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!

 

 

 

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!

MoleControl

How Do I Master Lawn Mole Control?

Are moles mangling your manicured lawn? According to Home Advisor, homeowners spend an average of $3,394 yearly on landscaping. One lone mole can undo months of labor and thousands of dollars of care lavished on your yard. Lawn mole control becomes a necessity, not an option. Why are moles so destructive, and how does a homeowner master lawn mole control?

Those Maddening Moles

Often assumed to be rodents, moles are actually insectivores and are related to shrews. They are solitary mammals that interact only to breed. Mole litters are born in March or early April, and usually consist of three to five young. (Here in St. Louis, we also have litters born in August.) Adult moles range from five to eight inches in length and have fur that is brown or dark gray. Their noses and tails are pink. While possessing no functioning eyes, moles are still sensitive to light. They are built to be digging machines: Their broad, shovel-shaped feet have five toes and sharp, thick claws, which make moles very efficient burrowers. Because of their underground seclusion (coming to the surface rarely, and usually by accident) they have few natural predators.

Moles eat from 70 to 100 percent of their weight every day. The enormous amount of energy expended in plowing through your soil necessitates a correspondingly large volume of food to supply that energy. Because of their food requirements, moles must cover a larger area than do most animals that live underground–and that larger area translates to more of your yard being destroyed!

Molehills and shallow tunnels are the ruinous results of moles taking up residence in your yard. Molehills are circular mounds of dirt which surround vertical shafts. Molehills usually have round ripple marks made by each new load of soil as it is pushed to the surface. Shallow tunnels create a convex surface that makes lawn mowing difficult. A single mole can dig up to 100 feet of tunnels a day. These raised-surface tunnels can cause brown lines in a lawn when grass roots are damaged by burrowing activity or by exposure to air. Seeing the large expanse of damage, it is logical to assume there is an army of moles destroying your yard. In actuality, three to five moles per acre is considered a high population for most areas. But even so small a number can be elusive deep beneath the surface of your lawn.

Lawn Mole Control

According to Consumer Reports, trapping is the most successful method to rid your yard of moles. A trap gives you the peace of mind to confirm that each mole is gone. While different variations of traps do exist, the form that consistently yields the highest results is a spear trap. Spear traps are set on the freshest tunnels to increase the likelihood of a quick catch.

Some homeowners mistakenly believe that treating their grounds for grubs will drive away moles. Because grubs make up a very tiny percentage of a mole’s diet, treating for grubs will actually have no impact on the moles in your yard. They will still have plenty to eat.

The Holper Difference

Not every pest company gets to boast that they have “The Mole Hunter” as their president, but we do! Because of the expertise imparted to every technician by Jeff Holper, aka “The Mole Hunter,” your lawn will benefit as your moles are added to the more than 50,000 moles already caught by Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions.

Lawn mole control is our specialty! No matter what type of pest turns up in your yard, from buzzing bees to wobbling woodchucks to malevolent moles, the professionals at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions have your lawn solutions! Call Holper’s at 314-732-1413 to set up your appointment today for lawn mole control!

 

 

 

It’s For The Birds: Bird Control Services

With our unseasonably warm temperatures this year, birds have been out in force already. Whether they are waking you far too early from your slumbers, trying to build nests in undesirable places, or even flinging themselves at your window at all hours of the day, bird control services are likely on your mind.

Nests In Undesirable Places

Oftentimes, birds will choose exactly where you would least like them to be to build their nests. They might choose light fixtures around doorways, attic vent holes, brick ledges, trim, etc. The bird control services that you need depend on whether the birds have chosen a residence or a commercial building to establish their abode.

If you are a homeowner with this problem, bird control services can include covering holes with hardware cloth, applying gel repellants, utilizing reflectors and bird spikes, and even bird slides.

If you own a commercial building with bird nests in unwanted locations, bird control services include bird netting, bird spikes, bird slides, visual bird deterrents, bird repellents, and bird gels.

Regardless of whether the issue is residential or commercial, the first step to successful treatment is a thorough inspection to make sure all nesting is located and removed.

Birds Inside Buildings

If you are unlucky enough to find yourself with a bird inside of your home or business, bird removal becomes an immediate necessity. Besides the potential for damage inside, there is also the health issue of bird feces to contend with. Time is of the essence in this situation.

For a homeowner with a bird in your home or attic, bird control services will depend on whether it is a single bird that make its way into your home through the chimney, or through an open window or door, OR if it is a family of birds taking up residence in your attic or in a wall void. For a single bird, it will be necessary to have a trained professional perform a bird grab and give a bid for a chimney cap to prevent another bird from entering. For a family nest in the attic or a wall, the type of bird determines what can be done immediately. Once the nest is legally able to be removed, a bid will be given to repair the hole that the bird entered the attic or wall through.

For a business owner with a bird flying around inside, service will consist of a mist net being utilized to catch the bird. A bid will also be given for desired clean up from any mess the bird has made.

The Holper Advantage

Bird Control Services are only as good as the technicians performing them. For over 32 years, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has been successfully servicing the Greater St. Louis area. The Holper advantage is the expertise we possess and the trust generations of families have put in us to solve all their pest and wildlife problems. See for yourself why bird control services with Holper’s give you peace of mind in a very short time! Call today at 314-732-1413 to learn more about what Holper’s can do for you.

 

 

Termite Prevention

Your home is likely your biggest investment. It is also a sitting target for hungry, destructive termites. Learning about this devastating invader and taking proactive termite prevention measures are both key steps to protecting your home. Without termite prevention, getting termites is a matter of when, not if. Learn more about termites and termite prevention:

bats-in-attic

Removing Bats From An Attic

(And Why You Should ALWAYS Leave Bat Cleanup To a Professional)

Bat season is getting into gear. We at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions have heard crazy stories from DIY folks that have learned the hard way that this is definitely a job to leave to professionals. We have the most effective eradication services because we understand bat problems–the critical first step to successful St. Louis bat control and removing bats from an attic.

Bats 101

In the Greater St. Louis region, the bats that we encounter are the Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat. (There are more than 1,000 bat species worldwide.) Pregnant females form maternity colonies until their young are born in May and June. Each female gives birth to one or two young, which begin flying at three to five weeks to begin feeding on their own. Bats are insectivores, with some bat species eating up to half of their weight in flying insects each night.

Why is A Bat a Biohazard?

bat-guano

Bat Guano

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 pigeon and bat droppings (guano), but usually the guano must have contact with moisture, which is generally not present in a dry attic. However, bat cleanup should always be done professionally, with safety equipment, full face respirators, Tyvek suits, and HEPA vacuums due to the potentially deadly dust created by the guano.

Being a mammal, a very small percentage of bats will contract rabies. (Being that sick bats are simpler to catch than healthy ones, the statistics released by health agencies may show higher percentages than is accurate.) 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 determined by your healthcare professional. Bats are also hosts to parasites such as the bat bug, a relative of the bed bug. Being host-specific, these parasites rarely bite pets or humans, and they can be easily controlled by the professional application of an insecticide once the bats are evicted from a structure.

 Bat Control

bat-entering-homeControl 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 can exit your building but they cannot re-enter. It is best to implement control before the end of May or after the third week of August, so as not to trap young bats in the structure. 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 removing bats from the attic, to cleaning guano, to sealing the structure–one call to Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will get it done. Whatever the size of the bat colony, we can remove bats from your attic and solve your bat problems. Call your St. Louis bat control professionals at 314-732-1413 today!

 

 

 

bedbugs

Are There Home Remedies For Bed Bugs?

Homeowners have a lot of questions these days about bed bugs and the treatment thereof. Some wonder about home remedies for bed bugs, some are curious about how to wash clothes with bed bugs, and others ask how to get bed bugs out of carpets. Read on for some helpful answers.

Are There Home Remedies That Work For Bed Bugs?

The short answer is no. DIYers may try boric acid around the perimeter of beds and rooms, attempt to kill bed bugs with a regular steamer, or even douse their home and belongings with OTC pesticides. The reason that none of these will work is that pest control professionals have materials available to them that are superior formulations which are needed to specifically target the life cycle of bed bugs. For this reason it is imperative to call on the expertise of a professional pest control company with experience in successfully ridding homes of bed bugs.

How Do I Wash Clothing With Bed Bugs?

While part of the process to get rid of bed bugs, washing bed bug infested clothes is not a solution in and of itself. When professionals prepare to treat your home, one of the things you will need to do beforehand is wash your clothing in hot water, and then transfer them to a dryer for 90 minutes on high heat. There are clothing treatment options available from pest control specialists that yield better results when used in conjunction with washing your clothing according to the above directions. Increase your odds of success with a one-two punch!

How Do I Get Bed Bugs Out of Carpets?

Professional treatment is the only way to accomplish this. Trained technicians need to apply bed bug-specific insecticide to all carpeting, as well as furniture, in an affected area to completely rid your home of all stages of bed bug infestations.

Who Can Solve My Bed Bug Problems?

The trained professionals of Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions are your most cost effective treatment option to kill bed bugs! From the first visit for a thorough inspection, to the complete eradication of your bed bug infestation, Holper’s treats your home with TLC to give you back your peace of mind. Don’t throw away money and time on treatments that fail. Whether you are wondering if there are home remedies to get rid of bed bugs, are curious how to wash clothing with bed bugs, or are concerned about how to get bed bugs out of carpets, call 314-732-1413 to let Holper’s give you cost effective bed bug treatments that work!