Tag Archives: winter

“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

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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Will a Mild Winter Mean More Insects?

Although it isn’t over yet, and in Wisconsin we have learned not to count our insect population before it hatches, we can at least say that up until now we have had a much milder winter in Wisconsin this season. So what does that mean for the insect population and what does that mean for you and your family?

Many variables can affect an insect’s ability to survive the winter, including the amount of snow cover and the intensity and duration of cold temperatures. Typically, less consistent freezing temperatures mean more chance that certain insect species eggs and larva will survive, but it is hard to know for certain which insects truly survived the winter until spring arrives.

There is a very good chance that a one unpopular insect may arrive sooner and possibly thrive this spring and summer due to the mild winter, the mosquito, but that too will be dependent on several factors, including how much precipitation this spring brings. Another unappreciated pest has already been spotted this month in Wisconsin, the tick. Many ticks, especially the Deer tick can be active in lower temperatures. With more ticks and mosquitoes, there is more potential for higher cases of insect borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus.

Take precautions when heading outdoors with your family to enjoy the upcoming spring weather.

For protection against mosquitoes and ticks:

  • Wear long- sleeved shirts and long pants when walking in potential tick and mosquito infested areas. Wearing lighter colors will help can make checking for both pests much easier. For added protection, tuck pants inside your socks.
  • Stay on trails and avoid walking through woody, brushy or grassy areas where ticks are most common.
  • Conduct a tick check on family members and pets after spending time outdoors.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water where the larvae develop and need only about 1/2 inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors. Repair any tears or holes.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when the majority of mosquitoes are most active.
  • When outdoors for extended periods or during peak mosquito hours, wear long pants and sleeves and use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
  • If you are concerned about mosquito and tick activity on your property, contact a pest management company

The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your tick or Mosquito 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 www.safewaypest.net and check out our Mosquito Seasonal Protection Special!

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Filed under Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Ticks, Uncategorized

The Destructive Carpenter Ant

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Image by: NPMA

“What are these big, black ants in my home?”

A common inquiry we hear our clients ask, especially in late winter and early spring.

The answer is typically the carpenter ant.

Seeing these ants around your home can mean a few things. It could mean that there could be a colony outdoors that has carpenter ants foraging for food; in fact carpenter ants can forage over 100 yards from their nests to find food. Another option could be that a larger colony has split to form a satellite colony indoors, or it could just mean that you may have a colony based within your home. A good rule to use is if you are only seeing ants indoors and can’t find any outdoors, there’s a good chance the nesting ground is in your home.

Carpenter ants tend to nest in wood that has been softened by decay or moisture. This wood may be a hollowed out tree in your yard, or the nesting ground could be found in your home such as a wall or door void, or could be in a moisture-rich area such as a bathroom. Nesting colonies can cause structural damage within your home as carpenter ants have the ability to make galleries in wood. You may see a sawdust type material around hollowed window holes, these shavings are called frass. You may also see evidence of dead insects. Sometimes if a nest is large enough, it can be heard if inside a wall void.

There are a few different varieties of carpenter ants and they can be dark brown to black, or a red and black in color, and can be anywhere from 1/8”-3/4” in size.

A carpenter ant colony in a structure can live up to 20 years and have as many as 10,000 individuals making up the colony.

Carpenter ants can be difficult to eradicate and many times require professional assistance.

Prevention techniques include clearing out and/or replacing damaged or decayed wood and eliminating sources of moisture.

The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your carpenter or other ant 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 www.safewaypest.net.

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Filed under Ants, Pest Prevention, Wood Destroying Insects

With Autumn Comes the Appearance of Box Elder Bugs

Box Elder Bugs inherited their name by their preferred food source, the Box Elder Tree. But, you can also find them feeding on the seeds of other trees such as Maple and Ash trees. Box Elder Bugs tend to bring only minor damage to trees, and they are not considered a danger to homes, people or property.

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

You may be wondering what makes these insects such an issue. For one, they will congregate in large numbers. They also have the capability to leave behind “waste stains” where they have been. The bugs are most noticeable during the months of September and October, and especially during dry spells. During that time, Box Elder Bugs can be found on the southern sunny 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.

Box Elder Bugs will enter homes through foundation and siding cracks, and small gaps around pipes, windows and doors. They will not reproduce in homes, but they will come out into rooms when the temperature in the home is warm enough.

The best way to control a problem with Box Elder Bugs is to prevent them from ever entering your home by sealing off any entry ways they are finding and using. Caulking openings around windows and doors will also aid in keeping the bugs outdoors. If the problem becomes too much to handle, it’s best to call a licensed Pest Management professional to assist.

Safeway Pest Management is a licensed pest management company covering southern, central and northern central Wisconsin. Our technicians are knowledgeable in the treatment of Box Elder Bugs. We will also inspect your home for any cracks or gaps that pests may be using so that you can prevent them from future entry.

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

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