How To Prepare For A Bug-Free Winter

 

We often think of summer as the worst time to battle insects. But pests often invade our homes in the winter, searching for relief from cold weather and food scarcity. Nobody wants to spend the winter cold and hungry. Well, pests are no different. The change of weather is a common trigger for a home invasion by perimeter pests like ants, cockroaches, spiders, and crickets. So, start preparing now by learning how to bug-proof your home for a pest-free winter.

Seal Your Doors

Various insects and pests can pass through even the smallest cracks and crevices. For example, our doorways often have small openings at the door jambs and molding that bugs can exploit. Examine your doors, using caulk and weather stripping where needed, to seal your house from bugs. Home sealing for pest control also helps to keep your utility bills down by keeping the heat in and cold air out.

Add Screens

You probably have window screens to keep pests out of your house. But when was the last time you checked on their condition? Screen frames get bent, the screen can tear or develop holes, and rust can lead to openings that pests will march through. When you examine your window screens, check the vent screens, too. Because you don’t see them every day, they may need repairs to keep your home bug-free. Check them periodically throughout the winter to ensure they are still in good condition.

Maintain Your Yard

When learning how to bug-proof your home, you’ll see how vital yard maintenance is. Preventing pests from nesting in your yard is the first step to keeping them away from your home. This begins with trimming and maintaining trees and shrubs. Sick plants are a haven for many insects. Keep leaf litter, weeds, brush piles, and other garden debris cleaned up, so they don’t provide nesting sites for pets. Remove sources of standing water, and clean up any fallen fruits and vegetables to reduce the number of pests that seek refuge in your yard. This type of preventative maintenance can go a long way to keep your yard and home bug-free.

Repair Cracks

Track down any drafts of cold air, cracks, or weaknesses in your home’s walls that might serve as an entry point for pests. Repairing any cracks will help ensure you have a bug-proof house this winter. Rotting or broken wood, broken or chipped bricks, and cracked or chipped stucco can also provide openings through which insects can enter. Carefully examine your house’s siding to ensure there are no gaps or areas where bugs can enter.

Seal Around Pipe Penetrations

Typically, a gap exists in every spot where a water pipe penetrates a wall in your home. Pests can use those gaps to enter your home. Although the gaps were likely caulked at installation, caulk ages, dries out, and flakes away, which creates an opening for bugs. Inspect each pipe where it penetrates the wall to be sure the hole around the pipe is well sealed against pests. Similarly, air ducts that penetrate a wall, like those that separate your garage and house, should be inspected and well-caulked to seal the house from bugs.

Watch What You Bring Home

When thinking about how to bug-proof your home, note the ways that you could accidentally be carrying bugs inside with you. For example, when you bring in a freshly cut Christmas tree or firewood, insects could be coming along for the ride. In addition, fruit, plants from the nursery, and even the cardboard boxes your deliveries are shipped in can transport pests. Before carrying these items indoors, inspect them carefully and avoid storing cardboard boxes in your home. They are an inviting habitat for many insects, especially during winter months.

Store Trash Properly

In addition to removing any excess packaging or cardboard from your home, storing trash properly is another important part of maintaining a bug-free house. Trash provides food, egg-laying locations, and shelter for pests indoors and out. And any pests that have taken up residents outside your home, may eventually find their way in. So, putting a lid over your trash can and regularly emptying it is essential to minimizing the potential for pests to enter your home.

Use Only “Yellow” Lights for Outdoor Lighting

As you know, insects, especially nocturnal ones, are attracted to light. But did you know that the color of the light can make a difference when it comes to attracting insects? Studies confirm that more insects are attracted to white lights than to yellow ones. And they tend to stick around white lights longer too. The studies indicate that insects have trouble seeing yellow light, which means fewer bugs. Using only yellow lights outdoors may help reduce the number of insects that hang out around your exterior lights. And less bugs hanging around your doors and windows means fewer bugs trying to find their way into your home.

Keep Your Home Clean

This one seems like a no-brainer, but when things get busy, cleaning your home regularly can fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Many insects have essential roles in their native habitats, such as disposing of animal carcasses, rotted fruit, and fallen trees. So, it’s natural that they are drawn to spilled food, discarded paper products, and other messes that are part of regular home-life. Therefore, keeping your home clean and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is an important part of how to bug-proof your home each season.

Cover All Large Openings

Now that we’ve covered many of the smaller details and have you focused and mindful about sealing, screening, and caulking every tiny crack and crevice in your home, it’s time to go big! Don’t overlook those big openings like the chimney and the roof vents. A fine gauge wire screen can prevent bugs and bigger pests from entering your home through these larger openings. Birds, squirrels, and raccoons see these entryways as an open invitation to ‘come on in.’ Although, the arrival of unexpected visitors during the holidays can be fun. These are not the kind of surprise guests we have in mind. So, to prevent a squirrel, bird, or raccoon from crashing your holiday feast, cover any large opening before the weather gets cold.

Ensure a Bug-Free Home with Mosquito Joe

Learning how to bug-proof your home each season is essential for effective pest control. But you don’t have to do it all on your own. Mosquito Joe can help keep your home bug-free this winter with perimeter pest control services. Our perimeter pest control is designed to keep all sorts of creepy, crawling insects out of your personal space. So, the only guests you have this season are the ones you invited.

And when the weather starts to get warmer, our barrier spray service and natural treatments will make the outdoors fun again for the whole family while ensuring your house remains a bug-free home. We offer comprehensive pest control solutions across the country and tailor our services to meet your specific needs. Learn more about how we can help you make your home and garden safe for your family and pets.

Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or schedule an appointment online today! We will be happy to arrange a free consultation so that you’ll be on your way to enjoying a bug-free winter.

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The Dangers of Flea Bites for You and Your Pet

 

Flea bites are itchy and obnoxious — what can you do? If you have pets, you have to deal with fleas. Right? After all, how dangerous are fleas, anyway? Flea bites can cause more serious problems than you might think.

For people sensitive to them, flea bites can range from irritating to maddening for animals and people. They can also pose serious health issues for your pets, family, and you. The dangers of flea bites go well beyond skin deep! Let’s take a closer look at how flea bites can have an adverse effect on you and your pets.

The Most Common Flea-Borne Diseases and Illnesses

While most flea bites are simply irritating, there are several dangers of flea bites that can be much more severe for people and animals.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis
The most common flea-borne disease is flea allergy dermatitis. This is an immunologic disease caused by an allergy to the fleas’ saliva and is both a common and serious danger of flea bites. Symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis can be severe, and include:

  • Intense itching all over the body
  • Red, oozing lesions call hot spots
  • Skin inflammation
  • Hair loss
  • Painful scabs

Dogs and cats afflicted with flea allergy dermatitis are driven to scratch, lick, chew, and bite at their itchy skin, even tugging out tufts of fur to relieve the itching and discomfort. Sadly, the only effective treatment for this flea-borne disease is to completely stop the flea bites by removing the biters from your pet, your home, and your yard.

Bartonella
Another way that fleas are dangerous is because they are often infected by Bartonella bacteria and can spread the infection to the animals they bite. In dogs and especially cats, Bartonella is associated with severe conditions, including heart disease, eye inflammation, and seizures. Treatment requires extensive use of antibiotics over an extended period of time.

Bartonella is also one of the dangers of flea bites to humans. If an infected flea bites a cat, the bacteria replicate in the cat’s bloodstream. When the cat scratches, it can get bacteria on its claws. If it then scratches or bites a human, that person may contract cat scratch fever. While a fairly uncommon infection, its symptoms range from problematic to devastating, including:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Serious eye infection
  • Swelling of the brain (encephalitis)

Tapeworms
Tapeworms are another common danger of flea bites. As dogs and cats lick and groom the site of irritating flea bites, they may ingest a flea. If the flea has ingested tapeworm eggs, the eggs can pass into your pet’s digestive system. That can result in a tapeworm developing in your pet’s intestines. The worm’s sucker-like mouth hooks into the intestinal walls, where it continues to eat and grow.

Tapeworms symptoms in pets include:

  • Weight loss, even with normal food intake
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dull coat
  • Itchy anus, leading to pats “scooting” along on their rear

It is possible, though rare, for humans to be infected by a tapeworm.

Additional Threats to Your Pet

Fortunately, the possible dangers of flea bites described above don’t happen with every flea bite. However, in addition to itching and irritation, there is an additional threat to your pet and family that occurs with every bite. Anemia.

Anemia
Anemia is one of the dangers of flea bites that affects people as well as pets. Every time a flea bites, it drinks blood. While no single bite drains a significant volume of blood, each bite adds up.
Generally, healthy people and pets affected by flea bite anemia will just feel bad, fatigued, and lethargic. However, sick or infirm pets, kittens, or puppies are at a greater risk of anemia when bitten by fleas over an extended period of time.

How Can You Prevent Fleas?

The only way to completely avoid the dangers of flea bites is to prevent them from happening. Preventing flea bites on your pet is far easier than eradicating a flea infestation, but it takes effort. Let’s see what you can do to prevent fleas from infesting your pets, home, and yard.

Preventing Fleas on Your Pet

The first place to prevent fleas is directly on your pet, the most susceptible host to the nasty biters. These are the best ways to protect your pet from the dangers of flea bites:

  • Flea collars are an effective part of a multi-pronged flea prevention approach.
  • Monthly, topical flea treatments can kill adult fleas and eggs.
  • Prevent your pets from spending time in flea-infested locations, including your yard. If your pet(s) do spend a lot of time outdoors, schedule a barrier treatment to effectively reduce the risk of flea and tick bites.
  • Brush pets regularly using a flea comb.
  • Bathe pets regularly using a flea shampoo (check your pets’ sensitivity to specific products – some pets react adversely to certain shampoo ingredients).

Preventing Fleas in Your Home

Preventing fleas in your home largely depends upon keeping them off your pets and your property. However, the following care will help keep fleas out of your home:

  • Sweep and vacuum frequently and well. Vacuum carpets, rugs, and sofa cushions. Empty the vacuum outdoors, so living fleas and viable eggs don’t get back in.
  • Wash the bedding, yours and your pet’s, frequently.

Preventing Fleas on Your Property

Avoiding the dangers of flea bites relies most heavily on keeping fleas off your property and away from your pets. The following steps will help keep your property free from biters:

  • Mow your grass frequently.
  • Avoid over-watering your lawn and landscaping.
  • Fix any irrigation leaks and leaky faucets.
  • Treat dog houses or dog runs with insecticide for fleas.
  • Keep weeds, fallen leaves, and garden litter off your property.
  • Keep wildlife away from your property.
  • Do not store food outdoors.
  • Keep tight lids on trash cans.
  • Contract Mosquito Joe for regular flea control treatments

Contact Mosquito Joe for Effective Flea Control

Fleas and the dangers of flea bites are common problems for pets and their parents. You don’t have to fight them alone! Mosquito Joe makes the outside fun again by controlling nasty biters like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.

Our barrier treatment sprays seek out pests where they hide, live, and breed. Not only can we make your yard and garden safe again for you and your pets, but we also provide clear, actionable tips to protect you, your family, your pets, and your property. Request a quote using our online form, or give us a call at 1-855-275-2563. We look forward to answering your questions!

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7 Tips on How to Prevent Ticks in the Yard

 
Ticks and the diseases they carry pose a threat to the health of your family and pets. It’s important to understand how to prevent ticks in your yard and what to do when you find them. As our winters warm, tick season is expanding, and preventing ticks becomes a bigger concern in more parts of the country. Let’s explore some essential information about ticks and the potential harm they represent. Then we’ll dive into our seven tips on how to prevent ticks in your yard.

First, Understanding Different Kind Of Ticks

Out of approximately 850 species of ticks worldwide — over 90 can be found in the United States. However, most tick species don’t bite humans, though they do feed on our pets. The ticks that are most likely to bite people and transmit disease are:

  • American dog tick also called a wood tick
  • Blacklegged tick, also called a deer tick
  • Brown dog tick
  • Gulf Coast tick
  • Lone star tick
  • Rocky Mountain wood tick
  • Western black-legged tick

Fortunately, tick-preventing techniques are equally effective for all varieties.

Why Is It Important to Efficiently Control Ticks?

It’s true that most ticks don’t bite humans, and those that do, don’t always transmit disease. However, don’t skip learning how to prevent ticks because you like your odds! Every tick bite sucks the blood from its warm-blooded host, whether wildlife, pets, or people. While doing so, they cut a hole in the skin to insert a barbed feeding tube.

If not removed, a tick will remain attached to its host, feeding on blood for seven to ten days. Unless the tick is removed properly, tugging stimulates the tick to salivate and regurgitate into the host’s bloodstream. Meanwhile, improper removal may cause the tick’s head and jaws to pop off the body and remain embedded in the host.

Even when they don’t transmit diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick bites get infected and can cause anemia for your family members and pets. So, let’s see how to prevent ticks in your yard.

7 Tips for Preventing Ticks in the Yard

The following tips will help you in preventing ticks in the yard and keeping your family and pets safe from these nasty biters:

  1. Cut down on hiding places for ticks by keeping the grass mowed, shrubs and trees trimmed, weeds pulled, and leaf litter picked up and discarded.
  2. Move swing sets and sandboxes away from wooded areas.
  3. Keep fences and other barriers to wildlife in good repair. A tick can ride in on an animal, drop off and be ready to bite your pet.
  4. Create a barrier between the lawn and garden areas and any surrounding woods by laying down gravel or cedar wood chips.
  5. Don’t overwater. Ticks are attracted to moisture.
  6. Keep bird feeders, bird baths, and squirrel feeders well away from pet areas.
  7. Schedule professional tick control services.

Additional Steps to Preventing Ticks from Biting

Most Americans who get bitten by ticks pick them up in their own garden. That’s why it is so important to learn how to prevent ticks in the yard. However, ticks are commonly found at most of our favorite outdoor destinations, including the mountains, the woods, and beaches. Let’s consider additional steps to prevent ticks from ruining your outdoor fun .

Know When to Apply Tick Spray

Consider using a tick-repellant spray with a concentration of 20-30% DEET. Several on the market are effective at preventing tick bites on hiking and camping trips for people and dogs. When it is tick season in the area, a repellant spray is an excellent way to protect your family on vacation.

Know Which Areas to Avoid

Do some basic Google research to learn whether you live, work, or vacation in an area with tick infestations. This knowledge can help you prioritize your tick prevention efforts.

Dress Accordingly

If you go hiking or camping in an area where ticks are a problem, wear light-colored clothing, so tiny ticks are easier to spot. Also, choose clothing that covers your skin, including long sleeves, a high neck, long pants with the legs tucked into your socks, full-coverage shoes, and a hat. Using a DEET tick repellant spray and then dressing carefully is the best approach to preventing tick bites while hiking and camping.

Remain Vigilant for Ticks and Bites

As important as preventing ticks in the yard is, it’s vital to avoid an infestation in your home. Take care to inspect yourself, your kids, and your pets when coming in from exposure to ticks. Shower or bathe to easily dislodge any ticks that have not attached. Then, carefully search for ticks, with particular attention given to the following areas:

  • Neck
  • Under arms
  • Behind ears
  • Behind knees
  • Inside elbow joints
  • Under hair and on the scalp
  • Inside the belly button
  • Around the waist
  • Groin area

When examining pets, run your hands along their skin, feeling for bumps. Check the spots listed above and your pet’s mouth, ears, and between their toes.

Have Routine Tick Control Treatment by a Trusted Specialist

A professional tick control service makes preventing ticks in your lawn and garden much easier. Together with our tips above about denying ticks a habitat in your yard will help to keep ticks from taking over your property.

Contact Mosquito Joe for Tick Control!

Mosquito Joe provides more than effective and efficient mosquito control service and flea control. We have also been providing reliable tick control since 2010. As a proud Neighborly company, we have made it our business to become the local pest control experts in neighborhoods across the county.

When you hire Mosquito Joe, you trust that your service will be done right and on time. Every visit is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise and the Mosquito Joe® Satisfaction Guarantee!

At Mosquito Joe, preventing ticks from feeding on your family is our business. Call us today at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online for a free quote or to schedule professional tick control services. We make your pool, patio, and yard safe for bite-free fun!

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How Fast Are Mosquitoes? How Fast Do Mosquitoes Multiply?

 
One of the best ways to effectively deal with pests is to learn more about them. In the case of mosquitoes, learning how fast a mosquito can fly, how fast mosquitoes multiply, and what mosquito larvae look like can help you figure out ways to effectively keep these buzzing, blood-sucking pests from ruining your outdoor fun.

How Fast Can a Mosquito Fly?

Mosquitoes sometimes seem impossible to swat. They tend to be there one moment and gone the next. So how fast are mosquitoes? You may be surprised to learn that mosquitoes aren’t super speedy insects. They fly at about 1.5 miles per hour. They’re slower than other flying insects like flies and bees. Unfortunately, they’re still fast enough to make swatting at them an exercise in frustration.

How Fast Do Mosquitoes’ Wings Flap?

Though you might not appreciate it while swatting and slapping at mosquitoes, their wings are pretty amazing. Mosquitoes can flap their wings up to 800 times per second. So, if they flap their wings so rapidly, why aren’t they faster?

A lot of that lightning-speed flapping is not for propulsion but for communication. A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found that when male mosquitoes fly, they emit a low-frequency sound; when female mosquitoes fly, they create a high-frequency noise. This is how they find each other via their antennae, which pick up the sound vibrations. The communication eventually leads to a lot of mosquito eggs. The question of how fast mosquito wings flap is related to how they communicate and breed—it’s all connected.

Related Topic: The Life Cycle of a Mosquito

Mosquito Larvae: How Fast Do Mosquitoes Multiply?

To get rid of mosquitoes, you need to understand their life cycle. How fast do mosquitoes multiply? The answer is: It varies.

Here’s the mosquito life cycle, from eggs to mosquito larvae to adult mosquitoes:

  1. Eggs. Female mosquitoes lay hundreds of eggs every few days throughout their adult life. They lay the eggs on or near water. Water is required for the eggs to hatch. Mosquito eggs can lie unhatched through dry or cold periods and hatch when the conditions are right. If there’s enough water and it’s warm enough, mosquito eggs hatch in about 48 hours.
  2. Mosquito larvae. At this stage, the mosquito larvae swim around, eating, growing, and molting. Mosquito larvae in water are often called “wigglers” or “rollers” because of the way they move.
  3. Pupae. After molting four times, mosquito larvae become pupae. They’re hard to kill at this stage since they don’t eat and tend to hide when the water is disturbed. This stage lasts for about four days but can vary depending on the temperature of the water.
  4. Adult. After the pupal stage, the mosquito has grown and developed into an adult mosquito. It rises to the water’s surface and, when ready, flies off to start the cycle again.

What Does Mosquito Larvae Look Like?

Being able to identify mosquito larvae can help in your efforts to control mosquitoes in your yard. So, what do mosquito larvae look like? They look like tiny, ¼-inch, hairy worms squiggling in the water they hatched in. They’ll often be near the surface of the water and will dive down deeper if the water is disturbed.

This is one of the easiest stages of mosquito development to control. If you eliminate the water they need to survive; you’ll stop the life cycle before the mosquitoes can grow to adulthood.

How to Kill Mosquito Larvae

If you’re wondering how to kill mosquito larvae, there are several things to try, including:

  • Eliminating or emptying areas where water can collect. This includes pet bowls, bird baths, children’s toys, watering cans, and swimming pools.
  • Cleaning your gutters. Clogged gutters allow water to collect. Since they’re rarely disturbed, it’s an ideal mosquito breeding ground.
  • Pruning or cutting down overgrown plants. The shady, moist environment created by overgrown plants can create hatching spots for mosquito eggs.
  • Using mosquito dunks in ponds or other vessels. These contain Bt, which kills the mosquito larvae after they eat it.

For a solution that will protect every area of your yard, consider Mosquito Joe’s mosquito-repelling barrier sprays, where our certified technicians will work to eliminate mosquitoes at every stage of their life cycle.

Got Mosquitoes? Get Help

Understanding the mosquito and its life cycle can help you battle this pest effectively, which will allow you to enjoy the outdoors more often during warmer weather. However, keeping up the fight can sometimes be an overwhelming task, especially if you have a large area to cover with a lot of plants and shrubs. If you need expert help to take back your outdoor fun, contact your local Mosquito Joe. We can help you win the battle with perimeter pests control, gnat control, and natural barrier treatments that can help keep pests away for up to 30 days. Call (855) 275-2563 or request a quote online today.

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Mosquito Repellant Coils: Do They Work?

 
Nothing ruins a fun backyard get-together quicker than mosquitoes. They are annoying and can also transmit diseases that are harmful to both humans and pets. One-way homeowners can combat this outdoor onslaught is to install Mosquito repellant coils. These coils are some of the most common products homeowners buy to deter mosquitoes. These coils, which smolder and emit smoke repel mosquitoes from the area, have a few drawbacks you should consider.

Do Mosquito Coils Work?

Mosquito coils are flattened coils that contain ingredients that repel mosquitos and components that bind it all together and help it burn at a slow, steady rate. Most mosquito coils are pyrethrin-based, though others contain citronella oil or a blend of repellent ingredients.

The coils work like incense. You either hang the coil or attach it to a stake in a secure location, then light the end. The coil burns slowly, from the outer edge to the center, emitting smoke that will either confuse or eliminate mosquitoes, depending on the type of coil used.

But do mosquito coils work? The smoke emitted from the coils can be effective, but very limited. The coils only cover a small area, and if it’s breezy, the smoke will drift away, leaving you unprotected.

Related Topic: Mosquito Vision: Can Mosquitoes See?

Are Mosquito Coils Harmful to Health?

While the components of mosquito coils are all-natural, it’s still valid to wonder about the overall safety of using them. There have been a few studies that have focused on the mosquito coil’s harmful effects.

Here are some of the top mosquito coil safety concerns for humans and pets:

  • One study published in Environmental Health Perspectives indicated that some of the most popular brands of mosquito coils give off smoke that contains known or possible carcinogens, including formaldehyde.
  • The same study notes that the fine and ultra-fine particulate matter in the smoke can irritate the eyes, nose, and lungs.
  • Mosquito coils can also be a fire hazard. Almost every year there are news stories about fires resulting from unattended mosquito coils or coils that have been knocked onto flammable items. If you have kids and pets, you know how easily things can get bumped into and knocked over.

While mosquito coils can be effective for repelling mosquitoes, other options are just as, if not more, effective. Covering as much exposed skin as possible, planting naturally mosquito-repellent plants, such as citronella and lemongrass, and using protective items like screen tents can help.

Your local Mosquito Joe offers natural barrier sprays that are the easiest solution to your mosquito problem. They help keep mosquitoes away for up to 30 days, giving you peace of mind and more time to enjoy the outdoors.

Mosquito Solutions for Your Yard

Enjoying some backyard time while keeping your family and pets itch-free and safe from mosquitoes is possible. Your local Mosquito Joe is ready to help with both traditional treatments and natural barrier treatments that can help make the outdoors fun again! To get started, call us at 1-855-274-2563 or request a quote online today.

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