Did the insects with queens (bees, ants, wasps, termites) all evolve from a common ancestor with queens, or is their social organization an example of convergent evolution
- Did the insects with queens (bees, ants, wasps, termites) all evolve from a common ancestor with queens, or is their social organization an example of convergent evolution?
- Did the insects with queens (bees, ants, wasps, termites) all evolve from a common ancestor with queens, or is their social organization an example of convergent evolution?
- Are termites a legitimate contributor to climate change?
- Are termites a legitimate contributor to climate change?
- Termites devour 10 Million rupees in Indian bank vault
- The Richards Group and Orkin Remind Us Why Termites Don’t Do Standup
- Why are termites good at math joke
- Step One: Assess the Problem
- Signs of a Termite Infestation
- Step Two: Get Termite Control Treatments
- Step Three: Prevent Future Infestations
- Single Out the Entry Points
- Keep Your Gutters Clean
- Rethink Your Landscaping
- Pest Control Maintenance
- Keeping Your Home Termite-Free
- 5 Telltale Signs You Have Rats In Your Home
- 1. Scratching Noises
- 2. Droppings
- 3. Gnaw Marks
- 4. Greasy Track Marks
- 5. Nests
- Telltale Signs You Have Rats in Your Home
- 1. Block All Openings
- 2. Forget Mice Poison, Set Up Traps
- Types of Mousetraps
- Use Proper Positioning
- Choose the Best Bait
- 3. Use Mouse Repellants
- 4. Get a Cat
- 5. Hire an Extermination Service
- Take Care of Your Mice Infestation Today
- When The Ants Come Marching In: Top 5 Qualities To Look For In A Pest Control Service
- 1. Experience
- 2. Good Customer Feedback
- 3. Better Tools
- 4. Innovative and Flexible
- 5. Punctuality
- Hire a Pest Control Service Today
- Rat Vs Mouse: Know the Difference
- Rat vs Mouse: The Lowdown
- The Similarities
- Living Habits
- Physical Characteristics
- The Damage They Can Do
- The Need to Call for Help
- How to Stop Ants from Invading Your Home with These Easy Tips
- 1. Understand Ant Behavior
- 2. Clean Up Dirty Dishes Immediately
- 3. Maintain Sparkling Surfaces
- 4. Use Vinegar Water
- 5. Seal All Food Containers
- 6. Clean Floors Often
- 7. Inspect Your Home’s Property
- 8. Seal All Cracks
- How to Stop Ants from Invading Your Home
- 8 Legged Freaks: How to Get R >
- How to Get Rid of Spiders with Home Remedies
- 1. Start with Vinegar
- 2. Try Essential Oils
- 3. Mind the Exterior
- 4. Eucalyptus Helps
- 5. Try Cedar and Conkers
- 6. The Power of Garlic
- 7. Get Citrusy
- 8. De-clutter
- Severe Cases Call for Professional Expertise
- When to Call an Ant Service for the Ant Colony in Your Wall
- An Ideal Environment
- Who’s Knocking at Your Door?
- Defense Is the Best Offense
- Why DIY Solutions Don’t Work
- Post-Colony Collapse
- The Best Natural Ant Service
- 6 Reasons Why German Roaches Are so Difficult to Get R >
- 1. They Love Messy Spaces
- 2. They Even Get Into Pet Things
- 3. They’ll Find Your Humid Space
- 4. Cabinets are Crumb Heaven
- 5. No One Takes Out The Trash
- 6. They Get Into Literally Everything
- German Roaches Are Notoriously Difficult
- Mouse in the House: Here’s Why You Might Need Mice Control in Vancouver This Winter
- What Attracts Mice?
- Open Food Sources
- Open Water Sources
- Clutter and Crumbs
- Warmth and Shelter
- Lack of Predators
- Why Has a Mouse Moved into Your House?
- You Didn’t Keep Up with Landscaping
- You Haven’t Rodent-Proofed Your Exterior
- Identify Your Rat or Mice Infestation
- Common House Mice
- Black/Roof Rats
- Norway Rats
- Where Mice Get Into Your House
- Gaps Between Building Materials
- Weep Vents
- Roof Vents
- HVAC and Utility Lines
- Door and Window Frames
- Ways to Rodent-Proof Your Home
- Seal Points of Entry
- Seal Your Food (and Your Pet’s Food, Too)
- Elevate Firewood
- Call a Pest Control Company
- Got a Mouse in the House? Need a Vancouver Exterminator?
No. Eusociality (the technical term) has evolved independently at least 11 separate times (according to wiki). It’s a very successful system, common in hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) but has also appeared in the completely separate group the termites and there’s even one example of a social system in mammals; the naked mole rats.
The reason for it being such a popular system in the hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) is due to their sex determination. Their haplo-diploid meaning males have half the chromosomes a woman has. Mammals are all diploid so we have 2 sets of chromosomes, like female bees, but male bees are haploid so only have 1 set of chromosomes.
This leads to asymmetries in relatedness. Full sisters (same mum and dad) share 3/4 of the same genetic material where as a mother and daughter would only share half of the same genetic material. This is one of the reasons their social organization evolved.
Let’s not talk about termites though, that’s a whole other thing that I have no idea about.
For more interesting animal social organisation you have the naked mole rat.
Are termites a legitimate contributor to climate change?
Are termites a legitimate contributor to climate change?
My father-in-law isn’t exactly a climate change-denier, but anytime my wife or I naively brings up global warming or strategies to minimize it, he instead notes that termites are a serious problem and asks why isn’t the government regulating these little pests more than it is other variables.
I do not have a science background whatsoever, so I often get stuck trying to regurgitate basic principles in climate change– but would love some insight or a point-in-the-right-direction as to whether or not his claim is real or if it’s just a strawman to delegitimize our insistence that global warming is a problem.
So there you have it: Are termites a legitimate contributor to climate change?
Thanks in advance, Internet friends.
Is he saying that termites are major contributors to climate change? If so, how does he say they contribute? Or is he merely just saying termites are a problem and if the government is reducing one they should reduce others too?
Thanks; I’ll have to talk to him more to get the full explanation.
From what I remember, though, his argument tries to discredit current or proposed environmental regulations by throwing up termites as another serious threat: “well termites actually are one of the biggest contributors to climate change, so why don’t we care about them as much as other variables that the media spotlights?”
From memories of my general education, termites produce large amounts of methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, but whether termite mounds have any significant effect on local climate is not something that I have seen proved.
That’s where I get stuck, too. And thus how i ended up here!
From a bit of amateur journal scanning, it seems that termites do produce a disproportionate amount of methane relative to their size, but I was hoping to learn more about if their production is offset, whereas the release of fossil fuels is not.
Termites are indeed a significant source of the overall methane and CO2 budget. But termites have been around for billions of years. The issue with climate change is not the flows themselves, but that we’re changing the flows of greenhouse gasses in and out of the atmosphere.
Imagine the atmosphere as a simple sink-and-source model; essentially a bathtub with a spigot going in, and a drain going out. If the flow out is dependent on the depth of the water, if the spigot is on at a constant flow you will reach an equilibrium state where the flow out is equal to the flow in. If, however, we come and turn the flow in up, the water level will rise.
So in this scenario, we’ve been happily at one water level for a while, with inflows (from termites, and microbes, and decomposing vegetation, and volcanoes) in rough equilibrium with outflows (ocean uptake, plant growth, etc). When the water gets turned up by humans it will change the equilibrium state; the fact that the termites (and everything else) are still there doesn’t make them the source of the problem. We are the thing that is changing. Termites are just doing their little termite thing.
Termites devour 10 Million rupees in Indian bank vault
Police in India are investigating after termites apparently broke into a bank’s strong room and munched their way through 10 million rupees ($EC599,400) of currency, Global Post reports.
Staff at the State Bank of India in Arthur, near the northern India city of Luck, were horrified when they opened the steel vault to discover the damage, blaming it on an insect infestation.
Reports said police have not ruled out foul play.
Acting bank manager J.P. Dived blamed the age of the building housing the strong room, saying it was riddled with termites.
“We have been trying our best to keep currency notes safe but the termite problem here is so enormous that it would be better to move the branch elsewhere,” he told Daily News & Analysis.
Police spokesman Nanette Rama said termites had previous damaged bank furniture and documents before turning their attention to the strong room, where cash had been stored since January.
“It’s a matter of investigation how termites attacked bundles of currency notes stacked in a steel chest,” he told the Associated Press.
He said police had registered a case of negligence by bank officials over the destruction, the full value of which was not immediately known.
“The exact amount of damaged currency is still to be calculated, but it is estimated to be around [10 million rupees],” he said.
The Richards Group and Orkin Remind Us Why Termites Don’t Do Standup
By Patrick Coffee on Feb. 23, 2018 – 6:01 PM Comment
WHAT’S THE DEAL with airline peanuts? And while we’re at it, why aren’t termites funny?
The latest campaign for Orkin (you know the man) by The Richards Group looks to get to the heart of that eternal probing question.
Now get ready for some serious PUNishment.
What, you thought these bugs were done? The hits keep coming.
They do high culture, though.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
ABH: Always be hustlin’
The outdoor assets give us a clearer idea of what all these intentionally bad jokes set out to do.
The campaign kind of made us think of the days when we first arrived in New York, fresh-faced and naive, ready to fall prey to those folks who stand on the corner with a bunch of flyers asking, “Do you like live comedy?”
Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas
Creative Directors: David Morring, Tim Tone
Copywriters: David Morring, Katie Bernet
Art Director: Tim Tone, Amanda Jackson
Producer: David Rucker
Director/Writers: Ben Hurst/ Dave Thomas
Production: Community Films
Post Production: Charlie Uniform Tango
Editor: Alex Campos
Visual Effects: Allen Robbins/Joey Waldrip/Artie Peña
Colorist: Joey Waldrip
Audio Mix/Sound Design: Russell Smith
Puppeteers: Legacy Effects
Clients: Kevin Smith, Cam Glover, Marissa Williams
Brand Management: Pete Lempert, Jessica Walker, Kristin Trumble
Why are termites good at math joke
There are some words that strike fear into the heart of every homeowner. Structural damage. Black mold. Flooding. And one of the worst of all: termites.
Termites deserve the reputation they’ve received. After all, Americans spend around two billion dollars every year on termite infestations.
The key to great termite control is nipping the problem in the bud as early as possible. If you’re smart, you can start the job before termites start to attack. Here’s how to keep your home damage-free.
Step One: Assess the Problem
As with any issue, you have to know what you’re dealing with before you can fight back.
It’s never too early to get a termite inspection. Termites cause progressive damage. The sooner you catch them, the less expensive your damage will be.
In fact, most homeowners who notice termite infestations themselves don’t reach that point until they have serious damage.
A pest control expert has the specialized equipment and expertise find termite infestations at any stage. However, an inspection is especially urgent if you have the symptoms of an infestation.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
While you won’t always see them or know what they are, termite infestations can have warning signs.
While termites spend much of their time in wood or underground, they do come into the open. Put simply, termites look like white ants. There are no white ants so if you think you’ve seen some around, those are termites.
Your ears could pick up another sign of termites. When termites are feasting on wood and they detect a threat, they bang their heads on the wood. This warns their fellow termites.
In some cases, you can hear that banging. It sounds like a like clicking in your walls.
In more severe infestations, you’ll be able to notice the damage to your wood. Termites eat wood from the inside out. If you knock on a piece of wood and it sounds hollow, that’s a clue.
Finally, termites leave droppings behind for you to find. The way you’ll identify them depends on the type of termites you have.
Subterranean termites live underground and travel to your wood to eat. These termites use their droppings to create tunnels. You may find what appear to be mud tunnels near your home.
Another type of termite is the drywood termite, which lives in your wood. These termites push their droppings out of the wood. To humans, the droppings look like black dust near pieces of wood.
Step Two: Get Termite Control Treatments
When you know your enemies, you can destroy them. Now is the time to pursue termite control treatments.
Our termite control experts will use direct products and specialized expertise to access and get rid of your termites.
A word of caution: make sure your pest control team comes back for a reinspection. This is a matter of policy at Natura. It allows us to ensure that our treatment was successful and to retreat areas if necessary.
Step Three: Prevent Future Infestations
When your termites are gone, the job isn’t over. To avoid starting from scratch again, you need to take preventative measures.
Single Out the Entry Points
Termites need a way to get into your home. You can keep them outside by doing a thorough check of your home.
The most common culprits are cracks in a home’s foundation. You could also have gaps around your doors or windows as well as other breaches in your home. Many pest control inspectors will make this part of their initial inspection.
In the case of subterranean termites, they often look for wood that goes from your lawn to your home. Trees, fences, and other wooden items could be to blame.
When you identify these entry points, seal the cracks and get rid of wood bridges to keep termites out.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
Cleaning your gutters has several purposes.
It makes your home look clean and well-maintained. It allows water to drain off your roof and keep excess pressure off the gutters. What most homeowners don’t know is that it lowers their termite risk.
Leaves are common food sources for termites. The leaves attract them to your gutters and from there they find their way into your home.
Rethink Your Landscaping
Plans and shrubs can brighten up any lawn. If you don’t place them well, they can also bring termites into your house.
As we mentioned above, termites love to feed on leaves. That isn’t limited to the leaves in your gutters.
When your landscaping is too close to your home, it becomes termite bait. The rule of thumb is to keep plants at least six inches away from your foundation.
Pest Control Maintenance
All the steps above take away the factors that attract termites to your house. That’s only part of the battle.
You also need to directly block the termites from getting in. The best way to do this is with ongoing barrier treatments.
Our pest control team places a pellet barrier around your home to kill any termites that try to get through. This barrier breaks down over time. For continued protection, we need to reapply it every few months.
The best option is to get onto a regularly scheduled pest control program. You don’t need to remember to book appointments and your home will stay protected.
Keeping Your Home Termite-Free
Termites are small in stature but they can be one of the most expensive problems for a home. They can cause immense structural damage in less time than you think.
The key is treating the problem early, treating it well, and preventing it from happening again. The termite control tips above can keep your home safe and sound for decades to come.
if you’re due for a termite inspection or if you’re seeing signs of an infestation, call our pest control team to schedule a visit.
5 Telltale Signs You Have Rats In Your Home
There are around 7 billion rats in the world, which might explain why they say that you’re never more than six feet away from a rat…
Despite having many natural enemies, rats are sneaky and clever. They’re also highly adaptive and can live almost anywhere, including human homes. But for all their sneakiness, rats aren’t tidy and tend to leave a trail of telltale signs when they move in.
Of course, the faster you spot these signs, the faster you can get rid of your infestation with the help of licensed professional exterminators.
Here are five signs you have rats in your home.
1. Scratching Noises
Scratching noises coming from your walls is one of the first telltale signs that you could have rats somewhere in your home.
Since rats are nocturnal, these noises will be most prevalent at nighttime. They tend to take their opportunities to search for food when the house is quiet so you might hear them more when you’re in bed.
Rats often make their way into our homes through cracks and pipes. This makes attics, garages, and basements are all prime entrance ways. And open food sources, clutter, and warmth all attract mice and rats.
As such, you’re likely to hear your unwanted guests scurrying around messy storage spaces, pet food supplies, or near your pantry.
Rat droppings, or ‘pellets’, often resemble grains of rice, but can vary depending on the particular species. In general, rat droppings are around half an inch long, while mice droppings are about half that size.
Fresh droppings are dark brown and soft, and they may stain surfaces if they’re crushed. As rat pellets age, they get brittle and often resemble clumps of dirt.
Rats aren’t fussy about where they deposit their droppings, so you may find them anywhere in your home. They even defecate while they’re on the go, so you may find trails against walls or the edges of furniture.
But, as a rule, rats leave most of their droppings where they spend the most time. These will be wherever they have their nest and wherever they eat. As such, you might also find droppings in your pantry, lower cupboards, and under produce storage racks.
If and when you find droppings, don’t touch them. You should always let your rodent removal team handle rat droppings as they are an active safety hazard. Rat feces can spread diseases such as hantavirus, rat-bite fever, and even bubonic plague.
3. Gnaw Marks
A rat’s teeth never stop growing, so they have to keep gnawing away to ensure their teeth remain sharp and healthy. In fact, a key difference between rats and mice is that, while mice’s weaker teeth are limited to gnawing through food packets, rats will gnaw on almost anything.
Gnaw marks can be hard to spot at first. But if you head for areas where rats are most likely to live, such as your basement, you’re more likely to see telltale signs of rodent damage.
Look for shredding and rough bite marks close to the ground on cardboard, plastic, bedding, furniture, and insulation. Rats also like to chew through electrical wiring so check behind your appliances for signs of this.
Another obvious thing rats will gnaw at is your food supply. And, as their sharp teeth are no match for your wiring or furniture, imagine the damage they could do to your food packets and containers.
When looking for signs of rats, inspect every item in the pantry and kitchen for holes or signs of gnawing and chewing. In particular, packets and bags of sugar, flour, pasta, rice, pet food, and cookies are all prime targets.
4. Greasy Track Marks
Although rats have advanced smell and hearing, they are colorblind and have poor eyesight. To compensate, they stick to the same routes to move around, often scurrying along pressed against walls and furniture as a way to sense and navigate around their location.
But since they use the same paths time and time again, they often leave behind track marks. Rat fur is covered in dirt, grease, and oil, so when they rub up against walls time and time again, they leave a greasy residue behind.
Look for rat track marks around the edges of your attic, basement, and pantry. You might also see droppings and urine stains along these paths.
Some of the chewing and gnaw marks you might see around your home could also be signs that rats have been collecting nesting material.
Rats build simple nests out of whatever they can lay their paws on. Inside your home, they’ll bite off bits of paper, fabric, and insulation and drag them to secluded corners to make their nests. They sometimes even make their way into walls or through insulation and build their nests there.
Since they’re so basic and disorganized, rat nests will most likely look like a clump of garbage to you. But if there are droppings, dirt marks, or tracks nearby, these are all sure signs that the garbage you’re looking at is actually a nest.
Most rats also tend to follow the same paths back to their nest each time. If you see other signs of a rat infestation, such as greasy marks, you may be able to follow them back to a well-hidden rat nest.
Telltale Signs You Have Rats in Your Home
Of course, as well as these signs that you have rats in your home, there’s an even more obvious sign – you’ve seen one scurrying around the house.
And, since rats live in large groups to protect their young, you can almost guarantee that where there’s one rat, there’s more.
As soon as you spot any of these telltale signs, act fast and contact us to avoid a full-blown infestation.
Mice and other rodents are known carriers of nearly a dozen diseases, making them unsafe and unwanted guests in your house.
If you see one (or more) of these guys scurrying around your home, don’t panic. There are multiple ways to manage these tiny disease carriers and prevent them from further contaminating your home.
Read on for our top 5 tips for getting rid of mice in your house.
1. Block All Openings
Mice are sneaky little creatures. If your house has any points of entry that can be used, chances are they’ll find them.
Look for any gaps on the exterior of your house that could be possible points of entry for unwanted guests. The most common ones are small gaps in your home’s foundation and gaps in windows. However, they can also enter your house via improperly sealed drain pipes or sewer lines as well.
Once you’ve identified some possible places that mice might be using to enter your house, close them off to prevent more mice from coming in. Steel wool is impossible to chew through, or you may want to try sealing off points of entry with duct tape as well.
2. Forget Mice Poison, Set Up Traps
While mice poison might seem like a simple solution, it doesn’t always take care of the problem. The process is slow and it often doesn’t kill all the mice, leaving the survivors around to reproduce and start the cycle over again. Plus, it’s dangerous to have around your family and pets.
That’s why setting up traps is the safest and most effective way to deal with the problem at hand.
Types of Mousetraps
- Spring-loaded mousetraps are the most popular choice for trapping mice in the house. They are designed with metal spring that is tripped by the mouse taking the bait, causing it to snap back and (ideally) kill the mouse instantly by breaking its neck. However, the positioning isn’t always perfect and the mouse can end up seriously injured or dying a slow, painful death.
- Glued mousetraps are considered a more humane way of trapping a mouse. With these traps, the mouse is drawn by bait to a glued platform that it becomes stuck to, allowing you to release it back outside once you’ve caught it.
- Live mousetraps can be purchased or made at home. They involve setting up a cage (or even a cardboard box) to lure the mouse in and prevent it from escaping. Then, you are able to relocate the mouse far from your home so it won’t be able to come back.
Use Proper Positioning
When you’re setting up traps for mice in your house, one of the key things to remember is to properly position them. This will create the ideal scenario of the mouse going for the bait and quickly being killed or trapped. If you’re not careful, they can make off with your bait without even activating your trap.
In order to set up your traps properly, make sure you set up the trap with the spring facing the exterior walls of your house. That way, the mouse will come from the walls and straight into the trap, rather than being able to grab the bait from the other side without consequences.
Choose the Best Bait
While mice like a variety of snacks, there are certain treats that make the most pungent and effective lures to your mousetraps. If you’ve noticed the mice in your home favoring a particular food, use that. Otherwise, there are a number of tried-and-true mice favorites that have a high rate of effectiveness.
Here are some of the most common and effective foods to use as mice bait:
- Peanut Butter
- Hazelnut Spread
- Dried Fruit
Generally, you’ll want to choose fresher, more perishable items with a stronger aroma that will attract the mice. Dry items, such as cereals and crackers, are not as effective when used as bait for mice. If the mice in your house aren’t going after the food you leave out, you can also try leaving out cotton balls or other similar nesting materials to attract them.
3. Use Mouse Repellants
While using repellants won’t completely take care of mice in your house, it can definitely help more from coming in. Stock up on essential oils, such as clove and peppermint, and use these around known points of entry for unwanted guests. You can do this pretty effectively by soaking cotton balls or rags in the oil and leaving it near where the mice are coming in.
Using natural mice repellants in your house can help you manage the mice population, but is rarely effective on its own. In order to deal with a mice infestation, you should use this method in conjunction with the other methods we’ve listed here.
4. Get a Cat
While this might seem like one of the more obvious methods of ridding your house of mice, it’s no joke that getting a pet cat can help out with a rodent infestation. Cats are natural born hunters and can easily hunt and kill mice in your house.
If no one in your family is allergic, you should consider getting a pet cat to help out with mice or other pest issues in your house. Lots of farms are already using these animals to take care of mice issues. Cats make surprisingly wonderful pets, too.
5. Hire an Extermination Service
While some mice problems in your house can be manageable on your own, your best bet is to seek out professional assistance in order to rid your house of the pests for good.
When choosing a professional mice control service for your house, go with a reliable team that uses effective methods to rid your house of mice without compromising the safety of your family or pets. The right company will offer superior methods of removing mice from your house without having to use poisons or other harmful substances to do it.
Take Care of Your Mice Infestation Today
An infestation of mice or other pests in your house can be very harmful to your family’s health and peace of mind. However, with the right tools, you can rid your home of these pests for good.
Contact us today to learn more about ridding your house of mice and other pests.
When The Ants Come Marching In: Top 5 Qualities To Look For In A Pest Control Service
Are you starting to notice ants in your home?
Ants are one of the most invasive pests in the world. For the most part, their small size (and sheer numbers!) allows them to enter the smallest gaps in a home. In fact, they’re the insect species with the highest population in the entire world.
Most of the time, homeowners tend to ignore them because they don’t pose much of a problem at first. Only when they begin to invade things like bedrooms or events like picnics. Only then do they contact a pest control service to help with their problem.
Opting for these services means you can rest easy knowing your problem is now in the expert hands of professional workers. How can you be sure you’re hiring professionals, though?
Read what’s below to know what to look for in these kinds of services.
Of course, you’re going to want to have someone with experience to handle your pest control problem. For the most part, this is easy to gauge in a company. You only need to look into their portfolio to know the cases they’ve handled in the past.
Doing so gives you a clear picture of how well they work as a company. You can be confident in whoever they send even if they look to be a new employee. For the most part, companies like these tend to have a rigorous screening process while interviewing with potential candidates to ensure their reputation doesn’t wane.
Sometimes, you will come across an independent individual pest control worker. Gauging their level of experience is easy even if they’re a new brand with no portfolio yet. All you need to do is ask them a few questions on how they think they should handle the infestation.
What you need to note is their confidence in answering. They should also have careful consideration in their thought process while coming up with a plan of attack. If you have ants in your pantry, for example, you should take notice on how they work around not getting any of their products of the food you can’t move out.
2. Good Customer Feedback
What often happens when you get an ant infestation is you ask for any referrals. For the most part, the neighbors you trust will be the first people you ask for this. If they’ve been around in the neighborhood longer than you have, then chances are they will know of a good exterminator.
On the other hand, you can look for one online instead. You will often find a lot of services like these in your country and even a few in your area if you’re lucky enough. The beauty of this option is you can see the various reviews by all their previous customers on their page.
Look for a pest control worker who has excellent ratings and reviews on their profile. This should be a clear sign that they’re a service worth hiring in your case. The only problem with this method of selection is the troll and biased reviews.
While scrolling through the reviews, you may notice a few with a different tone than the rest. These may be fake and are only trying to bring down their reputation through bad reviews. It will be up to you to sift through them and find the truth.
3. Better Tools
A great exterminator service utilizes tools you can’t replace with DIY methods.
Take time to ask what kind of chemicals the pest control company uses. The best teams have high-grade chemicals that are both legal and safe to use in your home. More importantly, make sure the agency uses chemicals that can get rid of all the pests in your home quickly and efficiently.
Chemicals aren’t the only things to consider.
Does the team have the proper HazMat gear and hardware to deal with these chemicals? Do they have other types of gear in case chemical pest removal isn’t an option? Make sure you ask and only hire the team that has the best set of tools at the ready.
4. Innovative and Flexible
An excellent bug control service should have a lot of ideas in mind when getting rid of pests. This shows they are creative and that’s something you should look for when hiring one. While it’s okay to do things by the book, there will sometimes be problems that don’t allow the standard methods.
Having innovative specialists as your workers means they won’t have a problem working around that. Often, they’ll have an immediate solution if things can’t go as usual. This is also a great quality to have in workers if you want things done in a specific way.
Some clients have specific requests, like driving out ants without using poison or not allowing them to pass a specific area. Having innovative workers are fantastic for this.
No one likes to wait while ants raid their house. For that reason, an important quality to have with these services is punctuality. An amazing bug control service will be there at your door within their specified time or sooner.
Being punctual shows how serious they are in treating your problem. It also shows they’re a responsible service, which only ensures they get the job done. They also don’t want to risk being late because they know how bad an infestation can spread in a small timeframe.
It’s easy to know if the service is a punctual one. All you need to do is go to their customer comments and review section on their website.
Hire a Pest Control Service Today
Ants and other pests will invade your home without notice. Get a quality exterminator today! They will take care of the small infestation in your house before it becomes a big problem.
Are you looking for an excellent pest control service?
Contact us here! We provide excellent and efficient pest removal year-round.
Rat Vs Mouse: Know the Difference
Do you have rats at home? It is likely that you have seen them in different sizes. But can you tell if it is a rat or a mouse that you saw?
It is a sad truth that many Americans still suffer from rodent infestation. In 2017, Philadelphia registered the most number of households with rodent problems.
If we go beyond houses, Chicago emerged as the rattiest city in the United States in 2018.
To effectively curb these pests, we need to get to the bottom of the rat vs mouse debate. We need to know their differences. We need to understand their ways.
Continue reading below as we perform a detailed comparison between these two types of rodents.
Rat vs Mouse: The Lowdown
As we mentioned above, we need to understand the differences between rats and mice. This is crucial when it comes to our rodent control efforts. Let’s tackle their physical characteristics, as well as their distinct behaviors.
Before we go into the main differences, let’s quickly tackle their similarities. Generally, all rodents have a pair of incisor teeth. You can see them in the upper jaw of the rat or mouse.
They both feature a long tail. They also have short legs.
Both mice and rats have poor eyesight. They both rely heavily on their other senses. But mice are colorblind.
Both mice and rats leave roughly the same signs signifying their presence. They leave their droppings and gnaw marks.
They are both carriers of germs and bacteria.
But once you take a closer inspection, you will see the stark differences.
Mice love to build their own nests in burrows. This is where they breed and populate. On average, mice produce 4 to 16 pups per litter.
Annually, they can produce an average of 7 to 8 litters. At max level, that is a total of 128 mice born inside your property a year.
Meanwhile, black rats opt to build their nests up high. Brown rats, on the other hand, want their nests closer to the ground.
Rats produce fewer pups compared to mice. They breed 5 to 10 pups per litter. They generate 3 to 6 litters per year.
But they tend to eat way more than mice. Rats consume about 0.5oz to 1oz of food per day. They also drink .5oz to 2oz of water a day.
Mice, on the other hand, eat .1oz of food per day. They can also survive in as little as .1oz of water daily.
There is also a big difference in terms of their droppings. Mice’s droppings come with pointed ends measuring .04 to .08 inches each. They excrete 80 droppings per day, on the average.
Rats’ droppings come in the shape of a banana. They measure around .4 to .8 inches. They excrete around 40 droppings daily.
Both mice and rats are nocturnal creatures. But mice tend to become more territorial and social compared to rats.
Because of their social nature, mice love to explore new things. On the flipside, rats are more cautious and much harder to catch using a trap.
Both mice and rats have a long tail, but the former’s tail feature thin hair. The latter’s, on the other hand, is thick and hairless.
Mice are smaller and weigh 0.5 to 1 ounce. Rats are bigger and weigh 5.28 to 10.56oz. Mice also have larger ears compared to rats.
The bellies of mice have a lighter color compared to the bellies of rats. When it comes to the head, mice’s snouts are triangular. They also come with whiskers.
A rat’s snout is blunter. When it comes to their colors, mice can be brown, grey, or white. Rats, on the other hand, may come in brown, black, grey, and white.
When it comes to their movement, mice are more athletic. They can stand up using their hind legs. They do so by supporting their legs using their tail.
They can jump and climb through different panels. These include the rough ones, as well as the vertical surfaces.
In fact, they can jump to as much as 13 inches high. They can balance their bodies while running along cables and wires.
Meanwhile, rats love to squeeze through holes. They can fit their bodies in a hole that has a diameter of half an inch.
They typically live in sewers but they love to enter homes and buildings. They enter through busted drains and broken toilets.
Interestingly, rats are creatures of habit. They tend to follow the same path or a regular routine every day.
The Damage They Can Do
Both mice and rats can cause serious damage to your home and property. Being the smaller of the two, mice tend to have weaker teeth. This limits them to gnawing mostly food sources.
Rats can gnaw and chew through different kinds of materials. Their teeth are strong enough to damage wood, glass, and aluminum. They can even pierce through sheet metal and cinder blocks.
When it comes to the health risks they pose, both mice and rats can bring a lot. Just recently, researchers discovered that mice in New York carry new forms of bacteria and viruses.
Generally, mice spread these harmful elements through their urine. After urinating, they step on their urine and run to different places around the house.
Meanwhile, rats can also carry other pests in their body. These include lice, ticks, and fleas. These pests are carriers of serious ailments like Lyme disease.
The Need to Call for Help
At the end of the day, the rat vs mouse debate still ends with one conclusion: you need to get rid of these pests.
There are many ways to get rid of these rodents. You can start by cleaning and de-cluttering your house. You should also fix broken toilets and cover holes on your walls.
But when the infestation is already too much to handle, you need the help of professional pest control providers.
If you wish to end your home’s rodent infestation, get in touch with us today. We’ll bring the help you need, ASAP!
How to Stop Ants from Invading Your Home with These Easy Tips
Did you know that 84 percent of homeowners have experienced a pest problem in the last year?
What’s more, of these pest problems, most of them (49%) are the result of ant infestations.
It doesn’t take much for an ant colony to gather in your home. When this happens, the one solution is often extermination.
You can take certain precautions to keep this from happening, however. Keep reading to learn how to stop ants from invading your home!
1. Understand Ant Behavior
It’s important to understand how ants take up residence in a home in order to better quell them.
Most ant colonies don’t invade a home all at once. Colonies send out “scout ants” in search of food sources. These solo ant travelers can sneak inside your home, figure out where the grub is, and signal the rest of the colony to arrive.
Squelching these scout ants can be vital for cutting off communication to the greater colony. If you see a solo ant crawling around your kitchen counters, kill it immediately.
Of course, it’s a lot harder to spot a single ant than to identify a large colony. For that reason, if you’re having trouble scouting out the scouts, keep the rest of these tips in mind.
Ants are also drawn to sugary food sources, as they naturally consume nectar from plants and fruits. Food sources likely to compel ants are ripe, exposed fruits, juice and soda spills, honey, and jams.
Still, this won’t stop an ant from carting away a crumb of cheese or a bit of bread. This insect is a scavenger at heart!
Ants are also unlikely to colonize directly in your home. Most have nests outside of homes and choose to invade for food gathering purposes only.
2. Clean Up Dirty Dishes Immediately
Because ants love anything with sugar in it, it’s vital to keep your home free of crumbs, spills, and exposed food residue.
The kitchen sink is a big culprit in this regard. Make sure you keep your sink sparkling clean and clean up dirty dishes immediately.
You may be tempted to leave that soup pot to soak overnight, but doing so can indeed lure pests, especially ants. Make an effort to clean up immediately after meals, and make use of that dishwasher if you have one.
3. Maintain Sparkling Surfaces
All sorts of food residue can gather on surfaces.
The kitchen is obviously the big contender here, but don’t forget about other surfaces in your home, including bathroom, dining room, and living room surfaces.
Daily inspect surfaces in your home for a build-up of any kind. Make sure you are doing more than just wiping crumbs away onto the floor, as these can still lure ants.
Use a clean sponge and a cleaning substance of some kind, even if it is a simple squirt of dish soap.
Vinegar water can also be excellent (see next tip), as well as disinfectant wipes.
Another oft-overlooked surface is the microwave. Scrub it inside and out on a weekly, if not daily, basis to prevent ants from invading.
4. Use Vinegar Water
How do colony ants follow scout ants? Scout ants leave what are called “ant trails,” deposits of pheromones (natural chemicals) that other ants can scent out and follow.
These are, naturally, invisible to human eyes. However, we do have the capacity to destroy ant trails. A simple vinegar water spray can be helpful in doing this.
If you’ve noticed a few scout ants in your home, wipe up their ant trails after killing them with some vinegar water.
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of essential oils to the mix. This also makes a lovely, chemical-free cleaner to use around your home.
5. Seal All Food Containers
Be mindful of how you are storing your food in order to keep ants from invading your home. If you are storing leftovers of any kind, make sure you keep these containers tightly sealed.
This applies even for leftovers you store in the fridge. However, it is especially important to keep this tip in mind when storing pantry items.
In fact, we recommend inspecting your pantry and cupboard contents often.
Make sure jars of honey are sealed and wiped down. The same goes for jam jars.
Regularly wipe down cupboard shelves, too, to prevent accumulation of food residue, crumbs, and sugary substances likely to attract ants.
6. Clean Floors Often
Ants must traverse your home’s floors to get to any food source, so do your best to regularly clean your floors.
Pay particular attention to carpets, as these can gather all sorts of invisible crumbs! Vacuum weekly, and do the same with rugs.
Mopping hardwood and tile floors can add an extra layer of protection here.
7. Inspect Your Home’s Property
It is essential to protect the inside of your home from pesky ant colonies, but the outside is just as important! Remember that ants build their nests outside and often enter homes in search of food.
Walk around your property and see if you notice any ant “mounds:” protrusions of earth that suggest a colony. You may even see ants swarming on a patch of ground.
If you already have an ant invasion, it’s wise to wipe out these colonies as soon as possible.
In the interim, consider applying an ant barrier around your home: an insecticide likely to fend off scouts from developing colonies.
8. Seal All Cracks
Do you notice any visible cracks in your home’s exterior? These are prime entryways for hungry ants.
Seal cracks around your home’s windows, doors, and other openings. Pay attention to any mesh screens, too, on porch doors, as minuscule tears in these can welcome scouts in a flash.
How to Stop Ants from Invading Your Home
Don’t let an ant invasion get you down. Take these precautions to ensure these little invaders stay away from your kitchen cabinets and living room rugs.
Now you know how to stop ants from taking over your house.
What happens if they already have? We can help! Learn more about our ant control services here!
8 Legged Freaks: How to Get R >
Are you afraid of spiders? Are worried they might bite your children while they play in the yard? Are you looking for ways to drive them away?
Believe it or not, house spiders are generally harmless to humans. They live on a diet of moths, mosquitoes, crickets, and flies.
But take note that these creepy crawlers can still bite you. Black widows and hobo spiders can leave painful bites that come with severe side effects. Some bites result in skin lesions that take several months to heal.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of spiders effectively, check out our list below.
How to Get Rid of Spiders with Home Remedies
Do you often see spiders in and outside of your house? Well, you are not alone. A survey discovered that
American homes have around 32 to 211 different spider species. Follow these 8 natural ways that will help you drive away those 8-legged freaks.
1. Start with Vinegar
Begin your quest to drive away spiders by starting simple. Head on to your kitchen and fill up a spray bottle with water and vinegar. Apply a 50/50 partition and shake the bottle well.
Spray the solution to cracks, crevices, and corners around your house. You may also target holes where spiders may hide.
Be careful not to hit your furniture that has surfaces with varnish. Vinegar can easily wash off varnish and cause tarnishing on your wooden chairs and tables.
2. Try Essential Oils
If you have the budget, you can also try using essential oils. Spiders do not like strong scents.
Get some peppermint oil and mix 15 to 20 drops with water and inside a spray bottle. Just like the way you did with vinegar, spray the solution around the house. Target the same areas where spiders hide.
To ensure the efficacy of your essential oils, replace the peppermint with a different one at least once a month. You can try lavender, cinnamon, rose, and tea-tree.
If you have money to spare, you may want to invest in an essential oil diffuser. This will help ensure even distribution of the essential oil vapors around your house.
3. Mind the Exterior
Keeping your house spider-free also means protecting your home’s exterior. Start by surveying your yard. Identify the things that spiders may likely be hiding.
If you see these things close to your exterior walls, move them to a different area. These include the likes of woodpiles, compost, leaves, and grass clippings.
Mind the window sills and door openings. Pay attention to any cracks. Seal the cracks immediately using caulk.
If you see holes on your window screens, replace them with new ones. Lastly, make sure that you cover your chimney and vents using fine mesh.
4. Eucalyptus Helps
Are you into plants? Why not plant a eucalyptus tree in your backyard? The herb is one of the most potent repellants against spiders and other pests like ants.
It carries a strong medicinal scent that spiders hate. A good place to put the eucalyptus plant is near the windows.
In case there is not much room in your backyard to fit a eucalyptus tree, go for a smaller alternative. Lavender or mint is an excellent replacement.
5. Try Cedar and Conkers
If you have lost of space to fit a bigger plant, you can try out cedar. Spiders also hate the scent cedar emits.
If you want, you may also try cutting them into small pieces. Sand them down and hang them in different parts of your house. Put a piece or two inside your drawers.
Leave a piece on every corner. Hang one alongside your clothes to keep the latter spider-free.
If cedar is not your type, why not try chestnuts? Used in by British kids in the game called “conkers,” the seeds of horse chestnut trees are an effective deterrent of spiders.
Throw in a few pieces on the corners of your rooms. Place a few pieces on your windowsills too.
But be careful if you have pets at home. Conkers can be poisonous so better consult your vet first.
6. The Power of Garlic
We know how potent garlic is. But did you know that it also drives away spiders?
Get your trusty water bottle and fill it up with water. Crush some garlic cloves and dump them inside the bottle. Spray the solution in the same areas you would with the vinegar and essential oils.
You can also give the floors and skirting boards a little spraying. If the scent is too strong for you, adjust the number of cloves that you crush.
7. Get Citrusy
Cannot stand the smell of garlic? Is peppermint too strong for you? Then opt for citrusy options.
Rub your bookshelves and windowsills with some orange peel. Do the same thing for your skirting boards.
If you are going to polish your furniture, use cleaners that come with a lemon scent. Complete the treatment by burning citronella candles inside your home.
Lastly, one of the best ways to get rid of spiders is to keep your house clean. Focus on de-cluttering.
Sort out your items at home and identify the ones you no longer use. Set them all aside and discard the ones you no longer need.
If some of the items are still in good condition, you can opt to give them away. Sell some if you want and convert them to extra money.
If you need to store some of your items, choose plastic storage containers. Spiders can easily crawl inside cardboard boxes. Plastic containers, on the other hand, are air-tight.
Dust your pillows, mattress, and couches. Use a vacuum to take out those pesky spider webs.
Severe Cases Call for Professional Expertise
Sometimes, knowing how to get rid of spiders using natural methods may not be enough. Spider, as well as pest infestation, in general, is a serious matter.
It requires the help of a professional pest control provider.
If you think you have a pest infestation at home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Let us know your problem and we’ll get you the professional assistance you need.
When to Call an Ant Service for the Ant Colony in Your Wall
If an ant colony infested your home and caused damage, home insurance won’t cover it. To clarify, your standard home insurance won’t, which means you’d need to pay for extended coverage. Most people aren’t even aware of this, their insurance is probably expensive enough.
Dealing with any pest infestation is tough to do alone, especially insects like ants. If you have ants in the wall, what can you really do to get the best of them? Do you try to starve them out by becoming a clean-freak?
Can you really outlast an entire ant colony who can live off of rainwater and leaves outside? Chances are you’ll probably waste a lot of money trying to do it yourself. Ant service shouldn’t get pushed off as a last resort.
Let’s understand exactly what an ant infestation involves before convincing yourself otherwise.
An Ideal Environment
When ants are on the move to go set up their new colony, they’re looking for the basics. They need a place that is close enough to a water source and food source. For your home, it probably already meets those two criteria.
If an ant was able to scout your place out and find an easy access point into your wall, they’re in business. They don’t necessarily need a home that is dirty, filled with crumbs, and etc. That would only increase the odds of an infestation.
This is all assuming we’re talking about regular ol’ ants, not the type that specifically targets wood-framed homes.
Who’s Knocking at Your Door?
You’ve got an ant infestation and you want to kill it now. Before you grab the flamethrower, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Ants of all types are a threat to homeowners, some more than others.
Do you have tiny black ants or big ones? The common “sugar ants” are the most harmless of ant species, but are you sure they are? Take a closer look, they might be a species called the “acrobat ant” which burrows in homes.
If they’re not those ants, they might be your worst nightmare as a homeowner: carpenter ants. These ants create huge nests in wood, usually where wood is already damaged or moist. That means eliminating their colony is a lot more than cleaning the house and laying down bait.
Only experienced pest control ant services can locate, eliminate and fill these gaps. If you don’t take a thorough approach when dealing with ants in a wall, there’s no stopping them from coming back.
Defense Is the Best Offense
The war against ants is often long and expensive. Ant colonies can grow very fast and are often hard to measure. Rather than allowing things to get to the point of expensive ant extermination, you need a plan.
With a proper maintenance schedule, you can defend your home from ants by creating an unwelcoming environment. It starts with home maintenance and upkeep. If your foundation is secure and sealed up, your house won’t breathe out any indicators for entrances.
Lastly, you’ll have a yard full of deterrents in place in the form of traps and chemical barriers. Ants are very sensitive to chemical trails. The key is not to soak the ground in poison, but to make things extremely unpleasant for the scouting ants.
Why DIY Solutions Don’t Work
You may have been thinking to yourself while reading this “I can just buy this stuff at Home Depot.” You could do that, but you’re not going to get commercial-grade pest control. It’s like rolling the dice on pest control formulas, hoping they are effective and won’t kill your grass.
Plus, these days ant extermination companies are using safer and more effective products. You don’t want to have some Joe Schmoe spraying poison inside your walls and have your family breathing it for years after. Retail pest products are not made to do much preventing, either.
Even if you spray down your perimeter every season, there’s no guarantee that it will work. Some colonies can get really creative with how they enter the home. We’re talking tree-hopping, swarm-dropping, limousine-driving son-of-a-guns.
Moral of the story: you’re not going to out-wit ants without years of experience.
If you’ve managed to locate and destroy the ant colony, can you guarantee that they won’t return? Did you kill the queen ant? What, you mean you didn’t see her?
Welcome to pest control 101: if you don’t kill the queen, you lost. Sure, you may have set back her nesting a few months, but she’ll be back. The funny thing is, the queen isn’t much of a runner anyway.
That’s right, if you opened that wall up, “destroyed” the colony, and closed it back: you’re doing it all over again if she’s not dead. Colonies can sprawl and take all sorts of shapes, especially if it’s a carpenter ant colony. You’ll need a professional to flush out those suckers and fill in all the entrances.
Ants are already annoying as it is, and downright infuriating once you’ve spent $100s on home products.
The Best Natural Ant Service
We hope you heed our word of caution in this article. Ants in walls is a tough and frustrating situation. It can take a while to even realize that they are in your walls.
This is why it is so important to already have a reliable ant service company taking care of your home. They will know what to look for when it comes to your home’s defenses. If you do happen to have an ant colony that has already moved in, then they can act fast and prevent further damage.
Contact us for a free consultation. We only use pet-friendly, family-friendly, and odor-free products. There’s no control like Natura Pest Control.
6 Reasons Why German Roaches Are so Difficult to Get R >
As 84% of American homes deal with pest infestations, it’s not as if people don’t want to get rid of the pests.
The problem is that some pets, especially German roaches, are harder to get rid of than many others. Getting rid of raccoons or spiders can be a challenge, but you need to make a real effort to end a roach infestation once it starts.
Here are 6 reasons why they’re so hard to get rid of.
1. They Love Messy Spaces
German cockroaches are often found in bathrooms and kitchens, where it’s hard to keep every nook and cranny clean and dry. Even a neat freak doesn’t have the time to wipe down the whole bathroom after a shower or the whole kitchen after a meal. If you leave anything behind, they’re going to get into it.
They’ll even eat soaps that are left out. If you use natural soaps, you might want to switch from bars to liquids. The likelihood of getting rid of an infestation goes way down if you’re not diligent about getting anything moist and organic out of your kitchen or bathroom.
While you can get a trash can with a solid lid, change your cleaning habits, and be more focused about cleaning, you can’t ensure that you’ll keep them out forever. Just a crumb can get them coming back to check what you have later on.
2. They Even Get Into Pet Things
If you have a pet, it’s hard to keep things tidy all the time. Many cats and dogs eat wet foods and take their time with them. Some cats will nibble at a can of food all day long, leaving it open to being shared with roaches.
You might have to completely change your pet feeding schedule if you’re dealing with an infestation. You need to clean out any bowls they eat out of and any cans that you open for them. The type of food that you feed pets is a sweet treat to a roach.
If you have cats, you need to find an alternative to the standard litter box. By adding some obstruction, having a top-loading or a covered entry to the box, you can keep the roaches out.
3. They’ll Find Your Humid Space
You’ll find that infestation is worse under humid circumstances. Much like how they love those moist parts of your bathroom and kitchen, they also love spaces like that all around your home. If you have space behind your refrigerator, in your garage, or in your attic liable to get humid, you need a solution.
A dehumidifier is a good way to get them out of your basement or another humid place. Before you invest in a dehumidifier, make sure that you can afford one that can handle the kind of square footage you’re dealing with. Every home and every space is different, so there needs to be a solution that is ideal for the kind of space you’re dealing with.
If you don’t have a solution that can meet your needs, you’re going to struggle to get the roaches out. You need to be thorough and find solutions that can serve the needs of your home.
4. Cabinets are Crumb Heaven
One of the ways that roaches start living in our home without us knowing is that we have all kinds of crumbs cluttering up our cabinets. Our cabinets are where we store food items and ingredients that we don’t need today but might need soon. Most people don’t open their cabinets up for a few days at a time during some points in the week.
If cockroaches discover your unattended crumbs, a bag of chips that was left open, or even some baking flour that’s open for business, they’ll be all over it. It’s hard to make sure that everything in your kitchen is adequately clean and tidy but your cabinets are going to be their main hiding space.
You’ll see lots of evidence when you start leaving crumbs around. There will be torn up bags, crumbs everywhere, and even a stray bug or two. You need to take action quickly when you see this happening.
5. No One Takes Out The Trash
In most households, taking out the trash is something that people play rock-paper-scissors over or leave until the very last minute. Most people don’t like taking out the trash as it gets heavy, can smell, or even just be an irritating chore. However, when you’ve got a 20-pound bag of cockroach feed sitting in your home day after day, you need to take care of it.
For families with kids, you need to get to every trash can throughout the house. Kids are notorious for throwing away smelly food items in their bedroom trash can and leaving it there for weeks. If you’re not aware of their bad habits, they could be the ones who brought in roaches, to begin with.
Take trash out of the bathroom as well, given we’ve learned how much roaches love bathrooms.
6. They Get Into Literally Everything
If you still have things on your counter or your cupboards sitting in the bag they came in at the store, you need to take some action.
Get yourself some glass or stainless steel containers to store your food items in. Even dry goods are attractive to a roach. You don’t need to take chances.
German Roaches Are Notoriously Difficult
Even the cleanest home can get German roaches living in and infesting it. If you live next to messy neighbors or even just a place that attracts them, they could find their way to you easily. Sometimes you need to call in the pros to solve the issue.
If you want to know what to look for in an exterminator, check out our guide for tips.
Mouse in the House: Here’s Why You Might Need Mice Control in Vancouver This Winter
It’s cold and blustery outside, and that means you need to bundle up, shovel and salt the driveway…and deal with that mouse in the house.
The truth is, mice start moving indoors in the fall, so if you’ve got a family of mice living rent-free in your home, chances are, they first started moving in sometime around October.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your mouse problem under control. Here’s why you might need Vancouver pest control this winter, what you can do to keep mice out, and how to deal with a problem when it arises.
What Attracts Mice?
The first step to dealing with any pest infestation is preventing one from happening. With that in mind, let’s talk about a few things that draw mice to your house faster than the Pied Piper.
Open Food Sources
The #1 culprit in any mouse problem is almost always food. Specifically, tasty open food sources that scream “Free buffet!” to all the critters on the block.
Despite what you see in cartoons, cheese isn’t actually a mouse’s first choice in delicacies. Mice actually like to eat fruit, seeds, and grains.
Sound like anything you keep unsealed? Like, say, your favorite cereals, oatmeal, rice, or fresh fruit?
That said, mice are omnivorous and inventive, so a mouse in your house will eat almost anything it can get its paws on–dog food, candy, and even (if food is particularly scarce) other mice.
Open Water Sources
Of course, mice don’t just have food on the brain. Like most animals, they’re also thinking about water sources.
Mice in the wild will find ponds, rivers, and streams, but mice in a residential neighborhood have it easier–all they have to do is find an open water source in your home.
Like, for example, your pet’s water dish. They don’t even have to climb to reach it.
You can’t eliminate pet water bowls (Spot needs water, too) but you can make it less attractive by getting smarter with placement. Make sure your dog has fresh water when playing outside, and bring the water dish indoors with you when they’re done. Empty out water bowls at night so mice won’t have an easy resource while you sleep.
However, as previously noted, mice are inventive. So when it comes to food, they won’t just be interested in your fresh groceries. They often go for a less appetizing food source: your garbage.
Remember, mice are foragers by nature. When they’re hungry, they’re not going to be all that picky if food is readily available.
In fact, humans are the perfect companion species to mice in this regard. We’re not particularly good at cleaning up after our meals–we tend to leave a lot of food debris and scraps in our trash after a meal, tasty tidbits that mice will happily take advantage of.
Clutter and Crumbs
There’s a reason why you always see dirty, cluttered, unclean houses filled with mice.
Mice thrive in messy human houses. They love clutter, and they especially love the crumbs that come with an unclean house.
This is for two reasons. First, all those tiny morsels that a human wouldn’t notice can add up to a tasty lunch for a mouse. Second, clutter and debris are perfect for a mouse to set up a nice, quiet nest and start having mouse babies.
Warmth and Shelter
Of course, the fact that mice find these handy boxes, nooks, and debris in your house is an added benefit for them. They could make a nest in the walls just as easily.
The immediate attraction for a mouse looking in on your warm, cozy home is, well, the warmth and coziness.
Mice will be most attracted to your home in cold winter months. They know it’s an easy food source, and it’s pre-made shelter against the elements.
There’s also some evidence to suggest that pregnant female mice are more likely to find their way into your house. As with many mammals, pregnant females instinctively seek out a safe shelter to hide and gather food without much risk of predators.
That’s bad news for you because if a pregnant mouse makes her nest in your home, you could be dealing with a full-blown infestation in no time at all.
Lack of Predators
Alongside the attractiveness of pre-made shelter is one simple fact: in the wild, mice have to worry about natural predators. Your house, on the other hand, is conveniently designed to keep wildlife (include natural predators of mice) out.
The obvious answer to Jerry taking up residence is to introduce Tom, as cats are natural predators to mice. Some breeds are known as good mousers.
However, you shouldn’t introduce a cat to your house simply to keep mice away. Even cats from famous mousing breeds may not have good hunting instincts. It’s best to try to keep mice from getting in at all.
If you have a cat to help catch them, this is a fringe benefit (for the cat, at least–you probably won’t enjoy it when they leave a dead mouse at your feet to teach you how to hunt).
Why Has a Mouse Moved into Your House?
All of that tells you why mice are attracted to houses generally, but it doesn’t tell you why a mouse moved into your house specifically. Mice are among the most common pest infestations in Washington, but not every house has them.
Here are a few reasons you might have a figurative neon sign reading “Mice Welcome!” over your house.
You Didn’t Keep Up with Landscaping
You might roll your eyes at your in-laws’ disdain for your landscaping abilities, but the truth is, your lackluster landscaping schedule may be contributing to your pest problem.
Picture this: you’ve got a lovely row of bushes close to your house. They’re quite attractive during the warmer seasons. Except, you haven’t exactly raked the leaves in a while.
Those leaf piles, especially close to your house, are a mouse magnet. A mouse seeking entry into your house has an easy hiding place while they search for a way indoors–you may never even see them.
To keep this from happening, all vegetation should be at least two feet away from your house, and you should always keep the weeds trimmed and the ground cleared so that mice don’t have a hiding place.
You Haven’t Rodent-Proofed Your Exterior
Of course, it’s not enough just to take away a mouse’s hiding place. You also have to remove their avenues of getting into your house in the first place.
Have you checked on the state of your weather-stripping lately? What about any cracks between the building material?
If you haven’t checked (or done any repairs lately) then those issues can easily become an open door for rodents to slip through.
Identify Your Rat or Mice Infestation
Sometimes, though, all your best efforts still can’t keep the rodents from finding their way indoors.
If it turns out that you do have a pest infestation, it helps to know what kind of rodent you’re dealing with. This will help you set traps accordingly and check the right entry points to keep them from finding their way inside again.
Here are a few of the most common mouse (and rat) species in Vancouver, what they look like, and how to tell one infestation apart from another. Remember, some of them might look cute, but they’re actually dangerous to have in your house.
Common House Mice
The most common culprit in a mouse infestation is the common house mouse. It’s also the mouse species you probably picture when you imagine a mouse.
That’s because house mice (as the name implies) are mice that most commonly live near humans. They’re typically grayish-brown or black and about six to seven inches long from nose to tail tip. They have large ears, a small, slender body, and fine fur.
They tend to eat plants, insects, and any meat they can get. Unfortunately for the humans they live with, house mice also reproduce often, with litters of 3-11 young after a gestation period of 18 to 21 days (do the math on how many months are in winter and you’ll be horrified by how many potential litters one female house mouse could have).
These are the kind of mice that usually leaves rice-grain-sized droppings for you to find, dark brown and with pointed ends. This type of mouse also likes to gnaw through wood, asphalt shingles, and soft mortar.
Less common in the city of Vancouver (but still a potential problem for homeowners), are deer mice, so called for their resemblance to deer.
The mouse’s upper body is gray to reddish brown, with a white underbelly and white legs. It has prominent, leaf-like ears like a baby faun and big eyes–the perfect animal for kinderschema, the same human psychological phenomenon that leads us to think big-eyed, fat-faced babies are cute.
They might look cute, but they’re actually quite dangerous–deer mice are often carriers for the hantavirus, a disease with a serious impact on your lungs.
Rats might be something out of your worst nightmare (or a Halloween horror movie). Unfortunately, rats may be on the rise in Vancouver.
Roof rats, also called black rats, are the most common rat species in Vancouver. As their name implies, they usually have sleek dark gray or black fur, with large ears and a tail longer than their bodies and heads put together.
Before you get worried, you won’t mistake a roof rat for a house mouse–including their tail, roof rats are nearly twice as large as house mice, ranging from 13-17 inches long and weighing 8 ounces (compared to the house mouse average of ¾ of an ounce).
They reproduce less often than house mice (four to seven litters per year compared to eight for house mice), but they also have more young per litter (6-12 on average).
As their name implies, roof rats are climbers–given the choice, they prefer roof and attic spaces. So if you see one, make sure to check these areas first.
Norway rats aren’t quite as common as roof rats, but they’re still a common pest for Vancouver homeowners.
These rats are distinct from their roof-dwelling cousins because they’re wider than roof rats and brownish-red in color, with eyes and ears that are small relative to the size of their heads. They’re also bigger and wider than roof rats, weighing about 10-17 ounces. Their tails are shorter than the length of their bodies, but they’re still about 12-18 inches long.
Unlike roof rats, Norway rats are ground dwellers. They like moist conditions and tend to live close to the ground level in crawl spaces and burrows. If you see Norway rats in your home, check your basement first for any further signs of infestation.
Where Mice Get Into Your House
Now that you know the types of mice and rats that might find their way into your house, it’s important to know where, specifically, they might find entry into your home.
The truth is, mice don’t need much to find an entryway into your home. It might not seem like a mouse could fit into a narrow crack or an opening under your door, but that’s because you’re applying the logic of human anatomy to mouse anatomy.
Mice can fit through small spaces because of their size, but that’s not their only advantage.
There’s a myth that says that mice have collapsible skeletons and another that says they don’t have collarbones. Neither is actually true. In reality, despite appearances to the contrary, the only limitation on the size of a hole a mouse can fit through is the size of its head, as a mouse’s head is actually the largest part of its body.
So: if a mouse head can fit through a gap, the rest of its body can follow, which is why mice can fit into spaces only a few centimeters wide.
Knowing that, let’s take a look at a few common places mice use to get into your house.
Gaps Between Building Materials
A common culprit in mice infestations is gaps in the building material that makes the exterior of your home.
One of the most frequent entry points? A gap between bricks and soffit. Even in new houses, such gaps show up all the time. A few other common gap-entries include:
- Gaps between the roof and soffit
- Gaps between the siding and foundation
- Gaps between the roof and fascia
Remember: mice are excellent climbers, and they only need a few centimeters of clearance.
Weep vents are a common structural design feature, and they serve a clear purpose: they allow any water that somehow found its way behind the brick to escape into the open air. This also airs out the wall to keep the structure dry.
Unfortunately, mice are experts at taking advantage of weep vents.
They can’t be sealed completely or you could be facing water damage. You can cover them, but mice can chew through plastic coverings with relative ease.
Mice and roof rats that make their way to your roof can have a field day with entry points.
A favorite access point for roof-dwelling rodents is the plastic and aluminum vents on your roof. In fact, in many cases, all that stands between a mouse and your attic is a thin bug screen–one that a mouse has no qualms about chewing through.
If you have a chimney, this is another easy entry point for mice. After all, they’re excellent climbers–what’s a downward crawl through a chimney to a mouse?
To that end, make sure to invest in a chimney cap to keep them out, and make sure to check it regularly to ensure there aren’t any gaps.
HVAC and Utility Lines
We weren’t kidding when we said mice are inventive.
Utility and HVAC units often have to pump exhaust outside the home. To do this, pipes and vents are run through exterior walls. This means that builders have to cut holes to allow for heating, air conditioning, water, and electrical lines–and they often cut them too big just to be safe.
That’s all the leeway a mouse needs to get from the outside of the house to your exterior wall. And once they’ve made it that far, they can climb along the pipes and lines to go all throughout the house, all while using the same set of pre-cut holes.
It would be brilliant…if they weren’t wreaking havoc on your house.
Door and Window Frames
Of course, sometimes, mice don’t need to be all that inventive to find a way into your house. Sometimes, all they need is a gap between your door and the floor–if it’s two centimeters or more, they can probably make the squeeze.
Any doors that hang unevenly, or that hang too high, are perfect doors for a mouse to slip through. Don’t think that weather stripping will necessarily save you either–they can chew through loose rubber weather stripping fairly easily, which is often how mice get into your garage.
Ways to Rodent-Proof Your Home
As the old cliche goes, the best offense is a good defense. That applies to sports as well as mice infestations.
If you want to keep mice out, the best place to start is blocking off the areas of your house that mice would find attractive. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind.
Seal Points of Entry
To keep mice out, start by removing their way in.
As a rule, you’ll need to seal off any entry point that’s ¼ of an inch or larger (a mouse’s head is the largest part of its body, but then again, it doesn’t have a very large head). Obviously, not all entry points can be sealed (like weep vents and utility lines) but you can eliminate opportunities.
Check any door and window screens for gaps. If your window screens have any tears, make sure to replace them. You should also check your siding for any gaps, and make sure to seal any cracks in your foundation. If there are gaps where your pipes enter your home, fill them with caulk (and make sure to check and refresh the caulk).
Seal Your Food (and Your Pet’s Food, Too)
Mice, much like humans, are hungry. They’re worried about where their next meal is coming from.
Make sure to send a loud and clear message that there won’t be any dinner service at your house.
You should aim to keep as much food as you can in sealed, airtight containers (especially things that mice like, such as cereal, rice, nuts, or fruit). And don’t forget about your pet’s food, either–mice are equal opportunity eaters, so your pet’s food should also be stored in sealed containers.
You should also make sure to regularly check for any crumbs on the floor and under appliances like the oven, fridge, and dishwasher. Keep your countertops and floors clear of residue, too.
Your wood-burning fireplace is a delight when the winters get cold and the nights grow longer. Unfortunately, the stockpile of wood you keep on hand is also a beloved hideout for mice and rats.
This is for much the same reason as leaf piles near your house–it’s close to the ground and easy for rodents to hide in, which means they can search for access points without you ever seeing them.
To prevent this, store your firewood away from your house, and make sure it’s elevated at least 18 inches off the ground. Rodents can climb, but they’re less incentivized to use your firewood as a hideout if it doesn’t get them entry into your house.
Call a Pest Control Company
Finally, if all else fails, make sure to call a pest control company.
They’re experts in dealing with infestations like this, so they know where to look to handle those pesky rodents. An exterminator is also far more efficient in killing your pests than the traditional bait-and-trap method.
Got a Mouse in the House? Need a Vancouver Exterminator?
Have you got a mouse in the house? Have you got several mice in the house?
If so, it’s time to call a Vancouver pest control company. That’s where we come in.
We’re experienced in mice control and rat control, and we know how to tackle an infestation quickly and effectively. These rodents will wish they never came to your doorstep.
If you need our help dealing with your pest problem, don’t wait. Click here to get in touch.