Category Archives: Atlanta, GA

Pest Alert for Atlanta Residents: The Zika Virus and Chagas Disease

Recently in the news, there have been several reports of viruses coming from mosquitoes and insects that Atlanta residents should be aware of. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently been communicating information on the Zika virus and the Chagas virus.

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to brain damage and birth defects in babies in Brazil. Pregnant women are being warned to re-think traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean at this time since there is no vaccine for this virus.
kissing bug
The Chagas virus has also been on the news, this virus comes from the “kissing bug” that transmits a parasite, trypanosoma cruzi, to those it infects. Like the Zika virus, most of those infected visited Latin America where it is most often found.

It is important to be aware of deadly pests that are emerging. Truly Nolen of Atlanta offers a mosquito control program and a Four Seasons Pest Control program that include preventative measures to keep your family safe. Call for an inspection 678-561-2847.

Powerful Pests: Know the Difference – Carpenter Ants and Termites

At first glance it may seem that Atlanta termites and carpenter ants have no discernable contrasts, but in fact, these swarming pests have several differences.

Appearance

Carpenter AntTermite white ant isolated

Carpenter ants are large in size, approximately 3.4 to 13 mm long and range in color from yellowish to black. Carpenter ants look different from termites: whereas termites have straight antennae, carpenter ant antennae looks slightly bent. The carpenter ant has a narrow waist while the termite’s body is more solidly rectangular. The four wings on a carpenter ant are all of equal size; termites also have four wings, but there the similarity ends. The termite’s front wings are longer than the two wings in the back. While termite workers are often a light color, carpenter ant workers are often red or dark. They can also be clearly visible where as termite workers are often transparent.

Behavior

Carpenter ants create communities inside moist or rotten wood, while termites will damage healthy wood. Carpenter ants also live in any wooden structure that connects to the ground, such as telephone poles. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually feed on wood. Instead, they burrow through the wood itself, digging tunnels to make a home. Overall, the termites’ mud tunnels are not as complete or neat looking as the tunnels of the carpenter ants.

A possible sign of a carpenter ant infestation is sawdust on the ground nearby burrow openings in the wood. Termites, on the other hand, will actively eat their way through wood. Signs of a termite infestation include finding wings by the termite-infested area.

Possible Damage and Treatment

Termite Damage
Termites can cause major structural problems, an estimated 5 billion dollars in damage each year. Because termites can do so much damage, it’s always a good idea to be proactive and immediately contact pest control professionals if you suspect a termite issue.
Carpenter Ant Damage
What about carpenter ants? The main carpenter nest is often outside of the house, so experts recommend using insecticide bait and sealing all possible entries through which carpenter ants could get in. Are carpenter ant infestations as severe as termite infestations? Not necessarily, but as carpenter ant colonies expand in size, they can cause major damage over time. While there are some ways to manage carpenter ants by yourself, it’s recommended to call professionals.

There are many differences between carpenter ants and termites, ranging from behavior and appearance to types of damage. Not sure if you have termites or carpenter ants? Call Truly Nolen Atlanta at 678-561-2847 for an inspection.

What’s the Buzz, Atlanta?

Yes, bugs can be creepy and crawly, but bugs are an important part of life. From food to flowers, from bug myths to bug snacks, here’s the “buzz” on Atlanta’s bugs!

Beneficial Bugs

How do bugs help the environment? Do they improve our lives? There are many ways that bugs are beneficial to the environment – and to us. First of all, they’re a food source around the world. Bugs have had a huge influence on the economic world as they have created valuable products: most silk comes from silkworms, for example. Bugs of all kinds have a unique responsibility: they keep nature in balance in many ways, including by breaking down and disposing of dead animals and plants.

Debunking Myths

Bed Bug
A common myth about bed bugs is that only dirty homes attract the little critters. Not so; bed bugs are attracted to clean homes as well as homes that are more cluttered. They’re attracted to your body heat, blood, and the air you breathe. In contrast to their name, bed bugs don’t just make their homes in beds: they can be found in chairs and couches, as well as stuffed toys. Similarly, love bugs – those tiny, flying couples that show up on your windshield in spring and summer – weren’t created by an accidental experiment from the University of Florida. And you know that gross old wives’ tale that we accidentally swallow several spiders a year as we sleep? There’s no truth to that, so open-mouthed sleepers can breathe a (spider-free!) sigh of relief.

Brunching Bugs

What do bugs eat? Bed bugs, one of the top bugs in Atlanta, can live for most of the year without a meal, just about ten months, according to sources. (But if they come to your house to eat, give us a call!) While some bugs can only eat specific plants, others enjoy devouring a variety of plants, flowers, and even decaying creatures.

Edible Bugs

In many parts of Southeast Asia, spiders and ants are snacks. According to sources, there are almost 2,000 edible bugs – and that’s a good thing. They’re high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. A handful of American companies –many based in California- are slowly introducing bugs into the food market as an alternative protein source.

Bug Homes

Almost 100% of bug “homes” are found on land. However, some such as dragonflies live in water until they’re adults; once they reach maturity, they fly away. Insects live pretty much everywhere on the earth’s surface.

Communicating Critters

Conversation of antsBugs communicate in a variety of ways. Like us, they can communicate through touch and visual signal – and because many insects can’t see very well, they rely on other ways to communicate. Many insects “talk” through their antennae or through sound. Some insects, such as fireflies, signal the start of the mating process by flashing light at each other; some butterflies use colors of their wings to find a mate, while others “talk” through pheromones to find a mate or even to send out warning signals.

Bugs are an important part of our environment. They provide beauty and even food, all while keeping nature in balance. However not all bugs are welcome, Truly Nolen Atlanta can help you decipher between the two, call 678-561-2847 for an inspection.

Bee Basics: Bee & Wasp Treatment 101

During the summer time, stinging insects become much more active. Each year some 500,000 people are sent to the hospital due to stings from insects such as yellow jackets, honeybees, paper wasps, and hornets. Bee and wasp stings can cause significant reactions, ranging from pain that is localized to serious or potentially fatal conditions.

In order to keep your family healthy and safe from potential stings, it is important to know everything you can about bees and wasps and how to handle their presence.

What is the Difference Between Wasps and Bees?

Bee and Wasp Control

Wasps and bees are often mistaken for one another since both are capable of delivering painful stings. Identifying the difference between wasps and bees is important when it comes to treating stings and identifying infestations in your home or yard. Bees measure around 2.5cm long with hairy bodies while wasps vary in size but have smooth and shiny skin. Most bee colonies can have populations close to 100,000 while wasps have smaller colonies.

What Are the Most Common Bees & Wasps Found in Atlanta?

Wasp Control
In the Atlanta area there are several species of both wasps and bees that residents and their pets may come in contact with. Yellow Jackets is a generic term that is applied to a number of wasp species. The most common species in Georgia that is often referred to as a yellow jacket is Vespula. Yellow jackets build nests out of paper with some nests getting quite large. Nests can be found in hollow trees, attics, roof soffits, and other areas that are not frequented. Yellow jackets will keep their distance from humans unless their nests are disturbed. If you get too close to their nest they will attack in numbers and their stings are quite painful. Paper Wasps build nests out of paper as well but unlike yellow jackets they usually build their nests in exposed areas such as window frames.

Bee Control
Honey bees are a social species that lives within colonies with the queen. Honey bees are only aggressive when they feel their colony is in danger. A honey bee is only capable of administering one sting in its lifetime since their stinger is attached to their intestines. When a honey bee stings it releases a venom that includes pheromones that will alert other bees telling them to attack. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times throughout its life.

How to Treat Stings from Bees and Wasps

If you have been stung by a bee or a wasp, unless you are allergic, there are a few steps you can take at home before seeking medical treatment. Remove the stinger with tweeters or scrape it away using your fingernail – do not pinch the stinger as this can inject more venom. Control swelling to the area by icing it down. If you were stung on your arm or leg, elevate it. For pain, take an over-the-counter painkiller such as ibuprofen. If you’re feeling itchy apply a mixture of baking soda and water or a calamine lotion. Seek emergency care immediately if you’re experiencing shortness of breath, tightness of the throat, abdominal pain, fast heartbeat, or loss of consciousness.

What if I have Wasps or Bee Nests in My Yard?

While you might be tempted to douse chemicals or water on a visible nest in your home, it is best that these infestations be left to professionals. Spraying the nest will cause the pests to go into defensive mode which will trigger aggressive behavior and increase the chances of an attack. A pest professional will take the time to carefully remove the nest and relocate it to a safer location. Bees are very important creatures and if possible their nests should be saved and relocated to an area where they are no longer a nuisance.

For more information about bees and wasps in Atlanta, call your local Truly Nolen Atlanta pest professionals at (678) 561-2847.

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Pest Free

Are you concerned about keeping your home safe from pests and rodents but aren’t sure how to keep your home pest free? Being proactive in pest prevention is key. By the time you notice a cockroach, a fly, or any other rodent it might be too late. A single rodent or pest is probably a sign of a larger problem lurking in your home. Here are some simple tips that can help you keep your home pest and rodent free this summer and year round.

Commit to Making Seasonal Checks

mice
During the winter months, rodents and pests take shelter in warmer areas such as sheds or cracks in our home. Small cracks in the foundation of your home can be an invitation for bugs and even squirrels or mice. Once they are in, they can stay for spring, summer and fall as they now have a stable source of food and shelter with no need to go elsewhere.

  • Inspect your home each season and look for cracks where pests and rodents could easily crawl through and repair them.
  • Check your windows and doors as well and seal any edges that might have cracks. This will make your home more energy efficient as well.
  • Remove large piles of leaves and wood debris from your yard as insects and rodents will use these spaces for warmth and shelter. The soil underneath these piles becomes moist and will attract rodents.
  • Store firewood away from your home as well as this will attract ants and rodents.

Deep Clean Your Kitchen

While even a spotless home might still have insect problems, a pest issue is greatly reduced when a kitchen is kept clean.

  • Keep your kitchen sink clear of dirty dishes and your counter free of food.
  • Sweep floors to remove any crumbs that might have fallen during meal prep.
  • Take the trash out regularly.

To pests and rodents your kitchen is a buffet so be diligent about keeping it picked up and clean.

Keep Up the Outdoors

squirrel
Trim back the trees and bushes outside of your home. Animals such as squirrels and raccoons will use tree branches to access your roof and make their way into your attic space. Consider hiring a tree trimming service to avoid providing these pests with access to your home. Your recycling bins and garbage cans should be sealed and stored away from the home. If you compost, use a sealed compost container and keep it as far away from your home as possible.

Control Excess Moisture

Water is a magnet for insects and rodents. Stay on top of plumbing leaks, roof leaks, or gutter leaks to keep rodents from being attracted to your home. Overwatering your lawn can also be attractive to rodents.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Consider scheduling seasonal inspections with a pest control company to make sure that your home is secure and pests are staying out of your home. These inspections should include perimeter checks of your home as well as indoor. By doing this you will ensure that no problem is ever too big to fix.

Call your local Truly Nolen Atlanta pest professional to schedule your free pest inspection.

Roach Identification: A Closer Look at the other Atlantian Natives

Atlanta is a great city to live in. There are beautiful parks, a vibrant city life, and a great culture. Unfortunately in the middle of all that good, we won’t deny that there are pests. And we have to share our lovely city with them. The most prevalent pest here in Atlanta would have to be Cockroaches.

The disease carrying pests that infect our homes and spread bacteria have made themselves comfortable in many Atlanta area homes. There are thousands of different species of cockroaches living around the world. Here in Atlanta, we deal with 4 different species including the German, American, Brown Banded, and Oriental cockroaches.

German Roach

German Roach
The German Roach is a light to medium brown with two dark parallel stripes that run from its head to its pronotum. They breed year round and will produce 30-40 eggs in one sack. A roach can produce a new sack every 28 days, giving off roughly 390-520 new roaches every year. Three months after an egg hatches, a female can begin laying her own sack. Now imagine how many roaches they can create. Although the German Roach has wings, it can barely fly though it might glide when disturbed. The German Roach is attracted to meats, sugars, starches, and fatty foods.

American Roach

American Roach
The American Roach is often referred to as a palmetto bug. American Roaches are the largest species of common cockroach, growing to an average size of 4cm. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. American Roaches travel quickly and have large compound eyes with 2,000 individual lenses that shun light, allowing them to be very active at night. Adult cockroaches can live up to a year with females producing an average of 150 eggs during that time. American Roaches eat a great variety of food and materials such as cheese, leather, bakery products, glue, plant materials, starch and soiled clothing.

Brown Banded Cockroach

The Brown Banded cockroach is a small species of cockroach measuring about 5/8 inches long. It is tan to light brown and has two light-colored bands across the wings and abdomen. These roaches prefer warmer, drier and higher conditions than other roaches. They are fully developed in 95 days and will begin producing egg sacks containing 20 eggs. These roaches eat starches, cheese, and other organic matter including decaying matter.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Roach
The Oriental Cockroach is a large species, with adult males measuring 18-29 mm and females being 20-27 mm. They are dark brown to black in color and have a glossy body. The Oriental Roach travels slower than other species and are often called water bugs since they prefer dark, moist places. They can be found around decaying matter, sewers, drains, basements, and other damp areas. The female will lay sacks with 16-18 eggs in them at a time. They hatch within 42 days in warm weather.

Cockroaches are dangerous to our health. They can transfer bacteria from rotten food, decaying matter, and other sources into our homes. Roaches can cause asthma issues and can spread disease. Without the assistance of a pest professional, cockroaches are very hard to get rid of because of how quickly they reproduce.

Contact Truly Nolen Atlanta to find out how we can help take care of your pest problem beginning with a free pest inspection!

Powerful Pest: Know the Difference – Water Bugs and Cockroach

Cockroach vs Water Bug

Cockroaches are often referred to as water bugs and vice versa due to their similar appearances. Aside from their similar looks, these two pests are quite different. Water bugs prefer to live in water, at least most of the time while cockroaches are able to live in a variety of habitats. Both water bugs and cockroaches are common pests to Atlanta area residents. Knowing the difference will help you determine which pest you’re dealing with and the best way to eliminate them.

Appearance

Cockroaches and water bugs both have flat, oval-shaped bodies. Water bugs are on average about 2 inches in length while cockroaches can vary in size by species. German cockroaches are about a ½ inch long while American cockroaches average about 1 ½ inches in length. Both the German and American cockroaches are native to the Atlanta area.

Diets

Cockroaches eat a variety of materials such as leather, bakery products, glue, flakes of dried skin, dead animals, and fermented foods. Water bugs prefer to hunt and kill insects such as tadpoles and small fish. These bugs also like to eat sweet-tasting food such as syrups as well as algae and starch.

Lifecycle

Cockroaches lay their eggs in ootheca or an egg sack, which may be left somewhere or carried with the roach. The number of eggs produced by a female cockroach as well as the time it takes for eggs to hatch varies from species to species. Many roach species are able to reproduce within a few months of hatching.

There are three stages in a water bug’s lifecycle – the egg, the larvae, and the adult phases. Female water bugs lay small, oval eggs about a week after reproduction. In the third cycle of their life, water bugs develop the ability to fly. Water bugs lay their eggs on floating vegetation or in debris.

Habitat

Cockroaches are known as land insects and prefer dark areas. They can often be found in warm temperatures inside crawl spaces, basements, cracks, and outdoors. Water bugs spend most of their time in freshwater, usually in moist and dark areas. Leaky pipes or standing water are the perfect place for these pests to breed and hide. Although these bugs swim well, they cannot breath underwater, which is why they often return to the surface to capture air.

Both water bugs and cockroaches can spread disease and cause damage to your home. For additional information about water bugs and cockroaches or to schedule your free inspection, contact your Truly Nolen Atlanta office today.

Pest Management Basics: Atlanta Winter Pests 101

Residents of Atlanta, Georgia would all likely agree it’s been a long cold winter. The winter months aren’t typically thought of as a very active time for household pests. When temperatures drop, pests have a harder time moving, eating, and reproducing, but even in very cold weather they don’t die off. In fact, in winter months, pests will typically look to your home for warmth and shelter. With the cold weather outdoors you will often find pests, rodents and other wildlife hidden in walls or attics seeking shelter and food patiently waiting for spring and warmer temperatures.

As homeowners, often times we overlook winter pests but pests like; cluster flies, spiders, cockroaches, rodents, crickets and even raccoons and skunks can be a problem in the winter. It’s important to understand the different types of pests commonly found and what you can do to protect your home.

These pests make our Atlanta, GA “Winter Pests Most Wanted List”:

 

Rodents

rodents
Rodents are little concern during the temperate months when mice and rats can be found actively roaming outdoors where there is plenty of food. However, when the temperature begins to cool and food sources become more scarce, rodents will seek out a more welcoming environment like your home. Rodents can enter your home through cracks or holes near plumbing, electrical outlets and where your HVAC pipes come in from outside. Holes can be as small as a nickel for them to squeeze through so ensuring all cracks and crevices are sealed is key to preventing a rodent infestation. Once inside, they build nests and begin to forage for food at night when you are fast asleep leaving droppings, bacteria and other pathogens behind.

Nuisance Wildlife

Squirrel
Squirrels, raccoon, skunks and bats are a few of the common types of nuisance wildlife likely to enter your home in the winter. They are most likely to be found in attics and basements or in other areas of the home that provide a perfect hiding place. Squirrels and other nuisance wildlife aren’t just looking for a place to hide out for the winter, they are usually using your home as the ideal spot to breed and raise their young growing brood. Unlike rodents who scavenge for food within your home, the adult squirrels will leave the home daily to seek food outside then return to feed their offspring daily.

Cluster Flies

cluster flies
Cluster Flies spend the winter relatively inactive, hiding out in attics and wall voids inside the structure of your home. Once they are safely hidden indoors, their populations grow quickly making early identification and treatment key to preventing a wide-spread infestation. Although harmless, cluster flies can prove to be a nuisance to homeowners once indoors.

Other winter houseguest pests include; box elder bugs, lady bugs and stink bugs which invade in the fall and normally hibernate during the winter but are also likely to stay active once they have made their way indoors. The key to treating winter pests is taking steps to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Here are some steps to take to ensure your home is pest free for the winter.

Winter Checklist

  • Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home.
  • Repair damaged screens on windows or doors.
  • Seal off any entry points. Inspect the outside of your home for easy access points.
  • Remove all moisture build up around your home. Check for leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Clean counters and sweep floors to eliminate crumbs and residue.
  • Inspect items such as boxes containing holiday decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  • Keep items in garages, basements and attics in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes to prevent rodents from nesting inside.
  • Keep branches and shrubbery well-trimmed. Make sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.

Taking these steps to properly seal your home can help you prevent a winter pest infestation. Call Truly Nolen of Atlanta for a free pest inspection if you suspect you have an infestation or see or hear any rodents or wildlife in your home.

Valentine’s Day “Love Bug” in Atlanta

lovebugs

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we would get you in the mood to celebrate. When you think of the words; love bug, ladybug, kissing bug, what comes to mind? Probably lots of emotions. Some of us even use these terms as words of endearment for our love ones. Despite their passionate names, these bugs can also be quite a nuisance. Here’s what you need to know about our Valentine’s Day love bugs.

Love bug…sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Love bugs get their name because they spend most of their life mating. Love bugs aren’t dangerous insects (they don’t bite or sting), but can be very irritating. They cause havoc wherever they go. During the daytime hours, female love bugs usually go hunting for a location to lay their eggs and the males chase after them (that’s why they appear in large swarms). Female love bugs lay their eggs in dead animal carcasses, or decaying organic material. The larvae from laying their eggs help break down decaying vegetation and enriches the soil. Other than hitting our windshields when driving, love bugs are the least problematic bugs on the list.

There is nothing more adorable than the ladybug? From children to adults, everybody loves them. Ladybugs are the ultimate love symbol. Asian traditions hold to the belief that if you catch a ladybug and release it, your wish will come true. Even with the romantic backstory, ladybugs are just as frustrating as any other bug. The good news is they won’t bite you or harm you but they do ooze out a toxin when in danger. It is yellow and smells pretty vulgar, it infects the predator with poisonous fungus that kills (not harmful to humans). They may not damage home structures, except for the yellow stain, but ladybugs also leave behind trails of pheromones, the pheromones remain and draw them to the same location year after year which could lead to an infestation. You must be vigilant because once ladybugs are in, it is a challenging task to remove them.

Kissing bugs are a different story completely. These bugs are known for biting humans on the face, especially around the lips, hence their name. Like mosquitoes and bed bugs, these insects feed on the blood of humans and animals. Attracted by the aroma of the carbon dioxide we exhale, kissing bugs climb onto the faces of sleeping individuals and feast. The kissing bug’s ability to sense heat allows them to wander around without being caught. The results of a kissing bug’s bite can range from slight irritation to life threatening. The greatest fear concerning kissing bugs is the possibility of contracting Chagas Disease. The deadly parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, lives within the kissing bug’s digestive system and is excreted after feeding. Humans can become infected if the parasite enters their bloodstream.

As sweet as the names may sound, don’t be deceived these bugs are unpleasant. These bugs have become synonymous with love and endearment throughout the years although nothing could be further from the truth. Kissing bugs bring disease, love bugs kill their mate after breeding, and ladybugs are sometimes cannibalistic. Think twice before calling a loved one any of these names in the future. Not a good one in the bunch!

Squirrels – Don’t let them drive you nuts!

When we think of animals belonging to the rodent family, often times, squirrels are not top of mind. Probably the most aesthetically pleasing of their kind, they are almost always seen nibbling on something to eat due to their constantly growing teeth. This gives them somewhat of an endearing quality along with their bushy tails and playful movements, often depicted in movies as cute and friendly creatures. Seen scampering up trees and daringly traversing a telephone line or two, squirrels are disregarded as nothing more than part of the scenery.

However, squirrels that find themselves near to or even inside your home, can cause serious damage and wreak havoc in your garden, furniture and more dangerously, electrical wiring and support beams in your house. Once squirrels settle in an area, they are very difficult to get rid of and will make themselves comfortable. Similar to rats and mice, they make excellent climbers, which means that entering your home through the attic or chimneys does not pose much of a challenge for them.

Types of Squirrels

Squirrel

Ground Squirrels

Ground squirrels stay true to their name and mainly roam on lower level surfaces. Although they can climb, the ground squirrel will always opt to hide in burrows when they are threatened or frightened. Primarily active during the day, ground squirrels prefer warm, sunny weather and will hibernate during the colder months. Ground squirrels live in colonies and will spend their time storing food, resting and rearing their young. They will usually forage for food near to their burrows, which is why they mainly inhabit areas that are close to buildings or bordering farms and crops. Feeding on a diet mainly consisting of grains, nuts and seeds, ground squirrels are voracious in their appetite for grasses and plants especially after they emerge from hibernation.

Damage caused by ground squirrels

Ground squirrels can cause major damage in and around gardens, farms and crops. Feasting on plants, both food-bearing and ornamental, ground squirrels can devour fruit and nut trees, vines, shrubs and vegetables. They will even gnaw on irrigation systems and sprinkler heads, making their presence a nightmare for homeowners and farmers.

Their burrowing habits can also prove detrimental to livestock, humans and machinery as the uneven surface makes it difficult to walk on, also causing damage to the machinery. Burrows can pose structural problems, affecting the moisture level in tree roots, often causing them to fall over as well as interfering with the structural stability of buildings. If there are excessive colonies of ground squirrels in any one area, the chances of the spread of disease is also high.

Tree Squirrels

There are several types of tree squirrels that are commonly found near homes. Although they primarily inhabit wooded areas, residential and commercial development has caused them to seek new places to live (including your attic!)

Some of the more commonly seen squirrels are:

  • Gray squirrels – Typically found in rural areas that are densely populated with trees. Gray squirrels can wreak havoc in your backyard by digging holes in the ground and flower beds to bury acorns. Feeding nuts and seeds, they will not hesitate to overthrow your bird feeder to get to the seeds!
  • Fox squirrels- Prone to nesting in trees and hollowed out trunks, the fox squirrel can also do damage in your garden, destroying flowers, plants and fruit trees.

Damage caused by Tree squirrels

Much like their more undesirable counterparts, rats and mice, tree squirrels use their superior climbing skills to find ways of entering your home and setting up residence in your roof or attic. A good way to determine if you may have a possible squirrel infestation is to know what signs to look out for:

  • Since tree squirrels are excellent climbers, checking the higher level areas of your home are essential. Taking a good look inside your attic for evidence of damage to insulation, wood beams or electrical wiring. This is especially important as chewing of these wires can cause shortages and result in home fires.
  • If you notice small holes in your yard, chances are squirrels have been busy hiding their food throughout your exterior space.
  • Scratching sounds coming from your attic could be a sign that squirrels have entered your home. If there are utility lines near to your house, this is a good indication that squirrels may have found their way to your roof, and then into your attic as these guys are not afraid of running across high wires.

Some of the ways that squirrels can cause damage in and around your home are:

  • Chewing on electrical wiring
  • Gnawing at support beams in your attic or under your home.
  • Ripping apart insulation, window and door frames
  • Destroying bird feeders, potted plants and flowers
  • Squirrels that carry diseases, as well as squirrel fleas, can pose serious health risks.

Control & Prevention

While an overturned potted plant, or a few holes in your garden may be more of a nuisance than anything else, the prospect of squirrels chewing on electrical wires or beams is far more attention worthy. Even one squirrel that has entered the home can cause major issues. Controlling these erratic creatures can be quite the challenge and if you suspect that there may be a possible infestation, it is important to contact your pest service professional. As with other rodents, keeping squirrels away from your home is key and your pest control expert may apply certain exclusion and trapping techniques to prevent squirrels from entering and capturing those that have already found their way inside. As with any rodent, trapping and removal of squirrels is best left to a professional.

Some ways that you can help keep squirrels away from your home are:

  • Trim branches or trees that may be close to your roof line to avoid giving squirrels easy access.
  • Repair any openings or holes under gutters, on your roof and around the perimeter of your house.
  • Remove any bird feeders that are near to the home as these can attract squirrels looking to establish a food source.

Always contact your pest control professional if you think that the problem is beyond your control. Your service expert is trained to provide the best advice and procedure for keeping your home squirrel free.