If you wait, not only will you have less time, you may miss your opportunity to get things done before pests begin their search for a winter home. Hopper Termite & Pest suggests you do the following: Inspect all your screens for rips or holes. When bugs and other pests start getting cold, these are the most obvious entry points. If you find that your screens are damaged, you may not have to have them completely re-screened. Smaller issues can be fixed with a small piece of screen and some clear fingernail polish. There are several helpful videos available on YouTube. After you've checked the screens on your sliding doors, you should check the weather stripping. When weather stripping gets damaged, it provides the perfect entry point for smaller overwintering pests like stink bugs. Inspect all entry doors to make sure your door sweeps are working. Pests don't need much of a gap to squeeze in. Do you have a chimney? Overwintering pests can easily climb down your chimney and gain access to your home when the fire is out. A smart way to stop overwintering pests is by installing a damper at the top of your chimney, instead of just above the firebox. Do you have any rotted holes in your exterior walls? Now is the time to get out the caulking gun to seal those holes up. Sure, it doesn't look as nice as you'd like, but it gets the job done until you can get the spot fixed properly. When overwintering pests come to climb around on your walls and search for the tiniest of gaps to exploit, they should find an unsavory surface that instantly repels them. Have your exterior walls, soffits and eaves treated by the professionals here at American Pest to force those pests to find another place to overwinter. Exclusion methods go a long way to reducing the number of pests that will find a way into your home this fall. But to fully seal and protect your home from overwintering pests, weak areas need to be treated with agents that kill or resist these pests. Hopper Termite & Pest have been protecting customers for years from pests that want to take up residence inside their homes. We would be happy to help you seal the deal! Give us a call today.
SEAL IT. SEAL IT GOOD.
If you wait, not only will you have less time, you may miss your opportunity to get things done before pests begin their search for a winter home. Hopper Termite & Pest suggests you do the following:
Inspect all your screens for rips or holes. When bugs and other pests start getting cold, these are the most obvious entry points. If you find that your screens are damaged, you may not have to have them completely re-screened. Smaller issues can be fixed with a small piece of screen and some clear fingernail polish. There are several helpful videos available on YouTube.
After you've checked the screens on your sliding doors, you should check the weather stripping. When weather stripping gets damaged, it provides the perfect entry point for smaller overwintering pests like stink bugs.
Inspect all entry doors to make sure your door sweeps are working. Pests don't need much of a gap to squeeze in.
Do you have a chimney? Overwintering pests can easily climb down your chimney and gain access to your home when the fire is out. A smart way to stop overwintering pests is by installing a damper at the top of your chimney, instead of just above the firebox.
Do you have any rotted holes in your exterior walls? Now is the time to get out the caulking gun to seal those holes up. Sure, it doesn't look as nice as you'd like, but it gets the job done until you can get the spot fixed properly.
When overwintering pests come to climb around on your walls and search for the tiniest of gaps to exploit, they should find an unsavory surface that instantly repels them. Have your exterior walls, soffits and eaves treated by the professionals here at American Pest to force those pests to find another place to overwinter.
Exclusion methods go a long way to reducing the number of pests that will find a way into your home this fall. But to fully seal and protect your home from overwintering pests, weak areas need to be treated with agents that kill or resist these pests. Hopper Termite & Pest have been protecting customers for years from pests that want to take up residence inside their homes. We would be happy to help you seal the deal! Give us a call today.
Have you ever wondered why birds fly south for the winter? Have you ever thought about it? It isn't simply because they are born with the gift of superior mobility and an aversion to being cold. Nor is it that their food sources dwindle in winter and they must fly to where they can find something to eat. Birds know when to fly south before those food sources are all gone. Before you leap to the logical conclusion that they are merely thinking back to past winters and working to preemptively avoid starvation, it has been observed by scientists that even birds in captivity know when it is time to go south. They become fidgety and their sleep patterns change right before their natural migration time. It is believed that birds have these natural behaviors and instincts written into their genes.
Another interesting fact about bird migration is that some birds migrate for no reason at all. What? It's true. There may be plenty of food and warmth for them to stay where they are, but they migrate anyway. It is the way they are programmed from birth. This isn't to say that all migrating birds migrate. There have been a few baffling examples of migratory birds choosing not to migrate, as well as some individual cases of birds staying in cold areas even after the first snow.
So, what does all this have to do with keeping pests out of your home? We're glad you asked!
Every creature on the planet has an ability to adapt. That is why we have everything from the Great Dane to the Chihuahua. Both are considered to be dogs, but there is definitely a difference between these two animals. Somewhere along the way, their genes took a serious fork in the road. This adaptive ability also allows creatures like bed bugs, which once lived in caves, to take up residence in our homes. It is believed that bed bugs once terrorized animals in caves throughout the Middle East, but when they got a taste for living near humans, there was no going back.
Adaptation has caused certain species of insects to be given the classification of "house," like the house fly and the house spider. This classification is used to describe how these creatures prefer to live exclusively inside the homes of humans. Adaptation has caused another interesting classification: overwintering pest. Why do creatures choose man made structures to overwinter in? Scientists have some guesses, but it is still somewhat of a mystery. They are hardwired to hide from winter, even before winter begins.
THE SLEEPOVER BLUES
Has your home been invaded? Some common pests that invade Arkansas’ homes during the winter include cockroaches, stink bugs, ladybird beetles, mice, rats, squirrels and skunks. Now is the time to find out what pests are a problem for you. Give Hopper Termite & Pest a call today. You do not want those pesky overwintering pests having a prolonged sleepover in your home this winter.
BUGS, INSECTS, ARACHNIDS. What's the difference?
"Bug" is a universally accepted term used to describe most creepy crawly creatures we encounter in and around our homes, apartments, places of business and etc. But, not everything we call a bug is truly a bug. In fact, the critters we call "bugs" usually fall into one of three categories: bugs, insects, or arachnids. Confused? At Hopper Termite & Pest we definitely know the difference. Day in and day out we deal with all types of bugs and insects and basically all pests in between. Check out the picture below to learn some of the main differences between bugs, insects, and arachnids.
Characteristics: Hardened Forewings, No Teeth, Stylet (straw-shaped mouth for sucking juice from plants or mammals), One Set of Wings
Life Cycle: Incomplete Metamorphosis (Egg, Larva/Caterpillar, Winged Adults)
Numbers: 75,000 Species
Popular Species: Cicadas, Stink Bugs, Bed Bugs, Water Bugs, Aphids, Boxelder Bugs, Lice
Characteristics: Three Part Bodies (Head, Thorax, Abdomen), Two Pairs of Wings (in some species, only reproductive members have wings), Three Pairs of Legs, Sensory Antennae, Proboscis (retractable "straw") or Chewing Mouthparts
Life Cycle: Metamorphosis (Egg, Larva/ Caterpillar, Pupa/ Cocoon, Adult)
Numbers: 150,000 Species
Popular Species: Bees, Mosquitoes, Cockroaches, Beetles, Ants, Dragonflies, Moths, Wasps, Flies, Grasshoppers, Crickets
Characteristics: Eight Legs, No Antennae, No Wings, Two Body Segments
Life Cycle: Egg, Immature (Resembles Adult) or Bear Live Young (Scorpions)
Numbers: 100,000 Species
Popular Species: Centipedes, Spiders, Ticks, Mites, Scorpions
Here at Hopper Termite & Pest we are prepared to handle all types of bugs, insects, and arachnids! If you have concerns about any of these pests in or around your home, be sure to contact us today. We can put your “bug” concerns to bed!
There are a few things you can be sure of when fall comes to Arkansas. The leaves will turn a vibrant shade of orange or red, the air will grow crisp, and creatures will start crawling into your home. You can probably live without that last one!
Fall is inevitable, but pest infestation is not. You can protect your home and your family from these fall intruders. It requires recognizing the threat and the proper implementation of exclusion methods. Hopper Termite & Pest not only has the experience, but the remedy to keep the pests that come with the fall season - OUTSIDE.
This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of all the pests that invade homes in the fall, but these are definitely on the repeat offender list: skunks, woodchucks, rodents, spiders, ants, fleas, ladybugs, wasps, termites, boxelder bugs, centipedes, earwigs, and roaches. When winter comes, these pests would prefer to be tucked in your house rather than a hole. Some get into food and crawl over dishes, creating unexplainable health issues for your family. Some chew on your home and create structural issues that cost thousands to fix. Some bite you while you're sleeping. And then, there are your general nuisance pests, that like to climb on your walls and gross you out. I think we can agree, bugs and mammals should stay in the wild, where they belong.
Keep inside and outside trash in bags, and in sealed containers. This is a food source and a breeding site for pests.
Don't leave pet food sitting. Lay it down during mealtime, and then store it in the fridge between feedings.
Keep things clean and uncluttered.
Replace outside lights with yellow insect-resistant lighting, and keep shades closed at night. Light attracts flying insects, and spiders think flying insects are scrumptious.
If you have dryer exhaust being pumped under your deck, patio, or staircase, channel it out into the open air, so mammals won't find a nice heated place to nest.
Check all your screens, door sweeps, and weather stripping, to make sure everything is in good working order.
Use a caulking gun to seal up holes and cracks in your foundation and exterior walls.
Consult the professionals at Hopper Termite & Pest on other exclusion methods specific to your home, and have your exterior walls or perimeter sprayed. This will keep bugs and mammals from sticking around, and give your home and your family added protection against these fall invaders. Give us a call today!
Did you hear about the tick scientists recently discovered that lives on the moon? It’s a new bioluminescent bug that performs a strange dance any time there is a full moon. It’s called a “RAVING LUNA TICK!”
Joking aside, ticks are no joke! Hopper Termite & Pest take ticks and their potential threat very seriously. Ticks are mostly active during the summer, fall and spring months. When the weather gets warmer, humans and their pets are not the only ones eager to get outside. Ticks will be out in full force and can pose a significant health risk to humans and pets alike, spreading diseases like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Here is everything you need to know about ticks in our area, how to prevent tick bites, and the dangers associated with these potentially dangerous pests.
TYPES OF TICKS
Blacklegged (Deer) Tick
The Blacklegged (Deer) Tick is named for its notorious dark legs and is sometimes referred to as a deer tick because it prefers to host on the white-tailed deer. Found throughout the northeastern, mid-atlantic, southeastern and northcentral United States, Blacklegged Ticks are known vectors of Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Human Babesiosis, Powassan Encephalitis, and more.
Blacklegged Ticks are a flat, broad oval shape and are typically orange-brown in color with darker legs. They have 6 legs when they hatch, but develop 8 legs as adults categorizing them as arachnids and are 1/8” long on average.
Blacklegged Ticks normally hide in grass and shrubs and wait for a passing host to latch on to. They can also be found in the den or nests of common hosts, such as skunks, raccoons, opossums, and rodents. These ticks prefer the nesting areas of the white-footed mouse because they are often in well-sheltered places such as underground, in tree stumps, old bird nests and woodpiles.
Blacklegged Ticks are vectors of Anaplasmosis, Lyme Disease and Human Babesiosis. Symptoms of Lyme Disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a bull’s eye-shaped skin rash around the bite sight. If untreated, Lyme Disease can affect the joints, heart and nervous system. Blacklegged Ticks’ favorite feeding area on humans is at the back of the neck, making detection difficult if you have long hair. These ticks will typically crawl for up to 4 hours before they attach and have to then be attached for 6-8 hours before disease transmission occurs, so early detection and tick removal is key.
American Dog Tick
The American Dog Tick is named after its host of choice – the dog. These ticks are only found throughout North America and are a member of the hard tick family. American Dog Ticks are known vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and exposure to these ticks is most common during spring and early summer.
American Dog Ticks are flat and oval in shape, and usually brown with whitish-gray markings. Similar to the Blacklegged Tick, these ticks have 6 legs as larvae but have 8 legs when they are adults. They range anywhere from 5 mm to 15 mm in size depending on whether or not they are engorged.
American Dog Ticks prefer grassy areas with low vegetation where larger animals commonly pass by and thrive in areas that are also accessible to humans. When these ticks latch on to dogs, they are brought into the home and can potentially be transferred to humans. American Dog Ticks are extremely resilient and are able to survive for 2-3 years without feeding.
American Dog Ticks are carriers of the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a serious tick-borne illness with a mortality rate of over 20 percent if not treated early. Symptoms include high fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches, and sometimes a rash spread across the extremities 2-4 days after the fever begins. These ticks are also known vectors of Tularemia, a disease transmitted from rabbits, mice, squirrels and other small animals. Symptoms include an ulcer at the bite site, fever, chills and tender lymph nodes.
Brown Dog Tick
Similar to the American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick is named for its preferred host. It is also named for its color. It is not common, but brown dog ticks will bite humans in the absence of a canine host.
As told by their name, Brown Dog Ticks are typically brown in color, but can become a gray and blue color when engorged. They are anywhere from 1/8” to 1/2” long and are oval-shaped and flat. Brown Dog Ticks, like the American Dog Tick, also have 6 legs as larvae and 8 as adults.
Brown Dog Ticks are unique from the other species of ticks because they are the only kind that can complete their entire life cycle indoors, as they survive best in warm, dry conditions. They prefer to host on dogs and usually attach to dogs’ ears or between the toes.
Brown Dog Ticks can be vectors of disease for dogs, transmitting tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Canine Ehrlichiosis and Canine Babesia.
Lone Star Tick
Lone Star Ticks are named for their identifiable characteristic of a single spot located on the female’s back. Found mainly in the eastern and southeastern U.S., these ticks target humans more than any of the other tick species.
Lone Star Ticks are reddish brown and become dark gray once engorged. Similar to the other species of ticks, lone star tick larvae have 6 legs, while adults have 8. Female Lone Star Ticks are typically about 1/8” long when un-engorged but can grow to up to 7/16” when engorged. Male ticks are usually slightly smaller.
Lone Star Ticks are three-host ticks, meaning they attach to a different host during each stage of their lifespan: larvae, nymph and adult. They attach to their host by crawling up the tips of low-growing vegetation, such as grass, and wait for the host to pass by and brush against the vegetation. As nymphs and adults, lone star ticks will also crawl on the ground to find the host and attach. These ticks are most often found in shaded areas, as they cannot survive for long in the sun. Larvae prefer small animals, including rabbits, skunks, raccoons, cats and birds, while nymphs typically target a mix of small and large animals. Adult Lone Star Tick hosts are larger animals, such as foxes, dogs, cats, deer, turkey, cattle and humans – who are fed on by all three stages of lone star ticks.
Lone Star Ticks are known vectors of many diseases, including Tularemia, Heartland Virus, Bourbon Virus and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI). As with all ticks, early detection and removal is crucial, but lone star ticks have long mouth parts that can make removal especially difficult, as their mouthparts oftentimes break off while being extracted, resulting in further infection in the host.
Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick is named after the habitat it is most commonly found – throughout the wooded areas of the Rocky Mountain states. They are also commonly referred to as Wood Ticks.
Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks are oval and flat in shape and are usually brown but become gray when they are engorged. They can range from 1/8” to 5/8” in length. As is customary with the other tick species, Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks have 6 legs as larvae and 8 as adults.
Similar to the Lone Star Tick, Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks are a three-host tick, with each stage requiring a new host. These ticks are at their highest threat level from mid-March to mid-July. Larvae and nymphs typically feed on rodents, like squirrels, chipmunks and voles, while adults feed on larger animals, including sheep, deer and humans. Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks are typically found in wooded areas, open grasslands and around trails where they can easily attach to a host.
The biggest threat posed by the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), an infectious disease that can turn deadly if not treated in a timely manner. The main symptom of RMSF is a full body rash 2-5 days after the bite.
Make sure to follow these prevention tips to reduce the risk of tick bites:
Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
Wear light colored clothing so that ticks are easier to spot.
Wear repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET.
Keep your yard tick-free by removing weeds and cutting grass low.
Inspect yourself, your family and pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.
When hiking, stay in the center of trails and away from vegetation.
If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, remove it with tweezers using a slow, steady pull so as not to break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. Then, wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water. Ticks should be flushed down a toilet or wrapped tightly in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
Be on the lookout for signs of tick bites, such as a telltale red bull's eye rash around a bite. If you suspect a tick has bitten you, seek medical attention.
Learn the symptoms of Lyme disease and consult with your doctor immediately if you are concerned or experiencing symptoms.
If you find a tick in your home or are experiencing a tick problem on your property, contact our licensed pest control professionals at Hopper Termite & Pest who can recommend a course of action.