Signs of Cockroaches

If you think you may have a cockroach infestation, detecting it as early as possible is critical to winning a major war against these nasty home invaders. The longer they are there the more time they have to get established and multiply, which makes them harder to get rid of and often more expensive. The faster a pest management specialist can evaluate and begin attacking the problem the faster you can take back and reclaim your home.
Here are Alpha’s top signs of cockroaches that you should know:
1) ACTUALLY SEEING A COCKROACH: This of course is the most obvious sign you have a roach problem. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects, so the best time to spot them is during the night. You can typically see them scatter after entering a room and turning on the light. If you spot cockroaches during the daytime, this can mean the infestation as been going on for quite a while or that it has developed to the point where strong action must be taken immediately.
2) FINDING COCKROACH FECES/DROPPINGS: Finding their feces is a sure sign you have a problem. The size of the feces depends on what type of cockroach you’re dealing with (the German cockroach is one of the most common). Feces can look like small specks of pepper or coffee grounds. The more droppings you discover the higher the number of roaches you are dealing with. Be sure to take note of where the droppings are found as they will be important areas to target when treatment begins.
3) FINDING EGG CASES: Roaches produce egg casings called oothecae. Oothecae are oblong, brown casings that hold many eggs. The German cockroach as mentioned before can produce an oothecae with up to 50 eggs inside. After the eggs hatch the oothecae is left behind, leaving sound evidence of an infestation. Look for oothecae behind furniture, inside pantries, in books, between cracks in the wall and other tight protected areas.
4) ODOR: Roaches can produce a strong, musty odor that gets stronger the longer they are there. This pungent oily smell can come from a large amount of roaches but just one German cockroach can create this smell on its own. You can also get an odor from dead cockroaches decomposing, as they produce oleic acid while decomposing, which can get quite strong.
If you think you may have roaches and have come across any of these signs on the list, give us a call! Alpha Home Pest Control (208)475-4440 or visit us at


What is a vole? A vole is a rodent and looks much like a mouse, only with shorter tails, they are dark brown in color and about five inches in length. To some this may sound like a cute and innocent critter and as long as it stays out of the house. Sure, out of the house is great, but these small rodents can wreak havoc on your yard and turn it into something resembling Swiss cheese in a short time.
Voles make networks of well defined, visible surface tunnels across the lawn with golf ball sized holes near the damage being made. Most of their time is spent inside the tunnels but they do venture out occasionally. Most voles are plant-eaters, feeding on grass and perennial-flower roots, seeds and bulbs. It won’t take long for voles to quickly colonize an area, as they are prolific reproducers. It takes about 21 days for impregnation to baby vole delivery of 3 to 6 young at a time; they can push numbers of up to 30 offspring per year.
Voles can really do some damage during the winter months when the ground is covered in snow. Most people don’t even realize they have voles until the snow melts away and all the tunnels and damage is visible.
Voles are smart and can be pretty tough to get rid of. If you are a “do it yourselfer” and want to give it try on your own before calling a professional, here are some tips:
 Nature vs. Nature: a great way to help control voles is to get a cat. Cats are great hunters and love hunting for rodents.
 Add a tall 15 foot bird perch to your yard for hawks and owls
 Adding more trees to attracted other types of birds is a good idea
 If you have snakes around your property (and don’t mind them of course!) don’t disturb them, snakes are a natural predator of voles
 For gardens, adding sharp material into the soil may discourage them from tunneling. Course gravel and commercial products such as Permatill are a great source.
Or if you prefer the professional handle it, give us a call!  We can discuss other available options to fit your situation and needs.

Signs of Bed Bugs

bed bug mattress

Signs of bed bugs can be hard to detect in the beginning. Bed bugs are a gross and extremely uncomfortable problem to have. You don’t have to be a “dirty and unkempt” person to get bed bugs either, anyone can get them. Bed bugs are not picky and love to travel, to them, the more the merrier. If you have an infestation, it’s best to find it early, before the infestation spreads or becomes established. Treating a minor (beginning stage) infestation is far less costly and easier than treating after it has grown and becomes more widespread.
To the average person, bed bug bites can be confused those of other biting insects such as mosquitoes or chiggers, so it’s important to pay attention to where and when the bites are occurring. Did the bites show up after camping all weekend, have you traveled anywhere/stayed in a hotel, or just woke up that were not there the night before?
We have compiled an easy to read list of signs to look for, to help you know if you have a bed bug problem.
 Itchy red bites: the appearance of flat, red welts in small clusters, zigzag lines or straight rows is a key sign of bed bugs. Their bites are irritating and scratching them can lead to bleeding and infection.

 Unpleasant or uncomfortable nights of sleeping: It may seem obvious that the bed is where bed bugs are most often found. Of course they would be most active at night when you are in bed with them. If you find yourself with those itchy welts after sleeping in your bed (or trying to sleep), its likely bed bugs are the problem.
*Bed bugs tend to feed on exposed skin rather (than crawling their way up your pant leg) such as arms and shoulders, which some may leave uncovered while sleeping.

 Rust color stains on sheets or mattress: After the bed bug feeds on a human they will leave behind blood stains which will usually be found around the corners and edges of the bed and have a rusty color.

 Unpleasant musty odor. Bed bugs release pheromones and when there
are a lot of them, the smell can be quite strong. The musty odor has been described as that of a wet towel.
If you experience any of these signs we urge you to call a professional immediately. (208)475-4440

Signs of bed bugs.

These tips can be helpful if you are traveling too. Bed bugs can be pick up in hotel rooms and you may not know it till they’ve made themselves at home in your own bed. As soon as you enter your hotel room we suggest you to do some investigation. Check the sheets for small rust colored spots pull the sheets down to check to mattress for the spots as well. A small flash light would be handy to check the corners of the mattress were the bed bugs like to hang out. Also check edges of the carpet, anything upholstered like chairs and curtains, check the head board and inside drawers of dressers and nightstands.



Cleaning Up After Mice


Mice are messy house guests and now you have to clean up after them. If you have successfully gotten rid of the mice, clean up is the next step and you want to make sure you do it properly. Remember, a mouse and his pals can leave behind some pretty harmful stuff such as Hantavirus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Rat-bite fever and Plague. Germs can still be found in mice urine and feces long after the mice are gone. Just because an area looks clean doesn’t mean it is.
We understand you want your home cleaned quickly but it’s important to take the proper precautions when dealing with mice droppings. Grab your rubber gloves jot down some of our tips!

• Invest in a good pair of gloves and wear them during the entire cleaning process: rubber, latex or vinyl will work. Don’t do any clean up with your bare hands. Mice urinate when they become frightened and then may also walk through it, further spreading the germs where ever they go.
• Don’t sweep or vacuum up the droppings. These cleaning methods can cause the release more airborne virus particles.
• Instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends saturating mouse/rodent droppings, nests and any areas where rats have lingered with a disinfectant mixture that kills germs on contact. The CDC also recommends using a mixture of one-and-a-half cups of bleach to a gallon of water (a 1 to 9 ratio). Spray the affected areas well, and leave the bleach or disinfectant in place for 5 to 10 minutes. You may also use over the counter disinfectants too, just make sure the label “disinfectant” on the label.
• Once you have saturated the area to be cleaned use a cloth or sponge to scoop up the debris, put in inside a plastic bag and be sure to seal it tightly, then place it in yet another plastic bag and seal it tightly. Dispose of plastic bags in an outdoor garbage bin for pick up.
• After the loose debris (mice droppings, nests material) have been cleaned up wipe all areas (counter tops, cabinet shelves, drawers) down with disinfectant. Mice are curious creatures make sure you disinfect where they may have scurried about. *Note, that it’s a great idea to use disposable mop heads and disposable sponges or paper towels that can easily be discarded when the job is done.
• If the area you are cleaning is carpeted or has rugs, shampoo or steam clean the affected area.
• Open up the windows and let some fresh air and sunshine in
• When you’re near the end of your cleaning disinfect your gloves before taking them off and dispose of them right away. Immediately wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Washing your hangs vigorously is what loosens up with germs that can be rinsed away.

If you feel uncomfortable or have a rather large area to be cleaned up you can always call a licensed professional to come clean up and get your home in tip top shape.

Cleaning Up After Mice

Diseases Carried By Mice

Mice have adapted well to living in our home, or at least near our homes. It’s not uncommon especially during the colder months to have found you have an uninvited guest living somewhere in your home; it can happen to the best of us. We are more vulnerable to these diseases than most may think.
What most people don’t realize is that mice can be much more than just an annoyance. Mice are associated with a number of health risks, and are known to spread more than 35 diseases. Diseases can be spread to humans directly through handling live or dead mice, coming in contact with mice saliva, urine feces, and by being bit by the rodent. It doesn’t stop there either, diseases can also be spread indirectly through mites, fleas and ticks that may a have feed on an infected mouse. Also like many rodents do, mice shed hair daily and shed an entire coat twice a year. This leaves many ways for humans to possibly come across diseases from the mice.
Some of the most common diseases carried by mice are Hantavirus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Rat-bite fever and Plague.

Hantavirus and Salmonella
Both Salmonella and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome are spread through mouse urine (more commonly fresh urine) and through mouse droppings, when food or water is contaminated by the feces. Symptoms of Salmonella can include gastrointestinal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Even breathing in dust contaminated with mice droppings can spread the Hantavirus. Symptoms of the Hantavirus can include flu-like aches and pains, coughing and shortness of breath which can lead to respiratory distress and renal failure.

Rate bite fever and Leptospirosis
Rate bite fever can be carried by mice as well as rats. This disease is spread through bites and scratches. It can also be transmitted by touching or the handling of an infected rodent and consuming food or water that has been contaminated. The symptoms include body aches and pains, fever, vomiting, and a red rash accompanied with small bumps. Leptospirosis is a bacterium that is spread through mouse urine and can remain in water and soil for months. Symptoms include high grade fever, headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice.

There are three different kinds of plague: Bubonic, Septicemic and Pneumonic. Plague is caused by a bacterium and transmitted by bites from fleas that have fed on infected rodents. Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the middle ages. For all three types, symptoms begin the same, high grade fevers and extreme weakness.
Bubonic plague symptoms include painful and swollen lymph nodes. Septicemic plague symptoms include abdominal pain, septic shock with fever and chills, and possibly bleeding into the skin and other organs. Pneumonic plague can cause respiratory failure and shock. Symptoms include headache, weakness, and a rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. The pneumonia may cause respiratory failure and shock. Pneumonic plague is the most serious form of the disease and is the only form of plague that can be spread from person to person.

Do It Yourself Pest Control Tips For Your Home

It’s that time of year again, the holidays are over and a new year has begun.  We have some do it yourself pest control tips to help make things a little less stressful.  The holidays can be a hectic time with friends and family coming and going for visits, it’s easy to get distracted from the little things that help keep your home tidy and pest free. Here at Alpha home Pest Control we understand, and are ready to help you take action. You don’t want to wait until spring time to tackle an issue, being aware and proactive plays a key role to staying pest free.  Learn our new year’s tips to keep those unwanted guests out!

  • It may sound obvious, but check for pieces of food/crumbs that the vacuum couldn’t reach, that may have gone unnoticed during those busy family visits. Be sure to check under cabinets, tables, sofas and other furniture as well. Check out spare rooms that may not normally be used as much, look for the crumbs, rodent droppings and chewed paper
  • Always clean up crumbs and food leftovers right away, leaving no invitation to attract pests
    With holidays comes food and especially sweet treats. Don’t leave food sitting out overnight; be sure to keep it stored properly in sealed containers. *This tip also applies to pet food!*
  • Check doors and windows, Caulk and seal where needed and be sure to check weather stripping and screens for tears.
  • If you did traveling check your luggage and clothes for possible bed bugs, no one wants to think about it but it’s a lot better to catch it before it becomes an infestation.
  • Stay Proactive!

Call us with any questions/concerns or to learn more about having a preventative maintenance program with us (208)475-4440

Mosquito Control

IMG_07282When you own a home, you want to do everything that you possibly can to keep the pests away. During different times of the year, it is easier to target certain pests so that you can keep your house and the nearby surroundings free of unwanted visitors.

Effectively administering mosquito control in Boise Idaho and wasps control will leave you with a home and surroundings that are comfortable and pest free.

Best Time for Pest Control Service

The spring season is always the best time to think about having pest control come to your home to help set a good barrier perimeter to keep all sorts of invaders away. For the most part, bee and wasp prevention programs are done to help protect your deck and patio areas so that you have the ability to enjoy your yard from spring all the way into the summer months. At the same time, you can have preventative measures done to make sure that your yard is not going to be invaded by mosquitoes that can put a damper on any sort of outdoor activities during the summer nights.

There could also be a situation where you live near a housing area that may not employ the best rubbish removal services. Whenever there is garbage that is left outside for a long period of time without proper disposal, you are running the risk of an invasion of mosquitoes, flies, bees, wasps and a variety of other pests. If you happen to have any stagnant water that is lurking around the exterior of your home, you may start to develop an overwhelming amount of mosquitoes as they love areas such as this.

DIY Mosquito Control

Even if you take the initiative to try and get rid of some of these pests on your own, you may not get anywhere near the same sort of results that you would if you employed the help of the professionals. The right wasp and mosquito removal service will be able to come out to your location, assess your situation and help to put together a plan to get rid of any pests that are causing problems and then take measures to prevent them from coming back for the rest of the season.

Do It Right The First Time

Not only will a professional service for the control and prevention of mosquitoes and wasps have all of the skills necessary to take care of these pesky invaders, but they also have the proper equipment along with the right mixture of chemicals to get the job done right the first time. If you are concerned about harmful toxins in the pesticides, you may also be able to talk with them about using green methods to get rid of the pests around your home.

Once the professionals arrive, you can ask for a detailed price quote for services. Be sure to ask if the company is licensed for mosquito control in Boise and also inquire about references. After all, this is an important service to have done and you want to make sure that it is done right the first time from a company who is locally-owned and operated in Boise Idaho and surrounding areas.


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Spider Control

Pest-Control-Spiders-House-SpiderSo the question is, how to get rid of spiders? Having certain spiders on your property can actually be beneficial, as they are known for controlling the population of insects such as mosquitoes. However, this is something that can be difficult to remember whenever you end up face to face with a spider that is inside your house.

This is especially true when it is the type of spider that is known to be venomous, making it important that you know about spider control in and around your home that can pose a problem and risk to children and small animals.  Being a specialized spider control Boise company we are dedicated to keeping you informed.

Stay Informed

In order to safeguard your home and your family from dangerous spiders, you will want to educate yourself on different varieties. For example, the Hobo spider, which actually originates from Europe, has become quite a nuisance within the state of Idaho and other states across the United States. While this spider is rather harmless, it has been known to bite and is often confused with the brown recluse as they are very similar with shape and color.

Whether you are somewhere where there are brown recluse spiders, black widow spiders or even wandering spiders, it is going to be crucial that you take the necessary precautions to rid of the problem as soon as possible. Make sure that you always work to clean out any clutter as spiders like to be in areas that are dark and quiet, which is why they seem to be attracted to basement corners. If you happen to have a lot of clutter in your house, you will end up creating a lot of hiding places for spiders.

Keep Areas Clean

Always try to make sure that you are vacuuming your home at least once per week. Cleaning the carpeting thoroughly can help to suck away any spider eggs. At the same time, you will want to use a quality cleaner around your baseboards, window sills and other crevices of your home every couple of weeks to make it uncomfortable for spiders to want to be around.

Additional Tips

If you have started to notice that you are seeing spiders in certain areas, you may want to think about setting up glue traps. Certain spiders are going to be attracted to particular traps, so it is a good idea to look at the types of traps that work best for any dangerous spiders that happen to live in your area. Whenever the spider walks across the traps, they will get stuck and you can simply dispose of the trap later on.

Another tip for trying to remove spiders that may have already taken up residence in or around your home is constructing a spider stick. Take a mop handle and tie a rag or towel in the shape of a ball on one end. After securing it tightly, you can spray the ball/rag with insecticide made for spiders to help you ensure that you are killing any live spiders that you come into contact with. Always approach the spiders with caution, making sure that you keep a safe distance in case they fall from the web as you are dabbing the area with the spider stick.


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Rodent Control

rodent-control-for-businessesRodents 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.  Being a specialized rodent control Boise ID company we how to get rid these types of rodents the right way.

How To Get Rid Of Common Rodents:

1. Getting Rid Of Rats and/or Mice.

Some of the best ways to get rid of rats and/or mice is by using bait and traps. If you’re looking to get rid of these unwanted pests you could look into purchasing 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.

At Alpha Home Pest Control we’ve found that using bait is a more effective way to handle these rodents. Using a bait capture system ensures that any dead rodents remain out sight and can easily be disposed of.

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.


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Ant Control

Ants can be a major problem anywhere. Whether it’s a ground floor apartment, a country home, or even a house in the city, ants have a way of invading a home in force. If you need to know how to get rid of ants, then you want to do a little research to get the knowledge you need. While an exterminator may end up being necessary, most of the time a few basic ant traps and some smart prevention measures can help.

The first step is also understanding that there are several different types of ants. You want to learn the most common types of ants in your area so you know what methods will be the most effective in getting rid of your particular ant infestation.  Being a specialized ant control Boise Idaho company we’ll help you get rid of your unwanted pests, but here how you can tackle the problem yourself.

originalCarpenter Ants
You are going to notice a large group of carpenter ants. This is because carpenter ants are among the largest in the United States and can grow up to a full 13mm in length. They love meats and sugars, and are large enough to even prey on other insects.

Look around your property for signs of ants in old, damp, wet, or rotting wood. Whether inside or out, carpenter ants prefer to make their home within wood. If you see these signs, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with carpenter ants.

You need to find the main nest and get rid of it. The best prevention is making sure that any wood on your property, whether an old out building, stump, or damaged wood on your house, you need to get it fixed as quickly as possible before an infestation occurs.

Black_AntPavement Ants
pavement ants look a lot like carpenter ants, but they tend to be much smaller. These can range in size from 1.5 mm to 4.0 mm in size. These black ants can also be dark brown in shape or color and not just black. They are extremely common throughout the U.S. and like to set up colonies in dark areas.

They like a wide variety of different foods and can be attracted by sugar, vegetable remains, corn based foods, greasy and oily foods. In other words, these small pavement ants are very easy to attract and chances are if you see a lot of small pavement ants you’re dealing with actual pavement ants over carpenter ants.

The first thing you can do is make sure you wipe counters and never leave foods out. Clean up spills just to make sure that there’s no trace of food around. Beware of leaks, as water can attract them in dry climates, as well.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants can include a wide variety of ants and range from as small as 2 mm to as large as 15 mm. If you’re seeing winged ants, there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled upon a odorous house ant infestation. They tend to especially become active in the dusk and evening hours.

Odorous house ants are all about reliable sources of food. Get rid of these and you’ll have all the information you need to get rid of odorous ants from your home.

Discouraging Kitchen & Bathroom Ants

Ants tend to show up in two rooms in particular: the kitchen and the bathroom. The water from the bathroom attracts them, and explains why they’re drawn into that room. Ant traps by the corners of the walls or any obvious cracks can help take care of that. It also helps to dry up any loose water after a shower or bath with a spare towel to sop up the water that might be getting their attention.

The kitchen is the main room where infestations often appear. It’s critical then to keep food out only when you’re preparing it, and to wipe and clean as often as possible. This includes the oven, counter spaces, and sweeping and mopping. It’s a good idea to have an ant trap by the garbage, as well as hard to reach spots around appliances or other areas they might be sneaking in from.

Follow these tips and no matter what type of ant, you’ll be prepared to handle an infestation and keep them from coming back!


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