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

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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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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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