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.
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!
Is the noise of squirrels in your attic driving you nuts? Here in the northeast, it is common for gray squirrels, red squirrels, and flying squirrels to take up residence in your attic. Squirrels will often make their way into your attic, especially during the cold months, through roof vents, roof edges, roof soffit intersections, wall vents, chimneys, and plumbing mats. Squirrels may do damage as they search for these points of entry and, once inside, they will build nests, create a mess with droppings and urine, and can produce a great deal of noise.
Female squirrels give birth to a litter sometime in the spring, starting in March and continuing through the month of June. Therefore, it is especially important to address a squirrel infestation during this time of year before the number of squirrels in your attic multiplies.
Below are six signs that you might have squirrels in your attic:
- Noises – listen for the sounds of scratching, rustling, and chewing early in the morning and during the evening
- Smell – droppings and urine will begin to emit a very unpleasant smell and the nest may release a musty odor
- Nests – squirrels will often build more than one
- Damage – be on the lookout for holes in siding, vents, and roof soffits as well as damaged insulation or chewed wires
- Squirrel Activity – check for an increase in squirrels and squirrel activity in your yard and around your home
- Droppings – although hard to distinguish from the droppings of other animals, finding droppings in or around your home, coupled with these other signs, is a good indicator of squirrels
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.
So you just found out you have a flying squirrel infestation in your attic. Sometimes confused between the noise from a mouse or a bat, the flying squirrel is active at night and is not afraid to show up in your bathroom or kitchen. To gain entrance they exploit weaknesses in your attic like the vent that runs along the roof line called a ridge vent. The ends of the vent are left open or the caps fall out allowing these wide eyed fliers access to your attics. Another favorite entrance is just along the dormer line where the fascia boards tie back into the roof line.
The mating season is between February and March with the offspring arriving in about 40 days. A typical size for an infestation ranges from 5-20. They do not actually fly but glide.
So, how do you get rid of these unwanted visitors? The removal of the colony starts with a thorough inspection Where we look find the entrance used to gain access into your home as well as any possible future entrances they may use to return once they have been removed from your attic. The main entrance is fitted with a one way door allowing the frisky fliers to get out but not get back in. This is why all other areas that may become an entrance have to be sealed prior to the one way door installation.
Flying squirrels are rodents. They carry a multitude of parasites, however, the main reason people call for removal of the flying squirrels is due to the fact that one has showed up in the living room causing the cat or dog to chase it around the house.