How To Prevent Ants From Entering Your Home
Spring is upon on us, and although we can all enjoy the warmer weather, the return of flowers, and the leaves growing on trees, spring also ushers in the return of many pests. Mosquitos, fleas, ticks, and ants are all common in spring. As pest control experts in the Greater Boston area, we often help our clients deal with these annoying insects. But one thing that sets us apart is aside from providing inspections, extermination, and pest removal services, we also provide pest prevention advice to stop returning pests in the future. Here are a few tips we give on how to prevent ants. And if you have an ant infestation, feel free to call us and set up an appointment.
Know The Signs of Ant Infestation
Groups of ants are known as colonies for a variety of reasons. First, they like to find a home to infest and build elaborate infrastructure in. Second, different ants have different roles. Scout ants have the specific job of scouting for a potential home for the colony. Usually, ants travel in large groups either in straight lines or even in swarms. But scout ants go off on their own looking for food to bring back to the anthill. If you notice a few ants in your kitchen, it is likely that a colony is nearby.
Keep Surfaces Clean
The first reason an ant colony will move into your home is if they have immediate and easy access to crumbs. Keep surfaces in your kitchen clean of crumbs and other food particles. Wherever you eat in your home; dining rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, etc. you should always keep these places regularly cleaned. Simply wiping down counter surfaces and not leaving out dishes can deter ants from moving in.
Proper Food Storage
After you have handled cleaning your kitchen, pay attention to how food is stored. Make sure that all pantry items are sealed tight. If ants can get inside bags of chips or into boxes of cereal, they are sure to come back on routine visits. Keeping food sealed is important in stopping ants from coming back.
What To Do When You Already Have Ants
If you notice scout ants walking around your home, there are a variety of things you may want to consider for preventing the colony from moving in. First, make sure to follow the above steps to potentially deter any chance of infestation. Afterwards, consider the following steps.
- Removing Ant Trails: When an ant walks across a surface they leave scent trails for other ants to follow. Wipe down surfaces with vinegar and water to remove these trails. It is important to do this wherever you see ants.
- Set Bait: You may want to strategically set some storebought ant bait on your countertops. Many ant baits are designed to kill scout ants and even potentially destroy nearby colonies as the bait is brought back to the colony.
- Destroy Colonies: It is likely that ants that enter your home actually live in colonies around your building. If you see mounds of dirt, you can apply an extermination product to the ant colony to destroy it.
- Hire Pest Control: If you are unable to get rid of your ant problem, you may want to contact a professional pest control expert.
Absolut Pest Control’s Ant Services in Greater Boston
Absolut Pest Control, based in Amesbury Massachusetts, provides ant control solutions for homeowners and businesses throughout Greater Boston. Learn more and contact us for an appointment by visiting our website.
Winter Pest Preparation
As the weather cools, all of the animals and bugs that lived outside all spring and summer are looking for someplace warm to go. If you don’t want to deal with an infestation all winter, it is important to take steps to prevent pests from being able to take up residence inside your home during the cold months. There are steps you can take both indoors and outdoors to ensure that this does not happen.
- Don’t leave out any food: Any pests that come into your home are looking for food, and if you don’t provide it, they are more likely to leave and look elsewhere. However, if you leave food accessible to the pests looking for shelter, don’t expect them to take up residence anywhere else.
- Check around your pipes: Most pests that make their way into your home will do so through small holes around your pipes. To keep pests out, check around your plumbing and baseboard heaters and fill the gaps with something that the pests cannot chew through. Steel wool is a great option.
- Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows: Just as pests can squeeze through small gaps around your plumbing, if there is a gap under your door, or around your window frame, they will try to squeeze through there to get to the warmth. If any of your weatherstrippings appears to be coming loose, be sure to change it before the winter months begin.
- Be sure to move wood piles away from your home: Wood and leaf piles are safe havens for pests in the winter. The wood piles hold warmth and moisture which attracts all sorts of pests. If you leave your wood piles too close to your home, you are more likely to attract pests into it.
- Gutters: In the same vein as making sure your wood piles are away from your home if your gutters are full of clutter, pests can take up residence in there. Since your gutters are attached to your home, it is a natural progression for the pests to then look for a way into your home. To ensure that you don’t invite pests to come into your home, make sure they can’t take up residence anywhere near it.
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How to Ward Off Mosquitoes this Summer
Mosquitoes can be a real nuisance once the warm weather rolls in. Regardless of whether you’re enjoying a family barbeque or kicking back on your deck, your time can go from pleasant to agonizing as you swat these buzzing buggers away. If you’d like to keep yourself from becoming a mosquito magnet this summer, follow a few of our tips.
Think Twice Before Exercising Outside
If you’re heading outdoors for some extraneous physical activity, you might want to reconsider. Mosquitoes are attracted to excess body heat and carbon dioxide. If you’re jumping around outside and getting your sweat on, mosquitoes will be more likely to bite you. While the summer months are a great excuse getting outdoors and getting active, be aware of peak mosquito hours to prevent you from becoming a tasty morsel.
One of the best ways to protect yourself while outside is to use a bug repellant. The CDC recommends using one that has been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as those chosen repellants have been evaluated for product efficacy and effects on both the human body and the environment. Use the repellent on bare skin sparingly and keep an eye out for products containing DEET. Also, lemon eucalyptus, a plant oil, is as effective as low concentrations of DEET which makes it another viable option. Once you return indoors, do yourself a favor and wash the repellent off.
Check On the Status of Your Screens
This is an important one because protecting yourself inside is just as important as protecting yourself outside. Take a look around your house at all the screens on your windows and doors to ensure there aren’t any holes or tears where bugs can get through. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re safe from mosquitoes indoors only to hear a buzzing in your ear or seeing one land on your arm. Keep mosquitoes outside where they belong by making sure your window and door screens are doing their job.
Want to protect yourself from mosquitoes this summer? Follow our tips! If you can’t seem to shake your mosquito woes no matter how hard you try, get in touch with us. You can reach us by filling out an online contact form or by calling us at 978-388-4589. We look forward to helping you.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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
For 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 Protect Your Home From Termites
A termite is a small, pale soft-bodied insect that lives in large colonies with several different castes. Termites are known to feed on wood and can be very destructive to trees and timber. The main type of termites are subterranean, and they live in the ground. The subterranean termites invade wood or any types of material that have cellulose. You don’t want these type of insects invading your home and destroying it, it’s important to know how to properly protect your home.
Tips on How to Prevent Termite Access:
- Secure gaps around water and gas lines where termites could enter your home
- Eliminate excess moisture in your home in areas like the basement and crawlspace areas
- If you have firewood or spare construction materials, keep it raised and off the ground and away from your house
- Keep mulch away from the foundation of your home, mulch is a food and water source for termites.
- Another food source for a termite colony is dead wood, try to get rid of dead trees or stumps around your home
Call a pest control professional if you feel there is a termite problem invading your home. Contact Absolut Pest Control for termite and insect control at 978.388.4589 or fill out our contact form online!