• Oct
    • 27
    • 2017

How To Keep Squirrels and Other Critters Out Of Your Garage

How To Keep Squirrels and Other Critters Out Of Your Garage

Once the weather starts getting cooler, squirrels and other seemingly cute critters will be looking for a warm place to stay. This is the perfect time to prevent squirrels from getting into your shed, garage or home. Here are some tips for keeping critters out of your garage this fall:

1. Check the exterior of your garage for holes
The first step is to check any structures on your property for holes. If you find any gaps in boards or at the foundation, make sure they are properly sealed. The most important areas to check are around doors and windows.

2. Select and apply squirrel repellent
After you’ve taken care of any holes or gaps, it can help to invest in some squirrel repellent to place or spray around the perimeter of your garage or shed. This will help deter squirrels and other critters from nibbling.

3. Trim trees
If you want to be extra cautious, you can also trim trees around your property that have branches close to your roof. Squirrels can jump about 10 feet from a tree onto a structure. As an added bonus to trimming your branches, they won’t be able to fall and damage your garage during fall or winter storms.

If a squirrel or some other critter has managed to infiltrate your garage, contact us calling (920) 582-9000 to schedule an appointment.

    • Sep
    • 29
    • 2017

What To Do If You See A Mouse In Your House

What To Do If You See A Mouse In Your House
Having a mouse in your house might sound like the beginning of a nice children’s book, but in reality, it can be a less than ideal situation. Mice are known to
spread more than 35 diseases. These illnesses can be spread to humans by coming into contact with mice feces, urine or saliva. Mice can also cause structural damage to buildings and furniture. When you first see a mouse or evidence of a rodent in your home, you might be horrified and immediately start looking for solutions to this problem. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide of what to do if a mouse finds its way into your house.

1. Confirm That You Are Dealing With A Mouse
Upon finding droppings in their home, many people assume they are dealing with a mouse, but this isn’t always the case. While mice are the most common, other critters can find their way into your home. It’s important to make sure you know what kind of rodent has moved in so can you decide how to proceed. There are common signs to help you discover if you’re dealing with a mouse or not, including droppings that look like chocolate sprinkles and chewed up food packages in your cupboard.

2. Mouse-Proofing
Once you confirm there are mice in your home, start making your house mouse proof. First, inspect the outside of your house for any possible places of entry. Check stairs, the foundation, corners and any place that might have a small hole that a mouse could potentially crawl through. If you find holes, close them up with wire mesh. If you have an entry point in your home, you can use steel wool and caulk to plug up the hole.

3. Set Some Traps
The next step is setting up traps. These can be found at many hardware stores or even on Amazon. Once you have the traps, decide what to use as mouse bait and where to put them. Many people have success with:

– slices of hot dogs
– maple syrup
– bacon bits
– peanut butter
– chocolate
– soft cheese
– pet food

Once you have the bait, lay the traps where you think there’s a lot of mouse activity, such as behind large furniture or in dark places.

4. Call a Professional
If you aren’t having much luck capturing these small critters or if you’ve realized you have an infestation, it’s time to call a professional. Contact us at K & C Pest Control by calling (920) 582-9000 to schedule an appointment and put your pest problem in the past!

    • Aug
    • 25
    • 2017

5 Ways To Keep Yellow Jackets Away From Your House

Wasp on a yellow flower. Early autumn. Northern portuguese meadows.
Most people recognize
yellow jackets as insects that cause painful stings. While this is true, these flying foes are actually friends to the ecosystem. They feed on various smaller pests, including flies and young insects that damage plants. They are also a vital part of the pollination process in many areas. While yellow jackets have their benefits, you still don’t want them swarming around your picnic. Take a look at some ways to keep yellow jackets away from your house.

1. Keep Food Inside or Covered
Yellow jackets are attracted to food, especially sources of protein or high-sugar foods. We suggest keeping food in the house as much as possible and covering items you bring outside.

2. Put Out Cucumber Slices
If you do plan on eating outside, try placing slices of cucumber around your yard. This might sound strange, but cucumbers actually serve as a yellow jacket repellent. Placing cucumber slices around your deck or picnic area will help keep yellow jackets at bay.

3. Seal Garbage Cans
As we mentioned before, these insects (and many others) are attracted to food, so this also applies to the scraps you throw away. Make sure your garbage can is always securely closed to make sure it isn’t a buffet for yellow jackets or other pests.

ways to prevent wasps from building a nest by your house
4. Hang Brown Paper Bags
Another way to deter yellow jackets from turning your house into their home is by hanging up crumpled brown paper bags around the exterior of your home. Yellow jackets will think these bags are nests, so they will take their development plans elsewhere.

5. Avoid Wearing Sweet Scents
If you are allergic to yellow jackets or have a particular fear of them, we suggest avoiding wearing bright colors and sweet-smelling sprays or soaps. Yellow jackets are attracted to bright colors and sweet smells. They will get curious and come for a closer look if you aren’t careful.

As an added tip, remember to never plug up the hole the yellow jackets are using. It will force them to come in the house. The hole should only be sealed up after the nest has been treated.

These are just a few of the ways you can keep yellow jackets away. If, however, you are already experiencing a yellow jacket problem on your property, contact us at K & C Pest Control. Call (920) 582-9000 to schedule an appointment and enjoy the rest of your summer free of yellow jackets!

    • Jul
    • 24
    • 2017

Two Tick-Borne Diseases To Watch Out For This Summer

Tick parasit on a human skin
Ticks
are most active in the warm summer months. Most of the time, they’re just annoying pests trying to gorge themselves on an unfortunate host, but they can transmit very serious diseases. This video of a young girl with tick paralysis has made the news lately. Lyme disease and the Powassan virus are two tick-borne diseases to watch out for this summer.

Lyme Disease

Deer and black-legged ticks are the only species known to spread Lyme disease. These ticks live in the upper Midwest and the Northeast U.S., which is why the disease is primarily found in those areas. People get Lyme disease from tick bites. Most ticks need to feed for 24-48 hours to successfully transmit the infection.
What does a tick bite look like?
A bullseye rash like this one is typically the first sign of a Lyme infection. It will start out as a small red spot and eventually expand over the coming weeks. Other symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, joint aches and facial paralysis. If untreated, Lyme disease can cause arthritis, severe joint pain, nerve pain and heart problems. Fortunately, if caught early enough, Lyme disease can almost always be cured with antibiotics.

Powassan Virus

map of Powassan Virus affected area
It’s rare for humans to get the
Powassan virus from an infected tick, but there are an increasing number cases being reported in recent years. The virus was first discovered in Powassan, Ontario, in 1958 and has since spread to the Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the U.S. Wisconsin reported 16 severe infections between 2006 and 2015.

Experts from the National Pest Management Association say infections usually happen from June to September. Once bitten by a tick, it can take as little as 15 minutes for the virus to transmit to a person. Powassan infection symptoms take about one to three weeks to appear. They include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss. About 15% of cases are fatal, so it is vital to see a doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.

Protecting Yourself Against Tick-Borne Diseases

Wood Tick on finger

The best way to prevent tick-borne diseases is to protect yourself from tick bites. Make it a point to:

-Avoid walking through tall grasses and vegetation
-Put on socks and closed-toed shoes when hiking
-Wear light-colored clothes, long sleeves and pants tucked into socks or boots if you are hiking through tall grasses or heavily wooded areas
-Wear insect repellent effective against ticks
-Clear brush from around your home
-Avoid contact with mice, squirrels and other small mammals that may have picked up ticks
-Check yourself and pets for ticks before going inside

If a tick does bite you, remove it from your skin as quickly as possible. Use a tweezers to pull out the tick and then clean the area of the bite. Follow these detailed instructions from the Centers for Disease Control for more safe removal tips.

Have more questions about ticks? Contact a friendly pest expert from K&C Pest Control.

    • Jun
    • 20
    • 2017

How Our Summer Spider Treatments Work

John from K&C Pest Control with map of summer spider treatment area

Spider eggs laid in spring or summer hatch in a matter of weeks, meaning we’ve been very busy with summer spider treatments over the past two months! Our technicians handle the most spider treatments in central Wisconsin. We treat:

-Fond du Lac
-Oshkosh
-Ripon
-Berlin
-Omro
-Neenah
-Appleton
-Kaukauna

You can schedule a spider treatment with us until snow is on the ground! It will protect your home from dozens of types of spiders, including the five most common species in Wisconsin. Here’s what to expect with your spider treatment:

Setting Up A Spider Treatment

The first step is contacting us. When we’re setting up your treatment, we’ll ask you for your location, phone number, if your house is a ranch or two stories, how many square feet of living space you have and whether you have an attached garage. You’ll hear from us again the day before your appointment to confirm.

Spiderweb on ceiling

Factors That Could Affect Your Spider Treatments

We won’t treat your home if a lot of activity is going on nearby. Rummage sales, big community events and construction bring a lot of people to your neighborhood. The wet insecticide can irritate skin, so we avoid having people around when applying it. We also won’t treat if it’s too windy or if rain is in the forecast. Wind and rain make our work less effective.

K&C Pest Control technician performing summer spider treatments

How Our Summer Spider Treatments Work

We treat the outside and inside of your home to prevent spider invasions. Outside, we start from the foundation and work up to the roofline. Inside, we can spray baseboards in individual rooms or around the whole house, including your basement.
Our spraying equipment looks like a power washer, but it applies the insecticide at a much lower pressure. We use Demand CS insecticide, which contains tiny capsules that bond to your house. The capsules release the insecticide slowly to neutralize spiders for about three months.

If you see webs on your house within six weeks of your appointment, we’ll come back and treat that area of your house again. If you plan ahead and make two appointments, we’ll guarantee your home spider-free for the whole summer!

K&C Pest Control technician in spider treatment gear

During And After Your Spider Treatments

Make sure the windows are closed before your scheduled summer spider treatments. The insecticide is mixed with water and won’t leave a film on your windows or stain your siding. Keep kids and pets inside for about an hour until the treatment dries, and make sure you do not power wash your house for three months after our visit. You’ll wash away our hard work and your money if you wash sooner than that!

Now that you know how our treatment works, call (920) 582-9000 to schedule your appointment and start enjoying a spider-free summer!

    • May
    • 19
    • 2017

Spring Bug Forecast for 2017

The National Pest Management Association released its 2017 Spring Bug Barometer, which predicts the pests that will cause a real problem this summer. Entomologists analyze the pests’ biological behaviors, previous weather conditions and forecasted weather patterns to create the nationwide forecast.

2017 spring bug barometer map from the National Pest Management Association

Spring Bug Forecast in Wisconsin

Experts say wacky winter weather is leading to increased pest activity across the nation. Check out the close-up Midwest map to see what’s ahead for Wisconsin:

Close up of Midwest region of the U.S. on 2017 spring bug barometer map from the National Pest Management Association
Winter and spring so far have been warmer than usual in Wisconsin and the Midwest, boosting early tick populations. Ticks are parasites that attach to the skin of mammals to feed on their blood. American dog ticks (also called wood ticks) are the most common species in our area. Wear repellent and long-sleeved shirts and pants when you’re outside to keep them off you. Follow our step-by-step instructions to safely remove ticks if one finds you. (Hint: Using a match to burn it out of your skin isn’t effective.)

Dog Tick on Thumb
The drier spring and summer weather expected this year will be good for ants, but not for homeowners. Entomologists predict ant activity will start earlier and increase throughout the season. We most often get calls about carpenter ants, pavement ants and pharaoh ants. We use bait stations to eliminate ants from inside the nest. Spraying around the nests just scatters them around.

Ants plague
Warmer-than-usual spring and summer temps will also cause a boom in everyone’s least favorite bug – the mosquito. The warmer weather causes their eggs to hatch earlier. You can reduce mosquito breeding sites by changing water in birdbaths and wading pools once a week, aerating ponds and pools and eliminating standing water in your yard. Follow our Facebook page for more tips to keep mosquitoes at bay throughout the summer.

Mosquito sucking blood on human skin with nature background

Want to know what kind of pests we’re seeing this spring? Contact us with questions and for a free estimate for your summer treatment.

    • Apr
    • 25
    • 2017

Pest Profile: Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Brown marmorated stink bug on a tree

What Are Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia. Experts from the National Pest Management Association say these pests were accidentally brought to Pennsylvania in 1996, and now they are found in most states, including Wisconsin. They look similar to insects native to the U.S., including other types of stink bugs, boxelder bugs, spined soldier bugs and western conifer seed bugs.

Graphic comparing different types of stink bugs

The stink bug family got its name because these bugs release an odor when disturbed or crushed. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say the smell can cause allergic reactions for some people, especially those who are sensitive to smells from squashed Asian beetles and cockroaches.

Expect to See These Stinkers in 2017

Experts from the National Pest Management Association predict exploding brown marmorated stink bug populations this year because of our wet winter and early spring. This could spell bad news for farmers. Brown marmorated stink bugs feed on fruits, sweet corn, field corn, soybeans, tomatoes and more. They don’t have many natural predators to stop them either. Some growers in the mid-Atlantic reported total crop losses because of the bugs in 2010.

Continental U.S. map showing where brown marmorated stink bugs have invaded

As you can see in this map from Stop BMSB, brown marmorated stink bugs are only a nuisance in Wisconsin. They can invade homes and businesses in massive numbers, but they are not a serious threat to crops in our state.

Preventing Stink Bug Invasions

Brown marmorated stink bugs are active during the warm months. They search for shelter when it starts to get cooler, and they often invade homes to survive the winter. They reawaken in spring, crawling into your house and becoming a nuisance.

There isn’t much you can do about these stinkers in the spring other than vacuum them up. Make sure you dump the bugs outside to prevent your house from getting stinky! In the fall, seal cracks around your windows, doors, siding, chimneys and other openings with caulk and replace holey screens. Then contact us to schedule a treatment to keep them out for good!

    • Mar
    • 23
    • 2017

Get Rid Of Bugs Coming Alive In Your House This Spring

Spring brings warm temperatures, enjoyable days outside and, unfortunately, bugs coming alive in your house! You may wish insects would just die over the cold winter months, but a world without them would end within 50 years, according to entomologists at the University of Arizona. Up to 90 percent of the food we eat comes from flowering plants that rely on insects for pollination, meaning we need them to survive the winter!

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug With Shield-Shaped Back - Macro

How Bugs Survive The Winter

Insects like Asian beetles, boxelder bugs and stink bugs survive the winter because of diapause. The state master gardener coordinator at the University of Illinois defines diapause as an inactive state where an insect’s metabolic rate drops to one tenth or less. It survives off stored body fat while producing alcohols that act as antifreeze. The alcohols allow its body temperature to drop below freezing without damaging its cells.

Why Bugs Wake Up In Spring

The shorter daylight hours in fall trigger diapause. Warmer spring temperatures end it and wake up insects. If insects crawled into your home in the fall, they’ll sometimes wake up in winter if the sun is heating up the sides of your house. They awaken in full force once spring is here to stay!

Boxelder Bugs

Preventing An Insect Invasion

There isn’t much you can do in spring to prevent Asian beetles, boxelders and stink bugs from invading your house. Fall is when you should seal openings and cracks by your windows, doors and walls to keep insects from crawling inside. Right now, vacuum up bugs as you see them in your home and resolve to try our DIY pest prevention tips next fall.

We can also treat your home for insects in the fall. Contact us to learn more about our treatments and schedule an appointment in advance.

    • Feb
    • 24
    • 2017

February Pest Problems in Wisconsin

Though we’ve had some spring-like weather in the past few weeks, it isn’t quite warm enough for many seasonal pests to come alive. We’re mostly treating homes for mice, fleas and bedbugs at this time of year. Learn more about these February pests:

February Pests 1 & 2: Mice and Fleas

February pest 1: A mouse crawls through a hole in a blue wall
Mice move indoors in the cold weather to find food and shelter. The National Pest Management Association estimates they invade 21 million homes every winter. Rodents carry hundreds of diseases, posing a major health problem even when you don’t come directly in contact with them. Mice constantly give off micro-droplets of urine, and you can catch diseases from breathing in rodent-contaminated dust.

February Pest 2: Fleas on a shorthaired dog
Mice also carry and spread fleas throughout your home. Many people also end up with fleas after family or friends bring pets to visit. Fleas produce up to 500 offspring in 100 days, meaning it won’t take long for them to become an infestation! Check out our tips to keep fleas out of your house.

February Pest Problem 3: Bedbugs

February pest 3: a bedbug on skin
We’re getting a lot of calls from Fox Valley residents about bedbugs. They spread easily, and they can infest anyone’s home. Many people accidentally bring them home on used furniture, clothes and luggage. A major bedbug hub is actually right in our backyard. Milwaukee ranks 29th on a list of U.S. cities most infested by bedbugs.

To check for bedbugs, start by moving everything away from the bed. Place everything in a clean bathtub or rack that’s off the floor. Put on rubber or latex gloves and grab a flashlight and an old credit card. Take all the sheets and blankets off the bed, and start going over it with the flashlight and credit card. Look for shed bedbug skins, eggs, excrement and bloodstains. Make sure to run the credit card along the seams of the mattress to check for living bedbugs. You should also check any buttons, straps or tags on the bed. You can even go as far as flipping the mattress and checking the other side as well as the bed frame.

Don’t forget to examine other furniture in your home! Bedbugs can live in cushions, cribs, nightstands, dressers, curtains, decorative pillows and more. Our previous blog has more ways to prevent bedbugs.

Call us at (920) 582-9000 for a free estimate or with any February pest prevention questions.

    • Jan
    • 26
    • 2017

What Pest Control Specialists Do In The Off Season

 John, K&C Pest Control owner and one of our pest control specialists, in his truck

Winter is a relatively quiet time for the pest control specialists at K&C Pest Control. Our busy season is April through October, when spiders are likely invading your home.

Our pest control specialists are taking down rodents, bedbugs and fleas in the colder months.

Along with eliminating pest problems, John, our owner and fearless leader, is also preparing for a statewide pest control event here in Wisconsin. We’ll share what he learned about the latest technology, tips and tricks to eradicate pests from your home in an upcoming blog.

John also made a stop at a photography studio in Oshkosh this winter – and not because it had a pest problem. Wait until you see what John’s up to and where he’ll end up next!

No matter what, John and the rest of the pest control specialists will always return to central Wisconsin to do what they do best – help you live a pest-free life. They service homes and businesses in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Waupun, Ripon, Berlin, Omro, Neenah, Appleton and Kaukauna. Contact us if you live in this area and see pests in your home. We’ll be there soon to fix the problem!