Author Archives: Global

Rodent Control Tips

Rodents can pose a major threat to both; property and human health. Not only do they eat a variety of foods that you may have stored in your pantry, but they can also contaminate it. This can lead to food poisoning. They can also cause significant damage to buildings by chewing on everything from insulation to wallboard. They also have the ability to spread diseases. The diseases can be spread by multiple instances. First, they can spread all kinds of diseases by biting you. They can also spread all kinds of diseases from their urine. And they can spread diseases with their feces.

How To Get Rid Of Common Rodents:

1. Getting Rid Of Rats and/or Mice.

The best way to get rid of rats and/or mice is by using traps. You will need to purchase several different spring loaded traps and bait the rats and/or mice with cheese, dried fruit, and/or oats. All of these bait foods should work because it will work to attract the mice. However, it is important to be sure that the actual bait is securely attached to the trip pole/pedal. Otherwise, they trap may not function properly and spring when the food is removed by the mice/rats. You will also want to be sure that you set the traps at a right angle (90 degrees) to the actual walls where the rodents tend to travel. The actual bait side of the trap(s) should be facing toward the wall.

Once you effectively capture or kill a rodent, it is important to not touch it with your hands. You need to utilize some latex gloves and dispose of the rodent in a plastic bag. Once the rodents are removed from your trap(s), you need to disinfect the traps with either bleach and/or hydrogen peroxide.

2. Prevention.

In order to effectively keep rodents out of your property, you are going to need to follow the tips below.

a.) Eliminate All Food and Water Sources.

The first thing that you should do is be sure that you eliminate any source of food or water from your home. You can do this by keeping all of the garage in secure containers. You should also remove fallen fruits and/or nuts from your yard if you have any. You should also remove all of the pet food that you have in your house right after feeding. Do not leave it outside at night. This will only attract rodents. Repair any plumbing leaks before they cause more problems as rodents can use this to get water.

b.) Eliminate Hiding And Living Places For Rodents.

The next thing that you are going to have to do is eliminate the potential hiding and living places for the rodents. Do not store old cars and/or furniture outside where the rodents can nest. Only store lumber off of the ground. Remove unused piles of wood and other materials that rodents could use to form a nest.

By following all of the tips in this article, you should be able to effectively eliminate rodents from your home and properly prevent them from coming back.

Pest Control in the Winter

We have heard it many times, pest control in the winter is a waste and not needed because the pests “go away”. The truth is, winter pest services are just as important as any other, if not more valuable.

When the temperatures start to cool and winter begins, pests, rodents and spiders, insects do not just fly south for winter and “disappear”. The fact is they have high motivation to find a secure winter home, even if it is inside your home, attic, basement, garage, even businesses! The pests are not picky, if they can find a way inside and are not disturbed, they will stay.

Most know that rodents such as mice are a likely suspect to be sneaking into your home to stay warm. Mice can cause a slew of problems if they go unnoticed; nesting in insulation (which will have to be completely replaced), chewing wires creating fire hazards, getting into the pantry and helping themselves to your food, and we can’t forget to mention all the urine and mice droppings they leave everywhere!

The biggest concern is with pests that can cause damage to the building structure. Wood destroying pests such as termites and carpenter ants are a major concern. Unfortunately, both of these wood destroying pests can be difficult to notice at first as these pests are often inside walls, attic and even crawl spaces. You need a pest professional to do a thorough interior inspection once a year, if these pests are identified a treatment plan must be started asap to gain control over the situation and save the structure from continued damage. For these pests, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like; hot summer or coldest of winter, damage will be nonstop.

Remember, winter pest services are just as important as any other time of the year and can save you expenses in costly repairs.

Drain Flies

Drain flies measure about 1.5 to 5 mm long, have a tan to light gray body and light colored wings. The body and wings of a drain fly are covered with tiny long hairs.

Adults are commonly found around the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room or basement if drains are present in the rooms and are more active at night. Drain flies do not bite and do not transmit human diseases even though they feed and breed in filth.

Drain flies lay their eggs in irregular masses and just about any where decomposing organic material is found. Homeowners typically won’t ever see drain fly larvae as they are inside the drain in a gelatin like film. These flies generally complete one generation in two to three weeks, but if the conditions are just right and in their favor it can be as soon as one week.

Signs of drain flies and what to do:

The most common and noticeable sign of drain flies are actually seeing the adults. They may be seen resting on the walls or fairly close to the breeding material, which is in the drain. You may also notice larvae as well perhaps at the bottom of a sink or near the drain but this is less common.

The best way to achieve control on drain flies is removal of the breeding site. Remember they breed in the organic material that collects in the drain, basically drain gunk. If you are noticing these small hairy flies in you home, it is almost certain that there is a slow draining or clogged drain. You will need to figure which drain they are coming from and physically clean it. This is not a job for liquid drainer, which may still leave the drain lined with gunk. Use hot water and a small bristled brush to help remove the gunk material, you may see drain fly larvae at this time. After the gunk material and larvae are remove, the problem is solved. The only thing left is the adult drain flies. If you decide not to swat them, they may live up to 20 days but will soon die since they will not have a place to lay eggs.

Cleaning out the drains is a fairly simple task and usually does not require a pest professional. If you are having reoccurring infestations then you need to call your pest professional for some additional investigating and advise on treatment.

Alpha Home Pest Control

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

Adult billbugs

Damages from billbugs can resemble drought/lack of watering, with irregular patches of dry grass. Some people may think the dry looking lawn isn’t getting enough water and will continue to water more, however, the damaged lawn will not respond to the extra watering. Adult Bluegrass Billbugs are gray, brown, or black with a curved snout and a hard body that is about 3/16″ (5 mm) in size. They overwinter in the soil mostly as adults. In the spring when the temperatures are starting to rise, the adult billbugs can often be seen walking on patios and sidewalks around May –mid June. Lawn damage from an adult billbug usually consists of holes in blades of grass caused by chewing. If these guys are left untreated they can take out a whole yard in one summer. If you are starting to notice “dry” areas in your yard that don’t improve with watering you can perform a small simple test to check for signs of billbugs.

Try the “Tug Test” to see if you have a billbug infestation: • Find a spot where the dry grass meets green grass, hold the dry grass with your hand and gently tug on the dry grass • If the grass easily lifts up with no attached roots, and has a saw dust like material at the base of the blades and stems, billbugs are likely the cause. • You may also see the white larvae with their brown heads in the soil on the ground or on the piece of lawn you pulled up.

If you see signs of the billbugs its best to start a treatment soon, you can get product from your local garden supply store or leave it to a pest professional. In most cases you will generally need just one treatment, some people go ahead a treat a second time during summer to be sure all the larvae are taken care of.

Alpha Home Pest Control

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

Silverfish

Silverfish are not just silver in color but may be white, brown, grey or blue-silver in color. Their bodies are teardrop-shaped and measure 12-19 mm in length. Silverfish have three long bristles that extend from the rear.

Silverfish can thrive in most climates but they prefer dark and damp areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, laundry rooms and attics. These insects maybe found in boxes that have been in away in storage. More commonly silverfish are usually discovered in the bathroom near a sink or bathtub. Silverfish move very quickly and are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. This can cause a delay in noticing their presence and an infestation may go unnoticed for long periods of time, giving time for the infestation to grow. Silverfish can cause damage with their feeding habits, affecting papers/book pages, clothing, wallpaper, and food in pantries. They also cause small holes in the materials they bite and may cause yellow staining on the material.

Silverfish may look fierce but are not known to bite humans and do not carry diseases. If they are disturbed they do not put up a fight, they will quickly flee and try to hide. Like other insect infestations, the longer you wait to start treatment, the longer the process will be. You can call your pest management company to help properly identify the insect and help establish a proper treatment plan.

Alpha Home Pest Control (208)475-4440

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are considered one the largest ants in the United States, with a range from 3.4 to 13 mm long. Black is the most common color for carpenter ants, however there are some species that are reddish or yellowish in color.

Carpenter ants can be found residing both outdoors and indoors. Usually in moist/damp decaying or hollow wood. Carpenter ants cut galleries into the wood grain to make their nests and to provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. When they do this activity you will commonly see bits of wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants. The wood and dead ant mixture can be clues to lead you to the nesting location. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood, they just chew through it. They tend to eat other insects but they have been known to eat meat and sweet foods that people eat.

What are the signs of Carpenter Ants?

Usually the first sign is seeing the carpenter ant workers, doing their job out foraging for food.After the colony has become established and matures swarmers (winged ants) are often seen.

The debris that is produced from tunneling in the wood. The wood shavings mixed with a bit of dead ants is a sign of carpenter ant nesting activity.

Occasionally there are reports of a “rustling” sound. The rustling sounds are the carpenter ants working away and chewing on the home’s wood.

When dealing with carpenter ants it is important to find the nest. Once the nest is found, it can possibly be removed or treated chemically. You should call you pest professional to help properly identify the type of  ant and to set up a treatment plan. The pest professional will determine whether the nest should be removed or if it should be chemically treated. In most cases carpenter ants will not cause structural damage to the home, but if they are left untreated for a long period it is a possibility.

Alpha Home Pest Control

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

 

 

 

Crane Fly

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, actually it’s a crane fly. Other common names for this beastly insect are mosquito eater, skeeter eater, gallinippers, gollywhoppers.

Crane Flies grow up to two and a half inches long and have a wingspan of three inches. They are generally a gray-brown color with slender bodies, and have thin long legs. There are many different species of crane flies and it can be nearly impossible to tell them apart for the average person. Something they all have in common is that they all live near the water. The crane fly larvae need the water to survive and thrive to become adults. Crane Fly larvae are worm like and gray-brown in color.  They can be anywhere from 1/2 inch to three inches in length.

Skeeter eaters do look like giant mosquitos but don’t be fooled by them. Crane flies are harmless, they do not suck your blood and they do not even bite! The truth is, adult crane flies live long enough to mate, lay eggs and die.

 

Supporting Local Business

In recent years there has been a movement. People are realizing that it’s not all about big box stores, national companies and brands. More and more people are ditching the big names and opting to support their local smaller businesses. When it comes to business bigger is not always better.

When you support local it’s not just giving your money to a small business and that’s the end, there are multiply benefits. Local business owners are more inclined to support other local companies, on both a business and personal reasons. If you think about the big box stores and chain businesses, they tend to get supplies from corporate and their employees may be as personally invested in supporting locally.

Actually knowing the people behind the business where your buying products from or are receiving a service from takes on a different feel. You get to know these people by name, they get to know you. They will recognize products you buy and services that are needed by the community. The community is wanting a business to succeed and feeling proud when they do. The whole community celebrates a favorite business and you grieve if they are forced to close their doors.

Often times, you will notice that you will receive better customer service from smaller “mom and pop” shops. If you have ever had to call a number that starts with 1 800 you know the frustration it can entail, being put on hold, only to be transferred multiple times and to be put back on hold again, with your question still not fully answered. Generally with local companies you will be speaking to someone who has a great understanding of business and will be able to resolve any concerns you have.

Buying from and supporting local business has many benefits. We encourage you to explore your community, you may find wonderful new businesses opportunities with great customer service.

 

Elm Seed Bug

In recent years the Elm Seed Bug has made itself known here in Idaho. It wasn’t until 2012 when the elm seed bug really started invading homes in very large numbers. Common in central and southern Europe, it is unclear how exactly these bugs made their way to Idaho. They are black to reddish brown and have a unique triangle shape on their back.

Elm seed bugs can live a long time, typically 3 to 5 years which can be a problem when you’re battling against them. They will have to migrate away from the cold and extremely hot temperatures, which means winter and summer is when they well be seeking shelter. It will usually start with them gathering on the structure, looking for cracks and crevices to hind in. They can be found around gutters, windows, door frames, under siding and it will only be a matter of time before they make their way into the structure.

The elm seed bug is similar to the stink bug in that will release a unpleasant sent to mark territory. If a few of the elm seed bugs have decided your home is great for a nesting site they will likely release this scent and it may potentially attract other elm seed bugs in the area. They may also release the unpleasant sent if being handled and feels threatened and when it is smashed. If you are finding elm seed bugs in your home, it is not recommended to smash them, the vacuum will be your best tool to use indoors. Remember that to change the bag or empty the vacuum as they may be able to climb out through the hose.

The elm seed bug really is just a nuisance pest, an annoyance. They don’t appear to pose a threat to humans, pets, plants or crops, but their unpleasant smell is obnoxious to most.

Elm seed bugs can be tough to eliminate once they have had time to get established. If you think of have an infestation of elm seed bugs call your pest management right away for proper identification and to set up a treatment plan.

(208)475-4440

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

 

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