Rodents 101

During the winter season, it’s estimated that rodents seek shelter in more than 21 millions homes in the United States. This means that many homeowners will likely be dealing with mice or rats in their abode over the next few months – and you could be one of them.

Rodents can spread dangerous diseases and can cause major property damage, so it’s important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with the types of rodents that invade homes this time of year. Here is a guide to help you identify common mice and rat species.

Deer Mice

  • Region: Deer mice are found throughout the United States.
  • Habitat: Deer mice prefer to nest in rural areas, specifically in fence posts, tree hollows and log piles. Deer mice are rarely a problem in residential settings, but they can wander indoors during the winter months while searching for shelter from the cold weather.
  • Threats: Deer mice pose a significant health threat because they are the most common carrier of Hantavirus. This virus is transmitted primarily by the inhalation of dust particles contaminated with the urine, feces or saliva of infected deer mice.
  • Prevention tip: Don’t store pet food or birdseed in garages or storage sheds, where it is especially attractive to deer mice.
  • Unique fact: Deer mice always have a bicolored tail that is usually half brown, half white.

House Mice

  • Region: House mice are found throughout the United States.
  • Habitat: Unlike deer mice, house mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas within structures. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high.
  • Threats: House mice can cause serious property damage by chewing through materials. In fact, they have been known to spark electrical fires by gnawing on wires inside homes. These rodents are also a health threat, as they can contaminate stored food and spread diseases like Salmonella, tapeworms and the plague (via fleas).
  • Prevention tip: House mice hide in clutter, so it’s important to keep storage areas clean and store boxes off the floor. Also, keep food in sealed, rodent-proof containers.
  • Unique fact: House mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Although they have poor vision and are color blind, their other senses are very keen.

Norway Rats

  • Region: Like house and deer mice, Norway rats are found throughout the United States.
  • Habitat: Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and often burrow in piles of garbage or under concrete slabs. They tend to enter homes in the fall when outside food sources become scarce. Indoors, Norway rats nest in basements, attics and other undisturbed dwellings.
  • Threats: Norway rats can cause significant damage to property by gnawing through a variety of materials, including plastic and lead pipes, to obtain food and water. They are also vectors of disease, such as plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. In addition, these rats can introduce fleas and mites into a home.
  • Prevention tip: Regularly inspect the home for signs of an infestation, such as droppings, gnaw marks, damaged food goods and grease rub marks caused by rats’ oily fur.
  • Unique fact: Norway rats can gain entry to a home through a hole larger than ½ inch, or the size of a quarter.

Roof Rats

  • Region: Roof rats are thought to be of Southeast Asian origin, but they are now found in the coastal states and southern third of the U.S.
  • Habitat: Roof rats live in colonies and prefer to nest in upper parts of structures or in trees.
  • Threats: Historically, roof rats and their fleas have been associated with bubonic plague. Although cases are rare, roof rats also spread typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis and salmonellosis.
  • Prevention tip: Clean up fruit that may have fallen from trees in the yard. Also, ensure the garbage is stored in tightly covered receptacles.
  • Unique fact: The roof rat is also called the black rat or ship rat. These rodents are excellent swimmers.

If you suspect an infestation, Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today! Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, and what may seem like a small problem can turn into a big issue overnight.

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What Restaurant Owners Can Do To Prevent Pests

Pests can affect more than just homes and office buildings – they can also affect businesses like restaurants. When a restaurant has a pest problem, finding a pest control company to eliminate the infestation may not be their only issue. They could suffer from unhappy customers, bad ratings, low sanitation scores, and more which makes it paramount that you prevent pests.

If you’re a restaurant owner, there are several habits you can develop to prevent pest infestations, including:

FOOD STORAGE

  • Before accepting food shipments, inspect them for any signs of pests.
  • Store food in airtight storage containers and keep them off of the floor and at the proper temperature.
  • Don’t leave bulk food in cardboard containers, as they can attract cockroaches.
  • Make sure your employees know where the grease traps are and that they’re cleaned out on a regular basis.
  • Store your food on a first-in, first-out basis so that the oldest foods are used first and nothing is kept longer than it should be.

CLEAN-UP

  • Regularly clean any spills, food scraps, and crumbs from counters, shelves, floors, and other surfaces.
  • Keep your trash bins tightly covered and empty them often.
  • Make sure your dumpster is away from your back door and that the lid is fitted on it tightly.
  • Regularly clean the inside and outside of your trash bins, as food can easily collect in many areas.

OPENINGS/CREVICES

  • Don’t keep your doors or windows propped open. This can invite outdoor pests inside.
  • Make sure your door seals are tight and install door sweeps if there are gaps between the bottom of your doors and the floor.
  • Fix any holes, cracks, or crevices in your walls and floors.
  • If you have leaks in your sinks, pipes, or dishwasher, fix them quickly to eliminate excess moisture.

If you find a pest problem in your restaurant and are in need of assistance contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention for help.

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Arizona Pest Control vs Prevention

Arizona Pest Control vs. Prevention

Preventing pests from entering your home is more important than controlling them once you have a problem. Pest infestations and the risks they pose to your home or business are easily avoided with a combination of DIY pest prevention steps and regular professional treatment. That is why Bug Guardian’s  program focuses on pest prevention, not just pest control.

Much like building a fence, pest prevention techniques accomplish three goals: exclude pests from entering your home, removing things that may attract them into your home, and creating a hostile environment for pests that may be inadvertently introduced to your home.

Bug Guardian Pet Friendly Arizona Pest ControlTraditionally Arizona pest control companies simply apply pesticides in and around your home in a routine manner, but Bug Guardian’s programs are designed for a more specific, customized approach depending on your pest control needs.

From a health and environmental standpoint, this is a much more responsible treatment method for you and your family; which means no unnecessary smelly sprays in your home and every product used by Bug Guardian is Pet friendly as well!

With Bug Guardian Pest Prevention you will receive a more effective and convenient pest prevention system with satisfaction guaranteed results!

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How to Detect Bed Bugs in Your Home

Many have heard the bedtime saying, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite” but past that don’t ever actually think that bedbugs are a real issue! Scientifically dubbed Climex Lectularius, the name ‘bed bug’ is derived from the pest’s favorite dwelling place. Bedbugs like to dwell in warm, dark places where they have easy access to feed off of human blood. Sounds a little creepier than a nursery saying right? You don’t have to fear bed bugs anymore!

Bed Bugs can come into the home numerous ways. They often spread through clothing and luggage traveling from other infested locations. Infested items such as used furniture can also carry the unwelcome pests into the home. Often, bedbugs will travel through air ducts and cracks in the walls in infested apartment buildings and hotels. It is important to know that the cleanliness of a location does not determine whether it is more susceptible to a bedbug infestation. Immaculate homes and hotel rooms are just as liable to bedbugs as filthy ones! Due to their ability to spread, it is important to contact local residential pest control for an inspection.

Bedbugs are often very difficult to detect because they are mostly nocturnal and can feed without being noticed. Often, bedbugs can cause skin irritation and rashes for people that are sensitive to them and that is usually how they are detected. If someone is displaying bed bug symptoms, they are diagnosed once the symptoms have been confirmed and bedbugs have been found in the home.

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Get Rid of Ticks in Anthem

Ticks get inside homes by hitchhiking inside on pets, people or our clothing. Therefore, to protect your home in Anthem Arizona it is always a good idea to inspect pets and our children to make sure there are no ticks and to wash any clothes that may contain ticks. Ticks can become a problem if there are suitable tick hosts living in the crawl space or attic. Other animals may bring ticks inside to their nests, burrows, roosts or other living spaces. Once inside, most tick species do not survive well unless they find another host. The exception to this generalization is the brown dog tick, a species that survives and reproduces quite well inside, and soft ticks.

Removal

Tick removal should be done with great care to reduce the chance of infection. The use of forceps or tweezers is the most efficient removal technique. However, in the event that a victim is not in possession of these tools and needs to remove a tick, it is important that hands be washed prior to removal.

When removing ticks from the skin, take care not to crush the body of the specimen. This may further expose bite victims to harmful bacteria and diseases. Grip the tick as close as possible to the tip of the head. The mouthparts should also be thoroughly removed from the victim’s skin.

Control & Prevention

Ticks also seek safety in hidden locations within homes. Repairing any crevices or gaps and keeping grass cut short outside may discourage infestations. The disposal of all empty bird and rodent nesting materials is also necessary, as ticks will readily infest these items. Treatment for ticks is not the same as for fleas. If you suspect a tick infestation, call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today.

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