What Home Fumigation Is and How to Prepare for Fumigation

person fumigation in red suitIf your home has a pest infestation, there are many different methods that professional exterminators use to get the situation under control depending on the type of pest and severity of the infestation. For widespread and severe pest problems, fumigation may be an option now or in the future.

Here is some information about home fumigation and how to prepare for fumigation in your own home if it becomes necessary to control pests.

Pests That Can Be Fumigated

Fumigation is an effective strategy to completely get rid of certain types of pests. It is commonly used to eradicate termites, ants, fleas, ticks, and bed bugs. For other household pests, other types of extermination may be recommended instead of fumigation.

How Long Does Fumigation Take?

The length of time fumigation takes depends on how big your home is and the type of infestation you have. It can take as little as several hours or as long for a more minor problem or as long as a week for a large home with lots of pests.

The Cost of Home Fumigation

The cost of fumigation mostly depends on the square footage that you are looking to cover with the extermination process. As a general rule, it typically costs between $1 and $3 per square feet of space. For a full 2,000-square-foot house, the fumigation cost may be between $2,000 and $6,000.

Your home needs the right concentration of gases to be effective, while the severity of the infestation also influences how much gas is needed. Unlike some pest control companies that charge to initially come out to take a look at your property, Precise Termite and Pest Control offers free inspections.

How to Prepare for Fumigation

If is important that you plan to be away from your home during the entire fumigation process and leave the pest control company keys to access your home. Remove all pets and plants before fumigation, and also remove packages of food and medication from the home. Your pest control company will provide special bags that you can seal up consumable items as well.

Open the doors inside your home, as well as cabinets and drawers, to help the fumigant to reach every possible space. Also pull back curtains and raise blinds in your rooms. Use a rake to pull back mulch, gravel, and possibly even plants about a foot away from your foundation.

How to Avoid the Need for Fumigation

Fumigation is often considered a last resort for pest control specialists if a pest situation has gotten out of control and cannot be contained by other methods. The best way to avoid fumigation and the chemicals it introduces into your home is to address pest problems at the very first sign of a problem.

Contact Precise Termite and Pest Control at 866-971-2847 for a free, complete evaluation of all your access points or to discuss scheduling a fumigation for your home.

Where Do Ticks Live and How to Rid Your Home and Yard of Ticks

tick on a leafMany people are aware that ticks can cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, hemorrhagic fever, and other transmittable diseases. Yet homeowners are still often don’t know where to look for ticks in their homes and yards and how to prevent them in these places.

Here are some details about where ticks live and how to keep your family and pets tick-free.

Where Do Ticks Live in Your Yard?

Ticks love areas of a yard that are full of moisture, but you don’t have to go hiking in a remote part of the backcountry to get a tick. In fact, most people actually get ticks right around their very own houses.

Ticks often take up residence in border areas of your yard where you’ve been collecting tree branches or don’t mow as often. Ticks are also common in dog runs, around driveways, around play structures, and surrounding tree houses.

Where Do Ticks Hide in House Areas?

Ticks frequently move from these yard areas to the damp interiors of homes, especially in basements, attics, and wall spaces. Cracks and crevices are favorites areas to hide among ticks, and certain types ticks can lay thousands of eggs very quickly to create serious problems for homeowners. Tick eggs may be found around windows, near baseboards, and around curtains and rugs.

How and Where Ticks Attach to Your Body

Ticks are parasites and require blood to survive. They attach to the body of a person or a family pet and burrow their heads into the skin to suck out blood.

Ticks can attach to any part of the body, but they are very common under the arms, in the groin area, behind the knees, inside ears, and inside the belly button. These are all naturally warm areas where ticks thrive.

How to Prevent a Tick Infestation

The first step to preventing ticks around the house is to reduce clutter and keep your lawn trimmed and neat. Keep weeds and brush away from your home and keep the environment as dry as possible. Create a barrier with gravel or wood chips that spans about three feet between recreational areas of your yard and wooded areas.

Also, check your pets regularly for ticks, and make sure everyone in the family showers and puts their clothes into the laundry with hot water after going for a wooded hike.

Precise Termite & Pest Control Your New Jersey Tick Issues

At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we’ve seen a lot of ticks over the past 25 years, and we know exactly how to handle them in yards and homes in New Jersey. If you are experiencing an issue with ticks, please call us at 866-971-2847 for a free inspection, and one of our experienced tick control experts will be happy to schedule with you.

Bat Disease Concerns and How to Protect Your Home from Bats

bat flying in a forestWhile some types of household pests are only a mere annoyance, others can seriously put your health at risk and even lead to death. For example, bats are well-known disease carriers that can transmit sicknesses and parasites to humans, such as rabies, histoplasmosis, ticks, and mites.

To help protect your family, here is some information about bat rabies, other types of bat disease, and how to prevent bats in your home and yard.

The Prevalence of Bats Rabies

According to the CDC, bats cause approximately 70 percent of the rabies deaths in people who get rabies in the U.S. About 55,000 people in the U.S. seek treatment for potential rabies exposure each year in the form of post-exposure prophylaxis. Without this treatment, rabies is almost always fatal.

Bats and Histoplasmosis

Another common bat disease is histoplasmosis, which can be caused by exposure to bat droppings, or guano. Humans and pets can be affected by histoplasmosis through an airborne fungus that rises from soil contaminated with these droppings. Histoplasmosis is particularly concerning because you don’t even need to come into physical contact with a bat to get this disease.

In humans, histoplasmosis infects the lungs and is common in the Mid-Atlantic (including New Jersey), Southeastern, and Central parts of the U.S. Common symptoms are shortness of breath, fevers, joint pain, red bumps on the legs, and excessive sweating. If left untreated, histoplasmosis can affect heart functioning, cause meningitis, and affect hormone production.

Other Health Concerns with Bats

In addition to these two types of bat disease, bats can also carry parasites, such as ticks and mites. Parasites carried by bats can bite and cause irritation to both humans and pets. Bat guano and urine attract roaches, mites, and other insects. It can also cause your home to develop a foul odor.

Prevent Bats in and Around Your Home

Because bats are such a common source of rabies and histoplasmosis, the best ways to prevent the spread of these diseases is to make your home unattractive to bats. Seal up holes that might invite them inside your home and cover outside entry points, especially the chimney.

In many instances, a person contracts a bat disease by attempting to handle a bat infestation alone without proper safety training. For this reason, it is always best to call a professional exterminating service to address a bat situation in or around the home.

Precise Termite & Pest Control specializes in safe, humane, and effective bat removal, and we’re committed to keeping New Jersey households free of bats. At the first sign of bat droppings, bat sightings, chirping sounds, wall stains, or unexplained smells, contact us for a free inspection or emergency treatment.

What Does Termite Damage Look Like & How to Know If You have Termites

Perhaps you have noticed some structural damage around your home but aren’t sure what’s causing it. It could be due to a water leak, pests, rodents, or insects, but you’re not a pest control expert, so how should you be expected to diagnose the problem?

Here is some information about what termite damage looks like what to do if you suspect that termites are causing structural changes in your home.

Different Types of Termites

There are actually dozens of species of termites that exist around the country, but for non-pest control professionals, the distinction can be narrowed down into four categories. For example, subterranean termites live in soil, build large nests, and cause most of the termite damage in New Jersey.

termite damage in the wall of a home

There are also drywood termites that are less of a problem in homes because they prefer to live in even moister wood conditions in the outdoors. Meanwhile, drywood termites love hardwood floors and dead trees because they don’t need soil to thrive. Their damage can be severe but often happens slower than with a subterranean termite infestation. Formosan termites are very destructive and often inhabit live trees and boats, but they are less common in New Jersey than in other parts of the U.S.

Damage Termites Cause

The damage that termites cause is much more than just cosmetic. Termites eat the structure of your home, moving from wall studs to support beams, ceiling joists, and even furniture. Termites may also feast upon metal siding and insulation, causing even further damage to more than just the wood.

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

Subterranean termites cause damage that looks like water damage, such as swollen floors and buckling wood. With drywood termites, you may not notice the damage until it becomes so bad that cracks appear and the termite tunnels underneath the surface become visible. Termite damage can also look like mud tubes that appear as veins or clumpy lines.

If you see an insect in your home and aren’t sure what it is, inspect it as closely as you feel comfortable with. Termites’ appearance differs from ants and other insects in that they often have pale yellow-colored bodies, straight antennae, two sets of same-sized wings, and no noticeable waistline along their bodies.

Who to Call for your New Jersey Termite Control Needs

The professional exterminators at Precise Termite and Pest Control are your local experts in all things termites, and we know what it takes to keep New Jersey households termite-free all throughout the year. Termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a home, so it is in your best interest to keep an eye out for termite damage or call a professional for help if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.

Contact us today at 866-971-2847 for a free termite inspection and to learn more about the early warning signs of termite damage.

How to Prevent a Carpenter Bee Infestation at Your Home

carpenter bee carving into woodCarpenter bees are unlike other types of common bees in that they bore into wood and are not social insects. Instead, these bees build their nests individually and can cause damage to the structure of your home.

To help you prevent a carpenter bee infestation, here are some details about these insects, where to find their nests, and who to call for extermination assistance.

Where Carpenter Bees Make Nest

Carpenter bees love to build their nests outside in trees or in the eaves or frames of houses.  The bees do not live in these nests but rather just use nests to store pollen here for when the weather turns cold.

You may notice smooth and round holes bore into the wood of your home if you have a carpenter bee infestation. The bees prefer bare wood to stained wood. Places to check around your home for carpenter bees are eaves, boards, siding, rafters, decks, and outdoor wood furniture.

Damage Caused by Carpenter Beers

Although carpenter bees are wood-boring insects, they typically don’t cause as much damage as termites. However, they are still a big nuisance to homeowners because they cause wood structures to retain moisture and become prone to rot and decay.

After these bees create tunnels in the wood, woodpeckers are known to become attracted to these new holes and create further pest damage. Only female carpenter bees are capable of causing painful bee stings because males have no stinging capability; however, it is recommended to steer clear of all stinging insects.

Preventing a Carpenter Bee Infestation

The best way to prevent a carpenter bee infestation is to inspect your home regularly for strange holes and seal up cracks and crevices that you notice. Use a silicon caulk to seal up any holes and repair screen tears in windows and doors too.

Insecticides can deter carpenter bees from expanding their wood tunnels. After using insecticide, seal up the hole so that the bees can no longer access the tunnel. Carpenter bee traps may also be used by experienced professionals to curb a household bee problem.

Carpenter Bee Infestation House Help

At the first signs of holes or tunnels in the wood of your home, contact Precise Termite and Pest Control for a free inspection to assess the extent of your carpenter bee infestation house issue.

We specialize in all types of New Jersey bee removal and have the knowledge and experience to safely and humanely remove bees from your home so that your home and family are no longer at risk. A carpenter bee problem will only get worse if you ignore it, so don’t delay calling us at 866-971-2847.

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.