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

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What Pests Come out in the Spring?

We all love when the weather finally warms up, and we get to be outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine. The pests around your home are also rising from their winter sleep, ready to cause you plenty of annoyance, itching and destruction. Here are just five of the pests you can expect. Mosquitoes These buzzing creatures are some of the most hated in our backyards. The bite and itch are frustrating, but also dangerous. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis. They only need half an inch of standing water or damp soil to lay their eggs. Places like your gutters, tire swing, trash cans, watering cans and flower pots are perfect. Preventative steps can keep their stingers far from your family. Bees These fuzzy, pollen-loving creatures come in many species. Most bees are non-aggressive and calm unless threatened. We need these pollinators to keep...
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The Most Common Household Pests

Do you have pests that are BUGging you? As temperatures get warmer, more and more insects and pests are going to be crawling out of the woodwork and into your home. The best way to prepare is to familiarize yourself with what you are going to be up against. Below you will find all of the most common household pests in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Raccoons and other rodents Small animals can easily climb into your walls and can bring a lot of diseases that include roundworm, leptospirosis, giardiasis and salmonella. However, the worst damage they can do is to your home. These animals have a habit of chewing everything from wiring to insulation until there is severe structural damage. What they don’t chew up they dig for their own burrows inside your walls. Bats Unlike rodents, bats are a quiet pest that you may not notice right away. Contrary...
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How to Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Home From Vacation

Vacations are awesome in many ways. But, staying in hotel rooms can expose you to bed bugs . Even worse, it is super easy to bring the creatures home with you without even realizing it. But, you can take some proactive steps to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you. Here are some great tips for preventing bringing bed bugs home with you from vacation. Be Prepared Preventing bed bugs from following you home starts before you leave for your trip. Pack a few large plastic bags in your suitcase. Then, store your luggage in it once you arrive to your location to keep the bed bugs out. You can even store your clothes in the bags for an extra layer of protection. Inspect your Room Before you unpack your belongings, do a thorough inspection of the room to search for bed bugs. Use a small flashlight to inspect dark...
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Do I Have Termites In My Yard?

Having a termite infestation in your home is something you need to deal with seriously. Finding termites in your yard is an equally serious matter. If you find termites in your yard, you want to get rid of them as quickly and safely as possible. But, first you need to be able to identify the issue. Here are some ways you can identify the fact that you have termites in your yard. Mud Tunnels One of the biggest telltale signs of termites is the presence of mud tunnels. Termites will lay tunnels of mud, feces and saliva and then travel through them toward sources of food and water. You can often find mud tunnels on brickwork, concrete walls, slabs of concrete, posts or other dense structures, as they cannot eat through these materials. Termite Excrement If you find termite feces, also known as frass, around your yard, you can guarantee...
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Harmful Versus Non-Harmful Pests

In most American households, any insect that moves risks death by book or shoe. It’s true that many bugs can pose significant threats to our health, home and well-being. However, there are hosts of insects all around us which are entirely harmless and even beneficial. Here are a couple of non-harmful pests and why they are not to be feared. Ladybugs Few people think of ladybugs as dangerous creatures anyway, but they are still worth mentioning. Mainly because many people may not know all of the good that these pretty insects bring. Ladybugs consume whiteflies, mites and fleas, pests which cause actual harm to people and plants. Not only that, but one ladybug can feed of off 5,000 aphids during their lifetime, making them organisms to be admired, not killed. Praying Mantises Like small assassins, these little predators take out everything from moths to caterpillars to crickets. With amazing eyesight...
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Rat Myths and How They Affect Pest Control

One pest which everyone fears finding in their home is rats. Rats are one of the most common and least liked creatures of all pests. However, there is a lot about them that people don’t know. Purging false information about rats is the first step towards preventing and exterminating them, so here are five myths about rats and why they are untrue. Rats Don’t Carry Diseases Many people claim that while in the middle ages, because of general uncleanliness, rats carried deadly diseases. However, nowadays, rats are relatively germ-free. While it’s true that the current health and sanitation measures in society have done wonders in preventing large-scale outbreaks of diseases such as the bubonic plague, rats are still capable of spreading harmful diseases far and wide. Trichinosis, salmonella and other unpleasant pathogens still travel on the bodies of rats and can cause significant damage to your health if they are...
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How Pests Impact your Health

Imagine this: your friends want to have a bonfire, and you’re just about to leave your door when your mom stops you to remind you to put on bug spray. You may roll your eyes, but your mother is right—when bitten by an insect, what may seem like a common annoyance may turn out to be a severe disease. There may be a lot more than just an itchy mosquito bite to worry about, including all of the various conditions mentioned below: Insects Insects are the most common pest that can lead to the spread of diseases. They swarm us, which is why our first instinct is to swat them away--we don’t want what they have to offer, especially these insects: Mosquitoes --The riskiest insect would be the mosquito. They draw blood from animals and humans, transmitting them from host to host, quickly increasing outbreaks of the Ross River Virus,...
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The Pests That Do the Most Damage in the US

We think of our homes as fortresses. Areas of refuge that keep us safe from the elements and wildlife. Unfortunately, as much as we work to protect our house from the ravages of the outside world, pests can get in from time to time. Some of these invaders are relatively harmless, but others can be quite disruptive and damaging. Here are some of the pests that do the most damage. Termites Of course, you can’t really talk about destructive pests without mentioning termites. Each year, termites infest and damage over a half-million homes. Sometimes they can be caught quickly before the damage is extensive. Other times it’s simply too late, and the repairs are costly and disruptive. Because there are different types of termites that each leave distinct signs behind, it can be hard sometimes to know exactly what to look for. Still, in general, things like wood shavings and...
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What to Do if Your Christmas Tree is Infested

Setting up and decorating a Christmas tree is a fun tradition that many people throughout the world partake in every year. However, cutting down a fresh evergreen from the woods and bringing it inside may be an easy way to invite pests into your home . If your Christmas tree is infested with pests, here are some ways to exterminate them before they create turmoil in your house. Check Your Tree for Pests Before taking your pest infested Christmas tree into the house, it is essential to make sure your tree is pest-free before you even bring it indoors. There are some preventative measures you can take to make sure your tree is clear. First, inspect your tree for any bugs or eggs that may be hiding on the branches. Look closely, because some insects like the bark beetle can be as small as a grain of rice. Also, check...
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Why Your House Will Never Be 100 Percent Pest Free

Most people will say that they want to have a house which is entirely clear of bugs, insects and any other uninvited forms of life. While pest control services can ensure that dangerous creatures such as termites, wasps and bed bugs stay away from your living spaces, experts are confident that no home is ever 100 percent clear of insects, spiders, mites and other pests. What We Know Studies have shown that that in every single house there are flies, beetles, ants, and spiders, and in nearly every home there are booklice, (tiny insects which feed on fungi and mold in areas with high humidity). They are found hiding under furniture, behind walls, in basements, on ceilings, and around shelves. Most of the places they reside in are not frequented by humans such as under floorboard and in radiators. They can live, breed, eat, die and reproduce, all without drawing...
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What Pests Are Most Harmful? A Handy Guide.

F&W wants to help you protect your home and business from the pests that threaten it. If you’ve noticed an infestation in a structure you own or use, you may be wondering how serious it is and what damage your uninvited guests may be causing. We created an easy guide to help you identify the most common pests in Massachusetts or Rhode Island area, and the damage they may cause. Remember, even if you don’t find them on this list, all pests are capable of damaging your home or buildings. If you notice signs of an infestation by any pest, we’ll respond with prompt service to eliminate any pest or wildlife problem you have, preventing further damage. We can then formulate a maintenance program to help lower the risk of future pests and give you peace of mind. Before learning about the most harmful pests, check out some of the...
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The Cost of Letting Pests Take Over Your Home

If you’ve noticed pests in your home, you’re likely uneasy with their presence. While it’s common knowledge that insects, rodents and other intruders can carry health impacts, most people don’t consider the financial implications that pests can have on your home. F&W Pest Control would like to tell you that you’re not alone in ridding your home of dangerous, damaging pests. We can help you remove existing infestations as well as develop a regular maintenance schedule that will help prevent a recurrence. Rodents Whether they’re chipmunks, squirrels or larger members of the family, rodents are exceedingly destructive house guests. Outside of the cost involved in the removal of potentially hazardous waste products, rodents are famous for loving to chew. This can lead to extreme damage to insulation, wiring, walls and sometimes even your pipes. Not sure if the type of rodent you're dealing with is a rat or mouse? Let...
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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. In addition to getting the most out of your heat this winter, also learn how you can keep rodents away from your home What Attracts Rodents to Homes? 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...
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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. While trying to keep fleas and ticks away, here's how to avoid lyme...
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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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