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

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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 are...
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Winter Pest Forecast for New England

Pests don't go away in the winter. If anything, they come indoors to escape from the brutal New England weather. Though some pests migrate or seek shelter behind tree bark or under leaves, others invade houses and annoy people for months on end. When they find good places to hide, they'll stay there even when the weather turns warm again. Look Out for These Winter Pests Rodents A rodent infestation is bad for homeowners in many ways. For one, pests such as brown rats breed out of control; one pair can produce as many as 2,000 young in a single year. Secondly, rodents carry diseases and can make you extremely sick. These pests also destroy property through daily gnawing and by leaving feces and urine in your home. Stinkbugs The stinkbug population ramps up in the fall. You'll notice it more and more as the bugs gather on the sides...
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When is Stinkbug Season in MA?

Fall has almost come to an end here in Massachusetts, readying people for the coming winter. The temperatures have started to cool more quickly, and the days have shortened as we inch closer to the winter solstice. The weather may have sent the birds packing to sunny Florida, but it hasn't stopped a certain pest from invading homes throughout New England. Stinkbug Season in New England Autumn is stinkbug season, bringing these pests onto the porches and the windows of many homes in Massachusetts. Stinkbugs are nuisance pests and feed on the sap of plants in your yard. When they come indoors, they crawl along your belongings and whiz by your head as they fly from room to room. Stinkbugs don't bite or spread diseases, but they emit a nasty odor for defense. The odor prevents birds and other predators from harming or eating these pests. If you move, handle...
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Don't Let Pests Ruin Your Thanksgiving Dinner Plans

If you are going to host a Thanksgiving dinner but don't want pests to ruin your plans, you will need to create and follow a proven strategy. Pests will invite themselves into your home and cause problems if you don't know how to keep them away. Even though some people overlook the problem, you don't want to follow in their footsteps. The good news is that you can do several things to prevent pests from getting into your home during your Thanksgiving dinner, and your guests will be glad that you put in the effort. The following information will point you down the right path so that you can move forward with confidence.  Ants If you spill drinks or have open containers of food in your cabinets, ants will soon find them, and you will have an invasion on your hands before you know it. House ants won’t spread diseases...
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5 Wildlife Pests to Look Out for This Winter

Everyone wants to stay inside a nice warm house during the winter months, and the critters living outside are no different. While some bugs and mammals remain relatively inactive during the winter months, others seek refuge in people's homes. Here is a list of pests to watch out for during New England's coldest season. 1. Mice Mice may be adorable, but they carry viruses and other parasites such as fleas and lice, which feast on the blood of people and pets. According to the CDC, mice are responsible for spreading dozens of diseases including the hantavirus. Aside from the structural damage they can do to your home's interior, they can also chew through wires and cause electrical fires. To avoid expensive home repair bills, doctor bills and fire hazards, call a professional pest control expert immediately if think you have mice. 2. Cockroaches Cockroaches spread bacteria as they crawl across...
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Examining Spiders That Are Commonly Found in Boston

If you reside in Boston, Massachusetts, you may see wolf spiders, grass spiders and yellow sac spiders. Furthermore, a resident could encounter a house spider, which usually crawls in basements, garages, bedrooms, attics and sizable boxes. Generally, each house spider's legs have stripes, and the bugs create relatively dense webs that may be situated in corners. Evaluating Wolf Spiders These sizable spiders walk fairly rapidly, and although many individuals think that wolf spiders are venomous, the spiders do not contain large quantities of poison. The bugs are commonly found in sizable fields and yards that have relatively tall grass. The creatures are usually solitary, and many wolf spiders search for small insects throughout each night. Grass Spiders When an individual encounters grass spiders, the person may notice numerous long stripes that are situated on the backs of the bugs, and the creatures are usually gray. The spiders are commonly found...
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Four Signs You Have a Cockroach Infestation

Scientists estimate that cockroaches have been on this planet for more than 300 million years. During that time, approximately 4,600 species of cockroaches have developed, but only three species are commonly found inside homes and businesses in the Massachusetts area. All three species are capable of spreading disease-causing pathogens, triggering allergic reactions and exacerbating asthma. Cockroaches contaminate the surfaces upon which they walk and the food with which they come into contact. The sooner a cockroach infestation is eradicated, the easier it will be to obtain complete control. However, because most species of cockroaches are nocturnal and tend to be secretive, a serious infestation can occur before you ever catch sight of a live roach. If you know the four primary signs that you have a cockroach infestation, you can take action sooner and eliminate these unsightly pests. You find their droppings. Roaches have surprisingly voracious appetites and will eat...
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Top 3 Reasons Home Pest Control Remedies are Unreliable

When facing issues with a variety of household pests that frequently wreak havoc in homes throughout the country, it can be very tempting to try to treat the problem yourself. It seems so easy when you walk into a store and see a wide array of do-it-yourself treatment options lining the shelves. These at-home treatment options exist for any number of insects and rodents that can infiltrate your home. That said, professional pest control companies exist for a very good reason. The individuals employed by these companies are extensively trained in techniques to effectively and efficiently rid your home of whatever types of pests you are dealing with. The following are three excellent reasons to leave the task of pest removal and control to the pros.  Professionals Get to the Root of the Problem When dealing with certain types of pests, it is absolutely vital to get to the root...
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What Landlords Need to Know About Pest Control

If you are a landlord and want to avoid legal trouble so that you can protect the profitability of your business, it’s vital you maintain a healthy environment for your tenants. You are responsible for handling pest problems when they occur, but keeping invaders under control won’t always be easy. When you want to stop pests from overstaying their welcome and bothering your tenants, learning about common pests and the issues they cause will help. Addressing the threat as soon as you notice it will stop you from encountering unneeded complications along the way, and you will know that you have made the smart choice.  Bed Bugs When it comes to pests that you are likely to face, bed bugs are some of the worst, and getting rid of them can be next to impossible. Although you might not want to think about it, a bed bug infestation can happen...
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How to Tell the Difference Between a Rat and a Mouse

If you're a resident of the Boston, Massachusetts area, you may be concerned about rodent infestations during the fall season. As the outside temperatures begin to cool, rodents such as mice and rats can begin coming indoors in search of food and warmth. Rodents can not only create many problems with the structure of your home, but they also pose a health risk. The following information will help you be able to tell the difference between rats and mice and provide helpful advice should you encounter these pesky rodents in the coming months.  Telling the Difference Between Rats and Mice Even though they're both very common pests in the Massachusetts area, rats and mice do have several key differences that will allow you to tell them apart and fully understand the type of infestation you're dealing with. Here are three key differences that set these two rodents apart.  Size &...
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What Attracts Ants to Homes in Massachusetts?

Ants will infest a house when they find certain things that help them survive. They always come back to buildings with convenient entryways and desirable living conditions. You may need to seal or eliminate major attractions before the insects will leave you alone. Ants prefer Boston-area homes that provide at least one of these four items: 1. Nourishment This voracious bug eats a wide range of foods. It often devours sweet or oily ingredients that people store in cupboards and pantries. Dead rodents and insects can provide sustenance as well. Food preferences differ depending on the species. Some ants primarily seek protein, while others favor meals that deliver plentiful carbohydrates and sugar. An odor can draw ants to a room even if there's nothing to eat. When you spill or drop food, don't rely on a wet sponge to clean it up. A combination of water and vinegar will banish...
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Termite ID: How to Spot Termites in Your Home

Every year,  termites  cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the United States. Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected for years—damage that isn’t covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. As spring approaches and the ground begins to warm across the country, termite populations will emerge in search of new structures to invade. Starting from South to North, termite explorers, referred to as swarmers, will look for hospitable homes, with buildings that have sustained damage from severe winter weather particularly at risk. Once swarmers have determined your home to be a good fit, it’s likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow, resulting in a full-blown termite infestation. By becoming familiar with the species of termites that are most prevalent in their area along with their habits, homeowners are better equipped to detect the warning signs of an infestation, and call in a pest...
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Zika Virus

If you are an expecting mother and planning on traveling to Hawaii, South America, Haiti, Martinique and Puerto Rico please read the following on the Zika Virus. The first birth defect linked to the Zika virus has been discovered in the US after a woman in Hawaii gave birth to a baby girl with microcephaly, the condition of an unusually small brain and head. Health officials  are concerned  that the extremely dangerous Zika virus believed to be responsible for thousands of babies with microcephaly in Brazil could spread in similar warmer climates in the US such as in Hawaii and the American South. The virus had already been identified in Puerto Rico and recently in Texas in a man who had travelled from El Salvador, another nation that has been suffering the effects of Zika among its newborns. The mother in Hawaii — who had lived in Brazil last year...
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Are Ticks Still Active in the Winter?

Many of us think that  ticks  die off in the winter after the first hard frost. Unfortunately they do not. The adult blacklegged (deer) ticks that spread  Lyme disease  begin their prime feeding activity just about the time of the first freeze. The reason being is that their main host animals are deer and deer are actively moving around in the fall. If deer aren't around,  blacklegged ticks  will attach to people or pets anytime the weather starts getting warmer. The  American dog tick  and  Lone Star ticks  are inactive in fall and winter. The Blacklegged ticks activity decreases only when temperatures start dropping below 35 degrees F. or the ground is covered in snow. They quickly recover when temperatures start warming up. To actually kill ticks, the freezing temperatures must be a sustained number of days below 10 degrees F. This is happening less often as our winters are getting warmer than they use...
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Look for Pest Warnings Before Holiday Adorning

The National Pest Management Association offers tips to keep homes pest-free this holiday season Written by: NPMA Staff FAIRFAX Va. – Holiday decorating can enhance a home’s aesthetics, warming it up with festive lights and greenery, but could jovial decorations be inviting in more than just the holiday spirit? To evade these unwelcome house guests such as  rodents , spiders, moths and more, the  National Pest Management Association  (NPMA) encourages homeowners to examine holiday décor for signs of  pests  before decking the halls. “It’s best to practice caution when unpacking decorations which were likely stored in ideal pest habitats, such as basements and attics,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Carefully inspect live greenery including trees and wreaths, and give them a good shake outdoors before bringing them in. Looking for telltale signs, like gnaw marks, droppings, and spider egg sacs can also help you avoid bringing infested items inside.” In...
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Winter Pest Invasion: Defend Your Home Against Overlooked Threats

Like so many other things in life, winter means different things to different people. I've often noticed that one's opinion of the cold season depends on his or her age. As a child, you might eagerly embrace the winter for its promise of sledding, snowball fights, and unexpected school cancellations. As you grow older, though, your outlook naturally shifts. With luck, you never become blind to what sometimes makes the season seem magical—the feel of fresh snow beneath your boots, for instance, or the sight of sunlight glinting off a low-hanging icicle. But veteran homeowners know too well that along with postcard-worthy scenes, winter brings a host of worrisome hazards. Some are familiar and inescapable, while others are more insidious and, for that reason, can be the most dangerous of all. Frozen pipes and ice dams, downed trees and power lines—when the sky darkens and the mercury dips, these are...
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Rodents 101

During the winter season, it's estimated that rodents seek shelter in more than 21 millions homes in the United States. This means that many homeowners will likely be dealing with mice or rats in their abode over the next few months - and you could be one of them. Rodents can spread dangerous diseases and can cause major property damage, so it's important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with the types of rodents that invade homes this time of year. Here is a guide to help you identify common  mice  and  rat  species. Deer Mice Region: Deer mice are found throughout the United States. Habitat: Deer mice prefer to nest in rural areas, specifically in fence posts, tree hollows and log piles. Deer mice are rarely a problem in residential settings, but they can wander indoors during the winter months while searching for shelter from the cold weather. Threats: Deer mice pose a significant health threat because they are the most common carrier of Hantavirus. This virus...
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Nuisance Wildlife Control: Top Tips to Keep Wild Animals in the Wild

Written by:  Dr. Jim Fredericks  -  PestWorld. org When the fall season rolls in,  squirrels,   raccoons  and  opossums  are more apt to move indoors in preparation for the colder months. Unfortunately, our homes often provide the perfect refuge for these and other types of  nuisance wildlife  because they have easy access to food, water and warm shelter from the elements. As such, it’s important to animal-proof your property before Old Man Winter blows in. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that no curious critters sneak in through the attic, basement or other susceptible areas of the home. Screen Vents Raccoons and squirrels often find their way into homes via uncapped chimneys, broken vents and other openings along rooflines. Ensure that these items are fully screened to prevent wild animals from making your home their own. Cover the Trash Raccoons are the scavengers of the night. They will come out of the woods and look...
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Cluster Flies May be Over Wintering in Your Home

Cluster Flies Fall is the time of year when outside pests are trying to get into your home to spend a nice warm winter. One of these pests is the cluster flies. They look like houseflies but are slightly larger and move much slower than the housefly.  Cluster flies  wings tend to overlap over their backs when they are resting and they have very tiny golden hair covering their thorax, which is the part between the head and their abdomen. The cluster fly does not have 4 stripes on their backs like houseflies do. Cluster flies are very interesting because their larval stage is parasitic on earthworms. The larvae develop underground inside the body of the earthworm then pupate and emerge as adult flies. Not all homes will have issues w/ cluster flies and no one fully understands why they end up where they do. Suburban homes with large lawns and rural homes near fields tend to have cluster flies more often. You could end up...
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