• Jan
    • 29
    • 2016

Bedbugs: Hungry For Human Hosts

Bedbugs are like mosquitos without wings. They get their name from feeding on human hosts in bed. These pests are about the size and color of an apple seed.

Bedbugs on human skin

Bedbugs are hitchhikers and found in every place people gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices and public transportation. They have been a household pest issue for more than 3,300 years – dating back to ancient Egypt. They were first brought to the U.S. by early colonists.

Bedbugs crawling on a human hand.

Today, bedbug infestation continues to increase in the U.S. According to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, 99.6 percent of pest professionals reported treating for them last year. Chicago is considered the bedbug capital of the world.

Habits and Threats of Bedbugs

Bedbugs congregate in one area. They like staying where people are sitting or lying still, so they are commonly found in box springs and bed frames. They also infest armchairs, couches, curtains, curtain rods, shoes and more. They enter your property by attaching to your clothes, backpacks, boxes and suitcases.

Their feeding habits revolve around when their host is sedentary. It takes five to 10 minutes for them to retrieve blood from the host. Once bedbugs complete their feeding, they hide for five to 10 days. During this time in hiding, they digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.

Even though bedbugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. They don’t transmit diseases, but their bites become red, itchy welts.

Preventing Bedbugs

As a homeowner, it’s good to know how to identify and prevent bedbugs. Follow these tips:

  • Vacuum suitcases after returning from vacation.
  • Examine your mattress and box spring for black spots. The spots are fecal matter and a sign you have an infestation.
  • Check your bedsheets for blood spots.
  • Avoid buying and using second-hand furniture. This is a common way to relocate these pests.

Since bedbugs are elusive and can spread quickly, it is important you look to professionals to help you treat this pest. If you suspect you may have a bedbug infestation in your home, please contact us at (920) 582-9000 or visit our website.

    • Jan
    • 22
    • 2016

Squirrels: Nature’s Chainsaws Attacking Your Home

Tree squirrels are nature’s chainsaws. They don’t hibernate in the winter, and during colder months, they chew holes into your home, creating a gateway for other pests to enter. There are three types of tree squirrels in Wisconsin: fox, gray and red.

fox-squirrels

Fox squirrels have a light-grayish fur with a reddish-brown tail that resembles the color of a fox. They are active in the morning and late afternoon, coming out to bury hickory nuts and acorns for the winter. They also eat maple tree seeds, berries and bird eggs. These are the squirrels Northeast Wisconsin homeowners typically see.

gray-squirrels

Gray squirrels have a darker gray fur coat. They are active year-round and are most productive in the morning and evening. Their diet consists of nuts, such as hickory nuts, beechnuts and walnuts. They occasionally eat maple or tulip tree seeds.

red-squirrels

Red squirrels are small and have rust, red or grayish-red colored fur. They are active throughout the year, and they like to eat seeds and cones from evergreen trees, bird eggs, berries and fruit. They have litters of three to seven young in March and April. In the summer, they bury nuts and seeds for the winter. They are very aggressive, and they will bully other kinds of squirrels.

How are squirrels a threat to you and your home?

These squirrels are considered pests because they enter attics in the winter to keep warm. While they rarely pose a health threat to people, they can eat through wires, creating fire hazards in your home.

Follow these steps to prevent tree squirrels from invading your home:

-Inspect wires, walls and insulation for signs of gnawing marks.

-Keep food in containers and dispose garbage regularly.

-Screen vents and openings to chimneys.

-Seal all points of entry around the house (including small openings and cracks around doors and windows).

Squirrels will travel up to 10 miles to return to a favorite area or home. Problem squirrels are likely to return, so make sure you call a professional if you see signs of them in your home. Contact us at (920) 582-9000 or visit our website to protect your home from squirrels.