What To Do If You Have Bats In Your House

a Little Brown Bat in the hand of a pest control worker
a Little Brown Bat in the hand of a pest control worker

You catch something out the corner of your eye. Did you imagine it?  Then you hear the flutter. Your heart flutters along with it as you realize there is a bat in your home. 

Do not panic. Reach out to Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today.

Your first step is to determine if it is a single bat led astray or more than that. The two situations are dealt with very differently. 

Single Bat

Rescued Big Brown Bat from home

Again, do not panic. You can do this!

The bat is most likely lost and is frightened itself. According to The Humane Society of the United States, there are things you should and should not do when it comes to bats.

The bat will generally fly until it finds a perching place. They like to stay close to the ceiling and fly in a U pattern. Curtain rods and pants are a favorite, as they can hang on them.

Get all the children and pets out of the room and close off any interior door. Open all windows and outside accesswindows, doors, and skylights. Hopefully, the bat will exit by itself. 

If the bat is still there, wait until it lands before trying the next steps.

Put on suitable work glovesnot knit, as the bat claws can latch on to those. If you do not have any, roll up a t-shirt. Bats usually will not get into your hair, but a reasonable precaution. 

Never use bare hands when handling a bat. If you are worried about your hair, pull it back or put on a hat. Bats usually will not get into your hair, but a reasonable precaution. 

Find the bat in it’s landing spot. Have a plastic tub or a container and piece of cardboard ready. Cover the bat with your container and carefully slide a piece of cardboard under, covering the entire box. 

Your bat is now trapped safely! You did it!

Next, you want to go near a tree and tilt the container and let the bat climb onto the trunk. Bats can not fly from the ground, so do not release them in your yard. 

If you do have contact on your  skin from a bat or wake up and see a bat, contact your doctor. Some bats may carry rabies, just like any mammal. While rabies is always fatal in humans, it is also 100% preventable with proper treatment. 

Bats, Bats, and More Bats

Two bats in a home

What if you find evidence of more than one lost bat? Contact an expert. Free quotes are available at Environmental Pest Management, serving Minnesota in the Twin Cities metro area and surrounding suburbs, Rochester, East Central Minnesota, and several counties in Western Wisconsin (see below for a complete county list).

Minnesota and Wisconsin bats are generally one of two species: the Big Brown Bat or the Little Brown Bat.

Bats use open spots to get into your homes, such as attic spaces, wall cracks, and soffit/fascia areas.

Bats are looking for a place for their winter hibernation and a place where they want to breed and socialize. Bats have a choice when colder weather arrives: hibernate or migrate to a warmer climate with an available food supply. 

Bats are mammals but not flying rodents. Their teeth are made for eating insects and will not damage structures or wood.

The goal is to get the bats out, without harm. Bats are a vital part of our environment. Bats eat insects, pollinate, spread seeds, and are the prey of other animals, as shared by the National Park Service.

Getting bats to join other colonies is the best outcome. There are times of the year when bat removal is not possible, such as when bats are in hibernation (they would get sealed into your house, which no one wants) and after birth, while the babies are still flightless.

Inspection of your home or business will determine the course of action. You want to rid your place of bats and prevent any future problems. Bat removal is a job for professionals who have the proper equipment. 

More Information on Bats

Big Brown Bat on a Deck

As stated, bats are significant for insect control. They consume insects every night. National Park Service tells us more than $3.7 billion worth of pest control in the United States is saved by bats annually. 

Bats help control the insect population, and other animals rely on bats for their survival. “Hawks, falcons, and owls eat bats, and mammals like weasels, ringtail cats, and raccoons sometimes attack bats while they roost,” according to the National Park Services. 

Bats often are thought of blind. This statement is false, as bats have decent eyesight. The larger fruit-eating bats can see three times better than humans.

Echolocation is used for bats to “see” obstacles and hunt prey in low light, such as their prime times of dawn and dusk. Bats are curious about new objects and will fly close to check it out. 

Do bats really drink blood? Yes, vampire bats do exist and drink blood from other animals. But do not worry, vampire bats live in Latin America. 

With over 1,300 species of bats worldwide, bats are the most diverse mammal group other than rodents.   

In warmer weather, bats seek out water, such as streams, lakes, and ponds. Bats do not like the sun or heat, and that is why you see them hanging from underneath a tree or in caves. Hiding also protects bats from their predators.

Why Environmental Pest Management

Big brown bats in a house

Environmental Pest Management is a company you can trust. It provides a free inspection for your bat problem, takes care of the bats in an environmentally safe way, members of professional associations, and a guarantee of satisfaction.

Wherever you live throughout Minnesota or Wisconsin, Environmental Pest Management is here for you. We know you work hard on keeping your home just how you like it, that does not include unwanted pests.

If you have any uninvited roomates you want removed, call us. We will come to your home, create a plan for you, and give you a free quote. No two homes or situations are the same, so no two plans are alike.

Call us today.

Dealing With Clothing Moths

a moth on a pink, knit piece of clothing
a moth on a pink, knit piece of clothing

When thinking of old clothes in closets, garment bags, plastic dry cleaning bags, and moth-balls often come to mind. The clothes kept are often victim to clothing moths over time if not monitored.

If you are dealing with clothing moths and seek relief, reach out to Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today.

If you want to take back your closet and protect your favorite clothing from destruction, we have your back. Read on for our tips on dealing with clothing moths. 

Small Powerful and Mighty

Common clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) on green knitted fabric

The name clothing moth is quite deceptive. Webbing and Casemaking Clothing Moths also feast on items containing the protein keratin. Examples of these items are but are not limited to:

  • Upholstered furniture and drapes
  • Items made of animal byproducts such as fur, silk, leather, or wool. 
  • Dirty clothing (contains body oils, possible food debris, etc.)

Clothing moths differ from their brethren you see around street lamps or sometimes in pantries. While they are related, their appearance and behavior vary greatly.

These moths that don’t feed on clothes are greater than a centimeter long, and will often feed on plants. A fun fact about most moths is that they are bald: a detail that one would only notice with a microscope in most cases.

A great rule of thumb if you see a moth is that if it is over a centimeter long, it is not a clothing moth.

There are two types of clothing moths: Casemaking Clothes Moths (Tinea Pellionella) and Webbing Clothes Moths (Tineola Bisselliela). Unlike their traditional moth counterparts, they are just one centimeter long and are yellow or greyish. 

Being just one centimeter long makes these moths particularly hard to distinguish from one another. Webbing Clothing Moths are uniform in color. Casemaking Clothing Moths, on the other hand, are of the same color, but their wings are often speckled. 

Traits that both moths share are the tufts of hair on their heads as well as their size. The next feature is what sets these fabric munchers apart from their larger outdoor counterparts. Neither species of clothing moths have mouths once they are grown. 

You read correctly, and they have no mouths. So how these moths can eat clothing and fabric is the mystery here. The actual adult clothing moth does not eat fabric; their larvae do.

Hungry at Birth

Two expensive cashmere sweaters with holes and damaged, caused by clothes moths

Clothing moths of either species lay their eggs on clothing so that they have food when they hatch. According to an article written in the New York Times, the eggs are held to the fabric by an adhesive layer covering them. 

Other cloth eating insects like the Carpet Beetle will not have this layer, making them easy to dispose of with a vacuum and vigilance. The concrete coating makes them impervious to vacuuming or dusting. 

Once they are born, they feed on whatever clothing they are attached to. Among clothing moths, favorite foods are animal originated fibers, feathers, mohair, wool, and fur. They also prefer clothing that has lingering body oils or food even.  

Unfortunately, though, the eggs are not typically seen until they have hatched. Their larvae leave a web that resembles dried snot. This web is a trait of both species of Clothing Moths. 

A Bug’s Life

Macro Photography of Case Bearing Clothes Moth on White Wall

Both the Webbing and Casemasking Clothes moths go through complete metamorphosis. That is, there are four stages to their short lives; egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. 

When eggs are laid by either Clothing moth species, the gestation period is four to ten days. This time frame can change drastically, depending on the temperature they are laid in. In the winter, they can take several weeks to hatch. 

Casemaking moths will attach themselves to their food source with a silk thread and hang from it. Webbing moths will make cocoons out of silk where the larvae will feed. These cocoons are a definite sign of infestation.

Their development will take one to three months, depending on temperature and availability of food. 

Once an adult, males immediately begin to mate as much as possible. They will only live for about a month. Their female counterparts live just as long and will lay as many as 300 eggs before dying.   

In the event that larvae and eggs are found on clothing, a great DIY option is brushing the larvae off the garment outside in the sunshine. You can also take the step of dry cleaning items not damaged. 

Preventing Clothes Moths and Protecting Your Closet

Woman hands holding the knitted thing with hole made by a clothes moth

As with any pests large or small, prevention is the key to avoid infestation. However, prevention isn’t often thought of until the first holes are seen, and the moths are gone. 

Clothing moths love to be in dark and warm places, just like the backs of our closets. Mostly because the clothes are left alone, there is no light, and it is not cleaned regularly. Sometimes even clothing kept in garment bags.

Cloth garment bags are not the best idea because clothing moths will eat through them to get the clothing in it. 

The ideal maintenance plan would be moving unused garments every so often and letting light in as well. Clothing moths of either species are not keen on light or movement. This will help prevent them from sticking around.

It is also strongly suggested that the closet said garments are stored in should be deep cleaned and vacuumed periodically.

Clothes that are vintage or are not to be worn again should be placed plastic sealed containers. Vacuum sealed bags are also an excellent storage option that provides excellent protection and is a space saver as well.   

Moth-balls are also a common defense, but should only be used as a last resort as they are potentially toxic. If moth-balls are used, directions should be strictly followed. 

With good old fashioned cleaning and vigilance, clothing moths can be kept at bay. If you want true peace of mind, however, be sure to call Environmental Pest Management for a free consultation today.

They are well versed in both the eradication and prevention of clothing moths and any other unwelcome pests. Don’t let your most valued wardrobe pieces be destroyed.

Are Pests the Reason for Your Seasonal Allergies?

do pests contribute to allergies
do pests contribute to allergies

Do pests contribute to seasonal allergies? Although often overlooked, pests can trigger allergy symptoms. There are ways to lessen these irritants ranging from itchy, watery eyes to difficulties in respiration. 

Unfortunately, children are often most affected by these symptoms.

Whether in or out of your home, allergens cause coughing, runny nose, with itchy and watery eyes. In the worst cases, the allergens present can eventually trigger asthmatic symptoms as well. 

Indoor allergen triggers include but are not limited to household pests, dust, and mold, to name a few. There may be others as well. 

A trigger that may get overlooked is household pests. Examples of these pests include but are not limited to ants, bees, cockroaches, and dust mites. They are small and often go unseen if their presence is unseen. 

When you are ready to lower allergic reactions and asthma attacks, call Environmental Pest Management to discuss their assistance in reducing pest allergens no matter what time of year.  

do pests contribute to allergies

How do household pets contribute to allergens?

Do pests contribute to seasonal allergies? If you are one of the over 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, this is an important question. Mainly if you can prevent triggering your symptoms. 

What are these triggers? Outside triggers include but are not limited to mold, pollen, and grass. They will cause sneezing, coughing, and even respiratory distress that can lead to asthma.

Coming inside may not offer you and your family relief—dust and dander trigger allergies. Just as with outdoor allergies, they cause itchy watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing. 

Sadly, children are most susceptible to triggers that we live around. 

Indoor allergens can initiate symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. Sufferers may also find themselves wheezing and having trouble breathing. 

What are dust and dander?

Cockroaches and dust mites are the main contributors to dust and dander. Their saliva, droppings, and casings go into the air, causing dander that absolutely will trigger allergens and asthma if left unchecked over time. Dander contributes to itchy eyes.

Cockroaches prefer warm and moist areas. They also tend to nest where there is unattended food and waste available.

Dust mites are pests who feast on human and pet dander. Dander comprised of dead skin from both humans and animals is what is in our homes. They are also experts in pulling moisture from the air for nourishment.

These pests often tend to nest where they can find the most nourishment. An example of this would be in a bed where human skin regularly sloughs off and collects over time. 

So do household pests contribute to seasonal allergies?

According to the National Pest Management Association, the dander and waste of common household pests do indeed contribute. 

What can I do about pests and allergies

There are daily steps you can take to keep pests at bay. They may seem little but will go a long way in pest prevention. These include: 

  • food is stored correctly 
  • daily cleaning 
  • vigilantly keeping trash and waste contained

Even with maximum effort, one cannot receive peace of mind merely cleaning, especially if there are children or people with asthma symptoms in your home.

The most effective plan is to have a professional come to look at your home. The education and peace of mind provided is priceless. It is also an investment in the ease of allergy symptoms. 

Who do you call? 

If you live in the greater Minnesota area or the Twin Cities, then Environmental Pest Management is a great choice. They have been serving the area since 1986 almost 40 years of serving this community faithfully.

They not only treat homes but restaurants, hospitals, and other businesses. Their priority is to be safe and use the best methods possible for each environment they enter. Their pest solution plan leaves the environment better for all. 

The clients’ safety, health and environment are all taken into consideration to plan the best system for each case. 

No matter the client, a thorough walk through the site will be completed. Afterward an efficient and effective plan is composed. A system that respects the environment, your family and the client are set into action.  

Environmentally aware

When possible, the technicians at Environmental Pest Management will opt for non-chemical treatments. It is humane and better all-around for pets and humans, whether you are a business, hospital or a home. 

A considerable amount of effort and consideration goes into creating a plan for service after the consultation. If a chemical system can be used and is best, then it will be executed.

do pests contribute to allergies

They mean business

The dedication to service does not end at what treatments will be executed. They truly invest in the education and experience of their technicians. They are investing in licensing and training.  

Any technician working for Environmental Pest Management must be trained as a journeyman for two years before being classified as a master. The training arms them with the most updated knowledge and experience to draw on.

This gained knowledge and experience make them confident in using the best treatment that will have the longest-lasting success. 

Environmental Pest Management is a long-term member of both the National Pest Management Association and the Minnesota Pest Management Association. 

These affiliations provide accountability and access to the best minds in the industry. These memberships offer newer treatments and breakthroughs in pest management and more knowledge in the pest management field. 

The Next Step

The best thing you can do to protect your family from indoor allergy triggers is to call Environmental Pest Management for pest control services. Allow them to help you to improve allergy and asthmatic symptoms your family may face.

Environmental Pest Management has served the greater Minnesota area and the people in it for nearly 40 years. They are located in Burnsville, MN. 

In conclusion, household pests do contribute to allergens in your home. They may even cause an asthmatic trigger. The best course of action is to call Environmental Pest Management today.

A Dog’s Least Favorite Friend…Fleas

fleas
fleas

Approximately one-third of Minnesota’s households have a canine in residence, is yours one of these dog-friendly homes? If it is, your veterinarian probably warned you about your dog’s least favorite friend… Fleas. 

But your pup shouldn’t be the only one in the house dreading these invaders. The entire family can be affected. Let’s take a closer look at fleas, and see how they compare to similar bugs, like mosquitoes, ticks, and bed bugs.

fleas

What are fleas?

Fleas are tiny, non-flying insects. They’re often not any more substantial than the tip of a pen. They are generally brown or black. 

Much like bed bugs, ticks, and mosquitoes, fleas feed on blood. They often invade your home or business via a pet or rodent, and they don’t like to stay on furry animals. They can also feed on humans. 

In comparing these “blood-sucking” bugs, we can look at their physical attributes to set them apart. Mosquitoes are the only insects in this group of “biters” that fly, so they’re the only ones with wings. 

Fleas are generally flat with a tough shell. The shells are so hard that you may need to smash them between two fingernails or hard surfaces to squish. Bed bugs are generally reddish-brown in color and more round. Ticks come in a variety of shapes and colors but are usually flat until they fill as they feed.

Flea bites are often found in groupings on the skin. They appear as small, red, raised bites. You may also see a halo around the bumps. 

These bites will look much the same on your dog as they do on your skin, but they can be tougher to see on your dog because of the hair. A quick comb through your dog’s hair will give you a better look if there are fleas.

Since fleas don’t fly, they get from place to place, or more accurately from body to body, by jumping. If an infestation in your home or business gets terrible enough, you may even see fleas jumping on furniture or the carpet! 

Before it gets that bad, though, reach out to Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today to get rid of these pests.

fleas on dog

If a flea bites you, can you catch any diseases?

While flea bites are red and very itchy, catching a disease from a flea bite is very unlikely. However, bacteria can become a source of infection in and around the bite itself. 

The best way to prevent these types of infections is to not scratch at the bites. Of course, that’s easier said than done since the bites can get very, very itchy. 

If you have flea bites, the best thing to do is wash the area with cool water and soap. Hot water can aggravate the itchiness. If you are very itchy or think you may be allergic, you can take a dose of Benadryl to help.

If it’s been a few days and your bites aren’t healing or are getting worse, the best thing to do would be to see a doctor, as you may have a bacterial infection in the area and need antibiotics.

Are fleas a big problem in the Minneapolis area?

Definitely! 

Statistically, your dog will probably have fleas at least once while they’re in your home. 

Your dog may pick up fleas from other animals, from pet facilities, or the outdoors. Fleas are most prevalent in wooded or tall grass areas, but could be found anywhere – even in your backyard!

While fleas can be found year-round, they are most common during warmer months. Here in Minnesota, fleas are generally the most active April through November.

Tell-tale signs of fleas on your dog or in your home or business include:

  • Little dots, like spots of pepper, on your dog’s skin. These are flea droppings.
  • Bites on your dog’s skin or your own, usually in groupings. These will be VERY itchy.
  • Black or brown “spots” on socks when you walk across the floor in your home or business. If you look closer, you’ll see these spots are fleas.

Can you prevent fleas?

There are a few things you can do to prevent a flea infestation in your home or business:

  • Keep your lawn mowed to prevent taller grass and more breeding grounds for these little insects to hop onto your dog.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about a flea collar or topical flea treatment that s/he recommends for your dog type.

If you suspect your dog has fleas or have already found some in your dog’s hair:

  • Vacuum your home or office thoroughly – including the upholstered items.
  • Steam-clean carpets, rugs, and any upholstery that you can.
  • Wash your pet with soap and water. 

While these steps will help contain an infestation once you’ve found fleas, they are practically impossible to get rid of without pesticide treatment. However, treating a home or business isn’t something that one should tackle on their own. 

fleas

Which is worse – Bed bugs vs. fleas? Mosquitoes vs. fleas?

Both bed bug bites and flea bites display as a cluster of small dots on your skin. Mosquito bites are generally larger and usually aren’t clustered together.

Those clustered bites aren’t often found in the same spots on your body, either. 

On humans, bed bugs often bite on the top half of the body, whereas fleas usually feast on the bottom half of the body. 

You have proof of an invasion; now what?

Fleas are very tough to get rid of and can multiply very quickly. It’s close to impossible to get rid of an infestation without pesticides. You would do best to call the professionals instead of trying to take this on yourself.

If you’re in the greater Twin Cities area and you’ve been noticing these clustered bites on your dog’s skin or your own, reach out to Environmental Pest Management for a free quote. End the cycle of itching and irritation for you and your pet. 

What is a Carpenter Bee?

the tropical carpenter bee, Xylocopa latipes, sits on wood, macro view
the tropical carpenter bee, Xylocopa latipes, sits on wood, macro view

When most people think of bees, they think of honey bees, or perhaps bumble bees. But have you ever seen a carpenter bee?

There are, surprisingly, over 16,000 species of bees in the world. These species are divided into seven families of bees. Many of these bees, like honey bees, live in colonies that can grow quite large.

However, some species of bees, like the carpenter bee, live alone. If you have seen a lone bee that seems extremely large flying around, it might be a carpenter bee.

At Environmental Pest Management we take care of any bugs or creatures that are pestering you. Call us today for a free quote and start the process of getting your home pest-free.

carpenter bee

What is a Carpenter Bee?

A carpenter bee gets its name from the fact that it burrows and lives in the wood, similar to termites. Carpenter bees will tunnel into the wood, either on your house, deck, or outdoor furniture.

Carpenter bees, though they may be a nuisance, are vital pollinators. They help farmers immensely by pollinating a wide variety of plants. We should do what we can to help bees.

Many people who have seen a carpenter bee flying around notice that they are large. However, they actually come in two sizes. The large carpenter bees are Xylocopa, and the small carpenter bees are Ceratina.

The larger species, Xylocopa, are the ones associated with damage to homes and buildings. 

Larger carpenter bees can range in size from one-half inch to one inch long. If you didn’t know better, you might see a large carpenter bee and think it is a bumblebee. However, large carpenter bees have less hair than bumblebees.

Small carpenter bees are around one-quarter of an inch long. Both large and small carpenter bees have metallic coloring on their bodies with some body hair on their legs and abdomen. The males will have some yellow sections as well.

Carpenter bees tunnel through wood but do not eat it. Just like most other species of bees  they eat pollen and nectar.

Galleries

For large carpenter bees to make their galleries or homes, bees undergo a long and very intensive process. Many female carpenter bees choose to inhabit a nest that has already been built because of the work required. Carpenter bees can add a foot or two of a new tunnel each year.

The design of carpenter bee galleries is remarkably similar. A female will create an entrance that is about ½ of an inch wide then bore straight into the wood for one or two inches. Then, she will make a right and create a tunnel from four to eight inches.

From this tunnel, she will create different rooms or cells in rows. She will then lay an egg with a food ball and block the chamber with wood pulp; the female will then die. Her eggs will hatch and feed on the food left for them and grow.

Small carpenter bees prefer branches and twigs for their nests, rather than homes or furniture. However, they do tunnel and create rooms for eggs similar to large carpenter bees.

Life Cycle

There are four stages in a bee’s life. They begin life as an egg, hatch into a larva, grow into a pupa, then become an adult.  Depending on location and climate, how fast they progress through these stages varies.

New adults will leave their nest in April or May and feed on pollen and nectar throughout the spring and summer. When the weather gets cold, they will return to their gallery for the winter. 

Interestingly, some smaller carpenter bees can reproduce without a male.

a Carpenter bee drill acacia tree branch making the nest.

Are Carpenter Bees Dangerous?

Large carpenter bees look scary. They are large, hover around decks and homes, and make a lot of noise. Females do have a stinger but typically only sting when they feel threatened or have been provoked. There are very few instances of female carpenter bees stinging humans.

Males may seem more aggressive but do not have a stinger. They dart around defending a nest from pests or other bugs. 

The biggest threat with carpenter bees is that they tunnel or burrow into wood for their galleries. They prefer plain, unfinished wood. However, their galleries can become quite large and eventually can affect the integrity of your home or furniture.

Large carpenter bees will choose doors, windowsills, railings, decks, poles, roof eaves, shingles, fences, or outdoor furniture for their home.

A female carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp.) chewing into underside of table to excavate tunnel for laying her eggs.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

There are a few things to look for if you think you might have a carpenter bee problem. 

  • The Carpenter Bee Itself. Carpenter bees are quite large and they are hard to miss as they fly around the outside of your home. In the late spring and summer you will see them coming in and out with regularity.
  • Gallery Opening. This one-half inch opening is about the size of their body.
  • Sawdust. Sawdust will fall out of their gallery as they are boring new tunnels. Check for a small pile near a small opening.
  • Plant Residue or Poop. You might notice a yellow coloring from pollen or nectar left around the hole as well as brownish coloring from their feces.

Thankfully, carpenter bees are solitary. If you have one  you can rest easy knowing there isn’t a large colony to deal with.

Carpenter bees prefer plain wood free of paint, stain, or finish. In many cases, a simple coat of paint or stain will keep them away. If you notice these bees around your deck or patio furniture, an afternoon or weekend of painting will likely solve the problem.

However, if they have chosen the wood on your home for their gallery, the process of getting rid of carpenter bees is a bit more complicated. 

Make sure to keep your doors and windows closed, especially during the spring and summer months to deter carpenter bees. Examine the outside of your home and seal or caulk any gaps or openings you find.

Xylocopa violacea, the violet carpenter bee on white fabaceae flowers

Call Environmental Pest Management Today

The best thing you can do if you see a carpenter bee is to call a professional. At Environmental Pest Management, we will come to your home and give you a free quote before any work is done. We use environmentally friendly and safe products, so you don’t have to worry about your family.

Call Environmental Pest Management today.

What Pests to Look for This Fall

Fall pests are coming. We know, you’re probably looking at a cloudless blue sky on a warm day and thinking we’re crazy. Contact Environmental Pest Management and cut off fall pests before they can get started.

Most people associate spring and summer with bugs: mosquitoes, termites, bees, and ants are common hot weather infestations. You might reasonably hope and expect that fall and winter would give homeowners a break! Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Where Do Fall Pests Come From?

Bugs and rodents really aren’t so different from you and me. As the weather gets cooler, pests and critters of all kinds head indoors in search of warmth and shelter.

Whether you are a homeowner or renting, make fall pest management part of your routine checks and maintenance. You don’t want to be caught unawares by unwelcome guests while you’re worried about keeping your home warm and dry.

Eurasian Harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) foraging on seeds of cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) and looking in the camera

Rodents

Rodents are probably some of the worst fall pests to find in your home. They’re dirty, they carry disease, and they’re destructive.

How destructive? Super destructive.

Rodents can get inside the walls of your home. Furthermore, once they let themselves in, they will help themselves to the contents of your kitchen.

They can gnaw on wires, pipes, and cabinetry. When rodents chew on these things, it can cause problems with plumbing, electricity, and cable and internet connectivity.

Rodents aren’t content to destroy your home, they have to make a mess out of it, as well. One very gross tell-tale sign that you have rodents is droppings, for crying out loud.

These particular fall pests can be quite costly, as well. Tracking down invaders living in your walls is tricky and time-consuming. The damage that rodents may cause can also be very expensive.

Don’t let rodents happen to you. Prevent rodents by sealing cracks in your foundation, and storing your food in airtight containers.

Biting Insects

Here’s a fun question: how do you make bug bites even more annoying?

Bring them inside!

When fall pests that bite like bed bugs, fleas, and spiders decide to winter with you, you’re all trapped together. For them, being indoors in a house during the winter is like living with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Autumn is a particularly bad time for bed bugs, who can travel on clothes and backpacks. As kids go back to school in the fall, they can inadvertently bring bed bugs to share with their classmates.

Professionals can help you guard against biting insects by sealing your house and spraying in hard-to-reach places.

Close up macro image of Red velvet mite (Trombidium holosericeum) on a wood

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are probably the most famous indoor fall pest. Another dirty, ugly home invader, no one wants to be stuck in the house with a cockroach infestation.

Like rodents, cockroaches bring disease with them into your home. Cockroaches especially enjoy places where bacteria and decay are found. They thrive in sewer pipes, and then bring those germs with them into the homes where they seek shelter.

Cockroaches can hang out all over your house before you even realize they’re there. Fall colds and other seasonal viruses may be spread by these stealthy intruders. They are even known to trigger children’s asthma attacks.

Keep your home clean and sanitized, particularly the bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure you vacuum regularly. Find and seal any cracks in your home.

Of course, cockroaches aren’t necessarily an indictment of your housekeeping. However, regular cleaning can certainly help prevent these fall pests.

Ants

Ants enjoy a reputation as picnic-destroyers. If only those were the only places they hung out.

Unfortunately, ants are pretty much a year-round problem. 

In colder months, ants turn up in homes and can cause all kinds of issues. Some ants are odorous ants, and they may help themselves to your food. Carpenter ants can do even worse by causing structural damage to your home. 

As with preventing most other fall pests, regular cleaning and sanitizing can keep infestations at bay. Additionally, store food in airtight containers and seal any cracks in your home.

Some other ways to prevent ants is to eliminate any standing water in and around your home. Store any firewood away from the walls and foundation of your home, and don’t keep unused firewood inside overnight.

Termites

Termites are another fall pest that can get into the walls of your home and cause real, expensive structural damage.

The guidance for preventing termite infestations is very similar to the guidance to prevent carpenter ants.

Stink Bugs and Other Nuisances

Unlike the fall pests mentioned above, some autumn infestations are merely inconvenient. 

Stink bugs fall under this category. Other fall pests that might show up in your home include ladybugs, silverfish, and centipedes. 

Stink bugs don’t just release an unpleasant smell when they’re scared. They can also damage fabric such as clothing and upholstery.

Prevent these pests: inspect clothing and personal items when you arrive home to make sure you don’t have any stowaways.

garden chafer

Environmental Pest Management for Ecologically Responsible Fall Pest Prevention

Rodents and bugs want to come stay with you this fall and winter. You see there are a lot of practical, everyday things you can do to prevent fall pests. Steps include regular home inspections for cracks in the walls and foundations, and keeping clean kitchens, bathrooms, and floors.

Don’t limit these checks to your house. Keep in mind that many fall pests like to hide in clothes and personal belongings to come home with you!

On the other hand, sometimes there is only so much you can do. Fall pest infestations happen to even the most dedicated home organizers. When that happens, you need to bring in the professionals.

Don’t take on the intruders of fall all by yourself. The experienced professionals at Environmental Pest Management can help you.

We have been in Minnesota for over thirty years, and are affiliated with the National and Minnesota Pest Management Associations. Our Master Licenced Technicians bring years of training and experience to their work.

Contact Environmental Pest Management and prevent fall pests in your home this year.

Mosquitoes: More than Just Biting Pests

Even if the bite is disease-free, the lasting itch and redness are enough to wish all mosquitoes disappeared forever.

If you have gotten your first mosquito bite of the year and are dreading a season of itching and swatting, call Environmental Pest Management today. We have years of experience ridding homes of biting, crawling, and pestering bugs.

Aedes aegypti Mosquito. Close up a Mosquito sucking human blood,Mosquito Vector-borne diseases,Chikungunya.Dengue fever.Rift Valley fever.Yellow fever.Zika.Mosquito on skin

What are Mosquitoes?

Yes, we all know what mosquitoes are. They are tiny little flying bugs that survive on the blood of mammals. In all, there are around 3,500 different species of mosquitoes on Earth.

Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? On the other hand, female mosquitoes have to produce eggs and need blood to nourish those eggs.

Only female mosquitoes have the parts in their mouth necessary to suck blood, the proboscis. In this proboscis are two needle-like tubes, and both are inserted into the victim. One injects an enzyme that slows or stops blood clotting, and the other sucks up the blood.

Both male and female mosquitoes eat nectar and other sugar from plants as their food. The blood is only used as a protein to nourish eggs.

Mosquitoes are typically active in the evenings and early mornings. Some breeds are active at night and others during the day.

Mosquitoes find their victims by seeking out carbon dioxide that was exhaled, heat from bodies, or scents. 

Technically, mosquitoes are not parasites. Many people qualify them as such, but a parasite lives on the body of their host. Mosquitoes rely on the blood of their victim but do not live on them.

As annoying as mosquitoes are, there is a silver lining to their presence. Mosquitoes are a common food source for many animals. Everything from birds to bats, frogs to dragonflies enjoys a tasty meal of mosquitoes.

dad and son use mosquito spray.Spraying insect repellent on skin outdoor.

Are Mosquitoes More Attracted to Some People?

No one likes getting bit by a mosquito. However, some people swear they get more mosquito bites than people around them. Is there any truth to this feeling?

Turns out, yes. Mosquitoes are attracted to some people more than others.

Carbon Dioxide

Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. Everyone emits carbon dioxide when they breathe out, but some people emit slightly more. It might depend on the activity they’re doing, or the fact they are pregnant, but it is possible to emit more carbon dioxide.

Furthermore, different species are attracted to different levels of carbon dioxide.

Body Odor

Mosquitoes can smell you. And different people have different smells. Different compounds on our skin and in our sweat give us unique odors. 

Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid and ammonia. Things like genetics and bacteria on your skin, or a combination of both, could cause mosquitoes to be more attracted to you versus your neighbor.

Body Temperature

Our bodies generate a certain level of heat, and that temperature depends on many factors. Some people’s natural body temperature is higher than others.

Furthermore, there is sweat and water vapor near your skin that attracts mosquitoes. Different things affect how much sweat and water vapor there is.

Color

For an unknown reason, mosquitoes are attracted to the color black. Wearing dark clothes seems to attract mosquitoes and their bite.

Alcohol

Unfortunately for anyone enjoying a drink by the pool or on their back deck, mosquitoes seem to be more attracted to people who have been drinking alcohol. In particular, mosquitoes seemed to be attracted to beer drinkers.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, more blood is circulating in a woman’s body, and her body temperature tends to be higher. Because of these factors, mosquitoes tend to be more attracted to women that are pregnant. Extra mosquito bites: just another fact that makes pregnancy fun.

Mosquitoes and Diseases

It’s no secret that mosquitoes carry an annoying bite. However, that bite is sometimes more than it appears. Mosquitoes carry a variety of diseases, many of which can be fatal.

Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry are responsible for millions of deaths around the world every year. Unfortunately, children and the elderly are more affected by these diseases than adults.  In the fight against infectious diseases, mosquitoes are the number one enemy.

Of the 3,500 species of mosquitoes, most of the diseases humans contract come from only three families.

 

  • Anopheles mosquitoes carry the malaria disease.
  • Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus.
  • Aedes mosquitoes carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.

 

Interestingly enough, mosquitoes don’t only infect their victims through their bites. In cases like yellow fever and dengue, a mosquito contracts the virus from an infected host and passes the virus through it’s saliva to another victim. With malaria, a parasite attaches itself to a female mosquito and enters a human when the mosquito bites.

You need to deal with any sources of standing water to eradicate mosquitoes and their offspring, also known as future biters. Mosquitoes depend on standing water to breed. Removing this breeding ground will drastically limit the number of mosquitoes you see around your home.

Mosquito on a human hand sucking blood

Call Environmental Pest Control

If you seem to get bit more by mosquitoes and want to mosquito-proof your yard, call Environmental Pest Management today. Even if you don’t notice getting bit as often, mosquitoes are not something you want hanging around your next barbecue.

While there are things you can do at home to limit the number of these pests, the best thing you can do is call a professional. Let Environmental Pest Management take care of you and your home.

Most Common Summer Bugs

With apologies to Don Henley, forget about the boys of summer. When the temperatures go up and the days get longer, it’s all about summer bugs. Contact Environmental Pest Management if you find your home overrun with pests instead of barbecue guests during the hotter months.

More time outside in beautiful weather means you’re more likely to encounter creepy crawlers and irritating insects. If you want to spend time enjoying the summer weather without pests, contact Environmental Pest Management.

Let’s take a look at the summer bugs you’re most likely to encounter both outdoors and indoors. Some bugs are mere nuisances, while others require some caution.

cute asian baby girl has rash and allergy on neck skin from mosquito bite and sucking blood while playing outdoor

Common Summer Bugs: Example #1

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes may be among the least popular summer bugs. In the best-case scenario, mosquitoes are obnoxious pests who leave their victims with itchy welts they can’t ignore. In the worst-case scenario, mosquitoes carry illnesses that can make people very sick.

How to Prevent Them

Know the Time of Day

Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites and limit the mosquitoes’ numbers. 

First of all, know when mosquitoes are the most numerous. Sunrise and sunset tend to be these flying pests’ favorite time of day. Avoid going out during dusk and dawn if you know you have a tendency to be mosquito-nip.

Dress Appropriately

Cover your limbs when you are outside, especially if you’re some place where the bugs tend to congregate. Especially if you’re doing yard work or involved in an outdoor activity, make sure you wear long sleeves and pants.

Don’t Give Them a Place to Land

Ensure that you do not have mosquito breeding grounds in and around your house. Eliminate any standing water, which is where mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs. Any standing water, whether natural or artificial, has the potential to become a mosquito labor and delivery ward.

Use Bug Spray

Above all, the most effective way to protect yourself from mosquitoes is bug spray containing DEET. Of course, any bug spray is probably better than no bug spray, but DEET repellent is the most effective ingredient.

Closeup of a tick on a plant straw

Common Summer Bugs: Example #2

Ticks

Like mosquitoes, ticks’ impact can range from mild nuisance to disease vector, and they tend to bite more in summer. Ticks carry various diseases, but perhaps the best-known one is Lyme Disease. The more you know about ticks, the better you are able to combat their negative effects.

Cover Up

Ticks are sneaky, so you don’t want to give them an opportunity, if at all possible. To prevent tick bites, wear close-toed shoes, long sleeves, and pants when outside.

Avoid Certain Places

Don’t spend a lot of time around wood piles or debris; where possible, eliminate them completely. Additionally, try to avoid densely-wooded areas and thick vegetation. Areas like these are ticks’ favorite hideaways.

Take Precautions

In the summer, bug spray is essential. To get the most bang for your buck when it comes to insect repellent, DEET must be an ingredient. Try to find a spray that contains at least 20 percent DEET.

If you spend a lot of time outside, or are especially concerned about ticks, don’t forget the importance of clothes. Ticks can get on your clothes. In the event that you find them on clothing, put them in the dryer or wash them with hot water.

Finally, when you get back from being outside, check yourself and your family for ticks. Ticks can be very small, so make sure you check everywhere on your person and that you check thoroughly. These bugs prefer warm, dark environments, so pay special attention to joints.

leaf cutter ant macro

Common Summer Bugs: Example #3

Ants

Ants are probably the iconic summer bugs. Everyone is familiar with the stereotype of ants invading and ruining a picnic. Worse than ants appearing as unwelcome picnic guests: ants arriving as home intruders.

While many types of ants are harmless, they have the potential to damage homes. Some varieties of ants are able to bite and sting, however.

Tend to Your Plants

Don’t give the ants a chance. Make sure that you trim shrubs and branches outside of your house away from your home. 

A Little Prevention Goes a Long Way

To prevent ants in your home, seal cracks and holes in your home that would allow ants entry. Furthermore, don’t provide these insects with bait. Pick up crumbs and clean up spills; don’t leave anything behind that might draw the ants’ attention.

live house fly posing for the camera

Common Summer Bugs: Example #4

Shoo Flies

Flies are some more superstar summer bugs. Flies aren’t just bothersome; flies are gross. These flying insects may seem harmless, but they are in reality incredibly dirty creatures. 

When you think about some of the less-savory places you’ve seen flies, you can see why they’re especially undesirable. You don’t want something that hangs out in those environments heading right for your hot dog.

Keep Your House Clean

As with avoiding ants, you can prevent pests like flies by picking up after yourself and your family. Avoid leaving out anything that might serve as bait to flies (and that’s a pretty wide spectrum).

Screen Time

Screens on doors and windows allow fresh air to circulate in your home without inviting in critters. In addition to installing screens in your home, try to keep entryways closed. Avoid repeated, frequent trips in and out of the house, which just create more opportunities for flies to get in.

Beautiful summer panoramic background, banner with ladybugs and bugs on white wildflowers. Summer meadow with flowers and insects - macro.

Prevent Summer Bugs with Environmental Pest Management

Don’t sweat this summer any more than you have to when it comes to summer bugs. If you want to protect yourself, your family, and your home, contact Environmental Pest Management.

We have over three decades in the pest management business. Our commitment to environmentally safe products means you can feel good about choosing us for your pest management needs.

Environmental Pest Management’s dedication means we employ only master licensed technicians with years of personal experience. We value the communities we serve in a service area that spans counties throughout Minnesota and greater Burnsville.

Prevent unwanted and unsafe home infestations with Environmental Pest Management.

Cockroaches, the Seemingly Invincible Pest

When it comes to the creepy-crawlies, none is quite so creepy or crawly as the cockroach. The mere mention of the word roach causes even the stoutest among us to get the chills. Anyone who has ever dealt with a cockroach infestation only has one question on the mind-

How do I get rid of these roaches?

Environmental Pest Management is here for all your pest questions and removal needs. Contact us for help with your cockroach problem. Get your free estimate today. 

Before you can know if you have a cockroach infestation, you need to know precisely what a cockroach is so you can accurately identify the pest. 

A cockroach stuck to sticky paper. Home of the harmful insect. Close up.

What is a Cockroach?

The most common form of cockroach in the US is the American cockroach. The American cockroach, also known as the water bug, is the largest of all the house-infesting roaches. Considering it is named the American cockroach, you might be surprised to learn that it is not native to North America.

They are believed to have originated in Africa. There is some evidence to suggest that they were first introduced in the early 1600s on trade ships. Most likely due to their adaptability, you can find the American cockroach all over the world. 

You will know an American cockroach by its reddish-brown color, oval shape, and length of about 1 ½ inches. They have six legs and antennae. Look out, both the male and female cockroach has wings and can fly. 

As if you needed one more reason to be wary of the American cockroach, they can bite humans. Fortunately, they rarely do, but a bite can become infected. If you are bitten, seek the proper medical attention. 

The American cockroach can be the bearer of around 33 different kinds of bacteria. Some of these include-

  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Parasitic worms
  • Dangerous human pathogens

Because cockroaches are attracted to decaying matter, they frequently carry viruses or bacteria that are found in sewage and other filth. 

Close up Cockroach on white a bowl

What are the Habits of the Cockroach?

Cockroaches can be found both in and outdoors, though they generally prefer the latter. Typically, they can be found in drains or sewers or anywhere that water is readily available. 

In warmer climates, where water is more scarce, you can commonly find cockroaches in shady, humid areas- think flower beds or mulch piles. 

Cockroaches will eat almost any organic matter that they can easily find. They are omnivorous scavengers and are highly adaptable. 

They prefer meats, starches, and sweets. In a pinch, though, they will feed on such items as hair, books, or decaying matter. 

When they face a food shortage or a significant change in their environment or climate, they often move indoors. Their ideal temperature range is between seventy and eighty degrees Fahrenheit. 

The most common form of entry is as passengers on human clothes or belongings, access through pipes from the sewer, or even mass migration from dumpsters or trash cans. 

Once they enter a residence or commercial building, they often make their way to the places with the most abundant food supplies. In your home, that means your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or laundry room. 

In commercial buildings, a cockroach infestation can be anywhere. Cockroaches are most common in factories and restaurants where the high concentration of food can be hard for the swarms to resist. 

As we mentioned, cockroaches will eat almost any organic matter, but they tend to prefer fermenting or decaying material. A home with an abundance of litter or crumbs is an attractive space for the American cockroach. 

Close up of cockroach on a slice of bread

How Do I Know if I Have a Cockroach Infestation?

It is often hard to tell if your home is infested with this elusive pest. Cockroaches are nocturnal, and therefore most active at night. The hours between dusk and dawn is when they tend to travel to feed. 

Because of this proclivity to the dark, they prefer to live and hide in dark places. If the area is also moist and musty, all the better. 

When searching your home for a cockroach infestation, there are four main signs-

1. Cockroach Droppings

One of the earliest signs of a cockroach infestation is the feces they leave behind. These droppings resemble black pepper or coffee grounds. These remains can be even larger and more cylindrical, depending on the size of your roaches.

They can become so large that people often mistake them for mice droppings. The more feces you find, the more roaches you have, and the longer the infestation has lasted. 

2. Cockroach Eggs

Another sure sign that you may be facing a cockroach infestation is the presence of cockroach eggs. The egg of the American cockroach is oval-shaped. You will typically find them out of sight in areas of lower traffic. 

3. Unpleasant Odors

Many species of cockroaches emit an unpleasant odor. These pheromones are often described as oily or musty. This odor springs from pheromones intentionally released by live cockroaches or the bodies of the dead and decaying specimen. 

4. Cockroach Sightings

The last and most obvious clue that you have a cockroach problem is a sighting of the pests themselves. Rest assured, if you see one bug, you are playing host to many more unseen pests. 

Close up a cockroach on white cupboard in the kitchen

How Do I Prevent a Cockroach Infestation?

Unfortunately for those who suffer from an infestation, cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the entire world. They are uniquely adept at surviving and are even able to live without their head for a week. 

In light of that terrifying information, it is easier to keep them out than to get to remove them. The most effective preventative measures are cleanliness and barrier exclusion. 

Clean Your Area

The best way to keep cockroaches out of your home is by maintaining an unwelcoming environment. To a cockroach, a clean home free of debris is incredibly unwelcoming. 

Keep your counters, cabinets, sinks, tables, and floors free of crumbs and clutter. Clean and put away your dishes promptly and store your food in airtight containers. 

Barrier Exclusion

Cover or fill any small cracks and gaps in walls, electric sockets, drains, or switch plates. Whenever you find an opening, seal it with silicone-based caulk. 

If you find that preventative measures have come too late and you are facing a full-blown infestation, contact Environmental Pest Management today.

Garter Snakes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) with tongue out,
Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) with tongue out,

If you live in North America, the chances are that you have seen a Garter snake at some point in your life. Garter snakes are some of the most common varieties of snakes. 

Garter snakes are harmless. In fact, many people keep them as pets. Let’s talk a bit more about this fascinating animal.

At Environmental Pest Management, we respect and care for all aspects of nature. We understand that every creature has its place in the fabric of nature, even the ones that aren’t’ cute and cuddly. 

A juvenile Plains Garter Snake lies coiled in a gravel opening

How do I know this snake is a Garter snake?

Garter snakes are not the easiest to identify. They come in a wide variety of colors, but most have three stripes running down their bodies. The color of each individual snake and its stripes depends on its species. 

Some species have intricate patterns as well as stripes, making each one unique. 

Garter snakes are small, between 23 to 30 inches in length. They have been known to reach lengths of five feet in rare cases. They are often stout-bodied with a ridge down the center of their back. 

One more defining characteristic of the Garter snake is its dual-colored tongue. Some of the species of Garter snake possess a mild neurotoxic venom, but even those bites are not dangerous to humans.  

There have been some cases of mild swelling and itching in humans after a bite. Allergic reactions are rare, but they can happen. If you are bitten, you need to clean the bite immediately and thoroughly. 

Where do Garter snakes live?

The answer is, almost anywhere. Garter snakes are not picky in their preferred habitat. You can find them in meadows, woodlands, grassy knolls, and anywhere that is close to a source of water. 

The Garter snake can be found all across the North American continent. The largest population concentration of this snake can be found in the Eastern United States. In fact, it is the state reptile of Massachusetts. 

Interestingly enough, Garter snakes have been spotted in the Northernmost US state, Alaska. Alaska has no native snakes, so these appearances are a bit of a mystery. 

A Common Garter Snake coiled up on a boardwalk.

Garter Snake Habits

Garter snakes are shy. They will generally avoid humans and animal contact and prefer to be left alone. If you have Garter snakes in your yard or garden, chances are you may not even know. 

Garter snakes are incredibly active. They come out both night and day. They are typically ground-dwellers, but they may also climb shrubs, vines, or trees to escape predators. 

Some species of Garter snakes are even proficient swimmers. 

Whenever a Garter snake feels threatened, they produce a foul-smelling musk. They use this odor to defend themselves against predators. This musk comes in handy because the Garter snake has many predators.

Some of the common predators of the Garter snake include-

  • Hawks
  • Crows
  • Bears
  • Bullfrogs
  • Snapping turtles
  • Foxes
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons

The species of Garter snake that live in colder climates spend their winters in hibernation. They gather in large groups and hibernate together in hidden dens. These clusters of Garter snakes can number into the hundreds.

Garter snakes will travel great distances to hibernate in their particular communal den. Some dens in Canada can contain thousands of snakes.

Garter snakes make excellent pets. Their small size and daytime activity level make them the ideal pet for someone who wants a snake. They are small enough that even children can hold them with an adult nearby. 

If you are considering adding a Garter snake into your family, don’t catch one from the wild. Depending on where you live, that practice might be illegal. 

Instead of facing the potential backlash that can come with the dangerous and potentially illegal catch, contact a pet store or breeder. You can even try to find a rescue organization. 

You can feel good in the knowledge that you have given a second chance to an animal that probably needed it. 

For your new pet, you will need a 40-50 gallon aquarium. Make sure it has a lid that can be secured. Your snake will need fresh water, and you will need to keep the tank in a warm place. 

Consider purchasing a heat lamp to keep your new critter warm. It would be best if you fill your new pet’s habitat with rocks and a bed of shredded paper. Just make sure you change the paper frequently. 

Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) basking

Garter Snake Diet

Garter snakes feed on all the pests that you would like to disappear. Some of the principal sources of food for a Garter snake include-

  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Grasshoppers
  • Small insects
  • Small rodents
  • Worms
  • Frogs
  • Salamanders
  • Fish
  • Tadpoles

The neurotoxin found in the venom of Garter snakes can cause paralysis in their prey. They use their quick reflexes and sharp teeth to help them catch their prey. Like most snakes, Garters swallow their food whole. 

Garter Snake Reproduction

Peak Garter snake mating season occurs congruently with the hibernation period. Large concentrations of Garter snakes emerge from their communal dens. They also gather together in large numbers right before the hibernation period begins. 

For Garter snakes that live in warmer climates, they don’t hibernate. For those species, instead of a mating season tied to hibernation patterns, they rely on pheromones to find mates. 

The female Garter snake puts off a strong-smelling pheromone, which will attract dozens of males. After the mating is complete, the female snake carries the sperm inside her body until she is ready to fertilize her eggs. 

She will give birth to anywhere between 20 to 40 babies at a time. Garter snakes birth live young. The baby snakes are pretty much on their own right away. 

A garter snake crosses across rough pavement.

Garter snakes are incredibly common, but thankfully they are not dangerous for humans. Humans and Garter snakes can live in relative harmony together. 

If you have questions or concerns about Garter snakes or any other pests, contact Environmental Pest Management. We will make your pest problems our pest problems, and taking care of pest problems is our business.