What Are Those Bugs in My Bathroom?

What silverfish look like in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

In a place that is supposed to be sparkling clean, the last thing you want to find is an outbreak of nasty pests. Water accumulates in our sinks, showers, and tubs, causing many different kinds of insects to take refuge in our bathrooms. The warm and humid environment created by our showers offers a welcoming environment for lots of pests in Wisconsin, not to mention a free source of water to drink. For more information on common bathroom pests, keep reading. We’ve asked our Batzner Pest Control technicians for some input!

Common Bathroom Pests

Lots of pests are known to infest bathrooms, but these are our top three to watch out for:

  1. Cockroaches: Any warm, wet, and humid environment is the ideal home for a cockroach. Bonus points if they can find a dark cabinet to hide in during the day.
  2. Silverfish: These insects are attracted to the same traits that cockroaches are. Since they have a lot of trouble climbing up smooth, vertical surfaces, silverfish will often be found by drains or along the shower or bathroom floor.
  3. Ants: Having too much excess moisture building up in your bathroom is a sure way to attract a trail of ants. Looking for drinking water, they will travel through our plumbing systems, underneath our doors, or through cracks in siding and baseboards.

Finding spiders, centipedes, or drain flies in your bathroom should come as no surprise, either. Many pests find uses for our bathrooms, whether that be food, water, shelter, or all three.

Preventative Measures Against Bathroom Pests

Having a clean and dry bathroom is the best deterrent for pest problems. When you clean your bathroom, look out for these issues that could be attracting pests:

  • Wipe down countertops to eliminate any filth and remove standing water
  • Check for leaks in your plumbing fixtures often
  • Ensure that your bathroom is well-ventilated and not accumulating too much humidity
  • Clean up spills of soap, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, or other hygiene products

Whatever you can do to reduce excess moisture and grime in your bathroom will help you avoid pest problems going forward!

Need Pest Control for Your Bathroom in Wisconsin?

If you can’t use your bathroom without unwanted insects grossing you out, it’s time to talk to your local pest control experts. The pest specialists at Batzner Pest Control are able to locate difficult-to-spot vulnerabilities in your Wisconsin home to help you keep your bathroom clean, fresh, and free of pests. Contact us today for a free quote—we would love to help you breathe easy in your own bathroom again!

How a Dehumidifier Can Prevent Silverfish, Millipedes, Centipedes and Cockroaches

With summer on the horizon, we can look forward to warmer weather, lots of sunshine, and extra hours of daylight. While we have much to look forward to, we do have to remember that summer brings an increase of humidity with it. Summer’s high humidity levels may increase the number of pests you see crawling around your house. One thing you can consider is investing in a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level in your house in check. Here are four good reasons why:

  1. Alleviate allergies
  2. Prevent mold growth
  3. Minimize condensation
  4. DETER BUGS

Karl Rowell, Quality Assurance and Safety Manager, explains, “Moisture, in general, can be a very conducive environment for bugs. Running a dehumidifier reduces the favorable conditions in your home.” Placing a dehumidifier within your home can alleviate pest activity, especially in your basement. Dehumidifiers work to remove moisture from the air, creating a dryer environment which is more difficult for creepy-crawlies to survive in.

No bugs are nice to see, but the ones that crave moisture are the ones you really hope to avoid on your way to the bathroom. Some of the main culprits that hang around in humid environments are silverfish, millipedes, centipedes and cockroaches. In extremely humid cases, mosquitoes and fleas could also start to breed. In addition to setting up a dehumidifier, having a pest control company come and treat your property can create even further desired results.

Why do Spiders, Centipedes and Earwigs Love the Bathroom so Much?

You know that moment when you’re in the shower, mid-shampoo and you look up to see that creepy crawly just hanging out on the wall of your shower. A quick debate runs through your head: Should I move? Yes, move. Wait, no. Hold still, maybe it won’t notice me. I’ll quickly get the shampoo out of my hair and everything will be fine. After “calmly” talking yourself through that situation, you start to wonder why insects seem so determined to ruin your shower. The simple truth is that living in your bathroom makes for a pretty easy life for spiders and other bugs.

What Makes the Bathroom so Enticing for Bugs?

Bathrooms are magnets that attract a variety of creepy, crawly pests because they provide an ideal environment for a couple of reasons.

  1. Hair, mildew, mold provide unlimited food sources, yummy!
  2. Soaps made from fats are another delicious food source.
  3. Pipes provide excellent travel paths.
  4. Plumbing leaks and dampness provide the moisture needed to survive.
  5. Cracks and crevices offer hiding places and places to establish nests.
  6. The high humidity and moisture environment is desirable.

Which Bugs are Most Common?

According to Operations Managers at Batzner Pest Control, these are the most common bugs they come across in the bathroom.

  1. Centipedes: The main reason centipedes are present in bathrooms is for the availability of other insects to feed on.
  2. Earwigs: Drawn to bathrooms because they prefer damp, dark environments.
  3. Springtails: They thrive in high humidity and will feed on whatever is available.
  4. Silverfish: They prefer dampness, but their nocturnal habits keep their pest profile low.

Why is it so Hard to Control Bathroom Pests?

Eliminating bugs in the bathroom can be a challenging task. And darn it, if there’s one thing you deserve at the end of the day, it’s a peaceful shower without being traumatized by the possibility of unwanted company. Do-it-yourself treatments only provide temporary solutions to the problem, and they don’t tackle pests at the source. The best way to remove insects from your bathroom starts with a call to Batzner Pest Control at 866-591-3519 or by contacting us online. We’ll identify and eliminate the problem, so you can get back to enjoying your personal space without unwanted company.

5 Tips to Prevent Fall Invaders, Including Spiders, Centipedes and Earwigs

Those of us in the pest control industry consider occasional invaders to be some of the creepiest of the crawlies. You’ve probably seen them scurrying across your bathroom or living room floor at one time or another. Most commonly, occasional invaders include centipedes, millipedes, earwigs and Asian lady beetles, among others.

These pests are referred to as occasional, or fall, invaders because they sporadically enter homes or businesses through cracks or crevices, most commonly in the fall. They’ll usually seek shelter indoors when the weather becomes too hostile outside for them to survive. You’ll typically find them by themselves or in small numbers near food sources, in basements, or other cool, damp places.

Occasional invaders aren’t necessarily a health or structural concern, however, they are definitely nuisance bugs; biting, pinching, eating houseplants, damaging fabrics. The main concern for a home or business owner may be food contamination, so be sure to take proper precautions if you believe one of these pests has taken up residence in your food.

Here are Batzner’s five tips to prevent occasional invaders:

  1. Caulking and sealing entry points such as windows and doors. This eliminates some of the most common entry points for occasional invaders.
  2. Don’t forget to vacuum! You can use your vacuum in two capacities here: to clean up any dead bugs which may be attractive to pests, or to clean up any occasional invaders you spot in your home. Just be sure to clean out the vacuum right away!
  3. Make your landscaping less pest friendly. Remove leaf piles, overgrown bushes or trees, and mulch around the perimeter of your home. These are great places for these pests to live.
  4. Repair screens on windows and doors. Similar to caulking and sealing, these are also common entry points for occasional invaders, so it’s a good idea to make sure there is no damage to your screens.
  5. Seal all food containers. It seems obvious, but if a pest has no access to food, they are less likely to stay.
  6. If you believe you’ve spotted some of these occasional invaders, utilize the prevention tips above to limit the infestation. However, if you’re continually noticing these pests, it’s a good idea to consider Batzner’s year-round pestfree 365 program to keep pests at bay.

Call Batzner at 866-591-3519 or fill out a form online for more information today!

5 Pest-Free Holiday Decorating and Storage Tips

In my experience, there is no season fuller of surprises than the holidays. From unexpected visits from relatives to getting that one present my mom swore she wouldn’t buy, there was always something surprising to make each year’s holiday season memorable. Fortunately, I’ve never had the surprise of opening a box of decorations to find a family of cockroacheshaving their own holiday celebration, but many people experience a similar situation every year. The dark, undisturbed areas in our attics, garages, and basements where decorations are usually stored are also the perfect winter habitat for many pests. Roaches, ants, centipedes, spiders, silverfish, and mice are just a few of the pests that find warmth, shelter, food, and space to breed in your home’s storage spaces. Make sure you watch out for these potential hideouts while you prepare your house this year!

1. Trees/Wreaths/Garland

If you are bringing a live tree or other natural plant decorations into your house, make sure to shake them out beforehand. Many different types of insects including aphids and beetles nest in Christmas trees and other holiday greenery, and while a good shaking might not get rid of all of them, it’s certainly better than not doing anything at all. Eggs laid in or on live plants usually hatch when they sense spring, and the temperature difference between your home and the outside can be enough to trigger hatching. Regularly check on any plants you’ve brought inside to catch problems early on!

For those who reuse an artificial tree/wreath/garland, vacuum the branches either before you assemble it or before you hang up your ornaments. Once it’s time for them to go back into storage, make sure to use a sealed plastic bag or storage container to prevent against pests, water damage, and humidity.

2. Boxed Decorations

The first step is to inspect boxes where they are being stored and look for any signs of a pest infestation. The last thing you want to do is take a box full of ants from your basement and plop it down in the middle of your living room! Things to look out for include spider webs, droppings, dead insects, and gnaw marks. Always use plastic bins that can be sealed rather than cardboard, as cardboard provides an ideal habitat for a variety of pests, especially cockroaches and silverfish.

3. Fabric Decorations

For fabric decorations like stockings, a cycle through the washing machine and dryer can help stop the spread of live pests. Storing them in plastic is also beneficial to prevent damage by moths and other fabric pests. To be extra careful, you can also wash and dry them before putting them back into storage, as any amount of germs or bacteria is more attractive to pests than none. This is especially important for table cloths, as even the smallest crumb can attract mice and ants.

4. Plastic, Metal, and Other Hard Decorations

Give any hard-surfaced decorations a cleaning using alcohol wipes or soap and water. Similar to the fabric decorations, a cleaning before going back into storage can also be beneficial.

5. Lights

Inspect your lights for things like spider webs and frayed wires before removing them from storage. For exterior lights, also inspect before putting them back into storage so you know if damage occurred outside of your home. If you put them away with no frayed wiring and the next year you notice damage while taking them out, it likely means that mice are present where you are storing your lights!

Perhaps the most important step you can take to prevent pests during the holidays comes at the end of each season, when it’s time to take down the tree and pack up the decorations. Store holiday decorations in hard, plastic bins with tightly sealed lids instead of cardboard boxes or bags that can easily be chewed through. Do not pile discarded live trees or cut firewood near your home, as this can attract mice, mosquitoes and other pests.

If any of your holiday decorations have signs of a pest infestation, or if you have any questions about identifying a potential pest infestation, please don’t hesitate to call us at 866-591-3519 or contact us online. We wish you all the happiest of holidays, and hope that they are full of surprises that don’t involve pests!

Centipedes and ants and bees, OH MY! 10 of the deadliest insects in the world.

Centipedes are a common pest in commercial properties in New Berlin WI - Batzner Pest Control

There are about 900,000 different kinds of insects in the world, making up about 80% of all of the world’s species. That’s right; insects far outnumber humans. The following list includes 10 of the deadliest insects in the world. While some are not the deadliest, they still have caused reported human deaths.

10. House Centipedes

Terrifying, I know. I personally turn right back into a two year old girl when I see one of these scurry across a wall or carpet in my house. Jumping on top of couches and throwing shoes, I can never seem to actually make the kill. Centipedes pack a painful sting, but it is usually nothing to worry about. However, every couple years, someone does die from a centipede bite, usually due to allergic reaction to its venom.

9. Fire Ants

I sat on a pile of these once; they are no joke. These ants kill their prey by stinging and injecting venom called solenopsin. When a human is bit and injected with a fire ant’s venom, it provides a burning sensation, hence the name. Around 5% of people bitten by fire ants die due to anaphylactic shock.

8. Siafu

What is that? They are similar to fire ants, and they are mainly located in Africa or Asia. They live in colonies of 20 million ants, and a group called soldier ants are the ones who sting to kill prey. Young and elderly people are very susceptible to the bites of these ants, and some have died due to complications. Around 20-50 people die every year from a Siafu bite.

7. Wasps and Bees

This sounds familiar. I feel like the bees were really bad this summer, at least here in Wisconsin. They are just about everywhere you go, and are attracted to sweet things. Most people have experienced a bee or wasp sting, which can be very serious if you are allergic.

6. Asian Giant Hornet

Keeping with the theme, the Asian Giant Hornet is the biggest hornet in the world at 2 inches in length and a wing span of 3 inches. The sting from its 1/4th inch long stinger has been explained as feeling “like a hot nail being driven into your skin.” Definitely not something I want to experience. The venom released by the stinger contains about 8 different compounds that can not only induce discomfort and damage soft tissue, but can release an odor to attract more hornets. Around 70 people die each year from either an allergic reaction to the bees or a direct result of a chemical called mandaratoxin.

5. Africanized Honey Bee

Yes, more bees. These bees hang around in swarms, so if you do get stung, expect to be stung more than once. These bees have been known to take down a horse.

4. Kissing Bug

I know what you’re thinking: “You’re kidding, right?” Nope. The name sounds cute, but they actually get the name because they typically bite people on their faces. There are around 138 known species in existence, most within the U.S. They are able to transmit a harmful parasite that can be fatal. Around 45,000-50,000 people die every year from kissing bug bites. The parasite that the bugs spread causes Chagas disease, which usually leads to death.

3. Tsetse Fly

House flies are annoying enough; a fly that lives off of human blood? No thanks! The tsetse fly is found in the Kalahari and Saharan deserts. Around 250,000-300,000 people die every year from a disease spread by the flies called sleeping disease.

2. Rat Fleas

Fleas can kill? I bet you’re wondering how your pets are even alive. Thankfully, these type of fleas only live on rats. They are known to carry devastating diseases and bacteria. The bacteria called the Yersinia pestis is responsible for killing around ¾ of Europe during the 14th Century. This was referred to as “the Black Death”, a plague that killed between 350-375 million people.

1. Anopheles Mosquito

Don’t get confused, it’s just the regular old mosquito we’re talking about here. They are everywhere, and much like the bees, they were abundant this hot and dry Wisconsin summer. Most mosquito bites only result in a small, red, itchy bump that goes away with a little lotion and time. However, sometimes a bite can lead to serious illness or death. The most popular diseases mosquitos can spread are Malaria and West Nile Virus. There are 1-3 million deaths from Malaria alone each year.