wasp-control

Wasps Facts: Habitats and Habits

There are about 2,500 species of wasps known to inhabit North America; only about 50 can sting at all.  Only female Wasps and Bees can sting.  Unlike bees, female wasps have the ability to sting a target multiple times because their stinger does not fall off after use. What we call a stinger is actually a modified ovipositor, the hollow tube through which female insects deposit eggs.  Most wasps use it for that purpose alone.  Some species employ the tube to bore holes in the tree bark or other vegetable matter in which to lay eggs. Only a handful of wasps are also capable of injecting venom through their ovipositors, and thus a painful sting. Most Wasps are mild-mannered loners, solitary wasps that keep their distance from man and use their venom only to stun spiders, caterpillars or other insects with which to provision their nests. Except when mating, they live their lives alone.

When the queen emerges from hibernation in the spring, she dines on flower nectar to restore her strength, then selects a nesting site and begins to build a nest dissected into cells. The queen lays an egg in each cell.  A week to three weeks later, they emerge as adults.  The first brood and most of the subsequent broods are sterile females, workers who take over nest building and all other duties except egg lying, that’s the queens’ job.  In her single-season lifetime, a queen hornet or yellow jacket may lay as many as 25,000 eggs.

To avoid contact with Wasps

May we suggest that you never work in the yard or garden wearing yellow or white, since these colors attract insects. Many insects cannot see red, making it a good color to wear when working in the yard. You should also minimize wearing perfumes, colognes, hair sprays, and other fragrances, and by all means, never walk barefoot.

Avoid sugar and meat snacks, especially in open containers, and keep garbage cans well sealed and as clean as possible. Companion animals should be fed indoors or on screened porches. If you have playground equipment, make sure you plug the ends of the pipes to prevent wasps from settling in them.

Creating a Game Plan for Successful Treatment

Holper’s has specialized in stinging insect treatments for over 34 years.  Determining the course of treatment is determined by two factors; the type of stinging insect and the location where the nest is found.  Because of these variables, nests need to be treated and removed by trained technicians using the proper safety equipment and professional-grade materials.  Nests in the ground are particularly problematic, so a call right away to Holper’s is your safest bet – they know how to get rid of the Wasps or Bees in the ground.

Stinging Insect Control

There’s a good reason so many people in the Greater St. Louis area trust Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions as their exterminators for their stinging insect control – It’s the first type of pest that Holper’s conquered over three decades ago.  If you want to effectively implement stinging insect control, do your family and home a favor and call Holper’s today at 314 544-7378.

 

Ant Control

The Ants are coming…Oh dear they’re here!

It’s that time of the year when you see ants marching in a row around your house on the ground or worst…Marching in a row on your house and it seems like they know exactly where to go! Like, inside the walls of your home looking for food sources. If you’re like me, that’s a really creepy thought!
Ants invade homes through small openings from the outside. These openings include cracks and crevices in the foundation, small openings under siding, gaps under doors or around windows, ventilation openings, laundry vents, plumbing penetrations, electrical wiring outlets, etc. Once inside, ants follow structural edges or guidelines where walls meet floors, windows, contact walls, between baseboards and floors, between shelving and walls or along water pipes and electrical wiring.
When they discover a food source, worker ants form trails. Following this trail can provide clues about what the ants are feeding on, where the colony is located and how they are getting into the home.

Ant Management & Control


The first step is to focus on minimizing the likelihood that ants can get into your home or on reducing the available resources they can find once inside. Some common recommendations include:
• Repair and caulk cracks and crevices where ants enter the home. Pay special attention to areas around doors, windows, siding, foundation, vents, pipes, etc.
• Eliminate outdoor nesting areas around the home such as piles of debris, rocks, boards, leaves, tall grass, etc.
• Place ant-attractive foods in glass or plastic jars that are sealed tightly or store them in the refrigerator.
• Clean all kitchen surfaces and sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly each day to remove all food scraps.
• Rinse dinner dishes and wash dishes daily to reduce the availability of food.
• Rinse used glass, metal and plastic food containers before throwing them into the garbage can or recycling bin.
• Take out the garbage regularly and keep outdoor trash cans clean and in good repair.
You can remove trailing ants that are already inside by wiping the ant trail with a sponge saturated with soapy water. This is only temporary, though, and the ants will reestablish trails soon. Further work is necessary to reduce ant activity indoors.
Whether it’s pavement ants, carpenter ants, or any other kind of ant, Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions experienced technicians have the know-how necessary to identify and control your ant problem. Our system will rid your home of ants as well as other pests and ensure that they will not return in the near future by also treating the outside perimeter of your home. Schedule your FREE in-home inspection.

Prevent pest problems before they start with monthly or quarterly pest control applications. Sign up today to keep the ants, spiders, rodents & other pests out of your home and save $50!

Hurry, Offer Expires April 30, 2019

tick treatments

It’s “Tick Talk” time!

Now that the winter thaw is over and the Crocus’ and Daffodils are in bloom,  it’s time to start preparing for the warm weather pest to arrive.

Holper’s is offering a service called “Tick Management “. This is not a broadcast spray of the entire yard; instead we focus on areas where ticks are most commonly encountered, known as ecotones.  Ecotones, or transitional areas between woods and field, or brushy areas and lawns, are the most likely place for ticks to thrive.  Close-cropped grass in the middle of the yard doesn’t support tick populations the way more natural areas do. The reason for tick activity in these areas is two-fold:

  1. The hosts for the most common ticks are more likely to be found in natural areas, and the edges are great places for questing ticks to latch onto a passing animal.
  2. Sunny, open lawns don’t provide the humidity most ticks need to develop and thrive the way shady edges do.  Therefore, the entire yard typically doesn’t need a treatment; just treat the tick zones.

Ticks have become an increasing problem to people and animals in the United States. Ticks feed on a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and even amphibians. Ticks can be a nuisance; their bites can cause irritation and, in the case of some ticks, paralysis.  They can also transmit many human and animal disease pathogens, which include viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae, and protozoa.

Holper’s Pest and Animal Solutions is offering a “Tick Treatment Package”.  This package runs April through October to treat the Tick Zone areas.  This service is designed to reduce the number of questing ticks on your property.    

When you purchase this package before April 18th, you will receive your October treatment FREE!  Packages start at $79 for ¼ acre.  Call us at 314 544-7378 to schedule this service and start enjoying your yard this spring and summer!

Spring Pest Tips

Spring Pest Tips

Spring Pest Control & Pest Prevention Tips

Days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and those springtime pests are on the move.  As we begin preparing for the spring season and nature is bursting back to life, it’s time to start thinking about pest control.   Common pests that return with new vigor in the spring includes bees, ants, spiders, mosquitos, flies, silverfish, cockroaches, rodents and more.

Here are some things you can do to prevent common springtime pests:

  • Year-Round Pest Control Maintenance
    • From sickness to disease to damage and disgust, pests can be disastrous for many reasons.
    • Even if you don’t have a pest problem now, pest prevention is always cheaper and easier than pest reaction. We highly recommend signing up for a year-round maintenance plan that fits your needs.
  • Store and Dispose of Food/Waste Properly
    • Animals need food, water and shelter to survive. Gardens, garbage, standing water and pet food can all attract pests
      • Follow proper cleaning and food storage processes
      • Keep trash bins tightly covered with tight-fitting, spring-loaded lids and be sure to empty them frequently
      • Store pet food in a sealed container indoors
      • Add fencing around your garden & build raised beds with a cover
    • Regular inspections and reports from Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will provide the information necessary for specific strategies.
  • Control Moisture
    • Even a small pool of water or leaking pipes can provide enough water to attract springtime pests. High humidity aids egg production with pests.
      • Repair plumbing leaks as soon as possible
      • Get rid of standing water, such as tires, bird baths and pool covers
      • Trim tall grasses
      • Keep gutters and downspouts clean and clear
      • Remove any wet or decaying woods, such as rotted stumps
      • Keep your home well-ventilated and dry, especially basements, attics and crawl spaces

 

  • Inspect the Perimeter and Seal Entryways
    • Openings in your home provide the perfect entrance for unwanted guests. Inspect your property for potential entrance points for pests. Pay close attention to areas where utilities enter (plumbing, electrical, HVAC)
      • Seal any gaps and cracks around the building
      • Repair any broken screens and windows
      • Replace any aging or worn weather-stripping
      • Trim back trees and shrubs that are touching your structure, hanging over your roof or near your roofline
      • Keep pallets stored off the ground
      • Never leave any exterior facing doors open
    • Use weatherproof caulk for any gaps and cracks smaller than ½ inch. For any gaps and holes larger than that, use expandable foam sealant
    • If you notice any pest or signs of a pest presence, such as mud tubes and rotted wood, contact Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions right away!
  • Clean, Clean, Clean
    • Its spring – time for some cleaning. In addition to immediately cleaning up any food spills and making sure food items are properly stored, take some time to do full spring inspection and cleaning.
      • Immediately clean up any food preparation
      • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink (at least rinse or soak them)
      • Never store food on the floor
      • Repair cracks, holes, broken screens and other methods of entry
      • Make sure trash is regularly and properly disposed of
      • Store food products in sealed containers at proper temperature
      • Make sure there is a routine cleaning policy (sweeping, mopping, drain cleaning, waste removal, etc.)
      • Conduct a deep cleaning and decluttering at least twice a year
    • Snakes, bugs and insects love to hide in trash and debris. Take some time to clear away all the clutter from your property, such as brush piles and excess leaves.  Don’t neglect the areas under porches, decks and stairs.
  • Contact Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions as soon as you notice a pest
    • Pests rarely travel alone. Where there’s one, there’s many.  Even if you see just one of these pests this spring, contact Holper’s to take care of it before it turns into a full-blown infestation.
    • Remember, the best way to maintain a pest-free environment for your home or business is by partnering with a pest professional. Call us at 314 544-7378 (pest). We will give you peace of mind & your home back!
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!