Tag Archives: bug

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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Filed under Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Ticks, Uncategorized

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

Fall Pest-Proofing 101

fall-1

The trees are changing, the weather is cooling and you can now relax because those summer insects will soon be gone, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Although some summertime invaders will soon be a distant memory, others will be seeking a cozy and warm place to spend the winter.

There are two important key points to remember in pest proofing 101. First, you want to keep pests from invading and entering your home and secondly, you want to avoid making your home inviting for any pests that do find a way inside by eliminating food and water sources.

The number one thing on your to-do list is to inspect your home.

  • Look for cracks and entry point holes and seal up any you may find. Pay close attention to the sunny-sides of your home as those sides (the south and west sides) are more attracting to pests looking for warmth. Also check around pipes and utility entry areas for entry points.
  • Check all doors and windows. Check for cracks, check screens to make sure they are free of holes and are tight fitting. Install door sweeps where needed.

Some other helpful pest prevention tips:

  • Use containers with tight fitting lids in storage areas. Reduce clutter and store containers off of the floor.
  • Clean up leaves and outdoor debris. Trim back any branches or shrubbery around the house.
  • Store your garbage in sealed containers, and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep outdoor grilling areas and indoor food areas clean and free of food debris. Store food in airtight containers.
  • Eliminate water sources.
  • Keep bird feeders away from your home. Check into squirrel guards to keep wildlife at bay.

If you are in need of professional service, or if you’d like assistance in inspecting your home, call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net 

 

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Filed under Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Pest Prevention, Rodents, Spiders, Uncategorized

The Flea Facts

What are Fleas?

Fleas are small, wingless parasites that feed on blood. They appear flat, dark, and reddish-brown in color and are about 1/12”-1/6” in size.

Fleas do not have the ability to fly, but they can jump. Fleas can jump as high as 8” vertically, which is 150 times their own height.

The most common flea is the cat flea, which prefers feeding on human, cats and dogs.
What Is the Source?

Fleas are attracted to and can live on any warm-blooded animal, but seem to prefer humans, dogs, cats, rats and other rodents.

Don’t own a pet? Sometimes wild animals, such as mice, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, etc., can cause a flea infestation in your home. Mice definitely lead this list as they are numerous and find access to your home much easier than most other animals.

In some cases even a previously removed animal can leave behind fleas. This will cause the fleas to search out a new host to feed on.

What are the Risks?

When fleas populate a mouse colony, disease can become a very deep concern, the worst disease on record being the bubonic plague. They also transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats. Flea bites cause itchy and painful red bumps. Fleas saliva can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets and can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets.
Flea Prevention Tips:

Search the perimeter of your home in fall with a mirror, looking at the bottom side of your siding for any openings where animals or rodents may be entering your home. Seal any openings you find.

Some burrowing animals can make nests under decks or concrete slabs on homes without basements. Walk the perimeter of your home looking for freshly dug dirt and use a flashlight and search under the deck. A good prevention tip is to use chicken wire behind lattice to create a decorative “rat wall” to keep these critters out of these areas.

Keep your home clean and vacuum regularly.

Keep your yard clear of garbage and pet droppings.

Protect your pets by regular bathing and see your vet for annual check-ups and for advice on flea products and prevention.

Contact a licensed professional pest management specialist for assistance.

Safeway Pest Management technicians are knowledgeable and trained to treat fleas. Call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net 

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Filed under Fleas, Pest Prevention, Rodents, Uncategorized

Early Appearance of Autumn Invaders

You may take notice of a couple of insects that are making their bothersome appearance a little earlier than usual. The Asian Lady Beetle and the Boxelder bug, both prominent autumn pests, typically look for residences to hide during the cold months of the year, but are displaying a good amount of activity already this August.

Boxelder bugs inherited their name by their preferred food source, the Box Elder tree. But, you can also find them feeding on the sap and seeds of other trees such as Maple, Ash and some other fruit trees. Their damage to trees is typically minor, they do not bite, and they also do not carry any diseases. They do, although, have the capability to leave behind “waste stains” where they have been. With all of that said, you may still consider them a nuisance when you find them covering the sunny side of your home.

Boxelder Bugs are pretty easy to spot. They are about a ½” long and have a black body with red markings on their wings.

Asian Lady Beetles are around 1/3”-1/4” long, they can be yellow-orange to red and they can have anywhere from 0-22 spots on their wings. Their diet includes plants such as Evergreens, Apple and Maple trees, alfalfa, wheat, cotton, tobacco, and small grains. Asian beetles emit an unpleasant odor and can stain surfaces with their yellowish secretions if disturbed.

Both bugs are most noticeable during the months of September and October. During that time, Boxelder bugs and Asian Lady Beetles can be found congregating in large numbers on the southern sunny and warm side of buildings, trees and rocks. Once the cooler temperatures of winter begin to set in, they will find their way inside of homes to find a protective place to overwinter.

To prevent Boxelder bugs and Asian Lady Beetles from making a home in your residence:

  • Seal off any cracks or crevices in walls, foundations and around pipes
  • Check for loose vents or entry by exhaust fans
  • Sweep and vacuum to remove and release unwanted beetles
  • Repair any torn window screens or door gaps

If the problem becomes too much to handle, it may be best to call a licensed Pest Management professional to assist.

Ask us about our Fall Preventative Treatment that prevents insects like the Boxelder bug and the Asian Lady Beetle from entering and hibernating in your home over the winter.

Call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at http://www.safewaypest.net 

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Filed under Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized