Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Raccoons - Signs Of Their Presence

Raccoons are fairly large animals. They range in size and weight from 12 - 36 pounds and their bodies can range from 26 - 38 inches long, including an on average 10-inch tail. Raccoons can be found in great numbers in both urban and suburban environments. In urban areas, for example, raccoons can reach densities of 100 or more per square mile. They are highly adaptable and will eat whatever is available, such as fish, birds, insects, worms, crops, acorns, fruit, seeds pet food and garbage in garbage cans/dumpsters. It's little wonder that more home owners are having encounters with them.

Raccoons are not territorial; they make homes in a number of areas covering a distance of about one mile in diameter. If there is a good feeding area though, they will fight to establish dominance. Some places they make their home are up in trees, tree cavities hollow logs, rock crevices, sewers, abandoned autos and burrows. Often they make their way to residential properties such as chimneys, attics, crawlspaces, porches, sheds, and garages. So how can you tell if its raccoons in or around your home?

                                                                 



                                                Signs of Raccoons                   


Here are a few things to look for to determine if you have raccoons in and around your property:

  • Visual sightings - if you are seeing them walking about in or around your yard, they may be nesting in or on your property, or may be dining on garbage, bird seeds or pet food left outside.
  • Feces(scat) - feces are usually dark, tubular 2.75-5.9 inches long with blunt ends. Often it can be found on lawns, base of trees and on the flat part of a roof or in the valley of the roof. If found on the roof its usually in front of where they're entering the structure.
  • Tracks - like people, they are flatfooted. All four paws have five abnormally long toes. Their tracks are generally described as miniature human footprints with the exception of abnormally long toes.
  • Lawn damage - in their efforts to find and eat grubs, worms, snails and other insects, raccoons  roll up large areas of grass, damaging many sections of the lawn. If raccoon traffic is heavy a trail will be left in the grass.
  • Crop damage - if you grow corn, you'll find plenty that are partially eaten as well as broken stalks. Watermelons too will be damaged in the form of holes in the rinds as raccoons will eat the seeds and flesh of the watermelons. Blueberries, blackberries etc. are also on the menu.
  • Sounds - sounds include hisses, grunts, barks, and growls. When attacked they make a series of piercing snarling screams. The young pups especially make lots of noise; their cries are often mistaken for birds. Home owners often report loud thumping and banging sounds in the attic which is due to the raccoons movement, fighting or playing.
  • Fish ponds - they love fish and have been known to raid fish ponds. The raid generally occurs at night often resulting in damage to plants in the ponds when raccoons struggle to catch the fish.
  • Garbage cans - home owners also report that their garbage cans are knocked over and garbage is found all over the ground.
                                                                Call the Pros

If you experience any of these signs, then you have raccoons. They may appear to be cute and friendly, but remember they are wild animals and can be very aggressive. They are the primary carriers of rabies and roundworms. The feces can harbor the eggs of Baylisascaris procyonis, a dangerous species of roundworms.

If you have any encounters with raccoons, or suspect you have them anywhere in your home or on your property, call EM Pest Control immediately at 516-455-6742. We safely and humanely remove them from your property. At EM Pest Control, we don't kill the animals we capture, instead we move them five (5) miles from the captured site and release them, safe and sound.

                                                                             
                                                                             



For more information on wildlife or any other pests visit our website www.empestcontrol.com

If you're buying a home and need a home inspection to determine the condition of the house and possible wildlife issues visit www.closerlookpi.com 








Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How To Prevent Mice In Residential Homes

House mice are in the top 5 most common pest in and around residential homes. Mice infestation is not getting better, but worse. Why are mice such a problem in both urban and suburban areas? One main reason is their ability to breed rapidly, for example, according to the National Pest Management Association under their very informative Field Guide, mice reach sexual maturity in 35 days. They're ready to mate when 6-10 weeks old. How long is pregnancy? an average of just 19 days. The average litter size is anywhere from 5-8 mice. This means that a female mouse can have a new litter of mice about once every 40-50 days!

Other facts are that mice can climb very well, and can run up roughened walls with ease. Its no problem for them to run up the sides of brick or concrete exterior walls and into a cracked or open window. They too can run across ropes and wires easily, even upside down. They can jump up at least 12" high and without injuring themselves jump down 8 ft. Mice can even fit through holes no bigger than a quarter.



                                 Outside Life

Outside mice adapt very well, even thrive. They can be found quite abundantly in open fields living in burrows, vegetative debris and hollow trees. Because they're nocturnal by nature this allows them to avoid predators like birds and stray cats. They also make their homes in yards making their way into garages, stored firewood, old unused vehicles and broken concrete slabs. They can also survive extreme temperatures. With all these above mentioned abilities, how can mice infestations be prevented in residential homes?

                                 Prevention

Like humans, mice want to be warm and sheltered from the dangers of the outside world.  To prevent mice from invading your home and even your outside property, start with a thorough inspection. Mice thrive in clutter as do most pest. Keep your yard clean from vegetative debris, and unused stored items. If mice can't hide from their predators they're least likely to come on your property. Keep garbage cans clean, tops securely fasten and garbage off the ground.

Do you have pets? If so make sure pet food is not left out as this will attract not only mice but other pests like raccoons. Feeding birds also attract pests. If feeding birds, clean up all bird seeds from the ground, seeds are one of mice favorite diet.

 Now take a look at the structure. Are there any repairs or replacements to be made? For example, does the door close properly and securely? Remember mice can fit through openings as small as a quarter. Is the threshold in good condition, set firmly and securely in place? If there are spaces between the ground and threshold, mice can easily squeeze through.  Do you need a door sweep,or does the one you have need to be replaced? Door sweeps are designed to keep pest out. If you see any daylight around the perimeter of your door, it needs to be corrected.

Take a close look at any plumbing penetrations on the exterior walls, examples are HVAC lines and/or water faucets. Are they caulked or sealed properly? These are one of the main areas mice enter homes.
Do you have a crawlspace? Make sure the crawlspace door and openings have metal mesh installed.


When it comes to garages, especially attached garages, it's important to make sure the garage vehicle door is in good condition and closes properly. Just as important are the components on the garage door such as the weatherstrip at the bottom of the door. It's not uncommon for the weatherstrip to go unnoticed, but it is often in bad shape and in need of replacement. The picture to the right shows how mice are entering this house because the weatherstrip has deteriorated leaving an opening in the corner.

Creating an environment that is unsafe for mice and their search for food unsuccessful are key ways that will help you keep your property inside and outside pest free.














Tuesday, January 1, 2019

How To Get Rid Of Mice

A common question among home and business owners is 'how can I get rid of mice?' It's a common question because mice infestation is on the rise, not only in inner cities, but also in suburban areas. Besides houses rodents are found just about everywhere, such as schools, restaurants, deli's, nursing homes, movie theaters, warehouses, subways as well as open fields just to name a few. With a number of factors involved, it appears this problem will only get worse.

In addition to being a nuisance by suddenly running across a room and hearing them in walls and ceilings, house mice can damage/destroy building materials like drywall because of their need to gnaw and their ability to make nests in wall cavities. They pose a fire hazard as well because they often chew electrical wires. Just as important, however, is the fact that house mice are carriers or vectors of disease. One way they transmit diseases and food poisoning like Salmonella and tapeworms, is by contaminating stored food via droppings and urine. Research shows that mice defecate wherever they travel, but mostly where they feed and up to 50 times a day!


                                                                             
                                   
                                            Mice droppings and hole behind stove

 It's important to find where activity is happening within a structure. Do an inspection, look behind appliances such as your free standing stove. If possible pull out the refrigerator from the wall. Look under kitchen sinks where plumbing is introduced through the floor or wall. These are areas where you will likely find evidence of an infestation in the form of droppings, gnawed holes or both at the bottom of the walls or floors. It makes sense to look in these areas because mice will find food around them, plus like roaches they like the warmth that refrigerator motors give off. These areas are also dark and undisturbed which is ideal for their survival.

                                                When Activity Is Found

When activity is found, such as shown in the picture above, sealing holes tightly with steel wool or repairing the walls with metal plates and Joint Compound found at the local hardware store will help reduce the mice route of travel and harbor-age.
The use of snap traps is very helpful in quickly eliminating an infestation and is considered a humane way of killing mice, however proper placement of snap traps is critical for success. Placing a small amount of bait such as peanut butter, cheese, chocolate,or bacon securely to the trap with the trigger facing the wall, as shown in the picture to the right will produce results because mice mostly travel along the perimeter of walls.  Use as many snap traps as needed, but placement should be on, or about 4 to six feet apart.

Glue boards are also useful. Like snap traps glue boards should be baited with a small amount of bait placed in the center. Remember mice are nibblers and don't require large amounts of food.

Finally keeping all areas of the interior clean, free of clutter and food properly stored away, such as in plastic containers will increase the chances of mice being attracted to the bait on the snap and glue traps.

Mice treatment, when done properly, will make your home or business comfortable and safe.

                   











Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Carpenter Ants - How to Prevent an Infestation

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus) are the largest ants found throughout the United States. They range in color, from black to brown, or a combination of both. Black carpenter ants are commonly found in the Northeastern side of the U.S. They have 6 legs, elbowed antennas, a slender waist and the size range from 1/4 of an inch, to 1/2 an inch for a worker ant, and 3/4 inch for a queen. Black Carpenter ant swarmers emerge from a mature colony usually beginning in early spring (May) through the summer. The carpenter ant swarmer's has 2 pair of wings, but the second pair are shorter than the first.
 Carpenter Ants can cause serious damage to wood inside and outside your home. Unlike termites that eat wood, carpenter ants excavate galleries and build nests to rear their young. This is especially harmful in wood support members such as sill plates, floor joists, rim joist, posts and beams, to mention a few. They can be found in logs, firewood, moist damp wood, and tree stumps. Though they can be found in dry wood, carpenter ants prefer wood with a high moisture content. The longer the colony stays in the wooden structure, the more damage they will do to your home. Over time any structural wood they attack can be weakened, resulting in unlevel, or sagging floors, bulging walls, or worse.
 Debris that carpenter ants produce from excavating wood, such as saw dust like shavings mixed with body parts of dead ants, is a clear indication of a nearby nest.














Prevention

Carpenter Ants are usually found near moisture, and rotting or decaying wood. Home owners should make sure their gutters and downspouts are functioning properly. If holes or leaks exist in the gutter system, that can allow rain water to accumulate around the home, thus attracting carpenter ants. Replace all dysfunctional gutters and downspouts. Adding downspout extensions, or splash blocks is also helpful in keeping water from accumulating around the structure.
The grading around the structure should slope slightly to allow rain water to drain away, instead of toward the structure, or from settling around it.

Where wood is in contact with soil, these areas should be closely examined. If nests are discovered, replace the infested wood if seriously damaged. Exterior steps, posts, or railings should rest on concrete pads instead of in, or on the soil.

Stopping water from entering the home is very important. Repair all roof leaks and replace missing shingles if needed. Have the flashing on the roof inspected, especially roof penetrations such as plumbing vents and chimney flashings. Clean gutters of leaves and dirt to prevent them from overflowing.
Caulk and screen any potential entryway ants may use to gain access, like doors and windows, and outside water connections. Ventilate areas where moisture accumulates, or where high humidity exists, such as crawlspaces, attics and storage rooms.

Vegetation in the form of bushes, hedges and tree branches should be trimmed back at least one foot away from the exterior walls, and tree branches overhanging roofs should be cut back. When vegetation is in contact with exterior walls, or roofs, this is conducive for pest infestation.

While wood mulch is good for plants, it also attracts wood destroying insects, including termites. If you have wood mulch, or plan to have some put around your home, many pest control professionals strongly recommend having the mulch treated to prevent the infestation of wood destroying insects. Wood mulch can be sprayed, or granular bait can be applied.

 Carpenter ants have their place in nature, however, we don't want them in and around our homes. With careful planning, and good home maintenance and repair, we can reduce the use of pesticide and co-exist with the insect world.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Fruit Fly


Fruit flies are a common nuisance pest that usually invade orchards, breweries, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals, canneries and homes. Adults measure about 1/8" in length and range in color from dull tan to brownish yellow or brownish black. Their eyes are usually bright red, but can also be very dark red or brown. They are found world wide and throughout the United States.

 Not only are they a nuisance pest, fruit flies may also act as disease vectors. In addition to this, adult females can lay up to 500 eggs that hatch in about 30 hours! That being the case, it is extremely important that integrated pest management (IPM) measures are taken to prevent, or at the very least, limit their breeding sites.

                                                                     Fruits & vegetables

Fruit flies are primarily attracted to fresh fruit and vegetables - nearly any material that is fermented by yeast. They are also attracted to decaying organic matter and can be found around fermenting water from refrigerators. In restaurants they are commonly seen in sink and floor drains where decaying food scraps are found. Dirty or sour mops and rags, and fermenting pet food are common breeding areas.


                                                                         Control Measures


 Eliminating all breeding sites is the key to controlling fruit fly infestation. In restaurants when floors are mopped and food preparation areas, such as counter tops are wiped down, accumulated food particles are often found in cracks and crevices where it ferments, thus providing ideal breeding conditions. Cracked, missing and loose floor and wall tile and missing grout should be repaired or replaced to eliminate food scrapes from accumulating. The use of  microbial floor cleaners is very effective for floors. Mops should be cleaned and/or replaced when dirty. Food can also be found under baseboards, so if it doesn't sit flush on the floor, sealing any gaps will greatly help eliminate breeding sites.

If you discover these pest are coming from outside, reducing the screen size (mesh) can be helpful since some species can easily penetrate ordinary screens. Floor drains should be cleaned with foam drain cleaners to break down the build up of biofilm.

 If problems still persist give us a call and a friendly and knowledgeable Pest Control Professional will conduct an inspection in and around your business or home, find any breeding areas and eliminate the problem for you. Call us.

 Service - Solutions - Satisfaction, Guaranteed!

EM Pest Control
www.empestcontrol.com
516-455-6742
516-850-8926








Monday, June 5, 2017

Are Bed Bugs Only Found On Beds?

Most adult bed bugs are about 3/16" long and are oval and flat in shape. They are brown to reddish brown in color after a blood meal. Nymphs (young) resemble adults but are smaller and pale in color. After molting (shedding their skin) they are white in color and then light tan before feeding. Bed bugs have no wings, however they can crawl long distances (in excess of 100 feet) for a blood meal.

Bed bugs on mattress
 The flat, oval shape of bed bugs allows them to hide under mattresses, mattress beads and buttons, in box springs or their coverings as well as in any crevice of a
Bed bugs behind headboard
wooden bed frame, such as where wooden members join. Beds, including the frame and headboards are typically the initial infestation site and the first place a Pest Control Professional will inspect. In time other places can become infested such as upholstered furniture, dresser draws, curtains, picture frames, mirrors, light switches, electrical outlets,door and window frames, under carpets, baseboards, crown mouldings, radios, clocks, televisions, telephones, stuffed animals, shoes, wall voids, between floor boards, etc. Bed bugs love clutter as this gives them the best chance of survival and reproduce. so it's important to keep all room neat and clean as possible.

Bed bug on plywood


                                                              Reproduction

Female bed bugs lay around 1-5 eggs per day. The eggs are white, 1/32" long and are usually deposited in cracks in some of the items listed above or on rough surfaces and are secured in place with her transparent cement. The nymphs (young) go through five stages of growth. A blood meal is required before each growth stage or molting, that is the shedding of their skin.

Studies show that adults and nymphs can survive months, and in rare cases even up to a year, for adults without a meal. This is one key reason why they are difficult to control and why they are spreading throughout the United States.
 Because of their ability to hide deep into furniture and bedding, and live electrical equipment, it is best that a pest control professional be called in for an inspection and treatment(s) if you suspect bed bug issues.

We at EM Pest Control are committed to Service, Solutions, and Satisfaction for your home or business.

Visit and/or call us at:
www.empestcontrol.com
516-455-6742
516-850-8926

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Home or Business

     

One of the most successful life forms on earth are ants, in fact according to many pest management professionals ants are at the top of the list when it comes to structural pests. What makes them so successful is their efficiency, tenaciousness, resiliency and numbers. It's a good thing that most ants live outdoors, however, some make their nest in or around structures and therefore can become a nuisance, get into food, attack humans and/or cause structural damage. In order to successfully get of ants, properly identifying the type of ants and why they are drawn to the structure is key.                                                                                                                                                        

Types of Ants     

There are many different types of ants. Identifying these type of ants that are invading your property is huge because each species are drawn to different foods and environments. There are 3 types of ants that are commonly known to invade your house or place of business. Those 3 are Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants, and Argentine Ants. Let's take a look at Carpenter Ants. Carpenter Ants are drawn to wood, but not just any wood. They like to nest in wood that has a high moisture content and suffered water damage and has been softened up by decay. High humidity is essential for the development of carpenter ant eggs and larvae. They do however have the ability to create an environment of humidity and can thus spread into sound wood.

        Pavement Ants are commonly found in commercial buildings. They get their name because of nesting under the pavement and sidewalks. They are known for making soil mounds commonly seen in sidewalks, pavement cracks, around foundations and decorative stones. Anything that provides a protective cover you can find pavement ants. Inside structures they can be found nesting inside walls, in wall insulation, and under floors. This species of ants particularly likes to be near heat sources. Indoor swarms can happen if they are found under slabs.
                                                            
Argentine Ants are seen above when indoor nests near moisture sources such as water pipes, sinks, and potted plants. When conditions outdoors are unfavorable, such as too wet or too dry, they can invade buildings in large numbers. Because they crawl over refuse, sputum, and carrion to mention a few, they are responsible for spreading disease organisms.
                                                                              
These are just three species of ants commonly found in structures, but there are many more such as Fire Ants, Acrobat Ants, Thief Ants, Odorous House Ants and the Little Black Ants each with their own habits and preferences, so identification is a key to long term control. Identifying the problem ant brings us to the next key formula of getting rid of ants - Inspection
                                                        
Inspection and Treatment

There are three components to an inspection -  1) Finding the Nest, 2) Detecting Foraging Routes and 3) Spotting conditions conducive to infestations. Many people use over the counter gels or liquid baits to fight an infestation. Improperly placements of gels or liquid baits will do little good. Also used are over the counter sprays, but this only kills the ants that are seen or foraging for food. Locating the nest goes a long way if you are to eliminate ants for good. Sometime locating the nest is not possible, so looking for other conditions is helpful. Look for and repair broken seals around windows and doors, water damaged wood and cracks in foundation walls. Of course sanitation is very important inside as well as outside. Correct any moisture related issues inside and outside the structure. Keeping the perimeter of the structure dry and keeping vegetation growth at least one foot from the structure will aid in ridding your home or business from ants.                                                                                                        
If these tactics are ineffective call your local pest control professional. They have experience in locating and treating the nest, applying a barrier treatment, baiting and applying a residual that is safe and long lasting.