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Never assume it won’t happen to you

As your vehicle sits peacefully in your garage this winter you may not realize that it is a prime target for over wintering rodents. This becomes a nightmare when you go to start your car and it will not turn over. Then you lift the hood and the gathering of dark brown pellet-sized droppings around the well-chewed wiring harness leaves you the victim of a rodent that was looking to find shelter and food sources for the cold season. One rodent is capable of leaving your vehicle immobile. Repairs will be costly along with the sudden lack of transportation while it gets fixed. I’ve seen damages to vehicles costing upwards of $2000! Don’t fall to the myth that where you live will reduce the chances of this happening. Vehicle damage from rodents can happen in urban areas as well as rural areas. Signs that they are under the hood are nests, food storage caches, and their droppings. They will chew wiring and hoses looking for water and tear at the insulation, interior, and seats in their quest for nesting materials and food.

The question to ask is, “What can be done to minimize the potential for rodent infestations and prevent the damages caused by rodents?” First, take a proactive approach starting with the understanding that rodents operate on instinct. Those instincts seem to be focused on the need to find food and shelter. A parked vehicle can provide both. Secondly, one must understand that an ideal rodent habitat is one that provides consistent shelter from natural enemies as well as weather extremes. Although frequently driven vehicles don’t really match this description, if they are parked near such a habitat they can be damaged as the rodent may be attracted to the warmth of a recently driven vehicle and the possible contents inside the vehicle.

Keep food sources away

First, make sure there are no food sources inside your vehicle. A rodent has a very keen sense of smell, and follows it’s nose with persistence until the meal is found. No vehicle is designed to be airtight. Eliminating any and all sources of scents is what will go the farthest toward keeping them out of your vehicle. That means anything that is considered food for humans or animals and is not in an unopened can or bottle. Typical fast food remnants are the obvious source, from stray fries, burger bits, and drink spillage on carpet and upholstery, to unopened condiment packages—especially sauces. Common places under seats and around floor-mounted components are the worst. It helps to have your vehicle cleaned inside and out with some regularity.

Park in a habitat resistant space

Ivy beds, poorly organized storage sheds and garages with clutter, long-standing piles of building materials, abandoned large appliances, and poorly maintained garbage areas all make for excellent rodent habitats. The most practical way to deal with this problem is to just remove the habitat. Have old appliances hauled away, properly stack building materials or wood piles, trim ivy and overgrown shrubs to minimize harborages. Organize your garage to keep clutter from accumulating. Keep garbage in proper containers with fitting lids and dispose of the trash regularly. It’s probably not going to be the cheapest way but it is the most effective proactive method of minimizing rodent populations. And if none of the problem areas are actually on your property, it will be a more difficult task to achieve. Traps and bait can be used as the next step of abatement or as the alternative if the area is difficult to clean up. Baiting in particular should be applied by a professional to minimize dangers to children and non target animals.


Ready for that next vacation or business trip and are concerned about all the news lately about the rapid growth of bed bug activity in hotels and other buildings across the country? Knowing your enemy can lower the risk or even prevent bedbugs from attacking you or hitching a ride home with you.

Bed bugs are generally active at night, with a peak activity period about an hour before dawn. Attracted by warmth and carbon dioxide, the bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. The bites cannot usually be felt until minutes or hours later. Bedbugs can live for up to 18 months without feeding.

Bed bugs love the seems of mattresses for nesting grounds.

Bed Bug Detection and Prevention Tips:

Leave your luggage by the door when you arrive. Luggage is one of the known ways that bed bugs are moved from place to place. So try to avoid picking up any hitchhikers. Another option is to put your luggage in the bathtub. Inspect the luggage rack if there is one before setting your luggage on it. Inspect the room. Pay special attention to the bed, bed frame, and any headboard. These are the prime spots you’ll see signs of an infestation. Bed bugs hang out near their food source which usually is found by the bed.

Take things apart. Start by pulling the bed away from the wall, if possible. A flashlight is handy for shining behind headboards and under beds. Strip the bed, right down to the mattress and bed springs. You have to see what’s underneath the clean sheets and mattress pad to know what’s been there. Lift the mattress and box springs up and look underneath. If it’s a platform bed, inspect carefully under the springs and around the base. Pay special attention to the seams of mattresses and the box springs. These are spots the bugs like to hide in. Bed stands near the bed are another place to look, as well as any couches, drawers, furniture, and other items that are near the bed. Bed bugs can live in any tiny crack and crevices.

After feeding, bedbugs leave brown stains of your clotted blood. You typically won’t see the bugs–they are fairly tiny and can move quickly. There are some great bed bug monitors on the market to set out under the bed to detect the insects quickly. Call us if you would like more information or would like to purchase


Fleas found on cats and dogs lay about 20 eggs per day and as many as 10,000 eggscan fall off an infested cat in 24 hours!


To survive the cold of winter months, many insects replace the water in their body with a chemical called glycerol, which acts like an anti-freeze.


Rodents cause more then $1 billion dollars in damage annually in the U.S. alone. Mice may make 20 to 30 visits to different food sites each night, taking as little as 0.15 gram of food at each site!


Almost all pest and rodent infestations begin outside buildings. Pests enter through holes and cracks in the home’s exterior. How a home is constructed can greatly affect which pest problems you experience. Here are some tips for “pest-proofing” your house.

-Reduce shelters such as piles of bricks or lumber and leaf litter.

-Keep ground cover at least 18″ from the home’s foundation.

-Trim trees and shrubs so they do not touch the home.

-Use yellow “bug lights” to attract fewer insects.

-Ventilate the spaces under decks and sheds.

-Don’t keep pet food outside on patios or decks.

-Keep pets either in or out. Dogs and cats that run in and out are more likely to carry fleas into the house.

-Keep gutters unclogged and repair any areas that get poor drainage.

-Ventilate the attic and basement crawlspace to minimize excess moisture and humidity.

 

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