September/October 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 12:36 PM

Rats Inside

Rats and Mice Are Coming Indoors

Look out! You can bet rats and mice are casing each neighborhood. Homes can seem like a paradise to these invading pests! Rodents are seeking shelter in large numbers now during the months ahead, as the weather cools. Indoors they find a warmer, drier place, with food, to spend the winter.

Practicing good sanitation and habitat modification can greatly reduce the number of rats and mice that find their way indoors. The objvtives are to deny rodents access to food, water, and shelter. This is important because rodents wander around outdoors, and then choose to take up residence where their needs are met.

Here are some important tips that can help prevent rodent problems:

  • Use tight-fitting lids on outdoor garage cans and any indoor cans that contain food waste
  • Store pet food in covered metal, glass or heavy plastic containers. Don't leave pet food out overnight and never allow bird seed to accumulate under bird feeders--every night rats and mice visit below these feeders, especially if they are finding food there. Also store human food in a way that rodent's can't get to it.
  • Remove piles of trash, junk, and lumber outdoors. Get rid of clutter in garages, basesments, and storage rooms.
  • Seal or block holes and cracks where rodents can get indoors.
  • Cut back vines and shrubs so they are well away from outside walls. Lower the height of ground cover such as iny, because tall, thick groundcovers provide cover for rodents.

If your having any issues with rodents and would like a professional to take a look for you, give us a call.


Other Pests that Destroy Wood

When you think of pests that damage wood and weaken a home, most people think of termites and carpenter ants.  But there are many other important wood-destroying pest we discover in our inspections.

Powderpost beetles are small and easily overlooked by homeowners. The first signs of their attack are their tiny exit holes, or small piles of fine sawdust underneath their holes. What makes powderpost beetles particularly destructive is that successive generations can re-infest the same wood year after year, gradually increasing the damage they cause.  Some species attack the softwoods used in structures, while others attack the hardwoods used in kitchen cabinets, wood paneling, and furniture.

Powder Post Beetle Damage

Certain insects tunnel into trees while they are still standing or just after they have been cut down, but don't reinfest wood after it is cut into lumber. Some of these pest continue to live in lumber for years and may emerge long after the home is built. They include various bores and bark beetles, and a wasp called the wood wasp. One beetle, the old house borer, attacks pine and other softwoods in eastern states; it is the only one in this group that re-infests wood and keeps causing more damage.

Carpenter bees are another pest that reinfest wood. These large bees bore into wood, often enlarging and reusing holes previously made by other bees. Wood-decay fungi, though not an insect, are just destructive as insects. These fungi, under the right conditions, "eat" wood until it is completely destroyed.

Wood-eating pests are a very serious threat to the wood in our homes. Our professional inspections can detect these pests early, before they cause more damage.


West Nile Virus resized 600

Huge West Nile Virus Outbreak

By late August, the West Nile virus outbreak had become the largest ever seen in the United States since the virus was first detected in this country in 1999. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41 people have already died this year, and infections have occurred in 38 states. The outbreak is continuing.

Birds are the most common reservoir for the virus. Mosquitoes transmit the virus to humans after they become infected, usually by biting an infected bird.

fortunately, most mosquitoes do not carry West Nile virus, and most people, even when bitten by an infected mosquito, do not get sick.

To protect yourself and loved ones, it is important that you drain any standing water mosquitoes may be breeding in around your yard, wear DEET mosquito repellent when outdoors, be especially careful at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and wear long pants and long sleeves when practical.

Tags: west nile virus, wood destroying beetles, rats and mice, Powder post beetle