dealing with all levels of bed bug infestation within different sizes and types of property structure.

For a few more excellent tips on finding a specialist for your bed bug problem, take a look at what research entomologist Jeff White has to say about interviewing possible pest control companies in the video below.

Type of Treatment

Basically, there are two known types of treatment available for bed bug control: heat and insecticide. These two approaches have different benefits and setbacks, so it is important to determine which is right for your property.

The first type of treatment involves heating infested areas for at least six hours. Through the use of a special heating equipment, the temperature of the affected room can reach up to 60 degrees Celsius.

The technician monitors the entire treatment process through the aid of remote thermometers strategically placed in various key areas of the room. This is to make sure that adult bed bugs and their eggs become exposed to lethal heat, no matter where they hide in the room. This treatment doesn't involve the use of harmful chemicals, but also doesn't offer protection from recurrence of infestation.

The insecticide type of treatment is applied in two different formsthe contact and the residual insecticide. The contact insecticide is a fast-acting formula that can instantly kill bed bugs upon direct contact.

The residual insecticide, on the other hand, acts continuously even long after its application. This particular form of insecticide is usually applied on cracks and crevices, where it can seep in and work for weeks or months afterward. With insecticide treatment, the treated area is protected from getting reinfected at least for a certain period of time.

It can, however, pose a significant threat to you and your family's health.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Bed Bug Problem?

Before any treatment is initiated, it's important to let the exterminator know if you have pets in the house. This way, the technician or pesticide applicator will be able to give you helpful advice on what to do with your pets during treatment.

Basically, how you secure your pets depends mostly on the severity of the infestation. For mild infestation, the exterminator will only have to treat the infected room(s) of the house. In this scenario, you'll be able to keep your pets in another room or area of the house not scheduled for treatment.

For severe cases of bed bug infestation, the exterminator will most likely recommend the entire house for treatment. In this case, you will have to take your pets outside your home or better yet, secure them in their kennel.

Depending on the size of the treated area, you will have to secure your pets for at least 6 hours or so.

What To Do After Treatment

You must work hand in hand with your exterminator in order to completely eradicate the bed bugs' existence inside your house. After the exterminator has done his part of the task, it's time to do yours.

The problem, however, is that a lot of homeowners don't know what to do after bed bug treatment. The secret lies in understanding the type of treatment that you acquired for your property.

First and foremost, you will have to check and inspect the rooms or areas of your house not affected by the treatment. Check the undersides of the furniture as well as on the cracks and crevices of the wall to make sure that no surviving bed bugs are able to escape undetected.

Next, furniture pieces from the treated room(s) should be taken outside and placed directly under the sun at least for one to two hours. Prolonged and direct exposure from the sun's heat will deliver a killing blow to any surviving bug.

For insecticide treatment, you will have to stay away from the infested room(s) for at least 6 hours from the time the exterminator has finished and left your property.

On the other hand, you can almost instantly access the concerned room in heating treatment right after the exterminator has finished up. Following a heat treatment, you can do the after treatment clean-up and dispose of the dead bed bugs and eggs properly instantly.

What to Tell Your Neighbors

Bed bugs can neither fly nor jump, but they can easily travel from place to place fast. A single bed bug can start a whole new infestation by conveniently hitchhiking on a person's clothing, pet, or luggage.

As soon as you find out that you have bed bug infestation in your home, it is best to tell your neighbors about the problem right away...since there is a good chance that they're also having the same infestation, unbeknownst to them. This helps lessen the chances of the infestation recurring in your home, since your neighbors will most like be taking the same control step.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Bed Bug Problem?

Calling in a pest control specialist to handle your bed bug problem may seem like a last resort, but really, it should be your first instinct.

Bed bugs aren't just gross, they're actual parasites. These little vampires in your bed feed off your blood while you're asleep and breed by the thousands...of course you're going to need professional help to kick them out!

When choosing a qualified pest control specialist, make sure to pick one with the right experience, credentials, and know-how to get the job done right. In our guide, we've given you the tips you need to find your bed bug professional so that you can rest easily tonight. Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Other Bed Bug Guides

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How Much Do Bed Bug Exterminators Cost? (A Simple Guide ...

Freaky Spiders That Would Shock Even A Bug Exterminator

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 4th, 2019

Discover some of the most freakiest spiders in the animal world. Even a bug exterminator would be shocked by some of these bizarre spider species.

This spider disguises itself as a pile of bird poop so that its predators wont want to eat it. Unlike most other spiders it doesnt build webs, instead it lies in wait to catch its prey.

This spider builds traps in bark and burrows in the ground and soon as something draws near it pounces out of its hidden trap and attacks.

The Wandering Spider is one of the most venomous spiders in the world. Besides having life threatening symptoms from the venom it also has a bizarre side effect, it can give erections in males for several hours.

The camel spider is the fastest spider on the planet and can run faster than humans. So there is no outrunning this big bad bug.

This spider gets its name not because it eats peacocks but because it displays similar magnificent colors when trying to attract a mate. The males will raise their abdomens and back legs to show off their colors, they also clap their back legs to gain the females attention even more.

This spider has giant horns sticking out of his head and when combined with a red face on his body it looks like the devil himself!!

Next time you try to pick up a cute ladybug be careful because it might really be a spider in disguise.

This spider has one of the best camouflages in the spider kingdom, it can mimic a tree stump perfectly and lies in wait to catch unaware insects that pass by.

Thankfully the tail of this spider does not have the same sting as a scorpion and is instead used to help disguise the spider as a twig.

Nature wasnt satisfied with spiders being scary enough so created this spiny yellowy creature. Thankfully its bites arent too harmful to humans, good to know if you ever get the courage to pick one up.

Many birds and wasps stay clear of ants because of their aggressiveness and strength in numbers and so some spiders have developed the ability to disguise themselves as ants to keep predators away.

This spider earned its name because it likes to go fishing. I guess they find it easier than catching bugs.

This spiders defense is a happy smiley face on his back, maybe they have heard that some people are scared of clowns.

This freaky spider is also known as a whip spider and prefers to feed on wandering spiders rather than other insects.

The Assassin Spider is one of the only spiders to actually have a neck. Fossils have been found showing that this creature has been around for forty million years. It is the spider that puts fear into other spiders.

This spider cleverly enlarges the small mirror fragments on its abdomen in a hope that the reflection of its predators while scare them away.

These spiders are the Picassos of the spider world, they have been seeing making shapes in their webs to decorate them.

Next time you go to smell a beautiful be careful as there may be a spider hiding in there waiting to jump out at you.

These spiders have learned how to float on the water and pluck out their prey as it swims past.

Meet the largest spider in the world, insects arent enough to satisfy this spider so it feeds on birds.

Article Source Guff

Discover More Related Articles You may Find Interesting: New Huge Tarantula Discovered In Sri Lanka 17 Animals That Are Masters Of Camouflage Can You See Them? Enjoy a Coffee With Snakes And Scorpions At Vietnams New Pet cafe Meet The Caterpillar That Disguises Itself As A Creepy Snake

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Freaky Spiders That Would Shock Even A Bug Exterminator

How to Get Rid of Squirrels: Tips for Control | Terminix

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 29th, 2019

Whether you want to learn how to get rid of squirrels because they are in your attic, scaring the birds away from birdbaths and feeders, or just want to ensure your children arent at risk when they play in the yard, squirrel control can be achieved in a number of different ways. Below are some simple tips on getting rid of squirrels based on the leading research in squirrel removal and control.

Most of the squirrels you see outside your home are not going to present a problem. Its when they invade your living space that the real nuisance starts. But as the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection notes, outdoor squirrels can be problematic as well:

Another major complaint about squirrels is the disruption they may cause at bird feeders. Feeders should be placed in an area where squirrels cannot gain access to them, far away from shrubs and overhanging tree branches. Mounting the feeder on a metal pole at least six feet high and attaching a metal, cone-shaped baffle to the pole will help prevent squirrels from reaching it. Hanging feeders are not recommended, since squirrels will climb down the hanger wire or will shake the wire until the food falls to the ground.

If the outdoor population becomes unmanageable and squirrel removal is necessary, the site goes on to say:

Live-trapping gray squirrels, using metal box traps at least two feet long is often the most effective way to remove them. Place traps, baited with apple chunks, peanut butter, or various nuts, in heavily travelled [sic] routes or on rooftops, along porch railings, or within the attic. Once trapped, squirrels should be quickly removed from cages and released.

Of course, its much easier to call a pest management professionalso you dont have to deal with a caged squirrel, dead or alive.

If you need help getting rid of squirrels in your home, a pest management professional is going to be your safest bet as well. The Environmental Protection Agency summarizes the options for squirrel control, starting with a word of caution:

Be warned, if someone recommends using mothballs, forget it; its illegal. The EPA allows moth balls for moths and caterpillars only. This is because moth balls are toxic to humans and pets. You can try trapping them [squirrels], locking them out, or quickly sealing up holes if you know they are out to get lunch and water.

If you decide to trap the wild animal yourself, Pennsylvania State University advises:

Wire-cage traps and box traps can be used to capture squirrels alive. Prebait the traps by tying the doors open for two to three days to get squirrels accustomed to feeding in the traps. This practice will make it easier to capture a large number of squirrels in one area. Good baits are orange and apple slices, walnuts or pecans removed from the shell, and peanut butter. Other foods familiar to squirrels also may work well, such as corn or sunflower seeds. After prebaiting, set the traps and check them twice daily. It is most efficient and humane to check the traps in the morning and evening. Once the animal has been trapped and removed from the house or other building and the entrance holes closed, it may be released in the yard. However, make sure to block or eliminate any access routes back to vulnerable areas of the building.

Eliminating points of access is not only important when the squirrel is in your home, but also for squirrel prevention. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection points out:

When blocking holes to prevent squirrels and other animals from gaining access, be sure that none are trapped inside. Adults can cause severe damage by chewing to regain entrance to reach their young. If chewing persists, heavy, half-inch wire mesh can be temporarily placed over the problem area. Trimming shrubs and vines and pruning overhanging tree limbs may discourage squirrels from causing problems in the home.

During the actual squirrel removal, the site warns that:

Gray squirrels are highly excitable and can cause severe damage if trapped inside a building. When frightened, they tend to run around a room with reckless abandon, knocking over anything in their way. By quickly and quietly opening a door or window to the outside and leaving the room, you will give the squirrel its best chance to get out.

Most squirrels in the home are found in attics or crawl spaces. Unfortunately, they can sometimes fall into wall voids from inside, or even down your chimney from outside. In these cases, a pest management professional is preferred because if you cant remove the squirrel and it dies, you have to deal with the smell from the rotting corpse. If you prefer to attempt squirrel removal on your own, the Connecticut site advises:

To free a squirrel trapped in a chimney, lower a heavy rope down the chimney to provide a means for the animal to climb out. Drop the other end of the rope to the ground to avoid another trip to the roof to retrieve it after the squirrel has left.

Unfortunately, theres more to take into account. The Statewide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program at the University of Californias Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources makes some great observations about getting rid of squirrels, including some alternative methods, pointing out:

Trees that overhang roofs or are close to telephone lines should be cut back to slow the movement of squirrels about the yard. Anything that can be done to make a garden less attractive to squirrels is helpful.

Although some chemical repellents are registered for use to keep tree squirrels out of an area, their effectiveness is questionable. There are also repellents that are added to birdseed that are supposed to prevent squirrels from feeding on the seeds, however, these, too, have shown little promise.

Tree squirrels quickly become habituated to visual or sound frightening devices and pay little attention to them after a couple of days. A number of these devices are on the market, but none have proven very effective.

Where shooting is not prohibited, the Eastern fox tree squirrel can be taken at close range with a pellet gun. Check with local authorities to determine if this method is legal in your area.

Tree squirrels are quick to escape when pursued by predators. Some dogs that have full run of the yard will keep squirrels at bay. Predators in urban and suburban areas generally have little effect on tree squirrel populations.

Of course, other restrictions to squirrel control may apply by region. In certain states, gray squirrels and fox squirrels are classified as game animals, meaning you can only get rid of them if you have a license unless they are physically damaging your property and you can prove it. Other states have gun regulations, both on shotguns and pellet guns, both of which can be used to get rid of squirrels if the law allows. Of course, that involves killing the squirrel, which isnt always the most pleasant thing to do.

But as the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection points out, even humane removal can fail:

The trapping of squirrels can temporarily solve a persistent problem but will not help in the long run, since other squirrels will soon come into an area to replace the removed animals.

In short, figuring out how to get rid of squirrels can drive you nuts. Avoid all the hassle and just call Terminix for squirrel removal or any other wildlife control issues you might have.

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How to Get Rid of Squirrels: Tips for Control | Terminix

5 Natural Pest Control Options That Work | Wellness Mama

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 28th, 2019

I would have thought that with all the snow we had last Winter, insects wouldnt be bad this year. And I would have been wrong. Ive always been a target for mosquitos when I am outside (thus my obsession withnatural bug spray recipes), but this year, it seems like there is a giant insect conspiracy to dive bomb and infiltrate every door of our house the second it is open (which is every other second with our kids).

The normal advice to make sure to keep counters and floors clean and put food away so insects arent attracted to your house, doesnt works so well when you are fermenting jars of sweetened tea (kombucha) and sugar water (water kefir) on the kitchen counters.

That advice also doesnt work so well when my kids favorite snacks are fresh fruits and veggies and inevitably, some of them drip on the table or floor.

Thankfully, there is a great pest control company locally that ran a special where I could have our entire house and yard sprayed with pesticides to ward off ticks, mosquitos, roaches, fliesand other things Ive never even heard of. So of course I jumped on that deal right away.

In case you missed the sarcasm in that last paragraph I absolutely did not have our house sprayed, but I knew I had to find some natural pest control options that actually worked before the flies few off with my sanity.

I turned to some of the natural pest control ideas Id used in the garden before, and tried the suggestions of friends. These were the options that worked best for us:

Diatomaceous Earth (or DE) is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It has a very hard shell, is high in silica and is very sharp, though it is so fine that it doesnt do damage to human tissue or skin. In fact, Ive taken it internally before to get rid of parasites and for its silica content (helps hair and nail growth).

As I explained before:

The strong negative charge of diatomaceous earth means that it naturally attaches to and removes from the body things like: chemicals, viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and even radiation. Its sharp/strong structure allows it to puncture the exoskeleton of insects on a microscopic level, causing them to dehydrate and die (while humans and animals are left completely unharmed).

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is recognized as safe for human and animal use, and food grade DE is considered safe for human consumption, even during pregnancy and nursing.

Ive found the DE is especially effective for ants, fleas, roaches and other insects that walk or jump rather than fly. The only caution is to avoid inhaling the powder as it can be irritating to the lungs. This post explains other ways we use DE.

How to use DE for pest control: When I noticed an invasion, I sprinkled DE liberally on the carpets and in areas where the ants seemed to be entering. Within a day or two, the ant problem had solved itself and I just vacuumed up the remaining powder.

Years ago, when we adopted a precious kitten who brought some not-so-precious fleas with her, our apartment became flea infested within days. Thankfully (or unfortunately), we had white carpet, so I just sprinkled DE on the cat and all the floors a couple times a day for a week and the fleas were gone.

Where to get DE: I use this brand because it is food grade so we can also use it internally. Ive also ordered 50 pound bags inexpensively from local supply stores and co-ops before, it can just be difficult to find a food grade option.

Katie of suggested this method when I interviewed her on my podcast last year and it works quiteeffectively, though it does take a day or two to start working because the ants take it back to their home and it poisons them.

It is made with borax and corn syrup (the only thing Id recommend using it for) and while you wouldnt want to let your children play with or eat it, borax is much less toxic than pesticides. (I cover the safety of using borax in this post).

Her method is to mix equal parts Borax powder and corn syrup and spread on an index card. The ants are attracted to the sweetener, eat it and take it back to their nest and it poisons them. Again, not an immediate fix, but a good long-term one.

Fruit flies have been especially bad this year, and because of their size are difficult to trap. Thankfully, we havent had too many large flies, but the fruit flies were starting to drive me a little crazy.

Someone at the farmers market suggested these natural fruit fly traps and they have worked great. I keep one on the counter near the fruit and we havent had trouble with fruit flies since we got them.

The easiest way to deal with indoor pests is to keep them from coming indoors in the first place. Easier said than done, but I had good results with using a vinegar and essential oils spray on the outside of our doors where flies and ants were coming in.

I mixed 2 cups of water with 1 cup of white vinegar, 50 drops of peppermint essential oil, 20 drops of basil essential oil and 20 drops of lemon essential oil. It actually didnt smell bad but seemed to repel the insects.

I liked this natural pest control solution because it was duel-purpose. Fresh basil leaves seem to repel flies effectively, and I love the flavor or basil (pesto anyone?). I potted some fresh basil plants and placed them near each of our doors. It seemed to cut down on the insect invasion and we now have an almost endless supply of fresh basil leaves for caprese salad and other recipes.

Has your home been invaded by pests this year? What has worked for you?

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5 Natural Pest Control Options That Work | Wellness Mama

Cockroach Facts: 10 Facinating Facts about Roaches

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on October 21st, 2019

Everyone has heard the catchy Spanish folk song, "La Cucaracha," about a cockroach unable to walk because he has lost one of his six legs. While the song may be loved by children and fun to sing along to, it is highly unlikely that anyone feels the same affection for this ick-inspiring and disease-spreading pest!

Most homeowners are aware of the health and safety risks associated with cockroach infestations, including the allergies and asthma triggered by cockroach allergens, and the germs and bacteria they have been known to spread. What may not be as widely known is the fact that cockroaches are a very interesting and resilient pest that exhibits some very odd behavior and survival tactics. For example, cockroaches spend 75% of their time resting and can withstand temperatures as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are ten of the most fascinating cockroach facts:

These facts prove that cockroaches are some of the most adaptable creatures on earth, which makes controlling and eliminating a cockroach infestation all the more difficult. To get rid of cockroaches in your home, experts suggest keeping food sealed and stored properly, particularly in the kitchen, which should be cleaned daily to prevent crumbs and trash from building up. Garbage should be disposed of regularly and stored in sealed containers. Homeowners should seek out and seal all cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, as these can serve as entranceways for the pest. In addition, basements and crawl spaces should be kept well ventilated and dry.

Cockroach control and management are important for health and safety reasons. If you suspect a cockroach infestation, use our zip code locator to find a licensed pest control professional in your area.

Watch this Cockroaches 101 video for more facts and information on different types of cockroaches. Learn and how to keep these creepy crawlers out of your house.

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Cockroach Facts: 10 Facinating Facts about Roaches

Do Snakes Hibernate? 9 Answers to a Complex Question …

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on October 21st, 2019

Snakes will often disappear during the cold winter months? Do snakes hibernate? In a way yes, but its not the same type of hibernation that youre probably thinking about. This is quite interesting because its almost the same idea, but it is slightly different.

Hibernation, when discussing animals, is a time of year, during the cold seasons, where an animal and even some plants will go into a dormant state. This state is considered a very deep sleep, and the animal will stay in their slumber until the cold season passes.

If you think about it, hibernation makes a lot of sense for some animals.Bears go into hibernation because they need to conserve their energy. The food that bears need will be scarce during the winter, so they will hide away to conserve energy and lower the metabolic process.

But snakes do this for an entirely different reason.

Snakes are cold-blooded creatures, and they often sunbathe on rocks so that they can raise their body temperatures. While some sites state that the snake needs to cool down, this is not true. See, a snake needs to conserve their body heat if they hope to survive the winter.In cold areas, snakes cant survive.You wont find snakes in Antarctica.

Snakes will find good wintering locations, and they will hibernate so that they can:

Some snakes can live in the cold, and some snakes dont hibernate at all.If a snake were to stay awake fully during this time, they would not be able to maintain their body temperature with the frigid temperature outside. Food will also be scarce, and many of the leaves and wood piles that snakes are in will not be present.

Keep in mind that the snake naturally goes into this process.When the air is too cold and the sun stays out less, the snakes body will adapt and change, causing it to go into hibernation.But, the snakes dont go into a true form of hibernation.

No. Yes. Its complicated. A common misconception is that snakes hibernate, but its really not the case. See, the snake will go into a process called brumation. What makes this different than hibernation is that the brumation cycle doesnt require sleep.

Its not that the snake wont sleep (because snakes will sleep at this time), but the sleep wont be as intense as a bear, for example.

Instead, the snake will become lethargic and sort of stay in a state of slumber. When this happens, the snake may open its eyes, but it wont move often. Whats amazing about reptiles is that they can go without eating for months.Regular house snakes can go weeks without eating on many occasions.

And it makes sense. If the body slows down and uses fewer resources to persist, the snake can survive much longer without food. Snakes may, on occasion, leave this state to go and drink water, but they will then return and brumate longer.The goal is to maintain the internal body temperature and resources until the outside temperature is warm enough for the snake to survive.Without brumation, many species would die.

Brumation is one of those physiological adaptations of snakes. A good rule of thumb is that snakes will go into brumation when the temperature outside is too cold. A quick cold snap can cause snakes to go into brumation earlier, but they will sense when the outside air is warmer and will come out of brumation, too.

Snakes in hot climates, such as Africa, will not go into brumation unless absolutely necessary.Extreme temperature changes can force brumation, but it can also occur due to a sudden cold snap. If youre in a region where you have all four seasons, youll see snakes go into brumation as early as fall and as late as winter.Brumation often occurs between the months of September and December.

Do snakes hibernate (brumate) until summer? No. The hibernation season comes to an end after a long winter sleep and average daytime temperatures begin to warm. Youll normally find that snakes emerge from their sleep between March and April.

If, for some reason, there is a warm spell in the middle of winter, as we often experience due to global warming, the snakes will come out.While they can, the snake will go and find food, eat and return to a state of brumation when the outside temperatures become too frigid for the snake.

So, where do the snakes go to brumate?

Read more about Snakes

Ive looked far and wide, and I have never seen snakes brumate. Since we know that the snake needs to conserve its body heat, it makes sense that they will go deep into tree stump holes, rodent burrows and different depths to hide away and brumate.

Strategic, the snake will go into protected hiding spots that have little chance of wind or rain, such as:

Some snakes may be found in an abandoned construction site, or they may go deep into pipes, too. Garter snakes are an interesting species because they will go into garter snake litters, or groups, to try and keep warm.These snakes will try and huddle close so that all of their species will live through the cold winter.

While they may come out of brumation and fight shortly after, they will remain civil during this state. Male and female snakes will live together at this time, all with the goal of survival. Since there is little-to-no activity occurring, the snakes pose no threat to one another.There will often not be a daylight signal either, so the snakes will rely on the temperature of the air to come out of hibernation.Timber rattlers hibernate, as do the rubber BOA snake and the ringneck snake.

Read more about BOA

An interesting fact is that snakes may travel great distances to go to a place to brumate. The snakes know that they need to be in an optimal location when the warmer weather hits, so they will come out of their normal habitat and search out a good location to brumate.Its actually quite strategic in nature.

Brumation is a tricky process, and while its easy to say that this process is 3 months long due to the seasons, this is inaccurate. In fact, were finding snakes come out of brumation earlier due to warm spells. Youll also find that during extra warm years, the snake will come out of brumation far earlier and stay out in the wild longer.Im not sure what the snake prefers, but we can use an educated guess to assume the snake rather enjoys its time in the wild.

Snakes will brumate as early as September and often come out of brumation in March or April. So, the snake can spend up to 8 months in brumation, but this is a little long for any snake. In a realistic scenario, the snake will enter into brumation some time in October and often come out in late March if possible.

So, snakes will spend 4 5 months in brumation given a rough estimate.Its a rather long time.Of course, in areas that are more mild, this period can be much shorter, too. Weve seen snakes brumate for far less time just a few months in areas where frigid temperatures only last a few months.

Snakes will often hide away at night on a normal schedule, too. A lot of this hiding has to due with the temperatures dropping at night. They may not enter into a snake ball at this time, but they will go into shelter to keep warm.And some snakes will sunbathe to get their temperature up during the daytime.The goal is to raise the snakes temperature enough so that its able to comfortably survive the night without worrying that the temperature will dip too low.

This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many different species and size snakes that its difficult to pinpoint an exact degree where brumation occurs. Out in the wild, you may see a snake when the temperature is in the mid-40s, but this is not all that common.A lot of people state 53F is a good starting point for the snake.

Snakes in colder regions seem to go into brumation when temperatures are closer to 39F 40F, and maybe these species want to just wait out the cold as long as possible. In truth, a lot of these snakes have adapted to the colder weather, so they can withstand it much better.

Do snakes hibernate because they choose to? Not really. Snakes have no choice but to brumate its life or death. When in the wild, if they are cold and sluggish enough, the snake may not even lose weight. This is a good thing because once the snake comes out of brumation its mating season.

Thats right.The males are smart. They know that the largest concentration of snakes will be out and about when brumation has come to an end. So, these snakes will decide that its time to track the females, which leave pheromones out, and mate.The mating can be a sight to see.

Snakes will often go into mating balls, where they all tangle together to try and mate with the female.And females are very unique.Did you know snakes can choose to discard sperm or store it? The snake will base this on the quality of the sperm. And she will be able to choose specific sperm she wants in the future to reproduce.

Snakes will go below the frost line to ensure that they dont freeze to death in the wild. And there may be thousands of snakes brumating at the same location, too.Studies have found that some snake species may have a 33% 50% mortality rate even when brumating its a matter of life or death in the most sincere sense.

When in captivity, snakes are at the mercy of their owners. You can use a heated tank, and the snake will have no reason to go into brumation. But if you consult professionals on the matter, youll often find that they recommend a brumation cycle for your snake.

Why?Its natural. A lot of wildlife rescue centers do the same thing.Healthy and mature snakes should brumate. The process is also helpful for breeding and is said to produce better overall sperm, too. Growth and feeding are also tied to this behavior, so if you want your snake to be as healthy as possible, forcing brumation is good.

Youll want to test the coldness levels and lower to ensure that the snake goes into brumation.A good starting point is 53F.

Now, also keep in mind the area where theyll be kept. The snake cannot go below the frost line if its kept in a glass cage, so youll want to make sure that the temperature is just right. I would start at 53F and slowly lower the heat day by day to find the right temperature where your species of snake will go into brumation.

Basements, wine cellars and even garages may be just the fight temperature for your snake.Youll want to read up on your species more to allow for an accurate brumation process to occur. It should also be noted that you can make it cold enough to where the snake wont eat, but its still so warm that the snakes metabolism wont slow down.In this case, the snake may starve to death because it refuses to eat.

Do snakes hibernate? No, they go through a process called brumation, which is very similar. Snakes need to brumate to keep their body temperature from falling too low. The snake will brumate for 4 5 months and will come out of the process ready to mate and expand the species population.

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Do Snakes Hibernate? 9 Answers to a Complex Question ...

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