How to Clean Your New Home to Prevent Bugs

When you purchase a new home, it is one of the most exciting and exhilarating times you will ever experience. Whether it is your first time since buying a house or your fifth, it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement. 

Unfortunately, as with any significant life transition, you will be forced to take the good with a measure of bad. Just because a home is new to you, it doesn’t mean you won’t inherit a few issues. 

The last thing a new homeowner wants to deal with is a pest problem. At Environmental Pest Management, we want to help you to prevent and overcome any potential pest problems. Let us walk you through some of the steps you can take to ensure your new home is pest-free.

Cockroach on toothbrush,Contagion the disease, Plague,Healthy,Home concept.

New Home Inspection

Before you close on the purchase of your new home, you should have two separate and distinct home inspections. You will need a basic home inspection and a WDO Inspection.

Basic Home Inspection

For this basic inspection, you will need to hire a licensed and qualified home inspector. This professional inspector will perform a thorough inspection of your potential new home. 

This inspection will show the structural condition of the home, with a specific focus on the plumbing, electrical, roofing, and HVAC systems. 

Additionally, the inspector will test all the appliances and check all the pipes and spaces under sinks for leaks. 

WDO Inspection

A WDO, or Wood Destroying Organisms Inspection, is more commonly known as a termite inspection. The more general term WDO is used because while termites are the most common wood-destroying organisms, they are not the only wood-destroying organisms. 

A qualified WDO inspector will be able to detect certain signs and symptoms that a typical home buyer will miss. 

On top of searching for an existing wood-destroying organism infestation, a certified inspector will be able to point out potential avenues for future infestations. You will be able to prepare for and prevent a possible problem before it arises. 

On average, termites and other wood-destroying organisms case over $5 billion in damage and repair costs each year. To avoid high costs and lengthy repairs, work to prevent termites and other pests from entering your home in the first place. 

Once you have purchased your new home, there are some proactive measures you can take to ensure a lower likelihood of infestation. Let’s go over a few now, room by room. 

Kitchen

Many pests and rodents are attracted to the same food that you and your family enjoy. The most effective way to prevent pests is to limit their food supply.

Make a family rule that food stays in the kitchen and dining area only. The fewer areas where crumbs can accumulate, the less likely you will have an infestation throughout your entire home. 

Now that you are keeping food residue contained in a small area of your home, you must work to keep that area free of residue and debris. Clean your kitchen and dining room floors daily to avoid food build-up.

We recommend that you sweep every day and vacuum as much as possible, at least once a week. 

Any spills should be cleaned immediately. If any food or liquid accidentally spills under your furniture, make sure to move and clean under each piece to avoid attracting unwanted visitors. 

Pay special attention to your sink area. Be sure to wash dishes every day and do not leave a full sink to sit and stew overnight. 

Such a prize will be hard for pests to resist.

Make sure to take care of any slow or clogged drains right away. Remember, just like you, bugs and pests need water to survive. 

Pantries

The place where you store your food is particularly vulnerable to unwanted pests. People tend to overlook pantries and storage spaces when cleaning. 

Make sure you wipe down bottles and containers after you use them. This step is especially crucial with sticky products, like honey or syrup. 

All of your food and ingredients should be stored appropriately. Invest in some good, high-quality storage containers. Look for products that are airtight and easy to seal. 

Keep an eye on all of your fruits and vegetables. Make sure to throw out or compost any products that are spoiled or on the way to spoilage.  If you have ever had a fruit fly infestation, you know just how difficult it is to rid your home of those pesky fliers.

Closets

You may not realize the drawing power dirty clothes can be to pests. Never store or put away dirty clothes in your closet with your clean clothes. 

Have a designated place for dirty clothes. Try to find a space that is separate from your clean clothes. 

For those of you who live in places that experience severe winter weather, make sure to have your winter clothes suitably cleaned before you store them away for the warm summer months. 

Just like your food and ingredients, you will find it beneficial to purchase and use airtight storage containers for your infrequently used seasonal clothing. 

Woman cleaning sofa with yellow vacuum cleaner. Copy space. Cleaning service concept.

Garbage

Of all the places in your home, the most likely breeding ground for a pest infestation is probably wherever you keep your garbage. 

To prevent pests, make sure you wash out all of your used containers before you throw them away. On top of that, make sure you are constantly cleaning your garbage receptacles. 

Rotten or rancid food residue is a sure draw for pests and insects. At least once every other week, take your trash can outside and thoroughly wash them with soap and water. A hose is a helpful tool for this task. 

Also, make sure your trashcan has a lid that provides an adequate seal. Keep your lid on your trashcan as much as possible to harness the smell. 

As all of us have no doubt learned, pests are an unfortunate part of our everyday lives. It is almost impossible to completely rid our homes and lives of these unwanted and unwelcome critters. 

The best we can do is take the proper precautions in order to possibly prevent a potential infestation. 

If you live in the Twin Cities, MN area, and you are suffering from a pest problem, contact Environmental Pest Management for your free estimate today. We are your one-stop-shop for safe and effective pest control and removal.

Summer Travel Plans? How to Avoid Bed Bugs

Summer is almost here! Even though this summer might not be a completely normal one, people will be traveling. Summer travel and bed bugs are an all-too-common concern.

If you have plans that will take you away from the warmth and safety of your bed and into an unknown (and potentially infested) bed, don’t fear. We have tips to ensure your trip is safe.

The last thing you want to do is bring home a suitcase full of begs to end a ruined trip.

At Environmental Pest Management, we have the experience you need to ensure your home and travels are pest-free. Contact us today for a free quote if you think you have pests that need evicting.

Suitcases in airport. Travel concept.

How to Check for Bed Bugs During Travel

Did you know there is a Bed Bug Registry? This handy website allows you to search for your hotel before traveling to see any bed bugs reported. You can search by hotel name, city, and state.

Of course, hotels are not the only place to get bed bugs. You can pick up these pesky creatures on airplanes, in taxis or Ubers, or anywhere else you come in contact with upholstered furniture or items.

To check for the presence of bed bugs, you are not looking for the actual bugs. Instead, you are looking for what they leave behind. You are looking for tiny black dots. It might seem like someone dropped a pen over and over again. 

Here are some tips on where and how to check for bed bugs while traveling.

  1. Consider a hard-shelled suitcase over a clothe or soft material suitcase if you don’t already have one. Bed bugs have a hard time getting past the hard shell. There are many crevices for them to find in a soft suitcase.
  2. When traveling by plane, train, or rented car, check the seat edges and creases. You are looking for the actual bug that resembles an apple seed, or what they leave behind.
  3. Before you unpack at your hotel, thoroughly check the room for signs of bed bugs. You likely won’t see the bugs as they are nocturnal, but you will see their poop if they are in the room.
  4. Never set your luggage on the bed or other upholstered furniture or directly on the carpeted floor. Use the provided luggage rack or place your bags in the bathroom or on a dresser. Hanging your clothes is a good option, as well.
  5. Check under the sheets for signs of the bugs. Remember, it might look like small ink stains along the seam. You might also see small blood spots on the mattress.
  6. If the beds have headboards, check around and behind it.
  7. Inspect any upholstered furniture in the room as well as window treatments. Bed bugs aren’t limited to beds.
  8. If you find any signs of bed bugs, immediately contact management. It might be best to change hotels as bed bugs easily travel between rooms in a hotel.
  9. When you get home, vacuum off your luggage. Empty your clothes into the washer and thoroughly check your bags for signs of bed bugs. You should see those tiny ink-like stains along the edges or corners.
  10. Finally, wash in hot water anything that can be washed. If you happened to pick up a bed bug or two, they will not survive a hot wash and dry. 

accommodation inspector testing the bed

What to Do if Bed Bugs Follow You Home

Unfortunately, you might not catch bed bugs before bringing them into your home. Even if you thoroughly check your hotel room, you can still pick them up in a variety of places. These bugs are destructive and have a strong will to live and spread.

If you realize you have picked up unwanted hitchhikers during your are travels, seal all of your things in plastic bags before you head home. The last thing you want is to track these pests into your home. It only takes one falling out of your suitcase for your entire house to become infested.

If that happens, call Environmental Pest Management, and we will take care of the problem for you.

When you do get home, unpack your bag outside, if possible. If you can’t do that, don’t go farther than the garage.

Lucky for us, bed bugs can’t survive high heat. Wash everything in your bag in hot water. You will want the water to be at least 100℉. Then, dry on high heat. This process should take care of any bed bugs that made it this far.

Next, you will want to tackle that luggage. The good news is you don’t have to throw it away. Grab a flashlight and magnifying glass if you have one and inspect the seams and crevices as best you can. 

If you see any, vacuum up the little pests with a vacuum and brush attachment. Go over the entire suitcase, focusing on any spots you see signs of bed bugs. 

If able, wash and scrub your bag with warm, soapy water. The final nail in the blood-sucking bedbug coffin would be a thorough steaming of your suitcase with a handheld steamer.

Traveler with suitcase in airport concept.Young girl  walking with carrying luggage and passenger for tour travel booking ticket flight at international vacation time in holiday rest and relaxation.

Call Environmental Pest Management

With these tips, you can ensure the only thing you’re bringing home from your travels are good memories. We can help make sure bed bugs, and other pests, stay out.

If you have recently traveled and think you have bed bugs, call Environmental Pest Management today. We will give you a free quote before completing any work.

Bed bugs are a common problem for many travelers. We will make sure you only have happy memories from your trip, not lasting dread and itchy spots.

We also handle more than bed bugs. We have experience exterminating mice and rodents, wasps, ants, roaches, bees, beetles, and more. We also install TAP Insulation to provide extra protection for your home from unwanted guests.

Call us today and let us know how we can help you. 

Warm Weather and Termites… How to Protect Your Home

Termites and warm weather are probably not the first two things you think of when someone says the word “summer.” Warm weather might spring to mind, sure; but since when do they go hand-in-glove with termites?

 Environmental Pest Management can help you deal with any burgeoning termite problems your home may experience this summer.

termite damage

Termites and Warm Weather: What’s the Connection?

You may be wondering why warm weather brings out the termites. The fact is, termites love warm weather; these bugs are found in 49 states (Alaska is the exception).

Termites draw their moisture from the ground. Homes with water leaks or condensation accumulation are also attractive to them, however. When temperatures get higher than 60 degrees, termites tend to hunt for moisture around homes before searching outdoors.

In summary, humidity plus warmth equals prime termite conditions. 

How Do I Know My Home Has a Termite Infestation?

There are a few tell-tale signs of a termite infestation. 

First of all, termites tend to shed their wings when the weather starts to get warm. A pile of termite wings is a pretty good indicator that you have termites.

Additionally, like many bugs, termites are attracted to lights. If you are concerned about termites, you may want to check around light fixtures and windows.

Rotting wood can also be a critical indicator that your home is under attack from termites. Bubbling paint can be another tell-tale sign that termites, as are a hollow sound when you tap a wood structure.

Finally, if your home is dealing with termites, you may notice mud tubes. Mud tubes are small, pencil-sized tunnels that termites use for protection and to retain moisture. These termite highways will typically appear near the foundation of a home.

Closeup on termites going in and out of their tunnel

Why Are Termites a Problem?

If there are two things homeowners have to prepare for, it’s termites and warm weather. Higher temperatures can mean a long, tedious chore list, from cleaning gutters to washing siding. Termite-prevention should also be part of your springtime to-do list.

Termites present a variety of serious challenges. These tenacious little critters can chew through floors and walls, even carpeting and wallpaper! 

A termite colony working together can be pretty harmful, since they can eat round-the-clock for days. This level of damage can pose a threat to your home’s structural integrity.

The National Pest Management Agency estimates that termites cause over $5 billion in damage yearly.

For everything you didn’t want to know about termites, read here.

How To Prevent Termites in Warm Weather

Fortunately, there are certain proactive steps you can take to prevent termites during the spring and summer.

First, make sure you inspect your home for the tell-tale termite signs we mentioned above. Termites commonly appear in wood features, so windowsills, door frames, and floor boards/wainscoting should appear on your termite checklist.

Next, check for leaks and any excess moisture around your home. Remember, when you add humidity to the mix of termites and warm weather, termites are a risk. An important part of termite prevention is diverting water away from your home, through gutters, downspouts, and splash locks.

You should also be sure to check AC units and faucets for leaks. Rotted roof shingles can also be a source of leaks, so roof inspections are also essential for termite prevention.

Additionally, you should avoid leaving anything out that might attract hungry termites. This next tip is especially important for homeowners with wood-burning fireplaces. Try to stack lumber away from your home, instead of against it; always inspect it before you bring it inside.

Finally, if your home is recently-constructed, inspect for foam boards or grade stakes that builders may have left behind. While termites don’t eat foam board, we know that they can and do tunnel through it. 

Is It Possible for Weather to be Too Warm for Termites?

Termites tend to survive best in temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. While termites tend not to fare too well when temperatures fluctuate too much, do not underestimate these survivors. These insects tend to be far more skilled and able than other animals or insects at accessing cool places.

In fact, termites can survive and thrive in the famously hot Sonoran Desert. They do this by skillfully locating and sheltering in cool, underground spots and shaded areas. 

Termite species who don’t share their desert cousins’ subterranean-locating abilities have other skills. During hot weather, drywood termites move their nests from close to a log’s surface, to the log’s cooler center.

So even if you live in a very hot area, unfortunately, you are not safe from the threat of termites.

termite nest at wooden wall, nest termite at wood decay, background of nest termite, white ant, background damaged white wooden eaten by termite or white ant

Environmental Pest Management Can Help with Termite Prevention and Elimination

Whether you are looking to prevent termites or deal with an ongoing infestation, Environmental Pest Management can help. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection!

If you are serious about preventing termites, you should consider a regular professional home inspection. The experienced hands at Environmental Pest Management can assess your home’s risk and alert you to a current termite problem.

We require our staff to attain the level of Master Licensed Technician, a multi-year process to attain true field expertise.

We belong to state and national professional associations in the pest management field. Our affiliations include both the Minnesota and National Pest Management Associations. That means we are able to provide our customers with the very latest industry knowledge and best practices. 

Environmental Pest Management brings over 30 years of know-how to our work, and that’s not all. You can also rely on us for environmentally-responsible pest management techniques and methods. If you require pest management in your home, apartment, office, or even hospital, we will determine the best, safest solution.

Our commitment to the environment means that we use non-chemical means of pest management as often as possible. Often, we find these pesticide-free methods are more effective and longer-lasting than traditional pesticides.

Termites and warm weather are a scary combination for any homeowner, business, or landlord. For efficient termite treatment, trust the job to an experienced company with deep roots in east central Minnesota. Contact Environmental Pest Management and say good-bye to your termite fears!

What is Commercial Pest Management?

When most people think of pest management, they think of houses or apartments where people live. However, bugs don’t stick to just homes. Pests take refuge anywhere they can find. Hence, commercial pest management.

Commercial pest management is just what it sounds like: pest control for businesses. If you are a business owner and don’t have a pest control company, you need one. Maybe you already have one, but are they the best?

Business owners have many decisions to make and things to consider. Don’t let finding a trusted pest control company take up any more of your time. Call Environmental Pest Management today for a free quote. 

We will make sure your business stays pest-free so you can focus on doing what you do best.

Industrial pest control

Main Differences Between Residential and Commercial Pest Management

Pest management is different when it comes down to it, whether it is intended for residential or commercial locations. While the ultimate goal is to remove unwanted pests and ensure they don’t return, how things are done vary.

Speed of Service

Sometimes, residential service requires the tenants to temporarily relocate while service is completed, depending on how severe the problem is. However, it would be extremely difficult for a company to close down for even a couple of days for service.

Because commercial service needs to be done with as little interruption to the company as possible, commercial pest management tends to have a quicker turnaround than residential service.

Commercial service generally costs more, as well. Because the area to treat is often larger, and the company will not want to shut their doors, commercial pest management comes with a higher price tag.

Types of Service

Homes, for the most part, are relatively similar. With comparable setups come like problems. So, most residential pest management is done in similar ways.

Commercial buildings, on the other hand, can be vastly different in size, type, and purpose. Because of this variation, commercial pest management needs to be customized to each client. It would be irresponsible to treat a hospital or restaurant like you would a factory or retail store.

Customized treatments don’t end with removing pests. A commercial pest management company you can trust will have a customized plan to ensure pests don’t return. A good company will consider everything from location to types of bugs to the layout of building in a preventative strategy.

You will want to find a company that can customize your service and has the knowledge and experience to ensure things are done right. Environmental Pest Management is that company.

Tails of rats on a wooden table.

Types of Bugs in Commercial Clients

While homes are more likely to be infested with ants, bedbugs, termites, and other smaller pests, commercial locations tend to attract larger pests like mice, rats, and cockroaches. However, a good commercial pest management company understands that just about any bug can get anywhere and will plan accordingly.

Mice and Rats

With rodents like mice and rats, we always look for the entry point. Traps only work so well for so long if you don’t stop them from getting in. Finding where they come in and closing that option will be our number one priority. 

We will aim to control the situation with permanent seal up, void treatment, baiting, trapping, and natural repellents. A holistic approach will ensure the most successful results.  

Cockroaches

In our area, we are always on the lookout for the German Roach. This creative little pest is always finding ways into buildings and often hitches a ride on with visitors or in shipments.

To successfully treat cockroaches, we rely on routine inspections. We rely on the newest technology to treat a cockroach infestation and ensure we are always up to date. We have lots of experience removing these pests, and our goal is complete elimination.

Other Pests

As we all know, mice, rats, and cockroaches are not the only pests that plague businesses. Whatever comes your way, whether it’s ants or another crawly pests or wasps or another flying pest, you can be sure we are prepared to handle it.

We always use a combination of baits and other exterior management techniques to control populations from entering buildings. We continually work to develop the safest and effective programs to not only eliminate pests but also prevent them from entering.

We will carefully consider the needs of your establishment and develop a customized plan that addresses the problems you face.

Reasons for Commercial Pest Management

 

  • Sanitation. Whether or not you are producing items for consumption, pests are dirty. With pests come a variety of diseases. If you are in the food industry, you can’t risk these diseases. Even if you are not, pests create unsanitary messes that you don’t want to deal with.
  • Reputation. After spending years or decades building up your business, the last thing you want is for an infestation to ruin your reputation. If customers see bugs in your establishment, it will affect how they view your business. Don’t let pests ruin all you have worked for.
  • Cost-Effective. It seems counterintuitive to pay for something to save money, but in the cases of pests, it’s true. You are paying to ensure you don’t lose products or customers to a bug infestation. Bugs can ruin products and scare away customers.
  • Health. Many different pests carry a variety of diseases. Furthermore, the droppings of pests are unsanitary. This is especially true if you are in the food industry. The last thing you want is someone, either a customer or an employee, getting sick from something that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Mid section of pest control man standing next to a van

 

Call Environmental Pest Management Today

If you own a business and don’t have a pest control company, call Environmental Pest Management today. We have years of experience serving customers throughout Minnesota. We will work with you to come up with the best plan for your business.

If you already have a company, call us today for a free quote. We want to ensure you are getting the most comprehensive service at the best price. Let us prove to you we are the best in the business.

What is TAP Insulation and Why You Want It

TAP spray foam
TAP spray foam

Insulation is one of the most fundamentally important parts of your home. It serves many different purposes, including lowering your energy bill and keeping your house comfortable.

Since insulation is so important, why not go above and beyond? If your insulation could give you even more benefits than usual, then that is an easy choice for you as a homeowner.

TAP insulation will give these improvements and then some. This insulation is an environmentally safe, sound dampening, fire-resistant, pest controlling insulation.

TAP stands for Thermal, Acoustical, and Pest Control, which are the main characteristics of it. With all the added benefits of TAP, you get more bang for your buck.

This unique and innovative insulation is excellent at keeping any unwanted pests out of your home. These pests include ants, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, and many more.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Contact the professionals at Environmental Pest Management, where you can request a free quote.

Worker Spraying house attic insulation

Thermal

The obvious benefit of any insulation is the ability to keep your house warm on cold days and cool on hot days. It does this by blocking the outside weather while trapping in the comfortable temperatures inside your home.

Better insulation means you don’t have to use as much energy to regulate the temperature of your house. Using less energy directly translates to you, saving more money on your bills.

The secret to good insulation is the balance between how dense it is and how light it is. Density will stop the airflow, while light materials (and air pockets) will trap heat better.

Since TAP is denser than your traditional insulation, it does a better job of stopping airflow. The efficiency is especially useful for the coldest months of the year when you need it most.

Additionally, TAP is an ENERGY STAR partner with the Energy Star seal of approval. You can be at ease, knowing your insulation is of the highest quality and safety standards.

Acoustical

One advantage that many don’t consider when thinking of insulation is noise reduction. Poor quality insulation won’t reduce noise nearly as well as higher quality materials.

The noise cancellation works both ways! Annoying sounds from outdoors, such as traffic or sirens, won’t pierce into your home. At the same time, your indoor sounds, such as toilets flushing or appliances running, won’t make it outside.

As with the thermal benefits, sound likes to travel through solid materials. TAP gets designed with small air pockets that quickly disperse the noise coming through the fibers.

The noise suppression of this material is unparalleled. A standard installation of TAP insulation across your entire attic area will nearly eliminate all of the outdoor noises.

You don’t have to deal with annoying noises such as airplanes flying overhead or your neighbors mowing their lawn at an inconvenient time. You deserve peace at all times.

White construction foam on a wooden wall

Pest Control

While the high-quality materials of TAP make it stand out above the crowd, it becomes truly unique with its ability to keep pests out of your home. It would be best if you always had the comfort knowing that no pesky intruders are wandering around in your attic or your walls.

TAP insulation uses a borate material that is commonly used by pest management professionals. The borate material is added directly to the paper fibers, making it a powerful all-in-one solution to pest control.

The borate material is typically placed around the baseboards of homes and the outside of homes to kill insects. You have nothing to worry about, as the material is safe for humans.

The substance will cling onto the legs and bodies of insects crawling around, which then get consumed by the insect when it cleans itself. The particles disturb their digestive functions which leads to starvation.

TAP is an excellent solution for removing all sorts of insects. Anything from roaches, crickets, beetles, centipedes and millipedes, termites, and ants will all get targeted.

With this pest control solution, you don’t have to go through the trouble of strategically laying traps or buying additional pesticides for your home. The TAP insulation will be working around the clock, 24/7, actively stopping bugs and critters. For more information about pest control safety, check this out.

How It Compares To Standard Insulation

Now that you’ve seen all of the benefits of TAP insulation, I’m sure you’re wondering what it all means compared to the “normal stuff.” Let’s jump into it.

R-Value

First, we need to know how insulation gets measured against other materials. The term is called R-value, which stands for resistance value. R-value is the indicator of performance for the slowing of heat. The higher the R-value, the better the results you can expect from your insulation.

With that said, TAP Pest Control Insulation boasts an R-value of 3.6 per inch. This R-value is higher than any other type of insulation on the market.

The performance of TAP, coupled with the acoustical and pest control capabilities, makes this choice a no brainer. It is a great option to keep your home both warm and secure.

According to the Insulation Institute, residential electricity prices have jumped by 39% since 2004. Now more than ever, you want good insulation in your home to keep the costs down.

Technician spraying foam insulation

Going Green

While many products like to claim to be “green,” not all of them live up to the expectations. From the production to the benefits, TAP has you covered.

TAP insulation is made from 80% recycled paper and then combined with the borate material. The reuse of such a large amount of paper is a massive victory for the environment.

Additionally, the energy your home will be saving will reduce your carbon footprint drastically. Month by month, you’ll be using less energy, which saves you money and helps the ecosystem.

The benefits of TAP insulation cannot get overstated. You get to stay more comfortable in your home while keeping annoying critters at bay. If you’d like to remove your old insulation and install a brand new blanket of TAP, contact the experts at Environmental Pest Management.

Preparing Your Home for the Warmer Weather

The shift from winter to spring brings many changes to the world around you. Temperatures rise, and flowers bloom—a time for new beginnings.

Spring is a time for exploration and renewal. It’s important to realize that you won’t be the only one eager to get around and adventure!

One thing to be aware of when transitioning into the new season is the critters that like to come out as well. Various animals and bugs could crawl into your home, which will cause trouble for you and your home down the road.

Of course, you want to know the difference between “good” bugs and “bad” bugs. Check here for what to look for.

Tackle these spring pests by knowing where to look, and what to do when you find them. You don’t have to fight the battle alone! Contact Environmental Pest Management for professional pest control services in the Twin Cities area.

Close-up image of cockroach in house on background of water closet.

Cleaning Your Home

The first thing you should do as you prepare your home for the spring weather is to clean everything as well as you can. Bugs and critters love moving into dark, cluttered areas, and any mess in your home will be a perfect place for them.

One central place you should consider looking at is where your food is stored. Everything needs to eat to survive, and these bugs are no different.

It’s a good idea to take out all of the food in your cupboards and off your shelves and physically inspect each item. If there’s any holes in the packaging, it’s time to throw it out! Small animals love to get into food and eat up any crumbs available.

After taking out all of your food objects, consider cleaning the shelves themselves. Vacuum any leftover crumbs and wipe down the area with a damp rag.

You’ll want to remove as much clutter as possible when you’re cleaning. Your closet can be a potential spot for lots of clutter. Remove articles of clothing you no longer wear and make sure clothing is appropriately hung up or stored.

Additionally, if there are items that are especially important to you, you can better protect them. Placing clothes in airtight bags means that they get protected from moisture, humidity, dust, and of course, any pesky bugs.

Where To Look

 You may have small bugs and insects roaming around your home without you being aware. Knowing where to look will give you an advantage when dealing with these critters.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the biggest target for bugs looking for food, water, or a damp spot to hide. Because of this, you should be vigilant when inspecting and cleaning your kitchen.

The bug that loves your kitchen the most is the ant. They seek after crumbs and sticky spots, as well as certain fruits that may be on your counter top.

In addition to the recommendation of cleaning out your cupboards of stale food and leftover crumbs, another sneaky spot that ants love is behind your appliances. Many people don’t consider this area because of the difficulty of cleaning it. 

These appliances will include your stove, refrigerator, and possibly dishwasher. Pull them out and vacuum behind them to avoid potential ant problems in your home.

Bathroom

Some bugs that love moisture include the cockroach and the silverfish—one place in your home that can often create moisture in your bathroom.

You can remove some sources of moisture by checking on the integrity of the pipes in your bathroom. If you find any leaks from pipes or faucets, you should tighten them back up. Additionally, washing the shower curtain and liner will help with moisture problems. 

With that done, the last spot to consider is the medicine cabinet. The medicine cabinet could get filled with clutter and various items you no longer need, so clean it accordingly.

Basement

The basement is an excellent spot for both spiders and rodents to reside. They love it because of the often dark and cluttered areas that are good for hiding in.

To combat these pests, look to removing as much clutter as possible. When storing your items, consider using plastic containers instead of cardboard because plastic is more secure.

When examining your basement, keep an eye out for tiny cracks or holes. It doesn’t take much for critters to find their way into your home, so sealing these cracks is of utmost importance.

Outside

The last place you’ll have to look at is the outdoor area around your house. The outdoors will be where the insects and rodents find their way into your warm and cozy home.

Inspect the perimeter, including your shingles, pathways, and gutters. Keep an eye out for damage, deterioration, and clogs. These can be signs of bugs on your property.

Cockroach on wooden floor in apartment house

Treating Your Home

The final step for battling the bugs is managing your home and property to avoid future problems. Knowing what to look for and what to fix will help you tremendously.

Upon preparing your kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor area, don’t forget to check the water sources. Pests love damp areas, and a leaky faucet will provide them a safe place to thrive. Check your faucets and outdoor taps for drips and pooling water, and have it repaired if leaks get found. 

Whether your pests fly or crawl, a window is still easy to access for them to enter your home. Make sure you have correctly fitting window screens and that your windows get sealed. Old windows may have cracked or broken seals that little bugs can easily squeeze through and invade your home.

Wood is an excellent home for many pests, especially termites. If there were previous leaks or water damage in your home, consider replacing any wood that was left to absorb the excess water. Once the pests move in and start further damaging the forest, the foundation of your home could become compromised.

Your home is an excellent place for not only you to live but many other critters as well. As you can see, there’s lots of options for finding, removing, and preventing bugs and rodents in your residence. You don’t have to fight these battles alone! Contact the professionals at Environmental Pest Management for a free quote and peace of mind.

A Message to our Customers About Coronavirus

Please know that the well-being of our customers and employees is our foremost concern and we are fully committed to ensuring your safety as we monitor the quickly changing information on coronavirus (COVID-19).

At this time, we are continuing to provide all of our services as scheduled. If you have questions or concerns, or wish to reschedule your service appointment, please do not hesitate to call us at 952-432-2221. You may also log on to bugtech.com and submit a web form or email us at info@bugtech.com

All of our employees have been instructed to closely follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for protecting themselves and others. These recommendations include limiting exposure to sick individuals, frequent and thorough hand washing, knowing the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and more. Learn more about preventing coronavirus disease on the CDC website.

Although we have not experienced any issues at Environmental Pest Management at this time, we are fully prepared to activate mandatory 14-day quarantines for any employee who exhibits symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19. 

As part of our response to and preparation for ensuring safety, we are also taking these precautions:

  • We have made personal protective equipment available to all Environmental Pest Management employees, including hand sanitizer and gloves.
  • We are routinely disinfecting all of our shared equipment and common work surfaces.
  • Any employee who exhibits respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms, or who has a member of their household exhibiting these symptoms, will be sent home to recover.
  • All non-essential activities, including large group meetings or gatherings, events, and travel, have been cancelled through March 31.
  • Rather than have you personally sign our tablets or phones when we complete your service, please allow us to sign on your behalf.

Protecting health and safety is the mission of all pest control providers, including Environmental Pest Management. Our services are an important way to help prevent the spread of disease, and our eco-friendly products help protect people and the environment.

coronavirus outbreak, health threatening virus

Q&A

I’m concerned about anyone entering my home right now. Does your technician have to come inside? 

Absolutely not, and we completely understand. We can and will continue to provide our exterior treatment services to maintain the protective barrier that keeps pests from entering your home. Now that the official start of spring is here, so is a likely increase in pest activity, so if you need for us to treat the interior of your home in the coming months, please just let us know and we will return at no additional cost.

I may have to close my business. Will you still be able to provide service?

Yes, and we can make this process simple for you:

  • If you need interior treatment, please contact us to arrange a window of time for you to meet us at your place of business.
  • Contact us if you would like for us to provide exterior perimeter treatment, which does not require you to be there.

Are you planning any changes to my regular residential pest control services?

We do not anticipate any changes in the provision of our treatments, but in order to protect your safety and ours, please allow our technician to sign their tablet or phone on your behalf in your presence when your treatment is complete.

I’m a brand-new customer. Will you still be able to come do my first interior service appointment?

Thank you for trusting Environmental Pest Management with your pest control needs! We will gladly provide our interior treatment if your pest issues cannot be resolved from the outside of your home or business. Please note: If anyone inside your household or commercial property is ill or believed to have come into contact with someone with the coronavirus, we reserve the right to reschedule interior service for a later date.

Will you notify me if anyone from Environmental Pest Management who has been to my home or business tests positive for coronavirus?

We understand and share your concern for safety, and it is our top priority. Every employee is strictly following all of the CDC’s latest recommendations and minimizing contact with even small groups of people. Please note, however, that by law, we must adhere to the requirements set forth by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), which include the protection and confidential handling of protected health information.

Our thoughts are with anyone who may be affected by COVID-19. We will keep you updated as this situation unfolds. We thank you for allowing us to serve you and, again, encourage you to contact us with any concerns or questions you may have.

Why It’s Essential To Deal With Ticks Before You See One

Birds are chirping, flowers are flourishing, and the days are sparkling with the sun. Spring is almost here! Spring lets us enjoy the outdoors and all that it has to offer.

With the increase in temperature and sunshine, you aren’t the only one that wants to get out and relish in it. Many animals and bugs also look forward to exploring the warmth.

One of these creatures that love crawling in the woods and grass is ticks. These ticks love to latch on to you or your clothing and eventually suck your blood.

Because of their desire for your blood, it can come with certain risks. There are many things to be wary of when dealing with these organisms to ensure your Spring and Summer are safe.

Important things to consider when dealing with ticks are preventing bites, tick removal, and symptoms that come with a bite. Knowing this information will mean you get prepared for it all!

If you have troublesome pests bothering you or your family, it’s wise to meet with experts that can help you. Contact the professionals at Environmental Pest Management for any pest issues, including roaches, rodents, wasps, and more.

 a tick on a grass blade

Preventing Tick Bites

The first step in fighting back against ticks is to prevent them from biting you entirely. While ticks can get found year-round, they are most prevalent during the warmer months.

Knowing where ticks love to crawl around is crucial when trying to avoid them. Ticks live in many grassy or wooded areas. Activities such as camping, gardening, or walking your dog outside will very likely expose you to potential ticks.

If you are choosing to travel in brushy areas, consider treating your clothing beforehand. Applying an insecticide such as permethrin to your clothes will repel any unwanted bugs. Be sure to follow instructions carefully and allow clothes to air out for safety.

When walking in wooded areas, it’s sensible to walk in the middle of trails or walkways. Doing so means your legs won’t scrape grass or brush where ticks love to gather.

Once you come inside, the next step is to check your clothing for any other bugs on you. If you see or suspect there are ticks on your clothing, you can toss them in a dryer on high heat to kill them.

Be sure to wash and dry clothes in a high-temperature setting. Cold or medium temperatures won’t kill them, and they’ll continue to bug you.

In addition to checking your clothes, you’ll want to investigate your gear and your pets, if you brought them. Ticks on your dog will be harder to spot due to their fur, so be thorough.

Last but not least, perform a full body check on yourself for any ticks. It would be best if you used a mirror to help you see your body better.

Some spots that can hide ticks will include around your ears, or in and around your hair. Additionally, examine under your arms and the back of your knees. Any nook or cranny could be a hiding spot for a tick.

Encephalitis tick Ticks on human skin. Ixodes ricinus can transmit both bacterial and viral pathogens such as the causative agents of Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.

Tick Removal

Tick bites are surprisingly common. If you do find a tick secured to your skin, the most important thing to do is to remain calm.

You’ll want to remove the tick immediately. While there are many tick removers on the market, a simple set of fine-tipped tweezers will be useful to use.

With the tweezers ready, grip the tick as close to your skin as possible. From here, you should pull directly upward with even force. If you jolt or yank the tick, the mouth-part likely latched onto you will break off.

If this happens, don’t panic! Use your tweezers and carefully remove the head from your skin.

Once the tick gets removed, the next step is to clean the bite area. The bite can get cleaned with a disinfectant such as rubbing alcohol, or just soap and water.

As soon as the tick gets removed, you’ll want to dispose of it correctly. Placing it into alcohol will ensure it gets killed, and you can put it in a sealed container as an extra measure.

Afterward, keep an eye on the bite area to observe any side effects. Should you develop a rash or fever, contact your doctor immediately.

Dangerous infectious parasite on green stinging plant with defensive hairs. Carrier of encephalitis and Lyme borreliosis infections

Symptoms of Tick Bites

In most cases, a tick bite won’t have any effect on you whatsoever. The tick bite may be painless, and the tick will feed and fall off. Symptoms will come after the bite happens.

Symptoms for a tick bite vary from slightly annoying to severe complications. The most important thing you can do is spot the signs before it becomes dangerous.

Minor symptoms for a tick bite include itching, burning, and redness. These get easily identified as they happen and can let you know that something happened.

In rare cases, an individual may be sensitive or allergic to tick bites. These allergies can lead to a rash, shortness of breath, swelling, numbness, or even temporary paralysis.

More severe symptoms for a tick bite include fever, shortness of breath, headache, or vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Since ticks feed on your blood, they can introduce dangerous pathogens to you. Diseases can get transmitted from the tick feeding.

The most associated disease with tick bites is Lyme disease. This disease will get received from ticks in the northeastern U.S., upper midwestern U.S, and along the Pacific coast.

Another disease transmitted by ticks is the Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Symptoms include a high fever that lasts weeks, muscle aches, vomiting, and fatigue.

A dangerous disease that can be carried by ticks is Tularemia. Luckily, with early treatment, complete recovery is possible. If left unchecked, Tularemia is life-threatening.

As you can see, ticks can range from mildly annoying to potentially threatening. It’s essential to know how to avoid ticks, how to remove them, and signs of symptoms.

Check out our tips for naturally keeping bugs away here.

If you suspect that you have a problem with annoying pests, don’t hesitate to contact Environmental Pest Management. No job is too big or too small!

Dealing with Mosquitoes Before They Bite

When the weather is warm, we all love spending time outdoors. What’s better than an afternoon barbecue with friends and family? The only thing that can ruin this idyllic scene would be everyone’s least favorite uninvited guests- mosquitoes. 

If you are facing an unwanted horde of mosquitoes, contact Environmental Pest Management. We have the tools and expertise to squash your bug issues before they become big problems. 

nasty insect mosquito sitting on her hand and drinks the blood of the pierced skin

What do Mosquitoes look like?

Mosquitoes are small flying insects. They have a single pair of tiny wings. Typically, they have thin, long legs and a long probe extruding from the crown of their heads. 

The bodies of mosquitoes are covered with minuscule scales. The fully-grown mosquito can range in size, but generally, they stay between 3 and 9 mm. 

What do Mosquitoes eat?

Not all mosquitoes are bloodsuckers. In fact, it is typically only the adult females and only when they are working on generating their eggs. A mosquito’s principal source of food is actually nectar from flowers. 

The larvae, on the other hand, spend all their time in stagnant water feeding on a variety of minerals, organic debris, and tiny aquatic organisms. 

Some species of mosquito are predatory and have been known to be cannibalistic. 

Mosquito Facts

Mosquitoes prefer hot and humid environments. They are most prevalent in tropical areas, but some species have been found in frozen locales, such as the Arctic Tundra.

The hairs found on a mosquito’s antenna help with their ability to hear. These hairs are different between the sexes. The male’s plumes are large and feathery, and the females have smoother antennae. 

Typically, male mosquitoes are quite a bit smaller than female mosquitoes. They also don’t live as long, poor guys. 

Interestingly, mosquitoes reproduce while airborne. When experts researched this behavior, they found that the frequency and sound of the mosquito’s wing beats is one of the main attractants for mates.  

Mosquitoes can see through their compound eyes. These eyes are located on either side of the head. Each eye is made up of hundreds of small lenses called ommatidia. 

This allows the mosquito to see and perceive stimuli from many directions at one time. The mosquitoes really on this broad field of vision to help them find their prey. 

Sight is not the only thing mosquitoes use to find food. They can smell attractive gases from their host up to 170 feet away. They can also sense body heat when it is less than four feet away. 

Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Malaria Disease or Zika Virus Infected Culex Mosquito Parasite Insect Macro on Green Background

How do I get Mosquitoes?

Outdoors

Mosquitoes prefer to breed in standing water that is stagnant. If you live near a pond, marsh, or any depression that collects water, you are at a higher risk for mosquitoes. 

After heavy rains, if water collects in your yard, you may have to worry about these pests. Most mosquitoes are more active at night. Most often they emerge right around dusk and are most active at night. 

This means that as spring comes, prepare to see more and more of these pests.

Indoors

If any mosquitoes find themselves in your home, they will most likely seek out dark and hidden areas. They will then come out at night to search for food. Likely suspects for hiding places include the space under sinks, in closets, or laundry rooms.

Mosquitoes prefer to be outside, but they may accidentally find themselves inside through an open door or window. 

What are the signs of a Mosquito infestation?

The two most telltale signs of a mosquito infestation are-

  1. The buzzing of the females
  2. The ensuing bites

If you believe you have a mosquito infestation, act fast. The bite of a mosquito is potentially very dangerous. They have been known to carry the Zika virus, the West Nile virus, and several types of encephalitis. 

Mosquito bites are not only annoying and itchy, but the worst-case scenario is also a painful death.

How do I get rid of Mosquitoes?

The best way to deal with mosquitoes is to prevent them access in the first place. Prevention is key. The best ways to prevent mosquito infestation are-

  • Insect repellent- Use only as directed
  • Oil of lemon
  • Oil of eucalyptus
  • Use window or door screens
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net
  • Air conditioners or fans for high traffic points of entry

What are the most common Mosquito-borne viruses?

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne illness in the United States. The bite from a mosquito spreads it. Unsurprisingly, West Nile is most common during mosquito season- late summer through fall. 

Unfortunately, there are no vaccines to prevent West Nile, nor are there any medications to treat it. Fortunately, though, most people who are infected do not contract any symptoms. In fact, only about 1 out of every 150 people develop a severe or fatal illness. 

Reduce your risk by wearing insect repellant, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoiding mosquito bites. 

Zika Virus

Many parts of the world still view the Zika Virus as a severe problem; some include US territories such as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. If you are planning a trip to any area where Zika is a problem, be sure to take the proper precautions. 

Zika is particularly insidious because it can cause severe congenital disabilities when a pregnant mother is infected. Expectant mothers should be particularly cautious when it comes to mosquito prevention. 

 a mosquito on human skin

Saint Louis Encephalitis

This disease is spread through mosquito bites. Most people who are infected see little to no symptoms. The unlucky few will experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. 

Occasionally, a person may experience severe swelling of the brain. This reaction is predominately found in older adults. In very rare cases, long-term disability or death may occur. 

You can reduce your chances of contraction by wearing insect repellant and long layers. 

Chikungunya

Over 2 million cases of Chikungunya have been reported since 2013. This disease can be found in over 45 countries and counting. 

Fortunately, for those infected, the disease is rarely fatal. The side effects are still severe, though, often ranging from minor to debilitating joint pain, fever, headaches, muscle pain, and rashes. 

If you believe you are suffering from an infestation, don’t wait until it is too late. Contact Environmental Pest Management today.

Hide Your Acorns! Red Squirrel Facts

Curious red squirrel peeking behind the tree trunk
Curious red squirrel peeking behind the tree trunk

Red squirrels may seem cute, but they are not something you necessarily want around. You may have seen these furry little friends running along your fence or hopping through the trees. If you have seen a few too many, you have options.

If you are experiencing a red squirrel infestation, turn to the professionals at Environmental Pest Management. We are committed to the safe and humane removal of all pests. 

Take back your home and yard today. Contact us for your free estimate.

Red Squirrel in the forest

What are Red Squirrels?

In terms of coloring, red squirrels are, you guessed it, red. More specifically, they are often rust-colored. Thiers tails are usually very bushy, and their bodies are typically thin and long. 

Depending on the time of year, though, their coloring can change slightly. They can often be mistaken for other species of squirrel because they can appear brown or gray at various points throughout the seasons.

Red squirrels are curious. They appear to live exploring their surroundings and can seem quite playful. In addition to their curiosity, red squirrels are known to be fast. They are also easily startled and will quickly dart away when frightened. 

What do they look like?

Red squirrels have long faces that end in a pointed nose. Because of their long ears, they have excellent hearing. As previously mentioned, they are typically rusty in color with white bellies.

They walk and run on all four legs, but they are able to stand on their hind legs alone. You will find them in this position when they need to hold something in their front paws.

Their long tails are used to help these nimble creatures steer their way through the trees. Most red squirrels weigh anywhere from 8 to 12 ounces and are 7 to 9 inches in length.

Where do they come from?

Red squirrels originated in the United Kingdom, and they have been around for over 10,000 years. They are a protected species in their native land. 

The invasive species of gray squirrels have begun to take over locations previously populated by red squirrels. Gray and red squirrels cannot co-habitat, and the gray squirrels have slowly pushed the red squirrels to the point of endangerment. 

Red squirrel in the natural environment

Where do they typically live?

Because red squirrels are tree-living animals, you can generally find them nestling high in the treetops. Most of their time is spent in trees. Fortunately, red squirrels are excellent jumpers, so they can make their way from tree to tree with relative ease. 

The largest red squirrel populations can be found in Great Britain and Ireland, but they are also often found in Scotland and Northern Asia. 

In Northern American, red squirrels can be found in parts of Alaska and Canada. You can also find them in many of the Rocky Mountain states and some Eastern states, such as Virginia and Illinois.  

What do they eat?

Most of the red squirrel’s diet consists of nuts, acorns, pinecones, and mushrooms. They are nothing if not opportunistic, though. They have been known to feed on the bark of trees and even some forms of fungi. They will also eat insects or small frogs if their natural food source is scarce. 

Red squirrels are hoarders. When food is plentiful, they will store the excess in trees for later feedings. They are cautious and prepared for anything. 

Red squirrels never put all their nuts in one basket, so to speak. They have many food storage caches spread out in several different locations. If one storage spot is taken by another animal or destroyed, they have other stores from which to pull.

How long do they live?

In the wild, red squirrels can live up to six or seven years. In captivity, though, they can live even longer. The steady diet and lack of predators allow these animals to live up to ten years. 

What are their behaviors?

Red squirrels are most active during the day, especially in the spring and summer months. They are active in the evenings, but slightly less so. They begin gathering food for the following winter during the preceding fall months.

During these gathering months, red squirrels are at their most active. You will see them hard at work all day. 

In the cold winter months, you will only see the red squirrel in the middle of the day, and only if it is warm enough for them to come out. They do not hibernate, but they do burrow and hide.

red squirrel looking for seeds and other foods and find peanuts on garden table

Are they social?

Red squirrels are very communicative with each other. They also use body language to communicate. Typical forms of this include foot-stamping and tail-jerking. 

Each different sound or motion has a distinct meaning. The red squirrel could be a warning to  other squirrels of danger or could be used to defend his territory. 

Are they dangerous?

While not particularly dangerous to humans, red squirrels can be a nuisance. They can cause damage to your home and property. The destruction left in their wake can be avoided, though.

  • Keep trees and branches trimmed close to your house. A leeway of five feet would be ideal. 
  • Inspect your home for holes or open seams. Seal up any potential entry points to prevent entry.
  • Squirrel repellents, in the form of irritants or the smell of predators, have some success.
  • Do not use poison; you don’t want to kill the animals.

We recommend calling a professional, though, as red squirrels are often protected and should be handled gently to ensure their continued survival. 

What kind of damage can they do to my home?

Red squirrel infestations are marked by the animals creating nests inside your home. The problems come when the squirrels chew on wires or woodworks. The result can be short-circuiting of appliances or costly repairs. 

Additionally, if they build their nests in your chimney, a fire hazard may result. Squirrels may try to get inside when the weather turns colder. See our tips for dealing squirrels inside in the winter here.

On a slightly less destructive note, the loud and often annoying noises they make can be quite a disturbance. You and your family will have much less peace and quiet when squirrels are around. 

Red squirrel autumn portrait

Call Environmental Pest Management Today

If you are experiencing these or any other problems with red squirrels, fear not. Environmental Pest Management is here to save the day. Contact us now for a free quote. Take back your home today.