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Bed Bugs

Bugs that look like bedbugs

In the animal world, there are a lot of different species that we find all over. Some of them look or have different characteristics and seem to be unique. However, there are certain animals that have similarities that to the human eye can be confusing and not in a good way, as we can think that those animals aren’t dangerous and, we’re getting into big trouble.

One case is bed bugs, these disgusting pests that feed off humans and pets the same and have consequences when they do it. Most people will confuse them with other type of insect that isn’t even a pest or vice versa, so it is paramount to know what you’re dealing with. Some bugs are dangeous to human, so, before you take any action ask a pest control expert for tips.

What do bed bugs look like?

The first thing that you need to know Is how they look like so you can’t confuse them with others. These insects have an oval shape, they’re very small and this makes them nearly invisible to the naked eye. They have a reddish-brown appearance, although their body is flat and transparent before they have fed. thick antennae and protruding eyes seem to be one of the standout characteristics.

It’s time that you get to meet bugs that are very similar but not as disgusting and dangerous as them.

Bugs that look like bed bugs

As we have said, there are many insects that have similar characteristics. We’re going to discuss which of these are the most like them.

Bat bugs

The first thing that you notice is that their name is pretty like bed bugs, but they are not. In terms of insects these are the ones that look almost the same, as their oval shaped body and reddish-brown colour tends to make people into thinking that they are bed bugs, however, they do not feed off humans. Also, they have wings, but they can’t fly. One of the main differences is their size, as bat bugs tend to be a little bit bigger. If one thing is certain, these bugs live very far from homes and cities. Caves are their habitat and prefer to feed on bats. However, if there is a colony of bats living at your home, they can end up spreading around and biting if there aren’t any bats around.

Cockroach nymphs

These insects are generally confused with bed bugs because of their colour since they have a transparent body when they are in their development stage. As bed bugs, baby cockroaches seem to have a flattened oval shaped body, long legs, and antennae. Some people might confuse them because in early stages they haven’t gotten wings as they’re supposed to and look a lot more like a bed bug. In terms of colour, they go from reddish brown to black once they have grown enough. Another difference is that nymphs are normally where food is, and bed bugs spend their time in a dark corner waiting for you to go to bed and feed.

Booklice

A typical characteristic of bed bugs is their oval shaped body, and here is when booklice go in another direction as they’re typically long and thin, almost like termites. Also, they do grow wings and are able to fly unlike bed bugs. Their body is segmented and grow bigger than bed bugs, up to 6 mm. They’re softer so they can be killed faster. You could find them near your bed, but they won’t eat you, they’re probably eating mold from one of your books.

Spider beetles

Their scarlet red colour can really remind you of a bed bug that just festered on your blood. They tend to be smaller than bed bugs, however they do have more similarities in behaviour as dark areas are their favourites, and not only that, but feeding at night too. Shape wise they can be oval and have a reddish-brown colour. However, it is not plain, but it is very bright. Finding one near your bed can be only coincidental since they do not bite humans and only feed on grains that can be found in your pantry. Don’t get scared if you see any of them, just make sure it is a spider beetle and not a bed bug.

Carpet beetles

They have the least resemblance of any of the ones previously mentioned because of their hairy appearance. The only similarity to bed bugs is that some species are oval shaped, which tends to be a common characteristic amongst other insects. They do not bite humans, and they just focus on eating fibres that come from animals like fur or wool, and may eat your carpet, furniture, or clothing if they’re made of materials like these.

Fleas

Another pest like bed bugs, one which really enjoys feeding off blood. Their oval shaped body, translucent and always reddish-brown colour, with a lack of wings leads them to be a jumping bed bug. One of the main differences between them is that fleas jump from host to host and prefer to live off canine or feline blood types and can’t really stop eating. You won’t find them biting humans. If you have pets and see flying dots near them, they must be having a case of flea infestation.

Ticks

These parasitic insects look a lot like spiders, but their flat and oval shaped body resembles bed bugs. They are common and when they’re in their early stages are reddish-brown. They’re easier to see than bed bugs and have eight legs. These arachnids do not flee after they have fed, but do it continuously until they’ve had enough, mostly when they have grown 3 times their size. They can transmit horrible diseases that can be lethal, which can’t be said about bed bugs as they only feed on blood. Make sure that when you see a bug check if it’s a tick and quickly start treatment before something terrible happens.

Categories
insect

Where do insects go in wintertime?

Most insects are arthropods, which means that they are bound to environmental conditions in terms of heat since they can’t produce it. Most of them can’t survive low temperatures so they need to find a way to survive once winter hits. It is quite difficult for them to adapt to the weather conditions, some of them have their own techniques to preserve their status and survive, but there are many of them that can’t do this so they will just die.

Of course, it also depends on the place that they live as in warm weather places that have tropical weather all year long insects don’t stop since good conditions are a day by day. Nonetheless, it is very curious to answer this question since we don’t normally think about it. There are a lot of insects, so we’ll give you the details on the most common ones.

Where do insects go in winter?

Depending on the species, insects may or may not have ways to protect themselves from the cold.

Cockroaches

Even though this insect is very common all around the world, and it is seen in most places, it can’t survive when temperatures are colder than -9 degrees. Of course, this is for most species because there are always exceptions. In Japan, the Yamato roach can remain active during the winter, though it is not the case for the rest. What lower temperature means for insects is low development, and they can overwinter in a state that is called diapause, which means that the insect is going through a process of hibernation of some sorts, and they can survive winter temperatures in that state without compromising themselves and being at risk of dying because of the conditions.

Butterflies and moths

When it comes to butterflies, there is a species called monarch butterflies that has a migration pattern during the winter. They can travel up to 3000 miles in one direction to go to a place that has the perfect conditions for survival. That’s the way to overwinter. Most of them go from south to north to lay their eggs and fulfil their life cycle.

In terms of moths, they have overwinter strategies depending on the species. For example, some of them burrow into the ground when they are caterpillars and resurface once winter has passed. Others have a compound inside that act like an antifreeze, however, they must be in places where the temperatures don’t get extremely low, like in tree barks or under rocks.

Spiders

Some people think that spiders will invade indoors once winter starts, but this is not actually true. Most spiders will hibernate, and the ones that can’t just simply die. Of course, their activity will be severely affected, especially since their prey diminishes its activity too, leaving spiders with not enough food to survive. Their activity heavily depends on this, and when winter has passed, they will resurface.

There is a special case that needs to be mentioned, and it is the Brown Recluse spider which is going to go inside your house with firewood, since they can’t stand low temperatures. Even though temperatures are tough, spider eggs can survive them and become adults once spring begins.

Flies

This disgusting insect isn’t cold blooded, so it can’t resist low temperatures as others can, especially when they are adults. Their lifespan is not too long either as they only live up to 25 days or even a month if conditions are met. Flies that stay outdoors will eventually die, while the ones that were already inside won’t go out and continue their life cycle. Even though adults might die off quickly, larvae and pupae can enter a state where they’ll remain dormant during this time and continue developing once it is done.

Fleas

One thing that we know about fleas is that when temperature drops to 3 degrees or less, they will die off in any stage of their life cycle they’re in. Pupae will enter a dormant state such as flies to survive winter, but when they’re adults they need to find warmth, or they won’t make it. Once they notice the temperature drop, they will go and get to the nearest host they can find if they want to survive. Being inside your home, with warmth and food they will reproduce to the point where it can be a huge infestation.

Ants

In terms of hibernation, they don’t have a system that can help them survive by themselves. However, there is something very particular that they do, is that they burrow underground where their colonies are. Before this, they eat as much as they can since there will be a scarcity of food on the outside. So, once they’re together, they huddle together, consuming the nutrients that they had eaten just before winter and, hence surviving.

Mosquitoes

Male mosquitoes are the first to fall when temperatures drop. They will generally die while females of some species can stay active. Some species like Anopheles, Culiseta and Culex can survive the winter by going through diapause as an adult mosquito. Once winter has come, they will stop feeding as they used to and consume their body fat to keep alive, also, they can do this while containing eggs.

Ticks

These disgusting parasites have a different behaviour once winter starts. It is important to mention that not every kind of tick has an active live during winter months, this depends solely on the species. Most of them will look for a place to overwinter (hibernacula), and thus reducing their natural activity to preserve energy. They need to conserve water and produce substances like glycerol that is a compound that helps them live through winter times. Other species of ticks can be active and seeking for blood, but this will depend on the temperature, as if it’s above freezing then they will continue their life cycle.

Categories
Rats

Keep rats out of your garage

Garage and storages seem to be places where rats can thrive. If you can think about it, they’re generally filled with dark corners and places to hide, which rats can take advantage of since they’re shy by nature and won’t be risky enough to go directly to your home if they have found everything, they need inside it. It is not uncommon to hear about a rat infestation in a garage since it seems to be perfectly designed for them to prosper.

However, you don’t want this to be your case, so you need to find different ways to make them stay away and leave you at peace because once their population has grown out of hand, they might start infiltrating the rest of your place. The best way to keep rats out is hiring an efficient pest control service, otherwise, problem can escalate.

How do you know you are being infested by rats?

The most common way to know if you are being infested by rats is the presence of droppings around rubbish or places where food has been. They’re little and can spread many diseases so if you find them, do not engage contact with them and where gloves if you will be manipulating it. Sometimes you might hear some noises of scratching, mostly at night. Smudge marks on your walls can point you to a rat nest, and if you see some materials that seem to be structured like one, then you’re being infested. Also, if you have seen gnawed furniture or even gnaw marks on your car, this should be all you need to know.

Keep rats out of your garage

How can you keep rats out of your garage?

Once you have investigated and found out that rats are infesting your garage it is time for you to remove them before it turns out into something worse than a nuisance.

A clean garage doesn’t attract rats.

Remember that rats are disgusting animals, and they love living around filth. It is a perfect condition for their infestations to prosper, so having a clean garage will not catch their attention and they will prefer to go to another place. Obstructions, debris, and construction materials are perfect for them to hide, so be sure you have removed them from the inside. Don’t leave anything that can be used as a shelter. Be careful with your car, as its engine compartment offers them warmth and darkness. They can climb the wheels and get inside.

Keep food or still water from your garage.

Some people use their garages as places where they store pet food, still water in case of emergency or other things and they might be doing more harm than good. Remember that rats a keen sense of smell, which can lead them to food from far distances. Pet food is usually one of the ways they get to your garage since its left outside and they will try to get it. You need to cut short on what they need and having a food supply or water supply can encourage them to stay, giving you more trouble than you need. If you are keeping food inside your garage, make sure that it is not outside of a bag or that it’s sealed enough any rat can smell it.

Use a rodent deterrent

One of the best and natural ways to remove rats is to use certain deterrents. First, if you have pets, especially a cat, try to impregnate your garage with their smell. If you have a cat, then try to spread litter around your garage’s floor. If rats smell that, they will not go inside as they know that there can be a predator inside. Also, you can use different types of scents like lavender and peppermint oil. With this you’re the one that is taking advantage of their sense of smell. Spicy smells can seriously irritate their nose and they won’t take any chances in entering when they know they’re going to have a bad time. If your garage is near a garden, you can plant eucalyptus trees, bergamot, or other trees that may have disgusting smells for them. Of course, if you do not want to do any of this then a way to keep rats out of your garage is to buy a rat repellent. Some of them are not toxic for humans and could really help you out. You just must spray the inside of your garage with it, and you won’t see any rats going in for a long time.

Holes and entry points are your worst enemy

Aside from rats, entry points can really become your worst nightmare. Remember that rats are going to do whatever they need to do to find food or water. If they see a hole that is the size of a coin, most of them will try to go inside and if they can fit their heads, then they will try and force their whole body inside. If you have seen holes around the garage area that can lead to it, it is better to seal them as fast as possible. Of course, there are special materials for that like caulk or metal plaques. Having them sealed is the best way to keep them out.

Maintain and trim trees

One characteristic that rats have is that they’re very good climbers, and if they’re given the opportunity, they will take it. So, it is better if you hire a professional to cut the branches that can help rats get to your garage through the roof. Also, installing a few lights near them will make them feel like they’re exposed and will think about it a lot before doing so, since their natural predators can see them better.

Check your garage door seal.

Some materials deteriorate with the passing of time. Rubber is that kind of material, which needs to be replaced before an animal like rats takes advantage of it and goes inside by breaking it. If your door has been compromised, it is better to replace it. Also, window seals can be damaged and need replacing.

Categories
Horseflies

How to Get Rid of Horseflies Around the Swimming Pool

Horseflies are terrible animals. Everybody knows what a horsefly is since they’re usually around farms, sucking cattle and horse’s blood. They’re bigger than a normal fly, this in terms of their wings and their body.

The female fly is the one that has a terrible bite, and it injects a poisonous venom that leads the person to have a lot of pain which can’t be cure with common medications and if the person is allergic to them, they could even die. Therefore, the horsefly is a problem that should concern everybody, especially the people that have pools since they are very attracted to them.

Why are horseflies attracted to pools?

One of the main things that the females need to lay eggs, is to have water around. The weather needs to be humid enough and warm, which a pool has. And, since they’re attracted to things that move, people seem to be part of their diet sometimes. The fact that they attack only during the day can be worrying, especially because you don’t want to have a pool day with one of them attacking everybody.

Get Rid of Horseflies Around the Swimming Pool

How to get rid of horseflies around the swimming pool

As we have said before, a pool offers horseflies one of the best environments to lay her eggs and increase their population. However, they’re very aggressive bitters and you do not want them to ruin your pool day, so you need to take measurements for this not to happen.

We do not recommend the use of any type of substance that may cause any risk to your health, instead, we recommend hiring pest control experts. Still, here are some options.

Use sticky paper traps

Horseflies will go flying around the pool area looking for some food or a place to lay their eggs. One of the best ways to eliminate them and avoid them doing something bad to you is to put some strings of sticky paper around your pool. This will get all the horseflies stuck in the paper without an opportunity to escape. Of course, once they have filled with flies or other aerial pests you should remove them and set out new sticky paper.

Keep your swimming pool area clean.

One of the main things that horseflies want near your pool area is to lay their eggs and having vegetation there can improve your chances of them coming. They love humid and moisturizing grass and weeds as this sets out to be a great environment for them to breed. Removing the grass in the area can affect this as they won’t have any refuge where to rest from the hot weather that the season can bring.

Removing any rubbish

Although horseflies are attracted to animals to feed on blood, they are known to have a fixation for rubbish as in there they can find food. This doesn’t help you and you want them as far as possible so you must try to clean it every day, so they don’t come near it. Put your rubbish bins as far away as possible, or you might also seal it and put it somewhere else but nowhere near the pool.

Use pesticides as deterrents

Pesticides can be used for eliminating horseflies or just simply make them stay away from where you are. Remember that some pesticides tend to be toxic so it is recommended to look for one that is non-toxic or one that is natural, which can also be of great help. There are several pesticides that are made from chrysanthemums plants that have been dried out and treated. These are safer to use when there are pets and children around. However, they might not be useful all the time due to horseflies being resistant to some pesticides once they have been applied. You do not want them to be like that, so using other type might be recommended, or even changing it every time. It is not recommended to use pesticides near bodies of water because they can be contaminated, and you don’t want to damage the environment with that.

Traps only for horseflies

Another way on how get rid of horseflies around the swimming pool is to buy traps that are custom made for horseflies. These are proven to be very effective and have been built for that. Their effectiveness comes into fruition when they horsefly lands and there is no prey. By that time, it has already been sentenced to die. It can’t escape, and because of it being made of metal, it naturally heats up quickly, giving an end to the fly. They can be used to eliminate large populations of horseflies and you do not need pesticides for that.

Bag traps

This seem to be one of the most effective ways to eliminate them. The trap consists of two parts, one which is a kind of funnel which leads the horsefly to the place where there is food. However, they will not be able to escape through the tunnel they entered. The downside of it is that the smell of the food, plus the trapped and dead flies can be pungent and many people will not feel well smelling that. It is advised to put it in a place where not many people are gathered, far away from the pool, but without making it a great distance so it doesn’t trap as many flies as you would like near the swimming pool area or its surroundings.

Light traps

We have said that horseflies do not feed at night but during the day. Also, they feel very attracted to light reflections and in your pool, there are many. So, why not take advantage over that? Light traps are very shiny, and their purpose is to attract horseflies and other flying pests directly to it. When it gets to it, they will receive an electrical shock that will kill them instantly. Nonetheless, remember that these work with electricity and you don’t want an accident so to avoid getting it splashed with pool water. Put it near the pool but far enough for this not to happen.  

Categories
Rats

How to get rid of rats in the attic

Normally people use attics as places to keep old furniture, things that don’t work, toys, among other things. This is a place that is generally used as a storage. It is dark enough, so it is prone to be invaded by pests like spiders, termites and especially, rats.

These rodents are known to love places like attics because they are dark, they have protection and water and food supply. At first you will start feeling small steps upstairs, chewing sounds, squeaking and more. This are the signs that you must take into consideration when you suspect there is something going on. They could be a huge problem as they can reproduce in huge amounts and this can lead to having a big infestation, which you don’t want.

How can I know I’ve been infested by rats?

Even though you might think rats are very active and you can see them lurking around sometimes, it is difficult to see them during the day as they try to avoid contact with humans as much as possible. However, at night it is a different story. They like going around when no one is active and can see them. So, in this case it is futile if you try to find them on your own. The best thing to do is to find signs that give them away, for example: there are droppings around specific areas of the attic, you might hear movement, scratches, and other types of noises at night, and your attic will have a foul smell because of their urine and poop. Once you’ve noticed any of these signs, then it is time to get rid of them.

get rid of rats in the attic

How to get rid of rat in the attic

There are different ways to get rid of mice. Remember that eliminating them is paramount, as they can bring lots of diseases and contamination to your home. Call a professional pest control service to get it done right, but you can also try this.

Make sure your garden is clean

There are different types of rats. The ones that live in your attic are the type that really like to climb and can go to high places. Having untrimmed bushes or trees near a window or near the attic can bring them closer to you. They would always like to nest in warm places where predators are off limits, so one thing they will do is climb. Keeping your trees maintained and trimmed will not allow them to jump off from branches or climb through them to get to it. Also, if there is some wiring from which they can use to go up, try to remove it or change its position, as it will help a lot to keep them away.

Seal any cracks or holes in your attic

First, you need to inspect your attic all around to see if you have rats. When you have noticed the presence of some signs, search for the little holes and cracks that you may have. Remember that rats are animals that can fit in the smallest places, if they can fit their head, abnormally they can force their whole body to fit inside.

There are cracks on doors, floors, holes near windows, etc. All of them must be covered, but as rats can gnaw through almost everything you need to know that to avoid them from entering again. In the materials that you can use are copper mesh, fitted foam, cement, hardwire cloth, metal sheets, among others. The use of the materials will depend on the size of the holes that you have, the bigger, the stronger material is advised. However, you need to know that this will not prevent them from leaving but entering the attic from their favourite entry points.

Avoid having furniture in your attic

Sometimes we put old pieces of furniture in our attic just because we don’t have enough space downstairs. But, instead of doing something good, we’re affecting ourselves as rats can and will eat pieces of your furniture and most likely live inside them. A sofa is a perfect place for rats to be as it is warm, has lots of material they can chew on and nest in.

Keep rubbish or food away

Rats are always looking for ways to get to food. If you leave rubbish in your attic or leave food crumbs or any kind of food, beware that they can stay there and start a life there. If you facilitate one of the things they need for survival, it will make it easier to continue damaging your property and keep contaminating your place.

Set up traps inside to get as many as you can

One of the best ways to get rid of rats in the attic is to set traps all around the area. Depending on what you want, you can use different types of traps, some of them are lethal and others are more humane. Live traps are like cages, and you can put some bait inside if you want to trap rats and keep them alive. Then you have glue traps or snap traps that will kill the animal. Aside from that, there is rat poison which is not very recommended as it can be lethal to humans too (and pets). You can call a professional pest service to help you eliminate them completely without you having to do something.

Your attic needs to be kept clean

It is known that rats go where there is filth. Having a dirty attic will make it easier for them to feel like home, so cleaning every now and then can help you to avoid having rats in your attic. Using strong scents like peppermint oil or lavender will deter rats as they hate them and send them looking for another place to stay. Do this once a week, but if you have seen one of those animals you have to do it more times.

Categories
Mice

How to Keep Mice Out of the Car Engine Compartment

Rodents can be found everywhere. They’re always in the search for food or shelter, which leads them to different places. Houses are their main targets, even though they like to be in places where darkness can be found, they can really live everywhere, and when we say it, it’s because we mean it.

Sometimes you wouldn’t believe it, but many rodents really like to live in your car. In the past, the construction of cars was different as normally they would be made with materials such as plastic, metal, cold material that doesn’t look appealing to them, but nowadays things have changed, this is because biodegradable materials have been added to each one like wires, foams and mice go crazy for them, so it is not an uncommon sight to find them inside of it.

We will discuss on how you can keep mice of the car engine compartment as you don’t want them to eat any wires or compromise the entire system just because they want to eat. We strongly recommed to consult with pest exterminators, so you can get better results. However, the first thing that you want to know is how the nightmare begins.

How do mice enter your car?

Think of your car as a home. It is warm because of the engine, it is dark because many parts are sealed, and if you don’t use it, you would think twice before checking it while looking for pests. Therefore, a car compartment is perfect for mice to live in since you won’t bother them. In your car, there are different vents, pedals in your part compartment and mice are not too big so they can barely enter squeezing through them. Also, if you leave your doors or windows open, this is the best and easiest way for them to get inside. If you keep your car in a garage, try to keep it locked, however, sometimes that isn’t even safe enough.

How to keep mice out of your car engine compartment?

If we compare cars with humans, then a car’s engine would be its heart. Filled with wires, petrol, mechanical parts, among others, it gives it life. However, when mice have taken it as a shelter it can be a death trap as frayed wires can burst into flames with ignition, or the damage can be that bad that it might not even work properly.  You really need to be careful when you have seen them near, as any they will take advantage of any entry point.

Try to park your car in a safe area

Remember that garages or storage spaces are dark and can have many entryways. This allows mice to enter and look for the best place to nest, being this inside your car. Those places need to be as clean as possible, so you don’t give enough motivation for mice to enter and stay. Also, if you want to be safe, you need to use a mice deterrent, it could be peppermint oil, traps or any other thing that can help you make them stay away.

In cold weather, especially during winter, mice look for places to nest, being your car engine warm is one of the characteristics mice have for a place to become their nest so you need to be wary when turning on your engine.

Avoid food inside or near your car

Mice have a very keen sense of smell, and they will find any food that you’re hiding in your car or near its surroundings. It is very common to leave cups, biscuits, or any other packets inside, but if you want your car to be without rodents, it is time you clean it. If food is found inside (especially pet food), they will try to find a place to stay too, and they could make it their shelter and nest. It only takes a very small packet of biscuits to lure mice.

Use deterrents in your engine compartment

If you want to take advantage on mice’s sense of smell, making your engine smell bad to them without having to compromise its function. Peppermint oil is mice’s least favourite odour so you can use a little bit around the engine to soak it with the smell. Also, if you’ve got a pet at home, especially a cat, you could use its litter or hair. They won’t likely come close to it if they feel threatened.

Loud noises affect mice

One of the most effective ways on how to keep mice out of the car engine compartment is to use your honk. Right before turning on the engine, you can honk the horn a few times, if you have mice inside the car, it will startle them, and you’ll have them run away. After you have honked the horn, you must wait a few minutes before starting the car as mice can reach tiny spaces and need time to get to the outside.

Traps can help you

Setting traps is one of the ways to keep mice out of the car engine compartment, although they could be lethal or more humane. If mice want to get into your vehicle they will try to go in and climb up the wheels, which can work on your favour as you could put some traps just under them, so mice have no option but to go over it, making them fall in it.

Use copper to protect your engine

When looking for a deterrent to protect your car, and especially your engine compartment, you must think of copper. Rats and mice do not like to gnaw on it, so you may want to put some of it near the air ventilation system where they take advantage and go inside. Sealing most of the places where mice could enter will help you get rid of them effectively, however, you may want to ask your mechanic if you can do that to your car, as sometimes it is not recommended.

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