Category Archives: General Pest Control

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.

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!

Why Gutter Cleaning is Important and How to Do It Right

dirt and weeds in a gutter

As part of routine house maintenance, it is recommended that you clean out the gutters of your house every spring and fall. Yet often out of sight and out of mind, many homeowners neglect gutter cleaning or simply don’t think about it each year.

Here is an overview of why gutter cleaning is important and where to get professional help for your gutter cleaning needs.

The Importance of Gutter Cleaning

Clean gutters do much more than just give your home a greater aesthetic appeal. In fact, there are many reasons to keep your gutters clean, including preventing water damage, protecting your roof, and keeping pests away that can cause infestations and damage. When discussing the importance of gutter cleaning, it is also worth mentioning that clean gutters reduce the risk of a cracked foundation and save you money by avoiding costly repairs in the future.

Damage Caused by Unclean Gutters

If you do not clean out your gutters at least once or twice per year, you run the risk of damaging your roof, foundation, and other parts of your home. You might have a leaky roof due to sticks and other types of debris in the gutters or accidently create perfect nesting habitats for rodents, bees, and other pests. This could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair if the gutters aren’t cleaned out in a timely way.

Precise Termite and Pest Control for Your Gutter Cleaning Needs

Although you can certainly clean your home’s gutters yourself as a DIY project throughout the year, it is best to have them professionally cleaned at least annually. An expert cleaner can access those hard-to-reach spots and focus on often-missed areas, such as downspouts that make it difficult for rainwater to pass through.

If you live in an area with many trees that shed leaves and twigs, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently than a homeowner with a barer yard. Amateur gutter cleaning can be dangerous and result in falls off of ladders and hospital emergency room visits, so make sure to weigh the pros and cons of doing this tedious task yourself versus calling for help.

At Precise Pest Control, we do much more than just exterminate pests and provide preventative pest services. Our versatile team of professionals also offer gutter cleaning services to help you preserve the value of your home and keep its structural integrity in top condition. We have all the tools and professional equipment required for a thorough gutter cleaning, as well as the expertise to advise you about where potential gutter problems could arise in the future.

For a free gutter inspection, call us at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online contact form.

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.

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.

Signs of a Skunk Infestation and How to Remove Skunk Odor

The distinct odor of a skunk’s spray is a smell that you’re never likely to never forget. A skunk can spray from 10 or more feet away and get that noxious smell onto people, pets, plants, buildings, and roads. But rather than a devious act, this is a defense mechanism for skunks. People and pets often disturb and startle skunks accidently in the yard, so the best way to avoid that smell is to prevent a skunk infestation with reliable pest control methods.

Here are the telltale signs of a skunk infestation to watch for and how to remove skunk odor if you or your property accidentally get sprayed.

Signs of a Skunk Infestation

Aside from the smell of a skunk’s spray, there are many other ways to tell if there are skunks in your yard. Since skunks eat soil-dwelling insects, you may notice small holes about three to five inches wide from where they have dug. Skunks are also known to eat fruit that has fallen from trees.

You may notice skunk tracks in mud around your home, and skunks have five toes on each foot. Skunk droppings are typically up to ½ inch in diameter and between one and two inches long. Other signs that you have skunks in the yard include dogs barking more than usual and a faint odor that lingers from a skunk’s previous sprays.

Ways to Remove Skunk Odor

You can find numerous commercial products in retail stores designed to eliminate skunk odor. But you can also make a DIY recipe at home with a quart of three percent hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and a quarter cup of baking soda. This is a mixture that can be safely used on humans, pets, and even furniture.

Unfortunately, tomato juice, lemon juice, and Febreze don’t work very well to eliminate skunk odor, so a recipe with these three ingredients is your best bet. For exterior buildings and decks, you can mix a cup of liquid bleach with a gallon of water, just as long as you aren’t concerned with discoloration from the bleach.

Safe and Humane Skunk Pest Control

One thing you can do to prevent skunks from entering your property is to ensure that you aren’t inadvertently leaving food waste or even pet food behind for them to eat. Also, make sure to seal up holes around outdoor decks and fill in holes in the yard that you notice. Precise Pest Control is experienced with safe and humane skunk removal, so let us know if you notice signs of skunks in your yard. For a free inspection, contact us today.

5 Food Storage Tips for a Pest-Free Pantry

Pests often take up residence around the yard and in the attic in basement, but they can also infiltrate your kitchen and compromise the safety of your food supply. Various types of pests, including ants, moths, rodents, and beetles, love to take up residence in the pantry and feast upon your supply of groceries. To reduce your risk of food contamination and prevent the dreaded task of throwing away everything in your cupboards, here are five food storage tips for a pest-free pantry.

1. Clean Up Spills Right Away

Spills and crumbs are magnets for pests, so make sure to clean up any messes as soon as they happen. A simple wipe with soap and water should do the trick and keep pests away from your shelves.

2. Store Food in Air-Tight Containers  

Proper storage goes a long way in keeping your pantry free of pests. Make sure to use high-quality, airtight containers to seal all types of food in your pantry, such as Tupperware containers or glass Mason jars. Not only are these types of containers great for deterring pests, but they can also help keep your pantry more organized.

3. Inspect Grocery Bags After Shopping

Oftentimes, pests enter pantries from the outside world, and grocery stores are not immune to pest problems. While you’re in the supermarket, check food packaging to ensure that it hasn’t been compromised by pests. Then when you get home, inspect your grocery bags to make sure that pests didn’t hitch a ride back to your house.

4. Check Food Expiration Dates

Pests are likely to be drawn to rotting food that is going bad in your pantry. For your own health and also to deter pests, keep close tabs on the expiration dates of foods in your pantry. Toss any items that have expired or that have developed a bad odor into the trash immediately.

5. Try Bay Leaves in the Pantry

One creative way to help keep pantry pests at bay is to place bay leaves in your pantry. For example, you can tape dried, whole bay leaves to the bottoms and sides of your shelves to deter grain moths. Another suggestion is to add a bay leaf or two into dry goods containers that contain flour, sugar, and rice. This is a tried-and-true DIY method for repelling insects like ants, flies, and cockroaches because they detest the fragrance of this herb.

Precise Pest Control doesn’t just exterminate pests; we help homeowners like you prevent them too. We are experts in the types of pests that invade pantries in Northern New Jersey, and we want to keep your food supply safe and pest-free at all times. Give us a call at 866-971-2847 or fill out our online form for a free inspection and for more helpful tips like these.

Health Risks of a Cockroach Infestation

There are few things more unsettling than seeing a cockroach crawl across the floor of your home. But cockroaches aren’t just an unsightly nuisance, as they can carry serious diseases that impact humans in negative ways too. Here is some information about the diseases carried by cockroaches and how you can keep your family safe from these household pests.

Diseases Cockroaches Carry

Cockroaches are sometimes associated with dirty places, and from the deep dark corners of a home can emerge health risks to humans and pets. Cockroaches can carry various forms of bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, streptococcus, and Staphylococcus. Through the transmission of these diseases, humans can find themselves experiencing the symptoms of food poisoning or gastroenteritis, such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Research has also shown that cockroaches can carry organisms that cause many different infections that make people sick, such as plague, giardia, dysentery, cholera, and typhoid fever.

How Cockroaches Infect Humans

Unlike mosquitos, which are pests that actually bite humans, cockroaches transmit diseases to humans indirectly by contaminating surfaces and food sources. Cockroaches will eat pretty much anything and everything, even fecal matter. After feasting, cockroaches pass bacteria collected in their bodies on through their droppings, which can be left in food pantries and other kitchen storage areas.

Allergic Implications of Cockroaches

Not only can cockroaches transmit bacteria indirectly to humans, but they can also be triggers for symptoms of allergies and asthma. Cockroaches leave behind parts of their bodies, saliva, and feces wherever they go, which are known triggers for human symptoms. These allergens affect the human body in a similar way to dust mites and can make a home very unhospitable for allergy sufferers. Symptoms of allergies or asthma caused by a cockroach infestation include a runny nose, difficulty breathing, and watery eyes while in the home. Children are especially susceptible to these symptoms if there are cockroaches in a house.

Cockroach Control in New Jersey

At Precise Pest control, we take cockroaches very seriously and know what it takes to rid your home of cockroaches so that they never come back. Cockroaches are very persistent and resilient (they’ve been known to live for several months without any food or water!), but fortunately we have over 25 years of experience with roaches in New Jersey. You can also help prevent a cockroach infestation by keeping your kitchen free of crumbs and clutter, sealing up gaps in floors and walls, and storing leftover food in airtight containers.

Please call us to discuss your roach problem, for a free extermination estimate, and to learn about the various roach control options available, including organic pest control for households with kids and pets.

How to Avoid Pests While Traveling on Vacation

 

Suitcases in an airport

Travel is wonderful for the mind, body, and soul, and pests are probably the furthest thing from your mind during a vacation. But unfortunately, insects, rodents, and pests of all kinds exist bar beyond our backyards and all over the world.

Pests look differently and affect us differently based on where we travel, which means that you might not even be familiar with pests that live in your vacation destination. Here are some common pest-related questions that people ask while they’re on vacation and how you can avoid pests while traveling.

Continue reading