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We did it again – Horizon Wins Angies List Super Service Award in 2013

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control — Megan Howard @ 5:02 pm January 13, 2014

Congratulations to the Horizon Pest Control Team for another Angies List Super Service Award in 2013!

Normally, we don’t like to brag, but when our team is rewarded for their dedication to providing excellent Customer Service we stand up and take a bow! To all of our clients, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help protect your property and health.

You can read more on our award on our local Patch.com page.

Horizon Pest Control awarded the 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

Watch for Signs of Termite Invasions this Winter

Filed under: Termite Control,Termites — Megan Howard @ 5:15 pm January 10, 2014

 

 termite and a swarmer

Termites are social insects, which means they live in nests or colony that is commonly found underground, often near a tree, woodpile, stump or other places where food is present. The most vulnerable place in your home that is commonly invaded by termites is the basement since the place is literally underground.

how termites enter home

There are two types of termites and they are the subterranean termites that live below ground and the drywood termites that live in wood. Though a lot of people think termites are just active during spring, they are actually active the entire year.

Signs of a Termite Invasion

 

Swarmers

swarmersFinding grouped of winged insects or discarded wings can be an indication of infestation. Subterranean termites commonly create new colonies during the spring, but drywood termites are less predictable so pay close attention for these winged pests even during winter. If you see a swarm of insects or discarded wings inside your basement, be cautious and call a termite specialist to inspect.

 

Cracked Wooden Surfaces

Swarming drywood termites can easily get inside smaller openings. Pay close attention to any cracks in the home’s foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. Once found, seal all these areas so that swarmers will not be able to get in.

Hollow-Sounding Wood

drywood termite damageThese pests do not like to feed on wood’s surface since they prefer dark and humid environments. In most cases, the wood’s surface would look smooth and sturdy even if the termites are creating their colony inside. To know if the wood is infested, tap the wood and see if it sounds hollow. The hollow sound is caused by the termites consuming the wood from the inside.

Mud Tubes

mud tubes

Mud tubes are commonly seen where termites are present. Subterranean termites in particular build these tubes so that they can easily access food. They also build this so that they can travel easily. The size of these tubes can just be the size of a pencil and is normally built from soil.

Where to find mud tubes:

  • Can be found on the floor system
  • Protruding from cracks between boards and beams
  • On walls and ceilings

When you break open the tubes to see if termites are still present and you found them inside, it just means that you have an active infestation. However, also be cautious if you do not find termites once you open their tubes. It could just mean that they abandoned the nest and rebuild another one.

Frass

pile of drywood termite frass

As drywood termites eat  wood, they will produce wood-colored droppings. Make certain not to give these pests any food sources by keeping areas free of debris and cellulose materials.

Taking Care of Your Home in Winter

Although swarmers may be less active during winter, but this does not mean that the whole colony would stop their work. Pay close attention to any signs that you find.

If you think you have a termite problem, call Horizon Pest Control for a complete inspection. Do not wait for the summer to come then have your home inspected. The sooner you get the needed help in getting rid of these termites, the better you and your home would be safe from these unwanted pests. To set a FREE consultation, go to Residential Termite Control.

 

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Will Bugs Start to Die Out When the Winter Comes?

Filed under: Bug Control — Megan Howard @ 9:01 am January 6, 2014

Will Bugs Start to Die Out When the Winter Comes

Most of us think that we are safe from bugs when the winter comes since we do not commonly see insects during the cold winter. Most assume that they die off during the cold months. But if they do, how come we still find them as soon as the winter ends? They must be hiding somewhere if they are still alive. Different types of bugs tend to migrate during the cold months. For instance, monarch butterflies, leafhoppers, and milkweed bugs migrate south during the fall to avoid the harsh winter conditions. Others hideaway while still creating eggs in case they die off. Some, like bed bugs, are not affected by the cold winter at all.

Understanding the Survival of Bugs During Winter

Eggs. During the winter months, some insects die. Some bugs like moths, wasps, mosquitoes may also die during the winter months, but not until they have made eggs for the coming spring, like the bagworm. These eggs are mostly placed in safe hiding places where they will survive as the next generation of bugs.

Young. Once these eggs hatch, they will spend their winter days as larvae or nymphs. Bugs such as cicadas and June beetles will spend their days in the winter as a larvae and they will stop growing until the spring comes. If you want to search young bugs during the winter months, look for them on sumac trees or bushes. It is possible that you will find these bugs asleep because they are still hibernating.

Pupae. Other insects will spend their winter months as pupae, such as the cocoons of moths. You can find them on trees and bushes.

Adults. You can find yellow jacket or hornet queens, overwintering. They will mostly emerge during the spring like the ladybird beetle. These bugs will search for a protected place to sleep, and once the weather normalizes for them, they will come activate and create their colonies.

Most insects stay all year round, but it will depend on the type of insect and the stage they are in during the winter months. These bugs will have different techniques to survive the cold winter, or they can even enter homes to over-winter. Bugs such ladybird beetles, cluster flies, elm leaf beetles, and box-elder bugs may stay in homes as adults and overwinter in wall voids, attics, and places where they will not be disturbed or discovered.

Being Cautious with Bugs even During Winter

While most bugs will not become a nuisance during winter, and we may feel safe from them for some time, this does not mean that they cannot invade our homes. Some bugs may overwinter inside a home since our house is a good hiding place for them. Bed bugs in particular will die eventually if they are trapped outdoors and are constantly in snow. However, if bed bugs find their way inside your home, they may not die since they have already gained access to your home’s heat.

The way you take care of your home during spring, make sure that you do the same in winter. Be observant about the possibility of your home getting bugs and how to control them if they have mistakenly entered your premises. These bugs will search for a place to stay dry and warm, and your home is the perfect place for that.

Are bugs invading your yard or garden? To get rid of these pests, sign-up for Horizon’s Yard Guard Service. Call Horizon today to schedule a FREE inspection.

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Horizon Helps NJ Newspapers Protect From Winter Rodents!

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 4:47 am

Check out Horizon Pest Control in the local north New Jersey newspaper helping educate the public on how to protect against winter pest threats. Our owner Bernie Holst Jr. was featured in www.Northnewjersey.com and the Bergen Record discussing how the cold winter weather is forcing rodents inside homes and businesses to stay warm. Read the full article here.

Stink Bug Season is Almost Over

Filed under: Stink Bugs — Megan Howard @ 4:28 am

stink bugs on winter

When stink bugs are frightened or disturbed, they emit an odor from their glands in their thorax. They are called stink bugs simply because they stink. These bugs can be found in fields, yards and gardens, and at times they can also be found indoors such as in homes, offices, building and hotels. While there are around 221 species of stink bugs,  their life cycle is almost the same.

 

Knowing the Stink Bug Life Cycle

Waking up from hibernation. It is during winter that these bugs wake up from their hibernation beneath the earth or leaf litter. During spring, these bugs look for food. In most cases, when the female bug comes out, she is carrying eggs with her and is just trying to find a place to where to have them. Depending on the climate and their location, these eggs may be laid as early as mid-April or as late as mid-December.

Stink bugs eggs. The eggs are commonly white when laid in rows of clusters, but they change to pink as they get closer to hatching. Their mothers watch over them until it is time for the eggs to hatch and the tiny nymphs emerge.

The nymphs. As the nymphs begin to break free through the protective membrane, the other nymphs will also follow. The only purpose of these nymphs once they emerged from their eggs is to just eat. When they come out, they look the same as an adult stink bug, but looks rounder rather than shield-shaped. Through the course of four to five weeks, these nymphs will go through five instars.

Instars are the stages between molts in an insect’s life. For nymphs, the first and second instars look like tick-like, but are yellowish or reddish in color. The final three instars will make the nymphs darker and closer in appearance to the adults.

Adults. Three weeks after her final molt, the female stink bugs can lay her first pod of eggs, which would then start the whole process again. The adult stink bugs mostly feed on plants or insects. These bugs may mate up to four times per year, which could just take for only a few minutes of just a few days.

 

Their Life Cycle  from Fall through Winter

Every fall, these bugs thrive even more. They will get inside homes and you may be able to see the bugs near windows and attics. During fall, aggregation of insects on sunny sides of the home are common. As the summer progresses, these insects will seek warmer places to spend their days where you might be able to see them even more.

As winter approaches, these bugs will seek permanent shelter from the cold. They may even spread the word about a preferred overwintering site through the use of aggregation pheromones, which most would join in. Although many of these bugs would die off when the cold winter comes, but most of the female stink bugs will leave eggs behind to start a new population for next year. Others would simply migrate to warmer climates. Some would stay in burrows in the leaf litter or hinder under loose bark to protect them from the frost. However, your home is still prone to bed bug invasion as they seek shelter from the cold and a place where they could lay their eggs.

 

Dealing with Stink Bugs at Home

The sudden appearance of dozens of even hundreds of insects in your home may cause for an alarm, but there are still known simple remedies to get rid of stink bugs in your home. Keep in mind that stink bugs do not bite. They also do not infest your pantry like other pests do, and they do not do any structural damage to your home. The main reason that they are staying in your home is so they can survive the winter.

To prevent pest entry make sure to:

  • Inspect your home for opening or cracks and repair them once seen.
  • Install insect screening over chimney caps and gable vents and windows.

Once stink bugs enter the structure

Do not use insecticide once these insects have invaded the wall voids and the attic areas. Even though insecticides may kill most of these bugs, there is still a chance that other insects may consume the dead bugs, which could then attack other foods and items inside the home. Do not squish these insects because they emit a foul defensive odor when injured or threatened. Vacuum clean the area where the bugs are residing instead of using chemical pesticides, then remove the vacuum bag and dispose the trash properly when done.

Don’t let stink bugs stink up your home. If you have an existing stink bug infestation, let us help you! Click New Jersey Stink Bugs Removal.

 

 

 

 

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Why There Will Be More Rodent Activity In Winter

Filed under: Rodent Control — Megan Howard @ 9:01 am January 2, 2014

NJ Rodent Control

As the winter comes, many of us will decide to stay indoors, however, expect to find unwanted guests as rodents also seek refuge in your home. Rodent activity is expected to increase at the start of the winter since these pests are searching for a safe and comfortable place to stay in. Once they get into your home, they may not leave unless you insist on it.

There are several reasons for the increase of rodents during winter in both residential and commercial areas. For instance, a hard frost may cause these mice and rats to sense the minute changes in weather, which will make them search for a safe place to stay in away from the frost. They will use any tools available to them to get away from the danger. They swim very well and are great climbers, so whether you live in an urban or a rural area, rats and mice still pose a threat.

Reasons Why Rodents will Seek Shelter in Your Home

  • They cannot find enough food to eat outdoors.
  • They cannot find enough water because of the frozen temperature.
  • Food thrown in the dumpster area also becomes frozen solid
  • They are not able to build a new burrow because of the frost.

Besides shelter, these rodents will make their way into your home because of the availability of food and water your kitchen offers. Mice will search for grains and may even rip bags of rice and cereal in their search. Rats on the other hand, do not have any food preferences, as they will eat anything and everything in their path. These rats will scatter food everywhere and they will nibble anything in their path. It is known that they damage more food than what they can actually consume, which makes them a real pest when they are indoors.

Why We Should Not Allow Rodent Activity this Winter

When rodents become present in your home, expect to find rodent droppings, evidence of nesting, gnaw marks, damaged packaged foods and dry goods, and a musty odor that these rats emit. The damage they can cause indoors can be considerable since these pests can gnaw wires, PVC piping, furniture, bricks and the likes. Rodents can even be blamed for house fires that occur due to chewed electrical wires.

While we enjoy the holiday season, these rodents become unwanted guests in our homes and can pose a great threat to our health. Rodents are known carriers of disease and bacteria that they can transmit through rodent droppings and bites. When they overpopulate, which only takes a couple of weeks, these rodents can become even more dangerous and their feces and urine may be anywhere and everywhere. Rodent droppings can transmit hantavirus, salmonella, and leptospirosis, while their bites can transmit plague, infection, and rat-bite fever.

How to Control Rodents

Seal all cracks and holes. Make sure to seal all cracks at homes before the winter comes. Keep in mind that these rodents can fit through the tiniest holes, so seal all holes you can find.

Keep all pet food sealed in containers. Pet food should be placed in sealed containers, especially if you place them in the garage. If rodents cannot find their food source in your place, they may just skip your house and go to the next one.

Garbage cans should always stay sealed. If the garbage can is inside the garage, make certain that it is always sealed. However, it is better if you place the garbage cans outside the house, and again should always stay sealed so as to not attract rodents and other types of pests.

Garage doors should always stay closed. Having your garage doors closed will help keep rodents away. Also, place screens over vents and chimneys to stop them from getting in.

Horizon Pest Control can help you with your rodent issues. Call us today and ask about our NJ Rodent Control services.

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