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Control New Jersey Pests That Come In From The Cold

Author : Harry Ross

Submitted : 2010-10-19 14:08:22    Word Count : 1039    Popularity:   69

Tags:   green pest control, Hantavirus, Ross Environmental blog

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As the days and nights of the fall get cooler people tend to spend less time outdoors and more time indoors in the shelter of a nice warm home. Unfortunately, many of the common outdoor pests have the same idea and will do anything they can to come in from the cold and take up residence in your home. We would like to offer some green pest control solutions to these everyday pests.

Ladybugs: About the time of the first frost, ladybugs (Ladybird Beetles) may come into your home through a crack, crevice or open window. Once inside, they remain inactive until spring and do not cause big problems except for their presence, sometimes in great numbers. When it gets warm they become active again and try to find their very helpful work of eating other insects, especially several kinds of major plant pest. Some kinds of Ladybugs, like the common Asian Ladybug, can come into a house literally by thousands. You can open your window to let them out or you can collect them by vacuuming them, be careful as they can leave a bright orange stain on carpets or walls when disturbed.

Cluster Flies: The 20 or more dull, grayish, fuzzy-looking flies buzzing around your window are probably cluster flies. Every autumn they become pests of homes, schools and commercial buildings throughout much of the U.S. They look like typical house flies but are a bit larger, dull, and usually fly slowly. As fall approaches, the last generations of the adults emerge from the soil and look for a warm place to hibernate. These hardy insects can travel more than a mile for a suitable overwintering site and may choose your attic, wall voids or windowsills. They are very troublesome because of their sheer numbers. They become active again during any warm spells in winter and again in early spring, and try to find openings to go back outside. For immediate relief, the best thing to do is vacuum them up, remove the vacuum bag, seal it in a larger plastic bag, and put that bag in your trash can.

Boxelder Bugs: Several plant-feeding insects sometimes come into houses in large numbers. These include the Boxelder Bug, the Western Conifer Seed Bug and several different “stink bugs.” Infestations of these bugs are a direct result of their building up a large population on their host plants near the home they came into. Some of them will fly to outside lights out night, and then come in unnoticed when a door or window is open the next morning. Most of these are large enough to be noticed soon after they come inside.

Field Rodents Move In: This is the time of year when creatures normally found outdoors come in to spend the winter. They like the warmth and often help themselves to food stored in our pantries, such as boxes or bags of cornmeal, nuts, cereals, or dry pet food. These furry little creatures can be more than just a nuisance. Several wild rodents that come into homes in the autumn or winter spread strains of Hantavirus that can sometime result in death of humans. The largest carrier of this virus is the harmless-looking Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, which has a prevalent distribution and population throughout the United States. Wild and domestic rodents have been reported to harbor and spread as many as 200 human diseases. Rodents eat and contaminate our foods as well as chew and mess up our homes. They may interrupt our Internet access and even start fires by chewing electric wires. Rodents gnawing matches or wiring probably cause more then 1/5 of the “fires of unknown origin” in the U.S.

You can help prevent rodents.

- Cleaning up thoroughly after any spilled food, garbage, pet food or grain which attracts rodents. Don’t forget those fall decorations hung on doors or walls, and don’t leave food or water out in a pet’s dish overnight.

- Keep all garbage in tightly-closed bags

- Clean up and remove all trash and rubbish, especially near your building

- Be sure all outside doors, window and vents fit snugly, with no gaps, and are kept closed, especially at night. A mouse needs only a 3/8-inch crack or hole to get inside.

- Seal up any hole or crack on the outside of any building that is big enough for a rodent to enter. Pay special attention to places where wires, pipes or other utility lines enter a building.

- Keep plants and shrubs trimmed back at least 12 inches from the outer surface of any building. These can provide rodents food, shelter and an easy way up to higher entry points. Rodents climb very well.

- In urban settings, trim back or remove any extensive plantings of low-growing shrubs, especially Taxus or Junipers. Norway rats have a strong tendency to establish extensive outdoor burrow under these two types of shrubs.

STOP Cigarette Beetles: The cigarette beetle is one of the most common household insect pests of the United States. It can be found throughout the year, but seems to be more common in the fall and winter month. The adult beetles are oval, and 1/10’ long, and are covered with small hairs that give them a yellowish-brown color. Adults are strong fliers and prefer subdued light and temperatures over 65 degrees Fahrenheit. As its name implies, the cigarette beetle is a pest in dried tobacco either in the stored, bundle form or in cigars, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. But, it can also feed on book bindings and leaves. Referred to as a stored product pest, the larval stages of the cigarette beetle can feed on a variety of materials including grain, cereal products, ginger, raisins, dates, pepper, dried fish, drugs, and seeds. It can also infest spices like curry powder, chili powder and paprika. A serious pantry pest, their dietary range makes them very difficult to control.

Home-invading pests are a constant threat but especially in the winter. For New Jersey pest control call Ross Environmental Solutions, we will perform a comprehensive initial inspection to determine both known and also unseen pest problems then customize a pest program that fits your specific needs and your lifestyle.

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