5 Pests That Cause Fire Optic Cable Damage & How to Stop Them

Fiber optic cables aren’t cheap, and a lot of planning goes into installing these cables for your network. These cabling systems deliver telecommunications and high-performance data networking across long distances and are useful for the devices we depend upon. However, pests can damage these valuable cables and cause severe fiber optic damage. Here are five pests that cause fiber optic damage and how to stop them effectively.

1. Squirrels

Since fiber optic cables are often mounted onto poles and towers, they are easily accessible for squirrels that are expert climbers. There are theories that suggest squirrels like chewing through these cables because of the peanut oil used in manufacturing or to sharpen their teeth. Whatever, the reason, squirrels cause a significant amount of the damage to the home and fiber optic cables in elevated locations.

2. Mice

Fiber optic cables are also attractive to mice, which are known to chew through various types of wiring. Many people wonder why do rodents chew wires at all, and no it’s not out of spite for high-speed technology! The teeth of mice and rats are growing constantly, and wires help to keep those teeth trimmed and effective for eating food.

3. Termites

Termites are best known for eating wood, but they can also do damage to fiber optic cables. These cables can be installed in the ground, which is where termites live and thrive.

4. Birds

Birds can also cause fiber optic cable damage to cables hung above the ground by simply sitting on them in mass numbers. You’ll often see large flocks of birds sitting on overhead cabling, and the grip of their feet can lead to cable failures, as well as their combined weight from nesting on the poles. A bird infestation can cause many home damages, do not let them damage your fiber optic cable as well.

5. Gophers

Another animal that is known to defy even the best fiber optic cable protection strategies is the gopher. Gophers are resilient and have not always been scared away by poor-tasting additives put on wires to deter mice. Gophers commonly damage fiber optic cables that are buried underground.

Fiber Optic Cable Protection

If you are concerned about pests around your property and fiber optic protection, Precise Pest Control can help. We are experts in all of the types of pests that infest New Jersey, and we’re committed to protecting what’s important to you and your family. If you notice fiber optic cable damage, pests could be to blame. However, various forms of extermination, pest relocation, and preventative measures can help protect the fiber optic cables that you depend upon. At the first signs of damage, call us at 866-971-2847 or contact us online to look into the situation for you during a free inspection.

Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs | Differences & How to Get Rid of These Pests

Two types of household pests that are often confused with each other are carpet beetles and bed bugs. While both insects are unsettling to have in the house, they each have distinguishing characteristics and behavior patterns. This article will address the question of carpet beetles vs. bed bugs and include information about what these pests look like and how to rid your home of either species.

Differences Between Carpet Beetles vs. Bed Bugs

Bed bugs prefer to hide in places close to food sources, and their main source of food is human blood. They feed during the nighttime hours and often live in mattresses and bedding. They can also take up residence in carpets and furniture.

On the other hand, carpet beetles do not feed on human blood. The larvae of carpet beetles feed on the carpet and other fibrous materials; however adult carpet beetles actually feed on nectar and plant pollen. Carpet beetles are often larger than bedbugs, and they can fly, which is something else that distinguishes them from bed bugs that aren’t able to take flight.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are usually brown or reddish in color and about the size of an apple’s seed. Meanwhile, bed bug bites appear most commonly as red welts with swelling. They often appear in lines with multiple bites in a row and occur on body parts that are exposed during sleep.

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

In some ways, carpet beetles do resemble bed bugs, but they do have their own distinguishing look. Carpet beetles are about three millimeters long, flat, and look like ovals from the top down. Many people wonder what do carpet beetles bites look like, and the answer is that they do not bite at all. If you wake up with bite marks, carpet beetles are not to blame, but bed bugs may be. However, carpet beetles can cause rashes and irritation on your skin that aren’t bites but can be just as uncomfortable and unsettling.

What Causes These Pests in a Home

Bed bugs can live in any environment, even if you maintain a clean home. They are commonly brought into homes from motels, office buildings, public transportation, daycares, and other public places that have infestations. However, carpet beetles typically come into homes from flowers and plants that are brought indoors, as well as on their own from the outside world via plumbing sources, vents, chimneys, and other access points.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles and Bed Bugs

Precise Pest Control is your local expert in all pests that affect Northern New Jersey, and we are here to help you rid your home of pests that invade your home. At the first sign of a pest infestation, please call us or 866-971-2847 or contact us online before the problem gets worse. Both bed bugs and carpet beetles are serious problems in a home, so don’t delay calling an experienced professional for help.

House Plant Bugs Identification & How to Get Rid of Them

Houseplants bring life and color inside our homes, but something else they can bring is unwanted pests. Certain types of insects thrive on indoor conditions and the nutrients that houseplants provide, putting your beautiful leaves and flowers at risk. For purposes of house plant bugs identification, here are the most common types of indoor plant bugs and how to rid your home of them.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are common in New Jersey and a type of arachnid that are very tiny and often go unnoticed to the human eye. They eat plant matter to survive and may leave tiny spots or tight webs behind under the leaves. These pests usually live in colonies under leaves, which will turn yellow and fall off after being feasted on by spider mites.

Aphids

Aphids are among the most common indoor plant bugs, which are about 1/8-inch long, have pear-shaped bodies and secrete a sticky fluid as they feed on plants. Most aphids don’t have wings, but they do have two antennae on their heads and cornicles projecting from their backsides. Plant leaves affected by aphids will develop a black mold growth because of this fluid, which is called honeydew.

Scale Insects

Scale insects are common on houseplants, as well as on outdoor trees and shrubs. Some have a hard shell that serves as protection, while others are categorized as soft and release a waxy substance. These indoor plant bugs range from ½ inch to 1/8-inch long and cause plant leaves to turn yellow and die.

Whitefly

Whiteflies are commonly found around plants in homes and greenhouses, and these pests eat sap from the undersides of leaves. They look like moths, are about 1/16-inch long, and have white wings that are easy to recognize. Whiteflies are particularly fond of poinsettias, tomato plants, and citrus plants.

Getting Rid of Tiny Bugs in Soil of Houseplants

Many homeowners start with DIY solutions and natural remedies when they notice indoor plant bugs, and some of these strategies are quite effective. For example, you can spray a mixture of an ounce organic neem oil with a gallon of water on houseplants to control houseplant bugs. Other methods involve wiping infested leaves with a mixture of dishwashing soap with water and also using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to spot-treat portions of leaves that have been affected by pests.

If these DIY approaches don’t work, then it may be time to call in the professionals to save your houseplants and prevent them from moving elsewhere in your home. Precise Pest Control has been keeping New Jersey pest-free for over 25 years and specializes in the types of indoor plant bugs that affect our region. If you suspect pests eating your houseplants, contact us today for a free inspection.

How to Make a Squirrel Baffle & Why These Devices Are Effective

As they run around the yard and up trees, squirrels may look harmless enough. However, squirrels can actually cause a lot of damage to the inside and outside of your home. This damage includes chewing holes in your home’s exterior, chewing wires inside your home, tearing home insulation, and leaving behind waste that poses a health hazard. This is why squirrel baffles have become so popular among homeowners. This article will explain what a squirrel baffle is, why they work well, and how to make a squirrel baffle of your own at home.

What Is a Squirrel Baffle?

Whether store-bought or homemade, a squirrel baffle is a device that deters squirrels from climbing to the top of birdfeeders and eating the food you’ve left out for birds. They often feature a cylindrical shape that rotates and provides an unstable and slippery climbing surface for pests. Homeowners mount these squirrel guards on poles that lead up to birdseed and in a position far enough from the ground and food so it cannot be jumped to.

How Squirrel Baffles Aid Pest Control

If squirrels know that there is a readily available source of food in your yard, they are more likely to congregate around your home. More squirrels in your yard translate into a higher risk of inside and outside damage caused by squirrels. Removing access to their food source is a great first step for pest prevention.

Making Your Own DIY Squirrel Guard

There are many commercially sold squirrel baffles that you can buy in stores and online today, including ones that are dome-shaped, cylinder-shaped, and disk-shaped. They come in various colors and can actually look quite stylish as yard décor.

However, you can also save money and take squirrel control into your own hands by making your own DIY squirrel guard at home. One method involves using a jigsaw to cut the bottom out of a large stainless steel mixing bowl and attaching the squirrel guard with bolts and L-brackets to a bird feeder pole. You can also make a DIY version with a stovepipe, end cap, metal screws, and hose clamp – all materials commonly found at a hardware store. Just make sure to place your squirrel guard more than four feet high so that squirrels can’t jump past it and access birdseed.

How Precise Pest Control Can Help Prevent Squirrel Damage

Squirrel baffles are a great way to help deter pests from your yard, but this device alone often isn’t enough for serious squirrel problems in New Jersey. If squirrels have already invaded your yard, we can help remove them and prevent them from multiplying and spreading diseases. Call Precise Pest Control at 866-971-2847 at the first sign of squirrel damage for your free inspection before your pest issue worsens.

Termite Poop: The Dangers, What It Looks Like, and What to do About It

Pests can be difficult to see and track with the naked eye, but they often leave droppings behind that make their presence very obvious in a home. One such pest is the termite, an insect that eats wood and is known to destroy walls and furniture. But the droppings that termites leave behind can put your health at risk if not properly controlled by a professional.

Here is some information about termite poop and answers to common questions like “Is termite poop dangerous?”

What Does Termite Poop Look Like?

Although the droppings of a termite can vary from one species to the next, it is most commonly oval-shaped, has concave sides, and rounded ends. It may look like tiny pellets of salt and pepper, but overall, it is typically the color of the wood. It is best to have a professional exterminator help you identify what the droppings are to correctly diagnose the problem and then pursue the best solution for that type of pest.

Is Termite Poop Dangerous?

To answer the question is termite poop dangerous, research shows that termite poop is not necessarily toxic to humans. However, there are still health risks of exposure to termite poop, including skin irritations, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks. Unlike some pests, such as rats and mice, termite poop is not associated with a great risk of spreading communicable diseases. But it could make you feel sick if the termite poop enters food or water sources in your home.

Why Is Termite Poop Harmful?

In addition to these potential health risks, termite poop is harmful because it is a telltale sign that costly property damage is on the horizon. Termites are sneaky pests that often go unnoticed, but you can be more proactive about termite removal if you take action as soon as you notice termite poop.

Termite poop on a bed often means there is a termite infestation in the ceiling or roof. Termite poop on a window sill commonly means there are nests and mud tunnels nearby. If you see termite poop on the carpet or floor of your home, termites likely live in or under the floor, causing an effect that may resemble water damage.

What to Do If You Discover Termite Poop

At Precise Pest Control, we offer full-service termite inspections and removal in homes and businesses throughout northern New Jersey. Termites are our top specialty, and by calling us at the first signs of termite poop, you can save yourself thousands of dollars of property damage and reduce your risk of health problems. We look forward to helping you identify and solve termite problems in your home so that you can rest easy and save money in the long-run.

Bergen County Gopher Removal Services

Bergen County Gopher Removal Services

There are many types of pests that cause damage to New Jersey homes and yards, prompting homeowners to call for professional animal control services in Bergen County. For example, gophers can be a nuisance and cause considerable damage to gardens and landscaping. Fortunately, Precise Pest Control knows the best ways of how to remove gophers from yards and provides professional gopher removal services to rid your property of these pests.

Signs of a Gopher Problem

Adult gophers can range in size from about five inches to 14 inches long and weigh about a pound. These rodents are typically brown in color, have pouches in their cheeks to carry food and live underground. This means that gophers burrow under the dirt to build nests in lawns, gardens, and crop fields.

If you have a gopher problem, you may notice the destruction of your lawn and garden from these burrowing and tunneling habits. It is common to see mounds about three inches in diameter in the yard if you have gophers living underground. Gopher mounds are often shaped like horseshoes or crescent moons, which distinguishes them from the more circular mounds of moles. Since gophers like to feed on trees, shrubs, and other plants, you may also notice your plants being eaten and damaged.

Damage Caused by Gophers

Not only are these tunnels unsightly, but they can also cause damage to sprinkler systems and water lines maintained underground. If gophers destroy these water fixtures, irrigation flow is disrupted and soil erosion can occur. Gophers can dig tunnels up to 150 feet per day and pull down root systems from the surface to feed upon. Also, gophers can damage rubber and plastic hoses and piping that are left out in the yard if they aren’t kept under control.

How to Remove Gophers from Yard

Professional pest control specialists use a variety of methods to remove gophers from yards depending on the property, preferences of the property owners, and the severity of the gopher problem. For example, baiting, trapping, and fumigation methods are used to eliminate gophers from a yard and prevent costly and unsightly yard damage. To keep gophers out, professionals can also install underground barriers around food sources, such as gardens.

Professional Gopher Removal in New Jersey

Like all rodent problems, we take gopher removal very seriously and are here to help you maintain the safety and integrity of your yard. We provide safe, effective, and humane gopher removal solutions to keep your yard beautiful and full of healthy plants. If you suspect a gopher problem in your yard, please contact Precise Pest Control at 866-971-2847 or contact us online for a free inspection.  

Signs of a Skunk Infestation and How to Remove Skunk Odor

The distinct odor of a skunk’s spray is a smell that you’re never likely to never forget. A skunk can spray from 10 or more feet away and get that noxious smell onto people, pets, plants, buildings, and roads. But rather than a devious act, this is a defense mechanism for skunks. People and pets often disturb and startle skunks accidently in the yard, so the best way to avoid that smell is to prevent a skunk infestation with reliable pest control methods.

Here are the telltale signs of a skunk infestation to watch for and how to remove skunk odor if you or your property accidentally get sprayed.

Signs of a Skunk Infestation

Aside from the smell of a skunk’s spray, there are many other ways to tell if there are skunks in your yard. Since skunks eat soil-dwelling insects, you may notice small holes about three to five inches wide from where they have dug. Skunks are also known to eat fruit that has fallen from trees.

You may notice skunk tracks in mud around your home, and skunks have five toes on each foot. Skunk droppings are typically up to ½ inch in diameter and between one and two inches long. Other signs that you have skunks in the yard include dogs barking more than usual and a faint odor that lingers from a skunk’s previous sprays.

Ways to Remove Skunk Odor

You can find numerous commercial products in retail stores designed to eliminate skunk odor. But you can also make a DIY recipe at home with a quart of three percent hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and a quarter cup of baking soda. This is a mixture that can be safely used on humans, pets, and even furniture.

Unfortunately, tomato juice, lemon juice, and Febreze don’t work very well to eliminate skunk odor, so a recipe with these three ingredients is your best bet. For exterior buildings and decks, you can mix a cup of liquid bleach with a gallon of water, just as long as you aren’t concerned with discoloration from the bleach.

Safe and Humane Skunk Pest Control

One thing you can do to prevent skunks from entering your property is to ensure that you aren’t inadvertently leaving food waste or even pet food behind for them to eat. Also, make sure to seal up holes around outdoor decks and fill in holes in the yard that you notice. Precise Pest Control is experienced with safe and humane skunk removal, so let us know if you notice signs of skunks in your yard. For a free inspection, contact us today.

5 Food Storage Tips for a Pest-Free Pantry

Pests often take up residence around the yard and in the attic in basement, but they can also infiltrate your kitchen and compromise the safety of your food supply. Various types of pests, including ants, moths, rodents, and beetles, love to take up residence in the pantry and feast upon your supply of groceries. To reduce your risk of food contamination and prevent the dreaded task of throwing away everything in your cupboards, here are five food storage tips for a pest-free pantry.

1. Clean Up Spills Right Away

Spills and crumbs are magnets for pests, so make sure to clean up any messes as soon as they happen. A simple wipe with soap and water should do the trick and keep pests away from your shelves.

2. Store Food in Air-Tight Containers  

Proper storage goes a long way in keeping your pantry free of pests. Make sure to use high-quality, airtight containers to seal all types of food in your pantry, such as Tupperware containers or glass Mason jars. Not only are these types of containers great for deterring pests, but they can also help keep your pantry more organized.

3. Inspect Grocery Bags After Shopping

Oftentimes, pests enter pantries from the outside world, and grocery stores are not immune to pest problems. While you’re in the supermarket, check food packaging to ensure that it hasn’t been compromised by pests. Then when you get home, inspect your grocery bags to make sure that pests didn’t hitch a ride back to your house.

4. Check Food Expiration Dates

Pests are likely to be drawn to rotting food that is going bad in your pantry. For your own health and also to deter pests, keep close tabs on the expiration dates of foods in your pantry. Toss any items that have expired or that have developed a bad odor into the trash immediately.

5. Try Bay Leaves in the Pantry

One creative way to help keep pantry pests at bay is to place bay leaves in your pantry. For example, you can tape dried, whole bay leaves to the bottoms and sides of your shelves to deter grain moths. Another suggestion is to add a bay leaf or two into dry goods containers that contain flour, sugar, and rice. This is a tried-and-true DIY method for repelling insects like ants, flies, and cockroaches because they detest the fragrance of this herb.

Precise Pest Control doesn’t just exterminate pests; we help homeowners like you prevent them too. We are experts in the types of pests that invade pantries in Northern New Jersey, and we want to keep your food supply safe and pest-free at all times. Give us a call at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online form for a free inspection and for more helpful tips like these.

The Many Types of Bug Bites and Stings & How to Differentiate Them

Getting bitten or stung by an insect is never pleasant, but some bites and stings are more serious and uncomfortable than others. Furthermore, if you didn’t see the actual insect land on your skin, you might not be sure exactly what caused symptoms like itching, pain, swelling, and redness.

Here is some information about the different types of bug bites and stings and how to differentiate them to pursue the best course of treatment.

Spider Bites

Many spider bites are harmless, but others are dangerous and require immediate medical attention. Spider bites typically look like two small puncture marks and have a single raised papule or pustule. Spiders, such as brown recluses and black widows, are very dangerous when they bite. Meanwhile, some people have allergic reaction to even the most common spiders. The symptoms of a spider bite may be unnoticeable at first but worsen after two to eight hours.

Tick Bites

If you’ve been bitten by a tick, you’ll likely notice swelling and pain at the affected area. You may also notice blisters forming, a rash, and a burning sensation. Since ticks can remain attached to skin for long periods of time, it is best to remove the entire tick with tweezers. A skin reaction at the site of a tick bite can be symptomatic for several days or even weeks.

Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites appear as small, round, and swollen bumps that appear very soon after you’ve been bit. They may occur as a single bite or occur in clusters. Mosquito bites are usually very itchy, but the itch should subside within a few days.

Bee Stings

After being stung by a bee, the skin develops a white spot where the stinger went into the skin. You may experience itching, pain, swelling, and redness after being stung by a bee. The symptoms of a bee sting typically peak after about 24 to 48 hours and may last for several days after that.

Wasp Stings

Unlike bees that only sting one time, wasps can sting multiple times if they become aggressive. Wasp stings can be itchy and result in swelling, sharp pain, and redness. You’ll also notice raised welts around the place you were stung. With wasp stings, the redness and swelling will typically increase for two to three days after being stung and then subside after that.

One of the best ways to prevent these types of bites and stings (and many others too) is to keep your home and yard pest-free. At Precise Pest Control, we offer effective, prompt, safe, and affordable pest control solutions to help you minimize your risks. At the first signs of a pest problem or as a preventative measure, contact us for a free inspection.

Health Risks of a Cockroach Infestation

There are few things more unsettling than seeing a cockroach crawl across the floor of your home. But cockroaches aren’t just an unsightly nuisance, as they can carry serious diseases that impact humans in negative ways too. Here is some information about the diseases carried by cockroaches and how you can keep your family safe from these household pests.

Diseases Cockroaches Carry

Cockroaches are sometimes associated with dirty places, and from the deep dark corners of a home can emerge health risks to humans and pets. Cockroaches can carry various forms of bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, streptococcus, and Staphylococcus. Through the transmission of these diseases, humans can find themselves experiencing the symptoms of food poisoning or gastroenteritis, such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Research has also shown that cockroaches can carry organisms that cause many different infections that make people sick, such as plague, giardia, dysentery, cholera, and typhoid fever.

How Cockroaches Infect Humans

Unlike mosquitos, which are pests that actually bite humans, cockroaches transmit diseases to humans indirectly by contaminating surfaces and food sources. Cockroaches will eat pretty much anything and everything, even fecal matter. After feasting, cockroaches pass bacteria collected in their bodies on through their droppings, which can be left in food pantries and other kitchen storage areas.

Allergic Implications of Cockroaches

Not only can cockroaches transmit bacteria indirectly to humans, but they can also be triggers for symptoms of allergies and asthma. Cockroaches leave behind parts of their bodies, saliva, and feces wherever they go, which are known triggers for human symptoms. These allergens affect the human body in a similar way to dust mites and can make a home very unhospitable for allergy sufferers. Symptoms of allergies or asthma caused by a cockroach infestation include a runny nose, difficulty breathing, and watery eyes while in the home. Children are especially susceptible to these symptoms if there are cockroaches in a house.

Cockroach Control in New Jersey

At Precise Pest control, we take cockroaches very seriously and know what it takes to rid your home of cockroaches so that they never come back. Cockroaches are very persistent and resilient (they’ve been known to live for several months without any food or water!), but fortunately we have over 25 years of experience with roaches in New Jersey. You can also help prevent a cockroach infestation by keeping your kitchen free of crumbs and clutter, sealing up gaps in floors and walls, and storing leftover food in airtight containers.

Please call us to discuss your roach problem, for a free extermination estimate, and to learn about the various roach control options available, including organic pest control for households with kids and pets.