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Identifying a Rat Infestation for Commercial Properties

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Pest Management,Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 3:09 pm September 27, 2013

The natural population of rats and mice grow through the summer months since they have increasing quantities of food such as fruits, nuts, and grains. However, when autumn comes, their food sources dwindle and temperatures drop. This is also becomes their opportunity to look for shelter and alternative food supplies. Homes are not just the only place they like to hang out since they can also be found infesting in offices, shops and factories. The bad part about this invasion is that most of the time, we don’t do anything to stop them until they have moved in, set up their homes and begin to infest the kitchen.

Rat infestation in a commercial facility

Rats are known to damage structures, contaminate food and transmit diseases to people. They spread more than 35 different types of diseases that can directly affect humans.  They also transmit various diseases indirectly through mites or fleas.

For commercial businesses, the presence of rodents can pause a great danger since they can contaminate human food.

Signs that a Building is Infested with rats:

Droppings.  Possible places where droppings can be found are behind the kitchen cabinets, pantries, cupboards, drawers, bins, and any place they might find food, or where they can run away from predators.

Hearing squeaks. Common sounds that they make are squeaks, rustling, and scampering sounds. Since rodents are not at all quiet, you will hear them moving about especially at night.

Urine pools. Rodents have weak bladders, and they will urinate anywhere they want to. House mice sometimes make things like “urinating pillars” that are consisted of grease, dirt and urine.

Nibble marks on food, boxes, and containers. These will also be followed by some droppings nearby.

Nests. Rats create their nests from soft, fuzzy or warm materials like fabric, furniture stuffing, shredded paper, grass and twigs. Then, they will stuff them into sheltered  boxes, cabinets and closets, walls, inside appliances, machinery, and even computer cases. Basically, they can nest anywhere they can feel comfortable and warm.

Grease marks. Mice can get inside even the smallest of openings. And, as they wedge through these small openings, they leave greasy smears that is made by their oil and dirt in their coats. If you find large greasy smears, this mean that you have a rat infestation.

Gnaw marks. All rodents love to gnaw. They do it because their incisor teeth keep growing. Rats will eat anything that they can chew on. Electrical wires are a common victim for these rats as well as wood. At most times, you will not see gnaw marks, but you will find wood chips or coarse sawdust along baseboards, door, window frames, and cabinets.

Holes in food packaging. Boxes and bags of rice, beans, pasta and grain products can attract rodents. Dog food bags can also be a prime target of rodents since they are also attracted to its meaty smell like dogs do.

 

Rat Control for Businesses

Where there is plenty of food and water, it is more likely that rats will get attracted to that area especially if the premises is not secure. To avoid having an infestation, it is necessary to limit food, water, and their access to shelter. However, different control measures should also be taken seriously since these rats can reproduce quickly.

Toxic baits. Rats can easily die when they ingest such bait. However, the location that they might die may be inaccessible, creating an unbearable smell.

Trapping. Trapping is known to be most effective and safest way to control rats. There are different types of traps and most of them are more effective than poison.

1. Snap trap. This type of trap can be used repeatedly. Trapping is less expensive than poison baits. However, snap traps need more attention. Traps can be easily set in areas where rats are commonly seen and can be left there indefinitely.

2. Electrocution traps. This type of trap is more expensive than other traps, however, this is commonly used in commercial buildings and mostly recommended by pest control companies because they provide good results.

3. Glue traps. Glue traps have the same principle as the flypaper, but they are more effective for mice than on rats. If a rat gets glued on this, it may still find a way to struggle and get out, thus sensing the danger of any glue traps. For mice or rats that will be stuck, the trap will not kill them, and you may have to kill the rat by delivering a sharp blow to the base of the skull using a rod or stick. They can also struggle and drag the trap as they escape.

Whatever type of traps you are going to use, remember to place them in secluded locations where rodents are seen. Places where the droppings, gnawing, and the rat damage are seen are the perfect areas where you can set the traps since they may be found in those places. If all else fail call a professional rat removal company since it is not a good idea to ignore a rat infestation especially if your business is on the line.

For more information on how Horizon Pest Control can help you keep rats and rodents our of your business, read more here Commercial Rat Control.

Different Types of Cockroach Eggs and Cockroach Control

Filed under: Cockroach Control — Megan Howard @ 6:12 pm September 24, 2013

As with many other types of animals, cockroach relies on their eggs to reproduce. The female discharges pheromones to attract a male. Once the mating is done, the female will grow an egg outside her body, which is called an ootheca. They grow their eggs outside their body because most roaches are oviparous. An ootheca can contain many eggs and are wrapped by a protein substance that progressively hardens in becoming a strong protective casing.

The ootheca or their egg casing is similar to a bean or a pill capsule  with the female cockroach carrying the eggs just before they hatch. These egg cases are about two millimeters in length and one millimeter in width and have brownish red and shiny appearance.

Cockroach hatching

Different Types of Ootheca for Different Species of Cockroach:

German Cockroach. The ootheca of the German cockroach is brown and measures less than six to nine millimeters in length. The female cockroach will carry the egg casing until the eggs inside are ready to hatch. A single ootheca can contain up to fifty eggs. The transformation of an egg to an adult cockroach will take one hundred  and three days depending on their environmental conditions. This type of cockroach has the ability to create big infestations because they have the ability to produce so many eggs. Once these cockroaches become adults they will have a length of twelve to seventeen millimeters and a long, tan to light brown stripes on the body region that is just behind the head.

American Cockroach. The color of their ootheca is dark brown and averages eight millimeter in length. A single female can produce six to ninety ootheca in her lifetime with the female carrying the ootheca for a few hours to a few days. After which, she will deposit the egg case in a safe and hidden place. The American cockroach ootheca has almost fifteen embryos and stays in place with the use of the female carrier’s saliva. After twenty-four to thirty-eight days, immature cockroaches will emerge from the ootheca. The American cockroach is one of the largest cockroaches in the Northeast with about forty millimeter long and has a reddish-brown color.

Brown Banded Cockroach. The ootheca for this type of cockroach is light reddish-brown and has a length of five milliliter. The brown-banded female cockroach can produce up to 20 egg cases in her lifetime with ten to eighteen embryos each. Their nymphs can easily be distinguished by their two yellow bands that cross the upper abdomens. These nymphs will also become full adults within three to six months. Their length is twelve millimeter long once they become adults with long, light brown, and has two lighter colored bands running across the body.

Oriental Cockroach. They have a dark reddish-brown ootheca and has a length of eight to ten millimetre. The appearance of their egg cases are inflated and contain sixteen eggs. The female cockroach can produce one to eighteen egg cases during her lifetime. When the oriental cockroach drops her ootheca, she places it in a safe place. Once the eggs hatch, their nymphs will have to wait to up to six hundred days to become adults. However, their development still depends on their environment.

Cockroach Control:

Identification

Properly identifying the type of cockroach you have in your home can lead to an easy control. By knowing the type of species you have, you can easily identify their preferences and their habitat.

Proper Cleaning

  • Get rid of their food, water and shelter by
  • Sink should be free from dirty dishes
  • Get rid of food scraps
  • Throw garbage regularly and keep them covered especially at night.
  • If you have pets, keep their pet food in tightly sealed containers. Do not allow food to remain in bowls overnight.
  • Clean the areas between the stove and cabinet regularly where grease and food scraps often accumulate.

Traps, Baits and Insecticides, Dusts

Traps – cockroach traps are available in different shapes of containers that are open on both ends and with adhesive surfaces on the side. As these pests enter the trap, they will stick in the adhesive.

Baits – contain an insecticide or pathogen together with an ingredient that can attract cockroaches. They can easily be placed in areas where cockroach are common.

Insecticides – this can be the best control for cockroaches especially if they are applied in areas where cockroaches live. But before applying insecticides in areas where food and utensils are near make sure to remove them, and return them in their place after the spray.

Dusts – boric acid is the only available material for dusts and may be difficult to use. However, the use of boric acid provides a long lasting control than any type of treatment. Apply them on crack, crevices and wall voids, under stoves and refrigerators to make certain that even their egg cases are affected.

Are you having problems with cockroach infestation? We will help you protect your home and business from these nasty pests. To schedule a free consultation, click Cockroach Control.

4 Easy Ways to Know if You’ve been Bitten by Bed Bugs

Filed under: Bed Bug,Bed Bug Extermination,Pest Control — Megan Howard @ 5:47 pm September 23, 2013

Bed bugs are very tiny. They can live in a variety of places such as in floorboards, walls, furniture, and other locations in hotels, shelters, and apartment complexes. They actually do not live in mattresses, but they commonly travel to our sleeping areas so that they can feed on us at night. Bed bugs like people and animals and they painlessly sip a few drops of blood when they are asleep. While they feed, they will inject a tiny amount of their saliva on the skin of their victim. The skin lesion created by their bite is similar to many other types of blood feeding insects such as mosquitoes and fleas.

Feeding Habits

Bed bugs are mostly active during the night and they are at peak about an hour before dawn. If their circumstances are right, they can feed at any other times of day. They are attracted to our warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide and with the use of their two hollow tubes, they will pierce through the skin of their victim. They use the first tube to inject their saliva that contains anticoagulants and anaesthetics. The second tube withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to their homes.

While they feed, their victims will not feel anything, but after some minutes or hours later, their victims will feel some irritation as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents. Though bed bugs can live for up to 18 months without feeding, they still seek for blood every five to ten days.

What They Leave

Bed bugs leave very itchy bites on the skin, commonly on exposed areas such as the arms. These pesky insects are more annoying than harmful – the chances of developing an infection through scratching is higher than getting a disease from them. For severe allergic reactions, take antihistamines or  bettery yet, speak with your doctor.

Determining a Bed bug Bite

It is not possible to feel their bites when we are fast asleep because they inject a numbing agent and a substance to keep out blood smoothly flowing. However, you may notice some signs that they bit you, after you wake up.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to indicate if you have been their meal:

1. Do you feel itchy anywhere on your body? Itchiness is a sign of bed bug bites. Those who are bitten may develop itching followed by a slight burning sensation, then develop into red wells or swelling throughout the day after being bitten or the bites may become obvious for several days. The burning area then develops to red pumps, which are also known as papules or wheals or rash. In extreme cases, these bites may swell up or will become blister like skin inflammations. However, there are those lucky individuals who do not react at all to bed bug bites and the bites may go completely unnoticed.

2. Are the bites in a straight line? If the bites are in an almost straight line down your limb or any other party of your body, it is likely that you have been a victim of these bugs. Unlike any other type of insects, bed bugs create an almost straight line bite marks that easily set them apart from other insects. Also, a single bed bug may bite more than once in the same area and can be seen along an exposed area like your arm or leg. If you see bites in different parts of your body, this means that you have been bitten by many bed bugs.

Bed Bug bites

 

 

 

 

 

3. Do you see them at home? Check for actual evidence of bed bugs in your home, hotel room, or wherever you last slept. It could be possible that your bites came from other insects since there are other types of harmless insects that can bite. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and their name tells the tale! These tiny insects can easily hide in bedding and can hitch a ride into your home aboard luggage, pets and boxes. You can easily find them if you are an astute observer since the adult bedbugs are the same size and shape of an apple seed.

After feeding, the bed bugs go back to their nesting site to hide. These insects will mostly take this chance defecate – their droppings will look like black to brown stains or mounds. You should be able to see adult bedbugs, nymphs and eggs since they usually stay  together and also have a distinctly sweet, yet unpleasant smell.

4. Does your sheets or clothing have small blood stains? Small droplets of blood on the bed sheets mean that bedbugs were present. Such spotting occurs when the bedbug has completed its meal.

Proper Elimination

Bed bugs are very intelligent creatures since they can multiply fast even when you are trying different means to eliminate them. It is not just enough to use different pesticides to control them since they also have the ability to resist pesticides. To eliminate bedbugs, you will need to maintain a thorough treatment strategy that includes different techniques together with careful attention to monitoring. However, if you are dealing with a resistant population, some products may make things worse. Better consult a qualified pest management professional to know what your next step will be and totally eliminate your bed bug problems. For professional help, contact Horizon Pest Control. Call 1.888.612.2847 or visit NJ Bed Bugs.

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Understanding Ant Infestation and Indoor and Outdoor Ant Control

Filed under: Ant Control,Horizon Pest Control — Megan Howard @ 2:54 pm September 19, 2013

Ants are not actually classified as a public health risk since they mostly collect nectar and seeds from flowers and small dead insects for food. However, they can become an annoyance when they start gaining access to our home in search for their basic needs, which are food, water and shelter. They love sweets and will look for water, and our home especially our kitchen has full of them. They mostly frequent kitchens, but can also be seen in cooler spaces like bathrooms, basements and around air conditioning units.

During the late summer winged males and large females come out from their nest to reproduce. Finding a flying ant inside a home does not necessarily mean that there is an infestation going on. However, if winged ants are found during the winter, there may be a sign that there is a nest within the home. Winged ants are mostly reproductive male or queen. Ants commonly swarm to mate, after that the males die since this is their only purpose in life. The queen on the other hand, will drop her wings to finally find a nesting site.

If you find a winged ant during the summer, it may just indicate that the winged ant flew from outdoors and will die even before they find a nesting site. If you find a flying ant indoors during winter, this mean that they are nesting within the structure because they are not active outdoors during that season. The sudden appearance of swarming ants is one of the first indications of indoor infestation.

Identify the Ant

If you think you have an infestation, start your battle by identifying the type of ant you have in your home. This will allow you to further know their nesting habits and have a better idea about where they are living. Ants that may invade homes include carpenter ants, crazy ants, and thief ants. These ants may contaminate food and nest inside a residence instead of merely entering to forage for food and returning outdoors. They may be present all year round, but they will be more active in the warmer months.

Not like other ants that inhabit homes, carpenter ants are considered the most dangerous to a home structure because they create nests by tunnelling wood structures. They will infest wet and decaying wood and may continue to tunnel inside the structure affecting other dry wood.

 

Ant Nesting Indoors

Look for wood shavings. Carpenter ants mostly hollow out tunnels and galleries and push the coarse remaining material out of the nest. The remains look like pencil shavings. Seeing sawdust can be in indication of their presence as they commonly leave sawdust piles from excavation.

Use a stethoscope or a drinking glass. To know if there are ants against the wall, hold a stethoscope or a drinking glass and press it against the wall. If your speculations are right, you will be able to hear them on the other side, foraging around.

 

Outdoor Ant Nest

Ant Nesting Outdoors                   

Trace the ants. The ants that you may notice that are entering the home may be actually nesting outdoors.

Find a mound or anthill. Their nests are often found in the ground, marked by a mount or anthill. In some cases, the nest are hidden under stones, timbers, and even pavement.

Ant Control

Indoors

Insecticidal dust. When the nest is concealed, like if it is behind a wall, drilling small holes and apply an insecticidal dust may be needed. Indoor products already come in ready with applicators. If it does not come with one use a plastic squeeze bottle and apply the insecticide.

Baits. You can also use baits and allow the workers to share the bait to the rest of the colony. Baits has a good advantage over other types of ant control since baits can go to areas where sprays cannot reach. However, baits act slowly and may take some time to take effect. Baits are also not equal. While there are baits that can easily attract ants, there are other ant species that are not attracted to them. It is necessary to identify what that ants are attracted to and use the appropriate bait.

Spray. Spraying also works well with indoor ants. However, spraying foraging ants is only temporary and will not affect their nest. Spraying may still be useful especially for seasonal ant problems, when ants commonly enter your home, but their nests are outdoors.

Outdoors

To suppress ants in yards there are various products that you can use such as sprays, dusts or granules that can be applied to lawns. These products can temporarily reduce the number of ants foraging, but is not a guaranteed treatment since this will not be able to penetrate into colonies that are below-ground tunnels.  Alternatives can also be used outdoors such as splashing boiling water to possible nesting sites.

To further treat the area, perimeter treatments should be established. Such treatments are generally applied as sprays or dusts to the soil that are adjacent to the building and or lower areas of walls. Pay particular attention to areas where ants enter such as near foundation cracks or windows. You can also try different types of baits containing boric acid or borax that can be applied directly to soils. Do not worry since boron-containing materials are soil sterilants and will not affect the plants.

Don’t let ants roam freely inside your home. To get professional help from skilled technicians, go to Residential Pest Control.

Avoid Bed Bugs on Your Summer Vacation

Filed under: Bed Bug Extermination,Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Megan Howard @ 1:41 am September 5, 2013

Bed bugs are common during the summer months since they grow alarmingly as the temperature climates speed up their reproduction. Not only would they be able to grow significantly, but they can also spread out easily from one place to the next because of the increase in tourism during those months. Bed bugs are also adaptable to change and they can quickly overwhelm a home once inside, which could result to a homeowners nightmare. While there are professional pest control to aid most homes in getting rid of these pests, it is still necessary to first prevent these bugs from ever entering a home.

Bed Bugs on mattree

Where are the Bed Bugs?

A recent study made by the National Pest Management Association or NPMA declared that bed bug infestations are on the rise and is one of the most difficult pests to eliminate. And, the way they transfer to homes are also alarming with 80% of pest professionals admit that most of their clients are from hotels and motels. Bed bugs can be found in places where people are commonly doing their vacation. They are found in hotels, cabins, airports, and resorts. Once a guest stay, he may be unknowingly bring bed bugs back to his home.

Don’t be a Victim

While we love to explore the world we live in, it is important to take the necessary precaution to stop these bugs from entering our home. Here are some tips to get you started:

Research your accommodations first before booking. Since bed bugs are common in hotels better find out if they do not have a bad reputation when it comes to such infestation. Take the time to read reviews and focus what they say on their negative reviews. If they say anything about bed bugs, do not book there and find another place.

Bring a luggage encasement. A luggage encasement will work as a protective plastic cover for your luggage. Bed bugs have the capability to secure themselves on clothes and bags, which can remain unnoticed for a long time. Placing your suitcase along an infested piece of luggage on a flight could cause you to unknowingly bringing bed bugs home. But, with a luggage encasement, you can reduce the risk significantly.

Inspect your hotel room. Bed bugs can be commonly found on mattresses and box spring. If you have a flashlight with you inspect those areas. Inspect the bed, near piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring. Also, check in cracks on the bed frame and headboard, furniture, and in closet and drawers. Search for any rusty or reddish stains on the mattress or sheets that will indicate the presence of bedbugs.

Inspect your Hotel room for Bed Bugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer to another room. If you find any signs of bed bugs ask for another room that is far away from your current room. Make certain that your suitcases are off of the floor. Put them on a luggage stand, table or other hard surface.

What to Do After Vacation

Once you come home, other precautionary steps should take into effect since you may not know if you are bringing these bugs with you.

Wash everything. All items that you have used for the trip, even if you did not use them should go to the laundry. Put them straight into the washing machine. Wash everything using the highest temperature for your clothes and make sure to dry everything on the highest heat after washing.

Freeze them. For items that cannot be laundered such as books, put them in a freezer. Place them in sealed plastic bags, then place them in a freezer for at least five days.

Inspect all your electronics before coming home. Bed bugs can hide inside laptops and other electronics. If it is possible, remove the keyboard of your laptop to check underneath.

Check the lining and seams of you backpacks or bags. These bugs may be lurking in the pockets, folds, and seams. Use a steam cleaner to treat your bags backpacks.

Don’t bring bed bugs home with you! If you have a current bed bug problem or if you are concerned about possible infestation, go to New Jersey Bed Bugs to schedule a free consultation.