What to Do When the Mice Come Through (Part 1)

Besides a moment of panic, a normal reaction when a mouse has been spotted inside or around a house is to find a way to get it out… and quickly. After all, mice are not clean animals and their urine, saliva, and feces carry many germs and bacteria that can be harmful to both humans and pets. But what might not be known is that the pesticides, traps, and baits that a homeowner might choose to use are very harmful as well. Many of these mice deterrents are dangerous to humans and their pets if they are not used properly and put in the correct locations within a home.

You may have seen some of these treatments to help prevent mice:

  1. Peppermint Oil
  1. Used Kitty Litter and Snake Feces
  1. Electronic Repellent Devices

There are many other natural remedies that people have tried, including: mothballs, baking soda, onions, Tabasco sauce and soap detergent, Bounce dryer sheets, and bay leaves. Consider the time and effort it may take you to try these home remedies and if it is truly a cost effective way to address the problem. If you need help getting rid of mice in your home or aren’t sure which method(s) to use, don’t hesitate to contact Quest Pest at 860-490-5186 for assistance with all Pest Control issues!

Mouse Prevention

Rodents see shelter when the weather gets cold. Aside from the discomfort of knowing you are  sharing your home with mice, a larger concern is all the diseases they carry.  Mice carrying bacteria such as Salmonella on their bodies and can contaminate food sources, kitchen and bath surfaces and equipment. White footed deer mice are also known to carry potentially fatal hantavirus.

So how do I prevent infestation?

  1. Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens
  2. Screen vents and openings to chimneys
  3. Seal cracks and holes outside the home including around utilities and pipe entrances
  4. Store food in enclosed containers
  5. Dispose of garbage in a timely manner
  6. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around foundations and windows
  7. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces dry and well ventalated
  8. Eliminate all moisture sites – pests need water to live and breed
  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your house
  10. Keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house
  11. Contact Quest Pest Control, your local licensed professional to inspect and/or treat your home if you suspect an infestation

Making your home less attractive to ants

Prevention of odorous ants

When ants are found, one important fact is that complete eradication is key. If you just remove the ants you see and not the source, they will come back and show up in the same place(s).

Resist the urge to kill the ants you see – they can be utilized to carry bait back to the nest which will eventually kill the whole colony. Contact Quest Pest Control for best practices on ant removal!

Practicing good sanitation practices is one of the best ways of prevention. Crumbs, spills and garbage being cleaned up around the kitchen is essential. Store sweet foods in tightly sealed containers or ziplock bags. Keep all surfaces including floors and walls clean!

Beware of the Wood Pile (Part 2)

firewood and bugsAfter hearing that firewood can be the reason for a possible infestation in a home, it is beneficial to know what types of insects tend to live in firewood as well as a few more tips to prevent them from inhabiting your woodpile.

Beetles are one of the most common insects found in wood and they can be spotted both under the bark and in the wood. The larvae from Longhorned Beetles usually live under the bark in irregular tunnels that are filled will sawdust-like material. Certain beetles, specifically Bark and Ambrosia beetles, like to inhabit freshly cut wood. If the wood is damp and/or kept in contact with the ground when stored, then carpenter ants, termites, sowbugs, millipedes, centipedes, pillbugs, springtails, and bark lice may also care to inhabit the wood. Other insects, such as carpenter bees and horntail wasps, prefer dry firewood. Continue reading

Beware of the Wood Pile (Part 1)

woodpile_questpestWith the approaching cold weather, pests as well as people begin searching for ways to stay warm. It is the time of year when people begin heating their homes with wood-burning stoves or fireplaces and therefore need to bring their firewood indoors. As nice as a stack of firewood looks next to a blazing fireplace, these pieces of firewood may be causing more harm than good. The firewood brought from the outdoors can carry many household pests and may give the creatures the direct route they need to a warmer environment. Once inside the home, these creatures will have the opportunity to find other spots to hide and survive through the cold winter.

There are several precautions that can be taken so a homeowner can use firewood without worrying that they are bringing pests inside: Continue reading

How do bed bugs get there?

bugsy_bedbugdetectorBed bugs have an amazing ability to avoid detection by squeezing into cracks and crevices. They will often go unnoticed by the casual observer. They prefer darker areas and if disturbed, they will seek a quieter, more remote areas. They feed on animals or persons when they are resting and then quietly go back to their place of hiding making them hard to detect.

Bed bugs are oval, brown, flattened and wingless insects that are about .25″ – .325″ long. They can be as small as .0625″ when they first hatch and nearly colorless except after feeding. As they mature, their coloring is similar to a wood tick. It will turn purplish-red after feeding and will be enlarged, making it look like an entirely different insect.

Ways to bring home bed bugs:

  • Hotels/Motels – Bed bugs hitch rides on clothing that people wear, not the people themselves. They can travel in/on luggage or other items that they might hop onto to hide.
  • Used Clothing – Shopping for used clothing is a great way to recycle and save money. Make sure you launder those clothes before you merge them with your current ones.
  • Used/old books. Yes, bed bugs can hide in the bindings of books. Inspect that good read before bringing it home.
  • Visitors – If someone visits who is infested, their clothing could be transporting the bed bugs right to you.
  • Used Furniture – if you see that piece of furniture on the side of the road, think twice about taking it home.

Bottom line, be mindful when traveling and bringing in clothes or furniture into your home. The best way to not end up with an infestation is avoidance!

Easy suggestions to helping prevent pest infestation

This fall as the weather gets cooler, a variety of pests will look for warmer accommodations from rodents to lady bugs. Here is a shortlist  simple steps you take can help prevent them from taking shelter with you:

 

Use plastic or metal containers to store food

Store pet food in a lidded metal trashcan. Mice cannot climb the steep, slippery, vertical sides of the can. Sealed, firm plastic containers are also a good option.

Keep items stored off of the floor

Using wire rack shelving to prevent moisture from collecting underneath helps keep the moisture pests look for. Look for mouse droppings and other evidence of infestation with a flashlight and mirror occasionally.

Reduce clutter under the sink

Using a caddy you can easily clear out your cabinet for occasional cleaning. Self-adhesive tiles provide an easy-to-clean surface that can be wiped down and inspected periodically.

Remember Quest Pest Control

If you find yourself unable to keep pest from invading your home, give us a call. We will happily direct you towards a solution even if it is just advise.

Be On the Look Out: How do I know if I have rodents in my house?

Aside from physically seeing the critters in your home (and if you see one, believe me, there are more), most people realize they have a mice problem after noticing droppings, nesting materials around, gnaw marks on furniture, doors or trim, or holes in packaged foods and dry goods. Continue reading

Be On the Lookout: How to Prevent a Rodent Infestation

Preventing rodents from entering your home in the first place is very important and there are several precautions you can take to ensure this does not happen. First, it is very important to close any holes in the walls of your home. Since rats can fit through a half-inch hole and mice can fit through a quarter-inch hole, it is imperative that even the smallest holes are sealed. It is also recommended that the doors used most often on a home have self-closing devices on them. Another prevention method is installing vinyl or runner sweep seals under garage doors to prevent rodents from entering through any gaps. In addition, tightening the seals around pipes, drains, and vents and capping and maintaining chimneys will help to block possible entryways into your home. Materials that can help block entryways are: steel wood hardware cloth (19-gauge or better), perforated metal (24-gauge thickness), sheet metal (26-gauge or better), and cement mortar (1:3 mixture or better). Continue reading

Be On the Lookout: Where to Find Mice and Rats

With cold weather approaching, humans are not the only ones who will be spending more time inside; rodents also begin to seek shelter in any place that may provide a refuge from the cold. Keeping this in mind, it is important to be familiar with places where rodents can typically be found. Their small size makes it very easy for these creatures to fit into little openings. In fact, rats can fit through an opening only a half of an inch wide, while mice can fit through even smaller openings of only a quarter of an inch. Continue reading