About Scott Freeman

How to Prevent Bed Bugs this Winter Season

The scary thing about bed bugs is that you can pick them up almost anywhere. Just think, you run the risk of encountering the little guys at a hotel, your office, the gym, or even a store. Bed bugs are quite good at hiding and like to hitch rides in your personal belongings when given the chance. Being unaware of their presence is the root of the issue because once they are in your home, they can be a real hassle to get rid of…unless you have help from Absolut Pest Control, of course! Now, you might be thinking that, because it’s winter, you don’t have to worry about bed bugs but you’d be wrong. As long as they have a blood host, they can continue to thrive in colder temperatures. Their bites can vary in severity as well, depending on how you react to them. Check out a few of our recommendations for preventing bed bugs in your home. Don’t forget, these critters can lay up to five eggs a day!

  • Don’t Fret!

While it can be hard to rid yourself of bed bugs, it’s not impossible. Don’t fly into a mad rush to throw all bed sheets and blankets away, as most of those items can be saved through treatment. Not to mention throwing out items can get incredibly expensive. Also, by throwing out your contaminated linens, your increasing the chance of spreading bed bugs to someone else.

  • Be Sure You’re Actually Dealing with Bed Bugs

People will spot fleas or ticks around their home and mistake them for bed bugs. This causes a lot of unnecessary panic and stress, so we suggest comparing the insect you’re seeing in your home to pictures of what you suspect it to be on the internet. This can help clear up a lot of general confusion. If you still find yourself unsure of what you’re dealing with, get in touch with us and we’ll get to the bottom of your problem.

  • Reduce Hiding Places & Clutter

This is a big tip, as a cluttered living area provides bed bugs with ample spaces to hide. Not only will a cleaner living space make it harder for the bugs to conceal themselves, but it’ll likely improve your quality of daily life too. If you’re currently dealing with an infestation, it’s a chance to clear out your space albeit under undesirable circumstances. Simply cleaning won’t be the answer to all of your bed bug problems either, but it’ll certainly aid the situation and help prevent future issues.

  • Regularly Wash Bed Sheets, Blankets, Bedspreads, and Clothing

Bed bugs can hide and lay their eggs in both your clothing and laundry hampers/containers. Remember to clean your hampers and containers on a regular basis to reduce the risk of hidden bed bugs nesting in them. If you often leave articles of clothing in a pile on the floor when they are dirty, these rules especially apply. The goal when preventing bed bugs is to remain vigilant on the cleaning front.

Bed bugs can seriously drag down your time at home, especially the most important hours when you should be sleeping. If you suspect you’re dealing with a bed bug issue, utilize our tips and contact us to terminate said problem. Don’t let the winter months lull you into a sense of critter complacency. Remain vigilant and keep your home clean! Contact us if you’re at your wit’s end.

How to Get Your Property Pest Prepped for Winter

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, we know, but winter really is just right around the corner. Honestly, some days it feels as though it’s already here. As the cold season slowly approaches, there are a few things you can do outdoors to keep pests from taking up residence close to, or inside of, your home. Let’s take a look at some suggestions…

Tend to Your Lawn

Keep your lawn looking neat and clean for as long as you can before winter arrives. This involves clearing dead leaves, fallen twigs, branches, and other debris you may find that could provide shelter for pests seeking to get into your home. Remain on top of keeping your yard tidy even after the snow has fallen.

Trim Your Hedges

To keep pests away who might be taking up residence in your hedges, leave about five feet of clear space between the edge of your home and your nearest hedge or plant. Plants near your home can be utilized as shelter by pests, so keep those branches short. After all, once you trim your hedges, they won’t again until spring.

Move Firewood

Firewood piles are a very popular shelter option for rodents and insects during the winter time since they can build nests for their young and feed them there. To keep rodents from moving from your woodpile to your house, store your firewood at least twenty feet from your home. If you can, keep the wood elevated about five feet above the ground too.

Clear Gutters and Drains

Having gutters that drain properly is essential for preventing water build-up. Built up moisture can attract pests, so check your gutters and clear out any leaves and debris you may find. It’s in your best interest to ensure your sump pump is draining properly too.

If you’re looking to protect your home from pests this winter, get started on these suggestions now. We’re just two short weeks away from the start of December, so set some time aside and try to get a jump on ensuring a pest-free home for winter. If you’re in need of help, give us a call here at Absolut Pest Control or fill out our online contact form!

4 Common Fall Pests

Well, folks, the weather might still be wonky in terms of warmth but fall is officially here. If you’re from New England or if you’re a transplant, it’s highly likely you enjoy this brief season. The weather cools down at a moderate pace, the leaves change a bunch of gorgeous colors before letting go of their branches, and everyone can go back to wearing sweaters. It’s a lovely time indeed, but as the temperature cools there are quite a few pests who are going to be trying to find their way indoors. Here are a few you should keep an eye out for…

1.) Stink Bugs

Brown stink bugs actively seek shelter once cooler weather arrives. They don’t transmit diseases, nor do they sting or bite. They can, however, damage clothing, furniture, and other fabrics with their droppings. Conveniently enough, this is how stinkbugs get their name! When disturbed, their droppings emit a seriously strong odor in order to ward off potential predators. As fall settles in, take extra care to check out clothes, furniture, and blinds as these are common places to discover a lazy stink bug. Also, check all window screens to ensure they allow no easy entry into your home.

2.) Ants

You can potentially find all sorts of ants around your house throughout the fall months. Beware, some of these ants can wreak some real havoc. House ants can contaminate several of your foods while carpenter ants can damage the structure of your home. Keeping ants out of your home can be tricky, but to start you should store food in airtight containers , sweep your floors frequently, and keep tree branches and plants cut back from potential entry areas around your property. If these simple methods don’t help, you should look into sealing areas around your house in addition to cracks in the foundation.

3.) Rodents

These guys are pretty common in the fall and winter. Like people, they need warmth when the temperatures drop, so naturally they choose our homes. Unfortunately, they spread diseases, can build nests in your insulation, and chew through your wires potentially causing a fire in the process. Rodents are flexible creatures, and have an uncanny knack of fitting through even the smallest of cracks. So, to help prevent them this season, plug up suspicious holes in your home’s foundation. In addition to that, you should be storing your food in containers because it makes acquiring a food source much more difficult. Since they reproduce at an incredibly brisk pace, you should contact pest professionals as soon as you suspect an infestation.

4.) Cockroaches

No one wants to believe, or be told, that they have cockroaches in their home. Unfortunately, they are incredibly common and also quite dangerous. They can potentially spread up to 33 kinds of bacteria, some of which can trigger asthma attacks in children. Cockroaches fancy drains and pipes, so do your best to keep bathrooms and kitchens thoroughly sanitized. Again, make sure all cracks around the home are sealed and vacuum often.

These are some of the pests you might spot inside your home this fall, much to your dismay. Utilize our tips if you feel as though you can handle the problem, but if things get particularly out of hand then get in touch with Absolut Pest Control. We can have your home back to normal in no time!

Pest Prevention Tips for Fall

In New England, most people love fall. It’s a nice transition from hot weather to cool weather, and the colored foliage outdoors makes up for the fact that the general temperatures are dropping. As the weather changes, and the nights get colder, rodents and pests will begin seeking out warmer areas to inhabit. Your home is a slam dunk option. So, in honor of the impending season, we’d like to give you some pointers on how to help keep pests out of your home this fall.

1.) Examine Windows and Screens for Rips and Holes

If you have a large dog at home, or a small rambunctious one, there’s likely a chance your window screens have seen better days. Their claws can scratch screens when they jump up on window sills, which provide pests with an entry point to your home. When you have the time, take a look at your window and door screens. If you discover holes or rips, do what you can to mend them. If the screen is entirely beyond repair, you should look into replacement options.

2.) Install a Chimney Cap

If your home has a chimney, it’s a smart idea to install a chimney cap when colder weather rolls in. This way, you can deter bats, birds, and other wildlife from holing up in your house. The same goes for your attic vents. Installing wire mesh to vents keeps squirrels, rodents, and bats from infiltrating your attic, and even the walls of your home.

3.) Seal Openings Around Your Home

Utility openings such as dryer vents, gas meters, and other outdoor facets are common entry points to your humble abode. Tiny openings can allow spiders and a variety of other insects into your home, while an opening as small as a fourth of an inch is large enough for mice to fit through. Utilize things such as copper mesh, expandable foam, or caulk to seal up these areas.

Keeping your home secure from pests is important, particularly when the change in seasons involves a temperature drop. Inspect your property for any glaring issues, and do your best to remedy them. If you run into a problem you just can’t fix, or discover a pre-existing pest problem, contact us at 978-388-4589 or fill out our online contact form!

How to Avoid Yellow Jacket Stings

While typically mistaken for honey bees, yellow jackets aren’t even bees at all. They may have similar sizing and coloring when compared to honey bees, but yellow jackets are actually members of the wasp family, and there are numerous varieties of them to be found throughout the United States in the summer time. While they do play the role of pollinator and predator to plant damaging insects in many gardens, they also enjoy protein and sugar rich foods, which makes them a common cookout invader.

Another similarity they share with honey bees is they are both social insects, meaning their colonies are centered around a queen. Male wasps fertilize the queen while female workers gather food, and defend the colony. As summer progresses, the queen works to produce new queens, and each year they emerge from winter to produce new colonies. Throughout the summer, one can often spot yellow jackets flying about parks, trash cans, picnic tables, or any place where food is exposed. To help keep wasps at bay, be sure to keep trashcans clean and cover dishes when eating outside. To note, yellow jackets are also drawn to brightly colored clothing and floral scents.

When you encounter a yellow jacket, it is important to remain calm. One of the most important things to remember about yellow jackets is that, unlike honey bees, they are able to sting repeatedly. Also, if you manage to squish a yellow jacket, remember that a pheromone is released that signals other yellow jackets in the vicinity to attack. So, it is always best to stay collected, move slowly, and simply try to brush off any yellow jacket that might land on you. If things get a bit crazy, and you end up getting stung, wash the sting right away. Apply ice to the site of the sting, and take an antihistamine to help reduce any swelling you might experience. Unfortunately, if you sustain multiple stings or a sting to the throat, you might require more extensive medical attention.

Yellow jackets construct paper nests in attics or walls of structures, inside hollow logs, and underground. For the most part, time is your ally when it comes to ridding yourself of yellow jackets. The entire colony dies off when winter rolls in, and they often do not build nests in the same place when summer returns. If you’re having a problem with yellow jackets building their nests within your home or other areas you inhabit daily, however, chemical treatment might have to be considered.

Are you suffering from a yellow jacket infestation that has gotten a bit out of control? Let Absolut Pest Control help! Call us at 978-388-4589, or fill out our online contact form!

Dealing with Carpenter Ants in Your Siding

Typically, people encounter common ant problems in their kitchen. Even if you’re super clean, ants can sometimes find a way to your kitchen counters, particularly in the summer months. While most people expect to experience occasional ant problems inside of their home, it can be especially alarming when you notice ants going in, out, and around your home. Upon seeing this, you might begin to worry about the structural integrity of your house. After all, no one wants carpenter ants nesting in their siding.

First off, not all ant problems are carpenter ant problems. This is a good thing! So, when you notice ants around your home, do not jump to conclusions that they are destroying the bones of your abode. Noticing ants in high volume, however, could mean there is a nest of them nearby. If you begin noticing an influx of winged ants by your home, consider this a strong warning there is a serious ant problem taking place. If you’re concerned about carpenter ants, look around the perimeter of your home for wood shavings. Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not actually eat wood. They do burrow into the wood to make their nests, though, which leaves behind telltale shavings.

Carpenter ants love to make their homes in decaying wood. Since decaying wood is often wet, they seek out structures that are damp. If your deck often stays wet for a time after a rain storm, it is a prime target for carpenter ants. Some other areas they target are eaves, underneath windows, and porches. Keep an eye on these areas throughout the spring and summer, especially if you notice ants around your home. The areas listed above are also portions of your home that often experience leaks, so watch out for those too.

If you’re trying to rid yourself of a carpenter ant infestation, the solution is to give them a poor environment to nest in. Do this by keeping your home as dry as possible, both indoors and outdoors. Check to see if water is properly draining from your deck or porch. Examine gutters for leaks, in addition to making sure your windows are properly installed and free of leaks as well. If you still find yourself with a persistent ant problem, call the professionals here at Absolut Pest Control! You can reach us at 978-388-4589, or by filling out our online contact form.

Tips for Keeping Rodents Out of your Car

If you live in a highly urban area, it is likely you’ve seen a mouse or rat running around most every night. This rings especially true if you travel through alleyways, or park your car in one. In most cases, they’re harmless and will run away at the sound and/or sight of you. However, your car doesn’t scare them as much as you do. It sits idly by as rodents gather underneath it, or, sadly enough, climb up within your vehicle. You don’t have to live in an urban area for this to occur, either. If there is a nest of mice in a bush near your house or driveway, they can very easily find their way to your car. Not only can these critters inflict severe damage to the innards of your automobile by chewing through wires, but they can also choose to set up shop there too. We’re here to provide some tips on how to keep that from happening.

  • Use Repellent

There are things you likely have in your home or apartment that can help deter rodents from taking up residence in your car, and you might not even realize it. Due to their keen sense of smell, things such as soap or dryer sheets can be utilized to keep them away. When it comes to soap, you can rub it along possible entry areas or attach bits of soap with wire to places where the vehicle does not get hot. The same goes with dryer sheets. Wrapping them in places where it is safe to do so will help keep your car rodent free. Chemical repellents can be used as well, and these come in sprays or granules from a variety of brands. The thing to be wary of with soap and dryer sheets is that these items eventually wear down and lose their scent, so it is important to stay on top of their application.

  • Clean Up the Area

Do your best to keep the area both near and inside your vehicle free of food sources. If you store dog food or emergency meals in your garage, these items can attract rodents to the area. It’s convenient having a snack in your car too, but having food sources inside of your vehicle will not help your plight. If you do want to keep these items in, or around, your car, be sure to store them in sturdy, mouse-proof containers. If you live in the city, however, and park near one, or several, dumpsters, there isn’t much you can do about keeping active food sources away from critters. Which introduces our next point…

  • Traps

This one is as old as the night is young. Traps have been used for more than a century to rid people of their rodent woes, and these days are no different. There are larger box traps that capture more than one mouse or rat at a time that can be set out, in addition to sticky traps and snap traps. These traps provide physical evidence of their effectiveness, so if you don’t want to see a dead rodent then this method is likely not for you. For snap traps and sticky traps, place them at the top of your tires, as this is a common entry point. Box traps can be placed in the vicinity of your automobile, especially if you live in an urban area. Those who park near you might just thank you for setting out box traps too, as they are likely experiencing the same issues. Keep in mind that humane traps also exist, which provides a friendly alternative to those who would rather not have the little guys killed.

While these methods will not prove 100% effective in all cases, they can save you from having to deal with the hassle of getting your car repaired because rodents decided to munch on the wires of your sedan. The most important tip is to stay on top of all of these methods so that they can be as impactful as possible. However, if you find your rodent problem is getting incredibly out of hand, be sure to call us at 978.388.4589. We’ll help you out in the best way we know how!

Preventing Ticks in Your Yard

lawnmowerFor anyone that has encountered a tick, you know how nasty of a pest they can be! Their preference of food is your blood and while they’re obtaining that, they can transmit Lyme disease to you. Symptoms of this infection can include fever, headache and various other unfriendly symptoms. Without the correct treatment, Lyme disease can stay for years and result in damaging effects. To avoid the harmful effects that come with Lyme disease, Absolut Pest Control has put together a list of preventative ways you can protect yourself and your yard!

  • Remove all the brush and tall grass on your lawn to get rid of where the ticks would be hanging out. Remove any leaves and grass clippings as well! As an additional tip, you can use these in your compost pile for your garden!
  • Ticks aren’t huge fans of walking on gravel or wood chips so place these between your lawn and any wooded areas to prevent ticks from accessing your property.
  • If you have a messy woodpile that is located in a shaded area, you can bet that there will be ticks crawling around in it. Stack wood nicely in a sunny spot for it to dry out faster and keep the ticks out! They prefer a moist, wooded area over a sunny, dry area any day.
  • Some chemicals used to prevent ticks can be harmful to not only you, but your yard and those around you. Instead of using a damaging chemical, try planting an American beauty-berry bush. The leaves of this plant have been shown to prevent ticks.
  • While this may not be the best option, you can invest in chickens! Not only will you receive delicious, fresh eggs, but chickens will also take care of pecking at any ticks. If you decide to purchase chickens, be sure to do your research about shelter and food.

If you’re still having issues with ticks, the best way to keep them at bay and prevent them from coming back is to contact a professional! For a free estimate on tick control, contact Absolut Pest Control at 978.388.4589 or by filling out our online form.

How to Keep Rodents out of Your Home This Winter

Since Winter has officially arrived, temperatures will start dropping which will lead to all kinds of rodents scurrying somewhere to keep warm. With a house being the perfect target for rodents looking to keep warm, it’s important that you take the right steps to prevent that from happening.

  • Inspect all the doors and windows in your home. Look for any cracks, crevices, gaps, and tiny openings that mice or rats could enter through. To prevent rodents from entering your home make sure you fill any cracks, gaps and holes in windows and around your home to keep out unwanted guests.
  • With your trash cans, make sure the trash lids are secured tightly to help prevent rodents from reaching the contents. Also, when your trash is outside, keep it far away from any windows or doors that lead into your home.
  • Clean your home regularly, make sure you wipe down your counters, vacuum regularly, and alway put your dishes away in the cabinets.
  • Make sure you inspect your pipes for leaking in areas like the garage, attic, or basement where moisture gathers. Pests like flies, roaches, moths, and rats are drawn to humid or wet areas.
  • Trim any tree limbs close to your home to prevent any rodents, especially rats from climbing into the upper areas of your home.

If you need any rodent control for your home, contact Absolut Pest Control today at 978.388.4589 or fill out our contact form!

Preventing Mice Infestations

Mice in The Home

When the temperature outside begins to drop in the fall, infestations of rodents and mice tend to begin. If you hear noises in the walls or spot rodent droppings on the floor, this could mean that you a mouse infestation. Due to how small mice are, they can easily get into homes by entering through cracks, holes, floors, and foundations. Check out some helpful tips to make sure mice don’t ruin your home for the holidays.

  • To prevent mice from coming into your home all crmouseacks, openings and holes should be sealed properly.
  • If you spot mice in your home, one of the first steps you can do is setting up mousetraps. Using a mousetrap is a safe and efficient way because they will kill them instead of poisoning it.
  • Go through the house and remove clutter areas like piles of clothing or old cardboard boxes that could make it easy for mice to build a nest.
  • Your house should always be clean and tidy, make sure you are washing the floors and vacuuming the carpets to avoid food from collecting and attracting mice.

The most efficient method of removing mice from homes is by contact a trained pest control professional. If you notice mice lurking around your home, contact Absolut Pest Control today at 978.388.4589 or fill out our contact form online.