How Does Bug Spray Work?

Close-Up Of Hand Holding Spraying BottleSummers in New Jersey can be hot, humid, and filled with annoying insects. In order to spend as much time as possible outside, many people turn to bug spray products that can be applied on the skin to keep insects away.

 

Here’s a look at how bug spray works so that you can enjoy the rest of the season without being bitten or itchy. And if bug sprays aren’t getting the job done, Precise Termite & Pest Control can help.

 

Different Types of Insect Repellent

Insect repellents come in various forms, such as sprays, creams, and oils. These substances are designed to protect the body from insect bites because those bites can result in skin irritations and even the transmission of diseases. There are chemically-based repellents and plant-based repellents sold on in stores and online today. Chemical bug sprays often contain DEET, while plant-based repellants use natural ingredients that are less toxic but perhaps not always as effective.

 

How Bug Sprays Affects Insects

Contrary to what some people may think, insect repellents do not kill bugs. Insecticides are products that are made to kill bugs, while insect repellents only deter them from landing on your skin. Insects are attracted to humans by carbon dioxide, and bug spray masks the scent of carbon dioxide so that insects can’t find us.

 

Mosquitos are the most common insect that we use buy spray to deter in our part of the world. Mosquitos are attracted to the scent of carbon dioxide, as well as lactic acid and odors emitted from moist, warm skin. When you use an insect repellent, you create a vapor barrier that tastes and smells bad to mosquitos. This makes them less likely to land on your skin and bite you.

 

Ingredients in Insect Repellent

Insect repellents are synthetically made in labs to use the power of chemicals to keep insects away from people. In addition to DEET, man-made insect repellents often contain methyl anthranilate, benzaldehyde, and dimethyl carbate. Picaridin, permethrin, and lemon eucalyptus oil are other common ingredients that you’ll find in insect repellents.

 

Natural insect repellents typically contain botanicals that are more environmentally friendly and safer for humans to use, compared to synthetic and non-biodegradable products. These types of insect repellents often contain citronella, lavender, pine, catnip, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, garlic, and peppermint.

 

What to Look for in an Insect Repellent

The type of insect repellent you choose is a personal choice, but there are a few things you might consider looking for when you are shopping for a new insect repellant product. It is beneficial to choose a bug spray that works against multiple types of biting insects and not just mosquitos. You’ll also want a product that does not irritate the skin and that lasts for at least several hours after application. Many people also choose repellents that are non-greasy and odorless.

 

Get Help with Biting Insects

Sometimes it takes more than just spraying yourself with insect repellent to keep bugs away. For those times, Precise Termite & Pest Control can offer professional extermination solutions for your home, business, and property. We are Northern New Jersey’s specialists for fast, effective, and affordable pest control, and we’re here to help you make the most of your time outdoors.

 

Call us at 866-971-2847 or contact us online to schedule your free inspection.

 

Understanding the Difference Between Venomous and Poisonous Insects

Close-up of poisonous spider in the moss on the groundAlthough insects in the wild are fascinating to watch and learn about, some of them pose hazards to our health because of their natural abilities and defense mechanisms. For example, there are poisonous bugs and venomous insects that you’ll want to steer clear of when you encounter them. To help you understand these creatures better and how they can affect you, here’s the difference between venomous and poisonous.

 

What Does Venomous Mean?

A venomous insect injects another animal or human with venom. This is typically done through a bite that releases venom through the mouth and into the victim. It takes a variable amount of venom to kill prey depending on the insect. Venom is important to these insects’ survival because it is used as a defense against predators. This includes humans, as well. If you are bitten by a venomous insect, you could suffer from pain, low blood pressure, hemorrhaging, and even death.

 

Examples of Venomous Insects

There are venomous insects that exist and also other larger animals that are venomous too. In general, spiders, scorpions, bees, wasps, and ants are considered to be venomous because of how they inject a toxin to transmit the substance.

 

Here are some examples of creatures that can directly inject you with a toxin:

  • Brown recluse
  • Black widow spider
  • Fat-tailed scorpion
  • Funnel-web spider

 

H2: What Does Poisonous Mean?

 

Poisonous differs from venomous because of the method of toxin delivery. While venoms are injected, you can be affected by poisonous bugs by simply touching them. Poisons from insects can be transmitted though skin contact or even by accidently eating them or inhaling poisonous fumes. Poisons can be passively deployed without you even realizing it. If you come into contact with this type of poison, you could suffer from pain, skin irritation, and vomiting.

 

Examples of Poisonous Insects

Some creatures can be both venomous and poisonous at the same time, such as the Asian tiger snake, which can transmit a toxin through its bite and that also maintains poison on its skin. Some caterpillars, moths, and butterflies are considered to be poisonous because their bodies emit toxic chemicals that are dangerous if eaten or touched.

 

Here are some examples of creatures that are poisonous:

  • Cane toad
  • Poison dart frog
  • Rough-skinned newt
  • Blister beetles
  • Pufferfish
  • Japanese Oriental wasp

 

Professional Help with Any Insects

Regardless of whether an insect is poisonous, venomous, or both, you probably don’t want to be anywhere near it! If you have discovered an insect infestation in your home or on your property, Precise Termite & Pest Control can help. We’ve been in the business of pest control for over three decades and have dealt with every kind of bug that you’ll find here in Northern New Jersey.

 

Our services include the safe and effective removal of beetles, wasps, bees, mosquitos, and many other kinds of insects that have the potential to put you in harm’s way. Don’t let yourself be a victim of poisonous or venomous insects. Contact us at the first sign of a pest problem or for a free inspection to take a preventative approach.

 

To learn more, call us at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online form.

Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitos

Close up of Mosquito biting someoneMosquitos are part of our summer experience here in New Jersey, so there’s really no way to completely avoid these pesky insects. You can protect yourself with commercial mosquito repellent whenever you go outside or try natural mosquito repellent to limit your exposure to chemicals on your skin and that you breathe in.

 

Here’s an overview of natural bug repellents so you can make the best choice for yourself and your family. And if those solutions aren’t keeping the mosquitos away, Precise Termite & Pest Control can help.

 

Citronella

One of the most well-known solutions for DIY mosquito control is citronella. Citronella is a natural, herb-based essential oil that comes in the form of candles and sprays. Studies have shown that citronella can be as effective as DEET when formulated right and used every couple ours.

 

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Many people love the smells of lemon and eucalyptus, but mosquitos hate these scents. The CDC has proven that lemon eucalyptus oil can repel mosquitos, and this is a tried-and-true natural remedy that’s been around for generations.

 

Lavender

Lavender has a scent that is pleasing to humans but that mosquitos dislike. Plant some lavender around your yard to produce this natural fragrance to repel mosquitos in areas you spend time in. You can also apply lavender oil to mosquito bites that have already happened because lavender’s antiseptic and antiseptic qualities help soothe the skin.

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used in research studies and found to repel certain types of mosquitos. You can combine cinnamon oil with water to dilute it and spray the solution onto your skin or just in the air to help prevent mosquito activity.

 

Greek Catnip Oil

Another natural way to fight mosquitos in your yard is to grow Greek catnip in your yard or purchase the ready-made oil from the plant. The best part of the plant comes from the leaves that oil can be extracted from. Studies have found that this variety of catnip can actually be more effective than DEET for keeping mosquitos away.

 

Other Ways to Repel Mosquitos

In addition to natural solutions to protect your skin, there are also physical measures that you can take to keep mosquitos at bay. These include installing mosquito netting around your porch or patio and placing a fan next to you. These mosquito repellent ideas work to provide physical barriers between you and insects, while keeping the air moving and not stagnant. Eliminating standing water in your yard will also help deter mosquitos. You can also create an environment in your yard to attract the natural predators of mosquitos to let nature take its course, such as frogs and dragonflies.

 

How to Repel Mosquitos Most Effectively

Natural mosquito repellent options are definitely worth a try and work well for many people who love spending time outdoors. But if these natural bug repellents aren’t getting the job done and you still have stinging insects in your yard, it’s time to call Precise Termite & Pest Control. Not only are mosquitos a nuisance, but they can also transmit diseases and put your health at risk.

 

Contact us at 866-971-2847 to take back your summer and enjoy more mosquito-free days in your backyard.

How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your House

Isolated earwigHere in New Jersey, we have to deal with many different types of insects on a regular basis. But one of the lesser-known (and stranger-looking) bugs here is the earwig.

This article addresses the topic of earwigs around the house and earwig infestations so you know how to handle these bugs when you see them.

 

What Are Earwigs?

Earwigs are insects with six legs, two antennae, and pinchers coming out from their abdomens. They are odd-looking insects that can be intimidating and are between 5 and 25 millimeters long.

There are at least 20 types of earwigs in the U.S. These insects live in large groups, and only some of them have wings. They prefer cool and moist places to live, often coming out at night to feed. Earwigs eat both plants and other insects and gravitate toward crawl spaces and damp basements. These bugs are also attracted to lights, so you might find them around your porch lights on summer evenings.

 

Risks of the Earwig Bug

There are some terrifying myths surrounding earwigs, such as that they lay eggs in humans’ ears and can eat through brain matter! However, there is no truth to these myths, as the risks they pose are quite mild by comparison.

Earwigs can use those pinchers to pinch humans, but they don’t bite. They are also not known to spread bacteria or diseases. However, earwigs are still a nuisance and not a bug you want living around your home. They can find cracks and gaps in houses and come inside where they aren’t welcome. Since they eat plants, earwigs can cause problems for gardeners by eating things you’ve planted to eat and enjoy looking at.

 

How to Get Rid of Earwigs

The rules for keeping your home free of earwigs are similar to those for avoiding most kinds of pests in our area. If you’re looking for answers about how to get rid of earwigs, make sure to fix any leaky drains and pipes to reduce the amount of moisture settling around your home. It’s also a smart idea to remove leaf and wood piles from the outdoor areas around the house because earwigs like to take up residence in these places.

Cleaning your gutters and drain pipes, as well as trimming bushes and trees, are great preventative measures to take when you want to avoid an earwig infestation. Avoid laying mulch down that’s over two inches deep and decorating your yard with stones for them to hide under. Always keep grass and bushes at least a foot away from the foundation of your house to serve as a barrier between natural insect habitats and your home.

 

Dealing with an Earwig Infestation

If you are already discovering earwigs around your property this summer, Precise Termite & Pest Control can help. Our highly skilled and trained exterminators are experienced with working with these specific types of insects and know the best ways to get them out of your home and keep them from coming back.

We offer free inspections and have decades of experience keeping our local communities earwig-free. Contact us at 866-971-2847 to learn more about our earwig extermination services or to schedule us to come out to your home to take care of an earwig issue.

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.