termites

Destructive Termites in St. Louis

– Are they living in your walls?

Termite swarms show up in early spring months to find their way into your home before you know it.

When you do see them, it is critical for your Holper’s Pest Control Tech to identify the species of destructive termites so they can formulate an appropriate control program.  Here in Missouri, the main destructive termite species is the Eastern Subterranean Termite.

Eastern Subterranean Termites are highly destructive to Douglas fir and other common building timbers. They can rapidly eat out the internal sections of structural timbers – devouring mainly the spring wood.  As a result, infested timbers are often left as a thin shell with a honey-comb of layered hollow sections packed with moist soil.  These termites love a moist dark damp environment – it is essential for their survival.   It is estimated that more than 1 in 5 homes in the high activity areas, have been or will be attacked by these insects.

If you find these termites DO NOT disturb them!  These termites have acute survival instincts. If they are shaken up or disturbed, they will often abandon the associated area and move on to secretly cause damage in other areas in the building.  They constantly search for new food sources. They are known to enter buildings through cracks in concrete flooring or to travel under parquetry or tile flooring through gaps of less than 1/16” wide.  They travel in mud shelter tubes as protection from predators, sun burn and dehydration to maintain a high humidity environment which is essential for their survival.

Let Holper’s help give you peace of mind that your home is pest free!

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will treat your home with the same care as we treat our own, and we take real pride in helping to solve all of your pest control problems.  Call us today at 314 732-1413.

 

MoleControl

Conquering Moles, Voles & Other Pests

The Biology of…

House Mouse

House Mouse

Mice-

are classified as omnivores, preferring seeds and grains. The weight of a mouse averages ½ ounce.  The length varies from 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches, including the tail which measures three to four inches.
Breeding occurs all year long.  Sexually maturity occurs six to 10 weeks following birth.  Females may deliver five to 10 litters per year, yielding five to six young each.

Voles-

meadow-voleare classified as herbivores.  Body weight average one to two ounces.  The Length of a vole varies by species and ranges from three to seven inches.

Breeding occurs year round.  Females reach sexual maturity approximately35 days after birth and may produce young 21 days following the first birth.

Voles live in colonies.  The entrance to vole tunnel is typically one inch in diameter.  The tunnels average ¾ inch by one inch wide; having the appearance of bicycle tracks.

Moles-

mole-removal-servicesare classified as insectivores, eating 80-100% of their body weight each day.  The diet of mole consists of earthworms, but may include grubs and other insects.  Moles can travel as much as 100 feet per day.

Females have one litter per year in early spring yielding two to five young.  A second litter may occur in late summer.  The young are encouraged to leave the nest approximately one to three months after birth and become territorial.

So, why am I telling you all of this?  Because, I want you to know there are pests in many different shapes and sizes invading and destroying your beautiful manicured lawn in many different ways!  And, as you can see, these pests will keep on breeding and turn your yard into their own personal “Golden Corral” if you let them.

The Good News is…You’ve come to the right place! 

You’ve come to the Home of the Mole Hunter.

Not every pest company gets to boast that they have “The Mole Hunter” as their president, but we do! Jeff Holper, passes on his knowledge to all of our technicians so that your lawn will benefit as your moles are added to the more than 50,000 moles already caught by Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions. For voles or mice, the Holper’s process begins with a thorough inspection and is followed with a personalized treatment program combining the elements of professional services that your situation requires.

Let the Mole Hunter give you your yard and peace of mind back, when you contact Holper’s at 314-732-1413!

 

stink-bug

Stink Bugs…Do They Bite?

Normally, they do not.  However, they will bite if they feel threatened. The bite area may have some swelling or rash and may feel painful, but harmless. Even though a stink bugs’ bite is usually treated as a non-poisonous bite for adults, it may prove poisonous for small children and pets.  Some people relate their pungent smelling liquid with that of poison, but Stink Bugs emit a foul smelling liquid only to deter predators.

What Attracts Stink Bugs?

Food and environment both have attractions for stink bugs. They are mostly attracted by fruit plants and crops.  Their major hosts are cucumber, tomato, dogwood, citrus, and sunflower.  Just to name a few.  They damage plants and transfer plant-pathogens.   They can also use beetle larvae or caterpillars as hosts.  This is all about their eating habits in summer; since they do not generate their heat on their own, they have to rely on external surroundings to keep themselves warm.   Therefore they remain hibernate in cold seasons.

Stink Bug Invasion in Homes

Adult Stink Bugs invade homes right before the winter.  They hide in your home in a state of hibernation during the winter season.  Generally, they take advantage of cracks around windows and door trims, under or behind baseboards, and around exhaust fans or lights in the ceiling.   If you see a stink bug in your home, never crush them!  It will force them to eject foul smell which tempts other bugs to invade your home.

The best possible way to eradicate them is to hire a professional exterminator.

We are currently offering special prices on Power Sprays starting at $69.00 for the exterior of your home!  Offer ends October 31, 2018.

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 314-732-1413 and learning more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!

what's biting me

What’s biting me? Chiggers, Ticks, Mosquitoes

We are currently offering a special price of $39.95 for your First Mosquito Treatment (up to a ½ acre, exp 12/31/2018)!

Chiggers

Chiggers are mites: tiny insects about 1/50th of an inch long. Also know as harvest bugs or red bugs. They’re nearly invisible except, as occasionally happens, they cluster on your skin. They are red in color. Seen under a magnifying glass, they look like tiny red spiders. Chiggers love moist grassy areas, including lawns and fields. They are transferred to human beings through contact with grass, brush, and vegetation. Chiggers don’t carry disease, but they can cause severe itching.
Unlike mosquitoes, which bite where they land, chiggers may move around the skin to find a good place to eat. Like ticks, chiggers are opportunistic parasites that grab onto any hosts that happen to wander by. Unlike ticks, chiggers don’t embed themselves in the skin
Belts and tight clothing prevent them from moving further, so chigger bites are often found around the waist or near elastic waistbands. Other favorite locations are spots where the skin is thin: near the groin, behind the knees, or in the armpits.
One prevalent myth is that chiggers burrow into the skin; this is not true. Instead, they inject enzymes into the skin that destroy the surrounding tissue. The chiggers then ingest the dead tissue. Because this activity is likely to cause intense itching for the host, chiggers are usually unable to feed for long; if left undisturbed, though, they can feast for days.
Unlike ticks and mosquitoes, chiggers do not carry disease, which means that contact with them isn’t dangerous per se. Unfortunately, however, chigger bites are incredibly itchy. Even worse, chiggers usually move in large groups, so it’s unlikely you’ll experience just a single chigger bite.
Oh, and the home remedy that your mom may have told you about or used to kill chiggers and stop the itch…Nail Polish or Vaseline. It doesn’t work.

Ticks

Ticks are small bloodsucking parasites. Many species transmit diseases to animals and people. Some of the diseases you can get from a tick bite are Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Ticks live outdoors in grass, trees, shrubs & leaf piles.
They’re attracted to people and their four-legged pets, and they can easily move between the two. Ticks prefer warm, moist areas of the body. Once a tick gets on your body, they’re likely to migrate to your armpits, groin, or hair. When they’re in a desirable spot, they bite into your skin and begin drawing blood. They remain attached to your body once they bite you.
Tick bites are usually harmless and may produce no symptoms. However, if you’re allergic to tick bites, you may experience: pain or swelling at the bite site, a rash, a burning sensation at the bite site, blisters and difficulty breathing, if severe.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are members of the fly family. They may be small and have short lifespans, but they can wreak havoc on human lives. From their itchy bites to the diseases they can carry, mosquitoes are often annoying and sometimes downright deadly.
Mosquitoes live in grass and bushes located close to areas where humans live. Their favorite breeding ground is standing water. They gather in neglected birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, storm drains, pools, ponds, and other bodies of water that aren’t flowing.
Male mosquitoes don’t bite humans, but females do. While both of them feed on plant nectar and water, females also need blood in their diet to reproduce. Mosquitoes choose their human victims based on the scent of carbon dioxide and other chemicals in your perspiration.
Mosquitoes and Ticks can carry viruses, bacteria, and parasites in their saliva. When they bite you, they can transmit those pathogens into your body, causing severe and even life-threatening illness.
Mosquitoes are known carriers of malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, and several viruses that cause encephalitis.

Prevention

If you think your yard is infested with Mosquitoes or other pesky intruders, before they bite, call Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions.
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 314-732-1413 and learning more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!

bedbugs

BED BUGS: Teensy Mutant Travelers

Bed bugs are small.  And they get EVERYWHERE:  deep into clutter, upholstery and every nook and cranny from fabric seams to crew holes.

Bed bug bites are often mistaken for mosquito bites or bites from other insects, and some people show no reaction at all to bed bug bites. So it’s no wonder they go undetected for long periods.
However, if you know the right place to look, you may be able to spot bed bugs. Adult bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye—no equipment is required. Check:
  1. Headboards
  2. Bedside tables
  3. Ceiling/wall junctions
  4. Loose wallpaper or paneling
  5. Wherever you find a crease or crevice near where a person sleeps. This includes baseboards, mattress seams and personal belongings
If you are interested in keeping your home free from bed bugs, read our blog post on “How to Prevent Bed Bugs” today!
Signs of Bats

What Are Signs You Have Bats In Your Home?

Hearing high-pitched chirping noises or scratching in your walls or ceilings? Finding droppings around your foundation that seem to be below soffit gaps or vents? You might very well be harboring bats in your home! We covered important information on this subject last July in a blog you can access here, “Do I Have Bats in My Attic”?

Is St. Louis Experiencing More Wasps This Summer?

It sure seems like we’ve been hearing about significantly more stings from wasps this summer. Maybe you’re experiencing that, too. Do you know how to tell a wasp from other stinging insects? Do you know how to recognize a wasp nest? Why are we seeing so many wasps this year? Most importantly, do you know who can help you get rid of your wasp problem? You’re about to find out!

The ABCs of Wasps

Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions gets a lot of calls about wasps, primarily about the European wasp, which is fairly new to St. Louis. These wasps resemble yellow jackets in color (yellow and black striped), but European wasps are about 1¼ inches long (½” longer than a yellow jacket). Also, like yellow jackets, wasps have pointed stingers capable of multiple stings. Ouch!

European wasps make a cone-shaped paper nest that often is built under overhangs of houses and inside the hollow fencing around pools. Sheltered areas, like soffits and corners, are prime real estate for their nests, too. Their nests can hold up to 75 wasps, and like you, wasps are very protective of their homes. European wasps are extremely aggressive, and need no provocation to attack. Remember, an angry wasp can sting you over and over, and it will!

Why So Many Wasps? 

You’ve probably noticed more wasps, and other stinging insects, in your yard this year. Wasp populations fluctuate from year to year–warmer winters mean less die-off of insect pests, like the wasp. No doubt you are seeing more of all the stinging pests, as well as other insects this season. They are everywhere!

 

Take The Sting Out of Summer With Holper’s! 

While it is impossible to guarantee stinging pests won’t stop by for a visit this summer, a professional inspection done by Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions provides results! We show you not only where wasps and other stinging insects are staking claim to your home or yard, but also where they are likely to take up residence with you! Nest removal, followed by regularly timed treatments for stinging insects, will help your family have a more enjoyable summer by reducing the chance of stinging insects building nests in or near your home. Want to take the sting out of summer? Let Holper’s show you how we take GREAT care of St. Louis area homes. Call 314-732-1413 today!

 

 

 

Pest Control Questions

St. Louis Pest Control Questions

Is there something bugging you? Well, we’ve got answers! Wherever we go, people see the Holper name on our trucks and uniforms and approach us with questions. These are some of the questions we’ve gotten recently. Maybe some of them are your St. Louis pest control questions, too!

Is there a brown recluse spider repellent?

Boy, do we ever wish we could say yes, but the answer is no. They live wherever they want without intervention from professionals. Brown recluse are very hard to get rid of, which is why Holper’s is so successful exterminating–we know the secret to success is treating the wall voids where the spiders hide. We are proud of our excellence in this area!

Do ants hate pepper?

While it is true that ants will avoid a lot of kitchen spices, the tradeoff is that the ants just move to other locations in your home. It may seem like pepper is repelling the ants, but ants can find lots of places in your house where there are not spices!

How do you kill bagworms?

Bagworms need to be treated with professional grade pesticides handles by trained technicians. The best time to book treatment is in the month of May before the worms hatch and make their bags. But you can reduce their numbers any time of the season by having a treatment done. It’s not too late!

When do wasps sleep?

While wasps do not actually sleep, they do return to their nests at night to rest.

Can you use a roach fogger for termites?

You can’t. Termites require specialized treatments to keep them from destroying your largest investment, your home.

Do moth balls get rid of squirrels?

We get asked a lot about moth balls being a remedy for different pests, and the answer is always a resounding no! They are dangerous to the pets and humans in your home, so help spread the word that moth balls are a big no-no for DIY pest control.

Who is the best in St. Louis pest control?

Thanks for asking–we sure think we are! 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 314-732-1413 and learning more about Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions!

St. Louis Brown Recluse

Are There Poisonous Spiders in Missouri?

It’s bad enough to think about spiders in your house and yard, but have you wondered if they are dangerous, in addition to just having an extreme “ick” factor? Are there poisonous spiders in Missouri?

The simple answer is yes–there are two types of spiders in Missouri that people refer to as poisonous. But in truth only one has venom, and it is the extremely rare black widow spider. Luckily for those of us in the St. Louis area, this is not the part of the state one would usually find this rare spider.

That’s not to say that St. Louis gets away from the dangerous spider game unscathed–St. Louis is a virtual hotbed for the brown recluse spider. And they are at a peak right now. When a brown recluse bites you, it secretes a protein into the wound that many people have an extreme sensitivity to. This leads to the misnomer “poisonous” being attached to the brown recluse spider. Many people actually have no more reaction to a brown recluse bite than to any other spider bite–only 10% of brown recluse spider bites even require medical attention!

We have written many blogs about the brown recluse. If you want to learn more about how to identify a brown recluse spider, and how to get rid of an infestation, read: How Do I Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders?

What Common Ants Do We Have In St. Louis?

It’s officially summer in St. Louis, so there are three things you can count on…heat, humidity, and ants! Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions can’t help you with those first two, but we sure do know our ants–more importantly, we know how to get rid of them for you. So, what are these common ants?

Ants, Ants, & More Ants
There are four common types of ants here in STL:

Odorous house ants are the most plentiful ant. They are 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long, brown or black in color, and primarily wingless. Another trait is that their antennae will be bent. They are particularly drawn to sweets, but any food with easy access is a draw.

Carpenter ants come in second for the most populous ant in St. Louis. Carpenter ants are ⅜  to ½ of an inch in length, and can be black or dark red in color. Some carpenter ants have wings, which leads people to confuse them with termites, but the wings of carpenter ants will only extend just past the end of the body. Like odorous house ants, the antennae are slightly bent. Carpenter ants eat outdoors, but they tunnel through moisture-damaged wood to build satellite nests indoors.

Pharaoh ants come next in line for most common ant in St. Louis. They are tiny ants, just slightly more than 1/16 of an inch long. Often light yellow in color, they can also be reddish-brown. (Their abdomens tend to be a little darker than the rest of them.) Their antennae are distinctive in that they possess a club-like structure at the tip. Like odorous house ants, they enjoy sweets, but will also eat other insects.

Acrobat ants round out the top four common ants in St. Louis. Acrobat ants vary in length from 1/16 to 1/8 inch. They have a very distinct abdomen, which is shaped like a heart. They can be seen indoors in kitchens, tunneling through foam insulation, and often times near other insects’ nests, as they are predators. 

Ant Control Experts

Seeing ants, many homeowners run to the store to grab a can of whatever spray looks deadly. But most OTC products merely serve as repellents, driving ants to other areas in your home, not exterminating them. This is to say nothing of the awful odor of OTC sprays!

The only way to rid your home of common ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. Holper’s, taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985, always uses low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your invaders: treating the home inside, treating the home outside, and using bait outside of your home.  

To set up your free inspection, please call 314-732-1413 today. You will find the cost of extermination saves you time and peace of mind in the end!