Spring time is bee time. You’ll see the bumblebee busy pollinating flowers around your home. You may also notice its look-alike cousin, the carpenter bee, emerging from ½-inch diameter holes in wood around your house.

While carpenter bees are late summer pollinators, they are also destructive insects. These bees spend the spring and early summer months excavating your home, creating tunnel and chamber systems where offspring are born and raised, and where the colony can survive freezing temperature in the winter.

Because carpenter bees don’t pose a physical threat – the males have no stingers and the females almost never sting – do-it-yourself carpenter bee control is something you may consider trying.

Ways to Control Carpenter Bees

From pesticides to more natural (but prospectively loud) noise control, there are a number of ways to control carpenter bees.

Pesticides

Treat carpenter bee nests with insecticidal powders, applied with a puffer than coats the hole and the inside of the nest. As the bees crawl through the hole, they bring poisonous powder with the. Early spring application of these powders work best, before the bees leave the nest to mate. If you miss the mating season, apply when you see them in the spring and then again in late summer, when the new generation leaves the nest to forage.

Aerosol carburetor cleaner

Some cleaners will kill bees instantly, while others will just make the home uninhabitable. These cleaners include an extension tube for the can, making it easy to spray the carburetor cleaner into the nest’s entry hole. Wear the proper safety equipment to ensure you do not get any of the cleaner in your eyes or on your skin.

Almond oil

Bees don’t like almond oil. Pour some in the holes and nests to drive them away and keep them from returning. This solutions works for 3 to 4 months, so you may have to repeat it or pair it with some of the prevention methods in the next section.

Noise control

Carpenter bees are extremely sensitive to noise or, possibly, vibrations from the noise. Set up your sound system near the nest, play some of your favorite music, and drive the bees away.

Pest Professional

While calling the exterminator doesn’t fit under do-it-yourself, it is one of the most effective ways to drive bees out and make sure they don’t return. The pest professional knows which products to use and can help seal up the nests so the bees don’t return.

Make Sure Bees Don’t Come Back

Once you’ve driven the carpenter bees out, you don’t want them coming back. Here are some tips on how to keep the bees away.

  • Paint or stain any outdoor wooden surfaces. Carpenter bees usually prefer untreated wood, meaning anything not stained or painted. If you have a fence or deck that you haven’t stained or painted, now’s the time to take on that task.
  • Seal off the nest. After exterminating the bees form their nest, seal up the entryways with steel wool, aluminum, asphalt, or fiberglass and cover that with wood filler. Remember to paint or stain the area to discourage burrowing.

Need help getting rid of carpenter bees before they destroy your home? Call us at (800) 235-3093 to get rid of carpenter bees now!
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How to Get Rid of WaspsIt’s usually late summer or early fall before wasps become a major problem for most people. Unfortunately, that’s really several months too late to safely get rid of wasps in the house. In fact, June is the ideal month to exterminate a recently-established colony, when the colony is still small.

If you see a wasp nest – typically paper wasp, yellow jacket, or hornet – or if you suspect the stinging pests have made a home in the gaps in your walls or under your house siding, it’s time to get rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Wasps and Stay Safe

Warning: If you are allergic to wasps, do not attempt to remove the nest yourself. Instead, call an exterminator!

Wasps will sting to defend their colony, and depending on the time of year and the species of wasp, there can be as many as 2,000 of these flying pests living in a single nest. Rather than risk getting stung – and one wasp can sting multiple times – it’s best to plan your attack on the nest before removing it.

Here are some safety tips and tactics you should keep in mind when planning to get rid of wasps:

  • Destroy wasp nests at night. This is when wasps are least aggressive and their reaction time is slower. Use a red or amber colored light to light your way, as a regular flashlight will attract the wasps to you.
  • Know your escape route. Wasps will defend their home. Have a getaway plan in mind and make sure the escape route is clear of obstacles, such as toys and equipment.
  • Dress in protective clothing. The right clothing can keep you from getting stung. Cover as much of your body as possibly with long jeans, socks, boots, and a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. Wear gloves, wrap a scarf around the lower half of your face, and wear protective glasses or ski goggles.

Destroy the Wasp Nest

There a number of ways – chemical and natural – to destroy a wasp nest hanging from your house or hidden behind your siding. No matter which method you use, when you’ve effectively eradicated all wasps from the nest, make sure you take the nest down and destroy it.

Pesticide Spray

Using an aerosol spray designed specifically for wasps, spray the bottom opening of the nest for 10 to 15 seconds. Let the spray take effect overnight. If the next day you still see activity around the nest, repeat the spraying cycle. Once activity stops, knock the nest down using a long stick, break apart the nest with the stick, and saturate the pieces with pesticide spray.

Dish Soap

A simple solution of ¼ cup dish soap and 1 liter of hot water is an effective wasp killer.  The solution coats their wings and prevents them from flying so that they eventually drown. Pour the solution into a hose-end spray bottle, and then aim a powerful stream of water at the entrance of the nest for 10 to 15 seconds. You may need to repeat this process several times before the wasps are killed.

Shop-Vac

If you have a large shop-vac and a vacuum wand long enough to reach the nest, you can suck the wasps out of the nest. Make sure the vacuum exit has a screen small enough so that wasps that get sucked in can’t escape.

Pour an inch or two of soapy water into the bottom of the vacuum so that the wasps can’t escape when they are sucked inside. Put the suction wand next to the nest opening, turn on the vacuum, and leave it running as long as wasps are coming out of the nest. Be forewarned: this noisy process can take several hours.

Dump the contents of the vacuum into a trash bag when you no longer hear buzzing noises coming from the vacuum

Pest Professional

If you’re allergic to wasps, you can’t quite identify the location of the nest, or if the nest is in an awkward or hard-to-reach location, hire a professional exterminator.
Need help removing wasps from your home or siding? Call us at (800) 235-3093 to get rid of wasps now!

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Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Have you seen big black ants in your house? If so, you probably have carpenter ants.

Unlike most species of ants, which are often considered nuisance pests at their worst, carpenter ants can do real damage to your home. Carpenter ants excavate through the wood, creating smooth tunnels, to build their nests. Over time, this can compromise the structural soundness of your home.

How can you tell if your home has been infested with these destructive pests? Here are four signs you have carpenter ants in your home.

Sign #1: Big Black Ants

Carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood, they just tunnel through it. Because they need to look for other food sources, you may find one or more of these quarter-inch to half-inch worker ants marching across your kitchen floor. Keep in mind: while the most common species of carpenter ants in the U.S. are black, they can vary in color; some are even red.

During spring and early summer months, you might run across winged carpenter ants searching for new nesting sites. Another wood-loving pest, the termite, is also winged. Termites typically have straight antennae, a broad waist, and wings in equal size, while the ant will have bent antennae, a slender waist, and a second pair of smaller wings.

Whether it’s a carpenter ant or a termite (or you don’t really care to inspect closely to figure it out yourself), run across them inside your house, it’s time to call in a pest expert to exterminate.

Sign #2: Piles of Sawdust

When carpenter ants excavate through wood, they kick out a sawdust-like material, known as frass. Crawl spaces, corners, and dark areas are the areas where you are most likely to run across small piles of frass.

Sign #3: Rustling Sounds

Especially in heavier infestations, you may hear faint rustling noises coming from the walls. This noise – which sounds like rustling cellophane – happens as the carpenter ants move around or chew through the wood.

Sign #4: Wood Damage

If you’ve seen frass or heard rustling sounds, you can look for damaged wood in the area where these carpenter ant infestation signs occurred. Damaged wood will have small rectangular window holes, which are the beginnings of tunnels that run deeper into the wood.

Carpenter ants can be difficult to evict from your home. If you’ve seen signs of these destructive pests, your next step is to call in a trusted pest professional.
Have you seen the signs of carpenter ants around your home? Call us at (800) 235-3093 to get rid of carpenter ants now!

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Signs of Bed Bugs

“Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” For children who grew up between the end of World War II and the late 1990s, this cute rhyme was little more than a bedtime wish from parents that the children would sleep well. Thanks to the prevalence of modern pesticides, bed bugs in the U.S. were virtually eradicated. Still, these hard-to-treat pests have made a resurgence in American homes and hotels. The National Pest Management Association found that while only 25% of pest professionals had encountered bed bug infestations prior to 2000, a whopping 99.6% have handled an infestation today. Even today, most people concern themselves with bed bugs only when traveling. These bugs don’t just stay on vacation, though; they can hitchhike their way into your home on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and even clothing. Bed bugs are nocturnal pests and extremely good at hiding; unless you have a large infestation, you probably won’t see them. So how can you tell if you have bed bugs? These are the top 3 signs of bed bugs that you should be aware of:

Top 3 Signs of Bed Bugs:

1. Itchy Bites? Not Necessarily an Indicator

When bed bugs feed, they leave behind bites that, for many people, can itch (although some people have no physical reaction at all). If you wake up scratching, it doesn’t mean you have bed bugs. It could be another bug bite – mosquito bite symptoms are similar – or it could be a rash. Unfortunately, a doctor can’t tell you whether a bedbug caused your itchy welts.

If you do wake up with new bites and can’t identify the source, you should look at some of the other signs of bed bugs.

What to Expect from a Bed Bug Treatment

2. Molted Skins

Actual bed bugs can be hard to find unless the infestation is a large one. One way to determine if there is a bed bug problem is to look for their skins.

As bed bugs proceed through their five lifecycle stages and grow, they molt, each time leaving behind their exoskeleton. These molted skins look similar to the bed bug itself, holding the same shape, and they are often translucent.

Look for molted skins in the following areas:

  • On the bed: Along mattress seams and behind headboards.
  • On other furniture: Along seams and between cushions.
  • In the room: In ceiling/wall junctions and along baseboards.
  • On personal items: Check luggage and other items where bed bugs may have left skins.

Free Infographic: The Common and Not So Common Places You Will Find Bed Bugs

3. Fecal Spots

Bed bugs feed on blood and excrete the waste as a blackish liquid which is smooth to the touch. The small spot-like stains may look as though they’ve bled into the material, much like a marker would.

Even in smaller infestations, fecal spots are most likely found in the following areas:

  • On the bed: Along the mattress seams, on the mattress tag, on the wood frame of the box springs, and behind the headboard.
  • On other furniture: Along seams, on tags, and between cushions.
  • In the room: Along the tops of baseboards, along the edge of the carpeting, in ceiling/wall junctions, behind pictures on the wall, at electrical outlets, and in curtain seams where they gather at the rod.

You may also find rust-colored stains on sheets or the mattress, which are the result of the bugs being crushed. Bed bugs are notoriously tough to get rid of, so getting rid of bed bugs permanently requires the right tools and knowledge. As a result, if you see warning signs of bed bugs, it’s time to call in a professional.

What Kills Bed Bugs the Best? Expert Pest Control!

Expert Pest Control, New England’s leading partner for commercial and residential pest management, helps homeowners and lodging professionals maintain the spread of bed bugs. We identify areas of concern and look for what causes bed bugs. In addition, we know how to prevent bed bugs from spreading, so we will treat for insects before a larger bed bug outbreak occurs. For more information, or if you suspect bed bugs are on your property, contact us and our experienced technicians will come out, assess your property, and begin the process of eliminating pests right away.

Have you seen any of these signs of bed bugs? For more information about pest control services in New England, including bed bug removal, request a quote below. Expert Pest Control can design a protection plan that shields your property from unwanted pests year-round. 

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Expert Pest Control is recognized for excellence by the New England Pest Management Association, National Pest Management Association, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor.

Cold Weather Drives Rodents IndoorsWhen weather reports are filled with snowy days and freezing temperatures, even the heartiest person enjoys the warmth and comfort of home. In an estimated 21 million U.S. homes, rodents – mice, rats, and squirrels – are also taking advantage of the heat and shelter a home provides.

It’s more than the nuisance of listening to little house guests scamper across ceilings and walls that’s the problem. Simply put, rodents can put your family at risk. They chew through wires, which can start electrical fires. Mice and rats carry at least 25 different types of diseases, including the deadly Hantavirus and bacteria that cause salmonella. They can even tear through the insulation that keeps your home nice and cozy.

Prevent Rodents from Moving In

The best way to stop rodents from destroying your home and health is to keep them out. Some preventative measures can be done anytime, even when there are several feet of snow on the ground. Others will may need to wait until spring. But all measures will help keep rodents outside where they belong, regardless of the season or weather.

  • Seal off easy access points. Inspect the outside of your home for any cracks and crevices that would allow rodents indoors, and use silicone caulk to seal these potentially problematic areas. If you think the hole is too small, even for a mouse, remember: mice can wiggle through holes as small as a dime.
  • Use steel wool on larger gaps inside your home. Rodents don’t like the coarse feeling of steel wool, and they can’t gnaw through it.
  • Screen potential entry points. Attic vents and opening to chimneys are easy ways into your home, but screens keep rodents out.
  • Keep up with basement repairs. Worn weather-stripping around basement windows and doors, and loose mortar around the foundation are also invitations indoors for rodents. Replace and repair these areas when needed.
  • Properly landscape. Although you may have to wait until the spring thaw, make sure shrubs are trimmed and mulch is kept at least 15 inches from the foundation.

Get in the habit of checking these areas regularly and maintaining as needed.

Evict Rodents from Your Home

Even if you’ve protected your home from rodents, cold, harsh winters can still drive rodents indoors. If this happens, you’ll need to evict them from your home.

There are a number of rodent control methods with varying degrees of efficiency, from mouse traps to poison baits to ultrasonic and odorant repellants. Even keeping a clean house is a key rodent control method; rodents may come in to your house seeking warmth, but they are kept there by the crumbs of food left behind.

Of course, using do-it yourself methods can be helpful in controlling rodents, but to completely get rid of mice, rats, and squirrels, treatment usually requires professional services. Experienced companies know where to look for rodents and have an assortment of safe, professional-grade treatment and prevention options.

Ready to evict rodents who moved in for the winter? Call us at (800) 235-3093 to get rid of rodents now!

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