Squirrels-in-attic-gable

Do I Have Squirrels in My House?

Are you hearing scratching in your walls, ceiling, and/or attic, and is it driving you nuts? This time of year it is not uncommon to find that squirrels have taken up residence in your home. Naturally you have questions. What are the signs of squirrels in my ceiling? What damage can be caused by squirrels in my house? Read on for our advice based on over 3 decades of professional experience with squirrels in your home.

What Are The Signs Of Squirrels In My House?

If you hear scampering in your attic, knocking noises above your head, or scratching in the ceiling and walls between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., or between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you quite likely have squirrels in your home. If it is a pregnant squirrel that has chosen your home to birth her young, she will then look at it as her home. It won’t be long until you have a family of squirrels enjoying the benefits and bounty of your home as protection from the elements. The longer they remain, the more potential danger to your biggest investment–your home.

What Damage Can Be Caused By Squirrels In My Attic?

squirrel-attic-damageSquirrels first create damage to your home when they chew their way inside at the gutter line or through a louvered vent. Once inside, the damage multiplies. They will leave multiple areas stained with urine and covered with feces. Their activity in your attic, along with their urine, can leave your insulation compressed and compromised. Their presence can become costly quickly, and even deadly, since they can potentially chew wiring and put your home at risk for fire. If left untreated, a squirrel in your home has the potential for disaster.

How Do I Get Rid of Squirrels in My House?

do I have squirrels in my houseOften times DIY’s think that squirrel poisons or rodenticides are the solution. This should NEVER be done. In addition to being against the law, toxicants are not used in squirrel control as the animals may die in wall voids and cause horrific odor problems.

For over 30 years, Holper’s has been solving St. Louis squirrel infestations by trapping, the only successful method to deal with this problem. The trained professionals of Holper’s will inspect your home to determine entry points and then begin to formulate a customized treatment plan addressing not only the infestation, but also the damage. Variables that will be evaluated are the construction of your home, the location/height of the entry points, and the types of entry points (e.g. gable vents, mushroom vents, gutter line, dormers, etc.) Consideration of these will determine the type of trap(s) used.  While the trapping phase is progressing, Holper’s will monitor activity at the entry points to ensure that no animals remain in the structure.

Holper’s Gives You Your Home Back With Guaranteed Repairs

Once it has been confirmed that no activity has occurred at the monitoring site(s) for at least seven days, Holper’s starts the final step: repairing the damage done by the squirrels. The goal of a Holper’s repair is to blend so seamlessly with the surrounding area that it cannot be detected. Holper’s takes great pride in the quality of the repairs done for their clients–so much so that we guarantee no animal will get through our repair! Pride of workmanship is a hallmark of the Holper’s difference.

If you have signs of squirrels in your home, call 314-732-1413 and let Holper’s do what we do best. We will solve your squirrel problems to give you back your home.

 

carpenter-ant

How Do I Find Carpenter Ant Nests?

carpenter-ant-removalWhen we hear the word “carpenter” it invokes strong images of creation…building…construction. Which is why the cruel irony of discovering you have carpenter ants brings exactly the opposite–a compromised structure that has had its stability altered. How do I get carpenter ants? What signs of carpenter ants should I look for? How do I find carpenter ants nests?

Know Your Enemy

The most common ant types you will find inside your St. Louis area home are odorous house ants, acrobat ants, and the wood-destroying carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are the largest of these three types of ants, at roughly a half an inch in length. These ants are going to be found on windowsills and doorframes. (Outside of your home, carpenter ants are found around trees, gutters, fascia board, or your deck.) The major sign of carpenter ants will be a pile of sawdust, which means you are near a nest. If you see ants that still retain their wings close to the pile, you’ll know the nest is nearby for sure.

Why Ants Like Your House (and How to Prevent Them From Visiting You)

Ants are most often drawn indoors for food and water. High moisture areas (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will always be most attractive to ants. They also move inside if their outdoor nests get flooded during periods of heavy rainfall. Carpenter ants eat outdoors, but tunnel through your moisture-damaged wood to make their satellite nests.

What does this mean for you, the homeowner? It means there are three ant prevention tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep moisture in your home to an absolute minimum. (Ensure that all plumbing works properly and that there are no leaks. Keep areas around sink fixtures and drains dry after use.)
  • Keep your gutters clean and remove all leaf debris that gathers around the foundation of your house.
  • Keep limbs of trees trimmed back to limit access to your roofline.

How the Professionals at Holper’s Can Give You Your Home Back

The only way to rid your home of ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. The experts at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions have been taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985 and always use low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your invaders: treating the inside, treating the outside, and using bait outside of your home. This service is done quarterly (once the initial infestation has been eradicated) to ensure that your home stays clear of ants and many other unwanted insects.

At the first sign of carpenter ants or a carpenter ant nest, call Holper’s at 314-732-1413! We can give you back your home!

 

Striped skunk

Who Do I Call For Skunk Removal?

Baby-SkunksAs sure as the temperature starts to rise in June, so does the arrival and appearance of baby skunks. And where there are baby skunks, mama skunk isn’t too far away. While it would be nice if there were such a thing as skunk repellant, in reality skunk families will make their home wherever it is advantageous and easy to access. If you’ve found yourself with a family of skunks making their home under part of your house, you’ve only got one thing on your mind: Who do I call for skunk removal?

 

What’s So Bad About A Skunk? skunks-patioThe obvious–the horrible, distinctive smell of a skunk that has recently sprayed! The best way to determine if you have a skunk is to look for a hole going under your porch. Skunk holes range from a four inch diameter round hole to a three-by-five oval hole. While the damage they can do is very minimal, their presence is not desired due to the risk of startling a skunk and being sprayed by it.
 

Get Out and Stay Out!
Striped skunk Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions should be your first call when you need skunk removal. With over three decades of experience, our technicians will not only expertly remove the animals, but we can also repair any damage they have left behind; more importantly, Holper’s will provide you with a solution to permanently keep skunks from building a den in that same place. Holper’s is who to call when you need skunk removal. But that’s not all we do!

 

The Usual Suspects
Baby skunkThe Midwest is home to many species of nuisance wildlife. These animals vary in size, habitat, and types of damage done to yards and homes. The one thing they have in common is that their presence needs to be addressed at the first sight of one to avoid serious destruction to your lawn and house. Holper’s specializes in wildlife control for all of the following: mice, voles, chipmunks, bats, rats, moles, squirrels, skunks, groundhogs (woodchucks), minks, opossums, raccoons, beavers, and coyotes. Regardless of the type of wildlife control measures you require, we at Holper’s have the solutions well in hand.

The Skunk Removal Experts

The one thing all skunk removal has in common is that it needs to be handled by experts, with professional training, materials, and equipment. In St. Louis, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions can handle every type of wildlife control, wildlife removal, and wildlife damage. As every wildlife control situation is unique, your Holper’s technician will employ a combination of know-how and trapping skills to give you back your home and yard as quickly as possible. Holper’s will also be able to provide repair and exclusion services for the damage created by the nuisance wildlife. Call Holper’s today at 314-732-1413. Let our decades of experience take care of your skunk removal right away. Your home deserves Holper’s!

prevent-west-nile

Now That West Nile Has Arrived in St. Louis, How Do We Protect Ourselves?

Most of us in the Greater St. Louis Area are aware that is was reported earlier this week that the West Nile Virus has been found in area mosquitoes. Now that it is confirmed to be present, what are your options for preventing West Nile? What is the best mosquito defense tactic?

Mosquito Basics

mosquito-preventionThere are steps you can take each year to reduce the likelihood that your yard will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The number one way to reduce mosquitoes breeding in your yard is to vigilantly remove all traces of standing water. Some are easy to spot, such as pools and birdbaths. But since mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as a capful of water, some of the other breeding spots may not be as obvious. Pay close attention to water collecting in or on trash cans, tarps covering yard machinery, gutters, old tires, plastic bags, and even discarded water bottle caps. If you have water features as part of your landscaping, safety measures would include changing water weekly (in the case of something small like a birdbath) and/or installing a fountain pump for larger water features, such as a pond or pool. The circulation that a fountain pump provides reduces water stagnation, thereby reducing the likelihood of mosquitoes breeding in your yard.

A general rule of thumb for avoiding feeding time for mosquitoes is to avoid being outside at dawn, dusk, and early evening. If you must be out, it is wise to wear a shirt with long sleeves, pants, and a hat. And of course, insect repellent is a must!

Mosquito Defense Tactics

west-nile-mosquito-treatmentGiven that West Nile is here, many people wonder if removing standing water will prevent mosquitoes in their yards. Unfortunately, doing so can only reduce the likelihood that mosquitoes will be present in your yard.

Your greatest chance for safely enjoying your yard is monthly mosquito sprays now through October. It is important to have professional-grade products applied by licensed mosquito exterminators if your goal is to kill mosquito eggs, larvae, and adults. Treatment efficacy is lessened over time by heat and by rain, which necessitates a monthly re-application. The great news is that using Holper’s targeted treatment approach can reduce your mosquito population by up to 97%! While preventing West Nile is impossible, this mosquito defense tactic is your best bet to significantly lower your odds.

Holper’s Protects and Serves

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has been taking care of St. Louis area families for over three decades! Whether your pest is an insect, a spider, or nuisance wildlife, Holper’s takes care of it all. If you want to prevent your likelihood of West Nile-carrying mosquitoes, or just want to be outside without worrying about mosquitoes using you for dinner, Holper’s mosquito yard treatments are the solution to your pest problem. One call to 314-732-1413 is the first step to reclaiming your yard from mosquitoes!

 

how did i get bed bugs

How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

Of all the pests people hate to find in their homes, bed bugs are always at the top of the list. Even for the hardiest among us, the thought of these blood suckers using us for dinner while we sleep is disturbing. Because they usually have become quite numerous before they are noticed, professional exterminating is a necessity to defeat them in your home. But how do you get bed bugs in the first place?

 

How Do Bed Bugs Spread?

Bed bugs are hitchhikers, plain and simple. Any time you leave your home, you potentially come in contact with bed bugs that have caught a ride on another person. Staying in hotels has become a very common way to get bed bugs, but it could just as easily be the matinee you caught last weekend at your local movie theater. You also could get bug bugs by simply being at home–if someone with bed bugs visits you, they could unknowingly bring them along with them. Bed bugs expand their foothold by riding to new locations on clothing, bedding, furniture, and luggage. They expand their territory by letting you take them there!

 

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed Bug

Bed Bug

Less than ¼” long, adult bed bugs are flat, wingless, oval-shaped insects which are brown in color. Younger bed bugs are lighter in color and tinier. The eggs that bed bugs lay are minute and white in color. Bed bugs at all phases of development need a blood meal to advance to the next stage. Their favorite meal source is a sleeping human or animal.

 

 

Bed Bug Bites

bed-bug-bites

Bed Bug Bites

While not known carriers of any diseases, bites do cause allergic reactions such as redness, swelling, and itching in some people. Infection and scarring can arise as a result of scratching the bite. Since the majority of people do not react to bed bug bites, the colony of bed bugs living in your mattress grows unchecked for a long period of time. The bigger the infestation, the harder it is to treat all the areas where they have spread.

 

 

Holper’s Expertise With Bed Bug Services

Your advantage in using Holper’s begins with the inspection process. As St. Louis leaders in bed bug control, Holper’s has found heat to be an unnecessary (and often unsuccessful) step in the treatment process, potentially saving homeowners thousands of dollars. Using integrated pest management (IPM) Holper’s utilizes the most up-to-date technologies and materials available to pest management professionals to eradicate your infestation without the disruption of a heat treatment.

 

Holper’s To The Rescue

You know the answer to the question of “How Do I Get Bed Bugs?” So how do you get rid of bed bugs? Holper’s will take care of you every step of the way until you are free of bed bugs. Put down that bed bug bomb and call 314-732-1413 because Holper’s knows how to exterminate bed bugs.

 

 

 

How To Tell If You Have Termites or Ants

With the wet end to April and beginning of May, homes in St. Louis are seeing many crawling bugs looking for dry refuge. While spiders are very distinctive, some others may look very similar to one another. Since knowledge of your pest type is the key to a successful treatment plan, it becomes critical to know how to tell if you have termites or ants. Once that is determined the termite treatments can begin or the ant infestation can be addressed.

Termites vs. Ants–How To Tell Which Pest You Have

ants-or-termitesWhile most people would assume that they would be able to tell the two apart, there are situations that occur that lead one to be mistaken for the other. We are used to ants being wingless creatures and termites having wings, but that is not always the case.

When termites swarm their wings come off, which often leads to them being mistaken for ants. These swarms usually occur where a patio/porch/driveway slab touches the house, and the swarm can be inside or outside. Since the wings come off in the swarm, the termites will now resemble typical ants. If you see discarded wings nearby, you have termites and not ants.

termite

Termite

Some carpenter ants have wings, leading homeowners to mistake them as termites. There is an important distinction between the wings, though–on termites the wings are equal to twice the length of the body. On carpenter ants the wings only reach just beyond the end of the body length.

Another way to tell the difference between the two is that termites will congregate in a large number close together. Ants will tend to be found in the stereotypical line of ants.

Now What Do I Do?

If your invader is a termite, treatment begins with a thorough inspection by Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions to determine the level of invasion, the extent of damage, and the areas that need to be treated. Once completed, a personalized treatment plan is formulated for your specific home based on the inspection results, linear footage of the home, and the house construction materials.

Odorous Ant

If an ant infestation is found to be the problem, the only way to rid your home of ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. Holper’s has been taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985, using low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your ant infestation: treating the inside, treating the outside, and using bait outside of your home. Once the initial infestation has been eradicated, this service is done quarterly to ensure that your home stays clear of ants and many other unwanted insects, and the program includes a full guarantee.

 

Holper’s Knows How To Tell If You Have Termites or Ants

For over three decades Holper’s has been giving St. Louis area homeowners peace of mind with friendly, responsible, and successful pest control services. Whether you need termite treatments, help with an ant infestation, or any type of pest and wildlife control, one call to Holper’s is all you need to do. Call 314-732-1413 today!

 

 

 

preventative-pest-control

What Pest Control Issues Will I Face After The Rains and Flooding in St. Louis?

St. Louis residents have faced an awful week of heavy rains and flooding, resulting in damage and devastation. Along with the destruction that is easily seen comes pest issues that will present themselves in response to the flooding. What does that look like as a homeowner? What pest control issues are related to the heavy rains and flooding?

Not Only Humans Affected by Heavy Rains and Flooding

There is a natural uptick in pest activity following heavy rains and flooding. You are very likely to see an increase in ant activity inside your house. Their homes have been flooded out so ants move into your home to seek shelter and food. Make your home less attractive by keeping food in tightly sealed containers and wiping up all crumbs from counters and floors. At the first sign of increased activity be sure to contact a pest control company to get the invasion taken care of before it gets any larger.

Another pest that needs to find immediate shelter during prolonged storms is the raccoon. Often dwelling in sewers, as the water inside rises raccoons need to find a safe, dry place to live. Your attic is just what they are looking for and they don’t care what is in their way to access it! Raccoons will chew through, and/or tear off, your roof vent covers, soffiting, gable vents, and even the roof itself to get inside your attic. Once inside the damage continues from urine, feces, and possibly babies being born in the attic as the little family enjoys its new home in your house. Being proactive is always smart–have a pest control technician (who is a wildlife specialist!) inspect your roofline and vents for any gaps that could make it easier for a raccoon to choose your home. It is always wise and cheaper to prepare your home defensively against an infestation than to get rid of an infestation and the resulting damage.

The Pests Yet To Come…

The aftermath of heavy storms creates a perfect environment for mosquitoes to breed. The number one way to reduce mosquitoes breeding in your yard is to vigilantly remove all traces of standing water. Some locations are easy to spot, such as pools and birdbaths. But since mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as a capful of water, some of the other breeding spots may not be as obvious. Pay close attention to water collecting in or on trash cans, tarps covering yard machinery, gutters, old tires, plastic bags, and even discarded water bottle caps. As with other pests, make your yard as unattractive as possible for mosquitoes to lay their eggs and take hold.

While nothing can keep a stray mosquito from flying into your yard, your greatest chance for enjoying your yard safely without the threat of mosquitoes is to have monthly mosquito sprays from May through October. It is important to have professional-grade products applied by licensed mosquito exterminators if your goal is to kill mosquito eggs, larvae, and adults. Treatment efficacy is lessened over time by heat and by rain, which necessitates a monthly re-application. The great news is that using Holper’s targeted treatment approach can reduce your mosquito population by up to 97%!

Holper’s To The Rescue

While we can’t stop the rain, we can help you with any pest problems you encounter because of it! Because our trained professionals treat insects AND wildlife, one call to Holper’s can take care of all your pest control problems. We also excel at inspecting your home and yard to let you know what can be done proactively to prevent infestations in the first place. Call us today at 314-732-1413 and let Holper’s give you peace of mind!

 

zika-virus-mosquito

What’s The Buzz: Do I Need Mosquito Yard Treatments?

asian-tiger-mosquitoWith the earlier-than-normal warm temperatures and rain that the St. Louis region experienced this year, the unpleasant buzz of mosquitoes has already arrived. In addition to the unwanted itching and swelling of mosquito bites, preventing the Zika virus is on the minds of many in our area: Do I need mosquito yard treatments? Is there a way to prevent the Zika virus?

Mosquito Basics

There are steps you can take each year to reduce the likelihood that your yard will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The number one way to reduce mosquitoes breeding in your yard is to vigilantly remove all traces of standing water. Some are easy to spot, such as pools and birdbaths. But since mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as a capful of water, some of the other breeding spots may not be as obvious. Pay close attention to water collecting in or on trash cans, tarps covering yard machinery, gutters, old tires, plastic bags, and even discarded water bottle caps. If you have water features as part of your landscaping, safety measures would include changing water weekly (in the case of something small like a birdbath) and/or installing a fountain pump for larger water features, such as a pond or pool. The circulation that a fountain pump provides reduces water stagnation, thereby reducing the likelihood of mosquitoes breeding in your yard.

A general rule of thumb for avoiding feeding time for mosquitoes is to avoid being outside at dawn, dusk, and early evening. If you must be out, it is wise to wear a shirt with long sleeves, pants, and a hat. And of course, insect repellant is a must!

Is it Possible to Prevent Mosquitoes?

mosquito-yard-treatmentsEspecially with the specter of the Zika virus on the horizon, many people wonder if removing standing water will prevent mosquitoes in their yards. Unfortunately, doing so can only reduce the likelihood that mosquitoes will be present in your yard.

Your greatest chance for safely enjoying your yard is monthly mosquito sprays from April through October. It is important to have professional-grade products applied by licensed mosquito exterminators if your goal is to kill mosquito eggs, larvae, and adults. Treatment efficacy is lessened over time by heat and by rain, which necessitates a monthly re-application. The great news is that using Holper’s targeted treatment approach can reduce your mosquito population by up to 97%!

Holper’s Gives You Your Yard Back to Enjoy!

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has been taking care of St. Louis area families for over three decades! Whether your pest is an insect, a spider, or nuisance wildlife, Holper’s can take care of it all. If you want to prevent your likelihood of Zika-carrying mosquitoes, or just want to be outside without worrying about mosquitoes using you for dinner, Holper’s mosquito yard treatments are the solution to your pest problem. One call to 314-732-1413 is the first step to reclaiming your yard from mosquitoes!

wood-boring-bees

Wood-Boring Bees: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Bees?

All bees are not created equal. The fat, round bumble bee pollinating flowers in your garden can be helpful to have around. But the similar looking carpenter bee is one that you definitely do not want to see near your home. Although very close in appearance, the wood-boring carpenter bee has a shiny rear end with a little fuzz, while the bumble bee is fuzzy all over. Unlike the helpful pollination provided by the bumble bee, a carpenter bee provides only destruction to your house, both in structure and appearance. It is important to know how to get rid of carpenter bees ASAP.

Do I Have Carpenter Bees?

Since you may prefer not to get close enough to a bee to see if the fuzz is all over or not, there are easier ways to tell your bees apart. Each carpenter bee drills its own perfectly round hole, measuring ⅜ of an inch in diameter. These holes are commonly found in any soft, exposed wood on the house, such as doors, window sills, siding, roof eaves, trim boards, decks, and railings. There will also often be residual sawdust falling out of the holes.

A carpenter bee infestation starts up slowly, but increases with each passing year. The first year your house is chosen, there may only be a few of the bees laying eggs in the holes. By the second year, there will be several more. By year three, they will own the house. Detecting the holes early is important since there will be fewer bees to deal with.

Holper’s Specialized Carpenter Bee Removal

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions’ treatment for this wood-boring insect is a thorough inspection because each hole needs to be treated. Holper’s guarantees its carpenter bee treatment for 120 days. Normally, only one treatment is needed to rid your home of this damaging pest. Of special interest is the fact that Holper’s began specializing in stinging insects over 30 years ago, leading to our prominence in this field.

We’re Here To Help

Holper’s knows how to get rid of carpenter bees! If you think you have wood-boring carpenter bees (or any other wood-boring insect), call Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions today at 314-732-1413, or email us at info@holperspest.com to schedule a free insect inspection.  We are here to help you save your home from ALL unwanted pests.

 

 

How To Get Rid of Ants: Ant Removal Tips

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…cute song when you were a kid, not so cute to see in your house as a homeowner! When you discover you’re sharing your house with ants, you want to know quickly how to get rid of ants.

Know Your Enemy

The most common ant types you will find inside your St. Louis area home are odorous house ant and the wood-destroying carpenter ants. Odorous house ants (so named due to the unpleasant scent they give off if pressed between your fingers), are very tiny (⅛ inch) and are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms. Sometimes you will notice a line of them heading to a pet’s food bowl. Carpenter ants are the largest of these three types of ants, at roughly a half an inch in length. These ants are going to found on windowsills and doorframes. (Outside of your home, carpenter ants are found around gutters, fascia board, or your deck.)

Why Ants Like Your House (and How to Prevent Them From Visiting You)

Ants are drawn indoors for food and water. High moisture areas (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will always be most attractive to ants. They also move inside if their outdoor nests get flooded during periods of heavy rainfall.

What does this mean for you, the homeowner? It means there are three ant prevention tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep moisture in your home to an absolute minimum. (Ensure that all plumbing works properly and that there are no leaks. Keep areas around sink fixtures and drains dry after use.)
  • Properly store all food in airtight containers. (Store food immediately after meals. Wipe up crumbs from all surfaces, including floors. Do not leave your pet’s food sitting in a bowl all day.)
  • Keep your gutters clean and remove all leaf debris that gathers around the foundation of your house.

While no preventative measures are foolproof, following these guidelines can greatly reduce your chance of getting an infestation.

How the Professionals at Holper’s Can Give You Your Home Back

Many homeowners run to a hardware store to grab a can of whatever spray looks the strongest and deadliest, thinking that they are saving money on the cost of ant removal. But most over-the-counter (OTC) products wind up merely serving as a repellent, driving the ants to other areas in your home. This is to say nothing of the terrible odor that accompanies OTC sprays!

The only way to rid your home of ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has been taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985, using low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your invaders: treating the inside, treating the outside, and using bait outside of your home. Once the initial infestation has been eradicated, this service is done quarterly to ensure that your home stays clear of ants and many other unwanted insects, and the program includes a full guarantee.

To set up your free inspection, please call 314-732-1413 today. For ant removal, call Holper’s because we know how to get rid of ants!