red-fire-ants

How Do You Kill Red Ants?

Most people don’t realize that ants come in multiple colors and when they see red ants they easily confuse them with fire ants, or red imported fire ants (RIFA). These RIFA, are dreaded wherever they spread. There are actually multiple species of fire ants, but the RIFA is dreaded the most.

How Do I Know If I’m Seeing a Red Imported Fire Ant? 

RIFA are reddish-brown and approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. However, in areas where RIFA are found, the easiest way to identify this pest is by the appearance of a mound. RIFA build their mounds in almost any type of soil, but they do show a preference for open sunny areas. Their mounds can attain 18 to 24 inches in height under ideal soil conditions. Some mounds are located in rotting logs, tree stumps, and trees themselves. Occasionally a colony can be found in or under buildings.

The very painful sting of the RIFA’s bite is another common indicator, but it is obviously not the preferred method of identification!

How Do You Kill Red Ants? 

Fortunately red ants that are fire ants live outdoors and aren’t a threat to your home, but if you want to have them removed then you should contact a professional as their sting is very painful.  The good news? Here in the Greater St. Louis area, we do not have RIFA, or any other species of fire ants.

But we do have ants that do a fine job of being a nuisance, as well as some that create damage to our homes. For more on eradicating ants in St. Louis, read our recent blog, Ants, Ants, Everywhere!

termites

Do Termites Fly?

Several of the most common types of termites do have wings, and therefore are capable of flight. However, when winged termites swarm, their wings will fall off. If you encounter a pile of wings close to a congregation of what looks to be ants, you are probably looking at termites that have shed their wings while swarming.

Because termites can resemble flying ants, we wrote a whole blog about it last spring! Click on the link to help determine if you are seeing flying termites or flying ants, How To Tell If You Have Termites or Ants. And then call Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions at 314-732-1413 to solve whatever pest problem is bothering you!

wood-boring-bees

Are Carpenter Bees Dangerous? And Where Do Carpenter Bees Live?

This time of the year in St. Louis we start hearing a lot about carpenter bees. Recently we have been asked a couple of questions that we are happy to help with: “Are carpenter bees dangerous?” and “Where do carpenter bees live? Both are good questions and Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions is happy to help with the answers.

Are Carpenter Bees Dangerous? 

In the sense of danger as risk of being stung, the likelihood of being stung by one is actually very small. Only the females can sting, yet it is usually the stinger-less males that are seen hovering about. The males cannot cause you harm in that manner. Females are generally found in their burrows (more on that with second question), so unless you are handling them or sticking a finger in the burrow (NOT recommended!) you run no to little danger of being stung by a carpenter bee. That being said, all bee stings are dangerous to a person with severe allergies! Avoiding the area to keep from inadvertently touching a female carpenter bee is critical with a severe allergy to bee venom.

In the sense of danger as risk to your home’s appearance and structure, the answer is a resounding yes! Carpenter bees are dangerous to the well being of your house by virtue of their burrows in soft wood areas of your home. These burrows compromise the structure, as well as the appearance of your home. These burrows also help explain the answer to the second question of where carpenter bees live?

Where Do Carpenter Bees Live? 

The hallmark of the carpenter bee burrow is a perfectly round hole in soft, unpainted wood that is ⅜ inch to ½ inch in diameter. This is where the bees seek shelter, as well as where the females lay their eggs and raise their young. Common places to find these burrows are deck railings, roof eaves, doors, shingles, and even wooden furniture. Digging through the soft wood to created these burrows is what compromises the integrity of your structure, as well as marring the appearance of the wood. Of note: the bees do not actually ingest the wood, they merely dig through it, leaving telltale piles of sawdust in their wake.

I Think I Have Carpenter Bees. Now What?

Specifics of how to treat for carpenter bees can be found in our blog, How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees. But to get exterminations started right away, or for your yearly retreatment to keep them away, one call to Holper’s at 314-732-1413 will get you on your way to saying goodbye to carpenter bees and their destructive habits!

 

Insect & Spider Control

Where Do Brown Recluse Spiders Live?

Here in St. Louis, most of the insects and spiders that take up residence in our homes and businesses are merely pests–while we don’t like to see them, they really can’t harm us personally. We just don’t want them around. But the brown recluse spider is a different story. Why are people afraid of finding brown recluse spiders? Where do brown recluse spiders live? How do you get rid of brown recluse spiders?

Why Are People Afraid of Finding Brown Recluse Spiders?

First, it is important to know what to look for so you’ll know if you see one. Brown recluse spiders range from dime-sized to the size of a dollar coin. They can be tan to gray in color, with thin, spindly legs. They are easiest to identify by the violin-shaped marking on the top of the head, leading some people to call it a fiddleback spider. The reason people fear the brown recluse spider is the bite! The bite of a brown recluse injects a victim with a protein that affects different people in different ways. Some lucky ones have no reaction at all. But for an unlucky person who does react, the bite can lead to necrosis, organ failure, and, in extremely rare cases, death.

So…Where Do Brown Recluse Spiders Live? 

The name itself, brown recluse, is a clue. Reclusive in nature, these spiders like to live in wall voids and attics. They usually come out at night to feed, which leads to an increased likelihood of spotting one while it is out hunting for insects. Sometimes you can find them in sinks, bathtubs, and shower stalls when they fall out of the light fixtures above, which they access from the attic. Though they prefer to stay hidden, occasionally you can see one crawling along baseboards, or high up on a wall near the ceiling.

How Do You Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders? 

Holper’s is widely known throughout the industry as brown recluse experts. Many companies come to Holper’s to learn how to effectively treat this potentially deadly pest.  Remember that you learned brown recluse like to live in wall voids? Most companies don’t treat the wall voids, and if you don’t treat the wall voids, you can’t exterminate the brown recluse! With Holper’s, part of the treatment includes miniscule ports that allow those wall voids to be dusted, targeting the brown recluse where they live. You will  benefit by trusting Holper’s, as our multi-phase treatment plan utilizes the newest formulations and technologies available to professionals. Call Holper’s today at 314-732-1413 and a member of our Customer Care Team will be happy to schedule you.

You can trust Holper’s–we know how to kill brown recluse spiders. Let us give you back your home!

 

 

 

 

 

Skunk control

Ugh–I Smell a Skunk

It’s unmistakable, isn’t it? That horrid, offensive odor when a skunk sprays. Spring can bring beautiful smelling flowers, but it also brings out those skunks! We are already seeing an uptick in skunk activity, so a timely read would be our fact-filled blog from last year, Who Do I Call For Skunk Removal?

carpenter-ant

Are There Flying Ants?

With so many insects making their appearance this time of year, it can be difficult to keep them all straight. One you might think you know for sure is the ant, invader of picnics and expert at marching in straight lines. But is there more to the ant you think you know so well? Are there flying ants too?

Aren’t All Ants The Same?

We are used to ants being wingless creatures and termites having wings, but that is not always the case. That makes it easy to confuse the two.

Some carpenter ants have wings, leading homeowners to mistake them as termites. There is an important distinction between the wings, though–on termites the wings are equal to twice the length of the body. On carpenter ants the wings only reach just beyond the end of the body length.

When termites swarm their wings come off, which often leads to them being mistaken for ants. These swarms usually occur where a patio/porch/driveway slab touches the house, and the swarm can be inside or outside. Since the wings come off in the swarm, the termites will now resemble typical ants. If you see discarded wings nearby, you have termites and not ants.

Another way to tell the difference between the two is that termites will congregate in a large number close together. Ants will tend to be found in the previously mentioned, stereotypical line of ants.

I Don’t Care If They Have Wings Or Not…I Just Want Them Gone

If ants are the problem, the only way to successfully get rid of them, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. Holper’s has been taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985, using low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. Holper’s uses a three-pronged attack on your ant infestation: treating the inside, treating the outside, and using bait outside of your home. Once the initial infestation has been exterminated, this service is done quarterly to make sure your home stays free of ants, and many other unwanted insects. Best of all, the program includes a full guarantee!

Holper’s Can Do It All!

Whether you have insects, spiders, nuisance wildlife, or a combination from the list, Holper’s really is the “Do It All” pest control company. Call our friendly customer service reps today at 314-732-1413 to have all your questions answered and to set up an appointment to have peace of mind restored in your home.

ant-removal-services

Ants, Ants, Everywhere

What do we want? Spring!  When do we want it? NOW!

The crazy weather we have had in St. Louis has given everyone a case of spring fever! The little teases of warm weather here and there only make our excitement for warmer days that much stronger. We are not alone, though, in emerging more out into the open as the cool temperatures leave…ants are making their appearance in droves, too! All over St. Louis this annual pest is making itself known, and no homeowner is happy to receive a visit. (This is also the time of year when termites show up–if you want to know how to tell the difference between termites and ants, here is a helpful blog from our library. Do I Have Termites or Ants?)

As they say, knowledge is power! Knowing your ant enemy helps for both prevention and for treatment. Our April newsletter featured the ant as the “Know A Pest” of the month, and you can find that information here:

April = Ants

 Know a Pest: Ants

Did you know:

  • Ants are most often drawn indoors for food and water. High moisture areas (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will always be most attractive to ants.
  • The most common ant in the St. Louis area is the odorous house ant, which is 1/16 of an inch to an ⅛ of an inch long, brown or black in color, primarily wingless, with bent antennae.
  • Over-the-counter sprays usually act as repellents, sending the ants to other areas of your home.
  • There are a few things you can to do lower your risk of an infestation: keep moisture in your home to an absolute minimum, properly store all food in airtight containers, and keep your gutters clean and remove all leaf debris that gathers around the foundation of your home.
  • The way to conquer an ant infestation is a three-pronged approach: treat the inside, treat the outside, and use bait stations outside of the home.

What’s the fastest way to get rid of ants and all other pests? Call the experts at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions right away at 314-732-1413 to make your home pest-free!

commercial-bird-control-services

A Bird In The Hand: Who Can Provide Bird Control Services?

If you have never found yourself hosting a bird in your home or business, congratulations! Consider yourself lucky to have never experienced the stressful feeling of catching sight of a panicked bird trying to find a way out, to say nothing of the mess left behind. Bird removal and bird control services are a highly specialized segment for nuisance wildlife technicians, and not all companies are able to offer this service, in part because residential bird control varies from commercial bird control. Expertise and creative problem solving go hand in hand to address bird control solutions. What goes into solving a bird issue? We’re glad you asked!

How We Do It: Expert Bird Control Service

The first step will always be a thorough inspection to figure out what type of bird is present, entry/access points, as well as if and where it is nesting. This is the basis for formulating a personalized solution.The time of year can also be a factor: for example, springtime bird problems tend to be short lived as the bird likely came inside to nest, hatch its babies, and then leave when the nestlings fly away. That would be serviced differently than a continuing bird issue. Each situation is different. That is why expertise is so important to craft a personalized combination of bird netting, one-way doors, bird spikes on ledges, reflectors, repairs, etc. Each bird problem is unique, so each solution will be, too.

The Holper’s Difference

Whether the pest in your house or yard is an insect, spider, or nuisance wildlife, the friendly professionals of Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions can take care of it all. Call 314-732-1413 to experience the Holper’s Difference.

Is Your Home Ready For Springtime Pests?