The holidays are over, and a new year is here! Now is a great time to make resolutions, set new goals, and get motivated to cross things off your “to-do” list. One of those items should certainly be to make sure your home is protected against pests because heading into a new year with a pest infestation is a total bummer. To ensure that your home stays pest free in 2019, follow these simple steps:
Keep Your Home Tidy and Clean!
We can’t stress this enough! Rodents and pests are less likely to take up residence in a home that is free from crumbs, clutter, spills, and easily accessible food. Be sure to maintain a clean kitchen and keep food in airtight and sealed containers. Wipe down counters and sweep floors on a regular basis and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or pet food on the floor overnight. Also, be sure to keep the rest of the home just as clean. Vacuuming and tidying up used cups and dishes each day will keep pests at bay.
Check for Standing Water!
Standing water in the home is an open invitation to insects and pests. Inspect your home for leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and windows that may be letting in moisture. Repair any issues that may cause standing water and be sure to remove that water immediately.
Seal Up Holes!
Rodents and insects can enter a home through even the smallest of holes. Inspect the interior and exterior home and look for cracks, holes, ripped screens, and broken doors. We also suggest installing screens over chimneys and vents.
Why not kill two birds with one stone here: get rid of clutter while eliminating hiding places for pests. Rodents often like to burrow into areas of the home that collect piles and clutter, such as basements and attics. Getting rid of boxes and unused clothes and blankets will deter pests from getting too cozy.
Be sure to prune tree branches and shrubs back from the exterior of your home to prevent pests from using them as a way to get on and in it. Also, keep piles of firewood, compost, and leaf piles far back from your home.
Finally, preventative pest control is one of the most surefire way to protect your home from unwanted guests. Please call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your free in-home estimate.
Thanksgiving and the holiday season is upon us and we can’t wait to eat lots of great food and spend time with loved ones. However, as pest control experts, we are hyper aware of the fact that this time of year can also bring around unwanted guests, such as rodents and bed bugs. The colder weather, visiting guests, and extra food laying may increase your chances of developing some sort of infestation over the holidays. To stay pest free this Thanksgiving, take a look at the following tips (especially if you’ll be hosting!):
Store Your Food Properly
As you’re gathering the food for your big meal, be sure keep it in sealed, airtight containers and store them on high pantry shelves or in the refrigerator. Also, as you’re preparing food, be fastidious about cleaning up crumbs which may attract rodents. After the big meal, do not leave leftovers or desserts out on the table overnight.
Clean and vacuum your kitchen and dining areas as good as possible after your guests leave. Crumbs, fallen food, and even the scent of food will attract rodents.
Holiday meals often create an excess of garbage and scraps. Be sure to take your filled garbage bags to your outdoor barrels at the end of the day. Outdoor barrels should be sealed tightly and kept in an area that doesn’t allow for easy access indoors.
Beware of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can be carried into your home by even the cleanest people! If you have older children coming home to visit, throw their overnight bags and their clothes in the dryer on high heat to kill any bed bugs. Once guests leave, wash linens in hot water and check on and around your mattresses for any signs of the little pests.
Seal Proof Your Home
As you’re decorating and pulling things out of attics and basements, be sure to inspect for small holes and cracks that pests can enter in through. Now is a good time of year to ensure that your home is protected before the winter really sets in.
If you need help pest proofing your home or suspect an infestation of some kind, contact us at 1-877-PESTS-55 for more information and to schedule your free in-home evaluation!
Have you been outside in recent weeks and felt like there were a crazy amount of squirrels running around your yard, the parks, or darting across the roads? You may have even noticed an increase in squirrel roadkill. If so, you’re not alone and you’re not mistaken. Residents all over New England have been noticing a sudden surge in the squirrel population and there’s actually an ecological explanation for it. Here’s why:
Sudden Squirrel Surge
Fall of 2017 was a bumper crop year for acorns. If you have an oak tree in your yard, you may have noticed more acorns on the ground than usual. Bumper crop years happen about two out of every ten years and, during these years, there can be more than 250,000 acorns per acre as opposed to an average of 20,000 to 65,000.
This means that animals that survive on acorns, like squirrels and chipmunks, were able to really stock up last year, increase their fat reserves, and, in turn, improve their chances of survival over the winter months. Now, the squirrel population is high and this is the time of year when new litters are starting to venture out on their own in search of new territory and food.
Don’t be alarmed if you also start seeing more animals that prey on squirrels, such as foxes, fisher cats, hawks, and owls. Again, for these animals, more availability of food causes a population irruption.
Winter is Coming
Winter is coming, which means that this influx of squirrels will also be looking for someplace warm and cozy to spend the cold nights. Squirrels often take up residence inside attics via roof vents, chimneys, and roof edges. Once inside, they will build nests, create messes, make a lot of noise, and even chew on electrical wires.
We at Freedom Pest Control can help you ensure that your home is protected against squirrels and we are experts at squirrel removal. Please contact us today at 1-877-PESTS-55 for more information!
At the start of the new year, we shared some of the most commonly believed pest control myths. However, there are plenty of myths about pests in your home and, with the new school year beginning and colder weather on the horizon, we’d like to share a few more with you. Read on to find our whether your ideas about pests and pest control are valid or not. Then, give us a call to schedule your free in-home estimate.
You Only Need Bug Spray in the Evening
Even though fall is approaching, there is still plenty of time to spend outdoors. Most people believe that bugs and mosquitoes are worse at night and will apply bug spray as the sun starts to set. In fact, insects can be bothersome any time of day so bug spray is often necessary while the sun is still high in the sky.
Cockroaches are Only Found in Dirty Homes
It’s true that cockroaches are typically found in dirty and unkempt homes. However, they are very resilient and may take up residence in a clean home as long as they have access to food and water.
Rats are Filthy
Though they are gross looking and undesirable house guest, rats are actually very concerned with cleanliness. In fact, they spend more than half of the day cleaning their nests, themselves, and their living quarters. Also, they have separate areas for sleeping and for going to the bathroom.
Fleas Only Live on Pets
Fleas are often found in the fur of dogs and cats. However, they can live for a long time without a host animal.
Only People with Pests Need Pest Control
The most effective form of pest control is preventative! Even if you don’t currently have a pest infestation, your home may not be completely protected against one. A pest control professional can help you pinpoint areas of the home that may be vulnerable to a pest infestation.
Call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 today to schedule your free in-home evaluation!
It’s September and schools everywhere are back in session! Moms and dads are rejoicing, teachers are prepping for a new school year, and kids are thrilled to see their friends and show off their new clothes. However, for a school that has become infested with pests, the start of the beginning of the school year might not be so exciting or seamless. Schools provide pests with many nooks and crannies in which to hide and also offer a safe and warm place to live during the upcoming colder months.
School administrators should especially be on the lookout for the following pests:
- Flies buzzing around a classroom are distracting but, more importantly, flies are notorious for contaminating food.
- Cockroaches are not only creepy, but they can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in children. They also spread many different kinds of bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella.
- Spiders are typically harmless but they can be bothersome, scream inducing, and can also be a sign of other pest infestations.
- Rodents can fit through very small spaces, sometimes as small as a dime, and can often times carry serious diseases. They can also leave behind gross droppings, make distracting noises, and emit terrible odors.
- Stinging Insects are very active in the early fall and their stings not only hurt small children, but can also cause allergic reactions.
The aforementioned pests don’t just target schools. They are also commonly found in office buildings, hotels, nursing homes, apartments, and a variety of other commercial businesses. Luckily, Freedom Pest Control offers commercial pest control services in addition to residential. If your school or place of business has been infested, please call us today at 1-877-PESTS-55 for more information!
Late August into early September is one of the busiest times of year for moving. Students are returning to their college apartments and rentals are changing tenants. And, in recent years, the number of people renting an apartment is rising. However, with the convenience of renting come the cons, one of which is the possibility of a pest infestation. Shared walls, close living quarters, and connected utilities make it easy for pests to move from one apartment to another and also make it difficult to find the source of the infestation. Common pests that plague apartment buildings and townhouse units include bed bugs, cockroaches, flies, and rodents.
If you’re moving into a rental unit in the coming weeks, follow these simple tips to keep those unwanted houseguests away:
Proof Against Apartment Pests
- Vacuum regularly
- Dispose of garbage on a daily basis in covered receptacles located outdoors
- Keep your kitchen tidy. Sweep on a daily basis, wash dishes after use, wipe up crumbs and spills on the counters and floors.
- Store food in airtight containers and keep them on high shelves.
- Notify your landlord of any leaky pipes or areas of moisture and insist that they get fixed quickly.
- Pests, like bed bugs, often hide in furniture so be very cautious when accepting or buying used pieces. Be sure to give them a good inspection and cleaning before bringing them into your home.
- Keep clutter to a minimum – pests love to hide in piles of clothes and in boxes.
- Seal entry points.
We at Freedom Pest Control are experienced in exterminating pests from multi-unit apartments. Please call us today at 1-877-PESTS-55 for more information!
It’s a new year! If your new year’s resolution is to get control over the pests that may be inhabiting your home, then we want to make sure you’re heading into 2018 armed with as much pest control knowledge as possible. Read on as we debunk some of the most common myths surrounding pest control. Then, give us a call to schedule your free in-home estimate.
Clean Houses Don’t Get Bed Bugs
Clean homes CAN suffer from a bed bug infestation. This is because bed bugs are very good hitchhikers. If you’ve recently visited a hotel or a friend’s home that has developed a bed bug problem, then it is very likely that they will travel home with you in your luggage, purse, or clothes.
Mice Love Cheese
As the classic game, Mouse Trap would suggest, mice love cheese and we should put it in our mice traps. However, mice are much more apt to look for foods with high levels of sugar like cereal, peanut butter, and sugar cubes. These would be much better options for your traps!
Cats Keep Mice at Bay
Any cat owner can probably tell you about a time or two that theirs has come home feeling very proud of himself for catching a mouse. And while it’s true that cats do, on occasion, like to playfully chase and catch a mouse, they do not regard them as threats or feel a need to help eliminate their presence in your home. A cat is definitely not enough protection against a mouse infestation.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist! In fact, the smallest, hardest to see pests are often the most dangerous because they can cause damage before they’re discovered.
Bug Zappers are Effective Against Mosquitoes
Bug zappers attract bugs with bright lights. However, mosquitoes aren’t attracted to light, like moths are, so don’t bother with the zappers if mosquitoes are pestering you.
Call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 today to schedule your free in-home evaluation!
Did you know that rats are extremely tidy rodents? In fact, rats spend a great deal of their day cleaning themselves and their living quarters. They also keep their “bathroom” separate from their “bedroom” in a way that is reminiscent of a dog.
Nonetheless, rats are certainly to blame for spreading diseases. This can happen through the transportation of parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites. They may also spread disease through the human handling of rodents, contact with rat feces and urine, and in the case of a rat bite. In addition, any food or water that may be contaminated by rat fur or excrement is extremely dangerous and poses a serious health risk. Read on to learn about some of the diseases carried by rats.
The following are directly transmitted by rats:
Rat-bite Fever may be contracted through a bite, scratch, or contact with a dead rat. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, headache, rash, and swelling near the wound.
Salmonellosis is transmitted by consuming contaminated water or food. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, and vomiting.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is spread through direct contact with rat feces or urine or by inhaling contaminated dust. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and coughing. HPS can be fatal and should be taken very seriously!
The following are indirectly transmitted by rats:
Plague is carried by rats and spread through fleas. There are several types of plague and symptoms can include fever, delirium, and infection of the lungs.
Colorado Tick Fever is transmitted by a tick that has taken in blood from a rat. An infected person may experience chills, headache, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain, and rashes.
Obviously, a rat infestation should be dealt with immediately and very carefully to avoid the spread of any of the aforementioned diseases. We at Freedom Pest Control are experienced in this area and are happy to provide you with your free in-home evaluation. Please call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule yours today!
‘Tis the season to be jolly and nothing takes the fun out of the holiday season more than a pest infestation! It’s no news that pests often make their way indoors during the cold months seeking shelter and food. But, during this season of decorating, visiting, and travel, the chances of finding pests in your home increase. Follow our simple tips to ensure that you don’t spend the upcoming weeks feeling all Grinch-like!
Christmas Trees, Wreaths, and Greenery
Spiders, mites, moths, and other pests love to take up residence in the trees and greenery that we often bring indoors this time of year. To avoid carrying these little “buggers” indoors, inspect your live items very carefully and give that tree a really good shake before taking it home.
Taking out boxes full of decorations that have been packed away for almost a year may disturb cockroaches, mice, and other pests that have taken up residence. If you have cause for concern, unpack your boxes outside and look for signs such as droppings and chew marks. When it comes time to take down your décor, be sure to store your items in plastic containers that can be closed tightly. This will prevent pests that can chew through cardboard from making their way in.
Cozying up in front of the fireplace won’t be so relaxing if you’re firewood is housing insects such as spiders, termites, and ants! If you’re buying your firewood, we suggest burning it quickly before insects that may be dormant in your wood begin to hatch. If you like to cut and/or store your own firewood, keep it more than twenty feet away from your home and on a raised structure if possible.
If you’re hosting overnight guests, beware of bed bugs. Bed bugs are expert hitch-hikers and can travel on clothing, purses, and suitcases. After your guests have left, wash sheets, towels, and other linens in hot water. Check on and around your mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and nightstands.
Don’t be a Scrooge, call us today for a free onsite evaluation! 877-PESTS-55
There’s good reason that Jerry the mouse is always outsmarting Tom the cat in the classic cartoon – mice are small, sneaky, quick, and clever! They can easily enter a home that isn’t properly rodent proofed to take up residence, especially in the colder months. A mice infestation, in addition to being down right disgusting, is dangerous because mice can carry diseases and are destructive to personal property. Read on to learn more about the most common mice that may invade your home:
The house mouse, the kind that one might keep as a pet or use in a lab, is active year-round. They are incredibly adaptable to their surroundings and environmental conditions, which makes them even more of a threat! They typically live in the ground and tend to burrow, but they can climb. House mice have a length of about 3 to 3.9 inches and weigh about 1.5 ounces. They
can vary in color and have short hair, with little hair on their ears and bellies. House mice are sometimes confused with the young brown rat but are distinguished by their small feet and heard and large eyes and ears.
Deer mice typically live in wooded areas, and prefer it there, but may find their way into structures in or near the woods. They are extremely agile and are excellent climbers, so don’t be surprised if you find them on your second or third levels or in your attic. Deer mice are nocturnal and hunt at night. The deer mouse head and body is about 2.75 to four inches long with a tail that can range from 2 to 5 inches long. They can be pale gray and reddish brown with a white belly. Their very long tails are usually bi-colored and covered in short hair.
The white-footed mouse, also known as a woodmouse, is found throughout the eastern United States. They are generally timid mice and will avoid humans but occasionally build nests and store food in ground floor walls. As its name implies, the white-footed mouse has white feet and a white belly. The rest of its body and tail range from gray to reddish-brown. The white-footed mouse is about 3.5 inches long with the tail adding another 2.5 to 4 inches to its length.
Are you in need of a home inspection? Call our team today for a free onsite evaluation!
Remember the adage from when you were a kid, “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”? Back then it might’ve made you giggle a bit, but the actuality of bed bugs biting you in your sleep is totally cringe worthy. Read on to learn more about these creepy little crawlers:
In recent years, bed bug infestations have become more common due to increased international travel and immigration and the use of second hand furniture and home goods. Bed bugs are expert hitch hikers. They do not travel on people’s bodies but may be moved from one location to another when caught up in belongings like clothes, furniture, purses, and suitcases. This means that even the cleanliest of homes or hotels can fall victim to a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs typically hide and lay eggs in small crevices and cracks near or around where people sleep because they feed on human blood. Favorite hiding spots include box springs, mattresses, bed frames, baseboards, curtains, and edges of carpet. They will come out of their hiding spots to feed and then return immediately. This, coupled with the fact that they can go for months without eating, can make them difficult to locate. To further complicate matters, bed bugs spread very rapidly so some may lay dormant while others are simultaneously feeding.
Follow these easy tips to prevent bed bugs from making your home their new home:
- If you encounter bed bugs on a trip, empty your suitcase outside your home and then wash clothes in hot water
- Inspect the cracks, crevices, and nooks and crannies of used furniture
- Do not use a second-hand mattresses
- If you live in an apartment or town home with a shared wall be sure to seal cracks around plumbing and wiring
We at Freedom Pest Control are happy to answer any questions you may have and to discuss treatment options with you. Give us a call at 1-877-PESTS-55 for an estimate today.
Fall in New England means one thing is certain – the weather is getting progressively colder. As the temperatures drop, your common rodents are actively looking for shelter and food. Now is the time to prepare against those pesky rodents so that you don’t find yourself experiencing an infestation this winter, in addition to some major cabin fever! Here are some precautions you can take now to keep those cold weather roommates at bay:
- Clean your kitchen! Rodents, in search of food, are often found in the kitchen and pantry. Make sure that all food is kept in airtight containers and is stored on shelves and in cabinets, rather than on the floor. Use a trashcan with a lid and take the trash out on a daily basis. Finally, keep your kitchen clean and free of spills and crumbs.
- Don’t invite them in! An open door is an open invitation, as are open windows or windows that don’t have screens or have screens with holes. Be sure to seal cracks around the foundation, especially near windows, entryways, and the walls that separate your garage from your home. Mice can squeeze through cracks the size of a nickel so inspect carefully!
- Declutter! Rodents often make their nests in basements, closets, and rooms that are cluttered or not used on a regular basis. Keep clutter and boxes to a minimum and avoid letting clothes, old papers, and furniture pile up in these unused spaces.
- Clean the gutters! Clogged gutters are a rodent’s dream and an optimal site for nesting. Plus, their proximity to the house make access to the inside even easier.
- Maintain your yard! Keep shrubbery and trees properly trimmed cut back and store firewood at a good distance from the house.
Rodents are carriers of over thirty-five different diseases and they can bring fleas, mites, ticks, and even lice into your home. An infestation should not be taken lightly – call our team today for an evaluation! 877-PESTS-55
As the fall temps roll in, the same cooler weather that sends us all outdoors leaf peeping drives insects and rodents indoors – and potentially into our homes — looking for shelter. Mice, squirrels, cockroaches, spiders – these are the most common threats to your home this time of year. They pose not only health hazards through bites and bacteria, but also can cause structural damage as well, chewing through electrical wires and insulation. There are steps you can take to protect your home at this critical time – here are our Top Ten:
- Critters look for points of entry – don’t make it easy for them! Check your home thoroughly for cracks and crevices they can squeeze through, paying close attention to the areas where utility pipes come in. Seal any openings properly with caulk and steel wool.
- Check for tears in screens and repair them. Consider installing door sweeps to seal up those door-to-floor spaces.
- Schedule a chimney inspection to check for structural weakness, and screen any chimney and vent openings.
- Check the basement foundation and windows for loose mortar. Repair where necessary, and install weather stripping around the windows.
- When you schedule that first firewood delivery, make sure to store it a minimum of twenty feet from the house and garage.
- Eliminate water collection spots, like leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Check garbage barrels and recycling bins for cracks and replace where necessary.
- When it comes time to bring in those holiday decorations, be sure to inspect the boxes thoroughly before carrying them into your home. They’re often prime nesting sites for mice.
- Check room and basement corners for evidence of spider activity, like webs and egg sacs. Vacuum up promptly; each sac can release up to 1,000 baby spiders!
- Be vigilant about keeping food containers sealed to keep the cockroaches out!
- Need more information? We’re happy to help! Call us at 1-877-PESTS-55 to speak to one of our specialists anytime.