Protect Yourself Against Yellow Jackets

Filed under: Bee Removal & Management,Wasp Control — Megan Howard @ 7:16 pm July 22, 2014

 

yellow jacket

 

 

Yellow jackets become mostly active during the summer. It is when they trouble homes and sting those they think are a threat to them. These stinging insects are heavy-bodied wasps that create gray, papery nests below or hanging above the ground. They are about ½ inch in length with alternating black and yellow stripes on them. While they may look like honey bees, this wasp can sting you multiple times, unlike bees that can sting you just once.

While these wasps commonly create their nests in rodent burrows, thick shrubs, and tree branches during the early spring, they can also create their nests in garages, attics, sheds, under porches, spaces behind wall sidings, and in areas where there are hollow spaces in floors and walls. When these yellow jackets create nests inside a home’s structure, they will defend their territory and will sting potential threat to their nest.

The Creation of the Nest

Nesting happens during spring, when a queen starts laying eggs in her chosen nest. Her first batch of eggs will be her first workers. The queen will continuously lay eggs while the workers will take care of her and her eggs while continuously expand the nest. These workers will also be responsible in defending the nest. The nest will continuously grow as new workers assume their responsibilities during spring and summer. By August or September, the queen’s nest may already contain hundreds of yellow jackets that are considered dangerous to those who will approach it.

The yellow jackets and the hornets are considered to be the most aggressive wasps that can sting potential victims continuously. These wasps are considered troublesome because they are known to vigorously defend their nest when it is threatened, which would leave their victim helpless with the continuous sting they will give them.

During the months of August or September, their nest may already have hundreds or even thousands of individuals. When this happens, some of the wasps may just hover around outside their nest looking for more food. They will become scavengers that will be showing up uninvited at picnics and barbecues, and in places outdoors.

Defending Yourself from Yellow Jackets

Although the nest of the yellow jacket will be emptied soon with all of the workers dying during the winter, but it is still unwise to let them nest around your property. If you are able to find the queen this early spring, and you are able to get rid of it that would mean that the eggs she laid will also not survive. However, if you are not able to find the queen, you will have a whole season of defending yourself against their nest.

If your home has a yellow jacket nest around, getting rid of it may bring difficulties. Although there are a lot of insecticide products that are labelled for the use of these wasps, handling them can still be dangerous. In most cases, the removal of yellow jacket nests is given to professionals since most homeowners acknowledge the gravity of handling these wasps.

Protect your home against these yellow jackets and let Horizon Pest Control get rid of the yellow jackets nest for you. We offer Residential Pest Control solutions that will take care of your wasp problems. Do not let these wasps intimidate you and let your home be your home again. Call for an appointment now and let us know how we can help you.

Ticks Infographic

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:17 pm July 18, 2014

New Jersey’s Mosquitoes

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Management — Megan Howard @ 7:16 pm July 15, 2014

New Jersey's Mosquitoes

 

 

Who likes to have mosquitoes around their home? Well, no one in their right mind would want mosquitoes living near them. It is even known that mosquitoes are one of the most deadliest animals in the world. Causing millions of deaths by malaria, Nile virus, and dengue fever, and thousands more affected by different viruses.

While the summer is a great time to enjoy being outdoors and just staying lazy indoors, it is important to have you and the kids protected from the threat of mosquitoes. Here are some ways to do it:

1. Always have an insect repellent ready. When going outdoors, make sure to apply an insect repellent on areas where mosquitoes might bite you. You should also apply this to your clothing. Bring this with you to re-apply if the needs arise.

2. Know the peak hours for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes normally come out and feed on our blood between the dusk and dawn. Better stay indoors early in the morning and in the evening to avoid getting bitten by them. If you will go outside during these hours, make certain to protect yourself with proper clothing and apply insect repellent.

3. Use mosquito netting. If you have infants, use mosquito netting for their carriers and use them when outdoors.

To protect your home, you should:

  1. Empty all standing water that includes old tires with stagnant water, water-holding containers that are not in used, etc.
  2. Maintain and properly chlorinate hot tubs and swimming pools.
  3. Get rid of water-holding plants, such as bromeliads.
  4. Clean clogged roof gutters
  5. Get rid of old tires and containers that can hold water but are not in used.
  6. Place screens on doors and windows.
  7. Check the air conditioning and sealed it with vents.
  8. Boats should be covered and drained completely.
  9. Apply or spray insecticides indoors or in mosquito larvae.
  10. Join mosquito control programs in your community.

 

Remember that mosquitoes prefer areas that have stale, stagnant and standing water. If your home or the surrounding areas of your home offer these places, mosquitoes will easily be attracted to it and will lay eggs on them. However, mosquitoes are known to travel long distances. So, even if your home does not have any stagnant water, they may still be able to come to your home. But, it is also known that the best defense against these pests is to always have your home cleaned. When your home does not have any clutter, and there is no stagnant water around, chances of these mosquitoes staying in your area will be lessened.

 

Make sure to defend your home against mosquitoes with Horizon Pest Control. We offer Outdoor Pest Solutions that will help your home eliminate possible harborages and allow your home to be free from these pests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is Here! And so are the bugs!

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Management — Megan Howard @ 7:15 pm July 11, 2014

 

summer bugs

 

 

It is summertime! Time to have fun, play, swim, hike, and so much more. But, with bugs on the rise, you may be hindered from doing all the activities you want to do this time! To guide you with the most common bugs you might find indoors or near your structure, here are our top list:

Mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest insect around because of how it can transmit diseases. These pests are responsible for transmitting and killing 2 to 3 million people every year. They are responsible for the spread of other diseases, such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and more. Mosquitoes are mostly active at sunset and sunrise. Areas that have standing water indoors and outdoors can become the natural habitat for these insects.

Carpenter bees. Carpenter bees can be a real nuisance when they invade homes and drill galleries in wood to make their nests. Although they do not consume the wood that they are nesting, but they can create cosmetic damage to a home or property. These bees are also known to inflict a painful sting, especially when they are disturbed or wrongfully handled.

Yellow jackets. Yellow jackets are beneficial insects since they can destroy insects that attack plants. But, when these insects invade a home by creating nests, they become a nuisance. The summer provides them with a great opportunity to build nests within the walls of a house. Having yellow jackets near the premises of a home is also dangerous since they sting, especially when they sense danger. And, unlike the honey bee that can sting just once, the yellow jacket can sting as many times as they want to without dying.

Ticks. These creepy crawlies tend to become higher during the summer months. It is even estimated that about 300,000 people suffer from Lyme disease as a result of tick bites in the U.S. And, thousands develop tick-borne diseases that can totally ruin anyone’s summer.

Carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are big large ants that are common outdoors. However, they can also be seen indoors during the summer. When they are seen indoors, it may not initially indicate that there is an infestation inside the house. They may just be coming from the outside and going in your home to gather food. However, these ants coming inside may indicate that their home is just near yours. When a carpenter ant starts to infest homes, they will stay in areas where excessive moisture is present. Areas that these ants may infest can be around windows, showers, leaky pipes and drains, roof vents and the likes. Once they find a suitable wood, they will create tunnels and continuously excavate on the wood until it becomes damaged. Carpenter ants can also bite when they are defending themselves. And, because they are large, their bite can be very painful.

 

Defending Your Home Against Them

While we cannot stop these bugs from entering the premises of our homes, we can still do something to protect our homes and protect ourselves from their threat of invasion. Here are some of them:

  • Always have an insect repellent to defend yourself against mosquitoes and ticks
  • Wear, trousers, long-sleeved shirts and protective shoes when going outdoors
  • Always check your pet for ticks
  • Make sure your home, especially the walls are checked for signs of wasp or bee nests
  • Be vigilant when hiking or camping, and even when at home and find signs of harborage of pests
  • Get rid of standing water
  • Always clean your home

 

You and your family are not safe when bugs are around. To control and stop these pests from ruining a great summer, let Horizon Pest Control stop them and help you. We provide services that will help you determine what bugs are creating nuisance and the solutions to control them. You and your family deserve a great vacation and if bugs are not present, your days will always be sunny!

 

 

How to Protect Against Ticks in Your Yard

Filed under: Tick Control — Megan Howard @ 9:39 am July 4, 2014

How to Protect Against Ticks in Your Yard

 

It is never a fun sight to see ticks around the home and in the garden. Most of us will feel unsafe to see their presence especially when we have kids and the elderly living with us. Ticks can carry numerous harmful blood-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and other newly found viruses like Powasan Virus or Borrelia Myamotoi. To avoid such danger, it is necessary to protect your yard against ticks.

To keep Lyme disease out of your yard, here are some simple steps that you can do:

 

1. Eliminate Ticks Favorite Hangout Spots

Ticks that are found outdoors are usually found in grassy, bushy areas that are often sheltered with trees and shade. They can also be found in the same place where they can find their favorite food, which is a deer. To eliminate ticks favorite hangout spots you should:

  • Mow the lawn frequently
  • Get rid of tall grass and brush the edge of the lawn
  • Clean up leaf litter
  • Compost grass clippings and leaves and use the rich soil amendment in your garden
  • Do not allow grass to overgrow, and remove vines and other plants that tend to make bushy, clumped or grass-live environments

2. Create a Glass Zone

Ticks do not like to cross paths lined with wood chips or gravel since ticks find this to be difficult to pass. It is like you are irritating them on how they should pass through. Place a gravel or wood chip buffer zone between lawns and wooded areas, which would stop ticks from crossing.

3. Stack the Woodpiles Neatly

Ticks can be found in areas where they are likely to survive and in moist, wooded areas. They can be found crawling around sloppy wood piles in shaded areas. However, if you stack the wood in order and in an area where they can get some sun and it can always e dry, then ticks will not like to stay there. Moist, wooded areas are inviting for this pest, but dried woods are not.

4. Fence Your Yard

To avoid having larger animals, such as deer or coyotes, raccoons, or stay dogs from passing through your yard, create a fence. As most of us know, these ticks travel on mammals, and they commonly ride a deer to travel from one location to the next. Keeping the larger ones out will help in controlling tick population in your deer. Besides, deer can destroy your garden and coyotes can eat your cats, so fencing your yard is just a practical solution.

5. Don’t Let the Kids Play in Areas where Tick Maybe Present

Make sure that the kids are safe by not allowing them to play in areas when ticks are known. Do not allow them to play in places where the grasses are high or on trees. If they want to play on swing, but the grass are a bit high, start trimming first and see if there are ticks first before you let them.

6. Regularly Check Yourself for Ticks

After an outdoor session, especially after playing or hiking make sure that you and your children are checked for ticks. Ticks can be in the hairline, underarms, on legs, and so on. If you find one, remove them with a pair of tweezer. Do not just pull the tick with your fingers since you do not want to squeeze their body that could regurgitate into the attach point of your skin that could pass the disease to you if you do.

7. Try to Keep Your Pests Out of Wooded Areas

Since your pets are vulnerable to ticks, always check them for ticks every day. You can try to keet them out of wooded areas if possible. You should also consider using a tick treatment, especially in spring and summer.

8. Use pesticide

Use a pesticide that is at least 20 percent DEET. DEET is a great tick repellent. If you are going to use DEET, make sure to follow instructions.

 

Successful control of a tick population depends on the effectiveness of the strategies that your pest management specialist will provide you. Horizon Pest Control offers Tick Control to our valued clients designing different tactics that will suit your pets, family and the environment you are in. Schedule an appointment to learn more about our services.

How to Prevent Ants in Your Home

Filed under: Ant Control — Megan Howard @ 9:38 am July 1, 2014

 

With summer here, we can expect the presence of ants in our kitchen. While they may still be expected, there is no reason why they should not be stopped from even entering our homes. So how do we stop ants from invading our kitchen? Here are some effective ways to stop them:

1. Remove Their Food Sources

The main reason why ants like to get inside your home is because they know they can get their food there. If your home is not clean enough, ants will easily multiply since they will tell the others about your food buffet. Make sure to clean daily, especially your kitchen since all your goodies are in there. Cleaning your home will include:

  • Putting food in air-tight containers
  • Keeping the sink clean
  • Keeping pet food and water dishes clean
  • Removing any spilled food
  • Keeping trash cans and bins far from your house
  • Taking the trash out every day
  • Sweeping the floor after meals
  • And, not allowing moisture to accommodate on counters and other surfaces

2. Create Barriers

Since ants are very small creatures, they can easily find thousands of tiny doorways that will eventually lead to your home. While some may easily be seen, others are very difficult to find unless you see a parade of ants marching through them. To protect your home you will have to:

  • Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk.
  • Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens.
  • Replace weather-stripping
  • Repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
  • Line suspected entryways with deterrent substances, such as Diatomaceous earth, salt, talc, baby powder that are made of cornstarch, cornmeal, dried cloves, and the likes.

3. Bait the Ants

You can bait the ants by choosing the right type of poison for the job. The most common bait used is by mixing boric acid powder or borax with maple syrup. Boric acid affects ants both externally and internally. If you get the right quantity and timing, these ants will bring the poison with them to the colony and spread it around, wiping out their colony. However, this procedure may take several weeks to a few months. This is why diligence in continually giving them bait is necessary.

4. Get Rid of the Queen and scouts

It is necessary to kill the queen since she is mostly responsible for the colony. If you can eliminate her, then the colony will die. However, finding the queen is nearly impossible because they do not go out of the colony and will stay well hidden and out of sight. The best way to get the ant queen is through the bait. Expect to see more ants when you set out the bait. This means that more ants are taking the bait back to the colony where they will share the rest of the food with the other ants that will also include the queen.

It is also necessary to bring down the nest, especially if you still continue to find them. If you can find the nest, pour several gallons of boiling water into it, and that may be the end of them. However, if you cannot find where they are coming from, the best solution is to bait them. In cases, where you have an infestation, it is also necessary to call reliable pest control services to be able to solve your ant infestation right away.

Eliminating ants is sometimes a necessity especially when you have an infestation and there is no end of them. For effective ant control, trust Horizon Pest Control. We will know what ant species is present and help determine the nesting site, food preference and the best method of management. Learn more about Horizon’s ant control and schedule an appointment, visit Residential Pest Control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Prevent Summer Mosquitoes by Cleaning Your Gutters

Filed under: Gutter Cleaning — Megan Howard @ 9:38 am June 27, 2014

Clogged Gutters

 

Many people do not realize the importance of having clean gutters, especially during the summer time. Basically, gutters carry rainwater away from the house and prevent water from leaking into cracks and causing structural damage. But, this is not the only thing you should worry about when it comes to clogged gutters since this can also cause for mosquitoes to harbor the area, which could also be dangerous not only for you, but for the entire family.

It is possible for mosquitoes to multiply even with small amounts of water. These insects can multiply into thousands in just a short period of time, and in the heat of summer, they can emerge from egg to adult in about a week. With clogged drains, mosquitoes will have a great breeding ground since it is already filled with water. So how do you stop mosquitoes from breeding in your gutters? Well, the simplest solution is to clean them before they even start to breed there.

Mosquitoes Life Cycle

It is necessary to clean your gutters because mosquitoes can lay singly on moist ground and can remain dormant over winter. They can easily stay in your gutter, especially if the conditions are right. They will hatch when inundated by the spring or summer. If the eggs are not favorable, these eggs will remain dormant for a year or more.

Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in any water-holding container. So when your gutters are full of litter, mosquito eggs will hatch, then will become larva. These mosquito larvae will mostly get their food from the water in which they live. Then, they will go to their third stage, which is the pupal stage. This stage is considered a resting stage, until they become adults.

Once these mosquitoes become adults, they will become a nuisance as they will search for victims to feed. Although only the female bites, it is still a nuisance when mosquitoes are seen. These mosquitoes are mostly active when disturbed or at dusk when she is attracted by light and will even fly great distances just to find a blood meal.

How to Clean Your Gutters

So how are you going to collect all the leaves that have already accumulated? Here are some ways to do so:

Scoop it. The scoop and drop method is the fastest way to get rid of all the leaves in the gutter. Scoop out the leaves or other content from the gutter and drop the contents to the ground onto a plastic tarp or drop cloth, and move the ladder as you pour the content out.

Use a bucket. Using the gutter bucket method is fairly common and involves a plastic bucket with a metal handle, then cut the handle in two at the center. Bend the ends of the handle halves into hook shapes, and place them onto the edge of the gutter. Once in place, scoop out the gutter and empty it into the bucket.

Check for gutter spikes. Check all the spikes that are supposed to go through the gutter. If possible buy new gutter spikes so the gutters are securely fastened once again.

Check for leaks. Once you have taken the leaves out of the gutter, you need to find if there are sources of leaks, which include holes in the gutters and cracked caulking in the seams. Check the rivets on the downspout too.

Water is the key to the survival of these mosquitoes and gutters offer these egg laying sites. It only takes from 7 to 10 days for mosquitoes to go from egg to adult. The larvae only need the eggs to have enough standing water to develop into adults. If there is no standing water, there will be no mosquitoes, and if the gutters are clear, there will be no mosquitoes.

Clogged gutters not only cause structural damage, but could also lead for different pests including mosquitoes to live in. If your gutters are not properly cleaned and fixed different problems such as water problems and even vegetation growing in your gutters can occur. To help you with your clogged gutters, Horizon Pest Control offers Gutter Cleaning that will solve your gutter problems immediately.

 

Most Common Ways Termites Enter Your Home

Filed under: Termites — Megan Howard @ 9:40 am June 24, 2014

Most Common Ways Termites Enter Your Home

 

To effectively combat termites, it is necessary to first know about how they get inside in the first place and why they want to stay for good! This is crucial to prevent an infestation. Since termites live in colonies and feed on the cellulose in wood, it is likely that you will be able to find hundreds or even thousands of them, once their colony has been found. These termites can cause significant damage both structurally and financially. If termites are found, you should eliminate them as soon as possible, or else, they will keep on infesting until enough structural damage is done.

Here are Ways Termites Come in Your Home

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termite colonies live underground and can enter your home at ground level or below. They can also create mud tubes to enter places several feet above ground level.

The most common way subterranean termites enter your home is through wood-to-ground contact that includes doorframes, deck posts, and porch steps or supports. They can also enter homes through cracks in the foundation or cracks in brick mortar.

Drywood T ermites

A common drywood termite infestation will start when swarmers or alates search a crevice in the wood of your home, dig out a little nest and seal themselves in. Once they find a suitable nesting site, they will begin to produce eggs to build a new colony. Since it is difficult to find termites, it may take several years before you realize that they have been there for some time because their colony has already grown to a size capable of causing serious wood damage to your home.

It can be a challenge to prevent drywood termite infestations since they can create nests in any part of the home in any floor. They just do not nest near the foundation or soil like the subterranean termites do, but they can do it anywhere.

Drywood termites never have to come out for any reason. After they seal themselves in, they will not go out. But, there is only one time of the year that they take flight and swarm away to create their own colony. Once these termites established themselves in your home during the swarming season, it is likely that they will just move from one wood to another, which will cause more damage to your home.

Preventing Entry

Preventing termites to enter a home will include addressing trouble spots, such as water that pools around the foundation, and monitoring for signs of activity. It is also necessary to have a regular maintenance to keep the exterior wood of your home in good condition. It is also necessary to have your home inspected any time of the year since that can provide you with evidence of a live infestation within your home.

Although a termite inspection can be challenging for most technicians since a termite inspection is quite limited to only about 19% of the structure that can be inspected for an active live infestation. However, subterranean termites are usually the easiest ones to be found because they create little mud tubes up from the ground to the foundation. When it comes to drywood termites, you will need skilled and experienced termite inspectors because drywood termites can actively live inside the wood framing of your home. And, it may be a bit late before you finally realize that you have an infestation.

To know if you have a drywood termite infestation your technician will search for evidence in windowsills and baseboards. This evidence is similar to sand or small little pellets and their presence can be very obvious to experience termite inspectors. After the inspection of your home, your technician will provide prevention and control tips specific to your home’s construction type, termite species that they found in the home, and structural and moisture conditions favorable to the termites.

 

Horizon Pest Control understands the need to ensure the health and longevity of your home that is why we designed an environmentally-friendly pest control solution that focuses on protecting your home against termites. Schedule an appointment with Horizon Pest Control Termite Control and have your home protected.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs while Traveling

Filed under: Bed Bug — Megan Howard @ 9:38 am June 20, 2014

 

One of the easiest ways of encountering bed bugs is when you travel. Whether traveling locally or internationally, your luggage might come across with bed bugs. Bed bugs might be in your hotel room, in the trunk of the taxi, in the luggage compartment of the airplane, and so on. While you may not be able to control bed bugs while you are traveling, you can also do some ways to prevent them from coming home with you.

Preventing Bed Bugs when Traveling

 

1. Research your hotel

Before booking for a certain hotel, do some research first. Search TripAdvisor.com about the hotel you want to book and see if there are complaints about bed bugs. You can also go to BedbugRegistry.com and check if there have been complaints at a specific hotel. However, you also need to consider that bed bugs are becoming prevalent and a hotel that you like should still not be blacklisted from your list. If you are still going to check-in on a place where there is a history of bed bugs, make sure to ask for a room that has never had a bed bug problem or a room that has been thoroughly treated.

2. Invest in your luggage

It is most likely that bed bugs will come with you on your luggage since they like to hitchhike and attach themselves to the seams and zippers of soft-sided suitcases. When purchasing a new luggage better invest in hard-sided luggage, which bed bugs will have a hard time attaching themselves in. The hard-sided luggage have latches and not zippers. This type of luggage does not have folds or seams where bed bugs can hide, and it closes completely so pests cannot get inside.

You can also consider getting a collapsible luggage, where you can place your bags in the dryer for 30 minutes at high heat, as soon as you return home from your trip. If you must use soft-sided luggage, use lighter colored bags since it is also going to be difficult for you to spot bed bugs if your luggage is black or dark colored.

3. Pack your clothes smartly

Pack your belongings, such as your clothes, toiletries, and shoes in sealable plastic bags before putting them in your luggage. Make sure to seal everything you can inside since even a tiny opening can allow a bed bug to get in. When in a hotel room, keep your sealable bags zipped shut unless you need to access an item inside.

4. Spray your luggage with a bed bug deterrent spray

Before you travel, buy a bed bug deterrent spray and spray them all around and even inside your luggage. These sprays use lime and cedar, which bed bugs hate.

5. Inspect your room

Once inside your hotel room, do not put your luggage on the bed or on the floor of the room. Better bring your luggage inside the bathroom or in the bathtub. Have a little flashlight with you and start inspecting common hiding places of these bugs. The three most common places where they hide are on the headboard, nightstand and mattress.

6. Don’t bring your suitcase in with you once you get home

Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage. Make sure you are away from furniture and sleeping areas when you do this. If you live in an apartment, you can use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bed bugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and can easily be seen against light colors). Pay close attention to pockets, linings and seams. While you may be tired from traveling, but it is mostly important to first wash all your clothes in hot water and dry them for at least half an hour with heat before bringing them inside your room. Wash all your clothes, even those unworn on a high-heat setting, and dry them for at least 30 minutes to kill any bugs that might have traveled with you.

Make your Home Bed Bug Free

Since you like to travel make certain ways to also stop them from entering. It will take a lot of discipline on your part on how you view your travels. From inspecting the right rental car, to getting your suitcase protected when you travel by plane, and how you inspect your hotel may take a lot of your time. However, this will benefit your home if you can do it right. Your home in return should also be protected by placing mattress covers, avoid storing stuff under your bed, unless they are tightly sealed, throw out cardboard and paper, and so on.

 

 

 

 

Common Issues with Rodents in the Spring

Filed under: Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 9:37 am June 17, 2014

 

Rodents, especially rats are a city-wide problem. And, with spring on the way, their population is expected to multiply. Rodents can grow to be a foot long and can easily squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. They can reproduce quickly and will eat anything. They can chew through pipes, tread water for at least three days, and easily infest homes if solutions are not made.

In the spring, these rodents will try to find ways to get inside a house or building so they can stay warm. And, it is during this season that homeowners report rat invasions to their technician who will continuously lay rat poison in one corner after another.

What Common Issues can You Expect from Rodents this Spring?

Transmission of different diseases

Rodents are also responsible for the transmission of different diseases. This is because their feeding habits are deadly, and their nesting behaviors can undermine the area they are infesting. List of diseases these rodents can give homeowners are:

  • Bubonic plague
  • Salmonella
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tapeworms
  • Murine typhus
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Ringworm

Reproduction

In the spring and fall, rats have reproductive peaks. Their gestation period is between 22 to 25 days and an average litter contains 5 to 10 offspring. Young rats are sexually mature at 3 to 4 months of age, and can have their own litter after mating. These rats do not recognize incest, so brothers and sisters and even mothers and sons mate. They can also create large litters if abundant food is available.

Rat Infestation

Rats do not commonly live in the wild. In truth, these rodents are widely associated with human activity. When rats start infesting a home, they can be troublesome and can create damage to the home they are infesting. They will eat and contaminate food, transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans, damage structures and property.

Once their number grows, these rodents can camp by the hordes in the sewers, chew through vents, invade trash cans and pantries, scurry through allies and under bushes, and harass residents at night. However, rats are secretive and will try to avoid being seen by humans. Here are some ways to know if you have an infestation:

The presence of dead or living rats. Rats like to hide, given that they have enough space. But if rats are seen in plain sight, it is likely that your home is infested. Since their reproduction is fast, it is likely that their living conditions become cramped, which forces them to expose themselves out into the open.

Rat droppings may be present. Since they cannot control their bodily functions, they excrete wherever they go. A single rat can leave up to 25,000 fecal pellets per year. Rats leave 30 to 180 dropping per day, and will range from one half to three quarters of an inch in length. When fecal dropping are seen, these can indicate an infestation.

Dirt or grease marks. Rats tend to leave dirt or grease marks along the walls and floorboards. Rodents have front teeth that are continually growing, so they must continually gnaw to reduce the size of their front teeth. However, these gnawing can cause damage to the structure and is a sure sign of rats.

Minor Problems in Houses

These rodents can also create minor problems in houses, especially with furniture and internal structures, food, and insulation and wiring. Chewed wiring is a particular problem that should be taken into consideration this coming spring since this can lead to fires and be expensive to repair.

Rats will Eat Anything

Rats are omnivorous creatures. They are known to eat almost anything. On average, a rat can consume 25-30 grams of food and drink approximately 60 milliliters of water per day. When they are in a house, they can eat anything not sealed in an air-tight container. But, because they have exceptionally powerful jaws, even air-tight containers are not safe. Rats can eat most food that is stored in paper, plastic, or cardboard containers.

They can come indoors searching for a nice place to nest with a good supply of food. If they find your home that offers an adequate amount of it, you are certain to have an infestation any time soon. Some items that can attract rats are:

  • Rubbish and litter
  • Pet and bird foods that has been left out and not eaten
  • Dog droppings
  • Discarded food
  • Fruits and that have fallen on the ground

An Easy Prevention

While rodents can greatly multiply this coming spring, it does not mean that we should just wait for them, then just get rid of them once they are there. Make sure that before spring comes that you have already rodent proof your home. Keep in mind that if there are no attractants present and if they cannot find access inside, they will look for other places to harbor. Repair broken air bricks and holes in outside walls, floorboards or skirting boards. Tidy up cupboards, keep all garbage in metal containers with tight fitting lids, ensure the compost is away from the house, remove fallen fruit from the yard, remove pet food at night are all simple steps, but can work wonders to stop rodents from even coming near your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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