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!
Yellow jackets, also known as wasps, are identified by their black and white markings and lack of hair on the body, like you might see on a honey bee. A yellow jacket doesn’t typically lose its stinger when stinging. This means that one yellow jacket can sting multiple times and can leave its victim in a great deal of pain and they are extremely dangerous to those that are allergic. Swatting at a yellow jacket or disturbing its nest is never a good idea!
Yellow Jackets in the Fall
People often associate all kinds of bees with the warm, summer weather. However, yellow jackets become more aggressive, and more likely to sting, in the fall. Here’s why:
Yellow jackets mate in the late summer. As the winter approaches, the males will begin to die off and the fertilized females will seek shelter. The females will begin building nests and laying eggs in the spring, continuing throughout the summer. Therefore, we typically start noticing the presence of yellow jackets in early July. However, by the late summer and early fall, the yellow jacket nests are at their fullest with upwards of 1,000 worker bees.
Yellow jackets eat fruit and plant nectar. They are also attracted to some human foods, including meats and sugary foods such as sodas, candy, and juices. In the fall, as their natural food sources begin to decline, they become more drawn to garbage receptacles, barbecues, and picnics.
A Dangerous Combination
Yellow jackets are especially dangerous at this time of year due to their high population, increased aggression, and declining food sources. In addition, a nest that has been built in or near your home poses more of a problem as the cold months roll in and the female yellow jackets prepare for hibernation.
Attempting to remove a yellow jacket nest or eradicating an infestation without proper training, gear, or tools can lead to very bad, and painful, results. We strongly recommend that a yellow jacket infestation be dealt with by professionals!
Please call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 to discuss treatment options and to schedule your free in-home estimate!
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.
As die-hard New Englanders know, fall’s arrival around here doesn’t always bring cooler temperatures. In fact, it can feel like Indian summer well into October, which means lots more chances to eat outdoors – and unfortunately, more mosquitos hanging around. If you’re planning some fall outdoor get-togethers, here are some tips for enjoying the yard while keeping the last of the mosquitoes away:
- Remove all standing water from the property, since that’s where mosquitoes like to breed and hang out. Think dog bowls, boat tarps, birdbaths, gutters, plastic toys – anywhere that rainwater can collect. Mosquitoes only need about an inch of water to attract them, so be thorough!
- Declutter the yard, looking for objects like tires that provide both a hiding place and insulation. Mosquitoes tend to lurk in these kinds of hiding places before coming out to feed – so while you’re working, you’ll want to also get rid of leaf piles, cut tree branches, or other lawn debris.
- Mow the grass and trim the hedges hours before people arrive. Mosquitoes’ favorite hiding spot is in vegetation – not only for the shelter but also to feed on nectar. So make sure the grass is short and all hedges, shrubs, and trees are trimmed properly.
- Set up an outdoor fan. Mosquitoes might be highly skilled at breeding and feeding, but they have a hard time flying in the wind. Having a fan blowing will make it tough for them to land on you and your guests – so before you light up the grill, set up a fan or two in the area where you’ll be sitting.
- Ignore the fashionistas, and wear white after Labor Day! Scientists aren’t sure why, but mosquitoes tend to gravitate to dark colors – and blue is their preferred shade, which helps explain why those bug zappers are always blue. They’re also harder to see against dark clothing. So stick to lighter colored clothes, and tell your guests to do the same.And remember, we at FPC are always available to answer your questions or come out for a free estimate. Call us anytime at 1-877-PESTS-55!