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.

6 Ways to Keep Your Outdoor Space Pest-Free

Tips to stay pest-free in your Wisconsin yard - Batzner Pest Control

Are you spending more time in your backyard than ever this year? If so, you’ve likely noticed just how many insects are sharing that space with you! Mosquitoes in your pond, flies around your barbecue, or wasps building a nest on your deck can all quickly ruin your time enjoying your outdoor living space. It can be hard to avoid insects altogether outside, but there are a few things you can do to make your yard less appealing to pests. The experts at Batzner have gathered their top tips to keep your outdoor space pest-free. Read on to learn more!

Tips to Keep Your Outdoor Space Pest-Free

There are likely a number of things in your backyard that, unbeknownst to you, are attracting all types of pests. Each year, it’s important to implement a number of pest prevention methods to reduce the chances of an infestation inside or outside your property. These methods include:

  1. Getting rid of any standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
  2. Regularly trimming your lawn and shrubs. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
  3. Keeping an eye out for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  4. Inspecting all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and mosquitoes) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  5. Applying an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  6. Cleaning your patio or space regularly. Spills or leftover food will surely bring ants around.

What Pests Infest Your Yard?

Here in Wisconsin, we deal with many types of pests all year long. They are especially active this time of year, and may end up right in your backyard. Some can be dangerous, which is why it’s so important to learn how to keep them away. A few of the most common pests we get calls about this time of year include:

Need Outdoor Pest Removal?

If you’ve done all you can to prevent outdoor pests and still find yourself with an infestation, it’s important to act quickly. A professional pest control company can help get rid of pests in your yard and help you prevent future infestations from happening. Contact the residential exterminators at Batzner today to get started!

Keep Your Pets Safe From Ticks This Summer

Preventing ticks in dogs in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

In the midst of a Wisconsin summer, everyone wants to spend more time outdoors. But are you being cautious of the dangers of pests, particularly ones that can harm your pet? Ticks are more common in the warm summer months. Anytime you go outside, it’s important to stay aware of them and to be on the lookout for your family and pets. Ticks are infamous for transmitting Lyme disease, which is the most common vector-borne disease in the nation. Although cats rarely deal with ticks, they can be as dangerous for dogs as they are for people. The team at Batzner is here to provide you with top tips for preventing ticks and protecting your pets this summer–read on to learn more.

How to Prevent Summertime ticks

The best defense against ticks is knowing how to look for them! Here are a few things you can do help keep ticks off your pets and out of your home:

  1. Regularly tidy-up and trim your yard. By mowing your lawn regularly, you can make your yard less attractive to ticks. In addition, implement rodent prevention tactics to discourage rodents that could carry ticks.
  2. Get tick prevention for your pets. Talk to your veterinarian about prevention or treatment options, including heartworm protection.
  3. Inspect pets for ticks daily or whenever they go outdoors. When inspecting, focus on areas under the legs and around the neck and ears. In addition, look out for excessive scratching, licking, or grooming behavior.
  4. Avoid areas with tall grass on hikes. Ticks are known to be in areas with high grass, be careful to stay on trails when hiking or walking.
  5. Check your entire family for ticks. During the summer, regularly check yourself and family members for ticks after being outdoors. They can easily hop from you to your pets!

How Dangerous are Ticks for Pets?

Ticks feed by biting an animal or human and feasting on their blood for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Cats rarely get ticks, but could easily carry them into your home where they can infest other members and pets in the family. When an infected tick attaches to a dog, it’s possible for them to transmit Lyme disease. There are several ways to look for signs of this. If you notice your pet is showing symptoms of depression, loss of appetite, fever, lameness, or swollen joints and lymph nodes, immediately contact your veterinarian. Ticks can also occasionally cause anemia in pets.

How to Treat a Tick Problem

If a family member or pet exhibits symptoms after a tick incident, always contact a medical professional or veterinarian as soon as possible. As you would with fleas, thoroughly inspect your property for other ticks, wash your pet’s bedding, vacuum regularly, and more. For help with ticks or advice, the team at Batzner can help–contact us today!

Can Mosquito Bites Transmit Coronavirus?

Mosquito bites do not transmit COVID-19. Batzner Pest Control in New Berlin WI.

At Batzner Pest Control, we are keeping up-to-date with the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds each and every day. Our team continues to be committed to the health and safety of our communities throughout Wisconsin. With so much misinformation about the virus out there, we’re here to help dispel one myth in particular about the transmission of coronavirus. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that mosquito bites or ticks transmit COVID-19. Although these two insects are vectors for some very serious diseases worldwide, the current pandemic is not included. With information gathered from the CDC on vector-borne diseases, keep reading to learn why mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit coronavirus.

Do Insects Transmit Coronavirus?

Mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit COVID-19. These two are vectors for deadly diseases, but coronavirus is spread in a very different way:

  • Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that currently is spread from person to person, and is increasingly considered an airborne virus.
  • Research has shown that this virus spreads from droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be spread through contaminated surfaces.
  • COVID-19 is best avoided by avoiding exposure with infected persons. This is the biggest difference between mosquito-borne diseases and coronavirus, which is very contagious.

Worldwide Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes and Ticks

Vector-borne diseases are different than coronavirus in several ways. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “vector-borne diseases are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by vectors”. The most common vector pests are fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, all of which can spread disease with their bites. Mosquitoes and ticks are especially concerning: mosquitoes have infamous transmitted malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more, while ticks transmit Lyme disease. Vector-borne diseases are very dangerous and have impacted nations worldwide.

Our Family is Here For You

Good news is that mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit COVID-19. However, they are still considered dangerous pests. Pandemic or not, Batzner Pest Control is here to provide you with pest control services all year long. We are proud to stay committed to our goal of keeping our communities safe and healthy by all means possible.

With the COVID-19 situation changing on a daily basis, we encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO, CDC, as well as your state and local public health agencies.

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.

5 Helpful Hints to Prevent Tick Bites

5 helpful hints to prevent tick bites in New Berlin WI - Batzner Pest Control serving Southeastern Wisconsin

With fall quickly approaching, chances are you’re wanting to spend as much time outdoors as possible before the cold months of winter hit! Whether you’re hiking or hosting a party in your backyard, it’s essential to know how to protect yourself from ticks. As tiny as they are, ticks can be dangerous as they may transmit serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease. Even though tick bites don’t always result in an illness, it’s important to understand how you can prevent being bitten in the first place! Read on to learn our top tips on preventing tick bites!

5 Tips to Prevent Tick Bites

  1. Wear protective clothing: When venturing into areas with a lot of vegetation or tall grass, make sure to keep bare skin to a minimum. Dress yourself in light-colored pants and long sleeves, wear closed-toe shoes, and consider tucking your pants into your socks.
  2. Use insect repellent: On areas of the skin that are still exposed, it’s recommended to use an insect spray containing at least 20% deet, as it can help deter ticks. Apply as directed by the manufacturer.
  3. Keep a tidy yard: Ticks love to seek shelter in areas with a lot of vegetation, even in your own backyard. Trim your grass, prune your shrubs and bushes, and remove piles of wood or other debris to keep ticks at bay.
  4. Be cautious when hiking: If you’re walking or hiking in wooded areas or spots with a lot of vegetation, try to stay in the center of the trail. Avoid stepping through areas of tall grass or unkempt vegetation, where ticks could be hiding.
  5. Check pets for ticks: Pets can’t defend themselves against ticks in the same way you can, which is why it’s crucial to check their coats for ticks on a regular basis, especially after they’ve walked through thick vegetation.

Signs of a Tick Bite

Because ticks are so small, it can be hard to know when they’ve hitched a ride on you or your pet. When they’ve found a host to feed on, ticks use their piercing mouthparts to first inject an anesthetic, which is why most people don’t feel the bite of a tick. As the tick fills with blood, it will eventually fall off its host. If a tick is found before it feeds, it can be removed with tweezers. Some signs of a tick bite include the telltale red bull’s eye rash around the spot of the bite. While most bites are harmless, they can transmit dangerous diseases and should always be treated by a medical professional.

How to Protect Yourself from Ticks

Even with tick season coming to a close, you shouldn’t let your guard down. Following the aforementioned tips can help lessen the risk of getting bitten by a tick, but it’s also important to always thoroughly check yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors through the fall. If you suspect ticks have made their way in your yard or home and are spreading, it’s time to call in for professional help. The licensed experts at Batzner Pest Control can keep you and your family safe from these potentially harmful insects!

What Spring Pests to Expect: Ticks, Boxelder Bugs, Mosquitoes and Ants

As the weather warms and the ground thaws, spring pests will start to emerge from their winter hiding places to enjoy all the good things that the season has to offer. The additional pest activity can be a nuisance for homeowners, so be sure to keep an eye out for signs of infestations. Insect infestations can cause issues inside and outside the home that can be annoying and expensive to fix. Here are some common springtime insect pests to watch for, and the potential damage that can be caused by letting their populations get out of control:

  • Japanese Beetles– Japanese beetles begin the spring in their grub stage, nibbling away at your lawn’s root system. This can lead to dead spots and bare areas in the lawn which require reseeding. When the temperature gets warm enough, the grubs emerge from the ground as beetles and feed on the leaves of plants and trees, including ornamentals like roses.
  • TicksTicks start appearing in the spring, and can cause a number of problems if they are hanging out in your yard. Their bites, while occasionally very painful to people or pets, are usually just a mild annoyance. However, being bitten should be taken seriously, as ticks are known for spreading diseases such as Lyme Disease.
  • Boxelder BugsBoxelder bugs don’t typically cause extensive damage to homes or foliage during the spring. They spend their spring and summer feeding and reproducing on a select few kinds of trees, primarily female box elder trees, and only occasionally cause minor damage to fruits and leaves. Crushing them can release an unpleasant odor, and their feces can stain light colored surfaces. Allowing their population to go unchecked does create a nuisance in the fall, when they reenter the home in preparation for winter.
  • MosquitoesMosquito eggs begin hatching in the spring, and reach their adult stage in less than two weeks. As with ticks, mosquito bites are mostly an annoyance, but they can also spread diseases such as West Nile and yellow fever.
  • AntsAnts also emerge from their nests in the spring, and are often drawn into your home in search of a meal. In addition to crawling all over any food that has been left out, research has shown that ants can cause or exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues for those sensitive to such problems.

More information on these pests, including signs of infestations, can be found on the National Pest Management Association’s website. As with other pests, spring insects are best handled by a professional. If you see any signs of an infestation in your home or workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact us!