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!

 

 

 

wildlife-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:

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!

 

raccoon-problem

Three Steps to Get Rid of Raccoons

This time of year Holper’s gets many calls for raccoon pest control. This uptick is likely due to raccoon moms looking for a safe, warm place to give birth to their young. If you need to get rid of raccoons, Holper’s has the answers to your questions.

How to Solve a Raccoon Problem

squirrel-damageScavenged outdoor trash cans can be one of the earliest signs that you have a raccoon problem. Additional signs (and problems) include: damage to roof areas, damaged gable vents and dormer corners, footprints on a downspout, scratch marks on a tree, torn pipe insulation, noises in the attic, trampled ceiling insulation in attic spaces, feces on the roof, and heavy collections of raccoon feces in attic spaces, which is a biohazard.

If you find any of these signs, here are the three steps to get rid of raccoons.

  1. Eliminate Food Sources

Raccoons typically forage for food nocturnally. Trash cans are the most obvious residential food source, but raccoons will also eat from bird feeders if they can reach them. The easiest ways to eliminate these food sources are to avoid placing food waste in outdoor trash containers and to hang bird feeders on tree branches where raccoons would have difficulty reaching them.

  1. Have Raccoons Removed

If raccoons are inside your home, you need to have a pest control specialist remove them. The process begins with a thorough inspection to determine where the entry points are. Based on the findings, traps will be set accordingly to stop your raccoon problem as quickly as possible.

  1. Seal Points of Entry

After raccoons are removed from a residence by Holper’s, keeping them from reentering depends on sealing all the points of entry through which the animals could gain access to the home. Leaving potential points of entry open essentially lays out a welcome mat for more raccoons.

Do You Need Raccoon Pest Control?

If so, now is the time to resolve the issue. If you wait your residence could suffer further damage, and your health could be put at risk due to growing collections of raccoon feces in your attic. It’s time to contact the experienced raccoon removal specialists at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions.raccoon-feces-roof

raccoon feces on roof

Raccoon Feces on Roof

We’ll perform a free inspection of your residence, suggest the most economical and effective solution, and set the traps. In addition to physically removing raccoons from your home, we will seal up the holes through which they entered the residence. We can also give you a bid to replace any insulation that was damaged by raccoon trampling or feces.

To schedule a free inspection, call us at (314) 732-1413, or email us at info@holperspest.com. We look forward to using our raccoon pest control expertise to help you enjoy more peace of mind in your home. It’s time to get rid of raccoons!