The chilly season is well known to be the time for rat incursions as they head towards your home for food and shelter, but what people may not be aware of is that rats can be a year-round issue. In fact, spring is just around the corner and Sacramento homes are still a target for rats to make their unwelcoming mouse warming party.
Nationwide, Sacramento has been listed in the top 29 cities for rat infestations and in California it was ranked in the top 5. The most common being the roof rat. These little critters may look small and cute; however, looks can be deceiving. They can actually wreak a great amount of havoc around your home.
Roof rats are often brown or black in color with large ears, a pointed nose, and slender in size. Ranging from 13-18 inches from nose to tail, these clever creatures are highly adaptive to a wide range of environments. They have superior climbing skills and will travel through trees and across electrical wires to find their way into attics and other parts of the home. Roof rats can squeeze in a hole the size of a quarter and will even chew around an opening to make it suitable to wiggle through. Once inside, food becomes their next objective, and they aren't picky eaters! They will find anything edible to make a mice krispies treat.
How do you know your home has been intruded by roof rats? There are many signs that will give away their presence. Besides spotting one around the home, sighting of rodent droppings and rub marks is a great indicator. You may also find gnawed areas of the home or food packaging. In some instances, people may hear them scurrying about in the attic space or wall voids.
Prevention is the best approach in making sure your home is rat free. The best measure you can take is ensuring that you have sealed up any openings around your home. Keep garbage bins and storage containers tightly sealed and eliminate any possibilities of other food sources such as fallen fruit, bird feeders, and your pet’s food bowls. It is also helpful to cut trees and shrubs away from the structure and move any wood or junk piles away from the home.
There are many threats that come with a rat infestation and contamination is a big one. This could be food or surface contamination. Rats carry disease, pathogens, and parasites through fecal matter and urine. The droppings and hair can also cause allergies and asthma. To make it worse, they can also carry other pests that can transfer to your household such as fleas, ticks, and mites. But that's not all! Aside from the health hazards, rats have razor sharp teeth that allow them to chew through almost anything including some metals. They gnaw on wires and pipes causing a lot of money in home repairs.
It's amazing how fast rats can reproduce. At just 2-5 months of age, they can find a squeak heart and produce as many as 6 litters per year! So be sure to follow these preventative measures or call a professional to properly inspect your home.
As the weather begins to cool in the Fall, spiders will be seeking a warm and cozy place to hide, and these little creepers will be heading for your home. Do not fear, we are here to help! Aside from an established service, here are a few ways to keep the spiders away.
Reduce entry points: Spiders can get through the smallest cracks around your residence. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes around the foundation of your home. You can also minimize gaps by installing door sweeps, weather stripping, and making sure all window and door screens are in good condition. Not only does this help to keep spiders out, but this will also prevent other insects from traveling in.
Minimize exterior lighting: Most homes have lighting near the entryways that attract a lot of flying insects. Spiders will generally nest around these entryways to prey on an easy meal. You can reduce the number of unwanted insects by keeping the lights off or replacing them with yellow bulbs.
Keep things clean: Knock down all spider webs around your home with a broom or a weber (this is included in your pest control service). Look for cobwebs around light fixtures, in your garden and around the foundation of your home, including corners. Don’t forget to look up! You will be surprised at what you discover.
Halloween might be the time for all things “creepy and crawly”, but they aren’t invited to the party… unless it’s Spiderman!
One insect people dread most is the bloodsucking flea. These external parasites cause irritating bites and spread disease-carrying bacteria making them one of the most unpleasant insects to encounter. So how do fleas get around? They count on hitchhiking, or in other words, “itch-hiking”. Fleas thrive on consuming the blood of their hosts and can jump incredible distances making them one of the best jumpers second to the froghopper. They go through four lifecycle stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. As an adult, they can live 2-3 months on average. With over 2,500 species found around the world today, let’s talk about the three types of fleas that are likely to invade your home.
The Cat Flea: The most common type of flea that lives on cats, dogs, and wildlife.
The Rat Flea: The host is mainly rodents and these fleas are responsible for the Bubonic Plague.
The Human Flea: Infests the hair of humans and are found hiding in vehicles and furniture.
How do you get rid of fleas? Let’s start from scratch!
Protect your furry friends: First step in an effective flea treatment is to treat your pet(s) with flea and tick medication, use special formulated flea shampoo, and groom with a flea comb. Make sure the flea medication is appropriate for your type of pet and its weight.
Clean and treat your humble abode: This will go a long way in solving your flea problems. Vacuum high traffic areas often, wash bedding, and apply a chemical treatment around areas where fleas may hide. Read your chemical treatments carefully, especially if you have pets and children.
Maintain and treat your yard: A well-maintained and treated yard can keep you from undoing all your hard work to get rid of fleas. Be sure to remove debris around your home, maintain a short and healthy lawn, and chemically treat damp areas, patios, and grass.
Sanitation plays a vital role in the success of flea elimination. Vacuuming floors, laundering all bedding, maintaining a well-kept yard, and making sure your pets are medicated are all productive ways to manage a flea infestation. With a combination of Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) and knock-down insecticides you are well on your way to a flea-free home! For the safety application of professional-grade products, please contact a licensed professional.
Rain rain go away, the pests are coming in to play!
Winter months bring cold weather, rain and less bugs (or so one may think), leading people to believe they do not need pest control this time of year. However, it is a common misconception that bugs die off in the winter. This actually isn’t the case at all. So where do they all go in colder weather? Well, they just move to someplace warmer…your home!
Bugs will enter through cracks and crevices until they find shelter in wall voids, attics, basements and crawl spaces. The pests that do not enter structures will burrow underground or even in trees to survive. Another common misconception is that bugs also hibernate. Truth is, the state they go into is called a “dormant state” -meaning they slow down to conserve energy, a behavior caused by cold weather and lack of food sources.
In addition to bugs trying to find a warmer place to call home, rodents will do the same. This is why recurring treatment and routine inspections are important. Installing door sweeps, weather stripping and sealing up any rodent entry points can help reduce or prevent infestation.
So when winter months hit, it may be wise to reconsider the need for pest control. Without a recurring service you may find that once things warm back up in the spring, high numbers of pests will start popping back up. The invasion of your property could call for an extensive and expensive treatment.
When it comes to pests, “peace of mind” can be priceless…because pests don’t wear sweaters!
- Call 916-531-1261