It’s almost here! December is, quite possibly, the BUSIEST time of the year. People celebrate all sorts of holidays, and travel has an exponential increase as people attempt to see loved ones both far and near.
But despite the joyous festivities, pests can put a MAJOR damper on the holidays. After all, no one wants their home infested when Aunt Gertrude visits!
We’ve compiled a quick list of lifehacks to keep pests out of your home during the holidays (sorry, results not guaranteed against pesky relatives).
1) SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE
Nothing beats the experience of bringing home a live tree to act as the centerpiece in your home during Christmastime. Unfortunately, though, evergreen trees can be prime havens for creepy-crawlies to be brought in. Always make sure to shake out your brand new tree before bringing it into your home: not only will it knock out all of the loose/dead pine needles still attached to the interior, BUT ALSO it can shake out any BEETLES that are hitching a ride, too!
2) BREAK OUT THE TUPPERWARE
The Holiday Season is prime time for all of us to forsake whatever diet we’ve been adhering to (or intending to adhere to) and consume large amounts of comfort food. While January 1st may be time for the “New Year, New Me” attitude to kick into high gear, December is a “Last Hurrah” before strapping down and focusing. All that great food, however, can lead to a LOT of leftovers… and leftover food (when not stored properly) can lead to a pest infestation. And we’re not just talking about a housefly or two, we mean a FULL SCALE RODENT ASSAULT could be coming your way! Be sure to store everything in airtight containers and the fridge (or freezer) when it’s not being consumed. That will keep your food fresher for a longer amount of time AND keep any unwelcome visitors from nibbling away at the good eats you prepped.
3) BECOME YOUR OWN PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
With the holidays being PEAK travel season, more and more people will rely on hotels/motels/B&Bs/etc to get them through the night. Unfortunately these stays MAY result in bringing home the dreaded BED BUG. Worse than the itchiest ugly sweater, bed bugs can make your life MISERABLE, and can be tracked home in your clothing or luggage, should you be unlucky enough to stay in an infested room.
Fortunately, though, bed bug infestation can be as simple as a quick ten-minute inspection before “unwinding.” As soon as you enter your room, place your luggage inside the bathroom — not the closet– until your inspection is done. The EPA has a handy guide to preventing and dealing with bed bugs, but you can also use these simple tips to do a “once-over” upon arrival in your hotel room:
You should look for:
- Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
- Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would.
- Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
- Live bed bugs.
Bed Bugs can be found in:
- In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
- In drawer joints.
- In electrical receptacles and appliances.
- Under loose wall paper and wall hangings.
- At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet.
- Even in the head of a screw
Once you’ve determined that bed bugs are nowhere to be found, you can remove your luggage from the bathroom and place it in the closet/drawers/etc as desired (again, this self-inspection should take under 10 minutes).
4) GET CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH YOUR WOOD!
In addition to being tracked in by a brand new Christmas tree, insects, rodents, spiders, and more can be brought in when you use firewood. A simple fix? Closely inspect any Yuletide Logs you bring in to make sure stowaways are eliminated!
5) DON’T GET MAD…. GET GLAD (or at the very least, plastic)!
Boxes of decorations can also be a haven for pests to nest in… to avoid spreading the infestation any further, you should INITIALLY open your decoration boxes OUTSIDE of the home (i.e. in the front yard). When you prepare to store your decorations again, use plastic totes OR wrap your boxes in heavy duty trash bags (these can mask any scents that may attract outside pests AND can also make it more difficult for the pests to get access).
So there you have it, five simple, painless lifehacks to keep your home pest-free this holiday season!
Remember, if you see signs of pests or suspect an infestation this holiday season, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem promptly so you can get back to enjoying the festivities in a PEST-FREE home!
Just in case you didn’t get enough before, we have five MORE facts about rodents that you may or may not know… Let us know what you think!
1) Rodents can contract a form of zombie-ism…
Rodents are susceptible to a certain parasite (toxoplasma) which paralyses the regions of the brain that initiate the fight or flight response. As a result, rodents may willingly expose themselves to harm (i.e. disregarding predatory scent of natural predators). .
2) A REAL rat king isn’t nearly as graceful as you’d think.
Most people think of “The Nutcracker” when you mention the term “rat king.” Complete with crown and coat, the Rat King pirouettes and pas de bourree’s all over the place, causing mischief (and usually looking SMASHING in tights).
But the REAL rat king is a lot less…. “refined” than what we’re accustomed to – and you’d DEFINITELY want to keep one AWAY during your Christmas celebration!
A “rat king” is the term given to a group of rats with their tails stuck together by a combination of faeces, blood and general gross items. Thankfully, the phenomenon is extremely rare to actually see (only about 60 or so have been found since the 1500s) and only occurs in cold climates (i.e. Central and Eastern Europe) so there’s no worry about finding one in SoCal (we hope)!
3) A rodent’s teeth NEVER stop growing!
Talk about a dentist’s best friend! Rats and other rodents don’t chew through everything JUST because they’re hungry… they also chew to gather material for their nests AND chew constantly to keep their teeth ground down. Otherwise, their teeth would get so long they wouldn’t be able to eat and would die of starvation!
4) Rodents are excellent swimmers!
Some rodents can tread water for up to THREE DAYS! Thinking of flushing that rat down the toilet? THINK AGAIN — rats can come back up the water pipeline, should they choose (they’re VERY nimble and can squeeze through incredibly tight spaces, too)!
5) Rodents can reproduce like CRAZY!
Mice can have litters three weeks and rats can produce litters 15 times per year, the average litter contains 6 offspring. A single pregnant female rodent invading a home can create a large rodent invasion in no time — All the MORE reason to have reliable pest control!
So what do you think? Were you already a rodent expert? Or did you learn something new today? Let us know!
And, as always, we can take care of any rodent issue you may have… we can even “rodent proof” your home! Contact us now!
As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us have begun the annual preparation of food for the onslaught of extended family — and hungry mouths — incoming. Most will plan for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and often “family recipes” are brought out to decorate the table (and please the palate). The tradition hearkens back to a harvest celebration between Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe.
There are only two accounts of the first Thanksgiving, and unfortunately, neither of them included recipes to be shared on Pinterest, and obviously Instagram wasn’t around to snap food shots, either… so the closest thing we have to guess at what dishes covered the table is how Edward Winslow and William Bradford described the first Thanksgiving feast:
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.” – Edward Winslow
“They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.” – William Bradford
Though certain “Thanksgiving staples,” such as corn and squash were certainly on the table, that first celebration would look FAR different from the modern rendition — Venison and duck were as equally abundant as turkey, and mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce weren’t even invented yet!
By looking at these letters, we see that venison was a major ingredient, as was fowl. Fish was served, certainly, but something esle COULD have been at the first celebration: insects! And we’re not talking about “buzzing around” insects… we mean the “on the plate, to be served” variety!
Though not conclusively included, Various tribes traditionally included insects in their dietary regimen… For example, the Mono tribe used to create a sort of “trail mix” out of fly pupae, and other tribes have used crickets and insects to make a sort of bread. Still more tribes would often fry insects or roast them. Others still used it in a pulp form, almost like granola. It’s entirely possible that the Wampanoag had similar diet staples, and may have shared in the abundance with their newfound neighbors….
What do you think? Do you think insects were on the menu for that first Thanksgiving? Would you try a Thanksgiving spread that included fried insects or insect bread?
If your home is infested with pests, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
As you’re aware, It’s Rodent Awareness Week!
To celebrate that fact, we’ve decided to change the focus of this week’s Five Fast Facts from Bees to RODENTS! Try to not be TOO creeped out (they can certainly send shivers up the spine) but don’t worry if you do, just consider that scared gut-feeling “pre-gaming” for Halloween!
FACT #1 – Rodents LIKE water, but not all of them NEED it.
Most mice will congregate near sources of water when nesting— which makes it important to check for any unwanted sources of water around your home — but they don’t necessarily NEED to drink from that source. Many types of mice are able to get all the hydration they need from the foods in their diet.
FACT #2 – Not all rodents are small!
Sorry to add to your #NightmareFuel, but rodents can actually get MUCH LARGER than that tiny mouse scurrying in your attic. Some species of rodent can be as large as a dog! There has even been an outbreak of “cat-sized” rats in the UK this year!
The most largest rodent (and probably the most popular as well) is the capybara, which is native to South America. They can actually be kept as pets! (No thank you!)
FACT #3 – Rodents are hugely social animals
While you won’t necessarily stumble across a bunch of rodents taking duck-faced selfies and Instagramming their latest meal, rodents are a MAJORLY social mammal. They care for their sick/injured, take social cues from each other, and can even become lethargic or depressed when removed from their social group!
FACT #4 – Rodents can chew through most things
If rodents had money, then dentists would be MILLIONAIRES. All rodents have HUGE twin incisors, which grow NONSTOP as long as they are alive. Rodents actually HAVE to chew things in order to keep their teeth filed down to an appropriate length. Their teeth can chew through plastic, metal, and even concrete! No word yet on whether they can get cavities, though…
FACT #5 – Rodents are (ALLEGEDLY) delicious
We’ve all heard urban legends/horror stories about rodents being cooked and served by seedy restaurants and Pixar’s Ratatouille didn’t do much to really endear the idea of a rodent in the kitchen to an international audience.
The fact of the matter is, though, that in some cultures, eating rodents is an important staple in their diet… In fact, we even found an article with “wine pairings” for different rodent-based dishes! Now word on what it tastes like, but we’re guessing it probably tastes “like chicken.” NO WAY we’re brave enough to try it though!
So what do you think? Did you know all five facts already? Ever tried rodent — or WOULD you? Let us know!
Contact us today if you have a rodent problem!
How did you do on last week’s trivia? Ready for more?
Five (More) Fun Friday Facts About Bees
1). A typical beehive can make…
2) Bees communicate by…
3) Bees act as pollinators for…
4) A single honey bee will visit…
5) The queen can lay approximately…
All these bee facts got you buzzing? Or is that buzz you hear from a hive outside your home? We can take care of that! We do hive removals and bee relocation, and can even offer same day bee exterminations!
We’re going to have some #FridayFun today and fill you in on five facts about honeybees!
1)The title of “The Honeybee State” belongs to….
2) Bees “buzz” because….
3) Honeybees are the ONLY insect that….
4) Honeybees never….
5) Honey is made of…
How many did you already know? Which facts were new to you? Let us know!
If you’re experiencing honeybee trouble, contact us today for professional help!
Wasps giving you a “summer buzz” (NOT the good kind)? Can you “not even” right now because of a wasp invasion? We’ve got 5 “did you know?” facts about wasps that may keep your summer a little more sane… and, hopefully, a lot LESS “sting-y.”
1. Orange Crush soda acts as a great bait for wasps… but doesn’t serve to eliminate the problem.
- There’s a reason you should never leave soda cans left open and unattended at picnics… wasps LOVE any sweet liquid and most soft drinks act as a wasp magnet! Some people will suggest using soft drinks as bait, but really, it just increases the wasp activity and doesn’t REALLY solve your problem AT ALL!
2. Wasp traps DO (sort of) work.
- Whether you buy a wasp trap from Home Depot or build your own homemade trap, they can stop wasps from sharing your picnic… but they don’t kill the colony. Wasp traps may be a good short term solution (if you’re having a small BBQ for an hour or so), but they don’t really solve the full problem! Expect wasps to be back in full force in no time if this is your ONLY remedy tried!
3. Wasps don’t fly if it’s dark.
- Maybe you should shift that afternoon picnic to a nighttime BBQ... Wasps can’t see in the dark, which limits their activity (surprise, surprise!)
4. Fire = Bad
- True, fire DOES kills wasps (and their nests), but you don’t want to burn YOUR house down along with theirs.
5. If the nest isn’t bugging you, leave it alone.
- What’s the best way to get stung? By poking a nest, of course! It may seem like a good idea to start swinging that broom or stick at a nest to knock down a wasp nest, but wasps — just like people — tend get VERY upset when someone damages their home! (BONUS TIP: Wasps don’t reuse nests, so IF you can avoid the area for that long, the wasps will be dead by winter).
Wasps can be difficult to deal with, and they pop up very quickly. The best solution to keep them from taking over is to have an ongoing pest service. At Pro Pacific Pest Control, our technicians remove any wasp nests around the home, and apply treatment to prevent wasps (and other pests) from returning. Our monthly maintenance program offers the greatest protection against recurring pests, but we have a variety of plans and frequencies to fit practically any budget!
We’ve got some quick tips to help YOU keep the pests at bay during your summer days!
- Warmer, wetter weather can lead to influxes of mosquito swarms. Eliminating standing pools of water will eliminate breeding areas for mosquitoes and help keep those annoying visitors from making their presence overwhelming. Common places where standing water can accumulate include beneath piping, close to air-conditioning units, and even in the water-bowl beneath your potted plants!
- Cockroaches also LOVE dark, damp places, so be sure to keep all areas below your sinks / tubs / etc as dry as possible! Be sure to check near where pipes enter / exit the home (especially if you have a musty basement).
- Wasps and bees like to set up shop pretty much ANYWHERE! Try to fill voids (wall voids, eaves, and porch ceilings, etc) when possible. Dispose of dried or hollowed-out tree stumps.
- Ants can set up shop in practically any environment, but they’re more apt to move in if they have abundant food sources. Scattered crumbs and leftovers, open trash containers and rotting wood or pieces of litter can make your yard seem like PRIME REAL ESTATE for a colony of ants to move in!
Of course, even the best laid plans can go awry, and pests can pop up in even the most diligent home! For these occasions, the best solution is a quick call to your friendly neighborhood pest control operator! With a variety of services designed to fit your need and budget (be it ants, roaches, rodents or bees) Pro Pacific Pest Control ready to answer your call!
Summer is on the way, and with warmer weather, that means more picnics, more outings, more outdoor activities, and MORE BUGS!
Many bugs come out of their self-imposed “hibernation” in flourish in the warmer temperatures.
Already this year, we’ve seen a large up-tick in pest activity! From pantry pests to rats to wasps to bed bugs, pests are letting their presence be known — in fact, we’ve even had to deal with an opossum or two!
Just like humans, insects and rodents LOVE warmer weather… and they ALSO love a cozy locale to hang their metaphorical hat. Unfortunately, they usually end up in OUR homes as a result (after all, don’t we spend a lot of time and money making our homes as cozy as can be).
We’ve talked at length about Do it Yourself ways to prevent pest infestation, but the BEST way is to call a professional!
After all, we’ve take an oath to protect you, your family, and your home from ALL the pests that plague the realms of men!
It’s a new year, and for many people, that means a “new you!” mindset, but for some cities in the US, 2016 is shaping up to be “More of the Same.” Recently, stats were released indicating the “Top 50” cities with the highest occurrences of bed bugs. For the FOURTH year in a row, the “Windy City” of Chicago earned the top spot… though fellow metropolises Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York weren’t far behind… each ranking in the top 5.
Looking at the list (see below), it seems like bed bugs can hit anywhere and everywhere… and to be honest, they can! Bed bugs are hardy creatures, and can easily survive on the open road (often infestations come as a result of travel. Vacationers may pick up bed bugs from even the most posh of resorts (as evidenced in this video)! Bed bugs are tremendous hitch-hikers, and can find their way back to your home by stowing away in clothing or luggage. Once they arrive and set up residence in YOUR residence, it can be a painful process to get rid of your unwelcome guests!
As always, the best defense is prevention over extermination, but how do you go about it? Well, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, The best thing to do is detect (and avoid) the little pests before it’s too late!
- Look for bed bugs hiding in the mattress, box spring, and bed frame.
- Check under the mattress and along the seams (edges) of the mattress.
- Look for small, reddish spots on the mattress – they could be signs of bed bugs.
- Search other furniture near the bed, like night stands.
Of course, if you ever ARE infested (despite your best efforts), you can CALL US to schedule an inspection and we’ll take care of your bed bug problem PRONTO!
TOP 50 Bed-Buggiest Cities
2. Los Angeles
3. Washington, D.C.
4. New York
5. Columbus, Ohio
9. Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
11. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
12. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio
13. Dallas-Ft. Worth
14. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
16. Charlotte, N.C.
20. Buffalo, N.Y.
21. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C.
22. Nashville, Tenn.
24. Knoxville, Tenn.
27. Dayton, Ohio
30. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.
31. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
32. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Crk., Mich.
33. Lexington, Ky.
34. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
35. Charleston-Huntington, W.Va.
36. Omaha, Neb.
37. San Diego
38. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.
39. Louisville, Ky.
40. St. Louis
41. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa
42. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill.
43. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
44. Kansas City, Mo.
45. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.
46. Syracuse, N.Y.
47. Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo.
48. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.
50. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C