Tag Archives: facts

Spring Shall Bring Those Pesty, Buzzy Things

After months of shivering, we embrace spring and the warmer breezes, but maybe not everything that blows in with the season. Pest invaders are pretty quick to get moving once the temperatures rise. Some insects you’re sure to see early on include: Boxelder bugs, Asian ladybeetles, ticks, ants and mosquitoes.

According to NPMA’s Bug Barometer, ticks and mosquitoes (along with ants) will be on the rise in numbers this year. We offer a Mosquito program that can aid in reducing numbers of both pests, while protecting your yard and family from these dangerous nuisances.

Three female Blacklegged ticks

Three female Blacklegged ticks-NPMA

Ticks

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. 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 are in need blood to survive. They will bury themselves deep within a host and can stay attached for days to eat.  A quick tick check after being outdoors and a prompt removal of a tick is important. Ticks transmit a wide array of disease-causing microbes, with Lyme disease as the highest reported tick-borne illness in Wisconsin.

  • 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. The CDC recommends using insect repellent with at least 20% DEET if you plan to be in a tick infested area. Plan to do a tick check every couple of hours on yourself and your loved ones, and YES, check those furry loved ones too!
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Mosquito

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have been labeled as one of the deadliest killers in the world. Mosquitoes like to breed in stagnant water and have an extremely fast life cycle, which allows for quick growth in population. Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and, of course, West Nile virus.

  • To prevent mosquito populations to grow: Eliminate sources of standing water. Water is breeding ground for Mosquitoes. Areas you may not think of as a source: Birdbaths, grill covers, baby pools and flowerpots
  • Screen all windows and doors, patch any holes in screens
  • Minimize outdoor activity during dusk hours when Mosquito activity is highest
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Use a fan at outdoor gatherings to keep Mosquitoes at bay

 

Our Mosquito Program will give you protection all season long for only $380.00*. Contact our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800 for more information or to sign up for this beneficial program that will give you and your family Peace of Mind.

 

*Price is for 1 acre or less. See additional details on our Website.

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Filed under Ants, Asian Ladybeetles, Box Elder Bugs, Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Ticks, Uncategorized

Tick Truths & Tips

With the spring season upon us and a prediction from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) of a larger tick population this year, it’s a good time to revisit some helpful tick truths and tips.

Three female Blacklegged ticks

Three female Blacklegged ticks-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 about 200 species of ticks in the United States, only a few of those ticks 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 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 or there are tick removal tools on the market that are said to work well. When using 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. The CDC recommends using insect repellent with at least 20% DEET if you plan to be in a tick infested area. Plan to do a tick check every couple of hours on yourself and your loved ones, and YES, check those furry loved ones too!

Call our knowledgeable staff now in Muskego at 262-679-4422, in Oshkosh at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800 to request a free estimate and ask us about our 4 Tier Mosquito Program, which also targets ticks. Visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.

*Source: Department of Entomology, UW Madison

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The Creepy Cockroach

American Cockroach

American Cockroach

It’s a little creepy to learn that over 4,000 species of cockroach exist in the wide world! Thankfully, out of those thousands, only a small number of them reside in Wisconsin.

Cockroaches are considered a dangerous pest due to the potential for health risks. Cockroaches pick up and carry a multitude of bacteria, spread diseases such as E Coli and Salmonella, and are triggers for allergy and asthma sufferers.

The three species of cockroach that are most prominent in Wisconsin are the Oriental cockroach, the American cockroach and the German cockroach. Cockroaches range in color from light brown to black and can vary in size from 1/4 of an inch to 2 inches long depending on the species.

Creepy Cockroach Fact: A cockroach can live for a week without its head!

Where Do They Hide?

Cockroaches are attracted to dark and damp locations that are close to food and water sources. They are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, and they are good at hiding. Cockroaches can be found lurking behind refrigerators, under sinks, in appliances and under floor drains. Cockroaches will scatter and run for shelter whenever a light switch is turned on.

How Do I Know I Have Them?

Cockroaches will leave behind feces, which resemble little black specks, much like coffee grounds. In a severe infestation, a musty odor may be found, and/or the presence of dead cockroaches.

Creepy Cockroach Fact: Cockroaches can run up to 3 miles per hour, which means they can rapidly spread bacteria throughout a home.

How Do I Prevent Them?

The prevention of cockroaches has much to do with sanitation. Keeping food areas clean, reducing moisture sites and maintaining proper sanitation are tactics best used to reduce the probability of the attraction of cockroaches.

Once a cockroach problem has been established, eradication can be difficult. It’s best to contact a pest specialist to inspect and determine the best treatment option.

If you’re in need of professional assistance with a cockroach issue, give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

 

 

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Signs that Mice Have Made Your Home a Winter Getaway

24683775 - house mouse, mus musculus, single mammal in shed, uk

Image by Mikelane45@123rf.com

Unfortunately, many homeowners have had to deal with the discomfort of seeing a rodent scurry across their floors. As winter sets in, chances of a rodent sighting in your home will rise as rodents attempt to find their way indoors to escape the cold. Being that mice can be destructive and can also spread disease, it’s important to learn identification facts to safeguard your home. Mice are nocturnal creatures; therefore you may need to search for signs to confirm their presence in your home or business.

Identify Droppings– Typically droppings are the most obvious sign of a mouse infestation. Droppings tend to be tiny (about ¼ inch), black and numerous.  You may find waste matter around nesting sites, on shelving, floors or counters. If you’re looking for additional waste clues, mouse urine will show up under ultraviolet light.

Recognize Routes– Mice tend to use the same routes and travel against walls when navigating; this leaves dirty grease smudges on walls, floors and baseboards. You may also notice urine spots on those same routes.

Sense a Scent-Open a cupboard and get a whiff of a distinctive smell? A strong ammonia odor (the scent of urine) may be obvious, especially in enclosed areas. Mice mark their territory and also mark their regularly used paths.

Locate Damage-Mice have teeth that continuously grow and so they like to gnaw to keep their teeth shorter. Gnaw marks and holes can be found on plastic and wood and most dangerously, on electrical wires which can be a fire hazard.

Food storage sites can also be areas in which to see gnaw marks. Mice will chew up boxes and contaminate stored food items.

Noticing Nests– Mice shred paper and other soft materials for nesting sites. Good hiding places for nests include: cabinets, in dishwashers, behind refrigerators, ceilings, wall voids and other storage areas. Usually young mice will be present within the nesting site.

Hearing Sounds-Noticing any scratching sounds? Listen for scurrying noises in walls and ceilings, especially at night when mice are most active.

Lastly, you may spot live or dead mice around your home. If you’re seeing live mice during the daytime, this can be an indication of a large infestation.

There are ways you can prevent an infestation in your home by:

  • Eliminating moisture sites within the home and keeping basements, attics and crawl spaces ventilated and dry
  • Replacing weather stripping around windows and repairing damaged screens
  • Sealing cracks and any open holes on the exterior of your home with caulk and or steel wool
  • Installing door sweeps on exterior doors
  • Storing firewood at least 20 feet from your home
  • Storing food items in sealed containers and disposing of garbage regularly

 

If you’re in need of professional assistance with a pest issue, Give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 and in Oconomowoc at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under mice, Pest Prevention, Rodents, Uncategorized

“Aww Rats!” Information and Prevention Tips

22704306 - brown rat, rattus norvegicus, captive, august 2009In a season that celebrates things that make you “Eww”, rats fit in just perfectly in an October, Halloween month.

Due to several factors such as mild winters, the availability of dwelling locations and ease in acquiring food sources, the population of rats in rural areas in Wisconsin is on the rise.

The most commonly found rat in Wisconsin is the Norway rat (also referred to as the brown rat, house rat and sewer rat). The Norway rat is typically 7-10 inches in length and colored brown with scattered black hairs and a white or gray underside.

Rats have been responsible for much human suffering throughout history and the spread of many diseases through fleas or by contaminating food sources. Some diseases include Rat-Bite Fever, leptospirosis, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Salmonellosis and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. One disease, which was historically devastating, was the bubonic plague, which killed millions during the Middle Ages.

The best form of protection is to take action to prevent rodents in and around your home.

Take Away Their Home and Food Sources

  • Get rid of outdoor food sources such as garbage, open compost bins, left out pet food, fallen fruit, bird feeders (keep feeders and bird food up off of the ground).
  • Stack fire wood 18 inches off the ground and away from all buildings to prevent rodent nesting and hiding locations.
  • Keep areas that provide cover trimmed such as bushes, vines and tall grass. Rodents can enter your home from tree branches that hang over your roof. Keep trees and bushes cut back to prevent access.
  • Remove any places of harborage in your yard, such as old appliances or vehicles.
  • Find and eliminate any entrance openings to your home.
  • Regularly clean out sheds and storage areas.
  • Regularly clean up trash in and around your home and property.
  • Prevent rodents from entering the home by checking indoors and outside of your home for gaps or holes and sealing them up. Rats and mice can fit into very small spaces.
  • Occasionally inspect your home for signs of a rat infestation, including checking for rodent droppings, gnaw marks, damaged goods and greasy rub marks caused by their oily fur.

Protect Your Family’s Health

If you believe you have rats and/or mice in your home take the following steps to protect your health:

  • Secure all food in sealed containers.
  • Throw away all food and drinks that may have come in contact with the rodents.
  • Clean cookware and cutlery before use.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing and eating food and drink
  • Wear shoes around your home and refrain from laying on the floor.
  • If you are bitten by a rat or mouse, contact a physician immediately.

The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your rat or mouse problem. Give us a call 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.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

 

*Some information obtained courtesy of the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Public Health

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Filed under Fleas, Pest Prevention, rats, Rodents, Uncategorized

Just the Flea Facts

Cat FleaThere’s a possibility that the facts found here may leave you feeling itchy, but also more knowledgeable and better equipped to fight off some fleas.

Just the Facts

Did you know that there are thousands of species of fleas worldwide? That fact alone probably has your skin crawling. In Wisconsin we (and our furry friends) tend to only have run-ins with a few types of fleas. The cat flea is the most common domestic flea that we meet.

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.

Once a flea hatches and becomes an adult, it will jump onto a host. Fleas are attracted to and can live on any warm-blooded animal, but seem to prefer humans, dogs, cats, rats and other rodents. Once attached to its host, the flea will feed. The female flea can consume 15 times her own body weight in blood daily. Fleas will mate and lay eggs upon their chosen host. A female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime! Some of these eggs will drop off of the host and land in places such as our yards, bedding and carpeting.

The Threats

Besides the itchy, painful red bumps that flea bites leave behind, flea bites and infestations can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets and can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets. 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.

Prevention Tips

Since fleas can be transported on rodents and other animals, 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. Walk the perimeter of your home looking for freshly dug dirt and use a flashlight and search under the deck to check for burrowing animals. 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, wash any bed linens that you think may be carrying fleas or their eggs.

Keep your yard clear of garbage and pet droppings; keep your lawn properly landscaped.

Protect your pets by checking their coats for fleas, especially if you see any excessive scratching or licking, bathing your pet (and their bedding and plush toys) regularly and see your vet for annual check-ups and for advice on flea products and prevention.

Fleas have the ability to reproduce quickly. Contact a licensed professional pest management specialist for assistance.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to handle your flea problem. Give us a call 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.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under Fleas, Pest Prevention, Uncategorized

Carpenter Bees-Bee Informed

7293137 - carpenter bee on a butterfly bush flowerCarpenter bees (sometimes known as wood bees) are typically mistakenly identified as bumble bees due to their size and color. Unlike the fuzzy bumble bee, the Carpenter bee has a hairless, shiny and black abdomen and is about an inch in length. Carpenter bees do not eat wood, but burrow into wood and nest within the wood. Many times you will see these bees around your eaves and building nests within wood structures on your property . Carpenter bees prefer nesting within unfinished wood.

This year especially, we have had a rise in complaints regarding Carpenter bees infesting cedar wood areas.  

A few favorite nesting sites for the Carpenter bee are decks, under eaves and other wood areas such as sheds and wood piles. The female bee is quite the handy lady as she will use her strong jaws to drill holes into wood surfaces for the entrance to the nest and then she will make a sharp 90 degree turn and tunnel into the wood. These tunnels can run anywhere from 1 foot to 4 feet long and end with a carved out nesting area.

Typically, Carpenter bees are not aggressive. Only the females are equipped with stingers, and although they can sting multiple times without dying, especially if they feel their nest is being threatened, they are typically quite docile. The males may sometimes seem aggressive and you might see them flying around your head, but this is more just for show, a scare tactic really.

Interesting Fact: You can actually hear the sound of drilling within the wood as the female bees bore into the wood and carve out the tunnels and nests. You may also see sawdust around the edges of an entrance hole.

Carpenter Bee Reduction Tips: Preventive treatments such as exterior finishes with oil or polyurethane bases will help reduce nesting sites before they are found. Future generations of carpenter bees can return to try to use the holes and tunnels year after year once they have been established.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, or see a nest, call Safeway Pest Management 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  Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under Pest Prevention, Stinging Insects, Uncategorized, Wood Destroying Insects