The Buzz from F&W Pest Control (Our Blog)

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Spooky Massachusetts Pests

While some pests look harmless, others have a spine-chilling appearance that triggers immediate fear. Massachusetts definitely has its fair share of creepy crawlers roaming the area. Here are some of the spookiest pests in the state. Assassin Bug The assassin bug is a serious predator. After injecting toxic venom into victims, it uses a long beak to suck out their body fluids. While assassin bugs help control local insect populations, approach them with great caution. An assassin bug’s bite is bound to cause you a lot of pain. They are often found hiding on garden plants. Cow Killer Although the cow killer tends to get mistaken for a brightly colored ant, it’s really a type of wasp. Some of the cow killer’s favorite habitats include fields, meadows, lawns, and sandy areas. If you happen to come encounter a cow killer, keep your distance. Rumors suggest that its sting is powerful...
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The Differences Between Mice and Rats

If you were to walk into your kitchen in the middle of the night, flip on the light and see something furry scurrying for cover, you might not be certain whether you had just seen a juvenile rat or an adult mouse. Rats and mice have many things in common. For example, they can be the same color, they both have long tails, they both gnaw constantly to keep their teeth from growing too long — and they can both spread a variety of diseases. However, there are several notable differences between rats and mice. Differences in Appearance Size : An adult mouse will typically measure between two and three inches in length. In Massachusetts, the most common rat is the sewer rat, also known as the Norway rat or brown rat. These rats can be up to 11 inches long. Tails : A rat's tail in normally scaly and...
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Save Money on Heating This Fall With TAP Insulation

Thermal Acoustical Pest Control, or TAP, is an energy-efficient, cost-saving insulation for homes. TAP Pest Control Insulation combines home insulation with a residual pest control product known as borate. With TAP, you get an insulation that cuts down on your heating and cooling costs while preventing unwanted pest infestations in your home. It's made from 87 percent recycled materials, so it's also good for the environment. 3 Benefits of TAP Insulation It insulates your home. Homes without adequate insulation lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. TAP provides thermal and acoustical qualities, helping to seal in your heating and air while also dampening the sounds from the outside. It's a blown-in insulation that we can install easily and quickly in your attic space to keep your air inside where it belongs. It saves you money. A well-insulated home saves you money on your heating and cooling...
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How To Prevent Fleas And Ticks During Fall Activities

When autumn brings a chill to the air, many of us try to take advantage of the beautiful weather before winter comes. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks are still active during the fall months, and some species don’t die off after the first frost. Protect yourself and your pets from these pests, which can be a nuisance and spread disease. Safeguard Yourself Bug spray isn’t just for mosquitoes . If you’re heading outdoors, even if it’s to your own backyard, use insect repellent to fend off fleas and ticks. Spray it over your clothing, shoes and socks. If you’ll be walking in tall grass or brushing against shrubbery, consider wearing long socks and sleeves to deter the insects. Take off your clothes outside if you can, and check your body for ticks immediately after you enter the house. Protect Your Pets Your pets will need a different kind of insect repellent....
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3 Fall Pests You Can Find in Your Backyard

Summer temperatures don't last for long in Massachusetts. Before you know it, fall has moved in and cooled our area to a nice, comfortable temperature. You'd think that pests would die off or migrate to warmer places, but they look for ways inside your living areas to hunker down for the winter. If you can stop pests from invading your backyard, you'll have better chances of keeping them out of your home this season. 3 Common Fall Lawn Pests Box-Elder Bugs Boxelder bugs have black bodies with red accents. They cluster in groups on trees and the sunny sides of homes in the fall. Once the weather cools, they seek shelter indoors. These pests will sneak through rips in screens, cracks around doors and gaps between window frames. They're a nuisance in the fall but are harmless to people and pets. Stinkbugs Stinkbugs have their name for a good reason:...
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Tips for Keeping Raccoons Away from Your Trash

Raccoons may look cute with their black fur masks and fuzzy bodies, but their visible cuteness hides the fact that they can be a real nuisance. Homeowners who live in neighborhoods with a large raccoon population know that they can steal from a home garden, get into the attic, dig through the trash and cause other problems. Fortunately, homeowners can do much to deter the raccoons, particularly when it comes to keeping them out of the trash. A few simple, low-cost preventative measures can help make your garbage off-putting to the local raccoons. Secure the Can Lid An open garbage can is far more inviting to a raccoon than one with a secured lid. So, your first step is to make sure that your garbage cans have lids that fit well. Raccoons are smart, however, and they can often get into even those cans that have tight-fitting lids. Securing the...
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How to Prevent Lyme Disease

While you’re outdoors enjoying the summer weather, you must keep an eye out for troublesome pests. Like mosquitoes , ticks remain a threat to your family. While most of these eight-legged parasites are harmless, some may prove to be infectious. Here are some tips to help avoid Lyme disease, which is commonly spread by ticks. Mow Your Yard Regularly Ticks thrive in tall grass and heavily wooded areas. These environments provide protection from the sun’s intense UV rays, which will quickly dry out a tick’s body. This is why you need to mow your lawn on a regular basis. Don't allow weeds to grow around your property. It’s also a good idea to rake up old leaves and pine needles. Dress Appropriately If you plan to go hiking or jogging on a nature trail, be sure to dress appropriately. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants can help prevent ticks from latching...
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Don’t Get Confused: Bed-Bug Look-alikes

Bed bugs are a common problem. When you think that you may have an issue, it is important to make sure that you properly identify the insects so that you know how to treat the infestation. Do not be fooled by other creatures that resemble bed bugs. Here are a few pests that may be confused for bed bugs. Cockroach Nymphs. These pests look for food, heat, and a moist environment. They usually are active during the night hours. When they hatch, they turn a brownish color like bed bugs. However, cockroach nymphs have cylinder-shaped bodies. Anyone who is prone to asthma attacks should not confuse them with bed bugs. Cockroach nymphs may trigger attacks. Spider Beetle. Like bed bugs, spider beetles do not feed on blood. However, they look the same as bed bugs. While bed bugs nest in mattresses and similar furniture, spider beetles are commonly found in...
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Common Boston Pests

Boston is a peaceful town offering cool winters and mild, sunny summers, making it the perfect location for those who like spending time outside. If you live in the area and want to make your home or office safe, you are likely wondering how you can keep common pests away from your property. Spiders, ants and bed bugs are not hard to find in the city or the surrounding area. When they make their way into your home or office, they can cause a range of problems that you will want to avoid. Even though managing a pest outbreak is not always easy, learning about the pests you are likely to encounter and what to do about it will help. Spiders You will want to do your best to learn about spiders that might be sharing your home or office so that you will understand the threat with which you...
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Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Particular Blood Types?

If you or someone you know tends to get bit by mosquitoes more often than others, you are probably wondering whether or not the flying pests prefer certain blood types. Understanding how they find and target their hosts is the first step in protecting yourself. Since mosquitoes can spread several harmful pathogens, doing everything you can to stay away from them is vital. Even though you might try to keep mosquitoes away without much luck, arming yourself with the right knowledge will allow you to combat that problem. Going outside will not force you to face a swarm of the tiny parasites, and you will be pleased with the outcome. Who Attracts the Most Mosquitoes? We are now going to take a closer look at mosquitoes and why they seem to target some people more than the rest. Those who produce more lactic acid than their friends will attract most...
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Preventing Bees From Crashing Your Memorial Day BBQ

Nothing beats a great barbecue with friends and family on Memorial Day. This holiday not only gives you a chance to unwind but also to give thanks to those who have given their lives for your freedom. Though Memorial Day is an exciting time for cooking and eating outdoors, not controlling a bee infestation can quickly turn the event into a disaster. 3 Bee-Prevention Tips for Barbecues Eat in an Enclosed Canopy One way to keep pests off your plate is by eating in an enclosed space. Not everyone wants to eat inside or has an enclosed patio. However, you can purchase an inexpensive mesh canopy with sidewalls for the barbecue. It not only provides shelter during a pop-up shower but also keeps bees out of your way. Use Various Pest Repellents You don't have to keep swatting at bees as they circle your cooking and eating areas. Tiki torches...
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3 Signs You Have Termites

If you want to protect your home so that you can maintain its value for years to come, taking steps to keep termites away is vital, and it’s not as hard as some people think. Termites can get into your home before you know it, and they will cause a lot of issues unless you stop them. The problem, though, is that most people don't know how to spot the red flags of a termite infestation. Since detecting and addressing termites in the early stages can save you a lot of money, learning to identify them is a wise move you won't want to overlook. Shelter Tubes Whether they are crawling under the ground or hiding in your walls, termites prefer to remain unseen so that you won’t disturb them. They will sometimes need to leave the comfort of their colony to access other parts of your home, and they...
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What Is Frass, and How Can I Identify It?

When it comes to preventing and mitigating pest problems, it's critical to understand the symptoms. Infestations take many forms and involve many insect species. Fortunately, most of these issues have their own telltale hallmarks. The presence of frass is a good indicator that your home or commercial space has become a paradise for some unwelcome pest. Here's what it is and how to keep your eyes peeled. The Basics of Frass Frass is a catch-all term that refers to the biological waste that insects leave behind as a natural byproduct of their metabolic activities. In other words, it's the solid excrement that they deposit in their trail as they consume materials like plants, wood, human food, blood and other insects. Why does insect poop need its own special name? Due to the way insects process food, frass is significantly different from other forms of animal waste. For instance, insects like...
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What Attracts Roaches?

Cockroaches are attracted to homes by a wide range of factors that can vary based on your personal situation. The most common reason why roaches enter a home is to look for food. Roaches can smell food inside your house from a significant distance away, and they will come inside when they can find an entry hole. Food items that give off a strong smell are more likely to attract roaches than foods that are not as potent. Identifying the reason why roaches are entering your home is important so that you can implement effective countermeasures. How Roaches Enter Homes Roaches can enter a home on their own, or they can be accidentally brought inside. The most common way that roaches enter your home is by using holes found in your home's exterior walls. Roaches can also be carried in accidentally when you take trash bags, pottery, or outdoor furniture...
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Signs you might have a roach infestation

Roaches seem to multiply quickly once they get inside your home. You can bring them into your home with bags from a store or from anything that you get outside the home that has roach eggs or roaches on the surface. One or two of the pests can quickly turn into dozens or hundreds if you don't remove them. You usually won't see roaches during the day because they are nocturnal. After all of the lights have been turned off for the night, go into the kitchen, bathroom or living room to see if they are scurrying on the counters or other surfaces. You'll usually see large numbers behind the refrigerator or underneath sinks. They like hiding behind light sockets and wallpaper as well, so you will usually see them crawling on the walls. If there is a large infestation, then you'll usually see fecal matter on the floor or...
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The Types of Ants in Boston

Our planet is home to more than 12,000 ant species, which include the 3,000 ant species here in the States. Ants aren't strangers to those of us who live in the Northeast despite the cold winters. These tiny picnic invaders thrive in the summertime when it's nice and warm outside. When the weather turns colder in Boston, the ants will come inside to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and stay until they're forced out. 3 Common Ants in Boston Carpenter Ants Homeowners often mistake carpenter ants for termites. Both species burrow into wood; however, carpenter ants don’t consume it. They live throughout the Northeast and invade homes and commercial properties in Boston and our surrounding service areas. Carpenter ants cause unsightly holes in wood, bringing down property value across the state. Pavement Ants Pavement ants are small insects and grow to about 1/16 inches in length. You can find...
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Most effective ways to protect your home from termites

Termites can wreak havoc on your home. These wood-boring insects cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the United States each year. The cost associated with repairing the damage may not be covered by your insurance. Stopping an infestation before these highly destructive pests invade your home is often the most cost-effective option. Keep reading for ways to protect your house from termites. Remove Wood from Around Your Home These voracious eaters need food, moisture and warmth to survive. The first step to safeguard your home is to prevent access and make your property less inviting. Wood architectural elements should be at least 6 inches above ground level. Avoid storing firewood near your home. Anything that connects your property to soil, including decks and fences, provides a bridge for termites to reach your home. Ensure all materials are properly treated. Make sure that mulch and plantings do not...
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Bed Bug Myths Debunked

Bed bugs can be a major problem. When an infestation hits your home, you may be left with itching, red, and welted skin. Although many people think that they may know a great deal of information about these pests, here are some myths that should be addressed. 1. Bed Bugs Cannot Be Seen. FALSE Bed bugs are very tiny creatures. Commonly, they do not grow bigger than 0.2 inches. However, they are large enough to be seen by the naked eye. If you sense that bed bugs are present in your bedroom, you should remove your sheets and search the crevices around the seams of your mattress. 2. Bed Bugs Prefer a Dirty Environment. FALSE Even though bed bugs do like to live in cluttered spaces, they are not directly attracted to dirty locations. Most times, they want a warm place to live. You may have the cleanest home but...
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What Attracts Rodents to Homes?

Rodent infestations don't happen overnight; they take time to establish in someone's home. What starts out as a couple mice turns into an entire colony within a year. No matter the condition of the home, rodents invade it for quite a few reasons. The climate, the availability of food sources and other factors play a big part in why rodents infiltrate houses during the year. 3 Reasons Why Rodents Infest Homes They need a better shelter. Rodents belong outdoors, but their habitats shrink as people expand cities into rural areas. If they have no other place to go, the only logical choice would be the first house in front of them. A house makes a great shelter for rodents as it has numerous rooms and tons of hiding places in the walls, attics, crawlspaces and more. When rodents need a safe place to build nests and to raise their young,...
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Five Surprising Places Where You Can Encounter Bed Bugs

When it comes to bed bugs , most people believe that the pests live exclusively in bedrooms. While the insects typically reside in this space, the bedroom isn’t the only place where they take up residence. The pests survive by eating human or animal blood. To feed on blood, bed bugs take their meals when their human or animal host is sleeping. After they’re done dining, the bugs head back to dark crevices and corners where they can relax and digest. If an infestation becomes large, then bed bugs can turn up in almost any location within a structure. Here are five surprising places you can encounter bed bugs. Computer Keyboards Bed bugs like computer keyboards because the spaces under the keys make good hiding places. It’s an even better spot if you don’t use your keyboard frequently. Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed. Not only...
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