bed-bugs

If I Get Bed Bugs, Do I Need to Change My Mattress?

Good question! The first reaction that many people have when they discover bed bugs is to throw out everything they have–an understandable knee-jerk reaction. The thought of bed bugs in your mattress causes discomfort when wondering how you’d ever feel relaxed again in your bed!

But there is good news! There is no need to go to that extreme with your mattress. Once the infestation has been eradicated over the course of the few necessary treatments (to cover all stages of the bed bug growth cycle), there are two preventative measures you can take to protect your mattress from being infested again. A mattress encasement is one option to take for proactive action against future bed bugs. As the name implies, an encasement fully encloses your mattress. This encasement should be laundered a minimum of every three months.

But even easier mattress protection option exists and Holper’s is proud to provide it! ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are installed on the box spring, without the hassle of trying to maneuver a mattress inside of an encasement every three months. There is a minute level of bed bug insecticide in the liner that is completely safe to people and pets, but lethal to bed bugs. One of these protectors lasts up to two years and is much easier to deal with than a full encasement.

To order your ActiveGuard Mattress Liners, call Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions at 314-732-1413! We can take care of ALL your pest and wildlife control needs.

mouse-problems

Fall Pest Prevention of Fall Invaders

Fall has come to call for its annual visit. Without fall pest prevention, the new season won’t be your only visitor. Lower temperatures bring an assortment of fall invaders all happy for the chance to drop in and say howdy! While the only guaranteed way to stay  completely insect-free is an ongoing home pest prevention program, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions can offer tips to help you reduce the likelihood of being invaded by insects, spiders, and four-legged pests.

Fall Invaders

do I have squirrels in my houseProblems with fleas, squirrels, and mice all become common in the fall, but not all for the same reasons. Indoor flea issues increase after the outdoor summer breeding season finishes–family pets act as conduits on which the fleas hitchhike into your home and begin multiplying inside. In fall, squirrels make their way into homes and buildings for a warm environment in which to have their second litter of the year. Mice can enter for the warm environment, but they also enter in search of food.

Five Fall Pest Prevention Tips

Jeff Holper, president of Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions, advises that while professional treatments and trapping are the ways to guarantee a pest-free environment, he can share a few tips to help prevent the invaders in the first place:

Tip 1

To reduce squirrels in your home, it is important to keep tree branches trimmed to at least five feet from your home.

Tip 2

For flea prevention in the fall, have your home treated in June or July with a professional application of a flea adulticide combined with a insect growth regulator. (Remember this one for next year!)

Tip 3

Installing rodent stations around the exterior perimeter of your home will lower the number of mice wanting to enter your home.

Tip 4

Have a perimeter spray done on the exterior of your home to reduce spiders and insects that might make their way inside.

Tip 5

Remove clutter from basements and garages to reduce the chance of wildlife, insect, and spider invasion.

Your pest-free life, guaranteed!

For over thirty years, St. Louis area families have trusted Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions to keep their homes, yards, and gardens free of pests. A regular pest prevention program administered by the friendly technicians of Holper’s will keep your home free of many common pests–ants, crickets, beetles, the common house spider, pantry pests, meal moths, and many others. For difficult to treat pests, such as fleas, yellow jackets, brown recluse spiders, termites, silverfish, and bed bugs, Holper’s has specialized programs that remove the infestations as rapidly as possible. Holper’s will give you a complete assessment of gaps/holes in and around your home that could give access to four-legged creatures, such as mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons. Holper’s will repair these openings, as well as install insect-resistant insulation, to keep your home pest-free. If any wildlife is already inside, Holper’s technicians are trapping experts and will rid them from your property! Call Holper’s today at 314-732-1413 to make sure no unwanted dwellers reside at your address!

 

         

wolf spider

The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf Spider

wolf spider

Image from https://infowpb.com/wolf-spider/

We all know the story of the little boy who cried wolf. I think it’s safe to say that the same little boy, if he came upon a wolf spider, might cry out, too–but in horror. Wolf spiders elicit a particularly strong response to their appearance, and it isn’t positive. What are wolf spider facts? And more importantly, how do we kill them?

Wolf Spider Facts: How To Identify a Wolf Spider 

A wolf spider carries a significant profile. Ranging from nickel-sized to half-dollar-sized, a wolf spider is a brown, fuzzy spider with a white stripe down the middle of the back. The legs are thick, brown, and fuzzy, too. The webs they spin can be large and elaborate. All of these things lead to an imposing impression when first seen.

In truth, wolf spiders are actually harmless. They look terrifying, but they pose no threat. Even so, nobody likes spiders around their homes and family, so most people include them in the list of pests they want to kill.

wolf-spiderWolf Spider Control: How To Prevent Wolf Spiders

Prevention is a professional application of a power spray to the exterior of the home. Autumn is an especially good time to start this preventative service to take care of wolf spiders, as well as all other occasional invaders that like to use your home as a refuge.

Who Can Kill My Wolf Spiders?

If you want wolf spider control, call on Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions! Our wolf spider killers will take care of wolf spiders and other seasonal pests with the most up-to-date materials and equipment available. With over thirty years of caring for St. Louis area homes, Holper’s will give you peace of mind with successful wolf spider control.

Call 314-732-1413 today for your appointment!

Holper’s In Your Neighborhood

All pest control is not created equal. To properly serve a geographical area, you need a history of service that creates knowledge of trends and infestations in that area. Holper’s is home grown and home owned! With more than three decades of service, Holper’s has developed the precise knowledge of local pests to not only treat the pests you have now, but also to help you prevent the pests most prevalent in YOUR area of Greater St. Louis.

Did You Know?

You might be surprised to learn that:

  • The highest concentration of rat issues lies within the 270 loop.
  • Most of our skunk trapping takes place in Chesterfield, Maryland Heights, and South County.
  • While brown recluse spiders are widespread in general in the St. Louis area, higher populations can be found in Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, Webster Groves, Brentwood, Richmond Heights, Chesterfield, Kirkwood, and University City.
  • Squirrels love St. Louis, but higher than average concentrations are found in Clayton, Ladue, and University City.
  • Bats love the homes and buildings in University City and south St. Louis.

The Holper’s Difference

The hallmark of Holper’s is our thorough initial inspection. Because our goal is to give you peace of mind in your home, we look for ways to solve the problems you are currently experiencing, as well as point out ways to keep future problems from developing. If a pest free home is your goal, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will get you there!

 Call 314-732-1413 today–we’re in the neighborhood!

 

How To Prevent And Control Rodents

As the temperatures outside begin to cool, rodent prevention and rodent control become issues all homeowners need to think about. How do I know what pest you have? How do I prevent and control rodents?

 Identifying Your Rodent Invaders

House Mouse

House Mouse

There are three main rodent types seen this time of year in the St. Louis area. The first is a house mouse. A house mouse has grayish-brown fur, with a tail equal to its body length. Homeowners often first know rodents are present due to the presence of droppings, making it important to know what to look for. House mouse droppings are roughly 3/8 inch long, black, and very hard.

Another rodent common now is the white-footed deer mouse. This mouse has brown fur with a white belly, as well as white feet. The droppings are similar to a house mouse, but since these mice are associated with Hantavirus, sweeping up their droppings on your own could be deadly.

Norway_Rat_Picture

Norway-Rat

The last rodent seen moving indoors this time of the year is the Norway rat. This rat has brown or gray fur, and a shaggy coat. A Norway rat’s ears and tail are covered in scales. The total body and tail length will average 8 inches to 10 inches. Norway rat droppings are about 3/4 inch long, black, and have a “hook” on one end.

How Did I Get Rodents in My Home?

Rodents seek warmth and food sources inside your house when the weather outside begins to cool. They look for tiny openings to gain entry into your home. Mice only require an opening as small as a dime to gain access; for rats, it is the size of a quarter.

Common entry points are:

  • Gaps where the gutter line meets the roof
  • Foundation cracks
  • Warped siding
  • Garages
  • Where utility lines enter the home
  • Sewer lines (access gained through floor drains or the toilet)

Preventative Measures To Take

house-miceIf you want to prevent and control rodents, there are steps you can take to deter their entry:

  • Professionally installed exclusion measures (e.g. sealing visible foundation holes)
  • Baited and monitored rodent stations outside of the home
  • Replace garage door seals
  • Keep indoor food areas clean of crumbs, wrappers, and dirty dishes
  • Contain trash in metal receptacles (plastic can be chewed)
  • Cover utility entry points
  • Do not use foam insulation to seal home, as rodents can chew through this

Why You Need Professional Rodent Control

For rodent prevention and rodent control, it is critical to employ a reputable pest control company, such as Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions. Our expert service begins with a thorough inspection to develop a treatment plan for your specific problem. Techniques and materials used always reflect the latest technologies and professional grade products. Your home will be treated with a personalized combination of baited rodent stations, monitored rodent stations, rodent traps, and repairs to entry points.

It is important to note that all rodent droppings are a biohazard and should only be cleaned up by a professional using proper safety equipment, especially in the case of white-footed deer mouse droppings, which are linked to the deadly Hantavirus.

We at Holper’s look forward to providing you with successful rodent prevention and rodent control. Please call 314-732-1413 to set up your appointment today.

 

 

squirrel-prevention

How Do I Keep Squirrels Away?

do I have squirrels in my houseThis time of year, it is not uncommon for pregnant squirrels to search for a perfect nesting spot. As you might imagine, a warm, cozy attic will hold a far greater appeal to a mama-to-be squirrel than an old tree does. Knowing that your attic is prime real estate for nesting squirrels, you have to wonder, “How do I keep squirrels away?” We are happy to share our top squirrel prevention tips.

Squirrel Prevention 101

A few proactive steps will help to keep squirrels away from your home:

● Keep tree limbs trimmed back so that none are overhanging your roof
● Install roof vent covers
● Install gable vent covers
● Install pipe stack covers
● Install dryer vent covers
● Seal gaps in the gutterline

The last item in the list is tricky, as gaps in the gutterline will not be visible from the ground. Finding those gaps to seal will require the expertise of a trained pest control technician.

squirrel-preventionWho Can Help Me with Squirrel Prevention?

The key to squirrel-proofing your house as much as possible is to start with a thorough inspection by a pest control expert who will know what to look for. You’ll never go wrong with an inspection by Holper’s, as our trained wildlife technicians know every nook and cranny to check. Not only can Holper’s find the potential entry points, but we can install exclusionary covers and venting. If you already suspect you have squirrels, we can handle that, too! But if prevention is your goal, we are behind you 100%! Why wait until you have squirrels–let us help you keep them out!

The Helpful Holper’s Team

Every day, St. Louis residents trust the caring technician team at Holper’s with their homes and businesses. We take pride in treating your property as if it is our own. If you want to keep squirrels away, just call us today at 314-732-1413. Let’s conquer squirrel prevention together!

 

Bat-Control

An Ounce of Prevention: How To Keep Bats Away

The old adage says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That couldn’t be more true in the case of bats. Knowing how to deter bats from roosting can save you worry, damage, and financial loss in the future. If you want to know how to keep bats away, you have come to the right place.

The Basics 

bat-opening-in-homeThe key to deterring bats from roosting is to block all possible entry points, which is much easier said than done. Bats can squeeze through holes that are ⅜ “ wide (the size of dime) and if they flatten themselves, they can squeeze through a gap that is ⅛” wide! Bats enter houses through eaves, overhangs, unscreened vents, and structural gaps. Occasionally bats enter a home through an open window or chimney. When you realize how tiny of an opening a bat can get through, you then understand how hard it is to spot potential entry points.

The first step in how to keep bats away is a thorough, professional inspection. Only a trained technician will know where to look and how to spot these miniscule entry points.

Why Should I Care About a Bat? 

Bats live in colonies of one to 300, so your infestation problem is rarely a bat, but bats! The result of this infestation will be the noises a bat makes (scratching, squeaking, and crawling in walls and attics) and the stains and odors created by urine and droppings (guano). 

bat-guano-in-attic

Bat guano before cleanup.

Guano is a biohazard that should only be cleaned by the trained personnel of Holper’s with the proper safety equipment. Histoplasmosis is an airborne fungus disease that can grow in bat droppings (guano), but typically the guano must have contact with moisture, which usually isn’t present in an attic. Regardless, bat cleanup must be done professionally, with safety equipment, full face respirators, Tyvek suits, and HEPA vacuums due to the potentially deadly dust created by the guano.

Additionally, being a mammal, a tiny percentage of bats will contract rabies. Exposure to the rabies virus is decreased if you avoid contact with bats and keep all pets current on vaccinations. Your risk after exposure can only be assessed by a healthcare professional.  

How To Keep Bats Away 

Control involves sealing the entire structure, except where the bats are entering and exiting the building. Those spots are fitted with a one-way door so that bats are able to exit your building but they cannot re-enter. Once the bats have all left your home, the one-way doors are removed and the area is sealed, effectively bat-proofing your home.

Holper’s–Your BAT MANagement Experts! 

From diagnosing your bat problem, to the installation of one-way doors, to removing guano, to sealing the structure–one call to Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will get it done. When you want to keep bats away, call your St. Louis bat control/removal professionals at 314-732-1413 today!

 

 

 

MoleControl

What A Difference a Letter Makes: Moles vs. Voles

Most of us are aware that moles and voles are two different animals, but mole and vole identification is a completely different matter. What do moles look like? What do voles look like? How do we get rid of moles or voles?

The ABCs of Moles

MoleMoles are insectivores and are related to shrews. Adult moles are five to eight inches long and have brown or dark gray fur. Their noses and tails are pink. Even without functioning eyes, moles are still sensitive to light. Their broad, shovel-shaped feet have five toes and sharp, thick claws, making them highly efficient burrowers. Because they dine and dwell underground, they have few natural predators.

Moles eat from 70 to 100 percent of their weight every day. Because of their food needs, moles must cover a large area –and that translates to more yard destruction. Molehills and shallow tunnels are the results of this destruction. Molehills are circular dirt mounds, which surround vertical shafts. Molehills generally have round ripple marks left by every new load of soil pushed to the surface. One mole can dig up to 100 feet of raised-surface tunnels a day, creating a convex surface that make lawn mowing a challenge. The tunnels also create brown lines in your lawn when grass roots are damaged by burrowing activity/exposure to air. Seeing such a large area of damage, one might figure a whole army of moles is destroying your yard, when actually three to five moles per acre is considered a high population.

The ABCs of Voles

meadow-voleWhat does a vole look like? A vole is a blunt-nosed, short-tailed mouse, usually up to three inches long and charcoal gray. Herbivorous, voles prefer areas of lush vegetation, such as bulbs, tubers, herbaceous plants, and many types of grass. The size of a burrow system for multiple adults and their young will vary with the quality of the habitat, food supply, and population levels: In most cases it is only a few hundred square feet.

Voles are prolific breeders, so it doesn’t take long for a few voles to become hundreds of hungry voles. Voles chew their way through the thatch layer, which creates numerous shallow burrows containing underground nests of grass, stems, and leaves. Most damaging, voles will tunnel under snowpack, creating tunnel systems that only become apparent after the snow melts.

The most common sign of a vole infestation is the discovery of a single or multiple 1-inch holes in the yard, garden, or plantings. Also present might be a 1-inch wide trail, concave in relation to the ground. (This would look similar to a trail created by a bicycle tire.) Voles are primarily nocturnal–if you see them in daylight, it is indicative of a very high population.

How To Get Rid of Moles and Voles

According to Consumer Reports, trapping is the most successful method to rid your yard of moles. While different variations are available, the type that consistently achieves results is a spear trap. (Some homeowners mistakenly believe that treating their lawns for grubs will repel moles. Grubs are only a tiny percentage of a mole’s diet, so treating for grubs will have no impact on the moles–there is still plenty for them to eat.)
To minimize vole damage, the key is to manage the population before the numbers get too large. Mildly effective ways to discourage voles, such as planting flowers that are not palatable to them (e.g. daffodils and crown imperials), may help slightly, but the most successful technique to eradicate voles is a combination of professional services such as repellants, exclusion barriers, vole rodenticides, and trapping.

Trust Holper’s

Not every pest company gets to boast that they have “The Mole Hunter” as their president, but we do! Jeff Holper, aka “The Mole Hunter,” passes on his knowledge to all of our technicians so that your lawn will benefit as your moles are added to the more than 50,000 moles already caught by Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions. For voles, the Holper’s process begins with a thorough inspection and is followed with a personalized treatment program combining the elements of professional services that your situation requires.

In the war of moles vs. voles, you will always be the winner when you contact Holper’s at 314-732-1413!

 

How Do We Get Rid of Rats in Walls and Attics?

Pizza Rat was all the rage online a couple of years back. A video of his triumphant trip with his spoils down the subway steps in NYC made him famous. We all laughed–because it’s funny when it’s somewhere else! That same sight close to home is not funny at all. And spotting one, or hearing one in our attics or walls, is no laughing matter! But how do we get rid of rats in our walls and attics?

How Did We Get Rats in The First Place?
Rodents seeking both shelter from the elements and additional sources of food may make their way into your home. Rats need only an opening the size of a quarter to find their way inside. There are many common entry points for rodents, such as cracks in your foundation, gaps where the gutter line and roof meet, siding that has warped, garages, and the spots where utility lines enter the home. Additionally, rats have been known to use the sewer lines as a way to get in through a toilet or floor drain. On its way in, a rat leaves a scent trail that creates an easy way for others to follow suit. As with so many things, prevention is the best way to protect your biggest investment–your home.

 Preventative Measures To Take

Before a problem begins, a trained professional from Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will come survey your home and yard to assess potential entry points for rats, as well as for other pests and wildlife. Here are steps to take in conjunction with the professional inspection:

  • Have exclusion measure professionally installed (e.g. sealing visible foundation holes)
  • Replace garage door seals
  • Keep indoor food areas clean of crumbs, wrappers, and dirty dishes
  • Contain trash in metal receptacles (not chewable plastic!)
  • Cover utility entry points
  • Do not use foam insulation to seal home, as rodents can chew through this.

But I Already Have Rats! How Do We Get Rid of Rats in Walls and Attics?

If you find yourself with a rat infestation, there are many reasons to call Holper’s right away to take care of you. Our expert technicians start with a thorough inspection to develop a plan for treatment that addresses your specific infestation circumstances. Our techniques and the materials Holper’s uses always reflect the latest technologies and professional grade products. Your personalized treatment program will consist of combinations of the following:

  • baited rodent stations
  • monitored rodent stations
  • rodent traps
  • repairs to entry points

IMPORTANT: All rodent droppings are a biohazard and must only be cleaned up by professionals using the proper safety precautions and equipment!

We at Holper’s look forward to getting rid of rats in your walls and attics. Please call us at 314-732-1413 today.