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It’s Tick season – How to Prevent Them!

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — Megan Howard @ 4:57 pm July 27, 2012

Ticks thrive in New Jersey and all over the eastern seaboard. Ticks are parasites, classified by experts as external parasites, AKA ectoparasites, that have to feed on the blood of hosts to survive. There are many different kinds of ticks, and they can be found all over the world, but they tend to be more active in warm, humid climates because they require moisture in the air to survive – like New Jersey.

Ticks are widely known for being disease carriers, and the list of diseases they can pass on to humans is a long one. The most common diseases transmitted are Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but they can also transmit Colorado Tick Fever, Q Fever, and they can also cause a delayed allergic reaction to eating red meat. For these reasons, people everywhere need to be vigilant to protect yourself and pets.

They are very small, almost impossible to see with the naked eye, and travel around by attaching themselves to tall blades of grass, or long branches and wait for someone to brush up against them. They will then ride on the host until they are ready to bite.

The size of a tick compared to a finger

Ways to reduce your exposure to ticks is to

  • keep your lawn cut short, especially around the edges of your lawn,
  • when hiking or walking through wooded parks & fields, stay clear of tall vegetation and generally any area that looks unkempt,
  • constantly check your pet, yourself and clothes if in a tick environment.

If you or your pets have been bitten by a tick, they will have a telltale bullseye pattern around the affected area. You should seek medical assistance as soon as possible, and a health care professional will not only remove the tick but will also prescribe medication to deal with any symptoms that may arise. If you think your home is being infested by ticks, call Horizon Pest Control today or visit NJ Pest Control to schedule a home inspection.

Why Yellow Jackets sting people and how to deal with them

Filed under: Bee Removal & Management — Tags: — Megan Howard @ 3:56 pm July 26, 2012

What a Yellow Jacket looks likeAsk anyone that enjoys outdoor activities and they’ll tell you the same thing: Yellow Jackets are probably the worst insects you can encounter while outdoors. They’re aggressive, they sting, and they attack in ridiculously large numbers when provoked so it’s no wonder everybody hates them. People are so used to loathing Yellow Jackets that nobody bothers to question “why” anymore, but in spite of their reputation they play a very important role in nature.

In the Spring and in early Summer seasons, Yellow Jackets behave like carnivores, hunting insects for protein to feed to the larvae in their growing colony. Their hunting activities serve to keep plant-damaging insects like caterpillars and beetles in check, keeping them from outright destroying the plants. As the seasons change, they begin to feed on more sugary substances, like nectar and fruits.

This is one of the reasons why yellow jackets tend to pick on picnic-loving individuals. When you set out sweet foods like soda, cake, or anything rich in sugar, you’re setting out a big buffet for them, attracting them to your picnic. This is where things get tricky. If you try to drive them away they may attack and bring the whole hive down on you. So if you see yellow jackets in the wild, it’s best to avoid them and move around them.

On the other hand, if you think they’ve invaded your home. They usually make their nests either in the walls of your home, or in places like your basement or attic. Their nests have an entry point, and if you see them coming in and going, don’t plug up the entrance to their nest. They will simply find another way out, usually through your wall fixtures or power outlets and into your home, making your problem much worse.

When dealing with insects as troublesome as Yellow Jackets, it’s best to call for professional assistance to avoid unnecessary injury. Professionals have the equipment to successfully deal with Yellow Jackets and avoid any repercussions of eliminating them from your home. To set an appointment or for more information, click Horizon Home Services.

 

Ticks and How They Threaten You and Your Pets

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — Megan Howard @ 3:06 pm July 13, 2012

Ticks

These parasites can be found almost anywhere you go in the US, and are a nuisance to home and pet owners alike. Ticks are parasites, classified by experts as external parasites, AKA ectoparasites, that have to feed on the blood of hosts to survive. There are many different kinds of ticks, and they can be found all over the world, but they tend to be more active in warm, humid climates because they require moisture in the air to survive.

Ticks are widely known for being disease carriers, and the list of diseases they can pass on to humans is a long one. The most common diseases transmitted are Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but they can also transmit Colorado Tick Fever, Q Fever, and they can also cause a delayed allergic reaction to eating red meat. For these reasons, people everywhere seek to reduce their numbers.

What Common Ticks look like

They are very small, almost impossible to see with the naked eye, and travel around by attaching themselves to tall blades of grass, or long branches and wait for someone to brush up against them. They will then ‘ride’ on the host until they are ready to bite. If you have a lawn, keep your grass cut short, especially around the edges of your lawn, and when hiking into woods or in the wilderness, stay clear of tall vegetation and generally any area that looks ‘unkempt’.

Ticks on Pets

If you or your pets have been bitten by a tick, they will have a telltale ‘bullseye’ pattern around the affected area. You should seek medical assistance as soon as possible, and a health care professional will not only remove the tick but will also prescribe medication to deal with any symptoms that may arise. If you think your home is being infested by ticks, give your local exterminator a call and schedule a home inspection.

Dog with Tick infections

Don’t let ticks bug you, your loved ones and your pets. If you want to learn more about ticks or if you want to set an appointment with us, visit NJ Home Pest Control.

Spring Can Bring Bigger Pests in Your Home

Filed under: Nuisance Wildlife & Animal Control,Pest Control — Tags: — Megan Howard @ 2:16 pm July 6, 2012

Pests does not always refer to little creatures, it may also mean bigger animals such as raccoons, bats or even deer. They are capable of destroying property, chewing up goods, spreading disease as well as biting children or pets. People who live near the woods are more prone to this kind of pest attack. Animals may enter the garden or backyard or even enter the home.

Professional exterminator getting rid of pests

Why Pests are Attracted to Homes

The main attraction for pest animals is food and warmth. While winter sees fewer of pest invasions, a warmer spring sees an increase in animal invasions. From squirrels in the attic, or rabbits in the garden to even bears, many animals do wander into homes. House owners must never try tackling these pests on their own. They may be dangerous and may attack when they feel threatened. Moreover they may be sick or wounded and may carry germs. It is best to call for professional assistance. Pest control companies will examine possible points of entry and seal them shut, which is called Exclusion. They will use appropriate measures to get rid of the animal by capturing it and transporting it to natural reserves. Most animal control measures are now humane and involve only capture and removal.

Ways to Prevent Animals into Your Home

Some ways of preventing animals into your home is by avoiding keeping any food outside. Right from pet food to open dustbins, food will attract animals again and again. The yard must be cleaned up after all feeding to clear it of food particles. Avoid keeping mulch or logs of wood as these are often potential habitats for snakes. Extra precautions need to be taken in spring as this is when animals begin to look for places to nest and mate. Attics must be regularly inspected for bat or squirrel infestations.

If you suspect a nuisance animal in or around your home, call for professional help from experts who will know what to do. Go to our New Jersey Animal Control page to schedule an appointment with our experienced pest control team today!

Are Carpenter Bees a Nuisance to You?

Among wood-destroying pests, termites and carpenter ants are well known, but did you know there is a type of bee that damages wood too? Those bees are known as carpenter bees, and can be found all over America. They have black-colored abdomens, whereas bumblebees have a yellow patch on theirs. Additionally, female carpenter bees almost never sting anybody, unless directly provoked or attacked.

carpenter bee

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees live in nest tunnels dug out of wooden structures or dwelling places. These tunnels are often marked by a fingertip-sized hole in the surface of the wood and can extend up to 5 feet inside the wood. They often have multiple chambers and corridors inside. Carpenter bees do not eat the wood, rather, they either discard the wooden sawdust or use it to create partitions and chambers within their tunnels.

Compared to termites, carpenter bees do not do as much damage to wood. They prefer old wood, preferably wood that has been exposed to moisture and has become soft. One of the most telltale signs of a carpenter bee problem is the large presence of bees in and around the property. Oftentimes this is disregarded by homeowners, since bee presence tends to spike during certain seasons of the year.

Hole made by a carpenter bee

Another telltale sign is the presence of perfectly round, ½ inch holes on wooden surfaces, usually with a pile of sawdust near the opening. These holes are the entryways to their nest tunnels, and are sometimes lined with yellow colored bee droppings, which are deposited as they enter and exit the nest. Finally, woodpeckers are their natural predator, so an abundance of woodpeckers near your home can indicate the presence of carpenter bees.

Dealing with minor carpenter bee infestations is usually not that difficult to do. There are generally three options available: cover up the entryways, suck them out with a vacuum cleaner, or treat it with insecticide. Covering up the entryways should be done in the middle of the night, after the bees have returned to their nest. The interesting thing is that they never bother burrowing out again, so this is the quickest and cheapest way to deal with an infestation.

Using a vacuum cleaner has just as simple, but comes with some pretty obvious disadvantages. For one, carpenter bees consider an attack on their home to be an attack on them and will sting anyone who tries to suck them out. Insecticides are another option, however, this may cost more money and is also likely to get you stung. You can reduce the risk of stinging by wearing thick clothes and performing the treatments at night, when they are slower.

You should plug up the tunnels that have been vacuumed or treated with insecticide to prevent the bees from coming back to claim the nest. If the infestation has gotten to the point that these treatments don’t work at all, you will have to enlist the services of a pest control professional with experience dealing with carpenter bees. For more information, visit NJ Residential Pest Control.