Do Mice Hibernate? Here’s What to Know About Mice in the Winter.

residential house during a snowy winter seasonWhen it comes to animals that hibernate, most people think of bears and bats. But what about rodents? You may be seeing fewer rodents these days now that the temperatures are cooler, but does that mean that rodents are hibernating too?

This article answers the question, “Do mice hibernate?”, and also explains how mice infestations can cause big issues in the winter months.

Where Mice Go in Winter

The short answer to this question is no, mice do not hibernate in the winter. In fact, mice are actually quite active during the winter months as they continually search for warm places (like your house) to live, escape predators, and forage for food.

Mice don’t particularly like cold weather though, so they look for tiny cracks and crevices in houses to sneak inside and enjoy some warmth and any food scraps left out. Mice that do not find their way indoors in the winter typically burrow into the ground to stay warm.

Damage Caused by Mice in Winter

Just because you don’t see as many mice during the winter doesn’t mean they aren’t actively causing damage. Mice are notorious for chewing through insulation that you need in the winter to stay warm in your home. They also chew through wires, which puts your home at risk of fires. When mice tear through packages of food in your pantry, they leave behind saliva and fecal droppings that can make you sick, especially during the winter months when your immune system is already working on overdrive to keep you feeling well.

Signs of Mice in the Winter

Mice droppings are telltale signs that you have an infestation problem during the winter. You’ll often see droppings on countertops and on the floor of the kitchen because mouse activity is often greatest near a food source.

You might also notice that packaged goods in the pantry have been gnawed through or even see chew marks on wood fixtures in your home, such as furniture or doorframe trim. Scurrying sounds in your ceiling, especially at night when mice are very active, are other signs that it’s time to call Precise Termite and Pest Control.

How to Keep Your Home Mice-Free During Winter

If you suspect a mouse problem in your home, it’s best to call a professional exterminator as soon as possible before they reproduce or spread out to other areas of your home. There are plenty of DIY mouse traps but these often only kill the mice that are already in the house but do not prevent new mice from entering where the previous ones already did.

Precise Termite and Pest Control offers same-day mice removal services and is prepared to handle any mouse situation – large or small. Contact us at 866-971-2847 to have us come out and inspect your mice situation free of charge so that you can enjoy cozy winter days at home without sharing your space with unwanted rodents.

List of Rodents That Cause Problems in New Jersey

mice on floor eating crumbsNo matter where you live on Earth, there are at least a few pests that create hassles and headaches in daily life. New Jersey is certainly no exception to this rule, as we have many troublesome critters that demand the attention of an extermination professional.

Here is a list of rodents that cause pest problems in our area and how pest control companies like Precise Termite & Pest Control can help.

Mice Pests

Among the extensive list of rodents living in New Jersey, mice are the most common and affect many households in our area. Mice are notorious for contaminating human food supply and can enter through the tiniest openings in a house. They can also chew through wires and spread disease after entering a home.

Rats Pests

Rats are sometimes mistaken for mice but are usually larger and have differences in body shape and coloration. When rats enter your house, they can damage wooden beams, pipes, soft concrete, electrical wiring, and plastic coatings. This can result in costly repairs, the spread of disease, and even house fires.

Squirrel Pests

Squirrels are also rodents and often make their way into New Jersey residences from their rightful homes out in nature. Squirrels invade attics to use as den sites and can quickly multiply and cause diseases in humans. They can also cause structural damage and electrical wiring damage if they aren’t noticed promptly.

Beaver Pests

There is a substantial beaver population in New Jersey because there are few natural predators here and they are able to coexist with humans pretty well. Beavers are large rodents with wide tails that love being near homes that are located by lakes and rivers. Having beavers on your property could result in water damage from dam-building and also serious health issues due to water contamination.

Gopher and Groundhog Pests

At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we often get calls about a gopher or groundhog living under a homeowner’s deck. These rodents resemble each other but have differences in their fur, tail, teeth, and feet. But no matter which one is living on your property, you want it gone because these rodents can destroy building foundations, chew through irrigation systems, and build tunnels to reach various parts of your property.

Get Help with Safe and Humane Animal Control

If you live in Northern New Jersey, Precise Termite & Pest Control is the name to know among all pest control companies any rodent issue. We’ve been in this business for over 30 years and know the most effective ways to keep rodents out of your house and away from your yard. We offer free inspections and are committed to providing the best customer service in the pest control industry

Call us today at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online form and one of our experienced pest control experts will call you within 24 hours.

The Late Life Cycle of a Bee and Staying Bee-Free in the Fall

bees on wood planksThe amount of time that a bee lives varies based on the type of bee and the season. Drone bees, for example, rarely survive through a winter but worker honey bees just become inactive when the winter season comes. This article explores the hibernation patterns of bees, bee activity at the end of the year, and how to get rid of bees if you notice them around your home.

The Life of an Adult Bee

There are four stages of life for a bee: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The adult phase begins when the bee emerges from the capped cell of the pupa stage and is free to start fulfilling its role in the bee caste system. Honey bees are either worker bees, drone bees, or queen bees – all essential roles to keep the hive functioning properly. The developmental period for a bee is between 16 and 24 days.

Do Bees Hibernate?

Yes, some types of bees hibernate to survive the cold winter and extend their lifespan until the next year. Bumble bee queens mate and find a safe place to nest for the winter while the rest of the colony dies off in the cold. Hibernation is important for the queen bee so she can burn very little energy and slow down her metabolism in the winter and avoid death. However, honey bees stay fully awake during the winter and do not hibernate. A honey bee colony is active all winter long with the bees eating and working to store away food.

Bees Through the Seasons

Many types of bees become less active in the winter and are not seen because they are either hibernating, staying inside for warmth, or dying off. Bee activity picks up in the spring when the weather gets warm and plants start to bloom. Bees are very active in the summer months, and then they start to prepare for the winter during the fall season to continue the cycle of life.

Getting Rid of Bees in the Late Fall

Bee removal is a common service that we provide at Precise Termite and Pest Control in the fall because they are prominently out and about preparing for winter. During this time of year, bees get into food-gathering mode to stock up on supplies for cold days ahead. This means that you may see more bee activity as the bees make preparations to help their colonies survive.

Contact Precise Termite and Pest Control at 866-971-2847 for a free bee inspection and consultation about how to handle the bees in your yard. We’ll check all potential bee habitats, ensure that items around your home aren’t attracting bees, and safely and humanely remove bees so that you aren’t burdened by them. We look forward to serving you in Northern New Jersey.

Where Do Bugs Go in the Winter?

spider in web during winter seasonHere in New Jersey, we usually think of summer as the most bug-prone season because we see so many pests flying and crawling around when the weather is warm. But this prompts the question, “Where do bugs go in the winter?”

Unfortunately, the most common answer is inside your home, where it’s warm, cozy, and has a readily available food supply. Here are the most common bugs that move from the outdoors into your home in the winter and what you can do to stop them.

Spiders

Spiders of varying types and sizes seek warmth in the winter, especially in crawl spaces beneath your home that are easy to access. Spider activity is generally less in the winter, but they can still create nightmares for homeowners. Keep an eye out for spider webs and destroy webs as soon as you notice them to make your home less inviting for spiders.

Ants

Ants, especially carpenter ants, love the moisture caused by winter rains, ice, and snow melt. These pests set up nests in places where wood has been exposed to winter moisture, such as firewood that you bring into your home for the cozy fireplace. To keep ants away, never leave food out in the open, and try adding some peppermint oil drops around the kitchen to deter them from food storage areas.

Ladybugs

Lady bugs may be one of the “cuter” bugs in our area, but that doesn’t mean you want them living inside your home. These insects love to find warmth in the winter to hibernate, and while they don’t do significant damage, they can secrete a fluid that stains fabrics and cause a foul odor if squished. Minor lady bug habitats can often be vacuumed up and released back into the outdoors.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches have a reputation for being able to survive anything, but they actually will die if the temperatures drop to around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. When our New Jersey winters get really cold, cockroaches look to move indoors through crawl spaces and basements. Where you see one cockroach, there are usually more hiding in the area, which is why it’s best to call an exterminator as soon as possible.

Stinkbugs

As their name suggest, the main problem with stink bugs are their terrible smell if they are stepped on or even just disturbed. These bugs crawl into cracks and holes in a home’s exterior and often go unnoticed until they are disrupted or even wait until spring to emerge.

Termites

Termites also thrive in moist areas, which is problematic in the winter if you have dense vegetation and brush around your home to attract them. It is also common for some termites to swarm in the fall, take up residence in homes in the winter, and then reproduce in the spring, which means that you could have a lot of termites on your hands next season if you don’t catch them early.

If you notice any bug activity inside your home or want to be proactive and keep them away for the winter, call Precise Termite and Pest Control at 866-971-2847 for a free inspection.

The Termites of New Jersey

Thetwo termites on a wooden backgroundre are many different termite species that exist around the world, but fortunately only certain termites are a cause of concern in our state. So that you are familiar with how to spot them and the forms of damage they cause to a home, here’s an overview of the types of termites in New Jersey.

Eastern Subterranean Termites

The prevailing type of termite in New Jersey is the Eastern Subterranean Termite, which is also the most common termite found in North America. These termites are about the size of a grain of rice and have long and narrow bodies that measure between 1/8 inch and 1/4-inch long.

As their name suggests, these termites live underground their whole lives. They are also blind, wingless, and live in large colonies. There are specific castes that these termites belong to, which determines their lifespan. Most of them live a couple years, but the king and queen termites can live for decades.

New Jersey termites cause property damage in homes that ranges from chewing through support beams and ceiling joists to gnawing through furniture and feasting upon metal siding and insulation. All of these things affect the structural integrity of your house and can result in costly repairs. With these termites, it’s common to see buckling and swollen wood on your floors due to termite tunnels underneath them.

Other Types of Termites

There are a couple other types of termites that exist in the U.S., but fortunately we don’t usually have to deal with them here in New Jersey. The drywood termites mostly live in the southernmost parts of the U.S., while dampwood termites thrive in heavily forested areas. These types of termites are not native to New Jersey; however, dampwood termites can travel to our area from other places while being transported in furniture or other wooden objects

Get Help with your New Jersey Termites

Termites are a serious problem in New Jersey and need to be addressed by a professional exterminator at the earliest signs of activity and damage. Precise Termite & Pest Control offers free inspections and prompt and affordable pest control solutions to help you protect your home and sleep better at night knowing you aren’t living with an infestation.

We have over three decades of experience with Eastern Subterranean Termites and many other pests in New Jersey, and we are offering a 10% discount on new annual contracts. Please give us a call at 866-971-2847 if you are concerned about termites and we will be happy to help you get the situation under control and prevent them from coming back.

5 Ant Sprays We Endorse

ants on a tree stump

Having just a few ants outside around your property is not usually a cause for concern. But what if those ants begin multiplying and making their way inside your house?

When you notice an ant problem, there are many commercial products that you can buy to take a DIY approach. Here are the best ant sprays to try using to curb an infestation next time you notice ants.

1. Terro T401SR Ant Killer Spray

This ant spray kills ants on contact and keeps killing them for up to six weeks. Not only can it be used on ants, but also on cockroaches, crickets, beetles, and other insects. You can use this effective spray inside or outside to control ants, but it does have a strong smell and can be harmful to kids and pets.

2. Raid Ant Killer 26

Raid is a well-known ant spray brand and has multiple options to choose from, including Raid Ant Killer 26. This product has residual action that lasts for up to four weeks and also kills ants on contact. It has no lingering odor and works well with carpenter ants and cockroaches. Although this product has lingering effects, it is not necessarily a long-term solution since you need to keep applying it.

3. EcoSMART Organic Ant Spray

One of the best ant sprays if you want an eco-friendly option is EcoSMART Organic Ant Spray. This is a fast-acting spray that kills on contact and doesn’t stain surfaces. However, this product is costlier than many other ant sprays on the market and is best used or small ant problems rather than widespread infestations.

4. Mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest Control Spray

A family-friendly ant spray to consider for your home is this one that doesn’t contain any chemicals. Instead, it’s made from organic extracts to kill ants instantly for both indoor and outdoor use. This spray does have a slight odor and may leave a filtrate layer behind on some surfaces though.

5. Ortho Home Defense

For longer-lasting results, many homeowners choose Ortho Home Defense for indoor use. It is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements and can repel ants for up to three months after sprayed. This product is easy to use but it does contain potentially toxic chemicals and is more expensive than other DIY solutions.

When Ant Sprays Aren’t Enough

Using one of these best ant sprays is certainly worth a try when you see ants gathering around your home, but sometimes DIY sprays just aren’t enough to get the job done. This is when it’s time to call Precise Termite and Pest Control for a free inspection and professional extermination. We know all the best tips and tricks for getting stubborn ants out of your house for good based on the specific type of ants you’re dealing with. Call us at 866-971-2847 to learn more!

How Long Do Bees Live, and Why Are They Troublesome Pests?

bee on yellow flower

Bees are insects that are fascinating, terrifying, beneficial, and harmful all at the same time. This is because there are numerous types of bees that each have their own habits and patterns. To help you learn more about bees, this article will answer the question of “how long do bees live?” and discuss a bee’s life cycle and why they can be pests.

How Long Do Bees Live?

As you might expect, different types of bees live for different amounts of time. Also, the length of time a bee lives also depends on the season.

For example, worker honey bees live for about five to six weeks during the active season but up to four to six months during the inactive winter season. Drone bees die within hours of mating with the queen bee and rarely survive through a winter. There are more than 500 species of stingless bees, and some of these bees can live for three years or longer. Queen bees have the longest life cycles and average two to five years of life. However, some queen bees have lived up to seven years.

What Affects Bees’ Life Spans?

Many bees die of natural causes but are sometimes eaten by other bees. Bees’ life spans are also impacted by diseases and infections that can impact the entire colony. Pesticides and habitat loss can make bees die sooner than they would naturally as well. Human interference affects the lives of bees and is a leading cause for habitat loss.

Life Cycles of a Bee

Bees develop through four stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This process is shortest for queens and a few days longer for worker bees and drones – overall between about 16 to 24 days to reach maturity. Honey bees lay eggs in wax honeycombs, and new bees hatch about three days after a bee lays eggs. The larval stage lasts about five days for eating and growing before bees enter the pupal stage, which is when bees form their eyes, wings, and legs. When bees become adults, they instinctively know their role in the hive and how to function in their society.

Why Bees Are Problematic

Bees are most troublesome for humans when they sting because bee stings are painful and can cause allergic reactions in some people. Certain types of bees can carry diseases that affect humans as well. Honey is a desirable product that comes from bees; however, it can also attract other insects and stain or damage structures on your property.

How to Get Rid of Bees on Your Property

Bee control should always be handled by an extermination professional because of the dangers bees can cause. Precise Termite & Pest Control specializes in safe and humane bee removal, and we’ve been keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free for over 30 years.

We’ll find and take care of bee nests around your home and property so you can go outdoors without fear of being stung. Call us at the first sign of a bee problem and we’ll come out for a free inspection.

How to get Rid of Ants in the House: Tips and Tricks from the Pros

ants in bedDiscovering any type of pest in the house is unsettling and frustrating, but ants can be particularly tricky to deal with. Ants often invade a home in search of food, but knowing the type of ants you have can be valuable information for getting rid of them.

From the extermination experts at Precise Termite & Pest Control, here are some tips for how to get rid of ants in the house.

Deep Clean Your House

Even the tiniest scraps of food can be big feasts for ants, so one way to get rid of ants is to destroy all potential sources of food in your home. Vacuum the floors daily, take out trash right away, and clean surfaces of any crumbs that remain after meals.

Secure Your Pantry

Ants love discovering open sources of food in kitchens, so another way to get them out of your house is to make sure everything is stored away in airtight containers. It’s also a good idea to wipe down the outside of containers after you use them so that there’s no sticky residue to attract ants.

Commercial Ant Spray

You can purchase ant sprays over-the-counter from local home improvement and hardware stores to kill existing ants in a house. However, these products are not deterrents for new ants entering the home, which means that more ants could easily come in and replace the ones you have sprayed and killed. These chemical-based sprays can also be harmful to kids or pets living in the house.

Powdered Chalk

Some homeowners swear by chalk that contains calcium carbonate to keep ants away as a DIY home remedy. Powdered chalk can be sprayed at ant entry points.

Lemons and Lemon Peels

Some ants are also deterred by lemons, so you can try putting lemon peels or squeezing lemon juice at ant entry points in your home. Cleaning your floors with a mixture of water and lemon juice can have the same effect.

Red or Black Pepper

Ants despise the smell and taste of pepper, so you can sprinkle some red or black pepper in the places where ants are coming in. This won’t kill existing ants in your house, but it may deter new ones from coming in.

Peppermint

Another natural DIY remedy that you can try is peppermint, which is a natural insect repellant for ants and other insects. A dozen or so drops of peppermint essential oil mixed with a couple cups of water can be sprayed around windows and baseboards of a home to deter ants.

Call Precise Terminate & Pest Control

If you have tried one or more of these strategies and been unsuccessful, it’s likely time to call in a professional to look at your ant problem and get rid of them for good. Precise Termite & Pest Control specializes in ant control and removal in Northern New Jersey, and we’re here to get rid of ants in your home now and to also help prevent future infestations. Call us at 866-971-2847 for a free ant inspection today.

When Do Termites Swarm and How to Prepare for Swarming Season

termites swarming a fallen treeIt’s bad enough to have termites around your home and property, but it can be even more unsettling when termites begin to swarm. This article will explore why termites swarm and how you can be prepared and control a termite swarming situation.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

When a colony of termites reaches its capacity and needs to expand, swarming is likely to occur. This is usually an annual occurrence that involves hundreds or thousands of termites trying to reproduce and grow their colony. The biggest swarming activity typically takes place over the course of a day and then is followed by subsequent days of less activity.

When Do Termites Swarm?

Subterranean termites usually swarm in the spring, dampwood termites in the summer, and drywood termites in the late summer and early fall. This is why it’s a good idea to consult a termite specialist to help you identify termites and understand the types of termites that are most common in your area. During all of these seasons, termite swarms are more likely after it rains and when it is humid, overcast, and not windy.

Damage Caused by Swarming Termites

Swarming termites tend to build nests near the surface of the soil and live there until the conditions are optimal for reproduction and becoming airborne. While it is never a good time of year to have termites in your home, the swarming season is actually not an overly destructive time for them to be around. This is because termites have one main goal during a swarm: to reproduce and grow their colony. Many of these termites will not survive very long and do not even have the ability to bite yet to destroy wood structures of your home.

Termite Swarm Preparation Tips

Whether it’s swarming season or not, there are certain things you can do to deter termites from nesting around your house. The best thing to do is keep wood and paper far from your house, including firewood, spare lumber, and newspaper. Also, don’t put plants too close to the foundation of your home because termites love moist soil. Other ways to reduce moisture and your risks for a termite swarm are to fix leaky faucets right away, point yard sprinklers away from your home, and clean out gutters and downspouts so they are working properly.

How to Get Rid of Swarming Termites

To control and eradicate termite swarms, professional exterminators use liquid treatments that create a barrier to prevent termites from moving from soil to buildings. Exterminators also use baits for termites that are placed below the surface of the soil.

Since these applications are quite challenging for DIY enthusiasts during swarming season, we recommend contacting Precise Termite & Pest Control to take care of the extermination quickly and effectively. We have been keeping Bergen and Passaic counties termite-free for over 30 years and know the best ways to prevent and eliminate swarming insects from your property.

The Various Types of Bees and Wasps in New Jersey

swarm of bees on wood houseMost people spend their lives trying to avoid bees and wasps as much as possible due to the threat of stings. But if you’re a homeowner, it makes sense to learn about the different species so that you can identify them on your property can call for professional help when needed.

Here’s an overview of the most common varieties of wasps and types of bees in NJ.

Carpenter Bees

As the name suggests, carpenter bees have a habit of boring into wood to make their nests. This is problematic because of the damage they can cause to your home and other wooden structures that you have built. These types of bees in NJ can be territorial and sting if a person comes to close to their nests. However, the real threat of these bees is with the structural damage they cause.

Honeybees

Honeybees are a beneficial species of insect that spread pollen and help flowers, fruits, and vegetables to grow. These types of bees in NJ typically only react to humans when they feel threatened. But their stings can be severe and cause pain, burning, redness, and even life-threatening symptoms if you have an allergy.

Bumble Bees

Bumblebees are common in our area, and these bees usually build nests close to the ground. Therefore, it is easy to stumble upon bumble bee habitats and put yourself in danger. Bumble bees also have a role in the pollination of wildflowers. They are not as defensive as other types of bees but can sting multiple times in a row, which is risky to people with bee allergies.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps live in small colonies and are not very aggressive. However, they can sting multiple times to protect themselves from threats and have venom that cause allergic reactions. These wasps get their name because they build nests from paper materials and often live in the eaves, rafters, and porch ceilings of homes.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets also live on New Jersey properties and are often found buzzing around flowers. These wasps can be aggressive and sting if they are provoked, which is very painful.

Mud Dauber Wasps

Mud dauber wasps are generally calm insects that build nets and rarely attack people. But although stings are rare, they are possible and can cause redness and swelling of the skin. These are solitary wasps that build nests in mud around homes and other property structures.

Get Help with All Types of Bees and Wasps in New Jersey

No matter which type of bee or wasp you’re dealing with, Precise Termite & Pest Control is here to help. We specialize in New Jersey bee and wasp removal and provide free inspections to help you safely control pests. Contact us at the first signs of a bee or wasp problem to protect yourself and your property!