bats-in-attic

How to Tell What Kind of Critter Is In Your Attic

The Midwest is home to many species of nuisance critters. These animals vary in size, habitat, and types of damage done to 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 home. You’re probably asking yourself what kind of critter you have in your attic. Regardless of the type of critter you have, we at Holper’s have the solution well in hand.

Critter Damage and the Culprits Behind It

There are different signs of animal presence and damage evidence to look for to determine what type of critter has taken up residence in your attic.

  • 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. You may also hear scratching in the attic or walls, primarily at night.
  • 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.
  • Squirrels–If you hear scampering in your attic, or morning or evening 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 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.
  • 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 chew 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).

The Critter Experts

The one thing all wildlife 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 critter removal, control, and damage. When needed, Holper’s can also serve as nuisance wildlife exterminators. As every wildlife control situation is unique, your Holper’s technician will employ a combination of know-how and trapping skills to give you back your home 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 critter damage control right away. Your home deserves Holper’s!

 

skunks

Skunk Removal Made Easy

While many species of wildlife pests spend winter in total hibernation, unfortunately for us one of the species that doesn’t is the skunk. If you have discovered a skunk residing under your home or near your home, skunk removal is going to be at the top of your to-do list. Read ahead to learn why time is of the essence in getting rid of skunks and why Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is your answer for a skunk removal problem.

What’s So Bad About a Skunk?

The first thing that usually comes to mind when people think of skunks is the offensive odor of their spray. Skunks will usually only attack when defending their young or when cornered, and spraying is not the first defense method they will try. A skunk might first attempt spitting, growling, fluffing its fur, shaking its tail, and/or stamping the ground. If a skunk still feels threatened, then the tail is lifted to spray several shots of that famous skunk odor. Skunks can release multiple shots and can spray 10-15 feet with great accuracy.

While nobody wants to get sprayed by a skunk, there are other ways to be victimized by one. Skunks are excellent diggers, due to long nails on their powerful forefeet. In search of grubs and other food, skunks will dig holes in lawns and gardens. If they can find no other form of shelter available, they will burrow underneath buildings and cement slabs, such as a porch, patio, or walkway.

Why Now is the Time to Worry

Although skunks lead a low-key life during cold weather, they start the mating process in late winter instead of waiting for spring. This means that, when spring and summer are finally here, the number of skunks you will be dealing with will increase due to the birth of a litter.

This is why it’s important to have a skunk control service eliminate skunks in and around your residence as soon as you notice them, usually in January and February. At Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions, we always recommend taking the proactive approach to pest control. When it comes to skunk infestations, treating the problem in winter is one of the best approaches you can take.

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) Family Close Up – captive animals

Skunk Removal and Control With Holper’s

The most effective technique to control skunks is to professionally and humanely live-trap them. Luckily for you, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions technicians are experts at how to catch a skunk. While skunks are generally mild tempered, loud noises or quick and aggressive actions should be avoided. Keep pets and children from exciting or tormenting the caged animal. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions recommends installing buried wire and sealing all entry holes (such as porches, sheds, and crawl spaces) once all skunks have been trapped and removed. Electric fencing may be used for site-specific exclusion around decks, porches, or gardens.

SKUNK PREVENTION TIP: Cleaning up all wood piles, brush and food sources will limit the habitat available to skunks and will reduce their attraction to your property. It is always best to implement skunk prevention instead of dealing with a skunk infestation.

To successfully manage a skunk infestation you must have an integrated pest management plan. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions uses more than one approach to eradicate and exclude these nuisance animals from your home and surrounding areas. Call 314-732-1413 to set a plan in motion—let the trained professionals of Holper’s help you implement skunk prevention and perform your skunk trapping, skunk removal, and skunk odor removal for you.

 

Is It Mating Season For Squirrels?

We’re getting a lot of inquiries right now about squirrel invaders, with many people wondering if the increase is tied to mating season. If you are one of the unlucky homeowner’s whose house has been adopted by a squirrel, we can answer all your questions about squirrel problems and squirrel removal.

Is It Squirrel Mating Season?

Yes it is! Most adult females first breed in December or January. Each litter consists of 3-5 young, who spend the first three months in the nest before heading out to discover the world. If you hear scampering in your attic, knocking noises above your head, or scratching in the ceiling and walls between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., or between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you likely have squirrels in your home. If it is a pregnant squirrel that has chosen your home to birth her young, she will then look at it as her home. It won’t be long until you have a family of squirrels enjoying the benefits and bounty of your warm home as protection from the elements. The longer they remain, the more potential danger to your biggest investment–your home.

What’s So Bad About a Squirrel Problem?

In a word: damage. While many wildlife visitors to your property are merely a nuisance, a squirrel can pose a significant threat to property, health, and welfare. During the fall and winter, squirrels will often enter homes and businesses for shelter. Squirrels first create damage to your home when they chew their way inside at the gutter line or through a louvered vent. Once inside, the damage multiplies. Their activity in your attic, along with their urine, can leave your insulation compressed and compromised.

Many structure fires of unknown origin are believed to be caused by squirrels gnawing into electrical wires. These zealous chewers have also been known to destroy wiring in cars!

Disease is also a concern where squirrels are concerned. They are known carriers of, and capable of transmitting, the following diseases: leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, encephalitis, typhus, and in very rare cases, rabies.  Lyme disease is also spread by the ticks that squirrels carry.

Who Handles Squirrel Problems?

For over 30 years, Holper’s has been solving St. Louis squirrel infestations by trapping, the only successful method to deal with this problem. The trained professionals of Holper’s will inspect your home to determine entry points and then begin to formulate a customized treatment plan addressing not only the infestation, but also the damage. While the trapping phase is progressing, Holper’s will monitor activity at the entry points to ensure that no animals remain in the structure.

Holper’s Gives You Your Home Back With Guaranteed Repairs

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

If squirrel mating season has led to a squirrel removal problem, call 314-732-1413 and let Holper’s do what we do best. We will solve your squirrel problems to give you back your home.

 

pest-management

Squirrels In The Attic: Problems and Solutions

Are you hearing scratching in your walls and attic, and is it driving you nuts? This time of year it is not uncommon to find that squirrels have taken up residence in your home. Naturally you have questions. What are signs of squirrels in my attic? What damage can be caused by squirrels in my attic? And very likely you are wondering how to kill squirrels in your attic. Read ahead for our advice based on over 30 years of professional experience with squirrels in the attic.

What Are The Signs Of Squirrels In My Attic?

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

What Damage Can Be Caused By Squirrels In My Attic?

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

How To Kill Squirrels In My Attic?

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

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

Holper’s Gives You Your Home Back With Guaranteed Repairs

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

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

 

 

bed-bug-treatments

Cost Effective Bed Bug Treatment: The Best Cure For Bed Bugs

bed bugs on ceiling

Bed bugs on the ceiling

Discovering your home is infested with bed bugs is never good news. Adding insult to injury is the fact that treatment can be costly to completely solve your problem. While professional extermination is the best route to take, there can be vast differences in cost. Understanding your treatment options will allow you to make the most cost effective choices to kill bed bugs.

Why Not DIY?

Trying to do it yourself usually just adds to the cost, as products available to the public are just not the same strong grade as what professionals use. You’ll find that after all the hassle and cost of trying to kill bed bugs yourself, you’ll wind up calling a professional because bed bugs are one of the toughest pests to eradicate.

Why Not Heat?

bed bugs

Bed bugs on a box spring

Many pest control companies promote heat application as the be all and end all of bed bug treatments. While heat can be successful with multiple treatments, there is a very real risk to your belongings when the heat is applied. Heat treatments are very costly money-wise, and they are also costly time-wise, as they require extensive preparations from the homeowner to protect the household furnishings from permanent damage each time there is a treatment. Removing and returning your furnishings increases the likelihood that the bed bugs will spread to other areas of the house as you move your things, and also increases the likelihood that you’ll move the bed bugs right back into the house after the heat treatment. In short, heat treatments will not only sweat extra cash from your wallet, but will drain you of time as you remove your decor from your home.

Bed-bug

Bed bug on a box spring

What Is The Most Cost Effective Treatment for Bed Bugs?

The most cost effective way to eradicate your bed bug infestation requires a targeted treatment approach with the proper placement of materials, and addressing all life stages of the bed bug. The first step must be a thorough inspection by a trained technician to assess the areas and saturation of the infestation, as the bed bugs are usually not confined to one room. (They love to hitchhike and let you take them from room to room before they disembark.) After the inspection, treatment can begin. The first step is vacuuming up any visible bed bugs from beds, couches, pictures, floorboards, etc. Once this is completed, professional grade materials are applied. The perimeter of each affected room is treated, along with every crack and crevice in the furniture. Tiny wall ports are installed to allow treatment in wall voids where many of the bed bugs hide. Finally, specially treated mattress covers are applied to manage whatever stages of bed bugs might remain inside. With the technology available today, there is no need to throw away your mattress after a bed bug infestation.

Why Holper’s For Bed Bug Treatment?

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 expensive heat treatments. Call 314-732-1413 to let Holper’s give you cost effective bed bug treatment that works!

Holpers-Holiday-Lights

Professional Christmas Light Installers: Holper’s Holiday Lights Removes These Four Risks!

Christmas lights are one of the great joys of the holiday season. Many homeowners love having beautiful lighting displays on their homes each year. But getting from the vision in your head to actually having every light in place can be fraught with pitfalls. You know about the great job Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions does in the areas of pest control and wildlife management, but did you know that we are are also Christmas light installers? Holper’s Holiday Lights — a division of Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions — will hang Christmas lights on your home or building and save you from some major risks.

Risk #1: Lack of Experience

If you don’t have experience with holiday lighting installation, things could go wrong if you try to do the job on your own. Without proper knowledge, exceeding the load rating of outlets that conduct electricity is a real possibility. Lack of experience can also lead to installing strings of lights that contain fire hazards that you don’t notice. When you use our holiday lighting installation services, you needn’t worry about these predicaments. We handle the entire installation.

Risk #2:  Ladder Woes

If you own a large home that you would like to accentuate with beautiful Christmas lights, but you don’t have much experience using a ladder to access the high, difficult-to-reach places on the exterior of your house, don’t take the risk of ruining your holidays by falling from a ladder! You’ll spend your holidays in traction, instead of near the hearth among family and friends. Let our experienced holiday light installers handle the job instead.

Risk #3: We’re Not All As Surefooted As We Once Were

The holidays are an exciting time of year for many seniors. They get to see multiple generations of their family and experience the warmth and closeness that comes with gathering together to celebrate. Many seniors have given up on Christmas lights because decorating requires the use of ladders and/or working around icy walkways. But many wind up injured each year trying to hang the lights on their own. Professionally installed lighting displays remove this risk for seniors, or anyone who wants to avoid risk of injury.

Risk #4: Running Out of Time

As the holiday season approaches, many have good intentions of getting their Christmas lights up in a timely manner. But as lives get busier and busier, the fantasy of having plenty of time can turn into disappointment when there is simply too much to do in the short holiday season. If you would like to adorn your property with Christmas lights that express your passion for the season, but you simply don’t have time, call someone who does: Holper’s Holiday Lights.

The Benefits of Holper’s Holiday Lights

Holper’s has you covered every step of the way in the holiday lighting process. We do it all–design, installation, maintenance, takedown, and storage. This ensures your lighting investment is ready to be re-installed the following season.

For years, Holper’s Holiday Lights has helped property owners in the St. Louis area create and hang beautiful, professionally-installed Christmas lighting arrangements that capture the spirit of the season. To schedule an appointment for a free estimate for our holiday lighting services, call us today at 314-732-1413. With Holper’s as your trusted Christmas lighting installer, you can spend more time enjoying the holidays!

 

fall mole prevention

Fall Mole Treatment: The Best Spring Mole Prevention

Those Maddening Moles

mole-damageMolehills 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. mole-yard-damageSeeing 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.

If you are seeing evidence of even a single mole at this time of year, address the issue immediately to head off a much bigger problem in the spring.

Fall Mole Treatment

During autumn, moles that were born in August have matured to the point that they move away from the mother and establish their own territories. To prevent bigger mole problems in the spring, it is important to catch these lawn dwellers at this stage of life, before they get the opportunity to breed in the spring. This is the time to trap your new yard invader.

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.

Why Call Holper’s For Your Fall Mole Treatment?

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.

Call us today at 314-732-1413 and we will be happy to set up trapping service for your lawn as soon as possible. We can help with spring mole prevention!

eastern_grey_squirrel

Can You Really Get Rid of Squirrels For Good?

In a perfect world, any pest deemed a nuisance could be banished far away, never to return again. Unfortunately, we who live in the real world must face the fact that while there is no way to get rid of squirrels for good, there are people available to help you keep your home and yard as free of squirrels as possible. To learn how Holper’s can get your squirrels under control, see our blog, Four Reasons Why Holper’s is Your Squirrel Problem Solution.

eastern_grey_squirrel

Four Reasons Why Holper’s is Your Squirrel Problem Solution

eastern_chipmunk

Three Important Steps to Chipmunk/Ground Squirrel Control

Walt Disney gave us reason to laugh when he created the silly antics of Chip ‘n Dale. But homeowners who discover their lawns have been taken over by chipmunks (also known as ground squirrels) will tell you that there is no laughing involved. How do I stop chipmunk holes? Who do I call for chipmunk control? A homeowner with a chipmunk problem has one goal in mind–how to get rid of chipmunks.

Step One–Why Did These Chipmunks Choose MY Lawn?

chipmunk-hole

Chipmunk hole in landscaping

Chipmunks are drawn to bulbs, vegetation, and decorative grasses. If you have an abundance of these, they are likely choosing you for the buffet you provide. They also enjoy burrowing under slabs of concrete. While it is impossible to completely chipmunk-proof your yard, knowing what they are drawn to is the first step to getting them under control.

Step Two–Professional Chipmunk Wranglers

Trained technicians will set out rodent stations for you, according to the activity that they see present in your yard. Some of the stations will contain traps, and some of the stations will contain rodenticide. The stations with traps will stay until the initial invasion is under control, at which time the stations are all converted to rodenticide baiting stations for long term success.

Step Three–Ongoing Pest Control

chipmunk-removal

Eastern Chipmunk

When your rodent stations reach the point that they all contain rodenticide bait, you have the added benefit of controlling not only future chipmunks that wander into your yard, but also mice, rats, and voles. After all the time and money a homeowner puts into their yard, having rodent stations not only takes care of chipmunk control, but takes care of several other pests as well. That’s a good investment for the beauty of your lawn and gardens.

Why Holper’s?
Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions has been successfully dealing with chipmunk control for over thirty years. We know how to get rid of chipmunks! Our professionals are expertly trained in trapping and baiting, and they love helping to give you back your yard. If you have chipmunks, Holper’s is your answer. Please call 314-732-1413 to let us help you. Whether you call them chipmunks or whether you call them ground squirrels, we can take care of chipmunk control/ground squirrel control!

fungas-gnat

How to Get Rid of Gnats and Flies

We all have had summer picnics and cookouts ruined by gnats and flies swarming around us and our food outside. It is something we have come to expect. But when autumn rolls around and those pests are showing up inside of our homes, that is where we draw the line. Why are so many people experiencing an influx of gnats and flies at this this time of year? More importantly–how to we get rid of gnats and flies?

moth-fly

Moth Fly

Bug Basics

Identifying the type of insect you have is the first step in getting rid of them. Where you are finding them is the key to identifying them:

  • If the flying insects are primarily in your kitchen, you likely have fruit flies or gnats. They are very similar in appearance and behavior, so they are often mistaken for one another.
  • If you are finding bugs around basement drains and drains in unused bathrooms, your pest is probably a moth fly. You may have heard of these referred to as a drain fly or a sewage fly.
  • If you are seeing flying bugs around windows or indoor plants, you might have fungus gnats, which are smaller than the gnats you’d see in your kitchen.
  • fungas-gnat

    Fungas Gnat

    If you are finding the insects around the kitchen garbage can, you likely have a plain old house fly. When natural or decaying trash is leaking from the bag, it draws these insects like a magnet.

Why Am I Seeing Them This Time of Year?

As the weather turns colder in autumn, insects need to move indoors to survive. Once inside they are looking for food sources, shelter, and places to lay eggs. Some are looking for moisture, and some are looking for filth, such as food debris and residue. The increased numbers viewed inside of the home are due to the hatching eggs of the recent invaders. These multiple life stages will require diversified treatment approaches.

How to Combat Gnats and Flies

drain-fly

Drain Fly

Usually DIY treatments are ineffective long-term because the formulations of over-the-counter products are inferior and they do not attack the multiple stages at their sources. A trained professional exterminator from Holper’s will begin with a thorough inspection, along with an interview of the homeowner to incorporate his/her observations into creating the treatment plan. (Saving samples of the insects found in order to show the technician is very helpful to identifying what pests you have!)  A combination of micro-encapsulated sprays, foaming agents for the drains, light traps, gnat traps, fruit fly traps, and granular insecticides will be customized to your specific needs for your specific infestation.

The Difference With Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions

After more than three decades of serving the Greater St. Louis area, Holper’s has earned the reputation for expert pest control. Regardless of the type of gnat or fly you are currently battling, a call to Holper’s is your best bet, because Holper’s knows how to get rid of gnats and flies. Our superior knowledge utilizing IPM (Integrated Pest Management) will address your specific needs and get to the root of the problem quickly. We look forward to giving you back your home. Call today at 314-732-1413 to set up your appointment. We know how to get rid of gnats and flies!