how do bedbugs travel

How do Bed Bugs Travel?

“How do Bed Bugs travel” has been a very popular search recently.  It’s a very good question…you may not want to hear the answer to, but should be aware of the problem.

I recently wrote a blog on this issue called Bed Bugs: Not Just in Beds! Please click on this link, to read the blog:

spider-mites

Spider Mites to Brown Recluse Spiders

Recently, many web browsers have been curious about Spider Mites.   Many people want to know if they bite, are they harmful to humans or pets and how do you get rid of them?

Well, fear no more, I am here to tell you that Spider Mites (as creepy crawly as that sounds) will not bite humans or animals.  Spider mites feed on plants (sorry plants).

Spider mites are members of the Acari (mite) family. They are less than 1mm in size and vary in color. They generally live on the undersides of leaves on plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed.  They get the “spider” part of their common name from this webbing.

The other spider being goggled recently is the Brown Recluse Spider aka “Violin Spider”, because it looks like it has a violin on its back.  It is very common in the St. Louis area, but even where they are common, people don’t often find them.  The Brown Recluse prefers quiet nooks and crannies in buildings and woodlands.

Brown Recluse spiders hide in storage areas that are dark and undisturbed for long periods.  They are in your house because they can find insects to eat there.  To reduce the chance of contact with these creatures, keep usually undisturbed areas free of clutter.  Like all spiders, a Brown Recluse avoids human contact.

Brown recluses are not nearly as fearsome looking as harmless wolf spiders, which are bigger and bulkier.  In fact, the Brown recluse might go entirely unnoticed, except that its bite can cause people serious medical problems.

The bite of the Brown Recluse is usually not felt, but symptoms may develop 5-12 hours later, in the form of chills and a fever.  The area of the bite may discolor and medical complications including disfiguring wounds may occur.  Medical attention is advised!

If you see one Brown recluse spider or suspect you have an infestation, you need to call the Brown Recluse experts…Holper’s Pest & Animal Solution at 314 544-7378.  Let our spider exterminators give you back your home and give you peace of mind!

We have written many blogs about Missouri spiders.  If you would like to learn more about them,  read:

how to prevent bats

How to Prevent Bats in your Home

As scary as they may appear, bats are actually quite shy.  Though they may qualify as nuisance pests, knowing their behavior will help keep your home environment free of bats while letting them play their pest control role within the food chain.

If you are frightened by bats, know that many other people feel the same.  Yet when you understand a few of their behaviors, you’ll realize why they’re generally harmless to humans.

  • Most North American bats are natural predators to insects. The common bat may eat up to 600 mosquitoes or more per hour – or nearly half its body weight in bugs during a single night.
  • Why does a bat screech? The technical term is echolocation –  a kind of sonar that allows bats to shriek and listen for the echo as a method of nighttime navigation to avoid objects and locate food.
  • Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Due to their nocturnal nature, you’ll only see them between dusk and dawn.  If a bat flies into your home during daytime, it will be as surprised as you are – and will want to find an exit.

If you encounter one nearby, there is a definite reason.  One or more of the following likely applies to your home:

  • You live close to a food source. Remember that bats eat insects such as mosquitoes and moths, as well as several kinds of plants and fruits.
  • Your home and/or your area offers useful shelter. These locations give bats a place to roost during the daytime.  Indoor roosting sites could include attic space, a barn, roof voids, porch eaves and storm drains. Outdoor setting means caves, hollowed spaces in trees and under bridges.  Any opening of half an inch or greater is all a bat needs.
  • Bats like the temperature and setting. Because much of the US rests in a warm and humid climate, bats will roost in many states; forest, mountains, farmlands and cities

The good news is that no bat can burrow its way into your home.  Because these flying mammals can’t penetrate your home on their own, they can only enter where there is an opportunity.  Typical entry points would include:

  • Behind shutters
  • Broken or torn screens
  • Chimney
  • Open soffits
  • Openings for pipes or wires
  • Under eaves, siding and shingles
  • Vents

Repair damaged screens and seal off openings with caulk or foam insulation. This prevents your home from becoming a shelter for bats when temperatures change. Be aware that covering these openings should be done near dusk when bats take flight. If done during daytime, you would simply be trapping them within your home.

Create Alternate Nesting Opportunities – Attracting bats to your property may sound like the last thing you would want to do, but giving them a viable option outside of your home is actually a much better solution than dealing with attic bats or any type of removal process.  You can purchase a bat house online, in stores or easily create one on your own.  Hang it high up in the tree where the bats are most likely to fly inside of it.

Bat Treatment Methods

Bats can be one of the hardest wildlife pests to get rid of. While they most commonly invade attics, a bat colony can easily make their way inside your insulation, vents, and crawl spaces, slowly destroying your walls and foundation.

Bat removal involves sealing the structure, except where the bats are entering and exiting. Those entry/exit points are fitted with a one-way door so that bats can’t re-enter once they exit!   It is best to implement bat removal services before the end of May or after the third week of August so you don’t trap a maternity colony in the structure. After all the bats leave, the one-way doors are taken down and the entry/exit is sealed, bat-proofing your home.

Call Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions for professional Bat Removal.  Holper’s is equipped with the best tools for maintaining safety while coming in contact with bats and their waste – tools you probably will neither have on hand or want to purchase on your own.

From diagnosing your bat problem, to the installation of one-way doors, to removing guano, to guaranteed sealing of the structure–one call to Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will get it done.  Just call the St. Louis bat removal professionals at 314-544-7378 today!

Striped skunk

Skunk Removal Made Easy

While many species of wildlife 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.

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.

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.

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

Why Now is the Time to Worry

Skunks mating season starts in late winter, this means that, when spring and summer are finally here, the numbers of skunks you will be dealing with have increased.

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.

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.

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.
  • Seal all entry holes (such as porches, sheds, and crawl spaces) once all skunks have been trapped and removed.

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 these nuisance animals from your home and surrounding areas. Call 314-544-7378 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.

 

mice-repellent

Do Mice Repellents Actually Work?

There are many myths surrounding which DIY mouse techniques work the best to help evict your unwanted house guest.  But which ones can do the job?

The majority of natural mouse repellent/home remedies people usually think of such as peppermint, moth balls and ultrasonic sound waves don’t actually work at all.

It’s possible that you might see a temporary effect and perhaps not see quite as many rodents around, but these methods will not permanently remove mice and rats from your home or business.

Rodents are pretty smart creatures.  They know that it’s a dangerous world out there for an animal of their size.  They would rather put up with ultra sound waves and peppermint that risk leaving their (YOUR) home.

Do mothballs keep mice away?   To put it simply…No.

Does peppermint oil repel mice?  It will make your home smell good, but it certainly won’t get rid of your unwanted lodgers. If you think about it, logically, rodents live in all areas including sewers.  If they can put up with the smell coming out of a sewer system, then peppermint oil would be no problem.

Ultrasonic rodent repeller   There are a handful of ultrasonic rodent repeller devices on the market.  However, the truth of the matter is, none of these are effective.  One of the main issues is that these repellers rely on electric sockets to work.  If there is no socket near rodent activity then the device will be completely ineffective.  Using the ultrasonic repeller may work for a short period of time, until the rodent learns to avoid the area or adapt to the background noise. 

Professional Rodent Control

The reason why it is advised that you leave managing a mouse or rat problem to a professional is due to the skills and knowledge needed in doing so, as well as the time scale.

You know by now mice are cunning creatures. This can make relocating them from your home a bit tricky.

In terms of baiting it takes a while for a mouse to accept the product laid down, because the item is new and alien to them. Tests carried out on mouse behavior showed these rodents were far more receptive to bait laid out in a dirty tray, which they have used before, rather than a new one. This is because they would rather gather food from a location they are used to and know is safe.

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions know exactly how to efficiently control a mouse, or rat, problem. We use specific techniques and products that have been tried and tested in order to make sure your home is completely rodent free.

We take real pride in helping to solve all your pest control problems. That’s why “solutions” is part of our name! Find out the difference in St. Louis pest control by calling us today at 314-544-7378 and learning more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!

 

 

 

 

 

bed-bugs

Bed Bugs: Not Just in Beds!

Unfortunately, bed bugs are all too common today, and there are many other ways people can encounter bed bugs, inadvertently taking them home.

Bed bugs are most commonly found in residential homes, hotels, hospitals, schools, warehouses, office buildings and on the seats of transportation vehicles, but there are many other places that are susceptible to infestations.

Schools & Daycares – Bed bugs in dorms, school and daycares have many places to hide, so treatment needs to be thorough to prevent an infestation.

Gyms – Commonly found in gym locker rooms and in shoe storage shelves or “cubbies,” bed bugs often find their way into these public places. When personal items are placed in these spaces, the pests will hop on for a ride back to the owner’s home.  A regular treatment in these shared spaces will help prevent these pests from returning.

Hospitals – Beds are an obvious location to find bed bugs within a hospital, but waiting rooms, visitor chairs and nurse’s stations may also be homes to the pests.

Rental Cars – Bed Bugs hidden in or on purses, luggage or jackets can easily make their way into the crevices of rental cars while the driver heads to their destination.

Coat Check – Coat closets can become dens for bed bugs during a short time.  If one jacket is infested, all jackets near it are at risk of bringing the pests home.

Libraries – Bed bug populations can soar within libraries – living within the pages, bindings and jackets of books and on furniture and carpets.  Because of the high-traffic nature of libraries, bed bugs can enter the building on someone’s bag, book, coat and more, making prevention difficult.

Courthouses – With people constantly coming and going, courthouses are a common place for bed bug infestations to take hold.

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions would love to treat your business or home with the same care as we treat our own, and we take pride in helping to solve all your pest control problems. That’s why “solutions” is part of our name!

Find out the difference in St. Louis pest control by calling us today at 314-544-7378 and learning more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!

 

 

 

bed-bugs

Do Bed Bugs Freeze?

preventing-mice-infestation

Why are Mice Moving into your House this Fall?

As the leaves are turning red, orange and yellow, the air is filled with the smells of apple cider and temperatures are dropping; rodents are looking for a warm home with heat and a food source.

They will find creative ways to enter your home; through cracks in walls, open windows and doors, vents, pipes, you name it and they will try it!

Here are some ways to keep the rodents from wanting to make your home theirs.

Keep up with landscaping chores – Keep your plants and leaves away from the foundation of your house.  Not raking up leaves that pile against the foundation is an open invitation to small rodents. They can hide in the vegetation while searching for an opening. Keep plants and accumulated leaves at least 2 feet away from your home. Don’t allow debris to collect against the house.

Prepare your house for the cool weather –   It’s time to inspect your house for cracks, check your weather-stripping and other areas for weakness.  Make sure you seal any cracks around windows and doors, even check where you may have had repaired done last season.

Rodent-proof your exterior – Check the exterior of your home for any weaknesses where mice would be able to crawl right into your home.  Check to see if holes around cable wires or plumbing have been properly sealed. Rodents are known to crawl up sewage pipes and plumbing, so seal off around the areas where these pipes enter your home.

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

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

We at Holper’s look forward to providing you with successful rodent prevention and rodent control. Please call 314-544-7378 to set up your appointment today.

 

ladybug

How to Tell the Difference Between Good & Bad Ladybugs

Ladybug vs. Asian Lady Beetle

So, there are 5 distinct differences between the Ladybug and the Asian Lady Beetle.

  • Ladybugs are harmless, they control garden pests, lives outdoors, they are very good for the environment and there is no”M” shape on their back.
  • Asian Lady Beetles are aggressive, harmful to dogs, invades homes, leaves behind an odor/yellow fluid and it has an “M” shaped spot on their back.

It is important to prevent the Asian Lady Beetles from overwintering in your home by spraying the exterior walls during the Fall months. They can come in through small cracks around windows, doorways and under clap boards.  The Beetle is a pest as well as a beneficial insect.  They are really only a pest by their presence. They do not feed or damage anything in the home.  They are not poisonous to humans.  However, they can have toxic effects on some animals.  Their foul odor deters some predators from eating them and their bright colors also help as a deterrent.

Ladybugs only eat the insects that damage your plants in the garden.  Ladybugs do not damage, but they love the “all-you-can-eat buffet” that sap-sucking aphids and other insects provide for them.

Superstitions surround just about everything on the planet, and the ladybug is no exception.  Where and how a superstition begins is always open for a debate, but in the case of the ladybug, more than likely the thought that if you harm a ladybug you would have bad luck was introduced by either a farmer or a flower gardener, both of whom would have good reason to keep young boys from killing the one thing that was allowing them to have a successful crop.

So, even though the common ladybug is native to America, there are people around the world who believe that it is a symbol of good luck.  And, if you are a farmer with hundreds of acres of crops or simply someone who loves to raise a beautiful flower garden, it truly could be, because the ladybug lives to devour aphids, whiteflies and other bugs that wreak havoc on your plants.

 

Have an Asian Lady Beetle Problem?

For homeowners, knowing the difference between the seasonal occurrence of a few Asian lady beetles in the home and a full-blown infestation can be difficult. This is because the majority of an infestation is likely to be located in areas that are hidden away, such as attics, crawl spaces, and inside walls and ceilings. If you think that you have an Asian lady beetle problem in your home or building, Holper’s will perform a careful inspection and let you know the score.

To schedule a free inspection of your home or building for the presence of Asian lady beetles, call us today at (314) 544-7378, or email us at info@holperspest.com.

 

 

facts-about-rodents

Fascinating but Scary Facts About Rodents

It’s that time of the season when rodents will be trying to find their way into your home to stay warm and cozy during the winter months.

Rodents, like mice and rats, can seem cute and cuddly in a Disney movie, but they can also be a menace to your property.   Here are some interesting facts about these critters:

  • Their teeth never stop growing. One of the defining characteristics of a rodent is a set of teeth that continuously grow over their lifetime.  Rodents always need something to gnaw on to keep their incisors trimmed, so that’s why they can cause so much damage.
  • A rat’s teeth and jaws can gnaw through substances as hard as lead sheeting and cinder block.
  • The fear of mice and rats is scientifically called “musophobia”, from the Lain word “mus” meaning “mouse”. It is also known as “murophobia”, from the word “murine”. This word comes from “Muridae”, the scientific term for the family of animals that includes mice and rats.
  • Mice and rats can spread at least 35 diseases to humans, according to the CDC. These diseases include salmonellosis, hantavirus, and rat-bite fever.  The infections may be spread through droppings, urine, saliva, rodent bites, or through fleas or ticks that have fed on an infected rodent.
  • A female mouse can have up to 15 litters in one year, and can get pregnant again 24 hours after giving birth. For one mouse, the average litter size is 10-12.  They can start to reproduce at only six weeks of age, so it doesn’t take long for a few mice to create an infestation.
  • Rats can squeeze through openings as small as 13 mm in diameter – about half an inch!
  • Because they can get fluids from foods, many rodents can survive a long time without drinking water.
  • Rats are vulnerable to peer pressure, just like humans. Scientists found that rats will force themselves to eat food they don’t like if they know that some of their fellow rats have eaten it.
  • Rats are among the smartest animals on the planet, often ranked in the company of dolphins and chimpanzees. They can memorize routes and solve a puzzle, which means they can often find their way back into a shelter if their “usual” entrance has been blocked off.
  • Don’t try to get rid of a rat by flushing it down the toilet. They can hold their breath for a long time and tread water for as long as three days.

Worried about rodents infesting your home?  Call Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions.

We take real pride in helping to solve all your pest control problems. That’s why “solutions” is part of our name! Find out the difference in St. Louis pest control by calling us today at 314-732-1413 and learning more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!