Carpenter Ants vs. Powderpost Beetles

A powderpost beetle in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

When you see tiny holes and sawdust-looking scraps building up around the wooden structures and surfaces in your home, it’s easy to assume that you have carpenter ants, carpenter bees, or worse, termites. However, there are some other culprits in Wisconsin that bore holes into our wooden homes. Some researchers estimate that powderpost beetles are the second leading contributor to insect-based property damage in the United States. To learn what pest is tearing through your walls, read on for help from the Batzner Pest Control technicians.

What Are Powderpost Beetles?

The name “powderpost beetles” actually refers to a category of beetles that live in and eat through hardwoods. Unlike carpenter ants, who only chew through wood to create tunnels to lay their eggs in, powderpost beetles consume the wood that they crew through. When powderpost beetles eat wood, they leave behind fine wooden flakes that resemble sawdust.

Look for these features to help you identify powderpost beetles on your property:

  • Beetles that range from 1/8-1/4” in length
  • Narrow bodies with dark red, brown, or black colors
  • Long wings and flight capability

What’s the Difference between Powderpost Beetles and Carpenter Ants?

Depending on which pest you’re dealing with, you will have to take different pest control measures. So, how can you tell if the damage to your wooden structures has been caused by powderpost beetles or carpenter ants?

  1. Start by looking around the areas of damage to try to find active pest activity.
  2. Next, look at the texture of the damage. Powderpost beetles bore holes from approximately .03 to .3 inches in diameter, depending on the size of the beetle. Carpenter ants’ damage is messier-looking with the appearance of tears or striations.
  3. Both pests leave behind sawdust-like scraps where they’ve bored. If you find this around your house, look nearby to try to identify the damage.

Wood-Boring Pest Control in Wisconsin

Finding powderpost beetles or carpenter ants in your home can be distressing. If you’re worried about them causing more damage and want to get rid of them quickly, contact your local pest control company. At Batzner Pest Control, we use pest control strategies that are both safe and effective. We gear our approach towards teaching our customers about how the pests chose their homes to infest and what they can do to prevent future problems. For a free quote, contact us today!

How to Spot Termite Exit Holes

Termite exit holes in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest ControlOne of the biggest signs of termites is seeing exit holes, also known as kick-out holes. When drywood termites swarm in the spring or summer here in Wisconsin, they will leave their nest. In doing so, they bore through wood and leave behind tiny, round holes. The issue with spotting these holes is that many other wood-destroying insects leave behind similar signs of their activity. Because kick-out holes are such a major sign of termite activity, it’s crucial to learn how to spot termite exit holes on your own or with the help of a professional termite exterminator.  The team at Batzner Pest Control is here to share their top tips for spotting termite exit holes.

What Types of Termites Create Kick-Out Holes?

While most species exhibit swarming behavior, drywood termites are the most common termite responsible for creating kick-out holes. This is because drywood termites live in dry wood above ground and do not need contact with soil as subterranean termites do. Subterranean termites are known to swarm as well, but they leave their nests in a different manner. True to their name, subterranean termites build nests underground and travel through mud tubes. These mud tubes also serve the purpose of being their exit from the nest. Seeing holes on a wooden structure, then, is almost always indicative of drywood termite.

Identifying Termite Exit Holes

Professional termite exterminators are required to identify termite holes in your property. That said, there are a few indicators that the holes in your wood were caused by termites: 

  • Termite exit holes are round and no bigger than ⅛ of an inch.
  • After the swarmer termites leave the nest, the termite nymphs within the nest will use a paste made out of frass to plug the holes.
  • It is rare to see uncovered termite holes, as the nymphs work quickly after the swarmers leave the nest.
  • Wood that has been kicked out looks like tiny mustard seeds that often pile up.

Can Other Insects Leave Holes in Wood?

Termites are not the only insect to tunnel through wood. In fact, many other insects are capable of leaving behind similar-looking holes in wood. Needless to say, this makes it difficult to know whether you’re dealing with termites or something else entirely. A few of the most common wood-boring insects here in Wisconsin include carpenter bees, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, bark beetles, and more. Because their activity is so easily confused with that of termites, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional termite exterminator to identify termite exit holes.

Termite Exit Hole Inspections in Wisconsin

It can be distressing to discover a bunch of tiny, round holes in any wooden structure inside or outside of your home. If you suspect termite activity, it’s time to contact an expert. To learn more, contact us today!

5 Reasons Why You Need Winter Pest Control [2021 Update]

Spiders are common winter pests in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

It’s a common misconception that with the cold weather rolling in, pests will pack up and leave until next year. The truth is in the colder months, crawling insects and other pests that don’t go dormant in the winter can make their way into our homes and draw in mice and other rodents, looking for warmth. Additionally, winter in Wisconsin brings its own set of insects and other pests to stay on the lookout for. The team at Batzner Pest Control is here to share all you need to know about winter pest control.

What Pests Are Common in the Winter?

Pests are common in Wisconsin year-round. In the winter, home and business owners must frequently deal with the following pests:

  1. Mice and rats. Mice and rats require only a tiny opening or crack to gain entry into your home. They can enter through your attic and gnaw on the wires, wood beams, electrical wires and insulation.
  2. Wood destroying insects. Carpenter ants and termites destroy the home from the inside out, so you really never see the damage until it is too late. If you find carpenter ants indoors during the winter, it is an indication that they are nesting inside walls, floors, or decaying wood.
  3. Sealing your home. The early winter is the best time for Batzner’s pest control team to seal up all openings before mice seek shelter in your home or business. They will check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  4. Dormant insects. Many insects will hide in the attic or basement in late fall and early winter to escape the frigid winter temperatures. Spiders, cluster flies, Asian lady bugs, and boxelder bugs will remain dormant until spring. Then as the weather warms, they can easily find their way into your living spaces.
  5. Spider webs and nests. Removing webs, nests and egg cases may help prevent pests from reemerging in your home when the weather becomes warmer. Some creatures are hardwired to return to certain places, but if you get rid of all the reasons for them to return, you increase the probability that you’ll finally be saying a permanent “goodbye” to them.

How to Prevent Winter Pests in Wisconsin

Before the wintertime, it’s important to learn how to guard your home against pest problems. Some of the best winter-proofing tips for homeowners include the following.

  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in woodpiles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
  • Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

How Does Batzner Prevent Winter Pest Problems?

Winter pest control service in Wisconsin by Batzner Pest Control

Our fall and winter pest control services are targeted at your home’s interior. One of the first things that our team looks for is anything that has changed since their last visit. It’s extremely common for Batzner specialists to find new openings that didn’t exist at their most recent visit. They’ll also check out any rodent protection equipment that they’ve put in place.

Batzner’s residential services are tailored to the homeowner’s individual needs, and in winter, our trained service experts focus primarily on the interior of the house, searching for any openings where pests could enter. Our winter pest control specialists. will notify the homeowner if any such openings are located, and seal those openings to ensure pests remain outside. In the meantime, spider webs will also be knocked down and cleaned out in the home’s interior. Your pest control expert will also target your home’s basement for a preventative pesticide treatment for crawling insects.

Annual Winter Pest Control Services

Don’t mistake winter as a time to lay off on the pest control services—it allows you preparation time for the warm seasons ahead! Batzner is your trusted pest control expert. Contact the residential pest control pros at Batzner today to learn how we can prevent pests this winter and all year long.

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Batzner pest control in Wisconsin - Serving New Berlin, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and surrounding areas

Entomologists from Batzner’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Pest Seasonality in Wisconsin

Stink bugs are a seasonal pest problem in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Here in Wisconsin, pests are a problem all year-long. Different weather conditions and seasonality plays a large role in what pests are most active during certain parts of the year. Some pests that prefer warmer weather nearly disappear in the winter, while other pests in the fall will overwinter in your home until spring rolls around. To better prepare yourself for a possible infestation, it’s important to know which pests are common during certain parts of the year. With information from the NPMA, we are here to share all you need to know about pest seasonality in Wisconsin.

Fall & Winter Pests

Colder weather and snow will always drive more pests indoors in the fall and winter months. In 2020, it has been predicted that a milder winter than usual will result in prolonged Asian lady beetle and stink bug activity. Tick problems may also be active for longer this season. Other pests to be wary of during the colder months of the year in Wisconsin include rodents, boxelder bugs, carpenter ants, and more.

Winter pests in the Great Lakes United States map
 
Beetles
 
Stink Bugs
 
Ticks

Spring Pest Problems

Pest activity springs back into action once winter comes to an end. Blooming flowers, warming temperatures, and heavy rainfall encourages pests of all kinds to resume activity and reproduce. The common spring pests in Wisconsin include:

  • Ants. Certain ant species will forage for food in the warmer months. Rainy weather also drives ants out of their colonies and into homes for shelter.
  • Termites Every spring, termites leave their nests to mate and start new colonies. This is called “swarming”.
  • Mosquitoes. When we experience heavy rainfall, mosquito season will burst into life. With their peak season in the months following, they start to be more active in the spring.
  • Bed Bugs. While these are a year-round problem, increased traveling in the springtime always leads to an increase in bed bug activity.

Summer Pest Threats

Summertime in Wisconsin is the busiest pest season. Summer temperatures cause many types of pest colonies to mature and grow in size. Here are the ones to look out for in Wisconsin:

  • Mosquitoes. These parasitic insects lay more eggs in the summer and tend to be our biggest pest problem this time of year.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps, bees, and hornets are at full force in the summertime. They can build nests near residential areas.
  • Flies. Summer is the peak breeding season for flies. They are infamous for being a nuisance at outdoor summer events.
  • Termites. Warm weather is when termites are able to thrive and cause the most damage.

Year-Round Pests in Wisconsin

To better prepare yourself for an infestation, it’s important to understand the pest seasonality here in Wisconsin. Our colder winters may deter some pests, but they also can drive certain pests right into our homes. To protect your property from pests year-round, contact the pest control experts at Batzner.

Do Termites Hibernate in the Fall & Winter?

Termites can infest homes in the fall and winter in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Unlike other types of pests, termites remain active through the fall and winter. Rather than go dormant, termites continue to infest structures even in the colder months of the year. With our frigid winters in Wisconsin, these pests will simply tunnel deep into the soil for survival. Many assume termites are only active in the spring because that is when they will swarm, but the reality is these pests could be chewing their way through your home any time of the year. Because of this, it’s crucial to know how to look for signs of termites as well as how to protect your home from these pests. Keep reading for expert info from the team at Batzner!

Termite Life Cycle

Termites most often swarm in the spring or summer, but in rare cases, they can in the fall, too. Due to our Wisconsin climate, this is rare here. Nonetheless, a termite colony will remain active through the fall and winter inside whatever structure they’ve infested. The queen termite continues to reproduce and lay eggs all year long, which means a termite colony can grow at a constant rate.

This being said, termites need to stay warm in colder temperatures, which is why they will nest 25 to 30 feet down in the soil during the winter. This is why it’s unlikely to see termites this time of year. However, you can certainly still notice termite damage if you have a serious infestation on your hands.

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

A termite problem can be ongoing for months before any damage begins to appear, which is one of the reasons why they’re so feared! The following damage manifesting in your property could indicate that you likely have a mature termite infestation on your hands:

  1. Mud tubes
  2. Discarded swarmer wings
  3. Termite frass (feces)
  4. Drywall discoloration
  5. Loose tiles or buckling floors
  6. Bubbling or uneven paint on walls
  7. Holes in drywall
  8. Crumbling wood
  9. Hollow-sounding wood
  10. Sagging sheetrock

Fall Termite Infestations

At all times of the year, it’s important to know how to look for signs of termites in your home. Just because they’re not swarming doesn’t mean you’re safe from an infestation. Contact us to learn more about how to keep your home protected from fall pest problems.

Do DIY Pest Control Methods Work?

Sprays are a common DIY pest control method in New Berlin WI. Learn more from Batzner Pest Control.

You see a trail of ants near your windowsill, and head to the store to buy ant baits and traps. We’ve all been there and have had success to varying degrees of success. But does DIY pest control really work? While store-bought products may work to control small pest problems, they are never a solution for larger infestations. Here at Batzner Pest Control, we want our customers to make well-informed decisions when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control and professional pest control.

DIY Pest Control: How Effective is It?

For small pest problems, store-bought or DIY methods may work to get rid of them. However, DIY pest control does not work to control bigger infestations or prevent future ones. There are a number of disadvantages of DIY methods. First of all, do-it-yourself methods simply won’t work to control more dangerous pests such as termites, bed bugs, rodents, carpenter ants, and more.

In addition, a lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for your family if applied incorrectly. These products also rarely come with a guarantee or warranty on their effectiveness. Bottom line, it’s always a gamble when it comes to DIY pest control.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Pest Control Company

Let’s face it: no one wants to deal with pests on their own. That’s where a professional exterminator can help! Although professional pest control is a bigger commitment of your time and money, it will pay off tenfold. Some of the benefits of teaming up with a professional exterminator include:

  1. A pest control company has the knowledge and experience to tackle any current infestation you have. Exterminators are experts in the behaviors and habits of pests, making it easier to control any problems quickly and efficiently.
  2. With a focus on IPM practices, exterminators can also work to prevent future problems.
  3. Whenever possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively.
  4. If you choose to get regular pest control services, your exterminator will work with you to develop a customized pest control program suited to the unique needs of your property.

Choosing Between DIY and Professional Pest Control

As soon as you discover a pest problem, you want them gone as soon as possible. To achieve this, it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional pest control company instead of using DIY methods. At Batzner, our goal is to provide our customers with pest-free living all year round in Wisconsin. To learn more about how we can help, contact our team today!

Termite Awareness Week in Wisconsin

Spring has sprung! Unfortunately, so have the termites. It’s Termite Awareness Week here in Wisconsin and all across the nation, making it important to learn how to prevent termite problems. This week and all year long, the team at Batzner Pest Control wants to prepare our customers for termites as well as help them learn how to prevent them. In this blog post, we’re sharing a series of informative videos on topics ranging from signs of termites to how to get rid of infestations. Check them out to learn how to stay termite-free all year long.

5 Signs of Termite Infestations

Without the trained eye of a professional, detecting termite activity can be difficult. However, there are five common signs of termites:

  1. Seeing swarmers (winged termites)
  2. Piles of wings shed by the warmers
  3. Mud tubes from subterranean termites
  4. Rotten, blistered, hollow-sounding wood
  5. Termite droppings (AKA frass)

How to Prevent Termite Activity

If you want to prevent termites, it’s best to team up with a professional termite exterminator who can help safeguard your property. In addition, there are several things you can do to lessen the risk of an infestation: 

  • Keep firewood and any mulch at a distance from the foundation of your home.
  • Always remove excess wood from your property, including construction lumber, fallen trees, and stumps.
  • Avoid moisture-damaged wood by promptly repairing leaky faucets and poor drainage problems.
  • Ensure you have a continuous termite protection plan in place from your termite control team.

Effective Termite Control

The team at Batzner aims to make sure our customers are protected from termites year-round. If you have a termite problem, you can trust we will implement the best termite treatment to get rid of the infestation ASAP. Our termite exterminators are happy to customize a termite treatment plan suited to the unique needs of your home or business!

Do You Have Termites or Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites. The Batzner Pest Control experts share how to tell them apart.

If you think you’ve seen termites in or near your property, how can you be sure they aren’t carpenter ants? Both of these pests are wood-destroying insects that, in the swarmer stage, are commonly mistaken for one another. Termite and carpenter ant swarmers are active around the same time of the year and, from afar, look quite similar. Although they are both destructive, these wood-boring insects are quite different. To learn whether you may be dealing with termites or carpenter ants, read on for tips from the experts at Batzner Pest Control.

The Main Difference Between Wood-Destroying Insects

When it comes to these two wood-destroying insects, one is much more feared than the other.

  1. Carpenter Ants
    • Typically establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids.
    • Their damage is not usually visible. When it is, you can notice that the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded.
    • For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
  2. Termites
    • Usually make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
    • Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
    • Termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.

Winged ant vs. termite in Oshkosh WI - Learn more from Batzner Pest Control

What do Termites and Carpenter Ants Look Like?

In the swarmer stage, termites and carpenter ants look very alike. Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color with slightly red coloring at times. Their wings are translucent with a reddish-brown hue. The biggest difference is that carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antennae bent at a 45-degree angle.

Termite swarmers are dark brown to black in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color, may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy visual clue to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

What to Do When You Have Termites or Carpenter Ants

If you think you’ve spotted the signs of either termites or flying ants, it’s time to call the termite exterminators at Batzner Pest Control. Termites and carpenter ants alike are difficult to control without the expertise of a pest control expert. Our team can thoroughly inspect your Wisconsin home or business for wood-destroying insects and help protect you from them year-round!

5 Prominent Pests in 2020

Prominent pests in New Berlin and Oshkosh WI in 2020 - Batzner Pest Control

When it comes to protecting your family and home against pests, hindsight doesn’t have to be 20/20 this year. Batzner Pest Control is helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming 2020 pest season by offering insights into anticipated pest activity.

The experts at Batzner Pest Control have used their field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine these five pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering preventative tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in 2020.


Mice

Mice populations have increased over the past several years and this may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again this winter, mice reproduction may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.

Homeowner Tips: Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger – or about the width of a pencil. To prevent an infestation, seal small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing.


Stinging Pests

Changing climates can cause rippling effects across the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and manmade or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Hornets and yellow jackets can overwinter, so they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.


Ticks

With outdoor activities, like hiking and camping on the rise, and years of warming winters, humans and their pets may come into contact with ticks more frequently in 2020. The deer tick or black-legged tick, the Lone Star tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special concern. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets are also at risk for some of these diseases.

Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also a good idea to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. Perform tick checks on yourself and any family members, including pets, after spending time outdoors.


Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019. If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.


Termites

Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.

Homeowner Tips: To deter subterranean termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Because termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.


The experts at Batzner Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. Take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the coverage and protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.