What Do Termites Look Like and How to Identify Termite Damage

Termite Damage To Wood Panel HouseHere in New Jersey, we have many types of insects that find their way into our backyards and homes. However, one of the most destructive insects is the termite, which is our professional specialty at Precise Termite & Pest Control.

Here’s what termites look like and how to get help when you suspect a termite problem.

Understanding What Termites Look Like

There are actually dozens of different types of termite species, but they all have similarities in their appearance. Termites are usually between a quarter-inch and a half-inch long in size. They have straight antennae, white or light brown coloring, and soft bodies. Termites have a straight waist and vary in appearance based on if they are in the role of soldier, worker, or swarmer.

Other Bugs That Look Like Termites

Ants are commonly mistaken for termites because of their size, especially carpenter ants, flying ants, and fire ants. However, ants have bent antennae, pinched waists, and wings of different lengths. These are all characteristics that set them apart from termites. With regard to noticeable damage caused, homeowners may believe they have a termite problem when the insects are really powderpost beetles or carpenter bees.

Property Damage Caused by Termites

Termites are very destructive pest insects that chew through the wood of your home, including support beams and ceiling joists. When they get inside your home, they can chew through favorite pieces of furniture that you love. Termite damage also goes beyond just wood because these insects feast upon insulation, metal siding, and other parts of your home that ensure its structural integrity.

Identifying Termite Damage

Termite damage often looks like water damage because it causes swollen floors and buckling wood. You may notice cracks due to termite tunnels under the surface or mud tubes that look like clumpy lines in the soil. If you notice strange damage around your home and aren’t sure what caused it, it’s always best to call in a professional to take a look for you and best assess the situation.

Local Help with Your Termite Problem

At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we know what it takes to tackle a termite problem because we’ve been keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free for over three decades. By the time you notice damage, a termite infestation is often more widespread than you think, so it’s important to do a full inspection of your home to address all problem areas.

If think termites could be to blame for damage you’ve noticed around the house, don’t wait another day to call us at 866-971-2847 or contact us online. We are proud to serve Bergen and Passaic counties with fast responses, emergency treatments, simple call-backs, and preventative advice to keep your home free of pests.

How Bird Nest Removal Works and Why It’s Important

bird nest resting in a wooden houseBirds can be beautiful and beneficial creatures with soothing songs, colorful features, and fascinating habits. You might be initially pleased to see a bird nest in your backyard because it means birds will continue coming back to your area day after day. But bird nests also create damage and disease concerns, ultimately requiring removal.

That’s why we at Precise Termite and Pest Control offer bird control services to help you manage nuisance birds and enjoy every part of your home’s backyard.

Birds That Create Backyard Nests

There are many different birds that create nests in the Eastern U.S., including the American Goldfinch, American Kestrel, Barn Swallow, Brown Thrasher, and Eastern Bluebird. Birds make nests to provide safe places for their eggs and to raise their young. Nests provide habitats to lay, incubate, and care for eggs. These nests are commonly made of leaves, grass, and mud. However, plastics and paper that you leave out in your backyard can also be used as bird nesting materials.

Other Common Nest Locations

In addition to backyards, birds also build nests on balconies, awnings, and building overhangs. Nooks of houses are popular bird nesting spots because they provide shelter from the elements of nature. Depending on the type of bird, you might find nests high up in trees, along steep cliffs, in shallow water, or even in underground burrows.

Dangers of Bird Nests

Certain birds are classified as pests because of the damage and diseases they cause, such as starlings, sparrows, swallows, and pigeons. If pest birds build nests in your backyard, chances are that you will have an even bigger pest problem soon when the eggs in those nests hatch and become fully grown birds.

Nests can clog the pipes and gutters of your home, which interferes with drainage and can cause structural damage over time. Bird nests can also be harboring places for diseases, such as E. coli and salmonellosis. If you are not sure what type of bird has built a nest on your property, it is recommended to have it checked by a professional to see if bird nest removal is your best option.

How to Remove a Birds Nest

Because birds are unpredictable and can carry diseases, it is best to leave bird nest removal to the professionals. At Precise Termite and Pest Control, we offer free consultations to come out and check your nest situation and give you our recommendations about how to proceed. We will safely and humanely remove your nuisance bird nest to help you prevent damage to your home and the spread of disease.

If you are located in Bergen County or Passaic County and have a bird nest concern, please call us at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online contact form.

How to Remove a Raccoon from a Chimney and When to Call Help

raccoon showing teethRaccoons take up residence in many different habitats, such as hollow trees, attics, crawl spaces, and sheds. However, another place you might find raccoon pests living on your property is inside your home’s chimney. This article discusses the dangers of a raccoon in chimney problems and the best strategy for how to remove a raccoon from a chimney in the safest way possible.

How and Why Raccoons Get in Chimneys

Like many wildlife pests, raccoons need a safe and dry place to live, and they are also excellent climbers. This makes your chimney an ideal habitat for raccoons to live, nest, and give birth to baby raccoons.

Raccoons can easily climb onto the roof of a house and then scamper down the chimney if there is no chimney cap to block the entry point. When you have a racoon in the chimney, you may hear sounds coming from your roof or the chimney itself, see tracks in nearby mud, or notice unexplained holes in the yard.

The Dangers of a Raccoon in Chimney

Having a raccoon in any part of your home, including the chimney, can be very dangerous and hazardous to your health. Raccoons are known disease carriers and can become aggressive when threatened.

This is especially true for mother raccoons protecting the babies they just gave birth to in your chimney. Raccoons commonly carry and can spread diseases to people and pets, such as rabies, giardia, leptospirosis, and roundworm. They spread diseases by biting and scratching, which requires immediate medical attention.

The Issues with DIY Raccoon in Chimney Removal

DIY removal techniques are not recommended because of these high-risk health dangers and because of the extreme level of difficulty of trying to get a raccoon out of a chimney. Homeowners can become severely injured and infected by trying to set their own traps, removing the baby raccoons to drive the mother away, or turning on the fireplace to smoke them out. These strategies are often inhumane, provoke raccoon attacks, and do not prevent raccoons from reentering your home again later.

Precise Termite and Pest Control’s Raccoon Removal Services

A much better way to handle a raccoon in the chimney problem is to contact Precise Termite and Pest Control for a free inspection and raccoon removal consultation. Our talented team of exterminators specialize in safe, humane, and effective raccoon removal from chimneys using professional traps that mount on top of the chimney flue and perhaps utilize a pole and trap system to move the raccoon upwards into the trap. Once we’ve addressed your concern of how to remove a raccoon from the chimney, we will take preventative measures to ensure that the same raccoons or different ones don’t go back into your chimney.

If you suspect raccoon activity in your chimney or anywhere else on your property, call us today at 866-971-2847.

What Homeowners Should Know About Professional Rat Removal Services

two rats eating crumbs on the floorThere are few things more unsettling than knowing that you are sharing your beautiful home with rats. Rats are among the most common pests that take up residence in New Jersey households, yet many homeowners don’t fully understand what it means to have a rat problem.

From the experts at Precise Termite and Pest Control, here are the most important things to know about rats and rat removal.

Where Do Rats Settle in a Home?

Because of rats’ size and ability to squeeze through tight spaces, these pests can live in many different parts of your home. They are commonly found behind walls, in attics, in crawl spaces, and behind appliances. They seek shelter in the winter to escape the cold and find reliable sources of food, such as your kitchen pantry. With just one phone call, we can handle your rats in attic removal needs.

Diseases Rats Can Carry

Like mice, rats can carry and spread numerous diseases that put your family and pets at risk. These diseases are most commonly spread by direct contact with the rodent, which is why pest control is best left to the professionals at Precise Termite and Pest Control. Disease risks include hantavirus, leptospirosis, plague, salmonellosis, tularemia, and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

How Rats Put Your Home at Risk

In addition to the health risks, rats can also compromise the structure and safety of your home and cause significant damage. They can chew through wires, wood, and furniture to get to places they want to nest and live. They destroy insulation by tunneling through it inside walls and in attics, and they can cause electrical appliances to short-circuit and create fires because of damaged wiring.

Differences Between Mice and Rats

Mice and rats may resemble each other, but there are distinct differences between the two pests and how they behave. Mice are typically smaller, have furry tails, and weigh less than rats. Rats are larger, produce fewer fecal droppings per day, and leave grease marks on surfaces they touch.

Rat Removal Techniques

Fortunately, Precise Termite and Pest Control specializes in both mice and rat removal to reduce your risks and help you feel safe and comfortable in your own home. Depending on the location of the rats in your home and the severity of the infestation, we may use professional traps or set up bait stations to draw rats away from your home.

Proactive Rat Prevention

Just as important as rat removal is rat prevention, which is why we make it a priority to rid your home of what rats would need to survive in the future. Effective prevention strategies include storing food (including pet food) in sealed containers, removing clutter from unused spaces of your home, and trimming shrubs and bushes around your home.

How to Find Rat Removal Near Me

If you’ve been looking for professional and affordable rat removal near me, then search no more, because Precise Termite and Pest Control has been keeping Northern New Jersey pest-free for over 30 years. We offer free inspections to learn more about your rat removal needs, so contact us at the first signs of rat activity at 866-971-2847.

How to Remove Squirrels from Attic Spaces and Squirrel Prevention Tips

squirells entering attic from hole outsideWhen most people in New Jersey think of where squirrels live, images of grassy parks and forests filled with trees probably come to mind. However, squirrels also have a pesky habit of taking up residence in household attics, which can be a major headache for homeowners.

Here are some tips for how to remove squirrels from attic spaces and where to turn to for help with your squirrel removal problem.

Why Squirrels Nest in Attics

Especially during our cold winter months in New Jersey, attics become perfect nesting places for squirrels. Inside a home’s attics, squirrels can stay warm and dry all winter long, while also being high enough to remain unbothered by other animals and humans.

Squirrels have very strong teeth that allow them to chew through wood, plastic, aluminum, and other materials to gain access to your attic. They are also skilled climbers, who retreat to attic spaces to raise their young after giving birth to baby squirrels.

When Do Squirrels Nest in Attics

Squirrels typically give birth to babies twice per year – between March and May and again between July and August. Female squirrels will look to build nests in attics to raise their young around these time periods of the year.

Signs that you may have squirrels in your attic include scratching or chewing sounds, visual evidence of fecal droppings, chewed-through wires, and increased squirrel activity in other areas on your property.

Dangers of Squirrels in the Attic

Squirrels may look harmless enough, but they can actually cause major damage in your home. They often leave nest debris in attics, and they regularly chew on wood to shave down their constantly growing teeth. In attics, you may find squirrel fecal droppings that pose disease risks, chewed up wooden boards, and wires that have been gnawed through by squirrels. This can cause exposed wires that cause dangerous electrical issues and potential fires in your home.

Preventing Squirrels in Attic Spaces

To prevent squirrel activity in your attic, trim back tree branches at least six to eight feet from your house so squirrels can’t gain easy access to your home. Regularly inspect your house for potential squirrel entry points and use wire hardware cloth to seal attic vents and any holes. Secured hardware cloth can prevent squirrels from gnawing through vents and entering your attic. Another prevention tip is to use squirrel repellants sold at garden and hardware stores to deter squirrel activity.

How Precise Termite & Pest Control Can Help with Squirrel Removal from Attic

Our licensed and professional specialists have years of experience handling squirrel removal from attics and ensuring that these pests stay out of attics for many years to come. At the first signs of a squirrel problem, call us at 866-971-2847 for a free home inspection. We will gladly schedule with you to come inspect your attic for squirrels and address any other pest concerns you may have while we’re onsite.

Squirrels belong out in nature, not in your attic, and we’re committed to keeping it that way!

How to Remove Mice from Garage and When to Call a Professional for Garage Mice Removal

mouse on a brown surfaceEspecially when our weather turns cold and snowy here in New Jersey, mice love to migrate from the outdoors to inside our homes. However, it’s not just houses that are susceptible to mice problems because garages are particularly attractive to mice as well.

Here are some expert tips for how to remove mice from a garage and when it’s time to call a professional for help with this type of mice infestation.

Signs of Mice in Your Garage

Signs that you may have mice in your garage include seeing mice fecal droppings, especially in corners and under workbenches and cabinets where mice like to hide. You may also smell the musky odor of mice urine in your garage and notice gnawed holes that are about the size of a dime.

A pest control expert is able to tell the difference between mice and rats based on a rodent’s size and appearance. Mice are smaller, have large floppy ears, and leave between 40 and 100 droppings per day. On the other hand, rats are larger, weigh about twice as much as mice, produce fewer droppings per day, and often leave grease marks on surfaces they touch.

What Is Considered to Be an Infestation?

If your mice problem seems minor at first, you might wonder if the number of mice you have in your garage is really a big deal or would even be considered an infestation. If only one or two mice have entered your garage, this isn’t necessarily called an infestation, but a small mice problem can quickly escalate into a large one.

Mice often build nests in garages to give birth and take care of their babies. Keep in mind that mice typically have about five to 12 babies per litter. Mice also begin breeding as young as eight weeks old, so you could quickly have an infestation on your hands if you don’t address the signs of mice in your garage as early as possible.

Preventing Mice in Your Garage

Many homeowners are quick to set mousetraps all around their garage and hope they deter mice from taking up residence here. However, this is not an effective preventative strategy because mice will continue to come back despite the traps, causing damage and leaving their diseased droppings behind.

Instead, focus your attention on potential access points in your garage to determine where mice are coming in from and seal up those places properly. Also, don’t leave food or trash in your garage that could attract mice and keep them coming back for more sustenance during the winter.

When to Call a Pest Control Company for a Mice Problem

Since mice can reproduce and create an infestation situation so quickly, it is recommended to call your local pest control company at the first signs of mouse presence in your garage. We will perform a free inspection of your garage and surrounding areas to identify problem areas and come up with a solution to get rid of your mice and keep them away.

Precise Termite & Pest Control is just a phone call away, so contact us at 866-971-2847 for a mice-free garage.

When Are Mosquitoes Most Active and How Can You Prevent Them?

father spraying mosquito spray on son's leg

Mosquitoes are among the very peskiest insects that we have here in New Jersey, which is why Precise Termite & Pest Control offers backyard mosquito control services to our local customers. Since mosquitoes are picky about temperature, location, and even the time of day, it’s important to be aware of their habits so that you are best prepared for them.

Here is some information about when mosquitoes are most active and how to prevent them from laying eggs on your property and putting your health at risk.

Dangers of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are notorious for causing itchy, red, and irritating bites that make you very uncomfortable. However, they also pose greater risks because of their disease-carrying and transmitting capabilities. Mosquitoes are known to carry Zika virus, malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, tularemia, and other diseases.

When Are Mosquitoes Active?

Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes are not seasonally specific, but they do prefer temperatures consistently over 50 degrees. Here in New Jersey, this typically means they are most active in the spring and summer. Meanwhile, more southern regions of the U.S. often see mosquitoes sooner in the year.

Some species of mosquitoes are more active during the day, while others are more active at night. In general, the dusk hours around sunset tend to be the most active time for mosquitoes in our region.

Where Do Mosquitoes Lay Their Eggs?

Mosquitoes often lay eggs in places where there is standing water, which is why ponds, bird baths, and pools often pose mosquito problems for homeowners. This is also true for rain buckets and puddles after spring storms. Mosquito eggs usually hatch within one to three days after being exposed to water. Female mosquitoes can make up to 500 eggs in her first brood and have as many as 10 broods during their lifetimes to create offspring.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes from Laying Eggs During the Active Period

Curbing mosquito breeding is an essential component of mosquito control so that an existing pest problem does not become exponentially worse. Especially once our temperatures warm up as winter transitions into spring, eliminate sources of stagnant water from your yard and promptly throw away yard debris. You can do this by repairing leaks, cleaning bird baths each week, maintaining your swimming pool, and keeping rain gutters clean. It also helps to keep bushes trimmed, grass mowed, and to plant mosquito-repelling plants, such as lavender, marigolds, and citronella.

Help with Mosquitoes in New Jersey

The exterminators at Precise Termite & Pest Control are your local experts in mosquitoes and understand these insects’ patterns and susceptibilities better than anyone. We are fully licensed and insured, we offer free pest control inspections, our results are backed by a warranty, and we offer seasonal pest control packages.

Contact us now for mosquito prevention so that your yard doesn’t soon become a breeding ground for harmful diseases!

Where Do Ticks Go in the Winter, and Can They Survive the Cold Months?

snow filled outside patio of a home

Most people think of ticks as a summertime problem, and it is true that most tick bites and tick infestations occur during times of warm weather. However, ticks don’t completely disappear when the seasons change, and winter tick issues are very possible as well.

Here is some information about the lingering dangers of ticks during the winter and how you can prevent and treat winter tick issues that arise in your home.

Do Ticks Live in the Winter?

Although some insects die off during the cold months of a New Jersey winter, ticks are one of the few resilient species that hangs on and continues to thrive all year long. Ticks survive frigid temperatures in a few different ways, such as temporarily going dormant or attaching themselves to a host.

When snow falls, it provides insulation to dormant ticks lying in brushy areas and leaf debris in a yard. Meanwhile, adult deer ticks stay active all winter long and often latch onto pets in the yard.

Where Do Ticks Go in Winter in a Home?

Since ticks love wooded areas, they often take up residence on firewood stored outside. When you bring wood inside to burn in the fireplace, ticks can hitch a ride and come into your house as well.

Otherwise, ticks commonly enter a home by latching onto a person or pet, either on the skin or on a piece of clothing. You may also find ticks in the winter in damp environments around your home, such as piles of wet clothes or in laundry hampers.

Prevention Tips for Ticks Around in the Winter

Tick-borne illnesses in humans and pets are year-around concerns, especially if you enjoy hiking in the woods and spending time outside regardless of what the weather is. Stick to established trails instead of venturing through untamed brush, and keep your dog on a leash so he/she doesn’t venture off of the trail and into tick territory. Check yourself and your dog after winter hiking trips, including all layers of clothes where they might be hiding.

Inspect firewood before bringing it indoors to use. Also for your winter firewood, keep it away from the house, away from dog play areas, and out of brushy areas.

Getting Rid of Ticks in Your Home This Winter

Not only can tick bites cause symptoms and disease, but ticks can also lay thousands of eggs at a time and create a serious infestation problem. Our NJ tick control exterminators can eliminate ticks from your home and property to help your household stay disease-free. We can also do a thorough evaluation of your home to identify tick entry points and problem areas in the yard where ticks can survive in the winter.

At the first sign of a tick problem, please call us at 866-971-2847 and we will be happy to come out for a free home inspection.

Diagnosing and Solving Animal in Attic Issues During the Winter Months

animal window entrance to attic of house

Even the biggest animal lovers in New Jersey don’t want stray animals and pests seeking shelter in their homes during the winter months. Not only are animals in attics and basements a nuisance, but they can cause significant home damage and cause disease.

Why Animals Seek Shelter in the Winter

Animals seek shelter wherever they can to stay warm during the cold winter months in New Jersey, and the best places are often right inside your home. Animal intruders commonly move into attics and basements to burrow, nest, hibernate, or simply to escape the harsh elements of nature.

Signs an Animal is Seeking Refuge in Your Home

One of the biggest telltale signs that an animal is taking up residence in your home is scratching and scurrying noises above you, below you, or inside your walls. In the attic, you may see animal droppings, nesting materials, or items that have been chewed through. Other area of a home that may show signs of animals are chimneys, trash cans, roofs, siding, trim boards, and the foundation of your home.

How to Tell What Kind of Animal Is in My Attic?

Feces is one of the best indicators of what type of animal is living in your attic. Every animal’s feces looks a bit different, although you may not have any desire to learn about these differences first-hand! The noises you hear in your home and the damage left behind are also hints at how to tell what kind of animal is in the attic.

These are some of the most common animals that a homeowner is likely to encounter in the home during the winter months:

How Animal Pests Get into Homes

Regardless of how new your home is or how clean you keep it, animals can still find ways to enter your home in the winter. Mice, for example, only need a hole the size of ¼ inch to gain access. Common entry points include roof joints, attic vents, dryer vents, foundation joins, wood trip, and the chimney flue.

Damage Caused by Animals in Attics and Basements

Animal pests in attics and basements can chew through wires, destroy insulation, and leave larger holes in your home that attract even more pests. They also leave droppings around that can harbor diseases, such as salmonella and hantavirus. These droppings can get into food sources in your home and cause health risks for family members and pets.

Animal in Attic Removal Cost and Solutions

The best way to determine an animal in attic removal cost is to contact Precise Termite and Pest Control for a free inspection and estimate. We are a top pest control company in Bergen County and specialize in all of the types of pests that invest homes during New Jersey winters.

Call us at 866-9771-2847 for effective, prompt, and affordable pest control to address the strange animal sounds and sightings you’ve been noticing!

The Environmental Impact of Pest Control and Our Green Pest Control Solutions

pest control spraying in the yard

No one wants pests living inside or around the home, but an increasing number of homeowners are making a point to avoid chemicals around the house as well. Fortunately, green pest control options are available that are safe and effective to give you peace of mind.

Here is an overview of our environmentally friendly pest control services and how they can protect your family and the environment.

Risks of Chemical Pest Control Methods

Certain types of harsh, chemically based pesticides have been linked to health hazards, such as headaches, respiratory symptoms, and hormonal changes. These are mostly the types of pesticides used in agricultural settings to reduce crop disease, but the household pest control chemicals used by some companies can be concerning too.

Effectiveness of Green Pest Control

At Precise Termite & Pest Control, we know that harsh chemicals are not necessarily the best or most effective way to get rid of unwanted insects, rodents, and other pests. Environmentally friendly pest control methods are often just as effective as traditional methods, but they use biodegradable and less-toxic materials to keep pests away.

Our technicians are highly qualified and specifically trained to work with environmentally friendly pest control equipment to get the job done right. Some green pest control methods include using baits because they pose low toxicity risks for humans compared to sprays, insect growth regulators, and boric acid for use in buildings.

Kids and Pets Around Pest Control Environmentally Friendly

One of the best reasons to make the switch to green pest control is because you have kids and/or pets in the house. Kids and pets tend to put things in their mouths and get into areas where they aren’t necessarily supposed to be. To keep everyone safe while controlling pests, we can use non-toxic products that are low risk, naturally based, and made with organic compounds.

Our Green Pest Control Services

Precise Termite and Pest Control provides pest control environmentally friendly solutions for both family homes and private businesses to help you embrace the “go green” movement. Not only do we specialize in green pest control for all of the types of pests that affect New Jersey, but we will also help you take preventative measures to protect your home from more pests in the future. These measures may include keeping garbage cans tightly sealed, fixing leaky plumbing so that water doesn’t pool up, sealing up cracks, and reducing clutter from areas that are attractive to pests.

To learn more about the green pest control services we provide and our eco-friendly methods, please contact us at 866-971-2847.