Ant Attractants

ANTAnts can be frustrating to deal with when they are invading your living space, especially when they are marching through food areas. The best form of action is to prevent a situation from ever happening by eliminating potential attractants.

So what are some aspects of your home that could be attracting ants? Let’s investigate!

Ants can also be found in bedrooms, inside walls, in living rooms and basements and even in air conditioning and heating units, but kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most vulnerable locations for ants, so we will concentrate on those rooms.

Ant Attractants in the Kitchen

  • Left over crumbs and spills
  • Grease spills on the counter-tops and floors
  • Sweet staples such as syrup, honey (especially sticky bottles) and sugar left out on counter-tops
  • Fruit bowls-Over ripe fruit is an ant attractant
  • Empty juice and soda containers
  • Water sources

Ant Attractants in the Bathroom

Ants, especially carpenter ants, are drawn to areas with excess moisture; this makes bathrooms an attractive place for infestation.

  • Leaking sinks, tubs, toilets and plumbing
  • Open shampoo, lotion and soap containers

Ways to Reduce the Chance of an Ant Infestation  

  • Clean up food messes. If you’re lax about cleaning up in the kitchen, you may be supplying ants with a food source.
  • Rinse out containers and take the trash out regularly
  • Check and repair the sinks, tubs, toilets, plumbing for water buildup and plumbing leaks
  • Seal cracks and crevices, repair screens on doors and windows and replace weather-stripping to prevent ants from entering your home
  • Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home

Ant colonies can be large so it may be best to contact a licensed pest management professional if you think you have an ant issue.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to inspect and treat ants. Call us at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net  and check out our current specials while you’re there!

 

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Filed under Ants, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized

Tick Truths

blacklegged female on grass

Image by NPMA

  • Ticks are not insects. Ticks are actually arachnids like spiders, scorpions and mites. Unlike insects, all members of this group have 4 pairs of legs as adults, and haven’t any antennae.
  • There are a few ticks that are more commonly found in Wisconsin, the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the Blacklegged tick. The Lone Star tick is also becoming more prevalent in Wisconsin.
  • Ticks do not fly or jump. They will crawl onto grass or brush until they find a host to crawl up and attach to. It is thought that ticks also have the ability to wait on higher ground and drop onto a host.
  • Ticks need blood to survive. Ticks will bury themselves deep within a host and can stay attached for days to eat.
  • A quick tick check after being outdoors (check your pets too!) and a prompt removal of a tick is important. For ticks to successfully transmit a disease, such as Lyme disease, they typically need to be feeding for 24-48 hours.
  • Ticks transmit a wide array of disease-causing microbes. In Wisconsin several tickborne illnesses have been reported such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the highest reported illness in Wisconsin.
  • Ticks are easiest removed by using a fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible, pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; doing so can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this does happen, try to remove the mouth-parts with your tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal. Once the tick is removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. *
  • To prevent tick encounters avoid known tick-infested areas. When you are outdoors, keep to the center on cleared walkways and trails and try to avoid brushing up against vegetation and tall grass.
  • Wear protective and lighter-colored clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes when you think you may be encountering a tick-infested area. As an added extra ounce of protection, tuck your pants into your socks. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so ticks cannot crawl under clothing.

Call our knowledgeable staff now for a free quote at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at www.safewaypest.net  to request a free estimate and check out our current specials, especially our 3 tier Mosquito program, which also targets ticks.

*Source: Department of Entomology, UW Madison

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Pest-Free Spring To-Do List

Spring 1As the warmer weather moves in, we all spring into action, including those pesky, unwanted intruders!

If you’re looking for a way to prevent some of those intruders from entering your home, try hitting some or even ALL of our points on our Spring Ahead Cleaning Checklist below and have a happy and hopefully pest-free spring season!

 

Spring Ahead Cleaning Checklist

  • Check your roof (or hire a professional) for any leaks
  • Sweep up cobwebs and clean out nooks and crannies where spiders and other insects may dwell
  • Repair any screen damage before opening those windows and screen doors to let in that spring air (You probably don’t want to let insects in as well!)
  • Check for gaps around windows and doors
  • Clear and replace old mulch
  • Check for evidence of moisture or condensation around plumbing or windows
  • Make sure garbage containers are properly sealed and stored
  • Clear old shrubbery away from the home
  • Clean out gutters
  • Clean out pantries and around appliances in the kitchen to pick up any food debris
  • Check to make sure pet food is stored in sealed containers
  • Clean out any unneeded clutter in storage areas where pests can hide
  • Check your yard and eliminate sources of standing water
  • Keep moisture down by making use of a dehumidifier in your basement
  • Call your preferred pest management company to inspect for any potential problems

 

Safeway Pest Management can inspect and locate areas that could potentially cause a pest problem. We offer one time service options, but also offer monthly, bi-monthly and seasonal options for regular maintenance of your home and business. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at www.safewaypest.net to get a free quote!

 

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Filed under Ants, Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Flies, Fruit Fly, Mosquito, Pantry Pests, Pest Prevention, Rodents, Spiders, Stinging Insects, Uncategorized

Where do Insects Go in the Winter and What Makes Them Emerge Early?

bugs-in-winter-blog

Image by: Danielle Fornal

Summer has insects buzzing all around us, but as the chill of winter sets in, suddenly, like magic, these insects disappear.

The mystical answer as to the fate of insects in the winter isn’t so simple. Some survive as eggs, larvae or pupae, while others endure the winter as full-grown adults.

Some, like dragonflies and butterflies will spread their wings and migrate south, much like many birds do.

Some insects find different types of shelters to survive the cold temperatures, such as wall voids in homes or some burrow deep into the soil to escape the cold.

Some, such as the Emerald Ash Borer, enter a state of hibernation, called diapause, which is a semi-frozen state and they stay that way until they thaw out in the spring.

Many insects actually do die out in the winter, but leave behind eggs, which brings about a whole new generation in the springtime.

Sometimes, even in the early months of the year, we see a pleasant (but typically temporary) warm up in our temperatures. This slight rise in temperature can make some insects emerge from their hiding places. Insects such as spiders, ants and even box elder bugs may be suddenly seen in indoor dwellings. These are not necessarily new infestations being made, but more likely insects emerging from the previous season.

Can we still treat in the winter? Of course! We can treat the problem areas now and use preventative treatments and techniques to safeguard your home for when spring does finally arrive and other insects emerge.

Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.

Check out current specials on our website or on our facebook page at: Safeway Pest Management-Facebook

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Filed under Ants, Box Elder Bugs, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized, Wood Destroying Insects

How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?

16053289 - illustration of the bed bug life cycle on a white background

illustration of the bed bug life cycle by blueringmedia/123rf.com 

 

  1. Seeing Adult Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny, but can be seen by the naked eye, but spotted easier by using a flashlight and magnifying glass.

Look for:  ¼” flat, rusty brown colored bugs that resemble an apple seed. After feeding, engorged bed bugs are more elongated and are a dark-purplish color.

  1. Fecal Stains

After feeding on a human, bed bugs will defecate and leave behind stains.

Look for: Brown stains on sheets that appear similar to a stain a felt tip marker would leave behind. These stains may also be found on pillow cases or on the mattress itself.

  1. Blood/Reddish Stains

When bed bugs become engorged after feeding they leave behind blood spots on the sheets or mattresses. Bed bugs can also get crushed when you roll over them while they’re feeding.

Look for: Reddish stains on your sheets. Stains may also be found on pillowcases and your pajamas.

  1. Case Skins

When juvenile bed bugs grow, they shed their skin a total of 5 times before reaching adulthood.

Look for:  Lighter colored empty bed bug shells.

  1. Eggs and Eggshells

During an active bed bug infestation, eggs and eggshells can be found.

Look for: Pearly white ovals (about 1mm long). Eggshells are similar in size and color but will be less shiny and somewhat flattened.

  1. The Nose Knows

Bed bugs emit a distinctive buggy smell, which comes from pheromones they emit. This smell may only be noticeable in larger infestations.

Smell for: A strong, musty odor.

  1. Red, Itchy Bites

Bed bugs feed on humans while sleeping and leave behind red welts.  Bed bug bite reactions differ from person to person.

Look for: Bed bug bites can range in look depending on how one reacts from the bite. Look for itchy red bumps or marks on skin. Marks may be in a cluster or line.

*Note: Bites alone are not proof that you have bed bugs. Bites and rashes can be caused by various other reasons.

When Inspecting for Bed Bugs…

Bed bugs can be found in various places. Search around the bed, check seams, tags, box spring and in cracks of the bed frame and headboard.

Bed bugs can also be found in seams of couches and chairs, in curtains, in dressers, under wall hangings and in appliances.

Note: A less-cluttered living space makes for an easier inspection and treatment area if bed bugs are found.

Professional Inspection

Early detection is important. A professional inspection by a licensed and trained pest specialist can give you immediate answers.

Our staff (and our bed bug dog, Pepper) are trained to inspect for signs of a bed bug infestation. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or toll free 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.   

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Why Pests Love the Holiday Season Too

While you’re getting ready for holiday festivities, in the background, some pests may be celebrating right along with you!

 

 

You may not realize it, but pests can be commonly introduced into your home via some surprising ways, such as your Christmas tree! Other easy access routes may originate from wreaths and firewood. Some pests can live deep in the crevices of wood. To prevent bringing pests into your home, inspect wood for eggs, pests and nests and shake off trees and greenery outdoors before bringing them inside.

Decorating your home and tree can bring much joy, but also can bring about another way in which pests can enter your living space. Boxes of decorations kept in storage areas such as garages, attics and basements are great places for pests to hide. Unpack any holiday decorations outside or in the garage and keep decorations sealed up in storage bins with tight-fitting lids for an extra dose of protection.

Looking forward to all of those holiday goodies? So are pests! It’s no secret that pests love FOOD. Before making those delicious treats, check your pantry for any expired ingredients and also check items that haven’t been used in awhile. For best pest prevention, keep food items stored in containers, clean up food messes and don’t let those dirty dishes sit overnight.

If you’re planning a holiday getaway, keep in mind that you may not escape hidden pests. Bed Bugs specialize in holiday travel and are sneaky hitchhikers. Bed Bugs travel easily in your luggage and personal belongings. If you’re checking in somewhere, put your luggage in the bathroom tub or elevated on a rack away from the bed and wall and closely inspect mattresses, paying special attention to crevices.  Perform an outside inspection of your luggage upon returning home.  Lastly, as an added safety measure, place dryer-safe clothing items in the dryer for 15 minutes or more on the highest setting.

All of us at Safeway Pest Management wish you a happy and pest-free holiday season!

If you’re in need of professional assistance with a pest issue, give us a call at 262-679-4422 or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net.

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Filed under Bed Bugs, Pantry Pests, Pest Prevention, Rodents, Spiders, Uncategorized

In the Matter of Mice- Mind-Blowing Mouse Facts

Have a mouse problem? You are not alone!

According to the NPMA (National Pest Management Association), each winter, mice and other rodents infest and invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States.

Mice tend to enter homes in the fall and winter to find food, water and a warm shelter. Although some may find these litter critters cute, they can spread over 200 human pathogens and are quick to reproduce.

Mind-Blowing Mouse Facts

  • A female mouse can have 6-10 litters per year, with 6-12 babies per litter. Mice have a gestation period of 2 months and can be re-impregnated within 24 hours.
  • Mice may be small, but they can eat 15-20 times per day.
  • Mice are good jumpers and climbers; they can jump a foot into the air, which makes for easy access to your counter tops.
  • A mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime.
  • A mouse can produce between 40 and 100 droppings per day.
  • Mice are germ carriers and spread diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus.

If you see a mouse in your home, you can assume there are probably more or will be soon. Because mice carry disease, it may be best to contact a professional if the situation calls for it.

The pest specialists and office staff at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your mouse problem. Give us a call at 262-679-4422 in Muskego, 262-354-3444 in Oconomowoc or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net.

Ask us about our new special Winter Residential Rodent Program!!

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Filed under Pest Prevention, Rodents, Uncategorized