Top Summer Pests and Prevention Tips

Young woman at home using air spraySummer is a time when many of us start getting more active and spending extra time outdoors. But humans aren’t the only ones with these good ideas! Here in New Jersey, you’ll encounter many more bugs in summer, which can put a damper on your fun outside plans.

Since common insects are a bigger problem during the warm summer months, here are some tips for keeping your season as bug-free as possible.

 

Ants

Ants are a bigger issue in the summer than during other times of year because they come indoors seeking water and moisture to cool off and hydrate. Ants can get into cracks and holes in the exterior of your home, including fire ants that can even bite and sting you. To keep ants away in the summer, you can try commercial ant repellent, set pet-safe ant traps, or call a professional exterminator.

 

Mosquitoes  

Mosquitoes are perhaps the most notorious of all summer bugs. They thrive on hot and muggy summer days and leave you with red and itchy bite marks after spending time at a park or hiking a trail. To control mosquitoes in the summer, eliminate standing water from your yard and cover your skin with lightweight fabrics so they are less likely to come in contact with your skin.

 

Bees and Wasps

You might notice more bee and wasp activity in the summer too, especially as these common insects are busy pollinating flowers. Some of these summer bugs are harmless, while others are aggressive and can cause severe stings that result in allergic reactions. Some easy and natural repellents that you can try for bees and wasps around the house include dryer sheets, mothballs, and cloves because they hate the smell of all of these things!

 

Fight Back Against Summer Bugs

Summer is a time that we must learn to coexist with insects, but only to a certain extent. You deserve to have as bug-free of a summer as possible, which is why Precise Termite & Pest Control is here to help. No matter what common insects you’re dealing with, we have the most experienced exterminators in the industry to get the situation under control.

Contact us at 866-971-2847 for a free inspection so that you can enjoy the rest of summer!

What Attracts Ants Inside a Home?

Ant-infested roomAnts typically build nests outdoors and spend the bulk of their time outside in their natural habitat. However, they can also be enticed to come into a home if they find an easy entrance and a food source.

To help you prevent house ants and keep them away, here is some information about what attracts ants in a house.

 

Types of Ants in House  

Many different types of ants are common in our area and known to seek shelter indoors in certain circumstances. House ants that we are often called out to identify and exterminate include pavement ants, carpenter ants, odorous house ants, thief ants, acrobat ants, and pharaoh ants. This last type, pharaoh ants, are especially known for being very difficult to control if they get indoors. Even fire ants can get inside a house and cause major issues because they bite and sting people and pets.

 

When Are House Ants a Problem?

Ants in a house are a problem at any time of the year, but we notice the biggest issues during the warm summer months. This is because ants, like many types of insects, are most active in the summer. They often come indoors in search of water and through doors and windows that you leave open to let the fresh air inside.

 

The Issue of Moisture Around a House

Moisture is one of the biggest things that attract ants inside a home. Ants need water to survive and will look to household sources of water during the dry summer months, especially in places experiencing a drought or where it hasn’t rained in a while. Although you can’t control the weather, you can control lakes around your house. Check pipes and water sources around your house, as well as the roof, to ensure there is no standing moisture to attract ants.

 

Holes and Cracks as Entry Points

Ants are tiny creatures that are able to squeeze through places you might not expect them to be. One of the best things you can do to prevent ants is to seal up any holes, cracks, and gaps in the exterior of your home. Also, seal up locations where wires and pipes enter your house to close off potential entry points.

 

Debris and Clutter Around the House

Something else that attracts is debris and clutter left outside and around your house because these make great ant habitats. Remove rock piles, wooden boards, tree stumps, firewood, and fallen logs from the areas close to your house to deter ant activity.

 

How to Get Rid of Ants Inside the House

If you have noticed ants inside your house, now is the time to call Precise Termite & Pest Control for help. We are highly experienced with ant control and removal for all of the types of ants that get inside homes in Northern New Jersey. We offer free inspections to assess your ant problem, so call us today at 866-971-2847.

Termite Swarming Season: How to Prevent Them from Entering Your Home

Termite and rot damage to home.Having termites in your home is a concern regardless of the season, but termite swarmers can cause even more issues for homeowners. Once a year, termites swarm, which is an event that often involves hundreds or even thousands of termites that become very active as they try to reproduce and create offspring. The bulk of this activity usually happens on just a single day, but the effects can be devastating to the structure of your house.

 

Here is some information about termite swarm season and some tips for preventing swarming termites from entering your home.

 

When Is Termite Swarming Season?

Termite swarming season kicks of in the early spring as termites start to reproduce and create new colonies. This season occurs when the cold days of winter give way to warmer and sunnier weather, which gives newly born termites the best chance at survival.

During swarming season, termites enter homes through cracks and gaps in various parts of a home, such as chimneys, patios, and siding. Vents in the foundation or in attics are also common termite entry points if there aren’t proper screens and seals in place.

 

Prevention Tips for Termite Swarm Season

Now that you know the answer to “When do termites swarm?” you can start taking preventative measures to keep them out of your house.

Termites love moist areas in a house so eliminate and standing water around your house and repair any leaks from pipes or faucets. To prevent drips and leaks in your house, you may also need to repair shingles or replace weather stripping on your doors and windows.

To prepare for termite swarm season, inspect the foundation of your house for any evidence of termites, such as mud tubes or hollow-sounding wood. Keep piles of firewood far away from the foundation of your house and make sure it’s lifted up off the ground to deter termites. Flowers, bushes, and trees should also be kept at least several feet away from the foundation for this reason.

 

Professional Help for Termite Swarm in House 

If you are being affected by a termite swarm or just aren’t sure whether home damage you’re seeing is due to termite activity, Precise Termite & Pest Control can help. We know the most effective ways to identify termite damage and detect termite swarm in-house issues early before you are faced with a full-blown infestation.

For over 30 years, we have been the termite exterminators that New Jersey residents trust – during swarming season and all throughout the year. Contact us today for a free inspection or to learn more about our emergency services and the benefits of having us come out once a year to check on your home’s pest situation.

Are Flying Ants as Bad as Termites?

Damage caused by TermitesFor many homeowners, having termites in the house is just about as bad as it can get because of how much damage they can cause. But how bad is it to have flying ants around your home, and what kind of damage can these insects cause?

This article compares flying ants vs. termites and how to handle a flying ant situation when one occurs.

 

Similarities Between Flying Ants vs. Termites

Both flying ants and termites are insects that fly and swarm, which makes many people mistake one species for the other. They also have similar sizes, shapes, and colors – at least to the untrained eye of someone who is not a pest control professional.

Also, both of these insects live in large colonies and operate within caste systems. Neither termites or flying ants are known to typically bite humans.

 

Differences Between Flying Ants vs. Termites

Yet when you take a closer look, there are a lot of variations between a winged ant and a termite. The body of a termite has a straight abdomen, while a flying ant has a thinner, pinched waist. Termites have equal length wings, while flying ants have wings of unequal length. The antennae of a termite are straight, while a flying ant’s antennae are bent.

The best way to tell which type of insect you are dealing with is to get a good up-close look at it, which is why pest control diagnoses are best left to an experienced professional.

Although both insects can live in wood, termites cause structural damage while ants usually do not. Flying ants are less likely to cause actual damage to your home but they can certainly be a nuisance. Termites eat plant matter, while flying ants eat both plants and other insects. The life cycles of these two insects differ as well because termites go through three phases and ants go through four stages of life.

 

Get Help to Control Winged Ants

Whether you have termites or flying ants around your home, chances are that you just want them gone as quickly and safely as possible.

We have been in this business for over 30 years and know all the best strategies for keeping Northern New Jersey homes pest-free. If you suspect that you have termites or winged ants around your home, contact us today at 866-971-2847 for a free inspection.

How to Clean Up Mouse Droppings in Your House

black rats, rattus rattus, plague, indiaIf you’ve discovered small brown pellets on the floors, countertops, cabinets, and other places around your home you might have a pest infestation on your hands. Mice, rats, and other rodents leave fecal droppings behind in places that they move into, which is a major cause for concern. Not only are mouse droppings unsightly and unsettling in your home, but they also put your health at risk because they can transmit disease.

Here are some tips for how to clean up mouse droppings with a DIY approach and by calling in a professional for help.

 

Health Hazards of Mice and Rat Poop

Since mice and rats love to find unsecured food supplies, you’ll often find droppings in and around dry goods that you have in the cupboards and pantry. These are dangerous locations because serious diseases can occur if the droppings are accidentally ingested or even if you touch them with hands that will later come in contact with food.

Common diseases spread by rodents include salmonellosis, tularemia, Lassa fever, and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Hantavirus is also spread by rodents and can result in serious symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, diarrhea, and even death.

 

DIY Cleaning Up After Mice

If you choose to clean up mouse droppings yourself after an infestation, make sure to ventilate the area by opening up windows and doors for about an hour before starting to clean. Put on some disposable gloves and spray the droppings with a mixture of one part bleach and 10 parts water to disinfect the space.

With a paper towel, pick up the droppings and toss them in the garbage. Then you’ll need to clean the area with a bleach solution on floors and countertops or by steam-cleaning carpet and furniture that has been exposed to rat poop. When you’re done, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap.

 

Professional Help with Mouse Droppings

But seriously, why deal with the disgusting and potentially dangerous situation of mouse droppings if you don’t have to?

To reduce your risk of disease and leave the dirty work to experts who know how to handle mouse droppings, give Precise Pest Control a call. We are rodent control specialists who not only know how to get mice and rats out of your house, but also how to best clean up after them when they’re gone. When you hire us to get the job done, you’ll reduce your exposure to contamination and have peace of mind that your house is clean and sanitary.

Contact us to learn more!

Tips for How to Find Where Mice Are Coming into the House

Mouse inside mouse holeSo, you’ve found evidence of mice in the house – perhaps a chewed-through wire, scurrying sounds from the ceiling, or droppings in the corner. The next logical question is where they are coming from and how to block the entrance for future opportunists.

Here’s how to find where mice are coming into the house and advice about who to call once you’ve found the spot or need some help locating the entry point.

 

How Do Mice Get in a House? 

Mice are experts at squeezing through tight spaces and getting into places that offer warmth and food. They often make their way indoors through cracks in a home’s foundation or walls. Mice often enter through attics and basements too.

Gaps in piping and wires can be inviting to a mouse seeking shelter as well because mice can fit through the size of a dime. A drainage pipe that isn’t sealed right can invite mice to crawl though and enter through a household drain, for example. Check the screens on your windows and doors to ensure there aren’t any holes here that mice could fit through.

 

Common Signs of Mouse Entry Points

Entry points are sometimes the most obvious places to determine if you have a mouse infestation. Around entry points, you might notice the smell of urine or see holes chewed through the wall. This is also a common place to find mouse fecal droppings or see greasy marks on the walls where they have squeezed through.

 

Mice Entry Extermination and Prevention

Fortunately, the solution to preventing mice from entering your home can be resolved by a pest control professional, so it only takes one quick call to address the issue right away. It’s important to get a handle on mouse entry points early-on because mice can carry diseases and put your family at risk of health issues.

 

Precise Termite & Pest Control can help you stop mice from entering your home by strategically placing bait, traps, and other mouse control solutions to keep them away from your house. We also know where to look for various entry points and can seal them up so that no more mice are able to find their way indoors.

For a free inspection or to learn more about our mouse extermination and prevention strategies, give us a call at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online form.

How to Keep Mice Out of the Garden as You Prepare for Spring

zoomed up shot of two mice eating off a raspberry leaf treeOn our pest control blog, we’ve focused a lot of attention on keeping mice out of the house since this is an issue that so many New Jersey homeowners deal with. But as winter transitions into spring, you might be wondering how to protect your garden from mice so that they don’t damage your beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables.

Here are some tips for how to get rid of field mice in gardens so that you can enjoy your outside space without the burden of unwanted pests.

Field Mice v. House Mice

There are various types of mice that live in New Jersey, so it’s a good idea to know which ones you’re dealing with to effectively address the problem. Field mice commonly affect gardens because they live in fields, grass, and weeds. They are also referred to as deer mice and pose risks of carrying Lyme disease. Field mice are usually brown in color but have white feet, legs, and bellies. However, house mice are almost always solid brown or gray. Field mice have tails that are dark on top and light underneath, compared to house mice that have hairless tails. Another difference between the two types is field mice hoard crumbs of food by their nests while house mice rarely exhibit this behavior.

What Do Field Mice Eat?

Field mice eat both plants and meat and are skilled at thriving in the wilderness. They commonly eat seeds, mushrooms, berries, and insects that they find in the outdoors. However, these mice also love feasting upon root vegetables and young plants in gardens.

How to Get Rid of Field Mice in the Garden

It is very easy for field mice to enter a garden and find abundant food to live off of. Signs of mice in your garden include tunnels in the dirt, mice droppings, and new seedlings that disappear overnight. Field mice love certain areas of the garden, such as compost piles, garbage bins, bird feeders, and piles of wood.

Your first step in controlling mice should be to remove these prefered shelter spots by moving things around and discarding what you can. You can seal up small holes in the ground to prevent mice from getting too comfortable here and place tubes around new seedlings to prevent mice from eating them.

Get Professional Help with Garden Mice

If these measures don’t help and you are still battling mice in the garden, call Precise Termite & Pest Control for support. We can help you prevent and get rid of field mice so that you don’t put yourself or pets at risk and also so that you don’t prevent beneficial wildlife from entering your garden. You deserve a beautiful outdoor space this year, so don’t let mice ruin it for you!

Do Cats Eat Mice, and Are They Effective for Pest Control?

Cat standing over mouse peeking out of mouse holeIf you’ve ever had an issue with mice in your house before, someone has probably suggested that you get a cat. But how exactly do cats help with a mouse problem, and do they really eat mice?

This article explores the effectiveness of mousing cats and the best cats for catching mice if you want a household companion with useful pest control skills.

Do Cats Eat Mice?

The thought of your cute and cuddly kitty actually devouring a mouse might make your stomach turn. However, cats are natural hunters and have instincts that make them want to approach prey stealthily and pounce on their food.

Wild cats are very skilled in hunting and excel in catching mice, which is why farmers often allow stray cats to stay on their property. Domesticated cats are more likely to just be interested in hunting a mouse and playing with it rather than actually eating it…especially if there is a delicious bowl of food sitting just around the corner. House cats often play with a mouse until it dies and then either leave it behind or bring it to you as a “gift.” However, some domestic cats will actually eat mice they catch. Cats can get sick from eating mice if they are infected with disease or if the mice ate poison left out as bait.

How Mouse and Rat Hunting Works

Stray and wild cats are better at mice and rat hunting than domesticated cats, but even common house cats’ senses get triggered at the sight and sound of a mouse. This is hardwired into a cat’s brain and makes a cat want to slowly stalk a mouse and then pounce unexpectedly to catch it off-guard. Common hunting strategies of cats include crouching low to the ground to watch prey and pulling the back legs beneath them to leap and seize.

The Best Cats for Catching Mice

All cats are different and unique, which is why we love them! But your cat’s typical behaviors, overall demeanor, and where it grew up can affect its ability to catch mice. Also, some cat breeds are naturally better at hunting mice, including the American Shorthair, Maine Coon, and Siamese. Other good mice-hunting cats are the Burmese and Persian.

Who to Call If Your Cat Needs Assistance

Having a cat around the house can definitely help you catch mice and give your pet a fun hobby at the same time. However, some mice infestations are beyond the capacity of a single house cat and require professional help. At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we can supplement your cat’s hardworking efforts and get rid of mice quickly, effectively, and affordably. Better yet, we specialize in pet-friendly pest control to keep your cats safe so that they can continue to help us with our mission of keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free.

How Far Do Rats Travel from Their Nest and Safe Nest Removal Strategies

white mouse in rat nest made of paper scraps and other nesting materialsVery few homeowners are independently interested in the habits of rats…that is until they are dealing with an infestation of rats taking over their home!

One of the common habits of rats is to build nests, which is worth learning about so that you can accurately identify nests and get them safely removed right away. Here’s an answer to the question, “How far do rats travel from their nest?” so that you can keep your home free of rats and mice throughout the year.

Understanding the Rats Nest

Rats build nests out of many different materials that they find around a home, including pieces of cardboard and insulation. Rats will shred these materials to build nests in attics, lofts, walls, and eaves. Fallen leaves, cotton, and sticks around the yard are other common nesting materials.

Rats tend to travel between 100 feet and 300 feet from their nests to search for more nest-building materials and food. This means that if you locate a rat’s nest, the actual rats likely aren’t too far away and could feasibly be trapped in the vicinity. In contrast, common house mice usually venture out only between 10 feet to 50 feet from their nests.

Other Signs of a Rat Infestation

In addition to nests, there are other telltale signs of rats and mice. These include holes gnawed through walls, noises in your walls, greasy marks, and urine odors. Rat droppings are brown and have a tapered shape that resembles the shape of a grain of rice.

Safe Rat and Mice Nest Removal in New Jersey

Homeowners in New Jersey often don’t know the extent of a pest infestation until they are in way over their heads and have sustained extensive damage to their homes. If you notice a rat nest on your property, it is a smart idea to call Precise Termite & Pest Control right away to look into the situation for you. It is possible that there are additional nests on your property or that the rats living here are carrying diseases that can affect humans and household pets.

We are your local experts in keeping homes rat-free in Northern New Jersey, and we’ve been doing exactly that for over 30 years. For effective, affordable, and prompt pest control solutions, contact us at the first signs of nesting materials for a free in-home inspection.

How Does Rat Poison Work and How It’s Used by Exterminators

black and white picture of mouse sticking its head out of a wallIf you notice evidence of rats or mice in your home, your first instinct may be to pick up some rat poison at your local hardware or home supply store. However, rodenticides can actually be very dangerous to use for DIY extermination because of the rat poison ingredients they contain.

Here is a look at how rat poison works and why it’s a pest control strategy best left to professional exterminators.

Types of Rat Poison and Rat Bait

Rat poisons, also known as rodenticides, are often anticoagulants and designed to stop blood clotting. These poisons stop a rat’s body from controlling its own bleeding so that an excess of internal bleeding occurs and leads to death.

Rat baits contain edible poisons that are attractive to rats and make them willingly eat poisonous chemicals. Rodent death typically results within about a day. Acute toxins and calcium releasers are other types of rat poison in addition to the anticoagulants.

The Dangers of Rodenticides

Rodenticides are definitely not something you want lying around the house if you have kids or pets. These substances are very toxic to humans and other animals besides rodents. If a pet or person accidentally ingests rat poison, it is crucial to call a poison helpline immediately.

Common Rat Poison Ingredients

Long-acting anticoagulants, bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and phosphides are the most common active ingredients in rat poison. Some rat poisons are slow-acting, while others are fast-acting. The fast-acting poisons require fewer doses, while the slow-acting poisons may take a few days of a rat eating them before enough toxins build up in its body. Diphacinone is an example of a slow-acting poison that kills rats within about four to five days.

Why It’s Best to Leave Rat Poison to the Professionals

At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we certainly understand why you don’t want mice in your home at this time of the year. However, setting out baits with rat poison on your own is rarely a good idea. Poison is just one of many extermination strategies available to professional exterminators, so we can introduce you to alternative ideas for rat control if you are concerned about kids or pets. We typically only recommend trying rodenticides after other control methods have been ineffective. If you do choose to use rat poison, our experts can make sure that baits are placed where nothing else will come in contact with them for the safety of all your household members.

To learn more about our rodent control strategies or to schedule your free home inspection for any potential rat problems, contact us online or at 866-971-2847.