Tag Archives: pests

Avoiding Rodents this Winter

Avoiding Rodents this Winter

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 result in serious illnesses.  They can also cause significant damage to buildings by chewing on everything from insulation to wallboard.

The best thing you can do to avoid rodents in your home is continually being proactive and following proper prevention techniques. Some of it may seem like common sense as part of it is keeping up on day to day cleaning (especially in the kitchen) but some of it will require a little work of investing and knowing your property and home.

 

Prevention

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

  • 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 items that are stored in the garage in secure air-tight containers. You should also remove fallen fruits and/or nuts from your yard if you have any. Be sure to 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. Another thing to check for is excess gaps around pipes or cables entering into the side of your home.

  • Eliminate Hiding And Living Places For Rodents.

Eliminate potential hiding and living places for the rodents. Old/non-running vehicles can serve as a great shelter for rodent pests. The interior of the vehicle such as floor carpet and seats can be chewed and used for building nests.  The same goes for furniture kept outside.  Only store lumber/fire wood off of the ground and at least 20 feet away from your home. Remove unused piles of wood and other materials that rodents could use to form a nest.  Be sure to do a thorough fall yard clean up.  Remove leaf litter and do not leave piles of leaves as they can provide protection from rodents such as Voles.

If you make these tips part of your routine you will greatly reduce your chances rodents finding their way into your home.

 

Alpha Home Pest Control (208)475-4440

Keep Pests Out Of Your Home

At Alpha Home Pest Control we encourage our clients to be proactive, using proper exclusion tactics and making their homes “unattractive” to the pests, helping keep pests out of your home.

Here are some common Q and A’s for homeowners to help understand why being proactive is important.

 

Q: What attracts pests to your home?

A: If you think about it, like most living things pests are attracted to and need food, water and shelter. Making sure you have followed good exclusion techniques and sealing up/off food and water will help keep pests at bay. Using air tight containers to store food (including extra pet food) and repairing leaky pipes and drains will make your home less attractive and the pests will be less likely to stay.

 

Q: How do pests find their way in?

A: Pests commonly find their way into homes through windows and doors that do not have a tight seal when closed and through cracks that may be around the window or doors. They don’t always crawl or fly in, sometimes they are carried in by you or even your pet! Groceries, firewood, and luggage are ways that pests can be carried into the home unseen. Be sure to inspect any packages and belongings before bringing them inside.  Another thing to add the check list is foundation vents, inspect the screen for any holes or being loose, correct any problems right away.  Broken foundation vents are a welcome mat for mice, other insects and even cats!

We always advise that firewood not be stored against the house.  Firewood attracts many pests’ spiders, ants, and termites to name a few.  Termites can cause a lot of damage and can be a very costly expense.  Another tip to follow is having about a 2 in. gap between your foundation and plants and grass.  Allowing bushes and shrubs to grow so closely to your home creates a stepping stone for pests and critters that may want inside.

 

Q: What to do if you have an infestation or starting to see more pest activity?

A: If you find yourself having pests issues and are unsure of how to properly handle the problem, call your pest management right away before the issue multiplies, which can slow down the elimination process and be more costly.

 

Call Alpha Home Pest Control (208)475-4440

Centipedes in Idaho

Centipedes in Idaho

Centipedes can range from yellow to dark brown, occasionally with darker striped markings. Their length ranges from 1/8 – 6” (4-152 mm). What makes centipedes interesting is the number of legs they have, ranging from 15 – 177 pairs.

Centipedes are found in Idaho as well as throughout the U.S. and around the world. Centipedes prefer areas with high moisture and can be found under rocks, logs, even under leaves and yard debris. When centipedes find their way into homes, they are commonly found in high moisture areas/damp areas such as basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms and sometimes they make it into potted plants.

Centipedes can be somewhat of an unsightly pest. Lucky for us, most species of centipedes tend to keep to areas where they aren’t disturb by humans too often.  Most centipedes that you find around (outside, or even underneath) your home should be considered a helpful pests.  They are beneficial because they help keep other pests under control, eating other insects and pests, such as small spiders, cockroaches and moths.

Centipedes do not pose significant threat to health or property. However, some species of house centipedes have poison jaws which they use to inject venom into their prey. **If not handled with care and too roughly, *some larger* species can deliver a painful bite that can break human skin which may cause swelling similar to a bee sting.

Alpha Home Pest Control 

208-475-4440

 

 

 

Pests, Allergies and Your Health

Pests, Allergies and Your Health

Certain pests and your health won’t always mix well together.  Creepy crawly unwanted pests and rodents aren’t only annoying, they can contribute to some serious health problems. Preventative actions are important when it comes to protecting your home, business, schools, hospitals, restaurants, daycare’s and elderly rest homes.

Some examples:

Cockroaches can play a role in asthma and allergy triggers. You may be experiencing what seems to be common seasonal allergy symptoms but if you have pests inside the home, pests such as cockroaches may be adding to the severity of the symptoms.  The shedding of cockroaches’ body parts and feces can irritate and cause an increase in severity of asthmatic symptoms.

 

Mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These 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, the diseases can also be spread indirectly through mites, fleas and ticks that may have fed on an infected mouse. Some of the most common diseases carried by mice are Hantavirus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Rat-bite fever and Plague.

 

Flies, just the buzzing of flies around you are annoying enough but are they are known as carriers of easily communicable diseases. Flies carry diseases on their legs and the tiny hairs that cover their bodies. It only takes one landing for them to transfer these pathogens to the surfaces they land on such as food and counter tops. Diseases carried by common house flies include typhoid, cholera and dysentery. They have also been known to transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.

 

Whether it’s a home, office or commercial/public building be proactive and contact your local pest management professionals.  You will have peace of mind knowing that you are on a maintenance program against the battle of the unwanted pests and your health.

Why are Bed Bugs such a Feared Pest?

Bed bugs are at the top of the list for most feared pests and experiencing a bed bug infestation in your own home can take its toll on any family.  If you think about it, bed bugs are like a physiological pest, they can take over your home as well as your mind

Over the years bed bugs have advanced their immunity and have developed a high resistance to today’s current pest products, which makes it next to impossible to handle them on your own.  Store bought products just do not work.  With bed bugs you need really need to take the situation seriously and break out the big guns and hire a profession to properly eliminate the infestation.

Bed Bugs are a parasitic insect, which means they feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep.  You may think that checking your bed and sheets before you go to bed would be enough, no noticeable bed bugs, good to go right?  Not the case, bed bugs are masters when it comes to hiding. Bed bugs tend to hid in the smallest of cracks and crevices of a headboard, bed frame, dressers pretty much any furniture and they can be very hard to spot. Bed bugs will typically remain safe and hidden until it’s time to feed and consume a blood meal. Once the blood meal is consumed they return to their safe spot to digest and reproduce.

Bed bugs are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide, perfect invitation from a person sleeping in a warm bed.  Bed bugs will inject the host with its saliva which contains an anesthetic, this will help numb the area and often times the bite will go unnoticed during the feed.  Some people experience reactions to the bites and will wake up with the bite area swollen, red and itchy.

If you think you have bed bugs call your local pest professional right away.  A bed bug infestation can grow quickly, do not allow time for them to get established. It would be best to have a professional inspection and start treatment.

Give Alpha a call at 208-475-4440

 

Staying Pest Free During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again, busy holidays and a new year about to begin. 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.

Check out our holiday tip’s to keep those unwanted guests out!

  • It may sound obvious, but check for pieces of food/crumbs that the vacuum couldn’t reach (under and behind the stove and fridge), 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.  Spare rooms that aren’t used often can easily become a sanctuary for rodents and spiders, they like hiding spots that won’t be disturbed so be sure to routinely check and clean spare rooms.
  • Always clean up crumbs and food leftovers right away, leaving no invitation to attract pests
  • With holidays comes food and baking 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 around doors and windows for gaps. Caulk and seal where needed and be sure to check weather stripping and screens for tears.
  • Check your crawlspace for rodent activity, look for rodent droppings, chewed wires, papers and any area the rodent may use for nesting. Inspect foundation vents, make sure they have a tight fit and screens free of rips and tears.
  • If you did any traveling check your luggage and clothes for possible bed bugs.  It’s more common than you’d like to believe how common it is to pick up bedbugs while traveling.  Bedbugs love to travel and are always ready to hitch a free ride. No one wants to think about it but it’s a lot better to catch it before it becomes an infestation.
  • And lastly, Stay Proactive!

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

Crawl Space

In addition to offering outstanding pest control services, Alpha Home Pest Control offers crawl space inspections as well.

There is a wide range of unwanted pests that could be hanging out in your crawl space.  Most common crawl space pests are rodents, ants and wood destroying insects such as termites. These types of pests if left untreated can cause some serious damage in the crawl space which can lead to costly repairs.  Pests will likely keep themselves busy by:

 

  • Chewing through electrical wires
  • Destroying insulation, perhaps using it for nesting
  • Leaving excrement all over
  • Carrying in filth on themselves, such as fleas and diseases
  • Damaging air ducts by gnawing holes
  • Damage to the wooden structure
  • Create a large colony (it doesn’t take long)

There is no need to wait until there is a pest problem to have a crawl space inspection.  If you are buying a home it’s a good idea to have the home inspected for pests especially wood destroying pests like termites that can eat away at your home.

It’s a good idea to have your crawl space inspected yearly by a pest professional.  Being proactive about pests can save you a lot of headache in the future.  Our certified technicians will ensure your crawl space stays pest free.  They will be looking for cracks, crevices and holes that may be being used as an entry point into the crawl space. If any are found they will be properly repaired.  Foundation vents are another common way pests find their way into crawl spaces. Be sure that you have secure screens with no rips or tears.

If you are fighting with pests in the crawl space, buying a new home, or just wanting a yearly inspection, give Alpha a call today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

(208)475-4440

 

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.

Keep Pests Out

At Alpha Home Pest Control we encourage our clients to be proactive, using proper exclusion tactics and making their homes “unattractive” to the pests, helping keep pests out.

Here are some common Q and A’s for homeowners to help understand why being proactive is important.

 

Q: What attracts pests to your home?

A: If you think about it, like most living things pests are attracted to and need food, water and shelter. Making sure you have followed good exclusion techniques and sealing up/off food and water will help keep pests at bay. Using air tight containers to store food (including extra pet food) and repairing leaky pipes and drains will make your home less attractive and the pests will be less likely to stay.

 

Q: How do pests find their way in?

A: Pests commonly find their way into homes through windows and doors that do not have a tight seal when closed and through cracks that may be around the window or doors. They don’t always crawl or fly in, sometimes they are carried in by you or even your pet! Groceries, firewood, and luggage are ways that pests can be carried into the home unseen. Be sure to inspect any packages and belongings before bringing them inside.  Another thing to add the check list is foundation vents, inspect the screen for any holes or being loose, correct any problems right away.  Broken foundation vents are a welcome mat for mice, other insects and even cats!

We always advise that firewood not be stored against the house.  Firewood attracts many pests’ spiders, ants, and termites to name a few.  Termites can cause a lot of damage and can be a very costly expense.  Another tip to follow is having about a 2 in. gap between your foundation and plants and grass.  Allowing bushes and shrubs to grow so closely to your home creates a stepping stone for pests and critters that may want inside.

 

Q: What to do if you have an infestation or starting to see more pest activity?

A: If you find yourself having pests issues and are unsure of how to properly handle the problem, call your pest management right away before the issue multiplies, which can slow down the elimination process and be more costly.

 

Call Alpha Home Pest Control (208)475-4440

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

Local Businesses

 

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 smaller local  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 you’re 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.

 

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