National Pest Management Month

Pest-Proof During National Pest Management Month

National-Pest-Management-Month-LogoIt’s National Pest Management Month! As a part of the NPMA and as a local provider for pest control services we’re excited to celebrate this month of commitment in protect homeowners and the general public from household, health, and pest problems.

This April, the National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take precautions against common pests.

“Whether it’s rodents, ants, termites, bed bugs or cockroaches, pest professionals play an important role in preserving our quality of life,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We’d like to recognize these men and women for all they do to keep our families and homes safe from unwanted pests not just during National Pest Management Month, but year-round.”

Pest Season is right around the corner and April is the time to begin preparing. We all know that the warmer weather will bring unwanted pests along with it and there are a couple things you, as a homeowner, can do to proof your home this year.

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Some recommended tips include:

-Store all garbage in containers that are sealed and make sure to dispose frequently

-Give your lawn shrubbery and trees a trim and keep them away from the side of your house

-Take the time to repair any roof shingles that may be rotted

-Inspect your home for any cracks or holes that could be an entry point for pests

-Campfires are great, but make sure to keep your firewood at least 20feet away from the house and five inches off the ground

-Keep an eye out for standing water aroaaronund the house that will attract insect activity

-Try not to leave your pet’s food dishes out for prolonged periods of time

-Try to keep any crawlspaces, basements, and attics dry and ventilated

-Always keep food in sealed containers and off your kitchen counters

“As the weather continues to get warmer, pests will begin to emerge from their overwintering sites and look for food indoors. National Pest Management Month comes at the perfect time to make pest-proofing a priority to prevent an infestation during the spring and summer seasons,” added Henriksen.

Thanks to all our technicians for keeping our homes and workplaces safe!

Do You Have Termites??

How-to-Get-Rid-Of-Termites

           Spring is here and so are the termites. We’ve had a couple swarms in the last couple of weeks, so it’s time to be on the lookout. A termite infestation can be causing thousands of dollars of damage in your home without you even knowing it. Not only that, but the structural stability could be at risk. It’s important for homeowners to know some of the signs of an infestation. Here is what to look for:

 

  1. Mud TubesPicture-033

These tubes are mostly found near the foundation of the home. They are built for traveling and provide the termites with moisture as they go from the colony and food.

 

 

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  1. Wood Damage

We all know that termites eat wood and they do so from the inside out. Signs of wood damage from termites are hollow sounding, soft, and blistering pieces wood

 

 

 

  1. Swarmers and WingsTermite-Swarmers

These are winged termites that begin swarming after the last freeze of the winter. Check for these swarms and their discarded wings near doors and windowsills.

 

 

  1. Frassc8a8f771-1ce0-4e46-954a-84cdede0a916

Termites produce light, wood-colored droppings as they eat through wood.

 

 

 

 

  1. Bubbling Paint6a01630411e30a970d01630411eb1e970d

If you have cracked paint it is caused by the buildup of moisture. This either means an issue with water damage or termites.

 

 

 

If you have any of these signs, call us for more information or an estimate!

Let’s Get Real About Rodents

17lmkyj2gut49jpgWe keep talking about the warmer weather and the potential pests that are coming our way. But in these transition months between the dead of winter and the dog days of summer, we have some present pests that are still dying to get into our homes even though we are itching to get out. Rodents are attracted to structures for warmth and food during the colder months and continue to be a problem long after.

 

It’s true that nobody wants to share their home with a rodent or worse, a family of rodents (who after 30 days of age can reproduce a litter of 5-6 young) but what a lot of people aren’t aware of are the health hazards these pests pose. When it comes to rodents, there are more than 35 diseases they are known to spread. The spread of these diseases can reach humans directly from contact with rodent urine, saliva and feces, through bites, and  through handling them alive or dead. Indirectly, they can be spread through mites, fleas, and ticks that have fed on an infected rodent. Allergies and  airborne illnesses like salmonella can be caused by droppings alone. To put it in perspective: one rodent can excrete up to seventy times a day…

I know, not something any of us want to think about. But the truth is, 21 million homes are invaded every year by these vermin and their welcome sign can be as small as a nickel.

Have a rodent issue and this it’s not a big deal? Think again…

Some of the most common and dangerous diseases rodents carry include tularemia, plague, hantavirus, and lymphocytic choriomenigitis.

TULAREMIAHealth-Symbol-1024x1015

Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Rabbits, hares, and other rodents are especially susceptible and often die in large numbers during outbreaks. Humans can become infected through several routes, including tick and deer fly bites; skin contact with infected animals; ingestion of contaminated water; and through laboratory exposure or inhalation of contaminated dusts or aerosols.

The signs and symptoms of tularemia vary depending on how the bacteria enters the body. All forms are accompanied by fever, which can be as high as 104 °F. Although tularemia can be life-threatening, most infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

The most serious form of tularemia is oneumonic infection. Symptoms include cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. This form results from breathing dusts or aerosols containing the organism. It can also occur when other forms of tularemia (e.g. ulceroglandular) are left untreated and the bacteria spread through the bloodstream to the lungs.

PLAGUE

Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. It is a disease that affects humans and other mammals and is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by an infected rodent flea or by handling an animal infected with plague.

Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. If an infected rodent dies, hungry fleas will seek other sources of blood – including humans., although dogs and cats may also bring plague-infected fleas into the home. Flea bite exposure typically results in bubonic plague.

Pneumonic plague typically develops after a person breathes inbacteria-containing droplets. Patients develop fever, headache, weakness, and a rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. The pneumonia may cause respiratory failure and shock. Pneumonic plague is the most serious form of the disease and is the only form of plague that can be spread from person to person

Plague is a very serious illness, but is treatable with commonly available antibiotics. However, without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. The earlier a patient seeks medical care and receives treatment that is appropriate for plague, the better his or her chances are for a full recovery. Close contacts of patients with pneumonic plague may need to be evaluated and possibly treated as well.

HANTAVIRUS

People become infected with Hantavirus through several routes, but rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk. The virus is mainly transmitted to people when fresh rodent urine, droppings, or nesting materials are stirred up, become airborne and are breathed in by people. In addition, if an infected rodent bites someone, the virus may be spread to that person. Researchers also suspect people can become sick if they eat food contaminated by urine, droppings, or saliva from an infected rodent.

Typically, symptoms of Hantavirus develop between one and five weeks after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents. Infection with Hantavirus can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a severe respiratory disease which can be fatal. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches in the thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. The infected person may also experience headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal complaints, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Four to ten days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of Hantavirus infection develop and HPS may appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath and progression to respiratory distress and failure. HPS has a mortality rate of 38 percent.

LYMPHOCYTIC CHORIOMENINGITIS (LCM)

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease caused by lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). The primary host of LCMV is the common house mouse. It is estimated that 5 percent of house mice throughout the United States carry LCMV and are able to transmit the virus.

Transmission of LCMV infections can occur after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials from infected rodents. Infections are more common in the colder months when mice enter homes seeking warmer winter habitats. Transmission may also occur when these materials are directly introduced into broken skin, the nose, the eyes, or the mouth – or  presumably, via the bite of an infected rodent. Person-to-person transmission has not been reported, with the exception of vertical transmission from infected mother to fetus, and rarely, through organ transplantation.

Most patients who develop neurological disease due to LCMV survive. However, as in all infections of the central nervous system, particularly encephalitis, temporary or permanent neurological damage is possible.

Women who become infected with LCM during pregnancy may pass the infection on to the fetus. Infections occurring during the first trimester may result in fetal death and pregnancy termination. Infections in the second and third trimesters may result in serious and permanent birth defects, including vision problems, mental retardation, and hydrocephaly (water on the brain).

SeitzBuilding copyThe good news? Pest management professionals, like Seitz Brothers, are qualified to treat and remove rodents and their diseases your home. If you’re having an issue, don’t wait for the problem to get worse, call us today for a free estimate 888-467-1008.

 

Reference: pestworld.org

The Big Thaw

Nature___Seasons___Spring__Melting_snow_on_the_trees_069331_Ready for this snow to melt? We all are! But this warmer weather may bring some warmer problems. As the temperatures increase the amount of water from melting snow will too. Below is an article that has some tips to prevent flooding in and around your home.

The large snow depth this year holds lots of water. Each cubic foot of drifted, piled or compacted snow contains 2 to 3 gallons of water. Actions taken now can minimize future water problems.

Eave-trough down-spouts should carry the water several feet from a house to a well drained area. About 2,500 gallons of water will come from a 1,000 square foot roof with one foot of snow depth across the roof. This much water may cause problems if allowed to drain next to the house.

What to Do:

Discharge Line Exterior

Seitz Brothers Waterproofing

Move snow on the ground away from the house. Snow melt water may cause a wet basement if allowed to run down along the basement wall.

If the ground is sloped 1 inch per foot near the house, moving the snow just 3-5 feet from the house will reduce problems.

Discharge Line Exterior 2

Seitz Brothers Waterproofing

Examine and clean both the sump pump and pit.

Test your sump pump by pouring water into the pit. Make sure the discharge hose carries the water several feet away from the house to a well drained area. A

lso make sure that the pipe is on sloped ground so it drains to prevent it from freezing.

Remove snow from around rural yards to minimize soft, wet soil conditions.

Remember that a 20 foot diameter 10 foot high pile of snow contains about 2,600 gallons of water. Move the snow to well drained areas.

If you’re experiencing any water in or around your basement, call Seitz Brothers. We are fully certified and experienced! And as always, we offer free estimates 888-467-1008.

Reference: Extension Ag Engineer, Ken Hellavang  http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/

Top Photo Credit: https://www.zastavki.com

Most Common Occasional Pest Invaders

Most occasional invaders enter structures because outside weather conditions become too hostile for their survival. Learn more some of the pests that fall into this unique category.

stinkbug

1.The Stink Bug

Brown marmorated stink bugs are named for the odor they emit as a defense against predators. Adult stink bugs enter homes in the late fall to seek shelter from the winter weather. Similar to boxelder bugs, they often congregate en masse on the sides of buildings.

 

earwig2.The Earwig

Earwigs get their name from the myth that they crawl into people’s ears when they are sleeping. Earwigs tend to gather in large numbers outdoors, where they are often found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes. They can occasionally enter homes through small cracks or rips in window screens.

 

3.The Silverfishsilverfish

Silverfish hide during the day, often in tight cracks or crevices. They are known to infest paper products, such as wallpaper, book bindings and envelopes. They also eat linen, rayon and cotton fabrics.

 

pillbug4.The Pillbug

Pillbugs are often called “rollie-pollies” because they roll into a ball when disturbed. Similar to other occasional invaders, pillbugs live in moist locations and are usually found under damp objects outdoors such as trash, rocks, or decaying vegetation, where they remain hidden during the day to reduce water loss.

 

5.The Centipedecentipede

Centipedes are sometimes called “hundred-leggers” because of their many pairs of legs. They are typically found in areas of high moisture, such as bathrooms and basements. If handled roughly, some larger species can inflict a painful bite. However, most centipedes don’t pose health or property threats.

 

House Cricket6.The House Cricket

House crickets are known for their loud chirping which is caused by rubbing their front wings together to attract females. During warm weather, house crickets typically live outdoors and are especially fond of garbage dumps. They are also attracted to electric lights in larger numbers.

 

7. The Ladybugladybug

Ladybugs are also known as lady beetles or ladybird beetles. Most species of this beetle family are highly beneficial insects, but some enter homes in the autumn and can become a nuisance. Most ladybug species do not pose a health threat to humans; however, the multi-colored Asian lady beetle is known to aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Reference: pestword.org

 

The Mold Basics

Mold Basics

mold spores

Mold Spores, Magnified

The key to mold control is moisture control.

If mold is a problem in your home, you should get a professional to clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.

It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are a problem indoors, when mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.

This [guidance] provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

 

Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control

Condensation on Glass

Condensation on Glass

  • When water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

Actions that will help to reduce humidity

  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
  • Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.

Actions that will help prevent condensation

Mold growing on a wooden headboard in a room with high humidity. Click on the image for a larger version.

  • Reduce the humidity.
  • Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
  • Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
  • Increase air temperature.

Remember, Seitz Brothers offer free mold estimates, if you’re having an issue with mold in your home, set up an appointment today!  

Reference: http://www.epa.gov/mold

Bed Bugs Dos & Don’ts

Pest Control, Bed Bug

Pest Control, Bed Bug

When it comes to bed bugs, there are many myths and theories out there, but here are some helpful tips of what to do and more importantly what not to do in the case of bed bugs..

 

Do:
• Get a bed bug inspection as soon as you suspect a problem!

• Save any bugs you find. Several bugs are commonly mistaken for bed bugs including young cockroaches, ticks and carpet beetles.

• Contact your landlord or property manager if you live in an apartment building and advise them of the problem.

• Use caution when buying or acquiring used furniture, TVs, electronics, clothing, boxes, etc. These items may be infested with bed bugs. If you must take them, inspect items for signs of infestation carefully. Wash or heat treat clothing, bedding, etc. before storing them with your personal belongings.

• Eliminate clutter, especially in the bedrooms. Piles of laundry, newspapers, magazines, junk, etc. Seal discarded items in plastic bags before removing them from the infested area and dispose of them immediately in the outdoor trash.

• Tightly seal any items that you are moving out of the infested area in plastic garbage bags. Before you take anything out of the infested area (to the trash or to be laundered or otherwise treated), make sure it is tightly sealed in plastic to avoid dropping bed bugs and eggs and spreading the infestation.

• Wash, dry and store clothing, bedding, linens and other items and keep them out of the infested area until all treatments are completed.

Don’t:
• Don’t throw away your bed, furniture clothes and other personal belongings unless instructed to by your pest control professional. These items can often be treated, saving you a great deal of money.

• Don’t move because of bed bugs. If your home is infested, so are your belongings, you will just carry the problem to a new location.

• Don’t pick up beds, furniture or other items put out for trash collection. These items may have been discarded because of a bed bug infestation.

• Don’t attempt to treat bed bugs on your own. The National Pest Management Agency (NPMA) states, “This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.” The NPMA also declared the bed bug the most difficult indoor pest to control, even for professional pest managers.

• Don’t use outdoor pesticides indoors to try to treat bedbugs. These pesticides can cause serious health problems and even death when not used in accordance with their labels.

• Do not use rubbing alcohol, lawn and garden chemicals and other flammable materials to treat bed bugs. These products are being implicated in house fires around the country.

• Do not use foggers or bug bombs to treat bed bugs. They don’t work and they chase bed bugs into other areas of the structure, making treatment more difficult and expensive.

 

Most importantly, if you’re having an issue with bed bugs, call us for a free estimate today!