Archive for Pest Control

Fascinating Facts About Mice

Mouse 300x158 Fascinating Facts About MiceWidely considered a major pest by homeowners, mice are actually fairly intelligent and social. This explains in part how they so often gain entry to homes and once there, continue to proliferate quite rapidly. Though you may not want them infesting your attic, basement, walls or rafters, these rodents are quite fascinating little animals.

Explorers 

Mice are determined little explorers, masters of squeezing through tiny crevices or balancing on thin pieces of rope or wire. They can even climb up rough vertical surfaces, survive falls of 3 to 4 meters without suffering injury, jump almost 18 inches and swim expertly. It’s easy to see how they can ferret out an entry to many homes and garages.

Homes

Though they are associated with dirty, pest-ridden spaces, mice themselves are actually clean, organized and tidy as far as their own living quarters are concerned. Their homes, whether underground or within a structure, have specific areas for food storage, shelter and toileting. Homebody types, mice like to stay close to their nest and seldom venture further than 3 to 8 meters in search of food. They are very territorial and like to have a large area they consider their own, hopefully not within your house!

Communicating

Tiny as they are, mice have been found to have several forms of communication with other mice. While wild mice are timid around humans, they are very social with other mice and are even thought to have different facial expressions to communicate different emotions. The sounds they use to communicate may be audible to humans or may be ultrasonic.

Getting Around

Mice’s whiskers are amazingly sensitive, helping them sense rough and smooth edges, changes in temperature and wind direction. This helps them determine changes in ground terrain. Mice like to sleep during the day and play or forage at night, which is why unhappy homeowners can hear the little critters rustling around in attics and eaves after dark.

Not Just Cheese

Contrary to cartoon depictions, mice are actually omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and meat. The house mouse, as many homeowners can attest, will eat just about anything it can find. Mice eat an amazing 15 to 20 times a day, which explains why they prefer to live where food sources are readily accessible, including human homes. They can even be little cannibals, eating other mice if food is scarce.

Nesting

If your home has a mouse population, you may notice chewed up books, insulation, wire and papers. The mice are not eating these items; rather they are using the tiny, chewed up pieces as material to make their nests. Female mice mate for the first time at around the age of 4 to 7 weeks, carry the young for 19 to 21 days and may give birth to four to 12 babies, known as pinkies or pups. A female mouse can have a new litter every three weeks, meaning a mouse population in your home can increase rapidly.

While there are many fascinating facts about mice, you probably want to keep your home free of these pesky little creatures. To talk to a professional, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344. The experts at Clegg’s can help you identify any potential entry points to provide protection against an invasion of these pesky little creatures.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse

It’s Autumn. Time for the Soldier Beetles!

SoldierBeatle 300x200 It’s Autumn. Time for the Soldier Beetles!As the end of the year rolls around, soldier beetles begin to make their presence known around the yard. They are harmless to plants and people, but soldiers tend to try to find their way inside the home for winter survival. Without the right home protection in place, you may find yourself fighting off a swarm of soldier beetles.

Identifying the Insect

Pictures or professional inspection is the easiest way to determine if a bug is, in fact, a soldier beetle. It can be easy to confuse insects because there are so many types that seem fairly similar. This particular bug was named because the soft wing covers resemble a soldiers uniform. In addition, the beetle is an average of 1/2 inch long with a soft, thin body. It is very similar to the appearance of the lightning bug with varying wing colors. The most common place that they are noticed is hanging out on their favorite flowers, such as the goldenrod.

Not as Frightening as they Seem

Soldier beetles look like they could give quite the bite if given an opportunity. However, they actually pose no threat to people or animals because they feed primarily on pollen. Clever gardeners welcome these tiny critters to assist with pollination and feeding on other small pests that can destroy plants. Their defense mechanism for outdoor survival against large predators is the natural secretion of chemicals. Simply put, these beetles are far from destructive.

Protecting your Home

A friendly bug is still a bug at the end of the day, and they have no place inside your home. Do not expose your family to an infestation by allowing soldier beetles to slip in between the cracks when cool weather rolls around. Protect potential entry points with caulking, weatherstripping, and completely sealing any crevices that allow entry. Do not leave doors or windows open for long periods of time.

For more information or to control the soldier beetle population at your home, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

That Bed Is Mine! How to Rid Your Bed of Bed Bugs

1024px Bed bug Cimex lectularius 300x210 That Bed Is Mine! How to Rid Your Bed of Bed BugsNobody wants to deal with bedbugs in the home. Not only are they dirty, but also they can create itchy bites on the body while you are sleeping. Although bedbugs are most often found in hotels, they may get into your home as well. Knowing how to address this problem successfully will give you confidence and the ammunition you need against these irritating bugs.

Noticing an Infestation

You may first be wondering if you have an infestation. Your first clue will most likely be itchy red welts that typically appear first around the ankles and waist, where clothes are tighter fitting. As you look around your bedroom, you may notice several other signs that point to bedbugs. You may wake up to red blood spots on your sheets. When you inspect your mattress, furniture and carpeting around the bed, you may notice small brownish spots from bedbug feces as well as from their shed skins.

How to Start

You can do a couple things yourself to begin the fight against these offensive insects. First, wash all of your bedding, curtains and clothing in hot water. If you have anything in your home that cannot be washed, such as shoes or stuffed animals, you should put these in the dryer on high for a half hour. Second, you will need to eliminate as many bedbug hiding places that you possibly can. Repair cracks in your walls, glue wallpaper back to the wall if it is peeling and clear excessive clutter away from your bed.

Professional Help

However, it is virtually impossible to get rid of bedbugs completely without the help of a professional exterminator. You may be able to eliminate some bedbugs yourself or take away their favorite hiding places, but a complete extermination is necessary to prevent a larger bedbug problem in the future. The exterminator will be able to inspect your residence to find where the bedbugs are hiding and can recommend the best course of action. He or she may use a chemical treatment, called a pesticide, or may use some other method, such as heat.

If you have any questions about bedbugs or if you are in need of pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344. Clegg’s has the knowledge and experience to take care of your bug infestation.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bug

Eradicating your home of beetles. And no, we don’t mean John, Paul, George and Ringo

800px Drawing 1 300x286  Eradicating your home of beetles. And no, we don’t mean John, Paul, George and RingoFew bands in the world hold as many world records as The Beatles, but listening to their music and seeing beetles running loose are two very different things. There are several different varieties of beetles found in North Carolina and parts of the south. Japanese beetles are a common pest found outside in gardens and on lawns, but you may also encounter the bugs living in your closets and eating the food in your pantry. Though you might feel tempted to treat the problem yourself, working with a professional exterminator is a far better option.

How to Get Rid of Beetles Naturally

Getting rid of beetles in your house involves a few steps. You need to completely and thoroughly vacuum all areas of your home, identify how the beetles came into your home and wash everything with fabric or upholstery. You’ll also need to use some chemical sprays that have a risk of causing a fire when exposed to a heat source or flame. To remove beetles outside, you need to use insecticides, get rid of anything that attracts the beetles and spot check your lawn regularly.

Do These Remedies Work?

While home remedies do work, those remedies only work to a certain point. One of the newer devices on the market is a beetle trap that attracts the bugs and leaves them trapped inside. The problem with this device is that it often worsens a simple infestation and attracts more bugs to your home or lawn. Other natural remedies do well at treating the beetles you already have, but those remedies won’t work on any new insects gaining access to your home. Even if you use multiple treatments, you may still encounter problems in the future.

Why You Need a Professional

Bug bombs and other insecticides that you can buy at home and garden stores kill adults and babies, but those products may not work on any eggs left behind by the bugs. Improper use of those products can also make you, your family and even your pets sick. Working with a professional company guarantees that you keep your family safe and take care of your beetle problem. Clegg’s Termite & Pest Control has years of experience removing beetles, bed bugs, termites and other common insects. Contact Clegg’s online or by phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetle

Mice are only cute in the movies! How to remove mice from your home

1280px Мышь 2 300x158 Mice are only cute in the movies! How to remove mice from your homeMickey Mouse and Stuart Little rank as two of the cutest fictional mice in history. Though you might love watching movies and cartoons featuring those characters with your kids, you probably won’t love the mice living in your walls. Mice often move inside when the temperature drops and when they feel threatened in their natural habitats. Using mouse traps is a popular solution, but many people don’t want to stumble across mice caught in those traps. You can get rid of the mice living in your home without using any of those old and outdated traps.

Block Off All Entrances

Did you know that some types of mice can fit through an opening roughly the size of a nickel? All it takes is one open entrance to your home to see an infestation. Though you might think that you only need to look at openings on the first floor, mice can reach the upper floors by climbing up trees and the walls of your home. You can fill the opening with cotton balls and attach a metal screen over the front and back of each hole. Blocking off the entrances will keep new mice out, but you’ll still need to deal with the existing mice.

Rely on Natural Remedies

Some natural remedies may take care of your mice problem. If you have a cat, move the litter box near a window or door. The smell of the urine in the litter box will repel mice and move them away from your home. Peppermint oil may also get rid of mice. Mice find the strong scent repelling and may leave your home when you use it. Sprinkle a small amount of the oil near your front door, by your windows and around the outside edges of your house.

Call for Help

Some people swear by humane traps that keep the mice tucked inside alive, but you still need to find a place to dump those traps and hope that the mice won’t come back. Others claim that electronic sound machines work effectively. These machines release a strong noise that might send mice scurrying. The experts at Clegg’s Termite and Pest Control know that nothing works as well as professional extermination. Even if you use a combination of home remedies, those mice can keep coming back during every cold snap. Contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse

Spiders? Man, Not All of Them Are Super Heroes! How to Get Rid of Them

1280px Araneus diadematus web 1 300x199 Spiders? Man, Not All of Them Are Super Heroes! How to Get Rid of ThemAlthough Peter Parker managed to get super powers after being bitten by a spider, few average citizens get that lucky. Many spiders are harmless, and none specifically seek out humans to prey upon. In fact, spiders do a great service toward humans by preying on other pests and depleting the populations of insects such as flies and mosquitoes. However, spiders don’t belong in your home, and some spiders can be dangerous.

Black Widows

A black widow spider has a venomous bite that, while seldom fatal, can cause humans to become quite ill. Black widows are small, black spiders with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the abdomens. A black widow’s bite feels similar to a pinprick, and many people do not notice the bite at first. Symptoms of a black widow bite include:

  • Red marks and swelling at the location of the bite
  • Chills and fever
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Brown Recluse

The other common dangerous spider in North Carolina is the brown recluse. These medium to small brown spiders can be identified by a fiddle-shaped mark on their backs, a mark that has given them their nickname “fiddleback spiders.” A bite from a brown recluse is generally accompanied by mild stinging. Within eight hours of the initial bite, the victim often experiences intense pain as well as a deep reddening of the area that was bitten. Usually, a blister will form and then fall off, leaving a deep ulcer. The bite may also cause rash or fever.

As is suggested by their name, brown recluse spiders do not generally live in heavily trafficked areas. Bite victims of the fiddleback spider are often bitten when sorting through storage areas that haven’t been disturbed in a long time.

Spider Infestations

Usually, spiders live outdoors, and most of the time, spiders won’t bother humans. However, if you notice spiders in your home, you need to make sure your family is safe. First, make sure the spider isn’t dangerous. If you notice a black widow or brown recluse, kill it immediately. If you are bitten by one of these spiders, seek immediate medical attention.

If you need assistance with a spider infestation or other pest problem, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

Why Do Cicadas Make Noise at Night?

800px Tibicen linnei 300x268 Why Do Cicadas Make Noise at Night?If you’re used to hearing cicadas sing at night, you may be interested to know that these creatures actually qualify as one of the loudest insects to be found anywhere in the world. The sounds that they make are far from random, though. Cicadas make their clicking and chirping noises quite intentionally, and they serve a very specific purpose. The songs are a mating call.

An Incredible Range and Population Density

Males make these calls in order to draw females toward them when they need to mate. Due to their high volume, the females can actually hear the sound at an astounding distance of roughly a mile from the male. The distance is for a single cicada, but as those living in North Carolina and along the east coast know, it is very rare to hear just one of these insects at a time. They are usually packed into dense groups, with all of the males competing with each other as they call for the females. In fact, estimates have shown that a single square mile can often hold up to one billion of these insects. Yes, you read that correctly . . . one billion.

How Do They Make These Sounds?

For those interested in the anatomy of cicadas, the insects have what is known as a tymbal. This is a device that can be compared to a drum or a plate, and is white in color. To make the sound, the cicadas cause this device, which is located near their abdomens, to vibrate.

The Cumulative Volume

The reason many people consider these insects to be pests when they rise up in a chorus, all trying to find a mate, is that the cumulative volume of the whole group of cicadas can be as loud as a lawnmower engine with the throttle pushed all the way down – or louder. Some studies have shown that they can reach an overall volume of 100 decibels. Though the mating period for cicadas is only a couple of weeks, the sound can keep people awake until sunrise, and quickly grow overwhelming.

Contact a Professional

If you would like to learn more about cicadas, pest control methods, or anything else about these common North Carolina insects, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada

Why does a water bug like water?

1024px Wasserläufer bei der Paarung crop 300x250 Why does a water bug like water?Water bug is a term that is used loosely to refer to many types of cockroaches. However, only bugs that belong to the order Hemitera are true water bugs. Aquatic in nature, water scorpions and water boatmen are examples of bugs that love water and use their feet as paddles. Other examples include giant water bugs, creeping water bugs and back swimmers. Oriental cockroaches are a type of water bug that may sometimes be found inside homes. As indicated by the name, water bugs are typically discovered near water sources such as pipes and areas in which humidity levels are high.

Why Water Bugs Love Water

In general, water bugs require two basic things to survive. Like virtually all living organisms, these insects require food, but remaining hydrated is especially important. Therefore, water bugs tend to stay close to sources of vital moisture wherever they can find it. Some interior areas water bugs like to frequent include bathtubs, sinks and damp, dark areas places like basements and crawl spaces. In outdoor settings, water bugs live near decaying organic matter such as dead leaves and fallen trees. When water bugs enter a home, it is typically because they are seeking food and/or water, oftentimes when conditions outside are unbearably wet or cold.

Discouraging Infestation

Moisture control is obviously an important first step toward not attracting water bugs into the home. Areas that have abnormally high moisture levels should be addressed by sealing leaks, implementing proper ventilation and allowing the area to adequately dry after a flood. Leaky pipes should be corrected to avoid potentially causing molding and rotting in surrounding areas. Sanitation is also significant in preventing infestation. Because water bugs may feed on mold, any mold infestation should also be completely eliminated. All food should be stored in air tight containers. In areas surrounding the home, mulch should be kept to a minimum. Trimming shrubs and vegetation around the house can also discourage bugs from finding concealment and a possible food source near entry points to the home. To provide a physical barrier, cracks in exterior walls and other potential entry points should be sealed with caulk.

Calling on the Professionals

Households that have difficulty preventing an invasion of water bugs should enlist the services of a pest control professional who is qualified to examine the home, offer additional suggestions that may help secure the home and, if necessary, reduce the population of water bugs that have gained access. To contact a professional pest control service that can take care of keeping water bugs away, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.

 

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemiptera

What to love about lovebugs?

Lovebugs 300x269 What to love about lovebugs?Lovebugs are known for their large populations on the East Coast, including North Carolina into Florida. With their affectionate name, you’d imagine lovebugs were welcome insects, but these tiny flies are more pests than helpers inside or outside the home. If you find yourself with an infestation, calling the professionals may be your only reprieve unless cold weather is on its way.

Why are they called “Love” Bugs?

The lovebug, is actually called Piecia nearctica and it is a member of the family of march flies. They have been dubbed “lovebugs” because of their in-flight mating. These pests pose no threat to the environment or people as they do not bite or sting. The only time that they cause problems is when the weather warms up and then they become a nuisance.

Not Man’s Best Friend

Lovebugs cluster into huge swarms. You may see them on the road as you drive home. The flies smash against cars, damaging paint and hindering radiator use as their bodies cover the cooling element. Drivers are also bothered by poor vision because the Lovebugs remain stuck on the windshield.

The Buzzing with Bees

Lovebugs don’t just bother humans. They also hinder pollination. Bees look for flowers each day to collect nectar. As the bees visit each flower, pollen sticks to their hairs, allowing them to cross-pollinate with other plants. If a bee sees a plant and flower that’s infested with Lovebugs, however, the bee avoids the area entirely.

All out of “Love”

Unfortunately, Lovebugs do not respond to insect repellents containing DEET or citronella so the best way to keep Lovebugs out of your home is through barriers. Repair any broken screens and keep doors closed to stop these flies from entering. Your car may have many Lovebug victims on the windshield, but if they get into your home, they will be bothersome and they will not show you too much “love”.

For more tips or for professional assistance, contact Clegg’s online or by phone at 888-672-5344.

 

No More Masked Creatures! How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Shed!

800px Raccoon climbing in tree   Cropped and color corrected 291x300 No More Masked Creatures! How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Shed!If you are a resident of North Carolina, you are likely no stranger to raccoons. These mammals are common in yards and properties across the state and can even be a nuisance to many. They might go through your trash, attempt to get into your shed or even dig up your garden. So how can you keep these pesky critters away from your trashcans, garden and shed? Here are a few recommendations:

Turn on the Lights

One of the ways that you can keep raccoons away from areas on your property, like your shed, is to install bright lights. Raccoons are nocturnal; thus, they tend to shy away from areas that are too bright. Though light will not be a total cure-all to your raccoon issue, you will certainly find that it will deter them from coming near. Remember, the brighter the light, the better this method will work. Noise can also work, but at night, this can be disruptive to your neighborhood.

Try Some Repellants

You will find a number of over the counter repellants on the market that are made for raccoons. Keep in mind that not all of these products are effective for all raccoons. For instance, if you have a nesting mother with babies, a product containing the scent of male raccoon urine can work well. This works because mother raccoons know that males will attack and kill the young. Other repellents that may work include ammonia and bleach. Keep in mind, however, that these substances can be dangerous to neighboring plants or other areas in your yard.

Remove Food Sources

Raccoons will not go into areas where there is nothing for them, especially food. So, it is important that you take the time to remove any food sources that they might be attracted to. For instance, if you are having problems with raccoons getting into your shed, find out why they are going in there. Food is a great motivation for them. They will be attracted to garbage, birdseed, pet food and anything else that they can eat. By removing the food, they will have no reason to get into the shed.

Cover Access Points

And last, you should take steps to cover any access points, if possible. Even small holes or access points into a shed can be large enough for raccoons to enter. Though raccoons might look large, they can still get into very small spaces.

If you have more questions about keeping raccoons away or need professional assistance, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.

Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon