Mice Mice Mice…

We are having a very high volume of mice calls right now. Many people are finding them in their homes or businesses. We are also getting calls from farms that are experiencing a very high population of mice. With the cold weather approaching the little pests are trying to find a nice place with a food supply to hold up for the winter.

One of the main questions we get asked is how are they getting in? They chew, climb, and find the smallest spot to get in from the outside. Mice can fit into an opening 3/8 of an inch or larger. Often times we see mice getting in thru AC lines, brick molds, vinyl corners, valley tins on roofs, and many more places. Once they are able to get in they make their way thru ceilings and walls into basements and eventually into living quarters.

One area we are finding them getting is thru the ridge vent on roofs. We are commonly finding ridge vents are peeling up because of a combination of poor product and poor installation. We find that the nails used are not long enough therefore the vent peels back up. It is a flat product that is placed on a steep pitched roof, so it naturally wants to peel back up. When it peels up it allows bats, mice and other pests to enter into the house in the attic. To properly fix this problem we need to tear off the current ridge vent. ¼ inch hardware cloth/screening is put down using roofing nails. Then the roof vent is installed using ring shank nails, and the new cap shingles (to match your roof) are installed.

What else can we do to get them out of your home. The technicians at Werner Pest & Odor Control will close all access points and all potential access points the mice may use. We start at one corner of your house and work all the way around the house checking everything from foundation to the roof. Once the house is sealed we will place rodent stations in your house to eliminate any mice that may have been caught in your home. We monitor these stations by providing a rodent recheck approximately 2 – 3 weeks after the initial work is completed. A second recheck is done approximately 2 – 3 weeks after the first recheck. At this time no mice activity should be found we remove the stations from your home. Werner Pest & Odor Control provides a two year written warranty on our rodent proofing work.

If you think you may have mice in your home call Werner Pest & Odor Control today to schedule an inspection with one of our technicians.

Squirrels

It is the time of year we get an increased number of phone calls regarding squirrels. Homeowners may be hearing noises in their attic or see a squirrel entering their home or garage thru some type of opening. Often this can be a nuisance to a homeowner.

Wisconsin is home to five different species of squirrels. the Eastern Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Red Squirrel and two different species of Flying Squirrels.

Fox squirrels and Gray squirrels are very similar and the most common. The fox squirrel is the larger of the two species, measuring 20-22 inches in total length, including 8-10 inches of tail, and weighing 24-32 ounces. Grays are 18-21 inches long and weigh 16-28 ounces. There is no real size or color difference between males and females of either species. Gray squirrels, normally gray in color, have some tawny coloration in summer, a white chin, throat and belly, and bushy tails bordered with white-tipped hairs. In some areas, black (melanistic) gray squirrels are common. Fox squirrels appear more grizzled looking, their fur being rusty brown with a pale yellow to orange belly and tawny-tipped hairs bordering their bushy tails.

Red squirrels are smaller measuring only 11 to 14 inches long, including a 4 to 6 inch tail and weigh 7 to 10 ounces. The red squirrel can be easily identified by its smaller size, prominent ears, white eye ring and reddish coat. Red squirrels tend to be more aggressive than the other species of squirrels.

Flying squirrels are the smallest of squirrels in our area. The northern species measures 10 to 13 inches in length and weighs 4 to 8 ounces. Their coat is slightly redder on the upper body parts and the hairs on its belly are slate colored with white tips. The southern species is only 8 to 10 inches long and weighs 2.5 to 3.5 ounces. Their coat is more drab with a completely white underside. Flying squirrels do not actually fly, they glide from tree to tree. A fold of skin extends from its front legs to its hind legs and when it leaps from tree to tree it extends its limbs allowing it to glide. They are also nocturnal which keeps them unknown to many people.

Squirrels have very good eyesight even in dim light, and a wide field of vision. They also have a good sense of smell and hearing. A good sense of smell comes in pretty handy when you need to find some acorns that you buried. Squirrels begin having babies at one year of age and typically have two litters a year, the first litter in late March or early April and the second in late July or early August. The babies are born without fur and pink. Their ears open at four weeks and their eyes at six weeks.

Despite occasional problems, most people enjoy having a few squirrels around the neighborhood to watch. Occasionally squirrels can be a nuisance around bird feeders or stripping bark from trees or bushes. Squirrels can also cause damage when they enter a building such as a home or business. They can make a mess of insulation and damage siding and other structural components. If they find their way into living spaces they tend to panic and can cause a lot damage.

Werner Pest & Odor Control Services offers removal of squirrels that have entered homes or business by exclusion or live trapping. Each situation is different and needs to be evaluated in order to provide the best situation for the animal and the home owner. Werner Pest & Odor Control will also provide the homeowner an option to repair any damages to the structure that may have been done by the squirrels, preventing further infestation and allowing the homeowner to live pest free.

If you are having a problem with squirrels please feel free to call Werner Pest & Odor Control Services to have one of our technicians help evaluate your situation and provide you with the best solution to your problem.

Wildlife

With spring on its way we begin to see life around us. Squirrels and chipmunks begin finding their way around neighborhoods again. Skunks wake up from hibernation and begin searching for food to replenish them from the long winter. Raccoons and opossums venture out and investigate their surroundings. Woodchucks and rabbits love eating the fresh spring grass. Muskrats find themselves with plenty of water to enjoy and make their homes in. And birds return north, some with their mates and others looking for new mates.

Also with spring and the return of wildlife animals comes baby season. Adults may act goofy looking for mates, others may scurry around beginning to nest, and after giving birth mothers may become protective of their young. At some point you may find yourself with an unexpected visitor in or around your home. Some of these visitors may choose to stick around and raise their young even though they are uninvited. Some may be a pleasant surprise and although uninvited you may just feel okay letting them stick around.

Often times wildlife animals may become a nuisance to homeowners. Situations may arise where children or a family pet may be harmed or put in harms way. Damage to homes, yards, and outbuildings may occur as mothers look for the perfect place to raise their young. Noise from uninvited guests may result in lack of sleep. And there is always the unwelcome smell of a skunk. Some homeowners may feel there is a health risk that they may be exposed to. And to some homeowners the thought of one visitor may be okay but a whole family may be just a bit too much.

Often times we are able to help move those uninvited guests along by live trapping and relocating them. In spring live trapping can be a bit tricky though because you have to be aware of the animal you are trapping, their breeding cycles, gestation periods, and their habits, to prevent trapping a mother who may already have babies. Also mothers who already have babies can become aggressive. Sometimes babies may be old enough to live on their own but this may result in additional trapping to catch the whole family. Some homeowners may choose to wait because a family may move on when the time is right all on their own.

If you find that you have discovered an uninvited guest in or around you home this spring and would like to remove them from your home Werner Pest & Odor Control Services offers live trapping service. We would evaluate your situation and place traps appropriately to catch the animals. Once caught we would relocate them allowing you to live nuisance free.

Fleas

Occasionally we will get a call from someone who just returned home from a long vacation and will notice fleas on themselves and/or their pets. Or sometimes we are called because someone may notice their pet itching more frequently, or even notice red inflamed bite marks on their pet or even themselves.

Fleas are dark colored reddish-brown, wingless insects, with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Their legs are long, the hind pair well adapted for jumping: a flea can jump vertically up to 18 inches and horizontally up to 13 inches. Fleas have a hard exoskeleton making them hard to kill. A simple swat will rarely kill one. One must squeeze them between a tweezers or use their fingernails to crush them.

Fleas go thru four life cycle changes. When a female lays eggs after a feeding the life cycle begins. Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 and can take anywhere from two days to two weeks before they hatch. The eggs hatch into larvae, small worm like scavengers that feed off organic material. After one to two weeks larvae will spin a silken cocoon. This is the pupae stage. After one to two weeks the adult flea is ready to emerge from the pupae stage. They can remain dormant in this stage for weeks or even several months only emerging when they receive a signal that a host is near including vibration, heat, and carbon monoxide. Once an adult flea emerges from the pupae stage it must feed on a blood source within a week allowing it to survive and begin to reproduce. An adult flea can live up to one year and lay 5,000 eggs or more. When living conditions are ideal for fleas (temperature, food supply, and humidity) they may live longer than one year.

Fleas bites can result in an inflamed area of skin that can leave an itching sensation. Our pets can occasional develop bald spots from scratching and biting these itchy area. It can also lead to anemia in some cases.

So what should you do if you find fleas in your home or on your pets? We recommend that pets are treated with a flea treatment like Frontline or K-9 Advantix. A licensed veterinarian would be a good source for further information in regards to treating your pet.

Since more than three-quarters of a flea’s life is spent somewhere other than on the host animal, it is not adequate to treat only your pet; it is important also to treat your pet’s environment. Werner Pest & Odor Control offers a flea treatment to homes infested with fleas. One of our licensed technicians will apply an insecticide treatment to your home to eliminate any adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. After treatment we recommend the following additional steps to help eliminate fleas faster;

  • Clean pet’s bedding – strip and clean the pet’s bedding and areas your pet may rest.
  • Vacuum the home – because fleas develop in dust, lint, furniture and carpets, it is important to clean and vacuum all areas of the house where pets are allowed access. Pay special attention to vacuuming these areas: under furniture, chair and couch cushions, areas where the pet may rest. Immediately empty vacuum bags into a plastic bag, seal top and put in an outside waste receptacle.

If you discover or suspect you have fleas in your home call Werner Pest & Odor Control Services today. We will work with you to eliminate all fleas from your home.

Cockroaches & Cockroach Allergies

Cockroaches live in all types of buildings and all types of neighborhoods. They are not picky. Bathrooms and kitchens are where we commonly find them. They prefer to hide in dark, moist, undisturbed areas that are close to food, water, and heat sources. When you turn on a light they will quickly hide and may go unseen.

Cockroaches carry viral and bacterial pathogens on their bodies and in their feces. You can become sick with salmonella poisoning, dysentery, and asthma by using utensils that have been contaminated by cockroaches or unknowingly consume contaminated food that has been exposed to cockroaches.

People can also produce an allergy to cockroaches when exposed to them. People with chronic severe bronchial asthma are most likely to have cockroach allergies. Symptoms of cockroach allergies include a stuffy nose that won’t go away, skin rash, and year-around asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.

If you discover you have cockroaches there are steps you can take to get rid of them. Calling a Pest Control Professional can be a great aid to your fight against them. Do-it-yourself cockroach treatments and products, if not used properly, may not be effective and may contain pesticides that can be more harmful to people and pets than they are to the roaches.

Werner Pest & Odor Control often combats cockroach infestations by using cockroach baits that will eliminate the population. Cockroach baits provides the client with the least amount of pesticide exposure and is a very effective treatment. Werner Pest & Odor Control has also done crack and crevice pesticide treatments if the situation calls for this type of treatment.

Werner Pest & Odor Control also advises our clients in ways to eliminate favorable areas that roaches desire to live. Ways to help eliminate the population of cockroaches and prevent cockroaches include;

  • Keep food and garbage in containers with tight lids. Never leave food out in the kitchen or anywhere else.
  • Clean up all food crumbs and spilled drinks right away.
  • Store food in tight containers or storage jars.
  • Wash dirty dishes right away.
  • Don’t leave out pet food, except when your pet is eating.
  • Keep counters, sinks, stove, tables, and floors clean and clear of clutter.
  • Clean areas under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, and sinks.
  • Vacuum or sweep the kitchen floor after meals. Mop the floor at least once a week.
  • Fix leaky faucets, drain pipes, and other moisture problems.
  • Get rid of piles of things, like cardboard boxes and newspapers, where cockroaches may hide.

If you discover or suspect that you may have cockroaches call Werner Pest & Odor Control today. One of our experienced service technicians will evaluate your situation and provide you the best service possible to eliminate any cockroaches living in your home.

Rodent Proofing

Many people discover they may have mice in their house by being awaken during the night to noise in ceilings or walls.  Others find evidence that mice have been eating food in the pantry or cupboards.  Some people may find evidence of mouse droppings as proof mice are living in their house.

Often when people discover mice in their home they want them out as soon as possible.  And why wouldn’t you.  Mice like to make their home near their food source because they prefer to eat 15 to 20 times per day.  A female mouse can give birth at 2 months old and can have babies 6 to 10 times per year.   They are dirty and gross and can even carry disease.

How do mice get in to our homes?  They chew, climb, and find the smallest spot to get in from the outside.  Mice can fit into an opening 3/8 of an inch or larger.   Often times we see mice getting in thru AC lines, brick molds, vinyl corners, valley tins on roofs, and many more places.  Once they are able to get in they make their way thru ceilings and walls into basements and eventually into living quarters.

How do we get rid of the mice?  Our team of technicians, at Werner Pest and Odor Control, provide the service of rodent proofing homes.  Upon inspection of your home one of our technicians will determine how the mice are entering your home and find any potential areas the mice could enter.  By inspecting the home Werner Pest & Odor Control is able to offer you an accurate quote to rodent proof your home.  Each home and situation is different and the cost to rodent proof is based on time and materials.

Once the quote is provided and the homeowner decides to have the rodent proofing done the technicians at Werner Pest & Odor Control will begin the repairs to the home.  We will close all access points and all potential access points the mice may use.  We start at one corner of your house and work all the way around the house checking everything from foundation to the roof.  Once the house is sealed we will place rodent stations in your house to eliminate any mice that may have been caught in your home.  We monitor these stations by providing a rodent recheck approximately 2 – 3 weeks after the initial work is completed.  A second recheck is done approximately 2 – 3 weeks after the first recheck.  At this time no mice activity should be found we remove the stations from your home.   Werner Pest & Odor Control provides a two year written warranty on our rodent proofing work.

If you think you may have mice in your home call Werner Pest & Odor Control today to schedule an inspection with one of our technicians.

The Changing Season

As fall approaches and the cold weather settles in we begin seeing many changes in the habits of the creatures around us.  Birds and bats begin to fly south for winter.  Some species of bats prepare to hibernate for the long cold winter as do some woodland creatures like skunks and bears.  Other animals and bugs begin to search for a warmer home for winter that provides them with a food supply to get them thru the long cold winter. 

As pest control specialists, when the season changes, we begin seeing changes in our customers needs as well.   Customers who never had mice in the past may begin hearing noises or seeing evidence of mouse activity in or around their homes.  Squirrels or other animals also may find their way into areas we may deem as undesirable.

Another common nuisance many customers may find in or around their homes in the fall are Box Elder Bugs, Lady Bugs, or Asian Lady Beetles.   Spiders and other bugs may also move into our homes.

Although these problems seem to be a nuisance for many people our service technicians can often offer a solution for many of the pests you may encounter.  Many bugs can be eliminated with a treatment to the exterior and possibly interior of your home.  Having an exterior treatment on your home before any bugs begin to become a problem should prevent any bugs from even entering your home.

Rodents that may find their way into your home can pose not only a nuisance but also some health risks.  Some people find that trying to eliminate them yourself can become a long drawn out tedious task that some just don’t want to deal with.  There are numerous ways to deal with mice.  Some may choose to be conservative and have our technicians place rodent equipment in their homes and monitor them to help control the rodent activity.  Others may choose the more aggressive approach having our technicians rodent proof their homes, which will prevent any rodents from entering the clients homes.

Living in Wisconsin we are in an agricultural area.  Many farms also experience a rise in nuisance pests in the fall.  As farmers begin to remove the crops from fields, mice and rats follow the food source to the farms or find a new home in or around houses in rural areas.  Often times we see an increase in rodent activity around many farms even when we are providing a monthly or bi-monthly maintenance program for them.  Our technicians often are able to address these situations within the normal maintenance plan or by providing additional services or equipment until the population is again under control.

Often times the options available to our customers can be many and overwhelming.  Our service technicians will review each of our customer’s situations and provide the information and education needed to the customer to guide them in making a decision that is best for the customer.  If you are having a fall pest problem feel free to call us to help service your pest control needs.

Bees

Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Like wasps there are both solitary bees and social bees. Species such as honey bees and bumble bees are most common in our area and are considered social bees. 

Social bees live in colonies and consist of the queen bee, infertile female worker bees and male drones. The queen lays eggs for the span of her life which averages two to three years. Male drones exist only to fertilize the queen and die soon after. Female worker bees perform a much of the work necessary for the survival of the hive. Female worker bees’ average life span is usually only six weeks.

All bees are hairy which is important for pollen collection. Many female bee species have bristles on their hind legs which form a basket. When the bee lands on a flower, pollen grains are collected into the basket and bristles. Although only females are able to transfer pollen, all bees are able to sip the nectar from flowers. This nectar is their primary source of energy. Bees possess an organ that converts nectar into honey, which is collected inside the hive.

Honey bees can produce large amounts of honey.  Honey bees are critical to the environment and our food supply therefore they are protected in many states.  If an infestation should occur in or near a dwelling, consumers should consider contacting a local beekeeper to relocate the nest. A beekeeper can assess the situation and determine if it is feasible to remove the nest.

Bumblebees are also beneficial insects because they also pollinate crops and plants. They are very social bees and live in large colonies.

Unlike honeybees, bumblebees can sting more than once because their stingers are smooth and do not get caught in the skin. Bumblebees can be aggressive and will chase nest invaders for long distances. The bumblebee sting is one of the most painful stings, swelling and irritation can last for days after you are stung.

Bumblebees often nest in the ground, but can also be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They occasionally will build their nests in attics or under roof beams. If disturbed, bumblebees will become aggressive and buzz in a loud volume and defend their nests.

If you find a bee nest in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers treatment and removal of these nests (excluding honey bee nests) to eliminate them from your home.  Often times one simple treatment can eliminate the problem.

Werner Pest & Odor Control also offers a protection service that can prevent nests from becoming big and preventing future nests from being built.

Mud Dauber Wasps

In addition to the common social wasps there are many types of Solitary Wasps.  Solitary wasps do not form colonies. Unlike social wasps that use their stingers only for defense or stinging, solitary wasps rely on their venom to hunt.   The most common solitary wasps in our area are Mud Dauber Wasps.

Mud Daubers are often found during the summer months at muddy locations collecting mud for their nests.  Mud daubers often build their nests of mud in or around homes, sheds, and barns and under open structures. Mud Daubers are long and thin with a thread like waist, around ½ to 1 inch in length. They can be black and yellow striped or blackish blue in color and have a stinger located at the end of their abdomen.

Mud Daubers prey on other insects.  Mud Daubers build their nest out of mud, which can contain up to 25 eggs. Each cell of the mud nest contains an insect (usually spiders) plus one egg, and is sealed up with mud. After only a few days, the egg hatches. As a larva they will eat the insect put in the mud cell for food. They remain as a larva for about three weeks, and spin a cocoon in the cell. They usually remain in the cocoon over the winter and emerge in the spring from the cell as an adult wasp.

Other than their unsightly nests and size Mud Daubers are often not aggressive and stings are very uncommon.

If you are finding Mud Daubers in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers services to prevent Mud Daubers from building their muddy nests on or with in your home.

Wasps

Wasps are disliked by many due to their ability to sting.  They scare our kids, make their nests in and around our homes, and pose a health threat to those who are allergic to their stings.  Wasps tend to become a problem in late summer and autumn when they disrupt many of our outdoor activities.  We begin finding their nests in many places often needing treatment to eliminate them.

Wasps and Bees have many similarities but are also very different.  While wasps and bees both live in social colonies ruled by queens and maintained by workers, they look and behave differently.

Yellowjackets, baldfaced hornets, and paper wasps are the most common types of wasps found in our area. Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and they appear smoothed-skinned and shiny.

Social wasp colonies are started from scratch each spring by a queen who was fertilized the previous year and survived the winter by hibernating in a warm place. When she emerges, she builds a small nest that over summer becomes a large colony of wasps.  In winter the colony is killed off and only the new fertilized queens survive by hibernating only to restart the process again the following spring.

Wasps make nests from a papery pulp comprised of chewed-up wood fibers mixed with saliva. Yellowjacket and baldfaced hornet nests consist of a series of rounded combs stacked in tiers and covered by an envelope consisting of several layers of pulp. Paper wasps construct only one comb without any protective envelope. Wasp nests are commonly built in trees, shrubs, under eaves, inside attics and wall voids, eaves of buildings, beams and supports in attics, garages, barns, and also below ground in old rodent burrows or other cavities.

Wasps prey on many insects, including caterpillars, flies, crickets, and other pests. During late summer and fall, wasps change their food gathering priorities and are more interested in collecting sweets and other carbohydrates. Some wasps may become aggressive scavengers around human food causing many of us to become fearful of them.

If you find a wasp nest in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers treatment and removal of these nests to eliminate them from your home.  Often times one simple treatment can eliminate the problem.

Werner Pest & Odor Control also offers a protection service that can prevent nests from becoming big and preventing future nests from being built.