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

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.



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!





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!



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: 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 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!


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!





St. Louis Wildlife Removal

Nuisance wildlife is plentiful in the Midwest, and we at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions are experts in the greater St. Louis area on small animal control. Whether your goal is preventative wild animal control or wildlife trapping services, we have answers to your questions about St. Louis wildlife removal.

The Usual Suspects

The 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.

Animal Damage and the Culprits Behind It

There are different signs of animal presence, and also damage evidence to look for in your yard and around your home, to help determine what type of wildlife has taken up residence on your property.

●    Rats and mice–Look for droppings (often in or near corners) and chew marks around baseboards. Their damage is twofold: their droppings create a biohazard in your home, and their chewing damages wood, wiring, and belongings. In your yard, rats will dig holes that are recognizable in that they are two inches in diameter and the pile of displaced dirt will be beside the hole.
●    Voles and chipmunks–Both of these small rodents dig holes that are one inch in diameter. They eat the roots of plants, along with your planted bulbs, which wreaks havoc on your landscaping. Chipmunks will also burrow underneath concrete slabs, which compromises the stability of the slab.
●    Bats–Although bats will sometimes make their presence known by scratching in the walls and emitting a high-pitched sound, most often the first sign of a bat infestation is the frightening experience of seeing one in your home. Once they gain access to your home through a damaged board or louver vent, the risk to you becomes the biohazard of their droppings (guano) and the danger of a potentially rabid bite.
●    Moles–Look for a raised-surface tunnel system crossing your lawn. When digging these tunnels, moles can damage the roots of your grass, causing brown areas in your yard. The greatest obvious damage is the unsightly appearance these tunnels give your lawn, which for many homeowners is a significant investment as part of their landscaping.
●    Squirrels–If you hear scampering in your attic, or scratching in the ceiling or 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. Squirrels create damage to your home when they chew their way in at the gutterline or through a louvered vent. Once inside they can potentially chew wiring and compress your insulation.
●    Skunks–In addition to the obvious, 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.
●    Groundhogs (Woodchucks)–Look for a large, eight-to-ten inch diameter round hole leading under a slab of concrete or a shed. The damage to your property by this animal is the compromising of the integrity of the slab or shed flooring.
●    Minks–If you own a koi pond, and your koi have recently vanished, you might have a mink on your property. This damage to your costly investment is something you will want to address quickly, or restocking your pond will lead to the same event again.
●    Opossums–Opossums often use dens created by other animals, so you will not generally know you have one unless you see it or trap it. The potential damage is if one crawls under your porch and dies, creating both a stench and possible flea infestation.
●    Raccoons–Raccoons often enter homes by ripping apart a louver vent and sliding into your attic. They may also chew their way in at the gutterline or by chewing their way in where the dormer meets the house. Raccoons will sometimes use your chimney as a way to get inside. Lastly, raccoons can take down a piece of the aluminum soffit and create an entry point. Besides the damage created to access your home, damage will be done to your attic when a bathroom area is established for the raccoon(s). This area is a biohazard and also compresses your insulation.
●    Beavers–Look for chew marks on your trees from 12-to-18 inches off the ground, as beavers stand on their rear legs when chewing. If you don’t spend much time in your yard where you might see the results of the first gnawing, your first sign of the beaver’s destruction might be completely felled trees!
●    Coyotes–The presence of a coyote is usually detected with a sighting, or with the disappearance of a small animal from a yard, even a fenced one. While they do not do damage to your yard or home, when they are hunting nocturnally, coyotes can do damage to your family by taking a beloved pet as their prey.

The St. Louis Wildlife Removal Experts

The one thing all wild animal control 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 preventative wild animal control and wildlife trapping service. As every wild animal control situation is unique, your Holper’s technician will employ a combination of know-how and wildlife 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 wild animal control right away. Your home deserves Holper’s!

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: