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!

 

 

 

 

 

WinterWildlifeSkunk

Winter Wildlife

Maintaining a pest-free zone can be difficult during the cold winter months.  The warmth of the house combined with the promise of food can encourage critters to find a way in.

Moles, rodents, squirrels and skunks do not hibernate during the winter.  Here are a few tips for Wildlife Control during these winter months.

Secure the Garage – Since the door regularly opens and closes, the garage provides easy access for curious critters.  Keep the garage door closed as much as possible.  Make sure it is closed tightly so there is an impassable barrier.  Keep your garage clean and the garbage in a sealed container.  Wipe down stored cooking grills to keep bits of food from attracting animals.

Clear Debris from Property – Piles of debris create the perfect nesting place for animals of all sizes.  Once they have settled in, it’s only a matter of time before they begin looking for a way into your home. Eliminate potential shelters by clearing away branches and leaves that may have collected in your yard.

Cap the Chimney – Ground level is not the only place wildlife may attempt to enter your home. The solid surface on the roof makes it easy for wildlife to move about; the chimney offers an opening that falls directly into your home.  Consider a chimney cap. It allows smoke to filter out of the opening while preventing animals from finding a way in. Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will be happy to install the stainless-steel chimney cap for you!

Also, this is a great time to be thinking about preparing your home for the spring on slot of pests and animals. Holper’s Platinum Service agreement has us visiting to your home 6 times a year to protect it from Brown Recluse, Ants and those unwanted stinging insects. Just to name a few!

We love to treat your home and yard with the same care as we treat our own, and 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!

 

 

 

squirrels

How do Squirrels Stay Warm in Winter?

bed-bugs

Do Bed Bugs Freeze?

Tap install

What’s in Your Attic?

Properly insulating our home and saving money on energy costs are common concerns for homeowners.  A frequent oversight in colder months, however, is not an energy efficiency problem, but a pest problem.  When temperatures fall, bugs and rodents are looking for a warm place to call home for the winter – and you don’t want that place to be your attic.

If you want to keep pests at bay and insulate your home efficiently, you want a product that can do both.  You want TAP (Thermal – Acoustical – Pest Control) Pest Control Insulation.

TAP kills bugs – Insects cannot build up a tolerance to TAP, as they can with organic biological treatments, and you never need to re-treat the insulation. TAP controls ants, cockroaches, silverfish, termites and other pests.

EPA-Registered Pesticide Containing Boric Acid – Boric Acid, the active ingredient in TAP, is found in common household products such as saline eyewash solution, detergents, and the food we eat.  Although deadly to many insects, TAP is acceptable for use around pets and people.

Saves Money & Decrease Energy Bills – TAP helps keep homeowners cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The insulation serves as a blanket for your home when installed in the attic.  The cellulose fibers interconnect to create a nearly perfect balance of the two qualities homeowners should look for in their insulation: dense enough to stop air flow while light enough to trap heat.

Fire Safety – TAP, with its fire-retardant characteristics, limits the spread of fire with both flame and smolder combustion resistance.

The Quiet Life – TAP reduces annoying outside noise and helps create a peaceful haven of quality and solitude.

TAP is Green! – Well, not literally, but TAP is permanent, made from all-natural ingredients and recycled newsprint, thus while you’re controlling pests and saving energy, you’re conserving landfill space.

A Perfect Fit – TAP forms a perfect fit in your attic, leaving no gaps, covering nooks and crannies, capping the entire attic floor.  TAP helps block heat transfer from convection and radiation, as well as conduction.

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is a preferred Installer of TAP Pest Control Insulation. We have completed the necessary training and licensing required to become a pest control operator. We are mindful of safety when working in a confined space such as your home’s attic.

We take real pride in helping to solve all your pest control problems. That’s why “solutions” is part of our name! Call us today at 314-544-7378 and learn more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!