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Winter Pest Control Tips

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Horizon Pest Control,Mold Extermination,Pest Control,Pest Management,Termites — Megan Howard @ 12:55 pm January 29, 2013

Come winter time, everyone heads indoors to enjoy the warmth of their fireplaces and cups of hot chocolate. However, mother nature’s creatures often follows us in, taking advantage of the comfortable homes we’ve built for our families to provide a comfortable home for themselves. This is undesirable for a number of reasons, the biggest being that many animals are also disease carriers, so here are some tips you can use to keep animals out of your home.

pest control

1. Plastic containers are your friends

If you’ve got food or other edible objects lying around your house, take them out of whatever cardboard or paper containers they came in, and store them in plastic ones instead. Plastic is not only tougher for to chew through and live in, but the right kinds (like the airtight ones) will also help your foods retain their freshness for longer periods of time.

2. Seal your garbage cans

Garbage cans and bags are treasure troves for animals like the raccoon and rats, who often tear into piles of garbage left outside to pick at the scraps of food. Discourage such behavior by storing your garbage in strong, air tight plastic garbage bags (do yourself a favor and avoid the cheap ones), and keep the bags themselves in sealed garbage cans that aren’t top-heavy so they can’t be easily knocked over and torn apart.

3. Mesh screens

If you live in a home that uses mesh screens on windows and doors, ensure that they’re structurally sound and well maintained, meaning, no holes, tears, or gaps. This will prevent pests from crawling into your home through the windows, while ensuring that your home can get some ventilation when its needed.

4. Close up wall cracks

We’ve mentioned this in our other posts, but it’s important enough to bear repeating: seal up any cracks, gaps, or holes in the walls outside your house. Even holes as small as a quarter are big enough for mice to get through, and more than big enough to allow insects like roaches and termites to get in. You can seal small cracks with caulk purchased from your local hardware store, but for larger ones you should get a contractor to assess and repair the damage.

5. Keep your house clean

Cluttered homes are the perfect homes for pests. The more furniture, junk, and trash, and other assorted goods just laying around your house, the more hiding spaces for bugs and small animals there are. Keeping things neat not only improves the look and feel of your home, but also serves to reduce the number of potential hiding spots, forcing pests to look elsewhere for lodging.

6. Keep your yard clean

Keeping your front and back yard clean helps ward off pests for many of the same reasons as number 5 does: bushes and trees growing near your home provide easy access for climbers like mice or raccoons, and piles of leaves left over from the fall season provide the perfect place for a den or burrow.

7. Call a professional

The best thing about these tips is that they work all year round, not just winter, and they’re quite easy to follow. If done correctly, you’ll never have a problem with pests.

If you’re still having problems despite following the above steps, contact us and we’ll help solve your problem. Visit our Residential Pest Control page to set an appointment with us.

4 Pests to Watch Out For

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control,Pest Management — Megan Howard @ 4:20 pm January 23, 2013

This winter, don’t expect all of mother nature to be out cold and hibernating while you’re enjoying the warmth and comfort of the indoors. For every animal or insect that hibernates during the winter, there are dozens more that don’t. Below are four of the most commonly encountered Winter pests and how to deal with them if they decide to move in with you.

Cockroaches

Active all year round, these pests prefer warm, damp environments, like under your sink or in your bathrooms. Roaches are disease carriers, and can give painful (but generally non-lethal) bites. They’re attracted to food found within homes, so your first move should be to keep your house clean, starting with your kitchen. Store leftover food in tightly sealed containers, kept either in a pantry or in the fridge, and wipe down all your surfaces to remove grease and residue from food. Fix leaking faucets to prevent them from becoming water sources for roaches (and for other pests, as well), and if you’ve already been invaded, consult a professional for assistance.

Cockroach

 

Ants

Ants are the most common pests encountered during the Winter. The red ant and the carpenter ant are the two most troublesome species of ant. Red ants are known for their bite, which can cause severe allergic reactions in some people, while carpenter ants hollow out wood to make their homes, weakening the wooden structures that make up your home. Walls and even roofs have been known to collapse due to severe carpenter ant infestations.

The best way to keep ants out is to keep your home clean and free of anything that would attract them, the same way you would do for cockroaches. Keep some benadryl in your first aid kit to treat red ant bites, and watch out for little piles of sawdust (a sign of Carpenter ants) around the doors or walls of your home. If you’re already suffering from an invasion of either red or carpenter ants, contact a professional pest control service for assistance.

Ants

 

Mice

These rodents are a common sight in cities across America. What makes them so troublesome is the fact that they can squeeze through tiny cracks that many of us would probably overlook. As a general rule, most mice can squeeze through cracks that are about the size of a dime. Once they’re in, they’ll make their burrow wherever its dark and warm, and will go after any food left out in the open. They’re especially fond of digging through open trash, and have been known to chew through trash bags to get to food scraps within. Mice also breed very quickly, so any infestations should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Mice aren’t as bad as their bigger cousins, the rats, but they can still carry disease and are highly unsanitary.

mice

 

Rats

You can think of rats as simply bigger versions of mice, and in a lot of ways, they are. Like mice, they’re capable of squeezing through tiny cracks much smaller than themselves, and they are highly unsanitary. They are famous for carrying the Black Plague throughout Europe, as well as other contagious diseases.

One of the best ways to secure your house against rats is to have a qualified exterminator help you identify cracks and locations in and around your home that rats can enter into, and a general contractor can help you repair them. Aside from that, follow the same procedure as with the roaches and ants: keep your house and its surroundings clean, and they’ll simply move on for lack of food.

rats

If you have a current pest problem, don’t hesitate to contact Horizon Pest Control. We offer affordable and effective pest control solutions for your home. To set an appointment, go to Residential Pest Control. After scheduling a consultation, one of our experienced technicians will visit your home and inspect for pests.

Keeping Your Home Pest-Free in Winter

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control,Pest Management — Megan Howard @ 5:59 pm January 15, 2013

This Winter, pests will be seeking food and water indoors to escape from the cold, harsh weather. Ensure that your home is protected by following these seasonal tips:

pest free in winter

For the outside of your house:

  1. Ensure that there are no cracks or gaps in the sides of your house. Pests like mice or rats can squeeze through holes several sizes smaller than themselves; rats have been known to squeeze through holes that are the size of a quarter.
  2. Cracks along the sides of the house should be fixed, either by filling them with silicone caulk, or with the help of a contractor.
  3. Check and repair any damaged weather stripping on all windows and doors.
  4. Broken or torn window and door screens should also be replaced.
  5.  Seal up all pet doors, since these are one of the easiest ways to let pests into your home.
  6. If you have bushes and trees near your home, trim them to ensure that pests can’t access windows or the higher floors of your house.
  7. Any firewood you’ve got stored outside your house should be elevated off the ground and away from the sides of the house.
  8. Repair your roof shingles! Insects are attracted to rotting wood.

For the inside of your house:

  1. Store leftover food in airtight containers and in places like cupboards and fridges. Food should not be stored open when possible. The most important types of food to store in containers would be fresh food like vegetables and fruits.
  2. Keep surfaces clean and free of any crumbs, grease, or residue. These things are oftentimes invitations to pests, such as ants, who can not only scout out the food on behalf of other ants, but also lead them to it.
  3. Trash should not be left lying around, as piles of trash tend to be great hiding spots for groups of mice or rats. Keep trash stored inside covered trash bins to keep pests away.

Watch out for signs of pest infestation such as: chew marks on wires and cables (telltale sign of rats and mice), droppings, sawdust (a sign of carpenter ants), and track marks left by these creatures. If you see these signs in your home, contact Horizon Pest Control for assistance. To learn more about our residential pest control services, go to NJ Home Pest Control.

Service Agreements in Winter

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Green Pest Control,Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Megan Howard @ 3:55 pm January 7, 2013

ratIt’s a well known fact that during the winter many pests and animals go into stasis or hibernation, emerging only when spring arrives. On the surface, this means that fewer pest infestations occur, and for the most part it is true. Many people often cancel or suspend their pest control service contracts during the winter months believing themselves to be safe from pest infestation.

But the one thing that many people don’t realize, is that not ALL animals go into stasis or hibernation, or even slow down during the colder months. A select number of pests are active throughout the winter season, and its because of these pests you should consider keeping any service agreements with your local pest control company active.

The most common creatures that don’t hibernate during the winter are rats and mice, followed by insects like ants and carpenter ants. They seek shelter from the winter cold, searching for locations that are warm and have both adequate food and water supply to last the winter. This means that most human homes are the perfect shelter, and when they move in bringing family and friends with them, they almost literally feed off the scraps that fall from your table.

Although small, these pests can do loads of damage. Mice and rats are known carriers of disease, through both their droppings and the fleas that they carry with them. Rats were believed to have helped spread the Black Plague that ravaged Europe during the Dark Ages, while termites and carpenter ants literally make their homes in the walls of yours, hollowing out the wooden frames and structures that make up your home. Depending on where they are, this could mean that anywhere from a small section, up to your entire house is in danger of collapsing.

When the costs of repairing damage caused by pests is compared to the cost of maintaining a proper service contract with your pest control company through the duration of winter, you’ll find that its much lower.

If your home is prone to pest infestations during the winter, or even any time of the year, contact Horizon Pest Control. Call us or click Residential Pest Control to learn about our services.