Common New England Spiders

As cooler temperatures are beginning to set in, pests are busy preparing for the upcoming winter. Many pests will do so by seeking warmth and shelter inside your home or place of business. One such pest is the spider because they have difficulty surviving in cold temperatures. The will head inside for protection against the elements and to seek out food as many of the flying insect populations decline due to the weather. Read on and get to know your common New England spiders:

The House Spider

The house spider is fairly common and is the type that one would typically find in their home. The house spider is small and yellowish brown in color with a rounded abdomen of about a quarter of an inch. They have eight legs, no antennae, and eight eyes. House spiders will create their webs in places of the house where other pests may also dwell, such as attics, basements, and other dark and cluttered areas. The house spider is certainly not dangerous, but its presence can be quite bothersome and alarming!

The Black Widow

Black widows are identifiable by their black body with a red hourglass shape their backs. Their bodies are rounded, they are about one and a half inches long, and they have eight legs and no antennae. They will typically hide in protected and cluttered areas like basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Though not extremely common in New England, the black widow spider does exist in the area and can be quite harmful. Their venom is toxic so please seek out immediate medical attention if bitten.

The Sac Spider

 The sac spider is one of the creepiest looking spider you may encounter. They can have a leg span of up to an inch long, have a pale yellow color, and two rows of eight eyes. Unlike the house spider and black widow, the sac spider does not catch their prey in a web but prefers to hunt for their food at night. Though not typically aggressive towards humans, they will bite if threatened. Their bites are not harmful but are certainly painful!

If you’re experiencing a spider infestation, please contact us  today at 1-877-PESTS-55 for more information!

 

A Surge in the Squirrel Population

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!

More Pest Control Myths

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!

Pests in Schools

 

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:

  1. Flies buzzing around a classroom are distracting but, more importantly, flies are notorious for contaminating food.
  2. 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
  3. Spiders are typically harmless but they can be bothersome, scream inducing, and can also be a sign of other pest infestations.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

All About Bats

If you’ve been outside late at night this summer, it’s likely that you’ve seen a bat or two flying overheard. Bats have gotten a bad reputation for being spooky, but they’re actually very interesting little creatures. Read on for fun five facts about bats:

Bats are Fast

Bats can fly up to sixty miles per hour!

Bats Live a Long Time

Some live for more than thirty years!

Bats Aren’t Afraid of the Dark

In fact, they can locate food in the pitch black! They let off high pitched sounds and find their way with echolocation.

Bats are Cheap Pest Control

Some bats can eat their weight in insects every single night!

Bats Migrate

Some bat species migrate south, just like birds!

…and Some Hibernate

Other bat species hibernate during the winter and often prefer to sleep it off in caves!

Bats can Identify Their Young

Even in a crowd of bats, mothers can identify their babies by their scent and sounds!

Bats can Fly

Duh! But what’s more interesting about this is that they’re the only mammals that can fly.

Bats Come In Many Sizes

The largest bats have a wingspan of up to six feet while the smallest weigh less than a penny!

Bats Don’t Want to Suck Your Blood

Contrary to popular belief, only three species of bats feed on blood – and they lap it up rather than suck it up!

Regardless of their interesting traits and characteristics, nobody wants bats to take up residence in their attic where they are known to hide and reproduce. Their noises may keep you up night, their droppings carry fungus that can cause lung infections, they are known for carrying rabies, and they can potentially contaminate your water.

If you suspect a bat infestation, please call Freedom Pest Control at 1-877-PESTS-55. Our experts can help identify and seal entry points and permanently rid your home of bats!

 

Keep Your Apartment Pest Free

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 

  1. Vacuum regularly
  2. Dispose of garbage on a daily basis in covered receptacles located outdoors
  3. Keep your kitchen tidy. Sweep on a daily basis, wash dishes after use, wipe up crumbs and spills on the counters and floors.
  4. Store food in airtight containers and keep them on high shelves.
  5. Notify your landlord of any leaky pipes or areas of moisture and insist that they get fixed quickly.
  6. 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.
  7. Keep clutter to a minimum – pests love to hide in piles of clothes and in boxes.
  8. 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

All About Fireflies

Remember running around your backyard in the summer as a kid and trying to catch fireflies in a jar? This nostalgic summertime activity is still just as much fun and the little ones in your life will appreciate making these memories with you. Before heading out on your next firefly hunt, read on to learn some interesting facts about these magical little lightning bugs.

Fireflies Aren’t Flies

Fireflies are actually beetles and there are over 2,000 species of them. Only some firefly species will produce light and most of them are winged.

They’re Colorful

Fireflies can produce green, yellow, or orange light.

They’re Efficient

In order to produce their light, a certain chemical reaction must take place. This reaction generates light with very little heat and almost one hundred percent of the chemical reaction’s energy becomes light.

Firefly Light Serves a Purpose

Some firefly species use their light as a way to attract a mate. Male fireflies will emit a flashing pattern that is specific to its species and an interested female will respond with a single flash.

They’re Unappetizing

As part of their defense system, fireflies don’t taste very good to their predators. Therefore, predators will avoid fireflies after an initial taste.

The Firefly Population is Declining

Fireflies are not be as populous as they once were. This is due mainly to light pollution and commercial development. Fireflies don’t migrate if their habitat is developed and will, in turn, disappear in that particular area. So, if you do go firefly hunting, be sure to catch them in a jar that has holes in the lid and release them after a short time.

Fireflies are interesting and fascinating little beetles to witness flying around your backyard. However, a true beetle infestation is not so fun to deal with. We at Freedom Pest Control are here to help if you do find your yard being overtaken with beetles, or any other pest. Please call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your free estimate today!

How to Prevent Pests in Your Garden

Summertime is prime time for gardening and, these days, more and more Americans are trying their hand at growing their own vegetables. There’s not better feeling than walking into your backyard and picking your own fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. However, pest infestations and visits from larger animals can cause quite a bit of damage to your garden. Fortunately, preventing pests from overtaking your garden is easier than you think – just follow these five simple steps:

Use Barriers

To keep pests off your plants, cover them with a floating row cover. Floating row covers rest on top of the plants or on wire hoops and is pinned to the ground. To keep larger animals, like rabbits and deer, at bay, consider building a fence or using chicken wire around the entire garden.

Try Intercropping

Rather than planting one type of plant in a long row, intersperse different types of plants and crops with each other. This makes it more difficult for a pest to find its host plant and should prevent it from returning.

Attract Insects

Some insects, like ladybugs, prey on those unwanted pests. These beneficial insects are attracted to plants that provide nectar, pollen, and shelter so be sure to include flowers that fit the bill.

Give Some TLC

Plants benefit from some tender loving care! Provide them with their optimum growing conditions. The correct light exposure, amount of water, and soil will create healthy plants. Healthy plants are better able to withstand attacks from pests.

Make Smart Choices  

Choose varieties of plants that are naturally able to hold up to and resist pests. Here is a good list to start with.

We wish you luck with your vegetable gardening this summer! But, if you find that your garden or yard has been completely overrun by pests, please give us a call at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your free estimate.

 

How to Protect Against Summertime Pests

It is officially summer and thoughts of swimming, vacations, and lazy days are on the brain! What you may not be considering is that, as the days are getting longer and hotter, summertime pests are becoming more active. These pests, including ants, flies , wasps, gnats, and rodents, are also looking to escape the sun and heat and often find refuge from it in and around your home. The last thing anybody wants to do during their summer break is deal with a pest infestation. Below are some simple steps you can follow to keep pests from invading this summer.

In the kitchen:

  1. Keep kitchen counters clean and free from crumbs
  2. Be sure to store food in airtight containers and on higher shelves
  3. Don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink
  4. Take trash out on a regular basis
  5. Don’t leave pet food dishes out all day
  6. Keep fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator whenever possible and throw them away when they become overripe

In the basement and/or attic:

  1. Declutter and eliminate any piles of clothing or other items
  2. Keep basements and attics ventilated and dry
  3. Be on the lookout for holes in the walls and for possible hiding places

Outside your home:

  1. Maintain your lawn with regular mowing and trimming
  2. Keep firewood far away from your home
  3. Replace weather stripping around windows
  4. Repair any cracks, loose mortar, or openings around the foundation of your home
  5. Divert rainwater, sprinklers, and other sources of moisture away from your home
  6. Eliminate standing water

Most importantly, call a pest control expert if you suspect that you have an infestation or need guidance and support in preventing one. We at Freedom Pest Control have the knowledge and expertise to help you stay pest free this summer. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 or live-chat on our website with one of our customer service representatives today!

 

Cluster Flies

With spring here, and summer right around the corner, it is not unusual to find the occasional fly inside your home. These quick little guys often get into your home through cracks in a screen, open doors or windows, and behind children as they come in from playing outside. However, if you’re finding more than just a few flies in your home during this time of year, you may have a problem with cluster flies.

Cluster Fly

Cluster flies normally live outdoors but, in the late summer, they begin looking for a place to overwinter. They will gather on a sunny side of a house and, as night falls, they may make their way through cracks in windows or gaps in siding. They overwinter between the inside and outside walls of a home until the days get warmer and longer. This is when they may start to appear inside your home.

Beyond being annoying, cluster flies are generally harmless because they do not bite and aren’t attracted to garbage. However, if these flies are dead or dying inside your walls, they can attract other pests and lead to a much larger pest infestation problem.

Cluster Fly Characteristics

  1. They are sluggish and are often found clustering around windows and light bulbs because they are attracted to the light.
  2. Cluster flies are larger than they typical house fly
  3. Their bodies are a dark, non-metallic gray with a black checkered body
  4. Cluster flies overlap their wings when at rest

Cluster Fly Prevention

To keep cluster flies at bay, follow some of these simple tips: fill all cracks in and around the home, make sure that your screens don’t have any holes, install special fly lights.

Because a cluster fly infestation can lead to bigger pest problems, it is important to talk with a pest control expert about how to eliminate this problem. We at Freedom Pest Control can help you create and execute a plan of action. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your in-home estimate or live-chat with one of our customer service representatives for an instant quote!

Facts about Termites

A termite infestation is never good news and should be dealt with immediately upon being discovered. Termites cause billions of dollars of damage to homes and business on an annual basis. Nevertheless, termites and termite swarmers are quite interesting. Read on to learn more about these wood-eating menaces:

They’re ancient
Termites, a relation to the cockroach, have been on earth for over 200 milion years

They have a varied palate
Some termites will eat just about anything that is made from plants, in addition to wood. Some have even been known to chew on plastic.

They shed their wings
When they set out to create a new colony, reproductive termites grow wings. Once the new colony is established, they shed their wings.

Workers and soldiers are blind
Because they spend their lives in dark, damp locations, the worker and soldier termites have no need for sight.

24/7
Termites never sleep and are constantly eating. This is one major reason why they are so destructive.

They’re slow
Even though they never take a break, a colony only eats about a pound or two of wood per day.

They like to tunnel
Rather than eating large chunks of wood at a time, termites prefer to eat in tunnels. This habit can ruin a structure.

Colonies work together
A structure with extensive termite damage has likely been caused by multiple colonies.

Busy Queens
A queen termite lays millions of eggs in one lifetime

They’re head bangers
When a threat is detected, termites will bang their heads against walls to send warning vibrations to the rest of the colony.

We at Freedom Pest Control are experts in termite treatments. Please call us today at 877-55-PESTS to schedule your in-home evaluation today! Or, live-chat with one of our customer service representatives for an instant quote!

Keep Your Yard Pest Free

Spring weather was slow to arrive in New England this year so it’s likely that you’re still working to get your yard in tip-top shape. Before you dive into your spring clean-up and gardening, take a moment to consider how you can also prevent pests from taking up residence in your yard. Keeping your yard pest free will make it a more enjoyable space for you and your family and will also reduce the risk of pests making their way into your home. Here are some precautions you can take today:

Pest Free Yard

  1. Treat your yard to prevent against ticks and mosquitos. Our sister company, Mosquito Busters, can help guide you towards a method that is safe and effective.
  2. When considering your landscape design, keep plants and shrubs at least 18 to 24 inches away from the foundation of your house. Also, trim back trees and plants that might be too close to your home.
  3. Note damage that has been made to your lawn, deck, patio, or outdoor furniture over the winter. Damage may be a sign that pests have been present over the winter months. Our experts can help you to determine if you have an infestation problem.
  4. Use pressure treated wood when building raised garden beds, outdoor structures, and playground equipment. Pressure treated wood resists rot and decay, two things which attract pests.
  5. Make sure your mulch and wood chips are no thicker than three inches.
  6. Pests are drawn to piles of wet and rotting yard waste. Clearing your yard of leaves, twigs, and standing water will eliminate this problem.
  7. Remove dead trees, dying trees, and tree stumps before ants and termites find them!
  8. Finally, be sure to clean your gutters out at least twice a year.

Freedom Pest Control can help you determine if you have a pest infestation in your yard and can eliminate those pests. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your evaluation today!

 

 

Carpenter Ants are Interesting Insects

Spring in New England means warmer temperatures, longer days, and the return of carpenter ants! These ants typically remain dormant during the winter months and begin to become more active as the temperature increases. Carpenter ants like to nest in moist or decayed wood and do not eat wood but, instead, chew it and spit it out. They’re name comes from the fact that they are skilled carpenters and make long tunnels in the wood in which they live. Carpenter ants prefer to eat sweet foods and meat scraps which is why we often find them around dishwashers, sinks, and dog bowls.

Interesting Insects         

Even though an ant infestation can be incredibly frustrating and downright gross, carpenter ants are fascinating little insects:

They’re strong!
In fact, they can lift things that are at least seven times their own weight

They’re good at finding their way home!
These ants leave behind a chemical substance as they travel and use their antennae to find their way back home. They can also recognize their fellow ants by the chemicals on their bodies.

They bite!
Carpenter ants can bite and will inject acid into the skin, making for a very unpleasant experience.

They’re neat!
As in, clean! Carpenter ants are very hygienic and keep their nests incredibly tidy.

They have a sweet tooth!
Carpenter ants are attracted to sweet foods like honey, syrup, and jelly.

They’re big!
Carpenter ants are one of the biggest types of ants and range from one sixteenth of an inch to half of an inch long. Queens can sometimes grow even bigger.

They can live a long time!
The Queens can live up to twenty-five years. Imagine how many millions of babies that an ant with this lifespan can produce!

Nonetheless, an ant infestation can cause damage to your home if it is left untreated. Please call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your free in-home evaluation!