Tag Archives: pests

“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

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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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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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

Summertime Pest Menaces

Although there are many bothersome pests making their existence known as summer settles in Wisconsin, there are a few topping the summertime charts.

Mosquitoes

It has been quite moist in Wisconsin, to put it mildly. All of this rain has to land somewhere, and much of it can collect in areas of our yards that might not come to mind. Be certain to check the areas listed below and try to make your yard a mosquito no-breed-zone.

Water Holding Containers:  Put away items such as empty flower pots, water jugs, yard toys, old tires

Small Boats/Canoes and Wheelbarrows-Store these upside down

Roof Gutters: Clean clogged gutters

Water Fountains and Bird Baths– Change the water frequently (at least once or twice a week)

Backyard Ponds-Consider agitating the water by adding a waterfall or fountain

Other Mosquito Reducing Tips:

Keep shrubs and grass in your yard well trimmed, screen all windows and doors/patch any holes in any screens, and properly maintain swimming pools.

Spiders

With over 500 species of spiders in Wisconsin, it’s not surprising that some species, both large and small, decide to build their webs on our homes and businesses.

The largest species are members of the family Lycosidae, such as wolf spiders, funnel web spiders and nursery web spiders.

Most spiders are beneficial in managing pests due to their diet of insects. Speaking of taking bites, although poisonous spiders exist, most spiders are harmless.

Spider Reducing Tips: Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free, caulk around window and doors to prevent spiders from entering, keep wood and rock piles away from your home and remove webbing in your home by using a broom or vacuum.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter 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. Carpenter bees do not eat wood, but burrow into wood and nest within the wood. Unfortunately, nesting sites can be dangerous around your home. Many times you will see these bees around your eaves and building nests within wood structures on your property such as sheds, decks and in wood piles.

These bees typically are not aggressive, but can sting multiple times without dying if they feel their nest is being threatened.

Carpenter Bee Reduction Tips: Preventive treatments such as painting wood with thick coats of oil based or latex paints will help reduce nesting sites.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, have a spider or mosquito problem, 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

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

Ask us about our Mosquito Special! An entire season of protection for only $295!

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

Hair-Raising Halloween Pests- How to Pest-Proof Your Home

If you think about some of the creepy things found in your typical haunted house, it may shock you to realize that many are pest-related! There are Halloween horrors such as: Webs filled with spooky spiders in windows, cockroaches in the kitchen, and rodents running along the walls. Having these pests in your home can be a truly hair-raising experience no matter what time of the year!

Haunted House

Spiders, while beneficial in your garden and in reducing the number of other insects in your home, can also bite humans.

Cockroaches are an unsanitary pest and known carriers of diseases such as salmonella and dysentery and can cause asthmatic reactions and allergic reactions in some individuals.

Rodents like mice and rats can carry diseases such as leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, hantavirus and salmonellosis. They also have the ability to chew through electrical cords, which can spark fires.

Some Halloween Pest-Proofing Tips:

  • On the exterior of your home, seal any noticeable cracks or openings, especially around pipes and wiring that enter your home.
  • Keep food in closed containers, left out food attracts pests.
  • Clean up spills and garbage. Keep garbage in a closed container.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and 5 inches off of the ground.
  • Call a pest professional if needed.

Safeway Pest Management is licensed, certified, knowledgeable and available to answer any questions or help with treatment of your pest problems. Please call our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444  or Toll Free at 800-956-0800.

You can also visit our website at http://www.safewaypest.net

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