Tag Archives: pest prevention

“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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Bed Bug Peace of Mind for Sale-Products That We Offer and Travel Tips

Bedbug magnify44032861_sIt’s a worrisome question we all must ponder these days when we decide to travel, will we bring home bed bugs with us? When armed with knowledge and backed with some prevention aids, we can travel and return home more at ease.

Remember When Traveling:

  • If you’re checking in a hotel or motel, 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. Also inspect the headboard, sofa and chairs.
  • If bed bugs are found in your room, request a new room, but not a room that is adjacent or directly above or below the room you were originally booked. Bed bug infestations can spread to rooms closest to the infested room of origin.
  • Perform a thorough outside inspection of your luggage upon returning home. Unpack outside of your home and as an extra dose of prevention, vacuum out your suitcase(s).
  • Launder all clothing in hot water. Lastly, as an added safety measure, place dryer-safe clothing items in the dryer for 15 minutes or more on the highest setting.

We can offer some extra peace of mind in the form of products we offer for purchase.

Products for Purchase Include:

Bed Bug Monitors– Offering a couple choice in brands of bed bug monitors for early detection and monitoring.

Mattress Covers and Encasements-Available in multiple sizes.

Large Bed Bug Monitoring Units for Property Management Companies

It is important to note that while monitoring tools and methods have certainly improved; no tool exists that is 100% reliable in detecting bed bugs. If you believe you may have a bed bug problem, we recommend an inspection be performed by one of our licensed technicians or by our certified bed bug dog, Pepper.

If you’re in need of these products, an inspection or would like service options for bed bugs, 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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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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Preventing Wasps from Building Nests in Your Backyard

22148529 - wasps on combIt’s true that some types of stinging insects are important pollinators and beneficial insects, but they are also a serious health threat to humans. Every year 2 million Americans are at risk for stings that will lead to an allergic reaction and 100 of those stings will most likely lead to death. The source of many of these stings will from social wasps such as paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, and yellow jackets, which can sting multiple times.

Preventing stinging insects from building nests on your home or in your backyard is a solid first step in protecting your family from possible attacks.

To limit suitable nesting sites:

  • Repair holes in walls, including sheds and other outer buildings
  • Caulk cracks in soffits and eaves
  • Screen vents and louvers
  • Limit attractants: Cover trash receptacles to prevent wasps from foraging for food

Some tips when dealing with a wasp threat:

  • Try to stay calm, jerky reactions and attempts to swat a stinging insect will provoke it to sting. Instead of swatting, try gently blowing the insect away.
  • A smashed wasp gives off a pheromone that will attract other wasps to attack. Try to wait patiently for a wasp to leave your vicinity.
  • If stung, gently and safely remove the stinger and clean the area with soap and water. Applying ice to the area and Benadryl and/or a hydrocortisone ointment can help dull the reaction some.
  • Anyone can have an allergic reaction to wasp venom; the chances of a reaction go up with the number of stings acquired. Let someone know you have been stung. Symptoms usually appear after a few minutes, but can be delayed up to 24 hours.
  • Seek medical attention (or dial 911) if you have any of the following occur: tongue and throat swelling, hives, wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath, blue lips, or a drop in blood pressure.
  • If you find nests around your home, contact a licensed pest professional to deal with the nest(s) safely.

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

Ask us about our Preventative Wasp Treatment with an extended warranty until the end of October at no additional cost!

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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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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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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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